Tor Boycott

The Tor/Macmillian boycott is on.

Long story short, for those that don’t normally follow such things, is that several high-ranking people at Tor books, one of the big names in science fiction / fantasy publishing, said some very nasty things about their conservative / libertarian customers, and even some of their own authors. They were asked to apologize,  and the corporations were asked to enforce their own code of conduct. Some general non-apology apologies and patently insincere disclaimers were trotted forth, but nothing really was done by the corporations. The offending people, Irene Gallo,  Patrick Nielsen Hayden, his wife Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Moshe Feder, and author John Scalzi, are still employed and have not even  been formally or publicly reprimanded. In other words, the employer tacitly endorses their employees saying things like referring to their own authors works as “bad-to-reprehensible,” and calling the author’s supporters “extreme right-wing to neo-nazi”.

Gee, I can just feel the love from here. Details at Vox’s blog, Peter Grant’s place, Hoyt’s, and many other places in the SF/F blog-o-sphere. So, if you like Tor SF, keep reading, but but use the library. If you think you just must buy your favorite Tor author, buy used and hit their tip-jar. Or, check out competing publishers like Baen or Castalia House, which don’t treat their authors and fan base like crap.

Expected no-read reviews

The long-expected SJW no-read one-star reviews have started to arrive. The first is Elisabeth Carey of Massachusetts. She’s a librarian, or at least that’s what the claim is on the bio. Hours apart she posts on Amazon and GoodReads.  Both reviews appear to only cover things in the free “Check Inside” or the description, and are almost totally style-oriented apart from what can be read in the description. She doesn’t appear to be the sort that would like, appreciate, or even understand most mil SF. She’s not a verified purchaser. She’s also written similar one star reviews of John C. Wright’s work, and Riding The Red Horse. Continue reading Expected no-read reviews

Feel like writing an email?

Sorry I’m late to the party. Long story short, Tor Publishing bigwigs behaved badly, even calling some of their own authors “bad to reprehensible,” while calling pretty much every SF/F fan to the right of Mao a nazi, etc.  People wrote to Tor complaining. Tor claimed it was all bots and astro-turf. So the call went out to write an email about it to three people, saying “I AM NOT a bot.”

Details here. And here. more links with more background at those two places.

Eating Authors

I got interviewed, sort of, by a former Campbell Award nominee Lawrence M. Schoen. He’s got a blog, Eating Authors. A character of his is very into food, a gourmand. He’s trying to bring attention to new authors, including specifically Campbell Award nominees. His vehicle for doing this is to ask them to write about a memorable meal, or something food-related in their life. My first thought was “that’s not a path I’d ever think to go down,” but some people have that sort of focus. It sounded like something that I wasn’t really  interested in writing.

After thinking about it for a while, and exchanging several emails trying to figure out where what he found useful and what I was interested in writing crossed, I had an idea, cranked it out, and now it’s live on his blog.

Hugo Packet

I’m currently having a debate about the “Hugo Packet.” The Hugo Packet is the pile of writing that all the Hugo / Sasquan members/supporters get as part of membership that has a copy of the nominated works so that members can read them and make more informed choices. That is the idea, anyway. So, the question is, should Castalia House send them The Stars Came Back or Shakedown Cruise? Continue reading Hugo Packet

Modeling an Armadillo

How many people out there have an interest in doing 3D modeling of an Armadillo-class ship? Specifically, if I posted the Python script that could be used in FreeCad to create models of the ship, how many people out there would be interested in playing with it to make graphics, videos, add details, create interior images (either for posting here or possible inclusion in future editions), game mods etc?

The way the current graphics (cover-art aside) were made was with this method.

Boomershoot fast approaching

The first weekend of May is Boomershoot weekend this year. I’ll be there. I have to start getting ready. I have met a lot of “somebodies” there over the years, various people famous or infamous (or at least well-known and recognized) in their own particular circle, if not leaders in the field. Mostly gunnies, but not entirely. Lots of very smart, knowledgeable, and often quirky folks. It’s a great place to hang out, where diversity (of calibers) and freedom of choice (of targets) is celebrated, and the only “trigger warnings” ever heard are when discussing technical accuracy or safety-related issues. It’s a place where “ATF” might as well be a local convenience store, and calling someone a redneck will get a quizzical look and a response of “Well, yeah. What did you expect? A bunch of engineers, geeks, and lawyers blowing stuff up in Idaho?” (please note for those who know nothing about it: the Venn diagram of boomershooters, engineers, geeks, and lawyers has a LOT of overlap).

Editing, writing, teaching, and cover-art are moving along well.

First post-Campbell review

An interesting one. It was posted April 5th, the day after the Hugos and the Campbell was announced.

Standing Desk Treadmills in space … and other bits of fun.
I picked this up this book because the author, Rolf Nelson, is on this years Hugo Awards ballot for best new author. I read the author’s notes, looked through Appendix 1 at the schematic for the ship, started reading, and all of the sudden it was 4 AM and I couldn’t hold my eyes open any longer. I am currently 48% of the way through the book (Kindle) and I just realized that I might not be able to finish it today. When I start considering the possibility of taking a day off from work to finish a book, it is time to give that book a 5 star rating.

There is more there, detailing why he likes it. It’s worth reading. It will be interesting to see how many more reviews it picks up after the full membership packet goes out, and people start really looking things over in preparation to cast their vote. Something tells me I’ll be at least a little bit polarizing, between Rabid Puppies, format, and plot points. Time to stock up on popcorn!

Why I wrote what I did

Growing up I read a lot. Historical things, fantasy, hard sci fi, space opera, novels, short stories, everything from Heinlein to Gibbon. I liked the ideas, the characters, the action, the adventure, the speculation about people and technology, as well as the facts and amazing people in real life history. I got a degree in computer science in part because computers were the future.

But then, gradually, I found it harder and harder to find new books I liked. I wasn’t sure why it was. I looked at the vast array of things on the shelf and saw nothing that appealed to me. An awesome cover would catch my eye, then I’d read the description, and put it back down. I ended up rereading older things, and got busy with a life of my own, and  went browsing in bookstores ever more rarely because the gatekeepers were not producing much of anything I wanted. If I wanted angst-ridden dystopias filled with mental sickness, hopelessness, corruption, and bad writing, I’d pick up a newspaper. Continue reading Why I wrote what I did