My absolute LAST ever post on Sad Puppies ever; or, how I met Larry Correia.

Anyone who reads my blog regularly (so nobody) knows that I’m pretty politically opposed to the Sad Puppies- and, at this point, that I really don’t care about it anymore. I just don’t have the energy to care about online drama. At Rose City Comicon (I really should have posted this sooner, but first weeks of the semester and all), I ran into Larry Correia, founder of the Sad Puppy movement.

Honestly, I was a little intimidated to talk to him. As easy as it is to disparage people online who are on the opposite side of the political spectrum, it’s another thing entirely in person. Not just because Larry’s a really big dude (which he is), but because it’s actually pretty tough to completely dismiss someone for their political beliefs in person- annoying, I know.

So after walking past his booth once and not saying anything, I worked up the nerve to go chat with him. My friends might have helped pressure me a bit; just a bit.

And, well: He’s actually a really nice guy in person.

We spent ten or so minutes chatting about his experience so far in Portland, the Sad Puppy movement, Vox Day (Larry readily admitted that Day is a terrible person, but vagaries of politics put them on the same side on one issue), Marion Zimmer Bradley (terrible person, more on that below)*, Jim Butcher (we both think he’s a badass), Brandon Sanderson (his work ethic is terrifying), etc. Oh, and his Grimnoir trilogy, which I liked quite a bit, despite my investment in the Sad Puppy drama on the opposite side of him at the time. I actually have changed my opinion about the books since- it’s still more violent than I usually prefer, but I’ve decided that it’s not nearly as problematic as when I first decided. (Malazan, I blame you for that.) Regardless, I liked it when I first read it, and I like it still.

Anyhow- Larry Correia was quite friendly, we had a lovely conversation, he took a picture with me, and OH GOD I’M BALDING IN MY 20s YOU CAN SEE IT IN THE PHOTO AHHHH. (Actual real life problems, people. Probably going to pull a Tywin Lannister and shave it all off soon.)

The conclusion I came to?

The internet makes assholes of us all. Is that a grossly simplified conclusion? Yes, yes it is. We are on the internet, however, so…

The internet makes assholes of us all: especially me.

*As far as the Marion Zimmer Bradley bit- I’ve been in a bit of a mental feedback loop for a while about her now. Her books were a big part of my childhood, and then recently I found out about, well… Well, she was a genuinely horrible person. I normally prefer to judge art independent of an artist, but she did such horrible things I couldn’t separate them- but nor could I easily come to a conclusion. Hearing Larry’s take actually helped, believe it or not. He used to be a fan (can’t remember which book of hers he had on his shelves) but tossed it when he learned about her actions. Frankly, hearing that from someone so far away from me politically helped me make up my mind more than hearing identical things from people on my side of the political spectrum. Jim C. Hines, for example, said some very similar things, and you can’t get much farther apart in SF/F than Hines and Correia. (Actually, you can- Samuel Delaney and John C. Wright, for example, but my point should be apparent.)

Campaign Setting Supplemental Details: Tibera and Itasoa

I decided to do some updates to my two D&D campaign settings- because why not. I’m also working on a couple others in the back of my head that I might write up for the hell of it. Maybe I should join the self-publishing craze just to publish a book of my campaign setting ideas through Amazon. I’m normally not particularly interested in self-publishing, and have no intention of trying to get any of my fiction published this way, but this would just be a fun little project.

For those of you who haven’t read anything about Tibera or Itasoa yet, you’ll want to read the original posts first.


Hugo Awards and such.

Alright, copy/pasted winners list, with a little commentary from me. Long story short: The Sad and Rabid Puppy movements got their asses kicked hard in the voting (they got zero awards), but are now insisting that it’s a victory for them.

I spent the weekend of the Hugos camping in central Washington for five days on a geology trip. Gotta admit, I didn’t really worry about any of this stuff during the trip. Fun fact, folks: Real life is better than internet drama! Following this, I’ll be avoiding blogging about the Sad Puppies and all that drama- in fact, about internet drama at all.

BEST NOVEL (1827 ballots)

  • Winner: The Three Body Problem, Cixin Liu, Ken Liu translator (Tor Books)
  • Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • The Dark Between the Stars by Kevin J. Anderson (Tor Books)
  • The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (Sarah Monette) (Tor Books)
  • Skin Game: A Novel of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (Roc Books)

The Three Body Problem totally deserved this one. One of the best science fiction novels I’ve read in a long time. I reviewed it a while back. Props to Marko Kloos for pulling out of the race so Three Body Problem could get in- that had to be a tough decision. (Larry Correia also withdrew from the race, along with numerous other authors. Correia was the only Puppy to do so, to my knowledge.)  As for the other two Sad Puppy nominees still on the ballot, I’d be shocked if Anderson or Butcher paid much attention to the drama at all- by all accounts they both seem to be really nice, really busy guys with no time for internet drama. I feel kind of bad for them, getting caught up in something entirely out of their control.


Here come the Hugos, prepare for internet drama!

Edit: Oh, wait! I’m going to be camping during the upcoming Hugo Drama! That’ll be nice.

I’ll give some quick coverage of the drama, for some sort of closure’s sake, since I’ve been blogging about it off and on for a while, but I’m pretty tired of it.

Seriously, internet drama is one of the greatest wastes of time you can have in your life. There is essentially nothing redeeming about it. Arguing with people online? Most of the time, you’re making yourself an actively worse person. Time spent arguing with people on Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, etcetera does nothing more than bring you that much closer to death.

I seriously regret all the time I’ve spent on Internet drama. None of that shit is what I want to remember on my deathbed someday.

Plot Devices: High Fantasy and the Treaty of Westphalia

Quick show of hands, who knows what Westphalian sovereignty is? For those of you who don’t want to read through the entire Wikipedia article, it’s the principle that any nation state has the right to govern itself and its internal affairs without interference from other nation states, and that each state is equal under international law. (Though it all frequently plays out differently in practice.) Westphalian sovereignty originated with the Peace of Westphalia, a series of treaties that ended the Thirty Year’s War and the Eighty Year’s War in Europe, who had had so many wars by that point they just gave up on original names. Prior to the Peace of Westphalia, constant meddling in the affairs of other countries was completely normal. It should be noted, of course, that the interrelation of royalty throughout Europe was a big cause of this.

Real quick, I want you to look at a map of Middle Earth. Feel free to look up a higher resolution one if you want, but there aren’t any precisely defined borders on the map- there isn’t any sharply defined line between Gondor and Mordor, other than the obvious geographic features. This isn’t because J.R.R. Tolkien just decided to draw a geographic map of Middle Earth and call it a day- it’s because Tolkien was most. This is, admittedly, speculation on my part- I don’t know for sure that Tolkien was deliberately modeling the nations of Middle Earth after pre-Westphalian states, but it seems extremely likely. The man was an exceptionally knowledgeable student of European history- for him to have included the strictly defined Westphalian state seems extraordinarily unlikely.

And indeed, in a reading of The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit, the only borders really mentioned are geographic ones, and nations don’t even pay lip service to noninterference in each others business- which, of course, tends to be rather secondary, since they aren’t novels about nation states, but of good versus evil.