Larry Correia

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.)

2014 Hugo Winners announced!

No real surprises for me, except for the “Best Graphic Story” award. Don’t get me wrong, “Time” was fantastic, but I was really expecting Saga to take it. Hard SF in the vein of “Time” is pretty rare, though, and Randal Munroe deserves it for all the amazing work he put into it. (I know I never did the last two reviews for Ancillary Justice and Neptune’s Brood, but they were definitely the strongest single novels up for the awards. Definitely read them both.) Even though part of the reason Ancillary Justice did so well was its gimmick- it was a damn good gimmick, and not one that’s really ever been used much before. Plus, anyone who’s going to rag on gimmicks in SF/Fantasy should maybe be reading something else- find me a gimmickless novel in the genres and I’ll probably fall asleep reading it. Neptune’s Brood has the honor of having the most unique economic system I’ve encountered in hard SF, and is a great book on top of it.
Larry Correia’s Sad Puppy slate largely tanked, which whether you think is a good or bad thing, isn’t unexpected. (No comment from Correia or most of the Sad Puppy authors yet, we’ll leave out what Vox Day said, you can go check it out yourself if you’re interested in some homophobia, sexism, poor sportsmanship, and hate against horror fiction. I really think the whole thing would have gone much, much better if he hadn’t been included. Even Correia’s rather intense confrontational online behavior isn’t that big a deal in comparison, angry people are everywhere on the internet.) Dan Wells, despite being, in my opinion, the best of the Sad Puppy Authors on the ballot (Read his John Cleaver books if you haven’t yet, they’re fantastic. YA supernatural serial killer novels, really awesome), didn’t really stand a chance, there’s always going to be a strong stigma against tie-in fiction. I don’t think he was involved in the Sad Puppy slate beyond being nominated by it, though. (The Butcher of Khardov is part of the Warmachine universe.)

BEST NOVEL (1595 ballots)

2014 Hugo Nominee Readthrough: Larry Correia’s Warbound

So I was going to try and wait until the controversy around Larry Correia died down a bit before posting this, but, uh… well. He either lacks a controversy avoidance mechanism or chooses not to use it. Despite the many positions of Mr. Correia I strongly disagree with, I’m going to try and not let them affect my opinion of Warbound on its own. (I’ll probably fail, and I definitely won’t succeed in full). I did read the first two books in the trilogy as well, just to give the book a fair shake. Anyhow, on to Warbound.

First Time/ Reread: First Time
Acquired: Library

Other Nominees:
Ann Leckie: Ancillary Justice
Charles Stross: Neptune’s Brood
Mira Grant: Parasite
Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson: The Wheel of Time


A Not-So-Brief Followup on the Hugo Controversy-Fest

Larry Correia posted his take on the events around the Sad Puppy list controversy. It’s pretty long, but it covers his views on most of what happens, and he brings up some stuff in his defense, some of which is pretty good.

The Vox Day/Theodore Beale issue only gets a little space (which, considering the sheer length of the post, is actually a good bit), but Correia seems to claim that much of Day’s racism is exaggerated. I very strongly beg to differ. (The linked post contains screenshots of the specific blog post that was the main driving factor behind his expulsion from the SFWA, it’s EXTREMELY FUCKING RACIST.) For some context, there, the author Beale attacked on his blog, N.K. Jemisin, is black, so the stuff Beale’s saying about her is really goddamned racist, if you couldn’t tell already.)


Hugo Controversy

The Hugo Award is undergoing an… unusual amount of controversy this year. Apart from the Wheel of Time shenanigans, which would be the center of attention, normally (people are upset about a giant fantasy series getting the nomination, blah blah blah, my fandom is better than yours, blah blah, whatever), but there is another, much bigger issue: Vox Day got nominated for Best Novelette. The Wikipedia article is pretty nice about it, but Theodore Beale/ Vox Day is a truly horrible person. He genuinely thinks that minorities and women are genetically inferior, he uses racial epithets constantly, is homophobic, is the only person ever kicked out of the SFWA, he’s anti-semitic, he’s a fundamentalist Christian (not just a biblical literalist, he’s the really hateful kind of fundamentalist), he’s a men’s rights activist, he considers feminism and women’s suffrage a disease, claims there is no such thing as marital rape… it goes on. I’m not linking to his blog or any of his posts, but I’ve read a few, and they are fucking horrifying.

The SF/Fantasy fandom world is up in arms right now.

So, how did he get on the list of Hugo finalists?

Author Larry Correia got him on the list by advocating for him, that’s how.