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james_nicoll

Who of the people who signed Truesdale's petition would you least want to find providing the rhetoric on your side?

Gregory Benford
0(0.0%)
David Brin
8(5.0%)
Amy Sterling Casil
0(0.0%)
C. J. Cherryh
5(3.1%)
Lillian Csernica
0(0.0%)
Jack Dann
0(0.0%)
Harlan Ellison
31(19.3%)
Sheila Finch
0(0.0%)
David Gerrold
1(0.6%)
Nancy Kress
0(0.0%)
Mercedes Lackey
6(3.7%)
Dr. Paul Levinson
0(0.0%)
Barry N. Malzberg
1(0.6%)
Jack McDevitt
0(0.0%)
Larry Niven
2(1.2%)
Dr. Jerry Pournelle
36(22.4%)
Mike Resnick
5(3.1%)
Chuck Rothman
0(0.0%)
Susan Shwartz
2(1.2%)
Robert Silverberg
1(0.6%)
Norman Spinrad
3(1.9%)
Allen Steele
0(0.0%)
David Truesdale
57(35.4%)
Harry Turtledove
3(1.9%)
Gene Wolfe
0(0.0%)

One name leaps to the fingertips.

I.....can't parse that sentence.

Do you mean, "least want to be writing the advocacy for Truesdale's position, because they'd be so good at it"? Or something else entirely?

Who do you least want to see writing the arguments supporting something you are in favour of? Who is the most counter productive advocate?

I wouldn't want CJ Cherryh, but only because it might be too close to being a CJ Cherryh protagonist. I love her books but, man, I would not want to live them.

I think I'm about ready to cry about some of the people I am finding on that side.

Pournelle, Ellison, and Truesdale are neck and neck! To no one's surprise.

I'm a little surprised. I thought David Brin would be more of a contender.

Brin (Anonymous) Expand
My world just broke a little.

I hate trick questions.. specially one trick questions.

The subject header of the post immediately below this one on my Livejournal friends feed:

"944: All of the Above, Actually"

[Order of the Stick Fan handshake]

Huh, turns out Orson Scott Card hasn't signed this one. I wonder why not?

What makes you think he didn't, and the list edited him out? They did with Theodore Beale/Vox Day.

Glimpsed on Facebook: Davin Brin saying, ""When Nancy Kress, Janis Ian, David Gerrold and Gregory Benford are on the same page, it is not about 'left or right.' It is about the one trait all of them share… mature, compassionate adulthood."

Asinine rhetoric aside, I'm genuinely surprised at the number of "mature" professional writers who are indignant at the thought of an editor being beholden to another authority in the organization. Was this really their experience of how editors worked?

Re: Fiefdoms again

tandw

2014-02-11 01:52 pm (UTC)

Glimpsed on Facebook: Davin Brin saying, ""When Nancy Kress, Janis Ian, David Gerrold and Gregory Benford are on the same page, it is not about 'left or right.' It is about the one trait all of them share… mature, compassionate adulthood."

No, when they're all on the same wrong page, it's about how some otherwise sensible people can share such a great huge blind spot. Part of being a mature, compassionate adult is the humility to accept that you might be wrong. Another large part is the sense to see that if you're on the same side of the argument as Benford, Niven, & Pournelle the probability that you're right just shrank by a few orders of magnitude.

holy crap, David Brin (Anonymous) Expand
Theodore Beale, of course

voxday dot blogspot dot com/2014/02/sfwa-petition.html

No cats. I never want a cat arguing for my side.

I would let a cat argue on my side. Depending on the cat, of course. I'd want the gently persuasive one with the gift for subliminal messaging, not the screaming ball of claws.

I thought Cyd Athens signed, too?

ETA: Not suggesting I'd vote for him (I'm not voting on this, they can all go jump in a lake as far as I'm concerned) but I just remembered him being the top of the list alphabetically, but not seeing him here.

Edited at 2014-02-11 01:41 pm (UTC)

I see now that the petition is a reaction to a single sentence indicating that there may in the future be some kind of entity such as a review board, whose membership is currently unclear because it doesn't exist yet. This is what somebody, I think Gregory Benford, refers to as a Politburo.

Good grief.

You have to remember he pals around with a "former" Communist. And as HUAC taught us, that kind of thing is catching. I expect a sufficiently motivated FBI investigation would provide proof everyone on the list is NKVD.

So I decided to find out who this Truesdale guy is since I've never heard of him before. I found a David Truesdale who wrote military histories, but no one under that name who wrote SF. Apparently he was mostly an editor and reviewer. I did find some opinion pieces by him, and I'm proud to present the following little gem dated April 2007, regarding the PKD award nominees that year:

Did you notice anything about the ballot? About how very vagina-heavy the ballot is? I have no doubt that Budz and Ballantyne are wonderful writers and stand-up guys but asking them to represent approximately 50 percent of the population is akin to asking a pair of Beagles to represent all furry mammals that we love as household pets.


[he then goes on with an extended pet metaphor. cats are added to the mix and then...]

Which isn't to say that the five furry pussies on the ballot (out of the seven nominees) are unworthy.


That, mind you, wasn't taken from his personal blog, nosireebob; it was posted on The SF Site.
I therefore retract my earlier answer of Harlan Ellison and would like to add seventeen billion trillion poll points to the estimable Mr. Truesdale.

I didn't vote for him because it's his petition, so he isn't, if one is precise, "supporting the rhetoric". He's instigating the rhetoric.

(And Jerry Pournelle is such a pinata anyway ... )

Truesdale (Anonymous) Expand
My immediate thought was "Truesdale, duh", then I was waffling between Ellison and Pournelle - because Pournelle is worse but he's *always* a crank and everyone knows it, whereas for some reason people keep forgetting that about Harlan Ellison and taking him seriously again until he reminds them.

And Robert Silverberg spent a good deal of time yesterday running for that position.

But in the end, I gotta go with Truesdale, because not only does he carry "well known to be a crank" label, he's also unapologetically including sexist and racist dogwhistles *and* he evidently can't write a coherent sentence.

Just about the only worse choices I can think of didn't sign, most likely because they weren't eligible.

Who is less eligible than Malzberg, Beale, and Truesdale?

Now you've gone and given me a Big Sad. I just had a vivid flashback to 46+ years ago, when I read Dangerous Visions in one exalted all-night sitting. I had a reasonably accurate premonition of the aggrieved responses it would draw along the lines of "Where are the crew-cut white guys solving technical challenges to conquer new worlds?"

OK, since then I've seen more diagnoses and dissections of Ellison than I care to remember, but still it's painful to be reminded what thin partitions "provocative" and "cranky" divide.

When you're a perpetually pissed off smartass teenager, you're going to be obnoxious most of the time. It's just sad when you are in your 70s.

That list of names is so depressing to me.

Seeing some of the names on the list just reminded me of a new rule of thumb I have after seeing some particularly crankilicious books recently: if the author feels the need to have "Dr" in front of their name or "PhD" after it on the cover for a popular audience book (not a textbook or journal), the reader should be wary of having complete bullshit contained therein.

To be fair, some who would do that in a heartbeat can't, because they lack the credentials (see below).

Changing something to increase sales is editing.

Larry Flynt already won this argument.

There's a man I know who received an honorary doctorate, and his organization continually goes around referring to him as "Dr. (name)" when he gives presentations. It drives some of the other people I know, who actually earned PhDs, nuts, because they don't generally use the title they actually worked for except for strictly academic reasons (credit in journals, official bios, of if they are teaching).

Brin has been disappointing on many fronts lately. This, and a few months ago he came out as a utopian optimist for energy supplies. Even mentioned it in his own blog.

Seriously, a dude that thinks algae farming will reverse atmospheric CO2 concentrations and vatgrown meat will effectively feed people? It's no wonder none of the space ships in his second Uplift trilogy ever had to stop to gas up.

Two blind spots and counting.

Edited at 2014-02-11 09:21 pm (UTC)

If anyone cares, the SFWA president has a released a statement on the petition http://www.sfwa.org/2014/02/presidential-statement-regarding-sfwa-bulletin/

Short form: "While this petition has not been formally presented to SFWA, I have seen versions and they express concerns for something that does not and will not exist:

Specifically, the editor of the Bulletin will not have to go to any selection or editorial review board to approve material."

Wait, John C. Wright isn't a signatory and Norman Spinrad *is*? Now I'm confused.