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Hugo-nominated Vox Day: Even worse than you think

Strike up the band! Vox Day has been nominated for a Hugo!
Strike up the band! Vox Day has been nominated for a Hugo!

 

So our old friend Vox Day – the proudly bigoted science fiction/fantasy writer and self-professed expert on all things “Alpha” – is in the news again. This time, it’s not for declaring most date rape imaginary or writing a racist diatribe against a fellow author. Nope! It’s because another of his literary efforts, a novelette entitled Opera Vita Aeterna, just got nominated for a Hugo award.

In other news, apparently it’s not that hard to get nominated for a Hugo if you have a coterie of hard-core fans who are perhaps still pissed that you got kicked out of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and you suggest on your blog beforehand that it would be cool if they voted to nominate you.

Anyway, there’s already plenty of discussion of the news amongst the science-fiction set, most of them understandably displeased that a racist, misogynistic, homophobic asshole got a nomination. Here’s a bit more about the racist attack on black fantasy writer NK Jemisin (and misuse of the SFWA Twitter account) that got him tossed from the organization. If you’ve never seen what he wrote about Jemisin,  I’ll just quote some of the more memorable passages again here, because, wow. I’ve bolded the best — that is, worst — bits:

It is not that I, and others, do not view [Jemisin] as human, (although genetic science presently suggests that we are not equally homo sapiens sapiens), it is that we simply do not view her as being fully civilized for the obvious historical reason that she is not… The laws [Stand Your Ground Laws] are not there to let whites “just shoot people like me, without consequence, as long as they feel threatened by my presence”, those self-defense laws have been put in place to let whites defend their lives and their property from people, like her, who are half-savages engaged in attacking them.

If sales of his novels ever dry up, Vox could definitely get a job as a speechwriter for the KKK.

On Bibliodaze, Ceilidhann is blunt:

There’s only one way to deal with people like Day, who see themselves as above basic human decency, and that is to cut them out of the community like a tumour. Shun them, ignore them, no-platform the hell out of them. Our conventions, our fanzines, our anthologies, our community is not open to people whose racist arguments could have come straight from the mouths of slave-owners.

John Scalzi takes a more conciliatory stance, writing that

the Hugo rules don’t say that a racist, sexist, homophobic dipshit can’t be nominated for a Hugo — nor should they, because in that particular category at least, it’s about the work, not the person.

But he also goes on to note (hint hint, nudge nudge) that the ballot for the actual award includes a “No Award” option in each category, and that if enough people choose it,

it is possible to rank a nominated work below “No Award” if, after reading the work in question and giving it fair and serious consideration, you decide that it doesn’t deserve to be on the ballot and, say, that its presence on the ballot is basically a stunt by a bunch of nominators who were more interested in trolling the awards than anything else. Just a thing for you to keep in mind when voting time rolls around.

GeekFeminism makes the same observation, going on to note that in 1987, “No Award came in ahead of L. Ron Hubbard’s Black Genesis.”

If anyone is still trying to make up their mind about Mr. Day/Beale, here are some quotes from him taken from my previous posts about him here. I’ve bolded some of the most, er, contrarian bits. Click the titles for my original posts, which provide more context and links to the posts in which he said these things.

Women working is worse than rape:

The fact that women may wish to work and are very capable of working no more implies that they should always be encouraged to do so anymore than the fact that men may wish to rape and are very capable of raping means that they should always be encouraged to do so.  The ironic, but logically inescapable fact is that encouraging men to rape would be considerably less damaging to a society than encouraging women to enter the workforce en masse.  Widespread rape makes a society uncivilized.  Widespread female employment makes a society demographically unsustainable.  History demonstrates that incivility can be survived and surmounted.  Unsustainability, on the other hand, cannot.

The Taliban’s attempt to silence Malala Yousafzai was perfectly rational and scientifically justifiable:

[I]n light of the strong correlation between female education and demographic decline, a purely empirical perspective on Malala Yousafzai, the poster girl for global female education, may indicate that the Taliban’s attempt to silence her was perfectly rational and scientifically justifiable.

Acid attacks on women may be worth it if they discourage female independence:

[F]emale independence is strongly correlated with a whole host of social ills. Using the utilitarian metric favored by most atheists, a few acid-burned faces is a small price to pay for lasting marriages, stable families, legitimate children, low levels of debt, strong currencies, affordable housing, homogenous populations, low levels of crime, and demographic stability.

We should emulate Iran by throwing women out of much of higher education:

[T]he Iranian action [restricting many fields of education to men only] presents a potentially effective means of solving the hypergamy problem presently beginning to affect college-educated women in the West. Only one-third of women in college today can reasonably expect to marry a man who is as well-educated as they are. History and present marital trends indicate that most of the remaining two-thirds will not marry rather than marry down. So, by refusing to permit women to pursue higher education, Iran is ensuring that the genes of two-thirds of its most genetically gifted women will survive in its gene pool.

For the rest of my posts on Vox Day — including the one in which he explains that his orc and troll fighting game won’t have any women in it, because that wouldn’t be historically accurate — see here.

EDIT: Added links to first paragraph, reworked third paragraph and added links, removed a link that was problematic.

 

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samantha
samantha
7 years ago

Where and how does one go about voting “No Award” for this ever-so-deserving moron? Please tell me, so that I can rush right over and do it as fast as my fat little fingers can type.

I will NEVER read ANYTHING that this bozo writes. EVER!!!!!

goodrumo
7 years ago

Reblogged this on iheariseeilearn.

goodrumo
7 years ago

Speechless

samantha
samantha
7 years ago

I know, right? What, really, can one say to address this level of evil? Yes, evil. I doubt that he could even hear what anyone of conscience and good-will (let alone intelligence) would say.

samantha
samantha
7 years ago
Reply to  David Futrelle

Samantha, you have to be a “supporting or attending members of the annual World Science Fiction Convention” to vote.

Bummer days, dude. Must think of other ways to marginalize him. Evil…evil…evil. A spell, maybe?

cendare
7 years ago

You can be a supporting member for $40, which I realize is still out of the realm for many pepole, but just FYI. http://www.loncon3.org/memberships/ Personally I’m waiting until the voter packet comes out. This year it should have all the books from the World of Time series.

Buzzgums
Buzzgums
7 years ago

Indeed, Futrelle, if enough people enjoy a work, that work is nominated. This is how awards work. Vox Day apparently wrote a story that moved people, this is true regardless of who he is as a person.

It’s possible that many of those who enjoyed Vox’s work weren’t even aware of him as a public figure. Not everyone is obsessed with politics.

emma
emma
7 years ago

Wow. How is this individual’s existence even possible? Was he raised by monsters in some dark dungeon, subjected to daily torture and dehumanization? (With pre-emptive apologies to people raised in dungeons.) What creates a mind so warped?

Reading his words, as well as those of any and all MRA / PUA / and their misogynist ilk, can seriously undermine a person’s faith in humanity. I remember the time, not that long ago, when I was unaware of MRA’s ideology and existence. I miss that time.

I’m afraid my outlook on life, pretty realistic to begin with, will never be the same. Being even casually and accidentally acquainted with the MRA’s vileness leaves a permanent stain on one’s soul. It feels like a touch of evil, not to be too bombastically metaphorical.

samantha
samantha
7 years ago
Reply to  cendare

You can be a supporting member for $40, which I realize is still out of the realm for many pepole, but just FYI. http://www.loncon3.org/memberships/ Personally I’m waiting until the voter packet comes out. This year it should have all the books from the World of Time series.

(Rummaging through my purse…looking under the cushions…) Hah! I may just be able to do it! Thanks ever so for the info! Woo!

ivyshoots
7 years ago

But the patriarchy is not a thing. This white cis het d00d just wrote the best sf yo

Buzzgums
Buzzgums
7 years ago

Well, who knows how much of an impact Vox’s exhortations had. It’s not against the rules, since apparently he did it publicly and wasn’t disqualified.

I don’t think Vox is really an MRA… I’ve only heard of him tangentially. I’d guess it’s less support for him and more hostility toward the feminists that dominate the Hugos.

Rabukurafuto
Rabukurafuto
7 years ago

Vox has some popularity with fans of Christian-themed fantasy since one of his novels was nominated for a best Christian fantasy award one year at a site called Speculative Faith. Some reader there denounced Vox and urged the other readers to not support such an awful misogynist but no one seemed to pay attention.

emma
emma
7 years ago

“I don’t think Vox is really an MRA…”

If it walks like an MRA and it quacks like an MRA, it ain’t a Mother Teresa.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

Ah, I see that in honor of the sci-fi related theme of this post we’ve been joined by a guest from another planet, or possibly an alternate dimension.

kittehserf
7 years ago

I’m starting to think forty-odd bucks (damn you, Oz dollar, stop sliding already!) might be a worthwhile investment.

mildlymagnificent
7 years ago

I don’t think Vox is really an MRA… I’ve only heard of him tangentially.

No need. You could just have read David’s post.

You could even click on some of those handy links.

If you can’t make a judgment on the basis of what’s quoted at the top of this page, there is something very, very wrong with you.

Protip: Go back and read that quote from what he said about Malala Yousafzai and the Taliban. Give your brain a chance to absorb and process it. Reconsider.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

Possible Poe? If not the name is a bit of a Freudian slip.

Buzzgums
Buzzgums
7 years ago

There’s definitely been a coterie of feminists who have dominated the Hugos in recent years, so yeah, I think it’s fair to say that this could be seen as a response to that.

Also, Google tells me that it was probably not Vox who got his stuff on the ballot, but Larry Correia, who I have heard of as a pretty successful author:

http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/03/25/my-hugo-slate/

This makes more sense. I don’t think Vox is that prominent.

moldybrehd
7 years ago

Strangely enough, I had to thank this kerfuffle (refusing to give it the title of scandal) for actually bringing to my attention the best novel Hugo nominees and now I’m putting a whack of holds out on library books.

But this amused me.

Indeed, Futrelle, if enough people enjoy a work, that work is nominated. This is how awards work.

Actually, it’s more accurate to say that this is how this type of award works. It’s a popularity contest type of award process. And at no point are nominators required to express why they’re voting for a particular work. Some might nominate a work because they love it; others because they hate every other nominated work in that category.

Vox Day apparently wrote a story that moved people, this is true regardless of who he is as a person.

Apparently he has at least the 2 dozen voting fans that are necessary to get on the ballot; the rest is conjecture. Again, we don’t even know if the people who nominated him even read his story! (Geez, if I’d known it took so little, I have a couple of friends who finished nanowrimo this year (and published) that I should have nominated!)

It’s possible that many of those who enjoyed Vox’s work weren’t even aware of him as a public figure. Not everyone is obsessed with politics.

I’m trying to figure out how someone would find his books without going out of their way to look for them (He’s not a household name, not even as a misogynist). The books & stories are not exactly common.

But I loved the word choices in your comment, so points to you! Vox Day got ‘people enjoy’, ‘moved people’, and another ‘enjoyed Vox’s work’. All very positive words suggesting that his writing causes happy feels in his readers; and that these feels are the *only* possible reason people would vote for him. Now compare this with Dave’s supposed ‘obsessed with politics’. Ooooh, sting! Clearly, we can see who the protagonist and antagonist are in this little story. Looking forward to the next installment!

dustydeste
dustydeste
7 years ago

Hmm, I move to refer to our alien visitor as Buttgums henceforth.

weirwoodtreehugger
7 years ago

Oh good. Someone worse than Orson Scott Card!

although genetic science presently suggests that we are not equally homo sapiens sapiens

Um, citation needed? I’m no expert in genetics but do have an amateur interest in the topic and have read a few books on the subject. Never have I seen any indication that genetic science has found that white people are genetically superior. That is some utter bullshit. Is Vox Day from the Americas? Because if he is, it’s quite likely he has some African genes or some indigenous American (via Asia) genes.

I’m rather pale white and we got our mitochondrial DNA tested, we found that my maternal ancestry is Native American. That’s not so unusual.

moldybrehd
7 years ago

Well, who knows how much of an impact Vox’s exhortations had. It’s not against the rules, since apparently he did it publicly and wasn’t disqualified.

I’m not sure why it would be against the rules for an author to encourage his fans to vote. Guess he won’t have to fight the good fight!

I don’t think Vox is really an MRA… I’ve only heard of him tangentially. I’d guess it’s less support for him and more hostility toward the feminists that dominate the Hugos.

And clearly, since you hadn’t heard of him, he isn’t an MRAs. Good to know who’s in charge of the MRA gate.

Now, I liked the use of ‘impact’, it’s nice and hard-hitting, gives the instalment some movement. However, the soft pedal on his rating as an MRA weakens it, and then the toss in of the straw feminist felt… uncommitted. I have to say, I’d hoped for a stronger theme in this instalment, but I’m left feeling ‘eh’. The point for ‘impact’ was negated by soft-pedal. Plus, the antagonist was completely missing from this; I was hoping to see ‘obsessed’ topped! Still, I’ve yet to review the next instalment; I have hope for a stronger commitment to the tale.

moldybrehd
7 years ago

Well, geez, no point in reviewing the final instalment, not if the series has been cancelled!

cloudiah
7 years ago

Buttgums is already gone? I tried reading one of Vox Day’s stories once, just for shits and giggles. The only way I could get through more than about 3 sentences was to read it out loud in a silly voice. And even then, I only got about 5 paragraphs in.

It turns out that bigots don’t make good writers. Good writers are able to imagine the world from other perspectives. Bigots can only imagine the world from their own.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
7 years ago

although genetic science presently suggests that we are not equally homo sapiens sapiens

Um, citation needed? I’m no expert in genetics but do have an amateur interest in the topic and have read a few books on the subject. Never have I seen any indication that genetic science has found that white people are genetically superior.

IIRC there’s evidence that European homo sapiens populations interbred with neanderthals while African homo sapiens did not, which would mean that white people are, in fact, less homo sapiens than black people. Somehow, I don’t think that’s what he meant.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
7 years ago

Good writers are able to imagine the world from other perspectives. Bigots can only imagine the world from their own.

So true. Especially bigots who are so lacking in empathy and imagination that they can’t even comprehend the humanity of whole groups of people.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

@ cloudiah

So kind of like this?

On the mysterious planet there lived a race of aliens. You could tell they were really alien because they didn’t make any sense to me, kind of like women, or brown people. Also their customs were really barbaric, unlike my customs, which include mammoth hunting and harassing other authors on the internet. So anyway, back to the aliens. They were so strange it was almost as if they were women, even the men, but I enjoyed this because it made me feel very smug and superior. Immediately upon arrival I could tell that I would soon rule this planet, because I’m the narrator. The problem of finding a place to land on a planet that’s mostly water without my enormous ego setting off a series of tidal waves that would kill all the inferior inhabitants is yet to be solved. Presumably someone will do it for me if I shout at them loudly enough.

Ken L.
Ken L.
7 years ago

I was going to say this person make me ashamed to be a man, a Christian and a writer but that’s not strong enough he makes me ashamed to be a human.

cloudiah
7 years ago

@cassandrakitty, I’ve nominated you for a Hugo.

Robert
Robert
7 years ago

Emily, I take pride in my Neanderthal ancestry. That’s how my family got our distinctive nose (kinda hard on my sisters, though). But you’re right – the wowsers who proclaim White Superiority aren’t thinking of that. They tend to favor pseudoscience that’s been debunked for generations.

Oh, and anyone who’s not familiar with Scalzi’s blog, do check it out. He has a couple of posts on this topic that are more lucid and well-written than anything Theodore “Vox Day” Beale has ever cranked out.

cloudiah
7 years ago

Like seriously, I suspect I could write a better/truer-to-life white supremacist bigot character than Vox Day could write a non-bigot women (excuse me, feeeeeeeeeeeeeeemale) character. Just because I’m better at being human.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

You’re also a better writer. I mean, look at this sentence.

The fact that women may wish to work and are very capable of working no more implies that they should always be encouraged to do so anymore than the fact that men may wish to rape and are very capable of raping means that they should always be encouraged to do so.

The fact that women are capable of working no more implies that they should do so anymore than (insert bloviating here)? Really? An actual author wrote that sentence?

wordsp1nner
wordsp1nner
7 years ago

Actually, there is emerging genetic evidence that basically all humans have some non-modern-homo-sapiens ancestry. So the emerging story is there is the standard Homo sapiens sapiens that emerged in Africa and ended up interbreeding with various local populations of closely related (sub)species, like the Neanderthals and Denisovans, and possibly some other populations in Africa but there is one overriding subspecies all over–modern humans.

There has been no link of Neanderthal or Denisovan ancestry and any traits, especially one as complicated as intelligence/pro-social behavior.

Also, nearly all European/Asian/Native American alleles are a subset of those found in Africa.

cloudiah
7 years ago

Since we’re talking about bad, but marginally popular writing, I have to introduce you to my favorite bad-writing mister: VortexCortex. Sometimes he goes over the top and gets downvotes on r/mr, but most of the time they love him. He is like a terrible cross between Steele and Mr. Al (for those of you who have been around long enough to remember both trolls) (if they aren’t in fact the same person).

Bina
Bina
7 years ago

genetic science presently suggests that we are not equally homo sapiens sapiens

Ha ha ha, bullshit. Actually, it states loud and clear that we all come from the same place genetically, and that place is deepest DARKEST Africa.

Not only is he a shitty blogger, he’s also a shitty scientist, who still takes all that Nazi pseudoscience seriously. Gee, what are the odds?

zoon echon logon
zoon echon logon
7 years ago

What a mess.

although genetic science presently suggests that we are not equally homo sapiens sapiens

In order to make such a fine-grained distinction, he’d need a clear and defensible definition of species. I sort of doubt he has one. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/species/

[I]n light of the strong correlation between female education and demographic decline, a purely empirical perspective on Malala Yousafzai, the poster girl for global female education, may indicate that the Taliban’s attempt to silence her was perfectly rational and scientifically justifiable.

You need a normative premise in order to get a normative conclusion. “If a then b” doesn’t lead to “we ought to do a” unless you also have “and b is good.” “Rational” usually just means that the means fit the end. Whether the end is a good one or not is another question.
His unstated normative assumption(s) seems to be something like “one has a moral duty to protect and advance one’s race,” and that this duty takes precedence over whatever duties we have not to shoot school girls in the head. That’s a pretty big, controversial, and unjustified assumption. (Also the whole correlation/causation thing, I mean come on.)

I don’t know if I’d call him an MRA. I mean, the definitions are a little fuzzy here, but MRAs tend to frame themselves as a civil rights movement looking for equality. I think Vox is just advocating the naked superiority of people like him and their and domination over everyone else. I guess that’s what MRA ideology comes down to in the end, but the denial of this and projection on to everyone else is a big part of what makes MRAs a unique phenomenon. I could be wrong.

wordsp1nner
wordsp1nner
7 years ago

That report Bina linked is a bit out of date–while the evidence that nearly of our genetic heritage is from a small African group of fairly recent origin, new genomic comparisons indicate that yes, Neanderthals and Denisovans (and possibly other groups) did contribute to modern human ancestry. However, the percentage is somewhere around 2% on average for Europeans and Asians, and again, has not been linked to any trait at all.

wordsp1nner
wordsp1nner
7 years ago

I take that back–I found a Nature paper indicating that Neanderthal genes may have helped us adapt to European climate physically, but that overall there was selection against Neanderthal contributions, especially on the X chromosome.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature12961.html

Lids
7 years ago

God, could Vox be any more disgusting? I sincerely hope he doesn’t win anything. The only recognition he deserves is to be recognized as a racist, misogynistic bigot. Ugh people like Vox make my skin crawl. I don’t understand how anyone could believe in racial or sexual superiority, and that some people do (I’ve met several white supremacists, unfortunately) makes me sick to my stomach.

And honestly if you want to play that game anyways, which “race” appears to be inbred? If you said “caucasians”, then ding ding ding, we have a winner. Literally I’ve never seen any group of people show as many signs of inbreeding as caucasians (yes, I am a caucasian) do. But whatever the case is, I also don’t think “all other races are superior to white people” because race (or genes if your prefer) does not say what kind of person you are. Your personality and how you perceive others is not part of your DNA, and those things matter. Not where your ancestors hailed from.

Race has it’s importance to a lot of people (and there’s nothing wrong with embracing your heritage and even making your heritage part of your identity), but it should not be used to judge a person.

I’m not even going to touch on his sexist remarks, I can’t even articulate my rage in the fact that he thinks that killing a teenage girl for trying to promote women’s education is rational and okay in any way or that he thinks that women being part of the work force is comparable to men raping whoever they want. That man is trash.

Anyways, my point is that Vox is an absolute steaming pile of manure. With a host of flies surrounding it. And the poop consists of brussel sprouts and artificial sweeteners.

breadandrosesblogger
7 years ago

Say what you will about Orson Scott Card, but I’d sooner read “Ender’s Game” than “Throne of Bones”.

bluecat
bluecat
7 years ago

@Ken “he makes me ashamed to be a human” – nothing to be ashamed of in being human. We don’t get to choose our species, otherkin notwithstanding.

Being a shitty, bigoted and appalling human? Now that IS something to be ashamed of, but on the evidence it’s Vox-in-the-Sox that the description applies to, not you.

He’s, um, kind of a special sort of human – sorry, a special sort of homo sapiens sapiens – isn’t he?

I was only aware of him from the Orc/Troll = historically accurate, women = not historically accurate nonsense David posted about a while ago. I can’t *imagine* what his books must be like. Or the cover art… my goodness.

Does he write in any other genres? Like – I don’t know – cookery, maybe, or preschoolers? Or greetings cards?

itsabeast
itsabeast
7 years ago

“New Right” is an interesting term we apply to these guys who preach “scientific” racism, considering they’re straight from the 19th Century. Seriously. They’re making the same shitty social Darwinist arguments they were making in 1880. I bet they study phrenology.

Lady Mondegreen
7 years ago

@emma

Wow. How is this individual’s existence even possible? Was he raised by monsters in some dark dungeon, subjected to daily torture and dehumanization? (With pre-emptive apologies to people raised in dungeons.) What creates a mind so warped?

Well, his daddy’s a crook who’s in prison for tax evasion and threatening a federal judge. Daddy also used to be on the Board of the staggeringly idiotic WorldNutDailyWorldNetDaily.

I’ve no idea who Theodore’s mother is; in the sidebar to the Wikipedia article about him, it says: Parents: Robert Beale. Assuming he had a mother, perhaps the senior Beale swallowed her whole and Teddy burst from his father’s forehead like Athena.

Or maybe she skipped town when she realized what assclams the men in her life were and would rather not be associated with them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Beale_(entrepreneur)

kittehserf
7 years ago

He is like a terrible cross between Steele and Mr. Al

@_@

wordsp1nner
wordsp1nner
7 years ago

Who, incidentally, were the same person. Talk about inbreeding!

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