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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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House Mouse Queen
7 years ago

Never heard of this dudebro. Don’t want to read his work either.

emma
emma
7 years ago

“God, could Vox be any more disgusting?”

Nope.

Vile Voxy is a frequent commenter on another über-misogynist blog, justfourguys.com (which you may want to add to your Boob Roll, David).

bluecat
bluecat
7 years ago

Vox Day Valentine’s greetings card:

“To a lovely daughter on your 14th birthday:

Violets are blue
Roses are red
If you ever wanted an education, sweetie, the Taliban would be perfectly justified in shooting you through the head.”

emma
emma
7 years ago

Thanks, Lady.

It is somewhat hard to fathom that Vox et al. have human mothers.

As a mother of grown (and good and decent) men, I can only imagine what a terrible blow it must be for a (decent) mother to realize that her son is a misogynist of the lowest kind. That is, if the mothers ever learn of it, as those guys’ online (and off) activities are most likely not something they like to discuss during family gatherings.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

To my daughter on her wedding day

Roses are red
I hate you
Cheat on your husband and I’ll help him throw acid in your face
It’s for society, honey
You’d understand if you’d gone to college
Hahahahaha!!!
Your loving father

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

@ emma

Maybe he’s an android. It would explain the complete lack of empathy.

emma
emma
7 years ago

@cassandrakitty

Maybe. There is a Wiki entry on him (tx, Lady), in addition to one about his daddy (“Occupation: Businessman, Inmate”), complete with a photo showing an emotionless mug with empty eyes. So yeah, maybe he is an android.

bluecat
bluecat
7 years ago

@ Cassandrakitty… oh lordie, I just choked on my toast. Thank you.

I just looked at his Wiki page. Mother of mammoths! He’s younger than me!

Now, this sounds very ageist, doesn’t it? I think because when I was a young thing and frisky and went on marches and helped tear down the wire at Greenham Common and reclaimed the night, all that good stuff, I thought this kind of crapulous toadspawn was on the way out, and that by the time I became a creaky old bat with arthriticky knees everyone who thought that way would be buried at crossroads with stakes through their hearts.

Gosh I was wrong.

I have lovely young relatives who are growing up with this kind of stuff all around them, and it’s going to damage them all.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

Dude has shark eyes. Yikes.

AL3H
AL3H
7 years ago

Supporting member for $40 you say …

Shaenon
7 years ago

I’ve been way too fascinated by this brouhaha than is healthy for me. Basically, the SF world has a cadre of permanently aggrieved right-wing writers and fans who feel insufficiently appreciated by the liberal-to-moderate side of the industry. The division isn’t entirely political; they also tend to be proponents of old-fashioned pulp writing and dislike this newfangled trend of literary SF with stuff like characters and themes and writing that doesn’t make your eyes bleed. At any rate, voting crappy self-published ebooks by white supremacists into the Hugo nominations is their way of sticking it to the liberal eggheads in the biz.

This reactionary tribal-marking isn’t new. Samuel R. Delaney describes being the target of similar griping at the Nebula Awards back in 1968 (to understand why he attracted such vitriol, it may help to know that at the time he was the one of the few prominent black authors in the genre):

My novel won—and the presentation of the glittering Lucite trophy was followed by a discomforting speech from an eminent member of SFWA.

Perhaps you’ve heard such disgruntled talks: They begin, as did this one, “What I have to say tonight, many of you are not going to like . . .” and went on to castigate the organization for letting itself be taken in by (the phrase was, or was something very like) “pretentious literary nonsense,” unto granting it awards, and abandoning the old values of good, solid, craftsmanlike story-telling. My name was not mentioned, but it was evident I was (along with Roger Zelazny, not present) the prime target of this fusillade. It’s an odd experience, I must tell you, to accept an award from a hall full of people in tuxedos and evening gowns and then, from the same podium at which you accepted it, hear a half-hour jeremiad from an eminence gris declaring that award to be worthless and the people who voted it to you duped fools. It’s not paranoia: By count I caught more than a dozen sets of eyes sweeping between me and the speaker going on about the triviality of work such as mine and the foolishness of the hundred-plus writers who had voted for it.

As you might imagine, the applause was slight, uncomfortable, and scattered. There was more coughing and chair scraping than clapping. By the end of the speech, I was drenched with the tricklings of mortification and wondering what I’d done to deserve them. The master of ceremonies, Robert Silverberg, took the podium and said, “Well, I guess we’ve all been put in our place.” There was a bitter chuckle. And the next award was announced.

It again went to me—for my short story, “Aye, and Gomorrah . . .”. I had, by that time, forgotten it was in the running. For the second time that evening I got up and went to the podium to accept my trophy (it sits on a shelf above my desk about two feet away from me as I write), but, in dazzled embarrassment, it occurred to me as I was walking to the front of the hall that I must say something in my defense, though mistily I perceived it had best be as indirect as the attack. With my sweat soaked undershirt beneath my formal turtle-neck peeling and unpeeling from my back at each step, I took the podium and my second trophy of the evening. Into the microphone I said, as calmly as I could manage: “I write the novels and stories that I do and work on them as hard as I can to make them the best I can. That you’ve chosen to honor them—and twice in one night—is warming. Thank you.”

http://www.nyrsf.com/racism-and-science-fiction-.html

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

You forgot the cheesy artwork! The SFF reactionaries do love a woman who has for some reason decided that a furry bikini would be the perfect thing to wear while climbing a mountain during a snowstorm

wewereemergencies
wewereemergencies
7 years ago

Eww eww eww eww eww. I’m sorry, I have nothing more coherent to say except that I have never been ashamed of being a fantasy nerd until now. Just the thought of being (even so) tangentially related to this guy makes me want to reconsider my life choices.

wewereemergencies
wewereemergencies
7 years ago

@ cassandrakitty

That’s one of the reasons I stopped reading a comic book I was, up until then, really enjoying. The other reason was that a war goddess was wearing massive heels as part of her everyday costume.

bluecat
bluecat
7 years ago

Cover proposal: Art

Background: mountains in deep snow drifts, ice blue sky

Foreground: female with helium-filled breast balloons bigger than her own head wearing a fur bikini straddles a dead mammoth, her lips snarling in a way that definitely suggests she’s at least 3/7ths savage, and her thighs splayed in a way that would be anatomically impossible in a biped.

She’s clutching a simple but effective and skillfully-designed weapon which she clearly has no idea how to use, and with the other manicured claw, warding off the fine specimen of homo sapiens sapiens – a clench-jawed manly fellow with piercing blue eyes, buzz cut, and a hint in his ancestry of da Vinci, Salk, and that white guy who invented coding – who is standing his ground in defence of his property.

Title: The Mammoth Stealers

Jo
Jo
7 years ago

@Shaenon

What you say about the divide in SF makes sense and I’m sure is accurate, but I also suspect there is more to it than that. Other factors are needed to explain the disparity noted by Rich Johnston between the big community reaction to the proposal of Jonathan Ross as host and the muted reaction to Day’s nomination for an award.

I’m not a big fan of Ross and have found some of his stunts distasteful, but he is a feminist, has reached out to the LGBT community and the worst of his behaviour is better than any random sentence taken from Day. But it seems Ross is more controversial to the Hugo’s than Day.

I don’t know much about the SF world, but I do know other geeky communities and one problem they have is an unshakeable belief that they are marginalised outsiders, regardless of how mainstream they actually have become. That might explain why the outsider Day is getting an easier ride than the mainstream Ross. But, as I said, I don’t know this community well and I could be wrong.

misery
misery
7 years ago

@wewereemergencies

That’s one of the reasons I stopped reading a comic book I was, up until then, really enjoying. The other reason was that a war goddess was wearing massive heels as part of her everyday costume.

I wonder what you would say about the story of Starcraft. There you have Sarah Kerrigan, the main antagonist of the series, become “infested” and she turns into a monstrous figure that is still supposed to be attractive with feet that resemble high heels.

http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080517080550/starcraft/images/2/2a/InfestedSarahKerrigan_SC2_Cncpt1.jpg

zippydoo
zippydoo
7 years ago

If the blurb for Games of Bones (Or is it Throne of Bones?) is to go by, then his ‘writing’ is just one massive hodgepodge of ripped off LoTR, GoT, and some sprinkling of re-imagined history with misogyny and racism for shits and giggles. It seems to appeal to the crowd lost in the fantasy of a dominant White Man being handed thrones and power and virgins just for being a Manly White Man because biotruths, with feminists are evil unlike that Eowyn or Galadriel, and with the darker races ‘properly’ given attributes from disproven psuedoscience of the 18th century.

Fortunately, there is more than enough quality writing in fantasy and science fiction to satisfy my thirst for reading without having to cross this bullshit. Rereading Tolkein for the umpteenth time is a better use of my time than reading the amazon blurb.

Lids
7 years ago

Yeah, fantasy definitely has the downside of being male-oriented. I used to be a HUGE fantasy nerd – well I mean I should define that I’ve always been into softer stuff. I loved humor fantasy for years – Piers Anthony, Terry Pratchett, and Robert Asprin. But in general from what I’ve seen from my older sister and dad’s book collections male writers are the majority.

If you are into young adult novels Tamora Pierce is really good writer.

Brandi
Brandi
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?

It’d be nice if it was as easy to diagnose as that, wouldn’t it?

All I can think of now is the poem “All There Is to Know About Adolf Eichmann” by Leonard Cohen.

Brandi
Brandi
7 years ago

There you have Sarah Kerrigan, the main antagonist of the series, become “infested” and she turns into a monstrous figure that is still supposed to be attractive with feet that resemble high heels.

Did this come out before or after the movie Species (which does much the same thing with its female creature)?

Brandi
Brandi
7 years ago

Sorry about the quote fail. Still getting used to tags here.

tinyorc
7 years ago

Buzzgums:

I’d guess it’s less support for him and more hostility toward the feminists that dominate the Hugos.

This really tells you all you need to know about the mindset of reactionary anti-feminists, doesn’t it? They hate the idea of feminists having a platform SO MUCH that they would rather rally around a man who condones shooting schoolgirls and acid attacks.

misery
misery
7 years ago

Did this come out before or after the movie Species (which does much the same thing with its female creature)?

Sarah Kerrigan dates to the original Starcraft from 1998, but I think the high heels date to the (much inferior) sequel from 2010/2013.

mildlymagnificent
7 years ago

Samuel R. Delaney describes being the target of similar griping at the Nebula Awards back in 1968

1968 at the Nebulas, eh. They must have needed a whole fleet of ambulances for the 1969 Hugo awards ceremony. There’d have been a veritable epidemic of apoplexy when Le Guin won with The Left Hand of Darkness.

a) She’s a woman.
b) It was about an entirely novel view of sexuality (among other things).

Pearls being clutched and fainting couches galore for that devastating thumbing of the nose at the potboiler manly conqueror of worlds unseen brigade.

tinyorc
7 years ago

I spent most of last year blasting through everything Le Guin has ever written, and I’m so glad I did. Aside from being an absolutely brilliant writer, her work is concrete proof that it is perfectly possible to write successful, award-winning, groundbreaking SF&F starring and featuring women, people of colour and queer folk without “compromising” the work for the sake of “political correctness”. Or, you know, whatever it is that indignant nerd bros complain about when someone suggest that maybe all character ever don’t have to be white and male.

Le Guin was vocal about the fact that she was deliberately steering away from the shockingly white palette of fantasy protagonists in the Earthsea cycle, and yet somehow that *gasp* conscious acknowledgement of diversity did not stop it from becoming a classic of the genre.

Falconer
7 years ago

I admit, I don’t think about Vox Day every day, but when I am reminded of Mr. Beale and the viewpoints that he has owned, I am disgusted all over again.

In some ways, I’m glad that I forget about him between times, because I have better things to spend my mental energy on than the rantings of some Internet hater.

Falconer
7 years ago

Preemptive brain bleach!

http://youtu.be/jf6uLMXbEn4

quantumscale
7 years ago

Actually, he was referring to the Neanderthal genes. Here’s his incoherent response: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/06/15/im-a-professional-biologist/

opium4themasses
opium4themasses
7 years ago

Does Vox Day think he is Magneto or something?

pecunium
7 years ago

Actually, it seems it’s not even his fans who brigaded the vote, but rather that another author (of Baen-type mil-fic, which can have it’s moments, but tends to aggrandising violence because… well because it’s cool, and ‘The Right Sort” do all the killing and moral ambiguity is minimal) put up a list of, “sad puppies” who “deserved” to be nominated.

Of his list seven made the ballot; including one who had no qualifying works (and who made a great statement about not wanting the nomination).

So Teddy Beale can’t even seem to claim he’s really popular because he has a core of devoted fans willing to spend money to vote for him; he’s piggybacking someone else’s fame, again.

Bina
Bina
7 years ago

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.

More likely, it was a copy of Mein Kampf that he swallowed. Teddy Boy’s “Christian Libertarian” views are straight-up cribbed from you-know-who.

(Honestly, how do these repugnant freaks manage to reproduce? Can there seriously be women who don’t run shrieking away when they see them coming? And if there are, what the hell is the matter with them?)

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
7 years ago

Daddy also used to be on the Board of the staggeringly idiotic WorldNetDaily.

Oh wow, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree this time, did it?

Basically, the SF world has a cadre of permanently aggrieved right-wing writers and fans who feel insufficiently appreciated by the liberal-to-moderate side of the industry. The division isn’t entirely political; they also tend to be proponents of old-fashioned pulp writing and dislike this newfangled trend of literary SF with stuff like characters and themes and writing that doesn’t make your eyes bleed.

It doesn’t help that these are the guys who created WorldCon and the Hugos. Much ink has been spilled about WorldCon’s declining participation rate and it’s anybody’s guess whether the perception of the Old Guard dudes as racist, sexist and also shitty writers is a cause or a result of younger fans’ disinterest in the old-school con scene.

If you are into young adult novels Tamora Pierce is really good writer.

Also Kristen Cashore, who wrote the fabulous Graceling and its two sequel/companion novels. And Malinda Lo, best known for her lesbian retelling of Cinderella (Ash). And Libba Bray, who alternates between funny (Beauty Queens is both humorous and explicitly feminist, although I liked Going Bovine better) and dark (A Great and Terrible Beauty, The Diviners), and includes buttloads of characters who aren’t white/hetero/abled.

Le Guin was vocal about the fact that she was deliberately steering away from the shockingly white palette of fantasy protagonists in the Earthsea cycle, and yet somehow that *gasp* conscious acknowledgement of diversity did not stop it from becoming a classic of the genre.

Sadly, it didn’t stop them from whitewashing the movie adaptation, either 🙁

emma
emma
7 years ago

@ Bina

“Can there seriously be women who don’t run shrieking away when they see them coming?”

Yes, there seriously are such women (obviously, given that some of these men manage to reproduce). The Christian manosphere, for example, is full of women whose misogyny is on par with that of MRA / PUA / their ilk. And they proudly present themselves as dutiful wives or wives-to-be.

“And if there are, what the hell is the matter with them?”

Self-loathing and desperation? Just one guess.

Vox self-identifies as evangelical Christian; his father is Southern Baptist who was deeply involved in those religious circles. It is most likely his wife, Teddy’s (poor) mother, was one of those self-loathing devout evangelical women who have been indoctrinated into biblically-based misogyny from birth.

emma
emma
7 years ago

P.S. I take my misguided sympathy for Teddy’s “(poor)” mother back.

If she is one of those evangelical women — and chances are she is; she would not be married to his father otherwise — she too is responsible for creating this monster.

V’s views on women are very much in line with those espoused by evangelical women themselves, and they include beliefs that women should not be allowed to vote (seriously) and that their education beyond elementary basics is a waste of time and resources (because women’s emancipation leads to destruction of family and is in violation of the God-ordained patriarchal order).

It is a fair assumption that this rotten apple did not fall far from its diseased tree.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
7 years ago

If she is one of those evangelical women — and chances are she is; she would not be married to his father otherwise — she too is responsible for creating this monster.

I’m really uncomfortable with blaming women – especially individual women – for a given man’t misogyny. Do you think the children of feminist parents are magically free from misogyny? Do you really think a woman who’s been so brainwashed by patriarchal ideas that she genuinely believes in her own inferiority is to blame for not liberating herself and her child(ren)? That just doesn’t sit right with me.

Shaenon
7 years ago

Many folks in sci-fi have commented on the bleak irony of leftists in the community successfully lobbying to kick Jonathan Ross off Hugo hosting duties (which I personally felt was ridiculous*), only to wind up with Vox Day on the nomination ballot. Talk about the devil you know.

Le Guin has had all kinds of trouble over the years with illustrations and adaptations flat-out ignoring her descriptions of the characters. Google paperback covers for the Earthsea books, keeping in mind that every character except one group of bad guys is dark-skinned, and notice how many covers feature Caucasians. Editions of The Left Hand of Darkness, which emphatically has no “white” characters (it’s about an ambassador from an interstellar culture visiting an isolated planet, and the fact that he’s tall and very dark-skinned while the locals look roughly Inuit or Mongolian is one of the cultural differences they deal with), deal with it by just not showing any characters on the cover.

*From what I can tell, the anti-Ross thing was also spurred by the belief by some fans that he was some kind of cool kid who would make fun of science fiction and nerds (like that would be a bad thing). Which is even more ridiculous. I’ve seen Ross present at the Eisner Awards, and he’s always respectful and is clearly a big fan himself.

tinyorc
7 years ago

Shaenon:

Le Guin has had all kinds of trouble over the years with illustrations and adaptations flat-out ignoring her descriptions of the characters.

I was researching for a blog post that talks about Le Guin recently and noticed this very trend! Not only the covers, but the conversations around those covers… eeeesh. So many people being like “Well, I always pictured Ged as white when I read the books so HAARRRRRUMPH!!!” as if that settles the matter. Or they’ll bang on about how race doesn’t matter because it’s fantasy and it’s ridiculous to bring real world race relations to bear on fantasy worlds. These are of course the same people who will have a conniption if you suggest that Gandalf could be played by a black man.

I think it says so much about how white-centric the genre is. When readers encounter a character of colour with numerous explicit descriptions indicating that their skin colour is red or brown or black or yellow but definitely not white, they literally just tune it out and replace him with a white guy. And are often genuinely surprised when someone points out that the text very specifically precludes the possibility of him being white.

emma
emma
7 years ago

Emily, I am not blaming an individual woman — V’s mother — for his misogyny; I am pointing out, however, that it is very likely she contributed to his peculiar psychological development. It was unavoidable.

There is much to be said about the brainwashing evangelical women endure in their formative years and beyond, and, as a recovering deeply religious person myself, I am sympathetic to that process and its effect on those who are subjected to it.

But reading evangelical blogs written by women, as well as evangelical women’s comments on Christian manospheric blogs, I’ve come to realize how eagerly these women, brainwashed as they may be, support the misogyny that permeates religious fundamentalism. When I read seemingly intelligent and mature American women — mothers, no less — rant about the urgent need to take away women’s right to vote, or asserting, proudly, that women are at their core amoral beings lacking agency, I, as a mother of grown children myself, will hold them responsible for their views and their effect on others around them, particularly their children.

Yes, I realize how brainwashing works; but there comes a time when an adult human person is held responsible for their beliefs and actions that result from them.

Robert Phillips
Robert Phillips
7 years ago

On the topic of 2014 Hugo nominees that weren’t written by assholes, I just started reading Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, and it seems excellent so far.

The narrator is from a society that doesn’t consider gender an important distinguishing trait, so in the text she refers to everyone using feminine pronouns. When she speaks to people who do use a gendered language, she has difficulty finding the correct forms of address because the physical traits that we use to differentiate genders aren’t obvious to her.

I haven’t read far enough to find out if this stuff is just for flavour or if it’ll get addressed in more depth later on, but either way the book is definitely following the feminist science fiction tradition of future societies that don’t use our traditional notions of gender. If it wins the award (and it seems very popular, so I’d say it has a solid chance), it’d be the perfect “fuck you” to Vox and friends.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

Yes, I realize how brainwashing works; but there comes a time when an adult human person is held responsible for their beliefs and actions that result from them.

That goes double for a skidmark like VD, so maybe stop blaming his mommy?

Bina
Bina
7 years ago

Personally, I was thinking more along the lines of pollutants in the air, water and food supply than brainwashing. But yeah, there’s that too.

Fibinachi
7 years ago

Also Kristen Cashore, who wrote the fabulous Graceling and its two sequel/companion novels. And Malinda Lo, best known for her lesbian retelling of Cinderella (Ash). And Libba Bray, who alternates between funny (Beauty Queens is both humorous and explicitly feminist, although I liked Going Bovine better) and dark (A Great and Terrible Beauty, The Diviners), and includes buttloads of characters who aren’t white/hetero/abled.

Those sequels are named Fire and Bitterblue, just in case anyone is interested. They’re quite good. I liked them! Much applause.

I will also add a recommendation for Kate Griffin’s Midnight Mayor series ( Madness of Angels, The Midnight Mayor, The Neon Court, The Minority Council, Stray Souls, The Glass God ) which I found quite enjoyable and will finish up actually writing a blog post about any one of these days. Everything from fairies to tax systems to beer bottles.

Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie, is lovely and has some neat… stuff with pronouns, I guess is possibly the easiest way to put it.

And Tamora Pierce is good, as mentioned. The Lioness Quartet is lovely.

THere’s another book series that I am reminded of that that I believe was written by Trudi Canavan which I remember as being all right called the Black Magician series (and having a nice little side of decently written interactions between people). But I’m not entirely sure that was it?

Oh, and I recall enjoying the Imager’s Portfolio by L.E. Modesitt – but Wiki tells me has written a lot, and that is the only thing from him I have ever been able to find in my corner of the world. And I guess I enjoyed it mostly because a fantasy protagonist literally taking time out of his schedule to go have dinner with his parents and just…. talk about their family stuff was so mind-blowingly different compared to everything else I was reading at the time. OKay, so there were people who conjured up everything by drawing or dreaming it and bullets and revolutions and fires and murder and conspiracies and towers toppling and steampunk-ish-ish battleships and economy and democracy and republics and so on and so forth, but at some point the main character sat down and had dinner. WIth his family. Of which both the mother and the father were perfectly well alive. And they just… talked for a bit.

It was fucking amazing, that was.

Fibinachi
7 years ago

On the topic of 2014 Hugo nominees that weren’t written by assholes, I just started reading Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, and it seems excellent so far.

The narrator is from a society that doesn’t consider gender an important distinguishing trait, so in the text she refers to everyone using feminine pronouns. When she speaks to people who do use a gendered language, she has difficulty finding the correct forms of address because the physical traits that we use to differentiate genders aren’t obvious to her.

vs

Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie, is lovely and has some neat… stuff with pronouns, I guess is possibly the easiest way to put it.

… I think Robert Phillips expressed that a little better than I could.

grumpycatisagirl
grumpycatisagirl
7 years ago

Given that it appears that none of us have any idea who Vox Day’s mother even is or was, I for one am not comfortable speculating that Vox Day’s horribleness is the least bit her fault. We know literally zilch about her. She might not have even been alive to raise him.

pecunium
7 years ago

I have a post up about the Hugos, and what people can/should do about it.

About the Hugos

emma
emma
7 years ago

“That goes double for a skidmark like VD, so maybe stop blaming his mommy?”

Of course. Evangelical misogyny affects everyone steeped in it. If we assert that fundamentalist women are not responsible for their misogynist views because of brainwashing, we could as easily make the same assertion with respect to VD, who too is a product of this environment.

My general point is that we should not do that — i.e., that adult individuals, including evangelical women, are ultimately responsible for their beliefs and actions. And it is not a stretch to acknowledge that those beliefs and actions affect others around them.

But bottom line is that, as grumpy reminds, we/I don’t know who VD’s mum was and what she did, so yes, it is all speculation.

Xen
Xen
7 years ago

How is this protozoic scum still breathing? HOW?

Fibinachi
7 years ago

Guys, girls, others, otters, cats in suits, ferrets guffawing or not, With as much respect as possible: chill the fuck out.

Vox Day is horrible – yes.
His writing is turgid and bad – yes
His proclamations are hilariously odd and wildly ashistorical and just straight up terrible, but

He does not deserve death by axysphiation nor accidental blame heaped at the feet of her mother.

Please; Can we not pretend that
“it is a fair assumption that this rotten apple did not fall far from its diseased tree”
and
“Emily, I am not blaming an individual woman — V’s mother — for his misogyny; I am pointing out, however, that it is very likely she contributed to his peculiar psychological development. It was unavoidable.”
somehow means
“My general point is that we should not do that — i.e., that adult individuals, including evangelical women, are ultimately responsible for their beliefs and actions. And it is not a stretch to acknowledge that those beliefs and actions affect others around them.”?

It is just speculation. How he keeps breathing is probably by the same process as how every other human does it.

I’d prefer if we didn’t go there.

katz
7 years ago

If Vox Day’s mother shows up somewhere and says or does something bigoted, then yes, we can absolutely hold her to that.

Until that time, let’s not make assumptions about who she is or what she did or didn’t do.