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Harlan Ellison: Poster Boy for Science Fiction Sexism?
September 1, 2006 7:39 PM   Subscribe

Harlan Ellison gropes Connie Willis at the Hugo Awards ceremony. Meanwhile, Ellison implodes on his message board, "NO grab, NO grope, NO fondle" when the evidence indicates otherwise. More here.
posted by ed (113 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Its okay because he's gay.
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:42 PM on September 1, 2006


That trophy girl is pretty much hysterical.
posted by keswick at 7:45 PM on September 1, 2006


The last thing Harlan Ellison needs is another law suit...
posted by Fidel Cashflow at 7:50 PM on September 1, 2006


Enfant terrible enters second (third?) childhood.
posted by fleetmouse at 7:54 PM on September 1, 2006


Well, Ellison is very much NOT gay.
posted by Justinian at 7:56 PM on September 1, 2006


EXTRA!!! EXTRA!!! SCIENCE FICTION AUTHOR TOUCHES BREAST!!!

In other news, scientists in China are reporting successful test flights of a new winged pig hybrid today...
posted by stenseng at 7:59 PM on September 1, 2006


He was no doubt expecting it to feel just like a bag of sand.
posted by CynicalKnight at 8:03 PM on September 1, 2006


Eh. I watched the video and thought that if she'd been really put out she'd have slapped the shit out of him.

She should have presented him with a wet paper bag and said, "Harlan, I'd like to see you write your way out of this."

To Say Nothing of the Dog is one of the most entertaining books ever written.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 8:25 PM on September 1, 2006


"What would you say to a little fuck?"

"Hello, little fuck!"


/too obscure?
posted by RavinDave at 8:27 PM on September 1, 2006


Just sad? The blog post about how such gropes are all about putting women in their place is over the top -- this is really just an example of Ellison showing how out of touch he is with social norms and making it seem like there might be soon truth to the stereotype associated with those deeply involved with science fiction.
posted by bhouston at 8:27 PM on September 1, 2006


Ravin: nope :)
posted by Malor at 8:28 PM on September 1, 2006


I've never read anything quite like the Harlan Ellison message board. Serious yikes!! Thank goodness I'm not a sci-fi person who has to to know/interact with these people.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 8:30 PM on September 1, 2006


"Men are jerks. Women are psychotic."

-Kilgore Trout
posted by Sparx at 8:31 PM on September 1, 2006


Ya know, what with hollywood stars sleeping around with hookers, their drug and alcohol problems, their strange scientology issues and yada yada, not to mention all the rock stars who do some of the strangest shit around, I have a hard time caring about whether or not he groped her (which he did). OMIGOSH! HARLAN ELLISON TOUCHED HER BREAST!

A tempest in a teapot with absolutely no importance whatsoever to anybody. And besides, isn't this what stars do, be they actors, musicians, actors or writers? that message board is messed up.
posted by ashbury at 8:32 PM on September 1, 2006


On postview: BitterOldPunk. Meh. I was underwhelmed. A lot of people liked it more than me, though, it's true.
posted by Sparx at 8:35 PM on September 1, 2006


This year's winner for Best Novel, Spin, looks pretty interesting. I'll have to check it out.
posted by Iridic at 8:35 PM on September 1, 2006


In what sense did he "implode"? Or has that become just a synonym for "explode" these days?
posted by hattifattener at 8:39 PM on September 1, 2006


I think an implosion in this context is the kind of explosion where you only hurt yourself.
posted by Ritchie at 8:42 PM on September 1, 2006


That was the worst pr0n I've ever seen.
posted by milnak at 8:45 PM on September 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


Fandom Wank weighs in.
posted by Tenuki at 8:47 PM on September 1, 2006


He's an asshole. No news there.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 8:48 PM on September 1, 2006


ashbury: True, yet this is part of the current state of Meta(Video)filter FPPs.

Connie Willis evidently had some affection for Ellison from the way she treated him like an imp from the beginning. Toward the end looked like he went to "four finger" poke* her for her attention and missed. He's such a little man compared to her. His "sin" was in the faux Copote look he gave the audience when he realized what he did.

Or

Ellison grabbed her breast and didn't get decked because he's Harlen Ellison -- the man who has gotten away with being a self-important jerk all these years because he could write like the Devil.

or

harlie is one Not too obscure

I think Ellison wanted to become Asimov in the hearts and minds of SF conventiongoers, but failed to discard the mean streak that set him apart of "the Good Doctor."

* - I had a coach who gave us a "tuck his thumb and poke our chest" to get our attention.
posted by ?! at 8:51 PM on September 1, 2006


(You can skip this part:)

With all sympathies to the plight of women and the very serious syndrome of "blaming the victim" and political correctness and all of these importances (is that a word?) to which I normally kneel and bow...

...and with full admission that Harlan grew up in my hometown, caused me to want to become a writer, and was quite the mensch on the occasion I met him and his wife Susan and drove them around Kent State Univ to his May 4th (look it up) speaking engagements, and I'M A FAN and...

...blah blah blah...


(Okay, read now:)

...anyway, with a heavy-duty caveat afore this, I can only say:

HE'S HARLAN ELLISON.

SHE SAID, "ARE YOU GOING TO BE GOOD?"

WHAT THE FUCK DID SHE (OR ANYONE) EXPECT?!


Chaos ensued.

Robin Williams, a friend of Harlan's, would've done the same thing.

Shocking. But I'm over it. Let's all get over it now.
posted by Shane at 9:26 PM on September 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


The Titty on the Edge of Forever?

Apologies; I hate that word, but cannot resist the lure of a bad, tangentially related pun.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:32 PM on September 1, 2006


the lengths writers will go to, just to prove that they have interesting lives ...
posted by pyramid termite at 9:34 PM on September 1, 2006


I'm out of touch with the English language. I thought "grope" meant "grab inappropriately", not "touch inappropriately". That looks like what in my day we would call "feeling her up", not "groping her". Equally bad, just different terminology.
posted by Bugbread at 9:35 PM on September 1, 2006


Someone ate the angry candy.
posted by Captaintripps at 9:35 PM on September 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


If Harlan Ellison was a Knight of the Round Table, he would be Sir Booze-alot.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 9:39 PM on September 1, 2006


Someone squeezed the glass teat.
posted by stinkycheese at 9:41 PM on September 1, 2006


If Harlan Ellison was a Knight of the Round Table, he would be Sir Booze-alot.

HE doesn't drink. Never has.

posted by Shane at 9:42 PM on September 1, 2006


I Have No Tact and I Must Grope
posted by ed at 9:42 PM on September 1, 2006


Shane - I did not know that.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 9:56 PM on September 1, 2006


The Hand that Shouted Squeeze the Breast of the Presenter

Love Ain't Nothing But Boobie Squeezing Misspelled

ABoy and His Squeezin' Hand
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:03 PM on September 1, 2006


Huh. my first thought was, "both of them look drunk." My second thought was, "Connie's cool in the face of Harlan's juvenile stupid sexgrope was impressive." My third thought, after reading the linked blog post, was, "Oh please. You're going to use Harlan Fucking Drunken Ellison as a generalized stand-in for all men, who are *obviously* thinking, "We can still demean you, if we feel like it, and at random intervals, just to keep you in line, we will," is just moronic.
posted by mediareport at 10:07 PM on September 1, 2006


"
posted by mediareport at 10:07 PM on September 1, 2006


i've been hearing about this from my friends who were there. that video ... gaaah.

she was a professional. he wasn't. just appalling.
posted by sdn at 10:08 PM on September 1, 2006


whoa re these people?
posted by wumpus at 10:18 PM on September 1, 2006


whoa re these people?

This link might help you.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:22 PM on September 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


wikipedia says its something to do with sci fi... in that case a more appropriate question would be, i guess, who cares? or, who cares and isn't a dork?
posted by wumpus at 10:22 PM on September 1, 2006


In that case, let me point you to this link.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:25 PM on September 1, 2006


... posts wumpus on a website to his internet buddies.
posted by Justinian at 10:25 PM on September 1, 2006




"harlan, we TOLD you to be good"
posted by pyramid termite at 10:27 PM on September 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


Here's a link to David Moles's blog that collects a lot of the discussion on the subject in the SF blog circles (and they are editorialized into catagories by David, yes).

The issue of the way women are treated in the SF community is a very serious one. Whatever you think about this particular incident, it's leading to a more general discussion. A lot of women have stories of their own that are coming out because of this, not necessarily related to Harlan.
posted by JeremyT at 10:29 PM on September 1, 2006 [2 favorites]


I really don't like how Harlan acts in public and how he evidently treats people, but I really hate his fanboys.
posted by bshort at 10:40 PM on September 1, 2006


Pathetic. You have to wonder whether he would be more likely to try to hire a prostitute, or a wet nurse.
posted by jamjam at 10:41 PM on September 1, 2006


too obscure?

A bit off.

"What would you say to a friendly little fuck?"

"Hello, friendly little fuck."

she drawled with infinite boredom.

[Robert Anton Wilson, "Schroedenger's Cat"]
posted by sidereal at 10:41 PM on September 1, 2006


Shall we start talking about "The Last Dangerous Visions"?

Last time I heard, about half of the authors whose pieces Ellison is holding had died of old age.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 11:06 PM on September 1, 2006



"How do you like it Harlan? Man-grope him some more Man-Bear! Lower!"
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:09 PM on September 1, 2006 [3 favorites]


Disappointingly this is a lot less funny than the Harlan Ellison Vs. Penny Arcade dust up from last year.
posted by PenDevil at 11:09 PM on September 1, 2006


Ellison has always struck me as a great example of why I try to avoid knowing too much about my favorite authors, musicians, and so forth.
posted by adipocere at 11:55 PM on September 1, 2006


Another chapter in the Def Nerd Trilogy.
posted by sourwookie at 12:13 AM on September 2, 2006


This is nothing, however.

Rumor has it that upon hearing he was awarded a Hugo, Heinlein fucked his sister to celebrate.
posted by sourwookie at 12:15 AM on September 2, 2006 [2 favorites]


Thank you, ed.
posted by oraknabo at 12:41 AM on September 2, 2006


I'd hit it.
posted by qvantamon at 12:41 AM on September 2, 2006


Who is Connie Willis?
posted by A189Nut at 12:43 AM on September 2, 2006


What's going on here? Did he touch her tit with his elbow? To me "grope" implies the use of the hand. That's the only thing I saw. Plus she was being all touchy with him to begin with.

So whatever.
posted by delmoi at 12:47 AM on September 2, 2006


A189Nut : "Who is Connie Willis?"

Wikipedia
posted by Bugbread at 12:48 AM on September 2, 2006


delmoi : "Did he touch her tit with his elbow? To me 'grope' implies the use of the hand. That's the only thing I saw."

It's a little after the elbow part. (The elbow part is at 00:35, the "grope" (which I'd say is more of a "fondle" or "feelup") is at 00:44).
posted by Bugbread at 12:50 AM on September 2, 2006


I was actually in the audience (the cheap seats) that night, and I didn't recall seeing it happen, nor a crowd reaction at the time -- so I was surprised that there was such an uproar after.
posted by ipe at 12:51 AM on September 2, 2006


Now Here is some hot awards show groping. I swear I've seen a video of this, but I can't find it now.
posted by delmoi at 12:53 AM on September 2, 2006


It's kind of sad that this is the biggest news out of Worldcon this year, but if it serves to get people to look harder at sexism in fandom, and especially if it gets Harlan to look harder at himself, it might have been for the better.

I haven't seen a definite answer from Ms. Willis about how she felt about it. Anyone seen any direct quotes, as opposed to third-hand speculation (which I've seen quite a bit of already)?

EXTRA!!! EXTRA!!! SCIENCE FICTION AUTHOR TOUCHES BREAST!!!
wikipedia says its something to do with sci fi... in that case a more appropriate question would be, i guess, who cares? or, who cares and isn't a dork?

Stereotypes and inconsideration hurt. Please don't say stuff like that.
posted by jiawen at 2:12 AM on September 2, 2006


This year's winner for Best Novel, Spin, looks pretty interesting. I'll have to check it out.

Spin is a GREAT book. I read three more novels in a row by Robert Charles Wilson, after reading it. All were very, very enjoyable and thought provoking.

Not that that has anything to do with Harlan Ellison grabbing some boob.
posted by LooseFilter at 2:25 AM on September 2, 2006


Ah, looking at the 44 second mark I did see it. Oh well.
posted by delmoi at 3:01 AM on September 2, 2006


Stereotypes and inconsideration hurt. Please don't say stuff like that.

It hurts because it's true.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:26 AM on September 2, 2006


Yep, I really like all the Hugo nominees this year. I thought Spin should win, but I really wanted GRRM to win with A Feast For Crows since I'm such a gods-damned fanboy.

/Doesn't worship the Seven
//Weirwood Tree?
///Wait this isn't Fark
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 5:16 AM on September 2, 2006


One good thing about this-I am inspired to go check our her books. Never heard of her before this (I'm not much of a fiction reader of any sort.)
posted by konolia at 5:17 AM on September 2, 2006


This year's winner for Best Novel, Spin, looks pretty interesting.

The concept is fascinating, and Wilson does some really interesting stuff with society's reaction to the spin, right down to the individual level. All of that is well written, as good as or better than any writer who hasn't been stuck in the genre ghetto.

Unfortunately, he also spends a great deal of time on the personal lives and feelings of his main characters. I say unfortunately because he's just not up to the task. The impression is that he was very concerned with giving his characters emotional depth, which is indeed often lacking in genre fiction, but the situations and dialogue that try to explore this part of the human experience are straight out of a soap opera, complete with ludicrously melodramatic denouement.

Melodrama can transcend reality. When done right, it gets to a place that is incredibly true if not true to life, but Wilson was obviously aiming for something more naturalistic here. It doesn't work. In fact he achieves the opposite, making the characters less real and compelling, especially against the well drawn background of the rest of the book. It doesn't ruin Spin, but it's annoyingly hamfisted.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:16 AM on September 2, 2006


Apparently he's now apologized:

HARLAN ELLISON
- Tuesday, August 29 2006 12:19:50
REPLY TO LYNNE BATIK:

Would you believe that, having left the Hugo ceremonies immediately after my part in it, while it was still in progress ... and having left the hall entirely ... yet having been around later that night for Kieth Kato's traditional chili party ... and having taken off next morning for return home ... and not having the internet facility to open "journalfen" (or whatever it is), I was unaware of any problem proceeding from my intendedly-childlike grabbing of Connie Willis's left breast, as she was exhorting me to behave.

Nonetheless, despite my only becoming aware of this brouhaha right this moment (12 noon LA time, Tuesday the 29th), three days after the digital spasm that seems to be in uproar ...YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!!!

iT IS UNCONSCIONABLE FOR A MAN TO GRAB A WOMAN'S BREAST WITHOUT HER EXPLICIT PERMISSION. To do otherwise is to go 'way over the line in terms of invasion of someone's personal space. It is crude behavior at best, and actionable behavior at worst. When George W> Bush massaged the back of the neck of that female foreign dignitary, we were all justly appalled. For me to grab Connie's breast is in excusable, indefensible, gauche, and properly offensive to any observers or those who heard of it later.

I agree wholeheartedly.

I've called Connie. Haven't heard back from her yet. Maybe I never will.

So. What now, folks? It's not as if I haven't been a politically incorrect creature in the past. But apparently, Lynne, my 72 years of indefensible, gauche (yet for the most part classy), horrifying, jaw-dropping, sophomoric, sometimes imbecile behavior hasn't--till now--reached your level of outrage.

I'm glad, at last, to have transcended your expectations. I stand naked and defenseless before your absolutely correct chiding.

With genuine thanks for the post, and celestial affection, I remain, puckishly,

Yr. pal, Harlan

P.S. You have my permission to repost this reply anywhere you choose, on journalfen, at SFWA, on every blog in the universe, and even as graffiti on the Great Wall of China.

posted by mrbill at 6:34 AM on September 2, 2006


Yes, he apologized, and then he had a tantrum because the apology wasn't eaten up and all forgiven by his angry critics.


i.e.
...AND MARK:

Would you be slightly less self-righteous and chiding if I told you there was

NO grab...

there was

NO grope...

there was

NO fondle...

there was the slightest touch. A shtick, a gag between friends, absolutely NO sexual content.

Would you, and the ten thousand maggots who have blown this up into a cause celebre, be even the least bit abashed to know that I apologized WAY BEYOND what the "crime" required, on the off chance that I HAD offended? Let me ask you, Mark:

1) Were you there?
2) Did you see it?
3) Are you standing on your soapbox to chide me via 3rd/4th-hand reportage by OTHERS who weren't there?
4) Do you also buy the infinite number of other internet brouhahas that turned out to be misreported?

Here it is, Mark; and for any others who fit the shoe:

In the words of that great American philosopher, Tony Isabella,
"Hell hath no fury like that of the uninvolved."

Does not anyone READ WHAT I WROTE within fifteen minutes of learning of this? Does not anyone wonder why, if it was such a piggish thing I did, as one of those jerkwad blogs calls it, Connie Willis hasn't, after twenty-five years of "friendship," not returned my call on Monday ... or responded to the Fedex packet of my posting here on Monday, which Fedex advises me she received at 2:20 pm on Tuesday?

[ad nauseum...].

posted by kalessin at 6:45 AM on September 2, 2006


mrbill, you are a bit behind the curve. He posted that on the 29th and he had changed his mind by the 31st (see here.)

There is a good round up post here, which also had links to other debates to have come out of Worldcon.
posted by ninebelow at 6:55 AM on September 2, 2006


Hmm, I guess that is what the preview button is for...
posted by ninebelow at 6:57 AM on September 2, 2006


I had my own special Harlan Experience at the Worldcon, which kicked me into full bouncer mode, but I was told quite clearly by the hostess of the party that no, don't run him.

I disagree with her call -- that's why he's the unmitigated ass that he is -- but it was her call to make, and thus, I followed her instruction, but what little respect I had for him evaporated over the course of this con.
posted by eriko at 7:40 AM on September 2, 2006




"don't bother eating crow, harlan ... in sf fandom, the crows eat you"
posted by pyramid termite at 7:44 AM on September 2, 2006


Just further proof (as if any were needed) that entertainers, while good at their narrow specialty, are almost universally bad at just about everything else, from political insight to selecting a fine wine, or, in Mr. Ellison's case, being a decent specimen.

Now, if we could just get rid of this pernicious insistance by fandom of fawning over entertainers as people and focus exclusively on their narrow product, the world would be a much improved place.
posted by gregor-e at 8:22 AM on September 2, 2006


From Harlan's message board:

I also suspect this has been a bad and trying week for you. That you are suffering, as you so often do, from being publicly analyzed and re-analyzed and over-analyzed and still nearly completely misunderstood.

Leave poor Harlan alone! If he groped a woman, he had good reason! Stop misunderstanding Harlan!!

Say, Harlan, how's The Last Dangerous Visions coming?
posted by languagehat at 8:46 AM on September 2, 2006




"The Internets! It's slicing into my corpus! Make them stop! I am a giant in the field!"
posted by ed at 9:10 AM on September 2, 2006


OMIGOSH! HARLAN ELLISON TOUCHED HER BREAST!

HE TOUCHED MY BREAST?
posted by chrominance at 9:23 AM on September 2, 2006




"harlan, that's not connie's dress, is it?"
posted by pyramid termite at 9:37 AM on September 2, 2006


Hrm. He grabbed her breast. See, if he would have pulled out a knife and shanked her, the media wouldn't care. But since a BREAST was involved, the blogosphere is in a flurry!
posted by drstein at 9:47 AM on September 2, 2006


Okay I've watched that video three times now and simply can't see what the fuss is about at all.
When I first heard something about his "groping" a woman, I assumed he behaved badly with some fangirl in a darkened bar or something. But this? This is what the apocalyptic brouhaha is about? Jesus. People really really need to get a life, or just a smidgeon of perspective maybe.

I thought Harlan was the greatest writer in the world when I was 14. I loved his stories and was deeply, permanently influenced by the style of his criticism. I still have a big soft spot for him and when an assignment came up in 2000 that gave me the opportunity to call him up on the phone, I jabbered like the idiot 14 year old I once was.
I just think it's sad he got sucked into that weirdo fan world and never left. If he hadn't spent his life marinating in the fawning adulation and petty backbiting of that insular subculture, what might he have accomplished?
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:51 AM on September 2, 2006



posted by quonsar at 10:02 AM on September 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


It's entirely appropriate seeing as how he created Arnold Schwarzenegger.
posted by Artw at 10:11 AM on September 2, 2006


As a science fiction writer I'd like to say something.

Fuck Ellison.

His fiction isn't that great and I really don't give a damn about his opinion on anything.


There. I said it. Saying that among the other readers and writers of sci-fi is like saying "Fuck Reagan" at a republican convention.

He's not the worst writer ever, but I don't see why so many worship him and everthing that comes out of his pen and mouth.

Also, "City on the Edge of Forever" is actually worse than "Spock's Brain" in my opinion.

That being said, so what? He grabbed a woman's tit. Big deal. She looked like she thought it was funny to me.
posted by nyxxxx at 10:23 AM on September 2, 2006




this hugo ... it vibrates?
posted by pyramid termite at 10:24 AM on September 2, 2006


Also, "City on the Edge of Forever" is actually worse than "Spock's Brain" in my opinion.

Two things, the first kind of a derail:

1) Some nobody writes an article about 20 years ago in which she says that Spock's Brain is the worst TOS episode ever, and somehow this becomes the received wisdom ever after. By any reasonable assessment SB is somewhere in the middle: nowhere near as horrible as "Friday's Child", "Elaan of Troyius", "And The Children Shall Lead" or the utterly unspeakable "The Lights of Zetar." SB actually has some classic moments, not all of them unintentionally funny.

2) As produced, The City on the Edge of Forever was okay, though it has too much of that proto-New-Age Roddenberryism schmaltzing it up. As originally written it was a fine story, though unproduceable as Star Trek. Though not for the lying reasons Roddenberry peddled for years.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:00 PM on September 2, 2006


I'd like to see Harlan try that with Ursula K. LeGuin. No, I don't really care about this or that or anything really, I'd just like to see it.
posted by loquacious at 1:10 PM on September 2, 2006


It hurts because it's true.
Doesn't matter whether it's true or not. You don't have to say shitheaded things.
posted by jiawen at 1:34 PM on September 2, 2006


As a science fiction writer I'd like to say something.

Can you point me to something you've written so I can compare and contrast? (And I say that totally without snark.)

(For the record, I prefer his essays to his fiction, but I guess that still counts with your, "I really don't give a damn about his opinion on anything," comment.)

I'm actually surprised it took this long for this to get posted here. I was expecting it days ago (and a little bit dreading it, as I knew it would put me at odds with one of my Mefi crushes.)

Anyhoo, I agree with CunningLinguist on the first part of her comment. The second part, I dunno. Harlan Ellison is to science fiction fandom what certain American leaders are to politics. So unpopular with certain people that their every misstep is magnified to a ludicrous degree.
posted by Cyrano at 2:33 PM on September 2, 2006


As a science fiction writer I'd like to say something.

Can you point me to something you've written so I can compare and contrast? (And I say that totally without snark.)


Me too: I did various searches for your name and came up with bupkiss, but I don't have access to the Periodicals guide at home.

Unless you're using a pen name, which whould be weird because your real name is perfect for sci fi (and might also get you some confusion sales from people who are looking for stuff by Garth Nix).
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 2:59 PM on September 2, 2006


Until I got online in the 90s, I didn't know fandom existed--not being a S/F/F reader. I used to think it was kind of weird.

I still do.
posted by Sassenach at 4:48 PM on September 2, 2006


In more interesting news, I concur that Spin is an awfully clever and well done novel.
posted by kjs3 at 4:53 PM on September 2, 2006


Ah, the one time I saw the man live he and Isaac Asimov did their classic little we hate each other playlet. Asimov was up on stage and Ellison appeared at the back and began to heckle him. Let me tell you, Ellison can play the fake asshole like nobody's business. So you figure he has some experience at being a real one.
posted by dhartung at 5:28 PM on September 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


"In more interesting news, I concur that Spin is an awfully clever and well done novel."

Spin deservedly won the Hugo. Everyone should read it. It's a shame its win is being overshadowed by this other thing.
posted by jscalzi at 5:53 PM on September 2, 2006


Spin was a magnificent concept in search of a competent steward - I followed one or the other Hayden's recommendation, picked it up, regretted the purchase briefly and then forgot about it entirely until this very moment. I remain somewhat astonished that that is what passes for excellence in sf these days.

Guess what? Harlan's behavior was both infantile and unacceptable, and I agree completely with whoever pointed out above that this is what happens when you stew for forty-odd years in the uncritical adoration of the socially inept.

Guess what else? Connie Willis is all grown up, possessed of a support base all her own, and presumably afforded access to an array of finely nuanced techniques for expressing the precise degree of her disappointment and/or disgust with Harlan.

In fact, I'm disappointed with myself for even commenting on this sad and tawdry little non-event. Don't bother to get up, I'll show myself out. : . )
posted by adamgreenfield at 6:01 PM on September 2, 2006


That being said, so what? He grabbed a woman's tit. Big deal. She looked like she thought it was funny to me.

Connie Willis is a class act, and responded with grace and professionalism. I don't think you can tell anything from her reaction.
posted by joannemerriam at 6:09 PM on September 2, 2006


I don't think you can tell anything from her reaction.

actually, she did say something to him right after he did it ... after recording the sound in wavelab and eq'ing to emphasize her voice and cut down on the audience noise, i think it may have been "let go of my breast, come on, harlan", but's it's still too muffled to be 100% sure
posted by pyramid termite at 6:19 PM on September 2, 2006


Is Harlan a friend of John Karr? He's creepy.
posted by orchidthief at 6:53 PM on September 2, 2006


actually, she did say something to him right after he did it ... after recording the sound in wavelab and eq'ing to emphasize her voice and cut down on the audience noise, i think it may have been "let go of my breast, come on, harlan", but's it's still too muffled to be 100% sure

It's sad, but probably also telling, that I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not.
posted by Cyrano at 7:38 PM on September 2, 2006


i was being serious ... although i could be wrong
posted by pyramid termite at 8:13 PM on September 2, 2006


To George_Spiggot,

I actually like the Spock's Brain ep. That's why it's better than City. Not that City was so bad, but SB was pretty good.
posted by nyxxxx at 8:19 PM on September 2, 2006


It's a shame its win is being overshadowed by this other thing.

Hell, I probably wouldn't have heard that Spin won the Hugo for months if not for 'this other thing.' Last I heard, two MeFites had been nominated for best novel. Guess they lost.

I'll probably grap the next Robert Charles Wilson book I see because of this thread. So there's that, at least.
posted by mediareport at 8:21 PM on September 2, 2006


grope + grab = grap

The mind works in funny ways...

posted by mediareport at 8:22 PM on September 2, 2006


And to the people looking for my writing.

I had a story published in some obscure zines in the 90's. One was French and one was German. I pitched a story to the editor of the Hot blood series of books. He gave me the go ahead to write it, and then I didn't like what he wanted me to change.

The story wasn't very good, I thought. Some people liked it. I had two stalkers because of it. Here it is, as posted to Blogcritics...before I got into a fight with them about editorial policies. I get into lots of fights about lots of things.
http://blogcritics.org/archives/2004/01/26/030844.php

But now I just write the stories. I'm not publishing until I think they're right. I think I'm writing about 1 per month.

Besides, where do you publish short stories now? I think there's about two magazines left.
posted by nyxxxx at 8:32 PM on September 2, 2006


Sounds like a great time to read McCrumb's _Bimbos of the Death Sun_.
posted by QIbHom at 9:06 PM on September 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


mediareport, Scalzi didn't win the Hugo, but he did get the Campbell award for Best New Writer. And he has the tiara to prove it.
posted by rosemere at 9:12 PM on September 2, 2006


Fuck, I forgot all about the goddamn Campbell.

I had the pleasure of taking jscalzi and Cory Doctorow to the main hall for the Practice Walk, which is where we tell the nominees how this whole thing works, should you win, theoretically, of course.

Cory kept telling him he'd win. He, being a smart guy, wouldn't buy it.

Now you get to deal with Cory being right. Sucks to be you ;)

(Congrats!)
posted by eriko at 9:35 PM on September 2, 2006


Besides, where do you publish short stories now? I think there's about two magazines left.
posted by nyxxxx at 11:32 PM EST on September 2 [+] [!]


There's a bunch of paying sf magazines right now: Asimov's and Analog, of course, plus Aeon, Chiaroscuro, Dreams and Nightmares, Full Unit Hookup, On Spec, Strange Horizons... that's off the top of my head, I know I'm forgetting some. If you're willing to write for nothing (and imo you should be until you have three or four publications under your belt) there's loads more. Spicy Green Iguana has a great list. (Plus, an awful lot of literary magazines are publishing slipstream stuff right now, and more and more small press sf publishers are putting out short story collections and anthologies, though largely only of people who've been published in periodicals.)
posted by joannemerriam at 6:02 AM on September 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


You know, there's a world of difference between "as a science fiction writer" and "as a published science fiction writer".

...though personally I think Ellison should have the lawyers set on him. Rabid venomous lawyers. Somehow I think it would be fitting.
posted by Artw at 9:17 AM on September 3, 2006


I actually like the Spock's Brain ep. That's why it's better than City. Not that City was so bad, but SB was pretty good.

You said City was "worse" than Brain. The accepted meaning of "worse" is "more bad", not "less good". Pretty odd way to say that you liked at least one of them, to use a term that strongly suggests you think both are at least somewhat bad.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:58 AM on September 3, 2006


There's a bunch of paying sf magazines right now: Asimov's and Analog, of course, plus Aeon, Chiaroscuro, Dreams and Nightmares, Full Unit Hookup, On Spec, Strange Horizons...

Wow. I guess the days when F&SF would have been among the first three names anybody mentioned are in the past, along with my youth. I've never even heard of the "plus" ones.

*cries*
posted by languagehat at 12:55 PM on September 3, 2006


I guess the days when F&SF would have been among the first three names anybody mentioned are in the past...

Not so. This depends, of course, on the crowd you run with.
posted by ed at 1:03 PM on September 3, 2006


languagehat, I did think of F&SF and don't know why I didn't type it in. Random neural misfiring I suppose.

The "plus" ones are mostly online magazines.
posted by joannemerriam at 2:27 PM on September 3, 2006


*looks up hopefully, dries eyes*
posted by languagehat at 2:54 PM on September 3, 2006


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