"Insane and a public danger"
August 13, 2015 9:03 AM   Subscribe

When Science Fiction writer Lou Antonelli felt slighted by David Gerrold, presenter of this year’s Hugo Awards, he did the obvious thing: Wrote to the Spokane police in an attempt to SWAT Gerrold at WorldCon.

When called on his behavior Antonelli apologized and Gerrold accepted. In the meantime Antonelli posted an edited version of an email from editor Carrie Cuinn in an attempt to incite an online harassment campaign against her. Despite two obvious breach of their code of conduct the WorldCon commitee decided not to ban him - in part because David Gerrold and Cuinn requested it. There's just one problem : Cuinn never made such a request.

With the Science Fiction communities standards of forgiveness being rife with double standards and having the unintended effect of reinforcing abusive behavior, is it time to stop accepting unmeant apologies?
posted by Artw (211 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's nice to see that all the acrimony surrounding this year's Hugo Awards won't be carried over into WorldCon and we can all just have a nice, collegial weekend being science fiction fans.

Alternately: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:07 AM on August 13, 2015 [15 favorites]


No, it's time to not look at apologies when dealing with these issues. This individual attempted to commit assault by cop at WorldCon - that alone should be grounds for them to say "you are a danger to our attendees, and as such, you are hereby banned from physically attending."
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:10 AM on August 13, 2015 [67 favorites]


Wrote to the Spokane police in an attempt to SWAT Gerrold at WorldCon.

No.

Sorry, but not. You are making words meaningless. Stop doing that.

Writing a letter to some to try to get the police involved is not SWATting someone.

Calling 911 and claiming that you are in immediate danger of being killed send police to $ADDRESS RIGHT NOW OMG HE HAS A GUN (play recorded gun noises) (hang up)

That's SWATing. It's designed to get the police to IMMEDIATELY come out with rapid responsed units primed with the idea that there is an active shooter on the premises.

ANYTHING SHORT OF THAT IS NOT SWATTING. PERIOD.

Otherwise, asking the police "hey, the neighbor upstairs? I heard a big thud last night then nothing? And I always hear them moving around in the morning? Could you see if they are OK?" is SWATing.

And that? That is frankly bullshit.

What Lou Antonelli did is wrong and deserves condemnation and I'm the first to call him out as the asshole he is.

But every single person calling this SWATting is making the term USELESS and you need to stop it.
posted by eriko at 9:10 AM on August 13, 2015 [113 favorites]


They fully do it to themselves, of course. Right wing troll has got to right wing troll, it's the excuses and enabling from others that is disappointing.

It's like every day someone spins a wheel to see which field I am interstates in will do something pathetic. Will it be comics? Will it be tech? It's been videogames a lot recently, but for such a tiny field prose SF is really holding its own.
posted by Artw at 9:12 AM on August 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


but for such a tiny field prose SF is really holding its own.

Absolutely. Somebody should do a comic about the Hugo awards this year.
posted by notyou at 9:14 AM on August 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


The funhouse-mirror level of projection these people have is astounding. DAVID GERROLD MIGHT INSPIRE SOME KIND OF LONE-WOLF TERRORIST! WE'D BETTER GET OUR BRIGADING HARASSERS ON THE CASE, THERE, AND INSPIRE THEM ALL TO ACTION!
posted by rmd1023 at 9:18 AM on August 13, 2015


"We were put in the difficult position of having to walk a line between strictly following our harassment policy to the letter and considering the wishes of the aggrieved party."

LOL. I wonder if deciding that the CoC were more like guidelines than actual rules will come back and bite them?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:19 AM on August 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


(A videogame about making a comic about the Hugo Awards? Just rearrange until you find your preferred first-level medium: an SF novel about a comic about a Hugo Awards videogame? Just sprinkle in the same cast of trolls and enablers.)
posted by notyou at 9:20 AM on August 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm slightly confused about this because I've always assumed that Gerrold is relatively "right wing" himself -- though perhaps in that increasingly rare category of "right wing but sane". Have I been reading him wrong all these years?
posted by Slothrup at 9:24 AM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Great, another name to add to my personal blacklist of Scifi Writers Who Awful People.
posted by nicebookrack at 9:24 AM on August 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


I hesitate to wade in to a shitstorm I know so little about, but I think eriko has a point about whether it's right to call this SWATing. Following the links from this FPP, we get to this description of the shitty thing Antonelli did:
I personally wrote a letter addressed to the police chief in Spokane and said I thought the man was insane and a public danger and needs to be watched when the convention’s going on, and I mean it.
Shitty thing is shitty. But we should reserve the word "SWATing" for something that'd involve, you know, an actual SWAT team. And a deadly threat. This seems more like an attempt to harass someone at a con with the police.

The whole story is gross and makes me want to have even less to do with scifi fandom. Can we just go back to the heyday of Ursula LeGuin and Octavia Butler please?
posted by Nelson at 9:24 AM on August 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


Harassing someone with the police IS a deadly threat, and should be taken seriously.
posted by Artw at 9:27 AM on August 13, 2015 [19 favorites]


Fuck people.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:28 AM on August 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


Whether or not it's "swatting" as it's commonly known, or whatever you or anyone else wants to call it, this point (from the first link) needs repeating:
The fact that David Gerrold forgave Antonelli for this is between the two of them; Gerrold does not get to accept Antonelli’s apology on behalf of the rest of the convention membership and to its staff and volunteers.
Any statement of "As far as I’m concerned the matter is over and done" is more than a bit inappropriate.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:30 AM on August 13, 2015 [34 favorites]


And I say that as a paleo-Trekkie who generally thinks that Gerrold is a good guy.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:30 AM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Great, another name to add to my personal blacklist of Scifi Writers Who Awful People.

Is this list public? Would you care to share? Could we make a group list somewhere? I can't keep track of all the garbage people.
posted by DGStieber at 9:31 AM on August 13, 2015 [12 favorites]


Wherever there are geeks, there are organizations falling into the geek social fallacies. Almost exclusively to protect white men from the consequences of their shitty behaviour. Can we just stop already?
posted by stoneweaver at 9:32 AM on August 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


Does anyone have a pointer to what exactly is Antonelli's problem with Gerrold? Of course, that part is much less important than all of the aftermath/fallout. But, I find it curious that I didn't see any mention of why Antonelli seemed to think that Gerrold was "insane and a public danger". Was there a specific event that set Antonelli off? Or is it a long-running feud?
posted by mhum at 9:33 AM on August 13, 2015


Fuck people.

That's what got us into these problems in the first place.
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:38 AM on August 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


Gerrold does not get to accept Antonelli’s apology on behalf of the rest of the convention membership and to its staff and volunteers.

Part of my problem with understanding what's going on here is the pre-digested conclusions and third-party accounts we have. I don't see that Gerrold accepted anything on behalf of anyone other than himself, if you read his own words rather than what someone else is saying. "As far as I’m concerned the matter is over and done", seems to me to pretty explicitly be simply a personal wish to not have to deal with this anymore, not a statement on behalf of the convention. I don't know how you get that from what the man himself wrote (near page bottom). At no time does he mention the convention itself or seemingly reference it indirectly.
posted by bonehead at 9:38 AM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Gerrold has been a consistent centrist voice during the Puppy fracas -- I can't claim to have read everything he's written, but every time I'd get to his name on a File 770 post, I'd go, "Ah, here comes Gerrold with the plea for civility." He's certainly not pro-puppy, but of all the voices in the discussion, his has consistently been the softest.

Which makes sense, because guys like this tend not to go after radicals; they go after moderates. This sends the message that there's really nothing anyone can do to please them, other than not speaking at all.
posted by thesmallmachine at 9:39 AM on August 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


They did manage to get rid of Woss quick enough for potential thought crime double quick
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:40 AM on August 13, 2015


Antonelli was upset about statements that Gerrold made criticizing the Sad Puppies and describing the harms done by the Puppies to WorldCon as a whole and to WorldCon organizers and volunteers in particular.
posted by overglow at 9:40 AM on August 13, 2015


Frankly, I can see why Sasquan wouldn't want to ban him. He's probably not going to go anyway, so why add fuel to the puppy fire. However, it's a bit passive to pass off the responsibility for that decision by saying it's because of Gerrold and Cuinn.
posted by tofu_crouton at 9:40 AM on August 13, 2015


Does anyone have a pointer to what exactly is Antonelli's problem with Gerrold? Of course, that part is much less important than all of the aftermath/fallout. But, I find it curious that I didn't see any mention of why Antonelli seemed to think that Gerrold was "insane and a public danger". Was there a specific event that set Antonelli off? Or is it a long-running feud?

Who cares? The background is meaningless - the point is that Antonelli showed that he couldn't abide by the con's code of conduct, and as such, the con's organizers should have had the fortitude to tell him "no, you don't get to attend."
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:41 AM on August 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


They did manage to get rid of Woss quick enough for potential thought crime double quick


Wossy is an outsider and does not have immunity.

Kind of amazing that the Ross business prompted all kinds of threatened walkouts and such and yet we've seen nothing of the kind over the ongoing puppy business.
posted by Artw at 9:42 AM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


From Gerrold's comment:
I do not know Mr. Antonelli. I do not understand why he felt the need to write to write the Spokane PD.
If he didn't say why he did it it then wasn't much of an apology and it's strange that Gerrold would accept it so completely.
I sent Lou Antonelli a short private message saying so, and I reiterated my offer to buy him a beer the next time we’re both at the same convention. Because that’s what I would want if the situation was reversed.
How would the situation be reversed? We're not talking about a mistake, or an accident. We're talking about someone who's a giant sack of crap on purpose. And so the situation isn't ever going to be reversed because Gerrold is not a giant sack of crap.

What Halloween Jack said above: if someone is that toxic and untrustworthy the rest of the community -- perhaps via the proxy of a governing board -- should have a say to decide whether to let them back in. The immediate victim's opinion is worth respecting but it's not command authority. (On didn't-preview; bonehead has addressed this. Gerrold himself doesn't claim to be speaking for the con.)
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:43 AM on August 13, 2015 [10 favorites]


Frankly, I can see why Sasquan wouldn't want to ban him. He's probably not going to go anyway, so why add fuel to the puppy fire.

Because by not banning him, they said that the code of conduct was absolutely worthless. And because this is this year's WorldCon, it means that future WorldCons will have to demonstrate that their CoCs aren't emergency toilet paper.
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:44 AM on August 13, 2015 [18 favorites]


needs christwhatanasshole tag, amirite folks?
posted by entropone at 9:45 AM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Because by not banning him, they said that the code of conduct was absolutely worthless.

Yeah, there is that.
posted by tofu_crouton at 9:45 AM on August 13, 2015


On a related note, any MeFites actually attending Sasquan in a couple of weeks should know we're trying to bang together a meetup on that Friday night.
posted by hippybear at 9:48 AM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Could we make a group list somewhere? I can't keep track of all the garbage people.

Somebody start this Tumblr! I do actually have a "blacklist" tag somewhere on Delicious and Pinboard, so my desire to hold long justified grudges won't be derailed by my own absent-mindedness.

Now I just need an offline version of this filter to pop out at me when I'm wandering around used bookstores, like a terrifying real-life Clippy. "Hey! It looks like you're holding a paperback by Orson Scott Card. Would you really like to encourage the homophobic crazy? Didn't think so." Etc., etc.
posted by nicebookrack at 9:48 AM on August 13, 2015 [15 favorites]


But, I find it curious that I didn't see any mention of why Antonelli seemed to think that Gerrold was "insane and a public danger". Was there a specific event that set Antonelli off? Or is it a long-running feud?

This is why I don't follow the Gamer Gate or Hugo controversies. There's too many damn subplots to keep track of, and I suspect some of these feuds predate either blow up. I'm not saying they aren't important, but when something reaches Zapruder film information density, don't expect the general public to pay much attention to it.
posted by Beholder at 9:52 AM on August 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


(To my last comment, I want to add that I've searched back through the last few pages of Gerrold's tag on File770, and he is a louder anti-Puppy voice than I remember, albeit still one that I'd characterize as moderate.)
posted by thesmallmachine at 9:53 AM on August 13, 2015


If anyone wants to actually make that public listing of sci-fi authors who behave badly, you should do it anonymously, with a brand-new email address and brand-new pseudonym that you don't use anywhere else, and you should probably just ignore any messages sent to any accounts you use for it. Because you can expect a million cries of "thought police" as soon as it gets noticed, and you don't want that spreading to the rest of your online/offline life if someone decides to go all Internet Detective.
posted by skymt at 9:58 AM on August 13, 2015 [17 favorites]


The wording of a lot of codes of conduct do worry me because they often set up situations like this, where a community or subset thereof has to make a judgement call (which is in itself not a bad thing), but then has this very blunt written document that binds them to handle the situation in a way that leaves very little room for subtlety without just ignoring the CoC.

That said, the worldcon people made the absolutely wrong decision here, and I'm glad that there's a CoC for the community to point to.
posted by phooky at 9:59 AM on August 13, 2015


NoxAeternum: "Who cares? The background is meaningless"

I can understand that viewpoint. I realize this is fairly trivial concern and perhaps I should have either made that more clear or maybe even refrained from asking the question. It was more out of curiosity at gauging exactly how unhinged Antonelli is. Like, it seems that Antonelli is accusing Gerrold of inciting violence. I wonder what, in Antonelli's mind, amounts to such incitement -- especially in light of how his own actions in riling up his supporters to go after Cuinn. I'm guessing that it was basically nothing more than basic criticism of the whole Sad Puppies nomination-rigging thing but I'm not connected enough to these circles to have that as just common knowledge.

When I listened to a few minutes of the podcast where Antonelli talks about sending that letter to Spokane PD, it seemed like none of the other people on the podcast found that weird or asked for further clarification. Everyone seemed to know what the beef was about. Moreover, they just sort of move the conversation right along, indicating that they were either approving of Antonelli's actions or, at the very least, found them unremarkable. Giving the other two podcast participants the widest possible benefit of the doubt, the discussion seemed pretty casual, so maybe they thought he was exaggerating for effect or something. But, I suspect that might not be the case.
posted by mhum at 9:59 AM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Looks like John C. Wright is a regular on that podcast, so I'm leaning towards the panel being composed of terrible people.
posted by Artw at 10:05 AM on August 13, 2015 [11 favorites]


But that's the problem, mhum - looking for context is how serial abusers like Antonelli escape facing punishment for their actions. I don't care what the background is - all I care about is did Lou Antonelli violate the standing code of conduct for Sasquan? And since the answer is yes, then the response needs to be to tell him he doesn't get to attend.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:09 AM on August 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


The whole story is gross and makes me want to have even less to do with scifi fandom. Can we just go back to the heyday of Ursula LeGuin and Octavia Butler please?

You're yearning for a time that didn't exist. Societal problems appear worse when they are being addressed because people are actually talking about them and trying to do something about them rather than suffering in silence.
posted by Justinian at 10:09 AM on August 13, 2015 [32 favorites]


You're yearning for a time that didn't exist.

True. A fan once threw a cup of cold vomit on Joe Haldeman back in the 70s, I think.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:11 AM on August 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm willing to let Gerrold take the lead on whether he wants to forgive Antonelli, but when Antonelli went after someone else entirely, that should have been the step too far. Having a problem with one person and going a bit too far but there being no actual consequences to that person... well, okay, if the person says "I forgive you," then great.

But harassing two people, in two entirely different ways? Nopenopenope. At least a one-year ban.
posted by Etrigan at 10:12 AM on August 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


"We were put in the difficult position of having to walk a line between strictly following our harassment policy to the letter and considering the wishes of the aggrieved party."

LOL. I wonder if deciding that the CoC were more like guidelines than actual rules will come back and bite them?


One of the problems with this is that it takes away cover from people who might be victimized; if someone threatened me, I sure as hell wouldn't want them at an event I was attending but I ALSO wouldn't want to get the extra shame/hate/exposure from being "the person who got so-and-so banned" (without anyone acknowledging that in fact their own actions are what got them banned; I think a fear of this applies especially for women who are keeping poor innocent men out of events because of their "hysteria"). One reason to have policies like this is to give EVERYONE cover so if you are the target of harassment and your harasser gets banned from an event you can at least hopefully avoid some part of the blame for that. "Sorry, it's the policy" is the corporate version of "I'm afraid that's just not possible" and it keeps any individual from having to shoulder the entire blame for holding someone responsible for their actions.

Also, if this guy shows up and DOES victimize someone now, is there any sort of liability? You can't say you didn't know he was a threat. At the very least, YOU KNOW HE IS A THREAT! Even if the person he initially victimized has "forgiven" him, that doesn't mean everyone else has to and it doesn't mean he has an unequivocal right to go wherever he wants. You HAVE A POLICY. The policy is designed to protect people! You are not following it! Please follow it! THERE IS A REASON TO HAVE THESE POLICIES!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:17 AM on August 13, 2015 [22 favorites]


Is there some reason this post didn’t include Louis Antonelli’s followup to Cuinn’s accusations? Because it seems very relevant & omitting it puts a particular spin on the whole thing that feels dishonest to me. Here’s the text:
I want to make it clear than when I posted about Carrie Cuinn and Lakeside Circus' decision taking back their decision to publish a story of mine, I meant it as a cautionary tale - don't be a jackass like I was, because there are repercussions. Experience is a hard teacher. I don't begrudge the decision at all. I apologized to David Gerrold because I realized I did something stupid and I made a mistake. But I didn't think I made a mistake in revealing Cuinn's decision. Fact was. I thought people would commend her for it, and I thought there would be some people who would like to give her credit for it.

Now she says she's gotten threats over the revelation. That's not why I posted it! So I'm sorry again, in this case, because it never occurred to me her action would be seen negatively.

She said on her blog:

"He dragged me up in front of his fans and made a target of me. He knew people were defensive and angry on his behalf, and he gave them me as a target. Doing that, he took away my safety, too."

I had no such intention. I mean, I hope I don't have any fans who would do such a thing. They're certainly no friends of mine. As for knowing people were defensive and angry on my behalf - I don't know if she had access to my subconscious, but I certainly didn't know that. I've been feeling pretty stupid and lonely myself.

I don't have any followers in science fiction. A few friends, a few fans - certainly no followers. I literally don't know anyone who would do anything I would tell them to do. I've asked for advice, I've asked for help, but I've never given anybody any orders. If anyone has attacked Cuinn, I'm sorry if I gave them the idea. That didn't even occur to me. I thought people would applaud her action. I really regret what I did in relation to Dave Gerrold and the convention, and I completely understand what Cuinn did. Another whack from the fraternity paddle to keep me straight.

That's it. I don't know what else to say. Except I intend to say a lot less in the future. I'm sorry, Carrie, if that happened because of me, it didn't even occur to me.
You might think the above is dishonest of course, but omitting to mention it entirely (unless I missed the reference?) doesn’t seem right either. Link to post here.
posted by pharm at 10:21 AM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


True. A fan once threw a cup of cold vomit on Joe Haldeman back in the 70s, I think.

Alan Dean Foster in 1980 (at OKon), if Harlan Ellison's account is accurate. Poor guy. Those Star Trek Logbooks must have really infuriated some idiot's sense of canon.
posted by Palindromedary at 10:21 AM on August 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


The whole story is gross and makes me want to have even less to do with scifi fandom. Can we just go back to the heyday of Ursula LeGuin and Octavia Butler please?

That would have been the era of Marion Zimmer Bradley and her husband's apparent sexual abuse of children being an open secret in fandom, actually. Plus a bunch of other open secrets of generally gross nature, and probably a lot of stuff that was never even recorded or bothered with because it was considered just normal. Also, the era of people repeatedly seating Samuel Delany and Octavia Butler (or Delany and Nalo Hopkinson) at the same signing because hey, two Black authors....whose work is totally dissimilar! who have very few overlapping concerns! But why let that stop us?

My feeling about fandom is that in general it has had lots of elements that are pretty good for its time - that is, it's always been a space where there was a progressive/radical push about issues of race, gender or sexuality. Progressive SF fans in 1975 don't look like progressive SF fans now - you go back and read some of the leftmost anti-racist work, for instance, by actual activists (like Marge Piercy) and you encounter stuff that is total facepalm. What happens with these gross men is either that they're just awful humans who would never have been amenable to progressive critique in 1975 or any other time, or maybe they are people whose "progressiveness" stopped at the point where they first got into fandom, and they're all "hey, I like Ursula Le Guin so we don't need other women writers, and I think forcibly sexually assaulting strangers is wrong, so my politics around sexual assault are great - what are you, some kind of crazed feminazi?"

I did think Worldcon was better than this, frankly. It seems obvious that this is banhammer time, for the good of the organization as a whole.
posted by Frowner at 10:22 AM on August 13, 2015 [21 favorites]


I think it's totally fair to criticize this decision, and I also have a lot of compassion for the organizers of WorldCon this year. I imagine none of them knew just what a shitshow they were signing up for, having to deal with all the messes the Puppies made (and flung) and they're probably highly stressed and scared of how the Puppies are going to react and highly aware that their decisions are going to be scrutinized and criticized harshly, no matter what they do. It's a shitty place to be in, and let's not forget who created this situation in the first place.
posted by overglow at 10:22 AM on August 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


they're probably highly stressed and scared of how the Puppies are going to react

This is why, honestly, I think the organizers should belt up and start banning people. Right now, we have a lot of folks who are being frightened into silence by the type of men who don't hesitate to harass and threaten, and those men are only going to stop when there's significant material consequences for at least some of their number - consequences that persist over time and are not rolled back even when they continue with the harassment and threats. Someone has to stand up to bullies in the name of the organization, or this will never end even if it dies down for a year or two. And what kind of chilling effect is it going to have long term? "Oh, we can't have a slate with too many women or people of color on it, because that's a recipe for everyone getting all kinds of threats and harassment; better doctor it up a bit and drop some of the people we'd like to nominate"?
posted by Frowner at 10:27 AM on August 13, 2015 [18 favorites]


The whole story is gross and makes me want to have even less to do with scifi fandom. Can we just go back to the heyday of Ursula LeGuin and Octavia Butler please?

You're yearning for a time that didn't exist. Societal problems appear worse when they are being addressed because people are actually talking about them and trying to do something about them rather than suffering in silence.


At the Worldcon in London I met someone who had been actually groaped by Isaac Asimov...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:31 AM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is there some reason this post didn’t include Louis Antonelli’s followup to Cuinn’s accusations? Because it seems very relevant & omitting it puts a particular spin on the whole thing that feels dishonest to me.

Oh, please. This has been the MO of the Puppies from the beginning: get people upset at one of their targets, sit back and watch the vitriol rain down, and then do the whole "lil ol' me could never have seen this coming!" song and dance. It's not even the first time it happened to Gerrold. It's a tactic borrowed from their pals in actual hate groups like gamergate, who themselves have been part of the Puppies almost from the beginning, and who Correia and Torgerson and VD proudly count among their comrades-in-arms. The question of threats of violence from one of these wingnuts was a question of when, not if, and now they're just running damage control.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:33 AM on August 13, 2015 [23 favorites]


I've been in fandom since 1976 (I guess this makes me a Paleo-Trekker as well), and I'm sure that a subset of us have always been assholes, but it just seems incredibly exhausting these days.

Every. Time. You. Turn. Around. Someone is being abysmal to someone else for any number of reasons, both real and imagined.

I'd always hoped that when we became more accepted and welcomed, we, in turn, would be just as accepting and welcoming.

But no.

It's enough to make me want to take my set of Columbia House VHS tapes and just go hide somewhere.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 10:33 AM on August 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


I agree with you, Frowner. I think banning Antonelli (and others) would be best, in the long term.

And I also agree with pretty much everything you say... Only I'm not sure what you mean by "slate." Slates are a big part of what started this whole mess.
posted by overglow at 10:34 AM on August 13, 2015


This has been the MO of the Puppies from the beginning: get people upset at one of their targets, sit back and watch the vitriol rain down, and then do the whole "lil ol' me could never have seen this coming!" song and dance.

I'm pretty sure that Vox Day could tweet a single name and no other text or graphics, and the Puppies would see it as an incitement to attack.
posted by Etrigan at 10:35 AM on August 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


zombieflanders: Maybe so, but to omit it entirely still seems wrong to me.
posted by pharm at 10:39 AM on August 13, 2015


At the Worldcon in London I met someone who had been actually groaped by Isaac Asimov...

It's finding women (over a certain age since Asimov has been dead for rather some time) who weren't groped by Asimov that's the real trick. Dude was a serial harasser.
posted by Justinian at 10:41 AM on August 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


I find the "double standard of genre apologies" link somewhat disingenuous, in that it strongly implies that because "the genre" (as a monolithic unit) accepted apologies from privileged white male asshole authors for probably racist, sexist reasons, "the genre" should also accept apologies from non-privileged asshole authors to make up for that double standard. No, thanks. Can we please correct this biased discrepancy not by spreading leniency to more assholes, but by bringing the banhammer down on more privileged white male assholes instead?
posted by nicebookrack at 10:42 AM on August 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


"We were put in the difficult position of having to walk a line between strictly following our harassment policy to the letter and considering the wishes of the aggrieved party."

How many wishes do aggrieved parties get? Three?
posted by srboisvert at 10:43 AM on August 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


Now I just need an offline version of this filter to pop out at me when I'm wandering around used bookstores, like a terrifying real-life Clippy.

I'd offer to send you a slap-drone but I sometimes forget which tools and weapons are fatal to you guys. You can take a megajoule or two, right?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:44 AM on August 13, 2015 [16 favorites]


Only I'm not sure what you mean by "slate." Slates are a big part of what started this whole mess.

I mistyped, basically. What I really meant was "people are going to feel that any list of nominations can't contain 'too many' women or people of color or there will be harassment and threats, and that will provide a conscious or unconscious push to nominate accordingly".
posted by Frowner at 10:48 AM on August 13, 2015


Is there some reason this post didn’t include Louis Antonelli’s followup to Cuinn’s accusations?

Ok, I don't know Antonelli at all and don't think I have ever read anything by him.

But if the point he was trying to make with posting Cuinn's email was: "I was an asshole, and these are the consequences. Don't be like me" and he then has to tell people to stop sending Cuinn harassing and threatening messages, and then has to make a post clarifying what point he was trying to make by posting the email...I have to assume either really, really poor skills when it comes to communication and written communication especially (because if the above is the point you are trying to make, then make it rather than posting a piece of correspondence from someone else and including information about who the writer is and where they work) or bad faith. I'm thinking a simple FB post of "That thing I did to Gerrold? That was really stupid, and I continue to suffer the consequences of it. I lost a sale today because of my actions. Learning some lessons over here, hope others can learn from my example." would have gotten the job done in terms of getting that point across. And I would expect a professional writer to be able to get to the point they want to make pretty quickly without a lot of extraneous cruft.

Draw your own conclusions, I guess.
posted by nubs at 10:48 AM on August 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


pharm, Antonelli edited the letter before posting it. He removed the line about the podcast (ie, removed the link showing his bad behavior) and added the magazine name and Cuinn's title. You don't do that unless you are looking to help the mob along. He's a lying fuckhead and should have been banned.
posted by tavella at 10:49 AM on August 13, 2015 [28 favorites]


He was not, in fact, "trying to show there are consequences". He was trying to make sure that Cuinn got harrassed.
posted by tavella at 10:50 AM on August 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


Pretty sure it's mentioned or linked in at least a couple of the linked articles. I could give a shit though as it's essentially meaningless.
posted by Artw at 10:51 AM on August 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


Alternately: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh.

Well said, Brother Maynard.
He who is valiant and pure of spirit may not find the holy grail at a Sci-Fi convention.

It was all good until the Invasion of the Fantasists.
No no, I jest. A bit.
posted by Twang at 10:54 AM on August 13, 2015


This kind of shit is why I don't do convention fandom.
posted by immlass at 10:55 AM on August 13, 2015


It's finding women (over a certain age since Asimov has been dead for rather some time) who weren't groped by Asimov that's the real trick. Dude was a serial harasser.

Reading Asimov's roman à clef Murder at the ABA now is more like reading Sexist Assholes at the Book Convention. Why not have your narrator refer to a female character's breasts one more time, Asimov, it's still hilaaaaaarious.
posted by nicebookrack at 10:55 AM on August 13, 2015


This joker thought it was a good idea to summon cops on high alert to a place where tons of people are wandering around with pretend weapons.

Fuck this guy, and fuck Worldcon for humoring him.
posted by Sauce Trough at 10:58 AM on August 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


The past history of harassment that Martin Wisse refers to seems the more damning thing to me - if each individual incident is seen as a one off by the individuals involved then it’s easy to see how that enables the abuse->apologies->rinse&repeat cycle if the history is not publicly known.
posted by pharm at 10:58 AM on August 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


Another summary:
Hugo nominations closing does not end Puppies Hugo controversy
posted by Artw at 11:14 AM on August 13, 2015


Stories like this make me grateful for maintaining my good standing as an abject failure as a genre writer.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:15 AM on August 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


This has been an interesting read for someone who knows nothing about the subject.

Can someone explain who the Puppies are? Nominees, nominators, fans?
posted by cairnoflore at 11:17 AM on August 13, 2015


I wonder if deciding that the CoC were more like guidelines than actual rules will come back and bite them?

It sure did for WisCon barely a year ago, when it failed to implement its policy against harrassment after complaints that a well-known book editor (who, it turned out, had a well-known history of harrassing female attendees) was called out for his behavior.

I can't believe the people running Sasquan never heard of that mess, so it boggles my mind that their thought process would have come within a country mile of "hey, let's soft-pedal our own policies to the benefit of the one who indulged in bad behavior."
posted by Gelatin at 11:18 AM on August 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


All that "well, the victim asked that we not ban the guy" means is that anyone who is genuinely afraid of their harasser will feel pressured to ask that they not be banned for fear of getting it worse. This has to be an organization decision, and the harassed person has to be required recuse themselves from the decision if they're part of the organization so that as much as possible of the fallout is taken by the organization itself.
posted by Frowner at 11:19 AM on August 13, 2015 [18 favorites]


Can someone explain who the Puppies are? Nominees, nominators, fans?

All 3. They are people who are very upset at the presence of "social justice" and "left leaning" worldviews in SF. They have organized a voting campaign to get reactionary/right-wing SF nominated for this year's awards, at the expense of progressive SF. They are rather openly anti-PoC, anti-women, anti-queer. They are closely related to GamerGate. They are garbage people.

Further reading: 1 2
posted by DGStieber at 11:26 AM on August 13, 2015 [17 favorites]


Yep, the Con should not be making decisions about whether to ban violators of its policies on the basis of what the "aggrieved party" wants. First, because as Frowner says it could lead to additional harassment either to force the victim to "forgive" the victimizer, or by mobs trying to punish the victim for failing to do so. And secondly, because the victim isn't the only aggrieved party. Every member of the Con is part and parcel of the aggrieved party when someone is harassed. Just as criminal cases are The State -v- Defendant rather than The Victim -v- Defendant the rulings of the Con committee should be equivalent to The Con -v- Harasser and not The Victim -v- Harasser.

The harasser isn't punished because the victim wants him or or punished, the harasser is punished because he or she (mostly he) broke the rules and was a giant asshole.
posted by Justinian at 11:27 AM on August 13, 2015 [14 favorites]


You have to feel for the Sasquan folks. All these years trying to get WorldCon to Spokane only to have this shitstorm happen to them.

On the one hand, I hope they give them a future WorldCon as thanks for dealing with this mess. OTOH, I wouldn't be surprised if both sides NEVER wanted to do this again.
posted by dw at 11:31 AM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Can someone explain who the Puppies are? Nominees, nominators, fans?

The epic 2015 Hugo Nominees thread should contain the information you seek. Along with some humourous asides, snide commentary, book recommendations, and many other things.
posted by nubs at 11:31 AM on August 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


pharm: RTFA. The thing you quoted above is the third block quote of Antonelli provided. Not sure what you're on about.
posted by wyndham at 11:34 AM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I may not agree with all of his politics, but David Gerrold wrote "The Trouble With Tribbles" and The Man Who Folded Himself, and that makes him a national treasure who should not be fucked with in this manner. Also, he was nice to me once.
posted by vibrotronica at 11:35 AM on August 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


wyndam: The whole exchange was specifically picked out in the “more inside...”, except for that followup. (Of course, if you’ve already decided that Louis is untrustworthy, then omitting the apology makes sense.)

If he is a serial abuser who has gone through the 'abuse, apologies, rinse&repeat’ cycle many times, as Martin Wisse says, then can someone post references? Because as a fandom outsider I haven’t been exposed to it & the apology to Cuinn seemed direct & to the point to me: None of us are perfect & even genre Gods like Neil Gaiman have managed to accidentally point and shoot their fanbase at people that didn’t deserve the opprobrium they received.
posted by pharm at 11:43 AM on August 13, 2015


Parts of fandom hold a long standing grudge against Gerrold for being 20 years (and counting) late with A Method For Madness, but that's the same sort of entitled anger that's directed at George Martin.

I find it simpler to assume that there will never be a MfM, because Jim (and everyone else) got eaten by a worm, so there's no account to publish.
posted by bonehead at 11:43 AM on August 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


If he is a serial abuser who has gone through the 'abuse, apologies, rinse&repeat’ cycle many times, as Martin Wisse says, then can someone post references?

Try this and the linked information, especially this post by another victim of harassment from Antonelli.
posted by sukeban at 11:50 AM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Alan Dean Foster in 1980 (at OKon), if Harlan Ellison's account is accurate.

So, probably not.

He said, knowing he would probably get an angry email from Ellison.
posted by maxsparber at 11:50 AM on August 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


So I started doing really well with my SFF writing a few years ago, and it's basically how I make my living now. I live in Seattle, so going to WorldCon (for the first time) seemed like a no-brainer.

It really bothers me that after teaching middle school & high school for 10 years and being a LARPer for something like 20 years, I'm starting to half-expect that WorldCon may turn into the biggest shitshow I've ever been part of.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:53 AM on August 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


I know of at least one mefite (who will probably make themselves if they want to) who has a table there Selling a book that is all the things the puppies despise and who is therefore expecting to completely sell out.
posted by Artw at 11:58 AM on August 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Really, if you're going to Spokane for the event, please look at the IRL page and contribute suggestions.

Being with MeFites IRL is one of the best things.
posted by hippybear at 12:12 PM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


We already had some IRL/Worldcon crossover at the Stross pub event, where a good time was had by all.

I had to leave early but I am assuming the Mefites drank everyone else under the table, as that's how we roll in Seattle.
posted by Artw at 12:15 PM on August 13, 2015


I am the person artw mentioned a couple comments above. Yep. Got me a booth, got me a complicated comic about a lesbian robot with reality problems. And a boothmate who has a comic about a little girl and her unicorn friend. We are not exactly happy over the whole Sad Puppy thing but are pretty sure it's going to help non-Puppy Worldcon goers to decide to support lady-friendly stuff with their wallets.
posted by egypturnash at 12:22 PM on August 13, 2015 [30 favorites]


So there is at least some history then :(

(Looking forward to Volume III egypturnash ! )
posted by pharm at 12:30 PM on August 13, 2015


Looks like Antonelli is scheduled for several panels at Worldcon in addition to an autograph signing alongside John Scalzi. I wonder if one could cosplay a Swat Team .....
posted by AGameOfMoans at 12:35 PM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Peacebands, people, peacebands.
posted by Artw at 12:41 PM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Dreaming About Other Worlds:
My one personal brush with Antonelli took place after I opined on Twitter that the reason many people don't like the authors who form the core of the Sad Puppy1 group is that they are assholes, including him in the bunch. (I might add that Antonelli was placed in this company after he responded to being banned from Deidre Saoirse Moen's blog by suggesting she was a Nazi). He reacted to my tweet by confirming that he is, in fact, an asshole. Despite my tweeting on my personal twitter account, Antonelli took it upon himself to track down my work e-mail and phone number, first e-mailing a poorly thought out threat to come down to my workplace and do something or other, and then telephoning my office to confirm I was employed there.
posted by Artw at 12:45 PM on August 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


So, probably not.

Well, as Foster is on the record as having been there, and the info on the incident comes from a letter written by Foster to Ellison and published decades ago, I suspect we would have heard by now if this was some silly story Ellison made out of whole cloth.

Unless you're unable to believe members of the sci-fi community could behave so badly, which would be rather amusing considering the thread we're in.
posted by Palindromedary at 12:55 PM on August 13, 2015


Yeah, Antonelli deserves a lifetime blanket ban from cons.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:55 PM on August 13, 2015


The think about people like Antonelli is they are insane - from my standpoint anyway - and, more importantly, will suck time out of your life while engaged in whatever battle they've chosen to start. They are failures in real life and their only true ability is to do obnoxious things to get attention and suck time and life out of others. Pig, mud-wrestling, likes it and all that. It's best to interact with them as little as possible.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 12:55 PM on August 13, 2015


As I mentioned in the last thread, a more than complete and exhaustive take on this can be found on File770. In this case, read the comments. They are well moderated. (And Ursula Vernon and Kurt Busiek are frequent commenters there, which makes for interesting reading.)

I was going to put in the link that Artw just did, but snoozing loosing, etc. What was interesting is that Antonelli really did not understand why what he did was not just problematic but wrong. The exchange starts here.

This is not irregular behavior from this man. I am not trying to play online shrink here, but there seems to be a disconnect in his mind about whether other people are really human beings or just spirits of his imagination to be poked as he likes.

There's another RP member who I will not name because his constant googling for himself causes him to show up whenever you post his name who has challenged online commentators to fights and talked about trying to find legal ways to harm someone.

My take is that these are men came of age in a time that promised that by being mediocre, white, male and coming from a middle class background or greater, they would inherit the world. Instead they find themselves judged not by the position they deserve, but by the quality of their work. It has been found lacking (and even when they are bestselling authors, the literary establishment has refused to recognize the greatness of their works). This infuriates them, as they are being denied their birthright. They lash out in anyway they can, not understanding why this actually causes them more problems. They have a group of supporters, but it is a definite minority of fans. They know they have a silent majority behind them (Jo Walton's website is currently throwing virus warnings at my computer, so this is an alternate link), they have a right to greatness based on their place of birth. I pity them, I am wary of them and I wish they were the last of their kind.
posted by Hactar at 1:06 PM on August 13, 2015 [15 favorites]


Twitter is faster, but File770 is better for running commentary - I've used them for links each time the conversation has gone into Facebook comments and the like.
posted by Artw at 1:16 PM on August 13, 2015


Yeah, anyone thinking fandom was super-awesome in the old days and it's just bad now should read Harlan Ellison's "Xenogenesis" essay from... 1992, I think it was?
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 1:36 PM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I find it simpler to assume that there will never be a MfM

What, NO. I'm sure it's just around the corner. Soon.

I still laugh at the Baby Cooper Dollar Bill.
posted by Justinian at 1:37 PM on August 13, 2015


It's not just A Method for Madness, either, we're still waiting anxiously for A Time for Treason.
posted by Justinian at 1:38 PM on August 13, 2015


Well, there's a perfectly good reason things like this happen, you know...

Well...

Umm...

Errrr...

I got nuthin'.

(And my anger at a certain summer-smelling author is that he is spending time pimping his work instead of, ummm, working...)
posted by Samizdata at 1:45 PM on August 13, 2015




Interesting. I was Facebook friends with Mr. Gerrold for a bit, but we got into an argument and I left, due to his endless posting of dogmatic, aggressive and poorly informed political stuff. As an elder and someone I like reading, I wanted to talk him down, "Can we leave it as both sides having legitimate beefs?", but he would end up always, "Group X is uniquely evil and you're just wrong if you don't see it as black and white."

Still like his writing though.

Never even heard of the other guy, who should probably be in jail - SWATting someone is risking their life.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 2:01 PM on August 13, 2015


Never mind trying to SWAT someone at a con is endangering the other attendees.
posted by Zalzidrax at 2:35 PM on August 13, 2015


Yes, David Gerrold wrote "The Trouble With Tribbles", which gives me justification to rename the Puppies as the PREDATOR TRIBBLES (because as a Dog Person, their use of the term was essentially libelous to Puppies, even Rabid ones).

trying to SWAT someone at a con is endangering the other attendees.
And will effectively reduce the priority the local police place on any call coming from the con. So Antonelli would be wise to pay for personal bodyguards if he does show up there. I think any physical harm to Antonelli would be terrible and ultimately empowering for Predator Tribbles like him, but any serious SF reader will understand it's a good example of Irony.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:43 PM on August 13, 2015


> Because as a fandom outsider I haven’t been exposed to it & the apology to Cuinn seemed direct & to the point to me: None of us are perfect

Jesus, people have been explaining to you over and over again why it's bullshit, and you seem bound and determined to insist that the asshole be given every conceivable benefit of the doubt. It's starting to seem a bit disingenuous.
posted by languagehat at 3:11 PM on August 13, 2015 [16 favorites]


None of us are perfect. We all make mistakes. Who hasn't tried to direct hostile police attention on people they happen to not like, after all? Everyone's done it!

Hamburgers aside, the Puppies are going to be shitting up fandom for years to come; this kind of enabling spineless response by the large cons practically guarantees it.
posted by Drastic at 3:14 PM on August 13, 2015 [11 favorites]


Freedom of speech doesn't include threats and harassment . Seeing this guy and / or "puppies" getting prosecuted and serving time would give me warm fuzzies. It's not ok to say and do stuff online that you wouldn't say or do in real life . I wouldn't even post a mildly rude YouTube comment. I don't know what's wrong with people.
posted by freecellwizard at 3:20 PM on August 13, 2015


Actually, David Gerrold has recently stated that the next Chtorr book will be finished in about a month.

Hahah, oh Lucy. I'm sure I'll kick that football this time!
posted by Justinian at 3:31 PM on August 13, 2015 [3 favorites]




> the Puppies are going to be shitting up fandom for years to come;

I have found over the years that, more times than not, the kind of reactionary push-back that the sad/rabid puppies engage in often backfires by shining a huge spotlight on something loathsome so that more people become aware of it and begin to reject it.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 3:46 PM on August 13, 2015


citation needed, AGameOfMoans. I can't think of a single pop culture subculture where that has really turned out for the better.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:02 PM on August 13, 2015


How's the SFWA doing these days?

(Of course the SFWA may have improved itself by exporting all its troubles to WorldCon)
posted by Artw at 4:04 PM on August 13, 2015


Jesus, people have been explaining to you over and over again why it's bullshit, and you seem bound and determined to insist that the asshole be given every conceivable benefit of the doubt. It's starting to seem a bit disingenuous.

He would like to have a civil conversation about these statements. Would you mind showing him any evidence of any negative thing any sea...Lou Antonelli has ever done to anyone?
posted by zombieflanders at 4:23 PM on August 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


In addition, please ignore any lingering, ammoniac fecal odours as they are not germane to these perfectly reasonable questions.
posted by bonehead at 4:28 PM on August 13, 2015


How's the SFWA doing these days?

Got my membership just this April. Seems to be doing quite nicely. I have no clue how many people left in recent years given the repeated clusterfucks of sexism & whatnot, but so far it's a pretty warm and welcoming place. Admittedly just about all those faces on the message boards are white faces, but that's not exclusive to SFWA--and I see a LOT of SFWA voices advocating diversity.

Also, the current president is Cat Rambo, and as far as I can tell she's made of awesome.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:36 PM on August 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


>citation needed, AGameOfMoans.

Apartheid, segregation, the events that transpired prior to Stonewall in New York, Arab Summer and most recently Donald Trump - eventually those who preach the philosophy of self-centerdness and hate always overplay their hand and the resulting backlash makes the world just a bit of a better place. Slowly. But surely.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 4:41 PM on August 13, 2015


Arab Summer

Yeah.... yeah.... no.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 4:48 PM on August 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Arab Summer, meaning an example of a positive reaction to an overly oppressive agenda. So yes.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 5:40 PM on August 13, 2015


Cat Rambo is indeed an awesome person.
posted by Artw at 5:42 PM on August 13, 2015


OK Arab Spring - one of those darn seasons ;)
posted by AGameOfMoans at 5:43 PM on August 13, 2015


God, I can't wait for this to be over.

I know a guy from my area going this year and when he said it, I had to restrain myself from saying NOOOOOOOOO DON'T GOOOOOOOO BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN. Because it's not polite to say otherwise to a fan's face and he probably already paid for everything, but.... this is gonna be a blooming shitshow.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:07 PM on August 13, 2015


London was apparently fine, despite having a bunch of similar garbage leading up to it.
posted by Artw at 7:32 PM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's a clusterfuck. It's a clusterfuck of epic proportions.

And what I love is, of course, this is the bid that fandom chose out of three.

There was the dynamic overseas bid that threw great parties and threw this big con every year and could clearly handle it, but it was So Far Away and they spoke this Strange Language: Helsinki.

And then there was these kids who were going to energize things and were putting out the most amazing posters I'd seen in a long time. They had ideas and they were going to be inclusive, but they were going to Change Things and worse, they were going to do at Disney and we can't have that: Orlando.

And then there was the third bid, run by the same old farts, who had to scrambled to find a city, and they wanted Seattle, but Seattle wants *nothing* to do with Fandom, so they go as close as they could. They tried for Portland, but Portland doesn't have the facilities! So they went for the next worst thing. And, alas for everybody, they got it: Spokane

So. The Foreigners. The Kids Bringing Change, and C-List Connrunners in a Nowhere City.

And Fandom picked the C-List! And it wasn't even close!

So, you know? Fandom *deserves exactly what its getting here.* I would have taken my sympathy out and shot it, except my sympathy agrees with me and would have handed me the ammo and told me to shoot again.

Fandom *voted for this shit*. Fandom could have had Mickey Sprinkles or Finnish Alcohol instead. Nope. This is what fandom voted for, and this is what fandom got.

Fandom can eat it, without Mickey sprinkles, without Finnish alcohol. And when the puppies decided to poop on top of it? That, my friends? That was comedy. Because as any doctoral candidate in the sciences knows, you can pile it higher and deeper.

And I'll bet you dollars to donuts they'll just vote for the same idiots to run the same damn thing in DC in two year because FANDOM.

And people wonder I got the hell out. Because, well, FANDOM. I can cope with a lot of shit, but damn, rank incompetence? I am one with the nopealope.
posted by eriko at 7:32 PM on August 13, 2015 [10 favorites]


Um, who told them Spokane was a substitute for Seattle or Portland? Weird.

Both support a variety of decent sized conventions, BTW.
posted by Artw at 7:36 PM on August 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


>Fandom *voted for this shit*. Fandom could have had Mickey Sprinkles or Finnish Alcohol instead.

Have you looked at Fandom lately?
ComicCons aside, fandom is like 55+ years old and is, as it always has been, far more interested in the latest flavor of Doritos rather than Finnish alcohol (yum!). Fandom does not want to go to Finland. It could never afford the expense. Fandom is insular and wants something safe and known. Fandom wants Adventures that it can read - not actually experienced.

I haven't liked a regular con in a long time now - I find them boring and predictable. I go to Worldcons to do a bit of schmoozing and this one might possible bit less predictable. Those horridly weird old-timey dances, the inevitable ice cream social (which involves copious amounts of ice cream and very little socializing) , the uninteresting panels populated by bored looking panelists who look and act like they got pulled into this at the last minute, the dismal looking dealer rooms that are a sad shadow of what used to be. Cons have become more ritual than fun. It's like going to a religious holiday service that happens every year and you KNOW what's going to happen each and every time.

Frankly, loathsome as they are, the Puppy contingent, may be the most interesting thing I've seen at a con in years.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 8:23 PM on August 13, 2015


> Dreaming About Other Worlds

That this blogger quotes Antonelli in Comic Sans and everyone else in an italic of the blog's default sans-serif is a nice touch.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:49 PM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Not that the particular con niche of comics-and-nerd-shit is utterly beyond reproach, but these days I generally feel pretty good about it - always a lot of young people, and they generally seem pretty good natured and right minded about things, and there's usually even good panels on those books-without-pictures things.
posted by Artw at 9:14 PM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


And then there was the third bid, run by the same old farts, who had to scrambled to find a city, and they wanted Seattle, but Seattle wants *nothing* to do with Fandom

You mean Seattle, home of Norwescon and Sakura-Con and PAX Prime? and Emerald City Comi-Con? And a Science Fiction Hall of Fame?

As it came to me, Norwescon is a spring event that would not only have to move to the summer but also move to a larger venue than the Doubletree by the airport, and their options would be obscenely expensive. Their best option would be the convention center, which is booked out years in advance.

They tried for Portland, but Portland doesn't have the facilities!

That's patently false. The OCC is plenty big enough (2x the size of Spokane's in exhibition space) and connected to the hotels downtown via light rail. But Portland is expensive. Spokane isn't. I mean, when you're the only thing in town, you're treated like royalty.
posted by dw at 9:21 PM on August 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also GeekGirlCon.

Spokane is just a weird place to have a con by conparison.

(Sorry Spokanites!)
posted by Artw at 9:26 PM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


They did manage to get rid of Woss quick enough for potential thought crime double quick

Different convention. As you should know, Bob, each Worldcon is run by a different concom and organisation so what happens at one does not automagically carry over to the next.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:45 AM on August 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Fuck people.

Just quietly Punk rock has a song for you.

Man, the more I learn about "FANDOM" the more I want to not be any part of it.

I did one Con, it was fine. But never again.
posted by Mezentian at 3:49 AM on August 14, 2015


London was apparently fine, despite having a bunch of similar garbage leading up to it.

London was great, largely because the concom, woss twoubles set aside, by and large got it. They had a good anti-harassment policy with the infrastructure in place to back it up, but as important, the kind of fan that traveled to London was more likely to be left leaning/in favour of social justice because of course so many more European fans could afford to go than could go to Spokane this year.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:42 AM on August 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Not that the particular con niche of comics-and-nerd-shit is utterly beyond reproach, but these days I generally feel pretty good about it - always a lot of young people, and they generally seem pretty good natured and right minded about things, and there's usually even good panels on those books-without-pictures things.

Nine Worlds this weekend was like that as well, utterly happy for anybody to do their thing and not judge you for it, oodles and oodles of interesting programming and deeply infused with social justice concerns. No stupid artificial bounderies between book and media fandom either.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:47 AM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Next year is Kansas City, so a bit more cosmopolitan?
posted by Artw at 6:13 AM on August 14, 2015


It was more out of curiosity at gauging exactly how unhinged Antonelli is.

I've been following the Hugos dispute closely on File 770 since it began. A dispute sparked by right-wing crybabies feeling improperly excluded from winning awards has grown into a persecution complex so massive that the author Brad Torgersen, the organizer of the Sad Puppies Hugo slate, just wrote, "If they could clap us in shackles, put us into the boxcars, and send us to the icy wastes to die, they would do it in a heartbeat."

Antonelli, one of the Hugo nominees put on the ballot by the Puppies bloc-voting stunt, seems to have taken this kind of rhetoric to heart more than most. He's voiced fears multiple times of violence at Worldcon, never quoting anything that would make a rational person believe it's a realistic fear.

As a Worldcon supporting member for six years, I think it was a mistake for Sasquan to declare he was guilty of harassment that justified a ban and then claim David Gerrold's wishes as the reason to let him off the hook. Antonelli's baseless attempt to get police to investigate the con's guest of honor for incitement to violence should have been enough for the con to decide he wasn't welcome.

There's a sad history in SF of conventions ignoring harassing, abusive or criminal behavior by attendees and even pros. The lesson to draw from that today is to err on the side of caution.
posted by rcade at 6:19 AM on August 14, 2015 [10 favorites]


Man, the more I learn about "FANDOM" the more I want to not be any part of it.

That would be your loss. Most of fandom is great fun, if your interests skew properly nerd. Most of the people engaged in the Hugos takeover don't value fandom, don't attend Worldcon and don't participate regularly in any part of fandom. Puppies instigator Theodore Beale has declared his goal is to "burn down the Hugos." The author who started the Puppies, Larry Correia, hates Worldcon so much he declared it is "on my list of places to visit, right after Mordor and Hell."

Those of us in SF fandom enjoying ourselves voting in the Hugos and supporting the con were dragged into this fight by angry culture warriors. We'd gladly be rid of it, but when an outside group decides that the trouble with SF is that it isn't more like GamerGate, good luck getting those conflict-driven putzes to go away.
posted by rcade at 6:30 AM on August 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


A dispute sparked by right-wing crybabies feeling improperly excluded from winning awards has grown into a persecution complex so massive that the author Brad Torgersen, the organizer of the Sad Puppies Hugo slate, just wrote, "If they could clap us in shackles, put us into the boxcars, and send us to the icy wastes to die, they would do it in a heartbeat."

People tend to believe that other people think the way they do, which is the scariest part of all this for me.
posted by Etrigan at 6:47 AM on August 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


he declared it is "on my list of places to visit, right after Mordor and Hell."

To be fair, people who like imagining their enemies being tortured often enjoy visiting Hell, at least in their imaginations (there is a whole literature of this), so maybe Correia really likes WorldCon (and also has a Nazgul fetish or something).
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:53 AM on August 14, 2015


Most of fandom is great fun, if your interests skew properly nerd

I find your lack of faith.... you know, just your opinion man.
posted by Mezentian at 7:21 AM on August 14, 2015


"If they could clap us in shackles, put us into the boxcars, and send us to the icy wastes to die, they would do it in a heartbeat."

I think most people would settle for them not rigging the Hugo's and not getting to use various institutions of SF Fandom as a personal platform for awfulness.
posted by Artw at 7:29 AM on August 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


Oh, and them not pulling any GamerGate bullshit when their shit gets called on it.

It's a pretty minimal set of demands really. Maybe we should step up to the boxcar thing and negotiate them down from there?
posted by Artw at 7:31 AM on August 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


grown into a persecution complex so massive that the author Brad Torgersen, the organizer of the Sad Puppies Hugo slate, just wrote, "If they could clap us in shackles, put us into the boxcars, and send us to the icy wastes to die, they would do it in a heartbeat."

TBH, I dunno that anything has grown - the right wing, especially the religious right (and Torgersen is a member of that troupe, make no mistake), has been spouting this kind of paranoid persecuted gibberish for decades. To have this kind of thing appear in the world of SF might be new, but otherwise Brad's really just channeling Pat Robertson on The 700 Club back in the Clinton years.
posted by soundguy99 at 7:37 AM on August 14, 2015 [2 favorites]




"If they could clap us in shackles, put us into the boxcars, and send us to the icy wastes to die, they would do it in a heartbeat."

Dude.... History.
The boxcars didn't go to the icy wastes where Drzzit was exiled.
posted by Mezentian at 8:34 AM on August 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Torgersen (a sad puppy leader and major force behind Lou Antonelli's nomination) is a case study in contradiction. I looked him up a bit because this thread made me curious. Torgersen is a devout Mormon and talks a good talk about being good stewards (planet, marriages, etc) and of his devotion to his god. He also talks a good bit about his current military career (he appears to be a weekend warrior) and how he is going out there to fight (and presumably)kill ISIS. He also talks about how liberals who have convictions about making the world a better place should also put their money where their mouth is and also sign up to fight (and presumably kill) ISIS.

How one squares that all up in one's mind is beyond my understanding but I can see how it would lead to insanity. Also - can someone please get the Mormon Church out of my Science Fiction?
posted by AGameOfMoans at 9:58 AM on August 14, 2015


Possibly the honest covers they are always blathering on about could include an indication on that front? Maybe scientologists too? Or possibly covers should have to bear a notice if the book contains some weak-ass nonsensical religious allegory so we can avoid John C. Wright as well?
posted by Artw at 10:03 AM on August 14, 2015


Weak-ass nonsensical religious allegory is half of Western Literature.
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:18 AM on August 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm picturing a snarling puppy face and a crying puppy face, a la the classical theater comedy-drama mask designs.
posted by Drastic at 10:21 AM on August 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


That's patently false. The OCC is plenty big enough (2x the size of Spokane's in exhibition space) and connected to the hotels downtown via light rail. But Portland is expensive.

When a conrunner/SMOF says "Has the facilities", this means "Has the space and hotels at the right time, in a useful amount and configuration, at an acceptable price. $250 US/night hotels are not acceptable to fandom." Business conventions can charge that price because companies are willing to pay that.

Too expensive would mean Portland would not have the facilities. Why they chose Spokane? That I do not know, but to me, that would have made it a never-bid. But they bid it and won. So, hey, enjoy. I won't be there.

UK Worldcons were in Brighton and Glasgow because London was way too expensive until the Docklands buildout happened. Then facilities costs dropped to the point where there was enough space and hotels in one space at a workable cost to make a London site work.

Next year is Kansas City, so a bit more cosmopolitan?

Umm. Let's just say "no" and leave it at that. But the barbecue is truly amazing, and if you like baseball, the Kansas City Royals will probably still be a very good team next year. But if you're looking for something like London or Chicago or Seattle, no, no it's not.

The WWI memorial is pretty compelling, though, if you are of a historical mind.
posted by eriko at 11:03 AM on August 14, 2015


I'm guess the self limiting size is a big factor in their cost-sensitivity. Everything else we've mentioned is probably an order of magnitude bigger.
posted by Artw at 11:12 AM on August 14, 2015


eriko & AGameOfMoans, Worldcon fandom has another chance this year to choose Finnish Alcohol, and Helsinki in 2017. The race for 2015 was in fact rather close (we lost by 35 votes out of 1348, in the end), and we figured we'd try again. We have not given up on Fandom, and we think we've got a good shot of bringing the Worldcon here.

But not (only) because we can throw a good party, and not (only) because we have good relations with purveyors of adult beverages, but because Fandom is here already. It's just Finnish fandom, and slowly, something that might even be called European fandom. It's fandom that isn't American, but it's still fandom. And hopefully, soon, a little more Worldcon fandom.
posted by eemeli at 12:22 PM on August 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


You know, if it involved going to Finland, I might actually go to Worldcon. Finland! Expensive, yeah; not something I'd be able to do at the drop of a hat. But I could visit Sweden and Denmark as well, and that seems like a total deal. Why wouldn't one want to go to Finland? (I mean, I'm sympathetic about the expense, but American fans presumably expect Worldcon to be held elsewhere in the world sometimes, what with the name and all, so it seems like either resigning oneself to missing it some years or resigning oneself to an expensive trip.)
posted by Frowner at 12:43 PM on August 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


but American fans presumably expect Worldcon to be held elsewhere in the world sometimes

Indeed — when a non-North American group wins a WorldCon bid, there is provision in the WSFS rules to select a host for a NASFiC (North American Science Fiction Convention) to run the same year as that WorldCon (but not, of course, directly opposite it).

The last NASFiC was held in 2014 in Detroit — and was excellent. I'm just sorry that I couldn't also go to LonCon that year.
posted by metaquarry at 2:13 PM on August 14, 2015


Here's an interesting poll about how people expect the Hugo results to turn out: http://amazingstoriesmag.com/2015/08/2015-the-hugoing/
posted by overglow at 11:18 AM on August 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think there's about a week until the more interesting poll...
posted by Artw at 2:58 PM on August 15, 2015 [3 favorites]




Hah. One of the ConCom's reasons for not-disciplining Antonelli was that he was nominated for a Hugo. Now we know why the Puppets were so eager to get nominations; it wasn't a literary thing at all ...
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:46 PM on August 15, 2015


I'm really gonna have to knuckle down and write my science fiction masterpiece so I can turn down the Hugo with as much fuss as possible (... well finally accept it Brassed Off style)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:57 AM on August 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: You are making words meaningless.
posted by homunculus at 10:30 AM on August 16, 2015




The Spokane hate in this thread is strong and based on the opinions of a lot of people who have never been here or who haven't been here in over a decade.

It's akin to the flyover-country mockery that is a staple of MetaFilter. It's tiresome and thinking people would serve themselves well to get beyond it.

Downtown Spokane has revitalized itself greatly in the 12 years I've lived here, and it's awash with great restaurants and galleries. The hotel situation has never been better, especially for conventions with a pretty large brand new hotel having been completed earlier this year that is connected to the convention center via a skywalk (great for wintertime conventions). Spokane has hosted international figure skating championships and NCAA playoffs and gigantic national conventions for years now. There's a very active brewpub and distillery culture here that has grown up over the past while, and even just wandering around downtown looking at historic Spokane has rewards to offer.

If you're going to a convention, then what are you really looking for, anyway? Do you plan to actually leave the convention and explore the city in which it is hosted much at all? Spokane has plenty that can be explored on foot from anywhere within the downtown area, and other attractions that are a short drive or bus ride away with easy return to the convention. If you're more mobile than that, there's a lot going on for easy day trips to very wonderful natural settings waiting to be explored.

I'm not going to pretend that Spokane is nearly as interesting a city as Portland or Seattle... I go to both of those cities regularly for concerts, and am familiar with the allure of both of them in their individual ways. But don't count out Spokane out of prejudice or blindness. It's got a lot going on, and I love living here, and don't plan on living anywhere else.
posted by hippybear at 3:52 PM on August 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


GRRM on the Puppies and Worldcon: Winning and Losing
posted by homunculus at 4:10 PM on August 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think I'm going to stop reading anything published after about 1980. I'm probably going to miss out on some great stuff but it feels like, these days, buying a book is a lot like buying something with leather in it: you are contributing to a sick and immoral industry.
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:33 PM on August 16, 2015


Um, okay.

???????
posted by Artw at 6:27 PM on August 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've been to Spokane a couple of times, it's okay? I guess? They have a cable car ride? It just seems a weird second choice compared to the other two cities.

TBH probably what would happen if they held it in Seattle is the con would be held downtown and everyone would stay close to it, as I've seen happen with other cons, which is a shame as it's the single most boring part of Seattle.
posted by Artw at 6:32 PM on August 16, 2015


Data, books, and bias
posted by Artw at 10:39 PM on August 16, 2015


Sad Puppies, Rabid Chauvinists: Will Raging White Guys Succeed in Hijacking Sci-Fi’s Biggest Awards?

A good read on the history of all this, but I found the final paragraph way overblown:

"What’s certain, however, is that this year’s Hugo voters will decide if the future being explored by speculative fiction has room for all of us, or if those worlds and sagas yet undreamt should be stripped of all resonance, significance, and dignity until nothing is left but the high-pitched cries of a lone white man, squealing in vindictive delight as his space laser makes ’splosions."

The Hugos will not decide that; that point will be decided by the authors and audience of speculative fiction. The Puppies might sweep these Hugos and continue to game them for the future - all that will do is make the Hugos the award of the white man, squealing in vindictive delight. Speculative fiction has always been about exploring bigger issues and questions; it will step past the Puppies if it needs to.

I would suggest changing the name of the award to the "Dicks" if the Puppies succeed, but that seems unnecessarily unkind to Phillip K. Dick, who may have been one of the most prescient writers SF has had.
posted by nubs at 7:57 AM on August 17, 2015


Two or three years of this and the awards will become meaningless and people will disregard them and move on to other awards. It'll be a bit of a loss, particularly for short fiction, but nothing fatal. And TBH if short fiction categories weren't already in shoddy state there's no way the puppies could have got a toe hold anyway, so maybe it should all be wrapped up.

As for WorldCon, it'll probably rumble on as a weird cliquey thing without the Hugos, but people will pay way less attention to it. More and more the heat will be at the generalist cons, if it isn't there already.

The puppies will of course declare victory and, having killed off their host, promptly perish or be absorbed into some other dumb right wing movement.
posted by Artw at 8:12 AM on August 17, 2015


If the puppies don't win, I for one am not looking forward to the resulting clusterfuck of them screaming about vote fraud.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:00 AM on August 17, 2015


(of course, in their mind, it could never possibly be vote fraud if the puppes *won*, I'm sure)
posted by rmd1023 at 9:01 AM on August 17, 2015


They've made noises along the lines of No Award being a victory.
posted by Artw at 9:06 AM on August 17, 2015


I'm pretty sure the Puppy mindset allows for them to "win" no matter the outcome of the vote.

1. Puppies nominees win Hugos: We won! Obviously, people love this type of SF! We were right! Let's step up the campaign, because obviously we need to drive the horrible SJW influence out of fandom and they are going to organize now!

2. No award in most categories: We won! We proved there is a SJW conspiracy because it showed up to vote us down! But none of their precious works won either! We better step up the campaign, because their conspiracy is still able to hijack the awards!

3. Non-Puppy works win: We won! Despite "our" works being the majority in most of the categories, it was SJW works that we didn't nominate that got Hugos. We proved there is a SJW conspiracy! We're victims again - let's get them next year, better step up the campaign!
posted by nubs at 9:08 AM on August 17, 2015 [7 favorites]


There's basically not much profit in caring what the fuck they think or claim to think about anything. If they evaporated tomorrow the problem of the Hugo Award's gamability and WorldCon's weakness on harassment would remain and need to be addressed.
posted by Artw at 9:13 AM on August 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think I'm more cheesed about the Worldcon decision regarding the harassment case than anything else at this point. The Hugos are at kind of a wait-and-see moment, I think - see what happens with the awards and proposed rule changes this year, because it's going to be a 2-3 year process to see what really happens with the Hugos.
posted by nubs at 9:15 AM on August 17, 2015 [1 favorite]




George Martin has put up his thoughts on the various slates and factions, and done some handicapping on how he thinks that might play out. The first three of those entries, the two on Handycapping and "Worldcon: Winning and Losing", I found pretty informative about the whole affair.
posted by bonehead at 9:28 AM on August 17, 2015


Artw, that link to the Pre-Sasquan report probably has the best quote that sums up my feelings on the entire affair at this point:

"I welcome change because Innovation is preferable to stagnation."
posted by nubs at 9:39 AM on August 17, 2015




I was at the preliminary Word Science Fiction Society business meeting, which finished just now. As I had expected, there were attempts to immediately quash the proposals to amend the Hugo nomination rules to reduce the chances of voting slates (Puppy or otherwise) succeeding.

Those attempts failed, so we're in for several more days of debate with a final vote on Sunday (Sunday being chosen in large part because the Hugo awards will be given out on Saturday, and hopefully the dataset of anonymized nomination ballots for 2015 will be released by then as well).
posted by metaquarry at 1:11 PM on August 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


Was your general feel that the attempted quashing was down to people liking the slates or people feeling that if they just ignored the slates they would go away?
posted by Artw at 2:01 PM on August 20, 2015


Nobody openly declared that they think slates or the Puppies are just fine, although I question the motives of a couple of the folks who made motions to keep kicking the can down the road. I also heard a fair amount of... choice... commentary from a Puppy-supporter sitting behind me.

More substantively, some folks argued that we can't make a social problem in fandom go away via WSFS legislation, while others seemed to want to wait and see if this year's mess was a one-time aberration. One person suggested that it was sufficient to make the nominating ballot include a statement that (to put it snarkily) nominators pinky-swear to have read or viewed everything they nominate. There was also a discussion about whether it was reasonable to debate the "E Pluribus Hugo" proposal prior to the 2015 nominating data becoming available.

The proposals to change the Hugo nomination process are amendments to the WSFS bylaws, and as such any that get accepted during Sasquan would, at minimum, have to be ratified by the next year's Worldcon. It may take even longer than that, as another proposed change accepted last year and up for ratification this year would add a requirement for a further ratification by popular vote at the second Worldcon following the one where a proposal gets accepted.

I voted to keep the proposals alive so that they can be discussed and voted upon. I have concerns about whether the Hugos can survive one or two more years of Puppy shenanigans; further delaying the attempt to avoid gaming of the nominations could be disastrous.
posted by metaquarry at 2:46 PM on August 20, 2015 [8 favorites]


Good info!

/grumbles bitterly about the "one time abberation" already having happened two years running, three if you count the dry run...
posted by Artw at 5:59 PM on August 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


Found on the freebie table.
posted by Artw at 8:14 PM on August 20, 2015


Jesus, that's disgusting. What's wrong with these people??
posted by languagehat at 6:04 AM on August 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


What's wrong with these people??

A grotesque sense of entitlement?
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:40 AM on August 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Plus healthy doses of plain old bigotry. The puppies are almost entirely gamergaters (and all that implies) with publishing contracts, Correia and Torgersen included.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:44 AM on August 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


The theory that the terrible behaviour is restricted to the Internet is taking a few knocks here.
posted by Artw at 6:44 AM on August 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Jesus, that's disgusting. What's wrong with these people??

Twitter is blocked at work. What's the image of?
posted by suelac at 8:21 AM on August 21, 2015


Someone is printing a message and leaving it at the tables of female authors. It says:
To: [NAME]
Re: SFWA Membership

Dear [NAME],

First, congratulations on your recent sales! We here at SFWA are always happy to see the professional success of authors.

It should be noted, however, that one or more of the markets you listed are under review for desirability issues.

Should your sales be judged valid, I'd appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to answer some questions to help us properly determine the true quality and merits of your work:
1. What does your genitalia look like?
2. I low do you feel about what your genitalia looks like?
3. Have you ever changed your genitalia?
4. If you responded “No” to question 3, are you planning, or have you ever planned to change your genitalia?
5. When you are naked in bed with another person, what does their genitalia look like?
6. Of the major characters in your stories, how many have genitalia different than yours?
7. Have you ever presented a character of the LGBTQQIABDSMBFDVIPRSVPRESPECTEIEIO community as an antagonist, villain or as having any negative traits?

Finally, please provide an evaluation of the melanin content of your skin. If you do not have the results of a medical test available, please go to your local Sherwin-Williams store and obtain a copy of Palette Card #17-Earth Tones and enter the color number of the swatch which most closely resembles your skin. If your skin is fairer than the lightest color swatch on Palette Card #17-Earth Tones, please respond with “Oppressor White".

Again, congratulations on your sales and I hope we can process your membership in time for you to participate in our annual Shunning and Denouncement Survey. It's great fun.

Sincerely yours,

S.J. Woreeahr
President, Socialist Fiction Writers of America

posted by zombieflanders at 8:45 AM on August 21, 2015


HOLY SHIT.
posted by suelac at 9:18 AM on August 21, 2015


Also, it's amazing, someone thought that was funny. It's just juvenile & offensive. Bleach. There's a chatroom somewhere, and the perpetrators are pissing themselves with laughter.
posted by suelac at 9:19 AM on August 21, 2015


And right on cue, it looks like the Puppies are going on the offensive (pun intended) on this one. Here's Sarah Hoyt being predictably horrible (she's defended both Antonelli and the participation of gamergators) and claiming that the "movement" is somehow now a feminist one. I especially like the "this is probably a false flag but if it isn't IT SPEAKS THE TRUTH" rhetoric in the middle of the logic pretzels she ties herself in.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:25 AM on August 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


As ticked as I am that the Con organizers didn't have the guts to ban Antonelli, I also feel for them. This is going to be a Con full of problem behaviour I think, and I hope they catch whoever is leaving those out and expel the person right quick.
posted by nubs at 9:29 AM on August 21, 2015


From Hoyt's blog post: I kind of had the same reaction to this alleged (again, the report was by someone who “took the whole pile” to the concom so I have no independent verification) flyer.

The concom has acknowledged the flyer (for the twitter-less: "Thanks for notifying Ops and policing the tables. A concom can't be everywhere, but a community can.").
posted by sukeban at 9:56 AM on August 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh, and further on there's an update saying that yes, it was one of the Puppy commenters who did it. Copy+pasting it in case it disappears:
UPDATE: Captain Comic left this comment on my blog

Captain Comic

5 minutes ago
Dear Sarah,
Uh, it was me.
I changed “Amanda” to “Carol” specifically because Amanda is a real flesh-and-blood genre writer. To the best of my knowledge there is no SF or Fantasy writer with that name. If there is, I hereby sincerely apologize for any discomfort or response you may have suffered.
Noticed that some of them were whole cloth taken away and simply replaced them with some more.
Juvenile? Definitely. Worst thing ever? Not by a goram country mile!
It was simply an exercise in reducto ad absurdum.
How many times have we heard that this year’s Hugo ballot is MISOGYNY! writ large simply because it doesn’t have the same number of women as last year’s? That an alternate lifestyle individual who won for short story was “brave” and his statue was a special moment?
Whole swath piles of “Puppy” and “Larry” ribbons would get scooped up and put down the memory hole. My reaction? I replaced them with new ones from the bags and bags that came from Roseville, California back around Memorial Day.
Then I personally gave a “Strawman Larry: That Guy’s a Jerk!” ribbon to Toni after one of her panels. She said thanks, pulled off the backing and added it to her badge string.
Since parody that makes them stamp their feet is something SJW’s can’t stand, I will refrain from putting out the rest of the flyers.
Sarah, I’d also like to apologize to you for this taking up any of your valuable time.
As for the four thousand warm bodies at the convention center, It Was Me. Captain Comic. That’s what it says on my con badge. I’ll be wearing a “Wendell’s Roughnecks” t-shirt for most of today.
You got a problem? Come at me.
But first, take a good long look at who you treat the issues of race, gender identity and sexual identity.
And I hope you can all forgive me for not tearfully denouncing myself in front of the concom, as well as for taking no small amount of pride that a quick little idea I tossed off a few months ago could become such a tempest (teapot contained or otherwise).
Yours,
David
posted by sukeban at 10:04 AM on August 21, 2015 [3 favorites]




What did I do during my summer vacation? I went to deliberative assembly meetings!

Pauses to think about life choices.

The first day of the main WSFS business meeting is under way; so far, the resolution to make available the anonymized nominating ballots for 2015 and 2016 has passed. By Sunday morning, we may know exactly what would have been nominated this year had EPH already been in effect.

And a correction: I missed a clause when I read the popular ratification proposal; it doesn't take effect for proposals that get approved this year, so if either of the proposals to change the nominating procedure pass, they just need to be ratified next year at the business meeting to take effect.
posted by metaquarry at 11:15 AM on August 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


Of course the flyer was left there in a reaction to them being oppressed in some way and not just because they are assholes. Of course.
posted by Artw at 11:18 AM on August 21, 2015


As ticked as I am that the Con organizers didn't have the guts to ban Antonelli, I also feel for them. This is going to be a Con full of problem behaviour I think, and I hope they catch whoever is leaving those out and expel the person right quick.

I don't, because they didn't have the guts to ban him, and thus brought this behavior down on themselves. Had they stuck to their guns, it would have sent a message that this behavior would not be tolerated.
posted by NoxAeternum at 1:10 PM on August 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


When I look at the #sasquan tweets, the top tweet being displayed is by somebody lauding the flyer-maker's "sense of humor." :(

This is particularly sad when there are Sabetha cosplay tweets to look at instead.

(Also, on the state of SFF fandom: sure, 90% of fandom is crap, but just look at the panel listings for events like Sirens and FOGCon and Readercon [panels on Youtube] and so on. I'm not saying they're perfect events, but there ARE good things going on. And there's We Need Diverse Books. And so on.)
posted by wintersweet at 8:30 PM on August 21, 2015 [2 favorites]




Yeah, they should have just banned Antonelli for the police report thing in the first place: it was a clear cut violation of the con rules & completely out of line to boot. It’s always easier to see that from the outside though NoraReed - all of us are vulnerable to making poor decisions under pressure & the influence of friends we know & like.

The flyer thing is just completely gross. It seems like they *want* to embody some caricature of awfulness in order to provoke responses that let them feed their oppression narrative. At some point a normal person would ask themselves “is this really the person I want to be?” but this lot are either unable or simply unwilling to do that.
posted by pharm at 1:48 AM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


"You think I'm a horrible person? Well, I'll show you. This, this is what a horrible person would do! Now, am I the sort of person who would do this?!"

Well, yeah.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:45 AM on August 22, 2015


Bad puppies!
Hugo results
posted by rmd1023 at 3:44 AM on August 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Update
posted by Artw at 7:11 PM on August 24, 2015




I'll repeat here what I commented on Meg's post.

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of going to the opera Salome. In it, a man harasses a woman without ever using her name. She complains to the king about it and he says, "Stop being silly! He hasn't said your name. Those awful things can't be proven to be about you!"

It struck me at the time, and again reading your account and the emails, how little things have changed. As long as creepy, abusive, harassing, boundary crossing men are careful to be nominally vague they can get away with anything. People look for any reason whatsoever to disbelieve a woman who says she is being harassed. And then they turn on her, and she's the one who pays the price.

I'm so very sorry this has happened this way. In the better world we deserve, you would have been believed and supported.
posted by stoneweaver at 11:45 PM on August 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


No More Memory Holes by Natalie Luhrs.

It seems to me that the Sasquan chairs could not get past viewing Gerrold as the only victim of Antonelli's stunt, when it should have been clear that trying to sic the police on a guest of honor endangers the whole con — and if I'm reading Meg Frank's post correctly, that was one of the points she was trying to make to the rest of the concom.

Granted, a worst-case scenario of the Spokane PD engaging in a shootout in the con suite was not a likely outcome, but that doesn't matter: the act of clear intimidation should have been enough to get Antonelli booted.

In retrospect, it may be telling that unlike DragonCon, Sasquan's list of committees does not include a security or safety team.
posted by metaquarry at 5:54 AM on August 29, 2015


I'm a bit confused: does her complaint refer to Antonelli's false accusation regarding David Gerrold, or was there a separate incident of harassment?
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:21 AM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's the Gerrold incident, specifically the part where he was threatening to disrupt/attack the con as a whole and not Gerrold personally.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:43 AM on August 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


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