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January 4, 2018 5:42 PM   Subscribe

Worldcon 76, the upcoming science fiction and fantasy convention that (among other events) will host the 2018 Hugo Awards, has decided to revoke author Jon Del Arroz's attending membership to the con after he announced his plans to troll the convention by videotaping private events, a violation of the con's Code of Conduct.

Del Arroz is a longtime supporter of the groups of largely conservative and libertarian authors that make up the "Sad Puppies" and "Rabid Puppies" (previously), groups which have connections to "alt-right" hate groups including the Gamergate movement, and have adopted many of their tactics. Recently, this has included campaigns by Del Arroz on social media to get like-minded fans to harass fellow authors, including Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) president Cat Rambo. Having apparently not learned their lesson from their tactics backfiring--most recently and spectacularly in an attempt to troll the Hugos by nominating eccentric erotica author Chuck Tingle (also previously), a plan which blew up in their faces--Puppies are vowing to boycott Worldcon in solidarity. Meanwhile, the rest of the SFF community has largely reacted to both the ban and the boycott with, well, not a whole lot of disappointment.
posted by zombieflanders (55 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm going to this con, my first worldcon and most likely my last con ever (I'm getting too old for this shit). Therefore, I'm really glad that the Code of Conduct is being enforced, and hope it continues to be. I'm looking forward to enjoying this time and seeing a lot of friends from all over. Let's hope the asshole factor is low.
posted by MovableBookLady at 6:17 PM on January 4 [25 favorites]


I'm friendly with one of this year's organizers through our day job and I'm going to mystify him with a fist bump the next time he's working out of my office.
posted by komlord at 6:29 PM on January 4 [16 favorites]


This looks like the textbook example of nothing of value being lost.
posted by acb at 6:31 PM on January 4 [32 favorites]


Puppies are vowing to boycott Worldcon in solidarity.

andtherewasmuchrejoicing.gif
posted by PMdixon at 6:32 PM on January 4 [42 favorites]


Puppies are vowing to boycott Worldcon in solidarity.

Oh, no, not the briar patch, that would be soooooo terrible...
posted by spindrifter at 6:42 PM on January 4 [45 favorites]


I don't envy them the fallout they'll face from Nazis for this, but plus one million points for not giving a Nazi the benefit of the doubt in 2018, which is the aropriate course of action with them.
posted by Artw at 7:20 PM on January 4 [13 favorites]


Jesus, can we just have one thing? One fucking place?
posted by Sphinx at 7:28 PM on January 4 [3 favorites]


This looks like the textbook example of nothing of value being lost.

There was no baby in that bathwater.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:42 PM on January 4 [32 favorites]


Puppies are vowing to boycott Worldcon in solidarity.

Shaka, when no one gave a shit.
posted by nubs at 8:02 PM on January 4 [106 favorites]


Nicely done zombieflanders, especially in relating this somewhat inside baseball issue.

Note that for the conventions this started when BayCon declined to have him as a guest, a role he felt entitled to in order to promote his latest book. FWIW, a lot of the Puppies crap originates in "buy my book and give me an award" entitlement.

Also, JDA still has a supporting membership, which means he can nominate his own works for the Hugo's, which he thinks he's entitled to. His friends are less likely to boycott than to try to get whatever he wrote on the ballot.
posted by happyroach at 8:02 PM on January 4 [5 favorites]


But the new voting procedures should mean that the Puppies can't block vote it to victory, I believe?
posted by Chrysostom at 8:24 PM on January 4


Not without some great difficulty. I think the new system is not completely invulnerable to gaming - the puppies snuck in one or two titles last year - but the situation where they lock out everything else is far less likely.
posted by Artw at 8:41 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]


Puppies are vowing to boycott Worldcon in solidarity.

Shaka, when no one gave a shit.
"Martin, his swimming pool collapsed."
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:49 PM on January 4 [16 favorites]


I see Brad Templeton has wandered into the File 770 thread doing his concerned libertarian schtick. 'But it wouldn't be fair to take action just because someone *said* they were planning to kill that person! We should wait and see if they actually do!'
posted by tavella at 8:56 PM on January 4 [10 favorites]


Aha! I had heard there was some drama involving some sf con and its code of conduct, but hadn't had a chance to ask around and find out what was up. (I was worried that Arisia, which is in a week and a half and which I am attending, was somehow involved)
posted by rmd1023 at 8:59 PM on January 4


Buried inside the “blew up in their faces” link is the note that Tingle has asked Zoe Quinn to accept any award on his behalf. Nice.
posted by deludingmyself at 9:11 PM on January 4 [19 favorites]


Oh god, I started rolling my eyes at the "I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS" followed by "BUT HERE ARE THE VERBATIM TALKING POINTS OF A PARTICULAR SIDE" comment at file770, and only then noticed the commenter was Templeton.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:16 PM on January 4 [4 favorites]


But the new voting procedures should mean that the Puppies can't block vote it to victory, I believe?

It'll be a good test.

I strongly doubt he'll succeed myself, since a lot of the steam has gone out of the Puppy movement. And JDA isn't very competent at organizing people.
posted by happyroach at 9:23 PM on January 4


A lot of the steak steak seems to have gone out of both the puppies and Gamergate since nazis won actual political power in the real world. Then again, comics have that Digersity and Comics asshole so it can't be said that Nazis have given up on culture war bullshit entirely.
posted by Artw at 9:25 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]


They can still get an item on the ballot, especially in the fan and editor categories, as the number of nominators tends to be small in those. But from the discussion on Making Light, that was viewed as a feature rather than a flaw. The point was not to block a particular group of people from nominating, it was to reduce their power to match their numbers rather than allowing them to use slate voting to block other people.
posted by tavella at 9:54 PM on January 4 [4 favorites]


Man, fuck this guy.

(Jon Del Arroz, that is.)
posted by RakDaddy at 11:04 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]


In case anyone else was confused by this, the “blew up in their faces” link goes to an article from May 2016 and Chuck Tingle's oeuvre Space Raptor Butt Invasion didn't win in the category it was nominated for, Best Short Story, at the 2016 Hugo Awards in August, but did make it to the short list for that category. The winner for Best Short Story that year was Naomi Kritzer's "Cat Pictures Please".
posted by XMLicious at 11:40 PM on January 4 [12 favorites]


If the (pick your subset)-puppies can get something onto the ballot then that’s fine - as a subset of the SF community they get the same rights to representation as everyone else, whether you like their particular brand of SF or not.

What’s not OK was using block voting to lock out everyone else (something the puppies, in a beautiful piece of projection, accused everyone else of doing which meant them doing was fair play in their minds). That’s the entire point of the new voting procedure.
posted by pharm at 1:51 AM on January 5 [6 favorites]


And we always thought Harlan Ellison's Xenogenesis essay was only about fans. Sheesh.
posted by daveje at 1:55 AM on January 5


This looks like the textbook example of nothing of value being lost.

There was no baby in that bathwater.


There wasn't even water.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 3:33 AM on January 5 [6 favorites]


(If anyone is confused by the references to Chuck Tingle, just do a MetaFilter search on his name. You will still be confused after you've read the links, but you will have been thoroughly entertained.)
posted by Major Clanger at 3:36 AM on January 5 [18 favorites]


Puppies are vowing to boycott Worldcon in solidarity.

Typical of those fake fans. As soon as things don't go their way, they run away crying.

I do wonder about a johnny-come-lately like Del Arroz though. The Puppies are a busted flush, most of the principals behind it (Correia, Torgersen et all) have moved on, still exploiting what remains of it but not actively leading it and science fiction fandom as a whole has shown that hey, despite our at times questionable pedigree we don't actually like nazis all that much.

Why join the bandwagon when it's stalled at the station?

What's in it for him? Sure, you get one or two readers buying your books to own the libs, or make Mike "File770" Glyer cry (not that he cares) but in the long run?

Del Arroz is just a dime a dozen pulp sci-fi/steampunk writer who has now shown himself to be a rightwing wannabe bully who can't even do that right. Why read him if you can read much better rightwing sf writers?

Why would you read any of the puppies indeed if you can just read Heinlein rather than warmed up copies of copies of copies of copies of Heinlein.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:38 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


John Scalzi's comment is pretty much the sort of thing where I link this X-Files clip.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 3:39 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


Glad this seemed to have been achieved with a minimum of fuss without endless debates, meetings and drama
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:05 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Why would you read any of the puppies indeed if you can just read Heinlein rather than warmed up copies of copies of copies of copies of Heinlein.

Although they think really highly of their own intellects, we're not talking about a bunch of supergeniuses here. Remember, these are the people who thought they could kill the Hugos by driving participation up. Responding to the vast majority of fandom wishing that they would just stay away by throwing a fit and staying away is par for the course.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:42 AM on January 5 [6 favorites]


I see Brad Templeton has wandered into the File 770 thread doing his concerned libertarian schtick.

Yeah, that was... not great. Luckily, Kurt Busiek is there as well, fulfilling his usual role as the grown-up in the room.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:54 AM on January 5 [10 favorites]


Thanks for posting this; googling Del Arroz was more than enough to make me glad he got shown the door, but I couldn't find a description of the instigating incident until now.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:08 AM on January 5 [3 favorites]


Does anyone know the backstory on his harassment of Paul Weiner? It's obvious why he picked Cat Rambo, she being president of the SFWA, but Weiner seems an odd target to focus on obsessively.
posted by tavella at 6:44 AM on January 5


Cat Rambo

I'll admit to being slightly disappointed that this is the actual name of the SFWA president, and not a description, but she seems awesome anyway.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 7:19 AM on January 5 [14 favorites]


Puppies are vowing to boycott Worldcon in solidarity

All these morons will be lost in time, like koalas in rain.
posted by flabdablet at 7:54 AM on January 5


I see he bills himself as 'THE Leading Hispanic Voice In Science Fiction'... hmmmm
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:06 AM on January 5


Bit damning of SFs Hispanic inclusivity if it's leading Hispanic voice really is someone that nobody has heard of before - surely that can't be the case?

(I'm going straight to Borges but he probably doesn't count because he's dead)
posted by Artw at 8:16 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


So whats this about @worldcon2018 hating Mexicans? Want the truth? They hate them so much that they named a 100% Mexican American as one of the youngest Guests of Honor in Worldcon history. <waves hi> Be there, gente. This con is gonna be amazing. :) https://t.co/f8HKPjXq05— John Picacio (@JohnPicacio) January 3, 2018

posted by RakDaddy at 8:16 AM on January 5 [11 favorites]


I'll admit to being slightly disappointed that this is the actual name of the SFWA president, and not a description, but she seems awesome anyway.

On the contrary, when I first heard her name, my reaction while googling furiously was "god, please let that be her real name, please please YES IT IS, THAT RUUUUUUULES"
posted by middleclasstool at 8:30 AM on January 5 [11 favorites]


I was going to suggest Picacio* but 'THE Leading Hispanic Voice In Science Fiction' probably doesn't think artists count

There's also here for a start.

* I met Picacio at London Worldcon and he's an awesome guy.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:33 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


I think it's telling, in a revealing their hand sort of way, that the varied defenders of Del Arroz, like the defenders of so many assholes, seem to root their arguments in a sort of CSI level parody of legalism.

Del Arroz stated that he was going to come to the con, stir shit up, make trouble, piss people off, engage in "hijinks", and generally cause problems. When someone tells you that they intend to visit your party with the intent of causing problems the proper response is exactly what the con staff did: you tell them they aren't welcome at your party.

But to the defenders of the assholes that is horrible and wrong and Nazilike. How dare we assume that just because Del Arroz said he was going to Worldcon specifically to cause problems and make trouble that he was actually going to cause problems and make trouble! We must permit him to attend and allow him to cause problems and make trouble before there's even a possible justification for asking him to leave.

And, of course, if the Worldcon staff was foolish enough to follow the prescriptions of the defenders of assholedom and permitted Del Arroz to actually show up and cause trouble then the real fun would start. Because then the defender of assholedom could engage in their favorite sport of all: lawyering, victim blaming, and nit picking. Was his offense **REALLY** bad enough to merit a ban from the con? The people accusing him of impropriety are no angels and do we really know all the details? Perhaps, maybe, some hyper sensitive hysterical people might have simply Del Arroz's sense of humor and anyway they just hate him because of his politics. He didn't **REALLY** do anything so wrong, and he spent money to attend so it would be deeply wrong to ask him to leave now. And anyway why are you worried about his alleged misbehavior don't you have more important things to be fussing over?

We've seen it dozens of times before.

So yay Worldcon for dealing with threats of being an asshole by banning Del Arroz. When someone says "oh, hey, I see you've got a party planned, I'm going to show up and make everyone miserable by acting like as big an asshole as I possibly can" then the proper course of action is to tell the asshole that he's not invited to the party.
posted by sotonohito at 8:38 AM on January 5 [34 favorites]


I see he bills himself as 'THE Leading Hispanic Voice In Science Fiction'... hmmmm

My gut says Paolo Bacigalupi, but I don't actually know if he is or identifies as Hispanic now that I think about it.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:13 AM on January 5


The people accusing him of impropriety are no angels and do we really know all the details

We don't even have to imagine this as a hypothetical. Ever since the ban came down, the Puppies and their supporters have taken to social media to portray Worldcon as some sort of Pizzagate-style den of pedophilia and sexual assault (projection much?), and harassing Worldcon management and their incident response team, combined with renewing and amplifying their attacks on Cat Rambo and the SFWA for running such a filthy den of iniquity. The latter tactic would be kind of funny if it weren't for the whole attacking innocent people thing, given that these people that claim to be so dedicated and knowledgeable about the SFF community are unaware that SFWA is not the committee behind Worldcon, or indeed that the WSFS exists and has many subgroups.

To borrow from their spiritual mentor, they're not sending us their best, and none of them (I assume) are good people.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:19 AM on January 5 [3 favorites]


Oh hell, this post reminded me that I forgot to book a room for the con. Uh. Going to have to work on that.
posted by asperity at 9:31 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


What's in it for him? Sure, you get one or two readers buying your books to own the libs, or make Mike "File770" Glyer cry (not that he cares) but in the long run?

What does JDA get out of it? Do a search under his name, and WorldCon. You get a bunch of right-wing blogs saluting his "courage" and decrying his treatment. That's massive ego massage, and confirmation in his mind that he's right.

That's all he needs, really. A bunch of guys telling him he's right and encouraging his behavior.
posted by happyroach at 9:33 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Also, antics like this helped him get a gig as a columnist at The Federalist, the Internet's leading distributor of digital toilet paper, and you've gotta keep the LIBERAL TEARS flowing to maintain that spot.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:50 AM on January 5 [3 favorites]


I am now going to have a discussion with my spouse to see if we can possibly make Worldcon this year.
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 9:54 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Hey I just now put it together that Naomi Kritzer wrote BOTH "Cat Pictures, Please" and "So Much Cooking," both of which I read and liked a lot! thanks to Metafilter! I read "Waiting Out The End Of the World In Patty's Place Cafe" today and it's also quite good.

So I'm excited for the novel-length version of "Cat Pictures, Please" when it comes out!
posted by daisystomper at 10:30 AM on January 5 [5 favorites]


f this guy.

also " troll the convention by videotaping private events, a violation of the con's Code of Conduct."

troll seems like a light word to use here. "violate privacy standards" seems better.
it's not like he was gonna rickroll them or run through a session wearing a gorilla suit and videotape.
posted by sio42 at 11:03 AM on January 5


Shaka, when no one gave a shit

I logged on for the first time in months just to like that comment. Good on the con!
posted by nfalkner at 5:06 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Buried inside the “blew up in their faces” link is the note that Tingle has asked Zoe Quinn to accept any award on his behalf. Nice.

I believe this move may have resulted in Tingle and Quinn collaborating, too. She’s creating an FMV video game for him now based on his series. I believe she said somewhere that him naming her his stand in made her feel like she could reach out to him and they became friendly.
posted by Deoridhe at 1:09 PM on January 7 [4 favorites]


If anyone is still interested, Jim C. Hines has just posted a lot of receipts.
posted by sukeban at 10:01 AM on January 14 [6 favorites]


So I'm excited for the novel-length version of "Cat Pictures, Please" when it comes out!

There is?! SQUEE!!!!!!!!!!
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:01 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


Separate from the Worldcon horribleness, JdA is trying very hard to become a member of SFWA (yes, the same organization he's currently harassing and whipping up hate mobs against), and some authors are rightfully worried that it's part of an attempt to expose members--especially those from marginalized groups--to further harassment from the Puppies' Nazi fellow travelers.

Here's author A. Merc Rustad (tweets edited for formatting and length):
So I've written to the @sfwa board about a troll seeking to join the association. If anyone wishes to contact me in regards to JDA and has concerns, please feel free. The SFWA board is listening and I appreciate their efforts in this matter. Also, if you're a writer who has interest in joining the @sfwa, your voices are just as important. I, for one, would like our org to grow and develop and be more inclusive and safe. Trolls who threaten the safety of members and potential members are not needed.

The basics: a known troll, [Vox Day]-supporter and harasser is seeking to gain membership into a professional organization for the sake of causing trouble and harming people. This is concerning because SFWA members have access to a directory & social networks like Slack, forums, etc. SFWA members have access to a directory of other members' info. This could be used by JDA or his associates in doxxing marginalized & vulnerable members. There is great concern JDA could give private info to Milo and cause great emotional, physical & mental harm to SFWA members. I do not believe his application to join the SFWA, a private organization of professional authors, is anything more than a stunt to further his martyrdom complex (should he be rejected or kicked out if allowed in), and cause direct harm to members of the SFWA. Therefore, I have formally asked, in a direct email to the board of the SFWA, that JDA not be allowed to join the organization, now or in the future. I do not feel safe at the idea of allowing JDA into the SFWA. I feel the safety of my friends would be severely compromised. The SFWA has problems, yes, but it is, to me, a valuable organization and one I am happy to be a part of currently. I think it is improving, growing, and welcoming of new and marginalized authors; I want the SFF field to grow, and have space for all the amazing voices out there. I do not believe a private organization such as the SFWA needs to be "fair" in allowing in known bigoted trolls who seek to harm others for personal gain/notoriety.

Should JDA be allowed to join, this will be a huge step backwards & a detriment to gaining new, diverse members. I'm an active member in the @sfwa, a Nebula Awards finalist, and a professionally published author. I'm also trans non-binary and autistic and queer, exactly the sort of person bigots such as JDA wish to drive out from the field. I'm not going anywhere. An organization like the SFWA is not obliged to allow bigots and harassers into its ranks. If the SFWA chooses to allow persons like JDA into the organization, it will drive away those who wish to make SFF better and more diverse. It will harm future generations of SFF writers. I want the @sfwa to be known as a welcoming, encouraging, safe organization that supports and uplifts its members, helps those in need of its offered services (Griefcom, Medical Fund, etc), and supports the marginalized and future members who wish to join. A healthy field and SFWA is not a pipe dream. We are making good strides in showcasing new and diverse voices in SFF; we can do better, we can do good, we can make science fiction and fantasy just as fantastic as our imaginations can dream. We can do good in this world.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:01 AM on January 17 [5 favorites]


To the surprise of nobody, JDA's application to SFWA has been rejected.
posted by sukeban at 1:39 AM on January 21 [4 favorites]


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