Saturday Waffling (April 16th, 2016)

(14 comments)

The Super Nintendo Project is back on Monday! I'm excited at least. The first two entries are really fun, and I've high hopes for the rest of the run. It'll be going through the 1994 games, which I think there are five of total (the list's on the other computer), then probably doing another Cultural Marxism or two, then back to Brief Treatise. 

Anyway, the first two entries are posted to Patreon. Which is about $2 a week away from me reviewing "The Red Woman" next weekend, incidentally. So, you know, never a better time to start backing and all.

Also this week we'll have the first of five excerpts from Neoreaction a Basilisk that we'll be running to promote its upcoming Kickstarter. You can seem, um, some of the response it's been getting over at Nick Land's blog. (The Tweets aren't his, to be clear.) And I pop into the comments on that one too. And soon I'll be recording the first of a couple of podcasts I'll be doing on the book, talking with a couple people who have gotten to review the manuscript. 

Now I just need to finish the backmatter essay for this Last War in Albion chapter and see if I can get Chapter Six to actually follow the week after Chapter Five ends.

So, what're your bets on how the Hugos will turn out?

Comments

Andrew Hickey 1 year ago

My bet, sadly, is that we get another Rabid year this year. Unless people have coordinated on a few choices a LOT better than ever before, we get Rabid domination of the short fiction categories, certainly.
I think the really interesting thing will be how people deal with Beale's technique of putting one actual good thing on the ballot in most categories -- I know there's at least one item, Seveneves, that overlaps with my own nominations...

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Phil Sandifer 1 year ago

I'm heartened by the high turnout numbers. So I have optimism to crush, alas.

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Andrew Hickey 1 year ago

I've seen various efforts at crunching the numbers, and while the turnout's high, it's not high *enough* -- it'd need to be 10,000ish if the normal patterns hold, for the decent human beings to defeat the Puppyfascists.
The only hope is that the normal patterns don't hold, and that there's been a lot more informal co-ordination, checking of recommendation lists, and so on, than there normally is.

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William Shaw 1 year ago

I have to agree with Andrew, I'm afraid - I can see the puppies dominating at least the prose categories. The problem of Seveneves feels like a 'cross that bridge when we come to it' problem to me, because I'm dubious at this rate as to whether anything half-decent will get on the ballot. I just hope we can have another string of 'No Awards' if that is the case.

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Dr. Happypants 1 year ago

I have a Yudkowsky question...

I started reading HPMoR relatively early on, when it still seemed cute and promising, and out of misguided completism I actually did end up finishing the frigging thing. While the middle and latter portions were mainly a boring slog, the ending, my god! What a trainwreck. Limp and disappointing even by the low standards of the bulk of the work. Even the attempts at creative problem solving were dull and disappointing, and then he grafted on a rubbish bit about his tedious "friendly AI" obsession. None of it seemed like a satisfying resolution to the plotlines or characters he set up earlier, even given Yudkowsky's blinders/limitations as a writer. Even his Reddit fans were largely disappointed.

My question is: do you have any insight into how he shat the bad quite so badly on his popular magnum opus? Indifference? Incompetence? Some kind of Commie cuck conspiracy? My opinion of his abilities is, let's say, not very high, but I thought he could do better than that, at least.

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David Gerard 1 year ago

I posted my theory here. All its problems are endemic to fanfic:

* an unedited first draft
* a serial, so no-one will ever go back and fix the problems
* far, far longer-winded than it should be
* the writer never kills their darlings, never removing the ideas that don’t work so well
* the story makes all manner of promises the writer can’t quite work out how to deliver on
* stalls at 150k-200k words as the writer realises just how many balls they have in the air

Yudkowsky just stopped writing it for a couple of years, and finished it basically just banging his head against the keyboard until it was finished.

It's got lots of problems, but none worse than many published works. Basically it needs an editor to cut it to half (or less) the size.

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Daibhid C 1 year ago

Yeah, this is why I've never written a fanfic with more than six chapters, and never published the first chapter until I've completed the final one. (I have lots of stalled fanfics, but nobody's wondering what happens next except me.)

The editing problem remains a problem.

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Daibhid C 1 year ago

I'm betting that a combination of factors - tragedy, popularity, the fact it's a really good book - gives The Shepherd's Crown at least a chance. This could be fandom myopia on my part, of course.

I don't know if the Dog Squad have included it as "the one that regular people might actually vote for". I once stumbled upon a blog post saying "Sir Terry never won a Hugo, therefore Puppies", so it wouldn't entirely surprise me.

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Andrew Hickey 1 year ago

No, Beale's Best Novel list has Seveneves in the "book people might actually want to read" slot for novel. It was the Sad Puppies who went on about the injustice that Pterry never had a Hugo -- the Rabids included John C Wright, who has expressed regret for not punching Pratchett in the mount when he had the chance, compared him to Hitler, and called him "pure evil".

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William Shaw 1 year ago

Hang on though, didn't Pratchett expressly *turn down* a Hugo nomination? Do they seriously not know the history of the man they adore and the award they seek to control? Crikey, what a bunch of fake geek boys.

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Andrew Hickey 1 year ago

Given that they were using him as a representation of populist pulp adventure that doesn't have any messages, and that they only started going on about him after he died, I'm 90% certain most of them never read anything by him...

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Daibhid C 1 year ago

Yeah, it's not very hard to write a version of Torgersen's "why can't we judge books by their covers any more?" spiel that is entirely based on Discworld novels.

This book has a riverboat full of chickens on the cover, but is it really going to be a story about river exploration and chicken-delivery? Or is the story merely about racial prejudice and exploitation, with riverine trappings?

There’s a sword-swinger on the cover, but is it really about knights battling dragons? Or are the dragons summoned by human villains, and eventually leave when they find love?

A stern bearded wizard duelling a crone-like witch. Could it be an actual bona fide high fantasy? Heroes and princesses and mighty magics? No, wait. It's about sexism and the oppression of women.

Finally, a book with a painting of a platoon of soldiers in vaguely Napoleonic uniforms! Holding a banner! War story ahoy! Nope, wait, it's actually about gay and transgender issues.

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Daibhid C 1 year ago

I can imagine which of those Sir Terry would have considered a compliment...

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Rob 1 year ago

Hey Phil,
I loved all your writing on the New Adventures books ( well I like all your stuff anyway) and I was wondering will you be doing a collection of those blogs in a book and will you be writing any extra stuff on other books with it?

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