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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. Andrew Hickey
    April 16, 2016 @ 11:47 am

    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…


    • Elizabeth Sandifer
      April 16, 2016 @ 7:52 pm

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


      • Andrew Hickey
        April 16, 2016 @ 11:17 pm

        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.


  2. William Shaw
    April 16, 2016 @ 12:58 pm

    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.


  3. Dr. Happypants
    April 16, 2016 @ 4:14 pm

    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.


    • David Gerard
      April 16, 2016 @ 8:37 pm

      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.


      • Daibhid C
        April 17, 2016 @ 7:40 pm

        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.


  4. Daibhid C
    April 16, 2016 @ 6:05 pm

    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.


    • Andrew Hickey
      April 16, 2016 @ 11:29 pm

      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”.


      • William Shaw
        April 16, 2016 @ 11:47 pm

        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.


        • Andrew Hickey
          April 17, 2016 @ 9:02 am

          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…


          • Daibhid C
            April 17, 2016 @ 7:24 pm

            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.

      • Daibhid C
        April 17, 2016 @ 7:30 pm

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


  5. Rob
    April 17, 2016 @ 2:38 am

    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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