Saturday, September 15, 2018

Book Blogger Hop September 14th - September 20th: King Shapur I of Persia Died in 272 A.D.

Jen at Crazy for Books restarted her weekly Book Blogger Hop to help book bloggers connect with one another, but then couldn't continue, so she handed the hosting responsibilities off to Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. The only requirements to participate in the Hop are to write and link a post answering the weekly question and then visit other blogs that are also participating to see if you like their blog and would like to follow them.

This week Billy asks: What author do you not read and why?

There is a small group of authors who I simply don't read, mostly as a result of the recent "Puppy" kerfuffle in science fiction struggles. To sum up the "Puppy" brouhaha, a group of authors got mad that they weren't getting nominated for the Hugo Award, dubbed themselves the "Sad Puppies", added some rather racist and sexist commentary to their grievances, and got together to form what essentially amounted to a politically-driven slate to bloc vote themselves and their friends onto the Hugo ballot. Though this was not technically against the rules, it did violate some rather strong established norms against this sort of vote manipulation. They weren't helped by the fact that prominent members asserted things like "women and minorities who have been nominated for and won awards did so only because of affirmative action", displayed a remarkable lack of knowledge concerning the actual nominees they were complaining about, and generally made asses out of themselves. Several of the more prominent members of the group are openly homophobic, while other just limited themselves to launching crude homophobic insults at their critics. One high-profile Puppy stated that the natural inclination people have upon seeing two gay men together was to want to beat them to death with tire irons, while another has expressed admiration for Anders Brevik. They are, taken as a group, reprehensible people.

Then people started reading the finalists they had gamed onto the ballot, and this was the worst thing that could have happened to their literary reputations.

It turned out that the primary reason that these authors were not getting nominated for the most prestigious award in genre fiction was not some sort of conspiracy against them, or a bias against white authors, or straight authors, or even conservative authors. It was because their work was simply not good. The works the Pups put forward, ostensibly the best writing that their members could proffer, struggled to reach mediocrity. Some were simply downright terrible. What's more, most of them found different ways to be terrible. Some of their stories were turgid and slow. Some of their stories were dopey and racist. Some of their stories were adjective and adverb-laden gibberish. Needless to say, their work fared poorly in the final Hugo voting.

I gave their work a chance. It wasn't good enough to merit trying it again.

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