Friday, May 06, 2016

A plague on both their houses

In rare moments of quiet contemplation, I recall how a year ago my every day was assaulted by an ongoing outpouring of hate from David Gerrold, directed towards myself and the other Hugo finalists who did not meet with his approval.

He had a repetitious tirade which boilerplated a litany that began with something like "Can you tell me why these stories should be considered the equivalent of..." and then he'd run through a list of the same famous stories and novels - the same list day after day after day.

I think he went back and deleted those dozens of posts. Doesn't matter - I'll never forget what he did.

This year he doesn't seem to be spewing The Daily Big Lie. Of course, he isn't the presenter at the ceremony this year.

I had trouble last year explaining to normal people - like my wife - how a person designated as master of ceremonies of an awards event was daily posting vicious diatribes against people who were allegedly finalists for the same award. My wife simply did not believe me, or my prediction that not only would I not probably win in the categories I was nominated in, but Gerrold and his coterie would probably not present the award rather than give it to people they didn't like.

Imagine if, for the four months preceding an Academy Awards ceremony, the master of ceremonies was allowed to viciously attack - on an ongoing, daily basis - some of the Oscar contenders.

I sat through the atrocity of the Hugo ceremony in person, while my wife watched it on live streaming at home - until she turned it off in disgust. When I got home, I said "I'm sorry you had to see that, but now you know what assholes these people are."

She believes me now.

This year, the Sad Puppies took the high road and stuck strictly to a list of reading recommendations. Vox Day got his minions to screw up the ballot - this time on purpose. I'm chuckling from the sidelines. I hope both sides wipe each other out.

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"It’s possible that you haven’t run into the stories of Lou Antonelli. Since 2003, he’s been publishing delightful short tales of alternate history all over the nooks and crannies of the SF world. Thanks to Fantastic Books, we now have 28 of these little gems in one place. "Many of Antonelli’s stories have an unexpected twist ending. And many of them are what he calls “secret history” stories, which aren’t exactly alternate history—they’re set in our familiar history, but there’s always some element that contemporary observers missed. " -

- Don Sakers, The Reference Library, Analog July-Aug. 2014

A better path develops for a distraught man in “Double Exposure” by Lou Antonelli (debut 6/11 and reviewed by Frank D). Jake is about to end it all. He has been trying to keep his high maintenance wife happy for decades and has needed to embezzle to satisfy her spending habits. Now, on the verge of indictment and abandoned by his spouse, he buys a gun. Before he pulls the trigger, he spies a Kodak one-day photo hut. Curious, he pulls up to the window. They are holding pictures of him and his last girlfriend from 30 years before. The package is a lot thicker than it should be. Double Exposure” is listed as an Alternative History story but I would classify it as a Magical Realism tale. It is set as a second chance tale, a look into a life that should have been. The author is inspired by his memories of the old photo huts (I remember them) and of their disappearance. A cool idea (photos of another life), one that I could imagine would make for a great anthology.

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- James Hanzelka, Diabolical Plots

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