Sunday, August 14, 2016

Compute this!

I received an interesting request today, forwarded by Jason Rennie, regarding my short story "On a Spiritual Plain" published in Sci Phi Journal last year.

Here's some excerpts:

"I'm a final year undergraduate student at...  I'm seeking permission to use the text of the story for a special project as part of my BSc in Computational Science. For my project, I'm hoping to use Hugo-nominated short fiction from 2013 and 2014 to train a machine learning classifier to identify the type of stories nominated by the voting bloc(s) known as the "puppies".

"I then hope to test the classifier with the Hugo-nominated short fiction from 2015 and 2016. I'm interested in whether there are any distinct characteristics of puppy-nominated stories as compared to non-puppy-nominated stories that are identifiable through computational methods and, if so, what characteristics those methods use to make their classification.

"I'm now seeking your permission to use this copy of the story for the purposes described above.

"I will not share or distribute the story in any fashion and will copy it only for the purposes of format conversion. This project is purely for educational purposes and has no commercial applications. I will credit in full all of the stories used in the project.

"If you are the copyright holder for this work and you consent to my using it in this fashion then I would be very grateful if you could confirm this in writing."

I told Jason to reply that I have no problem with this use of my story. I doubt this budding Clyde Crashcup will find any identifiable characteristics unique to Sad Puppy stories. The whole issue was a social and political dispute, not a literary one.

On the other hand, he may just be out to do another hatchet job, though I'd be hard-pressed to figure out why anyone would care anymore, since the Puppy Kickers clearly won.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Latest reviews

"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.

- Frank Dutkiewicz, Diabolical Plots

“Great White Ship”: A traveler stuck waiting for a flight strikes up a conversation with an old airline employee. The Old Timer tells him a story of a Great White Airship that arrives from a most unusual destination. The story of a craft from an alternate reality and how it got there is only the precursor to the final act. This is one of my favorite stories from this site. I have a great passion for lighter-than-air craft and their potential as a future means of transport, which opens the story. The author uses this speculation to launch into an engaging tale. As fascinating as the main story line is, the alternate history premise that accompanies it is just as worthwhile. This story was well written and very well thought out. It is well worth the read. Recommended.

- James Hanzelka, Diabolical Plots

Blog Archive


The content of this web site is subject to the following creative commons license: Click here for the fine print