This is a remarkably fascinating S/F conversation…

…about gender identity in one’s works that I would like to avoid like the plague. Not because I don’t want to take sides – Glenn Reynolds, [Sarah Hoyt, Kate Paulk], and Larry Correia (followup) are perfectly correct that raw story should take precedence over politically-correct bullshit – or because I think that it’ll wreck my non-existent non-political writing career (you try being a too-open Republican in the role-playing game writing community sometime).  No, I want to avoid it because it’s so freaking dreary and futile. I find that more and more of my genre fiction reading is coming from sources that are not big publishing companies: e-books, Amazon, Kickstarter, and POD will probably end up being my default options*.  It’s already a matter of marketing irrelevance for me whether a book’s won a Hugo or a Nebula (never used to be); I kind of expect that trend to continue.

And it is kind of diagnostic that, of all the people in those links who are arguing the other side, about the only one I read is John Scalzi. And while I enjoyed Redshirts and Old Man’s War well enough, well… he doesn’t make me keep reading him the way that, say, Charlie Stross can.

Moe Lane

PS: Unlike Larry, I do moderate comments here.  Largely because of mild sadism on my part.

*Note that Baen is aggressively keeping up with with those delivery methods; also note that Baen is easily the largest big publisher that I still buy.

14 thoughts on “This is a remarkably fascinating S/F conversation…”

  1. A few years ago, I subscribed to Analog. I had gotten away from reading SF and wanted to start reading short fiction again. Well, the only memorable thing I read there was memorable because is was so bad, and it was one of these gender-bender stories they’re touting. It might have been good if they’d just told the story, but the sexuality of the main characters was both important and forced, and it didn’t work. I didn’t renew my subscription – a not entirely coincidental event.

    1. I think Analog went off the rails when Ben Bova took over from John W. Campbell Jr. and hasn’t really recovered. It would be oversimplifying things to say that ASF got infected with the New Wave, which corrupted its boot files, but I have to say that the kind of stories that got me reading ASF back in the late 1960s and early 1970s don’t seem to be its stock in trade these days, and until they are again, I don’t see any point in wasting scarce money or time on it when I could be reading something I like from Baen.

  2. Correction: That link you give to Sarah Hoyt is actually to Kate Paulk. Jokes about interchangeable Baen authors aside, they are different people on a group blog. If you haven’t read enough Hoyt, Paulk, also Green, Sanderson, and Freer to keep them sorted out, maybe you should.
    One of the comments in a recent MGC post pointed to a study apparently to the effect that indy sales on Amazon apparently dwarf traditional.
    Look for TXRed’s link to authorearnings dot com.

  3. Seeing people argue about the importance of their delusions can be morbidly entertaining, but it wears thin very quickly.
    Personally, I don’t care if you truly believe yourself to be Napoleon. I am in no way obligated to treat you as if your delusion were true, and I won’t. If that upsets you, I simply do not care.
    Why would being a Republican be an issue in the role-playing game writing community?
    I realize the dedicated leftists always want to make the personal political, but haven’t seen the heavy-handed impositions or snide remarks so common in the other content industries.
    Also, most of the publishers are small businesses who have some familiarity with the downsides of regulation, and who don’t have the whole monolithic gatekeeper cachet.
    You aren’t alone. Hugh Howey just did an analysis of the changing market. It’s pretty fascinating (if you’re into that sort of thing). (Hat tip: Vox Day)

    1. I dunno why it’d be an issue: I just know that, one day in the middle of the decade, it felt like a switch had gotten thrown and I was on a list or three. Eventually, I took the hint.

      1. Yep. No reason. Except it’s the same in SF/F outside Baen. I could sell because I, well, sell, but even before I was openly out, the whisper campaign went out. Friends (and kids) told me things they’d overheard from people who didn’t know they were my friends (or related to me. My kids are larger and darker than either myself or their father.) And suddenly I knew NOTHING I did would get me out of midlist hell, or get me promoted, or… so… Now I only work for Baen, and myself. Moe Lane — read you for years, might have commented here a few times under my closeted nom de blog, fascinated and gratified that you know who I am!

        1. Also, Moe Lane made me remember my multiplication tables to log in here, which I’m fairly sure is patriarchal oppression!

        2. While the busy-ness (totally a word) was getting you down, don’t doubt that you raised your profile by doing it.
          🙂 Which in no way implies you should kill yourself doing it, especially at the expense of work you’ll get paid for doing.

  4. Wow. You can read Charlie Stross? I gave up on him several Laundry novels back. Maybe it’s because he got bitten by a Christian when he was little and his writing is revenge for that.
    And yeah; I enjoyed Larry’s brutal fisking of the whole thing. Since he’s an example of someone who is successful in a very harsh and competitive field, I’ll give his arguments more consideration.

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