jim c. hines

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“Bark, Kittycat,” said the Puppyman.

Jim C. Hines does one of the most thorough histories of the Sad Puppies I’ve seen. It’s also one of the most damning, since Hines gives very little editorial and instead relies on collecting quotes from Puppies like Correia and Torgersen.

The sad part for me, in reading this, is realising that I… kinda agree with Correia. At least when he says things like:

The ugly truth is that the most prestigious award in sci-fi/fantasy is basically just a popularity contest, where the people who are popular with a tiny little group of WorldCon voters get nominated and thousands of other works are ignored.

Which is an opinion I don’t think I’ve been shy about expressing: that’s what the point of this post was, for example.

Where I do differ is politics, obviously–I’m not at all convinced WorldCon has been subverted by some kind of international SJW conspiracy,1 or that would even be a problem if it were–and also in… organisation? I guess is probably the best way of putting it. Because yeah, I’d like to see more of fandom get directly involved with the Hugos, as opposed to treating them as some rarified Other, looked at and admired, but never touched.2 But what that means for which people and works win what categories… meh. You do you, kids. I live in a country where it’s compulsory to vote in government elections, so to me, just turning up and getting your name ticked off the roll is the achievement.

Because if the Hugos are a popularity award for SFF fandom, then, yanno. Maybe that’s who should be voting in them. And I’m pretty sure SFF fandom is more than about 2,000 people, no matter which works are getting rocketed.

That being said, I finished Three-Body Problem on the weekend, and… wow. What a book. And what a polar opposite in so, so many ways to Goblin Emperor, at that.

Speaking of which, here’s a segue into Hines again:

More central to the Sad Puppies, when I see Brad railing against “affirmative action” fiction, I see a man who seems utterly incapable of understanding sometimes people write “non-default” characters not because they’re checking off boxes on a quota, but because those are the stories they want to tell, and the characters they want to write about. Dismissing all of those amazing, wonderful, and award-winning stories as nothing but affirmative-action cases? Yeah, that sounds pretty bigoted to me.

Indeed. I mean, you wanna talk affirmative action? Then, okay. Let’s talk affirmative action. And by that, I mean in the sense N.K. Jemisin points out, which we usually call “the boy’s club”. Because this? That right there is the definition of “affirmative action”; the definition of politically driven quota-ticking. There is no universe in which Wisdom From my Internet could get onto the Hugo ballot legitimately. I know it’s gauche to trash-talk other authors but c’mon. It’s not even SFF! Sure, you can have an argument about the SFF-ness of, say, “If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love“, but at least it’s an argument. Wisdom From my Internet isn’t even that.

Although, let’s be real, I maybe kinda would like to live in a universe where “wordvomit from my racist uncle” was so outré as to be considered specfic.

We can only dream, I guess.

  1. Actually, the Puppies’ argument is even worse, since it seems to be saying that WorldCon fandom is “niche” and “academic” and adverse to “visceral, gut-level, swashbuckling fun”. To which I would say… bro. Bro, srsly bro. Srsly. I guess Torgersen just has a different definition of “visceral, gut-level, swashbuckling fun” than me, and since his probably doesn’t include things like “doesn’t treat people as subhuman because of their race, gender, sexuality, or physical or mental ability” then, yeah. Yeah I think this is a pretty fair thing to say. Sorry not sorry I don’t find bigoted stuff to be “swashbuckling fun”, I guess. []
  2. Which, incidentally, is the main response on Tumblr to the fandom-in-the-Hugos post. Even people who regularly vote in the Hugos admit to not making the connection that they can actually, yanno. Nominate the works and artists they actually like, as opposed to the ones they think they’re supposed to like for the purpose of the award. []
2018-05-22T09:00:53+10:008th June, 2015|Tags: fandom, hugo awards, jim c. hines, sff|

Release Day: INVISIBLE 2

Cover for INVISIBLE 2.

It’s here!

You know what day it is, people? It’s release day for Invisible 2, a collection of essays on representation in speculative fiction. The collection is edited by the wonderful Jim C. Hines and features an essay by yours truly,1 plus work by eighteen other amazing individuals.

Topics covered by the essays include (in Jim’s words) the portrayal of asexuality, the intersection of different aspects of identity, the treatment of Native Americans in fiction, myths and assumptions about military life, Princess Leia as an assault survivor, the power of fiction to open your eyes to other experiences, as well as representation of disability, religion, race, and so much more.

Invisible 2 is available as an ebook for just $2.99, with all proceeds going to Con or Bust. So not only do you get an amazing awesome book of cool writing, but you get to contribute to a worthy cause while you’re at it. I mean, seriously. What are you waiting for?

Get yourself some intersectional truth-telling from these fine purveyors of digital goods:

AmazonB&NKoboSmashwordsGoogle Play

  1. On a personal note, I’d also like to take to thank Jim for not just organizing the Invisible series, but for giving me the opportunity to contribute. Last year’s collection meant a lot to me, so having an essay accepted into Invisible 2 was a huge honor. []
2019-01-17T08:24:33+11:0016th May, 2015|Tags: culture, invisible 2, jim c. hines, sff|

Problem films.

[My daughter] went through the same media I had, twenty years before. And the problem movies and “dead in the third reel” stuff depressed her and bored her. Xena and Gabrielle were the only characters she saw having relationships with both men and women. She wanted to know if she was going to have to die young.

–Angelia Sparrow on what happens when the queer characters always die.

2015-03-25T07:27:13+11:003rd May, 2015|Tags: culture, jim c. hines, pop culture|

Invisible 2 post round-up.

Jim C. Hines has a round-up of the essays. They’re good. Go read them!

2015-04-15T07:09:19+10:0015th April, 2015|Tags: culture, invisible 2, jim c. hines|

Fat chicks in SFF.

Eep! So I was totally all over Jim C. Hines’ Invisible project last year, which was a collection of essays about diversity and representation in SFF.

Well, Jim is doing the project again this year, and guess who got to write about being a fat geek girl? That’s right, this fat geek girl did.

This was a tough/cathartic thing to write for me, since it opens the gates to a whole boatload of identity (“you’re not that fat!”) and career (“if you care about fat girls so  much why don’t you write about them?”) policing, and that unpacks a whole bunch of other raw emotional stuff I’m bad at dealing with.1

Still! That aside; a post! I wrote it! Y’all should go read it, and go read the rest of this year’s essays while you’re at it.

  1. The answers to said rhetorical questions, if you’re wondering, are roughly the same, and can be summed up as something like, “I’m only just now starting to deal with the idea I will never be A Thin Girl™, and the characters in Liesmith are old enough to come from a time prior to me working towards that point” (and even then they’re not exactly a runway of GAP models themselves!). []
2018-05-01T10:24:19+10:0025th February, 2015|Tags: culture, jim c. hines, sff|

The award statue is really freakin’ ugly, too.

The complaints about Lovecraft and the World Fantasy Award aren’t about “diminish[ing] him for being male and Caucasian.” It’s about wanting something other than the bulging decapitated head of an over-the-top racist to embody one of the highest honors in our genre.

–Jim C. Hines on the World Fantasy Award.

[Content warning for racial slurs, below and at the link.]

This just in: Lovecraft. Still super-racist. If you’re not convinced, Hines’ post has an excerpt from one of Lovecraft’s poems, called “On the Creation of Niggers”.

Yes. That’s the title of the poem. H.P. Lovecraft, father of the Cthulhu Mythos, wrote a poem that contains the lines, “A beast they wrought, in semi-human figure, / Filled it with vice, and called the thing a Nigger.”

Literally. That is a thing he wrote.

No apologia, no “oh, it was a different time!”, nothing. H.P. Lovecraft was a vile racist. End of story.

2014-10-16T08:02:09+11:003rd December, 2014|Tags: culture, h.p. lovecraft, jim c. hines, sff|

Rape statistics.

This is a terrible thing to have to compile, but nonetheless: Jim C. Hines has a “masterpost” with statistics and sourcess regarding rape. For reference the next time you get confronted by MRAs and other associated mansplainers.

2014-10-13T07:56:10+11:0026th November, 2014|Tags: cw: rape, jim c. hines|

The delusional land of marshmallow-flavored unicorn farts.

This isn’t about people living in the delusional land of marshmallow-flavored unicorn farts and spontaneously rainbow-generating kittens where nothing bad ever happens. We spend a ridiculous amount of time and energy teaching women to protect themselves. “Don’t walk alone, don’t walk at night, don’t go on a date alone, don’t let your drink out of your sight, don’t take a drink from anyone you don’t know and trust, keep your hand over your drink , don’t drink at all, carry mace, carry pepper spray, carry a gun, don’t wear revealing clothing, don’t wear headphones, don’t carry too many packages, lock and deadbolt every door and window in the house, close every curtain and blind, and so on.”

And yet somehow if a crime is a) in some way sexual and b) committed against a woman, all a lot of people want to focus on is what she did wrong. As if they haven’t heard these messages all their lives, and if they’d only follow all the Right Steps, then they would finally be 100% safe and secure.

The idea that women would be safe if they’d only follow these steps? That’s your land of unicorns and rainbows and ignorant naivete right there. And the assumption that they’re not already taking precautions? That’s just arrogance and ignorance on your part.

–Jim C. Hines doesn’t believe in unicorns.

2014-09-04T22:10:23+10:0027th October, 2014|Tags: jim c. hines|


We don’t talk much about the despair, at least not publicly. I think there’s this belief that authors should project an air of confidence, because if we ever admit our neuroses we’ll drive away all of our fans and readers and then nobody will buy our books, and suddenly we’re back in the Black Cloud of Despair™, and oh God this blog post is going to be the one that destroys my career, isn’t it? Why oh why didn’t I write about rainbow-farting unicorns? Quick – go look at some cats!

But do you want to know a secret? Get a writer somewhere quiet, and most of us will admit to having had some bad times. Pretty much every long-term I’ve talked to has described at least one time they thought their career was over. Even #1 NYT Bestselling Authors get times of feeling like a fraud or a failure.

The BCoD does not discriminate.

–Jim C. Hines knows you are not alone.

2014-09-04T07:56:26+10:0024th October, 2014|Tags: jim c. hines, writing|

Own it to change it.

Included with the [Fan Gallery] was a note acknowledging that historically, white men have tended to be the dominant group in fandom and the genre, a statement backed up by looking through the faces in the photo collection. The note goes on to encourage people to help change that, to get involved and make fandom a more welcoming and inclusive place.

I really appreciate this approach. Rather than getting defensive about our history and the state of the genre, it acknowledges where we’ve been and where we are, and encourages people to join in the work of getting to a better place.

It’s hard to fix a problem you won’t acknowledge exists in the first place.

–Jim C. Hines on owning your history.

2014-08-25T13:15:09+10:005th October, 2014|Tags: jim c. hines|