Sunday, April 26, 2015

Slight Design Change

I am Number 1.


I am Nate... and I approve this message.  

Dammit.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

We Don't Care


Someone designed this.  I have no idea... but in honor of my wordy fisking of Mr Gerrold's butthurt rant... it was sent to me.  I can't help but think it would look fantastic on a tshirt.   hrmmm..... gives me an idea...

by the by...  if you share the RabidPuppie sentiment....  if you... like me... simply do not care...  Then post this on your blog.  Use it as your avatar... profile pic...  anywhere you choose.  Do as thou wilt.  

Ultimately that's what this is about.  We don't care.   We don't care about your politics.  We don't care about your biology or sexual orientation or fetishes.  We don't care what you look like or who you know.  We don't care.   We don't care how hurt you are.  We don't care how mad you are.  We don't care if you hate us.  We don't care about your threats.

We.

Don't.

Care.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Dear Mr Gerrold...

This is an open response to Mr Gerrold's heart felt facebook post.   This post represents the Rabid Puppies official position on the matter.  Word for Word.    Mr Gerrold's words will be in italics.  The Rabid Puppies response will be in bold.  It is my sincerest hope that this dialog will provide some insight to those who seem so confused by the Rabbid Puppies actions.

I'm going to get very personal and candid here.

We don't care.
 
In 1995, I won a Hugo award for "The Martian Child." The story was about how much I loved my son. Because so much of the story came from him, the award was his to share, so he came up on stage with me to hold it proudly. That award meant a lot to me. It still does. It was a validation of that thing we say -- writing is easy, sit down at the keyboard and open a vein.
That's where that story came from. And that's one of the reasons why I hold the Hugos in such high regard -- it was a joyous validation of what for me was not only an ambitious experiment, but also a personal breakthrough in my own storytelling. It went someplace I didn't know I could go. It went someplace I didn't know a science fiction story could go. 

We don't care.
 
To me, the Hugo has always meant excellence, but since then I think it also had to represent the most ambitious efforts to stretch the genre in whatever direction an author wants to soar. This is a unique genre. It's the only genre that asks, "What does it mean to be a human being?" It's the only genre that reaches for the stars and asks, "What's next? What are the possibilities in front of us?" It's the only literary form that functions as the Research and Development Division of the human species. So the Hugo is special.
I'll come back to that in a minute.

We don't care.
 
At that convention, I was told by someone in the know that I was on the short list to be a Guest of Honor at a Worldcon. That was nice to hear. The list gets passed from each convention committee to the next. So for a few years, I expected the invitation would happen soon. After a few more years, I stopped expecting. It was okay -- I noticed that those who were being selected as a Worldcon Guest of Honor were fully deserving -- and some were long overdue. So I never took it personally. After a while, I just slipped into that nerdvana state of enjoying myself as an oldfart in the field. I even stepped away from writing for a few years just to give myself a chance to recharge before coming back, with the intention of coming back stronger than ever. Just because I wasn't finished yet. 
 
In 2013, I was asked by the Orlando bidding committee to be their GoH. The committee had some ambitious plans. I said yes, hoping also to have some time left over for Disney World. Then, a few weeks later, I was asked by a member of the Spokane committee. At that time, nobody expected Spokane to win, so I kinda just shrugged and said, "Yeah, okay."
Silly me.
But wow. Two invitations the same year! (I never heard from the Helsinki bidding committee.)
I didn't get to LoneStarCon. Texas in August? <shudder> Knowing my own luck, I expected Helsinki to win the bid and I would get to laugh at myself and my own hubris.
As it happened, the Orlando bid lost (anti-Disney sentiment?) and the remaining votes put Spokane over the top. I was surprised. Even a little disappointed at first that I would miss the trip to Disney or Universal -- but then after I thought about it, I was quietly pleased that the Spokane bid had won. From a strictly fannish point of view, it made sense.
Spokane is a quieter city with not a lot of big touristy distractions -- Orlando would have been competing with the theme parks -- so it was very likely that the Worldcon would be exactly the kind of con I wanted to attend -- an old-fashioned Worldcon with the emphasis on readers writers and artists and science fiction in all its marvelous incarnations. 

We don't care.
 
Now I've been writing SF professionally since 1967. (That's when the first check cleared.) So that's almost half a century. And being GoH at a Worldcon is a lifetime achievement honor. It's an acknowledgment of excellence -- it's the invitation to stand in the same place as Heinlein and Pohl and McCaffrey and Sturgeon and Clarke and Willis and Sheckley and Spinrad and Asimov and Ellison and Silverberg and Zelazny and Bova and ... and all the others I've admired for so many years. Many of these are the people who informed my childhood, shaped my adolescence, gave me dreams and role models, inspiration and ambition. It's the opportunity to be told, "Yes, your work has been excellent too, and you have earned the right to stand with these men and women as someone who has contributed value to our genre."

We don't care.
 
That's how important I hold the Worldcon invitation. And it's also how much I admire the people who dedicate themselves for years, preparing a bid, campaigning for their bid, preparing for the Worldcon, taking care of the Hugo mechanics, program books, guest accommodations, programming, security, tech (a lot of tech!), online presence, selling memberships, managing volunteers, guest wrangling (I'm looking forward to being wrangled), dealers' room, art show, masquerade, and so much more I'm exhausted just thinking about it. The Worldcon exists because fans create it fresh every year -- and it's a challenge of enormous proportions. Anyone who comes to a worldcon and does not come away impressed with what this community is capable of is missing the point.

We don't care.
  
To put the great big fat cherry on top of the whipped cream of being a GoH, I was asked if I would like to host the Hugo ceremony. You betcha. Hosting is an honor. It says you can be trusted with a microphone. (I can't, but don't tell the committee that.) It's the opportunity to be the cheerleader for the evening. "Yay, us!"
I did host a Nebula banquet back in 1976, and I got to be a Nebula presenter once -- but the only time I ever got near the Hugo podium was (as mentioned above) in 1995, and then I was too flustered to think straight.
So I was excited and enthusiastic and excited and enthusiastic. And even excited and enthusiastic. It's an honor and a privilege to represent the community by hosting the ceremony.


We don't care.
 
I was asked if I wanted to do this thing alone or if I wanted a co-host. And as much fun as it would be to own the spotlight -- it's more fun to have a partner. Tananarive Due is the perfect co-host. Aside from her being intelligent, funny, accomplished, she's also better-looking than me. So I won't have to worry about the gravy stain on my shirt, nobody will be looking in my direction. (Dying young and/or leaving a good-looking corpse are no longer options on my bucket list.)
And all of that is preamble. 

We don't care.
 
I am heartsick about what has happened to our Hugo awards this year. It hurts. It's not the party I wanted to attend. 

We don't care.
 
I admit it, I'm angry.

We don't care.
 
I'm angry at the slate-mongers. I'm angry at the divisiveness they have deliberately created. I am angry at the disruption of something that was supposed to acknowledge excellence in our genre. And I'm angry at the self-serving weaselly justifications -- easily disproved -- that the architects of this are hiding behind. Oh, and did I mention that I'm angry?

We don't care.

For the past several months, I have been toiling over an outline for the Hugo Award Ceremony. I had some really nice stuff written. I had planned a statistical analysis of the nominations -- can't do that now. I had planned to tease Connie Willis and Mike Resnick about all their awards and ask them to leave something on the table for someone else. That joke won't work anymore. I had written some witty banter about how Tananarive and I, as co-hosts, represent diversity in the field. A young black woman and an old gay man, we touch all the bases. Even that joke seems pointless now.

We don't care.

I had asked Connie Willis to present the Campbell award -- she declined. Because she cannot pretend that this year's awards are business as usual.

We don't care.
 
In fact, none of us can. And as the host of the award ceremony, I can't either. 

We don't care.
 
So, Brad, Larry, Vox -- congratulations. You've spoiled the party. Not just mine, but everyone's.
I waited nearly a half century to get here, and when I do get here, there's ashes.
It hurts.
Not just me. Everyone. 

We don't care.
 
And I don't care how you dodge and weasel, how you rend your garments and play the victim game, how you pretend it's everyone else's fault -- that's bullshit. You've made it impossible to have a Hugo ceremony that is a joyous celebration of the best in our genre. 

We don't care.

I haven't figured out how we'll manage the Hugo ceremony yet. I'm still soliciting advice from the smartest people I know -- people with experience, regardless of their politics. Right now, mostly what I'm hearing back is, "I'm so sorry this has happened to you, you deserve better, but I know you'll figure it out." (Plus a few suggestions on what to do if this or that or the other happens.)

We don't care.
 
I do have some ideas. (One of which is, "You won't like me when I'm angry." But you don't like me already, so why should I give in to anger?) 

We don't care.
 
There is another way to go. It's something I learned watching Harlan Ellison. Did I mention he's one of my role models? 

We don't care.
 
So I have a choice. I can pretend it's business as usual --
It isn't.
Or, I can recognize that I've been trusted with the microphone for a reason -- that the committee thinks I know what I'm doing -- and use that responsibility in a way that serves the Hugos, the Worldcon, and most of all the generations of fans, thousands and thousands and thousands, from all over the world, who still respect our traditions and our awards.

We don't care.

The suggestion box is also open.

We don't care.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Requiem for Equus Pallidus

Selig sind, die da Leid tragen


 I've known Greg... Outlaw X... for man...  15 years now?  He was a long time reader of Vox's column at WND and like me... the very day Vox started his blog...  Greg was there commenting.  To say he was Ilk or Dread Ilk doesn't go far enough.  He was the oldest of the old school.  As LL says...   He was OG Dread Ilk.  the funny thing is...  he would have no idea what OG is and if he googled it... he'd be mortified of the title.  Being a redneck gun guy... Greg and I hit it off immediately... and I will go so far as to say that Greg was instrumental in the creation of the gun culture as it exists at that blog... this blog... and countless others around the web.

Die mit Tränen säen, werden mit Freuden ernten

Early on my brother... JACIII and I made contact with Greg outside of the blogs.  He and his dad had written an absolutely brilliant ballistics calculator which he shared with us.  Outlaw would take no credit for this... but that's his way.  He gave all the credit to his dad.  Never the less his finger prints were all over it as well.  I cannot express how advanced this program was for its time.  Sure there are better ones available now... but this was written in the late 80s... and was available in the 90s.   We were using it in the early 2000s and it was, at the time, the only ballistics calculator we ever found that predicted our own real world results.


Denn alles Fleisch, es ist wie Gras

So many memories from Outlaw over the years...   his fascinating views on Catholic Prophesy... which I know most of us never even knew existed were endlessly entertaining.  And I won't lie... when he told me Benedict would step down I laughed at him.  The kind of men who rise to become Pope don't step down.  But sure enough he did step down.   Outlaw called it over year before it happened.  That did not pass without notice.

Aber des Herrn Wort bleibet in Ewigkeit

And for all his bluster and fuss...  and lord he could get riled...  Greg had a giant heart of gold.  I knew it.  Bane knew it.  Vox knew it.  Most of you knew it.   If a friend was wronged he simply couldn't abide it.  He would go out of his way to mend it... to make it right.  The same guy who offered to fight Vox... would call into radio shows to defend Vox... and honestly guys... Medved's wasn't the only one.   My own example came when somehow Bane got the crazy idea that I had insulted his wife.  This rankled Outlaw something aweful because he knew I would never do such a thing.  We all know how Bane could be... but rather than simply accepting that Greg pestered him... over and over about me.  Then finally I remember one night I had read about Johnny's troubles and I had posted a brief prayer for him and put up a link to the paypal account.  I've never told anyone but I had been donating to help out with Bane's little boy for a long time... somehow Greg knew and asked Bane to go check and see the donations and see if he could spot a pattern.  Not long after that Bane emailed me... thanked me... and while we were not friends like we were in the beginning... we were definitely civil.   I still have no idea how Greg knew I was giving.  This is the first time I've told anyone as far as I know.

Die Erlöseten des Herrn werden wiederkommen

I guess it was the mid 2000s when Greg and I started regularly communicating outside the blogs.  Email mostly but the occasional phone call from Texas was always welcome.  I wish I could dredge up all the old stuff he sent...  I've got videos of his crazy redneck antics that aren't fit for human eyes...  and yet I will cherish them for ever.  The man was an absolute riot.  Every bit the character in person he was in the digital world.

Freude, ewige Freude

When we started the blogtalk radio show... I knew Outlaw would be one of the guys I had to get an interview with...  but as always...  even when he was in the worst of health... he went far beyond what we hoped for.  He made himself a regular contributor on the show and I can honestly say... any episode that had Outlaw involved... was instantly a great success.


Greg.  I said it many times... but not enough.  I love you.   I love you as a friend and as a brother.  I live with very few regrets from my time on this wretched rock... but one... is that I never had the privilege of shaking your hand.

I will remedy that one day.

Until then...  I am planning to take your lesson to heart.  After talking to DrWho for a while I've decided to make a list.  There are friends around this world I've never met... and I will not make the same mistake with them.  I will shake their hands.  And when we do we will raise a glass to you Greg.

Rest well.

You ran your race well.

God bless you and your kin.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

We Lost a Friend

We lost Outlaw last night y'all... around 7:30.   I want desperately to write a tribute for the man... but if I were to do so tonight... I'd sound like a blubbery vagina.

And I'm not Bane.

So that won't do.

Forgive me y'all.  If ya need me... I'll be out back with a beer and a cigar.  Selfishly thinking how much I regret not shaking Gregg's hand.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Forsaken?

My God, My God

Why have you forsaken me?


This phrase is a matter of theological debate.   Its a matter that causes many to wonder if even Jesus Himself didn't lose faith in His darkest of hours.  He didn't.  We know He didn't...  because we know these words are not just a lament... they are a Lament. 

Psalm 22

My God My God
Why have you forsaken me
Why are you so far away from saving me
so far from my cries of anguish

Read it.  Go and read Psalm 22. 

Jesus most likely sang those words.  It was a song of lament.  It was His psalm written hundreds of years before He was born to save us.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

So You Want to Carry a Pocket Pistol...

Before I get to far into this...  understand that this is not the typical BloggerBlaster gun nerd post.  A friend just got her first pistol... and I thought I would write up a post for her.

So... there is a big category of concealed carry pistols we call micro-pistols or mouse guns.  Generally speaking these are double-action only hammer fired .380 pistols. Think Ruger LCP, Taurus 738, ect ect ect...  I really hate the term mouse gun because it makes me think of the tiny little .22lrs with flip up barrels.  There is a world of difference between those mouse guns... and these .380s.  Regardless... we're talking about the .380s here.

Normally here I would be berating your choice of caliber but I am not going to today.  The fact is my wife carried a .380 for years and there is just no doubt in my mind she would've been effective with it on a bad day.  This is Dr Who we're talking about... and her little stainless .380 was one of the most accurate sub-compact pistols I've ever played with.  She could make a 3 hole triangle the size of a quarter on your forehead from 20 yards away. 

Here's what I know about the .380...   there are certain typs of ammunition you can use in it that meet my criteria for carry.  Remember I want to dump as much energy as possible into an attacker.  So I want the bullet to stop in the attacker.  That means I need penetration... but not to much penetration.  Now the FBI guidelines for qualifying pistols for agent use were 12 inches of penetration... but not more than 18 inches of penetration in FBI ballistic gel.

Guess what?  .380 federal hydrashoks do just that.  And not just one shot... but every shot.  Even through heavy denim they perform consistently.

So that's my advice.   If you're carrying one of these micro-compact pocket 380s...  go get some federal hydrashoks for your every day carry needs.

Also...

Shoot a lot.   You are going to need to hit center mass if you're using a .380.  That means a shot to the sternum... and within say... 2 to 3 inches to either side of it.   You need to be able to put your shots there consistently.    I would work at very short distances at first then work your way out as you master each distance.  I would start at say 8 feet.  Shoot sets of 3 shots.   When you can go 3 for 3 on center mass hits... 5 times in a row... then move then move the target back a few feet... and start again.

There are lots of shooting aids out there to help you be more accurate and I'm not going into it right now... but the main thing is to get out there and shoot.

So you have your pistol...  what else do you need besides a couple boxes of hydrashoks?   Well hydrashoks are relatively cheap in .380 but that doesn't mean you're gonna want to practice with them.  Get several boxes of cheap FMJ ammo to practice with.  i recommend blazer.  Blazer is good quality new production ammo and its pretty reasonable.  But honestly what ever you find to shoot is good.  I would also suggest you to run a box of hydrashoks through your pistol a few times a year just to keep in mind how your pistol shoots with them.  Different ammo has a different point of impact sometimes.. and it certainly feels different in the weapon when it goes off.

What else?  You need a holster...  and I would suggest at least 3 magazines.  Then you need shooting glasses... electronic ear protection (yes its worth it.  at this point its stupid to use anything else)... and a pistol safe to keep right by your bed.  The pistol safe should be something you can access extremely fast in the dark.

now...  I know what you're thinking.  Nate... dammit... you can't possibly be saying hydrashoks are the only thing that works in .380.

No.  I'm not.  In fact I know hornady XTPs work very well too.   But that's about it.  There are a few small ammo manufacturers out there that have some stuff that is effective.. but the hydrashoks and the XTPs are the only ones that meet the Nate Standard.  Nope... not even your precious bufalo bore... or corbon...  not in .380 anyway.   The vast majority of .380 ammo simply does not expand.  Those high end corbons?  Well... They literally act no different than a cheap FMJ.

Now... Ruger LCP or Taurus 738?  Let the flame war begin!

Personally I like the Taurus better... trigger is way nicer.