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.

29 comments:

Hd Hammer said...

Well I have a suggestion for him - let Vox host the Hugos....problem solved.

Nate said...

There is a very obvious solution to this problem. Simply apologize to us... and ask us nicely not to participate.

If they were to do that... I don't doubt for a second that Vox would call the whole thing off and most of us would be happy to honor their wishes.

Hd Hammer said...

True. I've never seen Vox being unreasonable.
But you have to admit, it would be a blast to have Vox hist the Hugos.

Hd Hammer said...

Sorry, should read "have Vox host"

LL said...

Nate, I think in addition to that, they should also promise consider ALL works for the nominations. That was the damn point.

Dave W. said...

Ugh. Please tell me that this butthurt assclown doesn't get any royalties for tribble-related merchandise.

kawaika said...

"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."

Fuck your couch!

Nate said...

bahahahahahahaha

daddynichol said...

Boo fucking Hoo. Online bluggering is the worst. He still can not see how any of this was created by many of those he worships.

daddynichol said...

"blubbering"

Copperheaded said...

Devastating point by point rebuttal.

Athor Pel said...

Reading what these folks write makes me wonder how they survived childhood.

I've known for years that there are emotionally incontinent folks in the world but it's only recently that I've encountered the incontrovertable proof.

Lana said...

Clear, simple, devastating. They really don't get it.

Susan said...

The only thing that would improve this post is the sound of the world's smallest violin playing in the background along with the sobbing and tears of the little rabbits.

patrick kelly said...

OMG! It's Vox's fault, I'm sure he's horrified and hurt now...

Comic book guy said...

Best.

Fisk.

Ever.

Bill said...

Nice rebuttal, Nate. I didn't really understand the Rabid Puppies argument until I read your elucidation. ;)

Anyway; what I find really interesting is the depth of this moron's "not getting it". How can a freaking writer be this freaking dense? I mean, aside from his entirely unseemly, rambling, snotty, blubbering, naval-gazing whine-fest, it's just amazing how far from the mark he is. He can't actually not understand why Rabid Puppies happened... can he?

-Bill

Alexander said...

Spot on.

Though I must say, I did enjoy the lamentation that the 'joke' that a select group should leave trophies on the table for other writers is no longer available. It's only funny when it's not true, apparently.

Krul said...

*Wipes away tears*

Beautiful, Nate, simply beautiful!

You're like Rabid Puppies' answer to Wendell the Manatee.

IM2L844 said...

Succinct, concise, definitive and unassailable.

Kudos!

MendoScot said...

Boy, you talk too much.

WCU said...

Awesome Nate... We don't fucking care...

swiftfoxmark2 said...

The second we concede to this guy, the monsters will come out of the woodwork and ravage us.

Good response.

JDC said...

Nicely put.

Susan said...

Oh man, I just made the mistake of googling this guy. I am so disappointed. This soft squishy blob of human whining wrote one of my favorite episodes of the original ST series.

I also now understand why I was never as fond of the follow up series as I was of the original. I even liked Deep Space Nine better than TNG.

What is with these liberal writers who turn into something that looks like Jabba the Hutt, with the temperment of whiny children?

The Gray Man said...

Nate! As an avid VD reader \ dread Ilk "evil doer", I've noticed over the years you're from Alabama, where I am also from.

I don't mean to detract from this topic but I'd love to meet up with you sometime.

If you want to, please let me know how to contact you.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Gerrold has referenced he'll be using Harlan Ellis' playbook in his presentation of the Hugo's? Clearly this is a threat of sexual assault against the, by his own admission, "physically attractive" Connie Ellis. The Hugo's are meant to be a safe space. I hereby call upon its organizers to bar Mr. Gerrold from the Hugo's indefinitely.

The Phantom said...

David Gerrold is all butthurt because the Wrong People nominated some books they liked?

Really?

Gotta say that while I did not vote the Rabid Puppies Slate, my feeling is not "We Don't Care".

Its more "fuck that guy!" What a -tool-.

Nate said...

well... "fuck that guy" and "we don't care" really aren't that far apart.