More Libel

Sad Puppies puts out a recommended Hugo voting slate under the false flag of seeking greater recognition for deserving yet underrepresented authors…

— From one Steve Davidson, Amazing Stories.

False flag, forsooth? A man I do not know and to whom I have never spoken again calls me a liar.

In the balance of the article, he offers no proof, no chain of reasoning, no quote, no link, no basis for suspicion, not even a pregnant silence followed by a wink to indicate on what grounds he makes this statement, nor why anyone should believe it.

I truly can understand someone who says, for example, “I believe ‘If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love’ is as worthy of the award as ‘Flowers for Algernon’ or ‘The Dragon Masters’ or ‘Soldier, Ask Not’ or ‘Repent Harlequin said the Ticktockman’ therefore there has been no politicization of the award, nor dilution of its value.” I would salute that opinion as an honest one, even if I disagreed with it respectfully.

What I cannot understand is someone who then says, for example, “I believe ‘If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love’ is as worthy of the award as ‘Flowers for Algernon’, etc., and that there has been no dilution nor politicization of the Award; and since there is no possible way for any rational person actually to come to any other conclusion from my own on this matter of taste and judgment, anyone who claims to have come to a conclusion contrary to mine for honest reasons IS LYING! You are not of the Body! You will be absorbed!

While I would give this hypothetical person credit for being geeky enough to quote Star Trek, this is not a rational response. Mr. Davidson’s response, alas, does not even have that merit.


Oh, Really…?

So he is going to ‘No Award’ everyone on the Sad Puppies ballot, regardless of merit, because the Sad Puppies are protesting that insiders are voting regardless of merit…?

Our protest is that people are being punished by an established yet informal elite of opinion for failing to fall lockstep into the politically correct party line, and, in order to deter us from protesting, he threatens those we support with punishment…?

His is not a respectable opinion that holds other opinions worthy of respectful disagreement. It is the saying of a fanatic who regards any deviation from orthodoxy as heresy.

This response rejects, at the outset, any rational discussion the merits the stories and their place in the award system. It is an ad hominem attack, and, in this case, a spurious one. It is rude, and, far worse, it is illogical.

It also permits no rational reply. Once someone has said that he will dismiss each word you say before you say it, why say more?

A gentleman might take up his saber or his pistol and go demand satisfaction from the caitiff, but on this most sacred day even to refer to such a calamity would be untoward.

Jesus, meek and gentle, has forbidden wrath and acts of wrath, and I am in sufficient terror of my mild lord, that I quake even to toy with the idea of disobedience and rebellion. This is a day of penance, weighted with sanctity. Freely I forgive such slights.

But, since it is also unseemly to let lies stand undisputed and uncontradicted, I will link to Amanda Green of Nocturnal Lives, who has more adroitly defended my honor than could I, speak for me, and for all of us. I doff my hat.

Tom Knighton, Author Extraordinaire, writes the concurring opinion: