Dear God, this is a pit of awful. I’m fairly sure it is close to 100% Puppy-infested.
“Safe Space as Rape Room” by Daniel Eness (castaliahouse.com) – Ick. So this purports to be a five part essay on how Science Fiction Fandom, led by John Scalzi and all the evil feminists, has been covering up and enabling pedophilia for years. Some of the allegations refer to people who have, in fact been convicted of things. Others, not so much. And… the thing is, I’ve read a number of the bits which are being quoted here and they are being quoted out of context and with intent to mislead. I don’t know if there is a larger problem in fandom. If there is, this set of reports only serves to discredit it by reporting things that they must know are not true, which tends to make any true bits look false, too. I don’t see how this helps anyone. I was unable to finish this – I read three parts out of five, but once I realised that there really was stuff there that I knew to be untrue, I felt excused from reading the rest.
SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police by Vox Day (Castalia House) – I find this title highly ironic, since he appears to me to be lying from the get-go. Perhaps this is a piece of satire critiquing the entire premise? Or perhaps I should just file it under No Award and move on. It starts with a dedication to those poor, beleaguered Gamergaters who just wanted to be left alone to play their games in peace, only they got bullied by the evil SJWs. And it goes downhill from there. I’m pretty sure the author doesn’t want me to read this book, since I’m clearly out to oppress him with my unreasonable leftist demands for things like respect and equity and all that. Also, apparently, I’m anti-science. This is news to me. I would hate to accidentally oppress this author, so just to be on the safe side, I’m not going to read any further. That way his book will not be sullied. And it’s getting a No Award from me, which should warm the cockles of his heart, as it proves all his theories right, at least by his logic.
“The Story of Moira Greyland” by Moira Greyland (askthebigot.com) – Oh, this is distressing. Moira was the daughter of Marion Zimmer Bradley and Walter Breen, and she was abused and molested by her parents, who thought she should be a boy, and gay. And it’s awful. And she has concluded from this that people who are gay are pro-paedophilia. To be fair, it sounds as though her parents’ views on sexuality would certainly incline one to such views. But oh, dear. So she is vocally against gay marriage because she believes it will lead to child abuse. Honestly, I don’t know what to do with this one. It’s clearly a heartfelt, sincere piece of writing, but I am not at all sure it belongs on this ballot. I feel fairly confident that I’d feel this way even without the anti-gay part, because I was feeling much this way about the piece before I realised where it was going. But putting it in No Award lumps it in with the stuff above, and that doesn’t seem fair either. I don’t know.
Between Light and Shadow: An Exploration of the Fiction of Gene Wolfe, 1951 to 1986 by Marc Aramini (Castalia House) – OK, I’m beginning to think I can’t do much of anything with this category. I haven’t read any Gene Wolfe, and a collection of commentaries about him – a very lengthy, extensive collection at that – is not something I’m hugely motivated to read, nor do I think I’d be well-equipped to judge it. I did have a bit of a read, but without context, the writing wasn’t engaging enough to hold me. And the fact that it is published by Castalia House is not a recommendation.
“The First Draft of My Appendix N Book” by Jeffro Johnson (jeffro.wordpress.com) – This is actually quite fun. Johnson is reading and reviewing a lot of ‘golden age’ science fiction and fantasy that is no longer well-known, in the light of D&D games. It’s engagingly written, despite a tendency to make comments about political correctness and such that make me roll my eyes. Since it has no other competition in this bracket, I’m going to bookmark this to read later. I think this might be the sole survivor on my ballot for this category.