Author Topic: This story is not SF (from an episode thread)  (Read 21862 times)

WillMoo

  • Palmer
  • **
  • Posts: 36
on: September 29, 2014, 10:11:01 PM
Another story that isn't science fiction in the slightest.  :-\  I don't really care if it was a Hugo nominee or winner for that matter. It isn't sci-fi.
That being said, I did like the story but it didn't really go anywhere.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2014, 04:21:57 PM by eytanz »



ElectricPaladin

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 1005
  • Holy Robot
    • Burning Zeppelin Experience
Reply #1 on: September 30, 2014, 02:57:51 AM
Another story that isn't science fiction in the slightest.  :-\  I don't really care if it was a Hugo nominee or winner for that matter. It isn't sci-fi.
That being said, I did like the story but it didn't really go anywhere.

Another coin in the genre jar.

Captain of the Burning Zeppelin Experience.

Help my kids get the educational supplies they need at my Donor's Choose page.


WillMoo

  • Palmer
  • **
  • Posts: 36
Reply #2 on: September 30, 2014, 08:00:49 PM
I am going to go broke if they keep running non-sci-fi in what is supposed to be a sci-fi podcast.  :'(



Unblinking

  • Sir Postsalot
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 8729
    • Diabolical Plots
Reply #3 on: September 30, 2014, 08:28:46 PM
I am going to go broke if they keep running non-sci-fi in what is supposed to be a sci-fi podcast.  :'(

And that's another coin for the genre jar.

We've had this conversation ad nauseum already (hence the genre jar).  To summarize:
1.  It's been a tradition for many years for Escape Pod to run as many of the Hugo Short Story nominees as possible.
2.  Hugo Short Story Nominees are not restricted to science fiction only.
3.  Therefore, for this stretch of up to 5 episodes in a row around the middle of each year, there's going to be a possibility of some fantasy stories.  

The tradition could be changed and stop running Hugo noms.  But I don't see why it should.  Many people like it.  I personally like to keep an ear out for the Hugo awards and this makes this category easy to grab even if you're not a voter.  It also helps draw in new listeners who may not have followed Escape Pod otherwise but are attracted by the award buzz.  It brings the conversation about the Hugo awards from the general Internet to this well-moderated community of conversational awesomeness where there is much interesting conversation to be had about it.

The tradition could be changed and split the nominated stories to the different casts.  But I don't see why it should.  The convenience of having them all in one place is lost if you put them in different places.  And Escape Pod is the one who came up with the awesome idea in the first place so why not let them continue it.  And it would complicate the planning of the year's episodes when/where the editors are inclined to do such planning. If they all run on Escape Pod then EP can aim to have five empty slots in the middle of the year (sometimes less if the 5% rule goes into effect).  If some might go to Podcastle and some to Pseudopod and some to Escape Pod, that makes any potential for planning kind of wishy-washy.

For future years, if you want to avoid Hugo fantasy stories all you have to do is skip a few episodes when they start talking about Hugo nominees because some of them may be fantasy.  Easy peasy.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2014, 08:40:05 PM by Unblinking »



albionmoonlight

  • Matross
  • ****
  • Posts: 213
Reply #4 on: October 01, 2014, 05:01:58 PM
I am going to go broke if they keep running non-sci-fi in what is supposed to be a sci-fi podcast.  :'(

And that's another coin for the genre jar.

We've had this conversation ad nauseum already (hence the genre jar).  To summarize:
1.  It's been a tradition for many years for Escape Pod to run as many of the Hugo Short Story nominees as possible.
2.  Hugo Short Story Nominees are not restricted to science fiction only.
3.  Therefore, for this stretch of up to 5 episodes in a row around the middle of each year, there's going to be a possibility of some fantasy stories.  

The tradition could be changed and stop running Hugo noms.  But I don't see why it should.  Many people like it.  I personally like to keep an ear out for the Hugo awards and this makes this category easy to grab even if you're not a voter.  It also helps draw in new listeners who may not have followed Escape Pod otherwise but are attracted by the award buzz.  It brings the conversation about the Hugo awards from the general Internet to this well-moderated community of conversational awesomeness where there is much interesting conversation to be had about it.

The tradition could be changed and split the nominated stories to the different casts.  But I don't see why it should.  The convenience of having them all in one place is lost if you put them in different places.  And Escape Pod is the one who came up with the awesome idea in the first place so why not let them continue it.  And it would complicate the planning of the year's episodes when/where the editors are inclined to do such planning. If they all run on Escape Pod then EP can aim to have five empty slots in the middle of the year (sometimes less if the 5% rule goes into effect).  If some might go to Podcastle and some to Pseudopod and some to Escape Pod, that makes any potential for planning kind of wishy-washy.

For future years, if you want to avoid Hugo fantasy stories all you have to do is skip a few episodes when they start talking about Hugo nominees because some of them may be fantasy.  Easy peasy.

Personally, I like having Hugo month on EP.  The (great) idea of having all the stories in one place would get lost if all the stories were in three places.



SpareInch

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 1388
  • Will there be sugar after the rebellion?
Reply #5 on: October 02, 2014, 09:57:44 AM
I've only been listening to EP for a few years, and only dip into the early episodes when someone says something about one that catches my interest. Like, "It's got Squonk in it," but... well... I guess that's my point, really. I gather that Hugo Month predates the other EA podcasts and started back when Escape Pod was a less rigidly defined speculative fiction podcast.

It's kind of like the way Easter Eggs predate Christianity and actually come from Pagan beliefs about the goddess of springtime. But Christians still love their Easter Eggs, right? Or do we have to do away with them now?

Fresh slush - Shot this morning in the Vale of COW


matweller

  • EA Staff
  • *****
  • Posts: 678
Reply #6 on: October 02, 2014, 03:28:24 PM
"Speculative fiction is a broad literary genre encompassing any fiction with supernatural, fantastical, or futuristic elements."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speculative_fiction

This whole discussion has dragged on well past any useful term in several forum threads and on our website. I'm done with it, and I have more patience than most people you will ever meet, which means most other staff that read the forums are either on the edge of darkness right now or stopped reading the forums altogether months ago. Start a petition, get 300 listeners to sign onto it, and send it directly to one of the editors, or buck up and sit out for every run of Hugos we ever do.

tl;dr - "useful action or STFU"



Unblinking

  • Sir Postsalot
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 8729
    • Diabolical Plots
Reply #7 on: October 02, 2014, 04:33:04 PM
Glad to see this split away from the episode threads.  Thank you, hardworking moderators!



DKT

  • Friendly Neighborhood
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 4980
  • PodCastle is my Co-Pilot
    • Psalms & Hymns & Spiritual Noir
Reply #8 on: October 02, 2014, 04:45:16 PM
Glad to see this split away from the episode threads.  Thank you, hardworking moderators!

Ditto.


The_Hol-Man

  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • The Hol Story
Reply #9 on: October 03, 2014, 02:04:08 PM
Count me as another vote to keep Hugo month right where it is, on Escape Pod, even if it means taking the occasional break from pure sci-fi.  I treat a Hugo month non-sci-fi story that I don't happen to like the same way I treat a regular EP episode that I don't happen to like: "Oh well, hope I like next week's episode more."

(To moderators and editors and such, I'm sorry if even adding a positive note like this is just adding fuel to the fire.  Now that I've said my piece here, I doubt I'll have anything more to say about it going forward.)

 -Andy



SpareInch

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 1388
  • Will there be sugar after the rebellion?
Reply #10 on: October 05, 2014, 01:08:15 PM
This is just a thought, but if the Hugo nominees had a different theme tune at the top of the podcast, like the flash episodes do, and maybe a notice if it isn't SF, might that help to head off this discussion in future?

And I do mean a notice not a warning.

Fresh slush - Shot this morning in the Vale of COW


UnfulredJohnson

  • Palmer
  • **
  • Posts: 55
Reply #11 on: October 12, 2014, 11:10:07 PM
I don't mind it, so long as the story is decent. A good story is a good story regardless of genre. But the hugo nominations aren't always that good. The whole thing has become very political and I don't like that. I think the integrity of the process has been compromised a lot. But then people have been saying that about the hugos for years.  If I had to vote though, I'd say keep the hugo week. It generally works out better than worse. For me anyway.



Unblinking

  • Sir Postsalot
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 8729
    • Diabolical Plots
Reply #12 on: October 13, 2014, 02:51:40 PM
The whole thing has become very political and I don't like that. I think the integrity of the process has been compromised a lot.

The process is the same as it's ever been--people vote for what they want to vote for.  Individuals may or may not vote for political reasons, or for fiction that supports their own ideals, or just for good fiction.  There's no way to determine people's motivations, and no way to keep people from voting for whatever those motivations are. 

I, for one, prefer to vote just based on how good I thought the story is.  And I'll vote against a story that I think is bad even if it fits my political/philosophical ideals. 

But as long as there's not evidence of fraud (which I haven't heard any), the integrity of the process is exactly what it has always been--people voting for whatever they want to vote for.



UnfulredJohnson

  • Palmer
  • **
  • Posts: 55
Reply #13 on: October 13, 2014, 04:42:34 PM
When I say integrity, I mean people who vote for a story that they may not enjoy or even have read at all, but vote for it because it represents ideals they share and believe in. That seems to me to be a little dis-honest, because let's be honest, everyone claims to vote for stories on merit, but is that the case? Obviously no one can prove this, but I don't think it is. And that's where I feel the integrity is compromised.

But then it's the same with every awards ever. There's no such thing as an award based solely on truth and beauty and quality, and even these things are subjective. There will always be outside factors in play. But I think it can be matter of degrees. How much do these outside factors influence the process. A bit? A lot? Loads.



eytanz

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 6109
Reply #14 on: October 13, 2014, 05:26:32 PM
Is there any evidence whatsoever that that happened? People voting for stories they haven't read or enjoyed, that is. Because if not, and this is just idle speculation, then it's sort of pointless to discuss it. I mean, we can throw spurious allegations around all day, but unless we have something to back them up with, then that's all they are.

For what it's worth, I think it's entirely wrong to classify ideology as an "outside" factor in literature. Literature has always been political, both implicitly and explicitly, throughout the years. It's not the only factor, and if people were disregarding all other factors in favour of voting along some sort of ideological line then there's a problem, but stories should be judged upon everything that they contain, not just the part of it that has no bearing on political issues.



UnfulredJohnson

  • Palmer
  • **
  • Posts: 55
Reply #15 on: October 13, 2014, 06:21:25 PM
Well it's fairly obvious to me that there are two opposing factions in sci-fi today. It would be naive to think they are not using the hugos as a forum to affirm their positions and view points. Wasn't vos day nominated for exactly that reason? Anyway, thats just my own take on it. If you feel it's a spurious allegation then I'll leave it at that.



Fenrix

  • Curmudgeonly Co-Editor of PseudoPod
  • Editor
  • *****
  • Posts: 3996
  • I always lock the door when I creep by daylight.
Reply #16 on: October 13, 2014, 06:42:23 PM

Well it's fairly obvious to me that there are two opposing factions in sci-fi today.


I see more than two factions. None of them are pointed in the same direction, but few are in full opposition.

Quite frequently speculative fiction is a great Rorschach Test, and what the reader pulls from the story says as much or more about the reader than the story.

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


UnfulredJohnson

  • Palmer
  • **
  • Posts: 55
Reply #17 on: October 13, 2014, 07:10:33 PM
How many factions do you think there are fenrix? And how would you classify them?



eytanz

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 6109
Reply #18 on: October 13, 2014, 07:38:46 PM
Well it's fairly obvious to me that there are two opposing factions in sci-fi today. It would be naive to think they are not using the hugos as a forum to affirm their positions and view points. Wasn't vos day nominated for exactly that reason? Anyway, thats just my own take on it. If you feel it's a spurious allegation then I'll leave it at that.

Is there any reason to believe that the vast majority of people who nominated Vox Day's story didn't read it, or read it and didn't enjoy it?

In any case, any allegation is spurious unless you give evidence for it. "It would be naive to think otherwise" is not evidence, or even an argument.

As for factions - there are certainly people who view things in that way, but I think the vast majority of SF/F readers are simply interested in getting SF/F stories they enjoy. That might mean getting less stories that upset their political sensibilities, but for most readers that is probably one of many considerations, which is how it's always been.



UnfulredJohnson

  • Palmer
  • **
  • Posts: 55
Reply #19 on: October 13, 2014, 08:02:37 PM
The reason I mentioned about vox day is because I read this

http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/04/24/an-explanation-about-the-hugo-awards-controversy/

Where Larry Corriea says he nominated vox day to prove a point. So I hope this will get me out of spurious jail. I should have mentioned it earlier. It's just stuff like this which makes me think it has less and less to do with the quality of the stories every year, and more and more to do with politics.

 




eytanz

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 6109
Reply #20 on: October 13, 2014, 08:34:46 PM
I'm familiar with that story, but you need to consider several things:

- Nomination is not voting, because nomination is done in an open field. People who nominate one story out of hundreds might very well use different criteria than people who vote for one out of five.
- The amount of votes needed to get a story on the ballot is significantly lower than those needed to win. The people who got the Vox Day story on the ballot were organised, but they were also a small minority of the voting body overall. It's just that the other votes were split over a larger field.
- Your actual claim above was that people nominated/voted for the story without reading it. There's no evidence of that here.

That said, I'm not disputing that the Vox Day novelette was nominated for political reasons. Still, I don't think that this is representative of the field as a whole. I certainly don't know that anything similar happened in the Short Story category which is the one relevant for EP.



UnfulredJohnson

  • Palmer
  • **
  • Posts: 55
Reply #21 on: October 13, 2014, 09:15:55 PM
No that's true there is no evidence of it, but you must admit, given all the kerfuffle, it's not a hard leap to make. I would also imagine that everyone who voted vox day under the 'no award' section  would be equally suspect of voting their politics, at least thats how it appears to me. Not that I could blame them given what I've read about the man. 

Anyway this is more of an opinion or a supposition than an allegation. I'm trying very hard to keep a neutral tone here.




Windup

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 1226
Reply #22 on: October 14, 2014, 12:23:31 AM
I see more than two factions. None of them are pointed in the same direction, but few are in full opposition.

Agreed. Two seems shockingly small, and they don't divide on any consistent axis I've been able to discern.

Quite frequently speculative fiction is a great Rorschach Test, and what the reader pulls from the story says as much or more about the reader than the story.

I agree with that completely, except as a storyteller, I'd say it's virtually any story, not just speculative fiction.  We routinely use the phrase "story quality" like there's some obvious, widely-accepted measure of what that is.  A casual perusal of the EA forums on any given day seems like it should be enough to dispel that notion, but it keeps cropping up, in all sorts of ways...

"My whole job is in the space between 'should be' and 'is.' It's a big space."


Scattercat

  • Caution:
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 4904
  • Amateur wordsmith
    • Mirrorshards
Reply #23 on: October 14, 2014, 02:02:02 AM
Yeah, the Vox Day thing was explicitly (at least in some quarters) done to prove a point rather than because the supporters actually enjoyed his writing.  However, that seems to be the exception rather than the rule; most people seem to vote for stories they like rather than because of some kind of weird ideology. 

That said, "liking" a story can certainly include being in accord with its political or cultural viewpoints, and I don't see why that should stop (and as Eytan pointed out, everything is inherently political anyway; you couldn't separate it out if you tried.  The mere act of trying to avoid "politics" is a political statement and a political act.)



Unblinking

  • Sir Postsalot
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 8729
    • Diabolical Plots
Reply #24 on: October 14, 2014, 04:36:54 PM
I would also imagine that everyone who voted vox day under the 'no award' section  would be equally suspect of voting their politics, at least thats how it appears to me.

You're overgeneralizing.  I voted Vox Day's story under No Award because it was, IMO, not a quality story.  It was boring and relied heavily on tropes that are already well worn.  I also voted plenty of other stories under No  Award in various categories--most of them I just thought were boring, not offensive. 

And as others have said, there is no way to avoid politics because avoiding politics is also politics.  And if someone has read the story and voted for it because they like the message it sends, I don't see what's wrong with that.  "Sending a worthwhile message" is a thing that stories can do, and if you felt that it moved you personally, why should you feel like you can't vote for it.  And as Eytan said, getting something nominated is a much lower bar than getting it awarded.

I agree that it's dishonest to vote for a story that you haven't read.  But how do you intend to prove that's happened?  People vote privately and don't have to write a book report on the stories they've read to prove they've read them.

I have heard from people on the Hugo committee that there are plenty of votes that are voted for authors that haven't published anything this year, or works that weren't published in the voting year.  That kind of thing leads me to believe that some people just put names they know on the ballot regardless of whether it makes sense--it wouldn't surprise me if those same people also voted by stories written by their favorite author that they haven't actually read.  But, again, how do you show that that's the case instead of just speculating?