Tuesday, July 28, 2015

#SadPuppies Bite Back XIII: A WorldCon Carol

Yeah. I know. If there was ever a post to be called "Lucky dog," it's number 13. But, not to be.  You can only imagine how many chapter 11s I've hard to rename from "bankrupt."

If you have no idea what an SPBB post is, go to the Sad Puppies tab above, and start reading. Otherwise, you are going to be so very, very lost.

The short version? This is a parody. A strange joke that started with a strange fever dream, and spiraled into a comedy of epic proportions.

You may have noticed over time that this has gone back and forth, sliding along a temporal spectrum like a slide rule. That's because this is in no particular order.  And, last time I checked, Brad is busy in the sandbox playing with ISIS, Larry has better things to do than WorldCon (like DragonCon), and most everyone else has a life, so my Puppies of WorldCon posts weren't even pretending to predict the future. You might have caught that around the time I unleashed Cthulu on them...and if you didn't read prior entries, spoilers. Aren't you sad you didn't read them before. Now go ahead, this post will still be here when you get back.

Thanks to Matt Bowman, Jason Garrick and Marina Fontaine for their input on this one.

And now, we're almost done, it is once again time to ....

Oh, you know.

A WorldCon Carol

First Spirit

[To begin with, Heinlein was dead. As dead as a doornail, but not quite as dead as the neurons in John Scalzi's brain. The two Neilsen-Haydens, Teresa and Patrick, are fast asleep in their beds -- single beds, on opposite sides of the room. The room is filled with a sudden, bright light. In the center of the room is a glowing, translucent figure in a midshipman's uniform.]

[Ghost]: "I am the ghost of--"

[TNH:] "Nooooooo! Hsssssss . . ."

[Ghost]: ". . . What?"

[PNH]: "She's . . . allergic to . . . you know. That thing some people say in place of 'holiday season.'"

[Ghost]: "You mean 'Christmas'?"

[TNH screams. It sounds EXACTLY like a Wilhelm Scream.]

[Ghost]: "Wow. You're not very original, are you?"

[PNH] looks like he's about to agree, but then thinks better of it] "Hey, don't talk about my -- oh, wait, sorry, dear. I almost defended you there."

[TNH]: "That's okay, honey. I know, this Hugo situation is enough to make even the best feminist male start acting like a chauvinist pig."

[Ghost]: "Well, that's why I'm here."

[PNH]: "To be a chauvinist pig?"

[Ghost]: "No, I'm the Ghost of Hugos Past."

[TNH]: "Nooooooo! That's almost as bad!"

[PNH]: "I have to agree. That stuff contains Heinlein."

[TNH]: "Hsssssss . . ."

[PNH: "Don't worry, dear, it also contains Marion Zimmer Bradley and David Gerrold. So this fellow can't be ALL bad."

[Ghost]: "Hey, give me a break. I can't be blamed for that one. That's up to the Ghost of Hugos Present. Some years he gets drunk. I think that year he was high."

[PNH narrows his eyes] So, what do you want?

[Ghost] I'm one of three spirits that will appear to you tonight.  They will be your chances to change your ways, lest you lose the Hugos FOREVER.

[Both cringe. TNH snarls first] How dare you! We can never lose the Hugos!

[Ghost smiles] Wanna bet.

[PNH] Who are you, anyway?  [Looks at uniform]  Who the hell are you, anyway? Some David Weber fan? 

[Ghost frowns] Listen, buddy. Step one, I don't want to be here either. We were going to send Harlan, but he's still alive. We made him an offer anyway, and he still wouldn't do it. So you got me. As for your vaunted "message fiction of the past" --

[With a snap of his fingers, the room is fill with books. The two are buried alive in books.  All of them are hardcover, gold-edged, printed on high-quality paper. Both of them have to scurry under their beds to avoid being crushed.]

[The Ghost stands in the middle of the room, untouched. His voice carries to them despite all of the books in the way] This is your "message fiction."  The patriotism of Frederic Brown! The innovation of Bester! The faith of Walter Miller! The anti-communism of Vonnegut! The scope of Clarke! The surrealism of Dick! The wonder of Dune! The overpowering imagination of Niven!

[TNH screams again]  Make it stop! Make it sttoooopppp!  Too much unapproved literature! Too much fun, profitable books! I need a safe zone! I need a John Scalzi novel!

[Ghost] And, of course, there's me!  I would have brought my powered armor, but it wouldn't fit in the room.

[The beds break under the pressure of the books. They are slowly smothered.  The Ghost laughs] And that's for destroying Starship Troopers!  BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAH

[The books and the ghost of Robert Heinlein disappear. The beds are perfectly fine.  They crawl out from beneath them and look around. It looks as though nothing had happened.]

[TNH] Just a dream.

[PNH]  Yes, dear.

[TNH] Nothing happened.

[PNH]  Yes, dear.

[TNH] Absolutely not a problem.

[PNH]  Yes, dear.

[TNH] We should go back to bed.

[PNH]  Of course, dear.

[PNH and TNH crawl back into bed. They book look around, then each of them turns on their book lights on their nightstands. They flash each other nervous smiles, then tuck in]


I hate to break it to you, but the rest of this post has been moved to a different location. Where, you might ask?

Here: To the Collected SAD PUPPIES BITE BACK, in Paperback and Kindle.


  1. OK. My amusement levels have exceeded the bounds of propriety. So thank you!

    Interesting bit of casting with the first two ghosts. Good approach to refuting claims that SP is about pushing politics.

    The Warmachine bigatures were a nice touch.

    1. You're welcome.

      The casting did not turn out anywhere near what I thought it would be. I first thought "Hey! Gygax would be awesome! And he'd fit the original structure with the charming ghost of Christmas past. And Brad for Present!" Then it's just ... nah. These people need someone to have a serious conversation. Enter RaH and Joss.

      Thanks. I thought it was a nice touch, too with the bigatures.

  2. The one with Joss Whedon made me chuckle. I've been so utterly SWAMPED by RL work (art commissions all of them) that I barely have time to breathe heh.


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