Monday, March 7, 2016

The Amazing Idiocy of Stephen Davidson

I've never had an issue with Amazing Stories until about five minutes ago (4:10 pm, March 7, 2016). Apparently, that's because I never paid attention to them.

In an article called "Puppy See, Puppy Do-Do," Stephen Davidson wrote
Of particular note is Honor At Stake by Declan Finn. He wasn’t shy at all about recommending his own work and apparently working the room works! Honor came in at #2. Funny how the same thing that was done to the Hugos last year popped up in SPIV, huh?
Wow. I "wasn't shy" about recommending my book? Um ...

1) Is any writer?

2) If Davidson learned how to read, perhaps he would have noticed that Honor At Stake wasn't nominated by me in the first place. It was nominated by an account calling itself "Zev," on September 8th, last year

On November 11th, I learned that I had several votes for Honor At Stake, and I figured "I should at least vote for my own freaking book."

On November 30th, I even debated with myself if the Hugos were even worth it.

Then I forgot about it. It was a nice idea. It was fun thought. But I had no chance. I knew I had no chance. How many hundreds of votes would come in? I had maybe a dozen or two reviews at the time?

Then, everyone who reads my blog learned about it at the exact same time as I did. Somehow, I was #5 in the top ten list. Without any help from me. Huh?

Then I figured I should put up a token fight.

I only started my "campaign" (ie: posting on the blog) about voting for Best Novel after learning Honor At Stake was even in the top ten list. Heck, my real goal for SP4 was "best related" for Sad Puppies Bite Back. I never expected to get anywhere with best novel, and suddenly I was in the top ten. So I went for it. And he's bitching about me saying to my fans (all two dozen of them) "Hey, if you think it should be nominated, vote here."

Geez. Seriously, dude, learn to read a calendar. Heck, learn numbers, particularly dates.

And "Working the room." I posted three, maybe four blogs, and that's working the room? Uh huh.  Yeesh. Stephen King himself said he didn't want a Hugo because it was all about working the room, and suddenly Davidson is annoyed with what very little I did? Repeat after me, Davidson -- "It's fair for me, but not for thee." You've already declared that anything SP4 does is cheating and unfair, even if it's the exact same stuff you do

But, what do we expect from the Puppy-Kickers? These guys barely think we're real people. I'm almost certain they believe that the "Evil Legion of Evil" versions I used in Sad Puppies Bite Back is actually real. I'm sure there are some who think SPBB is a documentary. Lord knows the 770 crowd think that SPBB is "revenge porn" (talk about missing the point)

Frankly, I'm disappointed. I expected more from the Puppy-Kickers. Poop jokes? Really? Snide insinuations that the game is rigged by glad-handing? Please, I expected better quality BS from them. If this is the best they can do, they need to up their A-game.  Or do my death threats only come after I get a Sad Puppy recommendation? Because I was looking forward to fisking the poorly-worded threatening letters on my blog.

This is pathetic, moronic, and just plain "ick."

Besides, Davidson doesn't have anything to worry about. After all, I'm going to get trounced by Wright and Butcher, and Stephenson, and probably Novik and Williamson.

But I would like to apologize to Mr. Davidson.  I'm so, so sorry that I have fans and friends who enjoy my book and will vote and campaign for me. But again, it doesn't matter how many votes I get. It only matters how many of your friends are counting the votes.


  1. Based on his site rankings, his fanbase seems to be limited to 770; and he's not actually producing any Amazing Stories. Funny thing there.

  2. Davidson isn't really worth anyone's time. He's a legend in his own mind, in the grand scheme of things. Generally, I ignore him on principle.

    Of course, he also hasn't singled me out. The closest he did was make a reference to me without naming me.

  3. I'll agree with Matthew here, and turn the volume up a notch: Amazing Stories doesn't exist, and hasn't existed in any coherent form for a pretty long time. Buying the name of a dead magazine doesn't make a live magazine appear out of thin air.

    The sort of promotion I've seen you do is nothing more than what I've seen many others do for the 40-odd years since I've been a published writer. You didn't send paper copies to every member of SFWA, like Mike Resnick used to do. Especially in this day and age, what you've done is the bare minimum necessary to get above the noise level. Talking about your books isn't cheating. Social media works by...being social! (Who knew?)

    Stephen Davidson is in the Puppy Kicker Tribe. Kvetching is required to avoid being thrown out of the tribe. This year's kvetchfest is only beginning. Popcorn and Pinot Noir, in spades.

    1. Ouch. Nice. Though I must admit, I remember the TV show a little more fondly.

      Send paper copies to every member of SFWA? Yikes. I can't imagine bookbombing people like that .... well, not that literally.

      Yes, being social on social media. Such a concept! :)

      And I've gotten the impression that Davidson a Puppy Kicker even the Tribe doesn't like. Something about even Martin not liking him.

      Either way, I think he's too stupid to matter in the long run. I'll probably never mention him again unless he starts rubbing it in my face.

    2. Not mentioning him is important. The Streisand Effect works in big and small ways, and trolls only thrive on attention. Ignoring them may not make them go away, but it may make them go elsewhere. Sometimes it makes sense to engage, but for low-status, low-quality opponents like this, the best tactic is generally to spend your time and energy elsewhere.

      Mike Resnick is kind of an oddball, though he has his moments. He was a fellow Chicagoan, and I workshopped with him in the late 70s. That was the era when publishers often sent their books to the entire SFWA mailing list (which, granted, was much smaller then) and I got some decent books out of it. Alas, Resnick sent swill like *Tales from the Galactic Midway,* which would not have been award fodder in any conceivable universe. I also think he did this at his own expense, which must have been considerable.

      Amazing Stories has begun to blur in my mind with the rebooted Outer Limits, but I remember the marvelous yarn about the WWII cartoonist tailgunner who drew wheels for his bomber when its wheels got shot off--and the bomber suddenly had cartoon wheels, allowing it to land intact. I don't recall if GRRM's "The Sandkings" was done by Amazing Stories or The Outer Limits, but it was actually a pretty good adaptation.

    3. I actually remember the bomber cartoonist. Along with "Mummy Daddy," and, well, arresting Santa Claus

  4. Thanks for pointing out another SP4 count independent of mine. Comparing both lists, some interesting points emerged.

    I've still got Honor at Stake at #1. This is significant, since Davidson and I seem to have used the same methodology. On the one hand, he has it in for you. On the other, I'm bad at math, so the official results should be enlightening.

    We've both got Butcher taking the bronze.

    By my count, Seveneves and Uprooted are tied for #4, above Williamson.

    Which explains why I've got Nethereal in 6th place.

    Also, I honored Larry's express wishes and removed SotBS from the running.

    Finally, Davidson misspelled my name. In all fairness so did the Campbell folks, but they were super cool about correcting it :)

    1. And remember that Ringo doesn't want a Hugo, so knock him off as well. Which leaves Leckie as #8. Heh.

      I'm glad you liked it. Or at least found it useful.

      It's possible that Davidson did something like search for "Honor At Stake" and missed a vote or two, since some just put "Declan Finn," which may be probably invalid, though it's clear who was meant.

      And, yeah, he doesn't like me... then again, he might not like anyone.


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