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Old 08-15-2020, 02:21 AM   #121
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Old 08-15-2020, 04:11 AM   #122
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I appreciate those responses. And I did not attempt to cherry pick or spoon feed things from Discon3, which is why I did not supply links. I wanted those who were interested to view the entirety, not just what I was referencing. You must realize that I am discussing this because I want to join WorldCon, but am troubled by endorsement of two organizations. And yes, I would equally object if there were endorsements for organizations I liked more, but were also far removed from the mission of WorldCon. However, if I were to comment further to illustrate my point, I would be ignoring the moderator reminder above. I am not advocating any particular organization or political view, rather I believe none of them should be part of the WorldCon planning and architecture, even tangentially. Let the authors we read, nominate, and select as winners provide that content if they wish.

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Old 08-15-2020, 05:31 AM   #123
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Well this is maybe somewhat off topic, but not more than other contributions.
Here is a link to the only Hugo-award winning book in the public domain.

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At the time of the release of this ebook edition of The Big Time, it remains the only Hugo-award-winning work in the public domain. That makes it a very special treasure indeed!

The Big Time tells the tale of a group of servicemembers who work in facilities isolated from regular space-time. They’re involved in a war conducted by two shadowy groups that spans time itself, with all of humanity as pawns on an ever-changing historical battlefield. It explores a fascinating range of themes including time travel, the purpose of war, isolation, and love in the face of it all.
Link: https://standardebooks.org/ebooks/fr...r/the-big-time
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Old 08-15-2020, 08:18 AM   #124
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Reading this year's Hugo award winning novel right now. Really enjoying it. That's all that matters to me.

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Old 08-15-2020, 02:41 PM   #125
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Reading this year's Hugo award winning novel right now. Really enjoying it. That's all that matters to me.
And all that should really matter to anyone who is reading for enjoyment.
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Old 08-18-2020, 11:21 AM   #126
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The last science fiction convention I attended was Norwescon in 2018. I was chatting with some people about which books we were reading. Out of a group of ~10, 2/3 of them were totally disgusted that I would read any books from Baen. Evidently Baen was not considered politically correct. There are no "persons of colour" in Baen books which came as a bit of a surprise to me, there are no women other than in trivial roles (I guess they'd never read any of David Weber's Honor Harrington books). Too much military in the books—after all in the future, humanity will have given up war and the aliens could never had had such an aberration in their pasts. Or in the case of Eric Flint's 1632 series, the inhabitants of Grantville should have been able to declare peace against the world.

Admittedly, the same people also disapproved of the Harry Potter stories since there are too few persons of colour, too few "strong" female characters, too few characters who display a non-heterosexual gender expression, etc. No mention of the number of young readers (and their parents) who would probably be rather confused as to why Rowling was writing graphic sex scenes featuring, for example, Grindelwald and Dumbledore as was one person's suggestion to "improve" the stories.
Those people were complete idiots. Seriously. You really should find some examples in Baen novels to cite for them. There are some very strong female characters in the Baen universe, as well as minorities, and even alien characters that would probably be considered minorities in those stories.
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Old 08-18-2020, 02:11 PM   #127
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Those people were complete idiots. Seriously. You really should find some examples in Baen novels to cite for them. There are some very strong female characters in the Baen universe, as well as minorities, and even alien characters that would probably be considered minorities in those stories.
I wouldn't say they were idiots. I remember being the age of most of them and seeing the world in black and white. At my current age, it seems to have muted to shades of gray. Never trust anyone over thirty sounds good until you turn thirty.

We did have a discussion and I threw in some examples. For the most part, it almost seemed that if a person's gender/racial extraction/whatever is not being mentioned every second page as though it was the most important item about them, it was being trivialized. For instance, in the Honorverse stories, it is occasionally mentioned the House of Winton is dark skinned (I tend to wonder if given that the House of Winton's heir to the throne had to marry a commoner, that trait had not been made a genetic dominant). It's not a deep dark secret but neither is it more than a bit of background information. About as important as the Manticoran Navy uniform including berets.
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Old 08-18-2020, 03:43 PM   #128
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I wouldn't say they were idiots. I remember being the age of most of them and seeing the world in black and white. At my current age, it seems to have muted to shades of gray. Never trust anyone over thirty sounds good until you turn thirty.

We did have a discussion and I threw in some examples. For the most part, it almost seemed that if a person's gender/racial extraction/whatever is not being mentioned every second page as though it was the most important item about them, it was being trivialized. For instance, in the Honorverse stories, it is occasionally mentioned the House of Winton is dark skinned (I tend to wonder if given that the House of Winton's heir to the throne had to marry a commoner, that trait had not been made a genetic dominant). It's not a deep dark secret but neither is it more than a bit of background information. About as important as the Manticoran Navy uniform including berets.
A lot of recent SF books do tend to push the gender/racial stuff very prominently and perhaps that's why they don't see it as much in those Baen examples as you mention.

Not idiots, but close-minded and uninformed would probably be a better word, as it's pretty obvious they have not read many (if any at all) Baen books.
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Old 08-18-2020, 04:49 PM   #129
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And all that should really matter to anyone who is reading for enjoyment.
Once I finally get to reading the Hugo 2020 novel winner, it will be the first book I've ever read just because it has won an award. I've not read the description and I don't pan to.
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Old 08-18-2020, 04:53 PM   #130
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A lot of recent SF books do tend to push the gender/racial stuff very prominently and perhaps that's why they don't see it as much in those Baen examples as you mention.

Not idiots, but close-minded and uninformed would probably be a better word, as it's pretty obvious they have not read many (if any at all) Baen books.
Maybe they have read some Baen books and found them not to their liking so they have not bothered to try to find some Baen books they may like.

When I was younger, I didn't read as much of a variety of books as I do now.
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Old 08-19-2020, 07:44 AM   #131
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Maybe they have read some Baen books and found them not to their liking so they have not bothered to try to find some Baen books they may like.

When I was younger, I didn't read as much of a variety of books as I do now.
Some of this is also availability. My library has the highest circulation of any library in my entire state, outside of university-affiliated libraries. I just did a publisher search and my library only has about 100 BAEN titles in its entire catalog - both paper and electronic books. It is most of the authors you would expect - David Weber, Anne McCaffrey, John Ringo and Eric Flint.

But for me, if my library doesn't have something, I am not going to go out of my way to find it. They have thousands of books that I do want to read. If a publisher is not popular enough for them to support in a big way, this may be more than just popularity contests at this point.
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Old 08-19-2020, 07:59 AM   #132
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Some of this is also availability. My library has the highest circulation of any library in my entire state, outside of university-affiliated libraries. I just did a publisher search and my library only has about 100 BAEN titles in its entire catalog - both paper and electronic books. It is most of the authors you would expect - David Weber, Anne McCaffrey, John Ringo and Eric Flint.

But for me, if my library doesn't have something, I am not going to go out of my way to find it. They have thousands of books that I do want to read. If a publisher is not popular enough for them to support in a big way, this may be more than just popularity contests at this point.
Or maybe it's because academic/literary types are bigots towards books that don't match their narrow niche view. I saw that in SF back in the 70's. The only SF that ever got mentioned by the academics and literary types was a very small subset of authors lead by Bradbury. Occasionally, you would get them to admit there was some guy named Asimov writing, but they had never read any of his stuff.
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Old 08-19-2020, 08:58 AM   #133
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Or maybe it's because academic/literary types are bigots towards books that don't match their narrow niche view. I saw that in SF back in the 70's. The only SF that ever got mentioned by the academics and literary types was a very small subset of authors lead by Bradbury. Occasionally, you would get them to admit there was some guy named Asimov writing, but they had never read any of his stuff.
So I went looking for my library's collection policies based on your comment. This is the stated goal of the collection development policy:

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A core function of Chapel Hill Public Library is to collect, curate, and make accessible library materials in a wide variety of formats that respond to community interests and demographics. The library’s goal is to maintain a popular, up-to-date collection attuned to the diverse needs of Chapel Hill residents. Collection formats, subject matter, and target audiences will be reflective of community demand.
They further have a lengthy list of authors that are automatically added to the collection when a new book of theirs comes out. Included in that list are Eric Flint, Lois M. Bujold, and CJ Cherryh. And that was just me looking at BAEN authors A and B and happening to spot Flint's name. So, no, I do not believe that my collections librarian is in any way blocking content that the readers here want.

I'll also say that at last check UNC had undergraduate and graduate-level classes on both science fiction and fantasy. There is an entire upper-level class on Tolkien which is next to the class on Milton in the catalog.
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Old 08-19-2020, 09:18 PM   #134
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So I went looking for my library's collection policies based on your comment. This is the stated goal of the collection development policy:



They further have a lengthy list of authors that are automatically added to the collection when a new book of theirs comes out. Included in that list are Eric Flint, Lois M. Bujold, and CJ Cherryh. And that was just me looking at BAEN authors A and B and happening to spot Flint's name. So, no, I do not believe that my collections librarian is in any way blocking content that the readers here want.

I'll also say that at last check UNC had undergraduate and graduate-level classes on both science fiction and fantasy. There is an entire upper-level class on Tolkien which is next to the class on Milton in the catalog.
Well, you can't have it both ways. You just talked about your library not having very many Baen authors, citing that as proof they weren't any good. Now, you say they do have Baen authors. In general, there is a prejudice against popular authors. They might carry some of them simply because of the demand, but they don't have to like them.

Tolkien is now a classic, of course.
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Old 08-20-2020, 06:35 AM   #135
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Well, you can't have it both ways. You just talked about your library not having very many Baen authors, citing that as proof they weren't any good. Now, you say they do have Baen authors. In general, there is a prejudice against popular authors. They might carry some of them simply because of the demand, but they don't have to like them.

Tolkien is now a classic, of course.
What I am saying is that they seem to carry a fair representation of the Baen catalog, which is what the stated goal of the collections policy is. I don't know how many widely distributed books Baen publishes a year, but they do seem to have popular authors. I wouldn't really expect any library to do more than that unless it was a special collections facility. And I certainly would not call it prejudice.
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