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I'm a well read grad student who's bluntly honest about all things, although I try to be most honest about myself.   

Currently reading

Transformers: IDW Collection Phase Two Volume 2
Livio Ramondelli, Chris Metzen, Flint Dille, John Barber, James Lamar Roberts
Progress: 293/332pages
Avengers: Absolute Vision - Book Two (Avengers (1963-1996))
Brian Garvey, Jimmy Akin, Roger Stern, Steve Ditko, Carmine Infantino, Al Milgrom, Prentice Hall
Progress: 98/360pages
Deadpool Classic Vol. 20: Ultimate Deadpool
Kelly Doudna, Mark Bagley, Brian Michael Bendis
Altered Carbon
Richard K. Morgan
Progress: 67/516pages
Batman (2016-) #40
Stephen King, Jordie Bellaire, Joëlle Jones
(First Signet Printing) the Mossad Inside Stories: Israel's Secret Intelligence Service Paperback By Dennis Eisenberg and Dan Uri (1979)
Dan Uri, Dennis Eisenberg
Vision: The Complete Series (Vision: Director's Cut (2017))
Stephen King, Mike Del Mundo, Gabriel Hernandez Walta, Michael Walsh
Progress: 34/484pages
Marvel Super Heroes: Secret Wars Prose Novel
Alex Irvine
Progress: 15%
G.I. Joe (2013-2014) Vol. 2: Threat Matrix
Fred Van Lente, Steve Kurth, Jamal Igle
Progress: 65/154pages
The Big Girl's Guide to Buying Lingerie: A Cowboy Love Story (Bluebonnet, Texas Book 4)
Amie Stuart
Progress: 14%

Why you shouldn't review, or express criticism - and why this argument doesn't work

I was looking for a blog from a father of two children.   They had all attended the Hugo awards this year, and the children had been looking forward to it, at least until they got all the no votes.   


The father was horrified at the cheers. 


The Sad Puppies manipulated the books that got on the list.  They used their voice to make their opinion known.   Their opponents made their voices known by voting 'no vote.'   


But think about the children!  The children who were crushed by the votes.   


Let me break this down for you: the disappointment of white children apparently trumps the diverse authors, who have enough trouble getting their work out there.  That's... not insulting at all.   It also teaches children that their own immediate gratification is more important than social issues like diverse authors. 


Look, you knew what was going on, you knew people were opposed to this.   You could have shielded your children by not taking them at all, or you could have prepared them by sitting them down, telling them what was happening; you could have suggested for each no-vote a book by a woman or a minority that would have fit into those categories.  You could have taught your children something about this instead of letting them stew in their own displeasure. 


Instead, you knowingly let them walk into the Sad Puppies' trap and you pointed your fingers at everyone else for their disappointment.   We are not responsible for your children.  The Hugos are not about your children.   What they should be about is good writing.   (And, yes, it would be nice to see diversity, if only because I fail to believe that decade after decade only white people, or even only white men, produce the best science fiction and fantasy ever.   Again, that is an insulting assumption to make.)   Yes, white dude, it's our fault for not telling your kids what could happen here.   It's our responsibility to make sure your children are happy by ignoring our own morals, and instead do what they want.   Please, tell them this is the way the world works, and let's see how well that works. 


But this smacks to me of the argument that if someone was bullied or raped, or whatever, you can't say anything bad about their writing.    Sometimes it's been about fiction that had nothing to do with those experiences, and sometimes it's been about memoirs of that experience.   It smacks of the sameness to me because it's throwing an important issue - that books are products, that being an author is a job, that social justice is a thing that exists - in order to think about one or two people.   And not only that, in my experience it's usually privileged people - white people, sometimes white men - who are being defended.


This angers me.   Books do not revolve around the author's lives, or what the children of other readers want.   


Books are books.   There will be frustrations.   There will be heartache sometimes.   Use that as a learning experience, but don't point fingers at the people who read and review.   We're just in it for the love of books.