Outsiders view of the Sad Puppies

When attending Swancon this year I went to John Scalzis  Guest of Honour speech. The Hugo nominations were due out that day and he mentioned that he would refrain from commenting on them for the moment. I remember thinking ‘uh ok?’

Later reading his blog I started to get my introduction to what had happened to this years nominations. Short version of which is that some people got together and pushed their own slate of hopeful Hugo nominees.

My first thought every previous year, when checking out who is nominated, is all about seeing if anything I have read that year has been nominated. I come across authors in all sorts of ways, from seeing a review, random chance and friend recommendations. It is always interesting to me, that with so much great work available where the cross over is. I read around 30-40 books a year, most of which are sci-fi/fantasy, so its nice to know out of what I read which are those that others also got into and loved.

I really don’t see the Hugos as who has the best written or even most popular but who after all we have read stayed with us. Which ones stick in your mind when staring at the blank ballot paper.

So back to the Sad Puppies. Clearly what they think when staring at the blank ballot paper is who do they think is deserving. Nope, sorry, this is not how I want to vote. A big sorry to the authors whose work got caught up in this. I will be ignoring their place on the ballot and voting for the ones I loved. Admittedly none of the Sad Puppy nominees were authors I knew anyway. Now I am even less likely to even bother with their works in the Hugo Packet. It has just left such a bad feeling around the whole process.

So anyway that is my two satoshis worth.


Red Wine and a book review

The book club meeting for World War Z ( audio version) being reviewed over on cheesbugergothic,  ended up being changed, changed and changed again. Needless to say I missed the actual day and time but added my 2 cents worth anyway. While reading through the comments, some loathed the book and some loved it, JB shared with us his choice of red wine, Jim Barry’s 2006 McRae Hill Shiraz, being that I love wine, in particular red, I had to go look this one up and another commenter added Jim Barry The Armagh as a wish list item. We are now talking a $40 bottle and a $250 bottle. These people drink some expensive wine and I clearly don’t know anything about wine, apart from drinking it.

Speaking of drinking, I  had a recent discovery in the region of a locally produced dry red. There has been a winery that I have passed on a weekly basis over the past 8 years, it sits right in suburbia, no other winery’s around. I have often driven slowly passed, its just before a set of lights, and commented on how I should check it out. It has never the right time. Then there I was on a Friday night with a kilo of local freshly cooked prawns, procured from a place just down from my place of work, and I found myself sitting at the lights. It was finally time.

So I park up and headed around to what I through was the front, it did have the open sign, but on the door was a notice, please enter at back door. So I walked around to the back door. On this door there was a chain and padlock along with the sign, If unattended please go up to the house. So up to the house I went. It was a hundred yards away and looked like an old style home. I stood for a moment looking at the house for a moment, decided to not be a scaredy cat, and go knock on the door.

Hi Are you selling wine? – Something I have never asked when someone answered their front door.

Yes, oh isn’t the shop open? – she smiles at me from behind the screen door. Her voice thick with what I assume was an Italian accent

So the elderly Italian lady comes out and starts walking me back to the shop.

So ah what wine to you have? I ask

Do you like red?


How much do you want?

A couple of bottles? –  This got me a frown


How much is a flagon?


Great can I have a taste first? –  I ask this even though I now feel committed to buying something since I got her out here.

She opens up the shop, a wooden, paint peeling barn really. Inside it is cool, concrete floor. I follow her in a small way and down a couple of stairs. She goes across and opens the door to the street so we have more light. Then she takes a small glass and pours me a drink from an almost head height barrel, I’m 160 cm. Wine straight from the barrel. I drank it straight down expecting vinegar. But what I got was a light dry smooth red that went straight to my head. The glass was bigger than I had thought and it had been many hours since lunch. So I bought 2 flagons and headed home with a big grin on my face. Local wine and seafood was awaiting me. I had an image of a Lucille Ball style grape stomping, which made me laugh.  I was going to make my partner very happy with today’s gathering.


Good night and good luck fellow writers