This Post Brought to You By Kent Cigarettes

This week, I need to force myself back into the Hugo pile. The biggest disappointment about the Puppy nominees I’ve read thus far is that the stories aren’t nearly as offensive as their detractors make them (the Puppies, that is) out to be. With all of the accusations of sexist misogyny, I would at least hope to see some of the dated hallmarks of the sci-fi classics I’ve been enjoying recently.

No barbarian hero shacking up with the twin daughters of the evil lord he and his buddy killed.*

No square-jawed spaceman punching a racist lady for the good of all mankind.*

No con-woman sexing it up in big tent revivals to part lonely blue-collar spacemen from their cash.*

No one getting killed by indians, their gods, their curses or their pet monsters.*

For all of the outrage, very little I’ve seen has been outrageous, or even particularly provocative. Where is the sci-fi Salome I was promised? The mild and inoffensive nature of the Puppy entries is in bizarre contrast to those who’ve given me the impression that it was all going to be Spacemen doing manly things, like shooting guns and absconding with inappropriately dressed women on implausible worlds of mushroom forests populated by spear-chucking natives. I mean, if everyone is calling you racist and sexist, at least have some fun with it!

I know I really need to get back to doing my Short Reviews series, and probably will once my Holmes/Moldvay game is underway and on track.

Real men smoke cigarettes in outer space. And when they do, they smoke Kents.

“After I finish this smoke, I’m going to cure cancer with my Ray Gun.”

*: feel free to guess which multiple Hugo winning, Hugo Winning, and Hugo Nominated authors wrote these great tales!

7 responses to “This Post Brought to You By Kent Cigarettes

    • Thanks!
      Also, it’s weird, because this has been one of the few times I’ve been really conscious of the effectiveness of advertising on myself. I hate cigarettes and smoke just closes up my lungs and sinuses like a vice, but damn if I’m not compelled to support a brand that supports great science fiction!

      And yeah, I failed to mention in my earlier post, the Vardda are all smoking cigarettes on their space ship. There’s a very complicated explanation as to why and how they can move faster than light without their cell structures collapsing, but lighting up? No problem!

  1. I’m going to discuss the controversy *once* after I finish reading everything, because I actually care more about the books than the people writing them and their internecine squabble. From much of what’s been said it’s obvious that isn’t true of many of the puppies’ critics (and they can’t really blame having not yet read the packet because they obviously didn’t read (or choose to misrepresent) Correia’s Grimnoir series).

    • I’d be interested in hearing your perspective on it, for sure.

      And I’ll admit, my thoughts on the nominees as a whole are skewed because I haven’t had a chance to read any of the longer pieces, but I’ve been disappointed with most of the pieces I’ve read thus far. I don’t think the Puppies were wrong for what they did, and I find that a lot of my views do tend to align with the partisans of that side, but I don’t feel like what I’ve read made good on the promises of old-school badassery that were implicit in the slates. (God, I hope file 770 doesn’t pick up on this comment)

      Ms Marvel has been my favorite nominee I’ve read this year, and even that felt somewhat lacking. The only thing I’ve read, though, that I actually hated was the Day the World Turned Upsidedown (or whatever it was called), which had almost got blocked by the slate. So, it’s hard to say that what would’ve gotten on had the slates not dominated would’ve been any better or worse. Not seeing a full breakdown of nominating votes, I’ll probably never know. But I’m reading Vance’s Dragon Masters right now, and I don’t think even if I squinted my eyes really hard, I’d find anything comparable to that this year, but if you see something, let me know!

  2. Pingback: Blog Watch: Watchmen, Dark Albion, Chaosium, Hollow Earth Expedition, Morale, and Cigarettes | Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

    • The thing that got me into the Puppies was Jeffro; once upon a time, Cirsova was almost purely a gaming blog, and I’d been a fan of his gaming content since about as long as I’d been blogging.

      It was incredibly exciting that someone from the gaming community, particularly the OSR, was getting recognized for their work outside of the game-blogosphere. All the talk about a revolution in science fiction didn’t quite jibe, though, with a lot of their picks.

      It was kind of like the time my punk band got feted and sworn into an edgy Heavy Metal club (we didn’t even have to go through a probation period!), but it turned out most of them liked stuff like Nickelback and when we played shows, a lot of them were genuinely scared of us.

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