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October 2014

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writing rengeek magpie mind

The venom cock just won't stay down.

The first rule of venom cock is, we don't talk about venom cock. I mean, I pretty much avoided this kerfuffle the first time, but the second time around it's just so stultifying that I have to participate. coalescent rounds them up over here (no flamewars, guys--it's a community for a university class, and I won't have you giving the English students a bad impression of my genre.)

That said, the whileaway post is really excellent. I haven't read The Sparrow, but that's besides the point; I think it narrows down the fuss nicely.

Now, I'm not going to talk about venom cock. I am going to talk about the Venom Cock Phenomenon (VCP.)

I will also say that I witnessed, though did not participate in, some of the WFC readings (which weren't as wide-spread as some say--it was more a 45-minute wonder), and the comments were less on the content, and more on the quality of the writing.

And the eye-dialect.

Neither of which I can comment on, because I haven't read the book (well, okay, I read the first paragraph of the excerpt. But I didn't inhale.)

I mean, Anne Bishop and suzych certainly swing some extreme content in their books (ratstration! horse sex!) and while I have heard people making flinchy noises discussing those books, I've never seen anybody moved to actually embark upon an eye-of-argonning of same. (That's what they were doing at WFC, by the way. There: the dirty secret is out. It was a mass, spontaneous eye-of-argonization. Nothing more elaborate than that.)

(Here's where I pull out my entitlement and stand on my privilege as a grown woman raised by lesbian separatists. I got better; so did they.) (I'd stand on my privilege as a man, but I haven't got any.)

The issue wasn't the feminism. The issue isn't the dragon smut, or the female circumcision. Feminism does not need saving from the patriarchy in this particular instance. The issue was that a quorum, even a super-majority, of WFC attendees found the prose in Touched by Venom laughably bad.

Feminism is never an excuse for laughably bad prose.

You may not agree. You may think the book has other virtues that make up for the prose. You may think the prose is good. You are entitled to your opinion. But by all you hold holy, please, people, can we go back to talking about something else? Feminism does not need saving from the venom-cock mockers.

I promise you.

Thank you. You may return to your homes.

Comments

(Anonymous)

*Holds up lighter in one hand and drink in another*

Amen sistah.

-Tobias Buckell
Amen.



(and I say that as Anne Bishop's first editor, which may or may not give me something to stand on)
We also like saying "ratstration."

ratstration! ratstration! ratstration! ratstration! ratstration!

See?
The venom cock just won't stay down.

I said at the writing date just now, "I can't believe the venom cock has sprung up again." And then I stopped and added, "Er--so to speak."

Some topics, you can't open your mouth without--

Ack! See what I mean?

silence is the only safety

Anything you say, the venom cock is likely to rise again.

So to speak.
I had no idea that anyone thought the Venom Cock Wank (er, so to speak) was about feminism in any regard. @_@
So to speak.
I agree with you on all of this, but I don't think the SH review was implying that, for example, being feminist is all a book needs to be to be good: she was saying that being feminist in some way or other (which, if it is, was not apparent from the notorious excerpt) was one good thing about this book. I think that's a pretty big distinction that's been lost in some of the reaction to the review. She was also quite willing to admit and discuss the book's faults.

I know it's a boring argument - it's just that it has the word "cock" in it, you know?

(Anonymous)

"she was saying that being feminist in some way or other (which, if it is, was not apparent from the notorious excerpt) was one good thing about this book."

While also implying at the end of the review that the reason lots of people didn't like it because they couldn't handle feminism.

Tobias Buckell
If you're asking wtf The Eye of Argon is, it's over here.

(she says informatively)

I am not secure enough in my knowledge of fandom history to comment upon The Eye of Argon as a con-based phenomenon, but probably somebody else reading this is.

And maybe that's not what your "?" was about at all. In which case, I apologize for telling you something you already know.
Feminism is never an excuse for laughably bad prose.

I want a t-shirt.
Sign me up. Bumper-sticker, too.
(well, okay, I read the first paragraph of the excerpt. But I didn't inhale.)

That made me laugh out loud. Which is good because I got some bad news from a friend early this morning and didn't think I could laugh any time soon. Thank you.
I am sorry to hear about your friend, but happy I could help.
Perhaps I have led a sheltered life, what with only having been physically beaten with a Hothead Paisan book the once, but I'm intrigued by the Venom Cock, and I may need to incorporate more Venom Cock into my life.

I think that, with the right marketing push, Venom Cock could become the new CUDDLE PUDDLE. It's a postmodern FUCK! FUCK FUCK FUCK! AND SHOTGUN WEDDING!

--Mad Midnight Bomber Wh- ...er, Huey. Sorry.
Dude, I may need to hire you to work parties for me. Or something.
I have the first venom cock book in a stack of books I'm to review for a website. It is...unreadable. The quality of the writing is at par is just appalling. I've been sitting on it for at least two months, trying to read it--my review may end up being "this book is unreadably bad, don't read it".

I have no idea what the people at Roc were thinking. Actually, I think I do know what they were thinking. In April, see, they have a book called "To Serve and Submit" coming out which has a strong D/s theme. It seems to me to be an attempt to capitalize on the popularity of Jacqueline Carey and Laurell K. Hamilton's steamier offerings. I expect I'll only see more in this vein over the next year or so in my capacity as a book reviewer. Then there will be a glut of something else, I'm sure.
Well, yanno, there's some power-imbalanced smuttiness in truepenny's Penguin books, and mine too. So, yanno. We like our smut at Ace/Roc.
Nick Mamatas' response to Liz Henry's review was to call her a "teenyboper."

1. I've known Liz since 1987 when we were both undergrads at UT Austin. So he's wrong on a matter of fact.

2. He could had said he didn't find any redeeming features in the novel. Liz found something worthwhile in the novel. He could had disagreed with Liz on the matter of opinion.

3. I haven't read the novel yet, so I can't respond as to the worthiness/non-worthiness other than to trust Liz's opinion because she's hella smart.

4. I think Nick was out of line with the namecalling.
Like Marshall Gerard, I just don't care. I don't care who's right and who's wrong. I don't care if the book has any redeeming value.

Liz can think whatever she likes about the book. Nick (Hi, Nick!) can be the biggest jerk in the SFF club scene. (Why does that surprise anybody? Picking fights is his metier.)

Read my post again. I'm not interested in taking sides. I'm interesting in the wankfest, which ranks amoung the most pointless, overinflated, stultifying genre wankfests in the history of the internet, going away forever.

Or at least being mocked interestingly enough so that I don't chew my wrists open lisening to the same tired pointless argument again.

Some people like books that other people think suck. Some horses can run faster than others. Such is the nature of books and of horses.
Feminism is never an excuse for laughably bad prose.

When you get to Austin, if you see someone wearing that on a t-shirt, it just might be me. To find out for sure, ask me if I know the way to Toy Joy. If the answer is yes, it's me.

Okay, scratch that, because everyone in Austin knows the way to Toy Joy because it is THE ultimate crazy-ass toy store ever, come on, they've got kimchee thingies that you wind up and let run across your desk!
heh.
Is "venomcocked" a verb yet? Because it really needs to be.

"Bob's review totally venomcocked Richard's book."

Sadly, I'm not sure what the exact meaning of that sentence is, other than "wrote a controversy-generating review"; it seems like it's more specific than that. Possibly Bob "wrote a review condemning bad writing, which created a firestorm of political or idealist controversy almost wholly unrelated to the book's being crap". I guess that's what I get for not paying attention to the controversy. But geting to incorrectly use the verb "venomcocked" in a sentence, now I'm in Eye of Argon territory!

When I was a magazine editor (admittedly not in SF, but we got a lot of erotica-ish), we would save the best of the absolute worst submissions (the funny-bad ones, anyway, not the boring-bad ones) and have an Argon-style session with them.

Real feminists don't write bad purple prose.
The venom cock just won't stay down.

LMAO. You're wonderful!

Feminism is never an excuse for laughably bad prose.

Word.
I can't imagine reading those Left Behind books even if I were an evangelistic Xtian belliever. Sounds like the other end of the same animal.
yes. I doubt I could have explained it better.

Feminism is never an excuse for laughably bad prose.

It does, however, provide a framework in which the criteria and motives for condemnation become subject to political analysis.
Or an excuse to ascribe political motivations to a bunch of people who were, you know, indulging in the great tradition of MST3K-ing a work of literature which they found particularly rancid. (I've seen the same thing done to John Norman books (which I have read, and so do have an opinion of): when people talk about the politics therein, they become serious, even angry. When they read aloud from them at Bad Prose Parties, they get the giggles.)

As an eyewitness, I find the interpretation of the behavior of a bunch of (WISCONSIN!) con attendees as anti-feminist strained, at best. As a feminist, I think applying a feminist framework to situations where the author's gender is irrelevant to the discussion tends to make feminism look silly (and not in a hah hah feminists are so much fun we should invite them over more often sort of way), and I hate that.

(Not that feminism is irrelevant to a discussion of the Book, mind you, but it's irrelevant to a discussion of the kerfuffle.
After all this, I kind of want to read the book.

yeah.

I want to see if it's as bad as sharon green's Jalav, Warrior of Mida stuff. i think it's the same urge that makes me pick at a healing cut or burn, even though I know it's going to leave a bad scar.
Blimey, guv, you wake up in the morning and find that there's a huge kerfuffle over something you've never heard of. You learn something new every day.

Having learned something new, however, I think I'll go back to ignorance. Too much other stuff to do.

BTW I am about to phone Corpus Christi. Will email later.
Yay!

What the eye doesn't see, the heart doesn't grieve over.
Feminism is never an excuse for laughably bad prose.

Amen-- nor is anything else.

(I started it a couple of days ago. I weep that prose like this landed a major-label deal.)

I'm going to be giggling myself drekless for the rest of the day because of your LJ icon.
Yes; feminism is not about being nice and supportive of women no matter what garbage we produce. It's about equal opportunity, which also means equal expectations.
They picked that excerpt to sell the book? *headdesk* I like feminist SF quite a bit, have been reading it since the 1970's, but no. Just no.

I used to be an English teacher and things like whilte and rever make me reach for a red pen. Effective dialect, imho, should not look like the copy editor had a fatal heart attack whilte while working on page 3 to be replaced by the editor's wife's podiatrist.
The venom cock phenomenon just seems to get bigger and bigger.




















I'M SORRY. HONEST. I AM. REALLY.
No, you're not. *g*
After reading this recent review of the infamous book in question, I couldn't help but wonder-is it just me, or was the publication of the novel more of an excuse to publish offline furry/otherkin pr0n than the author's alleged concern about feminist issues?
You're not the only one wondering that.

I've read far, far worse stuff that didn't raise an eyebrow in the SF&F world--because it was published by an honest-to-God smut imprint. From all the reviews, Touched by Venom sounds like perfectly respectable hardcore fantasy smut. So why, why in the name of all that is unholy, did a regular fantasy house publish it?

(I'm not going to ask why the author sent it to a regular fantasy house. Money overrules all.)
So I was reading your recent entry about the fanfiction entry in the Tiptrees and I saw the venom cock tag. I happen to be reading Touched by Venom, and while I haven't gotten to the worst bits yet, I was pretty sure that venom cock played in there somewhere. I'm going to try to finish this one. So far the prose hasn't been as bad as the worst Jack Vance I've finished.
I just have one question.
What is it with fantasy and dragon porn?
There is the guy who wants to be an anthropomorphic shark from the zeroth dimension who wrote the big-book-o-dragon porn (whose name I can't recall at the moment) and went on Amazon to trash Harry Potter and Eragon. There are others, though most of the ones I've actually seen were older pulps.
Dude, not the foggiest.

I need Sarah's "Replete with degrading sex" icon for this comment.