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sf sapphire and steel winning

April 2016



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sf sapphire and steel winning

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.


It's the sneering and posturing.

You haven't listened to a word I've said.

What I'm objecting to is Nick referring to the reviewers as "teenyboppers" and "thirteen year olds."

Disagreeing with them does not entitle him to infantilize them or use sexist language in response.

You know, it's just rude.

All he had to do was say he disagreed and why (he actually starts in on some of that after the sneering.)

Re: It's the sneering and posturing.

Actually, I refer to her as having less ability to abstract than a 13 year-old. And she does. There is no reason otherwise for this claim to have come out of her keyboard: " "In the wider blogosphere discussion, Nick Mamatas used the Great Venom Cock Controversy as an occasion to lament poor literary quality, the publishing industry in general, and the big egos of bad authors—again, despite not having read the book."

Do I need to have read the book to lament poor literary quality? (Not the book's quality mind you, but the mere existence of mediocre novels.) No.

Do I need to have read the book to lament the state of the publishing industry in general? No.

Do I need to have read the book to lament the big egos of bad authors? No.

So then, what does have read or not read the book have to do with any of the things she brings up? Nothing.

What's missing? A capability for abstract though. Not everyone reaches the formal operational stage of development. Sad but true.

Nor did I refer to her as a teenybopper. I referred to her special pleading, re: obscenity, as an argument typical of the teenybopper crowd. And it is a juvenile argument: how can you call Cross's book obscene when other, good books, have been called obscene is a juvenile argument, and there is no two ways about it, and honestly, there is no better way to express the problems with the review other than to point out that it is a set of juvenile arguments designed to defend a book that also appears to make a set of juvenile errors.

Re: It's the sneering and posturing.

Again. I am not Nick. Thank you.

Re: It's the sneering and posturing.

Whups, sorry, Bill.

I thought that last comment was directed at me. I didn't get a notification of the comment you responded to. I apologize.