Nebula Voters HATE WHITE DUDES!!!

SF Signal posted the Nebula Award Finalists yesterday, with links to lots of free fiction. (Huge congratulations to all the nominees, by the way.) I’ve seen a lot of discussion about the diversity of the nominees this year. Rose Fox did a breakdown over at Genreville.

So of course it didn’t take long for someone to pop up in the SF Signal comments to say:

Sure is a huge slant towards women and the non white male. If we don’t start counteracting all the relentless one sided articles soon. Then SF is going to look a lot like the Romance Genre. And the funny thing is there wasn’t even a fight.

Thats my Counterpoint Mirror to todays Half Truths(its the other half that will complete you)

Another commenter jumped in to say how girly the list was, and to talk about how he reads a very broad and diverse range of male authors.

I wish I was making that up.

(He did concede that he’d be willing to check out Mary Robinette Kowal’s book, though. I assume it’s because she’s proven her manliness credentials.)

The fact that there are dumbasses on the internet should come as no surprise to anyone. And plenty of folks have been happily mocking the clueless trolls. But maybe we’re not giving the poor troll enough credit.

Sure, he packs an impressive amount of idiocy into a single comment. But what if it’s not just a dude who doesn’t want women and non-white folks in his genre, with a bonus scoop of “Romance is icky!!!” What if, instead of being a dumbass, he’s trying to make a sneakier point?

After all, some of us have complained time and again when we see an awards ballot or anthology list dominated by white men. If I mock these commenters for complaining about a list dominated by…um…well, people who aren’t white men, then I’M A FLAMING HYPOCRITE AND MY ENTIRE SOAP BOX WILL COLLAPSE UNDER THE WEIGHT OF MY DOUBLE-STANDARDS!

Why, if this was his devious plan all along, then we the PC Thought Police of Doom have DRASTICALLY underestimated our opposition! This isn’t a clueless, sexist, racist dumbass after all! This is a Moriarty-type genius of–

No, wait, sorry. My bad. Still a clueless, sexist, racist dumbass. Tell you what, dude–when you can demonstrate a pattern of historical discrimination against white male authors, if you can show how we’re persistently under-reviewed, under-nominated for awards, underrepresented in “Best of” anthologies, then we’ll talk.

In the meantime, my condolences to the good folks at SF Signal. It’s never fun when the neighbor’s ill-behaved dog shows up to take a dump in your yard.

ETA: Changed the title because penis =/= dude. My apologies. Dammit, I’m supposed to be smarter than that.

Christmas Pose-Off: Lights vs. Tights

It began with a simple but unconventional fundraiser: the more people donated to support the Aicardi Syndrome Foundation, the more I would attempt to contort my body into the poses of various book covers, hoping to better illustrate some of the inherent sexism and absurdity of many of these poses. As a special bonus, I offered to challenge award-winning author John Scalzi to a pose-off if we reached certain goals.

We achieved the first goal in a single day, and a mighty battle was fought. Groin muscles were stretched to their very limits. But in the end, with more than 6500 votes cast, I EMERGED VICTORIOUS! Thank you, internet!

We quickly reached the second pose-off goal, and John challenged me to a rematch. But this time, the stakes were higher. This time, we would attempt to match the cover of Only Superhuman … and we would do so in the Christmas regalia of our choice!

Both of us grabbed our Nerf guns, decorated ourselves with whatever we had available, and prepared to flash our oh-so-pale bellies at the world.

As before, my thanks to my wife Amy for helping with the photoshoot and her patience while we tried various tricks to approximate the cover art (including a rather painful shot with my head and shoulders hanging off one end of the piano bench.)

It’s time for the rematch you’ve all been waiting for. It’s time to make (or break) your holiday spirit! It’s time for Hines vs. Scalzi: The Reposinating!


Buy My Book

Buy My Book
by Jim C. Hines
(To the tune of “Be Our Guest,” with apologies to Disney)

Congratulations to you, brand new author,
on the publication of your masterpiece.
And now I invite you to stop, step back, and listen
as readers throughout the world beg you: Please don’t be…
That Guy.

Buy my book!
Buy my book!
Just a dollar on your Nook!
Click the banner large and flashing please.
Oh, won’t you take a look?
It has twists!
It has turns!
(True, my prose makes eyeballs burn…)
Try one chapter.
You’ll be hooked!
(Though my plot is undercooked.)
Wait don’t leave, please don’t go,
It has wizards, don’t you know?
Sparkling wizards fighting in the Famine Games!
Won’t you just read the prologue?
Or the praise on my blog?
Buy my book,
Buy my book,
Buy my book!

When I go
to a con,
don’t care what the panel’s on.
I digress and push my book until
the topic’s long foregone.
off I zoom!
I’ll be in the dealer’s room.
Stalking everyone who passes,
selling my book to the masses!
“Don’t read her. Don’t buy that.
This book here is where it’s at!”
And I’ll follow you all day
to wear you down.
Come on and grab your cash
I’m better than that trash,
so buy my book.
You look shook.
Just relax and take a look.
Buy my book!
Buy my book!
Buy my book!

Life is oh so stressful,
When I’m feeling unsuccessful,
As I wait for fame and glory. It’s my due!
Where are my movie deals and fawning groupies?
When will all my writing dreams come true?
Five years I’ve been shilling,
pushing books at the unwilling.
I won’t stop until I’ve sold this book to you.
Every night I dream about the future.
I’ll be rich and famous.
Buy my book, you ignoramus!

Buy my book!
Buy my book!
I wrote such a thrilling hook.
Just peruse all these reviews.
You can’t refuse to take a look.
One from Mom.
Twelve from me.
(From my sock puppets, you see.)
Just ignore the one-star haters.
Jealous writers. My book’s greater!
Copy, paste, and repost.
Normally I hate to boast,
but I’ll spread the word across the Internet!
And when you shout “No spam!”
I’ll just repost again,
So buy my book!
Buy my book!
Buy my book!

Buy my book!
Buy my book!
Would you please just take a look?
I can’t sleep until my sales rankings go up
by hook or crook.
I’m obsessed,
yes it’s true,
with selling my book to you.
And you know I’ll just keep trying
’til you break down and start buying.
I won’t leave,
I won’t stop,
’til you call the nearest cop.
Then I’ll thrust at you my homemade business card.
So if you enjoy reading,
then to you I’m pleading,
Buy my book!
Buy my book!
Buy my book!
Please, buy my book!

Baby Got Books

Baby Got Books
by Jim C. Hines
(with apologies to Sir Mixalot)

Oh, my, god. Becky, look at her book.
It is
so big. You could, like,
Fend off a rabid jaguar.
But, you know, who even reads those genres?
She only wants dragons and swords.
It’s not like that’s real literature, right?
I mean, her book, is just so big.
I can’t believe it’s just so thick, it’s like
Swollen, I mean – wow. Look!
It’s just so … fat.

I like big books and I cannot lie.
You other readers can’t deny
That when a kid walks in with The Name of the Wind
Like a hardbound brick of win.
Story bling.
Wanna swipe that thing
Cause you see that boy is speeding
Right through the book he’s reading.
I’m hooked and I can’t stop pleading.
Wanna curl up with that for ages,
All thousand pages.
Reviewers tried to warn me.
But with that plot you hooked
Me like Bradley.
Ooh, crack that fat spine.
You know I wanna make you mine.
This book is stella ’cause it ain’t some quick novella.

No time for writers
Whose work is much slighter.
One-shot plot, over quicker than a nickel slot.

I’m tired of magazines,
Tellin’ stories with just three scenes.
Take a fantasy fan and ask ’em if
They’d rather read Tolkien, so…

Readers (yeah), readers (yeah)
Go get Martin’s brand new book (hell yeah).
Well read it, read it, read it, read it, read that hefty book.
Fantasies fat.

(Bulging shelves with the epic plotlines)

I like ’em thick and dense.
Good stories should be immense.
I just can’t stop myself.
I’m readin’ all of Wheel of Time,
Now where’s my Goodkind?

I wanna read Durham,
Scott Lynch and Pete Hamilton,
I don’t like my tales too quick.
Save flimsy old plots for SyFy flicks.
I want a twenty page prologue.
To write up on my blog.
Books with mad sequels.
Readers know they ain’t got no equals.
So I’m walking through my bookstore.
Searching the shelves for books I adore.
You can keep those slim things.
I want my novels like Rowling’s.
A word to the hard core writers.
Go pull an all-nighter.
I want that book wider.
But I gotta be straight when I say I’m gonna read
’Til the break of dawn.
Zelazny’s got it goin’ on.
A lot of folks don’t like ’em long.
’Cause them punks even skim the Brothers Grimm.
But I’d rather read it slow
’Cause I’ll savor the flavor
And I’m down to get the fiction on.

So bookstores (yeah), bookstores (yeah),
If you want me comin’ in through your doors (yeah),
Then turn ’em out,
Face ’em out,
Let me browse until I shout.
Fantasies fat.

(Bulging shelves with the epic plotlines.)

Yeah baby
When it’s my library,
Kirkus ain’t got nothing to do with my selection.
Anathem, Way of Kings, and Cyteen,
Sweetest sight I’ve ever seen.

So you only read the Cliff Notes,
Frightened off by the slightest bloat,
Well your mind is gettin’ swindled, ’cause the stories just dwindle.
My brand new Kindle is obese with books ten megs apiece.
You can do e-books or paper, but please don’t trim that book.
Some editors’ll say to cut that,
And tell you trim twelve chapters of fat.
So you slash and delete it.
But I’m sayin’ I want to read it.
Now some folks want ’em thin.
Well I say that’s a sin.
Gimme font that’s small, that’s a true temptation,
Something big like Foundation.
It’s the doorstop books that’ll make me grin.
Want to steal that thing.
Give me that tome I’m taking it home.
’Cause reading is in my genome.
Some critic she tried to dis
The books that were on my list.
She said Williams was dull and dreary.
McCaffrey just made her weary.
But writers if your book is fat,
And you’re sick of those one-star prats,
Click my contact link and e-mail me, ’cause this is where it’s at.
Fantasies fat.

Thursday Miscellany

LiveJournal has been hit by repeated DDoS attacks lately, which has been incredibly frustrating. I’m not leaving LJ – I’m not about to give the hackers the satisfaction. That said, for those who might be missing their daily fix of Jim-babble, my blog is hosted on my site, complete with an RSS feed, and is also mirrored at Dreamwidth. But I’m a-staying on LJ, too.


Folks have now donated more than $600 in the Fundraiser for Rape Crisis Centers! Go us! So in addition to an ARC of The Snow Queen’s Shadow, I’ll be picking another winner to receive an autographed copy of Goblin Tales.

Any suggestions for a third prize if we reach $1000 in donations?


From an e-mail exchange with Pat Rothfuss.

Jim: At ConFusion next year, I plan to eat your heart and claim your authorly power for myself. I just thought it polite to give you a heads-up.

Pat: Ha! You fool! I keep my power in my pancreas! Nobody ever eats that…

Jim: Dude, I’m diabetic. Stealing your fully-functional pancreas would be a double-win for me!

So when you come to ConFusion next year where I’m toastmaster and Pat is GoH, if you see me happily dining on pancreas, now you know why.


Finally, from the Department of Unexpectedly Awesome, I present LEGO + McDonalds + Podracing, created by GeekyTom. Only one picture, but worth clicking the pic for a close-up.

OTW Blog & LEGO M.A.S.K.

Goblin Tales [Amazon | B&N | Lulu] picked up reviews at SciFiChick (“This must-read collection…”) and Romantic Times (“…a fabulous introduction to Hines’ writing, his world of goblins, and his world of Libriomancy all in one — who can pass up a 3-fer?”)


A month or so back, I was invited to write a guest blog post for the Organization for Transformative Works. Here’s a sneak peek:

I’ve seen the whole spectrum of opinions, from “Fanfiction is the Devil’s Prose!” to “Fanfiction is so much better than that commercial dreck.” I don’t buy either view. Fanfiction is fanfiction. Some is brilliant. Some is abysmal. Fanfic authors sometimes get criticized for not writing commercially, but that makes as little sense as criticizing a fantasy author for not writing fortune cookies. For most of us, we write what we love, and we do it because we love it.

Full post is here.


Finally, does anyone else remember M.A.S.K., an 80s cartoon and toy line about vehicles and buildings with hidden weapons, concealed mini-vehicles, and also lots of masks? Orion Pax (the same individual who built a transforming Optimus Prime from LEGO) has been working on LEGO M.A.S.K., including a working version of Boulder Hill, the good guys’ HQ.

We had these toys! I remember playing with this set. This blows my mind. Click here or the thumbnails for the full photo set.

Dream Casting

Interviewers often ask me who I’d cast if there were to be a movie of The Stepsister Scheme [Amazon | B&NMysterious Galaxy] and the subsequent books.  I don’t get out to see many movies, so I usually try to brush that question off.  But then on Twitter, I came across a reference to a new project from Felicia Day, and it occurred to me that she could do a very nice job of playing Danielle.

A few Tweets later, and we have:

Danielle: Felicia Day
Snow: Emma Stone or Kristen Bell?[1. I’m not familiar with their work. These were suggestions from two of my Twitter friends.] Talia: Zoe Saldana

And maybe Wil Wheaton for Diglet the goblin?  I know it’s a smaller part, but I could see him having lots of fun with that.

Dear Hollywood – please make it so.

What do you think?  Any ideas for the rest of the cast?  Queen Bea, Prince Armand, Hephyra (from books two and four, because of course we’re going to do all four films), Roudette, Trittibar, etc?


Apostrophe Ninja

Normally, I’d run a First Book Friday post here.  Alas, I didn’t have one ready.  I’ve got several invitations out, but since I’m not paying for these posts, I don’t feel right setting deadlines or pressuring people who are already taking the time to write something for us.

So then I was going to do a First Book Friday roundup with links back to all the posts.  (The clip show of blogging.)

But then I had another idea.  Since the Writing Reality Check comic was the most popular post I’ve done in months, why not do another comic?  And I knew just the message I wanted to get across.

(Yeah, I don’t think Randall Munroe has anything to fear from me.)

Jim C. Hines