Nuking the Hugos from orbit

Because it’s the only way to be sure!

After a bit of a lull in this kind of talk, it seems certain individuals — I won’t call them “high profile” because we’re dealing with an absurd level of relativity when we discuss the Peoples Republic of Science Fiction — have renewed calls to NO AWARD the voting ballot. Basically, they want to get as many people as possible to rank NO AWARD in the top slot in each category, so as to burn the categories — that way none of the “wrong” works, artists, editors, or writers, get to have a Hugo award this year. There will literally be no awards given. Scorched Earth!

I confess — as someone who is vocally critical of World Science Fiction Convention’s notoriously insular attitude — to being disappointed by the rattling of the nuclear saber. Mostly because even I don’t think there are enough Fans (caps f) in Fandom (also caps F) who are this selfish, cheap, and petulant. After decades of seeing the Hugos be quietly gamed, people are now going to blow the thing up, because a democracy was used democratically?

It’s not a matter of whether or not you think a slate is gauche, or you think the “wrong” people got to participate in the selection process.

What’s at stake right now is: do the Fans (caps f) of Fandom (caps f) love Science Fiction and Fantasy, or do the Fans merely love their insider club with its insider biases?

Are the people crying the loudest about how Sad Puppies 3 “gamed” the system, really concerned with the integrity of the award, or are they mad merely because they didn’t get to have their way?

Notice that some of the crankiest souls, are also among those who have benefited the most from the “old” way, with it’s numerous and sundry soft manipulations; multiple upon multiple Hugo nominations, and Hugo wins.

I mean, it’s not like this is some kind of shocking revelation. Harlan Ellison was talking about this 20 years ago. In a sea of annual production, the likelyhood that the Hugo is now (or could ever be again) given for purely meritorious reasons — without boosterism, without folks getting together to push for things — was nill. And since Harlan didn’t seem particularly bothered by it, I am not sure why anyone else is bothered by it. Folks have been lobbying (for themselves, or on behalf of others) behind the scenes for decades.

The internet merely made this lobbying public.

The chief sin of Sad Puppies 3 seems to be that we were transparent and we were successful beyond all expectation.

Many a red herring has been lobbed at us over the past three weeks. All of these are colossal distractions from the central question I’ve been asking my entire (short, so far) career: do the Hugos even matter anymore, and if they don’t, how to we get them to matter again?

My logic has been: get more people to vote, and bring those people in from diverse sectors of the consumer market, and the cachet of the award increases because more and more people from a broader spectrum of the totality of fandom (small f) will have a stake in the award, pay attention to what’s selected for the final ballot, and will view the award as a valid marker of enjoyability; or at least notoriety.

Especially since the Hugos have already been subjected to numerous manipulations (again, all behind the scenes) by authors, voters, and publishers, who all seem to want the Hugo to better reflect their tastes, their interests, their politics, and their pet points they want to make with the award.

So, Sad Puppies rolled up its sleeves and said, “Let’s see what happens if we really go to work,” and the answer was: Holy damn, look at that!

And now the response from some has been to say, “Fuck it all, the award is no good when the wrong people get to vote, so let’s just nuke the whole thing from orbit this year, and set about rejiggering the rules so that the wrong people don’t get to meddle with things next time.” (For all definitions of wrong which include, “Whoever David Gerrold doesn’t seem to like this week.”)

That grownups are deploying this argument — we will take our ball and go home! — merely reinforces every unfortunate stereotype anyone has ever had; about Fandom, about Worldcon, about nerds and geeks in general. That we pitch fits when things don’t go our way. That we love playing fair, until we don’t get what we want, and then it’s time to kick our feet and bang our plastic knives and forks on our high-chair tables, and throw our food at the wall.

Again, I like to think that Fandom is made of sterner stuff than this. Sure, there are a few spoilsports who seem to have taken it very personally — that the Hugo ballot doesn’t look the way they think it should look this year. As one notable editor remarked to me in confidence, “Now they know how we always feel!” To which I can only say, indeed.

And the cranks are certainly trying to rally as many people as they can to their cause. Which is fine. Again, this is Fandom and Worldcon on trial here. Not anyone involved with Sad Puppies 3. This is a mettle moment: when Fandom has to ask itself, “Are we really people who love Science Fiction and Fantasy? Or are we simply in love with ourselves instead?”

If the answer is the former, then NO AWARD will not carry the day. The grownups will have prevailed.

If the answer is the latter, then NO AWARD will nuke the categories, and the bigger SF/F world will have conclusive proof that both Worldcon and the Hugo awards are one-hundred-percent irrelevant in the 21st century.

If I were a committed Fan in Fandom, I’d stare long and hard at my ballot, before going with the second option.

Seriously, blowing up the Hugos with NO AWARD is not just terrible public relations, not just terrible sportsmanship, not just terrible (far moreso than any slate or list!) etiquette, it will totally and permanently turf whatever limited credibility the Hugo had left — in the wider world of SF/F fans, and fan regard. The Hugo will literally become the “little” award for “little” people, who like giving themselves shiny stuff, and making sure that the “bad” people don’t even get to have a seat at the table, nor have any of the shiny stuff.

I say, GO GROWNUPS! You know who you are. Read your packets. Don’t follow the cranks. You don’t owe the cranks anything anyway.

And if you are genuinely upset with Sad Puppies, by golly, get out your vote next year. Go around and rattle a few of your own cages. Wake up the electorate! If it’s the voted award, then the award relies on the health of its democracy. Don’t change the rules or call for the award to be spiked. Get people motivated to have a say. That’s all we at Sad Puppies 3 did: we motivated people to have their say.

And there’s nothing wrong with that. Not for anybody.

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206 thoughts on “Nuking the Hugos from orbit

  1. Interesting times, indeed. Like the apocryphal Chinese curse.
    It would be dreadful – or perhaps it would prove a point that Worldcon and the Hugo IS irrelevant – if “No Award” sweeps the deck. It WILL be an interesting next couple of months. And I say this as a mild and occasional fan of SF, and not as a writer of it. (My gig is historical fiction, and I do not have words enough to say that HF writer’s groups don’t have anywhere near levels of this drama.)

  2. I am actually cutting and pasting this from where I put it at the very end of the Sad/Rabid puppies post, but it particularly apropos here, so I am going to repeat myself. If you don’t like it, sue me.

    All of this is just smoke and mirrors. The actual issue boils down to this: The Hugos are chosen by people who have paid money to WorldCon to vote in the election. Vox Day’s vote is as good as GRRM’s is as good as Larry Correia’s vote is as good as mine. You have no say in how other people vote. If you don’t like what Vox Day is doing, go out, get another 5,000 like-minded people, have them buy memberships and vote and run roughshod over him. If you don’t like what Larry Correia is doing, go out there and get 5,000 like-minded people, have them buy memberships and vote and run roughshod over him. If you don’t like what you think the SJWs are doing with the Hugos, go out and get 5,000 like-minded people, have them buy memberships and vote and run roughshod over them. Oh wait! That is exactly what they did! Since when is getting more people to vote a bad thing? Right, these are the wrong kind of people. You know something? Vox has a lot of issues, but, unlike a certain darling of the SJW crowd, HE never raped his own children and enabled his spouse to do the same.

    Shut up and vote.

    David

  3. Mr Torgersen,
    I agree with pretty much everything you are saying here. I agree that those of us who are puppy supporters should do as Mr Correia said and “read the nominees and vote for what we like”. However I also think we should actively encourage the SJW’s to vote No Award.

    Why? For the exact same reason you get your house inspected if you find you have termites. To see how far the infestation goes. Those of us who care about Scfi will vote according to our taste’s, those who care about their own power will vote no award. The vote totals will let us know exactly how deep the rot is, And my suspicion is that it isn’t nearly as deep as we, or they think

  4. Brilliant idea on the “No Award” part. Why, I’m sure they’ll just love their convention being overrun by Vox supporters next year to basically block any rules change.

    You don’t get to say someone is crazy, start poking them with a sharp stick, then act surprised when they do something batshit. That’s basically the scenario the Worldcon folks are setting up. Again, I don’t have a dog in this fight (I only care about the Green Award, and I lack the time to actually sit down and read everything to vote honorably), but from the cheap seats of the Coliseum it looks like the cray cray is strong with the “No Award” crowd.

  5. Sorry Brad, you do not get to be all noble here. You and the puppies in general climbed into bed with a sack of shit. Whatever the reasons underlying the slate, all I see is shit.

  6. “From the cheap seats of the Coliseum it looks like the cray cray is strong with the “No Award” crowd.”

    You know, the thing that impresses me the most is the depth of the intellectual prowess. We all laugh at the whole “destroy the awards to save them” rhetoric, but no, these people are crazy smart. According to them, the real sin we have committed (at least I think that is the sin, this week, anyway) is that we are BLOC voting on a SLATE! So, what is their answer to this challenge! Why, it is for all of them to agree, as a BLOC, to vote for a SLATE of “No Award” for all the categories. “Gadzooks, Brain! It’s brilliant! NARF!”

    These people are really beyond parody, and their lack of self-awareness borders on mental illness.

    David

  7. Ambivalent, that name doesn’t compute. You need to include the two alpha characters and eleven numerical characters so we can report properly which Borg machine needs to be returned to the Borg queen for repair.

  8. “Sorry Brad, you do not get to be all noble here. You and the puppies in general climbed into bed with a sack of shit. Whatever the reasons underlying the slate, all I see is shit.”

    And thus any need for independent thought or moral agency is gone and one may rest. Sweet, sweet, rest.

  9. Dear Ambivalent in Tokyo,

    Thank you for expressing your concerns regarding this matter. We will certainly take your views under consideration. In the meantime, please take your concerns, fold them until they are all corners, then insert them elbow-deep into your rectum. Be careful while doing so, we wouldn’t want you to punch yourself in the nose.

  10. “David, it doesn’t border on insanity, it’s well beyond it.”

    I wonder if these folks were hard of hearing or something. Maybe, when they saw Toy Story, what they heard Buzz Lightyear say was, “To insanity and BEYOND!” You know, that might actually explain a few things.

    David

  11. I love the way they used “sack of shit” as if they actually have a moral ethos, principles and a dictionary.

    A careful reading of SJW Orwellian rhetoric reveals they see such things as a mystery of the universe that could explode out of a wall or dive into a manhole at random.

  12. “Whatever the reasons underlying the slate, all I see is shit.”

    If all you see is shit, then you are the one in the sack. (Was that Confucius who said that, or was it Oscar Wilde? I can’t remember.)

  13. “You and the puppies in general climbed into bed with a sack of shit.”

    The Nielsen Haydens climbed into bed with Stalinists. Actual Stalinists. Knowingly.

    Vox Day is a guy who posts rants on the Internet. PNH’s buddies murdered a hundred million people.

    Link to you (or anyone) urging that PNH’s Hugo nominations being “No Awarded” because of that?

    Thanks.

  14. I really just learned about this whole Hugo politics debacle, but what bugs me the most about this is that even if you are part of the SJW camp, no one is suggesting the idea that “hey, we have talented writers who think the way we do and even the craziest of crazy conservatives like Eric Flint and Gene Roddenbury, maybe we should get our own to not produce lazy work.” That is what I have to think every time I lose an argument. Its not that the Leftist scifi writers have an absence of brain cells or are without a modicum of intelligence (with notable exception being John Scalzi), its just that they have been allowed to write lazy without needing to convince others with their work.

  15. Interesting read Brad, I agree with what you are saying.

    I’m waiting to see what matters more to Worldcon, voting memberships or the politics of the lunatic SJW’s that have infested the whole thing.

    I bought a voting membership this year, and I bet a whole pile of other people did, which translates into a whole pile of $40 for Worldcon that don’t need to go to actually accommodating or making space for anyone, just tracking a few emails and counting some ballots.

    If they listen to the children and change the rules to prevent this sort of thing ever happening again, what precisely does Worldcon think will happen 2 years from now?

    I get to vote next year as part of the vote this year but after that if I want a vote again then they will need to persuade me to part with another $40.

    If the voting has been rejigged to make sure unGoodThink authors are kept of the list, do you think I will be parting with $40 again? There is plenty of other things I can spend the money on. I doubt I will be the only person not bothering to spend the $40, or even the full price ticket to Worldcon.

    It was prior to all this, unless I am mistaken, a con that was in decline and getting smaller each year. All they will do by trying to “keep out the rabble” is accelerate that rate of decline.

  16. Next year is going to be fun.

    1. Get some manga nominated for the comics award! Now that we know that only the English translation publication year counts, there’s a lot of eligible stuff! Have a Hugo nomination party at several anime conventions, get lots of nominations from the younger fans. Time to hear from the light novels and visual novels, as well as anime series for best dramatic presentation.

    2. The sf/f romance/paranormal romance crowd is starting to feel their Hugo oats!

    3. Obviously YA sf is even more powerful than the paranormal romance folks, and their adult fandom is loud and has bucks! Since they now know how to nominate people for the Hugos, we can expect them to drop by.

    4. And obviously we are ripe for more indie writers to win the short story and novella awards, because there are a blue ton of novellas being published independently.

  17. suburbanbanshee,

    The rules are actually broader than that. Or at least they were when Joe Sherry pointed out that I was reasoning from false premises. Scanlation, fansubs, fanfic, etc…

    But yeah, Naruto should qualify next year. And ‘Patrick Nielsen Hayden learns about the 2015 Hugo Awards’.

  18. Pingback: No Award? Please do. | Mars Is

  19. I really, REALLY don’t want to see No Award take any category this year. I think it’s horrible for the fans and bad for Worldcon.

    Those considering voting No Award might want to think ahead about what the future consequences could be. In a world where anyone/everyone can vote, that only gets several hundred to a couple of thousand votes, you don’t want to piss off the person who can mobilize tens of thousands of people to vote, out of spite, against you. If you really want to burn it down this year, it’s NOT Larry or Brad or Amanda that you have to worry about. Because while those three have their followings, compared to Vox (who easily cuts across disciplines) they are small, and he likes screwing with people who have screwed with him.

    Better to read all the nominees and then vote what you think is best rather than getting political about a small literary award.

  20. When the barbarians are already inside your camp, call down ortillery on their position. This will convince your troops and allies that you are truly defending their interests and you have everything under control.

  21. Nice rant. Minor problem there however – voting No Award doesn’t destroy the Hugos.

    It just denies victory to a small bunch of loudmouths who exploited open rules predicated on the assumption voters would be sf fans rather than ideologues pushing a slate, and it does so for that one year.

    And when the rules are fixed to encourage actual fans to vote based on their appreciation of sf, then the Hugos will go on just fine without you.

  22. Reblogged this on The Arts Mechanical and commented:
    If you are so willing to risk destroying the thing you purport to love can you really love it? I certainly would not want to have my name all over the destruction of the Hugo Awards like the Nelson Haydens seemed determined to do.

  23. From the Standpoint of the SJW’s – which includes Scalzi – its better to Nuke the awards and then rig the rules so BADFANS won’t be a factor next year (or is it 2017?). Since many of them never believed in giving Hugos based on merit in first place, a scorched earth policy makes a sense – to a SJW.

  24. I think what SP3 has proven is how few of the in crowd truly care about the Award or quality SF fiction – they’ve shown they are most interested in politics, power, and sticking it to people they dislike. Actually rewarding quality SF fiction seems to be about last on their list.

  25. Curious how you are going to tell ‘actual fans’ from ‘ideologues’? Will there be a test? Will you require actual attendance? Will you be upping the fee? Or something else?

    Seems any solution will likely disenfranchise many ‘actual fans’ and you’ll end up with an ever decreasing body of ‘actual fans’ giving out an irrelevant award.

  26. It doesn’t matter what happens. SP has shown what happens when you get between racists and their prey. Despite all the noises from SJWs, this has nothing to do with literature. This is all about their weird racial and sexual obsession with the “marginalized” and “diversity.”

    “Abigail Nussbaum ‏@NussbaumAbigail Mar 9 @shaunduke @niallharrison @jdiddyesquire I need a manifesto for it to be clear that I want women, PoCs and progressive themes on the ballot?”

    That’s no outlier, that’s the SJW crusade and compulsion. The first on that Twitter list went after Brad because of his wife. The second once publicly lit up Waterstones bookstore because they had the gall to put out an all-male book display. The third publicly whined about an all-white table of contents. Where the hell does literature fit into all of that?

    The Nebulas aren’t affected by all this, so you’ll see their race-gender safe-parade play out and the world of SFF made that much better.

  27. Anybody who thinks that crossing Vox on something he cares about is a good idea should consult that large gaming company that is no longer with us. If anybody believes that he will not nuke the Hugos if the SJW’s keep playing their games, they should look up Vox’s wiki and follow the clues to what happened when big game company tried to screw over little Vox and his friend. Play nice and Vox will too. But get nasty and Vox knows real well how to make it hurt. If the TrueFen think that they can nuke the Hugos this year and everything will be fine forevermore, they might as well cut out from Worldcon forevermeore, because nobody will be getting rocketships anymore.

  28. “actual fans”

    Haven’t we had this conversation before?

    Haven’t we been told that no one was calling us wrong-fans and we were just making that up?

  29. “We’re gonna nuke the Hugo… won’t actually hurt a thing!”

    “Uh, okay then… here’s Sad Puppies 4.”

    “We’re gonna nuke the Hugo… won’t actually hurt a thing!”

    “Uh, okay then… here’s Sad Puppies 5.”

    “We’re gonna nuke the Hugo… won’t actually hurt a thing!”

    “Uh, okay then… here’s Sad Puppies 6.”

    “We’re gonna nuke the Hugo…”

  30. Crazy idea here, CPAC machine & Tokyo… how about you actually read the nominated works before deciding how people should vote… oh wait, that should be “how YOU would vote” because don’t you think other voters should be able to decide for themselves whether a work deserves an award? Or does that fall into the whole “I can’t let you vote on your own because how will I know if you vote properly or not” category?

  31. “And ‘Patrick Nielsen Hayden learns about the 2015 Hugo Awards’.”

    I absolutely want to see this on the ballot as a “related work” next year.

  32. “Curious how you are going to tell ‘actual fans’ from ‘ideologues’?”

    They’ll do it the same way that sanity was defined in the former Soviet Union. Disagree with the party line? You’re mentally ill. By definition.

    That’s where they got all of their other tactics from. Why would this one be any different?

    As noted before, they’re meatbots running scripts written by a country that hasn’t existed since 1991. Since their regular pravda upgrades stopped coming, they’ve drifted further and further away from anything that has a nodding acquaintance with reality.

    The fossil brains like the Nielsen Haydens will never change. They’re simply too old and inflexible to adopt a new way of thinking.

  33. It will be interesting to see how long they can keep this level of agitation going….the hard core live for it but most readers and fans will get tired of it and cycle on to something else. hat said I read my first Scalzi blog today and lost all respect for the man. He is very small and petty. Keep it up Brad.

  34. And in my case, don’t try to tell someone who attended their first SF con at the age of three that they aren’t an ‘actual fan’.

  35. @Ambivalent in Tokyo
    “Sorry Brad, you do not get to be all noble here. You and the puppies in general climbed into bed with a sack of shit. Whatever the reasons underlying the slate, all I see is shit.”

    I infer you mean Mr. Beale aka Vox Day? Okay, so you don’t like him. But at least say why you don’t like him; name-calling only makes you look immature. And then address this question: Is his writing horrible, and can you make an arguement that goes beyond personal distaste?

    @CPaca
    “Nice rant. Minor problem there however – voting No Award doesn’t destroy the Hugos.

    It just denies victory to a small bunch of loudmouths who exploited open rules predicated on the assumption voters would be sf fans rather than ideologues pushing a slate, and it does so for that one year.

    And when the rules are fixed to encourage actual fans to vote based on their appreciation of sf, then the Hugos will go on just fine without you.”

    Oddly, that’s pretty much what Mr. Torgersen and Mr. Correia have been saying. They want actual fans to read stuff, nominate stuff they like and vote for stuff they like. Also please note that Mr. Beale did NOT raise the specture of across-the-board “No Award” voting. Some in the camp opposing him have advocated that, and he simply responded that if a “No Award” vote carries the day, he’s willing to apply the same principle next year. Sauce for the goose.

  36. Gah – ‘spectre’, not ‘specture’. Mr. Torgersen, may I impose on you to correct it? Thanks.

  37. The people who are voting No Award are doing so for one of two reasons: To protest the slate ballot-stuffing tactic (which contrary to disingenuous claims of innocence was not just a recommended resource list for people who might not encounter certain people/works otherwise but rather a pseudo-ballot with at or below the acceptable number of nominees in each category that was specifically called a slate) or to indicate that they do not feel that they can accurately choose the best of the year in categories dominated by slate candidates because the slate tactic eliminated many or all other deserving possibilities in those categories.

  38. Brad, I have three questions for you:

    1) How was your slate transparent and democratic? Where is the data backing that up? Give us some Glasnost here.

    2) You still claim there is a leftist conspiracy. Why is there no evidence of it in the numbers? Why was there no secret log opposing you rolling on the ballots?

    3) How do you think you can tell that there was a conspiracy instead of simply a majority at work in past Hugo elections? Just because you did not like the results?

  39. Pingback: Four and Twenty Puppies Smoked in a Pie 4/20 | File 770

  40. Jo Phan – Go to an online dictionary and look up “slate” and “ballot-box stuffing.” We’ll wait.

    One you’ve done that, take a moment to read your post and realize that your statements are factually inaccurate.

  41. s1al – My statements were an explanation of why people were voting No Award. Given that people are indeed going to vote No Award based on the reasons I stated, my post was entirely factually accurate.

    To get to the point you were probably trying to make, though: As I indicated, given the slate’s presentation and the urging by those behind the slate to “break the stranglehold of the gatekeepers,” many people including myself are not convinced by disingenuous arguments that it was an innocent attempt at a recommended reading list. It also strains credulity either to believe that most nominators reviewed all of the works/people on the slate and/or that they also just happened to agree that all of them were worthy of nomination.

  42. @pavepusher:

    These links answer non of my questions, that you think they do, speaks volumes about your idea of democracy. All I found there was indeed very concrete evidence that dispite all the denial you did pull Gamergate into this. Lovely.

    I’m talking about the actual numbers here. People analyzed the blog posts. The things proposed there are only partly on the slate. That’s not galsnost. That is just more smoke. About as democratic as Putin’s elections.

    My other two questions are not even touched. Where is any concrete evidence for slate mongering aside from the various puppies?

  43. Actually, if anything the SJW side ‘pulled gamergate into it’ by invoking them.

  44. to answer your other question: go look at rec.arts.sf.written discussions from ten or fifteen years ago.

  45. @Draven: Look at the comments in the first post pavepusher linked. Someone boasts about getting GG aboard.

    So someone recced fiction you didn’t like fifteen years ago and that is a conspiracy? You’ll have to get more specific than that.

    I have all the facts from the other side. Now I’m asking for yours. I really want to see both sides of this, but so far I have nothing from the puppy side that supports any of their allegations.

  46. the ‘facts’ you have from the other side are largely their fabrications. Gamergate wasn’t even really aware of either Puppies slate until *after* the nominations went in, as has been said by major gamergate personae. ‘The other side’ getting all blown up over the Puppies slates did as much or more to attract GG than anything we might have said or done. Besides, as others have said, if GG had gotten involved on any scale, you’d be seeing TENS OF THOUSANDS of slate votes, not a few hundred.

    I am citing the newsgroups because that is somewhere you can find public discussion by people about ‘what we are voting for, hugo-wise’ that was *public*, since you are requiring public evidence. After that it largely would have moved to private fora and mailing lists.

    Well, I’m assuming you want public evidence, and not the Neilsen-Hayden’s email records for the past ten years. That is a little beyond my capability to deliver.

  47. @Draven. it is right there on this very blog:
    Daddy Warpig says:
    January 21, 2015 at 4:37 pm
    Some people in #GamerGate got the word today:

    How many people were interested there, is another question. But the contact is right there.

    Ok, so you don’t have any public evidence, because you claim it was all so secret.
    My question then would change to: What leads you to believe that such a conspiracy exists?

  48. My answer is, once again, because I SAW discussions about what people should vote for, years ago, and i have no reason at all to suspect it suddenly stopped when people stopped using newsgroups.

  49. Nina,

    You seem remarkably feeble minded, even for a concern troll. Try and follow the logic here. “Some soldiers in the US Army got the word today, and they are going to join us in the bank robbery.” Now, and this is important, so try and pay attention. Does the previous statement imply

    a) That some people who, among other things, happen to members of the US Army, are going to rob a bank.

    or b) The US Army is going to rob the bank.

    OK, try not to strain yourself, but if you think REAL hard, I believe you’ll be able to pick the correct answer.

    David

  50. A discussion about individual books and stories that those folks liked? Or complete slates?

  51. @David. Wow, lovely manners. Totally endears me to your cause.

    Think real hard: Take case a)
    Is the statement “There is no connection between these bank robbers and the US army” correct?

  52. What is it with you idiot’s fixation on the “slate” concept? A vote is a vote is a vote. You have no more way to tell that Sad Puppies people voted a slate than you do that the people oppose them didn’t. Every ballot is as valid as any other, whether the person voted on the works because they read them and they felt they were worthy or because the author had humongous tits or because the third word in the story was “pugnacious.” Larry and Brad made it clear, in every post, that they wanted people to vote on works that they had read and liked. But there is no way to tell if people did. In any case, no one made you flaming douchenozzles of tolerance the boss of the other voters. If you don’t like what happened here, then go out and get your own voters and overrule it. It really isn’t that difficult.

    In the meantime, we have no need to answer to you or to anyone else.

  53. I have just spent the last 4 hours reading through all the discussions about rule changes on Making Light. I made sure to take a few Advil beforehand to stave off the headache that I knew would come from this activity. I did not take quite enough but it helped.

    In my opinion they have come up with exactly… Zip.

    When I first started to read about all this I assumed they would go for some heavy rule changes to try and drive the Puppies out while appearing to make things fair. I now realize this is simply impossible. WorldCon does not have the resources for a complicated system. It would be possible to minimize the effects of slates via some very complex approaches but they are unworkable given the limitations on time, money and staffing.

    I can see only 2 possibilities.

    1) Require that all slates contain more than 5 works per category. Encourage as many slates as possible. No one group will be able to dominate unless they can muster an overwhelming number of voters.

    2) Stop allowing supporting members to nominate or vote. This keeps the Hugos under the control of the small group of attendees. It is the only way this result can be achieved.

    The old days, for better or worse, are over. There is no way back. Over time the other side will slowly come to realize this and they will come down to these two choices. Those who wish to preserve at least some of the old days they will push for #1. The rest will just throw up their hands and go for #2.

  54. @David: You are writing this beneath a giant long post of your leader, who complains how horribly mean and unfair it would be, if the other side does exactly what you suggest they should do: Get their own voters out and overrule the slate nominations.

    The irony is not lost on me.

    You are under no obligation to answer to me or anyone else. It would be courtesy if you did explain yourselves, though. I wanted to hear the other side, but all I got was insults. So I will take that as an answer and draw my conclusions accordingly.

  55. @Nina Loriot: Not really. You will not draw conclusions accordingly, because you had already done so. Believe me, we have had many people come around, both the honestly curious folk and the trolls, and it is easy to distinguish between the two. The first kind is always well received, the second kind becomes tiring after a while.

    In the meantime, David Gerrold is suggesting, without a hint of self-aware irony, that a “committee of qualified individuals” should be created to “review the nominating ballots”. This committee of qualified individuals would decide what votes are valid and discard any that in their opinion “show strong evidence of ballot stuffing”. That’s a voting system we can all agree on: everybody votes and I decide what votes count and what votes don’t (Hint: don’t bet against me winning those elections). Long life to the committee of qualified individuals!
    https://www(dot)facebook(dot)com/david.gerrold/posts/10205390460693329

  56. @Nina There is not going to be any easy way to find information on whisper campaigns and behind the scenes manipulations. If such information was available then this would have blown-up a long time ago. The only way anybody is ever going to prove what Larry and Brad intuited is through data analysis. People are starting to do this work but there is still more to do.

    There is some very good work here:
    http://linkis.com/nathanielgivens.com/GSaUy

    I find the Good Reads numbers very interesting. If they are supported by other measures like Amazon ratings I think the Sad Puppies case will at the very least be given some support. In the years before 2008 or so all the winners were either at the top of the list or second. Starting in 2008 however more and more often the winners are either near the bottom or at it. At the very least this is a serious start on proving what the Sad Puppies have claimed. Not who is responsible but that something significant has changed.

    http://www.castaliahouse.com/hugo-awards-a-history-of-recommendation-lists/

    This is older and covers 2001 – 2005. In those years 27 out of 28 finalists only 1 came from outside these two lists. Which shows there have been other influences on the Hugos for quite a while now.

    The picture is far from complete but I think this is a good start.

  57. “… something significant has changed.”

    Try Racefail in 2009 and the sudden entry of intersectionalism as the new radical chic.

  58. @Marc: I notice a few differences.

    (1) This list does not cite a political agenda or claims that so far only the “wrong” books have been winning.
    (2) The book nominations contain a description and why the author of the list liked them.
    (3) This list does also inlcude more items than can be nominated for the different categories.
    (4) Nobody is asked to bloc vote on this site.

    In my opinion there is nothing wrong with listing eligible books (be it by the sad puppies or anybody else) but a complete slate and all that talk about an opposing conspiracy that can only be beaten by concerted log-roling? By people not voting for what the liked from on an off the list, but just voting for that one list? The rest of the electorate split their vote between a total 587 books. Do you honestly believe that the people who voted for the Sad Puppie slate on their own would not have found different favorites?

  59. @AG: I disagree with David Gerrold, that this is a good solution. It is undemocratic and I therefore don’t like it.

  60. Gerrold isn’t an SFF writer, he’s a crusader. The problem is he missed the Freedom Bus by 50 years and he’s running on fumes inside his own head. Like all SJWs, nothing he writes makes any sense to me because he has no principles – identity is the god he worships. That means he’ll make self-contradictory statements from one day to the next. That’s not surprising coming from a cult that defines words as being one thing if one race or sex is uttering them and something different if another race and sex is saying them. “Harassment” can mean “social justice” or go back to “harassment” in a heartbeat. It all depends; it always all depends with an SJW. That’s why they’re so hideously easy to prank. If Requires Hate turned out to be an old white guy but completely sincere about what he’d written, his entire rhetorical output would suddenly rise up like a flock of birds and fly around. Whenever I think of SJWs I think of alphabet tornadoes.

    What it means to be a man without principles is to despise the idea of co-hosting the Hugos with Vox Day and then to co-host the Hugos with Vox Day. Gerrold’s lack of awareness resides somewhere between the second and third grade. Gerrold is the cop who goes after speeders using a facial recognition system rather than a radar gun. For an SF writer to indulge in that level of unawareness is nothing less than delicious. Gerrold will never write “The Marching Morons,” he is the marching morons. The only way Gerrold could ever write cultural satire is if he out-sourced it to someone in the Third World who still understood water is wet.

  61. @Lord Darque: I basically see there what GRRM wrote in his History of the Hugo’s that there were competing Cliques around, not one giant conspiracy. I had never taken these lists into consideration before, but I have now looked at them now and they are all offering way more than five choices. Of course a lot of their recs is on the final ballots, they do list a lot of great books. I didn’t know the list, but I knew most of the books anyway. In fact, they don’t leave much out.

    I see that from where your tastes run, they do and I would not mind to see a puppy slate that contains 20 books they found great. But exactly five? With a detailed explanation how to role the log. That’s hardly what NESFA is doing.

    I also took a look at the sales numbers you talked about.

    2009’s winner was Neil Gaiman. The Graveyard Book was on all Bestseller lists. I don’t think it fits the pattern you describe.

    2007 Rainbow’s end was crittically highly aclaimed but it was not a besteller.

    I know the first link you cited and I find it very interesing. But if you look at the diagram with the average goodreads ratings you see that there is no clear trend observable. The winners are very often somewhere around the middle, also in the past years. We can go into the statistics if you want to, but in science what you are describing would not be counted as a significant trend.

    I don’t think that you can conclude a conspiracy from this.

  62. @Nina

    I said: ” The only way anybody is ever going to prove what Larry and Brad intuited is through data analysis. People are starting to do this work but there is still more to do.”

    If you are expecting all the answers right now then you are out of luck. In time the data will get more comprehensive. I, and the author of the analysis, both see at least the trends that can lead towards proof. If a start is not good enough for you then you will have to search elsewhere.

    You seem to want simple easy answers to what is a horribly complex situation. Real research takes time and it has just begun.

  63. @James May

    I tend to think you are right. I believe in time the data will show significant trends that will prove it. But that is going to take a while.

  64. So now a slate isn’t determined by having 5 choices in most categories, but in having a slate of choices and a political position you disagree with? Of course a slate filled with the kind of things that are already winning wouldn’t have to complain about not winning! Why complain when your tastes match the winners, possibly related to this being a regularly posted slate refined over the years. Exactly 5 nominees in most groups, guess my math skills aren’t good cuz I see no category with more than 5 for 2015.
    Nobody asked for bloc vote on Brad’s site.
    Your reasons for why that is a perfectly acceptable slate, and Sad Puppies is not, are lacking logical rigor or consistency.

  65. @Lord Darque: Ok, but then it’s a theory. And while we analyze and test that theory we also have to acknowledge that it might be falsified.

    How would we go about that? I guess the best way to analyze it would be to have a look at the individual ballots of past years (anonymized of course) and see how much direkt slate voting for different slates was really going on.

    The drawback is that aside from the puppies no one ever did a counted out slate. So, of course the NESFA list would get more votes, since it contains a wider range of books.

    And also what are the standards. Popularity? Because if we go by sales, we can start handing out Hugos to the next Twilight in the near future.

  66. @Marc: I was referring to 2013, because I had not seen your second post, when I anserwed. There he has other noteables for every category and came to more than 5 contenders.

    The one from 2015 with just five per section is more questionable to me. I looked a bit around on the blog and there are more elaborate posts on the topic:

    http://aidanmoher.com/blog/featured-article/2014/10/2015-hugo-nominations-v-0-1-best-novel/

    This one for example where there are some books shown, and 5 more named and people are asked to recommend more in the comments.

    Also zero politics as far as I can see.

  67. @Marc: Right below the post I linked, the author writes to a commentor: “Can’t wait to see your list! I always seem to find something new when you start recommending books.” That doesn’t sound like exclusive thinking to me. Does it to you?

  68. @Nina Loriot:
    >(1) This list does not cite a political agenda or claims
    >that so far only the “wrong” books have been winning.

    Well, maybe he doesn’t think an insider cliqué is giving prizes to each other.

    >(2) The book nominations contain a description and
    >why the author of the list liked them.

    We could do that, if that’s the problem. (It won’t help, though, the vitriol will be the same.)

    >(3) This list does also include more items than can be
    >nominated for the different categories.

    I think that was a mistake, but nobody had expected how successful the campaign would be. Let’s see what happens next year. However, the insults at this point are so vicious and the “no award” counter-slate campaign so prevalent, the merits of the actual works be damned, that I’m no longer sure if it makes any sense to care. The system is broken. Seeing all that, I hope that nobody will object to people voting however they like next year.

    In any case, I am in favor of having more than 5.

    I have read Moher’s 2015 slate, though, and it contains exactly 5 recommendations for most categories, and less than 5 for a few of them, exactly like the Sad Puppies. The same can be said of Abigail Nussbaum’s slate and many others. The only difference is that it seems the SP slate has influenced a larger number of people. The system is so insular and easy to manipulate that it does have a big impact on the nominations. It is not desirable that people are able to influence so much the process, and that includes the Sad Puppies too. That is why we would be in favor of getting many more voters of all kinds by lowering the price of the voting rights.

    >(4) Nobody is asked to bloc vote on this site.

    Brad didn’t ask anyone to bloc vote for the Sad Puppies list. I personally wouldn’t vote for works that I haven’t read or that I don’t like, although I’m willing to read the books in the SP’s list and consider them.

  69. I think that calling No Award the nuclear option is complete hyperbole. No Award is there if the voter thinks that a particular work (or all of them) are undeserving. And since the Hugo’s use preferential voting, you can always vote worthy works> No Award> Unworthy works. It’s exactly what I plan on doing.
    Apocryphally, No Award won the 1977 Best Dramatic Presentation as all the attending members got a viewing of STAR WARS and decided that none of the nominees were up to par.
    Similarly this year, for various reason (HAH!) there are nominees that not everyone will think is up to spec. Putting them below No Award is perfectly rational.

  70. “no award” without even reading the works in question is very much a nuclear option

    people here wouldn’t object to “no award because I don’t link any of the works”, people here very much object to “I’m not even going to read the works, everyone must vote no award because Vox Day”

    If you honestly read everything and dislike it all, go ahead and vote “no award”, but the calls to avoid reading anything on the SP or RP lists and automatically vote “no award” because the authors are evil, or they are liked by the wrong people, or “slate voting” or whatever the excuse are not fair positions to take.

    The reviews of Larry’s book that was nominated last year were very telling. Every reviewer who posted about the book after it was nominated expressed great surprise at how good the book was. Why should they have been surprised? a lot of people voted to nominate it. But they were “surprised” because it was written by someone with the “wrong” politics, and was liked by others with the “wrong” politics.

  71. It’s amazing how coordinated the opposition to Sad Puppies 3 is. First it was all “SP isn’t diverse” by some trying to maintain a polite facade and “SP is racist and sexist” by some who weren’t. After the Entertainment Weekly article blew up in their faces, the “slates are bad” narrative came out. I’m *not* suggesting that certain rude and objectionable bloggers & tweeters held an actual meeting where they decided to push the “slates are bad” idea. It’s enough that one person had the idea, and others picked it up. Now “slates are bad” isn’t working as well, because it’s been shown that the Hugo insiders have posted their own slates in the past. (It makes little difference whether one feels the Hugo insiders are motivated by SJW concerns or the distance that develops between an inner group and an outer group. I think it’s both/and.) In the last 3-4 days there’s been another strong theme as the narrative has changed to *Brad’s slate wasn’t democratic* It’s another smokescreen. That doesn’t mean that every person asking the question has to be intentionally deceptive in order for it to be a smokescreen. Look at the prior slates in Hugo voting. There’s no democracy there. Objectors are demanding something of Sad Puppies that they don’t hold themselves to. And they’re feeling free to move the goal posts. They’ve not going to be happy until they have more election inspectors and lawyers crawling over this than the 2000 election in Florida.

    Why are they so opposed to slates?

    Because Larry and now Brad have managed to herd cats.

    Not sheep who would vote a straight slate, but cats who are notoriously fickle and individualistic. I think it’s fair to say that Larry and Brad attract readers (of both their books and blogs) who skew more libertarian than the US population as a whole. These are people who generally take exception to being told what to do. And it’s immediately obvious that the Sad Puppies *didn’t* vote a straight slate. Brad recommended five novels people might like to read & potentially vote for. I say read and vote for because Larry book-bombed what Brad recommended and has the numbers to show the spike in sales. Also, there were five novels, and not all of them made it to the final five. Not to be all Captain Obvious here, but clearly Sad Puppies were voting for other works, too. (Plus you can collect anecdotal evidence in the many, many discussions of this year’s Hugos of Sad Puppies *saying they voted for other works*.)

    Nina raises a question: “Do you honestly believe that the people who voted for the Sad Puppie slate on their own would not have found different favorites?”

    I’d say the fact that some SP recommendations made the final five and others didn’t indicate that people did vote for their favorites.

    She also says, “I had never taken these lists into consideration before, but I have now looked at them now and they are all offering way more than five choices.”

    There’s an implication here. I don’t know if you’re intend this implication yourself, Nina. I suspect not, actually. But I think it’s inherent to the thinking of those who most loudly oppose Sad Puppies. Sure, sure, the Sad Puppies can play – we’re all about diversity. But you were supposed to split your vote across a whole bunch of mil sf and space opera. The implication is that SP’s are wrongthinkers but it’s okay – nobody else likes that stuff anyway. But then the problem is that Sad Puppies *read*. Let’s take a notional Sad Puppy who reads two novels a month. The word count requirement for the novel category is outdated & low so that’s fairly easy. Let’s say because of that Puppy’s tastes, she genuinely believes eight of these twenty-four novels were better than last year’s winner. So she has to pick five of those eight. Oh, look, Brad is making a set of recommendations. She’s read three of his five, and two of them are in her eight. She reads the other two Brad recommended. One of them is, in her opinion, as good as any of her eight. The other frankly isn’t. The insiders are recommending certain novels. She reads one. It’s pretty good. Tries another but it’s dreck. Our notional Sad Puppy votes a couple books she was already going to vote, one that she picked up because Brad recommended it, and one because an insider recommended it. In other words, she votes for three out of five SP recommendations. But see, she was “supposed to” spread out her vote among her eight so that it’d vanish into the background noise. That *is* the assumption Nina is working from: “So, of course the NESFA list would get more votes, since it contains a wider range of books.” The insiders’ assumption – and that of those who follow them – is that they remain truly representative of the SF/F field.

  72. I do not see it as love for SF/F, Fandom, fandom, “Whatever” (pun intended). The Hugos are but a battlefield. The Neilsen Hayden brigade might call it the War for Social Justice. I think of that as fiction at its insane finest. Perhaps the Sad Puppies might call it the War for the Liberation of Freedom of Thought; the Liberation of AllThink from the dungeon of BadThink where many have been relegated to. That is laudable.

    The concept of the nuclear option depends on perspective; is one willing to go the whole measure to win? The Hugos are a symbol, not the prize. Everyone, from SP to RP to the SJWs, knows what the Prize is. Like an Olympic Gold Medal, the medal is not the Prize; it’s the one standing there, holding the symbol for having won the Prize. The Prize is the WIN. The win exists, symbol or not.

    For decades the SJWs have plodded along, seeking their idea of the ultimate Prize; society made in their ideological image. Look beyond the Hugos at what they have wrought. Can anyone not look at them and not see what they see of themselves? Read their words, see what they do. Are they willing to share the Gold Medal, that symbol of Victory, with those they so openly oppose?

    The SJW is totally willing to go the full measure. They have to, else they’re NOT Warriors for Social Justice. It’s possible they could take a step backward, a conciliatory jesture – a tactic. But make no mistake, their eye is on the Prize; the Hugos a magnificient symbol to them.

    This is why I’m a Rabid Puppy, why I’m totally willing to burn it down.

    “So the Hugo is special.

    We don’t care.”

    http://voxday.blogspot.com/2015/04/there-is-theme.html

  73. @AG:

    >In any case, I am in favor of having more than 5.

    I’m very happy to read that here. In my opinion that would make SP just another corner of fandom were people advertise the books they love (and don’t count the number to give the nomination the biggest punch).

    Me, personally I will follow GRRM’s advise and read the nominations (at least one per author) and then decide on personal taste. But I believe that no award should be used as intended, if you don’t think any of the offered stories deserves a Hugo and there were other far more deserving contestants this year, then no award should be used.

    I think a problem with this whole thing is also the Rabid Puppies campaign. It got more votes than Sad Puppies and and was set up with the declared goal to destroy the Hugos. I do understand the authors, who declined the nomination because they did not want to win with a leg up from Vox Day.

  74. Another thing to consider when making a list is that it’s not going to be easy, after all the bullying and harassing this year. Many authors will not want to suffer that, and who can blame them. Perhaps rather than more than five it will need to be less than five, or else choose only writers that for political reasons are willing to put up with it, which I wouldn’t like because selecting by author politics is not the point.

  75. @Bjorn:

    >I’d say the fact that some SP recommendations made the final five and others didn’t indicate that people did vote for their favorites.

    I think in novels is hard to say. I don’t know how many people took the exact recommendations, how many people voted only for some. How many people voted for those books on their own, without knowing the slate. Best novel was were most people nominated,after all.

    In the shorter puppy dominated categories, you see that where they had the same nominations as the rabid puppies, they won. The rabid puppies alone also got several noms through, then came the sad puppies alone, then came the rest. The field seems pretty close together there (132-226 in short story), considering the most nominated story came from both puppies and the least just from Sad. But of course it is speculation

    >But you were supposed to split your vote across a whole bunch of mil sf and space opera. The implication is that SP’s are wrongthinkers but it’s okay – nobody else likes that stuff anyway.

    I don’t think I implied that. What I wanted to imply is that I would be very surprized if the SP tastes were to such an extend more narrow than those of other fans, who did vote across over 500 different books. I do not doubt that the SPs read. But i do think that the whole conjuring of an out side enemy (the conspiracy) motivated them to agree more than they usually would.

    As for “nobody likes their stuff anyway”. How did Brad and Larry get their Prepuppy nominations then? This was not the case. It’s not the taste that is new, it’s the voting bloc.

    >The insiders’ assumption – and that of those who follow them – is that they remain truly representative of the SF/F field.

    Uhm, no. My assumpition is based on numbers. If NESFA recs 20 books. It is way more likely (even if they’s rec them at random) that I agree with some of their recs than if a slate recs only five.

  76. @AG: That’s exactly my fear as well. Also from Counterslates… I don’t want to read or award books because of their politics. And I fear that this concept of political voting will now become the winner of this whole kerfuffle.

    I get the impression that it doesn’t matter if the right or the left wins the ideological battle, the fact that there is a political battle means that quality SciFi will lose.

  77. I think different people have their own criteria for voting. Some may feel it’s only appropriate to vote for something you’ve read in it’s totality. Others set a stop point – first chapter, first hundred pages, authors name, whatever. If you don’t impress by then, or you disappoint already, then, well, out you go.

    Still others may disapprove of the tactics used to get a particular work on the slate (ie, L Ron Hubbard’s Battlefield Earth was one such case I believe).

    Again, trying to damn it by calling it the nuclear option just ridiculous hyperbole. No Award is an utterly valid voting choice, and different people will have differing criteria as to what puts a particular work above or below No Award.

  78. Brad: What fundamentally pisses me off is your insistence that everybody has to play the game your way. We (puppy or not) must read everything, and must pick the one we like (or dislike least) and give it a Hugo.

    Bluntly, sir, who died and made you king? The Hugos were around before either of us were born, yet you and Corriea come marching in like a pair of shave-tail 2nd Louies and are telling everybody how things should be ran.

    Bottom line – I will attempt to read everything on the ballot. But by God, Brad, if it doesn’t meet my standards for a Hugo, it will be ranked after No Award.

  79. “I will, but not because you told me too.”

    HOnest to freaking dog. When they *didn’t* explicitly say to “read everything no matter what” people like you reamed them for it and accused them of NOT telling anyone to read it all.

    A pox on your house.

  80. “To protest the slate ballot-stuffing”

    It wasn’t “ballot-stuffing”. That is a lie, and you are a liar.

  81. “My statements were an explanation of why people were voting No Award. ”

    Because people like you are pathological liars, claiming that there was “ballot-stuffing” when that demonstrably did not occur?

  82. Looking back through old posts, I found this statement I made when the slate was announced:

    “The other side is seething over just the *slate*. Imagine how much angrier they’ll be if some of these get on the ballot.”

    Man, sometimes I hate being right.

  83. @Nina:

    The problem with short fiction categories is that so few people read short fiction, and even fewer read just-published short fiction. It’s perfectly possible that many SP voters didn’t read any 2014 stories that were not in the SP list. Some similar applies for most voters, I’d say.

    I agree that the award should not be conditioned by politics. Where we are probably going to disagree is that I think politics were already playing a big part. Are you familiar with the 2014 short stories? (I talk about those because they are the ones I read). For all the celebrations about at last having diversity, the fact is that they were the less diverse group of nominees I have ever seen. None of them were SF. None of them were any kind of classical fantasy. All of them were slipstream, and all of them were about themes of interest for social justice activists. That goes to show that these special interest groups already have enough voting power to sweep the categories with less number of votes (best novel gets many more voters and is therefore more difficult to sweep). Apart from politics, we have the cliques that have a lot of influence among the Worldcon voters. We have authors that have done a lot of social work in the worldcons and that seem to get nominated even when they write subpar works. We have the authors with very popular blogs, who use them to get nominated even for subpar works (in some cases, they have written nothing but subpar works, but already have more nominations in a few years than Arthur C. Clarke his whole life).

    What is needed to clear the air is getting many more new voters of all kinds. Thousands of them, not just hundreds. Then no clique (including the SP) will be able to control the award. The only way I see that happening is if the price of voting rights is lowered to 5$ or something like that. That will never happen, however. The insiders who control the awards only pay lip service to attracting more voters, but they’ll never accept losing control of the award. You’ll see it when the Worldcon arrives. Lowering the cost is one of the plans suggested, but it will never be approved. Have you seen Kevin Standlee around? He’s a guy who is very involved with the organization and the Hugo rules, and even he is openly campaigning against that, without bothering to keep a resemblance of neutrality. they keep talking about the cost of sending physical information, when nothing like that is required for electronic voting.

  84. “As for “nobody likes their stuff anyway”. How did Brad and Larry get their Prepuppy nominations then? This was not the case. It’s not the taste that is new, it’s the voting bloc.”

    *I’m* not saying nobody likes mil SF and space opera. I’m saying the inside clique that’s upset with Sad Puppies acts like that.

    >The insiders’ assumption – and that of those who follow them – is that they remain truly representative of the SF/F field.

    “Uhm, no. My assumpition is based on numbers. If NESFA recs 20 books. It is way more likely (even if they’s rec them at random) that I agree with some of their recs than if a slate recs only five.”

    I meant that the inside clique’s assumption is that the clique itself remains truly representative of the SF/F field. I don’t believe they are an accurate representation of the field. And apparently neither do you, because:

    “And also what are the standards. Popularity? Because if we go by sales, we can start handing out Hugos to the next Twilight in the near future.”

    We agree that the writers receiving the Hugos by and large don’t dominate the sales. What do you propose as the standards, Nina?

  85. Poor Chris Gerrib, still tilting at those imaginary windmills.

    “Brad: What fundamentally pisses me off is your insistence that everybody has to play the game your way.”

    Brad didn’t make the rules, your SJW fellow-travelers did. Neither Puppy slate broke the rules. Both slates contain a variety of works that span all political, gender and racial lines, and did so to focus on the quality of the works.

    Take your sentence I quoted above, and direct it to the SJW hacks that nominated Redshirts and that idiotic If Your Were a Dinosaur My Love story. Low quality garbage and a bad short story that doesn’t qualify as SF, and yet you are defending the process that put them on the ballot and let them win while keeping Jim Butcher out of consideration. Does Butcher not deserve a nomination? Who else do you think should be banned from getting Hugo nominations?

    Chrissy, equality means equality. This is not Animal Farm, and you & your kind are absolutely not more equal that anyone else.

    I look forward to seeing your checklist of who is permitted to buy SF books, read SF books, like SF books and recommend SF books (and why). Will everyone have all the boxes checked? Or will some people be barred from reading or recommending books because they don’t parrot your fringe opinions?

    You & your kind set up a rigged system and now it is being turned against you by people who hold the moral high ground and are better at getting things done than you are. And real fans are enjoying the hell out of your hissyfits.

  86. “Do you honestly believe that the people who voted for the Sad Puppie slate on their own would not have found different favorites?”

    Do you honestly believe that John Scalzi deserved more Hugo nominations in ten years than Arthur C. Clarke got in fifty, or the same number that George R. R. Martin has received in nearly forty?

  87. @AG: On the first issue: I don’t doubt that the politcal preferences of a person influence their taste in books, but I doubt that this is the case to an extend where a politcally motivated conspiracy is formed. I also agree that things like WorldCon Cred play a role. Of course, if people know them from helping in the Orga team they will read their stuff. This happens in small communities.

    Where we disagree is that I think that while personal politics might have played a role for individuals in the past, the scale of the politic thinking has been upped to 11 this year. It was never nearly as bad as it was now (save for Scientology in 1987) and I don’t have much hope that it will not get worse before it gets better again.

    I’m afraid I can’t really go into the pit on the quality of the short stories, since I (too) am not much of a short story reader, mainly due to not living in the US. So, when I read them, they are usually already in anthologies and often not eligible anymore.
    I will read the 2014 stories, they are not long in the end and get back to you.

    As for lowering the costs: That would be nice of course, but doing everything electronically would not be something I am in favor of at this point. I already see a ton of fake accounts coming up.

  88. Brad:

    If the answer is the latter, then NO AWARD will nuke the categories, and the bigger SF/F world will have conclusive proof that both Worldcon and the Hugo awards are one-hundred-percent irrelevant in the 21st century.

    Ah well, not a total loss. As long as Sad and Rabid Puppies continue, the Hugos will still be a good way to get some excellent fiction sent to me once a year for $40 a pop, regardless of whether the award show itself gets burned down each time. 🙂

    And if you are genuinely upset with Sad Puppies, by golly, get out your vote next year. Go around and rattle a few of your own cages. Wake up the electorate!

    You know what really, REALLY makes the SJWs react in petulant, visceral rage to the new reality inaugurated the Puppies? The nagging, unacknowledged knowledge that even if they do this, they still won’t be able to compete, much less dominate and gatekeep the awards as they are used to doing.

  89. @Bjorn: >We agree that the writers receiving the Hugos by and large don’t dominate the sales.

    Yes, we can agree on that.

    >What do you propose as the standards, Nina?

    I can only tell you, what the Hugo means to me. What I think it stands for: First of all things I’d say originality. Not always, but in general, when I pick up a Hugo winning novel, I often find something in there that I have never seen written in this form before. Food for thought. That is what specualtive fiction is about for me.

    Quality Writing would be another point for me.

    You have to consider (in my opinion) that the genre has entered the mainstream to a much larger extend than in the earlier years. In my workplace literally everybody knows GRRM. Nobody knows Roger Zelazny and maybe a select few Isaac Asimov. To me the Hugos do represent the standards of “old” science fiction, back when it was a relatively small community.

    I have the impression that the Hugo conserved these standards because it had a relatively small but very bookish electorate. People who read really most of what was coming out that year because they were just that devoted.

    I don’t mind more people voting, but if the award is dominated by people who read two or three books a year, I’d be worried. Wouldn’t you be?

    Can you honestly tell me that you think the 2011 Hugo should have gone to Stephenie Meyer instead of really any author that was on the ballot that year?

  90. @Dr. Locketopus: If I answer your question, will you answer mine, instead of just putting a counterquestion there?

    >Do you honestly believe that the people who voted for the Sad Puppie slate on their own would not have found different favorites?”

    >Do you honestly believe that John Scalzi deserved more Hugo nominations in ten years than Arthur C. Clarke got in fifty, or the same number that George R. R. Martin has received in nearly forty?

    No.
    I have read one book by Scalzi and it was ok but nothing special (Agent to the Stars). I didn’t hate it, but it didn’t prompt me to read more. But I can say the same about other winners, say Card. I don’t always share the tastes of the majority. But to me that doesn’t mean someone is conspiring for them. There are people who like Card, so there are people who like Scalzi.

    I really loved Jo Walton though and I only learned of her because of the 2012 Hugo. Would have hated to have missed that book.

  91. Ah, but Aiden Moher’s slates are okay, because he has the “right” politics. Notice who many of his nominees from 2013 and 2015 are: John Scazli, N K Jemisin, Liz Bourke. And who has been prominent in their denunciations of slates? Yeah, exactly.

  92. @Nina

    Regarding what people would have voted for, had SP never existed…where do you get your ideas about what sorts of books you should read?

    I mean, I browse in bookstores and library shelves, I get stuff recommended to me by Amazon, and friends tell me about stuff. And I look on the internets at the recs lists from people who have written things I like.

    How do you find things to read? (I mean this in the most polite curious fashion I can put it – if it comes across somewhat harsh, please mentally reword it as more polite, because that is how I meant it.)

  93. “And when the rules are fixed to encourage actual fans to vote based on their appreciation of sf, then the Hugos will go on just fine without you….”

    I like how people like me, who were SF fans before you were in diapers, award winning authors with a score of publications to my name, we are somehow suddenly not ‘actual fans’ — and yet, how, at the same time and in the same sense, if any of us unpersons from Sad Puppies claim that there are SJWs calling us ‘not true fans’ we are called liars.

    Breathtaking.

  94. @ Nina –

    PS – I was reading Jo Walton from way back – her Ha’penny series has much to recommend it. The King’s Peace I dropped partway into the first chapter for the ham-fisted use of My Least Favorite Way To Build Background and Characterization of Female Characters, and it took me a bit to get past my cranky for that.

  95. “But by God, Brad, if it doesn’t meet my standards for a Hugo, it will be ranked after No Award.”

    Both blasphemy and a lie. Mr Gerrib will ‘no award’ my stories because he hates me personally, for reasons beyond calculation.

  96. “Can you honestly tell me that you think the 2011 Hugo should have gone to Stephenie Meyer instead of really any author that was on the ballot that year?”

    Nope. IMO, Twilight does not deserve a Hugo. We agree that straight sales is out as the determining factor. Why even bother with an award if it were going to be a straight sales total?

    You propose originality and quality writing. Originality – Have you seen Eric Flint’s take on the Hugos? It’s posted at ericflint.net. One of his points is that the people who have gone to Worldcon since forever and do read a lot *have* seen it all before-and value originality. How much originality is required? is it original to have world-built a universe that no one’s thought of before? Or does the author have to fundamentally overturn present-day society in order to be original? Quality writing – the mechanics? the plot? the storytelling? I’d say yes, all those figure in. But if it’s not a good *story* I don’t care if it’s technically well-executed. And if it is a good story, I’m not going to lose my cool if the viewpoint character thinks in incomplete sentences in his head or leaves out the Oxford comma.

    “You have to consider (in my opinion) that the genre has entered the mainstream to a much larger extend than in the earlier years.” Agreed.

    “I have the impression that the Hugo conserved these standards because it had a relatively small but very bookish electorate. People who read really most of what was coming out that year because they were just that devoted.

    “I don’t mind more people voting, but if the award is dominated by people who read two or three books a year, I’d be worried. Wouldn’t you be?”

    No. I do not think that a self-appointed elite of people who’ve read enough sci-fi & fantasy – whatever ‘enough’ means – should decide “science fiction’s most prestigious award” (http://www.thehugoawards.org/about/). The Hugos were being billed as the award that everybody got to participate in. But after this year’s finalists came out, there are a lot of suggestions that it’s an award properly given by the insiders.

    And how many books are ‘enough’? Do I have to read one a month in order to deserve a vote? One a week? Two a week? And who gets to decide if they’re sci-fi enough or fantasy enough? The insiders sneer at tie-in books. I will say flat-out that I believe Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy Star Wars books were better than some Hugo nominees I’ve read.

  97. @keranih

    >where do you get your ideas about what sorts of books you should read?

    I wouldn’t know why you should come off as harsh at all, that is a perfectly fine question to ask.

    Mostly the same way you discribed it. Sometimes I get books recced from friends, who know me well. Sometimes I get interested In a book because a description is in another book that I loved. I have some favorite authors who’s publications I follow and sometimes, if they have one, I read their blogs. And sometimes I just brouse the shelves. But rarely. I like to read in English and by the time stuff makes it to here, I already know it. So I can only do that when I’m in the UK or the US.
    Among Others was the last book I bought because of the Hugo they advertised on the cover, Redshirts didn’t sound interesting to me and I had already read Ancillary Justice before it got the prize.

  98. “There are people who like Card, so there are people who like Scalzi.”

    Sorry, “people liking Scalzi” does not account for him receiving Hugo nominations at 5x the rate of Clarke, or 4x the rate of Martin.

  99. I’m underwhelmed by the presumption of most if not all of the folks setting out “standards” for “acceptable” award-winning fiction.

    You know what people are going to vote for, regardless of all the buzzwords and slogans unenforceable standards you wrap it up in? They’re going to vote for what they WANT to vote for, for what they LIKE to vote for.

    And any attempt to set up standards impeding that is just exchanging one set of gatekeepers for another.

  100. @ Nina –

    To me the Hugos do represent the standards of “old” science fiction, back when it was a relatively small community.

    I have the impression that the Hugo conserved these standards because it had a relatively small but very bookish electorate. People who read really most of what was coming out that year because they were just that devoted.

    You’re right, I think, to observe that the voters for the Hugos are a very small electorate. Where I think we disagree is the assumption that the Hugo voters – at present represent a fair sample of those who read a lot SFF.

    IMO, they represent a small self-selecting grouping, as is evidenced by the sort of books which they read, which are increasingly unlikely to overlap with the tastes of wider fandom.

  101. @ Nina –

    I like to read in English and by the time stuff makes it to here, I already know it.

    How do you know it? Where do you learn of a book if you haven’t seen it on the shelf?

    One blog you might find interesting is Chaos Horizon – which is attempting to build a model for predicting which book would win the Hugo. One of the factors which CH puts into their model is reviews. On this page: https://chaoshorizon.wordpress.com/review-round-ups/ : they collect the reviews for the different books that CH thought would be contenders this year. As you go through them, you will see some interesting things about who keeps supporting different books – and which ones don’t get support and “buzz”.

    Note that I am not saying that people are promoting things they don’t like. What I am saying is that a group of people who like the same things have convinced themselves that the things they like are the things which all people should like. Their enthusiasm for their preferences is commendable, their dismissal of the tastes of others is not.

  102. @Bjorn:

    >Why even bother with an award if it were going to be a straight sales total?

    Total agreement.

    >One of his points is that the people who have gone to Worldcon since forever and do read a lot *have* seen it all before-and value originality.

    Yes, I absolutely see this. I think that is one thing that used to make the Hugos so attractive.
    As for what’s cosntitutes originality. I find it hard to nail that down. Mostly food for thought. Either because they create a world you start inhabitating in your head or one where you move around the ideas and workings of the world for a good long while.

    Examples of this for me would be “Shades of Grey” by Jasper Fforde (shamefully overlooked, for the later) these days, but also the Vorkosigan novels by L. McMaster Bujold (for the live in worlds).

    >Quality writing – the mechanics? the plot? the storytelling? I’d say yes, all those figure in. But if it’s not a good *story* I don’t care if it’s technically well-executed. And if it is a good story, I’m not going to lose my cool if the viewpoint character thinks in incomplete sentences in his head or leaves out the Oxford comma.

    All of this, yes, and I do value a poetic streak. Really love that about Zelazny for example.

    >The Hugos were being billed as the award that everybody got to participate in.

    I tend to think the unspoken part of this is, “who loves the genre enough to participate”.
    And maybe I have to formulate it more to the point. The Hugo electorate used to care deeply about the Science Fiction and Fantasy community and while I think most Sad Puppies still meet that qualitfication, I don’t think the Rabid Puppies do. Mainly because they said so themselves. If someone votes in the Hugo only for love of politics (mind you, I’m not saying that politics don’t play a role in preferences), the price will inevitably lose it’s quality.

    I don’t think Tie In’s should be sneered at (love some B5 tie in novels to pieces) and I do think for example Fforde deserves a lot more recognition.

    But I don’t think politics deserve more recognition and I think this is where the Sad Puppy campaign is leading us.

  103. Here’s the thing for me: I had no idea, until Sad Puppies 2, that the Hugos were technically a fan award that anyone who paid money for a WorldCon membership could vote for. I thought they were, like many awards, more of a juried sort of thing. And I’ve been a sff fan since my mother read me the Lord of the Rings when I was a toddler. I suspect that many, many fans of sff thought the same as I did: that they had no say in awards like the Hugos, and so a very small group of people ended up in control of the votes for quite a long time.

    And then folks like Larry and Brad ran SP and pointed out to many of us that we do, in fact, have a voice if we want to pony up the money for it, and that we should. (And I cannot count how many times both of them have said “don’t take our word/recommendations for it, go read and vote for stuff you like, we’re not the boss of you”.)

    The way I see it, the real source of howling from the SJW side is none of the ‘isms’ they keep throwing up as smoke screens, it’s really in the fact that suddenly a WHOLE LOT of people know they can, in fact, have a voice in voting the Hugo awards. Which means that it’s almost certain, from here on out, that their little group isn’t going to have it all their own way anymore, regardless of politics, gender, or race.

    And as to the “I don’t see it as being just one clique having all the say” concerns brought up before, I say: rather, it was likely more than one clique, but when you really look at them (especially in terms of what they exclude), they all look remarkably alike… I think Larry used the example of Eskimos having a thousand words for snow, but for everyone else, it just looks like snow. 😀

  104. @keranih:

    >Their enthusiasm for their preferences is commendable, their dismissal of the tastes of others is not.

    I agree with this statement. But for me it goes both ways. I think promoting some books you love is totally fine. But calling it a conspiracy when folks like other books better? This looks a lot like dismissal to me. Like “Nobody can possibly really like that book, it must all be a conspiracy” And in the process the Puppies are talking about books I really DID like.

    Tastes differ widely and I think that really is ok.

    >How do you know it? Where do you learn of a book if you haven’t seen it on the shelf?

    Like I said, friends recs. Blogs of authors I already like. sometimes even amazon has a descent idea. I value it like a gem, when I find something cool I have not heard of on a shelf. (Like JJA’s S. last year. Wow, what a book!)

  105. John C Wright:

    “I like how people like me, who were SF fans before you were in diapers, award winning authors with a score of publications to my name, we are somehow suddenly not ‘actual fans’ — and yet, how, at the same time and in the same sense, if any of us unpersons from Sad Puppies claim that there are SJWs calling us ‘not true fans’ we are called liars.”

    The anti-Puppies idiots seem to have settled on, “We never claimed that ‘wrongfans’ existed, just that they shouldn’t be allowed to vote!”

  106. @Sara:
    >And as to the “I don’t see it as being just one clique having all the say” concerns brought up before, I say: rather, it was likely more than one clique, but when you really look at them (especially in terms of what they exclude)

    And now it’s almost exclusively one clique (with two subgroups), who has excluded everybody else. How is that better again?

    The combined puppies were about 20% of the elctorate in the nominations. That is hardly the grandezza of fandom swooping in.

  107. @Nina –

    If someone votes in the Hugo only for love of politics (mind you, I’m not saying that politics don’t play a role in preferences), the price will inevitably lose it’s quality.

    I don’t think Tie In’s should be sneered at (love some B5 tie in novels to pieces) and I do think for example Fforde deserves a lot more recognition.

    But I don’t think politics deserve more recognition and I think this is where the Sad Puppy campaign is leading us.

    I think that most SPs and even a greater number of readers of SFF agree with you that politics only should not be what the Hugos are about. I also think that most of them would like to see LESS politics than there is.

    However, I also think that many of us are okay with politics being in play so long as all kinds of politics get to sit at the table. No being okay with progressive politics, but then having a freakout when someone who is a conservative Christian writes stories. No being okay with feminist ideology, and then getting upset when a libertarian promotes their values.

    Me, I want a story that tells its pov so insidiously that I’m nearly on the side of the intended pov by the time it’s done, whether or not I started there. And likewise, I really respect an author who can tell a story highlighting all the downsides of their own pov. We need lots more of that, imo.

    What we don’t need is what I saw before SP kicked off – which was people being willing to attach moral meaning to political povs to the point where they would not read a book by a libertarian gun nut or a conservative Christian, because that was written by a bad person.

    Now, read it, and don’t agree with the politics? Or thought the plot was boring? Or couldn’t connect with the characters? No sweat. Happens all the time – even in books my friends deeply love. We don’t have to like the same things. We just have to quit beating up on each other on accounta the things we like.

  108. @ Nina –

    (I apologize for the fast back and forth – I have to bolt in a few and get back to other things.)

    I think promoting some books you love is totally fine. But calling it a conspiracy when folks like other books better? This looks a lot like dismissal to me. Like “Nobody can possibly really like that book, it must all be a conspiracy” And in the process the Puppies are talking about books I really DID like.

    *ehhrrghu* *sighs* This is an unfortunate and regrettable side effect of how far to one side things had drifted (or, to be more accurate, how far into one corner of a multisided object things had gone – there is not just two sides.) And it’s also a sign of people becoming aware of this in bits and pieces over a number of years.

    In a situation where more povs had been presented, there would have been recognition that a multitude of perspectives were permitted, and that people could dislike some things without disliking the people who liked them. If you look back over the response to SP last year, it was overwhelmingly OMG THESE ICKY PEOPLE IN MY HUGOS. That’s feeding a lot of the response this year – some of which has been over the top. But seriously, people were talking about No Awarding the whole SP slate LAST YEAR, where only one or two things per category got on.

    So now people say “OMG A SLATE THAT IS BAD” we point to last year, and go, yeah, really?

    As for the conspiracy…that calls for a bit more proof than can be brought to hand. However, there have been numerous things that certainly point to people having highly interlocking tastes, knowing it, and not caring. Go find the Locus’s long list of best fiction. Go find the things published by Baen. Go look for a nomination for Jim Baen as editor. There has been a steady movement towards one sort of SFF, and against others. SP is pushing back against that.

    Should we have done bits of it better? *shrugs* Some of it, yeah. But most of the push isn’t about how we did it – see the hollering about slates above – it’s that we did it at all.

  109. Since Gerrib believes in white privilege we can be sure he will be reading his stories through a scrim of radical chic Coke bottle glasses so that pie-chart equity is achieved to counter the patriarchy, cultural appropriation, male gaze and white supremacy that chokes off an otherwise lovely and diverse literary genre as globally spit-shined and polished as the grim facade of culturally burnished chrome elevator doors. Everyone knows the Chinese have equal dibs on Buck Rogers the same way the Japanese have equal dibs on Delta Blues music. But don’t let me do anything like that cuz then we’re back to cultural appropriation, oh dear, no and we can’t have that thievery.

    I think I’ll write a short story about a future America based on the idea intersectionalism becomes our form of gov’t.

    I’m going to call it “Guuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”

  110. @ Nina Loriot
    April 21, 2015 at 12:50 am
    @pavepusher:

    “These links answer non of my questions, that you think they do, speaks volumes about your idea of democracy. All I found there was indeed very concrete evidence that dispite all the denial you did pull Gamergate into this. Lovely.”

    It shows NOTHING of the sort. If you believe otherwise, cite the info using exact quotes and links.

    Nina Loriot says:
    April 21, 2015 at 2:00 am
    @Draven. it is right there on this very blog:
    Daddy Warpig says:
    January 21, 2015 at 4:37 pm
    Some people in #GamerGate got the word today:

    How many people were interested there, is another question. But the contact is right there.

    Again, no it isn’t. It says that the GG’ers learned of the SP issue, but does not specify how, or intent. This seems to prove my reference to your disingenuouness; you are either purposely adding meaning that ISN’T THERE, or you have a rather profound reading comprehension problem.

  111. Those of you who feel like this was deliberate sabotage scroll way up to Chris Chupic’s quote of one of his earlier comments. Yes, we all knew people would have kittens, they did last year with only a couple nominees. But look at what Chis wrote then… “if some of these make it.”

    “if” and “some”… That was the general expectation. It was always that maybe we could get some of these author’s nominated…. Some of the stories nominated. Now maybe no one thought it through but if people were shocked and stunned, so were Sad Puppies in a bit of shock.

    I think it’s clear that No One realized that it took so few votes or opponents would have mobilized instead of just crabbing about it.

    I don’t know how anyone could look at this and decide that everything was Just Fine or that 1200 people voting for 600 novels is a reasonable way to figure out what is the best novel of the year.

  112. As for GG… It is absurd to expect that “people who love video games” and “people who love science fiction” are never the same people.

  113. @Akatsukami

    >And yet that 20% managed to bury the SJWs.

    Easy to do, since they don’t exist as a group. You won against the windmill. Congratulations.

  114. James May: :”Since Gerrib believes in white privilege”

    I’ll bet that Gerrib doesn’t even see a black person from one week to the next.

    Nina Loriot:

    “The combined puppies were about 20% of the elctorate in the nominations. That is hardly the grandezza of fandom swooping in.”

    I find it fascinating that you can accept that a small number (20% or 200 individuals) was enough to totally dominate the nominations, in every major category, but are nonetheless utterly convinced that Scalzimania doesn’t have a similar explanation. Nope. It must be that he is so fantastically popular that fans consider him 4x more worthy than Martin and 5x more worthy than Clarke.

    Pull the other one. It’s got bells on.

  115. “It is absurd to expect that “people who love video games” and “people who love science fiction” are never the same people.”

    I would bet money that the correlation is at least 0.7, maybe higher.

  116. @keranih

    Don’t apologize. To me our back and forth has been very interesting.
    I think we really do agree on a lot of the issues. The question is how to tackle them?

    You know, I doubt there is as much as political background as the puppies claim, but I think it is entirly possible that people very active in the worldcon scene and having a lot of personal friends there got more recognition than others. What I doubt is that there was any organized effort to give them this recognition.

    But where do we stand?

    The success of the puppies is proof that there was no secret organized campaign of equal scale (or even half the scale) on the other side.

    Most people in the common Hugo electorate, who voted without an organization don’t feel represented by this ballot.

    The sad puppies have this person riding on their coattails, who yells death and destruction on the Hugos, because yay, fire!

    So what now?

    Opposing slates next year? Emotionally overwrought kittens? Even more politics? Is this really what you want?

    I think only a deescalating strategy can save the Hugos at this point. The one good thing that came out of this is that there is a larger electorate now than ever. That will be good for the democracy of the Hugo. That will make it harder for groups, be it organized slates or circles of friends.
    I guess from the puppy side the best strategy would be the one AG proposed. To nominate like other lists do and offer more choices than there are slots on the ballot.
    For the rest the best strategy would be not to react with counterslates and not to vote knee jerk no award.

    I’m afraid though that with so many people eagerly pouring oil into the flames such an outcome is highly unlikely.

  117. @Doctor Locketopus

    >I find it fascinating that you can accept that a small number (20% or 200 individuals) was enough to totally dominate the nominations, in every major category, but are nonetheless utterly convinced that Scalzimania doesn’t have a similar explanation.

    It’s around 300, depending on the category you look at.

    I don’t know how large or intense Scalzi’s fandom is, since I am not part of it. His novels sell fairly good from what I can see and the numbers from this year showed that in the shorter categories around 80 maybe less used to be enough to get a nomination (pre-puppy). This doesn’t seem to be an unrealistic number of fans for him to have.

    It’s however not like he was nominated three times in one category, is it?

  118. @Nina: “And now it’s almost exclusively one clique (with two subgroups), who has excluded everybody else. How is that better again?”

    Except the point of SP wasn’t to exclude anyone. Everyone on the SP side this year was shocked at how they swept the nominations. The original goal of SP (SP1, if you will) was to prove Larry’s hypothesis that if he got the “wrong” kind of author on the Hugo nomination slate, then the SJW crowd would start howling about how evil and bad he (and anyone associated) with him was, because clearly Larry and his ilk were all racist, sexist, etc etc. And they did just that. But since so many folks still insisted “No, you’re lying, no one’s that upset” he did it again in SP2, and the howling got even louder. SP3, as has been noted by Brad and Larry and many other folks, was more “Okay, we made our point, now let’s just nominate stuff we all (‘we all’ being a highly disparate group of ornery individualists) think is pretty good. And now we have the “other” side howling loudest of all that it’s a slate of all-white-all-male-all-Mormon authors. Which, of course, it is far from being.

    I think if you were to ask, 99.9% of those of us who support SP would say that the real goal is to get more people voting. Don’t care about politics, don’t care about anything else. If you like something, nominate it and vote for it. The more the merrier. Then we can be certain that no clique of any ilk has disproportionate influence. Can’t speak for Rabid Puppies; I’m not a reader of Vox Day, and have no dog in that fight, other than the folks howling about him are going about it exactly backwards. (Saying “but you can’t” to a contrarian is never a good approach.)

  119. Hello Nina

    Reference your comment on oil and flames. It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out since it’s mainly the SJB sites that are still doing that. Yes, once someone is interpreted as a troll here and elsewhere on the Sad Puppies side of things, they get some attention.

    But folks on this side of things are going back to work, and really haven’t got time for anymore flames. If it continues to happen, it’ll be Scalzi, Making Light, or someother den of SJBs that do it.

    We’re still going to get the drive by trolls here, and we’re going to get the concern trolls. That’s where friction will happen here.

    Otherwise? Who cares. We’ll see what happens in August.

    Your mileage may vary.

  120. “His novels sell fairly good from what I can see”

    His Hugo-winning (not just nominated, but winning) novel from two years ago is getting its ass kicked by forty and fifty year old Clarke novels, so no, he’s not selling anywhere near enough books to account for his unprecedented success in garnering Hugo nominations.

    “This doesn’t seem to be an unrealistic number of fans for him to have.”

    But somehow you can’t believe that the SP people have fans? Amazon sales ranks beg to differ.

    You’re arguing that the SP votes are illegitimate, because they’re the wrong kind of fans? Because they were notified that they were eligible to vote in a manner you don’t approve? What?

    I’m sure you have a point in here somewhere, but damned if I can see what it is.

    Using Twilight as a slippery slope argument doesn’t work. Twilight fans are not core SF fans, while Martin and Clarke fans certainly are.

  121. The funny thing about joking about white privilege is this: in my opinion, if you take that concept alone out of SFF the way it’s been used as a club the last few years, there is no Sad Puppies. Say all you want about politics, that’s not what’s mostly happening here. Just like Gamergate, people are reacting to a biological hatred of them ludicrously passed off as an ideology or critique. We know what they call it when morons critique Jews and black folks. SJWs have been getting a pass on this for too long. I predict they can either knock it off and throw their stupid “marginalized” racists to one side or look forward to getting mercilessly pranked for some years.

    Is that a nuclear option? Who cares? We didn’t start this bullshit but we’re liable to finish it.

  122. “It’s however not like he was nominated three times in one category, is it?”

    You were, of course, equally outraged when Seanan McGuire got five nominations in 2013, right?

    Could you link to your comments on that for me? Thanks.

  123. @Nina:
    >I guess from the puppy side the best strategy would be
    >the one AG proposed. To nominate like other lists do and offer
    >more choices than there are slots on the ballot.

    That’s what I would like. What happened with this years’ nominations is not a good thing, although it has exposed how vulnerable the nominations system is. We’ll see what Kate Paulk wants to do next year, but that won’t be for many months.

    One good thing that has come out of this is an increase of interest for the Hugos in everybody.

    In the meantime, time for reading and whatever SF&F activities each one likes. I guess that what happens in the WorldCon and how the No Award everything campaign goes will have a bearing on how angry everyone is.

    >It’s however not like he was nominated three times in one category, is it?

    That wasn’t us, despite popular rumor…

  124. Nina Loriot,

    I am one of the people who’d given up on the vast majority of sci fi and fantasy unless it came highly recommended by individuals I trusted. The Hugo on a relatively recent book was a massive warning label that I would be treated to a ‘story’ that would be better and more effectively framed as an academic sociology paper. I could have forgiven these books if they had managed to get to the level of ‘fable’ or ‘parable’ but they didn’t. A friend of mine actually came up with a mathematical formula that seems to apply very well though he intended it to academia:

    http://www.ninja-xing.com/comics.php?c=6

    I have seen the exact same trend in what is supposed to be fiction. Sometimes something enjoyable sneaks through, seemingly by pure luck. Every now and then I’d stumble on something good (Zahn, Webber, Bujold, Hughart note only one of those has Hugo credits after the mid 80s.) I’d read and re-read, but mostly it was older stuff from 20-30 years ago that I’d read and reread some of them by Hugo winners of the past… such as Anne McCaffrey (All the Weyrs was the last nom of hers I could find in 92). In the non-Hugo set, trends I noticed (though these cropped up in the Hugo winners I read before giving up on the modern stuff): Heroes who were as bad or worse than the Villains, Villains that were ‘just victims’ but never actually redeemed, humans are bad and should all die, humanity is doomed because we suck, hope is stupid, the bad guy wins ‘because it has to happen sometimes’, evil is glamorous and cool while good is stupid and boring (and usually bigoted, where as the bad guys are depraved but tolerant). That last especially gets me because, you see, I’ve seen real evil. The kind that often looks crazy or flat on the page because it’s so off the wall.

    Preferably I would like to see ‘enjoyment’ taken out of the denominator and applied as an exponential factor, with ‘overt lectures to topic’ placed in the denominator raised to the power of how many times those lectures turned into rants. Please note, this would not disqualify all of the Hugo nominees and winners of the past 20 years, though it would disqualify many. This seems to mesh with those who wish to End Puppy Related Sadness in the main (there are a few ‘salt the ground for 100 years’ out there but they have seemed to be quite the minority and are usually in my experience told). Please also note, that I’m not dealing with the Puppies of Hydrophobia. I don’t know much about them so cannot speak for them.

    I disagree that a stand down is the only way to solve this. No, the only way to solve this problem is to get such a large portion of those who read Sci Fi involved in voting for the Hugos that no one group can control the award. And I am confident that then there will be an end of Puppy Related Sadness and the award will actually MEAN something and we may start pulling people back into reading the genre who, like me, had drifted away.

  125. Brad R. Torgersen : CPaca: I’m not an actual fan? (laughter) I beg to differ!

    Given that you’ve managed to make yourself part of an effort by a sociopath to destroy the Hugos if he can’t get his way, you’re about as much a “fan” of sf as Robert Bardo was a “fan” of Rebecca Schaeffer.

  126. “Given that you’ve managed to make yourself part of an effort by a sociopath to destroy the Hugos”

    I repeat: Patrick Nielsen Hayden “made himself part of an effort” by Stalinists, a group which has murdered one hundred million people, yet I have seen no effort to “no award” his multiple Hugo nominations.

    Explain why Vox Day is worse than Stalin or STFU.

    Thanks.

  127. CPaca, Vox only threatened to No Award in the future if the CHORFs No Awarded this year. Your side can’t have it both ways. Hypocrite.

  128. I repeat: Patrick Nielsen Hayden “made himself part of an effort” by Stalinists, a group which has murdered one hundred million people,

    Ballot is closed. Maybe you can get your thesis into next year’s nominations.

  129. You made some admirable efforts at peace and reconciliation Brad – and my hat’s off to you for it. You and Larry seem like nice enough guys to me; I have no skin in this dog fight so I have been able to maintain some impartiality and objectivity.

    Vox Day is a radio-active chit bag. So is Scalzi. If you nuke your awards they will probably be the only survivors! Everyone else will act like a grown up and move on.

    Unlike you and Larry, though – Vox understands what he’s up against and of the two he is the only one being honest here. Your enemies will not be reasonable or mature. They will not negotiate, or tolerate or work with you. They will watch their sandbox, themselves and their idiotic fiction get nuked – and they will never blame themselves or think to ask themselves why it happened or what they could have done to prevent it. Vox, at least, can be reasoned with to a limited degree.

    Out here in the real world where rational adults with triple digit IQ’s and real jobs live – I am not going to buy your books, kids. Larry’s stuff stinks, Vox is worse, and much as I hate Scalzi as a man, his stuff isn’t much better. (Haven’t run across your stuff yet Brad…maybe sometime down the road…) The dreck coming out of the SF genre today sucks and it’s getting worse. Let us understand something, kids: to me, you are little more than a dancing monkey. Your mission is to entertain me. I don’t care if your handler is a commie, a homo, or a whiz kid. I just want a good read and to be entertained – and if you don’t entertain me, I won’t put a coin in your tin cup. For that matter, I am beginning to wonder if this Puppy nonsense is just some unethical publicity stunt aimed at selling more books.

    My advice to you and Larry, Brad – is to get out of this. You are both better men than this, it’s a fight for stupid people and best left to Scalzi and Vox. The Hugo has been a sham forever and to me it serves to flag crappy books and crappy authors – you should be happy to leave it to it’s turd brained rightful owners. Your point’s been made – it’s time to move on.

  130. Glenfilthie, does it ever work to convince people you are right by insulting them, telling them they are stupid and that they are completely wrong? Has that ever worked in history?

  131. No one cares what you have to say. You’re as dishonest as they come. You seem a bit bitter that Vox Day didn’t nominate you this year, unlike what he did last year. And you nominated Vox last year to back-scratch.

    Quit whining. The reason people are voting “No Award” is because you, Larry, and Vox are corrupt as all heck, and people want to send you a message.

    People can handle a bit of promotion. But outright corruption, North Korea style — a.k.a. Brad, Larry, and Vox style — is way, way over the line. “No Award” it is. And we’re doing it for the USA.

  132. “Ballot is closed. Maybe you can get your thesis into next year’s nominations.”

    Translation: you have no response.

  133. Glenfilthy: so why are you here, exactly? You’re not an SF fan. Seems like you just showed up to take a dump on the lawn.

  134. Wow, the disingenuous trolls have flooded in all of a sudden.

    Oh and Philbert Watson? Would you like some cheese with all of that whine?

  135. “No one cares what you have to say.”

    There are millions, nay, billions of people in the world whose opinions are of no great interest to me. I have not noticed myself seeking out their blogs in order to comment on them.

    And yet, here you and all your fellow trolls are, writing pages of insults to someone you don’t care about. That’s an odd definition of “not caring”, don’t you think?

  136. “And we’re doing it for the USA.”

    Oh sure, fuck all of us European SF/F Fans and what some of us think.

    Its the WORLD SCIENCE FICTION SOCIETY you asshat.

    Do us a favor. Hire a lawyer, sue the school district you went to for providing such an atrocious education. After you win, get a better education, and this time maybe actually take a rhetoric class, instead of regurgitating (look it up) behavior you saw whilst scrolling through 4chan and reddit.

    Voting “No Award” is the dumb persons lazy move. Don’t be that American stereotype. Please.

  137. If this MSN-level ‘trolling’ is the best that the opposition can come up with, I weep for the species. I keep expecting one to break out with ‘Neener, neener’, comments about parents, and/or scatalogical derivatives.

    It’s rather embarrassing, really.

  138. “I keep expecting one to break out with ‘Neener, neener’, comments about parents”

    Already been done, several posts ago. I agree, it’s pitiful. It’s pretty obvious why the SPs and RPs drank their milkshake this year, and are likely to continue doing so for the foreseeable future.

  139. And the organizers of SP3 were among the most surprised at the results. They’ve stated more than once that they were expecting to get a couple of noms on, not dominate the list.

  140. @Doc,

    Brevity is supposed to be the soul of wit; it’s tragic that they achieve 50% of each component.

  141. “The success of the puppies is proof that there was no secret organized campaign of equal scale (or even half the scale) on the other side.” – I think that says more about the limited numbers involved in previous years than anything about organization or whisper campaigns.
    “Most people in the common Hugo electorate, who voted without an organization don’t feel represented by this ballot. ” – And all those who sympathized with the Sad Puppies felt they weren’t represented in previous years.
    “The sad puppies have this person riding on their coattails, who yells death and destruction on the Hugos, because yay, fire!” – NOT OUR FAULT! We can’t control other people (what they do, who they like).

  142. I may not like the way Vox goes about things, but I don’t think he’s stupid in the least. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if he has one of the highest IQs of anyone involved in this.

  143. You have anything that might resemble, even in the tiniest amount, proof of such corruption? Because even those on the other side admit that what SP3 did wasn’t against the rules.

  144. I missed the nomination period but after hearing about the “No Award” jihad, I joined to vote. ( and I am going to read all the nominations). I want to thank Brad and Larry for fighting the good fight. It has been along time since I used the Hugo’s for recommendations. While I have read sci-fi/ fantasy for 40+ years, I stopped following the Hugo’s years ago.

    I look forward to next year’s SJW short story- “If my Hugo award was a dinosaur…”

  145. BTW, next time Paul Weimer comes back here and plays Mr. Moderate, remember what he tweeted yesterday:

    “Paul Weimer Republic ‏@PrinceJvstin · 13h13 hours ago
    ” [Torgersen provides] the politely moderate front for a movement that is in practice dominated by Theodore Beale.” -Philip Sandifer”

    He’s been here, he’s read Brad’s posts, and yet THIS is what he tweets. Hugo-Trutherism.

  146. Let’s crowdsource it:

    The calm clock began to waft Fifth-Day’s mandate-scent of composure and confidence. It soon turned into the stink of zinc and burnt wiring. An oblong of gray light struggled onto a wall. Dim red characters in Mandarin appeared on a screen which said “It’s Very Special Fiction starring Determined Woman.”

    On another wall a different oblong of gray light let in the sounds of a madre-creche playing Avid Ball in the glee-courtyard below.

    It was the start of another day in Information City, Iowa.

  147. @ Bassmanco – speaking strictly for myself, I found that South Park ref over the top and irksome. I encourage you to investigate other phrases for insult and disdain.

  148. Interesting Twitter conversation between Annie Bellet, Kary English and one of the Sad Puppies critics here:

    Includes this:

    “Annie Bellet ‏@anniebellet · 3h3 hours ago
    I’m sure if I hadn’t withdrawn, Sandifer would have found some way to make my story support VD’s awful positions. Fuck that unfairness.”

  149. I would wonder why so much emphasis is placed on demonizing pro-Puppy people rather than refuting the arguments Puppies make.

    Maybe it’s because these people are fond of the kind of books that teach you to view those with different ideologies than you as baby-eating scum.

  150. Uh, that was supposed to link to their conversation, not that statement. My Twitter-linking fu sucks.

  151. To be fair, Sandifer also says he’ll talk directly with both authors, but I wish he had done that before casually smearing people.

  152. Yah know, if we (we-as-humans, we-as-fans, we-as-‘Mericans, take your pick) would stick to judging the work, and not the person, I don’t think we’d be quite so far down the road where we could smear something by who else thought it was a decent idea.

    Instead we’re all oh you made this beautiful painting/this functional bridge/this tasty meal/this great novel, so you must be an awesome human! And, the reverse – I hate you so all your stuff sucks!

    Bugger all that for a game of soldiers. It’s just another way of saying that we’re all selfish gits and we only love other people for what they can give us. (Well, okay, that might be true, but I see no reason to go about encouraging the attitude.)

  153. Pingback: Lightning Round – 2015/04/22 | Free Northerner

  154. @Philbert Watson
    “No one cares what you have to say.”

    Speak for yourself; do not presume to speak for me. I’m quite capable of speaking for myself, thanks. Back to your kennel.

  155. @Sara: Everyone on the SP side this year was shocked at how they swept the nominations.

    That makes sense to me, since I do believe that most Sad Puppies were sincere in their believe that the other side (whatever that may be) does the same thing. But now the results are in and they clearly show that the Puppies came in full gear to the battlefield and no one else came to meet them. Instead they found the locals in taverns and at the playgrounds, each doing something different. Of course they were easy to overrun.

  156. @Dr. LOcketopus:

    >But somehow you can’t believe that the SP people have fans? Amazon sales ranks beg to differ.

    I don’t believe so and I never said so. LC had enough fans to get nominated before the Puppies existed. But I don’t believe that this complete slate is height of SciFi writing or are the farote writers of all of fandom.

    >You’re arguing that the SP votes are illegitimate, because they’re the wrong kind of fans?

    No.

    >Because they were notified that they were eligible to vote in a manner you don’t approve? What?

    Bloc voting was never against the rules.

    >Using Twilight as a slippery slope argument doesn’t work. Twilight fans are not core SF fans, while Martin and Clarke fans certainly are.

    Aha, so now you decide, which people are “wrongfan”, or what? You are doing exactly the same things you are complaining about in others.

  157. @AG:
    > I guess that what happens in the WorldCon and how the No Award everything campaign goes will have a bearing on how angry everyone is.

    I don’t think that No Award will sweep the ballots. I’ve been around on several boards on the other sides of the fence and a vast majority advocates against it. It might happen in those categories, where a lot of people feel they have no valid choices, but certainly no in general.

    >>It’s however not like he was nominated three times in one category, is it?

    >That wasn’t us, despite popular rumor…

    I know that, but you’ll have to admit that the line is blurry. I understand that there is a distinction, but I have yet to see a sad puppy oppose a rabid puppy on all their “Let’s go burn the Hugos” talk.

  158. @ Nina Loriot
    April 22, 2015 at 1:33 am
    @Dr. LOcketopus:

    >Using Twilight as a slippery slope argument doesn’t work. Twilight fans are not core SF fans, while Martin and Clarke fans certainly are.

    “Aha, so now you decide, which people are “wrongfan”, or what? You are doing exactly the same things you are complaining about in others.”

    No, he’s explaining some actual demographics of SP supporters, not setting up barriers. Yeah, they aren’t real likely to be Twilight fans. A few probably are. So what? No-one is going to hold that against them. (We actually believe in that ‘Diversity’ stuff.)

    Back to your disingenuousness again, I see.

  159. @wyrdbard:

    >I disagree that a stand down is the only way to solve this.

    How is it standing down, to abandon the bloc tactic for promoting all the books people in your corner of fandom enjoyed?

    >No, the only way to solve this problem is to get such a large portion of those who read Sci Fi involved in voting for the Hugos that no one group can control the award. And I am confident that then there will be an end of Puppy Related Sadness and the award will actually MEAN something and we may start pulling people back into reading the genre who, like me, had drifted away.

    The thing is, that there are also a fat lot of people, to which the Hugo meant something as it was and who feel that it is losing its meaning and validity now through this campaign. The swept ballot alone means that a lot of works, those people considered eligible have been pushed off.

    And to be honest, if Skin Game goes for Hugo material now, the prize does kind of become meaningless for me. Don’t get me wrong. That was a nice, entertaining book. I bought it and I liked it as I like the whole series. But it is not the kind of fascinating and thought provoking work I associate with the Hugo.

    Many people here seem to agree that sales alone are not what makes a novel Hugo worthy. That it should not be a pure popularity contest.

    What I am still missing after all these posts is what it actually should be in your opinion? And even more how Sad and Rabid Puppies help to achieve that goal?

  160. @pavepushers:
    We were not talking about Sad Puppies demographics. We were talking about the demographics of the fans of fantastic literature in general.

    It does not all revolve around you, you and you!

  161. @ Nina –

    The thing is, that there are also a fat lot of people, to which the Hugo meant something as it was and who feel that it is losing its meaning and validity now through this campaign. The swept ballot alone means that a lot of works, those people considered eligible have been pushed off.

    Yes, a lot of people, who had been promoting the same sort of stuff they liked, and liked the Hugo because they could reliably attach it to things they liked, are unhappy because the things that some other people liked got on the finalist list instead. We get that. Welcome to our world for the last 15 years.

    if Skin Game goes for Hugo material now, the prize does kind of become meaningless for me. Don’t get me wrong. That was a nice, entertaining book. I bought it and I liked it as I like the whole series. But it is not the kind of fascinating and thought provoking work I associate with the Hugo.

    Honey, if your admiration for the award survived Redshirts only to be sunk by Skin Game, I’ve got nothing for you.

    We were not talking about Sad Puppies demographics. We were talking about the demographics of the fans of fantastic literature in general.

    …who are not all Twilight fans, either. It might be better we stopped talking about different groups of fans as separate and agree that the groups all bleed into each other – including the SPs and the “trufans”.

  162. @Nina Loriot

    What do the Hugos mean to me? The stories (there are a few exceptions but they are the exceptions that prove the rule) will NOT be thought provoking. They attempt to frame an academic lecture as a fiction story, yet they are not sufficiently versed with parable and fable (or even Plato and Aristotle who were far more direct) to figure out how to do it in a way that engages the reader. So they fail at being a quality sermon or lecture and ALSO fail at being . The Hugos mean these are books I should avoid at all cost because not only will they lecture me, they will lecture me badly because they try not to be a lecture therefore fail at telling a story and fail at making an effective, thought provoking case. The only thing they make me think is ‘Get to the point and get on with the story’ and in some cases ‘what were you thinking?’ No, I can’t remember more than generally what the messages are. The books were completely unmemorable (which is a major flaw for ‘award winning’). I can from many of the entertaining stories I read. Barry Hughart’s Bridge of Birds had a message: Keep trying, Evil (even dangerous evil) is often small and petty pretending to be big and scarey (It also misses out on the best things because of its pettiness), small things can do great harm, otherwise ordinary people can positively impact big things

    I am a storyteller in several venues. Currently my most common venue is the verbal story. Go back to the ancient traditions of the story. Why were they structured the way they were? Because if they weren’t the audience would not engage with the message. Some of these were exceedingly long. (The Norse Sagas as an example, more recently Ballads such as ‘Horatius at the Bridge’ which takes 20 min to recite.) So it is not that our ancestors had less mastery of the long form. (And Horatius at the bridge has something like 3 whole stanzas devoted to explicitly to the message!)

    In the verbal venue you can actually watch the impact on the audience. If you start lecturing, postures shift, people go into ‘I am in a class’ mode. Expressions are different bored to concentration, but postures are more ‘proper’ and by and large show less signs of being engaged. A good story (even a morality tale, parable, or an informative one like my ‘These are the Reitsar’ story) engages the audience. They lean forward (some back with thoughtful looks). Their postures are more relaxed. Their eyes follow the teller more reliably. They fiddle less with things they have to hand. They pay less attention to other things they may do (Drinking from a mug for example). They engage more: Laugh more at jokes, jump back at startling moments. It’s not that the lectures don’t periodically laugh at jokes or jump but the percentage of people doing so is less (In the same audience) and more of the reactions are polite rather than genuine. And the stories are remembered. “Tell the Porkie Pie Story!” Svan Coldbrowskaldson’s Dragon story (Message: Don’t cheat a dragon or he will eat you, greed will be an early end for you.)

    This genuine interaction has been completely lacking in the majority of recent Hugo winners. What I’ve read of Ancillary Justice indicates it’s better than some of the others I’ve read, but the sample from Amazon still left me going ‘ok, does she ever actually get on with the story? I presume there’s supposed to be a story in here somewhere?’ These stories don’t make me think. Ursala K. LeGuin made me think. Anne McCaffrey made me think. Zahn and Heinlein (though he’s not at all my favorite) made me think. They asked questions that didn’t have easy answers with characters that struggled through these questions and their ups and downs. Who makes me think now? Weber makes me think. Zahn still makes me think. Larry Correia makes me think. Sarah Hoyt makes me think. I could go on. I haven’t read Bucher, but I would not be surprised if he, also, would make me think. Why is this less valid (which is what you’re arguing, that we should not have a say) than what makes you think? If you object GET YOUR FRIENDS WHO THINK LIKE YOU INVOLVED. Nominate what you like. The more people involved the wider a variety we will have and the better and better the award will be worth something. Which to me and to a large number of others like me it is not. It is a piece of gold colored trash at best and a warning label at worst, but we remember when it was more and we want it to BE more again.

  163. Quick correction: So they fail at being a quality sermon or lecture and ALSO fail at being .

    Should be So they fail at being a quality sermon or lecture and ALSO fail at being stories.

  164. @Philbert Watson
    “No one cares what you have to say.”

    You do, apparently.

  165. “keranih – @ Bassmanco – speaking strictly for myself, I found that South Park ref over the top and irksome. I encourage you to investigate other phrases for insult and disdain.”

    I apologize for the offense, but feel it necessary to retaliate in the manner which the trolls attack. However, I will try to reign it in going forward.

  166. I agree about the parable and fable. Many things SJWs say make no sense whatsoever. I can understand The Fox and the Grapes, I can’t understand Kameron Hurley’s goofy reasoning in saying “Science fiction award ballots in 2009 through last year became more diverse and as it got more diverse, it started to frighten people…”

    That doesn’t even make any logical sense to me. Given Hurley’s history of rhetoric, there is absolutely no doubt her “people” are straight white men. It is a completely supremacist and racist remark typical of her. But then, when has group defamation ever been Aesop? So put Hurley’s reasoning only she can see into a novel and what happens? Nothing, just like her empty Hugo Award-winning bit of mopiness about women having always fought.

    The reason Leckie’s novel falls flat is she is asserting some obvious thing that comes with the territory and needs no explanation, but there’s really nothing there. There are no perceptual shifts or epiphanies.

    I’ve read the whole Leckie novel. It does not deserve its award status. It is an average SF novel. The idea it is a barnburner of a great SF novel like The Stars My Destination, Dune, The Mote in God’s Eye or even In Conquest Born is ridiculous.

  167. Thank you, Brad. I have been a simple spectator and cannot fathom how difficult these last few weeks must have been for you and everyone else involved. I have thought a lot about this year’s Hugo controversy and here are my two cents.

    I support Sad Puppies. I did not participate in the nominations though I did register after the ballots were released as a supporting member so I may vote on the finalists. I chose to do so based on the rallying cries of those who advocate voting No Award instead of reading the nominated works.

    I do not know Larry Correia nor Brad Torgersen but I have no reason to believe either is a liar. I decided to go to the source and read the blog posts regarding the origin and purpose of Sad Puppies. In these posts, they discuss the desire to recognize works that would generally be ignored and try to get them on the ballot. They believe in the quality of the works recommended on the slate. Claims of racism, sexism, etc are unfounded when you read these posts. Watching these false allegations spread around is disgusting.

    “Gaming” the system: What is one of the major factors in winning elections? Encouraging your support (fan) base to come out and vote. Sad Puppies encouraged fans to read the works and nominate for those they felt were worthy of the Hugo. Rabid Puppies, a separate campaign, also encouraged their fans to do the same and had even more success in this regard. This does not break any rules of the awards and is not the first time it has been done. Disenfranchising “undesirable” sections of the voter base is not the solution if this award is to represent “all of fandom.” As for the use of recommended “slates” – no fan can read every work that is released in a year. Having a list of works recommended by a favorite author can help fans find interesting works they may have overlooked on their own. For this reason, I don’t consider the idea of competing slates to be negative as long as they are public and made available for their fans. The negative impact is even less so if you believe the argument that this is already taking place, just not in public.

    I love sports, especially basketball. A common phrase you will hear is “You play to win the game.” Sportsmanship is defined as the belief that the game should be played with consideration for fairness, ethics, respect, and a sense of fellowship with one’s competitors. Gamesmanship is the use of methods that are dubious or seemingly improper but not strictly illegal. Many times a player or team will play in a way that is an affront to the sense of sportsmanship of the opposing team, coach, and/or fans. If the offended side loses the game, they mumble about unsportsman-like conduct but as long as nothing has been done against the rules (cheating) the result stands. There are no asterisks in the record books to indicate an “unsportsman-like” victory.

    Voting No Award: Why is the year 1994 a black eye to Major League Baseball? Because for a league that loves the history of its game, it is the one year in over a hundred where there is no World Series winner. No World Champion. Successfully voting No Award above the field without reading the nominated works would be a worse offense than how the list of finalists came to be.

    Why has there been no discussion of merit? The overwhelming response from those upset at the nominations focus not on the quality of the works but simply that they are against the authors who wrote them. If you are to convince anyone that the awards are about quality, not the author’s politics, then it would be best to have discussions of the works instead of why the authors are “bad people.” Is the nominated work worthy of a Hugo? Why or why not? If it is not, what work would you consider better than the one(s) on the ballot? Why? These are far more interesting discussions than whether or not you consider a person a racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. without proof and such discussions are also beneficial to readers. A discussion on the quality of works that are finalists (and those that were missed) is far healthier than what is going on now.

  168. SJWs are not only against the politics of the authors but against their very race and sex as well. There is a mountain of evidence that flows from the mouths of SJWs every single day and they don’t even trouble to hide it. The worst of them are clearly obsessed with it and just can’t let it go. They’re convinced the white patriarchy is out to get them and that’s that. They won’t be shaken out of that and they’ll burn the Hugos to the ground before they let it go. They are really creepy.

  169. Brad. If these grapes are too sour, then why not “save the world” by starting your own vanity publishing house.

    Times. Change.

    Readers change.

    And writers grow old.

    Bitter Old Men — a tale as old as time.

    You are starting to sound like the Old West stagecoach driver whom the railroad put out of work.

  170. Can we not have another post about the evil SJWs? You guys want to know why everyone is ranting about this being a right wing takeover, blah blah blah? It is because you keep talking about conspiracies against white people, the other side hating the white patriarchy, etc.

    Look, I enjoy many of the same books that were on the SP slate. Big fan of Jim Butcher, LC, (haven’t read Torgersen) and so on. I would love to see more of that type of stuff on the ballot! But when you frame the entire argument as “the other side is discriminating against us and using affirmative action to pick books” then you are not going to get a good reaction. Combine that with the slate voting, and guess what happens.

    Want to know how SP3 should have been? “Hey everyone, we want to get more fans involved in voting for the Hugos. Many of you probably feel that the books you love aren’t getting nominated. So sign up and vote, all of you! Here is a list of recommended reading” and then give a list with 40 novels like Locus did. http://www.locusmag.com/Magazine/2015/02/2014-locus-recommended-reading-list/

    Instead you had to make it in to a culture war and start blaming conspiracies.

  171. Because it IS a culture war. Look at your example Locus list. Not a Baen book on it.

  172. “Because it IS a culture war. Look at your example Locus list. Not a Baen book on it.”

    And that ties in to SJWs how? Locus tends to like the more literary stuff, this is not a secret. Baen tends to publish more (not sure how to describe it) adventure/old school/ whatever sci-fi. Which is why my book shelf is about 1/3 to 1/2 Baen lol.

    But it is a big leap from “The Hugos ignore what they don’t consider literary works” (which has more than a little truth in it) to “The secret clique of SJWs is blocking our books from being read because they hate our politics”

    See my point?

    If the argument from the beginning had been that “We want to see more old school, adventure sci-fi that tells a great story, the stuff people are buying” represented, hell, more power to you.

    Or “The Hugo’s have drifted away from what most fans actually read and like” Another entirely valid argument, once again I tend to agree. And I have seen both of those points made.

    But unfortunately, the thrust of the SP3 from the beginning, even down to the announcement of it, has turned it in to a “liberals hate conservatives which is why we aren’t getting books nominated thanks to secret cliques”

    The first two arguments make sense, and tend not to get people riled up. The last one is like throwing chum in the water. (Not to mention I think it is 90% untrue. Oh sure there are idiots out there, but I don’t think I have ever met a sci-fi reader who really pays attention to the author’s politics) Once again, sure they exist, but on the whole? Nah

    Ancillary Justice didn’t beat Warbound 1300 votes to 300 because of a clique or conspiracy. No Conspiracy in the world has 1300 members lol. Hugo Voters just liked it better. I own both, AJ was OK but Warbound would get my vote, great book. I like the Grimnoir series better even than Monster Hunters.

  173. “you keep talking about conspiracies against white people, the other side hating the white patriarchy.”

    That is false. What we keep doing is quoting open and public collusion combined with a paranoia about a white patriarchy. What is there about the word “quotes” and the purpose that serves you don’t understand? The fact you haven’t read those quotes means absolutely nothing. They’re there and there’s a mountain of them. I don’t make up stuff or use cheap psychology and innuendoes like SJWs do at The Guardian, EW and a thousand other places. When Ann Leckie writes a blog post about an imaginary anti-Poc/woman/gay face-punching restaurant and Kameron Hurley writes “last year became more diverse and as it got more diverse, it started to frighten people…,” that’s all factless nonsense they made up out of their heads.

    If you want to talk about conspiracies you’re pointed in the wrong direction.

    “(above quote by GRR Martin on GoT–he means well, but it really exemplifies my problems with ‘escapism’: it’s geared to white patriarchy) – multi-award nominated and winning SFF author Aliette de Bodard

    “Some days, this hetero white male guy really wants the Patriarchy to burn, and burn to ashes.” – Paul Weimer of the Hugo Award-nominated Skiffy and Fanty

    “Mass shootings are one tragic consequence of a culture that perpetuates toxic ideas of masculinity. This is how patriarchy can harm men too.” “The system of Patriarchy privileges men as a social group,” – Anita Sarkeesian

    “If we simply read more books by people that are not white, cis, and male – well, that’s awesome…” – Cora Buhlert

    “It is explicitly challenging white supremecy, the patriarchy, heteronormativity, and cis as the default.” – @jennygadget

    “Fuck patriarchy” – SFF author Keri Sperring

    “Retweeted by John Scalzi Marjorie Liu ‏@marjoriemliu 16h Sexual harassment in the comic book industry, and how it’s part of the larger global issue of women-hating…”

    “Brianna Wu retweeted James S.A. Corey @JamesSACorey · Feb 21 Interesting thing I realized today. I have never seen someone use the word ‘misandry’ and then not go on to demonstrate they are a moron”

    “White male privilege cares ONLY about white male privilege, and there is no goal except maintaining that position of power.” – Marvel Comics writer and N. Y. Times best-selling author Marjorie Liu

    I’ve got quotes like that coming out my ears, and I didn’t include the amazing “Patriarch’s Day Part IV” by Laura Mixon, wife of SFWA president Steven Gould, himself the source of some amazing quotes.

  174. @Paul –

    Want to know how SP3 should have been? “Hey everyone, we want to get more fans involved in voting for the Hugos. Many of you probably feel that the books you love aren’t getting nominated. So sign up and vote, all of you! Here is a list of recommended reading” and then give a list with 40 novels like Locus did.

    Aweseome suggestion. Where were you last year, when SP2 got only 1 or 2 nominations on the final ballot, and people lost their minds? Because we could have done with the advice on how to stop people from getting insanely angry then.

    Or not. Because the people leading the charge now were just as nasty last year, and none of you guys took notice. It’s just that it worked this year, and so people are flipping out.

  175. @Paul

    Like many you are getting hung up on terms. Nobody on this side of the fence is saying the SJWs are meeting in a dark room in robes to decide the fate of the Hugos. It is a group of people with similar ideas that have worked together via whisper campaigns and overt attacks. All they have to do is pronounce someone, say Vox Day, as unworthy and nobody will vote for him regardless of the merits of his work.

    In the past it has taken as little as 40 votes to put someone on the ballot. If you limit the choices to only people of the right slant then you do not have to do anything more to ensure the “right” people win.

    I suggest you read this:

    http://madgeniusclub.com/2014/08/25/a-very-surprised-looking-sperm-whale-and-a-bowl-of-petunias/

  176. @ Keranih

    Didn’t follow it last year. But doing a little research just now (love the internet, nothing ever dies) I found that it was actually a smaller slate of suggested books. The big thing that I object to is pushing through a slate, it was just a lot more effective this year and it has annoyed people.

    @ Lord Darque

    I would find that more credible, the whisper campaigns, etc, when just a few points for the nomination can swing a difference, if it wasn’t for the results for winner.

    Now, I hate to overuse a single data point to prove a broader point (way too much of that in some people’s posts) but this is a good example. Ancillary Justice, initial voting has over 1300 votes for winner. Warbound? 300. Over a 4 to 1 vote difference. No whisper campaign among a few authors ever had that much effect on thousands of fans voting.

    Now if the books Sad Puppies had nominated had won (or did very well at least) then you would have a better argument that the nominations didn’t reflect the overall voter pool.

    I had already read your link by the way, interesting read. I would make three points.

    1 – I don’t see the underlying data. Coming from a science background, I always look for the data. Charts are great, but what data are you using. How do you pick who is a conservative/liberal author? To what degree? How many of each are writing, etc etc.

    2 – Correlation does not equal causation. Classic statistics line. For example, those idiots that think vaccines cause autism “because autism increased as vaccines did!” Also increased as a million other things did, doesn’t prove one caused the other.

    2 – Taste in literature. Going by the nominations, Sad Puppies are nominating a certain type of author that they feel neglected. Adventure, noir, military sci-fi. Whatever. Not the more, for lack of a better term, literary titles that tend to win. Not sure how genre’s and political views got mixed in, but whatever. Maybe the Hugo voters don’t like those types of books? Which seems consistent.

    Conspiracy theories tend to get in the way of actual solutions. They make great enemies to rage against though, and the beauty of them is you can never disprove the conspiracy. The more evidence you amass against it the more convinced people become that there is a giant conspiracy going! (People who are convinced of giant conspiracies in vaccines, genetically modified foods, etc etc)

    Here is my take, boiled down.

    1 – Hugo voters aren’t big fans of Jim Butcher/LC/Military Sci-Fi type genres. Annoying, because that is most of what I read… but that doesn’t make it a shadow campaign.

    2 – Slate voting will ruin the awards. Why do we have parties in poltics? Because focusing your vote down to one candidate always beats 20 candidates running on the other side, even if you have a smaller group. The result will be other slates, then we just end up with a few books being considered for the awards!

    3 – There will always be highly opinionated people. That doesn’t mean they secretly control the mass of fans.

    4 – Get people involved, get them voting. But we also have to accept sometimes that our tastes are not in the majority.

  177. SJWs explain they must No Award the Hugos, because the Puppies were disobedient.

    Same rationale used by every wife beater: “Now look what you made me do!”

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