Emmanuel Goldstein is leaving the building

Approximately 20 years ago, my wife decided to run for school office at the little 2-year college where we were enrolled as students. Despite pulling a full class load and working full time — we both were — she was motivated to try to get involved in student politics, because she was sick and tired of how the bookstore was being run. Long story short: my wife won the office, and she did get the bookstore fixed. Some people still remember her for that, many years later. But the most remarkable thing to me was that my wife had haters. People who detested her. And these weren’t just a few people. These were a committed, organized set of really nasty haters from a satellite campus. Totally vindictive. They worked very hard to be complete dicks to her. She only wanted to help make a difference — which she did — but it didn’t stop people from reviling her.

Near as I can tell — even all these years later — these individuals felt like she had cut in on their turf. These were people who had previously regarded student politics as their arena, and when she sort of swept into things — an outsider on a mission — this really, really hacked some guys off. She hadn’t asked for the right permission. Or maybe she hadn’t kissed the right rings? Anyway, she left office when it was done, and while she was rightly proud of having made a difference, both of us remarked on how crazy it was that a student office job could garner so much political bile and rancor. This wasn’t even municipal stuff. Nor state government. It was a 2-year college. Maybe a few thousand people in the whole place, tops. But you’d think her name was Obama or Bush for how she got some people riled up!

I find myself remembering that episode of our lives together, as I slowly take off my Sad Puppies 3 sportcoat and hang it up in the closet.

Now, I can never retire from Sad Puppies in the public eye because the dedicated opponents of Sad Puppies won’t let me. But my period of active pugilism in what has been an eye-opening Hugo award season, is concluded. They might still kick at the dog, but can you really kick a mutt whose collar has been left empty on the chain?

I wanted to make some notes on this, just because I’ve got some observations about the whole thing. From the inside looking out. These are not pro or con Sad Puppies arguments. These aren’t about the Hugos. These are notes on the experience I’ve been through. One I volunteered for gladly.

1) It was surprising just how much like the movie Mr. Smith Goes To Washington the whole affair turned out to be. If you’re not familiar with the movie, watch it this week. It’s one of Jimmy Stewart’s more remarkable performances. I won’t spoil the outcome of the film for you, but I experienced some identifiable parallels to events that take place in the story.

2) No matter how much of a Nice Guy you actually are, or think you are — your friends swear by it, your family swears by it — once you step into the political arena, your opponents are going to tar and feather you. The stakes could be so low, they don’t exist. Small ball. The Hugos certainly qualify as small ball. Much smaller than a student body office. But if the people who’re opposing you believe you’re threatening their turf or their control or their egos or maybe they simply think your taste in ties sucks, they’re going to pull out all the stops to make sure the world knows what a cretin you are. My wife experienced the same thing. Now we have another experience shared in common.

3) Nothing occurs in a vacuum, and everything is a potential source for controversy, either real or invented. Which demonstrated to me exactly why real politicians never, ever apologize for anything. They don’t dare. You apologize for something — even a minor slip — and you’re toast. The opposition will swoop in and use your apology as an admission of guilt! You are every bit as terrible as they’ve been saying you are! This demoralizes your supporters, and gives the opposition free ammunition. You wind up finding yourself caught between trying to navigate as an ordinary person who enjoys the benefit of the doubt, and a political player who will never, ever be given the benefit of the doubt. I always wondered why no politician is eager to “be the bigger man” in our national U.S. elections. Like we always want them to be. And this is why. I found it both enlightening, and incredibly disheartening. No wonder national politics is a joke. The forces compelling our real politicians, are a thousand times more powerful than anything I dealt with. And they have party people pushing them hard.

4) The media — and the counter-media — see you as fodder for advancing their narratives. I’ve been talking to reporters and media people of various types for seven months. I was only ever interesting to anybody because I could help them tell the story they wanted to tell. Not the story I wanted to tell. The story I wanted to tell usually wound up on the cutting room floor. Now, in some cases — especially with the conservative counter-media — I didn’t mind too much. I agreed with what they were saying in most instances, and I was thankful for the coverage that helped me more than it hurt me. Because the negative coverage was plentiful, and too often I found myself offering the opposition-friendly press a pint of myself, for them to merely use a few drops; and then only if they felt it spun the way they wanted it too. Which was always against me and what I was fighting for.

5) To that end, the opposition-friendly media will lie about you. Now, I’ve seen this done to professional politicians and political people hundreds of times, on all sides, but you never quite get the full monty until you become the object of the lies. It’s a dizzying thing to discover yourself having become the object of provably false claims, but the era of the internet has allowed untruths to spread like kudzu. And you all know how hard it is to get rid of kudzu. Plant a cutting in May, and the shit has taken over your whole street by September. I am thankful for those few media voices who tried to set the record straight. But my faith in the media overall, is gone. And I don’t see it ever coming back. All I can think now is, “Good gravy, how much more terrible would it have gotten if I’d actually been campaigning for something of real importance?”

6) Not everyone who claims to be a friend, is a friend, and not everyone who seems like they might be an opponent, is an opponent. All the “fluff” friendships will dissolve on you, the instant the water gets hot. People hate being connected to people who are being made the object of anything controversial, because the controversy will spill over onto them; or they will disagree with your stances and use the controversy as an escape hatch to depart the relationship. Meanwhile, some “friends” use you for what they believe to be gains in their own arena of interest, which you may or may not have the same feeling for. As with the press, some people truly do have ulterior motives. I’ve said it several times — people are hard. Relationships are hard. People you thought were solid, turn. People you never intended to be drawn in, get drawn in anyway. People who seemed fine with being drawn in, decide its too uncomfortable, and bail out. Then turn. Of all the experiences I’ve had during Sad Puppies, this is the one that taught me the most about who I am, and who other people are. I consider myself wiser for the fact. Definitely there were some fuckups in here — both ways. And I am sad to have watched some relationships die. But I am also happy for some unexpected relationships which have also blossomed in seemingly the most uncompromising soil.

7) The point for some people, is to merely make you so frustrated or angry, that you say or do something rash, and then they’ve got you. I consider this to be an Alinsky Rule, from the “Rules for Radicals” playbook. But it’s a bipartisan practice. Push the other guy until he’s steamed, watch him do or say something dumb, and then ride out the event for all its worth. Milk it for damage! Of course, this is doubly true for anyone you’re in league with — even if you have little or nothing to do with the individual. If people believe you’re the same, then in their minds, you are the same. Protesting merely convinces them you’re trying to cover up. Again, more shades of Alinsky tactics. Of all the things I experienced, this is the one that really got me angry on numerous occasions. Because it was like drowning in quicksand. The more you thrash, the more you sink. And as noted above, apologies just make it worse, because apologies are instantly exploited for maximum damage. Which means “being the better man” is like drowning for the sake of decency.

8) Everybody is an armchair quarterback and everybody knows how you should be doing it better. Yup. Plenty of that to go around, especially since I — as the novice pol — was learning by doing. Frankly, I am surprised things didn’t go completely off the rails at any number of junctures. I am fortunate that the solid friends I do have, were there for me. I am also fortunate to have enjoyed some benefit of the doubt from the Honest Opposition, who were not committed to total personal destruction. Maybe those who paid attention can learn from my blunders? They will have to divine what they believe those blunders were. I know the mistakes I think I made, and the mistakes I think I made, aren’t always the mistakes other people think I made. And of course, the committed trolls think everything I do and say is always a mistake. See again: never being able to say you’re sorry.

9) Speaking of the trolls, there is no tactic too low that people who believe you must be finished at all costs, won’t stoop to it. Yup, saw plenty of this too. It didn’t matter that we’re only talking about a cashless prize with dwindling value in the marketplace. This was the Hugos! This was bloodsport! For those who regarded it as bloodsport, it became a take-no-prisoners affair. Which merely exacerbated many of the prior facets of the experience, especially the straining and breaking of friendships, trying to figure out how to navigate a world where there is no benefit of the doubt, and also trying to stay focused on your actual principled goals, while the trolls hurl red herring after red herring.

10) Doing this “part time” is not recommended. I have three careers. I did not realize in January I would be embarking upon a fourth career that would actually endanger the others; both literally and figuratively. But once I stuck my hand in the air and volunteered, I was in for a penny, in for a pound, and I am not the kind of guy who quits just because things get hard. In fact, you might say I am the kind of guy who thinks, if it’s not hard, it’s not worth doing. And running Sad Puppies 3 was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life! It’s also one of the things that’s taught me the most about myself — Brad, the guy inside — and what I really believe, what I really stand for, and what I am able to stand up under, when things get uncomfortable. To include all my own mistakes.

11) Nothing worth doing, is ever done without a toll. I’ve paid out a lot in this thing. My friends — the real friends, who have been my shoulders of support in this — know the gritty details. My only recommendation for anyone looking at this and moving forward on their own potentially political road, is to be sure you understand clearly what your principles are when you start out. Because there will come many instances when you are bleeding and people are turning on you all over the place, and you are wondering why, and you will need to remind yourself of the “what” — the reason for the whole damned thing in the first place — and you will need to be sure. If you can’t be sure, you’re going to be paying out for nothing. I would not recommend paying this kind of toll for nothing.

12) You can’t control the fact that you have enemies, you can only try to make sure that they are the right enemies for the right reasons. I remember when my wife came home, bewildered, that afternoon when she first realized just how bad the opponents on campus had gotten. She couldn’t understand it. She wasn’t a threat to them at all. Or so she thought. But it didn’t matter how much she tried to mend fences or make offerings of olive branches, the enemy hated her guts. All she could do was push forward and focus on why she’d gotten into student office to begin with, and she succeeded handsomely. I do hope that of the committed enemies I’ve made — the men and women who now make it their business to spite me personally — that the dividing line between them and me, is values. It’s pretty evident that a wide gulf seperates me from the opposition; on perceived objectives. There was an Honest Opposition, because not everyone on the opposition side became an actual enemy. Only some did. And of those who did, I think it’s because my values so utterly clashed with the values of my enemies (and vice versa) that the matter was irreconcilable.

Advertisements

322 thoughts on “Emmanuel Goldstein is leaving the building

  1. Something else . . .

    When the early LDS were burned out of and run off their lands in the United States, they left. For years, the early LDS had tried to “fit” with the U.S. climate at that time, and the U.S. raised up torches and pitchforks and drove the Mormons out. And in the 1800s, the climate was this: nobody batted an eyelash. Mormons were not wanted. Mormons were detestable and hated and deserved to be run off.

    So, the LDS took a page from the English Pilgrims and simply went away. To a far place. Built their temples and their civilization anew. It took blood, sweat, effort, and a willingness to not care what the CHORFs said or did or thought.

    I am of a similar mindset at this moment. The Hugo “body” cannot be saved if it doesn’t want to be saved. You cannot heal a patient who does not want to be treated. If the patient celebrates his disease, what is there to be done?

    So, I scan my eyes to the horizon. To the future.

    This year, I marched up a hill for my principles, and went directly into the teeth of the fight. Hundreds (thousands?) of others did likewise. Ultimately, the keepers of the hill conducted a Gunpowder Plot, and blew the whole thing — all of it — to smithereens. To keep the “wrong” people from having a piece of the hill.

    I would leave the conductors of the Gunpowder Plot to their own devices. They can keep their hill. They are not me. I am not them. We are anathema to each other.

    Accolades can be created elsewhere. Enthusiasms can be celebrated elsewhere. Energy — even angry energy — can be used to build. The early LDS did it once, and raised a city and a state. It was the right choice. It was the Christian choice. I don’t think you have to be a Christian to take more joy in creation, than in destruction.

    The people of the Gunpowder Plot cheered destruction. They cheered it.

    I did not.

    I will build in the far land.

  2. Let’s not forget: the Usual Suspects brought in Wired, and Entertainment Weekly, and The Guardian and io9 to parrot their propaganda. But when we got Breitbart involved? Screeches of rage. How fragile are these folks if they can’t stand even the smallest amount of opposition?

  3. You have to be dead for several years before the Haters give up and then they’ll likely use your name/reputation to attack others who have taken up your fight.

    Reagan was Hated but now Liberals use Reagan to bash Conservatives. [Frown]

  4. Brother, I appreciate everything you have done for SP3. More than that I appreciate the way you have done it. But after reading this article I was struck by one thought. You and everyone else who is a puppy needs to read “The 48 laws of power” Had you done so before you took on the mantle of “Big pup” it would have gone much easier on you. That being said, thank you. Not for what you did as the “big pup” but for what you are doing right now. Never let the opposition get you down. You are a man worth emulating. You stand up for what you believe, and you don’t shirk. That is more than more men can claim. I am proud to be associated with you, no matter how tangential that association might be.

  5. This was quite a learning experience for me. I used to love the Hugos. As a kid in the 80’s, I would buy or borrow the winners from years past. Because I loved Sci FI.

    But what I have learned in this is that loving a genre isn’t enough. To be a “true fan” you have to love what ever the current power structure loves, no matter what.

    They burned their own village and screamed in joy. But they drove away more than a few puppies. See, outside of this howling madness we call the internet, I have real (in the flesh) friends who love sci fi. Many are not the same political stripe as me. I got five people to give their money to help vote on the Hugos. Much beer was spilled debating what was the better story, and we did not all agree (some preferred the “pink”, some as myself the “blue”). But we all voted.

    They didn’t just burn the puppies, they burnt their own side. One lady, who styles herself a socialist, told me she was so mad she wants to join with the Sad puppies next year to spite them.

    An award and a movement about making an award reflect quality has become so political that it is dead.

    I will spend my money next year, but i have no illusions that the No Award nuke won’t happen again.

  6. Thank you for sharing your experience. It is an eye-opening rendition of how ‘politics’ has invaded so many things, and how vicious it can be. I have learned from your example. I pray you have gained more than you have lost.

  7. I learned my own lesson some years ago when I stood up for something in a community that–up until then–I had thought of as my adopted family. What staggered me then is how quickly and completely people who had been so close to me turned against me, in many cases repeating lies that I knew that they knew were lies. It still hurts, and it has made me very hesitant to try to make friends again.

  8. “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

    [raises glass] To you, Brad.

  9. Terry Pratchett said, “It’s not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren’t doing it.” Well, by that yardstick, you certainly did something worth doing. Well done, SIr, and keep your soul intact.

  10. You did as well as anyone could Brad, and thankfully none of the threats made came true. All honors to you for remaining as ‘honorable’ as you could/did under the circumstances. I could never have done that.

  11. Thanks for this post. It matches very much what I recently learned – no matter what I say, someone, somewhere is going to hate me for it. I found vitriol and bile posted in response to my Amazon review of a movie from three years ago, of the same level and vehemence as that which I see trying to discuss sex-positive feminism with someone who is die-hard in the other camp. Incredible.

    So, I agree with you – only take the stand if you are willing to take the heat, but take the stand and take the heat when it’s worth it.

    Good luck moving forward, and thank you again for your example.

  12. Great insights Brad. I personally applaud your courage and integrity through this whole thing. I’m still torn on what to do going forward, but this I know: I’ll be buying books from people who accord better with my values, and bedamned to those who hate me. I won’t stoop to their leve, but I won’t subsidize it either.

  13. As far as I am concerned, you saved Science Fiction writing, by insisting that some integrity remain in what ever award is given for excellence in writing. The Hugos are toast for me, as far as any distinction they might have previously bestowed.

  14. Thank you for all you have done, Brad. You are a good man and deserve better.

    And to all the CHORFs and SJWs who have been commenting since the Hugo debacle, fuck you. Fuck you and your complete hypocrisy. I hope Vox continues the work you started this year and burns your stupid award to the earth and salts it with your tears.

  15. LOL.

    Brad, Brad Brad…this is NORMAL. The average human being is an uneducable f-tard. He doesn’t want to think, he doesn’t want to change his ways and if his actions or stupidity hurt or hinder him in any way he is going to blame YOU. If you become successful in what you’re doing he will resent it and try to undermine you. Thank your lucky stars you DIDN’T win this battle.

    Get over it! You folks didn’t lose the game – it just changed and you should change with it. There is a market here! Exploit it! Why, this is a light at the end of the tunnel from where I sit! I saw Interstellar in the movie theatre and there wasn’t a single faggot, feminist, socialist or SJW in the entire script! It was actually a fair movie! In SPITE of Matt Damon!!! I am finishing up your Chaplains War right now. It is the first good SF novel I’ve read in YEARS. I expect you to cough up more ASAP! Shut up and take my money!!!!!

    Don’t take your eye off the ball. I am your priority and all your efforts should be aimed at keeping me happy – along with all your other fans. You’ve carved off a big piece of the genre, you’ve done your best to see that other contributors get the recognition they deserve…

    I’ll say it again: you Puppy people need your own voice, your own awards, your own publishers and your own sandbox. The fan base is changing and if they won’t take care of it…you should!

    Good luck man!

  16. Thanks for the coverage. I don’t think it can be disputed that you’ve been a better and more honourable person during this than *any* of your or Larry’s detractors.

  17. A note for all: thank you very much for being my companions on this journey. Along the whole way — up the hill, into the guns firing — I was aware of a mass of men and women all moving in the same direction, with the same spirit, pushing to make sure they too were counted — that their enthusiasms and their zest for this thing we call science fiction and fantasy, were counted. It was exhilarating. And even after the Gunpowder Plot had been executed by the selfish, I knew that the people who went up the hill were the people I wanted to be with for all time. Dave Freer calls you battlers. I salute the battlers!

  18. The thing is, Senator Paine was a man of honour, he might have been lost for the longest time, but in the end, he did an honourable thing. CHORFS and SJW don’t know what honour is, they don’t know what repentance is, these are all rather strange and alien concepts to them.

    So here’s to you our Don Quixote, may you never lose that spark of hope and eternal optimism. It’s rather crowded here in the cynical and jaded and we don’t need more people, thank you very much. 😛

  19. It is good to know that the Hugo award continues to stand for crap work that I should avoid if I want to enjoy my purchase. Keeps life simple that way.

    I like your books. F*** the haters and closed minded bigots at the smallest CON in Science fiction and their active proof that the award is about how preachy and crappy your work is instead of how good. Please write more awesome things I can buy and read, and keep on being pretty awesome.

  20. Oh how I know all about this!

    I was involved in Student Government at my college. I actually ended up in a rather important position in it as well. The crap that happened there actually did have an impact on my life in other areas, because some of these people got so upset at -other- people in the government, that they attacked me in ways that were quite illegal.

    Some of them paid for that too.

    But even after I left the school, I still had to deal with some of these people, who still hated me so much, that they would do anything at all to hurt me.

    It was surreal. And the amount of lies, BS, and other stuff that went on, again, surreal. That was however were I learned THE golden rule of politics: When your opponents start to play dirty, you either GO FOR THE THROAT, or you QUIT. You do NOT try to ‘make nice’ with them, EVER! Because they will use that opportunity to try and stick a knife in you.

    Oh, and leftists always lie, cheat, and steal. Because it’s never a crime when ‘they’ are doing it.

  21. This was a great post to wrap up a great fight, Brad. Not that it’s over for you, but the hardest push is.

    I’m looking forward to your next book.

  22. Brad, while going through all this just as a compatriot, there were several times where my admiration for you grew. Times where I thought it would surely have been enough and you would’ve just walked away. You didn’t. You stood firm and fought. I still see you as a “nice guy” though it all. You didn’t let it fundamentally change you. I salute you, sir!

  23. Introspection and consideration done right. An example I’ll aspire to emulate. Too often my own introspection is a thing of sharp objects, old wounds hacked open, and pain.

    Puts a bit of a period on my suspicions watching this nightmare unfold: You, sir, have a steel spine. The last few months have been pressure-filled and abrasive. But that’s how you burnish metal. You’ve kept your head up and your mission-face on, despite the travails.

    So, now you have a shiny steel spine!

  24. All I can say is (as an apparent CHORF or SJW or whatever…not sure, but I am not a Puppy) that this article summed up the confusion around this whole event for me:

    I actually voted slate-blind and came up with some No Award votes because I just didn’t like any of the stories on offer. I also voted for people in some of the categories that went to No Award. But I think blaming everything that happened this year, and in particular all of the changes to Hugo over the past few years, on politics and collusion is fair. Tastes differ. I like a good tale written in an arresting fashion and if it also has a woman or PoC or gay character then that is great because I like seeing someone new represented on the page. It shakes things up.

    Oh, and I wish The Goblin Emperor had won because I loved that book with all of my heart. Oh, well.

  25. I have, over last year, been accused of being both a conservative and a liberal. And labeled with some horrible names as well….

    The truth is, the things I care about have to do with rights and freedoms. There was no blow struck for diversity over the Hugos, but an attempt to silence a reasonable opposition to a questionable policy of promoting writers of diversity over writers of merit. Its a foolish practice in our society to elevate those who are non-white, non-male, or non-straight, simply to advance an agenda of appeasement.

    Diversity is not what is needed in our society, its freedom.

    I think those of you who voted, and those of you who got burned in the nominations, deserved to be heard, and acknowledged. Instead of doing the right or the decent thing, the people who make those decisions for the Hugo’s decided to silence the opposition to their viewpoint and their agenda. Its obvious free thinking and free speech has been comprimised by their actions. I think that you should be highly pissed that the Hugonauts wasted your membership fee by telling you ‘your vote is not invalid’, because your opinion is different from theirs.

    Maybe its time to ask for a refund.

    I think all of you, should be encouraged by this desparate act of agression; you forced them to embarass themselves in a very public way. The Hugo award has lost some of its prestige. You stood up for what you believe in, and no one can fault you for that. I suppose over the next year, a lot of leftist people will be calling me an enemy because I won’t agree with them on the Hugo burning. I will remind them that silencing the voice of opposition is not progressive, its a tool of facism or communism, and I don’t see either of those systems creating a viable future for anyone.
    The future is what science fiction is about.

    Thank you for taking a stand.

    ~ Arcturas Trosper, Democrat and Progressive, Gun Rights advocate~

  26. Year One – I heard nothing.
    Year Two – I clapped from the sidelines.
    Year Three – I started out clapping from the sidelines and got slapped by the CHORFs as they marched in lockstep to the gates to repel the Puppies in the wire.

    Hey, how did I get involved in this fight? Why are those jerks slapping me? I’m just an innocent bystander! Well hell, if I’m going to take incoming fire, I’m spending my $40 and shooting back.

    I stayed up to 2AM Eastern watching that horrible display. The asterisks, the No Awards. The cheering as they blew up their own fortress rather than share it with WrongFans who were having WrongFun.

    All right you A-holes. You want a war? I’ll show you how it’s played. Not only am I going to read and enjoy the kind of SF/F that I like, I’m going to start a podcast so I can point others towards those books, hidden under the pile of literary SF. And we’re going to have all sorts of WrongFun. And no matter what they do or what they say, they can’t take that away. There’s still some of their citadel standing. I want to be there when they blow the rest of it up rather than share it with the likes of us.

  27. > I am of a similar mindset at this moment. The Hugo “body” cannot be saved if it doesn’t want to be saved. You cannot heal a patient who does not want to be treated. If the patient celebrates his disease, what is there to be done?

    The question is if the Hugo “body” is really what we saw this year. It’s possible that Fandom really is this unaccepting and it’s a lost cause. But it’s also possible that this year is a wake-up call to Fandom overall. Yes they will be getting the wrong story initially, but it’ll be harder to paint SP4 as racist women-hating men and the other side of the story is going to leak out a bit.

    remember that there were 4000 people who paid for voting memberships this year that did not vote (and even more last year). Fandom is a lot larger than the 2500 hard-line no-awarders we saw this year. It’s not clear that they are representitive.

  28. Brad, SP3 was a success and I thank you for your time and energy. I’m looking forward to the next Torgersen work. I’ll do some retail therapy at the Baen ebook store and look to help however I can with SP4.

    Hugs and Prayers

  29. I wish this Red Tribe vs. Blue Tribe turf war would get the hell out of fandom.

    I don’t care which side started it, and let’s be honest, neither side has clean hands. Those who voted No Award claim that they’re protesting against slate voting, but the rhetoric and the way they’re celebrating says otherwise. The message “The Red Tribe is not welcome in our space” comes over loud and clear. The whole Hugo Awards saga this year has forced a lot of people to show their true colours. And it’s not pretty.

    I say this as someone whose own politics align far more with the Blue Tribe, and reads so-called “Pink SF”.

    There will always be politics in the fiction itself – much of the best SF always has had an explicitly political message, though the mark of a good writer is one who isn’t so preachy that their work is unreadable to anyone who doesn’t share the author’s values.

    But partisan politics in fandom itself? You’re a WrongFan if you belong to the wrong political tribe? Screw that.

  30. I am reminded of a piece of sage advice from I-don’t-remember. “Choose your friends wisely. Your enemies will choose themselves.” I have chosen my friends. They and you, sir are honorable and principled. My enemies have chosen themselves and proven themselves not worthy of honorable consideration. I am become Val’kyr.

  31. Brad – I’m honored to have gotten to know you just a bit this year, and I’m grateful for your class and your integrity, as well as for your willingness to stand up. Just know I will always consider you a friend and an inspiration.

  32. Brad, I have been following all of the SP story from the beginning, and I wished that I had bought a worldcon membership.

    I almost cannot believe the flak you, Larry, and Vox have received. I know Vox revels in it, but it’s ridiculous nonetheless. I did a google news search for sad puppies yesterday to see what sort of coverage there was, and…not a single positive or even neutral article was listed, and pretty much all of them literally had lies right in the title. It’s clear that power-brokers outside of SFF took notice that those with real morals were chipping away a new foothold and pulled out the big guns to try to stop it.

    Too bad they blew off their own foot in the process. No one ever accused SJWs and CHORFs of actually being terribly smart, since they fell for Vox’s gambit. Plus they turned more than a few sad puppies rabid, and growing into outright wolves.

    You have my utmost respect for being a stalwart and a gentleman through it all. It’s clear that you have not been fully recompensed for your effort. God will make up the rest of the blessed reward for a man with true integrity, and His are always better.

    Now, where’s my rifle and body armor? There’s another hill to charge out there.

  33. Brad, I just want to thank you for your service. And for serving in the Army on a foreign shore. You are a hero for multiple reasons, and a man of character and honor. Keep writing fiction so I can keep awarding you with dead presidents.

  34. @Tim Sadly, I think that it’s not so much Red Tribe vs Blue Tribe, but more like the Brad Torg-Red-sen, Yellow Correia and Orange Beale Tribes versus the Scalzi Blue, Green R R Martin and Magenta Nielsen Tribes, surrounded by a lot of Grays fans, fens, and finns.

    To paraphrase H. L. Mencken, “Any complex situation that can be explained as a simple Us-versus-Them problem has a simple, elegant, and completely wrong solution.”

  35. All right you A-holes. You want a war? I’ll show you how it’s played. Not only am I going to read and enjoy the kind of SF/F that I like, I’m going to start a podcast so I can point others towards those books, hidden under the pile of literary SF.

    Sean, that’s precisely what we fans want you to do. Go ahead and read sf, point at stuff you liked and tell people why you liked it. Who knows – if you’re insightful, we’ll learn something from your comments and everyone will be that much richer.

    Which, you know, is part of the reason why we despise people who devise slates of mediocre hackery in an organized attempt to sweep a major award for politically motivated purposes.

    Oh, and Brad – File770 appreciates all your self-pitying whining too. Keep it up.

  36. Yeah, File 770 is going to need something to get views in the lean months to come.

    Maybe they should hire Brad as guest blogger. Their stats would go through the roof!

  37. Hey, CPaca, how’d you like doing what Vox Day wanted?
    I mean, really. You let the evilest evil that ever eviled call the tune and play the pipe, and then you declared victory as he walked off with what he actually wanted.
    It would be instructive for you and yours–because you are the establishment, no matter how much you try to pretend otherwise–to learn what happens when the status quo shoves out the moderate reformers.
    I’ll give you a hint: you don’t win.

  38. Just wanted to say thank you, Brad, for all your efforts. I’m sorry for all you went through.

    And point #6… so true. We wound up leaving a church of 80 in one city to help start a church of 20 in a nearby town a few years back. Low stakes, but some people went out of their way to ruin our lives. Friends – some who we thought were very close friends – turned on us. All for turf and ego, nothing more. But in the end, we did what was right and they only hurt themselves. A few years later, the way that I feel toward them has turned into pity for what they’ve revealed about themselves, and I realize we found some of the best people in the world as a result of what some had intended for harm to us.

    Hope you find similar peace out of this, sir.

  39. Oh, and if you want to ban the trolls for being trolls, you have my vote. There are plenty of places on the Internet they can go and defecate. No reason it has to be allowed on your dime.

  40. I know you don’t know me, but I spent quit a bit of time in various blogs and threads defending SP3 and the message that was not getting across to so many of the AntiPuppies: that for several years the Hugos have been voted to award principles and not merit.

    I lost at least the respect of two good friends that were hell bent on equating SP3 with Gamergate, and, as you’ve so eloquently have already said, the opposition chose to be deaf and there was no listening to be had.

    I watched as your words were continually twisted and cherry picked to the point of worthless content.

    You fought a good fight.

    I was just one of the many that fought the good fight and tried to keep the fires controllable, but to no avail.

    I would do it all over again.

    I was already a fan; you have earned my respect in ways few do.

  41. Brad,

    First off, thank you for doing this. I was part of that first wave of Puppies Larry started three years ago, and as much as I love that crazy giant, you’ve done more to bring good scifi into the mainstream than both the previous years combined.

    I had actually never heard of you before this year. Well, that’s not quite fair. I had seen a couple of your books and your name had come by a couple of times, but I didn’t know anything about you. Now I do, and I’m glad. So figure I’ll be sticking around here for a while even now that you’ve hung up your coat. So while you talk about how many enemies you made, remember the friends and allies you gained as well. And the people who will go on hating you for what you believe in? Well, Churchill did say that having enemies means you stood up for something in your life. From the number you have out there, it’s easy to see you stood up for something huge. And from the general poor moral fiber of those people, it’s obvious you picked the right one.

  42. I should not, that when I said I lost the respect of two friends:

    They did not lose my respect.

    My words were meant to read that two of my friend lost their respect in me.

  43. Consider me, and my fantasy webcomic The Devil’s Contract, new Sad Puppies. In my opinion, the Puppies should “rock the ballot” again next year, push for 100% Sad Puppies on the ballot. Make it IMPOSSIBLE for them to vote anything but Sad Puppies recommendations. Let then then decide: Have NO AWARD for everything, killing the entire award show, or give in and start awarding things to the Puppies. Let them burn the awards totally to the ground to show their arrogance. At that point, it will be easy to make a call and start a new awards.

  44. I followed the link “xServer” provided—it’s an interesting take on how the different wings of SF/F fandom seem to be speaking different languages. Worth a read, even if you’ll disagree with many of its conclusions.

  45. Just remember the words of God to Elias (Elijah) at his lowest point: “Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.” (I Kings 19:18)

    Thank you for doing what you do, whether it is writing, or fighting for our country. God bless.

  46. Thanks for everything Brad. I happen to agree with you that its time to leave the Borg to their sandbox and rockets.

    But that will likely have to wait for another year. Rabid Puppies 2 is already getting organized, and it won’t be long and SP4 will be too.

    I suspect the Borg will be getting bit by the Rabids much earlier this year…………

  47. My grandfather once gave me a great piece of advice: “Never trust a man who believes that the bad things in the world are caused by goblins. There are no gods in this world, and no demons either — there is only us, and what we do.”

    To which I say, “Amen.”

    That, and this: “You are no better than the writers you keep company with. So choose your books carefully.”

    Amen, again.

  48. And… this: “Remember Mountain Meadows. And beware the Sons of Dan.”

  49. “I am thankful for those few media voices who tried to set the record straight. But my faith in the media overall, is gone. And I don’t see it ever coming back.”

    I’m with you on this. It doesn’t seem to bother most people, though.

  50. Hey Brad,
    All I gotta say is, thank you. And you’ve made a friend for life, I mean it. You, Larry, Sarah, John C. Wright… and yes, even Vox… Everyone came and helped me and my family out when we didn’t expect it at all. None of you had to, I’m just some stranger on the net. Even if it was just to express condolences, or even just pitch in… thank you. We were able to give my son the too-early sendoff we had to give him, but properly. Thank you everyone, for that, and I can never thank everyone enough.

    It hurt my heart to see them going after your family, but it did not surprise me. These are people who have no limits when it comes to their hate. The people who do this… don’t hold anything truly valuable sacred, so they try to fill the void with things like hate, rage, and hurting others. But when the chips are down, they don’t have anyone else either.

    You tried your best, and really? We won at the nominations. The nominations were THE surprise for us, and we finally got to tell people we respected and admired, “We think you are the best.” We voted for those people too. We did what we were supposed to do.

    The people on the No Awarding, the people who were against us… I have to admit I was rather stunned at how they rushed forth to behave in such a way that in the eyes of the public, well… they’re worse than Vox.* In person. Not just on the Internet.

    In closing, Brad… take care of yourself and come home safe to your family.

    *Honestly, if they wanted to outdo Vox in displays of being an asshole, they really did. Vox only is an asshole to people who treat him like one, from all the interactions I’ve seen. The behavior displayed in the Hugo Awards that I keep reading about… first person accounts… wow. They really outdid Vox Day in that regard, indeed, were such towering examples of jerkassery that I’m actually unsure now if any of the people cheering and displaying their gleeful antics actually have any kind of self-respect. I think that’s the thing that makes me feel rather sorry for them as a group.

  51. Ill give the Hugos this: If it wasn’t for the controversy and some pings from the Gamergate side of the house, I would be missing out on some good books at the moment. Really liking your “Lights in the Deep” anthology. Another 5 dollars claimed by book addiction. 😛

    For me, as a reader, I don’t care what the writer’s politics are, I just want a good story. Plus as I was researching all of this it made me realize that maybe the ones that will be hurt the most out of this is the readership and their ability to find more writers they can enjoy. Along with new writers: will they have to pick sides? Go completely indie? I imagine things will only get more bumpy.

    I don’t consider myself the brightest bulb in the tool box but I do love a good book. And coffee.

    I’ve read stuff via TOR imprint, Bean Books, Penguin, ROC, Ace….so many different publishers and indies and I suppose Ill just keep to my current strategy for buying books: Read sample, if it doesn’t succeed in engaging me in 20-40 pages…quest onward.

    Now that I really think about it: Dad got me into Star Trek, gave me Lord of the Rings to read, and then on my own, around 13 or 14 I discovered “Dune” and “On Basilisk Station”.

    Dad, in his enthusiasm, went turbo space nerd on me and gave me many of his old books to read. Lots of Andre Norton and C.J. Cherryh among other things.

    Mom was a great influence too: She’d buy me one book a month when I was younger, as a reward for doing well in school, so in reality she really helped me with my love affair with books. She loves histories and biographies.

  52. Brad, since you are departing the meagre earth and migrating to the figurative Deseret of the shiny sci-fi future, perhaps you will entertain a suggestion.

    The “culture war” that arose over Hugo 2015, like all wars, is ultimately destructive, even when fought for the right reasons. The goal is to repel or to smash. In the end, we must return to our fields and beat our swords into plowshares, but what will we harvest from the scorched earth? There must be a period of rebuilding.

    Therefore, if we are to build this new, better sci-fi culture, I propose that we start with the basics. I propose that we all sit down and read the Hugo 2015 winner for Best Novel, “The Three-Body Problem”.

    Not only did it gain a Hugo in the most Providential of circumstances (it was nominated after one author withdrew from the contest because the Rabid Puppies has put his name on the ballot, and almost got No Award-ed if not for Vox Day forgetting about it for a while and not putting it on his nomination slate before the deadline) but it seems to felicitously contain many qualities that both “sides” of the fight will like. For the anti-Puppy/progressive sort, the cast is mostly non-Caucasian and the plot trades in cultural and social questions, and for the Puppies there is a rip-roaring tale (or so the Amazon summary has me believe) of aliens invading and factional intrigue (not to mention a poke at Maoism as a possible bonus). Let’s read and discuss; let’s try to attract the ‘middle-of-the-road’ fans/Honest Opposition who have not hardened their hearts against us. Maybe we’ll get some new folks interested. Heck, we might even win a few ‘progressives’. Miracles have happened before.

  53. Pingback: Puppies In Perpetual Motion | File 770

  54. Brad,

    I want to give you the perspective of someone who is pretty close to being completely neutral in this whole affair. I suspect there are quite a few people like me but we are not as vocal as those who either agree or disagree with you more strongly.

    I like sci-fi from across the spectrum so I don’t hate all of the books that have won Hugo awards in recent years. However, I do agree with you that the Hugo voters have preferred works of a particular type which has led to a slanting of the awards. I also suspect that some authors and editors have been overlooked because of their political leanings.

    It seems clear to me that the average Hugo voter (in recent years at least) leans left and I have yet to meet anyone who can completely ignore their politics when voting for something as subjective as a literary award.

    So, I think you identified a genuine issue for a set of awards that is widely seen as representing the best of all of sci-fi and I think you set out to do something about it with good, honest intentions.

    I do think that the approach taken of encouraging voting for a slate was ultimately a mistake. It is a flaw in the Hugos nomination system that a relatively small proportion of nominators can dominate the shortlist if they all nominate the same list of works. Whether the intention was to use this floaw sweep entire categories or not, that is what happened and it was interpreted (rightly or wrongly) as an attempt to game the system. This contributed to a perception of a conflict which led to two antagonistic sides forming with increasingly divisive rhetoric on both sides.

    As the process ran on, tactics were employed by both sides that I found unsavoury and made it very difficult for me to sympathise with either of them. Clearly people on the anti-puppy side were briefing the media with highly biased accounts, selective quotes and even outright lies. Meanwhile, the propaganda and invective emerging from Puppy supporters did not cover them in glory.

    When I voted, I read all of the works and voted accordingly. As usual, I did vote ‘no award’ above some nominated works where I felt that they were not of high enough (subjective, to me) quality to deserve an award. I also abstained from some categories where I did not feel I knew enough to vote (the editor categories for example)

    I disagree with people voting ‘No Award’ without even considering the works involved but I don’t think the motivations for most of the people who did that were the “We’d rather burn down the awards than share them” straw man that has been put forward by some. Not to say that there were not any people of that opinion – I’m sure there are some.

    From speaking to many friends who consistently voted ‘No award’ against works from the slates., the most common motivation was to ensure that a perceived attempt to use slates in the nomination process to game the system did not succeed. These people are not opposed to the kind of scifi that Puppy supporters like, they just felt like the awards process itself was under attack. Many of these people even sympathise with the original Puppy point to some extent and would be happy to see some rebalancing of the kind of works that get onto the Hugo shortlists.\

    I thought the way that some people behaved at the award ceremony (loudly celebrating ‘no award’) was out of order and the asterisk coasters were a big mistake. I hope the people involved realise that.

    I think the big problem that Sad Puppies had this year was that it allowed itself to be perceived by a large proportion of Hugos voters as attacking the Hugos process itself. This came from a number of things, including unfair commentary and lies from people extremely opposed to it but also from the language used by Puppy supporters. It seemed that anyone not in complete agreement would be labelled a ‘SJW’ and dismissed.

    So, what do I think should happen from here? I hope that a way will be found to accomodate all sci-fi fans in the Hugo process but I think that is going to be hard with so much bad blood. I think it would need a much less adversarial approach from both sides and I’m not sure how that can happen while neither side is prepared to admit that they did anything wrong.

    My advice to the Puppies would be to remember that the Hugos are decided by all the Worldcon members so that means reaching out to all the existing members, along with bringing new members in.

    If you want to make the awards more representative of all of sci-fi, you need to make the Worldcon membership more representative. This is, I think where future efforts would be better focussed – encourage more people to take part in the Hugo process by joining, nominating and voting for the works that they think are award-worthy.

    My advice to the anti-puppies is to realise that diversity means including everyone. New Worldcon members should be welcomed, even if their politics or tastes are different to your own. If some works that are not for you or don’t agree with your politics start appearing on the shortlists, don’t see that as a threat but celebrate it as proof that Sci-fi can cover all of human experience and appeal to such a wide, diverse range of people.

    My advice to more moderate people on both sides and neutrals is to speak up and try to find some kind of common ground rather than letting this continue to be an ‘us’ vs ‘them’ issue.

  55. @Lorenzo Canuck: “The “culture war” that arose over Hugo 2015, like all wars, is ultimately destructive, even when fought for the right reasons.”

    I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt here, so let me explain this calmly: There is no “war arose over Hugo 2015.” What happened during Hugo 2015 was that the non-establishment side actually got organized instead of being an inchoate mass of isolated individuals.
    The reason it seems like a war “arose” is that there was actual fighting instead of continual triumphal processions. This was a campaign, nothing more, nothing less.

  56. @Dan Kent: I’m going to take you at your word that you are who you say you are.

    “This contributed to a perception of a conflict which led to two antagonistic sides forming with increasingly divisive rhetoric on both sides.”

    I recommend that you look up the reactions to SP1 and SP2. Most of the people complaining about the “takeover” were complaining then, too–and Larry Correia didn’t even come close to setting up such an event as “sweeping the Hugos”. Also, frankly, the anti-puppies didn’t increase the divisiveness of their rhetoric, but rather floored it from the moment the nominees were announced. And as to “formed”–see my comment above.

    “These people are not opposed to the kind of scifi that Puppy supporters like, they just felt like the awards process itself was under attack. Many of these people even sympathise with the original Puppy point to some extent and would be happy to see some rebalancing of the kind of works that get onto the Hugo shortlists.\”

    Then they need to actually start paying attention to actual reality. You will also forgive me if I regard them as the Hugo equivalent of the fiscally conservative social liberal.

    “This is, I think where future efforts would be better focussed – encourage more people to take part in the Hugo process by joining, nominating and voting for the works that they think are award-worthy.”

    That’s kind of what the Puppies–the Sad ones, at any rate, I can’t speak for the Rabid–tried to do from the get go, at least under Torgersen. And were then called evilracistsexisthomophobes for their pains.

  57. Pingback: Tell Me More About This Cost to Peoples’ Careers | Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

  58. @60guilders:

    I will likewise assume good faith on your part.

    I take your point about SP1 and SP2 – the history of this whole things goes back further than this year and I should have addressed that. The reaction from some quarters to those efforts was completely out of proportion and, I think, a big cause of this years mess.

    I think we will have to agree to disagree about the relative tone of the rhetoric coming from each side. It’s hard to define an objective measure for tone so all I can say is that what I saw as a neutral was roughly equal amounts of name calling, selective quoting, mischaracterisation and so on from both sides.

    I would expect people from both sides to tell me I am wrong and in fact the other side was much worse – it’s only natural when invested in an issue to be more sensitive to the bad things the other side says and does. I don’t expect that to change but I would encourage everyone to look back as things cool down and ask whether some of the things that were said by their own side were counter-productive in the long run.

    I trust you when you say that the Sad Puppies’ plan was just to increase participation but, that being the case, I think more should have been done to avoid the perception that the plan was “let’s all nominate this slate”, which is what turned a lot of moderates off and enabled the extreme anti-puppies to have their narrative more widely accepted.

  59. I’d like to add one further thought: To anyone who has decided that pursuing Vox Day’s anarchic “burn everything down” approach is the way to go….why? Do you crash wedding parties and take a dump on the cake? If you can’t have something is your answer breaking it so no one can? Even better if you can get the “other guys” to do it to themselves, right? Using slate votes to crowd out “their” nominees and try to force them to select one of “your guys”….how is that promoting diversity? Seems like trying to wrest control. Hostile takeover complete with juvenile name-calling (on both sides) and fans who just want to read some good books* caught in the middle.

    *note that “good books” will be a personal definition and as much as you may love something there will be others who think it’s terrible. That’s how personal taste works. Not everything is a conspiracy

  60. Hi Brad,

    I too consider myself in the ‘neutral’ pool of fans between the Sad Puppies and the ‘Old Guard’. I believe you had the best of intentions when putting together the SP3 Slate and creating a heightened awareness of some underlying issues that mainstream fans such as myself were not aware of. For that, I thank you.

    However, if there is one issue I have and I hope will be remedied next year for SP4 (I believe Kate Paulk is taking this over, right?)….If you include an author’s work on the slate, PLEASE notify that author first to get their approval. Some authors withdrew their nominations because they felt they were being used as a political football even though some believe (including myself) that their work was indeed award worthy (ie Marko Kloos).

    Otherwise, you fought a good fight and in the end you should be proud. I personally do not care about an author’s personal,philosophical, or political leanings when I go book shopping. If they can write a good story that keeps me entertained, that is good enough for me.

  61. However, if there is one issue I have and I hope will be remedied next year for SP4 (I believe Kate Paulk is taking this over, right?)….If you include an author’s work on the slate, PLEASE notify that author first to get their approval. Some authors withdrew their nominations because they felt they were being used as a political football even though some believe (including myself) that their work was indeed award worthy (ie Marko Kloos).

    So we’re not supposed to recommend books without getting the author’s approval? Did authors think they were being used as a political football merely because us Wrongfans liked their book? If the Truefans hadn’t turned it in to a political issue and raised a fuss, would the authors have felt they were being used as a political football?

    Further, suppose that someone completely abhorrent likes the same book I like. Is the correct response “this book’s so good even Mr. Trump likes it”, or “if Mr. Trump likes it, even though I thought I enjoyed it, I must be wrong”?

    If you want evidence that the politics is all in the heads of the Social Justice Truefans, look at the Hugo Award for Guardians of the Galaxy. It was recommended by the Sad Puppies and no one raised a fuss and the award was not controversial.

  62. I think there’s a big difference between recommending a book and adding it to a recommended SLATE. Some people no doubt read the recommended works and agreed that they were worthy and voted accordingly. I think it’s also likely that some people said “yeah, I trust your judgement and I will read these before I vote for a winner” and nominated according to slate alone instead of via personal knowledge. Brad and Larry have expressed surprise that their slate recommendations were so successfully adopted as nominees. I believe they are being honest instead of disingenuous. Vox is, as always, something else entirely.

    Honest preference is always Ok; disagreements will happen. But if SP4 does slate nominating again then it would seem to behoove Kate Paulk to get permission first since so many people proved uncomfortable with their inclusion. A lot of authors want to be known for their work not for this kind of BS; and some will shrug and say “hey, if you love my stuff, do it” but it should be their choice.

  63. I think there’s a big difference between recommending a book and adding it to a recommended SLATE. Some people no doubt read the recommended works and agreed that they were worthy and voted accordingly. I think it’s also likely that some people said “yeah, I trust your judgement and I will read these before I vote for a winner” and nominated according to slate alone instead of via personal knowledge. Brad and Larry have expressed surprise that their slate recommendations were so successfully adopted as nominees. I believe they are being honest instead of disingenuous. Vox is, as always, something else entirely.

    The amount of twisting and turning you get through without being able to say “it’s wrong to put pressure on people because the wrong people like their books” is amazing. Recommendations, even recommendation lists, shouldn’t be controversial.

  64. A recommendation isn’t controversial. A slate is. No twisting or turning required.

  65. @xServer
    1) there was never a ‘Slate’, (well maybe with RP, but not with SP). They just put up a bunch of works for consideration. The fact, shown statistically, that the SP’s did not vote as a block proves that.
    2) the trufen/old guard/whatever you want to call them, have been putting up slates for years, just in secret, and voted as a block, which analysis shows.
    3) If you are going to vote against someone, because you don’t like the people who nominated them, then you should not be voting, because you are only voting for political reasons, not for the reasons or intent of the actual award.

  66. I read and voted according to my judgment. I did not vote No Award as often as No Award was given but I did vote No Award in a couple of categories because I didn’t like the stories. I thought they were poorly written or boring or trite. Or even just mediocre.

    Also, there is no “maybe” about the RP – they had a slate, Vox instructed his minions (his word, not mine) to vote for the slate and they did.

    There is a lot of misunderstanding about the SP movement; it’s unfortunate that the names are so similar (and the logos too). Also, since Vox was part of previous SP movements it tainted this year’s movement unfairly.

    None of which is to say that people voting No Award without that being their honest opinion is good. It’s not. I definitely didn’t take that route and I wish that most others had done the same. But angry people do stupid things.

  67. To anyone who has decided that pursuing Vox Day’s anarchic “burn everything down” approach is the way to go….why?

    I speak as one who has been on the Sad Puppy end of these matters, and by no means a core supporter. I didn’t nominate this year. I voted honestly: that is, I read all the works and voted them according to my perceptions of their quality, not according to who recommended them, whether they were nominated by an unacceptable number of WrongFans, or the author’s political leanings, demographic groups, or blog-posts. I was conscientious about this. I sought out and read earlier books because I felt this was necessary in order to fairly judge, for example, the second book in a trilogy. I spent a fair amount of time on it. I generally enjoyed reading all the works; some were more to my taste than others, but I did not feel any of the works I read were unworthy of a Hugo, and I did not use No Award in any of the categories I voted.

    My expectation was that others would do the same: read the works and vote honestly. And on Saturday night, I had my nice, honest, straight-dealing face spat in. So did everyone else on any side who read the works and voted honestly. So, especially, did the authors who were No Awarded, who had to sit there and listen to people applauding their humiliation, egged on by the Master of Ceremonies and Guest of Honor, as they were told their work was so unworthy it was better not to give the award at all than to give it to one of them – not because of the work, but because the wrong people said they liked it. (People like me. I, I have been repeatedly informed, am not a real science fiction fan, despite having been reading it for nearly half a century… because I do not flit off to Worldcon every year. I do not “participate in fannish activities” – and reading and talking about the stories doesn’t count. The only real science fiction fans, I am told, are those who all know each other, who have been meeting each other for decades at Worldcons, who move in the correct circles.)

    What meaning does a Hugo award have after this disgusting spectacle? This orgy of self-congratulation over successful exclusion? This proof, plain for everyone to see, that the awards are no longer an expression of appreciation for quality by SF fans at large – those who read science fiction and possess a love for the genre? Instead, the Hugos are clutched tightly to the breast of those who consider their own social group to be the only true fans. All others are to be excluded.

    In light of all this, and honoring the history of the Hugo Awards, what am I to think? Should I crawl sadly back out, having been soundly slapped? Should I accept that I am not a “real” fan of SF and never will be? Leaving an award so important to our history in the hands of a bunch of socialites, who will give it based on who you know and who signal-boosts you and which people approve?

    No. Burn it down. Scatter the stones. Salt the earth where it stood.

    Even if it’s not possible to bring it back from the ashes afterward, this is more respectful to the past masters of our field, winners of the Hugo Award back when it meant something more than “sucking up to the in-group”, than allowing the degenerated Hugos to continue like this.

    And recall, on Saturday morning I was a lukewarm Sad Puppies supporter. I’m not that any more.

  68. More apposite than “Mr. Smith” is Mark Twain’s “Running for Governor”. “Once an honest man, but now Mark Twain, I(nfamous) P(erjurer), M(ontana) T(hief), D(elirium) T(remens), F(ilthy) C(orruptionist), L(oathsome) E(mbracer)…”

  69. Pingback: Post Hugo Roundup | Simon McNeil

  70. @jaed You assume that all No Award winners voted No Award based on anger/exclusion. Some did. I didn’t. I also think that the hostile takeover tactics of the Rabid Puppies in particular enraged people who’ve been going to this Con and voting on these awards for years and didn’t organize slates to make sure that works that they liked were nominated.

    So, in short, yes you are the kind of person who takes a dump on the wedding cake.

  71. I think the award was pretty thoroughly destroyed by its “defenders”. We will see if Sad Puppies can raise something from the ashes.

  72. You assume that all No Award winners voted No Award based on anger/exclusion. Some did. I didn’t.

    You, as I understand it, voted No Award in one or more categories honestly – that is, based on your evaluation of the work as work, and your opinion that they were all so bad that not awarding a Hugo would be better than giving them an award. If this is your honest opinion, I have no argument with it…

    … but 2500 people did not vote in lockstep to No Award all nominations made by the wrong people because they thought the work was bad. There were voting guides to make sure people didn’t accidentally read a Puppy-supported nominee and vote for it. People were bragging about not having read the nominees before casting a vote.

    Now, it’s hard to gauge numbers from blog posts and comments and web pages. I knew going in that there were some people who were going to vote dishonestly. Now we know how many. You’re not in that number, but 2500 of the people you’re defending are.

    And you have the nerve, the unmitigated gall, to tell me I’m “dumping on a wedding cake”? (Nice, respectful imagery there.) Because I notice that an award given out in this way not only has no value, but that it demeans the high history of the Hugos? That – if you’re correct that the people who did this are regular voters – for some time now, the award has been decided by people who have no qualms at all about casting a dishonest vote without even having read the work, based on who recommended it?

    Thank you for your honest vote in the Hugos. I’m afraid I can’t thank you for this exchange.

  73. It ought to be self-evident that things can’t go on like this. What happened at the weekend can’t be spun as a glorious victory by anyone. At best, it’s a stalemate where nobody won and SF as a whole was the loser.

    At the moment large parts of the wider SF community is spending most of its energy fighting sectarian culture wars rather than celebrating the all the positive aspects of SF.

    It’s in the interest of anyone who really cares about the health of SF to negotiate some kind of truce. This is not World War Two which will end in a total victory over evil. It’s more like the troubles in Northern Ireland, which ended in a negotiated agreement. Who will be SF’s Mo Mowlan?

  74. @jaed – The analogy relates back to my original question for people who want to burn it down. That’s Vox’s mission and once you sign up for that then you’re just wrecking things because you can. And I don’t understand why that’s fun.

  75. @xServer: You should ask that question of David Gerrold; he will be able to make it clear to you.

  76. xServer, why burn it down? Because of disingenuous trolls such as yourself.

    Your side complains about a “Slate”. Welcome to what our side has been dealing with for the past fifteen years or so. And don’t try any of that, “you can’t prove there were slates” crap. Nomination numbers across categories are historically closer than they were this year.

    So in effect, the Puppies did what your side did, except above board, your side got pissed and, like a spoiled child decided to take your ball and go home.

    Well you know what? Fuck you. Fuck you and all your twisting, turning and weaseling out of what you did. It doesn’t surprise me that a bunch of cowards can’t own their actions. It is just pathetic.

  77. @bassmanco I’m not a troll but if you do not wish to take my comments at face value, as honest discourse, then that is definitely your choice to make. However, that said, if the view of the Puppies is that the Hugos have been hijacked by a tiny minority with a social agenda then why did No Award win? Either it’s because the choices weren’t really that great, or because the non-Puppy contingent is not as small and cliquish as you thought OR because the RP nuclear option and the non-puppies accidentally coordinated on some categories. I don’t know what happened. You don’t know what happened.

    Oh and: I don’t have a side. I’m a neutral party. I think some Hugo winners have been crap (in my estimation) and others have been really enjoyable. But I’m not crying in my wine (because I’m allergic to beer, that is not an option) and more importantly I will continue to read and talk about the books that I like.

    Ink and Bone, by the way, is a really good read. A little slow to start but it gets rolling.

  78. xServer, I read every piece of fiction that was nominated. Didn’t care for ‘Ancillary Justice’, but didn’t hate it. Kevin Anderson’s novel lost me and I couldn’t finish it. That piece of drivel that won for novelette, ‘The Day the World Turned Upside Down’ was so bad I didn’t get past the second page (seriously, how could that win ANY award?). Other than that, everything was at least as good as any nominee I have seen from years past.

    What, pray tell, could you put below No Award with a straight face?

  79. “No Award” came in ahead of Skin Game. That tells me it was block voting without consideration of quality, with preference to sending a message. The number of votes garnered by NA in categories where it did not win is instructive.

    @xServer : While you personally may have made honest NA votes, the vast majority of NA votes were cast without regard for quality for the purpose of “if we can’t have it, burn it”. The person who received the most votes ever for best editor, by an astonishing margin, lost to “No Award”. The most voted for nominee ever, lost. The current record holder for most editor votes is apparently, “No Award.” If your intention is to defend those results, regardless of your desire, people will assume you endorse the motives leading to them.

  80. look at the vote analysis at https://chaoshorizon.wordpress.com/

    Core Rabid Puppies: 550-525
    Core Sad Puppies: 500-400
    Sad Puppy leaning Neutrals: 800-400 (capable of voting a Puppy pick #1)
    True Neutrals: 1000-600 (may have voted one or two Puppies; didn’t vote in all categories; No Awarded all picks, Puppy and Non-Alike)
    Primarily No Awarders But Considered a Puppy Pick above No Award: 1000
    Absolute No Awarders: 2500

    If you didn’t vote no award above every puppy pick, you aren’t one of the 2500 in the no-award slate

    if we were able to eliminate those people, (and for fairness, eliminate the RP slate as well) the result would not be nearly as biased, and there would be an ability for everyone to talk to each other, because every group shows a willingness to read and evaluate the works on their merit.

    but the 2500 who refused to even read the works before no-awarding them are every bit as bad as RP who voted lock-step for Vox.

  81. I think there’s a big difference between recommending a book and adding it to a recommended SLATE.

    What’s the difference between a list of recommendations and a slate? Am I only allowed to recommend one book before I have to start asking permission from the authors?

  82. Brad, I didn’t know about you before SP3. I regret that. I have mixed feelings about a bunch of stuff around SP3, but I have been consistently impressed with how you and Correia have handled yourselves. You took a crap plate and tried to make something better of it. The fact that someone else smashed it after all your work does not invalidate that work at all. Keep living life right, and remember that there are people like me who think the better of you for this.

    Also, I liked your insight about the LDS Church in your comment above. I’m LDS too, and on that note, if I ever cross paths with you or Correia, I intend to buy you a smoothie or other D&C 89 appropriate goodie of your choosing.

  83. oh man … of course there was no name-calling, bile, rancor, etc etc on YOUR side …

    oh wait … you say YOU started it? Did your wife call those who opposed her changes (I’m positive that were some reasonable people in the opposition) … did she hurl abuse at them? Make up names to call them? Tell lies about them? No? Why then do you use that situation as a comparison? Because all of those things certainly happened in THIS one.

    Nothing would make me happier than if you actually did take your entitlement and bitterness and went and started your own church err… awards. Good luck and good riddance.

  84. What’s the difference between a list of recommendations and a slate? Am I only allowed to recommend one book before I have to start asking permission from the authors?

    It was a “recommendation list” before the nomination process was concluded, just like those that have been published by many others over the years. Once the nomination period was over and the Puppy lists were discovered to have dominated many categories, then it became a “slate” and was judged to be EEEEVIL by the TruFans. Because, once again – everybody join in now – In the 21st century Hugo awards, it’s not the quality of the work that matters, it’s that the “right people” win the awards.

  85. Agreed; anyone who voted “No Award” without ever reading the material and voting according to their true assessment should be ashamed of themselves. If they did it because they were outraged over the slate voting during nomination phase or if they did it because Vox told them to do it to burn everything to the ground, it doesn’t matter.

  86. And, let me point out as others have over and over again: The mere fact that some are suggesting that Puppy organizers contact authors and get an OK for inclusion on a Puppy recommendation list prima facie proves the core Puppy assertion: works are, and have been, denied Hugo consideration due to the politics of the authors – and now, the politics of those recommending them – rather than any reasoned judgment of the quality of the works themselves. Those who are begging the Puppies to get clearance from authors for including their works would do better to point their fingers at the true culprits: the people who are judging works of science fiction based on their political propaganda value to a progressive ideology, rather than rational objective standards of criticism.

  87. @davidelang

    My first glance at the data suggested that there was an absolute majority of No Awarders, which almost fits with this. Not good. What I hadn’t realized before was that there were more core Rabid Puppies voters than core Sad Puppies voters. That’s not really a good thing, either.

  88. @mknecht01

    Both the SP3 slate and the RP slate were specifically called “slate[s]” when they were announced by Brad Torgersen and Vox Day, respectively. People have been calling them “slates” since they were announced for the simple reason that that’s what they were called by the people who announced them.

  89. @clifhiker: Tell you what. Do an archive trawl, and track the time difference between “first time Torgersen said CHORF” and “first time someone called Torgersen a racist.” The difference will explain better than I ever could why you are a twit.

  90. “I think more should have been done to avoid the perception that the plan was “let’s all nominate this slate”, which is what turned a lot of moderates off and enabled the extreme anti-puppies to have their narrative more widely accepted.”

    I’m not really sure what more Torgersen could have done, beyond not having made one at all.

    “The reaction from some quarters to those efforts was completely out of proportion and, I think, a big cause of this years mess.”

    That much we can agree on, and it’s a big part of why a lot of SPs regard a lot of the self-proclaimed neutrals who “just dislike slates” with suspicion–particularly given that authors have been putting up slates for a very long time.

  91. @Frank Probst : “Slates are bad” is a red herring. You could be right in saying voting without regard to quality is bad. However, the argument, “putting a book on a list of books you like and recommend makes the book unworthy,” is just bogus. It’s a diversion, designed to bypass quality of work by preventively disqualifying a work. Anyone arguing about is/not a slate has already ceded the ground that being on a list has zero impact on quality. Anyone voting against a slate is admitting that they voted without regard to quality.

  92. I have never cared about awards, nor never will. But this reminds me of outlaw country. True talents like Willie Nelson or Johny Cash, shut out by establishment.

    I had given up scifi as intellectually dissatisfying and overall, not much entertaining. Then you guys rode out of wastes, straight shooters like Larry or Brad (whose Chaplains War was one of the best scifi novels I’ve read concerning religion and spirituality), or that mean, evil, no good Vox Day. You saved scifi for me.

    Like I wrote, I do not give a damn about any awards those fine people graciously offer, I vote with my wallet, but maybe I’ll join this movement, just to “stick to the Man”.

  93. @Andrew

    Go back and read Vox Day’s announcement of the Rabid Puppies slate. What he’s asking for is substantially different for what Brad Torgersen was asking for with the SP3 slate, which was to read (or watch) the works on the list. Vox Day just asked people who liked him to vote for his choices. There was no request to actually read/watch the works. To me, that was always the key difference between SP3 and RP. That’s why I think that the number of RP voters being greater than the number of SP3 voters is a bad sign. It’s a minor point, given that the No Awarders beat out everyone else by an absolute majority, but I still think it’s worth making. SP3 and RP started out doing very different things, and they attracted different followings. There was overlap, yes, but ultimately there were slightly more Rabid Puppies than Sad Puppies 3 folks.

  94. @xServer, Ha! they’ve been voting slates for YEARS!! Look at the past results! How many authors from TOR have won? How many TOR works have won? How many people have gotten multiple awards?
    Please. And the Sad Puppies never out out a slate.
    Also, why wasn’t Three Body Problem voted against? Why was that? Vox specifically told his minions to vote for it. He said he would have nominated it, but he read it too late.

    And you’re saying you voted whole categories ‘no award’ because you didn’t think anything in it was good enough? Sure, I smell BS.

  95. I actually cringed when I saw the word ‘slate’ used in Brad’s initial anouncement. I knew that it would be taken by some to be demanding/promising an exact compliance to the vote

    @Frank
    I’m not as worried about the relative numbers of the Sad vs Rabid puppies because I believe that differentiating between Sad Puppies and the neutral catoegories is virtually impossible, and while I do believe that there are a log of non sad puppies there, there are also a lot of SP who voted enough differently that they aren’t identifiable by the statistics. It’s been pointed out that the SP ‘slate discipline’ is very weak (which is good because nobody ever tried to impose any) and so the SP votes are much harder to differentiate from neutral voters who just liked some of the books.

    Especially since there wasn’t a suggested or recommended voting list for the final ballot

    re Rabid Puppies, the RP announcement includes the phrase asking people to vote exactly the way it was presented. The SP3 list had nothing like that and followup posts from both Brad and Larry expressed surprise that people thought that they needed to explicitly tell people to read the works (after all, how else would you nominate)

  96. Redjack, I believe that by posting the “actual, official Hugo Stats,” and those *turned off* by the actions of SJB’s, we win. They showed their “true colors” , they destroyed their own platform. SP/Rp never mustered, according to _nominating_ stats, more than ~500 *total.* No Award numbers were within *a handful* of *2500.*

  97. @Frank Probst While I accept your comment that Vox Day != Brad Torgersen, it doesn’t really impact the concept of Slate = Bad Work. One can reasonably argue that Vox Day is a bad actor for suggesting people vote without regard to quality, however, that doesn’t mean that putting a book on a list of books makes the book bad. Slate or not is a diversion. I contend it has been a diversion designed to grant cover to those who would vote against selected works without regard to quality. Essentially, “Its okay to ignore the contributions and quality of work from renown editors and best selling authors, because slates are bad”.

  98. @Walter Daniels It would be interesting to know in which categories “No Award” now holds the record for the most votes ever, other than Best Editor.

  99. nominations have always been a fraction of the final

    year noms final
    2008 483 895
    2009 —- 1074
    2010 864 1094
    2011 1006 2100
    2012 1101 1922
    2013 1373 1848 (SP1)
    2014 1923 3587 (SP2)
    2015 2122 5950 (SP3/RP1)

    so the noms total had been trending up at a rate of ~150/year prior to SP1

    diff probabl3 effect
    2013 273 ~100
    2014 550 ~400
    2015 199 ~50

    so SP3/RP only added ~50 votes more than the baseline growth of the nomination
    ballots, but that (and the anger of the puppies over the way they were treated duing
    SP2 probably caused them to vote a more complete ballot) was enough to go from
    getting just a couple things on the ballot (I don’t think more than one per
    category), to sweeping the nominations.

    think about the implications that it only took 210 nominations to get
    someone on the ballot for the biggest category (best novel) (263 prior to the two
    people withdrawing).

    looking at the results
    https://chaoshorizon.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/2015hugostatistics.pdf which lists
    vote totals down to as low as 2.6% of the total.

    on the puppy slate, The Chaplain’s War got 196 votes, below that there were only 8
    other nominations, ranging from 88 votes to 168 votes. So if you ignore the ones
    that got on the ballot or were on either the SP or RP slate there were only 1007
    other nomination votes TOTAL. Keep in mind that one person can generate up to 5
    nomination votes, this could have been as few as 202 people

    And Skin Game got 387 votes Monster Hunter Nemesis got 372

    The lowest nominated SP candidate was Trial By Fire at 199 nominations
    The lowest nominated RP candidate was The Chaplain’s War at 196 nominations (neither
    of these was on the other list)

    The combination of the puppy candidates got 1687 votes.

    So the puppies cast just under 50% of the nomination votes. If you assume that there
    were ~400 puppy votes (and the puppy votes contained nothing not on the final
    ballot), that means that the remaining ~1400 ballots only contained 1752 votes (plus
    a few that could have been <4.8% of the total, but other categories list down to
    2.6% so probably even fewer missing votes)

    This is only 1.04 votes per ballot, or putting it another way, of these 1400
    ballots, as few as 88 voted for more than one candidate.

    And the other categories had even fewer nominations.

  100. Mr. Torgersen,
    I’m saddened, though unsurprised to learn what narrow straits you have been through recently, on behalf of those who have the desire for awards to be meaningful and fiction readable.

    Thank you sir!

    I take it from asides made that you’re LDS…
    Please forgive me if I’m mistaken, or my comments following out of place. I’ve not as well-able to express my thoughts as I desire, but I do wish you the best!

    I am surprised that you were surprised! If I’m correct in my guess, and you are LDS, you’ve studied the Book of Mormon.

    The Gadianton robbers didn’t just subvert the governments mentioned… no, they attacked and sickened w/hate all that was good and wholesome in the culture in order to organize those around them to subservience, and to get gain.

    The experiences you’ve related in these events, I have watched play-out, over and again, w/increasing frequency and ferocity over the last six-plus decades.

    So, please, sir: take heart! In this life, how we define ourselves is in our hands— but we’ll have to account for it eventually.

    One barometer of our place, compass of our bearing, is who chooses each of us as an enemy…

    Cold comfort, perhaps, but from your post, I’d say you’ve been well-chosen by the Enemy.

  101. How is it that hundreds of readers and writers don’t know what the term “slate” actually means?

    Hint: it’s a list

  102. Count me in as someone else who read the works and voted “No Award” in most of the short fiction categories because she didn’t think the works warranted the Hugo. I voted “No Award” for novella and novelette; I voted for “Totaled” by Kary English for best short story only after considerable thought. Though the story moved me, I wasn’t sure it was really one of the best of the year, not compared to the likes of Eugie Foster’s “When It Ends, He Catches Her,” which was kept off the ballot because of the slate voting of Sad and Rabid Puppies. (Would that I had been a member of Worldcon earlier, so that I could have nominated the story. That’s a mistake I won’t make again.)

    I voted for Sheila Gilbert for best editor, long form. I didn’t vote for Toni Weisskopf because I find Baen books to generally be lacking in the editing department, from the mechanics of copy editing (lots of grammatical and typographical errors get through) to the choice of material to publish, which is not to my taste, for the most part. (That’s not a criticism of your taste; it’s just a statement of mine.) I don’t care for Galaxy’s Edge, so I didn’t vote for Mike Resnick; I would have voted for Edmund Schubert, but he withdrew.

    It’s been said elsewhere, but I’ll echo it: if you want my vote, nominate better stuff! I wish more of the items on the Sad Puppies’ ballot had made it to the final ballot, because a lot of the stuff the Rabid Puppies got nominated was dross. I know there must be better stuff out there than “On A Spiritual Plain” by Lou Antonelli or “The Journeyman: In the Stone House” by Michael F. Flynn, and definitely works that are better than “The Parliament of Beasts and Birds” by John C. Wright. Come on, guys, lead me to the good stuff — I know you’ve got it here somewhere. I mean, really, you’ve got Gene Wolfe in your camp, right? He published a book last year; why didn’t you nominate that? David Brin edited an anthology or two, why not nominate him for editor, short form? Dan Simmons wrote The Abominable; how come he wasn’t on your ballots? You had so much room for good stuff, and you chose to pick works that just weren’t as good. Why?

  103. I’m not really sure what more Torgersen could have done, beyond not having made one at all.

    60guilders has it. They want no list, no assembly, no gathering, no collection of anything whatsoever by me or anyone else under the Puppy banner.

    They can run with endless lists and slates and suggestions all they want.

    As soon as I put something up, in any organized form, it’s bad and evil.

    Now, to be fair, I have no doubt there were some people who felt honestly annoyed that a “foreign” pick list took over the final ballot. It looked nothing like what they were expecting. All the usual names and the people who were “supposed” to be on the final ballot, were not on the final ballot. It was a cold cup of water in their faces. The Hugos had gone off the script! That’s not supposed to happen! Somebody came in and cut the chocolate cake the wrong way! Only the approved people are supposed to cut the chocolate cake!

    And so, in righteous fury, they threw the whole cake on the ground — and cheered.

    No cake for any of the bad people.

  104. terryweyna,

    Because there are thousands of books and stories published each year, it is not possible to capture every single thing. Nor every single deserving author. And this has been a beef everyone has had with the Hugos forever, and every year — even when Sad Puppies has not been running — everyone has books and stories that don’t make the ballot, and they have valid (per taste) reasons to be unhappy.

    But because taste is subjective, I elected to let aggregate suggestions do my picking for me. If a story or book was suggested to me several times — either in a blog comment or on Facebook or in e-mail — I put it at the top. If something only got one suggestion, I left it at the bottom. What wound up at the top was not what I wanted, it was a collective and admitedly scrummy effort: I didn’t impose any taste tests on who could make a suggestion, or why. I only asked for suggestions. I didn’t care who made them.

    I’m glad you voted for Sheila. I consider every single person who voted for a person and not against people, to have done due diligence. So I thank you very much for that. Really, the Best Editor category for Long Form is a good way to gauge which people were doing it honestly, and which ones were merely using NO AWARD as a bludgeon the way George R. R. Martin warned them not to.

  105. Grumpus: I’ve relied heavily on my (weary) understanding that this world is going to go one direction, while the ways of the Lord go in a different direction. Perhaps I have simply hoped for too much, in a naive fashion? But your sentiment is greatly appreciated, sir. (tips hat) Gadianton Robbers, indeed.

  106. @Andrew

    I tried to make it clear that the original SP3 post and the original RP post made very different recommendations to their respective readers, despite the fact that both used the word “slate”. I apologize if I didn’t make this clear.

  107. Shadowdancer Duskstar / Cutelildrow: “These are people who have no limits when it comes to their hate. The people who do this… don’t hold anything truly valuable sacred, so they try to fill the void with things like hate, rage, and hurting others.”

    Hi, Shadowdancer. I was the one who told you your story was awesome and sent you the New Yorker submission guidelines just in case, just as a reminder that not all of us opposed to slating are full of hate, or hurting others.

    Brad, man… I don’t understand how someone who himself got a freaking Campbell nomination could become convinced that there was a bias against people like them. Further than I ever got with “The Lords of Perth,” my finished, unpublished fantasy novel. Or “Seven Days.” Or “Keith Haring: Pieces of a Life” (last two would’ve been Best Dramatic, long form). Granted stage plays haven’t held that slot in a long time. I’m just saying. They’re good enough to deserve Hugo noms. You don’t see me setting up a slate.

    A Campbell nomination means they *really* liked you. And the idea that, OMG, if people meet you in person they’ll put a face to a name and be a little more likely to notice your work… yeah, dude. That’s how awards work. That’s how *people* work. I cannot believe that, as a nominee, *knowing* that nominees frequently return as nominees and winners, you decided to do this. If I am ever so lucky as to get a Campbell nom, I do not intend to violate the community’s norms.

  108. Despite being an SFF fan for the last 30 years I have never attended a convention and only heard about the Hugo controversy two months ago. It has been fascinating to observe how this situation played out and I immediately sympathized with the Sad Puppies. Despite this, I didn’t buy an associate membership because I knew I wouldn’t have time to read all of the nominees and it didn’t seem fair to vote in any category in which I didn’t have all of the information.

    And then I watched the Hugos. And I saw the biggest bunch of petty, preening dickwads I’ve seen in a long time. Next year I will buy that associate membership. And I will vote EXACTLY as Vox Day recommends. I won’t bother reading any works that I wouldn’t have otherwise read, and I don’t plan on feeling the least bit guilty about it either.

  109. ” However, that said, if the view of the Puppies is that the Hugos have been hijacked by a tiny minority with a social agenda then why did No Award win? Either it’s because the choices weren’t really that great, or because the non-Puppy contingent is not as small and cliquish as you thought OR because the RP nuclear option and the non-puppies accidentally coordinated on some categories. I don’t know what happened. You don’t know what happened. ”

    You know what I think happened?

    I think that someone with connections repeatedly contacted the usual publications and gave his or her “side of the story” assuming that Puppies wanted an end to diversity in science fiction. Since these publications are respected and assumed to be telling the truth, a whole lot of very well meaning people decided that there was a noble war to be fought. They were rallied to vote specifically to No Award the puppy nominated categories. These are people who had never voted before. Ever. So they were new. How did they come into it? Entertainment Weekly? Io9? The Guardian? Slate or Wired?

    I can blame people a little bit when they believe lies they are told in the media. When reporters and journalists don’t hesitate to take whatever “source” they have at face value… I blame that a bit more. The person or people, certainly famous enough to seem a legitimate source, who *certainly* knew that they were lying? How am I supposed to feel about them?

  110. Greg, really good point about the Campbell.

    Brad, I get what you’re saying about picking for the slate, but gosh, don’t the puppies have better taste? I mean, it’s obvious that the SPs have better taste than the RPs, but even so….

    Of course, I’m still sad that The Goblin Emperor didn’t get the nod for Best Novel. In fact, I think I batted 0 with my ballot. So what do I know? Wait, no, I voted for Wesley Chu, so I guess I got one right.

  111. Hey, Tom E., I’m wondering if you were watching the Hugo ceremony online or in person. The reason that makes a difference is because the running commentary alongside the stream would have led you in exactly the opposite direction — it was racist, sexist, homophobic, and just completely repugnant in every way you can imagine (and this is said by someone who was appalled that Brad was ever accused of being racist, and who consistently insisted on separating the SPs from the RPs).

  112. Brad, one of my dear friends wants me to say that “Emmanual Goldstein” is not the best analogy, as that character in 1984 was likely fictitious, and represented the “Enemy of the State,” and was reportedly inspired by Trotsky. Trotsky was a communist – and his sin was being a credible opponent to Stalin, as well as a snob who snubbed the “Man of Steel” without realizing the terrible peril he risked by doing so.

    I was, am, and will be your friend, as I would always face the ice axe as a matter of principal. Perhaps I pass muster as I support gay rights, transgender rights, and other causes. But I am also 1A and 2A. Heaven help me; I support the right to bear arms, though I personally, have none.

  113. @Frank Probst You made it clear. It doesn’t matter if they both said “slate”. It’s a completely irrelevant issue to quality. That a work is on a list, or slate, or stone tablet, doesn’t impact it’s quality. Anyone arguing about slates is saying, or conceding the ground, that it is important, and that being on someone’s list makes a difference in the quality of work.

    Well, they could also be saying that the award isn’t about quality, and rather about what lists you’re on…

  114. @terryweyna When you say “but gosh, don’t the puppies have better taste?” combined with your statements on “No Award” voting, what I hear is, “I don’t like your tastes in books so I’d rather no one get a Hugo than let something you liked”. I don’t think that’s what you intend to communicate. However, what did you think it would say? How can I tell the difference from your actions?

  115. julieapascal: I suspect the other side brought in lots of people whose heads were full of anti-Puppy propaganda about us being evil he-man woman-haters with a Hitler fetish trying to destroy SF because evil. A friend of mine seemed to think the whole campaign was about “suppressing women” and had trouble believing me when I pointed to all the women involved in SP. That would be why they needed to get every media outlet on their side, to make sure the lie was everywhere.

  116. gregm: it’s simple, because Sad Puppies 3 was never about me. Why do you think I recused myself immediately upon announcing the project? Why do you think I demured every time anyone asked me, “Why aren’t you on your own recommendation list, don’t you want to promote yourself?” I understand that in the Image Age, with everyone using selfie sticks and always holding up their own pictures of themselves — a billion narcissists, preening — it’s difficult to realize that things can be done for principle. I have never desired awards, as a goal. I said so in 2009/2010 when I broke in. Those words are still at the top of this blog. Go click BRT SUCCESS and see. Again, it ‘aint about me. But it is about the culture, and what kinds of art — and which artists — get to be counted. Because the Hugos are the oldest totem. A totem I find myself utterly disillusioned with, after Saturday night. Again, I didn’t lose. But I do think Fandom and the Hugos lost. Big time.

  117. @brad I’m not sure you’re going to reach gregm. After what happened, his problem is that you made a list of things you liked and suggested people look at it, and vote for them if they also liked them. That violated community standards. No Award beating out Butcher or Toni, No Award in 1/3 the Hugos…those don’t violate the norms enough to be a real problem. You made a list!

    In the end, the fact that 1/3 of the Hugos could be lost for a year, and No Award beats Jim Butcher doesn’t violate community standards, is probably the most damning thing I can think of.

  118. Two Things:
    @davidelang

    “every bit as bad as RP who voted lock-step for Vox.”
    Those people that voted lockstep for No Award DID vote lockstep for Vox. They became his minions doing EXACTLY what he wanted them to do…and he didn’t have to raise a finger. At all.

    Brad Torgersen.
    I salute you.

    Like you, I served my country and I’ve been deployed. I CANNOT imagine doing what you’ve done with a deployment hanging over me. As I’ve said elsewhere, under a different name….

    Thank You for standing up and taking the brunt.
    You stood for principle against lies and abuse.
    As we say in the Navy, BRAVO ZULU.

  119. Sorry this is long. It is my reply to Foz Meadows. If xServer is around I’d like to know what you think of it.

    Context:
    Certainly it is a good thing to promote diversity. Certainly it is relevant to mention what makes a story interesting. And certainly, when reviewing a book, it’s necessary to faithfully describe the nature of the book. Which is why, I dare say, that people don’t go around explaining that “A Few Good Men” has a gay protagonist and gay relationship and that the plot is completely dependent on events that only occurred because of the violent homophobia of the protagonist’s “father” when they describe the book. It’s Space Opera featuring a war and a revolution. Lots of ‘splody things and daring escapes.

    Experience:
    You’ll have to tighten this part up a bit because I’m unsure what point you intend to focus on. Reality is this… there is “me” and there are “aliens”. We read and write about the aliens.

    Awareness:
    What I understand you to say is that white male characters have been the default and now that they’re not the default, the presence of a white male protagonist is potentially problematic evidence of bad-think… ie., “perpetuating that default.”

    Representation:
    People like to see someone like themselves in stories sometimes so it’s a good thing to mention it. Close? But what is really really important is for someone to appoint him or herself as the judge of which representation was well done and which representation was done wrong. Members of some demographic or other are assumed to have done their own demographic right, until someone like Requires Hate starts attacking them for having done it wrong despite their PoC status.
    Yeah, okay, so that was extremely crabby. But it’s the truth. It really is impossible to do it right. Everyone will make a mistake, somehow, or be able to be accused of making a mistake somehow. Elevating this nit picking to something laudable is why bullies and harassers get away with what they do. Who is going to call them on it until it’s so bad that Laura Mixon has to write a research paper? Why couldn’t anyone just say, wow, hello adult time, knock it off? It took foot notes.
    Writers who are bad at characterization are bad at it for all of their characters. I’ve never read an author that got some people right and other people wrong. The story might be such that you don’t care that cardboard is saving the world, but that’s something else. Someone who does a bad job is pretty easy to spot. People who do good jobs are easy to nit pick. This doesn’t actually contribute good things to the world or encourage writers to stretch their wings or to include lots of diverse characters. It suppresses risk and encourages keeping your casts to those “white male characters” that no one is going to attack you for… much.

    Language:
    You have a useful short hand. It doesn’t mean what we think it means. It’s just that you’re telling other people with your same interests that this book will interest them as well.

    That’s fair.

    But understand that other communities have other verbal short hand that doesn’t mean what you think it means either.

    Couched in your final paragraphs is the assumption that what Puppies wanted from the past was the comfort zone. But since you don’t and won’t read “the books we like” you’ve no actual idea what is in them, diversity-wise. The presence of “diversity”, either the fiction or the author, does not make Puppies uncomfortable. What myself and many Puppies wanted, and clearly said they wanted from the past was wonder and adventure. Was that so hard to take at face value? Is there something about diverse casts and authors that precludes wonder and adventure?
    Do you think that it just might, *maybe*, be part of a reviewers job to mention elements of a novel or story that will appeal to those other people over there that you don’t like very much?

  120. @juliepascal: There were tons of claims that Sad Puppies wanted SF to be exclusively for “white males” and so on.

    Odd, since I don’t recall that being said here, or on Sarah’s blog, or on Larry’s blog, or from anyone else involved in Sad Puppies yet people believe that.

    So yeah, I think the media narrative heavily influenced the “No Award” vote. Nothing like a virtual mob to stampede into action. Bleagh.

  121. Those people that voted lockstep for No Award DID vote lockstep for Vox. They became his minions doing EXACTLY what he wanted them to do…and he didn’t have to raise a finger. At all.

    Vox really *is* a supervillain. O_o;;

  122. My first comment on facebook when the no awards started was something pretty much… “OMG they just gave Vox the goram KEYS!”

    For what it’s worth.

  123. The Hugo Award footage came out, and several things have been confirmed:

    1) That the “Asterisk” was an official award, of which a small facsimile could be purchased by fans for charity. Sasquan Hugo Administrator John Lorentz currently denies this: “They were not awards. They were *gifts* to each and every nominee.”

    2) Contrary to Mr. Lorentz’ assertion that “the Hugo Administrators knew nothing about them”, the Asterisk Awards carry the legally-protected Hugo mark, were introduced on-stage, and a special slide for the projector was used to display the Award at that time. The Awards are also lettered with “Official WorldCon 2015 Asterisk” on one side and “2015 Hugo Award Nominee” on the other.

    3) The Asterisk was introduced thusly: “In the sports world, when a year is unusual, we mark it in the record book. This year, especially.”

    (http://livestream.com/worldcon/2015HugoAwards?t=1440633884950) (from 1:40)

    PROBLEM: “The sports asterisk has come to signify a record that is in question.”

    (http://www.examiner.com/article/the-sports-asterisk)

    For all the efforts of Hugo emcee David Gerrold and award creator Jim Wright, to make the asterisk about combining exclamation points and representing fandom as a wildcard, neither ever came back to address the “mark it in the record book” elephant. The reality is, the asterisk can be, and is, absolutely everything which was said about it on stage — including a symbol which stains awards as illegitimate. Put as many flowers on that carcass as you like.

    When we look to the origin for the idea of the 2015 Asterisk Award, this purpose becomes all too clear. On April 14th, Gerrold said:

    “This year — this stuff, this little turd in the punch bowl — the community will survive it. Whatever happens, the Hugo will survive. With an asterisk, perhaps. (Maybe we’ll hand out official asterisks with the trophies this year.) But the one thing that is growing more and more likely … the architects of this squabble will have indelibly damaged themselves in the eyes of the SF community.”

    (https://archive.is/H719F)

    The Asterisks were meant, from the beginning, as a stain on the Hugos. They ARE a stain on the Hugos. They will ALWAYS be a stain on the Hugos.

    But more importantly, setting aside all the stupid acrimony, the Asterisks also invalidated each and every nominee. They did so without anyone, even once, alleging that the World Science Fiction Society’s Constitution, or the Hugo Award rules governed by it, had been breached.

    My vote, and the vote of everyone in this record-setting year of Hugo votes, was invalidated. Because, no matter who we voted for, they were ALL awarded an Asterisk.

    Sasquan, you’ve refused me a very simple request: a refund and a copy of my struck ballot. I mean to have my refund. And everyone who voted in your farce, your insult to a venerable institution, the one that even now you’re denying in writing ever happened at all, deserves their money back as well.

  124. @juliepascal: That “Hitler Finds Out About The Hugo Awards” clip is becoming less parody and more of a documentary…

  125. @calbeck

    There were photos of the asterisks given to the nominees on Cedar Sanderson’s website, and they’re pretty much exactly what you described. Either Lorentz is misinformed, or Cedar Sanderson is a liar who is really good at PhotoShop. I’m betting on the former. I’m still hoping that this turns out to be one of those “It seemed like a good idea at the time” things, with the organizers ultimately coming to the conclusion that they were in really poor taste. All of the nominees (including the winners) deserve a formal apology for this. If WorldCon money was used to make them, then I think that the members deserve an apology, too.

  126. I can only talk for myself, but i think many people from the contra-puppy-faction would agree if i say, that the main reason for all the hate and uproar this year were the “Rabid Puppies” under Vox Day.
    Personally i have no idea how close Sad and Rabid Puppies are affiliated if at all, but the name alone creates the perception and at least I haven´t seen any clear contradicition or alienation so far.
    Anyway, most will know that Vox Day is one of the most despised persons on the internet for very good reason (if you ask why, just take a look at his blog; the things he wrote after the Hugos are already completely sufficient, but there is way more to find…) and even the slighest look on his slates show very clearly that he was using the Rabid Puppies to put himself and people affiliated with Castalia House, where he is Chief Editor, on the lists.
    Well, this at least is the main source of the hate and contempt which swashed over anything with the name “puppies” in it this year and if you aren´t in any way affiliated with those “Rabid Puppies”, then you can direct the thanks to Vox for the experiences you made.

    I myself was mostly pissed off by the attempt of abusing the voting system and of course Vox Day. The kind of politics or intentions were secondary at least to me as would consider myself neither conservative nor liberal. I would have also rejected someone, who tried to manipulate the Hugo outcome for the sake of world peace and chicken wings.
    As it was already mentioned here somewhere, there is no liberal SJW-conspiracy. What people were pissed off about was the attempt of “abusing the system” and especially the ego-trip of a person for whom most people already felt nothing but contempt even before the whole thing started.

  127. the architects of this squabble will have indelibly damaged themselves in the eyes of the SF community.

    I wonder if David has ever stopped to consider that he has damaged himself in view of the Big Eye of the outside world that peered in on this whole thing — and watched him inflame the petulance and the dire name-calling? Always, there is more than one way to perceive a thing. The Hugo Asterisk — let’s just call it the CHORFhole — was “cute” to the insiders, and looked like a petty joke to the rest of the universe. Congratulations, David Gerrold.

  128. @Aischylos “Anyway, most will know that Vox Day is one of the most despised persons on the internet for very good reason (if you ask why, just take a look at his blog; the things he wrote after the Hugos are already completely sufficient, but there is way more to find…)”

    Okay, I’ll bite. I’ve probably read every post Vox Day has made in the aftermath of the Hugo Awards. What, exactly, has you so exercised? My take-away from this ballot is that being reasonable is not the solution. Brad and Larry were reasonable. They picked quality authors and editors and those selections were summarily dismissed by a group of people that I find increasingly repulsive. Enjoy those ‘No Awards’. I suspect the coming years will yield even more of them.

  129. The No-Awarders and WorldCon had a choice. They could have behaved professionally in spite of their disagreement with the Sad Puppies. Instead they chose to be childish and punitive. In doing so, they deepened the divide in fandom. I hope they thought their Asterisk was funny. I hope they got a good chuckle from their sad spectacle of elitism. I hope they got off on cheering people’s losses. Because they wounded fandom last Saturday night. Time will tell how bad that wound was.

  130. the main reason for all the hate and uproar this year were the “Rabid Puppies” under Vox Day

    Sorry, but no. There was hate and uproar last year as well… and there was no Rabid Puppies last year. It was on a smaller scale, but the same things were heard. Same tactics, come to think of it.

    For that matter, I remember very few statements this year to the effect that “I have no problem with the Sad Puppies movement getting more people to nominate and vote, but I hate the Rabid Puppies because Vox Day.” No. It was almost all about the Wrong People presuming to nominate. The Wrong People should not consider themselves fans – that is reserved for our in-group. The Wrong People should simply get that they were not welcome, and go away. The Wrong People nominated “puppy shit”, which the trufen boasted about not having read, because who would want to read “puppy shit”? Hahahaha. Almost none of this was in reference to Vox Day or his various classifications of minion.

    “Sad Puppies? Things got a little out of hand. It’s just this war and that lying son of a bitch Vox and… I would never hurt you. You know that.” Not going to fly. Not after this year and not after what you did Saturday.

  131. @Aischylos, I think you’re right about it being Vox Day who really riled everyone up, in years past but especially this year. Had the Sad Puppies’ slate been nominated, there would have been far less upset.

    @Andrew, do you really think that the list of nominees fairly represented the best the field had to offer in 2015? Does anyone besides John C. Wright really think that John C. Wright deserved six nominations this year? (Yes, one was stricken because it was published before 2014, but there were six nominations for Wright originally.) Those novellas of his were unreadable to anyone not determined to work her way through them. So no, when I say that I voted “No Award” rather than for one of the novellas or novelettes nominated, you shouldn’t think I’m intent that something you liked doesn’t win an award. You should recognize that I’m saying that none of the five nominated works deserved a Hugo. And please remember that I voted against one non-Puppy piece (the winning novelette, which I thought was dreadful) and for one Puppy piece (“Totaled,” by Kary English).

    Stated differently, I don’t believe that the ballot fairly represented Sad Puppy taste. I don’t even think it really represented Rabid Puppy taste; it was intended by the Rabid Puppies to be a slap in the face and something no sincere reader could vote for. On that score, it succeeded admirably.

  132. I can’t wait for Vox to push – hard – an All CHORF/SJW slate in the nomination phase.

  133. Pingback: Final 2015 Hugos Perspective | Mick On Everything

  134. Since my sparring partner in the other thread has gone away, I’ll weigh in here.

    @Andrew, do you really think that the list of nominees fairly represented the best the field had to offer in 2015? Does anyone besides John C. Wright really think that John C. Wright deserved six nominations this year? (Yes, one was stricken because it was published before 2014, but there were six nominations for Wright originally.) Those novellas of his were unreadable to anyone not determined to work her way through them. So no, when I say that I voted “No Award” rather than for one of the novellas or novelettes nominated, you shouldn’t think I’m intent that something you liked doesn’t win an award. You should recognize that I’m saying that none of the five nominated works deserved a Hugo. And please remember that I voted against one non-Puppy piece (the winning novelette, which I thought was dreadful) and for one Puppy piece (“Totaled,” by Kary English).

    A lot of us here think that the list of nominees in past years didn’t fairly represent the best the field had to offer. I hate to keep picking on the same target, but it’s such a good example. If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love. The Sad Puppy recommendations may not have been to your taste, but arguing that they’re somehow objectively worse than recent years is not easy when we have a lot of poor books with awards to laugh at.

    There’s obviously something amiss in the field of Science Fiction when the ‘best books’ don’t sell to anything except a small fandom. It might not be in the awards, admittedly, but something is not right. It’s not that there’s not a market for good Science Fiction / Fantasy books, as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire sold 6.9 million books in 24 hours.

  135. I don’t think that people who read the work and still voted “No Award” (like myself) in some of the categories are in any way saying “…but arguing that they’re somehow objectively worse than recent years is not easy when we have a lot of poor books with awards to laugh at” We literally are saying that we did not think that the works presented were good enough. Not compared to x, y or z. Just not good enough full stop.

    I voted for Ann Sowards for editor long form and abstained from voting in short form (since I had no idea who these people were, other than VD whom I have to admit I think is a trouser-weasel and wouldn’t spend money to keep him in bread and hate) – so, yes, I voted honestly. Others did the same. You clearly don’t take anyone at their word that they actually liked previous years’ Hugo winners. And it’s impossible to prove. And this is why it all sounds like sour grapes: your insistence that if people don’t like what you like it has to be because of CONSPIRACY and not because tastes differ.

  136. (Sorry to break this up into chunks)“@Andrew, do you really think that the list of nominees fairly represented the best the field had to offer in 2015?”“Those novellas of his were unreadable to anyone not determined to work her way through them.” “You should recognize that I’m saying that none of the five nominated works deserved a Hugo.”

    “You clearly don’t take anyone at their word that they actually liked previous years’ Hugo winners. And it’s impossible to prove. And this is why it all sounds like sour grapes: your insistence that if people don’t like what you like it has to be because of CONSPIRACY and not because tastes differ.”

    I know you’re different people, but you’re using opposite rationale to argue the same point. Either the Sad Puppy nominees this year were uniquely bad in the history of the Hugos, or individual tastes make determining which works are good completely subjective.

  137. “Okay, I’ll bite. I’ve probably read every post Vox Day has made in the aftermath of the Hugo Awards. What, exactly, has you so exercised? My take-away from this ballot is that being reasonable is not the solution. Brad and Larry were reasonable. They picked quality authors and editors and those selections were summarily dismissed by a group of people that I find increasingly repulsive. Enjoy those ‘No Awards’. I suspect the coming years will yield even more of them.”

    —————————————————————
    One of my favorites among other things: “”I wanted to leave a big smoking hole where the Hugo Awards were. All this has ever been is a giant F— You—one massive gesture of contempt.”
    And this leaving his “political” stuff out.

    And what was dismissed weren´t the selections, but the methodology by which they were pressured. I don´t really care about WHY someone intentionally abuses the system, the abuse of the system itself is what i reject and for me it is unreasonable to let people, who are abusing the system, succeed with it. If it was about saying “FU” to the puppies, we would have seen a complete “No-Award”-line up this year, but what we saw was a No-Award for every category which was corrupted by this abusive methodology. If the nominees deserve the Award or not was secondary. The primary concern was that the attempt of manipulation is rejected.
    Perfect example are the two editor-categories. Yes, there were people among the nominees, who probably deserved the award, but there was also Vox Day, who cheated himself unto the list, and it would have been the worst possible outcome, if he succeeded with this impertinence.

    In general i really don´t understand why puppy-fellows dont get it, that there are a lot of people, who don´t care about SWJs, “traditional or liberal fantasy”, “diversity yes or no” etc, but are upset because somebody is undertaking an INTENTIONAL and OPENLY ANNOUNCED attempt of manipulating the Hugo outcome by abusing the voting system.

    —————————————————————

    “Sorry, but no. There was hate and uproar last year as well… and there was no Rabid Puppies last year. It was on a smaller scale, but the same things were heard. Same tactics, come to think of it.”….

    —————————————————————

    I at least remember for example very well Larry Correia stating as reason for why he nominated Vox Day in the “Best Novelette”-category 2014 that he “wanted to upset people”. Well, mission accomplished.

    As said, i cant speak for everybody, but concerning the Sad Puppies it was just the methodology that pissed me off, not whom they actually nominated.
    Concerning the Rabid Puppies it was the unbelievable impertinence of tricking himself and his associates unto the lists, for example his fellow John C. Wright THREE TIMES (attempted SIX TIMES) and especially himself as Editor in both categories, which really is a giant FU against every single editor who actually deserved that award.

  138. “If it was about saying “FU” to the puppies, we would have seen a complete “No-Award”-line up this year, but what we saw was a No-Award for every category which was corrupted by this abusive methodology.”

    No. Because there was a Best Novel winner, and it won because the RP crowd voted for it. And Vox has been quite upfront in saying that if he had read it before the noms closed, he would have put it on his list.

    ” If the nominees deserve the Award or not was secondary. The primary concern was that the attempt of manipulation is rejected.”

    So it’s only manipulation when the other side does it?

    Interesting….

  139. Civilis, may I remind you that “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” did not win a Hugo? Apparently the people who voted “No Award” this year (to your dismay) weren’t impressed with that one, either. (I was. It’s an excellent story. But I’ve never voted before this year, so I didn’t vote on that ballot.)

    Let me try something I’ve tried over at Eric Flint’s place, to a resounding silence (well, it’s only been a few hours, but that’s forever in internet terms, right?). Give me some recommendations for what I should read from the thousands of short stories, novellas, novelettes and novels that have been published so far this year that you think would go on a Puppy slate for next year’s awards. I have fairly broad taste: right now I’m reading THE INVASION OF THE TEARLING by Erika Johansen, which I was enjoying completely until the lunch hour just passed, when it seems to have gone off the rails; I’ll be starting THE FIFTH SEASON by N.K. Jemisin next, which I’ve been looking forward to for a long time; I’ve got a pile of Jonathan Maberry’s Joe Ledger books to get to (loved the first couple). My most recent purchases were a bunch of Hellboy compilations; ELRIC, THE STEALER OF SOULS by Michael Moorcock; and DREAMER’S POOL by Juliet Marillier, which I purchased because the publisher has just sent me the second book in the series for review, and I like to start at the beginning. As is probably obvious, I prefer fantasy and horror to straight hard SF, but I’ve also got THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir and SEVENEAVES by Neal Stephenson in my TBR pile.

    So tell me: what should I be nominating in early 2016 by your lights?

  140. The four most interesting novels of 2015 for me haven’t been released yet:

    Son of the Black Sword (Larry Correia) – Read the ARC; awesome
    The Aeronaut’s Windlass (Jim Butcher)
    Hell’s Foundations Quiver (David Weber)
    Shadows of Self (Brandon Sanderson) – I’ll have to read from library due to Feder’s involvement

  141. Why do you think this is about Sad Puppies telling people what to nominate? Who do you think we are, Locus? 😉

  142. I’ve found lots of good recommendations in Locus’s annual lists (I’m a lifetime subscriber, and their February issue is my favorite). I’m asking for recommendations from what I perceive to be a different audience. Don’t shoo me away, please! (Though your smiley suggests you really have no intention of that; you’re just gently ribbing me, right?)

  143. Civilis, may I remind you that “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” did not win a Hugo? Apparently the people who voted “No Award” this year (to your dismay) weren’t impressed with that one, either. (I was. It’s an excellent story. But I’ve never voted before this year, so I didn’t vote on that ballot.)

    When you talked about the Hugo nominations being sub-par this year, I thought you were talking about the works that were nominated for a Hugo being sub-par. I get confused easily. Also, despite not turning the nomination into a win, it still won a Nebula, which is also a Science Fiction award, I think. What about it makes it an excellent story? What about it makes it an excellent Science Fiction story? The ‘best’ explanation I’ve seen so far has that it has some SciFi tropes in it.

    Similarly. on the other thread, the anti-Puppy commenters seem to have admitted that they thought that Redshirts was not a great book, but happened to have an author that had a following and happened to kind-of parody Star Trek, so that’s why it won.

    Basically, I’m increasingly inclined to agree with xServer when he says that talking about the ‘best Science Fiction’ is meaningless, because ‘best’ is such a subjective evaluation. That means it’s all a popularity contest, and the biggest fandom that votes wins.

  144. Brad – Thanks for running Sad Puppies 3. Without SP3 I never would have known I could vote on a Hugo!

    Brad – I also appreciate your defending our nation. The Wall St. Journal was one of the few outlets (either print or blog) that mentioned that you were in the US military.

  145. @Civilis

    “I’m increasingly inclined to agree with xServer when he says that talking about the ‘best Science Fiction’ is meaningless, because ‘best’ is such a subjective evaluation. That means it’s all a popularity contest, and the biggest fandom that votes wins.”

    Now you know why Doctor Who wins Hugo after Hugo, when it’s quite entertaining but not necessarily the “best” genre episodes to grace the TV screens year after year. And I say this as a huge Doctor Who fan.

  146. I voted The Three-Body Problem ahead of Skin Game because of its anti-Red Guard (anti-SJW) theme.
    Big Boys Don’t Cry was a classic example of military scifi done well.
    Championship B’tok was a very good example of space opera done well. Ashes to Ashes I liked too. The Day The World… was a joke right?
    Totaled and Turncoat were close 1 and 2 for me. Both have what I like in a good story. I guess the SJWs would have wanted the brain to be aborted and/or the children to be raped in Totaled to be the ‘right’ pick.
    Hot Equations did a nice job in a relatively short space of explaining issues around aerospace engineering/technology, especially trying to keep things scientifically-correct.
    Toni Weisskopf and Jennifer Brozek were my choices for editors.
    Amanda Green slightly ahead of Dave Freer. Wasn’t Mixon the woman who whined about re-creating the rape scene from Clockwork Orange with her oh so sensitive SJW buddies?

  147. I try to be gentle so long as people are not being complete jerks. 🙂

  148. @terryweyna I’m not seeing how your explanation is different than my summary. Books I like were nominated. You NA’d them. It tells me that our tastes are sufficiently different that you see things I like as being total crap. I don’t think you’re doing it because you want to punish me, or have it in for books I like in particular. I think you’re doing it because our tastes are sufficiently different that what I enjoy you dislike. Books of a sort I like, are books of a sort, that if nominated, you would rather there be no Hugo than let them win.

    I’m not seeing how your explanation is different than my original assertion.

  149. @terryweyna As for recommendations. I just finished the Codex Alara series by Jim Butcher. It was quite good. I’d heard all these raves about him, but generally don’t enjoy urban fantasy, and was pleased to find a different setting to feature his reputed talent. I’ve queued Dresden, in spite of genre aversion, on the strength of Alara.

    Also, if you haven’t read Chaplain’s War, I enjoyed it a good bit. Liked it enough to give as a gift.

    If you haven’t read Grimnior, it’s worth it.

    The Fold by Peter Clines was enjoyable.

    Most recently finished was A Long Time Until Now, by Williamson. I suspect that you would consider this a dull and dreadful book, but I enjoyed the walk. I preferred Better to Beg Forgiveness, by the same author.

    If you haven’t read Trial By Fire by Gannon, I’d say you’re missing out. This might not be to your tastes, but I enjoyed it and Fire With Fire.

  150. Brad: “They hate Theodore Beale, and they did precisely what Theodore Beale wanted them to do.”

    Yes. If any Puppy Kicker reading this actually believes that the PKs “won”, ask yourself these two questions:

    1) Will you be happy when the same thing happens next year (only more so)? Hint: no.
    2) Will VD be happy when the same thing happens next year (only more so)? Hint: yes.

    You No Awarded and libeled the people who wanted to reform the Hugos, and handed a near-total victory to the person who wants to burn them down. And you cheered.

    That’s neutronium-level dense.

    As Heinlein put it, a half-witted dog could cheat you people at cards.

  151. I’m not sure what to say. I’m not a puppy, sad, happy or otherwise. I do not write for a living, so this does not affect me directly. As much as I enjoy sci-fi, the reality is other interests dominate my attention, driven largely by the fact that I have children and that my children are far more interested in gaming than reading. (I lament, but one cannot force such things. I’ve managed a few successes and retain hope.) I wasn’t even aware of the controversy until very recently.

    I do not have a horse in this race. The media and the various claims and counterclaims have muddied the waters to the point where it is difficult for one who has not followed this (me, in this case) to tell what the true core arguments are at this late date. The core issue seems to be a conflict between those who prefer a good straightforward dramatic story and those who prefer a story that tries to make a point or deliver a lesson, even if it makes the story less accessible, but I’m not really sure that’s right either. Certainly I am nothing more than a single voice among thousands, so even were I able to penetrate the muddied waters to correctly discern the issues and venture an opinion, it would make little difference. The events of the past few months, from what I can see, have succeeded only in firmly entrenching the two sides, and one more opinion is not going to make a difference.

    So, I tend to agree with your post-script note: the only potential for successful resolution lies in the two sides each going their own way. Perhaps, instead of the Hugo’s straight choice of which candidate of a selection is “best,” a new award operating on a system asking the voter to evaluate entertainment value: on a scale of 1 to 10, how effective was the characterization; how well-paced and engaging was the plot; how well fleshed-out was the setting; how original was the overall product; and so forth, with winners selected by tallying the scores and seeing who ended with the most points. You’d have a winner by total points, and separate winners for the subcategories of characterization, plot, setting, originality and so forth. The best-in-class categories would then be governed solely by craftsmanship, but you could if desired introduce separate categories (independent of the best-in-class categories) for such things as most socially relevant theme, most innovative style or whatever, if you wished to reward such efforts. I’m not really a writing scholar, so these are of necessity only roughly formed ideas; one who is deeply involved in the industry could certainly come up with better. Still, it’s a starting point.

  152. @Doctor Locketopus

    Here’s an analogy:

    You’re a law abiding citizen, going about your business and walking down a public street. I approach you, alongside my pal who happens to have a very large gun in plain sight. I very politely ask you to give me your wallet. You, appalled by my demand, refuse. I point out that if you don’t comply, my gun-toting buddy might get annoyed and might shoot you. It would not, of course, be at my request. Maybe he’d shoot you even if you did give me your wallet. But hey, to increase the chance of me walking off with my pal before he shot you, you should just give me your wallet.

    Me = Sad Puppies who swept some Hugo categories, leaving no non-Puppy alternatives

    My pal = Vox Day

    You = Hugo voters

    This is why I voted No Award in some categories. I don’t regret it. Even with you threatening to unleash Vox Day on the Hugos next year, I’d do it again.

  153. I’ve spent the last few days over at the Foz thread linked toward the top here. As much fun as it is to constantly shoot holes in proggy “logic,” it’s getting rather tiring now.

    My take on her article is that she has some decent points aside from the many thinly veiled insults toward Brad, Larry, and the Sad Puppy contingent. She’s absolutely right that having some “out of normal” character aspects can open some interesting story elements. However she either doesn’t get, or doesn’t admit, a few things that go along with that. First is that simply tacking on an “out of normal” element, but not doing anything with it, often comes off as gimmicky. She makes a decent point that for readers who identify with that particular “out of norm” viewpoint, they may be seeing else in a story where the rest see mainly gimmick. That’s certainly possible, and she asks others to give the benefit of the doubt for literature getting praised even if you don’t get it yourself.

    That’s a perfectly respectable request, and I made one in return. If she’s asking others to admit there may be something good hidden in what’s often called message fiction, then she should admit the same on books where she just sees scantily clad buxom bimbos, huge guns, and explosions. That didn’t go over too well. I’ll give it a few more tries maybe, but it feels like more of the same of what I experienced in the past. You have a few back-and-forths that seem civil enough, you get hopeful that you might have a productive debate, then the instant you drop a logic bomb, they lash out like they’ve been personally attacked and start insulting you. When you show them the hypocrisy of their playing the victim and try to apply their rules universally, they claim innocence and have no idea why you’re displaying such a hostile attitude.

    Hope springs eternal, eh? I won’t stop anyone going over there and browsing the comments, but if you want the Reader’s Digest version:

    The Sad Puppies are responsible for everything that Ted Beale did or does. This is because, among other things, Ted has participated on Brad’s site and Brad has called Ted civil in all the dealings between the two of them. Apparently just talking with someone means you endorse that person in all their actions. None of them seem to realize the problem with holding one adult responsible for the actions of another adult.

    Speaking of Ted, they think he was lying about his enthusiasm for Three Body Problem. They think it was just bravado in making himself look better with the Hugo results. Or that it was sour grapes. However they don’t think he was lying or exaggerating on anything else that they consider horrible or reprehensible.

    Speaking of 3BP, they think that it and Guardians of the Galaxy winning their respective categories is clear proof there was no block voting because one Puppy nominee ( GotG ) won and a one work that was unofficially supported by RP ( 3BP ) also won. So clearly overall work quality was the victor. They never explained how they count 3BP in this equation, since they spent a lot of time saying it wasn’t actually RP supported since Vox was talking sour grapes. That leaves the movie of course, but then you consider that no other Puppy related nominee was voted above No Award. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know anyone that has perfect taste in movies and horrid taste in every other form of media. Surely if the votes really did include nothing but concern for quality, there should have been at least other overlap, right?

    One of the few logical things mentioned was the idea that the block No Award voting had nothing to do about quality, they were just protesting the way in which the nominees made it. Meaning good or bad, they would vote them all down regardless. I can understand the motivation even if I don’t agree to the action itself. If someone truly felt it was wrong to advertise a list, then voting against the entire list is at least consistent, logical behavior. Of course others tried splitting hairs about why a “slate” was bad but a recommended list was not. It was especially humorous when after I pointed out Scalzi called his self-promoting lists “pimpage,” one user said that only meant Scalzi was saying, “Please consider me.” Immediately following that he said that Brad may have said, “This is only a recommendation,” but what he really meant was, “I’m pretty sure you’ll vote as instructed.” I really wish I had these telepathic powers the proggies are always displaying.

    End summary.

    Sorry, Brad, this was a bit of a rant. I just wanted to say once again that I’m grateful for your efforts. I’ve been trying to support from the sidelines and publicly defend the Puppies on forums when I could ( having a newborn limits the time and wallet for buying things like supporting memberships ). However, I do believe I have been motivated to make that purchase for next year.

  154. “Even with you threatening to unleash Vox Day on the Hugos next year, I’d do it again.”

    Wait, wait, wait. I thought Vox was actually *our* puppet-master. But now he’s *Brad’s* lackey? Could you guys at least come up with an internally consistent line of attack, please? This random crap is getting tedious.

  155. @I like puppies, but I prefer kittens:
    Here’s a better analogy.
    A political party has taken control of a city, and some people are questioning whether or not they’re selecting people for appointed jobs–and promoting people, for that matter–based on politics instead of competence.
    So a band of reformers show up and attempt to get their people into office. They get shot down, and get called nasty names by the newspaper supporting the status quo.
    So, next election time, they attempt to do so again, but with more strength, and get the same result.
    The next election time, there are two factions of reformers. One wants to change the system, the other sees it as hopelessly corrupt and wants to torch it.
    That’s what, ah, actually happened. As opposed to a mugging.

  156. For a fitting analogy try to imagine, that the majority of the people didn´t care about politics, about SJWs, progressivism, traditionalism, diversity, non-diversity and whatever.
    But then suddenly a group appears and declares that those people were basically retarded and had been tricked by a some ominous liberal conspiracy and for that reason they would now terrorize the Awards to show them whats good for them, and whoever doesn´t like that is of course a stupid so called “SJW”/”i forgot the other nice word” and is of course part of the mentioned conspiracy.

    Just try to imagine what the whole situation looked like for sombody who didn´t care about this whole politics-shit…I didn´t see and still can´t see any liberal/progressivism/whatever-conspiracy, especially looking at the past Hugos, all i saw were two really impertinent groups of people who basically gave me the options of either admitting that im a complete retard being played by some SJW-illuminati or admitting that i am part the SJW-illuminati-freemason-conspiracy while they are attempting to manipulate or even outright destroy the Awards.
    What did you expect me to do? Cheering that the savior is coming to save us from our retardedness and show us what´s good for us? Definately not…
    Especially not when one of those groups is lead by a such a nasty hatemonger who just wants to pleasure his own perverted ego.

    You really should try to understand that it is not only possible but outright reality, that people who aren´t “insert one of your nasty names” or anyhow involved in any kind of Hugo-politics aren´t likely to see you as the good guys, but rather as the opposite, especially when they read the things the mentioned hatemonger has been writing on that topic.

  157. “It was especially humorous when after I pointed out Scalzi called his self-promoting lists “pimpage,” one user said that only meant Scalzi was saying, ‘Please consider me.’ Immediately following that he said that Brad may have said, ‘This is only a recommendation,’ but what he really meant was, ‘I’m pretty sure you’ll vote as instructed.'”

    “Forget what X said, we all know what X really meant” is one of the classic ad hominem argument tactics, the more so because (like all claims based on invisible-cat logic) it works perfectly both to disqualify gaffes from your own side and good points from an opponent’s. I cannot say I have only ever seen one side use it, but I can say I usually see one side relying on it a heck of a lot more than the other does.

  158. Aischylos, describe it in Foz Meadows terms. When something is the norm, it’s invisible. It’s taken for granted. You might not be interested in it or care, but it is comfortable for you. Any change in that status quo seems like a needless disruption because the status quo was a nice place for you to be. For Foz, bless him, it’s all about how hostile it was just to be unacknowledged as a gay man… the comfortable “default” didn’t include him. Everyone has their own particular reason for feeling as if they don’t belong, but somehow this doesn’t translate into any sort of empathy or understanding that there is a difference between inclusion and exclusion.

    It actually is possible to be inclusive of some people without being exclusive of others. Now in the article linked in comments above, Foz is pretty clear that it’s not just important to be inclusive but that it’s important to carefully examine everything in order to be certain that, for his example, a white male protagonist is not a symptom of an inadvertent return to previous default assumptions. In other words, it’s not sufficient to be inclusive, but it is necessary to be exclusive.

    Now I’d truly love to ignore politics… I’m perfectly happy to leave mine elsewhere… and I’d love to continue to ignore Foz Meadows and his notion that thought-policing fiction is a normal and important thing to do. But it’s clear that restraint and calls for restraint are one sided. I can agree wholly that conventions should be welcoming places for all fans and I can agree wholly that we should all concentrate on the fun and stories and goofiness and deep thoughts and just relax and enjoy ourselves. I can agree to leave a whole huge list of things as “off topic/off limits” but at the very least I’d like the same consideration.

    I *have* kept a whole huge list of things “off topic/off limits” for which the only thanks I’ve gotten is a “default assumption” that I don’t exist.

  159. Andrew, thank you for your recommendations, but I’m specifically looking for 2015 publications that I can nominate for the Hugos next year. I’m particularly interested, right now, in the short fiction categories: short story, novelette, novella. Any thoughts there?

    That said, I’ve purchased THE CHAPLAIN’S WAR and HARD MAGIC, the first of the Grimnoir books, on your recommendation. I love time travel stories, so I’m going to give the Williamson a try (that is, I bought it and it’s high in the TBR mountain), even though it doesn’t sound much to my taste (I’ve been surprised before). BETTER TO BEG FORGIVENESS sounds like SO much not my taste that I’ve reserved it at the library instead of buying it — as I’ve also done with the two Charles Gannon volumes you suggested. I already own THE FURIES OF CALDERON and THE FOLD, so I’ll move them up in the pile.

    I read a lot, but I don’t read particularly fast (I average about two books or one book and a couple of magazines a week), so don’t look for reviews on this stuff too terribly soon. But I will read them and review them at my site. If I’ve been missing out on good stuff, I really do want to know about it! Thank you again for your help.

  160. Oh, and Andrew, I forgot (sorry for the double post): I did not vote “No Award” for any novel. None. My choice did not win (I voted for Kathryn Addison’s THE GOBLIN EMPEROR, which I thoroughly enjoyed). I haven’t yet read THE THREE-BODY PROBLEM, much less its sequel, though both are on my shelf.

    (If you haven’t guessed by now, I have a pretty extensive home library. When we moved into our current home four years ago, we had 350 boxes of books. I suspect it’d be closer to 500 boxes today, despite buying lots of ebooks instead of hard copies of late. I’m a bibliomane of the first order!)

  161. Alex, I responded to your post, but the response apparently got eaten by the internet. I’ve got ARCs of the first two books you mentioned, and will read them sooner rather than later. I have had SHADOWS OF SELF on pre-order since April, and am looking forward to it. As to the Weber, should I start that series at the beginning, or just jump in with HELL’S FOUNDATIONS QUIVER?

  162. @Aischylos: Your distaste for Vox Day’s statement regarding ‘blowing a smoking hole in the Hugo awards’ strikes me as strange because the actions of the No Awards voters have made that effort 100% certain to happen. I’m kicking myself for having the integrity to NOT vote this year when the opposition had no similar integrity. I mean, they put ‘No Award’ over Jim Butcher. Maybe I just like Butcher too much, but that told me everything I needed to know about the people trying to protect their territory and, incidentally, what they really thought about slate voting.

    Compounding that was the self-important, self-congratulatory backslapping going on … ugh. It gave me douche-chills. Spending $50 to pee in their collective Wheaties would be a bargain at twice the price. I will not miss the next go around.

  163. @Terryweyna: Start at the beginning, otherwise you’re going to miss out on some stuff.
    @Andrew: Out of curiosity, did you vote for the Hugos, previously?

  164. For everybody who continues to toss in their sentiment of support, THANK YOU! I really appreciate it! Absolutely! I wish WordPress would let me “like” all of your responses! I’ve read every single one. You all humble me.

  165. Thanks, 60guilders. Off to the library I go. Actually, come to think of it, I may have some of that series lying around here somewhere, which would be even easier.

    Tom E., a question: Did you think this particular Butcher book was worthy of a Hugo, or are you angry because you like his work and think well of him generally? As one who has read only the first book in his urban fantasy series, I thought it sort of weird to see Skin Game on the list — it’s hard to vote up or down on a single entry in a series unless you’ve read the whole thing, and even then, I probably wouldn’t want to see it on a ballot unless it was so amazing that it stood head and shoulders above everything else in the field — and I haven’t heard anyone say that about Skin Game.

    Let me give you some comparisons: I love Seanan McGuire’s TOBY DAYE series, and thought that THE WINTER LONG, which was published last year, was brilliant, wrapping up lots of threads into one lovely bundle, threads that have been hanging since the very first book. But I wouldn’t have nominated it for the Hugo, because no one who hadn’t read the entire series would have been able to understand why it was so great. (I can’t wait for THE RED ROSE CHAIN, which is due out on September 1 — I’ve got in on preorder.) Same goes for M.L.N. Hanover’s urban fantasy series (which didn’t have a new entry last year, if I remember correctly, but you get the idea).

    Recently, I’ve been reading my way through Ilona Andrews’s MAGIC series, even reading all the short stories and novellas that are spin-offs, and I’ve been having a great time with them. But they don’t strike me as Hugo-worthy, either as a series or individually. Same goes for John Scalzi’s REDSHIRTS — I enjoyed it enormously, but I wouldn’t have voted for it. (On the other hand, LOCK IN would definitely have been one of my nominees this year, if I’d nominated; it’s excellent, and explores themes I haven’t read about elsewhere in a very science fictional manner.) I guess I think that a Hugo winner has to have that extra something that positions it head and shoulders above everything else written in the field that year. Is that, ultimately, what differentiates us, or am I misunderstanding you? Because I think I hear you saying that a good story well told is enough — and to me, it’s not. (I apologize if I’ve misunderstood you; I am sincerely trying to tease out the differences about the works, instead of the politics.)

  166. For a fitting analogy try to imagine, that the majority of the people didn´t care about politics, about SJWs, progressivism, traditionalism, diversity, non-diversity and whatever.
    But then suddenly a group appears and declares that those people were basically retarded and had been tricked by a some ominous liberal conspiracy and for that reason they would now terrorize the Awards to show them whats good for them, and whoever doesn´t like that is of course a stupid so called “SJW”/”i forgot the other nice word” and is of course part of the mentioned conspiracy.

    A while back, before Sad Puppies 2, somebody on Tor posted a screed calling for an end to binary gender in Science Fiction (here). Larry Correia, the original Sad Puppy posted a response (here), stating that the ultimate goal of any author should be to write an enjoyable story, and if you put politics before story (which, ultimately, is what the people demanding all science fiction not include binary gender are doing) you’ll end up with a worse story. He didn’t say stories that included non-binary genders were bad, mind you, just that shoehorning unneeded things into a story to meet a political agenda often leads to worse stories. And he got insulted for it. Take a look at who was attacking Larry, and what they said about it, and tell me that they’re really all about Science Fiction and not politics.

    For that matter, take a look at Orson Scott Card. I’ve never been a particular fan of his works, but his status as a prominent Science Fiction author is certainly not in doubt, judging by the awards he racked up. Are the people calling for his head apolitical Science Fiction Fans, or are they political partisans?

  167. @terryweyna Check out John C Wright’s “Somewhither” I’ve only read the free sample from Amazon so far, but I bought it based upon that. It’s eBook only, btw. $5/cheap!

  168. Viktor, I wasn’t able to find the “free sample” to which you refer. As I’ve heartily disliked Wright’s other works in recent years, I’m very reluctant to spend my money on this one. My library doesn’t have it. Indeed, no library in my state seems to have it (I looked for a possible interlibrary loan). So that one I can’t do. I’m sorry.

  169. There was a movement, however brief, dedicated to “rescinding” OSC Hugo’s because of his political views…

  170. David Weber (Honor Harrington), Eric Flint (1632 universe), David Drake (Hammer Slammers), and S. M. Stirling (Change series, Draka, etc.) have each written outstanding series that have legions of fans yet not one of them has ever been nominated for a Hugo. That’s why I supported SP3 and will support SP4.
    Go to the Baen free library to get several books by Weber, Flint, and Drake.

  171. @terryweyna: Up until several months ago I thought an erudite group of professors selected the Hugos. And the reason I never saw anybody I read win a Hugo was because my taste was too low brow. My first reaction to seeing Jim Butcher was, “Hey, I know that guy! He writes good stuff!” I have not yet read Skin Dancer, though. So if you tell me it’s just an awful creation that deserves to be placed under No Award, then I guess I’ll have to consider your argument. Is that your argument?

    My problem was not that Butcher didn’t win a Hugo. My problem was that No Award placed higher than he did. That tells me something. It tells me that a group of people were willing to disrespect him, and the fans that nominated him, because they didn’t like his tangential association with the Puppies. Well … what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. I don’t care for a lot of the people who seem to be influential on the opposing side. And, since one good turn deserves another, I will feel no guilt about slate voting ‘No Award’ next year if that turns out to be the best strategy.

    As for the Magic series by Ilona Andrews, I would *absolutely* vote that a Hugo. I can’t believe you even mentioned it. The fact that you did makes me think you’re Good People even though we appear to be on opposite sides. Are we having a moment, here? That series is one of the most (if not the most) entertaining fantasy series I’ve read in a long time. Is it going to redefine gender roles and raise my consciousness as a human being? No. Do I want it to? No. I want a really good read for my money, and that series delivers.

  172. An interesting data point for you. I live the the San Francisco bay area. There is a group of about 60 libraries, most in the bay area, but some in the central valley where you can get them to send a book your local library does not have. My local libraries did not have copies of Chaplain’s War, I checked what they call “Link +”. Of those 60 libraries only one had Chaplain’s War. That was the Sacramento library (in the central valley). No library in the entire bay area, 5 million people, and home to many SF fans had a copy. Perhaps an example of not reading what is not “correct”.

    So I called up my local library, left a message about the book, and got a message back that you might have a new sale. Talked to a librarian who is interested in science fiction at another city, got him to look up your book on Amazon, and show him the book. He put in a request to have them get the book.

    I thought this was an interesting example of how one person can make a difference, and how pervasive the left’s control and assumptions can be. Library purchases are important. People see books they would never know about. One person can make a difference. You have made a difference. Thank you for your service in both ways.

  173. @Aischylos, I think there is merit to that idea actually. It’s quite possible, maybe even probable, that the No Award block was quasi-organic and that lots of neutral people stood up against the perceived invader. So ask yourself why they saw the Puppies as an evil invader instead of the noble rebel alliance. I’m not saying Puppies are either here ( I of course side with rad and Larry ), I’m just saying they could have been perceived either way. The obvious answer is that these ignorant neutrals only got their info from The Atlantic, The Guardian, io9, EW, etc. How many average SF/F nerds care much about politics and know what Breitbart is? How many of them would have known how, or even been inclined, to do their own research and make sure what EW was telling them wasn’t correct? So when the majority of articles are on the mainstream liberal news, is it any wonder that a big influx wouldn’t be even the slightest bit impartial ( arguably through no fault of their own )?

    @Stephen, yes, I’m well acquainted with that tactic. I haven’t posted much here, but a few times on Larry’s site and a lot on Twitchy and other news outlets.

    @Terry, I appreciate your candor, and I’m sure many people tried to vote honestly for what they felt was quality. And No Award is definitely a useful tool at times. I don’t fully agree with how some people use it. Since the Hugo is supposed to be the award representing the best of the year, obviously some years will have stronger contenders than others. While contenders from the current year can be compared to last year’s, it’s not always fair to expect them to be notably stronger or better. Rating something below No Award for me means it’s not only weaker than past works, it should not have been nominated. To do that to over half the nominations means either the year as a whole had incredibly weak works, or the nomination system is broken.

    @Tom, you’ve hit one of the big things I’ve been bringing up the last few days. So many people are focusing just on the winners. I think relatively few have actually looked at the voting results, or better yet done some number analysis on them. This has nothing to do a SP related work not winning the category. It has everything to do with the placing and the vote counts. Not a single Puppy nominee scored higher than No Award ( exception to the movies and TV shows ). Not a single one!

    Now for the sake of argument, let’s say the Puppy Kickers are right and the vast majority of voters actually reviewed the works fairly and still voted for quality. They all just thought the Puppy noms were dreadful, or at best mediocre. Then they point to Guardians of the Galaxy as if to say, “See! One of your noms was good and it won. Everything else was just horrible. So everything was fair.” Now I’m not saying that I know everyone, nor how everyone prefers their SF/F material. However I have quite a few fiends, family members, and associates. For the life of me I can’t think of any of them that have absolutely flawless taste in movies, but horrible taste in literature, art, and every other form of media.

    In this supposedly random grouping of 5000+ voters, more than 60% of them aligned perfectly with each other across multiple categories. That’s incredibly unlikely to naturally occur given how widely taste and preference vary in something like literature. Skin Game was the closest in the Fatal Five categories to beating No Award, and even that fell short by 674 votes. That’s more votes than half the 2013 Hugo winners amassed in total to win. Others lost by 3000 votes. 3000! An organic voting result should have more overlap. That doesn’t mean a Puppy pick should have won, but you would expect to see at least some of them finish above No Award. You would also expect to see a non-Puppy pick finish below No Award. That neither of these cases occurred is what makes the whole thing look very suspicious.

    The only way I would expect to see such a number disparity as this is if the ultimately winning work was something so great, so impressive, so downright awesome, that the thought of voting against it was insanity. These are once in a generation type works. In this particular case, with No Award, it’s inverted. They saying these works were the worst offering of a decade or more.

    Larry and Brad ( and others, of course ) are very successful writers. That means they have no small level of talent and work hard. Which suggests that they would have a good idea as to what quality writing and story-telling are. So voting No Award above all their picks means a number of talented, successful writers ( and their fans ) lack the critical skills to pick even one work that is award worthy, even given 75 chances to do so. Not only that, but over 50 of their picks ( the remainder after the movies and the blank spots on the slate ) would be some of the worst garbage produced in years. Even Vegas wouldn’t make odds on that.

  174. @Eric:Why they are perceived as invaders? Quite easy, because they made it very clear that they want to manipulate or in case of the RB even outright sabotage/destroy the Awards. Of course they stated reasons (the ominous liberal conspiracy etc…), but the one clear fact that lies on the table is the attempt of manipulation/sabotage.
    To catch up the rebel-comparision: When you blow up a building and hurt people better don´t expect anybody to be pleased, no matter how justified you think that was.
    Concerning the media: Sad puppies.made their intention of manipulating the award in favor of what they perceive as rightful very clear, Rabid Puppies the same with their sabotage. This is the fact that those “ignorant” people see; no Guardian, Atlantic or whatever needed for that, as both groups stated very clearly what they intended to do, as said. What i therefore cared about is that somebody wanted to manipulate/sabotage the award, and i rejected that attempt. I didn´t even read the newspapers on the whole topic…
    Well, and as i´ve already mentioned: Vox Day and his Rabid Puppies made picking the sides VERY VERY easy for almost everyone. Seriously, do you really think, anybody, as neutral as he might have been, could feel even the slightest bit of sympathy for whatever cause you have after reading just the tiniest bit of what this guy writes on the topic itself and in general (besides the fact that he is one of the most despised persons on the internet, which many people probably knew him for)?
    I´ve seen people here pointing out that Sad Puppies != Rabid Puppies, and well, quite obvious true, but i´d argue that for most people the connection between those two groups is… confusing, to say at least. We saw cooperation, talk, solidarity, distancing, alienation, vague statements and more, but nothing really conclusive, so the de facto conclusion was “cling together, swing together” (if this is the correct analogy to the saying in my mother language).
    If Vox Day just jumped on the puppie-train unasked to pull off his ego-trip, than you guys had a whole lot of bad luck, but whoever has even the slightest connection to this guy, shouldn´t expect to be welcomed anywhere with sympathy, but instead with fierce resistance. If you can´t understand this, then you probably have no idea, how huge the amount of contempt for this guy is.

    Generally, i can´t speak for the media or for everbody else, but at least for me the situation would have been different without the Rabid Puppies and i´d argue that i am definately not alone with this stance at all. I really think that we would at least have seen FAR less “No-Awards” without them. You may see this different, but as said, then i think you completely underestimate the public contempt for Vox Day.

  175. Just a suggestion to perhaps address one of the issues about the SP and RP slates / lists / recommendations (whatever you want to call them) that some fans objected to. Perhaps SP4 should not just nominate 5 novels / novellas / novelettes etc. Nominate 10 or 15 or more. Not only will that publicize more good stories worthy of consideration but it will totally eliminate the argument that the SP are attempting to stack the nominations. The Locus list (the only other list I am familiar with) usually recommends about 40 novels and dozens of shorter works. Doing this this year I think would have completely defused the controversy at least as far as the SP recommendations are concerned though RP would be another matter. There really should be a middle ground here that the majority of fans could agree on.

  176. @Aischylos:

    Please, write “Vox Day” again. You’re totally going to convince everyone that it’s really all about Vox Day because you typed his moniker ANOTHER TIME. And those of us who went from bemused to annoyed to involved are REALLY going to care this time that some people HATE him SO MUCH. In fact, I recommend ANOTHER media hit piece just to convince everyone about what a BAD PERSON he is.

    Or are you incapable of reaching the simple, logical conclusions that (a) He doesn’t care, and (b) neither do we?

    Brad, on a personal note – Thank you for running SP3. I picked up on the pile of shenanigans reading MHN posts, but it wasn’t until reading the Making Light “Oh lordy lordy the *right people* didn’t get nominated and that’ll be official Monday (but we’re not actually saying that wink-wink-nudge-nudge)” reaction to this year that I saw how rotten the whole tree really is. So from the guy who bought the entirety of the Dresden Files because of all this brouhaha, good on ya. Your reputation is solid with the people who really matter in all this – your friends, fans, and the folks you helped convince. The naysayers are the last gasp of a dying social philosophy. Forget them.

  177. Chauck, no one thought that everything would get on the ballot. Honest it was a somewhat horrifying surprise. In any case it couldn’t be undone could it. Agreeing thatthat it would do better to not have that happen again doesn’t really solve the problem either though I appreciate that you’re trying to be constructive. There really is nothing we can do that would make the people who believe
    the Hugo belong to them happy except go away.

  178. Brad, you are an honorable man and under extreme provocation you behaved admirably. Your opponents, on the other hand, are vile invertebrate slugs and they behaved as shell-less land mollusks inherently must, they left a trail of slime on everything they crawled over.

    I may be mistaken, but I believe in 2016 they will find out what block voting actually looks like. Not the anemic circle-jerk that they’ve employed for years but the industrial strength variety.

    They may need some more asterisks.

  179. I will build in the far land.

    Let’s please just do this! Even if next year we managed to take the Hugos, the large mass of SJWs also voting would mean that our least favorite pick would inevitably end up the winner, rather than the most deserving work.

    Much better to have an award of our own. I’m sure we can come up with some rules to mostly exclude the SJWs from participating. And let’s call the award the Larries, because he deserves the recognition for being the first to recognize the necessity!

  180. The more I think about it, the more I like it.
    We can start from a clean slate (Heh! SJW-head exploding!), get rid off all the non-relevant categories, and really make it our own award with stuff which matter nowadays, rather than back in the 50s.
    Best series
    Best e-book / self-published work
    Best Christian novel
    Best blogger
    Best online community

  181. @Julie Pascal

    “No one thought that everything would get on the ballot. Honest it was a somewhat horrifying surprise. In any case it couldn’t be undone could it”

    That’s my take; the Puppies’ campaign was a victim of its own success, and provoked a far bigger backlash than there would have been had there only been a maximum of two or three Puppy Picks in each category.

    This quote from an (anti-Puppy) post by Elisabeth Bear on Charlie Stross’ blog is significant.

    Also, with a little luck, most of the record ~6000 Hugo voters (or even better, most of the record ~11,000 Worldcon members!) this year will turn out and nominate and vote, which would be an absolute game-changer for the awards, their legitimacy, and their relevance. It could be a renaissance for the Hugos, in point of fact, and the deliciousness of that emerging out of attempts to co-opt or destroy the awards is indescribable.

    Wasn’t that the actual goal of at least some of the Puppies?

  182. @terryweyna

    The most obvious nominee for Best Novel next year will be The Dark Forest, which is the sequel to The Three Body Problem. I really don’t want to see Daredevil get overlooked for Short Form Dramatic Presentation, so I hope people coalesce around a particular episode to nominate. I think The Martian is probably a lock for Long Form Dramatic Presentation. It would be nice to see Andy Weir accept the Hugo, even though he won’t technically be a winner of the award.

  183. Pingback: Hugos Aftermath Round-Up » NukeMars.com

  184. Let’s please just do this! Even if next year we managed to take the Hugos, the large mass of SJWs also voting would mean that our least favorite pick would inevitably end up the winner, rather than the most deserving work.

    Much better to have an award of our own. I’m sure we can come up with some rules to mostly exclude the SJWs from participating. And let’s call the award the Larries, because he deserves the recognition for being the first to recognize the necessity!

    I hope I speak for a lot of people here when I say “Nuts!” to your suggestion.

    The only reason the Hugo has any value is that it has a history, and at one time could be said to represent the best Science Fiction and fantasy. There are still a few people out there that think seeing “Hugo Award Winner” means something on a book cover. Eventually, that will no longer be the case, at which point the award will be no better a judge of what Science Fiction is worth reading than recommendations from someone you trust, and likely worse. I know which people making recommendations most match my taste; an aggregated award or a fan award for an unknown group of fans loses that value.

    Second problem, is that I want the best Science Fiction, not the best group Science Fiction. What matters is, is the book enjoyable, nothing more. Any litmus tests don’t work. The more fans, the better. Fans here for the politics are an incredibly small sub-group of total fans, any large enough award will make small-group political bias ineffective of moderating the outcome of the award.

    Serious question: you are a false-flag SJW Troll, right? The handle and the suggestion for Best Christian novel were dead giveaways.

  185. Yes, I think troll. This:
    I’m sure we can come up with some rules to mostly exclude the SJWs from participating.
    being the giveaway. For them, it’s all about who/whom. They’re obsessed with excluding, so naturally they think our goal is to exclude people too.

    —–

    @Tim Hall, if all those people had voted honestly for their favorites, you’d be right: it would have been a renaissance for the Hugos. Unfortunately, we know from looking at the No Award figures that most of them weren’t voting honestly; they were acting as dogs-in-the-manger (irony noted) to prevent the award from going to anything liked by the Unterfans.

    —–

    The most obvious nominee for Best Novel next year will be The Dark Forest, which is the sequel to The Three Body Problem

    Is it that good? I haven’t read it yet.

  186. I think Tim Hall has an excellent point. Much disinformation has been spread about the motivations and/or “agenda” of the puppies –sad, rabid, fluffy or whatever — but none of that message would have had legs if it wasn’t for the fact that several categories were a clean sweep, 100% puppy-supported nominations. Sure, there was some anti-puppy sentiment last two years, but nothing like the tsunami of bile that poured out following the nominations this year.

  187. “That’s my take; the Puppies’ campaign was a victim of its own success, and provoked a far bigger backlash than there would have been had there only been a maximum of two or three Puppy Picks in each category.”

    Really? They did that already, it was called Sad Puppies 2.

    And fits that put my nephews to shame were thrown all over fandom.

    Dav

  188. @Andrew

    Not on anything like the same scale as this year. There was a big stink about Vox Day getting on the ballot, but in the end his novella was the only Puppy nominee to finish below No Award.

  189. When some of the same actors were behind both No Award campaigns, the only thing this year’s nominations results did was cloak their bigotry in a tattered guise of respectability. The vote buying, calls of racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.. was the same playbook as last year, ramped up by an order of magnitude.

  190. From speaking to many friends who consistently voted ‘No award’ against works from the slates., the most common motivation was to ensure that a perceived attempt to use slates in the nomination process to game the system did not succeed.

    I have nothing but contempt for your insult to my intelligence. There is no way that Skin Game was unworthy — indeed, it is a travesty that the Dresden Files had been overlooked for so long — and they put it below No Award.

    That was an act of war. You put an Open to the Public sign on your clubhouse, and then tried to keep me out. Me! A lifelong fan of spec-fic! You tried to keep me out, from nothing more than spite, just because I wasn’t part of the in-crowd.

    For that, next year, I will burn your precious clubhouse down to ashes.

  191. @ Tim Hall

    And yet the calls for No Awards was there.

    Look, you can protest all you want by saying “Just get a couple of awards nominated and it will be fine.” And you’d be lying. We all saw how SP2 was received, if you think that if SP4 were to only get a couple of works nominated and the protests would be equal or lesser to what happened with SP2, I’ve a bridge in Brooklyn for sale.

  192. @ jaed

    RE: The Dark Forest. I can’t speak to the quality of the translation, but my Chinese-speaking friends say the trilogy gets better as you progress. I ranked The Goblin Emperor above The Three Body Problem, because I figured Cixin Liu had two more potentially better novels coming out, whereas The Goblin Emperor was a standalone.

  193. @jaed

    And please give Daredevil a chance. I think the show is one of the few TV shows that handles religion in a realistic way. Yes, it’s a superhero show, but the hero is Catholic, and his priest either knows or strongly suspects (You’re never quite sure.) that the guy that he’s talking to is a vigilante superhero.

  194. Tim Hall… it’s certainly what I had been saying over and over and over again. Others did, too. And no one bothered to tell me I was off course or ever disagreed, so I feel safe to assume it was a reasonably general sentiment. When the “other side” started getting people to join what I said, certainly, and what I remember others saying, was good! More and more and more. This was assuming they’d actually vote for authors and stories, of course. More is better, more people, more participation…

    But it doesn’t matter how often you say something if people only hear what they want to hear and repeat to their friends only what they want to repeat to their friends.

  195. I have to wonder what people are reading that they think 3BP is the best novel of the year. The characters are wooden, the plot only advances in fits and starts, and only at the will of the aliens. It had some novel ideas, but was burdened by poor characterization and plotting. I’m giving it some benefit of the doubt due to the translation, since much of it reads just like english language newspapers in china, so it must be a form that is familiar to his readers. But the whole thing is “tell tell tell” and no “do.” It’s one of the most passive things I can remember reading in the last couple of years. The only character that was at all interesting was the ‘fixer’ cop, and he’s tangential to the story at best.

    I’m thankful to the puppies campaigns for introducing me to Jim Butcher. There were several other authors in the noms that I’d like to continue reading. I’ll admit the Anderson was a tough slog. It was one of an ongoing and quite long series right? All that exposition and ‘catching up’ was tedious. Turns out I don’t enjoy reading JCWright. Well done, but not my taste. Not the worst thing evah, though.

    I’m thankful to the puppies for letting fans know that they can vote for the Hugos. I never would have known or done so despite reading and watching SFF for over 40 years.

    I’m angry with the NA voters, and all the frequent posters on the other side who somehow think that MY vote and MY membership are not important and shouldn’t count. ONE requirement for membership- sign up and pay the money. My vote, based on my taste, is EXACTLY as valid as anyone else’s, whether I’ve attended cons or not, whether I’m fen or not. And MY vote was based on reading all the works nominated, and most of the withdrawn work as well. If I didn’t know any of the noms I didn’t vote in that category. All the NA voters who didn’t read the noms should be ashamed of themselves instead of high-fiving each other.

    The utter lack of simple reading comprehension and laziness on the part of the SJW posters is truly stunning. The same lies and misrepresentations keep getting repeated despite really clear posts explaining the opposite is true. I always thought, as a fan of SFF, that my fellow fans were likely to be well educated, open to new ideas, and intellectually curious. Turns out that they are completely unwilling to ACTUALLY READ the posts by Larry C and others, instead preferring to get their info 2nd 3rd or 4th hand. Turns out that they simply refused to read work that they were TOLD might be bad, almost as if they thought it would give them cooties, so that they could judge it for themselves. By not reading the nominated work, they failed in their duty as judges. (I read all the works, even knowing that some of it wouldn’t be to my taste, and that I would find some offensive and tedious, based on last years noms.) That is part of the role of ‘judge’ even if the judging is voluntary and self selected. Where is the concept of fairness? To cast a vote without reading the noms means that you are voting based on something OTHER than the quality of the work. How could it be any clearer than that?

    I’ll vote again next year, and I’ll nominate too. Will I be nominating stuff like Dinosaurs or “I’m a gay liar” or “The world just ended but I care more about my dead EX-girlfriend and myself than the LIVE child right in front of me” or any thing AT ALL that doesn’t have science or fantasy in it? NO, because that’s not what I read. If they get nominated anyway, I’ll read them and judge them according to my taste. But because I take the job seriously, I WILL read them, or I won’t vote that category.

    And I encourage everyone to do the same. Read a bunch of stuff, nominate what you like, read the stuff that gets on the ballot, and VOTE with integrity and honesty.

    nick

  196. “This quote from an (anti-Puppy) post by Elisabeth Bear on Charlie Stross’ blog is significant…”

    I marvel at how Bear and Stross were targeted for annihilation during Racefail, and are now among the most eager zampolits working for the folks who tried to destroy them. So were the Nielsen Haydens, come to think of it. What the heck happened?

  197. Brad, your post brings to mind what Lois Bujold had to say about the difference between reputation and honor.

    You, sir, have demonstrated repeatedly that you are an honorable man. The CHORFs have demonstrated repeatedly that they are not.

  198. I marvel at how Bear and Stross were targeted for annihilation during Racefail, and are now among the most eager zampolits working for the folks who tried to destroy them. So were the Nielsen Haydens, come to think of it. What the heck happened?

    In the end, they loved Big Brother… :-/

  199. Thanks for that link, Wash. Good stuff there, and as you said, quite fair.

    @Aischylos, *sigh* you’re still just not getting it. You’re talking about the perception as it is. I’m asking for people to examine how it came to be this way. The answer is in the media’s presentation to it. Of course most people don’t understand the difference between SP and RP, because no one on the left-controlled media bothered to make any distinction other than to say they were related. Of course many people think the Puppies are trying to manipulate something, because that’s what is being reported. It could just as well been said that the Hugos were getting manipulated for years and the Puppies are trying to get them back to neutral. But it wasn’t. Unless you were following the authors themselves, the only thing you were reading is that a bunch of racist white guys were trying to destroy the Hugos, all of which is a lie.

  200. Washburne, thanks for posting the link. It’s amazing to me that Cathy Young can do more actual journalism in a single article, than the people who wrote three dozen hit pieces scattered across 5 months, put together.

  201. Thanks Brad, you did good. This last year may have been tough on you, but for me it was a year of unmitigated fun, watching the chorfs nearly strangle themselves on their own vile bile. Next year is in Missouri, close enough for me to attend. Hmmm, tempting. Never been to a Con. Maybe it is time.

  202. Hey Brad,

    Glad that is over. The problem is that you went to war without a cause – other than to perhaps create a niche market for yourself. There was nothing to fix or to cure. There was only people enjoying the convention they attended and voting for the SF/F they liked.

    You and Vox and Larry decided that you would blow that up. And you tried. You tried to game the system. And you had some success. If you look at Amazon Sales Ranking the #11 sales rank is a guy named Andy Weir. He would have probably won the Campbell except that you connived with Vox Day and Larry to get your friends nominated. Amazing. You sold your soul. You saddled up and road shotgun with a man who thinks others are sub human.

    I hope the extra sales are worth it. And to Andy Weir – sorry dude. You were just a casualty of a war without a cause by those without a conscience.

  203. Nick said:

    “I’m thankful to the puppies campaigns for introducing me to Jim Butcher. ”

    If you found Jim Butcher because of the pups, good for you. Butcher is a remarkable talent and represents an evolving SF/F genre. Nothing old school about Butcher.

    It is a shame that he got tarnished with the Puppies Brand. If Worldcon ever passes a rule for a best series award Jim would be a natural.

  204. Hmm. The Puppies must have really gotten under SJW75126’s thin skin considering it made over 40 posts in one thread at MHI and is now here.

    Go spin your lies somewhere else, no one on the Puppy side GAF.

  205. Eric on said:
    “Thanks for that link, Wash. Good stuff there, and as you said, quite fair.”

    Eric:
    You’re welcome.

    Brad R. Torgersen on said:
    “Washburne, thanks for posting the link. It’s amazing to me that Cathy Young can do more actual journalism in a single article, than the people who wrote three dozen hit pieces scattered across 5 months, put together.”

    Brad:
    Yeah, but she was actually trying to present information. The others were part of a propaganda campaign. That’s a much more comfortable exercise for the kind of publications involved. Nevertheless, some information is getting out. And it’s spreading. It’s like trying to start a fire with wet wood. The smoke gets in your eyes and lungs and it’s difficult to keep it going and takes painstaking effort. But when it finally starts burning on its own it’s a thing of beauty and it sheds a lot of light and warmth.

    Best of luck.

  206. Nancy said:

    “no one on the Puppy side GAF.”

    Amen Sister Nancy. That’s the truth.

  207. “It is a shame that we are going to tarnish and hound him for being liked by Sad Puppies. If Worldcon ever passes a rule for a best series award Jim would be a natural, if he’d refused and distanced himself.”

    Fixed it for you.

  208. @SJW75126

    Yes, it would have been nice to see Andy Weir win the Campbell, but I’m guessing he’s fine with just rolling around in all of the money he’s making (and will continue to make through the end of the year).

  209. Notice, that SJW’s “side” had no idea Andy Weird existed when Andy was indie published. Always, the Trufans are a day late and a dollar short in this regard. Anyway, SJW, maybe if you troll me a little harder, Michael Rothman’s kids will magically love Worldcon. Yah think?

  210. People who fight to defend their tribe, their nation or their family are heroes – win or lose.

    People who identify as fighters, who believe that fighting makes them better people, who therefore walk into downtown bars and pick fights with that bar’s regular crowd, are jerks.

    People who walk into bars, pick fights with the regulars, lose badly, and then stagger out of the bar whining “I give up on those people! I could not save them from themselves!” are Brad Torgersen.

  211. Roosevelt was right:

    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

  212. Riley37, could you possibly concoct a worse analogy?

    I was going to take apart your claim but remembered SJWs have no concept of logic or reason. You’re just a bunch of assholes who scream about compassion and inclusiveness, but only if it is done your way. Way to burn down the village to save it.

  213. Hey SJWnumbers trolled me!

    Oh boy, Butcher wasn’t TARNISHED by SP, he was glorified by it. And he has sold at least 5 additional books so far, and it’s pretty likely I’ll end up buying ALL of them, since I can read faster than even John Ringo writes. Found Ringo thru the SPs too. Really sucks to be them huh?

    I guess Seanan McGuire is tarnished by me buying all her books too. Or Wen Spencer. I guess they’ll have to return my money since I’m wrongfan. Or you know, maybe they’ll keep it and just keep writing. Or maybe you’ll have to stop reading them since one of the wrong kind of people likes them and gives them money. I read them because, guess what? I like the stories and characters. I can separate the politics and the author’s beliefs from that. If their political beliefs overwhelm their ability to tell a good story, I’ll stop.

    But hey, what an awesome way to attack authors, if I was inclined to attack them, which I’m NOT, being that that is a SJW tactic. All one needs to do is have the wrong sort of person endorse a book. Vox Day LOVES Sheri Tepper! All three of her fans gouge out their eyes and burn their copies of her books. Success!

    UNLIKE the SJWs you’ve self identified with, I can and do read things by people I might not like personally. My beliefs are firmly enough held that exposing myself to other ideas won’t hurt me. After all, I read EVERY nominee this year, and all the ones I could get for free last year. Other than mild anger that I’ll never get that time back, I’ve experienced no other negative symptoms!

    And while I have seen that it is a lost cause, I’ll try to help SJW ###s out. Our problem was not that ‘members of a con voted for what they liked.’ (to paraphrase) Our problem was that they voted for cr@p that had all message and no SF or F in it, AND HELD THE WINNERS OF THAT AWARD UP AS THE BEST IN SSF. It is and was clearly NOT the best in SSF, but the stuff a VERY small clique liked (presumably) and voted for. I’ll go even further and suggest that if you want an award for those kinds of works, ones that put the SJW agenda ahead of storytelling, character, inventiveness, and science-fictional or fantasy elements, GO RIGHT AHEAD. We will take the Hugos BACK to being for the best in SFF, instead of the best in trite, tired, and predictable gay, transgender, antihuman stories that MIGHT in the last sentence FINALLY include a fantasy element.

    I’m not gonna hold my breath.

    nick

  214. Were it not that it would offend the sensibilities of this forum’s host, I’d be swearing up a blue streak right now on a bunch of posts that made it to my email but have since been deleted from this site. I do not need people on “my side” (and how sad it is that we’re talking about sides) throwing gasoline on an already raging fire. And I would also be swearing at the angry posts that responded to the angry posts, which are equally combustible (and also largely deleted). I’m pretty tired of all that stuff, wherever it appears. And Brad, respectfully, I don’t think heading up the Sad Puppies in 2015 is the kind of action that warrants the Roosevelt quote.

    It confirms my concern that we’re all talking past each other. Can’t we just talk about books and stories? Seriously, I want BETTER Puppy stuff on the ballot next time. I mean, maybe you’re right and I’m missing some Hugo-worthy stuff because I never see it. That’s why I’ve been asking for recommendations here — and I note that, aside from Brad, no one has given me a recommendation for a novella, novelette or short story, or even any novels published in 2015 (except for Cixin Liu’s new book, which I have and will read — as soon as I finish reading the first one; there are piles upon piles of books I want to get to around here).

    Tom E., just for the record, I didn’t place Jim Butcher’s book under No Award, as best as I can recall. (I believe I left it off the ballot entirely because I hadn’t read it, just as I left THE THREE BODY PROBLEM and Kevin Anderson’s book off.) I think most folks who did rate Butcher’s book that way did so not because they didn’t think it Hugo worthy (though I suspect that it is not, for the reasons cited in my earlier posts), but because they were voting against the whole idea of slating.

    Nick, you mentioned that your vote should count as much as the vote of someone who voted “No Award.” It did. All the individual votes were weighed as one vote; no one person had more power than did any other single person.

    I am sincerely trying to open a dialogue, and, through that dialogue, read and review books and stories that I might otherwise miss. The site I blog for gets a fair number of eyeballs, and I could perhaps increase the audience for Puppy books. But if we keep yelling at each other instead, that’s never going to happen.

    So: what in this year’s issues of Galaxy Quest really hit on all cylinders for you? What in Analog caused you to say “Wow!” when you got to the end? What self-published piece really got you excited? What book published by Baen so far in 2015 did you want to read so much you stayed up all night?

    Isn’t this, at the core, about the books and stories? You all keep saying that. So give me a good reason to nominate one of your favorites and vote for it next year.

  215. Julie Pascal is accurate; she read my post and noticed what I actually said, rather than responding along the lines of “it’s not one of us, must be a SJW!”. I am more of a social justice *cleric*, since I do most of my social justice work as a church volunteer.

    Anyone can walk into a public bar and buy a drink, but the regulars are an in-group. Anyone can join the WSFA’s official membership, but the regulars are an in-group. I became a Supporting Member of the WSFA in 2015, but I’m not a regular. I had a vote, but I am not a pillar of the community. I do not confuse or conflate those two things, nor do I resent the difference. GRR Martin has shown up, served the community, and over time became a regular, then a high-status regular. I have not, and Torgerson has not. My opinions did not sway hundreds of votes, as Torgersen/Beale’s opinions did, nor thousands of votes, as Martin’s opinions did. Martin gave physical awards this year at the Hugo Losers Party; rocket-shaped, but a visibly different rocket than the Hugo. He earns and re-earns the respect and trust of many WSFA regulars, and also the respect and trust of non-regulars (outsiders, mere voting members) such as myself.

    Roosevelt has some eloquent words on critics vs. those who spend themselves in worthy causes. I think that Roosevelt was stipulating, all the way through that passage, a worthy cause, a moral compass more selective than “They have an in-group and I’m not in it! They have a chocolate cake, and they cut it THEIR way! I’ll show them MY way! RAWR!”

    Julie Pascal, are you familiar with the article on Geek Social Fallacies? You might find this useful, or you might disagree radically, or both. http://www.plausiblydeniable.com/opinion/gsf.html

  216. @Brad R. Torgersen

    “Notice, that SJW’s “side” had no idea Andy Weir existed when Andy was indie published.”

    I don’t think ANYONE really knew Andy Weir existed until he was indie published. More accurately, I think he was SELF published. He posted The Martian in installments for free online, then people asked him to make it available as a single unit, so he made it a 99 cent Kindle book. At that point, the book sort of caught fire, and he ended up with a traditional publisher and a movie deal. I don’t think he ever really tried to get an agent or send the book to a traditional publisher, so I don’t think you can imply that he was shunned by anyone for his political views. To my knowledge (and based on interviews I’ve read with Weir), he didn’t send anyone any short fiction prior to the publication of The Martian. Nobody’s “side” knew who he was until The Martian came out as an e-book.

  217. “Kate Paulk’s description of what SP4 will look like is up at File 770.” Really? Isn’t File 770 where the SJW brownshirts hang out?

  218. “I want to see the voting numbers both for nomination and for actual voting go up above 5,000 up above 10,000, because the more people who are involved and who are voting the harder it is for any faction including puppies to manipulate the results,” Paulk says. It’s a worthy goal.

  219. Riley, If many of us (beginning with Larry) hadn’t explained this whole thing as turf-defending by people who chose to see us as outsiders, wrong-fans and more, that we were trespassing where we aren’t welcome. And the argument of “but if they’d only been nice about it instead of rude” doesn’t really fly or “if they didn’t try to take over no one would have been mad” isn’t right either. There is no way, no amount of politeness that would have worked. A completely *silent* rally of people that offended no one… invisible people in that bar, as we’ve sort of been for a long time… that got some unexpected stories by the wrong authors would *not* have been received with welcome.

  220. Sad Puppies 4 sounds like a tap-out to me. Did anyone else get that impression?

    I thought SP4 was always going to take that approach from the beginning.

  221. Riley: if you’re butthurt that Wrongfans messed with your thing, I don’t have a lot of sympathy. It’s a (theoretically) democratic system that (again, theoretically) allows a majority to select what is “best” in the field. If you want Wrongfans out of your thing, lobby at the business meeting to have the democracy closed. Install a panel of judges you esteem worthy. The award would actually be more honest that way. NO AWARD was the tantrum of people who pat themselves on the back for being inclusive, but who were then mortally offended that other kids have come to play in the Hugo sandbox. Ultimately, you won the raw numbers game — ironically voting in lockstep, whereas the data tells us there was no lockstep from the Puppies side — but I think you lost the PR game. Too many neutral onlookers saying, “Yeaaaaah . . . you kinda proved the Puppies’ points for them.”

  222. Two things:
    1. Rileyc is the quintessential modern-day leftist–attacking the establishment when it’s not him and complaining when it pushes back, then, once he is the establishment, he becomes sacrosanct.
    2. Can the word “butthurt” please be put to rest in an unmarked grave dug by convicted murderers who will then have the death penalty administered to them by guards who are all illiterate mutes who don’t know sign language?

  223. “I thought SP4 was always going to take that approach from the beginning.”

    Why? I’m just curious. I thought SP3 was a good faith effort to do the right thing, but after you get kicked in the teeth maybe it’s time to reevaluate your tactics?

    SP4 sounds like, “We don’t want to offend anyone, so we’ll just conduct a big SFF poll and see what happens.” I was hoping for a bit more spunk.

  224. Tom E., I have no insight on Kate Paulk’s thinking, but my best guess would be that the recommendation list would NOT be a slate, and therefore the nominees would not be subjected to “No Award.” Makes sense from my perspective.

    Brad, I don’t think anyone’s offended that you “came to play in their sandbox”; it was the slating that offended. Well, that and the low quality of the nominees. Didn’t Alastair Reynolds write anything last year, or Peter Hamilton, to name just two space opera masters? Didn’t Gene Wolfe or Dan Simmons write anything, if the criteria instead is that the author must be conservative? Wasn’t anything written that was fun as well as of incredibly high quality? Because really, the novellas, novelettes and short stories that were nominated were not of high quality. That’s why I voted No Award in those categories — and really, I’ve yet to see anyone defend the nominees except John C. Wright and Vox Day.

    I understand the hurt and anger about long-form editor and novel. Me, I didn’t think Kevin Anderson’s novel was worthy of a nomination, and I’ve already expressed my reservations about Jim Butcher’s nomination (that is, no one has suggested that Skin Game, in particular, is outstanding, but rather the argument seems to be that his body of work warrants an award; but that’s not how that award works). I voted for Sheila Gilbert for best long form editor, as I’ve already said. So no, we SJWs aren’t monolithic.

  225. @terryweyna: No offense, but as someone who admitted they No Awarded more than a few categories yourself it doesn’t surprise me that you’re all in favor of the Sad Puppies rolling over and playing dead. I’m more interested in what actual SP supporters think.

  226. @terryweyna If the attacks on the Sad Puppies were only because of the slate and it sweeping things, how do you explain the attacks on the Sad Puppies last year and the year before?

    If you think that part of the criteria was that the Author must be Conservative, then you have been snowed by the SJW propoganda. Go research the Authors that SP3 suggested, you will find a wide range of politics, and a few that you won’t be able to discover the politics of.

  227. Tom E., I’ve explained (and explained and explained) that I “No Awarded” only those categories where the works were uniformly of poor quality. As mentioned (at least three times now), I voted for Kary English’s story, “Totaled,” because I thought it quite fine, and I did not vote for the winning novella (a non-Puppy pick) because I thought it terrible.

    I’m not at all suggesting that the Puppies should roll over and play dead — not by a long shot. I’m suggesting that you recommend works that are of indisputably high quality. Don’t pull an “in your face” move like slating six works by John C. Wright, none of which is any good. (I know — that was the Rabid Puppies, not the Sad Puppies — but still, it’s what you all gave us to work with.)

    LET’S TALK ABOUT THE BOOKS AND STORIES, not about the politics. Why shouldn’t that be an easy thing to do? It’s supposed to be what we’re interested in, right?

    davidelang, the first Puppy year was otherwise known as “Get Larry a Hugo,” as I recall, and was born strictly out of Larry Correia’s sour grapes that he didn’t win the Campbell Award. That did not sit well at all. The second year of Sad Puppies was deliberately intended, not as the nomination of good works, but as a means of making regular Hugo voters angry (indeed, my recollection is that Larry Correia specifically said that the nomination of Vox Day was deliberately intended to make people angry, not a vote for quality). Make it ABOUT THE BOOKS, and you’ll not just be making a point, you’ll be introducing a whole new audience to good stuff. Why would that be a bad thing?

    And no, I don’t think that the Sad Puppies slate this year had as a criterion that the author had to be conservative. It was still a slate, which is what made people angry. Some of us, nonetheless, still chose to read everything and vote for what we considered worthy; that’s what I did.

    You guys sure know how to ignore an olive branch.

  228. @Tom E.,
    I’ve been *regularly* lurking all around both group’s sites, starting prior to the Hugo awards… picking my personal investigation of the situation back up from a year-or-so prior, (life got in the way ::grin:: … ).

    I’ve always been somewhat anti-Progressive, having learned of the damage the Progressives of the late 1800’s to early 1900’s did to the Country, the adherence to the Constitution, and the welfare and orderliness of our society… they did here the same systemic damage to the Civil Society that the Fabians did overseas.

    These things I learned at the knee of my Grumpa, Grampa Grumpus.

    He taught his children and grandchildren to fight like the dickens if people wronged you and principle was involved.

    I have little time unapportioned, but I’d like to become a Sad & Rabid Puppy, if that’s possible.

    How does one go about becoming a Sad Puppy, anyway?

  229. Terry – I have trouble taking your argument about quality seriously when Butcher and Weisskopf lose to ‘No Award’. If I understand correctly, No Award only won 5 times prior to this year … but the bar was suddenly raised for some reason. *wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge*. I suspect the quality standards will be equally high for any SP4 selections that accidentally make it through the nominating process next year, as well.

    Anyhow, I’m not going to pretend like I’m non partisan. After watching what happened this year I plan on supporting whatever Vox Day throws together as long as it keeps the No Award wagon train rolling. The fact that SP4 seems to be punting is a bit disappointing, though.

  230. Kate is a mad genius. If the set up is as she said, eventually puppy kickers will catch on to what she has done.

    Until then… What’s the best of this year’s books that you’ve read so far? I find that almost none of the books I read were published the year I read them.

  231. Tom E., as I have explained repeatedly, Jim Butcher and Toni Weisskopf lost to the “no slates” contingent. I agree that votes against them, for the most part, were not based on quality — that’s a stance I understand but disagree with.

    However, as I have also said more than once, my feeling is that Jim Butcher’s novel was not worthy of a Hugo Award. It did not stand out as especially exciting or groundbreaking in his series — which might itself be worthy of a Hugo, so why not try that? (Though I think Butcher might have a winner this year with THE AERONAUT’S WINDLASS, which is jumping up and down on my shelf and demanding to be read NEXT. That would be persuasive save that approximately 1000 books are doing that.) I voted against Toni Weisskopf because I do not consider her a particularly good editor, from the very bottom (typos, grammatical errors) to the very top (the choice of works, which don’t suit my taste; they clearly suit yours, so your vote would be different from mine).

    I’d sure love to see a movement start that makes this truly ABOUT THE BOOKS AND STORIES. I’ve offered to be a spokeswoman for what you consider the best, reading and reviewing it on my group blog, Fantasy Literature. It doesn’t seem like anyone here wants to take me up on that, which genuinely makes me sad.

    Julie, I’ve been asking for recommendations since I first stepped into this forum. Brad gave me some good recommendations, including the Butcher mentioned above — he also suggested SON OF THE BLACK SWORD by Larry Correia, HELL’S FOUNDATIONS QUIVER by David Weber, and SHADOWS OF SELF by Brandon Sanderson. None of these has been published yet. Me, I’d also like some recommendations of short fiction, especially because I write a Magazine Monday column for Fantasy Literature, and we’re also starting a new feature soon in which any number of us reads and comments on a particular story, especially those that have been published electronically only. No one has yet recommended any short fiction. I’d start reading my backlog of Analogs, but most of the fiction there seems second-rate to me — we subscribe because hard SF is my husband’s choice (I’m more of a fantasy kinda woman, though I am omnivorous in my reading — I’ll read anything that stands still long enough, pretty much).

    Please, can’t we stop being angry at one another and start talking to one another? Do we really want war again next year, without even giving civil discourse a chance? And I am by no means suggesting that this should be a one-way civility; the non-Puppies need to shut up and read, too.

  232. @terrywayna ” I didn’t vote for Toni Weisskopf because I find Baen books to generally be lacking in the editing department, from the mechanics of copy editing (lots of grammatical and typographical errors get through) to the choice of material to publish, which is not to my taste, for the most part.”

    Bahahahaha – really? You find the editing under and by Weisskopf to be lacking? The editor who worked with LMB on her 4 Hugo winning novels? That editor? Riiiiiiight. Even GRRM – no friend to this process, this effort or this part of fandom – stated for the record that Weisskpf was dumped on.

    By people like you. Just like you.

    So pull the other one. It has bells on it.

  233. @60guilders “2. Can the word “butthurt” please be put to rest in an unmarked grave dug by convicted murderers who will then have the death penalty administered to them by guards who are all illiterate mutes who don’t know sign language?”

    I am not particularly attached to that word, and frankly the mechanism that you propose in order to retire it meets my criteria for ‘that sounds like the start to an interesting pirate story!’ so I am persuadable but your vehemence prompts me to inquire into the wellspring of your (anti)passion for the word.

  234. Mike M., you have a point about Lois McMaster Bujold, but good heavens, the cover art on that last one was just terrible. (And the book definitely wasn’t one of the high points in the series.)

    I like Sheila Gilbert’s work better than Toni Weisskopf’s. That’s what makes a horserace, right? I mean, I’m not required to vote for a particular single author of the five the Puppies put on the ballot — I’ve met your requirements if I vote for one, haven’t I?

    Perhaps this is better: for the most part, the books Weisskopf chooses are not to my taste. That’s why I didn’t vote for her, but for Sheila Gilbert. I generally prefer DAW books to Baen books. It’s a general rule, but what else am I supposed to go on for this particular Hugo?

  235. @terrywayna – you are putting up with a hostile, angry and suspicious group with grace. I appreciate that, even if I disagree with your editor vote selection.

    With regard to great books that will be eligible next year, there are many to choose from. You have acknowledged a few, which I will repeat because they are *very good indeed (YMMV). Not all are pure horror or fantasy but do include elements of each:

    *Seveneves by Stephenson.
    *Son of the Black Sword by Correia
    Working for Bigfoot Hardcover by Jim Butcher (might be a novella candidate)
    Aeronauts Windlass by Jim Butcher
    Killing Pretty by Rich Kadrey

    If I think of other candidates I will revisit this thread.

    With regards to ‘getting over it’ and talking about books – I love books, but I shan’t forget the things I saw while I watched the awards this year.

  236. Thank you for those recommendations, Mike. I just bought Working for Bigfoot on your recommendation. I’ve got Seveneves, Aeronaut’s Windlass and Killing Pretty (I love Sandman Slim!), and plan on reading all of them (though I’m behind on Sandman — hope I can catch up — the last one I read was Aloha From Hell, and I think there have been a few since then). I intend to read Son of the Black Sword, too — I could have sworn I had an eARC around here somewhere, but now I can’t find it. Any idea who I would contact at Baen to get an ARC?

    And Mike, if you watched the Hugos online — I could easily say the same thing about what I read in the running comments alongside the video feed. I’d rather explore what we have in common than hang on to grudges, though.

    And thank you for the compliment. For the most part, this forum seems very civil, and I really appreciate that. It’s why I picked Brad’s forum over any other — and, indeed, the Sad Puppies over the Rabid Puppies. There is common ground here, and I hope we can find it.

  237. @terryweyna “Because really, the novellas, novelettes and short stories that were nominated were not of high quality. That’s why I voted No Award in those categories — and really, I’ve yet to see anyone defend the nominees except John C. Wright and Vox Day.”

    I actually enjoyed several of the short stories/novellas/novelettes. I loved Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium; The Plural of Helen of Troy; and Totaled. I admit I didn’t care for Pale Realms of Shade, but quite liked The Parliament of Beasts and Birds and On a Spiritual Plain. I despised The Day the World Turned Upside Down, and wasn’t overly fond of the rest of the short fiction. But I could see how others would like them and recognized the talent involved in writing the stories. As usual, YMMV.

    I’m guessing feelings are running pretty high right now–no one likes having salt rubbed in their wounds and it may take some time for emotions to settle. I sure would like to talk about stories, though…does anyone know where the best places to find them are? I usually find them years later in anthologies. Not very helpful when it comes to Hugo nominations, I’m afraid.

  238. catrinket, there are so very many wonderful magazines published on the web these days, and they’re mostly free if you read them online (stories are released gradually throughout the month). You mike like Mike Resnick’s Galaxy’s Edge, for instance. I read Lightspeed, The Dark, Uncanny, Apex, Beneath Ceaseless Skies (this might also be a good one for your taste, as it features adventure fantasy) and others. You might want to take a look at Fantasy Scroll, Gigantosaurus, See the Elephant, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet — oh, there are so many!

    My favorite short story so far this year is “Folding Beijing.” Here’s a link: http://uncannymagazine.com/article/folding-beijing-2/ If you like it (or if anyone else reading this likes it), please let me know — I’m really curious as to where our tastes overlap, if anywhere.

  239. @terryweyna

    I read it, and it’s very interesting. Definitely worthy of being added to a list of the best stories of the year. Probably even Hugo material (although if it were nominated, it would probably be compared to The Day the World Turned Upside Down).

  240. @MikeM: The reason for my vehemence in this matter is that “butthurt” is childishly dismissive, and is more about getting under someone’s skin than any kind of actual discussion. “I’m annoyed that xyz happened.” “Well aren’t you just butthurt over xyz.”
    I would recommend retiring the words “racist” and “misogynist” in the same fashion, except that those words, while having been horrifyingly mishandled actually do accurately describe certain paradigms without taking the discussion back past middle school.

  241. @terryweyna

    You wrote, “No one has suggested that Skin Game, in particular, is outstanding.”

    I guess I’m no one, since I’ve been saying from its release day it’s the best of the Dresden novels – and I own all of them. And all the related short fiction.

    No, to be honest, many, many people have suggested it’s outstanding. That’s why of its 3202 reviews on Amazon, 86% were five stars. For reference, Three Body Problem only has 63% 5 stars, The Martian gets 75%, The Goblin Emperor only gets 58%, Ancillary Justice 51%, Redshirts 37%.

    It is an outstanding work and more deserving of its place than any of the other 4 nominees – and moreso than any other work in recent years. Period. It may not be to your taste, but you are in a very small minority.

    To be fair, I would have ranked it only the second-best book of 2014 behind Sanderson’s Words of Radiance. And so, apparently, would readers, as it draws 87% 5 star reviews. It is to the detriment of both the Puppies and the Kickers that it did not make the final 5 (even if he, like Wells and Tayler, recused himself from being nominated).

  242. @Alex: For what it’s worth, I found Skin Game very interesting but overall found Ghost Story a little bit better. Tastes vary, of course. But all in all I did like Skin Game and would place it in the top 5 best books in the Dresden series.

    On the other hand, and not to disagree too much with your argument, but when you’re using Amazon reviews as a method of comparison between novels you should keep in mind that most people who review a book that’s part of a series probably bought it because they liked the series already (and therefore it’s highly probable that they liked the book and gave it good ratings), whilst people who reviewed stand-alone (or first-in-a-series) novels like The Goblin Emperor, Ancillary Justice, or the Three Body Problem could have bought the book without knowing much about it and, of course, some liked them and some didn’t.

    On the gripping hand, that theory doesn’t quite explain how Redshirts got such a low score, so…

  243. Terry, I can’t give you suggestions for short fiction because I actively dislike short fiction. If you can’t find what you like in the various magazines, chances are you dislike short fiction as well. What I don’t do, though, is imagine if only I found some *good* short fiction that I’d like it or that I dislike short fiction because it is BAD.

  244. As for longer fiction… does anyone who attended WorldCon have an idea why extending eligibility didn’t pass?

  245. @catrinket

    You can get subscriptions to the paper copies of both Analog and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, just to name two. Those are also in my local Barnes & Noble, so if live near one of those, you can see if they carry them.

  246. @julieapascal

    Good question. I would ask Mike Glyer of File 770. You may or may not like his blog, but he was at the business meeting and seemed to have pretty good notes.

  247. There’s usually short fiction on the front page of Baen.com. It’s generally tie-in to a novel that’s coming out. Come to think of it, I liked a story that Ryk Spoor had up there last year.

  248. @Luis,

    “when you’re using Amazon reviews as a method of comparison between novels”

    Her point was that no one argued Skin Game was outstanding. I merely noted that thousands on Amazon had and gave the other rankings as reference. Not a perfect metric, but among the least bad we have access to. Her opinion – and that of the typical Hugo voter in recent years – is very much a minority one.

    As for Ghost Story… I didn’t hate it (finding out Dresden gets screwed and manipulated even in the afterlife was amusing), but it’s generally among the least-liked of the Dresden novels. 57% 5 stars, for relative placement in the series.

  249. I take it back… I have read a “this year” book. Wood Sprites by Wen Spencer is out this month. I read (and paid for) the e-arc. Spencer is one of the few authors that I *must* get the e-arc because I just can’t wait. I loved the book. It’s just crazy. (I thought it ended a bit abruptly but it was the ARC so, who knows if that is exactly the same… or maybe I just wanted more?) I can’t even *describe* the crazy. I’d also like to hear from someone who reads it *without* reading the previous related books. I think we tend to assume that the earlier books need to be read first, but not necessarily so. I just wish I had the option of reading the book “fresh”, but I can’t. Someone who *can* should do that.

  250. @Frank Probst
    @julieapascal

    Thanks for your recommendations!

    When I think of the Hugo Awards, I think mainly of the short fiction. I’ve only read four of the Hugo Award winning novels (out of all nominated novels, I’ve only read eleven). But short science fiction is my first and best love. I think I probably have over 200 anthologies stretching from the 1940’s to the present.

    Ack! I don’t know how to end this post…I have no wish to re-hash recent events, but ignoring them doesn’t seem entirely proper, either. There are deep hurts and I feel them as keenly as anyone else. I don’t want to wallow in it, though, so I’m de-lurking to try to find common ground and rapprochement of sorts.

    Perhaps this isn’t the place for it–it’s not my blog after all; but I concur with Terryweyna’s views that Brad’s blog is a civil place and seems an appropriate forum. If I’m out of line, please let me know….

  251. @terryweyna, if you voted for Sheila, then you aren’t the group we are so upset with. The group we are so upset with is the group that voted no-award above every puppy nomination in every category (except the dramatic presentations, everyone agrees those categories don’t count)

    Even if you hadn’t voted for any editor, but had merely left the category blank you aren’t part of the big problem. As Chaoshorizon anaysis shows, there were many groups

    Core Rabid Puppies: 550-525
    Core Sad Puppies: 500-400
    Sad Puppy leaning Neutrals: 800-400 (capable of voting a Puppy pick #1)
    True Neutrals: 1000-600 (may have voted one or two Puppies; didn’t vote in all categories; No Awarded all picks, Puppy and Non-Alike)
    Primarily No Awarders But Considered a Puppy Pick above No Award: 1000
    Absolute No Awarders: 2500

    The analysis shows that the Rabid Puppies were a pretty solid slate vote (easy to identify with a narrow range of uncertainty)

    The Absolute No Awarders were also a solid slate vote against any puppy vote.

    It sounds like you are are in the next category up, the 1000 people who were primarily no awarders, but considered a puppy pick above no award.

    While nobody is happy at the large number of no awards, this group of 1000 shows that there is at least room for discussion and honest evaluation of works. This would be a VERY different conversation if they and the rabid puppies were both eliminated. The nomination vote totals show that even without the Rabid Puppies, most of the Sad Puppies would have still been high vote getters and may have still ended up on the ballot (it only took 210 votes to get on the ballot even with the RP)

  252. Julie, I actually really enjoy short fiction and read it a lot. I’m asking for recommendations because I pretty obviously read short fiction that is different from that which the Puppies consider the best in the field. I’m trying to close that gap. And — alas — Wen Spencer’s WOOD SPRITES was originally published in hardcover in 2014, and is therefore not eligible. It sounds like fun, though. Do I need to start with the first in the series, or can I just dive in with this one? (I’m usually a completist — I prefer to read a series from beginning to end — but if you tell me that’s really truly not required here, I might just start with WOOD SPRITES instead of going all the way back to TINKER.) And good heavens, but those covers are terrible.

    Alex, I don’t think a five-star rating on Amazon means a book is outstanding; it means the reader loved it. I love plenty of things I don’t think are particularly outstanding, don’t you? For example, I love urban fantasy as a genre, but I’ve yet to read the urban fantasy that I consider Hugo-worthy.

    catrinket, in addition to Analog and F&SF, you can usually also find hard copies of Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine on newstands and at B&N.

    david e lang, thank you, but I found a publicist’s name and emailed her to ask for an ARC. If I don’t hear back, I’ll see if I can’t get the eARC. I never heard of making eARCs available for a price like this — usually eARCs are reserved for reviewers. And this — “While nobody is happy at the large number of no awards, this group of 1000 shows that there is at least room for discussion and honest evaluation of works” — is precisely why I’m here.

  253. All right, if I’m gonna post here one more time (why am I doing this?), I might as well say a few things which probably haven’t been said enough by Puppy-kickers:

    1. Brad Torgersen, you took the high road in not nominating any of your own works. This is possibly an improvement on Larry Correia’s motives in past years, and absolutely stands in positive contrast to Beale’s nominations of Castalia Press. You took him into your inner circle (he’s 1/5 of the ELoE, right?), but at least you have better ethics than he does.

    2. You have the guts to take direct criticism on your own blog.

    3. You, personally, aren’t motivated by racism or sexism. You know this, but maybe you need to hear that some Puppy-kickers also know this, in the wake of inaccurate coverage of SP.

    Then again, if you admitted that there are people who understand that you’re neither racist nor sexist, and who STILL deeply, passionately oppose SP3, then you’d have to face a more complex and unfavorable reality than “Oh, the people who disagree with me are all knee-jerk ideologues!”.

    You’ve adopted a pravda (an ideology regardless of objective reality) that everyone who opposed SP3 is unethical and/or stupid, all of us without exception, and at some level you KNOW that’s a pile of fertilizer. You’re claiming PR victory and ignoring the Wall Street Journal like Miracle Max with his thumbs in his ears. You read my previous post – except you ignored the parts which don’t fit your pravda. Your Emerald City glasses must have filtered out those parts. I said, three times, that I’m not a WSFA insider, not a pillar of that community, not a “regular at the bar”. You respond to a non-existent straw-man-Riley: “If you want Wrongfans out of your thing…” Nope. It’s not my thing. It’s not yours either. I’m a person outside the bar, who watched you walk into the bar, watched you try to game their system, watched your pet troll backstab you (that was hilarious), and then watched you whine, on your way out, about how the bar’s regulars failed to accept you as their doctor. I paid $40, which makes you and me “a member with a vote” and neither of us “a regular with status”. I listened to regulars who have bought a drink at that bar many times, over many years, mainly GRR Martin; I can see why that community respects and trusts him. Again, it’s not MY community, I’m an outsider, a wrongfan. (Your Emerald City glasses protect you from facts which don’t fit your pravda, and I’m giving them a workout today.)

    You could go to Harlem, walk into a dozen actual bars, tell the regulars that They’re Doing It Wrong, and I’d tag along to watch you get thrown out a dozen times. Not that I’m a regular at those bars – but I do treat the regulars at any bar with respect, without expecting their respect until I’ve earned it over time. If you’re as quick to yell “YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG” when you’re new guy in a military unit, as you were with Worldcon, then I predict that behavior will eventually have consequences.

    I read a fair bit of your blog, and a fair bit of Martin’s. I noticed that you’re fine with “Pussy, tell me where you live so I can come to you with my gun”, and I noticed Martin confront commenters when they were uncivil and also when they were intellectually dishonest. I challenged Martin on his blog about whether Worldcon welcomes gun-enthusiast Mormons as warmly as it has welcomed him, and I challenged you on your blog about “Nutty Nuggets”. I read his response after Sasquan, and I read yours.

    Martin is a bigger man than you are – morally, as well as abdominally. For you, any fight is a good fight, a chance to display valor, whether it’s Iraqi soldiers bravely invading Kuwait (some of them paid the ultimate price) or Americans bravely invading Iraq (same). For Martin, it’s about individuals and communities and actual consequences. Ten years from now and twenty years from now, people will be raising a glass in his memory at Worldcon. Ten years from now and twenty years from now, people will remember you as “that guy who gamed the nominations”. Laura Mixon will still have her well-earned Hugo, and I hope that Jim Butcher gets one soon… no thanks to you and Beale.

    PS to terryweyna: What are you doing here? If you’re interested in stories, come chat on Martin’s blog. You like fantasy stories? Martin’s writing a fantasy series about a civil war – you may have heard of it. Lois Bujold doesn’t fit Torgersen’s standards for Nutty Nuggets, not by a long shot, but she’s written some good stories about exploring and tinkering with the underlying principles of magic, and her characterization’s not bad. You think the WSFA is overlooking well-written stories? Say your piece and you’ll get listeners, as long as you’re not starting with a nomination hijack. Martin won’t call you names and he won’t let me call you names either; he certainly won’t let anyone call you a pussy and threaten to come to your home with a gun.

  254. Alex, I don’t think a five-star rating on Amazon means a book is outstanding; it means the reader loved it. I love plenty of things I don’t think are particularly outstanding, don’t you? For example, I love urban fantasy as a genre, but I’ve yet to read the urban fantasy that I consider Hugo-worthy.

    What qualities does an outstanding book that isn’t enjoyable have? What qualities does a enjoyable book that isn’t outstanding have?

    I’ve been looking over the questions, and the only examples I’ve been able to come up with of something ‘I really enjoyed but didn’t think was incredibly outstanding’ were pieces that appealed to some other area of my interest, like works that blended science fiction and military history, and it was that need for the other interest that made me feel satisfied. Likewise, the only things I think have been outstanding that I can’t reread or rewatch (which is similar to, but not necessarily the same as, ‘don’t enjoy’) have been pieces that have a downer ending, usually a tragically sad one (One friend who’s a big Miyazaki fan described Grave of the Fireflies as “I’m never going to watch it again, but it was worth watching once”).

    The other, related question, is it possible for there to be a work you personally didn’t think was the best or outstanding but you’re willing to consider it acceptably Hugo-worthy based on the reactions of other readers?

  255. “as I have explained repeatedly, Jim Butcher and Toni Weisskopf lost to the “no slates” contingent. I agree that votes against them, for the most part, were not based on quality …”

    Terry – well, it was a bit of a slog, but we finally got there. Maybe you should stop using the Quality argument, since you’ve admitted it wasn’t about quality? Let’s face it, if the Intermediate Testament, written by Jesus Christ himself, had floated down from heaven into Brad Torgersen’s hands it would have been No Award-ed by the fine folks at the Hugos this year. Probably complete with a rationalization, too. “The Old Testament was gritty, and the New Testament was filled with Hope, but this compilation … it just wasn’t Jesus’ finest work. Also, I didn’t like the cover art.”

    @Riley: Can you try to make an argument (maybe a brief one) without using this bar analogy? Who’s at the bar, the regular patrons of the bar, whether George R.R. Martin wants us in his bar, how Brad was refused employment as Doctor of the Bar … WTF? And if you’re going to drag out the Torgersen Axe-Grinding Session for 5 full paragraphs then at least throw in a joke about a Mormon a Jew and a Catholic walking into the bar.

  256. @Riley: Why do you bother? What do you hope to achieve? Do you feel better getting that off your chest?

    Great.

    Now go away. Just piss off, tosser.

  257. Wow, the irony is thick with Riley. Sad part is I don’t think he gets it, even though Julie already pointed it out to him. Hey, let’s try one more time.

    The thing is, Riles, your analogies, your accusations all point to one thing: the Puppies are outsiders trying to pick a fight with the regulars and have no place. The Puppies are the FNG in the platoon and need to learn their place from the veterans. More or less, the Puppies aren’t allowed to have a valid opinion, or don’t deserve to have their opinion heard or considered by others. Ok, let’s run with that.

    First, I think Terry can make up her own mind. She’s been very civil here, and I think treated civil in return. I’ve enjoyed reading her words even if I don’t agree with them all. However, you’re basically asking her, “What are you doing here with the riff-raff?” Once again showing your disdain for anyone who doesn’t agree with you. Unlike GRRM’s site and others, Larry doesn’t moderate his comments and Brad only does a little when things get actively hostile. They’re not trying to shelter the commenters from contrary opinions, exactly as Brad is letting you continue to post here. At others I’ve been actively shut down or harassed simply because I don’t agree with the majority.

    Let’s refer to GRRM, that you so obviously admire. I read some of his responses to this whole kerfuffle too, and I can’t recall him saying that the Puppies aren’t allowed their opinion. He said he didn’t agree with the Puppies, and he thought their actions were wrong, but I don’t recall him saying the Puppies don’t count as being part of the WorldCon. Perhaps I missed it, or simply can’t remember.

    Now, if WorldCon wants to argue that the Hugos represent the award for the very best among ALL of SF, then that means the Hugo represents all of SF fans as well. That includes the Puppies. Now you can try to argue that the Puppies aren’t actually SF fans, in which case I recommend you go look up “no true Scotsman.” However, since the Hugos are supposed to represent all SF fans ( and those fans include the Puppies ), then all SF fans are allowed to nominate and vote for the awards. If you’re trying to say the Puppies haven’t earned their say in the Hugos, then I refer you to a little event about 240 years ago regarding “taxation without representation.”

    The fact is that the Puppies aren’t the FNG. They’ve been around a while, reading and consuming SF work for decades. Just because they’ve gotten more organized and vocal lately doesn’t mean they haven’t been a regular at the bar or a veteran of the platoon. Also, just because TNH, PNH, and Scalzi may be the loudest of the patrons you deem “regulars” does not mean they speak for everyone else. You can’t even prove the rest of the patrons agree with Scalzi et al. All you can prove is that a large number of people voted a particular way, but you can’t prove WHY.

    A more accurate analogy is that a long time salesman at a company, one that’s often overlooked despite making the company a lot of money, speaks up and raises concern that he thinks the company is violating its own bylaws. The PR manager comes over and starts screaming at the employee, asking him how dare he say that and threatens to fire the employee even though the manager doesn’t have that authority. Meanwhile the manager instructs the advertising department to send company-wide emails libeling that employee. Upon seeing these emails, other employees begin to shun the whistle-blower. Some employees never saw the email since they have auto-rules set up to forward internal advertisements to the trash. Some employees see what’s happening, but don’t so anything because they’re scared their own jobs will be at risk if they show support for the whistle-blower. Other employees agree with the whistle-blower because they’ve seen the same things.

    So, you’ve got a few options here, Riley. You can continue to say Puppies are outsiders and that they have no place at WorldCon. In which case you prove the puppies correct when they say, “We and others are not being fairly represented.” Doing so also means you don’t think the Hugo represents all of SF, just the SF fans that worship at the WorldCon alter. In which case the Hugo loses even more prestige than it already has this year.

    Or you can say that Puppies ARE represented by the Hugo. In which case you have to admit that Puppy fans are actual SF fans, and that Puppy fans have a right to nominate and vote for the Hugo. That Puppies aren’t the outsiders. You may not agree with the Puppies actions ( and that’s a whole ‘nother discussion ), but you have to admit they didn’t do anything illegal or against the WorldCon rules, and that they had every right to do what they did.

  258. @ Tom E

    I would’ve No Awarded “The Intermediate Testament, as told to Brad Torgersen” by Jesus H. Christ (Vatican Press, 2016) on account of not having enough fantasy in it. But re-write Saint John’s Book of Revelation as a YA dystopic novel, and I bet it would score a nomination.

  259. Riley37, you had me right through Point 3, and then things started getting really messy. And your postscript completely flummoxed me. I’m looking for recommendations of what the Sad Puppies like, which is possibly different from the recommendations I would get on Martin’s blog (which I do read from time to time). And if anyone here has called me a pussy and threatened to come after me with a gun, I’ve completely missed it. And I do not think that Brad would be okay with that, either. There’s a point at which you just have to stop being angry if only for the sake of your own blood pressure, and I think we’re well past that point. I’d like to try talking civilly, instead. Charles Gannon’s thought along the same line, posted at John Scalzi’s blog, are a far more supported argument for civility, and I recommend it to all.

    Civilis, I think it’d take a treatise for me to answer your questions. But the short answer, for me, is that a book that is enjoyable but not Hugo worthy is one that doesn’t break any new ground. Unfortunately, after that, the best I can tell you is that truly award-worthy stories and novels give me goosebumps. I still remember the first time I read John Varley’s “The Persistence of Vision,” and the feeling I had when I finished the last page — but I can’t explain that very well, and I’m dating myself with the reference in any event. (Not that that means you shouldn’t read the story. Read it! It’s amazing! So is the same author’s “Press Enter.”)

    Tom E., you misunderstand me. For ME, it’s always been about quality. Others — many others — voted against works solely because they were on a slate. I wasn’t one of those.

    Eric, I pretty much agree with everything you said, and not just because you said nice things about me. I agree that the Sad Puppies are absolutely within fandom, and should be welcomed and celebrated as much as any other fans. (I have more of a problem with the Rabid Puppies, for reasons that are obvious when you consider that I pretty much identify as an SJW, and STILL don’t understand why being a social justice warrior is a bad thing — seems like a compliment to me, as I imagine those who walked with Martin Luther King, Jr., when I read those words. I was too young to march with him, but I would have, had it been up to me. I’ve been arguing politics since I was very, very young (my father, whose politics are diametrically opposed to mine, encouraged me to take an active interest from about the time I was 10), and I enjoy it, but can’t we talk about the books and stories instead?

    Gosh, that request is starting to sound pretty plaintive, isn’t it?

  260. ” I loved Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium”

    Okay, so this is going to sound like I’m being an asshole, but I’m honestly curious. What about Ashes… did you like. Was it the characters? The overall plot? The prose? You seem enthusiastic about the story, but I honestly do not understand how. This question is directed at catrinket, but I’d be interested in hearing what anyone who read and liked it has to say.

  261. For what it’s worth, here’s what I said about that story:

    “My favorite of the five novelettes nominated was “Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium” by Gray Rinehart, though it, too, suffers from not being a complete story. The viewpoint character, Cerna, accompanies his dying friend, Phil, to the studio of a Peshar artisan. The Peshari arrived on the planet Alluvium after humans had begun to colonize it, and conquered them. It is now eleven years later, and the Peshari have systematically deprived the humans of their technology — which is why Phil is dying (the medical technology that could have cured him has been confiscated). Phil wants the artisan to prepare a memory-stone, what we would think of as a gravestone, for him. The artisan refuses, regardless of the massive sums Phil offers, and is outraged when Phil explains that his remains are not intended to be part of the monument. But Phil is playing a longer game, one that will continue long past his death, and Cerna is to play a role in it. The trip to the artisan is just Phil’s way of explaining his plan to Cerna.

    “Either the novelette form is too short for this story, or this story is part of a series. Orson Scott Card’s Intergalatic Medicine Show, where the story was first published, doesn’t allow me to search for other stories by the same author; the author’s blog gave me no guidance, either. But this story left me wanting so much more! I wanted to know about the trip to the planet, and why these people (or their parents) chose to take it; I wanted to know about the invasion by the Peshari, and how and why the humans lost the ensuing war; I wanted to know why the Peshari couldn’t simply coexist with the humans; I wanted to know why the Peshari were confiscating advanced technological equipment that would seem to have no warlike adaptations (such as a cure for cancer); I wanted to know what happened after the story ended. There isn’t enough here to tell the whole tale unless it’s nothing more than a teaser for a full novel. It’s a well-written piece that piqued my interest, but it’s not a full story.”

    http://www.fantasyliterature.com/magazine-monday/hugo-nominated-novelettes-2014/

  262. Civilis, I think it’d take a treatise for me to answer your questions. But the short answer, for me, is that a book that is enjoyable but not Hugo worthy is one that doesn’t break any new ground. Unfortunately, after that, the best I can tell you is that truly award-worthy stories and novels give me goosebumps.

    To some degree I understand what you are saying here, and to some extent I disagree, The stories I truly enjoy are those that reach out and touch me on an emotional level, sometimes it’s goosebumps, sometimes it’s smiles, and it’s always the product of storytelling and theme hitting the right notes at the right time. I still read Hogfather every Christmas Eve, because there’s something in it that grabs hold of me. But I find those enjoyable books are also, by nature, excellent books; that grabbing hold of the emotions that makes it enjoyable is the hallmark of an excellent work and an excellent author. As to where I disagree, I can’t understand how your first sentence citing novelty as the mark of an award-winning book and your second sentence citing impact as the mark of an award-winning book can be reconciled.

    I pretty much identify as an SJW, and STILL don’t understand why being a social justice warrior is a bad thing — seems like a compliment to me, as I imagine those who walked with Martin Luther King, Jr., when I read those words. I was too young to march with him, but I would have, had it been up to me

    It may help to take a look at the difference between second and third wave feminism, or look at the tension between “black lives matter” and “all lives matter”, for an idea of where the hostility between the Social Justice worldview and the libertarian worldview comes from. Both sides have a claim to the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., as those of us that consider the tenets of Social Justice to be destructive to society consider “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character” to be a libertarian statement fundamentally incompatible with the group identity politics necessary for social justice politics to make sense.

    but can’t we talk about the books and stories instead?

    You’ve been very civil, but this is originally a political thread. I’m sure there will be several recommendation threads here in the future.

  263. Terry, this is exactly how to have a civilized debate, for which I heartily thank you. There’s nothing so intellectually stirring as different ideas presented and argued. Too many people forget about arguing for/against ideas and instead argue against the person. Again, thank you.

    As for “SJW” in the pejorative sense, I believe that comes from the way the idea itself has been twisted, just as most people calling themselves liberals today are not liberals in the classic sense. They have largely twisted the term so that its connotation is so far from its denotation as to be almost completely corrupted. Someone advocating for true social justice would stand up for the attacked majority just as much as the attacked minority. They would seek for true equality and not for special treatment. They would not seek to shame the majority by using false concepts such as “white privilege” or “white guilt.”

    Now of course, just as you weren’t a block voter for No Award, there are certainly SJWs true to the idea and seek actual egalitarian ideals. However, there are quite a few “SJWs” that I call social justice bullies. Their primary tactics involve mob mentality and shaming people into compliance with their views. Dissent and disagreement are not allowed. Original ideas are not allowed, for fear they may be jarring to one person’s tender feelings. That’s a little exaggerated, but I believe it illustrates the point. I try to be optimistic, so I hope that real, honest SJWs outnumber the petulant vocal crowd that has embraced the SJW mantle but disgarded the actual ideas.

    If you haven’t read the article Brad linked in his latest post, I highly suggest you read it. ( http://fee.org/anythingpeaceful/blurred-lines-the-humanitarian-threat-to-free-speech/ )

  264. @Patrick Spens I don’t think you sound like an asshole at all. “What about Ashes… did you like. Was it the characters? The overall plot? The prose?” It was all of that and a little bit more. I found that I cared about the characters and that they each had an individual voice…even the Peshari. I thought the prose flowed nicely and was able to build a picture in my mind of the setting, the emotion, the strangeness of the aliens and the situation of the settlers and the planet. The plot unfolded and sucked me in and the resolution of the story was satisfying to me (although it did leave me wanting more).

    I don’t agree that it was not a complete story. Sure, he could have gone into a lot more detail…more history, more description, more of what happened after. And perhaps if this had been a novel, that might be a valid (to my mind) complaint. But this story centered on a specific time and action. It wasn’t necessary for full background or what came next. It was the story of finding a way. A way to break free of the enemy…a way forward. It’s not always necessary to see the end. Sometimes it’s just as satisfying to see the beginning of the end.

    I think what I liked best is that I was left with a feeling of hope. Hope that a way to defeat their captors was actually possible. That a notion, a perception realized, could lead to opportunity. And if the opportunity was taken, freedom could follow.

    As I said, I wouldn’t mind reading more about this world, but if this is all I have, I’m well satisfied.

  265. Riley,

    Because the extant Hugo process is a democracy, it’s not a game of Mother-May-I. Nobody has to ask permission to participate in the democracy. I’ve been to Worldcon. I know the biases and the blind spots of that culture. I’ve heard them spoken out of the mouths of the Trufen at room parties and in the suites. Trying to convince the Trufen that a tie-in work or a tie-in writer deserves equal consideration with an original work, is like trying to argue the water back up to the top of a waterfall. There’ll be no convincing that group — I know, I’ve attempted it. But because everyone and anyone has access to the democracy, nobody has to bother convincing the Trufen.

    As for “hijacking” the final ballot, do you find no irony in the fact that 2,500 Trufen (assisted by a few hundred politically-minded hangers-on) actually coordinated to arrive at a single result, whereas the Puppy votes — in the end — were all over the place? In other words, the diversity of the Puppy voters and their tastes was demonstrated by the final numbers; as was the lockstep nature of the NO AWARD block that assembled to vote a party line, in order to thwart the Wrongfen and their Wrongthings.

    The “community” accepts GRRM because GRRM has been there for 40+ years, establishing himself as an El Patron of the establishment. And if — like SFWA — the establishment had a clearly closed door, I am not sure anyone on the Sad Puppy side would have bothered getting involved. Such as the Nebula, which is an explicitly “club” award, for club members only. Whereas the Hugo self-brands as the award of all, but is typically only voted on by some.

    See? Open door. No members-only jackets or secret gang signs required. Or at least that’s the theory — often not supported by experiential evidence.

    For the past two decades, the Hugos voting has been increasingly trending toward swinging the Hugo around as a totem of not just science fiction and fantasy works, but of progressive ideology too. Is it any wonder, then, that the non-progressive and moderate peasants rose up? Sad Puppies was never a top-down project. Sad Puppies merely gave the loose group of disaffected fans (with some ideological hangers-on) a flag around which to rally — versus just grumbling and spitting in the dirt, as has often been the case.

    Your analogy fails because the Hugos don’t belong to a “bar” they belong to SF/F as a whole. For the past two years, the ordinarily silent, more or less directionless and disaffected mass of voters who had become increasingly tired of “business as usual” at the awards, has decided to stand up. It’s more like a football stadium, than a pub. And for a long time, only the portion of the stadium wearing blue, has been loudly cheering and being visible. Suddenly, the portion wearing red also also decided to be loud and visible; and the blue portion had a histrionic fit — and GRRM was like an old, oversized prep squad member, with his lettered sweatshirt and his bullhorn, rallying the blues to defend their turf against the “invading” reds.

    As for the rest of your concern trolling:

    Martin is a bigger man than you are – morally, as well as abdominally. For you, any fight is a good fight, a chance to display valor, whether it’s Iraqi soldiers bravely invading Kuwait (some of them paid the ultimate price) or Americans bravely invading Iraq (same). For Martin, it’s about individuals and communities and actual consequences. Ten years from now and twenty years from now, people will be raising a glass in his memory at Worldcon. Ten years from now and twenty years from now, people will remember you as “that guy who gamed the nominations”. Laura Mixon will still have her well-earned Hugo, and I hope that Jim Butcher gets one soon… no thanks to you and Beale.

    Twenty years from now, Worldcon is probably not going to exist. Its membership is not replacing itself fast enough. And those who are coming into the stadium (on the blue side) tend to be aspiring or new professionals of various descriptions, many of whom have a vested interest in keeping it blue-dominant, and expressly ideological in tone and flavor — because the art must serve the mission of transforming society per progressive activist ideals.

    If the reds are evicted — because of the behavior and tactics of the blues, to include legalistic rodeos by the Business Meeting people — then Worldcon is going to keep dwindling and diminishing until its a shadow of itself. The Hugo, as a thing? Perhaps already fatally wounded by the NO AWARD vote, which demonstrated sufficiently for the universe that the award is precisely about culture and politics — in contradiction to all the Trufen who have claimed its about quality.

    Jim Butcher isn’t the kind of author the Trufen recognize — otherwise he’d have been on the ballot for Best Novel before now.

    Just as Larry Correia isn’t the kind of author the Trufen recognize — without the red fans in the stadium actively putting Larry there. Of course, Larry has said he’s recusing himself, lifetime. He doesn’t care about a silvered rectal suppository (Harlan Ellison’s own description of the Hugo trophy) but Larry does care about the culture of the fans — note the lack of caps-f on that.

    And so do I, frankly.

    And if the Trufen curse my name? Forever? That dwindling lot of folk who felt it necessary to destroy the village in order to save the village? My eyes aren’t looking at them. My eyes are on the bigger horizon — where the actual audience lives. 2,500 people NO AWARDED Toni and Sheila. The subscription base for Analog magazine is ten times that number. And I have three instances of concrete proof that I know how to write works which will please that group — a group far more representative of the big audience, than the small audience that GRRM prefers and lords over.

    I went into this for the sake of the red fans in the stadium — the folks who felt like they had no voice, before Sad Puppies existed. I didn’t go into this in order to make the Worldcon establishment love me. In fact, I think the Worldcon establishment demonstrated precisely why so many of us think the Worldcon establishment has problems. Deep problems. No, they don’t have to like hearing that from me. But as long as their democracy is open to all — and as long as the Hugos broadcast as the award of all — then the “all” deserve a voice, and a seat at the table. Whether the blue fans pinch their noses and say “Ewwwwww!” or not.

  266. Terrywenna, Wood Sprites is a side-novel. (Is that a word?) In any case it introduces new characters and mentions old ones but the plot and events are happening off to the side of the main storyline. It ought to work on it’s own. Some one who read all the others first really can’t tell if it works *well* on its own. I think that it probably will.

    Covers are a whole different issue.

  267. Re: the bar analogy… Understanding that people feel territorial doesn’t give them a moral high ground that must be approached with supplication. Explaining yet again that people feel territorial doesn’t change that.

  268. Civilis, I see what you mean when you say that you perceive this as a political thread. I see it as a thread about what Brad went through in attempting to (as he saw it) open up the Hugos to a bigger and broader audience — so my posts are an attempt to bring the audiences together, help the Puppies find the broader audience they want, and make it more likely that a Puppy nominee might actually win a few Hugos. In other words, I’m trying hard to be constructive, to bring about a raprocchement. Perhaps it’s too soon to be thinking that way — but I’ve read an awful lot of pre- and post-Hugo commentary (it’s like caramel corn — not really good for me, but oddly delicious), and we don’t seem to be talking to each other. Indeed, we’re not only not talking to each other, we’re not even talking AT each other any more; we’re all seeking refuge within our respective groups. That’s not going to make things better for any of us.

    I’m going to decline your invitation to discuss feminism or “Black Lives Matter.” I have extensive experience with discrimination against women, being a female in the legal profession who, even after nearly 35 years of practice and an aging body, finds herself still subject to discrimination and sexual harassment. (Really, I thought that being fat and menopausal would save me from that, but no such luck.) It would be nice to think that people could simply be judged by the content of their character today, but I don’t think we live in that world yet. You apparently disagree, and that’s cool, but we’re neither going to persuade the other, so let’s take that as read for purposes of this thread, okay?

    You said, “As to where I disagree, I can’t understand how your first sentence citing novelty as the mark of an award-winning book and your second sentence citing impact as the mark of an award-winning book can be reconciled,” and I don’t get it. Can’t a work be both novel and have an impact? That’s what I expect of an award-worthy book. I want to be moved both emotionally and intellectually. Here’s an example: Kim Stanley Robinson’s story “The Lucky Strike.” I don’t know if it won any awards, but I think it’s worthy of a barrelful. It’s an alternate history story about the bombing of Hiroshima. Gives me chills even thinking about it. I found a link to a pdf of the story that I hope is legit and not a rip-off: http://poliscifi.pbworks.com/f/robinson1.pdf.

    Eric, respectfully, we disagree about a lot. I do think there is such a thing as white privilege,and especially white male privilege. I base this on personal experience, as mentioned above. (I still vividly remember being told women weren’t tough enough to be litigators in an interview 35 years ago; and I vividly remember the more recent experiences (as in, last year) that I won’t detail.) To my mind, many ARE seeking true equality rather than special privilege. But as I said to Civilis, we’re not likely to persuade each other. We have some areas of agreement, however: I do think some folks get carried away. For instance, I hate the whole idea of trigger warnings. You can’t make it through this world if you’re such a special snowflake that seeing a reference to an upsetting scenario causes you to faint. But this is one of the reasons I have a number of friends who think I’m far too conservative and others who think I’m far too liberal.

    Julie, you persuaded me, and I’ve purchased Wood Sprites. Thank you. I know not to judge a book by its cover, but good heavens, if a cover would ever put me off, that’s one! Glad I’ve got an e-copy instead of a hard copy.

    Someone also recommended the Baen Free Library to me, and I picked up some books there today. As I’ve also purchased a few Baen books recently, including Monster Hunter International and The Chaplain’s War, I don’t feel particularly like I’m taking undue advantage. I’ve got Weber’s Off Armageddon Reef, though I think it’s packed away (I live with more than 15,000 books, as the husband and I are kind of insane about books, and we don’t have shelf space for everything). I also discovered that Baen has a running collection of short stories for the year available on the free library, so I downloaded that as well. Ever more to read! Thanks to everyone who made a recommendation.

  269. Brad, I’m not persuaded that the Hugo Awards have only nominated “blue” works, and progressively more so for the past few decades. Lois McMaster Bujold’s Paladin of Souls won in 2004; what was “progressive” about that book? Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell won the next year — really great book, btw — and there was nothing “progressive” about that novel. I’ve never thought about Robert Charles Wilson’s work, or Robert Sawyer’s, as particularly progressive (in fact, I thought Sawyer’s Rollback was downright offensive in its portrayal of a man cheating on his marriage). Vernor Vinge has won twice during that time, and there was nothing progressive about his books, so far as I know (I’ve only read about them, not the books themselves, so I’m happy to accept correction on this point). Chabon’s book? A straight alternate history. Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book? A fun story with no political content. China Mieville’s The City and The City? No communism preached there, just a really cool, really original story. Jo Walton’s Among Others was a love letter to the genre, and again, not political — it praised all sorts of SF, including works by Asimov, Niven, Zelazny — it was all over the map. Even Ancillary Justice was a space opera; unless you want to call an alien who can’t see gender
    progressive because it uses the female pronoun for everyone instead of the male pronoun.

    And I *really* don’t get how you can complaint that tie-in novels are dissed but then dismiss Scalzi’s Redshirts as derivative. (I enjoyed Scalzi’s book enormously, but would not have voted for it for the Hugo; Lock In, on the other hand, would definitely have gotten my vote this year. I think. I really, really loved The Goblin Emperor.) (I just got, in today’s mail, an ARC of Jonathan Maberry’s Ghostwalkers. Normally you wouldn’t be able to convince me to read a book based on a game, but between Maberry’s name being on it, and your passionate defense of tie-in, I’m going to give it a try. My experience with this sort of book hasn’t been good, though — the Star Trek tie-in by Diane Duane I tried to read was absolutely dreadful, and I gave up about 50 pages in.)

    I get that you’re angry — we all get that the Sad Puppies are angry. But I really don’t think you should continue to act solely on anger instead of constructively. Heck, you and Larry Correia both got nominated for the John W. Campbell Award by the very voters you are now trashing. And to be fair, I don’t hear you saying you are going to act in any way other than constructively — that’s only coming from the Rabid Puppies, and I’ve been one of those people who has insisted throughout this whole kerfuffle (a bad word, but the one that seems to have caught on) that the Sads and the Rabids should be distinguished from one another. Why not learn from this experience, dreadful as it was for you, and make changes accordingly? If you want to give good works more access to awards, do that. Don’t give us a handful of truly awful short fiction by John C. Wright; give us the good stuff, like Annie Bellet’s and Kary English’s story. You can get that kind of work on the final ballot without slating. So go for it!

  270. You said, “As to where I disagree, I can’t understand how your first sentence citing novelty as the mark of an award-winning book and your second sentence citing impact as the mark of an award-winning book can be reconciled,” and I don’t get it. Can’t a work be both novel and have an impact? That’s what I expect of an award-worthy book. I want to be moved both emotionally and intellectually.
    That makes a lot of sense. However, I think the pool of works that are both novel and having an impact is by necessity limited. If that’s the general requirement for being deemed Hugo-worthy by most of the Hugo voting public, the award is going to be rarely awarded even without factoring in bias, political and otherwise.

  271. “Don’t give us a handful of truly awful short fiction by John C. Wright; give us the good stuff, like Annie Bellet’s and Kary English’s story.”

    Uh…I’m a bit of a fan of John C Wright’s stories. Which doesn’t mean I like all of his stuff. But I truly liked The Plural of Helen of Troy and thought the Parliament of Beasts and Birds was interesting and beautifully written (it just wasn’t quite to my taste). What about his writing was so awful? Are you mixing up the storyteller with the story? I get that quite of few people do that, but I don’t usually pay attention to that kind of thing (at least–I try not to). If we discard stories by people who do things we don’t like; especially as the sensitivities of everyone increases (as they seem to do so more and more these days), the list of people that are read (or types of stories that are read) will grow smaller and smaller. That doesn’t seem like a good thing to me.

    I did like Kary’s story and I liked Annie’s as well, but I thought Annie’s wasn’t particularly well written. It seemed a bit amateurish to me. Different tastes, I’m guessing….

    Man, it sounds like I like what everyone else doesn’t like. I’m wondering…what are everyone’s favorites? My science fiction habit stretches back 50 years, so I’d have to give it a bit of thought….

  272. Mr. Torgersen,

    First, though I still think the “left the building” post was whiny… and you jumped to the assumption that I’m a trufan, when I’d stated otherwise, and I hope someday you take off those all-or-nothing Emerald City goggles… and I stand by my response to “Nutty Nuggets”… you’re also the guy who wrote an excellent pair of essays on “Love One Another, It’s the Only Way”. And you’re engaging my ideas, in contrast to bassmanco who dismissively proclaimed “SJWs have no concept of logic or reason” and stopped there. (Really? George Orwell, grandfather of SJWs, had no concept of logic or reason? I’m no Orwell, but categorical hatred is the enemy of the generous heart AND the enemy of the free mind.) So I think you’re badly wrong about some things, and deeply right about others, and thanks for engaging. Respectful nod also to Eric.

    “Your analogy fails because the Hugos don’t belong to a “bar” they belong to SF/F as a whole.” – Well, that’s a first-principles disagreement. The Oscars belong to the Motion Picture Academy, not to everyone who watches movies. The freedom to form a group – and express an opinion, *as that group* and not as anyone else – is fundamentally important. WSFA exercises that freedom and though I’m not a regular WSFA member, I sometimes speak up for other people’s freedoms, as do you. Now, insofar as you’re arguing that WSFA has built up some blind spots, and insofar as you raised your voice *within* WSFA, and encouraged actual SFF fans to become new WSFA members, you have my agreement… as long as you also support Martin and Scalzi and so forth in doing the same thing, that is, encouraging *their* fans to attend Worldcon or become Supporting Members; and as long as you abide by the outcome of the process. Puppies voted in near-lockstep during nominations, puppy-kickers voted in near-lockstep in August, and if you didn’t break any rules then *neither did anyone else*. No Award was built into the system long ago and it’s at least as legitimate as your and Beale’s slates. It’s also as legitimate as the self-destruct on the NCC-1701. Don’t take your moral equivalency and call it moral high ground.

    I honestly wish you good luck in building something else, somewhere else. (Please, please, without Beale next time. I’m not tipping my hat to *his* essay on love.) If you start something which grows as big as WSFA, and if someone comes along and questions *your* status quo, and says it belongs to them too, and you find yourself echoing the Neilsen Haydens… then remember 2015, and take it as a victory that you started something that someone found worth questioning.

  273. PS on “encouraged actual SFF fans to become new WSFA members” – actual as in anyone whose primary motivation is SFF, including people who think that SFF peaked with Burroughs and hate Heinlein for writing about same-sex romances and equal rights, including people whose favorite fantasy is World of Warcraft. You’ve attracted some people who in their own words are just here to watch things burn. *Those* are not actual SFF fans.

  274. PS on “encouraged actual SFF fans to become new WSFA members” – actual as in anyone whose primary motivation is SFF, including people who think that SFF peaked with Burroughs and hate Heinlein for writing about same-sex romances and equal rights, including people whose favorite fantasy is World of Warcraft. You’ve attracted some people who in their own words are just here to watch things burn. *Those* are not actual SFF fans.

    What makes an MMO or an anime or a comic book less an example of Science Fiction or Fantasy? What makes fans of those genres undeserving of the title ‘fan’? More importantly, who are you to say who is and isn’t an actual SFF fan?

  275. Terryweyna, I’m finally at a keyboard so I can ramble far too long about cover art!

    The cover for Wood Sprites isn’t how I picture the twins but I’ve decided that I like it. In fact, I’ve decided that I like the cover for Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance, which is famous for being horrible. I’ve seen “artistic” covers that were wonderful, but I’ve also seen a lot of them that were lovely but had no other real virtue other than being lovely. So I’m sort of finding myself at the anti-snob snob side of the whole issue. The more “illustrative” the cover and less “artistic” the more I’m likely to be interested in the book. The more artistic, beautiful or pleasant, the more doubts that I have.

    I’ll admit it’s not very reasoned but I’ll give an example… I’m at a con (last weekend, actually) and my friend was looking specifically for a book for someone else, for an old woman who wanted to try science fiction again and said she liked science fiction more than fantasy and that she liked dragons (yes, I know). And I was trying to think of something not-too-challenging, but interesting and easy, that I could recommend. And I remembered that an author, a woman I’ve taken classes from and know and like, had written YA novels that might be perfect, so I went to the dealer room to see if they had any of her books. They did. The covers were wonderful, artistic, lovely, and meaningless. No way to tell they were (supposedly) science fiction. I read the blurb… girl leaves home discovers that the outside world has it’s own problems… I trust this author but I didn’t buy the book and it was mostly because of the cover art. The art, though beautiful, was angsty and melancholy. The heroine *might* be adventurous, but it wasn’t an adventurous cover *at* *all*. “So much stuff happens that we can’t fit it all in a picture without being ridiculous” might result in really really bad cover art, but most likely I’m going to enjoy what is inside.

    We finally settled on ordering a “Pet Noir” novel by Pati Nagle, which I’m led to understand is a collection of short stories about a cat that’s been altered to be intelligent and solves mysteries on a space station. The cover art was cute and had a cat and a space station. 🙂

  276. Civilis asks: “What makes an MMO or an anime or a comic book less an example of Science Fiction or Fantasy? What makes fans of those genres undeserving of the title ‘fan’?”

    Why are you asking me? I explicitly included WoW players as an example of SFF fans.

    Attributing positions to people, which those people don’t actually hold, then debating the attributed position, is a tactic which I despise.

    This is your opportunity to either jump to the conclusion that I am asserting that all Puppies, and only Puppies, use that tactic; or, alternatively, to stop using that gorram tactic. Your choice.

  277. Juliepascal, perhaps the old lady who likes SF better than Fantasy, and who likes dragons, might enjoy the Dragonriders of Pern series, by Anne McCaffrey? She’s probably already read it, but that’s the best suggestion I can offer.

  278. Riley, That actually was one of my recommendations, but we were hoping to find a local author. If I can dig up my Dragonsinger/Dragonsong/Dragondrums books I’ll probably lend them.

  279. Why are you asking me? I explicitly included WoW players as an example of SFF fans.
    Attributing positions to people, which those people don’t actually hold, then debating the attributed position, is a tactic which I despise.

    Riley,
    I apologize. I misinterpreted your remarks.

  280. Riley, comparing the Hugos to the Oscars only goes so far, and that’s basically in the prestige. To be a voter for the Academy Awards, you have to be invited by the Board of Governors, get interviewed, etc. To be a voter of the Hugo you just have to become a member of WolrdCon and there’s no restriction on who can do that. The actual nomination and voting process of the Hugos is more akin to the People’s Choice Awards.

    You can say that the Hugos belong to WorldCon, and that of course is true. However, don’t forget that purchasing a membership to the WorldCon means you are now part of the WorldCon, and thus a partial owner of the Hugos. Some people want to argue against certain people joining WorldCon, but still want to claim that the Hugos represent the very best of ALL of SF/F. As I said before, that’s taxation without representation.

  281. I need to find the link to it, but there was a comment linked from File770 back in… March, I want to say? essentially advocating that the Hugos should be cocooned further. People could join Worldcon and become a member, but to nominate/vote on the Hugos, you would have to clear further hurdles. Possibly more money, a requirement to be at Worldcon, some other form of qualification (I seem to remember one idea was in essence a qualification exam – prove your fannishness to some standard). Also a suggestion that anyone who supported Sad Puppies should NOT be allowed to pass any such test.

    Will post the link when I find it.

  282. @Riley,

    “Puppies voted in near-lockstep during nominations”

    False. At least as far as the Sad Puppies are concerned. Here’s the math that demonstrates it.

    We’ll use Larry Correia – on both SP and RP ballots – as the baseline for the combined Puppy nominating vote. That’s 372 nominations, so roughly that many Puppy nominators total.

    Skin Game got 387, which likely means that a number of non-Puppies nominated it. This is to be expected, since it’s the latest in a very popular series by a 15? time NYT best-selling author and it’s had its own media tie-in.

    The next-highest Puppy novel nomination count? 270 for Kloos. That’s a deviation of 27%. If we say there were 160ish Rabid nominators (based on Rabid-specific nominees), that’s roughly 210 Sad Puppies and 110 Sad Puppy votes for Kloos – a deviation from the recommended list of a little over 50% for the next most-nominated work!

    When we go down the ballot to Steve Diamond’s “A Single Samurai,” one of the few Sad Puppy nominees that did not appear on the Rabid ballot, we see a larger deviation. 132 out of 210ish Sad Puppy nominators, 37%.

    We could go down the ballot to dramatic presentation to show an even greater variance, but this should suffice.

  283. @terry re: eARC
    Baen sells eARCs like this for most of the new titles it publishes. I heard one author comment that he earned out his advance just in eARC sales for his most recent book.

    a FAQ on the Baen bar (forum/mailing lists http://bar.baen.com ) is readers asking what purchasing options are best to getting more money to the authors of their favourite books.

    There is a noticeable drop in traffic on the bar for about a day after an eARC is released. Readers start asking for the eARC as soon as they hear that the author has submitted it.

  284. Civilis: Oh, okay, sorry. I hope you can see why I’m touchy about that particular tactic, in this venue and elsewhere, but I’m sorry that I thought you were using it.

Comments are closed.