Log in

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Where's the Beef?

Now we get to the crux of the matter.

So... what is behind Puppygate? What is it the Sad Puppies want? They have been doing this for three years now, three separate campaigns, with a fourth threatened... and presumably a fifth, a sixth, and a seventh if this goes on. That's a lot of effort, a lot of hours, a lot of commitment. To what end? What's their grievance?

I've read Brad Torgensen's statements on this point, and I've read Correia's MONSTER HUNTER NATION, and I've read hundreds of comments from their supporters. As with any large group, there is a wide range of opinion. Some of the Puppies are relatively moderate and reasonable. Others, I fear, are beyond the pale, raging and ranting about SJWs and cliques and secret conspiracies.

Digesting all of this, and trying to filter out the rabid extremists who seem mostly just to want to hurt liberals and feminists and gays, the essence of the Puppy complaint seems to be that the Hugo Awards have been taken over by the left, by their "Social Justice Warriors," and these "CHORFs" (another offensive made-up term, like SJWs) have rigged the awards somehow so that only members of their own leftish "clique" or those writer who are willing to "kiss their ass" win, while other books and stories are ignored or excluded, and other writers are "blacklisted."

Breaking down the complaints further, this purported exclusion seems to take several different forms, which vary according to which Puppy is speaking:
(1) some say the exclusion is political in nature, that conservative and libertarian writers are being unfairly shut out,
(2) others charge religious discrimination, insisting the Christian writers and "writers of Faith" are the ones being excluded,
(3) there's a racial component in some comments (not from the Puppy leaders, but from their followers), wherein we are told that "straight white men" are the victims here,
(4) and finally, there's the literary argument, wherein we are told that the ballots are full of bad boring crappy stories that no one really likes, placed there in some nefarious manner by the secret SJW cliques, whereas good old-fashioned SF and fantasy, the stuff the readers really love, is shut out and ignored.

Do I have the essence of it, Puppies and Puppylovers? I am leaving out any of the charges? Is this the source of all the anger, of this "revolt," of this determination to "take back SF?"

Because if it is... well, someone has sold you a bill of goods.

Let's look at the facts, shall we? I accept and acknowledge that some of the Puppies may feel excluded, disrespected, shunned... but feelings and facts are two different things.

Number (3) is the easiest to disprove. Straight white men are being excluded. Really? Really? C'mon, guys. Go look at the last five, ten years of Hugo ballots. Count how many men were nominated. Count how many women. Now count the black writers and the Asian writers and the foreign-language writers. Yes, yes, things are changing. We have a lot more women and minorities being nominated than we did in 1957, say, or even 1987... but the ballots are still way more white and way more male than not. Look, I am hardly going to be in favor of excluding straight white men, being one myself (and no, I am not a fan of Tempest Bradford's challenge). I am in favor of diversity, of inclusion, of bringing writers from many different backgrounds and cultures into the field. I don't want straight white writers excluded from the ballot... I just don't think they need to have ALL of it. I mean, we're SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY FANS, we love to read about aliens and vampires and elves, are we really going to freak out about Asians and Native Americans?

Let's put that one aside, and look at the other three allegations. Are the Hugos biased against conservative writers, religious writers, or writers of the "good old stuff," military SF, planetary adventures, space opera, sword & sorcery, hard science, and the like?

The Puppies say yes. I say no. The facts agree with me.

This chart is couple of years old, and therefore outdated a bit, but it still provides a very valuable overview of the history of the awards, who has won them, who has been nominated. So here are the records, albeit a few years out of date:


(Before we get into the listings, let me repeat once again my contention that IT IS AN HONOR TO BE NOMINATED. Sure, it's a bigger honor to win. But being on the shortlist is nothing to sneeze at, and I say that as the co-founder of the Hugo Losers Club).

What do we see on that list? Well, for a start, it is much easier to rack up lots and lots of nominations in the categories where one votes for a person rather than a work (Best Artist, Best Editor, Best Fan Writer). British humorist Dave Langford leads everyone with 55 nominations and 29 wins. Mike Glyer of FILE 770 is close behind with 52 nominations but only 9 wins. Then comes the late Charles N. Brown, editor and publisher of LOCUS, and Tor/ Signet/ Timescape/ Berkley editor David G. Hartwell, and Mike Resnick, and then Stan Schmidt, editor of ANALOG.

Some of these perennial nominees are liberal politically, I suspect, but none of those could be said to push a political agenda, or wear their politics on their sleeves. No SJWs here. On the other hand, Stan Schmidt edited ANALOG for longer than John W. Campbell did, and during all those decades it was the most conservative magazine in the field, the hard science mag, the choice of engineers everywhere, where the flag of Campbellian SF flew high. Now it is true, Stan never won, not until the year he retired. But he was nominated thirty-five times. Is that your definition of exclusion? Resnick... a very prolific writer, and by this list, the guy with the most nominations ever for fiction, rather than fanac or editing. Resnick, as I am sure the Puppies know, was at the center of the SFWA BULLETIN flap and lost the column that he and Barry Malzberg had written for decades... which hardly makes him a poster boy for the left. David Hartwell... well, Dave works for Tor, which some of the more extreme Puppies may count against him, but he's also worked for many other publishers, and he's edited many many writers from both right and left. I seem to recall it was Hartwell who first discovered John Wright, this year's six-time Puppy favorite nominee.

So far I see moderates, conservatives, Campbellians, and the apolitical. I see no SJWs.

How about total number of WINS? Well, once again you've got Langford, the fannish humorist and wit, publisher of ANSIBLE, at 29, tied with Charlie Brown of LOCUS. Charlie was champion of a more ambitious, literary style of SF, but he loved the classic old stuff too. A Vance fan, a Heinlein fan. Gardner Dozois and Michael Whelan each had 15 when this list came out. Gargy's an editor, a very important and influential editor, and yes, he's a liberal... but once again, he also loves a good story. He's edited space opera anthologies (THE GOOD OLD STUFF and THE GOOD NEW STUFF) and with me, OLD MARS and OLD VENUS, retro-SF that PLANET STORIES would have loved. Whelan's an artist. A brilliant one. And next down... CONNIE WILLIS. It says here she's won 11 times, but I think she's won a few more since. Connie's a woman, yes, and she's liberal politically (though far from radical). She's also religious. She has been singing in her Church choir for decades, she attends church regularly. Of course, she's Episcopalian, so I am not sure that "counts" for some of the Puppies, who only seem to grant that a writer is religious if he or she shares their own religion.

Going further down the all-time list... there's Richard E. Geis (politically hard right, sexually and socially left) with 34 nominations, Robert Silverberg (conservative) with 28. Further down, past some fans and artists, there's liberal old me with 19 nominations (15 losses and 4 wins when this list was drawn up), tied with conservative Larry Niven.

One huge name not on the list: Robert A. Heinlein. Heinlein did not rack up a lot of noms, since most of his short work was done before the Hugos were created. But he won Best Novel (the Big One) FOUR TIMES, a record that stands to this day (Lois McMaster Bujold tied him, but no one has yet exceeded him). RAH is not easy to characterize politically... he started out as a New Deal Democrat, even ran for office on the EPIC ticket, later became Republican and conservative on many issues... but socially was extremely progressive in his youth, and retained many liberal and libertarian opinions on sexuality and religious matter right up to his death in 1988.

If you're looking for SJWs on this list, well... there's Harlan Ellison and Ursula K. Le Guin. Harlan was certainly a firebrand, and Ursula was the field's most eloquent and respected feminist for decades. They are also two of the greatest talents that SF has ever produced. Both SFWA Grandmasters, both firmly ensconsced in the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, beloved of generations of readers. It would be hard to argue that either was created by a "clique."

Oh, oh, okay, I can hear the Sad Puppies barking out their objections. "We never said the Hugo Awards were ALWAYS dominated by a leftist clique," they are barking. "We only said that the SJWs took them over recently, and ruined them. That's when all the good books and all the writers we like got excluded."

Okay, fine. Fair enough. Let's narrow our focus, then, and look only at the recent past, at the ballots that somehow triggered Puppygate. No rhetoric, just facts.

We know about this year's ballot, the Sasquan ballot. Puppies puppies everywhere, thanks to Sad Puppies 3 and the Rabid Puppies. Last year, the Loncon ballot... well, that was the year of Sad Puppies 2, and that campaign, if not quite the sweep, did put Vox Day and Larry Correia and several other Puppy faves on the shortlist, so we'll pass over that one too. To see how powerful the liberal SJW cliques truly were, we need to go back to a time before Correia and Day and their followers rose up to smite them.

Let's look at 2012. LoneStarCon 3, San Antonio, in that notoriously liberal state of Texas. 1343 nominating ballots were received. 1848 final ballots chose the winners.

The Big One, Best Novel, went to John Scalzi for REDSHIRTS. He won out over 2312 by Kim Stanly Robinson, THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON by Saladin Ahmed, BLACKOUT by Mira Grant, and CAPTAIN'S VORPATIL'S ALLIANCE by Lois McMaster Bujold. Three men, three women. Two white men, one Arab-American. Do the Puppies object to these nominees? Is this the clique slate? Hard to see why. One Tor book, one from DAW, one from Baen, two from Orbit; no publisher had a stranglehold here, certainly. Scalzi -- look, I know Scalzi is liberal, and I know that the Puppies seem to hate him, though I can't for the life of me understand why -- but whatever you think of the writer's politics, REDSHIRTS is a light, fun, amusing SF adventure, an affectionate riff off of STAR TREK, Ghu help us. And the other nominees... only the Robinson could even remotely be considered "literary SF" of the sort the Puppies seems to hate. Saladin's book was sword & sorcery, a rollicking swashbuckler in the tradition of Robert E. Howard, Harold Lamb, and the Thousand and One Nights. Bujold, well, you could call her Miles Vorkosigan series space opera, or maybe military SF, but her novels are never less than entertaining, good reads all. The Mira Grant is a zombie novel. Zombies, guys.

Now, do I think these were the best five novels of 2012? Actually, no. As best I recall, I only nominated one of them... along with a couple of books that did not make the ballot. (You can find out which ones if you look back on my Not A Blog for that year's recs). But it's a pretty typical ballot, worse than some, better than others, with ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE of any kind of "social justice" agenda or conspiracy.

Let's look further down the LoneStarCon ballot. Novella: won by "The Emperor's Soul," by Brandon Sanderson, a pretty traditional story by an epic fantasist who also happens to be Mormon. (Where is that religious bigotry? Did the SJWs miss him?) One of the other nominees was by Aliette de Bodard, who many Puppies seem to count as one of the despised SJWs, but if the secret cabal was working for her, they fucked it up, because she lost. The other nominees were Nancy Kress, Jay Lake, and (again) Mira Grant. So far maybe we have some evidence of a Mira Grant clique, but none of a Social Justice clique.

Go to Novelette. Won by "The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi," by Pat Cadigan. A brilliant story from a long time fan who had never won a Hugo before, and hadn't even been nominated for decades. The most popular win of the evening; the crowd in the hall went wild cheering. Pat won over two stories by Seanan McGuire (also known as Mira Grant), one by Catherynne Valente, and one by Thomsas Olde Heuvelt. Was it this shortlist that provoked the Puppies? Four women and only one man there, is that the issue? A surfeit of McGuire/ Grant, maybe? Or were there some brilliant conservative novelettes that year that were overlooked? I honestly do not know.

Short Story only had three nominees. Ken Liu won over Aliette de Bodard and Kij Johnson. The SJWs are really letting down the side, that's twice they left de Bodard lose. (I hope I remembered to give her a Hugo Loser ribbon, she certainly earned it). No other short story had 5% of the nominating ballots, which is why the list was too small. When there are no slates, that happens: everyone has their own favorites, votes scatter.

Further down the ballot, Brandon Sanderson won again for Best Related Work, together with a bunch of friends. SAGA won Graphic Story, damn good comic, damn good choice. That radical leftist film THE AVENGERS won Long Form Drama, and something called GAME OF THRONES won Short Form. And for editor -- hey, Stanley Schmidt finally won for ANALOG... but oh, dear, Patrick Nielsen Hayden won for Long Form Editor. Now we see the power of the SJWs: they won, oh, wow, ONE whole Hugo at LoneStarCon.

That's just one year, though. Let's turn the clock back further, to Chicon 7 in Chicago, and the nominees for the best work of 2011.

The Big One went to Jo Walton and AMONG OTHERS. My own nominee, A DANCE WITH DRAGONS, finished last. In between you had EMBASSYTOWN by China Mieville (who is a vocal and passionate leftist, yes, but also a helluva powerful writer), LEVIATHAN WAKES by James S.A. Corey (a rousing space opera that any fan of the Good Old Stuff should love, soon to be a major TV series from the SyFy Channel), and DEADLINE by Mira Grant. Another zombie story, I seem to recall, same world as her other Best Novel nominees. Kij Johnson, Charlie Jane Anders, and Ken Liu won the Short Fiction Awards. Is there something about them or their stories that the Puppies object to? What could it be? Their literary style? Or...

Actually, looking at the other nominees, maybe THIS is the ballot that provoked the Proto-Puppies to sadness. Mira Grant has another nominee in novella. Mary Robinette Kowal was also up there, and MRK seems widely hated by the right for her work as SFWA Vice President ( a thankless job that I did onece). Ken Liu won for Short Story but lost for novella. Catherynne Valente had a losing novella. And Short Story, seven hells, look at that ballot: beside Liu there is E. Lily Yu, the despised John Scalzi, Nancy Fulda , and... oh, look, Mike Resnick, however did the liberal cabal ever let HIM sneak in?

Novelette is pretty interesting too. Charlie Jane Anders won out over Paul Cornell, the affable Brit, Geoff Ryman, the affable Canadian, Rachel Swirsky (author, a few years later, of that dinosaur story that has all the Puppy Panties in a twist), and... "Ray of Light," by Brad R. Torgersen, from ANALOG.

Condolences, Brad. You are a Hugo Loser. But hey, congratulations. You are a Hugo Loser. It's an exclusive club. We get together annually, clank our beers together, and chant, "It's an honor just to be nominated" in unison. Were you at the con? Did I give you a ribbon? If not, I'll be sure you get one, should we ever met. Wear it proudly. The rest of us do. If that list I linked to is right, I've lost fifteen. When you lose, the fannish tradition is to congratulate the winner and shake their hand, then go to our Hugo Loser Party to get drunk and bitter. When I lose, my friends all tell me I've been robbed. Makes me feel better. Even when I know it isn't true.

Looking further down the Chicon ballot, we come to the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Not a Hugo. E. Lily Yu was the winner. She finished ahead of Karen Lord, Stina Leicht, Mur Lafferty, and... ah... Brad R. Torgersen again. Sorry, Brad. Two losses in one night, that's hard to take. But it's an honor too. Very few writers have ever been nominated for a Campbell and a Hugo in the same year. Actually, you may be the first. Being a Campbell Award loser does not officially qualify one for the Hugo Losers Club, but we usually let them in anyway. FWIW, I lost the very first Campbell Award, in 1973 at Torcon II. I was a nominee, but never really a contender, to tell the truth. Jerry Pournelle won that first Campbell, defeating George Alec Effinger so narrowly that the con gave him a special runner-up plaque, the first and last time that was ever done. I was way back behind both, so no plaques for me. But I did lose two Hugos in a single night once, in 1976 in Kansas City, Big Mac. Lost one to Larry Niven, and one to Roger Zelazny. The next night, Gardner Dozois and I founded the Hugo Losers Club, and held the first Hugo Losers Party in my room.

Onward and backward, though. Let's go back to Renovation. Reno, Nevada, 2011. Best work of 2010. Connie Willis wins the Big One for BLACKOUT/ ALL CLEAR. The other nominees were Mira Grant (for FEED, the first of her zombie cycle, I believe), Lois McMaster Bujold, N.K. Jemison with THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS, and THE DERVISH HOUSE by the amazing Ian McDonald.

I know what Vox Day thinks of Jemison, since I read his poisonous screed. (He is a Rabid Puppy, I know, not a Sad one, and I would hope most SPs would disavow his bile, regardless of their literary preferences or political affiliations). Vox attacked the GOH speech she gave at an Australian convention... but since the Sad Puppies here have stated often that they only care about the work, not the race or the views of the writer, surely there could not have been any objections to THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS... or the Bujold, or the McDonald.

The novella award went to Ted Chiang... a writer of literary SF, we may agree, but one of the most powerful to enter our field in many years. There's a reason Chiang wins every time he is nominated for a award. He's bloody good. Novelette, though... that went to Alan Steele for "The Emperor of Mars," a classic retro-SF story that he actually wrote for OLD MARS, the anthology Gardner and I were putting together. When we were unable to place the project, however, Alan sold the story to ASIMOV'S, and it brought him home a rocket. Classic old style SF in the tradition of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

I will skip over the rest of Reno... except for the John W. Campbell Award. The fans chose Lev Grossman as the Best New Writer, over Lauren Beukes, Saladin Ahmed, Dan Wells... and Larry Correia. This, it seems to me, was BEFORE he started his first Puppies campaign. Dan Wells was also a Sad Puppy at one time... though this year he asked not to be part of the slate.

I have read Correia's blog, and I know he says that he was treated very badly at the Reno worldcon, attacked for his views, denounced as a racist and homophobe. I was at Reno myself, but I don't recall meeting him, so I don't know the details of any of that. It shocks me to hear it, because the fandom I know has always been warm and welcoming to people of all political views. We are there to party and flirt and celebrate SF, after all. I regret any personal attacks or abuse that Correia may have suffered.

I will say, though, that there is no dishonor in losing to a writer as gifted as Lev Grossman, and many many terrific writers have lost the Campbell Award over the decades, starting with me. And it is an INCREDIBLE honor just to be nominated. Think about it. We have hundreds of new writers entering our field every year, all of them dreaming of careers, all of them fighting for recognition, trying to build their brand... and a few, maybe, lusting for rockets. Out of all those people, the fans nominated FIVE (sometimes six) for the Campbell.

There were no Sad Puppies when Larry Correia was nominated for the Campbell, when Brad Torgersen was nominated for the Campbell, when Torgersen was nominated for his first Hugo. (Subsequent noms, yes, may have resulted from Puppy campaigns). That was the traditional Hugo electorate putting you on the ballot... you, and a lot of other conservative writers, religious writers, white male writers, and purveyors of space opera, military SF, and Good Old Stuff.

There was never any need for Sad Puppies to "take back" the Hugos. The feminists, minorities, literary cliques, and Social Justice Warriors never took them in the first place. That's a myth, as the actual facts I have cited here prove conclusively.


Page 1 of 4
<<[1] [2] [3] [4] >>
Apr. 9th, 2015 10:58 pm (UTC)
I remember at one point I got deeply involved in reading Andrew Schlafly's "Conservapedia" to try to make sense of his worldview. On his article about President Obama, he referred to him as "the first affirmative action president" and he defended this on a discussion page by saying, "Well, can you prove he isn't?"

And that's the thing. When a woman is excited to see women being given a turn at the helm of the starship, we're not forgetting about quality of story or character. We're excited to see something that we don't normally see. But if someone suspects that our excitement gives an unfair advantage to some works over others, if someone decides that the fact that we care about different stories than they do means that we are judging on bases other than merit... how can we ever prove them wrong?

And that, I think, is at the heart of this. It's not that evidence backs it up, it's that they've seen people, on blogs, talking about, "Did you see? There are actual stories with queer protagonists on actual bookstore shelves! So exciting!" and concluded that this constitutes a conspiracy to push diversity over story quality.

You can prove that it's not effectual with your facts, but you can't prove to anyone that it's not happening, because the deep-seated belief that it is happening isn't based on facts.
Apr. 10th, 2015 04:35 pm (UTC)
Schlafly is about as representative of conservatives as Fred Phelps was of Christians.

If you want to see the conservative worldview, look more in the direction of the National Review or the Federalist.

For libertarians, and I think more Sad Puppy types are libertarian than conservative, the Cato Institute has an excellent blog at www.reason.com .

People like Schlafly are just plain bughouse, although I'm sure Vox Day thinks he's a fine man.
(no subject) - alexandraerin - Apr. 10th, 2015 11:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 9th, 2015 11:00 pm (UTC)
The leaders of the Puppy movement absolutely ~must~ respond to this if they and their movement is to have any credibility.

I await their reply with interest.
Apr. 10th, 2015 12:03 am (UTC)
(no subject) - gonzo21 - Apr. 10th, 2015 12:14 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - princejvstin - Apr. 10th, 2015 01:02 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gonzo21 - Apr. 10th, 2015 01:17 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - owlmoose - Apr. 10th, 2015 02:12 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - grrm - Apr. 10th, 2015 03:00 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bdfinst - Apr. 10th, 2015 05:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kevin_standlee - Apr. 10th, 2015 08:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Marcy Ratcliff - Apr. 10th, 2015 06:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gonzo21 - Apr. 10th, 2015 02:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nwbrown - Apr. 10th, 2015 07:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - grrm - Apr. 10th, 2015 07:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nwbrown - Apr. 10th, 2015 08:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gonzo21 - Apr. 10th, 2015 07:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alexvdl - Apr. 10th, 2015 01:02 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gonzo21 - Apr. 10th, 2015 02:26 am (UTC) - Expand
Read More Carefully - stephenhoughton - Apr. 10th, 2015 05:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alexvdl - Apr. 11th, 2015 01:50 am (UTC) - Expand
And that's the problem - bdfinst - Apr. 10th, 2015 05:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gonzo21 - Apr. 10th, 2015 07:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dragonborngurl - Apr. 10th, 2015 03:24 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Jeddy B Wilkinson Jr - Apr. 10th, 2015 05:16 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - grrm - Apr. 10th, 2015 05:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - crocobar - Apr. 10th, 2015 05:26 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pampersjohnny - Apr. 10th, 2015 01:36 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - purppenguin - Apr. 10th, 2015 01:53 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - grrm - Apr. 10th, 2015 03:01 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - irilyth - Apr. 10th, 2015 03:11 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - anisosynchronic - Apr. 11th, 2015 07:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gonzo21 - Apr. 10th, 2015 01:54 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 9th, 2015 11:01 pm (UTC)
Thanks for taking the time to write this
But I also hope that everyone could move to more productive things than this mess.
Apr. 9th, 2015 11:07 pm (UTC)
Thank You
I was only vaguely aware of the block voting that had been occurring at the Hugo's in recent years and had not realized the level of vitriol the Sad Puppies had taken it too. You have summarized the situation rather nicely (in my opinion) and I wanted to thank you for taking the time to do it; it is much appreciated.

I do not know what the solution is going forward, if there is one but I hope the community can come together to make the Hugo's what they once were, an award given to the best in Science Fiction and Fantasy.

I would also like note that if I ever manage to get around to actually writing something worthy of publication, that I would be honoured to one day be a member of your Hugo Losers club.
Apr. 9th, 2015 11:07 pm (UTC)
Wonder if people will let facts get in the way of a good conspiracy :)
Hope you are able to punch through with this barrage of researched facts and details, but to often these days people seem to prefer wild conspiracy theories over facts or simply reasoning things through. Doesn't matter if they claim the moon landing never happened, that vaccines causes autism, jewish lobbies ruling the world or left wingers stealing hugo awards; no matter how many pieces of factual and scientific evidence one provide to counter these wild stories they tend to fall on deaf ears sadly. Or at least the fall on deaf ears with the very loud minority that dominate online discourse on the subjects.
Apr. 9th, 2015 11:11 pm (UTC)
(3) is nothing but a straw man. But I'm sure if you search hard enough, you can find someone on the Internet who said this is about straight, white, men being discriminated against. That is not prevailing sentiment of those of us fighting against the SJWs. I'm not surprised you believe (3) is true though, given the click-bait, outragism-driven media culture we live in nowadays.
Apr. 10th, 2015 02:52 am (UTC)
Did everyone miss the 8 or 10 apparently coordinated media stories this week that claimed that a bunch of straight white racist misogynist homophobic males took over the award nominations? Even though the ballot looks to be quite diverse? They were in numerous major media outlets.
(no subject) - yagathai - Apr. 10th, 2015 05:50 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Sporrej - Apr. 10th, 2015 11:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alexvdl - Apr. 10th, 2015 11:19 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 9th, 2015 11:14 pm (UTC)
slow writer??
George, at your current pace you should be able to have WINDS done by the end of the week! Haha I kid.
Apr. 9th, 2015 11:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Mr. Martin, for a pretty irrefutable argument.

Ironically, my 'captcha' for this post was full stop... which fits the last two paragraphs to a tee.
Apr. 9th, 2015 11:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you GRRM
So far your sensible, contextualized responses are the best perspectives I've read on this debacle. Not to mention a fascinating insider look at the last 40 years of the Hugos.

I think what is happening is the punchy side of identity politics so prevalent on the internet finding its way into the Hugo system. The same thing has happened in so many other facets of pop culture, and you never know where it will crop up next.

The message I'm seeing develop in your posts is that all this posturing and infighting is just twaddle. What matters is the work. Good work survives on its own merit, whether or not it wins an award.
Apr. 9th, 2015 11:33 pm (UTC)
Hello! Your entry got to top-25 of the most popular entries in LiveJournal!
Learn more about LiveJournal Ratings in FAQ.
Apr. 9th, 2015 11:37 pm (UTC)
It's always politics
...at least most of it.

I have read some (okay, a lot of) blogposts and discussion on the topic and seem to find that these campaigns (the Rabid one especially, but the Sad one as well, just less openly) are a manifestation of the frustration of conservatives with the ever-so-slowly shifting political landscape of the US.

There are decades when conservative thought holds sway and there are times when various liberal thoughts gain prominence (of course it's a sliding scale, but you get what I mean). In social issues these days the left is more succesful, sexual ethics are changing, religion is less of an absolute necessity. This frustrates some people.

Some of these people are genre writers and some fans, and they have found a tradition which holds prestige and which can be gamed - the Hugos naturally. Informal gentlemens agreements have so far discouraged as agressively political campaigning as the Puppies do, but feeling a generally unsympathetic zeitgeist these Puppies have gotten carried on with something that was originally the publicity-starved project of a bigot (I hope I'm not running afoul of moderation guidelines here) with an axe to grind against the parent organization of the Hugos - namely, Vox Day.

Along the lines more valid other sentiments have gathered around this project, some benign (a call for good old fashioned pulpy fan), some malicious (to bring toxic internet wars into decade old traditions) and of course the general conservative sentiment is still there, even though not in its original Rabid form.

Gaming the system for the worst kind of publicity and because of political resentment is bad form and it is hugely sad that it has succeeded as much as it did. I share Mr. Martin's sentiment that the Hugos will never be the same after this, though I do think everything that can must be done to prevent their decline has to be done. Exactly how this can be achieved is beyond me at this point, though.
Apr. 9th, 2015 11:43 pm (UTC)
"As Sad Puppies’ Brad Torgerson explained to EW, the slate includes both women and non-caucasian writers, including Rajnar Vajra, Larry Correia, Annie Bellet, Kary English, Toni Weisskopf, Ann Sowards, Megan Gray, Sheila Gilbert, Jennifer Brozek, Cedar Sanderson, and Amanda Green."

The slate wasn't chosen based on politics, it was chosen based on merit as the Sad Puppies saw it.
Apr. 10th, 2015 02:01 am (UTC)
This argument loses its merit in light the most recent post on Mr Correa's blog.

One can say that the cat is out of the bag (if it ever really was inside).
(no subject) - yagathai - Apr. 10th, 2015 05:52 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - damerell - Apr. 11th, 2015 02:47 am (UTC) - Expand
Geoffrey A. Landis
Apr. 9th, 2015 11:46 pm (UTC)
The few, the proud, the Cambellian-Hugo crossovers
> Very few writers have ever been nominated for a Campbell and a Hugo
> in the same year. Actually, you may be the first.

Not that few-- I lost both in 1985. (To John Varley and Lucius Shepherd, respectively.)
Apr. 10th, 2015 12:01 am (UTC)
Re: The few, the proud, the Cambellian-Hugo crossovers
Congratulations? Condolences?
Apr. 9th, 2015 11:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks for a very detailed look at all the supposed injustices being touted by the puppies. Personally, I think it all stems from certain people's hate-on for Scalzi. Unfortunately, there is a lot of that in fandom, some of which I have personal experience with. Lee Whiteside
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 10th, 2015 02:37 am (UTC)
"If those people cared about any of these things they would not be sad, nor puppies nor conservative at all."

So, clearly this is a generalization and an attack on anyone that is conservative.
Apr. 9th, 2015 11:55 pm (UTC)
No George, you don't get it
"Do I have the essence of it, Puppies and Puppylovers? I am leaving out any of the charges? Is this the source of all the anger, of this 'revolt,' of this determination to 'take back SF?'"

No, you really don't. We're tired of hateful, double-standard holding bigots attempting to sabotage the careers and reputations of people who don't toe their lines.

And something you may not realize: most "Social Justice Warriors" are themselves white. They attempt to speak on behalf of minorities, but have no qualms calling any minorities who step out of line "house niggers" or accusing them of suffering from "internalized racism" or "internalized misoginy." They claim to be fighting for minorities, but only the minorities who agree with them. Much like the "feminists" in the 1800's who took the right to vote away from my great-great grandmother because she was using it to vote for something they didn't like (polygamy). Even though the Mormons, those supposedly woman-subjugating polygamists that didn't believe in women's rights, were the second in the nation to give women the vote, the Social Justice Warriors of the 19th century felt they knew better and took that right away from them for their own good. The same spirit lives on in people today who tell my best friend's sister she has "internalized misoginy" for deciding to keep the baby from when she was date-raped. These are the people we call "Social Justice Warriors"
So what we're fighting against, what our demands our, is to see an end to the perpetually outraged being able to destroy a person's career, reputation, and happiness with the mere ACCUSATION of sexism/racism/whateverism. The ability to make someone a pariah with no proof they ever did the social "crime" they've been accused of. After these people were able to turn the greatest achievement in space exploration in decades into a slander campaign over a scientist's shirt, if you still don't believe this particular set of people, these "Social Justice Warriors," don't have considerable power relative to their actual numbers and are causing serious harm to free speech and an open and honest society, then I have a bridge to sell you.

I apologize if I have come across as angry. This is something I and countless others are very pasionate about. But regardless of our differences of opinion here, I still highly respect both you as a person as well as your work. Sad Puppies are asking that the peddlers of outrage culture try and offer us the same courtesy.

Edited at 2015-04-09 11:56 pm (UTC)
Apr. 10th, 2015 12:08 am (UTC)
Re: No George, you don't get it
You make sweeping angry statements, drag in the odious Social Justice Warriors term, talk about feminists in the 1800s... but where are your FACTS?

Whose career has been destroyed by the SJWs? Who are these pariahs? How does any of this relate to the Hugo Awards?

Brad Torgersen is doing fine. Larry Correia is doing great. Mike Resnick has a new magazine and a bunch of new book contracts. Jim Butcher is a perennnial bestseller who makes millions with every new book. Where are all the bitter, broken men who the SJWs in their wroth have destroyed? Name one.
Re: No George, you don't get it - chickenoverlord - Apr. 10th, 2015 12:25 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: No George, you don't get it - thewrittenpath - Apr. 10th, 2015 01:08 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: No George, you don't get it - matociquala - Apr. 10th, 2015 03:37 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: No George, you don't get it - pardoz - Apr. 10th, 2015 03:44 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: No George, you don't get it - akiko - Apr. 10th, 2015 12:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: No George, you don't get it - Tim Pratt - Apr. 10th, 2015 07:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gonzo21 - Apr. 10th, 2015 01:31 am (UTC) - Expand
evidence - nwbrown - Apr. 10th, 2015 06:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: evidence - calcinations - Apr. 10th, 2015 07:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: evidence - nwbrown - Apr. 11th, 2015 04:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: evidence - rockstarwookie - Apr. 10th, 2015 08:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: No George, you don't get it - ksavagexxx - Apr. 10th, 2015 02:11 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Re: No George, you don't get it - tcpip - Apr. 11th, 2015 10:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: No George, you don't get it - ardversen - Apr. 10th, 2015 01:22 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: No George, you don't get it - ivaroni - Apr. 10th, 2015 02:58 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: No George, you don't get it - Colum Paget - Apr. 10th, 2015 05:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: No George, you don't get it - grrm - Apr. 10th, 2015 07:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: No George, you don't get it - Colum Paget - Apr. 11th, 2015 02:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: No George, you don't get it - redmorlock - Apr. 12th, 2015 02:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: No George, you don't get it - turield - Apr. 11th, 2015 09:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: No George, you don't get it - leupagus - Apr. 10th, 2015 12:14 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: No George, you don't get it - scarybaldguy - Apr. 10th, 2015 12:22 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: No George, you don't get it - chickenoverlord - Apr. 10th, 2015 01:38 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: No George, you don't get it - alexandraerin - Apr. 10th, 2015 05:11 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: No George, you don't get it - thefirstalicat - Apr. 10th, 2015 01:01 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: No George, you don't get it - nelc - Apr. 10th, 2015 01:24 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: No George, you don't get it - grrm - Apr. 10th, 2015 01:46 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: No George, you don't get it - irilyth - Apr. 10th, 2015 01:53 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: No George, you don't get it - monkofmimmir - Apr. 10th, 2015 09:31 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: No George, you don't get it - nelc - Apr. 10th, 2015 02:00 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: No George, you don't get it - ahaplessnewbie - Apr. 10th, 2015 02:27 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: No George, you don't get it - grrm - Apr. 10th, 2015 03:07 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: No George, you don't get it - Matthew Leo - Apr. 10th, 2015 04:44 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: No George, you don't get it - f_brooks - Apr. 11th, 2015 03:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: No George, you don't get it - beeseeinya - Apr. 10th, 2015 08:26 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: No George, you don't get it - foreverman203 - Apr. 10th, 2015 05:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 9th, 2015 11:55 pm (UTC)
What's that sound?
Apr. 10th, 2015 12:07 am (UTC)
this is the best bedtime story ever
I want to lose a Hugo now more than I want to win one.

FYI, re Sanderson being a Mormon, so is Brad Torgerson, so maybe that's the blindspot
Apr. 10th, 2015 01:59 pm (UTC)

I can't even imagine being nominated...

Apr. 10th, 2015 12:14 am (UTC)
I think it's useful from a playing to the audience perspective to refute the factual claims (by which I mean claims about facts, not that the claims themselves are factual) made by the Sad Puppies folks, in order to dispel any aura of legitimacy their silly claims may win them, but I think it won't really help convince the Puppies themselves. They're proposing a set of facts which are patently contrary to reality, and so we need to understand why they find those facts convincing. I believe it is resentment at a world which refuses to be for them, a world which increasingly caters not only to them, as they feel it must, but to others as well.

Agreeing with and propagating the nonsensical claims of the Sad Puppies position is not something they are doing because the facts are on their side, but rather because spouting that position is a way in which they can give voice to a resentment which they feel deeply but cannot openly express without being laughed at or told their feelings are illegitimate. So when somebody who shares their resentment but not their sense of shame offers them a narrative which feeds that resentment and makes them the aggrieved, naturally they don't look too closely at it- proving once again that the argument which needs the most scrutiny is the one that you find personally validating. It feels good to be persecuted and transgressed against when you don't actually have to experience any persecution or transgression, and can simply enjoy the moral righteousness accorded to the persecuted without any of that messy business of being persecuted.
Apr. 10th, 2015 12:20 am (UTC)
I'd just heard about this movement recently and was wondering exactly what the deal was; thanks for this highly informative write-up.
Frank Probst
Apr. 10th, 2015 12:26 am (UTC)
No Award
Returning to my theme from the previous thread, I'm probably voting No Award for both editor categories. And again, It's not because I don't think any of the nominees deserve the award; it's because I have no idea how to evaluate the nominees. Long form dramatic presentation will be easy for me: I immediately wanted Edge of Tomorrow to win, and was happy to see that it was not on either the Sad or Rabid slates. Short form dramatic presentation is going to be a bit of a dilemma. Orphan Black wasn't on either slate, but I'm not sure which specific episode was nominated, so I'll need to rewatch it. The Flash was on both slates, and it's an immensely enjoyable show, but the pilot wasn't its best episode. (Ironically, it's turned out to be a surprisingly gay-friendly show--the police chief is gay, and we find this out in a surprisingly matter-of-fact way: He says that he wants either take out or delivery for lunch, because his boyfriend has him on some health food diet, and lunch is the only meal that he can sneak in some food that's actually fun to eat.) The Mountain and the Viper was on the Rabid slate but not the Sad one. An interesting choice for them, since Prince Oberyn was so unapologetically bi-sexual in the show. Still, that was a damn good fight scene (bested only by Brienne vs the Hound two episodes later). So my vote will probably come down to Orphan Black vs Game of Thrones. If I'm on the fence, I'll go with Orphan Black (sorry, George), because I think that show has been criminally under-appreciated for the last two years.
Apr. 10th, 2015 12:39 am (UTC)
> the essence of the Puppy complaint seems to be that the Hugo Awards have been taken over by the left ... [who] have rigged the awards somehow so that only members of their own leftish "clique" or those writer who are willing to "kiss their ass" win, while other books and stories are ignored or excluded, and other writers are "blacklisted."

I only found out about the Sad Puppies campaign the week before the nominations were announced, and that assertion bothered me deeply from the beginning. I think there's a fundamental scale error here, and I'm not sure anyone is making the point about the difference between "nominations" and "winning".

Namely: What is the actual size of this secret SJW cabal whose injustices the Puppies are attempting to correct?

I've seen some arguments cite figures like the 60-person alleged voting bloc who nominated Teresa Nielsen Hayden for Best Editor and then shifted their vote the one year she stepped down. Let's grant them their premise and say that this secret Cabal Of 60 exists; at that point, how the heck do the SJWs control the Hugos? In 2012 (data source), 60 votes wouldn't even have gotten a Best Novel nominee on the ballot, and in the actual voting, throwing a 60-vote bloc at the second-place Best Novel winner wouldn't have made up even half the difference with first place.

Significantly, 61 ballots got "Six Months, Three Days" nominated at the top of the Best Novelette category. (Brad Torgerson's "Ray of Light" got 37 and squeaked onto the finalists, so if they were organizing a bloc to nominate en masse and keep deserving works from undesirables off the ballot, 25 of the Cabal didn't get the message.) However, again, in the final voting, if all 60 of the Cabal had decided to stay home, 6M3D still would have won first place over Ray of Light by 577-521. So basically, our hypothetical Cabal cheated a ringer onto the ballot ... which the majority of untainted voters then decided was the year's best sci-fi.

Basically, anyone asserting a conspiracy shouldn't be taken seriously until they provide a ballpark estimate of the size of the problem. At which point basic math should suffice to show that the claims are either ridiculous (a 600-person politically motivated pro-SJW clique can't spare the 37 votes to keep deserving conservative nominees off the ballot) or mathematically impossible (a 60-person voting clique controls all the categories).
Devdeep Roy Choudhury
Apr. 10th, 2015 12:41 am (UTC)
Corriea's response
Read the response to your article. Not sure if you have read it too. It seems that, he suffered a lot of personal insults at Worldcon and when he had the power, he wanted to take it out on them. The sad puppies have a lot of personal anger and now they have power. All the other reasons about the SJWs are baseless.. Your books have characters which could use these traits :P
Apr. 10th, 2015 01:20 am (UTC)
Re: Corriea's response
Anyone tossing ready-made inflammatory insults at Correia at the Con was in the wrong, and so are the people who have sent him and Torgenson threats in the last week or so. He's right about that. But he's also playing dumb about people on his side of the political fence tossing threats and insults the other way.
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 10th, 2015 12:42 am (UTC)
"Chorf" actually stands for "Christ On A Rabbit Farm" (Google it if you don't believe me.)

Which strikes me as the perfect reaction to the Puppies and the damage they have done.
Apr. 10th, 2015 04:51 am (UTC)
Torgerson coined it anew as a "more accurate" new name for people previously referred to (a little tongue in cheek) as SMOFs ("secret masters of fandom"). His version means "Cliquish, Holier-Than-Thou, Obnoxious, Reactionary Fanatics".
(no subject) - a_cubed - Apr. 10th, 2015 06:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lenora_rose - Apr. 11th, 2015 06:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - catsittingstill - Apr. 10th, 2015 12:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lenora_rose - Apr. 11th, 2015 06:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tibicina - Apr. 11th, 2015 10:28 am (UTC) - Expand
Page 1 of 4
<<[1] [2] [3] [4] >>


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

Latest Month

February 2017


Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Lilia Ahner