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What Now?

For all of you who are sick of Puppygate... I am too, but there's still a few more things that I need to say. Another day, maybe, and I will move on to happier topics.

Yes, I know about Larry Correia's response to my earlier posts and I will reply to him here... but not just now. There's another topic I need to cover first, one that I have been leading up to all along -- what the hell do we do now?

Whether you think what the Sad Puppies did is right or wrong, it's done. The ballot is out. It is what it is. So the ball is in our court now. What to do?

(Here is where I will probably piss off everybody on the anti-slate of this mess. Sorry).

Over at Making Light, and on several other sites, various rules changes are being proposed to prevent this from happening ever again. There are so many different proposals they make my head spin. More nominating slots, less nominating slots, weighted voting, eliminating the supporting memberships, outlawing slates, limiting nominees to a single nomination, juried nominations... on and on and on. The worldcon business meeting is never exactly a funfest, but if the proponents of half these proposals show up at Sasquan, this year's will be a nightmare. And will probably still be going on when MidAmericon II convenes.

I am against all these proposals. If indeed I am at Spokane, and if I can get myself up in time for the business meeting, I will vote against every one of them.

Most of them, frankly, suck. And the mere fact that so many people are discussing them makes me think that the Puppies won. They started this whole thing by saying the Hugo Awards were rigged to exclude them. That is completely untrue, as I believe I demonstrated conclusively in my last post. So what is happening now? The people on MY SIDE, the trufans and SMOFs and good guys, are having an endless circle jerk trying to come up with a foolproof way to RIG THE HUGOS AND EXCLUDE THEM. God DAMN, people. You are proving them right.

I hate what the Puppies did. It was based on false premises, and though it was not illegal, it was mean-spirited and unsportsmanlike. So how about we do NOT prove them right by rigging the rules against Sad Puppies 4? How about we try to be better than that? There is nothing wrong with the Hugo rules. If we want to defeat the Puppies, all we need to do is outvote them. Get in our own nominations. This year, the Puppies emptied the kennels and got out their vote, and we didn't. Fandom danced the usual, "oh, too busy to nominate, I will just vote on the final ballot," and for that complacency, we got blindsided. We lost. They kicked our fannish asses, and now we have the ballot they gave us. If we don't want that to happen again, we need to get out our OWN vote.

But let's not give in to our worst impulses. I do not want to disenfranchise anyone. (Well, okay, maybe a few, rabies is dangerous). The fandom I joined in 1971, the fandom I love, is open and friendly and welcoming, and has room for every shade of political opinion and literary taste. Those are values worth defending, a culture worth fighting for.

Oh, and there's another (lesser, admittedly) reason not to change the Hugo rules. The Nebulas. I have been a SFWA member since 1972, and I swear, the organization spends half its time arguing about the Nebula rules, year after year, decade after decade. I have seen a dozen "reforms" in my tenure, all in the interests of making the voting "more fair," but no matter what rules we adopt, a couple years later the bitching starts and members start demanding we change them again. It's endless. We do NOT want to open that Pandora's Box at worldcon. Change the rules to deal with the Sad Puppies, and a year or two from now we'll be changing again. Aside from adding the occasional category, or splitting one, the Hugo Awards have operated more or less the same way for decades, and that stability is part of their prestige. Let's not mess with that.

Which brings me to another proposed countermeasure: the No Award strategy.

This comes in two flavors. The hardliners propose we vote NO AWARD for everything. Every category, even the ones where the Puppies have no nominees. No Hugo Awards at Sasquan, whatsoever. We'll show them. Rather than letting them move into our house, we will burn it to the ground. "We had to destroy the village in order to save it." It worked so well in Vietnam.
All I've got to say about this idea is, are you fucking crazy?

The other approach is less radical. Vote NO AWARD in all the categories that are All Puppy. In the others, chose between the nominees (there are a few) that did not appear on either the Sad Puppy or Rabid Puppy slate, and place all the rest, the SP/RP candidates, under No Award.

That's less insane than the "No Award For Everything" idea, but only a little bit. Sorry, I will not sign on for this one either. For a whole bunch of reasons. For starts, the Puppies are already proclaiming that "No Award" equals victory for them (though sometimes it seems as though they believe anything that happens constitutes victory for them). Also, near as I can tell from reading the blogs, it appears that some of the Sad Puppy candidates never consented to joining their slate, and that none of the Rabid Puppies were ever asked if they wanted to be included (I am ninety per cent certain that none of the films or TV shows in the two Dramatic Presentations category were ever contacted). There are also a whole bunch of people -- all the editors except Vox Day, for starts -- who may or may not have been contacted. No one has said, no one talking about it, we just don't know.

Also... really, when you come down to it, this whole "were they contacted?" thing is a false issue. Torgensen says he contacted almost everyone, but missed a few. Some of his slate say no, they never heard from him... but does it really matter? I have been trying my damndest to get Alan Lee and John Howe nominated for Best Artist for years, and I never asked if I could. This year I wrote a long post about the brilliance of STATION ELEVEN and why it should be nominated in Best Novel, and I never contacted Emily St. John Mandel to ask if I could. I will not condemn Brad Torgensen for failing to do what I never do myself.

I do not believe in Guilt by Association, and that's what we'd be doing if we vote against every name on the Puppy slates simply because they are on the slate. That was a classic weapon of the McCarthy Era: first you blacklist the communists, then you blacklist the people who defend the communists and the companies that hire them, then you blacklist the people who defend the people on the blacklist, and on and on, in ever widening circles. No. I won't be part of that.

I have looked over the ballot, but I have not read all of it. Will I read all of it? Well, not every word.... but I will at least glance at every nomination. I know, from past experience, that there are some very talented writers on the list. There are also some very bad writers, and at least one whose picture probably appears next to MEDIOCRE in Websters. There are a lot of writers I have never read before, whose work I need to sample. Torgensen has claimed that the Sad Puppies slate is diverse, and a cursory glance at the names suggests he is not wrong.

I intend to consider every story and every finalist in every category, and vote for those that I think worthy of Hugos. I will vote NO AWARD, I promise you, but only where No Award is warranted. (Truth be told, I vote No Award every year in almost every category. Usually not in first, admittedly... but I don't just look at a category and rank them one to five in order of preference, I rank the ones I think rocket-worthy above No Award, and the ones I don't below).

This ballot is the worst I have ever seen, admittedly, and there are stories and writers on it who are not fit to polish a Hugo, much less win one. But there's good stuff as well, and talented writers whose work I have enjoyed, and I am not going to vote against them just because the Sad Puppies like them too.

As I get further into my reading, I will let you know my thoughts on what I've read. But that may be a long process, so be patient.

Honestly, I don't think any of the choices we have now are good ones. All roads seem to lead to perdition, but each of us will need to walk the one we think best. Meanwhile, I urge everyone who is reading this to go to the Sasquan website and join the convention. Attend if you can; if not, join as a Supporting member, just as the Puppies did. It is too late to nominate, but not too late to vote. The Puppies will be getting out their vote, you can be sure. We need to do the same, unless we care to see some poor guy hand Vox Day a rocket.

I wish I was more optimistic about how all this is going to turn out.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

(That's Yeats, not me. Just to be clear).


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Apr. 10th, 2015 05:58 pm (UTC)
Very good points here. One thing:

> The fandom I joined in 1971, the fandom I love, is open and friendly and welcoming, and has room for every shade of political opinion and literary taste.

One change that I like is the idea of removing the limits on the number of nominees. This would make the Hugo Losers Ribbon a little less prestigious, if a hundred people in each category lose every year, but you could for example limit *that* to the top five, or otherwise have some way to distinguish the "shortlist" from the rest of the pack (the final five left in voting, say).

I like this for two reasons: (1) Totally aside from the Puppies thing, it doesn't seem obvious to me that Five is always The Right Number Of Nominees, and that it'd be better to be more flexible; (2) It seems to me like your suggestion ("get out our OWN vote") turns the whole nominations process into a contest between who can muster up the biggest crowd to throw everyone they don't like out of the room. I'd rather have more people in the room, and let the complicated but excellent mechanism of IRV winnow it down to a shortlist and the eventual winner.

Why does the room need to be so small in the first place?
Apr. 10th, 2015 06:03 pm (UTC)
Will you ever accept
the truth shown by the evidence? Can you not believe your own eyes?

This is not a fluke. The sadpuppies were right all along. Your rose-colored goggles are cracking. If you want the Hugo's to mean anything beyond a joke, now is the time to stand up and say no more. To say that it's about the quality of the writing, not the subject, not the author's political beliefs, not their race, sex, orientation, or any other identity politics issue.

Mr. Martin, while you were working hard, these identity politicians were taking your awards and making them about the author's identity, in order to enforce a political message, and not about the quality of the work.

Sadpuppies aren't your enemies. They're trying to save the awards you love so dearly from irrelevance. The public is turning on the identity politicians, and if you don't want the Hugo's to go with them into obscurity and mockery, it's time to fix what's broken. And that means it's got to be about the writing, not the writer.
Apr. 10th, 2015 07:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Will you ever accept
The actual evidence -- the nominations, the winners -- proves that the Sad Puppies were wrong all along.

It has got to be about the writing, not the writer? Sure. Agree.

(Of course, good writers produce good writing. Bad writers produce bad writing. Yes, sometimes a good writer writes a bad story, and a bad writer writes a great one).
Re: Will you ever accept - flake_sake - Apr. 11th, 2015 02:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 10th, 2015 06:30 pm (UTC)
If Slates are Inevitable, Let's Use That to Make the Hugos Better
The election process can't be changed next year, because it takes at least two years.

That means one or more Puppy slates next year. Due to the nature of the election (look up the math if you want), a single slate supported by 20% of the electorate wins against no slate in most plausible scenarios.

So the Non-Puppies (or NPs) either have to organize their own slate(s) or accept the puppy one. I'm betting on one or more NP slates. So slates are inevitable for at least one year, probably several. This sucks, but let's judo this into making things *better*, with slates.

Here's my suggestion: Agree, well beforehand, on which electoral reform you want to use to exclude slate voting. *Run a mock nomination election using this system to build your slate.*

If the electoral reform you want is good, it will produce a NP slate that the majority of the electorate can support. After a few years of doing it, you can probably get it made into the official rule pretty easily, and can skip the slate generation step.

If it is not good, well, at least you didn't try to get a bad system written into the bylaws. Keep trying.
Apr. 10th, 2015 07:13 pm (UTC)
Re: If Slates are Inevitable, Let's Use That to Make the Hugos Better
I think we will see multiple slates at MAC II as well.
Apr. 10th, 2015 06:39 pm (UTC)
What Now?
I am going to separate the Sad Puppys slate from the Rabid Puppys slate. Any nomination ONLY on the Rabid Puppys slate will not be on my ballot, I will use No Award then leave them off. I am boycotting Vox Day and his publishing house, so I am not reading or investigating any of VD's nominations.

I am also asking family and friends who are fans of SciFi/Fantasy to purchase a supporting membership to Worldcon and not only vote this year, but nominate the next two years. I will be asking for recommendations from them (we have diverse tastes) & giving recommendations. I will not be creating a slate nor will I give any positive attention to any slate. Folks who are nominated who are on a slate who actively put out a slate or approve of slates will get demerits from me in my decision making process.

As far as changing the rules for nominating and voting, I don't think it is necessary. I believe there is already a system in place to toss out ballots that are exactly the same, if not then this would be the only change I would support. Yes this can be gamed, any system can be gamed, because people. However I think the run-off voting used is a good defense against egregious vote fixing.

I am confused about Brad Torgersen and the Puppys hate-on for Red Shirts, it seems to me it is exactly the kind of fun, entertaining, old school SciFi adventure he claims in his blog is being overlooked and the reason behind the Sad Puppy slate. Is it because of the perceived politics/religion of Scalzi and the folks who nominated and voted for Red Shirts? And isn't one of the Puppys complaints the assertion that folks are voting based on ideological bent and not on merit?

I think I need a catchy name for my SciFi/Fantasy loving friends and family who join in in supporting Worldcon and voting this year. I like The Super Evil Team.
Apr. 10th, 2015 08:12 pm (UTC)
I believe there is already a system in place to toss out ballots that are exactly the same

No there is not. Why would you want such a rule? Not only is it easy to get around, but do you really want me to throw away your ballot because your best friend who heard you enthusing about things you liked decided to vote for those same things too and managed to duplicate your votes?

The only thing Administrators can do is try, to the best of their ability, to confirm that each ballot was cast by an individual natural person on his/her own behalf. Not someone going out and "voting the phone book" by buying a bunch of memberships in different names and voting them all.

The Puppies have not broken any rules. They have, it appears, broken social conventions in the Worldcon community, although they do tend to respond with "But everyone else was doing the exact same thing!" despite significant evidence that this is not the case.
(no subject) - puck108 - Apr. 10th, 2015 08:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
Correction -oops - puck108 - Apr. 10th, 2015 08:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 10th, 2015 06:58 pm (UTC)
Here's where I end up differing from you, unsurprisingly, and I think the heart of the issue is your inaccurate decision to lead with the Sad Puppies when it was, in verifiable point of fact, Theodore Beale's Rabid Puppies that determined the nominations.

At that point, I don't think it's burning down the house to save it. I think it's standing in the smouldering rubble of a burnt out house and not trying to pretend that it's anything other than what it is. I think pretending the award that is given out after a nominating process dominated by someone who thinks the Taliban was right to shoot Malala Yousafzai, who thinks black people are less human than white people, who opposes women's suffrage, who... I mean, this could go on for a while. And, for me at least, Beale's views, and the fact that he explicitly sees science fiction as a means of advancing those views, is simply too big a problem.

If it were the Sad Puppies, it would be one thing. But it's not. It's someone with views so odious that the dominance he has over the Hugo Awards has already discredited them completely for 2015.
Apr. 10th, 2015 07:13 pm (UTC)
Station Eleven. That's TWO. Thanks, Mr. Martin!
Apr. 10th, 2015 07:34 pm (UTC)
One other suggestion
Here's an idea:
What if people didn't vote at all in puppy-controlled categories? The number of ballots is published with the voting results, and if Best Novella ended up with 300 votes rather than 2000 it might send a signal.
Apr. 10th, 2015 07:35 pm (UTC)
Hi, George!
I was wondering if you will be in Mexico for the FIL in Guadalajara. I'm going to travel half country only to see you and I'm just waiting to be sure for buy my tickets!
Apr. 10th, 2015 07:42 pm (UTC)
I think this stance is the correct one. No rule change, and vote.

I happen to believe that Puppygate is actually one of the best things to happen to fandom in years, as opening the discussion and challenging the status quo - stale, IMO - was absolutely necessary.

As you said, people who feel that this year is aberrant should come out and vote next year. If there are more puppies than non-puppies, then that's the way fandom is conformed. The opposite is also true.

Hopefully a reasonable balance between both sides can be achieved and the us-vs.-them mentality that has surfaced over the past decade can finally be abolished.
Bernhard Vienna
Apr. 10th, 2015 07:50 pm (UTC)
No awards!
There shouldn't be any awards. Awards are always evil!

Art is not about winning trophies.

And there are better ways of Marketing. It's good to have recommendations from critics but that's different from handing out awards.

The Woody Allen solution is much better. Just don't show up.
Apr. 10th, 2015 07:52 pm (UTC)
It is unfair to characterize the proposed rule changes as excluding Puppies. What people are trying to exclude is *slates*.

Had the Puppies merely recruited their friends, encouraged them to read widely and nominate their favorite things, there would have been no problem.

Even had the Puppies merely tried to recruit strangers who did not read much SFF with overtly and specifically political appeals, there would have been no problem

It was the slate that made a problem, and the proposed rule changes target only SLATES, be they liberal, conservative or prompted by a desire to see more horses in SFF. And you characterizing them as if they were some kind of oppression against conservatives is only playing right into the Puppies hands. Their paranoid delusions are energetic enough now, and don't need your encouragement.

Again, the No Award strategy is intended to target SLATES, be they conservative, liberal or a product of the pink spaceships movement. And of course the Puppies will call this a victory--the Puppies will call *anything* a victory at this point. When Vox Day came in sixth place last year, below No Award, they called it a victory.

No Awarding slate works isn't "guilt by association;" it is simply recognizing that a slate gives such an unfair boost to a work that it can get any piece of crud on the ballot, whether "Opera Vita Aeterna" or "Wisdom From My Internet"--and given such an enormous unfair boost, no work on a slate made the ballot fairly. (Perhaps it *could* have made it fairly in the absence of a slate, but now we'll never know.) It may not be the author's *fault* that it didn't make the ballot fairly, if the author wasn't contacted, but I don't see how that matters.

I am certainly not proposing blacklisting the authors (nor have I seen most other No Award mavens make any such suggestion.) I'm going to read everything, and if some pieces are good I'm going to continue following those authors, and perhaps I can vote for them, or even nominate them, in some more auspicious year.

And for goodness sake don't compare this to the McCarthy years--the Sad Puppies already stand around in circles assuring each other they are being blacklisted (when Tor publishes John C. Wright for God's sake); their self-pity doesn't need your help.

And frankly, if you want to leave the rules the same, and instruct people to treat slate nominees exactly as if they had gotten on the ballot fairly, what *are* you planning to do? Let the Puppies pick who will ever have a chance at a Hugo? So people will have to kiss Puppy...ah, *noses* to have a chance of getting on the ballot? Because Vox Day will be happy to do this again, year after year after year...
Apr. 10th, 2015 07:56 pm (UTC)
Why oppose rules change?
George, I'm a big fan and I appreciate that an industry heavyweight like you takes the time to provide some measured and rational discourse on the subject.

But I am confused by your opposition to changing the rules of the Hugo voting. The Hugos have always been susceptible to this kind of thing because the votes are largely open to anyway who wants to pay the dues and send in a ballot. For a long time, we got by with few major problems, but now we have this situation.

However, as you've said, everything the Puppy People have done was completely legal and within the rules. Unsporting, perhaps, but people also complain it is unsporting for a quarterback to take a knee and burn the clock when his team is on top at the end of a game. But it is legal and it is effective, so they keep doing it.

Likewise, if the Puppy tactics remain legal and they are effective, I think we will see more and more of this. We can spend endless hours debating the many possible revisions to the voting rules that might help, but it seems like you are opposed to changing the rules on principle.

My question is this. If what they are doing is legal, and you are unwilling to change the rules to prevent them from doing it again in the future, do you really have a leg to stand on to criticize them? They are playing the game as it the rules say it is played. I think there must be some way to alter the voting procedures to prevent this kind of collusion while maintaining the inclusivity of the Hugos.
Apr. 10th, 2015 07:57 pm (UTC)
Well said. Well said. We differ on some issues, but I think your willingness to be civil and keep the damage contained is great. Shit happened, let's move forward so we can minimize damages and maybe a year or two later we'll all be better off.

Some people are gonna make it a life or death issue to vanquish perceived enemies. If they make enough noise they'll drag it into the news.
Apr. 10th, 2015 08:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you Charlie, for attempting to be the joker in this deck.
Apr. 10th, 2015 08:14 pm (UTC)
For the life of me, I can't understand why a writer would want to infuse his politics into a fiction story, or why a reader wants their own politics represented. I think most of the great writers and story tellers avoid doing this. Maybe they ask complicated questions, but they are wise enough to know that they or no one else has the answers to these questions. I enjoyed Chris Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, but hated how he blatantly infused his politics into the two sequels (even though I agreed with him). It's just silly and comes across a little pretentious when you use a fiction story to instill subtle propaganda.

Anyhow, I have a feeling that the great majority of Sci FI readers are very open minded and introspective and don't read fiction to validate their own political beliefs. In the end, I think if the reasonable people band together, they will far out number the Puppies and be able to vote them down. Ironically, I think this will have lead to the exact thing the Puppies irrationally complained about initially and campaigned against - the suppression of conservative Sci Fi writers and maybe an unfair bias against them.
Apr. 10th, 2015 08:26 pm (UTC)
So you don't like Heinlein? Le Guin? Brunner?

Lots more too.

Fiction is full of politics, especially SF. Especially RAH.
Frank Probst
Apr. 10th, 2015 08:29 pm (UTC)
Did the Sad Puppies read what they nominated?
My only problem with the Sad Puppies slate is that I had the impression that the Sad Puppies were a group of people who were mindlessly voting for things that they hadn't read. I said this on Larry Correia's website, and here is his response (which he gave me permission to repost here):

"Nope. I will correct you if you are wrong."

"Check our Book Bombs. In the short fiction categories we Book Bombed all of our nominees, selling tons, and probably making them the most widely read items to show up in the smaller fiction categories in a very long time."

"In fact, Mike Glyer of File 770 reported on this, when he first saw our slate he made the same accusation, that we were trying to get people to vote without reading. I very clearly stated to the people involved that we expected them to do whatever they wanted, these were our suggestions, and we wanted them to read the works so they could vote intelligently. And when I posted that we already had the Book Bombs on the calender for each week leading up to the close of nominations."

"For example, our 3 plugged novellas? We sold over 2,000 of them that week, bumping each one to the top of its category on Amazon. If you know publishing numbers, you will realize that for novellas, that is a huge number.For many of our authors, it was the most sales they’ve ever had at one time."

"As for our novels, Kloos, Anderson, and especially Butcher are all wildly popular and my fan base has huge crossover with them already. Butcher is probably the most popular and widely read author to show up on the Hugo ballot in a long time [sic]."

"Also, the reason in these comments that you are seeing politics, is because all week long my people have been getting bombarded with politics attacking us. So talking about that is a normal human reaction. When the news is all OMG! RACISTS!!!! NO AWARD EVERYTHING, that is going to kind of suck up your attention."

So what we appear to have here is a small group of people who encouraged a larger group of people to read a number of short fiction pieces that they liked, and then to nominate those works for Hugos. It appears to have been done both openly and in good faith (i.e., they really wanted people to read what they were nominating). I'm sure that some people nominated works that they didn't actually read, but it really does look like a lot of people did a lot of reading before they filled out their nomination ballots. This was all well within the rules, so it's hard for me to get too upset about it.

As for "What now?", I think the answer is pretty easy: Everyone should do whatever they usually do when they vote for the Hugos. Download your packet, read the pieces, and then rank them accordingly. If you really don't think any of the five deserve an award, vote No Award. Maybe all of their choices are total crap. Maybe not. I won't know until I've had a chance to look at them.

So I guess my advice to everyone is simply this: Take a breath, and wait until you can download Nominee's Packet. THEN we'll figure out where we need to go.
Apr. 11th, 2015 05:30 am (UTC)

I have to admit, I do like Butcher's books. Never really considered them Hugo worthy, but I have all of them and like them.

Apr. 10th, 2015 08:41 pm (UTC)
We've always said that Hugos represent Quality - so Vote for Quality
Every year my husband and I not only vote, but also nominate. We read widely, so we do see stories that represent both sides of the spectrum. When we nominate, we don't look at the political correctness of a story (or the lack thereof), but Is It A Good Story? Is It A Hugo-Grade Story?
I personally am displeased by this year's shenanigans by a batch of (rather obviously) immature, whiny people who don't feel sufficiently appreciated, because they deliberately disenfranchised everyone who wasn't nominating a slate from any consideration of their choices.
I have read stories by Mr. Correa and frankly was not very impressed, though I gather that they sell well and that he has a devoted following. OTOH, I have read stories by Mr. Torgersen and WAS impressed. My husband and I included him as a nominee for the Campbell Award previously, and were it not for this year's slate, the novelette of his that we included among our nominations might have made it onto the final ballot -- we'll never know, under the circumstances.
Tempting as it is to simply reject the 'slate' nominations out of hand, we will do as we always do -- slog our way through the Hugo packet, enjoying the good items and rejecting the dreck. And then voting the same way. Since the Puppies are going to claim a victory no matter what, it seems that at least that way any good work by good authors will receive its appropriate reward.
Though, having now seen a bit of what Mr. VD (are those initials appropriate?) stands for, or rather, against, there will be a solid No Award vote on my ballot above his name.
Apr. 10th, 2015 08:54 pm (UTC)
So many authors will remember this as the year the Hugos were rendered meaningless. So many authors were caught up in this without having done anything at all wrong, and won't know what their real chances would have been. Fuck Sad Puppies.
Apr. 10th, 2015 09:35 pm (UTC)
The problem with changing the rules in situation like this is that it inevitably leads to more dissension and more changing of the rules and then more dissension more changing of the rules until there is nothing left that's recognizable. The less said the better. If people want to see the writers they enjoy non-native for Hugos then nominator. Get together other friends and haul out the banners and nominate them. There's nothing wrong with it. There's no rule against it. And it is with the puppies have done. Follow the rules. Don't change them. Change in this instance leads to chaos and chaos leads to damnation.

Sometimes the only change we need is to get motivated.

Apr. 10th, 2015 09:55 pm (UTC)
I am buying a supporting membership for the first time, so I can vote this year. I found a good explanation of how the voting works, especially the No Award option. Basically, if you list something after No Award, it still counts as a vote for it and it could end up winning. If someone finds a nominee unworthy of the Hugo, it is best to leave it off your ballot entirely and make No Award your lowest choice, even if that means you only vote for one or two nominees in a category.


I am proudly a liberal, but will give the puppy nominees a read. I've never considered an author's personal politics before reading a story. Why would I restrict myself to reading only works by authors who think exactly as I do in every possible way?
Apr. 10th, 2015 11:22 pm (UTC)
There's a difference between leaving your mind open, and actively supporting people who you KNOW act like angry (petulant, harmful) children, and are doing so specifically because they're homophobic, sexist, and racist.
(no subject) - ciaran_laval - Apr. 11th, 2015 12:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asombreroman - Apr. 11th, 2015 02:06 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - vondimpleheimer - Apr. 11th, 2015 07:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - langkard - Apr. 10th, 2015 11:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 10th, 2015 10:24 pm (UTC)
Jim Hines wrote a pretty good post about this as well. Apologies if it has already been linked somewhere and I missed it, but I don't think you can blame me for missing a few comments! :)

Apr. 10th, 2015 11:26 pm (UTC)
I agree with what to do about this year, but I disagree with you that the Hugo Nominating rules (note, the nominating rules, not the voting rules) are not broken. Any system of rules is designed with a surrounding set of social norms in mind. You can7t set up a perfect rules system, it would be too long, too complicated and would try to avoid things which wouldn't happen anyway. However, when the surrounding system changes, you need to adjust the rules to achieve your goals within the new system. In this case, the rules assumed that there would be nor significant organised campaigns and in particular there would be no significant "slate" voting. That assumption is no longer valid. There is at least one group which is setting out a slate and, due to the power of social media, has succeeded in skewing the nominations. Now, we need to see the actual nomination numbers, and the results, but since it appears that a large number of the very limited ballot slots have ben dominated by an organised campaign, which the current rules assumed would not happen, then we need to adjust the rules to try and avoid any such campaign dominating the short list. Increasing the number of finalists and possibly decreasing the number of individual nominating slots is a rational suggestion for making sure that a modest percentage of the voters can't, using a slate, dominate all the finalist slots.
Alvaro Garces
Apr. 11th, 2015 01:24 am (UTC)
I agree, and I would add that there is little sense in being upset at the Puppies and at the same time refusing to use a reasonable voting system for the nominations. Really, the one we have is too easy to game, not just by the Puppies, but also by other special interest groups. It's like leaving your money on the street and complaining that people steal it.
(no subject) - a_cubed - Apr. 13th, 2015 03:06 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 11th, 2015 02:10 am (UTC)
grrmI think there are going to be a lot of votes for "No Award" even following your strategy; I devoutly hope it wins in Best Related Work. I am finding is that even if I followed your suggestions, I still would be placing No Award at the top of many categories. I can't see anything I'm likely to place above "No Award" in the Best Related Work category. If I read The Three-body Problem or City of Stairs I might feel the same about the novel category. If the work I like best in a category isn't on the ballot, then what else would I put at the top of my vote in that category but "No Award?" And I would put other worthy works after it, to give them a boost.

If we just vote by our honest judgement, Vox Day is probably going to have plenty of reasons to try to blow up the awards next year, regardless of what we do.

Meantime, I wish you would drop your opposition to improving the nominating process. None of the proposals being mooted are intended to ban slates; they are intended to prevent a shut-out like this year's. The proposals don't strike me as more complex than the instant runoff system we are already using and which we have come to recognize as a fair system; we are just more used to it.

Beyond that, as you know, Correia has responded to you. Distressingly, he seems not to have noticed (I didn't read all that carefully, it's huge!) that you are actually supporting the SP position on the final ballot!
Apr. 11th, 2015 02:50 am (UTC)
Why Vote Normally? How does that help? What Does That Say?
I'm not yet saying what people should do, but I do not see the point of people voting as normal--I think that most tarnishes the Hugo.

You sit down with your friends for a poker championship with the goal of seeing which of you is the best player. You notice the dealer setting the deck. Do you just play the cards you are dealt? Of course not. The game is a bad joke. You’d never play those cards.
It doesn't matter if he rigged it so you get good cards. Or that you might have gotten a 2 of clubs anyway. You do not just play those cards like everything is normal.

That's the Hugo this year. With a rigged deck. Or if you prefer, it's the finals of a race where most runners got there by doping in the semifinals It doesn't matter that their doctor doped them without them knowing or that they might have won their semi anyway--we'll never know. You don't just run the race like things are fine.

I'm not saying what to do; that's a whole other argument. But we cannot know who is the best poker player with a set deck. We cannot know who is the fastest runner with a semifinal of doped runners. And we cannot claim a story is the best of the year with gamed nominations.
Apr. 12th, 2015 06:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Why Vote Normally? How does that help? What Does That Say?
I don't know you, but I read what you wrote elsewhere and literally re-joined LJ and came to this thread just to post a link to it, so thanks for getting here first. Your analogies to sport and games clearly show the problem of proceeding as if everything were normal. No one in their right mind would look at a sporting event in which a large number of finalists got there by cheating and say, "Well, we know who broke the rules, but let's play on anyway, and we'll see how each of them do and then decide. And any attempt to change the rules to stop the cheating is crazy talk."

The analogy that's inapt is Mr. Martin's: "I do not believe in Guilt by Association, and that's what we'd be doing if we vote against every name on the Puppy slates simply because they are on the slate. That was a classic weapon of the McCarthy Era..." The Hollywood blacklist targeted people because of their ideology. The "No Award" and rule change discussions are about targeting slate voting; there was and is no conspiracy to keep conservatives or the people nominated by them off the ballot. (The analogy is also over the top because people who were blacklisted couldn't get work in their profession at all afterward. Denying someone an artistic award falls well short of that and we're not on a slippery slope.)

Mr. Martin's and Scalzi's preferred course of action (i.e., vote for nominees you personally find Hugo-worthy, then No Award, and nothing else) is appealing because it doesn't feel vindictive. They won't exclude people who deserve the award. Good. We're all nice people who want to be nice.

But the SPs just want to win. They rigged the nominations; they will rig the voting for awards. The number of SPs needed to run the table on nominations was very small, about 200. Does anyone think there are only 200 SPs now? If 1,000 SPs vote as a bloc, they could run the table on awards night.

When confronting bad behavior, rule number 1 is: Don't reward the behavior. Despite the SP-promoted notion that "No Award" is a win for them, it's not. Winning is their big payoff. But to ensure that they don't, the response this year has to be coordinated. Coordinated on aesthetic grounds, not political, but coordinated. If it isn't, the SPs will win. And they will do it again next year.

Mr. Martin also says, "The worldcon business meeting is never exactly a funfest, but if the proponents of half these proposals show up at Sasquan, this year's will be a nightmare." You know who will show up at the business meeting? SPs. It's going to be a nightmare whatever you do, so if you care what happens as a result of the process, then you need to prepare for what the people who broke the Hugo Awards are going to do next.
Apr. 11th, 2015 05:19 am (UTC)
I see this as being about the Rabies too
The telling statistic from my analysis: of all the nominees who appear only on the Rabid slate, ALL of them involve Beale or his house except a TV episode and a fanzine. It's one thing to be a lying ideologue; it's another thing to be using your fellow ideologues for self-promotion. If his works were permanently disqualified from consideration, it would be a positive thing.

I also do not see why anyone should care whether the puppies think they've won. It only matters whether the final outcome reflects well on the Hugos in the eyes of people who aren't ideologues.
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