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Puppies at Christmas

It's Christmas Eve. Time for my ritual screening of my favorite adaptations of A CHRISTMAS CAROL... the Reginald Owen version, the Alastair Sim version, the George C. Scott version, and... best of all... BLACKADDER'S CHRISTMAS CAROL, with Rowan Atkinson. Time for eggnog. Time for wrapping prezzies. Time for peace on earth, and good will toward men... and women... and aliens... and elves... and even puppies. So in the spirit of the season, I am going to say something nice about the Sad Puppies.

Last year's Puppygate was an ugly affair. I am not going to rehash it here. My views are all on record, my original blog posts still up for anyone who wants to go back and read them. The last thing I want... the last thing anyone who truly loves science fiction, fantasy, and fandom would want... would be to have to go through the whole thing again in 2016. Whatever your view of how the Hugo Awards turned out at Sasquan, I think we can all agree that we would like MidAmericon II's awards to be more joyful, less rancorous, less controversial.

And maybe... just maybe... we'll get our wish. Call me naive. Call me an innocent. Call me too trusting by half, too nice a guy to see how things really are... but, really, I am starting to have some hope. All over the internet, people are already talking about the Hugo Awards, making recommendations, discussing the work... the WORK, the things we love, the stuff that unites us instead of the stuff that divides us. I've been trying to do my part, here on my Not A Blog, and will continue to do so. Over at FILE 770, similar discussions are taking place. And on many other websites, blogs, and bulletin boards as well... including Sad Puppies 4.

Yes, the Sad Puppies are doing it again. ((No big secret, that was announced even before worldcon)). Discussions of possible nominations in all Hugo categories can be found on their SP4 site here: http://sadpuppies4.org/sp4-recommendations-pages-and-faq/ Go check it out. You can even join in. So far as I can tell, you don't need to be a Puppy to recommend.

As of a few minutes ago, there were 159 'thoughts' in the Best Novel section, which suggests a healthy level of participation. And, I am pleased to say, almost all of what follows seems to be honest and enthusiastic discussion of the work. I am seeing very little name-calling compared to what we saw in Sad Puppies 3, a dearth of references to CHORFS and ASPs and Puppy-kickers and that perennial favorite, SJWs. I am not seeing any "nominate this, it will make their heads explode" posts that we saw so often last year.

Instead, people are recommending books. A very wide range of books. Sure, new works by familiar Puppy favorites like Larry Correia, Mike Williamson, and John C. Wright are being recommended (no surprise there)... but so are works by Neal Stephenson, James S.A. Corey, Naomi Novik, Victor Milan, Terry Pratchett, S.M. Stirling, Ian Tregillis, Ernie Cline, Elizabeth Bear, Gene Wolfe, Michael Moorcock, Orson Scott Card, Greg Bear, Kate Elliott, and many others... including the latest Marko Kloos, and... wonder of wonder... novels from N.K. Jemisin and Anne Leckie!

There are some really good names on that list. Some really good books. (And many I have not read yet, but will look up now). And there's an amazing range of literary styles, subgenres, and... yes... political and religious views. And all this is to the good.

(Similar discussions are taking place on Sad Puppies 4 for the other categories, though Best Novel has the most participation).

For decades now, LOCUS and NESFA and other fan groups have produced reading lists at year's end, long lists generated by recommendations from their editors/ members/ etc. If at the end of this process, Sad Puppies 4 puts forth a similar list, one that has room for BOTH Larry Correia and Anne Leckie, I don't think anyone could possibly object. I won't, certainly. A list like that would not be a slate, and the whole "slate voting" thing will become moot.

And that would be great. That would mean no Puppygate II. That would mean a spirited literary debate about writers and books without the acrimony and the name-calling. From that debate a truly democratic and diverse ballot could emerge, one that represents all tastes. That would mean no 'No Awards' at Big MAC II, and the Hugo ceremony could once again become a joyous celebration of the best and brightest in our field.

In my post-worldcon blog post last August 31 (( http://grrm.livejournal.com/440444.html )) I expressed the hope that the ugliness of 2015 could be left behind, that Fandom and Puppydom could coexist in peace. That's still my hope. And right now I am feeling a little more hopeful than I was in August. People are talking books, not trading epithets...

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good read.

Comments

( 40 comments )
Enrique_swaggy
Dec. 25th, 2015 01:20 am (UTC)
Merry Christmas
The Winter is Here martin I love your job in your books (all not only Song of Ice and Fire...Greetings for you and your wife

~Isaac L.L Henry~ "THE Unknow writer

Uma D
Dec. 25th, 2015 01:58 am (UTC)
Merry Christmas
Hope...will get TWOW in new year. Thank you so much for the wonderful ASOIF series.
angeleno
Dec. 25th, 2015 02:10 am (UTC)
Merry Christmas and Thanks!

And a warm Merry Christmas to you and all your loved ones (both real and imaginary) as well!

I'd also like to say "Thanks, George!" not only for your wonderful work on ASOIAF, which has given me countless hours of thrills and pleasure, but also for all the things you share with us here on your "Not a Blog." I truly enjoy reading about your thoughts on current happenings, your love of football, your recommendations on books, your past (when you're being nostalgic), your obvious love for the Jean Cocteau, and everything else. It's just a great pleasure to share those with you. So thanks for everything, George!

Here's wishing you love and laughter and the best of everything in the New Year. May it be a wonderful year for us all!

Slàinte mhath!
Angeleno
kpcobbo42
Dec. 25th, 2015 02:56 am (UTC)
Messy Christmas
Wishing you and yours a very messy Christmas!
xxlcuk
Dec. 25th, 2015 03:32 am (UTC)
Thank You
For all the wonderful stories you've shared with the world I want to say thank you. I have never read anything so in depth and imaginative as what you've written.

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

P.S. my boyfriend and I have boycotted GOT midseason 5 so we are no longer spoiled and wont be spoiled for TWOW. Nothing compares to reading your stories. (Especially when certain people mess them up!)

Edited at 2015-12-25 03:44 am (UTC)
flake_sake
Dec. 25th, 2015 05:50 am (UTC)
I went over and looked. My current favorite Uprooted is getting a lot of love. And many many decent books are being recommended. If the puppies play like this I'm perfectly willing to take the seriously and would vote alongside on the choices where I agree with them.

Let's hope for the best in 2016.
livejournal
Dec. 25th, 2015 07:27 am (UTC)
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Ziv Wities
Dec. 25th, 2015 09:02 am (UTC)
Posting on Puppies at Christmastime? You like to live dangerously :)

But I really like what you're saying here. SP4 looks to me like it can self-select for people who want to share and read recommendations, which is an entirely different nature than previous SPs, that self-selected for "stick it to the SJWs" rabble-rousing.

SP4 looks like it's taking several serious, significant steps away from what made SP3 so harmful. The focus on community recommendations; the choice to expand the list to 10 or more per category; the stress on "cast your nomination ballot for one of popular works on The List – provided you’ve read it and agree that it’s worth an award."

Obviously, it remains to be seen how things will pan out. I suspect we'll still see a fair share of rabble-rousing, and there's still so much acrimony all round from last year.

But I wouldn't miss the opportunity to bridge differences, and acknowledge good work and constructive actions when I see them. The changes in SP4 are much appreciated, at least by this humble one.
kieran sterling
Dec. 25th, 2015 09:47 am (UTC)
merry christmas and a happy (and peaceful) new year!
Blackadder's Christmas Carol... exquisite taste, sir! Thats my favorite version. As much as I like Bean, Blackadder was Rowan's best work to me.

I'm hoping you get a peaceful and enjoyable Hugo Awards process this year.
drplokta
Dec. 25th, 2015 10:54 am (UTC)
Indeed the current discussion of Best Novel nominees is perfectly sensible and generous-spirited, and if the Sad Puppies come up with a long list of novels (at least a dozen, please, so it doesn't look like a slate) that might be worth your consideration for nominating based on that discussion then I entirely support what they're doing.
Arthur Merinovich
Dec. 25th, 2015 12:55 pm (UTC)
Yay, love the Puppies posts.
Gregory Hullender
Dec. 25th, 2015 01:16 pm (UTC)
Short Fiction
Merry Christmas to you too! Still hoping to see you make a pitch for people to read and nominate short fiction. :-)
Kate Paulk
Dec. 25th, 2015 04:51 pm (UTC)
As one of the Sad Puppies 4 organizers I'd like to point out that anyone from here who wants to add to the list in any category is welcome. Initial comments go to the moderation queue, which I check at least once a day. Anything that's not obvious spam gets approved.

My goal from the start has been a healthier Hugo award, with many more fans reading, discussing, and participating in the Hugo process.

I'm also running a series of category highlight posts each Thursday on MadGeniusClub.com - so far I've covered Best Fan Artist and Best Fan Writer. I'm starting with the less well-known categories since nominations and votes in those categories tend to be lowest.
grrm
Dec. 26th, 2015 07:27 am (UTC)
I think all this is to the good. Fans reading, discussing, and participating in Hugo process is what I want as well.

On the other hand, you will face challenges to keep the discussion at its present high level. See the comment below by a certain Tim McDonald. He does say he is not a Sad Puppy... one must assume he is a Rabid... but he's outspoken in his desire to destroy the Hugos.

It would seem as though Mr. McDonald and those he speaks for are the common enemies of everyone who loves SF, fandom, and cons, and wants that healthier Hugo award you speak of.

I hope to have plenty of discussion and recommendations here as well. The process I began with my posts on the two drama categories and graphic novel will continue, when I have the time.
catsittingstill
Dec. 25th, 2015 05:34 pm (UTC)
As long as it really is a *long* list, sure. Fifty entries in every category. Random order. (Preferably re-ordered every time the page is displayed but I don't know how hard that is to do)

*That* wouldn't provide an unfair advantage.

Of course, a group that wants an unfair advantage would balk at this requirement. But hey, maybe the Puppies aren't seeking an unfair advantage. This year. That would indeed be a change worthy of the Christmas season!
Thomas Evans
Dec. 25th, 2015 06:27 pm (UTC)
This is encouraging to see. I too hope we can have a more reasonable and enjoyable year for the Hugo's. There have been some really strong eligible works this year for Best Novel, my favourites probably being N.K Jemisin's The Fifth Season (Really, this novel was brilliant, I cannot praise it enough); Ian Tregillis' The Mechanical; Zen Cho's Sorceror to he Crown and Robin Hobb's Fool's Assassin. But I completely agree that seeing such a range of possible nominations from the Puppies is an encouraging sign, and I am cautiously optimistic for the Hugo's 2016.
fosteronfilm2
Dec. 25th, 2015 07:34 pm (UTC)
Hope is for Christmas. Reality Comes Back on Boxing Day.
Not sure the Pups are the best Christmas topic, but I suppose hope is. Perhaps this should be said tomorrow, but it's today and I'm here, so: I don't think so. I've seen Pup responses to this note already and they don't like it. They say that you are dishonest and the problem and several less kindly things. So no, I don't see any signs of the Pups becoming nicer--nor to make it about the works as the comments were all on the evil other. Ugly fades, hopefully. It doesn't vanish in a puff of logic, or, it seems, kindness.
Thoughts for after Christmas.
Nicholas Vasilios Pappas
Dec. 25th, 2015 08:03 pm (UTC)
Hey George! Have you ever read any David Mitchell? Seeing all those names made me want to recommend another. He's always dabbled in fantasy in his work, but especially his last two novels The Bone Clocks and Slade House (which came out in October) explore it heavily! I'm sure your reading list is looong, but wanted to give you the suggestion.

Nick
SFFFan42
Dec. 25th, 2015 08:19 pm (UTC)
Happy Holidays and a Caution
These sound like some lovely Xmas tradition. And that the sad puppies seem to evolve in constructive direction is encouraging. But you forgot that Beale and his rabid puppies were the real problem this year. And Beale is still quite unhinged and seems as ready as ever to be the turd in the punch bowl. The guy seems to relish the opportunity to annoy his mostly imagined enemies. So I'm expecting the same mess for 2016.
Robert Ries
Dec. 26th, 2015 12:30 am (UTC)
SMH...
"And, I am pleased to say, almost all of what follows seems to be honest and enthusiastic discussion of the work."

So, just like last year, in case you weren't paying attention.....

SMH....
grrm
Dec. 26th, 2015 12:36 am (UTC)
Re: SMH...
I was paying attention. Not at all like last year, no.

But this is this year, and one can hope for the best.
Tim McDonald
Dec. 26th, 2015 02:44 am (UTC)
Not me.
Not me. I am not participating in Sad Puppies this year.

I am boycotting Tor so I won't be reading many of the works.

I am buying a membership so I can vote.

And I plan to No Award every category.

You were warned what would happen and now it is going to happen.

No more crap winners. And you have set the standard. I plan on leaving the Hugo's a smoking wreck. If Toni Weisskopf is not worthy of a Hugo, then NO ONE in the field today deserves one, and that is the standard I have set for editor. The same goes for every category. They get compared to last year, and No Award is going to get a log of votes.

Enjoy your awards show.
grrm
Dec. 26th, 2015 07:18 am (UTC)
Re: Not me.
That's some Christmas spirit you have, chuckles.

Try not to choke on your bile.

And by the way, when you start talking about "you set the standard," I am not clear as to whether the "you" refers to me as an individual, or to me as a member of or spokesman for the mythical SJW conspiracy. Because if it is the former, then you are way off base with the stuff about Toni Weisskopf. If you bothered reading my old posts, you'd know that I was always against the "nuclear award" option of No Awarding everything, and in particular against voting No Award in the two editor categories, where I thought there were several finalists worthy of a Hugo. Those are the actual facts of what I said and believed.



Edited at 2015-12-26 07:41 am (UTC)
Tim McDonald
Dec. 26th, 2015 04:22 pm (UTC)
Re: Not me.
No, not referring to you. If you and Eric Flint, people who I might disagree but can be talked to were the people who voted in the Hugos, then I would have no problem and would actually nominate a few works that were worthy, and would have no problem with some other works which, while not my cup of tea, would have been non-embarrassing winners.

But this is indeed all about last year. If you do not correct a child when it misbehaves, then you will never change the behavior. This year and probably next is about changing behavior. Last year was a tantrum by the emotional equivalent of small children. This year is the punishment.
grrm
Dec. 26th, 2015 09:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Not me.
We can argue all night and all day about who misbehaved last year. You and I obviously have very different opinions there.

One thing we might agree on, regardless of who we think the bad behavior came from, is that a lot of innocents were caught in the crossfire. People like Toni Weisskopf and Anne Sowards and Sheila Gilbert and Jim Minz, people like Mike Resnick and Edmund Schubert, people like Liz Gorinsky and Ursula Vernon and Marko Kloos and Annie Bellet, none of whom asked for this, none of whom were complicit.

The course you're advocating, punishment and wrecking and the like, will only create more ill will, more hard feelings, more innocent victims.

I think we should all try to overcome our anger and rise above the worst of our nature, and make this a literary debate and not a culture war. This is a new year. Why double down on old mistakes?
mauser
Dec. 26th, 2015 08:09 am (UTC)
You said, "I expressed the hope that the ugliness of 2015 could be left behind, that Fandom and Puppydom could coexist in peace."

The mistake here is that you appear to think the Fans and Puppies are two separate things. Puppies ARE fans. I think if people would recognize that, instead of dividing up, we could concentrate on commonality.

That's one of the great things about the way Amanda and the other ladies are handling this, it really IS open to everyone. Unlike other forums where the politics takes precedence and alternate views are shut out, deleted, mocked or "Disemvowelled". SP4 is setting a great example of what could be, and what should be.
grrm
Dec. 26th, 2015 10:04 pm (UTC)
I have addressed this many times before.

It all hinges on the definition of "fan." Especially when rendered upper case, as "Fan."

I define "Fan" as a member of Fandom. Fandom is a community that has existed since the first cons in the 30s, whose roots go back to the lettercolumns of prozines in the 1920s. FIAWOL... and for me, and tens of thousands of others, fandom IS a way of life. Fandom is my family, its values are my values (well, mostly), and worldcon is my annual family reunion, a place for joy and celebration.

In any case, when we are discussing last year's unpleasantness, we can call the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies by the names they gave themselves, but we need a term for those who opposed them. I will not accept SWJs or CHORFs or ASPs or Puppy-kickers or any of the other offensive epithets the Pups coined to refer to those who rose to defend the Hugos. I prefer Fans, as a shorthand for "traditional worldcon fandom and Hugo voters."

I do agree that we should concentrate on what unites us rather than what divides us. The two sides may never agree on whether Larry Correia or John Scalzi is the better writer... but there is room enough in our field for both.

mauser
Dec. 26th, 2015 11:07 pm (UTC)
But you see, you're still dividing. Sad Puppies supporters are still Fans. It's like saying the cold war was between Communists and Human Beings. So by all means, come up with a word to refer to them if you like, but Fans is not specific enough to be correct.

And "Defend the Hugos" is certainly side-taking as well. It implies that the Hugos belonged to them, and nobody else. The Hugos belong to the fans, ALL of them, not just the side opposite the Puppies. And what a great defending job was done, eh, along the lines of Lt. Calley.

As for myself, I've been in Fandom for all of my adult life, PhilCon in 1984 being my first. I pubbed an Art 'zine for 14 years, I ran three Con art shows. I think I am entitled to call myself a Fan.

Trying to say I'm not because I didn't align myself with the folks from TOR in their bid to maintain a stranglehold on the Hugos is just plain offensive. If you really want a more congenial future, try to avoid doing this going forward.
grrm
Dec. 27th, 2015 02:00 am (UTC)
Yes, you are certainly a Fan.

If you are an honest Fan, however, you will have to acknowledge that many Puppies did not have your own history or credentials. Some, certainly. But others were quite open, even loud, in their contempt for worldcon and traditional Fandom.

"The Hugos belong to the fans, ALL of them," you say... and that is true in a metaphorical sense, certainly. In a legal sense, however, the Hugos belong to worldcon and its members. Worldcon created them, and worldcon members have administered and, yes, cherished them for half a century.

You want to talk about things being "just plain offensive," and then you include that goofy stuff about the Tor conspiracy to 'maintain a stranglehold on the Hugos' in the very same sentence. To me that stuff is... you guessed it... just plain offensive. Not to mention untrue and offensive.

But we are doing just what I do not want to do, and that is rehashing the arguments from last year.

If YOU want a more congenial future, stop rehashing Puppygate talking points and start talking about the work you liked in 2015, that might be worthy of a Hugo. That's what we all need to be doing.
mauser
Dec. 27th, 2015 02:56 am (UTC)
Now I'm dishonest because I can't vet the fandom credentials of 400+ people who cast nominating votes anonymously? I can't acknowledge the unknowable.

And you're still drawing divisive distinctions. Every single Sad Puppy who voted joined WorldCon, therefore they have just as much ownership as any other fan, yeah, even the 2500 arsonists who joined only to burn down the awards (And you can't claim those guys were Sad Puppies).

The problem with credentialism and resume puffing is that it leads to the crisis fandom in general is facing, the greying of the Fandom and declining interest.

Yeah, it's great that I have enough cred to count, but I was just as much a fan as I was when I entered that hotel in 1984.

The Filkers define a Filk as whatever a Filker sings. The definition of Fan is anyone who considers himself a fan. Central Tracking of Fanac doesn't exist, and shouldn't. Con Badges are not Merit Badges. Worldcon attendees are not the Eagle Scouts of Fandom (after all, any Neo can buy a membership and show up as his first con).

If you want to end divisiveness, then you too need to stop dividing the fans up along party lines and saying "they" are not true fans. Stop "Othering" the Puppies, and recognize that they are fans too, even with different opinions and tastes. If nothing else, something as intellectual as Fandom should embrace diversity of thought. There have been enough dystopias written to show us the danger of an intellectual monoculture.
grrm
Dec. 27th, 2015 06:05 am (UTC)
No one "othered" the Puppies except the Puppies. They are the ones who announced, "We are Sad Puppies," or "We are Rabid Puppies."

'Diversity of thought' was what existed BEFORE the Puppies, when you had hundreds of individual fans making individual nominations for the Hugos. It was the slates that promoted uniformity of thought.

Your definition of fan may be 'anyone who considers himself a fan.' I've given mine above. You don't buy membership in the fannish community for forty bucks. It is not a matter of 'elitism,' as the ignorant keep saying. It is a matter of paying one's dues. And not with dollars.

But all this is ground that I have gone over many times, and I weary of repeating myself. If you have something constructive to say about the 2016 Hugos, I would be glad to hear it... but if you just want to pour gasoline on last year's fires, take it elsewhere.
banner
Dec. 27th, 2015 06:12 pm (UTC)
And this is why the number of people reading SF&F is declining. Because you want to exclude people.

Anyone who buys and reads SF&F is a Fan, period.

You don't have to go to cons, you don't have to volunteer, you don't have to do anything buy and read the stories. Hell, you don't even need to buy them, you can just go to the library and borrow them.

I've always hated elitists, and I've always hated it when people try to make themselves elite by excluding other people because they aren't 'good enough'. Which is -exactly- what you are proposing here, a 'class' system.

grrm
Dec. 27th, 2015 11:27 pm (UTC)
Not at all. Just precision of language.

Someone who buys and reads SF is a "reader."

Readers are plenty 'good enough.' No one ever said they were not... well, except you. Readers are the people who support me, and every other science fiction and fantasy author. There are not enough Fans to support any of us, even if every one bought a book.

That doesn't mean every reader is a Fan (or every Fan a reader, for that matter). You are seeing elitism where none exists, and assuming the pose of victim when no one victimized you.

There are turtles and there are tortoises. They are similar in many ways, but they are not the same. That does not mean one is better than the other. Just that they are different.
avt_tor
Dec. 26th, 2015 09:55 am (UTC)
it's not over
I was hoping to get through Christmas without having to see stuff about the Puppies, but I didn't see this until the 26th, so I guess that part is okay.

Based on the pattern from 2015, we know the voting system itself works fine, it's nominations where the wannabe gatekeepers have undue influence. We know the nomination rules have not yet changed. We know the Puppies are organizing again for 2016. Based on last year, we know that Correia, Torgenson, and Beale are aware of the January 31 deadline for becoming a member eligible to nominate. We know that all the members of Sasquan are eligible to nominate in 2016; this includes the 370 or so Puppies who purchased supporting memberships for Sasquan on January 26, which coincides with the 370 who nominated the slate(s) While that is a key number, we know the Puppies continued to mobilize people after April 4. We know that the total number of voters who voted for Puppies nominations above No Award in the final votes was around 2200. Not all of this number were Vile Faceless Minions (Vox Day's name for them), but overall the 2016 slate may have a large number of members submitting slate nominations. From the data availalbe, we know that almost all the January 26 Puppies members and most of the Puppies and specifically anti-Puppies voters after April 4 were supporting, not attending members. In other words, this activity comes from outside the Worldcon community. The Puppies had almost no presence at the convention and certainly this activity is not initiated by Wroldcon organizers in any way, though it does create extra work for a few departments. Beale perceives this as a conflict between himself and Scalzi and the Nielsen Haydens, a conflict that existed before Beale and co. paid particular attention to the Hugos; the Hugos are just one battlefield in their conflict. From the nomination results, where there was a difference between the "Sad" and "Rabid" Puppies slates, we know that the "Sad" Puppies were essentially irrelevant, and from web analytics tracking responses (clicks from one website to another) to various events that there was no chronological difference in the behavior of Sad and Rabid Puppies; they moved as one. Specifically we know that Larry Correia's followers generally ignored the "Sad" Puppies version and nominated off the "Rabid" Puppies list. In other words, we can conclude from the evidence the "Sad" Puppies are just a cover and a propaganda wing; Puppies are one movement, driven by Beale. the Puppies have some new figurehead for 2016, I don't recall the name, but the fact that they have a "leader" without a transparent selection process indicates that someone is selecting the leader, and that person is the one driving the strategy.

Those of us who consider the Hugo Awards to be a useful contribution to the science fiction community will encourage everyone interested to nominate works they like next year, as we do every year. Democracy will prevail.
grrm
Dec. 26th, 2015 10:14 pm (UTC)
Re: it's not over
This is way too paranoid for me.

I don't believe in Dark Lords. In my fiction, or real life.

And I prefer not to feed the trolls.

So I will continue to talk about, and with, the Sad Puppies, in hopes that the ugliness of last year might be avoided, but I will not engage with, nor waste words on, the Rabids.
avt_tor
Dec. 27th, 2015 03:37 am (UTC)
Re: it's not over
In 2013 and 2014, the "Sad Puppies" were Correia, Torgenson,and Beale. They made a video where the three of them morphed into the three characters in their logo. In 2015, they separated Beale for tactical reasons, because of a perception that Beale was too toxic to be seen dealing with. The important things to note, other than the online collaboration, is that in 2015 the "Sad" Puppies never disavowed the so-called "Rapid" Puppies, and also that they communicate very different messages when speaking to their own followers than they do when speaking to others. Essentially the distinction between "Sad" and "Rabid" Puppies appears to be a disingenuous tactic to sidestep the worst criticism of their movement. They aren't two groups, they are one group with different faces for different audiences.

I don't know anything about a "Dark Lord". "Vile Faceless Minions" is the name Beale's followers have chosen; some of them sign their emails with this, plus the number that Beale has assigned to them to coordinate voting tactics.

It's unfortunate that the Puppies co-opted several conservative-leaning authors, editors, and others in the SF community to give cover to their agenda. It's a classic tactic of right-wing movements to claim to speak for a much larger number than their actual supporters (the way political extremists in the US use the word "Christian" as if the diverse belief systems in the US support their hate-driven agenda). I spoke to a couple of people who were in a difficult position, where rejecting the nominations might have cause conflict in circles that are important to them, but that really did not appreciate the tactics or being linked to the worst on the Puppies' lists. Diversity of opinion has always been valued in the SF community, but diversity of opinion requires allowing everyone to speak and write as individuals, not lump people into groups they don't really agree with.

If one defines "trolls" as people who post unpleasant things on the Internet in order to annoy and upset people, the Puppies, especially the Sad Puppies, are the trolls, and engaging them is what gives them attention and ammunition. You have to understand that no matter what your inent is, they're going to spin anything you say or do in terms of their narrative, as their enemy, their ally, their unwitting dupe, whatever.They pretty much go through the playbook of propaganda tactics as outlined by Hayakawa, Orwell, and others to get people to think their way.

However, it is a good thing for anyone to speak in positive, rational terms about what's good in recent science fiction and fantasy. The purpose of the Hugo Awards is to highlight the best in order to draw attention to the whole field. Again just looking at the empirical data, this LiveJournal does very well at that. I saw a lot of hits coming from here to the Worldcon website this year, as I've seen in the past.

My personal opinion is unimportant. I just want people to be aware the quantitative information and see the links of cause and effect in order to properly understand what and who we are actually dealing with.


grrm
Dec. 27th, 2015 06:20 am (UTC)
Re: it's not over
When people behave badly (in fandom or out of it), or do things that I find immoral or unethical, I reserve the right to speak out about it, as I did about Sad Puppies 3 last year.

When, on the other hand, I see behavior I regard as positive, I am also going to speak out about that... regardless of whether my words are going to be "spun" to suit someone else's narrative. So far, what I am seeing on the Sad Puppies 4 boards is a step in the right direction... a spirited literary discussion that includes everyone from Wright and Williamson to Leckie and Jemisin. That's good.

If it turns into something else later, well, I'll revise my opinion or raise objections. But I am not going to deal in hypotheticals. Right now what I see is people talking books.

And this hardening of positions, this endless desire to rehash the details of Puppygate, does no one any good. There can never be any healing if people like you, and your Bizarro counterparts in Puppydom, insist in picking at the scabs.

Enough.
electricnight
Dec. 26th, 2015 07:29 pm (UTC)
BlackAdder
The BlackAdder Christmas Carol IS the BEST funny Christmas show of all time! Very true.
3fgburner
Dec. 26th, 2015 11:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Ann Leckie
I just reserved a copy of Ancillary Mercy at the library. I read both Sword and Justice, so as to make an honest judgment about them on my Sasquan ballot.

Justice wasn't bad for a first novel, but I'd have put it way down-ballot from Correia's Warbound, which was better IMO.

Ancillary Sword, frankly, stunk. I mean, one of the major dramatic conflicts in the book was a spoiled rich bitch, busting a 3,000 year old tea set. It took about 150 pages into the book, before anything actually happened.

I'm going to read Ancillary Mercy, just to see if Leckie manages to pull it out. Sword may have just been a case of Two Towers Syndrome aka mid-trilogy meh. The other possibility is that Ancillary Justice was a fluke. We'll see.
brianz2017
Dec. 27th, 2015 07:30 am (UTC)
The Day after Christmas, 2065
“So join, read, vote. And fifty years from now, when your fannish grandchildren ask you, ‘Say, gramps, what did you do in the Great Hugo War?’ you’ll have an answer for them.”

-grrm, June 13, 2015


The Day after Christmas, 2065:

“Say, gramps, what did you do in the Great Hugo War?”

“Some said I wasn’t a real Fan. No credentials! I voted after a LiveJournal appeal from grrm, who in addition to Max Headroom and THE ARMAGEDDON RAG wrote a series of epic fantasy novels that got adapted into a cable show.”

“Wires transmitting radio signals, right? LiveJournal’s better than Facebook. But gramps, what’s a series of epic fantasy novels?”

“As the Big Five collapsed, earnings… let’s not talk about that. Fandom splintered into fractious online subgroups, and mega-authors had to choose between positioning themselves as a mega-brand in thrall to some corporation, or as a mega-fan, exemplar of the imagined community spanning the sequestered subcultures."

“Sounds like a rhetorical tightrope.”

“It was tough on authors who spent decades in the fandom of printed books – like Pournelle’s 18-volume THERE WILL BE WAR you got for Christmas.”

“Are those Man-Kzin stories canonical?”

“Absolutely. Look. We were spread so thin that finalists in Best Novella, Novelette or Short Story were thrown out because they didn’t meet the threshold of five percent of nominating ballots cast.”

“What determined eligibility, gramps?”

“Word count.”

“You’re old! Why didn’t the mega-fans like grrm and Liu Cixin and Rudy Rucker just plug in their wires and explain to all fans of text-based, linear, narrative, non-interactive science fiction that they needed to pull together, honor its practitioners and save a dying art form? I mean, you and grandma made me this set of THERE WILL BE WAR from hand grown, scudded, pounced, and bound calfskin.”

“Rucker did. Liu Cixin was torn between Arthur C. Clarke and the MMOG future, and he imagined – wrongly, as we now know – that Anglosphere fans could repair the Hugos on their own. grrm made a few human mistakes, but he did his best and – thank Ghu! – in the end, everybody started pulling together.”


Edited at 2015-12-27 10:02 am (UTC)
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