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The membership numbers for Sasquan continue to climb higher and higher. In the past, worldcons in major metropolitan areas like LA, Chicago, Boston, and London have boasted the largest membership numbers, while those in smaller and more out-of-the way locales have been smaller. Spokane is about as small and out-of-the-way as worldcon sites are like to get, and therefore might reasonably have been expected to be one of the smaller worldcons in the past decade.

But this is no ordinary year. Thanks to Puppygate and the Hugo War, Sasquan's membership numbers are way higher than anyone could have expected. The little con in Spokane even has an outside chance of eclipsing the record membership totals set last year by London.

FILE 770 has the numbers: http://file770.com/?p=22097

What's even more unusual -- though perfectly understandable in context -- is that this huge upswell is for SUPPORTING memberships, not attending. In other words, these are people who want to vote on the Hugo Awards, but have no actual interest in attending the worldcon.

But who are they? Are these new members Sad Puppy fans, signing up to vote the Torgersen/ Correia slate to victory? Are these the Rabids, the lockstep legions of Vox Day? Or is this fandom, gathering to defend the integrity of the Hugos? Pronouncements abound, but no one really knows, and no one is likely to know until the envelopes are opened. This will be the most dramatic Hugo night in worldcon history. But not in a good way.

Myself, I think it's All of the Above. Fans on both sides -- or all three sides, if you want to draw a line between the Sad Puppies and the Rabids -- are laying down their money to cast their vote. I also think the votes may be way closer than some of the people on "my side" think. I am sensing way too much complacency from fandom. The Puppies dominated the nominations by mustering 200-300 votes for their slate, out of 2000; the fans seem to be counting on the "other" 1800, the voters who scattered their own nominating ballots, to outvote the Pups. And yes, 1800 beats 200 every time... but that does NOT account for all these new members.

However this goes down, we will see more Hugo ballots cast than ever before. If any of this matters to you -- yes, YOU, reading this right now -- you can and should cast one of them. It will cost you $40, and you have until July 1 to sign up. Go to:


Looking at those membership numbers, especially the number of Supporting Members as opposed to Attending, makes me wonder -- are any of the Puppies actually planning on coming to Sasquan? If their slate should prevail and win a bunch of rockets, who is going to be there to accept them? We know Brad Torgersen cannot attend, since he is being deployed. I believe that Larry Correia had also stated that he won't be going. So... who will?


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Apr. 24th, 2015 11:19 pm (UTC)
And from that day forth, the Maesters dubbed it The War of the Three Fandoms.
Apr. 24th, 2015 11:30 pm (UTC)
I went to my first world con in San Antonio, and was gleefully surprised about the Hugo Packet. And I voted. I bought a supporting membership for London world con and was disappointed about the lack of full novel/novellas (unlike lonestar) due to publisher snitfits. And I voted, though I was confused as to why some of them were on the ballot. I wasn't going to buy a supporting for Sasquan because if the packet didn't have all the (written) works, why bother? But because I believe that the Hugo award should mean quality, I went ahead and got a supporting membership. If there's no or minimal packet I probably won't again. Unless it comes back around to driving distance for me, of course.
Apr. 24th, 2015 11:49 pm (UTC)
The packet is a relatively new addition to the Hugo process. I think it's great for the short fiction, but I have reservations about including complete novels... as do most publishers.
(no subject) - avidreadergirl - Apr. 25th, 2015 06:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - listicath - Apr. 25th, 2015 07:21 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - a_cubed - Apr. 27th, 2015 06:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kalimac - Apr. 25th, 2015 02:43 am (UTC) - Expand
James Rutledge Roesch
Apr. 24th, 2015 11:45 pm (UTC)
Pups aren't fandom?
So, when the Pups participate in the voting process, they're not a part of fandom? They're violating the integrity of the award? Why? What makes their vote different from anyone else's?
Apr. 24th, 2015 11:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Pups aren't fandom?
There are hundreds of thousands of words on that very topic in the blog posts preceding this, and attached comments.

The Pups are, and always have been, welcome to join fandom... but they don't seem to want that. They want the award. They don't want to join the community.

We get constant misunderstandings on this because the two sides are using "fan" in very different ways. My side uses "fan" to mean "member of organized fandom, a community whose roots go back to the 1930s," the other side defines it much more broadly to mean "anyone who likes SF and fantasy."
Re: Pups aren't fandom? - demetriasii - Apr. 26th, 2015 05:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Pups aren't fandom? - grrm - Apr. 26th, 2015 06:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Pups aren't fandom? - demetriasii - Apr. 27th, 2015 05:40 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Pups aren't fandom? - grrm - Apr. 27th, 2015 06:55 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Pups aren't fandom? - demetriasii - Apr. 29th, 2015 02:55 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Pups aren't fandom? - grrm - Apr. 29th, 2015 04:11 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 24th, 2015 11:49 pm (UTC)
Puppies attending Sasqan
Long-standing rumours suggest that the leader of the Rabid Puppies is unable or unwilling to attend events held on US soil. So he's probably a no-show...
Apr. 25th, 2015 05:58 pm (UTC)
Re: Puppies attending Sasqan
He didn't come to London either, which suggests he doesn't actually much care about Worldcons, just mucking with them.
Apr. 25th, 2015 12:20 am (UTC)
George, just to check, Brad Torgersen never did respond to your post as to how the Sad Puppy sausage was made, right? Thanks.
Kells O'Connor
Apr. 25th, 2015 12:27 am (UTC)
Personally I don't like that this is the method the hugo's are determined, since theoretically someone with enough money and fake names could stuff the ballots for anyone. It also encourages a popularity contest, which isn't exactly what awards are usually about. If the most popular "fantasy" books won then the Twilight books would have won a couple. On the other hand the method for choosing the academy award winners or the grammy's are pretty lame too, and internet voting is hardly accurate due to bots. And a secret panel of judges doesn't always work since there can be corruption in that too (see IGF for a great example of that.)

But hopefully the whole thing sorts itself out and the right people win some awards. I'm obviously not a part of "The Fandom" but I'm a fan of SF and fantasy, and I've followed the Hugo Awards for about a decade. I always assumed a council of elders selected the winners based on merit, not an election. It'll be interesting to see if the system changes after all this drama.

But uh, yea, may the best man or woman win. <3
Apr. 25th, 2015 12:53 am (UTC)
Our field has many awards. The Nebulas are voted by the writers, the members of SFWA. The World Fantasy Awards are a weird combination of popular ballot (the nominations) and jury (some nominations, final selection). Other awards are all jury.
Apr. 25th, 2015 12:32 am (UTC)
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Rohini Kumar
Apr. 25th, 2015 12:35 am (UTC)
Speaking of fans...
I'm going through the final hour of my pre-game routine ahead of the Spurs-Clippers game. This may be the final season that I get to be the luckiest fan, of the best team in professional sport. After Timmy retires, they will of course still be the best in my eyes, but this era - this combination of a big 3 and the coach and the decades spanned - is historic.

My pre-game routine mostly involves watching videos and worrying silently. Being a relapsed Hindu, the 1000's of gods come in handy at this time, as there's one for every type of niche sporting situation - lost causes, new starts, vengeful wrath, etc.

My question for you in all of this is, outside of Football, do you have franchises/sports that you support?

Edited at 2015-04-25 12:37 am (UTC)
Apr. 25th, 2015 12:51 am (UTC)
Re: Speaking of fans...
I used to be a big baseball fan as well. My team was the NY Mets.

One of the highlights of my life -- I was at the sixth game of the 1986 world series between the Mets and the Red Sox. First base side, fourth row, by the dugout, amazing experience.
Re: Speaking of fans... - Rohini Kumar - Apr. 25th, 2015 01:06 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Speaking of fans... - grrm - Apr. 25th, 2015 01:23 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Speaking of fans... - rcade - Apr. 25th, 2015 02:10 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Speaking of fans... - timill - Apr. 25th, 2015 03:26 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Speaking of fans... - querldox - Apr. 25th, 2015 01:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - etherial - Apr. 25th, 2015 01:35 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Speaking of fans... - onyxstraten - Apr. 25th, 2015 01:29 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Speaking of fans... - grrm - Apr. 25th, 2015 01:42 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Speaking of fans... - la_carroll - Apr. 25th, 2015 12:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Speaking of fans... - vortexae - Apr. 26th, 2015 04:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 25th, 2015 01:04 am (UTC)
Yep, I threw my hat into the rink last week. I'm going to vote for well-written, compelling stories with interesting characters. All three criteria are important to me. I'll try not to let my distaste for puppy tactics from colouring my reaction to their nominees but it may prove very difficult given the low standards of the first short stories I came across.

And I'm excited at voting for the 2017 con. I think there will be some very good work on that ballot, and I'm tentatively planning on attending already.
Linda Storey
Apr. 25th, 2015 01:47 am (UTC)
one attending non-slate fan
One of the new attending memberships is me. I purchased my tickets (hotel, air, membership) on Monday this week.

I look forward to seeing other regular fans there too.

I will be taking the advice from GRRM in these (many) posts about only voting if I think the submissions are Hugo worthy, but even then, I'll mostly have no idea what slate, if any, they belong to.


Edited at 2015-04-25 01:51 am (UTC)
Apr. 25th, 2015 02:15 am (UTC)
I am hoping to my vacation time OK'd
I started a new job earlier this month and am waiting to hear if I my vacation will be approved. With luck, I will be able to attend.
Apr. 25th, 2015 02:26 am (UTC)
I think you've been a real bridge builder in this situation. I only found out who Vox Day was because of this and I wish I could unfind out.
Apr. 25th, 2015 02:27 am (UTC)
I'm sure David Gerrold will be glad to pick up the tin rockets on behalf of non-attending winners.
Apr. 25th, 2015 04:06 am (UTC)
David's job is to hand out the rockets, not to pick them up.
(no subject) - nelc - Apr. 25th, 2015 11:11 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wouldyoueva - Apr. 26th, 2015 06:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 25th, 2015 04:07 am (UTC)
I agree. Way too much anger.

I remember the New Wave/ Old Wave fight that divided fandom in the 60s and 70s. This one is ten times nastier.
Brendan Coffey
Apr. 25th, 2015 03:25 am (UTC)
Supporting vs. Attending
In my case, and I'd guess plenty of others as well, It's not that I don't want to go to Sasquan, it's that I can't afford to. $40 I can drop. $210, plus airfare, accomodation, food? While I'm currently looking for work? Good luck. Honestly, the $40's really more than I should spend on a luxury, except I can skip smokes for a week.
Apr. 26th, 2015 04:57 pm (UTC)
Re: Supporting vs. Attending
Right? I sometimes go to Worldcon - my first was the most recent Denvention because, hey, it was right there. This year, I'm not going because my 2015 is already full of travel and I can't comfortably fit one more trip in.

But I've bought my supporting membership so I can vote, just like last year. And I intend to submit my nominations for 2016* too. I've started keeping track of things that wow me so I won't feel so helplessly uninformed when the time comes like I usually do.

*That is, for the Hugos awarded in 2016, representing the best works of 2015... Y'all know what I mean. Terminology is funky.
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