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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?


Apr. 26th, 2015 02:11 am (UTC)
Writers are suppose to pave the way for future writers
I'm an aspiring fantasy writer working on my first novel. To win a Hugo would be a dream come true. I believe a Hugo is an honor for a writer, not a protest banner. I get why fans would be upset about how they perceive the market changing and start a protest campaign to hijack the Hugo, but writers? WRITERS!!!!

I can't think of anything more disgraceful than a writer using the Hugos to screw over other writers. They know how hard we work. They know how little money those of us who haven't made it yet get by on, constantly debating, "Do I buy George's next book or do I pay the rent on time?" Of course, we choose the book because...we're writers, eager to see what the writers we admire are going to teach us next. Writers, REAL WRITERS, know this and work hard to protect and pave the way for future writers.

What these writers don’t understand (or maybe they do) is that they are telling new writers, “Unless you write exactly what we want, we will make your life a sorrowful, living hell. We will gather up our forces and we will make sure your voice is never heard.”

This will be my first Worldcon. YEAH!!!!! I signed up the day after the nominating deadline because I didn't understand all the rules yet. At first, this Puppygate was a huge blow. What a way for an aspiring writer to begin their dream...knowing that there are powerful writers out there so full of spite and hate that they would purposely deny other hard working writers a seat at the table. SHAME ON THEM!!!!

Right now, my voice is very small. But I intend to fight back by being the absolute, very best writer I can be. If that means I write stories contrary to what these Puppygate writers like, TOO BAD!! I don't write for them. I intend to fight back by voting. Voting in the nomination process next year and voting in the finals this year. I will read everything and I will vote for what I feel is worthy. My standards are high, very high, and I have already found some NO VOTES.

Thank you George (and fans) for all the time you have put into this debate. It is encouraging to know that you are speaking up against these sad little puppies and looking out for the integrity, love and passion of the SFF world and future SFF writers.
Apr. 26th, 2015 10:44 am (UTC)
Re: Writers are suppose to pave the way for future writers
This. A 100x This!

The reasoning is -AFAIK - that certain writers didnt have the chance to win and so they are creating the slates, so that all writers have a chance to win. Or at least different writers (will Scalzi have a chance on the Sad Puppys slate? :).
But that reasoning is flawed - and I dont mean the different perspections on "hidden lists" and "blacklists" or whatever.

There are always corner cases and there are always "better" and "weaker" years. In one year a good writer wouldnt make the slate, because the competetion is so strong, while in another year he might have, because the other nominees where weaker.
Some books are published just before or just after the cut-off-date for the nominations. The former wont be nominated, because not enough people have read them. The latter wont be nominated, because the majority will think they are not eligible anymore.

My three favorite SF(ish) books last year have not been nominated for various reasons: Bone Clocks (not SF per se, but contains a big part that plays in the future and plays partly during an apocalyptic scenario) wasnt nomianted, because (I suspect) it was simply not on the radar of most SF-fans.
Jeff Vandermmers Annhiliation has a similar problem - Is it SF or Mystery?
Peter Weirs The Martian was self-published at first and so simply too unknown to have been nominated back then and its not eligible anymore. A shame, because its classic, Hard-SF at its best and would have made a great Hugo-winner. But its a posterboy for the simple fact that nominations are never 100% fair. Creating slates will not change that, they at best change the odds slightly and at worst offer a whole new level of unfairness.

Writers should know that!
Apr. 26th, 2015 03:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Writers are suppose to pave the way for future writers
Good for you. as I read your comment I think you have the sides reversed. The SP wanted the seat at the table that had been denied. Hence their campaign. The SP contend that SFWA and the elites try to dictate how to write , what to write, what genders to write, or you will never get an award.
That is very simplified but this is really one side that had been the trufans and upset at the SP fans coming in. Changing of the guard or generations. If you are good, you will get your chance, especially with indie publishing.
Those that were nominated had not been nominated before according to the SP so they wanted new writers. Ms Bellet is not confirming to SP ideology, yet she was nominated. I like Kary English "Totalled" better.
Apr. 26th, 2015 06:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Writers are suppose to pave the way for future writers
Yes, the Sad Puppies "contend" that, but they are wrong. I think I have demonstrated that in my previous posts.

They "wanted the seat at the table that had been denied." Except it wasn't. Torgersen and Correia had both been nominated for a Campbell, and Torgersen for a Hugo, before the first Puppy campaign. They HAD a seat at the table... but they did not like the other people at the table with them, so they choose to turn the table over and wreck the feast.

It is not generational. There are young writers and old writers on both sides of the divide.
Apr. 27th, 2015 04:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Writers are suppose to pave the way for future writers
Which Sad Puppy didnt get a seat at the table because of reasons?

Just curious, because I thought the SP-Leaders all got nominated at least once.

Also: See my post above. Weir, Vandermeer, Mitchell... all have been "denied a seat at the table" - by whom?


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

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