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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 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!


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

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