X-Men: Apocalypse is coming to theaters May 27.
X-Men: Apocalypse is coming to theaters May 27.
By John Hertz: (reprinted from Vanamonde 1193) William Shakespeare (1564-1616) died four hundred years ago, on 23 Apr 16, St. George’s Day, he was probably born on 23 Apr 64. He left three dozen plays, a hundred fifty sonnets, and a couple of narrative poems: we esteem them in that order now: his thought of what would sustain his reputation was the reverse, but as Isaac Asimov once said, “What do I know? I’m only the author.” Shakespeare was the greatest author in the history of English — where there’s a Will, there’s a way — and a candidate for greatest in the world, along with such mind-rackingly different artists as Firdausî (Persia, 940-1020), Murasaki Shikibu (Japan, 973-1025; literary name by which she is known), Pushkin (Russia, 1799-1837; as has been noted, he looked like Ravi Shankar 1920-2012), Tu Fu (China, 712-770) — and Homer (Greece, a millennium and a half earlier) — not counting giants of nonfiction.
Diversity, diversity. How urgent is You must allow me. How hard is I shall allow you. And understanding? You must understand me — yes; and? Pushkin’s great Eugene Onegin (rev. 1837) is set in the 1820s, when Russia was — from the perspective of, say, Lady Murasaki — much like the rest of Europe; only two centuries ago, but we on the other side of a watershed have so much trouble grasping this relatively recent time that with Jane Austen (1775-1817), who wrote in English, we keep trying to remake her into ourselves, despite her warning Turn not windows into mirrors, or we cry against, or mock, her difference. Rabbi Leo Baeck (1873-1956) said in The Essence of Judaism (1905; Howe ed. 1948, 2nd Shocken printing 1965 p. 191) “The command in Leviticus, which Akiba [50-135] called the determining sentence of the Bible, and which is usually rendered ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself’ (Lev. 19:18), means in its truest sense, love thy neighbor for he is as thou”; I’ve suggested we might reach still higher to Love thy neighbors for they are not as thou. Perhaps human nature can change; so far it never has; but it gets packed into various baggage.
Shakespeare has been, in the best sense of the word, called the poet of love. I’ve heard him called, by women, an honorary woman. But to see the light he shines we must look. Hans Andersen said (1835) only a real princess could through twenty mattresses and twenty beds feel a pea, but Lao Tzû quoting a Chinese proverb said a journey of a thousand leagues begins with what is under the feet (Tao Tê Ching ch. 64, two centuries after Homer; Waley tr. as The Way and Its Power p. 221, 1934). Opening the blinds to Shakespeare can start with looking up words — like naughty in “So shines a good deed in a naughty world” (The Merchant of Venice Act V scene i), which there means not what it does today.
Since Thomas A. Mays decided to withdraw his Hugo-nominated short story as his way of dealing with its having been on the Rabid Puppies slate, some Hugo and Campbell nominees in the same position have made statements to explain why they are not withdrawing. Alyssa Wong and Alastair Reynolds posted theirs today, and Brandon Sanderson yesterday. Also included is a quote from Lois McMaster Bujold — made prior to Mays’ withdrawal — addressing her story’s presence on the slate.
Alyssa Wong says she is staying, in “Toe the Line:” On Being a 2016 John W. Campbell Award Finalist.
There is no way in hell I’m withdrawing. The fact is, in spite of the Rabid Puppies attempts to lock people like me out of the finalists list through slate voting, some truly deserving folks and their works who weren’t on their slate slipped onto the list anyway….
And that’s the crux of it. If you are on this list despite the Rabid Puppies’ slate voting, it means you absolutely, absolutely deserve it. It means that enough SFF fans appreciated your work and contributed their individual voices to overwhelm a slate being pushed by an organized mob of malicious people determined to “leave a big smoking hole where the Hugo Awards were.” And to withdraw is to let them win.
The author posted “Slow Bullets on the Hugo Ballot” at Approaching Pavonis Mons by Balloon.
…I’d had high hopes for Slow Bullets, after all. I considered it a strong story, and it had picked up enough positive reviews and recommendations throughout the year that it didn’t seem beyond the bounds of possibility that it might make the ballot. That’s not to say I was confident, but that just that the omens were about as good for that story as they had been for any of my recent pieces.
The adminstrators, quite reasonably, wanted a clearer, less ambiguous commitment from me. After a friendly and productive transatlantic phone call, I came around to the view that I’d not only accept the nomination, but take whatever came after it.
As several commentators have noted, the eventual ballots are quite strongly biassed in favour of Rabid Puppy choices. The unpalatable conclusion to be drawn from this is that my story, good as its chances were, probably wouldn’t have made the cut were it not for the RP block vote. However, I didn’t ask for those votes and in fact I expressly requested that my story not be slated. Kate Paulk (of the Sads) and Vox Day (of the Rabids) both declined my requests.
Since the announcement of the ballots, there’s been quite a lot of discussion about the rights and wrongs of the finalists withdrawing their stories. Quite honestly, I’m very sympathetic to both sides of the debate. If I knew then what I know now, I’d probably have declined the initial nomination. But I didn’t, and beyond that I made a commitment to the administrators not to withdraw at a later stage. On that basis alone, therefore, I’m keeping “Slow Bullets” on the ballot. I can’t say I’m exactly over-joyed about this decision, though – from my point of view it just feels like the least worst choice of a very bad hand. Compare and contrast to the situation when my only other nomination happened, for “Troika”, and my mood couldn’t be more different.
Let’s hope things are better next year….
Brandon Sanderson, author of a slated Hugo finalist, the novella Perfect State, says he is staying on the ballot and urges other nominees to do the same. This excerpt is just part of his lengthy post, which also describes what he tried to achieve behind-the-scenes during last year’s puppy travails. Oddly, while he mentions the Sad Puppies he never names the Rabid Puppies, obviously the “list” under discussion here —
If I’d known I was on this list, I would have asked to be taken off of it. This year, their list seems to include some people (I can’t know if I’m one) who are mainstream. People liked in the community, or likely to get a nomination anyway. They’ve done this, I presume, in order to see whether these people too would get “No Award.”
I can’t know how much the nomination of my novella was helped by this group, and even contemplating the idea is distasteful to me. This puts me in the position of having to decide whether or not to withdraw my nomination. It wouldn’t be heartbreaking for me to do so. I’ve won a Hugo in this category before, during the pre-Puppy years. I think my story is strong, but I will write other, stronger stories in the future. I’d be fine sitting it out this year.
I think that would be bad for fandom, and the award. Though I agree with those who withdrew nominations last year, I think we’re entering into a dangerous area. If we withdraw anytime someone like this person puts us on a slate, that gives them an enormous amount of power over us and the award. In addition, if we vote something under No Award anytime someone we don’t like advocates for it, then that’s the same as letting that person win the award whenever they want. Either way, we’re just being pushed around by a troll.
I’d like to think that we’ve learned from last year, and I have decided not to withdraw my nomination. I realize I’m setting myself up for being part of a potential blanket “No Award” voting slate this year. I will accept that, if it happens. But I don’t think letting a troll dictate my actions is going to work out better for me. And I certainly don’t want to insult the fans who nominated my work in good faith.
Therefore, I will stand by what I’ve always said: Nominate and vote for me only if you think the story itself deserves the recognition. Don’t vote for (or against) any person or their ideas. Vote for or against the story. Even when the nomination rules change next year (assuming the proposal gets enough votes again this year), we’re still likely to have a candidate in every category that was nominated in by certain elements.
In many cases, I feel it’s going to be impossible to separate which nominees are the result of trolls throwing rocks at us and which are the result of passionate fans who simply have different views from the mainstream. We’re going to have to do better than counter-voting, a point which many voices in the community, including Scalzi and GRRM, made last year.
I request that my fellow nominees consider not withdrawing. And I request that voters continue to look at the individual stories, artists, and editors, and judge based on the nominee themselves—rather than judging based on who is advocating for them.
LOIS MCMASTER BUJOLD
On the day the nominees were announced, Lois McMaster Bujold also posted a brief statement — “Penric’s Demon” is a Hugo nominee – about the slate:
…(As a point of information, “Penric’s Demon” was conscripted onto the “Rabid Puppies” slate without my notification or permission, and my request that it be removed was refused.)
[Thanks to Mark-kitteh and Greg Hullender for the links.]
(1) SF HALL OF FAME VOTING. The EMP Museum has opened public voting on the 2016 finalists for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. The deadline to cast your vote is May 11.
In honor of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame’s 20th anniversary, we invited the public to submit their favorite Creators and Creations. After tallying up your nominations (nearly 2,000 submissions!), a committee of industry experts narrowed down the list to the final twenty nominees.
SF Site News observed:
It is the first time the EMP will be inducting a second class into the Hall of Fame, comprised of “Creations” as well as the “Creators” who have traditionally been honored.
(2) OWN ONE OF THE WORLD’S BEST SF COLLECTIONS. Ebay is asking for best offers on what is billed as the “World’s Best Science Fiction Small press and Pulp Magazine Collection – High Grade”.
The owner is willing to sell it outright for US $2,500,000.00.
Details about World’s Best Science Fiction Small Press and Pulp Magazine Collection High Grade
20,000+ Books Complete Sets Arkham House Fantasy Press
You are bidding on the most extensive, highest graded, complete set of all Small Press Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror books as well as the most extensive very rare pulp magazine collection in the world. Many of the sets below are the best in the world. A few are the only ones in the world, let alone in “like new” condition. Many are also complete (or near complete as some authors were dead at time of publication) signed sets.
You aren’t just buying a bunch of books, you are buying the rarest, and you are buying the best.
There is also a long Q&A section.
How can these things be in such high grade? Are there any fake dustjackets or facsimile reprint books?
EVERYTHING IS ORIGINAL. They are in such high grade because that’s what I go after. I have bought most of the books in the small press collection (for example) 2-4 times a piece. I love to marry high grade dustjackets to high grade books. I regularly buy the highest graded copy of any book that comes up for sale online from any of a couple dozen different book sites) as well as buy from older collectors with long time private collections. My record for any individual book is having bought it 13 times before finding a very high grade copy. Virtually none of these books came from collections I bought as a dealer. I had to buy them all individually. Most of the books I bought individually several times a piece. I’ve assembled all but one of these sets personally….
How large is the collection and book store?
Imagine a three car garage completely full from floor to ceiling, front to back without walking room in between, completely full of books. It’s the equivalent of about 350 to 400 “comic long boxes”, and will take the majority of an 18-wheeler for transportation purposes….
Why sell the personal collection and store together?
There is a lot of cross over interest, and frankly if I own even one book after this auction is over, I’ll just end up buying more….
(3) HAILED INTO COURT. Rachel Swirsky conducts a “Silly Interview with S. B. Divya, Defense Attorney for the Oxford Comma”.
1. Your bio says that “S.B. Divya is a lover of science, math, fiction, and the Oxford comma.” I am here to tell you that the Oxford comma has, unfortunately, been put on trial for its life. However, you are its defense attorney! Make your case.
Your honor, I humbly present the Oxford comma, also known as a serial comma. It is abastion of orderliness in a sea of grammatical chaos. This comma is an exemplary citizen, always obeying a simple rule: that it follows each item in a list until the last. Let us not create an exception to the rule! Let us not say, “It follows each item in a list except for the second to last and the last, which shall be joined by a conjunction.” Nay, let us stand fast against such unwieldy rule-making – such convoluted thinking – and embrace the simplicity that is embodied by this innocuous punctuation mark.
(4) CLASSIC FANZINE DIGITIZED. Linda Bushyager’s 1970s newzine Karass has been scanned and put online at FANAC.ORG.
They currently reside at http://fanac.org/fanzines/Karass/” Go there for a blast from the past (1974-1978). Lots of good artwork too, especially in the final Last Karass issue. If you don’t remember it, Karass was a SF fan newszine I published. My thanks go to Joe and Mark for doing this.
Basically, Karass passed the torch to File 770 at the end of its run. Wasn’t that awhile ago!
(5) CHINA PRESS COVERS HUGO NOMINEE. The South China Morning Post ran this story: “Young writer’s fantastical tale of class inequality in Beijing earns her Hugo Awards nomination”
Hao Jingfang says her sci-fi novelette ‘Folding Beijing’ aims to expose society’s injustices…
The nomination of Hao’s work comes after Chinese author Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem – depicting an alien civilisation’s invasion of earth during the Cultural Revolution – won best novel at the Hugo Awards last year.
Folding Beijing is set in the future, where Beijing folds up so different groups occupy different levels. The protagonist, a waste worker from the Third Space, is hired by a student in the Second Space to send a love letter to a girl in the First Space, despite strong opposition from the girl’s family due to their class difference.
(6) FAN MAIL. Kurt Busiek tweeted a fan letter he once sent to a Marvel comic calling on them to revive the quality of their letter section.
I always liked lettercolumns. pic.twitter.com/yfuygOEI8e
— Kurt Busiek (@KurtBusiek) April 22, 2016
(7) BOOKMARKED. Rachel Swirsky interprets her story “If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love” in a comment at File 770.
“If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love has the clear implication that the author desires violent justice towards people who beat the narrator’s lover into a coma over either their sexuality or their ethnicity.”
OK, author talking about their own story follows. Feel free to skip.
Desires it, sure, but then is like “wow, that would suck and leave victims like me which is not okay.” Or: “I have a base desire to hurt you despite my understanding that it is morally and ethically wrong and would have terrible consequences, and I can’t even really fantasize about it without being overwhelmed by that knowledge and returned to the reality of the real world where nothing helps, nothing changes things, and certainly not revenge.”
(To a certain extent, isn’t that the *same* point Wright makes about homosexuals and tire irons? It’s his impulse, he says, but he’s not doing it, so presumably he’s aware that it is wrong–I hope–or at least that it has social consequences he doesn’t wish to encounter.)
I’m not suggesting you didn’t understand this in your comment. Just that it is a thing that confuses and bugs me about the revenge reading that’s been put forward, since it’s specifically an *anti-revenge* story.
It is an *anti-revenge* story because one of my intimate relations had recently uncovered a history of childhood physical and sexual abuse, and fuck if I didn’t fantasize about stopping or revenging it. But the damage is done. It is incontrovertible. And there is no revenge to be had; the abuser is still around, but what’s the point? It’s been thirty years. The person who did it, and the moment when it could have changed, are gone. All that’s left is the reality of the abuse and its long-lasting damage.
Not that I realized that was the impetus when I was writing it. I didn’t put it together until a lot later, that the story, and the angst I was going through over that, were related.
(I continue to have no problem with people who dislike it based on actual literary criteria, personal definitions of SF, or for sentimentality or manipulation. I would ask the folks in category two to consider noting that “it’s sff” or “it’s not sff” is actually a matter of opinion, not fact, since there is no reifiable SFF; it’s not like it’s a platonic thing that can be identified and pointed to. It’s a mobile boundary, interacting with a lot of other things. In this case, the interaction occurs around conditional tense and storytelling, which has a long history of being considered SFF in cases like The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, and folklore, but I suspect there are also works that are considered realist that use the device. I don’t actually have an investment in whether it’s SFF or not, as I cannot be moved to give a damn about genres, but I think both positions are valid.)
OK, done, thanks, needed a rant.
(8) GET YOUR SECRET DECODER RINGS READY. The signal is on its way from John Scalzi —
Want to erect a huge, neon sign that says "I'm an enormous asshole" over your head? Just use the phrase "virtue signalling" as a criticism!
— John Scalzi (@scalzi) April 28, 2016
For those who don't know, "virtue signalling" is how you say "politically correct," when you think you're hip but actually just a schmuck.
— John Scalzi (@scalzi) April 28, 2016
"Virtue signalling" is also a way to make clear you think someone who is trying to be decent is, in reality, as much an asshole as you are.
— John Scalzi (@scalzi) April 28, 2016
(9) HAIR TONIGHT. King Gillette never used this for a commercial.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Hampus Eckerman, and Michael J. Walsh, for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the second shift, Brian Z.]
I started this Scroll yesterday before taking off in my time machine, and have just kept on adding. While I don’t plan to divide the Hugo news from other Scroll topics very often, it makes sense to do it today.
(1) QUICK WHATEVER. John Scalzi’s “Quick 2016 Hugo Finalist Thoughts” from Whatever on April 26.
Thoughts on this year’s Hugo finalists (the list of which you can find here):
* First, as part of my new gig at the Los Angeles Times, I wrote an analysis of this year’s ballot there, so head on over there if you want to see it (Note it’s geared toward a general audience, so there a lot of explanatory stuff in there folks here will likely already know). As I’ve already written substantially on the Hugos there, what I write here will be brief.
* Overall, the nominations in several categories look pretty decent to me – Best Novel is particularly not bad at all! At least a couple of categories are a tiresome shitshow, however, thanks to the Puppies, again.
* Which we knew might happen again, remember? Fixing the slating issue was a two-year process. This is year two. Keep working on it, folks.
* The Puppies are once again trying to troll a bunch of people (the Best Related Category is one particularly obvious troll) and while I don’t mean to downplay the basic craptasticness of their actions, I’m finding it all that difficult to get worked up about it. I mean, I know the Puppies are hoping for outrage? Again? But as noted, we’ve seen this act before, and this time it’s just boring. Yes, yes, Puppies. You’re still sad little bigoted assholes screaming for attention. Got it, thanks.
Bear in mind I’m a direct target for their nonsense; at least two of the finalist works go after me in one way or another. I’m very specifically someone they’re trying to get worked up (and to tear down). And yet I just can’t manage it. I’m pretty much over the Puppies. There’s only so many times a toddler can throw a tantrum before you just shrug. You still have to clean up after the toddler, mind you. But you don’t have to let the toddler dictate the terms. Pity these particular toddlers are grown humans
(2) MAN OF HIS TIMES. John Scalzi’s first piece for the LA Times, “The Hugo finalists: John Scalzi on why the sad puppies can’t take credit for Neil Gaiman’s success”, posted April 26.
This year, once again, the two Puppy groups announced slates (or in the case of the “Sad” variant, a “recommendation list”) of people and works they wanted to see on the finalist ballot. Once again, many of their choices made the cut. But where last year’s slates were filled with nominees primarily of interest to the Puppies themselves, this year’s Puppy slates included works and authors already popular with science fiction fans and tastemakers, and (as a subset of both of these) Hugo voters.
Works the Puppy slates included that made the Hugo finalist list include the novel “Seveneves,” written by Neal Stephenson, a past Hugo best novel winner and multiple nominee; the graphic novel “The Sandman: Overture,” by Neil Gaiman, also a multiple Hugo winner; the novella “Penric’s Demon,” by Lois McMaster Bujold, who has won four best novel Hugos; and the film “The Martian,” a best picture Oscar nominee (and controversial best comedy Golden Globe winner).
The Puppies will no doubt be happy to take credit for the appearance of these works and others on the finalist list. But, as with “Guardians of the Galaxy” last year, their endorsement probably doesn’t count for much in the grand scheme of things.
(3) MORE ALFIES. George R.R. Martin saw the new season of Game of Thrones kick off, then rode off to his own dynastic wars – “The Puppy Wars Resume”.
The record turnout seemed to have no impact. Fandom nominated in huge numbers, but it would appear that they did not nominate the same things. They scattered their nominations among dozens, perhaps hundreds, of possible choices. We won’t know the full story till we see the complete list of nomination totals on Hugo night… but I suspect (unless MAC cuts the list short) that we’ll see many more titles than we’re used to.
The same thing happened to the Sad Puppies. By shifting from Torgersen’s slate to Paulk’s list of recommendations, they suffered the same fate as many other recommended reading lists, be it the LOCUS list or the Nebulas or my own recommendations. They had almost no impact on the ballot. The Sads did get works on the ballot when their choices overlapped with the Rabids, to be sure, but very few works that were “sad only” made the list. SP4 was a non-factor. (And before someone else points this out, let me be the first to admit that the Sads had more impact than I did. As near as I can tell, I batted .000 on my own recommendations, which just goes to show that all this talk of about my immense power is somewhat exaggerated. No wonder I never get invited to the meetings of the Secret Cabal).
The big winners were the Rabid Puppies, whose choices completely dominated the list…
One last point. The Rabids used a new tactic this year. They nominated legitimate, quality works in addition to the dross. Works by writers like Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Neal Stephenson, Alastair Reynolds (Reynolds went public well before the nominations asking NOT to be slated, but they slated him anyway), Andy Weir, and several others. Some of these writers are apolitical (like Weir), while others are known to oppose everything that VD stands for (Gaiman, Stephenson, King). One has to think they were deliberately targeted.
In some of the online comments I’ve seen, these writers are being called “shields.” I’ve even read some people calling for them to withdraw, simply because they were on VD’s list.
Withdrawing is the LAST thing they should do.
I urge them all to stand their ground. They wrote good books, stories, graphic novels, they did NOT take part in any slate. In some cases they were largely unaware of all this. In other cases they explicitly denounced the slates ahead of time (Reynolds, again). Punishing them… demanding they turn down this honor… simply because VD listed them is insane….
(Oh… and yes, for those who were asking. This does mean we will need a second set of Alfies).
(4) SALADIN AHMED.
back in my day when we were nominated for a Hugo we sat there and watched the world not give a shit and we LIKED it
— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) April 27, 2016
(5) RAY RADLEIN.
Went to File770 and my browser crashed. #ThanksObama
— Ray Radlein (@Radlein) April 27, 2016
(6) ADVICE TO THE BOOKLORN. Tim Hall is swimming in the mainstream, in “Booky McBookface, by Noah Ward”.
I’m not a Worldcon member, but that’s not going to stop me giving unsolicited advice. So here’s my off-the-top-of-my-head recommendations.
First, ratify E Pluribus Hugo. This is ought to be such a no-brainer than anyone that attempts to argue otherwise is not to be trusted. It won’t fix everything, but it will make it harder for any well-organised minority to swamp the ballot.
Second, think very hard about the wisdom of repeating last year’s block no-awarding everything tainted, throwing good people under the bus in an attempt to preserve the purity of the awards. That stank when they did it to people like Toni Weisskopf last year. The garbage from VD’s cronies you can no award to oblivion if it’s as awful as it sounds from the titles. But remember that burning down The Hugos is VD’s goal, and no-awarding deserving nominees like Toni Weisskopf or Alastair Reynolds gives him what he wants.
Third, recognise that the Sad Puppies and the Rabid ones are very different things, and try to build bridges with the some of the first of those groups, or at least avoid rhetoric or behaviour that further deepens the divide with anyone who’s not an actual acolyte of Vox Day. The mass no-awarding of last year did not help in that regard.
(7) MORE GOOD ANSWERS TO WRONG QUESTIONS. Abigail Nussbaum responds with “The 2016 Hugo Awards: Thoughts on the Nominees”
… In most of the categories dominated by puppy choices, we still have an actual choice between nominees, not just a winner by default because everyone else on the ballot is terrible. Most importantly, this year’s Best Novel ballot is one that we can look at without cringing, with only one blatant puppy nominee. It may sound like I’m lowering the bar, but to me this is all a sign that things are settling down, and that in the future–and especially if the anti-slating measures adopted in last year’s business meeting are ratified–we’ll start seeing this award return to normal.
Of course, I’m leaving out one important point, which might cast a pall on this year’s more acceptable raft of nominees–the fact that most of them were puppy choices. In some cases, these were nominees that probably would have made it onto the ballot without the help of Vox Day and his ilk–things like Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves in Best Novel, The Sandman: Overture in Best Graphic Story, and Strange Horizons in Best Semiprozine. In other cases, the line is more fuzzy. Daniel Polansky’s The Builders, for example, was a plausible nominee in Best Novella, coming from the strong, well-publicized Tor Novellas line and garnering a great deal of praise, but did the puppies’ influence help to push it past equally plausible nominees like Elizabeth Hand’s Wylding Hall and Kai Ashante Wilson’s The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps? We won’t know for certain until the nominating stats are released after the Hugo ceremony (and perhaps not even then), and in the meantime this year’s ballot is a lot less clear-cut than last year’s.
To the puppies, this no doubt looks like a winning gambit. To those of us who are adults, it’s just more silliness. We are neither as stupid nor as rigid as they keep insisting that we are, and are perfectly capable of parsing these nuances. And if this year’s Best Novella shortlist is a lot less exciting than the one I had hoped for–and which I think had a good chance of coming about–well, that’s how I feel about the Hugo most years. I keep repeating this, but it really needs to be said again and again: despite the puppies’ ridiculous claims, the Hugo is not, and has never been, an elite or rarefied award. If the puppies’ main accomplishment this year is to have pushed middling but not-awful work onto the ballot over better, more deserving nominees, well, then they’re no different from the majority of Hugo voters….
(8) QUICK AND THE DEAD. Damien Walter also has a few quick “Thoughts on the 2016 Hugo Awards”.
H P Lovecraft somehow managed to get nominated for a 1941 Retro Hugo, despite having died in 1937. Clearly some supernatural forces were at work…or some petty racists voting in revenge after Lovecraft’s erasure as the face of the World Fantasy Awards for being…a petty racist.
(9) LOVE. Aaron Pound’s thorough analysis of the “2016 Hugo Award Finalists” is rounded off with a compelling conclusion:
Both of the Puppy campaigns were built on spite. Larry Correia has openly admitted that he started the Sad Puppy campaign out of spite. Throughout the existence of the Sad and Rabid Puppy campaigns, the barely suppressed rage of its adherents has been readily apparent, and in some cases (such as during Brad Torgersen’s not infrequent frothing meltdowns over the last year or so), the rage has been quite openly expressed. Because of this, the Pups will always fundamentally misunderstand actual fans, who love what they love not out of a desire to spite someone else, but out of actual love for the thing. In the end, the Pups will fail because they are founded on the false premise that they can change what people love about genre fiction by force.
(10) ALLUM BOKHARI. At Breitbart: “Sci-Fi’s Hugo Awards Swept by Anti-SJW Authors – Again!”
This year, the Sad and Rabid Puppies have done it again. Ten out of fifteen Hugo Award categories have been completely dominated by Puppy-endorsed nominees — double what the campaigns achieved in 2015. The Puppies have also secured three out of five nominations for Best Novel, three out of four nominations for Best Short-Form Dramatic Presentation, and three out of five nominations for Best Long-Form Editor.
In total, the Rabid Puppies swept six categories on their own, while a combination of Sad & Rabid puppy nominations swept a further four.
Some of the Rabid Puppies nominations this year — such as a My Little Pony episode for Best Short-Form Dramatic Presentation and a porn parody in Best Short Story — seem clearly intended as troll options, a demonstration of the Puppies’ power to exert their will on the awards.
(11) AGAINST VANDALISM. Kayleigh Ann at Bibliodaze offers “We Have Always Been Here &Y Always Will Be: On the Hugo Awards and Cultural Vandalism”.
…Science-fiction and fantasy will move forward. It will continue to evolve and tell amazing, strange, radical and highly political stories, as it has always done, and the Puppies will cheer false cries of victory regardless of the outcome of the Hugo Awards: Their choices winning will be a sign that the industry agrees with them, and another No Award sweep (which is my predicted outcome) will simply be proof that they’re downtrodden underdogs who stood up against “Outrage Culture”. The truth is that nobody wins in this scenario because we end up having to participate in their Us Versus Them mentality in order to show a sturdy opposition to their nonsense.
Eventually, they’ll be left behind as the voices who have always been there refuse to participate in their cultural smudging. This particular kind of vandalism hurts us all, but those voices who needed the amplification of the Hugos will suffer the most, so it’s up to the rest of us to ensure that doesn’t happen. They’ll be left behind, but they still need to be called out and condemned for the dangerous vandals that they are. Get out your wallets, your microphones and your pens. We’re not going anywhere. We’ll always be here.
(12) STEVEN POORE
i have a 3am theory that the #HugoAwards reflect today's 'Murica. want better Hugos? get a better America. (unfortunately, very unlikely).
— Steven Poore (@StevenJPoore) April 27, 2016
(13) VOX POPOLI. Vox Day did a reaction roundup of his own, “Making the Hugos Great Again”.
Of course the Sad Puppies can’t take any credit for Neil Gaiman’s nomination. The Rabid Puppies were responsible! As for whether Gaiman would have been nominated without RP support, they like to claim that sort of thing, but we’ll have to wait and see what the numbers say. Given their past record of ignoring popular, bestselling works, that’s hardly a given. In any event, as we proved last year in Best Novel, even when we don’t control the category, we still have the ability to decide who will win and who will lose when the SJWs don’t No Award the category.
In other news, we have a runner! Tom Mays belatedly decided to go the way of Marko Kloos. Not the brightest move; the time for virtue-signaling is before the nominations are awarded. It’s no big deal, not everyone can take the heat, although I suspect Tom is simply more of a Sad Puppy who hasn’t woken up to the cultural war yet. I was more interested to see that Black Gate caved and decided to accept their nomination this year; John O’Neill is a smart guy, he knows perfectly well that the nomination is well-merited, he grasps the genetic fallacy, and I suspect he has come to terms with the fact that the Rabid Puppies are not going away any time soon.
(14) CHAOS MANOR. Jerry Pournelle posted a reaction to his nomination at Chaos Manor.
I seem to have been nominated for a Hugo. “Best Editor, Short Form”. The only work mentioned for the year 2015 is There Will Be War, Volume Ten” released in November. It is of course a continuation of the There Will Be War series which appeared in the 1980’s and early 90’s, of which the first four volumes were recreated with a new preface during 2015; the rest are scheduled to come out in the next couple of years. I’ve edited a lot of anthologies, starting with 2020 Vision in 1973 (I think it will come out in reprint with new a introduction and afterword’s by the surviving authors next year. I did a series of anthologies with Jim Baen that was pretty popular, and one-off anthologies like Black Holes and The Survival of Freedom, amounting to more than twenty over the years, but this is the first time anyone has ever nominated me for an editing Hugo – and actually the first time I ever thought of it myself.
When I first started in this racket, Best Editor Hugo usually meant one for the current editor of Analog or Galaxy. That spread around over the years, but it meant Editor in the sense of someone employed with the title of Editor, not a working writer who put together anthologies, sometimes for a lark.
I used to get Hugo nominations all the time in my early days, but I never won. My Black Holes story came close, but I lost to Niven’s “Hole Man”. Ursula LeGuin beat me for novella. There were others. Our collaborations routinely got nominated, but again usually came second, so at one point I was irked enough to say “Money will get you through times of no Hugo’s much better than Hugo’s will get you through times of no money,” and put whatever promotion efforts I had time for into afternoon and late night talk radio shows and stuff like that. Which worked for sales, but not for Hugo awards. I’m unlikely to get this one – I’m a good editor but that’s hardly my primary occupation – but I admit I’d like to. I was already going to Kansas City this August, so I’ll be there, but I doubt there’s much need to write a thank you speech.
(15) COUNT HER OUT. Rhiannon Thomas refuses to repeat last year’s experience — “The Hugos Turn Rabid” at Feminist Fiction.
So… what now? It’s hard to take seriously any award with Vox Day’s “SJWs Always Lie” on the ballot. And unlike last year, I’m not going to soldier through the crap to weigh up its merit. I’ll probably read most of the novels, and pick up the non-puppy nominated shorter works, along with the ones by big name writers, because I’ve found that the nomination lists can lead me to interesting reading I would have missed otherwise. It’s basically my job to read endless piles of YA, and this gives me a focussed reason to finally pick up those other recent books too. But do we have to pretend that “Safe Space as Rape Room” is something worthy of serious critical consideration? The Puppies howl out for attention, and they’d hate nothing more than if everyone just ignored them. So let’s just pretend that their troll nominations don’t exist.
Of course, this approach isn’t without casualties. It’s obvious to anyone with a passing knowledge of fantasy and sci-fi that Brandon Sanderson and Stephen King are worth checking out, slate or no. But smaller writers? Not so much. Thomas A. Mays has already withdrawn his Hugo-nominated short story from consideration because of the slates, turning what should have been a moment of pride and victory into heartbreak. If we take the “slate works don’t exist unless they obviously have merit” approach, innocent writers still building their career get dragged down into the muck too. At best, they don’t receive the consideration they deserve. At worst, they get linked to Vox Day in everyone’s minds. And unlike big-name writers, they don’t have enough of an established reputation to shrug it off. It might appear that they need to withdraw to save their reputation, even though the Hugo nomination should have been something that would build their reputation in the first place.
And that sucks. But I, at least, can’t take another year of reading through piles of offensive and poorly written crap in search of potential specks of gold that may have been lost in the mix.
(16) CHUCK WENDIG. It isn’t lost on Chuck Wendig that “We Have A Problem”.
Like I’ve said in the past:
Dinosaurs squawking at meteors. Shaking tiny, impotent arms at the sky. The Empire, wondering where the hot hell all these goddamn X-Wings came from. Shitheel harasser assholes wondering when the world stopped listening to them and their diaperbaby bleats.
The other side of me thinks this is something deeper, darker, a vein of bad mojo thrust through the whole of the culture. Sepsis, toxic shock, an infection in the blood resistant to antibiotics.
But then I look and I think how thirty years ago I didn’t know what transgender meant. How three years ago I didn’t know what genderqueer was, and now it’s in the dictionary. I think about how we’re maybe on the cusp of having our first woman president. I think too about how social media has made the assholes louder — but it’s also amplified the voices of the non-assholes, and how conversations happen, tough as they are, across an Internet that moves fast and furious with both enlightenment and ignorance. I don’t know where we are or what’s going to happen next, and I know that I ping-pong between feeling optimistic about tectonic change and pessimistic about what that change has wrought.
I also know that no matter what we can’t just sit idly by. We push back. We vote no award when shitbirds nest in our award categories. We stand by those who are harassed by the worst of our culture. We stop sheltering the monsters and start protecting the victims. We amplify voices. We close our mouths and try to listen more. We master the one-two-punch of empathy and logic. We try to be better and do better and demand better even when we ourselves are woefully imperfect. I speak to geeks and I speak to men when I say: we need to get our house in order.
We have a problem.
But I hope we also have solutions.
At the very least, let this be a call that we need to do better by those who need us. Out with the bullies. Out with the terrorists. Gone with the ticks. We find those ticks and we pluck ’em out. Then we burn them, toss them in the toilet, rain our piss upon their parasitic heads, and say bye-bye as we flush and fill the bowl with clean water once more.
(17) AGAINST NO AWARD. Eric Flint, in “BUT FOR WALES?”, argues against voting No Award.
Theodore Beale and the people who follow him are idiots. They are petty chiselers and pipsqueaks whose notion of “the righteous battle against leftist wickedness and social justice warriors” is to try to hijack a science fiction award.
A science fiction award? Meaning no disrespect to anyone who cares about the Hugos, but the very fact that Beale and his gaggle of co-conspirators think this is a serious way to wage political struggle should tip you off that they’re a bunch of clowns with delusions of grandeur.
So treat them that way. This time around—remember, it’s 2016, not 2015—don’t hyperventilate, don’t work yourself up into a frenzy, don’t overact. Just treat the nominations the same way you would in any other year. Ignore who nominated who because, first, it’s irrelevant; and secondly, if you do you will be falling for a hustle by an idiot like Beale—which makes you an even bigger idiot.
Is anyone who’s planning to vote for the Hugos so ignorant or so stupid that they really think authors like Neal Stephenson, Jim Butcher, Lois McMaster Bujold, Brandon Sanderson, Alastair Reynolds and Stephen King need a slimeball like Theodore Beale’s approval to get nominated for an award? Are they so ignorant or stupid that they think editors like Toni Weisskopf, artists like Larry Elmore and movie directors like Joss Whedon and Ridley Scott are in the same boat?
Grow the fuck up.
Just vote, that’s all. Take each category for what it is and vote for whatever or whoever you think is most entitled to the award this year. Do NOT use “No Award” unless you really think there’s no work or person nominated in a category who deserves it at all.
(18) YOU CAN ASK BUT WILL HE ANSWER? Chuck Tingle did a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” today — “I am Dr. Chuck Tingle, 2016 Hugo Awards nominee for my book Space Raptor Butt Invasion. AMA!” He did it in character, so although the Hugos are mentioned once or twice, it’s basically played as farce. If you squint real hard (which I’m sure he would approve) at his comment about Vox Day, it includes the phrase “scoundrels never win.” Someone read that quote on FB and ran out to order ribbons….
(19) THE OTHER TINGLE INTERVIEW. Chuck Tingle was more forthcoming about scoundrels to Lauren Sarner at Inverse.
Do you know about the Sad Puppies, a group of people who try to disrupt voting for the Hugo Awards every year?
Don’t know about any puppies but it’s BAD NEWS BEARS if you want to disrupt awards. That is a scoundrel tactic and probably part of Ted Cobbler’s devilman plan. Ted Cobbler is notorious devil and has been seen using dark magic to control puppies around the neighborhood. I do not support the devilman agenda but i think that Space Raptor Butt Invasion proves that LOVE IS REAL and no scoundrels can stop that. Especially not some dumb dogs.
(20) NOW ON SALE. Two overnight sensations. One is satire. At least.
(21) SUNIL PATEL. Sunil Patel is still figuring it out.
"Space Raptor Butt Invasion" is a Hugo nominee for Short Story but a Hugo acceptance speech was a nominee for BDP Short Form SO WHO KNOWS.
— Sunil Patel (@ghostwritingcow) April 27, 2016
(22) FOUR MORE. John Scalzi illustrates “Four Things About the Hugos” with Chuck Tingle’s cover art at Whatever. But it’s not all fun and games.
Fourth off, one of the finalists for Best Short Story, Thomas May, who was on the Rabid Puppy slate, has left the ballot, for admirable reasons. All respect to him for a difficult decision. I don’t believe this should be a signal for folks to hint to other finalists that they should follow his example, for reasons I outline above, i.e., this year’s slates were filled with people and work the Puppies put in for their own strategic ends, and are essentially blameless for an association that is unintended and/or unwanted. If you’ve got a mind to pester people about this, please consider not. Let them do as they will, just as you do what you will when it comes time to vote.
Filers will agree it’s a damn shame he didn’t have a fifth point!
(23) THE CASUALTIES. Katherine Jay chimes in at Stompydragons.
I am angry for the people who got knocked off the ballot because of the RP tactics. I’m particularly frustrated for the Campbell candidates who will never have another shot at that award because they’re out of time. Andy Weird was an RP pick, and I’m pretty sure he would have made it on the ballot anyway, but there are still three RP picks who are on that list and probably wouldn’t have been otherwise. Three slots that are denied to great writers who may never get another shot, because someone is playing silly games with the system.
I’m frustrated that seeding the RP ballot with a small number of works that would have been nominated anyway adds new kinds of dilemmas for many voters. Angry that many good works got bumped by crap VD was pushing. If you need any proof that his campaign has nothing to do with which works he thinks are genuinely good, take a look at some of the titles he picked, or look at what he said about one of the novels he chose (Seveneves).
Last year, after a lot of consideration, I voted No Award to all the puppy-related picks because I couldn’t condone slate nominating tactics. I still can’t support them.
But this year, if I do that, I’m also punishing works and writers who would have been nominated anyway, and I can’t make myself do that. Hell, I can’t No Award something I nominated–Bujold’s novella, The Martian–because that also makes a mockery of the process.
(24) SHAMUS YOUNG.
Apparently "Fan" is broadly interpreted.
— Shamus Young (@shamusyoung) April 27, 2016
(25) GREY GRIPES. Grey The Tick (Grey Carter) is the author of Hugo-nominated Erin Dies Alone.
Like I don't have any delusions about deserving to be on that list, but now I can't even joke about being a Hugo nominee.
— Die Another Grey (@GreyTheTick) April 26, 2016
(26) PHIL SANDIFER. Phil Sandifer will fight them on the beaches, in the fields, he will never give up.
First, as predicted, the Sad Puppies were a non-entity. That’s a little tough to judge given their new “we’re just a recommendation list” sheen of pointlessness, but it’s notable that the most conspicuous omission from their list, The Fifth Season, got a nomination in best Novel, and that in Fan Artist, a category where they had four picks, three of which were not on the Rabid Puppies slate, none of theirs made it on. Indeed, at a glance I can’t find anything that’s on their list, wasn’t an obvious contender anyway, and made it. These were Vox Day’s Hugos, plain and simple.
Second, let’s not have any silliness about pretending that what was picked reflects any agenda other than Vox Day’s spite. He’s been unambiguous that his sole goal this year is to disrupt the Hugos, not even making an effort to pretend that he was picking works on merit or because there’s actually some body of quality sci-fi he thinks is being overlooked by the awards. His only goal was to ruin things. The nominees exist only for that purpose. They are political, yes. Avowedly so. But their politics does not have even the barest shred of a constructive project. This is fascism shorn of everything but violent brutality – political in the sense of an angry mob kicking a prone body.
And so once again, the course is clear: we must resist. With every tool we have, we must resist. The highest priority, of course, is passing E Pluribus Hugo, the repaired nomination system that will serve to prevent this from happening again. Also important is No Awarding.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, and Hampus Eckerman for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Fugue.]
The annual award is presented for the best science fiction novel of the year, and selected by judges from a list of novels whose UK first edition was published in the previous calendar year.
The 6 shortlisted titles were selected from a list of 113 individual eligible submissions, the second highest recorded number in the awards history.
The winner will be announced August 24, and be presented with a cheque for £2016.00 and the award itself, a commemorative engraved bookend.
The judges for the Arthur C. Clarke Award 2016 are:
Andrew M. Butler represents the Arthur C. Clarke Award in a non-voting role as the Chair of the Judges.
The award was originally established by a generous grant from Sir Arthur C. Clarke with the aim of promoting science fiction in Britain, and is currently administered by the Serendip Foundation, a voluntary organisation created to oversee the on-going running and development of the award.
Members of the judging panel are nominated by supporting organizations, currently the British Science Fiction Association, the Science Fiction Foundation and the SCI-FI-LONDON film festival.
After learning during the official announcement that all the nominees in his category came from the Rabid Puppies slate, Thomas A. Mays says he has decided to withdraw his Hugo-nominated short story “The Commuter” from the ballot.
He explained on his blog:
I’ve known for some time that “The Commuter” had made the short list, having been emailed about it by Professor Adams, “The Voice of the Hugos,” on April 10th. I provided copies of my story for the Hugo Voter’s Packet and accepted the nomination in the forlorn hope I would find my story among a mixed and diverse selection of other stories, stories which came out of fandom as a whole (a whole which includes Puppies . . . ) rather than from any single group’s agenda or manipulation of process. I knew that it was unlikely, given that my little-known story was only up for the award due to its inclusion on Vox Day’s Rabid Puppies slate, but I had hope.
To be clear, Vox Day and I have worked together before, but I did not request or engineer my appearance on his slate. I’m very proud of my story “Within This Horizon”, that I contributed to the first Riding the Red Horse anthology, which allowed me to be in the same volume as friends and acquaintances Chris Kennedy, Christopher Nuttall, Ken Burnside, and one of my literary heroes, Jerry Pournelle. I have been interviewed for Castalia House. However, Vox and I disagree on many political and social points and I am neither a Rabid Puppy nor a member of his Dread Ilk. My stories have no real ideological bent right or left. And while I cannot dispute the experiences of others which brought the Sad and Rabid Puppy movements into existence, I did not approve of the straight-slate bloc voting that so damaged fandom last year. I was very encouraged when Sad Puppies 4 answered the criticisms that had been levied against SP3.
… I did not ask to be part of any list, but I hoped at the very least that it might bring other eyes to “The Commuter”, readers that might appreciate it for what it was and perhaps honor me with an uncontroversial nomination (or at least a few Kindle purchases). But, now that all hopes for a clean nomination are dashed, it is my turn to speak:
Rather than eat a shit sandwich, I choose to get up from the table.
Thank you to all the people who actually read my story, enjoyed it, and nominated it for the Hugo. I will forever be in your debt.
File 770 was conspicuously missing in action after posting the Hugo nominees yesterday.
My internet service provider says there was no denial of service attack.
Nor was it a bandwidth issue – the plan I was on had unlimited bandwidth.
Frankly, I don’t understand the explanation but it amounts to the system thinking I had maxed out a different service metric. The solution was to upgrade. That’s why we’re back on the air. (Hooray!)
Every silver lining has a cloud, unfortunately. When they migrated my files to the new server, they lost everything after April 22. Tech was unable to say why.
I reconstructed all the lost posts using Google cache files. But I couldn’t make the new posts use the old permalinks, so if you want somebody to find them, send them the new link. And unfortunately the comments aren’t there, because these are “new” posts.
“Puppies all the way down” one person said.
Vox Day’s Rabid Puppies slate initially placed 64 of its 81 recommendations on the final ballot. (Update: Two slated items withdrew after the finalists were announced. Pre-announcement withdrawals or items ruled ineligible will not be made known until the voting statistics are released at the Worldcon.)
The following table shows in red the Hugo Nominees that were NOT on the Rabid Puppies List.
The Sad Puppies List is included for the sake of curiosity. It was handled much differently from last year. Items on the SP4 list were ranked in order of the number of recommendations they received. In only four categories did anything get double-digit numbers of recommendations. I have not cross-referenced it to the finalists.
The table follows the jump.
Update 05/07/2016: Adjusted tables for replacement Hugo nominees. Corrected entry in the Rabid Puppies Best Editor (Long Form) category. Added comment to paragraph two above.
The finalists for this year’s Hugo Awards and John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer were announced on Tuesday, April 26.
There were 4032 valid nominating ballots (4015 electronic and 17 paper) received and counted from the members of Sasquan, MidAmeriCon II, and Worldcon 75.
Updated 05/07/2016: ** Indicates an addition to the Hugo ballot made on May 6 to replace a nominee that was withdrawn. (The items withdrawn are
BEST NOVEL (3695 ballots)
BEST NOVELLA (2416 ballots)
BEST NOVELETTE (1975 ballots)
BEST SHORT STORY (2451 ballots)
BEST RELATED WORK (2080 ballots)
BEST GRAPHIC STORY (1838 ballots)
BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION (LONG FORM) (2904 ballots)
BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION (SHORT FORM) (2219 ballots)
BEST EDITOR – SHORT FORM (1891 ballots)
BEST EDITOR – LONG FORM (1764 ballots)
BEST PROFESSIONAL ARTIST (1481 ballots)
BEST SEMIPROZINE (1457 ballots)
BEST FANZINE (1455 ballots)
BEST FANCAST (1267 ballots)
BEST FAN WRITER (1568 ballots)
BEST FAN ARTIST (1073 ballots)
JOHN W. CAMPBELL AWARD FOR BEST NEW WRITER (1922 ballots)
* Finalists in their 2nd year of eligibility