Paulk Proclaims Puppy Party 4

They can’t be that sad.

Writers on the Sad Puppies 3 slate have been demurely preparing to take a victory lap when the Hugo nominations are announced on April 4. They’ve been marking their territory on Facebook. Significantly quoting Jabberwocky. Effusively giving thanks for nothing in particular with promises to “say more when I can.” Or just blurting it right out like Michael Z. Williamson.

And Lou Antonelli, who appears twice on the Sad Puppies slate, may not have needed a weatherman to tell which way the wind blows in this forecast:

My prediction is that Sad Puppies will take 30 percent of the nominees in the writing categories, while the more hardcore Rabid Puppies slate will take half as many, 15 percent. That will give Puppies of either stripe 45 percent of the total noms.

So what comes next? More of the same!

Kate Paulk of the Mad Genius Club just announced Sad Puppies 4.

…in a fit of even greater insanity than usual, yours truly, Kate the Impaler of the Evil Legion of Evil, will be picking up the banner for Sad Puppies 4 and running with it. I even promised not to impale anyone with it (it’s such a pretty flag, and getting blood and… stuff… all over it would make those poor sad puppies even more sad. Even the Evil Legion of Evil has standards, you know. We’re completely against letting Sad Puppies stay sad. We want them to be happy).

There won’t be much action from Sad Puppies 4 for quite some time, but rest assured I will be lurking in the shadows looking for worthy candidates for the campaign to End Puppy-Related Sadness. When the time is right, announcements will be made and campaigning will begin in earnest. In the meantime, I shall rub my hands together and practice my evil cackle.

121 thoughts on “Paulk Proclaims Puppy Party 4

  1. How are results being leaked ahead of the official announcement? Even if the nominees themselves are told (so they can prepare), isn’t there some kind of embargo on revealing it publically?

  2. As proscribed in the rules, nominees who make the final ballot are given a chance to decline. With that chance is text saying what amounts to “Please don’t make public that you’ve been nominated until after the whole final ballot is announced at X on Y”. At least one nominee for Best Related Book went public with their nomination, later claiming they “hadn’t noticed the fine print” (or words to that effect). I’ve heard of another nominee going public, but not a name nor have I seen it. And there’s scuttlebutt that a fair number of Puppies are going “I’ve got great news that I can’t tell you about until the afternoon of April 4th” or equivalent, implying “I’ve gotten a Hugo nomination but can’t actually say that wink wink”.

  3. Lis: I have seen only one public announcement. The rest is connect-the-dots between the timing of nebulous statements on Facebook and the rumor mill. When people privately tell their friends things, and some of those friends privately tell them to others, pretty soon it’s not very private. And yet it’s not a public announcement either.

  4. VD quotes Teresa and delights that he has found her statement of evil intent:

    ““The Hugos don’t belong to the set of all people who read the genre; they belong to the worldcon, and the people who attend and/or support it. The set of all people who read SF can start their own award.”
    – Teresa Nielsen Hayden, March 29, 2015, 03:43 PM

    Teresa’s statement just seems like a fundamental definition of what the Hugos are. To translate it to another media form and organization:

    “The Academy Awards don’t belong to the set of all people who go to movies; they belong to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The set of all people who go to movies can start their own award.”

    If the Sad Puppies crowd want to create the People’s Choice award for SF, then go forth and create!

  5. So in other words the Sad Puppies got over excited and couldn’t contain their… Enthusiasm?

  6. What we see (and it seems to happen every year now) with the people complaining that the Hugo Awards don’t reflect the interests of “all SF/F readers” and that we should change to reflect Real Fans (defined as “anyone who thinks the way I do”) is that they don’t react well to being told “Start your own award that is run the way you think it should be run.” What they really are saying is, “I want to take over what you’ve done and harvest all of your accumulated goodwill and give it only to things I like, and I certainly don’t want to do all of that nasty work like actually administer it. You do the work and I’ll take the credit.”

    I honestly admire the people who set out to create an award for Real Fans last year; however, to no surprise at all, they bogged down in all of the practical issues of actually doing it. If they’d kept at it, I suspect they would have re-created The Hugo Awards from scratch, or something pretty close to it.

    To those people who say, “You shouldn’t call it ‘Best Novel’ then! You should call it ‘Most Popular Novel that the members of WSFS who could be bothered to vote liked!'” I would reply, “The Academy Award for Best Motion Picture isn’t ‘Movie that the members of the Academy who could be bothered to vote liked the most.'” Of course “Best” is subjective. Just insert “that the members of WSFS who could be bothered to vote liked” after every category title in the Hugo Awards, “that the members of SFWA who could be bothered to vote liked” after every category in the Nebula Awards, and so forth. But don’t expect those awards organizers to oblige you, nor to hand over the management of their awards to you unless you’re willing to do so very serious work.

  7. Kevin: Two thoughts.

    (1) SP2 (and we expect, SP3) succeeded in putting a bunch of nominees on the ballot, which means they have a lot less incentive to start their own award than, say, fanzine fans.

    (2) Don’t overlook that even if the goal was only to attract attention, naturally the best way to do that is to attack the most prestigious target. Just like the advocates of better antiharassment statements targeted the San Diego Comic-Con last year, and tapped into its brand and publicity.

  8. (2) Don’t overlook that even if the goal was only to attract attention

    As others have invoked the Academy Awards in way of analogy, I shall also do so in the context of a cliché:

    “Just the recognition of a nomination is award enough.”

  9. I actually asked Teresa about that specifically, and she said the people who attend/support the WorldCon specifically includes those who buy supporting memberships and vote in the Hugo.

    But the Sad Puppies will clutch the imagined rejection tenderly to their soft underbellies until it eats its way through and lodges permanently in their hearts. Then they will stand in a circle and assure each other that everyone hates them and they’re not real fans until they have heard it from their fellow Sad Puppies far more than they ever heard it from an outsider.

    Just like Larry Correia and “not a real writer.”

  10. “I find it — shall we say — unconvincing that a top-selling, generally well-reviewed novel that took home the Hugo Award by popular vote, by an author who currently has three television shows in development (one of which actually IS based on this book you think has wrecked the genre), has in any way caused critics or the general public to hold SF in disdain as a fount of reprehensible ideas.”

    One might also note that Redshirts won the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction novel, so it isn’t like the win for the book came out of nowhere. Those whining about how it “wasn’t in the top 25 books that year” make themselves look silly given that it explicitly came in first on top of a list of twenty-five books in a public poll.

  11. Special Shenanigan Finder award goes to Tom Galloway. The e-mail Mr. Meerwarth registered with is bogus. I ran the guy’s name through Google before I approved the comment, though stopped after his FB page seemed plausible.

  12. TNH: they [Hugos] belong to the worldcon, and the people who attend and/or support it. The set of all people who read SF can start their own award.

    How is this, essentially, “this is our award, if you don’t like it, leave us alone and go create your own award!”, different from the GamerGate (who TNH and followers are calling “Reavers”) fundamental claim “the games we like are our games, if you don’t like them, go make the games you want to play”?

    I suspect the irony will be lost on them…

  13. @lostsailor. TNH was less than tactful in that statement.

    That statement is true, however. The award was created by the World Science Fiction Society and IS the award of it, awarded at Worldcons. It may be the one SF award that people outside SF fandom know, but that is what it is in the end.

    It’s similar in that the Oscars are the award of the Motion Picture Academy of America.

    The difference is that anyone can join Worldcon…a fact that the Sad Puppies have used to their advantage.

  14. @princejvstin

    I agree that TNH’s statement is true. And it’s deeper truth is revealed by it’s “less than tactful-ness” It’s a truthful in-group statement. Having had some professional involvement in SFF years ago, and recently re-engaging, this is nothing new. And, yes, your outline of how the Hugos are selected and awarded are also correct, as is TNH on that score. For the first time in may years, I’m part of that selection process, as are the Sad Puppies folk. But the in-group angst over some out-group people “invading” is indeed ironic.

    The Making Light denizens are bitterly opposed to GamerGaters, labeling them dangerous thugs and “Reavers” with some saying they will shun anyone who supports GG in any way (but everyone should make up their own mind, this isn’t a command recommendation). Yet, the GG message (vehemently denied by anti-GGers, natch) is the same: “Don’t try to hijack our thing, go make your own and let the market decide.”

    TNH’s issue wasn’t a failure of “tact” but a failure to sufficiently couch her comments in ambiguity. But then, the mask will slip from time to time.

  15. Could someone please somewhere explain in small words and short sentences in about a paragraph or maybe just a nicely tabulated scorecard just who/what sad puppies and rabid puppies and all the rest of it has to do with anything?

    Lefitsts vs Gamergate, I get. Scalzi vs Vox Day, I get. Kowal and other feminist aspiring authors vs Pournelle and olther old white guy established authors, I get. And so on. But the puppies thing has just gotten tossed around a lot with no clear explanation of what’s what, and it’s obscuring meaning rather than clarifying it.

  16. Rollory: Much as I’d like to give you the version C3PO would tell to the Ewoks and hand you a Kleenex at the end so you can wipe a tear from your eye, why don’t you just hie your lazy ass over to Google and do the work?

  17. I find the comments very entertaining just as I found the original specifications VD was charged with and his detailed rebuttal of the charges. It made fascinating reading.
    I think it interesting that some people commenting here state that VD has no real interest in SF and yet he was a life member of SFWA and is a publisher of other people’s SF. You don’t see too many commenters here that were life members or run an SF publishing house.
    Speaking as a neutral observer I am always impressed with the civility of those who challenge the current regime that appears to run Worldcons. It’s interesting how they perceive any challenge as a personal attack that needs “a river of blood” in response. On a final note I enjoy the way VD has mastered the art of simply using other authors words and writing as just punishment and description. He uses pet names for some of his tormenters but they were names the tormenters used to describe themselves. He didn’t put the words in their mouths and there is no injustice in simply using what they call themselves as apt descriptors.
    How can people get so worked up about any ‘cabal’ putting their heads together and deciding to nominate their own recommendations for an award? I’m sufficiently old-fashioned that I pass on most of the books awarded Hugos or Nebulas in the last 40 years. I don’t find them to be interesting. I don’t understand how enormously popular others are forever shunned for these awards.

    There’s a method to the madness but I don’t care. It’s enough that I have no difficulty finding thousands of books that I enjoy and even reread from time to time. Different tastes for different folks. It sounds like people with different tastes want to see some of their choices honored with SF awards. Where’s the harm or foul in that?
    When did it become war to the knife and poxes on other’s houses?

  18. “How is this, essentially, “this is our award, if you don’t like it, leave us alone and go create your own award!”, different from the GamerGate (who TNH and followers are calling “Reavers”) fundamental claim “the games we like are our games, if you don’t like them, go make the games you want to play”?”

    It is completely different. The Sad Puppies and anyone else interested in SF/F have a legitimate right to register and vote for the Hugo Awards. The game journos do not have any right to dictate what games a developer can develop or what games a gamer can play.

    Worldcon is an open institution. A game development house is not. An individual playing games in his own home is not.

    The mask slipped. Teresa Nielsen Hayden betrayed her outrage that she and her crowd don’t control the awards anymore. First she tried to walk back her comments. And then she foolishly compounded her error by attacking GamerGate and saying things like: “I want the Justice Department to declare them a criminal organization and hit them with felony charges.”

    Congratulations. Sad Puppies is now on GamerGate’s radar. You can thank TNH for that.

    “A sense of injured privilege is what Gamergaters and Sad Puppies have in common. Their fury at SJWs comes from a sequence of assumptions that’s very common in individuals and groups that are smarting from a sense of wounded self-importance.”

    And now GamerGate and Sad Puppies have a common self-declared enemy, the SJWs of science fiction.

  19. @VD
    “Congratulations. Sad Puppies is now on GamerGate’s radar. You can thank TNH for that.”
    Wait, Mr. Beale. I thought Sad Puppies was all about getting good overlooked fiction onto the Hugo ballot and increasing the diversity of the field. At least that’s the stated goals as expressed by Larry and Brad.

    “And now GamerGate and Sad Puppies have a common self-declared enemy, the SJWs of science fiction.”

    Ah. Speaking of the mask slipped, Mr. Beale, I think you just did as well.

    Look, I read your blog post where you quoted me on twitter (from the copypasta from Brad’s blog as reported by Mr. May) how we refuse to engage and that engagement is impossible.

    I can’t read into your heart, but I intuit that you have a sense of *glee* at the thought of Gamergaters joining forces with you. Am I wrong?

  20. “Sad Puppies is now on GamerGate’s radar.”

    I’m sure that the handful of members of GamerGate with their hundreds of sock-puppet accounts will be of great help.

  21. “Ah. Speaking of the mask slipped, Mr. Beale, I think you just did as well.”

    Not at all. Sad Puppies is not Rabid Puppies. I don’t speak for Sad Puppies. Larry, and Brad, and now Kate do. Their objectives are not necessarily mine, and vice-versa.

    I can’t read into your heart, but I intuit that you have a sense of *glee* at the thought of Gamergaters joining forces with you. Am I wrong?

    Yes and no. I am a GamerGater and I have been since before Adam gave us the name. I was one of the first pro developers to speak out publicly in favor of it. I may write and publish SF, but GamerGate, not SF, is my community. I’m not the smallest billy goat, but I’m far from the biggest.

    And I tell you the truth, my big brothers and sisters are very amused by this. I heard from two of them today about it. I didn’t bring them in, though. I didn’t need to.

  22. Part of me is really pissed that TNH summoned GG attention. It can only confuse the issue further, when the goal of SP3 – to wit – promoting good books by overlooked authors is so close at hand.

    OTOH, some proportion (minority? plurality? more?) of those who decry SP3 already categorize SP3ers as the vile, evil, horrible partners of GG. If they are going to criticize SP3 for something and enjoy that sweet, sweet sanctimony, then I suppose that it will be balanced by the salty action that GG can bring, even in small doses.

    On the balance, I would have preferred that TNH NOT invite the attention of GGers.

  23. “On the balance, I would have preferred that TNH NOT invite the attention of GGers.”

    Don’t worry. There aren’t enough GGers to matter much anyway. Former Ggers are abandoning the sinking ship in droves. In a few months, most will deny they were ever part of the “consumer revolt”.

    GGers are, at this point, as irrelevant as the Sad Puppies are to the wider science fiction community. A couple of years from now all of the Sad Puppies will be remembered as derisively as the Scientologists who got Black Genesis on the ballot.

  24. “Don’t worry. There aren’t enough GGers to matter much anyway.”

    Adam Baldwin and his 211K Twitter followers would like a word, Aaron.

    Suppose that he elects to jump in – I doubt it, but it is possible. Suppose 1% of his followers elect to participate. Two things happen: WorldCon is $40k richer and SP3 nominees. Get. A. Hugo. Or Six.

    SP3 cleaving to the Scalzi instruction about organization, communication and commitment, and thus far succeeding on its own merits.

    If antiSP3ers want to conflate GG and SP3, and then summon the already organized hordes, welp, that is unlikely to end well for anyone.

  25. *snort* Somehow I don’t think there are that many Gamergators reading Making Light. It is just not their kind of place. If they show up it’ll be because their SP friends asked them to.

    And TNH agrees that the Puppies are part of the body of fandom, and those that buy supporting memberships are part of WorldCon; she just doesn’t think they should be using a slate to distort their nominations to the point that non-Puppy Hugo voters are left choosing among only SP Slate-approved choices.

    On the bright side, the Sad Puppies breaking the embargo does mean that when the Hugo Nominations come out next Saturday the only ones that are news will be the non-Puppy choices. I’m looking forward to seeing what they are, in those categories that have them.

  26. Did someone beside Williamson state that they were nominated? I am only aware of his post, since removed.

  27. ‘And now GamerGate and Sad Puppies have a common self-declared enemy, the SJWs of science fiction.’

    I have problems with the way the Sad Puppies operate, but I wouldn’t wish association with a bunch of rape-threat slingers on anyone.

  28. “Ratseal” wrote: “Suppose that he elects to jump in – I doubt it, but it is possible. Suppose 1% of his followers elect to participate. Two things happen: WorldCon is $40k richer and SP3 nominees. Get. A. Hugo. Or Six.”

    So, you’re basically admitting that the point of Sad Puppies isn’t to encourage like-minded folk to join Worldcon and vote for works they personally think merit a Hugo, but to bloc vote for a slate pre-selected by a few folk (who, coincidently enough, keep finding their own works to be worthy of being on said slate) for political reasons. ‘Cause otherwise, how could you be so sure that Foo’s followers would vote for your politically correct candidates?

    And this is why Sad Puppy slate members, unless they are at the really fantastic level of Hugo worthiness, will automatically be put below No Award or left off my ballot all together (I forget which actually does them the most damage with respect to preference voting, and would check to do that before filling out my ballot)

  29. “So, you’re basically admitting that the point of Sad Puppies isn’t to encourage like-minded folk to join Worldcon and vote for works they personally think merit a Hugo, but to bloc vote for a slate pre-selected by a few folk (who, coincidently enough, keep finding their own works to be worthy of being on said slate) for political reasons. ‘Cause otherwise, how could you be so sure that Foo’s followers would vote for your politically correct candidates?”

    NOPE. So much wrong here. A point at a time:
    ” …point of Sad Puppies isn’t to encourage like-minded folk to join Worldcon and vote for works they personally think merit a Hugo…” – the initial and continued exhortation by Thorgensen to read and nominate deserving works hasn’t changed.

    “…to bloc vote for a slate pre-selected by a few folk …”
    If one summons GG supporters, who have demonstrated persistence and passion, and they don’t have a strong opinion on individual works – and they elect to spend $40 (iffy, IMO, but possible), they will grab a convenient list. I do not favor this outcome.

    “…politically correct candidates?” – we have already established that the SP3 slate is a mix of works by authors who are variously conservative, moderate and liberal (or unknown, like Butcher) in their politics. I don’t know what ‘politically correct’ means.

  30. unless they are at the really fantastic level of Hugo worthiness

    You mean like “If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love”?

    Low bar, there.

  31. ” the initial and continued exhortation by Thorgensen to read and nominate deserving works hasn’t changed.”

    Yeah, it’s just pure coincidence that this year SP issued a slate of recommendations that just happened to exactly equal the number of slots on the final ballot, rather than a recommended/suggested list of many more than five items per category. And last year, I don’t recall SP going “Great, in addition to our list, the following approved by us, but not on our official list made the ballot”. Which seems to indicate you realize that pre-arranged bloc nominations are your best/only hope to game the system. I’m not going to say what it is just yet, but if a certain work that’s not on y’all’s list makes the ballot and y’all don’t go “That’s the kind of work we want”, it’ll be very indicative.

    Re: politically correct candidates. You’ve definitely established there are certain types of works, and certain types of people with political beliefs, that you don’t want winning Hugos. Thus, you have a set of politically correct to your beliefs candidates.

  32. And this is why Sad Puppy slate members, unless they are at the really fantastic level of Hugo worthiness, will automatically be put below No Award or left off my ballot all together.

    Go for it. After all, last year’s No Award strategy is working out so well for you now. You guys just keep doubling down and making it easier for us. Do you seriously think that sort of thing DISSUADES anyone?

    Just keep pushing harder. And never mind that little sign that says “pull”.

  33. Yeah, it’s just pure coincidence that this year SP issued a slate of recommendations that just happened to exactly equal the number of slots on the final ballot

    That’s not true, Tom. Did you even bother to look at the SP list? Only four categories had five entries, and one of them, Best Novel, we know only got three on the shortlist according to PNH of Tor.

  34. “Waterboy” writes in response to me:
    ““unless they are at the really fantastic level of Hugo worthiness“

    You mean like “If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love”?

    Low bar, there.”

    Don’t put words in my mouth. I’ve not said anything about what, specifically, I consider to have been good or bad Hugo or Nebula Award winners. I will say that of last year’s Puppy slate, the worst, in my opinion, was horrible, and the best amounted to competent commercial fiction. And there is nothing wrong with the latter; I enjoy me some competent commercial fiction. But that doesn’t make it award worthy; that requires exceptional fiction, whether commercial or non-commercial. Combine that with techniques that, in my opinion, actively attack the Hugos as workable awards which I don’t like, and you’ve got a seriously raised bar to go above No Award/no presence on my ballot.

    To give a non-SF example, btw, consider the Spenser series of mystery novels. The first twelve were certainly commercial fiction. They also, some more that others, had that something extra that also made them stand out and be award worthy. But after that twelfth (A Widening Gyre for those curious), which wrapped up a lot of things that had been building up in those first twelve, particularly in terms of characters, the series became, in my opinion, only competent commercial fiction. Occasional flashes beyond that, but few if any of the 30 or so books after the twelfth were overall award worthy. Still enjoyed reading them though.

  35. Tom Galloway: “Don’t put words in my mouth. I’ve not said anything about what, specifically, I consider to have been good or bad Hugo or Nebula Award winners.

    You are correct, you personally did not specifically identify this piece one way or the other. Mea culpa.

    Yet many other Hugo nominating voters did identify this as Hugo-worthy, regardless of how you personally felt about it. And it is this type of SJW-approved writing that Sad Puppies aims to counter.

    So if you don’t mind my asking…can you give an indication of where it did finish on your final ballot?

  36. @ Tom Galloway:

    “Re: politically correct candidates…. you have a set of politically correct to your beliefs candidates.”

    I have no idea what you are on about. You brought up the term ‘politically correct’ – see your own post at 11:44am. I responded, explaining that the term didn’t make sense in this context because the SP3 slate is all over the place, politically. Your take away from that is that I have “definitely established there are certain types of works, and certain types of people with political beliefs, that you (insert, ‘I’) don’t want winning Hugos.”?

    Dude, you have lost the plot. Either you can’t keep track of who you are responding to, you are an EASL speaker, your meds are overdue or you are trolling. Possibly all four.

  37. “Adam Baldwin and his 211K Twitter followers would like a word, Aaron.”

    Adam Baldwin’s followers are doing a pretty lousy job of promoting GG on twitter. If ever avowed GGer tweeted using the hashtag only once per day, the maximum number of actual GGers amounts to a few thousand people at most. Given that most use the tag multiple times per day, they really amount to a few hundred at most, with numbers further diminished by the fact that GG has shown marked proclivities towards making sock-puppets to try to boost their numbers. GG is a handful of people led by a handful of opportunists.

  38. “You mean like “If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love”?”

    Explain how If You Were a Dinosaur My Love is substantially different in tone and style from The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.

    I’d also put Swirsky’s story up against the crap SP2 put forward by Torgersen, Beale, and Wells any day. Those stories were markedly worse then Swirsky’s

  39. Aaron: “Explain how If You Were a Dinosaur My Love is substantially different in tone and style from The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.

    I cannot, as I have not read the latter.

  40. ” I will say that of last year’s Puppy slate, the worst, in my opinion, was horrible, and the best amounted to competent commercial fiction.”

    That’s fine. That’s your prerogative. Obviously, there are no shortage of people who feel otherwise. And we feel that the Nebulas have been terrible since Asaro won for THE QUANTUM ROSE while the Hugos hit a similar nadir when Scalzi won for REDSHIRTS.

    I would certainly encourage you to go No Award across the board, and if you don’t mind, please try to change the rules too. You might as well soak the Hugo in kerosene.

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