Dragons and Puppies and Bards,
Oh My! 4/9

Mainstream media and pundit blogs have not overlooked a chance to capture eyeballs by covering the Sad Puppies kerfuffle. Each wing is quoted today, with one example penned by sf writer Kameron Hurley.

George R.R. Martin finished his series of posts about “Puppygate” – no word if HBO has optioned. Larry Correia ran a rebuttal.

Then there’s a teaser from Matthew Bowman’s clever poem, more full-spectrum opinion, and at the end, the discouraging words of a double Hugo nominee.

David French in National Review

“Social Justice Warriors Aren’t So Tough When Even ‘Sad Puppies’ Can Beat Them” – April 8

Correia, Torgerson, and their Sad Puppies allies are living arguments against cultural defeatism. With humor and verve, they’ve taken on the allegedly unstoppable Left, stopped it, and thrown it into spasms of impotent rage and amusing disarray. In its rage and self-righteousness, the Left always overreaches. Always. I’ve seen that reality in 20 years of on-campus battles, we’re seeing that reality as their hate campaign against Memories Pizza helped make the owners a pile of money, and we saw it when we watched unhinged rhetoric help turn American Sniper into the top-grossing movie of 2014.

 

Kameron Hurley in The Atlantic

“Hijacking the Hugo Awards Won’t Stifle Diversity in Science Fiction” – April 9, 2015

The science-fiction and fantasy literature world might seem by its nature to be forward-thinking, but it hasn’t been free from the kinds of culture wars embodied by last year’s Gamergate controversy—a fact aptly illustrated by this year’s nominations for the genre’s (arguably) most prestigious awards, the Hugos. The tastes of the voting audience for the Hugos (comprised of the attendees of the World Science Fiction Convention, or WorldCon) seem to have grown more diverse in recent years. And their selections have reflected that: Last year’s awards were swept by writers of color and women, myself included. So it was a surprise when a majority of voters woke up April 4 to a nomination slate almost exclusively overrun by novels, stories, and related fan efforts promoted by a small group of writers who claim the Hugos are turning into affirmative-action awards catering to left-wing ideologies. Their efforts to influence the voting process are led by the novelist Larry Correia and the Internet personality Theodore Beale, who’s best known for his desire to deny women the right to vote and his firm belief that black people are “savages.”

 

Matthew Bowman on Novel Ninja

“Puppy Poetry” – April 9

[Third of four stanzas]

These are, we’re told, quite vital jobs
To let society progress
But it just left us with some snobs
Whose way of life was to suppress
This made many puppies cry
And seek a cure for their distress
The best of fiction they could buy
But Hugo wins would just depress

 

TorInAction on Reddit

This subreddit tracks and discusses attempts to smear, intimidate, censor, culturally appropriate, ethically corrupt, or otherwise harm the science fiction & fantasy medium and culture, specifically such attempts by the SJW hate movement. These attempts are collectively known as #SciFiGate.

 

Sarah Hoyt on According To Hoyt

“Of Science Fiction and Bed Making” – April 9

Sad Puppies is not responsible for the universe.

The people who accuse us of being in league with gamer gate are just echoing Empress Teresa’s nutty slander. (She probably sees Gamer Gate under her bed, and it’s the Gamer Gate of Law and Order.) For one SP 1 was long before Gamer Gate and if Larry has a time machine and hasn’t shared – the bastage – we’re going to have words, even if he has way many more guns than I do. (Perhaps he found it on the… “Dark Net” — cue ominous music.)

The evidence for this seems to be that Larry welcomed gamer gaters to one of his post updates. Yes, he did. Because the other side’s shrieking and hollering got their attention and they started coming around to see what this was all about.

 

George R.R. Martin on Not A Blog

“Blogging for Rockets” – April 9

Yeah, there too. In the ongoing discussion of Puppygate, numerous people have cited one instance, wherein a stack of identical nominating ballots arrived with the same postmark, paid for by consecutive money orders. Those were disallowed. In 1987, members of the Church of Scientology campaigned successfully to place L. Ron Hubbard’s BLACK GENESIS on the Best Novel ballot. That was not disallowed — the Scientologists had done nothing illegal, after all, all they’d done is buy supporting memberships to a convention that they had no intention of attending, for the sole purpose of nominating LRH for a Hugo (hmmm, why does that tactic sound familiar?) — but their campaign created a huge backlash. Hubbard’s name was booed lustily at the Hugo ceremony in Brighton, and his book finished last in the final balloting, behind No Award. (The winner that year was Orson Scott Card, with SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD, for those who are counting).

Of course, there were also recommended reading lists. That wasn’t campaigning, not strictly, but certain lists could have huge influence on the final ballot. The annual LOCUS Recommended Reading List, compiled by Charles Brown and his staff and reviewers, was the most influential. If your book or story made that list… well, it did not guarantee you a place on the ballot, but it sure improved your chances. NESFA (the New England fan club) had an annual list as well, and LASFS might have done the same, not sure. And of course the Nebulas, which came before the Hugos, carried a lot of weight too. Win a Nebula, and the chances were good that you’d be a Hugo nominee as well. Again, no guarantee, some years the shortlists diverged sharply… but more often than not, there was a lot of overlap.

So there were always these factors in play. Cliques, I can hear the Sad Puppies saying. Yeah, maybe. Thing is, they were COMPETING cliques. The NESFA list and the Nebula list were not the same, and the LOCUS list… the LOCUS list was always very long. Five spots on the Hugo ballot, and LOCUS would recommend twenty books, or thirty… sometimes more, when they started putting SF and fantasy in separate categories.

Bottom line, lots of people influenced the Hugos (or tried to), but no one ever successfully controlled the Hugos.

 

Larry Correia on Monster Hunter Nation

“A response to George R.R. Martin from the author who started Sad Puppies” – April 9

Yes, there were competing cliques, but the only cliques who mattered all looked virtually identical to us outsiders looking in. And hardly anything they ever nominated represented anything we liked. To most of us barbarian wrongfans, the competing cliques were indistinguishable from one another.

For example, correct me if I’m wrong but I believe with last year’s winners, every single one shared similar political viewpoints. And all but one of them was white, yet that year was hailed as a huge win for diversity.

You need to see this from Wrongfan’s perspective. You guys had competing cliques, but to us it was like an Eskimo having a thousand different words for snow, and you can tell us about your many diverse and wonderful types of snow, but all we saw was snow.

And in recent years when we looked at the ballots it was like, awesome, let’s choose between these five items of approved socially conscious message fiction. Yay! We’ve got selections from: religious people are stupid bigots, capitalists are raping the earth, capitalists are stupid bigots, bigots are stupid, and I’m not quite sure what the hell this last thing is about and I’m not even sure if it qualifies as fantasy or scifi but it has bigots in it… Oh man, tough call.

Again, now we can openly say that this all makes sense because my kind of people aren’t WorldCon regulars, and this award belongs only to WorldCon, so the stuff making the ballot wasn’t aimed at us… but sadly that wasn’t what you guys were telling us when we started this.

This stuff was supposed to be the best stuff in the whole world.

So we formed our own competing clique and actually bothered to show up.

 

Brad R. Torgersen

“Gulag Diary, day 6” – April 9

It’s cold here. Very cold. Commissar Chu laughed when he said he didn’t expect me to last the month. I still can’t rightly explain how I got to this place. I am writing these words with the stub of an old pencil I found in the back of the box car. The train from civilization was packed. Nose to nose. I think most of us can tell the same story. One instant, we were sitting in our homes safe and sound, browsing the internet. The next instant, our doors came down and the enforcers stormed in. I remember screaming. And a woman’s face — another of the endless number of commissars — as she watched me dragged out the door. She was visibly gleeful over the fact that the Peoples Republic of Science Fiction had discovered me. There would be no trial, she gloated. Merely punishment.

 

T. L. Knighton

“Priorities” – April 8

Brad Torgersen and Larry Correia have been called racists and misogynists, without a single shred of evidence. It’s bad enough that Mary Robinette Kowal had to jump in to tell folks to knock it the hell off. She is not on the Sad Puppies side. She and Larry have clashed before, and to call them friends would probably be an insult to the institution of friendship. I’ve seen it be ugly before.

Yet she gets it. While the awards have value to her, they’re not worth destroying lives over. She’s right. They’re not. Go read her blog. She gives a master class in class. People on both sides, including myself, could learn from her actions. I’ve also seen her apologize to Larry publicly after one of their run-ins, so she definitely has class in her. Just for that, I will endeavor to find a book of hers to buy, read, and if I like it, review it.

 

Vox Day on Vox Popoli

“George R.R. Martin Admits Hugo Campaigns” – April 9

6.We don’t feel we’re victims. We’re not complaining that we’ve been overlooked for decades. We’re not whining or crying about anything. But we were told by a certain clique that we had to kowtow to them because failing to do so would be “a career-limiting move.” Now we are making sure that no one will ever have to kowtow to them, or cower before them, again.
7.I published science fiction books for years without ever campaigning for them, listing their eligibility, or pimping them for awards, despite having the public platforms of a nationally syndicated column and a popular blog. And I’m not inclined to listen to criticism from anyone who ever did.
8.The two Puppies campaigns have resulted in the highest average Amazon rating in the Best Novel category going back to 1986. In 2015, the average is 4.46 stars. The 2010-2014 pre-Puppy average is 3.9 stars. Sad Puppies is objectively improving the quality of the nominated works and expanding the overall nominee pool.

 

Lawrence Person on Battleswarm Blog

“Sad Puppies, If I Must”

For the last several years, a vocal minority of Social Justice Warriors has wrecked havoc on the fabric of the science fiction community. Taking their clues from the Alinskyite “direct action” tactics of far-left political activists, they’ve carried out a virulent campaign against anyone unwilling to toe the political correct line on victimhood identity politics. Their tactics have included doxxing, online mobbings, demands people be fired from their day jobs for non-PC transgressions, numerous calls for censorship, demands that only politically correct language be used when it comes to race, sex, ethnicity, or anything to do with Muslims, and follow-up demands for “official policies” and “committees” to enshrine their extremists demands as institutional law.

 

Kathryn Routliffe on Grasping at Grace

“Dept. of Sweet Weeping Whatever” – April 5

I was disheartened to learn that a group of people who believe that fandom has been improperly taken over by folks who aren’t, by and large, white, cis-gendered, straight males (and a few good-looking white-cis-gendered straight females) and who have apparently dedicated themselves to fighting the good fight against such people, have succeeded in loading the 2015 Hugo Awards ballot with nominations for books, stories, television episodes, fanzines, movies, etc., etc.  that they believe are more worthy. They invited folks with whom they are sympatico, including many in the G*merg*te community to join them in block voting for those worthy offerings. They thus succeeded in filling up many, if not all, the slots in most, if not every, Hugo category.

It makes me sad and angry for several reasons….

Especially when these people have the unmitigated gall, or apparent cultural tone-deafness, to say they are doing it in the name of inclusion and returning the Hugos to diversity and anti-authoritarian forward thinking. No, really, that’s what they’re saying. Because John W. Campbell-White-Guys-Finish-First SF is under attack from everywhere – everywhere, I tell you … sweet, weeping jesus. Haven’t these guys ever read The Futurians, or The Way The Future Was? Even some of the stalwarts of White Guys Finish First SF were the kind of people from whom the Sad Puppies would recoil in horror.

 

Lou Antonelli on Facebook – April 9

The way the detractors of Sad Puppies were are making all sorts of assumptions about the motivations of its advocates reminds me of the story about the man at a newspaper who told his colleague he was thinking about starting an affair.

His friend was shocked. “I thought you were happily married?”

“I am,” he said, “but my wife isn’t. We’ve been married 20 years, and a lot of her friends either have had their marriage break up, or their husbands are all cheating. They talk so m…uch trash against husbands my wife is convinced I’m having an affair. Since I’m being treated like I’m a cheater, I might as well cheat.”

Howard Waldrop once wrote a story, “Horror, We Got”, with the same theme: If we’re going to be blamed no matter what, we mighty as well do it.

40 thoughts on “Dragons and Puppies and Bards,
Oh My! 4/9

  1. In the unlikely event that Mr. Antonelli has an opportunity to see this, with regard to his FB comment, I would point out that, while you have little to no control over the behavior of others, you do have control over how you respond to their behavior.

  2. Martin hasn’t concluded his series of posts yet; he made another one today and has been promising to cover topics he hasn’t covered yet.

  3. Thank you so much for these quote compilations. They are an invaluable resource for keeping abreast of the story.

    I particularly appreciate that you are bringing in so many different views. It’s certainly been an eye-opener, hearing such different takes on the same events.

  4. You dont really have to give space to vox day. There are plenty of others on that side you can quote… He is the only one I would ignore. This just gives him publicity. The rest of them are just being jackasses.

  5. I don’t see any mystery in why the professional writers who subscribe to Sad Puppies &cet. are there — they seriously Want and Need to have “Hugo Winner!” on the cover their next book. I’ve read a few things by many of them, and have found them… mostly competent and mediocre. There’s no way I would vote for any of them for the Hugo. (Actually, there are a fair number of Hugo Winners I would not have, and did not, vote for since 1959 but that may be aside from the point,) The Sad Puppies, however, seem to be combining to make it impossible for me to vote for anyone I want to, other than ones who walk in political & diological lockstep with them, and I passionately dislike this.

    In the interests of Truth in Advertising, or whatever, I don’t think I joined the WorldCon this year, but their destructivity will certainly continue over into next year.

    I note that some/many of the Sad Puppies are so unaware/ignorant/stupid that they think the Hugo is an Award for Writing Quality. Granted, it’s kinda claimed to be, and some fans think it is, but I’d say that 90% of us have long been perfectly aware that it’s a Popularity Contest. And on my part (at least) the Sad Puppies, who are attempting to institute Politics and Political Parties in fandom are… Not Popular.

    Hey, I want to vote for a s-f writer I think to be good, and whose work I enjoy reading. For the past c. 50 years I’ve been able to do this, and I serously resent any group that tries to prevent me from continuing to do so.

  6. You do have to wonder how smart it is for any writer not called Torgersen, Correira, Day or Wright to associate themselves with the Sad Puppies as they have done the impossible: united all corners of fandom and the science fiction world in being pissed off at them. It’s telling that both Torgersen and Correira were at least cunning enough not to push themselves this time and both may be angling for some of that sweet, sweet wingnut welfare money by sucking up to the American right, but you have to wonder what a dodgy Hugo nomination will do to the careers of the patsies they recruited instead.

    Somebody like Marko Kloos frex, or Kary English, who thought it would be a good idea to get an unearned Hugo nomination this way, do they realise that their participation means that anybody who hasn’t drunk Puppy kool aid will now avoid their work forever? Or had they already ruled out finding an audience outside of Puppydom?

  7. On an unrelated note, I see that the Puppies are still pushing the favourite lie of all rightwing culture warriors: Both Sides Do It and their campaign is only a response to curiously unevidence shenanigans on the part of “the left” or the dreaded SJWs.

    This is of course nonsense and should be marked as such. It was the Puppies and the Puppies only who introduced outside politics into the Hugos, who are the radicals wanting to change science fiction into something it never was, propaganda for the American rightwing and whose longterm goal is to make it safe for White American Males and White American Males only.

    These are people who, for all their bleating about just wanting to read entertaining stories, are incapable of judging any fiction on anything but its propaganda value, who lack the flexibility to enjoy stories when they disagree with its politics or its perceived politics. This is the exact opposite of the history of the Hugos, which has always been about recognising quality over politics, capable of rewarding both Starship Troopers and The Left Hand of Darkness.

  8. “You do have to wonder how smart it is for any writer not called Torgersen, Correira, Day or Wright to associate themselves with the Sad Puppies as they have done the impossible: united all corners of fandom and the science fiction world in being pissed off at them.”

    We have all corners of fandom and the science fiction world united against us, as well as the larger portion of the mainstream media.

    We have the gamers. I like our odds.

    “I see that the Puppies are still pushing the favourite lie of all rightwing culture warriors: Both Sides Do It and their campaign is only a response to curiously unevidence shenanigans on the part of “the left” or the dreaded SJWs.”

    George RR Martin just admitted even more of the shenanigans than we first pointed out. We’ve admissions of bloc votes by extended families, people voting for their children, and more. You are either lying or ignorant, Mr. Wisse.

    Do you seriously think Charles Stross got 15 Hugo nominations sheerly on merit? Keep in mind that I say that despite being one of the few to repeatedly nominate him for Nebulas back when he actually did deserve them in the ACCELERANDO days.

  9. Martin Wise: “…they have done the impossible: united all corners of fandom and the science fiction world in being pissed off at them.”

    LOL! Indeed.

  10. ‘We have the gamers. I like our odds.’

    I think you mean the Gamergaters. At least you’ll never be short of rape threats.

  11. I wonder if GRRM will finish writing his comments before the awards are given out.

    What?

  12. VD—”Do you seriously think Charles Stross got 15 Hugo nominations sheerly on merit? ”

    Well, kinda, yeah. I mean, where is the evidence that his family bloc-voted him in, or his parents, or the SJWs, or the Jewish Conspiracy, or the Venusians? That you don’t like his books and believe that therefore no-one else can honestly like them, isn’t evidence of anything, except the diversity of fan opinion.

    Voting for friends and families is just primate politics, and evens out over a large number of voters and nominees. Even if one’s “extended family” reaches biblical proportions and does exactly what its patriarch tells them, it’s not going to swing a nomination very far. Recruiting a zombie army of Gamer Gaters who vote where you tell them is a whole order of corruption too far to stand without at least disapproving comments and raised eyebrows.

  13. Fix the Hugos! nominate
    Only works our Leader vets:
    Prizes from the Puppy Slate:
    Wisdom From My Internets?
    Why’s our triumph called “a fail;”
    Who do fans and writers scoff?
    Puppy wisdom bites own tail
    Leaves the Heinlein bio off.

  14. Are you mad at Puppy tricks?
    Puppy comes to lick your hurts!
    Control of all the Hugo picks,
    Surely just our just desserts.
    Why the words from angry fen?
    Read our picks to end all doubt!
    Puppy Wisdom strikes again
    Locked Three-Body Problem out.

  15. Cat – I take it that you’ve read both volumes of Heinlein’s bio – was the first volume that inferior that it lost to “We Have Always Fought”? (I am considering if I want to read the first one at all, but if it is no better a piece of work than last year’s winner, I won’t bother.)

    I am also curious as to what other works you think SP “should” have included on the slate…and where you think they stack against “The Martian.”

  16. I like that Mike lets Vox post here. Most people covering the puppies just have him blocked. Even if I don’t agree with him, he is a major player in this year’s Hugo awards and it isn’t fair coverage if you don’t let both sides have their say.

  17. “I think you mean the Gamergaters. At least you’ll never be short of rape threats.”

    Hey now, Scalzi and Gomeshi and Ed Kramer and the corpse of Marion Zimmer Bradley are on YOUR side.

    Your side has also told me I deserve to be shot, that a planet should be dropped on my house, and questioned US Army Ranger LTC Tom Kratman’s military service. And that was just yesterday.

  18. If Puppy picks were picked to share, works that more attention crave
    Heinlein bio would be there; Heinlein is a Puppy fave.
    Ask the Puppies; don’t ask me; current puppy picks I shelve.
    Martian’s fun–I do agree! Published in two-thousand-twelve 🙁

  19. “I like that Mike lets Vox post here. Most people covering the puppies just have him blocked.”

    This is the only place that I comment besides Brad’s place outside my own. Mike’s sympathies don’t lie with us, but he is a superior reporter in the fair and impartial journalistic sense than most of the mainstream reporters.

  20. An applicable quote from the indie vs tradpub wars:

    Remember: It’s Us vs. Them. Only by driving a wedge between us and our well-meaning peers can we ever hope to show them how much they suck.

  21. ‘Hey now, Scalzi and Gomeshi and Ed Kramer and the corpse of Marion Zimmer Bradley are on YOUR side.’

    No, except maybe Scalzi. On the other hand, you have YOU on your side.

    ‘Your side has also told me I deserve to be shot, that a planet should be dropped on my house, and questioned US Army Ranger LTC Tom Kratman’s military service. And that was just yesterday.’

    Well, there’s a scrap of moral high ground for you, finally.

  22. Well, kinda, yeah. I mean, where is the evidence that his family bloc-voted him in, or his parents, or the SJWs, or the Jewish Conspiracy, or the Venusians?

    GRRM provides evidence. He speaks openly of the history of cabals, whisper campaigns, and rigging. Popular reviews also provide evidence. Stross has been consistently among the lowest reviewed of all Hugo novel candidates over the past decade. Not bad by any means: not at all. But definitely on the mid-to-high side of good, not the low side of great. In the fan’s imagination, Stross stands out – kind of like Christian Laetner on the Dream Team.

    Now that you have the evidence, what do you intend to do with it?

  23. I actually think Stross’s pre-Laundry days produced some of the best modern sci-fi and deserved to be nominated… But that’s just my opinion.

    On a side note, I’m looking forward to checking out The Hot Equations if it’s in the packet. Puppy or not, it sounds like something I’d be interested in.

  24. We do not love you puppy boys
    We do not love your Hugo ploys
    You’ve shown a total lack of taste
    And your choices are a waste
    To hell with all you puppy boys

  25. What Martin writes about is in no way comparable to a slate that was intended to make the Hugos into a partisan political fight, of course and it’s always easy to talk about threats without evidence.

  26. xdpaul—”GRRM provides evidence.”

    GRRM provides evidence of nothing much. To quote him: “Thing is, though, it didn’t really hurt. It all balanced out.” And: “Bottom line, lots of people influenced the Hugos (or tried to), but no one ever successfully controlled the Hugos.”

    The Sad Puppy campaign is the first that has seriously unbalanced things, by bringing something new to the formerly quite petty goings-on. I agree with you that this is bad, and it should be stopped. How do you suggest we stop it?

  27. Uh-huh, which is why sites were talking explicitly about how much it would cost to buy a Hugo as far back as 2009. $850 for a nomination back then. $8,800 for the trophy.

  28. NelC – Competing recommendations. This day was a long time coming. When people are nominating over 500 different works across 2000 ballots… Well, that’s actually pretty silly. It means that there are a lot of pet nominations, joke nominations, and very limited range nominations. At minimum lots of competing slates means lots of recommendations, and I think that’s a good thing.

    Seriously, I haven’t been recommended a Hugo-winning book since Ender’s Game. I had little to no respect for the award ten years ago… After reading some of the nominations from the last few years, that respect is at about nil. And I’ve read thousands (quite literally) of SFF novels from the bad to the great.

    So yeah, I think it’s fully believable that certain cliques have dominated the Hugo’s. I question the whisper campaign but, but mostly because it’s completely unnecessary. If it takes 40 ballots to get a novel on the list… Well, that means you only need a couple of moderately influential people plugging each other or the works they like.

  29. xdpaul — Links?

    S1AL — But like GRRM says, there are so many influential figures that they cancel each other out. If Scalzi mentions a particular book as worthy of the Hugo (I don’t know if he’s ever actually done this, I’m not a regular reader), there’s a dozen equally influential blogs who’d name something else. And the Locus list naming thirty or forty books, which may or may not coincide with anybody else’s list. And nobody’s committed to following Scalzi, either Nielsen Hayden, Orson Scott Card, or whoever. Fans generally do read books and make up their own minds as to nominations. The best an “influence” could hope for is to nudge a “maybe” nomination to fifth nominee in a handful of voters.

  30. The whisper campaigns and the bloc buying and the campaigning are well-established. Scalzi, GRRM, Theresa Nielsen-Hayden, Orson Scott Card, and many others have said it. One bloc vote from Scientology was booed one time in the 80s (and got pounded by a really good slate of books too), but there have been plenty of blocs that were cheered, too.

    Hate Mail Will Be Graded is a very good example. It didn’t rise to the top on its own, it was a beneficiary of Scalzi’s self-promoted “Award Pimpage” campaign of that year, the same year he wedged the ill-fitting METAtropolis onto the Dramatic Presentation slate because he could.

    To demonstrate how much control he had over the slates, note that he had to steer nominations away from himself for Fan Writer the year after he campaigned for it and won it. I believe his exact words were “I’ve won it; thanks. Give it to someone new.” Because, even he knew it was going to become the John Scalzi nomipalooza if he didn’t start turning down his noms in some of the more embarrassing categories.

  31. NelC – http://www.blastr.com/2009/01/buy_a_hugo_award_nomination_for_850_win_for_8800.php

    Kevin Standlee had a good comment back then:
    “Note that membership in the Worldcon only includes nominating rights for the following year, not rights on the following year’s final ballot.nnEven assuming you could buy enough votes to make the ballot, there’s a very good chance that the presence of a work that seems obviously out of place would generate a lot more “buzz” around the voting and lead people to vote who are eligible but don’t often do so, which would significantly increase the cost of buying the final award. There are hints that this sort of thing has happened in the past.”

    And Patrick Nielsen Hayden indicates that the Hugos have some sort of extra-bylaw trick for preventing such schemes:

    “It’s been tried on more than one occasion, and the people that run the Hugos have sensibly intervened to keep such schemes from working. The system works pretty well to spot and neutralize behavior in bad faith.”

  32. NelC – Really? Name them. I have several different ideas, but I’ll wait to see your list. Furthermore, there’s the fact that I said you need a few. I would be willing to bet that it takes 2-3 influential people (meaning “influential with nominating members”) to get 40 votes with just well-times mentions. Now that you need a couple hundred? That’s going to make things different.

  33. “I agree with you that this is bad, and it should be stopped. How do you suggest we stop it?”

    You can’t and you won’t. I suggest wu wei and giving the new people on the scene the chance to prove that they are more reasonable and responsible than their quieter, more self-serving predecessors. Larry Correia has already pledged that he will not get another Hugo nomination, which is more than any of the Tor clique have ever done, although PNH did decline a nomination one year so Lou Anders of Pyr could finally win one.

    You can try to outthink and outmaneuver us. Or you can nuke the awards. Whatever you choose is completely up to you all, but you should understand that every scenario has been anticipated for months. Nothing, not the media blitz, the death wishes, not even Charles Stross’s little doxxing operation, has been a surprise to us.

    Okay, that’s not quite true. I was genuinely astonished when the Nielsen Haydens went out of their way to attack #GamerGate. That was definitely a surprise. But other than that, not so much.

  34. Martin Wisse: It sounds like you are suggesting that all non-Puppy-sympathizers are going to boycott the work of the Puppy-slated authors. That seems like an exaggeration to me. The total number of people in the world who care enough about the Hugos in order to vote is not that large — there were 3,587 voters on the final ballot in 2014, and that was the all-time record high. I doubt that most non-Hugo voters are going to hold resentment toward the slated authors merely for having agreed to be slated by the Puppies. The Hugo controversy that people who read this blog and other SF-related blogs are paying attention to may not necessarily be what most SF readers are paying attention to.

    Nor do I think that all the Hugo voters who disagree with the Puppies’ political views and/or object to their nomination campaign tactics are going to boycott all the slated authors forever. (Some of those voters might boycott some of those authors, but they’re not all going to boycott all of those authors.)

  35. S1AL — Don’t be silly, I don’t have a list of secret SJW masters. I meant ‘influential’ in a minor, disorganised, working-against-each-other way, not bleeding secret puppet masters working to keep right-thinking Americans away from their justly deserved tin rockets.

    As you say, things are different now: they’re worse. The Sad Puppies will be opposed not by SJWs, but by fans who have had the simple pleasure of voting in a competition for a tin rocket spoilt by a gang of vandals.

    VD — You certainly sound reasonable and responsible, and not at all like a paranoid raving loon.

  36. Careful with that sarcasm. The last time I said something sarcastic, someone explained to me where Portugal was located in great detail because someone else said Sarah Hoyt was a Pacific Islander of all things.

  37. S1AL — If I’ve misunderstood you, I assure you it wasn’t deliberate; you’ll have to explain what you really meant.

  38. Alauda — If I get quote-mined (“VD… Reasonable and responsible — NelC”) at least I’ll know that I’m influential. 😉

  39. NelC – I was referring to “so many influential people.” To whom are you referring? Not a list of super secret sneaky sneaks, just publicly popular and visible figures. The argument was that there was this huge variety of people and nominations, and that’s not my observation. So I’m curious if I missed something.

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