Sad Puppies suddenly remembered today they love Tor Books after all, for no particular rea$on. Mary Robinette Kowal offered to underwrite 10 Worldcon member$hips to grow fandom beyond the enclave. Gawker hates that George R.R. Martin is lo$ing money blogging about Sad Puppies instead of finishing his book. George himself returns to the lists in a post condemning hate speech. That and many other opinions are canvassed in today’s roundup.
Larry Correia on Monster Hunter Nation
In fact, one of our suggestions for novel is by Kevin J. Anderson, and is published by Tor. One of our nominees is John C. Wright, and he is published by Tor. There are other Tor authors who are secret members of the Evil Legion of Evil. And there are some Tor authors and editors who have reached out to us this week, and who have told the angry mobs to calm the hell down and knock off the asinine defamation, both in public and in private.
Don’t threaten to boycott anybody because of their business associations, because that’s exactly the kind of boorish behavior that’s been done to us.
Don’t post links to a torrent site and suggest that people pirate stuff instead of giving a publishing house money. Do you have any idea how offensive it is to do that on a professional author’s feed?
John C. Wright
“No Tarring Tor” – April 11
My comment: Let me state for the record that all my dealings with Tor Books have been courteous and professional.
I never ran into anyone who expressed the least curiosity about my private opinions or public faith, no one who ever rolled his eyes or curled his lip, or bit his thumb.
Allow me to list the good Tor has done me, so that one and all with understand the true depth of my gratitude.
They are the first publishing house to give me a break, and buy my novels. All other houses had rejected them.
Mr Hartwell of Tor Books sought me out, not me him, based on the quality of my short stories. That indicated to me that he was and would be an editor of vision and energy, willing to go the extra mile to orchestrate the sale of high quality material. I have never had cause to doubt that original favorable first impression.
Tor took a great gamble on my first five books, buying them all at once.
Tor has routinely bestowed brilliant cover art to adorn them, for which one Irene Gallo, head of the art department, merits public lauds. (I do not know if she is still there. This is as of the last I heard.) You have heard other authors complain about their book covers? I have been given no cause for the slightest complaint.
The Tor publicity department has always been friendly and responsive to my concerns. (Even when I imposed on them).
Tor accomplished the impossible for me. After very difficult negotiations, Tor Books cooperated with the estate of AE van Vogt to allow me to write the authorized sequel to my favorite book by my favorite author, NULL-A CONTINUUM. That is beyond any dream come true for any author.
Jay Hathaway on Gawker
So, on top of everything else, the Puppies have distracted GRRM from finishing the Winds of Winter? What a fucking disaster.
Pat Cadigan in a comment on File 770 – April 11
I’d just like to note that I made my statement “There is no ‘them’” before I knew that the Sad/Rabid Puppies were an organised effort, with slates that their followers were to vote for.
Having learned better, I’d have to say that there didn’t used to be a ‘them.’
This year, there is and that’s a pretty sad state of affairs, to say the least.
Mary Robinette Kowal
My dear fandom, people from the larger SFF community, fans of my work, fans of Larry Correia’s work… there are more of us.
So this is my call to action for all of you — Become more inclusive. Invite your friends and family to participate. Buy a supporting membership for someone who can’t afford it. Welcome people who like different work than you do. Ask them to recommend a book. Read it. Recommend something to them. Talk about why you like it.
But please, please let’s stop trying to make fandom a special little enclave. It has always been the place where people could come, regardless of what they were fans of, and be welcome. It’s where we can wear Regency attire next to a Transformers cosplay. This isn’t to say that we should tolerate bad behavior, but liking something different isn’t bad behaviour.
And to my readers — If you can afford it, I encourage you to buy a membership to WorldCon and become part of fandom. If you cannot afford it… I will buy a supporting membership to WorldCon for ten people who cannot afford it. All I ask is that you join the conversation.
Beth Wodzinski on Shimmer
“Shimmer Supports Hugo Voters” – April 11
You know what would be neat? If everyone in the science fiction and fantasy world voted in the Hugo awards. If everyone read widely and discussed what they loved. If all the voices were heard, not just the loudest. A healthy ecosystem is one that’s teeming with millions of kinds of life; let’s find ways to include more people.
If you can afford a supporting membership to WorldCon, I strongly encourage you to buy one. It’s $40. A supporting membership gives you the right to vote in this year’s Hugos — and the right to nominate in next year’s.
If you can’t afford a supporting membership… Mary Robinette Kowal is offering to pay for a supporting membership to WorldCon for ten people who cannot afford it.
This is a splendid idea. Shimmer’s happy to join Mary. We’ll match her offer: ten memberships for people who can’t otherwise afford one. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, phone number (just as backup in case your email doesn’t work), and a paragraph telling me a little bit about yourself and why you’d like a supporting membership. I expect to get more than ten people interested, so will ultimately choose at random.
— Mary Robinette Kowal (@MaryRobinette) April 11, 2015
— Sunil Patel (@ghostwritingcow) April 11, 2015
George R.R. Martin on Not A Blog
“Hatespeech” – April 11
And now there’s Puppygate, and I have been posting about that, and in the course of which I have had some exchanges with Larry Correia, the founder of Sad Puppies, and Brad Torgensen, who ran the SP3 slate. And both of them tell similar tales: of anonymous phone calls, libel and slander, vicious emails, death threats… death threats! All of these, presumably, coming from “my side” of fandom, those who oppose the Puppies. Do I believe them? I don’t want to believe them. I would rather cling to the belief that my side is better than that. That’s hard to do these days, As strongly as I disagree with Torgensen and Correia about the Hugo Awards, and probably a hundred other issues, I have no reason to think them liars. I think they are telling the truth, just as Quinn and Sarkeesian and Wu were. On the internet, it seems, abuse trumps debate every time.
Death threats. Really? Really???
It really makes me wonder. Were there always so many toads out there, so many slimy squirming venomous cowards lurking in their parents’ basements? Or did the internet somehow just bring them into being overnight, these children of Tsathoggua?
I really don’t know, but it makes me despair. Is this what we are as a country, as a people? When we disagree, is it really necessary to spit and snap at each other, to throw around insults and obscenities, to make death threads, rape threats? Can’t we just debate the issues?
Martin Lewis on Everything Is Nice
As I said when last year’s shortlists were announced, I do think there is a connection between author’s publishing their eligibility and the rise of nomination slates but I had no intention of being dragged into it all again this year, an intention only strengthen by seeing it play out again in exactly the same way. However, at the same time, I’ve been increasingly doing my own lobbying as well as mulling over Abigail Nussbaum’s increasingly militant line on awards recommendations:
Last year when the nominees were announced there were several attempts to distinguish between “good” and “bad” campaigning–to argue, for example, that Larry Correia’s Sad Puppies ballot (which gave us Vox Day, Hugo nominee), and the campaign to get all fourteen Wheel of Time novels nominated for Best Novel, were substantively different from, say, my posting my Hugo recommendations on this blog, or John Scalzi recommending me for the Best Fan Writer Hugo. I don’t believe that’s true.
I disagree with Nussbaum – I think there is a substantive difference – but I also think there should be more discussion of these issues. Recognising that this might be difficult, I’d like to propose a framework for this discussion. I’m not saying that this framework is right or definitive but I do hope it is at least helpful. First of all, I think there are three axes to consider: someone’s authority, the extent to which they direct others and their own self-interest. Secondly, the range of each axis is quite large:
1 – Some random person on the internet
2 – Someone with a social media network including Hugo voters
3 – Someone with a large social media network including Hugo voters or an author
4 – An author with a large following
5 – A superstar author
1 – Listing your nominations without comment
2 – Recommending multiple works to consider or posting your own eligibility
3 – Recommending specific works to nominate
4 – Actively campaigning for specific works
5 – Actively campaigning for a full slate
1 – No relationship with the person you recommend
2 – Acquaintance, colleague or part of social network
3 – Friend
4 – Yourself
5 – Yourself and your friends
“My four cents on the Hugo thing” – April 7
3) I do not like what the slate-voting model has done to the Hugos–I think it has removed any legitimacy the award once had, and reduced it to a two-party system that will, in the future, only nominate a narrow subset of the field. You’ll have Sad Puppies and Anti-Sad Puppies, and we’ll pick our ticket and campaign for it for months, and anyone not on the ticket will be out in the cold. I honestly don’t see how that CAN’T happen next year, unless we change the voting rules. And no, that’s not what it was before: what it was before was a group of like-minded people who tended to vote for the same authors and themes every time, which is pretty standard for any voting award anyway, and a far cry from a curated ticket of “this is the slate we should all vote for.” I am sad that this has happened, but I hope we can find a way to fix it.
4) No matter how much I hate the slate, and how sad I am for the people and stories the slate bumped off, I think that voting against everyone on the slate regardless of merit seems like a terrible idea. Guardians of the Galaxy, for example, was a favorite for the category going in, and probably got just as many normal nominations as Puppy nominations, but now we’re all going to vote against it as some kind of protest? Kevin Anderson and Jim Butcher are excellent authors–giants in the field, and mentors to half the authors working today–but now we’re supposed to shut them out completely just because the wrong people nominated them? Toni Weiiskopf and Anne Sowards are exactly the kind of brilliant, talented editors the “recognize more women” crowd (in which company I include myself) has been trying to recognize for years, but now we’re supposed to ignore them just because some conservative white guys got them on the ballot? THIS IS INSANE. Some of the people on the ballot are terrible people, and some of their work is terrible fiction, and I’ll be voting accordingly, but punishing Anne Sowards because I want to punish the people who put her on the slate is misguided and cruel. These people did good work, worthy of reward, and I’m going to reward them. Let’s fix this problem in a way that doesn’t trample innocents.
As a final word: I will be at WorldCon this year, not wallowing in controversy but celebrating science fiction and fantasy. I love the genre, I love the stories we tell, and I love the spirit of hope that those stories express about the future. Let’s try to be as good as the heroes we write about.
Catherynne M. Valente on Rules for Anchorites
I suspect it’s because they know inclusivity and diversity are considered positive attributes by most people. Exclusivity and uniformity don’t sell. Despite their conviction that they are the persecuted majority, they know that no one wants to hear: we made a club so that we could be sure only people we approved politically and personally would be nominated. No one wants to hear: isn’t it nice how we’ve scrubbed the ballot of all those undesirables? Now it’s just us! What they did is unpalatable, and they know it. But now that they’ve gotten what they want, they need people to be happy about it in order for the award to have any meaning, and so they’ve grabbed the language of the enemy to praise themselves. Only it doesn’t work, because words have meanings. It’s a pretty classic conservative technique (see the fact that Social Justice Warrior now means a bad person), but it’s depressing–or perhaps hilarious–to see it used by individuals because they can’t face the consequences of what they’ve done. You guys spent ages telling us diversity was bullshit and inclusivity was a creeping evil. Why are you now telling us, with a sneer and a smirk, that you are their champions? What is wrong with you? It’s all so unfathomably dishonest and intellectually bankrupt I have a hard time believing any of these people put together a coherent novel at any point.
Puppies: if you truly believe that what you did was right and good and honest, if you believe you have struck a blow for virtue and excellence–be straight with us. Tell us that. Don’t try to paint over the mess you made by insisting you’ve done it all for the sake of inclusive, diverse happy kittens and rainbows. Conservative politics are supposed to be all about straight-shooting real talk. So just say you used your clique (and probably some others) to do something you believed in, no matter what the cost. You do not get to have your ballot and eat it, too. You did this. You have to face the consequences. You cannot tell the world that they should vote for you to strike back at women, liberal, people of color, and queer writers (and even worse–literary science fiction authors, the horror!) and then call yourselves diverse and inclusive.
T. L. Knighton
“Disinformation flies. Time to set it right” – April 11
Sad Puppies is about denying women and people of color recognition
Horseshit. Yes, it’s my blog and I’ll cuss if I want to.
Sad Puppies nominated a number of women and people of color. Maybe not as many as our detractors would have preferred, but they’re on there. I haven’t done the math, but recall someone pointing out that almost 40 percent of the slate are women (I don’t recall if it’s women and “people of color” or just women). There’s zero effort to shut out women and people of color.
Sad Puppies is a meritocracy. If we liked your work, you were probably going to get in. If not, well, sorry. None of us care if you’re white, black, brown, or purple with pink polka dots. We just don’t. We care about what kind of stories you tell. More specifically, we care about what kind of story you told in a single instance.
Rachel Swirsky’s If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love has gotten a lot of flak from our side. We don’t consider it to be science fiction or fantasy. If it’s fantasy literature, then so is the entire romance genre.
However, let’s say the next story she publishes is a rousing space adventure tale, told in her her own style. That same style as, If You Were A Dinosaur. Well, there’s a good chance we’d nominate her. Provided the Sad Puppy crowd read it, of course.