The Demolished Puppy 4/27

Another nominee withdrew even as the Hugo ballot was going online, rousing an immediate swirl of comment by Marina J. Lostetter, Alex Shvartsman and Deirdre Saoirse Moen.

Before that news cycle opened there were already new posts from Larry Correia, John C. Wright, Liz Barr, Dave Freer, Sarah Hoyt, Sam Roberts, Lyda Morehouse, R. Scott Bakker, George R.R. Martin, Jason Sanford and many more. (Title credit goes to File 770’s consulting editor of the day Bruce Baugh.)

Edmund R. Schubert on AletheaKontis.com

“In Which Edmund Schubert Withdraws From the Hugos” – April 27

And let me be clear about this: While I strongly disagree with the way Sad Puppies went about it… when the Puppies say they feel shut out because of their politics, it’s hard for me to not empathize because I’ve seen IGMS’s authors chastised for selling their story to us, simply because of people’s perceptions about the publisher’s personal views. I’ve also seen people refuse to read any of the stories published in IGMS for the same reason.

With regard to that, I want to repeat something I’ve said previously: while Orson Scott Card and I disagree on several social and political subjects, we respect each other and don’t let it get in the way of IGMS’s true goal: supporting writers and artists of all backgrounds and preferences. The truth is that Card is neither devil nor saint; he’s just a man who wants to support writers and artists—and he doesn’t let anything stand in the way of that.

As editor of IGMS, I can, and have, and will continue to be—with the full support of publisher Orson Scott Card—open to publishing stories by and about gay authors and gay characters, stories by and about female authors and female characters, stories by authors and about characters of any and every racial, political, or religious affiliation—as long as I feel like those authors 1) have a story to tell, not a point to score, and 2) tell that story well. And you know what? Orson is happy to have me do so. Because the raison d’etre of IGMS is to support writers and artists. Period.

 

Edmund R. Schubert at Orson Scott Card Intergalactice Medicine Show

“Not A Hugo Sampler Issue – Letter From The Editor, 2015”

To Readers of Science Fiction and Fantasy Everywhere,

I suspect that most of you already know this, but for those few who may have stumbled upon this collection of short stories and novelettes by other paths, let me start off with a summation (along with the caveat that this will be highly simplistic for the sake of brevity): in early 2015 a campaign was launched by a group of science fiction and fantasy fans who felt their views and tastes were being marginalized. They wanted to force the rest of fandom to recognize them, and their plan for doing so was to put a slate of nominees they considered worthy-but-overlooked on the final ballot for the prestigious Hugo Award. Their actions were successful in the extreme, and the reaction by much of fandom was equally extreme. Things got ugly. Quickly. Very. (Editor’s tip #463: Forcing people to see your point of view is rarely successful . . .)

I was one of the people nominated for a Hugo Award during in this campaign, although I didn’t know anything about it until after it had already happened. And while I feel these fans had certain valid concerns, hijacking the Hugo Awards wasn’t the right way to go about making them. I therefore withdrew my name from consideration.

 

Marina J. Lostetter on A Little Lost

“The #HugoAwards are Supposed to be Fun, Damn It!” – April 27

I was ready to never say anything about the Hugos here.  But I love IGMS and the specific story of mine Edmund requested, and am greatly saddened by what has happened around the Hugos this year.  I think it’s important to note how this year’s slates have fostered nothing but ill feelings, and that many fine authors, editors, and venues are caught in the middle: either because they’ve become a “ping-pong ball” as Edmund describes below, or because they were bumped from the list due to questionable bloc voting.

 

Alex Shvartsman on Alex Schvartsman’s Speculative Fiction

“Edmund Schubert Withdraws From The Hugo Award Consideration” – April 27

I, for one, am sad about Edmund’s decision. He was on my nominating ballot (and I had no association nor even knowledge of what was on the Puppy slates). I know of at least several other fans who nominated him as well. I hope to see him back on a future ballot sooner, rather than later.

 

Deirdre Saoirse Moen on Sounds Like Weird

“Editor Edmund R. Schubert Withdraws From the Hugo Awards” – April 27

I think it’s important to note these things:

  • It’s likely Edmund knew about the slates prior to nominations closing.
  • Edmund accepted the nomination (people are given the ability to decline prior to the official nominee list being posted).
  • Edmund likely knew others withdrew after acceptance. Edmund chose not to at that point.
  • Edmund likely knew the ballot had been locked after two people were declared ineligible and two withdrew.
  • Like Black Gate, Edmund’s withdrawal took place after all these events.

While that allows for some sympathy/empathy, it’s not as large as someone declining the nomination in the first place or, as Dave Creek did, asking off the slate prior to nominations closing.

 

Liz Barr on No Award

“Liz reads the 2015 Hugo-nominated short stories  – April 27

I thought that Project: Read As Much As Possible And Vote By Merit would be easier if I didn’t sit around waiting for the voter pack.  Accordingly, I’ve reserved a bunch of the nominated novels at my elibrary of preference.  As for short stories, all but one are available online, and I’ve started reading and organising my preferences.

 

Larry Correia on Monster Hunter Nation

“Updates for the Week” – April 27

Sad Puppies Round Up

Same old, same old. Bunch of new anti-Puppies articles and blogs this week. I could either A. Write books and be paid large sums of money. or B. Repeat myself over and over to every dipshit on Twitter… Hmmm… Tough one.

From what I’ve seen the people who disagree with us now mostly fall into a couple of camps. 1. People repeating the already discredited anti-diversity slate narrative and other lies. BORING.  2. People who agree the Hugos were screwed up, but who didn’t see any political bias. Insular, cliquish, wannabe-literati, yes, but not political. Great. You guys run with that. 3. People who benefit from the status quo dismissing a bunch of fans because of guilt by association. Weak.

 

John C. Wright

“And now the French” – April 27

The overseas bloggers are getting into the act:

https://francoisvanhille.wordpress.com/2015/04/26/cultures-de-limaginaire-litterature-puppygate-la-polemique-dechire-ecrivains-et-fans-de-science-fiction-aux-etats-unis/

And, no, no one contacted me to discover what the other side of the story was, or even whether there was one.

 

Dave Freer on Mad Genius Club

“To Destroy/survive SaurVox/ Voxdemort/ the Evil Genius in his Volcano Lair” – April 27

So: here you go. To defeat Vox Day… you need to become him – or at least a rival in power able to do so. Which means you need to understand that power, what attracts followers to him, and how instead to attract them to yourselves. To survive him, you at least need to understand him and those who oppose you.

Of course the problem with becoming that possible rival, that Saruman or Galadriel, is that firstly he is bright, secondly he seems to understand you. Thirdly, he is a long term planner and strategist, he writes well and is able to appeal to a large audience. He plans but seems able to flex from those plans. Of course he is obsessive and has ideas that don’t run in concordance with the ones you profess to follow. But those last features, which are all you ever focus on, are not conflict relevant, really. GRRM had a try at the wise councilor/Saruman bit, but he was not a great success. Scalzi… I wasn’t sure if he was trying Wormtongue to Larry, but as a Saruman he came over as petty and not too bright with his little twitter giggles of girlish schadenfreude glee at last year’s Hugos, just to name one of his outbursts… Anyway, let’s face it, he’s not your long-term thinker, otherwise he would have avoided attacking Baen last year. He’s a schemer and good at spin and vastly over-blowing his importance, but really, as a leader to mass a dark horde of men and Southern Orcs under, well, they’ll ruin his lawn. As for David Gerrold – I’m not sure if the purple dress is a Galadriel thing, really. (I think that’s supposed to offend us. Talk about really, really not understanding the people he hates. We don’t care, David. You could get the janitor to be the Hugo MC, in a burka, and we still wouldn’t care.) I’d avoid purple.  In a purple dress people could end up thinking he was doing Barney imitations, not Galadriel. I like to try and understand my opponents and get a handle on their motives. I must admit I was puzzled by his rage and sheer throw-the-toys-of-the-cot petulance about all this, let alone the fact that he was bringing the unfortunate Con and its volunteers into disrepute by openly attacking and villifying some of the nominees and thus trying to affect the Hugo outcome.  Most of us had nothing against (or for) the fellow. And an MC… he’s just there to hand out the prizes. It’s not about him.  All he had to do was smile and wave, no-one expects the MC to much more, and certainly they must keep a distance and appearance of lofty decorum from the actual process. Then, while packing wallaby mince I had a Eureka moment. Fortunately, I was better dressed than Archimedes for this process, so I merely ran through the house dripping bits of raw meat (isn’t that better?) and yelling ‘eureka’ at the cats. It’s true, at times they do. Anyway, I decided that this was a little inverse gay wedding cake and the Christian baker. It’s a ritual he values and considers important into which the particularly chosen of his sect were initiated with great pomp and celebration, being defiled by vile unbelievers – and he was going to have to conduct the ceremony.  Well now. I wonder what advice he would have given that baker?

 

Sarah A. Hoyt on According To Hoyt

“Requires Abasement” – April 26

This has been happening all month, for those keeping score at home.  The indoctrinated drones of the establishment have been spinning by here in high dudgeon and sure they have a killing argument and telling us both that we want “pulpy stuff like Heinlein” and that Heinlein was often “preachy.  And messagy.”

 

Sam Roberts on Reaxxion

“Are Social Justice Warriors Trying To Rig The Hugo Awards?” – April 27

While there have been allegations of authors buying voting rights for their friends and family in the past, Kowal appears to be the first person to do so openly. While not strictly forbidden by the WorldCon rules, as Tor editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden (probably the foremost opponent of the Puppies) has said, “As anyone over the age of ten knows, it’s generally possible to do things that are dubious, or scummy, or even downright evil, without violating any laws or rules.” While he was speaking against the Puppies at the time, his comment certainly seems applicable here.

As I write this, Kowal has raised enough money via anonymous donations, many of which she says come from authors who are running against the Puppies’ slate themselves (and thus stand to gain if the Puppies are defeated), to purchase one hundred votes. While this may seem a small amount, last year’s Hugos only saw around 3000 votes cast total. If the race is close this year, these one hundred (3.3% of the total) could easily sway the voting.

 

Badtux on Badtux the Snarky Penguin

“My thoughts on the #SadPuppies” – April 26

So it appears the “Sad Puppies” may win the battle, and lose the war. It may be that science fiction only has one prestige award in the future — the Nebula Award. SFWA membership requirements make it impossible for the “Sad Puppies” or anybody else to rig Nebula awards. In the end, what makes libraries (who account for most publisher profits) buy Hugo Award winners is the notion that winning a Hugo Award means it’s popular and high quality. Once it’s demonstrated that winning a Hugo Award means only that the publisher spent more money to rig the election this year than other publishers did, the Hugo becomes meaningless to libraries — and to anybody else, for that matter.

 

 

R. Scott Bakker on Three Pound Brain

“Hugos Weaving” – April 27

Let’s suppose, just for instance, that so-called literary works no longer reach dissenting audiences, and so only serve to reinforce the values of readers…

That precious few of us are being challenged anymore—at least not by writing.

The communicative habitat of the human being is changing more radically than at any time in history, period. The old modes of literary dissemination are dead or dying, and with them all the simplistic assumptions of our literary past. If writing that matters is writing that challenges, the writing that matters most has to be writing that avoids the ‘preference funnel,’ writing that falls into the hands of those who can be outraged. The only writing that matters, in other words, is writing that manages to span significant ingroup boundaries.

If this is the case, then Beale has merely shown us that science fiction and fantasy actually matter, that as a writer, your voice can still reach people who can (and likely will) be offended… as well as swayed, unsettled, or any of the things Humanities clowns claim writing should do.

Think about it. Why bother writing stories with progressive values for progressives only, that is, unless moral entertainment is largely what you’re interested in? You gotta admit, this is pretty much the sum of what passes for ‘literary’ nowadays.

Everyone’s crooked is someone else’s straight—that’s the dilemma. Since all moral interpretations are fundamentally underdetermined, there is no rational or evidential means to compel moral consensus. Pretty much anything can be argued when it comes to questions or value. There will always be Beales and Sriduangkaews, individuals adept at rationalizing our bigotries—always. And guess what? the internet has made them as accessible as fucking Wal-Mart. This is what makes engaging them so important. Of course Beale needs to be exposed—but not for the benefit of people who already despise his values. Such ‘exposure’ amounts to nothing more than clapping one another on the back. He needs to be exposed in the eyes of his own constituents, actual or potential. The fact that the paths leading to bigotry run downhill makes the project of building stairs all the more crucial.

‘Legitimacy,’ Sandifer says. Legitimacy for whom? For the likeminded—who else? But that, my well-educated friend, is the sound-proofed legitimacy of the Booker, or the National Book Awards—which is to say, the legitimacy of the irrelevant, the socially inert. The last thing this accelerating world needs is more ingroup ejaculate. The fact that Beale managed to pull this little coup is proof positive that science fiction and fantasy matter, that we dwell in a rare corner of culture where the battle of ideas is for… fucking… real.

And you feel ashamed.

 

Lyda Morehouse on A Day in the Life of an Idiot

“Hugo on the Brain and the Nature of Fandom”  – April 27

Look, we’re all divas. Correia is just saying out loud what lot of us feel: boo hoo, it’s NOT all about me! (Pro tip: most of us don’t say it out loud, because we realize how whiny and self-centered it makes us look.)

BUT… yes, okay? I actually sympathize a little with this. To say there aren’t cool kid cliques is disingenuous too. There just are.

Also, this feeling of being shut out of WorldCON culture something that has happened to people on the left, too. Not that long ago (but apparently outside of the collective memory), there was a huge controversy around the London WorldCON about a cliquish inner circle of white guys (and GRRM is even pictured!)

Here’s the thing I want to say about this: con culture is a thing. It’s a thing everyone needs to learn how to negotiate.

I’ve even talked about this idea before on this blog because I came across someone on Twitter complaining about feeling left out/unwelcomed at a con. The thing I said to that person (who was decidedly on the left), is that we’re all responsible for our own con experience. It’s not the con’s job to make you feel welcome. You have to learn the culture of cons and figure out how to fit in. Some conventions even have panels on the opening days ABOUT how to make inroads and make friends and be involved in a way that will let you leave the con feeling like you were part of it in a positive way.

 

Marion on Deeds & Words

“The Hugos, 2015, Chapter Two: The Slate Mailer Saga” – April 27

For many fans in the US, $40 is an expenditure that requires some thought. Spending $40 out of the household budget just to have a say about Best Book of the Year may be frivolous. It may reduce funds available for sports, a field trip or some other enrichment for your children. It’s not a slam-dunk.

And for many other fans, still in the US, it is out of reach. It isn’t a question of diverting the monthly Family Movie Day budget for one month. It is not even a discussion. Many of these people read, review and write SF; they blog, and some of them teach at the college level. They are shut out of the “democratic” Hugo selection process by economics.

Now let’s consider fans in Indonesia, Namibia, Lithuania. Can most of them afford $40 US?

If everyone who wanted to vote had voted, the Rabid Puppy slate might not have found such traction, even if they had a  newly-recruited voting bloc. If the cost of a supporting membership were $6, I wonder what would have happened. Just generally, beyond this year and next,I wonder what would happen. Would we start seeing SF best-sellers from Kenya and Estonia on the short list? Would we start getting more works in translation? In other words, would more nominators and voters introduce us to more good books (which, after all, is ultimately the purpose)?

 

Jason Sanford

“Are the Puppies all bark and no bite?” – April 27

If this is a correct analysis, it suggests there’s a massive group of people interested in the SF/F genre and the Hugos who didn’t know about the Puppy campaigns beforehand.

I also find the traffic comparison between Nielsenhayden.com and Voxday.blogspot.com rather interesting. Over the last month both sites featured multiple posts with prominent links to my essays, yet one of them clearly sent more traffic my way. While people can draw their own conclusions from this, it makes me wonder if the reach of the Rabid Puppies ringleader has been overstated by everyone in the genre.

Yes, VD has a passionate group of followers who helped the Rabid Puppy slate become the true winners of this Hugo mess. But perhaps the actual number of his followers is rather small, at least when compared to other groups within the SF/F genre.

That doesn’t mean he and his followers can’t continue to game the Hugos — the award’s nomination process, as recent events have proved, are very easily dominated by small, organized voting blocks.

But if my take on these numbers is correct, then it appears the Puppies are mostly all bark and no bite.

 

George R.R. Martin on Not A Blog

“Puppy Whines” – April 27

It all boggles the mind. And of course it leads to surreal arguments that ‘their side’ is justified in calling our side “Social Justice Whores” and the like because our side has called their side “Wrongfans” and “Haters” — when, of course, we haven’t. You are calling YOURSELVES that… with sarcasm, sure, but still, you are the guys coining all these new and exciting insults, for both my side and your own.

Let me ask, once again, for civility. When the argument is about political issues, I will call your side “conservatives” and “right wingers,” and I’d ask you to call us “liberals” or “progressives” or even “left wingers,” not SJ-Whatevers. When we are focused more on worldcon or the Hugos, I will continue to call you “Sad Puppies,” and I will take care to differentiate you from the Rabid Puppies… except in cases where you’re acting in alliance and agree, where I will just say “Puppies.” And you can call my side “fandom” or “worldcon fandom” or “trufans.” The two sides use “fan” to mean very different things, as I have pointed out repeatedly, which causes some of the confusion. Here’s a new thought: if you insist on calling yourselves “fans,” then call us “fen,” the ancient, hoary, fannish plural of fan. Fans and fen, there we go, two terms for two sides, no insults. Is that so bloody hard?

 

Joe Sherry on Adventures in Reading

“Thoughts on the Hugo Awrds: Part Four” – April 27

What I’d like to play with is Flint’s suggestions for “Complete Multi-Volume Novels” and “Series”.  What I see Flint saying is that the skill required to write a complete series and stick the landing is different enough from writing an ongoing series that they shouldn’t be compared in the same way (Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy compared to Jim Butcher’s ongoing Dresden Files).  I don’t completely agree.

That’s not completely true. I agree with what Flint is saying about the skill and technique, I disagree with how he is viewing the categories. I would divide the categories like this:

Novel

Ongoing Series

Completed Series

So Joe, you ask, what the heck are these categories and how are they different than what Eric Flint suggested?  Great question, I reply, let me tell you!

Novel: This category only slightly changes from how it works today. It is for a single volume work of no less than 40,000 words. The change is that I would strike section 3.2.6 from the WSFS Constitution “a work appearing in a number of parts shall be eligible for the year of the final part”. 2013’s publication of A Memory of Light is how The Wheel of Time was nominated at the 2014 Hugos for Best Novel.  I’d strike this.  Novel is for a single volume, period.  That’s it. A Memory of Light is eligible for Novel, The Wheel of Time is not.

Ongoing Series: This is where I start to mess with Flint’s suggestion.  Ongoing Series is for ANY series that has not yet been completed. To be eligible for Ongoing Series, a series must have at least two volumes published. However, it does not matter for the terms of this category if the author is planning to write a trilogy with a definite ending (Mistborn) or is writing a potentially open ended series (Dresden Files, Discworld). To be further eligible for a nomination, a new volume must be published during the eligibility year.  Love A Song of Ice and Fire but George Martin hasn’t published The Winds of Winter yet?  The series is not eligible for Ongoing Series at the 2016 Hugos unless he gets that book out during calendar year 2015.

Further, because we need to close one potential loophole here, an Ongoing Series is eligible for nomination ONCE.  What I intend this to mean is that if Mr. Martin publishes The Winds of Winter in 2015, it is eligible for Ongoing Series.  If A Song of Ice and Fire makes the final ballot for Ongoing Series, it is no longer eligible to be nominated in a subsequent year. However, if A Song of Ice and Fire fails to make the final ballot, it will still be eligible for Ongoing Series provided a new volume is published.  A series is considering “Ongoing” until the author or the publisher states that a volume is the “final” or “concluding” volume in that series.

Completed Series: A series is eligible as Completed Series when the announced final volume in the series is published.  A series will not both be eligible for Ongoing and Completed Series in the same year.  Publication of A Memory of Light rendered The Wheel of Time ineligible for Ongoing Series, but eligible for Completed Series.  Something like The Dresden Files would not be eligible for completed series until Jim Butcher announces “this is the final Harry Dresden novel”.  If Butcher published a Harry Dresden novel but then two years later said, “oh year, Skin Game was really the last book in the series, sorry guys” The Dresden Files will not be eligible for Completed Series because the series is only eligible in the year the final volume is published.  I don’t see this as too big of an issue because most writers want folks to know that they are delivering the promised conclusion to a series.

 

Declan Finn on A Pius Man

“Sad Puppies Bite Back” – April 27

Anyway, back in January, I tripped over a funny piece by Vox Day — presumably before Vox declared “Burn this bitch down!” about the Hugos — which basically boiled down to “The monthly staff meeting of the Evil League of Evil” (in the Lair of the Puppies).

For some reason, ever since I did heard about the death threats on the Puppies, and I wondered when Larry Correia or Brad would be SWATted, all I could think of was, well, what would happen?

…But just imagine….

Sarah Hoyt, Evil Yet Beautiful Space Princess

[SWAT leader at the door of the secret base hidden in hollowed out volcano] Battering ram in 5, 4, 3, 2 — HIT IT!

[Battering ram takes door.  SWAT rushes in. Sarah Hoyt, Evil Yet Beautiful Space Princess, is in the living room, playing with unidentifiable — yet obviously sinister — Weapons From Outer Space, using her Schwartz ring.  In the background, innocent and cringing minions are flogged with electric whips, and sent screaming to the Agony Vat ]

[SH looks up] HOW DARE YOU ENTER MY DOMAIN!!!!

[SWAT leader] Put down the ring!

[SH turns into CGI Imposing Figure]  Do you know who you are messing with?  NOT A DARK LORD BUT A QUEEN! NOT DARK BY BEAUTIFUL AND TERRIBLE AS THE MORN! TREACHEROUS AS THE SEAS! STRONGER THAN THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE EARTH! ALL SHALL LOVE ME AND DESPAIR!

[SWAT all stops, open-mouthed.  They huddle. After a minute, they turn back to her] Love you and despair. Okay. We’re cool with that. You have a deal.

[SH pouts, turns off CGI effects]  Oh, darn! I didn’t even get to use “She Who Must Be Obeyed.” I love that line.  Sigh. Okay.  Hon!  We have more minions! Put them with the others, please!

[Mr. Hoyt, Evil Yet Handsome Space Prince] Yes dear.  Okay guys, come with me. We’ll train you in the use of the laser guns and get you fit for Stormtrooper armor.

 

 

 

 

 

228 thoughts on “The Demolished Puppy 4/27

  1. LOL. Puppies have no grounds to complain about someone else splitting hairs.

    The first sentence contains a factual error. Sounds like a fast deadline cycle. Sounds like it was corrected as well. Welcome to Planet Earth.

  2. Nick, what does what puppies complain about have to do with it? I was just responding to you that the first sentence calls the groups misogynist. Thinking that EW article was unfair doesn’t mean you nominated Jim Butcher or Kevin J. Anderson.

    And yes, EW did correct it quickly.

  3. They certainly did manage to put a lot of white males in for the fiction categories though didn’t they? You have to read a long way down the rabid slate before women get a look in.

  4. Your complaint is located in your post of 8:29PM. Subsequent posts have just been various attempts to finesse that complaint.

    At any rate, the demographics of the slate are of limited interest to me. What makes the campaign racist is that it is founded on a claim without evidence that members of minority groups have won Hugos because of “Affirmative Action.”

  5. Nick, the complaint under discussion was from Larry Correia, whereas I said that I can understand why someone would be upset by that article.

    I agree that your critique of the justifications put forward for SP3 reveals that there is very poor logic behind it. I’ll give some serious thought to your statement that it makes their campaign racist.

  6. Brian, you were clearly also registering a complaint—it is represented by your rhetorical question.

  7. If asked for advice from a writer keen to work with a traditional publisher rather than self-publish, I’d encourage any writer to look for a more promising market than a new and very small press that doesn’t pay high advances (or any at all, I gather) and doesn’t seem to have extensive US print distribution to bricks-and-mortar markets.

  8. Brian Z: “Is saying “I’m not defending Correia” the work of a puppy apologist?”

    It is when you keep defending Correia.

    Brian Z: “Have you found evidence yet of your alleged bad faith collusion between Brad Torgersen and Vox Day to destroy the ballot?

    Do I believe there was collusion? Absolutely — and there are ample indicators of that across the Internet, for anyone who cares to look. Do I need to prove it? No. Because what *is* obvious is the result of the Puppy slates.

    The slates were a successful attempt to “game” the Hugo voting ballot. They were within the rules, *** but not the spirit *** of the Hugos. In no universe can it be claimed that this gaming of the Hugo ballot was done “in good faith”.

    Please, please attempt to defend the slates against this charge. I’m just dying to hear your justification.

  9. Let’s recap, shall we, all the Puppy Talking Points you’ve made on File770 so far?

    Brian Z’s Puppy Talking Points Part 1:

    Falsely equated the not-on-a-slate 5 nominations (2 of which were under a pseudonym, 1 of which was a group nomination) in 2013 of Seanan McGuire, a GLTBQ woman, to the on-a-slate 6 nominations of John C Wright (a straight white man) this year:
    “when Seanan McGuire got five nominations I thought something to the effect of, ‘hmm, good for her”‘…”

    Says that really, what the Puppies did was not that bad:
    “Your point that there should be diversity on every ballot is a good one. I’m just not sure we should blame anyone in such strident tones for what happened this year.”

    Defends Wright for not withdrawing some of his noms to make way for others/diversity on the ballot:
    “Wright said on his blog in early April, he didn’t graciously withdraw some nominations to make room for others: he was livid about being called a white supremacist… Are you saying you wouldn’t be mad if someone did that to you?”

    In a blatant misrepresentation, equated Brianna Wu saying that she didn’t want Puppies to attend her GamerGate panel at RavenCon with “denying slate members a forum”,
    “I wonder if being reluctant to provide a forum for writers/editors/artists who failed to decline a 2015 Hugo nomination going to end once the 2015 ceremony is over.”

    Defends Puppies for nominating works without actually reading them first:
    “I’m ashamed to say that I don’t subscribe to all that many magazines anymore, so sometimes my best chance to read short fiction is when someone (virtually) shoves it under my nose. We rely on suggestions from people we trust, and, if we hope to nominate by the Hugo deadline, rush to read a couple of those before it’s too late. Not much of a nefarious plot, is it?”

    Blames everybody else, instead of slate bloc-voters:
    “wouldn’t a small group acting in unison… have a harder time dominating if everyone else had taken half a minute to nominate just one or two or three of their favorite books or stories?”

    Pumps Kevin Standlee for grounds to reinstate “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” by John C. Wright because it didn’t have wide distribution outside his blog with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer (or perhaps you were just looking for grounds to indict the Hugo Administrators for unfairly disqualifying that work):
    “There may be several cases where only readers of one specific blog saw the work. In fact, since you mention Christmas, wasn’t one a Christmas-themed story?”

    Makes a snide remark about authors distancing themselves from slates:
    “In general, what is the proper form when repudiating a slate in the future?
    ‘I, Author, have been informed that there is a list with my name on it. You folks had better not vote for me because I was on that list, or else I will decline the nomination.’
    Do I have that right?”

    Invokes Requires Hate as an equivalency to the Puppies slate:
    “In the spirit of good-natured discussion: say that you (a fan living outside the US, right?) were to post on your personal blog: ‘Here are five great short stories by international authors. Please read them and if you find them worthy vote and help raise the profile of international science fiction.’ How do those five authors need respond? Does it change if posted by, say, Benjanun Sriduangkaew?”

    Claims that non-puppies will, of course, behave just as badly as Puppies:
    “I’m sure we won’t have to wait ten years for someone on the left to propose a slate.”

    Defends Torgersen’s reprehensible behavior, and slate bloc-voting:
    “Good grief, people. The whole thing was a dumb idea but Brad Torgersen didn’t kill the Hugos. His cohort didn’t even vote in lockstep (though a few of Vox Day’s apparently did). Do you realize what descending on the Puppy Tabernacle with torches and pitchforks looks like? Step back for a minute.”

    “There is no 62-year-old “loophole.” A slate can dominate because fans have the right to take someone’s opinion under advisement if they want to. No Award can dominate because fans have the right to nuke the site from orbit if they want to. Not a bug, a feature.”

  10. Brian Z’s Puppy Talking Points Part 2:

    Defends the self-proclaimed arbiters of what comprises excellence in SFF for not being clued-in enough to know about the Patterson Vol 2 or The Three-Body Problem:
    “What exactly is the point of complaining they were unaware of a particular book? They did go to some trouble to crowdsource recommendations, and I’m sure they were sorry they missed that one.”

    Attempts to hijack the discussion to a mythical “next year”:
    “Why not say something constructive instead? For example, why not ask Kate Paulk if she plans to list more than five recommendations for each category in SP4?”

    Attempts more hijacking to a mythical “next year”:
    “if Kate Paulk presented a longer list, there would be no chance of lockstep voting. And it seems to be her decision, not “the Sad Puppies” in abstract. Don’t you think she is probably mulling it over?”

    Attempts to trivialize and minimize the effects of the Puppies slate:
    “You know, I also wonder if the RP threat is overblown. Nearly all of the 2,000 nominated for Best Novel this year, but as usual roughly half to a quarter of that number nominated for the various short fiction, editor and fan categories the RPs were able place one or two things on ‘unilaterally.’ The smaller categories have always had weird idiosyncrasies, such as File 770 winning Best Fanzine for 37 years straight, so that’s not news, much less the death of the awards.”

    Makes unsubstantiated claim about how Hugos have been ignoring excellent works:
    “If work as good as Three Body Problem not making the ballot is a fiasco, it’s been fiascos for quite a while now.”

    AGAIN, attempts to hijack the discussionto a mythical “next year”:
    “As I said above why not just ask Kate Paulk (politely) if she’s recommending more than five works next time.”

    AGAIN, attempts to trivialize and minimize the effects of the Puppies slate:
    “A missed opportunity for others, but not necessarily the destruction of the awards.”

    YET AGAIN, attempts to hijack the discussion to a mythical “next year”:
    “And it looks like Kate Paulk’s stated commitment taking lots and lots of suggestions next time suggests that she is at least thinking about having more than five slots.”

    YET AGAIN, attempts to trivialize and minimize the effects of the Puppies slate AND hijack the discussion to a mythical “next year”:
    “I agree it is a big deal. At the same time, it looks to me like the way things played out this year was due to multiple factors. And things will be different next year.”

    Claims to not be arguing with me, despite, in fact, repeatedly arguing with me, and attempts to trivialize and minimize the effects of the Puppies slate:
    “I’m agreeing with you more than arguing, but at the same time let’s be careful. ‘Voters’ pushed out works and persons you or I think should have been there. There was not a single slate.”

    Criticizes people who are perfectly entitled to have opinions on this debacle for having opinions and equates having opinions is a “bully pulpit”:
    “Nor do I understand how we have even reached the point where this many professional authors are standing at their bully pulpits admonishing fans about how they should or shouldn’t vote in a fan award, and telling people what they should or shouldn’t read.”

    Claims that Puppy words should speak louder than their actions:
    “I’ve seen multiple statements from Correia and others saying they don’t endorse Vox Day and wonder if that shouldn’t count for something too.”

  11. JJ, Wow, I’m honored. OK, and please pardon the brevity:

    “defending Correia.”

    If you think so. To be clear, I didn’t support the slate.

    “defend the slates”

    I’d rather nobody organized Hugo voting slates. Whether it can be stopped, I don’t know.

    “Seanan McGuire”

    I like Seanan McGuire, but my favorites on the 2013 ballot are Aliette de Bodard, Kim Stanley Robinson, Ken Liu and Pat Cadigan.

    “not that bad”

    I understand Brad Torgersen wanted to see new faces on the ballot, but I don’t agree with the wisdom of his methods. At the same time, I he pretty clearly didn’t anticipate this mess.

    “Defends Wright”

    Every Hugo nominee has the right to stay in or withdraw. Nobody else can make that choice for them.

    “denying slate members a forum”

    I was referring to the nixing of a proposed RavenCon panel on the Hugos, which was a reluctance on the part of the con, not a conspiracy.

    “defends nominating works without actually reading them first”

    No. Please read it again.

    “Blames everybody else, instead of slate bloc-voters”

    No blame at all.

    “Pumps Kevin Standlee”

    The Hugo rules allow extension of eligibility for one year, not two. I asked him about the future eligibility of nominees first published as a blog post.

    “snide remark”

    Maybe you are right that I should watch it with the snide remarks. Sorry.

    “Invokes Requires Hate”

    Who knows who might propose a slate? It was just a colorful example.

    “behave just as badly”

    I do hope nobody behaves badly, but it is possible that other slates may appear next year, whether we like it or not.

    “Torgersen’s reprehensible behavior”

    I think he made a mistake. I’m not sure the punishment fits the crime.

    “self-proclaimed arbiters”

    I’ll defend every fan’s right to be a self-proclaimed arbiter, including yours.

    “a mythical next year”

    It’s right around the corner.

    “trivialize and minimize the effects”

    Check out Chaos Horizons. We just don’t know yet. We will know a bit more after the ceremony.

    “unsubstantiated claim about how Hugos have been ignoring excellent works”

    I don’t object to your calling my opinion unsubstantiated.

    “Claims to not be arguing”

    I’d rather not be adversarial about it.

    “equates having opinions is a bully pulpit”

    Well-known authors with blogs do have a bully pulpit.

    “words should speak louder than their actions”

    Not necessarily. And if you can show me the evidence of bad faith collusion between Brad Torgersen and Vox Day to destroy the ballot that you have discussed, I’ll criticize that along with you.

    It has been an interesting conversation, JJ.

  12. Brian Z: “And if you can show me the evidence of bad faith collusion between Brad Torgersen and Vox Day to destroy the ballot that you have discussed, I’ll criticize that along with you.”

    Quit trying to move the goalposts, Brian. It’s not going to work.

    As I said, I don’t have to show evidence of collusion. Because what *is* obvious is the result of the Puppy slates.

    The slates were a successful attempt to “game” the Hugo voting ballot. They were within the rules, *** but not the spirit *** of the Hugos. In no universe can it be claimed that this gaming of the Hugo ballot was done “in good faith”.

  13. OK, but I will still join you to denounce their actions speaking louder than words, if we or anyone else can show evidence of collusion.

  14. Brian Z: I will still join you to denounce their actions speaking louder than words, if we or anyone else can show evidence of collusion.

    The fact that you’re not willing to denounce that their actions have already repeatedly spoken much, much louder than their protestations of innocence speaks volumes in and of itself, Brian. It tells all the rest of us that you stand firmly in the Puppy kennel.

    Most of us are smart enough to know that it’s not what people say near as much as what people actually do — and if the two conflict, then what they do is what they really mean.

  15. You’ve read it what I’ve said.

    What I’ve done is I bought some books, read them, picked my two favorites, read some websites of fans/critics/authors I like or whose opinions I trust to get more reading suggestions, failed to read much short fiction in time, and failed to nominate, which I now regret.

    I disagree with you about what kennel that puts me in, but I don’t dismiss your right to form your own views.

  16. Brian Z: What I’ve done…

    As I’ve said, it’s not what people say near as much as what people actually do — and if the two conflict, then what they do is what they really mean.

    And what you’ve done with your comments, as I pointed out above in the Puppy Talking Points comments, is repeatedly made excuses, and defended, and minimized, and trivialized, and tried to send the discussion off into other directions.

    Now, do you really expect people to judge you by your protestations about not being a Puppy, or do you think that they’re going to look at all your comments and come to an informed opinion about where you really stand?

  17. JJ, please read my responses to your comments and make up your own mind. I won’t criticize you for doing so.

  18. @Brian Z:

    Seems to me that’s precisely what JJ’s done, and yet you persist in criticizing him for doing so. You are doing an excellent job of supporting his claims.

  19. Woah, more fratricide than a student Marxist Society general meeting. Way to go, acting like the SJW stereotypes the Puppies know we all are.

    I know it’s frustrating trying to engage with the real enemy, but let’s not get carried away. Let others be wrong on the internet, and save your ire for the Puppies.

  20. Actually, Reverend Bob, if you found my reply to be criticizing JJ, maybe I could have calibrated it better, that’s fine. If everyone’s mind is made up, that’s fine too.

  21. “Are you suggesting that A Shore Thing is just as bad as Pounded In the Butt By My Book Pounded In the Butt By My Own Butt? I stand ready to buy you gift copies of both, and you can report back to me.”

    As a literary work or as entertainment? Shore Thing has sold less than 15K, and that’s after the media/marketing blitz Simon and Shuster put into it. How many writers with Simon and Shuster would have liked that sort of promotion (or advance)? You’d have to go out of your way to look for Pounded, you aren’t going to be seeing that in and reputable bookstore or airport kiosk, are you?

    “As far as the rest of the comments about Amazon, the proof of the pudding is in the eating: how many writers published by Amazon’s own imprints are very pleased? How many are considering returning to either self-publishing or the mainstream of publishing? The latter two groups are significant from what I’ve seen and heard.”

    Most of the ones I talk to and read about are pretty happy. Breaking up with Amazon is apparently a lot easier than breaking up with any of the Big 5. I’ve not seen any stories out there about authors suing Amazon imprints for their rights back, or have had books/contracts cancelled mid series, or being told they have to wait eighteen months for the next book to come out, or royalties issues. I could be looking in the wrong places though, and Amazon is pretty new to that side of the business…maybe they haven’t figured out how to do those things efficiently and effectively as the New York houses yet?

  22. A Shore Thing was basically done by a book packager; Simon didn’t really spend a ton on it. (MTV/Viacom coughed up a few bucks.) A Shore Thing’s actual author, Valerie Frankel, did pretty well, advance-wise. Don’t weep for her! Pounded Butt Butt (and other titles) has also gotten lots of publicity, actually, thanks to its outré author Chuck Tingle:

    http://observer.com/2015/02/meet-dr-chuck-tingle-the-author-behind-amazons-most-absurd-gay-erotica/
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/jennaguillaume/guess-im-fcking-these-dinosaurs-tonight#.fcV5ex06d
    http://www.rtbookreviews.com/blog/82831/exclusive-author-qa-chuck-tingle-dinosaurs-tinglers-and-his-jerky-neighbor-ted

    Indeed, Pounded is only available as an ebook, and is a short story at that, though it sells for $2.99 which some book-length titles sell for.

    At any rate, you avoided the question: do you really think the quality level is the same? Splitting quality in half and asking me to pick one or the other is meaningless. Would you like to read these books and demonstrate your thinking or not?

    Andrew, as you have not provided a surname I have no idea which authors you may have spoken to. I do know that very often people tell me something like “A writer told me” or “An editor told me” and only later I found out that what was meant is that a person heard something while attending a panel or read a tweet or read a blogpost…and often misunderstood it.

    Which of these authors have sued which publishers for their rights back? Name a few. This sort of thing is usually makes the newspapers, even when very minor authors sue very small publishers.

    Books cancelled midseries? They must not have been doing very well! But of course, having one’s series cancelled (which usually involves keeping the advance money anyway) is literally the exact opposite of it being difficult to break up with one’s publisher.

    A book can be delayed by eighteen months for bad reasons or extremely good ones. Would you like to launch your epic fantasy series on the same day GRRM’s next Game of Thrones sequel is released? But yes, I am sure amazon can and will release titles faster, but that isn’t necessarily always a good thing.

    Royalty issues, eh? I’m afraid I’ll need names again.

  23. (Work’s been busy, so apologies for resurrecting a zombie thread)

    Mike, I already admitted that the supporting evidence for my main point did not live up to the strength I thought it had.

    Further discussion by others however made it obvious to me that ‘the puppy slate is not as diverse as the proponents like to pretend it is’ is something worth discussing, and probably will end up closer to my view than Larry’s.

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