I Sing the Puppy Electric 4/29

George R.R. Martin, John Ringo, Vox Day, John Scalzi, Aaron Pound, Jeb Kinnison, Jamie Ford, Glenn Hauman and lots of other cool cats and hot dogs sound off in today’s roundup. (Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Brian Z.)

George R.R. Martin on Not A Blog

“No On NO AWARD” – April 29

No, I am not saying don’t use NO AWARD at all when you vote for this year’s Hugo Awards.

NO AWARD has been, and remains, a viable and legitimate option for the Hugo voter. I’ve been voting on the Hugos since the 1970s, and I use NO AWARD every year, usually in about a third of the categories. However, I have seldom (not NEVER, just seldom) placed it first. I rank the finalists that I think worthy of the rocket above NO AWARD, and the ones I think unworthy below it. That’s the way I intend to use the option this year as well, in spite of the slatemaking campaigns that buggered the nomination process to the seven hells and back.

NO AWARD is a scalpel, not a bludgeon. Voting NO AWARD on everything down the line… or even (the lesser option) on everything that appeared on either Puppy slate… well, I don’t think it is smart, I don’t think it is fair, and I know damned well that a NO AWARD sweep will kill the Hugos.

I think I have made my disagreements with Larry Correia and Brad Torgersen and the rest of the Sad Puppies abundantly clear in the many blog posts that preceded this one, and in my debates with Correia both here and on his MONSTER HUNTER NATION. And I think I have made my disgust with Vox Day and his Rabid Puppies clear as well. No one should be in any doubt as to where I stand on all this.

As much as I am opposed to what the Puppies did, and what they are trying to do, I am also opposed to Guilt by Association. Like it or not, the ballot is the ballot, and it is before it now, for each of us to deal with as he or she thinks best. For my part, that means it is now about the stories, the books, the work itself. Reading, thinking, weighing my choices… voting.

 

 

John Ringo on Facebook – April 28

[Originally a public post, it is now restricted, but a screencap of “Understanding SJW Logic” is hosted at Solarbird.net.]

So let’s drill this down to Science Fiction. Science Fiction has, historically, been something that looked to the future of technology and societies and tried to glean what might be possible. It has also, often, been an avenue for proposing change. Many of the most ‘misogynistic’ and ‘racists’ authors of the early SF years were, in fact, far FAR ahead of their time in proposing racial and gender equity or near equity.

To the Social Justice Warriors (their term and not one of derogation in their eyes) of SF fandom, the TRUE PURPOSE of Science Fiction is solely and ONLY such promotion. Let me repeat that as an axiom:

To the Social Justice Warriors of Science Fiction publishing and fandom, the true and only purpose of science fiction is to promote increased equity in the arena of social justice.

The purpose of science fiction is not to tell a good story. Most of what people call ‘good stories’ are not stories that promote social justice. So ‘good story’ or not good story, (and there we get to matters of taste) they are not good science fiction. Good science fiction is only that science fiction which promotes social justice.

If there is a choice between two good social justice stories, the choice is not based on which is the better story or which is better written. At that point you look at which promotes social justice better. So if Author A is a person of color or a transgenderist and Author B is a cis-male, even if he is a social justice warrior, the BETTER STORY is that which is written by the person of color or transgenderist UNLESS such person writes a story which does NOT promote social justice in which case they are a traitor and shall be treated as such.

The sole an only point is to view every work in a lens of ‘how does this promote social justice?

 

Font Folly

“It bothers some people that we exist, part 2” – April 29

Being reminded that queer people exist at all drives some people to crazy lengths. For instance, as noted at the Crime and the Forces of Evil blog, the Sad Puppies are angry that books containing queer characters aren’t clearly marked. For those not in the know, the Sad Puppies (and an allied group, the Rabid Puppies) are a bunch of arch-conservative sci fi writers and fans who organized a bloc-voting scheme to game the selection process for the Hugo Awards and put a specific slate of anti-progressive authors, editors, and fans in every major category. Their rhetoric leading up to their success was full of blatant misogynist and homophobic language (and threats), and only slightly-less-blatant racist language. It’s worth noting that they’ve been trying this for a few years without success. It appears that their success this year is primarily due to the fact that they managed to enlist a bunch of GamerGate trolls into the process…

Since succeeding in hijacking most of the Hugo Ballot, the Sad Puppies (that’s their own name for their movement, by the way) have started deleting or heavily editing their existing blog posts and such to downplay the bigotry. Though most of their revisions have been to obscure the racist language, to try to pretend that the most blatant bigot wasn’t considered an ally, and to make some of their threatening language appear to be aimed at individuals rather than whole groups of people. They have removed some of the comments and paragraphs in which they appear to be calling for the extermination of gay people, for instance, though they remain absolutely clear that they object to homos and women being portrayed positively (or at all) in science fiction, fantasy, or any other cultural product.

 

Vox Day on Vox Popoli

“THEY are in retreat” – April 29

The main reason SJWs were successful in infiltrating the science fiction establishment and imposing their ideology on it was due to their Fabian strategy of denying any conflict was taking place. Their entryism depended entirely upon stealth and plausible deniability. That’s why the single most important aspect of both #GamerGate and #SadPuppies was the way in which it was made perfectly clear to everyone that there are, in fact, two sides.

There are those who want to be able to define what is permissible to read, write, design, develop, play, think, and say, (SJWs) and those who wish to read, write, design, develop, play, think, and say whatever the hell they happen to please. (Everybody else)

Jim Hines isn’t “so damn tired” of “an artificial Us vs. Them framework”. He is simply alarmed that their most effective tactic has been exposed and rendered impotent.

 

John Ringo on Facebook – April 29

Because as a conservative, that’s what you are to all the hardcore liberals. Purest evil. ISIS has nothing on being an American conservative. There is nothing worse than being a conservative white male. We are the ultimate super-villain and nothing can be anything like our equal. (Thus the humorously entitled ‘League of Evil Evil’ started by Sarah Hoyt of which I am a card-carrying member.)

Which is why there have arisen conventions that really avoid letting the CHORFs in at all. So the conservative SF fans can get together and let their hair down and talk about stuff they want to talk about (like books with actual plots and dialogue) and not be continuously insulted by the CHORFs. And even large cons that are ‘balanced’ tend to toss the SJW contingent the minute it starts to be a problem. Because nobody CARES about their issues. Not in the broad sense of what is marketable. (Just as at ‘balanced’ conventions conservatives who insist on being buttheads are tossed. I’ve seen both and I’m all for it. When it’s balanced.)

By the way, I prefer SJBs to CHORFs as a term. SJWs, social justice warriors, is not an insult as many articles have indicated. It’s the preferred term of the SJWs. And there are SJWs who are not SJBs. An SJB is a ‘Social Justice Bully.’ Because they are bullies. They are not even about social justice. They’re about being bullies.

So, yes, there are two different fandoms. And it’s very much a Political divide. And it’s not going away any time soon.

 

John Scalzi on Whatever

“Drinking Poison and Expecting the Other Person to Die” – April 29

This whole Puppy mess is because some of them weren’t happy, and were searching externally for that happiness, either by seeking a validation in outside rewards, or by punishing people they saw (erroneously and/or conspiratorially) blocking the path to that validation. Envy and revenge, basically. They’re drinking poison and hoping others die, or at the very least, suffer. It’s why they called themselves “Sad Puppies” in the first place: it was about what they thought their Hugo nominations would make people they decided they didn’t like feel.

Which is their karma. It doesn’t have to be mine (or yours).

So, no. I wish the Puppies success in their publishing endeavors, and I wish them happiness — genuine happiness, not contingent on comparison to, or the suffering of, others. I also wish for them the capacity to recognize success, and to be happy. It doesn’t seem they’re there yet. I hope they get there, and will cheer them if and when they do.

 

Jeb Kinnison on According To Hoyt

“’Selective Outrage’ – Jeb Kinnison” – April 29

Hatred and prejudice harm real people, but the harm echoes on through the generations as the original victims teach and promote an us-vs-them worldview that harms everyone. The people who are less wrong learn to understand where the hateful emotions come from, and start to cut off the sources of funds and fury that feed the continuing conflicts. Understanding the backgrounds of the partisans and arguing toward acceptance of others’ right to be wrong is the beginning of reconciliation and cooperation. I think we can get most reasonable people to agree that an award that supposedly recognizes the best SFF should be more broadly representative of the readers, including the vast majority who can’t take time out from busy lives or afford to go to conventions. Having a tiny in-group select award winners from their friends and people they know leaves out most of the writers, and almost all of the readers.

 

Aaron Pound on Dreaming About Other Worlds

“2015 Prometheus Award Nominees” – April 29

The interesting thing about the 2015 list of nominees for the Prometheus Award is not who is on it, but rather who is not. Even though the set of authors that make up the core proponents of the “Sad Puppies” very clearly view themselves as being on the libertarian side of the spectrum (and in some cases they have inserted segments into their books that are clearly pandering to Prometheus Award voters), and yet, there is zero overlap between the set of books they promoted for the 2015 Hugo Award and the set of books that were chosen as finalists for the 2015 Prometheus Award. In short, despite sharing an ideological bent with many of the authors promoted by the Puppies, the Libertarian Futurist Society didn’t see fit to even consider honoring any of the novels that were pushed for the Hugo ballot with a Prometheus Award nomination. If the Puppy slate is in fact about recognizing good books that the Hugo Awards have overlooked because they are supposedly ideologically biased, why is it that the works on the Puppy slates have been, with some rare exceptions, pretty much ignored by all of the other genre related awards? In fact, no one making decisions regarding other awards has seemed to think the stories promoted by any iteration of the Puppy slates have been worth nominating. It would be one thing if the works favored by the Puppies were getting nominated for many other awards while being snubbed solely by the Hugo voters. But they haven’t. They have been ignored by all the major awards because they simply aren’t good enough.

 

John C. Wright

“After Inaction Report from Ravencon” – April 29

A read[er] with the unexpectedly commonplace yet giant-killing name of Jack writes and asks:

Mr Wright: no word on Ravencon? maybe I missed it. Were you barbequed on sight, or just smugly ignored? Or, was it really civilized? At this point I would imagine many of the detractors on the left are wary of confrontation with those of the Puppy and Ilk fame. If so, good. They need a nice dose of apprehension to temper their attack dog tendencies of attack, attack, then worry about truth and accuracy.

I am pleased to report that there were no incidents of which I was aware at Ravencon. Everything went swimmingly.

No, that is not quite true: I heard from one of the organizers, a friend of mine, that Brianna Wu sat on a panel on Gamergate on Friday (before I arrived), and asked for there to be no photographs. As far as I know, this is a perfectly reasonable request, and, as a matter of professional courtesy, it is usually honored. One fellow — I did not catch his name — took photos nonetheless, Brianna Wu raised an objection (whether reasonable or hysterical I cannot say, hearing of this only third hand) and the photographer was asked to step out of the room. He was not kicked out of the Con. He left a snarky comment on his social media page.

That makes a grand total of one almost-rude incident and one perhaps-illtempered comment. And it was not related to Sad Puppies as far as I know, merely the psychodrama of a seriously disturbed person.

Aside from that, the topic came up only once, at the Trollhunter 101 panel, where the moderator merely described that the controversy existed, but his description of the controversy was fair and free from libel, so he was on our side (whether he knows it or not).

 

 

Jamie Ford

“A bystander’s view of the Hugo Awards” – April 29

I joined the World Science Fiction Society so I could officially vote in the Hugo Awards. Not for myself (I don’t even pretend to that kind of greatness) but I had hoped to vote for The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin.

Much to my chagrin, this amazing book didn’t make the ballot because a disgruntled group of conservative writers who felt slighted by the Hugos decided to emotionally vomit all over the voting process.

It’s much more nuanced I’m sure, but to an outsider, that’s what it looks like.

*Tantrum. Barf. Point fingers of blame.*

And I get it. I love Orson Scott Card’s work and have always found him incredibly supportive of struggling writers. But I disagree with his political views, which have begun to obfuscate his stories. And I’ve participated in online writing communities where people were banned for unpopular opinions, which never sat well with me.

 

Doctor Science on Obsidian Wings

“The Varieties of Fictional Pleasure” – April 28

One much-discussed Puppy statement is by Brad Torgersen, from January:

In other words, while the big consumer world is at the theater gobbling up the latest Avengers movie, “fandom” is giving “science fiction’s most prestigious award” to stories and books that bore the crap out of the people at the theater: books and stories long on “literary” elements (for all definitions of “literary” that entail: what college hairshirts are fawning over this decade) while being entirely too short on the very elements that made Science Fiction and Fantasy exciting and fun in the first place!

Among the many problems with this statement is that Worldcon members (that Hugo-voting “fandom” of which Torgersen speaks so sneeringly) did in fact give a Hugo to The Avengers, in the same year they gave the Best Novel Hugo to John Scalzi’s Redshirts — a work which, Scalzi admits, can only be called “long on literary elements” if you’re making a joke.

 

Glenn Hauman on Comic Mix

“Hugo Awards, No Awards and Network Effects” – April 29

[The] question has come up about voting for “No Award” over various nominees, whether it should be done, and whether it would be an unprecedented event.

The answer to the last part is: No, it’s not unprecedented. “No Award” has won categories before, most recently in 1977 when no award was given for Best Dramatic Presentation.

And ironically, that’s really a shame. Because it turns out there was a really great science fiction movie that year that showed us where we were heading. I’m not talking about any of that year’s actual Hugo nominees– Carrie, Logan’s Run, The Man Who Fell to Earth, or Futureworld.

No, I’m talking about Network.

 

Vox Day on Vox Popoli

“They also serve” – April 29

It was suggested that they also serve, who inadvertently and unknowingly do the bidding of the Evil Legion of Evil through their ludicrously predictable reactions. And lo, a badge for this brigade of Unwitting Minions was created. Evil Legion of Evil minions are free to award it to those whose behavior is so egregiously stupid or shortsighted or self-destructive that they could not possibly serve your Supreme Dark Lord better if they were consciously doing His Evil Bidding. Given that they are, without exception, unique and special snowflakes, they naturally all bear the title “Minion #1”.

Unwitting-Minion_512x512

Stilicho in a comment on Vox Popoli April 29

Shouldn’t there be some more formal methodology to award Unwitting Minion badges?

No. I am Vile Faceless Minion and so can you.

 

Fiona L. Woods on Cats and Crime

“Hugo Awards and Puppygate” – April 28

Puppygate is a term George R.R. Martin came up with. There are two groups, one called the Sad Puppies and the other the Rabid Puppies. Each group encouraged their followers to buy memberships for Worldcon so they could vote for stories and novels they wanted to get nominated for the Hugo Awards. Apparently, some of those nominated feel the two groups succeeded in loading the nominations with their picks. Hugo Award nominees Mark Kloos and Annie Bellet have withdrawn their work from the competition.

Panzer says, “What do you expect? They’re not the smartest potato on the truck. They’re puppies. You want smart? Get a kitten.  No kitten would have anything to do with this kind of litter box game.”

 

William Reichard

“My God, it’s full of puppies” – April 29

Even the roundups of news about the Hugo Awards fracas are getting too long to read all of every day. One thing you have to admit: this topic is clearly a deep nerve.

 

 

332 thoughts on “I Sing the Puppy Electric 4/29

  1. Rick, you (the Purists) were also in my 2,300, since you have sworn to no-award on sight anything that bears the taint of a slate – if that commitment doesn’t extend to 2016 I’ll take you out. Instead of ideologues, you might think of the others as fans, some of whom previously participated in WorldCon, some of whom didn’t, who are all willing to spend fifty bucks to participate in the awards process and support WorldCon.

    I don’t have any point about 2016 other than it will be a disaster and I’m not sure there is a quick fix after that, which I said a long time ago. Then you demanded more details, then numbers, so I provided some. Rick, I have read pretty extensively on elections and followed the recent Hugo discussions online. I’m not convinced by what I’ve seen so far that there is a consensus on a non-gameable alternative that can be successfully adopted and will select the best fiction of the year, so I am interested in seeing more ideas – neither you nor anyone else is compelled to give them to me. FWIW I mean all of this in what I think is a constructive way.

  2. Rick, you (the Purists) were also in that 2,300, since you have sworn to no-award on sight anything that bears a whiff of a slate – if that commitment doesn’t extend to 2016, I’ll take you out of the equation. Instead of ideologues, you might think of the others as fans, some of whom have previously participated in WorldCons, some of whom haven’t, who are all willing to spend fifty bucks to participate in the awards process and support WorldCon.

    I don’t have any point about 2016 other than it will be a disaster and I’m not sure there is a quick fix after that, which I said a long time ago. Then you demanded more details, then numbers, so I provided some. Rick, I have read pretty extensively on elections and followed the recent Hugo discussions online. I’m not convinced by what I’ve seen so far that there is a consensus on a non-gameable alternative that can be successfully adopted and will select the best fiction of the year, so I am interested in seeing more ideas – neither you nor anyone else is compelled to give them to me. FWIW I mean all of this in what I think is a constructive way.

  3. @Brian Z.

    since you have sworn to no-award on sight anything that bears the taint of a slate

    Sorry, is this intended to be your attempt to state my intentions? I have not stated any such intention.

    I don’t have any point about 2016 other than it will be a disaster

    Well, my point is, we already can reasonably predict this already, from existing data irrespective of what any of the habitual Hugo Award voters elect to do with their 2015 (and, for that matter) 2016 votes. Thus my question about what your point is. You appear to not have one.

    As cited, if you wish to read ongoing discussion of voting algorithms that might be used to replace the nominations stage’s first-past-the-post algorithm, please see the Making Light thread. And your talk about worrying about there not being a ‘consensus’ suggests that you are still unclear on how WSFS Business Meetings work. Last, your continued use of the term ‘non-tameable’ suggests you have paid no attention to upthread discussion, as all voting systems are subject to strategic voting given sufficient force and the right inputs. Which is what I said. Where were you?

    In short, I strongly suggest figuring this topic out before chewing up more of other people’s time.

    Rick Moen
    rick@linuxmafia.com

  4. I think we agreed about almost all of that (and yes I meant “difficult to game in practice” not “impossible to game in theory). I stand corrected if you are not one of those who advocate no-awarding anything associated with a slate: I am pretty sure I read you saying that somewhere, but I could be mistaken. (Or, you could be referring exclusively to 2015 and not 2016.)

  5. So ‘competing’ slates? So screw the nomination process, let’s have the jostling to get on the big slates and if you can’t get on a slate you don’t get a look in at the Hugos? Now I’m sure you didn’t mean that, but that’s what you’re saying. There is a reason political parties drive slates – they are effective at getting blocs of like minded people onto things.

    I can’t help you, or Steve Moss, xdpaul, GK or some of the other random people who come and say the same interchangeable stuff, because the way these phrases are being used are very common and clear to just about everybody else.

    What we have managed to drift away from is one of the very very early claims – that for the last decade the Hugo Awards have been ‘gamed’ by a bloc of SJWs bent on crazy, left wing, ‘message fiction’ that isn’t good old rip-roaring SF. That was the consistent message from Brad and Larry.

    Except there has never been one iota of evidence for such a thing, the data, freely available at the end of the last 10 Hugo results doesn’t show such a thing – just that about half the people who nominate for Best Novel do the same for Short Stories, and that there is less consensus in what people like – a small perturbation, or a strong ‘slate’ driven by somebody will easily overcome the random noise which is how we got here.

    As I’ve said before, I find it actually funny that we’ve replaced an imaginary secret cabal with a very real public one. Kudos to all involved.

    What interests me is the correlation between the Hugo Awards, on the whole and the other major award lists – suggesting that the Hugo voters have, historically been pretty dull and mainstream when if comes to what they vote for. That has certainly been the charge in the past, that the Hugo voters are actually a conservative block of mostly wealthy middle aged white guys – go check out what Jonathon McChalmont was saying, to name but one.

    Over and over extraordinary claims are made. Over and over people quibble over the use of fairly common English phrases and over and over there is nothing to back it up.

  6. Daveon, in the current climate, more competing slates (there are already two) might become a reality whether we like it or not. No, it doesn’t seem like a good idea to me! If I’m wrong, that’s wonderful news.

    Rick, I feel the urge coming on to make one last point (sorry) but then yes let’s please call it quits. The advantage of the current rules is that they have picked great winners in the past, and I hope in developing new proposals (yes I’ve read the Making Light discussions) everyone thinks carefully about which algorithm most consistently chooses excellence in the long run, not which one makes people feel most satisfied at this moment.

  7. “conservative block of mostly wealthy middle aged white guys”

    Absolutely. And if a more diverse group of fans are hearing about the Hugo process now and want to come break that up, they should absolutely do so. Fifty bucks is kind of steep for young people, is the only real problem.

  8. Brian Z
    “And I’m less certain than you that a quick fix rule change will solve the problem in the years after that.”

    Quick Fix? People have four months to come up with preliminary ideas on how to fix the problems with first-past-the-post nominations and over a year to refine anything voted on at Sasquan before MidAmeriCon II. That’s hardly quick.

    Also, you appear unaware of what fixes are being discussed?

    Per the last information I saw from Standlee, the Business Meeting won’t be streamed (unless volunteers step up to do the work/pay the costs) but it will be uploaded as soon as time and bandwidth allows.

    Rev Bob
    “First – Yes, my opinion about rules changes is, in that very real sense, worthless. I will not be at the meeting, so my opinion on what should happen there is irrelevant; I am unable to bring motions or vote on them.”

    If you are not a supporting member of Sasquan, that is true. But if you ARE a supporting member of Sasquan, you have just as much right to submit a proposal to the Business meeting as any other member. You can’t defend it, or vote on it if you’re not there in person, but you CAN write it up and submit it. You need another member to sponsor it with you, though.

  9. Utragotha – fair point, but still a “quick fix” within the timescale of the Hugo Awards. My own instinct (which is my own problem, I know!) is not to tinker with something that has usually worked pretty well in the past, and try letting the current controversies blow over first before making drastic changes. If that means one or two years of No Awards or winners many think are mediocre… I doubt it will kill the awards.

  10. Brian Z: I stand corrected if you are not one of those who advocate no-awarding anything associated with a slate

    I have said I’m leaning towards No Awarding selected categories on a theory of deterrence against re-use of the bloc voting tactic again in 2016, where that deterrence is thereby applied at the only place it can work: the nominees. Details below:

    If 2016 nominees perceive an incentive to disavow any bloc-voting recommendation they hear about, then resulting unavailability of willing plausible candidates will take almost all force out of the tactic. (Fans would likewise have an incentive to make sure authors, editors, etc. hear about bloc-voting endorsements in a timely fashion permitting them to weigh the matter and consider a disavowal, unlike in 2015.)

    My working hypothesis is that the voters choosing to make clear in 2015 that they are likely to apply that disincentive in 2016 is the only thing likely to prevent 2016’s nomination ballot from getting gamed the way 2015’s was. Otherwise, many categories of the 2016 ballot are IMO already a write-off.

    (Nominations after 2016 are not a write-off because of the possibility of nominations reform ratified by the next two Worldcons’ Business Meetings, which if passed would be effective starting 2017.)

    I expect that many habitual Hugo Award voters will arrive at the same conclusion, but of course this is very difficult to predict.

    I did not ‘advocate’ anything. Advocacy is not my cuppa.

    Rick Moen
    rick@linuxmafia.com

  11. Ultragotha,

    “Also, you appear unaware of what fixes are being discussed?”

    Do you mean the Making Light threads? I’ve read those.

    “You can’t defend it, or vote on it if you’re not there in person, but you CAN write it up and submit it.”

    I didn’t know that – thank you.

  12. @NelC: It’s a very old joke, but maybe you haven’t yet heard it: ‘Is life worth living? It all depends on the liver.’

  13. Rick, thanks, and I understand your point that you have not advocated. I don’t know if this would lead to deterrence, or escalation, but you set out a clear case.

  14. @Daveon,

    “Short of there actually being a published ‘vote in this order’ list I’m not sure what the puppies plan to happen now?”

    What we did last year. Read and rank what we read?

    “Andrew: yes, I’m sure they’re going to do that, just like everybody read for the nomination phase and didn’t take Beale at his word. That’s why Wright did so well, people just read those stories…”

    Are you saying, a previously non-controversial and awarded author, can’t write stories people like?

    @Rick,

    “Sorry, is this intended to be your attempt to state my intentions? I have not stated any such intention”

    Wait…what? You haven’t stated an intention for 2015?

    @Daveon,
    “common and clear to just about everybody else”

    If you list a long list of regular posters to an argument who share a different understanding then “everybody else” just means your side. You might want to consider definitions then. And not insult people on reading ability.

    “that for the last decade the Hugo Awards have been ‘gamed’ by a bloc of SJWs bent on crazy, left wing, ‘message fiction’ that isn’t good old rip-roaring SF. That was the consistent message from Brad and Larry.”

    And again, we need you to pay attention. Game here implies active and willful effort. While, as Vox has pointed out with the block voting, there appears to be some of that centered around groups related to Tor, by far the more _likely_ argument is tribalism as noted by how you discount above a group of people and then claim everyone else, that is your tribe, understands. You are blinded by who you talk to.

    “Except there has never been one iota of evidence for such a thing, the data, freely available at the end of the last 10 Hugo results doesn’t show such a thing”

    The current best novel gap from top to bottom is wider than it was since I believe 2011 by percentage and absolute numbers. If “wideness” is a good thing then why is the current year bad?

    @Rick,

    “I have said I’m leaning towards No Awarding selected categories on a theory of deterrence against re-use of the bloc voting tactic again in 2016, where that deterrence is thereby applied at the only place it can work: the nominees.”

    If that is your position, it won’t work. It assumes that puppies only nominated on politics, which we didn’t and don’t. If we cast our net wide in 2016 like we did this year then you just erode the whole system by voting “No Award”. It will likely start years of no awards as the “slate” is voted down. Like I’ve said in the past, don’t let us stop you, but if I would advise against it (note this is our version of “burning the Hugos…voting and letting you tear it down while we vote for what _we actually like_). I understand for example Kevin’s tribal allegiance to the award, he’s worked hard at it, but I find his missing what burning means frustrating.

    As we’ve also _publicly_ stated it is very improbable that we will “buy” the election. I’m not even sure what that means in this case other than “puppies don’t read”. I’ve explained in detail my voting on 2014 and will freely answer questions on that year. I also freely admit to not reading all of the Novel selections since WoT made that (as a newcomer to the series) effectively impossible (1). If we read, then we vote for what we like which is the _purpose_ of the award. If we don’t read I doubt there will ever be enough votes to matter (which was the claim _last_ year).

    I feel kind of silly having to explain the very public grand strategy.

    (1) Arguably the worst ruling in the Western world and an example of caving to fans that fit in better in my NSHO.

  15. Escalation from ‘the same thing occurring again in 2016’ (probable default outcome, IMO) to ‘the same thing occurring again in 2016’ does not actually seem like escalation, to me. Making 2016 be different requires, far as I can see, changing the incentives. The only place where changing the incentives can have any effect is the nominees themselves. Thus my working hypothesis, and thus the way I am currently leaning concerning several 2015 final-ballot categories. (Like all Hugo voters, I have until 11:59 PM PDT, 31 July 2015 to revise my ballot choices.)

  16. GK Chesterton wrote: It assumes that puppies only nominated on politics, which we didn’t and don’t.

    No, I made no such assumption. So, your chain of logic (using the term loosely) fails at the beginning.

  17. UG:

    Per the last information I saw from Standlee, the Business Meeting won’t be streamed (unless volunteers step up to do the work/pay the costs) but it will be uploaded as soon as time and bandwidth allows.

    Confirmed. My hope is that we may be able to start uploading each day’s meeting videos (which for technical reasons will be in ~35-45-minute pieces) within an hour of the end of the each day’s meeting. Live streaming is more challenging; note how much difficulty Worldcons have had in doing the Hugo Awards Ceremony, which can legitimately call upon more of the convention’s resources for it. (Indeed, I think last year was the first year there wasn’t some sort of technical glitch in the broadcast.)

    Brian Z:

    Although supporting members of Worldcon cannot attend the Business Meeting, they are permitted to submit and co-sponsor proposals. As noted, since you’re not present, you can’t debate your proposal (although you get to include your opening argument as the Maker’s Comments) or vote upon the proposal, and once it’s before the meeting, it doesn’t belong to you anymore. (I’ve seen proposals amended to thoroughly that their original maker voted against them. Short version: “There’s no such thing as a ‘friendly amendment.'”) Read the Guide to the WSFS Business Meeting. Submit proposals to wsfs-business@sasquan.org. We’ll have an Agenda page on the site soon to include everything that’s already been submitted.

  18. Kevin Standlee
    “and once it’s before the meeting, it doesn’t belong to you anymore. (I’ve seen proposals amended to thoroughly that their original maker voted against them.”

    I think this is important to point out, and thanks for doing that. I’ve seen it, too. Any proposal submitted, whether by a WSFS member not at the meeting or one who is at the meeting, can be amended beyond recognition both at Sasquan and then later at MidAmeriCon II. Depends on how the disussion goes at the Business Meeting.

  19. GK > Honestly, I haven’t got a clue what you’re going on about now. Having explained several different ways I’m at a loss really – even non-fans I know seem to be able to grasp the concepts, so I’ll just put this down to some weird understanding gap you have.

    “The current best novel gap from top to bottom is wider than it was since I believe 2011 by percentage and absolute numbers. If “wideness” is a good thing then why is the current year bad?”

    Eh? I don’t actually know what you mean by this. Looking at the data online – typically the ‘best’ novel nomination gets 15-18% of the nominations. Last year was definitely extra ordinary with Anciliary Justice getting over 23% of the nominations and getting over 40% on the first pass in the voting. OTOH – this is a book that pretty much cleaned up on every major SF award given last year so that probably isn’t all that surprising – personally I thought it was an extraordinary book.

    If Gaiman hadn’t refused his nomination it would have been interesting to see if it had still won.

    And, as I’ll say again, I have looked at the raw data, I invite you to do so and show me where in the last 10 years evidence of this tribalism stems from – because it is not in evidence in the actual data, no matter how frequently you make the claim that it is.

  20. What we did last year. Read and rank what we read?

    That is pretty much what I meant actually.

  21. “a non-gameable alternative”

    That’s cute. Do you have any idea how much effort game developers have to constantly put in just to keep the griefers manageable. All systems can be gamed. Most of the things I’ve seen bruited about wouldn’t even slow us down, in fact, they’d probably make a smart approach even more effective than the simple one this year was.

    There is one and only one option that is likely to work. Get rid of supporting memberships.

  22. “So screw the nomination process, let’s have the jostling to get on the big slates and if you can’t get on a slate you don’t get a look in at the Hugos?”

    You already had that. Frank Wu pointed out a few years ago that if your novel was not on one of two modestly sized lists, it would not be nominated. With one single exception, if I recall correctly.

  23. VD — Tsk. That was a bit obvious, sliding from “slate” to “list” like that, especially for someone who claims to be so precise about his language.

  24. That was a bit obvious, sliding from “slate” to “list” like that, especially for someone who claims to be so precise about his language.

    That’s precisely why I said list. It doesn’t matter what you call it, if you’re not on it, you’re not getting nominated. And that was MORE true of the lists than this year’s slates.

  25. Thanks for the acknowledgement that comparing the hit ratio of a list to a slate is a false equivalence.

  26. UG:

    Any proposal submitted, whether by a WSFS member not at the meeting or one who is at the meeting, can be amended beyond recognition both at Sasquan and then later at MidAmeriCon II.

    But do bear in mind that amendments at the ratification (second year) stage cannot increase the scope of change. For example, let’s say that this year an amendment to increase the number of finalist slots from 5 to 7 per category gets first passage. Next year in Kansas City, it would be in order to change 7 to 6, but not to 8; the former decreases the scope of the change, but the latter increases it and that’s not allowed.

    I don’t want anyone to reasonably claim that the second year’s meeting can substitute an entirely new proposal or something like that. It’s not true. The US Congress can do that, but not WSFS.

  27. ‘It doesn’t matter what you call it, if you’re not on it, you’re not getting nominated.’

    Or you were on the list because the listmakers were savvy enough to spot likely nominees.

  28. Live streaming is more challenging; note how much difficulty Worldcons have had in doing the Hugo Awards Ceremony, which can legitimately call upon more of the convention’s resources for it. (Indeed, I think last year was the first year there wasn’t some sort of technical glitch in the broadcast.)

    The glitch in 2013 wasn’t really my fault. Honest.

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