So Long and Thanks for All the Puppies 5/1

aka The Good, the Bad, and the Yapping

Rachel Acks and Abigail Nussbaum begin the May Day roundup, followed by Mark Leeper, John Scalzi, Paul Kincaid, David Langford, Laura Mixon, Kiesa, and a colleague who has chosen a saner course.  (Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editors of the day Milt Stevens and Laura Resnick.)

Rachel Acks

“The Hugo Nomination Problem or, I Am a Bad Reader”  – May 1

I’m sure this does not reflect on me well as a human being. I also know I used to read a hell of a lot more back before I didn’t have a full time job and a part-time writing gig and a daily commute during which reading tends to give me severe motion sickness. But here it is, the call for help. I seriously need some helpful soul, or maybe some kind of crowd-sourced thing that can tell me what I should be reading as things come out so I’m not floundering under drifts of pages on book mountain when the Hugo nomination period opens. Preferably some recommendation engine where my fellow writers, bless you guys I love you all but damn I know how we are, are not allowed to nominate or push their own books. I don’t want reviews, I don’t even want opinions, I just want a simple list or titles and authors and maybe a helpful link where someone can say hey, I think this book should totally get a Hugo, and then other people who agree can maybe give it a plus one, and that’s it. Let me form my own opinions.

Does something like this already exist and I’ve just never seen it because I’m a failure at google? Is this something a complete computer incompetent like me could set up on her own site pretty easily? I’d do it in a heartbeat if I knew how.



Abigail Nussbaum on Wrong Questions

“The 2015 Hugo Awards: A Few Thoughts as Voting Opens” – May 1

In addition to No Award-ing the Puppies, there are two other categories where I will be voting No Award for all nominees.  I’ve already written about the Best Fan Writer category, and in addition I will not be voting to give a Hugo in the Best Novelette category, even though it contains a non-Puppy nominee in the form of Thomas Olde Heuvelt’s “The Day the World Turned Upside Down.”  Chance has written eloquently about the many problems with this story, which does not deserve to win a Hugo by default.

Speaking of Chance, she’s thrown herself on the grenade of the Rabid Puppies’ short fiction selections, and is reviewing them one by one with sad and hilarious results.  Her reviews are required reading, first if you like funny and snarky writing, but also if you’re still under the impression that literary merit has anything to do with this campaign.


Anna Kashina

“Hugo awards: what can be done to save them?” – May 1

Going forward, I believe that the best way to redeem the situation and restore the prestige of the Hugos (and perhaps the other awards) is to ensure that every nominator and voter actually *reads* the work they are voting for and actually considers it to be better than the other comparable works published the same year, based on valid criteria. Barring that, the awards have no meaning, I think everyone would agree to that.

How to achieve it practically?

For one, every nomination should be publicly listed, with the name of the person nominating and voting for each work openly accessible, along with the checked “yes” next to the questions on whether they personally read the work, and whether they truthfully consider it the best in the genre.

I would go even further, though. I would request for each nomination to contain a short paragraph of what you like about the work and what made it stand out for you and seem like it deserved the award. This information should also be made public from the start and required with each nomination (notably, reasons based on the race, ethnicity, and political and religious views of the author should not be permitted).

I am aware that this would probably drastically reduce the number of people willing to nominate. But I bet that no slate voting would be possible with this kind of a system. Even if a person is willing to outwardly lie on a public form, if the writeups for the slate voters are commonly generated through a campaign, this fact would become immediately transparent.


Celia Darrough on Bustle

“How The 2015 Hugo Awards Became A Battlefield (And Not Over Science Fiction)” – May 1

If the science fiction and fantasy literary genre has an Oscars, it’s the Hugo Awards. Since the 1950s, the awards have recognized the works of science fiction and fantasy (SF/F) greats, including Stephen King, Kurt Vonnegut, George R. R. Martin, and Michael Chabon. But, if you look at a complete list, you’ll notice one thing about the roster of past winners: A majority of them are white men. And this year fans, the media, and the organizers themselves claim there’s a conspiracy to rig the Hugo Award nominations to keep it that way.

Here’s what’s happening: For close to a decade, the Hugos have made strides toward increased diversity, with deserving women and members of minority groups added to the nomination list. (See: Octavia Butler, Ann Leckie, Saladin Ahmed, Nalo Hopkinson, N.K. Jemisin, and Ted Chiang, all of whom, save Butler, were nominated after 2000.) But the 2015 awards, whose winners will be announced in August, have become a battlefield as longtime supporters of the awards allege that two online groups known as the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies tried to subvert the nomination process, apparently to keep the awards mostly white and male — a statement that the leaders of the Sad Puppies — Larry Correia and Brad Torgersen — and the Rabid Puppies — Vox Day — vehemently deny.


Mark Leeper on MT Void

“The Puppy Crisis” – May 1

I think a lot of people have given in to a myth. The myth is what I think is a basic misunderstanding about what the awards are. In the case of the Hugo awards, the myth is that the fans have gotten together to pick God’s anointed best science fiction pieces published over the previous year in each category. Once they pick the stories democratically chosen by mutual consent to be the best they–the fans–have spoken. What they have chosen is God’s Anointed choice. It works like the selection of the new Pope.

Pardon me but that is not what happens when a novel wins a Hugo. The Hugo Award is not about the book; it is about the voters. In this case it is about the attending and supporting members of the upcoming World Science Fiction Convention. We all pretend that this is a reasonable set of people to judge and decide the question. We have pretended that for years. But they cannot make a book be the best novel. They can only decide as a popularity poll what book they most want to see win. Their choice tells you about them. It tells you something about the minds of the people, but voters do not make best novels. Writers make them.


John Scalzi on Whatever

“The Myth of SF/F Publishing House Exceptionalism” – May 1

Sanford is correct in his point that as a matter of books from Baen whose individual sales can compete with the sales of individual books from other science fiction publishers on a month-to-month basis, as charted by the Locus list, Baen’s showing is modest (the May Locus lists, incidentally, show no Baen books, whereas Tor shows up five times, Orbit five times, DAW four times, Del Rey three times, Ace and Harper Voyager once each, and non-genre-specific publishers like Bantam and Morrow taking the rest of the slots).

But does that mean Ringo’s larger assertion (sales of SF/F publishing houses are down since the 70s except for Baen) is false? Not necessarily! Here are some reasons Ringo might still be right:

  1. Ringo’s first assertion (SF/F publishing houses sales down since the 70s) is independent of how any individual title by any publishing house stacks up against any other title by any publishing house in the month-to-month or week-to-week horse races known as the best-seller lists. That a book is #1 on the Locus list one month does not mean it sold the same number of books as any previous #1; nor does it speak to the overall sales of any particular publishing house….

Ringo appears wants to make to two arguments: One, that Baen has experienced consistent, across-the-board growth in its sales where other SF/F publishers have not. Two, that this is due to Baen not publishing authors or tales that are “SJW”-y; only “cracking good tales” allowed, the definition of which apparently preclude any Social Justice Warrior-ness (although apparently may include any number of conservative/reactionary tropes)….

The second part of Ringo’s assertion, the implication that Baen’s continuous sales upswing is due to cracking good SJW-free tales, I’m not going to bother to address seriously, because what a “Social Justice Warrior” is at this point is something of a moving target, the most consistent definition of which appears to be “Anyone left of Ted Cruz who certain politically conservative authors want to whack on in order to make whatever dubious, self-serving, fact-free point they wish to make at the moment.”  I believe George RR Martin has recently been relegated to SJW status for being upset with the action of the Puppy slates and the Hugos; this is a curious maneuver if we’re talking “cracking good tales” and sales numbers as a proxy for… well, whatever they’re meant to be a proxy for.

It’s also bunk because while Baen is being used by Ringo as a synecdoche for a certain subgenres of science fiction (and the non-SJW agendas of the authors who produce it and the readers who read it), I have to wonder whether Baen itself wants that responsibility or affiliation. I mean, as just one example, we’re all aware that Baen published Joanna Russ, yes? More than once? Joanna Russ, part of the “new wave” of science fiction that Ringo identifies as a proto-SJW movement? Joanna Russ, who was the very definition of what is labeled a Social Justice Warrior before any conservative or reactionary person even though to spit such an epithet from out between their lips? That Joanna Russ? The only way that Joanna Russ does not fully qualify for retroactive SJW status is if the definition of “SJW” actually includes “cannot be published by Baen Books.” And yet, apparently, she could tell a “cracking good tale,” because that’s what Baen publishes. Strange!


Paul Kincaid on Bull Spec

“Paul Kincaid’s From the Other Side, April 2015: awards coverage, big announcements, new books, and more” – May 1

Look, I wasn’t going to talk about this, it’s not really in my remit, but the one thing the Sad Puppies have done is guarantee that the Hugo Awards this year are all about politics and nothing to do with the quality or otherwise of the works nominated. A win this year, in any category, and regardless of whether the winner was on a slate or not, will not have the cachet that a Hugo win once had. They have spoiled the awards even for those they are supposedly trying to promote.


David Langford on Ansible #334

“Dysprosium & Puppygate” – May 1

Since I consider slate voting a thoroughly bad thing, I expect to make judicious – though not indiscriminate – use of the No Award option on the final Hugo ballot. Meanwhile, all sympathy to John Lorentz’s hard-pressed Sasquan Hugo committee; to Kevin Standlee and others who’ll be running a perhaps overcrowded and fraught Worldcon business meeting at which anti-slate rules changes will be proposed; and to slate nominees who were unaware either that they’d been included or that this placed them in an exposed position on a new battlefield of the US culture wars.


Kiesa on Kiesa’s Mutterings

“Hugo 2015 Best Novelette”  – May 1

Up to this point, I was feeling really good about the novelette category. I could, without any reservations place the three slate stories below no award because I didn’t feel they were good. However, then I came to “The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale”. I felt this was a really good story. It is by far my favorite of the five options. The story pulled me in from the first paragraph. I got bogged down a tad during the journey to the alien world. However, once they landed it picked up again and had a great ending.

So . . . I’m still not sure how I’ll actually vote. I’ll probably vote in the order I’ve listed above. However, any stupidity that appears between now and when I place my vote may change my opinion.



Laura Mixon

“Yes. But.” – May 1

At the risk of yes-butting people over my report on Requires Hate/ Benjanun Sriduangkaew/ Winterfox, I want to respond to a few points that have been made in recent posts or in their comment threads regarding my Hugo nomination.

Kate Nepveu:   Yes, but (1) my statistics were poorly supported or cited, and (2) the wrong people commented on and/or supported my efforts.

Abigail Nussbaum:  Yes, but (3) perverse pie charts! plus (2) the wrong people commented on and/or supported my efforts.

Shaun Duke:   Yes, but (4) Requires Hate has stopped her abuses, apologized, and deserves forgiveness. [UPDATE: while I was adding links to this post in preparation for uploading it, I saw that Shaun Duke has apologized. I’m leaving my response to point #4 up, because I have heard others raising the same point, and I want my position to be clear.]

Geoff Ryman:   Yes, but (5) racism! The Sad Puppy/ Rabid Puppy attack on the Hugos is a much bigger problem than Requires Hate.



133 thoughts on “So Long and Thanks for All the Puppies 5/1

  1. AG,

    “Manpain” is not political. Is there a Manpain Party? Are the Republicans recommending that we deregulate the mainpain industry, while the Democrats recommend tariffs to protect local producers from imported butthurt? Nor is Morrison playing a game of identity—the story is literally about making a common metaphor of emotional (a world turning upside down after the end of a relationship) literal, and in this case the emotional pain is that of a man. Such stories are usually pretty short, because the idea cannot be sustained for long without a plot, or without making the theme more complex than a simple metaphor. (“If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love” at least has the decency to be around 1000 words.) “The Day the World Turned Upside Down” hyper-extends the metaphor without adding anything else to do. If someone else going through a similar crisis made something else happen (“Her world exploded” or “In my depression, world was nothing but a gray fog”) and some sort of conflict could be started, that could be interesting. Instead, it’s just one person’s fairly tedious and cliched journey into maaaaybe growing up a bit.

    That’s a perfectly coherent literary critique—manpain is just shorthand.

    As far as your other comment, it is directed to the wrong person. GK, like Kratman, was the one who puffed his chest out. I just said I was willing to say anything I type here to my face, and if people wish to fight me over it, they can. Initiating a game of say-that-to-my-face is absolutely a physical challenge.

  2. Also, before someone points out that the last two items don’t really count….

    That’s the joke. *jazz hands*

  3. Martin Wisse: I can’t see how to contact the maintainer or lead editor or whoever created that Hugo wiki. If s/he will modify it to make it more general, i.e. a Hugo Recommendations Wiki, with sub-sections per year, I think we could probably add it to the list of recommendation sites at We have a policy of only listing sites with static addresses, because we don’t want to have to be updating it each year.

  4. Peace,

    Well, apparently everyone who was part of SP3 is ma white, racist, misogynist, male. And because of RP3 if you didn’t immediately say something against Beale, you were obviously in League with him and his beliefs. You have people saying “I’ll read your work, but its still going below no award because you were on the slate.” and others saying “I wasn’t going to read you, but since you withdrew I will.”

    Not a lot of that comes across as free association.

  5. ‘Not a lot of that comes across as free association.’

    Free association cuts both ways, and you can no more stop people from not reading authors because they associate with Beale than you can stop RP/SPs from not reading authors because they’re SJWs.

  6. “We as a group tend to hate snark.”

    The name of Sad Puppies is pure snark. Larry Correia touted his get-me-and-my-pals-a-Hugo campaign as a chance to combat “puppy-related sadness.” He’s throwing snark all the time on his blog and Twitter against liberals, social justice warriors, SMOFs, CHORFs and whatever other group pissed in his virtual cornflakes.

    So if you hate snark …

  7. By ‘modest’ lists, you mean something like the NESFA list which looking at the last couple of years had 20 and 16 items on it, which were, frankly, a fairly straight list of stuff people had probably heard of from a wide range of authors – that kind of modesty?

    So a list covering a solid 3%-5% of so all SF published in a given year has a good track record, of identifying stuff that gets onto the Hugo Awards.

    If we assume a Pareto rule that 80% probably isn’t much good anyway, if only we had an SF version of that (but I am being kind), then actually, in a given year of 600 SF&F books published then probably only 120 or so are worthy of consideration… so a modest list of 22 items, like the NESFA list, would have basically a 20% chance of picking nominated books at random…. except, realistically the number of books in a year is a MUCH smaller selection, and if applied, randomly, say, a 90% rule, if you publish a list of 20+ works in a year of things regular readers list from across the genre, it’s going to pretty much have everything that probably would get selected anyway.

    No conspiracy, no plotting, just probability and some selection for taste. There’s a LOT of really good stuff on the 2012 NESFA list that didn’t make the ballot including Blue Remembered Earth and The Hydrogen Sonata, both of which I rate higher than the eventual winner, but that’s pretty normal really and doesn’t mean they’re out to get me. At least not over that….

  8. “Not a lot of that comes across as free association.”

    Most people who say they’re voting No Award above slates aren’t making any judgment on who people associate with. We’re voting against the tactic of bloc voting. I’d do the same if Day’s nemesis/muse John Scalzi had run a slate and hijacked the entire ballot.

  9. “Well, apparently everyone who was part of SP3 is ma white, racist, misogynist, male.”

    haha. Set up that strawman! Knock it right down!

  10. @Andrew
    “How about negative reviews of authors tat appeared after they were on the slate?
    Does someone saying “I wasn’t going to read you before but I will now since you withdrew” meet the standard?”

    To me, no. And going by the standard GK set (“stories became magically good in the anti-puppies crowd as they were withdrawn from the award.”), they don’t meet their standard either.

  11. @Nick mamatas: –““Manpain” is not political.”–

    Oh, but it is. The manpain, check your privilege, your racist/bigot/whatever if you do not agree with my agenda is most certainly political.

    @Andrew: –“And because of RP3 if you didn’t immediately say something against Beale, you were obviously in League with him and his beliefs”–

    And do not forget: even if you do, you are still in league with him. So who cares? This is the same as the racist accusations. It means nothing.

  12. @Ed Green,

    “So, copies for the Review Committee need to be sent to which kennel?”

    I know this is hard to understand, but you can write what you will. We just won’t necessarily like it. But do add more snark. It helps keep us going.


    Oh do tell. California would do nicely. And no, I remember no links, there was an old thread that when I went back to it the first thing up was that I was lying about my wife needing medical care which I got to read while I was in the surgery waiting room. That level of dickishness used to not be allowed in society.


    “You have a pattern. You say something, it is countered, you say something else, it is countered, you then say the first thing again and claim nobody believes you.”

    No Daveon, I was not “countered” I was told:
    1.) That slates never existed
    2.) Then Mike showed they were since the very begining
    3.) Then I was told that I had to accept everything bad with the 50’s.

    The above is called moving the goal posts. You could, if you were a gentleman, say, “you know I didn’t know this had happened before. I still find them vile and am against them.” You didn’t. Instead you snarked.

    Which _is_ a pattern. You’ll notice Nick and his attacks on my family. Green with his snark about reviews when I said nothing of the kind. Your moving of the goal posts. Etc.

    “You haven’t posted links btw, you’ve been asked many times to back up your claims – the best you’ve got is that some authors have said ‘here is my work, please vote for it’ – which nobody is disputing.

    You guys did something stupid, you were caught at it, then Beale did it for real and screwed you completely. Whine at him will you?”

    Oh really? I have never posted a link? REALLY? You are willing to lie at that level or were you just not paying attention?

    What SP1, SP2, SP3, and RP1 did was no different than any other group. Which is why, especially with SP1, there was only loud mocking. The difference is this year we swept

    “Well yes, but that’s not people saying the *works* are bad before and good after, that’s people saying they were avoiding reading them because of the situation.”

    That is what I was referring to. If you don’t read something and declare your intention for the same you have judged it “bad”. When you say that you will now read it you have changed that assessment.

    You are right though that this is based on free association. However, that is how we feel you judge works. On association.


    “‘“Manpain” seems to me a political rather than literary criticism, but whatever floats your boat.’”

    At the very least it is not literary. It isn’t a critique of the style or the characterization.

    Otherwise I find “manpain” and the mock relevant to the review. I found the protagonist whiny and little. By the end of the first “page” or so I wanted him dead in the hope that we were working with a repentant ghost.


    “ensure that every nominator and voter actually *reads* the work they are voting for”

    It is also works under the misguided assumption that we don’t read. In a private email list I recently got accused of not reading the subject matter, despite being there for several years, because I came out as a puppy. The amount of projection is ridiculous.

    That being said slates are super helpful in that they act as editors and reviewers. What _should_ I read this year or _should_ I have read? It helps to have people I like reading suggest lists. Larry for example isn’t quite a match to me (he tends to like more shooting than I do) while Vox is since he tends to examine how we interact as people (“Hobblets” and “Opera” being grand examples). Brad I like, but he tends to like people to much and that comes out in his writing. He’s too hopeful, which is why this must be miserable for him. I get the distinct impression that he would prove the ELoE right in its aims but wrong about its character assignations

    “Uh…. have you met Sci Fi/Fantasy fans”.

    I have. Many like snark. Not all by a huge stretch.

  13. @Andrew,

    “Not a lot of that comes across as free association.”

    So, Andrew, I think you are a puppy and therefore a friend but that most definitely is free association. In fact it is more or less a plank in the RP’s party line. WorldCon has every right to for example propose the following admendment:
    “members must swear an oath to uphold the standards of the Communist Party”

    That would be pretty far left and I’d be horrified, but it is their _right_. It would also destroy the Hugos and they seem to be rushing for something equivalent.

  14. ‘At the very least it is not literary. It isn’t a critique of the style or the characterization.’


    ‘I found the protagonist whiny and little.’

    You just did a small but concise literary critique based on your negative response to manpain in the story’s narrative.

  15. “haha. Set up that strawman! Knock it right down!”

    Yeah, all those blogposts and websites saying such are obviously baling straw left and right.

  16. Oh boy, GK, I get to rub your face on your lies again!

    Here I am providing links:

    These clearly show that contra your claims about SP1, Corriea made no claim about authors having to pass a political litmus test, but he did talk about message fic. Then you lied about your own argument (just scroll down).

    And note, I never made fun of your wife. I just explained that I don’t believe a word any pseudonymous stranger says svout themselves in the middle of an argument, and I don’t. Don’t like it? Boo-hoo, attach a real name to your blather.

    Amy time you want to get together for the RL version of this lecture, drop me a line.

  17. @Nigel,
    “You just did a small but concise literary critique based on your negative response to manpain in the story’s narrative.”

    I wouldn’t think so, I would say that a literary critique would be about the world building or lack of characterization or style. It is well characterized.

  18. GK. GK. Poor GK.

    I wrote “Uh…. have you met Sci Fi/Fantasy fans” not Peace. Hence why she used quotation marks?

    If you admit that many fans like snark, then it’s hard to say that “we as a group tend to hate snark.” ain’t it? Especially when I followed up with many examples of snark in fandom throughout the years. You could just admit you misspoke, ya know.

  19. “Most people who say they’re voting No Award above slates aren’t making any judgment on who people associate with.”

    Keep saying that. One day it will be true.

  20. “The manpain, check your privilege, your racist/bigot/whatever if you do not agree with my agenda is most certainly political.”

    When did this become a therapy group for Puppies? You participated in an explicitly political campaign to stick it to social justice warriors. I don’t think the review was political just because it ridiculed the protagonist’s feelings as “manpain.” But even if it was, you have no grounds to complain. Your whole movement is rotten with politics.

  21. “I would say that a literary critique would be about the world building or lack of characterization or style.”

    Let me get this straight: You are claiming that an analysis of a protagonist in a story isn’t a literary critique?

    The definition of words is in constant motion with you Puppies.

  22. “Manpain” is a critique of characterization. The protag of the story basically has one emotional state and the other characters have none, except for what the narrator tells us. And the story involves unexamimed narcissm as well; the author gives us no room for alternative understandings of either character or even t.

    That is a thoroughly literary critique.

  23. “Keep saying that. One day it will be true.”

    Light a match after you drop a load like that.

    If you don’t understand that a longtime Hugo voter could use No Award to reject any use of bloc voting, you aren’t paying attention. All over the web longtime Worldcon members have complained about the use of this tactic.

  24. Yep. Like English’s story for example. Her story is fine though I don’t think it was the best of the last year it’s certainly the best of what is nominated, and I reading her blog posts on it think it’s horrifying that people have been personally insulting her. That’s terrible and there’s no call for it and nothing I’ve seen suggests she anything other tan a nice person. However she was a willing participant of the slate, so I’m voting No Award in her category.

  25. @Daveon: I am sorely tempted to do so with Interstellar, but probably won’t.

    I just might. My god, what an emotionally overwrought mess of a movie. And, just when you’ve forgiven the last excess and started to enjoy the special effects, a wall of sound from Hans Zimmer’s ‘hit them with bricks’ composition pile hits you like that second-act tsunami.

    @GK Chesterton: And then got called a liar for it.

    The SFnal way of phrasing it is ‘That turns out not to be the case’, as all good Niven & Pournelle fans know.

    Nick in particular was a real ass about my wife.

    Now, why on God’s green earth would Nick Mamatas make unpleasant comments about Frances Alice Chesterton, nee Blogg, b. 1869, d. 1938? But, as someone who’s managed to hold a grudge for only 47 years and counting, I do doff my hat to a true master of endurance.

    Rick Moen

  26. “Oh boy, GK, I get to rub your face on your lies again”

    Not really. So let’s look at what I missed.

    “These clearly show that contra your claims about SP1, Corriea made no claim about authors having to pass a political litmus test, but he did talk about message fic. Then you lied about your own argument (just scroll down)”

    First let’s take a look at your now modified claim. The original claim was in the form of a challenge that someone go through. Now, again, not trying to convince you, but the other readers. Since Nick has now insulted both me and my family I’m going to be a bit thorough and long:
    “If the Hugo Awards have really been dominated by leftist material that prized message over story since the mid-1990s (Brad’s timeline), it should be very simple for members of the Puppy Party to name
    a. one work of fiction
    b. that won a Hugo Award
    c. while foregrounding a left message to the extent that the story was ruined or misshaped
    d. per set of winners since 1995.”

    You’ll notice the two claims are subtly different. In one, we must show that a work was not nominated, but won, while being message fiction, to the extend that Nick’s thinks so (c) from 1995 on (d).

    (c) of course is the first trap. Presuming I _could_ make a list I’d fail here. But what is even more subtle is that it is a straw man which is why Nick shifts in the new challenge that, “Corriea made no claim about authors having to pass a political litmus test, but he did talk about message fic.”

    Now Nick, lies, and claims I don’t respond but this is from the a post that pre-dates his (same link):
    “Or its a straw man. That’s a possibility too. The idea is not that EVERY story has some sort of “upfront” leftist message but that entry to the club requires SJW pieties. So, what you formulated is a mischaracterization. I’m sure someone can put together a rather compelling list but I find the exercise an example of you not listening.”

    Notice that I object to the challenge and that the emphasis is on conformance to pieties. I even “bolded/capped” to make it clear. So then Nick refers to a quote from Larry (
    “Monster Hunter Legion is eligible… I’m just pointing that out. The fact that I write unabashed pulp action that isn’t heavy handed message fic annoys the literati to no end”

    Oh ho! Nick crows see you ARE WRONG! And Larry said so!

    First, we must examine the category error. That “the litterati” dislike Correlia because of message fiction is not exclusive of any claims of the puppies in general. It is a statement that can stand on its own “doing X results in Y”. But has Larry commented about the in-group or even better defined it? After all Nick claims that, “Corriea made no claim about authors having to pass a political litmus test.” Why yes he did (

    “Mr. Martin, up until a week ago, nobody in the upper echelons of fandom or publishing would say that the Hugos belongs to just one tiny convention. They kept claiming to represent the best, most worthy things in our whole genre. And we had stuff that we thought was great and worthy too, but it was ignored or shunned, so why would we go start another award when there was a perfectly good award right there already claiming to represent us too?
    We started doing this 3 years ago. Maybe, if 3 years ago some VIPs had come out and said what you’re saying today, we would have done that instead. “Okay, Sad Puppies 2013 or 2014, you are right, you really are outsiders, and we’re insiders and we want to keep this our thing, so go do your own thing” would have avoided a lot of trouble. But you guys didn’t say that then, so you can’t get mad at us for taking you at your word that you represent everyone, and then get mad at us for not knowing the insider information that you guys claimed didn’t exist until last week!””

    Now this is not to say we are for message fic or that we are indifferent to it. But as I posted originally not EVERY story has to have it. The key is at least making sure you flag your association with the right group. Want an example of that?

    So I had never heard of Nick Mamantas before meeting him here. So this week I’ve been reading about him. He has this handy NPR review here for one of his books ( Now this is a rarefied group, there are going to be plenty here that recognize his name. To you that don’t he’s evidently a very “Out” Trotsyite. I didn’t even know that was still a thing. For those for whom that means nothing think “the communists that want to be the good guys”.

    Now, I believe in free association so Nick can believe in any craziness he wants. However, it is interesting that Nick is up front and brave about his positions. He is so up front and brave that NPR does a review of his book (I like NPR but calling them anything near right-wing would be several orders of silly). Amazon rank for that book? ( #1,234,992.

    That is _not_ a stellar number. But he made it onto a national radio show with a book of that popularity. Now, we in the puppies crowd have often complained about a lack of even reviews of puppy lit. But lo! Puppies are all ranked so low why would NPR want to do a story about one of their releases? (

    Wait what? Well at lest Vox Day the fascist is less popular (

    Why wouldn’t NPR do a story on the more popular book?!?!?!

    Because, dear reader, they don’t fit in. Now, that _is_ NPR’s call. They are a group of free individuals. However, the Hugo claims to be a group of all SF/F fans voting together. Which, it hasn’t been. As anyone looking at the vote tallies will recognize only a small number of people vote even among those going to WorldCon.

    Indeed one would note that this is why he’s been nominated three times for the hugo despite being less popular than the other two. (to add more bite his most popular work has a used value of 1cent while Vox’s is…well…much more…I’ll let you look that up).

    So we have started voting and we aren’t planning on stopping because we’ve been told we can be the in kids too. The in kids though are throwing a tizzy of a fit.

    But let’s not stop here. I’m being called a liar. And of course Nick’s supporters in this group point out that what the puppies are doing is SO SCUMMY. Like SUPER scummy. Like they don’t want to be associated with people who skirt the rules!!!

    Let’s keep in mind that these claims are being made by this man(
    “BOB GARFIELD: So, I mean, I don’t want to be putting words in your mouth, but I think what you’re saying [YOUR WORK PRODUCING TERM PAPERS FOR PAY] is legal but repulsive, sleazy.
    NICK MAMATAS: Oh, sure.
    BOB GARFIELD: Unethical, morally disgraceful. Am I leaving anything out?
    NICK MAMATAS: No, that pretty much sums it up, yeah.”

    So given a choice of allegiances and sleaziness I’ll chose a completely above board get out the vote campaign run by Larry et al over Nick any day of the week. I’m awaiting the denunciations of impropriety to begin.

    PS-> A story of an 18-year old with a middle aged lover and raw sexuality plus magic! It seems Equoid is working on some serious competition. At least that was a monster.

    PPS-> “On the Media” is another NPR program. They seem to positively love him.

  27. “So I had never heard of Nick Mamantas before meeting him here. So this week I’ve been reading about him.”

    No one can read about you, because you’re hiding behind a famous dead writer’s name. Using it to try to smear a person who *is* using his name is quite a profile in courage.

    A skim of his Wikipedia page reveals Nick is 13 years into a career in which he has received nominations for Bram Stoker, World Fantasy Award and Hugo awards, been the fiction editor of Clarksworld and done a bunch of other stuff. I’m not surprised one of his books was reviewed on NPR’s website. Larry Correia and Brad Torgersen have gotten that kind of attention too.

  28. GK,

    As I said before, it really is a pathology with you. You said that from the very beginning, SP1, there were claims about political litmus tests. And as proof…you link to something from April 2015, that is from the aftermath of SP3? You truly are addicted to lying; you can’t help yourself.

    Incidentally, my challenge stretches back to 1995 because Brad, speaking for SP3, claims that the the shift started in 1995!

    ” The awards did not skew exclusively to one particular ideology, nor even a particular style, nor a specific artistic and creative sensibility. Beginning in about 1995, however, the dice rolls began to change.”

    (The irony of that claim appearing in a blog entry with “Straw Men” in the title is delicious.)

    The challenge was also general–I posted it in several places, and someone on metafilter even took me up on it. You decided just to fudge; I called you on it, and the you lied about what you said. You didn’t get it wrong, you didn’t make a mistake, you just lied.

    And when you lie, I’m going to point out that you lied. And whenever you lie, I am going to point out that you lied. I’ll always provide links as well. You need to be shamed into doing so, and then only provide them for…well, not for anything you claimed. Still waiting for that link of me making fun of your wife, liar.

    I’ll also point out when you fudge: LOVE IS THE LAW was never on a radio show–it was on npr’s website, when it was first released. Naturally, books sell most of their copies early on. You also fudged by comparing the rank of my paper book to the rank of two ebooks on amazon. You might want to look at the ebook rank of my more recent title, THE NICKRONOMICON (or hell, even the ebook of LOVE IS THE LAW). What’s 600,000 rank points between friends when you’re looking to slam someone, eh?

    Forget the fact that I make a point of not driving traffic to amazon–usually I link to the publisher,, etc. Would you like to see my numbers leap? Let me know.

    Also, I’ve not been nominated for a Hugo three times, but twice, and both times for editorial work, not fiction. Editorial work that includes the first two years of Clarkesworld, now a major magazine, and of a best-selling book that has since become a feature film.

    Facts, they are stubborn things. I’ll also note that On the Media interviewed me for half an hour and aired all of five minutes. One point I made on the show: the term-paper clients had to sign a waiver saying that they would not present the paper as their own work. And when they’d lie to me, or I thought they would, I’d turn them in.

    Don’t lie to me. Don’t lie about me.

  29. Working my way through Hugo reading, so far I see no need at all to worry about the pros-or-cons of voting “No Award” on the basis of opposing slate campaigns and block voting.

    So far, every Puppy-slate nominee I’ve read has been somewhere between weak and really putrid. None of it deserves an award, and there are a number of slate stories so bad, I’m surprised they even got published. The cream of the Puppy-slate crop so far is a short story I’d rate as “so-so” (and I’m certainly not voting a Hugo for a so-so story) and a novel that, while not awful, was too wooden and uninteresting for me to finish it.

    I’ve now read about half the Puppy-nominated fiction on the ballot. If my “mediocre-to-awful” reaction to the Puppy nominees continues this consistently for the remaining stories on the ballot, in future I’m not even going to bother reading Puppy-nominated works on the ballot before choosing “No Award.”

    Given that these stories are the Puppies’ idea of works that deserve Hugo nominations (or, in some cases, even deserve to be published), then what I’m finding in my reading is that the Puppies’ notions of good stories and good writing are so different from mine, there’s no point in me taking their recommendations seriously after this or again bothering to wade through the stories they recommend. Our taste is much too different for it to be worth my time in years after this to read anything else that their campaign gets onto a ballot.

  30. Talk of physical fights has no place in this discussion. Don’t think you settle anything with your fists. As I told my kids when they were little: USE YOUR WORDS.

  31. @Nick,

    No Nick I didn’t lie. You quite clearly from the quoted material did. You claimed there were no claims of in grouping including the one you link to which I’ll get to. I also of course encourage the readers to read the article linked in which Brad talks about different proportions of political populations. That is, “political litmus tests”. But being a liar, you have a hard time picking up on that.

    As to NPR, it generally broadcasts its essays. Not all of them, and I’m not always sure how to tell. If it wasn’t broadcast I am wrong to mention radio. And no, I was unable to find a review of either Vox Day, “Teddy”, or Correia. I invite the reader to try to find one.

    The reader will also note Nick cites a different book:
    #374,489 (eBook) NICKRONOMICON

    The paperback has no ranking information:

    Notice that both are still below Vox and Larry’s work with the later not even having any reviews.. This is not my opinion. This is a fact.

    I had assumed, and my comment on price refers to, that this was his best selling book:

    Though one does have to smile that @rcade feels the need to defend from insult the man who wrote this lovely piece:

    As to the number of Hugos, Nick is correct that it is two. I misread this as inclusive from the Wikipedia article where I should not have included the last:
    “Clarkesworld’s 2008 issues earned it a nomination for the Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine. Mamatas, along with editor Sean Wallace and publisher Neil Clarke, were named as the magazine’s principals. The three were also nominated for the World Fantasy award for Clarkesworld in the nonprofessional special award category, also for the 2008 issues. Three years after leaving Clarkesworld, Mamatas was nominated for the Hugo award in the category of Best Editor, Long Form in 2010,[6] for his work with the Haikasoru imprint of Viz Media. He co-edited the anthology The Future Is Japanese, which included Ken Liu’s story “Mono No Aware,” the Hugo award winner for Best Short Story in 2012″

    PS-> So…I was going to apologize for the radio but I was responding in line with Nick. So it does seem given Nick’s own words that he was broadcast by NPR:
    “I’ll also note that On the Media interviewed me for half an hour and aired all of five minutes.”

    But what would you expect from a man that not only cheated on papers but turned in the people he cheated for when he decided he didn’t like them.

  32. Heh, it seems like everytime I use his own words to prove him wrong, GK… doesn’t want to talk to me. Amazing that.

  33. @rcade,

    Nick was the one who wanted to name a place, I do believe he mentioned several. If Nick so desires I’m not about to back down. However, that is his choice. He feels pretty free to call out liar and be physical. Why don’t you let him make that call. I feel comfortable using either Words or Deeds if needed. He only has to decide.

    In fact, now that I know the man is an acknowledged and admitted cheat one wonders what he has in mind for anything physical. Poison?

  34. Nick, do you have a link to the person on Metafilter who took up your challenge?

  35. Moderator warning:Anybody who needs to find Nick knows several ways to do it that don’t involve comments here. And Nick can stop making the offer.

    Mr. Kratman may start wondering if he’s the only one running under the caution flag and I assure you he’s not.

  36. “I’m not about to back down.”

    You’re choosing to be completely anonymous. That is as backed down as backed down gets. Quit the bogus macho posturing, “G.K.,” and return to the subject at hand.

  37. Nick, you play gotcha a lot, but the funny thing is that you do it in such laughable bad faith that it is hard to tell if you are doing it seriously, or to drive neutrals against fandom. Do you think that hyperlinks are magical? You do realize they don’t actually demonstrate what you think they do. if GK had lied as much as you say, you wouldn’t have grasped at so many straws in a row in your false testimony.

  38. I’m more or less done with Nick. He’s a self-admitted liar and cheat. You can’t have an argument with that. One of the big differences between the two of us is I _do_ assume people tell the truth. Why? Society doesn’t work well when liars run it. I can trust most people not to run a red light and most clerks to give me proper change.

    Yes, there are cheats. But they are, thankfully, rare. So why not trust (but verify). However, cheats don’t trust people, at all. After all what if the everyone in the world is like them?

    What is really chilling about that article is that he doesn’t back down a hair. Sure he cheated. And he attacked his customers. So what?

  39. ‘return to the subject at hand.’

    If he could do that then he wouldn’t need to deflect it to sales rank of the person arguing instead of their argument (and completely misunderstanding Amazon’s rank as lifetime sales), act like it was an insult when asked to not being up a personal issue into the argument (seriously if your wife is in operating room WTF you’re doing here anyway?), or make personal attacks instead of defending his prior statements.

    Given how these threads go it’ll be most likely a long argument about what the word insult really means instead of proof or refuting any claims against the Hugos. Glad his wife doesn’t have cancer though that’s a terrible diagnosis regardless of type(benefit of the doubt that is real).

    For Puppies looking for fun adventures that didn’t make it on the nomination lists that you can enjoy with no leftists messages I’d highly recommend City of Stairs (the author also wrote the great American Elsewhere) The Girl With All The Gifts (the main character is a female but don’t worry it’s an interesting twist on the zombie genre not any message fic). The Martian is great. Marcus Sakey’s second Brilliance book came out and that has some social themes but nothing outside of what you’ll see in Xmen. Sanderson and Weeks are writing two awesome epic fantasy novels.

    I’m almost with the two year delay folks, there’s a lot of stuff to read.

  40. “What is really chilling about that article is that he doesn’t back down a hair.”

    If you’re going to cyber-stalk him, you should at least do it right.

    Here’s the essay he wrote that got the media talking to him about term paper mills:

    You’re acting like you’ve uncovered some shameful scandal, but the only reason anybody knows he did that job is because he turned it into a funny story.

  41. I never, ever thought I would be nostalgic for the ’70s, when fannish writer feuds primarily occurred among writers who actually had enough standing in the field that their arguments were worthy of attention — Anthony, del Rey, Ellison, Farmer, et al.

    This is another reason why the Holy Trinity of Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein (to which I would also add a secondary trinity of Anderson, Dickson, and Silverberg) were (in Mr. Silverberg’s case, still is) better writers than many of today: they had better than to do with their time than waste it on this kind of behavior and concentrated on their work instead.

  42. Citing public papers of an author isn’t stalking. And yes it was new to me, thank you for the link.

    “You’re acting like you’ve uncovered some shameful scandal”

    Um yes. Cheating is a scandal. Rcade you have now gone straight to the dishonest bin. You have zero moral claims against puppies.


    I answered Nick. I also presented hard numbers. If you have a different set that we should review let me know.

  43. Amazon ranking snapshots are perhaps the least hard numbers in the world.

  44. And Mike, if you immediately blocked anyone who challenged or threatened anyone with physical attacks, there would be absolutely nothing good lost from the debate. When the fist-fight challenges begin, all worthwhile commenting from that point of light has ended.

  45. David: There is no need to further reference that aspect since you agree it will not be missed.

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