An Account of Juliette Wade’s Withdrawal from Sad Puppies 3

Whether everyone on the Sad Puppies 3 slate was asked, and what they were told, has been part of the overall discussion.

Brad R. Torgersen addressed both questions in “Defenders of the nail house” (March 29) and “Sad Puppies 3: were they contacted?” (April 10) and in a comment here on File 770 (February 7).

Juliette Wade is one of the writers who withdrew her story from the Sad Puppies 3 slate, and she has agreed to share how that experience looked from her side.

***

Juliette Wade: Brad approached me on Facebook IM on January 25th as follows:

Brad: Juliette, I would like to include your novelette “Mind Locker” on my Hugo suggestion slate for February.  Can I have your permission to include you?

Me: Yes, thank you so much!

I did not notice the word “slate” or think anything of it at the time. We then discussed his upcoming work duties (army reserve stuff). Then on February 1 the Sad Puppies list was posted, and I was alerted to it by my friend Lillian Csernica. I remember feeling cold and a little sick. I immediately IMed Brad at 6:28 pm. This was the conversation I had with him at that time.

Me: Brad, I am sorry, but if you will be labeling me as a sad puppy I will have to ask you to withdraw me from your list.

Brad: You’ve not been labeled a sad puppy.  This is the :fight puppy-related sadness list” I contacted you about earlier.  You said you were OK with it.

Me: You did not say you were going to be calling it the Sad Puppies list. I feel like you were misrepresenting it. I’m happy to be one of your Hugo recommendations. This is different.

Brad: (shrug) I think your story deserves to make the final ballot.  If you elect to not participate, so be it.

Me: I think I would be more comfortable if I were not on the list. Thanks for thinking of including me.

Brad: You’re off the list.

Me: Thank you.

After that I walked around my house angry for a while thinking about how disingenuous he was about the whole thing.

***

Thanks to Juliette Wade for adding to our understanding about how the slate was assembled, and confirming how her withdrawal was handled.

198 thoughts on “An Account of Juliette Wade’s Withdrawal from Sad Puppies 3

  1. I’m really confused now, Brad. Ms. Wade’s account of her thoughts and feelings doesn’t seem to match what you said earlier.

    Could you please clear all this up by once again explaining for us all what she really meant? Thanks in advance.

  2. “explaining for us all what she really meant?” Yeah. She’s just a woman; it can’t be that hard to figure out what she really meant. Maybe your pal VD can offer some pointers; he’s got a real way with the ladies.

  3. So now, according to GK Chesterton, asking someone to stop lying about you is the same as betraying them and slitting their throat?

    Have you ever considered that if the Puppies had a better case, Brad would not have felt the need to lie about what Juliette said in the first place?

  4. Here’s the top 5 magazines between the 3 short fiction categories from 2004-2014:
    Asimov’s – 53
    Fantasy & science Fiction – 16
    Analog – 14
    Tor.com – 8
    Clarkesworld – 7

  5. Danny S,

    Considering all the various magazines out there publishing in the same formats as Analog, how can 15/50 be considered small potatoes?

  6. “Asimov’s – 53
    Fantasy & science Fiction – 16
    Analog – 14
    Tor.com – 8
    Clarkesworld – 7”

    In other words, Brad’s estimation of a “blind spot” is just as reliable as his communication abilities when enlisting his fellow writers into a politically-driven slate.

  7. Analog’s fifteen nomination was in 2008, in the novel category: Rollback by Robert J. Sawyer (Tor; Analog Oct. 2006-Jan/Feb. 2007).

    Asimov’s is a big favorite of the Hugo crowd, but clearly the voters are keeping up with Analog and nominating what they like. (Indeed, they tend to nominate Asimovsish Analog stories: sentimental stories in a science fiction setting.)

  8. “You can reasonably blame me for the culture war aspects, although my real agenda is by no means limited to that….

    “But I also knew how hopeless those goals are at this present time, because unlike them, I recognize lying, incoherent SJW snakes for exactly what they are.

    “And every day, more and more people see it for themselves and are repulsed.”

    My general observation of American socio-politics indicates to me that those who think of themselves as an oppressed minority fighting back in a culture war appear to be clawing tooth-and-nail against a creature of mist they have created by their own fears of the socially and culturally different.

    (Think of the size of the shadow of Elmer Fudd compared to his actual size in the opening of “What’s Opera, Doc?”)

    This wasn’t socially acceptable in the post-war era until the regressive dragging of bad manners and calculated viciousness back into public discourse by The Shame of Cape Girardeau, who thinks that his high school diploma and college freshman flunk-out status gives him an authoritative insight into The Way Things Ought To Be regardless of reality.

    I allow for exceptions as they do exist, but this seems to me a reasonable understanding of most of those who perceive a “culture war” to be in progress to say and write (this has been an observation of mine I first made in the late ’80s, and the evidence for that observation has never slowed in the rate of its accumulation) and the fact that this unfortunate metaphor of violence is in common use is indicative of the psychological projection occurring among those most prone to perceive it.

    Characterization of those who are the subjects of the projection as less than Human, as in example, “lying, incoherent…snakes”, as a class or group as a whole, seems to be part and parcel of this trope, a peculiar cultural bigotry which also manifests itself as part of projection onto people who don’t hold such an attitude at all.

    The falsehood of such a projection is what external observers see for themselves as the cause of and for repulsion.

  9. Seems like a big nothing to me. Brad asks if he can put her on his slate, Juliette says OK. Juliette learns that Brad’s slate is SP3 (cooty alert) and asks to be removed. Brad removes her. Brad doesn’t tell her his slate is the SP3 slate, not sure why he should, but evidently Juliette has a puppy allergy and should have been informed.

    The only thing that makes this a big deal is that the SP3 slate raised the undead from the swamps of convention and now everyone has to pick a side in the resulting war.

  10. Any puppy-related recruitment that doesn’t start with “Hi, I’m organizing this year’s Sad Puppies campaign, and I would like you to be a part of it” is disingenuous.

  11. There oughta be more eggs around here, considering how many chickens have been by.

  12. Nat Lovin — “Tor.com – 8”

    See how well the Tor octopus hides its control of the SJW Hugo cabal!

  13. Thanks for parsing it the way I parse it, GK. Perhaps I am too nice. It sucks being in a room with people who not only won’t give a man the benefit of the doubt, but will invent any reason — any reason whatsoever — to declare a man a villain.

  14. Perhaps I am too nice.

    You know, when everyone you meet reacts like you’re an asshole, maybe the problem isn’t them.

  15. Brad, your conduct in this thread has rather comprehensively shredded the benefit of the doubt that anybody would have extended you anyway.

  16. Aaron: Here is a perfect example of a comment that consists of nothing but namecalling. Your substantive comments make much better reading.

  17. Re:Brad R. Torgersen on May 3, 2015 at 4:16 pm said:
    chuck: that’s the way it seems, yes.

    —–—
    Well, no, because you both left off the part where you, Brad, claimed that she was lying about her reason for declining. Even after she came to the thread to point out that what she said originally was the truth.

    You say you want people to give you the benefit of the doubt, but what doubt is there? Are you trying to assert that she was lying both times?

  18. “Perhaps I am too nice.”

    Take a step back and consider this. You assumed, wrongly, about the motivations of someone, broadcasted them to the public, were corrected by the person in question, and now think the right course of action is to feel sorry for yourself because of how you have been wronged? That’s is totally messed up.

  19. Mr. Torgerson I’d love to extend the benefit of the doubt, however I haven’t seen any reason to. Insinuations against the Worldcon community and their award that don’t appear to hold up and when asked about any kind of proof of an effort to keep anyone out it has yet to be provided, instead there’s been a lot of dramatic posturing. The recommendation thread for the SP3 slate has a lot of recommendations, however mostly already famous writers (who certainly aren’t being held down) and friends and acquaintances of yours are on the list instead. As for Rabid Puppies 8 spots went to VD’s publishing house. From the outside that looks a lot more like nepotism than an altruistic concern for the genre or awards. And here you intentionally misrepresented another author.

    I wouldn’t consider you a villain by any stretch. I’ve also seen nothing that grants you the benefit of the doubt either, if anything I’d now take anything you say with a grain of salt.

  20. “Perhaps I am too nice.”

    Were you nice to recent Hugo winners who belonged to minority groups when you said it’s an “affirmative action award”?

  21. Because I am about to spend many months away from my family — in a foreign land, for king and country — I don’t have as much time to devote to this thread as I’d prefer. The situation with Juliette got sideways, and it’s a drag that she’s upset. But then again, Juliette and I were always a million miles apart on most political issues. Both of us (from what I can tell) have gravitated in different political directions, within the field. Maybe she’s gone so far away she now thinks I’m literally bad news? Maybe she’s simply got a lot of people talking into her ear about me being bad news? Regardless, the people in this field who actually know me, have stuck with me. High and low. Not always in agreement, but always in the spirit of friendship and camaraderie.

    The SP3 run-up was done openly, and with no obfuscation. It hasn’t spared me the lash of the critics. But then SP3 was never about pleasing or placating the critics. It was about making sure the fans (small f) got to have a say in the Fan (big f) award. Not every Fan has appreciated it. But then, in a democracy, you don’t always get to have what you want. I tend to assume most adults realize this is how democracy works: you don’t always get to have things your way. The Hugos had gotten entirely too sleepy and predictable. We therefore buzzed the tower. Some people have cheered the effort. Others have harangued it.

    I think Mike Glyer is a critic, but he’s at least tried to play the role of newspaperman during this thing; a chronicler. With this thread, he chronicles an error. It was an honest error. And for all the contention it’s stirred up, as others have noted, it was an error that was a) immediately corrected with b) no verbal nastiness whatsoever. I was bummed to lose Juliette, but I wasn’t going to keep her on a list if she wanted off.

    Again, I’d like the field’s supposed top-most award to actually reflect some of the components of said field; and Juliette’s a good one. So are Arlan and Jim Butcher and many others. I cast a wide net — based on various input — and some of the fish wanted to be put back into the water. I said, “sure thing,” and that was the end of it.

    At least until people began to insinuate sinister plots and nefarious purposes.

  22. I certainly wouldn’t suggest that the archaic definition of nice ( Fastidious; scrupulous ) fits Mr Torgerson so well either. But going back to middle English or to the Latin origins certainly seems to hit paydirt.

  23. Yeah, but Brad is insinuating that Scalzi is gay in a totally non-homophobic way.

  24. “The SP3 run-up was done openly, and with no obfuscation.”

    No, it wasn’t. You took suggestions publicly on your blog, then didn’t use a lot of those suggestions. Instead, per Correia, you put non-suggested works on your slate after private discussion with authors calling themselves the Evil League of Evil (you, Correia, Wright, Sarah Hoyt and Vox Day).

  25. Brad, I think that it’s completely fair to say that your initial approach to Juliette (and perhaps others) contained an honest error – that you wanted them to participate in the Sad Puppy slate, but as this was not made explicit in your initial approach, some of them didn’t realise that and consequently, were upset and / or withdrew.

    That’s an error.

    You ignoring Juliette’s own account, and ascribing motivations to her that were at least not present in that account, or at worse *contrary* to that account however, is far more egregious. Doubling down when others point that out to you – including people who are, to you, total strangers makes it worse. Given that you still have not addressed it, this now seems more wilful rather than erroneous.

    You say that we’re not giving you any doubt. I would ask, given that you’ve still not apologized or regretted putting words in Juliette’s mouth, why should we in this instance?

  26. Brad: having done my bit for God and Country (US Navy, 1989-1994) I find it frankly insulting that you are trying to hide behind your deployment.

    I also find it frankly appalling that somebody you considered a friend told you to “stop putting words in my mouth” and you have not had the decency to apologize.

    I am continually amazed at how poorly you accept criticism, and how unwilling you seem to be to accept personal responsibility for your actions. I am boggled at how you have survived in the military with these attitudes.

  27. @Aaron,

    “You know, when everyone you meet reacts like you’re an asshole, maybe the problem isn’t them.”

    See, I don’t think he’s an asshole. Therefore, it isn’t him.

  28. I am honestly appalled at what I’ve seen here. I really thought Torgersen was “the nice one”.

    I admit, hanging around people like “GK Chesterton” does make lots of things look “nice” by comparison, but I’m, just — wow. I don’t get the impression that he realizes, even now, what the heck Ms. Wade was talking about, and why she’s — quite justifiably IMHO — wroth with him. This crosses the line for me, from “amusing train wreck” to “broken bones and blood train wreck.”

  29. “The SP3 run-up was done openly, and with no obfuscation.”

    As we can all see from merely reading Ms. Wade’s remarks in this thread, this is a bold-faced lie.

  30. You know. The more I read Wade’s response the more she comes off as an jerk and not someone to have a drink with.

    1.) The evil word slate is mentioned
    2.) SHE doesn’t notice it
    3.) She is _enthused_
    4.) Then she was alerted of the badness by friend Lillian Csernica
    5.) At this point she demands that a guy who is her friend remove her name
    6.) He does immediately
    7.) She dumps on him further in public
    8.) She does it again and makes the breakup public and spiteful

    This is, to put it mildly, the type that will die alone because the people that are most likely to stand by her in a storm, like Brad, get targeted over the people attempting to cause problems.

    Not to mention it is massive levels of unprofessional (EWWW BRAD HAS COOTIES!!!!!!)

    Do not become friends with people that will, when you are trying to defend them, go after you. If they don’t want to be in your club never let them come by again.

  31. @Science,

    “Ms. Wade was talking about, and why she’s — quite justifiably IMHO — wroth with him”

    As she admits it is because she can’t read. He used the dirty word.

  32. @GK, not quite…

    1. Juliette thought “hey, nice, a recommendation.”
    2. Juliette discovered “Oh, crap, I’m being positioned as a football in a game that’s not mine.”
    3. Juliette dropped out.
    4. People started making up shit about Juliette.

    But, hey, what do I know? I’ve only been discussing this whole mishegas with Juliette since Mike published her report.

  33. I love GK’s “the people that are most likely to stand by her in a storm, like Brad”, when the description should be more like “most likely to be there to help you evacuate from a house fire. After they splashed some gasoline around and started playing with matches.”

    I have little doubt that Brad is a loyal person, and one who takes pride in his loyalty, but he is starting to look like the WWI officer who is loyal to his soldiers for so long as they obey orders, but if they give in to their shell shock, or question the need for the war, he’ll have them shot for cowardice or treason. With great regret, naturally.

  34. GK, your interpretation of events, as well as your own comments here are more emblematic of someone trying to create an enemies list.

    Dude, maybe you need to take a break?

  35. ‘The SP3 run-up was done openly, and with no obfuscation.’

    Well aside from from the obfuscation as pointed out here. Plus as mentioned the nominations for your slate appear to be more nepotistic than altruistic and that hasn’t been explained. Nor has any of the accusations leveled at the Fans been backed up. That’s not exactly clear.

    ‘But then SP3 was never about pleasing or placating the critics. It was about making sure the fans (small f) got to have a say in the Fan (big f) award’

    Please elucidate, how did Worldcon ever stop or otherwise try and prevent the (f)ans from ever being (F)ans? Hell what separates these folk? I’m a fan of Correia’s work, Butcher’s, as wells as what you’d term literary SF/F. Am I a bif F or a little f? Because I’d rather you take the F off, I’m just a SF/F fan. How were fans of any clever capitalization ever prevented from having the same equal say as every Worldcon voter?

    I understand that there’s absolutely no need to respond to me. However as someone who claims to represent folks who like the more pulp SF/F, which I do, you do not come off as clear as you assume so.

    ‘But then, in a democracy, you don’t always get to have what you want. I tend to assume most adults realize this is how democracy works: you don’t always get to have things your way.’

    Man if that was true than Sad Puppies wouldn’t need to exist! I mean isn’t the whole point is that you believe (f)ans aren’t getting what they want in the Worldcon voting democracy and so need to band together to over-ride it?

    That’s not a villainous statement, coming from any member of Sad Puppies this is pure comedy. I invite the kennels to absorb your words of wisdom; in a democracy where everyone can vote, you might not always get what you want. Adults understand this.

  36. Wow.

    Brad, if you’re going to actually apologize, probably apologizing for putting words in Juliette’s mouth would be good. Because until you do that, it just doesn’t look real.

    And if you want to be all open and transparent, being open and transparent about the names of the people who winnowed down the suggestions (where they didn’t just throw them out entirely) to make the SP3 Slate would be good. Who *did* put John C. Wright on the Sad Puppy Slate three times to “increase diversity”? Who *did* put Mike Resnick on the Sad Puppy Slate to “get new blood” into the Hugos?

    It wouldn’t take you that long to type the names. Inquiring minds want to know.

  37. “Correia also likes women. We’re not sure about Scalzi, on that count. If you know what I mean.”

    This is a particularly distressing comment given the emphasis that puppies have put on how their nominees crossed the ideological, racial, & gender spectrum & thus prove their own lack of prejudice. It would perhaps be one thing if these were children, but Mr. Torgersen is an adult who is the leader of a campaign.

  38. I’m sure it would be a surprise to his wife and daughter if they discovered that Scalzi didn’t like women.

  39. “Not always in agreement, but always in the spirit of friendship and camaraderie” How unfortunate that you seem incapable of that in any arena outside your personal relationships.

  40. @GK:

    1.) The evil word slate is mentioned
    2.) SHE doesn’t notice it
    3.) She is _enthused_

    And why not?

    4.) Then she was alerted of the badness by friend Lillian Csernica

    Yes; she found out that Brad was using her.

    5.) At this point she demands that a guy who is her friend remove her name
    6.) He does immediately

    OK, so far, so good, if more than a little slanted.

    7.) She dumps on him further in public

    What is supposed to be “dumping” on him? Saying that she thought he was disingenuous?

    And “further”? When did she even do anything that could be characterized as “dumping” on him prior to this?

    8.) She does it again and makes the breakup public and spiteful

    Aren’t you leaving out (7a), where her “friend” posts comments that make false claims about her, put words in her mouth, and mischaracterizes her as being “afraid” of those he deems his own enemies ?

    And it’s creepy that you make it sound like Ms. Wade is/was supposed to act like Torgersen’s demure girlfriend. Are you sure that Rabid Puppies aren’t misogynists?

  41. See, I don’t think he’s an asshole.

    Well, given that you are unable to avoid lying about the comments made in this very thread, I think that you’re probably not a reliable witness.

  42. Brad @5:37:
    Both of us (from what I can tell) have gravitated in different political directions, within the field. Maybe she’s gone so far away she now thinks I’m literally bad news? Maybe she’s simply got a lot of people talking into her ear about me being bad news?

    Maybe you should stop assuming motivations for her?

    Regardless, the people in this field who actually know me, have stuck with me. High and low. Not always in agreement, but always in the spirit of friendship and camaraderie.

    Okay, this is messed up. This is “I know who my real friends are” but with prettier phrasing, and comes off as a snarky jab at the person you were talking about earlier in the paragraph, Ms. Wade.

    The situation with Juliette got sideways, and it’s a drag that she’s upset.

    Yes, we all know how annoying this is for you. If only she could just stop being upset, then there wouldn’t be a problem here.

  43. Of all the weird and unpleasant threads we’ve had on this, this really does take the biscuit 🙁

  44. @Daveon:

    It’s astonishing and sad, isn’t it. Really really revelatory. But sad. 🙁

  45. “Because I am about to spend many months away from my family — in a foreign land, for king and country…”

    May I then suggest behaving like an officer and a gentleman, and stop with the acts of indecorum?

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