Will the Last Puppy to Leave the Planet Please Shut Off the Sun? 5/14

aka The Puppy Who Sold the Moon

The field for today’s royal rumble includes John C. Wright, Eric Flint, Vox Day, Tom Knighton, Spacefaring Kitten, Wayne Borean, Lis Carey, Lisa J. Goldstein, T.C. McCarthy, Kevin Standlee, Alexandra Erin, Thomas A. Mays, Brandon Kempner, Rick Moen, Peace Is My Middle Name, Bruce Baugh and Damien G. Walter. (Title credit to File 770 contributing editors of the day Whym and Rev. Bob.)

John C. Wright

”Suggested Reading for Sad Puppy Backstory” – May 14

Some of you came in to this theater late, and did not catch the first act.

For those of you puzzled or dazed or disgusted with the goings-on, allow me to provide a partial (and admittedly partial) list of the backstory on Puppy Related Sadness.

From Larry Correia you can get links to his original announcements of Sad Puppies 1,2,and 3. Allow me, at the risk of seeming egomaniacal, of listing only my own contributions to the movement and the columns leading up to it.

[Post includes around a dozen selected links.]


Eric Flint

“And Again On The Hugo Awards” – May 14

[Again, just a small excerpt of a long and wide-ranging post.]

I think one side in this dispute is wrong—that’s the side championed by Brad and Larry. I think that, not because I think the Hugo awards don’t have a lot of problems—I do, and I explained those at length in my first essay—but because their analysis of the problem is so wrong as to be downright wrong-headed. But I don’t think they pose a mortal threat to social justice, western civilization, science fiction or even the Hugo awards themselves.

 Why did they launch this brawl and keep pursuing it? Well, I’ve always been a devotee of Napoleon’s dictum: “Never ascribe to malevolence what can be adequately explained by incompetence.” I don’t think there was anything involved except that, driven by the modern American right’s culture of victimization—they are always being persecuted; there’s a war on white men, a war on Christmas (no, worse! a war on Christians themselves!), blah blah blah—they jumped to the conclusion that the reason authors they like weren’t getting Hugo awards or even nominations was because of the Great Leftwing Conspiracy against the righteous led by unnamed Social Justice Warriors—presumably being shuttled around the country in their nefarious plots in black helicopters—and off they went.

If they’d simply said: “We think the Hugos have gotten too skewed against popular authors in favor of literary authors,” there’d have still been a pretty ferocious argument but it never would have reached this level of vituperation.

 But simply stating a problem wasn’t good enough for them. No, following the standard modern right-wing playbook, SOMEBODY MUST BE TO BLAME.

 Enter… the wicked SJWs! (Whoever the hell they are. They’re to blame, dammit.)


Vox Day at Vox Popoli

“Islands in a sea of rhetoric” – May 14

I stopped commenting at File 770 as it proved to be another exercise in demonstrating the truth of Aristotle’s dictum about those who cannot be instructed. Give them dialectic and they shamelessly attempt to pick it apart, some honestly, most dishonestly, while constantly declaring that any errors or falsehoods on their part are irrelevant. Give them rhetoric to meet them at their level and they either cry about it or concoct pseudo-dialectic to explain why it’s not valid.

VD: SJWs always lie. SJW: I told the truth once back in 2007. See, you’re totally wrong. Your whole argument is disproved. You are a bad person. DISQUALIFIED!

But the ongoing Hugo coverage still makes for interesting reading, particularly as the few remaining commenters possessing intellectual integrity one-by-one throw up their hands and stop trying to force the relevant facts through the SJW’s cast-iron skulls. A pair of neutrals recounted typical experiences, as one of them juxstaposed his treatment at various Puppy sites versus SF-SJW Central:


Tom Knighton

“One problem with the Hugos that will never be solved?” – May 14

I’m sorry, but less than 50 votes got nominations on the ballot?  With such low numbers getting a work nominated, you can tell that there just aren’t that many people nominating.  This puts the fate of the Hugos in the hands of a few, which makes it possible for small groups to have a disproportional impact on the overall Hugos.  Let’s be honest, it’s why Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies were so effective.  Put those exact same groups into a pool of millions, and you’d never notice their impact.

However, back to the subject at hand, you have a handful of people who are essentially deciding who gets nominated for the Hugos, and if they don’t read something, it’s not getting nominated.  What if that handful hasn’t read the Best Book Ever Written yet?  Well, guess who isn’t getting a Hugo nomination?

That’s what almost happened with Three Body Problem this year.  The Puppies just hadn’t read it yet, so it didn’t make either slate.  It’s probably happened a dozen times previously, it’s just that this time there’s far more scrutiny being paid to the process.


Spacefaring Kitten on Spacefaring, Extradimensional Happy Kittens

“Disagreeing With Brad” – May 14

Because I so thoroughly disagree with Sad Puppy advocates, I’ve been thinking about doing a fisking of some essential Puppy advocate post. Fisking is a thing Larry Correia does sometimes in his blog, and as far as I’ve been able to decipher, what it means is a mean-spirited rebuttal of everything somebody else has written elseweb, line by line. Generally, it seems to involve a great deal of calling other people morons and idiots, but I’ll try to do it without the nasty parts, because I have no desire to be nasty.

An opportunity presented itself when Brad R. Torgersen published a blog post earlier today. In it, he says a lot of things that I don’t agree on. That let’s us, well, disagree.


Wayne Borean on Zauberspiegel International

“Hugo Gernsback Still Causing Controversy” – May 15

The Hugo Awards have lost their relevance. You might argue with me about the date I picked (1985), or my view of the Hugos, but you cannot argue with me about the demographics of fandom. We are a bunch of grey haired old folks, and the younger generation isn’t rushing to sit at our feet in awe for some reason.

To fix the problem we have to expand the Hugo Awards, and encourage younger people to get involved.

Yes, I am aware that I’m probably going to really annoy a lot of people by saying this, but we brought this on ourselves. We’ve been too self centered, for far too long.


Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library

“The Day the World Turned Upside Down, by Thomas Olde Heuvelt (author), Lia Velt (translator)” – May 14

The story is competently written, but it’s the worst sort of “literary” fictions: Nothing needs to make any sense, and the protagonist is not someone I’m inclined to care about at all, for good or ill. I don’t care what happens to him.


Adult Onset Atheist

“SNARL: Totaled” – May 14

I liked this story. I am not using “liked” as a euphemism for “reading this did not make me sick”. This story is a worthy Hugo nominee; the first story that has earned that description from amongst what I have so far read of this year nominees. Before I get into what is right with this story I should point out the a couple issues. This story is told through the juxtaposition of communications, but is recalled in near real time to the reader who does not exist in the story. The reader must carefully examine the types of communication; where it originates, how it is read, how the information is stored, even what type of images are implied by the mechanism of communication. However, when it comes to the story itself the reader is expected to unquestioningly act as an omnipotent recording device.


Lisa J. Goldstein on theinferior4

“The Hugo Ballot, Part 9: Novelettes” – May 14

[“Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium” by Gray Rinehart] is so slight, in fact, it could have been about half its size.  The first section, where Keller asks a Peshari artist to make him a tombstone and the artist refuses, might have been cut, and there are other unnecessary parts as well.  (The section gives us some important information about Keller and the Peshari, but that information could be presented in other ways.)  I actually like the idea of studying an enemy’s myths in order to defeat them, but I don’t think the story manages to use it to full advantage.



Kevin Standlee on Fandom Is My Way of Life

“Fandom Is A Pot-Luck Dinner” – May 13

My metaphor is that Fandom is a Pot-Luck Dinner. We have lots of acquaintances, we all like to eat, and we decide to hold a big pot-luck dinner where we can share our favorite dishes and socialize. We have so many friends and friends-of-friends that none of us owns a barn big enough to hold everyone, so we have to rent the community center. None of us is wealthy enough to do that on our own, so we ask everyone coming to not only bring a dish, but also to kick in part of the cost of renting the hall, plus the tables, chairs, etc. We’re not running a restaurant, and we’re not making a profit, just covering the cost of putting on the event. Some of us volunteer to schlep tables and chairs, others volunteer to wash dishes, and so forth. Everyone brings something. That means some of the food is stuff I personally like, and other stuff I hate. But that’s okay: I eat what I like, and leave the rest for those who like green bean casserole.

Somewhere along the way, we got the idea of voting among ourselves for what the best dishes were. (“Best Appetizer,” “Best Main Course,” “Best Dessert”) And we started holding this big pot-luck in different places so as to share the fun with our far-away friends who couldn’t necessarily make the trip to Our Fair City.

Well, now we’ve got people who started coming to the pot-luck, paying the share of the hall rental, and are angry that we’ve been choosing things they personally hate to eat, and have decided that they want to knock over all of the tables with food they dislike and insist that the rest of us eat that stuff that they personally like, because they say so. It should not be a surprise to them that the rest of us start saying, “I don’t think we want to invite you anymore; you’re making the rest of us very uncomfortable by your anti-social behavior.” They respond with variations of, “I paid my cover charge to your restaurant, and you’re responsible for feeding me things that I like, and to not serve food I don’t like!” and they don’t understand why that response alternately baffles or infuriates the rest of us.


Alexandra Erin on Blue Author Is About To Write

“The Barker and the Big Tent” – May 14

A pair of burly roustabouts flanked each of the gates. As Jake watched, a couple of people were roughly turned away from one. The bouncers’ faces were murderous, while the people they sent packing just looked scared. All the lines got shorter as people saw this and left in apparent disgust or, in some cases, fear.

“Well, lad, that’s where we let everyone in,” the barker said, then repeated, “Everyone is welcome in the Big Tent.” He cupped his hands over his mouth and shouted, “Come one, come all, to the Big Tent! If you believe that any show is a good show as long as it’s entertaining, this is the place for you!”

“So, who were those people, then?” Jake asked.

“Gatekeepers,” the barker said.

“No, I mean the people your gatekeepers turned away.”

Our gatekeepers?” the barker said. He let out a loud, raucous laugh, slapping his knee. “We don’t have gatekeepers, son! This is the Big Tent you’re talking about, and everyone’s welcome in the Big Tent! No, those nice gentlemen are there to keep the gatekeepers out.


Thomas A. Mays in a comment on File 770 – May 14

Just a point of order here. I am not “one of the gentlemen on the other side” as Chris Gerrib put it. I have no dog in this hunt. Chris has admitted that he originally had me confused with James May when he called me one of the louder voices on Brad Torgerson’s blog, but it brought him to my book, A Sword Into Darkness. Yeah, a sale!. I’m glad he enjoyed it somewhat, and as it was intended as an homage to some of the mil and hard SF I grew up with, I do understand his charge that it may seem “recycled” or “trope-ish” (though I and my fans don’t necessarily agree). What I don’t understand is why he keeps copying, spreading, or reposting this review around with the misleading intro. It’s a free ‘Net, so he can do as he pleases, but it seems to suggest he has more ideological axes to grind than I do. For the record, I’m a middle of the road guy and a newbie to this industry. I can see and appreciate both perspectives, but believe the rhetoric and vitriol folks keep injecting into the “discussion” may be actively preventing a fair resolution to the issues at hand rather than expediting that resolution. I myself would have loved to have gotten the recognition of being selected for a non-ideological Puppy slate before it all blew up. Now? I get how the anti-puppies feel about the recommendation slate perhaps skewing results, though I’m reserving judgment on whether or not it was bloc voting until after the ballots are revealed. I will not have any part of the No Award movement though, and I’m about halfway through my reading list. I’m looking forward to the Hugos, and I’m looking forward to seeing how Sad Puppies 4 responds to the criticisms of SP3. For all those who wanna check out my non-nominated, but much referred to novel A Sword Into Darkness, it’s for sale now on Amazon and Smashwords. Take care, Tom Mays


Brandon Kempner on Chaos Horizon

“Hugo Award Nomination Ranges, 2006-2015, Part 4” – May 13

Maybe we don’t want to know how the sausage is made. The community is currently placing an enormous amount of weight on the Hugo ballot, but does it deserve such weight? One obvious “fix” is to bring far more voters into the process—lower the supporting membership cost, invite other cons to participate in the Hugo (if you invited some international cons, it could actually be a “World” process every year), add a long-list stage (first round selects 15 works, the next round reduces those 5, then the winner), etc. All of these are difficult to implement, and they would change the nature of the award (more voters = more mainstream/populist choices). Alternatively, you can restrict voting at the nominating stage to make it harder to “game,” either by limiting the number of nominees per ballot or through a more complex voting proposals.


Rick Moen in a comment on File 770 – May 13

Con Chair: What happen?
SMOF: Somebody set up us the tail.
Operator: We get spoor.
Con Chair: What!
SMOFr: Main piddle turn on.
Con Chair: It’s You!!
Dogs: How are you, fandom!! All your Hugo are belong to us. You are on the way to SJWdom.
Con Chair: What you say!!
Dogs: You have no chance to nominate make your time. Ha Ha Ha Ha ….
SMOF: Con Chair!!
Con Chair: Take off every “Noah”!! You know what you doing. Move “Noah”. For great justice.


Peace Is My Middle Name in a comment on File 770 – May 13

It was a dark and stormy mutt; the rage fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of whinge which swept up the streets (for it is in Spokane that our scene lies), rattling along the hotel-ballrooms, and fiercely agitating the skiffy flames of the fans that struggled against the darkness.


Bruce Baugh in a comment on File 770 – May 13

Toward the end of a stormy summer afternoon, with the sun finally breaking out under ragged black rain clouds, Castle Worldcon was overwhelmed and its population destroyed.

Until almost the last moment the factions among the fans were squabbling as to how Destiny properly should be met. The SMOFs of most prestige and account elected to ignore the en­tire undignified circumstance and went about their normal pursuits, with neither more nor less punctilio than usual. A few CHORFs, des­perate to the point of hysteria, took up weapons and prepared to resist the final assault. Others still, perhaps a quarter of the total population, waited passively, ready—almost happy—to expiate the sins of fandom.

In the end death came uniformly to all; and all extracted as much satisfaction in their dying as this essentially graceless process could afford. The letter hacks sat turning the pages of their beautiful zines, or discussing the qualities of a century-old essence, or fondling a fa­vorite Powers cover. They died without deigning to heed the fact. The hot-heads raced up the muddy slope which, outraging all normal rationality, loomed above the parapets of Worldcon. Most were buried under sliding rubble, but a few gained the ridge to blog, hack, tweet, until they themselves were shot, crushed by the half-alive power-wagons, hacked or stabbed. The contrite waited in the classic pos­ture of gafiation, on their knees, heads bowed, and perished, so they believed, by a process in which the Puppies were symbols and fannish sin the reality. In the end all were dead: letterhacks, actifen, faans in the lounges; dealers in the dealer rooms. Of all those who had inhabited Worldcon, only the media fans survived, creatures awkward, gauche and raucous, oblivious to pride and faith, more concerned with the wholeness of their hides than the dignity of their con.


Rick Moen in a comment on File 770 – May 13

No one would have believed in the first years of the twenty-first century that the SFF world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences stranger than fen’s and yet as demented as his own; that as fen busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a fan with a mimeograph machine might Letter of Comment about the transient mundanes that swarm and wander in a convention hotel lobby. With infinite complacency fen went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over genre. It is possible that the mundanes in the convention hotel do the same … Yet, across the gulf of the Internet, minds that are like unto our canines, intellects energetic and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this fandom with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us. — Not Entirely H.G. Wells, Either

488 thoughts on “Will the Last Puppy to Leave the Planet Please Shut Off the Sun? 5/14

  1. Sigh. The formatting for that is a little dodgy. The chorus is two lines. There are four verses.

    The original song is about a ship that was crushed in ice not too long after.

  2. Thanks for the explanations. The case for John Scalzi being an evil overlord seems a bit thin.

  3. In super amusing news, Theadore Beale is now charging 20 bucks a month to listen to him to talk to people for a couple of hours.

    He could make so much more charging people for not listening to him.

  4. ” Here’s the truth. Yes, there are people in the world who are insufferably holier-than-thou when it comes to right conduct and righteous thinking. Yes, there are people in the world who will shriek at anyone whom they believe to have engaged in any sort of transgression of proper social norms—and they invariably have the longest and most tender toes in the world. It seems no one can help but step on them, no matter what you say or do.
    To which the proper response is simple. You ignore them and go on your way. And you can do this because outside of a few departments in some universities they don’t amount to a hill of beans. They may make a lot of noise—if you insist on staying in their vicinity, at least—but they have no power worth worrying about.”

    Eric Flint absolutely nailed it here. I just wanted to say that.

  5. I am strongly persuaded that xdpaul is a Vox sock. HIs obsessions a near identical match with VD/TB, which is not the case with the other puppies. While they will often parrot talking points, they don’t usually have such a one-to-one correspondence with VD/TB obsessions. And they will often hare off on one of their own passions. xdpaul never seems to. There’s also something about the pattern of his posts and responses that seems very VD/TB to me, but that’s more subjective, and like most humans, I try to extract patterns from randomness.

    In regards to the differing prose styles, I would submit that if you weren’t a good writer, the best way to disguise your style would be to introduce some grammar and spelling errors, and to simplify your sentence structure a bit. It’s much harder to come up with a fully formed voice.

    And if/when the denial comes, probably with the claim that “SJWs always lie,” I would like to point out that while I am certain, it is possible that I am mistaken.

  6. The Puppy’s Guide to the Galaxy
    The Doghouse at the End of the Universe
    Life, the Puppyverse and Everything
    So Long, and Thanks for All the Kibble
    Mostly Wormless
    And Another Puppy…

  7. If we’re talking averages over time (which is silly):

    LOCK-IN Bookscanned ~10,500 is hardcover since August 2014.
    REDSHIRTS Bookscanned ~18,150 since June of 2012.

    So the LOCK-IN hardcover is selling, **on average** (which the foolish infantile “hard numbers” guy xdpaul brought up for no reason other than he was losing the actual argument) twice as well per month as REDSHIRTS, Scalzi’s prior hardcover release.

    That’s not a sign of a career in decline, but one experiencing a new peak.

    Of course, to speak of an average is meaningless, especially as REDSHIRTS had a trade paper release six months after the HC release—though the HC is still in print and still sells a few copies every week as captured by Bookscan.

  8. @Lydy:

    I disagree. It’s entirely possible for someone to parrot talking points without being the same person, especially if that person hangs around where the talking points are developed and promptly trots them over here.

    And while it is, I suppose, possible for a reasonably talented author to use two very different “voices”, especially if their day-to-day voice is itself a fictional persona, there are certain aspects of the writings of those two individuals, on both superficial and deep levels, which do not coincide, in my opinion.

  9. Well, I heard that if you turn out all the lights, face a mirror and say Scalzi’s name three times, VD will pop his head out of the mirror and say, “Scalzi is overrated! Pageviews! Aristotle!”, and then proceed to drain the blood of everyone in the house.

    …I’m almost tempted to upgrade to attending Sasquan membership, just to see if we could do this in the Con Suite — and pull a maneuver where we trap his reflection in another mirror, duct tape the two facing each other, tip the whole thing into a lead-lined casket, weld it shut, put it in a 55 gallon drum, fill the drum with concrete, and drop it into the Pacific Ocean.

    Also, too:

    In the puppy’s cry
    No sign can foretell
    How soon it must STFU

    Over-ripe puppies
    The ELOE
    Is full of regret

    Over the summery
    WorldCon, the puppies howl in rage
    With no Hugos to own

  10. Also, I don’t think xdpaul is a sockpuppet. He’s just someone with a weak personality who glommed onto someone with a stronger personality. If it hadn’t been Beale xdpaul decided to use to fill in the gaps in his own psyche, it might have been Scalzi instead!

  11. Alexvdl: “In super amusing news, Theadore Beale is now charging 20 bucks a month to listen to him to talk to people for a couple of hours.”

    How odd. Surely the much bigger market is in all the people who’d pay him $20 a month to shut up and go away?

  12. Peace @7:41 am :: Magnificent!! “The Bonnie Ship The Diamond” is a favorite song so it was no trouble to reformat the lines in my head as I heard Judy Collins sing it. 🙂

  13. Old, deep fandom dance
    Puppies jump in for Hugos
    Stumbling sound of cries

  14. @clif I’ve been really impressed by his pieces on it. I went over to Amazon to put it on my wish list and, lo and behold, 1632 appears to be free for Kindle, FYI for anyone. Maybe it always is. But I was pleased.

  15. Will, just picked up my free copy to. I think the real bargain is the leather bound edition for thirty bucks.

  16. @alexvdl That sounds great. We seem to be headed that way, don’t we? The texts are free, the objects worth having cost more. But that does sound like a bargain when a regular hardcover is–I haven’t bought on in so long–$24.99 or something?

  17. @Will, it does seem like we’re heading that way. I’ve started doing things like pre-ordering LE versions of books from authors I love. It’s nice because most of the time it comes with the digital version with it. Sub Press is really good with that sort of thing.

  18. xdpaul, my favorite author can beat your favorite author. Sales of her books average 1 million per year over a 24 year span.

    Her name is Diana Gabaldon — and had I realized her latest novel was eligible for this year’s Hugos I would have nominated it, just to watch puppy heads explode.

  19. @Lori So THAT’s who The One Who Can’t Be Named was making fun of recently. Between him and you, I am definitely going to check her out as well. Thanks!

    PS I don’t think TOWCBN’s head can explode. He’s like Max Headroom. But there’d be plenty of others to watch, and it would be fun.

  20. @Will, @clif,
    Eric Flint is the person mainly behind the idea of the Baen Free Library, including making the initial book in a series free in ebook format after it’s been out for a while. I think he has made several of his books from different series freely available. He is also as referred to in passing in his latest post, one of the people in favour of ebooks being DRM-free and has had a lot of effect in making that happen at his publisher.

  21. Alexvdl said: “Also, John Scalzi lives in America, and Theodore Beale can’t live in America. Ergo, they’re probably not the same person.”

    I suspect that was a trap–they were going to get Beale to come to America simply to prove that he wasn’t Scalzi, only to have him walk into the waiting clutches of the IRS.

  22. Now my pups are all o’erthrown,
    And what sads I have’s mine own,
    Which is most faint: now, ’tis true,
    I must receive awards from you,
    Or sent to Spokane. Let me not,
    Since I have my Hugo got,
    And pardon’d the SJWs, dwell
    In this bare website by your spell;
    But release me from Amazons,
    With the help of your book bombs.
    Gentle praise in your emails,
    Must fill, or else my project fails.

  23. “Her name is Diana Gabaldon — and had I realized her latest novel was eligible for this year’s Hugos I would have nominated it, just to watch puppy heads explode.”

    You believe only Puppies head would explode if Gabaldon was nominated?

  24. Thanks for the recommendations!

    For each Pup kills the thing he loves,
    By each let this be heard,
    Some do it with a crummy book,
    Some with a whiny word…

  25. I would have no problem with Gabaldon winning a Hugo (or having won a Hugo since her first book was some years ago).

  26. My two favourite English romantic poets:

    “Who are these coming to the hugo ceremony?
    To what exalted stage, inscrutable MC,
    Leadst thou that puppy, barking at the skies,
    And all his silken flanks with blog-posts drest?”

    “They walk in anger, like the nights,
    Of nominations lost and awardless lives;
    And all that’s worst of Internet fights,
    Meet in their aspect and their eyes;
    Thus angered by that lack of Hugos,
    Which heaven on the SJWs bestows.”

    (I messed up Byrons rhyme scheme a bit to make it fit)

  27. **delurks**

    What are the paws that clutch, what scratches grow
    Out of this wordy rubbish? Son of Puppy
    You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
    A heap of broken Hugos, where the slates beat,
    And the dead story gives no shelter, the novella no relief
    And the dry novelette no water.
    There is this SJW under this Red rock
    (Come in under the SJW of this Red rock)
    And I will show you something different from either
    Your SJW at morning striding behind you
    Or your SJW at evening striding to meet you
    I will show you fear in a handful of slates.

    My apologies to TS Eliot.

    **resumes lurking**

  28. You believe only Puppies head would explode if Gabaldon was nominated?

    I don’t think anyone else would care.

  29. Anthem for Doomed Puppies

    What Hugos for those who bark as puppies?
    Only the righteous anger of the fans,
    Only the massive win for Noah Ward,
    Can pay dividends for their song and dance.

  30. Eh, if I want to keep Wilfred Owen’s metrum, that first line should read:

    “What Hugo Awards for those who bark as puppies?”

    Mike, can you still fix that? Or is this correction enough?

  31. Repent SJW said the puppyman!

    One thing I’ve been thinking about with the Puppy slate is that if they really consider number of books sold to be a good indicator of quality, why were they not nominating the Twilight books? They’ve got vampires and werewolves, so definitely SFF. Their sales figures dwarfs any that I’ve seen from almost any other SFF author (excepting Rowling and Lewis). Where were they clamoring that this incredibly popular series was not being represented in any SFF awards? Or is it simply that they didn’t get the Sad Puppies moving until 2013 and the last Twilight book (The Official Illustrated Guide- which would have qualified for related work) came out in 2011?

    You think MilSF is not represented sufficiently by the Hugos? What about Paranormal Romance/Fantasy Romance, a subgenre that outsells MilSF by a mile?

    (For the record, I cannot speak to how glad I am that the fans of Twilight never got around to deciding that Meyer’s book should win the Hugo. They are legion and I think they could have easily done so if they had wanted to.)

    This is why discussions of book sales are bs (is swearing allowed here? I’m not sure).

    Also, there were mentions of Theodore Beale not being able to come to the US. Can someone explain?

  32. Oh, Aaron. Yes, there are others that would care.

    What they wouldn’t do is try to nuke the Hugos over it.

    But they would whine and vote it below No Award. (As, to be fair, I have done with works I think don’t belong on the ballot.)

    I would love to see more Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance and SF with Romance, etc on the Hugo short list. Even though I don’t much like and don’t read most of it. There’s a HUGE segment of people who do and if it started showing up on the short list, that would mean, barring slates, that more of those folks were participating in WSFS. So bring it on. The best of it is very good indeed.

  33. No fan is an island,
    Entire of itself.
    Each is a piece of the continent,
    A part of the fanac.
    If a clod be washed away by the sea,
    Fandom is the less.
    As well as if a promontory were.
    As well as if a manor of thine own
    Or of thine friend’s were.
    Each fan’s death diminishes me,
    For I am involved in fankind.
    Therefore, send not to know
    For whom the puppy howls,
    It howls for thee.

    (ducking and running from the angry ghost of John Donne)

  34. (Re: “That one’s already been done.” So what? Part of the joy of the exercise is seeing two different people’s filks of “O Captain! My Captain!”, or, on Making Light, about five hundred riffs on “this is just to say” over the years.)

    I’m a Puppy! Who are you?
    Are you all — Puppies — too?
    Then there’s a bloc of us!
    Don’t tell! they’d banish us — you know!

    How sad — to be — an Ess Jay Dub!
    How PC — like a CHORF —
    They bully us — the live-long Spring —

    …ok, it kind of fell apart there at the end.

  35. Nicole: The line “…ok, it kind of fell apart there at the end” is what makes it perfect.

  36. @Jason: AIUI, it’s all tied in with his father’s conviction on income tax evasion. The Beales have a philosophical opposition to income taxes, and when they tried to use that as a basis for failure to pay (the elder Beale is a multi-millionaire with a successful computer company), the IRS explained that it doesn’t work that way. Theodore Beale’s dad is doing time in federal prison, and it has been speculated and possibly confirmed that Theodore would face charges related to that if he returns to the US (since the money that funds Castalia House is his father’s, and many think he is harboring his father’s money to keep the IRS from getting it).

    This is not strictly relevant to the Puppy thing, but it does demonstrate that Beale has a bad habit of falling into what we shall politely call “non-mainstream” philosophical communities and believing that he can act whatever way he wants because He Is Smarter Than Everyone Else, only to find that his beliefs don’t apply to the real world and there are consequences for just doing whatever the hell he wants. See also his belief that he is still a member of SFWA because he doesn’t recognize their right to kick him out.

  37. @Nicole: Yeah, it was silly of me to bring it up. The more satire the merrier.

    And that’s a good one of yours.

  38. Where have all the good books gone
    With covers bright and true?
    Where’s the web-wise Puppy
    To fight the Ess Jay Double-U?

    Isn’t there a white knight upon a robotic steed?
    Late at night I toss and I turn
    And dream of what I want to read

    I need a Hugo, I’m holding out for a Hugo
    For a puppy tonight
    It’s gotta be hard
    And it’s gotta be chrome
    And it’s gotta be shiny and bright

    – With apologies to Bonnie Tyler

  39. But they would whine and vote it below No Award.

    Doubtful. Assuming a Gabaldon book got on the ballot without being part of a slate-driven effort, I don’t think anyone would be set on No Awarding it unless it was a lousy book.

  40. Aaron on May 15, 2015 at 11:18 am said:

    But they would whine and vote it below No Award.

    Doubtful. Assuming a Gabaldon book got on the ballot without being part of a slate-driven effort, I don’t think anyone would be set on No Awarding it unless it was a lousy book.

    I have heard some people say they would vote things they consider Not SFF below “No Award.”

    But it sound like Gabaldon’s work qualifies.

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