Furface Tension 6/26

aka A Puppy Thing Happened on the Way to the INB Performing Arts Center

Although the roundups generally copy little material from the File 770 comment section, it is heavily represented today. The roll call includes: L.E. Modesitt Jr., Lee Wise, Vox Day, Lela E. Buis, Bruce Baugh, Kary English, Lis Carey, Spacefaring Kitten, Laura “Tegan” Gjovaag, Dave Weingart, Christopher Chupik, Declan Finn, Kyra, and a few Shy Others. (Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editors of the day Paul Oldroyd and  ULTRAGOTHA.)

 L.E. Modesitt Jr.

“The Illusion of Social Media” – June 26

One of the great benefits touted by exponents of social media is that it brings people together. It does indeed, but each social media group brings together only those sharing similar views.

A good example of this lies in the “sad puppies/rabid puppies” kerfuffle involving “slate voting” to determine the nominees for the annual World Science fiction awards. The situation continues and appears to be getting increasingly acrimonious, with partisans on each side making declarations and demands, and even threatening the boycott of the books of one major F&SF publisher because of the intemperate comments of two employees on social media.

From what I can tell, this acrimony likely involves at most perhaps several thousand individuals, and probably less than a few hundred who are deeply involved and committed… and who feel that the entire literary “culture” of fantasy and science fiction is threatened in one way or another, with the “liberal” side declaring that “traditional” F&SF is the bastion of old white males who embody all of those stereotypes, and the “sad/rabid puppy” side declaring that the liberals have hijacked F&SF into everything they detest, including novels that focus on multi-culturalism, gender diversity, extreme environmentalism, etc. Each side is industriously employing social media to assail the other.

The truth is that F&SF is big enough for both sides, and in fact is far bigger than either…..

 

Lee Wise on Lee’s Blog

“They came for the fen…” – June 26

….And then I learned that Gallo and her ilk were claiming that all emails objecting to her libel and that of other senior people at Tor were being generated by bots. Peter Grant requested that people email several people at Tor and their parent company Macmillan, copy to him, to prove that real people were emailing.

So I did. For the first time in my life, I emailed a company. And you know what I got back?

*crickets*

Neither Tor nor Macmillan so much as acknowledges emails on the subject. They could have — and one would have expected them to have — a bot of their own that acknowledged your email and thanked you for your input. It needn’t have any reference to what you actually wrote. But they didn’t even bother with that.

So, Peter Grant called for a boycott of Tor. It will be fairly difficult for me to boycott Tor since they haven’t been publishing much of anything that I care to read anyway. Gallo and her ilk are undoubtedly responsible for this. Still, I’m being careful these days. I spent $66.91 on ebooks last Saturday — pretty standard — but none of them came from Tor.

 

Vox Day on Vox Popoli

“Fire Irene Gallo” – June 26

The continued refusal of Tor Books to hold Irene Gallo responsible for her actions demonstrates that labeling Tor’s customers “racist neo-Nazis” and Tor’s own books “bad-to-reprehensible” is observably acceptable to its management, no matter what feeble protests Tom Doherty may offer.

 

Lela E. Buis

“No such thing as bad publicity…” – June 25

I’ve read some posts to the effect that this is the most entertaining Hugo season ever. We now see how the bad press is playing out. Because of the brouhaha, many more people now know that there is a Hugo Award for science fiction and/or fantasy. WorldCon is busting at the seams, and supporting memberships are going like hotcakes. People are busy reading and reviewing the nominations. Do you suppose the Nebula’s could arrange for Vox Day to game their system next year? Nevermind, just kidding.

A few blogs back, I did suggest that Day was in marketing mode with this Rabid Puppies scheme. His name has been up there in the lights for weeks now. The interesting thing is, so has the Hugo Awards, WorldCon, Tor Books, Irene Gallo, Moshe Feder and Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden. I’d be willing to bet Tor comes out with a little spike in sales.

 

Bruce Baugh on Obsidian Wings

“On accusations of *-ism and prejudice” – June 26

[Promoted from a File 770  comment to a standalone blog post.]

….Other people believe that we never altogether escape our legacies, and that they include a bunch of ugly screwed-up stuff as well as good things. We can — and should — aim to do better, but perfection isn’t attainable, and we are likely to do small harms (and sometimes larger ones) all the time. Sometimes it’s through ignorance, sometimes it’s through laziness and unwillingness to change the habits that give hurt, usually it’s a fair dose of both. In this view, dishing out harm is a routine though unwelcome part of life, and it’s no great achievement — but also no great burden, really — to respond by acknowledging it, apologizing, seeing what you can do to repair things, and then working to not do that particular one again. As Huey Lewis put it once, “All I want from tomorrow / is to get it better than today.”

This view is more common among people who are “marked”: those who are hyphenated Americans, who will have to say something to avoid incorrect assumptions about the sex or gender of their loved ones, who can expect to be called a “lady X” instead of just “an X”, and so on. They have more experience of being on the receiving end of a lot of unintended but nonetheless genuinely hurtful junk, and of seeing other deny responsibility for the hurt they’ve given. They see too how even when dealing with their own friends, family, and peers, disparaging attitudes about their kind can slip in and color what they do. (This is what “internalized” bigotry means: believing crap about yourself and people like you, and treating yourself or others like you the way people with social advantages over you are prone to.)

In my view, the second approach is vastly more realistic. We do all screw up a bunch all the time. Nobody can go through life constantly apologizing…but we can go through life recognizing that we do things worth apologizing for all the time, and try to do better. We can be humble about our limitations….

 

Kary English in a comment on File 770 – June 26

[“Kary’s apology” included at her request.]

I also wish people like Brad, Larry and other SP notables would come out and say “Hey, this* isn’t what we intended or what we hoped would happen. We’re sorry the whole thing has become such a mess.” (*where “this” means locking up the ballot and shutting out other works)

I don’t consider myself a spokesperson for the SP, or even an SP notable, but I’ll say it. I never got involved in this with any idea that I’d even make the ballot, much less that VD would run his own campaign or that there would be a ballot sweep. If I’d known that, I wouldn’t have participated. To the extent that I’ve been part of that, even unknowingly, I apologize.

It seems I can’t say anything remotely in that vein without someone saying that if I truly thought that, I would withdraw. I’ve already given my reasons for not withdrawing, but I’ll mention again that a large part of it is not giving Vox Day the satisfaction.

All that stuff about nominating liberals just to watch them self-flagellate and see how fast they withdraw? I’m not his marionette, and I won’t dance to his tune. He set us up to be targets, just like he set up Irene Gallo. I’m not giving in to Vox Day.

 

Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier, screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, concept and story by Ed Brubaker, directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo (Marvel Entertainment, Perception, Sony Pictures Imageworks)” – June 26

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form 2015 Hugo nominee

Captain America fights Hydra and confronts the deadly Hydra agent the Winter Soldier, who turns out to be [spoiler]….

The level of violence was too high for me to fully enjoy the Neat Superhero Stuff, though.

Overall, not really my cup of tea.

 

Reading SFF

“2015 Hugo Awards Reading: The Parliament of Beasts and Birds – John C. Wright (Short Story)” – June 26

Concerning the story: I was not impressed. It seems to be a religious (christian) parable of some kind and, adding to the annoyance over the vocab, I have the distinct impression that JCW is showing off how smart he is. I bet there are a bunch of references that I do not get because of how dumb and uneducated I am and didn’t do my bible studies diligently enough. (Or ever 😉 ). So now everyone knows that JCW is able to actively use a lot of randgruppen** words, knows his christian mysticism and is so very educated.

As you can see, the story’s prose and style annoyed so much that I barely was able to follow the actual story. Can’t be much good then. I didn’t like it.

 

TPI’s Reading Diary

“My Hugo award votes 2015 part 3 – Novellas” – June 25

[Reviews all five nominees.]

“Pale Realms of Shade”, John C. Wright (The Book of Feasts & Seasons, Castalia House) The story starts as a sort of supernatural thriller. A detective has been murdered and his ghost has been waked up. His wife wishes that he should reveal his murderer and rule out the suicide in order to release the insurance compensation. (I wonder how the suicide is even suspected as apparently the victim was shot several times). He then meets temptations before finally he gets an atonement. The first few chapters offered some promise – the writing was slightly clumsy, but the premise as itself seemed interesting. Alas, the story went from below average to mediocre and eventually to ridiculously bad. The writing was clumsy, there were sentences like this: “Sly had come across the dead body of a man who had — let’s be frank with this now — I rode him pretty hard some times.”. What does that even mean? The plot went from allegorical to pounding heavy-handed religion with a sledgehammer. What we learn from this story: a freethinker is about same thing as a devil worshipper. One of the worst things I have read.

 

Spacefaring Kitten on Spacefaring, Happy Kittens

“Groundhogs in Battle Armor: Edge of Tomorrow” – June 26

Edge of Tomorrow, adapted from Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s novel All You Need Is Kill, may not stand a change in the Hugo race, because Interstellar was made the same year — and that’s arguably one of the best (if not the best) SFF movies of all time. Still, it’s an enjoyable science fiction film with good storytelling and interesting characters.

 

Laura “Tegan” Gjovaag on Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog

“Hugo Reading – Graphic Story” – June 26

[Reviews all five nominees.]

The top spot has to go to either Saga or Sex Criminals. I’m more impressed with what Saga managed to do in what is clearly a single volume of a long ongoing story, so I think I’ll probably give the top spot to Saga and the second to Sex Criminals. The clear third-place winner is Rat Queens, which is much more amusing than the top two, but just not quite as good. The Ms. Marvel volume is solidly in fourth place while Zombie Nation will take up the rearguard of the five nominees. If I wasn’t a charitable sort, I’d leave Ms. Marvel and Zombie Nation off the ballot entirely. But I’m inclined to include them.

 

 

 

Christopher Chupik in a comment on “How Authors Get Paid Part 2” at Monster Hunter Nation

Sad Puppies Monthly? I’d submit to that. It could be more hated among the SJW crowd than Baen in no time.

 

[Declan Finn is a man of great simplicity of mind.]

 

Kyra in a comment on File 770 – June 26

… Well. Now that I’ve managed to stop crying with joy about the Supreme Court decision for the moment, a brief word about short stories:

A is for Asimov, yes I’m his fan, especially for Bicentennial Man.

B is for Bixby, I read him and squealed; read It’s A Good Life (or end up in the field.)

Collier, genius that nobody knows, I treasure my copy of Evening Primrose.

Delany’s unique, with no mimics or clones; he saw Time As A Helix Of non-high-priced Stones.

Ellison, man of cantankerous bent, knew even a Harlequin has to Repent.

Foster just left, but we haven’t forgot her, and now that it’s Ended, I hope that He Caught Her.

G is for Gaiman, a winner because he scores with as few words as Nicholas Was …

Heinlein’s the standard by which some judge worth; my personal favorite? Green Hills Of Earth.

(I didn’t read any I’s, so I’ll just go with Ing, whose Devil You Don’t Know I guess was a thing?)

J’s for Dianna Wynne Jones, I’ll decide – just take any section out of her Tough Guide.

Keyes left us little, but each word we crave, we all lay our Flowers on Algernon’s grave.

LeGuin has so much that it’s hard to pick one, but I’ll go with Intracom just ’cause it’s fun.

M is for Merrill, who wrote like no other, her work is loved (and not Only by her Mother.)

N is for Niven, grandmaster for real, whose Woman of Kleenex met a Man of Steel.

O is for Orwell, a heck of a fella — and Animal Farm’s, technically, a novella.

Padgett, the union of Kuttner and Moore, who wrote The Proud Robot, which I just adore.

(Quaglia I’ve not read, but now Q’s represented; I’ve heard that his writing is good but demented.)

R is for Russ, and will not be exchanged; when she started writing, well, that’s When It Changed.

Sturgeon’s law states that most everything’s crap, but his Baby is Three neatly sidesteps that trap.

Tiptree, oh Tiptree, the greatest indeed; I ask, Houston, if you’ve skipped her, Do You Read?

U is for Utley, another departed, but Shattering came out as strong as he’d started.

Varley, most everyone knows, is top rank, you just can’t Overdraw from his Memory Bank.

Weinbaum was right there when all of this started and his Martian Odyssey’s still well-regarded.

(X is unknown, but don’t mock it or scoff, put here all the many I had to leave off.)

Yolen’s output is both varied and vast; The Devil’s Arithmetic showed us the past.

Zelazny is here as the final contender; how fitting for Camelot’s Last great Defender.

 

477 thoughts on “Furface Tension 6/26

  1. Brian Z.: My question is how these votes might turn out differently under 4/6 or EPH, and could voters understanding how it would change things lead to changes in voting strategy.

    The only way to model this would be to have the full anonymized nomination ballots. Which we don’t. So yes, all you are doing here is FUD wanking.

    Bingo!

  2. Ann Somerville on June 28, 2015 at 4:14 am said:

    Peace, he offered condolences. Then went right on wanking

    Ah, I apologize. I’ve been reading his posts in a sort of dazed horror, and I must have missed it.

  3. Brian Z on June 28, 2015 at 4:22 am said:

    Nicholas Whyte,

    I challenge you to find me a post, any post, on a Doctor Who message board which tells fans which episodes to nominate for the Hugos. You won’t; because Doctor Who fans, like most other fans, don’t like being told what to do.

    Nicholas,

    I don’t know how you got from “a pattern” to that I must think someone told Doctor Who fans what to do.

    Brian Z, you certainly implied that Doctor Who fans had organized and spoken to each other about what works to nominate for Hugos, and you certainly implied that it was to be compared explicitly to the blatant, planned out, public and deliberate ballot-grab of the Puppies.

    The Puppies could not ask for a better apologist.

  4. What Brian actually said:

    For evidence of such a thing prior to Larry Correia declaring war on arugula, I’m aware of Doctor Who up to 2012. I don’t know if less blatantly obvious slates or people organizing themselves to vote in blocs existed back in the old days (though I suspect they probably did)…

    The clear meaning of those words is that the Doctor Who nominations are indeed “evidence”, in fact “blatantly obvious” evidence, that slates existed in previous years.

    Now Brian says he didn’t mean that.

    Brian, please decide what you do actually mean, and then say it clearly. I think you will find the process helpful.

    I note your appeal for my thoughts on voter strategy, but I have no idea what you mean by that, and limited confidence that you are interacting in good faith.

  5. Nicholas, in your comment that I answered you said I should be talking about voting blocs. That’s people who cast similar/identical ballots.

    We know that people didn’t vote randomly for all kinds of dramatic presentations and three Doctor Who episodes just happened to get into the top five for 8 out of 9 years.

    Maybe hardcore Whovians naturally liked the best three Doctor Who episodes of the year and naturally they mostly nominated those three. That’s more likely. I am sure that many of them coordinated to a certain extent. They’re in a community. They chat, they argue, they read the same sites, they might even watch the show together. They’d influence each other’s opinions about what is best, and thus, what they nominate. They’d encourage their like-minded friends to bother with nominating in the first place. That’s not exactly a conspiracy, if you see what I mean.

    Of course, fans could have arranged with each other to nominate specific episodes to push them onto the final ballot. It is certainly a possibility.

    But in any case, the math would be similar and so long as there are certain popular Doctor Who episodes on a large number of ballots, it would have an effect under EPH, no?

    Under 4/6, their assessment of the best three or four best episodes would not be discounted even if they agreed with a lot of other people.

    BTW I don’t have all the statistics for the full list of 15 nominations going back to 2006 (just Loncon and many one or two more).

  6. Maybe hardcore Whovians naturally liked the best three Doctor Who episodes of the year and naturally they mostly nominated those three. That’s more likely. I am sure that many of them coordinated to a certain extent. They’re in a community. They chat, they argue, they read the same sites, they might even watch the show together. They’d influence each other’s opinions about what is best, and thus, what they nominate. They’d encourage their like-minded friends to bother with nominating in the first place.

    In the case of Rabid Puppies, we don’t need any speculation along the lines of “maybe… I am sure that… They’d encourage…” and so on in order to know that slate-voting happened. Somebody put a list on his blog. He explicitly encouraged his readers to nominate the items on the list. Most of the things on that list would have faded into obscurity, were it not for the Sad/Rabid Puppies affair. (I.e., they weren’t best-sellers and they didn’t get noticed for other awards such as the Nebulas.) And nevertheless the items on that list pretty much swept the final slots.

    Find a leader of Whovians pulling the same stunt and you’ll have a case. Don’t try to convince us that the lack of evidence for a conspiracy proves that the conspirators are really really good at covering their tracks.

  7. Brian Z:

    We know that people didn’t vote randomly for all kinds of dramatic presentations and three Doctor Who episodes just happened to get into the top five for 8 out of 9 years.

    Not if by “randomly,” you mean they literally randomly wrote down some episode titles and not others–perhaps by every Dr. Who fan putting strips of paper with episode titles on them into a hat and blindly pulling out five, to nominate those? No, you’re right, that didn’t happen.

    Maybe hardcore Whovians naturally liked the best three Doctor Who episodes of the year and naturally they mostly nominated those three. That’s more likely. I am sure that many of them coordinated to a certain extent. They’re in a community. They chat, they argue, they read the same sites, they might even watch the show together. They’d influence each other’s opinions about what is best, and thus, what they nominate. They’d encourage their like-minded friends to bother with nominating in the first place. That’s not exactly a conspiracy, if you see what I mean.

    It’s also not what Brad, Larry, Beale, and their pals and supporters did. Brad and his immediate pals asked for “suggestions” but then largely ignored the suggestions in putting together their list. There’s not much evidence that they even read what they put on their slate themselves. Kary English’s Totaled is on the slate because Mike Resnick liked it. Brad wanted something by Michael Z. Williamson on it, so he asked MZW what he had that was eligible–and MZW suggested his appalling, and not sf-related, collection of ill-considered tweets instead of a perfectly decent story published in 2014.

    Beale then announced his own slate, largely overlapping with, but longer and more complete than, the Sad Puppies slate. I do have to concede that he most likely read many of the items he slated, since they were Castalia House publications, and he’s the editor of record. Beale did instruct his followers to nominate his slate exactly as announced.

    And if one is gullible enough to believe them truly independent of each other, it was the Rabid slate, not the Sad slate, that swept the ballot. Yet the Sad leaders only briefly bothered with even token and not very strong claims of complete separation, and have eagerly supported each of Beale’s subsequent escalations of rhetorical violence.

    So please, give it a rest. A bunch of fans talking about their favorites and probably influencing each others’ opinions is not the same thing as a small group curating a slate and announcing it to their followers–especially when one of that small group instructs his followers to vote that slate exactly as presented.

  8. I hardly need to provide more evidence of Brian’s dishonesty, but anyway…
    If you want to see if there is a ‘Doctor Who’ slate, you can’t just look at the finalists, you have to look at all the nominations
    Short Form 2014
    Day of Doctor 41% of nominations
    Adventure in Space and Time 16.7%
    Five(ish) Doctors 6.2%
    Night of the Doctor 4.9%
    Time of the Doctor 4.6%
    Short Form 2013
    Asylum of Daleks 15.8%
    Angels take Manhattan 15.24%
    Snowmen 14.91%
    Dinosaurs on spaceship 5.86%
    Power of three 5.19%
    Town called mercy 3.85%
    Short Form 2012
    Doctors Wife 30.92%
    Girl Who Waited 14.5%
    Good man Goes to War 6.87%
    Wedding of River Song 5.34%

    From that you can see there is no coordinated block voting for Doctor Who. If there was such a block, they could have swept the nominations in every year. There wouldn’t be a drop off from the first Doctor Who nominee to the last. And they would have nominated 5 works in 2012 and 2013.
    The reason there have been so many DW episodes nominated is so many voters like DW. No further explanation required.

  9. Brian Z: We know that people didn’t vote randomly for all kinds of dramatic presentations and three Doctor Who episodes just happened to get into the top five for 8 out of 9 years.

    You’re just showing your ignorance here (even more so than usual). It’s hardly surprising that a lot of nominations get submitted for Doctor Who episodes — it’s a wildly popular show in the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand, and it’s wildly popular in the U.S.

    U.S. TV shows generally produce 23 episodes per year. British TV shows generally produce between 6-13 episodes per year. It’s hardly surprising that half of the Doctor Who episodes make the Hugo DP Short Form longlist almost every year, with wildly varying totals — and what that shows is that there is not some universal slate deciding which episodes get nominated.

    Doctor Who episodes on Hugo DPSF longlist
    2014 – 6
    2013 – 6
    2012 – 4
    2011 – 7
    2010 – 3
    2009 – 6 + 4 Torchwood
    2008 – 2 + 2 Torchwood
    2007 – 7 + 2 Torchwood

    Now, how about you quit trying to pretend that there has been some nefarious Doctor Who scheming for slate voting going on for years, and admit that you’ve got zero evidence whatsoever that anything like what the Puppies did this year has ever happened.

    Both Sides

    Bingo!

  10. I still can’t believe anybody voted for Angels Take Manhattan. Hadn’t seen an episode all season, my husband watched them all, we sat down and he got annoyed with me sitting there calling plot points.

    Paint by numbers plotting, the whole way. It was a cheesy Star Trek TNG episode grafted onto a Stephen King short with some Who sauce thrown on top. Feh, sez I.

    And yet I’ve voted for Who episodes in the past. There’s your Correia-like slate activity, Brian. I’d reconsider it, if I were you.

  11. Look. Lots of people nominated an especially famous episode like the 50th anniversary Day of the Doctor. I already pointed that out.

    Some people just nominated one or two Doctor Who episodes they particularly liked, no more, plus Lost, Joss Whedon, etc.

    But under EPH, anyone who put the three “winning” episodes of Dr Who on their ballots, or maybe one or two of those holding up the rear in sixth or seventh place, for whatever reason, including that they just by chance happened to enjoy those episodes, or there were several standout episodes that season and lots of people recognized which ones they were, would have their ballots treated as if they had voted a slate.

  12. 2009 – 6 + 4 Torchwood

    Aha. Maybe that’s why only 2 DW made it to the ballot in 2009 – Whofen were split 10 ways between DW and Torchwood.

    Are all these longlists posted in a handy place? I just have the ones from the last two or three Worldcon websites.

  13. Brian Z: under EPH, anyone who put the three “winning” episodes of Dr Who on their ballots, or maybe one or two of those holding up the rear in sixth or seventh place, for whatever reason, including that they just by chance happened to enjoy those episodes, or there were several standout episodes that season and lots of people recognized which ones they were, would have their ballots treated as if they had voted a slate.

    Not unless all those people with those 3 episodes also happened to each pick the same two other non-Doctor Who entries on their nomination ballot as well.

    Clearly you haven’t bothered to educate yourself on how EPH works. Stop making statements about something on which you obviously have no fucking clue.

    FUD about EPH

    Bingo!

  14. I’m not sure why many seem opposed to this line of questioning. BDPSF is a category that has been overwhelmingly dominated by one type of stuff – one particular TV show – for like a decade. People have grumbled about it many times, including in the 2012 File 770 post I linked to. EPH might reduce the number of DW episodes on the final ballot, which some might see as a good thing.

    I don’t necessarily see it as a good thing. (I like DW just fine.) I’m interested in understanding voting strategies and how they might change.

  15. Brian Z: I’m not sure why many seem opposed to this line of questioning.

    Because you’re not questioning, you’re insinuating. (And doing it based on the SP/RP idea of how nominations are done, which is based on false premises.)

  16. P J Evans, I’m asking how plausible it might be that there were already some sets of voters who cast similar (or even potentially identical) ballots in some categories prior to SP/RP. Not necessarily because there was a plot to do so – it could also be that they genuinely liked the same stuff (like the same several Doctor Who episodes, for example).

    You’ve looked in the 1984 data and you said you saw some “slates”. (If someone sends me the 1984 data I’m willing to help you check.)

  17. Lis, I’m so sorry for your loss. *virtual hugs*

    Re: Doctor Who – every time I’ve seen multiple episodes show up on the ballot I’ve taken it as confirmation that the show appeals to such a wide variety of people for different reasons that even Doctor Who fans can’t agree on what’s best. Early in my Doctor Who fandom I noted that getting five Doctor Who fans together meant seven or eight theories on the UNIT timeline and at least six different fanfics on how to solve the problem.

  18. @ Lis Carey
    I’m so sorry to hear about your mother. May her memory be a blessing to you, your family, and all those she knew.

  19. Tegan Gjovaag, that interesting, thanks. So one of the years I have handy is Lonstarcon. There were 597 ballots with a total of 762 votes [in the long list], 362 of which were Doctor Who votes [that made it to the long list], with three episodes making the ballot along with GoT and Fringe.

    Could that be 362 people independently naming their single favorite Dr Who episode, which happened to be a very popular one in three cases? I wonder if it is more likely that Whovians were likely to vote more than once, explaining why nearly half of the total votes cast [in the long list] were for a Doctor Who episode.

  20. But under EPH, anyone who put the three “winning” episodes of Dr Who on their ballots, or maybe one or two of those holding up the rear in sixth or seventh place, for whatever reason, including that they just by chance happened to enjoy those episodes, or there were several standout episodes that season and lots of people recognized which ones they were, would have their ballots treated as if they had voted a slate.

    This isn’t just FUD, it’s an outright lie.

  21. @ Lis Carey

    I’m so sorry to hear of your losing your Mother. And compounded by coming so hard on the heels of of another loss.

    Take care of yourself.

  22. You really have no clue how big Doctor Who fandom is now, do you?

    In any case, I can see some fans nominating more than one episode with the hope that at least one of them gets on. But I don’t know if “some” is a majority or not. I have been very active in fandom and I never once saw any effort to collaborate on what to nominate for any award. If there had been such an effort, it would have been doomed to fail in a flurry of “what about this episode?”

    As for EPH, I sincerely doubt it would have affected Doctor Who nominations much because the trick with EPH is that the slates have almost exactly the same number of nominations. I don’t think the same amount of people nominated each Doctor Who episode. (edit: Is this concern trolling, when Brian claims that he worries how EPH would affect past things that wouldn’t be affected by EPH as a way to say EPH is bad?)

  23. Brian,

    I find your insinuations tiresome and your presumptions obnoxious, and I am not engaging on this any more.

  24. The effect of EPH on Whovian voting

    Great! EPH gives me information on which episode is most highly regarded and concentrates the vote. My plans come to fruition! Bah-wah-ha!

  25. @Brian: Dr Who has an extremely wide appeal and a very dedicated fanbase that spans generations, so I don’t find it completely out of the realms of possibility that Whovians will vote for the standout episode in any given season (even in comparatively weak Who years) and maybe throw in their own personal favourites, on top of votes for other shows that they enjoy and think stand up well against their favourite Who of the year. None of that is evidence of a concerted effort to have Who dominate the ballots, just fans doing what fans do. I can’t see any real possibility of a scenario under EPH that would really badly negatively affect the popularity of Dr Who at the Hugos.

  26. Nicholas Whyte,

    What’s the insinuation? That Whovians might be capable of voting for several Doctor Who episodes? That their ballots might have some overlap for whatever reason? I asked you a pretty simple question.

  27. Oneiros,

    None of that is evidence of a concerted effort to have Who dominate the ballots

    Exactly. It doesn’t have to be concerted effort or a conspiracy. I’m just looking for possible ways that EPH might affect voters. Remember, this is Quinn’s explanation:

    In order to have reduced influence, a voter must:
    1. Vote for several works…
    2. …of which several are among the top few vote-getters…
    3. …and which have significantly above-average overlap in their support.

  28. You are concern trolling! How delightful!

    We’ve already explained, repeatedly, why Doctor Who nominations are unlikely to be negatively impacted by EPH. Go study the proposal, like I did last night, and your concerns will be put to rest.

  29. And another thing… even if Doctor Who fans were a hivemind, which they certainly aren’t, EPH would have the happy effect of narrowing down the DW nominees to one, presumably the best, episode. Which is a good thing.

  30. Lis — I’m sorry for your loss. I have been enjoying your reviews of nominated works.

    Regarding Totaled — I thought the bit that mentions the review board and the concept of “totals” was carefully worded so that you could see it as either “Obamacare death panels!” or “Anti-tax Teaparty types opposing public health care!” depending on your prior opinion.

    My problem is that the bit that mentions it is pretty much all there is to it. It’s the SFinal concept that gives the story its name, and yet, once mentioned, it never seems to come up again, or affect any of the characters and their actions. It’s a huge, world-defining concept, that, in this particular story, functions as nothing more than the mechanism by which the viewpoint character ends up as a brain in a jar.

  31. You really have no clue how big Doctor Who fandom is now, do you?

    Maybe. If Doctor Who is three times as popular as Game of Thrones is, that would explain the discrepancy.

  32. And another thing… even if Doctor Who fans were a hivemind, which they certainly aren’t, EPH would have the happy effect of narrowing down the DW nominees to one, presumably the best, episode. Which is a good thing.

    I do think many people would be happy with that outcome (if that is in fact the outcome). But that presumably best part is a kicker, isn’t it.

  33. I would not be at all surprised if Doctor Who fandom is, in fact, three times bigger than Game of Thrones fandom. I haven’t done a survey comparing Doctor Who fans/Game of Throne fans and likely Hugo voters, but it just wouldn’t surprise me one bit if there was that much of a proportional difference.

    And, since EPH is really unlikely to narrow down Doctor Who selections in the way you seemed to be so concerned about, I find your “kicker” to have no kick.

  34. Brian, can I ask you to do something? Please take a step back from the keyboard and ask yourself exactly what you’re trying to achieve at this point, whether you think it’s possible to achieve it, and whether it’s worth doing. Because I’ve seen you post here for days…literally days…about your reservations on EPH, and not only have you not convinced anyone that you have a case, you’ve done a pretty good job of convincing people that there are no legitimate arguments to be made against EPH and that its passage is primarily of concern to people who are interested in gaming the nomination process in perpetuity.

    At this point, I think it’s worth asking yourself if further posting on this topic is worth the effort. If it’s not, maybe drop the subject and move on? If you think it is, I suggest that you take a different tack. Make sure you source your facts before presenting them–your biggest problem so far is that you have continually offered up arguments that turn out to be supported by inaccurate information that is easily verified/falsified, which causes problems for your credibility on other subjects. Avoid ascribing opinions or motivations to people who disagree with you–focus only on what you think, what you believe, and how you feel. Keep your arguments focused purely on EPH–every time you drag in an irrelevant point about what Correia, Torgersen, Beale, et cetera, “meant” by starting the SP and RP slates, you’re losing a chance to convince people about EPH by taking the conversation on an entirely irrelevant tangent. And if you find yourself unable to do those things, maybe revisit that first principle again–is this a worthwhile line of discussion to continue at this late in the process with so many people now actively hostile to your style of discussion and in firm disagreement to the point you’re making?

    (Hint: The answer is actually “no”, but I’ll let you come to that conclusion yourself.)

  35. If Doctor Who is three times as popular as Game of Thrones is, that would explain the discrepancy.

    A quick look at the nomination details would ‘explain the discrepancy’
    In 2012, three episodes would have been on the short-form ballot, but they were ruled ineligible because the season was on the long form ballot (and won)
    In 2013, the season got 20% of the nominations, but declined in favour of the short form nomination for Blackwater (which won)
    In 2014, Game of Thrones won short-form again.
    The pattern is that every season of GoT so far has had a standout episode – usually episode 9 – that gets most of the nominations. More individual episodes of DW are nominated.

    I’d ask what your point is, but you don’t have one.

  36. I

    Laura “Tegan” Gjovaag on June 28, 2015 at 9:02 am said:
    You are concern trolling! How delightful!

    Brian Z’s strategy seems to be to repeat the same sorts of fabrications, insinuations, errors, and outright lies over and over and over and OVER until people wear out.

    He never presents any concrete evidence for his assertions and he does not seem to be phased by any amount of fact which contradicts his assertions.

    As John Seavey points out and I agree, Brian Z may have done at least as good a job as anyone convincing people that EPH is a really excellent idea, by arguing against it with so little.

  37. Brian Z, if I had any belief that you were honest in your concerns about slates, I’d consider sending you data. You aren’t, and I won’t.

  38. I’ve had Brian Z tagged as a concern troll since I read his long series of posts in the open and aboveboard threads on EPH at Making Light.

    For a while his filks kind of won me back and I thought maybe he’d stopped being a troll. My mistake; I won’t be so easily fooled again.

  39. Laura:
    the trick with EPH is that the slates have almost exactly the same number of nominations.

    That’s right. Works on a slate tend to compete with and eliminate each other. If anyone would like to see this in action, I’d invite you to take a look at the graphical display I’ve been putting together. It’s in both PowerPoint and PDF form. This is just a draft, but it’s starting to close in on a final form. I really think it helps explain the system and how it works.

    You can find the most recent link in message #195 here.

    Hope this helps,
    Kilo

  40. Kilo, yes, I looked through all that last night. I’m a lukewarm supporter of EPH at best (though Brian is clearly working to convince me to support it wholeheartedly) and your messages really helped me understand the intricacies of it.

  41. Cat said: “I’ve had Brian Z tagged as a concern troll since I read his long series of posts in the open and aboveboard threads on EPH at Making Light.

    For a while his filks kind of won me back and I thought maybe he’d stopped being a troll. My mistake; I won’t be so easily fooled again.”

    I think he’s probably not a troll in the sense that people commonly use the word, someone who deliberately makes provocative comments simply to see the angry responses. I think that Brian has a strong negative emotional reaction to the idea of EPH, and he’s struggling to put a reason to it because he knows that, “I don’t like it and I don’t know why!” isn’t going to sway many people, and all of those reasons are bad because they’re really just putting a coat of paint over “I don’t like it and I don’t know why!”

    I think this is why he comes off as reasonable and friendly in all other aspects, because he’s not trying to be hostile–he’s just trying to articulate an argument that’s mostly emotional and may not have any rational basis, but that he feels strongly about and doesn’t want to cede as a result. I’ll agree that in practice, this comes out as very similar to trolling, but I don’t think he’s actively trying to piss people off–it’s just a side effect of trying to make the facts fit his emotions.

    Note that whether he’s trying or not, he is pissing people off. This is why I advised him to give it a rest, because he’s not making any headway and he is getting on everyone’s nerves. 🙂

  42. Brian Z on June 28, 2015 at 6:02 am said:

    BTW I don’t have all the statistics for the full list of 15 nominations going back to 2006 (just Loncon and many one or two more).

    Full voting statistics including the They Also Ran top-15 lists are included for each year for which we have them at the Hugo History pages on the Hugo Awards web site.

    Are all these longlists posted in a handy place? I just have the ones from the last two or three Worldcon websites.

    Yes. It’s called The Hugo Awards web site. Maybe you’ve heard of it?

  43. @John
    I don’t think Brian’s opposition to EPH is mysterious even to him. He is sympathetic to the puppies and he can see this dooms their project, so he is trying to persuade other people there is a problem

  44. Kevin Standlee,

    Of course I know The Hugo Awards website. When I click on your link I see only the final ballot nominees. If there is a specific link to the “long list” of the 15 top nominees that Worldcons have been reporting, can you post it? I have only the data provided by Loncon, Lonestarcon and Chicon at the moment. Thanks.

  45. @Brian Z: Scroll to the bottom of one year’s Hugo Award page and look for the paragraph “For the full breakdown of voting and nomination see here (PDF).”

  46. John Seavey:

    Brian, can I ask you to do something? Please take a step back from the keyboard and ask yourself exactly what you’re trying to achieve at this point, whether you think it’s possible to achieve it, and whether it’s worth doing. Because I’ve seen you post here for days…literally days…about your reservations on EPH, and not only have you not convinced anyone that you have a case, you’ve done a pretty good job of convincing people that there are no legitimate arguments to be made against EPH and that its passage is primarily of concern to people who are interested in gaming the nomination process in perpetuity.

    you’re losing a chance to convince people about EPH by taking the conversation on an entirely irrelevant tangent. And if you find yourself unable to do those things, maybe revisit that first principle again–is this a worthwhile line of discussion to continue at this late in the process with so many people now actively hostile to your style of discussion and in firm disagreement to the point you’re making?

    (Hint: The answer is actually “no”, but I’ll let you come to that conclusion yourself.)

    I don’t mind if EPH is passed, although I think it might accelerate the arc bending toward mediocrity exhibited in recent Hugo results. I’m hoping that people think about what they are doing carefully before voting for and (especially) ratifying EPH, and also that the conversation about EPH reach eyeballs at a variety of fora that are frequented by a variety of diverse fen (puppies, Whovians, whoever).

    Of course, I’d also be gratified if someone would answer my own concerns that I’ve raised here and there, but that’s not so important in the grand scheme of things.

    I have personally decided that I’d vote to ratify 4/6 if passed, but I haven’t yet been convinced about EPH. (Nobody else is required to care about my opinion. Obviously.)

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