To Your Scattered Kennels Go 7/6

aka Last and First Puppies

The Ultimate Roundup brings you Benjamin Domenech and Robert Tracinski, Samuel John Klein, T.P. Kroger, Vox Day, Doctor Science, Aidan Moher, Brandon Kempner, Martin Wisse, Laura “Tegan” Gjovaag, David Steffen, Lis Carey and Cryptic Others. (Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editors of the day Bruce Baugh and Milt Stevens.)

 

Benjamin Domenech and Robert Tracinski on The Federalist

“Welcome To Culture War 4.0: The Coming Overreach” – July 6

Culture War 4.0

Today we live in the early stages of that triumph, and as a small number of public intellectuals and media commentators predicted, it is a bloody triumph indeed. Culture War 4.0 brings the Counterculture full circle: now they have become the blue-nosed, Puritanical establishment. Once they began to achieve their goals and saw the culture moving their way, they moved from making a plea for tolerance and freedom to demanding persecution of anyone who dissents against the new orthodoxy in even the smallest way.

Whichever side believes it is winning will tend to overreach, pushing too far, too fast, and alienating the public.

In just the past two years, the Counterculture’s neo-Puritanical reign has made things political that were never thought to be: Shirtstorms and Gamergate, Chik-fil-A and Brandon Eich, Indiana and Sad Puppies, and don’t you dare say Caitlyn Jenner isn’t a hero.

History teaches us two clear lessons about the ebb and flow of the Culture War: first, that whichever side believes it is winning will tend to overreach, pushing too far, too fast, and in the process alienating the public. The second is that the American people tend to oppose whoever they see as the aggressor in the Culture Wars—whoever they see as trying to intrusively impose their values on other people and bullying everyone who disagrees.

 

Samuel John Klein on The ZehnKatzen Times

“The Sad Puppies May Have A Point” – July 6

One of the most juvenile, at least to me, of the Sad Puppies’ plaints about the trend of modern SF (you can fill in speculative fiction or science fiction, as is your wont) is elaborated by this point made by one of the leading opiners of the movement, Brad Torgerson: ….

And then it occurred to me that one of the cornerstones of this insurgency is apparently the right to judge a book by its cover. This is something that I was told never to do, that it was the sign of shallowness and unwarranted prejudice.

But then, I thought, what if there was a point to made here? Maybe I just work too hard at wanting an experience here. I mean, if I, as a consumer, should want to be guided with pretty shiny images, then who am I to complain? They do me a service, after all, in truth-in-labeling (as a liberal, I’m supposed to like that).

So, truth-in-labeling. Okay. We’ll go with that. I hold in my hand a Berkeley 1981 re-release of one of my favorite novels, written by an acknowledged master of the form, one who went on to create iconic works of SF that inform the genre to this day. But, book-by-its-cover now … okay, I see an organically-formed, liquid, almost-melting edifice on a horizon under a hot yellow sky, and that edifice appears to be a building … after all, there’s something that looks like a tiny figure standing in one of the openings (is it a window). On the whole, it looks like something Frank Gehry came up with in a fever dream.

In the sky, an eye orbits. Setting or rising, I can’t tell, but there it is. to the right of the building, a small thing resembling a misconceived volcano seems to launching a weather balloon, or maybe Rover from The Prisoner. It’s all on a purple plain resembling fused glass, with two rocks resembling rocketships in the foreground, and in the extreme foreground it appears that some poor soul has died, being embedded in the fused glass of the plain.

Needless to say, I expected a tripping-balls adventure about a science-fictional acid trip, but what did I actually get? Some lame story about an alternate past where the Japanese and Germans won WWII and divided up America between them.

Oh, by the way, here’s the book:

HighCastleCover

And, to fit the Sad Puppy profile of undeserving novels, it won the Hugo.

In 1962.

Clearly, this conspiracy has gone on way longer than any of us imaginers could have possibly imagined.

Wake up, sheeple!

 

 

 

Vox Day wrote in an e-mail – July 5

One of your commenters said this:

“Like the persecution they are always whining about, it doesn’t exist.  Claiming it does only makes them look foolish.”

You could read the FIVE Guardian pieces libeling me. Or the Entertainment Weekly piece, the Boston Globe piece, the NPR report, or the Popular Science piece. Note that none of them ever interviewed me, even though the Guardian guidelines require a subject to be interviewed if they are identified by name.

Note that three of the individuals on the SFWA Board were actually guilty of the charge that I was falsely accused of. I did NOT attack an SFWA member in an official SFWA forum, in fact, I didn’t even LINK to an attack on an SFWA member in an official SFWA forum. (@sfwaauthors is not the official SFWA Twitter feed, and the feed belongs to Twitter anyhow, not SFWA.) Stephen Gould, among 70 other SFWA members, did.

This is why no one on our side gives even the smallest damn about anything the other side says. We know they are all absolutely and utterly full of shit. And we also know that even when we prove something beyond any shadow of a doubt, they will not change their mind in the slightest, but will promptly move the goalposts.

We will never, ever talk to them. There is no point.

 

 

bloggingandcapturing

“Nerd Entitlement or: How to stop hating and accept diversity” – July 6

This phenomenon isn’t limited to gaming. Hell the term GamerGate was first coined by the actor Adam Baldwin, a man whose Twitter feed is a smorgasbord of right-wing rambling that would fit right in at a Rick Santorum dinner party. Then there’s this years Hugo Awards, which has managed to be hijacked by a group right-wing authors and their supporters calling themselves ‘The Sad Puppies’, even managing to raise the ire of George R.R. Martin. Whilst they’ve been around for a couple of years with very little effect, their sudden rise in influence has coincided with the emergence of GamerGate. And then there’s the YouTube channels that have jumped on the crazy train. I remember watching Thunderf00t videos to do with astronomy years ago. Imagine my surprise when swathes of his channel is now dedicated to bashing feminists.

It’s become a lightning rod for those who had their niche, a thing that they could call their own. Now that it’s become more inclusive they’re rallying against feminists, “Social Justice Warriors” and those who think that maybe, just maybe, having more equality is a good thing. Because everything in geek culture in the past was aimed at a smaller market to which they belonged, their sense of entitlement is so that they feel that should continue.

Do I think that the likes of Adam Baldwin gives a toss about video games, aside from being paid to occasionally be in them? No. But it helps to further their agenda and people who see themselves as victims get swept up in it.

Is there a solution to this? Can those of us who, through our fandom, hobbies and interests are inextricably linked to these people, do or say anything to turn people away from such hate? I would like to think yes. We need to support those game developers, film makers and creative types who are helping to diversify geek culture. It’s important to not be afraid to provide constructive criticism when they drop the ball from time to time.

It’s my hope that, given time, opportunists like Baldwin, the misogynists GameGate, the Sad Puppies and countless YouTubers will become increasingly marginalised. With the widespread critical acclaim of the likes of Mad Max: Fury Road and Her Story and the increasing condemnation of shows like Game of Thrones for its treatment of women, I’d like to think that perception is starting to change. Sadly, I feel that for the time being those that shout the loudest will continue to impinge on geek culture.

 

Doctor Science on Obsidian Wings

“Hugo voting: how, why, for what” – July 6

This is a guide intended for fans from the transformative works/Tumblr ends of fandom who are voting for the Hugo Awards for the first time.

There are two basic principles for Hugo voting:

  1. You do not have to vote in every category
  2. When you *do* vote in a category, you have to at least look at all the legitimate nominees. You don’t have to finish them, but you’re honor-bound to at least try…..

 

Aidan Moher on A Dribble of Ink

Aidan Moher: Well, I wear my Hugo Award on a platinum chain around my neck — Flavor Flav-style — so, that tells you all you need to know about my perspective on awards. If you got ‘em, flaunt ‘em. Life’s too short for humility.

 

Brandon Kempner on Chaos Horizon

“Inside the Locus Results” – July 6

My copy of Locus Magazine arrived today, and with it some interesting insights on how the Hugo nominees did in those awards. While not a perfect match to the Hugos, the Locus are the closest thing going: a popular vote by SFF “insiders” to determine the best novel of the year…..

You’ll notice that the Top 2 from the SF and the Top 1 from F make up 3/5 of the Hugo Best Novel ballot. Neither the Jim Butcher nor the Kevin J. Anderson made the Top 28 SF novels or the Top 21 fantasy novels. If you were going by Locus vote counts alone, VanderMeer and Gibson would have been next in line for nominations. Since Hugo voters have ignored Gibson since 1994 (seriously, no nominations since 1994), the 5th spot would have been a toss up between Scalzi and Bennett. Given Scalzi’s past Hugo performance, you might lean in that direction, although we’ll find out when the full nomination stats are released.

 

Martin Wisse on Wis[s]e Words

“Best Novel Hugo vote 2015” – July 6

I don’t have to tell you I won’t be voting for any Puppy candidates, right, so the question becomes which of the three non-Puppy candidates will get my vote. Even diminished, this is a great shortlist:

The Goblin Emperor — Katherine Addison.

The Goblin Emperor at heart is a very traditional power fantasy, about the boy of humble origins who becomes emperor by happenstance and now has to very quickly learn how to survive in a world of political intrigue he’s completely unprepared for, filled with people who either want to manipulate him or replace him with a better figurehead. It’s one of those fantasy scenarios other writers can write multiple trilogies about to get to that point, but Katherine Addison has her goblin hero confirmed as the emperor within five pages, the rest of the novel being about him getting to grips with his new job, woefully inadequate though he feels.

 

Martin Wisse on Wis[s]e Words

“The Three-Body Problem — Cixin Liu” – July 6

If it hadn’t been for Marko Kloos doing the honourable thing and withdrawing his nomination, The Three-Body Problem wouldn’t be on the ballot for this year’s Best Novel Hugo. And that would’ve been a shame, since The Three-Body Problem is the first translated novel to make the shortlist. The start of a trilogy, it originally came out in China in serialisation in 2006, with the novel version coming out in 2008. The English translation was done by Ken Liu, who has won a Hugo Award himself. The sequels will come out this year and next.

 

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

“Hugo Reading – Related Work” – July 6

[Comments on all five nominees]

This entire category seems like a race to the bottom. “Wisdom” is clearly meant as an insult to anyone who actually cares about the Hugos, and none of the rest are award-worthy, though some are ok or even almost good. I feel like the time I spent reading this category was completely wasted. The only thing to do with this one is vote “No Award” and leave everything off the ballot.

 

David Steffen on Diabolical Plots

“Hugo Short Story Review: ‘A Single Samurai’ by Steven Diamond” – July 6

“A Single Samurai” by Steven Diamond was first published in The Baen Big Book of Monsters published by Baen Books.

In this story a mountain-sized kaiju has arisen in Japan, rising from beneath the land itself where the landscape had built up around it.  The monster is moving across the countryside, crushing everything in its path.  A samurai has survived its uprising where so many others haven’t by riding the kaiju as it rose up and climbing up its back even as the soil and trees and rocks shift off the kaiju as it walks.  To save Japan he has to finish his climb and find some way to kill the monster.

 

Familiar Diversions

“Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie” – July 6

Ancillary Justice has been on my TBR for a while, because books with prominent AI characters that aren’t evil are my catnip. Then the whole thing with the Sad Puppies and the Hugo Awards blew up. Ancillary Justice was one of two works that kept coming up again and again as one of the works most hated by the Sad Puppies, so I suppose I should thank them for reminding me I hadn’t read it yet…..

 

Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library

“Edge of Tomorrow, screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, and John-Henry Butterworth, directed by Doug Liman (Village Roadshow, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, 3 Arts Entertainment; Viz Productions)” – July 6

Groundhog Day meets every high-tech war movie you’ve seen. And, really, too violent for my tastes; I don’t do war movies. My nerves don’t handle the sound and images well. But this, honestly, is very good.

1,887 thoughts on “To Your Scattered Kennels Go 7/6

  1. Mark on July 9, 2015 at 8:52 am said:

    @Bruce Baugh

    Looks interesting, but the name has unfortunate resonances for anyone who has had to watch far too much In The Night Garden.

    Hey! That show is genius. Speculative Fiction for the under 3’s. Not as hard-SF as Teletubbies but you can’t beat the classics.

  2. I have a sort of vague collection of things in my head that amount to if-I-was-Brad-T-here-is-my-sad-puppy-3 slate. Chuck Gannon’s novels (I could only read half of one but the sequel got a Nebula nomination), Baen, James-Bond-in-space MilSFish. Transformers 3. Williamson’s actually-not-awful short story.

    Well, you’re more observant and thoughtful than Brad is, so there’s no question you’d pick a better Puppy slate than he did. On the other hand, being more observant and thoughtful more or less precludes the kind of self-delusion and ashattery that led Brad to put together and promote a slate, so that is kind of a problem with the thought experiment.

  3. @ Lori Coulson, @ Keith “Kilo” Watt

    I would suggest:

    Be it resolved that the World Science Fiction Society recommends requests that the Administrators of the Hugo Awards for Sasquan release the anonymized ballot data from this year’s Hugo nominations that it may be studied for the purpose of amending evaluating potential results of proposed changes to the Hugo nomination process.

  4. @Kat @Keith Kilo Watt

    I like that! Reads much more smoothly.

    I did mine on the fly in hopes that others could polish it up. It’s been awhile since I’ve had to draft ANYTHING like it.

  5. @Cat —

    I also posted mine to Making Light, so you might want to repost your revision there.

  6. Apparently Kevin Standlee has provided this as a starting point:

    Short Title: Hugo Nominating Data Request

    Resolved, That the WSFS Business Meeting requests that the Administrators of the 2015 Hugo Awards make publicly available anonymized raw nominating data from the 2015 Hugo Awards, including the works nominated on each ballot in each category but not including any information that could be used to relate ballots to the members who cast them; and
    Resolved, That it is the opinion of the WSFS Business Meeting that releasing such anonymized raw nominating data after the announcement of the results of the 2015 Hugo Awards is not a violation of the privacy of members’ ballots.

    Submitted By: [At least two members, supporting and/or attending, of Sasquan]

    Commentary: [Justification for requesting this data.]

    Have fun poking it here or at Making Light. 🙂

  7. @Cat – The 2:1 Not BrianZ Guideline is a good idea. I agree that BS and lies do need to be refuted, but he hasn’t really given us anything new along those lines for a long time now.

    More talk about books!

  8. All this talk about Pratchett has distracted me from finishing off Hugo categories and rereading Anne McCaffrey books – I’m now three books into the City Watch stuff and I regret nothing. 😀 (I sort of regret half my Pratchett’s still being at my parents. I wanted to start on the Death stuff but none of it is in the right part of the country.)

    @Maximillian

    I like Cat’s 2:1 Rule, too. It might be a good general rule of thumb for replying to anyone people are feeling “someone is being wrong on the internet” about. Now I’m not flinging myself in the middle (for spoon reasons) scrolling past everything to get to the interesting bits gets tiresome.

  9. Just noticed all my copies of “Hogfather” have gone missing.

    D:

    It’s one of my favorites, which is probably why. I’m an inveterate book pusher sometimes.

    Oh well, guess I’ll have to buy some more.

  10. Camestros: as a font, I think you should be either something old-style, or something very modern.

  11. I imagine Camesros Felapton as one of those typefaces with sticky-out bits all over.

  12. I see the Camesros Felapton as a font with a beautifully designed set unicode characters for logical symbols, and greek characters, slightly less effort for the english characters.

  13. At Baen I found this conversation informative.

    Larry Correia linked to Sad Puppies 1 which was *JUST HIM*.

    The belief was evident among some Baen regulars that anyone who had tried to vote for a fan-organized slate had probably had their ballots thrown out by the Hugo administrator, and if anyone tries it again, the administrator will just throw the votes out again.

    The Baen editor laid down guidelines about use of the forum, as follows:

    Every year we, the publisher, do post a list of all the eligible Baen works (including shorter works in anthologies and at the web site). Laura’s working on finishing that up now. I don’t think that can be construed as a slate. If our readers want to share recommendations, I also don’t think that crosses the line.

    –Toni

    She didn’t spell out “authors, you must immediately stop posting/linking to your eligibility posts here at Baen’s Bar,” but since the discussion was in response to Correia’s link to SP1, the hint was hardly subtle. Even if author eligibility links didn’t completely disappear, Baen’s editor discouraged them.

    The part about the Hugo administrator is my gut feeling too – if there had been a bloc of lockstep voters they would have been thrown out. That’s why I thought it more likely that the puppies are on the ballot because large numbers of people nominated them with a small degree of overlap. We’ll find out soon!

    For you dogpilers, Brian Z believes: 1) recommending stuff on a blog is fine, 2) authors, especially mega-bloggers, shouldn’t promote self or others for Hugos because it puts their fingers on the scales, 3) writers on a publisher’s platform (paid or volunteer) shouldn’t use that platform to do so.

    Brian Z now also believes: one good guideline for a publisher’s platform might be: “Publisher may post a list of works each year without comment,” “no author eligibility posts please,” “readers can make recommendations in our forum discussions, but not post a campaign or ask people register to nominate something specific.”

  14. Brian Z.: The part about the Hugo administrator is my gut feeling too – if there had been a bloc of lockstep voters they would have been thrown out.

    You clearly do not have any understanding how the Hugo admins operate, or the high standard of ethics which they follow.

    If they had gotten a bunch of identical electronic ballots submitted from the same IP address, they would have been checking registrations to find out why all these people were in the same household — and I’m sure those registrants would have been asked some questions by Sasquan’s concom.

    But the Hugo Admins would never have thrown out a bunch of electronic ballots simply because they all nominated the same entries.

    The fact that you are spreading this sort of shit is just unbelievable — except that of course it’s believable that you would spread this sort of shit.

    News Flash: most SFF fans have a hell of a lot more integrity than the Puppies; just because this is exactly the sort of thing that Puppies would do, it doesn’t mean that other fans would do it — especially not the Hugo administrators.

  15. Executive summary: Brian Z continues to assert untrue things about Hugo tallying process, will not actually condemn the one group that did in fact flood the whole ballot, and is happy to push the idea that no effective recommendation should be tolerated….but the Rabid Puppies aren’t anything to go criticize.

    Business as usual.

  16. Hugo admins do not throw out votes for any reason.

    I gather they go out of their way to attempt to translate every misspelled, vague, garbled ballot into something coherent.

    To say they would just throw out votes is an outrageous slander to a crew of devoted unpaid volunteers who work their asses off to be just and fair to *each* voter.

    Is being only one minority among many so terrible that people would rather insult helpful volunteers and invent sinister conspiracies than accept minority status?

  17. The part about the Hugo administrator is my gut feeling too – if there had been a bloc of lockstep voters they would have been thrown out.

    So now you’re reduced to just spewing completely unsubstantiated bullshit. In fact, you’re spewing debunked bullshit that you have every reason to know has been debunked. In short, you’re lying. Again. How unsurprising.

  18. I can see why the Puppies would so casually assume that Hugo admins are corrupt about counting votes, given how sleazily the Puppies put together their own slates.

    The Puppy leaders have piously mouthed words like “open” and “democratic” about their slate-building process, but not one of them has been able to explain how so few of the works their readers actually recommended got onto their slates nor why so many of their own which no one recommended got on.

    It is not surprising that people who treat democracy so cavalierly assume that others are corrupt just like they are and cheat just like they do.

  19. Bruce Baugh,

    but the Rabid Puppies aren’t anything to go criticize.

    Business as usual.

    VD’s suggestion to Vox Popoli readers that they vote his list of recommendations “exactly as they are” was the worst mistake of anyone to date. I wouldn’t find that acceptable when anyone does it, period.

  20. Brian –

    Responding to latter part of your post…

    For you dogpilers, Brian Z believes: 1) recommending stuff on a blog is fine, 2) authors, especially mega-bloggers, shouldn’t promote self or others for Hugos because it puts their fingers on the scales, 3) writers on a publisher’s platform (paid or volunteer) shouldn’t use that platform to do so.

    Brian Z now also believes: one good guideline for a publisher’s platform might be: “Publisher may post a list of works each year without comment,” “no author eligibility posts please,” “readers can make recommendations in our forum discussions, but not post a campaign or ask people register to nominate something specific.”

    Just a quick response that I think it’s good that you’ve posted clearly what you think should be done. What you’ve posted is certainly something that can actually be debated. I think that might be a more constructive way to dialogue on the issue.

    As far as what you propose, even if everyone agreed that this was the way to go, the only issue I see is that it’s unenforceable. It requires everyone to voluntarily sign on to it, and there’s no real repercussions if they don’t. That said, I can see that this at least aligns with your preference for socially-driven solutions. This, I think, would be something you could post over on Vox’s blog and see if they’d be willing to sign on to it. The only problem I see is, what if they don’t? In order to work, it has to be agreed to by everyone.

    This leads to the point I was trying to make about EPH: It doesn’t prevent any of what you suggest from being able to happen, but it does provide the “safety net” both while you’re working to achieve it and if someone refuses to support it and posts a slate anyway. Do you see why I think EPH can actually help you achieve your goals?

    Kilo

  21. Brian Z on July 9, 2015 at 7:49 pm said:

    The belief was evident among some Baen regulars that anyone who had tried to vote for a fan-organized slate had probably had their ballots thrown out by the Hugo administrator, and if anyone tries it again, the administrator will just throw the votes out again.

    The part about the Hugo administrator is my gut feeling too – if there had been a bloc of lockstep voters they would have been thrown out.

    Arrant nonsense. And this is an area in which I do have insider knowledge. Administrators don’t throw out votes just because they don’t like what the people are voting for. I know; I’ve been an Administrator three times. In fact, the one time (before my turn in the barrel) there was pretty-well-near-conclusive evidence of a bunch of votes being cast by a large bloc of “members” whose memberships arrived nearly simultaneously with consecutively-numbered money orders from the same post office, the Administrators still did not throw out the votes, although they did take what probably would be considered a kind of extra-legal action, inasmuch as the result of that blatant bloc vote was only to add one finalist in one category.

    Administrators are not blind. They can see that large numbers of ballots are arriving with near-identical slates of nominees. But they have to count every legally cast ballot, regardless of how they personally feel about it. Sometimes they can vent about it privately, but that’s about it.

    All I can figure here is that we have some people — starting with you, Brian Z — who personally assume that they would naturally only count votes for things they personally liked. That is, you think you would be personally corrupt if you were administering the awards, so you assume that everyone is personally corrupt.

    The sad thing is that I think this may reflect a common assumption in society that amounts to “everyone is on the take, everyone is corrupt.”

  22. BrianZ: The part about the Hugo administrator is my gut feeling too – if there had been a bloc of lockstep voters they would have been thrown out.

    Bull-fucking-shit (pardon my French). We didn’t throw out the obvious-collusion-ballots-are-obvious in 1984: the rules didn’t permit it then, and AFAIK they don’t permit it now. We did, particularly with the final ballots, try to get clarification of ballots where we couldn’t determine what the voters actually intended, to the point of sending letters to some people asking them what they meant.

  23. It never ceases to amaze me how eager people with zero experience are to make the most impudent and insulting assumptions about other people without ever bothering to educate themselves.

    I am surprised at how really angry I am on the Hugo administrators’ behalf.

  24. I loved Monstrous Regiment; it was in fact, my first Pratchett, after I read a favorable review in the NY Times that made Pratchett sound like quite a promising young writer. I bought the book and read it and was immediately afterwards dashing to the bookstore lamenting, “Why didn’t anyone tell me about this!?” and worked the rest of my way through his oeuvre. Which is why I have a special fondness for Private Perks, even though she turned out to be only a one-shot character.

  25. I am surprised at how really angry I am on the Hugo administrators’ behalf.

    Well, like virtually all of the Puppies, Brian is a sleazy lying shitbag, so naturally he assumes everyone else is.

  26. Just to point out the bleeding obvious, but the 2011 slate left gaps for people to pick their favourites. Puppies have been very indignant at anyone thinking they acted in any way other than picking their favourites, so taking them at their word, why would 2011 and 2015 slates be any different except in quantity of ballots? If one qualified for being thrown out, why wouldn’t the other?

    But that’s all besides the point, because Hugo administrators don’t throw out ballots. An apology is owed to them.

  27. But responding to the first part of your post…

    The belief was evident among some Baen regulars that anyone who had tried to vote for a fan-organized slate had probably had their ballots thrown out by the Hugo administrator, and if anyone tries it again, the administrator will just throw the votes out again.

    I can vouch that this is just simply not true. I had never met Kevin before April, but as a result of working on the development of EPH, I’ve had a great deal of contact with him. I can personally attest that Kevin — and I firmly believe everyone who has ever served as a Hugo admin — has bent over backwards to make sure that everyone and everything associated with Worldcon and Hugos is handled fairly and impartially. I’ve been extremely impressed with his professionalism and acumen (and patience!) in dealing with the many issues involved. There is just no way that they would throw out legal ballots for any reason. Period.

    Kilo

  28. Kevin Standlee,

    I did not disparage Hugo administrators or say I think they would ever do anything wrong. I believe they are inherently principled and trustworthy people.

    And of course ballots that have only some overlap can’t just be thrown out.

    I said I could understand the perspective of some people having that conversation in 2013 about how a Hugo administrator might recognize lockstep voting, because it is also my gut feeling – simply based on hearing some of the various stories that have been told – that if a publisher tries to get members to vote in lockstep for a certain list of nominees, and hundreds of identical ballots for those nominees actually arrive, there could be a case for discounting them. Please note “gut feeling.”

    You just described one of the past cases I had heard of – you mention some “extra legal action” taken – that had prompted my gut feeling. And I don’t know the details of that – nor should I.

  29. it is also my gut feeling – simply based on hearing some of the various stories that have been told – that if a publisher tries to get members to vote in lockstep for a certain list of nominees, and hundreds of identical ballots for those nominees actually arrive, there could be a case for discounting them.

    No matter how many times you repeat your baseless lies, it won’t make them any more convincing. Does it bother you that everyone knows what a dishonest scumbag you are?

  30. Brian Z on July 9, 2015 at 8:46 pm said:

    And of course ballots that have only some overlap can’t just be thrown out.

    NO BALLOTS ARE EVER THROWN OUT!

    You appear to have a remarkable reading comprehension difficulty.

  31. Brian Z: In addition to all else that has been said about Hugo administration let me add this — Sasquan took the money for that record-setting pile of supporting memberships with eyes wide open. They touted Hugo voting privileges as one of the rights of those memberships (about which there is no question under the WSFS rules). How would they dare not count everyone’s legally cast Hugo vote?

  32. Brian Z: I did not disparage Hugo administrators or say I think they would ever do anything wrong. I believe they are inherently principled and trustworthy people.

    After you’ve said that you think they’d toss out ballots.
    You’ve already demonstrated that your comments are untrustworthy: why do you think we’ll buy your no-pologies?

  33. Kilo,

    Would you mind if I address this part first and then come back to your other questions.

    There is just no way that they would throw out legal ballots for any reason. Period

    Of course I agree with that.

    Some commenters at Baen’s Bar were saying years ago that folks shouldn’t organize a slate because it might be considered illegal. (We are supposed to vote for the things we think are the best of the year, remember.) They imagined some action could be taken by administrators. I said that such a gut feeling is understandable – and a reason not to organize a slate! – since I too have heard stories about interventions in the past when illegal blocs of votes were discovered. I’m sure the past episode or episodes were all addressed a highly ethical manner. I’m sure of it.

  34. So did Brian not notice that even LC (who is not exactly addicted to the truth either) admitted that Brian’s accusation is not true? More than a year ago, if I remember correctly. LC’s admission was pretty widely reported, so it is hard to imagine that Brian didn’t see it. Could he just be hoping that we’ve all forgotten it?

    I’ve never really understood dedicated trolls. Maybe he knew we’d spot his lie, and wanted to just get people riled up again?

    Oy vey, I just noticed that he’s posted a follow-up that both repeats his accusation AND denies making it. That is impressive.

  35. @Brian Z, 7:49pm: “if there had been a bloc of lockstep voters they would have been thrown out.”

    @Brian Z, 8:54pm, replying to Kilo:

    There is just no way that they would throw out legal ballots for any reason. Period

    Of course I agree with that.

    So you’re an outright liar, and not worth listening to.

    [click]

  36. I like eligibility posts. I want them to continue. I find them helpful. I don’t like slates. I want that problem fixed. I don’t believe social solutions will work. If I could get to Sasquan in person, I’d be voting for E Pluribus Hugo.

  37. since I too have heard stories about interventions in the past when illegal blocs of votes were discovered. I’m sure the past episode or episodes were all addressed a highly ethical manner. I’m sure of it.

    So, you think they would have “ethically” violated the rules and thrown out valid ballots. Sure, that’s what you meant. You do realize that no amount of scrambling to try to rewrite your posting history will save your sleazy, lying, worthless ass at this point, don’t you? You’ve got negative credibility by now.

  38. Mike Glyer:

    My gut feeling was that if hundreds of completely identical ballots arrive in the weeks after a publisher asks for them to be sent, the administrator might be empowered to take some action. That’s because I’ve heard vaguely about such things happening in the past, but don’t know the details.

    From the responses from P J and Kevin, far from “throwing out” any votes, the administrators took other actions, ranging from “trying to get clarification,” “sending letters to some people asking them what they meant,” “taking what probably would be considered a kind of extra-legal action, inasmuch as the result of that blatant bloc vote was only to add one finalist in one category,” and “venting about it privately.”

    My gut feeling stands corrected, since none of those things are “throwing out” votes.

    No, it didn’t occur to me to think about money.

  39. I’d thought Monstrous Regiment was still at my parents, too, but I just double-checked and my copy is here! I think I’ll read it after Jingo.

    The most important part of a Camestros Felapton font would surely be beautifully formed numerals. Perhaps a spiky, swoopy serif with all those rounded letters in the name.

    (I overshot so it’ll have to be 3:2 this time around)

  40. Brian Z : My gut feeling was that if hundreds of completely identical ballots arrive in the weeks after a publisher asks for them to be sent, the administrator might be empowered to take some action. That’s because I’ve heard vaguely about such things happening in the past, but don’t know the details.

    It’s my gut feeling that you’re a genocidal shape-changing Thing out to get us all.

    Now, it’s just a gut feeling – but I’m sure you won’t mind us choosing policy based on that gut feeling, right? You’re entitled to your baseless opinion, and I’m entitled to my flamethrower mine.

  41. Brian Z, I’d advise you to stop going on your ‘gut feelings’, since they’re clearly unreliable sources.

  42. Brian Z on July 9, 2015 at 8:46 pm said:

    And of course ballots that have only some overlap can’t just be thrown out.

    Here, let me fix that for you: And of course ballots that have only some overlap can’t just be thrown out.

    I said I could understand the perspective of some people having that conversation in 2013 about how a Hugo administrator might recognize lockstep voting, because it is also my gut feeling – simply based on hearing some of the various stories that have been told – that if a publisher tries to get members to vote in lockstep for a certain list of nominees, and hundreds of identical ballots for those nominees actually arrive, there could be a case for discounting them. Please note “gut feeling.”

    Your “gut feeling” is wrong. I know the Administrators in question. They don’t throw out ballots cast by valid members, no matter what they think of the nominees or the people making the nominations. Look, I ran the awards myself three times. You think that the works that made the ballot or that won were my own personal favorites? They weren’t? In fact, offhand, it’s an exception when works I nominated in those years actually made the ballot, let alone won. My vote counted exactly the same as every other member’s, and my own tastes weren’t very much in tune with the larger number of members.

    You just described one of the past cases I had heard of – you mention some “extra legal action” taken – that had prompted my gut feeling. And I don’t know the details of that – nor should I.

    There’s no reason you shouldn’t know; it’s part of the record and the decision of the Administrators was announced in public. It’s not a secret. In 1989, a bunch of seemingly-identical ballots turned up, cast in a very suspicious pattern. Look, if you receive a large number of identically marked ballots, all paid for by consecutively-numbered money orders from the same post office, and all apparently cast at the same time, it is likely to look suspicious. The Administrators were worried about this one. (Incidentally, one reaction to the 1989 affair was to move the deadline for becoming a member eligible to nominate back so that it was before the deadline for casting ballots.)

    In light of what we know now, a case could have been made for discarding the questionable ballots on the grounds that they were not cast by the people whose names were attached to them. I understand that some of the people in question were surprised when they started getting convention material, because as far as they knew, they’d never joined Noreascon Three. Despite all of this, the 1989 Hugo Award Administrators (which were actually the entire Board of Directors of the convention’s parent corporation) decided to not discard the ballots, but instead to allow six finalists, without saying which nominee was the one with the suspicious voting pattern. Subsequently, P.J. Beese and Todd Cameron Hamilton withdrew their novel The Guardian from the shortlist. It does not appear that Beese and Hamilton had anything to do with the campaign in question, and that the campaign was the the result of “a group of enthusiastic New York area fans,” according to Locus.

    So even in a case when there was a likely cause to disqualify ballots, the Administrators did not do so, but instead tried to work out an equitable solution to the issue.

    Your “gut feelings” are flat-out wrong. They say a whole lot more about what an unethical person you personally are and what you would do if anyone let you anywhere near the administration of the Hugo Awards than they do about what the people who put in a whole lot of work to keep the Awards fairly run despite people from all sides screaming at them for different reasons.

  43. Mr. Standlee, I’ve never run anything the size of Worldcon, but I have been in the position of herding geeky cats. You and everyone you work with has all of my sympathy and admiration for your efforts. Thank you for all your hard work, and I’m sorry you have to deal with slights against your integrity.

  44. Kevin Standlee,

    I understand and accept all of the points you have made, except that I wish to remind you that have not accused anyone of doing anything unethical, nor do I think any Hugo administrator ever would.

    This clarification was very useful for me:

    Look, if you receive a large number of identically marked ballots, all paid for by consecutively-numbered money orders from the same post office, and all apparently cast at the same time, it is likely to look suspicious….In light of what we know now, a case could have been made for discarding the questionable ballots on the grounds that they were not cast by the people whose names were attached to them.

    With the internet and online credit card payments, things are of course very different than how they were in 1989.

    So thank you for the explanations, which help me understand the past controversies a lot better.

  45. Kilo,

    Thank you for your responses.

    the only issue I see is that it’s unenforceable. It requires everyone to voluntarily sign on to it, and there’s no real repercussions if they don’t.

    1. This suggests that the Hugos don’t work unless we join together as fans in a shared quest to seek for the best things of the year. I believe such a quest is one reason participating in the Hugo Awards has historically been appealing to fans. I also believe it is the reason the Hugo Awards have historically picked a lot of memorable things and less of the forgettable things. (My thoughts about this are elsewhere on this blog.)

    2. It is not entirely correct there are no possible repercussions. There is No Award.

    This, I think, would be something you could post over on Vox’s blog and see if they’d be willing to sign on to it. The only problem I see is, what if they don’t? In order to work, it has to be agreed to by everyone.

    Vox was even here talking about it a while back. He has said (to paraphrase) we made some mistakes, and are willing to admit it. But even if we agree next year to do nothing more than make a few recommendations in exactly the same way others have, what then? You’ll still denounce us anyway.

    To put it mildly, nobody has proved him wrong yet. He got “we’ll no award without even reading,” to which he replied “if that’s how you want to play, see what happens next year.” Then he got “4/6”, to which he replied “don’t forget my minions all have an odd or even number. ” Then he got EPH, to which he replied “it is obvious where this is headed so I have nothing in particular to say other than welcome to the Hugo Security Council.”

    I think the best thing to do is for all parties to think about voluntary guidelines among themselves about what kind of campaigning is acceptable. I think that is a good thing to do regardless.

    EPH: It doesn’t prevent any of what you suggest from being able to happen, but it does provide the “safety net” both while you’re working to achieve it and if someone refuses to support it and posts a slate anyway. Do you see why I think EPH can actually help you achieve your goals?

    My sole concerns with EPH are:

    1) Changing the rules now may “appear” to be directed at “one side” (even though you have argue for why your proposal is neutral) so I feel it is better to invite a task force with members from various parts of the community to look at the possibilities first.

    2) The scenario that has been demonstrated (a single lockstep bloc of 200 facing off against randomly generated ballots that match the 2013 results) doesn’t even resemble what happened in 2015, much less a likely scenario in 2017 and beyond, so there should be modeling of other scenarios before ratification.

    3) If the five works with the most nominations are shortlisted, it means the greatest number of people thought that these five works were among best of the year. If the largest possible number of people get one thing they nominated on the final ballot, it doesn’t mean that. We know that Method A has a proven track record of selecting great works. Personally, I’m already used to the things I like never making the final ballot and don’t demand that it should or must make the final ballot. For these reasons, my own “happiness” would greater with Method A.

    I’m willing to be convinced – but haven’t found arguments so far convincing.

  46. Brian –

    My sole concerns with EPH are:

    1) Changing the rules now may “appear” to be directed at “one side” (even though you have argue for why your proposal is neutral) so I feel it is better to invite a task force with members from various parts of the community to look at the possibilities first.

    I’m not sure how I can be more open or clear about the fact that the designers of EPH are opposed to -all- slates that prevent all other works from having a chance to appear on the ballot, no matter who is pushing those slates. Lord knows, I’ve tried to be as clear and upfront as I can with everyone. Anyone who still thinks otherwise really made up his or her mind a long time ago and without the benefit of actually reading what EPH does.

    2) The scenario that has been demonstrated (a single lockstep bloc of 200 facing off against randomly generated ballots that match the 2013 results) doesn’t even resemble what happened in 2015, much less a likely scenario in 2017 and beyond, so there should be modeling of other scenarios before ratification.

    We did not just model the 2013 data. I have personally modeled several dozen different scenarios with just the 2013 data, the 1984 data, and with data that we manufactured specifically to give edge cases that have essentially zero chance of ever occurring. Jameson has done hundreds more in his statistical modeling. I’ve said this before (to you as well, if I recall correctly), but let me state it clearly: The tests you want done have been done. No, I haven’t posted all of those pages of results, but I’ve been clear both here and on several other blogs that I’m more than willing to make that available — along with the algorithm — to anyone who wants to check our work or just play with scenarios. Again, I’m not sure how I can be more open about that. I had to choose one of those dozens of scenarios to use as our example. The feedback we were given was that voting patterns have probably changed in 30 years, so the 1984 data might not be as relevant.

    3) If the five works with the most nominations are shortlisted, it means the greatest number of people thought that these five works were among best of the year. If the largest possible number of people get one thing they nominated on the final ballot, it doesn’t mean that. We know that Method A has a proven track record of selecting great works. Personally, I’m already used to the things I like never making the final ballot and don’t demand that it should or must make the final ballot. For these reasons, my own “happiness” would greater with Method A.

    That’s a valid opinion. I disagree with it, but because it is and always must be a subjective case, there’s nothing anyone can do to convince anyone of either perspective. I can only say that staying with Method A means that slates will force all other works off the ballot. It is an axiom of the EPH designers that this situation is unacceptable.

    Kilo

  47. Brian Z:

    3) If the five works with the most nominations are shortlisted, it means the greatest number of people thought that these five works were among best of the year. If the largest possible number of people get one thing they nominated on the final ballot, it doesn’t mean that. We know that Method A has a proven track record of selecting great works. Personally, I’m already used to the things I like never making the final ballot and don’t demand that it should or must make the final ballot. For these reasons, my own “happiness” would greater with Method A.

    And would your “happiness” be greater with a group of as few as 15% of the nominators, nominating in lockstep or something near to it, forcing the choices of the other 85% off the ballot? Because that’s what we have now, and nothing you’ve proposed will stop that from happening.
    Which do you honestly think is the greater threat to the Hugos? Me, I think the proven loophole that allows a small fraction of the nominators, if they vote in or near lockstep, to completely negate the will of the other 85%, is a far greater threat. Especially since it’s not just theoretical; the loophole has actually been exploited.
    You, on the other hand, seem to think that the loophole exploiters are NOT the greater threat. Why?

  48. It is worth noting that the lying sack of shit sometimes known as “Brian Z” was a fairly active commenter over at MAKING LIGHT throughout most/all of the period within which EPH was being created. The lying sack of shit bloody well knows that much of what he says (about ooh, EPH wasn’t tested enough! in particular, but hardly limited to that specific topic) is flatly, egregiously wrong.

  49. I’m no fan of Brian’s, but in strict fairness I have to disagree with Cubist. Brian was not “fairly active…throughout most/all of the period” — he came in relatively late, at a point in the process where the community on ML had decided “something should be done” and were in the process of nailing down exactly what that something should look like. He proceeded to start trying to go back to discussion of whether anything should be done, and got booted for being derailing of the current topic. He did then stay away for quite some time.

    That’s how it looked to me, at least, and how I recall it — speaking as someone who is a fairly active Making Light commenter, and who followed the discussion threads as they were going on.

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