Dogs With A Blog 8/27

(1) Kate Paulk on Mad Genius Club “Yet Another Hugo Post”

I was going to mine the Intertubes for Nazi quotes that the Puppy-Kickers could have said if they’d been about Puppies or white men rather than Jews, but alas, even in translation Hitler and Goebbels are so much more articulate the comparison would be utterly unfair to the Puppy-Kickers (and remember, these are writers and editors – but the Nazis beat them on all fronts when it comes to articulating points of view. I suppose I should be relieved: pointing and shrieking tends to be rather less than effective as a means of converting the undecided).

Oh, and for those who are wondering? The reason I didn’t use quotes from Mao, Lenin, or Stalin was that an awful lot of Puppy-Kickers would be flattered to be compared to such luminaries of the world’s most lethal ideology.

So, let’s call them for what they are. Nasty, petty, bullying socialists who would fit in just as well with the Nazis as they would with their equally murderous Communist cousins. They even have a racial agenda, and while they’d deny it, they’re so US-centric it’s hilarious (as well as sad).

And what’s even sadder is this pathetic collection of power-hungry little Hitlers have destroyed what was once a genuinely respected award. Whether it can be resurrected by the Campaign to End Puppy-Related Sadness or not, I consider the cause to be worthy.

Anonymous (who else?) in a comment on fail-fandomanon

Oh, dear. I hope the popcorn harvest this year is bountiful; looks like we’ll need it.

Kate Paulk in a comment on “Yet Another Hugo Post”

It’s not Godwin’s law if the comparison is legitimate, Mr Brandt.

(2) Mark Judge on Acculturated – “Political Correctness Puts Science Fiction on Trial”

John C. Wright losing to “No Award” is like the Rolling Stones losing to “No Award” at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It’s a disgrace.

The blackballing of Wright brings to mind, yet again, the concept of punitive liberalism. The phrase was coined by James Piereson in his brilliant and groundbreaking book, Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism. Punitive liberalism, unlike classic liberalism—which was tolerant, thoughtful, and popular in America during most of the history of science fiction—is a product of post-1960s identity politics, is against free thought, against virile men of action (like the swashbucklers found in a lot of the Sad Puppies’ stories), against sexy ladies in pulp fiction (or anywhere else for that matter), against fun, and focused like a phaser on race, class, and gender.

It’s why John C. Wright, one of the best science fiction writers alive, is not sitting at home polishing his five Hugos.

(3) Sanford Begley on Otherwhere Gazette – “Congratulations to the winner”

The Hugo awards for 2015 are over. The clear winner is Vox “Machiavelli” Day. He pretty much got everything he wanted. He wanted Three Body Problem to win and it did. He wanted the Hugos to No Award everything and it mostly did. He wanted to help the SJWs in general and the powers behind the World Science Fiction Convention to look like screaming idiots and it happened. And he was given so much help that a casual observer has to wonder how many of the people he was destroying were secretly his minions.

Before I go into how thoroughly he won I would like to offer condolences to Laura Mixon, Guardians Of The Galaxy and the others who lost because of his machinations. Yes I said lost. You see, they will be forever tainted by the actions of the body bestowing the award. They will be the winners of the Year of the Asterisk. For those who don’t know it, a vanishingly small body by now, the asterisk is both a sign that they weren’t real winners and a symbol known in SF circles to represent the common asshole. The work they did was certainly deserving of being on the ballot, the way they won will forever brand them as not good enough to win honestly. And the fault lies not with them.  The fault lies in the machinations of a clique of mostly old, mostly white, mostly male morons who could not stand the idea that they were not the all powerful force they thought they were. Well, them and Vox Day.

(4) John Carlton on The Arts Mechanical – “Scalzi And Who’s A Jerk”

He [Scalzi] starts out saying that the puppies acted like jerks.  As if somehow the puppies created a world wide media smear campaign to smear the clique that ran world cons.  Or pressure authors to withdraw their nominations.  Or derided fans who nominated the “wrong books” as “wrong fans.”  The puppies did all that?  Actually no.  That was Scalzi and his friends.

His primary complaint is that the puppies created slate.  He’s all angry about that.  As if this was the first time that anybody had a campaign to nominate books.  As if He, himself had not campaigned to get his stuff nominated.  Or maybe it’s because he wasn’t this year.  Did he really think that he was ENTITLED to award nominations every year?  I guess so. Anyway, Lets look at his list and maybe get a grasp of the truth here.

(5) Tom Knighton – “What Puppies Want From Awards”

Awards should be indicative of quality.  We have maintained that the Hugos haven’t had that for a long time.

You want to know something though?  We can change that perception without anyone having to surrender.

This year, Three Body Problem won for best novel.  It wasn’t on any of the lists, but that was because none of us read it at that time.  However, a number of people on both sides of the divide read it and loved it.  It won not from just anti-puppy support, or puppy support, but from both camps loving the book.

Was that love universal?  No.  No book is universally loved, and 3BP has detractors.  Every book does.

But what matters is that this one book had enough support from two different groups that it won.  It’s proof that this world I dream of, where the good stories win regardless of anything else, can exist.

(6) Jay Swanson – “The Hugos as a Microcosm”

Hugos – How it Could Have Been

My real experience with the Hugos began last Saturday, even if I voted months beforehand (and only on like two things because I was too late to vote on most). So I’d like to address what I saw. I do think it was important, considering how everything had escalated, to send a message that said “It is not OK to hijack the Hugos.” That is a fair statement to make, and the “No Award” handed down as a result was not unfair. It was in how they were handed down that mattered.

It’s important to realize that real people were sitting in that auditorium, their hearts in their throats, their hopes burgeoning that maybe, just maybe, they would win something that night. It’s hard enough not winning an award. It’s doubly so when people applaud the fact that no one won it.

Rather than applaud (of which I’m guilty on a few counts), it would have been more appropriate had I simply nodded quietly in approval. In the same moment, it would have been good to reach out and offer comfort to one of the nominees if they had been nearby. Just to say, “Hey, I realize this sucks, but there’s always next year.”

(7) Jason Clark on Your Nerd Is Showing – “Kicking Puppies: The Promise of Sci-Fi vs. Anti-Inclusivity Brigade”

And then the No Awards began. This article is not a definite list of the winners. The Hugos have that themselves as well as many far more respected journalistic establishments. I’m only going to tell you the sweeping emotion that began to take me as I started sending messages to friends, colleagues, and acquaintances to tell them the results. I was taken by the solidarity of the thing. There were many tolerable candidates on the Sad Puppies slate, but still, the voters hold firm. They would not negotiate with what they felt were bigots or terrorists. They would not put up with the kind of people who would leave a stack of vile papers on the freebies table, hoping to insult as many groups as possible while referring to the SFWA as the “Socialist Fiction Writer’s of America.” Overall, five No Awards were announced that night, bringing the total of No Awards given in the history of the Hugos to five. The Sad Puppies were almost entirely shut out, with the singular exception of “Guardians of the Galaxy” winning long form presentation. It was a category completely full of Puppy nominees and yet, enough voters had intended to vote for it regardless, that it still won. It struck me, sitting there, as the Sad Puppies’ greatest loss. It was the one that proved that voting weren’t just there to spite them. They were protesting the Puppies’ methods and tactics, certainly. But they weren’t beyond voting for a option that they agreed with.

(8) CiaraCat Sci-Fi “Tell me about the good SFF you’ve read/watched in 2015!”

So, now that a record number of fans have shown up to prove that the group barking “You are a tiny clique trying to block us completely out of the Hugo Awards” were, in fact, the tiny clique who themselves were trying to block everybody else out of the awards…. Let’s move on to what new SFF has been coming out!

(9) Miles Schneiderman on YES! Magazine “Sci-Fi Fandom Declares Victory After Reactionary Nominees Lose Big at the Hugos”

Aside from Guardians, the Hugo voters took every opportunity to award nominees not supported by the Puppies. And despite a deck stacked against women and people of color, the voters rewarded both. Chinese author Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Problem won for “Best Novel,” becoming the first translated novel ever to win a Hugo. The award in the “Best Graphic Story” category went to the first volume of Ms. Marvel, the comic book that features a teenage Muslim girl as its heroine. Julia Dillon won her second straight Hugo for “Best Professional Artist,” beating out four Puppy candidates. Meanwhile, Lightspeed Magazine beat two Puppy nominees for “Best Semiprozine,” and one of Lightspeed’s editors, Christie Yant, began her acceptance speech with a sardonic, “I’d like to thank the patriarchy.”

One of the most interesting winners was Laura J. Mixon, who won “Best Fan Writer” over four Puppies for her exposé on the notorious Internet troll known as Requires Hate. Mixon’s chances of victory had been uncertain, despite her exclusion from the Puppy slates, because Requires Hate turned out to be a left-leaning woman of color who had been nominated for the Campbell award in 2014. She earned her reputation by viciously attacking and bullying authors she perceived as misrepresenting her race and gender, and had been cited by the Puppies as a glaring example of leftist extremism. Mixon exposed and denounced her, and as a result, many anti-Puppy advocates were also anti-Mixon.

In her acceptance speech, Mixon stressed the importance of being inclusive, and while she didn’t explicitly call for the Puppies to be accepted into the fold, that sentiment could clearly be heard. She ended, however, by advocating for the powerless instead. “I stand with marginalized groups who seek merely to be seen as fully human,” Mixon said before leaving the stage. “Black lives matter.”

(10) Eric Offill on GonnaGeek – “World War Geek: Contemplating The Hugo Fiasco”

The Hugo organizers needed to listen to the dissent and try to answer the claims they are voicing. They need to create avenues of trust with those readers who feel marginalized because their taste in sci-fi isn’t trendy. Because whether they believe it or not, they can’t afford to lose these fans or the one these fans will generate. Larry Correia’s work (which I actually think is pretty good) matters. Orson Scott Card’s work matters. And if you don’t think that their voices aren’t trying to be silenced by the progressive side, ask yourself if Starship Troopers were written today, would it have even been nominated not to even mention win?

That said, the Puppies need to stop acting like victims of the establishment. Bear in mind while Sad and Rabid Puppies are two separate groups, the old adage still goes that if you lie down with dogs, you get fleas. You associate with unsavory individuals, align yourself with news outlets of disrepute, not only do you have to fight the battle you picked, but you have to fight the appearance of malice. You can’t proclaim to be taking the high ground and get into the mud with your opponents. If you truly are interested in being the voice of the marginalized, start acting like a reputable activist and you’ll find allies. Otherwise you’re letting your opponents paint you as a petulant child throwing a tantrum, and they could be right.

But neither side has an excuse for the “No Hugo” reaction. This is beyond embarrassing to EVERYONE. Whether you agree with the nominees or not, they are still nominees and DESERVE to compete for an award and not to be denied simply because the voters didn’t like the choices.

(11) George R.R. Martin on Not A Blog – “The Hugo Losers Party”

Not all the losers were there, to be sure. I had a pocket full of invitations throughout the con, as did Parris and my minions Raya and Jo and Tyler, but even so, we missed people. I never saw Mike Glyer, who I was especially eager to invite, since he had attended the first Hugo Losers Party in 1976, and had done such a great job of covering Puppygate in File 770. But we did get Liza and the LOCUS crew, and it was Charlie Brown and LOCUS who named that first party the best at Big Mac. I looked for Toni Weisskopf at the Hugo ceremony, but never found her. I saw John Joseph Adams at the ceremony, but he somehow escaped me during the picture-taking afterward, and my efforts to track him down at the KC bash came to naught. I never found Jo Walton, though I got messages that she was looking for me. There were others I missed as well… and some who were not invited. NO ASSHOLES, the invite warned. We had a small list, and no, I won’t tell you the names on it… but we wanted this party to be about joy and celebration and togetherness, not division, anger, and ugliness.

In that we succeeded. We had a great crowd. Old and young, fan and pro, male and female, gay and straight and trans, losers and winners, editors and publishers and artists and writers, all dancing and laughing and drinking and having fun. It wasn’t as crowded as that party in Denver, no, but there were probably more people; the Glover is a lot bigger than Rusty’s suite was.

And yes, a number of the guests were on the Puppy slates, and yes, the losers included people who lost to No Award, which has to be an especially hard way to lose. Maybe the party helped in some small way. I have to say, if there is any hope at all of reconciliation with the Sad Puppies, it is much more likely to be accomplished with drinks and dancing than by exchanging angry emails over the web.

(12) Lou Antonelli on This Way To Texas – George R.R. Martin Thinks I’m An Asshole”

I ran into George at the “official” reception, and asked him about a non-Hugo related subject, an article I did last spring regarding his donation of a rare first edition of “The Hobbit” to the Texas AQ&M University Library System. He essentially blew me off; I realize now he was only there to find his chums and hand them the private invites. Of course, I had no idea what he was up to. And of course, he didn’t stop to hand me an invite. But I mean, if you read his blog post – I hardly think I would have been happy there. In his blog post, at one point he says: “Some who were not invited. NO ASSHOLES, the invite warned. We had a small list, and no, I won’t tell you the names on it… but we wanted this party to be about joy and celebration and togetherness…” Jeez, George, I may not be the smartest kid in class, but it’s easy to tell my name was on your Asshole list. You know what? At least I didn’t forget my working class roots.

(13) George R.R. Martin on Not A Blog – “What’s It All About, Alfie?”

And this year, thanks to the slates, we had more losers than ever before. This year, indeed, we were all losers. Some lost the usual way, finishing behind an eventual winner. Others lost to No Award, an especially galling sort of defeat. (Which also created five losers in those five categories instead of four). Even the winners lost, since their victories will always bear as asterisk in the minds of some because they triumphed under such unusual circumstances, over a weakened field, or whatever. (I don’t necessarily endorse this viewpoint. I think some of this year’s winners deserve an exclamation point rather than an asterisk. But I have heard a fair amount of the asterisk talk even on Hugo night itself). The Hugos lost: five No Awards is an occasion for mourning, not cheers. The genre lost: I don’t buy that even bad press is good, and we sure got a lot of bad press this year. Fandom lost: division and discord poisoned our annual celebration of love for SF, and left wounds that will be a long time healing. The nominees who withdrew from the slates lost; they walked away from a Hugo nod, a painful thing to do, and were abused for that decision. The nominees who stayed on the ballot lost; they were abused for that decision too, and some, who were NOT Puppies and never asked to be slated, saw their Hugo chances destroyed by the Nuclear option. Some nominees managed to catch flak from both sides.

And there was another class of loser, less visible, but still very much a victim of the slates. Those writers who produced outstanding work in 2014, and who, in a normal year, would have almost certainly received Hugo nominations. Some might even have won rockets. But this was NOT a normal year, and the usual word-of-mouth buzz and fannish enthusiasm that generally carries a story to a place on the Hugo ballot could not and did not prevail against the slate-mongering of the Sad Puppies and the lockstep voting of the Rabids. These were the invisible losers of the 2015 Hugo season. Losing is a part of life, and certainly of the Hugos… but it is one thing to be beaten in a fair contest, and another to be shoved aside and denied the chance to compete.

It was for those ‘invisible losers’ that I decided to create the Alfies. If one accepts that the Hugo has value, these writers had suffered real harm thanks to the slates. There was no way I could hope to redress that… but I could make a gesture. In the door of my room in KC in 1976, Alfie Bester told us that winners can become losers. If so, losers can become winners too. I would give my own awards… and of course I’d name them after Alfie. So that’s how the Alfies came about.

(14) Patrick S. Tomlinson – “One Final Thought on the Hugos”

The whole SP/RP phenomenon is a microcosm of this inability to recognize and cope with shifting attitudes and preferences within the fandom community. They simply refuse to believe that the silent majority really has moved on to new things, so they concocted a narrative to explain their failures where some secret cabal is somehow stacking the deck against them. How this is accomplished, considering both the nomination and voting processes are done through public ballot, is never clearly explained.

And much like the Wisconsin voter fraud case above, the Puppy slate voting was a coordinated attack (although within the rules of the award at the time) meant to counterbalance the SJW conspiracy locking them out of the nomination process. But just like the WI case, there was no conspiracy. There was no attempt to lock them out. They just weren’t that popular among the people who follow, vote for, and attend the Hugos. They thought they’d awaken a sleeping populist dragon that would swoop down and defeat the small clique of elitists holding them back. But the beast they awoke turned on them instead.

That’s a tough pill for anyone to swallow, but the ensuing results should make it very clear where the sympathies of the actual silent majority of modern fandom lay. Now, the question is, will the SP/RP’s take the time to do some self-reflection and learn from this lesson, or will they double down and comfort themselves with even more extreme conspiracy theories? Only time will tell.

(15) George R.R. Martin on Not A Blog – “The Alfies”

Two more Alfies went to ANNIE BELLET and MARKO KLOOS. Added to the slates without their knowledge or consent, both of these talented young writers found themselves on this year’s Hugo ballot, Bellet for her short story “Goodnight Stars” and Kloos for his novel LINES OF DEPARTURE. It was the first Hugo nomination for both of them, something that every science fiction writer dreams of, a day to be remembered and cherished forever. And yet, when they discovered the nature of the slates and the block-voting that had placed them on the ballot, both Bellet and Kloos withdrew, turning down their nominations. I cannot imagine how difficult and painful a decision that must have been. Bellet’s story actually had more nominations than any other short story on the ballot, regardless of slate, which suggests that she might well have been nominated even without the ‘help’ of the Puppies. And it was Marko Kloos’ withdrawal that opened up a space on the ballot for Cixin Liu’s THREE-BODY PROBLEM, the eventual winner. They lost their shot at a Hugo (this year, at least — I think both of them will be back), but their courage and integrity earned them both an Alfie.

The last Alfie of the night had… surprise, surprise… nothing to do with the slates, the Sads, the Puppies, or any of that madness. I wanted to give a token of recognition to one of the giants of our field, a Hugo winner, Hugo loser (if you look only at the fiction categories, he has lost more Hugos than anyone, I believe), SFWA Grand Master, former Worldcon Guest of Honor, and Big Heart Award winner… the one and only Silverbob. The coolest Alfie of all (the half-lucite one that lights up) went to ROBERT SILVERBERG, the only man among us to have attended every Hugo Awards ceremony since 1953. There has never been a Hugo given out without Silverberg watching. Just think of that!

(16) CCTV – “Chinese sci-fi hit wins Hugo Awards for the first time”

Chinese sci-fi fans were ecstatic when they learned that the Hugo Awards, one of the most prestigious science-fiction awards in the world, went to a Chinese novel for the first time.

The Three-Body Problem, written by Chinese sci-fi novelist Liu Cixin, beat out four other finalists and was announced the winner of the 2015 Hugo Award for Best Novel in Seattle on Saturday night local time.

The book’s translator Ken Liu accepted the award on the author’s behalf.

As one of the key international awards for the sci-fi genre, the Hugo Awards have been recognizing the best science fiction or fantasy works published in English since 1953.

The Three-Body Problem is also the first Chinese sci-fi novel that has been translated to English. Ever since it was first serialized in a Chinese sci-fi magazine in 2006, The Three-Body Problem, now a complete trilogy, has captivated millions of people in China for its magnificent space philosophy, and was unanimously hailed by sci-fi fans as “China’s best sci-fi novel.” In 2014, the English version of the trilogy’s first book was published in the US.

The second book, The Dark Forest, is planned to hit stores this summer, and the finale, Death’s End, will be out in January 2016, according to the trilogy’s publisher Tor Books.

(17) Don’t show this to the Gallifrey One committee!

(18) Makes me feel better about my own copyediting —

‘As You Know’ Bob in a comment on File 770

Three days after losing “Best Editor” to “NO AWARD” ….Beale self-publishes a book with TWO Chapter Fives?

Is there anyone in the entire universe who continues to question the collective wisdom of the Hugo voters?

Now a bestseller:

John Scalzi Is Not A Very Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular: How SJWs Always Lie About Our Compariative Popularity Levels – Kindle Edition

by Theophilus Pratt (Author, Editor)

Just look at these glowing comments:

More Chapter 5s Than Some Books !

ByTechnoLadyon August 27, 2015

Brilliant and, in all modesty, possibly one of the great works of the 21st century. I especially liked the Chapter layout and how they were sequentialized. This groundbreaking tome once and for all settles the matter of the perfidious John Scalzi’s popularity! This book actually has THREE bonus Chapter Fives, unlike some other lesser works which give you barely two. This NEEDS to be nominated for a Best Editor award next year!

Even the object of the parody admires the product:

And John Scalzi responded to File 770 commenters’ request that he voice the audiobook by dangling this bait“Charity Drive for Con or Bust: An Audio Version of ‘John Scalzi Is Not A Very Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular’ Read by Me”

Short version: To benefit Con or Bust, a charity which helps fans of color attend science fiction and fantasy conventions, I will make an audio version of John Scalzi Is Not A Very Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular: How SJWs Always Lie About Our Comparative Popularity Levels, a parody of an actual book by a certain obnoxious bigot who is obsessed with me, if $2,500 is raised for Con or Bust by 11:59pm (Eastern), Sunday, August 30, 2015. You can donate to Con or Bust here. To goose the giving, I will gift-match for the first $500 in donations.

(19) A tweet from a celebrity Hugo presenter.

(20) Bringer Tom on Metafilter

There was a period in my life when my fondest dream was to be a professional science fiction writer. All I can think now is that I dodged a huge fucking bullet when that didn’t work out.

(21) You can check out any time you like….

785 thoughts on “Dogs With A Blog 8/27

  1. Paul Weimer, I’m reading the comments here while watching an episode of Simon Schama’s Story of the Jews, one in which the Russian pograms are described. in previous eps, he told of the vicious discrimination and hate directed at the Jews in Europe, and how the Jews managed to keep going, to rebuild, even though so often they would lose everything in another wave of antiSemitism.

    Listening to Schama’s words, while reading the hate spewed by people like Hoyt and Paulk and Wright and Knighton, fastened on their styrofoam crosses with sticky tape, begging for sympathy and support with a fake narrative of oppression…the dissonance is just stomach churning. None of these people have ever suffered in their lives, never been oppressed or disadvantaged in any substantial way. If they had, they wouldn’t carry on like this.

  2. Quick note before work:

    Yesterday’s challenge: I’ve read 10 old and 15 new.

    My favorite KSR is The Years of Rice and Salt.

    I’m planning an apple picking outing! Anyone with fun things they love to do in the fall?

  3. Anyone with fun things they love to do in the fall?

    I’m cycling from Prague to Munich starting this time next week, and when I get home I’ll be watching the quince tree to try and get the fruit before they start to rot. As quinces are very prone to doing.

  4. I’m planning an apple picking outing! Anyone with fun things they love to do in the fall?

    I heard about this fall stuff. Is it that two weeks between when you stop wearing flip flops and the ice storms?

  5. Look elsewhere for your calumnies, your carcassones, your macaroons. Look to the skies, my friend.

    Look to the skies.

    Macaroons? From the skies?

    Funny, the forecast said cloudy with a chance of meatballs…

  6. @ nick Pheas
    My god, that’s a lovely story, and a well deserved Alfie. Thanks for the link.

  7. I had a horrible thought. I was thinking that it would be a shame (really!) if JCW worked himself into such a tizz over all this that he had another heart attack. And then I imagined Beale having the same thought though without much affect, and then thinking, “I could use that.”

    I hate my imagination sometimes.

  8. Anyone with fun things they love to do in the fall?

    Traveling around the Minnesota region and taking pictures of fall color. Naturally 🙂

  9. I still can’t believe that all the earlier “Boycott Tor!” and Tor conspiracy outrage has been subsumed under TBP (another Tor nominee) as Best Novel winner.

    In more pleasant news, I just finished “The Shepherd’s Crown” (the final Tiffany Aching book), and thought it both a good and an appropriate ending to the series. I think “A Hat Full of Sky” will always be my favorite of the Tiffany books, but I wasn’t disappointed in this one, and I approve of how the editing team handled it (as they explain in an afterword).

    Fall plans? It’ll be my first fall in Ontario when I’m not shell-shocked from a rushed move, and trying to adapt to a new job, so I’m hoping to actually get out and explore more of the autumn events than I did last year.

  10. This will not stand, I’m boycotting the publisher of Paulk’s self-published works!

    …and starting a class action suit against the Sasquan over the Alfies!

  11. …and starting a class action suit against the Sasquan over the Alfies!

    Leave Sasquan out of it. It’s the SFWA that’s at fault. Apparently.

  12. I think the root cause of the Puppy indignation and incoherence is this:

    They treated the slates as an affirmative action campaign, and felt betrayed when the liberals didn’t do The Liberal Thing and support their affirmative action campaign.

    Seriously. Their rationale for slating was ultimately, “We feel that conservative works and authors are underrepresented in the Hugos, so we’re going to disproportionately weight them via slate voting in order to redress this historic imbalance.” And they’ve talked so much about how we liberals are always putting our thumbs on the scale to redress historic imbalances, how we insist that anthologies and magazines actually include women and PoC now (thereby presumably weighting those authors more heavily than weight dudes), how we cheer when women win awards in the field, etc. So when liberals didn’t support the slates, and when they had the nerve to decry slating as unfair or unjust, the conservatives flipped out at our ‘hypocrisy.’

    I think this explains why the Puppy rationales for their slates are so incoherent. They’re running an affirmative action campaign… but they’re all conservatives who ostensibly oppose affirmative action and think awards and honors should be based solely on objective merit, with no consideration of the demographics of the competitors. So how can they then say that the conservative authors should be favored not just because of their quality but because they haven’t been honored in the past? They can’t. So they make up ever-shifting nonsense that goes nowhere. “We want to stick it to the SJWs!” “We want to support genuinely good work like, uh, Wisdom From My Internet!” “We just want to increase voter turnout!” All lies, because they can’t admit that they want conservatives to win because they’re conservatives.

    Also, they don’t understand the push for diversity. They act as if liberals just want to check some boxes to fill arbitrary demographic quotas. But liberals don’t just want random awards given out to members of demographic groups irrespective of quality; we want people who do great work to be duly acknowledged–but since that doesn’t happen sometimes, due to bias in the field, we have to work harder to make sure that it does happen for members of certain groups. The Puppies didn’t get that. They didn’t nominate great work by conservatives; they nominated junk by conservatives and figured that would be enough. And it wasn’t, because campaigns for advancing underrepresented groups aren’t about literally giving any member of those groups a trophy, irrespective of merit. That’s the conservative stereotype of how AA works, not how it actually works. So the liberals that the conservators thought would be forced to agree with their campaign didn’t materialize.

    And finally, they’re upset that we don’t seem to consider ‘conservatives’ to be a valid underrepresented group which deserves to be boosted. Hence the whining how we’ll bend over backwards to advocate for women, PoC, etc., but when they try to advocate for conservatives they get shut down. Now, I do think they’re right that liberals don’t consider conservatives/tie-in authors/mil-specfic to be a legitimate group worthy of being boosted or favored, and that there would have been more tolerance and support of the slates if they’d really been designed to favor such groups. If there was a major science fiction award that was almost always won by men, and a small group of the electorate used slate voting to push superlative works by women onto the ballot, I think that would actually find a lot of support, even from people who don’t like slates. But that’s not hypocrisy; that’s liberals recognizing that conservatives are not, in fact, an oppressed group. There’s no institutional pressure not to publish conservatives or military fiction or tie-ins; many conservatives write and publish just as much as their liberal peers. There’s no bias there. The Puppies aren’t selling (except, I suppose, for Correia) because of their inability to write well, not because of their politics.

  13. @NelC, that really wasn’t necessary :-/

    I don’t know. He has seemed to be willing to use the flaws and frailties of what seem to be friends and supporters this whole time. Cotton on to the Sad Puppies, set up JCW for humiliation anyone could have seen coming, let the women of Puppies 4 come out full pants-on-head crazy before the discussion of what to slate has even started, lure out the Gamer Gaters. . .

    He’s like the off-brand of Machiavelli you might buy at the Dollar Tree.

  14. “…they’re so US-centric it’s hilarious (as well as sad).”

    So US-centric they gave Hugos to Liu and Heuvelt.

    And do you remember that list of Puppy nominees that was quoted a while back as evidence of the diversity of the slate? As someone who’s been actively seeking out SF from beyond the Anglosphere – either translated or from ‘non-traditional’ countries such as India or the Philippines – I was immediately struck by Rajnar Vajra’s name at the head of the list. So I Googled him … and found that he was born and lives in New York. A few minutes work established that their idea of diversity, at least in geographic terms equates to “all parts of the continental USA”. Strikingly, the list didn’t include Marko Kloos, who may live in the States but was born in Germany. So: US-centric??

  15. spacefaringkitten on August 27, 2015 at 9:44 pm said:

    “John C. Wright losing to “No Award” is like the Rolling Stones losing to “No Award” at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It’s a disgrace.”

    “I think of him more as Nickelback or Limp Bizkit or something.”

    Nope, you’re confusing him with someone who actually has a modicum of talent or proficiency: he’s Milli Vanilli.

  16. John C. Wright losing to “No Award” is like the Rolling Stones losing to “No Award” at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    Delightful. I needed a good laugh this morning.

  17. Because that’s certainly the thinking behind our Tea Party:

    “If our slate loses a democratic election, that can only mean that the democratic election is invalid. Because politics is always supposed to give us the results WE want.”

    Not just Tea Party–here in San Francisco it’s a popular game among part of the progressive community. If they lose a political battle it’s because the “public was mislead” or “voting is skewed”. That’s how we ended up with ranked voting–switching to districts didn’t give them the elected officials they wanted.

  18. Reading the latest comments from the Rabid Puppies, the Sad Puppies, and their rabid followers, I never realized that there were so many delusional authors and fans in Science Fiction and Fantasy, and just how many of them were in dire need of immediate professional help for their delusions. 😉

  19. they’re upset that we don’t seem to consider ‘conservatives’ to be a valid underrepresented group which deserves to be boosted.

    True. This is of course partly because for many of us pretty much all US writers are conservatives. The accursed Scalzi recognises that he’s politically centre right by world standards.
    Not that I care. One only really notices when people get messagey – that point in David Weber books where he felt the need to have evil liberal politicians getting in the way of the noble military, though to be fair it beats the 300 pages of recap that was in the last of his I read.
    Comparison, S.M. Stirling, who I take to be a libertarian on little to no evidence, based largely on the way the USA collapsed immediately the guns went away in Dies The Fire, I don’t notice it in his books.

  20. “…and a symbol known in SF circles to represent the common asshole”

    Ed Green: Sweet Christ in the morning, where do they *get* this stuff?

    From Kurt Vonnegut’s hilarious illustration, of course.

    ETA: Oh no, ninja’d by Niall McAuley. 😀

    Calbeck/Malcomson is from way back. It’s awesome to see people pop up again from years ago for another go.

  21. I like Gabriel F’s version of the meal analogy better. In fact, didn’t someone write one along those lines a month or two ago? Possibly prompting the BBQ discussion?

    GRRM’s posts are very good. I thought the Alfie’s were a very kind gesture, and they also look great. I enjoyed the recounting of Hugo Loser Party’s past. 🙂

    Re: Kate Paulk

    Always fascinating to see the ongoing Puppy philosophy of it being okay to do things they flipped out over so long as its them doing it. How many Puppies have called people Nazis now?

    Re: John Carlton

    I clicked through and the post as a whole is painful. I found myself squirming in second-hand embarrassment every time he failed to understand the point Scalzi (or anyone else) was making. Not to mention his giant blindspot for all the abuse that various Puppy leaders dished out.

    Re: conservatives

    I realise that the Puppies have claimed a position as The Only Conservatives in Science Fiction, but they aren’t, and many people with conservative politics were strongly anti-slate, and anti-bigotry for that matter, and disapprove of any (for example) gerrymandering. May I request that people think a minute before painting conservatives in general with a broad, negative brush?

    Relatedly: I don’t think I’ve seen Chris Hensley since I got back. Does anyone know if he’s alright/why he stopped commenting?

    Re: Tom Knighton

    Do you think anyPuppy is going to notice the particular problem with claiming that the Hugo’s are awful because hardly anyone votes on them which means that they can’t possibly represent fans as a whole, while putting together a slate with works chosen by a tiny number of people?

    @Uncanny Valley

    It’s true. I was at the Awards and everywhere I looked there were Scalzi clones. Scalzis to the left of me, Scalzis to the right and there I was; stuck in the middle of an auditorium filled with Scalzis.



    Kurt Busiek:And it’s got their favorite gonads!

    I just don’t understand how they could continue to be so testy after receiving them.


    And +1 to everyone in the Nazi Mamatas Slash thread (sentences I never thought I’d write…)

  22. An asterisk conveys illegitimacy, like how Roger Maris’ single-season home run total was suffixed by one by some fans and journalists because he played more games than Babe Ruth.

    I’ve always thought of it as meaning “there’s more about this to look at, check the footnotes” instead. Personally, I really want an asterisk from Sasquan because I’d like a nice physical token to remind me of the year I finally got involved in Worldcon, after many years of being interested, but just not interested enough to take the plunge.

    I also heartily approve of the money for the sold asterisks going to charity. Indeed, I’d love to see this become some sort of tradition, where there is a token of some sort provided to all the nominees that fans can also buy as a souvenir, with proceeds going to a charity. Bonus points if the token is made by robots using lasers.

  23. a symbol known in SF circles to represent the common asshole

    Waitaminute — what the hell are we using to represent the special arsehole then?

  24. This Nazi business is so outrageous, I’m going to emulate the puppies and boycott books that i had no intention of buying anyway.
    That’ll learn em.

  25. Do you think anyPuppy is going to notice the particular problem with claiming that the Hugo’s are awful because hardly anyone votes on them which means that they can’t possibly represent fans as a whole, while putting together a slate with works chosen by a tiny number of people?

    And then, having gamed the nominations to fill the ballot with their slated works, being unable to muster enough votes to actually win a Hugo?

  26. Sweet Christ in the morning, where do they *get* this stuff?

    This one isn’t an example of Puppy-related craziness. The asterisk is a symbol for asshole because of SF writer Kurt Vonnegut. He drew one in Breakfast of Champions and wrote, “To give an idea of the maturity of my illustrations for this book, here is my picture of an asshole.”

  27. I think the root cause of the puppy indignation and incoherence is this:

    They are incoherent. Both individually, and even more as a group.

    Seriously. The puppies, generally, seem to include a lot of people who simply aren’t very good at analytical thinking. In addition, they don’t agree with each other about what their grievances, or goals, are. And the result is incoherence. And indignation, when their (incoherent) demands are met with ridicule and not understanding.

    The puppies are in this for several different reasons: To fight discrimination against conservative writers, to save SF from “literary” fiction, to save SF from “message fiction”, for personal PR reasons, to fight old personal vendettas, to fight a general culture war, because trolling on the internet is fun.

    None of them are able to analyze historical data well enough to show proof of any of their (percieved) grievances. Most are unable to, or unwilling to, recognize their disagreement with each other. Many are willing to make up grievances to make their PR campaign, or personal vendettas, or whatever, sound (slightly) more plausible.

    And the result is incoherence.

  28. “O that he were here to write me down an asshole. But masters, remember that I am an asshole: though it be not written down, yet forget not that I am an asshole.”

  29. Mark Dennehy wrote: “Waitaminute — what the hell are we using to represent the special arsehole then?”

    I would answer with make the special versions out of iron pyrite, also known as fool’s gold.

  30. Meredith: May I request that people think a minute before painting conservatives in general with a broad, negative brush?

    I try to take a deep breath and think of Gene Wolfe.

  31. Waitaminute — what the hell are we using to represent the special arsehole then?


  32. a reply by JCW to a post made by yours truly on his blog ….

    SJWs always lie. Their favorite lie is Ad hominem. The favorite method of delivering the lie is in a tone os condescending snark.

    Here, the twerp accuses my motive …

    irony impaired much?

    to be fair, most commenters over there seem to be quite reasonable … so maybe it really is just him.

  33. In the best traditions of puppydom, I’m going to pretend that Amazon sales ranks mean something:

    Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,195 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

    #1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Humor & Entertainment > Humor > Parodies
    #1 in Kindle Store > Kindle Short Reads > 45 minutes (22-32 pages) > Humor & Entertainment
    #2 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Politics & Social Sciences > Philosophy > Political

    Check out those #1’s for Alexandra Erin!

    (Admittedly the #2 in politics is to VD at #1, but Erin’s Rome was actually built/written in a day, so in time:reward she’s well ahead!)

  34. It wasn’t on any of the lists, but that was because none of us read it at that time.

    The non-puppies found time to read it and nominate it. What does that say about you?

  35. John C. Wright losing to “No Award” is like the Rolling Stones losing to “No Award” at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It’s a disgrace.

    It’s embarrassing really. Wright is the puppy’s big gun, the only writer associated with them who actually had any kind of reputation or name recognition before this all kicked off, and he’s thrown it all away…. because even if he does find his way into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame he’ll always be that guy who stuffed a ballot with votes for himself and got caught out doing it. Everything he does now will be suspect. He’ll never achieve anything or receive any kind of award without people wondering what he did to wangle it.

  36. I’m still annoyed that Lock In lost a nomination slot to this nonsense. I probably would still have ranked The Goblin Emperor above it, but I appreciate the effort Scalzi went to to research disabled communities (specifically, Deaf ones) before writing the book, and I really felt it paid off. This disabled fan would have loved to see it on the ballot.

  37. Wright is the puppy’s big gun, the only writer associated with them who actually had any kind of reputation or name recognition before this all kicked off, and he’s thrown it all away…

    I wouldn’t say that. Larry Correia began the whole pity party and he’s more successful than Wright.

  38. because even if he does find his way into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame he’ll always be that guy who stuffed a ballot with votes for himself and got caught out doing it.

    Worse than that, I think. He’s been infantilised, by his own actions, and by allowing Beale to use him, and by his naive acceptance of that use and his loyalty to the person using him. His pompous claims are now a sign of creative, intellectual and moral impotence. It’s horrible to watch.

  39. Couldn’t we convince them that the asterisk is just Michael Moorcock’s symbol for chaos?

    (Come think of it, the Hugo does look a bit like an obelisk, the natural partner of the asterisk.)

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