Sad Puppies 4 Begins

Between now and MidAmeriCon II people will expend a million words arguing whether Sad Puppies 4 is a slate or a recommendation list, a Hugo voter registration drive, an outlet for those frustrated with message fiction, a movement to oppose the dread SJWs, or all of the above.

But the opening paragraph of Kate Paulk’s Mad Genius Club post about Sad Puppies 4 shows its first priority is gratifying the egos of the organizers —

“Introducing Sad Puppies Four: The Bitches are Back” …(also the Embiggening, and the Embitchening, given that I, Kate the Impaler, am Queen Bitch and I am ably seconded by Sarah, the Beautiful But Evil Space Princess, and Amanda, the Redhead of Doom, and we are all more than capable of going Queen Bitch when we need to).

Apart from that, the stated goals of Sad Puppies 4 include:

Expanding the number of Hugo voters —

The Hugo awards has entirely too small a voting and nominating pool. Five thousand votes is the largest number ever received? Two thousand nomination ballots? That’s piddly. For a field loved by millions, it’s nowhere near enough, and makes it easy for any small clique to corrupt the idea of awarding great SF and start giving themselves awards.

Collecting nominee recommendations —

The tireless, wonderful volunteer Puppy Pack will be collating recommendations.

Hosting an SP4 website as the collecting point — http://sadpuppies4.org/

There will… be multiple permanent threads (one per category) on the SP4 website where people can make comments.

Generating lists of the 10 most popular recommendations in each Hugo category —

Later – most likely somewhere around February or early March, I’ll be posting The List to multiple locations. The List will not be a slate – it will be a list of the ten or so most popular recommendations in each Hugo category, and a link to the full list in all its glory. Nothing more, nothing less.

Being open to anyone, grudgingly —

SF is a big tent: we don’t want to kick out anyone, even writers of bad message fiction that makes puppies sad.

The three organizers will not appear on The List, however, they are not recusing themselves from being nominated. Paulk says, “If anyone wants to nominate any of us they’ll need to do it on their own.”

Paulk also says emphatically, “there is NO political test.”

She calls for people to recommend things only if “you’ve read it/watched it/seen it and you think it’s one of the best in its Hugo class published in 2015.”

Sad Puppies 4 logo

ArtRaccoon (Lee Madison), who did logos for SP3 and Vox Day’s Rabid Puppies slate, has created the Sad Puppies 4 logo. In a comment, the artist explained each of the dogs has a name —

Issac is at front checking over the systems start up, probably worrying about not making the Robomutt Robert “Three Laws Safe”. Frank is the one on the laptop…totally violating the tenets of the Butlerian Jihad, and Ray is on Robert’s back checking his welding job.

319 thoughts on “Sad Puppies 4 Begins

  1. What part of “recommended reading” do you consider means “slate”?

    The part where they say “you should vote for the works at the top of the list and not the ones you really liked that might not be as popular”. Did you miss that?

  2. I’d think it’s more likely they’d want to co-opt a bunch of former SP3 critics by getting them to vote in the canvass. Because how can people complain about SP4 after they’ve participated in it?

    Personally, I see a clear distinction between participating in their poll to determine what works are actually popular and using the results of their poll to guide my Hugo nominating. Only the latter would, in my view, count as participating in SP4. Clearly others feel otherwise but I hope, as a form of damage control for next year in what will hopefully be the last pre-EPH year, that enough people are of like mind to mine that the Sad Puppies lists actually end up reflecting something close to the taste of fandom at large and offering some good, maybe even great, reading – in the event slates can’t be completely stymied in 2016, I’d rather not have to read a lot of dreck in order to be an informed participant in the final voting.

    Also, the idea of Sarah Hoyt being potentially forced to admit that she (along with other people she trusts) counted the recommendations they gathered themselves and left-wing message fiction (as she sees it) really is more popular than what she likes has a certain appeal.

  3. Publishing is like high school.

    Nobody who needs to wonder if they are popular is popular.

  4. @Laura your not in any anthologies or magazines this year?

    Any Puppy regulars (Happy Puppy) could share the links to the various places set up for Hugo eligible works – Goodreads, the wiki, the spreadsheet – I thought I had them bookmarked but when I checked my Hugo 2016 bookmark folder it’s empty (iPad has been slowly dying). The sad puppies could grab works from those links to include in their recommendation list.

    As others have said: all the puppies need to do to “get it right” is vote like everyone else – go ahead and share things they’ve read and liked many of us do – but then create a simple list of those without suggesting vote for the top most popular. I’d also recommend releasing the list earlier – January or even once a month between now & nominations opening share the entire list as it stands so people have time to pick through and read some of what’s being recommended to help them when it’s time to nominate. If released to close to nomination closing its hard to believe people have time to read the “recommended list” and if it’s presented as vote for the top most popular with 1-4 weeks it’s hard to see it as anything but a slate due to lack of time.

  5. I support EPH because it permanently locks in one slot in each category for Sad Puppies.

    It doesn’t. It’d intended to limit all lockstep voting, as long as people try it. After it works a few times, maybe people will get the idea that it’s not a political primary, but a free-for-all: put in whatever you liked best from the works of the previous year, and if enough other people agree with you, it will make the final ballot.

  6. Jack Lint on September 4, 2015 at 8:32 am said:

    Ranking by popularity and suggesting that if you want your favorite author to win a Hugo you should nominate their most popular works. Not nominate the stuff you like or nominate the best works, but nominate the most popular stuff to increase their chance of making the short list.

    This doesn’t sound like “Don’t bother reading it” to me:

    “The only criteria is that you’ve read it/watched it/seen it and you think it’s one of the best in its Hugo class published in 2015.” (Source: http://madgeniusclub.com/2015/09/03/introducing-sad-puppies-four-the-bitches-are-back/)

    That said, I went back and re-read what the original post said, and I can see where there is room for confusion. I’ve suggested to Ms. Paulk & Co. that they might do an edit on the original post to indicate that they encourage people to recomment, nominate and vote all based on reading things, not just following a list, which is my sense of their intention. I also don’t see them saying “Nominate/vote from this list only”, but some of the comments I’ve read here seem to have been based on that assumption, which again I don’t believe is what they mean. It certainly isn’t what I’m going to do; I view this as what they say it is – gathering a list of things people have read and enjoyed and think are worthy, and from those suggestions, putting out a recommended reading list, in order to help expose potential nominators & voters to things they might not otherwise have come across.

  7. That said, I went back and re-read what the original post said, and I can see where there is room for confusion.

    No. There’s no confusion. They want a slate, but they don’t want to call it a slate. They think that words are magic and if they simply don’t call it a slate then no one will see it for what it is.

  8. Happy Puppy: I know this is probably already seven hundred comments out of date, but…

    I believe that Heroic Engineer “competence porn” stands in direct conflict with Modernist literary fiction. One values external problem solving while the other values internal conflict and change.

    As other people have mentioned, it’s kind of banana crazypants for people to make this a bright either/or line, since a story — a novel or novella, certainly — can do both. I do understand what you mean about shorter fiction, in that they tend not to have complete arcs, but it’s still possible to construct a story around a moment of character growth/change.

    I think you’re absolutely right that this is really just being used as a culture war proxy. It just strikes me that it’s a kind of silly one, even by culture war proxy standards. It makes it seem like there are two sides earnestly arguing for positions that boil down to “characters should do things, never change” versus “characters should navel-gaze until they have epiphanies,” but I don’t think either of those sides actually exist in meaningful numbers outside of blog comments.

  9. Tasha Turner on September 4, 2015 at 8:44 am said:
    Any Puppy regulars (Happy Puppy) could share the links to the various places set up for Hugo eligible works – Goodreads, the wiki, the spreadsheet – I thought I had them bookmarked but when I checked my Hugo 2016 bookmark folder it’s empty (iPad has been slowly dying). The sad puppies could grab works from those links to include in their recommendation list.

    Ma’am, I’m not sure what you’re getting at here – my sense of what you’re saying is that the SPs will NOT do this, which I don’t agree with. It’s quite possible some of them may indeed look at those places, read something that intrigues them and suggest it on their recommendation-gathering. Something about the way you put it – “the various places set up for Hugo eligible works” – makes me think that you consider their effort to gather recommendations is somehow not legit, and I’m curious as to why on that point as well?

    I’m also wondering – and this is not directed at you personally, but more generally to several people here – why there is an automatic assumption that a SP slate is already in place? From what I’ve seen on the madgeniusclub site, they’ve only just started the “send in your recommendations for our list” phase, and are nowhere near producing anything like a finished “Here’s the top ten of what you’ve all recommended, go have fun reading” list.

  10. Aaron on September 4, 2015 at 9:10 am said:
    No. There’s no confusion. They want a slate, but they don’t want to call it a slate. They think that words are magic and if they simply don’t call it a slate then no one will see it for what it is.

    In your opinion, sir; my opinion differs. I think we will have to agree to disagree on this point. In the mean time, may I invite you to contribute your own suggestions, from things you’ve read and think good?

  11. The only real firearms I saw while at the San Antonio Worldcon were those on the belts of the off-duty SAPD officers hired as the paid security required by the convention center. That didn’t bother me, and indeed, the officers seemed like nice people to me. (I saw them taking pictures of each other on the Iron Throne, for instance.)

    But I’m sympathetic to law enforcement, having a number of officers in my family. (My late uncle, Seth Reynolds, was the Assistant Sheriff of Sutter County, California, for example. I lived across the street from him in a house my grandparents rented from him.)

  12. In your opinion, sir; my opinion differs.

    Your opinion doesn’t change reality.

    Consider this: We already have a process by which people can submit suggestions that they consider good and which will be compiled and result in a list of the five most popular options. The process is called the Hugo nominations. Given that the Hugo nominations exist, what purpose does the Sad Puppy 4 serve if it is merely to do the exact same thing? Do you imagine that Hoyt, Paulk, and Green are simply duplicating the Hugo nomination process for shits and giggles? Or do they have another purpose in mind? If they do, what might you think it is?

  13. @william I believe it was expressed that SP4 would like as large a list of all available eligible SFF for 2016 Hugos. I was simply suggesting some resources they could pull from. I do NOT believe it’s appropriate for non-pups to be participating on what we consider to be a slate. That’s all.

    I believe I’ve already explained why I consider the wording used on SP4 to be problematic. Essentially I see SP4 as doing a step that is supposed to be the nominating step of the Hugos.

    When Scalzi asks does an open thread for recommendations he doesn’t whittle it down. He lets it stand as is. In my understanding when NESFA does a list the list, not only is it long but they don’t suggest voting for “the most popular”. Well Scalzi says “of these things I’m personally eligible I’d prefer if you nominate me for x rather than y and here are a few things by others you might want to read“. So if a specific puppy has a work eligible that puppy should feel free to mention it on their blog & on the long recommendation list.

  14. @ William Underhill

    Something about the way you put it – “the various places set up for Hugo eligible works” – makes me think that you consider their effort to gather recommendations is somehow not legit, and I’m curious as to why on that point as well?

    I won’t presume to speak for Tasha but speaking for myself, the effort to gather recommendations is perfectly legitimate though kind of pointless since in the best of all possible worlds it would be little more than a redundant duplication of the Hugo nomination vote*. The announced intention to rank the recommendations by popularity so people can use them as a guide to strategic voting is of dubious legitimacy, since it’s ultimately aimed at making Puppy votes effectively worth more than the votes of unaligned Hugo nominators who simply vote their own taste.

    * – on reflection, I’ll concede it could be somewhat interesting as a simulation of what Hugo nomination results might be like if supporting membership were free or exceedingly cheap. But that would only be possible if everyone were willing to take part in it and clearly the well has been poisoned sufficiently that some signification proportion of non-Puppies will decline to take part in the SP4 poll as a matter of principle.

  15. William Underhill: Honestly, “The only criteria is that you’ve read it/watched it/seen it and you think it’s one of the best in its Hugo class published in 2015” sounds like the right advice to me, too.

    Here’s (what I understand to be) the slate-in-disguise criticism: the criticism of slates in general is that by creating a voting bloc, they disproportionately concentrate the power of a smaller group. (You can clearly see this effect in the full nomination data for the Hugos: there are “clusters” around the SP/RP nominations that aren’t present in the other nominees. Looking at both this year’s data and the data of past years strongly suggests there haven’t been organized slates in the past, because this clustering isn’t there.) If the SP4 Recommendation List is sorted by popularity and presented as a top 10 list, and a group of people use it as a voting guide, it’s still likely to have the same kind of vote-concentrating effect.

    The easiest way to avoid this criticism would be to not sort the final list by popularity or cap it at an arbitrary number. Instead, just say something like “the final list will be any work that got two or more recommendations from readers.” Even if every Puppy does use that as a voting guide, it’ll be harder to take accusations of slating seriously.

  16. @JJ: No, that’s a decidedly non-Pup making that statement at Kate’s blog (check the name and avatar). I learned that factoid at Worldcon from someone directly involved in the bids–a longtime Worldcon attendee standing behind me in line to register . It’s no knock on the people who tried to assemble a Seattle bid, but there really was some jerk of a hotel magnate who held a serious, and unwarranted grudge, against sci-fi cons, and was determined to screw Seattle over, and used his considerable power to do so. And it really was based on something that happened in a late 1960s Worldcon that happened to be held in a bad neighborhood, so the Worldcon got blamed for stuff that wasn’t their fault.

    (Worldcons have to do a lot of groundwork behind the scenes to educate hotel staff because they’re held in a different location every year, so the location never gets a chance to know them.)

    Granted, this is based on the guy behind me in line, but he was someone who’d been involved in bids and fandom for a longtime. It sounded legit, and not particularly conspiracy-esque–just one powerful rich guy with an axe to grind.

  17. From “Introducing Sad Puppies”, on Mad Genius Club, in the comments discussing the whole “She said vote for these, don’t worry about reading them” thing:

    Kate Paulk
    September 3, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    Ya know, I was actually naive enough to think that “read, then suggest if you think it’s good enough” was enough for the introduction post, and “read, then nominate if you think it’s good enough” would happen when The List was made public.

    I really thought life had killed that streak of innocence .Apparently not.

    and from her original post:

    Later – most likely somewhere around February or early March, I’ll be posting The List to multiple locations. The List will not be a slate – it will be a list of the ten or so most popular recommendations in each Hugo category, and a link to the full list in all its glory. Nothing more, nothing less.

    The only quibble I’d have – and it rates no more than that, a quibble – is that presenting the final recommended list that late may leave it pretty tight for someone to go through, go “oh, cool, I want to try that, too” before nominations close.

    But please, can this put to bed FINALLY the idea that they want people to nominate and vote without reading, and following only direction from the Tsarina?

  18. I have absolutely no problem with SP4 collecting a long list of edible Hugo works. I even suggest places where they can get help in assembling such a list. My issue is strictly on where SP4 goes from there.

    Hugos are supposed to be Nominate & vote for what you the individual believes to be the best not what a group prior to nominations thinks is most popular that’s what the nomination and voting stages are for.

  19. The only quibble I’d have – and it rates no more than that, a quibble – is that presenting the final recommended list that late may leave it pretty tight for someone to go through, go “oh, cool, I want to try that, too” before nominations close.

    But please, can this put to bed FINALLY the idea that they want people to nominate and vote without reading, and following only direction from the Tsarina?

    Nominations closed on March 10 this year so I think that’s a lot more than a quibble – we’re talking about potentially twice the reading/viewing needed to evaluate everything on the final Hugo ballot in slightly more or perhaps less than a month. I think to reduce that to quibble status Kate et al ought to amend that to a promise to publish the final SP4 list at least two months before Hugo nominations close. Which would still be asking people to read/view more things in less time than usually occurs between the Hugo ballot being released and the final voting deadline – this year we had ~4 months.

  20. @William

    Like you, I remain concerned about certain aspects of the SP4 announcement, particularly this phrasing:

    “If you want to see your favorite author receive a nomination and an award, your best bet will be to cast your nomination ballot for one of the works in the top ten or thereabouts of The List. ”

    One question that arises is this – what is the aim? The aim of a reading list is to get people to talk about works that they like and find worthy, so that others can give them a read and see if they like it and/or find it worthy.

    But by curating a selection of popular picks, and worse yet by stating that one’s “best bet is to cast a ballot for one of (those) works”, it gives the impression that the aim is to make sure that what they have come up with is what gets on the ballot – that is, gaming the system.

    I think that quoted statement is, if not unnecessary, actively damaging to their aims of not slating the Hugo ballot. I agree with you that they should remove, or re-word that particular statement.

    Left unsaid is of course the prior track record of the Sad Puppy movement, which will lead many people to (justifiably) closely scrutinise/ nit pick (choose whichever fits your narrative) any such statement or action that is indicative of creating a slate.

    Personally, I have no issues with the sharing of recommendations, and I still intend to do that on the SP4 threads, as well as in various other places – frex Making Light, Whatever, here at File770. I’m increasingly opposed to the curation stage however.

    Also, I’ve said this before, but I strongly urge you to take a look at the Locus Recommended Reading List, something which (AFAIK) no one has any doubts about. It’s extensive (the smallest selection field has 11 items) and the items are unranked (they’re provided in alphabetical order). I think this is a much better model to be adopted.

    ETA: I can see comments by Paulk and Green further clarifying the issue. It’s good that they will explicitly make the request to read. I still remain opposed to the curation stage.

  21. William Underhill: I hope you’re right. I appreciate that you’re trying to foster general goodwill.

  22. McJulie: That new logo is kind of weird. The giant, angry robot puppy in the middle looks more like the rabid puppy logo design — is it actually meant to be a reference to the rabids edging out the sads?

    Maybe it’s a riff on the “we are not robots” post-Gallo email campaign. OTOH, that would be vaguely clever, and the SP4 ringleaders seem to have different senses of humor than that. Maybe the artist snuck it in.

    (Sure, there’s no real proof anyone accused them of being robots, but I’m sure some still cling to that grudge.)

  23. snowcrash on September 4, 2015 at 10:19 am said:

    –[Arcturan Mega-Snip]–

    Personally, I have no issues with the sharing of recommendations, and I still intend to do that on the SP4 threads, as well as in various other places – frex Making Light, Whatever, here at File770. I’m increasingly opposed to the curation stage however.

    I don’t personally have an issue with curating the list, or ranking them in order of “most recommended” since she’s said the entire list will be available. I am going to suggest that the list – at least a preliminary version – come out by, say mid-January at the latest, though I suspect she intends some flexibility in the list date. I didn’t nominate at all for 2015 because I was unaware that I could, and by the time I found out, in early April, that I could have, nominatinons had closed.

    Also, I’ve said this before, but I strongly urge you to take a look at the Locus Recommended Reading List, something which (AFAIK) no one has any doubts about. It’s extensive (the smallest selection field has 11 items) and the items are unranked (they’re provided in alphabetical order). I think this is a much better model to be adopted.

    I’ve got that list bookmarked already for when I get home from work. 🙂

  24. Jon on September 4, 2015 at 10:18 am said:

    Nominations closed on March 10 this year so I think that’s a lot more than a quibble – we’re talking about potentially twice the reading/viewing needed to evaluate everything on the final Hugo ballot in slightly more or perhaps less than a month. I think to reduce that to quibble status Kate et al ought to amend that to a promise to publish the final SP4 list at least two months before Hugo nominations close. Which would still be asking people to read/view more things in less time than usually occurs between the Hugo ballot being released and the final voting deadline – this year we had ~4 months.

    I’d forgotten that nominations closed early March, though I ought to have remembered; I didn’t find out I could nominate until after they closed. Good point, and I have posted to ask her to consider moving it up.

    That said, there’s already suggestions popping up in the comment thread, so if anyone wants to go look for ideas of things to read, no time like the present. 🙂

  25. Watts on September 4, 2015 at 9:47 am said:

    The easiest way to avoid this criticism would be to not sort the final list by popularity or cap it at an arbitrary number. Instead, just say something like “the final list will be any work that got two or more recommendations from readers.” Even if every Puppy does use that as a voting guide, it’ll be harder to take accusations of slating seriously.

    Hear, hear!

    I’ll note that the BASFA Hugo Recommendations Lists (start here for last year’s lists) don’t even set a 2-person minimum. We just list everything alphabetically. We do, I admit, include a key to the names of those people who recommended each work. But it’s primarily meant to be a list of us reminding each other what things we read/watched and liked last year. It’s actually pretty difficult work putting together.

  26. Reading for nominating resembles nothing so much as participating in a demanding graduate-level seminar.
    Including the presence of the Astonishing People who appear to have Read Everything Already and keep saying stuff I wish I’d thought of, as well as the Guy(s) Who Won’t Shut Up.
    And, yes, they are just as aggravating online as they are in a classroom, though at least online I can just push a key and they are gone.

    Which is to say more people nominating isn’t just a matter of more people plunking down their membership fees, rather there is a lot of research and contemplation involved to do this responsibly.
    There’s a reason that historically the number of people nominating has been low.
    This process of preparing to nominate in the spring is a Lot Of Work, enjoyable work, wonderful work, but still it represents investing a lot of time and energy.
    I mean, I don’t buy hardcovers (storage issues), but I do like to own things I’ve enjoyed on reading.

    So now my Kindle overfloweth (thanks, people.

  27. Is the Hugo short list still being announced on the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter? Easter moves up a week next year. (March 27th)

  28. The NESFA recommended list also includes everything recommended by even one member.

    The Puppies have a track record at this point, and I for one need to see more than just slightly different words this time around. No one has forgotten that Brad’s list was going to be “open and democratic,” too. We saw what happened with that. Curating the list for popularity, with the explicit recommendation to vote for the “more popular” items, is either an indication that they still don’t understand why they got a negative reaction, or a clear indication of bad faith.

    Mike, I didn’t read Jim Wright’s statement as a claim there was no encounter at all between PNH and Lamplighter, or even that Patrick didn’t say what she said he said. I understood it simply as saying that PNH wasn’t “shouting and screaming,” something I think you’ll agree would be hard to overlook from someone nearby at the pre-Hugo reception.

    Also, I would hardly expect Teresa to be foolish enough to engage on this and get into the details of what happened, as long as no actual assault is being alleged. That could only lead to bad places.

  29. @William,
    Not really surprising that so many here are unwilling to give the puppies the benefit of the doubt when it comes to slates, what with the puppy organisers being such deeply unpleasant, dishonest individuals.
    Respect is earned, and they haven’t done bugger all to earn any from me, what with them being so busy calling people like me “socialist cock sucking whores”

  30. Lis Carey:

    Mike, I didn’t read Jim Wright’s statement as a claim there was no encounter at all between PNH and Lamplighter, or even that Patrick didn’t say what she said he said. I understood it simply as saying that PNH wasn’t “shouting and screaming,” something I think you’ll agree would be hard to overlook from someone nearby at the pre-Hugo reception.

    Also, I would hardly expect Teresa to be foolish enough to engage on this and get into the details of what happened, as long as no actual assault is being alleged. That could only lead to bad places.

    Jim Wright’s quote

    Melinda, help me out here. We were standing about ten feet from PNH during the reception. John C. Wright, in the same article Adam-Troy Castro is quoting above claims that PNH “screamed” and “cursed” at his wife. It would have had to have happened within our earshot. I don’t recall any such event. Of course, I was drinking ice water, so I might have been a little loopy…

    He didn’t witness their encounter. Maybe PNH didn’t emit the Wilhelm Scream. Maybe he only yelled at her as loudly as I yelled at the person who sat on my stuff during the business meeting, which seems to have gone entirely unnoticed (to my surprise.) The value as evidence of passively failing to notice stuff happening around you is not very high in my book.

    And since TNH did engage by making a comment about the encounter, it seems important that she did not contradict Lamplighter’s version, only provided a justification.

  31. What exactly constitutes “screaming” and “shouting” is often a matter of opinion and perception. To hear my sister tell it, she’s never shouted at me, but I’ve shouted at her a lot; my perception is, shall we say, different. Clearly you disagree, but it seems to me that anything that uninvolved parties would call “screaming” would have been noticed not just by Jim Wright, but by numerous other people in the immediate vicinity, and we’d have other accounts of PNH’s over-the-top behavior.

    From Lamplighter’s account, the “cursing” was saying that JCW could “stick it up his ___”, not a string of obscenities, and nothing directed at her.

    Teresa acknowledged the encounter, but didn’t engage on the details. It would be very unwise to, given that clearly no one uninvolved heard what happened, meaning there’s no outside account of the details and therefore neither side can prove anything.

    But I’d think you’d take note of the fact that Lamplighter did see a need to considerably tone down JCW’s original version of events–and I think we can assume that she was motivated to not make her husband look any worse than necessary, while defusing the situation.

  32. @Mike

    It’s a reasonable surmise, but the other explanation is that the NH’s are trying (and occasionally failing) for a dignified silence, because “you yelled”, “no, I raised my voice slightly in annoyance” gets very playground very quickly.
    For me, the question is whether PNH acted in an unacceptable fashion as claimed by JCW, which would include yelling loud enough that quite a few people in a room (that I surmise included multiple puppy nominees) would have heard it. Possibly it was extremely noisy anyway, or something, but as JCW significantly exaggerated one element of the story I don’t give much weight to the rest without a third party backing it up.

  33. Jack Lint on September 4, 2015 at 12:09 pm said:

    Is the Hugo short list still being announced on the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter? Easter moves up a week next year. (March 27th)

    MAC2 has not yet announced their plans about this. There’s nothing in the rules that requires it. It’s entirely up to the current Worldcon to decide. However, most recent Worldcons have announced at Easter due to the large number of SF conventions that weekend, which gives them an opportunity to make some publicity out of it to the SF/F fan community.

  34. @Lis Carey

    I listened to bits of the latest Superversive podcast, and Lamplighter was trying to talk JCW down from rhetorical flights on a couple of occasions there as well. In general, his tone seemed rather more agitated than in the previous podcast; I think he’s a bit wound up at the moment.

  35. Aaron:

    The only thing that keeps Wisdom from obviously being the worst thing ever nominated in the history of the Related Work category is the existence of Transhuman and Subhuman, which competes for that title.

    I dunno. TRANSHUMAN AND SUBHUMAN was vile stupid crap, but it was SF-related vile stupid crap.

    WISDOM FROM MY INTERNET was just crap.

  36. Nick:

    Publishing is like high school. Nobody who needs to wonder if they are popular is popular.

    And yet, like high school, many who are popular still wonder, or at least doubt.

  37. Could someone explain what happened to lock Louisville out of consideration for a Worldcon?

    When? They did hold a NASFIC back in 1979 there…

    FWIW, my guess is that they don’t have the right configuration of hotels and convention center to be an attractive bid.

  38. Tasha:

    I have absolutely no problem with SP4 collecting a long list of edible Hugo works.

    Best Main Dish
    Best Casserole
    Best Side Dish
    Best Snack
    Best Recipe
    Best Cereal
    Best Baked Good (Family Size)
    Best Baked Good (Individual)
    Best Chef (Three or More Courses)
    Best Chef (Lunch)
    Best Presentation
    Best Home-Cooked Meal
    Best Bag Lunch
    Best Lunchtime Conversation
    Best Menu
    Best Table Setting
    The James Beard Award for Best New Line Cook (not a Hugo)

  39. @William Underhill
    I’m also wondering – and this is not directed at you personally, but more generally to several people here – why there is an automatic assumption that a SP slate is already in place? From what I’ve seen on the madgeniusclub site, they’ve only just started the “send in your recommendations for our list” phase, and are nowhere near producing anything like a finished “Here’s the top ten of what you’ve all recommended, go have fun reading” list.

    Maybe that part where they helpfully suggested helping your favorite author by voting for their stories that are the most popular on the list, even before there’s a list?

  40. William Underhill, let me repeat the exact words I said to Happy Puppy about how you should do if you want a reading list and not a slate:

    “1. Do not mix in politics in your discussion of the reading list and the reasons for it to exist.

    2. Do not write posts on how this list and the results for it to exist “will show those SJWs”.

    3. List all the works in alphabetical order instead of popularity.

    4. Do not encourage people to vote with any kind of strategy in mind (like voting for more popular works). They should nominate the works they think is best, whether they are on a list or not.

    5. Do not mix campaigning for more voters with campaigns for voters to a specific reading list. This means linking to other reading lists, not having multipe blogs writing about this specific reading list as the means to read from while ignoring the rest.

    6. Have more works than 10 on the list, otherwise you will give a big and unfair advantage to those on the list.

    7. If Beale wants to slate your reading list, act on this, tell him that this isn’t acceptable, that you don’t want your campaign to be hijacked, that you don’t want him involved in any way whatsoever. Better still, be clear about that now.”

    I will add this:

    8. Do not fill your reading list with colleagues and friends. That will make it seem like pure cronyism.

    What do you say, sounds good?

  41. @William Underhill: You appear to be looking at the launch of Sad Puppies 4 as an isolated incident, sufficient unto itself, unrelated to any other events or campaigns which may have occurred in the past. And yeah, I can see how a body might think that the bare words written by SP4’s masterminds, interpreted without benefit of any larger context, are not indicative of any nefarious/clandestine/obnoxious intent.

    What you may not be considering is that there is a larger context. First off, the name—”Sad Puppies 4″. This is the fourth SP campaign. Its masterminds have deliberately chosen to call it “Sad Puppies”. The “4” is a direct, explicit acknowledgement of all three previous SP campaigns, and a more-or-less explicit assertion that yes, we are a legit successor to the Sad Puppies campaigns of the past.

    In short: By naming their campaign “Sad Puppies 4”, the masterminds thereof are more-or-less explicitly declaring that they’re going to maintain the high traditions and standards of the SP campaigns before them. And what, exactly, are those ‘high standards and traditions’?

    Well, one of those ‘high standards and traditions’ is demonizing their opponents—as “Cliquish, Holier-than-thou, Obnoxious, Reactionary, Fanatics”; as the sort of authoritarian monsters who would (had they but the political power!) be totally okay with loading the Pups into boxcars & sending them off to die in Siberia; and on and on and fucking on.

    Another of those ‘high standards and traditions’ is a ‘just friends’ relationship with truth & reality. Torgersen has claimed, on a number of occasions, that the composition of the SP3 slate was determined in an “open and democratic” manner on account of he invited people to submit candidates on his blog… but a number of the most-frequently-recommended-by-commenters candidates did not make it onto the SP3 slate, and a number of items on said slate were not recommended by any commenters. When asked about this anomaly, Torgersen has variously (a) refused to answer, and/or (b) doubled down on the bare assertion that SP3 was, too, open and democratic! it was it was it was open and democratic!, and/or (c) stated that some of the items on SP3 were submitted to him by private email. Yep, that’s some mighty fine “open and democratic”, yes it surely is. And, of course, we have Torgersen’s word that that peculiar Wisdom from my Internet thing appears to have gotten onto the SP3 slate solely and entirely because Torgersen asked Williamson if he had something eligible for this year’s Hugos, and Torgersen put Williamson’s answer on the slate.

    Torgersen has argued that it’s no longer possible to judge SF books by their covers, and this is one of the Bad Things™ we Sad Puppies are fighting against! Well, fine, but… since when has it ever been possible to judge books (SF or otherwise) by their covers?

    One of the major Puppish talking points has always been that this SJW crap is a totally new thing—SF never usedta trouble itself about social justice issues! SF has always been about Manly Engineers doing Manly Engineering to solve Manly Problems!. Which proposition is an intriguing combination of, first, massive, profound ignorance of the history of SF, and second, an implicit claim that we know, and seek to honor, the true roots/nature of SF which our opponents are disrespecting!.

    Of course, the ‘demonization’ thing and the ‘truthiness’ thing are not the only ‘high standards and traditions’ which the SP4 masterminds have implicitly committed themselves to upholding and promulgating. But you cannot argue that demonization and truthiness are not part of said ‘high standards and traditions’. The truthiness thing means that Sad Puppies are unreliable narrators; the demonization thing means that Sad Puppies are fucking assholes.

    And that is why people on the everybody-else “side” of this conflict are taking a decidedly jaundiced & unsympathetic view of the launch of Sad Puppies 4.

  42. William Underhill: I don’t personally have an issue with curating the list, or ranking them in order of “most recommended” since she’s said the entire list will be available.

    And this is where you and most non-Puppies are going to differ.

    Curating the list down to 10, and ranking them in the order of most popular, will be directing, psychologically, what people nominate. A lot of them will think, “Well, I’d rather nominate this other thing, but it’s not on the list of 10, so it probably won’t have a chance, so I’ll nominate this thing on the list that I didn’t like as well, because at least it will have a chance of getting on the ballot.”

    This IS what will happen. This is putting two “thumbs on the scales”. This WILL give Sad Puppy nominators an unfairly magnified effect on the ballot over individual nominators.

    If you can’t understand that from my explanation, you are probably going to continue to be mystified as to why a lot of people consider the list of 10 a slate.

    The only way the Sad Puppies “Recommendation List” is not going to be a slate is if they let anyone who wishes recommend what they like, and leave it at that.

  43. Funny that the crowd complaining about the Locus Award, which allows write-ins, will justify the SP4 method.

  44. Greg: I learned that factoid at Worldcon from someone directly involved in the bids–a longtime Worldcon attendee standing behind me in line to register . It’s no knock on the people who tried to assemble a Seattle bid, but there really was some jerk of a hotel magnate who held a serious, and unwarranted grudge, against sci-fi cons, and was determined to screw Seattle over, and used his considerable power to do so. And it really was based on something that happened in a late 1960s Worldcon that happened to be held in a bad neighborhood, so the Worldcon got blamed for stuff that wasn’t their fault…
    Granted, this is based on the guy behind me in line, but he was someone who’d been involved in bids and fandom for a longtime. It sounded legit, and not particularly conspiracy-esque–just one powerful rich guy with an axe to grind.

    Greg, I overheard a number of things asserted as if they were absolute fact at Sasquan — when I happened to know what was actually being said was utter bollocks.

    I recommend that you regard this story as the result of someone’s game of Telephone — a variation of someone’s supposition about the difficulties experienced by the Seattle con people, vastly distorted and expanded upon every time someone passed the rumor on to others.

    The reality is that Worldcon is small potatoes. A Worldcon bid committee can say to a hotel / convention center, “we’d like to tentatively reserve facilities for these dates three years hence, but we’ll only be confirming and giving you a deposit a year from now if we win the bid”. But if another organization says, “we’re going to have 50,000 attendees, we’d like to lock in these dates three years from now, and we’ll give you a big deposit right now”, what do you think happens to the tentative Worldcon reservations?

    Seattle is a gorgeous place, it’s a highly desirable tourist destination, and it’s a major airline hub — all of which makes it a highly desirable location for conferences and conventions (plus expensive, because facilities can get away with charging high prices). No grudge on the part of a mysterious hotel chain magnate is required to explain why Seattle had such difficulty pulling a successful bid together.

    Now if one of the people from the bid committee came out publicly and said “actually, that is the real reason”, I might believe it. But I don’t think that will happen.

  45. @JJ: “A lot of them will think, “Well, I’d rather nominate this other thing, but it’s not on the list of 10, so it probably won’t have a chance, so I’ll nominate this thing on the list that I didn’t like as well, because at least it will have a chance of getting on the ballot.””

    See, that’s something I just don’t grok. I mean, I accept that it happens; I just don’t understand that line of thinking. Why is it so important to some people that they vote for an option they like less because it has a better chance of winning than an option they like more? Especially when the goal is to pick the things you think are The Best?

    And yet, that seems to be Puppythink in a nutshell. Everyone voting for what they like isn’t enough; they have to band together to push things they by definition like less than their own personal choices onto the ballot… for what? To prove they can do it? Hell, SP2 did that in 2014! To piss people off? Maybe, but again, what’s the percentage in that?

    The Hugos are supposed to be about picking The Best. For the life of me, I don’t get why anyone would deliberately pay money to participate by picking things that even they personally don’t consider The Best.

  46. To McJulie: The evidence that “Wisdom” was a joke? Trying to read it.

    Brad says a lot of things — just because I’m a Puppy doesn’t mean I have to believe everything that Brad or Sarah or JCW or Vox Day write — I’m not going to shun them, or ritually denounce them, or attack them –but I reserve the right to be skeptical of some of their claims.

    And I think MZW knew that Wisdom would be taken as a joke. But when I wrote my comment I was careful to write “I took” meaning that that was my personal take not the “official” spin.

  47. Rev Bob: For the life of me, I don’t get why anyone would deliberately pay money to participate by picking things that even they personally don’t consider The Best.

    You and me both.

    But then, a lot of Puppies have made it clear that they view this as paying money “to stick it to the SJWs”. Others no doubt think, “Well, I’m not really well-read enough to know what the best SFF was this year — but if Correia, Torgersen, Hoyt, or Paulk tells me this is it, it must be so, and if I help them get these things on the ballot, it means we’re taking the award back from those awful people who have stolen it”.

    For some people, feeling that they are part of a larger group with some “noble” purpose, that they are welcome and included, is what’s really important, and they don’t necessarily feel any compulsion to express their own individual views.

  48. @Lis Carey:But I’d think you’d take note of the fact that Lamplighter did see a need to considerably tone down JCW’s original version of events–and I think we can assume that she was motivated to not make her husband look any worse than necessary, while defusing the situation.

    It’s also interesting to note that he has yet to modify his description of the event, despite her contradictory testimony.

    It’s also interesting to note that (perhaps as a result of that fact) that the story is now morphing into “A TOR editor physically attacked a TOR author at WorldCon”, with no effort at all towards correcting it from a single one of the Alpha Puppies.

    So now we have an event that was, based on all the accounts available to us from people who were actually there, little more PNH saying “tell your husband to shovel it up his ass” in a raised voice and walking away. And in Puppy world, it is now a physical attack on that poor TOR author

    And yet we are expected to believe their stupidly transparent bullshit about “oh no, it’s not a slate” despite the fact that by all objective standards it is exactly that – a list that is *designed* to encourage puppies to concentrate their votes on the small, limited list chosen by the Alpha Puppies.

    Yeah, it’s just a recomennded reading list, if you know what I mean, wink wink, nudge nudge, SAY NO MORE.

    Sad Puppies Lite–Same Great Taste, Now With Only Half The Unfair Advantage!

    What started out as “I’m Larry Corriea, please help me win a Hugo” has morphed into just another shining example of the politics of spite – a small group of angry, bitter, partisans doing whatever they think will get them what they want, not giving a damn how badly it breaks things for everyone else, and offering a big fat FUCK YOU to anyone who disagrees. And all wrapped up in a neat little package of complete and utter denial so strong that they think they’re the good guys doing the Lord’s work.

    They are to WorldCon what the teabaggers are to U.S. politics, in pretty much every way I can think of, and my Hugo voting will be guided accordingly

  49. Jack Lint on September 4, 2015 at 12:09 pm said:

    Is the Hugo short list still being announced on the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter? Easter moves up a week next year. (March 27th)

    I would be surprised if MAC2 announces the finalists Easter weekend next year. The dates appear too tight for that.

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