Two More Hugo Nominees Stay In

Hugo nominees Daniel Polansky and Brooke Bolander have announced they are keeping their works on the ballot.

Polansky’s novella The Builders (Tor.com) was on both the 2016 Rabid Puppies slate and the Sad Puppies 4 list (where two recommendations was all it took).

Polansky explains why he’s staying in – “Accepting a Hugo Nomination”.

…That brings us to the present. It’s been, frankly, a frustrating week. An essentially private person, I resent intensely having been dragged into a controversy which I had no role in creating and little interest in generally. My initial reaction was to withdraw from the contest immediately—I wrote a really nasty post to this effect, condemning all involved parties, raining rhetorical fire down from the sky, etc. ‘A pox on both your houses! You won’t have Dan Polansky to kick around anymore!’ So on and so forth. But upon consideration, and in consultation with some of my fellow nominees, I’ve decided to stay in, which seems to be the least-worst option. I’m reasonably convinced it minimizes the harm which the organizers of the slate intended to do to the award itself. If you read the Builders, and you thought it was deserving of a Hugo, by all means, vote for it. If you preferred the work of one of the other fine nominees, vote for that. If you want to no-decision the lot of us, that’s entirely understandable as well. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the end of a matter which has already cost me more in terms of time and energy than I would have preferred to offer to anything that isn’t my work, family, or friends.

But before I sign off, a quick word to those who are upset about the whole thing; don’t let it get to you too much. Every moment you spend being angry, every furious blog post, every back and forth with a moron over twitter, is a small victory you have offered to your opponents. It is to you to decide if you are offended, angered, insulted. A righteous soul needs not concern themselves with the doings of fools.

Bolander’s novelette “And You Shall Know Her by The Trail of Dead” (Lightspeed) was only on the Sad Puppies 4 list — likewise as a result of receiving two recommendations. The story is also a Nebula nominee and up for other honors.

Bolander gave her reaction in “Hugo nomination”.

So. That silly cyberpulp story I wrote and sold to Lightspeed a year ago has now managed to net itself a hat trick of nominations: Nebula, Sturgeon, and Hugo. I’m honoured. I’m beyond honoured: I’m fucking stunned and honoured. However, making this pretty much the textbook definition of a pyrrhic victory, the Hugos have yet again been hijacked by semi-sentient anal glands, who spewed hot, smelly ass juice all over the ballot, squeezing deserving legitimate work out and smearing the palmful of legitimate noms who got through with expressed butt infection funk. This gunk is straight-up rancid. Stains clothes, kills flowers, soils hope. In an attempt to be very clever doggies, they also stuck several legitimate, worthy works that would have probably gotten on the ballot anyway onto their slates as shields.

So, what’s a nominee to do?

Not a whole lot, honestly. We have two options: Stay on target, or withdraw. Both are perfectly valid choices, but I’m not withdrawing my nomination. The reasons are thus:

A. “Trail of Dead” was NOT on the Rabid slate. It is the only nominee in the Novelette category that wasn’t on their shit-smearing list. Additionally, Hao Jingfang’s Folding Beijing–a fine novelette that would have gotten on the ballot under its own steam–was Rabid-slated, but is definitely worth touching your eyeballs down on, regardless. The entire intent of RPs using legitimate works as shields this year was to make people bounce off them on principal. Don’t give ‘em the satisfaction. Read and use best judgment.

Bolander also makes points B and C, which you can read there.

[Thanks to Mark-kitteh for the story.]

48 thoughts on “Two More Hugo Nominees Stay In

  1. Daniel Polansky:
    But before I sign off, a quick word to those who are upset about the whole thing; don’t let it get to you too much. Every moment you spend being angry, every furious blog post, every back and forth with a moron over twitter, is a small victory you have offered to your opponents. It is to you to decide if you are offended, angered, insulted. A righteous soul needs not concern themselves with the doings of fools.[Emphasis mine]

    Word.

  2. Bolander was a jerk to the two people on Sad Puppies 4 who nominated her story. I’m sure they appreciate being referred to as “ticks” for liking your work.

    And Mr. Glyer – I appreciate your distinguishing between a “list” and a “slate” in your heading. Sincerely – thanks.

  3. Polansky is a teeny bit less evocative than Bolander, but still rather funny.

    Bolander’s point about Folding Beijing is probably bolstered but it having just made the Locus finals.

  4. Bolander was a jerk to the two people on Sad Puppies 4 who nominated her story.

    Yes, I’m sure they are very upset. That does raise the question of why anyone should care about the precious feelings of Pups.

  5. I would like to go on record as saying that no matter how apt and original “hijacked by semi-sentient anal glands, who spewed hot, smelly ass juice all over the ballot” is as a description of the ‘rabid’ VD griefing it is not a sufficient reason for voting for Bolander’s story at number 1 on my ballot – nearly, but not quite a sufficient reason 😉

  6. airboy on May 3, 2016 at 3:10 pm said:

    Bolander was a jerk to the two people on Sad Puppies 4 who nominated her story. I’m sure they appreciate being referred to as “ticks” for liking your work.

    I suspect at least one of them will cope quite well.

  7. @airboy – Bolander was a jerk to the two people on Sad Puppies 4 who nominated her story.

    I have no trouble believing Sad Puppies are fans (unlike RPs, who are a waste of cellular division), but SP 1, 2 and 3 were clear attempts to game the Hugos. Given all the rhetoric conservatives fling around about personal responsibility, why is it so freaking hard to understand there are social consequences to that?

    In other words, being called ticks is something all y’all bought and paid for and you have no grounds for complaint when someone delivers the merchandise you ordered.

  8. Bolander was listed incorrectly in SP4 as receiving the most votes for Best Novelette. Check the raw data — she finished second. The error was pointed out to SP4 but never corrected.

  9. “Trail of Dead” is not as well-written as her post. Sorry, Brooke.

  10. eddingsfan: I did check the raw data. That’s how I learned she had two recommendations.

  11. @Camestros

    Snowcrash must be feeling quite ticked off.

    —-

    Trail of Dead didn’t make my ballot, but it was still on my longlist on decision day. I think her description of it as Cyberpulp is quite apt – it’s retro and fun and proud of it.

  12. While I am tickled by the assumption that someone unhappy with the gloried history of SP translates to a personal insult to me… It’s all lice

  13. Airboy : Bolander was a jerk to the two people on Sad Puppies 4 who nominated her story.

    And?

    Please lay out clearly why you think ordinary fans should bother to respect the feelings of Puppies, whether Sad or Rabid.

  14. Well, as someone who nominated The Builders without any guidance from a racist bully, I can’t say I’m sad to see Polansky stay in. And since SP4 was a straight-up recommendation list this year, There’s no shame in Bolander’s nom either in my eyes. Good luck to both of them!

  15. @airboy

    That’s nice about SP$. But no amount of Orwelling will make SP3 and prior anything but slates. Slates of crap, that were no awarded because they were crap. To quote Futurama, they were bad and you should feel bad for apologizing for their presence in last year’s awards.

  16. Trail made my ballot. That’s a pretty big leg up on the slate entries for me.

    I assume Polansky’s a meat shield? He was published by Tor, which is still theoretically under Puppy Boycott, as he mentions. Was there any raison d’etre given for the nom by the Jerk-in-Chief?

  17. Insulting people who purchase your work and recommend it to others is not only being a jerk – it is financially stupid. Bolander’s post clearly indicated that she was aware of how SP4 was run.

    Those of you criticizing those recommending the word due to things others may have done in past years – way to mend fences!!!

    I believe in personal responsibility. I’m responsible for myself and my actions. That includes deciding not to give money to individuals who insult their fans. Most sane individuals appreciate those who praise their work and give them money – especially so when the praise is honest.

    @ Camestros Felapton – if my memory is accurate you said praiseworthy things about SP4 on monsterhunternation and received quite a bit of negative feedback. I thought that was undeserved and destructive of those individuals. If I’m confusing you with someone else, it is unintentional

  18. airboy: Insulting people who purchase your work and recommend it to others is not only being a jerk – it is financially stupid.

    Tell that to Larry Correia!

  19. @TYP – I voted last year but nominated nothing. I was unaware that the Hugos were actually “fan awards” until after the nomination period closed. Could not nominate because I did not pay the $40 soon enough.

    Since I did not nominate, I can’t be responsible for what was nominated last year.

    But way to over-generalize!! Don’t let this slow you down from jumping to conclusions in the future. It always helps your arguments if you draw incorrect conclusions from faulty data and cast false blame!

    And BTW – I did not nominate any short fiction for this year because I don’t read very much of it and don’t feel I should nominate in the category.

  20. Insulting people who purchase your work and recommend it to others is not only being a jerk – it is financially stupid.

    Financially, the Pups are a non-factor for most authors who aren’t in their tiny circle of favorites, and even then they don’t seem to matter all that much. I don’t think Bolander has to worry at all about her financial future being affected in any way by whether the Pups like her or not.

    Those of you criticizing those recommending the word due to things others may have done in past years – way to mend fences!!!

    You have to live with the actions of the group you’ve associated with. The Pups and everyone associated with them have a stench that won’t wear off any time soon.

    I believe in personal responsibility. I’m responsible for myself and my actions. That includes deciding not to give money to individuals who insult their fans.

    I’m sure Bolander is real broken up over that. Actually, no, I’m sure she doesn’t care at all. Caring about the tender feelings of a group of whiny Pups who are just looking for a reason to be offended is probably something that virtually no authors outside of MGC will ever care about.

  21. @airball:

    You did see the part about the whole two SP4 voters nomming Bolander, right — one of whom is our own Snowcrash, as noted above*? Therefore, she basically maybe “insulted” one actual “purchaser” (I read it online for free myself before I nominated it, soooo…). Plus, this alleged insult only applies if one can’t do the “guilt by historical slate association” math, which I guess you can’t?

    Hard to mend fences when the other side is still throwing rotten fruit.

    BTW, the work received two thumbs down on SP4 for the “vulgar language”, so it sounds like they aren’t her audience anyway.

    And she wasn’t an RP nom, so I assume you agree insulting them is okay?

    * Pretty much guaranteeing she got more noms from Filers, FYI, so even by Machiavellian standards she is playing to the correct crowd — not that I think she is being anything but honest.

  22. @Airboy: From context, it is pretty clearly the RP leadership & the Dried Oaks she is insulting. She starts by talking about “sentient anal glands” then says one reason she’s deciding to stay in is that she wasn’t on the RP’s “shit-smearing list.” We have, then:

    a) A clear throughline of fecal imagery that plops directly in Vox Day’s bowl;
    b) A definite distinction between RP2 and SP4. I wasn’t on the RP list, so I feel a little better.

    This is clearly not Bolander “insulting her fans.” Any misimpression you may have to the contrary is motivated reasoning on your part. You are trying to feel insulted.

  23. I’m glad both have posted their thoughts. I’m sorry they were on slates in the first place and are being put through hell this year.

    @airboy
    Those nominating stories on the SP4 may not be who you think they are and therefore may not take offense at Bolander’s words. You know you’d get less pushback on file770 if you took the time to educate yourself before commenting. You might want to check out the thread and see if the names look familiar to you.

    airboy: Insulting people who purchase your work and recommend it to others is not only being a jerk – it is financially stupid.

    Isn’t that exactly what both LC and BT did after they were nominated for Campbell awards with the SP campaign? Isn’t that what the 4 women running SP4 are doing ever time they insult anyone whose not part of their special little group? There is no way on the Internet to know who reads your books.

  24. Mr. Henley – she refers to the SP4 as ticks. Reread carefully. You are correct that she savaged the Rabids. I did not criticize her comments about Rabids. But her written words show she knew the context of SP4 and referred to them as “ticks.”

    But Mr. Henley – you have been a voice of reason this year and it is appreciated.

    @Ms. Turner – I agree with you that authors insulting actual paying customers and fans praising their work is not financially sane behavior. I like those who praise my professional work – especially with cash. Thus, I do not think that Larry or Brad helped themselves.

    Leaving the RPs out of it, the worst of the Sads and the 770s use the guilt by association argument too much and sometimes do not read carefully. Somebody somewhere said something to offend them. Thus anyone who supports anything a perceived enemies stated is burdened with the “sins” of all collective opponents. That is an unwise strategy if you wish to persuade anyone persuadable.

    And Ms. Turner, I’ve read 770 about every day for 2 years. I think that I’ve taken the time “to educate myself.” I try to treat others as I would like to be treated and attempt to make criticisms specific. I’m sure that I fail at times as we all do.

    I also try to mention praiseworthy actions – as I’ve done here with Mr. Henley.

  25. @Airboy

    Who am I to say what you can or cannot do, but I think it would be unkind not to at least warn you of what you face over here: The Swarm

    As for the tittle of ‘Two More Hugo Nominees Stay In‘ – it comes off with the assumption that people should withdraw. Some already have, as far as I’ve bothered to pay attention to this year’s finalists, was it Blackgate and Thomas Mays? Anyone else? But I have seem many make demands that people should withdraw, perhaps it is because the concept of a popular vote in a fan award just eludes understanding.

    Heck, it seems even ‘GRRM’ has been doing his his best Cersei impersonations to trumpet for more withdrawals. Abbreviation: “These works are great and deserving, except that they are not, and look at these wonderful people who already have withdrawn from my Fandom award… Except that they were quite horrible too.

    (I cannot really stand that ‘GRRM’ calls Kloos’ and Bellet’s works dross – but what else could I expect from Cersei?)

    This is supposed to be a fan award that is decided by popular vote. The finalists should not be expected to clarify their intention of staying in or opting out, they became finalists because for whatever reason – someone wanted to nominate them for an award. Why not just leave it that? Give a pat on the back and wish good luck as one of the contenders for an award that is a plastic rocket?

    Without a heartbeat, I could do that to Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Mercy – and some of you might still recall how I feel about those tea cups in space! (It just isn’t my cup of tea in space.)

    And I guess that is all I want to write, for now.

  26. Mr. Henley – she refers to the SP4 as ticks.

    And? Who should care? At this point she is absolutely correct: The SP4 campaign is nothing but a parasite on the back of the RP2 campaign. To be honest, going through the numbers makes it pretty clear that the SP3 campaign was nothing but a parasite on the RP1 campaign as well, but that’s water under the bridge at this point. The Pups picked the canine imagery. She’s just following through with it.

  27. @Vainio: Good to have you back! You’re reading an awful lot into a pretty self-explanatory title there.

    You’re aware that the reason anyone might feel the need to clarify whether they’re staying in or not (and perhaps even feel the need to justify their decision) is because of a group of assholes acting in bad faith, right?

    In a normal year, I don’t think all that many people feel the need to justify their decision to withdraw or stay in the running for the Hugos. The last couple of years have been exceptional, in that Ted and his Elk have decided, once again, to be a bunch of utter dickheads.

  28. Hi Tuomas. Bye Tuomas. Looks like someone needs to mail Rail with your new gravatar ID.

    I like how keen the usual supects are to are to leap at a chance to be offended. Victim-signalling?

  29. @airboy And Ms. Turner, I’ve read 770 about every day for 2 years. I think that I’ve taken the time “to educate myself.” I try to treat others as I would like to be treated and attempt to make criticisms specific. I’m sure that I fail at times as we all do.

    Have you gone to SP4 website where recommendations were made? Looking at the names of the people who made them would have helped you not look foolish when you commented about the nominators taking offense to how Bolander referred to SP4 or them.

    If you read here so frequently then obviously you’d know a number of well intentioned filers and other non-puppies made suggestions over on SP4. They did so for a number of reasons. They did not expect to have the impact on SP4 they did due to lack of SP participation. Unsurprisingly non-puppies aren’t taking offense to shortlist nominees who are unhappy to be on the SP4 list due to their efforts.

    So your comment which I quoted previously looks uneducated based on known facts. Maybe it’s a reading comprehension or memory problem? Or projection on how you’d feel and you can’t imagine anyone reacting differently? I can’t read minds. I only have the words in front of me to go on.

    BTW I prefer Tasha or Tasha Turner to Ms Turner. Thanks.

  30. @snowcrash,

    Had to de-whiteout the Tuomas comment to read it; so it’s still the same Gravatar ID.
    img[src*=”8471db4b6a6eae7d874f9fc4c640d90d”] + span::after, /* Tuomas Vainio */

  31. @snowcrash:

    Hi Tuomas. Bye Tuomas. Looks like someone needs to mail Rail with your new gravatar ID.

    Maybe. I’ve seem to have the current one grayed out already.

    Though I appreciate the spirit in which it’s meant, I tend to cringe when someone (like Polansky) repeats some version of that whole victim-blamey, bully-enabling “No one can make you feel small without your consent” crap. I mean, “Hey, someone being a total shit to you ‘makes’ you feel bad? No it doesn’t; you’re just a weak-minded shlub who chooses to feel bad and blames it on other people!” That’s gonna make me feel better, right?

    Feeling angry, offended, or insulted aren’t always something one chooses; feelings aren’t. Sometimes they’re even appropriate. I mean, yes, I feel offended by injustice and bigotry; should I not? I get angry when bullies and vandals take a shit on my community; wouldn’t you?

    The real question, I think, is what one chooses to do about those feelings.

    Which, again, is I think the spirit in which he intended what he said. I appreciate that. But the meme makes me weary. I really think it does more harm than good.

    Looking forward to reading his story, though.

  32. @Nicole,
    Fair point that “Feeling angry, offended, or insulted aren’t always something one chooses”, and I don’t think Polansky meant it that way either.

    For myself, I managed to get off the outrage vicious cycle last year, so when this year’s finalists were announced I felt more a sense of resignation & got to thinking more of how the WSFS implement a long-term solution to the bad-actors. Everyone gets to feel how they feel & respond as they deem appropriate. It’s a mess right now, but I am hopeful for things coming right, and that this too shall pass.

  33. @airboy: I was so on the fence about you, but finally got tired, so . . . plonk! I may regret this, since occasionally you post partially-not-puppy-troll comments. This is why I’d like to adjust the CSS so I see the name and can decide whether to reveal the comment. Oh well.

    @snowcrash: Hmm, Tuomas was filtered by me, but I use my own CSS and add/remove people based on my criteria. (I don’t want my list controlled by someone else, and I don’t always agree with who is added, judging by the latest list.) Although as my patience wears thin, my list will probably approach the public one pretty closely! 😉

    @Mike Glyer: Heh. It amuses me what Puppies interpret as “insulting their fans,” but it greatly irritates me how inconsistently they apply the criteria.

    @Oneiros (maybe @Various): The post title reads a little odd to me, despite knowing the history quite well, being strongly anti-slate, and being happy the two authors are not declining their noms. (shrug) FWIW. No offense intended to @Mike Glyer! Everyone’s a critic, etc. 😉

  34. Well, that was foolish; I didn’t even think to /nominee-stalk when I posted that.

    Abraca-nominee-stalk!

  35. airboy on May 3, 2016 at 3:10 pm said:
    Bolander was a jerk to the two people on Sad Puppies 4 who nominated her story. I’m sure they appreciate being referred to as “ticks” for liking your work.

    As someone who participated in the SP4 process I thank you for your concern, but please rest assured that I have better things to do with my time than take faux offence.

  36. Kendall: The post title reads a little odd to me,

    That’s good to know. There are other ways I could have said it and still have communicated the main point.

  37. “Insulting people who purchase your work and recommend it to others is not only being a jerk – it is financially stupid. “

    Please, Mr. Concern Troll, go and tell that to Paulk, Torgersen, Hoyt and Correa. And see what response you get.

  38. img[src*="fbad556dacbc533fe96a9c479ecf077a"”] + span::after, /* airboy */

  39. Aviation Muso: (I cannot really stand that ‘GRRM’ calls Kloos’ and Bellet’s works dross – but what else could I expect from Cersei?)

    Ah, yes, here’s what GRRM actually said:

    I think Kary English’s story in Short Story showed real talent, as did the story that Annie Bellet withdrew. Both of them might have made the ballot even without the Pups. Oh, and I became a Marko Kloos fan after reading the novel the Pups nominated, which Marko then pulled from the ballot (yay for him). Before the ballot, I had never even heard of Annie Bellet, Kary English, or Marko Kloos.

    I’m really tempted to start a GoFundMe to purchase correspondence courses in Reading Comprehension for the most vocal Puppies. It seems that a major deficiency in that area is a requirement for membership in their club. Really, it’s sad. Won’t someone think of the Puppies?

  40. @JJ Won’t someone think of the Puppies?
    I support shelters and rescues… 😉

    The puppy leaders apparent lack of reading comprehension is one of the reasons people may legitimately choose/chosen not to read many/all of their nominated works over the years. If they can’t understand a simple blog post it’s fair to believe their incapable of telling if a book is quality vs average or very bad.

  41. @JJ: In trying to unravel last year’s Hugo nominations to see what they might have been like without the Puppies’ involvement, I have come to the conclusion that Bellet would have made it to the list of finalists, but English would not. That said, I think Bellet’s story would not have beaten out its hypothetical competition (which would have included the excellent Jackalope Wives), and is actually a fairly ordinary story. When I describe the 2015 Puppy offerings on the Hugo ballot as “mediocre to miserable”, Bellet’s and English’s stories are definitely on the mediocre end of the scale.

  42. @Airboy: Thanks for clarifying re “ticks.” I think a couple of things:

    1. In a casually written paragraph, it’s not obvious whether “they” refers to the fans who put her story on the Sad list or to the Sad administrators. The latter are decidedly not her fans.
    2. The people who potentially were directly insulted are the ones best poised to decide if they feel insulted. They also have the option of asking Bolander if she meant that she regards them personally as ticks, or if it was a metaphor that got away from her.
    3. Bolander says something that complicates the matter: “Still not super happy to be on their list.” We had a big argumentdiscussion around here about whether those Filers who participated in SP4 made a good call. My position was they made the best decision they could from their perspective. But we had that discussion because SP3 was an emotionally and ethically fraught subject. And because of that, it was probably foreseeable that some authors would not consider anyone who associated them with the SP label as doing them a good turn.

  43. I’m glad both nominees are staying in, and doubly so for Brooke Bolander, whose story I enjoyed immensely and nominated myself. It’s actually the sort of thing the puppies claimed they were looking for (but didn’t actually nominate) last year — action packed and fun.

  44. JJ wrote:

    I’m really tempted to start a GoFundMe to purchase correspondence courses in Reading Comprehension for the most vocal Puppies.

    Because what the heck, maybe the puppy will learn to read? 😉

  45. @Cat
    My cats used to read over my shoulder, in my lap, on my pillow. Or it seemed like they were reading. They’d prevent me from turning both paper and electronic pages until they were ready. Are you saying puppies aren’t as smart as cats, cat? 😉

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