Here’s the advance word on Sad Puppies Five, from a post today on Mad Genius Club.
Sarah A. Hoyt could have had a Hugo if she wanted one —
Also, the Hugo was not an object, or I could have captured one of the “least voted” categories by enjoining my fans to buy supporting memberships and get me a Hugo.
But real fans aren’t interested in the Hugos.
Oh, the real fans didn’t give it much attention or credit (and by real fans I mean people who REALLY read SF/F preferentially, not people who are using SF/F for social signaling, much less those who came to SF/F in the spirit of missionaries bringing their gospel to our field and trying to make us wear pants, or be literary, or whatever the tight-lipped scolds are obsessing on right now.
Still, a disinterested professional (like Hoyt) looking over the field could see why something needed to be done:
The problem with what happened to the Hugos is that it was objectively bad for the field. Because having a Hugo allowed books entry to places that rarely carry SF, like supermarkets. And then people who aren’t into the field will pick one up, casually, and decide it’s atrocious and run screaming.
So, Sarah A. Hoyt will be leading Sad Puppies Five.
Just don’t expect her to join the Worldcon or actually vote on the Hugo Awards —
I am still not going to give them any money.
But Sarah, you’ll say, how can you lead Sad Puppies 5, when you’re not going to nominate and vote on the Hugos.
Well, as much as I hate to say this, the Hugos as the award Heinlein won, are dead. There is nothing that can be done. I’m not a necromancer. In that sense the Sad Puppies won. We proved the game is rigged, and we can walk away.
Only she can’t walk away. She believes these Sad Puppies campaigns are the only thing that makes anyone pay attention to writers on her end of the spectrum.
We’re still in the middle of a culture war. And one of the things the — for lack of a better term — other side has is bully pulpits. Now most of them are in the old paper media, and they’re not really read by fans of the field. BUT still, they have magazines that publish recommended lists, and interviews with authors, and turn the spotlight on work they think should be read.
We have nothing like that. Yeah, yeah, Otherwhere Gazette, which might or might not be revived some day (depending on health and a million other things) but even if it is, will have to climb up into …. people’s awareness.
And if we’re going to do that, we might as well tie it to the Sad Puppies effort, because hey, there is no such thing as bad publicity.
So what will the 2017 Sad Puppies campaign look like?
This year the Sad Puppies (5) will host a page, on which you can make recommendations, and which will, every month, give you a collated list of the 5 works with the most votes, in each subcategory (if we have that many, of course) and if/what awards they’re eligible for. The list will also include mystery, where a lot of the indie are quite good and by and large unnoticed.
Before the nominating dates for major awards, I’ll put a notice on the page, and a list of the however many (5 or 10) most recommended books for your consideration.
Even though all this activity will be keyed to award deadlines, don’t think awards are important. Oh, no.
However, the awards are NOT the point anymore. Frankly in the hyper-distributed world of indie publishing, they might never be the point again.
The point is to give science fiction and fantasy that escapes the bounds of what traditional publishers encourage — which is often not what the public at large will even read — and to promote the health and popularity of our genre.
That’s the real goal – to let slip the surly bonds of New York publishing. No matter how many times Hoyt talks about the Hugo Awards, don’t let yourself be distracted….