43 thoughts on “CLFA Book of the Year 2018 Award

  1. Dear Mike,

    Awwwww, and who says you never say anything nice about our favorite PLA…

    pax / Ctein

    (just wait — it’ll come back to haunt you)

  2. Congratulations.
    I’ve got a bunch of Hugo finalists to read and won’t be able to get to this anytime soon.

  3. From their website:

    No one works harder nor participates more in the culture war that automatically goes along with being a conservative author in today’s SJW-dominated SFF circles than Jon Del Arroz. Even so, he still had time to produce this outstanding and wildly popular piece of fiction. Congratulations, JDA!

  4. This is my shocked face.

    You get an award…. and you get an award….and Timothy gets an award…

  5. I’m happy for him.

    I’ve never heard of this award. Is there a longlist of nominees? Who nominates? Who votes? What kind of voting controls are in place? Or is this a Boaty-McBoatface award, like the Dragon Awards, where the person who has the most sock puppets wins?

  6. @Cassy

    The CLFA are exactly what they sound like. They existed prior to the puppy-kerfluffles but became mysteriously more popular during. There’s a members vote on a long list then a public vote on the winner.
    The possibility of some Boaty-McBoatfacing is between them and their consciences, I wouldn’t like to comment.

  7. @Cassy B Thank you! Very honored to win this prestigious award. I’ll be working hard delivering 2 full sequels and a novella in the series this summer. Onward and upward. Much love to everyone!

  8. Um, doesn’t his lawsuit against WorldCon 76 claim his professional reputation has been damaged because they banned him from attending? How does he make such a claim appear viable to a court when he’s winning an award right now (in addition to publicly bragging about his sales, how great his career is going, etc.)?

  9. CLFA is a group of about 2000 people. We nominate books we liked. There was a list of some thirty so, maybe more. I don’t recall. And then two rounds of voting to determine the top ten.

    The top ten were then voted on by the public.

  10. The Dragon Awards were voted on by 8000 people last year–(which is more people than have ever voted on the other SF awards.)

    The winners were all huge fan favorites, like Rick Riordan and Jim Butcher.

  11. @L. Jagi —

    The Dragon Awards were voted on by 8000 people last year–(which is more people than have ever voted on the other SF awards.)

    Actually, IIRC the report was that the Awards gathered 8000 BALLOTS — not the same thing as 8000 individual voters.

    Remember that there were many categories — I forget at the moment how many. But if there were 10 categories and 8000 votes, then it’s possible that there were only 800 individual voters. Or if some people sent in multiple ballots (vote early and often), again that means less individual voters. Despite their promise to release specific voting info, the Dragon Admins never did so — so it’s impossible to know how many individual voters there were.

    We had long discussions last year about some of the problems with the DragonCon voting. You can see one of them here: Dragon Awards discussion at File 770.

  12. @Laura —

    Um, doesn’t his lawsuit against WorldCon 76 claim his professional reputation has been damaged because they banned him from attending? How does he make such a claim appear viable to a court when he’s winning an award right now (in addition to publicly bragging about his sales, how great his career is going, etc.)?

    Don’t count on this guy to think or speak logically. It isn’t his strong suit.

  13. @L. Jagi Lamplighter

    The Dragon Awards were voted on by 8000 people last year–(which is more people than have ever voted on the other SF awards.)

    So should we only ever pay attention to the Goodreads Awards, with votes in the multi-millions?

    But I agree, it’s nice for the Dragon Awards that by the final vote last year they’d grown to the extent that they couldn’t be Boaty-ed. Unfortunately their nomination phase last year, and both phases in the first year, did get Boaty-ed.

    It’s interesting that despite an open vote that would be vulnerable to that, the CLFA awards haven’t been tampered with by anyone. It’s almost as if there’s only one broad group of people in SF who think that’s an acceptable tactic, and they don’t see the CLFA as a target.

  14. @Mark —

    Thanks for mentioning Goodreads — I forgot all about them!

  15. @Contrarius

    I believe the final conclusion was that the claim was genuinely 8000 voters not votes, because there were also some numbers for # of votes that stacked up correctly. There was initial scepticism because it was based on a verbal report and they’d pulled that trick in their first year. Obviously they’ve never released any more info than that so who knows what the final situation was, but the slaters lost in the finals which implies they either had that sort of level of voting to drown out the slate effects, or they simply threw out slate votes.

    Either way, 8000 is pretty modest compared to the number of attendees so they’ve got a long way to go yet.

  16. @Mark —

    If you read Mike’s official report at the link I posted, the word they used was “ballots”. Which could mean just about anything, especially given that there were no visible means of preventing ballot-box stuffing and no specific numbers released after the fact.

  17. 1. Ha. 😉
    2. That was nominations, not the final vote.
    3. Read my last sentence on that post — “Of course, not every voter will nominate in every category, and as with my earlier example, we don’t know if they’re counting both valid and invalid nominations or only valid ones.”

    That said — as I mentioned somewhere in that earlier thread, nearly every eventual winner was 1st or 2nd top seller in their category according to Amazon sales rankings at the time the awards were decided. I still have the numbers for that around here somewhere. So I don’t have much difficulty believing that the final results were at least mostly organic; the problem is that there is no way of actually knowing, given the ridiculously vague rules and the complete lack of public accountability.

  18. @Cassy B.

    I’ve never heard of this award. Is there a longlist of nominees? Who nominates? Who votes? What kind of voting controls are in place? Or is this a Boaty-McBoatface award, like the Dragon Awards, where the person who has the most sock puppets wins?

    There was a shortlist that even was posted here, I think, and you could vote on the shortlist via the CLFA page. The voting was done via a Survey Monkey form, which at least prevented people from voting twice with the same IP address.

    And yes, I tried it out, since they said anybody could vote. Though I voted for Torchship by Karl Gallagher.

  19. I’m sure nobody voted because of the ethnicity or political opinions/activities of the author. Conservative Libertarians abjure that sort of thing, and wouldn’t ever mention it in their announcement. Never. Perish the thought.

    It’s all about quality, not personalities. Meritocracy alone. They’re above identity politics, just the facts.

    —————————-

    Now who was it won Goodreads last year? That’s a clear indication of what people really want — MILLIONS of votes! Truly the voice of the common wo/man.

    Artemis (who was the main character in that), Fantastic Beasts (don’t know anything about the author’s politics), Sleeping Beauty (ditto). Nothing political in Memoir or History either.

    Pretty good overlap in the long lists of SF and F between Goodreads, Locus, and Hugos. Almost as if they were equally populist awards.

    (must… not… look… at the cookbook nominees…)

  20. Regarding Dragons: the best confirmed account of what was said, given by Red Panda Fraction at Camestros’ site, is that it referred to final votes – the claim that it was nominations was a misunderstanding – and it was the number of voters. The number of individual votes was also given, and was much larger, though it seemed to have been calculated a bit inaccurately.

  21. I don’t find it entirely implausible that the very conservative audience for the awards wanted to recognize, to put it somewhat euphemistically, JDA’s advocacy, as well as his literary output, and that this is an accurate reflection of the views of the community. It confirms my lack of interest in the award, but I suspect that they aren’t terribly concerned about my opinion.

  22. @ Robert Wood:

    Indeed. I am entirely OK with this community giving this award recognizing JDA’s story, his advocacy, his rugged good looks, or anything else they want it to be for. It’s not a community I have enough in common with to really pay that much attention to, except to realise that our differences mean that the things they recommend are unlikely to appeal to me. Their announcement’s emphasis on JDA’s virtue signalling promotion of conservatism and framing of that promotion in terms of war fighting makes it plain that it likely is too full of right-wing political correctness advocates a political philosophy I cannot agree with in ways that would diminish my enjoyment of it as fiction.

    But that’s OK. They are not my community so I will just choose to disagree, note that their books aren’t for me, and move on. I certainly won’t be organising any kind of movement to undermine their award’s nomination and voting system no matter how easy that would be.

  23. Robert Wood: I don’t find it entirely implausible that the very conservative audience for the awards wanted to recognize, to put it somewhat euphemistically, JDA’s advocacy, as well as his literary output, and that this is an accurate reflection of the views of the community.

    Exactly. I read this as CLFA’s wholehearted endorsement of JDA’s abusive and harassing behavior. Which tells me a great deal about the organization — and none of it is good.

  24. My dismissive sigh is so heavy it landed on the floor with an audible thud.

  25. @JJ: It’s good when they’re open about it, right?

    @Mr. D: Ah, but you’re a gentleman, with better things to do with your time than try to take over a literary award.

  26. I’m a member (I’d say “proud member”, but anyone can join) of CLFA.
    I don’t like Del Arroz*.
    * = I don’t actually know the guy personally. We may share the same feelings regarding important subjects like how cats rock, and how light is the best disinfectant. I’m taking this only from his public persona.

    But from Jon Del Arroz’s public persona, I don’t like the guy. I think he starts fights where they’re not necessary and I think he uses them to promote his career. I don’t have the time of day for anyone who promotes needless hostility and I don’t care what side they’re coming from.

    That said, as a CLFA insider, I will state he won the awards fair and square. I didn’t vote in them, myself. No time.

    But the nomination process (inside the group) was transparent. So, so far as I can see, was the awarding process.

    You don’t have to like CLFA. You don’t need to like me. But he did win fair and square.

  27. @Leo Champion

    Good to know, and thanks for commenting. While people are being a bit snarky here given JDA’s established history of trying to mess with other awards, it’s good to know he won this one fairly – so perhaps he’ll stop his silliness elsewhere.

  28. Leo Champion: You don’t have to like CLFA. You don’t need to like me. But he did win fair and square.

    Be that as it may, you might wish to have a word with the CLFA leadership about them posting an endorsement of JDA’s harassing and abusive behavior, which reflects very badly on its membership, one of whom is you.

  29. The CLFA award was decided by the public part of the voting, not by the members.

  30. L Jagi Lamplighter (Wright): The CLFA award was decided by the public part of the voting, not by the members.

    Oh, I see, it was another one of those Survey Monkey “Vote Early and Often” awards. That certainly explains some things.

  31. Was there some other book on the shortlist you’d rather have seen as the winner?

  32. JJ: They’re happy with the voting system, all their members and the finalists know what it is, and it’s unlikely they could have picked another winner that would better advance their agenda this year.

    On the other hand, I doubt there’s anything on the CLFA Book Award shortlist you’d favor, is there? That’s why implying some injustice has been done isn’t gaining traction — with me anyway.

    As for the Dragon Awards — the shortlist can be gamed, it’s not apparent from last year that its book categories are won that way.

  33. Mike Glyer: implying some injustice has been done

    Except that I haven’t done that. All I’ve done is point out that their results are eminently gameable. How they feel about those results is up to them.

  34. So it is Conservative McConservative Award for Book By Most Trolling Author.

  35. JJ: No one mistakes “their results are eminently gameable” and other words to that effect as meaning anything besides you’re denying the credibility of the winner under the terms of their system.

  36. Mike Glyer: No one mistakes “their results are eminently gameable” and other words to that effect as meaning anything besides you’re denying the credibility of the winner under the terms of their system.

    How does this equate to “injustice”? It’s their award. They can run it however they want. They are the ones who decide whether their contest is run “justly”. I have merely commented on their methodology.

    It’s bizarre that you keep trying to read anything into my words other than what they actually say.

  37. JJ: I used a run polls in File 770 where one of the categories was Best Fanzine and, based on years of watching how this worked in other newzines, I would think to myself, “It’d be a poor fanzine that couldn’t win its own poll.” Which I did, without doing a single thing to manipulate the outcome, because the electorate was inherently composed of people who liked the zine to some degree.

    So I tend to think how could JDA NOT win an award voted by the Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance after his antics this year?

  38. @Mike —

    So I tend to think how could JDA NOT win an award voted by the Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance after his antics this year?

    That’s kinda what I’ve been thinking. And didja notice how much campaigning the guy was doing throughout the contest? He worked hard for that win!

  39. @Mike: I can’t speak for JJ but my issue with it is that the award committee have seen fit to endorse his tragic, cut-rate Teddy Beale behaviour in their announcement, and doing so perhaps pave the way to even more idiots trying some variation on “culture warring” to win, which, man, it gets tedious at times. I don’t really give the slightest fraction of a fuck who won it or how.

  40. Mike Glyer: So I tend to think how could JDA NOT win an award voted by the Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance after his antics this year?

    I think we’re talking at cross-purposes here, because I look at your post above, and think, “Okay, but what does that have to do with my post?”

    I’m an engineer. Among my specializations are systems analysis and design, data analysis and management, and pattern recognition. So when I say “here’s this fact about the award’s methodology”, that’s the point I’m trying to make — not “this is the only way JDA could have possibly won”.

    Would it surprise me that there are a lot of people out there willing to endorse JDA’s harassing and abusive behavior by voting for his book in this award? Not a bit. Would it surprise me if he had some algorithmic help? Not a bit. Do I think that CLFA is the slightest bit concerned about either of those things? Not a bit. Do I care what they give their award to? Not a bit.

    I’m making observations here, that’s all.

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