Mainstream media and pundit blogs have not overlooked a chance to capture eyeballs by covering the Sad Puppies kerfuffle. Each wing is quoted today, with one example penned by sf writer Kameron Hurley.
George R.R. Martin finished his series of posts about “Puppygate” – no word if HBO has optioned. Larry Correia ran a rebuttal.
Then there’s a teaser from Matthew Bowman’s clever poem, more full-spectrum opinion, and at the end, the discouraging words of a double Hugo nominee.
David French in National Review
Correia, Torgerson, and their Sad Puppies allies are living arguments against cultural defeatism. With humor and verve, they’ve taken on the allegedly unstoppable Left, stopped it, and thrown it into spasms of impotent rage and amusing disarray. In its rage and self-righteousness, the Left always overreaches. Always. I’ve seen that reality in 20 years of on-campus battles, we’re seeing that reality as their hate campaign against Memories Pizza helped make the owners a pile of money, and we saw it when we watched unhinged rhetoric help turn American Sniper into the top-grossing movie of 2014.
Kameron Hurley in The Atlantic
The science-fiction and fantasy literature world might seem by its nature to be forward-thinking, but it hasn’t been free from the kinds of culture wars embodied by last year’s Gamergate controversy—a fact aptly illustrated by this year’s nominations for the genre’s (arguably) most prestigious awards, the Hugos. The tastes of the voting audience for the Hugos (comprised of the attendees of the World Science Fiction Convention, or WorldCon) seem to have grown more diverse in recent years. And their selections have reflected that: Last year’s awards were swept by writers of color and women, myself included. So it was a surprise when a majority of voters woke up April 4 to a nomination slate almost exclusively overrun by novels, stories, and related fan efforts promoted by a small group of writers who claim the Hugos are turning into affirmative-action awards catering to left-wing ideologies. Their efforts to influence the voting process are led by the novelist Larry Correia and the Internet personality Theodore Beale, who’s best known for his desire to deny women the right to vote and his firm belief that black people are “savages.”
Matthew Bowman on Novel Ninja
“Puppy Poetry” – April 9
[Third of four stanzas]
These are, we’re told, quite vital jobs
To let society progress
But it just left us with some snobs
Whose way of life was to suppress
This made many puppies cry
And seek a cure for their distress
The best of fiction they could buy
But Hugo wins would just depress
TorInAction on Reddit
This subreddit tracks and discusses attempts to smear, intimidate, censor, culturally appropriate, ethically corrupt, or otherwise harm the science fiction & fantasy medium and culture, specifically such attempts by the SJW hate movement. These attempts are collectively known as #SciFiGate.
Sarah Hoyt on According To Hoyt
“Of Science Fiction and Bed Making” – April 9
Sad Puppies is not responsible for the universe.
The people who accuse us of being in league with gamer gate are just echoing Empress Teresa’s nutty slander. (She probably sees Gamer Gate under her bed, and it’s the Gamer Gate of Law and Order.) For one SP 1 was long before Gamer Gate and if Larry has a time machine and hasn’t shared – the bastage – we’re going to have words, even if he has way many more guns than I do. (Perhaps he found it on the… “Dark Net” — cue ominous music.)
The evidence for this seems to be that Larry welcomed gamer gaters to one of his post updates. Yes, he did. Because the other side’s shrieking and hollering got their attention and they started coming around to see what this was all about.
George R.R. Martin on Not A Blog
“Blogging for Rockets” – April 9
Yeah, there too. In the ongoing discussion of Puppygate, numerous people have cited one instance, wherein a stack of identical nominating ballots arrived with the same postmark, paid for by consecutive money orders. Those were disallowed. In 1987, members of the Church of Scientology campaigned successfully to place L. Ron Hubbard’s BLACK GENESIS on the Best Novel ballot. That was not disallowed — the Scientologists had done nothing illegal, after all, all they’d done is buy supporting memberships to a convention that they had no intention of attending, for the sole purpose of nominating LRH for a Hugo (hmmm, why does that tactic sound familiar?) — but their campaign created a huge backlash. Hubbard’s name was booed lustily at the Hugo ceremony in Brighton, and his book finished last in the final balloting, behind No Award. (The winner that year was Orson Scott Card, with SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD, for those who are counting).
Of course, there were also recommended reading lists. That wasn’t campaigning, not strictly, but certain lists could have huge influence on the final ballot. The annual LOCUS Recommended Reading List, compiled by Charles Brown and his staff and reviewers, was the most influential. If your book or story made that list… well, it did not guarantee you a place on the ballot, but it sure improved your chances. NESFA (the New England fan club) had an annual list as well, and LASFS might have done the same, not sure. And of course the Nebulas, which came before the Hugos, carried a lot of weight too. Win a Nebula, and the chances were good that you’d be a Hugo nominee as well. Again, no guarantee, some years the shortlists diverged sharply… but more often than not, there was a lot of overlap.
So there were always these factors in play. Cliques, I can hear the Sad Puppies saying. Yeah, maybe. Thing is, they were COMPETING cliques. The NESFA list and the Nebula list were not the same, and the LOCUS list… the LOCUS list was always very long. Five spots on the Hugo ballot, and LOCUS would recommend twenty books, or thirty… sometimes more, when they started putting SF and fantasy in separate categories.
Bottom line, lots of people influenced the Hugos (or tried to), but no one ever successfully controlled the Hugos.
Larry Correia on Monster Hunter Nation
Yes, there were competing cliques, but the only cliques who mattered all looked virtually identical to us outsiders looking in. And hardly anything they ever nominated represented anything we liked. To most of us barbarian wrongfans, the competing cliques were indistinguishable from one another.
For example, correct me if I’m wrong but I believe with last year’s winners, every single one shared similar political viewpoints. And all but one of them was white, yet that year was hailed as a huge win for diversity.
You need to see this from Wrongfan’s perspective. You guys had competing cliques, but to us it was like an Eskimo having a thousand different words for snow, and you can tell us about your many diverse and wonderful types of snow, but all we saw was snow.
And in recent years when we looked at the ballots it was like, awesome, let’s choose between these five items of approved socially conscious message fiction. Yay! We’ve got selections from: religious people are stupid bigots, capitalists are raping the earth, capitalists are stupid bigots, bigots are stupid, and I’m not quite sure what the hell this last thing is about and I’m not even sure if it qualifies as fantasy or scifi but it has bigots in it… Oh man, tough call.
Again, now we can openly say that this all makes sense because my kind of people aren’t WorldCon regulars, and this award belongs only to WorldCon, so the stuff making the ballot wasn’t aimed at us… but sadly that wasn’t what you guys were telling us when we started this.
This stuff was supposed to be the best stuff in the whole world.
So we formed our own competing clique and actually bothered to show up.
Brad R. Torgersen
“Gulag Diary, day 6” – April 9
It’s cold here. Very cold. Commissar Chu laughed when he said he didn’t expect me to last the month. I still can’t rightly explain how I got to this place. I am writing these words with the stub of an old pencil I found in the back of the box car. The train from civilization was packed. Nose to nose. I think most of us can tell the same story. One instant, we were sitting in our homes safe and sound, browsing the internet. The next instant, our doors came down and the enforcers stormed in. I remember screaming. And a woman’s face — another of the endless number of commissars — as she watched me dragged out the door. She was visibly gleeful over the fact that the Peoples Republic of Science Fiction had discovered me. There would be no trial, she gloated. Merely punishment.
T. L. Knighton
“Priorities” – April 8
Brad Torgersen and Larry Correia have been called racists and misogynists, without a single shred of evidence. It’s bad enough that Mary Robinette Kowal had to jump in to tell folks to knock it the hell off. She is not on the Sad Puppies side. She and Larry have clashed before, and to call them friends would probably be an insult to the institution of friendship. I’ve seen it be ugly before.
Yet she gets it. While the awards have value to her, they’re not worth destroying lives over. She’s right. They’re not. Go read her blog. She gives a master class in class. People on both sides, including myself, could learn from her actions. I’ve also seen her apologize to Larry publicly after one of their run-ins, so she definitely has class in her. Just for that, I will endeavor to find a book of hers to buy, read, and if I like it, review it.
Vox Day on Vox Popoli
6.We don’t feel we’re victims. We’re not complaining that we’ve been overlooked for decades. We’re not whining or crying about anything. But we were told by a certain clique that we had to kowtow to them because failing to do so would be “a career-limiting move.” Now we are making sure that no one will ever have to kowtow to them, or cower before them, again.
7.I published science fiction books for years without ever campaigning for them, listing their eligibility, or pimping them for awards, despite having the public platforms of a nationally syndicated column and a popular blog. And I’m not inclined to listen to criticism from anyone who ever did.
8.The two Puppies campaigns have resulted in the highest average Amazon rating in the Best Novel category going back to 1986. In 2015, the average is 4.46 stars. The 2010-2014 pre-Puppy average is 3.9 stars. Sad Puppies is objectively improving the quality of the nominated works and expanding the overall nominee pool.
Lawrence Person on Battleswarm Blog
For the last several years, a vocal minority of Social Justice Warriors has wrecked havoc on the fabric of the science fiction community. Taking their clues from the Alinskyite “direct action” tactics of far-left political activists, they’ve carried out a virulent campaign against anyone unwilling to toe the political correct line on victimhood identity politics. Their tactics have included doxxing, online mobbings, demands people be fired from their day jobs for non-PC transgressions, numerous calls for censorship, demands that only politically correct language be used when it comes to race, sex, ethnicity, or anything to do with Muslims, and follow-up demands for “official policies” and “committees” to enshrine their extremists demands as institutional law.
Kathryn Routliffe on Grasping at Grace
“Dept. of Sweet Weeping Whatever” – April 5
I was disheartened to learn that a group of people who believe that fandom has been improperly taken over by folks who aren’t, by and large, white, cis-gendered, straight males (and a few good-looking white-cis-gendered straight females) and who have apparently dedicated themselves to fighting the good fight against such people, have succeeded in loading the 2015 Hugo Awards ballot with nominations for books, stories, television episodes, fanzines, movies, etc., etc. that they believe are more worthy. They invited folks with whom they are sympatico, including many in the G*merg*te community to join them in block voting for those worthy offerings. They thus succeeded in filling up many, if not all, the slots in most, if not every, Hugo category.
It makes me sad and angry for several reasons….
Especially when these people have the unmitigated gall, or apparent cultural tone-deafness, to say they are doing it in the name of inclusion and returning the Hugos to diversity and anti-authoritarian forward thinking. No, really, that’s what they’re saying. Because John W. Campbell-White-Guys-Finish-First SF is under attack from everywhere – everywhere, I tell you … sweet, weeping jesus. Haven’t these guys ever read The Futurians, or The Way The Future Was? Even some of the stalwarts of White Guys Finish First SF were the kind of people from whom the Sad Puppies would recoil in horror.
Lou Antonelli on Facebook – April 9
The way the detractors of Sad Puppies were are making all sorts of assumptions about the motivations of its advocates reminds me of the story about the man at a newspaper who told his colleague he was thinking about starting an affair.
His friend was shocked. “I thought you were happily married?”
“I am,” he said, “but my wife isn’t. We’ve been married 20 years, and a lot of her friends either have had their marriage break up, or their husbands are all cheating. They talk so m…uch trash against husbands my wife is convinced I’m having an affair. Since I’m being treated like I’m a cheater, I might as well cheat.”
Howard Waldrop once wrote a story, “Horror, We Got”, with the same theme: If we’re going to be blamed no matter what, we mighty as well do it.