Leave the Puppy, Take the Cannoli – 4/30

All the myriad realities parade through today’s roundup, arrayed by Jason Sanford, George R.R. Martin, John Scalzi, Vox Day, L. Jagi Lamplighter, Alexandra Erin, Tom Knighton, Anna Butler, Matt Hotaling, Ann Leckie, Katya Czaja, Rich Horton and Declan Finn, plus a few less easily identified others. (Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day James H. Burns.)

Jason Sanford

“When science fiction authors are no longer grounded in reality” – April 30


First off all, if what [John] Ringo says was true why would science fiction have first begun hitting the bestseller lists in the late 1970s and early 1980s? Those were the decades when Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle and many other top SF authors landed massive advances and sales for their novels. Most of which, I should note, were not published by Baen, which wasn’t even founded until 1983.

But we don’t have to go back to the ’70s and ’80s to prove Ringo wrong. For example, the April 2015 Locus Bestseller List had only one Baen title on it (which is Ringo’s Strands of Sorrow, which debuted at number 5 on the list). That’s one title out of 25 novels on the different Locus Bestseller categories for April. The March 2015 list had no Baen titles and neither did the February 2015 list. The January 2015 list had a single Baen title on it.

A similar pattern emerges from the last few years of the Locus Bestseller lists, which cover genre sales in the hardback, paperback and trade paperback formats….

And it isn’t only the bestseller lists showing this pattern — all of this is backed by sales figures from Bookscan, the publishing industry’s system for tracking book sales….

If you are going to make a provocative statement like Ringo’s, you need to back up your words with, you know, some facts. You need to show that you actually understand reality and aren’t simply saying whatever pops into your head.


George R.R. Martin on Not A Blog

“More Hugo Musings” – April 30

BEST SEMIPROZINE. This category has always pissed me off, since it was created largely to kick LOCUS out of Best Fanzine, where it was winning every year. Of course, once Semiprozine was created, LOCUS proceeded to win that a bunch of times too, until the rules were jiggered once again to kick it out once more. (This is one reason I oppose jiggering the rules, even to stop the Puppies). They really ought to call this category BEST SEMIPROZINE THAT ISN’T LOCUS. But they don’t. We have five finalists here, only two of which are from the slates… and one of those, ANDROMEDA SPACEWAYS IN FLIGHT MAGAZINE, has been loudly declaring that they were not informed and never asked to be on anyone’s slate. I am really only familiar with LIGHTSPEED and STRANGE HORIZONS from this category. Both of those are pretty good. If anyone has an opinion to offer on the others, do speak up. If I have time to check them out, I will… if I don’t, I will abstain in this category, i.e. not vote. I won’t go NO AWARD, since I do think the two semipros I know are worthy. Not as worthy as LOCUS, mind you, but there you are…


Daniel on Castalia House

“Snapshot in Time: The 2002 Hugo Recommended Ballots”  – April 30

Possibly because of the records that have been legitimately broken, there have been a few minor misconceptions recently that a number of other events associated with the 2015 Hugo Awards process are unprecedented. One of these has to do with recommendation lists.

By merely examining a single category (best novel) on the NESFA Recommendation list from 2001 (which promoted candidates for the 2002 Hugos), a few myths are easily dispelled:


John Scalzi on Whatever

Redshirts as a Social Justice Cabal Hugo Pick” – April 29

[First and second of 13 tweets in series.]


Vox Day on Vox Popoli

“Compare and contrast” – April 29

The SJWs in science fiction believe that if they can control the narrative, if they can convince the media to tell the story their way, they are going to retain their control of the science fiction establishment. They are given every opportunity to spin the narrative and make their case; Brad, Larry, and I were contacted by a Wall Street Journal reporter yesterday, which was a welcome change from most of the coverage that we’ve been seeing of late, but so too were John Scalzi and George Martin.

It’s just like one sees on the cable news. If a talking head has on a liberal guest, the liberal appears alone to sell the narrative. If a talking head has on a conservative guest, a liberal guest usually appears to dispute the narrative. And although it is only a guess, I suspect that the way that the story is likely to go will be moderately anti-Puppy, in light of the reporter actually “playing devil’s advocate” in conversation with me.


L. Jagi Lamplighter on Superversive Blog

“Signal To Noise” – April  22

Ever wonder why the opposition—whatever side you are not on—only ever seems to attack and quote the outliners on your side? The most horrible folks? The most obnoxious comments? How they never seem to get the point? How the throwaway line you, or your favorite blogger, tossed off when you were pissed off is repeated everywhere, while the strongly-reasoned arguments are ignored?

This is why.

To them, that throw away line is signal—because its on the subject they care about. To you and your blogger friend, it’s noise.

So, next time you feel the urge to bridge the endless gap—and maybe talk to that crazy lunatic on the other side who used to be a bosom buddy—try this simple trick:

Pick the lines the other person says that upset you the most. Ignore them. Just pretend that they are not there. Pretend that they are static. Noise.

Because, chances are, that to him, it is just noise.

And you’ve been missing the signal, tuning it out, all along.

Then, listen closely to whatever he seems to think is the most important part–even if it sounds like mad nonsense to you. NOT, mind you, what he says at loudest volume—that is likely to be noise, too—the part he speaks about fervently or with reasoning.

From there, you can often find a bridge, a common point of agreement—because at the very least, you now know what the important issues actually are.


Bojoti in a comment on Arhyalon – April 29

I think what the TrueFans and Sad Puppies don’t realize is that they are being watched by the great unwashed masses, hoi polloi, the little people of science fiction. Some of the behavior and rhetoric is so hateful and venomous that I regret my membership. Authors were saying that the new members didn’t love science fiction; they were claiming that they didn’t even read! Some were even saying stupid things like the Koch brothers bought my membership. TrueFans were disgusted by the thought of new members. They like the WorldCon being small and are actively against new members.


Chaos Horizons

“Declined Hugo and Nebula and other SFF Nominations”  – April 28

[Needs also to deal with the less-easily-researched self-recusals from awards that led to people not being nominated at all, therefore not registered as declining.]

Since Chaos Horizon is a website dedicated to gathering stats and information about SFF awards, particularly the Hugos and Nebulas, a list of declined award nominations might prove helpful to us. There’s a lot of information out there, but it’s scattered across the web and hard to find . Hopefully we can gather all this information in one place as a useful resource.

So, if you know of any declined nominations—in the Hugos and Nebulas or other major SFF awards—drop the info on the comments. I have not included books withdrawn for eligibility reasons (published in a previous year, usually). I’ll keep the list updated and stash it in my “Resources” tab up at the top.


Hipster Racist

“The Anti-Geek Manifesto #gamergate #sadpuppies #sjw” – April 30

But fucking #gamergate? Who could possibly fucking care, at least after the age of 14? I mean, there is serious shit going on in the world, and you’re worried that some pink haired hipster chick with a nose ring sucked a bunch of dicks to get her game a good review? I mean, I read about “Depression Quest.” Anybody should have been able to figure out she spent a lot of time on her knees to get any recognition for that crap.

“Ethics” in “game journalism?”

“Game Journalism?” Holy fucking God, we had Judith Miller writing in the New York Times about non-existant Weapons of Mass Destruction and you’re worried about “ethics in game journalism?”


Alexandra Erin on Blue Author Is About To Write

“Sad Puppies and Magical Thinking” – April 30

So, I’ve characterized the line of thinking behind the Puppies’ discontent as being unable to understand when reality runs in ways that are counter to their tastes/beliefs without imagining some kind of dark conspiracy or cabal (or “clique”, to use their preferred term).

This belief is so strong that a combination of confirmation bias and the effect of “believing is seeing” causes them to interpret all available information in ways that point to the existence of the cabal, even when this requires them to imagine that people are meaning the exact opposite of what they say.


Tom Knighton

“Thoughts on ‘slate’ voting”  – April 30

Yeah, trust Vox to not make it any easier on us.

However, it’s worth noting that a number of Vox’s “Dread Ilk” have stated quite publicly that they didn’t nominate just as he wrote them down.  Why is that?  Probably because people who value individualism tend to be individualists.  Getting any collective of individualists to do anything exactly as you want makes things like cat herding appear to be simple matters.  No one is the boss of us unless we want them to be, and even then, we’ll disagree with them all we want.  I sincerely hope some of the ilk stop by and tell us how they didn’t nominate a straight slate either.

Lockstep, we ain’t.


Anna Butler

“Links To Blog Posts on Writing” – April 30

The Clusterfuck that is the Hugo Awards: If you hadn’t heard this already, then the Hugo Awards this year have been torpedoed by a coalition of white, reactionary, middle-aged male writers who call themselves the ‘Sad Puppies’ and who hate women/gays/anyone who isn’t them. They’ve gamed the system to get all their books put in for awards, and effectively destroyed any credibility the Hugos had. Sad.


Matt Hotaling in The Beacon

“Hugo Award for Science Fiction not looking so progressive this year” – April 30

At the end of the end of the day and when all the hate and bile is removed from the conversation, the core of what both sides want doesn’t sound too unreasonable. The conservative nerds simply demand excellence from their media, they want the very best that the great wide geekdom has to offer; they recognize work on all of its merits, what it does, not just what it contains. The conservative nerds have no problem if their media contains progressive themes or characters, or if it comes from creators of diverse backgrounds, they simply feel that everything should get its fair shake, nothing should elevated simply because it has progressive representation. The new liberal nerds simply want broader, equal representation of all genders, races, and creeds. They want to create a climate where is it is not just acceptable to play with progressive content, but encouraged. They don’t want representation to be pandered to, they want representation done well and recognized.

The two ideologies at the base of each side of the argument are not mutually exclusive; the only thing standing in the way from the two sides making truly great sci-fi together is that the most vocal members of each group are also the most toxic.

Sad Puppies’ coup of the Hugos went too far; its list is not just a slap in the face to progressive works, but is an outright regressive move as it includes more than one openly homophobic writer.


Rich Horton on Black Gate

The 2015 Hugo Nominations – April 30

To take one more example, hopefully close to the hearts of many reading this: I have to confess that I never nominated Black Gate as Best Fanzine. (I nominated it as a Semiprozine back in the print days, to be sure.) The reason: I simply didn’t think of it as a Fanzine. But it is, really, and (leaving my contributions out of the mix), I honestly think it’s a damn good Fanzine. So I’m glad to have this whole matter bring to my mind the notion that Black Gate is eligible for a Fanzine nomination. At the risk of campaigning, let me suggest that people keeping reading it through 2015, and if it seems to hold up, nominate it again next year.


Ann Leckie

“Hugo Voting Is Open” – April 30

When I first voted for the Hugos, several years ago, I didn’t fully understand the voting system, or how No Award fit into things. But I’m going to be entirely honest, I have felt the need to use No Award in at least one category every single year that I’ve been eligible to vote. No, I’m not going to say what I’ve No Awarded over the years. Nor am I going to tell you whether or how to deploy No Award yourself, if you’re a Hugo voter. That’s something you’ll have to decide for yourself, for your own reasons.


Katya Czaja

“Vogon Poetry and Rabid Puppies” – April 30

Not every species can appreciate Vogon poetry. It turns out, I don’t appreciate Vogon poetry.

The Rabid Puppies claim they want stories with better ‘plot’. “So the conservative SF fans can get together and let their hair down and talk about stuff they want to talk about (like books with actual plots and dialogue)” (John Ringo)

I’m currently about 80 pages into a RP nominated novel and I have finished several of the RP short stories. Sure, the stories have plot, but plot alone is not enough. The dialog is wooden. There is a whole lot of telling and very little showing. The prose doesn’t sparkle, it doesn’t even shine. There are more characters than a Russian novel and less characterization than Twilight. In other words, it is not the kind of fiction I enjoy.


Vox Day on Vox Popoli

“Moderates gonna moderate” – April 29

[Second and third of four verses]

They do not like me here or there

They do not like me anywhere

They do not like me on the Net

Because they are so moderate


If only I would be more nice

And pour out sugar in place of spice

Then it would all be duly meet

We’d march off to our brave defeat


Declan Finn

“Puppies Come to WorldCon” – May 1

…If you haven’t read the last two blogs, you might be new here.  This started with a thought: what if Sad Puppy authors were SWATted (part 1)? Then it sort of drifted from the “ringleaders” in part one (Correia, Torgersen, Hoyt) to “mere” supporters in part two (Kratman, Ringo, Weber)….


[WorldCon is practically empty, for a Con. A borderline ghost town of two thousand people.  If DragonCon is New York City, WorldCon is Detroit.  Suddenly, the ground shakes. The front windows rattle. It feels like an earthquake!  Suddenly, the squeal of brakes as a tank rumbles to a stop outside.]….

[Gerrold straightens.]  And another thing–

[Larry whistles]  Wendell’s Roughnecks!  Charge!

[Two thousand men and women, all wearing a t-shirt with a cuddly manatee on the front, all invade WorldCon, en mass, with Schardt, Lehman, and Paulk leading the charge.  David Gerrold is lost in the stampede.]

[Sarah rolls her eyes and smiles] Show off.

[Kratman]  Outstanding!

[Knightman shrugs] I’ll go park the tank.

[Everyone disperses]

[Scalzi, still under a pile of carp] Had enough? I’m invincible! I’ll bite your legs off! Hello!  Hello! All right, we’ll call it a draw! Hello?

~The End~

I want to thank all of the people who have made these go over so well, including Tom Kratman, Sarah Hoyt, Brad Torgersen, Tom Knighton, everyone who has shared this throughout the net, everyone who offered suggestions, and even those who asked to be apart of it. I’m honored, touched, and a bit surprised that something that started as a “fever dream” has been suggested (seriously) for a Hugo.


263 thoughts on “Leave the Puppy, Take the Cannoli – 4/30

  1. “…so, next year, you get to deal with Kate the Impaler. And she is very, very different than the Cuddly Care Bear that is Brad Torgersen.”

    So next year are you just going to tell her what you want on the slate? Or will you let her do her thing and then log roll your own guys on again? Just curious.

    I’m fairly sure the stats we see in August are going to show that actually the Puppies didn’t do much more than usual, and what worked was a hardcore of your fellow travelers nominating exactly what you told them to, of course we won’t know until the numbers are released, but the fact that the backfills we saw came not from the Sad Puppies but from ‘general’ voting points to that.

    So how long will they play your game? I mean, let’s be honest, it really is just you versus a very amorphous ‘blob’ of people with no affiliation, you’re not stupid, you know there really isn’t a secret cabal controlling this, which makes this tantrum even weirder.

  2. By the way, have you considered a career in Pantomine? I hear it pays really well, and you’d be ever so good at it.

  3. “which makes this tantrum even weirder” It’s a case of advanced TPS.

  4. Just as an aside: xdpaul’s Pauline Kael “quote” badly misrepresents the facts. Kael was not surprised in the least at the existence of Nixon supporters; what she actually said was this:

    “I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know. They’re outside my ken. But sometimes when I’m in a theater I can feel them.”

  5. “How influential could your blog be?”

    I can’t think of any influential bloggers who spend as much time as Day does calling themselves influential. You’d think that being influential meant not having to tell people you were influential, but he’s always two steps ahead.

  6. rcade: I put that in the category of people who insist on reminding others that they’re strong alpha males. If you have to keep telling people, you really have missed the point.

  7. ” the category of people who insist on reminding others that they’re strong alpha males. If you have to keep telling people, you really have missed the point.” It’s of a piece with everything he does; small mind, small talent, desperate overestimation of his own abilities, calls himself the Voice of God.

  8. ‘But it’s going to be pretty damn funny if it turns out there are so many that you go for No Award and fail.’

    Just to be clear here. No Award winning (in some categories) suggests the Hugos retain some integrity. TB’s slate winning because of a number of people following TB’s orders means the Hugos are worthless. Just in case anyone’s in danger of buying into the ‘you who love them will destroy them’ narrative he’s selling.

  9. I agree, if TB can win categories then the Hugo Awards are screwed, at least until 2017 because he’ll probably able to do it again easily. As I said, he’s made it very easy to vote.

  10. ‘Personally, I’d like to see Scalzi take the lead on one.’

    Oh god, so the whole of fandom can get dragged into your petty one sided feud? That sounds less entertaining than this.

    ‘My blog existed and had content deemed every bit as objectionable back when Tor was sending me books. It just had a lot less traffic.’

    Well you said it yourself, you’re more visible now! Someone with objectionable views and a small audience is way less of a risk than a highly visible one. The price one pays for C-level internet infamy I guess.

  11. Daveon,

    There was a blog post going over the nominations after they first came out, and there was a theory put forth that with the growth of online publications, anthologies and the like, the number of short stories and novellas out there has grown, and there are simply too many for readers to read. So a large number of works get a small number of votes, especially in the shorter works categories. Heck, Mike probably linked to it early on….

  12. Well you said it yourself, you’re more visible now! Someone with objectionable views and a small audience is way less of a risk than a highly visible one. The price one pays for C-level internet infamy I guess.

    The slightly more relevant point that “1.5 million” hits from a demographic Tor’s marketing people aren’t interested in, isn’t any use to Tor’s marketing department should probably also be mentioned.

  13. “We still only have your word for your awesome powas of your website – and you keep avoiding the uniques thing”

    I don’t lie on the Internet. I’m not avoiding anything, I’ve only ever tracked Google pageviews. That’s what the advertisers asked for back when I was considering ads.

    “Ok. Then what?”

    No idea. I’m sure I’ll get bored and find something else once people learn to stop attacking me. I was in SFWA for something like 7 years without incident until the Making Light circus started attacking me for my syndicated column back in 2005. As long as people keep coming at me, I’ll stick around. Those of you who think I want attention from you folks have it precisely backwards. I’d quite happily go through life without any contact with any of you, but your side has made that impossible for the last decade.

    “I can’t think of any influential bloggers who spend as much time as Day does calling themselves influential.”

    Probably because you don’t encounter any influential bloggers that you weirdly keep insisting are trivial and without influence. Hell, you’re still trying to minimize. You SJWs are all about controlling the narrative. But every time one of you tries to make a false claim, and someone will because SJWs always lie, I’ll drop the facts on you.

    “And when you say you ‘could have bought’, is that an admission you did buy votes?”

    I said “could have brought”. No, I bought no votes. I didn’t even buy a membership for my wife, let alone anyone else. The Dread Ilk always show up, that’s how they got their name that distinguishes them from the ordinary Ilk.

    “I’ll be interested in your displays of power next year, I suspect in most of the Short categories you’ll get your arse handed to you and if you do bring 400 people who can be told how to vote exactly to avoid that under the Run Off system then kudos, I will doff my hat to you sir.”

    I suppose we’ll see next year.

  14. Andrew: even so I would have expected the ratio to remain constant with 2009 numbers. We’ve regressed even if the numbers of available fiction have increased.

  15. So what does Google say for Sessions then. Should be the next option on the page then.

  16. “Oh god, so the whole of fandom can get dragged into your petty one sided feud? That sounds less entertaining than this.”

    It’s not one-sided, Matt. If Scalzi says it, you can be certain that it isn’t true. Scalzi is the most self-serving, deceptive, and manipulative individual you’ve probably ever encountered. He’s remarkably skilled at self-marketing. As much as I despise his lack of character and integrity, I have learned a lot from him.

    And yes, I’d love to see that sort of showdown.

  17. @Cat: Your comment at May 1, 2015 at 3:33 pm strikes me as evincing insightful nature to an impressive degree. Indeed, that was a telling reaction. Thanks.

    @Jerry Kaufman: Vernor Vinge, anyone?

    A Fire Upon the Doghouse
    Rover’s End
    Hookworm, Run!
    Marooned in Walkies
    The Untoilet-trained
    The Barker

    Rick Moen

  18. “So what does Google say for Sessions then. Should be the next option on the page then.”


  19. Oh, and there is another 195,321 sessions for AG. They have them on a different page. So 671,098 total.

  20. Well they didn’t show up in large numbers it seems. Not if that awful Dutch story was next in line.

    It will be interesting to see if they vote and if they then how. The run off makes sweeping the board much harder.

    As has been remarked. Facts are stubborn things Mr Beale.

  21. AG?

    475k uniques? Wasn’t Scalzi claiming 375-400k or so a while back. They both sound reasonable.

  22. Scalzi is the most self-serving, deceptive, and manipulative individual you’ve probably ever encountered.

    Guys, I think the pot just used *the n-word*!

    He’s remarkably skilled at self-marketing. As much as I despise his lack of character and integrity, I have learned a lot from him.

    A deeper insult no man has ever thrown at an adman; To hear a man with a 1994 era knowledge of internet marketing tell him that he “learned a lot from him”.

  23. An old man was found on a solitary asteroid claiming everything was a lie. He was later found to be wrong.

  24. VD ‘And yes, I’d love to see that sort of showdown.’

    Hey as long as we could get a Wrestlemania pay off and an end to the feud for good then that would be great. I’d just rather it take place in an octagon, an Azad board or Thunderdome than with Worldcon as the battleground. I’d buy the PPV.

    Fred Davis ‘The slightly more relevant point that “1.5 million” hits from a demographic Tor’s marketing people aren’t interested in, isn’t any use to Tor’s marketing department should probably also be mentioned.’

    True, demographics are an important sales point as well. I think we could agree there are any number of reasons why they might not want to send a review copy regardless of traffic. At least we all like Three Body Problem! Sci-fi rocks!

  25. Indeed self employed writer is good at self promotion and marketing. Film at 11 🙂

  26. Spoilers: Kate is going to nominate works by the Mad Genius club clique. None of them will be good.

  27. Katya writes: “Maybe [Vox Day’s] poem scans better in the original Klingon?”

    I believe this is, in fact, a famous Klingon war chant – perhaps even one of the songs sung of the Great Tribble Hunt. In Klingon, it goes

    naDev vIparlu’!
    pa’ vIparlu’!
    Dat vIparlu’!
    Here, there, everywhere, I am not liked!

    mutIchtaHmo’, rI’Se’mey buy’moHpu’ HoQwI’pu’.
    The falsely-honored ones fill the hailing frequencies with their insults.

    If I am friendly,

    ‘Iw HIq qa’chugh bIQ,
    If water replaces bloodwine,

    yonmoH ‘ej
    Then they would be satisfied

    nujey rIntaH.
    And our defeat will be accomplished.

  28. “I don’t lie on the Internet.”

    That’s an interesting qualifier. Most people would just say, “I don’t lie” and be all-inclusive.

  29. My assumption for a while now has been that VD’s plan is for Castalia House to become the Regenery Publishing of SF&F: specializing in vetted conservative writers, and often getting bulk buys from conservative groups who want to give away books.

    This would be a plausible business plan, it seems to me. I assume he’ll use SP4 next year as he used SP3: edit it slightly to be more Castalia House-centered, and get his own RP2 slate onto the ballot with his minions’ votes, using the Sads for cover. Result: another step up in publicity for Castalia.

    In the longer term, he really needs someone who can be the Face of Castalia on FoxNews. I don’t know who might be able to do it — Pournelle, maybe? Is he a good enough public speaker? Does VD have what it takes to be convincing on video, for FoxNews values of convincing?

  30. When called out on not reading T3BP, Beale’s response is “Tor didn’t give me a free copy.” ?! Is that how Beale picked his slate? Books people just gave to him? No wonder it’s limited mostly to books he publishes.

    ” But it’s going to be pretty damn funny if it turns out there are so many that you go for No Award and fail.
    That’s the real risk, you understand. It’s going to be interesting, anyhow.”

    Oh, buddy. You thought there was a chance that they’d elect you Pres of the SFWA too.

    “Personally, I’d like to see Scalzi take the lead on one.” Yes. I bet you would. Considering all of this is about your envy of Scalzi, and you want to feel like he’s following your lead, I bet that would excite you to no end.

    Glenn Hauman continues to drop scathing one liners. Truly a badass.

    As for, T3BP winning… I think you’re all missing the fact that Ancilliary Sword made it onto the ballot naturally, as in, beat the puppies by word of mouth and genuine interest.

  31. As did Goblin Emperor. Given 3BP was in 6th that suggests the impact of the dread ilk wasn’t that strong.

  32. “Spoilers: Kate is going to nominate works by the Mad Genius club clique. None of them will be good.”

    Unlike Correia and Torgersen, Paulk doesn’t have much of a presence in SF/F as an author. She doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page yet. She’ll be even easier for Day to steamroll with a self-serving slate than Torgersen was.

  33. All of this discussion about review copies has me wondering: does Castalia House send out review copies of their own? I don’t see them on NetGalley, and I haven’t heard of any reviewer I know getting any.

  34. Daveon, et al –

    It is not uncommon for the work on the final ballot with the least nominations to win, and vice versa. Nomination ranks among the finalists are not a consistent indicator of who will win.

  35. Glenn, considering that you are the leader of the fake downvote movement, I am not sure that handing review copies to your friends would be a particularly fruitful endeavor. After all, they can review a lot more of Castalia House’s books by not wasting any time reading them.

  36. Daveon,

    It’s my understanding that Goblin Emperor moved up after Correia declined his nomination.

  37. Daveon wrote: An old man was found on a solitary asteroid claiming everything was a lie.

    It’s a little eccentric to play golf on an asteroid, but I suppose if you own the entire rock and treat it all as a golf links, every square millimeter of it would become a ‘lie’ of sorts. (The lie angle on some of those crater walls would tend to be brutal.)

  38. VD — “I don’t lie on the Internet.”

    But the problem is, as always, how do we know if you’re lying about that? If you don’t lie, you say things that are unconvincing — such as being very empathetic after issuing a threat — and contradictory — such as that you’re going to destroy the Hugos, but they don’t really matter to you. And that’s leaving aside those times when you just change your mind. And the times when you are just plainly unclear.

    While I think of it, I have to wonder about this remark: “Personally, I’d like to see Scalzi take the lead on one.” But I thought one of the points of this little kerfuffle is that Scalzi always takes the lead on the secret SJW cabal slate?

  39. 1. Reminding you, once again, that I haven’t called for fake reviews.

    2. Unless you happen to think there’s also a conspiracy between every reviewer for every large media source, it’s remarkably short-sighted of Castalia House to not make them available at all. Unless, of course, the books are like movies that aren’t screened for critics. See http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NotScreenedForCritics

    3. Review copies don’t just go to reviewers, they also go to buyers at bookstores– you know, the people who decide whether particular books should be stocked in their stores. If Castalia isn’t doing that, they’re going to be very hard-pressed to expand their market beyond their existing niche.

  40. Oh, for chrissakes. In the hypothetical, nobody asks anyone to disavow anyone.

    “and what he must think of us, etc.”

    WTF? This has absolutely nothing to do with what I said.

    Rick, you are the most courteous no-awarder I have seen (except when you call them syphilitic, LOL). But even if everyone were so polite, my main objection is on other grounds.

    I tried to make my point by noting that Liu Cixin’s fiction addresses the chaos of the Cultural Revolution, but let me be more explicit. I’ll pull from Wikipedia not because it is unerring but because it is easy to go look at:

    The majority of writers and artists were seen as “black line figures” and “reactionary literati”… subjected to “criticism and denunciation” where they may be publicly humiliated… imprisoned or sent to… hard labour.

    …the names of 200 well-known writers and artists who were persecuted to death during the Cultural Revolution were commemorated in 1979, writers such as Lao She, Fu Lei, Deng Tuo, Baren, Li Guangtian, Yang Shuo, and Zhao Shuli.

    The permissible subject matter…would be strictly defined, and all the literary periodicals in the country ceased publication by 1968.

    After half of fandom heaped abuse on them, Brad Torgersen was finally pushed into making the blog post “I am not Vox Day,” and many others publicly commended him for it (GRRM for example). But there may be science fiction writers who sincerely do not wish to publicly disassociate themselves from another writer upon even the most polite request. They may consider the strategy of creating an environment where if nominees do not vocally distance themselves they will be effectively blocked from consideration for a literary award to be unethical. Jerry Pournelle comes to mind. That is my own reason not to no-award. Just my own two cents.

  41. I don’t know about Rick, but I know I will be No-Awarding authors who are placed on slates next year, should they not request to be removed.

    Being that one can write the phrase “Hey Brad, I appreciate the sentiment behind the recommendation, consider you a [personal friend/fine human being/distant acquaintance] (circle whichever applies), but I am publicly asking to be removed from this slate as I do not want to be on a slate”, which seems to be to be a fine request to be removed from a slate without “disassociating” or “disavowing” anyone.

    If someone keeps an author on a slate after that author explicitly and publicly asks to be removed, I would consider that to speak to the integrity and character of the slate maintainer.

  42. mickyFinn, I don’t know if that completely squares the circle. It might be the best way for no-awarders to proceed. I did want to clarify why I’m not doing it.

  43. mickyFinn, your strategy raises some questions for me that unrelated to the points above

    – SP3 was explicitly called a list of recommendations and Correia said not to nominate without reading. If SP4 states more explicitly “as you make your own decisions, please don’t nominate any of these, or anything else, unless you have read it and think it is one of the best of the year” is that good enough for you?

    – if a recommendation list/slate has 4 or 6 or some other number, and “5 is right out,” does that work for you? what number would you like to see to make it no longer a slate?

  44. Brian Z: I suspect that what would make a lot of us happy is for there to not be a final slate, just a final roster of nominations from interested participants (vetted in whatever way they want – participants at Baen’s Bar, people who comment at Vox Day’s place, etc.). So that it would look like this:

    Book the Fnord, recommended by 47 people
    Alphabet Holocaust, recommended by 45 people
    Zebra Trampling, volume 2, recommended by 45 people
    A Sufficiently Clever Title, recommended by 43 people

    …and so on down. Some reasonable cutoff could be set – more than N recommendations, more than M% the recommendations the leader got, whatever. The crucial thing is that it be substantially longer than the Hugo final ballot – like twice as long, at a bare minimum – and framed in language that completely rejects anything like Vox Day’s “vote this unchanged if you respect me”. Make it clear that this is the compiled recommendations of people in a community of interest, and nothing more focused than that, and I think complaints would drop basically to zero.

    (OK, not to zero, but that’s because someone will complain about anything a person or community does. To the ambient noise level of random cranks and jerks, let us say.)

    This is to say of course that if it stops being a slate, it’ll stop generating objections based on being a slate. Personally, I don’t think that formulating a slate gains anything over the open list of nominations, and loses some things in the compression.

  45. 6 and up works, I now think it’s moot. There will be a Castila a slate which will have some overlap, plus some ‘obvious’ picks for the year and then a bunch of Castila works and SP4 will be kinda redundant.

    I strongly suspect the numbers will show minimal SP3 impact and a decent performance by the Rabids which drove the short categories. Long form would have looked the same anyway I suspect.

    Seriously, you’ve been played. You’ll be played next year. Ironically all that this actually seems to be doing is reducing the number of works nominated from where it was 6 years ago 🙁

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