Where No Puppy Has Gone Before 5/2

aka The Puppies Who Fell Up

Another burst of substantive, idea-filled posts highlight today’s roundup. The roll call includes Jeb Kinnison, Jaye Em Edgecliff, Brandon Kempner, Jeff Duntemann, Steve Davidson, Anthony Vicino, William Shaw and Kate Paulk. (Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editors of the day Laura Resnick and Jack Lint.)

Jeb Kinnison on The Subtstrate Wars

“SFF, Hugos, Curating the Best”  – May 2

“Curating” means selecting for quality and audience. WorldCon has been tending to curate for a small and eccentric audience, and favor-trading, log-rolling, and political prejudice has been apparent since.. forever. WorldCon has already recognized the outreach possibility of the Internet. There is no longer a reason for what purports to be *the* award of SFF fans, not Worldcon attendees, to be closed to the fans who can’t be there, or as GRRM remarked, aren’t fannish enough to regularly read fanzines. If the award is to be chosen by small groups with a certain Fannish mindset, then it’s not *the* award of SFF readers and not a useful guide to quality for those who don’t share the mindset. And it will tend to slight publishers and authors who haven’t sucked up to the attendees and “curated” their online presence to groom their own fans. Some decry the possibility that the Hugos might become a mere popularity contest, with “Twilight”-ish popular works swamping the less-accessible quality fiction; but that ignores that the status quo prior to Puppies was a popularity contest among a small and not necessarily representative group shot through with personal conflicts of interest and logrolling.

We can honor all the work of the elders who curated and nurtured the Hugos when there was no other way for fans to get together. We can also open up the nominating and voting to committed readers who haven’t been Fannish, and the effort involved is more software and thinking about systems than sitting at tables and handing out papers while chatting with passersby. There are problems with nominating voters being unaware of what qualifies, and problems with qualifications — suggestions about more classes for long works and allowing small pub and self pub books more time to be discovered are good.

As a new author, I’d like to preserve a large market for fiction because it is inevitable that larger media productions will be unable to pioneer new ideas or truly eccentric new virtual worlds — there are just too many people involved in these larger productions to take as many risks on unique visions, and until the tools for game storytelling, for example, are easily accessible and usable by singleton game authors, games won’t be the medium to create the experience of the great novel or story. Opening up the Hugos and doing more outreach to fans of other media would help a lot in renovating fandom and bringing in more new readers. And if the field doesn’t start gaining more readers, it will die, since it is already harder to make a living writing for SFF than it used to be. If the only writers left working are supported by academia or other jobs, the field will lose its finest future works.


Brandon Kempner on Chaos Horizon

“Hugo Best Novel Nominees: Amazon and Goodreads Numbers, May 2015” – May 1

Let me emphasize again that these scores have never been predictive for the Hugo or Nebula: getting ranked higher on Amazon or Goodreads has not equated to winning the Hugo. It’s interesting that the Puppy picks are the outliers: higher and lower when it comes to Goodreads, with Leckie/Addision/Liu all within .05 points of each other. Amazon tends to be more generous with scoring, although Butcher’s 4.8 is very high.

The 2015 Hugo year is going to be largely useless when it comes to data: the unusual circumstances that led to this ballot (the Sad and Rabid Puppy campaigns, then various authors declining Best Novel nominations, and now the massive surge in voting number) mean that this data is going to be inconsistent with previous years. I think it’s still interesting to look at, but take all of this with four or five teaspoons of salt. Still, I’ll be checking in on these numbers every month until the awards are given, and it’ll be interesting to see what changes happen.


Jeff Duntemann on Jeff Duntemann’s Contrapositive Diary

“Rant: Sad Puppies vs. Anti-Puppies, as the Kilostreisands Pile Up” – May 2

How in hell could a couple of mostly unknown authors turn the venerable Hugo Awards inside-out?

My answer: adverse attention. For a definition, let me quote from a textbook that I made up just now: Zoftnoggin & Wiggout’s Fundamentals of Sociometry.

Adverse attention is a rise in the attention profile of a previously obscure phenomenon caused by the actions of an entity that opposes that phenomenon. In the vast majority of cases, the triggering force is outrage, though it sometimes appears through the action of envy, pride, lust, asshattedness, butthurt, or other largely emotional psychopathologies.

This being sociometry, adverse attention may be quantified, and there is a standard unit for expressing it:

The fundamental unit of adverse attention is the streisand, defined as one previously uninterested person achieving a degree of interest in a phenomenon sufficient to compel them to email, share, or retweet information about that phenomenon to one other person in a social network. As the information propagates across a social network, the connectedness of the network influences the total amount of adverse attention that arises. For example, if each of ten previously uninterested persons receiving the information passes it on to only one previously uninterested person, eleven streisands of adverse attention have been created. If one of those previously uninterested persons has 200 followers on Twitter or 1000 Facebook friends, the number of streisands increases rapidly. In a sufficiently dense network, the rate of increase can become close to exponential until the number of previously uninterested persons asymptotically approaches zero.

I’ve seen evidence for this in the comment sections of many blogs that have criticized or condemned the Sad Puppies. A common comment goes something like this: “Wow! I never knew that you could vote for the Hugos without going to Worldcon! And I just downloaded the free preview of Monster Hunter International. This is way cool!” Zing! The world gets another Puppy.

The emotional tenor of the criticism matters too. I’ve seen a few comments that go something like this: “I’d never heard of the Sad Puppies before. I’ve been trying to figure out which side is right, but the sheer nastiness of the Sad Puppies’ critics makes me think they’re just sore losers. I’m more or less with the Puppies now.” ….

And those streisands just keep piling up.

It’s something like a sociological law: Commotion attracts attention. Attention is unpredictable, because it reaches friend and foe alike. It can go your way, or it can go the other way. There’s no way to control the polarity of adverse attention. The only way to limit adverse attention is to stop the commotion.

In other words, just shut up.

I know, this is difficult. For some psychologies, hate is delicious to the point of being psychological crack, so it’s hard to just lecture them on the fact that hate has consequences, including but hardly limited to adverse attention.

My conclusion is this: The opponents of Sad Puppies 3 put them on the map, and probably took them from a fluke to a viable long-term institution. I don’t think this is what the APs intended. In the wake of the April 4 announcement of the final Hugo ballot, I’d guess the opposition has generated several hundred kilostreisands of adverse attention, and the numbers will continue to increase. Sad Puppies 4 has been announced. Larry Correia and Brad Torgersen have lots of new fans who’d never heard of them before. (I just bought the whole Monster Hunter International series and will review it in a future entry.)

To adapt a quote from…well, you know damned well whose quote I’m adapting: “Attack me, and I will become more popular than you could possibly imagine.”


Steve Davidson on Amazing Stories

“No Award is Not the Nuclear Option” – May 1

One final note.  Some are arguing that rejecting all slated items punishes those who were not willing participants/had no knowledge they were being included.  The solution there is simple.  If you have an eligible work in any given year, clearly state somewhere that you do not participate in campaigning for the awards, reject any involuntary inclusion in such and do not give permission for your name and works to be included.  Most everyone who would be in such a position in years to come have already pretty much taken a position:  they’re either happy to take advantage of whatever benefit may be derived from being included on a slate, or they do not want to have anything to do with it.  I’m pretty sure that the vast majority of voters will take you at your word – whether you are ultimately included on a slate or not.


Steve Davidson on Amazing Stories

“Thoughts on the Hugo Voters Packet” – May 2

Participation by authors and publishers was always presented as being voluntary on their part.  Largely unspoken was the implied strong-arming:  if you didn’t provide copies of a nominated work, you were likely insuring that the work in question would not win.

Last year, commentary regarding the publishers that chose not to participate in the packet pretty much follow those lines – not to mention edging over into public castigation of the publishing house itself.  (Bad, bad publisher for not giving us free stuff.)

What follows on those coattails is pretty obvious:  a growing sense of entitlement on the part of voters – a trap I myself fell into this year.  I’d fully intended to read Cixin Lius’ The Three Body Problem (having been assured by no one less than its translator that it was worth the read) but the buzz made it so obvious that the novel would be on the final ballot that I chose to wait to get my free copy.  And then of course the puppies shit the bed, and the first uncensored thought that popped into my head was “dammit, now I’m going to have to buy that novel!”.

Of course things have shifted again and Three Body is back on the ballot, so I will be getting a free copy (presumably), but in order to punish myself for those uncensored thoughts, I’m going to be buying a copy today.  (I sure hope I like it….spending good money on a flyer like that….when I coulda gotten it for free….)

I find it odd that I do not have the same sense of entitlement regarding review copies that are or are not supplied to me for free by publishers looking to get a marketing push.  Sometimes stuff just arrives in the mail (hey!  yay!  Free Book!) and sometimes I write to the author or editor or publicist or publisher and request a copy.  Sometimes I get one (hey!  yay!  Free Book!) and sometimes I don’t even get a courtesy brush off, but I don’t even think about booing.

Maybe I feel entitled to the Hugo Packet because I spent forty or fifty bucks on a Supporting Membership (or more for an attending membership)?  But there ought to be a disconnect there because a Supporting Membership is not a discount book program.  It’s supporting the convention, of which the Hugo Awards are but one part.  It’s for supporting the people who have been working on the convention for probably the past three or four YEARS.  It’s supposed to be my way of saying:  I can’t be there in person this year, but I believe in what you folks are doing and want to see it continue, so here’s some money.

I am positive beyond any shred of doubt that I am not the only Hugo Voter who has had this creeping sense of entitlement grow upon them over the past several years.


Jaye Em Edgecliff

“Puppies…” – May 2

Do not, instead, decide that it’s about bringing back the good ol’ adventure yarn in places of “message fic” (also do not knock “message fic” while it is possible to witness your orgasmic pleasure you derive by merely typing the name Robert A Heinlen, it REALLY spoils your point), but then start bitching that things don’t qualify when numerous items are pointed out, but those items just happen to have females who play a role other than damsel in distress (Uh, one word for you, buddies, little thing you probably never heard of from the early 20th century Triplanetary … she wasn’t a damsel in distress), characters who incidentally are gay or trans or black or fuchsia or vegetarian or ¼ amphibian … If you’re trying to claim you aren’t over-privileged, white-supremacist, homophobic, transphobic, etc it’d help if you didn’t call things that are exactly the old-fashioned classic adventure yarn you claim to want “message fic about gay issues [for example]” just because a character is gay.  Trust me, there’s a difference between a character being gay and a story dealing with gay issues.  My stories touch on gay issues, they aren’t strictly about them, and in SF/F there frequently is the conceit that the society has no gay issues in the first place….


Anthony Vicino on One Lazy Robot

“Why Ratings and Reviews Don’t Matter Anymore (sort of)” – May 2

[A lot of interesting statistical analysis in here. Can’t even begin to scratch the surface with an excerpt.]

In particular, the books with the most lopsided ratings tend to be from self-published authors. What do I mean by this? Well, self-published authors, whether they be fairly popular, or not, tend to have significantly higher ratings than their traditionally published brethren.

Before we get into the why and the how, I want to substantiate this claim with some examples. I spent a little bit of time this morning compiling some datas that I now want to throw in your face. Incoming!

First, I googled top 100 science fiction books of all time. What pops up reads as a who’s who of sci-fi literary mastery. So I just went down the list, took the top 12 titles and searched their Amazon rating to get a baseline. Here we go:


William Shaw in Oxford Student

“Censorship and the Hugo awards” – May 2

You see, Beale and his supporters mounted this campaign because they believed that the awards were being dominated by broadly left-wing fiction because of the censorship of a shadowy group of left-wing authors, rather than because the books they wanted to see nominated just weren’t any good. And so they decided to stuff the ballot. They reacted to an unfounded conspiracy of censorship by actively engaging in censorship themselves. What happens to the Hugos as a result of this still ongoing controversy remains to be seen, but we can learn a crucial lesson from it. Which is that the would-be censor can all too easily turn anti-censorship rhetoric to their advantage. We must be mindful of that, and remain vigilant if we want to see truly free and open artistic expression.



Kate Paulk on Mad Genius Club

“A Mad Genius Goes to RavenCon (Part the Second)” – May 2

Much joyous conversation was had upon the nature of weaponry, the importance of ending the Sadness of the Canines of Youth, and the prospect of selling buttons with the arcane cantrip “Barfly Central is my Safe Space”. And lo! The Convention of Raven has not descended to the madness of the Safe Space, for among the Secret Masters of Fandom in the shining city of Richmond there are those who know the never-to-be-spoken truth: that the Safe Space so celebrated by the Glittery Warriors of Social Justice is merely the demon of Apartheid masquerading under a pretty name and suit of demonic glitter….

Upon completion of the panel, the warrior maiden did retreat to her “safe space” (Barfly Central) wherein she did converse with many of the Flies of Bar and did meet in person the redoubtable warriors John C Wright and L Jagi Lamplighter (for as with many in these modern times the warrior maiden had conversed with both through the Internet of Tubes). ‘Twas here that Kate the Impaler did learn of the attempt of the GOH of Wrongness to have a person ejected from the Convention of Raven and that the GOH of Wrongness did have no copanelists. Speculation there was that the GOH of Wrongness was of such wrongness that no other wished to join for any panel.


205 thoughts on “Where No Puppy Has Gone Before 5/2

  1. Brian Z:

    Can you highlight what, exactly, the point of your last post is? Because it’s not readily apparent.

  2. “the pitch”

    Rev. Bob, OK we are getting closer to agreement. I’m not sure I am fond of the direct comparison with Hubbard. In that case the “church” presumably instructed members to vote (paid for memberships?). In this case a bunch of writers appealed to multiple loosely connected groups of fans on blogs and discussion forums.

    The corollary that an author with a huge enough platform to do it as an individual can campaign, but less well-known authors can’t do it in groups – doesn’t seem fair either.

  3. @BrianZ
    I understand that I’m “putting words in his mouth” here, and apologize if I’m misrepresenting him, but I hear Mr. Davidson saying, as he made explicit in a comment I just quoted above, is that publishing a voting slate ceases to be OK when there is organized campaigning surrounding it.

    I don’t see that distinction at all in the article. In fact, I look at this sentence:
    I clearly stated that this was a vote against slates and organized campaigning…

    The key word against your assumption being the “and” in that sentence. Davidson says he is voting against both slates and organized campaigning, as it seems in his opinion neither is laudable.

    So I think what I (and maybe others?) are confused by is your insistence that this idea that “a slate is good if there’s no organized campaigning around it” comes from the Davidson article. Maybe it came from a different article, or is an idea of your own?

  4. (Speaking as someone who found it very helpful and thinks it would be a shame if people were discouraged from making such recommendations in future.)

  5. Brian Z: “Wildcat, do you object to Abigail Nussbaum’s slate?”

    Oh, we’re back to Nussbaum’s choices, are we? Again, you keep revisiting things which have already been visited. You were present for this discussion a week ago. Are you seeing a doctor for that retrograde amnesia problem?

    What Nussbaum published is not a slate.

    This is what Nussbaum says:
    “But here we are on March 1st, the deadline I set myself, and it’s time to admit that I’ve seen as much of the vast field of last year’s genre short fiction as I am going to, and to get to the work of picking out my favorite reads.”

    This is what Torgersen says:
    “If you agree with our slate below — and we suspect you might — this is YOUR chance to make sure YOUR voice is heard. This is YOUR award (as SF/F’s self-proclaimed “most prestigious award”) and YOU get to have a say in who is acknowledged.”

    This is what VD says:
    “They are my recommendations for the 2015 nominations, and I encourage those who value my opinion on matters related to science fiction and fantasy to nominate them precisely as they are.”

    Are you telling us that you can’t see any difference between the first comment and the other two?

    How many rabid fans does Nussbaum have, following her every instruction? How did Nussbaum do at logrolling the Hugo nominations?

    Novel (3 recommendations) – 0 nominees on ballot
    Novella (5 recommendations) – 1 nominee on ballot
    Novelette (7 recommendations) – 0 nominees on ballot
    Short Story (10 recommendations) – 2 nominees on ballot
    Graphic Story (2 recommendations) – 2 nominees on ballot
    Dramatic Presentation, Short Form (4 recommendations) – 0 nominees on ballot
    Professional Artist (5 recommendations) – 1 nominee on ballot
    Fan Artist (4 recommendations) – 2 nominees on ballot
    Fan Writer (5 recommendations) – 1 nominee on ballot
    Fanzine (4 recommendations) – 2 nominees on ballot
    Semiprozine (2 recommendations) – 1 nominee on ballot
    Campbell Award (4 recommendations) – 1 nominee on ballot

    and, not that it counts, as these movies were wildly popular and needed help from no one:
    Dramatic Presentation, Long Form (4 recommendations) – 2 nominees on ballot

    Nussbaum’s lists aren’t a “Slate”. They’re a list of her nomination picks, and hardly any of them made it onto the Hugo ballot. Hell, I’ve never had a Hugo nomination for Best Fan Writer, and more of MY nominations than hers showed up on the final Hugo ballot.

    Try again.

    Of course, the Puppies have been trying for 2 years to come up with a comparable non-Puppy slate example, and have not yet managed to do so. So I await your next attempt with bated breath.

  6. Wildcat, I can’t see how you define slate, if you don’t include Nussbaum, without including “having a political agenda” or “campaigning” in your definition. Do we agree that far?

    Ms. Nussbaum is clearly making a case for what she thinks should be considered best of the year. So is Brad Torgersen. My taste tends closer to the former than the latter, obviously.

  7. @Brian Z:

    Go back and read my comment again. You missed every important point in it, and I see no need to explain myself to you again.

  8. Rev. Bob, I am in agreement with most of what you said. The two points I raised are minor addenda.

  9. Slates have a political motivation, agenda or common party platform, yes.

    Having a slate does not require organizing a campaign for the slate. In addition, one can organize a politically motivated campaign without having a slate to rally behind.

    If Brad Torgerson had published his individual Hugo nomination ballot on March 1 with his own personal picks, it would not be a slate.

  10. Brian Z: “Ms. Nussbaum is clearly making a case for what she thinks should be considered best of the year.”

    No, Ms Nussbaum is very clearly saying what she is going to nominate, and why.

    Your continued attempts to conflate her lists of picks with a Slate contradict your claims of “good faith” posting.

  11. @Brian Z: “Rev. Bob, I am in agreement with most of what you said.”

    Either you’ve severely misunderstood what I said, or you’re playing games, or you’re being dishonest with Wildcat and JJ – because your position in your responses to them bears absolutely no similarity to what I said and you claim to agree with. (This would be why I told you to reread what I said.)

    Or, to make it shorter: I agree in principle with Wildcat and JJ. You are arguing with them while claiming to agree with me. Something’s wrong there.

  12. Brian, Check JJ’s listings. Notice how in some categories that Nussbaum lists more than can be voted on and mostly lists less than can be voted on? that is one way you can tell it is not a slate.

    You are proving again you are not talking here in good faith. You are ignoring points people make that don’t suit your narrative, bring up cases that have nothing to do with the subject except tangentially, and your “minor” points of disagreement are nonsensical and have no bearing on the subject. You have been labeled a “sealion” before and you prove that label now.

  13. Wildcat my reply to you vanished into the ether. I’m not sure if it will reappear of its own accord, so:

    “Slates have a political motivation, agenda or common party platform, yes.”

    If that is our working definition, OK. In that case, I’m not sure I see how one could entirely banish slates.

    I agree that there may be advantages to setting limits on certain kinds of campaigning, but also recognize that authors must promote themselves. And I’m not sure how well an organization like WorldCon could police it.

    Rev. Bob, I agree with you with some qualifications about the pitch being a problem. Forgive my comment on Hubbard, it was just a musing since I don’t know clearly what happened back then.

  14. Tintinaus, Brad also listed mostly less than could be voted on. That’s how VD was able to hitch a ride.

    Anyway, I’ve done my best to state my own views, and I’ll think collectively about all your points. Thank you for having a discussion.

  15. Wrong again Brian. In most categories Brad nominated 4 or 5 candidates, and 3 in all others except Best Graphic Story. He never listed more than 5 as Nussbaum did, and listed candidates for all categories as Nussbaum didn’t. Brad produced a slate, Nussbaum didn’t.

  16. @Brian Z: “Ms. Nussbaum is clearly making a case for what she thinks should be considered best of the year. So is Brad Torgersen.”

    Half-right. Torgersen did not make a case for any of the works on the SP3 slate. I quote from his announcement page – italics in the original, bold denotes my added emphasis:

    “And here it is! After much combobulating, the official SAD PUPPIES 3 slate is assembled! As noted earlier in the year, the SAD PUPPIES 3 list is a recommendation. Not an absolute. Gathered here is the best list (we think!) of entirely deserving works, writers, and editors – all of whom would not otherwise find themselves on the Hugo ballot without some extra oomph received from beyond the rarefied, insular halls of 21st century Worldcon “fandom.”

    Notes, in order:

    1. He calls it a slate, and after this paragraph, he does so again with an “if you agree, get out and vote” appeal.
    2. What makes them the best? Not a word about that.
    3. Who is “we”? Not the participants in the comment thread; that’s been proven… so who is this cabal?
    4. “Entirely deserving” – again, why? Who says? What are the merits?
    5. “Extra oomph” – a direct call to vote for the slate.
    6. “Rarefied, insular halls” – dog-whistle “stick it to the elites” call.

    That’s not a rec list. That’s a “vote this way because WE (whoever “we” are) approve of these choices” slate.

    If you honestly can’t distinguish that from the Nussbaum post, I can’t help you.

  17. Sorry, skip that last point. I was looking at JJ’s list of successful nominees for the “filling all categories line. The rest stands though.

  18. Rev. Bob, I just think Brad put together a rec list that we can fault in terms of style and substance without accusing him of sinister scheming. Yes, there are vast differences. For one, I find Abigail Nussbaum’s to be more thoughtful and better supported, whereas Brad leaves the “thinking” part – how he and his colleagues decided what to list – more or less behind the scenes (although some was discussed in comments). I don’t think that’s good, but I also don’t want to tell him what to write.

  19. “list of successful nominees”

    I don’t get why how popular her picks were is relevant?

  20. @Brian Z:

    Shorter form of my SP3 slate comment…

    When I look at the Nussbaum post, I see a person who’s excited about what she’s read and wants to share that joy with other people. She tells us not only THAT she liked each entry, but something about it and WHY she likes them. Those are recommendations. One, three, five, or fifty works per category, it doesn’t matter. It’s about the stories.

    Compare that to the SP3 post. There are a couple of paragraphs at the top extolling the generic worthiness of those on the list and bestowing the imprimatur of political correctness* upon them, but nothing specific. This might as well be a laundry list; the contents don’t matter. What matters, quite plainly, is voting! Be a Good Puppy and vote for the things with the Seal(ion) of Approval! That’s where all the excitement is.

    Huge difference.

  21. Rev. Bob I like that. You have described in a nutshell why I would rather pay attention to Abigail Nussbaum’s recommendations and not to Brad Torgersen’s (although I didn’t have time to read nearly as much as I wanted this year). But who knows, I still hold out hope that maybe Kate Paulk will learn from what happened and do something better next year. I know you don’t share my optimism.

  22. “nothing specific”

    Well, to be fair, they did call for suggestions and discuss them among themselves, including no doubt in various fora that we are unaware of, before compiling that final “manifesto”.

  23. @Brian Z: “Rev. Bob, I just think Brad put together a rec list that we can fault in terms of style and substance without accusing him of sinister scheming.”

    Then you’re not paying attention. The scheming has been on display for three years running, with a fourth to come. From the very beginning, Sad Puppies has been about Sticking It To The SJWs and mobilizing a campaign to do so.

    Oh, and I forgot the footnote on my last comment:

    * Note that this is “political correctness” – as opposed to that evil SJW “Political Correctness.” The former is a generic term indicating acceptability to whatever group is making decisions (in this case, Brad and company), while the latter is a much more specific term.

  24. Brian, it has been pointed out (often) that Brad’s slate looks nothing like what was discussed in his call for suggestions blog post. Julliette Wade, for instance was not listed in the comments of Brad’s post yet he still included her he says, because he liked her work and thought of her as a friend.

    Flipping off your readers by ignoring their suggestions, shows either arrogance or, “sinister scheming” as you label as being an unlikely scenario.

  25. ‘Davidson has defined it as a recommendation list with a political agenda.’

    The politics behind the SP/RP slates had nothing to do with the works and everything to do with attacking the ‘SJWs’ who organise Worldcon, run the Hugos and vote and nominate in the Hugos. It’s aggressive, it’s hostile, it’s reactionary and vindictive. Those are the politics that set this in motion. A recommended list featuring a clunker by KSR or exclusively writers of colour are still about the works first and foremost, unless otherwise stated.

  26. I’m trying to listen to what you guys are saying, but isn’t there an awful lot of ad hominem in the air?

  27. Brian Z — To be fair, they called for suggestions then ignored some of them strategically, for reasons best known to themselves.

  28. @Brian Z: “isn’t there an awful lot of ad hominem in the air?”

    You mean like “SJWs always lie,” baseless accusations of a Seekrit Librul Cabal that’s been logrolling the ballot for the last 30 years, claims that everyone who disagrees with one side is an SJW, calling John Scalzi gay… that sort of thing?

    Yes, there is.

  29. Brian Z

    At this point I have to concede the point of the others. You’re not acting in good faith. You repeatedly conveying elements that are not present in Steve Davidsons article, namely trying to portray the default disapproval of any voting slate as a disapproval of a voting slate only if they’re there on “political grounds”

    That’s not in his article at all, and when provided with quotes, you move on to a different interpretation – this time based on what is a voting slate.

    You then try to portray Abi’s provisional ballot as a voting slate – a claim that is laughable just from the link YOU provided. Tell us where in the article does she ever ask anyone to vote her choices will you?

  30. Wow, a lot of words have been spent on Brian Z and his weird obsession with defining slate so that it excoriates those he dislikes and absolves puppies of any wrong doing.

  31. snowcrash,

    “Steve Davidsons article”

    I just want agreement on the meaning of “slate.” It is not a plain old list of recommendations. It seems to be a list of recommendations with a political agenda or platform behind it. Then, campaigning for such a slate is considered out of bounds. Do you agree?

    “portray Abi’s ballot”

    I’m not portraying anything as anything. I’m using as an example for discussion a blog that I like and read regularly. What’s wrong with that?

  32. Does everyone here agree with this from Nigel, which is very clear:

    The politics behind the SP/RP slates had nothing to do with the works and everything to do with attacking the ‘SJWs’ who organise Worldcon, run the Hugos and vote and nominate in the Hugos. It’s aggressive, it’s hostile, it’s reactionary and vindictive. Those are the politics that set this in motion. A recommended list featuring a clunker by KSR or exclusively writers of colour are still about the works first and foremost, unless otherwise stated.

  33. @Brian Z:

    Of those four sentences, I almost* completely agree with the first three. With respect to the fourth, I have some reservations (mainly, that the term “recommended list” is being disputed) but generally agree with its thrust in context.

    * I disagree that the SP/RP slates had nothing to do with the works. I do believe that they were selected for reasons other than their content, though.

    More to the point, I find the focus on what is or is not a slate to be a gigantic tangent. The goal should be to prevent any mechanism which results in a significant number of identical or nearly-identical ballots (such as would result from slate campaigns) from having a disproportionate impact on the results. If that is achieved, there is no need to distinguish between lists and slates, as neither would have the power to swamp the ballot.

  34. Rev. Bob, I guess I must sound like a broken record at this point. I’m content to leave it there. I’d be happy with the focus being taken off slates and placed on thinking about how the Hugo voting rules can best choose the best work of the year.

  35. Oh man, it only took a few weeks before Brian was happy with his definition of what a slate is. Hallelujah!

  36. Brian Z: “I’d be happy with the focus being taken off slates and placed on thinking about how the Hugo voting rules can best choose the best work of the year.”

    In other words, if that happened, you’d feel as though you’d finally succeeded in derailing the discussion from the Puppies and all the damage they’ve done so far this year, and what damage they may still do.

    Good luck with that. You may even get some of the people here to buy into your agenda.

  37. It’s pretty rich of people who have never cared enough about the Worldcon to ever attend one, who have never cared enough about Worldcon to ever volunteer to work on one, who have never before cared sufficiently about the Hugo Award to bother to spend ten whole seconds googling “Hugo Award” and finding out how it works, are instructing an audience including hundreds of people who have put in two decades, three decades, four decades, five decades, six decades, EACH, working on the Worldcon and tweaking the Hugo rules to be as fair as possible, that they should start “thinking about how the Hugo voting rules can best choose the best work of the year.”

    Because none of us have ever done that before.

    Or spent our entire goddamn lives doing that.

    I’m 56; my first Worldcon wasn’t until 1974, but I’d read about how the Hugos work from books like THE HUGO WINNERS, edited by Isaac Asimov, with introductions explaining how the Worldcon gave out the Hugo via votes of the members. THE HUGO WINNERS was published in 1962. The Worldcon was created long before I was born, in 1939; I’m a youngster fan compared to all those active in fandom before me, plenty of whom are active today. The Hugo was created in 1953.

    That’s how long we’ve been keeping obscure the workings of the Hugos, by dint of the committees promoting them to the press each and every year, let alone being obvious to anyone ACTUALLY CARING ENOUGH TO LOOK INTO IT, i.e., care enough to become even aware of the science fiction community, let alone be active in it, prior to deciding to join a political campaign to make sure the Hugos don’t go to “the wrong people.”

    But, by all means, I’m sure they know more about the fairness of the Hugos than anyone actually ever involved enough to show up at a Worldcon Business Meeting. How could they not?

  38. Gary Farber,

    I don’t know if the others in this conversation have been to many WorldCons, and I’m definitely not the one holding the lifetime record, but at least let me clarify that when Rev. Bob said the goal should be determining a new mechanism for counting Hugo ballots, I agreed with his proposal to change the subject, not to lecture anybody, but to politely bring the discussion to a close. (We were going back and forth repeatedly over what I had naively thought was a simple question.)

  39. Actually Gary, hold on a minute. Who on this thread who has never been to a WorldCon, read The Hugo Winners, or participated in the Hugo Awards? Not me. Do you actually know? Not everyone can be a six-decade oldtimer. There might be people on here who are young or inexperienced, but at least they are interested.

  40. Brian Z: ” I agreed with his proposal to change the subject”

    Yet again, you’re claiming that someone has said something they’ve not actually said.

    Is this how you interact with people on a daily basis in real life? Constantly claiming that they’ve said things they haven’t? Do you still have anyone willing to spend any time around you in real life? I find it absolutely incredible that you apparently consider this to be “normal” and acceptable behavior.

    “There might be people on here who are young or inexperienced, but at least they are interested.”

    Gary’s point, as I am reading it, is that you keep clamoring to talk about voting methods in these File770 threads, and that you don’t seem to understand that many of the people here have already had those conversations ad infinitum over the course of years, have formed their own opinions, and aren’t really interested in re-hashing it in detail here.

    There is a thread on this at Making Light, and there are other discussion threads on the Internet as well. Instead of repeatedly trying to channel the conversation here in that direction, why not just go to the threads dedicated to the subject and participate there?

    You should have realized by now, by the way that numerous people have reacted to your posts here on File770, that SFF fans are not prone to being herded. Maybe you are used to that in Puppyland — but it doesn’t work that way in SFF land.

    There may be people willing to discuss nominating and voting methods in detail with you here. But if there aren’t, you should not be surprised.

  41. “The politics behind the SP/RP slates had nothing to do with the works and everything to do with attacking the ‘SJWs’ who organise Worldcon, run the Hugos and vote and nominate in the Hugos”

    This is not correct at all. RP is anti-SJW. We don’t care about the Hugos, the people who organize them, or winning awards. We are after the SJWs in science fiction, wherever they might be, beginning with the Making Light set.

    SP1 was different than SP2 was different than SP3. SP3 in particular was Brad Torgersen’s attempt to prevent bridge the growing gulf in science fiction between the SJWs and the people who can’t stand them. For his naive efforts to reach out, he has been labeled a liar, a racist, a homophobe, and a few other names, precisely as I warned him would be the case. But he was determined to make the attempt, because he is a decent, if overly optimistic man.

    Now the SPs are more or less convinced that the RPs were correct all along. Well done!

  42. “Mr. Day”, it’s clear that, given the amount of time you’ve spent planning this nonsense, you have no real life. If you were worth the consideration, I would feel sorry for you. Instead, I feel sorry for all the people who actually know you in real life. You wound up having a story voted below “No Award”. Boo hoo, little boy.

    When do your parents come home?

  43. “The politics…had to do with attacking the ‘SJWs’ who organize Worldcon…”

    “We are after the SJWs in science fiction, wherever they may be…”

    The second claim is not a contradiction to the first.

  44. @Wildcat:

    It demonstrates, I think, the truth that VD is either less than entirely intelligent, or less than entirely honest, or perhaps both.

    In context, it’s clear that VD is insisting that there is a distinction between Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies. Yet his “clarification” is basically one that demonstrates that the statement that he says is “not correct at all” is in fact “half correct”, that is, it is completely correct with regards to the Rabid Puppies, and only incorrect (according to his own statements that follow) with regards to the Sad Puppies. So was calling it “not correct at all” simply a stupid mistake, or was it a deliberately dishonest distortion?

    Who knows?

    Incidentally, I was disappointed that no-one has yet pointed out that “All SJWs are liars”, when proclaimed by Theodore Beale, proud Warrior for Social Justice for homophobes, racists, misogynists, and other bigots, is an example of a classic paravox.

  45. I hesitate to speak since I shall endure the shame of having not been to every WorldCon since 1976, but JJ, if you keep going you might convince even me that Farber’s right. I’d like less experienced people to be involved, but please educate yourself.

    Rev. Bob above finds “…a slate to be a gigantic tangent. The goal should be to prevent any mechanism which results in a significant number of identical or nearly-identical ballots…” In contrast, I am not convinced of the benefit of making ANY changes to voting. This is obvious if you read those dozens of my comments you are hoarding and linking to. (And I’m still thrilled to have a fan.)

    Since everything we could possibly discuss has been talked to death, why don’t we all just troop down to Making Light, that famously neutral forum where all opinions are welcomed and given equal weight, and discuss our algorithms for saving WorldCon from attackers who are bad because they asked people to consider five things, but definitely not because of politics, or else maybe because they are aggressive, hostile, reactionary and vindictive.

  46. Brian Z: “please educate yourself”

    Can you be a little more specific here? About what am I supposed to educate myself?

    “Since everything we could possibly discuss has been talked to death, why don’t we all just troop down to Making Light, that famously neutral forum where all opinions are welcomed and given equal weight, and discuss our algorithms for saving WorldCon from attackers who are bad because they asked people to consider five things, but definitely not because of politics, or else maybe because they are aggressive, hostile, reactionary and vindictive. <– This, again, this right here, is your feigned civility slipping again.

    To me, this sounds like the sort of thing one would hear from a snotty 8-year-old who's convinced that he's far more intelligent than all the adults around him.

    If you want to be taken seriously, rather than dismissed as a Sealion, and a Puppy, and a Troll, then you don't do this sort of thing.

  47. JJ, I think you may be right that my civility is slipping, so I’ll let you have the last word.

Comments are closed.