A Just and Lasting Puppy 4/22

A report from the battlefields of science fiction. Some are declaring victory, others are in pain.

Kary English

“On Anger, Power and Displacement in the Hugos (part one of possibly several)” – April 22

Americans hated the [Vietnam] war, so when the soldiers returned home, they displaced their anger onto the soldiers, reviling them, spitting on them and calling them baby killers.

Then, over the course of the next few decades, we grew to understand that we’d made a terrible mistake. So when next group of soldiers came home from a war that many Americans didn’t support, we didn’t spit and we didn’t call names. We’d learned that it was wrong to displace our anger onto the easy target. We said “Thank you for your service” even if we disagreed with the war.

But I don’t think we’ve learned that in the SFF community yet because we’re displacing our anger all over some of the Hugo nominees.

Vox Day spoke our names without our consent, and because of that we have been bullied in the news media and all over the internet. The women among us have been reviled as misogynist men, the minorities have been reviled as white racists, and the QUILTBAG authors and allies have been reviled as straight homophobes. We have been called assholes, bitches, mongrels, yapping curs, talentless hacks and so many more things that I can’t even name them all. I have seen at least one suggestion that all of us should be euthanized, a euphemism and allegedly funny word for murder.

There’s a trope made famous by Anita Sarkeesian that in the game of patriarchy, women aren’t the opposing team, they’re the ball. There’s a contingent that’s going to be upset that I’ve name checked Sarkeesian, but her comment is applicable to the Hugos, too. In the Hugo debate, the nominees aren’t the opposing team. We’re the ball.

We’re being kicked and bullied and savaged all over the internet.

And it hurts.

Brad R. Torgersen

“Why do it?” – April 21

That the field’s betters went full-force destruct-o-matic on me — because I invited the proles to the democracy — was not a surprise. They (the betters) had a media apparatus tailor-made for their bogeyman narrative, and they used this apparatus according to the playbook. Sad Puppies 3 got unceremoniously shoved into the role of Black Hat, and myself along with it.

But it’s worth all the drama, because the betters don’t “own” this field. If they ever did? When David Gerrold holds forth from his Fandom pulpit about “no forgiveness” and all that dire talk, he’s speaking to — at best — a collection of maybe one thousand people. Perhaps the pool of total Keep-Us-Pure-And-Holy-Fans is not even that large anymore? It’s difficult to say. A lot of them are passing on. They’re being replaced by new kids who seem obsessed with identitarian politics — which, not ironically, makes them a perfect fit for the Holy Church of the Peoples Republic of Science Fiction — but the replacement rate may not be enough to make up the difference.

Ultimately, the consumer market votes with its collective wallet. You can’t herd those cats, no matter how earnest and pure your motives. Nobody likes a preachy scold. And right now, that’s pretty much the only face being presented by Gerrold and the sundry opponents of SP3: preachy scolds. Dolores Umbridge!

Adam-Troy Castro on Facebook – April 21

If several of the people you thought you were benefiting by your plan to game the Hugos start withdrawing themselves from consideration, saying they don’t want your help and don’t want to be associated with it, then maybe the explanation is that it’s not at all helpful.

Maybe you’re not right. Maybe you’re not helpful. Maybe you’re not constructive. Maybe the room is trying to stop you before you embarrass yourself further.

Or maybe it’s all of a sign of the great big SJW conspiracy and you’re the world’s last correct man.

They did laugh at Galileo. They did laugh at Einstein. They did laugh at Jonas Salk.

But really: they also laughed at Peewee Herman.

Adam-Troy Castro on Facebook – April 22

“If No Award wins in any category, it will prove the SP3 contention that the Hugos are being gamed, and that the bullies have won.”–Arlan Andrews

Really, Arlan? Really?

It can’t mean anything else?

Like the votership deciding that the slate had promoted a group of largely subpar fiction?

Like the votership rejecting this very ballot as being gamed?

And if a Sad Puppy story wins, how does that prove, by your logic, that bullies haven’t won?

Jeet Heer on Storify

“Sad Puppies, Rabid Puppies, and Personal Taste”  – April 17

Adult Onset Atheist

“The Once and Future Hugo” – April 21

The 2015 Hugo awards are an attack on a secular future because they attack our ability to communicate what we think of a future. Even if that future is far in the past in some alternate universe.

What can be done? If the ballots are rigged using shadow voters then Worldcon should use some of the money that the new voters spent on membership fees, and validate that these new members actually exist. We could call on publishers to ignore the 2015 Hugo awards. A couple nominees, and one presenter, have declined their invitations to participate; we could ask more presenters and participants to refuse to participate. In any convention the exhibitors are a big factor in the event’s success, we could ask exhibitors to send a note of protest instead of a display. We could all also pony up $40.00 and vote for “No Award” (although I am not sure memberships are still open). One of the most damaging things this really shows is how easily Hugos can be bought.  The cost of the 2015 Hugos will end up being less than the marketing budget of a small Finish-based close-to-vanity press publisher like Castalia House.  If the Hugos turn into a bidding war then Worldcon should do something amazing with the extra revenue; like build a space ship or even a future where everyone is really smart and good looking, or just a talking cloud of pulsating colored energy.

I would suggest that Worldcon make a time machine, but I do not trust them to use such an awesome super power for good, and they already have one.  For the past couple years Worldcon has awarded retro Hugos for items published before there were Hugos.  They call them “retro Hugos”.  In alternative 1939 (2014) Ayn Rand’s novella titled “Anthem” was nominated for a Hugo.  It did not win, but solidly beat “No Award” by about 100 votes in the 5th round of voting.  In real 1939 few people read, and fewer liked, Rand’s dystopian novella.  In alternative 1939 it was one of the five best novellas.  I’ve always wondered why, when people time travel back to the beginning of world war II, they can’t go and kill Adolph Hitler.

John C. Wright

“Do presently lose all desire for light” – April 22

A man with a PhD in English holds forth on my hidden neofascism:

“If you got John C. Wright drunk at the bar, you could get him to admit that he thinks transhumanism and black people are ugly for the same reason.”

Actually, I am a teetotaler, and I always tell the truth, and I have absolutely no inhibitions about telling the truth requiring the seduction of wine to overcome. It will come as a surprise to my adopted daughter that I am a racist, I assure you.

Someone who pretends to know me well enough to discern the secret and yet strangely always discreditable workings of my hidden heart would know those two things about me.

This is the way of evil. Evil lies because no one is attracted to evil when its nature is clear. The lie serves only limited use, and must be extended and expanded in order to maintain credibility. The lie metastasizes, and grows to a point when no sane man can believe it any longer.

Geek Lady on The Care and Feeding of Geeks

“On ‘Publication’ As Defined By the Hugo Awards” – April 22

All of these situations constitute “first presentation to the public.”

Other people are publishing serially these days, especially during the NaNoWriMo events. When does that become ‘published’? Serialized fiction is nothing new, but publication is (I think) dated to the compilation of the whole work. But if you’ve posted each section of your novel to your blog as you write it, does it become compiled, and hence published the minute you post the last section?

This is a level of granularity that is impossible to monitor. The Hugo Awards Committee, consisting of mere men, cannot possibly monitor every avenue of publication under their very own definition of what constitutes published. It doesn’t even matter whether malfeasance is involved or not. Things will inevitably fall through the cracks in their omniscience, which makes their definition functionally useless.

Now, I’m a helpful sort of person, and I would be remiss if I sat here complaining about something’s inherent stupidity without providing a possible solution, so here is my idea:

Let date of first publication be set to the first association of an ISBN, ISSN, or registered copyright with a specific work.

This provides a simple, verifiable, and (most importantly) unarguable date of publication. It is accessible to any method of publishing: traditional, indie, or self publication. And it would put an end to the pointless bickering caused by wishy washy subjective guidelines.

Kevin Standlee on Fandom Is My Way of Life

“Worldcon Supporting Memberships Aren’t Pure Profit” – April 22

There are people on all sides of Puppygate who are talking blissfully about the vast sums of money that must be flowing into the coffers of Sasquan, the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention?. By the look of some of the comments, you’d think that the committee must be building Unca Scrooge’s Money Bin on the banks of the Spokane River. Y’all need some perspective. I do not speak with inside information for this Worldcon on this subject. I speak as someone who chaired a Worldcon and had to sweat over a budget.

1. Despite what you may think, a Supporting membership is not 100% “profit” to the convention selling it. You may think, “Oh, it’s money for nothing at all!” (which is the argument people use to say it should be $5 or free), but it does cost the convention resources to service the membership. This is what’s known as variable cost: the amount the convention’s costs go up every time they sell a membership. That includes paper publications and postage expenses for every member who requests them, and that’s not trivial. In fact, for non-US-based members, it may well exceed the revenue realized on the membership. Another cost not considered is what the convention’s payment-processing system charges per membership. There are others. So while in most cases, a Supporting membership does help support the Worldcon by helping to pay some of the huge fixed overhead cost, it’s not like sending them $40 means $40 “profit.”

dfordoom onThe Politically Incorrect Australian

“why Sad Puppies (and Rabid Puppies) matter” – April 21

One thing that both Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies were very careful to do was to play strictly within the rules. Their intention was to demonstrate that the leftists controlling the awards had been bending the rules for years in order to ensure that only leftist-approved authors could win, so it was obviously essential for Sad Puppies/Rabid Puppies to be scrupulous about not breaking any rules.

And despite the unhinged claims of the leftists that the Sad Puppies/Rabid Puppies were aiming to ensure that only evil white heterosexual patriarchal males would get nominated both the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies included works by women, blacks and even (gasp!) liberals among their recommendations.

The assumption behind both the SP and RP campaigns was that the leftist bullies running the Hugos would hysterically overreact to any threat to their cosy little club. Which is of course exactly what happened. The leftists responded with a vicious hate campaign, with intimidation of moderates and will libelous personal attacks.

You might be wondering why any of this matters. It matters for two reasons. Firstly, the whole affair has been a superb microcosm of the culture wars, revealing in a very clear manner the lengths to which leftists will go in order to keep control. And secondly, while this might be a very minor battlefield on a very obscure front of the culture wars it’s one of the very very few battlefields on which conservatives are actually taking the offensive.

Alex Lamb on The Tinker Point

“On Ostracism” –  April

Is there a solution? I am biassed, of course, but I would propose that the US borrow one from Britain: derision. By which I mean satire, mockery, teasing and all other forms of social reconciliation through mirth. It is not a surprise that social institutions like the Daily Show have become so valued in American society of late. They are badly needed and in short supply.

I believe that both sides in the Hugos debate, and in American society at large, need to set down their sense of outraged affront as rapidly as possible and start mocking each other instead. Mocking and accepting mockery in return. And if we find ourselves able to laugh at our own side from time to time, then we know that the healing has started. And after healing comes the potential for real, cohesive social change.

PZ Myers on Freethought Blogs

“A musical interlude, courtesy of Owl Mirror, on the Hugos” – April 22

[First two of seven stanzas]

They sentenced me to Less-Than-“No Award”-dom

For trying to game the system from within

I’m coming now, I’ll show them “No Award”-dom

First we take their rockets, then we bite their shins

I am guided by a voice from out of Heaven

I’m guided by my hatred of their sins

I’m guided by the beauty of our weapons

First we take their rockets, then we bite their shins

194 thoughts on “A Just and Lasting Puppy 4/22

  1. ‘Go find one, or admit that you’re just making things up.’

    Wait. I thought YOU knew! I thought all these rhetorical ‘well what’s the dictionary definition of a slate, huh?’ were just your way of eliding the rather elementary notion that two things can be nominally called by the same name and still be quite different. I am touched by your unworldly innocence. I mean, if you point at what Scalzi did and say ‘That’s a slate!’ and then point at what SP/RPs did and say ‘Those are slates!’ the most obvious things about them are not that they are all slates, but that there are wide gulfs between them in terms of intent and execution. But you keep insisting they’re identical, and please do use those links as examples, along with links to the original SP/RP slates for comparison. People will get the idea quick enough.

  2. “I think you should read this, because I liked it [or: because I wrote it] and you might too; if you think it’s sufficiently worthy, you can nominate it for a Hugo” is a recommendation.

    “I think you should nominate this for a Hugo, because having this on the Hugo ballot would advance a worthy cause” is a slate.

    Human beings are not computers, so we understand messages that are delivered in non-literal ways: this is why a mobster can say “Nice place you’ve got here; shame if anything happened to it” and be understood as making a threat. In the same vein, one can say “Having more works of type X on the Hugo ballot would advance some worthy cause; I think you should read the following works of type X” and be understood as advocating a slate. But I admit that in that case, at least the advocate’s intention is open to dispute.

    Another way to be understood as advocating a slate, of course, is to use the word “slate” in the headline and body of the blog post announcing it.

  3. That orange is just a different color of apple. Besides, they’re both fruit so what’s the difference really.

  4. marsultor: I appreciate the kind thoughts, and you’re okay in my book, too, no matter what Percy Jackson thinks of you.

  5. *blinks*

    Either the various Puppy Slates affected the way their followers nominated, or they didn’t. If the Puppy Slates did not affect the way the Sad Puppies nominated as I have seen a number of Sad Puppies claim, several things must be true simultaneously:

    1) There was more than one, and in some cases as many as five, runaway favorites among the Puppies _per category_* in this year’s Hugo nominations.
    2) Brad Torgersen, predicted most of these runaway favorites with startling accuracy, despite having been misled in many cases by the suggestions he collected, and interestingly enough, Theo Beale predicted them even more closely.
    3) The Sad Puppies constitute around 90% of the Hugo Nominators.

    This is because Ancillary Justice, a runaway favorite last year, got about 17% of the nominations, and the nominations matching the Puppy slate were about that level also. If a slate didn’t influence the voting you’d expect the favorites to end up with this as the top level of support (and many favorites to get 10% or so.)

    The first strikes me as unlikely. The second also strikes me as unlikely, giving a likelihood of unlikely squared. The third strikes me as extremely unlikely, giving a final chance of no I really don’t think so.

    If we grant the Rabid Puppies voting in lockstep, then 1 and 2 still need to be true, but 3 only needs 50% Sad Puppies, so only a thousand or so Sad Puppy nominators. This strikes me as giving a final chance of merely unlikely cubed, so I still don’t think so, but …maybe?

    But presumably we’ll see in the final voting.

  6. Ancillary Puppy
    The Dark Between the Puppies
    The Goblin Puppy
    Puppy Game
    The Three-Puppy Problem

    This is fun.

    Puppy and Empire
    Second Puppy

  7. Eternal Puppy of The Spotless Mind
    How to train your Puppy
    The Day the Puppy Stood Still
    Invasion of the Puppy-snatchers
    Puppy, A Symphony of Horror

  8. The Puppy Jar
    Through the Puppies Glass
    Puppy, Interrupted
    Dr. Day, Or How We Got Along After The Puppies
    Clans of the Rabid Loon
    The Stress of Puppies Regard

  9. I am not surprised at the sheer inability of SJW’s to actually read past the point where they’re first offended.

    ‘Cause it’s all about the tolerance and diversity, don’tcha know?
    (/sarcasm tag in play)

  10. Puppyless In Gaza
    A Fistful of Puppies
    For a Few Puppies More
    The Good, the Bad, and the Yapping
    Pride & Prejudice & Puppies
    Go West, Young Pup, Go West
    Ride A Painted Puppy
    Citizen Puppy
    The Puppies My Destination
    Where No Puppy Has Gone Before
    Let That Be Your Last Puppy
    The Puppy In God’s Eye
    Something Canine This Way Comes

  11. Planet of the Puppies
    Beneath the Planet of the Puppies
    Escape from the Planet of the Puppies
    Conquest of the Planet of the Puppies
    Battle for the Planet of the Puppies

  12. “LOL! Thread winner!”

    Sorry, but it wasn’t on the slate of puppy nominees. Them’s the breaks.

  13. The Puppy, the (Social Justice) Witch, and the Worldcon

    The Puppy’s Guide to the Nominations

    A Canticle for Puppies

    So Long, and Thanks for all the Puppies

  14. Puppy In The Sky
    A Clockwork Puppy
    Like Water for Puppies
    Love in the Time of Puppies
    Three Hearts and Three Puppies
    Puppy of Mars
    Nine Puppies in Amber

  15. “Sad Puppies set up an opportunity for new people to get involved and vote for the kind of stuff they liked …”

    There’s a difference between bringing new voters in to nominate stuff they like as individuals and running a political campaign urging them to vote for a slate decreed by the organizers.

    The Sad Puppies 3 slate wasn’t democratic. Many of its choices were not recommended by the public, but instead decided privately by the “Evil League of Evil” authors (a group that includes Torgersen, Correia, Day, Hoyt and Wright, according to their blog posts).

  16. Rek: I know many personally who are not my friends. I hope any resemblance to your sidestepping NelC’s question is coincidental? ;->

    Perhaps you’re new to this community, or are just one of the innumerable pseudonymous drive-bys, but the world of science fiction authors, and of SF fandom, is both large and at the same time intimate. People run into each other. Which, by the way, I offer to any of our esteemed authors, editors, and fans willing to listen as a reason why trying to stick to an appearance of being charitable, even if you don’t feel it, is good policy. Because convincing people to hate you without a good reason make life more difficult for yourself, as well as the others.

    ‘A true gentleman is one who is never unintentionally rude..’ — Oscar Wilde

  17. Ryan-

    You are correct.

    Per the Hugo site: “The deadline for making nominations for the 2015 Hugo Awards is 23:59 Pacific Daylight Time (GMT – 7) on March 10, 2015. You are eligible to nominate if you were a member of at least one of the 2014, 2015, or 2016 Worldcons as of January 31, 2015.”

    Brad Torgersen’s slate was up February 1:


    Vox Day’s slate was up February 2:


    Mea Culpa.

    Kevin Standlee- You are correct. Thank you.

    Mart- Noted. Thank you.

    Rick Moen- I agree with you about Will Shetterly. I despise his politics, but I love his writing and reasoning. If I ever get a chance to meet him, I’d buy him a beer too.

    And in honor of John Maddox Roberts SPQR series, which I love:

    The Puppy’s Gambit
    The Puppy Conspiracy
    The Temple of the Puppies
    The Puppy’s Curse
    The Rabid Puppy’s Vengeance
    The Puppy House
    The Puppy and the Pirates
    Oracle of the Puppy
    The Year of Puppy
    Beware the Puppy
    The Puppy of Sacrifices
    The Mountain Puppies

  18. @Rick
    Scalzi has recommended people (NTTIAWT). Whether they were friends, lovers, podiatrists, acquaintances… I can’t speak to that. Obviously, Scalzi felt he needed to add a disclaimer that he knew these people personally, so it must have been a close enough connection that he felt he should disclose it.

    As I did not use the term friend to begin with, Steve would need to tell us what is meant by that term before anyone can judge how it applies. Of course, now having presented evidence that Scalzi has recommended people, Steve can stretch the definition of friend to exclude this evidence.

    See how silly this gets?

  19. @Hampus: It is a matter of perspective. Torgersen frames this as a sociopolitical conflict– “Social justice warriors” and fans of literary fiction are hurting science fiction by publishing books that don’t sell. The solution– described over weeks of commentary– is to force those people out. It’s ideology, storming the gates. But, it won’t solve the problem– What Torgersen describes is happening to the entire publishing industry. It’s a consequence of publishers selling a large number of books to a limited number of readers. Readers are limited because of competition from other forms of media and because most people don’t read that much to begin with. It has nothing to do with ideology.

    It gets weird when thought through: “A Handmaid’s Tale” has sold more than ten million copies over the last thirty years. I’m willing to bet most authors have never seen sales like that. That wasn’t money taken from a conservative author. If the book had never been published, that money wouldn’t be a crown for Pat Robertson’s head. People don’t work like that, it would have gone somewhere else.

    Practically speaking, if you’re an author and you fancy the idea of removing your competition, go to Amazon and look at your books. See what pops up for their recommendations. That’s your competition. Those are the people taking “your” money. See where turning on them goes.

  20. Rek: You appear to have misspelled ‘Gee, I guess I got caught on rhetorical overreach, and it was a fair cop.’

    Whether you ‘began with’ the word friends is not material to the point I was addressing. (By the way, I see that NelC’s comment, along with some others, appear to have been deleted, presumably by Our Gracious Host.) My point is that clumsy playing with words to try to conjure up a bogus tu-quoque equivalancy is a waste of everyone’s time — and, as my friend and BiPuppy nominee Eric S. Raymond likes to say, some of us take being bullshitted a bit personally. To borrow a puppy analogy, when I see people doing that, especially from behind throwaway pseudonymous nics, I often make them my chew toys. Thank you for playing.

    Rick Moen
    [email protected]

  21. “I think you should nominate this for a Hugo, because having this on the Hugo ballot would advance a worthy cause” is a slate.

    By this definition, is Abigail Nussbaum’s rec. list of predominantly female authors a slate?

    I am assuming the answer will be no, but I curious as to the road to “no”.

  22. One thing that hasn’t been talked about much during this controversy is that voting for the Hugos is homeworky and kinda boring.

    Reading enough stuff to make an educated judgment on the best work of the year is tough. (It’s easier to stick to what you know you will like and never venture beyond that.) Figuring out whether the things you liked the most from the previous year qualified for the ballot is a pain. And don’t get me started on word counts.

    Over time, the appeal of sticking it to social justice warriors will fade. The Puppies who are involved in this so they can make keyboard war on enemies will be lured into newer fights against fresher enemies. Vox Day and Larry Correia aren’t the only angry right-wingers who know how to make an us-against-them populist appeal. A lot of the Puppies’ troops will be railing against some new enemy when the Hugos roll around in a future year and greet them with a big “meh.”

    At some point the Hugos will again be the province of the people willing to put in the work to make informed individual non-strategic choices. And those people will be a lot more like George R. R. Martin than Correia.

    Those of us who love the Hugos aren’t going to abandon them.

  23. Steve Moss – you pulled out the same dictionary as somebody else did the other day to make the same utterly BS point. I call socks!

    You know what we mean by a slate, you know why we’re pissed off about it, this BS ‘it’s not against the rules’ crap is likewise BS, and sure, you can say you don’t care about the ‘spirit of the law’ but I also have an answer to that.

    Fuck off.

    You don’t give a crap about the Hugos, you’re having a fun fight, which ever of the socks you are just throwing out the same tired old lines about how you’re doing something… noble? Er? Actually, scrub that, I think you, like a certain Mr. Beale of these parts, like to screw with people who’ve apparently slighted you in some way.

    Give it a rest or get some new discussion points for the next thread eh?

    As for the argument that the ‘spirit of the law’ doesn’t hold water – I suggest you take that up with the US immigration service around their views on the misuse of visa waivers. In my experience you don’t get very far by explaining the loop hole you’re using technically doesn’t break a rule when so much discretion is given to individuals and precedent on how such things are applied.

  24. rcade: Very good point. (I’d been meaning to say something like that, but you got there first.) Further to that, it’s not only a lot of work reading enough stuff to make an educated judgment, but you must also figure out which of the things you’ve read is eligible.

    One of the reasons the BASFA, NESFA, and Locus recommendations are popular is that they do a lot of the homework and semi-verify eligibility for you. This is especially useful for the short-fiction categories. Otherwrite, ‘What short stories, novelettes, and novellas are both good and eligible?’ becomes serious work indeed, even if you subscribe to all the major SFF magazines (which much of Worldcon fandom actually used to do, but now most fans don’t do even partially).

    There’s been talk about somebody maintaining an editable Google Docs spreadsheet of eligible works, or something like that, and similar efforts. I suspect one of the constructive probable outcomes of the current brouhaha is more attention to the information problem.

    And yes, I suspect that even if Beale has whipped up a thousand credulous MRAs or whatever into forming a successful final-ballot posse and turning the 2015 final results a little weird, or whatever jackassical stunt will be attempted, that Worldcon fandom is a lot more patient than they are, and we’ll just roll our eyes and still be there for MidAmericon II while they’ll have moved on to some other imaginary enemy.

  25. @Rick Moen
    You declare victory, but have said nothing.

    But what I really find amusing is that you talk about civility, yet repeatedly execute ad hominem attacks against someone for using a pseudonym. Not all of us feel as free to express our views online under our real names as you do. What is it that those social justice folks like to say? “Check your privilege?”

  26. Rek: How’s that discount-grade persecution complex working for you? If my having mentioned that I sometimes like to treat misbehaving Internet nutters acting out from behind throwaway pseudonyms is an ‘attack’, you’ll presumably scream bloody murder if I’m ever actually annoyed.

    And yes, I find my privilege most enjoyable bordering on awesome, and live well as the best revenge anyone ever gets.

    Rick Moen
    [email protected]

  27. M-W.com’s definition of slate is pretty piss-poor, since it would include a list of Democrats and their Republican opponents.

    H. Clinton (D)
    J. Bush (R)

    That’s a list. But it isn’t a slate.

    A slate is a list with a common platform. The Puppies were running on a platform with particular planks: Down With Message Fic, Up With Fun, Nyah Nyah Literati, and The Hugo Elite Must Be Destroyed.

    (That the Pups actually ran a significant amount of raw message fic is just one of the peculiarities of actually just picking your friends without regard to either quality or the ideas in one’s own head.)

    What platform does the Locus Recommended List run under? NESFA?

  28. I also am desperately curious to find out what sensitive role in life or industry one must have to necessitate hiding his or her own opinions about the Hugo Awards.

  29. @alauda: How about no?

    My community attracts preachers, proselytizers and all sorts of religious folks keen on sharing their faith with the unconverted. I’ve met a few who follow the Westboro model and unless their goal is to witness to themselves, they aren’t going to get anywhere with the fire and brimstone. I can see doors close around them wherever they go. They are God’s worst advertisers. In contrast, every Gideon I’ve ever met has been polite, dapper and, yes, has a New Testament in hand, ready for delivery. They ask if I would like one, I say no thank you and they say have a nice day. It’s pleasant for everyone involved and, really, I have a Bible already, it’s next to my Qur’an, they’ll have lovely children.

    Anyhow, I’m going to say no, the Gideons know I’m going to say no, but I walk away with a positive impression and that’s something. We don’t agree, but we get along.

    As long as the door is open, people can talk. There are substantive differences between the groups involved in the Hugo dispute, but also common ground we can agree on, that will benefit the Hugo awards and SF&F in general if we’re willing to reach it. Close the door and it won’t.

    So, keep the door open. Take the high road. It’s worth it.

  30. @Nick Mamatas
    Just ask yourself, where did all of this critical race theory and social justice stuff begin, and where is it strongest?

    @Rick Moen
    I don’t have a persecution complex. I just have partitions. Pseudonymity allows that.

  31. Nick Mamatas: Quite. The last time I heard this exact same special-pleading excuse for misbehaviour from behind fake names was in 2005 when a pseudonymous nitwit speaking as ‘[email protected]’ conducted an ultimately successful campaign to end the very capable Russ Nelson’s term of office as President of the Open Source Initiative on grounds that a metaphor Russ used on his personal blog (‘The Angry Economist’) some months before had been ‘racist’.

    Anyone who bothered to actually read Russ’s blog posting could see that his metaphor was not at all racist, only when carefully trimmed to omit all but a few words as ‘Squiggleslash’ did. And, the disgusting thing is, OSI did prompt Russ’s resignation on grounds of him being ‘controversial’, which is just as much on them as it was on ‘Squiggleslash’ — but I took some care using my full vocabulary in calling ‘Squiggleslash’ a pimple on the derriere of humanity, which is about how I felt and feel about any such person.


    And I hope our current pseudonymous munchkin will note that ‘Squiggleslash’ appears to be an identarian (to use Will Shetterly’s accurate term rather than this bullshit ‘SJW’ one) or close kin thereof. I see no reason to accede to misbehaviour from them, either.

    Rick Moen
    [email protected]

  32. Daveon- I Googled “definition of slate” and that’s what popped up. Take up your concerns with Google and/or Merriam-Webster.

    As to the balance of your comments, I suggest counseling.

  33. I tend to agree that the generic definitions of “slate” miss the political connotations attached to the word, particularly as it’s understood in the U.S. (and perhaps Canada). The clearest definitions I’ve found are from poli-sci educational lists, like this one from Scholastic:

    “Slate: Candidates for various offices running as a team; or a group of delegates running on behalf of one candidate.”

    (Tailored for grades 6-12, available at http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/vocabulary-political-words )

    The wikipedia page on voting slates could use some work, but the definition provided there is pretty decent:
    “A slate is a group of candidates that run in multi-seat or multi-position elections on a common platform.”

    General dictionary definitions tend to fall short when it comes to any given field’s jargon, from medicine to politics.

  34. Steve Moss: While carefully avoiding any comment on Daveon’s recent screed, I’ll mention that citing to M-W always reminds me of the glorious throwaway scene at the beginning of Rex Stout’s murder mystery novel The Gambit, where Nero Wolfe is absent-mindedly tearing pages out of the latest edition of Webster’s International Dictionary, Unabridged and tossing them into his fireplace. But maybe that’s just me.

    Rick Moen
    [email protected]

  35. @Rek—law schools for CRT, friggin’ Quaker meetings for social justice “stuff.”

    As I mentioned before, I disbelieve any claim made by a pseudonymous stranger, and indeed if there is any place in a political conservative of any stripe is safe, it is in the law schools of the United States of America.

    Well, Quaker meetings are pretty safe too.

  36. [me, above:] “I think you should nominate this for a Hugo, because having this on the Hugo ballot would advance a worthy cause” is a slate.

    [Rek:] By this definition, is Abigail Nussbaum’s rec. list of predominantly female authors a slate?

    Well, that depends. When Nussbaum mentioned these authors, was she praising their work as good SF, or was she telling her readers that voting for them would serve a worthy cause?

  37. Nick Mamatas: You’re certainly right that the term ‘social justice’ has been associated mostly with Quakers lately (and long may their good works live, IMO). However, you might find interesting that the term entered 20th C. USA politics a very different way, via Father Coughlin and his radio sermons starting starting in 1926. In fact, his accompanying magazine in the late 30s / early 40s was called Social Justice.


    Our political history is stranger than even Tim Powers can make it, I think.

  38. Nigel: So they’re all slates? OK, great, now stop using it like it’s a dirty word, and stop constructing arguments based on the proposition that is the first slate ever.

    Regarding lockstep voting: anyone care to provide evidence?

  39. @Seth Gordon
    [Rek:] By this definition, is Abigail Nussbaum’s rec. list of predominantly female authors a slate?

    [Seth:]Well, that depends. When Nussbaum mentioned these authors, was she praising their work as good SF, or was she telling her readers that voting for them would serve a worthy cause?

    [Nussbaum:] I suggest nominations to people for reasons that are in no small part political. Difference of degree, not kind.
    [Nussbaum:] Yup. Politics plays a role in my choices, just as it does in everyone else’s. I try to highlight female nominees, for example.
    [Nussbaum:] You can say “wanting to stick it to leftists is not as good a reason as wanting progressive nominees.” I’d agree.
    [Nussbaum:] But it doesn’t mean they haven’t made their own perfectly legitimate choice.

    You can see the whole thing in context here: https://twitter.com/NussbaumAbigail/status/574933678440079361

    I am actually really impressed by what she said. She obviously has her own biases, as we all do, but she seems pretty fair.

  40. For anyone who failed to notice the switcheroo: My criticism wasn’t of Rek’s or anyone else’s pseudonymity (which would be dumb, as it’s just a fact of life we deal with), but rather of posting logic-challenged, debased rhetoric under throwaway fake names. Most of us here learned decades ago how Internet rabble-rousing, sock-puppeting, etc., works, and my point is to dissect the fail and suggest we deserve better.

    Rick Moen
    [email protected]

  41. “Regarding lockstep voting: anyone care to provide evidence?”

    It’s your theory that Vox Day’s nominations are all over the ballot because of people making the individual choices they thought best? Good luck convincing anyone of that outside of the Puppyverse.

  42. @ MTroyd “I am not surprised at the sheer inability of SJW’s to actually read past the point where they’re first offended.”

    I just read to the point where someone says something stupid or which is intended to be offensive. Like labeling people you disagree with SJWs.

    @Daveon: The above goes for your ranting and swearing above. Bad show, chap. Bad show.

  43. “It’s your theory that Vox Day’s nominations are all over the ballot because of people making the individual choices they thought best? Good luck convincing anyone of that outside of the Puppyverse.”

    Let me ask you something: have you ever had a lo-carb monster energy drink?

  44. “have you ever had a lo-carb monster energy drink?”

    No. The high-caffeine energy drink craze began after I was too old to think they sounded like a good idea.

    Since we’re getting to know each other with random questions, have you ever thrown a tortilla like a Frisbee?

  45. The objection to “lockstep” is obvious–if even one Puppy left off a slate item or voted for one non-slate item, it’s not a lockstep vote.

    The influence of the Puppy slates are obvious, however.

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