An Account of Juliette Wade’s Withdrawal from Sad Puppies 3

Whether everyone on the Sad Puppies 3 slate was asked, and what they were told, has been part of the overall discussion.

Brad R. Torgersen addressed both questions in “Defenders of the nail house” (March 29) and “Sad Puppies 3: were they contacted?” (April 10) and in a comment here on File 770 (February 7).

Juliette Wade is one of the writers who withdrew her story from the Sad Puppies 3 slate, and she has agreed to share how that experience looked from her side.

***

Juliette Wade: Brad approached me on Facebook IM on January 25th as follows:

Brad: Juliette, I would like to include your novelette “Mind Locker” on my Hugo suggestion slate for February.  Can I have your permission to include you?

Me: Yes, thank you so much!

I did not notice the word “slate” or think anything of it at the time. We then discussed his upcoming work duties (army reserve stuff). Then on February 1 the Sad Puppies list was posted, and I was alerted to it by my friend Lillian Csernica. I remember feeling cold and a little sick. I immediately IMed Brad at 6:28 pm. This was the conversation I had with him at that time.

Me: Brad, I am sorry, but if you will be labeling me as a sad puppy I will have to ask you to withdraw me from your list.

Brad: You’ve not been labeled a sad puppy.  This is the :fight puppy-related sadness list” I contacted you about earlier.  You said you were OK with it.

Me: You did not say you were going to be calling it the Sad Puppies list. I feel like you were misrepresenting it. I’m happy to be one of your Hugo recommendations. This is different.

Brad: (shrug) I think your story deserves to make the final ballot.  If you elect to not participate, so be it.

Me: I think I would be more comfortable if I were not on the list. Thanks for thinking of including me.

Brad: You’re off the list.

Me: Thank you.

After that I walked around my house angry for a while thinking about how disingenuous he was about the whole thing.

***

Thanks to Juliette Wade for adding to our understanding about how the slate was assembled, and confirming how her withdrawal was handled.

198 thoughts on “An Account of Juliette Wade’s Withdrawal from Sad Puppies 3

  1. And now, another installment of “Translating Brad Torgersen”!

    When Brad says, “As always (in these arguments) I find myself being nipped at by ankle-biters who would probably never give me the benefit of the doubt anyway.”

    He means, “I said earlier, ‘It’s unfortunate that Juliette’s fears — at being shamed, shunned, and ostracized, for appearing on the “wrong” list — caused her to withdraw when the slate was released.’ This is factually wrong, and can be disproven simply by reading the actual post I am commenting on. I do not like it when people point this out. Please stop pointing out my clear, direct, obvious factual inaccuracies, because it makes me look bad. Thank you.”

    That’s all for this installment of “Translating Brad Torgersen”; tune in next week when we’ll explain what he meant by, “Mr. Sandifer, if you truly believe that a book like ANCILLARY JUSTICE or a story like “The Water That Falls On You From Nowhere” did not benefit from a tremendous groundswell of affirmative-action-mindedness, you’re not paying attention.” See you then!

  2. ‘I supported, and support, their goals. But I also knew how hopeless those goals are at this present time, because unlike them, I recognize lying, incoherent SJW snakes for exactly what they are.’

    The weird thing is that you still can’t articulate an actual reason for all this that doesn’t involve an animus against a largely faceless mass of people engaged in something-or-other. ‘Getting good works nominated’ is at least an admirable goal, but constantly and completely undercut by just about everything everyone involved says about anything. This might attract new supporters who are already culture warriors looking for a new front, but culture warriors see art as a weapon, and consequently create or promote art that is neither good art nor effective weaponry. I suppose ultimately you win if the other side starts doing the same, and all art becomes war, which is anti-art and anti-human, but so long as people stay committed to producing and promoting good art and not fighting your culture war with you, you lose. And you don’t want or need to win, because there’s no money in winning a culture war, only in being seen to pretend to fight one.

  3. The term is “stopped clock”. A broken clock, like yourself Brad, can spin wildly and be wrong every second of every day.

  4. Ah, snowcrash, after being battered with red herrings over the last 30 days, I think I qualify for an honorary doctorate in the matter. Yes, it’s all about fear, whatever else you may want to believe. Fear of being on the “wrong” list from the “wrong” people, and then the wonderful CHORFly progressives will come after you with torches and pitch forks in hand, to hound you into repentance and capitulation, or to banish you from the Peoples Republic of Science Fiction. You know, 1984 wasn’t supposed to be an owners manual. Juliette’s one of Analog’s bright stars. I think she deserves a Hugo. She was upset because she realized she was going to become a target — a target for the CHORFs. As soon as that hit her, she came to me and requested to be pulled. I think she’s honest about not understanding the “slate” and SP3 were the same thing. But her motivation for wanting off was all about fear. She didn’t want to have to deal with the Peoples Republic of Science Fiction’s version of the NKVD.

  5. “… I guess I was a bit puzzled that Juliette didn’t understand what was being asked in 2015.”

    I don’t know why you’d be puzzled, since you made no attempt to tell her that she was being used as a pawn in your screw-you-CHORFs campaign. When she came right out and told you, “You did not say you were going to be calling it the Sad Puppies list. I feel like you were misrepresenting it,” you didn’t have the decency to apologize.

    You left a person you call a colleague feeling “angry for a while thinking about how disingenuous he was about the whole thing.”

    But you don’t want to face your own behavior, so you’re attacking your critics and our “shriveled hearts.”

    Where was your heart when you responded to her concerns with “shrug”?

  6. Nick Mamatas, I was on the February 1 announcement, but I have been told due to the timeliness of Lillian Csernica’s information, I pulled myself off before my presence there could be cached. All I know is that when I clicked over there, I was on the list, which was why I requested to be removed.

    Brad Torgersen, you are pretty brazen, trying to speak for me, and I would appreciate it if you never attempted to do so again. I was entirely unaware of the Sad Puppy connection because I had deliberately been avoiding looking at your wall, much less your blog, for going on two years. My maintenance of our friendship was out of courtesy. I guess I was too idealistic, thinking that Sad Puppies might be over and that you would just be talking to me about some Hugo recommendations, but I do like to think the best of people. It should not be my responsibility to go and look up whether a person is being dishonest every time they say they like my work. Just to be clear, you have clearly got no idea of my motivations and are trying to spin them to your benefit. I was appalled by your actions in the Sad Puppy business last year and obviously made a mistake in thinking that you should be taken at your word (with the understanding that people include all relevant and important information when they are informing someone of something, which you did not do in this case.) I would never, ever have wanted to associate with Sad Puppies after last year, because of the depth of my anger over their behavior. I felt sick that you had deceived me and betrayed my confidence, and the fact that you denied having done so is irrelevant. You, and your actions, were what I was avoiding in pulling myself off the list.

  7. NKVD, 1984…

    Mr Torgersen is really on the roll with his ridiculous comparisons.

    What is next, Pol Pot? Or did you use that one already?

  8. ‘But her motivation for wanting off was all about fear.’

    At this point you’re just saying she’s lying.

  9. “She was upset because she realized she was going to become a target — a target for the CHORFs. … But her motivation for wanting off was all about fear.”

    I see you’re still speaking for her instead of letting her speak for herself. You Puppies have done the same to all the writers who didn’t want to be part of your attack campaign and asked off the ballot. Each one said publicly why they didn’t want to be involved, but you know better.

  10. Brad, she worried you might misrepresent her. She gave her own words as to why and your using them to say she was worried about the fear driven progressive culture even though she didn’t say that. She didn’t want you to misrepresent her words and yet here you are, doing so.

    This is why people call you disingenuous.

    Maybe we can exchange numbers and you can call me when you’re able to show some kind of observable evidence that there was an effort to keep a specific type of author out, or explain how your own slate didn’t end up with several of the Puppies own recommendations which you’d asked for.

    Because frankly there’s a group publicly using fear tactics (beware the SJWs! The progressives are coming for you! The sky is falling to the left!) and muck slinging to try to get people to vote together, and it’s your group. Pointing that out isn’t progressive intolerance, it’s observation of reality.

  11. “But her motivation for wanting off was all about fear.”

    Brad, I’m sorry to keep coming back to this, but you do understand that that is not evident from ‘anything’ that we have heard from Juliette right? That the only person bringing in the term fear as to her withdrawal is you?

    The only value judgements given are that:

    -She felt you were misrepresenting yourself in the intial engagement
    -She would be more comfortable not being on the list
    -She thanks you for the inclusion
    -She was angered by your disingenuous approach

    From the above, there are many possible reasons for her to have withdrawn (eg, unwillingness to be associated with a SP nomination slate, as opposed to a recommended reading slate), but in your very first comment you pin the blame on a fear of blacklisting. But here’s the thing Brad – there’s *nothing* in Juliette’s words that support that specific cause.

    Why is it so difficult for you to take her at her own words? Why do you feel the need to attribute motivations to her?

  12. “Mr Torgersen is really on the roll with his ridiculous comparisons.”

    I’m disappointed that he left behind the metaphor where he’s a self-sacrificing Confederate general in the Civil War (“The grays have thrown off their teeth-grit veneer of second-class citizenship, and the blues are rallying to the status quo. Voices long quiet, have erupted with the yell of rebellion. … it will be up to the future to decide if I am a hero, or a villain.”).

    That put an interesting spin on his declaration, when he announced Sad Puppies 3, that the Hugos had become “an affirmative action award” giving the rocket to minorities on some other basis than merit.

    Of all the rhetoric that has flown around over the Hugos, that was one of the ugliest comments and it came from the organizer of Sad Puppies in the post where he announced the campaign.

    Since Torgersen is here, I challenge him to name a recent Hugo-winning author whose work he believes was honored because of affirmative action.

  13. If juliete Wade was ruled by fear she would not have offered this public testimony.

  14. You SJWs really are remarkable. Brad does nothing but attempt to tell you the exact truth and you respond by twisting and contorting every word to try to paint him as the sort of liar that you all are.

    The only thing you’re going to accomplish is to turn him into something more like me, an implacable enemy. You may be fooling yourself, but you’re not fooling the tens of thousands of people who are watching you pull this sort of shit over and over again and concluding, “Wow, Vox wasn’t exaggerating in the slightest. These people are fucking insane!”

  15. Maybe she’s just collectively administrated by the Soviet commune dedicated to maximizing fear production!

  16. “Since Torgersen is here, I challenge him to name a recent Hugo-winning author whose work he believes was honored because of affirmative action.”

    I suggest you first retract the false accusation you directed at him.

  17. ‘You may be fooling yourself, but you’re not fooling the tens of thousands of people who are watching’

    I rather suspect they are capable of reading what Juliette Wade said, what Brad Torgersen said she said (or meant, or communicated by blinking in morse code or whatever) and draw their own conclusions. And then reading what you say about it, and them, and drawing further conclusions.

  18. Looks like Juliette Wade has clarified the motivating factors for her withdrawal in her comment above @ May 3, 2015 at 9:22 am

  19. Apologies for the back to back post, but I realise one of my posts was subsequent to her clarification – I assume her’s was stuck in moderation?

  20. I saw this in a Livejournal discussion and thought it deserved wider distribution:

    “The theory is that one nominates the best stories you’ve read in the past year — stuff that knocked your socks off. Judging by the quality of the puppy slate, I can only conclude that they have very loose socks.” — glaurung_quena

    http://james-nicoll.livejournal.com/5313182.html

  21. Ms. Wade, I am very sorry for the uncourteous way you have been treated.

    I, for one, completely accept your account of what happened and why.

  22. snowcrash: Yes, her comment was waiting approval while I was reading a skein of new comments and adding my own superfluous defense. 😉

  23. Aaaah, thanks Mike. Well, all I can say is much thanks to Juliette Wade for her clarification before it got even more out of hand – it should not have been necessary for you to step in and to reiterate your words, but thanks for doing so regardless.

    And yeah, if everyone else could just ignore my now-entirely-academic post at 0931, that’ll be real great kthxbai.

  24. “I rather suspect they are capable of reading what Juliette Wade said, what Brad Torgersen said she said (or meant, or communicated by blinking in morse code or whatever) and draw their own conclusions.”

    The lesson, as always, is this: SJWs always lie.

  25. Anyone want to lay odds that Torgersen will read Wade’s comment and go, “You see? You see how deep the climate of fear is? It’s okay, dear colleague. I know you only say these things because you feel you have to for your own safety! Never fear, we will liberate you from these false opinions you are forced to spout!”

    Day, of course, will ignore them. The truth has always been irrelevant to him. He sees “true” as a synonym for “convenient” and “lie” as one for inconvenient.

    Torgersen’s arrogant and outrageous mischaracterization (to put it generously) of what was actually said is the version of events most convenient for Day; ergo, it is hailed as the truth. If someone points out that his version is directly counter to the facts, this is decidedly inconvenient; thus, lies.

  26. VD – ‘The lesson, as always, is this: SJWs always lie’

    He said she meant one thing despite the fact that she never said that and had in fact now publicly stated the opposite.

    If SJWs always lie, then welcome to the SJW ranks Mr. Torgerson! Red Mondays are for gathering together and collectively plotting to overthrow Middle Earth, Tuesdays we train in Pacifist Jiu-Jitsu, Wednesday is Margarita Night, Thursday we reserve for the destruction of family values, Friday we sharpen our Sarcasm Sticks, and weekends and holidays you get off. Your manifesto and red employee shirt is in the mail.

  27. ‘The lesson, as always, is this: SJWs always lie.’

    There you go, oh invisible and silent tens of thousands. TB will tell you what to think. Who you gonna believe, this charming and persuasive culture warrior in need of a few good pawns? Or your lying (because they’re probably SJWs; better pluck ’em out, they offend him) eyes?

  28. Mr. Day,

    Care to comment on Ms. Wade’s actual statement at 9:22 AM 5/3/2015. Or would you like to continue scretching about “SOCIAL JUSTICE WARRIORS!!!!” and their eeeevvvviiiillll efforts to control the Hugo awards?

  29. “It’s okay, dear colleague. I know you only say these things because you feel you have to for your own safety!”

    I find an exceptional amount of self-regard in a lot of Torgersen’s statements and actions. By claiming so often that other SF/F pros like Wade are in fear, he is implicitly celebrating his own heroism.

    So naturally he’d rather hold on to that interpretation than read what she actually said here and learn where he erred.

  30. VD — “SJWs always lie.”

    As if no-one can recognise the Big Lie technique when they see it. I shouldn’t give you any tips, but it doesn’t work so well in neutral ground where you don’t control the discourse. It especially doesn’t work where your ally has been exposed in his lies by the very person he’s lying about.

  31. I find an exceptional amount of self-regard in a lot of Torgersen’s statements and actions. By claiming so often that other SF/F pros like Wade are in fear, he is implicitly celebrating his own heroism.

    Likewise, casting his opposition as a clique of ideologues who have held the Hugo Awards in their thrall for two decades, rather than, say, a bunch of writers with egos of their own who agree that the SP/RP campaigns are whack but disagree with each other about practically everything else. Cf. “Queen Bee” Cat Valente.

  32. The essence of conservatism is fear. Fear of the other. Also, using this fear to gain, and use, power.

    Hearing the chiens tristes use claims of fear mongering against everybody else is laughable. Projection much?

    Though I must admit that the plight of the white, Christian, conservative author is heart rending. Imagine if your demographic was only the overwhelming majority, with amost total control of the government, and most powerful military in human history. That my friends is a risky and challenging position for anyone to find themselves in.

  33. Juliette, your comments make me sad. There was no deception involved in my desire to put your forth for Hugo consideration. I still think you’re one of the rising stars at Analog, I’ve always liked your work — going back to your first cover piece, for which you graciously personalized my copy — and I still hope you get on the Hugo ballot one day.

  34. For the record: I was also pushing for Juliette to make the ballot for her story that got the Whelan cover. Juliette knows that too, because I told her. I tend to be pretty enthusiastic about my brothers and sisters at Analog, mostly because I think Analog does not get as much oomph (at Hugo time) as magazines like Asimov’s. More of the ‘blind spots’ phenomenon I’ve talked about. Juliette and I will probably be sharing that magazine for a long time to come. If I’d known SP2 bothered her as much as it did — ah, social media, sometimes what you show us doesn’t count nearly as much as what you don’t show us — I’d probably not have asked or approached her at all. Juliette, on this count, I hope you can forgive an honest error.

  35. Mr Torgersen: there are only two possibilities here. Either you’re wrong about Ms Wade’s reasons for pulling out – in which case you owe her an apology.

    Or, either because of something Ms Wade said to you or because of your own perceptiveness, you are correct. She did pull out for fear of the consequences for her career – a fear which, by your own account, is very possibly a valid one. In which case, by publicly contradicting her account, you’ve not only called her a liar but also exposed her to those same consequences, since the nasty SJWs will now understand that she was on your side after all.

    In either scenario, you’re throwing a writer whose work you claim to admire under a metaphorical bus to defend yourself. Whether or not you’re right about her true motivations, that sort of behaviour is, to say the least, not classy.

    What you should have done here was say ‘you know what? It doesn’t matter. What matters is that Ms Wade asked to be withdrawn, and we honoured that. Her reasons are her own,’ and left it there. Instead, we get this unedifying spectacle.

  36. @Brad,

    You are unfortunately continuing to be too nice. The woman just bit your hand in a public setting. You didn’t do anything to her, she just wants to separate herself from you. When people do that to you you shake off your shoes and walk away. It is an old lesson and a worthwhile one.

  37. Brad, was there also no deception intended when you told us—in the absence of any supporting evidence and in contravention of the plainly stated facts of the matter—that Juliette withdrew out of fear of some ill-defined SJW menace?

    Your merry band of doublespeaking Thought Police have been trotting out that line from the beginning, whenever someone you couldn’t write off as a “CHORF” disagreed with you. Oh, no! They didn’t *really* mean what they said! Only one way if thinking is permitted of The Free! Anyone who says otherwise is just begging to be liberated!

    Maybe you really believed what you said about Juliette Wade’s “real motivations”, and you really believed it was true when it was said of the others who declined to march in lockstep with your army of free-thinking individuals. If that’s the case, Brad, then I guess the person you have most deceived is yourself.

    But now you can see that the emotions and motivations you had intuited Ms. Wade *must* be acting under were not the case, what will you do? Re-visit the same assumptions you made about others? Reconsider how many people actually feel they live in a climate of fear from some supposed clique? Ask questions about what basis that fear actually has?

    You are standing on the thteshold of a doorway, Brad, and the door is labeled “critical thinking”. There is no trick here and there is no trap. Take just the step through it and things will become a lot more clear.

    The mystery of how we “SJWs” can be both constantly practicing groupthink and constantly “eating our own” will disappear when you realize that you’re actually just talking about individuals, and that’s just the start.

    …or you could just declare that Juliette Wade was a closet CHORF all along, optionally declaring her the deceitful one for having concealed it from you. That way you can keep clinging to the view that the whole world outside a few weirdly influential “SJWs” consists only of people who openly agree with you on everything that matters and those who would like to but are too scared.

  38. Wow. BT can’t even write a decent apology. It is all about him; he fails to express the slightest concern for her feelings!!!!!

  39. Brad Torgersen: ” She was upset because she realized she was going to become a target — a target for the CHORFs. As soon as that hit her, she came to me and requested to be pulled. I think she’s honest about not understanding the ‘slate’ and SP3 were the same thing. But her motivation for wanting off was all about fear.”

    Well, if you think she was “honest,” Brad, why not take her account at face value and accept the reasons she gave? Instead of putting words into her mouth, thoughts into her head and fears into her soul.

  40. Huh. No apology at all for presuming to speak for her with no evidence that he was even doing so correctly (as he has now shown that he wasn’t).

    Also, there’s an interesting dichotomy here. If Sad Puppies is about getting those great works on the Hugo ballot (which was Brad’s claim yesterday in a Facebook comment, for those of you wanting to keep track of what his current stance is), then why does one need someone’s approval to recommend their story? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of folk having the need for their rec lists to go “Hey, can I recommend you?”. On the other hand, one does want permission before you put someone/their work on a “slate”. Which’d mean Brad intended to get bloc voting from the get go, rather than recommending “great stories” as he perceives them.

    So, I guess the real stance at the moment is that Sad Puppies is about recognizing great stories…whose authors are willing to be involved in a bloc vote, but not otherwise.

  41. “why not take her account at face value and accept the reasons she gave? Instead of putting words into her mouth, thoughts into her head and fears into her soul.”

    Given the amount of projection, deception, deceit, and leaps of logic needed to connect A to B to C on the Anti-Puppies side of things, all I have to say is this:

    You guys first.

  42. “Me: I think I would be more comfortable if I were not on the list. Thanks for thinking of including me.

    Brad: You’re off the list.

    Me: Thank you”

    So, again to the neutral parties, read that and let it sink in. Two or three times. “Thanks”, then “off”, then “thankyou” followed by a story about how Brad is an ass. Her follow up comment is worse.

    These people will slit your throat the minute they feel the wind blow the wrong way.

  43. GK: “These people will slit your throat the minute they feel the wind blow the wrong way.”

    Is Brad dead now?

  44. GK Chesterton wrote: “These people will slit your throat the minute they feel the wind blow the wrong way.”

    And by “feel the wind blow the wrong way,” presumably you mean “read you misattributing motivations to them in order to spin their refusal to join your effort into part of your ongoing narrative of violent liberal oppression that bears no actual resemblance to reality.” And by “slit your throat” you mean “publicly correct you in a manner that betrays some irritation with your efforts to misattribute motivations to them in order to spin their refusal to join your effort into part of your ongoing narrative of violent liberal oppression that bears no actual resemblance to reality.”

    I should get a full-time job as a Puppy translator, but I don’t know who’d pay me.

  45. “These people …”

    It didn’t take much for you to start treating Juliette Wade like an enemy.

  46. Between 2004 and 2014, fifteen different pieces of fiction from Analog were nominated for Hugo awards.

    Blind spot!

  47. “No apology at all for presuming to speak for her.” But her response -did- make him ‘sad.’ Awww, Brad has feels, you guys. I think Juliette owes him an apology.

Comments are closed.