Herding Puppies


Both the Sad and Rabid Puppies heard from leadership today.

Someone tried to run ahead of the Sad Puppy pack, compelling Amanda S. Green to swat him with a rolled-up internet – “Sad Puppies 5 and recommendation lists” at Mad Genius Club.

Anyway, this morning, the BP rising bit came in the form of a private message from a friend of mine. We are in a number of groups together on Faceplant. In one of those groups, someone had posted a notice with the header of “Sad Puppies 5 Suggestions.” Now, that got my eyes open real quick because the person posting it wasn’t Sarah [Hoyt] and, the last I heard – which was last night – Sarah was the one coordinating SP5. So, with coffee starting to brew, I figured I’d go see what I had missed overnight…

So, if you woke around 0630 CST to the sound of loud thumping, I apologize. That was me pounding my head against the wall. After reading the post my friend warned me about, I saw why. And I saw red. And I made the mistake of taking to Faceplant to write a response – still before coffee. I should have waited. Then I could have made a more detailed response, complete with link. As it was, it took a couple of posts and I’m still not sure I got my point across….

So, let’s be very clear. The New Year is here and with it comes the time when we need to start thinking about the books we read and whether we feel they are worthy of being nominated for any of the various awards being offered this year. Be it the Hugo, the Dragon, the Rita or whatever, it is something we need to keep in mind and, if we are so moved, we need to nominate them for the appropriate award(s).

It also means we are going to start seeing folks saying they are “making a little list”. Some will follow through with their lists and keep a running tally. Others will simply have a single post where you can add your comments. What they do is up to them – up to a point. However, when they start implying they are involved with something they aren’t, or when they seem to be stepping up and taking control of something they have not been involved in, then they have crossed the line.

To preempt further problems with overeager helpers before the new Sad Puppies 5 website goes up, Green has directed those interested to make their current recommendations in comments on a new post at the old site

Sad Puppies 5

In the near future, this site will be shut down and a new site for Sad Puppies 5 will go live. In the meantime, if you have any books, movies, etc., you think award-worthy, please list them in the comment section. Your recommendations will be migrated to the new site when it is ready.

As for Declan Finn’s “Sad Puppies 5 suggestions” at A Pius Geek, had he chosen any other headline the post would have been indistinguishable from the awards recommendations everyone else is writing this month in which their own books feature prominently.

However, Finn says he felt the need to add the following paragraph – not because of Amanda S. Green’s post, but in response to hearing privately from “770 morons.”


The Rabid Puppies also received marching orders today from Vox Day at Vox Popoli — “Rabid Puppies 2017”.

While I will certainly be making my 2017 recommendations soon – particularly for Best Series – I would NOT recommend anyone to register [for the Worldcon]. As the God-Emperor Ascendant [his nickname for Trump] demonstrated so masterfully, there is a time to press forward and there is a time to sit back and see how things play out. Now, obviously, those of us who are already registered can, and should, nominate, but there is no sense in wasting money that might be more effectively utilized elsewhere on Worldcon this year.

Let the SF-SJWs do their happy dances and celebrate the success of EPH, little realizing that in adopting it, they have done exactly what we intended in pursuit of our long term objective. Let’s face it, thinking through the logical consequences of their actions has never exactly been their strong suit. It’s bewildering that they genuinely appear to believe that we did not anticipate their changing the rules, even though I said right from the very start that they would have no choice but to do so if we were successful.

Even if Day’s readers refrain from joining Helsinki, those who were members of MidAmeriCon II or have joined the San Jose Worldcon (2018) by the end of this month are still eligible to nominate, so it is not unlikely the Rabid Puppies may exert their influence over the composition of this year’s final Hugo ballot. To what extent they can do so remains to be seen, depending on their own numbers and the impact of EPH rules changes in the first year of operation.

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71 thoughts on “Herding Puppies

  1. @Aaron

    Hoyt’s post is hilarious. It essentially says “We’ve been accused of gatekeepers, but we totally aren’t. Now let me describe what we do (which is actually gatekeeping), but it is gatekeeping that is completely okay”. All that plus a lot of incoherence with some added “woe is me” as a bonus.

    And communism. Can’t forget the communism.

  2. Mark-kitteh: Oh goodness. When Hoyt is saying your posts stray from the point a bit, you know you’ve got a problem.

    Oh, his posts aren’t any more inarticulate or incoherent than hers. It’s just really amusing that she tells herself that.

    The excessive faux drama that the Puppies choose to construct in their lives is simultaneously hilarious and baffling.

    BT throws sexist and homophobic insults at other writers, then complains bitterly that he’ll never get nominated for an award again, and goes absolutely ballistic over No Awards, but tells people they’re stupid for being extremely upset about a president-elect who has promised to take their human rights away.

    Antonelli whines repeatedly about how 2015 was the worst year ever for him because of what “happened” to him after he chose to get his work cheated onto the Hugo ballot (which somehow made him into a tragic “victim” when it got No Awarded), and now he’s whining that editors turning him down must be the work of a nefarious political blacklist, because it can’t possibly be because he’s behaved repeatedly like a stalking, threatening, doxxing, SWATing asshole.

    Hoyt goes on (and on, and on) about how ill she is, and how behind she’s fallen in her writing, but then proclaims, martyr-like, that she simply must expend the time and energy to address the “crisis” of Finn posting his suggestions for Hugo nominations.

    I mean, if they didn’t want to have to deal with all this drama, then why do they work so hard to create it for themselves?

  3. JJ on January 11, 2017 at 5:59 pm said:

    I mean, if they didn’t want to have to deal with all this drama, then why do they work so hard to create it for themselves?

    It does seem a storm in a teacup even by the drastic meteorological standards of fandom

  4. I have to say – I felt Hoyt’s post, though long winded and a bit eye-rolly, was perfectly comprehensible this time. Finn’s was short but I could not make head nor tail of what he was responding to or what his point was in responding. So yes, I think she gets to complain about his comprehensibility without need to mock. This time.

  5. Weird. No edit window?

    (ETA: This post got one! THe first comment, it told me the first time I clicked post that i already had, so either it thought I clicked twice in exceedingly rapid succession, or it choked somewhere on the other end. My last attempt to post on facebook went wonky, too, though in a different way.)

  6. @Hampus – Yegads, in puppy speak that means he’s in all the way for at least two years. I guess it was time for a puppy branch.

  7. “Sad Pixels 5: Scroll Award denominations”

    (“Saving the Hugos is, for us, the most important thing in the world. But itmust be made clear at this point, that I am the one in front and no one saves fandom without my consent or approval.”)

  8. So, like big surprise that the hijackers are now turning on each other to gain ascendancy; we’ve had “leaders” with Correia, Torgerson, Green & Paulk, Hoyt now stepping up, but Finn wants a piece of the action and has been outcast by the Sekrit Puppy Kabal.
    Inquiring Readers Want to Know: Will Finn start Lachrymose Puppies One? Will the Rabid Puppies split into Rabid Puppies, Under-Observation Puppies and Euthanized for Testing Puppies? Will there now be a host of competing “puppy brands”? – Morose Puppies, Depressed Puppies, Tearful Puppies, Deorc Puppies? Will the movement cross the language barrier and give us ????? ??????, ?? ???, ?????? ?????, ???????? ????? ?? ????? and ????????? ??????
    To recap yesterday’s episode of As The Hugo Stomach Turns, Jim remains in his medically induced coma, the location of his unsigned manuscript still a mystery; Nurse Giselle, having uncovered the Communist Plot, is desperate to make contact with the resistance, but her only possible contact is Dr. Merkwürdige Liebe, Jim’s secret lover; meanwhile, Sofia confesses her puppy love to the file clerks on the seventh floor….

  9. Saving the Hugos is, for us, the most important thing in the world. But it must be made clear at this point, that I am the one in front and no one saves fandom without my consent or approval.

    The puppy leaders are filled with a combination of an unearned sense of their own competence alongside an insatiable rage and unrealistic dreams. It is the Dunning-Krueger effect.

  10. Im not even sure if they are not just disillusioned by the unsuccesful last years (where they didnt archieve nothing and couldnt even hold themselves against the rabids) and now are just try to get at least some sales, followers and/or power out of it. Or whatever.

    (and just for clarification: My “quote” was paraphrasing, not a real quote).

  11. There’s always been an interesting ambiguity in the identity of the Sad Puppies. When sharply-worded critiques are made of the group, the identity spreads to cover everyone who might have voted based on their recommendations or might have been sympathetic to their ideas, but when decision making comes up, we can seen an opposite pole, an insistence that the Sad Puppies are in fact a very small group. (Edit: it’s also interesting whose intervention must be defended against, Finn, as opposed to whose intervention is no threat at all, Beale.)

  12. I still think the theory that best explains the data is that there is a single group of puppies with different people trying to lead them different ways. The Rabids have had much more success than the Sads at leading the puppies lately.

    And this is why an attack on any puppy is treated as an attack on all.

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