How To Nominate for the Hugos

With everyone trying to influence Hugo voting, I think it’s time to tell you how I am going to vote.

I’m going to keep asking myself two simple questions until I run out of answers or run out of space on the nominating ballot —

Hugo voting diagram CROP

Then I will double-check my ballot using this formula.

Have I read the story?

Yes = OK

No = Then what the fuck is it doing on my ballot?

I have been mocking Sad Puppies 3 because humor seemed the most effective tool at my disposal to get people to realize that whatever moral or ethical basis they claim for their choices will be undercut if they dishonestly vote for a bunch of stuff they haven’t read or seen.

On the other hand, if people have read a story on Sad Puppies 3, another list, or nobody’s list at all, and loved it — then their opinion is as good as any other voter’s.

Larry Correia in his own inimitable way now says he subscribes to the same view:

  • You should wash your hands after going to the bathroom.
  • You should read stuff before nominating it for awards. 
  • You should look both ways before crossing the street.

So there you go, Glyer-50-Hugos (I figured what the hell? Let’s round up!) Thanks to your hard hitting journalism, the nefarious Larry Correia has now gone on the record about some painfully obvious stuff.

I don’t have to say this but I think he means it. If the rest of the people behind Sad Puppies 3 take his statement to heart, and don’t just treat it as some kind of dogwhistle, they will end up enriching the award’s representation instead of merely doing a hack on it.

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47 thoughts on “How To Nominate for the Hugos

  1. I’m afraid that there’s one box missing in your chart, to wit:

    “Does this story score a political point against the SJWs?”

    And that’s the problem. I know the puppies have a problem with what they decry as Politics Sullying SF, but they really need to look in a mirror.

  2. “Does this story score a political point against the SJWs?”

    Dave, I think you need to read what’s on their lists before you make stupid statements like this.

  3. Dave, I think you need to read what’s on their lists before you make stupid statements like this.

  4. “they dishonestly vote for a bunch of stuff they haven’t read or seen”

    Mike, can you link to anything, anywhere where they said this?

  5. Bob: It’s implicit in the structure of their statements. When you educate people what Hugo is, what it costs to join the Worldcon, the benefits like being eligible to vote and having access to the Hugo Voter Packet, and present them with a slate, while never suggesting they need to read the work and decide about its quality, that speaks for itself.

  6. With all due respect, I think you are misconstruing Correia’s original post. He says “these are great stories and here’s why.” He explains why he thinks they are Hugo-worthy. I don’t know if he actually said the words “you should read them” — he claims he did.

    But even if he didn’t, the gist of his post is that these are great stories. The idea that he wants people to read them is implicit in the structure of his statement (to borrow a phrase).

    I really think you are stretching when you say that Vox or Correia advocate voting and not reading. Some of their opponents did suggest voting against them, unread, though.

  7. Well Bob, I think you need to go a bit deeper than mere appearances. Sure, something like Interstellar is on their list but it’s hardly overlooked. It’s listing stories by the likes of Sarah Hoyt, who may be overlooked but is actually there because her politics are “right”. So their slate isn’t just a “gosh, this should be noticed because it’s GOOD!”, but is instead a deliberate poke in the eye to the puppies’ perceived enemies. But it’s the Hugo Awards that are taking a hit too as the slate makes it harder for other less known but deserving writers to get on the ballot if they’re not part of the anti-SJW crowd. I’m thinking of writers like Scott Lynch, who is very talented and fun to read that get aced out by those on a slate getting votes because they scratch some nominator’s political itch.

  8. Zippy: This kind of lazy argument has been pretty typical of the conversation, trying to get away with replacing something I actually said with a defective substitute that can be easily countered.

    Where did I say “that Vox or Correia advocate voting and not reading”?

    Their message is to vote. As is Torgersen’s.

    Until Correia made his comment today, a voter’s responsibility to do the reading was not part of the message one way or the other. Their message has been to impact the Hugos, on the theory this hack will make a necessary statement by knocking “SJWs” or “pinkshirts” off the ballot in favor of writers whose work or views are more representative of their own stands in the culture wars.

    Sad Puppies’ approach has been essentially the same as a political campaign — vote for Joe Blow because he’s one of us. If people want to verify that Joe Blow is one of them, then they can do the work. Or maybe they’ll just act on the recommendation because they have been persuaded the statement needs to be made.

    I do expect people to bring their own views and tastes to bear in determining their favorite fiction. My goal is for Hugo voters to act on their own informed personal preferences, and not simply endorse works they haven’t experienced.

  9. “Until Correia made his comment today, a voter’s responsibility to do the reading was not part of the message one way or the other.”

    That statement is just so amazingly false, your nose must be sticking all the way through your monitor and the wall behind it, having explosively grown six feet long. We’ve been at this three years now, and you’re claiming that up until -today- nobody said “gee, you should -read- before voting”?

    Like nobody would know that unless they were told?
    Personally I’m voting the Sad Puppies slate across the board for two reasons. First, I have actually read most of those books, whereas I haven’t even heard of anybody on the SJW lists I see popping up.

    Second, because I know it’ll hack you off. I paid FORTY DOLLARS for the opportunity, and I’m making the most of it. You might want to think a little bit about why some total stranger might do that.

    Here’s why, in case you jump to the wrong conclusion. I’ve been watching the Hugos and the Nebula being given to -unreadable crap- since the late 1970s, and I am done with just ignoring the issue. The last 20 years particularly, if a book won the Hugo I can be just about guaranteed that reading it will be an experience I won’t want to repeat and may in fact regret. I’m tired of it.

  10. “I don’t have to say this but I think he means it. If the rest of the people behind Sad Puppies 3 take his statement to heart, and don’t just treat it as some kind of dogwhistle, they will end up enriching the award’s representation instead of merely doing a hack on it.”

    The very fact that you think those who voted part or all of this or the previous “Sad puppies” slate shows exactly why the sad puppies slate was needed in the first place.

    “Bob: It’s implicit in the structure of their statements. When you educate people what Hugo is, what it costs to join the Worldcon, the benefits like being eligible to vote and having access to the Hugo Voter Packet, and present them with a slate, while never suggesting they need to read the work and decide about its quality, that speaks for itself.”

    No, its only “implicit in the structure of their statements” if you assume that fans are mindless zombies who simply do whatever a particular author tells them to do. OTOH if, as Mr Corriea seems to, you believe that fans are perfectly capable of reading a slate of suggested nominees and DECIDING FOR THEMSELVES WHETHER OR NOT THEY AGREE, then its implicit that they will do so. IOW, whats is “implicit in the structure of their statements” depends entirely on the pre-determined view you have of fans. You obviously believe that fans are incapable of thinking for themselves.

    And the attitude you just exemplified, that’s why Sad puppies was necessary. Let me tell you something son, Im a sci-fi geek from way back. I was weaned on Heinlien, Clarke, and Asimov. I have used “the last question” in order to get people who thought sci-fi was dumb to take another look at the genre, and the result has always been positive. I used to get reprimanded in school because I would usually be reading Sci-fi in class, rather than paying attention to my teachers. Just glancing at my bookshelf I can see Bear, Chalker, Asimov, Naylor, Zahn, Weber, Robinson, and many more.

    And do you know what I think when I see a book that says “hugo award winner”? on the cover? I think “Well thats gonna be a piece of shit”, and I move on. Now maybe thats not fair, maybe there are some decent Hugo award winners, maybe there are short stories as powerful and as simple as “the last question” being nominated, Maybe there are novels as good as “enders game”, or “foundation” being nominated, I don’t know. The reason I don’t know is because I stopped reading Hugo award winners when I started noticing that I was far more likely to take 6 months to finish a Hugo award winner, and 6 hours to finish books recommended by people who actually like entertaining sci-fi.

    Bottom line mike, you are an arrogant, condescending, pretentious little man-child who obviously thinks so little of us average sci-fi fans that you think we are just like you. We aren’t.

    We don’t need to be told to read something before we nominate or vote, because that’s just fucking obvious. We don’t need to be told that the Hugo’s are and have been fucking irrelevant for decades, because its that fucking obvious, we don’t need to be told that the only way for the Hugo’s to mean something again is to wrest control of the awards from your little clique, because again its just fucking obvious.

    All we needed was a speck of grit to coalesce around, a tiny center of mass that we could gravitate to, and now all the pretentious, tiring, pseudo-intellectual fops like yourself are fucking terrified as you see the formation of a dark new star who’s gravitational pull is going rip your irrelevant little clique to shreds and shit it out as hawking radiation.

    People like you have turned sci-fi into a dying genre because you keep nominating shit that no one wants to read. Every time someone who might become a new fan reads a “hugo nominated/award winning” piece of shit like “if you were a dinosaur my love” and comes away concluding (and rightfully so) that sci-fi is a bunch of pretentious, idiotic, crap, it makes it that much harder for sci-fi to grow. Every time some casual sci-fi fan reads something like “redshirts”, and decides that sci-fi has become to derivative, insular, unimaginative, and gimmicky, to pay attention to anymore it makes it harder for sci-fi to retain what little market it has left today.

    So yeah, Im a sad puppies supporter, yeah I will read all the nominations (including as much as I can get though of the shitheap that normally gets nominated) and yeah I will vote for what I think is award worthy. Not because you told me to you condescending little water carrier, but because I don’t need to be told to do that in the first place.

  11. SP3
    We want people to vote based on what they loved and enjoyed, not on what sends the approved message or checks the right box.


    For just $40 you can register to nominate and vote in the Hugos, and if you ACT NOW they usually throw in an eBook voter packet with all of the nominated works from the different categories so you can actually read the nominees and then vote intelligently.


    What I would like to do with this post is have all of you post in the comments about what you think was totally awesome which came out in 2012. Tell us why you think some work should be nominated.


    Now, you’re right, he doesn’t explicitly say, “Read, judge award-worthiness, nominate”, but in each of those he does say if you think a work is awesome, nominate it. Pretty hard to say something is awesome and defend why you thought it was awesome if you haven’t read it.

  12. Mars, that is a truly impressive pleonasm. And I think you’ve used the F-word often enough here to qualify for a Best Fan Writer Hugo nomination under the current standards. Keep up the good work.

  13. I support Sad Puppies and your utter despicable lying here despite all evidence to the contrary should embarrass you. I could not hold my head up in public and lie as shamelessly as you do.

    I voted on the last slate and went out of my way to read everything I voted on. You have impinged on my honor and the honor of everyone else doing this to spread your drivel. The people who got involved in Sad Puppies went out of their way like I did to read things they despised. I barely could stand the first paragraph/stanza/misshapen monstrosity that was “If I were…” yet I finished the whole thing. Once I got to the art portion I realized that I couldn’t have the images up without having my kids leave the room.

    I got into Sad Puppies on a lark (and for free books!). Now I am a hardened supporter. I don’t want the Hugo awarded to garbage.

  14. I’m going to close comments overnight, before CS Lewis and Tolkien add their two cents worth too. I’ll reopen comments in the morning.

  15. I think every SF reader who is not yet familiar with the Sad Puppies should read these comments, to see for themselves what friendly, reasonable people the Sad Puppies are–slow to anger, reluctantly driven to this campaign by heartfelt grievances that are obviously real and of deep import and long standing. They are precisely the sort of people you’d want to be associated with–perfect representatives of your causes to the wider world.

    It is incomprehensible why an author would want to avoid being seen as one of them.


  16. Some dead white guy said:
    “All good people agree,
    And all good people say,
    All nice people, like Us, are We
    And every one else is They:
    But if you cross over the sea,
    Instead of over the way,
    You may end by (think of it!) looking on We
    As only a sort of They.”

    Careful you don’t cross over. Your world view might (shudder) change.
    That would be doubleplus ungood.

  17. Cat, you’re such a passive-aggressive little chimp. Do you do anything other than snark?

    Mike, you’re really overreaching to try to whack the SP group. How obvious does it have to be? “We want people to vote based on what they loved and enjoyed, not on what sends the approved message or checks the right box” cannot be misconstrued even by the gray-matter-challenged as “he demands I vote everything on his list without reading it!” One could just as easily say of you that, after you posted the video from Air Warriors, you didn’t explicitly say we were not required to watch the show. How dare you try to rig the Nielsen ratings by demanding I watch a show YOU like?!

    Yeah, you sounded that little.

    David W., you engage in heavyweight projection. Do you know the political leanings on everyone on the SP list? If you answered yes, you are, of course, a liar. As for Scott Lynch, what’s stopping you from going to the SP or other Hugo-nomination-themed posts and saying, “I think [work X] by Scott Lynch is excellent and should be considered for nominations”? Twenty dollars says Larry Correia would actually consider it.

  18. HHS, the puppies political leanings are decidedly anti-SJW, which is their very reason for being puppies at all. As for naming anyone to the puppy list, again, it’s not really a list of GOOD stories, but a slate of “right” stories, and there shouldn’t be such a slate in the first place. So nope, not gonna recommend anyone to said slate.

  19. From the link provided by “deadcenter” above regarding the 1st Sad Puppies post from Larry.

    “Now, obviously I want everybody to vote for what they think is the best in each category. I’m not going to tell anybody what to do. If you think some particular book/story is absolutely amazing, then put it up.”

    I would say that it is implicit that in order to think something is best or absolutely amazing then you would need to read it, but I’m probably just making excuses for the scary folks over there. How could he think that his fans, you know, READERS, would read books or stories? It’s too crazy to even consider.


  20. David said, “… As for naming anyone to the puppy list, again, it’s not really a list of GOOD stories…”

    Um, David, have you read any of them? I bought 3 of the 5 novels, and felt it was money well spent. *I* was entertained. For me, that was a GOOD story – good enough to get/keep the author on my list of “get the next one by this guy.”

    That’s my criteria. If an author chooses to make their work about social injustice, intolerance, bigotry or environmental issues – eh. Wrap that sucker [s]in bacon[/s] inside a good story that keeps me entertained, and I might just swallow it. Forcing it down my throat in the first chapter, and the book turns into a wallbanger. (Hit’s the wall above the trashcan and falls thusly.) I’ll find a different place to spend my entertainment budget, next time.

  21. MTroid, what anyone likes for themselves is fine by me. Heaven forfend my own tastes in SF be the standard for everyone else. The problem is how the means employed by the puppy slate to justify their ends are a problem for the integrity of the Hugos. Instead of creating a voting slate for “right” SF (which by intent looks, smells, and tastes just like a Hugo nominee shortlist), simply say “I liked this story, here’s why.”

  22. Daphid, you specifically said they weren’t good stories. If you haven’t read them, how do you know? Did you rely on reviews from people you trust? Random Internet Opinions? Tarot readings?

    Darn few people are going to listen when I get up on my Soapbox(tm) and shout, “I like So-And-So’s writing.” But on the internet, I can post a review, or Like a post by another fan, or weblog my view, and my message might carry father than my shouting.

    I note that NESFA has been offering Hugo Nomination lists since at least 1999. (Before Sad/Rabid Puppy lists were compiled, by the way.) Did that affect the integrity of the Hugos? (This is not in anyway meant to denigrate NESFA, by the way. They just kept coming up when I looked up “Hugo Recommendations”.)

    You further state “…but a slate of “right” stories, and there shouldn’t be such a slate in the first place.” IF I replace the word “right” with “left”, are you just as offended/annoyed/irritated? Should you be?

    We are They and They are We. I can travel across the sea, and recognize the view is different. Can you? Will you?

  23. The more I think about this, the more I wonder why anyone would be against the Sad Puppy campaign. As I understand it, this group of readers and writers want to increase the number of people who are involved in the voting for Science Fiction and Fantasy’s highest award. By getting more people involved in this, more people are reading more and buying more books. That is always a positive. Sad Puppies also has the added benefit of explaining how Hugo awards are decided upon. I had no idea before now how this award was presented, and with that new knowledge, I am voting for what I consider the best Science Fiction and Fantasy that I have read in the last year. I will not follow the nominating block provided because I have read most of those authors, and many more, and have my own opinion about who to vote for. In fact I’m not really sure who you think this push is attracting, but more than likely they read books and they have their own opinions. No one is a zombie blindly following the orders of the Sad Puppy organizers. At least, I am not.

  24. Is your name actually “MTroyd”? Just curious.

    Anyway, to reiterate the salient point again (and again), the puppies slate is about stories that are “right”, meaning they’re anti-SJW stories. Whether they’re GOOD or not is beside that point. (Oh, and again, Interstellar doesn’t count as something that’s been overlooked. It’s just there because something had to be put there for appearances’ sake.)

    About other lists, sure, there are some out there. NESFA’s is one I could look at since they’re a venerable long-standing club (one that published a lot of deserving SF to a wider audience too) that I trust is not out to score political points by offering a slate of stories with an ideological axe to grind. Do also note that the NESFA list doesn’t resemble a Hugo nominee short-list (it’s longer, though not as long as the Locus recommended reading list), nor does it mention anything political. I think it bears little resemblance to the puppies slate, both in terms of its content and its intent.

    As someone once said about something, you can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. I think the puppies are only fooling themselves by claiming they’re only out to promote GOOD SF. So no, it isn’t just a “right” versus “left” matter.

  25. David, get over it. You keep saying it’s only “right” SF — and I presume you are referencing the political “right”. But you don’t actually know that. You’re saying that because you are opposed to the top person or people involved in creating the list, and so you are attributing to the people appearing on the list the personalities of the leaders. It’s an easy stereotype to make to save yourself from having to have any sort of interest in the actual works. It’s lazy. You’re repeating a lie to make yourself believe it.

  26. Over the years, I have read and enjoyed Hugo winning works by a number of authors. These include The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed, Starship Troopers, Stranger in a Strange Land, Ender’s Game, The Demolished Man, Barrayar, the Vor Game. In some cases, I’ve read Hugo-winning works that I’ve not found particularly readable. CJ Cherryh springs to mind — I like the idea of her books, but the actual books never grab me.

    As you can see from that list, I’ve enjoyed SF written by people from a broad variety of ideological and political perspectives. Heinlein and LeGuin, for example, are both giants in the field, despite their contrasting philosophies. I do not apply ideological litmus tests to my appreciation of fiction.

    I will admit that the Sad Puppies movement has gotten me interested in reading what’s being written now, and in participating in the Hugo Process. This year, I bought a Supporting Membership. I may nominate, but I will certainly vote.

    Here is how I plan to proceed. First, I will make an effort to bring myself up to date on what’s written now. I will read the stories commended to me by the SPIII faction. I will also look for other recommendations, and I will read them, too. These will include prominent SJWs. If you provide a (manageable) reading list for possible consideration, I will read it. I will consider the SPIII slate, but will nominate based on my own independent judgment.

    Then, when the nominees come out, I will read the Hugo packet and will try to acquire any works not included. Well, I promise to start everything; if a book becomes a slog I reserve the right to cease reading.

    I will then vote based entirely on what I like. In so doing, I will follow what Teresa Nielsen-Hayden described as the “bizarre text-only” philosophy. That means I will keep separate my view of the person and my view of the work, inasmuch as I can. If Vox Day or that Requires Hate person writes a great story that I consider worthy of winning, I will vote for it.

    Do you object to my approach?

  27. David, I think you’re embodying the stereotype of the SJW, by apparently being incapable of seeing things in terms that are not political. Butcher is on the list, for example, but the only political statement I’ve heard attributed to him is “My politics are between me and the Ballot Box.” And how much more pleasant would the world be if we all adopted that attitude….

    It would be more fair to characterize the works as Non-SJW instead of Anti-. (The point which some people are mis-stating was made before SP that message shouldn’t trump story, not that messages were to be avoided).

    Now, as a Programmer, the flowchart offends me because it doesn’t account for all the contingencies of the decision points. As was demonstrated last year, in the final voting, the Left side of the electorate (Since every voter counts, as long as they paid their membership) hit “Have I read it?” answered No, and then went to “Is it written by someone of my political stripe?” yes = Vote for it, No = Vote it below No Award. They even said they would do this before the nominations were closed.

    Now Mike has made statements that seem to indicate that he thinks the SP contingent didn’t read the works they nominated This seems really odd, for a bunch of Correia’s fans to not read Correia…. But a number of people made comments back then that they would only vote for the things they had read.

    And the numbers bear that out. If the SP contingent had really been bloc voters, then there would have been the same numbers of votes for slated candidates in every category, and clearly there were not.

    On the other hand, there were also many posts by folks on the SJW side who swore they would never read, nor vote for (except below No Award) any work on the SP list. I’ve asked this before and not gotten any kind of answer, but will anyone step forward and condemn THIS behavior? It seems awfully closed minded for people who pride themselves as smarter than the mundanes to make an uninformed vote. Did they not learn the lesson from Sam I Am when they were little?

  28. Zippy — I also like Heinlein and Le Guin, Pournelle and MacLeod, and your approach would be a fine approach if there were any such thing as SJW.

    As it is, you can ask “What are some great books and stories written by Social Justice Warriors in 2014?” and everyone except for SPs will answer “Huh?”

    There are no SJW, TINC, FIJAGH.

  29. TINC=There Is No Cabal.

    No, no, of course not. And, as Baghdad Bob said, there are no tanks coming into the city.

    When the gatekeepers of SF could control what went on the shelves, they got to pick and publish the things that *they* liked. People that didn’t agree had no place to go.

    Feel the ground shaking? That’s not an earthquake. That’s the people who want freedom marching around the Bastions of Social Justice, on their way to markets where they can have a choice. And they are choosing to leave preachy, screechy message fiction behind them.

    Denying market forces is as futile as trying to command the tide. Good luck with that.

  30. “When the gatekeepers of SF could control what went on the shelves, they got to pick and publish the things that *they* liked.”

    And oddly enough the editors, publishers, store book buyers also wanted books that sold. Really. Seriously.

    The marketplace seems to be happy with the existence of Baen, Tor, Del Rey, Tachyon, Prime, and a myriad number of other publishers.

  31. In theory, I’d agree with you. But when tax law changed and made it less profitable to keep a backlist available, the publishing industry went for short term profit over long term sales. Consolidation exacerbated this trend.

    Apparently Publishers Weekly put out figures that showed the market had shrunk 15% in the last year or two. IF BigPub were really serving their markets adequately, why would this happen, and would independent publishing be doing so well?

    Today I am no longer dependent on the Big 5 to deliver stories I want to read. I have choice. If they publish stories that I like, I’ll buy them. But that hasn’t been the case for a long time. They don’t dominate the market like they used to, and I don’t think they ever will again.

  32. I don’t really buy the puppies’ line that they’re really in it for the GOOD of SF, and this quote back from 2009 by John C. Wright is one of the reasons why:

    “My objection to the Sci-Fi Channel is that by caving to political pressure [to have more diversity, including having more homosexual characters], they made my life harder as a science fiction writer, since this would embolden the partisans.

    Do I object to gay, lesbian, etc. characters in science fiction? My answer is a qualified no: not if the character is integral to the story. You can have deviant as well as wholesome characters in stories, because you have to tell the story as honestly as you may.”

    At least Mr. Wright is forthright about his anti-SJW prejudices, which doesn’t make them any more admirable, but it does make it easier to spot the bigotry inherent in the puppies’ slate.

  33. Mike Glyer, you wrote:

    Mars, that is a truly impressive pleonasm. And I think you’ve used the F-word often enough here to qualify for a Best Fan Writer Hugo nomination under the current standards.

    Speaking of F-Words, it’s not every day (I’m presuming) that one gets called a fop. Let alone a pretentious, tiring, pseudo-intellectual fop.

    Savor it.

    As you adjust your cravat.

  34. David, I think you’re cherry-picking there. John C. Wright is well known as a stanch Christian writer, and unabashed about applying his principles to everything. But that makes him fairly unique among those who are not SJWs. Sarah Hoyt centered her third Darkship book on gay characters, and oddly was not celebrated by the SJWs, even though she is a female latino immigrant (so even with those boxes checked off, it must have been her politics – they probably didn’t know about the story because they wouldn’t dare crack open the book, lest they melt like the bad guys at the end of Raiders.). Thus using Wright as an example to paint the SP contingent as evil is a joke – a joke they have taken up in good humor, calling themselves the Evil League of Evil every now and then. (Free Hint, when Larry Correia refers to himself as the International Lord of Hate, he’s not serious, he’s mocking those who attack him.)

    Also going back to a quote years before SP was even conceived of, about a different medium entirely, from someone who wasn’t involved in the launching of the SP campaign… well, it’s really not very convincing evidence.

    But if you actually READ what you quoted, he’s not saying that homosexual characters make his life harder, it’s the partisans (SJWs) being emboldened by the success of their pressure tactics that does.

    And he’s right, if it’s important to the story, it should be in there. SP came about because SJWs were insisting that it be in there even if it wasn’t important, or even if it would harm the story. (You also can’t have a racist character, even if he’s meant to be the heavy, without them accusing you of holding the character’s viewpoint). Story first, inclusivity only if it’s not a detriment to the story. SciFi caved on that point, and that will make it harder to tell certain kinds of stories.

    (I’m reminded of a crack someone made about “… the multi-ethnic street gangs of the sort you only find in Saturday morning cartoons.” and how all the checkboxes get crammed into one character, giving you the black computer wiz in a wheelchair who shows up in so many shows now.)

  35. You know, I’ve read Skin Game – loved it. The Harry Dresden series is just plain awesome. I haven’t read Kevin J. Anderson’s title, but I’ve enjoyed his Star Wars and Dune titles, plus Terra Incognita. If he makes the ballot and DBTS is in the packet, I’ll gladly read it.

    I’m slowly working my way through some of the other titles. In general, MilSF isn’t my thing, so I expect to find some stuff that’s not to my taste, and that’s probably true of ANY Hugo list, no matter who’s behind it.

    I’m on the shorts now, and just finished the Molakesh story. It’s a good story about a teenager, a demon and inter-generational friendships. I detected no politics at all. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. No “right” politics. No left politics. No. Politics. Period.

    If I manage to finish the list, I’ll probably find some politics somewhere or other, but anyone who dismisses the entire list as politically tainted or thinks if it’s on the list, it must be crap is missing some good stories.

    I read a few things on last year’s list, and IMHO, the list is different this year. Some of the stuff might surprise you in a very good way.

  36. I read the Molakesh story and thought it was great. I hope it makes the ballot.

    There are actually minor elements of the platforms of both sides in the story. From the conservative side, the “Service” thing is, IIRC, one of the tenets of a few factors of Christianity (Or Mormonism, I’m not sure, I’m not religious), while on the other hand, there’s a bit in there about bullying, which is cause celebre on the Social Justice rotation. But what makes the story great is that the story isn’t ABOUT either of those.

    If it were Christian Allegory, the heroine would be rewarded somehow for her service. If it were a Social Justice story, the heroine would have used her new-found power to actually blast her tormentors (Shades of IYWADML). It was neither, which makes it better. Story over Message.

  37. Dr Mauser, that’s a pretty big cherry we’re talking about here, given the prominence Wright has among the puppies crowd. So I don’t agree with you about him being an outlying pup. Your eliding the second part of what I quoted from Wright is a kind of cherry-picking though. Wright’s statement was a clear condemnation of the SyFy channel’s opting to present shows featuring characters that Wright saw as “deviant”, and that they shouldn’t do such programming. Wright doesn’t think such stories belong in written SF either, let alone win Hugos. Wright’s free to believe what he likes, but obviously, he really is an outlier among SF fans in general, who aren’t so obsessed about policing sexuality as Wright is. As for Hoyt, she’s long been ranting about the kind of stories that she thinks should be honored in SF (she’s obsessed about winning the culture war she’s crazily tilting at, ala Don Q.), and as you might guess, it’s not stories from her strawman-SJW. Which is why she’s on the puppies’ slate, of course. That’s why it’s obvious that the intent of the puppy slate isn’t to promote GOOD SF, but to push the “right” sort of SF at the expense of the their SJW strawman.

    You’ve been around long enough as a fan to remember the New Wave I’m sure, and how that upset Ye Olde Guard of SF at the time. But the New Wave never told anyone that they shouldn’t read or write the sort of classic SF that I grew up with and loved. Sure, the New Wave made a big splash, and did well winning Hugos, and I liked those stories too. I’m pretty ecumenical that way. So no check-boxes for me, please, but don’t serve me up a Hugo nominating slate of stories that are “right” either.

  38. I think there’s something needing unpacking from the flowchart which plays right into the debate.

    “Does it deserve an award?” doesn’t just mean “is it very good?”. It is supposed to mean (in the context of the Hugos) “”Is it better than anything else in this category (Novel, Short Story, etc.) published this year?”.

    The problem I have with the Sad Puppies list, from this perspective, is that, of the books on the list I know about, I personally find it incredible that they are present without books which are not present. That is, if I treat the Sad Puppies list as a list meant to supplement the books that get talked about more, I have no trouble with it. “Read these before you decide”. But a Hugo nominator who is serious about it shouldn’t dismiss the books out of hand I see getting a lot of talk — The Three-Body Problem, The Goblin Emperor, City of Stairs, for example (from a rather larger pool) — any more than dismiss the books put forward by Torgersen et al. out of hand. (In a few cases you may know ahead of time that a particular subgenre won’t impress you — if you don’t like urban fantasy, both Skin Game and The Winter Long are not going to be on your list; if you don’t like space opera, Weber and Leckie won’t be. (If you like only one subgenre, on the other hand, you might want to think about how that lines up with the tastes of fandom as a whole.)

  39. James: “Does it deserve an award” might mean either the reader thinks the story is of an intrinsically high quality, or the reader feels it rises above other things he or she read during the eligibility year. Very few people are able to read everything, and that’s not an expectation laid on Hugo voters. Just that they pick things they think are really good. When not overrun by bloc voting, then the Hugo finalists are a product of the “wisdom of crowds.” A number of people will need to think a particular work is good in order to get it on the ballot. And there’s also no expectation people have to agree on the definition of good. I like to point to the 1964 finalists as an illustration — every nominee is to this day somebody’s favorite or their idea of classic sf, but they’re very different — Here Gather the Stars (alt: Way Station) by Clifford D. Simak, Glory Road by Robert A. Heinlein, Witch World by Andre Norton, Dune World by Frank Herbert, and Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

  40. Books these days seem to have the lifespan of Mayflies. There ARE too many titles for one person to read published each year, and if it weren’t for Amazon, you would have to intercept something good at a bookstore during the few weeks it MIGHT be on a shelf. So these days fans basically must turn to the web and blogs to get pointers on what other people read and enjoyed so they can track down books before they get pulped. (Really, that whole idea makes me sick. We should write our legislators to get that tax law changed back).

    So any list of suggested nominees is just that a suggestion. Be it Sad Puppies, Rabid Puppies, or Happy Kitties or whatever. But then it still behooves anyone who votes to look at the actual works being recommended before nominating. (The Voting part though, becomes much easier now that the practice of bundling them as eBooks has arisen.)

  41. As for Wright, well, he does command a certain amount of respect for his ability to write, but I guess you are too distant from what you have dubbed the Puppies Crowd to realize that they are not all lock-step in agreement on all issues. There isn’t even a lot of peer pressure, something that makes it markedly different from the political correctness and threats of ostracism for having “Problematic Beliefs” that you see on the left.

    And the really funny thing is that the puppies crowd, or “Evil League of Evil” has actually BEEN producing stories with a diverse cast of characters, that which the left claims they want, but they never get to see it because they’re blinded by politics and won’t open the books. (Just getting some folks to open the books was part of what the whole SP campaign was about, and seeing people announce that they would vote against without reading strikes me as a betrayal of the whole Hugo voting process. I would really like to hear some condemnation of that from folks on the left who claim to be protecting the purity of the award.)

    And by cherry picking, I meant by choosing Wright, not his quotes. You chose him because he is known to have a bias that supports your point, but it is not fully representative of the SP writers, as I have pointed out by examples.

    At least you didn’t try to claim that Vox Day was a representative sample, so that’s a point in your favor.

  42. Dear David W.

    How can you quote my exact words, and then, without a word of apology or explanation, assert that I have said the exact opposite of what I just said?

    Whom do you expect to fool with such a tactic? Anyone who can read your words, telling them about my alleged bigotry, can read my words, which are a clear and clarion call in the opposite direction.

    Is my sentence construction too convoluted for you? Am I using a word whose meaning you do not know, and so you think it means the opposite?

  43. ” Wright’s statement was a clear condemnation of the SyFy channel’s opting to present shows featuring characters that Wright saw as “deviant”, and that they shouldn’t do such programming. ”

    How can you quote what I said without reading the words I used to say them?

    I am curious. What goes on in your brain when the photons strike you eye, sending a signal that travels up the optic nerve to the cortex and then — what? — suddenly the first half of the sentence gets left off?

    You know what I said. YOU QUOTED IT. What part is unclear? I am condemning the Syfy network for caving to political pressure because each time someone in my field caves to political pressure it emboldens the partisans of such pressure tactics to use them again.

    That is what I object to. Not to deviant sexual practices portrayed in literature, with the caveat, that I stated in a clearly, as long as it serves the story.

    If you object to my using the word ‘deviant’ to refer to a practice that deviates from the norm, take your objection up with Daniel Webster, you toad, not with me.

    And for heaven’s sake, don’t quote the exact wording of a passage about which you mean to erect a lie, such that anyone with a brain can see that you are lying. The inefficiency of your deception is perturbs my sangfroid.

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