If You Were a Puppy, My Love 4/23

aka “Catch A Barking Star, Tell Me Where the Hugos Are” 

A combination of new voices speaking out and old hands breaking silence feature in today’s roundup. Cheryl Morgan, T. L. Knighton, Arthur Chenin, T. C. McCarthy, David Gerrold, Melinda Snodgrass, Vox Day and Chris Meadows are among those who chimed in. (And title credits go to File 770 consulting editors of the day, ULTRAGOTHA and Laura Resnick.)

Cheryl Morgan on Cheryl’s Mewsings

“Puppygate – Winners and Losers” – April 23

Has fandom lost? Well obviously if VD and his pals win a bunch of Hugos then we will have done this year. But the final ballot hasn’t happened yet. I understand that Sasquan took an additional 1350 supporting memberships in the two days after the Hugo finalists were announced. I suspect that more memberships are still being bought. Sasquan is on course to be the first Worldcon ever to have more supporting memberships than attending, and probably the third largest Worldcon ever. Some people, I know, are convinced that all of those new members are VD loyalists who will vote as he directs. Personally I’m not so sure.

It’s not just those 1350 or so new members (presumably all voters) that we need to think about either. Given the way that nominating eligibility works (members of last year, this year and next year’s Worldcon), there must have been at least 12,000 people eligible to nominate. Only 2,122 people actually did so. And in the Puppy-dominated short fiction categories the largest number of nominating ballots was 1,174.

What would have happened if all 12,000 eligible WSFS members had cast nominating ballots? Well in Novel, where there were 1,827 ballots cast, three non-Puppy works became finalists.

It is certainly true that a small number of people voting for a slate has far more influence on the nominating ballot than a larger number of people voting independently. But there is a limit. With enough people voting, even a slate becomes less effective.

So my first point is this: VD didn’t win the Hugos, we (collectively) gave them to him by failing to use our votes. Obviously there are good reasons why people don’t participate even though they have the right to do so, but if we want to fix the Puppy problem one of our main priorities ought to be to increase the level of participation in Hugo voting. I do, as you might expect, have ideas about how to do that, which I’ll address in a later post. For now, however, fannish outrage at Puppygate is doing a fine job of encouraging people to vote.

My second point, of course, is that if enough of us vote in the final ballot then he won’t win that either.


Kevin Standlee on Fandom Is My Way of Life

“Behold, the Gavel of WSFS” – April 23

LoneStarCon 3 agreed when I asked to fund the purchase of a new one, and a few days ago I finally got around to ordering it

Gavel of WSFS ph K Standlee


T. L. Knighton

“Anti-Hugo Shenanigans” – April 23

Many of the Sad Puppies crowd is well aware that things are getting ugly.  The CHORFs, as we well know, seek to do nothing but destroy their enemies with whatever tools they can manage.  One of those tools are negative reviews on Amazon.

But, the question is, how on Earth can you tell someone didn’t read the works versus just didn’t like them?  Well, let me paint you a picture.


Arthur Chenin on In Which I Geek

“Don’t be a sad puppy about the Sad Puppies” – April 23

Where Chris [Garcia, on Nedvana Podcast] and I disagree is in how much damage has been done.  He thinks the Hugos are irreparably damaged whereas I think they just got an embarrassing black eye.  He thinks that the Hugo administrators failed in not disallowing the Sad/Rabid Puppy slate nomination ballots.  I agree with Kevin [Standlee] that the Hugos have rules for a reason and that we need to work within those rules or else we truly are the controlling clique the Puppies claim we are.

So how do I see things playing out?

Two things are going to happen this year at Sasquan.  First, there is going to be the World Science Fiction Society business meeting chaired by Kevin Standlee that will address the issue of changing the rules to prevent slating from occurring.  I don’t know what those exact changes are going to be but like Kevin  I hope they go for something simple like instituting a 3/6 or 4/8 rule [1].  The other is that we will know who, if anybody, won any awards.  Vox Day actually did something miraculous by inflicting his slate on the short list, he managed to unite fandom a task akin to herding cats.  I fully expect No Award to win most, if not all, the slated categories.

“But wait,” I hear you cry, “Didn’t Vox Day threaten to burn down the Hugos if No Award wins any of the writing or editing categories?”  Yes, he did and I fully expect him to try.


Max Florschutz on Unusual Things

“Speaking on Hugos and Sad Puppies” – April 23

Goats and sheep are not latrine animals. They go wherever. And they don’t care after that. So their pens? They pooped everywhere.

I apologize for those of you who might be off-put by the discussion of so much poop. It isn’t going to get rosier from here, though.

Anyway, these little guys could poop like nobodies business. And they would fill the bottoms of their pens with it. And I’m not exaggerating there. The bottoms of their pens were packed down straw, dirt, and poop. Hard as rock, slightly smelly … and oh, after a few months, a foot or so thick. That’s right, you could walk up to the side of these pens and look at the side railings. A foot thick or more of compact manure. It didn’t bother them. It was dry and mixed with straw leftovers. And they were only in their pens a few hours a day anyway. But it had to be shoveled (well, forked with a pitchfork, since it didn’t cut easily under a shovel blade) every few months because it would get high enough that eventually they would be able to jump out of their pens.

And guess who had to do that? Yup. Me. I was a manure shoveler from the moment my parents decided I was old enough to shovel. Sometimes it went to straight to the garden. Other times it went to one giant compost pile or another. I’m talking emptying piles of poop ten by ten by two feet … and doing six of them. That’s a lot of poop….

So, what’s the point of me telling you this? Pretty simple: I’ve shoveled my fair share of crap. I’ve experienced it on a daily basis. I’ve shoveled, and shoveled and shoveled. And you know what I’ve learned about it?

There are times when it’s worth it to shovel crap, and there are times when it isn’t. And dealing with the endless, recycled crap that the anti-sad puppies crowd continues to spout? Not worth my time.

Look, I’ll admit that no one is flawless. And the Sad Puppies clearly swept the Hugos, much to their surprise. As a result, SP4 will probably be even more interesting to follow. But when it comes down to looking at one side or the other, I’m on the side of the Sad Puppies here, because I know crap, and there’s so much of it coming from the anti-sad puppies side it’s not just filling the pen, it’s burying the occupants, the producers, and their allies.


David Gerrold on Facebook – April 23

Tananarive Due and I have now gone through two meetings and three drafts of the proposed Hugo Award Ceremony script.

Every draft has been passed before the Hugo Award administrators, the senior officers of the Con Committee, and several others whose advice is needed. Notes have been passed back and forth. Adjustments and tweaks have been made.

But here’s the important part. Here’s the part I want to stress: From the very beginning, the commitment has been to recognize that the Hugo Award Ceremony is the highlight of the fannish calendar. It is a celebration of the genre, it is a celebration of the community, it is most of all a celebration of the nominees. The evening is for them — it is to honor them as standard bearers for excellence in the field.


David Gerrold on Facebook – April 23

Okay, @Karl J. Martin. Here’s the challenge. If you can raise $25,000 to be split between the SFWA Emergency Medical Fund and The Orangutan Foundation, I will host the Hugos in a large purple dress. With shoes to match.

Go for it.


T. C. McCarthy

“How I Spent Easter: Tweeting #HugoGate #GamerGate #Sadpuppies #Hugoawards” – April 6

The 2015 announcement of the Hugo nominees was met with so much asshattery that I broke my 4 years of silence on the issue, and tweeted/posted all my thoughts regarding the left side – the establishment side – of the SFF community. I documented the entire weekend on video so you could see the rage in my eyes, the anger in my face, and what I look like when I don’t shower. Click above on my facebook and twitter links to read about all the drama…

(Don’t be expecting another ShayCarl here is all I have to say.)


Melinda Snodgrass

“Puppies! – My Two Cents” – April 23

Science fiction is now a world wide source of entertainment from our movies to our TV shows.  Shouldn’t our prose also try to reflect this wonderful kaleidoscope of human diversity?  In fact prose is probably the best place to present this fascinating dance of differing outlooks and beliefs, to speak to and hear from people who aren’t just like us.

I think it deepens and enriches our genre when we have women, and people of color and the LGBT community, and different religions or no religions discussed and explored.

Over the years I’ve had people ask “what do you do?” and when I tell them I’m a writer their initial reaction is “oh cool”.  Then they ask what I write and when I say science fiction the reaction becomes “Oh, that’s kid stuff.  I don’t read science fiction.”  By broadening our field to include this rich symphony of different voices I think science fiction has graduated from being that “Buck Rogers, kid stuff” into a genre which is perfectly positioned to discuss big issues and the deepest human motivations in really interesting ways.

This isn’t to say there isn’t a place for some good old fashioned buckle and swash, but that shouldn’t be the entirety of our field.  Let’s not eat just vanilla ice cream or sing one kind of song.  Let’s explore all of the wonder that the minds of humans can imagine.  I see no evidence that the buckle and swash is being forced out in favor of a more diverse fiction.  The pie is getting bigger not smaller.  More books are being published.  More voices are being heard.  Today readers have an expansive feast to be enjoyed.

What I’m trying to say is none of us should be afraid.  It’s a small blue dot and because of advances in technology we have the ability to hug each other close and face the void united in our humanity and celebrating our differences.


Laura Resnick in a comment to Melinda Snodgrass – April 23

Actually, I have decided I am totally on board with 100% RELIABLE & COMPREHENSIVE PACKAGING as a standard for book covers. I think this is a great idea!

Yes! I advocate packaging of books to warn me that the female characters in a novel are all coat-holding carboard cutouts and the male characters address them as “cupcake” and “baby doll” and “cutie.” Packaging that would warn me that the writing is so convoluted and pretentious, or so clumsy and tepid, one can only wonder at what the English language ever did to make the author hate it so much. Packaging that would alert me that the characters are all stereotypically tedious action heroes who shoot everything in sight and make “clever” puns after killing someone. Packaging could warn me that every black character in the book is a servant, every Hispanic person a criminal, every woman a sex object, and every atheist an Evil Marxist Villain.

This would be a GREAT system, and I fully support it!


 Vox Day on Vox Populi

“A Thing to Remember” – April 23

In any event, I stand with the Dread Ilk. I stand with the Rabid Puppies. I stand with the Evil Legion of Evil. And I stand with #GamerGate. We don’t reject anyone out of hand for simply existing or disagreeing with us. We don’t demand that people think exactly the way we do, we don’t expect them to march in lockstep with us, nor do we police their thoughts, speech, beliefs, or works. And we don’t need anyone. If you don’t like where things are going or how they are being done, you’re free to leave at anytime.

I supported the Sad Puppies goals, even though I believed that their failure to grasp the true nature of science fiction’s SJWs meant their well-intentioned attempts to reach out to the science fiction left and find common ground were likely to meet with eventual failure. But I have been wrong before, and so I saw no harm in the attempt. I did not use them. I did not need them. I

won’t abandon the Sad Puppies. I will support Sad Puppies 4 and Kate the Impaler. I won’t disavow them when I disagree with them in the future, just as I did not when I disagreed with them in the past.

Evil-Legion-of-Evil_Vile-Faceless-Minion_512x512 from Vox Popoli

Chris Meadows on Teleread

“Why the Hugos are broken, and who’s breaking them now”  – April 23

The Internet Breaks the Hugos

Whether you’re for the Puppies or against them, there can’t be any argument that the Hugo nomination and voting process is badly broken. The interesting thing is that the process hasn’t changed appreciably for years or even decades. It didn’t just break on its own. No, the same thing happened to it that happened to so many other processes and industries that had long been taken for granted. The Internet happened…..

So, here we have the Hugo Awards, adapting their voting process to the Internet by making it possible for associate members to enter ballots by web instead of just mailing them in as before, without taking into account that the Internet makes it possible to organize concerted campaigns by letting people post communications to everyone else on the Internet. Something like this was inevitable. Perhaps the only thing to be surprised about is that it didn’t happen sooner. (And, given that this is the third year in a row there has been Puppy activity, and it takes two years to implement Hugo rule changes, perhaps the Worldcon folks should have started considering this problem a little earlier, before it became the full-blown crisis that it is this year.)

And this could be only the beginning. When I was chatting with SF and romance novelist Mercedes Lackey the other day, she made this prediction:

I cannot WAIT until someone lets the Romance Writers know about this, and how to get a book on the Hugo ballot.

Romance readers outnumber SF readers by about 100 to one, and a very high percentage of them would be gleeful to only pay $40 to get one of their beloved writers an award.

Romance writers are extremely savvy women about energizing their fan bases. They were using social media for that long before SF writers started.

I want to see their faces when Diane Gabaldon takes the Hugo in 2016.




113 thoughts on “If You Were a Puppy, My Love 4/23

  1. @Jeffro Johnson,

    Shunning is not the same thing as choosing who you do and do not wish to engage with on a specific topic. Shunning is when person/group A coerces person B not to speak to person/group C, or there will be consequences.

    I’ve been shunned because I didn’t stop speaking to Will Sanders in whatever racefail that was; while I don’t know Will well enough to call him anything other than a colleague, he was personally helpful in helping me learn to live with my Scientology past. Whatever his other failings (and he’d be the first to tell you he has many), our conversations had value to me.

    I note that because Will Shetterly was persona non grata in certain circles, his interview with Samuel Delany over the NAMBLA thing didn’t get wider circulation. To me, it was an important topic and I respect Will for having taken that on, and I highlighted his piece in my own blog.

    I don’t owe anyone space on my blog or a voice on my blog. That’s my platform. Mr. Antonelli has his own platform, where he’s free to say whatever he wishes to.

    I also don’t always agree with what people I like say or do. I allow for complexity in people. I just didn’t respect how Mr. Antonelli came in, interrogated me about why I hold a position I don’t hold, and then got passive aggressive about it.

    I don’t care how many views we have in common or how much I like your books, if you’re an author who did that to me in any context, I’d still probably throw you off my comment thread.

  2. “Some of the Puppies nominees on the ballot are victims.”

    This is true. There are several groups here, and using one term to refer to them all is, clearly, ineffectual:

    Puppies-as-nominees: I ave actually been seeing this less and less, and have been making an effort to refer to them seperately.

    Puppies-as-ringleaders: This is the Torgersons, Correias, Beales, Wrights, etc. (The ELOE as I gather they sometimes call themselves.)

    Puppies-as-followers: Many of the people who show up here, expressing strong support for the Puppy position: also much of the commentariat at the Puppies-as-ringleaders’ blogs.

    I *hope* there is no fallout for puppies-as-nominees who do not fit either of the other two categories. Being in either of the other two, however, is a different matter, as there *is* a set of political (and aesthetic) views tied up in them, and I think that social consequences are right and reasonable for that.

  3. > Thank you for the clarification. I take it then that treating the nominees as “standard bearers for excellence in the field” is something that’s we can expect to be done by fandom ONLY during the ceremony proper. In fact, it’s amazing that anyone could be found that would be willing to even do this much, and we should all be grateful that David Gerrold has stepped up to tackle this particularly distasteful job. Outside of this one narrow venue, the shunning of these people can be expected to be the modus operandi of fandom.

    I think that’s inferring a lot from what Gerrold is saying. To my ears, Gerrold is responding to people who are looking at the fight and are worrying that the fight might be allowed to mar the ceremony, and he is trying to be reassuring: hey, no matter what happens elsewhere, HERE, in the ceremony, we’re not going to let the fight mar the event.

    I don’t think that saying “here, in the context of this event, we’re going to behave a certain way” is an endorsement of any particular behavior outside of the event – it’s a notice that a wall is being built around the event to make the event safe. Nor do I think that saying “here, in the context of this event, we’re going to behave a certain way” is a way of holding out the speaker as being someone for whom we should be grateful, or who is doing a particularly distasteful job => I think it’s the speaker saying, hey, I am a decent person, just like many other decent people, and because I’m a decent person, I’m going to abide by and enforce this code of conduct in this event for which I am responsible.

    What frustrates me about your reaction here, honestly, is that I see someone with strong political views assuring us that he’s going to do the right thing and put the politics aside when the occasion calls for it – and you are *deriding him* for that. That strikes me as uncalled for.

  4. Deirdre Saoirse Moen,

    I am not talking about Lou.

    I am talking about how my first contact with Worldcon culture aka fandom aka SMOFs aka whatever you want to be known as… was YOU calling for the vast majority of the nominees to be “No Awarded.” You yourself have declared that you will not even read the works until after voting has closed. (Do I have that right?)

    This behavior is a campaign to actively shun people simply on the basis of the politically incorrect nature of a person that recommended them. It is guilt by association. It is utterly cultish and it is not justified by the fact that someone somewhere was mistreated in somebodies comment boxes.

    Fortunately, I have Vonda N. McIntyre offering to escort me around WorldCon in order to protect me from the rabble, but… given the fact that she stands a very good chance of not even talking to me…. (??)

    Good grief, people. At what point does this start seeming weird to you? I mean, you say that “shunning is when person/group A coerces person B not to speak to person/group C, or there will be consequences.” Isn’t that exactly how some of the nominees have been treated? They get nasty comments and veiled threats… and then when they decide to ask themselves to be removed from the shortlists, all these people show up and congratulate them for their bravery and then saw they will buy their stuff now.

    Step away from Person C, there Miss B… or else group A will bring on the shunning!

    That’s what you’re doing. You’re familiar with cults. You’ve participated in one. You hate that behavior. Why can’t you see that you’re still doing it?

  5. Steve, that’s a good list.

    I think that I would be inclined to discuss my vote online, but mostly in the context of discussing what I think about the nominated works and why. If I vote ‘no award’ above something – as I do ‘every year’ – it’s because I don’t *like* the works I’m voting below ‘no award’, and usually there’s something interesting to talk about in the distinction between my reaction and other people’s reactions. I mean, I _hated_ Ancillary Justice, and I talk about ranking it below ‘no award’ all the time … because it leads to interesting conversations about why other people loved the book. 🙂

  6. “What frustrates me about your reaction here, honestly, is that I see someone with strong political views assuring us that he’s going to do the right thing and put the politics aside when the occasion calls for it – and you are *deriding him* for that. That strikes me as uncalled for.”

    Politics has nothing to do with this.

    Treating people like they are radioactive for months on end only to suddenly pretend for the space of an hour a three that they are “standard bearers for excellence in the field”– that’s both patronizing and two-faced.

  7. I’m using ‘politics’ as a shorthand equivalent to definition [4] in the wiktionary definition of the word: “Political maneuvers or diplomacy between people, groups, or organizations, especially involving power, influence or conflict.” (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/politics). I think that’s a fair usage to describe the current situation.

    I don’t see it as patronizing and two faced to say for Gerrold to say that, regardless of Gerrold’s views on the politics of the situation, the Hugo Awrds Banquet itself requires a certain decorum and a certain set of behavioral rules, which he will comply with. It’s *exactly what I expect* someone hosting an event of that nature to do.

    I absolutely loathe my stepfather, for example, and I would treat him as radioactive in most contexts. But if I were called upon to interact with him ceremonially, I would maintain the decorum of the ceremony and I would treat him just like I would treat anyone else in the ceremony – because that’s what you *do* in a ceremonial activity.

  8. Jeffro, I’m calling for a slate nix. I believe the award should not go to voting blocs, and many people agree with me. Look, I’m voting against an editor who bought my work *because I believe the slate is wrong*.

    Does that mean I won’t talk to said editor? No. Does that mean I like him less? No; and I’ve disagreed with him before, too. This is not an issue of interpersonal communication. I have friends on both sides of the slate. (Or had, at least.)

    That’s not cultish behavior, and it’s not shunning.

    Sure, I do believe there are people who are behaving differently. I’m not someone who shuts off people simply because I disagree with them. I actually enjoy spirited disagreement so long as it doesn’t turn into destructive disagreement (which, in some aspects, this situation had turned into two years ago).

  9. “This behavior is a campaign to actively shun people simply on the basis of the politically incorrect nature of a person that recommended them.”

    My No Award vote about all slate nominees has nothing to do with you personally. It is the strongest way I can protest the tactic of bloc voting, which let a small group of people dictate almost all of the nominees and rendered my own nominations useless.

    If a counter-slate does the same thing next year and they share my political beliefs, I’ll use No Award then too.

    The spirit of the Hugo awards has always been for individuals to make their own choices for works to nominate, not to be herded like sheep.

  10. “am talking about how my first contact with Worldcon culture aka fandom aka SMOFs aka whatever you want to be known as… was YOU calling for the vast majority of the nominees to be “No Awarded.””

    Your first contact with Worldcon culture was to read a blog about the Hugo Awards? … that doesn’t even make sense.

  11. Well, I think Caesar Flickerman would be a much better choice to mc the event:

    The nominees are the stars of the evening and deserve the full respect of everyone at the ceremony. If there are people lined up to spit on them the moment it comes to a close, well… there’s only so much Vonda N. McIntyre can do. [laughter] And those of you on certain “slates” that fail to decline the award… well, I’m not going to come right out and tell you the exact nature of any sort of blacklisting you can expect to see after this… but if your Amazon ratings take a dive over the next few months, don’t ask me about that! [laughter] But seriously folks, these are standard bearers of excellence here, all the way. I love these people! Oh sure. Tempers flare occasionally. What’s a little demagoguery between friends, anyway? [laughter] It’s not like we’re going to be burning anyone in effigy during the ceremony. We’ll be doing that both before and after, so don’t miss it! [laughter]

  12. It makes perfect sense. What are you missing, Alexvdl? Do you think it is somehow impossible to first encounter Worldcon voters by way of the Hugo Awards?

  13. > If there are people lined up to spit on them the moment it comes to a close, well… there’s only so much Vonda N. McIntyre can do.

    (a) the MC of the ceremony itself can’t do much about the behavior of people outside the ceremony.

    (b) *for my mileage*, I would hold that the *entire night* is one where politics is off limits. My bubble-of-celebration extends beyond the ceremony itself.

    (c) But then again, I wouldn’t “spit on” anyone, anyway; it goes against my understanding of how I should behave towards other people. Nor would I expect anyone to “spit on” others, in person, in a public place. Rant about them and call them names online, sure, but in public in person in my universe, there’s a politeness rule which would be violated by doing these things.

    And one of the things that baffles me about your rhetoric is that you *do* expect this to not only happen, but to be *common*. Which makes me infer that you believe that everyone on the other side of the political divide is incapable of following the normal rules for polite public interaction – in essence, that you think the other side of the political divide are barbarians, incapable of behaving the way one is expected to behave in a polite society.

    I find that assumption, that belief, to be beyond bizarre. My bafflement is so severe that it leads me to start wondering if, in your world, the rules for behavior in polite society are *different* than they are in mine.

  14. Robert, Worldcon booed rightful and Hugo-committee vetted nominee Black Genesis at the ceremony – that according to George R. R. Martin.

    I don’t think it is bizarre to assume that there is a significant body of attendees who do not behave equally toward all candidates during the night of celebration, nor that it will be polite and friendly. It may turn out to be untrue, but “bizarre” to suspect bad behavior and impolite confrontations?

    You are ignoring eyewitnesses to history.

  15. Jeffro Johnson, I don’t speak for Deirdre (and vice-versa), but I’ll point out that Deirdre’s blog posting merely stated how she currently (a/o Apr. 4) intends to vote, and it was about as far from campaigning as you can get and still speak your personal opinion in public. As part of that, right up near the top, is her sentence ‘Follow, or don’t, your choice.’

    I knew she’d take flak for it, but respected her for speaking her mind without pulling punches or sucking up (one of the reasons we get along, as the guy I shave has been known for bluntness on days ending in ‘y’).

    Please note that I’m taking your view seriously, crediting you with being a real SF fan speaking honestly. I’d like to think if there were more of that, there might be fewer hard feelings. (Or, I could be wrong, and like Douglas Adams’s Babelfish, directness and clear communication might cause bloodier wars.)

    But a few words about ‘No Award’: I’d like to say it’s been a valid and real option for all 62 years of Hugo voting, but aren’t enough of a Worldcon history wonk to be sure. (Maybe OGH knows.) But certainly for decade (or since God was a teenager, whichever came earlier), No Award has been an accepted, intended way for a voter to say either ‘This nominee shouldn’t be on the ballot’ or ‘This ballot is illegitimate’. For whatever reason.

    Nobody is required or morally obligated to meet any specific requirements before including ‘No Award’ somewhere in the voting-rank order for a category. In particular, nobody is required or morally obligated to read works they rank below No Award, before so voting. Rationally, if the voter thinks he/she has any convincing reason to think some works don’t belong or that the ballot has serious problems, then putting No Award above some entries is a reasonable and ordinary action.

    Massive No Awarding hasn’t (yet) happened, but No Award has won on various notable occasions, e.g., been used by fandom’s cat-herd to slap down a certain church for its effort to mass-vote L. Ron Hubbard a Best Novel Hugo.

    I listed classic reasons for including No Award, but without excluding other possibilities: It’s up to the voter to decide. For example, I’ve voiced a theory that No Awarding some 2015 categories is pretty much the only way to ensure 2016 & later nominees have incentive to disavow future slate campaigning (and fans have incentive to inform them).

    Speaking for myself, I’ve changed my mind in public already (after initially saying No Awarding is a easy way to shoot one’s self in the foot), and reserve the right to do it again. ;-> Votes can be made and revised until about late July.

    But thank you for clarifying. I really do try to take what people are saying seriously (except some who’re acting out), and am pretty sure Deirdre does, too.

  16. xdpaul: culture != voters. There’s your first misstep.

    Secondly, I’m sincerely hoping that the majority of people are introduced to the culture by, I don’t know, reading SFF books. If you don’t read… Worldcon ain’t really going to be your thing.

  17. Rick Moen: No Award hasn’t won since 1977, so I’m in doubt as to how you reach the conclusion that it was applied to keep L. Ron Hubbard from winning a posthumous Hugo?

  18. Jeffro Johnson, further to my long-winded (sorry) comment: None of the ‘nasty comments and veiled threats’ (against nominees or anyone else) recently reported speaks for me or for Deirdre. (I just checked before presuming to speak for her. ;-> )

    We have no truck with any of that. If we see it, we condemn it — in my case, using the more colourful parts of two or three languages. You’re forgiven for assuming that we endorse or would approve of such horrific behaviour, just because people have allegedly done these things whom you believe to be on our ‘side’, but please don’t do it again.

    Fandom has some utter assholedom in it, and always has. Read Fancyclopedia3’s entry on the Exclusion Acts, some time. Read about the late Robert Sacks and his stupid, petty feuding. All we can do is, to borrow John Perry Barlow’s saying, treat them as damage and work around them.

    Rick Moen
    [email protected]

  19. My recollection was the Hubbard’s novel placed below No Award, though I might be misremembering (and readily admit to being lazy and not looking it up). I didn’t mean to say that No Award had won in that year.

  20. First off, I heartily approve of Michael Lee’s suggestion about the engraving on the WSFS Meeting Mallet. That’s a great joke.

    I would find it hard to believe, though, that there would be anybody who took that mild and amusing paraphrase as a valid description of a reality.

    That’s why I’m so amazed that anyone would think there really are Secret Masters of Fandom as many of the Puppy Persuasion seem to think. In the vernacular of Foghorn Leghorn,

    “That’s a joke, son, I say, that’s a joke.

    “(This boy ain’t got a lick o’ sense.)

    “That’s a joke, I say again, son, that’s a joke.”

    The concept of the SMOF is satire, not literal. Hell, I once at a convention gathered the attention of Tim Kyger and Robert Siragnano by eye and told them to follow me, after which we confronted Gary Farber. Ad libbing the whole time, I crossed my arms (Tim and Robert followed my lead) and announced that we represented the Secret Masters of Fandom and approved what he was doing.

    I gave a beat, then ad-libbed a punchline which broke all four of us into laughter.

    I had been in sf convention and fanzine fandom all of two years at that point, but I already knew my way around much faanish satire and silliness.

    That’s why when I read of any of the Puppies referring to fighting against the SMOFs, I am croggled. They’re like the John Birch Society railing against the Bavarian Illuminati — they’ve created in their minds a monolithic conspiracy with tendrils everywhere, a boogyman with which to frighten each other. Same goes for their concept of Social Justice Warriors, as a monolithic conspiracy with tendrils everywhere. It just doesn’t exist.

    But I’ll probably be labelled as an SJW for denying that they actually exist as a monolith. That’s what the Birchers did with anyone who tried to tell them their Illuminati were of their own imagination.

    Changing subject, I’d like to compliment Mr. & Mrs. T. C. McCarthy for having such a well-appointed house, as well as one which is much neater and cleaner than many fannish households, and for having raised what look like very well-behaved offspring.

    And I’d like to thank Beyond Anon for inadvertently creating the concept of “Open Source Upset”. Using that idea with the tools provided, anyone can plunge All Fandom Into War!

    Changing subject slightly again, except that I think Apollo 11 finally put a sock into the mouth of the canard that science fiction was Crazy Buck Rogers Stuff, we would all be better people for, like Melinda Snodgrass, being willing to accept the new and different alongside with the traditional in our fiction. (The Vulcans are depicted as calling that Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations, as one may recall, a description of a way of looking at the world with the conscious intent of find the best of anything and incorporating it into yourself because it is the best.)

    Finally, I think that David Gerrold should be commended for his stated intention of deliberately being gracious and putting on his best manners at the Hugo Awards ceremony. That is an example we could all use to follow.

  21. No Award has been an option since at least the 1960s. Our documentation from back then is spotty, but we know it was there; after all, it won several times back then.

    NA has in my opinion two uses:

    1. Things you don’t think should win because you don’t like them.
    2. Things you don’t think should have been on the ballot in the first place.

    There’s no way to distinguish between these because there’s no way to do a yes/no vote on each nominee between the nominating and final-ballot stages.

    How you vote your ballot is between you and the ballot paper. Every voter is sovereign. Attempting to prohibit someone from voting a certain way because of that voter’s motivations is nonsense unless you’ve also invented telepathy for the Administrator.

    Puppy Partisans who say they shouldn’t be criticized for voting for their curated and narrowly-focused slate because many other members question their motives have no reasonable grounds for complaining about other members of WSFS voting No Award because the Puppies question the NA-voting members’ motives. You can’t have it both ways.

  22. Kevin: No Award was added in 1959. It won twice that year, Best New Author and Best SF Movie.

    That was also the first year they added a nominating vote to the process to create a shortlist.

  23. @Rick Moen

    Yes, Best Novel for 1987 results were

    Speaker for the Dead – Orson Scott Card
    The Ragged Astronauts – Bob Shaw
    Count Zero – William Gibson
    Marooned in Realtime – Vernor Vinge
    No Award
    Black Genesis – L. Ron Hubbard

    It should be noted there were three other awards where some nominees finished below No Award that year.

  24. Kevin Standlee- When you say “2. Things you don’t think should have been on the ballot in the first place.” won’t that justify the Puppies, both Sad and Rabid, next year if they take the position these awards are being handed out by a social policy driven insular group?

    What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. I believe voting on anything but the merit of the work will only lead to greater escalation.

    SP1 is launched, fails, insults follow. SP2 is launched with even more enthusiasm and support, fails, insults follow. SP3/RP is launched, with ever greater participation and enthusiasm, what follows? I would suggest that if there is the perception that the SP3/RP work is judged on anything but the merits, then SP4/RP2 will, based on past history, be even more strongly supported and will likely pursue a more destructive plan to achieve a more destructive goal.

    Of course, traditionalists can go with the theory that they’re bluffing and/or won’t have the muscle, but the past couple of years of escalation indicate that’s not a good bet.

  25. “I believe voting on anything but the merit of the work will only lead to greater escalation.”

    The problem is if people do vote on the merits and decide they really don’t like the nominees and rank them below no award, there’s no way to tell the difference between most people doing that and most people voting no award because the nominees were on a slate.

    And hey, go ahead and vote Ancillary Sword, Goblin Emperor, and The Three Body Problem below No Award if you feel like they were put on the ballot for political reasons.

  26. SP1 is launched, fails, insults follow. SP2 is launched with even more enthusiasm and support, fails, insults follow. SP3/RP is launched, with ever greater participation and enthusiasm, what follows?

    Apparently, while I wasn’t looking, SF fandom has turned into something like Rennaisance Italy, where a gentleman whose honor is insulted must seek repayment in blood. Or, failing that, in Hugo nominations.

  27. I think the Puppies are just as within their rights to vote No Award as anybody else if they feel that way.

  28. @Jeffro “And those of you on certain “slates” that fail to decline the award… well, I’m not going to come right out and tell you the exact nature of any sort of blacklisting you can expect to see after this… but if your Amazon ratings take a dive over the next few months, don’t ask me about that!”

    OK, I left out the “[laughing]” part, but I wasn’t sure what kind of joke it indicated.

    Realistically, this whole thing is going to have near-zero effects on any writer’s career. Editors buy books that they think are going to sell. People buy books they want to buy.

    Orson Scott Card’s position against gay people and gay marriage probably lost him a few convention appearances, and earned him a few convention protests. Big whoop. Editors are still acquiring stories and books from him. People are still buying his work. “Ender’s Game” was made into a movie, and I’m sure he made money from that (even if it wasn’t a blockbuster).

    The real-world career impact of any of this is negligible.

  29. @ Nat Lovin: Yes, certainly nobody can tell from a distance why a particular voter gave high vote rank to ‘No Award’ for some category, as part of the general truth that you cannot tell from a distance why J. Random Voter did anything. You say this is ‘the problem’. In which specific sense is a basic, straightforward, everyday truth that has always and everywhere been the case ‘the problem’? Please explicate.

    If you think this rather mundane (if you’ll pardon the word, here) truth points towards some specific consequence and not others, you haven’t yet said why.

  30. @Rick Moan It doesn’t matter why people vote no award, the puppies will interpret any rejection as not voting on the merits, and lead to “greater escalation” as Steve put it.

  31. ” … what follows?”

    Most likely, the Puppies won’t be able to keep sheep enthusiasm up for their attack campaign for long. The kind of people who get their jollies sticking it to social justice warriors will have many opportunities to do that, thanks to the Internet constant outrage machine, and how many will cost them $40? Paying to support an institution you hate is a mixed message.

  32. Nat Lovin: Mistyping my surname as ‘Moan’, really? Nice glass house you’re living in, there. Shame if…. ;->

    Can’t tell if you’re right about what ‘the puppies’ (who, I will note, are nothing like a monolith, and it’s distortive if sometimes convenient to speak as if they were) will think and do, but, contrary to what some think, neither I or anyone else is in charge of fandom. All I have is one vote, and am clear on the concept of ‘mine’.

  33. Look, it’s a meaningless typo.

    I’m just responding to Steve Moss, who said “I believe voting on anything but the merit of the work will only lead to greater escalation.”

    Nobody can tell if people are voting on anything but the merit, and there’s a strong chance that even if people do vote on merit it will be interpreted as not based on it. It’s impossible, just like it’s impossible to prove there wasn’t a Social Justice slate in the past.

  34. Nat Lovin- I suspect it has to do with patterns. If a significant number or percentage vote No Award for all three SP3/RP books, I assume they’ll draw their own conclusions.

    Seth Gordon- I like that visual. Thank you.

    Wild Cat- You are correct. Everyone has the right to vote No Award. Now imagine next year when the SP3/RP are joined by a large number of Jim Butcher fans? As a reminder, last I heard he sells 10x more than any other nominee. Ditto the fan bases of the other No Awarded authors. Not all of them are conservative white males.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The Puppies have thought things through. They are being very tactical. They already believe the Hugos are controlled clique. Many on here deny it. Fine. But the public perception will skew toward the Puppies if a slew of No Awards win. They other fans will think their authors deserved a vote. Any excuses about the “spirtit” of the rules will be treated with great sceptism. And the Puppies will be back next year, stronger than ever.

    Follow your plan and hope they don’t burn down the house. In my opinion, “hope” is a lousy plan.

  35. Nat Lovin: Copy and paste is my friend, and is willing to be yours, too. Just sayin’.

    Steve Moss: I have no doubt that you’re correct. However, Worldcon fandom has outlasted many flaps, and is well positioned to outlast anyone coming to attack its institutions, and in the long term cares a lot more. Mr. Beale can burn down a house if he can muster a bunch of people with $40 to spend, if he can keep them from losing interest, but we Worldcon fans already build a new house every year, have an effectively unlimited supply of lumber, and have huge amounts of fun at each and every five-day barn-raising party. So, we’ll see who walks away first, and I’m pretty sure it won’t be us.

  36. What can I say, I’m an optimist. I think that in any given year there will be enough Worldcon members who genuinely value the awards to outnumber, in a final Hugo vote, those who desire only to troll.

  37. @Moss.
    So you’re recommending capitulating to the puppy narrative online?

    I think you have gravely misread both the Ps and the social dynamics of the web.
    The web is the playing field now, not World on, not the Hugo ceremony, not undividual’blogs or individual comments.

    The Ps will never stop. This is a seige, not manuever. Positions contrary to the P’s claims must continue to be represented. Professionalism and politeness are appreciated, and most seem to be going there,

    Making the assumption that slates are in our future is upsettingly defeatist. We’ve got at least two years before we’ll even see the effects of changes and fixes – let’s give them a chance before we declare defeat.

  38. ‘And the Puppies will be back next year, stronger than ever’

    And? If their slates win all of the awards will that just settle them down or will they think that they’ve really stuck it to them SJDubs and be back stronger than ever next year as well?

    People shouldn’t vote because they’re worried what another might do. They should vote for whatever reason, if they feel the book truly is the best of the year, or if they think a book is really Hugo worthy, or if they want to No Award because they feel the slates pushed off better titles and don’t think the options are the best, or if they want to vote No Award because the Puppies gamed the system but they’re not going to play.

    I wish people would stop telling others how they should vote. You want to say why you’re voting or voting No Award or abstaining? Cool. But trying to convince others that they should vote because of how some irrational folks might react later on is ridiculous. Maybe the earth will be blasted to make room for an interstellar highway. Members should vote with what they think is best whether that’s Award or No.

  39. @Jeffro, re: “I am talking about how my first contact with Worldcon culture aka fandom aka SMOFs aka whatever you want to be known as…”

    It says a great deal that you view all of those as the same thing.

    I have never been to WorldCon. Never bought a membership to it, supporting or otherwise. I’m not a SMOF; the closest I come is that I’ve been staff at some conventions and know some of the people who run them in my area. I am a part of fandom, the small-f kind that Brad Torgersen claims to celebrate.

    And I value the Hugo awards.

    I value them because of their heritage. I respect them because anyone who cares enough is free to pony up for a membership and have their say. I admire them for having recognized some really good stuff, from the Distant Past through the present day. I don’t agree with all of the winners or nominees, but I’ve been able to see that although some of those works haven’t been to my taste, they were at least worthy of recognition in their field.

    And then a handful of butthurt jerks decided to take a dump in the punch bowl, because they didn’t think The Right Books were winning enough. They claimed that a tiny group was manipulating the awards, and in retribution, they decided to… manipulate the awards.

    In a sane world, someone would’ve looked at the 2014 results and recognized that they conclusively disproved that theory. After all, had a secret SJW cabal of SMOFs existed, surely they would have been both willing and able to keep the SP2 nominees completely off the ballot – but there they are. Even the original Sad Puppy admitted that he saw no evidence of foul play, that the awards were administered fairly. That should have been the end of it. Thesis tested, analyzed, and discarded. End of story.

    Instead, they doubled down and did it again, and they’ve already announced that SP4 is going to happen next year, regardless of what this year’s results are. To use your own words: “Good grief, people. At what point does this start seeming weird to you?”

    This angers me. Not because of the Puppies’ political beliefs, but because they are being jerks. They are doing their best to break a time-honored award on the grounds that they disagree with the politics of the people who selected the winners *fairly and without rigging the system*. No, the existing constituency is made up of Wrongfans, Bad People who believe the Wrong Things, and thus the Puppies must ride in to Save The Day!


    There is no nobility in the Puppy slates, and no honor in those who organized them. They have alleged (without evidence, despite repeated calls for it and similarly repeated rebuttals) that bloc voting has happened, called it a bad thing, and then proceeded to engage in it. That is the very definition of hypocrisy. If it’s bad when one group does it, it’s bad when ANY group does it.

    I stand opposed to the Puppy campaigns *because* I oppose giving awards based on Goodthink and cronyism. If I purchase a supporting membership this year, it will be to take my place in opposition to the Balrog, to voice my opinion that these tactics Shall Not Pass, that the ballots belong to individuals, not to slates.

    If a work is so weak that it required the help of a slate to get onto the ballot, then it does not merit my consideration. Those authors who agreed to participate in the slate are helping to break the system, and I will not reward them with my vote. They have disqualified themselves. If someone was placed on a slate without their knowledge… I feel sorry for the predicament they’re in, but I cannot support them without validating the slate they are on, and thus I must withhold my support from their work. It is the only option I can consider ethical. In short, I agree with Deirdre when she says:

    “I believe the award should not go to voting blocs, and many people agree with me. Look, I’m voting against an editor who bought my work *because I believe the slate is wrong*.”

    If this is a scorched-earth tactic, well, the award IS a rocket. Sometimes, rockets must scorch the earth to claim the stars.

  40. Mike: Thanks for filling in the date when No Award became part of the award-selection mechanism. So it has been part of how we did it nearly all the way back to the beginning of the Awards.

    Incidentally, next year’s Supporting membership cost will be $50. This is not a new development; it’s been in place since before all of this heat started. Worldcons get to set their membership prices themselves (within limits established by the WSFS Constitution).

  41. Steve Davidson- I think a “siege” is a decent analogy. One that is going into its 3rd WorldCon.

    Matt Y: I don’t know if the Puppy’s would be content. What I suspect is that SP2 was stronger than SP1 and SP3 is stronger than SP2, largely because of how the fans of Corriea and other Puppy authors felt their writer was unfairly and rudley treated. What I believe is that SP4 will be stronger than SP3 if a slew of No Awards win. They will be stronger because entire new populations of fans of good authors who have very little crossover with Day, etc will now be offended.

    In other words, Day, and perhaps Torgersen though I doubt it, has set the traditionalists up to create an entirely new set of enemies. All you have to do is keep acting offended and defend your turf via use of No Award.

    The way I think you can move forward is concede ground. Don’t create new sets of enemies. Let the old ones remain unreinforced. They’ll eventually get tired, declare victory (and they have some victories) and go home.

    Or a good chunk of Hugo voters can continue to react emotionally. That’s what Day is counting on. And more power to him if he’s right. If he can manipulate you into reacting the way he wants, he’ll wind up with a Hugo or three someday.

  42. They will be stronger because entire new populations of fans of good authors who have very little crossover with Day, etc will now be offended.

    I’m not sure where you’re getting this. Sure, there are probably going to be a few fans disappointed that their favorite didn’t win the prize, but that’s the case every year. You don’t see them all ponying up fifty dollars just to spite the rest of the field in a long-term revenge plot. Why would they even bother?

  43. Folks will be acting emotionally if they vote out of fear of what Puppies may or may not do. Best not to worry about what they’ll do at all, which means voting however the heck you feel like up to and including No Award if you feel that the works aren’t up to par or worth awarding at all. Just like every year. That includes books that managed to get on regardless of slates.

    I don’t care if Day walks away with a dozen starships and uses them to set up an altar with them to the God of Phyrric Victories. People should vote for what what they think is right instead of concerning themselves what he thinks or anyone else for that matter. If you pay membership dues you should vote how you like, not because it may or may not quiet the crying toddler in the room.

  44. WildCat- Losing is one thing. Losing to No Award is another thing entirely.

    I’ll try a different analogy, which I think works as Day and a lot of his supporters are wargamers and dedicated readers of military tactics and human psychology.

    The current situation is analogous to a world war. But while there are many countries involved their are many who are not. A few of those are sleeping giants.

    Use of No Award is a bomb. Day is manipulating you into dropping that bomb on a few uninvolved countries, in addition to Pearl Harbor (with Butcher being the USA for this year’s WorldCon).

    Don’t bomb Pearl Harbor. It doesn’t end well.

  45. “The Puppies have thought things through. They are being very tactical.”

    Was it the Sad Puppies plan to have their effort forever associated with Vox Day, who used it to get himself and his publishing house all over the ballot? That doesn’t seem like something they were planning to occur. It looks more like he played them and linked their partially benign campaign with his malicious self-serving one in the public eye.

  46. Seeing as Jim Butcher doesn’t seem to have weighed in on the Hugos one way or the other, I have a hard time believing his fans will hear about him losing or being below No Award. The ones who do know about this Hugo kerfluffle are going to be the ones who know what’s going on.

    Worrying about a fan base getting pissed off because on of the authors they liked NOT getting an award is ridiculous. I don’t remember GRRM’s fans throwing a hissy fit when he lost to Rowling.

  47. Anyone remember Lou Antonelli saying just a couple days ago that in retrospect he thought Sad Puppies had been a bad idea and he intended to go tell Kate Paulk so at RavenCon? There are a half dozen top puppies in one place at one time at a local con where they are well liked by many, and some of them (Wright with “no dino-hate,” etc.) have already been making nice gestures. I wonder if disinviting Kate and her fellow “reactionaries” from the RavenCon panel unwittingly undermined the best chance for SP to close up shop on its own.

  48. A bit ninja’d here, but it’s pretty clear that the only people who know what “No Award” even signifies are those who are aware of the Hugo voting process. I’d say the majority of Jim Butcher’s fans won’t give a flying Fomor about the voting results at Sasquan; they’ll probably be more interested in Dragon Con this year anyway, which Butcher’s attended multiple times in the past.

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