Larry Correia’s Vulgar Blog Post – His Word

Adam Roberts, meet Larry Correia!

Last week Larry Correia served up a whole hot fudge sundae of self-promotion, victimhood, and smof-stomping in “Sad Puppies 2: The Illustrated Edition” at Monster Hunter Nation.

Some people rejoice in sad puppies. They say that having one tiny group of fans always vote for their favorites is “tradition.” They call popular authors’ attempts to stir up their non-WorldCon attending fanbase to vote in their little popularity contest as “vulgar.” By being vulgar and super non-traditional Larry Correia’s Sad Puppies 1 campaign only missed the Best Novel cutoff by a few votes, and those brave souls who supported him last year can do so again for FREE this year. But he needs more help… Larry Correia fans are far more likely to spend $40 on ammo, or snacks for the while they watch the new season of Justified than to join WorldCon, and if they actually attended a WorldCon they would probably be very, very bored.

But if somebody like Larry Correia would be nominated for a Hugo, then puppies everywhere would rejoice.

It really gravels him, as many fans as he has, that last year he lost what everyone admits is a popularity contest. Correia’s Monster Hunter Legion missed the 2013 Hugo ballot by 17 votes.

His strategy for avoiding the same fate in 2014 involves the rhetorical sleight-of-hand of convincing his fans that voting for their favorite (him) is a virtuous act of nonconformist rebellion, while the identical behavior directed by other fans towards their favorites (not him) is hideous elitism.

Shouldn’t that work?

Along the way, Correia called on people to nominate his editor at Baen, Toni Weisskopf. Now that’s something I can agree with – Toni Weisskopf should be competing for a Hugo. She’s a terrific developer of talent.

Beneath a photo of Toni’s dog, Daphne, Correia continued –

Daphne is sad because most of her owner’s authors are despised and ridiculed by the traditional WorldCon voting crowd and the snooty literati. She knows that her owner deserves a Hugo for Best Editor because of her impressive career editing hundreds of popular works of sci-fi and fantasy and for discovering dozens of new authors who went on to be big sellers…

For all that the Hugos are a popularity contest, fans are aware a writer can sell an enormous amount of sf — stuff they like! — without moving them to give him an award. One of my personal favorites, Mack Reynolds, sold hundreds of stories in his career, only one of which garnered a Hugo nomination.

It sounds absurd to argue that Toni Weisskopf has rendered service to the field while pretending her authors – which is to say Baen-published authors – are generally despised and ridiculed.  

Begin with Larry Correia himself. Worldcon members nominated Correia for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2011. They sure didn’t despise him that year.

Lois McMaster Bujold is a 12-time Hugo nominee, 5-time winner – and 3 of her Hugo-winning novels were published by Baen.

Other current Baen authors have history with the Hugo/Campbell awards from when they were with other publishers. Timothy Zahn won a Hugo and received two other nominations for short fiction in Analog. Wen Spencer won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer when she was with Roc.

It is a little surprising that two leading alternate history authors, Robert Conroy and S. M. Stirling, who are up for the Sidewise Award almost every year, have never made the Hugo ballot. (Stirling’s Nantucket trilogy came out when he was at NAL/Roc, so as I’m suggesting, the pattern probably has nothing to do with Baen.) And there are some more Baen authors — Michael Z. Williamson, Eric Flint, David Weber, and Mercedes Lackey – who have provided so much entertainment over the course of their careers it’d be great to see them nominated someday.

12 thoughts on “Larry Correia’s Vulgar Blog Post – His Word

  1. Larry Correia seems to be in the small-but-very-visible class of genre authors whose work is extremely good while (his in this case) personality sucks. There are a few others I could name, but probably won’t in the interest of fair play. Nice write-up on this particular innocuous kerfuffle.

  2. There’s no “rhetorical sleight-of-hand” here. Larry is openly acknowledging the Hugo Awards as a popularity contest and he’s asking for votes. And anyone asking for votes while being less honest about this is fair game to be—rather gently—mocked.

    “You can beat any system. All you do is turn the handle the way it goes, only more so.”

  3. There are people in the field who would like to limit this self congratulatory activity. Possibly they are looking at the situation from the wrong perspective. Maybe we need to reward such activity. How about the Ego Award (not a Hugo) for egregious self promotion?

  4. I was about to reply with a joke of my own. Then I realized — if I post it here the joke will actually happen. And I wouldn’t think that was funny at all.

    I’ll just wait til next time I see you to mention it…

  5. Larry replied to this post, among others. His comments are pretty darn funny and open. You might drop by his site (won’t put the URL here since I don’t know if linking is considered ok or not). He did point out that File 770 has a passel of Hugo’s and makes cogent comments about competition.

    Heck, if Correia’s work is of a lower quality and has fewer fans than the competing entries in a given year, then his self promotion will matter not at all and the balloting and awards will progress as normal. In fact, those that vote for the winner can rejoice because the barflies which ponied up bucks will be out their scrilla AND a winner. The losers can be happy because they made a valiant attempt. Correia is happy because his book get more attention (not that Warbound needs it – the sell thru numbers are pretty crazy).

    Everyone wins!

  6. I win too – I was living in a dark, dark hole and hadn’t previously found 770. Now I have years of back issues to read on my tablet whilst Mrs. Seal watches Downtown Abbey. I just have to remember to pull a Hornblower and “Ha-h’m” every so often.

  7. Mike, thanks for posting that link, it was pretty entertaining. Standing here on the sidelines, I’d have to say he’s spot on. Not familiar with Correia till this moment, but I might have to check out his books if they’re equally entertaining. Good show!

  8. You might want to do some research. While he was recognized in 2011. Some SWFA/World Con members actively campaigned for him to not receive the award. While they did fix the vote and it went to my home girl Gail Carriger, the fans voted with their dollars and Larry has clearly won the voting there.

  9. Here’s some research you might want to do — the 2010 Hugo voting statistics, a year Carriger was a Campbell Award finalist and Correia’s first year of eligibility, show he didn’t rank in the first 20 vote-getters.

    In 2011 when Larry Correia was a Campbell finalist the 2011 Hugo voting statistics show he made it with the fewest nominations and finished last in a field of five.

    Doesn’t look like it needed much fixing to me.

    On the other hand, in 2011 he got 175 votes which is 33 more than File 770 got for Best Fanzine. Plenty there for me to be humble about…

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