Next Puppy Please 4/11

Sad Puppies suddenly remembered today they love Tor Books after all, for no particular rea$on. Mary Robinette Kowal offered to underwrite 10 Worldcon member$hips to grow fandom beyond the enclave. Gawker hates that George R.R. Martin is lo$ing money blogging about Sad Puppies instead of finishing his book. George himself returns to the lists in a post condemning hate speech. That and many other opinions are canvassed in today’s roundup.

Larry Correia on Monster Hunter Nation

“Last SP post for the week, to my people, don’t blame Tor” –April 11

In fact, one of our suggestions for novel is by Kevin J. Anderson, and is published by Tor.  One of our nominees is John C. Wright, and he is published by Tor. There are other Tor authors who are secret members of the Evil Legion of Evil. And there are some Tor authors and editors who have reached out to us this week, and who have told the angry mobs to calm the hell down and knock off the asinine defamation, both in public and in private.

Don’t threaten to boycott anybody because of their business associations, because that’s exactly the kind of boorish behavior that’s been done to us.

Don’t post links to a torrent site and suggest that people pirate stuff instead of giving a publishing house money. Do you have any idea how offensive it is to do that on a professional author’s feed?


John C. Wright

“No Tarring Tor” – April 11

My comment: Let me state for the record that all my dealings with Tor Books have been courteous and professional.

I never ran into anyone who expressed the least curiosity about my private opinions or public faith, no one who ever rolled his eyes or curled his lip, or bit his thumb.

Allow me to list the good Tor has done me, so that one and all with understand the true depth of my gratitude.

They are the first publishing house to give me a break, and buy my novels. All other houses had rejected them.

Mr Hartwell of Tor Books sought me out, not me him, based on the quality of my short stories. That indicated to me that he was and would be an editor of vision and energy, willing to go the extra mile to orchestrate the sale of high quality material. I have never had cause to doubt that original favorable first impression.

Tor took a great gamble on my first five books, buying them all at once.

Tor has routinely bestowed brilliant cover art to adorn them, for which one Irene Gallo, head of the art department, merits public lauds. (I do not know if she is still there. This is as of the last I heard.) You have heard other authors complain about their book covers? I have been given no cause for the slightest complaint.

The Tor publicity department has always been friendly and responsive to my concerns. (Even when I imposed on them).

Tor accomplished the impossible for me. After very difficult negotiations, Tor Books cooperated with the estate of AE van Vogt to allow me to write the authorized sequel to my favorite book by my favorite author, NULL-A CONTINUUM. That is beyond any dream come true for any author.


Jay Hathaway on Gawker

How Gamergate Radicals Seized Sci-Fi’s Most Prestigious Awards – April 10

So, on top of everything else, the Puppies have distracted GRRM from finishing the Winds of Winter? What a fucking disaster.


Pat Cadigan in a comment on File 770 – April 11

I’d just like to note that I made my statement “There is no ‘them’” before I knew that the Sad/Rabid Puppies were an organised effort, with slates that their followers were to vote for.

Having learned better, I’d have to say that there didn’t used to be a ‘them.’

This year, there is and that’s a pretty sad state of affairs, to say the least.


Mary Robinette Kowal

“Talk with me about being a fan of science fiction and fantasy” – April 11

My dear fandom, people from the larger SFF community, fans of my work, fans of Larry Correia’s work… there are more of us.

So this is my call to action for all of you — Become more inclusive. Invite your friends and family to participate. Buy a supporting membership for someone who can’t afford it. Welcome people who like different work than you do. Ask them to recommend a book. Read it. Recommend something to them. Talk about why you like it.

But please, please let’s stop trying to make fandom a special little enclave. It has always been the place where people could come, regardless of what they were fans of, and be welcome. It’s where we can wear Regency attire next to a Transformers cosplay. This isn’t to say that we should tolerate bad behavior, but liking something different isn’t bad behaviour.

And to my readers — If you can afford it, I encourage you to buy a membership to WorldCon and become part of fandom. If you cannot afford it…  I will buy a supporting membership to WorldCon for ten people who cannot afford it. All I ask is that you join the conversation.


Beth Wodzinski on Shimmer

“Shimmer Supports Hugo Voters” – April 11

You know what would be neat? If everyone in the science fiction and fantasy world voted in the Hugo awards. If everyone read widely and discussed what they loved. If all the voices were heard, not just the loudest. A healthy ecosystem is one that’s teeming with millions of kinds of life; let’s find ways to include more people.

If you can afford a supporting membership to WorldCon, I strongly encourage you to buy one. It’s $40. A supporting membership gives you the right to vote in this year’s Hugos — and the right to nominate in next year’s.

If you can’t afford a supporting membership… Mary Robinette Kowal is offering to pay for a supporting membership to WorldCon for ten people who cannot afford it.

This is a splendid idea. Shimmer’s happy to join Mary. We’ll match her offer: ten memberships for people who can’t otherwise afford one. Email [email protected] with your name, phone number (just as backup in case your email doesn’t work), and a paragraph telling me a little bit about yourself and why you’d like a supporting membership. I expect to get more than ten people interested, so will ultimately choose at random.

George R.R. Martin on Not A Blog

“Hatespeech” – April 11

And now there’s Puppygate, and I have been posting about that, and in the course of which I have had some exchanges with Larry Correia, the founder of Sad Puppies, and Brad Torgensen, who ran the SP3 slate. And both of them tell similar tales: of anonymous phone calls, libel and slander, vicious emails, death threats… death threats! All of these, presumably, coming from “my side” of fandom, those who oppose the Puppies. Do I believe them? I don’t want to believe them. I would rather cling to the belief that my side is better than that. That’s hard to do these days, As strongly as I disagree with Torgensen and Correia about the Hugo Awards, and probably a hundred other issues, I have no reason to think them liars. I think they are telling the truth, just as Quinn and Sarkeesian and Wu were. On the internet, it seems, abuse trumps debate every time.

Death threats. Really? Really???

It really makes me wonder. Were there always so many toads out there, so many slimy squirming venomous cowards lurking in their parents’ basements? Or did the internet somehow just bring them into being overnight, these children of Tsathoggua?

I really don’t know, but it makes me despair. Is this what we are as a country, as a people? When we disagree, is it really necessary to spit and snap at each other, to throw around insults and obscenities, to make death threads, rape threats? Can’t we just debate the issues?


Martin Lewis on Everything Is Nice

“Actually, It’s About Ethics In Award Nominations” – April 11

As I said when last year’s shortlists were announced, I do think there is a connection between author’s publishing their eligibility and the rise of nomination slates but I had no intention of being dragged into it all again this year, an intention only strengthen by seeing it play out again in exactly the same way. However, at the same time, I’ve been increasingly doing my own lobbying as well as mulling over Abigail Nussbaum’s increasingly militant line on awards recommendations:

Last year when the nominees were announced there were several attempts to distinguish between “good” and “bad” campaigning–to argue, for example, that Larry Correia’s Sad Puppies ballot (which gave us Vox Day, Hugo nominee), and the campaign to get all fourteen Wheel of Time novels nominated for Best Novel, were substantively different from, say, my posting my Hugo recommendations on this blog, or John Scalzi recommending me for the Best Fan Writer Hugo. I don’t believe that’s true.

I disagree with Nussbaum – I think there is a substantive difference – but I also think there should be more discussion of these issues. Recognising that this might be difficult, I’d like to propose a framework for this discussion. I’m not saying that this framework is right or definitive but I do hope it is at least helpful. First of all, I think there are three axes to consider: someone’s authority, the extent to which they direct others and their own self-interest. Secondly, the range of each axis is quite large:


1 – Some random person on the internet

2 – Someone with a social media network including Hugo voters

3 – Someone with a large social media network including Hugo voters or an author

4 – An author with a large following

5 – A superstar author


1 – Listing your nominations without comment

2 – Recommending multiple works to consider or posting your own eligibility

3 – Recommending specific works to nominate

4 – Actively campaigning for specific works

5 – Actively campaigning for a full slate


1 – No relationship with the person you recommend

2 – Acquaintance, colleague or part of social network

3 – Friend

4 – Yourself

5 – Yourself and your friends


Dan Wells

“My four cents on the Hugo thing” – April 7

3) I do not like what the slate-voting model has done to the Hugos–I think it has removed any legitimacy the award once had, and reduced it to a two-party system that will, in the future, only nominate a narrow subset of the field. You’ll have Sad Puppies and Anti-Sad Puppies, and we’ll pick our ticket and campaign for it for months, and anyone not on the ticket will be out in the cold. I honestly don’t see how that CAN’T happen next year, unless we change the voting rules. And no, that’s not what it was before: what it was before was a group of like-minded people who tended to vote for the same authors and themes every time, which is pretty standard for any voting award anyway, and a far cry from a curated ticket of “this is the slate we should all vote for.” I am sad that this has happened, but I hope we can find a way to fix it.

4) No matter how much I hate the slate, and how sad I am for the people and stories the slate bumped off, I think that voting against everyone on the slate regardless of merit seems like a terrible idea. Guardians of the Galaxy, for example, was a favorite for the category going in, and probably got just as many normal nominations as Puppy nominations, but now we’re all going to vote against it as some kind of protest? Kevin Anderson and Jim Butcher are excellent authors–giants in the field, and mentors to half the authors working today–but now we’re supposed to shut them out completely just because the wrong people nominated them? Toni Weiiskopf and Anne Sowards are exactly the kind of brilliant, talented editors the “recognize more women” crowd (in which company I include myself) has been trying to recognize for years, but now we’re supposed to ignore them just because some conservative white guys got them on the ballot? THIS IS INSANE. Some of the people on the ballot are terrible people, and some of their work is terrible fiction, and I’ll be voting accordingly, but punishing Anne Sowards because I want to punish the people who put her on the slate is misguided and cruel. These people did good work, worthy of reward, and I’m going to reward them. Let’s fix this problem in a way that doesn’t trample innocents.

As a final word: I will be at WorldCon this year, not wallowing in controversy but celebrating science fiction and fantasy. I love the genre, I love the stories we tell, and I love the spirit of hope that those stories express about the future. Let’s try to be as good as the heroes we write about.


Catherynne M. Valente on Rules for Anchorites

“Holding the Hugos – and the English Language – Hostage for Fun and Profit” – April 8

I suspect it’s because they know inclusivity and diversity are considered positive attributes by most people. Exclusivity and uniformity don’t sell. Despite their conviction that they are the persecuted majority, they know that no one wants to hear: we made a club so that we could be sure only people we approved politically and personally would be nominated. No one wants to hear: isn’t it nice how we’ve scrubbed the ballot of all those undesirables? Now it’s just us! What they did is unpalatable, and they know it. But now that they’ve gotten what they want, they need people to be happy about it in order for the award to have any meaning, and so they’ve grabbed the language of the enemy to praise themselves. Only it doesn’t work, because words have meanings. It’s a pretty classic conservative technique (see the fact that Social Justice Warrior now means a bad person), but it’s depressing–or perhaps hilarious–to see it used by individuals because they can’t face the consequences of what they’ve done. You guys spent ages telling us diversity was bullshit and inclusivity was a creeping evil. Why are you now telling us, with a sneer and a smirk, that you are their champions? What is wrong with you? It’s all so unfathomably dishonest and intellectually bankrupt I have a hard time believing any of these people put together a coherent novel at any point.

Puppies: if you truly believe that what you did was right and good and honest, if you believe you have struck a blow for virtue and excellence–be straight with us. Tell us that. Don’t try to paint over the mess you made by insisting you’ve done it all for the sake of inclusive, diverse happy kittens and rainbows. Conservative politics are supposed to be all about straight-shooting real talk. So just say you used your clique (and probably some others) to do something you believed in, no matter what the cost. You do not get to have your ballot and eat it, too. You did this. You have to face the consequences. You cannot tell the world that they should vote for you to strike back at women, liberal, people of color, and queer writers (and even worse–literary science fiction authors, the horror!) and then call yourselves diverse and inclusive.


T. L. Knighton

“Disinformation flies. Time to set it right” – April 11

Sad Puppies is about denying women and people of color recognition

Horseshit. Yes, it’s my blog and I’ll cuss if I want to.

Sad Puppies nominated a number of women and people of color. Maybe not as many as our detractors would have preferred, but they’re on there. I haven’t done the math, but recall someone pointing out that almost 40 percent of the slate are women (I don’t recall if it’s women and “people of color” or just women). There’s zero effort to shut out women and people of color.

Sad Puppies is a meritocracy. If we liked your work, you were probably going to get in. If not, well, sorry. None of us care if you’re white, black, brown, or purple with pink polka dots. We just don’t. We care about what kind of stories you tell. More specifically, we care about what kind of story you told in a single instance.

Rachel Swirsky’s If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love has gotten a lot of flak from our side. We don’t consider it to be science fiction or fantasy. If it’s fantasy literature, then so is the entire romance genre.

However, let’s say the next story she publishes is a rousing space adventure tale, told in her her own style. That same style as, If You Were A Dinosaur. Well, there’s a good chance we’d nominate her. Provided the Sad Puppy crowd read it, of course.


60 thoughts on “Next Puppy Please 4/11

  1. Rachel Swirsky actually had a great story last year – Grand Jete (The Great Leap) in the last ever edition of Subterranean Magazine. So good that it was chosen for all “Best of the Year” anthologies (Dozois’, Rich horton and Strahan’s), which is quite rare for a novella. 100% science fiction. Nebula nominee.

    But of course there was no chance for the Puppies to nominate it in a million years. Not after the endless whining about the If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love. Not after that utterly hilarious post of Sarah Hoyt which concluded that Swirsky must hate all working class people and surely had never had a real conversation with one because the bad guys in the story were working class (which isn’t even true, BTW, their class is never mentioned).

    I would love to hear from one of the puppies supporters explain how John C. Wright short fiction which got nominated isn’t message first. How is “One Bright Star to Guide Them” for example not chock full of blatant preaching throughout?

  2. I haven’t read the piece in question Steve. If it is good I’ll happily recommend it. I have a hard time though believing it is. You also have failed, not surprisingly at all, to have read anything that SP has written about message fiction. Or at the very least learned anything from it.

    Let me help you: story over message.

    But then, most folks voting for the Hugos up till recently were all about voting stuff they haven’t read. We changed that.

  3. Oh and I love the note from the host:
    “Sad Puppies suddenly remembered today they love Tor Books after all, for no particular rea$on.”

    One wonders how ignorant you have to be. And how much you also have to project.

  4. Ah…nice guess but no. The sp have always distinguished to rings from tor books from this post was a reminder to their advocates. Has always been the position. It has more to do with targeting precisely their enemies.

    Mike, you continue to do outstanding work covering this event, especially considering it is only a prelude to the 2016 awards. Every so often you spice it up with particularly amusing, if completely inaccurate commentary. Keep it up. These silly awards have never been so entertaining!

  5. I would love to hear how exactly Wright’s story One Bright Star to Guide Them is “story over message”. There is a bare bones story and numerous long-winded talks and speeches how faith is awesome and non believing is evil. It’s Narnia fanfic with an obvious pro-Christianity message hammered home on pretty much every page.

  6. Well thanks xdpaul. You are a dedicated SP3 apologist whose work ethic is unparalelled. Sometimes you oversell, as in this case. It has been the very tactic of emphasizing the Nielsen Haydens’ Tor connections and wrapping that together with some point or threat or characterization of the business in wishful hope a consequence to the business will rebound on them that has been one of the most prevalent tropes of SP and RP comment threads.

  7. Xdpaul – I wish i hadn’t read it, believe me. Such utter dreck. Such absurdly pompous speeches throughout. But I finished it somehow, I hate giving up shorter works midway.

  8. It’s about business on the Tor side, and after days of posts from SP leaders smacking the Nielsen Haydens, always identified with Tor, and unfettered abuse of Tor in the related comments, why a sudden kindly impulse? I have reason to believe a successful outreach from Tor is the reason for these posts.

  9. Nerd War one continues…. There are civil war reenactors… We should have nerd war reenactors at cons. We dress up like writers and reenact the war.

  10. Ok…but that in no way explains Vox Day’s reasons for doing likewise. This is a hobby and a sport to him. He has no financial reason to tell the truth about the distinction between the torlings, and tor books. None.

  11. Indeed only Wright I believe is of the “major” SP with contracts with Tor (I will gladly accept correction). Which is what makes the $ sign so silly.

  12. Mike, you’re not suggesting that money talks? To SF authors? Good Lord, next you’ll saying the sky is blue and water is wet!

  13. xdpaul: In the first place, I’d expect you to be crowing “We made Tor blink.” In the second place, I read Correia saying he was essentially shielding the interests of unidentified Tor authors who have been supportive of him. And since VD is likely to comment here we don’t need to guess his reasons, he will probably tell us.

  14. Such absurdly pompous speeches throughout.

    I agree with this about Wright. I read the first story in his Awake in the Nightland and thought it was great, and then once the gimmick wore off, couldn’t take him anymore. In the words of Peter Griffith, he insists upon himself.

  15. I’m guessing some adults at Tor finally sent out a plea to their squabbling children to cool it. Wonder how the Nielson Hayden’s will respond?

  16. Mike, your expectations in no match with my goals and objectives. The only necessary victory over Tor was against their infestation of self serving torlings, a subset of the company…and that was won last year. All that is left now is…showing the work.

    Not only do we wish no harm against Tor books (unless wresting their abuse of the hugos somehow harms them) we have no reason, financial or otherwise to see their silent employees suffer.

    No financial motivation is behind my goodwill toward people whose actions have no bearing on my interests. Larry certainly gains nothing by promoting goodwill. Wright would financially benefit from leaving Tor and yet he honors his contract. You are barking up the wrong tree, in the wrong forest.

    But keep barking. It brings out the puppy in all of us.

  17. Message fiction is a fuzzy concept and I think GRRM did quite a nice job dismantling it.

    The descriptions of good SFF in Sad Puppy manifestos (fun & exciting adventures with less ideological babling) always bring to my mind Stross and Scalzi, among others, but Puppies seem to hate them, so it’s very hard to all take the Puppy talk about this at face value.

  18. Completely untrue, Spacefaring. Stross’ work is quite good – not as Hugo-worthy as his 8 nominations (or whatever the number is) would indicate – but Vox Day has promoted his best work as definitely worth reading.

    Scalzi is a different story: his measurably worst book is the one that won the Hugo. His bloc voting campaigns – not merit – are clearly what earned him more nods than Arthur C. Clarke. Most SP’s differ in their evaluation of OMW – ranging from dislike to moderate enjoyment. It wasn’t a terrible book, although I was among those disappointed to later discover that it was an overt copy of Heinlein; I had thought it was by someone with something that could conribute to an original series. Zoe’s Tale put that misconception to bed. Others may find Scalzi’s body of work to indeed be superior to or at least on par with Clarke and Bradbury and Vinge and Willis and Bujold and so on.

    But I have never met them. But this does not make Scalzi an awful or unreadable author. It is simply that he has promoted un-Hugo worthy works not only onto the ballot but ultimately to grossly unfair wins (fan writer? Really? come on, man.) The irony is that Scalzi – knowing that he could not condemn SP for following his model – has endorsed the methods of SP. To do anything else would be to damn himself.

    Your inability to take the truth at face value is entirely your problem, not Sad Puppies’. SP really doesn’t care what you think; they will do what they do because they believe it is right, not because they believe it is popular.

  19. Well, in case you do separate the author and their work and view the merits of the work independently of the author’s political biases, can you name some good works by contemporary feminist SFF writers?

    VD has dismissed Stross’s Equoid, for example, as “cheerful immersion in quasi-child molesting tentacle torture porn”.

  20. The Spurps (SPRP) have always made it clear they hated Tor.

    Now the lead Puppies are all sweetness and light because the primary is over and they’re trying to appeal to the mainstream. I was as surprised as Mike; sweetness and light wasn’t their approach last year.

    Spacefaring Kitten: The descriptions of good SF in Puppy manifestos (fun and exciting SF with less ideological babbling) was emphatically absent from _Opera Vita Aeterna_ last year, so I have taken that claim with a grain of salt since then. It will be interesting to check John C. Wright’s six works for the amount of ideological babbling versus the amount of fun and excitement. It will contribute to my understanding of the sincerity of the Puppy program.

    Sure the Puppies nominated some women. Nine of them. Less than 25%, but to them that probably seems like tons of women. And the women were concentrated in the categories that most Hugo nominators and voters are less interested in, but to Puppies I suppose that seems normal–the right place for women. Some of the Puppies honestly believe they are a meritocracy, I don’t doubt, even as they make sure their friends and people whose politics they admire have a place on the ballot in among all that excellent work.

    No Award is the usual way that individual Hugo voters say of individual Hugo nominated works “this didn’t deserve to be on the ballot.” In the past that has been because they just thought the work was that bad, but there’s no rule against using it to say “this work got an unfair boost from a slate.”

  21. I see the puppies keep lying about Scalzi’s socalled campaigning or slate voting, but this remains a lie. You don’t have to invent conspiracies to explain why Scalzi got so many nominations: all you need to know is that he writers proper heartland science fiction, in the Heinlein tradition, exactly the sort of sf the Hugo voters, especially American Hugo voters, have always liked.

    I know this sticks in the craws of the Turgidsons and Correiras, who seem to have entered science fiction with a massive chip on their shoulder, but it’s the truth.

    There has never been a successfull slate campaign until the Puppies: y’all should be proud of that, of achieving something even the Scientologists didn’t manage (and indeed, gave up on in favour of doing more constructive outreach) not pretend others have done it too. Nobody is fooled.

  22. I’m always surprised by those who advocate “No Award” for this year’s Hugos. There are two things I think they should keep in mind:

    1. If multiple categories are voted No Award this year, the SPRP will be laughing in no time flat. You do realize that is the equivalent of nuking your own award, don’t you? They do, and to many of them the fact they manipulated you into pushing the button will be seen as a win, especially on the RP side of the equation.

    2. You will have proven their point. A No Award vote, based on the writer’s identity, will establish what they’ve been saying all along; the Hugos are more about who you are, then what you’ve written. So they’ll win again.

  23. Redshirts wins a Hugo award when there were better books nominated. News at 11. (sarcasm)

    John C Wright wins more Hugo nominations at any one time than Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Harlan Ellison, Arthur C Clarke, Frank Herbert, Phillip Jose Farmer, Joanna Russ, Andre Norton, James Tiptree, Jr, Fritz Leiber, Poul Anderson, Larry Niven, Jerry Pounelle. More news at 11. (sarcasm and I really enjoyed Wright’s Golden Age Trilogy and am looking forward to his continuation of the Van Vogt novels. This is nothing against Mr. Wright but against another absurd puppy meme about the numbers of nominations of John Scalzi and Arthur C Clarke)

  24. The argument is that Wright’s nominations are making up for lost time. He has clearly been grossly overlooked during a decade when demonstrably lesser works have made it onto the ballot.

    It is not a meme that Scalzi has more nominations than Clarke. It is a fact of history.

  25. The plus side from all of this is having stumbled across the very clever Graham’s Hierarchy of Disagreement.

    “I see the puppies keep lying about Scalzi’s socalled campaigning or slate voting, but this remains a lie.”

    It seems like Scalzi does lots of campaigning. Not that there is anything wrong with that. What is the lie?

  26. Martin, we read Bob Heinlein. We knew Bob Heinlein. Bob Heinlein was a friend of our childhoods. Martin, John Scalzi is no Bob Heinlein.

  27. xdpaul: Sad Puppies only had one Wright story and one essay collection on its slate. Their idea of how much “makeup” was called for was a lot less than Vox Day and Rabid Puppies.

  28. I think it’s interesting that Sarah Hoyt was on the SP slate last year but didn’t make the ballot. Sure, I have no way of knowing why that is, but given that Puppies generally vote in lockstep I can’t help but think it was because they didn’t want to vote for one of those icky women. So all this talk of supporting women rings a little hollow. And I still see only one, possibly two, woman writers on this year’s slate (just going by the names) Annie Bellet and possibly Kary English.

  29. Steve:

    I presume they’ll be laughing in every scenario. It either “proves” the point that the people they don’t like don’t play fair or the point that the works on their slate are objectively better than the usual SJW crap. I haven’t decided how I’ll vote yet, but I’m pretty sure I won’t think about their reactions too much.

    I don’t think anybody is under the illusion that Scalzi is a poor self-promoter.

  30. Actually, I think – based on absolutely nothing but my own sense of things – that you may be missing Wright Puppies in your analysis. My guess is that Wright fans were the heavy Wright voters, and Rabid Puppies merely gave them an avenue by which their voices might be heard, not unlike the long-standing Dr. Who contingency.

    In other words, the existence of RP provided Wright fans with the notion that participation this year might not be a futile exercise.

    Of course, there is overlap between Wright fans and the Dread Ilk of Vox Popoli, but they are touch points in a Venn Diagram, not the same sets.

    Wright fans have certainly thought that Wright did work worthy of a Hugo nomination as far back as the pages of Black Gate Magazine, more than a dozen years ago or so, groundbreaking books starting in the early 2000s, and clearly, if elegant, deep and insightful blogs are eligible, then is an obvious contender on the merits (if not the votes).

    In other words, RP could have nominated him for more categories. You don’t really think an operation led by a platinum-selling game designer balked at doing so because of concerns about overkill?

  31. lampwick: The Puppies didn’t vote in lock step last year. While we can’t know for sure who voted for what, I’d point to Chaos Horizon’s analysis:

    The short version, “The data shows that the Sad Puppy 2 campaign fell off fairly fast from the most popular authors like Correia to less popular authors like Toregersen (60% of Correia’s total) and Hoyt (50% of Correia’s total) to Vox Day (33% of Correia’s total)”.

    There is no conspiracy against women authors on the Puppies part. The vast majority of them just never voted the entire slate.

  32. @lampwick
    re: Hoyt
    Hoyt did not publish anything new with BAEN in 2014, which is most likely why she was not on the slate.

    re: lockstep
    According to
    “… not every Puppy voter was a straight slate voter: some used the slate as a guide, and only marked the texts they liked/found worthy/had read. Some Puppy voters appear to have skipped the Short Story category entirely. That’s exactly what we saw last year: a rapid falling off in the Puppy vote based on author and category popularity.”

  33. A No Award vote, based on the writer’s identity, will establish what they’ve been saying all along; the Hugos are more about who you are, then what you’ve written.

    They might think that, but they would be wrong. Again. Fandom doesn’t have any obligation to be fair to people who’ve already shown they don’t respect its mores.

    And of course the Wrights and Days are desperate to win a Hugo: they know this is their only chance, because they can’t get nominated on merit.

  34. @lampwick,

    “I think it’s interesting that Sarah Hoyt was on the SP slate last year but didn’t make the ballot. Sure, I have no way of knowing why that is, but given that Puppies generally vote in lockstep I can’t help but think it was because they didn’t want to vote for one of those icky women.”

    Evidence that “Sad Puppies generally vote in lockstep”?

    Because the numbers last year show a huge variance. In fact, the SP2 nominee that most closely mapped to Correia’s vote total was… Toni Weisskopf. That would be “Toni,” not “Tony.”

    I’d hope that reasonable people would find false and malicious accusations of racism/sexism/whateverism just as, if not more, repulsive as racist/sexist/whateverist statements.

    One reason that Hoyt’s novel (and the rest of the slate) didn’t track closer to Correia’s is that Correia’s fans include a very libertarian and inidividualist set of people. Another is that the SP2 slate actually came out late in the process, meaning a lot of SP2-inspired ballots would have already been cast by the time the actual recommendations came around. Didn’t stop screeching about SP2 being a slate voted in lockstep, though.

    We’ll see if Torgersen posting the SP3 list earlier causes a lower level of variance in ballots when we get the final nomination numbers after Sasquan. Should be easy to control for the RP nominations, then see how well Correia’s number of nominations corresponds to the other items on the SP list.

  35. Alex, as I keep mentioning…. you have to also factor in the bookbombs, which increased the exposure of the works that were recommended, in terms of why there might be a low variance – more time for people to find the suggested works, and easy links to follow to reach them, for people that may not read many novellas or short stories that are new that year (even new anthologies can often be a mix of old and new stories).

    It’s not like years of vote totals and sales totals don’t indicate that a lot of people mostly just read novels.

  36. I dunno how much the book bombs will decrease variance. Could see an argument either way.

  37. “can you name some good works by contemporary feminist SFF writers?”

    Certainly. I absolutely love Tanith Lee’s adult work, especially her Paradys books. I think she is one of the best fantasy writers period. The Book of the Damned, The Book of the Mad, The Book of the Beast, and… I can’t remember the fourth off the top of my head… are all excellent.

    I don’t know if Theresa Edgerton is a feminist or not, but her Goblin Moon and the Green Lion books are very good and very underrated. Susanna Clarke is very good and well merits the praise she has received, but again, I have no idea about her politics.

    Fandom doesn’t have any obligation to be fair to people who’ve already shown they don’t respect its mores.

    You have it backwards. I show no respect to fandom or its mores because influential figures in fandom were attacking me and openly threatening my SF career for doing my job and writing a nationally syndicated op/ed column before I even knew who they were. I was never given a fair shake of any kind, and that was solely because of my ideological views. I’m not complaining, I’m just explaining why you will never change my mind in this regard. I was there. So were some of my readers. We will never cut the Nielsen Haydens or their circle any slack. We know who and what they are. They are a cancer in science fiction.

    And of course the Wrights and Days are desperate to win a Hugo: they know this is their only chance, because they can’t get nominated on merit.

    I can’t speak for John, but personally, I could not possibly care less about winning a Hugo. If I set a record for most 6ths of 5, I will be very content.

    “And since VD is likely to comment here we don’t need to guess his reasons, he will probably tell us.”

    It is very simple. I talked to some people at Tor who explained the various distinctions, the full extent of which I did not know. While I have used “Tor” as shorthand for the Torling clique centered on the Nielsen Haydens, that’s simply not a reasonable thing to do in light of the organizational realities. is a problem. The set of Niall Harrison, Jonathan Strahan, and Patrick Nielsen Hayden appears to be the core SJW crew with Teresa Nielsen Hayden acting as their imam is a problem; I understand they are planning to fight the ratification of the Loncon changes and push for Helsinki 2017 with the idea that they can more easily finalize whatever agenda they are pushing this year there.

    “Their idea of how much “makeup” was called for was a lot less than Vox Day and Rabid Puppies.”

    I’ve been very clear on this. John C. Wright is one of the greatest living SF/F writers. He’s very rare in that he can do both great SF and great fantasy. Not merely good, but great. He, China Mieville, and Neal Stephenson are the best of that generation of writers, to the extent that he can be said to be of that generation.

    I’m just wrapping up the “nominated works” ebook for the Hugo Packet. Read them. Then compare them to last year’s winners. Look, I like Stross’s work. I was one of his few early champions; you can look it up in the SFWA NAR. But he wrote too many books around inferior concepts; the really disappointing thing about “Equoid” wasn’t that it was a disgusting piece of horror-schlock, but that he’d managed to ruin his otherwise fun Bob Howard books too. I quit reading Merchant Princes after the second one; they were awful.

    But comparing Wright to Stross’s newer stuff is like comparing Middle Earth to Shannara. And comparing him to the likes of Swirsky is downright risible. I absolutely stand by those nominations and I suspect future SF fans will believe I was right. He probably should have been up for Best Novel for AWAKE IN THE NIGHT LAND too, but the eligibility was questionable.

  38. Rek — I’m talking about _last_ year’s slate — Puppy nominees for the 2014 Hugos, for which books from 2013 were eligible. Hoyt had a book on the Puppy slate but did not make the Hugos. I was wondering why not.

    keranih — Yes, but my post specifically mentioned writers, not editors, etc. I may be a complete outlier here, but I’m usually far more interested in the people who actually create the story. And using that measure there were only 2 women writers on the ballot.

  39. @lampwick
    Sarah Hoyt missed the ballot in 2014 for best novel by seven nomination votes and missed a short story nomination only because she lacked the 5% requirement. Her short story wasn’t even part of the sad puppy two slate. So somehow those misogynists banded together to nominate her in the short story category without waiting for a directive from their puppet masters.


  40. Re “Loncon Changes:”

    The WSFS Constitutional amendments passed at the 2014 Worldcon and awaiting ratification at this year’s Worldcon are:
    Popular Ratification: Would give all members, supporting and attending, a voice in the amendment-ratification process. (I’m a co-sponsor and not impartial, per this message.)
    A Story By Any Other Name: Clarifies that print, e-book, and audiobook publications are all considered valid for “story” categories.
    Hugo Finalists: Confirms what we’ve already started doing, which is to drop “nominee” as the collective noun for those works/people on the final ballot in favor of “finalist.”
    Membership Types & Rates: Prohibits Worldcons from selling memberships that include WSFS voting rights for less than the cost of a Supporting membership

    These are the only constitutional changes that can be ratified and go into effect for 2016. Anything newly proposed this year will have to be ratified next year in Kansas City before taking effect in 2017. Even Popular Ratification, if it passes this year, will only apply to things that get initial passage in KC in 2016; anything passed in Spokane will be up for final ratification in KC.

  41. “I didn’t know there was anyone else who shared my opinion of “Equoid”!”

    I’d say from descriptions on VD’s site that was the biggest hit against Equoid. However, I personally rated it highly for two reasons:
    1.) It was more honestly S/F than many of the competitors (Six Gun and Springs)
    2.) It was well written.

    SP would point out naming a feminist author should be hard…because we shouldn’t vote politics over story. That being said I personally _really_ enjoyed “Springs” in that particular set and I’d hazard to guess “Ellen Klages” is a feminist. I unfortunately voted “no award” in that I didn’t feel it qualified as fantasy slapped on ending or no. This personally frustrated me because it was, up till that terrible ending, honestly the best of the set.

  42. On Sarah Hoyt, I’ve actually not read anything beyond her essays as her stories don’t seem interesting to me. She’s pretty open about them tending a bit more to the romance side which is not something I’d likely pick up. I imagine that helps explain some of the drift in votes.

  43. GK Chesterton:

    SP would point out naming a feminist author should be hard…because we shouldn’t vote politics over story.

    The reason I asked was that sometimes it seems like the Sad Puppies dismiss absolutely everything feminists write and hand-wave it off as “message/politics over story”. I certainly feel that was the case with Ancillary Justice.

    Nice that you could name one, though.

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