Puppy Hunter Nemesis 4/25

aka It Was On Fire When I Lifted My Leg On it

Live from Arcadia, it’s File 770 in the middle of Saturday Night! Jim C. Hines, Eleanor Arnason, Vox Day, and other voices from the blogosphere have their say about the fate of the Hugo Awards. (Title credits go to File 770 consulting editors of the day Steve Moss and Laura Resnick.)

Jim C. Hines

Choosing “Sides” – April 25

Part of my anger at Torgersen and Correia is because I feel like they deliberately encouraged this Us vs. Them mentality in order to win support and votes. They invented an evil cabal of “Them,” then rallied people to join their side against this fictitious enemy. Which only increases the abuse and the hatred. And please note: I’m angry at them as individuals, not because they’re conservative, or because of their views on gun control, or because they might have a different religious belief than I do. I’m angry because whatever problems were out there, these two individuals actively made them worse, and they hurt a great many people in the process. Themselves included.

Fandom is not two distinct sides. It’s a bunch of people who like things in a really big genre, a genre that has guns and spaceships and dinosaurs and dragons and magic and manly men and genderfluid protagonists and grittiness and erotica and humor and hard-core feminism and sexism and racism and hope and stereotypes and anger and messages and politics and fluff and were-jaguars and superheroes and so much more.


Eleanor Arnason

“More About the Hugo Hooroosh” –  April 24

I was reading George Martin’s Not a Blog and noticed something. Larry Correia was up for a Campbell Award for best new writer in 2011. He didn’t get it and — per him — at a bad time at Worldcon. Brad Torgerson was up for a Campbell and a Hugo in 2012 and got neither. But you are only eligible for a Campbell for two years after you first publish. It looks as if both these guys had fast and very promising starts to their careers. (A Campbell is not chopped liver. Being up for a Hugo a year or two after you first publish is not so bad. In addition, Correia was on the New York Times bestseller list in 2011.) This is Puppy # 3 this year, which means Puppy #1 was in 2013. Okay, two years after not getting the Campbell, Correia began an attack on the Hugos, because he felt the selection process was unfair. I don’t know if Torgerson joined Puppydom in its first year or a year later. In either case, he was campaigning against the Hugo a year or two after he was first up for the Campbell and Hugo. This seems to show a huge impatience. It wasn’t as if these guys watched the Hugo process for ten or twenty years and decided it was unfair. They decided this almost as soon as they were published.

I have been a Hugo nominee once, 25 years after I was first published. When I got the Tiptree Award, almost 20 years after I was first published, people assumed it was for my first novel. No, I’d had three novels previously published, but they more or less sank like stones. It was frustrating and angering and depressing to work for 20 years before I got much attention. Did I think the award system was fixed? Not that I can remember. I thought life was unfair. Looking back, I think I didn’t write enough and my writing wasn’t a kind that got quick attention. Point is, Correia and Torgerson came into the field, were noticed at once, and decided this notice was not enough, because they didn’t win the Campbell and (in Torgerson’s case) the Hugo. The award system must be crooked.

I realize my description of my career sounds like a whine. Whining is not bad, now and then. Trying to destroy the Hugos is not good.

What I notice is how hard people work in order to succeed, and I also notice that many people work equally hard and write well and don’t pile up money and awards. I think someone should have taken Correia and Torgerson aside and told them writing is a very difficult line of work and maybe they should get MBAs.


Vox Day on Vox Popoli

“A special kind of cowardice” – April 25

Sure, they claim that I am stupid, that I am an idiot, that I am crazy, that I am a badthinker, that my views are beyond the pale and unacceptable to all goodthinking people. But if they are correct, why are they so afraid of me? Why are they so afraid to simply meet me on equal terms and prove that my ideas are indefensible and wrong? Because they can’t. And more importantly, they know they can’t. This sort of thing doesn’t upset me. I just sent an email to David Pakman offering to do a second interview with him, one that would actually address #GamerGate, the game industry, and the Hugo Awards. I’m entirely willing to talk to the people on the Nerdvana Podcast too. If you’d like to see me do either, go ahead and contact Pakman or Nerdvana and let them know. But (and I cannot stress this strongly enough), I don’t care. I don’t have a media career. I’m not concerned about looking like a politician on camera. I’m not concerned about talking points or winning people over, and I neither need nor want any more platforms than the one I’ve got.


Karl-Johan Norén on Brasklapp

“Thoughts on the Hugos and the Puppies”

Fifth, to me the Hugos aren’t like the Oscars, who are primarily about commercial achievements in the field. I want to give the Hugos to the works that stretches and expands the field of science fiction and fantasy the most: picking up new questions, giving new tools to other authors, and so on. Sometimes, that means going over some old field again, if only to look at it with new eyes (like John Scalzi did in Redshirts). In short, the Hugos should be the science fictional vanguard of science fiction. They should be good reads, but they should stretch your mind, too.


Vox Maximus

“If Vox Day is a Bastard, are the Anti-Puppies Bastards Too?” – April 25

But here is the key point:  Vox Day can use the exact same reasoning as the Anti-Puppies are using today in order to justify his actions in 2016. After all, he can state that his use of the “No Award” option is being used both 1) as a sign of protest against what Anti-Puppies did to the Puppies in 2015 and also because 2) Vox Day and those that follow him in the SFF community simply do not believe that the Anti-Puppy and SJW nominated works in 2016 are Hugo worthy, thus meaning that those works can be legitimately voted below “No Award” for that year. But how can Vox Day and his followers know, in advance of the 2016 Hugo nominations, that they will indeed be dissatisfied with those nominations? Quite simply, by an inductive inference. It is, after all, entirely in accord with inductive reasoning to come to believe that if most (or even all) of what was nominated in the past by such individuals as the Anti-Puppies and SJWs was not Hugo worthy, then the works nominated by such individuals in 2016 will also be unworthy of a Hugo. So while Vox and his followers may be making a bit of an inductive leap in anticipating the Hugo unworthiness of the 2016 Anti-Puppy / SJW nominated works, it is by no means an unreasonable leap. Hence it is reasonable for him to claim, today, that he will be justified in voting “No Award” in 2016.


Hugos by Gary Locke

Hugos by Gary Locke

James Braid on The Washington Free Beacon

“The Men Who Started the Hugo Awards Controversy” – April 25

Correia and Torgersen’s approach to storytelling finds itself in the same position as modern cultural conservatism—fighting a rearguard action against a swelling elite consensus. Rule changes will prevent them from succeeding in stacking the Hugo ballot again, and the dominant forces of speculative fiction will once again reassert themselves. Future awards will continue the practice of judging the author first and the story second. But Torgersen and Correia have bright careers ahead of them—and both their efforts with the Hugos and their books have given the identity politickers, the social justice warriors, and the literary snobs a black eye.


D Jason Fleming on According To Hoyt

“Broken Hugo Fisking – D Jason Fleming” – April 25

Note that, prior to the Sad Puppies victory this year, according to “everybody” (that is, the popular establishment opinion), Everything Was Awesome except for Larry Correia’s Hugo nomination which, because Larry is a nasty non-leftist, was Too Abhorrent To Discuss. But the problem was Larry, and Vox Day, and the wrong kinds of fans getting involved in the process.

But this year, the Sad Puppies dominated the nominations before the whisper campaigns got certain authors to withdraw their works because of cooties. And while, at first, we still heard that Everything Was Awesome, that excuse just wasn’t flying anymore.

So, now, thanks to Sad Puppies 3, people who have a violent allergic reaction to any nonconformist wrongthink are admitting that, well, okay, something is wrong.

In other words, the Sad Puppies ended up both Speaking Truth To Power and Starting A Conversation.


On Reading SFF

“Contemplating this year’s Hugo Reading” – April 25

This year I will not make myself suffer by reading bad (this is subjective, of course) fiction. I am not sure how I will judge where to set the limit for no-awarding stories. Earlier, I was considering to use my personal impression of the quality of last year’s non-sad-puppy nominees as to what needs to be achieved by a nominated story to make my personal No-Awards cut. This might be too strict, though. I am inexperienced in terms of Hugo voting. It’s very well possible that last year’s non-puppy nominees were exceptionally good nominees. So I am currently considering to make some allowances for my inexperience and put everything that I would at least give a 3 out of 5 rating on places like goodreads or amazon above No Award.


Ron Collins on The Typosphere

“The First Annual Rongo Awards” – April 25

So I have looked at the trench warfare going on within these waters (if I can be allowed to mix some metaphors) from a perch fairly close by, and have finally decided that while I am probably less intelligent than I look, I am not—and I repeat, not—a total sadist. Beyond that, I completely understand my place in this world. I understand I have no real mouthpiece or plank from which to give deep commentary that would have any chance of making a difference. (I am, however, also giving myself a self-serving pat on the back for thinking myself smart enough to assume there’s not a single person in this struggle who seems capable of providing any great commentary that has a chance to actually change anything. My opinion of human nature is that once a person digs a trench, it generally remains dug.) This doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions. Believe me. I’ve got plenty of ‘em. I just don’t see how me pounding the table can help in much of any way.

Still, I want to do something, and I would like that something to be pointed toward the positive.

And after considerable thought on the matter, I’ve decided that the best thing I can do is to spend some time highlighting pieces published in 2014 that I’ve read and enjoyed, and that were clearly “overlooked” by the slate-based approach the Puppy tandem either (depending on your point of view) rightly or wrongly employed.

So that’s what I’ll do.

My intention is, about once a week, to use my little platform here to point out a work I thought award-worthy. I plan to do this until the Hugos are actually announced, though perhaps I’ll go on longer. We shall see. I may touch on stories that are actually on the ballot, but probably will not. I assume folks who care are already exploring those works. My intention is to use my little place in the world of Science Fiction to talk about work I would not have been surprised to see on the Hugo ballot, but were not. They will be stories that should be on ballots somewhere (and maybe even be on ballots for awards not named “the Hugos”). Because I tend to be a weird reader, my selections will likely be all over the spectrum. Regardless, I hope folks will enjoy them.

This is the best way I can think of to address this ongoing strife, and to help these stories and the authors thereof—to talk about the work, to highlight it, and to hold it up for people to see and think about.

Focus on the positive.

Focus on what I think is quality.

Given this, I shall be awarding this collective of stories I highlight the High Honor of “the Ron’s Good Reading Award,” or “the Rongo,” for short. It is an award of high acclaim indeed, and sure to grow to extreme import–certain to change the very essence of the lives of those to whom my fickle finger of fate shall at point.

Perhaps I’ll even go so far as to create a logo for them in my copious spare time. Or not. Why cheapen such a thing with a brand, eh?


Erick Melton on Bifrost’s Trumpet

“A Wheelbarrow of Books – My Offering for a Hugo Nomination Process – April  25

Acknowledging a body of work by awarding a less than deserving piece happens.  It’s the political overtones of the current send-up that makes it more unseemly.  And sad, too.  Because there will ALWAYS BE someone who will feel the “right” winner was snubbed NO MATTER who actually wins.  I stopped watching the Oscars in 1994 when Searching for Bobby Fischer, which I believe to be one of the best movies of all time, was only nominated for cinematography that year and didn’t even win that.  The film that won Best Picture that year was Schindler’s List.  The film that won Best Picture that year was Schindler’s List.  A selection that was, I think, motivated both by a desire to make up for previous snubs toward director Steven Spielberg and due its subject matter.

But that’s how it goes with awards.  And it’s how it’s gone with the Hugos this year.  What will make it worse is if, next year, to “restore balance” or “express the true spirit of the fandom” another slate of nominees is promoted to correct what is seen as this year’s political wrong.  If this happens, and happens again and again, we may as well fill a barrel with books and tell all the prospective nominees that the Best Novelist will be the one who can push their wheelbarrow down the track the fastest.  It will have as much to do with actually selecting a worthy piece of work as what will develop from any reactionary response.

I like this idea.  If we make it a hiking contest to the top of Eaton Canyon, near Pasadena where I live, instead, I could become the Best Writer of Science Fiction without even typing a single word.


Notes From Coode Street

“Episode 231: Ian Mond, James Bradley and the 2015 Hugo Novel Shortlist” – April 26

We almost completely avoid issues surrounding the ballot, and instead focus on discussing the novels and what might make them interesting to read.  Our thanks to James and Ian for making time to record the podcast. As always, we hope you enjoy the episode!



Karl-Johan Norén on Brasklapp

“Sad Puppies (filk)”  – January 11

The sound of postings on the net good fans, lock down your comment sections.
Beware they seek the deadly set that spawns objections and rejections.
Sad puppies, sad puppies! They seek the perfect screed.
Sad puppies, sad puppies! They’re very sad indeed.
Sad: the books they find deserving. Sad: their look when Hugos settle.
From bias Hugos they are saving; their pot is blacker than their kettle.
Sad puppies, sad puppies, now planning their reruns.
Sad puppies, sad puppies, you poor and little ones.

72 thoughts on “Puppy Hunter Nemesis 4/25

  1. In other words, debates can appear to be ‘won’ by people who play games with debating. Logic has nothing to do with it.

    Ken Ham has no trouble ‘winning’ debates – it doesn’t make Creationism true.

  2. Heh. I put it to the crowd that based on the evidence of the Hugo nomination last year, Mr Beale knows very little about writing, period. Your argument is unpersuasive to me.

  3. Why did a rape victim call you out for insensitivity and politicizing rape on that one before you closed comments, Jim?

  4. “If this is all because of one man…why did so many Worldcon members vote for this year’s candidates?”

    Your question has been asked and answered btw – which brings me back to the pointlessness of all of this. You’ve said these things before. We’ve countered and asked for evidence, you vanish for a bit and then pop up in another thread asking the same questions and apparently use that as proof that you’re correct.

    The problem, especially with the short fiction categories has always been there’s a HUGE amount of fiction and very little concensus, which, is yet more proof, if anybody needed to give any, that the idea of a sekrit cabal running things, is bollocks.

    And more bad faith statements and silly arguments in 5,4,3….

  5. Rek – “It didn’t add anything new that Galaxy Quest hadn’t already done.”

    While similar in content in that they were both parodying Star Trek and dealt with the concept of fiction, it used the idea that another race didn’t understand fiction as a joke driving the plot. If anything Redshirts has more in common with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead only in a more literary way with characters questioning their existence and confronting their creators and their choices. The following Codas to the main plot also explore this more but from first, second and third perspectives.

    I mean it’s entirely possible to enjoy the book as a goofy fun take on Star Trek like Galaxy Quest was, but there’s a lot more going on there as well. It’s more a love letter to the process of writing and creating, which is a theme I’d imagine many people who are a part of the Con already would enjoy. The fact that it is enjoyable on many levels is what makes the book worthy whether you think popular sci-fi adventure books aren’t getting their fair share or if you prefer the more literary bent. As an example of unworthy works that one doesn’t shake out.

  6. ‘No one cared about Correia an Torgerson…until they started playing by the rules, and winning.’

    My God, are you telling me there were no awards or award nominations for them before they started feckin’ around with targeted slate voting to game the nominations? Is that what you’re telling me? That’s a thundering disgrace. A THUNDERING DISGRACE!

  7. No Daveon, either this is one man who is a problem…or it is hundreds of fans. Make up your mind. The only evidence you have shown is proof that there has been a ten year bias against quality in the Hugos, and that bias is measurable.

    You vanish an pop up too, my friend. It is called posting.

  8. ‘Actually… No, Nigel, I don’t believe anyone said that.’

    But they were ignoooooooooored until they threw off their fetters and took the law into their own hands and justice to the streets! So lonely.

  9. there has been a ten year bias against quality in the Hugos, and that bias is measurable

    Someone oughtta measure it, then, and report those measurements back to the rest of us.

  10. “The only evidence you have shown is proof that there has been a ten year bias against quality in the Hugos, and that bias is measurable.”

    What unworthy books of low quality have won Hugo awards that have strong message over story over the last ten years? If the bias is measurable, measure it.

  11. So…. Teddy put together a slate, told people to vote it exactly, and is now going to vote 3BP for Best Novel, though it’s not on his slate.

    That’s quality!

  12. ‘here has been a ten year bias against quality in the Hugos’

    Judging by some of what SP/RPs have been nominating, it’s easy to see why they’d think that.

  13. Ok so if you would let me know what those books are we can debate. I’ve asked you before and you’ve not replied and by gum I’m not expecting one today.

  14. Well indeed Nigel. If what was nominated is what they consider to be a ‘good read’ then we have a significant difference in what we think of as ‘good’.

    That’s fine and historically it hasn’t been a problem until you get lots of people with -exactly- the same taste voting in the same way. but we’ve been over this before. We’ve asked the trolls to actually post some actually f’ing evidence and they never have. And they never will.

  15. xdpaul on –You produce opinions the way a corpse produces maggots. No matter how many are squashed, there will always be more.

  16. Milt Stevens — Eventually the maggots run out of anything to chew on. So there’s that to look forward to.

  17. “So…. Teddy put together a slate, told people to vote it exactly, and is now going to vote 3BP for Best Novel, though it’s not on his slate.”

    I noticed that too. His sheep got two of his hand-picked nominees on the ballot — Skin Game by Jim Butcher and The Dark Between the Stars by Kevin J. Anderson — and he’s going to vote for something that wasn’t even on his slate as the best novel of the year.

    I wonder how long it will take before someone tells us this is part of his brilliant plan.

  18. Jim Hines- To your credit you avoided the vulgarities employed by Scalzi. So good job there.

    Two related reasons I consider your response to Larry Corriea despicable. First, you didn’t link to it (at least that I saw). You elected to provide your summary of his post. And you got it dead wrong. The absence of a link suggests that this was omission was intentional.

    Specifically you said this about Corriea:

    “I don’t understand the fear some people — again, this seems to be primarily men — have when it comes to looking at other solutions. Instead of reading the research, they just proclaim that education will never work, because reasons. They ignore the pervasiveness of rape myths, the myriad approaches to things like bystander intervention, the utterly broken way our legal system treats rape, and all of the other factors that contribute to the prevalence of rape in our society.

    There’s nothing new in LC’s rant. It’s the same attitude we’ve seen for ages, an attitude that conveniently puts the burden on victims to end rape, oversimplifies the problem, and allows the rest of us to look away and pretend there isn’t a real or widespread problem here, despite countless studies showing otherwise.”

    Larry, like Ms USA, never suggested that the only way a woman should protect herself is self-defense. He never suggested their wasn’t a wide spread problem. He never suggested we look away. He never suggested that the burdens be placed on the victims.

    You put those words in his mouth. And that’s despicable.

  19. Yeah. I have no idea why an otherwise civil and productive body of fans would ever suspect that the hugos had been overtaken by exclusive and abusive groupthinkers.

  20. “groupthinkers” !?

    Correct me if I’m wrong but it seems like people are upset at the Puppies for, as a group, voting for the exact same people and preventing those with their actual own opinions, that weren’t given to them by a dude with an axe to grind, from getting a say in the short list.

    It’s almost as if you’re projecting. 🙂

  21. And a perfect example there of why this isn’t a debate. Xdpaul makes an assertion. We question it. He changes the subject.


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