Sad Puppies Wag Their Tales

Brad Torgersen has released the Sad Puppies 3 Hugo slate containing about 62 endorsements, and Vox Day has posted his largely similar “Rabid Puppies” list with 68 recommendations.

Ladies and gentlemen – your 2015 Hugo final ballot!

Or it will be if Brad Torgersen and Vox Day get their wish.

There are 7 entries on Torgersen’s list that don’t overlap Day’s. There are 11 on Day’s list that aren’t on Torgersen’s (including two nominations for Vox Day himself, and one for Torgersen, who listed none of his own work).

And Larry Correia doubtless will have something to say later, having written a few days ago encouraging his readers to join the Worldcon so they’d be eligible to vote the slate.

In 2014, Sad Puppies 2 placed 7 of its 12 recommendations on the final Hugo ballot.

The one thing that completely astonishes me about these lists is that they left William Patterson’s Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century Volume 2: The Man Who Learned Better out of the Best Related Work category. Besides the subject, Heinlein, Patterson the author once lectured at the Cato Institute. What kind of right wingers are they, anyway?

Update 02/02/2015: Adjusted the number of Vox Day self-nominations to two, based on a subsequent change in his post which replaced his short story with a work by John C. Wright. // And Larry Correia has now posted his take on SP3. Considering how pleased he sounds about “getting the SJWs to have a giant public freak out” it’s ironic that he closes his post “There’s a blog that hates me and constantly misconstrues what Sad Puppies is about. If I recall correctly it has something like TWENTY EIGHT Hugo nominations.” As Rick asked Major Strasser in Casablanca — “Are my eyes really blue?”

32 thoughts on “Sad Puppies Wag Their Tales

  1. The “Sad Puppies” slate lists for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) three *series* (Grimm – NBC, Marvel’s Agent’s of Shield – ABC. Warehouse 13 – SyFY), which is probably going to be counter-productive, since people following the sale will enter three things that are not even eligible.

  2. And the other BDP Short Form nomination, Game of Thrones, is a puzzling thing to put on a list of allegedly neglected works, seeing as it won last year.

    Likewise, I’m dubious that The LEGO Movie, Interstellar, or Guardians of the Galaxy are going to need a lot of extra help to get on the ballot.

  3. As far as I can see, Sad Puppies is Correia’s way of trying again to get a Hugo this year.

    I think his chances were better with Warbound, which at least had magic and airships, but we’ll see how it goes.

  4. Well, now I know what to autorank below No Award should any of the obvious Puppy only items make the final ballot (i.e. nah, I don’t think Guardians of the Galaxy producers came asking to be included in this).

    And to the Puppies, no, I’m very far from an SJW. And while I don’t mind a creator doing a post in their personal social media as to what they did last year that’s eligible and in what category, I do seriously mind a politically oriented effort from any political axis to stuff the ballot box. I feel that’s damaging to the Hugos, thus my decision to put all such below No Award if it appears the creator is cooperating with such an effort. If the SJW crowd is doing such, they’re clearly clever enough to do it only among sworn to secrecy true believers, and thus I’ve not heard of it.

  5. I’m hoping that File770 gets a Hugo nomination this year. It is not too often that a humble article goes viral, not just locally but around the globe.

  6. @Tom Galloway – A question for you: If you seriously thought that the Hugos were *already* compromised by politically-oriented ballot stuffing, how would you go about trying to combat that? If you read the most recent Hugo-winners, their political uniformity is rather telling, if you ask me. Explicitly pushing for right-leaning and politically moderate authors strikes me as the only open and honest way to bring balance back to the Hugos. I think it’s a shame that you’re strongly condemning that. Your position ironically just serves to reinforce the heavy politicization that’s already in place. I think it would be much better if you read all the nominees that made it unto the ballot, and voted on the basis of merit.

    In my mind, there’s nothing more damaging to the Hugos than voters who don’t put the actual quality of the works as their top priority in their voting considerations.

  7. I guess it makes me an ancient fuddy-duddy, but I still hold firmly to the belief that the only acceptable way to win a Hugo is (or should be, though I can think of a few exceptions in past reality) to write a science-fiction (or related) book that is remarkably both good and popular.

    So okay, it may be a defect in the award that “popular” sometimes gets too much weight. But really now… if people want to be elected on a political basis, with all the bullshit that involves, I think they ought to run for a political office.

  8. Shameless Self-Promotion is a way of life these days. There’s *so* much stuff out there, sometimes it is the only way to get noticed.

    However, pimping your work because of political beliefs is… well… about as glamorous as pimping sounds.

  9. Vincent, please reread my post. I explicitly say that I’ve not been aware of any mass organized effort by SJWs to stuff the nominations/ballots. If there’s anything similar to the Sad Puppy mantra of “Here’s a slate of works whose politics we agree with” going on, they’re at least being a lot more subtle about it. If you have evidence of such other than “Works I don’t like the politics of have been winning Hugos/getting nominated”, please elucidate. If there were a “Happy Kittens” campaign similar to Sad Puppies, I’d be ranking those works below No Award too.

    And I honestly find it hard to believe you can’t see how your first and second paragraphs completely contradict each other.

  10. Getting a Hugo for Larry Correia was never a part of the agenda. Indeed, if he had actually won an award, he would have lost his argument.

    The overall question is: Is it appropriate to judge a work on the basis of the author’s personal/political views, or only on the work’s actual merit? This is a question fandom really should reflect on.

    If the Hugos could be voted on in some kind of double-blind method, where the name and personal history of the author wasn’t known, would that help make the award truly reflect the best of that year’s SFF? Well, this is of course impossible.

    So we are left with: Are the Hugos an award based on the quality of the fiction, or are they an award for authors based on their political views? And does the Hugo/Worldcon electorate specifically lean Left/Liberal? The starting assumption, based on the recent nominees/results was yes, but to test that assumption one would need to put some quality fiction from authors of different political viewpoints on the ballot. (The fact that this took a special effort tended to reinforce the premise). If the vote was based purely on quality, some of these works could at least be expected to place well. If the vote was based on the author’s politics, that could also be seen by the results.

    Indeed, in the frenzy of reaction and attempts at blacklisting, and the promises of so many to not even CONSIDER reading the works on the proposed slate, so that no proper judgement of quality could be made, the premise was proven to be correct.

    Now the experiment should be repeated for validation. And if the Hugos truly are being awarded based on politics instead of quality, calling the Hugo an award for the best in SFF would be an utter falsehood.

    Oh, and Tom Galloway, are you suggesting that you would vote against anything on Brad’s list, REGARDLESS OF QUALITY? Would that not make you part of the problem? You should vote for quality regardless of who is supporting the nomination. Brad’s list is no different than TOR pointing out which of its products are eligible this year. It has no power beyond informing the electorate of possible candidates. They must still make the ultimate decision.

  11. @Tom Galloway

    No, my two paragraphs do not contradict each other. Nowhere am I saying that people should vote for the “sad puppies” slate just because of the politics of the writers. All I’m saying is that all the nominees should be given fair consideration, and voted on with respect to the actual quality of the works, not over how the writers choose to promote themselves and some of their colleagues.

    The best sci-fi works should win the Hugos, period. That’s my position. Your position may well result in deserving works not winning just because you don’t like how they’ve chosen to promote themselves. I strongly disagree with that, and I sincerely hope you will reconsider your position.

  12. Tom – there’s no contradiction, so long as you look at it the “right” way: only SJWs engage in politicking the Hugos; Sad Puppies are defending us from SJW excesses, which isn’t politicking, it’s just the way things should be. After all, when you’re “right”, you’re right.

  13. Tom, will you be autoranking Jason Sanford’s list of nominations under No Award also? Or does it have to have a special name to get it auto-hated?

  14. I find the mismatch between the rhetoric of the Sad Puppies crowd (too much politics in the Hugos, not enough fun stories) and their nominees (lots of politics, with a few token popular stories thrown in as camoflage) to be rather amusing.

  15. Sigh. I’m not one to resort to rolled up Hugo nomination ballots to housebreak puppies but some sure do try one’s patience. Since pitching a fit, er, slate worked for them last year it’s no surprise to see a similar fit, er, slate being pushed again. It might even again succeed in getting a few of them placed on the Hugo nominee shortlist. Of course what it also does is prevent some other very talented writers from making on the list since they’re having to get noticed the old fashioned way, by word of mouth or just happenstance. Even the Locus list isn’t as effective because of the simple fact that it’s much longer and therefore more diffuse in how it influences Hugo nominators. So as a tactic the targeted slate works to make a silly political point, but it’s to the detriment of the Hugos and what they’re supposed to represent. So shame on them again.

  16. Considering that one of the big names in Sad Puppies is a big name in #gurpgork, yes, yes it is.

  17. How is it that with someone like Theodore Beale involved, Larry Correia still comes off as the worst person involved with the Sad Puppies?

  18. Oh, right!

    If there are any fellow Hugo voters here who want to stick it to the Sad/Rabid Puppies, here’s a editable spreadsheet containing many potential nominees for every category. I think Lady Business might be responsible for it? Anyway, it’s been a big help. Consider it our counterstrike.

  19. Dr Mauser: I suppose I might make an exception if it turned out that something on the Puppy ballot was really, really, amazingly good (so far the only thing I’m hearing that sort of level of praise for is The Martian…which appears not to be eligible due to previous publication and isn’t on the Puppy slate). To be blunt, a lot of what the Puppies are advocating amounts to “competent commercial fiction”…and that’s not meant as a general insult. I enjoy that sort of thing. But I think a Hugo should have more to it. As an example from a different genre, in the first dozen or so Spenser detective novels there are several I’d see as award worthy in addition to being good commercial fiction. After The Widening Gyre though, it’s my opinion that the series turned into solid commercial fiction that wasn’t award worthy (although there were still occasional flashes of such). Note: Please don’t bother to respond with “Hugo winner X wasn’t at that level!” as it’s irrelevant. I might even agree with you on specific works. But “The winners aren’t who I wanted them to be” is a weak argument. Also “more” does equal “particular political viewpoint”, at least for me.

    Vincent; being a part of an organized effort to get particular political viewpoint stories on the ballot is, to me, a deliberate effort to mess up the Hugos such that they’re no longer worth considering as significant. If someone chooses to pull such an attack on the Hugos, I don’t feel bad about a consequence being that I don’t consider them unless, as stated above, they’re clearly crazy wicked great.

    Hong: I’d never heard of Jason Sanford nor seen his proposed nominations before reading your post. Looking at them, and some of his posts about the Hugos, 1) I’m in strong disagreement with him about the politicalization and desirability for lack of same in the Hugos 2) He does seem to be posting what amounts to a slate, rather than a general “things I liked a whole lot” (i.e. 5 items per category rather than 1-2 or 7-10 indicating either “I really liked these” or “Here are things I think worthy of a nomination”, which I don’t think is cool. 3) On the other hand, it does appear to be one person’s personal opinion, not a group trying to line up a bunch of fanbases to nominate/vote in unison. 4) He’s at least subtle enough not to explicitly say “These are my picks because politics”. Should it be called to my attention that a bunch of different authors/prominent fen who all happen to be SJW and/or liberal (I suspect Sanford is liberal; I didn’t read enough by him to go further) are pushing the exact same or close to it slate, yeah, it’s quite possible I’ll rank them below No Award too.

  20. Sorry, in the final line of my previous post, it should be “Also “more” does *not* equal “particular political viewpoint”, at least for me.”; I accidentally left out the “not”.

  21. Its $40 per person who signs up to vote…. hold a free food night on this. its money for the con goers.

  22. One of the best novel slots is likely taken. People who signed up to vote for Word of Radiance. Its book 2, in a long fantasy so it likely wont win.

  23. The Sad Puppies campaign is pretty much the opposite of Gamergate.

    In Gamergate, the left-wingers are the “outsiders” criticizing the mainstream’s unspoken biases.

    In Sad Puppies, the right-wingers are the “outsiders” criticizing the mainstream’s unspoken biases.

    And in both cases, the mainstream is throwing a fit about how people are suddenly “politicizing” things. They’re not. The politics have always been there; they’ve just been latent, enforced by custom rather than voting blocs.

  24. KC: Your comment that “the politics have always been there” led me to think about how the socialization of writers within fandom (like at clubs and cons) worked in the 1970s when I was a new fan. As you may be aware the preceding decade of the Sixties was highly politicized — Vietnam, civil rights, the Cold War, welfare issues–and fans and writers were divided about these things too. But I can think of a fair number of typical political conservatives who welcomed the freedom available in fandom to participate in such aspects of the counter culture as smoking dope and having unmarried sex. These aren’t attitudes that were always evident from their writings. But it may explain why people got along better back then, because if they were divided left-right about some things, they agreed in advocating some other things that weren’t approved in the mainstream.

    Some of those sexual attitudes are today critcized not as freedoms but as exploitative or worse.

    I’m oversimplifying, there’s a great deal more that would need to be said to represent all points of view, I just think we should consider that if the politics have always been there, how they play out has changed, and that is what has made some of the latent oppositions dynamic.

  25. Mike Kerpan, you’re making a pretty broad statement about the items on Brad’s list. I would wager that you haven’t actually read them all to assay their political content, nor their quality. That does seem to be SOP for those opposed to the campaign.

    Mike Glyer: Very true, the same Robert Heinlein that people accuse of being a Fascist for Starship Troopers was also a proto-Hippie if you read Stranger in a Strange Land, and when he DID delve into politics early in his life, he was a Democrat. A number of his books featured “One World Government” which is something of a touchstone of the left. These days many of his critics haven’t even read one of his books, merely the criticisms of others, which they parrot ad infinitum.

    Politics these days no longer seem to be a spectrum, but distinct camps, with a lot of Us vs. Them posturing. The whole Sad Puppies campaign merely brought it out to the forefront with regard to WorldCon and the Hugos, but there have been plenty of other examples of really extreme politics ruining things in the fandom.

    I think some of the comments on this thread have amply demonstrated the truth of this.

    Fandom needs to regain some balance, lest every con turn into WisCon.

    And yes, that WOULD be a Bad Thing.

  26. For some reason my picks for the Hugo and Nebula Awards are being held up as the opposing slate against the Sad Puppies campaign of Larry Correia, Brad Torgersen, and Vox Day. Err, hell no. I’ve never organized a ballot stuffing campaign and my posting of my nominations is something I’ve done for many years. I thought this was merely a way to promote the stories I loved and be transparent about my vote.

    I go on at length about all this on my blog:

  27. I was going to point out the same thing as Jason: telling other people what eligible works you like is not the same thing as organizing a campaign for clearly stated political reasons and the wish to make liberals’ heads explode or whatever.

    Vincent V:
    “If you read the most recent Hugo-winners, their political uniformity is rather telling, if you ask me.”

    This part of the Sad Puppy reasoning I don’t get. Last year’s winners were Ancillary Justice, Equoid, Lady Astronaut of Mars and The Water That Falls On You From Nowhere. They were essentially stories about an AI who has trouble deciphering the sex of people it meets (+colonialism in space), a Lovecraftian unicorn, an old astronaut and a gay person coming out (+weird weather phenomena).

    I don’t know what is their political uniformity that the Sad Puppy guys keep going on about. There’s close to zero political content in all of these. Sure, there’s a gay person in one story (and maybe some people think that there shouldn’t be gay people in fiction), but I really don’t know what could be a milder political statement than using a gay character in 2013. Sure, Ann Leckie calls herself a feminist, but I know other much more outspoken feminists who didn’t get a Hugo (so I guess it’s fair to say that she didn’t get it because or her feminism).

  28. The Sad Puppies read and vote on the basis of politics, so they think everyone else does too.

    It’s a pity there’s no Happy Kittens movement, but let’s face it, most science fiction readers don’t march in unison the way the Sad Puppies do. I can tell my friends which works I liked and suggest they read them, but dozens of other non-Puppy fen are doing the same thing, and our tastes differ.

  29. Cat: I’m not sure that “read and vote on the basis of politics” is quite right. What I think is going on is that in general they consider themselves “normal” and that of course because what they like isn’t winning, that is “abnormal.” Therefore, people who like something other than them are “abnormal,” and must be reading/nominating/voting for things other than because they happen to like those things. Thus, they conclude is must be political.

    To be honest, you don’t have to be right-wing to fall into the trap of assuming that people who don’t like the things you do are doing so for nefarious purposes. I call this the “Fandom is a [Liberal] Way of Life” fallacy, from when I encountered politically liberal (US definition) people in fandom who couldn’t comprehend the possibility that there were SF/F fans who weren’t liberals.

  30. Well, as long as the Sad Puppies keep the issues about “those” people, “that” crowd, or “these” people, I’m afraid it isn’t anything real.

    Worthy of nomination translates into “I liked this book a lot”. It isn’t about “them”.

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