Send In The Puppies… Don’t Bother They’re Here 4/28

aka One To Forsee For Puppies

Reactions to Edmund R. Schubert’s withdrawal as a Hugo nominee dominate today’s roundup, illustrated here by quotes from Lou Antonelli, N. K. Jemisin, Deirdre Saoirse Moen, George R.R. Martin and Dara Korra’ti. Annie Bellet elaborated on her own withdrawal in a comment left on Jim C. Hines’ blog.

The rest of the roundup takes note of new voices like Michael A. Rothman, Rachel Iliffe, John Popham, Moira J. Moore and Brenda Noiseux, and hears more from Amanda S. Green, Will McLean, Sandy Ryalls, T. L. Knighton, Vox Day, Sean Wallace, Nick Mamatas and others. (Credit for these titles belongs to File 770 contributing editors Laura Resnick and Matt Y.)

Lou Antonelli on Facebook

I don’t know how useful it will be to attend an event whose master of ceremonies is openly antagonistic to most of the potential honorees, and who is already predicting the outcome (below) and has – in other places – essentially vowed a blacklist (“It will take people a long time to forget how you tried to destroy the Hugos” or something to that effect). I mean, if I win one, will he hit me over the head with it? Where’s MY Safe Space?






Deidre Saoirse Moen in a comment on Sounds Like Weird

[Edmund] Schubert stated on the IGMS website that he didn’t know about the slates until afterward, and I’ve updated the post with a link to his statement. (I’d seen the link mentioned before my post, but I wasn’t able to get through to the site at that time.)

While I can see an argument for doubting his word, I’m of the “I take people at their word unless I have a reason not to” school of thought.


George R.R. Martin on Not A Blog

“Schubert Withdraws” – April 28

Edmund R. Schubert, the editor of ORSON SCOTT CARD’S INTERGALACTIC MEDICINE SHOW, has announced his decision to withdraw from the Hugo race…

I understand the reasons for his withdrawal and applaud his integrity. It cannot be easy to walk away from a major award, perhaps one that you have dreamed of someday winning. And this takes courage as well; like the others who have dropped off the Puppy slate, he will undoubtedly come in for a certain amount of angry barking from the kennels.


Dara Korra’ti on crime and the forces of evil

“edmund schubert bows out” – April 28

Edmund Schubert says he’s published queer authors in Intergalactic Medicine Show, and will continue to do so, and he says that’s with the full support of Mr. Card. Also stories by and of women, and various racial groups and religions. That’s good.

But I’ve got an assortment of assaults and a hospital visit and more money than I want to think about and years of lost time and decades of living in various degrees of fear all spent fighting for my legal and occasionally physical life against Mr. Card’s allies, and, to a lesser degree, Mr. Card himself. He and his friends on the social right have quite literally cost me and millions like me untold amounts of both blood and treasure.

And his erstwhile allies still are, across the globe, American fundamentalists exporting their religion of hate, getting execution laws passed, spreading the same lies they weren’t able to sell at home any longer.

So don’t expect that to stop mattering to me. And never, ever, dare tell me that it shouldn’t matter. Because, maybe, for you, it doesn’t have to. But to me? That’s quite a luxury. One I will never have.


Annie Bellet in a comment on Jim C. Hines’ “Choosing Sides”

Thank you for writing this post, Jim. The Us vs Them and points scoring thing overtaking what the Hugos should be is exactly why I withdrew.

I should clarify though that when I say I didn’t do it because of pressure from either “side” I am not saying there wasn’t pressure (I had plenty of messages on all sides telling me to hang tough, that my story was amazing, that I shouldn’t decline just because of who might have voted for me, etc, and messages saying I should be ashamed of myself, that I’d stolen the nomination from a real writer who actually deserved it, etc). I’m saying I made my decision for many other reasons. It’s one reason I took nearly two weeks to withdraw, because it was a very tough decision and I wanted to make sure I was doing it because it was right for me, for my own reasons, and not because of what people around me were saying was right or wrong. Because I wanted to make sure my withdrawal was for me and that it could be something I felt comfortable with instead of just a reaction to other people’s pain.

Hope that clarifies.


Michael A. Rothman on Facebook – April 28

For the Big-F Fandom community who feels aggrieved that people are acting unethically or against what you feel is right, then let me make a suggestion. [This is coming from a guy who participates and runs standards organizations, so it’s not exactly coming from someone who doesn’t have a clue.]

– Change the rules to match your expectations. That means no hidden agendas or intent, be forthright about what WorldCon and more specifically the Hugos are about and form the rules around that.

If you don’t do that, all your belly aching is just that. Pathetic whining that no adult should be doing and nobody who isn’t in your clique will respect.

If you set rules, you are drawing a line in the sand. Nothing more, nothing less.

All this argument over seemliness and the proper type of voter etc. is just not professional and not what people in the real world do. You come off looking silly and quite pathetic.


Rachel Iliffe on Rachelloon Productions

“#SadPuppies : Stop the Hugo Awards Bullies?” – April 28

In 2013 when I first started this blog one of my first posts was about the STGRB controversy. For those of you who don’t know, STGRB stands for ‘Stop The GoodReads Bullies’, and was a group who formed one side of another SJW conflict—however, this was a little different to the more recent debacles we’ve grown to love.

The basic background was this: a number of popular intersectional feminist book-reviewers had been declared ‘bullies’ by a group of mostly independent authors whose books had been criticised by them for reasons of sexism etc. Now, the timeline here was very murky, or at least it was when I first became aware of it, concerning who had stated this whole thing. There were accusations of ’rounding up mobs of fans’ flying back and forth from one side to the other (I’m sure the SJWs have a word for that in their Newspeak lexicon… eh, I probably don’t want to know) and of course, accusations of doxxing, threats and harassment.

Those who supported STGRB claimed that their books had been criticised unfairly, and that when this occurred more often than not the friends and followers of these feminist reviewers, many reviewers just as popular, would immediately give their book a correspondingly poor rating on Goodreads without even thinking of actually reading it for themselves—and with many of these being indie authors, drive the average rating of the book down significantly and negatively impact the impressions of potential readers.


Amanda S. Green on Mad Genius Club

“And the tantrums continue” – April 28

The logic of so many of them fails on almost every level, from assigning SP3 as some sort of partner or even tool of GamerGate to fear that if SP3 is successful we might — gasp — get a writer like Diana Gabaldon winning a Hugo and we mustn’t have that because she writes icky romances.

Give me a freaking break. (Yes, I said something different but I’m censoring myself this morning.)

I think it was this last one that sent me screaming into the night. The fear that someone who writes fantasy with a distinct romance bent might be nominated, much less win was so over the top. It was as if those making the complaint truly believes science fiction and fantasy are still pure genres. Obviously they haven’t read much lately. If they had, they would see that there is genre crossing all around. Yes, you can, with a lot of searching, find a pure hard science fiction novel, but they are few and far between. Fantasy has, for years, had some aspect of mystery or romance or the like in it. The mixing of genres, when done well, is a good thing.

I’ll repeat that, mixing of genres when done well is a good thing.

It helps by bringing in readers who might never have picked up a science fiction or fantasy book. That brings more money to the writers and publishers. It will bring in even more new readers as word of mouth spreads. Where is the harm in all that?

The very fact that some of those who are anti-Puppy are afraid that icky romance writers might invade their ivory towers of Awardland simply proves what so many of us have been saying. Those folks have gotten too comfortable with their hold on the awards and refuse to admit, even to themselves, that there might be award-worthy books outside their comfort zone.


John Popham on The Infinite Reach

“The House of Many Rooms” – April 28

Of course, it is an ill wind that blows no one good. If nothing else, the sturm und drang surrounding the Hugos appears to have re-energized the larger science fiction community’s engagement with the Hugo voting process. George R. R. Martin commented in his blog post What Now? that a air of complacency has surrounded the nomination process in recent years, with many Worldcon members abdicating the nomination process to a small group of Worldcon insiders. As I pointed out in 2,122, for every voter who submitted a nominating ballot this year, at least seven of the ~16,000+ eligible voters did not.  I’d expect to see next year’s nominations get a lot of love from the science fiction community. With more fans voting, the 2016 nominations should represent a much broader cross-section of (lower-case) fandom’s population.

It remains to be seen, however, whether the Hugo Awards’ current open nomination process will survive beyond 2016. George R. R. Martin wrote in the same blog post that Worldcon members currently in control are crafting changes to the voting rules. The proposed changes are intended to preclude interlopers from nominating ‘undeserving’ authors and their works for Hugo Awards in the future. By definition, such rule changes would have to limit the democratic nature of the nominating process; shifting influence from the general public (who can buy a supporting Worldcon membership for $40) to insiders who can be, it is supposed, counted on to nominate works that reflect the will of Worldcon’s current movers and shakers.


Moira J. Moore on  Archives of the Triple S

“” – April 28

Many people have come to feel that it doesn’t matter who gets what award at the Hugos this year, because the whole thing is tainted. There will always be an asterisk beside the awards handed out. To me, Schubert’s announcement is a stunt. Schubert is rejecting what has turned out to be a worthless award – leaving it so late that they can’t actually take the name off the ballots – and trying to look like he’s taking a moral stand, when he’s really just making the Sad Puppies’ argument for them. And pimping out his magazine.


Will McLean on A Commonplace Book

“Keep Calm and Carry On” – April 28

Team Puppies are not, in my opinion, covering themselves with glory at this time. The Sad Puppies are in the awkward position that their slate got a lot of mutual votes from the Rabid Puppies. So they must dance an awkward dance between “We have no association with the Rabids, although we have obviously benefited from their nominations” and “We refuse to disavow the Rabids in any way, because you can’t make us and we don’t want to, and we’re not saying we don’t approve of them, but we won’t say we do approve of them either.” I think they fall between two stools.


Brenda Noiseux on Women Write About Comics

“Hurtful Fandom and the Damage of the Puppies” – April 28

Since the location of each year’s Worldcon is selected by the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS) two years prior to the date of that convention, dedicated volunteers are working for two years to produce a great experience for their fellow fans in the community. On top of that, committees bid for the site of the Worldcon, a process that can take an additional one or more years. That means that volunteers could be working on a convention three to four years in advance.

Which brings me to why the slate voting campaign has bothered me so much that I don’t want to think about it. Producing Worldcon and celebrating the winners of the Hugo Award is a gigantic all volunteer collaborative effort. For a small group of disgruntled fans, to take advantage of a loophole raises a giant middle finger to all those who dedicated countless hours to the hard work of making the Worldcon, the science fiction and fantasy community, and ultimately the Hugos better. That people who claim to be fans and part of this community could do something so hurtful, feels so personal and leaves me feeling raw.

Yes, there are issues in the literary science fiction community. Yes, there needs to be more diversity in the works that are encouraged and celebrated while at the same time retaining the high standards. Yes, there needs to be an embracing of new fans, younger fans, more diverse fans.

Change is never easy nor does it happen overnight. Positive organic change is happening in the science fiction and fantasy community, and I’ll keep doing my part and putting in the hard work to help it along.


Sandy Ryalls on Black Gate

“The Proxy Culture War for the Soul of Middle-Earth” – April 27

Privilege Distress and the Proxy in the Proxy War

Privilege distress is better defined here than anything I can manage. For those who aren’t going to read another article: privilege distress is the feeling of unease felt by people who are having injustice that works in their favor re-addressed.

It’s a permanent fixture in the culture war, and most political discourse. There’s a reason that Republicans play well with white men and Democrats play well with women and members of racial minorities. That reason is that the broad strokes of the culture war are whether we want a society which favors those it favors, or whether we want one which works for everyone.

One of the major fronts of the culture war in the age of the Internet Native is the ongoing clash between the Social Justice (SJ) movement and the self-proclaimed Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs). Media is a pretty big part of that front because it’s a major principle of the overarching SJ philosophy that culture is important and shapes the rest of society.

SJ activists want geekdom (along with the rest of society) to be a safe, inclusive space.

The MRAs don’t think there is a problem and look upon attempts to change our culture with suspicion and hostility.

To MRA’s, the fact that women have buying power in the media sphere and people have ways of having social discourse that doesn’t pander to white maleness is a threat. This isn’t just ideology. It’s also identity.

I mention the Republicans because Coriella did. Because he flat-out crowed that the vandalization of the Hugos was an act of red state, culture war, privilege distress and he linked it to the gamer movement which responded to mild criticism of some video games with death threats, the leaking of personal information, and a threat to shoot up a university.

The proxy part is where this intersects with geekdom. One of the unfortunate shared experiences of most geeks is bullying. Most geeks feel outside of social normality because they’ve been put there by other people. The trauma carried by a lot of geeks surrounding this is very real and very unfortunate.

It’s also true that, in a lot of ways, the SJ philosophy is born of an intellectual liberalism; that its adherents go beyond geekdom; that it can often take a snooty, condescending tone; that outrage is certainly in its playbook; that problematic parts of geekdom can be caricatured in ways that are reminiscent of the bullying faced by a lot of white male geeks.

This makes it very easy for the places where the MRAs meet geekdom to paint the places where the SJ activists meet geekdom as judgmental, insurgent, outsiders intent on stripping away their solace and condemning them for the unforgivable sin of being a weirdo. To tie that white male geek identity with an antipathy to SJ activists as a group rather than engaging with the issues which are actually being fought over.


T. L. Knighton

“Tale of Two Fandoms”  – April 28

First, let’s look at the CHORFs.  Yes, I’m going to use it, and I really don’t care how bad someone we accuse of being a CHORF claims it’s never going to be a thing.  Mostly because it is, so she can get over it.  CHORFs also tend to lean left politically, but not universally.

The CHORFs tend to prefer more literary science fiction, which is fine.  I don’t care for it, but the world isn’t built around my preferences.  However, that’s not where it ends.  The CHORFs seem to feel that they are the arbiters of taste and decency.  They feel they’re also the arbiters of morality. They know why a bisexual person disagrees with them about things, and it’s things like self-hate and homophobia (and a bi person can be homophobic? Does that mean a black person actually can be racist?) because no sane person could possibly disagree with them.

CHORFs tend to control awards, because historically they’ve been the group that really cares about that sort of thing.  They’re the masters of the whisper campaigns, the rallying of their buddies to get their names on the ballot quietly and behind the scenes, but would never do something as unseemly as try to rally supporters in public…unless they do it, then it’s totes different because reasons.


Mark Hemingway in The Weekly Standard

“Revenge of the Nerds” – April 27

[Note: TWS  has given a new timestamp to the same piece linked here on April 17, if you were reading the roundup then.]

For more than 50 years, the Hugo Awards have been handed out at the annual World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) to honor the best science fiction and fantasy writing of the previous year. But when the nominees for this year’s Hugos were announced, it touched off a firestorm unlike any in the awards’ history.

That’s because so many of this year’s nominees are perceived (not always correctly) to be conservative or libertarian. A group of right-leaning science fiction authors organized a campaign to stuff this year’s Hugo Awards ballot with writers they felt had been overlooked.

Kgbooklog in a comment on More Words, Deeper Hole:

Maybe it’s time for a new rule: If 10% or more of the finalists decline their nomination, the Hugo Award is canceled for that year and the time and space reserved for the award ceremony is used for the Business Meeting instead. (If I’m counting right, we’re up to 7.5% this year so far.)


Vox Day on Vox Popoli

Vile Minion pride – April 28

Dear Evil Legion of Evil, It has come to my attention that our vile faceless minions, in their abject loyalty to Our Evilness, crave more than the mere lash of our whips, the daily sustenance of SJW blood, and the occasional bones of an SJW on which to gnaw. Such is their pride in the growing spread of the dark shadow over lands hitherto unengulfed that they have begged for badges of recognition with which they can strike yet more fear into our craven and cowardly foes.

It is, of course, exceedingly risible to imagine that we should raise them up to the extent of providing them with names. Or, as one minion, who is unfortunately no longer with us after an accident that involved six Hellhounds and the untimely ringing of a dinner bell, once had the temerity to suggest, pay them wages. But it occurred to me, in a stroke of Indubitably Evil Genius, that it might be useful to be able to tell the difference between these otherwise indistinguishable, and indeed, faceless, creatures. Therefore, in my Tender yet Sinister Mercy, I have graciously acceded to their pleas.


Nate on The Pan Galactic Blogger Blaster

“Slight Design Change” – April 26

I am Number 1.

I am Nate… and I approve this message.



[Vox Day wrote that the first batch of numbered icons was gone in 45 minutes.]


Sean Wallace on Facebook – April 28

Without context, for James Nicoll, Mike Glyer, Michael J. Walsh, and Nick Mamatas: “Highlights included moderating the guest-of-honor interview with Tor publisher Tom Doherty (in which he revealed the facts that ebooks account for only $400,000 of Tor’s $100,000,000 annual gross sales, and that it now takes printing three mass-market paperbacks to sell one (it used to be that you only had to print two to get one to actually sell); and that SF (as opposed to fantasy) actually grew eight percent for Tor last year).”—Robert Sawyer’s website, 2005


Nick Mamatas in a comment to Sean Wallace on Facebook – April 28

Last year Tor grossed seven dollars, and killed and ate interns for food, and took out four mortgages on the Flatiron Building to get John Scalzi on the Dayton Daily News best-seller list for a single Thursday afternoon and in fact they are already bankrupt, out of business, and everyone has been fired and Tor exists only as one of those fannish in-jokes in the Hugo Awards, like Cordwainer Bird. Forever and ever, Amen.


[And finally, Sad Puppies meets Godwin’s Law.]


315 thoughts on “Send In The Puppies… Don’t Bother They’re Here 4/28

  1. I only voted for a few things on the SP3 suggestions, I know a few others did as well. Has anyone out and out said “I voted for everything SP/RP suggested?

    The problem isn’t just that a few people straight-ticket voted the slates. I suspect a minority of SP (and maybe even RP) did that. The slate-list was offered as a curated pre-nomination nomination list, which artificially concentrated votes on the listed works, and that is more of an issue.

    Because the works existed on the slate, people were more likely to throw an additional vote or two at works they liked, even if they voted completely independently from the list on the rest of their ballots. So the slate served to focus the various attentions of voters on a group of works for every category, and that’s enough to completely dominate the results of a nomination process that usually lacks focus (being an individual voting endeavor). The Puppies had a primary* before the nomination voting began, and nobody else held one.

    Ironically, voters going for a couple of puppy listings and then spending a majority of the ballot on personal preferences would subsequently see all or most of their personal preference picks pushed off the final nominee list by the rest of the slate. Only their slate votes would matter.

    *Though I think we’re still unclear on just how the individual works were “selected” in the primary that led to the slates. So it wasn’t exactly a primary election open to all party voters; the leaders of SP (and RP) apparently cherry-picked the titles to go on the slate(s).

  2. Well, I just finished reading the bulk of the Shorts and with 2 exceptions it’ll be No Award across the board for the rest including a non-slate story. So there’s a fig leaf for Mr Beale, I suspect he’ll get at least one winner somewhere.

  3. To all the Puppy-lites commenting here who were just attracted to Brad’s campaign and have just being muddling along. I feel sorry for you.

    You didn’t know Brad lied about how he created his list(there has been links to that in previous posts) or lied about how he contacted everyone to get approval to be on the list. My count on that score is between 7-11 people have since said “Hell No, I didn’t know!”

    Just a heads-up though. Next time you join XYZ “3” you may want to check on what XYZ 1&2 were before joining.

    But I hope you have a good time reading and voting for Spec Fic and if you are just a supporting member, I hope you like the WorldCon crew enough to become a full member soon. I am a supporting member myself since I can’t afford airfares from Aus to US, but like to feel I am a part of the community.

  4. On the subject of the Voters pack, I wonder if it would be possible to have an optional charge of $10-15 to get the pack with the money being split between publishers and writers. If there was at least some money coming in the publishers especially might be a bit more generous with their offerings.

  5. For those (still) wondering what the big deal is and why slates are bad, consider the following exercise.

    Suppose I’m going to throw a big picnic for the Fourth of July. I sell tickets, and anyone who buys one gets to vote on up to five dishes to be served, in each of a handful of categories – entree, appetizer, dessert, side dish (starch), side dish (veggie), and beverage. I’ll take the money, buy the most popular choices, and we’ll have a party. Going no further than that, I think the intent is clear: vote for what you’d prefer to eat. Why bother stating it, right?

    This works pretty well for several years, until a newcomer gets upset about how German-style potato salad never seems to make the cut. He complains about it, extolling the virtues of the dish, but nothing changes. One year, he goes to his old college buddies and says there must be a mac-and-cheese conspiracy, because how else could it get on the menu so often? They decide as a group that they’re all going to pick German potato salad, and because there are so many of them picking that while everyone else is picking from a full spectrum of choices, it ends up on the menu. I may notice that it’s an odd choice, but that happens sometimes, so let’s roll with it.

    Party time comes, and the newcomer and his friends are pretty much the only ones eating the potato salad. The mac-and-cheese and mashed potatoes are much more popular, and the new guy concludes that this crowd clearly has no taste for the good stuff. He talks to his buddies again, and this time they plan out a whole menu – all five alternatives in every category – based on a gourmet restaurant’s offerings. They have a mission, y’see: they’re going to show the rest of us what Good Food really is…and hey, one of them even owns a gourmet catering business! Let’s use HIS menu! Now, there are only about fifty of them out of a group of around a thousand, and maybe some of them haven’t tried escargot before and secretly put BBQ ribs down instead, but they still have the numbers to carry the day.

    As I look at the ballots, I have a bad choice to make. Here’s a group that clearly coordinated its picks, but they look almost nothing like the other 950 choices. If I stick by my tradition, I’ll be serving gourmet dishes to people who have expressed a variety of preferences for stuff that isn’t that. Oh, a couple of the usual staples have gotten on there anyway – corn and mac-and-cheese are always popular, and so is fried chicken – but the prevailing preference clearly is not for fancy food.

    Well, not much I can do this year; the votes are in. I serve up the gourmet dishes, and all afternoon long I hear complaints about the sudden change. Some people are trying a few of the new items, but the overall reviews clearly aren’t good. I wind up with a lot of unhappy regular patrons and a relatively small group of people bragging about how they really showed us. There are also a lot more leftovers than usual.

    The question is, what do I do about next year? If I change the rules, the Foodie Fifty will say I did it to oppress them. If I don’t, the community that’s grown up around the annual picnic won’t be happy. The sad part is, if the Fifty had actually picked what they liked in the same way everyone else did, they could’ve added some variety to the menu without shutting everybody else out, and nobody would’ve complained. The Fifty didn’t exactly violate the rules by collaborating on their nominations, but they sure did ruin the afternoon for just about everyone else.

    Here’s the thing: I really DON’T want to shut people out. I’d LIKE to see new stuff on the menu, but not at this price. I even heard a few of the Fifty talking about a lamb dish that would’ve been really nice, and some of the other people had put it on their tickets, but the locked menu kept it from getting to the table. Catering to an exclusive handful at the expense of the masses is not the way to continue having popular picnics.

  6. “On the subject of the Voters pack, I wonder if it would be possible to have an optional charge of $10-15 to get the pack with the money being split between publishers and writers. If there was at least some money coming in the publishers especially might be a bit more generous with their offerings.”

    … you could just… buy the books from a store?

  7. “What kind of reader should believe that a vote consisting of less than 1000 ballots is a true barometer of ‘Best in Science Fiction?'”

    If you don’t believe that, it’s your prerogative. But whether 1,000 or 10,000 vote, that’s still a small subset of the overall SF/F audience. I think Hugo voters have continued to reward excellent works in the past 10-15 years, primarily because the group that does vote is more well-informed and engaged than the average lowercase-f fan.

    If you grew up reading SF/F classics and thought the words “Hugo Winner” on a cover meant something, you were following the tastes of a small group of people. I don’t even think nominee and voting totals were released in the early days.

    Anyone who needs big numbers of votes as a guide for excellence in SF/F should just use the Goodreads Choice Awards:

    1. The Martian by Andy Weir (30,561 votes)
    2. Lock In by John Scalzi (14,953 votes)
    3. Sand by Hugh Howey (14,410 votes)
    4. The First 15 Lives by Harry August (13,421 votes)
    5. The Long Mars by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter (9,927 votes)

  8. Daveon- I’m glad you found something there that you thought worthy – and voted for it. It would have been a real shame for someone like yourself who is attending and is obviously passionate about this to have nothing that you liked on the ballot.

    Tintinaus – I have absolutely been enjoying the reading – and still have several to complete before voting. With respect to attending WorldCon – I am afraid that won’t be in the cards in the near term unless it was going on close.

    Rev. Bob- I think the outcome made it very clear what the issues with slate voting are. While I am happy some of my choices made it on the ballot – I had no desire to knock out everyone else’s. I don’t think Brad and Larry did either (not that I can speak for them – just my opinion).
    I appreciate you not wanting to shut folks out. After seeing the various reactions – especially from those who have worked for decades on the Hugo Awards, I wonder if it would not be prudent to limit supporting memberships to those who have attended a WorldCon.
    That would shut out people like me, but I’m not really invested in this anyway. I have enjoyed participating and will continue to do so if possible, but respect the fact that many people have volunteered to enable my participation and they don’t like the current situation. Hopefully, there will be a very different situation next year…

  9. @Another mix:

    If SP2 hadn’t happened (in which Larry got some nominees on the ballot, but no winners, and there was a similar ruckus), I might be able to believe that SP3’s success was unintentional. Ditto if SP4 weren’t already being planned.

    My preferred remedy is one of the reweighting algorithms that’s been proposed. There are three or four different ones, but they all amount to the same thing: once a nomination ballot gets one successful nominee in a category, its other nominees in that category get a lower weight. (The options differ in exactly how much lower, but 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16 has an intuitive appeal in that it’s easiest to explain.) It still gives slate voters the chance to get one or two nominees on the ballot – and it should! – but it prevents complete domination. Also, it’s ideologically neutral; it would hurt the theoretical SJW Cabal just as much as the Puppies or any other group that tries to create a slate. Finally, the inability of a slate to dictate the entire ballot could discourage the “warring slates” problem that currently looms over next year. That’s my ultimate goal: no slates. Not because they needed to be outlawed, but because they’re futile.

  10. Rev. Bob –

    Re-weighting sounds like an excellent solution – I hope that gets adopted.

    With respect to SP4 – I think it will be a different beast, as I don’t believe that most of the participants were mean spirited. As a casual fan who participated in SP3 book bombs, etc – it helped me identify some work that I really liked, but I have no desire to dominate the ballot. I suspect most of the SP participants have similar sentiments and would be happier with either 2 or 10 recommendations (or something like that).

  11. Daveon,

    “If you don’t believe that, it’s your prerogative. But whether 1,000 or 10,000 vote, that’s still a small subset of the overall SF/F audience.”

    But as long as the “right” subset of voters, the small number is OK?

    “I think Hugo voters have continued to reward excellent works in the past 10-15 years, primarily because the group that does vote is more well-informed and engaged than the average lowercase-f fan.”

    Opinions vary on the excellent works, but that’s more a matter of taste. I think there have been a few works and authors overlooked, for a variety of reasons. Good works and authors get left of every year, but authors who have consistently put out good works being left off for whatever reason year after year does raise a few eyebrows.

    I consider myself a small f fan of SciFi. I read a lot of books across all the genres, but I like SciFi best. I don’t go to very many cons, I’m not as directly involved in the process as others. Does that mean my voice should count “less” than those 1000 plus core fans? That I shouldn’t have a say?

    I think the Goodreads list is interesting.

    1. The Martian by Andy Weir (30,561 votes) -ineligible because he self-published it first, but I don’t recall it getting a lot of press when it first came out either.
    2. Lock In by John Scalzi (14,953 votes) – not his best, but not his worst. The audio books are better.
    3. Sand by Hugh Howey (14,410 votes) – Liked it, not as much as Wool, I don’t remember either Wool or Sand getting Hugo talk, but its a big internet.
    4. The First 15 Lives by Harry August (13,421 votes) – I nominated this. I really liked it, one of my favorite books of last year.
    5. The Long Mars by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter (9,927 votes) – Two great authors with a total of two Hugo nominations across their careers, unless I’m missing something by Baxter?

    I haven’t read Long Mars, but you’ve got two self published works, a middling Scalzi book, and a great Book. I think three of them are Hugo worthy, Scalzis book just didn’t push the right buttons for me, but then again I though Redshirts was a good idea executed in a mediocre fashion…

    If all of these works were eligible this year, and there was no SP/RP going on, is it not safe to say that well informed and engaged crowd would have left off the Martian, Sand, and the Long Mars? There’s never been a self-published book nominated for a Hugo, and despite their long, productive careers Baxter and Pratchett have rarely been nominated, even if previous works were better than the Long Mars.

  12. The Martian was ruled not eligible because it was first published as a serial on the author’s website in 2011.

    “But as long as the ‘right’ subset of voters, the small number is OK?”

    Dumb question. My idea of the right kind of voters is anybody who cares about Worldcon and the Hugos and votes in good faith as an individual for works he or she considered excellent.

    “I’m not as directly involved in the process as others. Does that mean my voice should count ‘less’ than those 1000 plus core fans? That I shouldn’t have a say?”

    I’m no more directly involved than you are, except that I have been a supporting member voting on the Hugos since 2008.

    If you care about the awards and you don’t vote as a sheep, then great. Welcome.

    But if you’re in Day’s crowd and you want to burn them down, get lost.

  13. just another mix of macromolecules:

    The trouble is, it’s not just that the Rabid slate “filled in” the Sad slate. The Rabid slate was the successful one, very likely because Rabid voters were more lockstep than Sad ones.

    Next year, no matter what the Sads do, VD can take their slate, edit it into something more favorable to Castalia House, and tell his minions to vote it in. At every point where SP4 overlaps with RP2 the Sads will feel vindicated and successful — but it won’t be your doing, really, it’ll just be the Rabids using you for cover.

    As long as you vote like a fan — using your own judgement, following your own taste — your votes won’t weigh as heavily as the lockstep slate. That’s why we say slates break the Hugos.

  14. “My idea of the right kind of voters is anybody who cares about Worldcon and the Hugos and votes in good faith as an individual for works he or she considered excellent.”

    If the voting numbers are correct, that appears to describe most of the SP crowd…both 2 and 3.

  15. Baxter is an interesting example actually, he, Asher, Reynolds, Hamilton and some other great British writers are over looked by the awards which tend to skew North American. As did the Puppies.

    I actually find Goodreads and Amazon uninteresting in this context. If we look at other award lists the correlation between the Hugo’s is much tighter and as other have pointed out awards like the Promethius which should align closer to the stated politics and interests of the puppies don’t either.

    Look. You want to get involved and vote, you get the same say I do. I have a lousy record at getting the stuff I like on the ballot and a fairly lousy one at voting for winners… Two novels I think in a decade and no shorts.

    I wasn’t aware I was meant to be annoyed about not succeeding and have certainly not felt the urge to start screwing with the award process over it.

    Al Reynolds writes amazing SF, so amazing he got a $1m advance for his next 10 novels, he has more right to be pissed than Larry, Brad or Beale. I suggest reading what he had to say about this.

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