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. Steve Moss:

    …the issue of Pluto as a planet was ruled in order (but never ruled on) in 2006

    I chaired that meeting. The resolution that I ruled to be in order was:

    Resolved: The L.A.con IV Business Meeting deplores the demotion of Pluto from the ranks of true planets.

    After an absurd debate and much parliamentary maneuvering, the resolution passed 41-29. See the 2006 WSFS Business Meeting Minutes, Section 4.1.5. (It’s just before the end of the document.) The NPFSC decided the resolution was not worth including in the Rulings and Resolutions of Continuing Effect, but the ruling itself was worth including as it dealt with a precedent potentially applicable to future motions.

    There’s a lot more in the “unwritten rules” and “legislative history” than just the NPFSC reports. A lot of it is tied up in the minutes, where you can find the arguments for various proposals. There’s also a lot more to sift through than just the NPFSC report.

  2. It’s all part of the same comprehension block you seem to have Steve, I thought some education would help around general concepts. As has been pointed out over and over, the rules have not been broken but the spirit certainly has. You keep denying it, it doesn’t change the facts.

    As my people say, “it just isn’t cricket old chap.”

    But as I have also said, I don’t believe for a second that you’re struggling with these concepts and are just playing this for lulz now.

    MickyFlynn: I’ve, thus far, read the Wright stories and they’re pretty awful. I won’t be reading the Butcher, even though I am sure it is a good read, I’ve read a few Dresden Novels and don’t like them so not much probability I’ll get anymore out of them. I will try to read the Andersen before finalizing my ballot.

  3. “There’s a fairly classic case a few years ago of violating “unwritten rules” of basketball at, IIRC, the interscholastic level, but I can’t find the reference right now. It involved the team adopting a very nonstandard strategy which allowed to win regularly but was castigated as “not real basketball”.”

    Thats a story from Malcolm Gladwell’s last book. A coach in Silicon Valley had a girls team that was not as athletic or as talented as their opponents, so he taught them the full court press, and using that they started to win some close games. Then other teams coaches, and parents of other teams players, started complaining because they weren’t playing “fair”, and they raised such a ruckus ref’s started calling fouls on everything.

  4. That’s called good manners, or good sportsmanship in the last example.

    So you grasp that concept at least? You still struggle with how this applies? Or do the ends justify the means?

  5. VD- ‘Do you genuinely think SP/RP dominating the Hugo nominations is funny? And do you truly want to see us take even more nominations next year?’

    I can’t speak for Anna, which I thought should be clarified since that appears to be a problem with distinguishing people, but yes I genuinely think it’s funny. As far as the second question, does it matter?

    Of course it’s funny. Looking at the noms it’s like Uwe Boll getting nominated for an Academy Award. I get why people wouldn’t be happy about it but to me it’s so ridiculous that I can’t take it seriously. Whether I find it amusing or not, puppies are gonna puppy. Hope Kate find a better way to organize than unsubstantiated insinuation and then dancing excuse mambo though. Repeats aren’t as entertaining.

  6. Over at his blog, Scalzi pointed out that Redshirts had been nominated for a Nebula Award, but he declined the nomination… because at the time, Scalzi was president of SFWA, and even though it was not against the rules, he felt it was not ethical* for a SFWA president to accept nomination for an award to be given by the organization that he was president of.

    *He could have said “against the spirit of the rules” or “violating an unwritten rule”, but he didn’t. Parse that as you will.

  7. What WSFS law (or rule) has SP/RP violated the spirit of? In other words, what rule did SP/RP violate the intent of?

    This is just a setup for restarting that boring “what is the definition of a slate?” argument again, isn’t it?

  8. Kevin Standlee @ 5:48 pm- I had no idea about the Cheryl Morgan controversy. Thank you. When I looked up her information to become better informed, I came across her account of what occurred:

    Reading that, and her follow-up, she inadvertently violated the rules and was deported. So there was an express rule, no matter how inane, that she ran afoul of (which as I understand it was applying for then withdrawing a prior visa application- which is a stupid rule, I agree).

    However, she goes on to state this in the comments:

    “Every country is different. (And in the US you’ll get a different answer depending on whether you speak to CBP or State). The thing to remember is that the regulations are there to allow people to kick you out easily *if they want to*. If you have never given them any trouble and don’t appear suspicious you’ll be fine. If you have been in trouble with them before you are screwed, because they can always find something to get you on.”

    The above is exactly what prosecutor/police discretion is all about. If law enforcement wants to get you, they can if you broke a rule. If they don’t want to, they don’t have to.

    After getting up to speed, I wondered what Cheryl Morgan had to do with SP/RP. The closest I could find was her own take on SP/RP from a week ago, where she alluded to being on some people’s cross hairs for allegedly improper campaigning in 2004. Is this why the Cheryl Morgan deportation story is intersecting with the current SP/RP debate?

  9. ‘This is just a setup for restarting that boring “what is the definition of a slate?” argument again, isn’t it?’

    Round and around it goes. I guess the idea of people voting for their personal preferences as individuals instead of voting for a slate as a group is something that requires constant debate.

  10. “I also had to shake my head in amazement at the whole kerfluffle about notifying folks that they were recommended – or put on the slate.”

    I didn’t find it amazing at all, because Sad Puppies was an attack campaign on fans Larry Correia and his friends dislike. They created an enemy — social justice warriors/SMOFs/CHORFS — and touted their campaign as a chance to stick it to that enemy.

    The more you politicize something, the more chance that some people you bring into the effort will become uncomfortable.

    If Correia had only talked about Puppies the way you’re talking (here are some great works we loved and we hope you’ll love them too), and they had nothing to do with Vox Day, it would be a much different situation.

  11. Fred Davis @ 6:49- I hope not. What I’m getting at is for someone to violate the spirit of a law, there actually has to be some letter of the law which was circumvented. I didn’t find it in the Constitution, the Standing Rules, or the Flyspeck notes that I reviewed.

    That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It’s just that I don’t know where it is, if it actually exists.

    I suspect it doesn’t exist, and what Daveon, rcade, etc. are actually complaining of is that the SP/RP violated an unspoken gentleman’s agreement or is just considered bad manners within fandom. If that’s the case, at least we’ve pinned down the actual alleged bad deed, as opposed to talking about unwritten rules or spirit of the law nonsense (in my opinion, of course).

  12. “If Correia had only talked about Puppies the way you’re talking (here are some great works we loved and we hope you’ll love them too), and they had nothing to do with Vox Day, it would be a much different situation.”

    So it is guilt by association…its not about what your write about, or how well its written, it’s who you’re associated with, either directly or indirectly, that should be the determining factor in a literary award…

    Honestly, if Day had been left of SP2 last year, would the volume of discontent been that much less?

  13. Just another mix of macromolecules:

    “I nominated stories by Annie Bellet and Kary English that touched me. Neither of them deserved the abuse that they got as a result of their nomination.”

    Neither of them got abuse from me. Kary, unfortunately, apparently knew she was part of at least one slate, and consented to it. Those of us who think that knowing complicity with slate voting is wrong will vote accordingly.

    And this is why notification matters. A significant number of people put on the slates don’t approve of them. Not telling them about your shenanigans is unfair to them.

  14. What these threads have impressed upon me, more than even the stupidity of Vox day, is my desire to one day be able to recount the stories of yesterfen to a new generation. I’m pretty much in awe of guys like Kevin, Daveon, and our host who can spout ballot and statute for decades of WorldCon.

  15. This may come as news to you, Steve, but you don’t get to decide whether bloc voting a slate like a mindless sheep violates the spirit of the rules or not.

    We do, collectively, as Worldcon members.

    From what I see, the consensus is strong that the Puppies stunt violates what the Hugos are supposed to be about: Individuals nominating works they thought were excellent.

    So you can scoff and sealion all you like, but it serves no useful purpose. Ultimately the decision rests in the hands of the people who attend the business meeting this year and next. They’re not going to be swayed by dumb arguments like “butbutbut Puppies was not a slate!”

  16. ‘So it is guilt by association…its not about what your write about, or how well its written, it’s who you’re associated with, either directly or indirectly, that should be the determining factor in a literary award…’

    You missed the part about recommending great works that people love instead of turning it into an us versus them narrative. Since that was the whole part, impressive.

  17. “Honestly, if Day had been left of SP2 last year, would the volume of discontent been that much less?”

    Correia admitted he put Day on the ballot last year to make people angry. He wanted there to be discontent, and he got his wish.

  18. rcade- Given the subsequent outcry – and large amounts of back and forth -I understand your point. But when the whole Sad Puppies 3 thing started, it didn’t seem political to me. SP 1 & SP 2 – I absolutely get it. But SP3 – which led to the works that I nominated – didn’t seem political. My impression of both Kary and Annie are that they are not politically aligned with Larry, but that Brad was impressed with their stuff – as was I.
    The main good that I see from this is that after the dust settles and tempers cool, I suspect that both Kary and Annie will have more readers than they did before or would have in the absence of the Sad Puppies.

  19. “Honestly, if Day had been left of SP2 last year, would the volume of discontent been that much less?”

    It would have been less. it was the worst thing on the SP2 slate. I read it. Did you?

  20. Andrew, it is a little difficult to explore that without unpacking related things. If Vox’s RP slate wasn’t involved, and the SPs had presented a recommendation list rather than a slate, we wouldn’t see the ballot dominated by slate entries. Since the slate entries dominating the ballot are seen as the problem, I expect that we wouldn’t all be hanging round on blogs, discussing the impacts of slate voting.

    Also, if my aunt identified as male, she’d be my uncle.

    We’re not just saying “you’re friendly with Vox, you’re bad and we’ll never like your work”. The association with Vox is an issue, in this matter, because he explicitly listed a slate of works and encouraged people to vote for them en bloc, based on his say-so.

  21. rcade @ 7:12 pm- Of course I get to decide, at least in part, for this year and next, whether slate voting is bad or not. I have a vote, bought and paid for, and that vote is just as good as yours.

    Now I’m not an attending member. If you are, you can attend the business meeting, and propose, debate, vote, etc.,, on whether to change the rules. Go for it. If you and a sufficient number of your peers can get it done over the next couple of years, more power to you. Then there will be a rule, and I won’t have to wonder why in the heck people think anyone who didn’t agree to be bound by a either an “unwritten rule” or “gentleman’s agreement” should pay the slightest heed to it.

  22. “But when the whole Sad Puppies 3 thing started, it didn’t seem political to me.”

    As a person who began reading Larry Correia’s Twitter feed because he got a Hugo best novel nomination last year, Sad Puppies 3 always seemed political to me.

    He is a keyboard commando who relishes fights with liberal enemies real and imagined. He seems to view all of SF/F fandom through that lens.

    I was reading his feed the day he reached out to GamerGate and touted Puppies as a GamerGate-style campaign to stick it to “social justice warriors.”

    So to me, no matter what he and Torgersen said about looking for great authors regardless of their background and politics, it was a facade.

    If I spend months telling you that conservative SF/F authors are the enemy and I launch a Hugo slate next year, can you honestly tell me you will take me at my word that it’s non-biased and apolitical?

  23. Steve

    Because it is polite. We are a community and we have community norms. I don’t tell everyone who comes to my house “please be aware I have a rule against pooping on the carpet.” Do I have to write that rule down for you when you come over?

  24. “Now I’m not an attending member.”

    Then you don’t have a vote on how Worldcon and the Hugos run. Only attending members at business meetings get to vote on those things. Your $40 didn’t buy you that.

    As for your beef with unwritten rules/gentlemen’s agreements, you sound like an excessively entitled child. Adults who join a group are expected to learn its norms and expectations and abide by them. Those who can’t won’t do very well in that group.

    I’ve voted in the Hugos since 2008, and my expectation has always been that people nominate works they liked personally without letting others dictate their vote. Not doing that goes against my expectation of fair play and integrity. It didn’t have to be a written rule. What kind of person would value a Hugo nomination that required a herd of sheep voting for the exact same nominees in most/all categories?

  25. ULTRAGOTHA, you might want to be broader with the rule writing on that one, Steve seems like he’d take one look at that rule and take a dump on the coffee table while yelling “I’m not breaking the rules!”

  26. Will McLean:

    I understand your position. I think the problem is that to a casual fan, new to the Hugos (What? You mean anyone who pays $40 can vote?) – the whole slate thing didn’t seem like much of a deal. It is obvious now – but had there been less success with the Puppies, I think it would be much harder to discern the difference between the Sad Puppies recommendations and other Hugo ballot recommendations. And I would think the same is true for a relatively unknown author (supposition on my part). I just think if I was a starting author, I would cherish the opportunity to have my work read by a larger audience.
    To be clear – there were obviously some who simply voted the slate without reading the works as a political statement – and that is deplorable.
    I just think the authors should be cut some slack under these circumstances.
    If you feel voting No Award is the way to go, I understand that, but think it is not above board to be unduly harsh to either the works or the authors that are caught up in this. I appreciate that you were not among those giving Kary a hard time. Unfortunately, others are:

  27. The full-court press isn’t really analogous to the Puppy strategy; it’s a well-known defensive tactic that you don’t see used to the exclusion of all other tactics because it works best when used sparingly, and because individual professional basketball players have an interest in becoming stars by showing off their skills.

    The Puppies are more like the coach who decides that the best way to win a basketball game is to corral a bunch of people to hurl insults at the twelve-year-old girls out in the parking lot, as they come in to the gym.

  28. ‘Then there will be a rule, and I won’t have to wonder why in the heck people think anyone who didn’t agree to be bound by a either an “unwritten rule” or “gentleman’s agreement” should pay the slightest heed to it.’

    I really hope ‘don’t be assholes’ doesn’t need to be made into a rule, there are many situations in our society that not being an asshole is just an unspoken agreement. I don’t think there need to be any rule changes.

  29. rcade:
    “Sad Puppies 3 always seemed political to me.”

    As someone who doesn’t Tweet and only reads twitter messages when they are quoted in something like File770, such nuances were lost to me.
    I would imagine that there are many like me who like SF/F, but are not immersed in the culture. We get attracted by the various blow ups and what not and spend a bit of time looking at the mangled bodies before going back to the day job.
    I have never been to a Con and until all this blew up only had no idea about the relationship between WorldCon and the Hugos. I primarily saw my opportunity to vote as a way to express what I liked and help some up and coming authors who I thought deserved the boost.

  30. MickyFinn

    I’m trying to imagine how Steve’s friends and family deal with his visits. Is there a book they add to every time he leaves?

    Welp, I guess we need to add turn off the water when you’re done with the sink.

    Oh, yeah, you might want to write in there don’t eat all the dessert an hour before dinner, and the rule not to put muddy boots on the sofa or park your car in the flower beds.

  31. macromolecules:

    Another thing that doubtless wasn’t clear to you — it wasn’t completely clear to most of us until we started looking carefully at the results — is that what makes this year different is the Rabid Puppies. The RPs were more successful than the SPs, and this success is to the personal benefit of Vox Day. So it’s not just “guilt by association”, it’s “guilt by helping out” and providing cover. Functionally, the SPs have acted as the Castalia House marketing department, and have done a bang-up job for volunteers.

    For all of VD’s hilariously OTT predictions here about his future success, I suspect he has a rational chance of becoming the SF equivalent of Regenery Publishing. It’s a niche.

  32. I’m imagining something very similar to the Wall of Books that lawyers offices on TV used to have. Heavy, hard bound books of the Statutes of Steve.

    I remember using “no one told me I wasn’t allowed to do it” excuse. It seemed a very reasonable and strong argument, when I was 4 or 5.

  33. @just another mix of macromolecules

    This must be a difficult situation for you. I can see how inoccuous and even benign the Puppies’ crusade could have looked, especially to someone not too familiar with fandom, the Hugos, or the workings of the internet.

    And it seems to me Torgersen et al. were not inclined to accurately present the situation or its ramifications. (They may not have been fully aware of the consequences themselves, particularly if they actually thought there was some sort of a real conspiracy in opposition, rather than a free open election process they could steamroll right over.)

    There are a lot of hurt people right now, and a lot of heartsickness.

    Maybe more of us can become more aware of each other and our hopes and interests and likes. Maybe we can see just how much collateral damage to so many different decent people has been caused by the Puppies.

  34. just another mix of macromolecules –
    If you read Brad’s slate as a recommendation list, and voted for stuff you read that you liked, welcome to the WorldCon community! I hope you enjoy your travels with us!

  35. Dr. Science-

    Indeed. If the holes left in the Sad Puppies 3 slate had not been filled in by the Rabid Puppies, I think there would have been much less of a problem.

    As to Castalia House – I am a happy customer of some of their work. I liked Awake in the Night Lands and am looking forward to There Will Be War.

    That said, I do not agree with the “value my opinion and vote for the slate as it is” Rabid Puppy approach. The whole burn it down thing is obviously ridiculous.

  36. ” I just think the authors should be cut some slack under these circumstances.”

    Absolutely! An author who didn’t know they were on a slate will get my vote on their merits. An author that I know knew, not so much.

  37. Ultragotha @ 7:33 pm- So it’s a community norm SP/RP violated.

    So I stay on top of things, according to some within fandom “slate” voting is bad, despite it being within the rules, for one or more of the following reasons:

    1. Violated a community norm;
    2. Broke an unwritten rule;
    3. Violated the spirit of a (yet to be named) rule;
    4. Breached a gentleman’s agreement;
    5. Is bad manners;
    6. Is poor sportsmanship.

    I actually like the community norm argument. It makes rational sense and it doesn’t rely on secret rules, gentleman’s agreements, etc., which makes fandom look like an insular secret society. It also explains the current crisis. From the Community Management Wiki:

    – The early membership of a community (the founder and first handful of members) will most often set community norms, either explicitly or implicitly
    – Community norms are handed down to new members as they join, or as incidents arise which violate those norms
    – A too-sudden influx of new members can cause this transmission of norms to break

    There has been an influx of new members. Their norms are not your norms. They are in conflict. Whether the community survives depends on whether the original community (fandom) votes No Award in response, or do they try to find an accommodation with the immigrants (the ordinary fan boys and girls), establishing a new norm.

    I’m curious as to how it turns out.

  38. justanothermix: Indeed. If the holes left in the Sad Puppies 3 slate had not been filled in by the Rabid Puppies, I think there would have been much less of a problem.

    I’ll concur there personally, I can’t speak for others but I suspect it would have been similar to last year. That said, we’d still hit some differences of opinion over what constitutes good, but, that’s normal. I’ve been voting regularly in the Hugo Awards and rarely get stuff onto the ballot and even more rarely pick winners. But as George RR Martin has said, it used to be that even getting the nomination was a huge thing.

    All: now we’ve got to the core of Steve’s issue – I’m wondering if he’s thinking that Sheldon Cooper and things like his ‘relationship agreement’ are fiction and most people don’t live like that.

  39. Peace Is My Middle Name-

    As someone with little skin in the game, the main difficulty for me has been to see some of the authors that I supported end up in a hard situation – ostensibly because of my support (!).

    I have spent waaay too much time reading the various commentary, but have to admit to being very entertained – until it became obvious that there were “a lot of hurt people right now, and a lot of heartsickness.” Which seems like the very opposite of what the Hugos should be inspiring.

    As to Brad and Larry – while I have never met them, my impression is that neither of them thought things would turn out like this nor that their slate would meet the success that it did. I think there intentions were good.

    As to the conspiracy theory – I assume there is a natural tendency for WorldCon members to discuss works with each other in venues not frequented by those who are not part of the community. Those discussions naturally lead to a coalescing of opinion more coherent than the opinions of others that do not participate.


    Thank you! It has been an interesting journey – one that I am glad I am on – but, wow this is a force 7 time sink.


  40. Ok, so we have a frame of reference you’ve grasped. Super.

    Whether the community survives depends on whether the original community (fandom) votes No Award in response, or do they try to find an accommodation with the immigrants (the ordinary fan boys and girls), establishing a new norm.

    Couple of things… firstly, this rather depends on whether the original community needs the new immigrants to survive… maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t – if the new people aren’t going to come to conventions, get involved with running them and just want to vote in the Hugo Awards then I tend to think the former myself. Might be wrong etc…

    Secondly, as others have said, whether they knew the norms or not, and the organizers and Mr Beale, in particular, damn well did, and Larry has had it explained to him ad nauseum for 3 years now.

    So question: do you apply your thoughts of accommodation if the new joiners were effectively brought in in bad faith? Should we treat them as dreamers or illegals, so to speak?

  41. I think there intentions were good.

    I sadly cannot agree there. The transcript of their podcast is most educational in that regard. Larry Correia in particular knows what he’s doing. I was giving Brad a little more credit but not anymore.

  42. Who can I pay forty bucks to for a vote that we drop the whole unwritten rule thing entirely?

  43. NelC @ 8:57 pm- Pay me $40 and I’ll never again post “unwritten rule” on this forum, effective upon the check clearing. You’ll have to reach separate accommodations with Daveon and rcade.

  44. “The association with Vox is an issue, in this matter, because he explicitly listed a slate of works and encouraged people to vote for them en bloc, based on his say-so.”

    Well, he just had the temerity to do it in the open, if the RUMINT is to be believed.

    I get the whole “Unwritten rule/Gentlemen Agreement” point of view. But those can exist only when both parties abide by the expected standards. The behavior last year of the people attacking the SP2 works because of who they were nominated with threw that out the window, and if that didn’t do it, then certainly being called a bunch of misogynistic racists this year certainly did.

    “The Puppies are more like the coach who decides that the best way to win a basketball game is to corral a bunch of people to hurl insults at the twelve-year-old girls out in the parking lot, as they come in to the gym.”

    And the Anti-Puppy crowd are the parents in the stands screaming “You’re doing it all wrong!” and trying to set up league meetings to get the other team to play the “right” way, or else.

    “What kind of person would value a Hugo nomination that required a herd of sheep voting for the exact same nominees in most/all categories?”

    What kind of reader should believe that a vote consisting of less than 1000 ballots is a true barometer of “Best in Science Fiction?” For a supposed herd of sheep, the vote totals were pretty spread out. 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?”

    “Should we treat them as dreamers or illegals, so to speak?”

    Any particular reason you aren’t treating them as fans of the genre?

  45. Andrew:

    “The Puppies are more like the coach who decides that the best way to win a basketball game is to corral a bunch of people to hurl insults at the twelve-year-old girls out in the parking lot, as they come in to the gym.”

    And the Anti-Puppy crowd are the parents in the stands screaming “You’re doing it all wrong!” and trying to set up league meetings to get the other team to play the “right” way, or else.

    It is hilarious that you consider the latter the ethical equivalent to the former. (Guide for the perplexed: the former is much worse.) But if that’s how you wish to portray yourself to the world, please be my guest. You’re the guy in the stands screaming at a twelve-year-old, “You’re only even allowed to play because you’re black!” and making monkey sounds.

  46. Andrew @ 9:26 pm- The analysis at Chaos Horizons suggests that the “bloc” voters may have been as low as 50, based on the spreads. We’ll now more once the data is released.

  47. I was extending the metaphor presented.

    As for the ‘has anyone said they voted for all things.’ There has been several comments I’ve seen on Brad and Larry’s blogs stating that and that was more or less the instructions on the RP slate.

    I’ve also seen comments by people saying they nominated books so they could get the next in the series for free as part of the ballot.

    The ballot is always pretty spread out though if you go and look at what gets nominated. But as for the 1000 voters thing. Meh? How many people vote in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts? The Hugo’s get the prestige from having been more or less well and consistently run for decades not necessarily because they are good.

    Some really crap has won over the years and some great great works have won. I don’t think that has much bearing on this.

  48. The bloc was almost certainly between 50-100 give or take, but under the nomination structure and the lack of cohesion in voting patterns by people if doesn’t take much to muck with the process.

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