Soylent Green Is Puppies 5/11

aka Don’t ask for whom the puppy barks, it barks for thee.

Today’s roundup brings you K. Tempest Bradford, David Gerrold, Redneck Gaijin, Spacefaring Kitten, SL Huang, Brandon Kempner, Alexandra Erin, and Robert J. Bennett. (Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editors of the day James H. Burns and John King Tarpinian.)

K. Tempest Bradford

Unintended Consequences – A Post About The Hugos – May 11

There’s a fun irony in the fallout from the Sad Puppies/Rabid Puppies Hugo thing.

There are now over 8,000 members of Sasquan (WorldCon). The con gained over 2,600 supporting memberships since March 31st of this year and about 350 attending memberships. I think it can be safely assumed that several of the 1,948 people who bought supporting memberships before March 31st were slate voters and GamerGators. Not a majority, perhaps, but a sizable chunk. And some of the post-March 31st folks might be puppy supporters. However, I’m fairly sure that an overwhelming majority of these new members are anti-slate or anti-puppy.

That’s thousands of people who don’t think that diversity is a dirty word, who don’t consider the larger number of women and authors of color on previous year’s ballots to be affirmative action or diversity for the sake of diversity or political correctness gone wrong.

That’s thousands of people eligible to nominate for next year’s Hugos, and with a big incentive to do so.

Uh oh. *giggle*


David Gerrold on Facebook – May 11

If we see 3000 or 4000 or even as many as 6000 (or more) Hugo votes and no sad-rabids win, then that will have to be seen as a very aggressive smackdown not only of the slate nominees, but also of the thinking behind the slates.

Seeing as how people on both sides are now saying, “Read the nominees, vote your conscience,” if such a smackdown occurs — even to the point of a couple “No Award” categories — then what?

(The day after the ceremony, it’s traditional for the committee to release the vote tallies. It will make for some very interesting reading and there will likely be a great deal of discussion and analysis.)

There are several possibilities:

1) The sad-rabids could acknowledge that people voted their consciences and the best works won. Because some of them have claimed they are for diversity and inclusion (insert eye-roll here) they might then pat themselves on the back for at least getting some of their candidates on the ballot and promise to come back next year.

2) Also possible, the sad-rabids could double down and claim that the voting was somehow unfair and that the secret cabal of leftist Social Justice Warriors had gamed the vote. (Insert another eye-roll here. Anyone who’s ever tried to organize fans knows that herding cats is easier. With cats, you only need an open can of tuna. With fans, you need pizza, beer, and a sneak preview of the next SF blockbuster, and the results still aren’t guaranteed.)

….If we have 3000 or more fans nominating for the 2016 awards, then it means that anyone trying to run a slate and game the nominations is going to have a much harder task.

So the unintended consequence of the sad-rabid exercise will have been to put more money in the Worldcon treasury and energize fandom to be more engaged in nominating and voting for Hugos. This is a good thing. (The analogy of white blood cells rushing in to fight an infected wound might be appropriate.)


Adult Onset Atheist

“Post Nuclear SNARL” – May 10

I personally don’t think the No Award option is nuclear enough. I would kinda like a refund on the purchase price of the books, and I would certainly like to prevent people in the future from being hoodwinked into purchasing any of these novellas by reading the endorsement implied by seeing “Nominated for a 2015 Hugo Award” on the cover. I would like these novellas to have never been nominated, and I believe that could be done. I almost would like for these novellas to have never been written, but I am afraid that is not possible.

Because Worldcon owns the Hugo trademark intellectual property they can manipulate it in order to maintain its value. They have done this incrementally in the past by adjusting the rule-set needed to be nominated for, or win, a Hugo. They can do it again by removing nominees that loose to “No Award” from the list. This would prevent unscrupulous publishers from realizing an increased prestige or profit as a result of stuffing the nominating ballot boxes.

I have no idea how to go about creating such a rule, or even proposing such a rule for that mater, but I do think it would be a good move. It may even be necessary, as the puppy thought police are not the only ones who might gain from a critically injured Hugo award process. The puppies are not the only ones who have the wherewithal to corrupt the nominating process for their own gain, and they are not even the ones who could do it best.


Redneck Gaijin on Redneck Gaijin’s Pitiful Little Life

“A post, in which I waste time and annoy Puppies” – May 11

It’s entirely possible to obey all the rules and still take an unfair advantage. It happens all the time in real life, which is why children of rich people get richer and children of poor people generally stay poor. It’s why black people in America are generally confined to slums and low-paying jobs and considered as criminals until proven otherwise.

Obeying the rules doesn’t mean you played fair. It might just mean you’re a very successful weasel.

“It’s your fault we won, because you didn’t bother to vote, because you didn’t organize your own slates, so nyah!”

Maybe so. As I said in my prior post, the Hugos themselves are not really important. I’ve never voted in the Hugos because I have better uses for my money, and also because I haven’t much interest in reading 90% of what gets nominated.

Neither I, nor anybody else, thought the Hugos were so important that it was necessary to devote the time and energy into campaigning for people to spend $40 or more simply to ram through a super-slate of politically acceptable works- until now.

Now that it’s happened, a lot of people are appalled- but the most appalling thing is that it was done with less than 20% of the vote.

Or, to put it another way, over 80% of voters casting Hugo nomination ballots did not vote for a single Sad/Rabid Puppy recommended work or creator.

So the 20% get to rule over the 80%, and in the minds of the Puppies, this is fair… because it’s them doing the ruling.


Spacefaring Kitten on Spacefaring, Extradimensional Happy Kittens

“Preliminary Thoughts Before Embarking on an Expedition to Planet Wright” – May 11

I’ve decided to read — or try reading — everything on the Hugo ballot this year, and that means there’s more than one novel’s worth of fiction by Wright I have to slog through. There’s a human experiment aspect to all this, as well: it will be interesting to see a) if I can make it at all, b) if I can give a sensible account of the experience and c) if I can do a more-or-less balanced review of this stuff knowing what kind of a person has written it.

I don’t hold any delusions of being completely objective, of course, because there’s no such thing as complete objectivity outside mathematics. Acknowledging Wright’s beliefs probably affects my judgment of his fiction in some way. What the effect will be exactly, remains to be seen.


Reading SFF

“Review: On a Spiritual Plain by Lou Antonelli (2015 Hugo Nominated Short Story)” – May 11

On a Spiritual Plain by Lou Antonelli is the second story from this year’s Hugo Awards ballot that I have read. I did not have high expectations of this year’s short story ballot because all nominees were nominated because of their presence on the sad and/or rabid puppy slates. (I did not like a single one of last year’s sad puppy nominees.) Totaled, the first story I read, was not a great story, but at least it had some positive moments. In contrast, On a Spiritual Plain fits right in with last year’s sad puppy nominees.

The story’s protagonist is the chaplain of a small human outpost on an alien planet. This is a bit familiar. One of last year’s sad puppy Hugo nominees by Brad R. Torgerson also featured a chaplain of a small group of humans on an alien planet. Now, this year Brad Torgerson put together the Sad Puppies slate. I guess he has a thing for chaplains in the  military. Hm. I don’t have to understand this, do I?



“Post-mortem of A-to-Z challenge & Hugo Awards” – May 11

Based on some of the nominating numbers I’ve seen and taking into account a large section of the sci-fi blogosphere’s determination to nuke the Hugos from space, I have some worry for the smaller categories. From what I understand of how No Award works, if it gets a plurality in a category simply because of people who are voting a straight No Award ticket, it will knock out all of those works in minor categories voted on by folks who were actually approaching each category in earnest and trying to vote out of the five based on individual merit. Hopefully the number of jerkass ideologue who REALLY want to spend $40 just to vote a no award straight temper tantrum ticket and smash the trophies so that no one can have them constitutes such a small fraction of the Hugo voters that they won’t edge out even the most obscure categories.


SL Huang on Bad Menagerie

“Statistics of Gender on the Hugo Writing Nominees: Probabilities and Standard Deviations” – May 11

This will tell us whether a given gender distribution is within what we’d consider an expected year-by-year fluctuation from 50/50, or whether, assuming a 50/50 gender split, it would be…well, an extreme outlier.


Brandon Kempner on Chaos Horizon

“Hugo Award Nomination Ranges, 2006-2015, Part 3” – May 11

Even though the number of ballots are soaring, the % ranges are staying somewhat steady, although we do see year-to-year perturbation. The top nominees have been hovering between 15%-22.5%. Since 2009, every top nominee has managed at least 100 votes. The bottom nominee has been in that 7.5%-10% range, safely above the 5% minimum. Since 2009, those low nominees all managed at least 50 votes, which seems low (to me; you may disagree). Even in our most robust category, 50 readers liking your book can get you into the Hugo—and they don’t even have to like it the most. It could be their 5th favorite book on their ballot.


Alexandra Erin on Blue Author Is About To Write

“Sad Puppies Review Books: Corduroy” – May 11


Reviewed by John Z. Upjohn, USMC (Aspired)….

I take it back. This bear isn’t even a delta male. He’s a full-on gamma. His sad little quest ends in a pathetic anticlimax as the night security guard—a proper man—literally puts him back in his place, where he stays until the girl comes for him.

And then the little girl does come back and buys him, and sews a button on him anyway. The Feminazis talk about agency, but where’s his agency in all of this? He never found his button. He never got a chance to be a man. Instead he needed the girl to “fix” him, playing mind games on him all the while.

“I like you just the way you are,” the temptress coos, “but I’m sure you’d be more comfortable if you let me, oh, I don’t know… change everything about you.”


Hush Puppies  community created on Facebook – May 11

Hush Puppies is for fans of science fiction, fantasy & other geeky pursuits who do not want the drama generated by Sad or Rabid Puppies.


319 thoughts on “Soylent Green Is Puppies 5/11

  1. NelC on May 13, 2015 at 11:39 am said:

    Todd — “All they’ve asked is that you read the works and consider them”

    Except asking for their works to be read isn’t all they’ve done, is it?

    Boy howdy.

    Larry Correia: “I fully admit, and am on record about starting this out of spite.”

    Daddy Warpig: “Yo! #GamerGate! There’s a chance to humble SJW in Sci-Fi, too! Check it:… Do your bit to fight the Jerk-iarchy!”

    Daddy Warpig: “#GamerGate! Do the right thing… Hurt SocJus… Make puppies smile!…”

    Hosted on John C. Wright’s blog, dated January 13, 2015: “Here is why you might want to consider doing so even if the idea of spending $40 to poke a sharp stick in the collective eyes of the SJWs who are doing their level best to destroy the science fiction and fantasy literature you love for the next two years isn’t enough in its own right.

    1. Hugo Awards are worth around $13,000 to an SJW, according to one Kameron Hurley. For a fraction of one percent of that, you can deny multiple SJWs their ability to commit Pink SF and force them to spend their time delivering pizzas instead. …”

    Sarah Hoyt: “I suggest we kick them while they’re down and make them fight for the awards and prestige they crave. Also, that we point at them and make duck noises.”

  2. To be clear, Sarah Hoyt is speaking from the Puppies’ perspective about the “SJWs”

  3. VD: I am not a “white supremacist”.

    Vox Day is a white nationalist.

    “There can be little doubt that Cameron’s opinion of UKIP is but a pale shadow of the U.S. bifactional ruling party’s hatred and contempt for white Americans who still hold to traditional values, believe in their constitutional liberties and derive their sense of identity from historical America. They mock the secessionist petitioners in Texas and other states, celebrate the infestation of even the smallest American heartland towns by African, Asian and Aztec cultures, and engage in ruthless doublethink as they worship at the altar of a false and entirely nonexistent equality.

    And yet, they are afraid and they threaten every American who dares to think the unthinkable and speak the unspeakable. Why? Because they know time, history and socionomics are not on their side.

    Is the secession of several American states truly unthinkable? Is the breakup of the United States of America really outside the boundaries of historically reasonable possibility?”

    I don’t believe in the concept of intrinsic racial superiority nor do I believe in the concept of equality.

    Vox Day is a racist.

    “She [NK Jemisin] is lying about the laws in Texas and Florida too. The laws are not there to let whites ” just shoot people like me, without consequence, as long as they feel threatened by my presence”, those self-defense laws have been put in place to let whites defend their lives and their property from people, like her, who are half-savages engaged in attacking them.”

    One will note that NK Jemisin was born in Iowa of American parents, educated to Masters level, and lives in New York. She has nothing in common with people rioting in Texas or Florida, and nothing in common with “an illiterate Igbotu tribesman” except, of course, that her skin color is several shades darker than that of Caucasians.

    A white nationalist who is also a racist can be considered a white supremacist.

  4. @Lionness –
    ““Yeah, because being called a racist, a misogynist, a cheater, not a true fan, and all the other invective is just water off their backs…”

    Well, if the shoe fits…”

    I haven’t seen any evidence that Wright is a racist or not a true fan.

  5. @Will regarding Shadowrun:

    I was a big fan of the RPG setting which combined Science Fiction (Cyberpunk) with Fantasy, drawing on many genre tropes. The conceit is that in our world magic ebbs & flows in cycles thousands of years long (think Mayan calendar). When the magic returns in the near future, magic-sensitive genes in humans express & dwarves, trolls etc.are birthed by human parents, old magic rituals begin to work (because mana has returned) and dragons wake from hibernation. All this in a near-future setting of corporations at war, cybernetic & bio-enhancements, the usual cyberpunk tropes. The associated tie-in novels by different writers are a lot of fun as well, though the writing quality can be variable.

    The early books tended to be named after Shadowrun street aphorisms: “Never Deal with a Dragon”, “Choose Your Enemies Carefully”, “Find Your Own Truth”, “Never Trust an Elf”.

    Never deal with a Puppy
    Choose your Puppies carefully
    Find your own Puppy
    Never trust a Puppy

  6. Who is (are) the other(s)

    Wright, as noted above. And Torgersen, every time he claims that the Hugos have been used as “affirmative action”, he’s backhanding a racist and/or sexist insult to the abilities of every woman and minority who has won the award in recent years.

    And maybe you should go check Kratman’s contributions to earlier threads here on File 770 (assuming our host hasn’t cleaned up the more egregious comments made).

  7. @Steve Moss
    “Which Puppies are racists, misogynists, cheaters, not true fans, etc..?”

    Other people have pretty much already answered this one.

    “I haven’t seen any evidence that Wright is a racist or not a true fan.”

    Here is Wright on “the IQ differences between whites and blacks” amongst other things:

    “Respect for the expertise of science is trotted out where convenient, such as during a debate on man-made global warming; but the respect evaporates with remarkable suddenness if the debate turns to other scientific matters, such as the difference between I.Q. scores of whites and blacks, or the relatively low number of women excelling in math and science. When the scientists actually investigate false claims with rigorous scientific skepticism, such as during a debate on man-made global warming, the various political tactics used to quell dissent from the narrative myth of oppression are eagerly employed and justified by the self-same postmodernist. ”

    Various apologetics for the racism, sexism and homophobia of others, including calling Beale a “falsely accused racist” (after Beale called Jemisin a half savage):

  8. @Will the Deadlands RPG also references the ghost dance, and possibly qualifies as alt-history.

  9. Has anyone called any of the Puppies “not a true fan”? I, at least, see no problem in conceding that they read SF and are fans of at least some of the genre. Or does “truefan/trufan” have a narrower meaning (participating in Worldcon)?

    Either way, it doesn’t mean that Puppies are not racists or misogynists, of course.

  10. Lioness @ 4:47 pm-

    On the issue of Wright on IQ tests, he’s on record on several occasions opining that IQ tests are “rubbish”.

    I read his comment as observing that leftists love science when it advances their agenda, but ignore it when it does not. He gave the well documented IQ differences between races as an example of that. It does not mean that he values IQ, which he doesn’t, only that science does (at least in part) and that an honest scientific dialogue would investigate/debate why that is the case, as opposed to treating it as taboo.

    For the record, I also think IQ tests are crap. But they are “crap” society tends to lend some credence to, rightly or wrongly. So let’s investigate the pros and cons of IQ tests and their methodology. And let’s explore why some groups do less well than others. That’s science, without fear or favor.

  11. @owlmirror – I don’t know that I’ve seen anybody here saying that, but there have been people complaining that the puppies were recruiting non-fans (like when LC and VD reached out to GamerGate). There may also have been loose talk about how the people who complain about book covers and want only shoot-em-ups are not true fans (but don’t quote me on that one).

  12. @Steve Moss
    Ah, well okay, if he agrees that IQ scores are in fact largely rubbish at measuring what they purport to and aren’t an inherent measure of intelligence, that’s fine and I’ll concede that comment isn’t as bad as it seems on the surface.

    The rest of his apologia though (and continued defence of Beale as “not a racist”) is still appalling – particularly since Beale himself has made it clear in no uncertain terms that he himself is a white supremacist (and has also said he believes in a link between race and intelligence, for that matter!).

  13. Steve Moss on May 13, 2015 at 9:18 pm said:
    “…It does not mean that he values IQ, which he doesn’t, only that science does (at least in part) and that an honest scientific dialogue would investigate/debate why that is the case, as opposed to treating it as taboo.

    For the record, I also think IQ tests are crap. But they are “crap” society tends to lend some credence to, rightly or wrongly. So let’s investigate the pros and cons of IQ tests and their methodology. And let’s explore why some groups do less well than others. That’s science, without fear or favor.”

    Science does and has treated the results of IQ tests “without fear or favor” for many years and found that the differences between the performances on such tests by different demographics is a complex combination of native intelligence, economic and social issues, motivation, education, and other, as yet unidentified, factors. The claim that this has been taboo is generally bull and is often just dogwhistling. Many people who make this claim just don’t like the answers that science has, in fact, discovered. There are not appreciable intelligence differences between different groups, period.
    “For example, in his 2009 book “Intelligence and How to Get It,” Richard Nisbett, a psychologist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, argued that differences in IQ scores largely disappear when researchers control for social and economic factors.”
    From the article talking about motivation and how much offering money incentivised children to improve their “IQ” by up to 20 points!
    “Thus rewards higher than $10 produced g values of more than 1.6 (roughly equivalent to more than 20 IQ points), whereas rewards of less than $1 were only one-tenth as effective.”
    “Studies over the past 50 years based on IQ tests have suggested that there could be inherent differences in intelligence between racial groups, social classes and between men and women, but these conclusions are undermined by the latest findings, Dr Highfield said.

    “We already know that, from a scientific point of view, the notion of race is meaningless. Genetic differences do not map on to traditional measurements of skin colour, hair type, body proportions and skull measurements. Now we have shown that IQ is meaningless too,” Dr Highfield said.”

  14. Thanks junego. “Dogwhistling” is actually a pretty good description – I take back what I said about the comment being fine. :/

  15. Lioness on May 13, 2015 at 10:41 pm said:
    “(Was trying too hard to give Wright the benefit of the doubt tbh!)”

    I think it IS good policy, in general, to give people the doubt benefit thingy, especially on the interwebs. I didn’t jump in to contradict you, just…Get tired of the “ohhhhhhh, science is too scared of PC to be objective about this!!!!!”

    Scientists aren’t perfect and the practice of science can get off track occasionally, but over the long haul it’s the best method humans have ever found to figure out how the universe works. So if scientific research starts heading pretty decisively toward a consensus position (like climate change and there are no major differences in human intelligence)…probably not smart to bet against that consensus.

  16. Junego: Science does and has treated the results of IQ tests “without fear or favor” for many years and found that the differences between the performances on such tests by different demographics is a complex combination of native intelligence, economic and social issues, motivation, education, and other, as yet unidentified, factors. The claim that this has been taboo is generally bull and is often just dogwhistling. Many people who make this claim just don’t like the answers that science has, in fact, discovered. There are not appreciable intelligence differences between different groups, period.

    As has been pointed out, if you take a class of mostly white middle-class suburban kids, groomed to know how to take tests, and give them an IQ test in a good environment administered by a teacher who communicates this is important to their future, then they’re going to score higher than a class of mostly black poor inner-city students in a hot classroom who regard test taking as supremely irrelevant to their lives – and that’s NOT due to the color of their skin.

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