The Cold Nose Equations 6/6

aka Summa Rabid Puppies: A Casuistry of the Hugo Controversy

In today’s roundup are Pat Cadigan, Max Florschutz, Craig R., Kevin J. Maroney, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Vox Day, Peter Grant, Camestros Felapton, Russell Blackford, Nicholas Whyte, Lis Carey, and Spacefaring Kitten. (Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editors of the day Dex and sveinung.)


Max Florschutz on Unusual Things

“The Coming of the Ent March” – June 6

And that’s what the insulars are truly afraid of, and why this year isn’t really the big year for an asterisk. Next year will be that year. Right now, the insulars are shouting as loud as they can, trying to drown out the barking puppies. And you know what? To most Sci-Fi/Fantasy fans, it’s just noise.

But it’s noise that’s waking them up. Making them look around and say “What’s going on here?” It’s noise that’s drawing attention to the Hugos, alerting the silent readers who before, like the reader of my other blog, never even knew that they were allowed to participate. And regardless of who they agree with … a lot of them are going to say “Oh, cool,” and get in line for the chance to support their favorite works.

That‘s what the insulars are afraid of. The Hugos have been a large award for a long time, but they’ve also been voted on by a phenomenally small group of people for an award that’s suppose to represent Sci-Fi/Fantasy as a whole.


Craig R. on The Boston Progressive

“Where Are My Nutty Nuggets? I Want My Nuggy Nuggets!” – June 6

"They told me there would be Nutty Nuggets!"

“They told me there would be Nutty Nuggets!”

Sad Puppy Central seem to have given up on their first justification, that there was some Super Double-Sekret Social Justice Progressive Cabal that was blocking the Manly Man Rocket Adventure Stories that they Like So Well from making either the nomination lists or the winning slots.  Except for Freer, who, I guess, didn’t get the memo.

This is because they actually swamped the nomination choices.  Now, this has got to be embarrassing, if you’re all fired up to crow about having Proof, I tell you! Proof! That it’s all a fraud and that we couldn’t get on the ballot ’cause there is no way that we could succeed in gaming the system.  There’s no way that simple a cheat can get us on the ballot….

Uhh, why does the ballot look like this?

The latest reason put forth for poor prior puppy performance in the ballot is that there has been this long-running con, where each year the convention committee for the WorldCon is purposely making it hard for people to find out how to nominate and vote!

Yeah, that’s it! Well, lets look at the websites for the past 4 world cons:….


Kevin J. Maroney in a comment on “The Puppies of Terror” at New York Review of Science Fiction – May 30

The only substantial regret I have about my editorial is that it moved too seamlessly from discussion of the *Puppy movement to discussion of Panzergroup Asshole, making it seem as if I thought they were the same people. I don’t.

Let me elaborate on Panzergroup Asshole and online harassment. PGA is a real thing–probably 400-500 people who participate in systematic online harassment*, a weapon waiting for a target. There’s a larger body of casual trolls among whom PGA hide–sometimes PGA follow the other trolls and sometimes PGA’s activities attract the other trolls.

*This can run the gamut from purely online attacks like verbal abuse, tweet flooding, sealioning, comment spam, account takeover, and DDOS attack to offline dangers such as publishing personal information, leaking nude pictures, elaborate death threats, bomb threats, credit card fraud, and SWATting. I’ve had multiple friends say to me that they won’t mention certain names online for fear of attracting the attention of GG and the abuse it brings. Using the fear to silence one’s opponents has a name: “terrorism”.

I do not believe the *Puppies–the leaders and most of their supporters–are themselves members of Panzergroup Asshole. However, the Puppy leaders (Correia, Torgersen, and Day) deliberately and repeatedly invited an alliance with GamerGate, a movement inseparable from Panzergroup Asshole.

Asking people to block-vote for the Hugos (as the Puppies did) was a dick move, taking advantage of the good will assumptions inherent in the Hugo process. This is not significantly different in kind from the outright ballot-box stuffing that got Black Genesis and The Guardsman onto the nominee lists in 1987 and 1989. It’s shameful and nasty, and if they had stopped there, the second half of the editorial wouldn’t have been present. But by deliberately positioning themselves as part of GamerGate-writ-large was a step beyond.

And if it’s “assholery” to point out that someone is allying themselves with terrorists–I think I can live with that charge.





Vox Day on Vox Popoli

“Turbo-charging the award pimpage” – June 6

As it happens, I’d been contemplating following the International Lord of Hate’s lead and recusing myself from the ballot in the future, since I didn’t want to end up with more Hugo nominations than the likes of Heinlein, Clarke, and Asimov. That would be ridiculous. However, now that I know the SJWs are preemptively planning to No Award me, I think I would be remiss if I did not consider award pimpage for every single Hugo Award for which I am even remotely eligible for in 2016. Let’s see. In addition to the professional categories, there is Best Fan Writer, Best Related Work, and perhaps I can throw a few doodles together for Best Fan Artist while I’m at it.




Peter Grant on Bayou Renaissance Man

“Is it time to call for a boycott of a mainstream SF publisher?” – June 6

I’ve remained silent about many previous slanders and libels about this situation, but this is just about the last straw.  I would very much like to know whether Tor shares and/or espouses the false, slanderous and libelous views expressed by Ms. Gallo.  If that company doesn’t take a stand against such lies, or even chooses to remain silent about them (despite their being propagated by one of their editors), then I will have to assume that the time has come to openly call for a boycott of Tor by all objective, non-partisan, independent fans of science fiction and fantasy.  I’ll be discussing this option with other SF/F authors (and individuals involved in this controversy) during the coming days, to see whether we can co-ordinate a suitable response.


Camestros Felapton

“A short post about Aristotle and syllogisms” – June 6

So Chris Hensley is right. It isn’t that the system of syllogistic reasoning that Aristotle proposed was wrong but it genuinely has been superseded. The fact that we are using computers to discuss this is partly as a consequence of that. In the 19th and 20th century logic went through a revolution that took it far beyond the simple syllogism. Liebniz, Boole, Frege, Whitehead, Russell, Tarski, Godel made giant leaps and these leaps were not just freaky abstract navel gazing.

Consider this chain: Russel and Whitehead’s Principia inspired Kurt Godel’s incompleteness theorem. Alonzo Church and Alan Turing developed a related theorem that examined incompleteness from the position of an abstract mechanical device. John Von Neumann at around the same time was also looking at logical foundations of mathematics. The jump from freaky-abstract-navel gazing to birth-of-the-modern-electronic computer is almost a direct one.

So what is wrong with syllogisms? Well nothing as far as they go. They adequately describe one form of logical reasoning but it is essentially self limiting. Later Stoic philosophers made significant headway in developing Proportional Logic. Propositional Logic itself has limitations but it allows for more complex arguments to be modeled and to deal with the notion of implication. The basic difference between the syllogistic logic and propositional was the kinds of units that were being used. In syllogisms terms are important. For example take this Syllogism:

  • All SJW’s lie
  • Camestros is a SJW
  • Camestros lies….


Russell Blackford on Metamagician and The Hellfire Club

“Concluding comments on “Best Short Story” – Hugo Awards voting 2015” – June 6

The problem will keep recurring this year: how much stronger might this list (each list) of nominees have been without blatantly political block voting delivered care of the “Puppies” campaigns? We’ll never know. Meanwhile … none of the stories really blew me away, but one came closer than the others. In this company, the standout, for me, was “Totaled”, by Kary English : for its skill and innovation, it will receive my vote. I doubt that any of the others merit such an important international award.


Nicholas Whyte on From the Heart of Europe

“My vote for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form), Best Fan Writer, John W. Campbell Award” – June 6

I usually enjoy tracking down the various entries in this category (I rarely have time to watch the movies nominated for the Long Form equivalent). But unfortunately three of the finalists in this category were helped to get onto the ballot by a campaign led by a misogynist racist whose declared intention was to destroy the Hugos. I am not going to vote for them, and am not going to any great lengths to watch The Flash: Pilot or Grimm: Once We Were Gods…..

1: Doctor Who: Listen. In a Doctor Who season with one very low point (Kill The Moon) this was very much a high point, Moffat with some of his best lines – Clara in particular getting some good ones (“People don’t need to be scared by a big gray-haired stick insect but here you are” balanced by “If you’re very wise and very strong fear doesn’t have to make you cruel or cowardly – fear can make you kind”) in a story that actually makes sense and taps into some deep human fears. Gets my vote without any hesitation or special pleading, and I suspect it will win.

Also, just to record a couple of items here which are not worth separate posts: I’m voting No Award for Best Fan Writer, and giving Laura J. Mixon my second preference. I take very seriously Matt Foster’s argument that a ballot with only one non-slate finalist does not offer enough choice to make the award meaningful….


Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library

“Dungeon Crawlers Radio” – June 6

Another Best Fancast Hugo nominee.

This is also an interview podcast, in this case focused on gaming and related subjects. As such, it doesn’t really speak much to me, as this is not an area of interest for me. However, it is fairly cleanly and professionally produced, even managing an effective interview presentation in the midst of the chaos of Salt Lake Comic Con. I would expect this to be at least very interesting for viewers more into gaming. The knowledge of the interviewers I can’t seriously assess, but they at least seemed knowledgeable and reasonable to me.

If gaming is your thing, you should at least give this a try, if you haven’t seen it yet.


Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library

“Ancillary Sword (Imperial Radch #2), by Ann Leckie (author), Adjoa Andoh (narrator)” – June 6

There’s a lot going on here, in character development, revealing more about the history and culture of the Radch, and action as the conflict between the Mianaais and even older tensions in the Radch empire play out.

I’m looking forward to the third volume, Ancillary Mercy.




Spacefaring Kitten on Spacefaring, Extradimensional Happy Kittens

“’The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale’ by Rajnar Vajra” – June 6

Slates: Rabid Puppies & Sad Puppies

“The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale” is a lightweight adventure story that — according to its subtitle — tries to take us back to the Golden Age of science fiction. There are space cadets who get into trouble because of a fight and have to make it up for it by going on an expedition to an alien world, the inhabitants of which the Earth scientists have a hard time understanding.


Will McLean on A Commonplace Book

“Ancillary Justice and Ancillary Sword” – June 6

It requires the usual suspension of disbelief required for interstellar empires, FTL, artificial gravity and decanting extensions of machine intellects into human bodies; in short, what is normally required for space operas.


Camestros Felapton

“A warning from the future” – June 6

[A satire that lists future Hugo slates.]


“Dear traveler from the future” I cried “You are in need of medical care! I would take you inside but I’m afraid that Timothy has a thing abut people he doesn’t know arriving unannounced. Let me fetch you a pillow and a glass of water.”

“No…” she gasped “it is too late for me…I have come to bring you a warning”.

She was briefly consumed by a coughing fit, after which she spat out a green mess of mucus and fundamental void particles.

“They didn’t realize…they tried to tinker with the Hugo rules…but instead…” she paused again

“Yes? The rules? Is this the WorldCon 15 rules you mean?” I inquired as gently as I could despite my ankle pain and a croquet hoop digging into my thigh unpleasantly.

“The horror of Spokane they called it. The rule changes…they went wrong…a memetic virus was introduced…it spread through blog posts…the world became consumed by puppy-slates”


477 thoughts on “The Cold Nose Equations 6/6

  1. RE: “Wheel of Time series” Yeah. I could never get into the series, but a part of me goes 4.4 million words, over 23 years, the scope of effort is truly impressive. That deserves something, particularly considering that I either wasn’t interested or was unimpressed with the other works.

    Side note: When Laura Resnick talks about the business of publishing, listen. As much as I think that Torgersen is getting a bum rap, calling a potential business partner names is a rookie mistake.

  2. Nick Mamatas: S&S distributes many publishers, including other SF publishers

    Just Games Workshop, if that counts. (I’m skipping Viz, Pikachu, & Boom).

    I also doubt the average bookstore owner or librarian is going to remember any particular Baen author and keep him or her off the shelves when it’s time to order books.

    All it takes is one. How do you think the main SF buyer at B&N feels about the Puppies and their rhetoric?

  3. Christian K –

    RE: “Wheel of Time series” Yeah. I could never get into the series, but a part of me goes 4.4 million words, over 23 years, the scope of effort is truly impressive. That deserves something, particularly considering that I either wasn’t interested or was unimpressed with the other works

    True but it had an uphill battle, there were those who thought used a rule not meant for novels, not to mention it required reading 4.4 million words in between the nomination period and voting period for those who might not have been followers of that series, or those who might have but hadn’t read them in a while. Plus reviewing them as one work is more difficult because the middle books spend hundreds of thousands of words spinning its wheels and creating new plot threads without resolving prior ones. As a fan of the series and who thought Sanderson did an amazing job closing it out, I can see why you’d want it to win the award but I read a lot of the discussions going on at the time and could understand why others felt it did not.

  4. I am the editor of VIZ’s SF imprint, Haikasoru. You can skip it if you like, but I see no reason to—the books I work on appear in the SF&F section in bookstores, are reviewed by the genre press, contain Hugo-winning fiction, and form the basis for Hugo-nominated films, which we co-produced. (Naturally, on here I speak for myself, not for my dayjob. Even I don’t work at 10:24PM on a Sunday night.)

    You also missed Rebellion (Solaris and Abaddon).

    I have no idea how Jim feels about the Baen author shenanigans—as he’s African-American I presume he isn’t a Rabid Puppy enthusiast—but I know he likes to fill those mid-store racks with mass market paperbacks, which Baen specializes in.

  5. @Nick: “What the Baeners might be doing is making reviewers less likely to review them (though most Baen titles are review-proof anyway) and making anthologists unsympathetic to the Puppy slates less likely to solicit them”

    …and making non-Puppy readers less likely to read – or keep reading – them.

    I own and have read a lot of Baen books, with more on my shelves waiting for their turns. Over the past few years, I have become less and less enamored of them, and it’s really come down to one thing: Authors Behaving Badly. Throwing conservative red meat to your base is fine, right up to the point where your readers who aren’t in that base get disgusted and wander off.

    Now, it may well be that this is a first-order, short-term, net gain; if they attract more readers than they lose, the logical steps would seem to be not just to keep at it, but to ramp it up. The trouble is, I keep coming back to an old marketing maxim: one dissatisfied customer costs you ten more.

    If there’s one thing we fans do, it’s talk. No, let’s be honest: we gossip. This whole controversy is proof of that. If there’s a second thing, though… we remember. Several authors have lost my allegiance in this kerfuffle, and several more will lose the chance to gain it. Guilt by association may suck, but it exists. One publishing house in particular has plummeted in my estimation, and its name sure as heck doesn’t start with T. (Or C – that one was never on my radar to begin with.) I’m not boycotting them, or calling for one, but I’m damn sure taking a second (or third) look at their wares before buying them.

    And I talk to other fans. When they ask me what I like, certain names will no longer come up. Some may come up in a negative light: “Oh, him? Yeah, remember the 2015 Hugos? He was part of that fiasco.”

    Last brick in this wall o’text: Those cutesy “we didn’t quite say that exact thing” Puppy dodges don’t fool anyone. They damn sure don’t trick lost readers into giving them another chance. Nope, there’s a whole wide world of SFF that doesn’t have the slightest interest in punching people in the face as the price of admission. I’ll give them my loyalty and money instead. If the Puppies want to divide fandom into themselves and everyone else, I’ll be with everyone else. It’s a lot more fun here.

  6. >> All it takes is one. How do you think the main SF buyer at B&N feels about the Puppies and their rhetoric?>>

    Utterly indifferent. Or, even if he or she has a reaction, it’s far less important than what books move numbers.

  7. “If the Puppies want to divide fandom into themselves and everyone else, I’ll be with everyone else. It’s a lot more fun here.”

    Well said, Rev Bob.

  8. Utterly indifferent. Or, even if he or she has a reaction, it’s far less important than what books move numbers.

    Exactly. A great way not to last as a national buyer for B&N for very long is to make decisions based on personal politics or pique.

  9. Nick, I stand corrected– I’m so used to thinking of Viz as just manga, with my comic book publishing background. My apologies.

    And the last I talked to Jim, he was… let’s say underwhelmed by Puppy actions. I also know he’s much more professional than many Pups would give him credit for if the positions were reversed. How long that might hold as the Pups keep pressing their luck, however, is an interesting question.

  10. Rev. Bob,

    Certainly hardcore folks—anyone posting here!—is unlikely to be wowed by Puppy antics and may well stop buying Puppy books.

    One reason why the Puppies are going for a public spectacle is to activate their own right flank. If Notional Puppy loses you but gets three whelps who will now Buy Every Baen Title to stick it to the SJWs, then woohoo!

  11. @Nick:

    Isn’t that what I said? Throwing red meat, activating the right flank… same thing.

  12. I’m talking about going beyond their base—which I understood to be their present readers—to activate their further potential audience on the right.

  13. RE: “Wheel of Time series”

    I treated it as if it had been a single volume novel. It might have been on the final ballot using a creative exploit, but there is no denying the impact the series has had on genre. Ultimately, what it came down to was that I stopped reading the series at Book 5, which is like abandoning a book about a third of the way in, and so it ended with a low position in my ballot.

    The Puppies nominees are also on the ballot thanks to an exploit, and based on quality, none of them are convincing me to vote for them so far.

  14. It’s funny, I was originally thinking that the worst thing that could happen is that a buyer for Books-A-Million would be to shave the orders by 10% or so. I forgot we’re dealing with returnable books (comics background again).

    The mean thing to do would be to over-order by double and slam the publisher with returns.

  15. @Nick:

    Yeah, still the same thing. US political parties do it all the time. Energize your base, so they’ll spread the good word and recruit others. That’s why I said:

    Now, it may well be that this is a first-order, short-term, net gain; if they attract more readers than they lose, the logical steps would seem to be not just to keep at it, but to ramp it up.

    Agitate the base to get them talking, and hope you win more than you drive off. Classic politics here.

  16. @ Nick Mamatas: “There was a lot more churn when there were many more publishers. And of course, churning OUT of the field isn’t relevant to Torgersen sending his next ms in to Baen and, kaboom, it’s Moshe Feder who gets to champion it or not at the next meeting.”

    Although my intro to the business was VERY churning (upon making my first book sale, I went through 5 editors in 6 months at one house–and, I swear, it wasn’t because of ME!), and that IS unusual, I do not perceive less churn these days than there used to be. There are flurries and quiet periods, but churn is overall still the nature of the business.

    I also don’t agree that editors churning OUT is irrelevant to your example of Brad Torgersen, since when an editor churns out, the writers get reassigned. Sometimes that goes well, but often it does not. Whether a writer is reassigned to someone who can’t stand them or their work, or reassigned to someone who means well but can’t cope with the extra workload and leaves the writer’s delivered MS or option proposal at the bottom of a pile for 2 years, or reassigned to someone new who wants to build their own list… things often (not always; but often) go badly when your editor churns out–sometimes badly enough that it’s time to leave a house you previously thought you’d be at for many more years. It’s a pretty common problem for writers.

    Additionally, if any editors resign, get fired, get laid off, retire, or die at Baen, who knows who’d replace them? After all, Baen editor Jim Minz was a Tor editor. Why wouldn’t there would be other former Tor editors at Baen in future? It may well not be, but it doesn’t make much sense to assume it WON’T be, since it’s demonstrably among the possibilities.

    It’s just bad business for any writer to go around making enemies among editors or pissing off publishing houses. There’s not a teflon scenario for behavior like that–certainly not among midlist writers, anyhow.

  17. “at this stage, how the slate was assembled, doesn’t really matter. The facts of the assembly have been out there since Day 1 and if you still have a problem with that . . . oh well.” –Brad Torgersen

    Fact: The posted slate does not match up well with the suggestions posted to Brad’s blog. Subfact: Two whole fiction categories of the slate don’t have any overlapping items with those suggestions.

    Fact: Larry Correia posted that “here is what the Evil League of Evil authors came up with in discussion [re: the contents of the slate]…. Everybody up there is someone who the ELoE talked about.” and “The ELoE talked about this a lot before putting together a slate.”. Collaborated by Brad posting “Gathered here is the best list (we think!)” in the slate announcement.

    Fact: Per blog posts about it, the self-named “Evil League of Evil” consists of Larry Correia, John C. Wright, Sarah Hoyt, Brad Torgersen, and, at least in the past, Vox Day. It is fuzzy whether Day was an active part of the Sad Puppies slate determination this year, was deliberately left some slots in some categories on the SP slate to fill in with his own Rabid Pups, or if he was not an active part of this year’s SP slate determination.

    At least Brad responded this time this was brought up; from every instance I’ve seen in the past, when people brought these facts up, he’d just disappear from the thread. So if the facts are meant to speak for themselves, what I’m hearing from them is that a clique of 4-5 people undemocratically selected the SP slate, possibly with a bit of input from the suggestions but by no means using the most suggested items or even any items in various categories. I’m pretty sure Sergeant Friday would agree that those are just the facts.

  18. Gabriel F. on June 7, 2015 at 5:59 pm said:
    Completely off-topic, but I read a really good short story a while back on the recommendation of one of these threads and I can’t remember what it was called so I can link it to my husband 🙁 It had a playwright stuck in an apocalypse bunker with a genie and the world was covered with some sort of white creeping mold. I don’t want to give more detail because I’d hate to spoil it for those who haven’t read it… but can anyone name it and the author for me so I can find it again? It was posted in its entirety online.

    Tmv on June 7, 2015 at 6:04 pm said:
    @Gabriel f: As Good As New

    Thank you for that. That was an enjoyable read.

  19. Whym on June 7, 2015 at 6:40 pm said:
    I just noticed that 4-time Hugo winner and feminist fan writer Susan Wood’s initials spell out SJW.

    Coincidence, or all part of the SJW clique’s eeeevil plan?

    On a serious note, Wood’s 1978 essay “People’s Programming”, which discussed her experiences with sexism in fandom, is an excellent read. I think someone on one of the threads last month directed me to it, so I’d like to repay the favor – here.

    That’s an interesting essay — and sobering to realize it was written more than a generation ago and we can *still* get the token woman-pro-in-a-bikini in some ostensibly professional house publications.

  20. Dela on June 7, 2015 at 7:42 pm said:

    So a Tor employee described the Sad Puppies as extreme right-wing, the Rabid Puppies as neo-Nazies, and the combined company as racist, homophobic, and misogynistic.

    Here’s how Brad talked about a couple of Tor employees on a Dave Freer post at MGC in April: “Nielsen-Haydens, your fellow travelers, and media goombahs . . . I MOCK YOU! I MOCK YOUR ASININE INCESTUOUS CLUSTERFUCKED LITTLE CULTURE OF DOCTRINAIRE PROGRESSOSEXUAL MEDIOCRITY MASKED AS SUPERIORITY! You are all dolts. You are moral and physical cowards. You are without ethics, without scruples, and if you weren’t so patently pathetic, I’d say you might be dangerous.
    Fuck you. Fuck you all.”

    Boy, I wish I had seen that back in April when I heard Torgersen was “the nice one.”

  21. They like giving it, but they certainly don’t like taking it.

    It’s also quite tragic how easy it is for VD to press a few buttons and gain a reaction with a screencap that he’d been sitting on for a month.

  22. Andy H: I am disappointed to realize that this is probably a hypothetical scenario, because I was really looking forward for a moment to reading that book.

    Hypothetical for now– Though, I had Nnedi Okorafor in mind when I wrote it. She’s American, but her family’s from Nigeria and the country is hugely present in her work.

  23. Laura,

    Minz has been with Baen for seven years now. I’d call that an argument against the ubiquity of churn, not for it, especially as Baen has…what? Eight actual W2 employees, tops? How many people have left for another job, or come in since that time? A crucial question since the theory is that Brad is safe at Baen.

    Gallo has been at Tor since 1993, Feder has been kicking around there since 2000. Even if they leave Tor, the chances of them ending up in North Carolina are quite slim.

    My experience, as an editor, is that such jobs open infrequently enough that people who get them hang on to them tenaciously, and if they vanish from a chair it is because they moved internally or leave publishing entirely.

  24. Nick: While your analysis certainly rings true to me, Brad has apparently been taking lessons from a man who is a world-class expert at burning bridges.

  25. @ Nick: And yet I went through 4 editors at Tor, 3 of whom are no longer there. (There does seem to be something about working with ME that dooms an editor to leave a company…)

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