Two Hugo Nominees Withdraw Their Stories

Hugo Award finalists Marko Kloos and Annie Bellet announced today they are withdrawing their stories from consideration.

At this writing, the Sasquan Hugo administrator has yet to announce that the withdrawals have been accepted (although there is no reason to assume they will not), or whether the vacancies will be filled by the next highest-voted works.

Kloos is the author of the novel Lines of Departure, and Bellet of the short story “Goodnight Stars.”

Marko Kloos posted this statement on his blog:

I have officially withdrawn my acceptance of the Best Novel nomination for “Lines of Departure” at this year’s Hugo Awards.

It has come to my attention that “Lines of Departure” was one of the nomination suggestions in Vox Day’s “Rabid Puppies” campaign. Therefore—and regardless of who else has recommended the novel for award consideration—the presence of “Lines of Departure” on the shortlist is almost certainly due to my inclusion on the “Rabid Puppies” slate. For that reason, I had no choice but to withdraw my acceptance of the nomination. I cannot in good conscience accept an award nomination that I feel I may not have earned solely with the quality of the nominated work.

I also wish to disassociate myself from the originator of the “Rabid Puppies” campaign. To put it bluntly: if this nomination gives even the appearance that Vox Day or anyone else had a hand in giving it to me because of my perceived political leanings, I don’t want it. I want to be nominated for awards because of the work, not because of the “right” or “wrong” politics.

Thank you to everyone who voted for “Lines of Departure” because you read the novel and genuinely thought it worthy of award recognition. Please be assured that I did not reach this decision lightly, and that I don’t want to nullify or minimize your opinion. But keeping the nomination is not a moral option at this point, and I hope you will understand.

This is my choice alone, and I am making it without pressure from any side in the current Hugo debate. Please respect it as such.

Annie Bellet gave this explanation on her blog:

I have withdrawn my story “Goodnight Stars” from consideration in this year’s Hugo Awards.

I want to make it clear I am not doing this lightly. I am not doing it because I am ashamed. I am not doing it because I was pressured by anyone either way or on any “side,” though many friends have made cogent arguments for both keeping my nomination and sticking it out, as well as for retracting it and letting things proceed without me in the middle.

I am withdrawing because this has become about something very different than great science fiction.  I find my story, and by extension myself, stuck in a game of political dodge ball, where I’m both a conscripted player and also a ball. (Wrap your head around that analogy, if you can, ha!) All joy that might have come from this nomination has been co-opted, ruined, or sapped away. This is not about celebrating good writing anymore, and I don’t want to be a part of what it has become.

I am not a ball. I do not want to be a player. This is not what my writing is about. This is not why I write. I believe in a compassionate, diverse, and inclusive world. I try to write my own take on human experiences and relationships, and present my fiction as entertainingly and honestly as I can.

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118 thoughts on “Two Hugo Nominees Withdraw Their Stories

  1. What I’m saying, Curt, is that you acted in haste when you accused Beale of inventing the quote. And then you again acted in haste when you accepted a link that didn’t prove anything. Slow down.

    Since Beale linked us to Correia’s blog as a “source” for that quote, it’s likely that he saw it somewhere other than facebook, and accepted the quote at face value. Which is perfectly fine. He’s yakking on the internet, not writing the sort of article where checking one’s sources is expected. I’m curious to see what he says next, though. Maybe he’ll dredge up a link or a screenshot that sources the quote properly. Maybe he’ll stop using it. Or maybe he’ll keep on using it without doing either.

    All three are interesting outcomes.

  2. “Considering how successful he was this year, the big question we should all be asking is, “How successful is his slate going to be in the future?””

    Eh, I don’t think that’s the question people should be asking. That’s reactionary in a defensive way. Personally I think fans should take this as a great opportunity to ask what ways there might be of positively boosting their favorite authors and creating a stronger community in general. Let them be united by how sad and rabid and scared they are. While they try and tear down, the rest of us should be building up and be united by the love of the genre instead.

  3. I haven’t actually been searching for the “shitbag” quote but discovered Marko Kloos posted an apology for saying it on Larry Correia’s blog.

    On reflection: I apologize to Vox Day for calling him a shitbag. I loathe his politics and race diatribes, disagree with his theology, and have absolutely nothing in common with him philosophically, but there’s no reason to get uncivil and resort to name-calling.

  4. This Arabic issue is neither here nor there. I was just pointing out that if you want to insult someone for cluelessness there are ways to make it stick. Tilton’s point was not at all valid. There simply is no comparison between the number 400 years and 1,400 years. It is a faddish disdain for English putting the cart before the historic horse. That is far more obvious than getting on here and writing James May=idiot. At least I expressed some kind of argument.

    Chesterton has it right. There was an entire movement around that anthology whining about writing SF in English as if it were a plague and the anti-white sentiment was unmistakable. If people are unaware of the silly round-robin discussions the anthologies authors had that is nothing to me. Suffice it to say that were I to do such a thing I’d be stuck in a KKK. I am sick of the double standard.

    Which brings us to the Hugos. There has been a movement within the core SFF community for 3 years now. It has repeatedly and ever less politely asked for the racial incitement to stop. The people asking have themselves been called racists, homophobes and misogynists and also banned and deleted. Fine. Now we’re not asking.

    Thanks to Mr. Glyer, there are ever more neutral sites where one can ask legitimate questions with them disappearing into disemvowelment.

    Many people don’t like that, because unlike The Atlantic and The Guardian, we bring the homework and the quotes. Stop the hate speech or explain why not.

  5. Curt Phillips, responding to VD:
    “Leave me alone and I’ll be happy to leave you alone. That’s really all I ask.”

    I for one would be happy to do exactly that. I’ll be very glad to sever any connection with the world of “Vox Day” Are you really prepared to sever all connection with the SF community? Would you consider removing your nominations from the Hugo ballot as others have done today?

    Now that is a question I’d like to hear an answer to as well.

  6. (Quoted earlier by GK Chesterson)
    “Surprising how fast some people can go from hurling abuse to saying how wonderful these writers are and I’m going to buy your book. Tomorrow it will be back to the normal on those who remain.”

    It’s not surprising at all that people go quickly from dismay to praise. By our deeds are we redeemed and those who choose to forgive and be generous can do it wholeheartedly and quickly.

    Holding grudges is not good for the spirit, anyone’s spirit.

  7. ‘Adherents of intersectionalism – which is all SJWs really are – have repeatedly shown themselves so crippled by bias that simple comparisons, analogies and metaphors are unavailable to them.’

    They mostly don’t speak figuratively. Mostly.

    ‘What’s so hard to predict about people who “enjoy” literature using photos and “de-white” their libraries and “de-white” discussions on panels?’

    EVERY time you put a non-white person or a woman on a panel you;re disenfranchising a white man; every time you put a book by a non-white person or a woman in the library, they burn a book by a white man in the incinerator. Monsters.

    ‘Yet another trap appears, as SJWs are asserting race brings with it something consistently innate, a thing the KKK also believes’

    As history and science have shown, being discriminated against is innate. hat’s why they’re discriminated against.

    ‘We have repeatedly begged you not to.’

    Why oh why oh why did we not listen to the wise words from on high?

  8. ‘But then, you just judged people as magically worthy of buying books because they changed associations.’

    But then, you can’t afford to admit how thoroughly their nominations for the Hugo were tainted and degraded by being part of a scheme nakedly designed to game the awards system. You can’t afford to admit that the motivations for gaming the system were to stoke anger and resentment at the portion of fandom that actively participates in the Hugo system, because then you;d have to admit that you succeeded and that most of the anger and resentment is of the SP/RP’s making. Better off insisting the sky is green. Much safer.

  9. Sorry. ‘In’ the portion of fandom not ‘at.’ Well, both, now that I think of it.

  10. ‘That’s it. Do you really not get THAT HUNDREDS OF VOTERS AGREED WITH HIM. He didn’t vote a thousand odd times. WE did.’


  11. James May – OK, that’s a coherent post.

    The comment about the influence of English has nothing to do with duration, that’s irrelevant. The question is that of influence, the number of persons using the language. This is, as I said, an arguable point, depending on what metrics are used. It has nothing to do with a “disdain for English” or whatever else you’re reading into my observation.

    The anthology in question was revenge fiction directed against imperialist figures, largely [if not exclusively, I can’t recall exactly] European whites. I don’t review or decline to review material based on its politics, and I decline to be held responsible for the politics of any movements just because I review fiction expressing their positions. I try to cover the field as widely as I can. The views expressed by the anthology authors are their own, not mine, and I am not one of “you guys”.

    As I’ve said before here, I don’t have a dog in this current fight. So indeed, let’s respect Mike’s space here and keep down the hate speech. Which means I was not calling you an idiot, I was asking if you could post without the use of jargon I find incomprehensible. As you have done here.

  12. “It’s not surprising at all that people go quickly from dismay to praise. By our deeds are we redeemed and those who choose to forgive and be generous can do it wholeheartedly and quickly.”

    That is a mind numbing reframe.

    They came for me not for thee.


    “You can’t afford to admit that the motivations for gaming the system were to stoke anger and resentment at the portion of fandom that actively participates in the Hugo system”

    Nope, your projecting again. We wanted stories we liked to win.

  13. James May – I went back and looked at my review of the Different Frontier anthology, to refresh my memory. In fact, while revenge was one of the themes of the book’s stories, it was by no means the sole theme, and I would retract the characterization of it as a “revenge anthology”.

  14. Nope, your projecting again. We wanted stories we liked to win.

    I want stories I like to win. I don’t have a terribly good hit rate mind you, I’ve voted for 2 best novels in the last decade, and my hit rate on short fiction is MUCH lower, as is my nomination rate.

    You know, for a bunch of individuals, you really do use collective nouns a lot?

    Why should your opinion be worth more than mine just because you’ve clubbed together to force your collective opinion on me? You’re doing *just* what you claim this fictional ‘other side’ you’re fighting is doing and, frankly, its pretty daft.

  15. GK Chesterson:

    “’It’s not surprising at all that people go quickly from dismay to praise. By our deeds are we redeemed and those who choose to forgive and be generous can do it wholeheartedly and quickly.’

    That is a mind numbing reframe.

    They came for me not for thee.”

    Did I not understand? (Not trying to be sarcastic here.)

    I thought the point you were making was the rapidity with which opinion about the two authors changed once they withdrew from the ballot, with some implication in your remarks that the rapidity was a sign of insincerity.

    If I did misunderstand, please forgive me. I have no intent to muddle the argument nor to cause you distress.

    In fairness (?) to the much-loathed Theodore Beale, I thought I’d better go to the source material and bought a copy of THE IRRATIONAL ATHEIST from Amazon.
    After reading only the first nine pages I was struck by the fact that they alone were so full of unsupported contentions, misattribution or simple misapprehension of peoples’ motives, misapplied assumptions and un-called for self-justifications and lines like *Researchers have shown that…* that frankly I quickly lost the will to live. But I persevered.
    It’s so called *factual* basis seems to consist of very selective processing and interpretation of statistics. Many examples are listed on the back cover. Every one of them mistakes or misinterprets the writers’ original reasoning or puts words in the mouths of his protagonists which simply do not exist. I have highlighted some of my immediate concerns upon reading such drivel:
    “More than 93% of all the wars in human history had no relation to religion.
    (Ed. Define a war. Define a conflict. Define a minor civil disturbance Carefully select whatever statistic applies to each definition. Proceed to Go, but do not claim anything except a diploma in Idiocy.)
    The Spanish Inquisition had no jurisdiction over professing Jews, Muslims, or atheists, and executed fewer people on an annual basis than the state of Texas.
    (Ed. The Spanish Inquisition was instigated in 1478 and not abolished until 1834. One source quotes 2,000 to 5,000 people actually executed. Over the span of the Spanish Inquisition this probably does equate with how many people Texas executes every year, but it does show how statistics can be manipulated to try and *prove* a point, doesn’t it?)
    Atheists are 3.84 times more likely to be imprisoned than Christians.
    “Red” state crime is primarily committed in *blue* countries
    (Ed: I don’t even know what this means.)
    Sexually abused girls are 55 times more likely to commit suicide that girls raised Catholic.
    (Ed: What this has to do with atheism is never developed, although we are presumably supposed to believe that sexually abused girls are all atheist and that Catholic Girls are not sexually abused; it does however significantly reflect Beale’s belief as an evangelistic Christian, that suicide is somehow a crime, and, along with atheism, equally morally reprehensible.)
    In the twentieth century, atheistic regimes killed three times more people in peacetime than those killed in all the wars and individual crimes combined.
    (Ed. “athetistic regimes”? Typically, Beale is keen on attributing mass crimes to bogeys he calls regimes, most of which appear to be totally figments of his own mind).
    But let’s address just one statistical issue Beale dissects:
    In an attempt to refute a particular argument of Richard Dawkins’, He invents a concept called *atheist-run* countries (I don’t know a single country whose population is 100% atheist. David Cameron is a Christian. Does that make Great Britain Christian-run?) and he seems to think that pointing out that such entities, even if they existed, have destroyed a great many churches and other religious institutions somehow negates Dawkins contention that atheists would not destroy *iconic* religious sites, that is sites whose destruction would represent a direct political attack on the religion they represented. Two different arguments conflated into one for Beale’s convenience. This is one example of addled polemical thinking I could pick out from a book that hosts hundreds of them Virtually every statistic he pulls out of his hat to support his contentions proves susceptible to the same malaise of sloppy thinking.
    For someone who parades and vaunts his own intelligence and intellectuality this book really does him no favours and reveals the true textures of the Emperor’s New Clothes. It reads like a piece of clumsy sophomore term-work and I was grading it as such I’d give it a C minus. Must do better with perhaps a note in the margin “Read the text, you dumbfuck!”. Don’t read this book, or you will be in danger of damaging whoever or whatever you hurl it at. Merely touching it now evokes for me the distasteful odour or someone else’s shit.

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