What a novel idea

sad_puppies_3_patchTime has now past to register for Sasquan in order to take part in the nomination and voting for the different Hugo Award categories. That means it is time to grab your snack and drink of preference and sit back to watch as certain heads start exploding because — gasp — Sad Puppies didn’t go away like they thought it would. Instead, Brad Torgersen has taken up the call to help bring attention to science fiction and fantasy works that do something unheard of in the halls of social justice warriors and their subset, the glittery hoo-hahs. These revolutionary works actually entertain the reader or viewer without hitting us over the head with a “socially relevant” message.

The Hugos began in 1955, iirc. I remember a time when I was younger when winning an award actually meant something when it came to sales of a title. I looked for books that had the stamp of being a Hugo winner on them because I could be certain they were books that I would enjoy. The story would entertain and make me think. Those books were, in fact, some of the best in science fiction or fantasy for that year. They were books I wanted to read.

Sadly, that has changed over the year and, with that change, the Hugos have been seen by many readers as having lost their relevance. After all, who wants to read a novel that is more concerned with preaching a message than it is in telling an entertaining story? Worse, in some ways at least, fewer and fewer readers actually know that the Hugos exist, much less what they are supposed to reward.

Yet, with that sad reality smacking us in the face, if you dare rock the boat and offer up a slate of recommended nominations that doesn’t meet the social justice platform, you will find yourself and the books and other works included on your slate, attacked by the SJW side. Don’t believe me, look at what has already started happening with the Sad Puppies 3 slate. Within a short time of Brad releasing his slate, the following tweet by Ian Sales appeared:

[name redacted] surprised Jim Butcher is on their list, didn’t know he was a fascist. Not that I’ve read his books or ever plan to

This was posted at 6:09 AM yesterday. Two things strike me on this — the first is the automatic assumption that Jim Butcher is a “wrong” thinker just because he is on a list compiled by someone who doesn’t buy in blindly to the SJW agenda and the second is that the decision is being made without ever having read anything written by Butcher. But, in some ways, that doesn’t surprise me. This seems to be the approach all too often of zealots and those who blindly follow them.

If you continue looking at Sales’ twitter feed on the topic you will find that he made another mistake. He assumed that Sad Puppies 3 is the exact same list as that released by Vox Day. It isn’t. There are some similarities and there are some differences, as there should be because they were made by two different people with different tastes and different reasons for putting the lists together. But just because there is some overlap and — gasp — because Vox Day is involved in one, both lists must be tainted, at least in the eyes of the SJW crowd and their hangers on.

So watch as this becomes a negative campaign on their side, just as it was last year and the year before. They won’t be out there extolling the wonderful plots and well-crafted stories of their nominees. No, you will see instead attacks on the authors and editors listed on SP3 as people because they don’t fall into lock step with the right-thinkers.

When did we forget that to be the best in science fiction and fantasy, the work has to be readable or watchable and it has to be entertaining? Yes, even groundbreaking science fiction and fantasy can both groundbreaking and entertaining. That is something that too many publishers and too many in the SJW sect have forgotten.

Fortunately, people like Brad haven’t. He’s put together a slate of nominees that include conservative and libertarian authors. If you look closely enough, you might even find a liberal or two. This is not a slate of evil conservative men who want to push women into the kitchen or the bedroom and never let them out. What it is, is a slate of titles that honor what science fiction and fantasy happen to be. So I urge you to consider the works he has proposed.

I’ll even go one further than many of those who are so quick to condemn the SP Slate. I urge you to read not only these titles but those put forth by the other side. If you do, and if you enjoy science fiction and fantasy that has a great story and entertains (and yes, it can still have a message but that isn’t a requirement), I have a feeling your personal slate will resemble SP3 more closely than it will the SJW slate.

Anyway, here is the Slate for Sad Puppies 3. (Full disclosure here. Brad has listed Cedar, Dave and me under the best fan writer category and Jason for the Campbell Award. I know I speak for all of us when I say it is an honor to be included on SP3.)

Best Novel
“The Dark Between the Stars” – Kevin J. Anderson – TOR
“Trial by Fire” – Charles E. Gannon – BAEN
“Skin Game” – Jim Butcher – ROC
“Monster Hunter Nemesis” – Larry Correia – BAEN
“Lines of Departure” – Marko Kloos – 47 North (Amazon)

Best Novella
“Flow” – Arlan Andrews Sr. – Analog magazine November 2014
“One Bright Star to Guide Them” – John C. Wright – Castalia House
“The Jenregar and the Light” – Dave Creek – Analog magazine October 2014
“Big Boys Don’t Cry” – Tom Kratman – Castalia House

Best Novelette
“The Journeyman: In the Stone House” – Michael F. Flynn – Analog magazine June 2014
“The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale” – Rajnar Vajra – Analog magazine July/Aug 2014
“Championship B’tok” – Edward M. Lerner – Analog magazine Sept 2014
“Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium” – Gray Rinehart – Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show

Best Short Story
“Goodnight Stars” – Annie Bellet – The Apocalypse Triptych
“Tuesdays With Molakesh the Destroyer” – Megan Grey – Fireside Fiction
“Totaled” – Kary English – Galaxy’s Edge magazine
“On A Spiritual Plain” – Lou Antonelli – Sci Phi Journal #2

Best Related Work
“Letters from Gardner” – Lou Antonelli – Merry Blacksmith Press
“Transhuman and Subhuman: Essays on Science Fiction and Awful Truth” – John C. Wright – Castalia House
“Wisdom From My Internet” – Michael Z. Williamson
“Why Science is Never Settled” – Tedd Roberts – BAEN

Best Graphic Story
“Reduce Reuse Reanimate (Zombie Nation book #2) – Carter Reid – (independent)

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)
“The Lego Movie” – Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
“Guardians of the Galaxy” – James Gunn
“Interstellar” – Christopher Nolan
“The Maze Runner” – Wes Ball

Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)
Grimm – ” Once We Were Gods” – NBC
Marvel’s Agent’s of Shield – ABC
Warehouse 13 – SyFY
A Game of Thrones – “The Mountain and the Viper” – HBO

Best Editor (Long Form)
Toni Weisskopf – BAEN
Jim Minz – BAEN
Anne Sowards – ACE/ROC
Sheila Gilbert – DAW

Best Editor (Short Form)
Mike Resnick – Galaxy’s Edge magazine
Edmund R. Schubert – Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show
Jennifer Brozek (Shattered Shields)
Bryan Thomas Schmidt (Shattered Shields)

Best Professional Artist
Carter Reid
Jon Eno
Alan Pollack
Nick Greenwood

Best Semiprozine
Sci Phi Journal – Jason Rennie
Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show – Edmund Schubert
Abyss & Apex
Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine

Best Fanzine
Tangent SF On-line – Dave Truesdale
SF Signal – Jon DeNardo
Elitist Book Reviews – Steve Diamond
The Revenge of Hump Day – Tim Bolgeo

Best Fancast
“The Sci Phi Show” – Jason Rennie
Dungeon Crawlers Radio
Adventures in SF Publishing

Best Fan Writer
Matthew David Surridge (Black Gate)
Jeffro Johnson
Amanda Green
Cedar Sanderson
Dave Freer

The John W. Campbell Award
Jason Cordova
Kary English
Eric S. Raymond
Amy Turner Hughes

To quote Brad, “Remember: only YOU can combat puppy-related sadness!”

34 thoughts on “What a novel idea

    1. From the Hugo categories page: Best Fan Writer: This is another person category. Note that it does not just apply to writing done in fanzines. Work published in semiprozines, and even on mailing lists, blogs, BBSs, and similar electronic fora, can be including when judging people for this Award. Only work in professional publications should not be considered.

    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence, buddy. LOL Keep in mind this dates back a while, but you have to admit, you come here, yes? Some of why you come here is intersecting fannish interests, I presume? So why not?

    2. It’s weird for an award created by fans, given out at a convention created by fans, to recognize that fans contribute to the genre in their own ways?

      There’s also an award for best fancast and best fan artist. The Hugos have long recognized fans alongside pros.

  1. But Amanda, Jim Butcher’s main characters are strong men! That’s what makes him a fascist! [Very Big Sarcastic Grin]

    Note, I think Jim Butcher’s novel will be my first choice for best novel. [Smile]

      1. And the women! Such awful, weak, helpless types lacking in agency like Sgt. Murphy, Charity Carpenter, Molly Carpenter, Susan Rodriguez, Anna Lucio, Mab, Leanansidhe, Tera West, Elaine Mallory…

        1. Smile when you say that in front of Murphy. [Very Big Grin]

          As for Mab and Leanansidhe, don’t even think it near them!!! Of course, they might be right next to you. [Very Big Evil Grin]

          1. Heh, of the ones I listed (and for those who haven’t read the books, that’s not even all of the major, well-rendered female characters ranging from protagonist to antagonist and every shade in between), Mab is probably the most influential. After all, the lady more or less defined the geopolitics and international relations of the entire occult world for who knows how long as the motive force behind the Unseelie accords.

  2. Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) needs to give some love to The Flash and The Librarians. Both shows have been outstanding.

    1. The spirit of Sad Puppies is: “There is no top down. If it entertains you, vote for it.” The SP3 slate is merely a suggestion of entertaining, deserving works that might otherwise be overlooked. We all have others we prefer, and we should vote for them. For me, it’s Brad’s own book, The Chaplain’s War, and Jack McDevitt’s Coming Home.

  3. Not only are you releasing the Kratmanator on them but also Mad Mike.
    You people are too evil, you never once thought about the children of the of SJW’s that will come home from school to find their parents sitting in front of their computers with their exploded heads.

    1. Oh, no, we’re thinking of the children. The poor children who have to find a way to rebel against the Authorities Who Insist They’re Underdogs.

      They already figured out the dressing up in gender-appropriate clothing and having manners (aww, steampunk! and suits with ties!). Now we’re just giving them a slate of authors to read and help form their worldview as something other than what mom approves.

      Picture a dinner table, where over gluten-free carboard-tasting multi-culti noodles, the primly dressed teen interrupts her fading feminist mother and beardo the wierdo that’s mom’s latest boyfriend. “No, mom. All we really need to solve the war in the middle east is General Carerra, and a country that’d back him!”

          1. Speaking as one who not only remembers being a teen, but also has a nearly teen child, I assure you that children want very much to make their parents’ heads explode.
            Shoot, if Mom’s head would’ve just exploded I wouldn’t have had to read some stupid ‘classic’ book that was supposed to be ‘good for me’ before every science fiction or fantasy novel I read. It was supposed to be educational, you understand. (Have never quite come to terms with the fact that I was not allowed to read Romance but was made to read The Scarlet Pimpernel. How exactly was she defining the former in order to exclude the latter?)

            1. LOL. That sounds like my household, except my folks discovered early on they couldn’t hold to that sort of requirement, not when they were reading the same sort of books I wanted to.

  4. There is no SJW slate. As far as I know there is no group of liberal fans getting together to push a slate the way the Sad Puppies are.

    Plenty of people are saying which books, etc, they like and will be voting for on an individual basis (I probably will too,) but if there is some equivalent “happy kittens” group, I’d actually like to find it, and so far I’ve seen nothing.

    1. Actually, if you look hard enough, those “slates” or recommendations are happening already. I know of at least one that appeared before SP3 did. The interesting thing is, SP3 is merely Brad’s recommendation, despite what others are saying. It isn’t an organized “slate” put together by anyone. Yes, it is supported by a number of us but, as with others, I will make at least one change to it because I think Brad’s “The Chaplain’s War” deserves to be nominated.

    2. Hello Cat. I notice you didn’t post your opinion that SP3 is just Larry Correia’s desperate attempt to get a Hugo – as you have elsewhere. Just thought I’d remind you. Your drive-by trolling attempts are getting a little more desperate, I notice, and no less inaccurate. No we won’t advertise SJW slates for you. I’ve seen two so far, without trying. And IIRC you posted on one of them.

  5. Cat,

    What’s happened with Worldcon is that a kind of predictable inertia has taken over. Starting in the 1990s and picking up steam year by year, this intertia manifested (with a vengeance) when novels like Red Shirts and stories like “The Water That Falls On You From Nowhere” began winning Hugos. The former is ambitious, derivative fan fic. The latter is a literary gay angst story more at home in an issue of The Sun, than on a Hugo final ballot.

    As a result, fans of SF/F have come to find SF/F’s “most prestigious award” to be unreliable; as a marker of entertaining SF/F that hits all the old buttons that you could reliably count on a book like Ender’s Game to hit.

    So, SAD PUPPIES is an organized attempt to try to fight the inertia.

    Many say this organized effort is uncouth.

    I say, you can’t push back against the inertia without getting people outside the usual sample pool to lend their voices.

    Nobody kids themselves into thinking the hard-core “fandom” fans can be made to magically stop voting for affirmative action and lit social justice fic, like “If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love.”

    But we can remind the Hugos (and Worldcon) that this genre isn’t their personal feifdom alone.

    1. The Martian is an award-worthy book, and then some! But it was originally self-published in 2011. I’m no expert, but I think that disqualifies it.

  6. The funny thing is, I posted a response to Mike Glyer’s File 770 post regarding Brad’s list. Then I copied my post with commentary to my own WP blog. I mentioned this in passing over at Brad’s, and it’s been a mini-instalanche. In two days I have gotten more hits than my best month.

    Although I have to wonder if my site is buggered up. I’ve never gotten a single comment.

  7. Dr. Mauser, I’m getting a page that says your blog has been suspended for violating the TOS. Is drmauser.wordpress.com your blog?

    1. Yes, it is. And it’s back up now. I’m still trying to find out the cause. I was adding some new links to to Amazon when it suddenly was suspended, I May have triggered some anti-spam detection, OR that was just a coincidence and someone filed a false TOS violation on me. I don’t know yet.

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