Or a ‘tail’ of jackals smelling their own holes first – an expression from my native culture, usually reserved for those blaming others for smelly farts they made themselves, but with other implications.
Two important quotes to start with. Remember them. There will be a test at the end of the post and anyone who doesn’t get 100% will have to read it again. They are both from Teresa Nielsen Hayden (TNH), who was a major editor at Tor books, a major figure in Tor.com, married to a very powerful editor at Tor, who are single largest producer of sf/fantasy. She also runs a blog called ‘Making light’ followed by an enthusiastic clique of her loyalist who share her worldview, and perhaps want to make themselves popular with one of the most powerful people in the Traditional Publishing Establishment. She tolerates no dissent and allows no freedom of speech on it. She’s a long term member of SFWA, and vocal on their forums. These are very relevant points, so try to keep them in mind. I always used to write notes of relevant points because I have a lamentable memory. Alas, I have a worse handwriting.
First quote from TNH: “Larry Correia is a lying liar who lies. So is Brad Torgesen. So’s Vox Day. You either believe facts matter, or you don’t. #sadpuppies
Second quote from TNH:
• Teresa Nielsen Hayden says: April 7, 2015 at 10:30 am
Paul St. John Mackintosh —
Don’t blame the Hugo administrators. The secret ballot is still secret while it’s in their hands.
The Sad Puppies knew the outcome in advance because the Hugo administrators contact presumptive nominees in advance and ask whether they consent to be nominated. This is supposed to be confidential information. It’s obvious that the SP nominees compared notes; and because they’ve so thoroughly overrun this year’s voting, their pooled information was enough to substantially reconstruct the final ballot.
Just so you know: Hugo administrators tend to be some of the most reliable, experienced, trustworthy people in fandom. Usually their own con committees don’t hear a thing about the Hugo voting results until very late in the process. Take any story involving misbehavior by a Hugo administrator with a very big grain of salt.
Let’s start with the first quote – at least the part that we’re not going to prove is libel. The facts matter – So here are some of the facts which relate rather strongly to second quote (which is also a libel –but then very, very powerful people seem to think the truth and honesty is for little people.)
Here is the first fact, easily verified. On the 11th of April 2014 Larry Correia got his notification of being shortlisted from the Hugo Administrators (very honest people, see quote 2) for LonCon 2014, a WorldCon held in the UK. On the same day the UK left-wing newspaper “The Guardian” – more famous for its typos than the quality of its journalism, but still a large newspaper, a reporter called Damien Walters launched a furious tirade at an American author he had never mentioned before (Damian is frequent in his praise singing for Charlie Stross, and more recently Alex Dally McFarlane who writes sometimes for Tor.com to name two people associated with him (Alex one of the few people named as a co-conspirator to the internet troll and bully ‘Requires Hate’ aka Benjanun Sriduankaew some of whose work appeared in a collection edited by Ann Leckie, and also seems a favorite on Tor.com – all these people seem to know or have worked with each other). He accused the author (Larry Correia) of racism, misogyny and all round being a rubbish writer, and evil to boot.
The chances of a ‘hit’ piece, intended to denigrate, on an American populist author with little impact on his British scene, in a publication that tends to Ahrt, are slim. The chance of it happening the very day that the Hugo Nomination shortlist is released, targeting an audience who might possibly go to LonCon, but probably would not have heard of Larry Correia? In other words, to poison minds well before they saw their voter packets…
The chance that this happened purely by accident – about the same as a fully armed nuclear missile turning into a Sperm whale a few seconds before impact.
Let’s get to a second fact. Just the facts. A year later, TNH launched into a furious tirade on her blog, ‘Making Light’… attacking the Sad Puppies for sweeping the Hugo Noms. Threatening to bring down retribution for being nominated. Now coming from such a powerful person in Traditional Publishing, and one with… shall we say wide influence (the links are… telling) this is fairly serious bullying. Abuse of power.
But the important thing is WHEN IT HAPPENED.
It happened BEFORE the embargo was lifted.
These facts lead inexorably to a question so simple and so obvious I can’t see how anyone can miss it asking it:
HOW DID DAMIEN WALTER AND TERESA NIELSEN HAYDEN KNOW LARRY AND THE SAD PUPPIES HAD BEEN NOMINATED WHEN IT WAS EMBARGOED? I can find no definitive public posts from Puppies to this effect. And anyway she knows they’re (quote 1) ‘lying liars who lie’. Why would she believe them?
Obviously you could (and I didn’t – which I am willing to prove) know of your own victory in race to Noms shortlist. If those who did know were co-operative and unethical (remember this, it’s important) they could have told… a sort of ‘eminence grease’ or lowpoint grease, a slimy individual who orchestrated their presence.
BUT HOW DOES _ANYONE ELSE_ KNOW? PARTICULARLY THOSE WHO HATE AND OPPOSE THAT ‘EMINIENCE GREASE’?
I mean even if Vox Day, Brad Torgersen and Larry Correia sent personal messages to TNH… an event as likely as my falling pregnant and giving birth to quintuplet space-octopi, I remind you of quote 1. She tells you she believes them to be liars. And – here’s another fact for you – if they had, they’d have proved to her they aren’t liars.
And secondly: you have worked out that she just libeled Jim Butcher, Kevin Anderson, Charles Gannon, Marko Kloos, John Wright, Rajnar Vajra, Tom Kratman…? I could keep going. Teresa Nielsen Hayden, I am willing to make a sworn disposition, and to have my computer hard-drive examined by an independent expert, including digging through deleted material. They’ll discover no e-mails at all from or to Brad, Vox Day, or Larry or the Hugo administrators prior to the release. The Hugo Administrators had failed to contact me. Accidents happen. But here is another fact for you. I can’t honestly tell someone something I don’t know. I can only prove that link she claims was there, existed only in her projections. But I think an apology is called for, both from TNH and Paul St. John Mackintosh.
To some people a Hugo – for any category, has value. Social value, self-esteem value and according to Kameron Hurley, substantial monetary value.
It has none of the above for me, I am afraid. My self-worth is something I found aged 19 when I was rock-climbing, leading a very hard, dangerous overhanging route at the absolute edge of my ability, 70 feet up facing a certain deck-fall which would probably kill me (and I’d been an army medic for 2 years by then. I’d seen death and pain, blood and broken bones first hand). It required absolute calm, absolute control, every ounce of strength I had, applied correctly… and a level of stupidity rarely matched outside the Darwin Awards. A man only has himself at this time. Only God — and you – can keep you alive. And to make it more dangerous, I had a moment of epiphany, spider-spread, standing on a quarter inch foothold and friction, reaching off my fingertip-hold on my left-hand, muscles screaming… that I had just met the only person I really needed to prove myself to, and had done it. Social value? Huh. Do you think my diving and climbing buddies give a toss? They know me. Do you think my readers do? It’s more likely to put them off than encourage them. And monetary value? Well, the nom hasn’t made any difference at all to my self-pub sales, I can prove that fact, and I’ll bet you ten bucks Toni Weisskopf isn’t going to offer me a raise on my advance for it. There is no motive driving me to extremes for the award.
But there is for others. There is substantial motive and opportunity for some to game the system.
Let’s look at the facts (quote 1 again). Attacking Larry Correia through the Guardian is clearly detrimental to his chances of winning. It’s a clear, unequivocal piece of cheating, of bullying, of abuse of power. So are the Entertainment Weekly and other attacks, but let’s deal with one at a time.
If a member of the Hugo Admin Committee leaked the results to Damien Walter – what motive, and what opportunity do they have to do so? Well… a motive is outside the realms of known facts. I suppose there are various vague possibilities. Irrational hatred, ideology, a beloved author being pushed out – but really, to inform a journalist for these motives, placing their reputation, ethics and quite possibly the future of the award on the line… possible, but very unlikely. It would take a whole new level of stupid, nearly at the rock-climbing level without the reward to do that. And that they would have the opportunity is equally unlikely. Con volunteers MAY have connections to reporters at major publications. Those reporters MAY place enough value on their friendship to take action to oblige them. And I MAY win the Lotto.
It is also worth pointing out that the admin committee changes year on year, and as there is clear evidence of this abuse and corruption for two years in a row, this requires either two stupid, dishonest people (even less likely), or someone involved in both years.
So who else has motive and opportunity?
Obviously: the other nominees had motive. But did they have opportunity? That means contacts with the UK press – so they must know someone in the UK press — willing to write hit pieces to order), and most important HOW DID THEY KNOW that Larry was on the list?
Who ELSE had motive? You could make a viable argument that the editors and backers and loyalists of the other nominees had motive. Some probably have opportunity. But still you hit HOW DID THEY KNOW?
Gentlefolk, there are only two possible answers that don’t take Nostradamus or spirit communications from the future dead Hugo Awardees by Madame Blavatsky. The simplest is that quote 2 is incorrect and someone on the Hugo Administration leaked, possibly to someone with both motive and opportunity (A reporter with a major UK publication, willing to run the hit piece. Perhaps many Americans enjoy this situation, and it’s only the rest of us who don’t. Do tell me if this is the case.). Think about it: for someone to engage in this, not only destroys the credibility of the Hugo Administrators, but also reveals someone willing to try to deprive someone of a chance at the award by underhand means and the abuse of power. That’s going to take a very powerful public purge to clean.
Fortunately for the Hugo Administrators, there IS a second possibility, that leaves their hands clean. It’s a long shot, but there is some supporting circumstantial evidence.
To explain that, I need to go to the Nebula Awards, as issued by SFWA, and some history. I used to be a member of SFWA. I used to get the Nebula nominations notifications. They were fascinating, pre 2010… because they listed the names of those who voted for them.
It was all the same names. Jim got nominated by Joe, Mary, Sally, and Charlie. And Charlie got nominated by Jim, Joe, Mary and Sally. And next year lo and behold! Mary got nominated by… yeah, you guessed it. Jim, Joe, Sally and Charlie. And yes, many of the names now screaming in outrage about the ‘evil’ puppies… are the same names. This is not a lie, or conjecture. It’s a fact. Well known, well established and one you can verify. The process is called log-rolling, it’s incestuous, unfair and a very very poor measure of quality.
I was asked to join in one of these circle-jerks. I had noms for books and stories I’d never read requested. I can honestly say I did not participate. The idea disgusts me. (I wrote a letter to my regional rep, complaining about it, among many abuses. Didn’t get anywhere. Rather like my pointing out there were flaws in the Hugo system years ago…if Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies affronts you, maybe you need to take it up with the people who covered up the abuse of the system, not us. At least we did something.)
Many of the same people won Hugo AND Nebula nomination. They were well connected, very much part of the clique that spent a lot of time talking to each other. This is a fact. There is ample evidence of the same. Strangers did not gain nomination. The power brokers, publishers, editors, agents, even influential reviewers were and probably still are part of this ‘In’ group.
Do you honestly, truly believe that those were ‘the best’?
Do you honestly, truly believe that they behaved one way in SFWA… gained great success with it there… and never ever repeated the same very successful pattern elsewhere? It only took 30-40 votes to get onto the nomination shortlist for the Hugo in some categories.
Are you into willful self-deceit, or actually from planet Gullib? We love Gullibilians! Especially around elections.
I’ve heard outrage about how the possible nominees were ‘cheated’ of a place by the slate of recommended books puts up by the Sad and Rabid Puppies. Yet there was no log-rolling, no compulsion of voters. So where is the outrage for those far more numerous possible nominees who were ‘cheated’ of a possible place for so many years…?
crickets. The only people who said anything at all, were attacked, ridiculed told it was impossible. Told quote 1 and told quote 2. Yes. Well HOW DID THEY KNOW?
In 2010 they changed the Nebula rules. Did they stop Jim, Joe, Mary, Sally, and Charlie voting for each other?
But they made the names of the voters secret meaning no one could ever know if log-rolling happening and complain about it, or take action to boycott or punish Jim, Joe, Mary, Sally, and Charlie.
Sarc tag/ Now that just had to solve the problem… Sarc off.(on planet Gullib anyway). Their action merely covered it up, protected the guilty.
They also limited the number of noms to 5. Which promptly passed control of noms… to whom?
Do I have to spell it out?
They took the power of nominations from the members, and gave it to those who could concentrate votes on certain people. The power-brokers, the cliques. The people who all know each other, work with each other. They set up a system which has to favor those who collude in secret, with no penalties for doing so. Guys, PLEASE apply logic. There are hundreds, if not thousands of possible novels for any award every year. Ten of thousands of shorts. Normal unbiased selection will favor a few talked about, popular books, and wide scatter. It will not favor obscure works, or those that are very divisive. But those who can deliver a ‘captive’ group of votes (even a small captive group) will win, because those votes will disproportionately affect the natural spread.
Of course…say those from planet Gullib. These wonderful people – who happily engaged in the corrupt practice of log-rolling would NEVER EVER do something so wicked elsewhere. Others, more practical and pragmatic say big conspiracies never succeed. Someone always leaks…
Oh, you mean like giving away they know the outcome even when they lost?
I have a hard time taking it seriously myself. But… short of an “eminence grease” or maybe a half a dozen of them, with a tail of sycophants with no ethics reporting back to them that they’d not got the expected e-mail despite being promised the fix of a secret slate… HOW DID THEY KNOW?
There is a fingerprint to this kind of collusion, this form of secret block-vote to order. You get a bunch of noms in different categories – some of which are vastly unlikely to get many, and all tied together in some way, being for example a known group of friends, or all being from the same publishing house… getting very similar numbers of votes (some would be from genuine uninvolved fans, some recruited by that author) so identical numbers are rare, but low variance is a clue. I’m busy with the laborious process of data entry right now (and I still haven’t finished the last historical analysis). I know Vox Day has done so already, and got some very low variances off the very people who accuse him of lying, but I want to do it from scratch, myself. I’m beginning to suspect, looking at the ‘we all take turns to get it’ up and down of the same names in separate years… that at least some ‘log-rolling’ carried over to here. And therefore it would, remotely, seem plausible that some ‘Eminence Grease’ or a few of them could have known the ‘fix’ was in, and had failed. Meaning that the failure/s had to be an unethical scumbag who knew it was a fix and who was willing to tell the ‘Eminence Grease’ (do you still feel sorry for them losing?). It’s possible. It’s the only other possibility except that someone on Hugo Administration leaked… two years in a row, to people who violently dislike “Sad Puppies”.
Choose what you believe. But it has to be one or the other or both. That is the fact.
This piece is already too long but I do want to mention one other suspicious thing – which points again to quote 1).
Larry Correia got a libelous fact-free attack in 2014 by the Guardian accusing him of racism and sexism and everything short of eating small children for breakfast – a major UK paper. In 2015 Brad Torgersen and Larry and the Sad Puppies got the same ‘racist sexist homophobe’ libelous drivel screeched by Entertainment Weekly (EW) A major US Media outlet, including the gem that the Sad Puppies had had an all male, all white slate – which is of course provably a lie. For no reason at all suddenly newspapers across the world picked up on the drivel… and spread it around. It’s ridiculous to assume this would ‘just happen’. WorldCon SOUNDS a big deal. ‘World’ – but it really is a midget compared DragonCon or ComicCon – in News terms, a few thousand people attend and Hugo noms are a few HUNDRED votes. It’s suburban news. Village news. You know, stuff that can’t make it into the local paper, let alone anything bigger. You, or I could never ever get that report into a local paper never mind major media.
So: How did it get onto major media? You couldn’t get them to touch such a story with a pole. Too small, too irrelevant. We know how it got onto Instapundit. We can see the links and understand the relevance. We know Breitbart could pick it from there.
The Guardian (HOW DID DAMIEN KNOW?) and some cub reporter at EW? Two hit pieces. The cub reporter at EW has no demonstrated links to sf. She is far too junior to be likely to just let such a piece get on line without an editor… approving it, quite possibly spoon-feeding it – because there wasn’t even elementary research done -it was all just the kind of ‘making shit up’ that is all over ‘Making Light’. HOW DID THIS IMPROBABLE EVENT TAKE PLACE, TWO YEARS IN A ROW? How come it is so similar to the attacks on Gamer Gate – buy people attempting a cover-up of corruption with the same accusations even the same ‘co-ordinated’ media attack?
The bowl of petunias knows. It just said ‘Oh no, not again’.
The rest of us raise our sad eyes to Madame Bugblatterfatski and her assistant Nostradumbass to see if they can solve this vast mystery. It couldn’t possibly be covering up abuse of power and to dis-credit the puppies could it? Who would have the motive, and the opportunity (the influence, the contacts) to do this?
Addendum: marsultor13 posted the link to the quote below which is pretty well a smoking gun, so in the interests of keeping all of this in the same place I have included it here. Patrick Nielsen Hayden March 26 2015 8.30 AM quoted from ‘Making light’
* Regarding Best Novel: I’ve heard that three of the five finalists are SP-endorsed. (Which, see above, doesn’t in itself guarantee that any of them are unworthy of a Hugo.) I don’t know what any of those three books are. I do know the identity of the other two, and I don’t think anyone in this conversation will regard them as unworthy candidates. (Disclaimer: Neither of them are books Teresa or I worked on in any way.)
I quote marsultor13
How the fuck did a senior editor at Tor KNOW the 3/5 number wihtout either
1) Being told directly
2) Deducing this from the facts that
a) 3 of the 5 nominations didn’t go to the right people
b) that there was no group other than the puppies who could have “stolen” those noms.
To which another commentator, jccarlton, added something I’d missed.
Am I the only one who picked up on this from PNH:
” I do know the identity of the other two”
I think he admitted just a little too much.
The non-SP endorsed (as PNH put it) are Ann Leckie published by Orbit US/Orbit UK, and Katherine Addison (Sarah Monette) published by Tor Books. So either they or their editors failed to abide by the embargo.
There is no way PNH is entitled to know of either, and the Orbit (a rival publisher) one suggests to me that DoJ prosecution for publisher/Apple collusion to fix e-book prices (which the parties besides Apple settled) was more than justified.
Test (which I promised at the end)
If you didn’t get this you really really, really need to read it again, with your glasses on.