It’s probably the only thing that con men, politicians, lawyers (ok, most pols are lawyers, go figure) and sf authors have in common.

To be successful at any of these, you have to be credible. Writers (at least when they’re writing) have it easier than most of the others, because you can go back and edit those little mistakes, and make your characters just that much more plausible. It’s a convenience most con men, politicians, lawyers and other liars have to envy us for. Heh. They have to envy us for something. It’s usually not money.

The big problem – as most successful writers know — is that credibility is fragile. Break it once and the reader starts looking for more. The pleasantly gullible reader is gone, and with him, so often is the enjoyment of the story. The reader trusted you. That’s why you don’t make mistakes. That’s why you check your facts. That’s why you work on your characters, so they would do what you claim they do.

The reader trusts you. Fail once…

Now he doesn’t.

Getting it back is a bitch. You’ll be lucky if you ever succeed, and if you do, it’s hard work. In this way life is no different to art. The only way except for the reader totally rejecting the book, the author, now and in future is long, hard involves passing enough of the trust tests for the reader to continue. Even so: you can never ever go back to the naïve trust.

In the normal course of events, you’d start with an apology (this is tricky in writing a novel). A real apology – as Eric Flint put it here.
“Retract the statement publicly and issue a simple and straightforward apology. ”
and in the comment here

Eric Flint says:
June 8, 2015 at 9:31 PM

I agree, Dave. A real apology means “I’m sorry I said that.” Not “Gee, I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings.” [Left unsaid: “But I didn’t do anything wrong, you thin-skinned jerk.”]

It doesn’t have to be long and it doesn’t have to involve any self-flagellation. You don’t have to explain why you said what you’re now apologizing for. But you do have to apologize for it and you do have to retract it.

It’s not really that hard. Any person who’s married has learned how to do it — or they’re not going to be married for very long.

Not an Irene Gallo ‘I’m sorry you’re offended’ – which is adding insult to injury, or Mary Robinette Kowal apology ‘I accept that you could be so dumb as not fall in line with my totally implausible interpretation of Chicom as an ethnic slur.’ A real apology: “I’m sorry. I was wrong. I withdraw that.”

As Eric said, every married person learns to say that, or doesn’t stay married. I am a great believer in real equality. I don’t think women like Irene or Mary have any excuse to be less capable than anyone else – not if they believe in equality.

Let’s set out a few definition here just so we’re all sure we’re talking about the same thing.

A slate: a list. Nothing more, nothing less. Locus sets one out every year. It’s like a gun. In itself utterly harmless. The number of items on it- whether one, five, or twenty makes no difference. What matters is what is done with it.

Ballot stuffing: a form of electoral fraud where some person entitled to one vote makes multiple votes. Logically the fingerprint of this can be identical vote numbers for all their favored candidates. They could be clever and vary them slightly, but low variance would indicate the possibility.

Bloc voting (also sometimes spelled block voting, which is quite appropriate under the circumstances. The clearest example of bloc voting in the Hugo awards was with intent to block) – where a group of people votes the same way, not on the basis individuals taking a decision, but because they belong to a group or clique, whom they allow to take decisions on their behalf, and then vote in accordance with that decision, not as individuals. The ‘fingerprint’ of bloc voting is seen as issues or candidates getting close to the same number of votes – what would be called ‘low variance’. So for example if candidates a, b, and c in three categories – all candidates endorsed by one group or individual, got 2546, 2501 and 2550… while other candidates got between 80 and 1500 votes , you could safely say there was a bloc vote. If candidates endorsed by one group got between 80 and 1500… (high variance) you may be absolutely certain they did NOT vote as a bloc, but on the basis of individual decisions and individual conscience.

Inclusive: means all groups are included. The signature of inclusiveness is that that barring some impeccable reason (such as the absence of men in a mothers group, or paraplegics in a running group) the group has roughly the same demographics as the population they’re drawn from. So for example the running group, or reading group would have about the same percentage of black people as there are in the pool from which they can draw, and likewise with less tangible things like religion or politics. A group of American readers with 13% black members, 50% women members… and they’re all Buddhists or neo-Nazis is not inclusive.

Back to lying and credibility. The Sad Puppies, actually the Puppies in general, were accused of 1)Nominating a slate for the Hugo awards. In clearer terms, they were accused by multiple Puppy Kickers, many of whom were multiple prior nominees, and all of whom are very much part of the closed and un-inclusive clique, of bloc voting for the slate put up by the Sad and Rabid Puppies. Brad Torgersen –and others, repeatedly said it was a recommended list, not a dictate. Here are the numbers. Look for yourself. Brad is completely vindicated. Those who made this accusation were attacking an innocent man, and supporters of puppies who acted with integrity. An integrity not displayed by the bloc vote for ‘no award’ and those who proposed and went along with it.

I think that calls for an apology (the method of doing it properly is given above, as it is apparent you Puppy Kickers haven’t understood it.)

Ballot stuffing: Once again there are multiple accusations of the puppies doing this. In the strictest definition this didn’t happen, and there is no fingerprint of the same. As the Hugos require individuals to pay to vote, it could be interpreted as someone paying for others to vote was ballot stuffing. This did happen: Puppy Kicker Mary Robinette Kowal did so, by a mechanism that cannot be described as free of bias to an outside observer. You can reach your own conclusions as to how independent those bought votes were, but once again, the only people who did it, were the puppy kickers.

I think that calls for an apology (the method of doing it properly is given above, as it is apparent you Puppy Kickers haven’t understood it,)

We have been called racist, sexist, homophobic, misogynistic, fascist, even neo-Nazi, AS A GROUP. When called on these ridiculous slanders – for which there is a huge amount of evidence AGAINST which the puppy kickers could not squirm out of, they retreated into ‘guilt by association’. We note that the puppy kickers are as a group just as ‘guilty’ by association with pedophiles, cheats, ballot-stuffers, bloc voting organizers, bullies who have intimidated and threatened the livelihood of anyone who failed to co-operate. Much of what we’ve been subjected to, in method, is precisely what the Puppy Kickers thought vile when one of their own, the blogger ‘requires hate’, applied it to them. We haven’t conducted whisper campaigns to exclude (mysteriously all vote ‘no award’) to shame (several authors gave up their nominations under this) to deny places at cons or in publications. They have.

There are many individuals who deserve an apology from various Puppy Kickers for this. They acted as individuals, which is visible in the voting record.

I could go on for a long, long time. The clique and those who camp-followed did everything from cheat to bully and lie. And make the new SP4 leadership into Mormon men.

The truth was not in them. Not once. They lied. And then they lied again, and accused us of that. Just as Larry Correia put it here (you should read the whole thing):
I said the Hugos no longer represented all of Fandom, instead they only represents tiny, insular, politically motivated cliques taking turns giving their friends awards. If you wanted to be considered, you needed to belong to, or suck up to those voting cliques. I was called a liar.
I said that most of the voters cared far more about the author’s identity and politics than they did the quality of the work, and in fact, the quality of the work would be completely ignored if the creator had the wrong politics. I was called a liar.
I said that if somebody with the wrong politics got a nomination, they would be actively campaigned against, slandered, and attacked, not for the quality of their work, but because of politics. I was called a liar.

The Puppy Kickers proved they project well. And this year again proved every single point Larry made, in spades. Steam shovels even.

I see you all shrug. The puppies knew this. We’ve proved it, but that changes nothing. The Puppy Kickers are still dancing in glee, spitting abuse, and celebrating giving the Hugos a cat’s ar…asterisk –a calculated insult to all those voters who nominated as individuals, according to conscience. An insult to many good folk who were nominated and caught up in their pettiness

They won’t apologize. They were wrong, but it takes integrity and decency to admit that, and as we have seen, they have none. They have their insular little shrinking world of Traditionally published sf, and they’ll destroy it rather than lose control.

Well. Yes. The inner circle. The Nielsen-Haydens, the Tor staff, their loyalists, File 770’s little clique, David Gerrold, John Scalzi – the usual suspect nominees of the ‘inner circle clique would indeed.

But SF is bigger than that. Even WorldCon is bigger than that. And even not all of the CHORF’s are incapable of working things out. A few brighter people are plainly looking at the math… and some like this fellow are beginning to understand that they’ve entered Vox Day’s 4th generation war.

Science Fiction resembled in many ways Syria, (or South Africa, or Malaysia or… But Syria is closest). Let’s call it Syfia. One small group, with some powerful allies outside sf, ruled a vast country. From their position of power they dispensed largess – for which they expected obedience, and spreading their influence and ideas. Divergence from this was punished brutally – ask John Norman. Progress of an individual without their support was orders of magnitude harder than with it. Ask Sarah Hoyt. They owned almost all the power, and all the wealth, and only they could reward or punish. Not surprisingly there were people with issues with them, people who would have liked some change, and people who just wanted them destroyed. And then their monopoly on power was compromised. Other folk started making money without them, and being able to reward… and indeed punish.

One of them, quite a moderate fellow, who loved Syfia, but felt some changes were called for, dared question the ruling clique. The clique did as they always had, and attempted to put him down. They failed, despite atrocities committed in the effort. And the result was the rebellion spread. The atrocities didn’t (as in the past) frighten people. A few yes, ran and kowtowed hastily. But most of them just got mad. And the people who didn’t just want change, but to destroy the whole show got involved. The ruling clique didn’t differentiate – actually it saved its worst behavior for the softer target, the moderates. This actually pushed the moderates towards the extremists. To stop the moderates and extremists capturing five beloved villages, the clique set fire to them, burning lots of people who weren’t either moderate or extremist, not hurting the actual attackers at all, but denying them the prize.

Then someone worked out… the combined insurgents were not – at present – numerous enough to take all the villages. But they were numerous enough to make the rulers destroy them just in case they did.

They Clique ruling Syfia face de facto a long counter-insurgency war. A war with lots of damage, and possibly no overall winners. A war which will eventually result in various fiefdoms, and the Clique still absolute in their villages in the mountains of literary sf – infertile and unwelcoming, where their people starve. It is possible to win a counter-insurgent war. But it is hard, long and requires, essentially, winning over the hearts and minds –and pockets, of the ‘moderates’. The end point, survival for Syfia, and at least the people of the Clique if not its leadership means not only the quite mild changes suggested by the moderate fellow at first, but a lot more (look at any state that survived an insurgency. Basically, it cost them ALL plus a lot more than original issues. And all the leadership who caused the issues. They survive, but vastly, vastly changed.)

The Clique need desperately to make peace with the moderates. To give them what they asked for. To accommodate even extremists to slake their fury.

The trouble is… the Clique’s leaders know it’s their heads and their control that’s at stake. They value that far more than Syfia. And on the other hand… the moderates have no reason to trust the Clique. Why should we?

After their previous actions they have little or no credibility. The extremists might be extremists, but they’ve not attacked or betrayed the moderates. Only the Clique has done that.

Who do you think the Sad Puppies should trust?

And when TNH says they’ve never excluded us… who should we believe? Her or our experience, or lying eyes?

If you’re a puppy supporter, or a neutral – remember which side has lied continuously. Don’t believe them, insist they show you. The numbers don’t lie. When they can show that awards, publications, and cons are really, by numbers of people from demographically proportionate religious and political points of view, then they can claim ‘inclusivity’. Until then, like everything else, they lie.

If you’re a Puppy Kicker or a Neutral who loves Syfia – you need credibility. You need us. WE DO NOT NEED YOU. We’re no longer prepared to be _told_ anything. Every time you tell us… it’s a lie, to the point that we may as well be the villains you accuse us of being, because you’re going to lie about it anyway.

So if you want to survive, to change your ways, to include us… Show us. And the price you’re going to pay grows the longer you wait.


  1. On your definition for bloc voting (ie, using variance as a detective method), a couple of things to keep in mind.

    1. There were 2 nomination slates in play – Sad & Rabid. Some items were on one or the other, while others were on both. Keep that in mind when measuring the variance.

    2. What’s referred to as straight ticket nomination discipline – a while back I noted that once the full nomination data came out, it would be interesting to see how strong the discipline was between the Sads and the Rabids were to adhere to their respective tickets. My personal assumption was that the Rabids had a much tighter party discipline (based on their rhetoric, and on the instructions conveyed!), while the Sads would have a looser one, with much more people “crossing the party line” , especially in the major/ populist categories (Best Novel, and both Daramitc Presentations).

    I understand that the Sasquan Committee will be releasing the fully anonymized nomination ballots. This should help in determining both the details above.

    1. Snowcrash, you in particular, and your friends and fellow travelers over at file 770 made no effort to differentiate between Sad Puppies and Rabid ones before the event. Your sudden desire to do so after the fact is not going to wash. You were wrong. No amount of spin or ‘party discipline’ bullshit is going to alter that. Your credibility compares closely to a politician who says ‘I did not have sex with that woman.’ and you’re not improving it.

      I’m going to give the same warning – first and final – as I did to Camestros, you are welcome to participate, but this is our site, not a public one. I will not without the submission of proof, put up with accusation or implications or ‘spin’ to imply anyone is lying. That’s exactly what you’re doing. Don’t do it again.

      I suggest you pass this on your friends and Sasquan – it is quote from the Rev site above which by the Sasquan committee taking steps they have never taken before (showing, again, a lack neutrality)

      2). Rely on 4GW allies to fight the Puppies for you. There should be no official response by WorldCon to the Puppies, other than to enforce the rules as they stand. There should also not be an “unofficial” response by WorldCon leadership. If the people oppose the Puppies, let the people oppose them. An intense, studied neutrality from WorldCon is necessary.

      1. I’m pretty sure that Rev site is a Rabid Puppy site. I remember checking it out when someone linked to it at File770 (the someone in question was, IIRC, a known puppy-sympathizer – Brian Z or Buwaya, I believe). That site does not read like an anti-puppy site. It reads like a parody of how VD claims “SJWs” think. It was glaringly obvious from the first post I read. I’m not entirely sure that’s true – it’s possible there are “SJWs” out there who sound exactly like Rabid Puppies trying to sound like SJWs, but it seems very unlikely to me.

        1. Ugh. Also, I am both Grimalkin and Kathodus. I like the second username nowadays, but hadn’t realized the fields had been changed back for my second and third comments. Also, sorry for so many comments so quickly. I’ll step back for a bit now.

        2. (shrug). I don’t care – the advice is still sound. Should you not read something because you disagree with the author’s politics?

          1. Yeah, sorry again about the name change. I hadn’t realized it was happening, and I know that’s often a sign of bad intent when “the other side” is engaging you, hence the ‘fessing up quickly.

            Should you not read something because you disagree with the author’s politics?

            I mis-read your initial Rev 3 quote. I thought you were offering it as evidence of non-puppies discussing how best to use VD’s 4GW-style tactics to fight the Puppies, whereas I’m pretty sure that site is VD and maybe some friends pretending to be SJWs who are plotting VD’s demise.

            1. Whatever the case may be it’s an interesting but flawed post. There are several points I disagree with – the first being that author fails to consider economics as a major driving factor, both in generating rebellion, and also in it’s impact on the ‘state’. When counter-insurgency has succeeded it has inevitably 1) Moderated the state’s stance hugely 2)co-opted by both financial and other means other players. Right now I’m not seeing any signs of willingness to do 1) or the ability to do 2). They can’t even adequately reward their own loyalists – the ones at the bottom – the grunts who actually do the fighting… like Greg, will be lucky to get a pat on the back, be expected to pay their own way, feed and arm themselves, and can expect to be betrayed and abandoned.

              1. Snowcrash, you in particular, and your friends and fellow travelers over at file 770 made no effort to differentiate between Sad Puppies and Rabid ones before the event. Your sudden desire to do so after the fact is not going to wash. You were wrong. No amount of spin or ‘party discipline’ bullshit is going to alter that.

                I can’t speak for others, but where necessary I’ve made the relevant distinction between the Sads and the Rabids. I think that we obviously disagree on the level and details of the differences.

                Slate adherence has been an interest of mine for some time, as I’ve had quite a few assumptions that I’d like to see tested out (ie, that slate adherence was far weaker in Novel and BDP categories, but much stronger in the more…esoteric? categories – see my post in the same page timestamped May 31, 2015 at 9:54 am )

                I am hoping that someone who is better at the relevant analysis – ie, Camestros, ChaosHorizons, or Nathaniel Givens – takes a look at the nomination data (they all seem to be squeeing over voting data at the moment) and looks at the variance like you suggested, as I think that will help shed some light on the whole “slate adherence strength” thing.

                I’m going to give the same warning – first and final – as I did to Camestros, you are welcome to participate, but this is our site, not a public one. I will not without the submission of proof, put up with accusation or implications or ‘spin’ to imply anyone is lying. That’s exactly what you’re doing. Don’t do it again.

                Agreed – your house, your rules. I did not mean to accuse – even by implication – anyone of lying, and apologise for that.

                I just skimmed that Rev site – it’s just creepy with it’s whole “4GW” and Castalia House shilling and overblown/ overwrought culture warrior BS rhetoric. As Kathodus mentioned, there was a troll (Buwaya) pushing it couple of weeks back – maybe it’s his site?

                1. snowcrash

                  I told greg this, and I’ll suggest it to you too. It’s time to walk away from the obsession of the slates. It’s over. Folks have learned some lessons from it and hopefully things will be different next time.

                  The vote was a couple of weekends ago. Its over. The Noah Wards won. Get over it.

                  Time to think 2016.

                  And think over what Dave said about credibility. You made posts on Brad’s site, very different posts on File 770, and came back to Brad’s apparently not realizing that SP’s can read File 770 too.

                  You want credibility? Get over the old shit. Be honest, and be consistent, here and file 770.

                  Maybe people will be willing to engage you again,

                  1. Well said, Angus. I’ve had several posters behave relatively politely here, and suddenly like complete jackasses among their ‘buddies’ laughing at how they’re putting one over us… and then wonder why we don’t trust them.

                  2. It’s time to walk away from the obsession of the slates. It’s over. Folks have learned some lessons from it and hopefully things will be different next time.

                    Calling the primary reason many people were opposed to the various iterations of Puppies – ie, forming a nomination block around a slate of entries – an obsession is an indication that at least it may be useful to actually here from an “outsider”. This is especially true given that for some, the lesson appears to be “Oh if we don’t call it a slate it’s all good”

                    On credibility…at no point have I misrepresented myself, either at Brad’s or at File770. I made it clear – from the outset – that I was opposed to the concept of nomination slates in both places. I had some extensive discussions despite that, even at Brad’s, and it certainly gave me a better understanding than if I had remained in my usual “comfort zone”. I believe that someone can disagree with me, and still remain credible.

                    I suspect that you – and Dave – are confusing a difference in tone with a difference in substance. It’s entirely likely that my posting “voice” is different in different places. I also don’t behave the same offline in different social circles. I don’t see this as an issue, but YMMV

                    1. I’m going to veer a little away from your theme to try and get a point home.

                      Sometimes I think that those of you that come to the SP sites see us as monolithic idiots. With an emphasis on monolithic. One of the reasons so many of you can’t see the difference between SPs and RPs.

                      Well, let’s have you look in a mirror. Are the Puppy Kickers monolithic? Do you identify with Requires Hate? Do you agree with Mary three names that Chicom is a racist term? I could go on, but there should be enough there to make a point.

                      Vox Day does his own thing. John Wright is a little extreme in my view {ymmv}. Etc and so on.

                      I could spend a lot of time on this and mention a lot of names on both sides. Most of us though, don’t really identify with with the folks on the extremes. Many of the so called leaders don’t really identify with one another.There really isn’t a leader anywhere that totally dictates to any of us.

                      Yet, we had the Sad Puppy list and the Rabid Puppy slate. That triggered a response where there was a total lockstep Noah Ward slate much bigger than both puppy factions.

                      For what? Does either side have monolithic taste in speculative fiction? Or is there a lot of difference in taste even within factions?

                      Usually when there are factions, folks a little right of center, and folks a little left of center can talk. Not build bridges as such, but talk.

                      Just something to think about. I don’t have any answers, and I’m not going to spend a lot of energy worrying about.

                      But if we’re not monolithic, then preaching to us isn’t going to work. And continuing to worry the old shit is just irritating.

                    2. Hoping to avoid the eventual thinning of the columns of replies to the point of illegibility, I’m replying to Angus, but replying to the comment he replied to. I hope that made sense.

                      @Angus Trim

                      Well, let’s have you look in a mirror. Are the Puppy Kickers monolithic? Do you identify with Requires Hate? Do you agree with Mary three names that Chicom is a racist term? I could go on, but there should be enough there to make a point.

                      Requires Hate is more of a Rabid Puppy than anything else. She wants to burn down everything. Non-puppies voted for the expose about her villainy. I am entirely unable to comprehend Sarah Hoyt’s obsession with Marxism of varying flavors. I personally don’t think she was meaning to be racist. Not being in any way from China, I’ll leave it for those who are to say whether they consider the term racist.

                      I believe the Sad Puppies were shocked at how successful the slates were this year. That success was almost entirely due to VD and his Rabid Puppies. I’ll admit I initially saw you as one movement with a “wink wink we’re not the same” kinda thing going on. I still think that was the case initially, but when the Sad Puppy leadership figured out they’d been played by VD, they backed away. For whatever reason, they wouldn’t admit they’d been played, though. I believe the massive No Awarding was akin to what happened when the Scientologists attempted to foist an L. Ron Hubbard book on the Hugo list. One thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of first-year voters on the non-puppy side have claimed not to vote No Award without having read the works and found them No Award-worthy. I’m one of those. I voted a couple puppy works above No Award (Totalled and Flow, IIRC, and maybe some others).

                      It’d be great if, instead of in-fighting and slating this year, we all just discussed the books we should nominate, forgetting movements. The Rabids may still end up spoiling the Hugos again, possibly even more thoroughly than this year, but once EPH passes, slates (even the alleged invisible slates led by Tor) will lose the power to dominate categories.

                      If there is a list of 10 recommended entries for each category, ranked in order of popularity, it will be absolutely trivial for VD and his “minions” to game the Hugos again, and that will be sad.

                2. I suspect, yes, the minor categories did get more ‘oh well, I don’t know these guys, I may as well vote, seeing as I have some names and I’m here.’ You have some interesting reversals of numbers in voting (particularly in No Awards where the non-readers just got out of the way) from noms, suggesting people did read them afterwards. I doubt, quite frankly that this is all that different to prior years with friends/logrollers doing the same thing, and I would strongly advise the Worldcon/Hugo crew to show there is no bias (and they’re not doing well so far), and to provide historical context by releasing those too.

                  My point is that bloc voting was something the Sad Puppies were attacked for this year. That they will be attacked for next year, no matter what they do, so there is no incentive at all not to do so. And the damage is done. You can’t undo the past. All you guys can do is _show_ us that you’re changing your behavior. That’s going to be hard and slow work, and take some substantive sacrifices. There is no real upside in us trusting or helping you. I’d rather you took those steps simply for sf sake, but I am not going to beg, or compromise on trust that you will do better. But basically, long term view, it’s only going to get harder and be worse.

                  As for the Rev thing: I neither know, nor care who wrote it or why. I’d bet on it not being VD because economics is something he does understand. (It’s one of the few things I think largely agree with him about – however, he appears to be looking forward to it. I would like to at least mitigate the worst of what I see as a march toward nationalist socialism and what comes out of that. I don’t believe it is stoppable short of a miracle, and I would be very happy to be wrong) Most of what is written is pretty standard counter-insurgency stuff, which is what you’re dealing with. If it is him – or an ally – well that’s valuable too.

                  1. That they will be attacked for next year, no matter what they do, so there is no incentive at all not to do so.

                    Quite frankly, that’s a silly attitude to take. Yes, people attacked SP3 for a variety of reasons, not limited to:the tactics used, to the rhetoric, to the quality of the works presented, to no doubt because they just thought you were a bunch of jerks. But how is essentially saying “Oh no, people will attack me anyway, so I might as well do the same damn thing” any sort of a mature response?

                    Someone mentioned the Locus Recommended Reading List as a model for SP4. Why not use it as guide – it’s been running for ages without much criticism. Come up with a list, each many times larger than their respective categories on the ballot. Arrange them alphabetically. Announce them earlier, so people have time to read the items. When nominations are opened, send a set of reminders out.

                    Will you still be attacked? Of course you will. It’s the internet. People will attack you for liking the wrong thing. It’s called SP4, so many people will be wary of it, based on prior experience.

                    So again, how is saying “Oh no, people will attack me anyway, so I might as well do the same damn thing” any sort of a mature response?

                    1. “any sort of a mature response?”

                      Heh. Let me just quote myself here, because you seem to have missed it, Snowcrash.
                      ” All you guys can do is _show_ us that you’re changing your behavior. That’s going to be hard and slow work, and take some substantive sacrifices. There is no real upside in us trusting or helping you.”


                      “If you’re a Puppy Kicker or a Neutral who loves Syfia – you need credibility. You need us. WE DO NOT NEED YOU. We’re no longer prepared to be _told_ anything….

                      So if you want to survive, to change your ways, to include us… Show us. ”

                      (wry smile) The words ‘show us’ are the key ones.
                      When I ask why we should not return three years of childish petulance, of what amounts to toddlers screaming and kicking their heels because for once they didn’t have it all their own way, which show no signs of changing… who showed the sort of petty malice of barely pubescent kids with the wooden arseholes and their clapping at collateral damage… despite the fact that you’re having to move the goalposts hastily on bloc voting…. you do not SHOW me maturity. You do not lead by example (the most mature thing one can do is a simple unequivocal apology. I don’t move goalposts – not either way).

                      Instead you TELL me that treating you as you have treated us is immature?

                      That’s it?

                      It’s funny that throughout this process the Puppies have been held to a far higher standard of behavior than the PK. We get excoriated by Martin for breaking unwritten rules (which, um, eventually he’s forced to admit have been broken so often that they exist only in his head. Rules for little people. Untermensch) but PNH is part of actual rule breaking and no-one says a damn thing.

                      Don’t TELL us about maturity. About picking better books. Show us. Pick books we could like, and not just the same old log-rolling in clique, with real inclusive diversity. Apologize simply and unequivocally when you screw up (as Lou Antonelli did). And tell your ‘friends’ to be mature too.

                      Then maybe we might be inspired to follow your example. To do to you, as you do to us.

                    2. “But how is essentially saying “Oh no, people will attack me anyway, so I might as well do the same damn thing” any sort of a mature response?”

                      Mature? I donno. Sane? Absofrigginglutely.

                      There is NO incentive, neither juvenile nor adult, to expend extra effort when the results will be the same. Expecting anyone to do so is irrational. This goes for anything whatsoever in life. Any situation. Any people. If you bust your butt writing a paper and get a C, why bust your butt when you got the same grade for sloppy work? No person capable of reason does that. If you’re going to get accused of racism no matter how careful you are, what person capable of reason continues to try to please others? And no, “chicom” is not racist and no, you don’t get to abdicate your own judgement to anyone else as if all Chinese people are a hive mind instead of fellow individual humans just like you. You have a brain of your own. Use it.

                    3. @Dave, @Julie

                      I can’t reply to your posts due to the threading depth limitations, so am replying to the last available post (Anyone looking at this on a mobile device: Enjoy!)


                      Show us. Pick books we could like, and not just the same old log-rolling in clique, with real inclusive diversity.

                      Huh? Dont get me wrong – I understand how recommendations work – way back when, I got into aSoIaF when Robert Jordan blurbed it, and I knew I liked Jordan so I trusted in his taste and recommendation. Many years later, I read Daniel Abrahams Long Price Quartet (one of the finer works of fantasy in recent times) because GRRM had blurbed it, and by then I knew that I could rely somewhat on his taste.

                      But what you’re asking for doesn’t seem to be a recommendation. Do I misunderstand? I mean, why would “Gee, I wonder if Dave Freer/ John Scalzi/ Eric Flint, would like this book?” have to be part of my thought process when I’m picking books? I would much rather pick books that *I* liked, and you/ Scalzi/ Flint pick books *you* liked. That’s how I reckon that stuff like the Hugo’s or the Locus are supposed to work – where people use their judgement, instead of substituting someone else’s in.


                      There is NO incentive, neither juvenile nor adult, to expend extra effort when the results will be the same.

                      That’s an incomplete reading of my post – as I said, it’s the internet – people can, and will, attack others for almost anything.

                      As I said, previous Puppy iterations were criticised for things like bloc voting/ slates, overblown rhetoric, the views of it’s constituent members, the quality of the works provided, and various others. Some of this was substantive, and some was not. It’s up to you – well, I suppose up to Kate, Sarah, and Amanda – to decide what is substantive and what is not, and to decide what approach needs to be taken to address it.

                      Some will disagree with you what is and is not substantive. Others will disagree with you on the approach taken. Still others will disagree with you no matter what. Write off the 3rd part, but realise that there are people on the first two parts – and no doubt others – who may yet be convinced to look more favourably upon what you guys are trying to do.

                      Or, as you say, you can throw up your hands, and continue doing the same thing over and over again hoping for different results.

                    4. (sigh) Snowcrash, Your arguments are little like time travel. I used to have to put up with the same ‘willful ignorance and misunderstanding and force you to explain each thing in simple terms in three ways… and when he was finally pinned down, jump to the next exercise in the same’ from my older son. He thought it terribly clever and a very fun game. But then he was pre-pubescent, and struggling with dealing with an IQ forty or fifty points above his teachers, He didn’t try it too often with me, although I have it on good authority his poor teachers went nearly mad. I recognize the behavior, and although it’s understandable and acceptable (if bloody annoying) in a kid dealing with a mismatch in maturity and intellect, it’s not from you. We all know how Locus and Hugos do work. And we know it’s not ‘I liked’. We’ve spent three years proving that. We also know there are very rare ‘black swan books’ which rise so far above the rest that they are a universal choice. We all know that, just like the choice in that top 1% of books that get submitted to publishers… there’s not a lot between them as far as public reading appreciation would go. We also know it is perfectly possible to look at some of that huge range and say ‘I like these ones most, because the author has politics I like. But that book there – which I enjoyed too, doesn’t. That is more likely to appeal to a wider range of people. And although the third book by my friend John Scalzi was Okay, they won’t even read him.’ Pleasing those others is suddenly going to have to be a factor. Please your ‘friends’ or yourself, less so, unless you place no value on the survival of your award.

                      As far as your well there’ll always critics argument – we’ve been through that three times now. On each occasion, the people running it made some attempt to bridge gaps, nobody moreso than Brad, because he -probably the only of the sad pups– cared deeply about the award, and he’s always been moderate. He didn’t get ‘some’ critics or compromises or reasonable behavior. He got the who’s who of the sf establishment abusing him. Many of your side knew Brad. Literally the only non-pup who stood up against the over-top attacks was Eric Flint. The rest of you went along with the pack – you too, I read your comments. On just about everything of substance you have been proved wrong. Yet all your side has done is double down. Anyone who steps out of line next year will get what Annie Bellet got this year. And we will have Martin and Gerrold and Scalzi and all their multi-nominated mates again will lead vicious attacks by your crowd. The ones we might convince are already out of your camp. But what you’re saying is, despite being your wrong… we should continue to appease you? That worked out really well for Brad, didn’t it? We’ve learned by that mistake. So yes, we won’t do that again. Brad still trusted you guys.

                      I might point out “continue doing the same thing over and over again hoping for different results.” is a very accurate description of the Puppy-Kickers behavior. It hasn’t worked for three years. In fact all its done is bring back a bigger problem the next year (which you might say, means it is working for us) So what are you going to change this year?

                3. Snowcrash, you should just tell davefreer to stick it. That’s what I would do. He writes: “Your credibility compares closely to a politician who says ‘I did not have sex with that woman.’ and you’re not improving it.”

                  He’s an idiot. Who cares if he bans you.

                    1. Dave, kinda reminds me of the disclaimer Eric Flint made : “Lord, protect me from my friends; I can take care of my enemies.” (same proviso that I don’t really consider anyone my enemy). Regardless, I don’t feel the need to defend you from every remark made against you, but as you asked, and as SJW# did put this in a reply to me:

                      SJW# – I ignored that portion of Dave’s post – the whole Clinton thing is just what I rather dismissively term Seppo Culture War BS/ rhetoric, so meh. As to you jumping in calling him an idiot – name-calling is juvenile, and it’s unhelpful when trying to actually have a discussion, and I’m sure Dave is more than capable of addressing any future slurs.

                    2. snowcrash,

                      Why are you so insensitive to issues of rape and sexual exploitation? Are you a misogynist?

                      The context that everyone knows is that the Clinton machine had done a very effective job of othering Clinton’s victims. That civil suit he perjured himself in was a final attempt at justice.

                      It is only culture war if being pro promiscuity necessarily means being pro rape.

                    3. snowcrash
                      September 1, 2015 at 2:54 am

                      SJW# – I ignored that portion of Dave’s post – the whole Clinton thing is just what I rather dismissively term Seppo Culture War BS/ rhetoric, so meh. As to you jumping in calling him an idiot – name-calling is juvenile, and it’s unhelpful when trying to actually have a discussion, and I’m sure Dave is more than capable of addressing any future slurs.

                      September 1, 2015 at 1:25 pm


                      Why are you so insensitive to issues of rape and sexual exploitation? Are you a misogynist?

                      The context that everyone knows is that the Clinton machine had done a very effective job of othering Clinton’s victims. That civil suit he perjured himself in was a final attempt at justice.

                      Bob, from snowcrash’s comment to SJW, specifically the term ‘Seppo’, I suspect snowcrash is an Aussie. If I’m correct, American politics & Clinton probably don’t mean much to him/her. Certainly American politics don’t mean much to me, and I’m one of your neighbours to the north, not the other side of the planet.

  2. “The inner circle. The Nielsen-Haydens, the Tor staff, their loyalists, File 770’s little clique, David Gerrold, John Scalzi – the usual suspect nominees of the ‘inner circle clique would indeed.”

    I’m already thinking of these inner circle operatives as Toroids … like hemorrhoids, a huge pain in the … tuchas.

    1. A pain in the Assterisk, you might say. And yes, when you track back back the linkages, it does come down to patronage from some senior people at Tor.

        1. Indeed. A hilariously funny one merely involving money and patronage. I must admit I did wonder if you were one of VD minions sent to provide a wonderful but fake example of the tolerance and good behavior of ‘SJW’s. But then I looked at your address, established who you were.

          1. No. He has the singular distinction of being the seventh person I banned (and most of the others are Clamps nicknames. This one might be too. It’s his level of argument. OTOH I heard rumors Clamps is really a paid consortium designed to turn away discussions our Lords and Masters find uncomfortable. Ten years ago I’d have said “conspiracy theory” particularly when applied to sf/f. But in the age of Journolist, Lois Learner, and “the dog ate my State Department emails” I still think it’s unlikely, but not to dismiss out of hand.

    1. Increasingly people are realizing this. The traditional publishers survive purely by the tacit co-operation (they buy books) of the wider public. Gradually some of that that public have withdrawn their support for authors (and publishers) who show fairly plainly that they despise those people. This has really just started, but it’s going to get much worse for them. And they’re already in a position where they can’t afford it. One wonders when or if common sense will break through in traditional publishing.

      1. We’re at the edge of a market tip over. And they’re mostly fighting over the scraps left of traditional. The funny thing is that they think they’re edgy and transgressive and they’re such traditionalists they can’t PROCESS the ascendancy of indie. BAH. They are The Man.

          1. One is inclined to wonder if the perpetually emerging controversies at SFWA, the Hugos, and Tor aren’t being incited–or at least played for extra mileage–by legacy pub honchos.

            Those with direct lines to the parent companies couldn’t ask for a better media circus to distract their middle managers and authors from the fact that the gravy train’s wheels are coming off.

  3. Oh, and Puppykickers and neutrals, you don’t also need credibility with us, you need credibility with the wider public who would rather spend their money and time on science fiction movies, anime, and video games.

    This genre is in desperate need of its next Jurassic Park.

  4. I object to your definition of a slate as ‘a list, nothing more, nothing less’. Beale asked that his supporters vote his ‘slate’ exactly as shown. That is not a menu ‘ala carte’, but a ‘prix-fixe’ meal, no substitutions allowed. Thus, you vote all of his choices and none of your own ( that is the only choice that you get). IMHO, The terms ‘slate’ and ‘recommendation list’ should be kept separate.

    1. Will you bark if Vox Day tells you to bark? Will you sit when Vox Day tells you to sit? Will you roll when Vox Day tells you to roll? Will you play dead when Vox Day tells you to play dead? Will you vote according to a slate when Vox Day demands you to vote according to a slate?

      1. Or the opposite, will you vote against something just because Vox Day supports it?

        Vox Day supports EPH, btw…

        1. Looking at the votes for Guardians of the Galaxy then the answer is ‘no’ not just because he supports something. However people aren’t going to ignore him either.

          1. I think the false assumption that you and Ron labor under is that most of Puppy Kicker voter follow Vox Day as obsessively as you guys do. I wouldn’t know if he supported or hated xyz — most of your lot would do as Scalzi/Gerrold etc told them without finding out what VD wanted or thinking through the long term strategies he applies.

            1. I think my point was that most non-puppies don’t follow Vox Day obsessively and hence didn’t just vote in some kind of do-the-opposite-of-Vox thing. I think we may be agreeing with each other here Dave. I’m not sure what we do in that circumstance. ..

        1. Who voted precisely opposite the way Ted Beale asked? Such a voter would have no-awarded both Guardians of the Galaxy and The Three-Body Problem, and if they were present at the Worldcon would also have shown up at the business meeting to vote against EPH.

          Are you sure this person exists? The data we have in hand suggest that if these folk exist at all, they are few.

        2. The Puppy Kickers really have gone out of their way to ‘oblige’ him. The reality is he’s a much better game player than most of their leadership – but they’re too vain or too Dunning-Kruger to realize that, and react accordingly.

      2. Woof, Woof.
        Who’s playing the tune you’re dancing to?
        You haven’t even been lurking around here very long, have you?

      3. One of the key things to winning any war is to understand your enemy as well as possible, Tuomas. You, plainly, have never bothered. You’ve listened faithfully to the likes of Scalzi and Gerrold, and cursed those ‘straw-puppies’ and probably loyally voted to order. If you had actually ever engaged your brain, and done some even elementary research, you would know that I have a record of making up my own mind and standing up for exactly what I believe. I’ve argued with Jim Baen, and Eric Flint. My views are complex and not pre-digested by anyone else. This, as even basic research would shown you, is typical of the Sad Puppies, many of whom, publically skew libertarian, and of extremely independent mind. Herd behavior and an inability to think past he short term is typical of the stupid people who voted ‘no award’. We on the other hand, react poorly to socail pressure and bullying (which is what you’re trying in your amazingly inept fashion right now). We’re likely to do the precise opposite of what someone tried to force us to do. And if you look at the history of Sad Puppies – the Puppy Kickers tried various threats, social shaming, and abuse to force co-operation. Vox Day did not. In fact he often said we were right, and agreed to not take unpleasant steps – like ‘No Award’. Who got more co-operation from us? What are you going to learn from this? Anything?

    2. Object to your hearts content: I don’t care. The term ‘slate’ IIRC is one Puppy Kickers used as derogatory one, for our list. As the evidence shows Sad Puppies treated the ‘slate’ exactly as the ‘slate’ on Locus, and neither voted for only or all of the nominees on it, your point is a trivia of semantics. And try to get this into your head: I am not Vox Day. Neither do speak for him or the rabid puppies. You want to argue with him? Off you go. His site is called Vox Popoli. This, in case you had failed to notice, is not.

      1. Hi, Dave.

        Serious question: While I’m tickled to think I’m now a member of the inner circle just by virtue of posting on File770, I am curious to know what benefits come with being in the inner clique, as I have not seen any yet. Will I get a book deal from Tor? Offered panel spots and free transportation to next year’s Worldcon? My SF screenplay optioned for money? Inquiring mind wants to know. If such a clique existed, I feel like I’d be Exhibit “A” for getting stuff–after all, I voted for EPH and set up the File770 meetup.

        The term ‘slate’ is one Torgersen himself used, in his announcement entitled “Sad Puppies 3: The 2015 Hugo Slate.” Link below:

        The Locus List for 2015 has 27 sci-fi novels, 20+ fantasy novels, 13 novellas, 13 non-fiction books and 12 art books (for a combined total of 25 items potentially voteable in Best Related), and at least 35 novellettes. It is also worth noting that Locus lists no items for several Hugo categories (no editors, no dramatic presentations, no fan writers or fanzines) and multiple sublists with no corresponding Hugo (Anthologies, Collections, and Young Adult novels).

        Had the Sad Puppies “slate” had similar numbers of items to the Locus list, there are two very good reasons to believe no one would’ve been upset:
        a) With that many unranked items, it would not have looked like an attempt to control 100% of the ballot.
        b) With that many unranked items, SP3 wouldn’t have controlled 100% of the ballot.

        Your attempt to compare Sad Puppies 3–with its careful, no more than 5-items per category–to Locus’ comparably giant list seems like a stretch, as does a failure to acknowledge that it was Brad himself who termed the enterprise a slate. Plenty of people would be mad at Locus if they suddenly switched to only 5 items per category and replicated a Hugo ballot.

        You know who didn’t care about the Hugos in 2014? Me. I wasn’t following them at all, and if you’d ask me what File 770 was, I would’ve looked at you blankly and asked for Files 769 and 771. You don’t get much more neutral than completely uninvolved. And yet, here we are. You already *have* gotten the moderates involved. If they got involved on the other side, that’s on you for posting factually-challenged stuff like the above.

        Unless, of course, I get a book deal from Tor in the next 24 hours, in which case I will withdraw this entire comment and sincerely apologize.

        1. Greg Machlin – don’t hold me responsible for Mike Glyer’s failing to get the paperwork done for your 770 prize. Take it up with him. Although on the basis of the evidence of system failure of their brilliant East German marketing plan, I do gather that the prize at the moment is publication on tor dot com or a plastic dog-whistle valued at two cents. On the other hand, it may not be Mikes fault but your own. The quality of your kissing up leaves something to be desired. I think they regard you as little more than a willing dupe, or useful idiot. I would guess that you’ve got several more years and will have to make many more suicidal raids into enemy territory and getting your asstersisk kicked, as well as your regular cheering and backslapping to get beyond assistant to the assistant junior tea-factotum to an an author at Tor with a readership of three. Sorry. You should try harder. Like your argument, it’s not worth very much. I could take it apart step by step, but why bother?

        2. The locus list is one reading list, there was a study of various past reading lists from various sources. there have been lists that where 4 ,5 and 6 books long, did that suddenly make them slates? If that reading list actually picked 4 out of 5 nominees as did happen, should that brought on calls for no award?

          As a neutral I would have preferred something more in the form of the locus list, but what motivated me to register and vote was the calls to no award regardless of the nominees and nudge,nudge,wink,wink Mary Robinette Kowal offer to assist people in paying for registration.

          As for Vox day, no I didn’t decide on this category I am going to vote with him and on this category against. I just ignored him and read it all and voted on what I felt was best.

        3. Greg

          Why obsess over the Hugos 2015? The nominations happened, several months ago. Its over. Get over it.

          The vote happened a couple of weekends ago. The Noah Award slate won. Get over it.

          If you really want to make a difference, and want things to get better and more inclusive, start thinking about the short term future. The 2016 nominations.

          Picking old scabs when no one at the site your visiting wants to discuss it makes you a troll. Find something else to discuss.

          You want people to “listen” to you? You have to develop or redevelop credibility. Digging old shit and picking scabs ain’t going to get you there.

        1. It’s already wrong, in many particulars, going by the noise and hoo-haa on File770 and in the SP4 announcement commentary. Colour me vastly unsurprised that there are already calls to get SP4 denounced as slate-mongering and so forth.

  5. This analysis seems evasive. I’m not seeing any honest, straightforward engagement with the charge that Sad+Rabid Puppies was an organized campaign that permitted a smallish fraction of the nominators (~20%) to choose most of the nominees.

    Forget the nutpicking. Hit your enemy where they’re strongest. A proper defense of puppy tactics won’t turn upon what the worst of your critics said in their most intemperate moment. Instead, it’ll explain why that smallish faction of fandom was justified in organizing to seize the entire ballot, and why the rest of fandom was unjustified in rejecting that seizure.

    1. How about (as been has been said over and over) it was unanticipated and unintentional that the two groups would combine to dominate the entire ballot? What were they supposed to do, tell their nominees, “never mind, we never should have nominated you, you’ll have to withdraw?” Why didn’t the rest of Fandom (i.e. the longtime congoing elite WSFS superfans) say “OK, we’ll make the best of a bad situation, let the best work win?” Why did they have to piss on the nominees because the wrong folk liked them?

      1. The end result was SP+RP almost entirely dominated the nominations. This year, it’s almost certain that VD will do the same thing he did last year (amplify the SP recommendation list to ensure the RP/SP group[s] dominate the nominations again this year), ensuring another wildly tilted field. The best we (non-puppies) can hope for is that the slate this year includes better material than 6(!!!) John C. Wright works and “Wisdom from My Internets”.

        And regarding straight no-awarding – I don’t agree with it and I didn’t do it. From what I can tell, a lot of first-time Hugo voters who signed up to fight for the Hugos did the same. It seems like it was mostly the old school fans who were pissed enough to block any slated nominees. I didn’t vote at all for editors because I have no idea how to decide, and I wasn’t going to blindly go by someone else’s recommendation. I put a lot of puppy-nominated works below No Award after reading them (or frequently, bouncing off of them), but I didn’t put any puppy nominations other than VD below No Award without at least checking out the nominated work.

        1. You do realize Kathodus, that we’ve been dealing with a wildly tilted field for many years, and that was WHY Sad puppies came into existence?- It was based on incestuous log-rolling (which had its start in Nebulas – where it is well known and well-reported) where it was extremely successful. Now given that it was very successful there, and that there is a huge crossover between the nominees for both awards (and, prior to Sad Puppies, 30 odd noms could get you on that short list) do you seriously believe that they didn’t just do the same thing as they had for the Nebulas? Given that PNH knew the results before they were released there was plainly a ‘secret slate’ which the log-rollers expected to win (There is a whole post explaining this, if you were unaware). So: there has been a wildly tilted field which we were trying to bring to normality. Nobody expected to sweep it, and my frank advice, if you don’t want a wildly tilted field again, is to offer your input to Kate, Sarah and Amanda, when they put our commendations together. We didn’t attempt to be exclusive this year, and with the exception ‘no multiple prior nominees need apply’ (as we want new blood, and most of these are vicious puppy kickers – I wonder why that could be – who no-one on the pup side would be likely to vote for). Or do so with a group of like minded friends yourself. But I do suggest you pull new people into the equation.

          1. I haven’t seen evidence of that previous tilt, though I know that’s one of the main SP complaints. It seems more to me like a combination of 1) the pool of nominators was too small, and people with similar taste tended to nominate and, 2) the rise of the internet meant that certain flamboyant and/or popular personalities (*ahem* Scalzi *ahem*) get more attention than writers who are less outgoing and present on the internet. Given that can’t be proven one way or the other, I don’t think it’s worth arguing, though, I’m just explaining my view.

            I will definitely give my input to the puppies this year. In my opinion, the “enemy” here is VD and his “minions”, and that’s that. The rest is people who’ve found themselves suddenly kicked and who are biting back. I have my own opinions about which side has been more bitey, but that’s my opinion and subject to my own confirmation bias. No matter what Paulk does, though, VD is going to work to fudge the Hugos and continue sewing discontent. I really would like to hear more recommendations from the Puppy side. One of the only good things about all this craziness has been the gems I’ve had recommended, as well as classics I’ve either re-read or read for the first time.

            1. The problem is that VD and his minions aren’t behaving like the enemy, whereas the opposite side have made sure we know they are the enemy (this was the thrust of this post). To counter that, the Puppy Kickers need to show us – and everyone else, that they’re not. So far… not showing much sign of joined up thinking from that camp.

              Having been part of SFWA and been horrified by the abuse of process (yeah, durr, I complained (shakes head at self) I was really too idealistic to be let loose) I think you’re being generous. But never mind: the point is more, many more, is better. That we agree on. The problem, given the abuse that trad pub has made of authors for the last 30 years (getting worse and worse) is that finding a list of authors who are both inclusive and good, is hard.

        2. I seem to recall him saying that SP and RP are no longer compatible. I should think that means he won’t be amplifying any SP picks next year. He might even be No-Awarding them.

      2. “We didn’t mean to” could be a reasonably good defense, but is it true? It was a reasonably forseeable outcome of promoting five-candidate slates for all the fiction categories. Sarah Hoyt’s description of the likely shape of SP4 indicates that it’ll work much the same way, with the list ordered by popularity so that it’s easy for block-nominators to identify The Correct Five. “We’re going to do it again” rather undercuts the “we didn’t mean to.”

        1. You said we did this year. You were wrong. That got no apologies, no ‘Oh my G-d what the hell did we do? David Gerrold, you Assterisk, we believed you. We’re terribly sorry. We’re making a concerted effort – which you will see to change our ways’ No- all we get is more demands from people like you. Why the hell should we oblige you? You’ll lie and abuse us anyway. So yes, this year I expect people will be far more inclined to vote exactly as they did not last year. You beat an honest man for stealing. You found out you were wrong, but made no reparation. Instead plan to beat him again no matter what he does, _demand_ he does things to oblige you. What would you do if you were him?

        2. If you aren’t going to believe what Brad Torgersen said when the nominations came out or what we say, why are you even talking to us?
          My understanding of what Kate Paulk intends to do with SP4 is quite different from yours, but I’m not going to speak for her.

          1. “My understanding of what Kate Paulk intends to do with SP4 is quite different from yours, but I’m not going to speak for her.”

            Neither of us should speak for her. She’s perfectly capable of speaking for herself. And what she says, plainly, is that she plans to publish a list of ten recommendations, ordered by popularity. It’s that ordering which gives the game away, and it’s what makes, as I said, would-be block-nominators able to easily identify The Correct Five.

            It’d look (and function) much less like a slate if these were ordered by, say, author’s last name. But then it wouldn’t function nearly as well to lock up the entire ballot.

            1. “It’d look (and function) much less like a slate if these were ordered by, say, author’s last name.. ”

              Come on, that’s baloney.

              The list for novels could read:
              1) Scalzi
              2) Hines
              3) Kowal
              4) Gerrold
              5) Requires Hate
              6) Flint
              7) Weber
              8) Miller/Lee
              9) Drake
              10) Kratman

              The fact that they’re numbered is irrelevant. Just voting for the five “You like best” off a list of 10 will simultaneously be slammed as block voting -and- BadThink by WrongFans.

        3. I’m going to guess that you didn’t look at Brad’s recommendations, if you think there were 5 works in each category..

        4. And we should definitely take the advice of a Concern Troll.

          Please, please tell me which mushrooms from the forest I should eat, while you’re giving us all such good advice from the bottom of your generous heart. Oh, of course they’ll taste better with that tasty hemlock drink, why thank you very much, kind sir.

        5. promoting five-candidate slates for all the fiction categories

          Novel: five suggestions, three of which were nominated.
          Novella: three suggestions, which is not five.
          Novelette: four suggestions, which is not five either.
          Short: four suggestions, which still is not five.

      3. “Why did they have to piss on the nominees because the wrong folk liked them?”

        That right there is an interesting question. Did voters no-award work because they didn’t like the work, because they objected to slate tactics, or because “the wrong folk liked them?”

        There’s an easy way to distinguish that third one from the first two: The Three Body Problem. Beale loudly and credibly proclaimed his admiration for this work, and encouraged his followers to vote for it. If fans were voting against work because “the wrong folk liked them” then 3BP would have been punished for Beale’s endorsement.

        It was not. Very few voters listed it below No Award. So we can dispense with “the wrong folk liked it.” It is plainly untrue. The numbers are right there.

        1. Not so fast. 3BP didn’t make either of the Puppy lists, and I rather think those who voted “No Award” because “Vox Day is EVIL and anything he touched is toxic waste” paid a lot more attention to what was said about him than what he said for himself.
          I don’t happen to think “let’s piss on the nominees because slate voting is so evil” is so very defensible as a motive, either.

          1. Supposedly there is an organized NoAward thing that a great number of Noah’s recruits used as a guide that included Mixon on the list of those to vote for Noah. (I’d love to get this confirmed or not.) But if that effort or other calls to no award included the statement “Theodore Beale loves TBP… Just so you know” there might be a point to claiming that all those Noah voters weren’t the least adverse to aligning with Beale’s taste.

              1. Ah, yup. Mixon is listed, not a puppy but a VERY BAD PERSON. No mention related to TBP that Vox liked it at all.

                So if anyone was following Deirdre’s Helpful List of “How To Vote If You Want To Make A Statement But Not Because I Told You To” will see no reason to avoid Three Body Problem and plenty of clear reason to Noah Ward Laura Mixon.

    2. Ron: what is it about this that you do not understand? ” you need credibility. You need us. WE DO NOT NEED YOU.”

      Confutus kindly repeats what has been said, over and over.

      Now tell me – given that the Puppy Kickers will lie, malign, evade, spin whatever we do – why shouldn’t we use our strength to do exactly what you’re going to accuse us of, no matter what?

      1. I don’t accept your premise, but isn’t the answer simply, “because you’re better than the people you call puppy kickers?”

        1. There’s being a better person… and then there’s being the idiot who let the squad walking into an ambush die because he didn’t want to shoot the ambusher right in front of him in the back. The latter gets you courtmartialed… and probably Leavenworth. It’s not the high road it’s called cowardice or terminal stupidity. Right now the puppy kickers are still kicking, why are you fools so surprised when you kick someone they bite you?

          1. There’s protecting your squad… and then there’s being the idiot who freaked out and shot everything around him that moved, including his squad, because he was hallucinating monsters and persecutors around every corner.

    1. Yeah, I suspect a lot of us just been irritated or disengaged. Well, the clapping at the no awards for Toni’s category, and the wooden Assterisks was enough to enrage let alone engage me.

  6. This didn’t make it through moderation over at Rev 3.0:

    “I was a SP this year – read the MHI blog, was moved enough to buy the Supporting Membership, read the packet, voted what I liked – not all of it aligned with the SP3 slate. Then I watched the Sasquan Hugo awards…

    Between the partisanship on display on the feed, the asshole awards, the irony of a uniformly white awardee group save one straight Asian man congratulating themselves on diversity and the GRRM victory lap – I have come to see the RP POV. Never mind the BS to be found on 40+x Hugo nominated F770, or the Best Long Form Editor winner (with teeny tiny # of votes compared to the No Award first place runner up this year) over at ML…

    Since there is exactly ZERO chance of making the Hugo’s inclusive, as clearly shown by the above – why not burn it down? VD is an asshole? So what? If the award has no value and will never represent something I care about AND I have the income to throw $50 at the issue – I can’t see a reason not to use a scorched earth policy.

    I don’t know that VD can achieve that goal – I don’t know that the votes are there – but next year I am considering simplifying the process by following his slate – and see if I can persuade the 4 voters in my family of the same. This was the year that the Fen had to demonstrate true faith to their stated ideals. I can’t see the TruFan behaviors changing in time to peel people away from the RP supporters. Heck, I am a persuadable person – which is why I was persuaded to play according to the rules this year. If you can’t persuade me – you aren’t going to persuade group who embrace the title of Faceless Minion.”

    I really prefer not to NA everything – and I am not a fan of VD. It is pretty hard to refute his assertion that the Hugo’s are unreformable at this point. Is there a persuasive argument against that statement?

    1. Ratseal – I’m still waiting for a Puppy Kicker to provide me with a good reason to want to reform rather than burn. So far, they seem to favor ‘burn’.

      1. We turned Germany and Japan around quite nicely a few decades ago. But only AFTER we left not one stone standing upon another.

        1. Yeah… but they weren’t our own country, and it took a hell of a lot of money and effort, and there was a good reason to do it…

          1. Worldcon isn’t my country either. They ceased to have any relevance to my tastes in SF forty years ago.

  7. After a long illness the Hugo Awards passed away on Saturday August 22, 2015. The poor sad burned out husk will be kept on display so that those associated with the award may squeeze every last little bit of prestige from the corpse.
    Larry Correia and the rest of the three iterations of Sad Puppies have been proved correct in their charges of manipulation and exclusion. WorldCon, owners of the Hugo name, has given tacit approval, if not outright open support, to the self important clique of schemers who instructed their supporters to no award the voting. They showed us. Now let us sit back and let them and Vox duke it out over the remaining shreds that were once a proud award.
    Here is my modest proposal. Rather than dive back into the cess pit that the puppy kickers have made of the process perhaps out efforts would be better spent finding a way to communicate to the greater SF&F reader base that just because the Hugo nominees are no longer to their taste, there is still a wealth of quality reading material available in the genre. It’s just not coming from the traditional publishing sources. Push Baen, promote indie, shout from the rooftops that awesome SF&F is available out there, and maybe even tell them where to find it.

    1. Well, even TOR has managed to latch on to at least one decent author. Some of the company he keeps have made themselves odious: If I could find a way to support him apart from his publisher, I would.

        1. Exactly so. Remember, under current traditional publishing contracts the author gets a pittance while the house keeps the lion’s share of the profit. As Nathan says, buy used and if you really liked the work send the author a little something directly. Cut out the larcenous middle men.

    2. WorldCon, owners of the Hugo name, has given tacit approval, if not outright open support, to the self important clique of schemers who instructed their supporters to no award the voting.

      This is what disgusted me the most, and I think the biggest signal to quiet observers that the Hugos are dead. When you take into account that there are rules changes for both voting and nominating, and a software that is untrustworthy to put it mildly, what reason is there besides burning? Looking beyond and forward: this year’s Hugos managed to drive away younger people from wanting to have anything to do with the Hugos, or WorldCon’s ‘history.’ Why go to someplace where you’re sneered at, openly insulted and humiliated, just because you’re of a different mindset, have different tastes, or different ideas?

      Why not go elsewhere, where it’ll be fun? There are cons other than Worldcon – and honestly, without the ability to draw the attention of the future readers, Worldcon’s dead.

  8. You might find this interesting — I wrote the following in response to GRRM’s big “let’s all make peace and acknowledge the superiority of me and my friends” post. I’m sending you this open because I suspect GRRM may not run it.

    I remember being called an asshole by you for pointing out that the Sad Puppies’ noms were as legitimate as anyone else’s. A LOT of people associated with the SP have been personally insulted by the Haydens and his crowd. I don’t see any apologies forthcoming, and I don’t expect one from you. And that was after I defended you repeatedly to the Puppies.

    I still think you’re a great writer, but I’m not so sure that you’re all that decent a man.

    Oh, and the “war” is hardly over. What makes you think that the Sad Puppies will give up trying to get the writers they like nominated and awarded? What makes you think that the Rabid Puppies will give up trying to get theirs? Seriously, why should they? What’s the downside of continuing to fight?

    Your side imagines that they won something this round. They didn’t. Before the “wars” erupted, your side got your guys awarded. Now every major text category save Best Novel got No Awarded, and the guy who won for Three Body Problem was one who the Puppies liked (but didn’t nominate because they liked other writers more).

    Yes, the Puppies’ favorites didn’t win any awards anyway, but they weren’t winning before either. Both sides lose is better than only one’s own side loses.

    As for the Rabid Puppies — are you still sure it was such a good idea for the SFWA to violate its own rules to expel Beale in the first place? Because that’s what ticked Beale off. He’s not losing anything by playing the game — yes, he’s spending some money, but he’s getting yummy publicity for his publishing house, his novels, and his writers.

    Same thing’s happening with the Sad Puppies, save their interest’s not as concentrated as Beale’s. For instance, Sarah Hoyt is getting a lot of free publicity for her books, because the controversy draws people to her and then they learn what she writes.

    Hey look! It’s helping the career of a Latina woman! Isn’t that supposed to be a good thing?


  9. Dave,

    Everybody is wrong. Except me of course.

    Yes, I have a towering ego. I also have training and skills that no one else in Science Fiction and Fantasy has to the best of my knowledge. That’s not boasting, it’s fact.

    The Sad Puppies and the Hugo Loyalists both misunderstand the problem. I’ve written an essay which is posted on Zauberspiegel which explains, in simplified form what the real issue is. I strongly suggest reading it.

    Feel free to comment on it.


      1. Why? Marketing is a field which is based on people. So is writing.

        To properly market anything, you have to understand the people you are marketing it to. To write, you have to understand your readers.

        1. Caveat: I am not a writer. I read what I like, and what moves me. I have read Michael Chrichton, the high priest of Popular Sci-Fi. I have enjoyed some of his works, but they aren’t important or particularly good. They have in no way changed me or my outlook on life, the universe, and everything.

          I’m not a writer, so I can’t speak to writing. But I I am a musician. I play music that moves me, not music that I think people will like. When people like the music I play, I am stoked and honored, but it doesn’t bother me if people don’t like it. I disagree that the market matters for anything other than filthy lucre. The VMAs have nothing to offer me. The Grammies(sp?) are completely unimportant to me. I find music I love and I listen to it. It inspires me and influences the music I write. I don’t see a difference between music and fiction, as far as this goes.

          1. God-farking-flargit, my browswer keeps changing the fields when I add a post. That last Grimalkin post is Kathodus. Jebus Fricking Chrust! Again, my apologies.

          2. Right. You aim your music at a particular market. That the market isn’t fantastically lucrative isn’t the point.

            Everyone aims at a market, even if the market is what you like, ignoring the rest of the world. That’s fine, rather like the friend of mine who runs a small, totally insignificant tea shop. She runs it the way she’s always wanted to run a tea shop. It’s a dream she’s had all her life, and now she’s able to do it.

            But that’s not the same as an award that is supposed to be about the best Science Fiction and Fantasy, but which ignores 99.99% of the people who the genre.

            1. Ugh, now I want to clarify…

              99.99% of people love what is familiar to them. They don’t love Dan Brown because his stories are awesome – they love him because the basic outline is familiar. They don’t want to be challenged by a story. They don’t want to learn something, or feel something new. There’s no point in awarding the most popular anything. In 10 or 15 years, the bizarre, groundbreaking, _interesting_ story that won a Hugo will be the blueprint for a gaggle of popular stories. If you want to measure market popularity, use Goodreads. Like you said, we’re talking about the _best_, not the most profitable/popular.

              1. So you are saying that Star Trek, Thunderbirds, and Doctor Who were familiar to Sixties audiences?

                What people love is stories that mean something to them. All three of those shows meant something to those who watched them, just as the Fantastic Four meant something to comics fans, Perry Rhodan meant something to German fans, Barbarella meant something to French fans, etc.

            2. Example: I just finished “Uprooted”, by Naomi Novik. An excellent read, a fantasy based on Polish folk tales, with great characters and a nicely paced plot. She nails the ending. Seriously great novel. 99.999% of readers have never heard of her or that book, and probably won’t. They sure as hell know The Bourne Supremacy, though (which was fun as hell, but c’mon…).

              1. So, tell people about her. Have to admit I’ve never read anything of hers yet, and I won’t this year. When I’m writing, I only do re-reads, don’t have to concentrate as much.

                Though I’m taking a break in October for the next Safehold book. But that doesn’t really count either, I’ve read the rest of the series 3-4 times, I know the characters and setting, and I know Weber’s writing style well enough that I don’t have to concentrate particularly hard reading a new book of his.

              2. I know Novik. She lost me as a reader during one of her dragon books, when she contrived to make absurd revisionist history the key to the entire plot.

                1. Uprooted was my introduction to her. It’s very much a fantasy, not the alternate history that her other series seems to be. I assume the “absurd revisionist history” was something political that bounced you off the novel(s)? If so, there’s really nothing political in Uprooted, though given I assume we’re coming from opposite ends of the political spectrum, it’s possible there’s something that would annoy you but that I’d overlook because it fits in with my worldview.

                  1. Well, unless you are a Chauvinist, it is hard to say that you are a political opposite on the one point. 🙂 Seriously, that was a minor point, that finished ruining my willing suspension of disbelief, but was not the major one.

                    I was okay with the earlier books. Furthermore, given how the character was introduced, it was reasonable to expect the African slave trade to come into play. There are two conflicting models of the history of the African slave trade, and the one the modern political consensus favors is false. It is convenient to pretend that the only market for African slaves was under the control of Europe, and that none were ever sold to Mid-East markets. My understanding is that the Mid East still buys people from Africa.

                    The society Novik invents to make the European market for slaves important to the plot might have plausibly altered the course of history. The geopolitical situation being so similar makes it feel tacked on.

                    I am capable of enjoying the silly, the stupid, and the absurd if I started reading the series knowing what to expect.

    1. Wayne, I’m not sure the general thrust of what you are saying is new. Some details are new to me, and I haven’t seen them arranged that way before. The conclusion doesn’t seem all that different from what I’ve seen from various Sad Puppy commentators. Maybe I’m such an idiot when it comes to business that I do not understand what you are saying.

      1. I tried to make in understandable, but I’ve spent so much time in Sales that I tend to take a lot of things for granted. Why not tell me what doesn’t make sense, and I’ll do my best to explain.

        And yes, some of it has been said before. I don’t think anyone else has tried to explain it in detail, but someone may have. You know the Internet. Billions of people talking, and you can’t keep up with more than a fraction of it.

        1. The sentiment I’ve seen in Sad and Rabid, particularly from Torgersen, is that the total world sci fi and fantasy genre markets are large, and WorldCon is small. In English, there are videogames, comics, movies, and TV, which have very substantial followings compared to books. Conventions for other media substantially dwarf worldcon. There are very substantial markets in other languages. There are people making a lot of money off Chinese web novels, to pick one you didn’t focus on. (Er Gen, maybe I Eat Tomatoes, he is certainly prolific enough.)

          Your point about how prohibitively difficult it would be to inform all these people about Hugo is new. The theory I’ve seen advanced is that die hard fans of something like Naruto might buy supporting memberships if they are informed that it qualifies for the Hugo, and that some might stick around and nominate works they are interested in later. This might naturally expand WorldCon’s coverage of additional formats.

          Just the rule changes resulting from Puppies so far make me think that substantially changing the rules of WorldCon might not be impossible.

          Traditional English language publishing seems in the middle of change. The status quo of the Hugo depends on the status quo of traditional publishing.

          1. Yes. There’s a whole wide world out there that we aren’t connecting with. It is possible that fans of a particular writer could be reached. I’ve been considering an experiment along that line, which would be relatively inexpensive, and could make the Best Novel category a foregone conclusion. What’s even better is that the novel I’m thinking off is Hugo worthy, and it’s from someone who has never won before.

            Of course it would have both sides in the debate screaming for my blood. Since I personally write a lot of horror, I find that amusing. Maybe I’ll do it.

            Never heard of Chinese web novels. The example I picked were ones I knew about. I have a lot of friends in Germany and France, and I have kids so I know a fair bit about Manga and Anime. Most of it is terrible quality, but as Sturgeon said, 99% of everything is junk.

            We should have awards for best SF&F video game, best Manga, etc.

            We also need to remember that WorldCon has as much relevance to the world at large as the World Series. It only attracts English language fans, and the Hugos only go to English language works. What about Deutsch, French, Español, etc?

            As to Traditional Publishing, people have been comparing it to the Music business, which is a bad comparison. I own a small recording studio, and the costs to produce and album are far higher than the costs to produce a novel.

            I’m talking external costs. Editing, Recording, Cover Art, etc.

            Practicing music, working on writing skills, writing songs, writing stories are much the same in that you can do them while working a full time job. It’s producing a final, saleable product which costs, and the costs for writers are far lower than the costs for musicians.

            That means that writers are far less dependent on their publishers. The publishers know this, and should be scared witless.

  10. Sorry to interject, but I’ve seen a lot of people being confused by my stances and motives, and I figure here is as good a place as any to start clearing things up:

    1). I am not, and have never been part, of any Puppy Party. I am pro-diversity, pro-equality, and pro-free speech. I find Vox interesting because of his racist opinions – because I have spent the better portion of my life arguing with racists.

    2). If the end goal is to undermine Vox’s influence, the first step is to come to grips with how he and his followers think. I absolutely did put myself into the mindset of a Puppy when writing those posts, because that is how you get to know your enemy. I also did extensive preparatory reading of Vox Populi, William Lind, and other Puppy sources for the same reason.

    3). I am not calling for retreat and surrender, but for non-Puppies to attack ideas instead of people. Every time we attack Vox Day/etc. instead of his ideas, we feed into the idea that we are acting as thought police. Stop attacking people, start attacking ideas exclusively.

    4). On a personal level, I do not care if people assume I am a deep-cover Puppy. I’d like to think my past posts on the importance of diverse representation in media and diverse hiring in industry will eventually clear that up. Either way, I am essentially a non-entity.

    But it does concern me that I can accuse Vox of being Jefferson Davis ISIS Hitler the VIII and still have people assume I am a Puppy. I’m…calling for intellectual engagement instead of petty personal attacks. I’m calling for a de-escalation of an issue that is actively harmful to fandom. I’m calling for loving and understanding your enemies while standing up for the Truth.

    When did these become exclusively Puppy positions? Because if calling for basic human decency makes me a Puppy in your eyes by default…well damn, there really are not words, are there?

    1. Yegads, it’s Xanatos all the way down to the Men Among the Ruins. Regardless whether you identify as a Puppy of any sort, you are writing from within the world created by Vox Day. Your posts work only within that world. You may not be Theodore Beale, but if not, you are writing Theodore Beale fan-fic.

      The only reason to waste time on trolls is to attempt to alert people who may otherwise not realize they are being trolled. I doubt you would fool anyone at File770, but that’s because you claim to be coming from a point of view sympathetic to the majority of posters there. I’ve spent a long while exposed to the internet wing of the new right, the far right, and various politically extremist underground music movements. I see what you’re doing. I just want to make sure no Sad Puppies are fooled.

      1. You know, I had a whole angry reply written up, mostly because I’ve spent the bulk of the last two weeks arguing with Rabids over whether or not their intellectual stance is valid and consistent. Then it hit me: how can I encourage people to attack ideas instead of people and then turn around and make this personal? So let’s talk ideas.

        Yes, I did write a series called “Men Among the Ruins.” Yes, that is also the title of a book by Italian Fascist philosopher Julius Evola. I have and will admit that I enjoy reading the works of White Supremacists – to argue with them, not because I agree with them.

        However, my “Men Among the Ruins” is about why #gamergate and the MRA movement are historically doomed to failure from a Hegelian perspective. The “ruins” I am referring to are the ruins of the Monomyth-esque Grand Narrative of gender roles that has been lost in the modern era. This is a thing which I am for.

        To be fair, the Killing Vox Day series could perhaps be characterized as Vox Day FanFiction. Getting inside of your opponent’s head is a useful ability, an ability which is absolutely necessary for debate. How can you have a debate when you can’t understand what your opponent is saying?

        1. ::rolls eyes HARD::

          Obvious troll is obvious. Any more Castalia House books you’d like to shill for?

          1. Snowcrash- this is not file 770. You warned about calling people liars without evidence. You don’t have to like the Rev or believe him, but you need to obey the house rules.

          2. So far I’ve only read “On War” and “SJWs Always Lie.”

            As for non-Castalia House books, I would recommend “The Turner Diaries,” specifically the forward of the 1996 edition by Lyle Stuart. It’s a wonderful piece on why “we have the right to know what the enemy is thinking” – why it knowing your enemy is vital in countering racial extremists.

          3. I enjoyed and would recommend John Wright’s Somewhither.

            It is easy to make someone shut up, and harder to actually change their mind. If one really thinks that someone is intending to commit murder, it is easier to stop them if they feel free to speak.

    2. “When did these become exclusively Puppy positions? Because if calling for basic human decency makes me a Puppy in your eyes by default…well damn, there really are not words, are there?”

      methinks you have grasped the nub of the problem. The puppy kickers are not in actual demonstrable fact ‘pro-diversity, pro-equality, or pro-free speech.’ The Sad Puppies at the least have been pointedly tolerant of the same – pointing out – and giving that equality (particularly of opportunity) and free speech not just to people they like, who agree with them. It’s specifically has to include people you don’t like and don’t agree with. Even Vox Day or Nora Jemisin. Diversity isn’t a matter of superficial features, but of everything about the person.

      And you have been cast into outer darkness with the puppies for your sin.

      I found your post to display a level of common sense and strategic long term thinking almost unheard of among puppy kickers (it’s not their strength. I’m not surprised they don’t think you’re one of them). There are few thing I think you’re wrong about, but it’s probably the best attempt I’d seen – and mirrored many of the points I’d been making for years. ‘Victory’ for me anyway, consists not of saying ‘I won’, but achieving a far better situation for authors, sf, and readers.

      1. I’m flabbergasted. It’s to the point where I’m starting to wonder if there really are deep-cover Puppies posting as anti-Puppies in order to drive potential neutrals into the Puppy camp.

        There may be some legitimately xenophobic Rabids out there, but I’ve never seen anyone reject outside thought as vehemently as File 770 folks.

        1. I don’t think they’re needed. And you wouldn’t be the first to say something akin to “Dammit, you’re proving the Puppies’ point” because of File770 either.

        2. I’m tempted to demand accommodation and tolerance for Xenophobia. 🙂

          From what I’ve seen, the most obnoxious anti-puppies have had shown a combination of obsession and poor self control. If they were secretly puppies, I would expect to see the same in their puppy behavior.

          This is where one of the regulars chimes in to explain which SJW I am secretly behind.

          An apolitical explanation might be that techniques formerly practiced mostly be hard core leftists, like the Leninist organizational weapon, have diffused into the mainstream.

          Since I was young, I’ve been heavily exposed to the stuff by way of pop culture. So they come readily to my hand, and I’ve built up some immunity, despite not really being a leftist.

      2. If I am wrong, and you are actually interested in stopping VD’s ongoing campaign of vandalism, my apologies. It’s just strange all of his premises that you accept. I was tempted to go through your posts on “Killing Vox Day” and argue against the basic premises that I disagree with, but I just don’t have the time, whether you are trolling or not. My take on Vox Day is, he is unimportant in the long run. His GG, MRA, and etc. followers will eventually become bored – a lot of the comments on his posts come from people who obviously find SFF nerdy and uninteresting (though I don’t think he feels that way, from what he says) – and once EPH and maybe the 4/6 rule takes place, he will be effectively muzzled, only able to cause small problems.

        Ultimately, there is no talking to Vox Day. He is not interested in the Hugos except as a way to gain attention for himself, his publishing company, etc.. The only solution he would accept would be to make him the boss of WSFS, and honestly, I think he’d be bummed. He’s not in it for anything but the fight and the attention.

        I think there are a whole lot more people on the non-puppy side who love the kind of SF the Puppies claim to love than you believe. If Torgersen started a recommended reading list thread or ten, and compiled the many works that would come up with into a list of the stuff he and his readers love, nobody would have batted an eye. Unfortunately, in addition to the slate/not-a-slate, he has repeatedly insulted non-puppies by saying they don’t love the works they’ve voted for. I don’t think he realized he was insulting a large majority of the WSFS membership, but there you have it.

        I think the focus should be on talking to people in the Sad Puppies group (and conversely, Sad Puppies talking to people who are not in either Puppy group). An end to blanket insults of homophobia, racism, and misogyny (usually stemming from one Puppy’s homophobic, racist, or misogynist words) on the part of people who aren’t Puppies would be nice. An end to blanket insults of affirmative action, secret slating, and the seemingly-endless stream of acronyms and nicknames aimed at non-puppies (CHORFs, SJWs, puppy-kickers, etc.) would be nice.

        1. <iIf Torgersen started a recommended reading list thread or ten, and compiled the many works that would come up with into a list of the stuff he and his readers love, nobody would have batted an eye.

          This keeps being repeated and people keep having to point out that this is what Brad did. Exactly what he did. Before he was insulted, before his family was attacked, before he was told that he needed to be “put down”, his attitude was friendly. After all that, it was less so. This should not be a surprise, and he is not the one it reflects on.

          Now you suggest that the Sad Puppies do exactly what they did last time, and somehow the response this time will not be a months-long stream of abuse, will not be pressure brought to bear on anyone on the list of recommendations to withdraw their nomination, and will not be blowing up the awards in order to ensure that not one nominees on the recommendations list is recognized. Along with hooting and hollering and “asterisk awards” and all the rest of it.

          Tell me, why do you believe the actions you suggest will not provoke the same response this time? Has something changed?

          1. That is not at all what Brad did. I’m not talking about a small list of works, 5 or less in each category, that VD can them mold into a comprehensive slate. I’m talking about a much longer list, compiled from recommendations from his readers, a lot of them (readers and works), along with threads where said readers are discussing the books. Then a final list, in alphabetic order, of the many recommended works, along with pointers to the discussion threads. That would be a massively useful list. Maybe one or two jerks amongst the non-puppies would criticize that, but there are always one or two jerks to criticize any thing.

            I’m not interested in when the insults started flying. I have my opinions and you have yours, and ne’er the twain shall meet. I’m trying not to dwell on things that make me (and you) angry.

            1. I completely understand if you don’t have time to read the entire series – it’s long. I accept the Rabid’s take on things in order to anticipate their next moves.

              Is Vox a threat? Maybe not to the Hugos any more. If his theories on 4GW are correct, changing the rules will undermine legitimacy and escalate conflict. If things calm down up through 2016, I will fully withdraw my doom-saying.

              1. Well, my guess is you’re definitely not going to have to withdraw your doom-saying, then. I fully expect things to mellow out in a few weeks, then ramp up when Paulk’s recommendation list is released, then really ramp up when VD releases his slate, and continue going nuts all the way up until Worldcon, through the Hugos and still go strong for a month or so after that. If EPH passes at the next Worldcon, I think 2017 will be quieter, and 2018 will be as calm as things can be when you have a bunch of opinionated people discussing their favorite things.

                1. (Sigh) Either I have missed something major in what to me seems self-evident, or…
                  Correct me if I am wrong (I’d appreciate it) – but these convoluted schemes to make sure Tor and friends continued to be able to put at least some of their pet darlings on the short list, because their ‘captive’ 50 or so in-house collusion votes will assure it, as it did in the past. Unfortunately I see no reason why they do not work just as well for Vox Day (who probably can get far more to collude). We can be sure thus that 2017 will have at least one Torling and one Voxling. The Torlings will vote their darling first, and possibly the others with ‘no award’ before any Sad pup or Voxling. The Voxlings will vote their candidate first, and no award second. The Sad puppies – given the Puppy Kickers conduct – will vote any candidate they have there first, possibly Voxling second to punish the Puppy kickers, and No Award before any puppy kicker or Torling (should they not be the same thing). Given Australian rules No Award has to win.

                  And how is this a victory for the Puppy Kickers? Vox is happy with destroying the Hugos. Most of the Sad Pups don’t care deeply for the Hugos, but they’re really pissed with the puppy kickers. The puppy kickers LOVE the Hugos. They have far more to lose. Which was the thrust of this post – the PK desperately need to make peace – with people who don’t trust them, and in fact want to kick their butt for a change.

                  And that’s without the second fact. Worldcon is dying, numbers slowly decline compared to population (other cons are growing. It’s an aging insular group.) It struggles to make ends meet. This year they got a 3.5K boost. If it continues and grows next year (not sure about the PK capacity, but the pups various are certainly planning it, and have capacity) call it 4K. X $50 at least. That’s $200 000 that they did nothing for – no extra costs. Find me any household, organization, or government that doesn’t find rapidly that it simply can’t do without that extra money… and I’ll eat my hat. So IF you’re right… and all the pups and all the PK go home, well, 2018 will be a disaster area for WorldCon.

                  1. @Dave Freer

                    Correct me if I am wrong (I’d appreciate it) – but these convoluted schemes to make sure Tor and friends continued to be able to put at least some of their pet darlings on the short list, because their ‘captive’ 50 or so in-house collusion votes will assure it, as it did in the past. Unfortunately I see no reason why they do not work just as well for Vox Day (who probably can get far more to collude). We can be sure thus that 2017 will have at least one Torling and one Voxling.

                    1) I don’t care about Tor.
                    2) I find VD/Castalia despicable.
                    3) I really don’t like slates.

                    I said earlier in this thread that I don’t believe there is a Tor cabal, that rather, “it seems more to me like a combination of 1) the pool of nominators was too small, and people with similar taste tended to nominate and, 2) the rise of the internet meant that certain flamboyant and/or popular personalities (*ahem* Scalzi *ahem*) get more attention than writers who are less outgoing and present on the internet.” Adding to that – I think it’d be almost impossible to get an invisible slate to work effectively. You need it to be public, like the Rabid Puppy slate this year.

                    Additionally, Tor has never come close to dominating the Hugos, from what I can tell. I’m too lazy to go through each year’s nominees, but taking the last pre-puppy year (2012) as an example, I see that Tor had a total of three nominees in the four biggest categories – best novel, best short story, best novella, best novelette. Of those three, two won. From my understanding, Tor is the biggest SFF publisher, so that’s not entirely unexpected. I may be wrong.

                    To be completely honest, I barely notice publishers. Previously, off the top of my head, SFF-specific publishers I’ve known about are Tor, Orbit, Gollancz, Daw, and Baen. Tor and Daw I swear I recall from my childhood in the 80s; Gollancz re-released a bunch of classic SF a while back that I kept finding, to my surprise and delight, in random bookstores; Baen I first heard of because I bought a Kindle and was looking for books to check out, and I love CJ Cherryh (who they publish) and a friend had just turned me on to Bujold, plus I’ve been told I need to check Weber’s books out (haven’t done that yet). Until very recently, I had no idea I was supposed to care about Tor’s, or Baen’sm or any other publisher’s politics. I didn’t then and I still don’t.

                    All of that aside, EPH is a less-than-perfect solution for slates. I predict that this year, VD’s slate will dominate the Hugos entirely. The choices will make Wisdom from My Internet look like Shakespeare. Or The Bible. Or Heinlein. Or whatever great work you can’t imagine Wisdom from My Internet living up to. EPH basically, hopefully, ensures that VD will only get one work per category. Yes, if Tor were to run a slate, they would also get a category. But like I’ve said before, I do not believe they have or will run a slate. I know we disagree there, but without any solid evidence, I am not going to believe there is a secret slate.

                    Given your theoretical “Torling” entry and “Voxling” entry, and three other, presumably non-slated, popular entries, one of those other three will win. I thought three of the best novel nominees this year were completely Hugo-worthy. I am relieved Kloos stepped down. I read his entire series (unless the fourth has come out yet) and I enjoyed the hell out of it (devoured all three in a matter of maybe a week, actually, despite time constraints on my reading), but I didn’t think it was Hugo-worthy. If he’d stayed on the ballot, I would have put him above No Award, but I think he’s not quite there yet.

                    @Dave Freer

                    And how is this a victory for the Puppy Kickers?

                    Victory? There was no victory. My take on the cheering of No Awards was that it was relief that the 2015 Hugos hadn’t been completely destroyed by Vox Day. Nobody knew for sure who bought all those last minute memberships until the No Awards started pouring in.

                    And man, I don’t get any joy saying that. It has to sound like I’m smugly kicking puppies. I’m not. Like I said before, I voted some Puppy works above No Award. If I’d been there, I don’t think I would have applauded No Award, but I’m not a very vindictive person, generally. I feel terrible for the authors who feel kicked. I feel bad for John C. Wright, fer Christ’s sake, and I find his views on women and gays, amongst others, utterly vile and repulsive, and thought his parable of talking beasts was ridiculous (some of his other writings show he has skill and talent, though, to be sure. I just haven’t found anything I haven’t bounced off of due to his voice).

                    @Dave Freer

                    Vox is happy with destroying the Hugos. Most of the Sad Pups don’t care deeply for the Hugos, but they’re really pissed with the puppy kickers. The puppy kickers LOVE the Hugos. They have far more to lose.

                    This is why I think ultimately everything will settle down. I don’t feel the need to participate in a “war.” VD will continue to be ultra-active in his campaign to destroy the Hugos and he will continue to be completely incompetent. As he exposes security holes, they will be patched. I’ve been a sys admin for almost two decades now, and I’m used to this. Script kiddies kick constantly at your doors and windows. You constantly check to make sure they don’t get in, kick them out and clean up when they do, and patch the holes. Ultimately, given that neither set of puppies really cares about the Hugos, this will fade away.

                    That was a lot of verbiage. Sorry. I’m trying to explain why I support the idea of a comprehensive, puppy-supported list of works to nominate – not a slate, not a half-slate, not a wink-and-a-nudge list with the most popular works on top so you know who to vote for. A list with links to the recommendations and passionate discussion of the works. I have nostalgia for the Hugos, but this is my first year voting. I’ve got plenty of avenues for book recommendations aside from the Hugos, but fandom, from what I’ve seen in the past couple years, is pretty nifty. From what I’ve seen, a lot of puppies (Theodore Beale, Rolf Nelson, Lou Antonelli, Brad Torgersen, Larry Correia, to name a few) don’t give a rat’s left butt cheek about fandom, in fact consider it beneath their contempt. They’ve managed to create (or involve themselves in) a massive schism that I think is very harmful. If we can get together and recommend stuff we like, rather than harp on about Marxists, and racists, and the natural male desire to beat homosexuals with tire irons, and affirmative action, and all that stuff and nonsense, we’d all be better off.

            2. Kathodus – it comes back down to ‘why would we want to oblige the puppy kickers?’ As a thank you for calling us racists, perhaps? Maybe in gratitude for their wooden arseholes? We will get nothing but abuse anyway, so why should we oblige the puppy kickers?

              This has been obvious for years. It’s not the first time I’ve written about it.

  11. Reblogged this on The Arts Mechanical and commented:
    The problem for the puppy kickers is that they shot away their credibility and now they have no arguments left. Once they burned the Hugos down and essentially gave everybody in SF but themselves the middle finger, they now find themselves in the position of discovering that they may not be able to put things back together again.

  12. “EPH basically, hopefully, ensures that VD will only get one work per category. ”

    The algorithm is public, VD has a mass of numbered minions. EPH and 4/6 will be trivially easy for the dark lord to logroll if he decides to go that route.

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