Introducing Sad Puppies Four: The Bitches are Back

(also the Embiggening, and the Embitchening, given that I, Kate the Impaler, am Queen Bitch and I am ably seconded by Sarah, the Beautiful But Evil Space Princess, and Amanda, the Redhead of Doom, and we are all more than capable of going Queen Bitch when we need to).

Sad Puppies 4 RoboButch final

And thank you to the wonderfully talented ArtRaccoon (Lee Madison) for his fantastic artwork. The new puppy’s name is Robert. His three creators are Isaac, Frank, and Ray. Yes, those names do mean what you think they do. You can find more of his artwork on http://artraccoon.deviantart.com/gallery/ Contact me, Sarah, or Amanda if you want to give him money and we’ll send you his PayPal.

The Hugo awards has entirely too small a voting and nominating pool. Five thousand votes is the largest number ever received? Two thousand nomination ballots? That’s piddly. For a field loved by millions, it’s nowhere near enough, and makes it easy for any small clique to corrupt the idea of awarding great SF and start giving themselves awards.

We want at least ten thousand nomination ballots. Tens of thousands of votes (which means tens of thousands of Hugo memberships, either supporting or attending). So many votes and voters that it’s almost impossible for any one group – and yes, that includes the Sad Puppies – to dominate anything.

So, SP4 is all about MOAR! More voters. More votes. More people. We want to make the Hugos bigger and more representative of fandom as a whole, to bring people in rather than give them an asterisk that looks kind of wrong (especially beside the rocket) to try to drive the “interlopers” out. SF is a big tent: we don’t want to kick out anyone, even writers of bad message fiction that makes puppies sad.

To that end, this thread will be the first of several to collect recommendations. There will also be multiple permanent threads (one per category) on the SP4 website where people can make comments. The tireless, wonderful volunteer Puppy Pack will be collating recommendations.

Later – most likely somewhere around February or early March, I’ll be posting The List to multiple locations. The List will not be a slate – it will be a list of the ten or so most popular recommendations in each Hugo category, and a link to the full list in all its glory. Nothing more, nothing less.

If you want to see your favorite author receive a nomination and an award, your best bet will be to cast your nomination ballot for one of the works in the top ten or thereabouts of The List. My recommendations will not count any more or any less than anyone else’s recommendations (with one exception – I will NOT be on the list. Neither will Sarah or Amanda. If anyone wants to nominate any of us they’ll need to do it on their own).

Anyone can post any number of recommendations (obviously not for the same work – one recommendation per person per work), and there is NO political test. The only criteria is that you’ve read it/watched it/seen it and you think it’s one of the best in its Hugo class published in 2015.

The other side of SP4 is to have the biggest, best floating party and alternacon in WorldCon history, and for that, anyone who can needs to go to MidAmeriCon. Go, vote, and attend the World Science Fiction Society business meeting so more voices can be heard. And of course, have the biggest and best floating party regardless of the official programming – although if the official programming is awesome, that can join the party as well.

After all, nobody parties like a Puppy trying not to be so Sad.

1,066 Comments

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1,066 responses to “Introducing Sad Puppies Four: The Bitches are Back

  1. Not that anyone was planning on it, but I consider myself out as well. For reasons.

  2. There is going to be an unexpected positive effect from this list. It will make a GREAT recommended reading list. Even for people who are not planning on nominating or voting for the Hugo.

    It would be amusing if just being on this list would help an author’s sales more than actually winning the award.

  3. I suspect MidAmericon has already begun preparing to quash a Puppy onslaught. Note their Code of Conduct, particularly the ‘Interpretation’ paragraph at the end.

    http://midamericon2.org/policies/code-of-conduct/

    Methinks they’re expecting trouble.

    • So discrimination, harassment and inappropriate behavior are ‘right out!’ That sounds like a perfectly vague sjw COC. Who’d a thunk it?

      If we all buy memberships, aren’t we just giving these sjw money to burn?

    • Wow, the potential for abuse of that Code of Conduct is staggering. You know, I just recently read a book that touched on codes of conduct being specifically created to be vague, so only one side could use them as a blunt object to enforce their will on others …
      http://www.amazon.com/SJWs-Always-Lie-Taking-Thought-ebook/dp/B014GMBUR4

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        A friend of mine in the Honey Badgers Brigade just had a nasty experience with said codes, so I can assure you that is the case.

      • Don’t worry about the code of conduct. There’s an Alinski rule for that. I look forward to seeing the Puppy Kickers live up to it.

        • Luke

          Good luck with that.
          You’re dealing with postmodernists who believe Truth is whatever advances the revolution.
          If somebody’s rule is “I’m always right”, then there is no problem making them live up to it. They will happily do that with no encouragement whatsoever.

          On top off that, the convention’s stated policy explicitly rejects objective criteria.
          Everything is at their discretion, and we know which way their discretion lays.

          If we play by their rules, they win. That’s why they made the rules.

          • Robin Munn

            Just remember: if there’s a recording of any given event, it’s harder for anyone to lie about what happened. (They’ll still try, but the evidence will prove them wrong). So carry a voice recorder with you at all times. And if you should just so happen to have an interaction with someone that is falsely deemed to be “abusive” or “threatening”, well, maybe some audio of that interaction somehow gets leaked to Youtube where objective third parties can form their own opinions.

            The concom may reserve the sole right of interpretation, but they can’t actually stop people from forming their own opinions. All they can do is say “We don’t care about your opinions, we’re forming our own.” And if it so happens that their opinions are clearly wrong to an unbiased observer, and there is an audio recording demonstrating the fact… well, their supporters won’t listen to the recording. But it won’t go away, nonetheless.

            NOTE: Check the laws of the state before you record anyone without their knowledge. In some states, only one party (i.e., you) needs to consent to a recording, but other states are different. And note that I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, so this is not legal advice.

            NOTE the second: I do not wish to assume that everyone on any given concom will be hostile or irrational. Many con organizers do great behind-the-scenes work and are just out to make the con fun for everyone, with no further agenda. But because there are also some proto-fascists out there who get themselves appointed to positions of power on concoms, it’s worth being prepared in advance to make recordings for evidence’s sake.

            • Luke

              I must note that this didn’t help the honey badgers.

              • Robin Munn

                I have to disagree. Yes, they got thrown out of the con… but they documented the whole event, and that’s going to be evidence in their lawsuit against the con.

                You’re not carrying a recorder to stop yourself from being thrown out; the rules as written say that they can throw you out for any reason. You’re carrying a recorder to make it as expensive as possible for them to throw you out unreasonably, if they decide to go that route.

                A few more lawsuits like the Honey Badgers’, and you’ll start to see concoms a LOT more cautious about applying interpretations that a reasonable jury might find to be abusive.

              • Christopher M. Chupik

                They recorded the panel that got them turfed and the events in a nearby park when the con sent the police to harass them. I’d say they helped themselves a great deal.

            • What about those little personal video recorders, I forget what they’re called? tho I suppose that would fall under “photography without permission”. But betcha there’ll be a few of ’em regardless, because fans and geeky toys, ya know?

              • Chrismouse

                Any smartphone ( and some dumb ones) should have recording capability, too.

                • Come to mention it — to negate the threat of device confiscation and recording erasure, there are apps that automagically upload to a cloud server as you record. Puts the recording out of the reach of any who might negate or abuse it.

                  Hmm. The personal recorder may be the concealed carry of the future.

              • Surely there are no laws about recording in a public space. Else one would have to get permission from everyone in the background to do anything. Dash cams would be illegal. Recording in the con suite, recording during panels, and video in the art show is probably forbidden and reasonable. Public hallways? Nope.

                • Farley

                  Recording/photographing without consent is itself a valid reason to toss someone from a convention if their rules say so, regardless of state law. But they can’t confiscate the recording.

                • Aimee Morgan

                  States differentiate between video recording (as long as there is no clear expectation of privacy you’re good, so turn off the Go Pro in the bathroom) and audio recording (it’s a two-party state, so you need their permission.)

                • Andrew Porter

                  A convention is not a public space.

                  • snelson134

                    Oh? Try holding a convention that happens to toss any member of a Government Victim Group and see how fast the 1964 Civil Rights Act definition of a public accommodation comes into play.

                • TWS

                  In some states Dash Cams lack sound recording just for that reason.

              • I remember what the Hive Queen said: “We never forbid unless we have the power to prevent.” I think of that when I read “don’t download this without permission, don’t retweet me, don’t quote me…”

            • Aimee Morgan

              Kansas is a two party state, so you can either be obvious about your recording, or you need to notify everyone you interact with.

            • Kansas is a One Party Consent State
              Kansas – Unlawful eavesdropping consists of secretly listening to, recording, or amplifying private conversations or using any device to intercept a telephone or wire communication “without the consent of the person in possession or control of the facilities for such wire communication.” The state’s highest court has interpreted the eavesdropping and privacy statutes to allow one-party consent for taping of conversations and has held that as long as one party consents to the conversation, the other party loses his right to challenge the eavesdropping in court. – See more at: http://www.detectiveservices.com/2012/02/27/state-by-state-recording-laws/#sthash.x6sa2gTg.dpuf

            • I do not wish to assume that everyone on any given concom will be hostile or irrational.

              After last year’s Hugo awards and the ribbons issue I think treating the entirety of any WorldCon ConCom as hostile to Sad Puppies is the only safe starting point.

              • Robin Munn

                Treating the concom as a whole as hostile to Sad Puppies, yes, I agree. What I was trying to say was that even through the concom, considered as a political unit, may be hostile to Sad Puppies, there may be individual concom members who are reasonable individuals. I don’t want those individuals, if they read this post, to feel personally attacked. If you’re one of those individuals, you are specifically NOT who I was talking about.

                Heck, even if you are one of the people who oppose the Sad Puppies, you shouldn’t feel personally attacked; I’d be quite happy to leave you and yours alone if you’d just leave me and mine alone. But after the disgraceful “Don’t boo the No Awards”, the free-stuff table, and the generalized lying, I don’t really expect us to be left alone.

              • Andrew Porter

                Make sure you look under your bed before you go to sleep. You never can tell which Worldcon committee is lurking under there, along with the dust bunnies.

            • Jill

              KentuckyDan is correct. Missouri is a one party consent state. If it’s your conversation you can record it.

              http://www.dmlp.org/legal-guide/missouri-recording-law
              http://www.moga.mo.gov/mostatutes/stathtml/54200004021.html

              This may also cover recording a conversation in a public area where there’s not an expectation of privacy – like a non-private meeting at a convention.

            • Safewrite

              http://www.rcfp.org/reporters-recording-guide/state-state-guide/missouri And http://www.dmlp.org/legal-guide/missouri-recording-law Both give the lowdown on recordings at MidAmericon II. as it is being held in Missouri. As I read the law the business meeting or panels are legal, as are any phone calls. Private conversations take the consent of all parties.

              • So they can’t do what Brianna Wu did to The Ralph Retort, or run the Honey Badgers out. They shouldn’t also be able to request it or enforce no recording of the session?

              • snelson134

                “Private conversations take the consent of all parties.”
                Not exactly. Your second link says
                “unless one party to the conversation consents.”

                I can’t tap or record a conversation between you and someone else unless I was made a party to the call (say by being invited into a conference call). As long as I am in the same room and everyone can know I’m there (I can’t hide in the room before anyone else gets there), or I call you on the phone, I can record all day because I am a party to the conversation, and only one of two or more parties has to be aware of the recording.

                However, I’ll let you call YOUR OWN lawyer.

        • The proper Alinsky response if the SJW’s either within the Convention organization, or acting through the organization, abuse the CoC will be to sue the organizers for breach of contract, etc, etc. Bring a class action suit on behalf of those abused, and name every relevant SJW as individual co-defendants as well.

          Make them live up to their own rules. If they don’t, make the rubble bounce.

      • William Starr

        “I just recently read a book that touched on codes of conduct being specifically created to be vague, so only one side could use them as a blunt object to enforce their will on others …”

        And if you read it in a book then it must be true.

    • Eowyn

      Considering Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden are already listed as Guests of the Convention, and considering

      “Any action or behavior that is illegal or causes significant interference with event operations, excessive discomfort to other attendees, or adversely affects MidAmeriCon II’s relationship with its guests, its venue, or the public is strictly forbidden and may result in revocation of membership privileges.”

      I would argue that since the Sad Puppies make the Haydens sad*, they are obviously not welcome.

      *sad may be read as angry, possibly deranged and unhinged.

      • Mark Alger

        Interesting. I suppose one should point out that refusing the right to go armed is a violation of 18USC 241, as well as the Second Amendment, so there goes two provisions of the Code almost before it’s fairly published.

        M

        • Farley

          I would not suggest testing that. Most of the space will qualify as private space, where the rules are much different.

          • I am permitted by law to carry everywhere I go. It’s a fairly easy certification to get for veterans who are also mandated reporters of child abuse. And I can swear in as many deputies as I need.

            • Lenora Rose

              Do you really think you’ll need that level of defense? Reportedly, the worst anyone did to a puppy this year was remove promotional materials or swear and shout.

              The only guns I want to see at an SF convention are replica blasters. Although I’ve heard of groups from cons going off to target ranges and having a grand time.

              • Just because one of these people hasn’t done anything, it doesn’t mean they won’t.

                Since there HAVE been death threats in past years, I fault no one who opts to take zero chances.

                • Lenora Rose

                  I guess I’m just too Canadian. I hear “Carrying real guns around an SF convention”, I think of what con parties and hallways and events can be like (crowded, not threatening), and I think that’s too dangerous for me.

                  To me, the fewer the real weapons on hand, the more likely violence will be at a level where normal con security, not the police, can handle it.

                  • Lenora Rose

                    (I can see an interesting panel idea for gun knowledge including visuals which would waive the no real weapons present thing, but under controlled circumstances. And I have shot one. I’m not anti-gun, just very wary of adding them to a chaotic locale.)

                  • We already know that the Tor editor physically attacked one of the Tor authors without provocation. Why would I need additional evidence?
                    Just how many people have to die before you get the message?

                    • Lenora Rose

                      PNH did not physically attack Lamplighter. He said some remarkably rude things by report, and stormed away. Even Wright’s version, the most heated, doesn’t include physical assault.

                    • No, he committed assault. He did not commit battery.
                      And the point is that the other side has ramped up consistently. People, like myself, who are physically disabled, as well as those with small frames, must not be held hostage to a fear of attack.
                      That’s what a Smith & Wesson Model 642-2 with five rounds of PDX is for: to defend the oppressed.

                    • Ratseal

                      I am as pro pup as the next person, but puffing your chest out and talking about the need to go armed specifically to protect yourself from verbal assault lives up to the worst expectations of the anti-SP folks, and also makes you look like a horse’s ass.

                      There is nothing, NOTHING, that anyone can say that is worth threatening to shoot them. Not the worst insult nor the worst threat. If the former, smile and goad them some more, preferably on video. If the latter, record and report so that they are ejected from the con for violating the code of conduct.

                      If you feel the need to lawfully carry in order to protect yourself because of stature, or disability or just to exercise your rights, great. But dial back on the puffery already Pat Patterson, ok? No one is impressed by citing the nomenclature of your pistol and ammo as a marker of your seriousness.

                    • Methinks that you should learn the Rules for the Use of Force.

                    • Holly

                      Why does anyone need any concern about anybody in particular, or any groups in particular? It’s a well known fact that crazy shooters don’t go for areas where people are known to carry concealed. Just look up Utah school massacres. Oh, that’s right, there aren’t any, because Utah teachers carry concealed. I’m pretty sure that even in Utah the middle schools count as chaotic.

                    • “Assault” is a credible threat of violence. “Battery” is deliberate non-consensual touching, from a tap on the shoulder (theoretically) all the way up to fusion bombs. “Assault and battery” is both.

                  • And you’re (unknowingly) speaking to one of the 2.5 million Americans each year who uses a gun to defend their life.

                    Two teens with clubs who thought some of the tools in my back yard would work better for them than me. Clubs…the kind of things that could be easily carried around a con. Knives, those can be hidden very easily as well, as can a thousand other things. Including guns from people who have no permits and nothing but malice in their hearts.

                    Plus, weapons carry permits all require background checks, and those who get them tend to be far, far more law abiding than any group of people out there, including law enforcement. You have absolutely nothing to be concerned about from someone like Pat or myself.

                    • Lenora Rose

                      To be absolutely clear, I am more afraid of accidents than intent. Even the most law-abiding have had them, and there’s more chance of it in a place where there are 5 foot hallways, a lot of safe-to-touch fake weapons, a lot of busy rooms, and a lot of alcohol than there is, say, on an open street or in a mall.

                    • Your fear of accidents does not trump the right of others to defend themselves.
                      No one I deputize is a risk to negligently discharge a firearm, and neither am I.

                  • To me, the fewer the real weapons on hand, the more likely violence will be at a level where normal con security, not the police, can handle it.

                    Libertycon regulars, how many incidents where the police have had to be called have we had?

                    • Just a wild hare guess from a one-con know-nothing, but…

                      Nun? Zee-ro? Zilch? Nada?

                    • Lenora Rose

                      Libertycon’s own rules say weapons must be peacebonded. So unless they’re regularly violating their own convention rules, there are no weapons accessible for use.

                      A similar question would be how many incidents of sufficient violence to warrant security, police, or a gun have happened at any convention worldwide that involve PNH, TNH, Scalzi, or any of the rest of that list? I’m pretty sure the answer is the same.

                    • Libertycon’s own rules say weapons must be peacebonded.

                      That rule is generally considered to apply to visible weapons as parts of hall costumes and the like. For the rest, concealed means concealed and I know a _lot_ of people who carry anywhere it is legal to do so–including LibertyCon. You’ll never see their weapons unless there was something to happen

                      A bunch of LibertyCon folk get together for a range trip the Friday morning before the con starts, and often again during the con proper,

                      A similar question would be how many incidents of sufficient violence to warrant security, police, or a gun have happened at any convention worldwide that involve PNH, TNH, Scalzi, or any of the rest of that list?

                      Was it you who raised the concern about people being armed at a con? If so, what you’ve done here is admit that you have an irrational fear about nothing.

                  • Lenora said: “I guess I’m just too Canadian.”

                    I’m a Canadian too, Lenora. I benefited greatly by living in Arizona for three years, where I carried every day. Every day, all day, gun in my waistband. At the 7-11, on the road, in the supermarket, whatever.

                    The most important thing for us as Canadians to remember when dealing with issues regarding firearms and defense is that we have been on the receiving end of an all-pervasive anti-gun propaganda campaign since I was a young boy. That was the 1960’s incidentally. Its been a cornerstone of the Liberal Party platform since Pearson.

                    “Do you really think you’ll need that level of defense?” When you ask that question, it is because of this life-long immersion in anti-gun rhetoric that the answer you’re wanting to hear is “no.” The real answer is the same answer you give to the question “Do you really think you’re going to need that life preserver on a toot across the lake in a rowboat?”

                    Probably not. Most likely not. 99% not.

                    You don’t need it unless something insane happens. But if you need it and you don’t have it, you’re f-ed and you’re going to -die-. So you better bring it along.

                    The other thing propaganda asserts which is so corrosive to our society is that if you have it on you, you intend to use it. I hear this shit constantly, so-and-so is looking for trouble because he’s got a lock-back knife, or a collapsible baton, or he owns a gun.

                    I assure you, the last thing on Earth any lawful gun owner is going to do is pull that gun out. Because when they do, their entire life is over. Even if its a 100% righteous shoot, all their worldly possessions will go to pay for lawyers.

                    Plus, and this is the more important and human part, are you really going to kill some stranger for swearing at you and pushing you? Propagandists have us all half convinced that we live surrounded by ravening beasts, who only let us live because they lack the means to kill us. “Anybody could just snap and go postal!” That’s what you’ve been taught to believe.

                    Part of that propaganda campaign is the dystopian bullshit we’ve been getting in Science Fiction for a really long time. Its a whole genre on its own, anti-human ‘People Are Stupid’ stories where the hero is the one that gets the rest of the morons under control. See the Hugo awards for elucidation.

                    Concealed carry at a WorldCon is no different than concealed carry at McDonald’s. People do it all the time, nobody -ever- gets shot, and the only time there’s trouble is in Gun Free zones.

                    Here endeth the rant.

                    Post script, I think I’d sooner have a root canal than attend WorldCon after watching the Hugos this year. What a pack of assterisks.

                    • bearcat

                      Yep, I know for a fact there were concealed weapons carried at Spokane, and I’m 100% positive (though I have no proof) that there have been at every single previous Worldcon. Maybe less than at the last one, and probably less than at the next one, but they were there. And there has never been an incident, accidental or otherwise.

                • What I’d guess is something like what happened to GamerGate meetups and the SPJ Airplay conference in Florida. That’s how dumb the other side seems to be.

              • Reportedly, the worst anyone did to a puppy this year was remove promotional materials or swear and shout.

                When attempts to silence via removing material and shouting fail, the next step tends to be physical, especially when the group doing the attempts to silence claims to believe the other side is violent.

                The only guns I want to see at an SF convention are replica blasters.

                I’ve been carrying for about a decade.
                Thus far the only people who’ve seen my gun are my parents, my kids and my husband. Oh, and whoever packed it in the box at the factory.

                I’ve even had people explain how incredibly unsafe they’d feel if there was anybody carrying a gun around them… and I’m pretty sure that BOTH of the other adults in the room were packing.

                • Ratseal

                  Lawful carry? Great! I am huge proponent. Conflating RKBA issues with the SP campaign is totally unnecessary. I hope that fellow pro 2Aers focus on the books and the recommendations and don’t turn this into a carry issue.

                  C’mon people – it is about the books.

                • Lenora Rose

                  Again, I’m Canadian. It’s genuinely alien to me, so alien I can’t even say it’s a political stance. I just cannot imagine the idea of an incident at an SF convention that would require a more serious measure than the convention or hotel security stepping in.

                  Not hyperbole; it’s another country, and i literally mean we don’t think of it in those terms.

                  Here, the gun culture is hunting or actual military. I’m pretty sure even the ex-US military guy who used to do civil war re-enactment (and gave me and some others a shooting lesson) would have a hard time imagining wanting to carry at a con. And he had a lot of sensible things to say about the ways our laws were excessive on gun control.

                  • Mike

                    Lenora Rose, there is a growing sport shooting culture in Canada. There is continuing and growing support for citizen concealed carry. Guns are not just for FUDS and cops, even in Canada. Your gun violence might be less, but accidents are not when figured by population. And Canada’s rape rate is 4 times, yes four times that of the U.S.’s. Not trying to slam you, but shut up when you don’t know what you are talking about.

                    • Kishin

                      Not to argue but according to currently available stats Canada ranks 47th in the world for Rape while The US ranks 9th with a rate 16 times more than Canada. Mean while “Violent Rape Crimes” are 147 times higher in the US than Canada. Mind you these stats are from 2011 but I don’t think Canada as a Country has declined into a Rape filled apocalypse in 4 years. So maybe telling someone to shut up is just a bit immature when you yourself don’t seem to have all the facts in your pro gun biases.

                    • Robin Munn

                      I don’t know what sources you and Kishin are drawing on for your arguments about rape statistics — links, please — but all you need to do is look at this graph to know that you can’t necessarily rely on certain sources:

                      https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c6/Rape_rate_per_100%2C000_-_country_comparison_-_United_Nations_2012.png\

                      Sweden has twice the rape rate of Bolivia? Finland has eleven times the rape rate of Hong Kong, and over twenty times the rape rate of Indonesia? Nope, I don’t buy it for a second. Clearly some other factor is at play. For example, maybe in some countries the police record ALL reported cases of rape, whereas in other countries, they record ONLY the rape cases they were able to convict someone for. (I know something like that happens with other violent crimes). Or perhaps the definition of what is “rape” has been politicized in some of these countries, but not others.

                      So until I see sources and know recording methods, I’m actually leery of both the claim that Canada’s rape rate is 4x the US, and also of the claim that the US’s rape rate is 16x that of Canada. Both of those seem likely, to me, to be incorrect and based on some factor other than recording real numbers of real rapes.

                  • Chrismouse

                    I don’t think it’s so much that they “want to carry at a con” as they carry *everywhere* and a con is just the place they happen to be at a given time.

                    • Geodkyt

                      Exactly this. From ND of mine was asked if she intended on being armed at a certain occasion.

                      Her response was along the lines of, “I’m going to be dressed, aren’t I?”

                    • Geodkyt

                      That should read, “A friend of mine…”

                    • Christopher M. Chupik

                      “Stephen Theaker ‏@Rolnikov · 6h6 hours ago
                      I go to the Sad Puppies 4 announcement and commenters are discussing their supposed right to bring guns to a science fiction convention…”

                      Just a reminder that everything we say is being scrutinized by the other side.

                    • How horrifying. People who are able to resist physical assault.
                      Hm.
                      You know, folks being outraged by people not being helpless in the face of violence are saying an awful lot about themselves……

                  • Use to be that I wouldn’t imagine someone would behave the way the “puppy kickers” have been behaving.

                    One must adjust one’s expectations to deal with the facts.

                    That is besides criminals not caring what someone is in town for.

                  • Steve

                    People who have either had security clearances or reported healthcare fraud have good reason to be armed everywhere. Did you miss the news of the local art show in Garland, TX that a traffic cop killed 2 jihadists at? Or France that has gun control needed 3 US military men to stop a moslem with a full auto AK-47 with 200+ rounds.

                  • The factor skewing stats is that in many countries (including parts of Europe) it’s not reported as a rape unless the victim requires hospitalization for serious injuries. This artificially shrinks the numbers.

                    Meanwhile, here in SJW-land, a non-consensual glance might get heralded as rape, thus making up the deficit for the law of conservation of criminal behavior.

            • Steve

              What certification is that I am a veteran and a healthcare worker. My CCW has limits.

            • PayAttentionPlease

              DON’T respond to the TROLL! This is clearly an irrational provocation. Do not engage this person.

    • All it takes is for one of theirs to get out of line and that will bite them in the butt!

    • Mark Alger

      That’s not designed for SJW abuse. Oh, no.

      M

    • Tully

      Their code of conduct has been in place since before they won the bid. It’s not aimed specifically at Puppies. If however you choose to believe it’s the result of SJW-driven machinations directed at thew entire field of cons (I’m not going to call it con-dom) I wouldn’t call you wrong.

      • Steve

        SJW: We need to have a Code of Conduct that ensures that everyone who has something to contribute to our project feels welcome to do so.

        Nerds: That sounds reasonable. We don’t want to exclude anyone. Let’s say it’s a meritocracy: if your work is useful, we don’t care about your skin color or what you do with your genitals.

        SJW: No, no, no, that’s exactly the opposite of what we need. You’re still trying to keep out non-white-guys. Die in a fire.

    • I don’t know any of the con committee at MidAmericaCon, BUT the con committees isn’t necessarily involved in Puppy kicking. I heard several positive comments about the Sasquan con committee, if memory serves.

      • jaed

        I don’t know about that. The Sasquan con staff not only allowed some officious twit to steal Sad Puppies ribbons from the freebies table, they publicly thanked the said twit for helping them out by “policing” the table. And when the maker of the ribbons approached con staff about it, he was told to stop putting them on the table because they’d just have to remove them. My understanding also is that the Sasquan con committee came up with the “asterisk awards” idea.

        They might be known as nice people, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll refrain from Puppy-Kicking activities, much less try to restrain anyone else.

        • Alex

          My understanding of that was a little different. But maybe Captain Comic can weigh in to clarify.

          • jaed

            This comment by Captain Comic was my source. In part:

            “Had a pleasant enough chat with a con worker who said they basically OK’d the removal because some were “offended” and this year is already tensioned up enough. They also asked if I could stop putting the ribbons out so they wouldn’t have to keep picking them up or accepting them from folks who have.”

            • Alex

              Thanks, I had missed that. Earlier he’d said the ribbons remained on the table but the flyers were removed.

            • Grimalkin

              because some were “offended” and this year is already tensioned up enough.

              That’s incredibly bad logic. I didn’t find those ribbons clever or amusing, but then I’m not a Puppy and not very fond of the SP movement, but sheesh… unless, were partisan/political ribbons, buttons, etc., on the free table generally frowned upon at Sasquan? If it was a blanket policy in effect for all particularly controversial partisan material, I can see it. Otherwise, not so much.

              I googled the content of the ribbons and saw some regulars at File770 saying taking the ribbons away was “asinine”, which unless my previous caveat applies, seems like a reasonable response (full disclosure, I’m not puppy-sympathetic, and am part of the Vile Den that is File770).

              • Beginning to see the point of Sad Puppies though, aren’t you? Vile770 is just the larger expression of ‘policing’ the free table at the con.

                How long do you intend to support censorship with your silence? These are YOUR guys, my friend. Eventually they -will- get around to confiscating something -you- think is important you know.

                • Kathodus

                  I get the point of Sad Puppies. I’ve read the reasoning, I understand the logic. I would go so far as to agree that the Hugo nomination process has issues, and that sometimes bad work gets nominated, and sometimes even given awards. But I think there are some incorrect assumptions at the very root of the Puppy logic tree, assumptions involving conspiracies and cabals, leftist SJWs, and etc..

                  You can find the thread on File770 where this confiscation was discussed on the thread titled “Saturday Sasquan Business Meeting.” Most of the comments regarding the ribbons on that thread are about how stupid, inane, etc., removing the ribbons was. A couple people disagreed, but they are a small minority.

    • As someone who has run security at _3_ conventions, and served as “security”: at _numerous_ others, this is *standard” policy; However, *if* the “policy itself” is violated *by ConCom* there may be legal recourse. They cannot afford “bad publicity,” especially after the Sasquan Hugo disaster.
      As I said in a response to Sanford Begley, “use their own weapons against them.” Including, _document_ interactions, so they can’t “ignore” them. Some flyers were _stolen_ at Sasquan (admitted to on twitter), and ignored by ConCom. If you have a similar incident, file a complaint with ConCom, _and_ the police. *No ConCom* can afford the bad publicity that some of this behavior generates. I knew many of those in that “Universe.” At a party, where those in the know are, ask about why Louisville will _*never*_ be allowed a WorldCon? The “answer” is that “a certain hotel would have to part of the bid.” That’s from an incident almost 20 years ago.

      • gregm91436

        Walt: Seattle had terrible trouble hosting a Worldcon for 20 years, because one of the CEOs of one of the major hotel chains had a bad impression of sf&f cons due to a Worldcon in the 1960s. If it’s the same chain that Louisville’s a part of, then that’s probably the reason.

        It is my impression that the grudge-holder has retired, however, which means Louisville might be able to assemble a bid for 2019 or the 2020s, if there are enough fandom members in Kentucky to put one together.

        • gregm91436

          Adding: I mean they had trouble putting a bid together, because the CEO got all the hotel chains in Seattle to state they’d blacklist Worldcon,making a Seattle bid useless.

    • I hate to say it, but I think the best defense is a good offense. The policy advises letting anyone know if they are being discriminatory or harrassing. If anyone is saying anything anti-puppy AT ALL, we need to instantly say we are just minding our own business and shouldn’t be discriminated against. Not that we want to be sensitive flowers, but it may be the only way to defend. We can even point out their rude and discriminatory actions and say “go ahead, we just wanted you to know we find it offensive, but you have the right,”

    • Reality Observer

      Yup. By those rules – applied without any favoritism – the stage in Spokane would have been curiously empty.

      There will have to be a LOT of interpretation.

  4. It’s a beautiful logo, Kate. I heartily approve – especially the puppies names.
    But which is which? I’d guess that Isaac is at the computer, trying to come up with predictive algorithms.

  5. No follow button on theSP4 page. :o(

  6. I could start the ball rolling on recommendations with Larry’s Son of the Black Sword (for which I have the EARC in my hands right now). I know Larry has permanently recused himself, but I think it would be awesome to get some of his excellent work nominated just to have him turn down the nomination…again.😉

  7. I was impressed by “Racing to Mars” by Martin Shoemaker (Analog SF/SF magazine, Sept 2015).

    Second the beautiful logo comment. :-)

  8. The PK’s are talking about making straight slates impossible by tossing out slate votes by direct mathematical analysis. Counter to that: partial slates, which if one has more votes gives victory to either the nominee or to Noah. Have they never played any kind of strategy games?

    • If they “toss out” works based on “mathematical evidence of a ‘slate vote,'” they expose themselves to *lawsuits.* Certainly, if _I_ learn my votes were “altered” based on such fantasies, I would _loudly_ complain, and file a small claims court suit, based on *Fraud.* Since the “supporting membership” would have been sent by mail, that makes it a “Federal Offense” (Literally) called Mail Fraud.
      That would destroy not only WorldCon, but the financial existence of both WSFS _and_ the individuals involved.I won’t say. “They can’t be that stupid.” The reason being that, “Yes, they can.” IIRC, the WC charter, requires that they be “open, and transparent.”

    • Ron Gibson

      People can “talk about” tossing out nominations all they want, but it’s not worth worrying about until someone goes through the process of formally submitting a proposal and brings it to the next Worldcon. Changing the rules is a very slow process.

    • Grimalkin

      Where is that being discussed? Are you talking about EPH? If so, it doesn’t toss out slate votes.

      • jaed

        I saw some discussion on Making Light earlier this year that sounded similar (asking for some way of analyzing ballots to toss out certain ones that “showed evidence of being from a slate” or some such). I don’t think anything concrete came of it, unless Jordan has seen more recent discussion of the idea.

        It wouldn’t have worked against Sad Puppies 3 in any case, since people voted for all kinds of things. I don’t think the anonymized nomination ballot data has been released yet, but just looking at the numbers, it’s mathematically improbable that many people at all put just the recommendations on their nomination ballots and nothing else.

  9. Oh, Kate! The Artwork is magnificent! I’m SO excited for SP4. Add this explosive redhead to the list of supporters, friends, allies, whatever!

  10. Christopher M. Chupik

    I’ll be taking careful note of anything eligible that I read this year.

  11. TRX

    “You know, perhaps we should have been happier when all we had to worry about were Strawman Larry, Strawman Brad, and He Who Shall Not Be Named…”

    (the Voices present a picture of Kate in a steel helmet)

    “The hammer / of the gods / drives our ships to new lands /
    to fight the horde / singing and crying: / Valhalla, I am coming!”

  12. snowcrash

    …and makes it easy for any small clique to corrupt the idea of awarding great SF and start giving themselves awards.

    I agree that this is a problem!😉

    I look forward to the SP4 recommended reading list. I’ve mentioned elsewhere that I think the Locus Reading List is a good existing template (ie, multiple candidates, suggestions ranked alphabetically). I do hope that as you say it encourages a much wider participation, and that you receive a diverse set of suggestions.

    FYI, it’s my understanding that MidAmeriCon 2 will be giving out the 1941 Retro Hugos as well, for work published in 1940. I hope that there are reviews and feedback of those as well. Over at File770, there’s been compilation of works that would qualify, and they’ve been listed here onwards by category. There’s a lack of suggestions for the Semiprozine, Fanzine, Fan Artist, or Fancast categories, so if anyone knows of works that would qualify, please drop a post in that thread as well.

    • Reality Observer

      Fanzines can probably be managed. Semiprozines – were there any? Possibly, I dunno. Fan artist – well, only in one of the fanzines, unless someone finds something in Grandma’s attic (that can be dated).

      Fancast? Um. Possibly on some late-night radio show. But do you realize just how few of those ever had recordings made, or transcripts, or even a record that they ever happened?

  13. TRX

    Kate, is there any chance Lee could be talked into doing a 50×50 or 75×75 pixel SP4 logo that could be used as a forum avatar?

    While beautiful, The Embiggening is far too complex to scale down that far.

    I normally use a cropped version of my favorite band’s logo as an avatar, but I’d be willing to display my SP4 support for the next year…

  14. I’m definitely in this year. My goal is to highlight more urban fantasy and paranormal romance because I think those fields are too easily dismissed.
    #GetLaurellKaHugo because Laurell K Hamilton inspired a whole genre of leather clad preternatural powered investigators with one werewolf boyfriend and one vampire boyfriend. There are many like her, but Anita Blake is the original.

    Fandom is not an exclusive club. I will not be looked down upon for my reading choices. I majored in literature and I have a master’s degree. I simply prefer entertaining fiction.

    • “It’s a fair cop!”

      Obviously paranormals and urban fantasies are a huge part of the current field, and indeed make up most of the Big 5 sf/f publishing lines. They are also big indie sellers. Somebody is reading this stuff.

      That said, I believe a Laurell K. Hamilton award would pretty much have to be the Hugo equivalent of an Oscar lifetime achievement award, as she doesn’t actually write very well anymore. (IMHO.) But I’d be thrilled to learn differently from her fans.

    • Lenora Rose

      I think urban fantasy definitely needs a nudge, but remember the award is for the best book, not the best author. If Hamilton’s latest is awesome, that makes sense to nominate, but I was under the impression a lot of people thought her latest was phoned in.

      Lifetime achievement i can see an argument for, yeah.

    • Reality Observer

      Not my thing – but welcome!

    • Grimalkin

      @Alicia Stockton
      Have you read “The Library at Mount Char”, by Scott Hawkins? It seems to fall into the Urban Fantasy category, but with horror elements, as well (which a lot of Urban Fantasy seems to do, from what I’ve seen). I’m not very well-read in that subgenre, but I really enjoyed that one. It’s very dark, but also pretty creative. A lot of the characters are barely human, emotionally, but still manage to be somewhat relate-able. It’s on my short-list for the nominations this year (so far, I still haven’t read enough to know if it’ll fall off the bottom of the list by nomination time).

      • Grimalkin

        And once again, my old handle is popping up because I wasn’t paying attention. You shall know me by the nose of my cat (my avatar). I am normally Kathodus. I’ll be posting as that from here on out.

    • “I majored in literature and I have a master’s degree. I simply prefer entertaining fiction.”

      That needs to go on a button.:)

  15. So, you all are coming to my home town? Of course, it is to see me, right? Right?!? Oh, I can’t wait!

  16. For God’s sake, please do all you can to discourage a repeat of the Intentional Similar Logo Farce from VD last year. If he tries to copycat us we need legal protection. No messing around this year! Crowdsource a lawyer if you have to!

  17. Pingback: Sad Puppies 4 Rebloggery | The Liberty Zone

  18. Pingback: Sad Puppies 4 | Blog, Jvstin Style

  19. “…excessive discomfort to other attendees…” What about how uncomfortable their collectivist dogma makes us?

    • Alex

      Video the first SJW to get in your face when you wear a SPs shirt. Then video the interaction with con staff if they refuse to enforce their own ToS.

      Don’t trust. Just verify. And document.

  20. This looks excellent. Great new leadership for the Puppies and a great new direction.

    And if we’re already adding suggestions, then folks absolutely need to read Golden Son by Pierce Brown and consider it for best novel.

    • Dav

      I thought Red Rising and 15 Lives of Hary August getting almost zero recognition among Hugo nominators last year was criminal…

  21. I think that Sad Puppies 4 would benefit from its own webpage, Facebook page, and Twitter handle for all official communications. The web page should include some sort of goal meter, with both an overall membership drive goal and monthly mini-goals – – don’t know how you’d handle that, since payments go to WSFS and I doubt they’ll share data willingly A link to the WSFS membership page should be included. You should all be willing to call out media outlets that write biased articles or refuse to contact you ladies for your input – – reporters should be named and shamed if they act unethically.

    Having “official” internet presence prevents the League of Sanctimony (SJW’s) from putting up bogus web pages designed to disseminate disinformation.

    • There is a webpage — still under construction but live nonetheless — and, iirc, a FB page. Kate can give the links if she didn’t in the post (I am still under my coffee requirements, sorry). As for the Twitter, good idea. I’ll make sure it is passed on to those who would be manning it.

    • gregm91436

      Most Worldcons tend to be open with their data–Sasquan had a complete list of attending and supporting members publicly available on their webpage. The larger issue is that each Worldcon is run by a completely different set of people, and is an all-volunteer operation, so MidAmericon may not have the attending/supporting members page up until May or June of 2016.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      Yes, an FAQ would be essential:

      Q: But what about Vox Day?
      A: We’re not Vox Day. Next question.

      Q: But what about Vox Day?
      A: See above.

      • Erik

        I approve of this FAQ.

        • Too short:

          Q: But really, are you just Vox Day?
          A. See above.

          Q: Well, clearly you’re inspired by Vox Day?
          A.

          ad infinitum.

          What we need is a script that allows you to type in questions and if it sees Vox Day it replies “we are not Vox Day”.

  22. Reblogged this on st2coasty and commented:
    If you love Sience Fiction or Fantasy get involved!

  23. You should have a sad puppies party at the con. It might even motivate me to attend WorldCon for the first time in years. Just sayin’.

  24. mjkerpan

    So far so good. Speaking as somebody who was anti-puppy this last year but who also enjoys “fun” reading over politics, I can’t really see anything to oppose here. The one thing I’d suggest is ordering the top ten by author’s last name rather than popularity. That way, nobody can accuse you of hiding a slate in your list.

  25. Steven B.

    I need shirts with this artwork.

  26. Ray

    I think people getting together to share recommendations is great.
    One question – why suggest that people pick things to vote for from the top 10?
    Why not read the things you like, share recommendations, read things recommended, and when the time comes, nominate the things you thought were the best? Isn’t that what its supposed to be about, getting people to vote for the things they like? What does it matter if it was popular with other people or not?
    (besides, the people posting here are not all the nominators. If your favourite thing this year was an episode of The Flash, you might think “oh well, its not in the top 10, I guess I won’t vote for it” But there could be loads of other fans of The Flash nominating it. If you all vote your preference, maybe it gets on the ballot. If you all try to hedge your bets, maybe the thing you really like misses its chance)

    • Got to love the nitpicking.

      • Ray

        It’s an important point.
        Is the aimof sad Puppies 4 to get more people reading, and recommending, and voting for things they love?
        Or is the aim to get people reading and recommending, and then voting for the Sad Puppy works judged most likely to get on the ballot?

        I just got a copy of The Rest of Us Just Live Here, by Patrick Ness. If I think it’s Hugo-worthy, and one of the 5 best such novels I read, then I’ll be nominating it. I might be the only person to nominate it, or it might be a popular choice. That doesn’t matter. I’ll be nominating the things _I_ love.

        • Kate Paulk

          The most important goal is more people reading, recommending, and voting for things they love and think are best in their class for the year.

          The advice about where the odds are best is nothing more than that: pure mathematics. If a lot of other people love something you love it’s got a better chance than something you love that nobody else loves.

          • Ray

            Finding out how many people also love the thing that you love is the point of the nomination stage of the Hugos. If you really love something, vote for it. If you think something is pretty good but not one of your top 5, don’t vote for it just because it’s popular with other people. “Getting something on the ballot” is not a prize.

            • Kate Paulk

              It is rather a prerequisite for winning, though. Just saying

              • Ray

                Do I have this right?
                If every Sad Puppy votes for their individual preferences, without reference to the top ten, their votes will be diffused and they have a lower chance of the things they like getting on the Hugo shortlist.
                So you propose that every Sad Puppy makes recommendations for the things they like here. Then you will collate those recommendations into a top ten in each category. Then you will encourage people to read those top ten items, and vote for the things on that top ten that they think are award-worthy. And by doing this, Sad Puppies will tend to vote for the same things, and so they are more likely to win places on the Hugo shortlist.
                Is that the point of the process?

        • No, it’s really not.

          If you’re the only one here nominating it, then so what? Nominate it. Her comment about picking near the top of the list is factually accurate, since those are going to be the more popular works…but she also doesn’t tell you to do that. Utilize your free will and pick the books you liked most.

          If it was just “Pick these or else”, why would she even bother to link to the complete list?

          • Kate Paulk

            Oh, I might be some kind of perverse, evil bitch who’d do that – and while I’ll admit to “evil” and “bitch”, I ain’t perverse and I certainly wouldn’t taunt people with a list of books they weren’t allowed to look at.

            That would be counterproductive

            • “I certainly wouldn’t taunt people with a list of books they weren’t allowed to look at.”

              So no George R.R. Martin and the Song of Ice and Fire books that may never be written?

              • adventuresfantastic

                Or Last Dangerous Visions. I should probably start a betting pool as to which one will be finished first, LDV or the SoIaF.

          • TRX

            The “free will” part confuses the Puppy Kickers badly.

            To them, if there’s a slate, it must be slavishly adhered to. Voting differently would be evil badthink.

            Even Vox doesn’t demand that level of obedience from his Vile Faceless Minions…

          • Ray

            I don’t think it’s helpful to say, “If you want to see your favorite author receive a nomination and an award, your best bet will be to cast your nomination ballot for one of the works in the top ten or thereabouts of The List.”
            The point of the nomination process is to nominate the works _you like best_. Not to see what other people say they’re voting for and try to join in with a crowd.
            I’m all for getting more people to vote, to talk about what they love,and share recommendations. But encouraging people to vote from a top ten list doesn’t sit well.

            • And I don’t think it’s helpful to latch onto a single comment that was about mathematical probabilities rather instructions on how to vote, but that hasn’t stopped you.

              Seriously, you’re acting like she’s discouraging you from nominating what you want to nominate. Nothing’s further from it. Kate’s already addressed the comment, and it’s about MATH, not instructional.

              • Ray

                that line is the only one talking about what people should nominate. There is no line saying “nominate the things you love best”.

                • “The only criteria is that you’ve read it/watched it/seen it and you think it’s one of the best in its Hugo class published in 2015.”

                  Yes. There is.

                  • …irrespective of whether your choice is on the top ten list. Yep, that is it. Choose the book you enjoyed the most and that you thought is Hugo worthy. In fact, forget the top ten list. Pretend it’s not even there, or, pretend it’s just an introduction to the rest of the list. And, if your book did not even make the whole list, that is fine, too.

                    Vote for your favorite book.

                    At the end of the day, and this is how I will approach it, it’s about the stories and which ones really resonated with you. I’m keeping things simple. Read. Love. Vote.

                  • Ray

                    “The only criteria is that you’ve read it/watched it/seen it and you think it’s one of the best in its Hugo class published in 2015.”
                    That is the criteria for _recommending_ things here. It is not about nominating things for the Hugos.

                    • Tell ya what there, sport. Why don’t you want and see what Kate says when we get to that point, mmmkay?

                      This post was a rough outline of the whole process and a call for suggestions. It’s not the whole kit and kaboodle, and since this phase involves suggestions and she explicitly states to read the bloody books, folks need to stop getting their panties in a twist over it.

                      Especially since she also never said to not read the books either.

                    • Ray

                      but she has *already* suggested that people should nominate the things on the top ten. And if that *isn’t* the intention, what would the point of the top ten be anyway? If Kate wants everyone to nominate their own personal favourites for the year, why is important to rank the suggestions by popularity?

                    • Viidad

                      And this interchange demonstrates why the Rabid Puppies cleaned up this year…

                • julieapascal

                  Oh for the love of… really, really we’re going to do this starting today?

                  Kate isn’t going to do it right, we all KNEW that. We were told over and over and over that there would be NO PROBLEM and no one would be mad at us if ONLY Brad had made a list of more than 5… or less, but more like 10 would be awesome. Oh, and Brad wasn’t *democratic* enough either… On and on and on and on and on… if only he’d been *democratic*…

                  So Kate is going to give us a list that includes everything, with the most recommended works going at the top. But you know, she didn’t say enough times, like in a subclause in every sentence, that people should read what they nominate and nominate what they like best… she also didn’t tell us not to put small furry animals in blenders, so she probably wants us to do that. What *else* didn’t she tell us all to do?

                  Doing. It. Wrong.

                  Just stop. Okay?

                  • Ray

                    Did *I* say those things to you?
                    If there is a specific person who said there would be no problem if Brad made a list of 10, and now that person is complaining about a list of 10 – sure, maybe you can never satisfy them.
                    My concern has always been that people were being encouraged to vote for things that are not their personal favourites but were selected for them by someone else. Whether that someone else is Larry, or Brad and friends, or whoever gets involved here.
                    “Go read this stuff, it’s great!” = no problem.
                    “Vote for things from this list!” = problem

                    • Nathan

                      If SP4 does not fit your perfect vision, feel free to start your own.

                    • Ray

                      Start my own what? Recommendations list?

                    • Nathan

                      Whatever you want to call your perfect vision for how a Hugo nomination should proceed.

                    • Ray

                      Read and watch lots of things and nominate your favourites?
                      Do I need a logo for that?

                    • julieapascal

                      You’ve decided to make it your business that other people are doing it wrong. So yeah, why not start your own. But in the mean time you can be a handy example for all those who DID say that if only anyone did it right that there wouldn’t be a problem. Obviously there is a problem.

                      You could also find a lot of other “recommendations” to go criticize and we’ll wait for that to happen. You know, when someone on File 770 says, hey, Big Name Author has a great book out that’s eligible for the Hugos, you could understand that as a request to vote for that book and complain about it because it was a request for a vote.

                    • Ray

                      “Go read this stuff, it’s great!” = no problem.
                      “Vote for things from this list!” = problem

                    • Ray, good for thee but not for me, is that it? We have to let the SJWs take the Hugos back over? Out of respect for our hosts, I’ll watch my language. Piss off.

                    • Please look up the definition of “concern troll.” Being nicer than I usually am, I’ll just tell you that you’re skating perilously close to being dismissed as that rather than taken seriously as someone with honest questions.

    • I don’t know whether anyone’s been keeping track of Ray’s progress on the Checklist, but he bores me so he’s not getting any sparkles even if he completes it.

    • Reader not Writer

      Regarding this entire thread … concerned nits gonna pick … really, already, sigh …

  27. SP’s not a movement anymore. Now it’s an institution!

    • Now I need to come up with something along the lines of Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant anti-massacree movement.”

      “Katie Paulk’s Embiggened happy-pupperee movement?”

      Which, I suppose, makes MGC the “Group W Bench?”

    • TRX

      The SJWs are circled around defending their institutions and ideologies. They have a serious investment in the conflict.

      The Puppies, on the other hand, have nothing to lose, and the cost of maintaining the conflict is trivially low – an occasional blog post, a web site. Peanuts.

      “It is hard to defend against a highly distributed enemy.”

  28. Looking forward to the spin on how this one is evil and wrong and cheating… and really looking forward to the suggested reading list! You have any idea how hard it’s been to find a good book lately?

  29. blume

    I like my name sake, he is cute. Let the mecha puppy rampage begin!

  30. Aimee Morgan

    Remember, as GRRM himself says, if you don’t attend WorldCon, you are not a fan. You are simply a casual reader.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      Who cares what GRRM says?

    • Doesn’t he have another rape scene to write? He should stick to what he does best.

      • Nathan

        Editing another anthology instead of writing his fantasy epic?

      • William Underhill

        kamas716
        September 3, 2015 at 10:05 am
        Doesn’t he have another rape scene to write? He should stick to what he does best.

        Say what now?

        • Nathan

          During the uproar at the end of this season of Game of Thrones, some writers counted an average of one rape per 21.4 pages in Martin’s books.

          • William Underhill

            Oy. Well, he has as much right to write that, and apparently there’s a market for it, or it wouldn’t sell. But I’ll take a pass, thanks.

            • jaed

              Lest you get the wrong impression, it’s not just rape. Violence and mayhem of all sorts runs throughout A Song of Ice and Fire. (Not unreasonably considering it’s a retelling of the Wars of the Roses, but for rme it got tiring after a while.) But it’s not specifically sexual violence he focuses on.

              • William Underhill, Barbarian 1st Class

                Hm. Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

              • Erik

                Actually, it is unreasonable considering it’s a retelling of the Wars of the Roses. See Tom Simon on the matter. I think a better comparison might be the French Revolution. If the accounts I have found are vaguely correct in their casualty figures, the revolutionaries executed more people in one year during the Terror than died in the entirety of the thirty years of Wars of the Roses – and the Revolution has a lot more death to its name than that; additionally, the Revolution appears to be closer to the Grrm Raper’s books in another respect: the expectation that almost every named character is going to die and that monsters are going to wind up on top.

                • This has occurred to me as well … I think the reasons the civil war depicted in A Song of Ice and Fire is so much more destructive than the War of the Roses (to which it bears obvious similarities) is that:

                  (1) Several of the combatant factions are proto-national, so that the hostilities involved extend down to the “small folk” (commoners) and hence are more total,

                  (2) Militias are strangely absent (medieval England had a strong yeoman militia tradition) and hence small bands of troops can do as they will with peasant villages,

                  (3) There is a strong religious war component (the Red God) and the previous general faiths are too weak to morally-inhibit any of the combatants, and finally

                  (4) There is an external threat (the Others) far stronger and more deadly than anything medieval England had to worry about.

                  Of course, all these factors were author decisions, and GRRM made them in full knowledge that they would make the war far bloodier. In the actual War of the Roses, most of the death affected the contending noble families and their mercenary armies; the commoners mostly just went on with their lives.

                • The French Revolution is why I snort at the supposed glorious revolution that ‘freed the people of France.’ The revolutionaries were far more violent and bloody than the king they overthrew.

                  • Kate Paulk

                    Indeed they were. And the “more humane” mode of execution became the symbol of the Reign of Terror because it got used so much.

    • Frank

      GRRM can go back to writing bad rape scenes.

    • drloss

      Ah, the SJW definition of “fan.” To paraphrase, a greying small subset of those who putatively enjoy reading SF and who are aghast at the possibility of associating with or being associated with anyone who doesn’t share their leftist worldviews.

  31. I’m glad to see this. Adding more fans to the voting base is the ultimate solution.

    I do think that having a final list of 10 might be too close to a slate in the sense it can skew the results given the current rules. Perhaps increase that to 15?

    Good luck!

  32. Recommendations. First, I lean heavily to liking the SF part of SF/F and then the /F. Ringo finished a series in ’15. I’m gonna nom that. Doug Dandridge published in ’15. Isn’t there something in the James S. A. Corey world published? We gotta list anything by Weber. Myke Cole has good stuff. A Long Time Until Now needs to be on any reading list. Gotta keep reading Larry’s stuff.

    Here’ a hand grenade to roll into the room. Limbaugh’s kid books have a time traveling horse. Put the latest one on the reading list?

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      Might want to check John Ringo’s Facebook but I think he has no interest in a Hugo. Somebody about the fact that Jim Baen never got one.

    • Curt Thomson

      Isn’t there something in the James S. A. Corey world published

      Nemesis Games, pub June 2, 2015. Would be great to see it nom’ed. Also The Expanse premiering on SyFy around November (probably after The Martian comes out). So two Dramatic Presentation possibilities right there.

    • Just so you know, this attitude is why people outside the Puppies are dubious of Puppy nominations:

      Isn’t there something in the James S. A. Corey world published? We gotta list anything by Weber.

      Because we’ve heard over and over again “You’re judging the person, not the work and that’s wrong!” and here you are, discussing nominating (effectively) the person, not the work. Great authors can write mediocre (or even bad) books.

      (Oh, and discussing nominating things before you’ve read them, to boot.)

      Don’t nominate an author. Read, and nominate, the work.

      • I have to agree.

        Folks, look at the one rule Kate gave. You have to have read it and think its one of the best of the year in its category. That’s it.

        Suggest books, not authors. Also, if it’s not out just yet, you don’t need to mention it unless you have an ARC (which at least one person says they have) and have read the blasted thing.

        • Synova

          Nothing wrong with “I think this author’s other books were awesome and the new one is probably awesome.” And who has new stuff out is important to know. Fussing that something isn’t phrased in exactly the right way is silly.

          • Fussing that something isn’t phrased in exactly the right way is silly.

            Except that it feeds the narrative, for either side. If someone said “Hey, Scalzi has a new book out, we have to list it!” it would be taken as evidence that, indeed, the Scalzi cabal was gaming the Hugos.

            By now any side is busy carefully parsing the phrasing of people on the other side of the Puppy divide; so, while it may be silly, it’s happening — and it’s worth pointing out when the mindset behind it appears to be so close to something that’s a core problem for at least some sides of this dispute.

          • No issue with mentioning someone has something coming out. But I disagree about phrasing. As we’ve seen, anything we say can and will be used against us.

    • Alex

      Try Rob Kroese’s Distopia. Humor and fantasy. Near-Pratchettian humor, fun action, hilarious discussions of authoritarianism in politics and religion that don’t preach. Plus, he’s a Sad Puppy.

  33. Didn’t Drake publish a new book in the Lightning’s series in ’15?

  34. Inquiring Mind

    It will also be important to make sure that there are enough attendees at the business meetings to defeat the EPH and 4/6 rules – or else the SJWs will succeed in rigging the process.

    • Iridium

      Just out of curiosity, what is wrong with EPH? Okay, it is silly to combine EPH with 4/6 because EPH is designed such that people should actually be allowed to nominate an unlimited number of works. However, SP2-4 seemed to have the goal of trying to get 1 or 2 works per category onto the final ballot. EPH would seem to lock that in. Heck, ‘the list’ in SP4 would be completely unnecessary in order to ensure that 25% of the voters can get roughly a quarter of the slots. Basically, SP gets baked into the system and everyone can focus on bringing in as many people with similar tastes as possible.
      The system probably gives a bit too much power to a work’s fandom pushing into Worldcon (sort-of like Wheel of Time last year), but that might actually be more of a feature than bug when it comes to trying to assimilate large fandoms into Worldcon’s umbrella. On the other hand, I really don’t see how the system puts that much more power into the hands of entrenched Worldcon fandom. Under the existing system, without an SP style campaign, if 60% of voters had similar taste, they would probably get nearly all the slots (votes are naturally concentrated by publisher push, reviews, influential blogs, etc.); the remaining 40% of the voters would simply be too fractured to hit the ballot threshold. EPH would permanently limit the 60% to ~3 slots and gives a huge advantage to works that appeal to people of a variety of tastes.
      Yes, it is annoying that it has been billed as an anti-puppy measure. I wonder though, if, by passing this, the APs wouldn’t be scoring on their ‘own goal’.

      • Because EPH is actually easier for a large group to rig without people noticing than the current system.

        If you doubt that remember Vox Day is numbering minions for a reason. A block of 500 could own the nominations with no one the wiser unless there was a block of at least 101 devoted to a single book.

        How this is true is left as an exercise for the reader.

      • Were-Puppy

        If the Sad Puppies never happened, then this would never have been proposed. That alone should tell us something. It’s possible they are just another big distraction to throw on the pile, making this entire situation a big confusing cloud of nonsense for anyone trying to figure out what is going on. By that I mean newer people who’s interest has been peaked and might want to check into the Sad Puppy Hugo kerfluffle to see what it’s all about.

        I agree that if enough people were to show up at the business meeting, and shoot these things down, would be awesome.

        • Show up at the business meeting? To be spit on? Unlikely.

          Much more fun to make them use their own gas and their own matches to burn their own house down. Got a good blaze going this year already.

          The Hugos are already synonymous with “Unreadable Leftist Crap”, that’s why there even is a Sad Puppies. Its a ‘do not read’ list for everybody here.

          If the SJW retards want to make it synonymous with “Cheating Totalitarians Who Lie” then I’m quite happy, and will be overjoyed to treat the Sad Puppies List as the new Acme of quality in SF/F.

  35. If we can get dealer tables at MidAmericon II, my husband and I will be there. We bought attending memberships last year at Windycon, and I’m hoping things will work out. (Unfortunately, we butted heads with this year’s dealers’ room staff, and if they’re running next year’s and it’s juried rather than first come, first served, it’s possible they could leave us stuck on the waitlist, like we had happen at a recent NASFiC where the dealers’ room was run by someone we’d butted heads with at a local convention).

    • William Underhill

      That’s something I actually need to write to the MidAmericonII concom about. I was rather surprised at Sasquan that (a) the dealer’s area was so small, relatively, for a con of 5,000+ on-site members, and (b) that it was either book dealers (expected) or SCA/Ren Fair, with a *VERY* small amount of steampunk & sci-fi. Honestly, it was like a smaller version of Merchants’ Row at An Tir – West.

      I also need to write to suggest they need to ensure GOOD wifi access… maybe arrange with a local ISP to provide a dedicated access point & server with a backbone link. The Wifii in the exhibit areas & panel rooms at Sasquan was… less than good. Maybe the site’s infrastructure is good enough for ‘normal’ conventions, but for a sci-fi/fantasy con, where you can pretty much count on us all being geeks with two or three connected devices each as an average, something more robust is needed.

  36. Owen

    I recommend Nemesis Games by James S. A. Corey, and Seveneves by Neil Stephenson.

  37. Reblogged this on Cirsova and commented:
    I’d say that it will be hard to spin this as white men trying to kick women out of sci-fi given who’s organizing it… but I could’ve said the same thing 5 months ago and would’ve been wrong then, too.

  38. Holly

    I just read Tracker, by C.J. Cherryh. I’m not sure how it would go as a standalone, being the umpteenth in the series, but if you all like the Foreigner books, you should go read it.
    I asume it’s eligible, since it’s a 2 week library book, but don’t have it handy anymore.

  39. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Kung Fury, Vox Day’s two Hugo/Downfall Vids, the Naruto Manga (all of it), John Wright’s Somewhither.

  40. A Net of Dawn and Bones by C. Chancy is my first suggestion– my husband will probably nominate R. A. Salvatore’s Archmage, unless he’s finally managed to write a really horrible book. (It was only released two days ago.)

  41. Pingback: Thoughts on Sad Puppies 4 | T.L. Knighton

  42. I was very struck by Brad’s “Gulag Diary, Day 6” ( https://bradrtorgersen.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/gulag-diary-day-6/ ) and I say that as one who normally does not care much either for short fiction or related works.

  43. As someone who has been watching this from the sidelines for a couple years I just wanted to say that you are taking Sad Puppies in exactly the direction I have been saying it should go.

  44. Nathan

    Novel: Seveneves, by Neal Stephenson

    Related Works: Hearthstone: Grand Tournament

    Dramatic Long Form: The Witcher 3, World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, patch 6.2, Red vs. Blue Season 13, Expelled from Paradise

    Dramatic Short Form: Afterlife Empire, Marvel’s Daredevil: Stick, Touhou Shinhiroku: Urban Legend in Limbo

    Graphic Novel: Touhou Suzunaan: Forbidden Scrollery; Boku no Hero Academia

    Editor, Long Form: Toni Weisskopf

    Professional Artist: Harukawa Moe

    Semiprozine: Sci Phi Journal

    Podcast: HelloGreedo, the Rageholic, SuperversiveSF livestream

    • Nathan

      Related Works: Ultimate Star Wars by Wyndham, Bray, et. al

    • One of the Daredevil episodes should definitely be nominated. Not sure which one yet.

      • Nathan

        I liked Stick, but I could get behind any of them.

      • snowcrash

        “Cut Man”? Gives us an origin, motivation and THAT FIGHT SEQUENCE. But then I think that “The Path Of The Righteous” is the most rewarding in terms of storyline.

      • Since they all came out at once, I think we have a good argument for nominating all of Season One in Long Form. Almost the same with Agent Carter, really.

        • Nathan

          Have to check the rules. But with Ant-Man, the Avengers, and Star Wars out this year, long form looks like the Best Disney Film Award this year.

          • Would Jurassic World count as sci-fi? I mean, we don’t have cloned, genetically modified dinosaurs…

            • Well, I’m counting it.

              Let’s see if we can get another Chris Pratt movie a Hugo.😀

            • … and that was a pretty good movie. Even if at no point did the huge genegineered dinosaur bust up a bar full of gin-swilling rednecks from a confused comprehension of American blue-collar bars!

              • Yeah, but even Jimmy Buffet left Margaretaville when all the flying dinosaurs attacked, so…

              • Nothing in the story says that the characters are rednecks. Nothing in the story says that the bar is a blue-collar bar. These are things you are projecting onto the story, not things in the story.

                “Gin” doesn’t make a bar a blue-collar bar. Gin is mainly something you’d see people drink in college bars and hipster bars, in my experience.

                • So, wait, you’re trying to tell me that Swirsky meant that to be a college or hipster bar? And the scenario is that a paleontologist — a strong, healthy man bulging with manly muscles, walks into a hipster bar, and a mob of college/hipster types decide he’s gay and beat him to death?

                  Um, you really don’t see what’s wrong with this scenario? LIke the fact that they’d be pulling hipsters out of the furniture for hours to come?

                  • According to Swirsky, “I pictured a college bar when I was writing the story, although I didn’t want that image—or any distinct markers–to be in the story itself.”

                    So yes, she was picturing a college bar.

                    And paleontologists aren’t superheroes, and even strong men can get beat up by a group of men, especially if some of the other guys are also strong (you don’t think strong men ever attend college?). Life isn’t an action movie.

                    • Swirsky thinks that college bars are rough enough that a fairly muscular, rather outdoorsy sort of man would be in serious danger of being beaten almost to death by the patrons, and that the crowds there are bigoted enough that they would do this to him because they thought he was gay? Where did she go to college? Beirut?

                      I think that paleontologists tend to be stronger and in better shape than most other intellectuals, because they are — paleontologists rove over rough terrain and do heavy labor all day long. I think that groups who are looking for people to beat up tend to look for people who look weak and vulnerable, not ones who look strong and physically capable, because they do — bullies target the weak, not the strong. I think that the fantasy element in the story may be Swirsky’s delusions of how reality works.

      • Brendan

        I liked almost all of it, but that red leather bondage costume at the end? Yeesh. Particularly given that the first black costume was so well-executed, and there’s so many good example of other live=action suit adaptations out there now.

  45. Zero World by Jason Hough is the best SF novel I’ve read this year.

    I loved The Lord of Ragnarok by Albert Cowdrey in the current issue of the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. It’s listed as a novella but by word count it qualifies under the novelette category.

    I think 10 is a good number. You want to keep the list small enough to give people a decent shot at reading the list so they can make an informed nom.

  46. I will absolutely have some suggestions! This latest review is of a work published in 2014, so it won’t count, but I will have SOMETHING by this author!
    https://www.amazon.com/review/R3G5CPDQ3MZZ1U/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00KKY2G1M

  47. Best Fan Writer — Jeffro, again. I don’t know of any series any better anywhere than his Appendix N Retrospective.

    • I would totally get behind an “OSR” suggested list for best fanwriter: Jeffro Johnson for his Appendix N & tabletop writing, Charles Atkins of Dyvers for his amazing diligence in curating a list of hundreds of blogs to find the best tabletop & fantasy posts of the week, the Zenopus Archives guy for his series doing an in-depth analysis of the Holmes Basic manuscript, Tim Brannan for his dedication to witches and witchery in fantasy writing, film and gaming, and, to mix it up a bit, Douglas Ernst for his commentary on comics and highly entertaining spat with Spiderman writer and serial harasser of women Dan Slott.

    • For his excellent work covering comics, games, and seventies culture at Doctor Xaos Comics Madness, I really think Ron Edwards deserves a spot on the Fan Writer list. Also, I really have to second Cirsova’s suggestion for Charles Atkins of Dyvers. (While the topic is definitely “all rpgs all the time”, nevertheless the guy is a fan of fan writing and does more than anyone else to keep up with it and boost the signal on the good stuff.)

  48. Nice graphic.

    There seems to be concern about rule abuse at MidAmericancon. Really, though, the deciding factors will happen long before. A wildly successful SP4 will make it all a moot point.

    To that end, it has been observed that one failing of SP3 was an apparently lack of press release. This allowed the Puppy Kickers to seize the media low ground and present everything through their filters. PR this out the wazoo along with, say, “Shouldn’t a world award be open to world-wide vote?” Another along the lines of “Worldcon 2016: Your nomination and vote counts.” Or “Support Hugo diversity: Vote.”

    Press releases should be simple, with Sad Puppies goals concise and on a level where non-SF&F fans can relate. Such as encouraging millions of nominations and votes. Remember the Puppy Kicker propaganda that portrayed Sad Puppies as trying to “take over” the Hugos with a slate? We need to grab the spin first by stating the truth, beginning prior to the nomination stage and encouraging every single SF and F fan to make their own nominations, and finishing with a massive call to vote.

    The enfranchisement of millions. Who wouldn’t support that. Well, yeah, we know who wouldn’t, but besides them.

    Not having a PR effort effectively abandons the field to the Puppy Kickers. Sad Puppies needs to grab it and keep hammering away from now through the Hugos.

    BTW, helmet cams with a tee shirt that ways “You’re live on Youtube” might work. It’s a service for all the SF&F fans who can’t physically attend Worldcon.

    • TRX

      I think a “standard media packet” would be an *excellent* idea. Same with sending periodic press releases to The Usual Suspects.

      With the possible exception of Larry’s huckleberry(1) over at The Guardian, I doubt most of the MSM cares much one way or the other.

      (1) “You’re not really here for the hunting, are you?”

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  50. In order to make nominating easier for me this year, I have organized my “this is what I read this year” stack into two piles. One is the “stuff published in 2015” pile. If I read a short story online I like, I bookmark it in a “Hugo 2015” folder. For once, I’m prepared, rather than flailing about.

    Standouts for novels so far are both of David B Coe’s weremyst novels, Myke Cole’s “Gemini Cell,” “The Devil’s Only Friend” by Dan Wells (so brilliant), and “Residue” by Steve Diamond.

    • +1 on The Devil’s Only Friend.

      Really good book.

      • Dav

        Also +1.

        And he was very much on the Puppy Kicker side IIRC…

        Could be interesting to watch were he nominated by SP4…

        • Was he a full on Puppy Kicker? I know he wasn’t necessarily a fan of SP3, but I didn’t see a lot from him either way.

          Then again, I’ve stopped trying to see much of anything from authors I like because I want to keep liking them.

          • Alex

            Wells is/was a friend of Correia. I assume still is. Correia actively participated in the kickstarter to help his brother with medical bills.

            However, he wanted nothing to do with SP3 after apparently getting repeatedly slimed over SP2 getting him nominated. I’m guessing (a) as someone with left politics, he really didn’t want to be anywhere near Vox again, and (b) he’s a mid-lister who writes for publishing houses, so his career is in the hands of some of the people most angry with the SPs. Probably doesn’t make his social life any easier, either.

            • That was kind of my understanding about him. Hardly a puppy kicker in my book.

              Frankly, his John Wayne Cleaver books are pretty damn cool, and I’ve enjoyed every single one of them. The third book actually managed to tug on the old heartstrings, which doesn’t happen all that often, even in books I love.

  51. rsbrandt44

    Not sure how distilling a recommendation list to the ten “most popular” then helpfully noting how voting for one of the ten most popular will further your chances of getting things on the ballot doesn’t in fact make it a slate, but that’s no doubt down to my inferior intellect.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Pick one:
      Slate was only ever a matter of who was doing it.
      You need to stop whining about how you undersized your nomination slate last year, and get your ‘no award’ voters behind a nomination slate for this year.

      I don’t know you, or which answer fits you.

    • Reader not Writer

      Whiner gotta whine.

    • Nathan

      We were asked to do precisely this by many critics who were genuinely upset at the appearance of a slate. Perhaps it is not a measure of intellect you are having problems with but a quickness to see offense where none exists.

    • Yes, you demonstrate your inferior intellect here on a regular basis.

    • Confutus

      If you would like to demonstrate that your intellect is not that inferior after all, perhaps you can explain how nominating up to five of the ten most popular suggestions does make it a slate.

      • Hey let’s hold up here a moment. Can we presume the best and give others the benefit of the doubt? And withhold the insults and name-calling, and not be like the PKs? Please?

        I am solidly on the SP4 side, yet as a relative newcomer to the fandom world, there’s a lot I don’t understand. Now I’d hesitate to ask questions for fear I’d be attacked by the people I’d like to support.

        • Confutus

          I didn’t call him any names. If the question was honest, he can give an honest response. Otherwise, he is welcome to all the offense he wants to take.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          I wrote what I wrote using a very limited browser that I think I was learning how to use. (I forget whether I first posted with it yesterday or the day before.)

          An answer for friendlies or neutrals: The statistical variance of ‘No Award’ voters is an argument that the evilness of slates is purely a matter of whose ox is gored.
          An answer for people who voted ‘no award’: You need to stop worrying about what we intend to do, and make sure that you have your own votes lined up for a nomination slate. You can try to sell us what we won’t buy. We probably won’t flatter you.

    • Kate Paulk

      As I said in the original post, the entire list will be linked for anyone to view, and nobody is telling anybody what to nominate.

      Of course, there will be people who will claim “evil slate” no matter what. I don’t much care what those people think because they’re obviously not interested in a good faith discussion – and by extension probably not interested about bringing more people into the Hugo world.

      • Angus Trim

        There’s no reason why anyone can’t pick a few off the list and still nominate one of their own favorites not on the list.

        It seems like a few folks think that things are intended for the list to “be it”. It’s not, it’s just going to be a suggestion list.

        My $.02

      • Ian

        While always civil, I have been very critical of the Puppies campaigns. I don’t know if the new approach taken this year – given the known history of the movement – will be enough to prevent this year’s effort from becoming a defacto slate, but I applaud the change in tone and attempt to move away from the implied/explicit call for tactical voting.

        For this anti-puppy, it is – at least – a significant step in the right direction. I hope non-puppies help make this change a successful by showing up to make their voices heard. Ultimately, I hope the Sad Puppy reading list is simultaneously a distinct perspective on the year in SFF, and yet also overlaps enough with other lists that it just becomes part of the conversation rather than a way to upend the conversation entirely. Make the Sad Puppies list a voice in the chorus, instead of a voice trying to shout everyone else down.

        • Since we also want to make the chorus so big nobody dominate it, I don’t see a problem with that.

        • jic

          The only people trying to shout anybody down this year were the No Award people. In fact, they succeeded, and seemed awfully proud of themselves for it.

        • given the known history of the movement

          By which you apparently mean the campaign of lies told about the Puppies repeatedly by the usual suspects.

        • Nathan

          Please also address your concerns to Weird Kitties as well.

          • Ray

            Weird Kitties is pretty upfront
            “First off, some promises. Weird Kitties is not and never will be a slate. It will never be some sort of stealth “slate by another name.” It will never have an official list of suggestions, of recommendations, or of anything else like that.”

        • Reader not Writer

          also overlaps enough with other lists

          See what he did there, right think must be right. Or would that be left? Nah, only left is right. Be like Mike Ian if you want to be liked a peon.

        • Were-Puppy

          Are you not aware that it was the PK that shut everyone down at the Hugos? What do you think those NO Award categories were?

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        I’ve vague plans to do my own slate, and I think I shall call it an evil slate.

    • julieapascal

      Yeah… it was all… “But if you’d only had a *list* like, at least TEN then it would just be a LIST and not a SLATE and then NO ONE WOULD BE MAD AT YOU.”

      And so it goes.

      • Patrick Chester

        And, surprise: Any “list” gets called a “slate” and we’re evil again.

        Then let us be evil. Make the list of suggestions and call out the liars.

      • As I said above if we found a way to recommend more works than are actually eligible it would be a slate.

        At this point, “but given the history” or “why not 15” should be met with a hearty FOAD.

      • Were-Puppy

        Yes, the problem here is letting them decide what the ground rules are. Who cares about a slate? Nobody really, except these people looking for a ready made problem. In other words, don’t let the other side and concern trolls control what we do here. If they don’t like it, tough. This is why they are trying to change the rules.

  52. Blond_Engineer

    Short Story: Penric’s Demon by Lois Bujold

    And, based on prior experience, I will likely be nomming Jim Butcher’s steam punk book by the end of the month.

  53. Critical Eye

    Let a thousand slates bloom… Oops, hope that doesn’t make me a ChiCom (http://www.historycentral.com/asia/MaoSays.html)

  54. Declan Finn

    Best related

    It has been suggested to me that I should be but in for best related work, Sad Puppies Bite Back, a series that parodied the whole Evil League of Evil concept, SWATting the International Lord of Hate, EYB Space Princess, the Impaler (twice), and a few others here or there.

    I collected the whole thing here: http://apiusman.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html

    Keep in mind, I was going to finish it at Sad Puppies Bite Back 4 …. it spiraled. So the articles appear on my site in chronological order (that’s why SBPP 3 and 4 are last, since they took place at a mythical Sasquan where the Big Dogs showed up en mass)

  55. So, Isaac Clark, Frank Miller, and Ray Eames? And the big one is Robert Frost?

  56. Mike Glyer

    J.C. Solomon: The movers of “Best Series” decided they wanted it sent to committee rather than voted up or down, so that’s what the business meeting authorized. The proposal is still afloat, and hasn’t been to a first vote yet.

  57. Chrismouse

    So I talked to my detailer, and it looks like I am probably going to a Stateside gray floaty thing next year. So, depending on said floaty thing’s deployment schedule, and my leave balance, I should be able to make it to at least a con or two next year and meet all you lovely people. Or some of you, at any rate.

    Recommendations: I really like Ryk Spoor’s Phoenix in Shadow. It is book two of a series, but it’s a good series so far, and the second book really advanced the story in some good ways while still preserving the mystery.

    Also, I really hate those of you over at Sarah Hoyt’s place who got me into Patricia Briggs, because now I want to read all of her books, in all her series, and I have a job and it takes Amazon two weeks or more to get the books to me so I have to order three or four at a time. Fortunately, they are of a size to fit into my uniform pocket, so I can pull one out and read a few pages when I make a head call, or am waiting in line at the NEX because the carrier is in and the population of the base has tripled.

    I also like Laura Resnick’s Esther Diamond series, but the latest one of those was published in 2014 and therefore isn’t eligible for next year. But still, a good series if you like light, funny paranormal fantasy-type stories.

    Tom Doyle’s American Craftsmen series is also excellent, and I am pleased to note there is a new book out this year, the second in the series. That will be mine as soon as Amazon can ship it here. It’s my birthday this month, I have budgeted for my normal slush fund allocation to go for books.

    • Nathan

      It’s almost as if they want to provoke people into letting Vox burn it all down

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        Oh, they’ve already done that, I’m afraid.

        • Nathan

          The “Vox Day is a Poopyhead” ebooks haven’t helped. Related Works is likely to be a farce next year if SP4 or a non-idiot counter-campaign can’t keep the parody war off the ballot.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            SJWs Always Lie, John Scalzi Banned This Book, SJWs Never Lie, and whatever else the Ilk come up with belong on the related works list.

            • mjkerpan

              No, they really don’t. Art books, biographies, historical works, and similar things are what belong there. Political BS does not.

              • Nathan

                Too late, if you go by some of the nominees and would-be nominees. SJWs Always Lie does have a place in the conversation if Feminist Frequency or We Have Always Fought did. The Vox Day is a Poopyhead and John Scalzi is a Poopyhead parodies have no place in a Hugo ballot that is trying to be considered seriously, but, according to the rules, all it takes for something to be nominated for a Hugo is that the Hugo electorate considers it worthy.

                • What they mean is “political bs” that they disagree with does not belong on the ballot.

                  Which was the entire motive behind the very first Sad Puppies–demonstrating this bias for all who care to look.

            • SJWs Always Lie definitely belongs, as a good chunk of it talks about the SWFA and the attitudes displayed in and related to (‘the exclusively only Worldcon’) fandom.

    • Yup. Nothing will ever be enough for these guys. They can’t admit it publicly but the problem isn’t what we do but who we are: we’re wrongfans having wrongfun. And that, they cannot abide.

      • If there’s a recommendation list that isn’t curated (no “these are the top ten most popular”), and no suggestions like (to quote Kate’s words) “your best bet will be to cast your nomination ballot for one of the works in the top ten,” then that would be enough for me.

        (And I’m the person who wrote that post).

        As Ray said, “Go read this stuff, it’s great!” = no problem.
        “Vote from this list if you’d like to improve the odds of a nomination” = problem.

        Just nominate what you love, without altering your choices (or suggesting that others alter their choices) in order to game the odds. That’s what I’m going to do. The Hugo awards are designed for people to nominate their favorites, not for people to min/max.

        I don’t care about “wrongfans” and “wrongfun.” I’ve never said anything like that. As far as I’m concerned, a fan is a fan is a fan.

        Puppies have frequently complained that it’s awful that fiction they don’t like (Ancillary Justice, “Dinosaurs,” Scalzi, etc) gets Hugo nominations. So it seems to me that it’s Puppies who are telling the rest of us that if we like Wrongfiction we’re having Wrongfun.

        • The difference is that we disagree with your preference of stories.

          We’ve had people ascribe our tastes to our various evil characteristics, which is what makes us WrongFans having WrongFun.

          • Tom, we’ve ALSO had people ascribe our tastes to our various evil characteristics.

            There are plenty of people, for example – and this is just one of many examples I could bring up – who claim that those who nominated or voted for “If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love” did so because we are bigots who hate working-class southerners, not because we thought it was a wonderful story. That makes us wrongfans having wrongfun.

            There are plenty of people who have claimed that folks who vote for N. K. Jemisin’s work, or Ann Leckie’s, or many others, are doing so because we have some sort of racist or sexist beef against straight white men, not because we love their novels. That makes us wrongfans having wrongfun.

            • Last I checked the Hugo’s and even the Nebula’s were supposed to be for SF/F not any other writings.

              • Yes, they are for SF/F, as I understand it. But reasonable people can disagree about if “Dinosaur” is or isn’t a SF/F story.

                But what many (not all) puppies have said – in addition to the claim that people only liked “Dinosaur” because we’re hateful bigots – is that we’re Wrongfans having Wrongfun if we think “Dinosaur” fits into SF/F.

                • No they can’t there is nothing in the story that is SF/F. So what else is in the story? It does hit all of the SYW preferred items southern rednecks just being one them.

                  • So if people didn’t nominate the story because they thought it was a good SF/F story, why do you think they nominated the story?

                    • Because the writer sucked-up to the right people. Possibly literally.

                    • “Because the writer sucked-up to the right people. Possibly literally.”

                      Stop.

                      Think.

                      Swirsky is a human being. She’s as real a person as you are. It’s horrible to suggest that she trades sex for award nominations. Yes, she wrote a story you didn’t like. (Actually, she’s published over 50 sff stories, but I don’t know if you’ve read any of the others).

                      Well, lots of sad puppies have written stories I didn’t like. It doesn’t make them contemptible human beings, and it doesn’t mean I should stop treating them with respect.

                      At the point where you’re making these kind of attacks on other people because they wrote a story you didn’t like, there are two possibilities: 1) You’ve seriously lost perspective, or 2) you’re just a complete asshole.

                      Would you really be comfortable telling Swirsky to her face that you think she sucked people off to get award nominations? Because this is the internet; there’s a not-inconsequential chance that anything you say about a creator or their work, will be seen by them or their friends.

                      You don’t have to say disgusting things about writers because you don’t like their fiction. Get a grip.

                    • No.

                      You stop.

                      The term “sucking up” is not generally used to refer to sexual favors. You’ve been around this world for too damn long to not understand that.

                      This tendency from people to take a phrase in common usage and try and flip it around into something more is pissing me off. Royally. If you are, through some miraculous bit of ignorance, unaware of the term, then ignore Google’s new logo and use the service. Educate yourself. But I honestly don’t see how you are unaware of its meaning.

                      So stop. You don’t have to pretend an innocent phrase means something vile and disgusting, unless you’re just bound and determined to be an asshat.

                    • What is your explanation for how a story which was neither science fiction nor fantasy was nominated for a Hugo and won a Nebula? Alternatively, can you explain how it was science fiction or fantasy?

                    • I may have gone too far with the “possibly literally” stinger, but then I have the obvious example before me of Zoe Quinn, who did precisely that with Nathan Grayson (the original act of sexual favor-trading that triggered Gamergate). And in that case, the denial, doubling-down and counterattacks by the SJW have become legendary.

                      So yes, the possibility occurred to me. Though I think it’s more likely that Swirsky was just really good pals with Scalzi and the Haydens and had been tapped to get a shot at the awards that year for that reason.

                      Why do I (and others) assume corruption here? Because it’s damned mystifying to me, otherwise, why a story which was neither science fiction nor fantasy was nominated for a science fiction/fantasy story award.

                      And I notice that none of the apologists for the Puppy Kickers have ever been able to explain how this happened.

                    • It’s worth noting that Ampersand is a friend of the author of this story in question. I gather a fairly good friend, in fact, so I understand why he takes some of the criticism against the story as badly as he does.

                      While his response pissed me off due to, I feel, him finding the worst possible interpretation of a comment, I also understand and applaud his desire to defend his friend.

                      Truthfully, had the opposition not started off with lies about Brad and Larry last year, I probably would have sat out last year. So yeah, I understand.

                    • It not only isn’t science fiction or fantasy, it’s poorly-researched in its real-world aspects. American working-class guys don’t get together to drink “gin.” Paleontologists are physically-powerful rather than wimpy (like geologists, their job involves a lot of walking around in rough country and moving or otherwise working with heavy rocks). Those are two glaringly-obvious problems with it, and it’s not that long a story.

                      Suppose I wrote “If You Were An Editor, My Love” about the experience of a poor proofreader who wandered into WisCon’s “safe space,” where everyone was lying around eating opium and they said “He’s just a proofreader! He may be strong from working those heavy mechanical printing presses but we have our ninja swords! Get him!” and they sliced him to death with katanas. Would this be considered a reasonable depiction of a convention? Even if I have his lover fantasizing that she was an editor, and could thus turn into a giant robot form?

                    • Tom –

                      My interpretation was absolutely correct, as Jordan confirmed in the comment following yours. You either somehow missed reading the “possibly literally,” or you failed to understand how that altered the meaning of the phrase “sucked up.”

                      Jordon:
                      “I may have gone too far with the “possibly literally” stinger, but then I have the obvious example before me of Zoe Quinn, who did precisely that with Nathan Grayson (the original act of sexual favor-trading that triggered Gamergate).”

                      Considering that, are you still going to claim I misunderstood what Jordon’s words meant?

                    • Jordon, “I may have gone too far” is not an apology or a withdrawal. If you don’t apologize for your slimy “perhaps literally” crack and withdraw the implied accusation, there’s no way I’m going to attempt to have a discussion of “Dinoasur” or anything else with you.

                    • “It’s worth noting that Ampersand is a friend of the author of this story in question. I gather a fairly good friend, in fact, so I understand why he takes some of the criticism against the story as badly as he does.”

                      Tom, you posted this AFTER Jordon confirmed that when he said “possibly literally,” he was intending to imply that Swirsky got the Hugo nomination in trade for sexual favors, just as (he falsely claims) Zoe Quinn did.

                      Snidely implying that an author trades sex for awards is NOT a “criticism against the story.” What on earth made you write that?

                      You once claimed to me that you’d publicly stand against these sort of disgusting attacks against even a Wrongauthor who writes Wrongfiction, and at the time I believed you. So far, however, you haven’t lived up to your claim.

                    • I didn’t see Jordan’s comment confirming he meant it that way. A lot of comments coming in and, frankly, I’ve got my own crap going on and have been skimming. So, my apologies.

                      I agree, accusing Rachel of sleeping with someone to get nominations is WAY out of line. Having gone back and seen why Jordan said that, I’m going to point out that even Zoe Quinn’s actions don’t justify such an accusation. It was a purely aesthetic issue, and while I would accept the possibility she “sucked up” in the way *I* interpreted the term (and I don’t believe she did even that without evidence to the contrary), any other interpretation is grossly out of line.

                      Jordan, you need to apologize for that. Seriously. It was out of line.

                      Now, my comment about “criticism” of the story, I hadn’t seen Jordan’s earlier comment so was unaware he had made such a statement previously. I was simply pointing out that you had good reason to get heated in the defense of the story despite not being the author. Nothing more, nothing less.

                      I have issue with the story, and frankly Ampersand, I was going to email you to ask Rachel to contact me (assuming you still have my email address) for a bit of a writing exercise on my blog – that will be more carefully monitored than my actions in this thread will go – but none of them have anything to do with her as a person. Too bad I’d missed the comment. I won’t ask it now because, well, I’d be damned if *I* would do so in your shoes. If you have any questions, I’ll advise you to read my blog post from earlier today and see if that clears any of it up. If not, feel free to drop me an email.

                    • Tom: Thanks for the apology (which is accepted, of course) and correction. No worries about having no time and skimming – I know exactly what that’s like.

                      I’ll drop you an email. Stay well.

                • BobtheRegisterredFool

                  The only way it is a science fiction story is if it is an endorsement of racism. If it is sci fi, it involves a collection of post-humans who have had the ability to identify each other removed. Hence why they had to guess out loud why they were beating the fellow into a coma. The message would be that distrust, not trust, is the default, and that discrimination is a positive force in human society. If it were a science fiction story, it is not clear that the viewpoint character is even correct about the comatose person being their loved one.

                  If it is not science fiction, it is merely confused and lacking in verisimilitude.

                • It’s only “fantasy” insofar as the narrator has a revenge-fantasy. Absolutely nothing “fantastic” happens in the story at all. Are you seriously going to argue that it’s “science fiction” because it references dinosaurs? Dinosaurs were real, this would be the equivalent of calling “If You Were a Rottweiler, My Love” science fiction.

                  • Patrick Chester

                    There were some parody titles here and there. “If You Were a Bolo, My Love” or “If You Were an Evangelion, My Love”, etc.

            • julieapascal

              The reason that people think that some “favorites” of current Hugo winners were not about “loving their novels” but about other factors is exactly because of how those supposedly wonderful novels are described by their advocates.., and also because of explicit calls from various to include, as a requirement, those particular things in science fiction… as well as the reaction when someone tries to point out “story has to come first”. If “story has to come first” is a sentiment that makes one a racist, sexist, white male chauvinist trying to take the genre back to the dark (white) ages… exactly HOW is one supposed to conclude that those award winning stories were winning on the merit of STORY?

          • I apologize for making that nasty crack about Ms. Swirsky. Now, explain to me why you think that a story which was neither science fiction nor fantasy; and was poorly researched even as realistic contemporary fiction (“gin”-swilling blue-collar Americans, wimpy paleontologists) was nominated for a Hugo and did win a Nebula.

            • snowcrash

              Because people liked it, and you’re not the arbiter of what is and isn’t SF for anyone other than yourself.

              • Can you explain to me what aspects of the story are science-fictional or fantastic? As far as I could tell, this was a story about someone having a revenge-fantasy. In other words, within the secondary world created by the story, the fantastic element wasn’t real.

                • snowcrash

                  Why? You’ve judged it as insufficiently SF for yourself. I see what you’ve written about this story, and I wonder, would hearing someone else’s views, especially that of a random pseud online really change your mind?

                  As I said – to you it is not. That’s *fine*. But you are no gatekeeper of what is and is not SF. Neither am I, or anyone else. No one can sit upon a throne on high and say THIS IS SF, AND THIS IS NOT.

                  In other words, within the secondary world created by the story, the fantastic element wasn’t real.

                  I suppose that also answers what you thought of the 1988 winner for Best Dramatic Presentation as well.

                  • “In other words, within the secondary world created by the story, the fantastic element wasn’t real.”

                    It’s fine that you have a rule which says that all these works aren’t really science fiction or fantasy. But that’s your rule, not a Hugo rule or a Nebula rule.

                    In addition to what Snowcrash said, there’s also Tiptree’s “The Girl Who Was Plugged In,” which won the Hugo for best novella. In that story, someone is talking to a stock broker in the present, telling a story of a science fiction future, All the science fiction elements are in that story-within-a-story.

                    Some other works in which “within the secondary world created by the story, the fantastic element wasn’t real”: The Princess Bride (all the fantastic elements were in a story read to a sick child by a relative), the film of The Wizard of Oz (the fantastic elements were all a dream), and Alice in Wonderland (another dream story),

                    There are other examples – Rosemary’s Baby (the entire thing is revealed to be just a dream in book 2), Neil Gaiman’s Mirrormask movie, Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee In King Author’s Court, Robert E. Howard’s The Tower of the Elephant (a borderline case; Conan realizes at the end that the fantastic things that happened to him might have been just a delusion); The Arabian Nights of course;

                    The fantastic elements in “Dinosaur” and “Alice” and “Princess Bride” and others aren’t “real” within the story, but they are essential to the experience of reading the story, and they cannot be removed without making the story into something entirely different. To me, that makes them SF/F works.

                    And it’s clear that many SFF fans agree with me, or all these stories wouldn’t be award-winners or revered examples of the genre. IMO, the genre would be much less rich if we excluded these works.

                    • Ravenshrike

                      Still not remotely the same. In all the cited works the external story stands primarily as nothing more than a framing device and the internal story stands on its own merit. This may not be true of the aforementioned stockbroker story, but if it does not it would only be because the entire internal story is not related to the reader. Whereas in Swirsky’s story the internal revenge fantasy requires the external framing device to stand as anything at all.

                    • Yep. If you removed the frame–Grandpa reading a book (movie) or “I’m making an abridgement” (book)–from The Princess Bride, the story would stand on its own. “If you were an SFF story, my love”? Not so much.

                    • Ray

                      so you would like the Hugo administrators to remove nominated works from the ballot, on the grounds that you don’t think the story within the story works without the framing device, making it insufficiently SFnal in comparison to other works where the SFnal element is only a fiction within the fiction, but you think the internal fiction is strong enough to stand without the frame.
                      Or perhaps that is a bit too much work for the administrator, and you would simply prefer if everyone who nominated the story was made wear a dinosaur-shaped ‘WrongFan’ badge, and had their voting rights removed until such time as they forswore WrongFun?

                    • so you would like the Hugo administrators to remove nominated works from the ballot,

                      Straw man alert. Nobody said the Hugo administrators should remove anything. But the fact that it is nominated when, if you take away the non-SF “framing device” from “if you were a story, my love” you don’t have an SF story. You don’t have a story.

                      Thus, the continued defense of its nomination (and win in the Nebulas) pretty much proves the point that it’s something other than story that motivates its inclusion.

                      So, thank you for making the Puppies’ case far better than we could ever do on our own. (But then, making the Puppies’ case has always required cooperation from the Puppy Kickers–and you have consistently come through splendidly.)

                    • so you would like the Hugo administrators to remove nominated works from the ballot,

                      Speaking only for myself, I would prefer that Hugo & Nebula nominators & voters respect the genre enough to not award a story that doesn’t belong.

                    • Ray

                      all you have proved is that your personal definition of ‘SF enough’ includes stories where within the secondary world created by the story, the SF element is not ‘real’, because the secondary world includes a tertiary world where the SFnal elements occur, but not stories where you think the secondary world of the story is a removable framing device and the tertiary world will not stand without it.
                      However, that is a long, long way from demonstrating that if people vote for a story for an SFnal award, and that story is not SFnal enough by your standards, then it must be that the people weren’t voting on the basis of the story. There are two other, very obvious, ways to explain the votes.
                      1) People thought “It is too SFNAL enough, no matter what thewriterinblack thinks. I laugh at his convoluted definition. Ha!”
                      2) People thought, “I don’t care whether or not it is SFnal enough. I think it’s a great story and so I will vote for it, because I am a WrongFan having WrongFun, and the Hugo administrators are powerless to stop me! Ha!”

                    • 1) People thought “It is too SFNAL enough, no matter what thewriterinblack thinks. I laugh at his convoluted definition. Ha!”

                      Which means you use a Humpty Dumpty approach to meaning, therefore words can mean anything you want them to mean, which is to say that they mean nothing.

                      That you will go to such lengths to defend the nomination of this paean to SJW feelz, which is exactly the kind of thing Larry predicted with the first Sad Puppies means we win.

                      2) People thought, “I don’t care whether or not it is SFnal enough. I think it’s a great story and so I will vote for it,

                      Which means that the Hugo Awards are not an SFF award any longer but an award for “rightthink”, which is exactly what Larry said in the first Sad Puppies. And, thus, we win.

                      You folk have responded exactly as predicted every. step. of. the. way. Only the height of lack of self awareness keeps you from realizing that with every move you make you prove our case.

                    • Bjorn Hasseler

                      Writer, my impression that Ray is actually refuting Ampersand and largely agreeing with you.

                    • Ravenshrike:

                      First of all, thank you for being civil, and for not turning the discussion of “Dinosaurs” into a personal attack on my and other fans’ motives.

                      You wrote:

                      “Still not remotely the same. In all the cited works the external story stands primarily as nothing more than a framing device and the internal story stands on its own merit. This may not be true of the aforementioned stockbroker story, but if it does not it would only be because the entire internal story is not related to the reader. Whereas in Swirsky’s story the internal revenge fantasy requires the external framing device to stand as anything at all.”

                      Even if I agree with this for the sake of argument (ignoring that, in many of those works, the framing devices make a big difference to the work’s tone and meaning), I don’t understand why you think that makes “Dinosaur” not SFF. Where is this rulebook which says that to be SFF, any framing device must be inconsequential to the plot? This seems like another ad hoc rule specifically made up to exclude “Dinosaur.”

                      You’re correct that the framing device could not be removed from “Dinosaur” and still have a story left. But what you ignore is, the SFF elements also can’t be removed.

                      In “If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love,” the SFF elements are essential to how readers experience the story. The whiplash between the whimsical, there-are-no-limits fantasy and the tragically limited reality is what makes “Dinosaur” (for those who liked it) heart-wrenching and memorable. That’s how the story works.

                      If a story has SFF elements that matter to how readers experience the story, then that story is SFF.

                      Here’s what I’d ask you: Why do you think it’s important to police what I and other SFF fans consider SFF? What’s the harm in us enjoying what puppies consider to be the wrong kind of story?

                    • Ray

                      :)
                      When *you* define science fiction, you are simply pointing out the obvious, like saying the sky is blue. If anyone offers a definition different from your own, why they are playing at Humpty Dumpty!

                    • If anyone offers a definition different from your own,

                      Words have meanings, Ray. It’s not just a matter of “a definition different from ones own” but a definition so broad as to be useless.

                      Consider the following:
                      Police officer investigating a missing person. Makes the statement “it’s like they were abducted by aliens.” Does that make the story SF?
                      Social worker interviewing a child about some missing property. “The boogie man took it.” Story is now fantasy?
                      Person in political discussion about something particularly stupid, expresses a desire for the Sweet Meteor of Death to land? Science Fiction again?
                      I use “Fimbulwinter” in that kind of situation. Fantasy this time?

                      If the above examples count as SFF, then the term is so broad as to be meaningless. In formal logic there’s something called a tautology–that’s a statement that, whatever the condition of its elements, is always true. One of the consequences of the tautology is that it conveys no information. The truth of falsity of the statement does not depend on the truth or falsity of any of its elements.

                      Such a broad definition of “sff” so as to include the above renders it meaningless.

                      And if you don’t define it so broadly, then “a person fantasizes about what their Significant Other could do if…” is no more SFF than any of the examples above.

                    • Ray

                      Some words have very well-defined meanings. Some words and phrases don’t. ‘Science fiction’ is a genre without a strictly-defined boundary. Gather any group of fans together and they will argue about the line between ‘hard’ SF and everything else, between SF and fantasy, between SF and techno-thriller, or the defining features of YA or urban fantasy, or… You have decided that a story can count as SF if it has elements understood as belonging to SF, even if those elements are clearly marked as fictional within the world of the story, as long as you think the clearly-fictional-within-the-story story is developed enough to count as a story in it’s own right. Sure, whatever, we all draw our boundaries somewhere, and that’s the line you’ve drawn.
                      But it’s very funny to watch you try to insist that this is completely objectively the dividing line, and anyone on the other side of that line is being willfully – even spitefully – wrong. It is unpossible that it could be a matter of opinion, and that their opinion might be as valid as yours. Nobody is allowed like the dinosaur story as SF, for you have decreed that it is not SF.

                    • But it’s very funny to watch you try to insist that this is completely objectively the dividing line,

                      Not half as funny as watching you give non-answers (I notice you didn’t actually answer the questions) admitting that you’re using a Humpty Dumpty approach to words, all while actually objecting to the characterization.

                      Here’s a hint, just because something can be gray around the edges with shades of “maybe” does not mean that there isn’t “is” and “is not”.

                      The existence of gray does not invalidate the existence of black and white and while there can be some question about whether some things are SF or not, that does not mean anything you might care to lump in with it is. So keep tottering about on that wall.

                    • Ray

                      the difference between us is that while I will also mentally categorise things as ‘SF’ or ‘not-SF’, I don’t accuse anyone with different definitions of being WrongFans having wrong thoughts.
                      Some people have a different definition of SF to you, and voted for a story that fit their definition but not yours. Big fucking deal.

                    • the difference between us ….

                      The difference is that Writerinblack is able to argue against you, effectively, while you, Ray, have to make shit up.

                      The only reason he’s still responding is because some people respect lady truth enough that they’ll actually defend her honor, even against junior league poo-flingers.

                    • the difference between us is that while I will also mentally categorise things as ‘SF’ or ‘not-SF’, I don’t accuse anyone with different definitions of being WrongFans having wrong thoughts.

                      What you don’t realize you have done is that you have not only agreed with every iota of my original premise (that to folk like you “a word means what I say it means, neither more nor less”, H. Dumpty) but have now doubled-down and expanded that to what anybody says it means.

                      The problem is that you claim that as a good thing, regardless of the fact that it makes the term meaningless and destroys even the possibility of communication. For a word, phrase, or anything to carry information there must be things it “fits” and things it does not. And there has to be at least broad agreement on what “fits” and what doesn’t.

                      As you’ve set it up, saying “this is science fiction” or, perhaps “this is fantasy” tells someone no more about the story than if you’d kept your mouth shut. You have conveyed no information because anything could be SF or Fantasy so long as someone, somewhere, declares it to be so.

                      People taking that approach is not new. Once, the late Damon Knight, wrote “Science fiction is what I point to when I say ‘Science fiction.'” And a lot of people have taken that to mean that the definition of SF is arbitrary–it’s whatever someone says it is.

                      However, about 25 years or so ago there was this online service called GEnie (run by General Electric, thus the particular capitalization). On GEnie, there was a “Science Fiction Roundtable” (well, it had expanded to three by the time I got there–it was that popular). A lot of writers and fans “hung out” there. Members of SFWA got a “freeflag” which let them connect to those fora for free. There was a private area for SFWA members.

                      One of the people present on those boards was the late (well, he wasn’t “late” then) Damon Knight. Someone brought out that quote. May even have been me, come to think of it. It’s been a long time. Damon came down hard. No, that statement did not mean that the definition of SF was something arbitrary, that anything you want it to be thing. On reflection it was what Damon Knight, a well established, highly experienced fan, writer, and editor all rolled into one, someone who had internalized the very real definition that can be hard to put into word, particularly in the fuzzy bits around the edges, pointed to when he said “science fiction”.

                      Orson Scott Card, in his book “Writing Science Fiction that Sells” devotes a whole chapter to what is and is not science fiction.

                      So, no, you don’t get to arbitrarily decide just because the word “dinosaur” appears and all the SJW checkboxes are checked and the “cool kids” want to give it an award that a revenge fantasy is “SFF”. The more you attempt to do so, the more you render the term “science fiction” meaningless.

                    • Not only that, but why does “dinosaur” make it science fiction, any more than would “zebra?” Dinosaurs were most definitely real animals, not hypothetical ones.

                    • Ray

                      ah, I see my mistake. I thought I was talking to some guy called thewriterinblack. But all along I’ve been arguing with the ghost of Damon Knight, so it is completely true that when *you* define science fiction it is exactly what *you* say it is. My humblest apologies, sir, may I take this opportunity to say how much I enjoy your work?

                    • But all along I’ve been arguing with the ghost of Damon Knight,

                      Tilt your head back. See that going by way, way, way above your head? That’s the point you are so cheerily missing. Back in the day, when you likely weren’t even a dirty thought in your father’s mind, the redoubtable Mr. Knight said something that actually sounds like it supports your position. And, indeed, there were people who took it so. But the guy who actually said “Science Fiction is what I point to when I say ‘Science Fiction'” did not mean it that way. He could say it because he knew Science Fiction, knew what the word meant, and could identify what was, or wasn’t without having to go into a long song and dance.

                      You see this “science fiction is whatever I say it is” idea isn’t new. That argument has been around a long time. And it’s been thoroughly mocked before, including by who people thought would be a great proponent of it. “Those who do not know history…” and all that.

                      It is quite evident that you know far less about the field than you think you do as you cheerfully blaze a well-worn trail leading to a dead end.

                    • Ray

                      I’ll be blunt then.
                      If I _was_ talking to Damon Knight, a writer, editor, and critic I respect, and he said “I don’t think this is science fiction”, I would take his judgement seriously. (Though I’d like to know his reasons, and might argue with them)
                      But you? You haven’t earned the right to pontificate.

                    • You haven’t earned the right to pontificate.

                      And you have?

                      Child, you have been doing nothing but. Your whole argument boils down to “it is too! nananananananana. I can’t hear you!”

                      As for your whole “Science fiction is not only what I say it is, but what anybody else says it is”. Damon Knight did say that was wrong. In. So. Many. Words. The fact that I’m the one to report this to you does not change it. Attempting to make it about me rather than the content of the argument is Argument ad Hominem, and it’s a logical fallacy.

                    • Ray

                      *you* are claiming that *you* know the features that qualify something as SF, and when *you* don’t think a story is SF, that story must not be SF. So you are kind of making it all about *your* judgement.

                    • So you are kind of making it all about *your* judgement.

                      And I gave reasons why, provided counter-examples (couched in the form of questions) to elucidate why “if you were a story…” would not qualify (if it did, then those other examples would also and, basically, nothing would be excluded).

                      You, however, chose to ignore all that, first playing the “it’s whatever anybody says it is” game, which actually endorses my original point that you folk are using a Humpty Dumpty approach. And now you’re trying instead to attack my “cred”.

                      At least Mr. Punctuation Mark tried to argue content–badly, but at least he tried. You do not have that to your credit.

                      You’ve been all about personalities from the beginning. So, your attempt to turn it back on me fails.

                    • Ray

                      you gave reasons why *you* thought it did not qualify as SF.
                      But other people may disagree that it is important that the story-within-the-story will stand without the frame story, and others may disagree about that rule’s application to this story.
                      *They are still just the rules that you made up inside your own head*.
                      We are back to you thinking your definition is obviously correct, and anyone who disagrees *must* be playing Humpty Dumpty.

                    • We are back to you thinking your definition is obviously correct, and anyone who disagrees *must* be playing Humpty Dumpty.

                      You cannot have it both ways. You cannot claim that it means whatever someone wants it to mean (the entirety of your argument) and then complain about my claiming you’re making it mean whatever you want it to mean (which is what the Humpty Dumpty reference is).

                      And I note that you still haven’t addresses content, not from the beginning. You’ve never given any reason why my reasons are incorrect other than that you want to claim otherwise.

                      Which of those hypothetical examples I gave earlier are SFF and which are not? Why or why not? And if any of them are not, why would “if you were…” then be SFF? What differentiates it? Why this story but not those? And if all of them, is there any line? Does every story where someone mentions “aliens” or “dinosaurs” to engages in a bit of contrary-to-fact wishful thinking (“Man, if I could go back and talk to myself as a teenager…” or even “if I’d just chosen differently…” since Alternate History is a recognized branch of SF) count as SFF? And if you define SFF so broadly then how is it even useful as a term?

                      Try to come up with something more than “it is too!”. I have faith in you. (But then, I can be remarkably naive sometimes.)

                    • Ray

                      Ha! I don’t object to the phrase “playing Humpty Dumpty”, but I object to the behaviour when one person insists that his definition is correct and *everyone who disagrees with him* is playing Humpty Dumpty. Hey pot, I know you have a problem with kettle, but have you looked in a mirror lately?

                    • Let me sum up.

                      You: “If you were…” is an SF story because some people say it is. (No other reason given.)
                      Me: Words have meanings and if you just arbitrarily assign meanings just because someone says so, doing so is taking a Humpty Dumpty approach to words.
                      You: You can’t say that! You’re wrong and a doody-head. Anyone could have a definition of SF and it’s just as good as yours!
                      Me: Um. You just admitted I’m right, that you are using the Humpty Dumpty approach. Look, here’s some examples of why you can’t just say “whatever somebody says” (and even the guy who’s famous for the original statement that looks like it supports that view didn’t agree with it).
                      You: Oooh, ghost of Damon Knight. And you’re still wrong.
                      Me: Can you at least try to address the point.
                      You: That’s just your view. Other people’s views are just as valid.
                      Me: So you’re still doubling down on the Humpty Dumpty approach. And don’t you realize that the “whatever anyone says it means” approach to definition renders the term meaningless and useless for communication?
                      You: You’re a big meany for saying I’m using a Humpty Dumpty approach even though I am agreeing with every single point of your original accusation, you’re a bad guy for using the term.
                      You: Wah. Other people’s views. Words don’t have meanings except what someone says it means and if you try to say that words have meanings why you’re just behaving the same way and…
                      Me: …
                      And round and round.

                      Yeah, I think we’re done here. You’ve got nothing except schoolyard taunts dressed up in slightly prettier language, but completely devoid of content.

                    • Ray

                      wow, such a long response, and went wrong in the very second sentence.
                      I have never claimed that the dinosaur story is SF “because some people say it is”
                      I have said that other people may be using a different definition of SF, a definition broad enough to include the dinosaur story.

                    • I have said that other people may be using a different definition of SF, a definition broad enough to include the dinosaur story.

                      Jumping back in because you actually attempt to deal with content for a change (and this is actually new).

                      Just different words for “because they say it is.” As I have demonstrated (and you have not even attempted to refute), anything broad enough to include “if you were a dinosaur…” would have to include the examples I gave, which, then would mean that anything could be argued as SF.

                      You see, if you had actually presented a definition, we could argue whether it’s a valid or useful definition. Instead you went with “well, they’re just using a different definition” which means they are assigning a different meaning (since “definition” is simply the description of a word’s meaning), which means the word means what they say it means. Which is exactly what Humpty Dumpty claimed to do.

                      And we’re right back to you admitting to the very thing I said you were doing in the first place.

                    • Ray

                      “Just different words for “because they say it is.””
                      eh, no, try again
                      “if you had actually presented a definition,”
                      my point is not that I have a different definition. My definition is not important.
                      Your argument
                      “you don’t have an SF story. You don’t have a story.Thus, the continued defense of its nomination (and win in the Nebulas) pretty much proves the point that it’s something other than story that motivates its inclusion.”
                      is that people couldn’t have nominated it thinking it was a good SF story, because it isn’t a good SF story, therefore they must have nominated it for other reasons.
                      But your argument depends on your definition of SF being the one, true definition. If that is not true, your logic fails. If people think it is a good SF story, under their definitions of SF, there is no need to appeal to ‘reasons other than story’ to explain its inclusion. People thought it was a good SF story, so they nominated it, end of.
                      Trying to argue with me about my definition of SF is missing the point spectacularly.

                    • But your argument depends on your definition of SF being the one, true definition.

                      Well finally, finally, you are actually applying yourself to content, but damn your reading comprehension is poor. I dispute that there is any useful definition of “SF” that stretches to cover “if you were SF” and addressed that by providing some hypothetical cases to illustrate that allowing “if you were” to stand as SF, one is essentially reduced to allowing anything to stand as SF. (You have, of course, explicitly refused to address those cases.) A definition so broad as to cover “if you were” is so broad as nothing is excluded.

                      You see, to be meaningful, when you use a word there has to be a class of things the word fits, and another class that it does not fit. To include the revenge fantasy where a person imagines a “contrary to fact” position of power for a character then using that power to wreak vengence on the ones that harmed the character is to include all such instances. The imagined power being “dinosaur” is no different than “boxer” or “ninja” or “armed”. It would then be as much science fiction as any alternate history novel.

                      It’s not about whether my particular definition of SF applies. I am quite aware that, for different situations, there are somewhat different definitions. And, in fact, I allude to that in referencing Card’s book.

                      You, however, appear to take as your given that any definition is equally valid. That someone might declare such a definition, regardless of what that definition does or does not cover, is sufficient to declare that it “if you were” is an SF story. That no definition is invalid, even definitions so broad as to be useless (if the class that does not fit the definition is the null set, then the definition is useless or the definition is so fluid that you cannot agree, a priori, that something is or is not included in the definition then, again, the definition is useless). All of which reduces to “it’s SF because someone claims it is.”

                      I have presented arguments why a definition of SFF that included “If you were” would fall into that “useless” category. That saying a story was SFF, under such a definition, would tell you nothing about the story. You have resorted to just declaring ex cathedra that others are using unspecified different definitions that include it. No effort is made to show that these supposed definitions don’t run afoul of the problems I describe. No effort to even address those problems at all. Just declare that they might exist.

                    • Ray

                      finally, _finally_ you are catching up on the arguments I was making ten posts back, but you’re still not quite there. I don’t agree that that any definition of SF that includes Dinosaur must include anything, but that is still *beside the point*. You could argue with every Hugo nominator or voter that included Dinosaur on their ballot until you are blue in the face. And maybe, at the end of that argument, every one of them will slap their forehead and weep that they lived so long in darkness before you brought them the light of reason.
                      But if, at the time they voted for Dinosaur, they honestly felt that it was a good SF story, it doesn’t matter that you change their mind tomorrow. Because when they voted, they voted for what they thought was a good SF story, and there is no need to appeal to ‘reasons other than story’ to explain its inclusion

                    • they honestly felt

                      And we’re back to Humpty Dumpty again. This argument only works if you take the approach that what they “feel” is always, necessarily, right. That any definition one “feels” to use is equally valid. That words only have meanings that you happen to assign to them at the moment. That “a word means exactly what I say it means, neither more nor less.”

                      Here’s a hint: it’s possible for someone to “honestly feel” something and be wrong.

                      And you still haven’t addressed whether any definition of SFF that stretches to include “if you were” can be useful, let alone valid.

                      There is no Maltese Falcon in our world. The events of the story of that name never happened. The back story never happened. Clearly it’s “alternate history” and Dashiel Hammett was writing SF. Equally valid position to “If you were…”

                    • Ray

                      bzzzzt!
                      Oh, good try, but no prize I’m afraid. Your argument (at September 10, 2015 at 10:06 am) depends on the nominators *knowingly* nominating something that wasn’t SF. If their motivation was “this is good SF” then there is no reason to look for something “other than story that motivates its inclusion.” It is not necessary for them to have been ‘correct’, just to have felt that they were.

                    • depends on the nominators *knowingly* nominating something that wasn’t SF

                      And yet, you have not even attempted* to present and defend any definition where one could reasonably include “if you were” as SF but does not immediately render “SFF” completely meaningless as a concept. Your argument, then, becomes that there are enough professional writers in SFWA sufficiently incapable of seeing that so that it wins the nebula and sufficient fans among Hugo nominators to get the nomination.

                      I will submit that there are a few folk who though “ooh, it said ‘dinosaur’, so SF” but, really, is your argument that such a significant chunk of hugo voters on one side (and not among the SP contingent, I might add) and professionals in the SF field on the other are incapable of drawing those conclusions about such an overly broad or overly fluid definition?

                      Is it really your defense of this award that the voters were that stupid/ignorant? I, at least, started from the presumption that they were intelligent and knowledgeable enough, for the most part, to know what words mean. I mean, it’s not like you’ve shown any reasonable definition (not just the particular one someone was using but any) that covers “if you were” without rendering the term meaningless. If so many reasonably came up with one surely it must be easy to come up with one. And yet…crickets.

                      *Mr. Punctuation Mark did at least try to present a case for a definition that stretched to fit. Failed, but at least tried. The demonstration of the failure is that, as I showed uptopic, The Maltese Falcon would clearly fit. Yet you want to try asking say 10 respected and experienced editors in the field whether–without priming them in advance–whether it’s SF and see what they say? Care to try to get the publisher of whatever edition is out now to list “SF” as its category? Anybody got a list of “Great Science Fiction Mysteries” that includes it?

                  • Ray

                    I’m pointing out that you have no standing to accuse everyone who disagrees with you of playing Humpty Dumpty. You’re just another guy with a thin shell and a fear of heights.
                    As for the stories you mention – if they were written out as stories, I would decide. But even if we both agree that story X is SF and story Y is not, someone else could have a perfectly consistent, perfectly reasonable definition of SF that includes story Y. That other person could even be the ghost of Damon Knight – spooky!

                    • I’m pointing out that you have no standing to accuse everyone who disagrees with you of playing Humpty Dumpty.

                      You’re funny. Here you object to the term, while not only admitting, but doubling down, on meeting the definition of the term. With the term “SF” you want to apply the term, but without any declared definition, instead accepting anybody’s say so (except mine, apparently or that of anybody who says “no, ‘if you were…” isn’t an SF story'”).

                      As for the stories you mention – if they were written out as stories, I would decide.

                      And my faith is dashed.

                      Now, since they weren’t, and since “alternate history” is an accepted field of SF, by postulating an alternate world in which they were written out as stories, your comment becomes alternate history SF and, being “published” this year, is now eligible for next year’s Hugo award, does it not, particularly since that bit of alternate history was essential to the “experience” of your post?

                      But thank you for being explicit in rejecting actually discussing content. Since your entire argument revolves around “it is too!” and “SF is whatever anybody says it is”, and you’re just repeating that in different wordings, you’re starting to get pretty boring. I think we’re pretty close to done here, unless you can come up with something new.

                • I see that I did what you demanded as a precondition for explaining how “If You Were A Bad Writer, My Love” was science fiction or fantasy, and then you did not do what you said you would do if I did, namely explain how it was science fiction or fantasy. I conclude from this that you are a nithing, one without honor, one against whom any one’s hand might be casually raised to cuff by way of admonition without offending against honor, for you have none to offend against.

                  Alternately, you CANNOT EXPLAIN why “If You Were a Whiny Git, My Love” is science fiction and fantasy, and are trying to cover up your ignorance of your main claim by squirting ink. I would call you a cephalopod, but cephalopods are more intelligent and possess more moral worth and rights to life than do you, vermin.

                  I will not take back my apology, however, for it is possible that Rachel Swirsky has honor, but is merely a poor judge of character in her friends. The apology is however merely to Rachel Swirsky — you PERSONALLY are scum, deserving of no respect for your foul trick.

              • you’re not the arbiter of what is and isn’t SF for anyone other than yourself.

                And yet it has not a single science fiction or fantasy element in it anywhere. Not one. A fact that the endorsers of that work studiously duck around.

                They are reduced to a Humpty Dumpty approach to SF:

                “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

                ’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

                ’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.”

                By making the word “SF” mean anything (necessary to call “If you were…” SF) they make it mean nothing. And the Hugos becomes an award for nothing.

                Well done! You’ve destroyed the Hugos far better, and more thoroughly, than Vox Day ever could have.

                • I have an oddly-shaped callus on one of my toes which is more science-fictional and fantastic than “If You Were Chuck Norris, My Love.” If it was nominated for a Hugo and won a Nebula, people would correctly surmise that the awards were corrupt, and that I had in some way sucked up to a cabal in order to win one.

                • By making the word “SF” mean anything (necessary to call “If you were…” SF) they make it mean nothing. And the Hugos becomes an award for nothing.

                  In other words, if we enjoy SFF works that you don’t like, that makes us Wrongfans having Wrongfun. Got it.

                  • Looks like I struck a nerve. And it appears it’s time to start with the checklist.

                    Achievement unlocked:
                    6: Resort to Moral Equivalency

                    A revenge fantasy without a single SFF is not SFF no matter how many SJW buttons it pushes. And the attempt based on continuing to claim it is, to turn “wrongfans having wrongfun” around is laughable on the face.

                    • You don’t think a living dinosaur in our own time learning to sing and performing on stage is “a single SFF” element? That seems strange to me.

                      Yes, it incorporates the SFF elements via an unreliable narrator’s embedded narrative, what might be called a “literary device” – but using literary devices doesn’t make a story not SFF. And yes, in a minor way, the story does incorporate a left-wing worldview – but having a left-wing worldview doesn’t make a story not SFF.

                      Perhaps you don’t like literary devices; or perhaps you don’t like stories with left-wing worldviews. That’s fine. But to say that it’s wrong – or “corrupted,” as Jordan said – for such a story to win a SFF award is saying that only the kind of story YOU like is allowed to be SFF. You’re saying that those of us who loved “Dinosaur” and voted for it and think it’s part of the genre are Wrongfans having Wrongfun.

                    • You don’t think a living dinosaur in our own time learning to sing and performing on stage is “a single SFF” element?

                      Except the “unreliable” narrator isn’t telling the story of a living dinosaur in our own time with even the thinnest veil of WSOD. It’s just that narrator’s own revenge fantasy, wish fulfillment. In The Princess Bride, there’s framing for an actual fantasy story. In “Ifr you were an SF story, my love” there isn’t that. It’s no more SF than “if you give a mouse a cookie” or “How do dinosaurs say goodnight.”

                      Was the Muppet Show SF because it had a talking frog?

                      Are you going to really try to stretch the definition of SF so far?

                      What am I saying? Of course you are. “It’s just a matter of which one is to be master.” Words mean what you say they mean, neither more nor less.

                    • Except the “unreliable” narrator isn’t telling the story of a living dinosaur in our own time with even the thinnest veil of WSOD.

                      But of course there’s Willing Suspension of Disbelief, for the readers. A lot of the impact of the story (for those who liked it) is that we do suspend disbelief, enjoying a whimsical, magical story about love and dinosaurs, and then the story takes a sharp turn into someplace we didn’t expect it to go. It depends on WSOD to work.

                      (I’m not saying that’s how it worked on you. But it did work for many readers. Readers that you hate because they have Wrongfun, how dare they like a story you don’t like! Those bastards! But readers nonetheless.)

                      More to the point, WSOD has never been a requirement for a story to be SFF. Consider “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.” In that Hugo-wining story, the narrative deliberately undercuts WSOD, for example by offering to change what Omelas is like according to the preferences of the reader. But “Omelas” is still SFF even though it undercuts WSOD.

                      In The Princess Bride, there’s framing for an actual fantasy story.

                      So the framing device, even if it means the literal events of the story are completely non-fantasy or SF – nothing but a father (or grandfather, in the movie) reading a book aloud – doesn’t make a story not SFF? Your standards seem very ad hoc.

                      Suppose “Dinosaur” had opened with the main character saying to her husband, “let me tell you a story I made up to comfort myself after my beloved died.” And after that, it’s basically the same, with a sentence changed for emerging out of the fantasy into the present, and then we find out he’s in a coma and what happened to him. Boom! It’s now a framing device, just like The Princess Bride. So would that make it acceptably fantasy, to you? Or would you produce another on-the-fly rationalization for why it doesn’t count?

                      I’m not the one here stretching the definition of SFF (not just SF – you keep on talking about “SF,” but I’ve always been saying “SFF”). The definition of SFF has never included the idea that one kind of embedded narrative is acceptable, but another kind is not. You literally just made up that rule.

                      From Shelly’s “Frankenstein” and even earlier, stories-within-stories have been part of the SFF genre. The idea that stories-withing-stories can’t be SFF – or that they can be SFF, but only if they stay withing arbitrary bounds that have nothing to do with SFF, and everything to do with keeping Wrongfans from having Wrongfun by reading Wrongfic – is a blatant retcon.

                      You and others are doing this a lot – making up arbitrary rules for why “Dinosaur” can’t be SFF and those fans who loved it are Wrongfans enjoying Wrongfic. First it can’t be SFF because the SFF elements are in an embedded narrative; when it’s pointed out that lots of classic SFF stories have embedded narratives, then it’s suddenly all about WSOD; and then it’s okay to have an embedded narrative if it’s a framing device but otherwise not. The goalposts are moving at a hundred miles an hour.

                      It’s fine with me that you don’t consider it SFF. But it’s ridiculous – it’s exactly the sort of thing “stop enjoying Wrongfun!” Puppies claim to oppose – to sneer at many SFF fans and writers for loving that story and thinking it’s part of the genres.

                      Why is it so important to you that us Wrongfans not have Wrongfun?

                      It’s no more SF than “if you give a mouse a cookie” or “How do dinosaurs say goodnight.”

                      I love “How do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight.” I agree it’s not SF, but how is it not fantasy? (Fantasy for little kids, sure, but still fantasy.)

                    • But of course there’s Willing Suspension of Disbelief, for the readers.

                      That’s a crock. The whole point of WSOD is that, for the duration of the story, you pretend in your mind that it’s real. From the very start that’s discarded in “If you were a story” by the use of the subjunctive. The narrator doesn’t pretend it’s real, which pretty much eliminates the reader from doing so. There’s no pretense, even in the story, that the dinosaur doing this stuff is real. In the Princess Bride, the grandpa treats the story as “real”–just like when I read books like Have Space Suit, Will Travel to my daughter, and the fact that the kid is definitely engaging in WSOD and treating it as “real” is underscored by the “the eels don’t get her” bit (referencing the movie here) and the “who gets Humperdink” bit later.

                      There’s no attempt in story, even at second remove, to say “this is actually happening.

                      But it sure hits all the SJW selling points, so I can see why you just have to find some way to justify it.

                    • You and others are doing this a lot – making up arbitrary rules for why “Dinosaur” can’t be SFF

                      Exactly backwards. You keep coming up with ever more twisted attempts to justify it as SFF. And, incidentally, completely missing the point of your attempted cultural appropriation. Nobody’s saying you can’t enjoy it. They’re just rejecting your position that because you do enjoy it and it has the word “dinosaur” in it, that it must then be eligible for a Science Fiction/Fantasy award.

                      Really, you should stop you lame attempt to reflect the “wrongfans having wrongfun” back at us. You do it badly and every time you try it you demonstrate that you don’t understand it and, in fact, make our case for us.

                    • Bjorn Hasseler

                      Ampersand, I ? whether you’re here @ Mad Genius Club in good faith at all. I think you’re here to deliberately discredit Sad Puppies and make # of the place. You wish to declare the Hugo inner circle = to Wrongfans having Wrongfun, but in fact they are the > while Sad Puppies are the < who've been told them aren't welcome. Your handle tells me you understand that; it's not coincidental it's one key away from *, is it? But, Ampersand, you're just another asterisk. So please dispense with the #$%^.

                  • Bjorn Hasseler

                    No, you don’t get to appropriate that. I think you’ve sufficiently demonstrated that you’re just here to cause trouble and twist words.

                    • you don’t get to appropriate that.

                      Yep. Definite cultural appropriation. “Wrongfans having wrongfun” is part of the Sad Puppies culture. Puppy kickers don’t get to appropriate it.

                  • No, the story in question is neither science fiction nor fantasy. You can enjoy whatever you like, but if the story contains neither science-fictional nor fantastic elements, it’s the wrong GENRE.

                    Pride and Prejudice is a great book, one of those which I have much enjoyed reading. The same is true of Tom Sawyer. However, neither book is science fiction or fantasy. If either were nom won a science fiction or fantasy award, there would be something fishy going on.

                    “If You Were a Science Fiction Story, My Love” is neither science fiction nor fantasy. Hence its nomination for a science fiction or fantasy award, let alone its winning on, is prima faciae evidence that the award has been corrupted.

                    To refute this, you will have to demonstrate the science fiction and/or fantasy elements contained in the story. I do not expect you to be able to do this. I expect you to squirt ink, claim victory, and thus further damage your reputation with most of the regulars on this site.

                    Please, disappoint me.😀

        • Were-Puppy

          Stop pretending to be reasonable. We all saw you guys nuke the awards. We all saw you guys cheering each time a category was nuked.

          • “Stop pretending to be reasonable.”

            I think if you dismiss someone trying to be reasonable in this way, you can’t really claim to be interested in reasonable discussion.

            • “you can’t really claim to be interested in reasonable discussion.”

              Speaking only for myself, the time for reasonable discussion passed quite a while ago. Then the cheering for Noah Ward this year, which I heard “live” in the interwebs, stuck a sake through ‘reasonable discussion’ and stuffed its mouth with garlic.

              You are not reasonable. This is not a discussion. This is us holding up a mirror and you not seeing your reflection.

          • Grimalkin

            We could just as easily say we all say you calling us Nazis and Marxists, CHORFs, SJWs, and puppy-kickers, Christ-hating crusaders for Sodom and Morlocks. We could just as easily say we all saw you bloc voting for a slate. We saw you try to get someone fired because he called you a name. We saw you say that a society that wants to survive should disallow women the right to vote, and that your ultimate goal is to burn the Hugos down. My point being, neither side is monolithic (I believe a puppy ally made that very point earlier in this thread).

            • Grimalkin

              And… once again I forget to change my identity from Grimalkin to Kathodus. Apologies, yet again.

            • jaed

              We could just as easily say we all say you calling us Nazis and Marxists, CHORFs, SJWs, and puppy-kickers, Christ-hating crusaders for Sodom and Morlocks.

              Which is equivalent to burning down several categories rather than reading the works and voting honestly how, exactly?

              could just as easily say we all saw you bloc voting for a slate.

              You could say that, but you must know it would be a lie.

              We saw you try to get someone fired because he called you a name.

              You talk as though Irene Gallo were a random Puppy-Kicker. She isn’t. She is employed by a major science fiction publisher, and she called a bunch of their customers (and authors) Nazis and their work “bad” and “reprehensible”, while promoting a book by her publishing house. Pretty much anyone who publicly called their customers names and disrespected their suppliers while promoting the company’s products would have been canned as soon as this came to the attention of their management. Please do not try to pretend anyone tried to have Puppy-Kickers fired qua Puppy-Kickers. We know better. So do you.

              We saw you say that a society that wants to survive should disallow women the right to vote, and that your ultimate goal is to burn the Hugos down.

              Now you’re not even trying to stick within shouting distance of the truth. Why on earth should we listen to someone who does what you just did?

              • Kathodus

                Jaed, my point was that we could say all of those things, but they wouldn’t be true, because the SPs and RPs are not a monolithic movement.

                I said this we could say you called us:

                Nazis and Marxists

                That was Sarah Hoyt, not all of the puppies.

                I said we could say you call us:

                CHORFs, SJWs, and puppy-kickers

                Okay, that does actually fit for a large percentage of puppies, but still, it doesn’t describe the actions of all puppies.

                I said we could say you call us:

                Christ-hating crusaders for Sodom and Morlocks

                That was John C. Wright, not all of the puppies.

                I said:

                We could just as easily say we all saw you bloc voting for a slate.

                The data shows that during the Hugo nominations some, but not all SPs did that, and most RPs did that. Note the some, but not all.

                I said we could say:

                We saw you try to get someone fired because he called you a name.

                Actually, I wasn’t thinking of the Irene Gallo incident. I was thinking of Lou Antonelli trying to get someone fired because of a tweet where he called Lou an asshole.

                I said we could say we saw you say:

                that a society that wants to survive should disallow women the right to vote, and that your ultimate goal is to burn the Hugos down.

                That was VD (and a whole lot of his RP followers, at least as far as the burning the Hugos down goes). That was not a Sad Puppy party line.

                Finally, I said:

                My point being, neither side is monolithic

                My point was that, when you say:

                We all saw you guys nuke the awards. We all saw you guys cheering each time a category was nuked.

                you are treating all non-puppy WSFS members as a monolithic block, which is just as unfair as if I were to accuse all puppies of the actions of one or a few puppies.

                @Jaed

                Which is equivalent to burning down several categories rather than reading the works and voting honestly how, exactly?

                I read the works and voted honestly. I did not put the Puppy candidate(s) below No Award by default. I did not vote at all in the Best Editor categories, because I didn’t feel qualified. I did not vote in the Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form because I hadn’t seen any of the movies. There were several categories I didn’t vote in. Some of the Puppy works nominated (most of the ones I read) were not, in my opinion, Hugo-worthy. Some of them were, and some were close enough that I voted for them above No Award.

                @Jaed

                Why on earth should we listen to someone who does what you just did?

                Just in case you still don’t get the point I am trying to make – had I been seriously accusing all Puppies of the actions of a few and not attempting to illustrate a point about treating people with the respect you demand, you shouldn’t.

                • Excuse me, Kate called SOME of you Nazi-like and I called some of you Marxists. If the hat fits, wear it and put a pretty plume on it. If it doesn’t, why the butthurt?
                  You rallied behind a twatwaffle who called us neo-nazis and reprehensible for making nominations for a prize consisting of a plastic rocket. Take your fauxtrage and gaze lovingly upon my middle fingers you hypocrites

                  • Kate Paulk

                    Didn’t they used to be proud of being communist? Apparently we’re getting through somewhere about how vile communism is.

                    • Apparently we’re getting through somewhere about how vile communism is.

                      How much is a recognition of how vile communism is, and how much is just realizing that the label puts people off so they choose to call it something else while claiming to reject the label?

                    • Rather like Naziism was unpopular in the West from 1945-1965, and only then began sneaking back in first as Neo-Naziism and then (in the 1990’s) as pro-Palestinianism; now we have an election in America in which two major candidates (Clinton and Trump) are running on what are essentially national-socialist premises.

                  • Kathodus

                    Dammit, sorry. Right after I entered that comment I realized it was probably Kate Paulk, and not you, who called non-puppies Nazis. My apologies.

                    I haven’t called any Puppies Nazis, or neo-Nazis. I disagreed with Gallo’s assertion that VD is a neo-Nazi. It seems to me he’s more of a neo-fascist, but his followers comprise a diverse group of rabies-infected extreme right folk.

                    I am anti-slate, and will remain so, regardless who is slating. Given that the Hugo results this year clearly show that a large majority of the SFWS membership is anti-slate, and most of them are apparently anti-slate to the point that they’ll No Award any slated nominee of borderline Hugo-worthiness*, when Puppy leaders call people who are angry at their slate’s domination of the Hugos names like CHORF, SJW, Nazi, Marxist, Christ-hating crusader for Sodom, pro-pedophile (forgot that one initially), puppy-kicker, etc., you are, whether you intend to or not, insulting the majority of SFWS members. I’m not fauxtraged. I’m not outraged. I’m not particularly worried about the Hugos in the long term. I do hope that the 2015 debacle can be avoided in 2016, but I’m not particularly hopeful.

                    I don’t know you well enough to take you up on the offer of sitting upon your middle fingers. Honestly, at this point in our relationship, I’m not sure that’s even an appropriate suggestion.

                    * The editor categories where, apparently, truly worthy slated nominees were No Awarded, are a category in themselves, as those categories are already controversial, and many voters frequently No Award them because they disagree that those categories should be awarded.

                    • Slates are lists. The voting lockstep addition is something crazy you made up. Young thing, we libertarian inclined people couldn’t vote lockstep to save our lives.
                      Stop with the crazy shit. Stop with the crazy accusations. You go do your thing, we do ours.
                      Don’t make me angry. You won’t like me when I’m angry.

                    • julieapascal

                      Block voting No Award lost the high ground on “I hate slate voting” forever.

                      Forever and ever and ever.

                      Slate voting is just fine, laudable, moral and upright… when done for a good cause… and what better cause is there than defending turf?

                  • Many of the people who are having other people pretend to be offended at calling them “Marxists” have previously proudly CLAIMED TO BE” Marxists, back when the name was still in fashion.

                • You also called us racist sexist and homophobic two of which are insane and one a plain line and insult. YOUR MOVEMENT That you support did this in national press, which then had to retract. So, pardon me if we don’t cry in a corner. Again, this is my full set of middle fingers. Sit on it. I’ll take you to Lisbon.

                  • Kate Paulk

                    Sarah, I think some of the folks in this thread won’t believe you’re Portuguese by birth until you start swearing in the language (which really isn’t any fun because Google translate never gets it right).

                    • Not if I go after them in village dialect, and Lord HELP ME if the disinformazia continues (There’s a pretty red feather for your Marxist hat) I’ll teach them some words.

                  • Kathodus

                    @accordingtohoyt

                    You go do your thing, we do ours.

                    Okay. Good luck storming the castle.

                • jaed

                  you are treating all non-puppy WSFS members as a monolithic block

                  How? Puppy-Kickers – or whatever label you might prefer – do not constitute all non-Sad-Puppies supporters who were members of Sasquan.

                  I read the works and voted honestly.

                  Well, congratulations. So did I. It seems to me that the militant Puppy-Kickers – specifically, the people who voted No Award against anyone on the Sad Puppies recommendation list, campaigned and put out sample ballots on how to No Award anyone on the list, and cheered No Award in the presence of the nominees (who had just been told it would be better to blow up the award than give it to any of them because Wrongfans liked their work), after boasting for months about how they hadn’t read any of the works – kicked us both in the teeth.

            • I’m so glad you’ve equated calling someone a CHORF/SJW/Morlock with Neo-Nazi. You can lump racist, sexist, and homophobe in there too, you forgot about the times your camp called us those things. Not to mention various bodily functions, orifices, and substances that we were called.

              Yeah, those are completely and totally the same thing.

              I will now call you an “asterisk”, a completely complementary and harmless name according to, you know, WorldCon, so I’m sure you’ll take great offense to it. You probably should.

            • We saw you say that a society that wants to survive should disallow women the right to vote, and that your ultimate goal is to burn the Hugos down.

              That was Vox Day. He isn’t a Sad Puppy.

              • julieapascal

                I tend to rant about how women shouldn’t be allowed to vote every time the “left” tells me to vote with my glitter covered vagina…

                … for what it’s worth.

                • Kate Paulk

                  Dammit, that needed a spray warning!

                • William Underhill

                  my glitter covered vagina
                  Dammit, that needed a spray warning!

                  Okaaaay, that made for a interesting mental newsreel in the theatre of my mind. I’m not sure what’s worse – that I agree that it needs a spray warning, or that saying so just made it worse. Must not internet before coffee, no, precious…

        • julieapascal

          “If there’s a recommendation list that isn’t curated (no “these are the top ten most popular”), and no suggestions like (to quote Kate’s words) “your best bet will be to cast your nomination ballot for one of the works in the top ten,” then that would be enough for me.”

          So… if Kate just picked the top 10 without telling anyone how she picked them and limited her “list” to those 10… you’d think that was just great because she didn’t say they were the most popular for anyone but herself?

          If not, please cc: the letter of complaint you intend to send to Locus.

          • “So… if Kate just picked the top 10 without telling anyone how she picked them and limited her “list” to those 10… you’d think that was just great because she didn’t say they were the most popular for anyone but herself?”

            Well, that depends. Kate could easily do all that and in addition do other things to make it more about politics, rather than the works – like telling people to vote for the slate to “give the Hyper-Progressive Pissypants Club (HPPC) heartburn” or in other ways make it about politics and acting as a unified whole, rather than just about people voting for works they love.

            But assuming that it’s simply Kate picking ten per category and posting them on her blog, without saying “this is the official 2015 Sad Puppies list” or giving (to use TL Knighton’s word) tips about voting strategy (such as ““your best bet will be to cast your nomination ballot for one of the works”) or saying – if she just said “these are some eligible works I’ve read that I loved” – then yes, I’d agree that wasn’t a slate. And I’d be fine with that. Lots of authors and fans do that.

            But I think what Kate actually has planned – providing a space for everyone to post their favorite works, so a bigger and more varied list is generated – is actually cooler and much more interesting than what you suggest.

            In what Kate has actually written, the only things I object to is curating a “top ten” – why not just make the whole list available, and leave it at that? Let the Hugo nomination process do the curating, that’s what it’s there for – and, more importantly, I object to including tips for strategic voting like ““your best bet will be to cast your nomination ballot for one of the works in the top ten.”

            I don’t expect that Kate will actually take my advice, of course. Why would she? She decides for herself. I’m just posting this to deny the claim that there is nothing Kate would do that I wouldn’t call a slate. If she took exactly her current plan, but cut out the curating and the strategy tip, then I’d happily say that it’s not a slate at all.

            • Kate Paulk

              Ampersand, the whole list will be available.

              Me being a math geek means I’m going to talk about mathy stuff like probabilities and whatnot now and then.

              And the main reason for a “top ten” is actually consideration for those of us who have data caps (especially those who follow on mobile devices and don’t have unlimited data plans – which includes me).

              Judging by the number of recommendations in this thread alone, there will be a lot of recommendations in The List. A top ten is just a way of saying “Hey, we’re done with the list and here’s the most popular stuff. Check out the rest too because you really want to read/watch/look at as much of this stuff as you can.”

              If this is a heinous crime, so be it. It reads more like concern trolling to me, but that could just be because I’ve waded through way too much of that lately.

              • snelson134

                Kate, I’d like to nominate the latest in the Wearing the Cape Series by Marion G Harmon, Ronin Games.

            • julieapascal

              Waiting for your cc’d complaint to Locus. Honest to dog, Ampersand. How is a huge list with a top 10 *more* of a “slate” than a top 10 without explanation? It’s not. Not to any honest person. And yeah… I’m convinced that this unbelievable level of nitpickery is fault-finding for the sake of fault-finding. And for *me* at least, I don’t know what you could do to convince me otherwise… since we’re going into this thing where our “what I need to be convinced” is supposedly a thing that matters. Which is pretty much insane. But whatever…

              • gregm91436

                So far I’m in favor of SP4, and have recommended and +1ed other people’s excellent recs (Kung Fury! Tuesdays with Molokesh!)–and posted a link to the Hugo noms 2015 wikipedia where SP4 recommenders can create entries for the things they’re fans of and help get them wider exposure.

                Re: Locus: using the Locus 2014 list as a model for SP4 could be a good idea, as pretty much nobody criticizes it.
                http://www.locusmag.com/Magazine/2015/02/2014-locus-recommended-reading-list/

                One of the reasons there isn’t much criticism of Locus is because it’s got:
                27 sci-fi novels
                22 fantasy novels
                11 “first novels” in fantasy or sci-fi, for a total of 60+ eligible novels, unranked. Which makes it a curated resource for positively received work, but is clearly not trying to specifically corral potential

                There are 12 non-fiction and 13 art books listed, so at least 25 eligible Best Related Works. There are a metric ton of novellettes and short stories, also unranked.

                So they’re not doing a top 10 at all, they’re doing a top 60–and many of the entries have explanations–a hyperlink back to the original Locus positive review of the item. They also are clearly not providing recommendations for more than half the Hugo ballot. Hence, nobody’s going to accuse them of soliciting bloc votes, because they aren’t.

                So far you’ve already got a few non-Puppies tracking down and enjoying stories from here (“Tuesdays with Molokesh the Destroyer” is very likely to make my short story nominations). SP4 is, deservedly so, already getting a much different and more positive reaction than SP3. If you want the sort of long-term goodwill Locus has, modeling their list will work very well.

    • “Kinder”? “Gentler” What part of the Embitchening don’t they get?

  58. Pingback: Sad Puppies 4 Begins | File 770

  59. Uncle Lar

    As I’ve stated in several fora it is my considered opinion that the Hugo Awards died on August 22 at that obscene ceremony, aided and abetted by all and sundry who conspired to make it all about slapping down the Sad Puppy effort.
    That said, I will gladly serve as minion to SPIV in any capacity I’m able. Offering a suggested list much larger than the final nominations is IMHO the correct way to go, and would seem to be an appropriate sustaining methodology not only for 2016 but for all future Hugos.
    Kevin makes a great point. Media presence is crucial. The puppy kickers have their narrative which simply does not pass the sniff test when challenged, but challenge it in the bright light of public presence we must.
    They will resurrect the same tired white, conservative, male, misogynist, neo-nazi trope. And in response we have an Aussie, a Latina, and a Ginger all with smiling faces and great racks. Now that is the sort of thing social media loves to take viral.
    As for recommendations, the only two that spring immediately to mind are Toni Weisskopf and Mike Resnick in their respective categories. And while I might be convinced to change my mind, my plan at this juncture is to top vote Toni and Mike and no award everyone under them. But then I’ve never been all that big on forgiving or forgetting.

    • Bill S

      I second a better media presence. I’m sure our ladies already know that any questions regarding Vox Day need to be answered, “Ask him.”

  60. airboy

    A couple of good things about visiting Kansas City:
    1] The World War 1 Museum.
    2] The Harry Truman library is in nearby Independence. It has a replica of the Oval Office.
    3] BBQ!! Gates BBQ and Arthur Bryants are just wonderful.
    4] Cabellas – one of the largest Cabella’s in the USA is in KC.
    5] Red meat in general – great steak town.
    6] The KC Royals may be in town.

    I’m not sure about attending WorldCon itself. Seems like a pretty high jerk component among the trufen

    • wanderingmuses

      Hmm, that “one of the largest Cabellas in the USA” just might convince the hubs that we need to pack up the camper (I don’t do hotels) and head to KC😉 Of course, our Cabellas card might burst into flames by the time he’s done lol.

      • The Other Sean

        I’m seriously thinking about a Midamericon II as the first stop on a western vacation. Maybe with camper in tow, if the camper rebuild is far enough along. KC is basically the midpoint between Cincinnati and the national parks in the eastern Rockies, like Great Sand Dunes and Rocky Mountain.

      • Uncle Lar

        Cabella is opening a brand spanking new facility in Huntsville, kicking off October first. I’m somewhat torn. Nice to have them here, but as it establishes a presence in Alabama I’ll have to start paying sales tax on my mail orders. Of course shopping at the store eliminates shipping charges.

    • William Underhill

      Going to go do some research in a moment or two, but if there’s anyone from KC here who can tell me what train service to/from KC is like? Am thinking seriously of taking the ferry to Seattle and Amtraking it; I understand Amtrak has good discounts for service personnel & dependents, and that they extend them to NATO servicement, not only US.

      • If I’m reading it correctly, you’d have 70 hours in a train on the simplest route. One way.

        • Andrew Porter

          I took the train from NYC to Sasquan and back. There are in fact discounts for service personnel. The Lake Shore Ltd left NYC on Saturday and I transferred to the Empire Builder in Chicago on Sunday, arrived in Spokane at 2am on Tuesday morning. Going to MidAmeriCon, you’d transfer to the SW Chief which tales 9 hours from Chicago to Kansas City. Complete info at Amtrak.com . And the trip across Washington State and Montana is gorgeous.

          • I’ve taken the train from Seattle to Wenatchee with two small children; for the few hours we could actually see– on the damp side– it was lovely.

            It still took three times as long as driving, although with the super saver fare plus traveling mid week plus a military discount minus the cost for my parents to come pick us up at oh-dark-thirty it was cheaper.

            Oh, and the routes have a nasty habit of being blocked by slides, the threat of slides, or (Recently) forest fire.

            And the “round trip” part of it that we purchased ended up being on a bus, and involved people I’d really rather only interact with while openly armed. (It’s one thing to be able to respond to a threat in an open area; it’s another to be able to respond in an area where they get to choose the time, and you’re responsible for two small children.)

            • Andrew Porter

              Travelling with children changes the equation. However, I have no children—and I don’t have a car, don’t have a driver’s license. I plan to take the train to MidAmeriCon next year, too.

              • Then take the bus, unless you’ve got a lot of money and a strong emotional attachment to the trains, or are rather close.

                • Andrew Porter

                  I like trains. Buses suck.

                  Ever thought of not reading SF, not being concerned about this subject?

                  No, I thought not.

                  • Not really clear what on earth you’re talking about in the middle, there; what I read has nothing to do with the conversation you jumped into the middle of.

                  • William Underhill, Barbarian 1st Class

                    Andrew, I started this sub-thread about trains because I was speculating on ways to get to MidAmeriCon next year, preferably that didn’t involve driving for four days from Canada’s left coast.

                    I apologize abjectly for having disturbed your enjoyment of this thread by daring to bring up such an irrelevancy in a blog you don’t run.

      • That would be the Coast Starlight to LA, and then the Southwest Chief over to Kansas City; $250 for a round trip ticket, reserved seat. Closer to a thousand if you want a bed.

        • William Underhill

          Ouch! Okay, so maybe train is out…

          • Yeah, I wanted to take the train to visit either our California relatives or my Kansas relatives. It’s a family tradition.

            I’m not going to spend half a week and more than air fare for family tradition, especially not when we’ve got a minor tradition of guys dropping dead on the train. (yes, really)

            • William Underhill, Barbarian 1st Class

              It does look as though airfare winds up being cheaper, because even if I wanted to sit in a seat for three days (no), by the time I figure the cost of getting from Victoria to Seattle to catch that train, it’s more than a round-trip airfare from YYJ. So air it most likely will be, if I can afford it. Sasquan cost me about 3 grand, all in.

              • I might not attend KC for the reasons you’re talking about here… it’s just such an expensive trip.😦

                • William Underhill

                  I think I’m going to start a campaign to have Worldcon held in a virtual space like Second Life. I’ll rent 4 sims and the con will be held at the corner of the 4. Only 400 people will be able to attend, and it’ll lag like nobody’s business, but we won’t need to fly!:)

                • William Underhill

                  Gah… that was supposed to have … tags. My bad.

      • Dav

        It’s long, theres no direct route through Denver any more, you go across Montana and N Dakota to Chicago and then back down to KC. It’s a three day journey IIRC. For the same amount of money you can get a direct flight into KC from Seattle

    • Stopped at the Truman library on a cross-country trip. It was quite nice.

  61. Peavybob

    Book recommendation.
    Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality.
    Hpmor.Com
    Fan fiction of Harry Potter that is better than the series itself, and educational as well. You can read it for free at the link above.

    • Nathan

      That likely will need to be a fan writer nom instead of a book nom. Will need a rules clarification.

    • Erik

      HPMethRat is an offense against good taste. It promises “let’s do science to magic” and never delivers, instead turning into overly wordy and explicit exchanges of “Here is a good offer.” “My, what a good offer, but I think it is actually a manipulation.” “You are a very smart man to have noticed.” “Thank you, but I think your flattery is just another manipulation, because I read it in one of the many many books of evolutionary psychology and quantum physics and scientific epistemology that I had read by age eleven.” When not doing that, it’s making ham-handed swipes at the original series. Being better than the original on one count isn’t much good overall if on another count you stop every five chapters to smirk smugly at how bad the original was.

      And there’s a chapter that’s basically a political screed on why open borders is a fundamental moral necessity and anyone who disagrees is worse than racist.

      Below No Award, IMO.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        There is value to clear and systemic thinking. All to often, people attach a word to that, assume the word is the thing, and start promoting or otherwise manipulating the word in an attempt to make the phenomena follow the word. See Magical Dick Dawkins.

        The communists and nazis were essentially doing the same thing with scientific management. They didn’t understand it, and applied it in ways that were not valid.

  62. There will always be people who pick nits, but if you want to eliminate the objections of most of the people like me who object to “slates,” you need to emphasize that no one should nominate a work they didn’t read, like, and consider award-worthy. As it stands, the text above says to recommend such works here, but it implies that at nomination time, people would be nominating based on authors they liked–whether they read the works being nominated or not.

    If that wasn’t intentional, it should be easy to fix with an edit to this sentence: “If you want to see your favorite author receive a nomination and an award, your best bet will be to cast your nomination ballot for one of the works in the top ten or thereabouts of The List.”

    Otherwise, if the idea really is to produce a slate that people can use to nominate works they haven’t read (e.g. because they trust the process to produce a slate of genuinely award-worthy works), then you ought to own up to that and try to defend it for what it is. I’d still disagree, but you’d at least have my respect for your honesty, and it would be a lot harder to fight against a slate of works that were well-written, thought-provoking, and fun to read.

    The worst combination, though, would be to work hard to produce a slate of worthy works and then spend the next twelve months trying to deny that it was really a slate.

    • but if you want to eliminate the objections of most of the people like me who object to “slates,” you need to emphasize that no one should nominate a work they didn’t read, like, and consider award-worthy.

      That’s been a part of Sad Puppies from the very start. We still got the objections.

      You really think that we want people to read the works to nominate them and then, what, unread them before voting time? By voting time the nominees should already have been read.

    • Reading is not required. A large number of No Award voters never read any of the nominees. They have received nothing but praise for doing so.

    • you need to emphasize that no one should nominate a work they didn’t read, like, and consider award-worthy.

      So you mean do the same thing Brad et al did last year.

      Nice try. Next!

  63. Kate, I’ve already got someone over on my FB timeline complaining “but she didn’t say read the work and decide for yourself” even though that’s been a part of SP from the very beginning.

    • Nathan

      Lord save us from the permanently offended.

    • They’re still rolling with that meme that we don’t even read the books, huh?

      Seriously, did these people mistake paint chips for corn flakes as kids?

      • And I called it:
        1: Skim until offended.
        No sparklies.

        Let’s see if he gets the complete set.😉

      • Patrick Chester

        Didn’t some of the Puppy Kickers brag about not reading the works on their Noah Ward list?

        Sounds like the usual prog habit of projecting their own flaws upon the ones they hate is making yet another appearance.

        • Some did. I suspect that more did than admit to it though.

          That’s just my gut reaction, but I really think a few found it easier to accuse of of nominating crap than to admit they didn’t read any of the nominees.

          • Patrick Chester

            Hitler isn’t too enthused about it all:

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            Sadly, that one doesn’t hold up well in comparison to the other two.

          • To my regret, not only did I read the nominees (although in some cases I didn’t get to the end), I started so early – on the day the nominees were announced – that I read “Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus” because it hadn’t yet been disqualified.

            Over half the story is a literal lecture delivered from one character to another, on the subject of God is Super Awesome. Which is fine, although not my cup of tea, but I don’t understand how anyone who says that they’re against message fiction could have nominated that lecture thinly disguised as a story.

            A couple of the nominees were okay – “On A Spiritual Plane” and “Totaled” were my favorites Puppy nominees. I ended up being a bit unsatisfied with both those stories, because I didn’t think either one of them developed their ideas enough to be interesting. Obviously, tastes vary.

            • IIRC, that was a Rabid Puppies nominee, not a Sad Puppies (might be wrong, because I’m freshly awake an insufficiently caffeinated at this point). However, I can tell you that *I* didn’t nominate it.

              You see, I’m consistent.

              If you read them and didn’t like them, then so be it. You’re not one of the people I’m talking about. However, I did see people who made comments about not bothering to read them until we started hitting them over that, then they jumped on the whole “they’re all crap” bandwagon.

              Frankly, I thought “On A Spiritual Plane” and “Totaled” were awesome, though I wish Anne Bellet hadn’t withdrawn her story because that would have been my top pick.

    • Kate Paulk

      Ya know, I was actually naive enough to think that “read, then suggest if you think it’s good enough” was enough for the introduction post, and “read, then nominate if you think it’s good enough” would happen when The List was made public.

      I really thought life had killed that streak of innocence .Apparently not.

      • Lenora Rose

        I think people are pretty sure everybody who nominated Skin Game did read it, it’s a good book. I’m pretty sure people who nominated Kary English and Ken Burnside and Steve Rsaza read them.

        I really hope nobody read Wisdom From My Internet before nominating that.

        • Why do you hope that nobody read Wisdom from My Internet? It was hilarious. Lampoons everyone. No cow is sacred, as it should be.

          • Remember, a book collecting internet snark by an SF author is good when it’s Scalzi doing it. It’s bad when it’s MadMike doing it. It the same old “it’s different when we do it” approach the SJW’s always have.

        • Book

          I thought it was hilarious. And it’s not as if it weren’t unprecedented to have a book- exactly of the same type, be nominated for a Hugo in the past. The only complaint I had about it was it’s formatting. I didn’t have it high on my end list, because I thought others were better. But I did find it amusing.

      • Kate, Kate, Kate. You know you have to include directions and pictures to make sure they understand. After all, reading comprehension ranks right up there with their inability to understand the terms diverse and all-inclusive. Oh, and let’s not forget how spotty their memories happen to be. They are the ones who said they wouldn’t read or vote for anything on a SP “slate”. We were the ones saying to read everything, no matter who nominated it and then vote for the best.

      • Nothing will ever be enough. It’s not about what we do, it’s about who we are: wrongfans having wrongfun. Everything else is just a fig leaf to cover that so they don’t have to admit it publicly.

      • Uncle Lar

        Katie darlin you just stay your cute naive aussie self. Kindly old Uncle Lar will look after you. Just ask Sarah and Cedar.
        The way I would suggest spinning this for consumption by the greater mundane media is that a great many fans of our association have noted a serious dissatisfaction with the entertainment quality of the recent Hugo nominees. (true statement, and anecdotally verifiable) What SPIV will attempt to do this year is provide a shopping list of works which we feel have greater mass appeal. And honor efforts by artists and editors who the SPs feel are noteworthy. Sad Puppies also feel that since the Hugos are widely proclaimed as a fan award that greater fan participation in the process is a good and valuable thing. It certainly did not hurt the WorldCon war chest this past year. So, two noble and worthy goals, which just maybe might have some small connection in practice.
        Vox? Who dat? Not our pal, not our fight. Personally, the more I learn the more it all boils down to a grudge match between Vox and PNH, and their associated minions of course. Has sweet FA to do with the genre that we love and want to flourish, now does it?

      • Well, I think your mistake was assuming that they wouldn’t lie. They’e going to find something to lie about, no matter what. I wouldn’t go out of my way to try to avoid this particular lie, since they’ll just think up another.

        I mean, Seth is far from stupid and certainly isn’t illiterate. So what explanation does that leave?

      • Mike M.

        That would be a great URL – it can be a redirect to SP4.org, no? I’ll check to see if the domain is open – http://readthennominate.org

      • I think you may have needed more capslock and large, bold font letters.

        And more swearing aussie description

  64. Regrettably, MidAmeriCon @ is the same weekend as Gencon 2016.
    Looks like I’ll have to be content as a “Supporting”, but make that party one for the history books.

    And a big, juicy “Puppy-Friendly” reading list? This is might be busiest reading year since I got handed a 2nd-hand copy of _Storm Front_.

    • Worldcon picked the same weekend as Gencon?

      Facepalm. I thought schedulers knew better than that. You never schedule a supposedly-national-sized con against a really big con somewhere else, like Dragoncon or the superbig Comicon. I realize that it might be tough to keep in touch with some of this, but unless Gencon changed dates unexpectedly, I don’t see how one would willingly let this happen.

      • a supposedly-national-sized con

        Maybe they’re just being honest with themselves and realizing WorldCon is a niche con anymore.

        Which, KC should be glad of says the man who works in Midtown Atlanta (used to live here too but out in the ‘burbs now). Between DragconCon and College Football kickoff weekend Labor Day here is a disaster (and having the VP here last night made it worse this year).

        Regardless I was thinking about going but I’ve never been to WorldCon or GenCon. If I can work out going to one or the other this year, well, why would I go to one full of people openly saying how much they hate me.

      • Reader not Writer

        You never schedule a supposedly-national-sized con against a really big con somewhere else,

        And what does that have to do with Worldcon?

      • QuietMatt

        Hold up. It’s a few days later, but MidAmerica’s website says Aug 17-21, 2016. The GenCon website shows the 2016 dates as Aug 4-7 and their Facebook and wiki pages show the same.

  65. gregm91436

    Thanks to the people who recced the movie Kung Fury (Best Dramatic Short Form, available on youtube) and Pierce Brown’s The Golden Son (Best Novel). Kung Fury is utterly insane in the best sense.

    All: For wider outreach, there’s a volunteer wikia tracking everything eligible in 2015, and anyone can add to it. If you have something you like for SP4 that doesn’t yet have an entry at the wikia, you can add it here. Also a good place to jog your memory.
    http://hugonoms2015.wikia.com/wiki/Hugo_Nominees_2016?cb=7258

    My own noms:
    The free radio podcast “Welcome to Night Vale,” either for Best Dramatic Long Form or Short Form (each ep is about 25 minutes.) Hard to describe, but picture a very friendly local radio host giving you the news and weather from a town on the mouth of a very bad place, where every conspiracy is true.
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/welcome-to-night-vale/id536258179#

    Short Story: “You Have Always Lived in the Castle” is my favorite story this year to date, the kind of thing I wish I could write, and a very fast read:
    http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/other-worlds-sf/cat-rambo/you-have-always-lived-in-the-castle

    • I’ve heard it described as H.P. Lovecraft does Prairie Home Companion.

      • gregm91436

        H.P. Lovecraft does Douglas Adams, maybe? I’m not the biggest fan of PHC, but if you imagine the flat-out funniest episode of PHC ever, then yes.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Heard part of the pilot, okay, but it didn’t hit my tastes so well that it compensated for the fact that I much prefer reading to listening.

        • The Other Sean

          I found it worked great to listen to when getting to bed. It usually takes me about 15-30 minutes to fall asleep, and trying to read in bed could instead make it hard to fall asleep due to light and visual stimulation and mental stimulation. There is usually some mental stimulation to listening to “Welcome to Nightvale” but I can do so with my eyes closed. And when the episode is done, I just go to sleep. (Usually after the episode ends. Once or twice before, but I was tired.)

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      You are welcome. I found out later that being bitten by a cobra and struck by lightning isn’t that unheard of in Chinese web novels about absurdly powerful martial artists.

      • gregm91436

        @BobTheRegisteredFool: Re: Kung Fury: That’s cool to know. Do said Chinese web novels have evil vending machines, too?:-)
        I can’t get over that vending machine. I just…oh man. My friend and co-writer David Butler was reduced to emailing me about it in ALL CAPS.

        Re: Night Vale: Appreciate you checking it out. It’s not to everyone’s taste.

    • Were-Puppy

      Just watched Kung Fury, it’s epic!

  66. Pingback: My first (seven) reactions to the surprise announcement of Sad Puppies 4 | Spacefaring, Extradimensional Happy Kittens

  67. William Underhill

    Ma’am, may I suggest a clarifying edit to your post?

    “If you want to see your favorite author receive a nomination and an award, your best bet will be to cast your nomination ballot for one of the works in the top ten or thereabouts of The List. ”

    There is already a suggestion by a commenter, over on File770, that you are encouraging people to nominate and/or vote without reading the work(s) in question (http://file770.com/?p=24703&cpage=1#comment-334971).

    Perhaps if you were to make it clear that as the intent is for work to be nominated on its merits, that people are encourage to recommend works they’ve read and enjoyed, and when The (Recommendation) List is finalized, that people are encouraged to read them (if they haven’t) before they nominate/vote?

    • Massive leap on their part.

      I mean, how else is someone supposed to become one of your favorite authors unless you have read their work?

      • William Underhill

        Fair point, sir, but one thing I observed with SP3 was that if there was any wiggle room to misinterpret something, it was a safe bet someone was going to. In fact, there’s another set of comments that, reduce to essentials, says that even if SP4 does everything by the book, they’re already tarnished, and the fact that Ms. Paulk & Co. are going to reduce the recommendation list down to ten means they’re just assembling a slate.

        http://file770.com/?p=24703&cpage=1#comment-335008
        http://file770.com/?p=24703&cpage=1#comment-335017
        http://file770.com/?p=24703&cpage=1#comment-335024
        http://file770.com/?p=24703&cpage=1#comment-335033
        http://file770.com/?p=24703&cpage=1#comment-335035

        Some commenters are already referring to an SP4 slate as if it’s a given, and that SP supporters need to be denied a voice.

        http://file770.com/?p=24703&cpage=1#comment-335044

        • Nathan

          “Nothing will ever be enough. It’s not about what we do, it’s about who we are: wrongfans having wrongfun. Everything else is just a fig leaf to cover that so they don’t have to admit it publicly.” – thewriterinblack

        • Then how about this line from this post? “The only criteria is that you’ve read it/watched it/seen it and you think it’s one of the best in its Hugo class published in 2015.”

          Pretty explicitly stating that you should not suggest anything or support anything you haven’t read.

          Of course, I’m sure that will be nitpicked for any hole in there that they can possibly imagine.

          • snowcrash

            @TLK your quote is for posting recommendations to SP4,

            @William Underhill is referring to the Hugo nomination ballot voting.

            Different things.

            • Then they’re even bigger idiots than I gave them credit for.

              We’re not at that point, so why would it come up now?

              • snowcrash

                Uhm, because of that portion from the OP That WU quoted – “If you want to see your favorite author receive a nomination and an award, your best bet will be to cast your nomination ballot for one of the works in the top ten or thereabouts of The List. ”

                It’s stated in the post above, so that’s why people are bringing it up.

                • And has been addressed that it was a comment on mathematical probabilities and not a directive from Kate.

                  Not that it will matter for some folks.

                  • snowcrash

                    Yes, I’ve seen that bandied about – but 1. It strikes me as unnecessary – why do mathematical likelihoods matter to a reading list? It’s not about getting items A-J on the ballot, it’s about encouraging participation and sharing stuff we like with fellow fans.

                    2. Yes, but it will matter to others – there are some people who will never be convinced. So what? Aim for those who can be.

                    • julieapascal

                      Seriously… those that can be convinced aren’t going to nit-pick and fuss because someone mentions the plain truth that if you spend your nomination on a book that no one else on the planet read or liked that another book that was wildly popular that you *also* liked might not make it… yah, no.

                    • snowcrash

                      @julie, replying to you here – Some of them are, and the more indications are given that SP4 is more interested in gaming and getting specific items on the ballot (which is one implication of all the “mathematical probability” type statements), the less kindly they’ll look at this.

                      Nominate what you read and saw as the best. Not “What was best on the Locus/ SP4 list”. Not “What I liked on the Locus/ SP4 list”. And certainly not “Things I think other people will coalesce around and get it onto the ballot”.

                    • Couldn’t agree with you more on #2.

                    • julieapascal

                      snowcrash… what will happen is this.

                      Kate will explain to “vote for what you really liked and found worthy”, but the rest? If she says “these are the 10 most popular, selected in a democratic manner” the rest doesn’t matter. She would have to deliberately hide what was the most popular in order to make it impossible for anyone to know what got the most votes. People LIE about us. They certainly will/have/are spinning to somehow make a list, as so very many people said over and over, at least 10… that doesn’t imply “everyone vote for these five and we’ll sweep the nominating ballots, yay” (even though that was an accident)… suddenly all of THOSE people will find that a “top 10” list, even when it includes *all* recommendations in a category, doesn’t, perhaps, keep us powerless and in the dark? Something we like MIGHT make it on the ballot if they don’t swing and change and spin the supposed “rules” and what a horror if something gets on the ballot, right?

                      And the “you need to make it impossible for people to lie about you or move the goal posts because someone neutral might be swayed by those lies” gets a big *no*. That’s not on Puppies, it’s on the liars.

                    • Suggestions for you and your ilk:

                      1. Look up “Good faith” in a legal or business dictionary.
                      2. Try it.

        • Book

          “…SP supporters need to be denied a voice.”

          This, I think, is the key phrasing.

          We can bend over backwards as many times as they demand it. We can phrase, and rephrase, and edit again.

          They’re not listening.

          These people do not really care HOW we phrase it. They just don’t want us participating. At all.

          They would much rather certain fans NOT be involved in their popularity contest. And why is that? Why are they so afraid to have a larger number of people voting and participating in the Hugos?

          It’s a question that I think they need to ask themselves… but I doubt too many of them are up for that sort of self reflection.

        • ““…SP supporters need to be denied a voice.””

          Who said that? Emma’s comment you link to says that she intends to ignore the SP4 list if it turns out it’s a slate; but saying “I intend to ignore any slates” isn’t the same as saying “SP supporters need to be denied a voice.”

          • Were-Puppy

            You’re right. What they are really saying is they will NO AWARD all categories.

            • Were-puppy:

              Clearly, most anti-slate folks didn’t “NO AWARD all categories” this year (there were winners in a bunch of categories). I don’t see any reason to think that a significant number of people intend to “no award” all categories next year, either. (The only prominent person I can recall advocating that is Michael Z. Williamson, who is a puppy.)

              But obviously many anti-slate voters did what I did – voted all nominees which were on the SP or RP slates below no award.

              Whether or not I do the same next year will depend on a bunch of factors. But I’ll do whatever is within the rules to avoid rewarding bloc voters. (Even if the Sad Puppies don’t form a slate this year, that doesn’t mean the Rabid Puppies won’t.)

              Hopefully, E Pluribus Hugo will pass and then slate voting will no longer be a means of controlling the ballot and locking all non-slate voters out, as it was in many categories this year. If that happens, then I’ll stop voting “no award” above works because they were on a slate.

              • Hey Ampersand since you are interested what we are trying to do why don’t you go bother somebody else.

              • julieapascal

                “Turns out to be a slate” is finally defined. (Well, defined on Sept 5th, anyhow.) “Turns out to be a Slate” means “get the things that can be associated with the Sad Puppies on account of appearing on their list, nominated for a Hugo.” If something on our list gets nominated, it will mean that Puppies “voted as a block” and then all the Warriors Pure of Heart will rally to keep the Hugos pure. One nominee? Two? Does it matter to the Church of Noah Ward?

                No really… we’d *welcome* them if they just played by the rules… blah blah blah…

                Sell me beach front property in Arizona, why don’tcha.

      • Uncle Lar

        No, typical Alynski trick. When you cannot win a debate with the facts you create a straw man with just enough added flaws so you can attack them and look like you’re winning. And the casual observer lacks the background knowledge to realize that the straw man has no true basis in reality, but was created out of whole cloth to provide a vulnerable target.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Maybe their favorite authors are picked by friendship or utility.

    • Nathan

      We did that last year, including a purchasing and reading drive. Didn’t stop people from insinuating otherwise. In fact, the first complaints came from File770 last year as well.

    • There goes that selective reading. Here is what Kate said: The only criteria is that you’ve read it/watched it/seen it and you think it’s one of the best in its Hugo class published in 2015.

      So yes, she does say you should read whatever you are nominating — or watch if it is video.

      • Ray

        ah, to be precise, she says the only criteria *for posting recommendations* is that you’ve read it/watched it/seen it and you think it’s one of the best in its Hugo class published in 2015
        When it comes to *sending in your Hugo nominations*, she says “If you want to see your favorite author receive a nomination and an award, your best bet will be to cast your nomination ballot for one of the works in the top ten or thereabouts of The List.”
        So, following Kate’s instructions to the letter, you could recommend something you’ve read but nominate something you haven’t.

        • Or you could use a little common sense and read it before nominating it — just as we said last year and the year before. But it you want to pick the nits, go right ahead.

          • As long as people read the stories before nominating them, it would be okay by me–even if they all came off Vox Day’s slate. Just as long as they honestly enjoyed them and genuinely believed they were award-worthy based on the content of the stories–not on who the author was or whose list it was on.

            My concern is entirely with people being urged to nominate things they didn’t even read–especially when it results in embarrassingly bad stories on the final ballot. Truthfully, if a slate actually put well-written, entertaining, thought-provoking stories on the final ballot, I wouldn’t much care where they came from. I might gripe a little, but I’d never rank an award-worthy story below no award.

            • Since Kate specifically said, “The only criteria is that you’ve read it/watched it/seen it and you think it’s one of the best in its Hugo class published in 2015”, worry not. We’ve done all we can be expected to do.

            • julieapascal

              Golly… like the “don’t bother to read it” No Awarders? Lost THAT high ground.

              Oopsie.

              • Book

                DING!

                “We don’t like that this group of fans created a recommended slate. So we’re going to punish the authors they nominated by not reading them and voting a No Award Slate!”

                Makes perfect sense. (in that it doesn’t. At all.)

          • snowcrash

            Unfamilar with what was said for SP2, but in SP3 one of the criticisms, both of the original slate-collation announcement and on the final slate announcement, was that it wasn’t said – it was stated as “If you agree with our slate below — and we suspect you might — this is YOUR chance to make sure YOUR voice is heard. ”

            I think the wording in the OP is just reminding some people of that particular history, and would be good to see SP4 addressing it.

            • TomT

              Wrong. Both Sad Puppies 2 and 3 said hey here is what we like vote for it if you like or vote for something else if you like. Just have read whatever you are voting on.

            • Steve Moss

              How is that re-writing history working for you?

              SP was not even close to a slate. The No Award vote was definitely a slate. The Puppy Kickers are a collection of hypocrites.

              • snowcrash

                Hi Steve, good to see you still around. I see the whole “projection” thing is still strong with you. Let’s just say that given your beliefs, we’ll probably never agree on reality. So, what’ve you read recently that’s blown your socks off? For me, I’d have to give it up for Seveneves, which was a great return to form for Stephenson, after the somewhat disappointing Reamde.

                Have you read it?

          • Ray

            but again the suggestion is that you read and nominate from the top ten, instead of nominating the things you like best *whether or not they are on the top ten*

            • Ray, I’m getting annoyed with you, so please understand that what I’m posting here isn’t meant to be harsh. If it comes across that way, I apologize now.

              Kate made a comment that you seem bound and determined to read things into. Yes, she said if you want to see your favorite authors get nominated, your best bet was to choose near the top of the list. The more popular authors are more likely to get nominated after all. However, she never said you had to, must, or anything else. It was a tip on mathematical probabilities at that point, but not marching orders.

              Also, you seem to be latched onto the idea that she’s not advocating reading the books. How? Because she didn’t explicitly state to read the books in that particular sentence? She also didn’t tell us to nominate blindly either. Why is it so easy to assume we’ll do one thing without particular instructions–something mind bogglingly stupid for a literary award–but not something else? For the record, Kate didn’t tell me to tie my shoes either, but it miraculously happened.

              This crowd, the one Kate is talking to, knows to read the book. It’s what we do. And none of us are going to nominate books we don’t like.

            • Wow, here I thought we were dealing with adults who could make up their own minds. Sorry, it’s early and I’m in pain, so the snark comes out. But be real here. The whole point of Sad Puppies, no matter what the iteration, has been to read and nominate works the reader feels are the best. And honestly, no matter how Kate phrased it, someone is going to find a way to spin it so it means what they want it to. So here is the thing. SP4 wants people to read books or watch videos and nominate the ones they feel are the best. There will be a dedicated page to listing all those recommendations. From those recommendations, a list of the top 10, or however many Kate finally decides upon, will be posted. It is then our recommendation that everyone read or watch those titles before deciding whether or not they should be nominated. Does that meet your requirements or do you want to pick a few more nits?

              • Ray

                I was all ready with some applause and then your reply took a weird turn.
                “read and nominate works the reader feels are the best” – yay!
                “read books or watch videos and nominate the ones they feel are the best” – yay!
                “a list of the top 10… will be posted. It is then our recommendation that everyone read or watch those titles before deciding whether or not they should be nominated” – whu?
                Why is everyone supposed to read/watch the top ten list? Why is everyone supposed to decide whether or not _those works in particular_ should be nominated? If I’m reading and recommending books all through the year, don’t I already have a top five of my own to nominate? Why should I go to your top ten?
                Why not stop at “SP4 wants people to read books or watch videos and nominate the ones they feel are the best” That’s something everyone can get behind. Read stuff! Watch stuff! Nominate the stuff you like best!

                • Why should they read the top ten? Because they might really like those things and just haven’t read/watched/seen those things yet.

                  Realistically, it would be best if everyone read/watched/saw everything that’s recommended, but that could be impractical. The top ten list is a recommendation list winnowed down just a bit for simplicity’s sake, but it’s linked to the whole list so people can find stuff they like on the list.

                  Personally, I hope to read everything recommended on these posts this year. I doubt it’s going to happen unless Seveneves comes WAY down in price.:/

                • Why is everyone supposed to read/watch the top ten list?

                  Hel’s Misty Halls, are we really having to spell this out for you?

                  They’re on the top ten list because a lot of people have read and liked them. Thus, if you read them (and haven’t already which you may already have done because a lot of people already have which is why it’s on the top ten list) you may well like them too, perhaps even better than stuff you’d previously read.

                  • Ray

                    if the top ten is *only* “lots of other people liked these, so you may too”, why is Kate suggesting that you consult it before deciding what to vote for, and Amanda saying they’ll recommend that everyone decide whether or not the things on that list should be nominated?
                    It’s not quite “Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black.”, but the message seems to be ‘Read this list. Then vote for anything you like! But hey, this list, pretty good, right?’

                    • It’s not quite “Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black.”

                      If by “not quite” you mean “nothing at all like that”. It’s “hey, a lot of people like cruise control you may want to consider that before signing the purchase agreement.”

                      Odin’s One Eye, are you so determined to take offense that you can’t see that “hey, you might want to check this out before casting your vote” is a good thing?

                    • Ray

                      People recommending the things they like is fine (as I keep saying)
                      Suggesting that people concentrate their votes on a shortlist is something different. Kate and Amanda seem to have trouble saying that they won’t be doing the latter.

                    • Bjorn Hasseler

                      J’Accuse. And if Kate explicitly posts what you’re asking for, that’s not going to be enough, either, is it? Your entire interaction here conveys that Sad Puppies are welcome so long as their votes are diffuse enough to vanish into the statistical noise.

                    • Nothing that interferes with Tor’s logrolling is to be allowed.

                      They just can’t admit that publicly so they keep inventing reasons to be offended.

                    • Tell ya what. Why don’t you go and rally every science fiction and fantasy fan you know to register for the Hugos and nominate and vote for whatever they want.

                      Because Kate was very explicit in saying that that was the goal for Sad Puppies this year, and we do not want to dominate the votes or nominations. We just don’t want anyone else to dominate them either. We want it to be so that even if we handed out a list of five books, and told everyone to nominate just those books AND THEY LISTENED (which doesn’t happen with this crowd, for the record), it wouldn’t matter because no faction has sufficient numbers to drown out the accumulated might of the fans.

                      We on the same page now?

                    • Ray

                      There’s an easy way to find out, isn’t there?
                      Your own comment indicates the problem. I would like the votes of Sad Puppies to be exactly as diffuse – no more and no less – as the votes of File770 readers, or Whatever readers, or Tor.com readers. I would like everyone to nominate their favourite things, and I would like the final shortlist to accurately represent what people really liked in the year. If lots of people really like something, it should get on the ballot. If there aren’t lots of people who like it, it shouldn’t.
                      If you, and Kate, and Amanda think, “we have to get all Sad Puppies to concentrate their votes on certain things to make sure we get a certain number of spots on the ballot”, well, as far as I’m concerned that is not in the spirit of the awards. If you just want lots of people to vote for the things they love, that’s fine with me, even if the things you like are not things I like.

                    • Nathan

                      I want a Hugo nomination ballot that reflects the millions of science fiction fans of all ages, young and old, across all genres, not the elderly Worldcon elite that’s presiding over print science fiction’s continued decline into irrelevance nor the “you aren’t a fan if you don’t go to our cons” of G. R. R. Martin.

                      I want all these little cliques and even Sad Puppies to get swamped because the Hugos managed to interest 1% of the World of Warcraft audience, for instance, enough that 60,000 new voters participated. Only then does it deserve the name of a world fandom award.

                      60,000 vs. 600 who will find fault in what I do no matter what. Who should I be trying to appeal to?

                    • Ray

                      I don’t see how this relates to my criticism.
                      Are you saying that 60,000 more voters are more likely to participate if there is a Sad Puppies top ten and people are encouraged to vote for works on that list instead of their favourites? That seems… unlikely.

                      Do you think 60,000 people are going to start going to Worldcon? I don’t think many Worldcons are set up for those numbers. Do you think all those people are going to buy supporting memberships to vote in the Hugo awards. I guess it’s possible?

                    • William Underhill

                      Oh for FUCKS SAKE, Ray…. why is it bad to recommend things? NO ONE HERE IS SAYING “Vote only from The List delivered from on high, lest the wrath of the Queen Bitch blast your stones into oblivion!”

                      Here, I’ll break it down for you, real simple, in words of one or two syllables for your reading-challenged mind:
                      1) read stuff
                      2) recommend stuff, including here
                      3) have a look at the The List, which will be the top ten or so of everyone’s recommendations AND WILL BE LINKED to the ENTIRE list.
                      4) read stuff on the list, anything on the ENTIRE list
                      5) keep on reading stuff recommended elsewhere, too
                      6) nominate based on WHAT YOU READ
                      7) when the final ballot comes out,READ ANYTHING ON IT THAT YOU HAVEN’T YET READ
                      8) vote based on WHAT YOU READ

                      Jesus, Mary and Joseph, get that fucking telephone pole of righteous indignation out of your goddam ass.

                    • I understand how you feel.

                      Completely.

                    • Ray

                      @William, you should go back and count your syllables:)
                      But after that, you could consider that most of what you’re saying is irrelevant to my question. And though you might think the answer is obvious, Kate and Amanda don’t seem to be able to come right out and give that answer. Since they’re two of the triumverate, I’m more interested in their answers than yours, sorry.

                    • Nathan

                      The Weird Kitties might be more for you.

                    • William Underhill

                      @William, you should go back and count your syllables:)
                      But after that, you could consider that most of what you’re saying is irrelevant to my question. And though you might think the answer is obvious, Kate and Amanda don’t seem to be able to come right out and give that answer. Since they’re two of the triumverate, I’m more interested in their answers than yours, sorry.

                      I was trying to do you the courtesy of assuming your IQ was larger than your shoe size, but it seems I’m wrong – and no, your smiley face doesn’t get you a humour pass, shithead. So go back to getting that fucking indignation log out, along with the ‘Kate must explain everything to my personal satisfaction’ log – which, by the way, she did, up-thread – also out of your bunghole, where it seems to be wedged in with the indignation log.

                      GO FUCKING READ HER ANSWER, ARSEBREATHER.

                    • William Underhill

                      My apologies, Ms. Paulk & others, for my language. Regardless of my opinion about Ray the Concern Troll, that doesn’t excuse the way I expressed myself, and I apologize unreservedly for descending to vulgarity. I do NOT apologize for my opinion of Ray the Concern Troll, which has passed the Mohorovicic Discontinuity and is heading rapidly for the core.

                • OMFG, are you just trying to nitpick your way completely out of the conversation? Let me put this to you in a way maybe even you can understand.

                  1. SP4 is asking everyone to read (or watch) and then submit the titles of works they feel should be considered for the Hugo.

                  2. These will be kept on a single webpage where everyone — get that, everyone — can see what has been listed. Think of it as a huge suggested reading list.

                  3. We already have had a number of titles recommended and they will be set up on the page as the page is developed over the next few days.

                  4. We also know there will be some folks recommending the same book or movie or whatever. So those with the most votes will be noted.

                  5. When it comes time to nominate for the Hugos, we will show the top 10 of those titles in each category that have been suggested.

                  6. At NO TIME — go back and read those three words again — will the list be removed prior to the end of the Hugo process.

                  7. At NO TIME are we telling people to nominate ONLY those items in the top ten.

                  8. The key is to read and watch and listen.

                  Is that clear enough for you or do you want to continue picking nits? Now, answer me this, are you going to the sites that are already coming out against SPIV and holding them to the same standard you are us?

                  • Ray

                    Would this be equally accurate?
                    “7. At NO TIME will we be suggesting that people concentrate their nominations on items in the top ten. ”
                    Because if the answer is yes, I’m perfectly happy.

                    The sites coming out against SPIV? (you might want to stick to SP4, btw) Is there anyone suggesting that people _don’t_ nominate the things they like best? Because I’d be happy to criticise them if so.

                    • So your answer is that you continue to want to pick nits.

                      Got it.

                    • Ray

                      I’m pretty sure all of my comments on this thread have been variations on “what is the deal with the top ten? why not just tell people to vote for their own favourites?”
                      A lot of the replies have been about whether people will read before voting, whether the other recommended items will be available, 10 is not 5… things that I didn’t really ask. So, you may call it picking nits, but I’m trying to get a straight answer to a straight question. Here, I’ll ask again
                      “Will people be encouraged to vote for items on the top ten lists in particular? Or will people be encouraged to vote for their favourites, no matter how popular or unpopular they are?”

                    • Nope, not going to do it because I, as an individual might like all of those titles in the top 10 and I want to be free to be able to suggest — as an individual — that someone vote for them. No matter what we say, you seem determined to find something wrong with it. So I will leave it at this. SP4 is not about telling people what to vote for. We’ll leave that to others. The purpose for SP4 is to get more people informed about the Hugos — and the fact they do have a voice in what gets nominated and what wins — and to help people discover new science fiction titles they might not otherwise have known about. Now, instead of trying to pick every nit you find, why don’t you just sit back and relax and see how this unfolds. We are in very early days after all and this was merely the introductory post.

                    • Ray

                      that’s a fairly blatant dodge.
                      You’re happy to say “At NO TIME are we telling people to nominate ONLY those items in the top ten.” You didn’t say, well, I can’t rule it out, maybe I, as an individual would like to do this. You said loud and clear that SP4 wouldn’t do it.
                      But apparently you can’t say that SP4 won’t suggest that people concentrate their nominations. That’s interesting.

                    • julieapascal

                      ANY other web site that lists ANY book or author or article or TV show WHATSOEVER has failed your precious test.

                      Do you not realize that this is obvious to everyone?

                      If Scalzi so much as mumbles the name of an author or novel in his sleep he’ll have implied that his fans should strongly consider THAT author or novel or whatever above the others.

                      Will you jump on him and explain how he’s wrong?

                      Of course not… BECAUSE HE’S NOT WRONG.

                    • Ray

                      as I’ve said, I have no problem with you, Scalzi, Beale, or my aunt Sally recommending that people read a story, watch a movie, admire some art…
                      I have a problem if someone suggests that they nominate for things other than their personal favourites to advance some agenda.
                      “Go read these books that feature Russian protagonists!” – well, maybe
                      “Vote for these books to ensure the shortlist has at least one book with a Russian protagonist!” – hell, no

                    • Ah, so long as it’s “wink, wink, nudge, nudge” you’re okay with it. But being open and above board is beyond the pale.

                      Got it.

                      If that hair you were splitting were any finer it would be a monomolecular fibril.

                    • Ray

                      Do you not think it’s possible for people to recommend books without an ulterior motive? Here’s a recommendation for you –
                      I read this story about a month ago
                      http://www.tor.com/2015/01/21/damage-david-levine/
                      I think you might like it.

                      Now, maybe you’ll read that and _really_ like it and come Hugo nomination time you’ll decide you want to nominate it. Or maybe you won’t. I don’t really care. I don’t know yet if I’ll nominate it myself. If I do, I’ll be nominating it because it was one of the 5 best I read from 2015. If it gets on the shortlist, well and good. If it doesn’t, them’s the breaks. I don’t expect you to nominate it for any other reason than that you really liked it.

                      Is there a “wink, wink, nudge, nudge” in there? If there is, perhaps you could explain it to me?

                    • s there a “wink, wink, nudge, nudge” in there? If there is, perhaps you could explain it to me?

                      Examples given previously were where someone listed a book and mentioned that it’s eligible for a Hugo. What’s the point of mentioning eligibility unless it’s a suggestion for people to nominate/vote for it (“wink wink nudge nudge”) Locus gives out their annual recommendation list. But those fall in line with Tor’s logrolling so they’re okay. Outside that? Anathema.

                    • It’s not that nobody can recommend without ulterior motive. It’s that I don’t think you care about ulterior motive so long as it’s the “right” people.

                    • @writerinblack

                      Given the number of nominees who get disqualified for not being eligible, and being that the SP3 leader had to call and check in with a friend for what he had that was eligible, I think telling people “Hey, this is eligible, FYI” is not undue campaigning — no matter who does it.

                      I, personally, would attach a standard “If you read it and liked it (and if so, thank you!), and think it was top-5 in its category this year (and if so, I’m flattered) please nominate it.”, but I can be stuffy (and parenthetical) that way.

                    • Ray

                      Damage is eligible for a Hugo. I’m recommending it because I think you might like it. What ulterior motive could I have in recommending it? How do I profit? Same with the Locus lists. They recommend things their editors and reviewers liked. Where is the ulterior motive? How does Locus profit if one of the short stories on the recommendation list is nominated for a Hugo.
                      And I’m completely willing to take at face value that if you recommend a movie, it’s because you liked it and think others might like it.
                      I feel like I’ve said this a dozen times already, but I really don’t have a problem with people recommending things they like. It’s great. Do more of it!
                      I want to see people voting for the things they love. Not voting for other things because they’re on a list. Whoever made that list.

                    • How does Kate profit if my book appears on a list and gets a Hugo nomination?

                    • Bjorn Hasseler

                      So you’re here, trying to bully Sad Puppies into doing a reading list that *anyone who wants to can have input into* instead of over at Scalzi’s or Locus where the everyday science fiction and fantasy reader has no input onto the list. Seems to me that’s a double standard.

                    • How many Hugo Awards has Locus been nominated for? How many have they won? No, I’m sure there is nothing in it for them to play the game.

                    • Ray

                      @ Tom. I don’t think she does. I don’t look for ulterior motives behind every recommendation.
                      @ Bjorn. I’m trying to “bully Sad Puppies into doing a reading list that *anyone who wants to can have input into*”? I am? I thought it was already that?
                      @ Quizzer Locus posts recommended reading lists of novels as part of a plot to get a Hugo nomination? I’m not sure how to respond to that. Isn’t everything they do part of the same plot? A fiendish plan to produce content people enjoy and will think is award-worthy?

                    • Bjorn Hasseler

                      Stop being disingenuous, Ray. *Of course* everyone has input at Sad Puppies. So why are you harping on Sad Puppies, who are being transparent, rather than the people who aren’t? You don’t like the way something’s phrased, here but it’s clear that other posters are understanding it just fine. Elsewhere there will be lists where readers don’t even have input. Here you’re going to be able to see everything somebody thought was good. Elsewhere…not so much.

                    • That’s interesting, Ray, since she already explicitly said that the “Read and nominate what you like” is coming on the next step (you know, when people will actually be nominating) and yet have still managed to read more into that one comment than was ever intended.

                    • Ray

                      Bjorn, I really think you’re missing the point of my objection. It’s great that people post about the books (films, etc) that they love, here or anywhere else. I have no problem with that. Collect all those recommendations into a list? Still no problem.
                      Encourage people to vote for the top items on that list rather than their own favourites? Problem

                    • Bjorn Hasseler

                      I’m not missing anything, Ray. I’m calling you out on your hypocrisy. Kate: “The only criteria is that you’ve read it/watched it/seen it and you think it’s one of the best in its Hugo class published in 2015.” Third paragraph from the bottom.

                      Other places: Solely what *they* think. Their recommendations, already winnowed down. All you get to see is their recommendations. No input from you. There, you *are* being encouraged to vote for the top of their list *because* that’s all they’re giving you. Here, you can see everything everybody recommended. And then Sad Puppies will vote however they want to, individually. Look at the analyses of the 2014 votes, and you’ll see that that’s how Sad Puppies vote – however they want to. Add all the references here to not trying to herd cats.

                    • Ray

                      @Bjorn that’s the criteria for posting a recommendation here, not the criteria for nominating works for the Hugo.

                    • B. Durbin

                      There’s an exercise often used in the military where a potential officer has to draft a series of instructions for a simple task, such as making a peanut butter sandwich, and then a superior officer goes and deliberately interprets the instructions in the most deliberate way. For example, if the instructions say “spread the peanut butter on the bread” and neglected to say “open the jar” first, the superior officer is likely to start banging on the jar lid.

                      And this is why the military has a 26 page recipe for brownies. Contractors will use *any possible wiggle room* to get out of making things up to standard.

        • Suggestions for you and your ilk:

          1. Look up “Good faith” in a legal or business dictionary.
          2. Try it.

          • William Underhill

            You’re wasting your time, HerbN. That lot wouldn’t know good faith if it bit them in the ass. (was going to put it slightly differently but have already been foul-mouthed in someone else’s space once today)

        • Reader not Writer

          Here’s that nit again, picking his own scabs again … sigh …

    • Patrick Chester

      There’s also a lack of Kate telling people to brush their teeth. Think of the cavities… *eyeroll*

      They will fabricate and dissemble and pretend it’s the other person who is at fault.

      • Careful with that… last time they went there at Larry’s the thread ended with Cookie Monster leveling a neighborhood. (I think TL Knighton is still in therapy for that incident.)

        • Nah, no therapy for me.

          But there’s a reason I had to move recently, and it was because large swaths of my neighborhood looked like Hurricane Katrina mated with Sharknado and had babies all over the street.

          The nightmares and jumpiness have nothing to do with what happened, I’m sure.

  68. More Lerts

    Best Novel: THE BORDER, Robert McCammon.
    Excellent, rollicking, old-school alien invasion story, and his first SF work since STINGER over 25 years ago.

    • Boy’s Life might narrowly fit the criteria of SF/Fantasy and that’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. I’ll have to check out The Border, McCammon is one of the more under appreciated authors out there in my opinion. Glad to hear The Border is good.

  69. William Underhill

    For recording purposes; I’m putting here the two posts I just made on File770. They are currently awaiting moderation. I will be interested to see if they are in fact approved. I also think the fact that File770’s posts are moderated and need to be approved, and posts here and on Mr. Torgersen’s blog are not, is thought-provoking.
    =========================================================William Underhill on September 3, 2015 at 2:38 pm said:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Greg Hullender on September 3, 2015 at 12:28 pm said:

    @LarryM I don’t think ordering matters; in my view, what makes it a slate is that they are still telling people to vote without reading. “If you want to see your favorite author receive a nomination and an award, your best bet will be to cast your nomination ballot for one of the works in the top ten or thereabouts of The List.”

    She does say to only add to her list if you read and liked it, but she still seems to expect people to nominate without reading.

    I don’t see that, but I’m not in your head. However, I have suggested to her that she clarify so as to head off any misunderstanding as to intent.
    ————————————————————————————————–
    William Underhill on September 3, 2015 at 2:44 pm said:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Ray on September 3, 2015 at 1:28 pm said:

    Anyone can post any number of recommendations (obviously not for the same work – one recommendation per person per work), and there is NO political test.

    But I posted there earlier politely asking why they were encouraging people to choose from a top ten instead of voting their own preferences. My comment didn’t get out of moderation, and was deleted.

    I don’t think they arel; I think they are, as stated, compiling a recommended reading list. It can’t possibly capture every possibility, though she says they want lots and lots and lots of suggestion to make up the final list.

    But in the end, my read is that it’s a recommended reading list; it’s not meant to be exclusive. If someone reads something, suggests it for the list and it doesn’t make it on, there’s no reason that person can’t nominate that something anyway. The context I saw was discussion of the process to create the recommended reading list, not that people should nominate/vote on the final list alone.

    It will be interesting and educational to watch what happens for 2016. I bought my membership in January for Sasquan, but had no idea I could nominate works. Next year I will be a better-informed Worldcon member:)
    =========================================================

    • Lenora Rose

      I post at File770 all the time. A few keywords (names of drugs, frex) and errors in web site links are the only reasons anything gets in the moderation queue usually. And those are automated to come up for anyone who forgets, even regulars.

    • Sir, you are a scholar and a gentleman.

    • julieapascal

      Oh for the freaking love of dog… Of *course* if you nominate something that has turned out to be popular, you’ve got a better chance of seeing your picks get on the ballot. If you’re the only one who really really liked some indy book no one else heard of and you didn’t manage to get any traction going for it even though you tried, putting it on your nominating ballot is a pointless waste of your vote.

      How this magically translates “vote for something you didn’t read” must depend on the alternate reality inside of the heads of idiots.

    • William Underhill

      Well. It’s several hours later, and my posts on File770, as echoed above, appear not to have been permitted. I find this instructive.

      • William Underhill

        My error; they were in fact posted. My WordPress-fu is weak tonight. Please cancel/disregard my immediately previous post.

    • // I also think the fact that File770’s posts are moderated and need to be approved, and posts here and on Mr. Torgersen’s blog are not, is thought-provoking.//

      Well that certainly provoked some thoughts for me.

  70. Patrick Chester

    You can never go wrong with mecha.

    Does Mecha Puppy have Macross-like missile pods?😉

  71. airboy

    How can you tell how many words are in a story that is in a collection of short stories? I liked two short stories in the collection in SM Stirling’s Emberverse – but I have no idea of the word count and which of the weird WorldCon categories they fit in.

    Suggestions?

    • Tuomas Vainio

      What is the exact name of this publication? Date when it was published? This information would help me to find out the work itself, and count the words if nothing else works.

      Oh… Speaking of counting the words. Count the words on a single full page of text, then multiply that word count with the number of pages for an estimate.

    • Nathan

      0-7.5k words, short story
      7,501-17.5k, novelette
      17, 501-40k, novella
      40k+, novel
      (300k+, killer of forests. still a novel, though)

      • I think he’s talking about how to figure out how many words are in the story printed in the book, not what category it’s in.

        As a general rule, there are 250 words per printed page, IIRC. Multiply that by the number of pages should put you in the ballpark.

  72. AWESOME!

    Let the Embiggening begin!

  73. Tuomas Vainio

    Got to start making a list. And I hope those actual threads pop up sooner rather than later.

    But as for those suggestions, I wonder if it would be possible to make them anonymously. I know how the usuals on the Puppy-Kicking side will start cry whatever bullshit about it – but it would also enable them to participate without loosing their ‘puppy-kicking-face’ among their ‘puppy-kicking’ peers.

    So any thoughts on a box we could click in order to make our suggestions either public or anonymous?

    • They can always log out of WordPress (assuming they’re logged in to start with, of course) and then use the comment form. Fill in any name they like. They’ll be anonymous for all intents and purposes.

      • Tuomas Vainio

        Oh. That settles it. Haven’t used WordPress myself, so I had no idea. But now there is a new problem, how can we convince and explain it to them that they can log off and just fill out the comment form with any name?

        • Most of the usual Puppy Kickers are somewhat familiar with WordPress.

          If they’re not, I’m not sure what we can do. Maybe put it in an FAQ.

          • JonT

            How is “one recommendation per person per work” to be enforced if it’s possible to offer suggestions anonymously? No one can possibly believe, as contentious as anything associated with the Hugos now is, that everyone can be relied on not to vote for something more than once on the honour system, can they?

            Here I see that an email address must be supplied to comment, but it’s easy enough to generate new email addresses to go with an alias, even if Kate et al were to make the effort, in addition all the tabulating of suggestions they’re on the hook for, to check that every email address given is actually a working one.

            • I won’t go into how, because the more knowledge someone has of the procedures the easier it is to figure out how to get around those, but there are ways to tell.

            • Tuomas Vainio

              The anonymity comes from being able to use a nickname. For example, John Scalzi, David Gerrold, or George Martin, could all recommend their own works, or preferred works, under a pseudonym of their own choosing. Hence this ‘anonymity’ is to ensure that they have a thing called the secret of the ballot box – thus even if they were to recommend Vox Day, they could recommend it without their progressive friends finding out.

              As for using ‘fake’ email addresses, there exists a multitude of means to identify people online. Ranging from the basic internet protocols to even statistical analyses on the recommendations themselves. Hence, any attempt to game these recommendations will be ultimately detected.