Puppy Related Fatigue

I’ve alluded to on occasion over the past couple years, but never outright weighed in on the mess the Hugos have been for a while now. There are reasons for that. Prime among them, I’ve not really got the time or energy for it. I’ve got a toddler and an infant in the house, and between them (Wee Dave is Being Two a lot more these days, which isn’t great fun, and results in misapplied enthusiasm toward Miss Moxie. She is growing and developing as infants do, and finally sleeping more through the night, a Thing to which her mother and I have been greatly looking forward), the Necessary Evils that are my responsibility as the one at home most, and my hmm-hmm-mumble writing career, the field where I grow mine is pretty barren. On most subjects, really.

Close behind that, I’ve got friends on both sides of the divide. Friends I’d rather keep than be right one way or the other. Well, to push hard enough to be “right.” Much like religion and politics (but unlike philosophy, *sigh* no respect, I tell ya), the Hugos and the State of F/fandom have become tar-pit subjects best left at the curb when I spend time in certain friends living rooms, virtual or meatspace.

There’s plenty been written about the four years of Campaigns to End Puppy-Related Sadness, and only a tiny percentage has been written here at the MGC. A slightly larger portion has been accurate in presented details. Almost nowhere else have the writers actually addressed the deeper question the last two campaigns have been about: who is a fan?

There have been a truly mind-boggling amount of posts about how the Sad Puppies are bad people by virtue of being white, male, straight, whatever. It apparently hasn’t mattered that none of those are universally true, but even if they were accurate in every particular, these judgements would be based upon nothing more or less than factors over which the Puppies have no control.

Next came the usual attacks based upon supposed behaviors. You know, the ones taken up by international media outlets across the globe. The Puppies are homophobic, racist, misogynist, Islamophobic, etc, ad nauseum. Only nobody ever demonstrates particulars. It’s always simply “known.” (Seriously, find the quotes, post them in the comments. Give context and analysis. The burden of proof is, as usual, on the accusers.)

Much more has been made of supposed alliances between campaigns, based more upon circumstance and wishful thinking than anything approaching reality. Denials haven’t mattered. Publicly available intelligence refuting the supposed alliance has likewise been ignored. Public disgust with the tactics employed has been deemed of no consequence.

And this year, Kate’s moved to a completely transparent system based on a public website. You can go count the votes yourself if you want. And still she, and the system, and the people who have made their opinions on last year’s collection of scifi are insulted and questioned. And some of the creators who’ve received the public acclaim of their fans are once again requesting that they be removed from consideration by others of their fans. None of which is surprising, especially given the horror show last year’s surprise nomination sweeps generated.

But it is disappointing.

In other industries, people are united under the umbrella of an organization. I have friends in the auto industry, and they describe similar kinds of infighting to what’s been going on in scifi recently. I have friends in the military, and while the mission still comes first, politics (in the philosophical sense of how groups of people interact together) still happen, much as we might wish they happened to someone else.

What we’re dealing with is human nature. I tend to agree with Sarah that it comes down to tribalism. We identify more closely with some groups than with others. Those others become the Other, and over time are identified as the enemy, to one degree or another. This is normal. It happens at all ages, and in all places. It’s still disappointing. Especially when we’re closer to each other than to most of those around us.

Let me tell you a little story. In 2009, I went to Renovation. My folks lived just north of there, and my wife was home from deployment, so we burned some cash and got there. I got to meet Larry Correia, Howard Tayler, Steve Jackson, and several other creators I’d theretofore only known as names on the Internet. I made some long term friends. It was pretty heady, and several folks have turned into genuine friends, whose friendship I treasure. I’ve since done similar things a couple times, most recently at LibertyCon in Chattanooga.

And yet.

Thing is, even then I noticed a lot of us/them dividing going on. A lot of that is natural, if unfortunate. It happens within families. Call it sibling-rivalry. I like this thing more than that thing. I like her more than I like him, etc. Or the converse: he said something I didn’t like. Or, what I consider more common, she did or said something that the people I want to like me don’t like. A lot of that going around these days.

Larry apparently experienced much the same thing. He’s detailed his experience over at Monster Hunter Nation. He pointed out the bias he experienced firsthand, and was told he was smoking something. He then demonstrated it in the most belligerent manner he could come up with, and it pissed off a lot of people. He did it again, and got even more people interested in what had been a declining con, and an award slipping in prestige.

Last year, Brad worked hard to get even more people involved in the process, and again, a lot of people got pissed. A lot of filth was spewed, and a lot of feelings got hurt. Some folks who should have known better allowed their inner twelve-year-olds to run rampant.

And now Kate has run a completely transparent campaign to gather people together to laud the works they find award-worthy. And that hasn’t stopped anybody from calling her names, calling us names, calling for removal of works from The List (seriously, look up slate in the dictionary, people). Or, at least, it hasn’t stopped everybody, though it should have.

And I have to ask: what’s so bad about being recommended for an award? You’re not responsible for who buys your work, who likes your work. You’re not responsible for who recommends you receive an award for your work. If someone else comes along and tries to fabricate a connection between you besides creator and consumer, they’ve got an agenda. And do not have your best interests at heart. And if someone is willing to torpedo your chance at recognition to serve their own ends, then they were unlikely to pay you for your work in the first place.

Will the Hugos survive this latest dust-up? Frankly, I’m experiencing no small amount of puppy-related fatigue: I really don’t care. I want to get paid for my art. Recognition is nice, but it doesn’t put food in my son’s mouth. Nor does it maintain friendships.


  1. Dave, I agree with your analysis. I also agree that there’s only so much energy in this world…and I have to save it for writing, editing, helping family and friends. I just don’t have any more energy to spare right now.

    That said, Kate did a good job. She was transparent. She was honest, as she always has been. And the fact that she’s still getting treated badly does bother me.

    I have friends on both sides of this, too. I want everyone to get along, and for older SF&F writers and fans to appreciate newer SF&F writers and fans. (None of us are new any more, I don’t think. But we’re still newer, I suppose.) I think some of ’em do but can’t say it for whatever reason, and some of ’em are just never going to get it no matter how many times we butt our heads up against the brick walls of their minds.

    I have lost a very good friend due to this mess. I hate that. But I had to defend another friend, Jason Cordova, last year. I could not choose between friends; I’d have defended my other friend just as hard as I defended Jason. (Not that Jason needed my defense. But it was a matter of principle, and dammit, I’d still do the same thing. Even knowing the consequences.)

    Otherwise…Dave, you said it well. I can’t say it better. But is it wrong of me to wish that I could add something more substantive to your analysis than just, “I agree?” (Because in essence, that is exactly what I”m doing.)

  2. ” You’re not responsible for who buys your work, who likes your work. You’re not responsible for who recommends you receive an award for your work.”

    This. So much This.

    1. And as I’ve said elsewhere, being upset that people who you consider your enemies ALSO like your work enough to nominate it for an award, and demanding they withdraw their support solely because you don’t like them, says a hell of a lot more about YOUR prejudices, than theirs.

  3. I consider the issue closed, myself.

    The puppies said, “The Hugo Awards are not fan awarded, they are a political prize controlled by publishers and given out on the basis of who is in tight with the right people.”

    The Worldcon committee responded by saying, “That’s right, and we’re going to keep it that way and you don’t have deep enough pockets to change that.”

    Why anyone is still talking about it is a mystery to me.

    1. Of course, the logical conclusion to be drawn from this is that the Hugos have no connection with quality any more. So we need to abandon them — and Worldcon — and set up our own conventions and awards. Which will become far more prestigious and relevant, as they are not controlled by any one single group or publisher. Because of course it’s WORSE than the Hugos being controlled by the publishers — they are controlled by one publisher, Tor.

      1. Likewise. Over the last two decades “Hugo Winner!” on a book cover has steadily changed from a recommendation to a warning label.

    2. “Why anyone is still talking about it is a mystery to me.”
      Two reasons. First, nostalgia, most of us remember a time when a Hugo award really meant something. Sad to see that all be destroyed.
      Second, the lying bastards still insist on claiming that a Hugo represents the best of the best, and that in itself is doing tremendous damage by turning potential new readers and fans away from F&SF. The phrase “I used to read science fiction, but this new stuff just doesn’t appeal to me, I guess my tastes have changed,” has become a cliche, and an all too common one.
      Sad truth, the Hugos are finished, the awards died in that abortion of an awards ceremony in 2015. Given that Kate’s good faith effort to totally avoid the kicker’s slate objections and provide a simple suggested reading list was met with such vile push back, it’s obvious the two sides will never reach any sort of accommodation. So be it. Their star is falling while ours is rising. In simplest terms, eff them and the fake gold chariot they rode in on. Let them finish trashing the Hugos, drive them even further into obscurity while we stand and mock their claims. They cheated, we caught them at it, now they pay the price whether they’re willing to admit it or not.

      1. ” First, nostalgia, most of us remember a time when a Hugo award really meant something. ”

        Yes. At one time “Hugo Award Winner” reliably meant “rip-roaring good story” and “Nebula Award Winner” reliably meant “technically brilliant writing”. If an author had won both (even for different works), you knew it was Good Stuff.

        No more.

    3. “Why anyone is still talking about it is a mystery to me.”

      Simple. Because why should we let them get away with it?

  4. Exactly – and I wish that I didn’t have to hear about it, over and over … sigh. I suspect there is a lot of frantic virtue-signalling going on with the writers who have pleaded to be asterisked,
    A pity – who as a writer wants their appeal to be even more selective?

  5. > look up slate in the dictionary, people

    ‘But “glory” doesn’t mean “a nice knock-down argument”,’ Alice objected.

    ‘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.’

  6. My daughter came home from middle school in tears because the Mean Girls clique. YOU can’t be my friend because you’re friends with HER, and SHE isn’t my friend because NONE of my OTHER friends like HER. So YOU are a LOSER.

    Don’t worry, sweetheart, that’s just a passing phase. It’ll all be different when you grow up.

    Well . . . unless you write science fiction.

  7. I don’t have a dog in this hunt. As a writer, I never expect to be up for any award – Hugo or otherwise. As a reader, I don’t pick books based on whether they’ve won an award. In fact, if they’ve won an award, I tend to run the other way because the people choosing which books win awards are usually on the other side of the philosophical spectrum from me, and I’d really rather not spend my time reading stuff that pisses me off. Life’s too short and I’m too old.

    I’ve spent the last few years watching all of this with interest, though, wondering when they’ll come after me or my friends for not writing what is deemed ‘suitable’. From everything I’ve seen, Sad Puppies is in the right, and I’m all for backing those in the right. (And backing away from those who are dead wrong.) I agree, though. The whole process is exhausting, and I think the others bank on that. Wear ’em down so they shrug and walk away.

    I’ll vote with my dollars. Like voting in the election, my one vote probably doesn’t count for much, but it’s out there working for good as best it can.

  8. What we are seeing is an example of something Heinlein spoke of

    Political tags – such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth – are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

    1. YupYupYupYupYup.

      Also, to some extent, those who are prepared to step up and help up when they see a problem, and those who would rather sit back and whine that Something Should Be Done and criticize whatever Is Done because it’s not perfect.

      1. Really don’t see the point in a Sad Puppies 5, but if there is I would strongly suggest less fairness and more stake.

            1. Just tap the side of the fish rank and watch them roar off into the glass at the end… and they *never* learn.

  9. I said my piece the other day at my blog. Read what you like, recommend what you like, or don’t recommend if you don’t want to. Write the kinds of stories you enjoy, launch them into the world, and keep writing.

    If the Hugo goes away, people will still be reading books and web-comics, and watching movies and TV. And diapers will need to be changed, and cats rescued from toddlers, and that neighbor will once again refuse to do anything about the dandelions, thus earning the ire of the rest of the block.

  10. As far as people wanting off the list goes, it’s strictly a problem of branding. In branding, perception matters. Perception is everything, and the “Puppy” brand has come to be associated with “cheaters who flooded the ballot with very poor stories” at best and “white supremacists who want to kill gays with tire irons” at worst. You can debate whether you think this is fair, but that’s why very few people want to be associated with “those bad people who want to destroy the Hugo Awards out of pure meanness.”

    I agree that Kate did a lot this year to improve things. I read and reviewed all of the puppy-nominated works, and the Sad-Puppy ones are mostly pretty good this year.


    But she didn’t do anything to fix the branding problem. The Sad Puppies kept up the same, tired campaign of name calling–the same name-calling that the Rabid Puppies use. They kept repeating the same conspiracy theories. And–unfathomably–they refused to repudiate Vox Day. Given the history, it would take a stupendous effort to disassociate themselves from him–an occasional mild “we’re not Vox Day” is nowhere near what it would take–but making a statement to the effect of “we will not endorse or condemn anyone” was broadly heard as “we really are Vox Day.”

    You can argue all day that that’s not fair, but that’s the perception, and in branding, perception is everything.

    1. And what other demands do you have, Greg? Or are you prepared to pinky-swear this is the last time you’ll move the goalposts?

      1. Not everyone is here to attack you. I did actually read all of your nominees (as well as all the Rabid ones) and rated some of them highly. That should count for something.

        As for the blog, it’s completely unmonetized. There are no fees, no ads, no referrer codes, and no pleas for donations.

      2. And there ya go….an example of what Dave’s spent an entire article talking about… “You’re still NOT DOING IT RIGHT! YOU MUST CONFORM and you MUST repudiate this label we stuck on your back!”…Geez, Greg, give it a rest.

    2. Let me see I think your definition of Branding is also an example of Goebbels Big Lie So for the record Good Buddy I not only do not know who the Vox guy is, but I have never been to any website he authors or read anything to my knowledge written by him does that satisfy you>?

    3. The perception in this case isnt the name of the group, but the names of the people in the group. If, for whatever reason, Kate had changed the Sad Puppy name to something else, people would still be outraged. Its their default setting, because it doesnt require much effort or critical, objective thinking on their part.

    4. As far as people wanting off the list goes, it’s strictly a problem of branding. In branding, perception matters. Perception is everything, and the “Puppy” brand has come to be associated with “cheaters who flooded the ballot with very poor stories” at best and “white supremacists who want to kill gays with tire irons” at worst.

      You’re completely right.

      Of course, this implies that all those upset at being included in SP4 should direct their ire at the liars who created this false perception of the Sad Puppies brand.

      1. It’s a fairly accurate description of the Rabid Puppies, though, and you guys should take some responsibility for allowing the confusion. (Assuming you really mean it when you say you don’t want to be associated with them.) If it’s really your fault, that’s good news because it means it’s possible for you to fix it.

        One very important thing you could do is to stop saying “puppies” without saying “sad puppies.” When you call the opposition “puppy kickers,” you strengthen the impression that there’s really only one kind of puppy. Like with any brand, it suffers when you dilute it. Especially when you’re diluting it with rabies. 🙂

        I’m heading off to Norwescon, so I won’t be able to reply again today.

        1. And has zero to do with Sad puppies and Sad Puppies has no connection and thus zero responsibility to denigh and reject the rabids. It isn’t our problem. It isn’t our responsibility. It is all on your side to make the effort to realize you are falsely attacking us and that you are flat out wrong.

          The fact is a lot of you know this and still attack us. That I find simply evil.

        2. “Allowing the confusion”? Different people, different names, different logos, different stated goals, etc., etc.

          And technically it’s not “sad puppies” either, but “supporters of the Sad Puppies campaign”, those who aim to end Puppy-Related Sadness™. (Also, I do not in fact use the term “puppy kicker” but “puppy ensaddener”.)

        3. Also, given that our opponents seemed to confuse tears of sadness with foam of rabidness, and did so before the hydrophobic young dogs gathered themselves, “puppy kickers” remains very appropriate.

        4. That’s idiotic. Should the Southern Baptist Convention take responsibility for not adequately distinguishing themselves from Westboro Baptist Church, who copied the name “Baptist” but practices essentially zero of the tenets of the faith? Should Louis Farrakhan’s “Nation of Islam” be held representative of all of Islam because mullahs haven’t distanced themselves adequately from his rhetoric? For that matter, what about the Islamic State? When people copy a thing, the original thing is never at fault – the jerks who copy it are.

          EVERY person affiliated with SP from it’s founders to the rank and file members made it clear in ALL of our posts there was no relationship between SP and RP, and specifically that Vox does not speak for us.

          As far as how we refer to ourselves within the group, I give your ideas about language exactly as much credence as Sir Charles does with regard to those who have a problem with him continuing to use the N-word with his inner circle…that is to say, none.

          You and your demand we change our speech, change our name or behavior, toe the line and act the way you think we should…CONFORM wrongfan, CONFORM!

          All we ask of you is that you stop spouting lies and hatred. We ask you to stop calling us racists, homophobes, etc. because none of you have ever posted any proof that any of us behave or speak that way. We don’t even ask that you agree with the works we find interesting or award-worthy…we just ask that you follow the process and read them before voting.

          So in the grand scheme of things Greg, I fail to see how you are anything but a clone/drone of those SAD Puppy Kickers – who in reality have conflated *puppies into one being in their own mind and have engendered the hatred in this discussion, and are in fact right now continuing it (yourself included). It’s time for a change, and it’s not on our side of this issue. We’ve done exactly what Kate, Sarah, and Amanda set out to do (although I could wish we brought in more new blood) and done it respectfully, transparently, in a way that is 100% consistent with what all of Kickerdom demanded of us. The blame for the schism does not lie with us, but rather with those who refuse to live up to the conduct they demand of others, and the ideals the purport to espouse. Go preach to them!

          1. Rabids don’t want to beat gays to death with tire irons: Milo Yiannopoulis is their hero.

            They probably wouldn’t piss on a fire burning Tor management (and I admit I’d have a long heartbeat before I grabbed the fire extinguisger to douse the smarmy weasel MCing the Hugo ceremony at Sasquan) but that’s why they’re the rabids.

            Don’t let this idjit get you to define Vox Day and the rabids as Westboro Baptists. Mr. Beale is mistaken on a number of points (In my opinion) but neither this Greg fellah nor any of the puppy -kickers has cavilled at open communist sympatizers in fandom. Once upon a time fandom was a pkace where all us cranks of wildly different politics could play.

            As far as I can determine neither Vox Day nor the rabid puppy supporters have supported genocide, mass murder and the routine imprisonment and torture of political dissidents. Unlike say, China Mieville.

            In fact, the entire Rabid Puppy war with Tor books and the Hugos would disappear if you kickers would agree to stop attacking.political dissidents yourself.

            Considering your collective suppirt for regimes that kill people like them out of hand, it’s no wonder they’re tetchy.

            1. Without having done much in depth research, it appears to me that PNH and his wifey created Vox Day. They screwed this Beale character, who was some little nonentity in the SF community and expected him to go huddle in the corner and keep his mouth shut, like most molested children do. Instead he created an alter ego (and the initials VD no doubt appeal to his sense of humor) who shows up at their high society balls and loudly proclaiming them to be rapists and child molesters around the punch bowl. This understandably infuriates them, unfortunately for them, no matter how much they deny it, he still has the truth and proof on his side.

              He made it his life’s work to be not only a thorn in their side, but to twist that thorn incessantly, so that there is no chance of the wound healing. Being a fairly competent capitalist, he has managed to make multiple profitable businesses out this, also.

              VD is an excellent example of the truth of the old saying, “never do an enemy a small injury.”

              1. You’ve got it mostly right. Theodore Beale made himself obnoxious to the Powers-that-Be in SFWA–admittedly, not a very hard thing to do, particularly if you’re right-wing–and got himself booted for “misusing SFWA’s Twitter account,” or something like that.
                This was probably not actually the case, as he’d said some things about N.K. Jemisin that danced on the line between “racist” and “well that was awkward,” and pointed out that SFWA had, as you pointed out, handled child molesters with less aggressiveness.
                He has proceeded, from that point out, to declare himself against everything he saw the SFWA as being for, and then proceeded to end up radicalizing himself in the process, and making a lot of money.
                The truly frightening thing is that, even with him going off the deep end sometime in 2014 or 2015, he’s still a better person than either of the Nielsen-Haydens.

        5. > It’s a fairly accurate description
          > of the Rabid Puppies

          Trip on over to Vox’s blog and give him the benefit of your opinion.

          1. You’ll notice that they always come to Sad Puppy blogs to criticize the Rabid Puppies, never to the Rabids themselves.

            1. We play nice. Well, except for Larry “the fisker” Correia.

              Vox intends to burn down their house, their brand, and their little dog too. For some reason that makes them less inclined to poke him with sticks.

              1. Vox might also be immune to buckets of water too, so that’s probably a problem for the progs.

                That and I suspect he’s more useful to them as something to beat up on others via “association” smears.

              2. For the same reasons that not ONE SINGLE PROTESTOR OR BUREAUCRAT has shown up at the dozen or so Muslim run bakeries that flat refused to make Greg Gutfield a wedding cake for a gay wedding — and he’s posted the videos to prove it.

                They are relying on their targets to be too civilized for their own good. How much longer that’s gonna work is THE question…. in many areas of life.

        6. Greg:

          Get back to us when you repudiate any writer who holds Marxist beliefs, given that Marxists have actuallymurdered a hundred million people in the last century, while Vox Day is just a loudmouth rich kid with a blog.

          Do the gulags, the Holodomor, the Killing Fields, and the “Cultural Revolution” not fall under your definition of “brand tarnishing”?

          I’ll be awaiting a response with interest.

        7. It’s a fairly accurate description of the Rabid Puppies

          It’s a damned lie.

          Since when is the job of victims of slander to prove that the lies told about other folks are their problem, too?

          Rabid Puppies want the Hugos to burn because they claim that people like you are so bigoted and hateful no rapprochment, no diversity of faith, belief and opinion is possible.

          The campaign to end puppy-related sadness argued long and publically that skiffy was for everyone, that a small clique of insiders spreading obvious lies (Torgersen racist? Hoyt sexist?) couldn’t stand against a plucky band of rebels speaking truth to power.

          Way to prove the rabids right.

    5. You didn’t say anything in this post about how Alfred Packer is a bad person–this proves that you’re a cannibal!

      I don’t listen to anything that cannibals have to say.

    6. “cheaters who flooded the ballot with very poor stories”

      Who “cheated” exactly? And how?

      “And–unfathomably–they refused to repudiate Vox Day.”

      Repudiating Vox Day was only going to happen when the anti-Puppies disavowed such luminaries as N.K. Jemisin, Kameron Hurley, and K. Tempest Bradford.

      Frankly, expecting the Sad Puppies to disavow Vox is a little like expecting the Western Allies to disavow Tsarist or Stalinist Russia.

      1. Who “cheated” exactly? And how?

        People whom Greg dislikes followed the rules and managed to get some works nominated so he screeches “CHEATER!!!”

        I guess Gweg is like this bozo:

        1. There’s been some disavowal of Breen, from my understanding, although I’d forgotten Samuel Delaney and the Haydens.

          Gallo I’m willing to let slide.

          1. Gallo I’m willing to let slide.

            I’m not. Haven’t bought a TOR book since. Or anything from a Macmillan brand, for that matter.

    7. Well Hell, Greg! Anyone else you want us to Repudiate? Maybe Pol Pot or Attila? I’m sorry your reading comprehension over the last year hasn’t improved to the point where you can read what’s actually written. As for name calling, what the ever loving frak are you talking about? Where did Kate call someone a name? Where did anyone disparage anyone except in response to someone shitting a cow about SPIV?

    8. Perception is perception. No more, no less.

      The only people who blather “perception is everything” are those trying to browbeat people into accepting a lie they’re spreading.

      Simple test: If perception is everything I want you to use your vast powers of perception to perceive that you are intangible and then sprint at full speed into a brick wall.

      Provide video.

    9. “Perception is everything, and the “Puppy” brand has come to be associated with “cheaters who flooded the ballot with very poor stories” at best and “white supremacists who want to kill gays with tire irons” at worst.”

      Got it. So, to go full Godwin* here, you’re arguing that because anti-Semites claimed that Jews were poisoning wells (etc.) that everyone else should shun Jews, or perhaps that the Jews should start calling themselves something else, because their “brand” has been tarnished.

      “The Sad Puppies kept up the same, tired campaign of name calling–the same name-calling that the Rabid Puppies use. They kept repeating the same conspiracy theories. ”


      “And–unfathomably–they refused to repudiate Vox Day.”

      You know, there ARE people who don’t think everyone else has to agree with them. I have it on good authority that the ACLU once defended the rights of the Nazis to have a parade. If that concept is truly “unfathomable” to you, it says rather more about you than it does about the Puppies (either kind).

      * Godwin’s Law doesn’t say what most people think it does. In particular, it says nothing whatsoever about the validity of the argument.

      1. “And–unfathomably–they refused to repudiate Vox Day.”

        And I bet Greg hates McCarthy, too. Bet he couldn’t explain how that’s any different than what he’s doing.

    10. We all got involved with the campaign to end puppy-related sadness because we were morally opposed to publicly denouncing and blacklisting artists for having the wrong faith, beliefs or politics.

      Why in the world do you imagine we’ll start now?

      And before you post another fracking thing here about how the 2o15 nominations were WORSE THAN ANYTHING THAT HAD EVER MADE PREVIOUS NOMS I want you to explain why Toni Wieskopf was so “poor” that she deseved to be No Awarded with cheers, hoots and foot-stomping applause.

    11. That “branding” was done by SJWs. That is, they lied, much as Democrat sycophants in the MSM lied about Tea Partiers. Tell me – how does one “fix” a branding problem which one has no control over? Create a branding problem for the opposition, related to, say, their fawning praise of child molesters?

    12. “In branding, perception matters. Perception is everything, and the ‘Puppy’ brand has come to be associated with ‘cheaters who flooded the ballot with very poor stories’ at best and ‘white supremacists who want to kill gays with tire irons’ at worst.” – greghullender

      Oh, I agree, absolutely, greg.

      The “anti-Puppy” and “Puppy Kicker” brand has come to be associated with pedophiles, hebephiles, and active child molesters and supporters of NAMBLA like Marion Zimmer Bradley and Samuel R. Delaney. The reasonable perception is that anyone on the anti-Puppy and Puppy-kicker side who doesn’t denounce MZB and Delaney approve of child molestation and NAMBLA, or at the very least are inclined to tacitly support pedophiles and hebephilia.

      You can argue all day that that’s not fair, but that’s the perception, and in branding, perception is everything.

      “I agree that Kate did a lot this year to improve things…

      blah blah blah…

      … But she didn’t do anything to fix the branding problem. The Sad Puppies kept up the same, tired campaign of name calling–the same name-calling that the Rabid Puppies use. They kept repeating the same conspiracy theories.” – greghullender

      *nod* I agree that you are doing a lot here to improve things, greg. But you’re not doing anything to fix your branding problems. The anti-Puppies and the Puppy Kickers are keeping up the same, tired campaign of name calling – the same name calling – that you’ve used in the previous three anti-Puppy campaigns. It shows a certain lack of… creativity. And you keep repeating the same conspiracy theories. You yourself are propagating mistruths, distortions, and correlation fallacies here.

      Refusing to repudiate Vox Day is extremely fathomable. It can be easily fathomed by anyone with the wit, intelligence, and perception required to do so, as well as by anyone capable of making even a minimal intellectual effort, and by anyone with even a shred of self honesty.

      All of which, apparently, leaves you out of the running.

      But then, your ability to fathom seems demonstrably limited.

      P.S. Oh, and as I pointed out to TRX below, not all of us play nice. Piss off, greggie.

    13. Repudiation or disavowing are exercises in out grouping and ostracism. The more shrilly you demand it, the more obvious it becomes that you merely hope to divide and conquer because reason and evidence are not on your side.

    14. Did you really come over here with your ‘branding’ bullshit Mr. Hullender? What a weak-ass argument you make.
      Sad Puppies is and always has been A JOKE. A jest, sir. A non-serious effort. People showing up to the Hugo coronation in funny hats and making raspberries, with a picture of a manatee for a shoulder patch.
      The point of it is and always has been mockery. We show up and vote, -you- go insane and start ranting about racists.
      There is no sad puppies brand. Your demands are idiotic. Shut up.

    15. And–unfathomably–they refused to repudiate Vox Day.

      The demand for repudiation is a distinctively leftist tactic, and when I say “tactic”, I mean it quite literally, that it is a rhetorical device intended to slander the target, no matter how they respond. If you agree and repudiate, it is taken by those who do not like the repudiated party as a tacit admission of guilt, that, oh, yes, something was going on, but now that you’ve dragged it into the light, we’ll slither away with an apology. For those like myself, why listen to arguments from all sides, and are willing to selectively agree and disagree with some of what someone like Vox Day says without judging him as a terrible person, you are seen as weak and a traitor to reason. In short, it is a Kafka-trap that attempts to turn literally everyone against you.

      The demand to repudiate is not a reasoned argument, but an emotional appeal. It simply seeks to divide those with common interests along fault lines of the leftist’s devising. The left does not have reason and evidence on their side. They rely on mob mentality and hacking of the irrational lizard brain to keep everyone from looking too hard at the truth.

      There is no need to repudiate Vox Day, or the Ku Klux Klan, or whatever idiotic association the left wishes to drag forth and attempt to slander you with through guilt by association. If you believe in using reason rather than appeals to emotion, repudiation is pointless and stupid. Don’t fall for the idiocy of the left. Ignore their whining little tantrums, stare at them like the intellectual insects that they are and demand that they make an actual argument rather than attempt to apply a smear.

      Face down leftists, consistently knock down their irrational beliefs by refusing to engage in the absence of reason and evidence, and they will either retreat in dismay or resort to the only thing left to them: violence.

  11. The Hugos should die, that simple. The Devalued Plastic Rockets have become a NEGATIVE selling point to all but a dwindling community of self-righteous, self-conscious virtue signallers and a turnoff to the entire genre for new readers just discovering SF and fantasy. Let them go.

    1. Sadly, I find that I am in complete agreement with your statement.
      Regret for what was at one time a noble endeavor, but anger at the damage it is now causing with potential new readers.

  12. Well, this needs to be documented so that outsiders involved in the Hugo process have an idea of what Worldcon wants/thinks. Cross-posted to Mad Genius Club. From the comments of the File770 Pixel Scroll dated 3/22/16:


    On the Subject of What the Hugos Mean:

    Andrew M:
    The Hugos represent a particular community – literary convention fandom – which is only a subset of the wider community of people who are in any way actively fannish, which is itself a subset of the yet wider community of people who read/watch and enjoy science fiction.

    Worldcon members, who own the Hugo Awards, have set them up to be the way they are for several very specific reasons — including that the awards are intended to represent the preferences of Worldcon members. And the Hugos have achieved enormous prestige that way.

    I’m sorry, Lee, but I totally disagree with you here. The Hugo Awards are a convention award. They are Worldcon’s convention award. They are intended to represent the preferences of Worldcon members, not just anyone who has “a fairly heavy interest in book-SF”.

    . . . your argument seems to me to be only a variant of the Puppy argument: that the Hugo Awards should be something all SFF fans get to nominate and vote on, and therefore the ability to do that should be extremely inexpensive or free.
    The Hugo Awards were never intended to be that. And I don’t see that changing them to be that will do anything other than turning them into the GoodReads Readers’ Choice Awards — nice for an author, I’m sure, but not particularly meaningful or distinguishing of special quality.

    The Hugos are the awards given by Worldcon members to the things they like. If Worldcon members and the wider public have different tastes, that is not a problem for the awards.


    On the Subject of Worldcon Being Such a Small Voter Pool

    The thing is, this is not a problem. The Hugo Awards have achieved the prominence they have because of the structure they have, not despite it. The Nebula Awards say they honor the best stories of the year, and they are decided by an even smaller group. Somehow, people still see them as prestigious. Prestige and validity for awards has nothing to do with how many people participate, or what the rules for participation are.

    Well, if the small numbers of Worldcon members is such a problem, then how did the Hugos come to be known for recognizing outstanding works? Clearly a great many people who are not Worldcon members have felt that to be the case; how is it “pretentious” to recognize the well-established fact that many, many thousands of people who are not Worldcon members, including librarians and bookstore owners and managers, agree with that assessment?

    And why would “such a tiny number of people” care whether others agree with what they consider to be the best SciFi works for a given year? The Hugo Awards exist to please Worldcon members, not anyone else.

    . . . the Hugos have always been intended to represent the preferences of Worldcon members and not “the greater whole” of people who read SFF. Why is this a problem? Why should Worldcon change this?


    On The Subject of Hugo Incestuousness
    (i.e., the same people getting awarded repeatedly)

    The fact that a small group of people vote on the Hugos each year has also made them incestuous as well, with the same TV shows, authors, editors, and fans showing up on ballots year after year. Does that increase or decrease the prestige?

    (Responses to Sean)

    Robert Reynolds:
    Pretty much from their inception, the group voting has been small and there have been names appearing regularly on the ballot. If that quality had a negative effect on the award’s prestige, it would have never built up the reputation it has built.

    Mike Glyer:
    But be fair — if the Hugo electorate grew by an order of magnitude do you think it LESS likely that Game of Thrones and Doctor Who episodes are going to get nominated?

    It certainly hasn’t reduced their prestige, since that’s the way the awards have been since their inception. Once again, you’re trying to solve a problem that doesn’t really exist.


    On the Subject of Hugo Relevance

    Darren Garrison:
    I want to say, as a philosophical point, that it is okay if the Hugos (and WorldCon) fade away.
    . . .
    Thousands of people today enjoy participating in WorldCon. If, as those members age out and die, they aren’t replaced and the Hugos and WorldCon dies out with them through attrition, that is okay, too.

    Johan P:
    That is a good point. And I’d like to add: Changing to survive brings you into the grandfather’s axe paradox: If all parts of the axe have been replaced since my grandfather owned it, is it still my grandfather’s axe? If Worldcon changes beyond recognition, is it still Worldcon that’s being kept alive?


    On the Unwritten Rules:

    I’m 100% behind the idea that Hugo, and its nature, being better-known. But, I think it needs to be understood that its nature is complex.

    The Hugo is obviously not a juried award, but it’s not your standard popular award either. It’s a particular blend between the two, which has evolved over time, and it’s part of what makes the Hugos unique (and prestigious). Camestros described this well, saying the Hugos “work more like a juried vote, but with a very large jury.” To some extent, what those $40 are for are to say, “I want to be part of the jury for this one.”

    You have a sense of how a judge on a juried award should be doing his job – he should read lots and lots, he should learn the rules and intricacies of the awards, he should understand the spirit of the award he’s judging, what qualities the award is trying to recognize (or, if not “understand,” have a strong view of, which is not too far off from that of the rest of the jury and the readership).

    Similarly, I think that Hugos and Worldcon enthusiasts have a strong sense of what they “expect” from Hugo nominators and voters. It’s not a juried award, and those expectations aren’t anywhere near as high as they would be for a “real” award judge. But it’s also very, very far from positing an ideal of “everybody with an opinion should vote.” As you say, what we want is participants who care. And what we want is participants who understand the system, who care – not about one particular author, but about what the Hugos are and what they’re trying to do.

    . . .

    This, I think, is part of what us Filers are saying when we say you’re trying to fix something that doesn’t need fixing. We’d like greater participation, sure. But it needs to be participation of the right kind. That’s a delicate balance to achieve – and hey, look, we’ve pretty much already achieved it.

        1. They like things just the way they are. The problems I (and many others) see with the awards, they see as virtues. It’s a feature, not a bug.

      1. You don’t expect them to actually know what inclusion means, do you? They’ve never used the word right yet.

    1. If these people really want The Hugos to just be the convention award, they should probably quit marketing them as being ‘the best’.

      “The Hugo® is the top award for excellence in the field of science fiction and fantasy.”

      “The Hugo Awards, given annually since 1955, are science fiction’s most prestigious award.”

    2. They’re fruitbats. And they also comb through these comments, so I’ll just wave to JJ and Aaron and say yes, I mean you two. Fruitbats, the pair of you.

      As to Mr. Glyer, having seen some pics of him recently, I’ll refrain from comment at this time.

  13. It can be a bit much, but I think we’re in a good place now. We’ve set up a process that addresses concerns from before. Of course, we’re getting the usual chorus of hatred, but it’s just background noise. All the Usual Suspects can do is pick at nits: “The Hugos haven’t been plastic since 1991! Take that, Puppy-woman!”, “Kate isn’t putting asterisks up fast enough!” “The Puppies have ruined their own process by making it open and democratic!” (Yes, seriously, someone was saying that on Twitter).

    The worst they can do is turn the ceremony into another travesty and No Award everything. And they’ve already done that once.

    1. I would agree that Kate’s approach is ‘a pretty good place’. Even if the Hugos were to disappear tomorrow, this list of recommendations would still be a worthwhile endeavor (and I hope it continues regardless of what happens to the Hugos). Realistically, the Sads have pretty much reached the end of the road.

      The actions of the Rabids and how the PKs act/react are likely to be the main event at least for the next year or two. One can expect even MORE effort to confuse the Sads with the Rabids (intentionally or not). There is nothing to be gained by arguing about this; whether out of malice or ignorance, you are not going to sway anyone’s opinion at this point.
      If the Worldcon folks want to ‘adjust’ the rules to maintain control and further devalue the award, that is on their heads.

  14. The Hugo’s now mean as much to me as a reader as the Academy Awards in that I am more likely to avoid books and movies that earn those awards due to the direction the voting population for those awards have moved.

    If I cared enough I would start a list of authors decrying the Evil Puppies, as it is I know a few names that have been the most vocal and they will never see my dollars.

      1. There have been a couple mentioned so far:

        N.K. Jemisin
        Kameron Hurley
        K. Tempest Bradford
        Ann Leckie

          1. Easy to comply, since (with two exceptions) I don’t buy these people anyway (the exceptions were Martin and Stross…. I have purchased Scalzi in the past, but stopped buying his stuff quite a while ago).

            Not that it will make much difference to GRRM — unless he’s a lot dumber than I think he is, he’s sleeping in Scrooge McDuck’s money bin by now.

            But hey, I’ve only been buying his stuff since 1977, so no big deal.

            1. I have Reynolds’ “Revelation Space” trilogy and that’s about it. I found the ending to that trilogy a wee bit… disappointing.

  15. I buy lots of book–so much to read; so little time. Thanks to vitriolic, hateful, and smarmy remarks about an entire swath of fandom–Sad Puppies–I’ve discovered quite a few authors I no longer need to buy. It’s a long list. Note to authors: you really, really shouldn’t show contempt for your readers.

    1. In general, I think social media has been a bust for SFF. Too much bullying, not enough professionalism.

      1. Yup. It;s a bit like the Babel Fish in Hitchhikers – perfect instant translation that caused more wars than ever before.

        Rapid, terse, impassioned thoughts become text posted for the world and posterity to read, in an atmosphere that favors the most emotional and critical comments. Instead of letters to the editor, or letters to other writers, neither of which have to be mailed before one’s temper cools, or having to hold that angry thought until you can corner a member of the committee or board of whatever about the thing or individual that’s bothering you.

  16. An interesting admission over at That Site:

    “John Lorentz on March 25, 2016 at 4:07 pm said:

    I’m not blind, though, to the idea that the Hugo at each Worldcon must remain above suspicion. Part of that involves eating a lot of shit without being allowed to make a response. Part of me understands why, after the months of accusations of being bribed, of being tools, of being not real fans, why they felt the asterisks were in order. Another part thinks that part of being on the Hugo committee involves grinning and bearing it.

    The Sasquan Hugo Administrators (i.e. myself and Ruth Sachter) had nothing to do with the asterisks that were presented to the Hugo finalists. That came from the people running the ceremony, not the people counting the ballots.

    My personal opinion was that they were in bad taste, and help sabotage hard work we’d put in all year to try to keep the actual administration of the Hugos above any politics.”

    Nice to see that others are realizing what we knew six months ago.

    1. Of course can we say the same thing about the Midamericon2 administrations? Considering Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden who were some of the leaders of the kicking puppies group were made co-GOH’s who knows. One last question why did you turn over the Hugo voting ballot information to people who started commenting on it at Makinglight?

      1. Of course can we say the same thing about the Midamericon2 administrations?

        No. because they turned over the Hugo voting ballot information to people who started commenting on it at Makinglight. And tried to keep it secret that they’d done so.

    2. I will point out that John Lorentz is not one of the regulars there. A couple of the regulars also agree the asterisks were in poor taste. The others, well . . .

  17. There is a concept in the movie world of the “quote whore”. This is a reviewer that writes reviews in the punchiest, most positive way in order to get a blurb quoted in the advertising. Phrases like “edge of your seat” and “breathtaking, non-stop ride” are used rather frequently.

    Well, guess what the Hugos is pretty much become?

  18. Sad Puppies 1-4 have demonstrated several things:
    1] Hugos are a “fan award” with a very small clique making nominations.
    2] Hugos pretty much are literary SF and liberal message SF.
    3] Regular Hugo voters get upset if more people nominate or the wrong people nominate.

    There are disputes in “fan” and “art” communities on a regular basis.

    As a reader & buyer, I don’t really care anything about WorldCon politics, who is a “true fan” or a “true reader” or not. Like many here, I’ve found a “Hugo” to be an anti-buying signal for several decades. I could not imagine going to a WorldCon because it seems like a lot of political axe grinders go there. ‘ve gone to other Cons mainly to play RPGs. Going to GenCon this year for the first time and I’m looking forward to it.

    Some authors have lost readers over Sad Puppies. Some publishers have lost readers over Sad Puppies. Some authors and publishers have gained readers over Sad Puppies. But I have not seen any reliable analysis on the impact on sales of winning a Hugo.

    What I have gotten out of this? Larry is a great satirist. Lots of people take this Hugo thing way too seriously. I’m not buying Tor again unless I really, really want the book because some of their editors don’t like some of their readers. Same for Scalzi. Someone who has contempt for me does not need my money.

    My Tor author exception is Modesitt who came out appalled at the Tor editor reaction to SP3. I hope that the Sad Puppies won’t take it out on him. He writes with a slow pace but he created a fascinating world.

Comments are closed.