There has, since Sarah announced the shape Sad Puppies 5 will take, been a minor flurry of squawking from the Intertubes (overwhelming my regular diet of cute cat pictures too, damn it) to the effect that I did Sad Puppies 4 all wrong and that what Sarah is doing isn’t Sad Puppies at all and she should change the name or go all attacky or something.
This, of course, on top of She Who Must Not Be Named claiming Sarah was “tedious” (hell no. I’ve seen Sarah half asleep and ill and she was anything but tedious. Of course, it’s possible She Who Must Not Be Named But Has Mucho Influence In The Publisher Named For a Mountaintop (okay, I may be overdoing the ironic capitalization here) simply doesn’t get anything Sarah says so she just figures it’s got to be boring because if it was interesting she’d totally understand it. Or something. She couldn’t possibly be trying to other and dismiss a fellow female and an award winning author. She’s a light-maker: she wouldn’t do that.
:sharp twanging sound followed by a spray of scattered metal bits:
Oops. There goes another sarcasmometer. I really should stop going off on these little tangents.
Anyhow. The point I’m aiming for today is the idea that because Sarah isn’t aiming Sad Puppies in the direction of the Hugo Awards the name ought to be changed because Sad Puppies is all about the Hugos.
It’s not. The Sad Puppies name comes from Larry Correia’s timeless observation that crappy message fiction makes puppies sad, and of course sad puppies is one of those things that’s obviously inherently double-plus ungood, what with puppies being supposed to be eternally cheerful peppy bundles of hyperactive slobber, waggy tails, and probably yipping.
Note that it’s not message fiction in general that makes puppies sad, just crappy message fiction. Really good message fiction is fine (and usually gets to be really good by wrapping the message in a damn good plot with damn good characters and all that other fictiony stuff the literatsi like to sneer at).
This of course means that anything Sarah does aimed at celebrating really good fiction is by definition a valid Sad Puppies campaign. It can’t help but be relevant to the Sad Puppies theme (political hacks may wish to take note, if they have demeaned themselves so far as to read a heretical blog that’s mostly about writing genre fiction: the way you stay relevant in a changing world is to have a set of – preferably admirable and achievable – broad principles which you apply to more specific goals based on what is more urgent at any given time. Unfortunately this advice may prove to constitute a hostile work environment for political hacks, none of whom have shown any evidence of possessing any principles beyond “stay in power”).
Of course, there’s a non-zero chance this little tempest in a teacup (or possibly a B-cup) is inspired by something other than sincere concern for the state of the genre. After all, if Sad Puppies isn’t aiming at the Hugo awards, who can stand as the scapegoat du jour?
Pff. What am I thinking? The answer is already out there and taking nominations.
That’s right, nominations are now open for the 2017 Dragon Awards. All their categories are taking nominations for works published/released between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017. They’re encouraging early nomination, but since there’s still six months of releases before the window closes I personally won’t be nominating until rather closer to the July 24 nomination cutoff.
As always, when dealing with anything related to a Campaign to End Puppy-Related Sadness, read, watch, play, then nominate the works you think are absolutely the best of the year’s offerings.