About Those Lost Puppies
So what happened to Sad Puppies this year?
In a form or another, we’ve been getting this question for months. I thought I had explained back when I announced I was “leading” it, though I’ll confess by now I expected to have done something more about it.
So, what happened?
Apparently what always happens when I’m supposed to lead: my health goes feral.
At least, thank heavens, this year, it’s not that I know cancer or even the fact I have a small brain tumor (it’s a meningioma, in the membrane that covers the brain, so no, it’s not really affecting me, except for my vision, by pressure, because it’s on top of the vision center. Fortunately all it does is give me a slight double vision, and I trained for that for much of my undergrad.) It’s “just” autoimmune. but I’ve had two long and rather horrible autoimmune bouts, which means things slipped.
On top of which WORK has gone feral. I need to finish at least five more novels this year (I intended to be at four by now) and that’s for traditional, not counting my indie career. I’ve also picked up a three-times-a-week columnist gig, and there are other potential jobs in the horizon. (Man, this ruined career sure is a lot of work.)
If we’d planned to do something different this year, I’d have passed it on to Amanda early. But since what we’re planning has no defined deadline, as soon as we get it up (eh) in the next couple of months, we’ll be fine. And we want to make sure we do it right.
So, originally, we’d planned to do nothing, and let Sad Puppies ride into the sunset with Kate’s campaign, which did everything the left claimed to want and yet was still subjected to the same complaints as ever.
But the problem with a decentralized, almost leaderless campaign is that it’s prone to be high jacked, and we realized late last year that if someone didn’t announce then someone who was wholly (really) in the rabid camp was going to take it, and make it sound like the campaigns were always one.
Oh, I know. With Sad Puppies completely silent, the Puppy Kickers have been enthusiastically blaming us for the Rabid decisions. Pfui. They’re like a back law firm: Obfuscate, Lie and Project.
But there was no point lending color to this by having a self-proclaimed Sad Puppy leader who’d always been on the periphery, who’s barely competent to carry his own hat in a high wind, and who thinks the whole point is to back the Rabid selections. Yeah. No. So I announced.
By the time I announced, I knew we’d be “late” for the Hugos. Which was fine with me. VERY fine.
Look, guys, I don’t believe in asking people to do things I won’t do. Last year I didn’t pay the fee to vote, so I was done after the nomination. Why?
Because the years before we told people to buy supporting memberships and vote. We told them that our aesthetics were as valid as the neo-Marxist aesthetics the conventional side of the field sticks to. Ludic enjoyment of fiction is, arguably, a better way to determine what will survive and be important than the markers of “class” and an excellent education used now. (Yeah I know. It’s supposedly all about the downtrodden. Only it’s not really. It’s about showing off the Neo-Marxist aesthetics taught in the best colleges. A fad, a passing one, and arguably a stupid one. I don’t have time to explain the difference of aesthetics here, and hey, I did it last week at another site, so: How Do We Evaluate Art in the Kingdom of the Blind Marxist? And to the idiots who’ll come in and say that’s not Marxist critical theory. Bah. Before they climbed up their own ass and slapped the cool-hot (what makes a philosophy hotter than 100 million stinking corpses, after all) Marxist moniker on their involuted crap, they were already evaluating literature according to the Marxist parameters of “making a difference” and “fighting injustice” and “criticizing society.” Which has its roots in the left and in social markers for an excellent education. It’s like medieval scholars showing off their Catholic Orthodoxy, or well… Or Shakespeare writing a lot of propaganda plays about the Tudors, which even Shakespeare couldn’t turn into anyhting but dross. Which tells you the long term value of this trend.)
Anyway, we told people if we didn’t participate in the process, we had no reason to protest. So people did. We did too.
And the establishment called us names, made unfounded claims of cheating, took our money, threw themselves a really big party and insulted our nominees to boot.
After the Assterisk performance, I planted my feet like a Spanish mule and stuck fast to “I’m not giving you one red cent. You’ll get no more from me.”
Being there, I couldn’t ask people to throw good money after bad.
Our intention was always to just create a page, in which those who register can post reading recommendations, not just of recent years, but of anything that struck their fancy. There will be a place where you can say when the book was published and if it’s eligible for an award — and not just a science fiction award — and a link to the award page for people to follow, if so minded. Yeah, we’ll include the Hugo, but probably with a note saying the award is in the process of self-destructing.
Thing is, I meant to have this up before nominations for the Dragon Award opened. But on top of the comedy of errors above, our website provider either crashed or was hacked, so while trying to survive auto-immune and meeting more deliveries than UPS, I’ve been trying to get it up and running again. (My author site is down also.)
So, that’s where we are. We’ll put it up sometime in the next couple of months, and then Amanda and I will run it, and then Amanda will take over Or Amanda, Kate and I will continue shepherding it.
When we said this before and pointed out that PARTICULARLY indie books need some place to mention them, we were linked to/lectured by someone one the rabid side, because apparently they already have a site, so we don’t need one of our own.
Tips hat to the right. Thank you kindly. But you guys are aware your aesthetics and goals aren’t ours, right?
You just turned Marxist aesthetics on their head, and are judging books by being anti-Marxist and how much they don’t support the neo Marxist idea of justice. That’s cool and all. To each his own. And since, so far, your crazy isn’t being taught in schools, it’s slightly less annoying than the Marxist crazy.
It is still annoying, though, because you’re still judging literary value by whether it fits your (at least as crazy-cakes’ as the Marxists) narrative and your precepts.
Look, the Tudors won, okay? And yet the Shakespeare plays supporting them, all but Richard III which is good for other reasons, are the worst dogs in his repertoire.
The Sad Puppies stand for literature people ENJOY reading, even if their beliefs are not those of the author. Also, writing that is not pushing any belief, beyond the natural leaking that happens when an author writes something and puts part of him in the story.
We fully support your right to have the recommendation sites for those who read your catechism and who will enthusiastically love and adore Piers Plowman. It’s who you are, it’s what you do, and why shouldn’t you have a site for those who think like you?
It’s not however who we are and what we do, nor does it fit our aesthetics. (Yes, this has all been an aesthetic dispute, even if some sides think it’s politics.)
Your recommendations no more invalidate the need for a site of our own than do the recommendation sites from the left, going into exquisite detail about how “other” the author of some unreadable tome is, and how they have just the right amount of vaginitude and melanin.
So, yeah, there will be a Sad Puppies recommendation site — glowers in the vague direction of servers — soon, and then we’ll refine it and improve it through the years to become a place to find enjoyable reads. And if people want to use it to find recommendations for awards? I’ve seen worse hobbies. One of my ancestors used to put “things” in bottles of alcohol. Weird plants, snakes, that sort of thing. Voting on awards, at least, does not ruin good alcohol.
And that’s where the Sad Puppies are. They didn’t run away. They’re just sleeping in the mud room. Sooner or later they’ll wake and play. Until then, you can sit and watch the circus and the monkeys, neither of which belong to us.
Which is a lovely thing, as we all on this site have “ruined” careers to work at, which seem to involve a lot of work and, thank heavens, regular pay checks.
I’ll announce the site here, when it’s up.