Can Raging White Guys Succeed in Hijacking Sci-Fi’s Biggest Awards?
August 21, 2015 12:11 PM   Subscribe

The Hugo Award process has always been hackable, There was just never anyone narcissistic enough to hack it.

With about 24 hours left to the Hugo Awards it is becoming increasingly unclear if the Sad Puppy Slate will or will not succeed in awarding science-fiction's highest honors to a slate of (mostly) mediocre B-listers in the field. The issue has received enough attention that NPR did a story on it this week. Last week George RR Martin decided to weigh in with an in-depth essay about the Puppy's complaints and its merits or lack thereof.

Charlie Jane Anders from Gawker's IO9 suggests the Puppies success in stuffing the nomination ballot this year in fact disproves their very basis for existing: "The Beale strategem (sic) only succeeds if all the other nominations are scattered and disorganized. And that kind of disorganization is exactly what we saw in most nominations. It appears that everybody except Beale’s crew simply nominated whatever stories they happened to enjoy in 2014. Had there been a secret left-wing bloc nominating its own stories in lockstep, then Beale’s strategy would have failed."
posted by AGameOfMoans (860 comments total) 47 users marked this as a favorite
 
Orson Scott Card is one of my all-time favorite science fiction authors.

Ouch. Cred destroyer.
posted by aught at 12:15 PM on August 21, 2015 [34 favorites]


Social justice warriors are actually the Illuminati pulling everyone's strings. The proof? We live in a world with such an excess of social justice, sexual equality, and income equality.
posted by benzenedream at 12:16 PM on August 21, 2015 [106 favorites]


I never thought I'd hate puppies.
posted by mayonnaises at 12:26 PM on August 21, 2015 [10 favorites]


Is there anything redeeming at all about the world of SF fandom? Has there ever been? Everything I read about SF fans makes it seem so terrible. This "puppies" bullshit. The rampant sexism of authors and fans. Fans protecting and defending Marion Zimmer Bradley's husband who is a proud and open pedophile, which Bradley apparently aided.

Is it as toxic as it appears? Why the hell are the Hugos, one of scifi's top awards, even structured this way? It makes no damn sense, it seems so creepily cliquish and small.
posted by Sangermaine at 12:29 PM on August 21, 2015 [9 favorites]


Well, there's all bits the puppies hate, which is 99.99% of it. Though the tendency towards foot dragging and burying their heads in the sand when it comes to toxic bad actors is really unappealing.
posted by Artw at 12:32 PM on August 21, 2015 [8 favorites]


Another couple of years of this and I'd declare the Hugos unsalvagable, and with them probably goes WordCon, at least as THE big SF con. But it's not like they've got a lock-hold on SF cons.
posted by Artw at 12:36 PM on August 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Why is it even tied to a con at all? That might have made sense in the 50s, but today fandom is so spread out, what's the point?
posted by Sangermaine at 12:42 PM on August 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


Is there anything redeeming at all about the world of SF fandom? Has there ever been? Everything I read about SF fans makes it seem so terrible. This "puppies" bullshit. The rampant sexism of authors and fans. Fans protecting and defending Marion Zimmer Bradley's husband who is a proud and open pedophile, which Bradley apparently aided.

Like all fandoms, it is only about the object of the fandom on a surface level, and the rest of it is interpersonal drama, like everything else in human experience. Most people seem to like it OK but as a misanthropic loner I realized very quickly that it was Not For Me.
posted by selfnoise at 12:43 PM on August 21, 2015 [12 favorites]


Just disband the Hugos. Awards in general are stupid and trivial but harmless enough. But if it has to be this way, I'd just say no more Hugos for you.
posted by BentFranklin at 12:44 PM on August 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Why is it even tied to a con at all? That might have made sense in the 50s, but today fandom is so spread out, what's the point?

That's why it's called WorldCon, and why it's held in a different city every year.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:44 PM on August 21, 2015 [8 favorites]


Is there anything redeeming at all about the world of SF fandom?

The feeling of superiority over non-fans? Fans are slans after all.
posted by GuyZero at 12:46 PM on August 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is there anything redeeming at all about the world of SF fandom?

No. Really, no. SF Fandom manages to be both inclusive and cliquish at the same time, and in the worst ways in both cases. It attracts pseudo-intellectuals in the same way that sports tribalism attracts pseudo-jocks, and both subcultures are equally fucked up emotionally.

But sports fandom doesn't have people like Vox Day and his ilk. It's as if the Baseball Writers' Association of America, who pick the Hall of Famers, had a cadre of overt Klansmen futzing with the nomination process.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 12:47 PM on August 21, 2015 [22 favorites]


That's why it's called WorldCon, and why it's held in a different city every year.

And still makes no sense. Most fans aren't able to jet around the world to wherever it happens to be that year, and why should they have to?

My point is, why are these awards tied to a single physical location and event at all? There are a hell of a lot more scifi fans in the world than those that happen to be able to be present in Yokohama or Glasgow or New York on a given date.
posted by Sangermaine at 12:50 PM on August 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


But sports fandom doesn't have people like Vox Day and his ilk.

Wait until there's a female goalie in the NHL or a female pitcher in MLB. There's no one mocking women in pro sports because they're still managing to keep them completely out.
posted by GuyZero at 12:51 PM on August 21, 2015 [63 favorites]


My point is, why are these awards tied to a single physical location and event at all?

Because people like having a location and event for the ceremony?
posted by Artw at 12:52 PM on August 21, 2015 [13 favorites]


My point is, why are these awards tied to a single physical location and event at all?

Tradition.
posted by GuyZero at 12:52 PM on August 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


My point is, why are these awards tied to a single physical location and event at all?

Because it's nice to give awards in person and, hey, as long as all of these authors are in one place it makes sense to invite fans and just have a big celebration?
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 12:52 PM on August 21, 2015 [8 favorites]


You know that people can vote by post and online, right?
posted by Artw at 12:53 PM on August 21, 2015 [12 favorites]


Is there anything redeeming at all about the world of SF fandom?


It depends on what you mean by "fandom". Is Strange Horizons part of fandom, as a small, barely-paying web magazine? Are kickstarter campaigns for things like Long Hidden? Are the communities that spring up around SFnal or fantastic independent web comics like O Human Star? What about small cons that are geared to GLBTQ fans? What about the Carl Brandon Society, geared toward advancing the interests and presence of fans and writers of color? Is my ongoing SF reading group part of fandom? Were important feminist fanzines like Klaatus and The Witch and the Chameleon?

Fandom gets a lot of attention when it's behaving shittily but isn't as interesting to outsiders when it's productive - - which is fine, I love a trainwreck as much as the next person.
posted by Frowner at 12:53 PM on August 21, 2015 [50 favorites]


Is there anything redeeming at all about the world of SF fandom?

Well, from the fans reacting to the Puppies, I've gotten a list of dozens of modern SF stories, most of them involving highly diverse and progressive themes. Without fandom, I would likely never have heard of Ancillary Justice, The Goblin Emperor, Cold Magic our the other n books I've enjoyed this summer.

Hell, without fandom, a lot if the authors I like, such as Seanen McGuire probably wouldn't exist as such. Beck, just ask vote ment professional creators came out of fandom. So overall, fandom as a place for sharing and creativity still works.
posted by happyroach at 12:54 PM on August 21, 2015 [27 favorites]


Well, unless the SP/RP faction gets bored this year, it'll all happen next year, because there can't be any changes to the nominating process. There are a number of proposals being mooted this year, but regardless of which (if any) pass, none of them will take effect next year because they'll require ratification by the next Worldcon. So, the Hugos will use the same nomination process next year.

What will almost certainly happen, though, is a lot more people will pay attention to nominations next year, for good or ill.

It's always been known that you could stuff the nominations and easily get a work on the ballot, and with a little effort, take over the ballot. The primary control of this wasn't regulatory, it was social. You just didn't do that --- and for decades, that worked just fine. The social contract that one did not logroll for the Hugo was strong enough that there were fans who were against authors even posting a single "these are my eligible works this year" posts online. I am not one of them, but the moment you post two? You're logrolling and you've broken the contract, and I would not only not nominate you, I'd campaign against you.

That broke down when the SP/RP came along. They didn't care about the social contract, they easily got enough nomination to take over the ballot, and they did. It did help that, for too long, too many people who claimed to care about the Hugos and who were eligible to nominate didn't. The favorite excuse was "I didn't read a lot" and I kept saying "Doesn't matter. If you read something that you thought was Hugo Worthy, nominate it. If you read more than 5 things in a category that were Hugo Worthy, then you have to choose. Otherwise, nominate just the things you read that you think are worthy. If enough people agree with you, it'll make the short list. If not, it won't -- the 5% rule will make sure of that."

They didn't, so between not enough nominations and the SP/RPs, this happened.

The nice thing about the old system was it was simple, open, and transparent. The systems being mooted range from minimally effective, like 4/6, to OMG complex -- so much so that it's basically impossible to know if they'll actually fix the problem, but they'll certainly make it fun to figure out the nominations. It's all very....fannish.

So, again, next year will only be different in the sense that maybe a lot more people will nominate -- for good or for ill. You will be eligible to nominate if you are a member (supporting or attending) of this year's Worldcon, or next year's Worldcon (in KC) or the Worldcon after that (which we find out out where tonight) if you join before the end of this year (basically, if you join this year, this being the year they'd be awarding.) Only members of next years Worldcon (KC) will be able to vote on the final shortlist, but the nomination pool is much larger.
posted by eriko at 12:56 PM on August 21, 2015 [18 favorites]


My point is, why are these awards tied to a single physical location and event at all?

Tradition.


At 15, I was a selfish prick. At 18 I helped to ruin the Hugos.
I hear we've picked some winners for them. I hope they're chauvinistic.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:57 PM on August 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hasn't Vox Day done a lot of other shitty things? I seem to remember that, but i can't remember what. I kind of wish there was some online list of "shitty things this guy has done" to peruse.

The rationalwiki page is sort of decent at that, but i don't really trust that site.
posted by emptythought at 12:57 PM on August 21, 2015


Hasn't Vox Day done a lot of other shitty things?

Mostly just saying words. But he's amazingly good at saying shitty words. I have to admit the guy has a gift or something.
posted by GuyZero at 12:58 PM on August 21, 2015 [7 favorites]


I kind of wish there was some online list of "shitty things this guy has done" to peruse.

Literally his blog.
posted by griphus at 12:58 PM on August 21, 2015 [64 favorites]


Even if the puppies evaporate tomorrow the vulnerability to skating needs addressing - the deal with security through obscurity is that it works until it doesn't and then it never works again.

(There are Worldconners who deny this, but they are frankly delusional. )
posted by Artw at 12:59 PM on August 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Is it as toxic as it appears? Why the hell are the Hugos, one of scifi's top awards, even structured this way? It makes no damn sense, it seems so creepily cliquish and small.

Previous to this year the award was at parity for male and female authors. Most of the fandom is not terrible, it's just this terribly aggressive and loud clique stuffed the ballots this year by reaching out to the same reactionaries in gamergate.
posted by pblaze at 1:00 PM on August 21, 2015 [9 favorites]


I've never really trusted awards but the GRRM blog post makes me want to read some of the shortlisters or winners from previous years.

I don't suppose there's a website that prompts you when Hugo award winning novels hit $10 on Amazon?
posted by rebent at 1:00 PM on August 21, 2015


Well, there was that time he took the SWFA Twitter account for a racist joyride.
posted by Artw at 1:01 PM on August 21, 2015 [7 favorites]


I don't suppose there's a website that prompts you when Hugo award winning novels hit $10 on Amazon?

You can set it up manually at CamelCamelCamel if you want.
posted by griphus at 1:02 PM on August 21, 2015 [11 favorites]


Well, unless the SP/RP faction gets bored this year, it'll all happen next year, because there can't be any changes to the nominating process.

They've already got it planned for next year, except it's being led by women, because #notyourshield and therefore it magically has no ties to misogynists anymore so there.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:03 PM on August 21, 2015 [9 favorites]


Why is it even tied to a con at all? That might have made sense in the 50s, but today fandom is so spread out, what's the point?

Because the Hugo Awards are the awards of the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS), which also runs the Worldcon. They created them, oh, 62 years ago, and handed them out every year since at the Worldcon.

That's why.
posted by eriko at 1:03 PM on August 21, 2015 [18 favorites]


Hasn't Vox Day done a lot of other shitty things?

Well, he called himself Vox Day, for a start. I'm not sure I can give the kind of credence and respect to the statements of someone who styles themself "The Voice of God" that such a person would consider their natural right.

He might as well call himself Great Loony.
posted by Grangousier at 1:04 PM on August 21, 2015 [18 favorites]


Jim C Hines has a bit of a history of the Sad Puppies thing. I read that and backed away slowly. Vox Day, Brad Torgerson, and Larry Correia are clearly USDA Choice Assholes and I'm kind of surprised that there seem to be a group of SF fans eager to throw in with them, except that it's not at all surprising when I remember that people are dicks...
posted by axiom at 1:05 PM on August 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


emptythought: Hasn't Vox Day done a lot of other shitty things?

Previous mentions in MetaFilter posts:
“If that’s your definition of a romantic hero… I have no words for you." (August 9, 2015, where he is cited as defending Kate Breslin's book on romance set in concentration camps)
Reclaimin Heinlein (May 9, 2014, Vox is listed as one of those chased out of Sci Fi fandom/punished for their opinions)
"there is no neutrality when bigotry is the status quo" (August 17, 2013, where Vox is cited for called N. K. Jemisin uncivilised and a savage)
Et tu, Vox Day? (December 20, 2005, "...George Bush must resign. Failing that, he should be impeached." So says Vox Day, WorldNetDaily columnist, self-described Christian libertarian, and recent subject of MeFi interest for his views on rape.)
posted by filthy light thief at 1:06 PM on August 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


But sports fandom doesn't have people like Vox Day and his ilk. It's as if the Baseball Writers' Association of America, who pick the Hall of Famers, had a cadre of overt Klansmen futzing with the nomination process.

Well, I'm not sure that BBWAA would really count as fandom. There's a contingent of sports fans who are willing to support rapists, abusers, and criminals of all sorts who happen to be really good at sports; there's something of a perennial campaign for Pete Rose to be admitted to the HoF. They are also reluctant to pressure owners to give up racist mascots, and quite a few people were willing to go to the wall to defend Joe Paterno. (Admittedly, some of the latter was more general Penn State boosterism.) As obnoxious and hateful as the Sad/Rabid Puppies are, I'm not sure that it stacks up against Michael Vick hurting and killing real dogs. And don't forget the perennial riots in whatever city wins a major sports championship. What will the S/RPs do if/when they lose? Not tip at the Denny's in the convention city?
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:11 PM on August 21, 2015


Hasn't Vox Day done a lot of other shitty things?

One of the biggest splashes he made in annoying the SF/F world was to personally insult the writer N. K. Jemisin, thereby getting himself kicked out of the SFWA (SF Writers Association).
posted by theorique at 1:11 PM on August 21, 2015


I really like the cover art selected for the first article in the OP, which is summarized as follows on Wikipedia:
The cover illustrates Milton Lesser's "The New World to Conquer", in which spacemen come upon a planet of women who think of men as drones.
Those women are so self-confident that they wear mini-togas and carry pointy sticks, and I assume it is this confidence that scares the men, who are fully clothed and have helmets with visors. Without getting into a discussion of possible differences in basic strength between men and women, I'd think the men have the upper hand based solely on the potential for their attire to protect them from those pointy sticks.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:14 PM on August 21, 2015


One of the biggest splashes he made in annoying the SF/F world was to personally insult the writer N. K. Jemisin, thereby getting himself kicked out of the SFWA (SF Writers Association).

He could have insulted her all he liked without getting kicked out of SFWA. But he used the OFFICIAL SFWA Twitter feed to do it: he linked to a screed full of racist dogwhistles and over racism. And that was too much.
posted by suelac at 1:15 PM on August 21, 2015 [8 favorites]


Recently Philip Sandifer interviewed Vox Day and Andrew Rilstone did a slightly rambling takedown of J. C. Wright from the point of view of someone who not only read C.S. Lewis but actually understood what he was reading. Have these (or at least the former) been over-linked-to on the subject? Rilstone is on the verge of becoming a Decent Old Buffer, Sandifer a Decent Young Buffer, I suppose.

No, I don't think I can define "buffer".
posted by Grangousier at 1:17 PM on August 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


This entire thing is fascinating, and a surprisingly nice side effect is that I've found lots of other recs for good short fiction.

I was following the stuff on File770 for a while, and some of the planning for E Pluribus Hugo (which I like as a solution).

The awards will be livestreamed at 8PM PST tomorrow night.
posted by jeather at 1:18 PM on August 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


He could have insulted her all he liked without getting kicked out of SFWA. But he used the OFFICIAL SFWA Twitter feed to do it: he linked to a screed full of racist dogwhistles and over racism. And that was too much.

Good point - I forgot to mention that part. He had previously been antagonistic on his own blog / twitter (and continues to be).
posted by theorique at 1:25 PM on August 21, 2015


My understanding (admittedly limited) is that it's not like the Secret Masters of Fandom decided, okay, we will make the awards for the whole science fiction field and call them Hugo but that it evolved more organically--this one con started giving out annual awards and the awards developed a lot of prestige and cachet over time--which will quickly vanish, in my opinion, if measures aren't taken to defend the integrity of the nominations process. I very much hope EPH passes.
posted by overglow at 1:28 PM on August 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


You know, if these guys were even remotely altruistic about their beliefs, they wouldn't have nominated their own garbage.

"Well, let's see. I'm a cry baby for not getting nominated and now my friends all agree to vote for the book I pick... Let's pick MY book! Yeah!"
posted by CarlRossi at 1:31 PM on August 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


George R. R. Martin wrote a series of posts on his blog before he headed to Worldcon about this year's Hugos that are worth reading: Worldcon: Winning and Losing, Handicapping the Hugos and Handicapping the Hugos, Part the Second.
posted by Kattullus at 1:37 PM on August 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Teddy Beale (VD) is an example of why the internet is a good thing because:

1. It gives him a forum by which other offal eaters can bond together and give each other the support that would come from literally no where else (and be identified).

2. A cogent reminder that there are still VD's running free in the world so others can be aware that things are still not safe for rational thinkers and people who actually do things as opposed to trying to tear things down for the outside.
and finally

3. Outsider Crybabys still get more attention than they deserve. VD (the person, not the disease...) I understand, will not be attending Worldcon. The very behavior of mouthy cowards: yell from the outside, to fearful to be a part of that which they complain about. Luckily, News spreads so much faster these days.

As a Black SF Fan working in actual futuristic industries and deeply involved in the local SF community, VD gives me all the special feels...
posted by djrock3k at 1:37 PM on August 21, 2015 [20 favorites]


For anyone else who might be interested in the history of what has been going on from the point of view of some fans/non-pros, plus bios of the main players, fail_fandomanon has a pretty comprehensive write-up in their wiki. They've been following the mess since around April (and are not at all neutral on the subject).
posted by possibilityleft at 1:38 PM on August 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


>Even if the puppies evaporate tomorrow the vulnerability to skating needs addressing

It's literally going to be addresses at the 9 AM Sunday meeting - open to anyone and everyone's ideas. I've heard a couple reasonable proposals last night of ways to avoid nomination slates.

Popcorn sales will be through the roof.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 1:52 PM on August 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


I dunno, it sounds like there's still a fair chance they'll do nothing because they think the solutions are too complicated/love will heal all/actually like slates.
posted by Artw at 2:02 PM on August 21, 2015


The two big proposals are 4/6 and E Pluribus Hugo. (Both these are nomination round changes, the final vote stage is unlikely to change.)

4/6 (numbers subject to change) is the idea that you get to vote for up to four works per category, and the top 6 vote getters in each category are finalists.

EPH lets you vote for up to 5 works per category, and your single vote is divided equally between them. The work with the fewest votes is knocked off the ballot, then your vote is redistributed if necessary (if I voted for A, B, C, D, Z and Z is knocked off, my vote is now for A, B, C, D and each now gets .25 points), repeat until five finalists. There are details about points vs votes that I haven't gotten into.

4/6 is simple, but very easily gameable (one slate can still get 4, 2 slates lock up the ballot).
EPH is probably not gameable (a slate is typically limited to 1 item unless they choose something with crossover appeal) but is incredibly complicated.

Rachael Acks is liveblogging the business meetings, if you're curious on Sunday. (I believe that the ballots for this year will have been tested against EPH before Sunday.)
posted by jeather at 2:04 PM on August 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm actually incredibly curious to see what the nominating data looks like and how many votes it took to swing it - by guess is very, very few.
posted by Artw at 2:05 PM on August 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


They have to be careful or in a few years their convention will be composed entirely of hugely overweight middle-aged men with closely-trimmed goatees trying to out-monologue each other. Unless it already is. In which case, never mind me.
posted by Grangousier at 2:12 PM on August 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't suppose there's a website that prompts you when Hugo award winning novels hit $10 on Amazon?

If you add the ebook to your Amazon, Goodreads, or LibraryThing wishlist and sign up for an account at Luzme, it will email you when the price drops. You can set which stores you want it to monitor for price changes (various stores available, in a number of different countries and regions).
posted by Lexica at 2:14 PM on August 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


Oh, and I reckon I can say that because I'm one closely-trimmed goatee away from my own pejorative stereotype.
posted by Grangousier at 2:14 PM on August 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


Is there anything redeeming at all about the world of SF fandom?

Primarily Beale & Co. are reactionary tempests in teapots taking advantage of the Internet's ability to amplify cranks and gaming ballot systems. Most people in the fandom are going to go on reading what they like. And as Delany noted in an interview earlier this month, that's more likely to include women, minorities, and LGBT voices. One reviewer noted that specializing in women as authors for a time still gave her more than she had time to review.

The Women Destroy and Queers Destroy kickstarters were reasonably successful. The Tiptrees are still running. SF&F is currently in the middle of a renaissance of globalization overall. Atwood is getting an HBO series. It is the best of times, it is the worst of times.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 2:15 PM on August 21, 2015 [13 favorites]


My point is, why are these awards tied to a single physical location and event at all?

Because it's their award. It's the award given by the World Science Fiction Society and the award is presented at Worldcon because that's their convention.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 2:22 PM on August 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


My point is, why are these awards tied to a single physical location and event at all? There are a hell of a lot more scifi fans in the world than those that happen to be able to be present in Yokohama or Glasgow or New York on a given date.

Because the fans that run it, put their time, energy and effort in it, created it this way.

Want to change it?

Great!

Get involved, do the voluntering, buy the membership, take time to go to Worldcon and the business meeting, try and convince your fellow fans that your really novel and never before seen idea that the Hugos need to be organised differently should be followed.

But you have to be prepared to put the work in and actually, you know, be involved in fandom first.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:22 PM on August 21, 2015 [7 favorites]


I think possibly you are the only person who has used the word fraud here?

Isn't it actually that a group of people have systematically violated what they themselves have defined as a gentleman's agreement, while loudly proclaiming that this violation reinforces their status as gentlemen? While using as justification that another group of people, who don't even pretend to be gentlemen, have violated the same agreement, even though they haven't? And even though such an agreement didn't exist in the first place, it was just the way things were supposed to be, and generally were, between sane people?

That's definitely not fraud. It's a severely attenuated understanding of reality but not fraud.
posted by Grangousier at 2:27 PM on August 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Not to mention, Katniss Everdeen beat Tony Stark in Box Office. So the times are a changing.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 2:29 PM on August 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's always been known that you could stuff the nominations and easily get a work on the ballot, and with a little effort, take over the ballot. The primary control of this wasn't regulatory, it was social.

Which is why anybody who doesn't want to see the Hugos reduced to a war of competing slates should've voted No Award over anybody who didn't withdrawn themselves from the Puppy slate and/or boycott their work from now on. Turning the social pressure up if they can't behave properly on their own.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:29 PM on August 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


These fuckers now wear No Award as a badge, so good luck there.
posted by Artw at 2:30 PM on August 21, 2015


Eh, that's just them going "...uh, we meant to do that! Yeah, that's the story!"
posted by Lexica at 2:33 PM on August 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


Come to think of it a change to the rules so that a No Award retroactively removes a nomination would be good.
posted by Artw at 2:34 PM on August 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ehh, they will claim victory whatever the outcome is and VD, John C. Wright, Larry Correia and Brad Turgidson certainly won't stop doing what they do because they're banking on the rightwing asshole audience to make their living from.

It's the fellow travellers, like Kary English and other relatively unknown writers who need to know that allowing themselves to be used isn't a winning strategy.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:35 PM on August 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Quite frankly I don't care what awful things they do or claim so long as their ability to affect other people is removed.
posted by Artw at 2:36 PM on August 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Modern Library tried to generate a readers poll of the best books of the 20th century back in 1999. 200,000 voters could surely avoid skewing the poll. The winners:

1 1957 Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand
2 1943 The Fountainhead Ayn Rand
3 1982 Battlefield Earth L. Ron Hubbard
4 1954–55 The Lord of the Rings J.R.R. Tolkien
5 1960 To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
6 1949 1984 George Orwell
7 1938 Anthem Ayn Rand
8 1936 We the Living Ayn Rand
9 1985 Mission Earth L. Ron Hubbard
10 1940 Fear L. Ron Hubbard
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 2:39 PM on August 21, 2015 [25 favorites]


Weird. I'd rank Mission Earth above We The Living.
posted by parki at 2:45 PM on August 21, 2015 [12 favorites]


Well, at least they got the best Hubbard book in at the bottom.

(Scientologists have tried scamming the Hugo's previously and in that case were roundly rejected.)
posted by Artw at 2:45 PM on August 21, 2015


I'd like to say something about the atmosphere here at the moment ... literally the freaking atmosphere ! There are horrid wildfires raging around Washington at the moment and Smokane is immersed in a stinking yellow haze with visibilities a mile or less - in smoke. You can not see the sun for all the smoke. The Rverwalk and park that I can see from my hotel room, normally traversed by masses of locals and convention goers alike, are quite literally devoid of people. I can smell the smoke in my hotel room and the air quality is now listed as unhealthy which accounts for some scary pre-asthmatic coughing fits I'm having.

So all in all a perfect pre-apocolyptic setting for today's Business meeting!
posted by AGameOfMoans at 2:46 PM on August 21, 2015 [11 favorites]


These fuckers now wear No Award as a badge, so good luck there.

If the alternative is a gleaming silver rocket on a chain hanging around their necks, I'll let them call their No Award badges cake and ice cream.
posted by chimaera at 2:51 PM on August 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


Pretty much all of the short fiction ones have impacted pup problems, so a No Award for Best Short, Novelette and Novella would not be the end of the world, in fact, may even be the best outcome in many cases.
posted by bonehead at 3:02 PM on August 21, 2015


I used to read science fiction when I was a kid and grew away from it. At some point in the last decade (maybe influenced by the blue) I started to read some again. I tend to look through Hugo and Nebula nominees as a way to pick out material. For me this means I just won't bother with the Hugo lists in future and likely read less of the genre as a result.
posted by biffa at 3:15 PM on August 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


These fuckers now wear No Award as a badge, so good luck there.

They are going to declare victory whatever happens, so I don't think that that should factor into our decisions.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 3:18 PM on August 21, 2015 [16 favorites]


As far as ripostes to these nincompoops go I'm partial to (link has NSFW book covers with naughty bits) "THE.... Sodomite Hal Duncan!! [sic]'s Open Letter to John C. Wright. It long predates the current Hugo nonsense, but it's still a lot of fun to read if you like somewhat fanciful diction.
posted by valrus at 3:46 PM on August 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


Question: Why does anyone give a shit what Vox Day considered to be a "victory condition"?
posted by JohnFromGR at 3:55 PM on August 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


Because the fans that run it, put their time, energy and effort in it, created it this way.

Want to change it?

Great!

Get involved, do the voluntering, buy the membership, take time to go to Worldcon and the business meeting, try and convince your fellow fans that your really novel and never before seen idea that the Hugos need to be organised differently should be followed.

But you have to be prepared to put the work in and actually, you know, be involved in fandom first.


This is so true. This is just the dumb assy side of democracy where people you don't like or agree with get their way because they've put the work in.

You wanna change it, do the same.
posted by Sebmojo at 4:04 PM on August 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


I used to love my Science Fiction Hall of Fame anthologies. I bought them at Snowden's on Fort Street, and during my teens I spent most of my disposable income in that store, buying everything I could find from the Silver Age.

Snowden's is now a bong shop (FFS!) and nevermore will I be able to browse the aisles for truly classic science fiction. It makes me sad.
posted by Nevin at 4:07 PM on August 21, 2015


Is nothing sacred? Must everything we hold dear be polluted with the taint of left right politics?
posted by Jernau at 4:07 PM on August 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


> You wanna change it, do the same.

If you're privileged enough to have the time and money and energy available to do this, of course. Otherwise, you can just sit and watch as the people who are in better positions take over and turn it into a cesspool.
posted by cardioid at 4:09 PM on August 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


Jernau: Must everything we hold dear be polluted with the taint of left right politics?

In this case, the left had nothing to do with it. Blaming he hijacking of the Hugos on both sides is a bit like putting equal blame on the left and the right for Fox News.
posted by Kattullus at 4:12 PM on August 21, 2015 [28 favorites]


Shaenon Garrity has been satirizing this on Twitter for a while.
posted by Quonab at 4:23 PM on August 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Must everything we hold dear be polluted with the taint of left right politics?

Yes. Because it is the Great Hope for the American Right Wing who are much more dedicated to the Culture War, because they fail at Culture but win at War. The "Left" will never be united enough to compete, but will continue to put out 99% of the Quality Culture.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:38 PM on August 21, 2015 [9 favorites]


>If you're privileged enough to have the time and money and energy available to do this, of course. Otherwise, you can just sit and watch as the people who are in better positions take over and turn it into a cesspool.

A voting membership is, I believe 40 bucks. Less than a dollar a week into your budget for the year. The "privilege" argument doesn't really apply here, in my opinion. One either wants to put the time (and/or money) into being a member - or one does not. It's not so much "privilege" as it is willingness to put in a certain amount of effort.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 4:47 PM on August 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Stay safe, air breathing creatures of Spokane.
posted by Artw at 4:49 PM on August 21, 2015 [12 favorites]


Stay safe, air breathing creatures of Spokane.

Burn Worldcon Burn
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:55 PM on August 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Hugos have always been subject to certain biases... whenever Worldcon crossed over the Atlantic to the UK, there was always a lot more British names on the noms and the winners, but that was kinda taken as par for the course. And the Americans do tend to dominate otherwise/ There's always exceptions of course.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:00 PM on August 21, 2015


This is, of course, very typical of the right. They perceive a problem that doesn't exist and then go out of their way to actually make that problem exist and then say "told you so." Victory condition!
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:18 PM on August 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


One thing I'd like to see is Beale and his publishing house forever banned from being nominated for a Hugo. Your story was published by Castalia House? Too bad, it now can't be nominated for a Hugo. Same goes for Correia and Torgersen and all the other organizers of the * Puppies, not only should they be banned so should any publisher they start or buy, or any magazine they edit.

There need to be direct, personal and business, consequences for this. Allowing them to basically ruin the Hugos for two years [1] and get away with no penalty is going to encourage the next right wing choad to try something.

[1] I say two years because as pointed out earlier this exact same nightmare will repeat next year with the added bonus of people organizing anti-Puppy slates and basically the whole thing will be turned into a war of the slates rather than a proper nomination.
posted by sotonohito at 5:21 PM on August 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think making slate voting ineffective will be sufficient for preventing garbage-quality work getting nominated, from Castalia or not.
posted by Artw at 5:27 PM on August 21, 2015


@Artw, yes it will. But I also think there needs to be a direct acknowledgement of the harm they did and a penalty for that harm. A formal censure and banning seems like an appropriate way to say that what they did was deeply wrong and harmful and that they and their attempt to inject American culture war crap is bad and they should feel bad.
posted by sotonohito at 5:32 PM on August 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's a nice thought, but I don't think you can actually punish Vox Day (see: victory conditions) except by making him irrelevant, and you don't do that by paying more attention to him.
posted by Artw at 5:47 PM on August 21, 2015 [7 favorites]


Tempest in a space ship. : )
posted by Beholder at 6:19 PM on August 21, 2015


I worry that none of the proposed changes to how nominations are made will pass this weekend, and we will then see at least three years of RP/SP nomination futzing.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 6:57 PM on August 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'd just throw out that all that horrible stupidity made me sit down and write a story. Instead of clawing my eyes out. Progress.
posted by mrdaneri at 7:06 PM on August 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


mrdaneri, your italics and Roman switch midway through and you have a "sat" where you should have a "set."
posted by Don Pepino at 7:18 PM on August 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


gracias. my editor is on vacation, so i'm on my own.
posted by mrdaneri at 7:28 PM on August 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


I spent some time reading #Sasquan this evening. There was lots of nice, fun, interesting stuff there about what's going on at the convention, tons of eerie photos of the smoke outside, and relatively few things about the Hugos.

Someone posted two repos of code and sample data connected to the E Pluribus Hugo proposal. There was a bad editorial cartoon and a photo of some (I think?) pro-puppy ribbons. There was one gross flyer someone dumped in the freebie area. Presumably there will be more of interest tomorrow, during or after the ceremony.

Tangentially, there's fun, goofy, and awesome stuff going on at NecronomiCon Providence too, but it also came up in #Sasquan that the NecronomiCon organizers had been motivated to post an official repudiation of xenophobia/racism, possibly in response to NecronomiCon's own opening ceremonies though it's also abundantly warranted by the comments on the statement.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 9:09 PM on August 21, 2015 [7 favorites]


Yeah, at least one thing I can state with any certainty is that the organizers and backers of the puppies slates have pretty much hit my shitlist for Authors I Will Never Spend Money On. Which, y'know, is fine, means I have more money for the authors who aren't acting like shits, but I've already had a couple of book suggestions come across my email that made me go "ooo" before I saw the name of the author.
posted by Kyol at 9:22 PM on August 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


Argh. I posted my comment in the wrong thread.
posted by wintersweet at 9:23 PM on August 21, 2015


Sorry, I'm sure it must be linked somewhere, but is there a list of the nominees this year along with a notation about which ones are from the Puppy slates?
posted by whir at 11:16 PM on August 21, 2015


Ah, found it by comparing this list of the puppy nominations to this list of the non-puppy ones.
posted by whir at 11:28 PM on August 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


"Well, he called himself Vox Day, for a start. I'm not sure I can give the kind of credence and respect to the statements of someone who styles themself "The Voice of God" that such a person would consider their natural right. "

For a long time, I thought "Vox Day" was a satire of the sort of shit that Beale and other right-wing sci-fi loons wrote. I remember that feeling as the horror of Poe's Law set in.
posted by klangklangston at 12:25 AM on August 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Since it's reasonably on topic, here are my Hugo predictions. These are not based on insider information or even analysis, but only gut instinct. This does not necessarily reflect how I voted or in what order (and in multiple cases, it does not), but who I think will win. For those who haven't been following along closely during this whole mess, I have noted which people or works appeared on one or both of the Puppy slates.

My record for predicting other awards, such as the Oscars, has been mediocre at best. That being said …

The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer
Who I think will win it: Wesley Chu
Who I think will win it if I am wrong: No Award
Who I think will win if if I am very wrong: Kary English (Puppy slate nominee)

Best Fan Artist
Who I think will win it: Elizabeth Leggett
Who I think will win it if I am wrong: Brad W. Foster
Who I think will win it if I am very wrong: Ninni Aalto

Best Fan Writer
Who I think will win it: Laura J. Mixon
Who I think will win it if I am wrong: No Award
Who I think will win it if I am very wrong: Jeffro Johnson (Puppy slate nominee)

Best Fancast
Who I think will win it: Tea and Jeopardy
Who I think will win it if I am wrong: Galactic Suburbia Podcast
Who I think will win it if I am very wrong: I do not think I will be very wrong

Best Fanzine
Who I think will win it: Journey Planet
Who I think will win it if I am wrong: I do not think I will be wrong
Who I think will win it if I am very wrong: I do not think I will be very wrong

Best Semiprozine
Who I think will win it: Lightspeed Magazine
Who I think will win it if I am wrong: Strange Horizons
Who I think will win it if I am very wrong: Beneath Ceaseless Skies

Best Professional Artist
Who I think will win it: Julie Dillon
Who I think will win it if I am wrong: I do not think I will be wrong
Who I think will win it if I am very wrong: I do not think I will be very wrong

Best Editor, Long Form
Who I think will win it: No Award
Who I think will win it if I am wrong: Sheila Gilbert (Puppy slate nominee)
Who I think will win it if I am very wrong: Toni Weisskopf (Puppy slate nominee)

Best Editor, Short Form
Who I think will win it: No Award
Who I think will win it if I am wrong: Mike Resnick (Puppy slate nominee)
Who I think will win it if I am very wrong: I do not think I will be very wrong

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
Who I think will win it: Doctor Who, “Listen”
Who I think will win it if I am wrong: Orphan Black, “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried”
Who I think will win it if I am very wrong: Game of Thrones, “The Mountain and the Viper” (Puppy slate nominee)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
Who I think will win it: Guardians of the Galaxy (Puppy slate nominee)
Who I think will win it if I am wrong: The Lego Movie (Puppy slate nominee)
Who I think will win it if I am very wrong: Captain America — The Winter Soldier

Best Graphic Story
Who I think will win it: Ms. Marvel Volume I — No Normal
Who I think will win it if I am wrong: Saga Volume III
Who I think will win it if I am very wrong: Rat Queens Volume I – Sass and Sorcery

Best Related Work
Who I think will win it: No Award
Who I think will win it if I am wrong: I do not think I will be wrong
Who I think will win it if I am very wrong: I do not think I will be very wrong

Best Short Story
Who I think will win it: No Award
Who I think will win it if I am wrong: Totaled, by Kary English (Puppy slate nominee)
Who I think will win it if I am very wrong: I do not think I will be very wrong

Best Novelette
Who I think will win it: No Award
Who I think will win it if I am wrong: The Day the World Turned Upside Down, by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
Who I think will win it if I am very wrong: I do not think I will be very wrong

Best Novella
Who I think will win it: No Award
Who I think will win it if I am wrong: I do not think I will be wrong
Who I think will win it if I am very wrong: I do not think I will be very wrong

Best Novel
Who I think will win it: The Goblin Emperor, by Katherine Addison
Who I think will win it if I am wrong: The Three Body Problem, by Cixin Liu
Who I think will win it if I am very wrong: Ancillary Sword, by Ann Leckie
posted by kyrademon at 3:32 AM on August 22, 2015 [8 favorites]


The first voting-related results are in from Sasquan: Site selection for 2017. Helsinki blew everybody else out of the water, taking an outright majority on the first ballot. 1363 for the winning bid, 878 for Washington, DC, 228 for Montreal, 120 for Japan.

On the one hand I think this is the best result for WorldCon as an institution and the Helsinki crew seems like they'll put on a great con, but I still wish it was coming to my backyard.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 4:24 AM on August 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


Yay Helsinki! After more than half a lifetime of fandom, I can finally attend a WorldCon. My inner fifteen year old is already getting excited.
posted by Kattullus at 7:25 AM on August 22, 2015 [8 favorites]


The puppy thing is just so weird to me, because I write what Beale calls "Pink SF" which is what this is about and have read Pink SF (written in the late 60s and beyond) since I was twelve or so. Pink SF is supposed to be an unfun cancer blah blah blah but it's precisely what I love about the genre. And I could take comfort in the fact that I have many writer and editor friends who specialize in what I love and fight for diversity, but I've experienced enough microaggressions in SF fandom generally to be wary, because it often feels like a certain degree of pricklyness and high alert is necessary to go to cons and such and I get really tired of it, personally.

I'm glad so many people fight the good fight. But part of me is often just like "I'll just be over here hanging out with the other YA writers, where my Pink genre writing is wanted, damn it, and where people like John C. Wright don't win awards."
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:40 AM on August 22, 2015 [16 favorites]


Puppies claim simultaneously that there is a pink hegemony and that pink sf is marginal in the genre.

The sales seem to suggest that people buy what they like, and sometimes that's Card and Butcher, sometimes that's Leckie and Jemisin.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 8:02 AM on August 22, 2015


Puppies also claim the works they have nominated reintroduce "fun" - having read a couple I find that notion highly questionable.
posted by Artw at 8:20 AM on August 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Actually kind of tempted by Helsinki in 2017.
posted by Artw at 8:30 AM on August 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Actually kind of tempted by Helsinki in 2017.

I've already started planning
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:43 AM on August 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Just Today: Everyone's Likely To Be Sad At This Year's Hugos
posted by AGameOfMoans at 8:49 AM on August 22, 2015


I'm going to hit refresh over and over until the results get posted. GO.
posted by Justinian at 9:20 AM on August 22, 2015


Helsinki is doable for me too, and I've never been to Finland, so I could go touristing afterwards. Tempting.
posted by sukeban at 9:23 AM on August 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm actually considering watching the livestream instead of doing anything more interesting tonight. Oy. And I say this as someone who rarely watches award shows.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:39 AM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Huh. I bet I could afford the Icelandair flights Denver to Helsinki, if I start putting a little aside. Be a good excuse to stop off in Iceland, too...
posted by brennen at 9:46 AM on August 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Helsinki's landslide win may be an early indicator of what's going to happen with the Hugos. As you can see in the comments at File770, Helsinki was considered an "anti-Puppy" bid by some Puppies.

A couple of the people behind the bid have been very strong in creating safe spaces, anti-harassment efforts and thinking about mobility issues for fans at cons. I know at least one is on the "SJW Autoblock List."
posted by rednikki at 10:13 AM on August 22, 2015 [8 favorites]


What have these nutcases got against Helsinki?
posted by Artw at 10:34 AM on August 22, 2015


/reads on, is answered.
posted by Artw at 10:35 AM on August 22, 2015


If I understood the wonderful Rachael Acks Worldcon Blog entry then it appears that the E Pluribus Hugo solution is looking to be the preferred anti-slate proposal as of today?
posted by AGameOfMoans at 10:49 AM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


On the one hand, my eyes are glazing over on the business talk in that blog and hoo boy, I'm too dumb to get what is going on. On the other hand, she has lovely random moments of this:

"And the chair recognizes that I am dapper as fuck in my vest."
"Against because social media something something?"
"Technical time out! TEA TIME!"
" meeting is about to be adjourned OH SHIT I SPILLED MY TEA WHY HAVE YOU BETRAYED ME"
"Technical time out? I think you mean TEAchnical time out!"

posted by jenfullmoon at 10:57 AM on August 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


I am cautiously optimistic that EPH will be accepted tomorrow, possibly in conjunction with 4 and 6. I hope at least one of them does as a way of sending a signal that the Puppies' exploitation of the hole in the Hugo process is not acceptable.

On the other hand, a lot depends on timing: since the debate is scheduled for tomorrow, when a lot of people will start making their way home, a concerted effort to delay debate could succeed in blocking action.

Side note: somebody just sung a song in favor of one of the proposed constitutional amendments. Filk and parliamentary procedure, hand in hand!
posted by metaquarry at 11:25 AM on August 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Fill is one of those things that makes me think "hmm, maybe I'm not that nerdy."
posted by Artw at 12:14 PM on August 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


This is what Annie Bellet (she was proposed by the puppies, sad and rabid ones) had to say on withdrawing from the five finalists slate:

I am withdrawing because this has become about something very different than great science fiction. I find my story, and by extension myself, stuck in a game of political dodge ball, where I’m both a conscripted player and also a ball. (Wrap your head around that analogy, if you can, ha!) All joy that might have come from this nomination has been co-opted, ruined, or sapped away. This is not about celebrating good writing anymore, and I don’t want to be a part of what it has become.

I am not a ball. I do not want to be a player. This is not what my writing is about. This is not why I write. I believe in a compassionate, diverse, and inclusive world. I try to write my own take on human experiences and relationships, and present my fiction as entertainingly and honestly as I can.

posted by francesca too at 12:29 PM on August 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Ok, so i've actually done some searching on this one(i swear i did on the last one too!)... What the fuck is with the name Sad Puppies? Was their logic just "but sad puppies are sooo cute, no one can be mad at them! they're so innocent!"
posted by emptythought at 12:44 PM on August 22, 2015


Jim C. Hines did a good write-up a while back on the Puppies and how they came to be... in short, it sprang from Larry Correia's weird political whining on his blog, which then turned into this equally weird whining for nominations, and then everyone just sort of ran with it I guess, because if there's one thing about these little culture-warrior subgroups, they love special names. Names for their in-group, names for their plans or "operations", names to hurl at their sworn enemy... it's militaristic, but also incredibly childlike. Reminds me of the boys in my neighborhood pretending to be The A-Team or MacGyver when I was a kid.
posted by palomar at 1:31 PM on August 22, 2015 [9 favorites]


What the fuck is with the name Sad Puppies? Was their logic just "but sad puppies are sooo cute, no one can be mad at them! they're so innocent!!"

See here but mainly this post and this one from Larry Correia back in 2013.
posted by sukeban at 1:32 PM on August 22, 2015


>See here but mainly this post and this one from Larry Correia back in 2013

So basically a 2nd or 3rd tier writer tries to mobilize a campaign to get a nomination, which under normal circumstances he would never receive, and then turns the focus away from himself by turning the campaign into a "culture war" in order to cloak the original purpose.

Even this stratagem is unoriginal as it's basically what televangelists have been doing to rubes for years.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 3:17 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


It would seem that sad puppy allies made an attempt to prevent consideration of the alternative voting methods this morning, which was rejected. Here is some thrilling video of fandom parliamentary procedure, courtesy of comments at file770.com.
posted by whir at 3:21 PM on August 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


> It would seem that sad puppy allies made an attempt to prevent consideration of the alternative voting methods this morning....

... by sending Milton from Office Space to attempt a Parliamentary shut down of the proceedings.

(I'll be standing near the fire alarm just in case)
posted by AGameOfMoans at 3:44 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Huh, Kyrademon -- I would've flipped your novel guesses upside down. I feel like I've been seeing the most voting buzz for Ancillary Sword, and though I've seen plenty of positive press for Goblin Emperor, it hasn't been from people posting their ballots. I hope you're right, though! Emperor is not only my favorite of the Hugo novels this year, but one of my favorite SFF novels of all time. It's about unorthodox kinds of strength in a very Le Guinian way.

I'm cheering for it, and Sex Criminals (or, barring that, Ms. Marvel or volume 3 of Saga, a better volume than the one that won two years ago).

This has been an incredibly depressing year for me as a leftist female fan of literary SF -- all these schmucks telling me I'm wrong and don't exist, and accusing me of telling them the same. I'm glad there are a couple of categories we can pull out of the rubble.
posted by thesmallmachine at 3:47 PM on August 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


I might not have heard about The Goblin Emperor had it not been for the brouhaha about the Hugo's, for which I am grateful. It is a beautiful work.
posted by dejah420 at 4:18 PM on August 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


I think the most likely winner is The Three-Body Problem, just because it represents common ground between the Puppies and the non-asshole contingent (despite not putting it on the slates, they were more than happy to voice admiration for it once Marko Kloos withdrew Lines of Departure from the ballot).
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:12 PM on August 22, 2015


I wouldn't rule old Noah out.
posted by Artw at 5:42 PM on August 22, 2015


I hope not, he was my first choice.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:46 PM on August 22, 2015


Here is some thrilling video of fandom parliamentary procedure yt

Will they adjourn? I'm on the edge of my seat...
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:41 PM on August 22, 2015


Watching the livestream preshow thingy. Tananarive Due and David Gerrold are adorable. I hope they rock the heck out of hosting. (The ustream chat is vile, though.)
posted by mixedmetaphors at 7:46 PM on August 22, 2015


I'm so glad my browser won't load the ustream chat... it keeps being mentioned as particularly terrible on twitter.
posted by palomar at 7:47 PM on August 22, 2015


crap, i spoke too soon, it all loaded. yuck. i'll need wine now.
posted by palomar at 7:51 PM on August 22, 2015


Apparently John Scalzi is sporting a "cabal" button ( from File 770 comments).
posted by francesca too at 7:54 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


It took me a minute to realize that the Ustream was too bad to even be worth hate-reading, and that I could switch to a Twitter stream that is so deeply out of date as to be harmless.
posted by Jeanne at 7:54 PM on August 22, 2015


...wait, it's supposed to go until 2 Eastern? Jeez, so much for staying up.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:54 PM on August 22, 2015


Whoo hoo i have a fan (even though i have nothng published yet) that I made while waiting for the show to begin. Now I guess I'll have to get one of those facebook account thingies.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 8:09 PM on August 22, 2015


So these dudes are going to keep talking till it starts or do I need to change channel?
posted by Artw at 8:13 PM on August 22, 2015


Theoretically they say they're talking till it starts. I wonder what's taking so long. Maybe everyone is throwing up from fear.

Jeebus, the morons on the chat channel.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:15 PM on August 22, 2015


No need to change channels, ArtW. They'll flip to the awards when they start.
posted by palomar at 8:15 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


OUR DOOM HAS COME UPON US ALL, FOR DEATH HAS COME.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:19 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Don't take me! Take Scalzi! He's out there!" Love the Redshirts + Pratchett.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:20 PM on August 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


My prediction:

Vox D et al will declare victory under the following conditions
  1. Puppy picks win. "People do like Nutty Nuggets!"
  2. Non-puppy picks win. "We have proven there is a cabal."
  3. No award wins. "We knew you were going to do this all along."
  4. Special case: The Three-Body Problem, which was not listed on either puppy slate but which was talked up by them after a puppy nominee dropped out and it moved up, wins. "See, you chose the book we like too."
posted by jeather at 8:21 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


"George is no longer on Twitter, he killed all 140 characters." Followed by a tiny tambourine "dance number."
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:25 PM on August 22, 2015 [9 favorites]


Jay Lake, yay!
posted by Artw at 8:53 PM on August 22, 2015


That was touching.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:56 PM on August 22, 2015


Glad to see Ben Yalow recognised with the Big Heart award; he has always been utterly charming and was nice to met at my first ever con.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:03 PM on August 22, 2015


Rabbi Silverberg seems to be positing that the 60's con in Berkeley had tear gas and weed and was even crazier than this one. I guess we'll find out, won't we?
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:04 PM on August 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Hugo Awards Drinking Game and bingo card.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:05 PM on August 22, 2015


I'm into Rabbi Silverberg.
posted by palomar at 9:06 PM on August 22, 2015


Robert Silverberg is a goddamn wonder.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:08 PM on August 22, 2015


I have also been into the wine. Quiet, me.
posted by palomar at 9:08 PM on August 22, 2015


I think this year's base looks like a militarized tribble.
posted by puddledork at 9:08 PM on August 22, 2015


Okay, here we go. Wesley Chu is this year's John W. Campbell Award winner for best new professional writer. And he's also the sole non-Puppy candidate in that list of nominees, which may have upped the volume on that cheer.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:11 PM on August 22, 2015 [11 favorites]


I know we've probably already lost the last of the true old-timers, but Silverberg comes close. We're going to miss him when he's gone.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:13 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


A shout out to Irene Gallo, nice.
posted by Artw at 9:17 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


David R Kyle is still alive and active as a fan who iirc was at the first Worldcon back in 1939.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:20 PM on August 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Elizabeth Leggit wins Best Fan Artist award: the only non-Puppy contanimated category in the Hugo Awards.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:22 PM on August 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


And then Laura J. Mixon, the only non-Puppy in the Fan Writer category, gets a rocket.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:23 PM on August 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Laura J. Mixon winning for her expose of Requires Hate/Winterfox/Benjanun Sriduangkaew.
posted by Lexica at 9:24 PM on August 22, 2015


Oh, I'm sure the people who thought the awards were dominated by the left loved that Black Lives Matter drop at the end, too.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:26 PM on August 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


BLACK LIVES MATTER.

I wanna kiss Laura Mixon on the mouth.
posted by palomar at 9:26 PM on August 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


MartinWisse: "David R Kyle is still alive and active as a fan who iirc was at the first Worldcon back in 1939."

It's David A. Kyle, I think? But you're right, he was at the first Worldcon, and involved in the whole Exclusion Act kerfuffle.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:27 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yay, Galactic Suburbia Podcast!!
posted by mixedmetaphors at 9:29 PM on August 22, 2015


Okay, that's how you should celebrate a Hugo win. Well done, Jumping Huggy Man.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:31 PM on August 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also, ticking "Fantastic Dress" off my bingo card.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:31 PM on August 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I slandered the Journey Planet people as Puppie nominees but once again the decent people have won a category.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:33 PM on August 22, 2015


i wanna kiss james bacon on the mouth!

dear god, someone take the wine away from me.
posted by palomar at 9:37 PM on August 22, 2015


Sheesh, could David Gerrold be any more charming and delightful?
posted by Lexica at 9:40 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Solid choice in Lightspeed.
posted by Artw at 9:40 PM on August 22, 2015


They're destroying the Hugos now.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:41 PM on August 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Don't tempt him!

(Also, Lightspeed's win, its second in a row, means the Puppies went 0-for-3 in fan categories they contested. Good start.)
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:42 PM on August 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


"I'd like to thank the patriarchy." Bwah. Also love her shawl.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:45 PM on August 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


Lightspeed published the Women Destroy Science Fiction and Queers Destroy Science Fiction anthologies.

Speaking of victory conditions, Puppies are saying it's still an echo chamber.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 9:45 PM on August 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


This popularity contest is just a popularity contest!
posted by Artw at 9:47 PM on August 22, 2015 [13 favorites]


"Do you have a segue to the next section?"

"... No."
posted by isthmus at 9:48 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Got any clever banter? No.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:48 PM on August 22, 2015


NO AWARD

And cheers for No Award.

That's it. Game over, jackasses.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:49 PM on August 22, 2015 [18 favorites]


NO AWARD in Related Work!!!
posted by Lexica at 9:49 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Noah Ward WINS!
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:49 PM on August 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


Big cheer for Noah Ward.
posted by Artw at 9:49 PM on August 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


No Award also got me Hugo Bingo. It's a Sasquan miracle!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:50 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Noah Ward, please come collect your first of many trophies.
posted by palomar at 9:50 PM on August 22, 2015 [7 favorites]


Thank goodness. (And thank goodness for the tambourines. Almost as good as a sad trombone.)
posted by mixedmetaphors at 9:51 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Interesting timing.

/drinks beer to those riding eternal.
posted by Artw at 9:52 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


You know, this category is going to be really amusing next year because I guarantee you there are going to be a bunch of eligible related works titled "No Award."
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:53 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


they should've ended the Departed list with "Rabid Puppies, Campaign, Aug. 22, 2015"
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:53 PM on August 22, 2015


Aww.
posted by Artw at 9:53 PM on August 22, 2015


CONNIE WILLIS. BOW DOWN, MORTALS.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:54 PM on August 22, 2015 [10 favorites]


Based on George RR Martin's calls in his enjoyable Hugo posts, it looks like the good guys have won this year.
posted by Palindromedary at 9:57 PM on August 22, 2015


If you ever get the chance to go to the Locus Awards, they're held every year in Seattle near the end of June, always hosted by Connie Willis. It is absolutely worth your time. She is a fantastic host and everything is hilarious. (The one time I went, I didn't know anyone so I picked a random table and wound up sitting between Cat Rambo and Ted Chiang.)
posted by skycrashesdown at 9:57 PM on August 22, 2015 [8 favorites]


This booze may have booze in it.
posted by Artw at 9:58 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


i wanna kiss connie willis on the mouth! not even gonna try to blame that on the wine.
posted by palomar at 9:59 PM on August 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Was that a Harlan ref?
posted by Artw at 10:00 PM on August 22, 2015


I think so.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:00 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh hell yes that was a Harlan ref.
posted by Lexica at 10:01 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Maybe it's the 1 AM talking, but I love this rant more than any of the actual nominees.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:02 PM on August 22, 2015


Wow.
posted by Artw at 10:02 PM on August 22, 2015


“I wrote down my speech so I wouldn’t go off on a tangent...I got a rabies shot so I won’t get bitten by a bat again...” while she hasn’t gone vampire yet, “I’ve had this insatiable desire to read the Twilight books....” which are the best, most literary novels she’s read and why didn’t they all win Hugos?

“This year you could be bitten by a rabid marmot, or some random man could come up to you singing Hare Krishna...”
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:02 PM on August 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Stab threat! Where is the SWAT team?
posted by Artw at 10:04 PM on August 22, 2015


“Please God, let there be winners. Did I say that out loud?”
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:04 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


And now I know why Connie Willis keeps winning Hugos for not so good stories.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:05 PM on August 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


SUCH A GOOD CATEGORY.
posted by Artw at 10:05 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ms. Marvel! Yesssss!
posted by Artw at 10:05 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


OOH! OOH! Yes, you said that out loud!

And Ms. Marvel wins! woot woot woot!!!
posted by Lexica at 10:05 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ms. Marvel! Well deserved win in a fucking stacked category.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:05 PM on August 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


I had SUCH a hard time voting on that category.
posted by palomar at 10:06 PM on August 22, 2015


and Noah Ward wins both Editor prizes...
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:07 PM on August 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I changed my ballot three or four times for Graphic Story before I finally put it to bed. Would've been happy with any of the non-canines, but Ms. Marvel was my fave.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:07 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh, OUCH!!! No Award giving a good showing this year (yay yay yay).
posted by Lexica at 10:08 PM on August 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yay, Julie Dillon! (Recent post on her work here.)
posted by mixedmetaphors at 10:10 PM on August 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh god I'm wearing headphones volume down volume down
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:10 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ms. Marvel is the first winner I picked as well.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:11 PM on August 22, 2015


A Dalek is presenting the awards for Best Dramatic Presentation... and his rap is KILLING IT
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:12 PM on August 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Watching the livestream now. The Dalek presenter is hilarious!
posted by Coaticass at 10:13 PM on August 22, 2015


This is he best I've seen the video clips work. :-(
posted by Artw at 10:14 PM on August 22, 2015


The Dalek says he likes Scalzi... exterminate him.

Gerrold: “I do have a list of people, but I’ll talk to you later.”

“My eye is up here, David. Are you looking at my bumps?”
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:14 PM on August 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


YES! Hugo for the Clone Club Dance Party! Holy crap!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:16 PM on August 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


ORPHAN BLACK! Clone dance party for all!!
posted by mixedmetaphors at 10:17 PM on August 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Okay, I don't care how strong the anti-puppy wave has been, if you expected that you're a god-damned liar.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:19 PM on August 22, 2015


ORPHAN BLACK SQUEEEEEEE
posted by palomar at 10:20 PM on August 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


IN YOUR FACE INTERSTELLAR!

No puppy related reason, just fucking hated that movie.
posted by Artw at 10:21 PM on August 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


Good night for Marvel.
posted by Artw at 10:22 PM on August 22, 2015


well, Guardians of the Galaxy WAS endorsed by the Rabid Skunks but won anyway...
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:22 PM on August 22, 2015


Shame for Kary English, she seemed to have the best case of any of the short fiction nominees.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:22 PM on August 22, 2015


I'm trying really hard to resist commenting "WOOT WOOT IN YOUR FACE PUPPIES". Um.
posted by Lexica at 10:24 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh my god you guys I can't watch the livestream because of reasons, so the commentary here is exciting but I can't totally follow it. What exactly is going on?
posted by KathrynT at 10:24 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Now we are in the poison zone.
posted by Artw at 10:24 PM on August 22, 2015


Here's one where I wish the voters had gone ahead and nuked the whole category even with a non-slate nominee. The Day The World Turned Upside Down was...not good.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:25 PM on August 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


Nope. Still, Pat Caddigan.
posted by Artw at 10:25 PM on August 22, 2015


I guess the nuclear option was NOT taken.
posted by Artw at 10:26 PM on August 22, 2015


Oh my god you guys I can't watch the livestream because of reasons, so the commentary here is exciting but I can't totally follow it. What exactly is going on?

Fire! Fire and death!

Oh no! Bees!
posted by Artw at 10:27 PM on August 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


So far the only Puppy wins are for TV and movies. Either No Award or non-slates are winning.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:27 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


There is live text commentary available if you can't follow the livestream.
posted by penguinliz at 10:28 PM on August 22, 2015


I'm with you, Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish. If you'd told me that was a Puppy nom, I wouldn't have blinked. Clearly greater minds than I liked it--look at where it was published!--but I couldn't not read it as juvenile revenge fantasy, with tenuous and poorly thought out SF trappings.
posted by wintersweet at 10:28 PM on August 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Pretty certain the puppies had zero effect on the dramatic presentation awards.
posted by Artw at 10:28 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


MASSIVE CHEERS for No Award in short stories.
posted by Lexica at 10:29 PM on August 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


They couldn't have liked Orphan Black.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:29 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Okay this is cool.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:30 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Seconded and thirded, Zarquon and wintersweet.
posted by thesmallmachine at 10:30 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


CALLED IT.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:31 PM on August 22, 2015


There is live text commentary available if you can't follow the livestream.

FANTASTIC thank you
posted by KathrynT at 10:32 PM on August 22, 2015


Oh my god I fired up twitter and the diaper baby whining is LEGENDARY
posted by KathrynT at 10:33 PM on August 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


Also my first-choice work in literally every category where I voted for anything beyond No Award won, so I have to say I'm happy with how this evening came out.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:33 PM on August 22, 2015


Although I didn't vote for The Three Body Problem, I fully respect it for winning the award. Cheers to the author, and cheers to the Hugos voters.
posted by Lexica at 10:34 PM on August 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I feel better about humanity now. YAY HUGOS NOT RUINED AFTER ALL MUAHAHAHAHAH.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:34 PM on August 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


So, damn near a clean sweep for non-Puppy forces.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:34 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I would have gone for Goblin Emperor, but fuck it, yay.
posted by Artw at 10:35 PM on August 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


I feel better about humanity now. YAY HUGOS NOT RUINED AFTER ALL MUAHAHAHAHAH.

The nominations remain horribly vulnerable.
posted by Artw at 10:36 PM on August 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yeah, Three-Body was my second vote, and I'll totally take it. Feels like a huge upset somehow, though!
posted by thesmallmachine at 10:36 PM on August 22, 2015


Me too, but this is still a great win. So happy to see both the first ever Dutch Hugo winner and none of the pups get even close to winning.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:37 PM on August 22, 2015


Yeah, I know, but there ain't shit anyone can do about it right now. For now, let's just gloat that jerkasses didn't win this year, mmkay?
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:37 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Goblin Emperor had my vote too. I can't believed I staid up to watch the awards but the drama was worth it.
posted by francesca too at 10:37 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ennnh. Three Body Problem had some very cool bits but a lot of it was disjointed and did a lot of tell-don't-show. No idea if thats a problem with the translation, the original work, or simply a difference in the literature common in our countries. But its always good to see an expansion in SF like this.
posted by Justinian at 10:37 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


No matter what spin the VD Infection may put on this, the Rabid Skunk slates drove the Hugos INTO the arms of the Social Justice Warriors (who ARE far better writers and have much more imagination than the Evil Emperors). Now let's try to keep it up next year.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:37 PM on August 22, 2015 [7 favorites]


Yeah, the business meeting tomorrow is critical.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:37 PM on August 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Indeed. No Award was the least-bad option, but as long as slate-running jerks can crowd all the good-faith nominees out of the ballot the Hugos remain at least partially broken. There was excellent short SF/F published last year, and none of it got the award consideration it deserved thanks to this nonsense.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:38 PM on August 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


"No Award and a random movie is a clear validation of the puppies" - many utter jackasses, right now.
posted by Artw at 10:38 PM on August 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yeah, the business meeting tomorrow is critical.

They're going to be trying as hard as possible to prevent any actual voting now.
posted by Artw at 10:40 PM on August 22, 2015


I'm really hoping the Business Meeting attendees tomorrow see the merits of EPH.
posted by Lexica at 10:41 PM on August 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


"Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz"

--Me, three minutes from now.

This has been a blast! After all the Hugo talk on Metafilter over the past four months I'm really glad I got to share the experience with this crew. And that the actual ceremony went as well as it could've under the circumstances. Hooray and good night!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:41 PM on August 22, 2015 [6 favorites]




Artw, I have a fair amount of faith in Kevin Standlee's mastery of the black arts of committee rules.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:43 PM on August 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


Full list of results at Tor.com.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:46 PM on August 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


What do the "no award" results mean?
posted by andoatnp at 10:49 PM on August 22, 2015


I had to look up SJW. That's what the puppies call an insult? "You're a Social Justice Warrior! Neener neener!" Really? I don't think they're doing this right.
posted by booksherpa at 10:51 PM on August 22, 2015 [8 favorites]


Andoatnp, it means that a majority of the voters decided that none of the listed nominees deserved the award.
posted by KathrynT at 10:52 PM on August 22, 2015




Many, many Ganergate types on Twitter right now shocked that if only crap is represented in a category NO AWARD gets the vote and that's okay.
posted by Artw at 11:07 PM on August 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


So pleased.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:08 PM on August 22, 2015


Let the data wrangling commense!
posted by Artw at 11:09 PM on August 22, 2015


Looks like NO AWARD won by an order of magnitude where it did.
posted by Artw at 11:10 PM on August 22, 2015


Yup. No Award absolutely thrashed everything else in the novella category.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:12 PM on August 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Meanwhile as the Sad Puppies rage on Twitter, quite a lot of frotting is also done by Requires Hate and her allies over the Laura Mixon win.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:14 PM on August 22, 2015


Statistics are up in PDF form:

Three Body Problem & Goblin Emperor were neck and neck in the first pass, No Award trounced everything in all Pups only categories, as did Julie Dillon in the best pro artist category and Journey Planet in best fanzine, while Mixon and No Award were first and second place from the start in best fan writer.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:18 PM on August 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


This was a happy/sad outcome. I hope next year is a better one. I hope no nominee next year has to doubt whether they deserved their nomination and earned it fairly. (I've been thinking about Marko Kloos and Annie Bellet tonight, and the others who withdrew their nominations.) I hope we all nominate awesome, awesome stuff--and I'm including Puppies in that "we" because my God if the Puppy slate doesn't fail, please let them choose less shitty work for the rest of us to read. PLEASE.
posted by mixedmetaphors at 11:19 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


IS there any less shitty work that would appeal to VD and his other human STDs?
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:22 PM on August 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Probably not. But I'm still in "A Hugo Award was just presented from the ISS!! And people are probably writing David Gerrold/Dalek fanfic right now!!" mode, so at the moment, I still believe that anything can happen~.
posted by mixedmetaphors at 11:36 PM on August 22, 2015 [1 favorite]




Just came back from the ceremony. I'm pretty happy at the near-complete repudiation of the Puppies slates (and since there was no way that Guardians of the Galaxy wasn't going to be a strong contender, Puppies or no, I don't think it too far wrong to call it a complete bust for the Puppies).

I think Due and Gerrold did a marvelous job hosting. I was much less fond of the pre-ceremony show; much of the commentary immediately leading up to the start of the ceremony was a bit too dismissive of the real problems with the Hugo nomination process for my taste. I'll be present during first hour or two of the business meeting tomorrow, and very much hope that will be long enough for me to cast a vote in favor of EPH and watch it get passed. If not, I'll be obsessively checking Twitter on the way to the airport.
posted by metaquarry at 11:44 PM on August 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


Many interesting things in that statistics dump, especially for the nominations... some of the items on the slates had less than half the nomination votes as some of the others, which means the shock troops weren't marching in pure lockstep even then. VD snuck in as last nominee for both his Editing noms with 162 and 166 (while slate-mates got up to 279 and 368), so now we know how many voters it takes to poison the well... a larger turnout for the nominating round next year could effectively anesthetize the Rabids.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:50 PM on August 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Seeing what the Hugos could have been sans puppies, I feel sad for Robert J Bennet. City of Stairs was a good book. The Litany of Earth was also an excellent piece of Lovecraftiana (you can read it at Tor).
posted by sukeban at 11:54 PM on August 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Tobias Buckell attempts to figure out what a puppyless ballot would have looked like

I like the hypothetical Best Related Work category--I've enjoyed a couple of these:

Jo Walton, What Makes This Book So Great.
Jennifer Brozek, et al. (eds.), Chicks Dig Gaming.
Brandon Sanderson, et al., Shadows Beneath: The Writing Excuses Anthology.
Jim C. Hines (ed.), Invisible: Personal Essays on Representation in SF/F.
Anita Sarkeesian, "Tropes vs. Women: Women as Background Decoration," part one and part two.

Going further, it seems like it was a strong year--I've heard good things about several of these:

William H. Patterson, Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century, Vol. 2- The Man Who Learned Better, 1948-1988.
Jill Lepore, The Secret History of Wonder Woman.
Ana Grilo and Thea James (eds.), Speculative Fiction 2013: The year's best online reviews, essays and commentary.
Karen Burnham, Greg Egan (Modern Masters of Science Fiction).
Frank Pavich (dir.), Jodorowsky's Dune.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 12:24 AM on August 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


OTOH, I'm also having some non-puppy schadenfreude reading Winterfox's twitter.
posted by sukeban at 12:27 AM on August 23, 2015


Looking at the numbers, I have a friend who would have won a Hugo except the Puppies fucked over the category and caused it to be No Awarded. Fucking Puppies.

Also, I would have totally voted for "City of Stairs" and "The Jackalope Wives".
posted by happyroach at 12:56 AM on August 23, 2015


I would've loved to see Sarkeesian and Pavich nominated for Hugos. Also intrigued to see a number of votes for Welcome to Night Vale, which would've been on the edge of a nomination if the votes hadn't been divided between Dramatic Presentation and Fancast.

On the other hand, the episode the fans apparently chose to push for was "Old Oak Doors," which I find inexplicable -- I can't imagine starting Night Vale on this continuity- and fanservice-heavy live episode, as many conscientious voters would have done.

I forgot or never knew that Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show turned down its Puppy nomination. I don't know how involved Card is in the daily running of this magazine, of which he remains the publisher, but I marvel at the possibility that we live in a world where the Puppies were too right-wing for the author of Hamlet's Father -- and isn't marveling at possible worlds what SFF is all about?
posted by thesmallmachine at 1:03 AM on August 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


As a further note on Jodorowsky's Dune, Night Vale, and maybe even Tropes vs. Women, I'm getting the impression that some popular works miss out on awards every year because nobody knows where to nominate them. The Hugos have tried to keep up with the times, with Fancast etc., but they've got nothing that really accounts for YouTube.
posted by thesmallmachine at 1:06 AM on August 23, 2015


(I do recall now that "Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury" won a Hugo.

Man, I'm going to be that person nominating Steven Universe episodes for next year.)
posted by thesmallmachine at 1:17 AM on August 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


According to Twitter GRRM is giving awards to people who would have been nominated for Hugo's sans Puppies at the after party.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 1:17 AM on August 23, 2015 [9 favorites]


"Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury" won a Hugo was nominated. Sorry, I don't want to spam the thread, but I also don't want to make that substantial an edit.
posted by thesmallmachine at 1:20 AM on August 23, 2015


Just got back from the parties - everyone was in a fantastic mood. Amazing how many people were completely or mostly unaware of the puppy bruhaha.

Also: David Gerrold must now show up in a Doctor Who episode with a Dalek.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 1:34 AM on August 23, 2015 [3 favorites]




Well, this seems like the best outcome under the circumstances. I'm sad about the works that didn't make the nominations because of the vapid puppets, and I personally would have liked to have seen "The Goblin Emperor" win... or, really, "City of Stairs," which I loved a lot, had the nominations not been shitbombed, but altogether, far less depressing than I feared, yay!

Looking forward to reading Mefite recommendations for next year's nominations.
posted by taz at 2:17 AM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I still have to read their books, but think Ken Liu and Aliette de Bodard look like plausible contenders. Then again, I thought the next Vorkosigan book is out this autumn?
posted by sukeban at 2:20 AM on August 23, 2015


From the File 770 comments: The Puppies knocked Django Wexler off the Campbell list. I have no words.

This sucks so much, too. I've been re-reading The Shadow Campaigns these past weeks.
posted by sukeban at 3:59 AM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Just to give a taste of the scale of wrath the Puppies brought down on themselves, from the Hugo Awards website:
The members of the World Science Fiction Society rejected the slate of finalists in five categories, giving No Award in Best Novella, Short Story, Related Work, Editor Short Form, and Editor Long Form. This equals the total number of times that WSFS members have presented No Award in the entire history of the Hugo Awards, most recently in 1977.
Reflect on that. Next year will be interesting.
posted by graymouser at 4:32 AM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Honestly, despite being pushed by the Puppies, I can almost celebrate Guardians of the Galaxy winning. It was flat out better than the other nominated movies. Winter Soldier was ok at best, basically filler in prep for Civil War. Edge of Tomorrow was a not very good reworking of an excellent manga that managed to screw up both the central mechanism **and** the ending. The Lego Movie was fun but not really Hugo qulity. Interstellar was the only real non Guardians choice, and I just liked Guardians better.
posted by sotonohito at 4:46 AM on August 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


Philip Sandifer: we even had a Dalek on stage, so the Puppies can't complain they weren't represented.

That's a bit harsh. You shouldn't compare those shrill, domineering, genocidal purveyors of hatred to characters from a popular TV series.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:51 AM on August 23, 2015 [25 favorites]


This thread is a fucking joy to read. Eat that, racist, sexist, homophobic fuckknuckles.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:13 AM on August 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


In shocking news, the various puppies are declaring victory.
posted by jeather at 5:23 AM on August 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


"Well, this seems like the best outcome under the circumstances. I'm sad about the works that didn't make the nominations because of the vapid puppets, and I personally would have liked to have seen 'The Goblin Emperor' win... or, really, 'City of Stairs,' which I loved a lot, had the nominations not been shitbombed, but altogether, far less depressing than I feared, yay"

Yeah, this is the best possible outcome given the circumstances.

But, like you, I'm quite sad that City of Stairs was pushed out of the nominations. Also The Mirror Empire, though I guess it still wouldn't have made it even without the puppy slates.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:05 AM on August 23, 2015


In shocking news, the various puppies are declaring victory.
Well, I mean, what are they going to say? "Remember how we said that our taste was objectively right, and everyone who cared about SFF agreed with us except a small cabal of agenda-drive outside agitators? And remember how we also claimed to be smarter than everyone else? It turns out we were wrong on both counts! Ooops! It turns out that most people think that we are the agenda-driven cabal, and we failed to out-maneuver them or convince them otherwise. We'll just admit failure and defeat and shut up now."

Anyway, way to go Hugo voters.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:25 AM on August 23, 2015 [10 favorites]


On August 21 Brad Torgersen posted "A democracy is only as good as its numbers" on his blog. To quote:
"But I want to re-emphasize something I told WIRED magazine’s Amy Wallace: it doesn’t necessarily matter who wins or loses a Hugo award this year, as much as it matters that participation keeps increasing.

This year there were a record number of memberships, and a record number of ballots cast. This is very, very good. A democracy (any democracy) is only as worthwhile as those who keep their end up by actively participating. Past Hugo voting has tended to be remarkably anemic. Sad Puppies has changed this significantly — for two years running. If the participation (beyond 2015) declines, the Hugos are diminished. If participation grows, the Hugos mean more. That’s the real bottom line (in my book) and it goes way beyond which “side” can construct victory narratives."
First, nice moving the goalposts waaaaaaay over from, like, Buffalo to Cleveland, Brad.

Second, I'm really curious if he'll be able to maintain this "It's all about a healthy democracy" pose in the wake of last night's resounding defeat for the SP/RP slate.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:51 AM on August 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


What do you expect from a group of stupid and irrational people? I mean the puppies are naturally going to fail to see reality here.
posted by humanfont at 6:53 AM on August 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Really looking forwards to not caring what the fuck they think about anything.
posted by Artw at 6:55 AM on August 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


I plan to buy City of Stairs this week as a tiny act of reparative justice. Even better would be buying a copy for a teenager and growing a new fan.
posted by puddledork at 7:11 AM on August 23, 2015


Yup, will be doing much purchasing and reading based on the corrected nominations.
posted by Artw at 7:13 AM on August 23, 2015


Second, I'm really curious if he'll be able to maintain this "It's all about a healthy democracy" pose in the wake of last night's resounding defeat for the SP/RP slate.

Of course not.

In his early-morning comment in his own thread, he writes, "Unfortunately, the Trufans and their politically-aligned allies decided that destroying the village was necessary to save the village. It was more important for the Trufans that people lose, and get nothing, than that the 'wrong' people win. If that’s worth gloating over — you who gloat — look into yourselves and see the black, shriveled, grinchy hearts that beat."

And as if on cue, the first thing that the black-hearted, grinchy Theodore Beale writes on his blog after the announcements is "the Hugo Awards are no longer fit for purpose and need to be burned down in their entirety. That was my original position, but this year we Rabids followed the Sad Puppies lead and pursued the 'fair play' approach. Now we know the result of that. This is a cultural war, not a literary sport."

As long as VD, his vile ilk, and their reactionary fellow travellers have more to gain than to lose with such tactics, they'll continue their guerrilla kulturkampf.

In the meantime - certainly at least until the Hugo criteria are revised to prevent gaming the nominations - congratulations to all the winners and condolences to those who were unfairly overlooked thanks to this donnybrook.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:13 AM on August 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


What I'm seeing really doesn't look very burned down. Quite cheerful, in fact, given the circumstances.
posted by Artw at 7:33 AM on August 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


At times, I am an incurable optimist. Nothing's going to stop VD from VDing, but I have a slight hope that some of the Sad Puppies will now realize that their gaming of the system... is unlikely to win them Hugos.

Of course, there will continue to be huffing and puffing for a good long while, but the Hugo voters have no demonstrated that being on a Puppy slate means a distinct lack of a rocket in one's future. Since several people on the Puppy ballots have (or used to, at any rate) a reasonable chance of eventually winning a Hugo without shenanigans, I'm expecting that more authors will be alert next year and remove themselves from the Puppy shortlists.
posted by metaquarry at 7:34 AM on August 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


So people I follow on Twitter seem to have issues with Laura Mixon. Anyone know what's up with that? One of them retweeted something from Arthur Chu about it.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:37 AM on August 23, 2015


This MetaFilter thread from last year has background on what's going on with Laura Mixon.
posted by metaquarry at 7:39 AM on August 23, 2015


The nominated work (seriously, read it) is the Laura Mixon Report about the harassment of many people, *particularly and surprisingly women writers of color*, by one individual known as winterfox, Requires Hate and other pseudonyms, under the mantle of the social justice movement, and with such charming tactics as wishing violent death or rape by a pack of dogs on her targets.

Later on Requires Hate vanished, and in her place a cute widdle newbie writer came along, Benjanun Sriduangkaew. It was made known by her editor Nick Mamatas that the cuttle widdle Bee was the new identity of the asshole troll Requires Hate.

I commented some hours ago that Sriduangkaew hasn't taken the Mixon hugo well and has been accusing the voters of being a bunch of racist cishet men in her twitter account. Good luck making that stick since the best novel went to Liu Cixin.

(It's also come to light that Sriduangkaew is a privileged woman from a filthy rich ethnically Chinese family living in Thailand, so what she says about privilege and suffering racism can be taken safely with a pinch of salt)
posted by sukeban at 7:46 AM on August 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think he doesn't like that fan writer was about internal fan drama. There is still an ongoing war about Mixon/Sriduangkaew. (It is a fair point that the only time a report about harassment made fan writer was when it was a non-white woman who was harassing.)
posted by jeather at 7:50 AM on August 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have incredibly mixed feelings about Mixon's win -- I think it's good that the information in Mixon's post came to light, and I respect that Mixon worked really hard to assemble the research that she did and I am glad that it exists.

But I think it's a troubling precedent for a hit piece to win a Hugo. Even if every word of it were true, and deserved. And Mixon is not an otherwise active fan writer who had a broad body of work up for consideration; she won on the basis of this single piece.

(It should be noted that Mixon thanked a few people who were slightly involved in RaceFail '09 for their help. There are still a lot of bad feelings left over from then. It's easy to paint this as a narrative of white SF professionals targeting a fan/new professional woman of color for standing up for diversity; but for that to work, you really have to ignore just how terrible Sriduangkaew's behavior was.)
posted by Jeanne at 7:56 AM on August 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


(It's also come to light that Sriduangkaew is a privileged woman from a filthy rich ethnically Chinese family living in Thailand, so what she says about privilege and suffering racism can be taken safely with a pinch of salt)

Come to light through a bunch of creepy doxxing. Mixed feelings about that one, too. She's still a queer woman of color writing in a white community and the attempts to gotcha her based on RL identity are pretty icky, even if you disagree with her often-awful behavior as a reviewer (and I do, and often did back then, too.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:24 AM on August 23, 2015


Bit hmm on that one too.
posted by Artw at 8:26 AM on August 23, 2015


I am not trying to minimize how terrible Sriduangkaew's behaviour was (which was aimed at mostly women and a lot of WOC). And I think Laura Mixon wrote a good piece, and it was good that she wrote it. (And personally, I am not sure where I stand about it winning the Hugo, though I would bet that in alt-Hugo world, it would have been nominated but not won.)

Still, Laura Mixon isn't the first person to write this sort of thing. There's Genevieve Valentine about Rene Walling, there's all the stuff about Marion Zimmer Bradley and Walter Breen, there's Elise Matthiesen about James Frenkel -- stuff which was allowed to go on for years under real known names, and reports of which didn't then earn Hugo nods.

This isn't a problem with a white woman targeting a Asian (probably Chinese, but I am not sure if this is certain) woman -- it's a problem with fans rewarding a piece about an abusive WOC and ignoring similar pieces about abusive white men (mostly).
posted by jeather at 8:29 AM on August 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


Come to light through a bunch of creepy doxxing. Mixed feelings about that one, too. She's still a queer woman of color writing in a white community and the attempts to gotcha her based on RL identity are pretty icky, even if you disagree with her often-awful behavior as a reviewer (and I do, and often did back then, too.)

I know. I'm just happy that her pseudonyms got connected and have no motivation to even know her real identity more than what got in the open.
posted by sukeban at 8:30 AM on August 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Still, Laura Mixon isn't the first person to write this sort of thing. There's Genevieve Valentine about Rene Walling, there's all the stuff about Marion Zimmer Bradley and Walter Breen

Yes. The reveal of MZB's sexual abuse of her daughter by Deirdre Saoirse Moen could have been nominated just as well, but Mixon put a lot more work into hers.
posted by sukeban at 8:35 AM on August 23, 2015




Hugo Stats Initial Analysis
posted by Artw at 8:59 AM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'd say Day is right in this: he's got sufficient jackboots on the ground that without modification to the nomination process the Hugos are dead.
posted by Artw at 9:02 AM on August 23, 2015


And we'll find out how that is going in about an hour or so...

I'm less worried about votes than the possibilities for fuckery at this point.
posted by Artw at 9:03 AM on August 23, 2015


Dear Puppies: Your Taste Sucks
posted by Artw at 9:16 AM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Who Won Science Fiction’s Hugo Awards, and Why It Matters

Artw, the article on who won and why it matters was well written and very informative. If anyone is still confused by the entire 'Sad Puppies' thing, it's a good starting point. The entire thing has been depressing and gross but there are some stand up people who are doing good things and using their platform to lift up others instead of put down.

And from the other article Artw shared:
The results are now in, and they mark a stinging repudiation of both the Rabid Puppies and Sad Puppies. Not a single Puppy-nominated work of fiction or non-fiction won, and the majority of Puppy-nominated works placed below “No Award.”
This is the most hopeful thing to come of this entire debacle.
posted by Fizz at 9:17 AM on August 23, 2015


I think this is my favorite post-Hugo commentary so far.
posted by overglow at 9:37 AM on August 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Last Chronicles of Hugo
posted by Artw at 9:39 AM on August 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Can Raging White Guys Succeed in Hijacking Sci-Fi’s Biggest Awards?

Betteridge's law of MetaFilter FPP titles FTW.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:50 AM on August 23, 2015 [11 favorites]


overglow: I'm not sure I understand scalzi's metaphor, is he saying the puppies are the enterprise being destroyed? But then he says that the Enterprise gets rebuilt even better? I struggle to imagine he wants the puppies to come back bigger and better. Perhaps the answer lies in him being shitfaced at time of posting.
posted by biffa at 9:56 AM on August 23, 2015


Uh oh - lack of data could put EPH in trouble.
posted by Artw at 9:56 AM on August 23, 2015


I'm retry sure the puppies are the Klingons.
posted by Artw at 9:58 AM on August 23, 2015


"I remember, when the Hugo nominations came out, Brad Torgersen crowed that the Puppies had taken over the Enterprise."

Yes, the Puppies are the Klingons. It also ties in with current Puppy rhetoric that Worldcon burned down the house rather than give out awards.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 10:01 AM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


If I thought the Puppies were capable of shame, I would say that Annie Bellet's interview from the Wired article should make them feel it a thousandfold, but their crowing and chest-beating today makes it clear that they're as heartless as they are stupid. And since they've already let the cat out of the bag about next year's talking point--"women are running the puppies, so voting against their nominations is misogyny!"--they're also not above doing exactly what they accuse their opponents of doing in service of their fuckery.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:02 AM on August 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Man, I'm going to be that person nominating Steven Universe episodes for next year.)

You mean "one of those people."
posted by wintersweet at 10:02 AM on August 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


Ta, Klingons it is.
posted by biffa at 10:11 AM on August 23, 2015


I don't see this linked above, but maybe I missed it: A complete "if not for the puppies" ballot -- includes some categories that Buckell left out.

Thoughts on Worldcon attendance--it's old and white. I tweeted some replies to this, but they're not threaded into the conversation for whatever reason. Basically: This has been true at every sf convention I've ever been to. It's in sharp contrast to anime cons, and I think it's a problem. (Even Doctor Who cons have a nicely wide age range, and probably more QUILTBAG fans, if not many more fans of color.) If you're on concom, you need to work to make sure that your convention is EXPLICITLY welcoming. I mean, a lot of sf cons are offputting from the start, thanks to websites that are nothing but inside baseball. Prospective first-time attendees are likely to be scared away, with good reason. Cons also need to put their panels/GOHs together thoughtfully, not on autopilot, because autopilot tends to replicate the status quo. And panelists also have a responsibility--when they see who else is(n't) on their panels. Everyone has to speak up. I know some white male authors are declining to join panels that are all white men, which is great, but we need more people to do that.
posted by wintersweet at 10:13 AM on August 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


All right, look away if you don't like mockery and gloating: #SaystheSaddestPuppy :D

YES I JUST TRIPLE-POSTED.

I'll go do my actual work now, I promise.
posted by wintersweet at 10:19 AM on August 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


EPH under discussion.
posted by Artw at 10:26 AM on August 23, 2015


> The nominated work (seriously, read it) is the Laura Mixon Report about the harassment of many people, *particularly and surprisingly women writers of color*, by one individual known as winterfox, Requires Hate and other pseudonyms, under the mantle of the social justice movement, and with such charming tactics as wishing violent death or rape by a pack of dogs on her targets.

Working link.
posted by homunculus at 10:32 AM on August 23, 2015


I hope that a good set of rule changes moves forward.

Fingers crossed.
posted by nubs at 10:33 AM on August 23, 2015


As I understand it, even if EPH (or something similar) passes, it won't go into effect next year, which means that no matter what we're going through all of this all over again next year, using the exact same gameable system as this year (meaning more slate wars). Is that right?
posted by Palindromedary at 10:33 AM on August 23, 2015


EPH slideshow
posted by Artw at 10:33 AM on August 23, 2015


Last link cribbed from here, where there is a fair amount of liveblogging in the comments.
posted by Artw at 10:36 AM on August 23, 2015


A liveblog of the WSFS meeting and there's some sporadic tweeting on #wsfsbm.

Palindromedary: yes, any changes passed this year would need to be ratified by next year's meeting, and would go into effect for the 2017 Hugos. I'm hoping that they pass EPH this year and then we can spend a year running this year's ballots and model some different scenarios, before deciding whether to ratify or not next year.
posted by penguinliz at 10:37 AM on August 23, 2015


As I understand it, even if EPH (or something similar) passes, it won't go into effect next year, which means that no matter what we're going through all of this all over again next year, using the exact same gameable system as this year (meaning more slate wars). Is that right?

Assuming the Sad and Rabids don't change their tactics. Day has said the next step was burning it to the ground with no prize in all categories. I've seen mentions on reddit that the new Sad organizer is going to pick a more limited slate rather than try to pack the entire ballot.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 10:42 AM on August 23, 2015


Well, slated are the tactic that they have found to be effective (at causing disruption, at any rate) and EPH neutralizes them. They may have some other secret weapons up their sleeves but I kind of doubt it.
posted by Artw at 10:44 AM on August 23, 2015


Who Won Science Fiction’s Hugo Awards, and Why It Matters - I thought this was great at explaining the issue to outsiders, or even those like me who are fans but not fandom, but some extra context might de-legitimatize the puppies' case even more.

It states that the puppies were focused on two 2014 winners, and briefly explains why. An extra bit of context would have shown even more conclusively that the puppies' complain was specificly the sexual and gender politics of those stories.

Chu's short story - “The Water That Falls on You From Nowhere" - sounds to have the same sort of nonsensical plot device that would be right at home in the award winning short fiction of the Hugos 50 years ago, not to mention Twilight Zone of the Outer Limits.

And Leckie's Ancillary Justice was a fantastic, sprawling novel about space marines and interplanetary fleets and all that good stuff that the puppies claim to want to read. It's an excellently written book, and would fit right in with the works of Iain M Banks.

In both these cases, the ONLY thinks that makes them stand out from the kind of stories that the puppies claim to want to return to is that Chu's story is specifically about a gay protaganist, and that Leckie specifically used a conceit where the first-person narator only uses the pronoun "she."

That extra bit of context helps confirm that these assholes are just that, and their rhetoric about returning the genre to its populist roots os just that - rhetoric.
posted by thecjm at 10:51 AM on August 23, 2015 [13 favorites]


> PhoBWanKenobi : Come to light through a bunch of creepy doxxing.

I never understood why some people believe there is a proscription against against revealing someone's true identity under any circumstances. I see "doxxing" as a social convention, such as the social convention against assaulting another person. Social conventions depend upon all parties following the social contract. Let's look at the assault prohibition: should some anti-social maniac suddenly take out a knife and start stabbing people then it becomes perfectly acceptable for anyone to disregard the assault prohibition and go ahead and tackle Mr. Stabby. The same should hold true with "doxxing". If you break your half of the social contract by doing great harm to people with your words then you should not get to do so under the protective umbrella of the anonymity convention of most internet forums.

Bringing the serious offender into the light is an incredibly effective tool, as well as punishment, as Ms. Mixon has amply demonstrated.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 10:56 AM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Day has said the next step was burning it to the ground with no prize in all categories.

Well, yeah, of course he said that--when it became likely that No Award was going to beat out their crappy slate choices.
posted by wintersweet at 11:00 AM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Anyone got any insight into how much of problem the "accidental slate" thing might be?
posted by Artw at 11:06 AM on August 23, 2015


While I rarely find Puppy-championed work to be visionary or Hugo-worthy, it wouldn't bother me if the Sads chose to champion one to three candidates in each category for nomination.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 11:08 AM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


If anyone is still confused by the entire 'Sad Puppies' thing, it's a good starting point.

I'm not sure that made me any less confused. I mean, things like

... one Sad Puppy supporter I met at Sasquan grumbled about self-indulgence. “Just because you had a dream doesn’t mean we all want to read it,” he said.

make me wonder what planet that guy is from, and how the publishing industry works there, and the article didn't mention anything about that.
posted by effbot at 11:08 AM on August 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Here are links to the top non-puppy nominees for Best Short Story. If you enjoy them, write a fan letter: those happy echoes from the void are the second best thing an author can receive.

Jackalope Wives, by Ursula Vernon: http://www.apex-magazine.com/jackalope-wives/

The Breath of War, by Aliette de Bodard: http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/stories/the-breath-of-war/

The Truth About Owls, by Amal El-Mohtar: http://www.strangehorizons.com/2015/20150126/1owls-f.shtml

When it Ends, He Catches Her, by Eugie Foster: http://dailysciencefiction.com/fantasy/fairy-tales/eugie-foster/when-it-ends-he-catches-her

A Kiss With Teeth, by Max Gladstone: http://www.tor.com/2014/10/29/a-kiss-with-teeth-max-gladstone/

Also, here are two stories that were withdrawn from Hugo consideration by their authors after appearing on the puppy slate:

Goodnight Stars, by Annie Bellet: http://www.johnjosephadams.com/apocalypse-triptych/free-reads/goodnight-stars-annie-bellet/

Tuesdays with Molakesh the Destroyer, by Megan Grey: http://www.firesidefiction.com/issue19/chapter/tuesdays-with-molakesh-the-destroyer/
posted by Sauce Trough at 11:09 AM on August 23, 2015 [26 favorites]


From the File770 comments:


No way I’m going to be recognised to speak in time, so I’ll post it here. (Sorry to those who’ve plowed through my lock metaphor before.)

I keep hearing, ‘Let’s see if this keeps being a problem. This wasn’t a problem for decades.’ In the security business, we’ve a saying that vulnerabilities don’t go away just because they’ve been used only once. We have an exploitable vulnerability that has just been publicly demonstrated is and known worldwide for the first time. This makes a difference.

Let me give a real-world example: The best bicycle lock is a massive U-lock under the brand name Kryptonite. in 2005, someone discovered how anyone can pick a Kryptonite lock in seconds using the bottom half of a Bic ballpoint pen. The firm could have said ‘This has happened only once in 20 years. Let’s wait.’ Instead, they redesigned the lock and offered all customers free trade-in.

EPH is the best lock redesign we have. I respect people’s caution about it, but I suggest we approve it so all have a year to examine its merits and decide whether to implement it at the end of MAC2. Because unfixed security vulnerabilities just don’t go away.

posted by Artw at 11:13 AM on August 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


I just started reading the Wired article, and though I appreciate their coverage, I take issue with this:

But in recent years, as sci-fi has expanded to include storytellers who are women, gays and lesbians, and people of color, the Hugos have changed, too. At the presentation each August, the Gods with the rockets in their hands have been joined by Goddesses and those of other ethnicities and genders and sexual orientations, many of whom want to tell stories about more than just spaceships.

SFF has always had diverse authors. Anne McCaffery and Samuel Delany won Hugos in 1968. The field has become far more broadly diverse in recent years, but to tell the story of a world of canonized white guys only recently joined by women, queers, and nonwhite people is to buy into the Puppies' narrative, and more generally the idea (very common in geeky fields) that the diverse people coming into the field now must be the first. They are never the first, though because their predecessors are readily forgotten, it may appear that way.
posted by thesmallmachine at 11:19 AM on August 23, 2015 [26 favorites]


I never understood why some people believe there is a proscription against against revealing someone's true identity under any circumstances.

Because it opens that person to the possibility of physical assault, stalking, and other threats of violence and destruction of property. This is doubly true for groups who are already at risk for such things, such as racial minorities and queer people, who might seek out anonymity in the first place to avoid precisely these things.

Some people think that's okay, if the crime is sufficient, but I'm in the "doxxing is always wrong" camp, personally.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:22 AM on August 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Anyone got any insight into how much of problem the "accidental slate" thing might be?

If I understand the problem, it seems like a feature rather than a bug in EPH--like, it's sort of the goal of proportional voting. If there's a large segment within the nominators that by chance sees the same two or three titles as awesome, then they'll get one of those titles on the ballot and have a satisfying option to vote for. But however much they want to promote or honor the other one or two titles they liked, they'll probably leave room for other segments to get the same satisfaction of seeing one of their favorites on the final ballot. Sort of the worst case I can envision would be making it hard for two books of related interest (similar fan bases, similar points of view, etc.) to be on the same final ballot, but in some sense, that's the aim.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 11:26 AM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


They adopted EPH! If it can pass again next year...
posted by Jeanne at 11:28 AM on August 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


EPH passes: 186 for, 62 against.
posted by Artw at 11:29 AM on August 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


EPH passes 186 to 62
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:29 AM on August 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh, brother, all I do in this thread is commit misinformation -- Delany won his first Hugo (for "Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones") in 1970, not 1968.

MY POINT IS RUIIIIIINED
posted by thesmallmachine at 11:30 AM on August 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


/me hands Artw a Coke.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:30 AM on August 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Next year it'll have an even stronger case as (hopefully) data will have been made available to them and there will have been another year of NO AWARDS.
posted by Artw at 11:30 AM on August 23, 2015


Given these results will the puppies leave Worldcon and the Hugo's and start their own thing? Which will of course include shitting all over Worldcon as part of its founding charter.
posted by humanfont at 11:30 AM on August 23, 2015


So anyway, fingers crossed only one more year of this awful puppy shit and then they'll have to go find a new hobby.
posted by Artw at 11:31 AM on August 23, 2015


Given these results will the puppies leave Worldcon and the Hugo's and start their own thing? Which will of course include shitting all over Worldcon as part of its founding charter.

If they want to. Fortunately nobody will be obligated to give a shit.
posted by Artw at 11:32 AM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


humanfont: "Given these results will the puppies leave Worldcon and the Hugo's and start their own thing? Which will of course include shitting all over Worldcon as part of its founding charter."

A bit US-Centric, but they can use the Stars'n'Bars as their logo with absolutely no irony.
posted by notsnot at 11:33 AM on August 23, 2015


Oh, it's okay, that flag has been adopted by awful people worldwide.
posted by Artw at 11:34 AM on August 23, 2015


Can someone ELI5 what EPH is?
posted by KathrynT at 11:35 AM on August 23, 2015


Anyone got any insight into how much of problem the "accidental slate" thing might be?

If I'm understanding EPH correctly: slates tend to eliminate themselves because they have the same number of points and nominations so they come up for elimination at the same time. If you eliminate one of the slate nominees, then because all the points and nomination numbers tend to redistribute to the remaining slate nominees, they will also end up being considered for elimination together. So accidental slates will be treated the same way as deliberate slates, but the chances of voters being slate-like enough by chance seems pretty low, and if you have something that looks like a slate because there are 5 really really great books one year and everyone picks them, they won't get eliminated because they'll have sufficient nominations to come out on top and not be eliminated.

I'm really interested to see how EPH works on the 2015 ballots, because the range in nomination numbers is too wide for the slates to have voted in lockstep, and what I can't intuit is how well EPH works on very imperfect slate voting versus the normal nomination patterns of the other voters.
posted by penguinliz at 11:39 AM on August 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


My understanding of EPH is that each person has a certain amt of voting power. If you nominate 5 best novels, they each get 1/5th of your vote. If you nominate only 1, that one gets all of your vote. If a group has a slate of 5 candidates, each candidate only gets a 1/5 vote from each person, so you would need 5x as many slate voters. It encourages nominating only for the few works you really think are the best and means a greater diversity of works overall because group voting power is diminished.
posted by tofu_crouton at 11:40 AM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


/wonders of implementing EPH might make a good interview question.
posted by Artw at 11:41 AM on August 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


> PhoBWanKenobi :Because it opens that person to the possibility of physical assault, stalking, and other threats of violence and destruction of property.

Many hundreds of thousand of works are published every year and many millions of people disagree with those hundreds of thousands of works. And yet authorial homicide is not actually a "thing".

While I completely respect the need for marginalized people to retain a degree of anonymity in order to fight back against a much stronger oppressive society, this is not what I was talking about. I was talking about the breaking of normally accepted social contracts. If one's words and actions are so heinously awful that you are going to terribly upset people and, in fact ruin people's lives, then perhaps the consequence of many people being terribly upset at you for doing so is what in fact keeps many marginally anti-socials in check.

One should not get to hide behind a veil of secrecy, meant to protect an entirely different category of people, in order to wreck havoc upon a society.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 11:41 AM on August 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


tofu_crouton: It encourages nominating only for the few works you really think are the best

If I understand it correctly, that's not how it works. Basically, if you nominate five works, each gets 20% of your vote. However, as the ballots are tallied up, once a work you support is eliminated from contention, your vote gets redistributed. Once the first is eliminated, each of the five works gets 25% of your vote. If a second is eliminated, the three remaining get a third of your vote, and so on. There's no harm in nominating as many works as there are slots on your ballot.
posted by Kattullus at 11:48 AM on August 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


EPH (E Pluribus Hugo) is a system for tallying nominations that would reduce the effect of slates.

Each of your nominees in a certain category gets an equal fraction of your vote -- so if you vote for 5 novellas, they each get 1/5 of your vote. All those fractional points get added together across all the people who nominated that novella, and then the work with the fewest total points gets dropped. Then the votes are recalculated so that your fractional points get redistributed among the nominees that haven't been knocked out yet -- so, if one novella on your ballot gets knocked out, the other 4 now have 1/4 of a point each instead of 1/5.

If you vote as a slate, your nominations tend to knock each other out, so you'll end up with one or two of your choices on the ballot instead of all five. If you don't vote as a slate... then it actually doesn't matter whether you nominate five novellas or just one, because of the way votes are recalculated; by the time it gets to the final rounds, you're probably left with one nominee getting your full point because the others have been knocked out. It's supposed to be harder to do strategic voting under a system like EPH; I think at most it might make it less attractive to vote for a nominee that you expect to be popular but you're only mildly enthusiastic about, but even if you do so you're probably not taking votes away from Less Popular Thing You Liked More.
posted by Jeanne at 11:51 AM on August 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


Thanks for clarifying Kattullus
posted by tofu_crouton at 11:52 AM on August 23, 2015


The Hugos are already predicated around instant runoff so it's a fairly logical evolution for the nominations to use this.
posted by Artw at 11:54 AM on August 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Many hundreds of thousand of works are published every year and many millions of people disagree with those hundreds of thousands of works. And yet authorial homicide is not actually a "thing".

I have known authors who have been stalked and threatened. This seems to happen even more frequently with reviewers. Kathleen Hale, for example, wrote extensively about her stalking of one reviewer.

Homicide, maybe not a thing. but stalking and threats and making life generally miserable? absolutely happens.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:58 AM on August 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


> Here are links to the top non-puppy nominees for Best Short Story. If you enjoy them, write a fan letter: those happy echoes from the void are the second best thing an author can receive.

Thanks for collecting all those links, Sauce Trough. That would make a good FPP, IMO.
posted by homunculus at 11:59 AM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Enthusiastically seconded.
posted by Artw at 12:03 PM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Bad puppies, no awards
posted by Artw at 12:04 PM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


PhoBWanKenobi , I can see that we are going to have to respectfully agree to disagree here :) I can only restate that the world and society are flexible things and deeds done in one situation may be entirely inappropriate whereas the some actions may be fully justified in another. It all depends on the context of the social interaction.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 12:08 PM on August 23, 2015


Respectfully, I watched the whole situation play out from the beginning (including following the requireshate blog). At this point, it's difficult for me to see the doxxing as anything but a call for vigilante justice. And this is based on the specific context of this specific situation.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:29 PM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Voting is happening on 4/6, after what sounds like an awful lot of tedium trying out other ratios.
posted by Artw at 12:30 PM on August 23, 2015


Liveblogging business meetings, that's the cutting edge of SF, that is.
posted by Artw at 12:31 PM on August 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Or even liveblogging the liveblogging...
posted by Artw at 12:31 PM on August 23, 2015


I can see that we are going to have to respectfully agree to disagree here :)

You disagree that she knows people that it's happened to, or that stalking is an "inappropriate" response to writing something?
posted by Gygesringtone at 12:32 PM on August 23, 2015


Would EPH also block multiple episodes from one tv show dominating 'Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form' nominations, as a side effect?
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:32 PM on August 23, 2015


I'm not a hundred percent sure I understand EPH (E Pluribus Hugo, Out of Many, a Hugo) correctly, but here goes...

EPH is basically an instant runoff voting system which, as Artw noted, is how the voting for the winner works now. When you submit your ballot, you can nominate a certain number of works. Each ballot has a single vote, and your vote spreads evenly across your nominees. If it's five, each gets 1/5th of a vote, if it's four, it's 1/4th, and so on. As I explained above, all the submitted nominees are whittled down, your vote becomes increasingly more powerful, boosting your nominees more. The whittling happens in a series of rounds. The two with the lowest points-totals are compared, and the one with fewer total nominations gets eliminated, not the one with fewer points. Therefore, it's still better to nominate as many works as you can, because this is what counts at the elimination phase. In case of a nominations tie, then points count. If nominees tie on points and nominations, both get eliminated.

The main question, of course, is how this effects slates. This is where it gets kinda brilliant. The system always checks the two nominees with the lowest points totals. As marginal works get eliminated, other, more widely popular works start getting a boost. This eventually pushes them beyond the slates. Works on a slate start competing against each other and, crucially, eliminating each other. In effect it means that most slates can, at most, get one work nominated, and have no control over which one emerges. This would, of course, also apply when fans push multiple episodes of the same TV show or short stories by the same author. This rule change should ensure more diversity in all fields and categories, which is pretty swell, I think.
posted by Kattullus at 12:37 PM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Would EPH also block multiple episodes from one tv show dominating 'Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form' nominations, as a side effect?

I think that may be what people are thinking of when they think of the accidental slate effect.
posted by Artw at 12:38 PM on August 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


4/6 passed 86 to 82.
posted by Artw at 12:38 PM on August 23, 2015


Assuming they both ratify 2017 is going to be a crappy year to be a Hugo-slate pusher.
posted by Artw at 12:40 PM on August 23, 2015


You disagree that she knows people that it's happened to, or that stalking is an "inappropriate" response to writing something?

I'm pretty sure the disagreement is over whether what RH did was awful enough to justify publishing her full name and other personal information in order to "bring her into the light" as a sort of punishment.

(From what I've gathered, none of this has stopped her from doing her thing, still, on twitter at least, just now under her Benjanun Sriduangkaew name.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:41 PM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


4/6 passed 86 to 82.

So how does this stack with EPH? Can anyone explain the synergy there?
posted by Palindromedary at 12:41 PM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think it would stack fine with EPH - you only have 4 nomination slots, so your nomination point gets split 4 ways instead of 5 if you fill all the slots, and you run the elimination process stopping when you reach 6 nominees instead of 5. There might be some weird edge effects - possibly tie breakers are more likely to occur because the nominees aren't as spread out - but I don't think there are any serious problems with combining the two.
posted by penguinliz at 12:47 PM on August 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Looks like discussion of "Best Epic" is being pushed to next year.
posted by Artw at 12:51 PM on August 23, 2015


Whew. I was seriously afraid that EPH was going to get killed by the grognards. There's a certain number of people who are what I think of as Business Meeting fans, and they tend to see it as their bounden duty to make sure nothing changes ever. I was especially annoyed by the misinformation and in one case out right lie (that EPH 'wasn't an algorithm').
posted by tavella at 12:52 PM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


4/6 probably also reduces fans ability to Doctor Who All the Things.
posted by Artw at 12:53 PM on August 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


Now that everyone and their dog has had their say, let me say that those involved have created quite the dog's breakfast at this dog and pony show! Very dog eat dog, one might say. Basically a matter of love me, love my dog, is it? Not, as I say, that I have a dog in the fight. Though I have to say, the No Awards option seems to me rather dog in the manger. After all, does not every dog has its day? To deny an award, however trivial, to duly nominated nominees - well, it shouldn't happen to a dog. No doubt it is sad to see the art form going to the dogs, but buck up! I expect there's life in the old dog yet. Though currently, as far as enticing new readers to the genre, I wonder if the whole kerfuffle has at least for the time being, screwed the pooch. And fiddling the rules when the votes come out not to one's liking, throwing said rule to the dogs, as it were, simply to bring the dogs to heel - I would say, better to let sleeping dogs lie.

You will excuse me now, I have to go see a man about a dog.
posted by IndigoJones at 1:02 PM on August 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


Hey, Orphan Black won the Best Doctor Who Episode Hugo* this year!

*joke shamelessly stolen from Twitter
posted by Elementary Penguin at 1:10 PM on August 23, 2015 [12 favorites]


Two news items of note:

1. Slashdot is the worst.

2. Slashdot still exists.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:12 PM on August 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


I probably would have gone for the Goat episode, puppy-slater that I am. Though it wasn't as good as last years.
posted by Artw at 1:12 PM on August 23, 2015


Slashing is mostly just libertarian asswipes now, so...
posted by Artw at 1:14 PM on August 23, 2015


(Though even they in the comments are all "Brietbart? Are you serious?")
posted by Artw at 1:15 PM on August 23, 2015


This is about the best result I could have hoped for, including EPH passing at the business meeting. I'm all warm inside. It's lovely.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 1:18 PM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Do we know if Benjanun Sriduangkaew is an actual person? Last I checked in, it could have been another pseudonym.

The leak linked the respectable-novelist alias with the online-harasser alias(es), but didn't (to my knowledge) establish that the respectable-novelist alias was a real identity.
posted by grobstein at 1:19 PM on August 23, 2015


Do we know if Benjanun Sriduangkaew is an actual person? Last I checked in, it could have been another pseudonym.

It's a pen name, not her actual name.
posted by sukeban at 1:22 PM on August 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have my doubts about all the other details, TBH.
posted by Artw at 1:23 PM on August 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I just read that nominee diversity also passed (a single author or series is limited to two nominations.)
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 1:29 PM on August 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


And the business meeting is done...
posted by Artw at 1:36 PM on August 23, 2015


You know, with all the change there might have to withdraw my criticism of Worldcon as a bunch of brad-in-sand optimists who will never change anything... They seem to be changing rather a lot, and the aggregate effect is going to make gaming the system a lot harder.

Pity they didn't do this last year.
posted by Artw at 1:38 PM on August 23, 2015


Reading VD's take on the Hugo results, it strikes me that he's the kind of person who's smart enough to fool himself into believing his own BS and simultaneously dumb enough to be taken in (even when nobody else is).
It's quite a spectacle.
posted by signal at 1:51 PM on August 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


Remember: None of these changes will take effect unless and until ratified next year (at Kansas City.) If they are ratified, they would then be in effect for the 2016 Hugo Awards, which would be awarded at the 2017 Worldcon in Helsinki.
posted by eriko at 2:01 PM on August 23, 2015


If there's anyone on here who knows Louis Theroux, they should convince him to do the Puppies, but particularly Vox Day. Someone that flamboyantly delusional would make for an amazing programme.
posted by Grangousier at 2:17 PM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I still think the Rabids were always less an ideological movement as it was VD's personal promotion of his own Publishing house (as was his call to boycott Tor). I suspect he will be ultimately driven to start his own Awards; after all, the Triptee Awards has an openly feminist bent, why not Openly Facist Awards? But he may have trouble resisting the temptation to name them after himself. And he could also stage a Convention of Right Minded People... or just run the awards parallel to the Republican Convention next year. You know he'd get Trump to be a presenter.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:20 PM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Remember: None of these changes will take effect unless and until ratified next year (at Kansas City.) If they are ratified, they would then be in effect for the 2016 Hugo Awards, which would be awarded at the 2017 Worldcon in Helsinki.

In the interim, for those of us who bought supporting memberships this year to fight back against the slates: do those also carry through to nominating in 2016? If so, I'm not interested in a counter slate, but some kind of "don't forget to nominate campaign" would be great.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 2:27 PM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


do those also carry through to nominating in 2016?

Yep, if you were eligible to vote on last night's Hugos, then you'll be eligible to nominate for 2016. See section 3.7 here. It's likely you'll get an email sometime around late January that says something like (quoting from this year's email), "As part of your Loncon 3 memberhsip [sic], you are entitled to nominate works for the 2015 Hugo Awards ..."
posted by Monsieur Caution at 2:41 PM on August 23, 2015


tofu_crouton: "My understanding of EPH is that each person has a certain amt of voting power. If you nominate 5 best novels, they each get 1/5th of your vote. If you nominate only 1, that one gets all of your vote. If a group has a slate of 5 candidates, each candidate only gets a 1/5 vote from each person, so you would need 5x as many slate voters."

This is how the City of Peoria votes for at-large city council members, and it is one of a small handful of electoral bodies in the entire United States that use this method, and by far the largest and longest standing. We even elect five at-large city council members so you'd even be looking at splitting up your vote into fifths. In case the Hugo wants some historical examples, going back to 1991, of how these things work out -- without the instant runoff, though. The system was intended to stop wealthy white people on the north side of town from electing a city council that represented ONLY that part of town (and those citizens), in a city that's 25% black. It has worked reasonably well at increasing representation and creating space for less-traditional candidates to run for office.

Most years I vote for two or three people, but one year I voted for one and one year for five.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:47 PM on August 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


Et tu, Tron Guy?
posted by Artw at 3:01 PM on August 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


"In shocking news, the various puppies are declaring victory."

"This year's Hugo Awards were a vindication of the Puppy campaigns and the leadership of Saddam Hussein."
posted by klangklangston at 3:07 PM on August 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


I should buy City of Stairs to complete the Best Novel set.

Look upon my copy of Lock In in awe, Mefites!

(Interestingly at that reading Scalzi was nothing but polite about the puppies, recommended Larry Corriea if you like that sort of thing and gave a very conservative prediction of how the vote might turn out to the person in line ahead of me.)
posted by Artw at 3:09 PM on August 23, 2015


I read the comments on the Tron link. I am now going to buy some well-written sci fi books and magazines to help cleanse my soul.
posted by tofu_crouton at 3:12 PM on August 23, 2015


Personally the entire awards and business meeting went far better than my entirely jaded soul would have ever believed. My faith in certain parts of humanity is restored - at least for a few days .
posted by AGameOfMoans at 3:13 PM on August 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


The first time I saw his Tron suit, I knew his taste sucked.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:32 PM on August 23, 2015


Stay safe, air breathing creatures of Spokane.

/walks outside in Seattle for the first time today.

Motherfuckers.
posted by Artw at 4:06 PM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Obligatory Hugo Awards Recap Post by Chuck Wendig.
posted by metaquarry at 4:59 PM on August 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Brad Torgersen is currently altering any comments on his blog that disagree with him to say "YOU MADE US DO IT!" instead of whatever the poster actually wrote.

Apparently I was not yet completely cynical about humanity, because I am actually shocked.
posted by kyrademon at 5:25 PM on August 23, 2015 [12 favorites]


I'm shocked that anyone not utterly in lockstep would bother posting on his blog.
posted by Artw at 5:29 PM on August 23, 2015


Brad Torgersen is currently altering any comments on his blog that disagree with him to say "YOU MADE US DO IT!" instead of whatever the poster actually wrote.... - posted by kyrademon at 8:25 PM on August 23

Yep: "YOU MADE ME DO IT!" has been the defense of abusers since time immemorial.

If there was any doubt left, he's outed himself as an asshole.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 5:37 PM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


biffa: "Perhaps the answer lies in him being shitfaced at time of posting."

Scalzi doesn't drink.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:44 PM on August 23, 2015


Jesus, kyrdemon, I went over to see what's up with Torgersen - I thought he was REPLYING with "YOU MADE US DO IT!" - but not only is he altering other people's words, he's boasting about doing so:

(commenter wonder what's up, BT replies):
Brad R. Torgersen on August 23, 2015 at 4:41 pm said:
No, because I don’t want to listen to 999 variations of “YOU MADE ME DO THIS” I am just editing all such comments to reflect their base argument. That will save you all time reading 999 variations of bullshit.
I didn't think my opinion of him could drop further, but it just did. The man-baby has no honor at all.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 5:46 PM on August 23, 2015 [2 favorites]




Scalzi doesn't drink

Is there no end to his evil?
posted by Artw at 5:56 PM on August 23, 2015 [10 favorites]


Yeah, after reading the Wired piece, you could almost conclude that Correia and Torgersen originally had good intentions to try to reform the Hugos (by their worldview, anyway), they just hitched their wagon (after the fact) to VD's rampaging lunacy and lost control of their own reform movement and oh well, in for a dime, in for a dollar.

But the various responses to last night suggests that that's a really generous read.
posted by Kyol at 6:15 PM on August 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


"Tuesdays with Molakesh the Destroyer"

This is a really fantastic short story. Read it.
posted by das_2099 at 6:31 PM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


>Brad Torgersen is currently altering any comments on his blog that disagree with him to say "YOU MADE US DO IT!"

It's difficult to know what to say to that - but in any case this years Hugo voting and Business Meeting indicate that Torgersen , Beale. Correia and their ilk will soon become even more irrelevant to fandom than they already are. The politics of rage only go so far and you need really good writers to keep your ragefanbase engaged with your rage and well...
posted by AGameOfMoans at 6:34 PM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


"It's difficult to know what to say to that..."

...Well, MY first incredulous reaction to that was "What a dishonorable CHILD"...
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 6:37 PM on August 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I hate to admit it, but Torgeren is basically right. They did make us do it. If they hadn't cheated and stacked the nominations I doubt very much there would have been five no awards given. Which doesn't make his behavior any less childish of course.
posted by sotonohito at 6:44 PM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


it's cowardly - if the man can't debate his ideas then i have to assume he doesn't have any worth debating

way back when, some conservative blogger deleted my comments - but i knew he was going to do that and was copying the whole absurd conversation to my kuro5hin diairy

his final word to me was that it only took him 30 seconds to delete my posts - my final reply was that it only took me 5 seconds to copy and paste
posted by pyramid termite at 6:49 PM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh, wow, "Goodnight Stars." Damn. That could have won if not for Puppy hell.

Also makes me want to kick all the Doctor Who writers in the crotch for thinking "Kill the Moon" was a good idea.
Seriously, if anything happens to the moon we all DIE so who cares if a fucking baby hatches or not?
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:53 PM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


After looking at Tron Guy's site, I must say its interesting to see how he comes to radically different conclusions. I saw the cheering as a celebration of a regrettably necessary but spirited defense of a venerable award from an attack bent on destroying it. He sees it as Evil Liberals cackling as they celebrate the destruction of the award.

I suppose most of it has to do with the question of whether or not you view the Hugos as having been in the thrall of the Evil Liberals or not. I like to imagine that my view (basically: WTF? No, are you nuts?) is based in fact, but of course that's just my own bias. I think I'm right, I think that we're looking at yet another example of the persecuted hegemon, that basically a bunch of ambiguity averse straight white conservatives are flipping their shit about the existence of SF that doesn't specifically pander to their taste.

But obviously there are people who aren't total raging racist misogynists who feel badly done by the whole affair, merely people who are conservative and feeling (wrongly in my view) marginalized who were hoping for what they'd see as a restoration of what SF **SHOULD** be. Of course putting prescriptivist limits on SF is kind of against the whole concept of SF, but in their minds they're defending the good.

None of which will stop me from crowing about the utter defeat of the *Puppies, and ponying up $50 so I can join the (please let it be the last time such a thing is needed) anti-Puppy slate for the 2016 Hugos so that they aren't totally ruined before EPH is implemented in 2017 (and, depending on finances I may even be able to attend the 2016 Hugos in person, so yay!).

But, much as I doubt it, I can't help but wonder if some outreach to Tron Guy and his fellow not totally awful *Puppy supporters would do some good. Not from me, I'm an argumentative abrasive fucker and I'm lousy at outreach. But maybe someone can reach him. Probably not, but maybe?
posted by sotonohito at 6:57 PM on August 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


But, much as I doubt it, I can't help but wonder if some outreach to Tron Guy and his fellow not totally awful *Puppy supporters would do some good.

It might. There was never a widespread campaign against conservative authors until a small group commandeered that label and then shit in the punchbowl. And even then it was limited to the punchbowl polluters.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:13 PM on August 23, 2015


Puppy Transphobia at This Year’s Hugo Awards

The author of the article Cook's screenshot is from is heading up the puppies next year, so they're already off to a wonderful start. And what with Antonelli's shit, gamergator involvement, and the general spittle-flecked rage of the puppies, a couple of white dudes with illegally-owned firearms showing up at the next Worldcon would actually not be all that surprising.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:20 PM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


you need really good writers to keep your ragefanbase engaged with your rage and well...
The generations-long love for Ayn Rand's agitprop-drivel suggests otherwise.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:36 PM on August 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


The author of the article Cook's screenshot is from is heading up the puppies next year

No, that was Sarah Hoyt's blog, and the woman fronting Puppies 4 will be Kate Paulk.
posted by sukeban at 10:10 PM on August 23, 2015


> The generations-long love for Ayn Rand's agitprop-drivel suggests otherwise.

Say what you will about Ayn Rand's ideas {cough...cough..crap...cough) she was a pretty decent writer and knew how to create a cult of personality. She was, by all accounts, personable - charming even. Rand was vile but she was intelligent. These guys... Beale et ilk... not by any means in Rand's class. Give Rand credit where credit is due; she may have been utterly crazy but she was educated and erudite.

Were it not for the internet and it's ability to gather the fringe elements together these guys would be utter unknowns. They have no class. They have no skill. They are troglodytes appealing to the few troglodytes cyberspace brings their way. They are like bad smells in an elevator, briefly able to annoy but will inevitably dissipate into nothingness.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 10:22 PM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


[A few comments deleted. Sorry folks, but you can't really have this full-on MetaTalk discussion in the middle of this thread. I'm talking with the person who wants to post the links to the would-have-been nominations in mod mail; hit us up if you'd like to discuss as well. Thanks.]
posted by taz (staff) at 11:35 PM on August 23, 2015


John C. Wright, on his leaving Tor as a publisher:
I am, in all modesty, a skilled author, one of the finest writing today.
posted by jeather at 5:05 AM on August 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


Not if that blog post is anything to go by.

Why did Tor publish that asshole in the first place?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:24 AM on August 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


I should also mention something of which I was previously unaware, but which a close friend (who happens to be a tireless and diligent librarian researcher) explained to me in some detail.

It seemed that the monster known as Vox Day is a creation entirely of Mr. Patrick Nielsen Hayden.

Theodore Beale, some years ago, was a well respected judge of the Nebula Award committee for SFWA, and a writer of a libertarian column for a conservative website. Out of the blue, unprovoked, and unannounced, Mr. Hayden launched a series of bitter personal attacks against Mr. Beale. The two men were not acquaintances, and the attacks were based solely on the conservative or libertarian ideas Mr. Beale express in a column written for a conservative or libertarian readership in a conservative journal.


Ah well. Let me link to that Electrolite thread so you can experience how reliable a narrator JCW is.
posted by sukeban at 5:26 AM on August 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


By the way, here are archive.today links to the Smeagol post and the In Memoriam followup just in case.
posted by sukeban at 5:32 AM on August 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Wait, so he decided that a good way to insult a guy named Moshe Feder was to call him a Christ-hater?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:34 AM on August 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Ah well. Let me link to that Electrolite thread so you can experience how reliable a narrator JCW is.

Holy crap, this nonsense has been going on for a decade?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:35 AM on August 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


I am, in all modesty, a skilled author, one of the finest writing today.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Siure, in the field of right wing religious screeds that badly rip off CS Lewis in an an attempt to make some smug and incomprehensible point, maybe. His Hugo entry work is fucking terrible.
posted by Artw at 5:36 AM on August 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Why did Tor publish that asshole in the first place?

Apparently his earlier writing was actually much better (it could hardly be worse, but I heard it was perfectly fine), and I suppose even now he sells predictably enough to be worth it.
posted by jeather at 5:38 AM on August 24, 2015


Wait, so he decided that a good way to insult a guy named Moshe Feder was to call him a Christ-hater?

"Christ-hating crusader[s] for Sodom" was the exact quote (here, towards the end).
posted by sukeban at 5:39 AM on August 24, 2015


Holy crap, this nonsense has been going on for a decade?

The science fiction community is really, really, really good at pandering to assholes in the hope they'll spontaneously get better or at least go away. It's probably why when there is some mild pushback we get shit like this. /
posted by Artw at 5:39 AM on August 24, 2015 [7 favorites]


Sure, in the field of right wing religious screeds that badly rip off CS Lewis in an an attempt to make some smug and incomprehensible point, maybe.

Of course he's wearing a fedora in his author's photo. Of course.

I bet he says 'm'lady' too. Unironically.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:40 AM on August 24, 2015 [8 favorites]


The science fiction community is really, really, really good at pandering to assholes in the hope they'll spontaneously get better or at least go away.

The geek social fallacies at work, perhaps?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:42 AM on August 24, 2015 [9 favorites]


Horribly so, would be my guess.
posted by Artw at 5:52 AM on August 24, 2015


sotonohito: "merely people who are conservative and feeling (wrongly in my view) marginalized who were hoping for what they'd see as a restoration of what SF **SHOULD** be. "

And you know, as a pinko commie myself, one type of fantasy (not so much SF) that I particularly enjoy is pretty conservative stories that feature a very traditional medieval European-ish social structure, and have well-drawn characters who are highly limited by that social structure and have to figure out how to function within it. I mean, this is basically one of the things I really like about Jane Austen! I'm really interested in characters -- especially female ones -- in these structures of oppression, who have full and complex and interesting lives even within those structures, or trying to step outside those structures, but they don't have to necessarily notice them as oppressive (the way a fish doesn't notice water). Some of the fantasy epics I like make points about structures of oppression on purpose; others are, really, flatly reactionary works ... but if the author still writes well-rounded female characters (i.e., not Patrick Rothfuss), I can take something from it other than the author intended.

The expansion of "SJW" awareness in SFF means there are a) more books set in more diverse older cultures (Egyptian! Chinese! Persian!), with their own structures of gender oppression, which is great for me; but also that b) the stuff I like that uses a "lazy" setting gets run down a lot by people who want more interesting fantasy settings that more directly interrogate those structures of oppression instead of defaulting to Vikings and King Arthur, which is less-great for me because there's less of the stuff I particularly like and there's a lot of people bagging on stuff that I particularly like. But you know what? THAT'S OKAY. It's okay if people like different things that I do! It's okay if the genre shifts in new directions! Some of those new things I will like a lot! Some of them I won't, but that's okay too. Not everything has to suit my taste!

So I'm somewhat sympathetic to people who feel like the genre is shifting away from them and their interests and they're suddenly stuck in a bit of a backwater where nobody's writing for them. But on the other hand I view this as a personal problem -- "Man, I'm sad there's nothing that suits my particular taste in medieval epics lately; oh well, I'll go read Americanah and Ancillary Sword and the Emperor of All Maladies and maybe there will be something more to my taste in the fantasy genre next year." -- whereas a lot of these more conservative readers seem to be like, "I'm sad there's nothing that suits my taste this year, THE GENRE IS DYING BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT PANDERING EXCLUSIVELY TO MEEEEEEEEEE!" I feel your pain, Tron Guy, but I am puzzled by your reaction.

(Structures of gender oppression in sci-fi just annoy me; it's the future, get your shit together and pass the ERA. I do not pretend it's rational to be interested in gender oppression in imaginary past settings with impossible dragons, but not in imaginary future settings with impossible spaceships, but THERE YOU HAVE IT: it pisses me off in the "future" but interests me in the "past.")

jeather: "I am, in all modesty, a skilled author, one of the finest writing today. "

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Artw: "Siure, in the field of right wing religious screeds"

I know from right-wing religious Catholic screeds ... and STILL NOPE.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:48 AM on August 24, 2015 [17 favorites]


The science fiction community is really, really, really good at pandering to assholes in the hope they'll spontaneously get better or at least go away.

I don't think this is true. Science fiction fandom is, if anything, a place where ideas are likely to be aggressively contested - it's just that because science fiction is a didactic literature* and because there tends to be an expectation in fandom that you live somewhat according to the beliefs espoused in your favorite work**, this is far more visible and far less polite than in other literary fields.

SF is basically a political field, like feminist or post-colonial literature, but unlike feminist or post-colonial literature, it is extremely accessible and the ideological spread is very broad. So you don't get a situation where basically everyone has the cultural capital to read "high" literature and the ideological spread is pretty much from liberal feminism (for example) to radical feminism. So you have a lot of very stroppy people with very different beliefs debating them.

You have only to look at basically the entire history of post-war anglophone science fiction (I'm not very familiar with non-Anglophone SF culture; for all I know this is true there too) to see that there's always been a lot of contesting of stuff - a particularly good example is the rise of feminist SF culture through the seventies and eighties via zines. Right now, we're in a situation that is very like that of the seventies, except with the addition of the internet so the whole thing is very public.

And IMO, what's really driving things this time is race - this is all Racefail aftermath, for one thing. My feeling is that while the puppies et all could sort of get their heads around women and queer people writing SF (not due to virtue on their part but due to the fact that feminist SF and queer SF are pretty much grandfathered in by now) it's the addition of writers of color and a general expectation of anti-racism that really set all this off. And that itself is because there's been tremendously more SF writers of color getting published in the past ten years, plus a number of writers of color who have been getting huge critical acclaim and success, plus there are many, many more fans of color and Big Name Fans of color (does one say Big Name Fan anymore?).

Also, because the very foundations of modern SF are basically about racism and colonialism, once you get a critical mass of writers of color and a critical number of post-colonial/anti-racist narratives going, you're shaking the those foundations in a way that even feminist and queer writing doesn't (at least IMO).

I mean, the Ur-SF narrative is about the encounter with an alien place or alien people (you can even argue that utopia/dystopia is a way of forcing the reader into that same role of explorer). It derives from travel and adventure narratives that are themselves wrapped up in colonialism. And people generally - consciously or unconsciously - take a lot of their inspirations for the alien from other Earth cultures that seem "alien" to them. I'd say that once you get women and queer people writing, you get a lot more "the alien looks back" stories, but when you start getting an expectation that SF deal with colonialism and racism, and you get stories written by the "colonized" explicitly dealing with colonization, you're really changing up the whole field. It's extremely exciting! But it also undercuts so much that is taken for granted in SF, not just in terms of decentering white straight men, but in terms of taking apart the kind of narrative that is comforting to white people generally and white straight men in particular.



*I mean, in a sense most literature is didactic; and not all science fiction is especially so (Dhalgren, for instance - not especially didactic!). But even if you compare a pretty directly didactic literary novel like David Copperfield or The Magic Mountain with a didactic SF novel (and let's pick from the literary ones) like The Female Man or The Sheep Look Up, it's very clear that SF's moral concerns exist on the very, very surface of the work more than in literary fiction.

**I can enjoy Au Bout De La Nuit and In Search of Lost Time and no one really expects me to live in keeping with either of their precepts; again, even a fairly didactic novel like The Magic Mountain isn't really an instruction manual. But if my favorite SF writers are China Mieville, Joanna Russ and Sofia Samatar, it is very likely that I will be a feminist with either commie or anarchist leanings and some concern with issues of colonialism. In this respect, SF is much more like post-colonial theory and literature.
posted by Frowner at 6:55 AM on August 24, 2015 [15 favorites]


I feel kind of dirty having read the JCW blog posts. The Brain Eater seems in his case to have a particularly rapid and malignant presentation.

Has PNH addressed in any way the accusation that he was screaming unprovoked in JCW's wife's face? Sure, PNH can most definitely be a giant asshole from time to time but that's a far cry from what JCW relates and I find it kind of hard to believe. Separate from the manic ranting which surrounds it, I mean, which in and of itself makes it even harder to believe. You wouldn't expect to find truth buried in a Timecubeesque pile of crazy.
posted by Justinian at 7:21 AM on August 24, 2015


I still think the Rabids were always less an ideological movement as it was VD's personal promotion of his own Publishing house (as was his call to boycott Tor).

An interesting point in the EPH debate was made -- a person outed themselves as a Sad Puppies who was mad that the SP movement was hijacked by the Rabid Puppies, and only then realized the dangers of slates, thus, they were for EPH to make sure slates were rendered ineffective, even though they'd originally been part of one.

So, even though we tend to lump the two together, and in many ways they acted together, they are two groups and they are not complete congruent by any means -- indeed, RP has apparently driven a number of people away from SP as SP radicals have become RP.

(Extremists driving away moderates. Wow, like we haven't see that before.)
posted by eriko at 7:22 AM on August 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Has PNH addressed in any way the accusation that he was screaming unprovoked in JCW's wife's face?

According to JCWs wife she went to PNH with some message from JCW, at which point PNH told her "he can shove it up his ass" and "stomped off". Which offended her mightily, but is somewhat different from JCWs account.
posted by Artw at 7:25 AM on August 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


"In shocking news, the various puppies are declaring victory."

So?

Really, so? So the fuck what?

Seriously? So the fuck what? Let them declare that black is white, the sun is the moon, that day is night, that electrons are in the nucleus and protons orbit the nucleus, that gravity is a force that repels matter. They can declare whatever the fuck they want.

Doesn't make it true.

See, kids, they want you to be annoyed at that. Don't be. There's appropriate response here.

Scoreboard.

Shut out, dudes. Shut out. 5 Noahs. O-fer. Platinum Sombrero. Five Goose Eggs. Saaaaweep! LOOOOOSEEERRRRR! To quote the ancient Greek author Homer*, "They're the suckiest bunch of sucks to ever suck."

As a Cubs fan and a Blues fan, I know what losing looks like, and as a professional assessor of losing, they didn't even win at losing.

They lost. Period. And now comes the point where we laugh at them.

HA HA!

Why did Tor publish that asshole in the first place?

Because he sells enough to be worth publishing. If publishers didn't publish assholes, there would be a lot less published. For one thing, they wouldn't publish John Scalzi, a person who would be the first to tell you that he can be a raging asshole.

According to JCWs wife she went to PNH with some message from JCW, at which point PNH told her "he can shove it up his ass" and "stomped off".

Having known PNH for (mumble) years, that response from him rings 100% true, actually. And given the vitriol which JCW has leveled at both PNH and TNH over the last couple of years, I think that was pretty much the reply he deserved.

As to his wife? It is unfortunate that she got caught in the crossfire. But I blame JCW for putting her there, given the vitriol that he's thrown at PNH and TNH.

As to him being offended? Fuck him.


* I think it was the Ancient Greek Homer. I might be wrong.
posted by eriko at 7:42 AM on August 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


Of course he's wearing a fedora in his author's photo. Of course.

I'm STILL PISSED OFF about this because I used to wear a fedora and I looked pretty decent in one then all the fucking assholes in the world started wearing them and I had to stop.

FUCK YOU GUYS. FUCK YOU.
posted by eriko at 7:44 AM on August 24, 2015 [16 favorites]


She then went on to talk about how she was the most Christian and tolerant person in the room, etc, etc, etc... So tooting your own horn is not restricted to one side of that relationship.
posted by Artw at 7:45 AM on August 24, 2015


Let's not forget that John C. Wright turned up in the comments of my friend's blog to accuse her of libel. For directly quoting him and linking back to the blog post where he made the statement in question.
posted by KathrynT at 8:09 AM on August 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


The current puppy talking point seems to be that cheering the No Award was rude to them, which will no doubt be their justification for doing all the horrible things that will get their NO AWARDs cheered next year.
posted by Artw at 8:16 AM on August 24, 2015 [6 favorites]


So the first time I read one of JCW's blog posts, I could tell within three sentences just from his writing style where he was going to end up ideologically. As a connoisseur of reactionary Catholic dickheads, I have a theory as to where this writing style with its excessive dependent clauses and its $2 Latinate words where a 25-cent Anglo-Saxon one would do perfectly well and its sort-of detached pretentiousness and elliptical approaches to points comes from, and why it's so common to reactionary Catholic 18-year-old freshman boys (which is how I immediately recognized it -- my long experience with reactionary Catholic freshman boys, as a college and grad student in Catholic theology).

When you do a word-for-word translation of Thomas Aquinas from Latin to English, preserving the technical Latin theological words by using Latinate English words, and preserving the word order by using lots of dependent clauses (as English lacks cases to do the heavy lifting), this is sort-of what it sounds like. This is also what a lot of 20th-century Papal encyclicals sound like, as they're also coming from Latin into English, in a rather rapid translation process that's typically more focused on preserving technical meaning and enabling theologians to swap from the English to the Latin as word-by-word as possible without having to sort out entire sentences.

So this is what dudes like JCW think highly-educated, erudite, philosophical writing sounds like. And this is what they think moral authority sounds like (because for reactionary Catholic men, moral authority is "the pope" (but not this one) and "Thomas Aquinas"). But because these men are not theologically educated -- they only have a surface veneer of an appeal to authority, not the underlying systematics they'd need to actually engage with Aquinas (or a modern encyclical, for that matter; or CS Lewis, for that matter) -- and because they don't read Latin, they're merely copying the outer stylistic shell of a theological argument made in Latin and translated into English for technical use by scholars working in English and Latin. They think this is what smart-people writing sounds like, because they aren't smart enough to realize it's Latin literally translated into English. They have no idea this is not how ANYBODY writes in English on purpose; nor does anybody who writes in Latin think this sort of translation into English is particularly felicitous or flowing ... it's just the easiest way to let people work in two languages at once. (And it IS terrifically contagious -- I swear to God this is where my over-reliance on ridiculously long sentences and excessive dependent clauses and convoluted construction comes from, overexposure to badly-translated theology.)

Anyway, rage-filled reactionary male Catholic 18-year-olds turn in Theology 101 papers that read basically just like JCW's writing style all the time, smugly convinced they're smarter and righter than the professor (always too liberal, always too influenced by Vatican II, always a cafeteria Catholic), and are shocked -- SHOCKED! -- when they get their papers back with low grades for a total lack of analysis, logical argument, or ability to write English coherently. Guys who write like JCW are a dime a dozen; it's just that most of them are writing for a Catholic college's conservative campus weekly rage-newspaper, not as SFF authors. And most of them outgrow it by graduation or soon thereafter -- in law school. Because they ALL go to law school. Know where JCW went after college? Law school. OF COURSE HE DID. THEY ALL DO.

Dude is an 18-year-old Catholic reactionary who's just arrived on campus convinced he's smarter than everyone else, knows better than everyone else, is more educated than they can ever dream of being because this one time he read Thomas Aquinas, you guys! Have you read Thomas Aquinas? ("Well, um, yeah, actually ...") WELL LET ME TELL YOU WHY YOU UNDERSTOOD IT WRONG AND HE IS MORE MORAL THAN YOU.

The sad part is that he's, what, 40? 50? And he's still writing with the same level of stylistic ability and theological understanding as an extra-pretentious college freshman.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:21 AM on August 24, 2015 [57 favorites]


See, kids, they want you to be annoyed at that. Don't be. There's appropriate response here.

I was amused, not annoyed. Those goalposts have been moving so fast they're attached to rockets.
posted by jeather at 8:22 AM on August 24, 2015 [6 favorites]


Those rockets are the only rockets they're going to get.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:24 AM on August 24, 2015 [17 favorites]


Those rockets are the only rockets they're going to get.

GOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by eriko at 8:33 AM on August 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


According to JCWs wife she went to PNH with some message from JCW, at which point PNH told her "he can shove it up his ass" and "stomped off".

This is something I could definitely see happening and is nothing like a spittle-flecked assault/tirade as characterized by JCW. Maybe JCW shouldn't involve his wife if he doesn't want her involved.
posted by Justinian at 9:00 AM on August 24, 2015


I imagine the interaction went exactly like JCW hoped and expected. Now he's got another grievance to lob at PNH!
posted by Elementary Penguin at 9:03 AM on August 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Why did Tor publish that asshole in the first place?
...
Because he sells enough to be worth publishing. If publishers didn't publish assholes, there would be a lot less published.


He also used to be able to write pretty well. Sure, he wasn't Nabokov but who is? The relatively restrained politics were merely mildly intrusive when he started (see, for example, THE GOLDEN AGE [2002] or Orphans of Chaos [2005]) and buried in pretty good stories. Now he just drools ranting screeds over the page. If a book could be published as a collection of brown paper bags scribbled on with purple crayons his would now be exactly that.
posted by Justinian at 9:05 AM on August 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


I should say "stories" rather than "books" since I stopped buying his novels when he became so obviously unhinged. Not because I refuse to buy books by assholes but because it affected his writing.
posted by Justinian at 9:09 AM on August 24, 2015


>Dude is an 18-year-old Catholic reactionary who's just arrived on campus convinced he's smarter than everyone else, knows better than everyone else, is more educated than they can ever dream of being because this one time he read Thomas Aquinas, you guys!

My understanding is that Wright was an Atheist but after having some kind of visionary religious experience in his 30's he converted to Roman Catholicism.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 9:10 AM on August 24, 2015


Yep, the politics intruding into his early work struck me as pretty standard right-libertarian Objectivist wankery rather than what we get now. Which is pretty common in SF. So. Many. Libertarian. Wankfests.
posted by Justinian at 9:12 AM on August 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Converts to any belief system are invariably annoying in their zealotry.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:15 AM on August 24, 2015


Converts to any belief system are invariably annoying in their zealotry.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:15 AM on August 24 [+] [!]


That's the eponcalypse, right there.
posted by eriko at 9:16 AM on August 24, 2015 [13 favorites]


And since they didn't come up through the ranks, as it were, they haven't had the newbie mistakes knocked out of them.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:16 AM on August 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, it's sort of like, my daughter has only been speaking English for three years and she makes all sorts of terrible grammar and syntax mistakes, but she's only five, so it's cute. But if a 30 year old had been learning English for only three years and made the same mistakes, it would be embarrassing. Mistakes that young people make are just embarrassing when someone older makes them who should know better.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 9:21 AM on August 24, 2015


The whole John Wright thing just gets seamier and seamier. In the last month or so, on his blog, Wright has had his wife ask his fans for money twice to give his teenagers milk. Each time it was literally "milk money" and in my mind Sally Fields is saying something like "For just 30 cents a day your generosity can feed a starving science fiction writer...".

Mr. Wright is a 53 year old (presumably) able bodied man with a law degree who is begging his fans for charity and has just spent upwards of $1000 to attend Worldcon this week. Not to mention pissing off his TOR editor and subsequently getting fired from his primary source of income at the Worlcon his fans essentially paid for.

What . The Efitty. Eff. ???? The man has no shame at all.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 9:28 AM on August 24, 2015 [6 favorites]


Why would he do anything differently if the rubes are going to keep giving him money?
posted by Elementary Penguin at 9:33 AM on August 24, 2015


Mr. Wright is a 53 year old (presumably) able bodied man with a law degree who is begging his fans for charity and has just spent upwards of $1000 to attend Worldcon this week

I'm not going to fault a professional SF writer for attending the Worldcon. To them, it is a legitimate business expense. For the pros, the Worldcon is a trade convention. They even write the costs off their taxes as a business expense. Indeed, if he has manuscripts ready, that's a great time to get them to his editor, and getting fed by your editor is an ancient and honorable Worldcon tradition.

In case you think this is in any way dicey, WSFS went to the IRS and and asked, and the IRS said "No, if your profession is a writer in that field or an artist in that field, it clearly falls under both meeting other professionals, meeting editors/agents, and marketing. It's very clearly a business expense." All the pros write that expense off, and rightfully so. We used to get pros demanding to be on program, because if they weren't, they couldn't prove they were marketing, and therefore, they'd lose the tax write-off. We showed them that was nonsense, if they could prove they were a SF professional in some capacity, that was enough.

Fans who work the convention, and *only* work the convention, can in fact write the convention expenses off as supporting a 501(c)3's work. If you, however, do any tourist stuff before or after, you can't. We have no idea why that's a factor, but that's a factor -- but that's the determination the IRS uses, so if you went to Sasquan, worked it, and went home, you can deduct those expenses. Note if you get reimbursed next year, after you file, you then do need to turn around and book that reimbursement as income *or* go back and amend, which is one reason we wanted concoms to run the reimbursements quickly (aka, before we had to file.)

And, of course, if you have a tax pro doing your taxes, tell them about this and they'll be able to deal with the properly.

Note that this also doesn't apply to non-US Worldcons, because they're not 501(c)3s, and if you're not a US Citizen, this is all gobbledygook anyway, but your tax rules may well have something similar.

(Of course, until your total deductions are more than the standard deductions, it doesn't help -- but if you own a house and are paying interest on a mortgage, you may be already there. So...)

As to JCW leaving Tor -- I have no idea what happened there, and I won't speculate. I also don't know how this affects his books currently published by Tor.
posted by eriko at 9:45 AM on August 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


Not to mention pissing off his TOR editor and subsequently getting fired from his primary source of income at the Worlcon his fans essentially paid for.

Oh, and as to what happened? I would also not consider JCW a reliable source here. If he told me the Cubs won, I'd walk to Wrigley and look for the W flag.


(Cool and completely unrelated aside. Friday, I was flying home. I had to shut off the phone in the bottom of the 8th, Cubbies ahead 5-3. Took off from STL, cruised up, and as we turned onto final for ORD, there was Wrigley Field in the late afternoon sun -- and the W flag flying atop the scoreboard.

Coolest way to find out we held the lead EVER.)
posted by eriko at 9:50 AM on August 24, 2015 [7 favorites]


eriko: "That's the eponcalypse, right there."

Now, now. Despite his over the top zealotry, St John Chrysostom was raised in the Church.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:51 AM on August 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Despite his over the top zealotry, St John Chrysostom was raised in the Church.

Wait...weren't you...I mean wasn't he taught by the very pagan Libranus? Wasn't baptized until he was like 20? Then became a hermit? Or am I remembering the wrong St John Chrysostom?

I stand by the eponcalypse. Well, actually, I'm going to stand back some distance from the eponcalypse, that seems safer.
posted by eriko at 9:56 AM on August 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hugos and Puppies: Peeling the Onion by Foz Meadows:
I guess what I want to say is this: despite what the Puppies think, the rest of us aren’t interested in diversity without quality, and as we’re all acutely aware, the failure mode of diversity is stereotype, which concept isn’t exactly on handshake terms with quality in the first place. That we want to celebrate historically silenced voices and perspectives doesn’t mean we’re doing so purely to spite you, or that we’ve lost all sense of judgement: if our tastes extend to seeing in fiction those versions of ourselves you’re disinclined to write, then who are you to tell us we aren’t entitled to our preferences? Nobody is saying you can’t tell your stories; we just might not want to read them, the same as you evidently have no desire to read ours. That’s not the genre being attacked – it’s the genre changing, and whether you change with it or not, we’re still going to like what we like.
posted by metaquarry at 10:07 AM on August 24, 2015 [14 favorites]


In the interim, for those of us who bought supporting memberships this year to fight back against the slates: do those also carry through to nominating in 2016?

Yes. A supporting membership in Sasquan means you have nomination rights for the 2015 Hugo Awards, awarded at MidAmeriCon II in Kansas City. You do *not* have voting rights on the final ballot, for that, you will need to become at least a supporting member of MidAmeriCon II.

If you voted in Site Selection, you are automatically a supporting member of the 2017 Worldcon, no matter whom you voted for. This is Worldcon 75 and is in Helsinki, Finland. You will be able to nominate for the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Hugo Awards (KC, Helsinki and Yet to Be Determined) and vote on the 2016 awards, awarded at Helsinki. Again, you will need to join KC to vote on the 2015 final ballot, and join whoever wins Site Selection in KC to vote on the 2017 award, but since you're a member of Helsinki, you already get to vote there.

The reason there's a Site Selection voting fee is to make sure that the winner has a seed fund to start with. In exchange for the voting fee, the voter gets an automatic supporting membership (indeed, the voting fee happens to be the price of the supporting membership.) After the vote, there's a conversion rate, this is one of the cheapest ways to get an attending. If you voted (it doesn't matter for who) you pay the conversion and your supporting becomes an attending.
posted by eriko at 10:11 AM on August 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


I still haven't found a really great way to share potential nominees for next year, besides hoping all the right people are in my rss feed and they are actively reviewing, and that someone out there is reading my goodreads reviews. Maybe we need a hashtag like #myHugoNominees.
posted by tofu_crouton at 10:11 AM on August 24, 2015


eriko: Wait...weren't you...I mean wasn't he taught by the very pagan Libranus? Wasn't baptized until he was like 20? Then became a hermit? Or am I remembering the wrong St John Chrysostom?

Modern scholars interpret the evidence in different ways. Some say his mother was a pagan, others say she was Christian. But he was baptized late. However, the Antioch church authorities tried to conscript him into the service of the church so quickly afterwards that my layman's feeling is that he was not a recent convert, even if his beliefs had only recently grown strong. Ultimately, of course, it's unknown.

Incidentally, if you're big on John Chrysostom, the later Roman Empire or early Christianity, the fine History of Byzantium podcast has started a paid side-project called Byzantine Stories. The first, four-part episode, is about John Chrysostom. The first part is available for free, but it focuses mostly on the city of Antioch. The other three cost $5 each. I really enjoyed them. And if you're interested in Byzantium, Roman or Medieval history, then you should start listening to the basic podcast. It's one of my personal favorites.
posted by Kattullus at 10:17 AM on August 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


eriko: "Wait...weren't you...I mean wasn't he taught by the very pagan Libranus? Wasn't baptized until he was like 20? Then became a hermit? Or am I remembering the wrong St John Chrysostom? "

Oh, he studied under Libanius, but was not pagan himself.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:19 AM on August 24, 2015


The science fiction community is really, really, really good at pandering to assholes in the hope they'll spontaneously get better or at least go away.

Agreed. It's a very attractive community for those who have difficulty confronting people directly, and lapse into a strong passive-aggressive mode, like Minnesotans. Consequently, the science-fiction community is vulnerable to bullying.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:22 AM on August 24, 2015


(If someone ever dares suggest threaded conversation on Metafilter again, I'm going to point to the Chrysostom discussion that happened in the 2015 Hugo Awards thread as Exhibit A in my "NEVER NEVER NEVER" argument.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:30 AM on August 24, 2015 [16 favorites]


Ah well. Let me link to that Electrolite thread so you can experience how reliable a narrator JCW is.

I'd forgotten about that thread. I'd forgotten about Scalzi saying "But, but, there's still candy in him" when he was told to stop beating on him, which left me giggling for 10 minutes *AGAIN*.
posted by eriko at 10:47 AM on August 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Spring: "We're making the nominations a referendum on 'message fiction.'"
Now: "Why are you playing politics with the awards?"
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 11:03 AM on August 24, 2015 [9 favorites]


In other news, it's the Tiptree centennial on August 24.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 11:51 AM on August 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


JCW claimed on his blog (I shall not link to it) that:

"The Hugo Award voters paid me the signal honor of burning down two or perhaps three whole categories of awards merely to prevent me from being awarded the spaceship which the breakdown of the votes shows I was due."

Of course, the numbers say otherwise. Without any No Award votes, he still wouldn't have won in any category. This speaks yet again to his unreliable perception.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 1:03 PM on August 24, 2015 [9 favorites]


But it BELONGED TO HIM!!!!!!
posted by Artw at 1:19 PM on August 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Damn, we're going to have to cross two realities to get in contact with JCW at this rate.
posted by eriko at 1:21 PM on August 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Some speculation at File770 that he is declaring himself the winner by adding up all the votes on all his ballot entries.
posted by Artw at 1:36 PM on August 24, 2015


Correia claims that the involvement of gamergate--a group that he has proudly and publicly supported, especially as puppy supporters--and VD's prominence is actually the fault of "SJWs and CHORFs" that would have nominated Anita Sarkeesian if it wasn't for him and Brad. I can't tell if he's genuinely that unhinged or if he's trying to rile up the rubes.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:47 PM on August 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Interesting that he saved himself a No Award this time around.
posted by Artw at 1:57 PM on August 24, 2015


"SJWs and CHORFs" that would have nominated Anita Sarkeesian if it wasn't for him and Brad.

They would have! She was #10 in Related Work, and the first 5 slots were all slates. They couldn't possibly have known this until after the awards came out, but I suppose time travel is a good explanation for shenanigans in a science fiction award.
posted by jeather at 2:07 PM on August 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Some speculation at File770 that he is declaring himself the winner by adding up all the votes on all his ballot entries.

See, rule #1 of How to Actually Win A Hugo is if you have multiple nominations in a category, you decline all but one so you're not splitting your own vote. But no, if he did that, Non-Puppies would have gotten on the ballot, and they would have won, and we couldn't have that. So, No Award it is.

Rule #0 is "Don't be such a fucking asshole that four times as many people vote No Award." You'd have thought we wouldn't have had to write that rule down. Alas.
posted by eriko at 2:16 PM on August 24, 2015 [6 favorites]


I wouldn't be thrilled if Tropes-vs-Women had won (or been on the ballot) in a non-puppy alternate universe; not because it was bad but because it doesn't seem like its in the spirit of the category. It's about video games and not written SF or fantasy or Fandom. So I'd vote against it purely on the basis that I don't think it qualifies as "The best work related to the field of science fiction, fantasy, or fandom,". If video games ever become part of the Hugos, sure, but right now they are not. Even in the tangential and secondary way TV/movies are included. A quick persual of past nominees does seem like such a nomination would be nearly if not completely unprecedented.

The puppies are still giant raging assholes.
posted by Justinian at 2:19 PM on August 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Maybe "the puppies are still giant raging assholes" could be the new "Carthago Delenda Est".
posted by Justinian at 2:20 PM on August 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


It says a fair bit about the Puppy mentality that Sarkeesian's nomination for a fanwork award is considered a major threat to SF&F.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 2:25 PM on August 24, 2015 [9 favorites]


I believe you mean the new Goodell delenda est, Justinian.
posted by Etrigan at 2:31 PM on August 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've always thought that the null was to write something that doesn't make your reader throw the book across the room*. No Award means that I'd rather be staring at a wall, bored, than read your shit.

Your thing not only has to not suck, it has to actually be engaging and fun to read. None of the puppies seem to have gotten their heads around that simple rule.

*In these days of kindles and tablets, it's a lot more expensive to chuck things about. Our push-button smart screen future requires special media-tossing facilities.
posted by bonehead at 2:37 PM on August 24, 2015


I've always thought that the null was to write something that doesn't make your reader throw the book across the room*. No Award means that I'd rather be staring at a wall, bored, than read your shit.

No, that's on the list of rules on how to get nominated, not the list of rules on how to win.
posted by eriko at 2:51 PM on August 24, 2015


As much as Puppy Kicking is a lot of fun, I think it's only a notch above Fantasy Football partisanship in relevance to publishing, broadcasting, and cinema. "Someone is wrong on the internet" fuel. Butcher and Correia are going to be bestsellers. Ender's Game likely has a long-term spot on the top-100 lists. Martin put himself in the middle but is still going to have his HBO and book contracts. (From what I've seen, he's willing to take criticism with a bit more grace.) While a Hugo can make a career, I don't think losing one in any given year breaks a career.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 2:53 PM on August 24, 2015


bonehead: "In these days of kindles and tablets, it's a lot more expensive to chuck things about. Our push-button smart screen future requires special media-tossing facilities."

"DELETE WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE"

Then it goes to the book's page on amazon or goodreads or other site of your choice and posts a "FUUUUUUUCK YOUUUUUUU" on your behalf.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:57 PM on August 24, 2015 [7 favorites]


ON THIS DAY: What James Tiptree Jr. Can Teach Us About the Power of The SF Community
posted by brundlefly at 4:32 PM on August 24, 2015 [6 favorites]


"The Hugo Award voters paid me the signal honor of burning down two or perhaps three whole categories of awards merely to prevent me from being awarded the spaceship which the breakdown of the votes shows I was due."

So he's pulling the professional author equivalent of "why won't women date nice guys like me?" Eww.

I used to hang out around the fringes of old-school literary fandom like this, and the was a perpetual conversation going on about fandom's "graying," and why aren't young people taking up the mantle, how will we ever survive. As a millennial type, young by the standards of this branch of fandom; dudes like John C. Wright are what's keeping me away. I'm glad for all the categories with no award, that's a powerful statement, but even if the whiny assholes are a tiny minority they're still disproportionately loud and determined to keep the likes of me and my friends out. No thanks.
posted by ActionPopulated at 5:40 PM on August 24, 2015 [6 favorites]


So he's pulling the professional author equivalent of "why won't women date nice guys like me?" Eww.

Well, it's worse than that. You know the hackneyed line "I wouldn't date you if you were the last man on earth!"?

Wright helped create a situation where he was, metaphorically, the last man on earth. And still, nobody would date him. That has to be pretty crushing.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:51 PM on August 24, 2015 [15 favorites]


Goddamn PUAppies thinking they can neg their way into the awards.
posted by Artw at 6:05 PM on August 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


While a Hugo can make a career, I don't think losing one in any given year breaks a career.

I genuinely don't get what you mean by this. Are you referring to the writers who "lost" a Hugo due to being pushed off the ballot by the Puppy slate, or to the PuppySlate writers who "lost" to No Award?
posted by soundguy99 at 6:15 PM on August 24, 2015


I think the puppies have less "lost" a Hugo and more made a radical career change - either in swapping writing for demagoguery as primary occupation or in abadanoning attempts to appeal to mainstream SF for a niche right wing culture warrior market. Whether either move works out to be more lucrative for them is entirely up in the air - I certainly wouldn't assume it wouldn't.
posted by Artw at 6:21 PM on August 24, 2015


(And if they end up washing dishes to make ends meet, well, tough break. Worse has happened to better people.)
posted by Artw at 6:23 PM on August 24, 2015 [1 favorite]






Other Awards Presented at the Hugo Ceremony

Are fucking annoying and need to GTFO. The Hugos are the Hugos. Period. Yes, I include the Campbell in this, I think it should be the big award in the Other Award ceremony.

And I say this being completely stoked that Ben Yalow got the Big Heart, because I've been pissed at the complete fandom damaging assholes who've been getting it and he hasn't. For once, they got it right. If they ever screw up and create the Best SMOF Hugo*, Ben Yalow will be the perpetual winner.

* And he will explain, in great detail, why this is a such a bad idea.
posted by eriko at 6:54 PM on August 24, 2015




So while getting some airport lunch waiting for my flight back I overheard this conversation about the puppies and voting so I asked if I could join in and we started talking about the process. After a few minutes I was surprised to learn that I was talking to a Big Name In Science Fiction™ and their Significant Other™ who did not get a Hugo this year but quite possibly could have if not for Puppy interference.. I can't reveal who because I asked about that and they were uncomfortable with it but were OK with an anonymized general discussion of what we talked about.

I was surprised to learn that they had no idea about the measures being voted on in the business meeting to help ameliorate slating in the future so we talked about that for a bit. What impressed me the most was how truly let down and saddened they felt at fandom for voting they way that they did. They were doing their best to stay out of the controversy and not commenting on it (hence the anonymity request) and kind of felt that their efforts to distance themselves from all sides only resulted in a loss of something that they may well have otherwise achieved. I may indeed be phrasing this incorrectly but I was so very impressed at their sincerity and feeling of loss. They especially felt bad about the cheering at the "No Award" categories and after hearing them speak about it I could definitely understand where they were coming from.

I have to admit that I was one of the likely many who voted in some categories as a reaction to the Puppies slate without considering the merits of all the works. (don't knock me here - I didn't know what else I could do by the time I found out about the controversy in early Summer. Look, for better or worse, a lot of people did the same things and for similar reasons - being kind of blindsided and not knowing what else to do.). And I felt sincerely bad about voting the way that I did when I was presented with the true feelings that the author and their S.O. expressed.

So I am thinking there has to be a better way - because this will all repeat in spades next year. Anti-slate voting to slate nomination stuffing only leads to bad feelings from authors, fans, everyone. I am thinking that perhaps the only truly effective and fair means to counter this next year is a widespread "Get Out the Vote" campaign raising awareness of the utter importance to nominate as well as vote - as well as getting more voting memberships. Because the bad actors here are truly in a minority and they only become significant when good fans cease doing good things - like nominating. Truth be told I didn't even realize I could nominate until this year and I have maybe 4 or 5 Worldcons under my belt over the decades. A LOT of fans do not realize this either - nor do they realize the importance of nominating as well as voting. So someone out there has to effectively campaign to raise consciousness about these issues if we are not to have a repeat of this year.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 9:11 PM on August 24, 2015 [7 favorites]


I genuinely don't get what you mean by this. Are you referring to the writers who "lost" a Hugo due to being pushed off the ballot by the Puppy slate, or to the PuppySlate writers who "lost" to No Award?

Any writer. The stories nominated for Hugos represent a very tiny slice of SF&F markets. Thousands of stories are bought and sold that never get a Hugo nomination. So the idea that not winning a Hugo constitutes some form of market censorship really doesn't make sense.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 9:59 PM on August 24, 2015


Trophies are not a business model. Unless you're making and selling trophies, then it is your business model.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 10:14 PM on August 24, 2015


You don't think that winning a Hugo has any effect on sales?
posted by klangklangston at 11:11 PM on August 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Making Light's Abi Sutherland has a very clear presentation of the way the slates affected the Hugo results.

I was surprised to see that the slates were so toxic to the works listed: "No Award" came above every slated work except for ones in the dramatic presentations - where it didn't appear at all. One interpretation of this is that the dramatic presentations were simply better than the slated works in other categories. I suspect that this isn't the sole reason, though: I think people were voting against manipulation of the Hugos. They recognised that the creators of the dramatic presentations had nothing to do with the Puppets, so they didn't vote them down. For all other categories, though, appearing on a slate implied that the creator was OK with the Puppets' rigged competition, and the voters consequently refused to give it any support.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:44 PM on August 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Mr. Wright is a 53 year old (presumably) able bodied man with a law degree who is begging his fans for charity and has just spent upwards of $1000 to attend Worldcon this week. Not to mention pissing off his TOR editor and subsequently getting fired from his primary source of income at the Worlcon his fans essentially paid for....

- posted by AGameOfMoans at 12:28 PM on August 24


Someplace this morning in comments on his blog Wright mentions that "his publisher" paid for his airfare.

(Being Wright, it's left unclear whether he means Tor, or his new publisher, Beale's vanity project. Probably the latter. And if Beale deliberately sent Wright to Spokane to be publicly humiliated, he's even worse than we thought.)
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 11:52 PM on August 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Now that I've looked into it, I'm reasonably sure that there is nowhere that Wright could go where he wouldn't be humiliated. The man is a walking embarrassment. If he's not a complete write off as a person he should feel humiliated when he looks into a mirror and remembers that he's John C Wright.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 12:44 AM on August 25, 2015


Every time I say something like this I have a sneaking fear that I'm just making excuses for a bad guy, but ...

Wright says about himself that he is "in all modesty, a skilled author, one of the finest writing today". He goes on, in increasingly florid language, both in the main text and in the comments. Even if we were talking about someone of cross-genre popularity at the top of their profession, that would be a weird thing to say. I don't know whether Wright is a well man.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:40 AM on August 25, 2015


Being a raging, egotistical asshole is not a mental illness.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:09 AM on August 25, 2015 [10 favorites]


You don't think that winning a Hugo has any effect on sales?

Since the Hugo is a popular-vote award for published work, an author needs to make a certain level of sales in order to be considered.

But while a Hugo win or nomination is a useful marketing point, it's not one that influences the sales of most works, and it's not necessary in order for an author or work to be successful. A Song of Ice and Fire is widely successful without winning a Hugo. (It's also not one that will keep a book in print.)
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 5:57 AM on August 25, 2015


I don't know. Wiki:
The official logo of the Hugo Awards is often placed on the winning books' cover as a promotional tool.[66][67] Gahan Wilson, in First World Fantasy Awards (1977), claimed that noting that a book had won the Hugo Award on the cover "demonstrably" increased sales for that novel,[68] though Orson Scott Card said in his 1990 book How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy that the award had a larger effect on foreign sales than in the United States.[69] Spider Robinson, in 1992, claimed that publishers were very interested in authors that won a Hugo Award, more so than for other awards such as the Nebula Award.[58] Literary agent Richard Curtis said in his 1996 Mastering the Business of Writing that having the term Hugo Award on the cover, even as a nominee, was a "powerful inducement" to science fiction fans to buy a novel,[70] while Jo Walton claimed in 2011 that the Hugo is the only science fiction award "that actually affects sales of a book".[54]
posted by Chrysostom at 6:16 AM on August 25, 2015


it's not necessary in order for an author or work to be successful.

Well, no, of course not, but it can certainly help. Just because something isn't necessary doesn't mean it's useless. Especially when we're talking about the not-easily-quantifiable intersection of creative work and commerce.

it's not one that influences the sales of most works

One thing I feel like I've seen a lot of writers (and other creative people) mention about winning or being nominated for awards (not just Hugos) is that even if the award doesn't directly influence sales in an easily-quantifiable way, it can definitely have a positive behind-the-scenes kind of effect. Editors and publishers who've spent the year tunnel-visioning on their own projects manage to stick their head above ground a couple of times a year and note that So-and-So has won/been nominated for an award, and that makes the editors & publishers more interested in the author's future work.

To the extent that we still have "gatekeepers" (editors & publishers, movie studios & producers, record labels, radio program directors, etc etc) that have influence on which creative works make it out to the public (and how widely those works are disseminated), awards can definitely have a value in being a quick way to get the attention of these gatekeepers. You can't judge the "value" of an award on the simple basis of "units sold."

(It's also not one that will keep a book in print.)

I'm not a writer and don't work in publishing, but I strongly suspect that a fairly large number of writers would disagree with you - that being able to put "X-Award Winner" on the cover of a book directly influences a publisher's willingness to keep a work available.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:25 AM on August 25, 2015


Huge File 770 roundup
posted by Artw at 6:51 AM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


You do not need to win a Hugo to have a successful career. Jim Rigney sold a metric fuckton of books and didn't win a Hugo until after he passed away and Brandon Sanderson finished the last book in the The Wheel of Time, the whole series then won the Best Novel Hugo, but at that point he had already sold 45 million copies. No help needed there. (Aside: Fabulous person and I still miss the guy. STILL can't stand his writing, but I still miss the guy terribly. A certain editor said "Hey, those books let us publish lots of stuff you like." Point.)

However, winning a Hugo, esp. the Best Novel Hugo, is a big boost to your career if you're not already selling a bunch of books. It can also do not a whole lot, esp. if you don't do much with it. If you don't keep writing, nobody can sell your books, after all. Ted Chiang, famously, doesn't want to sell millions of books, he wants to craft perfect short stories. So that's what he does. He's not making a killing at it. He just, every so often, writes those stories. Scalzi makes it clear than winning his first was a big boost to his career, Charlie Stross does as well.

If you win a Hugo and you're getting a book published, you can bet the words "Hugo winning author" will be on the blurb. Ditto Nebula, and if it's in Europe, the BSFA Award. Other awards? Maybe, depending on relevance -- if it's alt-history, they'll probably mention a Sidewise award, and such like that, but really, there are too many awards, and if it's not one of the big ones, to marketing, it's not nearly as important as the Big Three -- the Hugo, the Nebula, and the Other One, and the Other One depends on context.
posted by eriko at 7:03 AM on August 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


And, come to think of it, even if the Hugos are just an exercise in pointless back-slapping feel-good puffery, a buncha people walking around going, "Hey, you're really neat!" "No, you're really neat!" *High five* "We're both neat!" . . . . . . that just makes the Puppies look worse, like a bunch of egomaniacs who had to crash a totally harmless party and start standing on the tables and ranting about fluoride in the water as a Communist plot.

IOW, if the Hugos actually have some commercial value (even indirectly) for a writer, one could kinda see the point that the Puppies were partly motivated by a desire to get a piece of the action. If they're not worth anything, then the Puppies are really just flaming assholes.
posted by soundguy99 at 7:05 AM on August 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Here is an interesting breakdown of the votes from Wrong Questions, Abigail Nussbaum's blog. She writes about some historical voting results, too.

Her takeaway is actually that the Hugo is generally a very middle-of-the-road, "sentimental" award, and that she is seldom especially thrilled about the nominees, but that it seems obvious that the puppy voters have maxed out their support. She's a big fandom person and talented critic, and in general I think her ideas are good ones.
posted by Frowner at 7:31 AM on August 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Brandon Sanderson finished the last book in the The Wheel of Time, the whole series then won the Best Novel Hugo, but at that point he had already sold 45 million copies

Wha? Did I really miss the boat on something? I thought WOT lost to Ancillary Justice.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:32 AM on August 25, 2015


Wha? Did I really miss the boat on something? I thought WOT lost to Ancillary Justice.

Whoops, my bad. You're right, nominated, not won.

Don't know why I thought it won. Ancillary Justice stands out because it won the triple -- Hugo, Nebula and BSFA.

I cannot brain today. I has teh dumb.
posted by eriko at 7:44 AM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


What's interesting is all the "Shows how evil/hypocritical the SJWs are, they went 'No award' over a liberal female writer" and it really misses the point. Though I'm not sure why this one point would be the one people got.

The thing is that, if you want to say "Slates are bad; anything on a slate gets penalized", then you don't say "Except 'Totalled' because Kary English is a standup gal". And if you really care about diversity in what you read, it doesn't follow that you think it is sufficient to make a book good. This is an issue that Foz Meadows has discussed a lot, that recommending a story about X suggests that you also think that story is good. If you ask me for a Vietnamese restaurant, I'm not going to suggest that awful one, and I might say 'X is okay but not great, it's just really conveniently located'. It's just a part of conversations, so obvious and implied that no one ever points it out.
posted by jeather at 8:02 AM on August 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Eriko and soundguy: Exactly who are you arguing against or about? I already clearly stated that the Hugos are a useful marketing point.

However since the Hugos award published work via popular vote, the benefits of the Hugos are limited to a extremely small number of authors who generally (with exceptions) have already learned the job of marketing both manuscripts and copies. Everyone else has to hustle to get readers, and that's business as usual across most of SF&F.

A Puppy claim is that denying them a Hugo and debating Puppy slate voting are bellwethers for career-destroying discrimination in SF&F, and I don't see that as the case.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 8:08 AM on August 25, 2015


I'm super late to this thread, and my brain has just spun up from getting home from Sasquan. Sorry I didn't find any MeFites there, as I spent most of my time cowering inside at the Angry Robot table to avoid the Mordor-Meets-Beijing air. On Friday, the worst breathing day, we could smell the fire inside the convention center. *koffhackglarg*

The Hugos were fun and silly and long. I have finally come to the realization that Worldcon is for Worldcon fans, and they do their own thing because they've been doing it for so long. All the inside jokes and secret language you made with your friends when you were kids? Yeah, the people who run and attend Worldcons have them, they love them, they will guard them until they die. There is some room for new stuff, but not much. As I heard one woman say to a bewildered Delta pilot on the hotel shuttle yesterday morning, "This is a reunion for all our friends."

And the Hugos are the culmination of that reunion. That's why there are the Big Heart and First Fandom awards. That's why I think the bigger deals are the Fan-based awards (writer, artist, -cast, etc) rather than the pro-ish awards. Cultures love to talk about themselves, and the Hugos are about awarding themselves.

The older fans I heard sounded pissed that Noa Waard had such a stellar night. They don't get the scale or the point of the bully brigade's campaign. But they also thought that, dammit, one should vote for the works. Well, fuck that. After reading Beale's "story" in last year's ballot, I wasn't going to spend my valuable binge-watching time slogging through more turgid prose. Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, take your works' "merits" and pound sand.

I yelled my head off when Noa Waard won. I sat with a group all around my age (early 40s...we're so young), and we all howled when David and Tananarive announced Noa Waard. But I want this bullshit to stop. I am pissed that so many good works were shoved aside for the Correia/Torgersen/Beale temper tantrum. Yes, it's going to happen next year, and I'm sure they'll figure out how to game ePH or whatever gets ratified. At the Sunday business meeting (which I attended, throat burning and head pounding), the debate against centered on a) how complicated ePH would be and b) what's the problem when NA is already part of the system? I was so proud of Ramez Naam standing up and reading off the authors who would have been on the ballot if the slates hadn't happened and reminding that room what they could have voted on (proud, especially since Mez had two different flasks of Scotch that he kept passing to me the previous evening and had stayed up until we got kicked out of George's party; it takes commitment to show up at the business meeting and still be able to speak coherently).

Also, my publisher sold out every pre-release copy of my book. That made me even happier.
posted by RakDaddy at 8:12 AM on August 25, 2015 [14 favorites]


Just got around to reading John C Wright rant... woah. It's been slash-dotted to oblivion but there's a cache here.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:21 AM on August 25, 2015


Also earlier made a step into RedPillVerse and watched a bit of a video response by some prominante GGer... oh there's always been slates have there and this is just typical SJW evil is it in smashing the conservatives? Oh boy... and yeah, really don't read the comments on this sort of stuff.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:24 AM on August 25, 2015


Reddit: So what are some good, recent , literary works of Conservative SF?

It's very, very amusing to see John Scalzi get recommended in that for his Little Fuzzy reboot.
posted by bonehead at 8:25 AM on August 25, 2015


Hoyt, the charmer, is calling fandom “socialist-cock sucking whores”.

Next years slate is going to be AWESOME.
posted by Artw at 8:26 AM on August 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


And conversely, want to see a diversity of feminist, queer, and multicultural authors make a living regardless of whether they get on the Hugo lists.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 8:28 AM on August 25, 2015


Eriko and soundguy: Exactly who are you arguing against or about? I already clearly stated that the Hugos are a useful marketing point.

This is MeFi. We're probably just arguing around you. :-)
posted by eriko at 8:41 AM on August 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


It's very, very amusing to see John Scalzi get recommended in that for his Little Fuzzy reboot.

I always find it funny when the Prometheus award for Libertarian SF nominates raging socialists. Quite a few times I've liked their ballot better than the Hugos.
posted by Artw at 8:45 AM on August 25, 2015


I sat with a group all around my age (early 40s...we're so young)

Yep, you were definitely at the Worldcon. :-)

At the Sunday business meeting (which I attended, throat burning and head pounding), the debate against centered on a) how complicated ePH would be

It's complicated enough to make verification of the algorithm hard. Fortunately, this is where the ratification cycle helps, we now have a year to throw scenarios at it, and a year to build reference code to run EPH -- we declare that as the standard, and if your code gives different results, then there's an issue.

But EPH is a much more complicated system than the current one, there's no question there. Running it by hand is borderline impossible, whereas running the current system by hand is easy. That's a real issue. There's also (currently) no obvious way to cross check to make sure that you've got the right results, but someone may discover one.

and b) what's the problem when NA is already part of the system

The issue is that NA just changes the attack from a Theft of Hugo attack to a Denial of Hugo attack. Instead of the Slate taking the award away from those who would have won and giving it to someone else, NA changes that to giving the award to nobody at all. It is arguably a lesser harm, but it is a harm.

And in the case where the slate doesn't take all the nominations, you still may have taken the Hugo away from the work that would have won the award otherwise. There were a few categories with one non-puppy nominee who won, Best Novel had (IIRC) three non-puppy. We don't know who would have won had those other slots not been puppy shit.

So NA, while important, isn't a fix. It's a safety valve, one I'm glad we had, but it's not a fix.
posted by eriko at 8:59 AM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Prometheus award for Libertarian SF nominates raging socialists

Not just raging socialists, raging Scottish socialists.
posted by eriko at 9:02 AM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


So what are some good, recent , literary works of Conservative SF?

If by "Conservative SF" one means "military SF with space battles and laser rifles , where the good guys are an expansionist, conquering force, where the protagonist is a strong-jawed and clear-headed hero who outfights and outwits those who would confound the plot, and where tactics, strategy, and technology are both visionary and critical story elements," then may I recommend the Hugo Award-winning Ancillary Justice?
posted by KathrynT at 9:05 AM on August 25, 2015 [23 favorites]


>Worldcon is for Worldcon fans, and they do their own thing because they've been doing it for so long. All the inside jokes and secret language you made with your friends when you were kids? Yeah, the people who run and attend Worldcons have them, they love them, they will guard them until they die.

Fandom has been turning inwards, contemplating it's own navel more and more since the mid/late 80's. Prior to that it was all about the writer, the artists, the creators but somewhere along the line it became about the SMOFs and that's about when scifi cons became a lot less interesting to me. I suppose that is partially the reason why ComicCons are so much more popular by a factor of ten - because, commercial as they are, they are much more about the works rather than the guy who designed the consuite.

People who put on these kind of things do a metric f-ton of work and deserve to be recognized but perhaps there should be a separate con they could all go to for that sort of adulation. SMOFcon or something. I have never once cared who the fan guest of honor was, or the fan artist or the fan writer - not once. Great guys but not professionals - by definition. I have always gone to cons to hear the authors speak about things. As more and more cons have less and less authors and more and more fan awards I have been going so much less and growing so much less interested.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 9:08 AM on August 25, 2015


I have no idea what the person who took their teens was thinking. Except maybe "I will be able to tell people takes about how my teens didn't like this".
posted by Artw at 9:10 AM on August 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also: While people are calling Guardians of the Galaxy the only puppy winner, I hereby formally declare Shenanigans on that. There were about 200-250 puppies all told.

GotG got 769 nominations, almost 300 more than the next highest, Interstellar. It may have been on a puppy list, but it needed exactly 0 puppy votes to either make the ballot or to win, and it led at every stage. It did come down to a head-to-head with Captain America, but won that handily, 2748-1966. BDP-L was a rare category this year -- No Award was ranked last.

So, yeah, the puppies may have put that on the list, but they had no real influence there. That was going to win regardless. Indeed, I suspect putting on the list might have made that race closer than it would have been otherwise.

Another thing: This is the closest I've seen the No Award Test come to triggering and taking away an award -- in Best Novelette, the No Award Test passed 2618 Preferred to 2078 No Award. "The Day The World Turn Upside Down" duly won the Hugo, but normally, you don't see a winner get anywhere close to losing the NA test.

It was also an incredibly easy test to run, because the last pass in the vote was the winner vs. No Award, which meant it was also the No Award test!
posted by eriko at 9:17 AM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


>There were about 200-250 puppies all told.

According to this analysis there were closer to 900 - 1000 Sad/Rabid puppies operating.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 9:22 AM on August 25, 2015


According to this analysis there were closer to 900 - 1000 Sad/Rabid puppies operating.

I was looking at the nominations, not the final votes -- there were considerably fewer then.
posted by eriko at 9:48 AM on August 25, 2015


The final vote puppies may or may not nominate next year - probably at a greater rate than new non-puppy voters since they don't have to put in any research time to do so.
posted by Artw at 9:52 AM on August 25, 2015


So here's a stupid idea (the kind I specialize in): why does the Hugo keep relatively low volume categories?

It seems to me that most of the slate gaming happened in categories where the level of qualifying works is relatively low. Where the number of qualifying works was abundant, like novels, or simply mainstream, like the movie and TV awards, the slates were much less influential. In particular, the short forms seem to be most vulnerable. How many novellas are published each year?

So why not simply have short-form and long-form awards? I'm not sold on the benefits of three sub-novel length awards anyway. I know there are historical and somewhat wonky reasons for them. Prior to these events, they were relatively harmless, kind of kissing-cousin awards, perhaps most useful to developing authors. With slate voting targeting "wins" the novella and novelette awards go from being idiosyncratic weirdos to being points of attack.

Is it time to just have a single award for stories under 40k words?
posted by bonehead at 10:12 AM on August 25, 2015


AGameOfMoans: "People who put on these kind of things do a metric f-ton of work and deserve to be recognized but perhaps there should be a separate con they could all go to for that sort of adulation. SMOFcon or something."

SMOFCon already exists.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:12 AM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I am so not going.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 10:22 AM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


To be fair, as I understand it SMOFcon is mostly about con organizing experience, how-tos, etc, rather than being a festival of self-praise.
posted by Frowner at 10:40 AM on August 25, 2015


Yeah, you're right. But it's more fun to think of them burning sacrificial copies of The Enchanted Duplicator in front of a giant statue of Sam Moskowitz.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:49 AM on August 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Low volume or not the Hugos are an important part of the short fiction publishing world and those categories being removed would be a huge blow.

Merging some of them to increase volume and reduce confusion, on the other hand, is a change I could go with.

No idea what to think of the editor categories.
posted by Artw at 10:59 AM on August 25, 2015


Is it time to just have a single award for stories under 40k words?

There is clearly Novels. There are clearly Short Stories, which are very difficult things to do well. There is clearly *something* between them. There are not two somethings. I, and many others, have thought the Novella/Novelette split is silly.

However: You try to get that passed! The authors will show up at the business meeting and kill it. And, as members of the Worldcon, thus, members of WSFS, they have every right to do so. Also, those categories match the four Nebula written categories.

I do think we need to adjust the Novel/Novella/Novellete word lengths. Novels are much longer nowadays than they were when we set them. Short story is fine.

We're going to have four written fiction categories unless one of them completely collapses. As I've said before, quite possibly upthread, politics is the art of the possible, and it isn't possible to change this right now, and won't be for a while unless, again, one of them just become obviously and badly broken.
posted by eriko at 11:25 AM on August 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, you're right. But it's more fun to think of them burning sacrificial copies of The Enchanted Duplicator in front of a giant statue of Sam Moskowitz.

Dammit, I wish I'd thought of that when I ran it.
posted by eriko at 11:27 AM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Reddit: So what are some good, recent , literary works of Conservative SF?

That was an excellent example of something reddit does well. The question was answered with a minimum of arguing, and there were some interesting tangents as to what constitutes "conservative SF" and why certain things did or did not qualify.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 11:54 AM on August 25, 2015


Alexandra Erin: Hugo Awards Upset: Fans Say No To Sad Puppies
Strangely, the Puppies—who speak of “commissars” they think want to control the vote—think they now have the right to call people to account for how they voted.

Strangely, the Puppies—who spoke of wanting to throw open the gates of participation, shake up a moribund sci-fi fandom, and get more people involved in voting for the Hugos—now see something sinister in the fact that more people came out to vote for this year’s Hugos than ever before.

All along, Brad Torgersen, Larry Correia, John C. Wright, and Vox Day have been talking about a “tiny clique” of people, a very small and very non-representative minority of the science fiction fandom, who have taken control of the Hugos through secret means, through coordinated bloc voting behind the scenes.

The fact that their campaign to stack the ballot succeeded so wildly with only a few hundred participants behind it strongly suggested that they were completely in error about this. The data from the nomination round shows us there was never any actual opposition for them to overcome.

Yet now they want us to believe that a “tiny minority clique” that couldn’t muster enough nominating votes to get anything on the ballot against the united camps of a couple hundred Puppies somehow managed to get 3,500 to turn out to vote in lockstep in the final ballot?

“Well, how else do you explain such an unprecedented outcome?”

The Sad Puppies created an unprecedented situation, and they have thus received an unprecedented rebuke.

From the beginning, Brad Torgersen’s premise has been that the Hugos have been awarding the wrong books for the wrong reasons. “Such projection!” the Puppies howl. “That kind of mindset is what we’re fighting against!” No, no. That’s been your cover story. There are no actual examples of books that won because some hobgoblin lurking in the cupboards at Tor whispered “make it so”. There is no actual evidence that people have been voting for anything other than what they thought was best.

There are only books that Larry Correia and Brad Torgersen don’t personally see the point of, thus, whose success must be illegitimate.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:57 AM on August 25, 2015 [13 favorites]




This is for real what they are pissed off about now? Wowsies.
posted by Artw at 12:42 PM on August 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


GRRM: Drunk Scary Santa Claus
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 12:48 PM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, for certain values of "they". Some chunk of the Sad Rabids are just Gamergaters who have glommed on to another culture war and enjoy yelling at people over the Internet.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 12:51 PM on August 25, 2015


If anybody hasn't read an account of GRRM's party I strongly suggest clicking that link. TLDR: Pat Rothfuss now owns a three-foot-tall "award statue" with no title and no nameplate that was literally made out of a decades-old hood ornament.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:54 PM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


It is true that #hugoAwards is dominated by people who clearly have no idea what the fuck it is they are shouting about.
posted by Artw at 12:55 PM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Vox Day's Next Move
posted by Artw at 12:56 PM on August 25, 2015


Pat Rothfuss needs to update his amazon bio to read "Alfie winning author" and include a picture of that hood ornament.
posted by cmfletcher at 12:57 PM on August 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Personally, I will be completely unable to take him seriously at any public event unless he carries it with him at all times.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:00 PM on August 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


Vox Day's Next Move

I'm really shocked to find out Vox Day has praised China Mieville, does he know he's a proper leftie? An actual Marxist? I really don't think you can get much more SJW than that?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:16 PM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think he praised him in some weird backhanded way that involved assigning shirt colors to all his enemies and China at least not being a "pink shirt", whatever that is? Or it might have been another of these nutjobs.
posted by Artw at 1:20 PM on August 25, 2015


You know, maybe the best thing to do for the 2015 Hugos is just to fail badly and not award them. Let the Retro Hugos sort them out in 25 years.
posted by eriko at 1:33 PM on August 25, 2015


2016?
posted by Artw at 1:37 PM on August 25, 2015


Personally, I will be completely unable to take him seriously at any public event unless he carries it with him at all times.

Maybe the stylized Alfie shape can be made into a most excellent t-shirt logo.
posted by puddledork at 1:38 PM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I do wonder if the larger numbers of non-Puppy voters will be enough to counter next year's slate efforts. The non-Puppies will, I think, resist slating of their own, so that the minority Puppy vote will be out of proportion to its size again, but if the new interest and accompanying large number of memberships of those who want to stop the Puppies carries its momentum over to 2016, it might be enough to drown out, even uncoordinated, a slate attack.
posted by Palindromedary at 1:41 PM on August 25, 2015


It very well could. Bear in mind that the nomination data is much more encouraging than the final ballots looked -- there were non-Puppy works with a single-digit margin of nominating ballots separating them from the shortlist. Even a small increase in nominators would have been enough to avoid some of the No Awards.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:43 PM on August 25, 2015


I don't think I'm the only fan/writer who's learned a lot about how the Hugos work, for the first time ever. (Mind you, I'm still confused by all the various different ways of being involved via Worldcons, voting at the business meeting, etc. Is there a flowchart somewhere?) Mr. wintersweet and I will definitely be nominating in 2016.
posted by wintersweet at 1:50 PM on August 25, 2015


2016?

We just awarded (or didn't award) the 2014 Hugo Awards. Yes, they're awarded at the convention in 2015, but they were for works published in 2014. The 2015 Hugo Awards will be awarded at KC, in August 2016.
posted by eriko at 1:51 PM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Trufan weirdos and their naming conventions...
posted by Artw at 1:54 PM on August 25, 2015 [2 favorites]




Speaking just for myself, I worry about putting forward my own nominations because I don't read much new fiction in a year, and what new SF/F I read is generally guided by the Hugo nominations! Even if I knew where to start I definitely wouldn't chew through enough to feel confident that I was nominating the best of the year.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:59 PM on August 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


I do think we need to adjust the Novel/Novella/Novellete word lengths. Novels are much longer nowadays than they were when we set them. Short story is fine.

It could have something to do with my reading habits (~100-125 eligible candidates per year, mostly free online or in original anthologies) rather than the state of the field, but I typically have extremely hard decisions to make about nominating short stories, an easy decision to make about novelettes, and then basically no decision among novellas--if I liked any enough to recommend them, they'll go on my ballot with room to spare (in spite of the fact that I like reading at that length).

Obviously, I'm not complaining about hard decisions--hard decisions are great, and I want more hard decisions in novelette and novella. But there are just too many good options among short stories, and we're seeing that year after year as so many get nominated that few can achieve 5% of the total nominations.

From my POV, lowering the first two word count breakpoints would help a lot, e.g. instead of 7500/17500 maybe 5500-6000/16500-17000. In short story, I think I'd still have hard choices to make out of what I really, really liked that year, and the lower word count maximum would tend to reduce the number of nominees overall, perhaps addressing the crux of the 5% problem instead of simply saying well 5% isn't a requirement anymore. And I'd have slightly harder choices to make in novelette and novella. Bumping the novel breakpoint up to 50000 or 60000 or so would also beef up novella, and I can't think of many (any?) works in the 40-60k word range that have been super competitive in the novel category lately anyhow.

I dunno if any of that would tick off too many other folks, but I think it'd make my ballot a bit more interesting, and it leaves all the categories intact.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 2:09 PM on August 25, 2015


Even if I knew where to start I definitely wouldn't chew through enough to feel confident that I was nominating the best of the year.

Yeah, I'm trying to use this as impetus to buy new things when they come out. This is a new habit for me, and is also a way of supporting the community that I'm trying to become a part of. Talking to people about what we're reading is pretty great, too, and I'm hoping to launch an intersectional/progressive/outsider sff blog/zine/thing soon. (Anyone who wants to get involved, MeMail me!) One thing I want to do is have people share what they're putting on their own Hugo nominations list.
posted by wintersweet at 2:13 PM on August 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


I worry about putting forward my own nominations because I don't read much new fiction in a year

IMO there's no need to stress either way--I think people should just nominate anything they felt good about, no matter how many things they've read that year, and if they felt good about one or two things or nothing, it's all fine. In a post at Black Gate a few months ago, Rich Horton mentioned how he had sometimes read 2000 eligible works in a year, and from that point of view, I suspect the vast, vast majority of nominators are just rattling off random things they liked.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 2:21 PM on August 25, 2015


Speaking just for myself, I worry about putting forward my own nominations because I don't read much new fiction in a year,

I'd love to put forth more but I am too cheap to pay release-year prices for many things. There's so much stuff I am interested in that there's little reason to hurry and pay more. I'm still going to be interested in a year when the kindle edition is $6.99 instead of $13. But often that drop seems to happen after the deadline.
posted by phearlez at 2:29 PM on August 25, 2015


Remember, you don't have to read the whole field to nominate. Hell, even if you only read one short story this year, but it really knocked your socks off and you feel it is award-worthy? Nominate it!

It's a great idea to read what you can, of course, and a lot of people are starting assemble lists of eligible stuff and reading recommendations, but don't be afraid to nominate.
posted by tavella at 2:39 PM on August 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Also, for those with financial limitations, please check into your local library. Many do e-books these days, and between my memberships in the San Jose and San Francisco libraries (where I live and worked), most major new sf and fantasy shows up.
posted by tavella at 2:40 PM on August 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


>Playboy(!) points out the obvious problem with that Wired article.

Playboy is wrong and frankly should apologies to all women. You can not hold up a single piece of work by a woman and say "Hey guys - there really is no problem!" It has been universally acknowledged by aspiring and award winning women who write science fiction that getting their stories published is horrendously difficult. Recently we have had the Homme de Plume thread right here which details the lengths women have to go through to get their works published.

Playboy has never been a real bastion for feminist thought as that is hardly their target audience but they could have done a bit of research in holding up their Straw Woman for all to see as Mary Shelley had to originally publish Frankenstein in 1818 anonymously to disguise the fact that she was a woman.

Bad show all around.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 3:31 PM on August 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


For what it's worth, I'm hearing that critique from places other than Playboy. Someone on Twitter linked to this, for instance. I think that you can criticize the Wired article on that score without denying that sci fi fandom has had a lot of issues with misogyny, racism, homophobia and what have you.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:15 PM on August 25, 2015


Yeah, it's not that there is no problem, it's that the problem is not new.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 4:17 PM on August 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


For example, see the interview with Chip Delany posted a few weeks ago.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 4:28 PM on August 25, 2015


The rule for Hugo nominations is simple, in my not so humble opinion.

Nominate nothing that is good.

Nominate everything that is *great*.

The only time you should need to chose is in the truly rare case that you've read six things in a category that are truly great. In which case, man, what an amazing year, right?

But merely good? There's a lot of merely good. Don't nominate merely good. Don't fill in a spot because there's five. If it's not a great story -- TO YOU -- don't nominate it.

There will be years where you will have to choose between more than five. Those years are hard. There will be years where you will not nominate anything because there were no great stories. Those years you may well vote No Award if the final ballot doesn't come out with a story you didn't read that then knocks your socks off.

It's not about numbers, it's about The Best X. Don't let anything that's not even close to the best onto your nominations. Everybody does this, and there's a good chance that really good works will make it to the final ballot and something that a large segment of the voting population will agree is the best will win. It's impossible to find something that everybody will agree is the best, because we all like different things.

But if you're throwing things on to fill the slots, if you're throwing things on because they're merely good, that's making the whole pool worse right from the start.

This is like sports. You are the coach. YOU need to cut the weak players, and you need to be a bastard about it.

If it's bad, stop reading it. If it's good, read it. If it's great? Nominate it!

But if it's not great? Don't. Please. Good works on the ballot don't help. They just make it harder for great ones to get on the ballot.
posted by eriko at 5:10 PM on August 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


And while I'm at it, why you vote No Award.

1) The category is bad and WSFS should feel bad. If you believe the category should not exist, vote No Award. Enough people agree with you and the award will stop being awarded. This happens enough and WSFS will get the hint and pull the award out of the constitution.

2) The best work is not on the ballot. In this case, vote No Award as 1 and then, if you feel the other works are Hugo Worthy but not the best, vote them 2-6. What you're saying is "I don't think the Hugo should be awarded because the best work isn't on the ballot, but if the electorate disagrees with me and says it should be awarded, I think it should then go to A, then B....)

3) You think the nomination process was compromised and thus the final ballot is damaged enough that the award would not be valid. (See this year.)

4) You feel that some of the works are not worthy of the Hugo. In which case, you vote the worthy works first, then No Award and stop. The unworthy works will never get a vote from you, and in No Awards test, you will be listed as preferring No Award over those works.

5) You just want the world to burn.

1-4 is why we put No Award into the constitution. 5, well, 5 just came along for the ride.
posted by eriko at 5:18 PM on August 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


This is like sports. You are the coach. YOU need to cut the weak players, and you need to be a bastard about it.

Sure, if that's what you enjoy about it. As it turned out, I had read 11/15 of the short fiction nominees that the puppies pushed off the ballot, but I had only nominated 3 of them, so in a sense I was pretty selective. But I think we'd have all given a lot (collectively around $120,000, apparently) to see exactly that list on the ballot, so I suspect there's a lot to it just being a fair reflection of what SF fandom happened to experience more or less positively that year.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 6:30 PM on August 25, 2015


Speaking just for myself, I worry about putting forward my own nominations because I don't read much new fiction in a year

If you read any of this year's puppy nominees, you will realize you can't do any worse.

For short fiction, Locus mag has very short reviews of short stories 2x a month so you can quickly dip in and find things of interest to you. Most of the stories are also available around the interwebs for free if money is a factor.
posted by tofu_crouton at 7:02 PM on August 25, 2015


"Playboy is wrong and frankly should apologies to all women. You can not hold up a single piece of work by a woman and say "Hey guys - there really is no problem!""

That's not the argument. Never once do they say that it's not a problem — they say that women and minorities aren't a new incursion into sci-fi, that they've been part of the fabric since the beginning and it's wrong to erase those contributions.
posted by klangklangston at 8:04 PM on August 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


The Award of Cruelty
They saw this smidge of progress and imagined that it constituted some kind of attack upon their freedom. They imagined it, and believed it, having chosen to imagine and believe it... because it's amazing how sincerely and passionately people can believe ridiculous things that further their interests, confirm their prejudices and pamper their privileges. They did this because that's what reactionaries always do. It's a classic maneuvre when you're rallying around the defence of established privilege and entrenched power relations (which is what reactionary politics always is, at base): paint yourself as the victim. It's great camouflage.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:05 PM on August 25, 2015


John C. Wright, on his leaving Tor as a publisher:
I am, in all modesty, a skilled author, one of the finest writing today.


Oh boy, #InAllModesty is now a thing on Twitter.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:40 PM on August 25, 2015 [10 favorites]






and there was NO AWARDing
posted by Artw at 9:17 PM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


GRRM: Hugo Aftermath
posted by Artw at 10:00 PM on August 25, 2015


I understood GRRM threw a party for all the Hugo nominees that didn't win. Having seen some of GRRM's works I have to ask .... has anyone confirmed that anyone from that party was ever seen again??
posted by AGameOfMoans at 10:06 PM on August 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


Oh boy, #InAllModesty is now a thing on Twitter.

Elizabeth Bear is schooling Wright there. Nice to see Stross posting too. And someone posted a William Carlos Williams parody - so if that wasn't one of you, then that's a weird coincidence...
posted by Pink Frost at 10:06 PM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Having seen some of GRRM's works I have to ask ....

Was there pie?
posted by Artw at 10:09 PM on August 25, 2015


Frey pie?
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:27 PM on August 25, 2015


The Hot Pie award for continued survival in an epic tale.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:44 PM on August 25, 2015 [3 favorites]






Ann Leckie on this years Hugos
posted by Artw at 11:37 PM on August 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Man, I really hope there isn't some major flaw in EPH. Everybody is banking on it working.
posted by eriko at 5:09 AM on August 26, 2015


Wow. Via Black Gate, here's a timeline of the Puppy saga, with links to documents:
The True History of the Great Puppy Kerfuffle of 2015 CE
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:14 AM on August 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


It's good, but it's missing Torgersen's homophobic "joke" and non-apology.

It's important that, despite their protestations, the bigotry Torgersen/Correia/Hoyt/etc feel comfortable spouting in public is highlighted to show how they (1) let it influence their nominations, and (2) try to overcompensate just so they can whine about how people that disagree with them are the real bigots.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:28 AM on August 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


The Playboy article touches on: James Tiptree, W.E.B. DuBois, 'a whole tradition of feminist utopian science-fiction, stretching from Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland in 1915 through Marge Piercy’s 1976 Woman on the Edge of Time and up to the much-derided but extremely popular vision of eternal egalitarian loving vampire spouses in Twilight', Ursula K. Le Guin, Joanna Russ, Samuel Delany, Octavia Butler, Margaret Atwood and Gwyneth Jones;

mentions Mikki Kendall, Rose Fox and N K Jemisin;

relates the genre of speculative fiction to ancient storytelling traditions from all over the world;

and states that one competing vision of science fiction is of a genre that 'goes forward to include worlds in which gender, and race, and how society works, and what it means to be human, are all radically transformed.'

Good little article, I thought. (And this has been a most entertaining and informative thread.)
posted by glasseyes at 6:44 AM on August 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


Elizabeth Bear has that one beat, I think: I am, #inallmodesty, a skilled flatulist, one of the biggest asses trumpeting today.

#analmodesty
posted by taz at 7:36 AM on August 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


Peter David claims a No Award
posted by Artw at 7:42 AM on August 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


The thing that really strikes me is how eager the Sad Puppies/Rabid Puppies and their supporters are to slap cutesy labels on groups. They're the ones that named themselves Sad/Rabid Puppies, they like to throw SJW and CHORF around like they're some kind of meaningful slur that anyone in the larger world would understand or take seriously, there's a Sad Puppy in this round-up of Hugo reactions from both sides who's all like "anti-puppies are so mean that i call them the leucrotta because they're sooooo mean and bad" and also says that if you voted against the puppies you support pedophiles and racists, which... what? Anyway... it's just weird to me, that so many grown men (a few women, but let's face facts, this group is mostly angry scared dudes) are dedicating themselves to behavior I'm used to seeing on playgrounds.

The other thing that strikes me is how many of them are claiming that this destroys the award, that they're going to throw their weight behind SP4 to really kill the Hugos... I mean, what do they think is going to happen? Honestly. I can't figure that part out. Do they think that one year of mild controversy followed by a year of obvious tantrums from them is actually meaningful to the longevity of the award? Do they think that people outside the SFF world are going to take the Hugo award even less seriously than they currently do? What's their vision here? Halp.
posted by palomar at 7:58 AM on August 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


Don't worry, next year will have a strong awful women presence!
posted by Artw at 8:02 AM on August 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


>I mean, what do they think is going to happen? ... What's their vision here? Halp.

Their, and by "their" I mean Beale, Torgersen, Correia and Hoyt, vision is the same vision that a Rush Limbaugh or a Matt Drudge has: self-adoration and glorification. They are extreme narcissists (i.e. psychopaths) who are just using the platform to get their supply of narcissistic attention. Everyone else - for the most part - are just conveniently useful idiots who have picked a cause to follow for whatever reason that useful idiots do. There is nothing else to understand.

American society has been dealing with this sort of behavior in politics and religion for well over a hundred years . For some reason it's less prevalent in Western Europe. Until we, as Americans become much less tolerant of psychopathic narcissistic blowhards and their idiot followers this sort of anti-social behavior will continue in all aspects of our society.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 9:27 AM on August 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm sorry AGameOfMoans, I couldn't hear that last part. There was some Trump rally coverage on the TV.
posted by cmfletcher at 9:34 AM on August 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


and also says that if you voted against the puppies you support pedophiles and racists, which... what?

I'd think it means not voting for puppies meant voting for Laura Mixon (who is a disgusting racist cishet white feminist according to Requires Hate) and the inclusion of that "racist" Mixon report instead of Deirdre Saoirse Moen's blog post on Marion Zimmer Bradley goes for the excusing/defending pedophiles part. After getting snubbed, Moen threw her lot after RH, too, which didn't help her a bit.
posted by sukeban at 9:40 AM on August 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


(Why would puppies even care for RH and her fans? Vox Day is a big fan of "Alinsky tactics", that is, giving the Left a taste of what they think is its own medicine. )
posted by sukeban at 9:57 AM on August 26, 2015


A side note - I find it kind of interesting that there were so very few Puppies present at the business meeting. Surely the organizers would have realized the importance of that meeting and the proposals being discussed and driven their minions to that meeting to vote? Unless, of course, Puppy minions (curse their cuteness!) either were not actually fans who actually go to cons or perhaps that many of the supposed minions were simply voting memberships purchased by the same person(s)??

A quick math check here is $40 bucks for a voting membership and $5 bucks for an individualized Green Dot Money Card from which to make a purchase indicates that you can buy 100 votes for just $4.5K. Isn't Beale the beneficiary of a reasonably large inheritance from a rich Daddy as I recall? Just thinking out loud here ...
posted by AGameOfMoans at 10:05 AM on August 26, 2015


Oh, wait. The puppy palomar quoted linked to this post by Brad Torgersen about how despicable it was that the non-puppies no-awarded the women from the puppy slates, who are definitely #notyourshield.

The pedophile part I still think references Moen, because nothing else fits.
posted by sukeban at 10:43 AM on August 26, 2015


Is the lack of puppy presence surprising? It's 99% an armchair Culture Warrior movement.
posted by Artw at 10:47 AM on August 26, 2015


NPR: How the Sad Puppies Won - By Losing
posted by palomar at 11:21 AM on August 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Can some Filker update this?
posted by klangklangston at 11:27 AM on August 26, 2015


I am going to very strongly disagree with eriko here: do not get yourself tied up in knots trying to decide if something is 'great' enough for you to nominate. This is exactly the thing that causes people to fear getting involved in the process, leads to low nomination totals, and leaves the awards vulnerable to gaming.

There are two things to ask yourself: "Is this good?" and "Would I be happy to see it get a Hugo?" If you say yes to both, nominate it. If you have more than 5 items that get the yesses, nominate the ones you think are best. That's all you need to do. Don't get worked up about whether you have read widely enough in the field. Don't get worked up about some magical arbitrary standard of greatness. Everyone has a different standard for that; by my personal standard, it's an unusually good year when even one such work is published.
posted by tavella at 11:34 AM on August 26, 2015 [8 favorites]


NPR: How the Sad Puppies Won - By Losing

Okay, they "won", what did they get by winning?
posted by Artw at 11:41 AM on August 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


A hat! A broach! A pterodactyl!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:56 AM on August 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


Things they didn't get:
* an award
* overwhelming turnout
* ability to really mean anything past 2016
* respect
* validation
* damage to any of Hugo award categories beyond what they had already achieved in the nomination process
posted by Artw at 12:13 PM on August 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also from the video and reports
* preventing the bulk of the con from having a good time
posted by Artw at 12:34 PM on August 26, 2015


TR seems to think that the attention and airtime that the puppies got out of this constitutes a "win," but I think the truth is about exactly the opposite. Once their course of action got light shined on it from outside the majority of voters said "yeah, no thanks." Their death throes got to be a little more visible but I think they accelerated them at the same time.

In some ways it feels like the societal anti-gay-rights efforts from a decade ago. The puppies can rally some folks and get some gains by amping up the crappy and pointing and screaming "other!" They've surely increased some of their own sales with the visibility, and likely these early adopters of visible awfulness will reap the benefits through the remainder of their careers. But as an organization they're not benefitting from this light being shone on them and they're inspiring opposition at a greater rate than they're growing themselves.
posted by phearlez at 12:58 PM on August 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


I don't get the anti-Puppy people who are disappointed at the No Awards or the cheers for No Award. I get that some of them had a personal stake (GRRM for the TV show award for example), or liked people who had been put on the Puppy slate without being Puppies.

But the object of the exercise was to smack down the slate voting idea, not to pick the best of the people picked by the Puppies. Picking any Puppy option meant validating the whole Puppy idea.

Honestly, I'm disappointed that the supposedly good and honorable people who GRRM feel were unfairly harmed by the anti-Puppy vote, including him, didn't withdraw from the nominations once they were tainted by the Puppies.

And as for the cheering of No Award, of course there was cheering. The Puppies were being defeated. You cheer when the bad guys lose and the good guys win. I suppose GRRM wanted everyone to be somber and more in sorrow than in anger, but that's not how people are. When we defeat the vile forces of evil we cheer.
posted by sotonohito at 3:55 PM on August 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


GRRM has pretty solidly been pushing a can't-we-all-get-along no-nuclear-option judge-all-entries-by-merits approach from the get go - while fully acknowledging the puppies are nuts. I think there is a great faith in things just working out for the best amongst I'll school fandom that betrays wishful thinking when it comes to security concerns or culture war garbage.
posted by Artw at 4:04 PM on August 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


As for sorry at nothing good getting the award, well, my take on that is the time for that was months ago.
posted by Artw at 4:05 PM on August 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Speaking of Martin, he has posted his account of the Hugo Loser's Party, including its history.
posted by Kattullus at 4:15 PM on August 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


AWARD CEREMONY VIDEO
posted by Artw at 4:48 PM on August 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


Worth seeing - lots of fun! You must see the Dalek section - hilarious!
posted by AGameOfMoans at 4:50 PM on August 26, 2015


Sync with the thread and drink along in realtime! Fun party game!
posted by Artw at 4:52 PM on August 26, 2015


And as for the cheering of No Award, of course there was cheering. The Puppies were being defeated.

I'd have preferred to see the No Award categories announced in one swoop, e.g. "The voters have decided no award will be given in the following categories tonight: ..." I think that would simultaneously be a way of not giving more airtime to the puppy slate and also be a way of avoiding a sort of unintentional name-and-shame for their nominees, who were technically the folks being defeated--worse than defeated: essentially being told they didn't deserve to be there.

I understood the cheering as a response to the puppies, but a couple of their nominees did deserve to be on the Hugo ballot somewhere or other. Guardians of the Galaxy would have made it without any puppy nominations. Jennifer Brozek would have been on it 100% legitimately in another category for Chicks Dig Gaming, a work that I think also technically qualified her in the category the puppies nominated her in.

I've assumed for months that slate nominees should withdraw, but in retrospect, I find it really easy to imagine people either understandably not caring (like, presumably, many of the drama nominees besides GRRM) or rationalizing around the possibility that the non-puppies had actually nominated them or supposing it wasn't really a big deal or wishing the voters would take the time to see what they were really about as individuals or not wanting to alienate a conservative fan-base that pays their bills. And if I think about some of those folks hearing their names called and hoping maybe this category will be different ... I just kind of wish the cheering had been aimed at a more general announcement.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 5:12 PM on August 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Meh.

Anyone with hurt feelings should think for five seconds about they got No Awarded and if they're still upset then fuck'em, they're a puppy.
posted by Artw at 5:17 PM on August 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


A wikia that has started crowdsourcing Hugo Nominees for 2016.

Recommend something for the Tiptree.
posted by ladyriffraff at 7:00 PM on August 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


Nice! And already enough nominations to avoid slateness.
posted by Artw at 7:14 PM on August 26, 2015


francesca too (above) hasn't mentioned it here, but she has an AskMe question up, inspired by the Hugo news.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 8:07 PM on August 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


NPR: How the Sad Puppies Won - By Losing

TR seems to think that the attention and airtime that the puppies got out of this constitutes a "win,"

She seems to not really grasp that it's very very likely that there's only one more year of PuppySlate shenanigans even possible, that unlike the larger world (where reactionaries can gum up the works for decades and even grow in influence - i.e. gerrymandering) the small size of the WSFS means that actual change can happen relatively quickly. In fact actual change did happen really quickly - it was a record high number of voters, if I'm not mistaken, which means a whole bunch of SF&F fans got word of what was going on and joined and/or voted where ordinarily they might not have. (And I suspect no small number of them are going to be keeping an eye on next years' nominations, and likely making their own nominations, which could derail a PuppySlate even without any organization.)

As far as the Puppies "winning" because now the SF&F reading public knows that there are right-wing reactionary authors and fans . . . . . . uh, yeah? It's not news? Even a quick perusal of the SF shelves of your nearest bookstore or library is proof that there have to be plenty of people who like to write and read "MANLY SPACE MARINES EXPLODE THINGS IN SPACE!!!!!!", and it's pretty darn likely some of those people are going to be conservative to some degree. And that's even before you delve into author blogs and fan blogs and Twitter accounts and such. I think Tasha Robinson misses the extent to which SF fans (collectively) are fine with other SF fans reading and writing reactionary SF, if that's what they like - but they'll push back if the reactionaries try to game the awards system and/or push non-reactionary SF out of the public eye.


And maybe this is just my MetaFiltered take on things, but it almost feels like the Puppies are kind of a day late and a dollar short. There's been a LOT of attention raised over the last several years to things that fall under the general category of "reactionary culture warriors in nerd culture" - harassment and misogyny at various SF cons and skeptic/atheist meetings, sexism and homophobia and a lack of fully-developed POC characters in video games and comics and SF films, Anita Sarkeesian was getting harassed for her "Tropes vs. Women" videos even before GamerGate was a thing, the rise of "bro culture" in the world of game developers and software developers and Silicon Valley in general, so on and so forth. I mean, the Escher Girls Tumblr is almost two years older than "Sad Puppies 1" (which was really just Larry Correia trying to gin up a Hugo nom for himself, so not even really a "culture war" thing.) In that larger context, the Puppies are trailing behind a whole lot of other discussions and arguments where white straight males think they're getting the short end of the stick and kick up a fuss about it, and a whole lot of other people point out that reality and facts aren't on their side.

How much this larger context may have influenced the Hugo results, I couldn't say. But it does seem like the Puppies think that they're catching a rising tide, when instead the tide is going out, leaving the reactionaries swimming around in their little isolated tidepools.

All of which is to say I think Tasha Robinson might have had a point that the Puppies "won" simply by calling attention to themselves - IF this was all happening in 2010. Now, in 2015? Post "ElevatorGate" and EscherGirlsTumblr and the outcry over no Black Widow MCU action figure and "Tropes vs. Women" and GamerGate and many discussions about how GoT (TV and books) deals with the female characters and all kinds of other incidents and debates? Nah. Maybe a handful of SF readers are gobsmacked that this kind of right-wing ugliness has intruded on their isolated fandom, but for a helluva lot of other people this is just more of the same shit that they've been pushing back against, hard, for at least a couple of years. It's not news, it's just the next round of whack-a-mole.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:28 PM on August 26, 2015 [13 favorites]


Until we, as Americans become much less tolerant of psychopathic narcissistic blowhards and their idiot followers this sort of anti-social behavior will continue in all aspects of our society.

Psychopathic blowhards and their idiot followers forming weird destructive/separatist societies with just fucking wrong ideas about civilization is like 85% of American culture tho.
posted by nom de poop at 9:54 PM on August 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


@nom de poop : No, it's really not at all - although it seems that way sometimes. At best it is perhaps 20% give or take. If it were as you say then Obama would never have been elected, gays could not marry and there would be a lot less healthcare.

It's a small but very vocal problem.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 9:59 PM on August 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm talking culture not politics. Settler/colonial stuff runs way deeper than 20%. It's not just that person out in the woods actually living their life with their weird politics, that's the tip of the iceberg. It's also the idea they have the "right" to do that, even if they are crazy, that it's wrong for you to intrude. It's also the fact that it's possible for them to do that. It's also the effect it has on you of having to deal with people like that close to you in your society. It's down to imagined houses on prairies, self-sufficient nuclear families very detached from all society.

The cultural line between the fringe 20% and the central mass of white America is not as discontinuous as you think.
posted by nom de poop at 11:21 PM on August 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


A Review of Vox Day's New Book SJWs Always Lie

Please note that Day nominees himself for a best Editor award.
posted by Artw at 2:21 AM on August 27, 2015


The Lady Business blog (which would have been on the non-puppy fanzine ballot this year) has been crowdsourcing a list of eligible works for a few years now - their 2015 spreadsheet is here.
posted by penguinliz at 3:54 AM on August 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


>I'm talking culture not politics

I'm not certain what distinction you are making between the two? Or what you mean by "Settler/colonial stuff runs way deeper than 20%" ?? I get the impression that perhaps you do not actually live in the U.S. (??) and perhaps have formed an opinion from unreliable sources.

Culturally, the majority of U.S. citizens overall do not believe in the death penalty, believe in health care for everyone and gay marriage. There are very few of us here who believe in or want a "little house on the prairie" lifestyle so I don't know what you are talking about in that regard.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 6:00 AM on August 27, 2015


>Please note that Day nominees himself for a best Editor award.

Well there's a surprise.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 6:03 AM on August 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'd have preferred to see the No Award categories announced in one swoop,

This times a thousand -- indeed, I would have announced that well before the ceremony and released those numbers then and there, so that those folks could have skipped. But at the very least, start with a slide saying "The following categories have been No Awarded" rather than the whole drag out thing.

I am going to very strongly disagree with eriko here:

WHAT. I'M PLUNGING ALL FANDOM INTO WAR OVER THIS.

Again.

Because it's Thursday!

(i keed, i keed!)

No, the great thing about standards is we have so many of them. I think you should only put the stuff that knocks your socks off. We both do agree on one thing, though -- "Would I be happy to see it get a Hugo?" -- I've always called this the "Hugo Worthy" test, but phrasing it that way is perfectly fine. If you're not happy, then it wasn't Hugo Worthy.

My point is what I call "good" are C grade books. "Yeah, decent read, enjoyed it. Next book please." But I'd be unhappy if they win a major award for that. Great books are one that I'm happy when they win, and that's what I want on my ballot.

That's the test I really want everyone to ask. Don't ask yourself "Is this the best book I've read this year?" As yourself "Would I be happy if this book won the Hugo?" If you would be, then nominate it. If not, don't. If you have more than five, then you get to filter out. If you have to decide between thirty, then maybe look at your selectivity, because it should be a little harder than that.
posted by eriko at 7:55 AM on August 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


I did feel a little guilty because I had fussed myself into not nominating anything last year and, well, look what happened. But looking at the numbers I don't think a few extra organic nominations would really have helped against the puppies anyway, so I'm less worried about it, and suspect 2016 will be a puppy year and 2017 won't no matter what so you might as well be as fussy as you like.
posted by Artw at 8:00 AM on August 27, 2015


GRRM has pretty solidly been pushing a can't-we-all-get-along no-nuclear-option judge-all-entries-by-merits approach from the get go - while fully acknowledging the puppies are nuts.

I know George, I like George, and I can't agree with George.

But we come at this from very different viewpoints. He has always been a pro -- his first time coming to a Worldcon, he came because he'd been nominated for the Campbell. He's always been on the getting the award side. I've always been on the giving/administering the award. We have very different viewpoints.

Personally, had I been one of the winners? I'd have rejected the award, because I wouldn't have won it. With the except of BDP-S&L, Graphic Novel, and possibly Best Novel and Semi-Prozine, the winners won because They Were Not Puppy. Not because they were the best, but because They Were The Only Acceptable.

That's not winning. That's being lucky, and the though that the only reason I could win a Hugo is because the fucking puppies knocked the rest of my competition off the ballot? No. That's not a win. That's a drinking competition with a bunch of newborns.

I couldn't accept that award. It's meaningless. It's an insult to the nominees who the puppies knocked off. It's an insult to me to say "Hey, the only way I can win is vs. No Award." It's an inuslt to the award.

And George thinks that was the better answer?

No. I think that the No Award the whole way, which is not the Nuclear Option, dammit, was the right answer. Nominations were tampered with and corrupted the final ballot beyond repair. The awards should not have been made except for Graphic Novel and possibly BDP-L and -S.

The Nuclear Option, BTW, is to amend the WSFS Constitution to drop Article 3. That removes the Hugo Awards and they end, and I'm really starting to get annoyed at people calling anything less than ending the award the Nuclear Option.

Because if shit like this keeps happening? Ending the award might be our only option.
posted by eriko at 8:04 AM on August 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


I did feel a little guilty because I had fussed myself into not nominating anything last year and, well, look what happened.

Don't. You couldn't help.

A thousand of you couldn't help.

Against 250 people nominating in lockstep, it would take roughly 4000 people nominating at random to compensate. We've done the math. We were well and truly screwed once the scale of the problem was known.

This isn't a problem with people not nominating as much as it is a weakness in the system against people nominating in concert. Again, we have known this has been a risk, and we have known about it for at least thirty years (that being as long as I've been active in WSFS fandom.) That's why there was a big social convention against logrolling for the nomination, because logrolling and slates were so effective.

When they decided to ignore that and do it anyway, the system was doomed to fail. If *every single member* of Sasquan at the time had nominated, it wouldn't have helped. That's why changing the nomination system has to happen. It's like a known exploit know -- it's out there, it works, people will continue to use it.

I fully expect that next year, because 1000 SP/RP voted, that about 1000 SP/RP will nominate and they will lock the entire ballot, and the only choice will be to No Award the entire slate.

Well, or do what I only half joke about -- just screw up badly and not award them at all.
posted by eriko at 8:09 AM on August 27, 2015 [9 favorites]


Basically my thinking too.
posted by Artw at 8:15 AM on August 27, 2015


Lou Antonelli blogged up some hurt feelings about not being invited to GRRM's after party. Check this out if you're into childish tantrums in blog form.

It couldn't have been the way you treated David Gerrold, it must be that GRRM is a snob.
posted by cmfletcher at 8:20 AM on August 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Clearly, the nuclear option is to go back to 1883 and slip contraceptives into the water supply of Berta Dürlacher Gernsbacher.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:48 AM on August 27, 2015


eriko: I do think we need to adjust the Novel/Novella/Novellete word lengths. Novels are much longer nowadays than they were when we set them. Short story is fine.

I think that's prescribing antibionics for the flu.

It doesn't solve the problem:

Monsieur Caution: It could have something to do with my reading habits (~100-125 eligible candidates per year, mostly free online or in original anthologies) rather than the state of the field, but I typically have extremely hard decisions to make about nominating short stories, an easy decision to make about novelettes, and then basically no decision among novellas--if I liked any enough to recommend them, they'll go on my ballot with room to spare (in spite of the fact that I like reading at that length).

There simply aren't enough novelettes and novellas published each year to matter.

If I wanted to game the Hugos as a publisher or editor, but only had a stable of second- or third-raters, those are the two categories I'd target. Flood the market (meaning write a half dozen or so) with their mediocre slush, then as Monsieur Caution says, they get nominated almost by default because there is nothing else. In any case, it's not much of a business expense to drum up some support from your fanbase, and even "sponsor" a few fans to go, if necessary. No need to make up a formal slate or anything.

The best part: If called on it, just make up some po-faced bullshit about wanting to promote a lesser-used form. You can probably even get a favourable write-up on "Whatever" if you're good enough at the old softshoe. John is quite generous when it comes to promoting rising writers and you could take advantage of that. Meanwhile, your also-rans can brag about their Hugos, and you likely get at least a modest bump in sales.

Of course the neo-con slate-runners haven't a clue about being subtle, Vox Day is all about stirring shit, not about actually getting results. From his POV, just the straight conflict is a win. But he's really kind of crap at cooking the Hugo electoral process.

However, this doesn't change the fact the the two mid-length awards are eminently hackable, primarily because no one really cares about them commercially. EPH may help get rid of the dirtbags, but it does little to close the backdoor to the podium that these two awards present.
posted by bonehead at 8:58 AM on August 27, 2015


>Against 250 people nominating in lockstep, it would take roughly 4000 people nominating at random to compensate.

I don't know what math is involved in that figure but clearly it seems that the way to offset slates next year would be to increase the number of people nominating and to decrease randomness somewhat. I'm not proposing a counter-slate but perhaps if a number of well read and respected authors put forth something like "Hey - these are some great things you might be interested in when thinking about Hugo nominations" (or some such thing) then there would be likely less randomness as people would be focused into fewer works.

Also, just to add more ewwww to your day I note that Theodore Beale now indicates on his Amazon page that he is now a three time Hugo award nominee. Next year I will propose at the business meeting that Beale and Castalia House be formally sanctioned for their activities and that his Hugo nomination be retroactively dropped for their documented activities and libel against other Worldcon members. .
posted by AGameOfMoans at 9:28 AM on August 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Those can be tried, but it is EPH that will have a result.
posted by Artw at 9:37 AM on August 27, 2015


Also under no circumstances should there be an "anti-slate", that defeats the entire object of the Hugos and should be No Awarded just as vehemently as any puppy slate.
posted by Artw at 9:38 AM on August 27, 2015 [9 favorites]


Next year I will propose at the business meeting that Beale and Castalia House be formally sanctioned for their activities and that his Hugo nomination be retroactively dropped for their documented activities and libel against other Worldcon members.

I feel very conflicted about this. On the one hand, I'm hard pressed to think of anybody else so deserving of such a public sanction, and even formal ostracism from the WSFS and anything having to do with it. Doing this would also signal that organized fandom is able not just to repudiate slate voting, but also to repudiate behavior up with which we shall not put, even taking the geek social fallacies into account.

On the other hand, ostracism ain't what it used to be. If Beale didn't take being kicked out of SFWA as a signal to rethink his behavior, sanctions from WSFS won't change his behavior either. Of course, changing his behavior shouldn't be the goal of any sanction. However, if the goal is to force him to stop calling himself a Hugo nominee, I don't see how that could happen without WSFS filing a trademark lawsuit and getting a favorable judgment.

I think the EPH backers were smart to never mention the Puppies. Their focus on EPH as an anti-slate measure — no matter who is putting a slate forward — probably forestalled a lot of discussion at the business meeting about the Puppies' politics.

I think it's unlikely that the Puppies would be able to organize enough opposition at next year's business meeting to kill EPH, but if the door gets opened to censuring individuals there... I would expect a spate of proposals to censure anti-Puppies for fannish crimes, imagined or real.
posted by metaquarry at 10:07 AM on August 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Fixing the problem is punishment enough, more attention is just giving him a cookie.
posted by Artw at 10:11 AM on August 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


The stats released by Sasquan had multiple good-faith nominees within single or low-double digits of Puppy choices. A modest increase in nominators wouldn't have blocked the jackasses from the shortlist entirely, but it would have averted some or even all of the No Awards.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:21 AM on August 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


> "I fully expect that next year, because 1000 SP/RP voted, that about 1000 SP/RP will nominate and they will lock the entire ballot, and the only choice will be to No Award the entire slate."

This is what I expect to happen as well.
posted by kyrademon at 10:42 AM on August 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


That's the fundamental weakness that the slates took advantage of: low numbers in the nomination process. They also specifically targeted the low-volume categories like the shorts, the short-from editor and the fan-writing categories, flooding them to their best advantage.

Technical fixes can help, but the underlying problem is that more people need to be part of the nomination process to avoid take-overs like the past two years. The slates will face a much tougher road in 2016 even without EPH if double the number of folks participated. That's the real lesson of this, I think.
posted by bonehead at 10:42 AM on August 27, 2015


The numbers just aren't there to overcome the vulnerability, and it's wishful thinking to pretend they are. The technical fix is required.
posted by Artw at 10:52 AM on August 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Artw has it right. Any attempt at punishing Vox Day is just wrestling with a pig.

I think you're going to see everyone but the most devout puppy supporters decline to be on the slate next year. It's tough enough to make it as a writer without alienating your potential audience by signing with Vox Day's slate. I'll wager 20 quatloos that next year's slate will be a shovelful of glorified Tea Party fanfic.
posted by cmfletcher at 10:53 AM on August 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Short of pulling a MZB/Breen or Cosby I really don't think Worldcon should be in the business of banning people out for being cranks. (Although it's not hard to imagine a Puppy following in the footsteps of the Pokemon guys.) That's partly because SF&F has a long tradition of crankery, sometimes good, sometimes bad.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 12:22 PM on August 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, Lou Antonelli has IMHO more than earned a lifetime ban, but that is for very specific acts tangential to slate fuckery.
posted by Artw at 12:34 PM on August 27, 2015




He vows to destroy the Hugos. Then he lists himself as a three-time Hugo nominee.

That is the dictionary definition of cognitive dissonance.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 2:06 PM on August 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


Although it's not hard to imagine a Puppy following in the footsteps of the Pokemon guys.

I think this is a real worry. They're self-described "conservatives" with a grievance, and it's not even as if they limited their recruitment to existing fans. I haven't read Beale's screeds, but Wright has cheerleaders who see this in heavy theological terms, as if the Hugos are literally a Satanic attack on Christendom. Who knows what sort of cranks signed up, or will sign up?
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:09 PM on August 27, 2015




"the winners won because They Were Not Puppy. Not because they were the best, but because They Were The Only Acceptable.
That's not winning. That's being lucky, and the though that the only reason I could win a Hugo is because the fucking puppies knocked the rest of my competition off the ballot? No. That's not a win. That's a drinking competition with a bunch of newborns. "

I dunno about that. I thought the same sort of thing originally, but think of it this way: enough people did nominate them for doing good work to make the top five or six, without a slate boost. Okay, so you were voting for one person or two or three or however many weren't Puppy, but you were voting for people as to whether or not you considered them honestly good. If people thought the remaining non-slate people sucked balls, they could have just voted No Award for those too.

In retrospect, it might have been a "smaller" competition in a way, but that doesn't mean the winners sucked or didn't deserve the award.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:36 PM on August 27, 2015


John Scalzi Is Not A Very Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular: How SJWs Always Lie About Our Comparative Popularity Levels (Kindle Edition)
Everyone knows that SJWs always lie, but few know why they lie, or at whose bidding, or for whose benefit. While other books may claim to tell you how to take down the Thought Police, only one book is taking the fight right to the top.

Yes, from the mind that brought you the popular blog feature Sad Puppies Review Books comes this definitive takedown of the internet's culture of Social Justice as embodied by the man who controls it all:

JOHN SCALZI.

Read this book to learn everything you need to know about Social Justice Warriors, their tactics, their treachery, their perfidious entryism. Topics include:

* John Scalzi's blog is not that interesting and no one reads it.
* John Scalzi does not understand satire as much as I, Theophilus Pratt, understand satire.
* John Scalzi did not get me, Theophilus Pratt, kicked out of the SFWA.
* John Scalzi's deal with Tor was not a very good deal.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:12 PM on August 27, 2015 [12 favorites]


In retrospect, it might have been a "smaller" competition in a way, but that doesn't mean the winners sucked or didn't deserve the award.

They deserved to be on the ballot, sure -- but we didn't know who else would have been there with them. If I had been that person, I couldn't accept the award, because I would have know the reason I won was by default. I didn't win the Hugo because I was the best out of the five finalist. I won because I was the *only* acceptable finalist. My four other finalists who should have been there had been buried in puppy shit.

I'd remove myself because *they'd* be taken out. I'm not taking the award because *they* never got the fair shot. If I win when all five of us are on the ballot? Then that rocket is mine. If I win because the puppies took the competition out? Then I won nothing, and I'm taking nothing.

I'd still be proud of the nomination, and wear the nomination pin -- I'd earned that. But I went into the finals only to find all the other finalists DQ'd? That's not a win. That's puppy shit.

This is my opinion only. But you know, I feel pretty strong about it.


John Scalzi Is Not A Very Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular: How SJWs Always Lie About Our Comparative Popularity Levels (Kindle Edition)

And there's my first nomination for Best Related Work right there.
posted by eriko at 4:34 PM on August 27, 2015 [7 favorites]


Respects to zombieflanders - I just put it on the Blue :)
posted by AGameOfMoans at 5:58 PM on August 27, 2015 [1 favorite]




They were trying to get the FBI to investigate a few days ago, which would have been an updog situation.
posted by Artw at 6:52 PM on August 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wow, Kate Paul is utterly deranged - clearly the dying kicks of the sad puppies are going to make this years lot look completely sane.
posted by Artw at 8:39 PM on August 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


oh wow these people are just totally out of their minds
posted by palomar at 9:10 PM on August 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yes - the thing about Godwin's Law is, doubling down and saying "No, you are literally worse than Hitler" doesn't work.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:14 PM on August 27, 2015


Uh that's Hitler, Mao, Goebbels, Mussolini and Stalin combined. And to be fair, they could have used the 1939 Retro Hugo Awards to finally kill Hitler, but the SJWs were like, "THAT WOULD BE A PARADOX YOU FOOLS!"
posted by klangklangston at 11:36 PM on August 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Uh that's Hitler, Mao, Goebbels, Mussolini and Stalin combined.

As a giant robot, like Voltron.
posted by sukeban at 11:46 PM on August 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


The fucking Moon Lawyers of #GamerGate are prepping the rockets once again.

Wow, Calbeck; what a small world. For those of you familiar with the old (and awesome) BattleTech boardgame, this is the same guy who took the owners of that franchise to court because some of his never-bought, never-published work wound up on a fan site, which eventually became the official site for the game. Because this happened, he concluded that he was in fact owner of the entire franchise (I shit you not), and so sued in order to get his control recognized and his furry space unicorn character enshrined as canon. He represented himself, and his case was thrown out of court.

http://www.leagle.com/decision/In%20FCO%2020111128058/MALCOMSON%20v.%20TOPPS,%20INC.

When he says he's sure he can destroy the SJW Kabal through legal means, I feel somewhat skeptical.
posted by Palindromedary at 12:04 AM on August 28, 2015 [13 favorites]


You know, every time I keep saying "No, there is no way this can get any more dumb."

And then what happens? More dumb.

You would think I would learn. But I honestly look at it and go, "No, seriously. If they become any stupider, they will lose basic functions like respiration and heartbeat. We must have reached absolute dumb!"

And nope, we punch right through without even slowing down. I am simply not capable of understanding stupidity of this magnitude. I deeply fear for the human race.

My only theory on this is that the sum total intelligence of humanity is in fact a constant, but since the population is increasing, this is the result.
posted by eriko at 8:13 AM on August 28, 2015 [10 favorites]


this is the same guy who took the owners of that franchise to court because some of his never-bought, never-published work wound up on a fan site, which eventually became the official site for the game. Because this happened, he concluded that he was in fact owner of the entire franchise (I shit you not), and so sued in order to get his control recognized and his furry space unicorn character enshrined as canon. He represented himself, and his case was thrown out of court.

This is where it becomes a very bad thing that I have a PACER account because now I'm going to read every word of briefing in that case just for the sheer spectacle of it.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:17 AM on August 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


(Update: The 9th Circuit's document servers appear to be down or otherwise malfunctioning, which I can only assume represents the Internet itself saving me from my own masochistic impulses.)
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:25 AM on August 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


My only theory on this is that the sum total intelligence of humanity is in fact a constant, but since the population is increasing, this is the result.

Some good came of all this, because this reminded me of John Brunner's short story, "The Vitanuls."
posted by Chrysostom at 8:33 AM on August 28, 2015


Requires Hoyt appears to be having an utter meltdown over people questioning her chicom thing, is posting videos of attire cites to "prove" the Chinese are bad etc...
posted by Artw at 10:59 AM on August 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sad Puppies Filk
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:03 PM on August 28, 2015


GUYS. The court website is working again and he filed a Supreme Court petition. This is beautiful.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:40 PM on August 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


Oh god. Holy Zarquon's, please share it. Please, please, please.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 2:09 PM on August 28, 2015


I want to! I really, really want to. Sadly the Supreme Court is dumb and doesn't put documents for its cases online, and no third-party site took notice of the case, much less posted the petition. I'll keep looking, though! I MUST.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:21 PM on August 28, 2015


I'm beginning to get a tiny twinge of guilt at mocking the affected here, except all his horribly friends are egging him on so its not like it's just one persons mental illness.

(Also it is only a very tiny twinge, though that may be down to me being a bad person.)
posted by Artw at 2:22 PM on August 28, 2015


Dumb isn't the word I would use. Items granted cert get put online. Why host every crank? Lexis has stuff that isn't pauper excused. But if nobody has an account and we can't get one of the LoC employee mefites to copy it I can wander by the court in the next few weeks and put what I get up on documentcloud
posted by phearlez at 10:47 AM on August 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


"As a giant robot, like Voltron."

JUST ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THE HARD SCIFI THAT SJW KEEP OUT OF THE HUGOS

"Sad Puppies Filk"

I knew if I asked for it, it would happen.
posted by klangklangston at 11:18 AM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]



I knew if I asked for it, it would happen.


THEN WHY FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY DID YOU ASK?
posted by eriko at 2:33 PM on August 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


THEN WHY FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY DID YOU ASK?

Oh he didn't have to ask... as night follows day, every significant event in fandom will have a filk written about it.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:36 AM on August 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


IO9 attempts to summarize: The Final Lessons From This Year's Hugo Awards Clusterfrak
posted by effbot at 11:44 AM on September 1, 2015


Speaking of George R.R. Martin, he says he believes next year’s Sad Puppies 4 campaign, which will apparently be run by Kate Paulk rather than this year’s Brad Torgersen, will be more of a “recommended reading” list and less of a slate. And will include a wider range of works recommended by participants, rather than being “carefully curated,” as this year’s Sad Puppies list was. Martin hopes this will result in a recommendation list “that is far more varied, and far more interesting, than the SP3 slate.”
Sorry, GRRM, but I'll believe it when I see it. Paulk's already gone off on at least one pretty awful rant about "SJWs=HITLER," so I don't exactly see how she's going to pull off the kindler, gentler puppies. Her and the rest of their crew can't even bring themselves to stop defending VD, gamergators, or the manosphere wingnuts, let alone completely cut ties with them.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:23 PM on September 1, 2015


Paulk has said suggested they will be running a reading list of ten items and a link to a reading list and will be generally less aggressive and slate like, and honestly it all sounds a lot less problematic - as long as you ignore that it's a ranked list so determined skaters could just run down items 1-5.

Still, if this was the approach they had taken previously I doubt people would have as much as a problem with it. With the current bad blood though it's difficult to take at face value.

Oh, and they are simultaneously claiming last years slate wasn't a slate, which rather undermines the effort.
posted by Artw at 1:02 PM on September 1, 2015


Paulk has said suggested they will be running a reading list of ten items and a link to a reading list...

Yeah yeah, blahblahblah, whatever. The question here is why we should even care about what she says, since Beale will run his slate, and the entire farce will be based on what he wants. Whatever she and her friends do will be largely irreverent except to provide cover to Beale.
posted by happyroach at 2:37 PM on September 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


The Eric Flint essay linked in the IO9 is worth a read too. It's Flint, and he has a too fond remembrance of Norton, but I think he's generally not wrong about the disconnect between the awards and what sells, and why that's a problem.
posted by bonehead at 2:55 PM on September 1, 2015


Pffff. Flint is a full on Puppy at this point what with his whining.
posted by Artw at 3:32 PM on September 1, 2015


I think "what sells" and "what's the best" have always been a bit disparate, and that's okay. I mean, the top grossing movie of 2014 was Transformers: Age of Extinction. Does that mean it should be a serious contender for "Best Picture"? So no, I don't agree with Flint.
posted by Roommate at 3:40 PM on September 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


He is functionally indistinguishable from Larry Corriea and should therefore be ignored.
posted by Artw at 3:43 PM on September 1, 2015


This peice by the originator of EPah seems to have ruffled a few feathers, I'm not entirely sure why though.
posted by Artw at 3:58 PM on September 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


EPH, that is, not sure where the 'a' came from.
posted by Artw at 4:13 PM on September 1, 2015


...I think he's generally not wrong about the disconnect between the awards and what sells, and why that's a problem.

Fifty Shades of Grey and Twilight for the Hugo!

/snark
posted by zakur at 4:32 PM on September 1, 2015


Reading Flint's post, I'm a curious as to how he defines success. I couldn't recall ever even hearing Murray Leinster's name, and I read a lot of SF including older SF. I dug into his bibliography and found that I had read one of his books, The Greks Bring Gifts, and found it to be meh at absolute best. Uninspired writing, bleh plot, and no characters that stand out in my memory at all. This is who he wants to hold up as the ignored wonder of SF?

Greks was published in 1964. The Hugo winners and nominees for that period included (1963) Dick's The Man in the High Castle, (1964) Heinlein's Glory Road, Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle, (1965) Cordwainer Smith's The Boy Who Bought Old Earth, and Lieber's The Wanderer.

Any of those was an overwhelmingly better story, vastly better written, than Greks. There's a reason Leinster didn't get the awards: he wasn't as good as the other writers. Nor, I note, did he sell as well.

I'll also note that there do appear to be plenty of authors who sold quite well, and outside standard SF circles, in the Hugo winners. Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, for example got a lot of recognition and readership outside SF circles. JK Rowling is also not exactly known for commercial failure, nor for being read only by a small clique of SF fans.

In short, I think Flint is full of it.
posted by sotonohito at 4:33 PM on September 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


He's got a n obsession with self space, which is rather self serving given that he writes an umpteen volume long series giving retailers a reason to have all his books out at once.
posted by Artw at 4:34 PM on September 1, 2015


just for fun, here is what I found last time the shelfspace discussion came up:

So I popped down the Barnes and Noble bookstore and found, not counting new books and sundry displays:

4 shelves of shelves of GRRM
3 shelves of Terry Brooks
1 shelf of Bradbury
Half a shelf of Asimov
2 shelves of Card
Half a shelf of PKD
a shelf and a half of Neil Gaiman
3 lonely looking William Gibson books
7 different Iain banks culture novels
2 and a half shelves of Prachett
Most of a shelf of SeanancGuire
A third of a shelf of Mira Grant
Both Anne Lecke books
a third of a shelf each for LeGuin and CS Lewis
2 and a half shelves of Tolkien
A small wall of Star Trek/Wars/Doctor Who
A similar sized wall of RPG tie-ins


...and a good mix of other stuff between all that including plenty on my to-read list.

Each shelf is about 3 foot long.

So anyway, bookstores aren't quite dead. I'd expect the selection at a smaller mall one to he garbage though.


I must admit I didn't look for Flint specifically, which I guess is what he is angling for - he's just not on my radar.
posted by Artw at 4:38 PM on September 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


I do, however, think Flint has a point about the structure of the Hugos. They are very much weighted towards shorts and the best novel category could afford to be expanded or broken by category or something.
posted by sotonohito at 4:59 PM on September 1, 2015


I think the shorts need consolidating. Best epic or whatever has also been up for consideration but Has major implementation probably a and TBH I'd probably ignore it anyway.
posted by Artw at 5:00 PM on September 1, 2015


I couldn't recall ever even hearing Murray Leinster's name, and I read a lot of SF including older SF.

First Contact? A Logic Named Joe? He was big in short fiction before there were Hugos or Nebulas.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:21 PM on September 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm not going to say Murray Leinster was Proust or anything, but The Greks Bring Gifts is a) a novel, which was not his strength, and b) at the end of his career. He grew up writing for the pulps - his first SF story was published in 1919. I don't think you could realistically expect him to be competing with The Man In The High Castle.

He wrote a few important stories (as ROU_Xenophobe mentioned) that are still remembered. More than most can say.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:58 PM on September 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Hugos were set up when shorts were much more of a thing and the pulp magazines sold by the truckload... now novels are much more significant and other media. They have kinda reflected that by adding other categories / awards. But it's easier to add stuff than to take it away. They should definitely merge best novella and best novelette for a start. Though I imagine it'll be a long time coming given the glacial pace of Hugo/Worldcon bureaucracy and the objections from the grognards.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:03 AM on September 2, 2015


Skimmed through the Flint article... and yeah the best artist award did always used to be either Whelan or Eggleton, but those two guys kinda dominated the field a the time. It's a pity that other artists did get overlooked (and other fans when Langford got about 18 zillion of them for best Fan Writer) but the Hugos have always been imperfect (they have always been biased to US pros for a start).But things have got better... and there's probably room for some tinkering for further improvement (and of course to get rid of the influence of slating loons) But notable names are always going to be overlooked and in retrospect odd choices are going to be made, but that's the case in all awards (Hitchcock never won an Oscar and even the director of Crash not think it didn't deserve to win)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:28 AM on September 2, 2015


I don't think you can overestimate the importance of being liked in Hugo voting, either. Ansible is a good fanzine, but a major factor in Langford winning all of those Fan Writer awards was that he is a very personable guy who most everyone liked. Connie Willis is a talented writer, but she's won rather more Hugos than she deserves, because people like her.

It's a small voting pool. Winning a Hugo has more in common with running for president of your local Rotary Club than with running for president of the United States. That's not to say talent isn't a factor - especially for the core four writing awards - but if you treat people poorly, that's going to handicap you. Doesn't mean you have to be part of the in-crowd or cabal or what have you, but it does behoove you not to act like a jerk to other pros and fans.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:42 AM on September 2, 2015


Connie Willis is a talented writer, but she's won rather more Hugos than she deserves, because people like her.

I call complete BS on this. Connie Willis wins Hugos because Connie Willis is one of the most inventive and funny authors working today and because she is a very good at creating characters and crafting incredibly intricate storylines. I also think her consistency is remarkable. So many authors have one good book early on and then never succeed to that level again, whereas Blackout/All Clear is to my mind one of the best things she's ever done (and I can't wait to see what she does next).
posted by hydropsyche at 6:51 AM on September 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


Well, I'm not going to fight you over it, but I think it's safe to say that your opinion of her writing is not universally held in the SF field. Blackout/All Clear, in particular, got some pretty harsh critical response.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:25 AM on September 2, 2015


Critical response /= fan opinion. This is not new to the world or new to the Hugos. (I would just love to see the same criticism directed at other multiple Hugo winners who happen not to be women.)
posted by hydropsyche at 8:29 AM on September 2, 2015


Like, say, Dave Langford?
posted by Chrysostom at 8:38 AM on September 2, 2015


I think it's impossible to argue that fan opinion of a creator never influences fan opinion of the work, but it's also impossible to argue that Connie Willis (or anyone else) has more or fewer Hugos than she "deserves". Maybe we can all agree that there's some influence, but it's not entirely a popularity contest?
posted by Etrigan at 8:52 AM on September 2, 2015


Also, Chrysostom: Dave Langford won a bunch of Hugos for Best Fan Writer, which is defined as "Any person whose writing has appeared in semiprozines or fanzines or in generally available electronic media during the previous calendar year." (emphases added) It explicitly includes judging the creator in a way that the Best Novel or Story categories do not.
posted by Etrigan at 8:59 AM on September 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I explicitly stated talent was a factor, especially for the big four. I'm not saying, and did not mean to imply, that Connie Willis (or anyone else) won just by glad-handing or schmoozing. All I'm saying is that it helps to be well liked, and Connie Willis is. I mean, I think Robert Silverberg is a great writer, and I liked Lord Valentine's Castle well enough, but I don't think it should have been up for a Hugo. People like Bob, and that helped.

That's a fair point about Langford's wins for Fan Writer. Worth noting that Langford's main non-fiction outlet Ansible has won the Best Fanzine five times (plus six more noms), and a Best Semiprozine (plus six more noms).
posted by Chrysostom at 9:13 AM on September 2, 2015


Connie Willis, for one reason or another, has been a criticized for being too nice for decades. Bruce Sterling criticized her a lot in his Cheap Truth zine in the 80s. Though he did eventually get around to praising her. I've never thought her writings were particularly afflicted by having too nice an outlook on the world or humanity, but her personality has colored the reception in weird ways.
posted by Kattullus at 9:17 AM on September 2, 2015


The short story categories are frankly more interesting that the other ones because that's where a lot of innovation and new stuff happen and where you see a lot of new voices.
posted by Artw at 9:24 AM on September 2, 2015


I'm bewildered that the author of "All My Darling Daughters" could be criticized as being too nice or having too rosy a view of humanity.

Hell, "Bellwether" even.
posted by Lexica at 9:32 AM on September 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Having checked, "All My Darling Daughters" was the Willis story praised by Sterling in Cheap Truth.
posted by Kattullus at 10:25 AM on September 2, 2015


"EPH, that is, not sure where the 'a' came from."

Canada.
posted by klangklangston at 11:59 AM on September 2, 2015 [6 favorites]


Flint has no small self-interest in promoting Leinster. He's been the editor on a couple of shorts collections for Baen. However, if you want a taste, I'd suggest the collection with introduction by Hal Clement. He's also got some stuff on Gutenberg that's in the public domain.
posted by bonehead at 3:19 PM on September 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't think you can overestimate the importance of being liked in Hugo voting, either.

I think this is the main criticism leveled by Flint. The Hugos are not a literary award in a meaningful sense. Almost none of the voters read all of the nominees, or even all the nominees for the big categories like novels or short stories. They are, essentially, a popularity contest, and a way of publicly recognizing folks who do good things. They're valuable for community building and promotion, if nothing else. There's nothing wrong with being a beauty contest, but they don't, I think, have a particularly great track record of picking the best books of the year.

The Nebulas are closer I think, and produce more worthy winners, but that may just be personal taste.
posted by bonehead at 3:26 PM on September 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, the Nebulas have their own sordid history of logrolling. But I think they usually make more adventurous choices, definitely.
posted by Chrysostom at 3:51 PM on September 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


On the not-Slate:

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, a slate then.
posted by Artw at 6:59 AM on September 3, 2015 [6 favorites]


It's a shlate, totally different.
posted by klangklangston at 9:13 AM on September 3, 2015


It's not a slate - it's some totally other fine-grained, foliated, homogeneous metamorphic rock derived from an original shale-type sedimentary rock composed of clay or volcanic ash through low-grade regional metamorphism.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:47 AM on September 3, 2015 [7 favorites]


It's a pantile
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:48 AM on September 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


-a p +inf
posted by Kattullus at 11:44 AM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


"It's not a slate - it's some totally other fine-grained, foliated, homogeneous metamorphic rock derived from an original shale-type sedimentary rock composed of clay or volcanic ash through low-grade regional metamorphism."

Not slate, schist!
posted by klangklangston at 12:20 PM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sad Puppies 4 Begins
posted by Artw at 2:17 PM on September 3, 2015


Well, schist.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:25 PM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


How predictable that they named their mascots after dead authors that can't object to their use. With the possible exception of Heinlein, I wonder if any of their families or estates will make a stink over it.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:28 PM on September 3, 2015


I really don't think Heinlein would enjoy being invoked by him as much as they think he would.
posted by Artw at 2:52 PM on September 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


(Ray Bradbury would have told them to fuck off, but that's more down to how Ray was than anything to do with their merit/lack of it)
posted by Artw at 2:58 PM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


It would be totally awesome if a bunch of folks came out with a "Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy"-style rejoinder.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:01 PM on September 3, 2015


And in the Puppies are irrelevant category, Butler's Dawn has been optioned for TV by an independent producer.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 7:47 AM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hmm. Philip Sandifer running an anti-slate.
posted by Artw at 7:51 AM on September 4, 2015


I'm pretty sure that doesn't meet the definitions of a slate. It's more like a recommendations aggregator for Hugo voting purposes.
posted by Kattullus at 8:38 AM on September 4, 2015


Actually, that kind of aggregation would be something FanFare would be great for, if FanFare had a books-section <pointed look in the direction of cortex>
posted by Kattullus at 8:41 AM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Just remembered this tumblr - I don't think it's slatey Hugo Award Eligible Art(ists). It's been around for a couple of years.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:43 AM on September 4, 2015


I'm pretty sure that doesn't meet the definitions of a slate.

It says slate on it.

Though I seem to remember the puppies being very keen to point out that just because something says slate on it doesn't really make it a slate, so I'm sure they will be holding by that.
posted by Artw at 8:57 AM on September 4, 2015


He might be better off calling it the Weird Kittens Hugo Eligible Works Aggregator , and not have the word slate anywhere near it.
posted by nubs at 9:00 AM on September 4, 2015


Ah well, 2017 will be anti-slate proof anyway.
posted by Artw at 9:06 AM on September 4, 2015


I would really like it if FanFare did books. Has this been pony-requested anywhere yet?
posted by brennen at 11:12 AM on September 4, 2015


Several times, brennen - it's something that will be added down the road.
posted by nubs at 11:17 AM on September 4, 2015


Here's the most recent pony request on books for Fanfare
posted by nubs at 11:19 AM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Thanks, nubs. I didn't know I wanted it until I actually started looking at FanFare and then immediately wanted there to be a thread on everything I've read lately.
posted by brennen at 1:38 PM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


He might be better off calling it the Weird Kittens Hugo Eligible Works Aggregator , and not have the word slate anywhere near it.

The puppies and the puppies alone get to actually decide what something IS. The fact that someone says they are something? That they themselves say something? That their participants consistently act in a certain way? Meaningless. They choose. They are the chromosome whisperers, the truth knowers, the seers of the Way Things Are. The fact that you don't see it just means You're Not One of Them.
posted by phearlez at 1:50 PM on September 4, 2015


Well, it's very simple.

Anybody on that slate, no matter how long it is, will forever be unnominated by me, and below no award, unless they take legal action to remove themselves and are rebuffed by the courts.

You are on that slate? You are dead to me, Hugo wise, forevermore.

That's what this means. Step away from the Puppies or Step away from the Hugo.
posted by eriko at 9:09 PM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hmm. Philip Sandifer running an anti-slate.

Possibly relevant.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 10:12 PM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Artw: It says slate on it.

It says "anti-slate" on it. However, in the comments he's discussing that he wants "to try to identify some natural frontrunners". Honestly, that's a bit too close to being a slate for me.

eriko: Anybody on that slate, no matter how long it is

I'm not sure which you're referring to, Sandifer's badly named aggregator or Sad/Rabid Puppies.

However, to the larger point, once a list of recommended works reaches a certain number, then it stops being a slate and just becomes a list of recomendations. I don't know exactly where that number is, of course.

And once you start making the list ranked, then it's back in slate territory. The Sad Puppies are pretty clearly running a slate in all but name, and Vox will run his slate openly. Sandifer's further away, but much too close for comfort. I hope he steps away from the designating of frontrunners.
posted by Kattullus at 2:50 AM on September 5, 2015


If he doesn't designate frontrunners in any way (i.e., doesn't list them by popularity, or have a list of the N most popular) then his list is open to being neutralised by rabid nomination of every eligible work.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:35 AM on September 5, 2015


I suppose it comes down to how much you dislike the idea of slates. Personally I think that if the Hugo Awards become a matter of people running slates and trying to beat each other in the voting, it's become something radically different from the award I respect. I'd rather have one more year of many categories having no award winner, than normalize the practice of slates.
posted by Kattullus at 5:05 AM on September 5, 2015


In a way SP2-3 made things very easy for us by being so obviously self serving and so obviously composed of crap. A not-quite-a-slate with better entries* might make the line blurrier for some people.

Oh, and there's the question of how to respond to the nominating-out-of-spite thing that VD is thinking is so clever.

* really not counting on this for SP.
posted by Artw at 7:09 AM on September 5, 2015 [2 favorites]






Alterantive Puppy Hugos proposed
posted by Artw at 7:44 AM on September 11, 2015


To become an eligible voter for Maynard’s awards, a person must be vouched for by one or more existing eligible voters with sufficient status. A voter must have a “trust level of 1 or greater” —

When first registering to vote, a person’s trust level is 0. An existing eligible voter whose trust level is 3 or greater may raise or lower the trust level of up to three other people by 1 each, and this number rises by 1 with each additional trust level until a maximum of a trust level of 10 is reached. The undersigned, as well as prior recipients of a (insert name here) Award and current and past members of the Foundation Board of Directors and Judging Committee, may raise or lower the trust level of any person by 1. A voter may not raise the trust level of anyone who raised his own, nor of anyone in the chain of trust leading back to those holding unlimited trusting privileges.
...Should the nominating deadline fall on a weekend, anyone with an odd-numbered trust level will be allowed one extra nomination in return for giving up one trust level, unless their birthday falls with three days of the change of zodiac signs (this shall be known as the Cusp Reconfiguration). Appeals to the Cusp Reconfiguration Committee based on the existence of Ophiuchus as a sign will be heard only between the Judging Committee's elimination of its second and third options...
posted by Etrigan at 8:00 AM on September 11, 2015 [7 favorites]


Sounds like they're an anarcho-syndicalist commune. They take it in turns to be a sort of executive officer for the week, but all the decisions of that officer have to be ratified at a special bi-weekly meeting. By a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs, but by a two thirds majority in the case of...
posted by Chrysostom at 8:11 AM on September 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


But anyway, good luck to them, I'm sure if they try running t as an actual real award they will learn a lot.
posted by Artw at 8:12 AM on September 11, 2015


I think the chances of them running it above board as as an actual award are not good.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:14 AM on September 11, 2015


I can't decide if their crazy about who gets to vote is comic or painfully eye-rolling. On the one hand, this nonsense:
Despite their previous claims to the contrary, the Hugo Awards voters and others now say that the Hugos represent the World Science Fiction Society’s choices, not those of fandom at large.
As if anyone ever claimed that you didn't have to be a member (buy a voting reg for that Worldcon) of the WSFS to vote? As if anyone who wants to can't buy that membership?

And then this insane purity chain trust thing, as if that will represent "fandom at large."

There's not enough popcorn in the world for how much fun this train wreck is going to be. Though I am not sure I think it's going to avoid imploding under its own weight as they try to implement this trust nonsense and discover just how setup & time intensive that's going to be. I'd lay 50-50 odds that they'll jettison this public voting thing before a single cycle because it's too cumbersome and just end up with some panel of their cronies selecting and awarding the We Hate SJW awards.
posted by phearlez at 8:32 AM on September 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Honestly I'd love to see them try and run it even as a crooked award.
posted by Artw at 9:11 AM on September 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Cixin Liu the Superstar: How Taking a Risk on a Chinese Author Paid Off Big For Tor"

When this came up in my RA, my mind put it together with .onion and was like maybe some Chinese sci-fi was smuggled out over anonymous networks?
posted by klangklangston at 10:21 AM on September 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


I am a bit confused by something I found on amazon uk. I was recommended Pratt's 'John Scalzi is not a very...' book, apparently on the basis of having bought Ancillary Justice. It had 2 5* reviews which were obviously taking the piss, but what intrigued me was the reference in one to 'John "Csross" Scalzi' [sic]. Have I been naïve to believe cstross and jscalzi were different individuals? Was someone in here messing around on amazon.co.uk?
posted by biffa at 12:18 PM on September 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Alterantive Puppy Hugos proposed

Hey, sounds more like the 'No-gos', am I right ladies and gentlemen? Am I right?! I'm here all week, tell your friends!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:27 PM on September 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


(Or possibly 'Pseudos')
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:30 PM on September 11, 2015


Biffa - thread
posted by Artw at 12:52 PM on September 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think the game is up when Maynard reveals that he hasn't actually bothered to read Leckie's work before declaring it message fiction and bad storytelling. He read a handful of reviews that mentioned the pronouns and "bounced right off."

While I've read two novels that include epic betrayal, gun battles, descriptions of military hardware that would put Correia to shame, characters jumping off a mile-high bridge, socio-religious worldbuilding, cloning, spaceship chases, assassination, explosion, AI killswitches, and a conflict between an AI forced to become human and a dictator who's become more than human.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 7:37 PM on September 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


Well; these are people for whom Heinleinvisva saint but John Scalzi, whose major series work is basically Heilein with bells on, is beyond the pale. I suspect they don't actually make judgements based on works very often.
posted by Artw at 7:43 PM on September 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


The "pink" SF&F that gets on the Hugo lists isn't nearly as feminist or queer as is claimed. For that, there's the Tiptrees. And if these guys want to make their own juried versions of the Tiptree or Prometheus awards, that would be a more honest promotion than what's proposed.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 8:27 PM on September 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


CBrachyrhynchos: "While I've read two novels that include epic betrayal, gun battles, descriptions of military hardware that would put Correia to shame, characters jumping off a mile-high bridge, socio-religious worldbuilding, cloning, spaceship chases, assassination, explosion, AI killswitches, and a conflict between an AI forced to become human and a dictator who's become more than human."

Okay, but as a counterpoint, there were girls in it.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:32 PM on September 12, 2015 [12 favorites]


There's an actual Baen Books Mil SF award they could focus on if they really gave a shit about that kind of thing, but noooooooo it's all about obsessing about other people's awards. TbH I think that's the main reason the Tronguy Award is doomed to wither on the vine.
posted by Artw at 9:16 PM on September 12, 2015


And to think that I once felt sorry for Tron guy when the makers of the new film didn't throw him a bone and make him an extra or something... yeah, perhaps they had good reason to not involve him.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:25 AM on September 13, 2015


As I said on Twitter learning more about Tron Guy's views has been a bit like learning that Grumpy Cat is a Trump supporter.
posted by Artw at 7:51 AM on September 13, 2015 [9 favorites]


I think an alternative award is a good idea, but also think it's funny that they are working so hard to avoid people being able to do to their award what they did to the Hugos. The thief is naturally extra careful to lock his own doors and windows.

Honestly, though, I don't think the danger lurks where they think it does. From the article:
And the “Judging Committee” with the power to throw nominees off the ballot… boy, you’re asking for a firestorm there. The first time your voters nominate a book, and your judges throw it out, your new award is going to have its own Puppygate civil war.

This goes hand in hand with the elimination of NO AWARD. Some mechanism is needed to keep these awards from being turned into just another set of awards for politically correct message fiction instead of good SF/F stories.
No, I think this is very wrong. Perceived "SJWs" will stay away in droves and have zero interest in seeing their favorite authors nominated or winning the good old boys award. A common mistake is thinking that the "enemy" thinks like you do, and in this case will want something just because you have it. The more likely sources of fraud, vote-rigging, or strong-arming will be among their own cohort, I imagine, due to internecine conflicts. Will they do everything Theodore Beale wants, for example?

Anyway, at the moment it seems they are discussing "Calliope" as a name for their award, which, in one way, is actually pretty hilarious:
As part of Gaiman's extended fantasy discourse of The Sandman series, the story "Calliope" stands out as one of Gaiman's most overtly feminist polemics. In this tale of rape and revenge, Gaiman provides a powerful critique of male-driven economies of power and privilege through his depiction of sexual violence. Specifically, Gaiman challenges the conventional view of male mastery by illustrating the dualities of masculine creativity and failure, strength and weakness, virility and impotence, phallus and lack, as the conflicts that characterize the men of his story. In this way, Gaiman illustrates the impotence of the male perpetrators, Richard Madoc and Erasmus Fry, who violently exploit the muse Calliope by raping her and stealing her creativity to fulfill their selfish ambitions of fame and fortune.
Wikipedia summary

It's almost *too* perfect as an awful metaphor for the whole sad loser puppets thing.
posted by taz at 12:32 AM on September 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


I like Cat Valente's alternative award. A real award for storytelling. (I don't like "best twist" as an award, because then it is impossible to be properly surprised by it.)
posted by jeather at 6:38 AM on September 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I like Cat Valente's alternative award.
Also, these would be my rules for who can vote on the award: just vote if you want, who gives a shit.
(I don't like "best twist" as an award, because then it is impossible to be properly surprised by it.)

Eh, I dunno. A good twist makes you want to go back and re-read the book (or re-watch the movie) just to see whether the author properly laid the foundation. When The Sixth Sense came out, I was stationed in Germany, and it took a while to get to my base theater, but I'd heard all about this Big Twist without ever hearing what it actually was. I figured it was what it turned out to be, but Shyamalan crafted it so skillfully that I was convinced I was wrong by the time the reveal came around.
posted by Etrigan at 6:47 AM on September 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I like her idea, too! I agree that Best Twist would be a problem, but on the other hand, this is also information (that there's some kind of plot twist) that's almost impossible to avoid anyway if you look at books sites, review pages, online discussions, etc. at all, especially for newer books.

I'd like an award for something like "best supporting characters" too; I love books that make me feel like I want to read a whole new book just about one or more of the side characters. (I just read "The Curse of Chalion" and then "Paladin of Souls" and that was delicious wish fulfillment for this.)

Ah, and I'm seeing suggested in the comments there my other immediate thought: "most unputdownable." YES.

This sounds like great fun; I hope it happens.
posted by taz at 8:03 AM on September 14, 2015


Perceived "SJWs" will stay away in droves and have zero interest in seeing their favorite authors nominated or winning the good old boys award.

I think that's giving humanity in general too much credit. There's always a percentage of the world that wants to get one over on Them, regardless of how pure their thoughts may be about certain other social issues. Particularly if they feel like their target has somehow "earned" it. See: some of the memes/insults aimed at rogue clerk Kim Davis about her looks, for example. I can imagine a subset of folks who think the puppies are ridiculous thinking it would be a cracking good time to get something on their ballot.

That said, I agree with you that their bigger problem than a few discordians is going to be their own internal issues. Once you start doing purity testing you may as well keep upping the requirements.
posted by phearlez at 10:51 AM on September 14, 2015


Also calling it the Calliope makes it sound like they're giving out awards for Best Carousel.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:09 AM on September 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Best Twist awards should be called "The Ghosties" in an effort to prevent anyone using the dead-all-along twist ever again.
posted by Artw at 11:44 AM on September 14, 2015


Or "The Adam and Eve Award".
posted by Kattullus at 12:45 PM on September 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Hitlers.
posted by Artw at 6:30 AM on September 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


The It-Was-Earth-All-Along-Hey,-What-If-We're-The-Aliens? Award.
posted by Pink Frost at 1:15 PM on September 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Cookbooks
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:48 PM on September 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


Here's Storify versions of tweets from Cat Valente and Alexandra Erin (h/t: Jim Hines) pushing back against the newest puppy narrative, where now they're the real nerds being bullied by the "cool kids."

I feel this bit from Erin particularly hard:
But I am going to break my swearing embargo to say: fuck Brad Torgersen and Sarah Hoyt for validating a bunch of geeks' impostor syndrome. Larry Correia went to WorldCon once. He felt like an awkward intruder in a space where everyone else knew everyone else, and resented him. You know what most of us call that? We call that going to a con. Doesn't matter if it's your first con or your fiftieth one. I know people who have RAN cons who felt like they were faking it. This is not just part of common nerdom, it's part of the human experience. But introverts, nerds, geeks... people with fringe interests and atypical social skills, maybe we get it more acutely. It's something we share, something we can understand about each other. But fucking Torgersen and Hoyt and Correia have told a bunch of our fellow fans that if they feel that way, it's for a *reason*. They've convinced a bunch of SF/F geeks that they really are not welcome in fandom, that the "Cool Kids" really don't like them. I guess it should be no surprise that the people who so valorize warfare would adopt one of the classic principles of wartime propaganda.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:25 AM on September 16, 2015 [9 favorites]


He felt like an awkward intruder in a space where everyone else knew everyone else, and resented him. You know what most of us call that? We call that going to a con

Indeed. My home city hosted Westercon at one point and I knew people on the organizing committee, I knew lots of the other attendees, and I still felt like a complete awkward outsider for most of it.
posted by nubs at 8:52 AM on September 16, 2015


Jim C. Hines on "Cool Kids"
posted by Artw at 9:21 AM on September 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


The only times I've not felt slightly like a fish out of water at a con are when I've been manning a heavily trafficked table or actually on a panel, the rest of the time is a lot of milling around, flinging oneself into unfamiliar social interactions or standing around wondering where the real action is. Cons are just like that.
posted by Artw at 9:33 AM on September 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Snacky's Law: Whenever two (or more) groups of people are arguing, anywhere on the web (usenet, mailing lists, message boards, blogs, etc.), inevitably, someone on one side of the argument (regardless of age or gender) will compare the group on the other side to "those bitchy girls who made everyone's life hell in high school."

Additionally: When this happens, if the person who made this comparison is validated with tales of "just how mean the bitchy girls* were to ME in high school," the argument is over, and the side making the comparison has lost.


Don't let me show you my anime-style Raistlin Majere fanarts from my own awkward high school era.
posted by sukeban at 11:32 AM on September 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wait, mean girls are Hitler now?
posted by Etrigan at 11:39 AM on September 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sounds like a Cookbook winner.
posted by Artw at 11:45 AM on September 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Sounds like good potential for an alt-history novel or some sort of time travel hi-jinx. Let us know how it turns out!
posted by nubs at 11:49 AM on September 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think Maynard would be more honest if he just proposed a juried award for adventure-oriented SF&F (or started promoting the Baens). Seriously, there's absolutely nothing wrong with creating something parallel to the Tiprees, Kitchies, Lambdas, or Prometheans.

But this proposal combines the illusion of an open vote, a gate-keeping jury and trust system, and a mission statement to gerrymander around literary and political science fiction. That's just plain bad.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 11:59 AM on September 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


(or started promoting the Baens)
Baen Books is proud to announce the second annual Baen Fantasy Adventure Award, to be given at this year’s Gen Con to the best piece of original short fiction that captures the spirit and tradition of such great storytellers as Larry Correia, Robert E. Howard, Mercedes Lackey, Elizabeth Moon, Andre Norton, J.R.R. Tolkien and David Weber.
Yes, when I think "short fiction", not only do I think "Tolkien", but I definitely would put a guy who debuted in 2008 at the absolute front of that line.
posted by Etrigan at 12:19 PM on September 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


No, no, it's got to be an award that closely models the Hugos because the whole point is proving some obscure point about the Hugos because other people like the Hugos and that is just NOT RIGHT.
posted by Artw at 12:21 PM on September 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


They really should be called the Gernsbacks, because they're the REAL spirit of science fiction, etc., etc.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:34 PM on September 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah, on second thought, it would require that the Puppies acknowledge that it is about different tastes in genre and not "storytelling," and that seems beyond them.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 12:50 PM on September 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wait, mean girls are Hitler now?

The Night of the Long Buses
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:54 PM on September 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


I read The Traitor Baru Cormorant today, and there were a few moments while reading the book that I though to myself that the puppies are sure to hate this book (and it will likely get a nomination for one or both major awards).

Then I was annoyed at having spent any time thinking of the puppies at all.

Here's Kameron Hurley's very personal review.

Hurley mentions Delany. I was just thinking the other day about trying to explain to somebody how intensely wrong about SFF history the puppies are -- I thought about my experience of reading Dhalgren in 1977 when I was twelve years old.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:45 AM on September 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


Etrigan: Wait, mean girls are Hitler now?

If you were a real nerd, you'd already understand this.

</hamburger>
posted by daisyk at 5:43 AM on September 17, 2015


I though to myself that the puppies are sure to hate this book (and it will likely get a nomination for one or both major awards).

My exact thoughts reading Jemisin's The Fifth Season.
posted by tofu_crouton at 6:05 AM on September 17, 2015


Zen Cho's Sorcerer to the Crown is a bit like if MR Kowal's Of Noble Family and Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell had a cute baby, so I guess that one's out, too.

I enjoyed it lots.
posted by sukeban at 11:57 AM on September 17, 2015 [2 favorites]




I think I might have to add Southern Reach to my list. But I bounced right off Mirror Empire's grimmy gory grimmy dark combined with high fantasy setting sprawl, in spite of having ideas that I would otherwise be really into.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 1:06 PM on September 17, 2015


I think I might have to add Southern Reach to my list

In terms of your reading list, I would say "yes" without really any reservations, although I don't know your tastes/inclinations at all. I grabbed the first one from the library when I was going on vacation and tore through it on the first day. I had no clue what I was getting into when I picked it up, having only heard about the Southern Reach trilogy. As it turns out, that might be a good way to go into it...

It's different; not grimdark; really a story about exploration and mysteries and identity and the unknown and weirdness and how we deal with things beyond our frame of understanding.

But I would recommend it, and the books are fairly short so you can try the first one and if you don't like it, you haven't lost much time.
posted by nubs at 1:30 PM on September 17, 2015


Probably I've said this before but I really dug City of Stairs.
posted by Artw at 1:40 PM on September 17, 2015


I found it incredibly hard to finish the first reach book and only stuck it out because so many people were so gung ho about it.
posted by phearlez at 2:12 PM on September 17, 2015


The primary difficulty I had with Mirror Empire was that between the completely alien settings and the perspective shifts every chapter (at least four), it was not a book that was compatible with my habit of picking up a chapter for an hour at the end of the day.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 2:16 PM on September 17, 2015


I would have gotten a lot more out of Mirror Empire if I had taken notes. It was too late by the time I realized why it was necessary, though, to go back and note down the things I had missed.
posted by tofu_crouton at 2:19 PM on September 17, 2015


I've become a big fan of Hurley -- it took me a long time to get around to reading her God's War books, but when I did, I loved them. And I agree that Mirror Empire is extremely dark and, frankly, depressing. But I still liked it a lot and am excited to read the sequel.

I'm also a huge fan of Jemison, and I also just read The Fifth Season. (BTW, I see that it made the NYT Sunday Book Review, which is a pretty big deal.) I don't recall thinking about the puppy-hate thing as much reading it, but partly that's because they just hate her on principle and I take it as given. I think that Jemison is a treasure.

Also recently read Sorcerer to the Crown and, yeah, it seemed to me to be strongly influenced by Clarke's book. It was quite good.

One thing I've not seen anyone mention about The Traitor Baru Cormorant is that surely Dickinson's "Baru" was heavily influenced by Daniel Abraham's "Cithrin bel Sarcour", a subversive banker savant fantasy protagonist. Which is a good thing.

I have a lot of thoughts about the book -- I'm unsure and possibly ambivalent about the emphasis placed on fiat currency. It's not that it's untrue that an empire wouldn't and couldn't express colonialism via the mechanism of manipulation the currency in the various ways that Dickinson describes. It's that he invariably and excessively talks about "fiat currency" -- always the "fiat" part -- and, well, it's hard for me not to conclude that there's some questionable hard-money nuttiness underlying some of his worldview. In various ways he implies that gold and precious gems are inherently reliable stores of wealth and, in his detailed explanation of finance and economic manipulation, he seems utterly oblivious to the ways in which in the stressed economies he describes, gold and gems would also violently fluctuate in value, affected by their liquidity and other things, and would come with their own set of problems that very much could be (and are) used as tools of capitalist, feudal, and other forms of economic exploitation. His economics seems to me, in the end, to be facile.

Nevertheless, I don't think that's important. The book is a harsh criticism of colonialism and, more the point, of something that looks in some respects more like American market/cultural imperialism than it does the European colonialism of the gun. But it looks like both, really, and that's its strength -- it's wholly a damning and brutal critique of colonialism in all its manifestations, including those we (in the US, in the developed world) like to believe don't exist and don't apply to us.

With its indictment of homophobia, of moral absolutism and cultural chauvinism, of scientism and its expression in eugenics (and, by implication, all cultural imperialism that oppresses in the name of "reason" and "progress"), of education as a tool of indoctrination and alienation from one's indigenous culture, and most especially in how all this is a machine that's used to distill self-hatred into moral compromise as a tool of oppression -- this is a furiously angry book that presents a worldview as opposed to the puppies as is possible. It's written by a white man -- which, frankly, I have some trouble with, given that Baru is everything that Seth Dickinson is not. Being a straight, white American man, I'm not in a position to evaluate whether Dickinson stays on the side of being informed and sensitive and avoids being presumptuous and wrong, but it seemed to me to be okay and I have developed at least a little bit of a radar about that sort of thing.

And I found it remarkable that given Hurley's response to the book -- that she identifies with Baru and in a way that she felt compelled to talk about all that she's sacrificed to be a writer and that, especially as a gay woman, the deck has been stacked against her and that she wrote nine failed novels before she was published and that she envies those who are huge successes with the first novel -- well, that she didn't in any way touch upon the fact that Seth Dickinson is a white man who is (as far as I can tell from early indications) quite successful with his first novel even as he has been employed and successful in his day job. She doesn't deal with that. But I thought about it a lot. She wrote that she was told that her books were too feminist, that publishers didn't know how to market them. And yet Dickinson's book is feminist, as well as being extremely political -- he wasn't told by agents and publishers the same things? I wonder why. Yet Hurley doesn't discuss this. I feel like she's alluding to it without dealing with it directly. And maybe it's because she doesn't want, in the end, to criticize Dickinson and the book. Because the book has a lot of merit. Sometimes it works out okay when the privileged person uses their privilege in this way. In my experience, it's so much easier to screw up than get it right, and when you screw up, you're part of the problem. Even when you do it right, you are both part of the problem and part of the solution. As much merit as this book has, I'm not sure we needed this book as written by a white American man.

It goes well with A Stranger in Olondria -- a better, more elegant book that also is all about colonialism. They're quite different from each other, complementary in a way. Baru's virtue is its dark fury. Olandria is just as much a criticism, but much more subtle and thoughtful in a way that sneaks up on you.

"Probably I've said this before but I really dug City of Stairs."

Absolutely one of the best books last year and should have been a nominee. I'm so pleased that he's writing a sequel.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:20 PM on September 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


"gold and gems would also violently fluctuate in value,"

One of the central mistakes in criticisms of "fiat" currencies by goldbugs, etc. is not recognizing that the difference in "fiat" is mostly one of a central fiat, not the absence of a multiplicity of fiats in exchange — without the central monetary policy set relationally, and with a nominal tie to a notion of inherent value, every exchange is based on generally irrational and information-poor fiats of buyer and seller's estimations of value. The utility of gold is real, but that has only a moderate impact on its price. Indeed, fiat currency tends to be much, much more stable and useful as it's intentionally governed to promote that end.
posted by klangklangston at 3:08 PM on September 17, 2015 [2 favorites]




(Southern Reach) But I would recommend it

I found it incredibly hard to finish the first reach book

Well, there you go - why we need diversity in SF in the space of three comments in this thread. Because I liked SR; phearlez didn't; and I'm sure there's a lot of people who were "meh" about it in between us. And yet there's more than enough works out there for everyone to find what they want and enjoy.
posted by nubs at 8:01 AM on September 18, 2015


I liked the first one but somehow it hasn't prompted me to read the rest, so ???

I'll get around to it I'm sure.
posted by Artw at 8:05 AM on September 18, 2015


There's so much out there these days, it's hard! City of Stairs has been on my list for a long time, so there you go.
posted by nubs at 8:07 AM on September 18, 2015


The discovery that XCOM: Enemy Within works really well on iPhone 6 has put a big dent in my bus reading time.
posted by Artw at 8:18 AM on September 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


If it works on an iPad, it might just do the same to me...
posted by nubs at 8:34 AM on September 18, 2015


Well, there you go - why we need diversity in SF in the space of three comments in this thread. Because I liked SR; phearlez didn't; and I'm sure there's a lot of people who were "meh" about it in between us. And yet there's more than enough works out there for everyone to find what they want and enjoy.

Yup. I didn't like it. So I put it down, decided not to read books 2+, and went on with my life. And there were no shortage of other books for me to pick up since that I have liked or even loved. Somehow my white male ass managed to make it through the time since with the mere consolation of controlling most of the world, making more money for doing the same shit, and having the majority of the media continuing to chase after my attention. It has not been a personal sacrifice.
posted by phearlez at 8:46 AM on September 18, 2015


Incredibly well, I'm afraid.
posted by Artw at 8:51 AM on September 18, 2015


Threads like these make me wish for a Metafilter conference/annual gathering.

I would love to watch a panel discussion on the best SF we all read in the past year, along with panels on all the other shit we're all into.

Of course, Artw and I would probably just wind up off in a corner, playing X-COM.
posted by nubs at 8:55 AM on September 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Moving to position... Booze acquired... Initiating social responses."
posted by Artw at 8:58 AM on September 18, 2015


The discovery that XCOM: Enemy Within works really well on iPhone 6 has put a big dent in my bus reading time.

Ah, I wonder... Hmmm.

...This is not a good revelation for my chore list at home.
posted by bonehead at 9:10 AM on September 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


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