Puppies All the Way Down
April 26, 2016 11:45 AM   Subscribe

The 2016 Hugo Award finalists have been announced. As is probably to be expected given the problems of the last two years slates have yet again had an outsized influence on the nominations. Though various fixes have been proposed the future of the award may be in doubt.
posted by Artw (420 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm shocked - shocked! - to see that Mad Max: Fury Road was not on the Rabid or Sad Puppy slates.
posted by nubs at 11:46 AM on April 26, 2016 [22 favorites]


Puppies' approval or not, nothing can make me not vote for Space Raptor Butt Invasion.
posted by delfin at 11:48 AM on April 26, 2016 [16 favorites]


Space Raptor Butt Invasion by Chuck Tingle
posted by RobotHero at 11:48 AM on April 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


Puppies' approval or not, nothing can make me not vote for Space Raptor Butt Invasion.

That's a name that does seem to fit on one of these.
posted by nubs at 11:50 AM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


How weird to see Bujold on the Rabid Puppies list. I haven't read any of her fantasy stuff, but her sci-fi is notable for its thoughtfully humanitarian and progressive themes. About the worst thing you can say is that she sometimes seems (in 2016) a little retrograde about biological differences between men and women.
posted by WidgetAlley at 11:52 AM on April 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


I mean, don't bury the lede.
posted by RobotHero at 11:52 AM on April 26, 2016


And hey! We just had a Chuck Tingle post!

More seriously, I am kind of sad about this. I need to pony up for my supporting membership and start reading and vote, I guess, but frankly this is kind of discouraging.
posted by nubs at 11:52 AM on April 26, 2016


I would like to congratulate Chuck Tingle on his nomination, one which will surely go down in the anals of Hugo Award history.
posted by Palindromedary at 11:52 AM on April 26, 2016 [57 favorites]


I greatly look forward to Chuck Tingle's inevitable butt-pounding parody response to this moment.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:53 AM on April 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


Space Raptor Butt Invasion by Chuck Tingle

I'm not sure what this is but I just burst out laughing at work.

8-4 Play, Mark MacDonald, John Ricciardi, Hiroko Minamoto, and Justin Epperson

Uh, I enjoy this podcast but what the fuck? It's about Japanese video games with a side of Destiny. I've never once heard them discuss anything SF/F.

Am I missing something?
posted by selfnoise at 11:53 AM on April 26, 2016


I am so sad that this movement isn't dying the quick death that it deserves. Sometime I just hate people.
posted by blurker at 11:54 AM on April 26, 2016 [10 favorites]


George R R Martin has commented, calling it mixed. He'll probably be calling for everyone to get along and not do the proper thing and blanket No Award every category shortly, despite the complete and abject failure of trying to ignore the slates or get along with them to date.
posted by Artw at 11:55 AM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


How weird to see Bujold on the Rabid Puppies list.

It's just more trolling by Beale. He put progressive authors on his list to try and get them to withdraw from consideration. He doesn't actually care about getting awards for right-wingers, he just wants to destroy the Hugos.
posted by Proofs and Refutations at 11:56 AM on April 26, 2016 [20 favorites]


Am I missing something?

Nazis.
posted by Artw at 11:56 AM on April 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'm assuming that some of the Puppies' slates were ringers for things that were likely to get nominated anyway (Stephen King, Neal Stephenson), so that they could claim some success, as ludicrous as that would be. And the Sad Puppies' promotion of The End of All Things 1: The Life of the Mind by MeFi's Own is presumably just taking the piss.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:57 AM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Shamus Young was nominated for Best Fan Writer! I'm assuming this is for something he did in the last year (his Experienced Points column? his blog in general?) but the category seems best suited for Free Radical, a System Shock fanfic he wrote over a decade ago that adds complexity to the characters beyond the game's premise of "gray-hat hacker has to fight evil AI". (Recommend reading it with the System Shock soundtrack for ambience.)
posted by Rangi at 11:58 AM on April 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


He'll probably be calling for everyone to get along and not do the proper thing and blanket No Award every category shortly

I'll no award in a few places, I'm sure, but there's a few categories where there might be something? I haven't read Ancillary Mercy yet, but I enjoyed the first two. And Dramatic Presentation, Long Form - Ex Machina was very good I thought, and I also enjoyed the heck out of Mad Max: Fury Road though my enjoyment and whether or not it was the best are two things I may need to separate. There's nothing else on the longform list I might go for, frankly, regardless of nomination source.
posted by nubs at 12:02 PM on April 26, 2016


How weird to see Bujold on the Rabid Puppies list.

As jscalzi says here, "the Puppies are running in front of an existing parade and claiming to lead it". They would have been nominated and possibly won anyway.
posted by sukeban at 12:03 PM on April 26, 2016 [17 favorites]


Beale has crowed about his "Xanatos gambit" for a while, and that's probably what's underlying the nominations of things like the Bujold novella and File 770 as Best Fanzine. If Hugo voters take a strict "no slated works" policy and No Award them, Beale "wins" (by blocking works that the voters really did like); if they vote the works on their merits and one gets the Hugo, Beale "wins" by having nominated a winner.
posted by Lexica at 12:03 PM on April 26, 2016 [17 favorites]


Oh, and (to not abuse the edit button) that's why I intend to ignore the Puppy nominations for those works. I nominated "Penric's Demon"; of course I'm going to vote for it. Similarly File 770. Beale's going to claim victory no matter what.
posted by Lexica at 12:05 PM on April 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'll no award in a few places, I'm sure, but there's a few categories where there might be something?

I would say the right thing is to No Award everything because letting the few not bad entries through lets WorldCon off the hook and the problem continue to fester. They should be admitung the system is broken, not continuing to try and salvage a ceremony out of it every year whilst giving a signal boost to assholes.
posted by Artw at 12:07 PM on April 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


I would say the right thing is to No Award everything because letting the few not bad entries through lets WorldCon off the hook and the problem continue to fester. They should be admitung the system is broken, not continuing to try and salvage a ceremony out of it every year whilst giving a signal boost to assholes.

The right thing is to No Award a category if you don't feel that any of the nominated works is deserving of a Hugo in and of itself, regardless of whether some asshole is claiming credit for it being nominated.
posted by Etrigan at 12:10 PM on April 26, 2016 [14 favorites]


I agree. Beale is going to claim top kek victory no matter what you do, so vote what is good.
posted by sukeban at 12:13 PM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Also, two Hugos this year for Mike Glyer, because he bloody well deserves them.
posted by sukeban at 12:14 PM on April 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Sooooo much garbage, and so much attention for trolls. How unpleasant for us all.

I'm happy to see Binti on the novella list, and I'm thrilled that Alyssa Wong captured a spot on the Campbell nominations ("Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers" is so good!).
posted by mixedmetaphors at 12:15 PM on April 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Beale has crowed about his "Xanatos gambit" for a while

Can one be said to have successfully pulled off a Xanatos Gambit if at the same time one is also gloating about their awesome Xanatos Gambit? These kinds of schemes demand some measure of chill.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:16 PM on April 26, 2016 [17 favorites]


I am pleased to see Jemisin's The Fifth Season on the list: it's one of the two most ambitious novels I've read in the last few years. The other being Kate Elliott's Black Wolves, which deals with a lot of the same issues of oppression and colonialism and ethnic strife, but in entirely different ways.

I wish Elliott's novel had gotten enough nominations to make the final, but it also had lots of female lead characters, and characters of color, including a (gasp!) middle-aged woman of color, which of course would be verboten to the Puppies.

I rather hope Fury Road wins, but I'm sure TFA will sweep.
posted by suelac at 12:17 PM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Am I missing something?

Nazis.


That reminds me of Sarah Hoyt's obviously measured and coherent description of anyone who disagrees with the Puppies as--and this is a direct quote--"worse than the Soviets who condemned the Kulaks during holodomor, worse than the people on the street who mouthed the Nazi lies about Jews during WWII."
posted by zombieflanders at 12:17 PM on April 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


you'll all see the error of your ways when my good friend Ron Jingo and I complete our book, Why SJWs Are Worse Than The Allied Forces
posted by Krom Tatman at 12:19 PM on April 26, 2016 [15 favorites]


So, refresh my memory - what voting changes mooted last time that can possibly be implemented next time?
posted by Chrysostom at 12:20 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm thrilled that Alyssa Wong captured a spot on the Campbell nominations

Yes, she'll have my vote this year; I nominated her for the Hugo short story category last year.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:22 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's kind of amazing to me that we are likely to have months more internet foaming and fulmination over an award that gleaned 4000 total ballots. There are high school student council elections with more votes cast.

I makes me feel terribly sad, and I wonder if we'll arrive at a point where everyone is arguing about SF awards on Twitter, but nobody is actually reading SF.
posted by selfnoise at 12:22 PM on April 26, 2016 [12 favorites]


"Xanatos gambit." What a manchild.

I'd like to see Chuck Tingle express his gratitude by writing Vox Day into his very own Tingler. I'm certain he would appreciate that.
posted by Countess Elena at 12:22 PM on April 26, 2016 [20 favorites]


This has been going on for 3 years and I still don't understand what is going on or why. Is there anything out there explaining this?
posted by Automocar at 12:23 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


What passed last year was "E Pluribus Hugo," which is a new way of weighting nominations where, for each individual ballot, as the least-popular nominees the person selected are winnowed away their remaining choices count more and more heavily.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:23 PM on April 26, 2016 [11 favorites]


If, like me, you had totally forgotten the background on this, you can start here:
Previously on Metafilter, also with this piece, featuring MeFi's own jscalzi: How the Sad and Rabid Puppies took over the Sci Fi nominations.
posted by dis_integration at 12:24 PM on April 26, 2016 [11 favorites]


And if E Pluribus Hugo passes again this year, then it will go into force for next year, and hopefully we will have fewer (or at least different) shenanigans next year.
posted by Jeanne at 12:26 PM on April 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


> Sooooo much garbage, and so much attention for trolls. How unpleasant for us all.

But enough about the internet.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:28 PM on April 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


This has been going on for 3 years and I still don't understand what is going on or why. Is there anything out there explaining this?

This is one of the better attempts from last year to sum the whole mess up.
posted by Proofs and Refutations at 12:29 PM on April 26, 2016 [12 favorites]


Xanatos gambit

Just as long as no one has deployed a Thanatos device.
posted by The Tensor at 12:29 PM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


I noticed as I was perusing last year's coverage that last year's nominations came out three weeks earlier than they did this year. Is there any reason for that besides vagaries of scheduling?
posted by Etrigan at 12:30 PM on April 26, 2016


anyway, you can tell that the whole "Real SF" justification that gets used is a smokescreen. A true fan of concept-driven, hard* speculative fiction would've chosen Slammed in the Butthole by my Concept of Linear Time, not some nonsense reptile-human romance.

*IYKWIM
posted by Krom Tatman at 12:30 PM on April 26, 2016 [28 favorites]


Welp, File770 is down, probably too much traffic. Looks like another year in which novelette and short story will be won by that lucky bastard, Noah Ward.
posted by Hactar at 12:30 PM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's kind of amazing to me that we are likely to have months more internet foaming and fulmination over an award that gleaned 4000 total ballots. There are high school student council elections with more votes cast.

I like the Hugos as awards because I think really good sci-fi deserves recognition, but I do wonder if some of this is because they're somewhat losing their function in terms of recommendations. Before Goodreads, etc., the only way I had to track down good sci-fi was by either paying attention to the awards or by word of mouth. There are so many other venues to access that information now that I don't think the Hugos serve a whole lot of purpose other than kudos for authors (which is still important.)
posted by WidgetAlley at 12:30 PM on April 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


I'd like to see Chuck Tingle express his gratitude by writing Vox Day into his very own Tingler. I'm certain he would appreciate that.

This would be the first Tingle project I would buy without hesitation.
posted by Ber at 12:31 PM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


This has been going on for 3 years and I still don't understand what is going on or why. Is there anything out there explaining this?

Pathetic, racist, misogynist manchild bullies decide to ruin something because they are empty, hateful and useless.
posted by howfar at 12:32 PM on April 26, 2016 [34 favorites]


not some nonsense reptile-human romance

My take is that in a Tingle saga, Vox Day would be the reptile. And the bottom.
posted by Ber at 12:33 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


So, refresh my memory - what voting changes mooted last time that can possibly be implemented next time?

Business Passed on from the 2015 Business Meeting to MidAmeriCon 2 this year. The main ones for the Hugos are Nominee Diversity, no more than one nominee per category from one person (which would have stopped the multiple John C Wright nominees last year but had no effect this year); 4 and 6, where you get 4 nominations and the ballot has 6 slots (has some effect on slates); and E Pluribus Hugo, the complicated change to the voting method which modifies the weight of your votes based on the popularity of your selections, and if you can get your head around the Powerpoint presentation needed to explain it it's probably quite effective against slates, although I think both that and 4 in 6 work much better if people tend to fill up their nomination slots.
posted by penguinliz at 12:36 PM on April 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


Pathetic, racist, misogynist manchild bullies decide to ruin something because they are empty, hateful and useless.

That's part of it. The other part of it is that the awards themselves are hopelessly vulnerable to gaming, have been for years, have been gamed three years running, the last two times sufficiently so that they've been robbed of meaning, and only next year might we see an attempt at countering this going into action.
posted by Artw at 12:36 PM on April 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


I really don't know how to engage with all this. I'm a SFF writer & I try to engage with others through SFWA & such, and many of them care a lot about the Hugos...but I just plain can't care about awards stuffs. Maybe if a friend is up for it (and obviously I'll change my tune if I'm ever nominated, duh), but that's about it. It's all so pointless to me.

Yet I do care a lot about sexist, racist, gatekeeping nonsense, 'cause that stuff is bullshit and it actually hurts people. And on that level, the whole Sad/Rabid/Shitty Puppies thing is a genuinely solid troll, 'cause they've found a way to make me care about a thing I really couldn't care less about. Only then by engaging I'm basically feeding the troll, right?


Argh.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 12:37 PM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


So it seems like the worst damage was done to the short story category, where the rabid puppies got 100% of what they want. The Tingle thing is funny, but is part of the "Plan to Wreck Everything."

Heck, one of the nominees ("If You Were an Award, My Love) is an unfunny take off on If You Were a Dinosaur My Love (which was nominated for the Hugo and won the Nebula), and was built for trolling only.
posted by blahblahblah at 12:38 PM on April 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


WidgetAlley how do you track down good SF on goodreads? It seems full of YA dystopias and reviews that miss the point, and generally upholds Sturgeon's law.
posted by joeyh at 12:38 PM on April 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Frankly if 4 and 6 and EPH don't turn out to be effective, and sheer numbers might be against them, then they should probably consider wrapping the whole thing up. It was nice while it lasted, but the Hugo's as the annual no awarding of Nazis is not a functional or useful thing.
posted by Artw at 12:39 PM on April 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


This has been going on for 3 years and I still don't understand what is going on or why. Is there anything out there explaining this?

I wish it were more complicated than the scifi equivalent of Gamer Gate doing a hostile takeover of a professional organization in order to promote bigotry, but that's really all there is.
posted by maxsparber at 12:39 PM on April 26, 2016 [33 favorites]


Business Passed on from the 2015 Business Meeting to MidAmeriCon 2 this year.

Possibly in anticipation of these new Hugo nomination rules cutting off Sad/Rapid Puppies' slates, V.D. has suggested the Locus Awards as his minions' next target.
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:39 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is Vox Day a sufficiently Public Figure[tm] to be the subject of a work of scurrilous, vulgar and lecherous fiction without lawsuits being forthcoming?

Asking for a friend.
posted by delfin at 12:40 PM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's kind of amazing to me that we are likely to have months more internet foaming and fulmination over an award that gleaned 4000 total ballots. There are high school student council elections with more votes cast.

I makes me feel terribly sad, and I wonder if we'll arrive at a point where everyone is arguing about SF awards on Twitter, but nobody is actually reading SF.


Well, I don't know about that. A lot of SF readers (myself included) don't vote for awards and don't really pay much attention to awards when we're making our reading selections.
posted by xingcat at 12:42 PM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


I wish it were more complicated than the scifi equivalent of Gamer Gate doing a hostile takeover of a professional organization in order to promote bigotry, but that's really all there is.

The organizers for the Puppies, both sad and rabid, have long and sordid histories with GG. So it's not just the equivalent, it just...is.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:43 PM on April 26, 2016 [13 favorites]


delfin, you'd have to clear the IP rights on reusing such a fictional character, I presume.
posted by joeyh at 12:44 PM on April 26, 2016


Is Vox Day a sufficiently Public Figure[tm] to be the subject of a work of scurrilous, vulgar and lecherous fiction without lawsuits being forthcoming?

Revenge porn fiction is something distasteful the Rabid Puppies have already done.
posted by sukeban at 12:47 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Heck, one of the nominees ("If You Were an Award, My Love) is an unfunny take off on If You Were a Dinosaur My Love (which was nominated for the Hugo and won the Nebula), and was built for trolling only.

I read it. Terrible, but short at least.
If you were an award, my love, then no one could take you, and if nothing could take you, then I would be externally validated as my persona requires.
Is Vox Day really this un-self-aware? (Of course he is.)
posted by Rangi at 12:47 PM on April 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


the scifi equivalent of Gamer Gate doing a hostile takeover of a professional organization

But is it, really? The Hugos are generally considered to be the biggest/most prestigious award in sci-fi...but ultimately it's the result of open voting by people who decided to buy tickets to one particular convention. These lists aren't curated or anything. I mean on some level, that's the point, but at the same time, that really kinda undercuts the notion of it being a professional organization, right?
posted by scaryblackdeath at 12:50 PM on April 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


It's an opportunistic disease attacking a soft target.
posted by Artw at 12:53 PM on April 26, 2016 [13 favorites]


I wish it were more complicated than the scifi equivalent of Gamer Gates doing a hostile takeover of a professional organization in order to promote bigotry, but that's really all there is.

As with GG (which is more or less the same phenomenon, just with this faction attuned to being shit about a different thing), I think it has been hard for a lot of people to process what is happening because "a bunch of assholes are being assholes" just seems too simple or something. Like there is all this noise, so there must be some sort of nuance or complication or a meaningful pre-existing grievance somewhere to be found.

Which I suppose is often a commendable, or at least understandable, pattern of thought. It is unfortunate that it scales badly in a world full of networked shitheads.
posted by brennen at 12:54 PM on April 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


Is Vox Day a sufficiently Public Figure[tm] to be the subject of a work of scurrilous, vulgar and lecherous fiction without lawsuits being forthcoming?

The thing is, there's kinda no point in attacking Beale in this way. You know your worst moments online? The pointless forum arguments you've gotten into and still blush about today? The stupid fucking things you've said, thinking you're clever, thinking you're righteously defeating your foe, who has the temerity to be wrong on the internet? The addictive, masturbatory anger that brings you back to your keyboard again and again, to pour out more pointless, unpleasant words? That stuff we've all here pretty much grown out of now?

That's Beale's life. It's all he's got, and even ridiculing him just fuels his self-righteous forum warrior bullshit. That's not to say that we should not vigorously, loudly and consistently take public stands against him and his projects, but there is no point in engaging with him personally at all. You get dirty and the pig* likes it.

*with apologies to pigs.
posted by howfar at 12:55 PM on April 26, 2016 [44 favorites]


I doubt it's occurred to these Slans that Heinlein and the other Golden Age greats they idolize would have treated these shenanigans with anything other than utter contempt. SF has always been a broad church.

But then again, assholes gotta asshole.
posted by daveje at 1:00 PM on April 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


The idea of fandom coming together to select the best and most worthy of the works that they love is great in theory, but in practice it may finally just have to bow down to the fact that people are garbage.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:11 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is a little hard for me to accept, since it's always been one of my favorite formats, but the voting numbers being too low to resist trolling means we may have to accept that we long ago passed the point where way more people are interested in being garbage than they are in short fiction, which has been a bit of a minority interest for decades.
posted by Artw at 1:15 PM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


There are so many other venues to access that information now that I don't think the Hugos serve a whole lot of purpose other than kudos for authors (which is still important.)

I feel like the Hugos serve as an excellent way to record for the future which works were worthy of consideration -- and, given that both minority and female writers, even very well-respected ones, are particularly prone to historical erasure, that makes them pretty invaluable.

My friends are great if I want to know what I want to read that's being read today. If I want to read stuff from even a half-decade ago, I'm going to look at the stuff that got critical acclaim.

It was nice while it lasted, but the Hugo's as the annual no awarding of Nazis is not a functional or useful thing.

F*ck that. Flawed as the Hugos (and fandom in general may be), I'm not going to let those assholes destroy the things I love.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 1:17 PM on April 26, 2016 [20 favorites]


But if they've already destroyed it we shouldn't let its zombie corpse lumber around pissing and shitting on everything.
posted by Artw at 1:19 PM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


We won't know whether or not they've destroyed it until next year, after all the various reforming measures have been implemented. I find it hard to believe, after the shellacking they received at last year's awards ceremony, that they have the numbers to overcome those measures (barring committee fuckery preventing those measures from going through).
posted by Palindromedary at 1:21 PM on April 26, 2016 [10 favorites]


maybe the real hugo...was the friends we made on the way

mainly that guy named "hugo"
posted by Krom Tatman at 1:22 PM on April 26, 2016 [18 favorites]


My guess for Best Novel, sans puppies, was pretty accurate: all the finalists less Butcher, number five going to Aurora. I look forward to seeing how it turned out when the full results are available in August.

I'm at least pleased to see John C. Wright off the ballot. And this will keep interest in E Pluribus Hugo up, though AFAICT the EPH results for last year were not yet made official. (I believe they were put up on File 770, but not officially.)

If EPH fixes the Hugos next year, then this will be a 2 year anomaly and the Hugos will be fine.
posted by jeather at 1:22 PM on April 26, 2016 [9 favorites]


Wait... it's been a year already? Christ.
posted by brundlefly at 1:25 PM on April 26, 2016 [9 favorites]


"Though various fixes have been proposed the future of the award may be in doubt."

No, it's not. Or at least it's not in doubt by the organization that actually runs them, which I suspect will happily continue doing so indefinitely.

Likewise, what matters is not the nominations but the final result. Last year the Puppies tried to game the system and were unceremoniously bounced out of the award, and what did win last year was overall pretty good quality, and in the case of the Best Novel, even historic (it being the first Best Novel win for a translated book). That's a win under the circumstance.

People like drama and people like thinking in "end times" mode, but what this really is, is a jerk exploiting a vulnerability in a process that no one bothered to fix before, because no one wanted to be the jerk that exploited the vulnerability. Well, these people want to be jerks, so that fix is in process. It just takes time.

"Process taking time" is boring. But it's also the thing that will keep these particular awards chugging along for years after this particular drama has run its course.
posted by jscalzi at 1:28 PM on April 26, 2016 [55 favorites]


> "I doubt it's occurred to these Slans that Heinlein and the other Golden Age greats they idolize would have treated these shenanigans with anything other than utter contempt. SF has always been a broad church."

One of the puppies' (many) (idiotic) talking points last year was that the great Heinlein would never win anything these days because modern tasteless politically correct Hugo voters hate and ignore him etc., etc., etc. Which makes me slightly darkly amused to note that, as anyone with an ounce of common sense could have easily predicted, Heinlein is a six-time finalist on the 1941 Retro Hugo ballot, without needing any "help" from the puppies.
posted by kyrademon at 1:29 PM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Every year the Hugo nominations roll around and I re-read Day's blog to see exactly what he thinks and then my ears start to bleed. What a moron.
posted by GuyZero at 1:35 PM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


I've ask this before, but: Why does anyone give a shit what Vox Day considers to be a "victory"?
posted by JohnFromGR at 1:47 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've ask this before, but: Why does anyone give a shit what Vox Day considers to be a "victory"?

"Hugo award winning white nationalist novelist..."
posted by Talez at 1:51 PM on April 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


The smartest thing to do would be to completely ignore *-puppies this year, give them precisely zero signal boost.
Alas, they're half-way competent trolls, so I doubt that'll happen.
posted by signal at 1:53 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Which makes me slightly darkly amused to note that, as anyone with an ounce of common sense could have easily predicted, Heinlein is a six-time finalist on the 1941 Retro Hugo ballot, without needing any "help" from the puppies.

Shit, 1941 was quite a year for RAH. That's like 25% of the Future History.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:53 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


"Just ignoring them" didn't do much these last two years.
posted by Krom Tatman at 1:54 PM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


The Bujold nom strikes me as weird because this year's Gentleman would put Bujold right into "termite" or "cockroach" territory (epithets actually used by Puppies for writers of LGBT-friendly science fiction). Worse, it's another romance novel from Bujold. Then again, the Sads also nominated an afrofuturist and feminist novella, which undermines the narrative that it's about promoting stories over "message fiction." (Binti also had alien invaders, mathematics, bioships, and genetic hybridization, but that's less likely to get attention these days.)
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 1:55 PM on April 26, 2016


IIRC Gentleman Jole was released too late in the year to have traction in the awards, I would have expected it to be nominated too.
posted by sukeban at 2:00 PM on April 26, 2016


The smartest thing to do would be to completely ignore *-puppies this year, give them precisely zero signal boost.[...]

posted by signal at 13:53 on April 26 [+] [!]


ಠ_ಠ
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:01 PM on April 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Gentleman Jole is also published by Baen, which the puppies universally support.
posted by tofu_crouton at 2:02 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


(And there was this eARC that is not an eARC because everyone can buy it thing that Baen is doing that makes people unsure of the real publication date of a book)
posted by sukeban at 2:03 PM on April 26, 2016


You know who was one of the first SF writers to deal with LGBT themes? Ted Sturgeon.

Here's what Heinlein thought of Sturgeon: The Heinlein Manuever
posted by daveje at 2:03 PM on April 26, 2016 [23 favorites]


These dicktrees are going to make me GET UP on a PERFECTLY GOOD MORNING FOR SLEEPING IN so I can go the Business Meeting to VOTE AGAINST THEIR DICKTREE BULLSHIT instead of SLEEPING IN AND NURSING A HANGOVER.

TWICE. Because there will be some PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE BULLSHIT that will require GETTING UP instead of SLEEPING IN to go to TWO GODDAMN WSFS BUSINESS MEETINGS so I can vote against all of the PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE BULLSHIT in order to keep these dicktrees from CONTINUING WITH THEIR FUCKERY.

Fuck these dicktrees. Fuck their writing. Fuck their fuckery. LET ME ENJOY DRINKING AT WORLDCON AND GETTING TO SLEEP IN, YOU DICKTREES.
posted by RakDaddy at 2:04 PM on April 26, 2016 [47 favorites]


> "Then again, the Sads also nominated an afrofuturist and feminist novella ..."

The Sad Puppies list this year was was open to whoever wanted to drop by their blog to vote, and had extremely low turnout, so the list ended up being an odd combination of widely popular stuff voted on by semi-random passers-by, self-promoters gaming themselves onto the list, and the things that were favorites of the people who ran the list and their normal followers. Unlike the Rabid list, it probably had little influence on the ultimate list of finalists, and most people are ignoring it now.

Incidentally, I would be surprised if there is not a motion at the Business Meeting to make Gentleman Jole eligible for next year's award, which happens often for popular stuff that gets published late.
posted by kyrademon at 2:07 PM on April 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


AND ALSO fuck these dicktrees for knocking short fiction authors off the ballot. Getting a Hugo nod may not make a career, but it can certainly help. Yay for Alyssa Wong getting a Campbell nomination; boo for none of her actual fiction appearing on the ballot. I hope GRRM goes to the Boneyard in Arizona and makes awards from used fighter jet parts to give to everyone who would have been on the ballot if THESE FUCKING DICKTREES hadn't continued their whinging, petulant bullshit.
posted by RakDaddy at 2:08 PM on April 26, 2016 [25 favorites]


Bujold is one of the few authors who will get a repeat purchase from me sight unseen, but Gentleman Jole didn't strike me as Hugo-worthy. I don't think it's eligible anyway because the hardcover publication date was February, and: "For any work, the year is from the printed publication date if there is one, or else from the copyright date. (Many printed works are actually available before their printed publication date, but this does not matter for Hugo eligibility.)"

But the Chalion series also has gay and bisexual characters, so this isn't a surprise. It's just more obvious that this year's slates have more to do with monkeywrenching than promoting idealized SF&F free from the taint of political correctness.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 2:15 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Just an FYI, Vox Day is only responsible for Rabid Puppies. This year, Sad Puppies are being organized by Sarah Hoyt, Amanda Green, and Kate Paulk.
posted by enamon at 2:18 PM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


We're deep into the thread, but this is worth pointing out: Registering to vote in the Hugos is not expensive, and gets you access to ebook versions of most of the submissions PLUS the ability to nominate for next year.

It's kind of a bargain.
posted by uberchet at 2:33 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I like the Hugos as awards because I think really good sci-fi deserves recognition, but I do wonder if some of this is because they're somewhat losing their function in terms of recommendations.

I've always found the Hugos problematic for this, since even at their most functional they are a popularity contest subject to whims and fads that sometimes irritate me, and the fact they neglect many fine British writers. I find the Locus Awards much better, supplemented here and there by the Campbell, British SF, and Tiptree finalists, as well as the big SFADB "Ranked Titles" pages that shows all the award winners for the year.
posted by aught at 2:39 PM on April 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


Just an FYI, Vox Day is only responsible for Rabid Puppies. This year, Sad Puppies are being organized by Sarah Hoyt, Amanda Green, and Kate Paulk.

Eh, the sads have always been more or less the Citizens' Council to the rabid's KKK. Their whole timeline and reasoning has been repeatedly shown to built on a set of lies and historical revisionism, with a sprinkling of actual bigotry here and there. And of course, their constant flip-flopping on their connection with VD and the rabids has always been borne of the convenience of his argument in supporting theirs.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:39 PM on April 26, 2016 [14 favorites]


And, yes, SP4 has been no different. It's just a change in names, not attitudes or general assholery. Although arguably they have been proven to be far less relevant to the rabids this year, so there's that.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:41 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Phil Sandifer: 2016 Hugo Nominations Reaction
posted by Artw at 2:43 PM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Where is Echopraxia ?
posted by SageLeVoid at 3:01 PM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


This thing is so frustrating to me, as a casual fan of sci-fi.

I can't read every book that comes out every year, even if you just limit it to genre, and I don't follow reviews or any other kind of taste-making system when I put stuff on my to-read list. But, when trying to decide between book A, and book B, the fact that Book B was nominated (or won!) a Hugo, has in the past, been an indicator of quality that I'd consider.

But, I also don't feel comfortable giving my money to people like Vox Day, or people who think like Vox Day. So, for political reasons, maybe I'd consider buying books that were nominated, but not on a puppies list. Which in and of itself, kind of sucks, because I don't want to have to make book choices politically, but oh well.

But then you've got folks like Alastair Reynolds, who wants nothing to do with the Puppies, but apparently writes fiction that they approve of. I'd want to read his stuff if it was good. But lists like the File770 one don't make it clear which Puppy-nominees are only there under protest.

So, I guess I need to completely ignore the Hugos as an input to my reading decisions. Are the Nebulas the only alternative? How can a casual like me determine if they are similarly tainted?
posted by sparklemotion at 3:05 PM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]




The Nebulas are the awards of SFWA; only SFWA members can nominate and vote. So the Hugos are the awards from the "fans"; the Nebulas are the awards the pros give to another pro.

Which doesn't mean they are clear of any taint because any community can have politicking, but it is also the case that the pros may be interested in or engaged by different things than the fans. Here is a list of the joint winners of both awards since 1966.
posted by nubs at 3:12 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


My Little Ponies got a nomination. That's cool.
posted by ZeusHumms at 3:23 PM on April 26, 2016


Like a lot of the nominees there's a weird coded message behind that - apparently the puppies believe that episode to be a pro-discrimination one.
posted by Artw at 3:26 PM on April 26, 2016


This comment has the story.
posted by Artw at 3:27 PM on April 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


Sparklemotion: If you look at the results of the Hugo voting, it's safe to assume that any work that finished below No Award is not worth your time or money. Last year, most of the Rabid Puppy slate finished below No Award, and the same is likely to be true for this year.
posted by Jefffurry at 4:06 PM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


What Scalzi said; also what Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish said.

I haven't read all the comments yet, but three observations:

a) Mitigation has already happened—the nominating ballots have punished the slates in the most popular categories, relegating them to the minor ones where fewer people bother to nominate

b) The voters will probably punish them even more in the final ballot

c) The E. Pluribus Hugo amendment to the regs is almost certain to be ratified this year (because the dipshits came back for a second serving of dipshittery) which will close the current exploit loophole.

Until then: expect lots of clickbait headlines (Can the Hugo awards survive?!?) because web ads. But in the long run, a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
posted by cstross at 4:09 PM on April 26, 2016 [23 favorites]


Thanks aught for the link to http://www.sfadb.com/2015_Ranked_Awards_Titles.

Wow, The Traitor Baru Cormorant has won no awards yet. It's in my top 5 of the year.
posted by joeyh at 4:11 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


PS: I am really glad that I'm not on the shortlist this year. (Shit storms with which I can live without: this one.)

Oh, and per joeyh: The Traitor Baru Cormorant was top of my personal nomination list and I'm pissed off that it didn't make the ballot.
posted by cstross at 4:17 PM on April 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


Baru was hurt by the eBook price, I think. It was one of my nominations, but I read it long after it was published because I dithered so much about spending $12 on that book versus <$10 on any other.
posted by tofu_crouton at 4:32 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sparklemotion, I find a much more fruitful way to pick books than awards is to make some friends (IRL or online) or find some reviewers whose taste aligns with yours. Heck, for me it's more productive to use the largest local public library and just try as much stuff on as I can (I know I'm very lucky to have lived in places with large libraries with well-stocked SF sections.)
posted by gingerest at 4:32 PM on April 26, 2016


I also have some friends whose book tastes align with mine, and reviewers whose tastes I can trust in specific genres or subgenres, who I follow on various blogs or Goodreads.
posted by jeather at 4:37 PM on April 26, 2016


Despite fuckery I ended up reading a fair number of non-puppy books on the basis of last years Hugos - The Goblin Emperor and City of Swords I probably wouldn't have read if they weren't nominated/nearly nominated, and I enjoyed them both immensely.

And in past years it's been a great way to find new writers of short fiction - those are the categories that have been most heavily hit and I think where the real loss lies.
posted by Artw at 4:41 PM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Space Raptor Butt Invasion by Chuck Tingle (Amazon Digital Services)

(dies happy)
posted by Sebmojo at 4:44 PM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Space Raptor Butt Invasion by Chuck Tingle (Amazon Digital Services)
(dies happy)


VD doesn't care, as long as you die.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:03 PM on April 26, 2016 [9 favorites]


For nearly half a century, I've been aware that
a) the Hugo Awards could easily be gamed, especially at the nomination stage;
and
b) ONLY A TOTAL LOSER would be a big enough ASSHOLE to exploit this vulnerability.
(See also: the Scientologist attack on the Hugos back in the '80s.)

It's very depressing that one of the things the Internet has given the world is the ability for ASSHOLES to find each other and to join forces to do asshole things - things like GamerGate - and GAMING THE HUGOS.

So now I have to shell out another fifty bucks of my 'book' budget just to defend my beloved Hugo Awards from another attack by ASSHOLE LOSERS.

(See also: Cipolla's definition of stupidity:
"A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses."
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 5:14 PM on April 26, 2016 [11 favorites]


ffs another election thread
posted by um at 5:23 PM on April 26, 2016 [14 favorites]


I have Metafilter open in one tab and the comments on Vox Day open in the other, there is actually surprising overlap: everyone loves Chuck Tingle and My Little Pony.
posted by 445supermag at 5:55 PM on April 26, 2016


Chuck Tingle deserves better than to be associated with Vox Day.
posted by JohnFromGR at 6:39 PM on April 26, 2016 [12 favorites]


Sadly I suspect that nomination is entirely down to the title playing into their weird obsession with Rachel Swirsky. Their degree of rage at that one story is almost comedic.
posted by Artw at 6:51 PM on April 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


It's very depressing that one of the things the Internet has given the world is the ability for ASSHOLES to find each other and to join forces to do asshole things - things like GamerGate - and GAMING THE HUGOS.

But it also affords isolated people with niche interests who aren't assholes the opportunity to connect and community build. Two sides of the same coin.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:52 PM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


But it also affords isolated people with niche interests who aren't assholes the opportunity to connect and community build. Two sides of the same coin.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:52 PM on April 26


Yeah, true enough: thanks for reminding us to look on the bright side.

Still, it's depressing to contemplate that there are sad-sacks in the world hopeless enough to turn to BEALE for some guidance in their lives....
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 7:09 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


The jury is still out which side of the coin will come up more often. After all, some of the most successful "community builders" BEFORE the Internet were the Assholes.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:40 PM on April 26, 2016


In what I am sure is just a complete coincidence, Chuck Tingle has a new ebook available on Amazon entitled "SLAMMED IN THE BUTT BY MY HUGO AWARD NOMINATION." According to the blurb, it concerns a certainly-very-fictional "writer of gay science fiction erotic" named "Tuck Bingle" who - perhaps unsurprisingly - gets nominated for a Hugo Award.

I guess I'm going to have resurrect my Kindle account.
posted by koeselitz at 7:41 PM on April 26, 2016 [18 favorites]


I'm actually surprised they kept up this year - I figured they were going to take a year off so no one would go to the business meeting and nothing would pass.
posted by corb at 7:49 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


The assholes aren't smart enough to wait. (This is classic "Try for a doughnut now? or maybe get TWO doughnuts later?" psychology. They're incapable of long-term planning.)
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 7:53 PM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


The Sad Puppy recommendation list had essentially zero effect on the finalists, and VxD, despite what he thinks, is not actually good at strategic planning. The rabid slate was filled with poison pills should people just decide no award anything on a slate, as if voters would be stymied and incapable of changing their voting strategy.
posted by jeather at 7:56 PM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Homer: Aw, twenty dollars? I wanted a peanut!
Homer's Brain: Twenty dollars can buy many peanuts.
Homer: Explain how!
Homer's Brain: Money can be exchanged for goods and services.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:20 PM on April 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


Can someone explain to me how something like Ishiguro's The Sleeping Giant will not get nominated, even among the sad puppy/rapid puppy slate?
posted by PinkMoose at 8:25 PM on April 26, 2016


This is kind of a bugbear of mine but I don't get why Lois McMaster Bujold doesn't come up more often when people are listing Hugo-winning authors. It's always "Robert Heinlein, Ursula le Guin, Harlan Ellison, etc."

I know she's not as well-known, but she's won four Best Novels, same as Heinlein, and a Best Novella. Maybe she'd be more well-known if people mentioned her more often.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 8:28 PM on April 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


Possibly because The Sleeping Giant wasn't really published as SF/F, although it basically was. It didn't get a ton of play in the SFF community, either because it's metaphorical (I believe, I haven't read it), or because it's too literary to appeal.

I don't recall if Never Let Me Go was nominated for any SF/F awards.
posted by suelac at 8:29 PM on April 26, 2016


Oops, just saw someone already mentioned the new tingler. That was unbelievably fast.
posted by tomorrowromance at 8:31 PM on April 26, 2016


I would argue it was allegory, but it was allegory featuring Arthur, and was basically sword and sorcery.
posted by PinkMoose at 8:35 PM on April 26, 2016


I would argue it was allegory, but it was allegory featuring Arthur, and was basically sword and sorcery.

i legitimately thought this was about the new tingler for a hot minute
posted by Krom Tatman at 8:44 PM on April 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


Something gets pulled out of a something.
posted by Artw at 9:05 PM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


So I don't quite get how the Nebula compares to the Hugo. Does the Nebula awards process have the same problems? Also, is the award not considered as important/prestigious?
posted by picea at 9:20 PM on April 26, 2016


As mentioned, the Nebulas (Nebulae?) are voted on only by members of the Science Fiction Writers Association; the Hugos can be voted upon by anyone with a bit of cash to spare. In general, I'd say the two have had similar prestige for most of their history, though with maybe a general sense that the Nebula's a little more refined/staid and the Hugo's a little more populist/with-the-times. Still, there's almost always been a lot of overlap between nominees and winners in most years.
posted by Krom Tatman at 9:45 PM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


also, lest we forget, the unholy alliance of Vox Day and Larry Correia was forged in part by Day's disgraced expulsion from SFWA (previously, slightly less previously.) I'm sure if he could think up a way to sabotage the Nebulas, he'd be doing that instead.
posted by Krom Tatman at 11:36 PM on April 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


A bunch of us were discussing nominating Homestuck for Best Graphic Story at next year's Hugos, now that it's done. There's also a post going around encouraging younger fans to sign up and vote so that fresher blood and more contemporary work (eg Steven Universe or Night Vale) can get a chance to shine.

The problem though is that most of us who would be inclined to nominate Homestuck or Steven Universe or whoever can't afford the $40 membership - whether due to age, income level, currency ($40 is a LOT of money here), or some other factor. And many of us aren't likely to attend WorldCon. So it's not worth it to spend a few meals' worth of cash nominating something that may not get enough votes to advance to the finals.

Perhaps if WorldCon thought about making the costs of nomination more equitable, it'd be easier for a more diverse range of people to nominate a wider diversity of work. So even if the Puppies keep going, there's enough other work nominated to keep them at bay.
posted by divabat at 12:17 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Don't forget though that a supporting membership of a Worldcon gets you three chances to vote:

1) nominations for this year's Hugos
2) Voting in this year's Hugos
3) nominations for next year's Hugos

Which makes that $40 look slightly more reasonable.

However, you're not actually buying a vote in the Hugo with your supporting membership: you support the Worldcon as a whole to help it pay for the costs it makes in organising the con. The purpose of Worldcon is not to hold the Hugos but to hold Worldcon.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:49 AM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


That's still a lot of money that could go into more tangible needs, including supporting the creators directly rather than hope there's enough of a critical mass to make ponying up for nomination and votes worth it. Why pay for an event I'm not likely to attend (because airfare & visas) when I can just buy $40 worth of music and Merch from the creators I want to support? (Or hell, just eat - $40 is nearly RM160, that's two weeks worth of meals right there, or a stack of books)

The money is used to support WorldCon but what is WorldCon doing to support low-income or marginalized fans, if anything?
posted by divabat at 2:20 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


A voting membership does get you the Hugo packet, which, depending on the year, your own interests, and how closely you've kept up with SFF over the past year, can be quite a steal at $40 (one year, it included the entirety of the Wheel of Time, and even then they managed to pack in enough good stuff that people still wanted it.) But yeah, the difficulty that SFF lit fandom has in attracting new blood is real, and change has been slow.
posted by Krom Tatman at 2:34 AM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


suelac: Never Let Me Go was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke award in 2006. The winner that year was Air by Geoff Ryman (whose work I can strongly recommend to you.)
posted by cstross at 2:37 AM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Krom Tatman: I'm sure if he could think up a way to sabotage the Nebulas, he'd be doing that instead.

A year ago I worked out that "Castalia House" might be a vanity project designed to generate SFWA membership credentials (a track record of published stories) for Vox Day's followers as a prelude to taking over SFWA by means of Entryism. I raised this with the board, and received a (close-lipped) acknowledgement that they were alert to this possibility.

Unlike the Hugos, where anyone who ponies up the money can join the WSFS by buying a worldcon membership, SFWA has mechanisms in place that could be used to obstruct such an attack (not to mention that it would be very expensive). Moreover, SFWA's members receive useful services from the organization by way of things like Griefcom and the emergency medical fund, so I don't think they'd take it lying down. And you can't really trash the Nebulas unless you first subvert SFWA's membership.

So I don't think it's going to happen, but it is a legitimate concern.
posted by cstross at 2:48 AM on April 27, 2016 [22 favorites]


I greatly look forward to Chuck Tingle's inevitable butt-pounding parody response to this moment.

Slammed In The Butt By My Hugo Award Nomination.

"When Tuck Bingle receives and email explaining that he’s been nominated for science fiction literature’s most prestigious award, he’s left utterly confused. On one hand, Tuck is a successful writer of gay, science fiction erotic, but on the other, this email is addressed to someone by the name of Chuck Tingle.

Tuck replies, but his message is not delivered because the recipient exists in another layer of The Tingleverse, a revelation that will take Tuck on a journey into the deepest realms of his butt’s heart.

Soon, Tuck is breaking fourth-walls and anal limits, pounded hard by a handsome sentient Hugo Award nomination named Kelpo and learning the true meaning of homoerotic love!

This erotic tale is 4,500 words of sizzling human on prestigious award nomination action, including anal, blowjobs, rough sex, cream pies and gay interdimensional love."
posted by fight or flight at 4:06 AM on April 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


Tingle is a writing machine. Can we hope for "Pounded in the Butt by the Metafilter Thread on My Book 'Slammed In The Butt By My Hugo Award Nomination'"?
posted by theorique at 5:09 AM on April 27, 2016 [10 favorites]


Tom Mays withdraws: Regarding My 2016 Hugo Award Nomination
posted by Artw at 5:24 AM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


File 770 lost some data:

File 770 was conspicuously missing in action after posting the Hugo nominees yesterday.

My internet service provider says there was no denial of service attack.

Nor was it a bandwidth issue – the plan I was on had unlimited bandwidth.

Frankly, I don’t understand the explanation but it amounts to the system thinking I had maxed out a different service metric. The solution was to upgrade. That’s why we’re back on the air. (Hooray!)

Every silver lining has a cloud, unfortunately. When they migrated my files to the new server, they lost everything after April 22. Tech was unable to say why.

I reconstructed all the lost posts using Google cache files. But I couldn’t make the new posts use the old permalinks, so if you want somebody to find them, send them the new link. And unfortunately the comments aren’t there, because these are “new” posts.


Link
posted by Artw at 5:32 AM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Tom Mays withdraws: Regarding My 2016 Hugo Award Nomination
I had no right to tell Vox to remove my story from the Rabid Puppies list, nor did I think asking him would do much good. I had no right to tell any Rabid Puppy how to vote, nor, truthfully, was I much inclined. I did not ask to be part of any list, but I hoped at the very least that it might bring other eyes to “The Commuter”, readers that might appreciate it for what it was and perhaps honor me with an uncontroversial nomination (or at least a few Kindle purchases). But, now that all hopes for a clean nomination are dashed, it is my turn to speak:

Rather than eat a shit sandwich, I choose to get up from the table.
This is the most libertarian, self-serving, bullshit thing I've read all week.
posted by Etrigan at 5:42 AM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


It seems more like self-preservation. Mays doesn't want to be an RP figurehead, nor does he want to be caught in a crossfire. So he does the decent thing, recuses himself, and gets to be the good guy.
posted by theorique at 5:43 AM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


The decent thing would have been to say all this before getting the nomination. Claiming that he had no "right" to ask for removal? Bullshit. Claiming that it wouldn't have done any good anyway? What good does it do to refuse the nomination? He claims that he wanted a "clean" nomination despite being on the slate, but he got nominated and only now realizes that this was impossible? No, fuck him.
posted by Etrigan at 5:52 AM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


From Twitter it looks like Gaiman is not withdrawing his Sandman nomination unless the others involved do too, which TBH is fair enough for a colaborative work. IIRC he habitually declines solo nominations.
posted by Artw at 5:56 AM on April 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


I agree that his explanation is bullshit, but the upside is that it may actually do some good if it turns out that it opened a slot for a non-puppy (and I'm including both sad and rabid here) nominee. If that ends up being the case, it's a good thing regardless of his intent.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:56 AM on April 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


Seems like the thing to do would have been a Shermanesque statement in advance. "I do not want to be associated with the RPs. Please do not nominate me. If nominated, I will withdraw my nomination."
posted by Chrysostom at 5:57 AM on April 27, 2016


Uh, the decent thing would be to not do business with a fascist. He's been published by that house. I think the ship sailed on 'decency'. So this guy can fuck off.
posted by selfnoise at 6:02 AM on April 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


I agree that his explanation is bullshit, but the upside is that it may actually do some good if it turns out that it opened a slot for a non-puppy (and I'm including both sad and rabid here) nominee. If that ends up being the case, it's a good thing regardless of his intent.

That saved a few categories last year.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 6:43 AM on April 27, 2016


Haven't had time to read this whole thread yet, but can I just say that maybe soaking everybody for a "supporting membership" in order for them to vote is not working? That is, it is not producing results that are consonant with what the majority of science fiction readers would actually choose, separate from the rules? Could we just admit that?

There are plenty of other people to whom science fiction belongs but that aren't, or that won't, plop $50 down just to cast a vote. If the community is trying to be more inclusive, maybe removing a quite expensive fee in order to be able to vote might be a good place to start.
posted by newdaddy at 7:09 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Pretty sure that would just have the effect of increasing the troll vote.
posted by Artw at 7:17 AM on April 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


Just came in to say that I picked up the one Best Novel finalist that I hadn't read, Naomi Novik's Uprooted, and I like it. Her style reminds me of Jack Vance in some ways, and I mean that as a compliment.

By my personal scoring, all of the Best Novel finalists are pretty solid, regardless of who nominated them. And since I got one good new book out of the list, I say that overall it's not a total loss.
posted by bgribble at 7:17 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


[Comment removed. If you're joining the conversation late to talk about how you're not interested in the subject or the genre but hey what about Hitler, just skip it entirely.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:29 AM on April 27, 2016 [12 favorites]


A sound suggestion:

@charlotteashley Maybe we shld declare Short Story Appreciation Day. Mad abt Hugos? Today, email/DM the author of your favourite short story & let them know.
posted by Artw at 7:32 AM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


I sort of specialize in feminist, LGBT, and more recently, a fair number of afrofuturist works. And trust me, if there was some sort of left-wing cabal to stuff the Hugos, they'd be a lot more radical than what we've seen for the last decade. Compare the Hugo lists to the Tiptree and Lambda lists for example.

Speaking of which, Okorafor sold two more Binti stories.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 7:36 AM on April 27, 2016 [13 favorites]


Oh, I think we've established that stuffing the Hugos is both easy and obvious when it happens, and that if possible Hugo stuffing was ever a concern for the Puppies they should at least now know what it looks like when it happens, what sort of people are likely to do it, and what the reaction of the SF community at large is when it's done. Weirdly after conducting this experiment they don't seem to have done anything with this new information.
posted by Artw at 7:42 AM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Some men just want to watch the world burn, Artw.
posted by nubs at 7:47 AM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


That's not true, now they're conducting an experiment on what happens when you stuff the ballot with actual dogshit instead of ideological picks.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:51 AM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


Weirdly after conducting this experiment they don't seem to have done anything with this new information.

Of course. It was a self-fulfilling prophecy created out of whole cloth from (at best) a guy whose ego demanded a Hugo, joined by a know-nothing chest-beater who didn't have the sense to not let his bigot flag fly every time he said something in public. The further addition of an actual white supremacist who they'd been defending as a victim of the evil S(JW)FWA was inevitable. So then they had to invent a story about a politically-motivated clique of holier-than-thou types trying to destroy SFF from within, claim that there was a Juche-style dictatorship trying to enforce a hegemony through underhanded means, and that there was a cadre of "Trufans" attempting to redefine SFF. Of course, in the end it turns out that they were the ones attacking SFF and were willing to sabotage everything about it in pursuit of their goals. They were the ones who tried to erase events from history, make up a history of their own, threaten violence against those who opposed their efforts, and even enlist a group of ideological thugs to stuff ballot boxes. And they were the ones who came up with 110% pure idiocy like the "Nutty Nuggets" that were never representative of SFF to begin with, and ran with that concept in an attempt to be the gatekeepers of "real" SFF.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:00 AM on April 27, 2016 [9 favorites]


Yeah, but Rachel Swirsky wrote this one story.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:02 AM on April 27, 2016 [9 favorites]


I'm assuming the second link in the FPP was this post on the RP's impact.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:04 AM on April 27, 2016


They're so angry about that story. So angry.

I would suggest reading it and sharing it as much as possible.
posted by Artw at 8:04 AM on April 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


Is there a link available for that story?
posted by nubs at 8:07 AM on April 27, 2016


Artw: even if removing the fee increased the troll vote, it would also increase voting for EVERYTHING ELSE, which means more opportunity to have more diverse work. I mentioned upthread that many of us are dissuaded from the Hugos because of the cost even though we had plenty to nominate.
posted by divabat at 8:08 AM on April 27, 2016


If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love
posted by Artw at 8:09 AM on April 27, 2016 [9 favorites]


[Updated the file770 link in the post.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:10 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


They're so angry about that story. So angry.

The thing is - I personally don't love that story. I get what Swirsky is doing, it doesn't do much for me. But that's my opinion, and the fact that other people love it doesn't impact me. What the heck do I care if it wins a Hugo? What kind of person would get exercised about that?

Fritz Leiber's The Wanderer isn't any good, and I wouldn't have voted for it for Best Novel of 1964, but what harm have I been done by it?
posted by Chrysostom at 8:28 AM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


I loved the dinosaur story, but it DID NOT WIN the Hugo. It lost to a John Chu short story. (I also loved that story.)
posted by jeather at 8:37 AM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


They're so angry about that story. So angry.

Good lord, is that why the Rapid Puppies nominated "Space Raptor Butt Invasion"? Seriously, one of VD's fellow traveller's complained Swirsky's story had a bestiality angle?! What are the Rabid Puppies projecting??

Then there are all the comments in the story that complain it's classist, because the pool cue-wielding drunk goons are an aspersion on working men? (And has nothing, repeat, nothing to do with any repressed fantasies of violence that the Rabid Puppies may or may not be harbouring...)

Talk about the rage of Caliban seeing his own face in a glass.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:37 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


So I just read If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love, and I thought it was beautiful.

And I'm honestly confused about why it makes people angry. I get that it might not be everyone's cup of tea, but the anger is weird. All that I can find is incoherent screeds about how it's somehow bigoted against manual laborers or that it's not sci-fi (even though it includes cloning dinosaurs and does not include any mention of manual laborers).

Is it just that they don't like that it's squishy and literary and touches on LGBT issues so they have to pick through it to find a connection between drunk bigots who play pool and the Good Working Class Men of America?
posted by sparklemotion at 8:39 AM on April 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


I mentioned upthread that many of us are dissuaded from the Hugos because of the cost even though we had plenty to nominate.

Maybe.

I'd certainly say that the model of the Hugos being nominated by a cosy little gang of everyone who went to WorldCon plus a few hangers on with postal votes, and everyone abiding by an unspoken set of rules give or take the odd grognard scruffle that becomes an episode in fan-lore, is permanently and unrevocably broken. Maybe opening things up further is a thing that should be done in response to that.

But relating to the specific issue of the puppies and the current rules a coordinated voting block is still going to beat an enlarged but diffuse set of voters, so you'd basically just give a discount to the same trolls plus whatever 4chan types decide to tag along.
posted by Artw at 8:39 AM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


I loved the dinosaur story, but it DID NOT WIN the Hugo.

Good catch, sorry about that. Larger point still stands.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:40 AM on April 27, 2016


If things are "opened up further" then it is no longer the Hugo Awards. There is a misunderstanding that these awards are supposed to represent all of fandom. They aren't. They represent WorldCon. That particular aggregate of fans has its own culture & tastes, and that is what has been historically represented by the award.
posted by Burgoo at 9:08 AM on April 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'd certainly say that the model of the Hugos being nominated by a cosy little gang of everyone who went to WorldCon plus a few hangers on with postal votes [...] is permanently and unrevocably broken.

Oh for crying out loud. The Hugos are WorldCon's award, reflecting the taste of WorldCon members is not a bug, it's a feature. If you want an award that represents the entire science fiction reading community nothing is stopping you from starting one, but that's not what the Hugos are for.
posted by Proofs and Refutations at 9:11 AM on April 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


If things are "opened up further" then it is no longer the Hugo Awards.

Then it hasn't been the Hugo Awards for at least a couple of years. The options seem to be either closing the circle or widening it.
posted by Etrigan at 9:18 AM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Is it just that they don't like that it's squishy and literary and touches on LGBT issues so they have to pick through it to find a connection between drunk bigots who play pool and the Good Working Class Men of America?

They'll swear up and down that that's not the case, but that's pretty much it. For a lot of these people, if you said the new hotness was a story about an intersex (and later transgender) person that impregnated themselves via time travel, and where every character was actually the same person in different parts of their personal timeline , you would be met with a spittle-flecked rant about perverts and agendas and the good old days when you weren't being deceived into reading stories about "transsexual socialist abortion doctors" (a type of phrasing Torgersen and Correia love to use derogatorily). Of course, the reality is that their favorite hypothetical enemy of the SJWs wrote that story in 1959, and it's had a lot of praise over the years. But don't remind them, they're not the ones who made it political, how dare you accuse them blah blah blah bigotcakes.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:19 AM on April 27, 2016 [21 favorites]


The old Hugo is gone, sorry. It assumed security by obscurity and that everyone who knew the various handshakes to get a vote would be acting in good faith - both assumptions that are utterly dead.

You could limit it to only people physically attending WorldCon to try and simulate the old Hugos, but that seems rather ungenerous to anyone not able to make it.
posted by Artw at 9:22 AM on April 27, 2016


They're so angry about that story. So angry.

Really? It doesn't do a lot for me, but it is well written, and it is an interesting point of discussion in terms of what is SF, but to get angry about it? I'm reminded of Vonnegut's comment about donning armor to attack a hot fudge sundae.
posted by nubs at 9:23 AM on April 27, 2016


A lot has been suggested above about why they might hate it, but it all seems to come down to the story implying bigotry is bad.
posted by Artw at 9:27 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Of course, the reality is that their favorite hypothetical enemy of the SJWs wrote that story in 1959, and it's had a lot of praise over the years.

Who are all you zombieflanders?
posted by Artw at 9:28 AM on April 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


And of course, all the nominations of RAH in this year's Retro Hugos are living proof that today RAH wouldn't get any because SJWs.
posted by sukeban at 9:30 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Between Light and Shadow: An Exploration of the Fiction of Gene Wolfe

WHOAH. Did not know of this.

Glad I RTF770A.

(still don't know what slate means any more than bae but whatevs)
posted by sidereal at 9:33 AM on April 27, 2016


Who are all you zombieflanders?

There are literally dozens of us!
posted by zombieflanders at 9:33 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


And I'm honestly confused about why it makes people angry. I get that it might not be everyone's cup of tea, but the anger is weird.

Bear in mind, that one of the Puppy leaders has said that it is a natural impulse for a straight male to beat to death any gay man on first meeting. And Ted Beal has said that ISIS is winning because they kill gays.

So quite literally, the Puppies hate that story because it says that sort of bigoted violence is wrong.
posted by happyroach at 9:36 AM on April 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


"Haven't had time to read this whole thread yet, but can I just say that maybe soaking everybody for a "supporting membership" in order for them to vote is not working?"

I kinda feel like an asshole for not wanting to pony up for a membership, but hoo boy, do I not want to pay $40 or whatever to a con I'll never attend to feel obligated to read some works that I wouldn't want to read even if someone was paying me to do it. Same reason why I don't join book clubs--I'm not in school any more and nobody's forcing me to spend money on and/or read things I don't wanna, dammit. Especially when there's a bunch of awful ballot stuffers making the quality go way down, to boot.

I really enjoyed the "no award" sweep last year big time (I even watched the dang Hugos streaming and normally I don't care and rarely watch any awards shows) and I root for the bastards to be brought down, but somehow I don't want to join up and participate in that. I'm awful, I know.

Though it seems like evil will always triumph here, one way or the other. At least this year, beats me on next year.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:38 AM on April 27, 2016


sidereal: "(still don't know what slate means any more than bae but whatevs)"

bae
[bā]
NOUN

US
informal
a person's boyfriend or girlfriend (often as a form of address):
"I'm going to see my bae"

====

A slate is an endorsed list of items one SHOULD vote for. "To support the RPs in our savage twilit struggle against the foul SJWs, put the following items on your Hugo nomination ballot."
posted by Chrysostom at 9:43 AM on April 27, 2016


hoo boy, do I not want to pay $40 or whatever to a con I'll never attend to feel obligated to read some works that I wouldn't want to read even if someone was paying me to do it

Then...don't? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by Krom Tatman at 9:47 AM on April 27, 2016 [5 favorites]




Alright, I know it's just a parody, but it's actually a good parody: I find myself wanting to vote for "If You Were An Award, My Love."
posted by corb at 9:52 AM on April 27, 2016


Brandon Sanderson has made a post on the Hugos.

And now this is the most libertarian, self-serving, bullshit thing I've read all week.
posted by Etrigan at 9:56 AM on April 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


If we lived in a world of magic where anything was possible and a story with no fantasy and no science and very little fiction could be nominated for a Hugo™ then you would be an award, my love. You’d stand for everything progressive and PETA© and transgender and carbon-neutral and GMO/peanut free and latina and pro-Palestine and LGBT friendly and you’d miss the Soviet Union in a melancholy kind of way. Your Social Just-Us Warrior supporters would intimidate your foes effortlessly through coordinated campaigns of doxxing and public hateshaming. Whereas you—fragile, lovely, human you—must rely on threats and intimidation and troll-like slow-writing George R. R. Martin.

yeah it's really great

got the next fuckin vonnegut or adams on our hands right here
posted by Krom Tatman at 9:58 AM on April 27, 2016 [13 favorites]


yeah it's really great

got the next fuckin vonnegut or adams on our hands right here


Accompanied by a picture of Rachel Swirsky and the words "Yeah, we're going to need a bigger harpoon." A real fucking knee-slapper, this one.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:03 AM on April 27, 2016 [11 favorites]


Oh is that what that was? Well that part is gross. But the story itself does have a certain charm and has gotten the parody down pretty well.
posted by corb at 10:05 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Chrysostom, it honestly never occurred to me to search using Bing.
posted by sidereal at 10:05 AM on April 27, 2016


i still think your fanfiction about torgersen in the last thread is better and more innovative than anything the puppies have put up in the short categories
posted by Krom Tatman at 10:06 AM on April 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


Brandon Sanderson has made a post on the Hugos.

He's said that he's 'rather liberal politically' before, and has handwavingly justified it by saying he's more liberal than his fellow LDS members. Setting the bar extremely low, but it doesn't change the fact that he's pro-life and against gay marriage.
posted by zarq at 10:06 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Complaining about systemic liberal bias by picking single cases as iconic and then beating them to a dead hamburger of horsemeat seems to be something of a conservative thing, whether it's gay wedding cakes, trans characters in RPGs, red Christmas cups, or stories about dinosaur cloning.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 10:08 AM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


Complaining about systemic liberal bias by picking single cases as iconic and then beating them to a dead hamburger of horsemeat seems to be something of a conservative thing, whether it's gay wedding cakes, trans characters in RPGs, red Christmas cups, or stories about dinosaur cloning.

strangely enough, Chuck Tingle has written a story about each and every one of these
posted by Krom Tatman at 10:15 AM on April 27, 2016 [15 favorites]


Ah, yes, the certain charm of a story posted by a guy who believes woman should have acid thrown in their faces as a corrective, denies the existence of marital rape, and wants to repeal women's suffrage, accompanied by his own sprinkles of misogynist violence on top. A+ in the ol' charm department.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:16 AM on April 27, 2016 [14 favorites]


Vox Day is a bit problemantic, of course. "If You Were An Award My Love" is at least a bit of a chuckle, given that the frankly bizarre original story "If You Were A Dinosaur My Love" actually did receive an award.
posted by theorique at 10:25 AM on April 27, 2016


sidereal: "Chrysostom, it honestly never occurred to me to search using Bing."

Ha! You know, I use it because then my search history isn't recorded (I'm logged into Google all of the time). It's decent most of the time, I switch to Google as needed.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:27 AM on April 27, 2016


Alright, I know it's just a parody, but it's actually a good parody: I find myself wanting to vote for "If You Were An Award, My Love."

Oh is that what that was? Well that part is gross. But the story itself does have a certain charm and has gotten the parody down pretty well.

Vox Day is a bit problemantic, of course. "If You Were An Award My Love" is at least a bit of a chuckle, given that the frankly bizarre original story "If You Were A Dinosaur My Love" actually did receive an award.


i laughed harder at these comments than at anything in IYWAAML

also, no it didn't.
posted by Krom Tatman at 10:28 AM on April 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


Brandon Sanderson has made a post on the Hugos.

And now this is the most libertarian, self-serving, bullshit thing I've read all week.


I swear there is something about male SF/F writers that makes them write this sort of "To Whom It May Concern Amongst the Central High LARPing Club" wheeze on their websites. Even ones that write good fiction!

They need to find some chill, real bad.
posted by selfnoise at 10:28 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


also, no it didn't.

Yes, it did. It won a Nebula.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:30 AM on April 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


Vox Day is a bit problemantic, of course

"A bit."
posted by zarq at 10:33 AM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


More Scalzi thoughts.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:35 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Vox Day is a bit problemantic the zodiac killer

There we go.
posted by selfnoise at 10:36 AM on April 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


The Hugos are a nice fan/industry award, and didn’t do anything to deserve the nonsense that’s happening to them, except to have an exploitable flaw in the nominating process that previously no one really exploited because no one wanted to be that asshole

Well, that's what makes them no longer nice and actually a public health hazard. That shit needed plugging up when it became apparent it was going to be a problem, which was at minimum three years ago. Now, maybe EPH will work, but frankly all the excuses and handwringing and the refusal to admit the problem of institutional does not fill me with confidence.
posted by Artw at 10:42 AM on April 27, 2016


If the definition of rape is stretched so far to include women who have not given consent, then I am absolutely a serial rapist.

I mean, that's not a stretch, it's literally the definition of rape. So Vox Day is a rapist too.
posted by maxsparber at 10:43 AM on April 27, 2016 [15 favorites]


Does anyone know the significance of Kelpo in the new Chuck Tingle? I'm so curious.
posted by jeather at 10:44 AM on April 27, 2016


I mean, Vox Day is an asshole - that doesn't make that story less funny, it just means he's an asshole. However, I did think the story was written by a different Puppy when I considered actually voting for it.

Idk, I feel like the whole Trump actually having brownshirts makes these guys look like less of threats than previously appeared.
posted by corb at 10:50 AM on April 27, 2016


I mean, Vox Day is an asshole - that doesn't make that story less funny

you're not wrong. nothing could make the story less funny.
posted by Krom Tatman at 10:52 AM on April 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


Idk, I feel like the whole Trump actually having brownshirts makes these guys look like less of threats than previously appeared.

Yeah, it's not like puppy supporters have attempted to use the police to silence an outspoken opponent of theirs or threatened to illegally sneak guns into MidAmericaCon or anything like that. And even if they did, it's totes cool Because Trump.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:59 AM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


Gah, you guys, you know, if I told you it would cost you $50 to cast your vote for President of the United States, there would be blood in the streets. People would riot, and rightfully so. But it's ok to ask for $50 a membership in order to vote for Best Story, because why? Because we are clearly the inclusive and progressive organization?

If you really trust and value the thoughts of YOUR READERS, make it so all of your readers can be heard. I feel as though the 'Meh, it'll run its course' attitude of some professional SF writers in this thread is pretty tone deaf to the actual structural problem with the voting here.
posted by newdaddy at 11:01 AM on April 27, 2016


If you really trust and value the thoughts of YOUR READERS

The Hugos aren't reader awards. They are Worldcon supporter awards. There are plenty of readers' choice awards where you don't have to pay to participate, Goodreads is just one.
posted by sukeban at 11:04 AM on April 27, 2016 [15 favorites]


But it's ok to ask for $50 a membership in order to vote for Best Story, because why? Because we are clearly the inclusive and progressive organization?

No, it's because the Hugo awards are the awards voted on and given by the members of Worldcon. That's what they are and what they always have been. People not members of Worldcon don't get to vote.
posted by Lexica at 11:07 AM on April 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


You can't vote for president of the PTA without being a member of the PTA. You can't vote for the Oscars without being a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. You can't vote for the Hugos without being a member of Worldcon. These all have various rules and requirements for membership, but I don't think any rise to "blood in the streets" level of rioting over.
posted by Roommate at 11:08 AM on April 27, 2016 [16 favorites]


... what the hell? The Hugos are the award given for the best work as determined by Worldcon fandom. You pay 50 dollars to be part of Worldcon. If you want a new award voted on by a different group of people, go for it! Nothing is stopping you. You can make your own catagories! Eligibility rules! Arrange your own ceremony!

The current evidence is that an entirely open and free award poll would result in Hitler and Boaty McBoatface winning, but go you.
posted by tavella at 11:09 AM on April 27, 2016 [15 favorites]


These all have various rules and requirements for membership, I don't think any rise to "blood in the streets" level of rioting over.

Although that might make a great short story.
posted by nubs at 11:10 AM on April 27, 2016


It's also worth noting I had to pay 20$ to vote on delegates for the election, too, because in some states you have to be a paid member of the party to have a vote.

Actually, to just have a chance to vote for national delegates, I'll have paid over $200 at this point. So yeah, EVERY organization does it.
posted by corb at 11:10 AM on April 27, 2016


Again, these particular awards are not for all readers. They are for WorldCon members. So yes, there is a financial barrier for entry. There are other awards that are for all readers (the GoodReads awards, for example). This thing is not that thing. Why be upset about that?
posted by Burgoo at 11:13 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


I swear there is something about male SF/F writers that makes them write this sort of "To Whom It May Concern Amongst the Central High LARPing Club" wheeze on their websites. Even ones that write good fiction!

Most blog posts by SF/F writers that opine on a controversy seem to be 4000 words minimum. Storytellers gonna storytell, I guess.
posted by theorique at 11:24 AM on April 27, 2016




GRRM: The Puppy Wars Resume
posted by sukeban at 11:43 AM on April 27, 2016


I found the comment about EPH with 2015 data. But it's all provisional and was probably not supposed to have been posted yet; the final results haven't been posted and I haven't seen discussion of it.
posted by jeather at 11:44 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Clarke Award shortlist was just announced:

The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor
Europe at Midnight by Dave Hutchinson
Arcadia by Iain Pears
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
Way Down Dark by JP Smythe
Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
posted by Artw at 11:47 AM on April 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


Yes, I get that the Hugos are meant to be chosen by Worldcon supporters, rather than readers at large. But in reality it's working out that "I have $50 extra to throw away on this" is a pretty poor proxy for "I care about the state of SF, and the history of the award, and I'm not trying to just trash the place." That's the real problem here. Either make the awards accessible to a much wider circle, or make it such that you have to actually show up at Worldcon to participate. I don't believe that the EPH system is going to turn out to be un-gameable by a determined group.
posted by newdaddy at 11:55 AM on April 27, 2016


It may be worth noting that an alternate, free-to-all set of awards *has* been recently announced, the DragonCon Awards.
posted by Four Ds at 12:00 PM on April 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


If DragonCon comes up with a way to avoid the vote-gaming that both the sads and rabids have been using (courtesy of their strong partnerships with hate groups), I'd be all for it. I wouldn't bet on it, though.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:06 PM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Though it seems like evil will always triumph here, one way or the other.

Evil has a pretty serious work ethic.
posted by daveje at 12:11 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Dragon Con has a more lurid history than most when it comes to institutional blindness to problems, but we'll see.
posted by Artw at 12:12 PM on April 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


> "Evil has a pretty serious work ethic."

Nah, this particular evil is hella lazy. The apotheosis of their scheming has been to annoy a bunch of SFF fans. I mean, I'm annoyed, so good job, I guess, but whoop-de-fuckin'-do.

The whole reason this is happening at all is that the Hugo rules were set up in such a way that an idiot with a minor blog following can disrupt them by spending an hour or so making a few posts. Which is exactly what an idiot with a minor blog following did. It's least-effort evil.

(Although I do think people are fooling themselves if they think that even if nothing changes, the idiot will get eventually bored and go away, because it's literally taking the idiot hardly any work at all.)
posted by kyrademon at 12:36 PM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


GRRM: The Puppy Wars Resume

Perhaps unsurprisingly he's against anyone withdrawing. He's generally got a pretty clear eye on what is going on and his attempts to be fair and nice to everyone should be applauded but boy is his bias for inaction strong.
posted by Artw at 12:37 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


[insert joke about next SOIAF book missing deadline here]
posted by Chrysostom at 12:38 PM on April 27, 2016


[insert joke about next SOIAF book missing deadline here]

Nah, vintage hood ornaments are expensive.
posted by sukeban at 12:39 PM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


I have to point out that increasing the number of fans participating doesn't do anything at all to stop slates from dominating the process. Reduce the cost of voting to zero, and the focused votes of slate voters will still overwhelm the scattered votes of regular viewers, while giving more access to people like GamerGate who don't care for the Hugos, but want a chance to "stick it to the SJWs". I've seen the math on that, and it's pretty convincing.

The solutions are fairly limited- either we need a filtering system like EPH, or a juried system, which would effectively kill the Hugos.
posted by happyroach at 12:46 PM on April 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


There doesn't seem to be enthusiasm for any kind of two state process with a long list, but I would have thought dibe right that would consolidate votes on good works and leave a lot of the garbage out in the cold.
posted by Artw at 12:49 PM on April 27, 2016


If DragonCon comes up with a way to avoid the vote-gaming

My understanding is that they wrote their rules so that a committee gets to override the popular vote and pick whatever nominees they'd like.
posted by tofu_crouton at 12:58 PM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


Well, that's one way I guess.
posted by Artw at 1:05 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Isn't that what happened with the Locus Awards a few years back? They didn't like the results, so they changed the rules midstream?
posted by Chrysostom at 1:10 PM on April 27, 2016


The big reason that slate voting has been disruptive is that nominating ballots are typically spread out among dozens of works. It doesn't take that many cranks or much ballot discipline to squeak to the top of a diverse field.

That said, and my memory could be off, but it looks like the slate is cracking for the more popular categories.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 1:12 PM on April 27, 2016


Just a side question: was there some time past when Hugo and Nebula awards started seriously to diverge from one another? Series of years when there was no overlap of winners, or even
nominees? They would seem to be such a useful check and balance of each other.
posted by Chitownfats at 1:18 PM on April 27, 2016


Eh, they usually track reasonably closely - winner of one is usually in the other's nominee pool at least.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:24 PM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


The same novel has won the Hugo and the Nebula 23 times, including eight or nine times in the 1970s (depending on whether you count 1969/70 or 1979/80). Looks like the longest period of no joint winner was 1988/87-1992/91.
posted by Etrigan at 1:25 PM on April 27, 2016


There is a list of joint winners. The major difference that jumps out looking at that list and the Hugo and Nebula lists are that the Hugos seem generally more favorable to multiple entries in a series (ex. the relatively high amount of divergence between the two during the 90s is in part because of Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars books and Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan saga picking up Hugo wins across several years/entries, while the Nebula is more inclined to spread the wealth around), which is not really surprising when comparing a fan award and a professional society award.
posted by Krom Tatman at 1:29 PM on April 27, 2016


I'm sad about some cool related works and great short stories that got pushed off the list, but I'm trying not to waste much energy on the Puppies' tantrums and spite. My plan (which I blogged about briefly here) is to do more to talk about what I loved from last year, and to try to talk more about what I've loved so far this year.

Artw: The Clarke Award shortlist was just announced:
...
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers


One of the things I blog about will definitely be The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, so I'm thrilled to see that!
posted by wintersweet at 2:15 PM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


The thing is - I personally don't love that story. I get what Swirsky is doing, it doesn't do much for me. But that's my opinion, and the fact that other people love it doesn't impact me. What the heck do I care if it wins a Hugo? What kind of person would get exercised about that?

Most of the people in this thread are exercised by what wins Hugos, by the sounds of it.

It's hardly a great situation, but it sounds like the solution (for this year, before the rules that will hopefully dilute any attempts to slate in nominees) is to ignore the unmitigated crap from the Puppies, vote for anything nominated you think deserves a Hugo, and enjoy watching them be told that the grand majority of people think their work is worth less than nothing for the second year in a row, come the awards ceremony.

wintersweet: I'm trying not to waste much energy on the Puppies' tantrums and spite. My plan ... is to do more to talk about what I loved from last year, and to try to talk more about what I've loved so far this year.

That sounds like a great response. And pretty much the only one that most people can do that will have any effect, without paying. More talk about the works people liked this year, I reckon.
posted by gadge emeritus at 2:55 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Most of the people in this thread are exercised by what wins Hugos, by the sounds of it.

I think there is a qualitative difference between "exercised by what the normal voting process has resulted in" and "exercised by a deliberate attempt at sabotage."
posted by Chrysostom at 3:04 PM on April 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


"Exercised" is a little strong, but why wouldn't some people interested in SFF be interested in what materials are given accolades by large groups of genre-committed fans? I don't see what is bewildering about that, particularly when you add in the dimension that a bunch of griefers are trying to game the award system out of malice.
posted by gingerest at 3:18 PM on April 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


Well, exactly. 'I don't care who won, why should they?' doesn't really apply in a post about people caring about who has been nominated by the Hugos. Caring for the right reasons is irrelevant if you don't actually care at all.
posted by gadge emeritus at 3:26 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


For the most part I've always cared more about the result than the process, since the result has usually been a cool list of things to read. Now big chunks of it have stopped being cool and become a torrent of shit instead I'm very interested in the process indeed.
posted by Artw at 3:31 PM on April 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


The central problem is that "If You Were A Dinosaur My Love" is repeatedly cited as the smoking gun of some sort of conspiracy of liberal Hugo voters doing something something Nutty Nuggets something something Heinlein couldn't win today something something virtue signalling something something message fiction. It's like we're the gay communists from Hail Caesar! slipping coded messages into their Nuggets. (spoiler)

Never mind that it didn't win a Hugo, that Worldcon has one of the most transparent election processes in the fandom, and conservative SFF novelists hit the best seller lists regularly. No, its nomination was a clear example that nomination ballots were obtained something something virtue signalling something something Nutty Nuggets. Because the possibility that we just have different tastes in stories is something something Heinlein couldn't win today because he had Nuggets.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 4:42 PM on April 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


> "My plan ... is to do more to talk about what I loved from last year, and to try to talk more about what I've loved so far this year."

That's a great idea! Here are my favorite SFF books from 2015. Starting with the top five:

1. Cuckoo Song, by Frances Hardinge. A girl awakes with holes in her memory and curious cravings, and her search for answers leads her far afield. I cannot rave enough about this book. A YA faerie-themed book told from a point of view unique in my fantasy reading experience, set in a time when British culture was on the cusp of change. Compelling characters, a riveting plot, an amazing heroine, and a villain with motives that make perfect sense. I don't give a lot of books five stars; this one gets them.

2. The Fifth Season, by N. K. Jemisin. It starts with an apocalypse. Then it gets interesting. This is Jemisin's best work to date, and it is nearly flawless. Three interwoven (and, as it turns out, closely interconnected) stories told in three different ways, telling a tale of prejudice, power, and a society with rot at its heart.

3. Ancillary Mercy, by Ann Leckie. She used to be a spaceship; now she's both something less and something more. The conclusion to the far-future SF Ancillary trilogy knocks it out of the park. The second and third book work together as a single story, and if you felt the second book seemed truncated, this one is why -- it takes everything that was going on and brings it to a great conclusion that examines what it means to be a sentient creature.

4. Shadow Scale, by Rachel Hartman. A half-dragon, half-human goes on a quest in the hopes of averting a potentially devastating war. The second and final book of Hartman's Seraphina duology takes the brilliant fantasy of the first and expands it to a whole world. Rich, epic, and includes a truly chilling villain.

5. Uprooted, by Naomi Novik. The wizard in the tower claims a local girl to be his servant, as he does every decade. But as the story unfolds, layer after layer is revealed, an onion of a novel with an old, old crime at the heart. Virtuostic writing; you may have heard some of the notes before, but they're perfectly played here.
posted by kyrademon at 4:47 PM on April 27, 2016 [25 favorites]


Next five:

6. Radiance, by Catherynne M. Valente. In a rococo solar system where Hollywood makes silent movies on the moon, a documentary filmmaker goes missing on Venus. And odd novel told in memories, fragments, screenplays, and stories, difficult to describe and oddly compelling.

7. Cold Iron, by Stina Leicht. Flintlock fantasy. The royal twins must go beyond the confines of their station in an attempt to save their kingdom from a threatened invasion. Sound cliche? It isn't. Epic sweep, solid characters, interesting world.

8. Half the World, by Joe Abercrombie. A warrior maiden joins a quest to find allies for her imperiled country. Sound cliche? It's supposed to. Abercrombie takes the standard tropes of fantasy, and gleefully shatters, deconstructs, and rebuilds them into something better. This second book in Abercrombie's Shattered Sea fantasy series is the best one so far.

9. The Mystic Marriage, by Heather Rose Jones. One woman is an embittered alchemist. The other a scandalous socialite. Can two such different people find love? The second book in the Alpennia series is both a highly personal story and a continued exploration of the grand sweep of this Ruritanian European country that never was.

10. Castle Hangnail, by Ursula Vernon. Castle Hangnail needs a new dark overlord, or it will lose its status as a villainous lair. Twelve year old Molly is not the kind of dark overlord they were expecting. A middle grade fantasy that is utterly, utterly charming from beginning to end.
posted by kyrademon at 5:00 PM on April 27, 2016 [14 favorites]


Next five:

11. The Traitor Baru Cormorant, by Seth Dickinson. The empire absorbed and destroyed her culture, and she vows to destroy it -- from the inside. A lot of people found this a love it or hate it book, and it does have its flaws; sometimes the main character seems more a mouthpiece for ideas than a person. But the I was still wrapped up in the story, and the emotionally wrenching ending left me literally nauseated. I can't help but admire that.

12. The Gracekeepers, by Kirsty Logan. In a world nearly drowned by rising waters, a circus sails from island to island, and two very different people try to escape the confines of their fate. Lyrical, odd, and always interesting.

13. Lair of Dreams, by Libba Bray. The second book in this 1920's New York fantasy series continues what looks to be a grand story arc. This book adds additional characters and plot elements, and sometimes the book felt a little weighed down by complexity, but it all came to a well-written conclusion that finally draws almost all the disparate elements together. And the setting is just the bee's knees, sweetie. Enjoyable throughout.

14. Indexing: Reflections, by Seanan McGuire. Fairy tales are dangerous, and no one knows this better than the no-nonsense agents of the ATI Management Bureau, who contain fairy tale incursions when they hit the real world. A sequel demanded by fans, it wisely expands the story of one of the most interesting characters of the first book. Great fun to read.

15. Dark Orbit, by Carolyn Ives Gilman. A crew goes to investigate a rare inhabitable planet, and finds it is not just inhabitable but inhabited, by a strange blind civilization. Chock full of interesting ideas, by a writer who's never been afraid to push the boundaries.
posted by kyrademon at 5:15 PM on April 27, 2016 [12 favorites]


Self-created awards or stuff like Goodreads awards don't carry the same prestige, reputation, or history as Hugos, which (until recently) were seen as the pinnacle of sci-fi. Do you see FPPs for Goodreads's awards? Would you consider a self-created award notable or dodgy?

Telling someone to "do it themselves" ignores all the costs involved, including the costs of making the award reputable enough to accept.
posted by divabat at 5:20 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Next five, and my top 20 is probably enough. It starts getting down into the meh after that.

16. Last First Snow, by Max Gladstone. In my opinion, Gladstone has never again quite lived up to the promise of his debut novel, Three Parts Dead, but Last First Snow may be the closest one yet. Chronologically the earliest book in his Craft fantasy sequence, it follows a path of a man from local hero to villain of a later book. Think the Darth Vader story done by someone who knows what he's doing.

17. The Rest of Us Just Live Here, by Patrick Ness. In fantasy novels, some are chosen to be the epic heroes. This is not their story. This isn't the first novel to explore the idea of what happens to the background characters, but this one does it particularly well and with a clever conceit.

18. The Lie Tree, by Frances Hardinge. Faith's father moved his family to the island to flee a scandal. But it followed them, and his death there is connected to a mysterious plant. Somewhere in the middle of Hardinge's books, quality-wise, but even her middling stuff is head and shoulders above the run of the mill.

19. The Hunter's Kind, by Rebecca Levene. The second book in an epic fantasy series centered on Krish, moon god reborn and struggling to figure out what that means. A solid read, and a fantasy story where personal power does not always mean control of events.

20. Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell. YA fantasy that originally appeared as a fictional, Harry Potter-like series read by characters in one of Rowell's other books. Very much in conversation with the tropes of that style of fiction, which allows it to be the final book in an otherwise nonexistent series. An interesting look at the tropes and traps of chosen one fantasy.
posted by kyrademon at 5:31 PM on April 27, 2016 [9 favorites]


The Hugos are a con-specific award. In medical research, we also have conference-specific awards that are very prestigious, as well as many that aren't well-known. Conferences are generally run by professional societies, and in order to nominate or vote for the award, you have to belong to the society, which can be very expensive. This does not in any way diminish the value of prizes that operate by other mechanisms, like the Nobel or the Macarthur. Just as with Worldcon, the point of paying dues to a professional society is to support the society and its meeting, not just to take part in the awards.

You have a valid point that Worldcon and other cons could do a better job reaching out to low-income and marginalized fans, but Worldcon isn't obliged to open up the voting mechanism to people who aren't members of the society just because the Hugos are the most prestigious award, and Worldcon definitely isn't obliged to refocus the purpose of their organization from the conference to the prize.
posted by gingerest at 6:01 PM on April 27, 2016 [11 favorites]


Yeah, opening up the voting dilutes the "Worldcon-ness" of the award. Restricting it to attending members messes with how many (most?) people interact with the Con.

Better to suck it up again and make sure the corrective rules are confirmed this year.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:29 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


If the award is only meant to be "WorldConny" (as if the Puppies are somehow more legitimately WorldCon than folks with low income) then why are they presented and exalted as *the* definitive awards for sci-fi, or at least one of them? Is it time to just find some other award to make them The Award, since Hugos are already going to be skewed towards a highly unrepresentative sample even before the Puppies had their way?
posted by divabat at 7:23 PM on April 27, 2016


Why are they presented and exalted as *the* definitive awards for sci-fi, or at least one of them?

Because they have a long history of recognizing quality works. The prestige was earned, another award is to have similar prestige to the Hugos or the Nebulas then that award will have to earn it too. If Goodreads manages to become a reliable guide to quality and the Puppies succeed in sabotaging the Hugos then maybe in 5 years time people will talk about the Goodreads and the Nebulas. Alas, Goodreads thinks that Orson Scott Card wrote the best sci fi novel of all time, so I can't say I'm holding my breath.

I don't understand why you think that Worldcon restricting voting on its award to its members is somehow disenfranchising the general public? If you want to subsidise Worldcon memberships for low income fans, no one is going to stop you. Con or Bust has been doing exactly that for fans of colour for years.
posted by Proofs and Refutations at 7:56 PM on April 27, 2016 [11 favorites]


Proofs and Refutations: "Alas, Goodreads thinks that Orson Scott Card wrote the best sci fi novel of all time, so I can't say I'm holding my breath."

I'm looking through past Goodreads awards, and I'm not seeing that. It looks like the only time there was an All-Time Favorite category was 2009, and Suzanne Colins won that (and Scott Westerfeld won the SF award). Since then there were a few Favorite Book of 201X ("Favorite Book of 2010", etc.) awards, and every year there have been SF category awards. Orson Scott Card hasn't won any of them. Am I missing a category or an award somewhere?
posted by Bugbread at 8:29 PM on April 27, 2016


as if the Puppies are somehow more legitimately WorldCon than folks with low income

No, no, no. That's a false dichotomy. People who join Worldcon are more legitimately Worldconny than people who do not. The Puppies are a group of people who've joined Worldcon to subvert its mission (Entryism) and are not Worldconny at all because they are Entryist; low-income people who cannot afford to join Worldcon/WSFS are not Worldconny only because they have not joined Worldcon, not because of any other aspect of their relationship to Worldcon or its mission. Apples and oranges.

why are they presented and exalted as *the* definitive awards for sci-fi, or at least one of them? Is it time to just find some other award to make them The Award, since Hugos are already going to be skewed towards a highly unrepresentative sample even before the Puppies had their way?

The Hugo Awards have been presented since 1955. They are amongst the definitive awards because they're well-established, but pretty much every fancon has members' prizes. Nobody is promoting the Hugos as the greatest thing ever and the only award that should be given. There are plenty of well-known science fiction awards - here's the current version of the Locus database, which is meant to provide links to award-winning works but which will serve nicely to show that there are a LOT of major SFF awards. The old list on which it's based is probably more useful because it breaks the awards out by category, but of course many links and the winner lists are outdated.
posted by gingerest at 8:31 PM on April 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


Because the barrier of entry to membership is high, shutting out a lot of marginalized communities and their voices. This is basic intersectionality.

The exact thing stopping me from subsidizing memberships is the same thing stopping me just joining in the first place: I can't afford it, none of the rest of us can afford it, and it's really shitty to expect marginalized folk to have to do their own support when the people with means aren't doing a damn thing.
posted by divabat at 8:31 PM on April 27, 2016


Am I missing a category or an award somewhere?

Oh, my bad I think. It looks like I got the awards confused with the review rankings, where Enders Game comes top of the Sci Fi chart. I should give the actual awards a better look, maybe I'll decide I like them better than the Hugos after all.
posted by Proofs and Refutations at 8:32 PM on April 27, 2016


The inaugural Sputnik Award
posted by Artw at 8:32 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


the people with means aren't doing a damn thing.

That's simply not true. I mentioned Con or Bust in my last comment and they're not the only group working to increase participation for fans who can't afford the cost. It's fine to think there's not enough work being done on that front, but it's dishonest to pretend the work already being done doesn't exist.
posted by Proofs and Refutations at 8:36 PM on April 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


Seriously now--Con or Bust is cool and all, but on an institutional level/fandom level/any area of WIDE impact, nobody is doing a damn thing.

(Con or Bust is a) only for specific groups b) offers a tiny handful of memberships [I think something like 6 for this Worldcon] and c) does not significantly address the main costs of attending these conventions--i.e. lodging etc.)
posted by wintersweet at 8:51 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Con or Bust's function is to allow people to attend cons, not just join the con society as supporting members to vote for the Hugos. The Worldcon Constitution limits the attending fee to 4 times the site-selection fee (which I think is 80% of the $40 supporting-membership cost) but $120, while expensive, is the least of the costs of going to Worldcon (room, board, and travel costs are always the killer, even for rich people.)
To make the Hugo voting population more representative requires outreach efforts to address the supporting membership fee for low-income individuals and people from low-income countries (amongst other things - income isn't the only consideration when it comes to increasing representativeness, of course). The costs of attending the meeting are a separate issue. The trick with Worldcon is that since every Worldcon has its own rules AND must abide by the overall WSFS Constitution, it requires an amendment to WSFS Constitution to make outreach mechanisms permanent, which means there will have to be some political will on the part of the people who are wealthy enough to pay the costs of going to Worldcon, and who are motivated enough to go to business meetings. Those are the people who need to be lobbied, and right now I think their attention and political will is entirely soaked up by this endless bullshit from the Puppies.
posted by gingerest at 9:15 PM on April 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


Historically there have been a ton of ways that SFF fandom has been horrifically hostile to marginalized fans and potential fans. In the past two decades or so, there's been a noticeable acceleration in progress on basic stuff like calling out missing stairs, being vocal and proactive about anti-harassment and accessibility policy, creating spaces (physical and not) to center women and POC and others who have historically not had as much of a voice in SFF, etc. The Rabid Puppies are a backlash/extinction burst to that progress, and they chose a target that was relatively unguarded, because ultimately Hugo voting is relatively low-priority/low-impact compared to the bigger problems in fan and con culture that are still in the process of being remedied.
posted by Krom Tatman at 9:30 PM on April 27, 2016 [11 favorites]




Thanks for those, kyrademon. Much to look at.
posted by brennen at 10:31 PM on April 27, 2016


Great list, kyradaemon. I've read a bunch of the ones you list, and don't dispute most of them - though I think I'd put The Lie Tree top of the list instead of Cuckoo Song as I thought the latter didn't sustain the brilliance of its beginning. For my money it was the best sff book I read in the past year, with The Fifth Season at number 2. Jemisin is really going from strength to strength and I love her big, full-throated ideas.

My number 3, Uprooted was very nearly perfect, but I found the ending a big letdown - but it did make me think that after the fun but formulaic Temeraire books, Novik is one to watch.

I wish there were a category for completed series, only so that Ann Leckie's could be celebrated as it deserves. I loved the individual books, but taken as a whole they are a spectacular achievement.

Of those in your list I've read, the only one I'd omit is Baru Cormorant. I bounced off it really badly, but seem to be alone in this.

I wonder if there is interest in a Fanfare book club for new books we haven't read but might want to nominate for the Hugos next year, ie really solid new sff as it comes out in the next few months.
posted by tavegyl at 11:28 PM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]




Etrigan: "The same novel has won the Hugo and the Nebula 23 times, including eight or nine times in the 1970s (depending on whether you count 1969/70 or 1979/80)."

Wow, how'd it manage to be eligible for the awards in so many different years?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 1:40 AM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Wow, how'd it manage to be eligible for the awards in so many different years?

It was written by a million monkeys on typewriters.
posted by daniel_charms at 2:20 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


tavegyl: TBH, taste is always personal; Traitor is my favourite book of 2015, but I bounced three times off The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet before getting about 40% of the way in, at which point it overloaded my throw-book-at-wall reflex and went all the way to throw-book-through-window (I don't give up easily).

(I will freely concede that Becky Chambers is a good writer, her characterisation is deft, and she knows how to spin a story: what broke my WSOD wrt. TLWTASAP was that it plays to specific tropes within the genre to which I am violently allergic—ones common to Firefly, Star Trek (next generation and newer), and a myriad of other interpersonal dramas that focus on character and deprecate world-building to the point where the teching the tech undermined my ability to believe.

(This is my failing, not Chambers, and I wish her all the best with the Clarke Award shortlisting ... but I digress.)

I'd like to make two points:

1) You can't please all the readers, ever. My experience suggests that about 25% of your readers, at an irreducible minimum, will misunderstand what you write completely. A different (possibly overlapping) 25% will hate or violently disagree with whatever they think you're saying. Sometimes a reader who would normally like your work will come to it at just the wrong time in their life to engage with it positively (for external reasons), and sometimes they'll understand what you wrote and hate on it anyway (ahem: me and most authoritarian Mil-SF authors). Sometimes an idea that most people think is original will strike a particular reader as hackneyed and cliched because they come from a weird micro-culture, the cliches of which the author inadvertently re-invented. The point is, appreciation of fiction is subjective.

2) Awards are beauty contests, and they're cruelly time-bound. The January 1st to December 31st window for eligibility hangs a ball and chain on books published in December for the holiday season, for example, because potential award nomination voters have only 3 months to read them in, compared to 14 months for a book published in January. Worse: sometimes the best book in an author's career can come out and be scooped to the podium by an award the fans decided to give to an old, much-loved author who has emitted their first book in six or seven years and who is not long for this world, simply on the basis of sentiment, regardless of specific merit. Award outcomes don't necessarily make sense, even once you recognize that appreciation of fiction is subjective.

3) The puppies are basically sore because a specific community doesn't share their values and like the fiction they enjoy. Add a bundle of ignorance and resentment and then a narcissistic dipshit who's willing to cheat, and you get a concerted attempt to trash the awards. But it'll be suppressed, it'll blow over ... and long after the puppies are forgotten, the best stories of 2014 and 2015 will still be remembered and honored.
posted by cstross at 2:23 AM on April 28, 2016 [8 favorites]


Good lord this is heartbreaking. Excerpt:
Okay. So for a moment my heart was fucking soaring, but it looks like we've been nominated by the Rabid Puppies ballot.
- Grey Carter, podcaster and comics writer. I can just about imagine what it would feel like finding out you'd been nominated for a Hugo, and then find out you were being used as a pawn in a game of dickbags.
posted by Kattullus at 3:03 AM on April 28, 2016 [5 favorites]


> "I think I'd put The Lie Tree top of the list instead of Cuckoo Song ... For my money it was the best sff book I read in the past year ..."

I am happy with any debate that takes the pattern, "No, the *most* brilliant Hardinge book is ..." :)

> "Uprooted ... did make me think that after the fun but formulaic Temeraire books, Novik is one to watch."

I had the exact same reaction. When Uprooted started getting buzz everywhere, I was kind of like, "... Novik? Really?" Then I read Uprooted and was all, "Oooooh, *that's* why."

> "Of those in your list I've read, the only one I'd omit is Baru Cormorant. I bounced off it really badly, but seem to be alone in this."

No, you're not at all alone. A lot of people cannot stand that book, and I'll readily admit it has flaws. I thought it had enough good stuff in it to overcome those flaws (at least enough to get it to #11 on my list), but I know plenty of people who disagreed -- as I said, it seems to be a love it or hate it kind of book.
posted by kyrademon at 3:10 AM on April 28, 2016


Technically, that looked like three points, cstross.
posted by newdaddy at 5:29 AM on April 28, 2016


I was counting The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet as a 2014 book, or it would have been on my list, too -- probably somewhere around #15. It struck some of the same notes for me that The Goblin Emperor did, in terms of taking a nonstandard approach, for its genre, to conflict resolution and interpersonal relations. I can definitely see your point about tech teching, cstross, but that only becomes a story-breaker for me when it gets obtrusive (it did drive me a bit nuts about ST:TNG and subsequent STs, because it was so frequently pretending to be a major plot element.)
posted by kyrademon at 6:12 AM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


tavegyl: "I wish there were a category for completed series, only so that Ann Leckie's could be celebrated as it deserves. I loved the individual books, but taken as a whole they are a spectacular achievement."

Best Series is a hardy perennial topic, and was formally proposed at the 2015 Worldcon Business Meeting. It was kicked along the road ("Referred to Committee to report next year") for now. There are arguments for and against.

Note that there was a "Best All-Time Series" award given in 1966. Asimov's Foundation was the winner.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:57 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


The proposal last year was significantly flawed. I'm actually in favor of a series award, but think it needs to be radically different in some ways from a standard Hugo.

I've got a bunch of ideas, but no one's askin' me. :)
posted by kyrademon at 7:05 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Heh, I was just about to link to the discussion of Best Series from last year, kyrademon.
posted by Etrigan at 7:12 AM on April 28, 2016


Eh, what the heck. Even though no one's asking, here's what I would think a good series award would look like:

I. A series shall be defined as a set of at least two written works, initially published at separate times, which share either (A) a single main character or set of main characters, or (B) an identifiable overarching plot. Works which share a setting, but do not also share either (A) or (B), shall not be considered part of the same series.

Example 1: "Guards, Guards" by Terry Pratchett and "Men At Arms" by Terry Pratchett would be considered part of the same series, as they share main characters, even though they do not share an overarching plot.
Example 2: "Annihilation" by Jeff VanderMeer and "Authority" by Jeff VanderMeer would be considered part of the same series, as they share an identifiable overarching plot, even though they do not share main characters.
Example 3: "Guards, Guards" by Terry Pratchett and "Monstrous Regiment" by Terry Pratchett would NOT be considered part of the same series, even though they share both a setting and characters; they do not share either an identifiable overarching plot or the same set of main characters.

II. A series shall be eligible for this award if:
A. It consists of either (A) at least two novels (works of 40,000 words or greater in length) initially published at separate times, (B) at least three shorter works (works of less than 40,000 words in length) all initially published at separate times, or (C) at least one novel and at least two shorter works all initially published at separate times;
B. The total length of all works combined is at least 80,000 words;
C. At least 40,000 words of the series were published between January 1 and December 31 of the nominating year.

III. A series need not be "complete" to be eligible for this award.

IV. Works in a series, once on the finalist list for this award, cannot be nominated for this awards again. However, works in a series published subsequently to such an event are still eligible for this award, even if part of a series which has already been a finalist, once (A) they meet the eligibility requirements by themselves without the earlier works being taken into consideration, and (B) at least two years have passed since any work in the series was a finalist.

Example: "A Game of Thrones", "A Clash of Kings", and "A Storm of Swords", by George R. R. Martin, could have been finalists for the 2001 award had it existed then. If so, those books could never be finalists for this award again. However, "A Feast for Crows" and "A Dance with Dragons" could have then been finalists by themselves, without including the first three books, for the 2013 award had it existed.

V. In consideration of the greater amount of reading asked of voters for a series award, unlike other awards each nominator shall be able to nominate only one (1) series per year, and the finalist list shall consist of three (3) series, except in the event of a tie for third place, in which case the finalist list shall be extended.
posted by kyrademon at 7:36 AM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


What about the author, though? E.g. would the eleventh and twelfth book of the Wheel of Time (the former written by Robert Jordan, the latter completed by Brandon Sanderson) be considered a part of the same series or a different one for the purposes of this award?
posted by daniel_charms at 8:15 AM on April 28, 2016


kyrademon: What your proposal missed out: the author needs to be able to decline to accept a nomination, without prejudice, for a series award. (In other words, without it being disqualified thereafter by such a move.)

Reason: consider the discworld books as an example -- there are weak bits and strong bits, and if the series is still coming out, the readers don't know whether they're looking at a complete eligible work (or just a chunk of something planned/in progress). A series in progress is going to be judged on the strength of what's in print so far, which may rule out future eligibility if it catches fire thereafter.
posted by cstross at 8:19 AM on April 28, 2016


Aren't nominees alway given the option to decline before the announcement? This means that if someone declined AFTER the announcement, as happened this year and last, they'd be in trouble, but that feels like an edge case.
posted by jeather at 8:24 AM on April 28, 2016


I'd rather just have something like a juried (for the finalist list, at least) special award every five or ten years, with no restrictions on eligibility other than "most recent book of a series published within this 5/10 year period", and at least some sense of finality in the most recent book. So no GoT award yet, nor more or less ever for Discworld (which isn't really a "series" anyway). I'm leery of an award that has to explicitly keep an eye on an unknowable future.
posted by Etrigan at 8:31 AM on April 28, 2016


Rationalizing the awards for short fiction categories would seem like a more straightforwardly task, but there's all kinds of speed bumps of tradition there as well.
posted by Artw at 8:36 AM on April 28, 2016


I liked A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, but it didn't rock my world.

Of the genre novels I've read in the last year or so, the standouts in my mind have been:

Dave Hutchinson's Europe in Autumn and Europe at Midnight, for being just so unpredictable and weird. They feel like the bastard child of Alan Furst and Narnia, full of spycraft and secret histories, set in a post-post-post-modern world of tiny polities and super-powerful corporations. They need better female characters and more narrative drive -- the books seem to wander along somewhat aimlessly -- and yet I'm utterly fascinated by the world-building and the premise. So weird, so interesting.

A. M. Dellamonica's Child of a Hidden Sea is a modernist portal fantasy -- the heroine plans ahead, and packs a cellphone and a camera on her trip to the other world! Complicated politics, really vivid action sequences, and a brilliantly-drawn world outweigh the slightly rote first-person voice of the narrator.

Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven is the post-apocalyptic novel you can give to your lit-snob relatives. It's beautifully written, well-characterized, thoughtful but not boring. Handles the narrative tropes of the genre thoughtfully without pandering, and is surprisingly emotionally affecting. Themes include fame and its hazards, and the importance of art to both the individual and society. Great stuff, highly recommended.

T. Kingfisher (AKA Ursula Vernon) has, among other work, been writing updated/subversive versions of traditional folk tales. The Seventh Bride is brilliant and creepy. The Raven and the Reindeer is a fun transformation of the Snow Queen story. Bryony and Roses retells Beauty and the Beast with a highly functional and practical version of Beauty as a gardener. Vernon has also been publishing some brilliant short stories based on American folk tales, with coyotes and shapeshifters and witches.

Nicole Korner-Stace's Archivist Wasp has some good word-of-mouth press. It's a post-apocalyptic ghost story that is very vivid in its characterizations and world-building, although I'm not sure the world-building makes a lot of sense. I was dubious about some of the choices, but the ending really won me over.

I've raved before about Kate Elliott, but still--if you have any interest in epic fantasy at all, you should be reading Kate Elliott. IMO she's better than GRRM -- for one thing, she has learned how to contain an epic sprawling narrative so that the story pacing doesn't sag and the characters each get the right amount of attention. She's also addressing issues like colonialism and cultural change and how political power is shaped and transferred among different people and interests. Plus, in her Crossroads and Black Wolves trilogies, she has Giant Eagles of Justice, and who can't love that. Black Wolves came out in 2015, it's the first novel of a new trilogy, and by rights it should have been on the Hugo finalist list. It's epic and ambitious and the lead character is an angry middle-aged woman.

Martha Wells doesn't get enough love, but she has a new Raksura novel out now: Edge of Worlds. I wouldn't start there: you need to start with The Cloud Roads, probably. She's done something I haven't seen anywhere else: she's made an entirely non-human fantasy world, with even our narrator being pretty darned alien (he's a shapeshifter who turns into a flying scaled dragon-type creature to hunt or fight). The world is unabashedly magical, with floating islands and cities built on giant sea-creatures; and it is populated by hundreds of different species of intelligent life, all wildly varying and creative -- and some seriously creepy. But with all that, she is telling stories about people finding homes and building families and communities, with clear and sympathetic characters who react in ways you would find emotionally believable. Great stuff.

Anyway, those are a few of the novels I really liked in the last year.
posted by suelac at 8:51 AM on April 28, 2016 [11 favorites]


Artw: "Rationalizing the awards for short fiction categories would seem like a more straightforwardly task, but there's all kinds of speed bumps of tradition there as well."

There was also some discussion last year that women/POCs have done better in the short form awards than in Best Novel, and that there would be a disproportionate impact of slimming down the short form awards.

I do think there's probably at least some scope for adjusting the word counts. Fiction runs longer these days.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:53 AM on April 28, 2016




> "What about the author, though? E.g. would the eleventh and twelfth book of the Wheel of Time (the former written by Robert Jordan, the latter completed by Brandon Sanderson) be considered a part of the same series or a different one for the purposes of this award?"

I'd assumed they'd be considered part of the same series, which is why I didn't mention the author in the rules.

> "What your proposal missed out: the author needs to be able to decline to accept a nomination, without prejudice, for a series award."

Agreed; I'd been figuring that was already baked into the existing rules, but you're right that with the "can't be nominated again if it makes the finalist list" clause, this would need additional clarification.
posted by kyrademon at 9:29 AM on April 28, 2016


A series of tweets from NK Jemisin on not being dismissive of the Chuck Tingle nom (h/t: Chuck Wendig):
I like [Chuck Tingle]. CT is awesome performance/parody art. They deserve *some* kind of award for that. Not a Hugo, tho'. And I've now seen CT end-run around the question of "do you know you're being used to troll the awards" twice, without a real answer[...]Here's the thing. We have to remember that CT's inclusion in the awards is not harmless. It's not just a joke. CT is taking the place of some good writers. That's what the Rabbit Pupzees are up to -- not just trolling, but trying to keep people who would have earned awards consideration based on the merit of their work from getting that consideration. A lot of the people being kept off the awards by the RPs are probably from underrepresented groups. That's what happened last year. Remember that last year's Best Novel winner *wouldn't have been on the nom list at all* if someone hadn't dropped out. So as much as I like CT, it's bugging me that CT is trying to play off the harm their presence does. (CT is a pseud. Going with "they".) I like a good joke as much as the next person, but only up to the point that joke does harm.

@ChuckTingle, I need you to think [about] this. You are being used by bigots to cause harm to writers from marginalized groups. I need to hear more than jokes about it.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:31 AM on April 28, 2016 [17 favorites]


I am one of the indifferent to Baru Cormorant books. It was good enough; I liked it okay; I'll probably read the sequels, eventually. But I didn't love it (wouldn't be on any top 10 lists) and I didn't hate it.

I did like TLWTASAP. It totally teched the tech, but the tech wasn't ever a significant plot element -- it wasn't a plotty sort of book. It was about the characters, and the tech never really caused or solved problems.

I really have to read the second Hartman. I can't recall why I put it off.

Last year I also really liked VE Schwab's A Darker Shade of Magic, but apparently book two ends in a huge cliffhanger, so I'm waiting until the third book is published.

(Wow, suelac, we differ SO MUCH in what books we like, other than Kingfisher/Vernon.)
posted by jeather at 9:46 AM on April 28, 2016


I liked Baru Cormorant fine, even though the central moral dilemma (especially at the end) rang a bit forced to me. I liked the general world building, the feel and the scope.
posted by signal at 9:58 AM on April 28, 2016


Yes, The Raven and the Reindeer is absolutely going on my nominating ballot next year!
posted by wintersweet at 10:58 AM on April 28, 2016


Wow, suelac, we differ SO MUCH in what books we like, other than Kingfisher/Vernon

Well, at least we can bond over Digger. I gave my youngest niece copies of the first Hamster Princess book and Castle Hangnail this year, and she loved them. Go me!

(I shall refrain from asking why anyone couldn't like Martha Wells or Kate Elliott, though.)
posted by suelac at 11:01 AM on April 28, 2016


Actually I never got around to Kate Elliott, though I enjoyed Court of Fives very much, so maybe we won't disagree there once I finally get there. I bounced right off Martha Wells.

The second and third Hamster Princess books (12 Dancing Princesses and Rapunzel) are great too. I'm still waiting to see if we get more Castle Hangnail.
posted by jeather at 2:52 PM on April 28, 2016


I agree with Jemisin about the general point about Chuck Tingle's presence on the ballot doing real harm to the writers who were pushed off, but I'm not totally convinced that Chuck Tingle ought to personally respond. I mean, their whole public persona is pretty much an absurd joke, right? It's like asking a SNL skit character to issue a political statement.
posted by overglow at 4:02 PM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's like asking a SNL skit character to issue a political statement.

On the other hand, Sarah Palin is STILL issuing statements.
posted by Celsius1414 at 4:08 PM on April 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


Having slept on it - I think trying to get more inclusive SFF fandom awards is, ironically, best served by juried rather than elected systems. There's an underlying tyranny of the majority problem that is exacerbated, not created, by barriers like participation fees. The Tiptree award, which as I understand it was created in the late 80s/early 90s in exasperation at male domination of the Hugos, is juried.
posted by gingerest at 5:11 PM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Hugo Awards: 3-Stage Voting
posted by Artw at 6:22 PM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh, and it seems like Larry Correia has given up pretending to be anything other than a sad and bitter little man.
posted by Artw at 6:29 PM on April 28, 2016 [3 favorites]




I've felt rather uncomfortable with good people (including MeFi's Own jscalzi) making the "don't reject the good works put on the Rabid slate" argument. ComicMix's Glenn Hauman made a convincing argument to me: "Neil Gaiman Does Not Need A Pity Hugo". His argument is that Gaiman is on the record that "Scott McCloud's The Sculptor was the best graphic novel I’ve read in years" (on the record and on the cover of Sculptor) and Vox Day has given him a gift by pushing that more deserving winner off the ballot. If he, or Stephen King, or Alastair Reynolds, or Lois McMaster Bujold win the award it will be directly because of Vox Day's endorsement as his chosen "shield" slate items. Frankly, as long as the "shield" isn't really the best of the year in its category, I would have no qualms with putting them below No Award this year... if I intended to vote.

And the analysis Artw links to shows that VD and the Rabids have honestly won control over the Hugos nominating process. The booming numbers of voters last year that "no awarded" the baddies away could not keep them from coming back and dominating the nominations as badly as last year...
I estimate there were about 205 “Rabid Puppies” this year, essentially identical to the estimated 204 Sad+Rabid puppies last year. The reason they did so well despite a doubling of the number of "organic" votes is that they managed much better slate discipline this year; last year, not everyone voted for all five candidates nor in every category, but this year it seems they did.
If EPH [E Pluribus Hugo] were in effect, it would have reduced the number of slate candidates, but not as much as some people seem to think. Only 5 categories would have had a single slate candidate, and 4 would have had three slate candidates--prior to withdrawals. In real life, the slate had 64 nominees; under EPH it would still have had at least 33.
VD and the Rabids are here to stay, even with the best of the rules changes, and we can expect to see his name under "Best Editor" every year for as long as he wants it. (Which will probably be until he dies of a massive coronary while walking up to accept his award)

There honestly are only two ways to keep the Rabids off the ballot from now on...
(1) to expand the number of nominating voters FAR beyond what they already have, and that would only be possible if the voting fee were completely eliminated (and not even sure to be effective even then). The Hugos are not really a "Fan Award" as they now are, they're a "Fanatic Willing to Pay to Attend a Convention Award".
(2) for a couple of GOOD people with large fan bases (looking at you, jscalzi and cstross) were to put up their own slates, which I know they don't want to do. But if there's not enough water (in additional voters) to put out the fire set by he-who-wants-to-see-the-world-burn, you have to fight the fire with fire.

I doled out the $40 for voting rights after last year's nominations. I got some good reading among the WORTHY nominees in the "voters' packet", but it reduced my time and budget for reading NEW SF and as result, when the time came to make nominations, I hasn't read enough and didn't know enough to have made votes that could have offset a Rabid's slate-vote (not without a ScalziSlate to guide me). So I am out. The Hugos are dead to me and I have nothing more to say... except one thing:

The Rabids already have their ultimate victory: under the permanent History of The Hugos is the FACT that "SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police by Vox Day (Castalia House)" is a Hugo Nominee. And that stain will never be cleaned until the Hugos themselves are gone and forgotten. And it's also a permanent piece of American History that George Wallace won 5 states and 46 electoral votes in the 1968 election. But then, there are the Nebulas and several other SF awards we can replace the Hugos with, Presidential elections notsomuch.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:44 PM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


@ChuckTingle, I need you to think [about] this. You are being used by bigots to cause harm to writers from marginalized groups. I need to hear more than jokes about it.

This is an odd thing for Jemisin to say. It's pretty understandable that she would be opposed to the Puppies actions because she and Vox Day have an ongoing history of insults and rivalry in industry politics.

But the "I need" usage reads like she's talking to a child, subordinate, or romantic partner. It's a strange, and even condescending, thing for one author to say while addressing a pseudonymous peer in a public forum.

I doubt that Tingle will drop the absurdist clown mask to address this seriously, but if I were him, it's the first thing that would need to be clarified in the dialogue.
posted by theorique at 2:36 AM on April 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


The Rabids already have their ultimate victory: under the permanent History of The Hugos is the FACT that "SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police by Vox Day (Castalia House)" is a Hugo Nominee. And that stain will never be cleaned until the Hugos themselves are gone and forgotten.

This is true, and unfortunate. The Church of Scientology also worked to rig the 1987 Hugo balloting, and got L. Ron Hubbard on the Best Novel nominee list. I feel like most people don't feel that invalidated the Hugos forever.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:46 AM on April 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


The Rabids already have their ultimate victory: under the permanent History of The Hugos is the FACT that "SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police by Vox Day (Castalia House)" is a Hugo Nominee. And that stain will never be cleaned until the Hugos themselves are gone and forgotten.

Maybe. But crazy thought. When Worldcon voters reject all the nominees in a specific Hugo for a given year, reopen nominations for that Hugo in 5 (or whatever) years. Not as a Retro-Hugo but just as the delayed awarding of the original Hugo, and where the new slate of nominees overwrites the original slate. So at least after 2021, the permanent history of the Hugos would simply list the second set of nominees and the winner with an asterisk: "The 2016 Hugo for Best Related Work was awarded in 2021 after MidAmeriCon2 voters rejected all nominees."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:09 AM on April 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is a simple idea, so I'm sure it's been broached already, but what if nominations were limited to attending members from the previous year while final voting remained with all members. It's the nomination process that's so easy to game, and trolls are less likely to actually attend.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:56 AM on April 29, 2016 [7 favorites]


Maybe. I'm actually kind of suprised at how many are willing to slap down money on a straight up troll vote.
posted by Artw at 11:05 AM on April 29, 2016


This is an odd thing for Jemisin to say...But the "I need" usage reads like she's talking to a child, subordinate, or romantic partner. It's a strange, and even condescending, thing for one author to say while addressing a pseudonymous peer in a public forum.

Jemisin is, as a black woman, a member of at least two oppressed groups that Beale and his pals are trying to drive out of her profession. She, in a literal sense, needs people not to just make jokes about that.
posted by howfar at 11:27 AM on April 29, 2016 [13 favorites]


I have my suspicions that some or many of them may not be actual people. Vox Day has daddy's illicit money, and he was willing to spend the money to create a publishing house primarily to troll SFWA/Worldcon. Spending 5 or 10 k to fuck up the Hugo noms seems in line with that. The credit cards for it become a little more difficult, but you can easily buy multiple ones per card as a 'family', and if you have a business it become fairly easy to create multiple credit cards with different names.

Which would be another benefit to the idea that only attending members nominate: it would allow a filter for real people. I.e., you could still buy an attending membership for a fake person, but if they never actually signed in to pick up their membership at the convention you could eliminate them if you wanted. The major disadvantage would be that the nominating base would be narrower, and you'd likely get regionally slanted lists. Something like "attending members of the last three conventions" would get around that, but has its own issues.
posted by tavella at 11:35 AM on April 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


The major disadvantage would be that the nominating base would be narrower, and you'd likely get regionally slanted lists.

The former is potentially a problem (waiting for our rules lawyers to weigh in). The latter may be a feature rather than a bug. There's an argument to be made it's already regionally slanted.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:51 AM on April 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Are you seriously suggesting providing motivation for people to troll Worldcon in person? I promise, this would sound like a hilarious opportunity to many of them.
posted by corb at 1:05 PM on April 29, 2016


It'd require effort, which is more precious than money (assuming they're all even real people.)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 1:06 PM on April 29, 2016


Also, of course, additional money.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 1:06 PM on April 29, 2016


Effort is more precious than money to people who have to maintain households, not to dudebros always on the lookout for the funniest way to blow it.
posted by corb at 1:25 PM on April 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


Eh, there's substantially more commitment required to actually attend a convention (that's out of country at least half the time) filled with people that you've been convinced are the devil incarnate.

I'm amused at the idea of attending a Trump rally with witty signs, and might drop forty bucks for someone else to do so, but I'm not getting my ass down to the ballroom.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 1:43 PM on April 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm amused at the idea of attending a Trump rally with witty signs, and might drop forty bucks for someone else to do so, but I'm not getting my ass down to the ballroom.

This is a valid point. But, at the same time, you're not an unbelievably massive arsehole, so it's possible that using you as a comparator may lead us to underestimate the level of pointless bellendery these buffoons are prepared to engage in.
posted by howfar at 1:48 PM on April 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


There was one group that attended a convention to be assholes. It was like six people, though, and they were asked to leave (to protect the convention organizers.) I don't see it being as big a problem overall as the status quo.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:02 PM on April 29, 2016


The Church of Scientology also worked to rig the 1987 Hugo balloting, and got L. Ron Hubbard on the Best Novel nominee list. I feel like most people don't feel that invalidated the Hugos forever.

Putting a crappy novel on the nominees list is a stain on the record. (Even a Chuck Tingle story is merely a stain) Putting an essay openly dedicated to bigotry and hatred (with a title that makes its intent very clear) pretty much turns the Hugos into a Nazi-Friendly Zone.

Did a much smaller group than the statistical 205 Rabids take out all their voting memberships? Well, you can get four "Supporting Memberships" for the price of one "Attending Membership" (or two, if you can show you're Active Duty Military or under 26). Yes, actually attending costs a lot more in transportation/lodging/etc. but if you're just paying it to vote for Hugos, that doesn't count.

If any stage of voting were limited to attendees, then the Hugos would become even more what I called it before: not really a "Fan Award", but a "Fanatic Willing to Pay to Attend a Convention Award". Nope, sorry, the Hugo Awards as we know it have become the Rabid Awards. Beyond repair, time to replace.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:47 PM on April 29, 2016


It has always been a "fanatic enough to attend/support Worldcon" award. That was rather the point.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 3:52 PM on April 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


Only the definition of "Fanatic" has changed for the worse.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:55 PM on April 29, 2016


I'm glad you liked my analysis of how many rabid puppies there were. I think a lot of people are surprised that such a small, dedicated group can cause so much havoc. Or that EPH is only half a solution.

People really want a purely mechanical solution like EPH, but I think we need a political one instead. That is, something with checks and balances. For example, a way to disqualify nominees like "Space Raptor" but with a mechanism for the fans to overrule that decision. Simplest would be a quality committee whose whole job would be to vet the short list before it was shared. The rejected works would still be visible on the final ballot and fans could overrule the disqualification simply by voting them above No Award. A bad committee would be repudiated by the fans.
posted by Greg Hullender at 5:03 PM on April 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


For example, a way to disqualify nominees like "Space Raptor" but with a mechanism for the fans to overrule that decision.

I'm beginning to feel uncomfortable with the singling out of Chuck Tingle, especially when joke nominations like The Shadow War of the Night Dragons aren't exactly new and Tingle is the author who has worked with the concept of meta levels of reality the hardest since Jorge Luis Borges (o hi Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius I hope you win the Retro Hugos).
posted by sukeban at 3:36 AM on April 30, 2016 [10 favorites]


Putting an essay openly dedicated to bigotry and hatred (with a title that makes its intent very clear) pretty much turns the Hugos into a Nazi-Friendly Zone.

Which essay are we talking about here?
posted by theorique at 8:36 AM on April 30, 2016


[A few comments deleted. Let's not introduce US election insult slinging here, please, or insults in general about people who want to discuss how Worldcon and the Hugos work.]
posted by taz (staff) at 1:51 AM on May 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


theorique: "Which essay are we talking about here?"

I believe that was in reference to "SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police" which does seem more like the title of a Youtube video where someone complains to the camera for 15 minutes
posted by RobotHero at 7:54 AM on May 1, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm really sick of the rhetoric about how it's fine that a system that isn't perfect is being destroyed by assholes. It's way easier to tear down something than it is to build it up, and that's ten thousand times more true in the age of the Internet.

Goodreads doesn't replace the Hugo. Nor does some sort of online voting system or a new award invented in the past year. And even if they did, those things you've created will be just as easily sabotaged by assholes.

"Gamergate just lit my house on fire, but it's not ADA compliant so I don't care" was said by no one ever. The same with the Hugo. Maybe you don't care about MY awards, but I do.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 8:13 AM on May 1, 2016 [7 favorites]


Hugo Blogging: “Best” Related Work

I'm going to second this category being actively disgusting and a blot on the Hugos.
posted by Artw at 9:56 AM on May 1, 2016 [3 favorites]


Steady-state strawberry - for me it's more that the Hugos

A) no longer function as the Hugos
B) instead function as something awful
C) may not be fixable

Given A the pretense that everything is fine is frustrating, given B the talk of it being nobody else's business is flatly infuriating, given A and B clearly there is a need to do something with some urgency, and since this problem has been growing for some time and various folks sticking their heads in the sand has been no help at all.

And then there's C, that it may not be fixable anyway, which means given A and B means it does need tearing down.

So it's not so much not caring as caring too much to be in denial of harsh realities.
posted by Artw at 10:07 AM on May 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Won't all the fixes only start next year? So to say it's not fixable is to not have even tried?
posted by gadge emeritus at 12:33 PM on May 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


If ratified the fixes will go into effect next year. They may work, or they may be ineffective in the face of a voting block of sufficient numbers. Even those measures generate a lot of hand-wringing from Woldcon members who would prefer to pretend nothing is happening or it will all go away if nobody does anything.
posted by Artw at 12:52 PM on May 1, 2016


Black Gate withdraws
posted by Artw at 4:16 PM on May 1, 2016


Even those measures generate a lot of hand-wringing from Woldcon members who would prefer to pretend nothing is happening or it will all go away if nobody does anything.

I've seen very few Worldcon members pretending it will go away -- AFAICT, the major fight has been whether six-pick-four or EPH (or both) is a better system. There's some evidence that neither will be sufficient for complete slate-breaking (because Reasons, we're not allowed to see the analysis of last year's results until this year's Hugos), but then the question becomes what other fixes to add, not whether we should discard the Hugos and switch to a new system.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 4:24 PM on May 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


George RR Martin reacts to Black Gate's withdrawal.
posted by Kattullus at 4:24 PM on May 1, 2016


The thing is, we really don't know yet if this is going to be a continuing problem after EPH- the Puppy voters this year are basically getting a free ride off last year's registration. Nobody at this point knows what numbers are going to continue after this, if they can't totally dominate a slate. The frustrating thing is, it may take another three or four years to find out what the long-term situation is.
posted by happyroach at 8:35 PM on May 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think expecting masses of people to turn up for five years running, $40 in hand, to no-award the attest batch of Nazis then clap themselves on the back for it might not be feasible or desirable.
posted by Artw at 8:55 PM on May 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also from GRRM: A Response to John C. Wright
posted by homunculus at 9:45 PM on May 1, 2016 [8 favorites]


Oh, John C. Wright. I don't think I've ever seen anyone be as un-self-aware as JCW. If he reacts that way to a comment that doesn't even mention him, how on earth does he get through a writing critique?
posted by suelac at 10:23 PM on May 1, 2016 [4 favorites]


That post has my currently favoritest JCW quote: "No one in his right mind can look at my archaic diction, concern for the highest philosophical matters, erudite allusion to the classics, and consummate craftsmanship and claim my work is not literary, but that grotesque experimental stories about lesbian were-seals being splashed by dinosaur water from nowhere onto Tibetan gay men when the world flips upside down because a punk loser lost his cheating harlot because priests murder people is literary."

It's almost as good as when he uses "termagant" with a straight face. Or "I am, in all modesty, a skilled author, one of the finest writing today."
posted by sukeban at 10:59 PM on May 1, 2016 [15 favorites]


Someday, I will see the name John C. Wright and not immediately imagine the face of John C. Reilly. Today was not that day, but I enjoy imagining Mr Reilly reading that extraordinary sentence aloud.
posted by gingerest at 12:42 AM on May 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


So basically, I can blame the fact that we don't have a book yet on Puppygate? Thanks. Thanks.
posted by corb at 6:32 AM on May 2, 2016


JCW does have a point - though there are those who claim his works prior to 2015 were better, having read a couple of the nominated stories it's difficult to see that being very likely.
posted by Artw at 7:21 AM on May 2, 2016


"... grotesque experimental stories about lesbian were-seals being splashed by dinosaur water from nowhere onto Tibetan gay men when the world flips upside down because a punk loser lost his cheating harlot because priests murder people is literary." Isn't that a Tom Robbins novel?
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 7:31 AM on May 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's basically an amalgam of elements from stories that were more popular than his and all somehow managed to be both more thematically restrained and less boring than his cod CS Lewis bullshit.
posted by Artw at 7:36 AM on May 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


I actually think I read the "upside down" story, although I didn't find it to be superlative in either direction.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 7:40 AM on May 2, 2016


Although to my memory, the point of the story was that Nice Guy(tm) was in denial of the reality that the relationship was failing, so the designation of the characters as Punk Looser vs. Cheating Harlot probably says more about Wright than the story.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 7:45 AM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


That post has my currently favoritest JCW quote: "No one in his right mind can look at my archaic diction, concern for the highest philosophical matters, erudite allusion to the classics, and consummate craftsmanship and claim my work is not literary, but that grotesque experimental stories about lesbian were-seals being splashed by dinosaur water from nowhere onto Tibetan gay men when the world flips upside down because a punk loser lost his cheating harlot because priests murder people is literary."

It's almost as good as when he uses "termagant" with a straight face. Or "I am, in all modesty, a skilled author, one of the finest writing today."


This is pretty inside baseball for tiny liberal arts colleges, but god damn these quotes are the pure distillation of the worst qualities of any Johnny I've ever met, all at once.
posted by dis_integration at 7:50 AM on May 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


grotesque experimental stories about lesbian were-seals being splashed by dinosaur water from nowhere onto Tibetan gay men when the world flips upside down because a punk loser lost his cheating harlot because priests murder people

Lesbian were-seals - presumably Selkie Stories Are For Losers, Sofia Samatar
Dinosaur - If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love, Rachel Swirsy
Water from nowhere - The Water that Falls on You From Nowhere, John Chu
Tibetan gay men - not sure, could be the Chu story since they're Chinese gay men
World flips upside down because a punk loser lost his cheating harlot - The Day The World Turned Upside Down, Thomas Olde Heuvelt
Priests murder people - not sure
posted by jeather at 8:04 AM on May 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


He made fun of an imaginary story that I would read in a heartbeat.
posted by maxsparber at 8:17 AM on May 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Upside Down makes me think my outrage meter is broken. Of all the stories published in the last few years it seems an unexceptional target.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 8:24 AM on May 2, 2016


It replaced Wright's Santa Claus* story when that got disqualified for not being written that year. Subsequently it won by default when all of Wright's stories came behind "no award". There's many interpretations of this series of events possible and I'm sure the one he goes for is Upside Down being written by actual literal Satan.

* you'd be amazed at how devoid of joy, fun and humanity this thing is.
posted by Artw at 8:32 AM on May 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


After John C. Wright's totally non-political, non-message fiction novelette "Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus" was disqualified as part of the puppy sweep of that award, there was room for one non-puppy story, which was the Heuvelt, which won. No Award came second. (I do not think the Heuvelt would have won if we looked only at stories 6-10, though.)
posted by jeather at 8:35 AM on May 2, 2016 [7 favorites]


Man, I'm generally opposed to shooting fish in barrels, but when the fish has not only climbed into the barrel but actually crafted it himself and sent you an invitation to the barrel's opening, accompanied by a free sample of fish-bullets, it almost seems rude not to.
posted by howfar at 8:37 AM on May 2, 2016 [13 favorites]


Immodest, florid, and pompous is no way to go through life, son.
posted by RakDaddy at 11:42 AM on May 2, 2016 [9 favorites]


My ears are burning! Oh, you were talking about someone else.
posted by maxsparber at 12:00 PM on May 2, 2016


I. Floridan Pompous is my new penname/Metafilter sockpuppet.
posted by howfar at 5:20 AM on May 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


Daniel Polansky: Accepting a Hugo Nomination

I haven't read The Builders, but it doesn't look bad. Does anyone have an opinion?
posted by sukeban at 12:22 PM on May 3, 2016


In other news, NK Jemisin may be misreading Chuck Tingle somewhat. He's probably not a fan of the Voxman.
posted by sukeban at 12:28 PM on May 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


2016 Locus Awards Finalists
posted by Artw at 5:11 PM on May 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


A look back at when the Church of Scientology tried to rig the 1987 Hugos.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:10 AM on May 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Chuck Tingle @ChuckTingle: IMPORTANT: cant go to hugos award so to thwart devil plans, true buckaroo ZOE QUINN (name of @unburtwitch) has agreed to accept award for me

True Buckaroo ‏@UnburntWitch: I will fight back against scoundrels any day with you dr best friend.
posted by maudlin at 9:33 AM on May 5, 2016 [29 favorites]


/applauds
posted by Artw at 9:41 AM on May 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


Chuck Tingle @ChuckTingle: IMPORTANT: cant go to hugos award so to thwart devil plans, true buckaroo ZOE QUINN (name of @unburtwitch) has agreed to accept award for me

My co-worker is trying to figure out why I'm laughing so hard, and I can't even stop laughing long enough to explain it.
posted by Etrigan at 9:44 AM on May 5, 2016 [12 favorites]


I am giving a final exam and thus cannot lol. Unfair.
posted by hydropsyche at 9:48 AM on May 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Dr Tingle once more demonstrates the value of his exclusive education.
posted by howfar at 9:48 AM on May 5, 2016


In other news, NK Jemisin may be misreading Chuck Tingle somewhat. He's probably not a fan of the Voxman.

Yeah, on reflection, it very much looks, with this development, that Tingle's point was that he thinks his own work is good, and that he wants to use the nomination to turn that fact against the Puppies who see it as nothing but pathetic and ridiculous. Getting Quinn to accept any award for him enables him to have his Hugo penny and his making the Puppies look like the pathetic, ridiculous knobheads they are bun, all at the same time. Which is pretty impressive work.
posted by howfar at 10:51 AM on May 5, 2016 [9 favorites]


@ChuckTingle: IMPORTANT: cant go to hugos award so to thwart devil plans, true buckaroo ZOE QUINN (name of @unburtwitch) has agreed to accept award for me

Glorious.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:16 PM on May 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


re: this recent development, Ursula Vernon has written "How The Grinch Failed To Steal The Hugos"
posted by mixedmetaphors at 4:50 PM on May 5, 2016 [6 favorites]




Betteridge's Law of Headlines may apply.
posted by sukeban at 11:35 AM on May 6, 2016


Agreed, it's a stupid headline (and the article concludes 'no'), but there are some interesting questions in the article about the biases inherent in a non-juried award, even one with a small selected group of voters.
posted by tavegyl at 3:40 PM on May 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


MidAmeriCon II has announced the replacement nominees for Short Story and Fanzine after the withdrawal of Thomas A. Mays and Black Gate: they are "Cat Pictures, Please" by Naomi Kritzer and Lady Business.
posted by sukeban at 11:51 PM on May 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


I LOVE "CAT PICTURES PLEASE!" This makes me so happy.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:40 AM on May 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


"Cat Pictures Please" as a selfconscious spin on Sterling's "Maneki Neko" makes me super happy.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:04 AM on May 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


"This is pretty inside baseball for tiny liberal arts colleges, but god damn these quotes are the pure distillation of the worst qualities of any Johnny I've ever met, all at once."

I take him personally. His wife has been fairly visible in the alumni community, but I've never heard a peep from him. There are a minority of johnnies who are, or become, genuine cultural conservatives and frame their education around that worldview; I tend to think of them as my enemy. I mean, seriously, I've been fighting these folk for twenty-five years.

I remember when I read The Golden Age and was very ambivalent about it. I was pleased to see a johnny as a successful SFF novelist. You could see the erudition, but it was ostentatious, and, yeah, that's a johnny stereotype that's far too true-to-life. And I was immediately on my guard with the implicit politics. I thought, ah, he's one of those. And then through the years he's just gotten worse. He's a voice for values I abhor and, as a johnny, I take this personally -- and as a lifelong reader of SFF, I find this even more painful. I'm kind of hoping he'll just fade into oblivion. Surely his books don't sell anymore?

Otherwise, I do want to echo the praise for The Fifth Season and Uprooted. I completely agree that while Novik's Temeraire series has its charms (Temeraire and the other dragons, mostly, especially Iskierka), it's fairly pedestrian (though deft) and thus I didn't expect much from Uprooted. I wasn't astounded by it, to be sure, but it was quite good and dealt with some familiar themes in new ways. And I definitely want to second (or third, or whatever) the praise for The Traitor Baru Cormorant, which I'm sad to see missing from the list. I enjoyed Ancillary Mercy, but was somewhat underwhelmed. I gave up on Stephenson with Cryptonomicon -- it's a minority view, but I think he's grossly self-indulgent and as ostentatious as Wright though, you know, not actually odious. And while I mildly enjoy Butcher's Dresden books, his Codex Alera series was deeply cliched and painfully mediocre (if that) and I can't imagine that The Aeronaut’s Windlass would be worth my time. My vote will go to The Fifth Season, but I've been trumpeting Jemison's virtues for years now.

Speaking of ... I'm here in Kansas City. I've never gone to any con before, of any type. I've been wondering if I should go, taking this opportunity. But I don't know anyone, really, and it would be hard on me physically. I've been reading science fiction for five decades, I knew Jack Williamson (he lived down the street, the "wave hello and have met several times" version of "knew"), I kinda wonder why I've never gone to a con. But I've never been a fandom kind of person, I suppose. Just a fan, a dedicated reader of SFF. How many mefites are going to be here?
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:10 AM on May 9, 2016 [9 favorites]


Oh, also, I agree with the recommendations for Kate Elliott's Black Wolves. I've now read almost all of her novels except for the Jaran books -- so, I've read eighteen of her books, I see from a quick count, all in the last year. I'm so glad to have discovered her -- from a thread here, as it happens.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:06 AM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


so, I've read eighteen of her books, I see from a quick count, all in the last year. I'm so glad to have discovered her -- from a thread here, as it happens.

YAY! I spend a lot of my time cheerleading for Elliott, because she's so consistent and reliable and creative, and yet is regularly overlooked because she's a woman writing epic fantasy, and in the US (at any rate), that seems to be considered Men's Work. (Ptooie.)

There is so much good work being produced by women in SF/F right now, that it takes a super-strong recommendation to get me to read novels by men. I'm a one-person attempt to equalize the genre...
posted by suelac at 11:32 AM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Ivan, maybe see if there are any Metafilter people who want to meet up? My experience is that cons can feel a little lonesome on your own, but that may just be my personality type.
posted by tavella at 11:51 AM on May 9, 2016


I'm in the Kansas City area, for some rough definition of area. I hadn't paid any attention to WorldCon's 2016 location until now. A little surprised it's here. Tempting to go.
posted by honestcoyote at 12:42 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


@Ivan, etc.: I am! (Also, KC itself has two sf groups, just in case you want to meet locals in advance.)

OT, but has there been a MeFi meetup around here recently? I am fairly new to KC, and at least we'd actually know each other at the con....
posted by steady-state strawberry at 1:48 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


If you're in the KC area, add that to your profile to get IRL notifications in MeMail.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:40 PM on May 9, 2016


How many mefites are going to be here?

I'll be there. It's been 11 years since my last Worldcon so I'm really excited. We should definitely do some meet up planning closer to August!
posted by asperity at 7:13 AM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ivan, I'll be there. No idea if I'll be on any panels. I'll certainly be at the Business Meetings goddammit.
posted by RakDaddy at 2:22 PM on May 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


So the ballots went out yesterday, accompanied by some kind of DB screw up that prepopulated some of the ballots with random values. That's since been fixed, but I wonder how many conspiracy theories that will spawn.
posted by Artw at 8:25 AM on May 16, 2016


Analyzing EPH

It's not good news, I'm afraid.
posted by Artw at 8:38 AM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


The comments on that are pretty interesting.

Lots of support for EPH and rolling on in a state that's only mostly broken instead of totally broken - I think you know my feelings on that.

3 stage voting, which is simple and direct seems like the most likely thing to fix the problem, is gaining ground, but lots of people want over complicated variants on it.

And there's lots of suggestions for just making EPH even more complicated in the hope that it will reach a magic slate proof level of complexity. Good luck with that.
posted by Artw at 10:51 AM on May 16, 2016


Anybody calling for "fuck it, end the supporting membership"? I'm getting close to that level of done with this bullshit.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:58 AM on May 16, 2016


There's a "only people who have been an attending member at some point" suggestion, yes.
posted by Artw at 11:00 AM on May 16, 2016


I don't think that would help. That solution only works if we assume no rabids will pay the extra price, and there's no evidence to support that.
posted by tofu_crouton at 1:32 PM on May 16, 2016


Let's not incentivize these creeps to physically be around WorldCon attendees.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:51 PM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


It would be a pretty unlikely investment of time and money for someone who didn't have an actual interest in attending WorldCon except for lulz and to fuck over the Hugo voting. I think the bigger problem is that at that point things become hugely exclusionary and also prone to huge regional swings.
posted by Artw at 7:34 PM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've seen an argument for a Highlander ballot: if two ballots have identical content, they only count once.

Which is again gameable, but not quite so much as before.

If anything, I feel like this is a case study in why We Can't Have Nice Things on the Internet. The web is a great way for assholes to unite. All else, not so much.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 6:23 AM on May 17, 2016


Also, to tack on -- three stage voting is another level of complexity in a process with an already tight timeline. The way the Hugos are set up, the infrastructure is mostly recreated each year. Add another month for a 3SV process and that gives us, what, a month to submit real ballots?

If we eliminated paper ballots, things would be a little more straightforward, but God forbid that happen...,
posted by steady-state strawberry at 6:27 AM on May 17, 2016


I would still go with shutting it the fuck down if nothing really can be done.

Or it can shamble on in zombie state and people can pretend picking from the 2 or 3 entries in each category which sneek through is still the Hugos, but it's not, and it should not be respected as such.
posted by Artw at 6:44 AM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


I am not going to support letting the bastards win, which is what "shutting the fuck down" means. I get that you have no emotional attachment to the Hugos, but there's no reason to believe that that would stop the trolls. They'd just move on to another institution.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 4:16 PM on May 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


At that point they've already won. Pretending they haven't won't help anything, it'll just give them a yearly platform for their shit.
posted by Artw at 5:34 PM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]




Superdelegates? (I kid.)
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 6:41 PM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


What Is The Clarke Award For?
posted by Artw at 12:44 PM on May 18, 2016


Hugo McHugoface Has Sailed
posted by Artw at 10:44 PM on May 22, 2016


Oh wow.

therabidpuppies.com
posted by Artw at 9:57 AM on May 23, 2016 [23 favorites]


*howling laughter*
posted by zarq at 11:30 AM on May 23, 2016


Pounded In the Butt By My Sublime Mastery Of Internet Trolling: The Chuck Tingle Story
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:37 AM on May 23, 2016 [15 favorites]


He's really going to win a Hugo and deserve it, isn't he?
posted by Artw at 12:09 PM on May 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


There's also now a sequel to the Hugo-nominated "Space Raptor Butt Invasion", titled "Space Raptor Butt Redemption":
After a year stationed on planet Zorbus, astronaut Lance Tanner and his raptor lover Orion return home to find that they are not greeted as heroes, but as villains.

Unbeknownst to Lance, his space travels have been funded by the villainous Scoundrels Inc, a corporation that has deep ties to the illegal trade of unicorn tears and a destructive mining project at the core of the earth. Now Lance is on trial for a number of false charges; from having connections to the wicked Scoundrels, to being too strange for space.

The opposing lawyer argues that space is only for serious astronauts, and that love between a raptor and a man is giving space travel a bad name. Lance is arguing that there’s room to be weird in space. More importantly, Lance is arguing for the idea of love itself; that just because something comes out of darkness doesn’t mean it can’t become a beacon of light.

Of course, this all culminates in a hardcore dinosaur on astronaut pounding that will have your jaw on the courtroom floor!
posted by Krom Tatman at 12:16 PM on May 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


He's really going to win a Hugo and deserve it, isn't he?

Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation 2017 for his epic piece of Internet performance art.
posted by daniel_charms at 4:10 AM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


"​​sometimes devilmen are so busy planning scoundrel attacks they forget to REGISTER important website names."

While reading the syntax on this page makes English majors cry super bad, that opening line is great.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:38 AM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm actually considering buying one of his books now. I had thought they were just more of the weird Kindle porn genre, but between this and his magnificent twitter account I may have to try it.
posted by Countess Elena at 9:05 AM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Note that they are free on Kindle Unlimited. I have read Space Raptor Butt Invasion, and it is weird porn but it's pretty funny and sweet too.
posted by howfar at 12:21 PM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


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