We Had To Burn The Hugos To Save Them

Saturday, August 22, at the World Science Fiction Convention in Spokane, Washington, the Hugo awards were announced, and this year’s chapter in the continuing saga of Science Fiction Fandom versus the Puppies came to an end.  

With five categories cancelled out, it would appear that the Puppies were handed a resounding defeat.  Best Novella, Best Short Story, Best Related Work, Best Short Form Editor, and Best Long Form Editor–five of the six categories where the Puppies swept the nominations–were “cancelled out” by the will of science fiction fandom.  Over 2500 Hugo award voters banded together to ensure that no one would win those awards.

Larry Correia, the man who started Sad Puppies three years ago, says “I told you so.”

I said the Hugos no longer represented all of Fandom, instead they only represent tiny, insular, politically motivated cliques taking turns giving their friends awards. If you wanted to be considered, you needed to belong to, or suck up to those voting cliques. I was called a liar.

I said that most of the voters cared far more about the author’s identity and politics than they did the quality of the work, and in fact, the quality of the work would be completely ignored if the creator had the wrong politics. I was called a liar.

I said that if somebody with the wrong politics got a nomination, they would be actively campaigned against, slandered, and attacked, not for the quality of their work, but because of politics. I was called a liar.

That’s how the Sad Puppies campaign started. You can see the results. They freaked out and did what I said they would do. This year others took over, in the hopes of getting worthy, quality works nominated who would normally be ignored. It got worse. They freaked out so much that even I was surprised.

John C. Wright, conservative Christian and recipient of five Hugo nominations (actually six, before one of them was ruled ineligible on a technicality), was completely locked out.  Jim Butcher, best selling author of Skin Game, saw his novel ranked behind No Award.  In fact, in the entire history of the Hugos, only five No Awards had ever been given–until now.  One night doubled that number.

Perhaps the most glaring example of what happened is the race for Best Editor, Long Form.  Before 2007, there was only one Best Editor award, but this was split into Long Form and Short Form.  Of the eight awards since that split, five have gone to Tor books editors.  Were it not for the Puppies campaign, Toni Weisskopf and Sarah Gilbert would not have been nominated, and Patrick Nielsen Hayden would have likely won his fourth award.

The Hugo Award voting statistics show that Toni Weisskopf was a clear favorite.  Brad Torgersen explains how Toni and Sheila were “thrown under the bus:”

Toni Weisskopf got 1,216 first-line #1 votes. Arguably the most of any editor in the history of the Hugo awards.

Sheila Gilbert got 754 first-line #1 votes. Again, second only to Toni, arguably the most of any editor in the history of the Hugo awards.

By contrast, Patrick-Nielsen Hayden won a Best Editor Hugo in 2010, with just 140 first-line #1 votes.

2011 saw Lou Anders take a trophy with 207 first-line #1 votes.

2013 gave yet another trophy to Patrick Nielsen-Hayden with 209 first-line #1 votes…

I would like this noted somewhere that a biased media hack or a vengeful troll can’t blot it out: 2,500 people from science fiction’s so-called True Fandom throws women under the bus.

Toni and Sheila are the two most-voted editors in the history of their category. Nobody has ever gotten 1,200+ and 700+ Best Editor votes, respectively. Not for short form. Not for long form. That’s historic. A win for women! Right? Wait, no. It’s not. True Fandom ruined it with NO AWARD. Yup. The tolerant and inclusive True Fandom. The people who want science fiction to be a safe place for women. Until True Fandom throws those women under the bus…The people who parade their inclusiveness and their tolerance, threw THE MOST-TANGIBLY-SUPPORTED EDITORS IN THE HISTORY OF THE HUGO AWARDS, under the bus. By 2,500 people. To make a point.

Of the six major categories nearly swept by the Puppies campaign, only one was actually awarded.  Best Novel went to Three Body Problem, by Cixin Liu.  Three Body Problem had two things going for it; first, it wasn’t on the Puppies’ nomination lists, and second, it had to be translated from the original Chinese.  Larry Correia pointed out that, except for luck, it would have lost to No Award also:

Oh, but now you’re going to say that Three Body Problem won, and that’s a victory for diversity! You poor deluded fools… That was Vox’s pick for best novel. That’s the one most of the Rabid Puppies voted for too.

Here’s something for you crowing imbeciles to think through, the only reason Vox didn’t have Three Body Problem on his nomination slate was that he read it a month too late. If he’d read it sooner, it would have been an RP nomination… AND THEN YOU WOULD HAVE NO AWARDED IT.

And if that doesn’t prove my original point about this ****ed up system being more about politics than the quality of the work, I don’t know what will. One of the only two fiction works that actually received an award this year would have been a Rabid Puppy nominee except for timing, and you would’ve No Awarded the winner just to send your little message.

A Throne of Bones (Art... Day, Vox Buy New $7.99 (as of 02:20 UTC - Details) Mytheos Holt used the perfectly apt phrase “The War On Nerds” to describe the whole situation.  He quotes one Hugo voter, Phil Sandifer, as Tweeting “I admit to voting exclusively authors whose politics do not utterly repel me,” and continues:

I think it’s fair to say that if people like Sandifer are the people in charge of picking who gets to be the heir of Robert Heinlein or Ursula K. LeGuin, then the Sad Puppies had every reason to be concerned that quality had been eclipsed by politics. Sandifer, for his part, didn’t bother denying this, saying only that “Politics is a form of quality” before calling his critics “effing morons.”

Except, of course, that Sandifer was talking about voting, not based on the political messages in books, but based on what the authors believed. As any Sci-Fi fan knows, excluding authors with right wing or even openly racist politics would exclude some of the greatest authors in the history of the genre, including Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, and even an author whose 125th birthday was (ironically) being celebrated just this past week – H.P. Lovecraft. When your standard for who deserves to be awarded by the Sci-Fi community actively writes out some of that community’s idols, you may want to consider that you’re not engaged in art criticism so much as McCarthyist blacklisting. Ironic behavior from a self-avowed Marxist, but then, irony is not a strong suit of people like Sandifer.

But it goes even further than authors.  Toni Weisskopf did not write anything political.  In fact, for all of the hysterical “angry white men want to exclude women and minorities from science fiction” babbling from science fiction’s ruling faction, there was a surprisingly large number of women and minorities in the Puppies’ slate.   War To The Knife (Lare... Grant, Peter Buy New $2.99 (as of 11:25 UTC - Details)

Even the criticism of “slate voting” didn’t hold up, as the 2500 members who voted in total lockstep for No Award demonstrates.

Another thing adults don’t do — or at least not adults in any definition I personally know — is slate: that is blindly vote for a list provided to them.  And that’s exactly what the Puppy Kickers did.  They voted, blindly and without reading the works (remember they bragged about that all over twitter) for the PK slate, including “no award.”  All this supposedly “opposing” a slate that we told them WASN’T a slate but a barely followed list of suggestion.  (And all you have to do is look at the vote totals to see that proven.)

The goal of Sad Puppies 3 was to work with the system–to nominate quality work from across the spectrum, regardless of the politics (or lack thereof) of the writers involved.  Fandom decided to spit on those nominations solely based on the fact that they didn’t like the people doing the nominating.

Over 1200 people voted for Toni Weisskopf.  750 more voted for Sheila Gilbert, and 200 for Anne Sowards, all in the Best Long Form Editor category.  Over two thousand people voted in good faith for the people that they thought deserved that award.  And 2500 members of the High Church of Science Fiction–the ruling faction that believes it gets to determine who is, and who is not, a “true fan” of the genre–declared that those two thousand opinions were not welcome and their votes do not count. The SJW ruling faction of science fiction fandom, who pride themselves on their diversity, tolerance, and inclusiveness, won this year’s battle against the Puppies using their preferred weapons of intolerance and exclusion.

It’s safe to assume that many of those two thousand Hugo voters will be back next year, with clear memories of how “fandom” treated them, to join the “exclusively male, sexist, misogynist leaders” of Sad Puppies 4:

So, for next year, I give you Kate Paulk running the platform of bringing in more and more voters.  MOAR.  Sad Puppies IV the Embiggenning.  (Though none of us will do more than snicker if, since Amanda and I are helping Kate, you call it “Sad Puppies IV, the Embitchening.” We know the other side is going to call it that anyway, and we say “Yeah, and how” in advance.)  We’re here, we’re not giving up and we’re prepared to fight like girls.  May G-d have mercy on their souls.

Larry had little luck with Sad Puppies 1.  For Sad Puppies 2, though, he managed to gather enough people to get nominees on the ballot, including a novella by Vox Day.  Brad Torgersen and Vox gathered 350 nominating voters for Sad Puppies 3 and Rabid Puppies–which was enough to not only upset the apple cart, but smash it into kindling to barbecue the horse for dinner and simmer apple sauce on the coals for dessert.  And, by the time the dust settled, there were at least 1000 people voting in a Puppies-friendly manner at the convention itself.

The question is, how many of those thousands of voters who were “unpersoned” by the fandom clique will be more sympathetic to the Puppies’ views next year, and join the bonfire…?


(Edit:  Corrected the number of Hugo nominations for John C. Wright)