It’s been about a week since the Hugo finalists were announced… and there’s been way too much commentary to comb through. I’m going to post a few links here, but know that there are others who are doing a far better job summarizing the commentary, and to be quite honest, I’m already burnt out on the politics of the thing. This will most likely be my last post on the subject, though I suspect I’ll get pulled back in depending on how recklessly No Award is deployed in the final tally. For the record, I think Sad Puppies 3 was far more successful than anyone thought (which includes them) and as such, I’m going to be somewhat leery of slates in the future (my preference would be for Sad Puppies 4 to simply encourage participation and maybe include an open post about eligible books as opposed to a straight slate). I have a hard time believing most of the conspiracies being thrown around, and am emphatically against the abuse that’s been generated (which goes both ways). I don’t like guilt by association and generally assume good faith in participants. Many nominees are being thrown under a bus for petty reasons, and that seems silly to me. As always, I plan to read and vote accordingly. Anywho, here are some other folks commenting on the slate.
- File 770 has been all over this thing, with daily updates and link roundups that are well worth checking out. If you’re the type who wants to continue devouring commentary, this is the place to go.
- Chaos Horizon has been doing some excellent statistical analyses based on available data. It seems likely that there are at least some voters who nominated the straight puppy slate, though there’s not enough information to say for sure. Honestly, I don’t know that there ever will, though when the full numbers are released in August, we’ll be able to speculate on a maximum impact (but even that won’t prove anything). My anecdotal experience in looking at puppy nominators is that they are people who only voted for things they read and liked (and thus did not nominate the full ballot).
- A Note About the Hugo Nominations This Year – Like last year, John Scalzi’s reaction has been eminently reasonable:
2. I’m very pleased for the several friends and/or writers who are on the ballot this year. This includes everyone in the Best Novel category, all of whom I consider friends, and any of whom I would be happy to see take home a rocket this year. And as always, I congratulate all the nominees for the Hugo and the Campbell. It’s fun to be nominated, and nice to get recognition. I’ll be voting.
3. This year I’ll do what I always do when voting for the Hugos, which is to rank the nominees every category according to how I think they (and/or their particular works in question) deserve to ranked. Preferential balloting is a useful thing. I will be reading quite a lot.
…In sum: I think it’s possible for voters to thread the needle and give creators fair consideration while also expressing displeasure (if indeed one is displeased) at the idea of slates, or people trolling the award. This might take a little work, but then voting on the Hugos should be a little bit of work, don’t you think. This is a good year to do that.
- Thoughts on the 2015 Hugo Award Nominees – Joe Sherry has reasonable things to say, and unlike 99.9% of other commentary, he also posted some thoughts on the actual ballot. I’m more or less in line with this approach:
At this point I have read far too many articles written on both sides of the debate, and while I’m not willing to say “I hate everyone equally”, I can say that I’m fairly well annoyed by most people. I am not on the side of the Sad Puppies because generally, the sort of book and the sort of story I enjoy reading is already what is frequently represented by the Hugos (though there are certain authors I am very, very confused by how frequently they are nominated for stuff – but I’ve always chalked it up to different and divergent tastes and nothing more). But, I do agree with one of their stated aims: which is that more people should be involved in the Hugo awards. Heck, the people who nominated and vote are only a small fraction of the people who actually attend Worldcon. Get them involved, too, somehow. Everything might look different if that happened.
So, what am I going to do?
I’m going to read everything on the ballot and hope that the Hugo voter packet is inclusive of everything on it (minus the dramatic presentations), and then I’m going to vote accordingly. I look forward to the Hugo Awards every year and enjoy thinking about them, talking about them, occasionally writing way too many words about them. Before I knew anything about the awards, I believed that they were the premier award in science fiction and fantasy. The best of the best. The Oscar of the genre. Later I learned that the Hugos were nothing more than an award given out by a particular community, and only nominated and voted on by a very small subset of that same community. The Hugos are reflective of a particular group of people, just as the Nebulas are, and the World Fantasy Awards are (the three I awards I care most about) – but the Hugos is the one I can participate in, which makes it special even knowing what I do about it. So, I respect the process of the award and will treat all the nominees fairly and at face value – and I think it is disappointing that I felt the need to write that sentence.
Again, reasonable stuff.
- The Disavowal – A Sad Puppy nominee disavows stuff.
- Mary Anne Mohanraj also has reasonable things to say. She leads with a Bujold reference and takes Miles’ wisdom to heart, assuming good faith and providing some reasonable suggestions for the future.
- If you’re bitching about the Hugo Awards, you’re part of the problem. A more cynical approach here, but worth noting.
- Please stop with the death threats and the hate mail. Very nice to see Mary Robinette Kowal’s reasonable comments:
Folks. Do not send death threats to Larry Correia, Brad Torgersen or anyone else on the Sad Puppies slate. That is a shitty thing to do. Stop it.
I, too, am angry about how things went down with the Hugos, but am also realistic about the fact that much of the work — not all of it — but a lot of it is on there because people are legitimately excited about it. Yes, there are some things from Rabid Puppies that seem to be there purely for shock value. But others? Sheila Gilbert does damn good work. Jim Butcher is a serious writer.
Hey, look, another person has actually looked at the ballot. And she also took the rather noble step of sponsoring 10 supporting memberships for folks who want to vote but can’t afford it… an effort that has caught on with other folks to the point where there are now 75 sponsored memberships. Well done.
- George R.R. Martin has been pretty active this week, and this post on Hatespeech is just one of them:
And now there’s Puppygate, and I have been posting about that, and in the course of which I have had some exchanges with Larry Correia, the founder of Sad Puppies, and Brad Torgensen, who ran the SP3 slate. And both of them tell similar tales: of anonymous phone calls, libel and slander, vicious emails, death threats… death threats! All of these, presumably, coming from “my side” of fandom, those who oppose the Puppies. Do I believe them? I don’t want to believe them. I would rather cling to the belief that my side is better than that. That’s hard to do these days, As strongly as I disagree with Torgensen and Correia about the Hugo Awards, and probably a hundred other issues, I have no reason to think them liars. I think they are telling the truth, just as Quinn and Sarkeesian and Wu were. On the internet, it seems, abuse trumps debate every time.
Death threats. Really? Really???
- …to my people, don’t blame Tor – Larry Correia also jumps on the “stop being jerks” bandwagon:
Don’t threaten to boycott anybody because of their business associations, because that’s exactly the kind of boorish behavior that’s been done to us.
Don’t post links to a torrent site and suggest that people pirate stuff instead of giving a publishing house money. Do you have any idea how offensive it is to do that on a professional author’s feed?
Tor seems to be a major boogeyman for some people, for some reason.
- Vox plays chicken with Worldcon – Brad Torgersen (organizer of the Sad Puppy 3 campaign) has some choice words for No Award voters (i.e. folks who vow to vote No Award above everything on the Puppy slates), including Vox Day’s thread to No Award 2016:
Frankly, I think everybody should just do what Mary Robinette Kowal and Dan Wells and Scalzi and Correia and Jason Sanford and myself have been recommending you do, and read your voter packet and vote like the stories and books are just stories and books.
If Vox borks the Hugos in 2016, he is the biggest asshole SF/F has ever seen in its history.
Vox, please don’t be an asshole.
If the people who hate Vox bork the Hugos in 2015, they are the biggest assholes SF/F has ever seen in its history.
Vox-haters, please don’t be assholes.
This is getting ridiculous. For the record, I think voting No Award above (or in place of) something just because it appears on a puppy slate is a bad idea. It is actually allowed technically if you read the rules closely, but it’s a pretty crappy thing to do. I don’t think slates are a great thing either, but the No Award approach is worse. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Or something like that.
Alright, so there’s some sampling of stuff. Like I said, I can’t really keep up and at this point, I’m ready to just move on and start reading the actual work (because why spend that time reading vitriol and disingenuous arguments?) Care to join me? Oh, and by the way, comments are working again! Huzzah!