Chuck Gannon’s post about civility has some great points. But here’s a not so great reminder of just what the puppies were dealing with, right out of the box. This piece from April that showed up on my twitter feed, makes the points rather clear.
The pieces was titled “How Bigots Invaded The Hugo Awards.” It then flushes down from there.
What has happened is simple: an angry mob has exploited a loophole in how nominations occur in order to crash a party that they seemingly detest anyway. The gaming of the Hugo Awards Ballot wasn’t executed for frivolous reasons: it was organized by racist, homophobic people who want science fiction to be going backwards instead of looking toward the future.
This is right out the puppy kicker talking points that were gushed out all over the media back in April when this piece was written. From the language the talking points must have come from Gallo at Tor, at a guess. IN any case there was no attempt at civility, right out of the box.
The Sad Puppies campaign began two years ago, organized by two writers named Larry Corriea and Brad R. Torgersen in an effort to de-throne what they perceive as a “social justice warrior” strangle-hold on the science fiction and fantasy publishing awards. Torgersen, for example, lambasted the Hugos as turning into “an affirmative action award” that was given out “because a writer or artist is (insert underrepresented minority or victim group here) or because a given work features (insert underrepresented minority or victim group here) characters.” In previous years, their attempt to get “their” authors on the ballot has been less than successful. However, his year’s efforts were overwhelming successful, in part because an even more reactionary splinter ballot put forward by Vox Day. In the Best Novel Category 3 of the 5 nominees were on their ballots, while in the Best Novella, Best Novellete, and Best Short Story Categories 100% of the nominees were Sad Puppies or Rabid Puppies. Overall, 61 of the nominees were from one of the two Puppies slates and a mere 24 nominees were on neither.
Obviously the people who wrote this blog couldn’t be bothered to check with Larry and Brad and get, well the other side of the story. It’s much better to rant about how “reactionary” the choices from the puppies were.
Now, in fairness, the “liberal elite” that the Sad/Rabid Puppies claim to be fighting against, such as John Scalzi, have encouraged members to vote for titles or to vote to increase diversity in nominations before. From a third-grade notion of “fairness” it could be easy to argue these conservative folks have done the same thing, simply flipped the tables on the liberal masters of science fiction and fantasy. However, the supposed liberal faction has never put forward a single slate that won anything like 61 nominations.
They also never checked the Hugo noms for the last ten years or so. It’s pretty obvious that there was a LOT of slating and backroom deals going on. Not for some noms, ALL of them. But actual facts would have destroyed the narrative.
While Larry Corriea and Brad R. Torgersen have gotten a lot of the credit in the press, the real power behind this year’s Hugo nominations is someone else: Theodore Beale. Beale goes by the pseudonym of Vox Day, and is conveniently the lead editor of Castalia House—a new press that landed 9 nominations plus two more for Vox Day as editor. Castalia House publishes a writer named John C. Wright, who, if you didn’t know any better, you might think has suddenly become the greatest science fiction writer in the world, literally overnight. Wright, famous for his homophobic rants, garnered an amazing six Hugo nominations thanks to the Sad and Rabid Puppies ballot stuffing scheme of the Hugos.
Beale himself is a self-described “fundamentalist” who’s gotten into numerous tussles with writers like John Scalzi, and actually managed to get himself kicked out of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America for calling the great black writer N.K. Jemisin a “half-savage” among other offenses. As you can guess, and as Jemisin has pointed out, Beale is unapologetically racist.
Just to drive the point home, invoke “Vox Day” making sure that you call him an “unrepentant racist.” BTW, Jemison STARTED the name calling in that little dustup. If you can’t take it, don’t dish it out.
But that’s not the real issue. The real issue is that there are groups of people motivated in opposition to progress. Last year’s Hugo Nominations were among some the most diverse ever. This year, in the categories untouched by the Sad Puppies, like Graphic Novel, we see the excellent G.Willow Wilson being nominated for her Ms. Marvel “No Normal” series; a storyline about a Muslim teenage superhero, which is certainly something that Beale/Vox Day would likely be opposed to. The Sad Puppies also were only able to influence the best novel category to a point; acclaimed books like Anne Leckie’s Ancillary Sword still made it on. But how are these people supposed to feel about this? Would you even want to show up to the awards?
Of course here is the whole kicker argument in a nutshell. The Puppies are against “Progress.” That might actually be true, if progress mean turning SF into nothing more than PC messaging and LGBT porn. All the puppies wanted was to actually present some stuff that hadn’t gotten on the ballot because the noms had been a closed shop for some time. The interesting part was how EASY it was to sweep the nominations. Of course there’s the usual assumptions about just what the Puppies would have chosen for nomination in a category in which there WERE no puppy noms. How can they know what we might or might not pick. Frankly if the Ms. Marvel as a Muslim worked it may have been worthy for reasons other than it’s PC character. It’s obvious what the blogger here thinks though, that being that only the characters fit on the “diversity” “victim status” matters and details such as story and entertainment don’t really matter. As for Ancillary Sword, the only reason that book made it on the ballot was that puppy choice Marko Kloos was bullied off of it.
Now as to showing up for the awards, well we now know what happened, who the jerks in SF are, Yes , Mr.’s Gerrold, Scalzi, Martin, and Nelson Hayden. We now know who worked so hard to turn SF toxic. We little fans, who know all to well that you are the ones spreading the crap, in all too many ways. There’s been far too much to ignore, including this little piece from April that yet again reminded me why I’m pissed off that SF is going down the tubes.
The Hugo Awards posts.