Return Home

Black Gate Withdraws From Hugo Consideration

Sunday, April 19th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

2011 Hugo Award-smallOn April 4th, Black Gate was nominated for a 2015 Hugo Award for Best Fanzine. One of our bloggers, Matthew David Surridge, was also nominated as Best Fan Writer but, as he explained, he declined the nomination before the ballot was announced.

Since the nomination for Black Gate was for the entire site, which produces over 120 articles per month by a team of over 40 volunteers, I did not decline the nomination, although personally I shared many of the Matthew’s concerns. However, over the last two weeks I’ve had the opportunity to hear from many of our bloggers, and by and large they share many of those concerns as well.

Accordingly, on Saturday, April 18th, I informed the administrators at Sasquan that we have withdrawn Black Gate from consideration for the 2015 Hugo Award.

As I explained in my previous  post, Sad Puppies and Super Puppies: The 2015 Hugo Train Wreck, (and in our original announcement), I have serious concerns about the legitimacy of the 2015 Hugo ballot, as it was largely dictated by a single individual, Vox Day, who campaigned for a slate of nominees on his website (the Rabid Puppies slate). To a lesser extent, it was also influenced by Brad Togersen’s Sad Puppies slate. Together, the two slates successfully placed 61 nominees on the ballot. Black Gate was part of the Rabid Puppies ballot, although we were unaware of our inclusion until we were informed of our nomination.

In short, over the last two weeks I have come to agree with those arguing that the use of a slate — and particularly a slate that has 11 nominees from Vox Day’s Castalia House, and nominates him personally for two awards — is a serious threat to the perceived integrity of the Hugo Awards.

The Hugo Award is the most broadly recognized and respected award in science fiction, despite occasional fannish complaints about bias one way or another and other politics over the years, and in the last two weeks it’s become apparent that this is a full blown scandal that could permanently tarnish the reputation of the award.

The growing sentiment among many Hugo voters is to respond to this perceived threat by placing “No Award” ahead of every one of the Rabid Puppies and Sad Puppies on the ballot, which would deny the members of those slates a Hugo Award. A number of sites offer guidance on exactly how to do this, including Deirdre Saoirse Moen’s “The Puppy-Free Hugo Award Voter’s Guide.”

The vast majority of fans I’ve spoken with have no particular animosity towards the Puppies’ stated objectives, or their right-wing leanings. The “No Award” movement is broad-based response motivated by a sincere desire to protect the integrity of the Hugo Awards, and is not politically-motivated.

I happen to agree with this approach. I also believe that it will be successful. Despite a lot of confusion surrounding “No Award,” it is not particularly difficult for “No Award” to win, and in fact it has done so a number of times in the past. “No Award” is just like any other nominee, and can win just as easily.

In fact, if I’d heard half as much buzz about any other candidate in prior years as I’ve heard about “No Award” this year, I’d be convinced that it would sweep the awards. Based on the countless endorsements for “No Award” I’ve heard this year, I believe that it will have a strong showing at the awards.

Connie Willis with HugoProponents of the Rabid Puppies have argued, on the surface quite rationally, that the ballot is now the ballot, and since they’ve had to put up with bad ballots in the past, the rest of us should be able to endure one we don’t like this year. Why not just read all the candidates and vote based on the merits?

This sounds like a compelling argument. Except that it’s based on the premise that this is a legitimate Hugo ballot.

I don’t believe that it is. I believe it is tainted, clearly the product of well-promoted ballot-stuffing, and to endorse such a ballot would permanently damage the reputation of the Hugos. Eleven-time Hugo Award winner and frequent award presenter Connie Willis put it well, I think, when she refused to take part in presenting the Hugos this year, saying,

In my own particular case, I feel I’ve also been ordered to go along with them and act as if this were an ordinary Hugo Awards ceremony. I’ve essentially been told to engage in some light-hearted banter with the nominees, give one of them the award, and by my presence – and my silence – lend cover and credibility to winners who got the award through bullying and extortion.

Well, I won’t do it. I can’t do it. If I did, I’d be collaborating with them in their scheme.

The “threats and extortion” Ms. Willis refers to are comments by Vox Day that “If No Award takes a fiction category, you will likely never see another award given in that category again,” which many interpret as a threat to use a similar process to wreck the Hugos in future years.

I’ve talked with many Puppies over the past few weeks, and they seem genuinely bewildered at the “No Award” strategy. They don’t understand how so many voters can be willing to reject the ballot without even reading it. Many of their critics have tarred the Rabid Puppies endeavor as a largely cynical effort to destroy the Hugos but, I don’t believe that. To their credit, the Puppies do seem to believe that their ballot has real merit.

I get that. And I respect it. The Puppies have convinced a great many voters — including, apparently, George R.R. Martin — to accept their ballot, and to read it and judge it fairly. That’s certainly a valid position, and I don’t argue with it.

But it’s not my position. Like Ms. Willis and many others, my larger concern is with the integrity of the Hugos. Giving Hugos to members of the Rabid Puppies slate would be a tacit acceptance of slate voting as a legitimate way to award Hugos, and I feel this would permanently tarnish an award that has done an enormous amount to promote and celebrate some of the finest SF and fantasy this field has ever seen.

The strongest argument the Puppies can muster is that this shouldn’t matter, because there are very deserving candidates on the award ballot this year, and denying them a Hugo award without the regard they deserve is wrong.

The strongest argument I can muster is that I believe that Black Gate is a superb website, the product of thousands of hours of dedicated effort from dozens of the top writers in the field every single month, and if there’s even the slightest chance that giving it a Hugo would in any way diminish the reputation of the Awards, we, as an organization and as a team, categorically reject any involvement in that effort.

I don’t expect the Puppies to agree with or perhaps even understand our reasoning. But I hope that they respect it, the same way we respect their arguments.

Black Gate has, for the past two weeks, been debating the very legitimacy of the current Hugo ballot, and I have been publicly and privately advocating a “No Award” approach. I have also come to the conclusion, reluctantly, that this goes against the spirit of the awards. We can’t both be a part of the ballot, and actively working against it. So we have formally withdrawn Black Gate from consideration for the 2015 awards.

It’s our hope that the Sasquan committee will be able to replace our name on the ballot with another deserving candidate. If that’s not possible, nonetheless I feel removing our name will focus attention on those candidates for whom the award may not be so problematic.

Hugos 2016 Puppies-smallVox Day and others have said that a “No Award” sweep at the Hugos this year would be a victory for the Rabid Puppies. (And Vox has rather gleefully posted the graphic at left on his website, as he gears up to wreak havoc on future awards if the Rabid Puppies slate loses.)

I’m not particularly concerned with who “wins” or “loses” this debate. As I’ve said, my chief concern is with the integrity of the Awards. I would love to see Black Gate win a Hugo, but not at the cost of the hard-won reputation of the award. If the Rabid Puppies feel a sense of accomplishment in a slate of “No Awards” at this (and future) Hugo ceremonies, they are certainly entitled to do so.

I would like to address three other issues as well. First, many folks have criticized the Rabid Puppies for including candidates — such as Black Gate, and Matthew David Surridge — on their slate without asking our permission. I can’t speak for Matthew, but personally I don’t feel this criticism is justified. Vox and his team had the perfect right to promote whatever works they felt were worthy. We promote, criticize, and advocate works for awards every day right here at Black Gate. Certainly what the Rabid Puppies did was different in degree, but not in principle.

Second, Black Gate is hardly the first to withdraw from Hugo consideration. Marko Kloos and Annie Bellet both withdrew from the ballot last week. I think that doing so first took considerable courage, and it certainly made our decision easier. I salute both of them for making the tough choice to do what they felt was right.

Finally, in her public comments, Annie mentioned standing “in a battlefield,” and having to “cringe when I open my email.” Some folks have reported a high volume of negative commentary aimed their way as a result of being included in the Rabid Puppies ballot.

I want to make it very clear that, although Black Gate has received a very high volume of e-mail over the last fifteen days– and our various posts on the controversy have been visited over 60,000 times — to my knowledge we have not received a single negative e-mail, from either side. I have received nothing but congratulations (and the occasional condolence).

A great deal has been said about the intensely negative tone of this debate, but I am delighted to report that, without exception, Black Gate readers have continued to show a great deal of class. Thank you, one and all.

Comments and debate are, as always, most welcome.

159 Comments »

  1. “is a serious threat to the perceived integrity of the Hugo Awards.”

    Bah, the behavior of the folks running around whining is a bigger threat to the “integrity” of the Hugos than Theo Beale.

    If the Hugos/worldcon arent a place where different opinions cant exist, then that is the problem, theo is just the symptom.

    If so, then maybe he is right…it does need to be burned down.

    Comment by TW - April 19, 2015 2:39 pm

  2. Need an edit button so I can fix my double negative…

    Comment by TW - April 19, 2015 2:43 pm

  3. If No Award in the future is an unacceptable threat, so is No Award now.

    Comment by bruce99999999 - April 19, 2015 2:47 pm

  4. Goddammit John, I was counting on the prize money to update BG’s WordPress to 4.1.

    Comment by Jackson Kuhl - April 19, 2015 2:51 pm

  5. John, an understandable decision.

    Jackson, if you can stomach searching the couch cushions in the BG lounge (not for the faint of heart), you’d probably find enough loose change for the update.

    With luck, you’ll also find the last person who tried to search those cushions.

    Comment by Jeff Stehman - April 19, 2015 3:21 pm

  6. […] a 2015 Hugo finalist in the fanzine category, has withdrawn from the ballot. John O’Neill announced the decision […]

    Pingback by Black Gate Withdraws From Hugo Ballot | File 770 - April 19, 2015 3:45 pm

  7. You should be less worried about the “perceived” integrity of the Hugo awards (to the smallish clique that’s dominated it), and more about the *actual* integrity of them, which Vox and Brad have given you an opportunity to restore. Right now the biggest threats to the awards’ integrity are all the people have reacted like tantruming toddlers to the “wrong” people getting a shot, those who have outright lied and slandered all over the media at the loss of the control they claimed they didn’t have, and the people who have given in under pressure and buckled like yourselves.

    Or rather, such individuals are demonstrating by their decisions that the Hugos had no integrity to save. I, for one, will have no problem burning them down each year until they are over. The Puppies at least guarantee that the literature packets I will get for my $40 will be worth it in the meantime.

    Comment by The Deuce - April 19, 2015 4:06 pm

  8. […] Now, Black Static, which was nominated in the Best Fanzine category, has announced that it is withdrawing. […]

    Pingback by Another Hugo withdrawal - Best Science Fiction Blog - April 19, 2015 4:11 pm

  9. […] UPDATE: you know who does get it right? Black Gate. […]

    Pingback by Butcher fails where Bellet and Kloos succeeded | Wis[s]e Words - April 19, 2015 4:41 pm

  10. I’m very new to your blog, John, but I’ve responded quite a bit in the short time I’ve visited here, and I have been THRILLED with all I’ve seen and read. I’ve been a fan of science fiction and fantasy for well over 50 years, and I’m heartbroken over the foolishness and wrong thinking that have helped bring about this controversy. Even more than that, I’m extremely disappointed by you decision to remove Black Gate from Hugo consideration, because you are quite easily one of the best things to have happened to the field EVER. You’d have had my vote. I don’t know if you’re familiar with any of the old fanzines that were circulating through the field back in the 1970s, but Dick Geis’s “Alien Critic” and Andrew Porter’s “Algol” were top-notch publications. You’ve got ’em both beat by light years. I hope this endeavor continues on; I’ll be accessing this site as often as I can, and I hope that’s for many, many more years. Please keep up the astounding and amazing work you do. I think Black Gate is fantastic.

    Comment by smitty59 - April 19, 2015 4:48 pm

  11. Maintaining your own honesty and integrity, and that of your work, is far more important than any external recognition or accolade. Being willing to take the necessary steps to do so is itself deserving of recognition. So – congratulations, John!

    Comment by Thomas Parker - April 19, 2015 4:50 pm

  12. I hate like the devil that you guys were put in this situation, and I lack words to express my admiration for the integrity you’re showing here.

    This remains, though: Black Gate is brilliant. Awards wouldn’t really add to its luster, particularly in this horrible year. But maybe, in another year, Black Gate can add its luster to a legitimate honor-roll of nominees.

    Comment by James Enge - April 19, 2015 5:26 pm

  13. Mind boggling on a cyberspatial scale…

    I took a quick tour of “Vox Day’s” blog site…it reads like Ayn Randian word salad with a side of AI routines written by Elbonians.

    If these twits could derail the Hugos, maybe the process was in need of a redesign anyways

    Comment by AWAbooks - April 19, 2015 5:52 pm

  14. […] While the final ballot appeared settled last week, another Puppy nominee has withdrawn from the Hugo Awards. […]

    Pingback by Hugo Drama Continues as Black Gate Withdraws from Consideration | Relentless Reading (And Writing About It!) - April 19, 2015 6:00 pm

  15. Man, I am sure that this was a really difficult decision, and I admire your resolve.

    In the long run, I am not sure that there’s a way to create any kind of hard limit that will prevent slate voting; all of the “fixes” I’ve seen to this scenario look like they either won’t work, or they’ll just create a bunch of new problems.

    It seems like the only thing to do is for people to just agree that we won’t participate if it happens, so. Good luck; I am sure Black Gate will get a legitimate nomination in the future!

    Comment by braak - April 19, 2015 6:04 pm

  16. Hi guys. I’ve ready a number of articles on this site over the years, and very highly enjoyed the content here on different subjects (including chainmail bikinis) . I’ve finally been moved to register though.

    Insofar as the withdrawal – I get it – it’s your call. If you don’t feel comfortable with being nominated, for whatever reason, that’s your business. I respect that.

    That said, ballot-stuffing has a definition, and means something. If a bunch of fake memberships were purchased to “stuff the ballot” for which real, individual, unique flesh and blood people weren’t associated in to any statistically significant degree – please point me to the evidence.

    The closest that seems to apply is “block voting” – though given the statistical variance we’re not talking machine-politics 75%+ compliance block voting, but “a block of people with different tastes joined up this year, most of them really liked a couple things that were suggested as good reads, the rest not so much… but so many showed up it skewed the results from past history”

    To my minds eye, that’s democracy in action.

    So while I do respect your decision, I also submit that the grounds you give are not quite in accordance with the facts.

    And however you feel about it, I know I come out of this feeling like my support for you, and that of my friends which (not all of whom) voted for you, is worth less to you than that of other people. That you’d rather we didn’t, didn’t say hi, didn’t show your site to other friends, and really just quietly read, and if we have an opinion, just go off elsewhere. We’re not welcome if you actually have to acknowledge us.

    So I’ll side with the people who haven’t spun lie after lie in the last couple weeks, and haven’t deployed kafkatraps on assumed malice, where there is no right answer other than I’m guilty. I’ll side with the side that actually tolerates opposing views, and doesn’t speak in language that, if “man” were replaced with woman, or “white” with black, would not come across as horribly sexist.

    I’ll side with the authors that aren’t telling me to sit down, shut up, and be abolished already.

    Comment by dgarsys - April 19, 2015 7:01 pm

  17. P.S. – no, you guys are not who I mean by “spun lie after lie after lie” / etc.

    Comment by dgarsys - April 19, 2015 7:02 pm

  18. > Need an edit button so I can fix my double negative…

    TW,

    Yeah, I have to go back and fix stupid errors in my comments al the time. Let me know how you want the comment to read, and I’ll fix it.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 19, 2015 7:07 pm

  19. > If No Award in the future is an unacceptable threat, so is No Award now.

    Bruce,

    Huh? I’m not entirely sure what that’s supposed to mean… but if you’re suggesting that the desire to vote “No Award” by people who think the ballot has been tampered with is morally equivalent to Vox Day’s threat to destroy the Hugos if he doesn’t get what he wants, then this comment makes even less sense than I thought.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 19, 2015 7:11 pm

  20. […] Sunday, April 19, Best Fanzine finalist Black Gate announced that they were withdrawing from consideration in the 2015 Hugo Awards. This announcement came after the deadline for withdrawing from the 2015 Hugo Award shortlist as […]

    Pingback by Black Gate Announces Withdrawal; Hugo Ballot Frozen | The Hugo Awards - April 19, 2015 7:11 pm

  21. > I was counting on the prize money to update BG’s WordPress to 4.1.

    Jackson,

    Goth Chick has already put plans for a bake-sale fundraiser in motion, for just that purpose. I think it’s in the hopes that WordPress 4.1 will allow her to fully fully hand off her posts to her interns… if that’s not true, no one tell Goth Chick.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 19, 2015 7:14 pm

  22. @smitty59–I concur with your assessment of Black Gate. All other candidates were distant seconds in my view. I truly appreciate your wit and you have demonstrated to be a gentleman. I respect you sir.

    @TW–I agree. For now I view the Hugo as a club award where identity politics and the SJW narrative is more important than the SF/F genres.

    @braak–slate voting will be the future. On a side note–I really liked your tribute to Dr.Sally Ride. I remember talking to my daughter about her and telling her that it proves that the sky is the limit.

    John, as a fan of Black Gate I thank you and your staff who have worked here–for FREE–and have given me a lot to look at and ponder here. I feel horrible. I feel that my association with the Sad Puppies let y’all down. I realize that editors have to walk tightropes sometimes and I might embarrass a lot of people by my enthusiasm, sophomoric humor, and conservative views. I have been treated very well here. I’m sorry that y’all got mixed up in this. I wish every one of you fair winds and following seas.

    Comment by Wild Ape - April 19, 2015 7:17 pm

  23. > I don’t know if you’re familiar with any of the old fanzines that were circulating through the field back in the 1970s, but Dick
    > Geis’s “Alien Critic” and Andrew Porter’s “Algol” were top-notch publications. You’ve got ‘em both beat by light years.

    Smitty,

    Many thanks for the kind words. And I’m very familiar with both The Alien Critic and Algol, and that’s very high praise indeed!

    There hasn’t been a lot of good to come out of this controversy, but I HAVE heard from dozens of readers who are discovering us for the first time as a result, so I’m very grateful for that.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 19, 2015 7:17 pm

  24. > Maintaining your own honesty and integrity, and that of your work, is far more important
    > than any external recognition or accolade.

    Thanks, Thomas. If only there were a cool rocket-shaped statue given out for maintaining your integrity, this could end happily for everyone. :)

    Comment by John ONeill - April 19, 2015 7:20 pm

  25. > Black Gate is brilliant. Awards wouldn’t really add to its luster, particularly in this horrible year. But maybe, in another year,
    > Black Gate can add its luster to a legitimate honor-roll of nominees.

    Thanks, James! It would be great to think we have a shot at a Hugo at some point down the line (and that thought made it easier to decline the nomination this time.)

    But as it is, one nomination has already taken up too much of my time, so I’m not going to exert much effort worrying about next year. :)

    Comment by John ONeill - April 19, 2015 7:25 pm

  26. Hi John,

    I lament the chain of events that has led to this–being nominated by the RP slate, and then your withdrawal.

    I understand that the ballot is frozen, now, however, and Black Gate remains a candidate nevertheless.

    Comment by Princejvstin - April 19, 2015 7:27 pm

  27. ” Let me know how you want the comment to read, and I’ll fix it.”

    Thanks Mr ONeill, but you dont have to go through the trouble. I can live with my fumble brain throwing in small mistakes, If I couldnt Id be in REAL trouble…

    “I am sure Black Gate will get a legitimate nomination in the future!”

    Just what is not “legitimate” about about the nom this time around?

    Comment by TW - April 19, 2015 8:08 pm

  28. If a “legitimate” nomination means being nominated the way things were, that was never, ever going to happen because of cliques, and I think everyone who is honest with themselves knows that.

    If a nomination brought about because SP & RP have permanently shaken things up is “tainted” and therefore “illegitimate,” I expect that Black Gate has plenty of “illegitimate” nominations to come. I expect that open block voting is the wave of the future, but that RP & SP will still dominate, because SJWs don’t have the numbers they like to pretend they do.

    To me, this whole thing sounds a lot like a sort of Stockholm Syndrome or internalized dhimmitude, where despite not being an SJW extremist personally, a person comes to accept their own 2nd class status and to see the SJWs as having the the natural right to define “legitimacy,” and successful plays by others with competing (and frankly less extreme, even in the case of Vox) worldviews as automatically “illegitimate,” even when they’re every bit as by the rules.

    Comment by The Deuce - April 19, 2015 8:52 pm

  29. I’ll note my earlier post doesn’t seem to have escaped moderation yet.

    In retrospect, even with the PS, it may come across too much like I’m blaming you guys for lying/etc. instead of saying that I’m siding with the side that, no matter how cruddy some people on it MAY be, has at least been honest, and doesn’t pull totalitarian crap like guilt-by-association, requiring approval of approval, etc.

    And either way, thank you guys for all the good articles.

    Comment by dgarsys - April 19, 2015 9:05 pm

  30. Good for you. Can I say it again? Good for you. In an act of betrayal to my love of fantasy, I’ve been reading a lot of Trollope recently, and acts of self-denial undertaken for reasons of integrity are at the core of what he’s writing about — the morality of the gentleman. You would have won; you should have won. This refusal will live.

    Good for you.

    Comment by Tulkinghorn - April 19, 2015 9:35 pm

  31. > Man, I am sure that this was a really difficult decision, and I admire your resolve.

    Braak,

    Thanks. Truthfully, it got easier as every day went by.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 19, 2015 9:51 pm

  32. “Truthfully, it got easier as every day went by”.

    True, that. Still, I wanted to see you choke someone out!

    Comment by Adrian Simmons - April 19, 2015 10:01 pm

  33. @The Deuce and Wild Ape:

    Oh, well. I guess we’ll see, soon enough.

    Comment by braak - April 19, 2015 11:14 pm

  34. My heart goes out to all of you guys at Black Gate. I’m sorry that what should have been a joyous time was marred in such a way.

    I’m a newcomer to the site. I believe it was a link to Matthew’s excellent post about his own withdrawal from the Hugos which brought me here (and yes, Matthew, I read the post in its entirety :) ), but it was the quality of the site, the great articles posted, that kept me here. I think you guys are amazing.

    Comment by Rachel Book Harlot - April 19, 2015 11:16 pm

  35. Black Gate was great without a Hugo Nomination.

    Black Gate is great with a Hugo Nomination.

    Black Gate will still be great no matter how this tempest in a teapot shakes out.

    Comment by eeknight - April 19, 2015 11:21 pm

  36. As I stated in my Sad Puppies article, I really don’t care about any of it, but I do care about Black Gate and all my wonderful blogger compatriots. We are a damn fine bunch of writers and I’m glad those who Really matter, our readers, understand that fact. I salute all who come here to read, write, and enjoy the incredible things our genre of choice has to offer. Hell, as well versed as our blogger team is, we should really be the ones giving out industry awards. What say you John, should be start the Morannon Awards? [see what I did there? :) ]

    Comment by Scott Taylor - April 20, 2015 12:44 am

  37. […] on: Black Gate has withdrawn from consideration […]

    Pingback by GamerGate Spills Over Into The Hugo Awards - Page 3 - SLUniverse Forums - April 20, 2015 2:18 am

  38. I’m sorry I won’t have the chance to vote for you. I disagree with the people who nominated you, but I think you deserve the award.

    I respect and admire your decision, and hope you find a nomination in a less turbulent time.

    Comment by darangrissom - April 20, 2015 2:41 am

  39. Aren’t there two solutions to this?

    1 – Eliminate the existing award and come up with something else with tighter voting standards;

    2 – Continue the award and revise said standards for next year to avoid this type of thing.

    I realize that doesn’t address this year’s problem. But since it seems Vox’ group is already threatening next year’s awards, based on what happens this year, looking forward seems relevant.

    And I realize “Just eliminate the Hugos” is quite a statement, but I’m not keen on awards in general, myself.

    Comment by Bob Byrne - April 20, 2015 8:55 am

  40. Jackson,
    Pay no attention to the boss. This whole Hugo brouhaha has made him cranky. Well that, and the you-know-what I found in the cushions of the couch in his office.

    And for the record, I wouldn’t let this year’s lot of scruffy, bunny-hugging interns anywhere near my content.

    GC

    Comment by Sue Granquist - April 20, 2015 10:24 am

  41. I also respect your decision, John, and am sad that you (and many others) were put into such an untenable position.

    And I’ll be very happy to vote for Black Gate in the future, should the opportunity present itself.

    Comment by Joe H. - April 20, 2015 11:24 am

  42. > Right now the biggest threats to the awards’ integrity are all the people have reacted like tantruming toddlers to the
    > “wrong” people getting a shot, those who have outright lied and slandered all over the media at the loss of the control they
    > claimed they didn’t have, and the people who have given in under pressure and buckled like yourselves.

    Deuce,

    Thanks for the comment. It’s pretty clear you and I see this entire affair 100% differently, so I’m not going to argue with you.

    However, I do have to correct one factual error. I realize you perceive Black Gate (and others who have withdrawn) as the real danger to the integrity of the Hugos, for bowing to pressure. But as I said clearly above, there was absolutely no pressure on me, from either side. You have leaped to a wrong conclusion, in the face of no facts. In truth, the facts were right in front of you, but you ignored them and leaped to the wrong conclusion anyway.

    Marko Kloos and Annie Bellet have likewise come out and said there was no pressure on them, either.

    Logically, I must infer that you have likely leaped to the same conclusion in other circumstances, also in the absence of any supporting evidence.

    Here at Black Gate, I prefer to debate with people who consider the facts carefully, rather than those who studiously ignore them and simply hurl accusations.

    As I said, it would appear you and I don’t have a lot in common.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 20, 2015 11:29 am

  43. […] I don’t want to post without noting that we’re down another nominee – Black Gate has declined their Best Fanzine nomination, as had staff member Matthew David Surridge declined his before the original shortlist was even […]

    Pingback by some evolving strategies | Crime and the Blog of Evil - April 20, 2015 11:36 am

  44. > So while I do respect your decision, I also submit that the grounds you give are not quite in accordance with the facts.

    dgarsys,

    Thanks for the comment. And I think you’re right that I was sloppy in my word choice – “ballot stuffing” does have different connotations. I apologize.

    What I was trying (poorly) to articulate was the skepticism a lot of folks feel that the Rabid Puppy ballot is a democratic effort that has generated a valid alternate ballot. To a lot of folks (me included) it looks like a naked grab for awards from a tiny press, Castalia House.

    I mean, seriously? 11 Hugo nominations for a single publisher, one that’s less than half the size of many independent presses?

    If this had been a balanced ballot, with input from a host of people, then I think you’d have an argument here. But it’s not. The Rabid Puppy ballot resulted in a record number of Hugo nominations (six) for John C. Wright… meaning that last year, Wright was superior to Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Harlan Ellison, and James Tiptree Junior in their prime.

    I’ve never read anything by John C. Wright, so I have no real opinion about his fiction. But when I see that, alongside 11 nominations for Castalia House and two for Vox Day, my natural skepticism kicks in.

    Perhaps this is a list of the finest SF published last year, as seen by a group of determined and principled conservatives. But it just seems more likely to me that it’s a Hugo grab by Vox Day, and he’s used this event as a convenient cover to do it.

    I’ve been disappointed in Vox’s rhetoric over the past few weeks, too — it hasn’t helped him any. Particularly his threats to destroy the Hugos if he doesn’t get what he wants. He sounds more like someone convinced of his own power than someone who’s fighting on behalf of a group of writers he believes in.

    > And however you feel about it, I know I come out of this feeling like my support for you, and that of my friends which
    > (not all of whom) voted for you, is worth less to you than that of other people. That you’d rather we didn’t,
    > didn’t say hi, didn’t show your site to other friends, and really just quietly read, and if we have an opinion, just go
    > off elsewhere. We’re not welcome if you actually have to acknowledge us.

    Now this, I think, is actually a more damaging accusation.

    I’ve made every effort to make Black Gate a place where both sides can debate and feel welcome. A crucial component of that is by necessity honesty — I’ve tried hard to be totally honest about where my own sympathies lie, while also trying to recruit writers sympathetic to the other side (my invitation to Scott Taylor last week is one example.)

    But I take your comment at face value… that Black Gate has failed to make this space a place where folks like you feel valued, and feel that your opinions are listened to.

    If that’s true, then I’ve failed in my efforts, and I apologize. And you’re absolutely correct that we need to do better.

    I am keenly interested in hearing what both sides in this debate have to say. I have strong opinions, yes, but I am open to persuasion, and I have already been swayed since this conversation began two weeks ago. In particular, I have a much greater appreciation for the passion on the SP/RP side, and I believe that the vast majority on that side are very well intentioned.

    If Black Gate becomes a place where only one side gathers to talk, then it has absolutely no value. The only real progress happens in the spaces where both sides meet.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 20, 2015 12:09 pm

  45. I feel bad for all nominees who were put in this position. I’m not sure how I would have responded, and I hope I’m never in such a position myself.

    I respect your decision, John. And I look forward to future awards that this site is so deserving of.

    Comment by Matthew Wuertz - April 20, 2015 12:15 pm

  46. Your withdrawing from the process, regardless of how spurious the motivations of the nominator, makes the ballot and the process less valid.

    You have taken away a chance for me to vote for you and your crew. I agree entirely with your analysis that there are too many Castalia House nominees, but you make the ballot less legitimate and not more when you remove a non-Castalia nominee from the ballot.

    Obviously, my support for you will continue and I will register early to nominate this site next year. That is, if the committee doesn’t try to change the rules to prevent supporting members like me from participating. This is my first year as a supporting member, and I did so in part to vote for sites like yours.

    My sadness likes in the fact that people like you are actually making the process worse, and not better, by allowing others even more control of this ballot.

    You, and others who drop, are making me wonder if I just wasted $40 to support a ballot that might increasingly become less and less valid.

    I think you made the wrong choice, for the wrong reasons, but that doesn’t change my love of the site.

    Comment by ChristianLindke - April 20, 2015 12:19 pm

  47. > John, as a fan of Black Gate I thank you and your staff who have worked here–for FREE–and have given me a lot to look at and
    > ponder here. I feel horrible. I feel that my association with the Sad Puppies let y’all down.

    Ape,

    Let me correct that right now.

    If anything I’ve said here has made you feel attacked or slighted, I am very sorry. You should NEVER feel bad for involvement with the Sad Puppies, or for any other efforts you’ve made to get attention for work in this field. You have by no means “let us down.”

    I have disagreements with, and skepticism towards, the stated (and unstated, but clearly implied) motives of some of the instigators. I think this effort was poorly conceived and executed, and I’ve said so.

    But I have the highest respect for those individuals who have worked to explain the real purpose of the SP ballot, and ESPECIALLY those who have — like you — done the hard work to reach out to skeptics and, in the face of sometimes tough rhetoric, tried hard to make yourself understood.

    On a personal level, Ape, I think you’ve taken on the mantle of the lead proponent for the Puppies here at Black Gate, and you’ve been ceaselessly polite and accommodating. I think you’ve changed a lot of minds, and I know you’ve changed mine on several points.

    So, no, you haven’t “let us down.” Quite the opposite. You are most welcome, and I hope you keep it up.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 20, 2015 12:26 pm

  48. > I understand that the ballot is frozen, now, however, and Black Gate remains a candidate nevertheless.

    Prince,

    You are correct. Almost immediately after I posted this article, I heard back from Sasquan on the note I sent them Saturday.

    The Hugo ballot had already gone to the printer, and it’s too late to change it. My fault for taking two weeks to reach this decision.

    The Sasquan Hugo committee has floated some other options, including a note at the bottom of the ballot noting that we have withdrawn. We’ll work something out — stay tuned.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 20, 2015 12:31 pm

  49. > “I am sure Black Gate will get a legitimate nomination in the future!”
    >
    > Just what is not “legitimate” about about the nom this time around?

    TW,

    Don’t blame braak – that was my characterization, not his. Here’s what I said above:

    > Why not just read all the candidates and vote based on the merits?
    >
    > This sounds like a compelling argument. Except that it’s based on the premise that this is a legitimate Hugo ballot.
    >
    > I don’t believe that it is. I believe it is tainted, clearly the product of well-promoted ballot-stuffing, and to
    > endorse such a ballot would permanently damage the reputation of the Hugos.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 20, 2015 12:35 pm

  50. > If a “legitimate” nomination means being nominated the way things were, that was never, ever going to happen because
    > of cliques, and I think everyone who is honest with themselves knows that.

    Deuce,

    I don’t know that.

    In fact, I think this entire generalizing of decades of Hugo voting as the product of liberal “cliques” is a profoundly simplistic characterization of a very complex process of shifting voting patterns, social alliances, fannish favoritism, competing publicity budgets, and dozens of other factors that shift and vary every single year.

    And that completely ignores those stubborn readers who just happen to vote for the books they think are best every year. Your comment implies those folks are irrelevant. I don’t think they’re irrelevant, and in fact have a deep respect for what they accomplish, every single year.

    > I expect that open block voting is the wave of the future, but that RP & SP will still dominate, because SJWs don’t have
    > the numbers they like to pretend they do.

    Both sides claim the majority, as usual. I guess time will tell.

    This year’s Hugo vote will by no means put an end to the debate, but I think it will offer evidence which way the wind is blowing. I have nothing like a definitive read on the electorate, but from where I sit, the candidate with by far the biggest buzz in a lot of categories is “No Award.”

    Comment by John ONeill - April 20, 2015 12:56 pm

  51. “Fannish favoritism, competing publicity budgets.”

    I think those explain 90% of past “collusion.” I have no proof of that, to be sure, but given the small number of voters they make the most sense to me.

    Comment by ChristianLindke - April 20, 2015 1:04 pm

  52. > I’ll note my earlier post doesn’t seem to have escaped moderation yet.

    dgarsys,

    Yeah, my fault. If you’ve never commented before, WordPress quarantines it until I can get around to approving it by hand. I’ve been dealing with a surprising amount of e-mail and Facebook messages in the past 24 hours, so it took longer than usual.

    You only need to be approved once however, so your posts will appear automatically from here on out.

    > In retrospect, even with the PS, it may come across too much like I’m blaming you guys for lying/etc.

    Not at all. I didn’t sense any of that in your comment. You were entirely courteous.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 20, 2015 1:05 pm

  53. Ape, I second what John said. You’ve done something really remarkable here. You’ve worked to to set aside your assumptions about people you disagree with, hear them the way they hear themselves, and present your own perspective with respect at a time when there’s a lot of temptation out there to be less than respectful.

    Because of the way you’ve advocated your position while listening to others, I’ve been inspired to go out of my way to find out what Larry Correia was actually saying in his own words, after I’d originally decided to spend no more of my energy on a controversy I thought I understood. And I’m grateful for that, because I’d rather know the truth about other people than have my stereotypes confirmed.

    I especially appreciate that you tracked down my personal blog to tell me that you, too, checked the comment threads on Making Light to see if they’d been characterized fairly. That was above and beyond on so many levels.

    At the beginning of this controversy, you were just some guy who made short, funny comments I often disagreed with. You’ve now become an essential part of my sense of the BG community, and a person I think of as a friend. If I ever meet Larry Correia, what I’ll thank him for is you.

    Comment by Sarah Avery - April 20, 2015 1:58 pm

  54. […] Black Gate, a fanzine, has withdrawn as well although they did so too late to change the ballot. […]

    Pingback by EarlyWord: The Publisher | Librarian Connection » Blog Archive Hugo Awards Under Siege - EarlyWord: The Publisher | Librarian Connection - April 20, 2015 2:53 pm

  55. This whole thing has left me, as a conservative who hasn’t nominated or voted for Hugos but is a long-time SF fan, feeling decidedly unwelcome in fandom. To me, the whole thing has been one of backlash to a new group coming in and putting in their two cents’ worth, and the wrong group at that.

    I’m not about to spend $40 on Sasquan just to have my vote swamped by the people outraged by the fact that folks who aren’t true fans, according to luminaries like Teresa Nielsen-Hayden, have opinions and are willing to express them.

    I’m especially disappointed that Vox Day is being used as a cudgel to beat conservatives with when many of us do not share his opinions, in the same way that the Koch brothers are being used to beat us up over things they have no interest in.

    And when eight different mainstream media outlets spout the same slanderous lies about Brad Torgerson (a white supremacist? Really?! Look at his wife and kids and say that!), what am I supposed to conclude?

    No, I’m not welcome in polite SF fandom. I should shut up and take the gimmicked …work the “true fans” tell me I should take and be thankful for it.

    I have two predictions:
    1) No Award will sweep the Hugos this year.
    2) The award will never recover.

    And I will blame the SJW “true fans” for both, for they couldn’t accept that there are plenty of us out there with differing opinions from them who deserve to have a voice as well.

    Comment by Jay Maynard - April 20, 2015 3:03 pm

  56. Black Gate has been a favorite of mine for a while now, and you certainty deserve the honor of a Hugo. I’m sorry that the nomination came with such a negative side to it. I’m sure declining it was a very difficult decision.

    I hope to see you on the ballot next year and without any shadow over it.

    Comment by Seth - April 20, 2015 3:18 pm

  57. I hadn’t heard of BlackGate before, and now I have, so some good has come of this. I look forward to voting for you guys in future years. This business has led me to register as a WorldCon supporting member this year, and I will probably register early enough to nominate from now on. The puppies are going right below No Award, where most belong.

    In any case, as you may have already noticed, puppy sympathizers are prepared to endlessly sealion, so there’s no real point in debating with them. It’s GamerGate redux.

    Comment by hyrosen - April 20, 2015 3:26 pm

  58. Entirely agree with your decision, John. I intend to vote “No Award” in those categories where the SP/RP slate make up a majority of the nominees but was very conflicted in the best fanzine category since I strongly felt you really deserved a Hugo nomination and award.

    Though I agree with some of the SP criticisms of the Hugo process, the way they went about selecting a slate rather than give a list of recommendations is disappointing and their choice of allies appalling. This is a shame as I would love to vote for Wright or Flynn or Andrews or Vajra whose fiction I have greatly enjoyed.

    Comment by Chuck Timpko - April 20, 2015 4:09 pm

  59. Chuck, I must object to your characterization of the SP list as a slate. Torgerson’s words on the subject:

    “And here it is! After much combobulating, the official SAD PUPPIES 3 slate is assembled! As noted earlier in the year, the SAD PUPPIES 3 list is a recommendation. Not an absolute. Gathered here is the best list (we think!) of entirely deserving works, writers, and editors — all of whom would not otherwise find themselves on the Hugo ballot without some extra oomph received from beyond the rarefied, insular halls of 21st century Worldcon “fandom.””

    Yes, he called it a slate, but he then went on to say it was a recommendation. There’s a pretty strong case to be made that he was fine with people nominating other things

    And how do you know Torgerson picked Day as an ally, instead of the other way around?

    Comment by Jay Maynard - April 20, 2015 4:19 pm

  60. […] Black Gate Withdraws From Hugo Consideration […]

    Pingback by Another Hugo Withdrawal | In the Shadow of Ares - April 20, 2015 5:34 pm

  61. Long time reader, love Black Gate and especially the forgotten classics posts. I registered to leave this comment.
    The whole controversy around the Hugo nominations has become a three ring circus of competing topics: whether or not the nominees knew about or agreed to be on the slate, whether or not voters voted in concert, the political views of the people who made the slate etc.
    None of that matters, in my opinion. What matters is that a vocal and unified minority drowned out all other voices by sheer volume. Sure, they did it by operating within the system. No matter how they did it, the result is that other people’s voices and choices could not be heard or voted on.

    Now the very same group is making a very disingenuous argument when they turn around and say that voting “No Award” on principle is wrong. Instead, they ask people to vote for the best choices among the ones available. “Pick a card. Any card.” When you have no choice but to pick a card that the magician offers, you know he is going to succeed in the trick.

    In this situation, the only way out is to not pick a card, and show everyone that drowning out voices is not going to result in any reward to the choices of this vocal minority, which has chosen to submerge others voices by acting in concert.

    Of course this is unjust to those, that are deserving candidates that should have been nominated (sorry, BlackGate). However, it is the only sane way to protest the lack of choice. The only action that you can take is to vote, and if you don’t have one, get a vote by going here, ponying up 40$ and make your voice heard.
    Go here to sign up: https://sasquan.swoc.us/sasquan/reg.php and choose “Supporting $40”.

    And by the way, there are many who claim that this is in fact, a reason to abandon democracy in the awards, and change the way candidates are nominated. Nonsense. This in fact is a triumph of democracy; all the voters are coming out to voice their opinion if they feel that something nonsensical is happening and the system has been subverted by a minority group.

    We must beware the calls for less freedom now in the hope of more freedom in the future. If the end result of all this is that more people are aware that their voice matters, and they must speak or not be heard, then that will be a positive result no matter what else happens. This openness and transparency are the benchmarks to which other awards should aspire. The voice of all the people and the choice of all the people, that is what we need.

    Wish I could say the same about politics in general, but that is perhaps too much to hope for in a system that has been subverted to the point where the popular vote does not count. Proportional representation is democracy at its sanest.

    Comment by Sai S - April 20, 2015 8:32 pm

  62. John,

    I haven’t followed this issue that closely since I find most awards to be self-serving affairs. I don’t really care who wins a Hugo and who doesn’t. I’m not sure if Vox really does either. But let me say this – he is giving his opponents a taste of the tactics that have been used against conservatives for decades now. Unsurprisingly, people on the receiving end don’t like it. Just remember, Vox Day is nothing more than the mirror image of the activists who go after the jobs of Christians for opposing sodomy, feminists who engage in male-bashing, etc. I say a pox on both your houses. I don’t care about your misguided view of social justice and I don’t care for Vox’s petty demonstration. All of you deserve each other. In the meantime, I’ll continue to read fun fantasy fiction written largely by dead, white men and not feel guilty about it. Thank you for occasionally bringing some of the more obscure fiction to my attention in between the unfortunately growing number of political posts on this blog.

    Comment by Tyr - April 20, 2015 10:38 pm

  63. Jay, I hear you when you say you’re sick of being lumped with Vox Day:
    I’m especially disappointed that Vox Day is being used as a cudgel to beat conservatives with when many of us do not share his opinions, in the same way that the Koch brothers are being used to beat us up over things they have no interest in.

    I only speak for myself, but until about a week ago, I honestly didn’t know that there were differences between the Sad Puppies’ goals and the Rabid Puppies’ goals. Vox Day claimed to speak for all of you, and since I wasn’t already part of the conversation going on inside your community, I wasn’t as skeptical about that claim as I probably should have been.

    Wild Ape, one of our BG regulars, said many times that people on the left gave Vox Day too much power. It took me a while to read enough of Larry Correia’s own words to know what Ape was trying to say, but I think I get it now. He and I have been having a pretty good discussion on a bunch of BG comment threads since the Hugo ballot was announced.

    I invite you to see one of the places that conversation went. When I posted on my personal blog about the ballot, I really didn’t get that Vox Day wasn’t the voice for all of you, and my initial description reflects that misperception. If you go down and look at the most recent comments, you’ll see something very different happening.

    I was so relieved to find out how marginal Vox Day’s opinions on race and gender are in the wider group of the Puppies. I’m working on a post in which I correct my incorrect characterization of the situation. And I think many people on the left would do the same if they saw what I’ve seen.

    Of course every community has its share of jerks, and the left’s share of jerks went after you guys. I won’t deny it, and I won’t defend it.

    Please allow for the possibility that you’ve judged us by our jerks, just as we’ve judged you guys by yours. I’m working to do better. Wild Ape is, too.

    What if an epidemic of reasonable discussion broke out? Wouldn’t that just drive the jerks crazy?

    Comment by Sarah Avery - April 20, 2015 11:00 pm

  64. Here is a great analysis given about the Hugo schism. This piece shows the data difference between Good Reads and the Hugo nominations and Hugo winners. It both debunks and confirms what the Sad Puppies are voicing. It is a neutral piece. The writer also reveals what might be the source of the confusion between both parties.

    http://difficultrun.nathanielgivens.com/2015/04/14/sad-puppy-data-analysis/

    Also Larry Correia talked about GRRM making input to Sad Puppies 4. I would love to see that because GRRM seems to be listening to the Sad Puppies and he might lend more credibility to it next year. There has been a huge shift of many formaly neutral or anti Puppy fandom that might be closing ranks with them. Keep in mind that the Sad Puppies are trying to gather ALL of fandom vice being exclusionary. I think there is also a widening gap between the Sad and Rabid Puppy camps.

    @Bob Byrne—respectfully, there is a better option. It would be better for fandom if more people were involved. I think $40 for a vote drives away more of fandom and makes it easy for “the Elite bluebloods” and too easy for a Sad Puppy group to dominate the nominations. Use capitalism my friend. Look at local and small elections where there is voter fraud and ballot stuffing. On a small scale this is easy to do. On a large scale this makes it hard for small groups like the Bluebloods and the Sad Puppies and Vox to dominate the ballot. Having more fans involved not only gives a better perspective of fandom but it strengthens the integrity of the Hugo. It is a win-win for fandom. 1,800 fans who can throw down $40 has proven not to work. We are still working a nomination model that was used back in the 1930s. We need to bring it up to the 22nd century.

    For all you guys bagging on John because you think he doesn’t value you or hear your voice just remember this please. John sets the tone here for a discussion that is open to the arena of ideas. Some of those (like some of mine) he might need to take a valium before he reads or responds. There is not any book of instructions on how you get vastly different views or groups of people together and get along. I think he listens to us and he tries to be fair. He is the Captain of this ship and he has done a great job or we wouldn’t be here. There are plenty of forums that are echo chambers for people who like flaming the other side but this forum is not an echo chamber for one voice or viewpoint. Everyone is welcome here. He is smart enough to recognize that fandom has a wide range of peoples of all sorts of political and gender backgrounds and he seems to gather talented people that can appeal to those diverse groups.

    @Sarah–thank you. If you do meet Larry Correia before I do, I will be very jealous. So far he has tweeted to me a couple of times. When you do meet the Great Kaiju I hope you do send him my regards.

    I’m also sending a shout out to all the dinosaur romance fans out there. You belong to fandom too. After that inspiring “If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love” I set out to write, “My Mother-In-Law Is A Velociraptor, Oh My” but then I couldn’t get nor compete with Swirsky’s prose so I chucked that idea and settled on what I do best–karaoke. I put on my Elvis costume and sang a parody of the King–“Let Me Be Your Teddy-Rex”. I hope it charms the dinosaur romance fans. I’d love to get a Hugo before Vox Day burns it to the ground.

    Comment by Wild Ape - April 20, 2015 11:02 pm

  65. Sarah, my judgment is clouded by the reactions I got on John Scalzi’s blog post about all this. Scalzi himself couldn’t deal with someone actually raising the conservative viewpoint on this and flat out shut me down form discussing the conservative take on the whole affair. The folks there did everything but outright call me a liar when I pointed out that I don’t care about the author’s race, gender, or sexuality, but only about how good the work is. “You only like stuff from straight white guys!”

    Your side’s jerks? Possibly. Jerks or not, that kind of thing has thoroughly poisoned my view. What am I supposed to think after seeing that and a concerted media slander campaign designed to demonize and delegitimize me and those who believe as I do?

    And then, after years of being force-fed politically correct dreck, when good works that I actually find enjoyable are finally nominated, they’re buried under an avalanche of No Award? What does that tell me? No, not that “slate voting is evil”, since that’s been effectively accepted from the other side for years. It tells me that, in Larry Correia’s words, I’m wrongfan having wrongfun.

    After this year, I’m going to have a very hard time believing that no, I’m not wrongfan.

    Comment by Jay Maynard - April 21, 2015 1:04 am

  66. @Jay—let the trolls be trolls, they have no idea the ground swell they are making in opposition to them. In my circle of friends I have quite a few liberal mindss who are big time Correia fans. They are just now getting wind of what is going down and they are hopping mad. These aren’t conservatives by a long stretch and my buddies are forming ranks and they don’t mind putting $40 bucks down to vote and they are going to stand up for the Sad Puppies. They are outraged at the dirty tactics and embarrassed by their own liberal people. To them, liberal represents being open minded and fairness and they ain’t happy. Oh–and they don’t like Vox Day either.

    Gotta go to work. I have some more on that.

    Comment by Wild Ape - April 21, 2015 8:18 am

  67. Let me ask what I hope is a pertinent question: What, exactly, is the purpose of the Hugo award? Is it to show fan appreciation for an author’s work (or the work of an artist/editor, etc.)? Is it to recognize outstanding contributions, in whatever form, to the field? Is it the fans’ way of giving back? Does it mean we recognize excellence/quality/consistency of effort? Does the award mean more to award recipients, or to the people who recommend who gets what? From all that I’ve been reading here and on other sites for the last two-three weeks, I’m not sure everyone agrees on the purpose (if any) of the awards. The Hugo site itself says their awarded for excellence. Obviously, we all have different definitions for what constitutes excellence, hence the nominating and voting. But — are the awards for the fans, or are they for those who win them? Maybe it doesn’t matter, but after reading what Connie Willis had to say, I’d suspect many, if not most, of the winners were pretty damned pleased to have been selected. I like getting positive feedback from the college students I teach; once I received a “Teacher of the Year” award, and that came as a surprise. But I think I’d be more enthusiastic about professional recognition from my peers, from other college professors. In that vein, maybe the Nebula Awards mean more to their recipients. I’m not necessarily heading to the conclusion that the Hugos should be abandoned (and I do wonder if Hugo nominations help determine Nebula candidates), but I’m not sure anyone can deny that this often-volatile controversy may initiate drastic changes in the Hugo awards themselves. As a very long-time fan, I’d hate to have my opportunity to say “Thank You!” to writers and artists and editors and fan activities go by the boards. The Hugo awards may be the only forum many SF fans have to do so.

    Comment by smitty59 - April 21, 2015 10:24 am

  68. Ahhhh! “Their” should obviously be “They’re” in line 8!!!

    Comment by smitty59 - April 21, 2015 10:25 am

  69. New reader here, I didn’t know about this site prior to the whole Hugo2015 controversy, but I’ll make sure to mark it as something to read as often as I can.

    You have shown a lot of integrity by declining your nomination, and I hope that next year you get nominated again.

    Comment by Luis M. Milan - April 21, 2015 12:13 pm

  70. @Jay, I’ve been watching the mainstream media’s attempt to cover this controversy. So far, the one that came closest to a good job was Brooke Gladstone’s piece on Sunday’s On the Media. It’s about 13 minutes long, so sheer length allowed for more complexity and context than we’ve seen elsewhere.

    Gladstone included a sound bite from Larry Correia (too briefly, I thought) and a discussion with Arthur Chu (at much greater length — which will look to some like a confirmation of liberal bias). I would have liked to hear more from Correia and/or Torgerson, or to hear from them now about whether they were contacted and how that went. (Until I started seeing Chu’s name as an object of scorn in the Sad Puppies’ description of how this controversy is playing out, I’d actually never heard of him. But maybe that says more about how long I’ve been in what Mark Rigney refers to as the parenting submarine than it says about Chu’s level of fame.)

    Gladstone seems to have taken Correia, rather than Vox Day, as the spokesman for the slate-voters. Theo Beale was not interviewed or quoted. I was driving when I listened to the piece, so I didn’t catch whether he’d declined to comment or hadn’t been contacted. So I’d predict that the Rabid Puppies would not care for hearing their particular concerns described only by Arthur Chu, and not at all by one of their own. But I have heard some people who advocate for the Sad Puppies insist that Theo Beale does not speak for them. I would guess that all of us, across the political spectrum, would regard this coverage as a step up from the piece in Entertainment Weekly.

    The most striking thing, I thought, was the quality of Gladstone’s questions. I really wasn’t expecting a mainstream interviewer to have done enough research into goings-on in geek culture to understand the difference between the Hugos and the Nebulas.

    What are your thoughts?

    Comment by Sarah Avery - April 21, 2015 1:35 pm

  71. Sarah, I’ll have to listen to it this evening after I get home from work. I will, however, say that “a step up from the piece in Entertainment Weekly” is damning with very faint praise.

    As for Arthur Chu…I’d never heard of him either. A Google turns up lots of references to him in terms of Gamergate. My reaction to Gamergate is “a pox on both their houses”, and I think anyone who’s seriously arguing that Vox Day pulled Gamergate in to get big numbers of votes is just this side of full goose loony themselves, so quoting Chu at length on Vox Day is not going to be impressive to me either way.

    But yes, I’ll listen to the piece…after I put on my parliamentarian hat and do some digging through Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised. I had an interesting question occur to me, and I want to be able to cite chapter and verse when laying out my thoughts.

    Comment by Jay Maynard - April 21, 2015 2:35 pm

  72. > I’ve been reading a lot of Trollope recently, and acts of self-denial undertaken for reasons of integrity are at
    > the core of what he’s writing about — the morality of the gentleman. You would have won; you should have won. This refusal will live.

    Tulkinghorn,

    Thanks for the kind words. It’s good to think we might have won. But to be truthful, I have my doubts. First, there’s some terrific competition on the ballot, especially Dave Truesdale’s Tangent Online, which is long overdue for a Hugo.

    Also, as I’ve said, I’m have seen a very strong counter-push for “No Award” for those all those nominees on the SP/RP ballot, which in our category (Best Fanzine) means every nominee except for Journey Planet.

    My hunch, just based on how strong the No Award movement seems at the moment, is that Journey Planet will take the Hugo.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 21, 2015 2:43 pm

  73. > I’m a newcomer to the site. I believe it was a link to Matthew’s excellent post about his own withdrawal from the Hugos
    > which brought me here (and yes, Matthew, I read the post in its entirety :) ), but it was the quality of the site, the great
    > articles posted, that kept me here. I think you guys are amazing.

    Rachel,

    Thank you very much for the kind words. I’ve heard from a number of new readers over the last week or so, and you are all most welcome. Settle in, and make yourselves at home!

    Comment by John ONeill - April 21, 2015 2:45 pm

  74. > Black Gate will still be great no matter how this tempest in a teapot shakes out.

    Thanks, Eric. It’s been a distraction, for sure (and our average number of posts has dipped a bit over the past week as a result), but we’re gradually returning to regular operations. :)

    Comment by John ONeill - April 21, 2015 2:47 pm

  75. > I really don’t care about any of it, but I do care about Black Gate and all my wonderful blogger compatriots. We are a damn fine bunch of writers

    True that, Scott!

    > What say you John, should we start the Morannon Awards?

    Oh God Lord no…. I have enough on my plate running a website, and trying to keep you and Goth Chick out of trouble. :)

    Comment by John ONeill - April 21, 2015 2:49 pm

  76. > I respect and admire your decision, and hope you find a nomination in a less turbulent time.

    Thanks, Daran. Hugo nominations don’t come around all that often (this was our first, and may well be our last), but we were able to enjoy it for a few days.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 21, 2015 2:51 pm

  77. > Eliminate the existing award and come up with something else with tighter voting standards

    Bob,

    That’s a pretty drastic statement, indeed. You’re not the only one making that suggestion, though.

    I don’t think there’s any call for that, however. The Hugos have a very long and very illustrious history, and they’ve endured controversies in the past. They shall endure this one.

    > Continue the award and revise said standards for next year to avoid this type of thing.

    As I think others have noted, it takes two years to change the award rules (the change would have to be voted on next year, and implemented the year after.) But certainly, those discussions are already well underway.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 21, 2015 3:07 pm

  78. > And for the record, I wouldn’t let this year’s lot of scruffy, bunny-hugging interns anywhere near my content.

    Goth Chick,

    We’ll see how well that resolution holds up when the calendar swings around to the California Martini Festival in September.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 21, 2015 5:59 pm

  79. Putting on my parliamentarian hat…

    The Hugo elections are governed by the provisions of the WSFS Constitution, Standing Rules, and Resolutions and Rulings of Continuing Effect, and of the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (referred to as RONR), which is now in its 11th edition, published in 2011. I must compliment the WSFS on the clarity and conciseness of its rules; they are a joy to read compared with many I’ve dealt with in the past.

    The question I asked myself was “if people vote for Black Gate after its announced withdrawal, do those votes count, and will they be reported?” For the reasons below, I believe that the answer is that the withdrawal has no effect, and votes cast for it must be counted and reported as though no withdrawal had taken place.

    In general, all votes cast in an election by ballot are reported by the tellers. See, in general, RONR (11th ed.), pp. 412-419, and specifically the section on teller’s reports, p. 417 l. 18-p. 418 l. 31. This includes votes for ineligible candidates and invalid or illegal votes. The total numbers of such are included in the full teller’s report, which is included in the minutes of the organization.

    The WSFS Constitution section on the Hugos only mentions declining a nomination when they are first notified. See paragraph 3.9.1. The sections on voting for the Hugos and tallying of the votes speak only of nominees, and make no provision for withdrawals.

    In practice, of course, I would hope that the voters respect John’s withdrawal and cast their votes for someone else. (I oppose the current “No Award” campaign, but would hope that the same respect would apply for those who would vote in that manner.) Nevertheless, any votes cast for any of the nominees are still required to be counted and reported on, under the rules as are currently in force.

    There is one possibility I am unable to evaluate. While paragraph 5.1.4 of the Constitution cites the “customs and usages of WSFS (including the resolutions and rulings of continuing effect)”, I am only able to evaluate those customs and usages that have been documented. (Aside: I had to laugh out loud at the name of the committee named to maintain that documentation: the Nitpicking and Flyspecking Committee! The study and application of parliamentary law can often reach that level of minutiae.) I found nothing in that document to contradict my analysis. Nevertheless, the possibility does exist, especially should the chair of the meeting rule that withdrawn names are not to be reported on and such a ruling sustained on any appeal.

    Since I doubt anyone here has any reason to know of my level of parliamentary expertise, I will state for the record that I am a former Professional Registered Parliamentarian, as recognized by the National Association of Parliamentarians, and have been published in the NAP’s journal, the National Parliamentarian. I’ve been parliamentarian for many organizations over the last 35 years. I would welcome discussion of the points I’ve made above, John willing.

    Comment by Jay Maynard - April 21, 2015 5:59 pm

  80. > I feel bad for all nominees who were put in this position. I’m not sure how I would
    > have responded, and I hope I’m never in such a position myself.

    Matthew,

    I’d describe our situation at worst as awkward. Much more difficult, I think, are all those nominees who didn’t even make the ballot, but were instead pushed off by the Puppies.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 21, 2015 6:01 pm

  81. > I agree entirely with your analysis that there are too many Castalia House nominees, but you make the ballot less legitimate and
    > not more when you remove a non-Castalia nominee from the ballot.

    Christian,

    Thanks for the comment. I understand, and I sympathize. That’s a fine argument for staying on the ballot. Unfortunately, to my mind, it’s outweighed by the reasons I gave above.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 21, 2015 6:03 pm

  82. > “Fannish favoritism, competing publicity budgets.”
    > I think those explain 90% of past “collusion.” I have no proof of that, to be sure, but given the small number
    > of voters they make the most sense to me.

    Christian,

    I think your estimated percentage is just about right on.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 21, 2015 6:04 pm

  83. > At the beginning of this controversy, you were just some guy who made short, funny comments I often disagreed with.
    > You’ve now become an essential part of my sense of the BG community, and a person I think of as a friend. If I ever meet Larry
    > Correia, what I’ll thank him for is you.

    Sarah,

    If there were an award for sportsmanlike conduct at Black Gate, you would win it hands down.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 21, 2015 6:06 pm

  84. > This whole thing has left me, as a conservative who hasn’t nominated or voted for Hugos but is a long-time SF fan,
    > feeling decidedly unwelcome in fandom. To me, the whole thing has been one of backlash to a new group coming in and
    > putting in their two cents’ worth, and the wrong group at that.

    Jay,

    You have a point here. When I step back and look at all the rhetoric, I think it’s pretty obvious that a great many conservative fans, many of whom have felt disenfranchised for years, have been shut down and ignored when they dare to speak up and explain themselves (and I say that as an outspoken liberal. If it’s that obvious to me, it has to look a lot worse from your end.)

    As a partial explanation (but hardly an excuse), I think what’s happening is that fandom in general is reacting to the worst aspects of the Puppy ticket, Vox Day and his attack rhetoric.

    Brad Torgerson and the Sad Puppies have put a lot of great effort into explaining their intentions… but the brutal truth is that the Sad Puppy slate was largely irrelevant. It placed only one true candidate on the ballot… every other nominee (including Vox himself, and 11 nominees from his publishing house) came from the Rabid Puppy slate.

    What you have here is fandom furious with the actions and poisonous language coming from Vox Day, and taking it out on the only fans willing to engage with the Left, the far more moderate Sad Puppy team.

    As I said, not an excuse. But that’s the way I see it.

    > I’m especially disappointed that Vox Day is being used as a cudgel to beat conservatives
    > with when many of us do not share his opinions, in the same way that the Koch brothers are
    > being used to beat us up over things they have no interest in.

    Again, a completely fair complaint. You’re being used a proxy punching bag for Vox, because you have the courage to stick your neck out, and the Left has no way to engage directly with Vox.

    I know it probably doesn’t mean much, but I offer you my apology, on behalf of fandom. You’re making a noble effort to dialog and engage, and there was no excuse for punishing you for it.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 21, 2015 6:21 pm

  85. All right, Sarah, I listened to the segment.

    Arthur Chu reveals himself to me as a full goose loony SJW. Really now…the widespread distaste for disco music as an expression of homophobia and sexism?! His every word drips with political correctness and grievance-industry buzzwordism.

    And the reporter…editorialize much? She didn’t ask Chu one critical question, as far as I could tell. Her thrust seemed to be to enable Chu to spew his SJW hatred of straight white men, and her conclusion about cultures and cultural shifts was something Chu could have said himself.

    Correia got a token quote, but it wasn’t enough to raise the piece out of pure leftist editorializing. Then again, I shouldn’t have expected anything else, given that the piece was part of a regular feature on WNYC, a left-wing station in a notoriously left-wing market.

    It wasn’t a hit pice of the scale of the one that Entertainment Weekly published, but,a s I said earlier, that’s damning with very faint praise. I now see that was justified, as it deserves no more praise than being “not as bad as the EW hit job”.

    Comment by Jay Maynard - April 21, 2015 6:23 pm

  86. “I know it probably doesn’t mean much, but I offer you my apology, on behalf of fandom. You’re making a noble effort to dialog and engage, and there was no excuse for punishing you for it.”

    Thank you, John. Would that I’d gotten that reaction elsewhere.

    This whole discussion about fandom not being welcoming to me is deeply ironic: this weekend is the one con where I do feel welcome, Penguicon in Detroit. It’s where the costume that made me Internet-famous first appeared. (Yes, I really am the Tron Guy.) Unlike other cons, and unlike Larry Correia’s experience at his first Worldcon, the folks there made me feel welcome from the beginning. It is the only con I go to regularly; this year is the 13th, and I’ve been to every one.

    Compare that with my one experience at any other SF con: I went to CONvergence in the Twin Cities in 2004, and had so terrible a time there that I seriously considered leaving Saturday morning. In the end, I didn’t, but it was a thoroughly lousy weekend and one that has turned me off of other cons (possibly unfairly, but given the cost of a weekend at a con, I can’t afford to take the chance).

    I have no trouble believing Correia’s story about Worldcon, for mine wasn’t too far off from it.

    I don’t know what it would take to change my opinion of fandom as a whole. A groundswell of people who would actually read the Hugo-nominated works and vote based on their honest opinions about them would be a good start…but instead, we’ll get a tsunami of “No Award”s.

    What conclusion am I supposed to draw from that, given my experiences?

    Comment by Jay Maynard - April 21, 2015 6:40 pm

  87. > Yes, I really am the Tron Guy.

    Seriously? I’m embarrassed now that I didn’t recognize your name. I used to work at software company in Champaign, IL, and the developers there were huge fans. One kept the Tron Guy Cube Dude in his office (still in the shrink, of course.)

    > A groundswell of people who would actually read the Hugo-nominated works and vote based on their honest opinions
    > about them would be a good start…but instead, we’ll get a tsunami of “No Award”s.

    Well, we have a difference of opinion there. I know a lot of folks on the right see evidence of years of meddling in the Hugo awards, but all I’ve heard so far is a lot of vague innuendo about “SJW cabals.” I see a changing electorate — and an award that has a LONG history of championing works that challenge “the norm.”

    As for the “NO Award” movement… why do so many folks on the right take that as a slap in the face? It really isn’t meant to be (certainly not by me.) As a great many folks have already demonstrated, the current Hugo ballot isn’t a Sad Puppy ballot, or a right-wing ballot… it’s a purely Vox Day ballot, and a great many people (me included) think that allowing one person to dictate the contents of the Hugo ballot makes the whole thing illegitimate.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 21, 2015 7:07 pm

  88. > I hope to see you on the ballot next year and without any shadow over it.

    Thanks, Seth! But there are a great many deserving candidates out there, including a bunch who were knocked off the ballot this year. It would be great to get another shot, but I think I’d be perfectly content to see a clean slate of five other nominees next year.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 21, 2015 7:10 pm

  89. > I hadn’t heard of BlackGate before, and now I have, so some good has come of this.

    hyrosen,

    You’re one of several new readers we’ve found this week. You are most welcome!

    > In any case, as you may have already noticed, puppy sympathizers are prepared to endlessly sealion, so there’s no
    > real point in debating with them. It’s GamerGate redux.

    I appreciate the advice, but honestly that hasn’t been my experience at Black Gate (with some very rare exceptions.) And entering into a conversation with that expectation isn’t really helpful.

    I engage with everyone as individuals, one on one, with no expectations in advance. That’s worked out pretty well so far.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 21, 2015 7:16 pm

  90. > Though I agree with some of the SP criticisms of the Hugo process, the way they went about selecting a slate rather
    > than give a list of recommendations is disappointing and their choice of allies appalling.

    Chuck,

    I can agree with that (although there’s some debate about whether the Sad Puppies chose Vox Day, or he chose them.)

    > This is a shame as I would love to vote for Wright or Flynn or Andrews or Vajra whose fiction I have greatly enjoyed.

    Well, what’s stopping you?

    The beauty of the Hugo voting process is that it allows you to vote your preferences, and they are weighted accordingly. So, let’s assume that you want to vote No Award in the Best Novelette category… but if it’s not going to be No Award, you want Michael F. Flynn to win, and if not him, then John C. Wright, followed by Rajnar Vajra. You don’t like the other two stories, and don’t want to give them any points with your ballot.

    You should vote:

    No Award
    Michael F. Flynn
    John C. Wright
    Rajnar Vajra

    and leave the other two slots blank.

    Makes sense?

    Comment by John ONeill - April 21, 2015 7:27 pm

  91. > Chuck, I must object to your characterization of the SP list as a slate. Torgerson’s words on the subject…
    > Yes, he called it a slate, but he then went on to say it was a recommendation.

    Hi Jay,

    That’s all true. Unfortunately, however, the Sad Puppies slate largely failed. When works ended up on the Hugo ballot, they did so almost exclusively as a result of the Rabid Puppy ballot. When we talk about the successful slate for this year’s Hugos, we mean Rabid Puppies.

    Brad said a lot of great things about letting fans make up their own minds. But Vox explicitly instructed his followers to follow his slate precisely.

    There’s a rather penetrating analysis by Philip Sandifer here:

    http://www.philipsandifer.com/2015/04/guided-by-beauty-of-their-weapons.html

    Comment by John ONeill - April 21, 2015 7:32 pm

  92. > What matters is that a vocal and unified minority drowned out all other voices by sheer volume. Sure, they did it
    > by operating within the system. No matter how they did it, the result is that other people’s voices and choices
    > could not be heard or voted on.
    >
    > Now the very same group is making a very disingenuous argument when they turn around and say that voting “No Award” on
    > principle is wrong. Instead, they ask people to vote for the best choices among the ones available. “Pick a card. Any card.”
    > When you have no choice but to pick a card that the magician offers, you know he is going to succeed in the trick.
    > In this situation, the only way out is to not pick a card,…
    >
    > And by the way, there are many who claim that this is in fact, a reason to abandon democracy in the awards, and
    > change the way candidates are nominated. Nonsense. This in fact is a triumph of democracy; all the voters are
    > coming out to voice their opinion…

    Sai,

    Splendidly said. I agree 100%.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 21, 2015 7:37 pm

  93. “One kept the Tron Guy Cube Dude in his office”

    Huh what? The WHICH?! <quick Google> Merciful $DEITY. How’d I not hear of that before now?

    “I see a changing electorate — and an award that has a LONG history of championing works that challenge “the norm.””

    Yes, SF does indeed challenge the norm. It’s one of its greatest hallmarks. OTOH, when people run victory laps at a Hugo sweep by non-straight-white-men, that itself raises suspicions. Surely the least interesting thing about a work is the sexual orientation of the author? …that is, unless you are considering them as a prospective bed partner.

    Yes, people want to read about others like themselves. Fine, great, Wonderful. We need more of every kind of person throughout fiction. But a character defined solely by being gay is boringly one-dimensional. Use it to enhance the story, fantastic! Just check a leftist “diversity” box? Bah, humbug. I am not defined solely by my sexuality. Neither should anyone else be, real or fictional.

    “As for the “NO Award” movement… why do so many folks on the right take that as a slap in the face?”

    It’s a “if we can’t have our nominees, we’ll take our ball and go home, and we don’t care how good your work is”. Note that I, at least, object purely to the idea that people should vote “No Award” without bothering to actually read the works on the ballot. Read them, don’t like them, still feel that “No Award” is appropriate? Fine, knock yourself out. It’s the knee-jerking that looks to me, at least, like the typical left-wing rush to accuse someone disfavored of racism without bothering to engage their arguments.

    “As a great many folks have already demonstrated, the current Hugo ballot isn’t a Sad Puppy ballot, or a right-wing ballot… it’s a purely Vox Day ballot”

    Sure you don’t have cause and effect backwards? There is considerable overlap between the two, and there are – or were – some nominees who were definitely not on the RP ballot. I’ll quote Larry Niven: “Ideas are not responsible for those who hold them. There is no idea so good that you cannot find a fool who agrees with it.”

    “a great many people (me included) think that allowing one person to dictate the contents of the Hugo ballot makes the whole thing illegitimate.”

    And when Vox Day can create the entire ballot by himself with no outside assistance, then get back to me. Until then, this is indistinguishable from new fans making nominations who happen to agree with him. We will not be able to tell the actual slateyness of the nomination process until the real numbers are released.

    Comment by Jay Maynard - April 21, 2015 7:50 pm

  94. > I don’t really care who wins a Hugo and who doesn’t. I’m not sure if Vox really does either. But let me say this – he is
    > giving his opponents a taste of the tactics that have been used against conservatives for decades now.

    Tyr,

    In this case, Vox’s opponents are those who vote against his Rabid Puppy slate. And if he loses in September, he claims his opponents will be the entire Hugo electorate, as he executes his plan to destroy the Hugos next year.

    I get that you don’t care. I respect that. I hope you can also respect the fact that there are those of who do care, and are taking principled action to oppose Vox and prevent the destruction of the Hugos as best we can. Perhaps we’ll fail, but we do feel it’s a battle worth fighting.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 21, 2015 8:00 pm

  95. > Sarah, my judgment is clouded by the reactions I got on John Scalzi’s blog post about all this.

    Jay,

    Yeah, I wandered over to Scalzi’s blog last night (he linked to this article from his blog “Whatever”), and I saw you getting hammered in the comments. No excuse for that. You were very polite, and your attackers gave you both barrels. Sorry that had to happen to you.

    > And then, after years of being force-fed politically correct dreck, when good works that I actually find enjoyable are
    > finally nominated, they’re buried under an avalanche of No Award? What does that tell me? No, not that “slate voting is evil”,
    >since that’s been effectively accepted from the other side for years. It tells me that, in Larry Correia’s words, I’m wrongfan having wrongfun.

    We’ve got a couple of different narratives here.

    The conservative narrative is that slate voting has been going on for decades, with no more than a wink and a smile, until they try it and are accused of being barbarians.

    The other narrative is, “Slates are not allowed, and they should be made void whenever they’re found.”

    You’ve clearly bought into the first one, and feel a sense of righteous indignation for a reaction all out of proportion with what you done.

    But that line of thinking accepts the premise that slates are a routine matter. I personally know of two prior slates with the Hugo Awards (the first one dealing with an attempt to get L. Ron Hubbbard a Hugo), and they were both dealt with very harshly (the ballots were thrown out.)

    In my experience, no one has treated a slate with the level of respect and attention as this one. The ballots were accepted, the the decision is being left to the voters.

    I guess I find it hard to wrap my head around the fact that, if the Hugo electorate roundly rejects the process you chose, you choose to accept that as an attack on your taste. What’s that about?

    Comment by John ONeill - April 21, 2015 8:23 pm

  96. “‘But that line of thinking accepts the premise that slates are a routine matter. I personally know of two prior slates with the Hugo Awards (the first one dealing with an attempt to get L. Ron Hubbbard a Hugo), and they were both dealt with very harshly (the ballots were thrown out.)”

    Two prior explicit slates, perhaps. The effect has been a series of SJW-approved politically correct slates, leaving those of us who prefer non-polemic SF nowhere to turn.

    I went over and read Sandifer’s article. He lost me by assuming his conclusion:

    The result was a large number of identical and near-identical ballots, which meant that the works on those ballots had more nominations than anything submitted by fans who were simply picking their personal favorites, despite the Puppy ballots making up only 12-25% of total ballots in a given category.

    He’s fishing that out of thin air unless he has access to the real numbers – something that, as I understand it, should have been very closely held by the Sasquan committee and released to nobody. His entire analysis hinges on that.

    “I guess I find it hard to wrap my head around the fact that, if the Hugo electorate roundly rejects the process you chose, you choose to accept that as an attack on your taste. What’s that about?”

    The real agenda is revealed by the folks who came right out and accused me of not wanting any SF other than from straight white men, and all but calling me a liar, flat out, when I argued it’s about the story, period. That kind of attack is all too common against conservatives; it’s the SJW’s stock in trade. No excuse is too flimsy to attack a conservative and give the opening to slip the racism/sexism/… knife in.

    Comment by Jay Maynard - April 21, 2015 8:36 pm

  97. > Two prior explicit slates, perhaps. The effect has been a series of SJW-approved politically correct slates, leaving those
    > of us who prefer non-polemic SF nowhere to turn.

    I’ve heard that a lot from conservative readers in the past few weeks, and it seems to be accepted at face value. It’s a theory, sure, but as far as I can see, it’s a theory with no proof beyond a lot of whispers and grumblings from fans whose favorites didn’t get a nomination.

    I have a theory too: that the Hugos have been elected generally fairly over the past few decades. My theory doesn’t need mysterious SJW-cabals that leave no trace, year after year after year, so by the principle of Occam’s Razor, my theory seems to be a superior explanation of the facts.

    But let’s not play who’s got the superior theory. They’re both just theories, after all, and it would take a lot of proof to sway either side — and understandably so. I don’t expect you to accept my theory that the Hugos have been largely untainted by liberal influence over the past few years without some kind of proof.

    But strangely, most of the conservatives I talk to seem to expect me to accept their counter theory without any proof. I mean, I’m trying to work with you here, but I can’t. And without that functional premise, the rationale behind the Puppy Manifesto falls apart.

    You can’t expect people to rationally accept what you’re trying to do, and convince us to hold hire on a No Award strategy, without a basic premise that makes sense to us. Yet that’s exactly what seems to be happening. And when we explain that we’re treating this slate in the exact same we we’ve treated every other slate we’ve encountered, we get back:

    > It’s a “if we can’t have our nominees, we’ll take our ball and go home, and we don’t care how good your work is”.

    You see? You’ve set up a premise with a foundation that’s invisible to us, and stated that if we don’t accept it, it’s proof of your premise. It’s a logical trap.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 21, 2015 10:26 pm

  98. > The real agenda is revealed by the folks who came right out and accused me of not wanting any SF other than from
    > straight white men, and all but calling me a liar, flat out, when I argued it’s about the story, period. That kind of
    > attack is all too common against conservatives; it’s the SJW’s stock in trade. No excuse is too flimsy to attack
    > a conservative and give the opening to slip the racism/sexism/… knife in.

    Wait a second… that’s your logical argument? Some jerks were mean to you at Scalzi.com, so that must mean that the process you used is okay?

    I get that it’s very, very hard to stick to principle when the other side isn’t demonstrating any. But you’ve done me the courtesy of getting me this far, I don’t want to see it fall to pieces at the end.

    Trying again, and accepting that bad behavior makes it a lot easier for you to interpret malicious intent from the other side… why is my suggestion to remove all the members of the Rabid Puppies slate from the ballot with a No Award strategy somehow a condemnation of your taste? I don’t like the process, and have said nothing at all about what you’ve put on the ballot.

    They may be the finest stories ever written, but to me they’re still not worth the risk. I believe Black Gate is a damn fine website. But if it means the Hugos suffer even the tiniest loss of reputation, I would — and did — happily walk away from a shot at an award.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 21, 2015 10:37 pm

  99. @Jay and Sarah—I listened to Arthur Chu on that segment and I concur with Jay. The disco segment seemed like he was channeling Michael Moore or some mind fried wingnut.

    I think the worst was the definition of freeping where he explains what it is and where it comes from. It comes from the Free Republic which is a “blog for conservative activism”. The Free Republic wants people to go to places and sound off with a conservative voice wherever they find public posting–hence the term “freeping”. There is already a term for that–it is called astroturfing and it is, sadly, a common practice in politics. The idea is to control the image to make something look popular or unpopular depending on what image they are trying to create. The difference between astroturfing and freeping is crucial though. Astroturfing has more of a neutral tone but freeping is a new word and when people look it up it has the stigma of being associated with radical right wing politics. The very term connects people to that and I can see why it has such a reaction from the left.

    Even so, freeping is not voting–it is blogging and posting and it implies intent. I don’t think the Sad Puppies were out to freep or astroturf but were out to vote and influence those to consider their choices. Vox Day on the other hand wanted to freep and it was done with intend. He even crowed about it when he was posting here as if a horde of right wing barbarians had stormed the Hugos. That was the picture that he intended to make. I do not think for a second that most people knew the term freeping but when they did I’m sure the word stirred anger. Astroturfing would have been more known and sounded more like a bunch of guys campaigning for their writers.

    I am looking forward to this GRRM–Sad Puppy development. If GRRM is trying to reach out to the Sad Puppies I think that will go a long way to mend the rift between the two camps. Sad Puppies under Torgerson seem committed to doing to promote fandom. Yes, the list or slate had unintended consequences and Vox Day certainly muddied the waters. I understand why people who want to vote No Award. I wonder what the No Awards block will do if GRRM shows influence in the Sad Puppies. GRRM seems determined to salvage the Hugo credibility.

    Comment by Wild Ape - April 21, 2015 10:43 pm

  100. “You see? You’ve set up a premise with a foundation that’s invisible to us, and stated that if we don’t accept it, it’s proof of your premise. It’s a logical trap.”

    The word you’re looking for is “kafkatrap”. Eric S. Raymond (who’s one of this year’s Campbell nominees, and a good personal friend; he’s why I got involved, as this post was linked from his blog comments) coined it, and explains the concept in this blog post. It’s a logical fallacy, and a foundational argument of the grievance industry.

    I am not raising a kafkatrap as my argument. The truth or falsity of my statement is independent of your acceptance of it. Your disagreeing with my statement does not make it true, nor does it serve as evidence of its truth. As a reasonable person and not an SJW (but I repeat myself), you are of course free to disagree, and you appear to do so based on how you see facts.

    That the basic premise does not make sense to you shows that you are immersed in the very politics the Hugo has celebrated over the past several years. Just as a fish does not complain about water, so too does a liberal not complain about liberal works sweeping the awards for years in a row. You see it as changing tastes; I see it as confirmation bias – a natural phenomenon.

    “why is my suggestion to remove all the members of the Rabid Puppies slate from the ballot with a No Award strategy somehow a condemnation of your taste? I don’t like the process, and have said nothing at all about what you’ve put on the ballot.”

    Because you’re using Vox Day as a cudgel again. You’re blaming those of us who want to see true intellectual diversity – which is not, as far as I can tell, what Vox Day wants – for his actions.

    Vox Day is nothing more than a convenient excuse, and blaming him is sounding more and more like Harry Reid attacking the Koch brothers.

    And the “No Award” advocates are refusing to do what they demand we do: read and vote on the merits. We’re stuck with leftist drivers year after year and told to choose form the offered choices, yet when we change the choices, we’re not granted the same courtesy.

    I think you’ll agree that, if nothing else, this has served as a massive clue-by-four that there’s a large crowd of us who have felt marginalized and excluded, and we’ve said “enough!”. This is, after all, the third year of Sad Puppies. The first two were conducted in ways acceptable to the “No Award” proponents. Look how far they got us.

    The Left is all too happy to blow things up when they’re unhappy, and to disdain incremental change. But when it’s conservatives’ oxen getting gored, suddenly incremental change is the order of the day.

    “Wait a second… that’s your logical argument? Some jerks were mean to you at Scalzi.com, so that must mean that the process you used is okay?”

    I’ve had to deal with amazing levels of hostility on the net. (“Augh! Fat guy in spandex! Don’t look! The goggles, they do nothing!”) I’ve become hardened to it. It’s not that the folks on Scalzi’s blog were mean, or that Scalzi himself can’t handle a non-echo-chamber, but rather that the arguments raised are the exact same ones that conservatives put up with from SJWs day in and day out. They fit the pattern perfectly. I could have predicted the attacks I got.

    But that’s not the justification for the Sad Puppies 3 effort. The first two, done in SJW-approved fashion, didn’t get the job done, and so it was time for more.

    “But if it means the Hugos suffer even the tiniest loss of reputation, I would — and did — happily walk away from a shot at an award.”

    I understand where you’re coming from, and respect your choice (as I said above, the voters should, as well). Where we differ is that I believe the reputation has already been damaged by SJW political correctness, and for them to regain it, that needs to go as well. The “No Award” campaign is resicely the wrong thing to do to repair that reputation, for it says “We aren’t interested in intellectual diversity”.

    What’s needed is a coming together. Along with Wild Ape, I hope that GRRM can help bridge the chasm. “No Award” is just making it wider.

    Comment by Jay Maynard - April 22, 2015 6:16 am

  101. Comment from an old ad-man yesterday:

    As a former ad-man (remember ads?) and paperback hack-writer (remember paperbacks?) I speak from experience when I say that Brad Torgensen and some of his more well-meaning associates may simply be suffering from S.O.M.S. — Sad Old Man Syndrome.

    As a sixty-something (as of this month) I can affirm that the world does, indeed, change — and in most cases faster than most people do.

    There are no more local/regional and few remaining national magazines and newspapers for me to design ads for. Radio is pretty much dead as an advertising medium — and radio ads were my specialty, on a local/regional level, and provided me a very comfortable income for several decades.

    And the days of ad-men drawing supplemental income from pounding out cheap “pulp” fiction for countless competing paperback publishers at a thousand dollars a pop (in today’s money) are long gone.

    And those of us who, in the past, found niches in as well-paid “experts” are finding our niches either fading or vanished.

    It happens. And it always has.

    I am reminded of the “expert” frontier stagecoach driver in Old Western fiction who complains about how railroad expansion has made his profession obsolete… and made him have to find work “sweepin’ floors in a dang ol’ dry goods store!”

    Today’s few remaining expert typewriter repairmen might share his sentiments.

    Along with certain aging science fiction writers.

    But spitefully kicking a locomotive engine in the cow-catcher or protesting electronic word-processing at the local computer store are about as effective in stopping “progress” as trying to stop time by hacking the slate of nominees at the Hugo Awards.

    S.O.M.S. Sad Old Man Syndrome.

    But be advised: Live long enough… and you’ll come down with it yourself.

    See ya’ down at the dry goods store. I’ll save ya’ a broom.

    Thanks for your time.

    – FLW

    Comment by SamuelHatfield - April 22, 2015 10:21 am

  102. > Just as a fish does not complain about water, so too does a liberal not complain about liberal works sweeping the awards for
    . years in a row. You see it as changing tastes; I see it as confirmation bias – a natural phenomenon.

    Yeah, I get that. But I’m still confused why you interpret the “No Award” as a hostile act, though. If we don’t see the bias, and we’ve always treated slate voting the same way whenever we see it, then at least our actions should appear consistent.

    At this point I don’t care about the politics. I’ve explained why I see the slate vote as a naked Hugo grab by Vox Day, and I’m voting “No Award” strictly to prevent that. But a lot of conservatives have said they’ll view that as a slap in the face, and it’s important to me that they understand I’m doing it for reasons that have nothing to do with the perceived quality of the work.

    > Because you’re using Vox Day as a cudgel again. You’re blaming those of us who want to see true intellectual
    > diversity – which is not, as far as I can tell, what Vox Day wants – for his actions.

    But it seems to me that those of you who wanted true intellectual diversity failed. Your slate (the Sad Puppies) was ineffectual. Vox Day succeeded. This is his slate, and I’m forced to treat it as such.

    > I think you’ll agree that, if nothing else, this has served as a massive clue-by-four that there’s a large crowd of us
    > who have felt marginalized and excluded, and we’ve said “enough!”.

    Yes, absolutely. I think the entire field has been surprised at the magnitude of this movement. In terms of expressing just how large (and how unhappy) the conservative contingent is within SF and fantasy, the Rabid Puppies have been an unqualified success.

    > This is, after all, the third year of Sad Puppies. The first two were conducted in ways acceptable to the “No Award”
    > proponents. Look how far they got us.

    I guess that’s another part that mystified me. Many of us (me included) reacted the exact same way the first two times — advocating “No Award” to those slates too. Why did you expect our principles to change this time?

    > The “No Award” campaign is resicely the wrong thing to do to repair that reputation, for it says “We aren’t
    > interested in intellectual diversity”.

    I wish I could convince you that the “No Award” campaign says “we aren’t interested in slates,” and that we’d react in exactly the same way if Scalzi, Tor, or anyone else did it. But the trust on both sides seems to have eroded so much that everyone scoffs that.

    “John’s doing it because he wants to slap us in the face” is the answer everyone reaches for, time and time again. It’s a pity.

    I really appreciate all the time you’ve taken to explain all this. It’s helped me understand, although it doesn’t seem that my reasoning has convinced you.

    > What’s needed is a coming together.

    I agree completely. But I see no evidence that it’s happening.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 22, 2015 11:39 am

  103. “Many of us (me included) reacted the exact same way the first two times — advocating “No Award” to those slates too. ”

    ” we’d react in exactly the same way if Scalzi, Tor, or anyone else did it. ”

    OK I pulled those two quotes out to illustrate a point, though I am in a hurry and I may not illustrate it very well.

    You “no awarded” last year because Correia put up a “slate”…you say you would no award a Tor, or a Scalzi “slate” but you never have and they were been doing “slates” or “award pimping” for YEARS before Correia ever did it.

    Lets talk about last year, not this year, When Scalzi “award pimped” it was cool, but when Correia “Sad Puppies” it is the WORSE thing to ever happen to the Hugos. Scalzi is one of the “cool kids” so he got a pass, if not cheered, Correia is not one of the “cool kids” so he got smacked around and “no awarded”. (though I will say that Corrieas wording was problematic for the worldcon trufan, but then he wasnt talking to those folks he was talking to the folks that had walked away from Omelas, trying to get them to go back and rescue that poor kid…)

    There is a large amount of cognitive dissonance in the anti-sad puppies out there. Until people can recognize that, the rift is only going to get worse.

    Comment by TW - April 22, 2015 2:04 pm

  104. ““John’s doing it because he wants to slap us in the face” is the answer everyone reaches for, time and time again. It’s a pity.”

    I don’t believe you’re doing it because you want to slap us in the face. You honestly believe that’s not what you’re doing. The problem isn’t that we don’t believe you; it’s that we believe it’s a slap in the face whether you intend it that way or not.

    “But it seems to me that those of you who wanted true intellectual diversity failed. Your slate (the Sad Puppies) was ineffectual. Vox Day succeeded. This is his slate, and I’m forced to treat it as such.”

    Tell that to the socialist who got nominated.

    No, you’re simply incorrect in attributing the entire success of the slate to Vox Day. You’re assuming the conclusion, when the data that proves or disproves it is not available and will not be until after Worldcon.

    You’d like to see a coming together? All right, then. What would you suggest? How would you demonstrate – not argue, but demonstrate, with concrete, verifiable actions – that conservatives are welcome in SF fandom and will be as seriously considered for fandom’s highest awards?

    Comment by Jay Maynard - April 22, 2015 2:41 pm

  105. > You “no awarded” last year because Correia put up a “slate”…you say you would no award a Tor, or a Scalzi “slate”
    > but you never have and they were been doing “slates” or “award pimping” for YEARS before Correia ever did it.

    I’ve heard this a lot… accusations that Scalzi, Tor, etc. have done exactly the same thing.

    Every time I ask for a simple link, or any kind of evidence, I get complete silence.

    I’ve condemned Vox Day for using a slate. And I’m happy to condemn other for doing so as well. All I ask is a simple shred of evidence, beyond a bunch of conservatives gathered in a circle mumbling “the SJWs are cheats.”

    I understand that’s all a lot of folks need to be convinced. I’m not one of them.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 22, 2015 3:08 pm

  106. > The problem isn’t that we don’t believe you; it’s that we believe it’s a slap in the face whether you intend it that way or not.

    OK, let me see if I can break this down.

    I’m a man of simple principles. When I see a blatant example of slate voting, I vote against it.

    You choose to interpret that as a “slap in the face” to your conservative tastes.

    It’s probably safe to assume that you’ve encountered other principled men and women in the past who have voted for the things they like over the things you did, or openly championed causes you don’t approve of. Based on what you’ve explained to me so far, despite any evidence to the contrary that this may have had nothing to do with your principles, you’ve interpreted those actions as a slap in the face too.

    So now we’re getting somewhere. After a decade or so of principled Hugo voting, conservatives feel they’ve been slapped in the face too often. There’s a phrase for repeatedly seeing hostile intent when none is intended: Persecution Complex.

    But here’s the thing about principled actions: I’m compelled to do them regardless of how uncomfortable they make you feel.

    I get that sticking to my principles makes you mad. I get that you find being confronted with principles that are alien to yours somehow threatening, and that it’s easiest for you to assume that I’m trying to slap you in the face deliberately.

    In that case, the onus is on me to be as open and honest as I can, and explain myself patiently and thoroughly. I think I’m also called upon to listen — and that I have tried to do to.

    That’s all I can do. The rest, I think, is up to you.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 22, 2015 3:23 pm

  107. The problem, John, is that while I believe you are principled, I have no reason to believe the other liberal voters are. We have plenty of experience with liberals who claim to be principled but whose only real principle is that they retain power. One notorious recent example was Harry Reid lying about Mitt Romney not paying his taxes, and when called on it, said “We won, didn’t we?”

    I do not believe you would do such a thing. The results, unfortunately, are indistinguishable from if you had. While I do not believe you would do such a thing, I cannot extend that to the Hugo voters in general, especially when people take victory laps at shutting out all those white straight guys.

    You, personally, are not trying to slap us in the face. Liberals, as a whole, are – and we know this because they’ve done it, deliberately and overtly.

    You’re not paranoid if they are indeed out to get you.

    Comment by Jay Maynard - April 22, 2015 4:11 pm

  108. >Liberals, as a whole, are – and we know this >because they’ve done it, deliberately and ?>overtly.

    I find this to the real problem with this whole controversy.

    At base, it’s not about any evidence of longstanding corruption in the Hugos, about good books left out, or even about fanstasy and sci fi at all.

    It’s about striking a blow at Liberals as a whole. By all means, if you want to campaign for conservative politicians or support conservative media, do so. But Worldcon doesn’t control Harry Reid. They don’t control Entertainment Weekly. They haven’t done anything to deserve to be used as a football in this particular game.

    There is simply no evidence that the majority of people who propose No Award are doing it in bad faith. Most fans don’t like slate voting, for very obvious reasons. Federal politics don’t enter into it.

    Comment by Lee C. - April 22, 2015 4:40 pm

  109. “I’ve heard this a lot… accusations that Scalzi, Tor, etc. have done exactly the same thing.”

    Nobody does “exactly the same thing”.

    http://grrm.livejournal.com/262170.html

    http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/01/torcoms-hugo-and-nebula-eligible-fiction-from-2013

    http://whatever.scalzi.com/2014/01/02/the-2014-award-consideration-post/

    http://neil-clarke.com/hugo-eligibility-for-works-at-clarkesworld-magazine/

    I could go on, but people putting up eligible works, of themselves, their friends, or simply works they liked, has been a long standing practice, to deny that is to deny that the sky is blue.

    What Corriea did last year was of no real difference, yet simply because 1- his language, 2- he was an outsider, and most importantly 3- he was successful, he and his recommendations were attacked, slagged, and “no awarded”. Often without consideration of merit.

    Comment by TW - April 22, 2015 4:47 pm

  110. “It’s about striking a blow at Liberals as a whole. By all means, if you want to campaign for conservative politicians or support conservative media, do so. But Worldcon doesn’t control Harry Reid. They don’t control Entertainment Weekly. They haven’t done anything to deserve to be used as a football in this particular game.”

    My Google-fu is failing me, but there was a very overt victory lap last year by one SJW (ISTR it was N. K. Jemison, but I could easily be wrong about that) about striking a blow for equality and social justice against those mean old conservative white men. If that is not the converse of “striking a blow against Liberals”, what is?

    Worldcon may not control Harry Reid. When, however, no fewer than eight MSM outlets publish pretty much the same slanderous story about the Puppies, there’s definitely a case to be made that it does control Entertainment Weekly and the like.

    But it’s not Worldcon’s fault they’ve been turned into a political football. It’s not conservatives’ fault, either. It’s the ones who dragged fandom into this cultural war in the fist place – and it’s not me, or Brad Torgerson, or even the hated Vox Day. It’s the SJWs.

    Comment by Jay Maynard - April 22, 2015 5:29 pm

  111. >if that is not the converse of “striking a blow against Liberals”, what is?

    I mean, I can’t speak to something without actually knowing the quote and context.

    >If that is not the converse of “striking a blow against Liberals”, what is?

    Even if this happened exactly as you said, Jemison doing something wrong doesn’t excuse SP and RP from doing something wrong.

    ” there’s definitely a case to be made that it does control Entertainment Weekly and the like.”

    But, in reality, they don’t. Seriously. Worldcon owns no stocks in media outlets. They have no editorial privileges. In what way could they possibly control the media?

    If there was evidence that liberals started slate voting, I’d agree with you. But there just isn’t.

    It just feels that if you’re going to fundamentally change what an award is and what it means, you should have some kind of evidence to show why this was necessary. This kind of thing isn’t something you should do on a hunch.

    Comment by Lee C. - April 22, 2015 6:11 pm

  112. >Nobody does “exactly the same thing”.

    Well yeah, that’s the issue. What SP is doing is very different from those examples.

    It’s pretty hard to game an election with a “slate” including over 30 nominees for the same category, or only including 1. TOR’s votes are diffused; Scalzi’s fans are concentrated on his work.

    If SP just wanted to promote their own work, thus allowing other voters to have candidates on the ballot, that would be fine. But they don’t want that.

    The Puppies laid out an exact slate, because that’s how you actually concentrate votes to dominate a ballot and keep out other worthy works.

    Comment by Lee C. - April 22, 2015 6:19 pm

  113. Glad to hear that Blackgate has withdrawn (or tried to) its nomination. I also hope that “No Award” sweeps the Hugos this year and that something is done to avoid this type of slate tampering in the future.

    “Intellectual diversity” doesn’t equal White, straight males. Nor does “intellectual diversity” equal conservative.

    Since Vox Day has explicitly told his supporters how to vote, those who oppose his racist, sexist and bigoted views should vote “No Award” to avoid giving him a victory. He is an odious person and there is no reason for people who support diversity to support him in any way.

    Comment by kayden - April 23, 2015 9:45 am

  114. @John, I’m sorry to hear that BlackGate won’t be on the ballot, but I think that it is a more consistent position considering your recommendation for the “No Award” vote. So, good on you for standing for what you believe in.

    So this year, I put in my nominations like a good little independent voter and was rewarded with none of my nominees making the ballot. (It didn’t occur to me to nominate BlackGate for fanzine; if I join as a supporting member in the future, I’ll certainly do so!) From what I have heard from many of the Sad Puppy voters in comments, they’re frustrated that for years they’ve had their nominations drop in the pond without being noticed. That’s largely what happened to me last year and this year (although a single one of my nominations did make the ballot last year). If there is a secret cabal of ruling elite voters, I certainly haven’t been invited to participate in it!

    When I heard about the slate voting this year, my first reaction wasn’t “Darn those conservatives and their taste in military SF and high fantasy and straight white male writers!” (because I also like military SF and high fantasy and books by straight white guys as much as I like books by writers who aren’t; I was really excited to see KJA in the novel category!). My negative assumption, however, was that if there was a slate, most readers who voted for the slate had not read all the works they were nominating. *That’s* what irked me about the whole process. It’s certainly being presented in the media, especially in the case of the Rabid Puppies, that the point of the slate was first to take over the ballot, and only secondarily to award worthy fiction.

    @Jay and Wild Ape, is this an incorrect assumption and case of bad press? Is the feeling from within the Sad Puppies group that most Puppies read all their nominees before nominating them?

    Comment by alanajoli - April 23, 2015 2:45 pm

  115. @ alanajoli –

    is this an incorrect assumption and case of bad press? Is the feeling from within the Sad Puppies group that most Puppies read all their nominees before nominating them?

    Speaking just for me (I am not Jay nor Wild Ape) – YES, that is my sense. Repeatedly, I have seen SP peps saying over and over “I liked some of the stuff Brad listed, but I liked some other stuff better, so I put on my ballot what I liked.”

    There was one person who posted on LC’s page that he had not read the work he voted for (he had read the other works in the series) and he got jumped on from all sides. Which was not great for getting other people to own up to doing the same, but it gives you a sense of what people thought of the idea.

    Again, speaking strictly for myself – I *voted* last year and never got around to nominating this year, due to RL stuff. Last year, I picked “Ink Sellers” as the best short, and AJ as the best novel (I voted for others as well, but don’t remember what for what category.) For me, AJ *barely* won out over LC’s Warbound – but imo it was a slightly better work. (I read at least part of all the novels and did finish all the shorts.)

    It has always been the primary goal of SP to get stuff we liked on the final ballot – in that sense, it doesn’t make sense to vote for stuff I don’t like, or don’t *know* I will like (which I won’t know until I’ve read it, right?)

    Fifth and last – “You picked stuff without reading it” is impossible to prove wrong, because how can I demonstrate that , yeah, I DID? Which is part of the angry pushback that SPs are making – it’s a baloney charge, because it can neither be proven nor disproved, only shouted in anger.

    Comment by keranih - April 23, 2015 5:44 pm

  116. @keranih

    I understand that a lot of the SPs just are supporting things they like.

    However, I hope you can understand how suspicious it is that “what SPs like” also amounts to exactly 5 works in every category, thus allowing people to concentrate votes in a way to deny competition on the ballot.

    Do you think, as a reasonable compromise, that next year the SPs could just release a “recommended reading list” that is just the suggestions you receive from fans, not an edit to turn those suggestions into a slate?

    Also, I hope you can understand how frustrating it is that in your quest to get things you want on the ballot, you have effectively nullified the nominations of 95% of voters in several categories.

    No-one would care if you just really wanted to put some Wright works on the ballot. But when 95% of people’s preferred candidates have been completely pushed off come ballots, it compromises the intent of the awards.

    Comment by Lee C. - April 23, 2015 6:15 pm

  117. @keranih Thank you for the thoughtful response! That actually does make me feel better about the Sad Puppies side of the nomination situation. I suspect (based on the number of Day’s publications that made the ballot) that the RP group was less vote-what-you-like and more here-are-your-only-options. But I’m glad that the SPs were less rigid and that the majority of those participating in forums were nominating only the candidates they actually liked.

    For what it’s worth, if you tell me you read everything you nominated/voted for, I believe you. :)

    And I tend to agree with @Lee C.–if the slates had been presented as a longer list of recommended candidates (which is what I think the supposed liberal conspiracists are doing), I wouldn’t have had any issues with it in the first place.

    Comment by alanajoli - April 23, 2015 10:24 pm

  118. ““Intellectual diversity” doesn’t equal White, straight males. Nor does “intellectual diversity” equal conservative.”

    No, kayden, it doesn’t equal those. Nor will you find any Sad Puppies who argue that it does. (No, no matter how loudly the SJWs scream, this is NOT!!! about Vox Day.) OTOH, intellectual diversity without conservative viewpoints is like the line from The Blues Brothers: you have both kinds of views, leftist and SJW, just like they had both kinds of music, country and western. And excluding someone because he is white, straight, and male is fully as bigoted as excluding someone because they are black, or female, or gay.

    Alana, from what I’ve seen, the SPs are advocating nothing more than that people read the works before nominating or voting. I would presume from that that they did so themselves.

    Lee, as for your frustration: now you understand how frustrated we’ve been over the past several years as the SJWs have controlled SF.

    Comment by Jay Maynard - April 23, 2015 11:09 pm

  119. >Alana, from what I’ve seen, the SPs are advocating nothing more than that people read the works before nominating or voting.

    Then would you accept, as a compromise, the SP releasing longer recommended lists? If it’s true that each SP only votes for his/her favs on the list, then longer lists would actually amplify your votes.

    Like, I get that a lot of SP, and even some RP, supporters really like everything on the slate. But the slate is designed so that, in reality, it concentrates votes to exclude the competition, and that’s what it’s doing.

    >Lee, as for your frustration: now you understand how frustrated we’ve been over the past several years as the SJWs have controlled SF.

    You keep saying that, but you don’t provide any examples of how this is actually happening. I mean, lots of the authors on your slate have actually be nominated before. No-one stopped them. We can’t fix what no-one can find.

    Really, you’ve made your point. You’re unhappy. We’d like to find a compromise. But what would that compromise actually be? What could change about awards that would encourage you to allow the other 95% to have a say again?

    Comment by Lee C. - April 24, 2015 11:10 am

  120. TW,

    I read every one of the pages you linked to, and not one of those lists of eligible works and authors constituted a slate.

    One indication that the first Tor.com piece was not a slate was the closing, in which there’s an invitation to readers to post about all the eligible works they liked that weren’t from Tor and Tor.com. My understanding of the Sad Puppies slate is that the invitations to discuss what to put on the slate were before the final slate was posted. The Tor.com list reads to me more like, Here’s our eligible stuff — please point us to all the other goodies so we can read them.

    Neil Clarke specifically asks that his fans not nominate Clarkesworld because they’ve won too often and he’d like to see other semiprozines compete without him in the way: “Despite the fact that Clarkesworld is once again eligible for BEST SEMIPROZINE, we ask that you nominate someone who hasn’t been a nominee before instead. If not nominating us this year bothers you, nominate one of our editors in short form or your favorite story in the appropriate category. We’ll still feel the love.” Noting that his editors are eligible for nomination while saying that the magazine as a whole is bowing out of the category for the year doesn’t look slate-ish to me.

    If the Puppies really were doing exactly any or all of the things those pages you linked to are doing, nobody would be talking about voting No Award as a matter of principle.

    Responding to a principled objection to slate voting by trying to broaden the definition of a slate to the point of making the term meaningless, well, that’s just not persuading me. I’ve been persuaded on other points in recent weeks, and I’m going out of my way to allow for the possibility that you guys will persuade me further. But if you want to persuade me that left-leaning fans and pros have presented slates for Hugo nominations in the past, I’ll have to invite you to try again.

    Here’s my personal offer for finding common ground on next year’s Hugos: If Larry Correia and/or Brad Torgerson, or some successor of their choosing (not Vox Day’s) does what Tor.com, GRRM, Neil Clarke, etc., do on the pages you linked to, I will promise to read a minimum of five works on their list even if I’m not voting or nominating for the Hugos, and a minimum of one third of the works on their lists if I am voting or nominating. I can’t promise to reach the same conclusions they do about what I read, but I will commit my time — the scarcest resource in my present life — to looking for common ground on storytelling craftsmanship, aesthetics, and fun.

    If the Sad Puppies present another slate, however, I will be looking for common ground with other conservative individuals, not with those opinion leaders.

    I want to do a share of the work on healing this rift. I think I’ve shown my good faith in this matter. And I still think slate voting is wrong, no matter who does it.

    Comment by Sarah Avery - April 24, 2015 1:20 pm

  121. TW,

    I’m afraid I have to concur with Sarah on this one. None of the links you gave constitute an organized attempt to game the Hugo awards the way the Puppies did.

    Still, looking at what Brad T. did this year, and the actions of the partcipants, I think the Sad Puppies are to be commended for having a (relatively) open and democratic slate, and encouraging voting participants to read the entries and substitute other worthy choices.

    But my beef isn’t with the Sad Puppies. My beef is with the Rabid Puppies, who were considerably more successful in getting on the Hugo ballot, and whose leaders specifically instructed his followers to vote according to his wishes, and not to deviate at all.

    If you’re getting criticism for being involved in a robotic and lock-step effort to game the Hugos, I suspect it’s crossfire aimed at Vox Day.

    Comment by John ONeill - April 24, 2015 1:42 pm

  122. Sarah, John, etal,

    You missed my point, I am not talking about this year, I was talking about last year. You said you no awarded last year, here is the Correia “slate” from last year:

    http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/03/25/my-hugo-slate/

    Where is that substantially different than what I posted above?

    Comment by TW - April 24, 2015 3:43 pm

  123. “What could change about awards that would encourage you to allow the other 95% to have a say again?”

    Objection, your honor. Assumes facts not in evidence. You cannot say that the Puppies, both Sad and Rabid, overrode 95% of fandom without seeing the numbers. Otherwise, it might well be 75%…or 50%…or 5%.

    Lots of authors on the slate might have been nominated before. How many of them have won? How many of them would never win because they’re politically incorrect, like Larry Correia’s gun store?

    Comment by Jay Maynard - April 24, 2015 5:07 pm

  124. “or 50%…or 5%”

    That would make no sense, otherwise SP voters would already have given their political icons a rocket and we wouldn’t be in this situation.

    All estimates are that there were about 200 Puppy voters. Sure, it could have been more, but the one thing that is true is that they are a minority. If they were a majority, they wouldn’t need to kick all competition off a ballot, because their votes would already decide the award.

    “How many of them would never win because they’re politically incorrect, like Larry Correia’s gun store?”

    Assumes facts not in evidence. All we know is that Correia didn’t win because a plurality of voters felt Lev Grossman wrote a better book.

    Contrary to Correia’s assumptions, it’s in fact very, very difficult to win a Hugo. Not winning an award for Hugos in not proof of oppression. Thousands of authors are used to it.

    But this is an interesting point to focus on: the majority of Hugo voters don’t like authors as much as you want them to. You can’t change that, except by perhaps writing an incredible book of your own. We can’t change that. There are no mind control rays over here.

    So, what can change? Do we need some kind of quota system where Hugo voters are forced to pick at least one conservative work? Or maybe separate “Military SF” and “Religious SF” categories?

    Because right now, the Puppy solution seems to be “Push any work from the ballot that might win against our team,” which, in a very real sense, makes the Hugo awards meaningless. If most voters would prefer a completely different ballot, then whatever is chosen will not be “the best” as determined by the community.

    Comment by Lee C. - April 24, 2015 5:26 pm

  125. John and the rest of you good honest folk, what surprises me most is that you’re surprised. This is the way many awards, not just Hugos, have been decided for years, although not using the internet or being so overt about it. Cliques and clubs and pacs all form for the same reasons: to control agenda. I dropped out of SFWA for many years, for various reasons having to do with the political nature of such organizations and their awards. These groups form in order to reward themselves; this behavior is hard wired in us. What is objectionable here is the overt quality of those ‘getting out the vote’ for their cause. I find it hard to believe that anyone on earth believes awards are given fairly, after the Nobel Peace Prize was given to a person in hopes of what he might accomplish, rather than what he had accomplished. If after that award one still harbors the slightest doubt that awards are never fair, always weighted, always the result of people hoping to conspire for a desired result, then there’s a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you. Having had stories I published on both Nebula and Hugo final ballots, I learned this lesson about sf/f orgs long ago. Read for yourself; decide what you like and what you don’t; and stop believing that a consensus is ever arrived at by people without a dog in the fight. All that said, Chris and I are proud of you, John ONeil, from stepping out of this fight. Especially where fan publications are concerned, Hugo and similar awards appear to maintain a tradition of ugliness going back many years. – Janet Morris

    Comment by sacredbander - April 24, 2015 5:33 pm

  126. ““or 50%…or 5%”
    That would make no sense, otherwise SP voters would already have given their political icons a rocket and we wouldn’t be in this situation.”

    Sure it would, if SP voters were just now waking up to the realization that they can have an influence.

    “All estimates are that there were about 200 Puppy voters. Sure, it could have been more, but the one thing that is true is that they are a minority. If they were a majority, they wouldn’t need to kick all competition off a ballot, because their votes would already decide the award.”

    Sorry, you cannot validly make that assumption because it, in turn, assumes that voting patterns are as they were last year. You just don’t know that, and cannot infer it from what is known.

    “All we know is that Correia didn’t win because a plurality of voters felt Lev Grossman wrote a better book.”

    We also know how Correia was treated at that Worldcon: like someone who was not welcome in polite society.

    As long as you cling to your assumptions, we cannot have a meaningful conversation about how to fix the problems both sides see.

    Comment by Jay Maynard - April 24, 2015 7:01 pm

  127. “Sure it would, if SP voters were just now waking up to the realization that they can have an influence.”

    If they are the majority, they wouldn’t need slate voting. Since they run a slate, it seems most SPs agree that they are not the majority.

    “As long as you cling to your assumptions, we cannot have a meaningful conversation about how to fix the problems both sides see.”

    I think myself, and almost everyone involved in this whole kerfuffle, are willing to question assumptions, provided there is any evidence at all to counter them.

    It seems unlikely and illogical that Puppies represent a majority of fandom, but I’d accept evidence that they do.

    It seems unlikely that any conservative writers have been forced out by conspiracy, but I’d accept evidence they were.

    I don’t understand why you expect people to take these on faith, though.

    “We also know how Correia was treated at that Worldcon: like someone who was not welcome in polite society.”

    Again with the mind control ray. We can’t make fans like someone they don’t like.

    You keep dodging the question. What actionable goal do you have? What, specifically, do you want to change about the awards?

    Comment by Lee C. - April 24, 2015 7:25 pm

  128. “If they are the majority, they wouldn’t need slate voting. Since they run a slate, it seems most SPs agree that they are not the majority.”

    Now it’s you with the mind-control ray. It may be that they don’t know their own power. You don’t know that either.

    “It seems unlikely and illogical that Puppies represent a majority of fandom, but I’d accept evidence that they do.”

    The evidence simply is not available at this point. All any of us can do is guess.

    “I don’t understand why you expect people to take these on faith, though.”

    To a conservative, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

    “You keep dodging the question. What actionable goal do you have? What, specifically, do you want to change about the awards?”

    I want people to treat all nominees as equally worthy of consideration, instead of hiding behind excuses to ignore those that are not politically correct.

    What do I want to change about this year’s? I’ve already said it: read the nominees and vote, instead of blindly pulling the “No Award” lever. That’s all. Instead, what we’ll see is one No Award after another, to raucous cheering from the SJWs in the audience.

    in the end, what I want is for the awards to be reflective of the breadth of diversity, not (or not only) demographic, but intellectual. How to achieve that? As long as the SJWs exist, I’m not sure it’s possible, and that’s why I hold little hope for an actual resolution.

    Comment by Jay Maynard - April 24, 2015 8:41 pm

  129. @Jay

    “To a conservative, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.”

    And the pudding is… Correia losing? There is a basic explanation for that without resorting to conspiracy theory.

    “I want people to treat all nominees as equally worthy of consideration,”

    So if the No Award campaign drops, will SP agree to stop running slates?

    “How to achieve that? As long as the SJWs exist, I’m not sure it’s possible, and that’s why I hold little hope for an actual resolution.”

    The thing is, though, most people are trying to come up with actual resolutions. I don’t accept “We’re going to break the awards, and you’re going to let us, every year from now on, and nothing will change that, because we can’t even tell you what was wrong with the awards in the first place.”

    So really, do the Puppies had any actual solutions or demands, or are they just going to game the Hugos until no-one cares about them any more?

    Comment by Lee C. - April 24, 2015 11:30 pm

  130. >’the Nobel Peace Prize was given to a person for what he might do in the future, rather than for what he had already done’

    Obama got the Nobel for being America’s first black president. Yes, 2008 is embarrassing. I’m grateful they covered our embarrassment with some fustian about bringing peace to the Mideast. Alfred Nobel wanted to recognize up-and-comers who looked promising anyway.

    Comment by bruce99999999 - April 25, 2015 1:30 am

  131. Rabid Puppy goals are- Vox Day gets an apology. Or Else.

    Wendell the Manatee wants a reduction in the Puppy Related Sadness caused by No Awards to Action SF and Crimethink SF.

    Bloody Shirt Hugo Goals -we aren’t organized like the rest of you, and it’s a long shot all right- but we want Hugo Awards and Campbell Awards that go to people who write in the tradition of John Campbell and Hugo Gernsback and Heinlein and Niven. Niven’s The Goliath Stone and Shipstar on the ballot would have satisfied me.

    Comment by bruce99999999 - April 25, 2015 1:37 am

  132. “And the pudding is… Correia losing? There is a basic explanation for that without resorting to conspiracy theory.”

    The pudding is SJW-laden Hugos year after year, and the victory lap after last year’s.

    “So if the No Award campaign drops, will SP agree to stop running slates?”

    I can’t speak for the SPs. Speaking for myself, I would be quite amenable to discussing how to make sure there is true intellectual diversity in the Hugo nominees, and in not handing the SJWs the slate excuse.

    “we can’t even tell you what was wrong with the awards in the first place”

    Sure we can. I’ve been saying what’s wrong with them: they’re fully controlled by SJWs. You just aren’t listening.

    “So really, do the Puppies had any actual solutions or demands, or are they just going to game the Hugos until no-one cares about them any more?”

    Again, speaking only for myself, the solution is simple: consider all the nominees and vote on their merits, regardless of their politics or the age, race, ethnicity, gender, or sexuality of their authors. It’s about the story. NOTHING else. A straight white male gun store owner should have just as much chance of winning a Hugo as a gay black woman – no more, and no less.

    You know, true equality? But SJWs aren’t about equality. They’re just about changing who’s favored – to their pet grievance group.

    Comment by Jay Maynard - April 25, 2015 8:51 am

  133. “Obama got the Nobel for being America’s first black president.”

    No, Barack Obama got the Nobel because he wasn’t George W. Bush.

    And the Peace Prize has been permanently devalued.

    “Niven’s The Goliath Stone and Shipstar on the ballot would have satisfied me.”

    I’d have been happier to see that, too. But Niven would not have won unless there were no SJW-approved works on the ballot. He’s a straight white guy, remember? Unclean! Unclean!

    Comment by Jay Maynard - April 25, 2015 8:54 am

  134. […] magazine Black Gate has also withdrawn their nomination from the Hugo ballot, explaining why here. I had not known that Connie Willis is not hosting the Hugos this year specifically because of […]

    Pingback by The Week in Review: April 26th, 2015 | The Literary Omnivore - April 26, 2015 7:03 am

  135. […] John O'Neill: ["On Saturday, April 18th, I informed the administrators at Sasquan that we have withdrawn Black Gate from consideration for the 2015 Hugo Award…. I have serious concerns about the legitimacy of the 2015 Hugo ballot, as it was largely dictated by a single individual, Vox Day, who campaigned for a slate of nominees on his website (the Rapid Puppies slate). To a lesser extent, it was also influenced by Brad Togersen’s Sad Puppies slate. Together, the two slates successfully placed 61 nominees on the ballot. Black Gate was part of the Rabid Puppies ballot, although we were unaware of our inclusion until we were informed of our nomination…" http://www.blackgate.com/2015/04/19/black-gate-withdraws-from-hugo-consideration/ […]

    Pingback by Links and Tweets... (Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...) - April 26, 2015 8:46 am

  136. “The pudding is SJW-laden Hugos year after year”

    Okay, but most people don’t think of “most people like different books than me” as proof of conspiracy.

    ” I’ve been saying what’s wrong with them: they’re fully controlled by SJWs.”

    I understand that you believe that. I understand you believe it strongly. But there simply is no evidence of it being true. So why do you expect other people to believe something on faith?

    All you can say is that you don’t like how Worldcon votes. But that’s what the Hugos are: finding what Worldcon likes most. If you don’t like the voters of the Hugos, why don’t you start or support a different award?

    “A straight white male gun store owner should have just as much chance of winning a Hugo as a gay black woman – no more, and no less.”

    They do. Look at last year’s Hugo awards:
    Leckie: straight white woman
    Stross: straight white man
    Kowal: straight white woman
    Chu: Asian man, don’t know his relationship status
    Hurley: not sure
    Munroe: straight white man
    Cuaron: straight Hispanic man
    Nutter: straight white man
    Datlow: white woman
    Buchanan: straight white woman
    Dillon: not sure
    Adam/Horton/Rudniki: white men
    Moher: white man
    Hester: white man
    Webb: white woman
    Samatar: black woman

    So let’s see, in a country that is 30% non-Hispanic white men, non-Hispanic white men took home 44% of the rockets. They are statistically MORE likely to win.

    Speaking of which, you know that when Correia lost, he lost to Grossman, a straight white man, right?

    Anyone who tells you they lost because of bias against white dudes is lying to you and thinks you won’t read the stats and judge for yourself.

    Comment by Lee C. - April 27, 2015 4:48 pm

  137. ‘If you don’t like the voters of the Hugos, why don’t you start or support a different award?’

    Rabid Puppies- because you annoyed Vox Day and owe him an apology. Lee C., I realize you aren’t ready to say, ‘Oho. Our bad. Now we realize our blunder. We apologize for our left-liberal politics in general, and for putting them in the Hugo Awards in particular, and most particularly apologize for personal insults against VD, whose quadruple superiority in STDs is now clear. Please return to the SFWA with our apologies, Mr Beale.’ No, you are ready to fight till he’s gone. VD likes to fight.

    Sad Puppies are SF action voters and SF crimethink voters who vote. Ann Leckie and Jemisin and Cat Valentey do not and will not write crimethink, and don’t have the chops for action. Sad Puppy voters might go somewhere else, but why should they? Why should you? SF is big enough for all of you.

    I want Hugo Gernsback’s taste and John Campbell’s taste reflected in the Hugo and Campbell awards. Tall tales based on gadgets.
    I realize you think you are doing that, not just thirty years ago, not just intermittently at BlackGate (Where you sometimes do very well, and I’m grateful) but in the last ten years of Hugos. You are wrong. I am right.

    Comment by bruce99999999 - April 28, 2015 1:20 am

  138. […] kinda folks who seem to think that Sarah A. Hoyt is a white mormon male. There was also some who rejected their nomination due to the people leading similar (but different) cam-pain’s, and some who just didn’t like the way the puppies ran their cam-pain even though they feel […]

    Pingback by Nuther day, Nuther fisking | Mars Is - April 28, 2015 4:31 am

  139. “So let’s see, in a country that is 30% non-Hispanic white men, non-Hispanic white men took home 44% of the rockets. They are statistically MORE likely to win.”

    Sure, as long as they write SJW-approved stuff. You’re moving the goalposts, and leaving out the other part of my comment: none of them own gun stores or are in any other way publicly conservative. I suspect every one of them subscribes to the leftist “guns are icky, let’s ban them” ideas.

    And when I complain about a lack of ideological diversity, why am I accused of only wanting fiction from straight white men, as I have been in this very thread, even though by our own argument it’s perfectly acceptable for straight white men to win Hugos?

    No, it’s not that they’re straight white men. It’s that they dare to be conservatives in SF. The horror!

    Comment by Jay Maynard - April 28, 2015 7:34 am

  140. “But that’s what the Hugos are: finding what Worldcon likes most.”

    And here we get back to the meat of the argument. The Hugos were held up as awards belonging to all of fandom and complaints were met with “if you don’t like them, vote for something else!” Then the Puppies came along, and suddenly it’s not about belonging to all of fandom – unless, that is, you subscribe to TNH’s claim that Puppies aren’t true fans.

    Comment by Jay Maynard - April 28, 2015 8:13 am

  141. “even though by our own argument it’s perfectly acceptable for straight white men to win Hugos?”

    Argh. That should be “by your own argument”, of course.

    Comment by Jay Maynard - April 28, 2015 9:30 am

  142. “Sure, as long as they write SJW-approved stuff.”

    Who’s deciding what’s approved and what isn’t? Who on the list is an SJW?

    “none of them own gun stores”

    Far as I know, none of them are marine biologists, own anarchist bookshops, or design skyscrapers, either. You’re not owed a Hugo for having a unique profession.

    “any other way publicly conservative”

    And? Shouldn’t the work stand for itself? Lots of the award-winning works have conservative themes. Hell, Equoid is a tribute to Lovecraft. Ancillary Justice is a revenge story where the protag uses pacifism as a ruse to plan future violence.

    “I suspect every one of them subscribes to the leftist “guns are icky, let’s ban them” ideas.”

    You can suspect whatever you like, but as long as you don’t actually know anything for sure, I don’t know why you expect other people to take you seriously.

    “Then the Puppies came along, and suddenly it’s not about belonging to all of fandom”

    Nope, it’s about the majority of fandom. That’s how democracy works. If you don’t like the way the majority vote, don’t try to stop them from voting for what they want.

    “why am I accused of only wanting fiction from straight white men”

    Probably because you just pretended, like, yesterday, that gay black women are somehow favored by the Hugo process?

    Comment by Lee C. - April 28, 2015 10:23 am

  143. “because you annoyed Vox Day and owe him an apology”

    No, I don’t think anyone owes an apology to someone who supports acid attacks on women and wants marital rape to be legal.

    ” our left-liberal politics in general, and for putting them in the Hugo Awards in particular”

    Um, left-leaning authors aren’t exactly a new theme in the Hugos. Remember Ursula Leguinn? Gene Roddenberry? Phillip K. Dick? Isaac Asimov?

    So no, I don’t think anyone is going to apologize for giving an award to Asimov, Dick, Roddenberry, and Leguinn, least of all to Theodore Beale.

    “crimethink”

    You see the irony of calling something this after calling for us to apologize for most of sci-fi canon, right?

    “Sad Puppy voters might go somewhere else, but why should they? ”

    Because it’s preferable to trying to nullify the majority of votes and force them to vote for your candidates?

    Look, if the SPs could win a fair election, they already would have. If they game the election to make the awards meaningless, then what’s the point of winning? Why not just make a new award that actually means something?

    “I want Hugo Gernsback’s taste and John Campbell’s taste reflected in the Hugo and Campbell awards. Tall tales based on gadgets.”

    What would you call Ancillary Justice?

    Comment by Lee C. - April 28, 2015 10:37 am

  144. “Look, if the SPs could win a fair election, they already would have.”

    You still don’t know that. You have not – and cannot – exclude the possibility that the SPs are just now becoming activist.

    “What would you call Ancillary Justice?”

    How about “gimmicky story written to advance an SJW narrative”? After all, there’s a not-so-subtle bit of politics in a post-gender society (no, that’s not the gimmicky part; I’ll give her that one) with no gendered pronouns (still not the gimmicky part) translated into English as “she” (the gimmicky part). “She” is not the default English pronoun for someone whose gender is unspecified; for better or for worse, that’s “he”. Her book is, among other things, an extended poke in the eye at people who believe that the English language is to be used correctly.

    Comment by Jay Maynard - April 28, 2015 10:46 am

  145. “You have not – and cannot – exclude the possibility that the SPs are just now becoming activist.”

    Okay, then they don’t need to game elections any more, right?

    “for better or for worse, that’s “he””

    And you don’t think that might change 6000 years from now, as translated by megalomaniac AI?

    “an extended poke in the eye at people who believe that the English language is to be used correctly.”

    Sorry, but part of speculative writing, and writing in general, is playing with language and upturning modern sensibility.

    Look, if you think a pronoun or a subversion of gender roles is evidence of SJW agenda, I don’t know what to tell you. Sci-fi is about exploration, and trying to put limits on that exploration is, to put it mildly, counter-productive.

    Comment by Lee C. - April 28, 2015 10:53 am

  146. Also, Big Boys Don’t Cry on the SP slate uses “she” to refer to a genderless Bolo.

    Why is it that the same thing that makes you classify a successful author of whom Correia is jealous as an SJW is just fine and normal in the hands of someone who’s on your team?

    Comment by Lee C. - April 28, 2015 10:55 am

  147. ‘What would you call Ancillary Justice?’

    Bad space opera. No worse than Glen Larsen, no better. Good space opera requires some good gadget porn, and Leckie has no interest. Also takes some gosh-wow astronomy, at least at the Oh Be A Fine Girl Kiss Me level; again, not Leckie’s bag. Her book might as well be set in front of a piece of black velvet with sparkles. Also, a book about a space battleship would do well to include a good space battle, or at least some good smaller fights- Leckie ain’t good at action. Leckie would do well to build her chops imitating Niven to learn how to do puzzle stories with good toys; she could learn a lot from Correia or Drake on good fight scenes; NASA has lots of impressive astronomy pictures of evocative settings. Anything by Poul Anderson or David Drake is worth stealing from. And Riding the Red Horse just raised the bar for military stuff in SF. If Leckie’s battleship AI had paraphrased Martin van Creveld every other chapter -with gender correctness stuffed in, so you still know it’s Leckie- it would have been a vastly better book.

    Charles Strauss and Ken MacLeod and Michael Flynn write bad space opera too. Don’t know why. Their other stuff is good. David Drake is the only one doing good space opera these days. Vox Day and John Scalzi are both middling good, but if she stole from Scalzi she might just grab what’s bad, and I don’t see her having much appetite for VD.

    Comment by bruce99999999 - April 28, 2015 12:02 pm

  148. “gender correctness”

    Um, AI thousands of years in the future is not going to have a view of gender roles analogous to modern ones. If a book set in a vastly different universe doesn’t have unusual gender roles, then it is a victim of bad worldbuilding.

    So much of what SP wants amounts to punishing authors for imagination.

    Comment by Lee C. - April 28, 2015 12:09 pm

  149. Read a new Black Gate article on the culture war in fandom here: http://www.blackgate.com/2015/04/29/the-proxy-culture-war-for-the-soul-of-middle-earth/

    Comment by M Harold Page - April 29, 2015 4:31 am

  150. Imagination would not be using a female pronoun to refer to everyone. Imagination would be coming up with a new pronoun to refer to everyone. What Leckie did was just to poke people in the eye with her politics.

    Comment by Jay Maynard - April 29, 2015 8:26 am

  151. “What Leckie did was just to poke people in the eye with her politics”

    Then Kratman on the SP slate also poked people in the eye with his politics, by gendering Bolos.

    Have you noticed this double standard where exactly the same kinds of things that the SP authors do are suddenly wrongthink when they’re in works that have beaten Correia, Beale, and Torgerson?

    Also, I mean, if you think a pronoun choice is too political, then God help us if another Asimov, Dick, or Herbert comes up. Like, have you read Dune? It goes a hell of a lot further than pronoun choice.

    Comment by Lee C. - April 29, 2015 11:00 am

  152. ‘So much of what SP wants amounts to punishing people for imagination’

    SP wants good action writing. Which Leckie can’t do, yet. In a book about a battleship, you should make it an interesting battleship. Load every rift with ore. There’s a reason Vox Day can do a great mil-SF anthology, and Larry Correia can write great action scenes, and Leckie can’t. Ability, yes. But also some interest in battleships. And action scenes.

    I want good Science Fiction- the advance from the technique of Balzac to the technique of Wells. Wells had ‘advanced’ views on sex, but outside his marriage novels that wasn’t all he had. Heinlein’s sex views were out there, but he wasn’t just a sex writer. That’s all Leckie’s got. So far. Hope she improves.

    I haven’t read Kratman’s Bolo, but Laumer and Drake wrote good tank action stories. Leckie should steal from them. Or not use a battleship main character. An AI from a pacific version of the ship in Tuf Voyaging might have been within her range. If she had the chops for SF about biology.

    Comment by bruce99999999 - April 29, 2015 11:54 am

  153. “SP wants good action writing.”

    Then why did they support Opera Vita Aeturna?

    “Leckie should steal from them.”

    This sentiment right here shows why the SP approach is so bad for Sci-Fi.

    No, people shouldn’t be stealing from each other. They should be pushing out and creating more.

    Comment by Lee C. - April 29, 2015 3:14 pm

  154. ‘people shouldn’t be stealing from each other. They should be pushing out and creating more.’

    Read the ‘Plagiarism and Creation’ chapter of Summa Technologia, by Stanislaw Lem, the previous annoying person chucked from SFWA. Even today’s SF heretics are pathetic compared to the good old days.

    Comment by bruce99999999 - April 30, 2015 1:02 am

  155. […] Marko Kloos in Novel, Matthew Surridge in Best Fanwriter, Edmund Schubert in Short Form Editor, and Black Gate in Fanzine. (The latter two after the ballot was frozen, so their names will appear on the […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » The 2015 Hugo Nominations - April 30, 2015 11:36 am

  156. […] the five nominees, Black Gate withdrew and Elitist Book Reviews didn’t provide any content for the reader […]

    Pingback by Hugo Awards: Fanzine | Write. Sketch. Repeat. — Katya Czaja - May 21, 2015 2:56 pm

  157. […] https://www.blackgate.com/2015/04/19/black-gate-withdraws-from-hugo-consideration/ […]

    Pingback by The True History of the Great Puppy Kerfuffle of 2015 CE | Camestros Felapton - August 25, 2015 5:51 am

  158. […] ha vinto nientemeno che il Premio Hugo, uno dei più prestigiosi della fantascienza, si chiama Black Gate, che però non ha accettato il premio La rivista amatoriale che infine ha avuto il premio si chiama […]

    Pingback by La rivoluzione delle "fanzine" - Fantasy & Fantascienza - December 3, 2015 5:19 am

  159. […] Fanzine. Our choice to withdraw was informed by many of the same factors that led us to make the same decision last […]

    Pingback by David Gerrold’s Unrepentant ASStericks | The Arts Mechanical - May 4, 2016 12:34 am


Comments RSS  |  TrackBack URI

 

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.


Black Gate Home
This site © 2018 by New Epoch Press. All rights reserved.