Dear Conservatives: Don’t Let the Door Hit You On the Way Out

Dear Conservatives: Don’t Let the Door Hit You On the Way Out

Loncon 3 Hugo statue-smallThe results of the 2015 Hugo balloting are in. The results are a clear statement to conservatives: you’re not welcome in true SF fandom as long as you bitterly cling to your ideals.

When I read io9’s liveblog of the results this morning, I was dismayed, but not the tiniest bit surprised, to see NO AWARD after NO AWARD, all to the accompaniment of raucous cheering and Charlie Jane Anders’s gloating. This is exactly what I predicted after reading the clamor here at Black Gate and elsewhere on the net, and the surging tide of people saying “Vote NO AWARD on everything! Let’s show the Puppies they can’t get away with it!”

In the editor categories, as well as some of the others, there were plenty of nominees who have won Hugo awards in the past, and are considered at the top of their field. All went down beneath the NO AWARD tidal wave.

After the readers’ packets were distributed, there were comments to the effect “Eh, all these works are crap, anyway.” John O’Neill’s post this morning here at Black Gate reiterated this view after the results were announced: “Dear Puppies: Your Taste Sucks.”

There’s also comment from editors and the like around the net about how they read the works and found them worthy not of being tossed lightly aside, but rather hurled with great force.

So which is it? Is it a vote against slate tactics, or is it a vote against the specific works nominated?

There’s no way to tell, now. We can’t divine a voter’s intentions after the vote has been cast, and there’s no equivalent to exit polling here.

World of Ptavvs-smallBut does it really matter which it is, from the conservative viewpoint? I believe not. Either we’re told that the stories we favor are not good enough, or that we shouldn’t bother to nominate works we find worthy… because if we do, people will vote against them on principle no matter how good they may be.

Either way, we’re not welcome. Oh, our money’s good, to be sure, but our opinions and viewpoints? Go away, old white man.

Now, it would normally be possible to interpret the results in a charitable light: “the nominees weren’t that good, but please keep trying, and don’t use slate tactics.” I am of the firm belief that one should not ascribe to malice that which can adequately be explained by ignorance.

The problem here is that ignorance does not adequately explain the cheering and gloating over the results. Those reveal the true motives.

I’ve loved SF since my uncle gave me a copy of  Larry Niven’s World of Ptavvs for Christmas when I was 8. I rose to Internet fame as the Tron Guy because of a costume I made for the Masquerade of the second con I ever went to. My bookshelves are full of SF, classic and otherwise. My candidate for the best work of literature of all time is Robert A. Heinlein’s The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. I had thought of myself as an SF fan, welcome in fandom because I like the same things other SF fans do.

No more. It’s clear to me that a conservative cannot be accepted as an SF fan. One must kowtow to the leftist gods of diversity for its own sake and tolerance for only the approved subjects and equality of outcome, or else one is not a true SF fan. An author must be some oppressed minority to be considered worthy, and old white men need not apply.

Jay Maynard Tron Guy-smallDiversity? Great, as long as we all think in lockstep. Bring up diversity of thought and you’re immediately accused of only wanting to read stuff written by old white men.

I’m other things besides an SF fan. I’m a pilot, and a ham radio operator, and a computer geek, and more besides. I’d long thought that Worldcon was to SF fans what EAA’s Airventure at Oskhosh is to aviation geeks, and what the Dayton Hamvention is to hams: the premiere event of its fandom, to which any devotee should endeavor to go at least once in their life.

But I see no reason, now, to expend any effort at all to go to a Worldcon where those like me are plainly unwelcome. Oh, they’d happily take my money, but I’ve already had the experience of paying to go to a con where I was quickly made unwelcome — and that one didn’t require much in the way of travel. Paying a kilobuck to be miserable for a weekend is an experience I’d just as soon pass up.

Go ahead, fans. Hate Vox Day all you want. I am as repulsed by his misogynistic writings as you are (I’m not convinced he’s not simply trolling; to me, though, that is no excuse, as I consider trolls to be the scourge of the Internet). Don’t conflate me or the other Sad Puppies with him.

I am a conservative, and proud of it, but I also agree with the Left on subjects they hold near and dear to their hearts. As one example: I’m pro-choice. We’re not all monolithic in our beliefs.

But we’re all being treated that way, and repudiated by polite fannish society. The works we like are being held up as examples of our favorite writers’ inferiority and wrongthink to boot. “Your Taste Sucks”!

No, it doesn’t. It’s just different. You know, diverse? By saying it does, you lose any chance of convincing me otherwise.

Jay Maynard rose to Internet fame in 2004 for daring to show how he made a skin-tight Masquerade costume inspired by the movie TRON, but he’s been an SF fan for much longer than that. He works as a software developer, and lives in Fairmont, Minnesota with a roommate and upwards of 70 computers (they’ve both lost count).

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The link redirects to a post about soundtracks. Here is the correct one:


Yeah, folks going on twitter and chortling “Fans win! Nazis lose”…”The puppies arent our people”

Proves Correia’s initial premise to be the most factual reading of the whole mess.

Wrongfun should be banned.

Wrongfans should be driven from the herd.


>The results of the 2015 Hugo balloting are in. The results are a clear statement to conservatives: you’re not welcome in true SF fandom as long as you bitterly cling to your ideals.

I think the key word here is “bitterly”. People who do things bitterly are generally not enthusiastically welcome anywhere! Bitter people are mean no matter what their political views. Bitter liberals, bitter conservatives, bitter old ladies who happen to make delicious cookies; it’s just not worth being around.

However, I don’t think that just because the Hugo Awards went the way they went this weekend means that it’s all of SF Fandom saying anything close to “you’re not welcome”. I think it was more that a line got drawn in the sand and people felt they were forced to take a liberal vs. conservative stance even if they generally wouldn’t have thought about it. No one HAD to choose a side, obviously. Everyone could have simply voted as they would have regularly (and I’m sure I’m not the only one that did that), but alas people love to get caught up in us vs. them mentalities.

I was also dismayed when I saw the amount of NO AWARD victories. I suppose it could have worse and the entire Hugo ballot could have been NO AWARD. It’s especially silly to me because both sides have somehow managed to claim that NO AWARD is a victory to their side. For me that just underscores how dumb everyone has been about all of this. Both sides claiming to be sworn advocates of ACTUAL diversity while being real jerks to the others.

I don’t believe either side really took the other’s concerns into consideration. People love to react kneejerk defensively to anyone questioning what they believe in.

>After the readers’ packets were distributed, there were comments to the effect “Eh, all these works are crap, anyway.”

Honestly, I did find that this was a weak year nomination-wise. But there’ve been weak years in the past. I’m not well versed enough in everything that came out last year to really say that it was a weak year, but on that same thought I’m not well versed enough in everything that came out last year to say that it was a weak ballot because of slate voting from the Puppies.

It was my personal opinion that a lot of the stuff was weak. That being said that didn’t mean I NO AWARDed every category.

>But does it really matter which it is, from the conservative viewpoint? I believe not. Either we’re told that the stories we favor are not good enough, or that we shouldn’t bother to nominate works we find worthy… because if we do, people will vote against them on principle no matter how good they may be.

I think this is the exact wrong attitude to have (no offense, I can’t think of a less abrasive way to say that)!

People have complained that there has been a prejudice against certain types of works in the Hugo ballot of recent years. But the Hugo ballot is fan voted. All that means is that the people who like a certain type of SF aren’t voting as actively! I think a call to vote rather than a call to arms, which was how a lot of the Puppies stuff that I read came across as, would have been better received by all sides and may have resulted in less controversy.

Jeff Stehman

The problem here is that ignorance does not adequately explain the cheering and gloating over the results. Those reveal the true motives…

Don’t conflate me or the other Sad Puppies with him.

There was cheering and gloating when the ballots were released. If that didn’t make you a puppy, why would the same now be an indication of anything other than anti-puppidom?

Jeff Stehman

Sorry, missed my rabids in there. If that didn’t make you a rabid puppy, why is this an indication of anything other than anti-rabid-puppidom?



Sorry. I should have been more clear in my comment. I meant in recent years, not counting last night because obviously this year the voting wasn’t representative of how the normal fandom votes because there were people, as you say, voting just to slap puppies down.

Wild Ape

Milo Yiannopoulus stated pretty much all I thought of this:

Dear Sad Puppy,

The Hugo of your father and grandfather’s day is not the esteemed award it once was. Here are some numbers that you should think about. Yesterday’s vote which represents all of fandom was a mere 5950 votes from across the world and was heralded as a record breaking crowd. This is a good thing but keep in mind last year there were only 1,923. In 2014 Sad Puppy numbers were estimated at less than 100 people, and began this year at around 200, and now we have about 500 people in our ranks. The Rabid Puppies started off with a little over 300 and have roughly 550 now. I got these numbers from this source: I think they are probably close but we won’t know for certain until the results are released. That means that there are about 2500 hardcore Truefans who voted for No Award, about 1000 neutrals who voted for whoever and about 1400 Truefan lights who might have voted for a puppy or two (GRRM’s crowd).

Now that might be daunting but consider that we started off with a handful and now we have about 20%. We recruited with our eyes closed. There was no campaign or get out the vote drive on our end. The CHORFs were out in full force to whip people in line and drive them to the Hugo. Make no mistake, they put a lot of energy into this for months. This is all they have to show for it? That is the best they’ve got? Whereas our side in some catagories were scattered around 4 or 5 choices while theirs were not. Half of them voted No Award and the other half voted whatever. In many areas the vote from the Puppies put it over the top. Mathematically we were fighting an uphill battle.

Now, hands down, we beat them up bad when we got the nominations. The squeals from the CHORFs was genuine fear and pain. They honestly feared that their precious little club was going to be swept away. They beat the drums and whipped their side into battle and we lost on their counter attack. Here is the thing: they think it is over. They think we are done. Most of that asterix crap was about humiliating us. The No Award was to make them look dominating and our cause hopeless. They actually believe that we are going to curl up into the fetal position and quit because that is what they would do. What they don’t know is just how angry they made us. What we heard wasn’t their jeering and crowing when “No Award” was sounded. What we heard was: “bring more puppies”.

Look at the various conventions around and it becomes obvious that the Hugo is irrelevant in comparison. Not more than a week ago they held the Dota 2 World Championships. If you don’t know what that is, it is a team computer game that is not the most popular game out there. The fans gathered over $17 million in prize money and streamed the show to over 250 thousand people and had nearly 2 million views and seen in over 400 movie theaters. They had a crowd four times the size of Sasaquan. Worldcon is a joke by comparison to anything in the science fiction and fantasy fields. The comic industry is dying from the same SJWs that are destroying our genre and yet Comic Con is mainstream and huge by comparison. It is so insignificant that Hollywood didn’t even bother to send a representative for the Guardians of the Galaxy or Orphan Black crew. That is pretty pathetic. In contrast, Hollywood capitalizes on the comic and gaming cons. 6 thousand people is pretty much a waste of their time.

The blueblood Truefans have not opted to bring the Hugo to the wide public. They have kept it small and expensive on purpose. Remember, the rule changes are designed to protect the old status quo which we have ripped to pieces. When the audience stood up last night when asked who is a writer or editor or whatever nearly the entire audience stood up. If they had asked how many fans were there it would have been a handful in the audience at best. We were looking at the publishing industry last night and not fandom. Comic Con and Gen Con look like fandom. While Dota brought 250K streaming Worldcon brought in 3K. What we accomplished this year is to go up the curtain that hid the Wizard of Oz CHORF and ripped it back and exposed it for the sham that it is. They were the ones that burned down the Hugo, not Vox Day. I’m telling you, they came off like the elitist bullies that they are. When Toni Weisskopf walked off it was after a barrage of crap hurled at her. The nominees and the asterix thing looked nice until you looked at the intent of their message. As John O’Niell said, “your taste sucks”. They were about their jacked up elite club and identity politics.

Worldcon was a giant suck fest. David Gerrold looked like he went to a Good Will shelter to get his suit. Tennis shoes? Seriously? And he never buttoned the jacket. Did they let him drink before the show? And I’ve seen high school graduations scripted better—I’m serious too. The awardees were stumbling into each other, there was no picture moment and the hosts and the help looked confused and jacked up like the script. Did they at least practice it in a dry run? The skit was telltale of how the night would be. I felt bad for the kid that designed the award because it looked pretty good but it was all wasted on No Award. It was awful to see Toni Weisskopf walk away and how humiliating it must have been for the asterix award. Sure there were highlights. I think the best was Ken Lui who actually talked about humans getting together on science fiction and why that was important. It came too little too late.

And be glad that the Rabid Puppies ran a slate. Check out that post put above on who would have won: So what if they No Awarded Best Related Work. It knocked Anita Sarkeesian off the list. Is there any doubt that the hate weasel of the femin-nazis would not have won the Hugo? And best editor go to Patrick Nielsen-Hayden—AGAIN? Or John Scalzi win AGAIN? All those three were bumped by the Rabid Puppies. Scalzi is not any where near the writer of Heinlein, Azimov, or Philip K. Dick caliber. I think there you will find the Tor editor’s true anger about the Rabid Puppies. Way to go Rabids!

Jay, I’m not down, I’m done. I’m not out of the fight though. Most here hate me anyway. When John says: “the Puppies have proven incapable of recommending fiction of any kind of quality, and certainly quality that rises to the level of Hugo worthiness. “ and about the BG Hugo nomination “And we didn’t feel particularly honored by it. It was like being asked out by the town drunk.” I can pretty much tell you that BG doesn’t like me or respect the support I give much. I guess I embarrass them. It is like you said Jay, our money is good but it is clear that we are not welcome here or at the Hugos. I’d like to apologize to my friends back home who I brought here. You guys can laugh about it later like we did when I made that first batch of home brewed banana flavored beer, or that short cut by Red Fish Bay.

Good luck Jay.

Jeff Stehman

I guess it’s too much to ask for the SJWs to act with the class George R. R. Martin, among others encouraged them to show.

Was it too much for the puppies to act with the class that GRRM encouraged them to show? Ah, but you don’t want to be painted with that broad brush. So why do you use it yourself? 3,500 in one stroke?

Wild Ape

@Jeff—I stood with GRRM against the more vocal Sad Puppies when it wasn’t popular to do so. When it came time to vote I read the selections and voted as I saw they fell out. The whole Sad Puppy strategy failed to get awards or many nominations just as GRRM failed to call the left to reason and just treat it like any other year. The Puppies just want to advance their fiction is all. Getting them to the ball game is one thing, winning the prize is another. I think the spirit of the slate voting is more important in the final than the nomination process. Do you expect a bunch of Dr. Who fans NOT to vote for a Dr. Who nomination? Slates on a small scale have been around for a long time. I would expect them in the nominating process. In the finals I would expect people to be less partisan and more in tune with the spirit of the Hugo. Apparently, that is when it is okay to slate vote a No Award because you didn’t get your way.

Jeff, it will be very difficult for both sides to set aside partisan ship now. Slates work so you can count on them happening. There was absolutely no good will shown towards the Puppies from the get go.

John ONeill

> When John says: “the Puppies have proven incapable of recommending fiction of any kind of quality, and certainly quality that
> rises to the level of Hugo worthiness. “ and about the BG Hugo nomination “And we didn’t feel particularly honored by it. It
> was like being asked out by the town drunk.” I can pretty much tell you that BG doesn’t like me or respect the support I give much.


Sorry if I hurt your feelings in all this. I hope it doesn’t come as a shock to you that I’m critical of the Puppies’ taste. We declined a Hugo nomination back in April, rather than be associated with this effort… I should have thought that made my feelings pretty clear.

Still, I think there’s much harsher things that can be said about someone than that I don’t like their taste. But that certainly doesn’t mean we don’t value you at Black Gate.

In all the post-Awards rhetoric, the comment I’ve found to be most poignant was from BG author James Enge, who said this on Facebook:

> Let me say this about the puppies — rabid, sad, or otherwise: they were right to act, to participate in something that
> mattered to them. Fandom was caught napping on the nominations, but not on the final voting. We should rise to the
> puppies’ challenge (and example) and participate in the nominations for next year’s.

Hear, hear. Vox Day may have called for James’ skull — in a perfect example of the kind of loathsome language the Puppies seemed to delight in (, but here at Black Gate, I’m proud that we kept things on a higher plane than that. You were a big part of that discussion.

John ONeill

Thank you, Jay. James is a friend of mine.

Wild Ape

Hell John, your taste in fiction sucks as bad as mine considering how many books you recommended I liked. Keep sucking it up! Fandom as it exists now, based on the Hugo voting, may think that our fiction stinks. That’s okay. I’m not jazzed by what they have put out these last few years. Back then I sat on the sidelines and bitched and that action got exactly zero stories that I like nominated. This year I voted and I’m not sorry that I did. I broke ranks with the Sad Puppies here and there during the nominations but I don’t think I was wrong to do so.

The voting population might just shift and considering how poorly writers were treated I don’t think y’all are winning over new hearts and minds. Today identity politics might have trumped story, but sitting around and crying foul is a losing strategy.

Besides, I learned a lot this year. You have a huge division in your own ranks. It is good to see many think like GRRM, Horton, and the Sad Puppy leaders that the final ballot should be an informed vote (ie read the story) during the finals. The majority are breaking ranks and voting for what they think when they get to people that are worthy of the Hugo. I did. I saw something that I liked better and voted. Toni Weisskopf nearly won out over the No Award crowd. It was sad to see a decent person with good work get tossed under the bus but…the majority of fandom thought otherwise and not with the principles that GRRM highlighted. They clapped and cheered very vigorously when she lost.

I know that slate voting for nominations is vulgar for the No Award crowd. Still, I think partisan voting isn’t a bad thing in nominations but in the final it should be broken down to what is and what is not Hugo worthy and slates are bad for the finals. No one gets what they want that is just the nature of things. Usually there are four losers and not five. Fandom votes and history is made and most felt that a slate was acceptable for the finals.

Yes John, I was hurt by the comment:

“And we…”
All of Black Gate?

“didn’t feel particularly honored by it.”
Oops, that wasn’t what I wanted to have happen. You guys work–for free–for me and other viewers here at Black Gate. If I had known y’all’s feelings going in I would not have done that. I have nothing but respect for guys. I like Nick Oz, Elisabeth Cady, Sean Maclaughlin, Derek Kunsten, Goth Chick, Bob Byrne, Howard Andrew Jones, Marie Bilbideau, and you John and others. When Sarah Avery won an award I was proud as hell for her. I got my buddies to check you out and a couple of them tweet or post on Facebook because we think you guys are boss.

“It was like being asked out by the town drunk.”

Ah hell. Now, I was thinking that you could be talking about Vox Day and just Vox Day, then again, you could be talking about Rabid and Sad Puppies. This could be a metaphor for a loathsome person. Then again, I make some crazy posts here. My humor isn’t always funny to some. Maybe I come off as drunk.

I do know that just because I’m a fan it doesn’t mean that the person I like, likes me or wants to be BFF. Still, if I asked you out to the prom John you or whoever at BG might just say yes. I am a lot more charming in person than I am in print. You might get over the whole town drunk thing and be happy to go.

I try to think long view about things. Respect is earned and I’ll either gain it or I won’t. This Sad Puppy thing I look in the long view too. It is a movement in progress and it isn’t perfect. Many of the Puppies complain about how the left treat them but then do the same right back. It will take time to work itself out.

I’m looking at Christopher Kastenschmidt and the Elephant and Macaw Banner series. So far it has been some of the best sword and sorcery I’ve read in a long time. Now, if my taste in fiction sucks, this one is like a maelstrom of suckage. I mean—this one could draw an egg through a thin garden hose suck. It is sure to be my pick for 2016 short story/novella. The Sad Puppies will be wagging their tails over this sucky story.

I’ve got another novel by Richard Tongue in the Battlecruiser Alamo series. Now there are so many in this series printed this year alone it will be difficult to see which one sucks the most. I will find the worst though.

You know, it would be cool if you threw old Ape a bone and let me send you a book review to consider. Considering how much you and I have the same sucky taste in fiction you might be won over.

So, military sci-fi, sword and sorcery, with maximum suckage!

Jeff Stehman

Conservatives are used to being demonized, though, and we…

Jay, you’ve got a lot to learn about people, and unless you do, you’ll never leave the bitterness behind. Peace be with you.

There was absolutely no good will shown towards the Puppies from the get go.

Wild, perhaps they should have asked for it at the get go.


And liberals haven’t been demonized for just as long, if not longer?


Jay – the reason conservatives are villified is that they’ve deliberately and repeatedly associated themselves with people who are outright vile.

When it comes down to it, people choose possibly-wrong-headed economic policies (Obama, Clinton) over child molesters (Huckabee’s allies), hypocrites (Wiener), violent thugs (survivalists and neo-fascist types) and those who can’t relate to other people (much of the Tea Party…or the Puppies). Conservative is a bad word for many in the US now, and conservatives have no one to blame but themselves.

I am a highly religious person who does not support most of the liberal party platform and believes firmly in fiscal responsibility. But I’m not going to associate myself with what most people think of when they head ‘conservative’, because that’s not what I stand for at all.

Re: the slate, I’ve tried most of the Puppy authors and I think they’re pretty bad writers. It’s not that I don’t like action adventures, rockets, etc. Those writers are just bad. Try Andre Norton, Timothy Zahn, or any of a hundred great writers to see why people chose No Award over the Puppy authors. There’s no comparison.


Sigh. *hear* ‘conservative’. Typos are a pit.

Also – it always struck me as odd that in a genre completely focused on possible futures, innovations and how those would change society that Puppies insist on sticking to old tropes and formulas. The whole Puppy complaint just seemed so anti-sci-fi. What, you mean as society and technology has changed the predictive, furturistic fiction genre has changed to? How could this be! There was very much a get-off-my-lawn feel to the Puppy posts I read that felt much more appropriate to someone grousing about how historical novels kept getting their period wrong than to talking about sci-fi. It was incredibly weird to this life-long sci-fi fan.


If the pups were all wild-eyed lefties the slate would have been greeted with the same lack of enthusiasm. It didn’t help that VD was hovering around with his usual, um, style, but the problem with the slate is that it was a slate, not the personal bias of the people behind it.

Wild Ape

@Jeff—I think it was the Navajo neighbor I had who said that beauty is harmony. He was pretty wise. That goofy Hari Krishna stuff with Silverberg was a site better than the little jabs with asterix and skits about phasering dark lords. Listening to Ken Liu talk about humanity was more inspiring than all the little snarks coming from Gerrold. Even Chu was professional enough to make neutral remarks and leave his politics to his rainbow tie. That is how it is done. Act like professionals and not school yard bullies. That makes harmony and right now praising people who promote it will do more good than anything.

Look, I have no idea why the Truefans feel victimized. They won. They have been winning for years. I don’t know if they can be happy and have harmony without extinction of the wrongfans. Truefans don’t feel that we belong in the precious Hugo world. That is kinda sad if you ask me. In the Sad Puppy world there is room for all. We may not like your ideas or your fiction but we are not calling for your extinction or your exclusion. Therein is the difference. It’s too bad if you don’t think we belong. We don’t plan on going away. If you want harmony play nice.


Jay, don’t feel like the Lone Ranger. So, the pigs kept us from winning by scorching the awards. Let them cheer. John Scalzi won nothing, not even for his career peak Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded. If you Were a Dinosaur won nothing. NK Jemison wasn’t on the ballot.

Meanwhile, VD’s recommendation Wesley Chu won. Congratulations for a real SF novel winning the Hugo. I pray it will happen more often. VD had nominations he deserved for Riding the Red Horse. ‘The Hot Equations’ was nominated for setting a bar for SF that will be referenced for decades. Eric Raymond got a Campbell nomination for the most promising new author, which he is. Congratulations to them all.

If VD had won anything the pigs would have lost big. They celebrate a retreat.

Best Hugo in decades.

Nick never Nick

I think that the applause for No Award will make perfect sense, if you look at it from another perspective. Suppose that the following conditions are generally true:
– that past Hugo awards have fairly reflected fan voting
– that past Hugo awards weren’t gamed by slates
– and that a lot of fans liked them.

Then the following happens:
– a group of conservatives and another group of racist fascists (if that’s not a fair description of Vox Day, you’ll have to explain why) each publicly release slates of militaristic, stereotypically conservative fiction.
– their slates are coordinated and overlap heavily; the conservative group accepts the fascist group.
– some categories are completely filled with these nominees; the quality is so low as to be risible.
– the conservatives and the fascists shout for months that the only ethical thing to do is to read the fiction that they have chosen, using a method of cliquish voting never before accepted by fans, and choose which is least nauseating, and give a Hugo to that one.

And the great mass of fans, who have accepted ways of behaving in their subculture, but have never confronted a coordinated assault on their norms before, don’t know how everyone will react to this. Why don’t they know? Because they are unorganized, unlike the conservatives and their fascist allies — and all they have to guess on what will happen is a set of group norms that have never been articulated in the past.

The cheering for No Award happened after months of being told that they were a minority, the fiction they had voted for in the past was crap, that it was produced by slates, and that there was an uncounted majority of people who LIKED the crap that the conservatives and fascists had gamed onto the ballot.

That applause broke out when everyone realized it wasn’t true.

As for you not being welcome, well — both authors that you mentioned as being excellent have won Hugos. The Hugo for Best Novel this year went to a novel that can be classified in the ‘hard’ science fiction bent. And, the fans are voting for a new system of voting that will make slates fairly pointless. Since this whole thing began with the conservatives and the fascists insisting that slates were used in the past, and theirs was just a rival slate, then everyone should be happy that now these will be diluted on BOTH sides. So the fiction you like can get its fair hearing.

But if you don’t want people to clap when your fiction loses, don’t game the system, and don’t ally yourself with fascists.

Amy Bisson

To me the essence of Puppygate is twofold:
First, in an effort to find works to fit their narrow worldview, the puppies sites (especially rabid, but also sad), some of the recommendations were for extremely poorly written material. Some of the recommendations were for genuinely good material (I was glad to see Guardians of the Galaxy win Best Dramatic Presentation: Long Form even though it was a puppy choice)but there are so many categories, and so many works on the ballot that it would have been extremely difficult for any one fan to read all the stories, novels, blogs, etc., and watch all the tv episodes and movies. So once people noticed that some of the material on the ballot was subpar and in some cases utter dreck, that it became easier to focus on those works not on the puppy slates.
Second was that the nominating process seemed almost like a cult-like follow-the-leader mentality. Every year, lots of writers, lots of bloggers, lots of fans post their own recommendations around the time that the nominations open. Usually those are merely one person’s opinions and are treated as such. Even with popular writers like GRRM, who have extremely loyal fanbases, their recommendations do not automatically make the ballot. When every single recommendation by rabid puppies and almost every recommendation of sad puppies made the ballot, that made a lot of people uncomfortable. it raised the question of whether there were people buying memberships just so they could nominate specific works because VD or someone else told them to, or whether some of the puppies bought multiple memberships just to skew the nominating process. Having one or two websites control the nominations to that degree looked fishy.

The essence of Puppygate was not liberal vs. conservative. It was all about a very few people having too much control over the nominating process. As long as fans still read Heinlein, Nivin, Weber, and Card, among others, conservatives will continue to have a voice in science fiction fandom. Most science fiction is nonpolitical alnyways.


How many decades has it been since “liberal” became a curse word and people to be demonized by conservatives? Was it the 80’s or earlier?
The Rabid Puppy followers is a larger contingent than the Sad Puppies and they cheerfully admit not reading the works they are voting for and just showing up to stick it to the SJWs, and since when did fighting for Social Justice – truth, justice, and the American Way, become bad things?
So, boohoo Jay Maynard, cry me a river. I am glad I No Awarded two of the story categories where all the stories were not worthy. Yes, I voted for a Puppy nominee in the other. I also voted for some of the editors although I do not think enough information is provided to cast a very informed vote.
BTW WildApe, Milo is biased and not very informed, really try reading the Wired article or even the Wall Street Journal report for better balance and someone not catering to your biases.


Sorry I dont agree.
The reason is: Most Fans dont know what political spectrum their authors have. I certainly didnt, not before the Puppy slates began.

There was a backlash against SLATES, Im sure of that (Guardians of the galaxy still won though), but not against conservatives. Many who voted agianst puppy slates did so, because of the flame war and the feeling that the puppies gamed the system. Not because they are conservatives. Much of the glooming was more about being happy, that the rabif opuppies didnt win anything and that this “gaming” didnt work.

I also appose the idea, that your political view qualifies/disqualifies you for certain books. Do all conservatives like the same books? Do all liberals love the same books? I highly doubt that.
Alert: A bit of generalisation: I think this whole “liberal/conservative is a very-US-thing. In Europe the divide is much smaller, and hasnt spread to cultur phanomens yet (gamersgate is much quieter here too).


Small addendum: Its my believ that the backlash wouldnt have been so big if not for the the rabid puppies.
A few conservative nominees wouldnt have stirred so much backlash. But the rabid puppy rhetoric and full slates just with rabid puppy nominees, leaving no space for “normal” ones? That certainly tipped the scale and made a lot of people angry.
Vox Day suceeded in trolling there and damaged the sad puppy cause and the Hugos.

So its strange that you leave him out of the blaming for the result.


Conservatives are one thing. That is not a problem. There are lots of conservatives that have won Hugos and are will liked. But now we are talking about the puppies.

Transhuman and Subhuman by John C Wright was placed on BOTH rabid and sad puppy slates. In that work we can read:

“If you doubt me, ask a partisan of sexual liberation why copulating with one’s adult sister (with her consent of course), or with a menstruating fourteen year old (with the parent’s consent, of course), or with the corpse of one’s wife (with her permission granted in her last will and testament, of course), or with an ape (assuming she gave consent in sign language to the best of her ability, of course; or her owner gives consent on her behalf) in each case where actual coupling takes place, is evil, sick and perverted, whereas sexually stimulating the private parts of a person of one’s own sex, a situation where no copulation can take place, is nonetheless a cherished and romantic fulfillment of utterly natural longings which law, custom, society, public opinion, and the Roman Catholic Church must not only tolerate, but support, applaud, and approve. Ask them.”

This is rampant homophobia. And the work was also full of rampant sexism and misogyny. Still, the puppies of BOTH slates nominated this. Still, 253 persons wanted this as their first choice for a Hugo. Still, 868 persons found this Hugo worthy.

This tells me one of two things:

a) The puppies have a high acceptance of homophobia and misogyny.


b) The puppies didn’t even read what they were first nominating and then voting for.

Neither speaks good of the puppies. In NO site of the puppies have I read any criticism about these parts of the nominated work. They think these vile and bigotted attacks are acceptable.

So no, it is not about conservatives. It is a about a small minority of conservatives who have a high acceptance of misogyny and homophobia.

If you don’t want to be conflated with Theodore Beale, why do you and the other sad puppies still want to be conflated with Wright?

Wild Ape

“So its strange that you leave him out of the blaming for the result.”

Dude, I was standing with Jay before all this. I tried to play nice with you people. It didn’t work. Look at what you and others have said about us. You offer NOTHING that would make me want to stay focused on playing nice.

1. Your side hates us because we are conservative. You don’t even think we are ethical or people worthy of civility. In order for us to be acceptable to you we must convert to be like you.
2. Our literature is unworthy in your eyes and therefore it doesn’t matter whether or not it is read or not. It comes from us therefore it is wrong.
3. You don’t like Vox Day. Even though he is not my leader or does not speak for me you treat me just like you do him. In fact, you treated Larry Correia just as poorly. So, we could be led by Mary Poppins and you would still hate us.
4. You want us to all to stop using slates because they are unfair. Well, at the beginning of this I was seeing your point and feeling sorry that we had been so successful. I just wanted ONE to get nominated. Instead the Rabids were highly successful and you treated us all like crap and the whole thing as not legit. But when you guys do the same it is okay because it is on a small scale. Well, I SEE NO REASON NOT USE SLATES. Congrats, you’ve converted my thinking. I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t so, screw you. Anita Sarkaasian and Scalzi did not get a nomination. That is a win and the slate did it.

“All year long we were told that we were a minority”

You still are, but not at Worldcon. Enjoy yourselves and keep gloating. We will be back with friends. We started off last year with a 100, this year we started with 200 and finished with about 500. I found out that from the circle of my friends only one voted. The rest forgot or whatever. Hey, it is like you said, we are better organized and I promise you that all my buddies and more will be there in 2016.

6. If you No Award every Hugo catagory for every year—-I DON’T CARE. I don’t like your tree humping, hug ISIS, white men suck fiction so I figure it all breaks even.
7. When you come to your senses and you accept our rightful place along side all of fandom as equals then we can let go of slates and mean talk and such.

Jay is about all you have left of reasonable Sad Puppies. Jay, I feel for you man. I don’t know why you want to embrace them. They don’t like you. They think you are a joke.


“In NO site of the puppies have I read any criticism about these parts of the nominated work. ”


In internet debate the sides rarely reflect on their position. But the anti-puppys at least partially try to review some of work on the slates. I didnt see any reflection on part of the puppys thinking (if not “What did we do wrong?”) What could be improved so we actually reach our goals? Did we make mistakes? After all 2 writers refused to be nominated. Did anybody reflect on what that meant for the puppies?
Sure its easier to blame the other side, but I would at least hoped that the sad puppies (the rabid ones are just trolls anyway) try to reflect instead of just deflect.

Guardians of the Galaxy won. A puppy nominee. It is possible for the sad puppies to nominate something that can win. Why not build on that? Maybe the work was not as good as hoped?


@ Wild Ape
Your quoting me out of context. Amy wrote that the only reason “No award” was voted was because “we” hate conservatives(*) I said that were several reasons, Vox Day among them. I did not put them as a follower of Vox Day.

(*) (Side note: There is a joke in Europe: In the US there are only conservatives and Hardcore Conservatives 😉 So please dont put “us” all in the same boat if you dont want to pu in the same boat as VD)


Wild Ape:

“I don’t like your tree humping, hug ISIS, white men suck fiction so I figure it all breaks even.”

What book are you talking about? Was it on the long list?


There was an op-ed piece in the August 9th NY Times that might be relevant here. In a piece titled, “Jon Stewart, Patron Saint of Liberal Smugness,” Gerard Alexander, an associate professor of politics at the University of Virginia, opined, “Many liberals, but not conservatives, believe there is an important asymmetry in American politics. These liberals believe that people on opposite sides of the ideological spectrum are fundamentally different. Specifically, they believe that liberals are much more open to change than conservatives, more tolerant of differences, more motivated by the public good and, maybe most of all, smarter and better informed. The evidence for these beliefs is not good. Liberals turn out to be just as prone to their own forms of intolerance, ignorance and bias. But the beliefs are comforting to many. They give their bearers a sense of intellectual and even moral superiority. And they affect behavior. They inform the condescension and self-righteousness with which liberals often treat conservatives.”

Rick Katze

As somebody who leans right in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I have to take exception to some of your comments.

I voted at Sasquan giving certain categories, but not all, No Award as my first choice where I found the written fiction not to be of Hugo quality. I attempted to read everything and found that there was much that I just could not read.

I have edited 6 volumes of Poul Anderson fiction for NESFA Press among other titles. So yes, I like well-written space opera and adventure, the prime consideration being well-written. Sadly what was voted en bloc did not meat this high standard.

Rick Katze

Obviously meant “meet”, not “meat.”

Did not mean to end the comment.

So write better and stop complaining that you lost simply because you are conservatives.

I hear enough of that from liberals who utter the same comment.


First of all: Thanks for the discussion Jay!
Then: I admit I dont know the history of the Puppy (the former slates). As I say before: Outside the US this divide is much less noisy.
Which probably is part of the problem. The Hugos are awarded in WORLD Con and while many, many fans (and authors) are obviously from the US, there is abig part of fandom outside the US. And the “Liberal vs Conservative” is less of a dvide for the political lines are drawn different anywhere (A “Conservative” has different goals in Sweden, in the US or in Turkey) and perhaps, perhaps, perhaps, in other country people are more used to coalitions so the animosity might not be as stark?
But that is leaving me with the question: Why making the Hugo Awards just about US politics and fans? About the _American_ way? I neither know your “Tron picture” (and dont want to google it after your comment) nor the politcial agendas of many authors and I frankly dont want to.
Is that bad from your viewpoint? I never thought that my view as fandom as something universal is liberal but there you go 😉
What Im saying is: I still believe most “No award”-voters backlashed against the slates _as such_ not against a political agenda (esp. the Non-US-Voters I believe, but thats just a hinch).

BTW: the “Liberal” party in Germany is something very different from a “left” party. I just mention this because I guess it fits the point IM trying to make.


Brandon Sanderson doesn’t seem to draw any of this anti-conservative venom, and it’s not like he’s in the closet about it. Nobody hissed at him at his packed reading when he referred to himself as a “white Mormon dude”. I wasn’t present at his Magic the Gathering tournament but I doubt it happened there either.

Sarah Avery

Engage in reasoned discourse with? I’ll do that with anyone, as long as that’s what I get back, and so far, that’s what I’ve gotten here.

Jay, thank you for sticking with this. My points of disagreement and sideways/otherness from your view are expanding to the point where it would probably be more courteous of me to write my own post, rather than to go on at so much length in your comment thread. When I put that post together, I hope you and some of your right-leaning fellow-travelers will be part of the conversation.

Wild Ape, thank you for the kind words about the award, and I do hope you’ll continue to be part of the BG community. There are very few Puppy supporters I feel that I can ask for clarification when I see declarations that just don’t make sense to me. Often, I go right on disagreeing, but I’d rather be right than wrong about what it is I’m disagreeing with.

Wild Ape

@Rick and peer—-Look, there is nothing wrong with voting no award if you think the fiction does not merit a Hugo. Your opinion and vote count as much as mine does. I also don’t give a rip if you vote no award because it has some sort of Puppy or conservative taint. In fact, I don’t expect civility from the anti-Puppies at all but it would be nice if they were civil. I have heard several comments and such on why some work was not as good as the puppy work. Just because Phil Sandifer says something does not make it golden and true in everyone’s eyes. Personally, I wouldn’t trust his answer if I asked him what time it was. I don’t think he could pour piss out of a boot even if the directions were written on the bottom.

@Hampus—-I didn’t vote for or read the entire “Transhuman and Subhuman” essay. I thought the work was basically fundamental Christian perspective from a sector that I disagree with philisophically for the most part. I did however read Anita Sarkasian’s work and I am delighted that that piece of garbage never saw the light of a Hugo. She is a liar and makes a living playing the victim of sexual politics. She is a fraud. Whatever faults that “Transhuman and Subhuman” had I would gladly rate it better than hers. It did get a lot of votes. I know that a lot of Puppies are tired of getting ramrodded (no pun intended) by the GLBT community and that vote could be blowback. I don’t know.

The thing is Hampus, I have nothing to apologize for being a conservative. There is nothing in my philosophy that dehumanizes people.

“What book are you talking about? Was it on the long list?”

You’ve heard of hyperbole right? Or satire? But if you really want a list:

“Poison Fairies” by Luca Tarenzi versus “The Toxic Spell Dump” by Harry Turtledove. Poison Fairies is already being buzzed about. I read it. It is okay but nothing compared to “The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump” which got no notice at all.

“Throne of the Crescent Moon” by Saladin Ahmed versus “The Desert of Souls”by Howard Andrew Jones. Saladin Ahmed is a clown and the story is so-so but because he is who he is this got wide attention. “The Desert of Souls was much better but received little notice.

It really doesn’t matter. I plan to keep fighting for what I like. I don’t care if you no award it or vote it down or lie about it or give what I support its due. NOTHING that you have put forward has convinced me to go back to playing nice nice with y’all. When I do, it just gets worse.

kim philby

isn’t vernor vinge right-wing libertarian?

kim philby

but frankly you could tell from vinge’s work, especially short stories, what is his political stance. that didn’t stop him from winning two hugos.

i think that the main premise of puppies drive, that they are being kept away from awards because of their politics, is simply not true. when i look at the past winners and nominees i see diverse lot of politics and aesthetics and not political uravnilovka you claim. it also goes without saying that i think it is somewhat preposterous to claim that jo walton winning hugo will end american way of life.

but, i agree with you mr. maynard on one point and that is that card is unlikely to win one more hugo. maybe you should have saved your strength to fight for recognition of the fact that cards work deserves recognition no matter what his politics are.

of course, it wouldn’t be the first time that one SF author was ostracized due to his or hers perceived political beliefs. for example stanislaw lem was cast out of SFWA after paranoid and feverish campaign that claimed, among other things, that he was a member of that society in order to subvert american writers to communism.

when bemused lem commented on those charges he remarked that:…the letters published in “fanzines” show that SF books are often merely an excuse, a possibility of mutual contact for people that are socially alienated and frustrated, and for whom being part of “fandom” means a vital compensation.[end of quote]

so yes we fans are obviously, if puppies affair proves anything, still alienated and frustrated but let’s at least make sf books a good excuse instead of “merely an excuse”. we can judge books on their literary merits and not if someone is a clown.

Nick never Nick

It sounds as if you are arguing that it is just a remarkable coincidence that Vox Day and the Sad Puppies released very similar slates, back to back. Do you really think that is the case?

Ideas aren’t responsible for who believes in them, of course — but you’re responsible for your allies. Do you remember Torgerson’s quote about how Correira is Churchill, Torgerson is FDR, and Vox Day is Stalin?

Who did Churchill, FDR, and Stalin fight against? That’s what Torgerson called the fans whose votes carried the day yesterday. A man who says things like that attracts cheers when he goes down. Does he speak for you?

Also — if you accept my description of why people would cheer, then it isn’t schadenfreude. It’s happiness at finding out the fan community is what people thought it was.

Amy Bisson

As far as Card winning Hugos, he has won 2 or 3 (Ender’s Game, Speaker for the Dead, and possibly for a writing book). Not sure if Weber has ever won a Hugo or not. Nivin is fairly conservative and I’m pretty sure he won at least one Hugo, for Ringworld and another for “Neutron Star”. Granted, those various awards were between the 60’s and the 80’s, but it still proves it is possible.

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