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Black Gate Nominated For a Hugo Award

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

Hugo Award skinny-smallBlack Gate has been nominated for a Hugo Award, in the category of Best Fanzine.

This is the second year in a row that Black Gate has been nominated. We declined our nomination in 2015, since it was largely a result of the notorious Rabid Puppy slate created by Vox Day.

As expected (since a paid membership for Worldcon, required to vote for the 2015 Hugos, also allows you to nominate in 2016), the Rabid Puppies also had a disproportionate impact on the nominations this year. Vox Day published his slate of recommendations in March (again including Black Gate for Best Fanzine) and, as he noted on his blog earlier today, once again his recommendations thoroughly dominated the final ballot.

Well done, all of you Rabids. Very well done. According to Mike Glyer, the Rabid Puppies placed 64 of its 81 recommendations on the final ballot… You understand, as the other side does not, that there is no end to cultural war. They still think we can be intimidated, or shamed, or guilted somehow, because those are the tactics that have worked for their kind for decades, if not generations.

But we are immune to such things. Let them scoff, let them minimize, let them posture, let them cry, it makes absolutely no difference what they do or what they say. There is nothing that they can do except vote No Award and change the rules….

Are you not entertained?

The winners will be announced at MidAmericon II, the 74th World Science Fiction Convention, to be held in Kansas City MO, on August 17-21, 2016.

27 Comments »

  1. Yes, another bad day for the Hugos.

    I nominated Black Gate this year, as I’m sure many non-RPs did, just for the record.

    Comment by Rich Horton - April 27, 2016 9:23 am

  2. It’s Hugo time . . . again.

    Ugh (wimper)

    Comment by James McGlothlin - April 27, 2016 9:28 am

  3. Thanks Rich!

    Comment by John ONeill - April 27, 2016 9:34 am

  4. I always thought I will never understand, what the rabid puppies want to archieve.
    The comments now show me: Neither do they.

    Im a bit sad for the sad puppies, which apperntly didnt have much impact with their recommendation lists (at least were it didnt overlap), so their voice will be missing this year.

    Comment by peer - April 27, 2016 2:08 pm

  5. And for the record: I hope you dont withdraw this year. Lat year has shown that the rabids will celebrate everything as a victory anyway (It was a great archievement, when they were below No award. It was a grteat archievement when they were above No award).

    You deserved a nomination. Take it as long as the Hugos are still somewhat relevant.

    Comment by peer - April 27, 2016 2:15 pm

  6. So what will you do, John? Withdraw or stet?

    Comment by Jackson Kuhl - April 27, 2016 5:36 pm

  7. Another vote for you staying in, John. Since I have at least a few reasonable options in most categories I am not going to no vote any categories except for a couple – Best Related and Short Story. I nominated you again this year, as I suspect did a number of non-RP voters.

    Though I have a question for the collective wisdom out there. Though I am very interested in SF / Fantasy Art, I have never heard of any of these guys except for Larry Elmore. Any recommendations?

    Comment by Chuck Timpko - April 27, 2016 6:39 pm

  8. It ain’t the puppies I’m sad for — it’s the state of F/SF in general, if 80% of the Hugo nominees come from such venomously angry people. I went over to Vox Day’s blog, and was curious enough about the references to Chuck Tingle’s work, and found a listing on Amazon that, despite my open-minded approach to almost anything and everything SF-related, managed to make me wonder if the Hugos have indeed lost any relevance to the general SF community. I don’t believe I’m homophobic, but I have a difficult time believing Tingle’s work has much appeal to 80% of the SF-buying/reading public. If it does, then the middle portion of Joe Haldeman’s “Forever War” has indeed become reality, and I’m sequestering myself in my basement with my Ace doubles and Harlan Ellison and John Brunner and Ursula Le Guin and Iain Banks and not coming out ’til they carry me up in my pine box…

    Comment by smitty59 - April 27, 2016 9:44 pm

  9. By the way, John, I’ve still got several dozen issues of Dick Geis’s “The Alien Critic,” a few of Andrew Porter’s “Algol,” a few handfuls of some other fanzines of the ’60s and ’70s — and you’ve got ’em all beat, hands down. I paid for an attending membership to this year’s worldcon (don’t know if I’ll get to go), so I’ll be voting, and unless I hear otherwise, Blackgate gets my top vote for best fanzine. As Mr. Natural said so well, “Keep On Truckin’.”

    Comment by smitty59 - April 27, 2016 9:49 pm

  10. One more comment: I remember reading about the 1956 All-Star baseball game, when Cincinnati Reds fans voted in 5 Reds players among the starting 8. Major League baseball had to revise the nomination rules to avoid that kind of ballot-stuffing from being repeated. Perhaps the Hugos, if they’re to survive, will have to do something similar.

    Comment by smitty59 - April 27, 2016 10:17 pm

  11. smitty – The irony is that the rabids have now singlehandedly proven that there is no conspiracy. Ill give them that.
    But the work they choose… Thats what I meant with “I dont know what they really want?”
    The funny thing is: Despite all the rhetoric its pretty clear that all Vox Day wants is to fianlly win a Hugo. Thats his big goal. And I think he learned now that the only way to archieve that is to make the Hugo so irrelevant that nobody would care.

    So far the “No award” helped keeping the Hugos somewhat relevant. But the point is: An award is only as relevant as the fans like it to be. If no one gives a **** an award is irrelevant and winning it, means nothing. If the rabids continues VDs quest for winning a Hugo at all costs, the Hugo will just disappear – and a new award will take its place. That would be unfortuinete, but its no tradegy. Fandom will surevive without out – and in the internet age there are other ways to connect and to praise.

    Comment by peer - April 28, 2016 1:28 am

  12. Part of VD’s strategy, I believe, was to purposely nominate a few absurd choices, such as the Tingle story.

    Comment by Rich Horton - April 28, 2016 7:20 am

  13. VDs strategy is: Nominate some work that would be nominate anyway – if they withdraw its a victory, if not, its a victory becuase they put it there and if they win its a victory because its theire doing (like a Marvel movie wouldnt win a Hugo without the help of the rabid puppies) and if they lose, its a victory, because then “the other side” (=everyone else not rabid puppies)would be willing to sacrifice good stuff. So its a victory.
    Then there is absurd stuff to show: “Hey we can nominate what we want” (which profes -again – the only conspiracy there is is the rabid puppy – conspiracy).
    And then there is some stuff for the VD-fanbase.
    But most of all: Its VDs own nomination. The one he is doing all this for. If it would be just that one, probably even his own follower would stop foloow suit. To he threw in some decoys as well. I get that. He wants a Hugo.
    I dont get what the rabidf puppies want though – except, follow a leader, maybe?

    Comment by peer - April 28, 2016 9:07 am

  14. If, as you suggest, Rich, VD makes an absurd choice like the Tingle story, and if, as peer suggests, all VD wants is to win a Hugo — if these are both true, the Tingle nomination alone would, in my mind, cheapen the Hugo enough that even if VD did win one, the victory would be pretty hollow. Perhaps, given all the controversy of the last couple years, perhaps that cheapening has already occurred… I’d hope not; I still plan on voting for BlackGate — IF John doesn’t remove it from consideration.

    Comment by smitty59 - April 28, 2016 12:13 pm

  15. John: please, stay in the Hugo voting. Don’t give the Puppies the power by letting them drive you out. Last it made sense. This year, no, it doesn’t.

    Comment by R.K. Robinson - April 28, 2016 7:22 pm

  16. @smitty59—I think in the mix are a lot of good choices. If you haven’t read the Martian I recommend it. The movie is good but the novel is supreme. If Andy Weir doesn’t get the Cambell this year then there is something wrong with the whole mess.

    I recommend ignoring it all and let things work themselves out. On the positive side there hasn’t been a media hit piece out on anyone this time around. That alone will keep Sad Puppy tempers down. The Sad Puppies had a long list of recommendation that even had Puppy Kickers on it that were recommended so people should lay off of the Sad Puppies.

    Here is what Larry Correia had to say:

    “This is going to be brief because I retired from the Sad Puppies campaign last year.

    All I can really say to the CHORFs is that they had a chance to deal with people like me or Brad, but instead they decided to be a bunch of pricks and hand out wooden assholes while block voting No Award. In the process they insulted disgruntled fans, and proved that they were a bunch of cliquish elitists just like I’d said they were to begin with.

    That’s how you end up with Space Raptor Butt Invasion. Have fun with that.”

    I’m not sure what I’ll do this year but I’m tired of fighting with people. Let the haters hate and fight with each other.

    Comment by Wild Ape - April 28, 2016 7:28 pm

  17. @Ape: “I’m not sure what I’ll do this year but I’m tired of fighting with people. Let the haters hate and fight with each other.”

    I’m with you on that, Ape. I’m getting too old to be expending energy on anything negative like the Puppies’ fiasco.
    Haven’t yet read “The Martian,” but one of my SF students gave me a copy last year & I promised him I’d read it this summer. Another student wants to start up a reading group & would like to begin w/ Neal Stephenson’s “Seveneves.” Guess I need to get busy.

    Comment by smitty59 - April 28, 2016 9:45 pm

  18. I took a look at the Sad Puppies recommendation list when it came out, and it looked like a rec list, not a slate. As far as I could tell, Kate Paulk honored open the process she’d said she would follow. The only thing I had misgivings about was the suggestion that SPs concentrate on the top 5 items in each list to maximize their impact. The suggestion sounded closer to slate voting than I would have been comfortable with, but what I’ve read about the numerical breakdowns suggests that the Sad Puppies voted more independently than that anyway, and they don’t seem to be cheering for VD this time, so yay all around. This is a faction I can share a community with, disagreements and all. I hope by the end of this year more of them feel at least a little more that way about people like me.

    And y’know what? The more I read about and from Chuck Tingle, the funnier he gets. Seriously, go look up the titles and cover art for his other books. It has the cumulative effect of some old Monty Python comedy, whereby sheer repetition with variation of extremely stupid things raises them to a level of overwhelming hilarity. I hope he has the good grace to bow out of the running so a non-slated nominee can move into that shortlist slot, but I also hope he sticks around. The meta-level absurdity of immediately self-publishing a work titled “Slammed in the Butt by My Hugo Nomination” could have had an offensive layer if it had been done with malice, but it seems instead to have been done in a spirit of goofiness. So, yeah, Larry Correia, I am in fact having fun with that, and I’m not the only one, thanks.

    Whatever this year turns out to be like, it won’t be just like last year.

    Comment by Sarah Avery - April 28, 2016 10:30 pm

  19. @Sarah—I think Kate did well for the Sad Puppies and did a lot to reduce their sadness. I think they showed respectability. I think the Sad Puppies were very considerate of their opponents who showed them very little respect for the last three years. The award ceremony and the post award talk was intended to humiliate the Puppies and rub their nose in their loss.

    There are big changes this year when compared to the last. Whereas before I don’t think the Sad Puppies thought they could win and then in 2015 they did get stories placed on the final ballot they thought they could win. This year the thinking is that they can win. The magazines that shot off a round of character assassinations didn’t appear this time. The Guardian was much more accurate even with its progressive leaning it was a far cry from the year before. It was as if they actually did some research instead of taking dictation from the SJWs. Without the blasting the Puppies have been pretty calm. I’m not expecting the level of fireworks that we saw last year unless someone stirs the pot.

    I got a laugh out of Chuck Tingle but saddly from the trolling aspect of it (yeah, I know, sorry). Still, comedies are not popular in the SFF community. I think Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is the only one that comes to mind that won a Hugo (and no I didn’t check if it actually did win). What is the worst that could happen? The Hugo goes to Tingle and proves that the SFF community does have a sense of humor? Remember that Vox wants your tears more than he wants your respect.

    And if something like Space Raptor Butt Invasion or My Little Pony gets a Hugo I think it should serve as a reminder of the War Between Fandom and how we got here for ages to come. A good sense of humor is exactly what fandom needs.

    Comment by Wild Ape - April 29, 2016 8:08 am

  20. “Let the haters hate and fight with each other.”
    Yep.

    This is only an award. No reason to get all worked up about it.

    Comment by peer - April 29, 2016 11:10 am

  21. Oh and every aspiring author should consider writing a short story called “My lttle pony won a Hugo” – depending on the outcome it could be nominated next year for “Best Short story” and/or “Best related work”.
    :-)

    Comment by peer - April 29, 2016 1:23 pm

  22. A side note about comedy’s lack of awards love in SF/F: The Washington Science Fiction Association (WSFA, but worth spelling out when there’s a lot of mention of the WSFS, the World Science Fiction Society going around) concentrates all its awards on short fiction, and they’ve been much more open to comedy than the bigger awards. Alex Shvartsman’s short story “Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma” won a couple of years ago, and his Unidentified Funny Objects anthologies are much admired. If you want to see well crafted genre comedy, he’s your guy. I would not be surprised if he eventually ended up with a Hugo.

    I haven’t seen the specific My Little Pony episode that got nominated, but I was really surprised at the high quality of the writing on that show when my nieces introduced me to it. The Hugo isn’t an award that makes sense for the show, but I think people who’ve never seen it and watch to see what the nomination was about will be impressed despite themselves.

    Comment by Sarah Avery - April 29, 2016 1:27 pm

  23. @peer—-you write it peer and I’ll get the Sad Puppies to review it. I think it sounds funny as hell. Just remember that Vox and the Dread Ilk have a big soft spot for My Little Pony. Just sayin’.

    @Sarah—I MUST have that “Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma”. I bought it. I’m currently reading a Fight Card book and it will be next on the cue. Did I mention how cool you are? I took a gander at the Unidentified Funny Objects. That looks good too.

    Comment by Wild Ape - April 29, 2016 7:56 pm

  24. @ Wild Ape: Ill take you by your word :-) I am trying to get a bit of help though: https://twitter.com/Koenigvonsiam/status/726369589660143616

    Please help make this a thing :-)
    Hashtag is #LittlePonysHugo

    Comment by peer - April 30, 2016 7:18 am

  25. @peer—lol, you betcha. I don’t Twitter or Facebook but I’ll get my buddies to post something.

    Comment by Wild Ape - April 30, 2016 7:30 pm

  26. […] it’s clear that Black Gate largely benefited from Vox Day’s Rabid Puppy Hugo slate. As we reported Wednesday, roughly 80% of this year’s Hugo ballot was dictated by that slate — it swept six […]

    Pingback by Black Gate Withdraws From Hugo Ballot | File 770 - May 1, 2016 5:50 pm

  27. […] it’s clear that Black Gate largely benefited from Vox Day’s Rabid Puppy Hugo slate. As we reported Wednesday, roughly 80% of this year’s Hugo ballot was dictated by that slate — it swept six […]

    Pingback by David Gerrold’s Unrepentant ASStericks | The Arts Mechanical - May 4, 2016 12:06 am


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