The Hugo Nominations, 2016; or, Sigh …

The Hugo Nominations, 2016; or, Sigh …

2007 Hugo Award-smallI wasn’t sure I should bother writing this this year, as I’m not sure I have anything new or interesting to say that hasn’t been said, but I feel like getting some thoughts off my chest. This isn’t, I should add, my detailed analysis with voting thoughts … that will come later, after I’ve read the stories.

As most of you know by now, the Hugo Nominations for 2016 were dominated to an even greater degree than last year by the Rabid Puppies slate, organized by Theodore Beale (“Vox Day”). The Sad Puppies also put forth a recommendation list (“Not a Slate™”), and indeed they seem to have done so in good faith – openly gathered a set of recommendations from readers, and using that set put together a list of the most-recommended items in each category, a list longer than the nomination ballot. I don’t see anything whatsoever wrong with this. That said, their direct influence on the final ballot seems to have been minimal – which is, or should be, just fine: so was Locus’ influence, so was mine, etc.

The Rapid Puppies slate took over 75% of the ballot, and apparently the percentage would have been higher except that some nominees withdrew. There are very interesting analyses at Greg Hullender’s Rocket Stack Rank and Brandon Kempner’s Chaos Horizons. Using slightly different statistical models, they came up with estimates of 200 or so to 300 or more Rabid voters. (Vox Day claimed 750 adherents.) It seems likely that the Rabid nominators were much more disciplined in sticking to slate voting this year.

A cursory glance at the fiction entries on the ballot shows that there are some worthwhile, Rabid-supported, entries on it. In Best Novel, for instance, the two Rabid choice, Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves and Jim Butcher’s The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass seem pretty reasonable. Likewise in Best Novella, all four of the Rabid entries are at least decent.

Uncanny Issue 2-smallThe novelette case is less clear. I imagine the Stephen King story is fine – I haven’t read it, but, hey, it’s Stephen King. And “Folding Beijing,” by Hao Jingfang (from the Jan/Feb 2015 Uncanny) is very good – it was on my nomination ballot. The non-Rabid choice, Brooke Bolander’s “And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead” is also very good.

The other two entries seem less likely to be good, though I have not yet read them, and I may be wrong. (They were published in There Will Be War, Vol. X, published by Vox Day’s Castalia House but a continuation of a well-established anthology series with a respected editor, Jerry Pournelle.)

The short story category is a different animal. There is one more story from There Will Be War. There is a self-published story (since withdrawn). There is an obvious troll entry, Space Raptor Butt Invasion, by Chuck Tingle (an Amazon single, so again self-published*). There is a vile and quite unfunny “parody” of Rachel Swirsky’s “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love,” published as a blog entry. And there is a short-short from Nature’s long-running series of short-shorts – “Asymmetrical Warfare” by S. R. Algernon. I’ve read it – it’s publishable but rather trivial, not by the longest stretch of the imagination a Hugo-worthy story.

So we see Vox Day’s strategy in these categories. In the more prominent and longer categories (Novel and Novella), he chose some good stories that might well have been nominated anyway. These have been called “human shields” by some. In the shorter categories he chose a mix of stories he published, and troll entries, and one or two other entries that he may well have enjoyed, or that may align with his political or aesthetic views.

And he proved (in these categories and in the non-fiction categories) that putting together a slate and persuading a lot of people to vote with him in a disciplined fashion – certainly NOT choosing only stories they liked (as the presence of the troll entries shows) one can complete distort a ballot. Well, we knew that! It doesn’t seem anything to be proud of.

The shame, of course, is the various deserving nominees that were knocked off. Even in the categories with respectable entries, we can’t be sure if they’d have been nominated without Rabid Support. I suspect in Best Novel that Stephenson had a good chance. In Best Novella, Alastair Reynolds and Lois McMaster Bujold might have made it (though, for what’s it’s worth, they weren’t on my ballot (nor was Binti, which I found disappointing despite its broad support (and Nebula nomination)).

C.S.E. Cooney
C.S.E. Cooney

Indeed, this category was notable for two really brilliant stories in the major magazines, Greg Egan’s “The Four Thousand, the Eight Hundred” and Carter Scholz’ “Gypsy,” which are each among the very best hard SF stories I’ve read in some time. (Not to mention C. S. E. Cooney’s lovely pair of fantasies, “The Two Paupers” and the Nebula-nominated “The Bone Swans of Amandale” – though admittedly Cooney is less well known than Egan (and probably Scholz too) and the stories were not published as prominently, so their chance at a Hugo nod was probably not that great.) There were numerous fine choices in Novelette and Short Story as well (my list can be seen here).

It’s hard on those nominees who were (often unwillingly) listed on Vox Day’s slate, as well. For one thing, many of them, as noted, might have made the cut anyway, and now they don’t know if they “earned” their slot fair and square or not.

In addition, the taint of Day’s recommendation may prevent them from winning if enough voters reject the Rabid entries outright. (In Novella, for example, I think both “Penric’s Demon” and “Slow Bullets” are quite a bit better than Binti, but I will predict right now that Binti will win. And it might have anyway – lots of people like it a lot more than I do – but we’ll never know what would have happened in a “typical” vote.)

This struck particularly close to home for those of us associated with Black Gate. Of course Black Gate was nominated as Best Fanzine last year, due to Rabid Puppies support, and John O’Neill quite rightly withdrew its nomination. This year we again were (unwillingly) on the Rabid slate, and again John has decided to withdraw.

We discussed what to do – though the choice was always John’s – and there was a definite split. Many of us – myself included – at first inclined to the notion that perhaps we should stay on the ballot. I had four reasons for this: 1) I am certain that Black Gate got a good amount of support from non-Rabid nominators (but we have no way, for now, of knowing how much); 2) I thought perhaps the point had been made last year; 3) I felt that withdrawing was ceding even more influence to Vox Day, and also was to an extent disenfranchising the non-Rabid nominators; and 4) I really do think Black Gate is a worthy choice.

Binti-smallerBut John made two very strong arguments in favor of withdrawing, arguments that now have swayed me so that I believe his decision is correct. First, and most important, by withdrawing it is guaranteed that there will be an entry on the Final Ballot not chosen by Vox Day. Second, in John’s estimation, it is likely that Black Gate wouldn’t have won anyway. I don’t think that’s nearly as important – but it’s probably true. (Alas, the very possible win for whoever replaces Black Gate will be somewhat tainted as well if it’s perceived that it won as a default choice.)

So, what’s a voter to do?

Well, that’s not for me to say. Last year I suggested that people read the stories, and vote for anything that seemed Hugo-worthy. Most voters didn’t do that, instead voting No Award above any of the slate choices (except in Dramatic Presentation). That wasn’t my choice (though certainly a number of very weak stories were behind No Award on my ballot), but I can understand the sentiment, and I can’t dispute it.

With an overall stronger ballot this year, and with a point having been made last year, I do rather hope that more voters vote on merit (which will still most certainly have some stories finish below No Award). But people may choose to hold the line on any slate nominee. I think to an extent that’s playing into Day’s hands, granting him, again, more power than he deserves (low bar, I know). But people can choose to do what they want.

I don’t know what the future holds. There’s a good chance that the E Pluribus Hugo proposal for a reformed nomination process will be adopted for 2017. That will weaken the effect of slates, but by no means eliminate it. (Greg Hullender’s analysis suggests that in some categories the Rabid Puppies would still have taken three places on the final ballot with EPH.) There is another proposal, called 4/6 (nominators can only list four stories, and the top 6 make the final ballot), which is a variant of an idea I proposed last year (5/10, basically). That would probably lead to a slate having 4 entries in many cases, and possibly more if they tried hard enough. (5/10 would probably lead to, in many categories, 5 slate entries and 5 others.)

As an alternative, I am intrigued by Kevin Standlee’s proposal, for a three-stage process (nomination as now, but leading to a list of up to 15 potential stories, then an up-down vote on whether a story was worthy, by current Worldcon members only, then the final ballot as now). The better solution would be for Vox Day to abandon his childish games, but that seems unlikely in the near future at least.

I do promise to read the short fiction entries at least, and hopefully the novels too, and to give my report on each story, sometime in the next few months.

(*Note that self-published stories can be just fine. It’s just not the way to bet, especially for shorter stories, which have a broader array of potential market slots.)

Rich Horton’s last article for us was a Retro-Review of the February 1972 issue of Analog. See all of his BG reviews here.

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I want Hugo and Campbell awards to reflect the traditions of Hugo Gernsbeck and John Campbell; the tradition of Poul Anderson, Heinlein, Niven, Pournelle, Zelazny. Last year the best eligible book in that tradition was Larry Niven’s The Goliath Stone. This year the best was Saturn Run, John Sandford and Ctein. Neither made the shortlist.

I was glad to see Riding the Red Horse stories and nonfiction on the shortlist last year. I’m glad to see Jerry Pournelle on the shortlist for editor this year. None of that would have happened without VD, so I like VD. As to outrage from Tor- well, Tor has burned the Hugo brand for thirty years. Scroom.

But VD likes space opera and military SF and games. He’s not burning John Campbell’s brand, as your friends set up the Campbell award to do. But he’s not pushing the old pure quill.


I think VD made a mistake this year of nominating Chuck Tingle. That joke backfired hard on him:

Now there is a chance, that people vote for Tingle, wich is a bit of a loose-loose-situation. If he came above No award and the rest below it shows what to make of the slate. If he actually wins it he cant complain, because he nominated him. And the award will be presented by his arch-nemesis, which means he cant claim it as a win either.

Its hilarious!


As someone who lives in Germany and dont really care for the politics in your far-away-country: I wonder why Tor burned anything. So far I like reading them. By percentage bought and liked its the most succesfull publisher for ME. Thats what counts for me: The quality of the outcome. And Tors is excellent.

Wild Ape

@Rich—Tor is no doubt dominating and successful in its field. Tor brings out talented writers and crushes the competition–no question. Out of Tor’s list of Hugo winners I liked Ender’s Game and that was about it. For me, with regards to military sci-fi, Tor sucks Space Raptor eggs. Tor has also had huge failures over the years, chiefly the Conan series. My disgust for them precedes knowing who Vox Day was. How they could take the greatest iconic figure of sword and sorcery with some of the greatest writers in the field and tank the brand of Conan is beyond me. Most of the series stank on ice with a handful of good books in between. I used to buy a lot of Tor books but now unless the names are RS Belcher or Howard Andrew Jones I’m not interested. I’ve just bought too many gag worthy Tor narratives with boring as hell stories at top dollar prices to give them a go. I am still hacked at their editors who look down their noses at anyone who doesn’t share their insane cock eyed world views. The Tor brand is golden in many eyes but not mine.

I thank you for giving the Sad Puppies their due. I’m stunned that you say that they had no influence. I’m assuming that you mean no undue influence. The Sad Puppies had around 24 picks which is pretty good. I’m also glad that you are going down the list just like you do every year and read it. Your tastes are about 120 degrees off from mine but I know you give every story its due and I respect that. I’m not brave enough to try Chuck Tingle but I’ve read his reviews and they are hilarious. I remember commenting on him last year. I compared his story to Swirki’s and said that at least those stories had dinosaurs featured in them.

I think the gap that Bruce is talking about with regards to military sci-fi and Tor is difficult to explain to civilians. I don’t think they resonate with veterans. It isn’t because the stories or the writers are flawed it is that military guys have a different feel for things because they were there. I might be wrong but then I don’t think John Scalzi would know his generals from his privates or which direction a claymore needs to point towards. He comes across like a never-been-there-but-I-can-fake-like-I’ve-done-that kind of military sci-fi. But hey, he is a Hugo winner and my favorite mil sci-fi writers can’t even get a nomination. I suspect they couldn’t get past a liberal editor’s political filter either. Tor knows its target audience and it isn’t me. I’m not going to tell the biggest book business in sff. I’m sure their profit line is going through the roof right alongside Amazon’s.

I’m just tired of the Perpetually Triggered crowd. I’d love to see an MMA match between Scalzi and Vox Day or a round of paintball with Correia and Sandifer. I’d pay to see that. Short of that I’m done with all the pink and blue nerd fights.


>Rich ‘tell me when they burned the brand’

Redshirts, a burn-the-brand Star Trek knockoff.

‘as to the books you like … I do note that neither group of puppies chose either of them…’

Yes, that’s my point. Puppies are good at action SF and Mil-SF, but not at the rest of the tradition.

‘I find later Niven literally unreadable at the sentence/paragraph level.’

Niven writes with the pure lymph of pellucid clarity. It is a sign of how badly your personal tastes are corrupted that you flinch from the pure quill.


” It is a sign of how badly your personal tastes are corrupted” sorry, but as a German I always flinch, when someone goes out of seperating “Right tastes” and “wrong tastes”.

But Redshirts is not a problem of Tor, its a problem with the Hugo awards. And I dont mean any agenda that may or may not exists. Its just that a vote by fans means that if you right a reasonable good book about fandom, youll have a decent shot. Think Jo Walton and think Redshirts. Think Galaxy Quest (did they win?) This type will always goes strong. Not because its “Left” or what have you, its because the Hugo is a popularity award.
But I wonder what Tor has to do with this? They are a business. They are making money, publishing books that sell. If it wins a Hugo it sells. So: What have they done wrong? Its not their job to be altruistic.

Wild Ape

@peer—Chaos Horizon showed how closely matched the SWFA and the Hugo nominations are aligned. Some might call it a Hugo cabal and others would say that it is a natural consequence of like minded and connected people. Either way it is what it is and Chaos Horizon kinda took the guess work out of who will be highly likely to get the Hugo nominations with very little surprise. Tor has a big population of writers who head the SWFA. Is that Tor’s fault? The Hugo voting system is what it is. I find it comical that they are going to great pains to make sure that the Puppies will never win.


I am not in favour of the new changes. As you are probably aware from my previous posts I am not against the sad puppies. I understand their goals and I really appreciate their part of the debate this year.
I do dislike the rabids, because they drown all other voices and debates out – including the sad puppies. But TBS I dont think that would be a problem for the far future. Tingle has shown how to deal with them and I think once people stop taking them seriously, VD would have trouble rallying his supporters (which, I feel, generally do take themselves very serious). And there wouldnt be any need for changes.

The problem would be the writers and editors being left out, because of the slates. But in any award there are writers that are left out. Its part of the game.
And that it is: A game (and I have won a “big” award for one of my games and I know how much it means to me. But I also know that there were others deserving in line as well)

Wild Ape

I’m sure that Mil-SF gets shifted around as do a lot of subgenres of sf. What I discovered last year is a lot of authors who were not published by the major houses. I found a goldmine of authors and frankly, I don’t miss the mainstream SF much.

I like Drake because he served in the same unit as I did later on. It was fun to see the 11th ACR in Hammer Slammers. Drake, like O’Brien was a draftee and so he has a different look than the professionals who saw combat during my time. I like Ringo and the like more. Drake is okay. He certainly was the been there and done that variety. I don’t know much about Moon. Service is not necessarily a qualifier. Richard Tongue, BV Larson, and Ian Douglas never served as far as I know but they are authentic from a Grognard perspective and I love their books. Tanya Huff is another who never served but she is pure Grognard in her writing.

SFWA certainly has a strong presence and I’m okay with that as far as Hugos go. It stands to reason that they being mostly left wing produce left wing results. It is human nature. I think you are off a bit in your criticism of Bruce. I think I know where he is coming from. Before Amazon shifted the market quality Mil-SF was thin and Sword and Sorcery nearly extinct. The publishers are gate keepers and I don’t blame them for moving stories that will reap better profits. Amazon changed that and now there is a surge of the niche markets. I expect sword and sorcery to make a comeback as urban fantasy and weird westerns have. I think it is human nature to accept the stories that you like and that there remain only a few at Tor who liked Mil-SF so that would explain the thin product line of a few years ago. Plus, some of these area wax and wane so guys like Bruce and I who have a thirst for the Mil-SF felt left out–no pun intended.

It is also important to note that people may not remember exactly what is said but they remember how people made them feel. Correia and others have been hounded by the left wing of fandom for quite a while and made to feel unwelcome and marginalized. I think you are wise to recommend that everyone just carry on and vote on the stories selected and ignore the fray. Humor is always critical and hurts someone. When the award ceremony awarded the ASS-terix it was pretty obvious what the joke was. Was it funny? Yes, but not to me. Was Chuck Tingle and the parody of “If You Were An Award My Love” funny? I thought so but there were many who were horrified. I do plan to read that non Puppy pick that you say was a humorous story. In recent history Sarah Avery recommended “Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma” and I thought the story was a riot. I’m sure there were Lovecraft fans who would like to feed the author to the Deep Ones.

I do think Vox Day has good taste on Mil-SF. I wish he would come up with his own award for the field. I’m glad that Pournelle has finally got a nomination but I feel that the present state of Hugo fandom will not receive him well. Also I think Kukuruyo is by far the most humorous artist. He will not be received well but he matches art and humor even though it goes against the establishment humor. I think GRRM’s words were unkind and beneath him.

I appreciate that you are here standing up in a positive way. We may not agree but I know that you will give each selection its due.

I think fandom would be better served if they just shrugged off Vox Day. Black Gate deserves a Hugo nomination and the Rabids aren’t going to let go of their favorite chew toy. Perhaps Black Gate would lose out to File 770, so what. I think they can go toe to toe with anyone and I think John and the rest are stand up people who are a bit too humble in my view. They need to accept that the Rabids may have put up the notice of Black Gate but that would be inevitable. Black Gate is a magnet for talent and even if the Rabids were not around it would eventually have grown. Personally I think it already has and John needs to accept that he is successful and although he respects others in the field, he is no longer an amateur but a giant in the field. His spot on the ballot was legit and he ranks among his peers as the best of the best. Sustaining that is very difficult.

All the best Rich.


I wonder if the push to start eliminating votes/nominations and memberships of “obvious trolls” (which I saw come up in more than one discussion in the last couple of weeks) will get stronger if Vox continues to live rent free in folks heads…


>Rish, ‘He was definitely a lot better in the sixties and seventies, when I was lapping his stuff up. But, believe me, Rainbow Mars is one of the most poorly written novels I’ve ever read.’

Since you’ve read it, you know it’s a combination of some Svetz time travel stories from the seventies with a new novella. The short stories were good enough for the
Saturday Evening Post back when that
meant something. The novella had a good new Big Space Thing, ‘plants are good at using carbon’ indeed. Good action scenes, good use of time travel paradox. Good evil UN. It’s a fast-paced action/ideas SF novel, at the opposite end from the long, slow-paced Kim whatsit Mars novels. If those are your idea of good writing, Rainbow Mars/b> must be bad.

>TW- ‘I wonder if the push to start eliminating votes/nominations and memberships of ‘obvious trolls”-

Tor’s Hugo admins have been acting on the assumption that only Nazis want the Hugo and Campbell awards to go to stuff in the Hugo Gernsbeck and John Campbell tradition for thirty years. They might as well formalize a rule.

Joe H.

You realize, don’t you, that when you say things like “Tor’s Hugo admins[…]” you’re insulting everybody who has volunteered at every single Worldcon for the past 30 years and, just for good measure, everybody who’s been voting for the Hugos in good faith for the past 30 years.

Wild Ape

@TW—And they still deny that Correia pegged them. They are perpetually triggered.

@bruce—I can’t think of any story that is universally liked. I think peer is right in that that Hugo is just a popularity contest. I wouldn’t take stock in those guys sneering at the stories you like. eReaders have made the whole market a level playing field. I think the best thing to do is to promote the writers that you like by spreading the word.


>’The problem was the writing. The prose. The sentence/paragraph structure. The novel is quite frankly incoherent.’

You are criticizing Niven where he is strongest and almost everyone else in SF is weak. Name a writer who is, on the whole, more clear and coherent than Niven. I can’t.

>’When you say things like ‘Tor’s Hugo admins’ you insulting everyone who volunteered and voted in good faith …’

The John Campbell award was not set up in good faith to recognize writing in the spirit of John Campbell and take money in good faith from Campbell fans who wanted to buy stuff they’d liked from Campbell. It was set up to steal our money. You stole twenty bucks or so from me, back in the day.

The Hugo awards, meh. I’d be okay with people outside SF winning Hugo awards now and then. But I want the real thing to generally appear on most ballots. This year, only Seveneves is really SF. I’d have liked to see John Sandford and Ctein’s Saturn Run win this year; it’s the first time anyone has written anything like the Niven/Pournelle collaborations from the eighties. First SF spaceship to consider the cooling problem that I’ve come across. I didn’t want the award to go to Sandford for his sake- the man’s a multimillionare with lots more important wins in his life. I wanted the Hugos to recover from thirty years of Tor burning the brand. So when libraries automatically buy this year’s Hugo winner, they get what people who browse the SF section want to read. I don’t see Tor’s people preaching down Sandford’s heart- he’s spent decades as the successful D party media flack these wannabees dream of.

If I was a parasite on the SF tradition, I’d want the real thing to win a Hugo fairly often. Keep some tasty blood flowing through the carcass.


@bruce But thats the thing: Who defines what SF is and what its not? My favorite novels last year was Jeff Vandermeers Area X – Triology by a mile. Is that real SF? Does that matter and for whom?

FWIW I am not particulary in favour of the last Hugo winners (havent read three-body-problem yet though -which is SF AFAIK), but I dont smell a conspiracy… I know WHY the last novels won:

Ancillary Justice: Its great worldbuilding. Seriously – Im not a fan of the book (gave 3/5), but the world building is on par with Herberts Dune. The book has its problems, but it is big-scope-space-opera.
Redshirts: As I said: Pushed all the buttons of geeks.
Among Others: Basiccly the same – Its a bout SF novels and the author shows that she knows her game in that field. Also: Hasnt been done before (to my limnited knowledge)
Blackout/All clear: You could argue its more a hiustoric novel than a time travelling and hence SF one, but it is very good.
Windup Girl: Original SF
The city & the city: Again, very original.
Graveyard book: OK, this was more to award Gaiman. Shame that Anathem didnt win…

So yeah, traditional SF is scarce. But that has really nothing to do with Tor. More with the crowd whos voting. If you blame Tor than you must blame them for the Chuck Tingle-Story on this ballott as well – same reason why its there, just different voters 😉

Wild Ape

@peer—I thought the same about Ancillary. I think she did a superb job of world building but the story did not resonate with me. I have read other works of hers that were much better.

Tor is what it is and it certainly markets to its target public. That is perhaps why I rarely read Tor titles. They are highly successful, just not with me. I haven’t found the courage to try Chuck Tingle but his reviews are worthy reading.

Stay safe in Deutchland peer. Tchus!


>’You don’t care about evidence or logic, but about repeating talking points.’

Talking points to excuse putting John Campbell’s name on books to steal money from those of us who would not have bought your dull crap if we’d known? Or to excuse giving Tor author John Scalzi and Tor editors Teresa and Patrick Neilsen-Hayden, what, fifteen or twenty Hugo awards between them?

>’If you can read Rainbow Mars, as opposed to, say, ‘Neutron Star’, which is much better- and don’t mind the horrible prose . . .

‘Neutron Star’ is better, but not hugely better. If you said you liked Niven when you were younger, but now you prefer a dense, complex not all that simple and clear style, OK. Macaualay and ‘State of Seige’ when young, late Henry James and the Grundrisse with maturity, fair enough. I’d disagree; when I was fifteen I liked James Fenimore Cooper more than Mark Twain and actually enjoyed the prose of Noam Chomsky- at fifty, Hell No. But I’d grok you.

Niven’s clear, plain style will never look horrible because it just isn’t wilfully unclear enough to fail horribly. You know, like gender-ignorant pronouns. You can say with CS Lewis that it’s not fair that a plain style looks better over time. You can’t say Niven is not a clear stylist. You can say ‘Politics and the English Language’ or Lord Denning or the Wright Brother’s Notebooks or The Bible In English Like Jesus Talked are not to your taste, but you can’t say they aren’t clear.


“Talking points to excuse putting John Campbell’s name on books to steal money from those of us who would not have bought your dull crap if we’d known?”

Sorry, you dont seem to incline of talking to me, but I have to ask: You do know that tastes are different, do you?

Wild Ape

I find it humorous that the Hugo establishment is wringing their hands on what to do about Vox and the Puppies when the answer is right before them. Take for instance the Democrat primary and follow the model of how they elect their nominees. This same model could be applied to the Hugo award. In the Democrat model the establishment as already chosen Hillary and although she has won 23 states at this point, Bernie has won 19. They would be nearly tied if not for the super delegates. So, if the Hugos could do the same thing. Make a selection of superdelegates that vote for Hugo nominations. That way the facade of a democratic vote is maintained and as a bonus it doesn’t matter if the Puppies make a slate or quit or become sadder and sadder, they will never win. And most important–it is in the rules and the “fan” award remains in the hands of the super delegates “experts” to all things of the narrative. Your super delegates would of course be “non bias” heavy weights of the publishing world. As a bonus they would never have to No Award something unless they wanted to drum up some drama and allow a Puppy nomination, because frankly the only drama of the Hugos have been the Puppies and Vox Day. I know the establishment gets great pleasure in sticking it to the Puppies. They could use the celebrity of the writers that fit the narrative and make them greater heroes in their own insular circle. It would be a win-win for the establishment.

I should not have made the suggestion and just watched the antics from the point and screech crowd as they fret and whine about Vox Day. But imagine, just perfect message fiction and each year they can award the new brand of narrative message that the super delegates want. Who knows what they will write about in the coming years but then probably no one will care because it will have become boringly predictable as it has been for a long while.


>’Niven in those books is not a clear stylist. I can say it, and I do.’

You can’t say it in good faith.

>’Empty talking points.’

I said Tor’s Hugo admins have treated those of us who want the Hugo and Campbell awards to go to the best stuff in the tradition of Hugo Gernsbeck and John Campbell like we are Nazis. I said the best book in that tradition this year, Sandford and Ctein’s Saturn Run, isn’t on the ballot because it’s not Mil-Sf so VD doesn’t notice it, and because it is in the tradition of Campbell and Gernsbeck so Tor’s Hugo admins won’t support it.

If these are empty talking points, what am I hiding?

Joe H.

Again, there is no such thing as “Tor’s Hugo admins”, and when you say that you’re insulting all of the Worldcon volunteers and all of the Worldcon nominators. The reason Saturn Run isn’t on the ballot is because it got fewer nominations than the works that are on the ballot; nothing more, nothing less. (And I’d point out that it wasn’t listed on either the Rabid slate or the Sad recommendation list; so I’d recommend taking it up with them.)


Rich, I think its futile to discuss with someone who blaimes it on “Tor-Admins” that the rabid puppies didnt put Saturn Run on their slate (and hence it didnt get nominated).

Im amazed anyway that people believe in Tor controlling the award, when the Tor-hating rabids were able to sweep the ballots twice in a row. What kind of control is that exactly?


>’Words sort of vaguely orbit the direction of the meaning he is trying to get to…’

‘+390 Atomic Era. Svetz was nearly home, but the snake was waking up.

Gravity pulled outward from the center of the expansion cage as it was pulled toward present time. The view outside the cage was a jitter of color and motion. Svetz lay on his back and looked up at the snake. A filter helmet showed only as a faint golden glow around its head. It wouldn’t strangle on post-Industrial air, and it couldn’t bite him through the inflated bubble.’

Short words, straight to the point. You can say it’s awful in good faith, if you hate that ‘prose like a windowpane’ stuff. You can’t say he’s vaguely orbiting the meaning he’s trying to get to in good faith.

If Vox Day got his fans to vote him as the winner of an award named for James Tiptree, Octavia Butler, or Ursula le Guin, he’d be doing it for spite. He’s not writing in their tradition. When the Campbell award was founded it went to people not in Campbell’s tradition, not just for spite, but to steal money from people like me who trusted John Campbell’s name on the cover.

>’Rich, I think it’s futile to discuss with someone why blames it on Tor-admins that the rabid puppies didn’t put Saturn Run on their slate.’

I blame Tor’s people for not nominating the best SF novel of the year. I blame the rabid puppies and sad puppies for not nominating the best SF of the year.

Joe Keenan

SciFi/Fantasy came off the rails decades ago. The Hugo’s (at least for me) have no relevancy anymore. The whole genre seems to have come undone, it used to be you could pick up a Years Best Fantasy Collection and be sure of some good recommends and stories. No longer. I dutifully purchased Datlow and Windling’s Years Best Fantasy looking for good recommends and stories and always found them wanting. Likewise, the Hugo winners. At one time the Hugo winner/short list was a quality selection of works. Not so much anymore. I’m at a loss as to why Vox even cares about the Hugo’s. IMHO it would be better to start all over again. Firstly, recognize the difference within Fantastic Literature and award the best in the Horror, Fantasy and Sci-Fi genres.Start from say 1930 and recognize the best in each genre. As there would be little economic interest in the outcome pressure would be removed from publishers to affect outcome. Work toward the present time over several years. See then if Watchtower trumps Harpist in the Wind, Perfume…Soldier of the Mist. I won’t even mention Replay beating, On Stranger Tides, Seventh Son, Weaveworld and Aegypt. The awards system is a failure.

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