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posted by LaminatorX on Monday April 13 2015, @11:30AM   Printer-friendly
from the Livejournal-still-works dept.

From the The Guardian.

Introducing the Sad Puppies...

"The shortlists for the long-running American genre awards, won in the past by names from Kurt Vonnegut to Ursula K Le Guin and voted for by fans, were announced this weekend to uproar in the science fiction community, after it emerged that the line-up corresponded closely with the slates of titles backed by certain conservative writers. The self-styled "Sad Puppies" campaigners had set out to combat what orchestrator and writer Brad Torgersen had criticised as the Hugos' tendency to reward "literary" and "ideological" works.

Today's Hugos, Torgersen has blogged, "have lost cachet, because at the same time SF/F has exploded popularly – with larger-than-life, exciting, entertaining franchises and products – the voting body of 'fandom' have tended to go in the opposite direction: niche, academic, overtly to the Left in ideology and flavor, and ultimately lacking what might best be called visceral, gut-level, swashbuckling fun".

Twenty years ago, he writes, "if you saw a lovely spaceship on a book cover, with a gorgeous planet in the background, you could be pretty sure you were going to get a rousing space adventure featuring starships and distant, amazing worlds". Nowadays, he claims, the same jacket is likely to be a story "merely about racial prejudice and exploitation, with interplanetary or interstellar trappings".

And here we have the Rabid Puppies definitely not mentioning GamerGate:

Another group of allied rightwing campaigners, dubbing themselves the Rabid Puppies and led by Vox Day, real name Theodore Beale, have also added their voices to the block-voting campaign against what Day called "the left-wing control freaks who have subjected science fiction to ideological control for two decades and are now attempting to do the same thing in the game industry".

And finally a bit of Martin:

"Call it block voting. Call it ballot stuffing. Call it gaming the system. There's truth to all of those characterisations. You can't call it cheating, though. It was all within the rules. But many things can be legal, and still bad ... and this is one of those, from where I sit. I think the Sad Puppies have broken the Hugo awards, and I am not sure they can ever be repaired," he wrote.

"If the Sad Puppies wanted to start their own award ... for Best Conservative SF, or Best Space Opera, or Best Military SF, or Best Old-Fashioned SF the Way It Used to Be ... whatever it is they are actually looking for ... hey, I don't think anyone would have any objections to that. I certainly wouldn't. More power to them," he added. "But that's not what they are doing here, it seems to me. Instead they seem to want to take the Hugos and turn them into their own awards."

 
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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Thexalon on Monday April 13 2015, @12:31PM

    by Thexalon (636) on Monday April 13 2015, @12:31PM (#169660)

    Who would have thunk that an award giving out to literature would be criticized for favoring "literary" works? To translate the same argument to another medium, they're saying, in essence, that it was so unfair that those Oscar people preferred Ben Hur over The Wasp Woman and Plan 9 from Outer Space.

    As far as preferring left-wing works, that's nonsense too, unless I imagined the part where they handed out multiple Hugos to Heinlein. What appears to have actually happened is that some no-name author decided that the reason his works weren't given lots of attention was because there was some sort of grand conspiracy to keep him down due to his books' political views. But his books didn't sell well and weren't well received by critics, which creates an alternate theory as to why they didn't get much attention: Bad writing.

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    Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
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  • (Score: 5, Disagree) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday April 13 2015, @12:40PM

    Watch the twitter streams of the authors who're pissed off. They leave zero doubt that it is because of their social justice politics.

    --
    My rights don't end where your fear begins.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @12:47PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @12:47PM (#169668)

      Eye of the beholder

      • (Score: 3, Flamebait) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday April 13 2015, @12:56PM

        Really not. They'll outright say so minus the phrase "social justice" if you watch a while. They're not remotely ashamed to say that they think their politics should rule the genre and other views should be censored.

        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @01:17PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @01:17PM (#169685)

          I'm referring to the "pissed off"

          To an unacknowledged collectivist like yourself anyone challenging the status quo is pissed off.

          • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday April 13 2015, @01:47PM

            Oh, you were being pedantic. Roger that.

            --
            My rights don't end where your fear begins.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @01:51PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @01:51PM (#169707)

              Nope, I was criticising your argument's foundations of minimization.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by snick on Monday April 13 2015, @01:33PM

          by snick (1408) on Monday April 13 2015, @01:33PM (#169698)

          It always amazes me how some folks equate criticism with censorship.

          • (Score: 4, Insightful) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday April 13 2015, @01:46PM

            It's all about the context. In the context of an award, it is absolutely censorship to refuse to consider those of beliefs that don't fit your narrative of how things should be.

            --
            My rights don't end where your fear begins.
            • (Score: 3, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @01:53PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @01:53PM (#169708)

              > In the context of an award, it is absolutely censorship to refuse to consider those of
              > beliefs that don't fit your narrative of how things should be.

              Fatal irony overload alert!

              • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Monday April 13 2015, @09:56PM

                by aristarchus (2645) on Monday April 13 2015, @09:56PM (#170026) Journal

                > In the context of an award, it is absolutely censorship to refuse to consider those of
                > beliefs that don't fit your narrative of how things should be.

                Fatal irony overload alert!

                Wow, just wow! I stand in awe of the alerter! Will Buzz get the message? Will understanding come to the Sad Puppies who are much put upon? Stay tuned for breaking news! (Fatal Irony Overload, heh heh, we should be so lucky!)

                --
                #Freearistarchus, again!!!!!1!!
            • (Score: 5, Touché) by snick on Monday April 13 2015, @02:03PM

              by snick (1408) on Monday April 13 2015, @02:03PM (#169712)

              Sorry. You seem to have confused censorship with butthurt.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @12:57PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @12:57PM (#169673)

    So they are discriminating against people just because they lack writing skills! That's unacceptable! I mean, does having better writing skills make you a better human? Surely not! So how dare they to give prizes only to people with writing skills!

    Oh, and BTW, I want a Nobel prize for literature for this post! The post may not meet high literary standards, but hey, don't discriminate!

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by tadas on Monday April 13 2015, @05:35PM

      by tadas (3635) on Monday April 13 2015, @05:35PM (#169860)

      Oh, and BTW, I want a Nobel prize for literature for this post! The post may not meet high literary standards, but hey, don't discriminate!

      No, but I will nominate you for the Roman Hruska award. In 1970, Richard Nixon nominated someone named G. Harold Carswell for the Supreme Court. The nomination was ultimately rejected on the grounds that Carswell was a mediocre nominee. In Carswell's defense, Seantor Roman Hruska, a Republican from Nebraska went on record saying:

      Even if he were mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they, and a little chance? We can't have all Brandeises, Frankfurters and Cardozos.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by VLM on Monday April 13 2015, @01:11PM

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 13 2015, @01:11PM (#169680)

    unless I imagined the part where they handed out multiple Hugos to Heinlein.

    Minor correction:

    unless I imagined the part where they handed out multiple Hugos to Heinlein around half a century ago.

    Unless I missed something in last years award ceremony or something.

    Its interesting to consider if anyone who voted for "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" from fifty yrs ago voted last year, and if so, how big or relevant of a voting block that cohort from '66 is today in '15. My guess would be they're a rounding error. So Heinlein is on topic for a historical retrospective of politics in sci fi half a century ago, but not relevant to a discussion of politics in sci fi (or what passes for sci fi) in 2015.

    I don't disagree with you overall, its just bad form as a type of argument along the lines of claiming a direct and continuous line of descent from Emperor Diocletian to contemporary 2015 Italian economic monetary policy, when in reality there's no continuity or much of a relationship at all.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Thexalon on Monday April 13 2015, @02:07PM

      by Thexalon (636) on Monday April 13 2015, @02:07PM (#169714)

      In the world of sci-fi literature, there's definitely continuity: It's not like Heinlein stopped being listened to a half-a-century ago, and there are people like Harlan Ellison who have been around since the very first Hugo was handed out. There has been no major revolts that replaced all the leadership in the field. Many of those writing today were inspired or even mentored by those writing 50 years ago. So I think it's quite relevant that conservative writers have historically gotten noticed and awarded for their work. And it's also extremely important to notice that the publishers, markets and critics don't tend to punish writers today for conservative viewpoints, but also do not like the work of the authors pushing "Sad Puppies".

      In some ways, I think this reveals interesting instincts on the part of these authors. "Hey, my stories aren't winning the big awards. Is it because (a) my stuff is a bit hacky and boring, or (b) there's a giant liberal conspiracy to prevent my obviously deserving works from winning?"

      --
      Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Vanderhoth on Monday April 13 2015, @03:00PM

        by Vanderhoth (61) on Monday April 13 2015, @03:00PM (#169738)

        The "liberal conspiracy" thing is a little over the top. If someone gets in a position in a publishing company where they can make a decision to publish people based on political leaning, that's not a conspiracy, it's just someone with power being an asshole.

        Women not being hired in IT because they're women isn't a conspiracy, in some cases it's because they aren't as skilled as other candidates, in other cases it could be managers being assholes, but it's not a "patriarchal conspiracy" to keep women out of the industry.

        After I started looking into the sad puppies thing, I read several blogs by authors that were "victims" of not having the right political views. And many are too afraid to say so because in this age having the wrong political views gets you labelled as the nastiest of things and attacked by crazies left and right. I recommend looking up "Requires Hate", "Something Awful" or "Feminist Frequency" to see what it is some of these crazies do when people disagree with them.

        --
        "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
  • (Score: 1) by Bacon Bits on Monday April 13 2015, @03:33PM

    by Bacon Bits (5203) on Monday April 13 2015, @03:33PM (#169760)

    To me it sounds like Martin is complaining that Sci-Fi novels that get Hugo awards tend to be http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_science_fiction [wikipedia.org]social science fiction instead of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_opera [wikipedia.org]space operas. Personally, I tend to prefer my sci-fi with some social commentary. I like Roddenberry more than Abrams. If I want something without such a tone, I tend to read fantasy instead like Martin's own series.

    • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Monday April 13 2015, @04:05PM

      by Thexalon (636) on Monday April 13 2015, @04:05PM (#169780)

      Martin is not complaining about who's getting the awards, he's complaining about the self-proclaimed "Sad Puppies" who are trying to change who's getting the award away from social sci-fi. He'd likely agree with your preference for, say, Ursula LeGuin over Keven Anderson.

      --
      Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
  • (Score: 2) by Hairyfeet on Tuesday April 14 2015, @05:16AM

    by Hairyfeet (75) <reversethis-{moc ... {8691tsaebssab}> on Tuesday April 14 2015, @05:16AM (#170226) Journal

    Actually look at their forums, the ones that vote today? Wouldn't have given Heinlein shit because he is a "fascist misogynist". That is why you really can't compare the past with the last 10 years as the SJW really didn't exist back then. If you would like to know more about the rise of the SJW please enjoy this instructional video [youtube.com] that explains 1.- What an SJW is, 2.- Where they came from, and 3.- How they act once they get into a group, complete with examples.

    --
    ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
    • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Tuesday April 14 2015, @10:50AM

      by TheRaven (270) on Tuesday April 14 2015, @10:50AM (#170319) Journal
      I enjoyed a number of Heinlein books growing up, but I wouldn't vote for him today. Not because of his politics (though the fact that he forces them down your throat and makes characters believe in totally unbelievable ways to reinforce them can be quite annoying), but because he's just not that good compared to modern SF writers. Read Heinlein in the context of his contemporaries and he's not too bad. Go back and re-read the original Foundation trilogy and you'll see how poor the competition really was.
      --
      sudo mod me up
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Hairyfeet on Tuesday April 14 2015, @09:18PM

        by Hairyfeet (75) <reversethis-{moc ... {8691tsaebssab}> on Tuesday April 14 2015, @09:18PM (#170553) Journal

        If you wouldn't vote for him because you think somebody else is better? THAT is a fair and honest opinion that SHOULD come into play when you are voting for an award, but look at my post again, they would insure that he would not win NOT because they thought somebody else was better but instead they would make sure nothing he wrote had a chance because he refused to parrot radical left Marxist politics and grovel and beg forgiveness for being born a white male.

        Dude I WISH I was making this up, I wish this was an exaggeration...its not, its REALLY fucking not. When Gamergate came out I first thought "Oh its one side trying to demonize the other, I bet if I actually talk to them rationally both sides have good and bad points"...nope, boy was I fucking wrong. Please do NOT take my word for it, go to some of the places that SJWs hang out like Jezebel or Twitter with gamerghazi and actually try to rationally talk to these people. If you are white? You sir are a piece of shit who should be groveling before everyone who isn't for having male privilege, if you are a man? You are a rape apologist, unless you are black in which case you rank high on the "oppression scale" and can do no wrong because no matter what you do its because of your "historic oppression" and therefor should be forgiven. They had a white male actually write a whole article (and you are about to see why we call white male SJWs "beta males" because of how pathetic they view themselves) about how the laws concerning hate crimes should be gotten rid of, sounds reasonable, right? Nope he said that "with a heavy heart I say we should get rid of hate crime laws because a black man has been charged with a hate crime and the laws as written don't even take into account historical oppression!"...I swear to God on my mother's life those were his EXACT fucking words!

        So nobody is arguing they shouldn't try to pick the one who wrote the best story....but that isn't what is happening, unless you consider "best" based on how much it pushes radical left wing feminist Marxist politics. As the one who started Sad Puppies pointed out you could place something like an Asimov or Bradbury in the Hugo Awards now and they would lose to something barely above the level of fanfic because it had a lesbian transsexual robot in it, or was filled with speeches about how whites and males were garbage. Again PLEASE don't take my word for it, I know many who have not had an actual dialog with a real SJW find this hard to believe, but go to one of their forums and talk to them directly and see how quickly you realize "these people are fucking batshit". They are racist, sexist, spew nothing but bile and hatred, narcissist as hell, you spend even a single hour talking to the SJWs and you will soon not be able to come up with a single kind word because they take even the most generic idea and radicalize the fuck out of it.

        --
        ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 14 2015, @10:39PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 14 2015, @10:39PM (#170603)

          parrot radical left Marxist politics

          There are Marxist parrots? And radical ones, at that? It is worse than anyone imagined. Why are the Marxist parrots picking on the Sad Puppies, and what happened to the Happy Kittens?