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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: 4, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Monday April 13 2015, @01:02PM

    by Grishnakh (2831) on Monday April 13 2015, @01:02PM (#169676)

    If a group wants an award that always reflects a particular political point of view, then fine, set one up. Otherwise accept that as the prevailing mood changes so will what people perceive as award worthy.

    The problem with this is that what happened with the Hugos isn't, according to what I've read about it from other sources, an example of the "prevailing mood" changing. It's an example of ballot-box stuffing, just like Microsoft did with the ISO when they pushed through OOXML: the process was hijacked. Basically, the Hugo awards are decided by all the people who pony up some cash ($40 I think) to become a "member". Traditionally, only a certain number of people would bother to do this, people who were really serious about SF. But this time, some group got together a bunch of money and like-minded people, and en masse purchased memberships and then voted as a bloc. I'm sorry, but when a vocal minority decides to pipe up and shout down everyone else, that doesn't indicate a "prevailing mood change".

    Of course, it' s not proof the prevailing mood hasn't changed either, but when I see some group gang up like that and take a coordinated action, that makes me think this group actually represents the opposite of the prevailing mood, or else why did they need to work this way?

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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by VLM on Monday April 13 2015, @01:26PM

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 13 2015, @01:26PM (#169692)

    or else why did they need to work this way?

    In the short term, affirmative action quotas. If the old boys club doesn't like new ideas (like hiring employees other than white men such as the existing old boys club members, or in this specific case, sending awards only to authors of SJW political leanings) then historically old boys clubs have been broken up more or less by this kind of technique.

    In the medium term, there's no such thing as bad PR. Better in the news as the "bad boys" than not in the news at all. Is there anyone who's not better off WRT PR implications in this whole discussion, on either side? Perhaps both sides cooperate more than you'd think such that all sides benefit? Aside from the binary political sides, perhaps next year, the UAW buys 1M memberships to push their political bias, I'm not sure the award organizers are going to complain too loudly about the additional $40M of funds. I'm not sure what sci fi themed union membership propaganda would look like, although it probably wouldn't look very good.

    In the long run encouraging political propaganda is a loss for the readers, because its traditionally very bad literature and the opposite of timeless, resulting in a net long term loss to sci fi and maybe a net long term gain to fantasy or alt hist or brony slash fic or whatever alternatives.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by khallow on Monday April 13 2015, @01:30PM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 13 2015, @01:30PM (#169695) Journal

    But this time, some group got together a bunch of money and like-minded people, and en masse purchased memberships and then voted as a bloc. I'm sorry, but when a vocal minority decides to pipe up and shout down everyone else, that doesn't indicate a "prevailing mood change".

    The process was hijacked some time ago. "Serious SF" made way for what the Sad Puppies have been calling "check the boxes", literature that is considered better when it checks off various social justice grievances than the quality of its story.

    Of course, it' s not proof the prevailing mood hasn't changed either, but when I see some group gang up like that and take a coordinated action, that makes me think this group actually represents the opposite of the prevailing mood, or else why did they need to work this way?

    Because someone else gamed the system first.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @01:43PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @01:43PM (#169702)

      > Because someone else gamed the system first.

      That's a weird definition of "gamed first."
      Was there some "happy kittens" group organizing ballot stuffing campaigns in previous years?
      Or was it simply the continuing natural course of events?

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by Vanderhoth on Monday April 13 2015, @02:10PM

        by Vanderhoth (61) on Monday April 13 2015, @02:10PM (#169716)

        Actually yeah, someone else was gaming the system first. Sad Puppies was the first group to admit publicly they were doing it and only did so, basically, on a dare. The person that did SP1 did so because he pointed out others were creating and submitting slates for nominations, Scalzi most notably. When he pointed this out he was told there was nothing wrong with it, so he started SP1, which had some success. SP2 was much more successful and SP3 had all of their nominations made.

        Basically people, like me, lost interests in the Hugos years ago. The books winning just weren't that great, IMHO. I believe the reason was because books weren't winning on merit, they were winning because some authors started doing basically what SP is doing. The guy who did SP1 said he actually had no intention of continuing the campaign, he just did it to demonstrate that it was and could be done. He did SP1 & SP2, someone else has taken over for SP3, then the media and some high profile people started blaming it on GamerGate, which is how I heard about it.

        I follow GamerGate very closely and hadn't even heard mention of SP until people started accusing it, of using GamerGate, to rigging the Hugos. There were only 200 more people voting in for nominations this year over last year. If GamerGate had been involved it would have been closer to 2,000. We have no problem raising $2,000 in a weekend for charities and other projects (we're close to $200,000 in total donations, here are just a few of the things we've done http://gamergate.me/charity/), [gamergate.me] or trending whatever tags we want on Twitter as a collective (last Thursday we did #OpEarthQuake and in a couple hours trended #AreYouBlocked world wide) and KotakuInAction has some 32,000 subscribers.

        Had GamerGate been involved it would have decimated the "SJW", a term I really hate using. As it happens now the "SJW" authors are now openly buying votes spending up to $2,800 for memberships to hand out to people that will vote "no award" for them in hopes none of the nominations win an award, I have a link somewhere to a tweet about it. If I have time to go looking, I'll come back and post it.

        --
        "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @02:17PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @02:17PM (#169718)

          So your argument is that a secret group was ballot stuffing and your proof of that is????

          • (Score: 2) by Vanderhoth on Monday April 13 2015, @02:25PM

            by Vanderhoth (61) on Monday April 13 2015, @02:25PM (#169721)

            It wasn't a secret group, I have you the name of one of the people that was participating in it. 8^)

            --
            "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @02:41PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @02:41PM (#169728)

              A group of one person?
              Puhlease. All you are doing is confirming the perception of these sad puppies as nutjobs.

              • (Score: 2) by Vanderhoth on Monday April 13 2015, @03:05PM

                by Vanderhoth (61) on Monday April 13 2015, @03:05PM (#169740)

                A group only needs one person to lead it.

                I gave you a name, you can look them up yourself to see the kind of crazy they are. I'm not on any side here, I don't vote in the Hugo's nor intend to, but after doing the research it's pretty obvious all the things the "nutjobs" in sad puppies were saying are in fact true. The system can be gamed, and it has been for sometime now.

                --
                "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @03:36PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @03:36PM (#169762)

                  Ah, the old "go google it and prove my point for me" cop-out.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @04:17PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @04:17PM (#169788)

                    the classic child troll response, do it for me, I'm too much of a lazy sack of shit to do it myself...

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @10:46PM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @10:46PM (#170050)

                      Hey, I'm not the one making extraordinary claims.

                      I don't believe him and apparently he's only interested in the self-pleasure of ranting rather than the effort of convincing.

                • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Oakenshield on Monday April 13 2015, @03:46PM

                  by Oakenshield (4900) on Monday April 13 2015, @03:46PM (#169767)

                  I admit I was oblivious to the whole thing until the story first hit ARS. I did some research as well and there was some batshit crazy stuff coming from the people pissed off by the Sad Puppies. It was sad, but it did tend to confirm that what they were accusing was true. I was astonished by the childish vitriol coming from (what I assume) were adults.

                  • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Monday April 13 2015, @03:54PM

                    by Grishnakh (2831) on Monday April 13 2015, @03:54PM (#169771)

                    I've been an adult for over two decades now, and one thing I've noticed is that so-called adults in this society, regardless of age, are no more mature than most teenagers.

                    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Vanderhoth on Monday April 13 2015, @04:07PM

                      by Vanderhoth (61) on Monday April 13 2015, @04:07PM (#169783)

                      It's because the only ones concerned with "maturity" when it comes to arts and entertainment are "children". Saying someone HAS to be mature is what parents use to convince their children they're not behaving properly. Unfortunately some of those children grew up and realized it's a great way to control the behavior of others they don't like. And if you can't use maturity against someone, call them "sexist", "racists", "homophobic", "trasphobic", "misogynistic" (bonus if they're women say they have "internalized misogyny", if they're minorities they've "internalized racism") then clam your side can't be. "Oh, you can't be sexists against a man. Sexism is privilege + power, women don't have privilege or power therefore can't be sexist"

                      If someone out wits you in a conversation mock and belittle them, bring your friends or use Anonymous status to make it seem like a legion of people agree with you.

                      The mental gymnastic I've read over the last eight months is mind boggling.

                      --
                      "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
                      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @04:16PM

                        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @04:16PM (#169787)

                        > And if you can't use maturity against someone, call them "sexist", "racists", "homophobic", "trasphobic", "misogynistic"

                        It is interesting that your totally unbiased analysis of events and culpability just happens to line up exactly with your biases.
                        No coincidence at all.

                        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Yog-Yogguth on Wednesday April 15 2015, @08:56AM

                          by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 15 2015, @08:56AM (#170861) Journal

                          Much more interesting that you mod up your own shoddy comments through multiple accounts (you're not exactly subtle). You're bound to keep it up so the site will figure out a way to stop it (if they haven't already for the next update).

                          I guess this might be the end of moderation capabilities for Tor and VPN users, too bad for the ones who managed to behave.

                          --
                          Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! tails.boum.org/ linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
                  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @04:14PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @04:14PM (#169785)

                    I am having a hard time understanding how vitriol, no matter how vitriolic, is proof of a secret group that existed beforehand.

                    Just because people are angry and pissed off doesn't make them conspirators, especially prior conspirators.

                    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Oakenshield on Monday April 13 2015, @04:50PM

                      by Oakenshield (4900) on Monday April 13 2015, @04:50PM (#169824)


                      I am having a hard time understanding how vitriol, no matter how vitriolic, is proof of a secret group that existed beforehand.

                      Just because people are angry and pissed off doesn't make them conspirators, especially prior conspirators.

                      The point was that the "Sad Puppies" opponents were openly declaring dedication to vote solely based upon politics. The accusations from "Sad Puppy" supporters were that the process had been in fact previously been hijacked by political factions within the membership. That is, that winners were chosen based upon alignment to the political leanings of the membership instead of merit. The Sad Puppies' slate was (allegedly) chosen without regard to politics.

                      • (Score: 2) by Vanderhoth on Monday April 13 2015, @05:14PM

                        by Vanderhoth (61) on Monday April 13 2015, @05:14PM (#169834)

                        The Sad Puppies' slate was (allegedly) chosen without regard to politics.

                        This is supposedly true for this year. The guy that ran SP1 & SP2 admitted he has a conservative leaning. This year the slate was chosen by different people without consideration to politics, some authors that strongly disagreed with SP asked to have their names dropped from the slate and some have turned down nominations. I read one blog by an author who speculates that might be more because other authors are afraid they will be labelled as conservatives for not rejecting the nominations and therefore will be shunned by publishers and attacked by "SJW", I hate that term, in the community... or outside of it. Supposedly one of the defining factors of an "SJW" is they don't care about the communities or fandoms. They get involved in everything for no other reason then to get social justice even if they'd never consume the product themselves, before or after.

                        --
                        "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
                        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @09:26PM

                          by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @09:26PM (#170004)

                          It's that idea that they can/should/will lead you to a better tomorrow or shame you into non-existence for not sharing their vision sort of thing...
                          You know, like Hitler...

                        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @10:57PM

                          by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @10:57PM (#170060)

                          Supposedly one of the defining factors of an "SJW" is they don't care about the communities or fandoms. They get involved in everything for no other reason then to get social justice even if they'd never consume the product themselves, before or after.

                          So you disagree with Buzz calling Martin and Scalzi SJWs? [soylentnews.org]

                          And what do you call all the people who signed up to be hugo voters for the first time ever in order to vote for the SP slate of 'anti-SJW' titles?

                      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @10:52PM

                        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @10:52PM (#170057)

                        > The point was that the "Sad Puppies" opponents were openly declaring dedication to vote solely based upon politics.

                        Yes AFTER WITNESSING SP DOING IT FIRST.

                        You and vander are both pushing circular logic - "someone else was gaming the system first." But all the 'proof' of that is (a) one guy (Scalzi) lobbying for his own stories and (b) a bunch of people angrily vowing to do to SP what SP did first.

                        Time travel is not real, SP doesn't get to blame their prior actions on what people will do in the future.

                        • (Score: 2, Informative) by Oakenshield on Tuesday April 14 2015, @02:18PM

                          by Oakenshield (4900) on Tuesday April 14 2015, @02:18PM (#170395)

                          > The point was that the "Sad Puppies" opponents were openly declaring dedication to vote solely based upon politics. Yes AFTER WITNESSING SP DOING IT FIRST.

                          I realize I am debating a AC and it is pointless, but... SP was reactionary. This was not something that was pulled out of their rectums for the Lulz. It was openly stated it was a response to the (at least) appearance of impropriety of selections by political affiliation. It was also stated that SP's slate was agnostic to politics, and based upon (their opinions of) merit. SP opponents openly stated that their goal was to thwart this and vote based upon political lines which is precisely what the SP supporters claimed that they had done in the past. It is difficult to believe that voting by political affiliation did not exist prior to SP, while those accused freely admit to intentions to do so in the future and while past winners look suspiciously like politics were involved.

          • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 14 2015, @03:16AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 14 2015, @03:16AM (#170180)

            The proof is here (for context, N K Jemisin is a fantasy writer known for her incendiary speeches against white people, don't take my word for it if you don't believe it, read her Wiscon 38 Guest of Honor Speech. But anyway, here's the proof you were asking for):

            nkjemisin.com/2015/04/not-the-affirmative-action-you-meant-not-the-history-youre-making/
            Not in the post itself, but in the comments. One of the site visitors says that people are openly talking about Affirmative Action and deliberately nominating books by people of color, with the ‘by POC’ coming first before any other consideration, and N K Jemisin agrees that it’s true.

            This is not what really bothers me, though. Positive discrimination, is not something really awful like normal discrimination, although I still don’t think it should take place in a literary award. But what bothers me is the exclusion, the violent rhetoric and the cultural war against a certain part of the population. Look, I don’t care if you get together with your online friends to vote only for writers with a certain skin color. Whatever floats your boat. I just want to be treated decently, and not like a rabid dog.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 14 2015, @06:39AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 14 2015, @06:39AM (#170244)

              incendiary speeches against white people

              OMG! Lookit dat! Incinderary speeches! Why, that is almost as bad as having a cross burning on you lawn 'cause you got uppity! Mercy on these white people! They must be so afraid! I hope no one lynches them for being such racist assholes!

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @03:03PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @03:03PM (#169739)

          Do you have a reference for the claim of slates other than Sad/Rapid Puppies? I've seen claims that Scalzi proposed a slate... backed up by a link to a blog post that involves no such thing. Scalzi has posted which of his own works were eligible and had threads on his blog the past few years with the rule that creators could list eligible works, but forbid recommending other people's works. My understanding is that even this was considered uncouth a few years ago but is fairly common now, and is not at all the same thing as recommending an entire slate.

          • (Score: 2) by Vanderhoth on Monday April 13 2015, @03:12PM

            by Vanderhoth (61) on Monday April 13 2015, @03:12PM (#169744)

            Unfortunately I don't have any links at the moment on this machine. I'm also not sure if the links I do have don't in some roundabout way come from sad puppies, most are from blogs.

            I do have this link which is Harlan Ellison talking about the issue a number of years ago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFR9TYxAVZQ [youtube.com]

            --
            "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @03:23PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @03:23PM (#169750)

              So, if you believe Ellison, one author lobbied for their own story ... and that's basically the same thing as a secret cabal voting on ideology rather than 'quality.'

              That is not nutty at all.

              • (Score: 2) by Vanderhoth on Monday April 13 2015, @03:46PM

                by Vanderhoth (61) on Monday April 13 2015, @03:46PM (#169766)

                It's not a secret cabal 8^)

                --
                "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @04:21PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @04:21PM (#169794)

                Couldn't you just look at the previous winners over the last decade to see or not if an unnatural pattern has emerged?

                Let me guess, that would require effort though, something you likely lack.

                And to answer your response ahead of time, I actually don't care about these awards, but I do care about pointing out your flaws.

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by curunir_wolf on Monday April 13 2015, @05:54PM

            by curunir_wolf (4772) on Monday April 13 2015, @05:54PM (#169872)

            Not specifically about slating, but I found this interesting, from a writer who dealt with ostracizing due to "unapproved opinion". From Sarah A. Hoyt [accordingtohoyt.com].

            --
            I am a crackpot
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Reziac on Tuesday April 14 2015, @03:02AM

          by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday April 14 2015, @03:02AM (#170176) Homepage

          I don't think the person you mention is truly trying to buy votes; I think she honestly feels that if more people vote, things will be more fair. Some of the others who've chimed in may well be eyeing "preferred voters", tho, and it may wind up being de facto purchased votes because of the self-selecting that happens with normal blog reading -- the people going to those blogs where they'll hear about the donated memberships also tend to be anti-SP to start with. At least she's putting them all in a hat and doing random drawings, rather than cherrypicking candidates.

          And of course the SPs/RPs can't perform the same generosity (tho several could well afford to) or it would immediately be decried as buying votes.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday April 14 2015, @12:50AM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 14 2015, @12:50AM (#170112) Journal

        Was there some "happy kittens" group organizing ballot stuffing campaigns in previous years?

        I guess you'll have to look [monsterhunternation.com]. But the noise over the "Sad Puppies" campaigns combined with coordinated media attacks doesn't strike me as the work of people who just happen to be fans.