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

    by VLM (445) 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.

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

    by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge 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?"

    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
    • (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