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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: 2, Insightful) by wisnoskij on Monday April 13 2015, @01:45PM

    by wisnoskij (5149) <reversethis-{moc ... ksonsiwnohtanoj}> on Monday April 13 2015, @01:45PM (#169703)

    Any award decided by a public vote is bull shit anyways. Because I can guarantees you that 99.9% of the voters did not read more than 1% of the nominees. So they just vote for the one book they happened to read; They have no idea which is the best novel. I am huge into the adventure game scene. I spend most of my time reviewing and playing adventure games. And I cannot get more than 10% of the years adventure games in, so even I do not vote for the Aggies (adventure game specific award).

    That said, from what I sort of gather voting is not even open to the wide public. It is something like people who purchased tickets last year. So it is not like these people convinced 4chan to vote. They campaigned like every other author/interest group to have their favorite book (and probably the onyl book they read) win.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @03:12PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @03:12PM (#169745)

    The Hugos are a bit of an odd contest in that they are a public vote and on top of that only a very small number of people vote (I think about 1000 or so people cast nominating ballots and they tend to be spread out enough that a couple hundred votes gets a nomination). As you say, any public vote has questionable value, but the Hugos are fairly highy regarded anyway with the Nebulas (voted on by a panel of published sci-fi authors) as a balance. Do notemthat anyone who paid $40 for a supporting membership to this or last year's WorldCon was eligible to nominate. Sad/Rapid Puppies had to convince people to pay that $40, but they weren't limited to people who had done so before their campaign (although this is their third such campaign, just much more successful than their previous ones).

  • (Score: 2) by naubol on Monday April 13 2015, @04:32PM

    by naubol (1918) on Monday April 13 2015, @04:32PM (#169810)

    Things that seem to suggest you're wrong.

    1) Publishers seem to believe the award sells more copies.
    2) Authors seem to believe that the recognition helps their careers.
    3) The recipients of the awards seem to be significantly better than average material, for the most part. IE, as a reader, the material seems to be at least better than random selection, if not much better.

    • (Score: 1) by wisnoskij on Monday April 13 2015, @08:02PM

      by wisnoskij (5149) <reversethis-{moc ... ksonsiwnohtanoj}> on Monday April 13 2015, @08:02PM (#169947)

      1) Obviously a win or even a nomination will get you a bigger and more prominent section of the bookstore. And a win also signifies popular support of your novel already (and big players tend to get even bigger, naturally).
      2) Well it is the most prestigious award in its category. So of course it helps their career. Oprah talking about a book helps an authors career and that would be true regardless of if she was a shit literary critic or a good literary critic (hell honey boo boo talking about a book would help the author, and chum lee eating a subway samwitch on air is good for subway's career).
      3) And there is no reason to suspect that it would not be better than average. It is a populous metric. the books that get more advertising get more readers and win the reward. Sort of, in general, kindof more advertising dollars will be spent on better books. So it will be better than average, but that is not to say that there is any reason to believe that it is above the 75 percentile of literary goodness.