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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, Informative) by Nerdanel on Monday April 13 2015, @07:58PM

    by Nerdanel (3363) on Monday April 13 2015, @07:58PM (#169944) Journal

    The previous year the Sad Puppies managed to get Opera Vita Aeterna by Vox Day nominated for a Hugo in the Best Novelette category. The only reason for that choice that I can see is that Vox Day/Theodore Beale is a super extreme right-winger and outspoken about that and is also the only person ever to have been kicked out of the Science Fiction Writers of America. There's a lot about that online if you're interested, including his blog. Now, I've read Opera Vita Aeterna and I can say it's seriously bad. I've read worse fanfiction but I've also read a good deal of better fanfiction. In the actual voting the story ended up in the last place below No Award, and that was deserved.

    Here's the first sentence of Opera Vita Aeterna (a title which is incidentally one of the many examples of mangled Latin in the story):

    "The pallid sun was descending, its ineffective rays no longer sufficient to hold it up in the sky or to penetrate the northern winds that gathered strength with the whispered promises of the incipient dark."

    You should hopefully be able to see the terrible writing there. I don't think this post is the right place for a detailed review of all the sucky aspects of the novella. That would take too much time.

    If the Sad Puppies somehow didn't choose Opera Vita Aeterna on pure politics and were completely honest about wanting to promote quality, they would still suffer from so much bad taste that they shouldn't be let anywhere near any awards. They did get Kevin J. Anderson nominated for Best Novel this year though, so maybe they just don't know good from bad.

    But what's worse is that the Sad Puppies' existence has brought about the Rabid Puppies slate, which was largely about Vox Day promoting himself in the name of fighting the SJWs. The Rabid Puppies slate was highly successful, even more so than the Sad Puppies, with which it had significant overlap. That's why the 2015 Hugos have so many nominations for Vox Day and authors directly tied to Vox Day. He made a publishing house for himself, you see, which is somehow totally different from self-publishing his unpublishable crap.

    So now Vox Day has gotten himself, with his own slate and his own voting bloc, nominated for Short Form Editor and Long Form Editor. His tiny Castalia House has 4 novella nominations, 1 novelette nomination, 2 short story nominations, 2 related work nominations, and 2 Campbell Award nominations. These amount to 13 nominations for Vox Day's financial/egotistical benefit and include 6 nominations in 4 categories for John C. Wright, another outspoken super extreme right-winger and Vox Day's buddy. Dodgy.

    I hope that makes my point about the new bloc voting having been bad for the Hugos and the quality of the nominees.

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