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."
(Score: 2) by fritsd on Tuesday April 14 2015, @09:38AM
I'll keep Kim Stanley Robinson in mind, I've heard that before. Brothers Karamazov is the only book that *literally* bored me to tears. I exclaimed: "how many more pages are they going to be blabbering on about that dead priest?!?". 75 IIRC. Different times, I guess.
20th century Russians are OK, I've tried (in translation) Aleksander Solzhenitsyn(sp?) (boring, sorry) and Anatoli Rybakov. But it's all quite .. plodding .. compared to the 6 minutes of pure joy of every Masha i Medved episode (suitable for children, except the episodes with the jam jar which they shouldn't emulate).
Gravity's Rainbow is from the 1950s IIRC and difficult to get into. But I've not often read a stranger book than that, which is an experience in itself.