On the Hugo Award hijacking

A group of right-wing Internet users calling themselves "Sad Pupping" have hijacked the Hugo Award ballot this year, buying voter-only memberships to the World Science Fiction Convention in order to fill the ballot with stories aligned with their political agenda, including one published by "Patriarchy Press," calling on Gamergate supporters to join in with them in seizing control of the award.

Game of Thrones creator George RR Martin wrote an excellent series of posts about the activity, which is indisputably within Hugo voting rules, but which is also indisputably a shitty thing to do, and also indisputably based on easily disproved lies about an alleged takeover of the Hugo Awards by "social justice warriors" bent on excluding white men and extolling "boring literary fiction".

Another excellent post on the Sad Puppies awfulness is Bruce Schneier's essay and its followup on constructing hard-to-game voting systems.

By the way, the DVDs of Season One George RR Martin's Game of Thrones are two-thirds off right now: DVD, Blu-Ray.

Besides, this is a nasty, nasty fight, and anyone who speaks up, on either side of this, risks being savaged. It is no fun being savaged. It raises one's blood pressure, and brings out the urge to savage back.

A wiser man would probably just keep quiet, and let this storm pass him by.

But no... that's the path of cowardice. Much as I do not relish what is to come, I have been a part of science fiction fandom most of my life, and the Hugo Awards and worldcon are very important to me, and I cannot and will not stand by and keep silent while they are under attack.

So I am going to say a few things.

Some of you reading this will not like what I am going to say. I expect I will get the usual rash of "I am never reading your books again" emails and posts. Fine, go ahead, I am used to those. They come in every time I say anything of substance.

I suspect I may get those sorts of emails from both sides of the Puppygate wars. I have my own views on all of this, and they don't line up precisely what what either camp is saying.

So be it. My views are my views. I do not speak for any clique or slate or movement.

Puppygate [George RR Martin/Not a Blog]

On voting systems: a guest post from Bruce Schneier [Making Light]

Discussing Specific Changes to the Hugo Nomination Election: Another Guest Post By Bruce Schneier [Making Light]

(via Wil Wheaton)

Notable Replies

  1. The hijacking seems stupid and boorish. But, have the Hugo's ever really been representative?

    Also, kudos to Cory for managing to squeeze in two amazon affiliate links into an editorial post about the Hugos.

  2. adult thug-children trying desperately to make the real world conform to their fantasy fap world.

  3. The funniest thing about the Sad Puppies is that their decrying of the "SJW" direction SF is taking just proves they've not really read much SF! >.<

  4. The whole Sad Puppies thing is repulsive and the guy behind it is a shit. That said, realize that it isn't exactly cut and dry.

    First, there was a non-sexist and non-racist grumbling about 2014's awards. The 2014 short fiction in particular was almost utterly devoid of sci-fi and fantasy. Seriously; all four of those short stories were squarely literature, some had literally no sci-fi fantasy elements at all. Forget social justice, it just wasn't sci-fi or fantasy. I am all for social justice stories, but come on man, for the Hugo's it actually has to be sci-fi or fantasy. Grumbling that 2014 had some literary navel gazing is valid criticism. I'm not sure how this little coup was engineered, but I wouldn't be shocked if a non-trivial portion of those who went along with the list had no clue about the origins and were voting against literary navel gazing, which is, in my opinion, perfectly valid. I think that the 2014 list was kind of shit too.

    Second, the Sad Puppies list isn't nothing but racist and sexist stuff. Part of why the cute little ploy worked is because the people tossed on the list had literally nothing to do with the list and don't stand for the kind of crap what-his-face stands for. The is like if a KKK guy puts out an Emmy voting list that included Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, or whatever the hell kids with TVs watch these days and claiming credit when they get nominated.

    Lines of Departure, one of the novels on the best novel list, is straight up probably best the military sci-fi have ever read. It knocked my socks off when I read it. It burst to the top of Amazon charts for a reason. It is just damn good and it deserves to be on that list. I would happily compare Lines of Departure with classic Starship Troopers. Skin Game is from a very long lived and well loved urban fantasy series that sells like mad. Perhaps even more fascinating is that Goodnight Stars, on the short story list, was written by a self identified queer socialist lady who in her blog post was kind of repulsed by the whole ordeal.

    So, please don't associate the authors nominated with the list. More then a few have spoken out at how queasy being on that list has made them feel, and at least one nominated author from the list pulled out.

    My point is, it isn't cut and dry. There is good sci-fi and fantasy that was nominated this year; don't automatically assume it has anything with the nasty sexist undertones from the guy who put out that list.

    edit: Made grammar more goodest.

  5. I heard it was about ethics in science fiction voting.

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