Back to previous post: Both more and less than political

Go to Making Light's front page.

Forward to next post: Clean Living Under Difficult Circumstances

Subscribe (via RSS) to this post's comment thread. (What does this mean? Here's a quick introduction.)

April 4, 2015

The 2015 Hugo finalists
Posted by Patrick at 12:14 PM *

The ballot is here. It’s not pretty. Other folks will have detailed comments and analysis, including lists of which finalists come from the “Sad Puppy” slate.

Here and elsewhere, we’ve seen a bunch of people try to make the “Sad Puppy” campaign seem reasonable and unexceptionable. That’s one face of their initiative.

Here’s the other face:

2-humble-socjus.jpg

1-hurt-socjus.jpg

3-infection.jpg

Two observations here:

(1) Clearly, the Sad Puppy campaign is all about healthy fannish enthusiasm for particular people and books, not at all about vengeance, score-settling, or a desire to “hurt” “social justice warriors” and “hunt down” the “disease”. They’re all just nice folks who make jokes about puppies.

(2) Reaching out to #GamerGate, inviting them to join Worldcon: special.

To repeat something I said in the lengthy Making Light comment-section discussion of all this, here’s my own take what’s not a big deal, and what really is a big deal.

(1) To the best of my knowledge, the campaign to get a slate of specific people and works onto the Hugo ballot hasn’t done anything that violates the rules.

(2) As anyone over the age of ten knows, it’s generally possible to do things that are dubious, or scummy, or even downright evil, without violating any laws or rules.

(3) Merely running a campaign to get a slate of specific people and works onto the Hugo ballot doesn’t really rise to the level of “evil”, but it’s definitely “dubious” at the very least. Which is to say, it violates a lot of people’s sense of how one ought to behave, and if you do it you’ll incur widespread disapproval. Prepare to deal.

(4) However, running a campaign to get a slate of specific people and works onto the Hugo ballot and reaching out to #Gamergate for support in this…in effect, inviting a bunch of people who traffic in violent threats, intimidation, and “SWATting” to join our community…well, that rises all the way to “downright evil”.

For complicity with this, the Sad Puppy campaign deserves our comprehensive rejection.

Comments on The 2015 Hugo finalists:
#1 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 03:32 PM:

Some of the nominees are definitely going below Noah Ward, as not fit for any Hugo. I've read the three from Analog, and while they're not great, they're at least adequate.

#2 ::: between4walls ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 03:33 PM:

Congratulations on Goblin Emperor and The Dark Between the Stars getting nominated.

#3 ::: April D ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 03:34 PM:

This year will be my first World Con. Looks like I might be voting "no award" a bunch of times.

#4 ::: Benjamin Wolfe ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 03:38 PM:

I'm thinking that there's going to be an awful lot of "No Award" on my ballot.

Also, I have to say I'm not particularly looking forward to whatever form the Hugo packet takes this year. There are a couple of nominees in Best Novel I'd like to read, but I'm happy to buy those when funds and time permit, but the rest, I can mostly do without.

#5 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 03:40 PM:

If I had ever had any illusions about those folks, which I didn't, this would have dispelled them fast. That being said, I like being an infection.

#6 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 03:42 PM:

One good thing: they seem to have failed to keep two excellent books out of the novel category, though three of the SP nominees are there. But the down-ticket works...even if a Hugo is given is for those categories, who could claim it proudly? Teresa's concerns about Best Related Work have been fully realized. And shutting out the editors of the house which published the most sf? I mean, really? My sympathies to you and Teresa.

#7 ::: Nat Lovin ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 03:43 PM:

At least the graphic story nominees are pretty good.

#8 ::: between4walls ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 03:45 PM:

Oh, I didn't realize the Dark Between the Stars was a Sad Puppies nominee. Well, congrats on the Gobin Emperor, anyway.

#9 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 03:45 PM:

Well, I'm pleased that The Goblin Emperor made the nominees, at least. I feel a little chagrined, however, because I told several people months ago what a great deal the supporting membership was; you got Hugo-worthy novels and novelettes and novellas and short stories (publishers wiling).... and I'm not entirely sure that a slate that features VD not once, but twice, is full of Hugo-worthy material. I've read VD. I didn't enjoy his work last year, and I'm unlikely to enjoy it this year....

#10 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 03:45 PM:

It's worth noting that several nominees come from VD's Rabid Puppies list; these tend to fill up the spaces left by the SP list. This makes things worse than I imagined they could be.

It had not struck me before that Torgersen had made no recommendation in Best Fan Artist. This leaves that category, together with Graphic Story where he made only one suggestion, as islands of sanity. Apart from that, I think the non-SP or RP nominees can be counted on the fingers of two hands.

#11 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 03:49 PM:

Is this the first year of the Short Form Dramatic Presentation award where the five slots have gone to five different shows? Nice to see something other than Doctor Who in there.

The Best Graphic Story ballot looks pretty strong. I’m really glad to see Sex Criminals there; that may be the best new comic I’ve read in a while.

#12 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 03:56 PM:

Avram@11: yes, the media and graphics awards are another bright spot. If SP slate nominations are there, they are at least plausible nominations.

#13 ::: Laurence Brothers ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 03:57 PM:

Well here's hoping the whole lot of them are laughed off the final ballots with negligible votes. A few of those categories are particularly distressing, but at least there are obvious vastly superior alternatives in most cases.

#14 ::: Kevin J. Maroney ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 03:58 PM:

Avram @11: The Graphic Story slate is very strong. I haven't read--I hadn't even heard of--the Sick Puppy nominee, but I've read all four of the others and they range from "really good" (Ms Marvel, Saga) to "superb" (Rat Queens) to "hands-down the best thing ever" (Sex Criminals).

#15 ::: Zack ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:07 PM:

Apart from everything else, it is extremely disappointing to not see The Three-Body Problem in the Best Novel category. (Unless there was some reason it wasn't eligible? I certainly thought it was.)

#16 ::: Ian ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:08 PM:

I am just curious as to how a couple of Twitter posts exhorting Gamergaters to register for the Hugos from someone who seems to have no relation to Togerson or Correia counts as "reaching out" to them. This seems like if they were to call you out for associating with that requires hate person.

#17 ::: giltay ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:09 PM:

Randolph @ 6:

At least the non-SP nominees know that their work passed through the nominations process even in the face of a coordinated effort to keep them off the ballot.

#18 ::: Tatterbots ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:09 PM:

Larry Correia says he turned down a nomination.

#19 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:12 PM:

16
There is considerably more to the story than that. It's a long-running thing, and none of it seems to be to the credit of the various Puppies. (For one thing, who in their right mind calls upon Gators to get involved with an award that they have nothing to do with? And for another, it's very much not the fannish way to do things.)

#20 ::: rochrist ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:12 PM:

@13 Problem is, a lot of those catagories are entirely, or almost entirely SP nominations. That Vox Day gets 2(!) nominations is beyond disgusting. Not to mention the 27 nominations for that pervert John C Wright. This is pretty discouraging. To dominate the ballots this way means they had huge numbers of people buy memberships, likely including a lot of #GGers. I'm not sure how to fight this, and frankly, I don't know if I have the energy. I may just check out of the Hugos and Worldcon altogether.

#21 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:13 PM:

I predict that in a number of categories I will be voting for a chap named Noah Ward.

While I do not believe in cruelty to animals, I find myself wanting to kick certain Sad Puppies where it would do them some good. Is this because I am a bad person? I hope not.

#22 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:15 PM:

OK... Which of them *are* SP nominees?

#23 ::: Chris Gerrib ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:17 PM:

rochrist @ 21 - if you look at the down-ballot stats, you see that, for short story, the highest nomination got 230 votes and the lowest 151. All they did was get a bloc of around 250 people (256 got the lowest novel in) to vote the same, and let the other 1800 people spread out their vote.

#24 ::: Chris Gerrib ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:18 PM:

Serge Broom - File 770 has them broken out.

#25 ::: Nat Lovin ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:18 PM:

Here's File 770's breakdown of sad vs rapid vs non-puppies on the ballot.

#26 ::: Steve ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:20 PM:

Are the nomination ballots public? Can we figure out what the ballots would have been without the sad puppies?

#27 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:25 PM:

Steve #27:

They will be released once the Hugos have been awarded. So not for a few months yet.

#28 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:27 PM:

Vox Day has stated that many problems of the modern day are due to democracies "giving women the vote", and that people of African ancestry are savages incapable of modern civilization. While stooping to GamerGate is very low, associating with Vox Day -- a person who thinks that more than half of the human race is incapable of rational thought on his plane of being -- that's pretty low, too.

#29 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:28 PM:

Steve #27:
Last year's Hugo statistics (pdf) as an example. The numbers for nominating ballots are at the bottom.

#30 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:29 PM:

Thanks. I'm glad I'm not going to Sasquan.

#31 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:33 PM:

I now have a dilemma:
Jim Butcher's Dresden Files have been on my "one of these days" list for some time. I'd rather avoid starting the series with book 15 (in addition, I've heard some people say that book 15 is best appreciated after reading at least books 9-14); but I'm not sure that I'm able to read all 15 of them by the voting deadline. Do I read just book 15, or do I try to get through the whole thing?

There is some precedent for me here. I read A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, and A Storm of Swords in order to vote on A Feast for Crows. Does anyone know how the Dresden Files series compares with A Song of Ice and Fire in terms of word count?

#32 ::: Cathy ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:36 PM:

Not at all happy that the Virgil Finlay centennial book may have been knocked out of the Best Related Work category by Sad and Rabid Puppies.

OTOH, if the slate so pisses off the non-puppy Worldcon electorate that the majority vote and only vote on non-puppy nominees, Galactic Suburbia might win Best Fancast. Although I'd rather have it win because it is awesome and not because people are mad at the majority of other nominees.

#33 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:38 PM:

I'm very sorry for the people who produced great work this year and would have made the ballot if the nominations were based on what Worldcon members had read (watched, listened to) and loved.

I am taking some comfort from the fact that far more members vote, than nominate, so the final award is less easily influenced by a political slate. That's scant comfort in the categories completely dominated by the slate, of course.

#34 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:39 PM:

Does John C. Wright have the most nominations ever on a single Hugo ballot?

#35 ::: Brian Marshall ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:42 PM:

First time posting here. As I understand it, if you are a voting member you will be receiving an ebook copy of all or most the nominated work.

Also if you are a voting member, in my opinion, you have to read all of the competing works to make a fair assessment. Now if the work is just not to your style at least you can give it a try before deleting it off of whatever you are reading it on. Maybe you will find something that is worth the time reading it, I know Jim Butchers Skin Game was wonderful.

Myself could not Stand Ancillary Justice but I did finish it. And am not looking forward to reading Ancillary Sword but I will so that I may make an informed vote as I believe is my responsibility.

If I do not read all the competing works, I will not be voting.

My mother taught me not to judge a person on how they look but how they act. Judge the books, not the people. Don't vote No Award unless the really is nothing that deserves the award.

#36 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:44 PM:

Nancy Lebovitz @35: Seanan McGuire has had 5 Hugo nominations in the same year.

#37 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:44 PM:

David Goldfarb@32:individual books are shorter but there are more of them. Probably comparable word counts.

#38 ::: Grace Seybold ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:45 PM:

Matthew Surridge, who was put on the SP slate without being consulted, turned down the nomination for Best Fan Writer.

#39 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:48 PM:

I wonder what the results would have looked like if the nominations period had lasted at least until the end of March instead of being less than eight weeks long? I didn't nominate this year because I was focused on winter conventions in Boston and by the time I looked up, it was the day before the nominations period was over. I think it's an abomination that the nominations period is so short--there was essentially no time to read what came out in November and December, for example.

The "justification" for the nominations period being so short as regards having announcements at Easter weekend conventions?! I have nothing polite to say about, and as for "it means more time for reading the nominees" to me if something was Hugo-worthy- people should mostly have heard of it earlier than the second quarter of the following year....

I followed a link above, those who think Kevin J Anderson's work is Hugo-worthy, have very different aesthetic views and tastes than I have... and to anyone who nominated Vox Day for Best Editor, I have nothing polite to say to.

Are the Hugos and Black Holes still around? They and he deserve several...

#40 ::: Brad R. Torgersen ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:48 PM:

As always, you have the option to set aside your rancor at Vox Day (who was not involved with SP3) and GamerGate, and read your packet. Some of the SP3 suggestions will not be to your taste, and some of them will. Rank accordingly. Automatically downvoting a thing -- especially via "No Award" -- would seem to validate every piece of criticism being directed at the "insider" nature of Worldcon. For years, people have asked, "How can we bring more people to the table?" Well, more people just came to the table. Are you prepared to declare them the "wrong" kind of fans? Are you prepared to label the authors, editors, and works the "wrong" kind of authors, editors, and works? You can hate on me all you want. Hate on Correia. Nothing historic has ever been done without the defenders of the status quo getting very upset with the leaders of change. But evaluate the final nominees on their own individual merits. That's how we did it. I think you all can do it too.

#41 ::: Alma Alexander ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:48 PM:

This is my first Worldcon in some years. And now this. How... disappointing.

Well, I'll make a plan to vote no award for a number of thise categories, anyway. My question is, what actually happens to the Hugo if No Award wins the most votes? Does it go to the next person with the most votes? Can one vote No Awaed five times, to make sure that NOBODY sneaks past on rigged voting?

#42 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:49 PM:

Is Mike Resnick there because the Snotty Puppies nominated him?

#43 ::: rochrist ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:49 PM:

Wright has 6 nominations.

#44 ::: rochrist ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:52 PM:

#41 @Brad So, you evaluated everything eligible for awards this year and felt that the best possible choice was John C Wright for 6 nominations? Then your process is broken.

#45 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:55 PM:

I'm pretty sure that if No Award wins, the Hugo is listed as not being given for that category in that year. I don't believe that's ever happened in any category except Dramatic Presentation.

I for one do plan to read as many of the nominated works as I can. My annoyance at the slate will affect my judgment of them; I don't see how it could not. But I'll do my best to rank them fairly.

(I read all the nominated works last year except WoT; my reaction to the Sad Puppy nominees was, "This is the best they could come up with?")

#46 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 04:56 PM:

I will not vote for any work that is on a slate, because I think that slates corrupt and destroy the Hugo process. So anything on any slate goes below No Award, even if (after reading them), I have rankings for them.

Because if we reward slate-based nomination, we'll get more of it. And I do not want it, more than I want or do not want any given work to get or not get any given award.

#47 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 05:01 PM:

The majority of the Wright nominations, and both the VD ones, we're from VD's Rabid Puppies slate and not Brad's SP.

Brad is responsible for enough without saddling him with the effects of the Rabid Puppies as well.

#48 ::: April D ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 05:02 PM:

I don't think No Award will win in Best Novel, since Goblin Emperor and Ancillary Sword are in that category. Some of the others, though...

#49 ::: Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 05:02 PM:

@33 Their practice of democratic centralism may also have knocked out the 2nd volume of the Heinlein biography from Best Related Work - it appears that the slate creators overlooked it, but it's a work that may well have been nominated under normal conditions.

#50 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 05:03 PM:

46
If Noah Ward wins, that's how it's listed - in the lists I've seen in the past.

#51 ::: Kevin Standlee ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 05:03 PM:

Alma Alexander @42:

If No Award wins (either outright on in the head-to-head "showdown" after the first count produces a preliminary winner), then No Hugo Award is presented in that category. No Award is a real choice with real consequences. The last time it happened was the 1977 Hugo Awards, where No Award was presented for Best Dramatic Presentation.

You cannot vote a candidate multiple times; it's meaningless in Instant Runoff Voting. If you dislike all candidates equally, mark a 1 by No Award and leave the rest of your ballot blank.

#52 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 05:07 PM:

It took me a moment to get the joke here:

https://twitter.com/Hal_Duncan/status/584454066874507264/photo/1

#53 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 05:08 PM:

Torgesen, #41: "For years, people have asked, 'How can we bring more people to the table?' Well, more people just came to the table. Are you prepared to declare them the 'wrong' kind of fans? Are you prepared to label the authors, editors, and works the 'wrong' kind of authors, editors, and works?"

Interesting question. Does the desire to expand fandom mean we have to welcome every imaginable kind of person? I think a moment's reflection reveals that no, we do not. The SF convention that finds itself sharing a hotel with the International Association of Cheerful Child-rapers can probably be excused for not inviting them to come visit the con suite. Likewise, many people, me included, think that #Gamergate is an association of terrible human beings that we don't want to see joining us.

It is odd to have to explain to a self-described "conservative" that it's legitimate to take moral stands on what we will and won't put up with in our voluntary associations. I had been given to understand that this was a big conservative principle, but I guess not.

#54 ::: UrsulaV ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 05:12 PM:

Like Abi, I will rank anything on a slate below No Award. Period. You may whine all you want about giving writers a fair chance, but they had one. They chose to game the system by being on a slate.

Slates break the Hugos. No amount of attempted spin will change that fact. If the only way you could get on a ballot is by setting up a slate, then you didn't get there by merit, and it's laughably entitled to think that I should pretend you did, and waste my valuable time weighing the supposed merits of your story that wasn't good enough to get there honestly.

#55 ::: DanAudy ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 05:14 PM:

Well, I guess I'm buying a supporting membership for the first time. I've always been willing to let my laziness win out actually nominating and just enjoy the nomination lists as a way to expand my reading of excellent literature.

The best novel and best graphic novel categories generally make me happy - even two of the three sad puppy nom's for best novel are solid works that I would be ok with winning. I don't think either Butcher's or Anderson's novels are, on their own, worthy of winning the best novel Hugo but I would be ok with looking at a Butcher win as a Hugo for the entire series (which collectively I think it is worthy) and an Anderson win as the equivalent of how the Oscar's often give awards for lifetime achievement rather than the actual movie.

The best short form editor category was really sad though. For short form work only Jennifer Brozek would rank above No Award for me, and that is only looking at her lifetime of work rather than just 'Shattered Shields' which was...ok. The complete lack of inclusion of any non-puppy editor makes me quite disappointed.

While the long form editor category is similarly pure puppy their choices include some actually good editors that I think are worthy Hugo choices - Anne Sowards and Toni Weisskopf in particular would be fine recipients.\

Definitely going to need to put a lot of thought into the rest of the slate.

#56 ::: Paula Liebeman ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 05:20 PM:

I don't see anything by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Patricia Briggs, Christine Feehan, Laurell K. Hamilton, J D Robb, or Kim Harrison on the ballot. All of them are SF/F writers, and in the top ten bestseller lists, and their readers are wildy enthusiastic about their books. I also don't see the authors of SF/F YA #1 bestselling SF/F on the ballot.

Could it be due to "girl cooties"??! [in the type of writing they do, not in their being female writers necessarily] There was a writer at Boskone I talked to, who said she's not interested in going to the Worldcon. She seems to have the perception that a lot of people at the Worldcon have the girl cooties outlook and she apparently feels it's not worth trying to deal with.

I am not going to force myself to slog through stories that when I try to read them, fail to grab me. If something fails to grab me, I don;t even nominate it, much less put it above No Award on the final ballot. Someone else might think it's wonderful, if it's not appealing to me, it doesn't get a vote above No Award on my ballot.

I'm happy to see Anne Soward get on the final ballot, she's been on the nomination ballots I've submitted in the past.

Regarding Jim Butcher's work--I've read nearly all the previous books in the series, and read that one. Even having read the previous books, not having read them recently enough, meant not being able to follow everything for me. My opinion is that it does not work as a stand-alone book as regards comprehension.

#57 ::: Cat ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 05:22 PM:

I was looking at the nominees, wondering where all the extra John C. Wright and Vox Day nominations were coming from--then I thought of the Rabid Puppies. But I thought they didn't have anything like the kind of numbers they would need...

Then I thought wait, there are rumors that VD invited GG in... Are these the gators?

And I arrive here, and yes, yes they *are* the gators.

Brian Marshall @36

Welcome to Making Light! Do you write poetry?

Personally I intend to at least try to *read* everything, as long as it's in the member packet. Everything that got an unfair boost from a slate will go below No Award, of course, as a way of saying "no fair shutting everyone else out" but I'll rank it in order of excellence down there so that the really objectionable stuff can go in the coveted sixth place slot.

Brad Torgersen @41

I am not a patsy put on this earth to meekly crown Sad Puppy choices "the best." Of course everyone else can speak for themselves.

I know how you "did it." 41 people suggested, among other things, 35 novels. Of those novels, 4 were suggested by 3 people each, 4 by 2 people each and the rest by 1 person. Among the Sad Puppies themselves, a group whose tastes could be expected to be similar, even the most favored books were getting less than 10% of the vote before the slate.

This is how it normally works in Hugo nominations--except that more people and wider tastes are involved.

Then you curated the suggestions into a slate of 5 books. Now the most favored books are getting nearly 100% of the vote, giving the Sad Puppies ten times the nominating power they had before--and the other 30 books favored by Sad Puppies? Those have to compete for awards without the unfair boost from a slate--because a slate isn't just unfair to works on "the other side."

You brought in new people alright. People who consider us "an infection to be fought." They didn't come to celebrate books they love--they came to scorn *people* they hate. I didn't think it could be done, Mr. Torgersen, but congratulations--you finally found people I think are not real fans. My hat is off to you.

Alma @42
If No Award wins, No Hugo Award is given in that category in that year.

#58 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 05:23 PM:

If I were the producers of any of the nominated dramatic long-form works, I would withdraw my nomination. They have something to lose by being associated with some of the likely winners.

#59 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 05:24 PM:

Hmm. I have mixed feelings about some of these things, as there are some cases where I recognize the names of "slate" nominees as, well, something I'd consider voting for. Obvious cases are the big blockbuster movies, but there's one in the semiprozine category that I know, that I'm surprised the SPs found worthy. Well, I'll give it some thought.

In other cases... I owe it to my own sense of fair play to give everything I can a reading and a due appreciation... and of course it is possible for someone to be a great artist and an absolutely horrible human being... but that's not the way I'm betting in many cases. (That other Wright, by the way? No relation. Please believe me on that.)

My guess is that things will win which deserve to win, but they will do so as the best of an exceptionally thin field, this year.

#60 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 05:26 PM:

me @ 59: I think almost all of them have something to lose by such an association.

Don't you mean to say that within the world of SF, people will get what happened and the damage done by association will be mitigated, whereas it could cause long-term serious damage outside that world?

#61 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 05:27 PM:

#41: Well, that's a full Emotional Abuse Bingo card if I ever saw one.

#62 ::: Ian Cordingley ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 05:37 PM:

I want to know is WorldCon is taking measures to make sure that this is the weird year and not the start of a trend. That must happen. I live in Toronto, so this feels like Rob Ford winning all over again. It makes me very sad that an award I value so much has been hijacked by trolls and hacks.

Shit happens. It also washes off.

And, hey, we get to do a retro Hugos for a year after the 1950s!

#63 ::: Chris Meadows ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 05:42 PM:

I agree that reaching out to GamerGate is scummy and should not be condoned. I hate those a-holes.

But apart from that, I find it hard to get too upset at their antics overall. It's not as if Sad Puppies have any monopoly on hinky behavior. Just look at the award to Goblet of Fire a few years back. How many Harry Potter fans do you think actually bothered to read any of the other titles on the list?

The Hugos are a popularity contest. They've always been a popularity contest. And they're a popularity contest with a remarkably low hurdle to entry. You just pay some money and boom, you get to vote.

Even so, a really tiny number of people even bother. There were only about 2,000 valid ballots this year. 2,000! How many people do you think actually read science fiction? A lot more than 2,000. So what we have is a popularity contest run as a self-selecting poll with an extremely tiny sample size.

Nobody comes along to check to see if you've read all the stuff. Most people only have their own conscience to go by in those matters, and who knows how many people's conscience is overridden by seeing something they like get nominated. Or even something by an author they like but they haven't read yet. After all, how good could all those other things they haven't read be? Can't be any good, or they'd have already read them.

Hell, for all I know people some people might roll dice or throw darts to decide who they're going to vote for. And you can't stop them. Any of them. Be they Sad Puppies or convention-goers.

And even if they did read them all, what makes the average Hugo voter qualified to judge a particular book on its artistic merits, as opposed to whichever one they just happened to like most? They're a popularity contest.

For that reason, it's really kind of silly to care much about who wins or loses in the Hugos. To anyone who knows anything about how they work, they've really got about the same credibility as your average Internet poll. And they always have, Sad Puppies or no Sad Puppies.

They do look impressive on the covers of books to the people who don't understand how they work. But then, so does foil embossing. And as far as an indicator of overall quality goes, they really both have about the same level of significance. Especially this year.

So, what the hell. If there aren't enough "legitimate" voters to keep the puppies off the carpet, maybe the Sad Puppies deserve to win. Maybe it'll prompt other people to run their own get-out-the-vote campaigns next year and increase the sample size so it's a slightly larger fractional percentage of all SF readership.

(I'd personally like to see Gen Con named a WorldCon some year. It has an attendance base of 56,000 people, most of whom are genre fans, plus a significant programming track for writers, editors, and readers. That would be considerably more potential Hugo voters and nominators than LonCon had! You think Sad Puppies could outmaneuver that many people? There's a whole section of the exhibition hall set aside for writers to sell their books. There are many self-published and professional authors of varying levels of fame in attendance every year, both as guests and regular attendees. Jim Butcher was there last year. So was Larry Correia, for that matter. Maybe that's how Butcher got picked for Sad Puppies this year?)

In the end, it's just a popularity contest, after all. It's not as if it really means anything.

#64 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 05:47 PM:

Chris Meadows @64:

I've so rarely found comments like this one to be either persuasive or wise. Mostly, you just look like a jerk when you tell people that the things they care about aren't really that important, and that they're being "silly" for being passionate.

Surely we have enough jerks in the conversation already?

#65 ::: Cat ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 05:52 PM:

Chris Meadows @64

Because of the tenfold increase in nominating power conveyed by a slate (when 41 puppies suggested 35 novels the most votes any one novel got was three--curate them into a slate and suddenly they're not getting 10% of the vote, but 100%), you'd need ten times as many non-Puppies as Puppies nominating to counter them. Maybe more, because I'm not sure the widely scattered honest nominations would scale in the same way.

Let's not kid ourselves. Sure, we could use more honest nominators. But absolutely zero of what happened here is non-Puppies "fault."

#66 ::: Chris Meadows ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 05:56 PM:

abi @65:

I suppose that's fair. I just find it hard to credit that people are getting upset over the wrong people casting nominations. I didn't nominate any of the SP slate myself; I had my own titles I thought were worthy.

If too many of the wrong people get involved, well, the simple solution is to get more of the right people involved. I doubt they're going to stop any time soon now that they've got the bit in their teeth, and their numbers only seem to be growing. And if they're not violating the rules, what can you do?

#67 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 05:56 PM:

Now SPs will have to deal with the consequence of a failed attempt at a sweep: any non-SP nominee now gets a boost in direct proportion to the number of SP nominees in the same category, as non-SP voters converge on it and SP voters are split up among (now) competing SP nominees (even a dedicated fan of Wright might wonder which novella to choose). A more modest plan would have rallied around a single nominee per category, the better to drive it all the way to the win, but that would have required some divisive decisions early on.

They're unlikely to win anything--but perhaps that works fine for them. Once they've lost, they can cry about the injustice of being shut out simply for their temerity in asking for a place at the table. They can leave their mark on the Hugos and keep their martyr status too.

#68 ::: rochrist ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 05:59 PM:

#67 Chris It isn't as simple as getting more people involved. It would require ALSO adopting slate tactics, and once that happens, the whole thing becomes pretty worthless.

#69 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:01 PM:

#64 Chris

The Hugos started off as the Worldcon community awards, where the Worldcon was a community of SF readers, editors, artists, and writers.

The Hugos becoming a platform for rabid misogynists and their favored philsophises authors, is a hijacking, one I find deeply offensive. My attitude towards Gamergate types and their partisans, I hesitate to mention in an open forum. "Bad cess to them" is a nice mild comment... .

Someone asked about Mike Resnick being nominated--there are multiple years when he had multiple nominations.

==
I've tried in the past to read books by Wright. I bounced off in all attempts.

#70 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:02 PM:

Brad R. Torgersen @ 41

Once upon a time, I could be happy if avowed conservative Larry Niven won the Hugo. And I could be happy if avowed communist China Mieville won the Hugo. I enjoy works by both men without any political issues because for me Science Fiction is about story telling and sensawunda, not the politics of a particular place and time.

You have brought our ugly, vicious, modern American culture wars into the Hugo process. I will be registering for a supporting membership for the first time in my life and voting everything on your slate below No Award. I will be doing this because I hate your stupid, obnoxious, bullshit. I hate the nonsensical idea that people are prejudiced against your conservatism. I hate your association with Grand Master Racist Asshole Vox Day. I hate your ballot packing and your exploitation of the Hugo rules. I hate your bringing Gamergate scum into the SF community. I hate your selfishness. I hate your complete cluelessness about the history of SF.

You have the very spoiled and childish idea that your religious and political beliefs give you license to be an asshole. You will be treated accordingly.

#71 ::: Rachel Swirsky ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:03 PM:

cat: your analysis of what happens with slates is what concerns me. I don't want to end up in a situation where the Hugo nominations are decided by competing slates.

#72 ::: Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:04 PM:

PNH wrote: Does the desire to expand fandom mean we have to welcome every imaginable kind of person?

Nah, we only have to have the, "right kind," of people.

Sheesh.

#73 ::: VictorS ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:04 PM:

Chris Meadows @64,67 - Re-read Cat's post - it's a very good summary. Glossing the issues as 'the wrong people casting nominations' is both incorrect and missing the point.

#74 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:06 PM:

Chris Meadows @67:

I just find it hard to credit that people are getting upset over the wrong people casting nominations.

Is there something amiss with your reading ability? Have you not noticed the tone and content of recent threads here? Or do you think they're (we're) lying?

On the other hand, your summary is a gross and faulty oversimplification of the situation. Perhaps you haven't read the threads. In which case, I'd suggest you do so. Try, as you do so, imagining that the people in them are real human beings with passionate feelings about the literature and community under discussion. Consider the degree to which a section of that community has treated them with targeted malice, and contemplate whether that might have an effect. Ponder how people care about symbols and markers, which includes awards.

Or grow some empathy and figure that even if you can't understand how people feel, the fact that they do feel that way might be worth your kindness.

#75 ::: Lady Kay ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:07 PM:

Why did the major movie houses not withdraw from the Hugo nomination because they were on the SP3 slate? I doubt the people in charge of responding to the nomination had a deep understanding of either the Hugos or the Sad Puppies. For movies, the main awards are different awards, the Oscar and ?the Golden Globes?

For movies, the Hugos are an "also" award. Dramatic Presentation-Short Form may be the same situation for TV.

For the rest of the categories, this is the main award. SF/F is rarely if ever on the Man Brooker Prize or the Literature Nobel.

#76 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:08 PM:

Murphy @73:

Bless your heart, petal. Such a cute talking point you have there! But it's getting a little chewed round the ears.

I'm sure one of your GG friends will set it on fire for you. That'll make it all better.

#77 ::: Rick Bennett ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:11 PM:

Quote: "#54 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 05:08 PM:
Torgesen, #41: "For years, people have asked, 'How can we bring more people to the table?' Well, more people just came to the table. Are you prepared to declare them the 'wrong' kind of fans? Are you prepared to label the authors, editors, and works the 'wrong' kind of authors, editors, and works?"

Interesting question. Does the desire to expand fandom mean we have to welcome every imaginable kind of person? I think a moment's reflection reveals that no, we do not. The SF convention that finds itself sharing a hotel with the International Association of Cheerful Child-rapers can probably be excused for not inviting them to come visit the con suite. Likewise, many people, me included, think that #Gamergate is an association of terrible human beings that we don't want to see joining us.

It is odd to have to explain to a self-described "conservative" that it's legitimate to take moral stands on what we will and won't put up with in our voluntary associations. I had been given to understand that this was a big conservative principle, but I guess not."End Quote

Remind me...who was the writer just outed by her children as being a child molester along with her husband? Long venerated writer? Child molester. Known in the community at large for a very long time. Remind me again about your morals...

#78 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:14 PM:

71
Gee, Alex, tell us what you really think!
(FWIW, I agree with you. I am pissed off at these idjits.)

#79 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:15 PM:

Cathy @ #33 if the slate so pisses off the non-puppy Worldcon electorate that the majority vote and only vote on non-puppy nominees, Galactic Suburbia might win Best Fancast. Although I'd rather have it win because it is awesome and not because people are mad at the majority of other nominees.

That's another way they've wrecked it -- in my experience, good writers are often modest to the point of suffering imposter syndrome. I hope non-SP-slate nominees win, but those that do may torment themselves with the thought that they only won for being the non-SP nominees in their respective categories. Certainly the SPs will throw that accusation at them.
I also worry gur TTref zvtug gnxr gurve bja sbez bs eriratr ba jvaaref be pbz-pba vs gurl qba'g trg gurve jnl (cyrnfr erzbir guvf fragrapr vs vg snyyf vagb gur pngrtbel bs Tvivat gur Onq Thlf Vqrnf.)

#80 ::: Bryant ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:16 PM:

Brad Torgersen @41:

As always, you have the option to set aside your rancor at Vox Day (who was not involved with SP3) and GamerGate, and read your packet.

According to Mike Glyer's breakdown, Vox's slate was more effective than yours. I wonder; did you think you could control the angry fringe, or did you just think Vox wasn't that bad?

#81 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:16 PM:

'In the end, it's just a popularity contest, after all. It's not as if it really means anything.'

Which is why publishers stick the words 'Hugo Award Nominee' and 'Hugo Award Winner' on book covers. Since the awards are meaningless, saying that the books have been nominated for or won the award obviously won't be a selling point.

Y'know, I don't mind people presenting arguments I don't agree with. I like to get my teeth into serious material. But when people present arrant nonsense as if it were the word of Ghu brought down from the Sacred Mountain it is seriously annoying.

#82 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:18 PM:

Rick Bennett @78:

And when did you stop beating your wife?

#83 ::: venus ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:18 PM:

Brad Torgenson @41
I just want to speak as a queer SF writer for a second. I don't hold 'rancor' against the political views of Vox Day and Gamergate. I hold fear. Profound, deep, physical fear.

Mr Torgenson, I think you may not be aware that some members of your audience have experienced first hand the kinds of methods Gamergaters dole out. I've experienced some of those things first hand. The people you and yours just invited to the party scare the shit out of me. They are dangerous, vicious thugs and they target people just like me.

Given that, do you see how some members of the community might not care whether the stories you like are any good? You could be advocating the best story in the world and it wouldn't matter to me.

#84 ::: Laurence Brothers ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:20 PM:

Re me@13:

> ...but at least there are obvious vastly
> superior alternatives in most cases.

Okay, I take it back. After reading through the nominees again and looking at the slates, a very substantial chunk of the ballot is corrupt.

#85 ::: Steven desJardins ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:20 PM:

Chris Meadows @ 64: 130 out of 885 voters ranked Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire first, and listed no other works. 129 voters ranked Harry Potter below another work on the ballot, but above Calculating God (which placed second).

By contrast, last year 120 out of 3137 voters ranked Ancillary Justice first and listed no other works on their ballot. So Harry Potter did have proportionately more single-candidate supporters, but that was still a minority of its total support, and since it won by a margin of 154 votes, they didn't make a difference in the outcome.

#86 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:22 PM:

I was struck, when looking the HugoAwards hashtag on Twitter by the number of people who, in celebrating the success of the SP and RP slates are celebrating not because the books are great but because of their success in 'sticking it to the SJWs.' (actual quote)

For example, in the 45 minutes or so I was following,I don't think I've seen a single person enthusing over Kevin Anderson's writing our story-telling skills; the contrast with the ways in which people have been reacting to Ann Leckie and Kathryn Addison's nominations is quite striking.) By contrast, I don't remember any of last year's nominees - with the possible exception of Correia - being recommended on the grounds that it would piss off a certain part of fandom.

If I were a Hugo voter, I'd draw two morals from this. (I'm not - I considered buying a Supporting Membership last year and eventually didn't for complicated reasons; and I'm not feeling enthused about doing so this year, though I might change my mind.)

First, I wpuldn't feel under any obligation to read something that got a substantial proportion of its nominations from people who nominated it for the specific purpose of pissing off people like me. There is, it turns out, some shit I will not eat.

I' might feel obligated to read something if it really was getting nominations by people who are enthused by its contents. But the best I've seen said about some of the nominees is that they are competent professionals doing solid work. (I've got nothing against competent professionals doing solid work - I'd like to think that describes my position in my own field. But if that's the best that can be said by their supporters - well. )

Secondly, I'd be inclined to rank works getting nominated on the basis of who they would piss off below Noah Ward even if - which seems unlikely - I were to read them. That's because I would rather see an award not be given than see one given to something whose place on the ballot is owed largely to its ability to discomfort other members of fandom and drive them away; and supporting them: I'd feel I was endorsing that particular reason for liking the works, and more importantly, I'd feel that others who were being deliberately made to feel unwelcome in fandom could reasonably see it the same way.

That may be allowing one kind of political considerations into voting. I think that's okay: in voting a community expresses its preferences. Among the preferences it can't help expressing its preferences as to what sort of community it is going to be. And if I were in any way associated with World Con, I would not want it to be the kind of community that was giving awards to works which were being valued for their capacity to make other people feel excluded. (We're all about increasing the number and diversity of people reading SF and voting for the Hugo's, right? Or did that miraculously stop being true now the nominations are settled.)

Brad Torgerson @41 tells us that there was no collusion between the SP and RP slates. A few threads back he told us that people had been asked before being put on the SP slate. As we saw back then the second of these claims turned out to be true in - at best - a very loose and elastici sense of the word.

Verbum sat.

#87 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:27 PM:

They are dangerous, vicious thugs and they target people just like me.

Thanks Venus, I hadn't considered that issue in so personal a fashion. From now on when I see a Brad Torgenson or Larry Correia book at the store I will carry it over to the mystery section and tuck it in behind some ancient Agatha Christie novels.

#88 ::: Pete M ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:28 PM:

I've been an SF fan my whole reading life, but I am not really "in" fandom, and I've never really taken the time to get a supporting membership and vote for the Hugos. This year I did buy a membership, and I will vote (though I didn't nominate). The Puppies probably have motivated me, not because I support them per se, but rather because I saw the fuss they generated, and the fuss got me interested.

I have to admit that I kind of like the idea of the Sad Puppies more than the actual Puppies. I like the idea of books that are entertaining as well as thought-provoking, that embody the sort of SF that made me love SF.

The Sad Puppies may well be right when they claim that books like Starship Troopers or The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress couldn't win today. But, while the Monster Hunter books may well be entertaining page-turners, they are not my idea of a Hugo-worthy book. To me, a Hugo-worthy book or story is entertaining, well-crafted, and thought-provoking in some sfnal way. So, for example, Starship Troopers and The Dispossessed are both worthy Hugo winners because they are fun to read, but also chock full of ideas. (And both belie the notion that "message fiction" never won in the old days, since both are laden with politics.)

You want good old-fashioned sense-of-wonder SF in space with aliens and stuff to win? Great! But give me great SF with space and aliens and even blasters. Or give me great fantasy. Or whatever. But the Monster Hunter books, while competent, just aren't Great SF in the same way that the works of LeGuin and Heinlein are great.

I do think they have a valid point that some recent winners and nominees have been on the weak side. For example, I was entertained by Redshirts, though I thought it was maybe 20% too long, but to me it just wasn't Hugo-worthy. And I honestly thought the Dinosaur story was dreadfully bad.

So if you want better work, nominate some. My problem was that last year's suggestions didn't strike me as being much better.

I also find Vox Day seriously annoying, though not for the usual reasons. There is a rich tradition of conservative political thought that, in my opinion, has a lot to offer. But people like Vox Day allow those who reject these ideas an easy target, somebody they can point to and say "BIGOT!" And what's worse, they're right. His obnoxious views and even more obnoxious behavior ends up getting imputed to people who agree with him on some particulars but who share none of his bigotry.

But I am not going to impute his faults onto writers whom he suggested.

As a new Supporting Member, I plan on taking my voting responsibility seriously. I am going to read all of the nominated works in each category, those that I haven't already read, and I am going to vote for the best, regardless of whether it was a Sad Puppy nominee.

If I think that none of the works is worthy, I will vote for No Award. But it won't be because I hate the authors or think the Puppies are evil; it will be because of how I view the works.

By the way, I know that at least some people will reject Puppies because they are puppies. I think that would be unfortunate and unfair to the authors. Just one example: Tom Kratman has been accused of many things, and I know some folks think he's really obnoxious. But "Big Boys Don't Cry" is a really moving, intensely powerful story. I do think it's a worthy nominee, and if it wins will be a worthy winner. If the rest of the nominees are as good as that one, well, I look forward to reading them.

#89 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:28 PM:

Brad R. Torgersen @41, so who's said they're not going to try to read all of the nominees? I read all of them last year. Vox Day, in particular, EARNED his ranking below "no award" on my 2014 ballot. I'm frankly not looking forward to whatever is included as his work in the Hugo packet this year, but I will at least try to read it.

If I can finish it, it has a fair chance to make it above "no award" no matter who nominated it. If I can't, it won't, again, no matter who nominated it. If I find myself making excuses not to pick up the book ("I really must do a load of laundry") then that book is not worthy of my Hugo vote. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

I think the dismay you're seeing upthread is similar to my dismay at seeing Vox Day on the ballot; I've found his work dreadful and unreadable in the past, so I'm not at all looking forward to reading any more of it. (Yes, I know he's up for editor, not author, but a good editor leaves fingerprints all over the work they edit.) If any of the Sad Puppy nominees are similar to Day's work (and I don't know if they are or not; I've not read most of the nominees) then I'm going to have to take Pepto Bismal before reading anything at all on this year's slate. Other than The Goblin Emperor, which I nominated... <wry>

#90 ::: VictorS ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:33 PM:

My goodness, I could do without sea lions.

#91 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:33 PM:

Zack @15: The absence of The Three-Body Problem is a bloody shirt, suitable for waving. It's eligible. It's an outstanding novel. And it's also exactly the kind of SF the Sad Puppies keep claiming they support.

Conclusion: Contrary to their current set of claims, the Sad Puppies are profoundly elitist. They've made it clear that they think it's more important to be a member of their clique than it is to write the kind of SF they claim to be championing.

There are other screaming examples of their elitism on the Best Related Work ballot. The Sad Puppies are all Heinlein, Heinlein, Heinlein when they're trying to justify the awful things they're doing, but where's the nomination for the second volume of Bill Patterson's massive biography of Heinlein? It's not a perfect book, but it's an important piece of scholarship, and it should damned well be on the ballot.

The other example that's on my mind is Michael Z. Williamson's very bad book, Wisdom from My Internet. It's not a related work. There's no SF in it. It's just a book by a Sad Puppy pal who's published a lot of work with Baen.

Many people find the sample text unreadable. I believe this is because there's nothing in the text or the formatting to tip you off that it's a list of quasi-political one-liners. Not all of them are original to the author. Many make false assertions traceable to the Great Right Wing Noise Machine. Some are meant to be jokes. Examples:

"'The harder you smack it, the more English you get out of it' refers to a billiard ball, not the gardener..."

"Anderson Cooper beaten in an Egyptian Gay Bar. He claims to have been hit in the face 10 times... but he doesn't say with what."

Jokes about beating up gays and beating up immigrant laborers. That's real funny.

Evidently, the SPs think it's more important to be a buddy of the Sad Puppies than it is to write a good book, or write a relevant book that has something to do with SF, or write a book of lists that understands that humorous list-making is an art form, or write a book that other Hugo voters can read with comprehension if not necessarily pleasure.

If that's not elitism, I don't know what is.

#92 ::: Phiala ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:36 PM:

#87 - praisegod barebones: "Brad Torgerson @41 tells us that there was no collusion between the SP and RP slates."

I spent some time collating the nominees and the SP and RP slates. I was struck by the number of places where the SP slate had only four nominees, but the RP slate had five: the four from SP plus a fifth. The fifth was often someone more controversial, for instance in the editor categories.

I found this... interesting.

#93 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:37 PM:

@41

Brad, if this were about bringing new people into the Hugo-nomination process, there would be no reason to use a slate. It's really that simple.

I plan to buy a supporting membership for the very first time, and vote No Award above every single work that appeared on a slate, because I consider the use of a slate to be a fundamentally illegitimate and corrupting method of nomination for this award, which taints every resulting nomination. One cannot urge that a slate-nominee should still be considered on its own merits, because that's not why it's on the ballot.

#94 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:39 PM:

Pete M @89:

You know, if fans like you were the kind of people that SP were bringing into the community, I'd be delighted. People of your character—thoughtful, constructive, engaged, and interesting—are people I welcome in fandom, even if you and I turn out to disagree on every single political and literary point.

(Still not with SP and the slates, really not.)

#95 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:40 PM:

Ian @16: Hello there, Ian who's posting his first comment here.

There's a new policy: we want a bit more real identity from first-time posters who defend the Sad Puppies. It's not hostile; we just want to know.

#96 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:43 PM:

Tatterbots @18:

Larry Correia says he turned down a nomination.
Larry Correia knows what that nomination was worth.

#97 ::: steve davidson ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:49 PM:

Oy.

All I can really remark on is that I was a bit surprised by the depth of the S/RP nominations. I didn't think they could entice that many people to vote for their slate (nor did I think they'd be bussing in all that many). But I did suspect we'd get to this place, though its happened sooner than I expected.

The grand strategy behind it all (if you can call it such) comes from a school of practice that does not admit defeat. If at first you don't succeed, get nastier, spend more money and shift the playing field until you do win (after which the losers can cry as much as they want to - they're still losers).

Abi @47 - thanks for endorsing/supporting the No Slates concept. I hope that most folks choose to adopt it this year.

#98 ::: Zara Baxter ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:51 PM:

Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine only discovered they were part of the SP slate on Friday. Brad Torgerson may have told some nominees of their being listed on the SP slate; he most certainly did not tell ASIM.

It's been a bit of a rollercoaster for a small Australian small press collective this week, I can tell you.

#99 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:52 PM:

TNH #96:

To use a metaphor coined by one of my favourite writers, the sweat from a canecutter's jockstrap.

#100 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:57 PM:

steve davidson @97:

I'm not sure I'm supporting it, in the sense that one supports a movement. I agree with the concept; I've mentioned that I'm doing it and why. Other people may do it as well, if they feel that my arguments (or yours, or their own feelings) make sense.

But that doesn't make it another "side" in this voting polygon. It's an unside, a refusal of that kind of sidedness.

#101 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 06:58 PM:

98
Someone else he lied about, then.
Andromeda Spaceways has been around for a while, though: I've heard good things about their content.

#102 ::: Edmund Schweppe ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 07:00 PM:

Brad R. Torgersen @41: Have no fear. I will in fact read the packet (assuming the various publishers and authors permit their works to be included) and make my judgements accordingly. (FYI, last year I had "The Chaplain’s Legacy" number two on my Best Novella ballot.)

However, it would appear that VD’s Rabid Puppies slate was more effective than your own Sad Puppies one. Remarkable, isn’t it, how VD’s publishing house (Castalia House) managed to get four of five Best Novella nods, a Best Novelette, two of five Best Short Stories, two of five Best Related Works - and VD himself got nods in both Best Editor categories.

A definite pity that Megan Grey’s "Tuesdays with Molakesh the Destroyer" didn’t make it onto the ballot despite its Sad Puppy listing; I did read it online and found it quite worthy. At first, I thought that VD's pals had outvoted it in favor of more John C. Wright. I gather, though, that "Tuesdays" wasn't actually eligible, given that Fireside Fiction issue 19 is dated January 2015. I'll look forward to it next year (and may well nominate it myself).

#103 ::: causticf ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 07:02 PM:

Ds th dsr t xpnd fndm mn w hv t wlcm vry mgnbl knd f prsn? thnk mmnt's rflctn rvls tht n, w d nt." Ptrck "Bll Cnnr" Nlsn Hydn

#104 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 07:03 PM:

Zara: Oh, golly. That must be six layers of awful. :(

#105 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 07:04 PM:

Zara Baxter @98, I'm sort of relieved to hear that. I feel it would be unfair to downvote people or works who weren't willingly included in the slate... there's a danger, too, that that might prove susceptible to gaming (i.e., SP4 includes a pile of stuff they don't want to win, because they think the majority will vote against their nominations by reflex.)

Am I the only person to suspect that Correia's reported turning-down is so that he can claim a moral victory? That he was nominated but nobly withdrew, leaving his masterwork untainted by controversy, and letting lesser writers in the category squabble over his leavings? I may be reading too much into it, of course.

#106 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 07:07 PM:

Phiala@92: which was published first? If the SP list was, it's possible that Day aimed to fill up the holes in it, without any collusion by Torgersen. Given the massive blanks in Graphic Story, it does not seem he was committed to filling every space in any case.

Should people who are on the slates have refused nomination? I don't think so. Many people, I guess, would rather Jim Butcher won than Larry Correia did. If Butcher refused nomination, he would be making it more likely that Correia would win. Some people were annoyed with Neil Gaiman for refusing nomination last year, for a similar reason. The nominees could not know what else had been nominated and so just what the effects of their dropping out would be. It seems to me reasonable to accept, in that situation.

#107 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 07:11 PM:

I would be interested if Butcher was actually contacted by the SP in a way that he knew what they were. I am oddly unwilling to take the word of the SP's that they actually did so.

That said, I also feel that no slate candidate should be listed as slate voting is a terrible path for the Hugo's to go down.

#108 ::: SorchaRei ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 07:12 PM:

Here's my bottom line, stolen from a comment I wrote elsewhere.

Both the SP and RP slates set out to disrupt the Hugos in a way that is aimed at a very specific type of voter; that voter is me. And they said that from the start. Any author who accepted a place on the slate is not going to get my vote, because they agreed to a tactic that is intended to make my nominating vote, which was based on the things I read and loved from 2014, worth less than it should have been worth. And it’s not just things I loved that were hurt; it’s also things SP voters loved.

By voting the slate, the SP voters not only crowded out things I voted for, but things they themselves would have voted for, in the absence of the slate. And they did this “to take back the Hugos for people like us”, without regard to the damage they did to non-slate works they loved. In other words, they put their desire to lash out at me above their love for the works they otherwise would have voted for.

I am not going to reward that with my vote for any such book or story or whatever. My initial inclination was just to read everything and let the votes fall where they may. But if Mr. SP is telling the truth, and the one counterexample we know of really was a fluke, then these authors agreed to participate in a tactic intended to hurt people like me, that also hurt works SP voters loved.

#109 ::: Phiala ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 07:13 PM:

Andrew M @ 106, Sad was published on Feb 1, and Rabid on Feb 2. One day difference says nothing about private communication, though.

But why wouldn't SP fill up the slots - I can't imagine they had trouble finding five sufficiently-pure popular neglected works, or whatever it was they were looking for.

#110 ::: Zara Baxter ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 07:13 PM:

@104 Bruce Baugh

We're still trying to figure out Sad Puppies, and what it all means, in enough detail to put together a coherent response. We don't know why we were listed, but it's definitely made it bittersweet to be on the ballot.

@105 Steve Wright All we can do is to put together our Hugo Packet and hope voters read it. I think it's too much to hope they read it without assumptions.

#111 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 07:14 PM:

103
Chili Sauce
5 quarts chopped tomatoes
2 cups chopped sweet red pepper
2 cups chopped sweet green pepper
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
2 tbsp salt
1 cup sugar (preferably brown)
3 cups vinegar
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Combine chopped vegetables, salt and sugar, and simmer until the mixture begins to thicken. Then add vinegar and spices and cook until it becomes a thick sauce. Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal. Store in a dark cool place.
Yield: about 3 quarts or 6 pints.
- Oklahoma A&M

#112 ::: Chris Meadows ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 07:15 PM:

@107 Steve Halter: I know for a fact that Jim Butcher was GoH at Gen Con last year, and Larry Correia was there, along with Michael Z. Williamson and a number of other folks from Baen. I don't know for a fact that they did talk there, but they could have had the opportunity.

#113 ::: CP ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 07:16 PM:

Hmmmm. fw bsrvtns:

TNH #91: "Cnclsn: Cntrry t thr crrnt st f clms, th Sd Ppps r prfndly ltst. Thy'v md t clr tht thy thnk t's mr mprtnt t b mmbr f thr clq thn t s t wrt th knd f SF thy clm t b chmpnng. "

Ths r sm prtty ntrtnng wrds cmng frm th 'ldy' wh hs pblcly sttd dsr t gtkp/crt th Hgs t kp t th rffrff.

#86 prsgd brns: thnk y'r sng th knd f clbrtng y r nw, bcs f th nstnss tht's bn pshd n th thr drctn th lst fw yrs. stll fl t fthm hw grp () cn vtprt gnst thrs fr yrs, hp pprbrm n thm, rvl thm n pblc mnnr, nd thn b srprsd whn ths vctms "strk bck" t smthng f vl t grp .

#83 vns: Whl y my n fct hv vld cncrns (q: r y frfl s "prt f clss", r hv y bn drctly, prsnlly thrtd? Tw _vry_ dffrnt thngs...nd th frst vks th "fls vdnc pprng rl" vw?) wld pnt t tht, TBQH, cnsrvtvs gt thrts nd hrssmnt, t, frm th lfts wh gt thr knckrs n twst. Yp, sn tht. Srsly - th hrssmnt, thrts, nd gnrl nstnss r _nt_ n-wy strt. Th lft hs n mnply - nt vn cls - n bng n th rcvng nd f hrssmnt nd thrts.

#53 PNH: S, fnd t prtclrly msng tht y vk chld mlstrs n "wh d w chs t ssct wth" whlst rgng gnst cnsrvtvs. fw bllt pnts:
- Th SF cmmnty hs bn dlng wth ths ss fr ltrlly dcds...nd hs dn pss pr jb f t, frqntly dfndng th CM's ndr n xcs r nthr. S, chlk tht p n yr "nclsv" sd f th tbl - f y'r gng t b pcky bt ppl lk tht, myb y shld hv spnt th lst 30 yrs pttng ths fn wrds nt ctn.
- s #77 pnts t, cngrts, y dfndd thm whn thy wr prftbl. t's vry ntrstng t cntrst yr wrds: "t s dd t hv t xpln t slf-dscrbd "cnsrvtv" tht t's lgtmt t tk mrl stnds n wht w wll nd wn't pt p wth n r vlntry ssctns." wth yr ctlg: http://s.mcmlln.cm/thr/mrnzmmrbrdly
t frst glnc, n wld thnk yr 'mrl stnd' s smthng kn t "scrw th kds, th $$ r mr mprtnt."

ll: Th rptd cmmnts bt n-vtng nybdy n th SP slt, fr thr prsnc n th slt, ds mr thn nythng nybdy cld sy t vldt th vry ndrlyng pnt f SP. Nt dfndng thm, nr d nd t: y ll r dng ll th wrk, smply by shwng yr bss n sch pblc mnnr. Y ll r mkng thr pnt fr thm.

Why nt jst rd, nd vt bsd n wht's _thr_. Wht n bsltly mzng cncpt.

#114 ::: Cat ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 07:21 PM:

Rachel Swirsky @71

I am also extremely concerned about that. When Brad picked 5 novels out of 35 his people liked to make the slate, he left 30 novels his people liked out in the cold, competing against works on a slate. Slates don't just hurt works "on the other side" and a non-Puppy slate would be just as damaging to those non-Puppy works that didn't make the list

I hope we don't end up with slates.

Also (shuffles feet) I really liked your story last year. When I figured out why you were using the if, if, oh, if only construction I burst into tears.

#115 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 07:24 PM:

CP @#113: These are some pretty entertaining words coming from the 'lady' who has publicly stated a desire to gatekeep/curate the Hugos to keep out the riffraff.

Could you quote the place(s) where Teresa did that, please? Having read the entirety of the last two threads, I managed to miss it. Actually, comment numbers would be fine, though the first word or two of a sentence might also help if it's a lengthy comment.

#116 ::: Michael Johnston ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 07:27 PM:

I feel bad for Jim Butcher. He's a nice guy, and so far as I can tell from my very limited interactions with him, not the sort of guy to agree with the SP mentality. But here he is, nominated largely by them, and a lot of people are going to vote him down for that reason alone.

Personally, as much as I enjoy his work, I don't think Skin Game is Hugo-worthy. There are other books nominated that I would rate higher. But given that, I think it would be pretty funny to see Butcher win, thank the Sad Puppies for their help, and then denounce them in the very next sentence.

#117 ::: CP ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 07:31 PM:

Crr @115: 'll lt Brd Trgrsn's dcnstrctn d th wrk - lrdy bn lng cpl dys:
https://brdrtrgrsn.wrdprss.cm/2015/03/30/frmr-tr-dtr-stll-lngs-t-gtkp-th-fld/
Hr's th ndrlyng pst h's gng ftr:
http://nlsnhydn.cm/mknglght/rchvs/016177.html#4059860

fnd t prtclrly ntrstng tht sh's cllng t Brd fr "spcl pldng" whn tht's xctly wht sh's dng n th rfrncd pst, t lst t my ys.

#118 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 07:32 PM:

Well, in a sense, Tor does "gatekeep to keep out the riffraff"... though a better term for it might be "having editorial standards". Unless I'm completely wrong, and Tor publishes everything that drops onto their slushpile....

But their editorial policy doesn't affect other publishers, or self-published works, and those have perfectly valid routes onto the Hugo ballot -

- unless, of course, they're kept out by organized slates run by people who want only their own version of "political correctness" to prevail.

The only elitism, the only exclusionism, here, is coming from the slates' organizers.

#119 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 07:32 PM:

113
What a precious darling little pupdog you are!

#120 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 07:39 PM:

Here's a nice post by Matthew David Surridge on declining a nomination. It appears that he wasn't contacted at all.

#121 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 07:44 PM:

Zara -- you should post in public and loudly and quickly and on your own site to dissociate yourselves from them, if you don't want to endorse their position.

It's specially horrible for people like you who might well have been on the ballot anyway.

And I think this conclusively proves that Mr Torgerson's pants were on fire when he said he'd contacted everyone in advance.

I still don't understand why he claimed that. Not only is it a lie that's easily shown to be a lie, but it's worse if he did it than if he didn't. Normal recommendation lists on blogs don't contact the people on them.

#122 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 07:47 PM:

I'll let Brad Torgerson's deconstruction do the work - already been a long couple days:

Oh, I'm afraid not; it's your claim, you do the work. If you don't have the energy for it right now, I'll wait. But frankly, Mr. Torgerson is getting no click juice from me and I'm not interested in engaging with a discussion someone who hates me is having.

That said, I'm struggling to see where in Teresa's cited comment you're finding a desire to "gatekeep" anything. The Hugo is mentioned twice as belonging to those who "love SF" (and, the first time, fandom.) That seems...pretty inclusive to me. (There's a mention of the legal status of the award, but as that has nothing to do with its actual granting I don't think it's relevant.)

#123 ::: Cat ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 07:53 PM:

Alex @87

Alex, please don't.

I understand why you're pissed; so am I. But please don't make the lives of bookstore employees harder by misfiling their stock. The vast majority of them had nothing to do with this.

Pete M @88

Want sensawunda SF to win? Nominate some. That's what the rest of us are doing. Just stay away from slates.

Andrew M @106

A couple people did publicly refuse positions on the Sad Puppy Hugo Slates. We only know about the ones who had to do so after the slate came out, because Torgersen overlooked asking them beforehand. Dave Creek for one. (Does anyone else remember who the other was?)

I'm very sorry for ASIM, but I don't feel I can make an exception to my personal no slate policy this year. I know that sucks and I know I play a part in the suckage. FWIW I will be more than happy to read their part of the Hugo packet with great care, and if I like it, to nominate them next year for this year's work. I realize that probably doesn't make up for it, but it's all I can think to do.

CP @113

So you admit it wasn't done for love of the works but rather for hate of the rest of us. Thanks for confirming that. But given that you didn't even like those works but only put them on the ballot to ruin it, why do we owe your catspaws our attention?

I mean, I'm going to read them, personally, because otherwise how would I know what to place in that hotly contested hard-fought sixth place spot. But given your admission of your motives, I don't see why anyone else should.

#124 ::: Paul Weimer (@princejvstin) ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 08:11 PM:

Cat @123

Matthew David Surridge (at Black Gate) was someone that Torgersen notified but he only withdrew when the nomination was offered to him. He explained his reasons why on
Black Gate today

#125 ::: Ken Burnside ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 08:11 PM:

As someone who is a Finalist, and probably would not have been without the Sad Puppy slate, it was a very nice three hours of enjoying the feeling of making the final cut.

Then I read this. Sigh.

I've posted here before - Mike Ford was a good friend of mine. I'm not coming here to try my hand in the shit-flinging tribal Olympiad.

I urge you to read the nominees and vote your conscience. Don't resolve to vote "No Award" for any of the 51 titles that made it in just because they were on the SP slate. If you're going to vote "No Award," vote it because you honestly feel that none of those people deserve the credit in that category, after considering their individual merits.

I expect better of the folks of Making Light than prejudice without reading the evidence.

#126 ::: Cat ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 08:14 PM:

Paul @124

Actually, it sounds like Torgersen didn't contact him *at all*; he just stumbled across it on Torgersen's blog.

Which, by the way, makes *five* people Torgersen didn't notify.

But Matthew seems like a classy guy and I really can't argue with his reasoning.

#127 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 08:17 PM:

125
Possibly the juvenile canines should have had the same amount of consideration for both the Hugos as awards by the readers and the people they bumped out with their slate.

But there is no reason now why we have to play by the rules, as they've shown they think rules are only there to be gamed. That's the camel they brought in to the tent, and they own it.

#128 ::: Cat ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 08:19 PM:

Ken @125

Look dude, I'm sorry we are harshing your squee. I agree this should have been a happy time for you, and it sucks that you got an unfair boost from a slate that you probably didn't even get asked about or at least didn't realize was going to be so obviously unfair, and now people think you couldn't have earned your way in on your own merits.

If it helps at all, if you get a nomination without an unfair boost from a slate some other year, I'll be happy to consider you without prejudice then. I suspect I'm not alone in that.

#129 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 08:21 PM:

Ken, if you didn't get a chance to decline to be on the SP slate, then I'm very willing to consider your work. My grievance is only with those who had the chance and accepted, since the nature of the folks putting it together was already clear.

#130 ::: Iain Coleman ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 08:22 PM:

I don't see why voters should feel some duty to read the Puppies slate works before voting No Award. After all, I doubt many of the people who nominated that slate bothered to read any of the works they were nominating.

#131 ::: Matt ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 08:29 PM:

I can understand not speaking out against a SP nomination, even if you don't agree with it. Two longtime sf/f mainstays (KJA and Butcher) can now put "Hugo nominated" on their books. So can a virtual unknown in Kloos.

Sure, the SP nomination might piss off people in the convention scene, but I suspect that the vast, overwhelming majority of sf/f fans will never know about the circumstances around their nominations.

Also, I don't agree with how this all went down with the slate voting, but I don't feel that I need to punish the artists on the slates (at least the ones that had little to do with the campaign

#132 ::: Megpie71 ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 08:30 PM:

Mr Torgerson (@40): Let's be blunt here - the people who associate themselves willingly with the Gamergate hashtag are not, in my opinion (and the opinions of many other people) fans of any kind. Fans build things up. We share enthusiasms. We welcome people in.

They don't. Their entire shtick, from the very beginning, has been about breaking down, destroying, and excluding. They didn't just want Zoe Quinn out of game design, they wanted her dead. They don't just want Anita Sarkeesian to stop critiquing games in ways they don't like, they want her dead, and preferably broken and bleeding beforehand. They don't just want women to stop making complaints about the level of sexism in computer and console gaming (and let us be honest, that level is toxically high). They want women to stop playing computer games altogether. They want women to stop programming. They want women to stop using the internet. They want women to stop using computers.

They're also associated with people who hold similar views about black people (known racist bigots), Jewish people (known neo-Nazi bigots), homosexual people, non-binary people, trans people and so on. The kinds of small-minded fools who see any form of diverse representation in anything as a direct threat to their very personal masculinity and privilege. The kinds of fools who'd welcome a return of lynchings, of burnings for witchcraft, of pogroms, of stonings. The kinds of people who want other people to live in fear of them, and mistake that fear for respect and liking.

They're wreckers, pure and simple.

And they were invited in, as the screen-caps above show, to WRECK.

No matter how often you disingenuously declare you're just doing this to "bring other people to the table", the fact remains: these people, these wreckers, were invited in by your crew with the distinct intention that they would wreck things for other people. I find it very hard to see any benefit to fandom from your actions.

#133 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 08:32 PM:

130
I'll consider some of them - I've already read some, because magazines. But I don't feel I have to rank them highly just to make the writers feel good.

As far as the juvenile canines: their stated rationale for doing this doesn't match the reality of what they're doing.
They've made it clear that they're only interested in works by white males, and that's not my universe any more: mine is bigger and more diverse than that.

#134 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 08:35 PM:

Rochrist @20:

@13 Problem is, a lot of those catagories are entirely, or almost entirely SP nominations. That Vox Day gets 2(!) nominations is beyond disgusting. Not to mention the 27 nominations for that pervert John C Wright.
And all the works published by Castalia House, whose two most prominent authors are John C. Wright and Vox Day.
This is pretty discouraging. To dominate the ballots this way means they had huge numbers of people buy memberships, likely including a lot of #GGers.
Around 199 at most, and there may have been fewer. That's the difference between the total nominating votes cast in 2014 and 2015.
I'm not sure how to fight this, and frankly, I don't know if I have the energy. I may just check out of the Hugos and Worldcon altogether.
Don't. I've been thinking about this, and I bring you a message of hope.

It's too late to salvage the 2015 ballot, but not the 2015 Hugo Awards. Supporting memberships are still being sold, and they can vote.

Want to strike back against the Sad Puppies and everything they represent? Buy a supporting membership. Vote for the nominees you love or like or find worthy. Do it with no agenda beyond your love of SF. Next year, buy one early enough to nominate.

We've been worrying about bringing on a system of warring slates. It's unnecessary. You don't need a slate to beat a slate. What you need are a lot more votes, chosen according to the individual voters' preferences. It doesn't matter if their distribution is unfocused, as long as there are enough of them.

Even if block voting campaigns manage to wedge a few nominees onto a ballot, the combined votes of all those supporting memberships applied to the five nominees in each category is going to swamp any slate-based voting that doesn't represent a sizeable fraction of actual fannish taste.

I know that many commenters have expressed hesitation about nominating when they haven't read everything. I have three observations.

First, you aren't voting for the eventual winners. You're voting for your own preferences. If you pick a nominee that other voters think is minor, your vote for them will vanish into the background haze when the nominations are tabulated: no harm done.

Second, you can do the same thing that's done by every experienced Hugo voter I know: vote where you have knowledge and preferences, and refrain where you don't. I nominate and vote for Best Fanartist, but in a year where I haven't been keeping up with TV, I skip Dramatic Presentation (Short Form).

Third, when the people doing a block voting attack on the Hugos claim to practically worship Heinlein, but aren't aware that the second huge volume of his first major biography has come out, perhaps you ought not worry about your own lack of omniscience.

=====

I love the idea of beating the SP's covert elitism with an answer that's more democratic, draws more fans into voting for the Hugos, and finds its winners in the combined preferences of many more voters.

#135 ::: SorchaRei ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 08:37 PM:

Ken @#125

I regret that this is harshing your buzz. I can only imagine that being on the slate at all must feel amazing. And the sourness to discover that this awesome milestone in your life has elicited such a negative response must be big, too. I get that.

There are a couple works on the SP slate which I already read and that I think are Hugo-worthy. One of them will get voted above No Award because said person convinced me that they had no idea they were even on the slate. The other will be voted below No Award because they were proud to be part of the slate.

I've already explained my proposed course of action, but to recap, I will read and consider any SP slate nominee who did not agree in advance to be on the slate. Anyone who did agree in advance to be on the slate effectively signed up for a program that encouraged people to put their hatred of people like me (seeing as I have voted and nominated in the Hugos for several years, now) ahead of their own love for the best things they read last year.

So if you want me to read you and judge you impartially, all you have to do is honestly tell me that you were not asked for your approval prior to being put on the slate. In that case, I will consider you an innocent bystander and treat you exactly as I treat the non-SP nominees. If you did agree in advance, then you set out to hurt people, and I don't feel the need to return that favor by giving you a fair chance.

#136 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 08:38 PM:

Last year I made an effort to read some of the SP nominees, including the godawful Vox Day story, out of a sense of justice. It was good to do so, but I didn't come out of the experience with a fundamentally changed opinion.

This year... I've read enough of John C. Wright's work to last a lifetime. The online sample of the Michael Z. Williamson piece is enough to tell me it has no value to me. Vox Day has no place in any civil society I care to be a part of. And everything else is tainted by association.

If I see something and it looks good, I won't not pick it up, read it, or nominate it, just because it was on the SP slate. But I don't feel compelled to read everything on the ballot to vote this year. Life is too bloody short.

Ken Burnside @125: That really sucks, dude. I'm sorry. Everything about this situation sucks, really. Better luck next year. :-/

#137 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 08:39 PM:

Iain @130 - my feeling is that we owe it to ourselves to be as fair as is humanly possible. We owe the Sad Puppies nothing, but we ought to try to be better people than them. It's not like that's a high bar to clear.

The sad thing - OK, one of the sad things - is that some people, like Andromeda Spaceways, or Ken Burnside, might well have deserved legitimate places on the ballot, but may now lose out, simply because they're tainted by association with the slate. (For that matter, the same goes for the movies... does anyone seriously believe "Guardians of the Galaxy", for instance, wouldn't have got a nomination without the slate's help? But it's entirely possible that "help" will wind up costing it votes.)

I think that weighing every nominee on its merits is a principled stance. But a blanket rejection of everything on the slate is also a principled stance. I guess it comes down to which principles you consider more important, and I can't make that decision for anyone but myself.

In any case, my ire is solely reserved for the slates' organizers, who clearly wouldn't know a principle if it jumped up and bit them.

#138 ::: Matt ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 08:40 PM:

@Teresa #134

I thought Wright was a Tor author? His most recent novel definately is.

I know little about publishing though, has he left Tor?

#139 ::: Andrew Hickey ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 08:40 PM:

Iain @130, I couldn't agree more.
The Sad/Rabid Puppies weren't voted on the list on the basis of their quality, but as a political statement, so I'm treating them as political manifestos for a party whose positions I loathe. I'm not going to read UKIP's manifesto, either, but I know I'm not voting for them.
Also, from reading the steaming piles of excrement that made it onto the ballot from last year's SP slate, I know that even leaving the politics aside, the SP slate is anticorrelated with stuff that's worth my time.
And that's not surprising, since even taking Torgerson at his word (an incredible courtesy to him since he's repeatedly been shown to be a liar), his complaint is supposedly that SF isn't mindless swashbuckling adventure, but actually has literary style and ideas. Since I like literary style and ideas and hate mindless swashbuckling adventure, the SP label by definition says it isn't for me.

Frankly, the "you must read these books before voting against them" thing seems *DEEPLY* creepy to me, like a sleazy bloke in a bar trying it on with a woman who's not interested. "Well, how do you *know* you're not interested until you sleep with me? You might like me!"

No, I won't...

#140 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 08:45 PM:

venus @83: Torgerson absolutely does know, or should reasonably -- it's not like they've been subtle about it. He doesn't care.

Come hang out over here with us. Jerks like him have no place here.

#141 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 08:48 PM:

Tatterbots @18 Larry Correia says he turned down a nomination.

Now that is interesting. I think he really believes most of what he says. He honestly thinks that the handful of loudmouths who didn't like him for his politics were representatives of a large faction that has been denying him (and others with similar politics) recognition; and when he set himself up in opposition to the existing Hugo-voting fandom what should he find but a group opposing him. And now he thinks this whole issue is larger than him.

Well, as it turns out, it is larger than him.

#142 ::: Bryant ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 08:48 PM:

Ken knew he was on the Sad Puppy ballot and who else was on it; see here.

#143 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 08:54 PM:

"However, it would appear that VD’s Rabid Puppies slate was more effective than your own Sad Puppies one."

Right. It is easy, really easy, to raise up demons (metaphorical demons at least, never met any real ones myself, only bad people.) Controlling them, banishing them--that's the hard part. I keep remembering what happens to black magicians in Christian mythology. It ends badly. Eternally badly.

Someone asked if there is any action from WSFS on this. Guy, it takes three years to amend these rules, and for good reasons. I've seen some proposals; we'll see if they go anywhere. Meantime, with luck the more moderate SPs will draw back next year. But the thugs? It's going to take some serious effort. These awards have been protected by their obscurity. For a long time the Hugo Awards were protected by the simple unpopularity of sf--almost no-one cared to meddle, and the nominating process welcomed everyone. For some years after sf became popular, obscurity still protected the awards. Now, we're going to need some new rules.

There is perhaps an analogy with the need for moderation in internet forums; once it wasn't needed, now it is. I am dubious of the ability of any fixed set of rules to deal with determined attack. On the other hand, most of the attackers aren't too bright, just mean. Could be rules will be enough.

#144 ::: snowcrash ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 08:54 PM:

Sorry, this will be rambling.

Wasn't too happy with the controversy last time around, but man this is soooo much worse. Look, I like the Dresden Files (though Codex Alera is Butchers best), but it's got even less reason to be there as WoT did. There was a book last year which was the third in a series, and I chucked it after a hundred pages in. Skin Game is the 15th!

I dunno about KJA, but it least he's taken a break from desecrating the corpse of Frank Herbert (apologies, this refers to a webcomic joke from many years ago).

The other categories...I'm familiar with some of the nominees, and based on that they will be getting unmentioned below No Award. And in case anyone wants to accuse me of being elitist - this is my second try at voting (free legal WoT!), I'm from freaking South East Asia, I'm kicking myself for not nominating, and seriously screw you

I mean, Vox Day wasn't bad enough last year so you double down on him now? You curate support to GamerGate, who're a bunch of ignorant arseholes who started out not understanding industry journalism AND media criticism, and then spun off onto a full-on redpill subgroup?

When I vote, please be assured that I'll be giving all the candidates the attention they deserve.

#145 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 08:56 PM:

Bryant: Thanks.

Ken: Sorry, but no. You chose to go along with it, you can get all the results, not just the ones you might have hoped for. You put yourself in the worst company in active sf fandom right now, part of the busiest wreckers.

#146 ::: Industrial Voodoo ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 09:14 PM:

lh, SFF SJWs! 'm th ldr f GmrGt nd rprsnt th cmbnd GG frcs f RdChn, #GmrGt, nd nfntyChn.

lmst nn f s knw bt Sd Ppps nd th Hgs' cntrvrsy ntl th lst fw dys. ( ls hd n d hw rdcls th Hg's vtng prcss s nd wht mrktng scm "Hg Nmn/Wnnr!" s. Thnks fr tht nf.)

S th gd nws s tht GmrGt hsn't stffd th Hg's bllt bx. nfrtntly th bd nws s y'r sch nlkbl mrl dnds tht SFF rdrs ppr hv dn t ll n thr wn.

Mch lv, GmrGt

#147 ::: Iain Coleman ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 09:15 PM:

It's all an example of how, in politics, an organised minority can defeat a disorganised majority. The answer is for the majority to organise.

In the short term, that means someone with the time, inclination and knowledge producing a guide to how to vote against the sad puppies, and the rest of the community distributing it as widely as possible. Don't forget that most voters are low-information voters and will not be aware of this controversy.

In the longer term, unless the rules are changed significantly, it probably means organising some kind of primary process to agree a slate of nominees from the non-bawbag section of the community. This may not sit comfortably with traditional Hugo voters, but if the alternative is seeing the awards irrevocably devalued by a handful of bawbags and their gamergate brownshirts, it may be the best choice available.

#148 ::: Nate ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 09:16 PM:

nd yt gn, nthr prsn hsn't ctlly dn thr rsrch nd blvs whtvr thy r tod. t gts mr dshrtnng ch dy t wtch y ppl cry vr fk trgds.

#149 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 09:25 PM:

Brian Marshal @35:

My mother taught me not to judge a person on how they look but how they act.
I'm judging the Puppies on their behavior. It's been awful. I'm not going to reward it.
Judge the books, not the people. Don't vote No Award unless the really is nothing that deserves the award.
Sorry, no can do. That's like reprimanding investment bankers who've committed financial skulduggery, but letting them keep the profits from it.

The works on the SP slate had the same chance to catch the readers' fancy as everything else published that year. They didn't succeed in doing so anywhere near as well as The Three-Body Problem and other works that were pushed off the ballot. They got on the ballot because the Sad Puppies cynically exploited a structural vulnerability in the Hugo process.

How does that make those works worthy of a Hugo Award? They may be good, or passable, but they aren't the best. Other works published the same year are just as good, but they won't be getting Hugo Awards.

And why should I feel obliged to give the works on the SP slate an extra chance? That's another thing that other works published that year won't get.

I will not reward Vox Day or Correia's puppy campaigns. No matter what else happens, the puppies are going to claim bragging rights, and any case they can present as a victory is going to feed back into that, and become an incentive for them to try harder next time.

No. Everything from the Vox Day and Sad Puppy slates is getting ranked beneath "No Award" on my ballot. (Sorry, Marko Kloos.) If we're going to send a message, we have to make it clear.

#150 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 09:25 PM:

to all the new visitors:
Do you write poetry? Make puns? Tell jokes worth listening to? Knit? Cook? Write stories?

#151 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 09:26 PM:

Nate @148, to which person are you referring? Industrial Voodoo, perhaps? I mean, he seems to think that GG has one leader, after all....

#152 ::: kate ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 09:28 PM:

a) Please don't put books in the wrong place. The bookstores don't deserve it, nor do the authors.

b) Brad @41, I like you just fine as a person and a writer, but you don't really get to dictate how individual people decide to deal with the Hugo ballot. (I didn't read all the short stories the years I voted, or vote on best fanzine, for example.)

c) @127 -- "But there is no reason now why we have to play by the rules..."

I don't at all agree. All the more reason to, really.

d) In general: Hi, SP people. Just for the record: I like speculative fiction, I think many kinds of speculative fiction can exist in the world. Conservative people who write (and read) speculative fiction, and engage in fandom, are just fine with me.

I just don't like slates because they distort the process.

#153 ::: Tatterbots ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 09:30 PM:

Steve Wright @137:
The sad thing - OK, one of the sad things - is that some people, like Andromeda Spaceways, or Ken Burnside, might well have deserved legitimate places on the ballot, but may now lose out, simply because they're tainted by association with the slate. (For that matter, the same goes for the movies... does anyone seriously believe "Guardians of the Galaxy", for instance, wouldn't have got a nomination without the slate's help? But it's entirely possible that "help" will wind up costing it votes.)

A cynical part of me suspects those people and works got put on the slates just to sow division among the slates' opponents.

A less cynical part says, don't be silly, the puppies enjoyed those movies just as much as anyone else did. But if the puppies' taste in movies aligns so well with the sort of movies that normally get nominated, why bother having a slate in that category at all?

#154 ::: Tim Bartik ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 09:30 PM:

I haven't voted in the Hugo awards since I voted for The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. But I just purchased a supporting membership, and I intend to vote this year.

Why haven't I voted in the past? My general feeling was that I hadn't read sufficient recent work to have an informed opinion on what should be nominated or what should win. But I trusted that the somewhat unorganized Hugo nomination and voting process would yield some useful information on what was potentially worth reading.

That valuable information role of the Hugo's is potentially ended with slate manipulation of the nomination process. Works are being nominated by voters who have not read them because they are on slates that are supposedly making some weird political point. This type of unethical manipulation needs to be opposed, even if it is within the Hugo rules. Any social group depends on both written and unwritten rules, and slate voting violates the unwritten rules of basic ethics.

I intend to vote No Award above any item that was on a slate, and I intend to leave all slate works off of my ballot. Why? I think it is important to send a message to authors that being part of a slate comes at a cost: it might get you on a nominating ballot, but it will never win you a Hugo.

I regret being forced to this type of voting, but I see no alternative to taking this political tack, in order to send a firm message that manipulating the nomination process cannot be tolerated.

As for authors such as Ken Burnside @125: I'm sorry that I will be unable to consider your work, as it was nominated through a tainted nominating process. But you surely must realize that slate manipulation of nominations devalues any honor to be attached to Hugo nominations. Your work may have merit, but your nomination was mostly by people who have never read your work, so your nomination does not reflect merit.

#155 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 09:31 PM:

Grace Seybold @38:

Matthew Surridge, who was put on the SP slate without being consulted, turned down the nomination for Best Fan Writer.
Good for Matthew Surridge! Montreal, right? Attended Farthing Party?

Turning down the nomination can't have been easy. All honor to him.

#156 ::: Nate ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 09:31 PM:

Cassy @151, Patrick saying that false things about GG. We still have to see evidence of actual harassment outside of sockpuppet accounts that GGers have actually outed themselves. But that gets ignored by a false narrative.

#157 ::: Kevin Standlee ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 09:40 PM:

Ian Cordingley @63:

I want to know is WorldCon is taking measures to make sure that this is the weird year and not the start of a trend.
What would you suggest? I have spoken to the Administrators, and there is no question of "voting the phone book." Every person who joined was legitimately a member. Any suggestion of what Worldcons could do?

The "4 in 6" proposal (limit nominations to four per member per category and increase finalists to six per category) has already been submitted and will be on the agenda at this year's WSFS Business Meeting. If it passes this year and is ratified next year, it would first affect the 2017 Hugo Awards.

Chris Meadows @64:

I'd personally like to see Gen Con named a WorldCon some year.
There is no WSFS Board of Directors that picks where Worldcons are held. The members vote to pick the site from among those committees that come forward and present bids to host it. GenCon will never host a Worldcon unless it bids to hold it. (The fact that it's a for-profit entity would probably also work against it politically.)

Rachel Swirsky @71:

I don't want to end up in a situation where the Hugo nominations are decided by competing slates.
Me, neither. If this trend continues, we're going to have to completely rethink how we choose the finalists. I'm decently content with the final ballot IRV method for choosing a winner. (Don't shoot me, Condorcet enthusiasts!) It's the way a single dedicated minority can dominate the shortlist that is worrisome.

#158 ::: SorchaRei ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 09:41 PM:

Cordelia Vorkosigan has been known to observe that when you choose an action, you choose its consequences. All of them. The ones you like, like being nominated fir a Hugo. And the ones you don't like, like people taking a principled stance that results in them voting No Award ahead of your story.

The consequences were entirely predictable, given that a fair number of voters last year also automatically voted down the SP nominees, for the same reason. Last year, I read and voted as if there had been no slate. In response, the SPs and RPs doubled down. This year, I have a rather different response.

If you wanted to ride the SP slate to a Hugo nomination, that was clearly your choice. You chose to support a slate that asked voters to disregard their own preferences in favor of hurting people they don't like. Well, you got your wish: the slate worked and you got your nomination. Don't blame me when the other, entirely predictable, shoe falls on your head.

#159 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 09:43 PM:

Kate, I mean that we don't have to read their works if we don't feel like it, and we can rank them below no award because they got on the ballot by a route that is, frankly, dishonest. Some of them might actually have been good enough to get there without being pushed by the juvenile canines - but they, and we, will never know that now. (The last time I felt like this was 1984, when one person got on by a very similar route - and I was not kidding when I said they're still on my shit list.)

#160 ::: Alexander ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 09:45 PM:

Tim Bartik @154

Honest question: Who on the Sad Puppies ballot would ever have won a Hugo if they had just shut up and waited their turn?

Jim Butcher has been the most obvious deserving candidate for years - was never gonna happen.

Followed by Larry (who declined the nomination) and John C. Wright (who was also never going to tolerated).

So do what you must, but understand the threat has as much deterrence as telling the passengers on the Titanic their deck chair is going to be in a really bad place if they don't cooperate.

#161 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 09:46 PM:

157
I think that setting the nominations per category to fewer than the number of finalists should help a lot. But that's my opinion, and as I'm unlikely to attend (barring a winning lottery ticket, which is slightly less likely than having NCC-1701 show up over San Francisco), I won't have a say in that decision.

#162 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 09:50 PM:

160
There are dozens, even hundreds, of authors who deserved nominations and never got them. Remember than only five (or maybe six) can be on the ballot in any given year, and then look at how many are actually eligible that year.

That's not a reason to take this route. That's a crappy excuse for doing it. It's the small child's excuse: I can't have it, so I'm going to make all of you sorry that you didn't give it to me.

#163 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 09:50 PM:

Y'know, when some idiot calls Patrick 'Bull Connor', I think that the normal level of civility at this watering hole has been, shall we say, breached.

#164 ::: Matt ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 09:50 PM:

@Alexander #160.

Wright may have deserved a Hugo nomination years ago for his Golden Age trilogy, but his current output simply reflects his slow decent into insanity (I really believe that he has lost touch with reality, unless I'm to believe that he really has the ability to speak with angels)... it's mostly nothing more than the ramblings of a madman.

#165 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 09:52 PM:

I see that the drive-bys have arrived. I wonder who this Communist Party fellow is. Apparently, he really can't read.

#166 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 09:56 PM:

decent coverage over here:

http://io9.com/the-hugo-awards-were-always-political-now-theyre-only-1695721604

#167 ::: Tatterbots ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 09:58 PM:

The "4 in 6" proposal would dilute the effects of slates, but not eliminate them. A slate that listed 6 works, and instructed its supporters to nominate a randomly chosen 4 of them, could still monopolise the shortlist if it had 1.5 times as many supporters as it takes to do that already.

#168 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 10:02 PM:

The only things that can break the limited slates is to increase the number of independent nominatirs and the conversations about good books.

#169 ::: Chris Lawson ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 10:02 PM:

Ah, the good ol' Return to the Golden Age/Let's Reclaim Our Past Glory argument so beloved of Sad Puppies and other right-wing reactionaries, and always historical bullshit. Seriously, just go and have a look at the early Hugos and there's a broad spread of authors' viewpoints, literary style, political attitudes, and subgenre.

If SP really wanted to reclaim some agenda from Hugo fandom, the ethical approach would not be to stack the ballot but to run their own independent awards. But they know full well that such an award would never bring the hordes of fans that they pretend are just itching to vote for their favourite authors (and yet somehow never actually do even though there's nothing stopping them in the Hugo). If they really were to set up their own Sad Puppy Awards, they know that they would be greeted with all the enthusiasm and respect given Conservapedia. But rather than accept the situation, their plan is to hijack the Hugo nomination process by gaming it. What they fail to understand is that the reason the Hugos are generally considered a mark of quality reading is the past voting patterns of the Worldcon fans. Fans that SP wants to "butthurt". After all, if fandom really was full of people desperate to vote for SP's favourite stories, there would be no need for SP.

#170 ::: Tim Bartik ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 10:03 PM:

On @154. One of my favorite writers is the late Iain M. Banks. He never won a Hugo. I don't recall him trying to organize a slate to correct this injustice.

Why didn't Banks win a Hugo? Apparently his particular style of story-telling wasn't to a sufficient large number of SFF fans tastes. I personally think that he had potentially one perfect Culture novel that he never wrote that could have won the Hugo. I like Banks's works, but I would agree that many of his novels are uneven. I wish Banks had won for "Player of Games", which in my opinion is the best of the Culture novels.

There are a lot of great SFF writers who should have won a Hugo, and never did. Again, I don't recall any of them trying to manipulate the voting process by getting people who hadn't read their work to nominate them.

Jo Walton had a whole series at Tor that discussed the different Hugo Award years, and various injustices in what won and what didn't, and what might have been nominated and wasn't. Again, I don't think any of the aggrieved authors in response tried to game the nomination process.

The trouble is, slate nominations destroy the integrity of the nomination process because they encourage many nominators to nominate works they have not read. If slate nominations persist, the nomination process will have to be revised with additional rules that no doubt will make it less open. That is unfortunate. That future loss of openness is a potentially permanent cost to the SP groups' willingness to violate ethical norms.

#171 ::: Tim Bartik ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 10:04 PM:

Above at @170 is response to @160.

#172 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 10:17 PM:

Tim, your #170 is excellent. Thank you. That's the kind of context we'll have to keep affirming through all this.

#173 ::: kate ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 10:17 PM:

PJ@159 -- Oh. Quite. No argument there.

Teresa@134 -- Thank you, yes.

#174 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 10:19 PM:

PNH @ 53: "Does the desire to expand fandom mean we have to welcome every imaginable kind of person?"

I can think of at least four reasons why members of a group, even an evangelical one, would not want to expand their membership in particular ways.

One is elitism: we want to expand, but not those people. We want people of quality! Intelligence! Grace! Distinction!

Two is worry over mission drift: the character of the Texas Barbecue Brisket Appreciation Society is unlikely to survive the influx of a large number of vegans, however well-intentioned.

A third is fear of hostile take-over: if the stated goal of the new membership is to dismantle the group from the inside, they probably aren't going to prove terribly popular with the existing membership.

A fourth is distaste for reprehensibility: here are your cheerful child-rapists and such forth. This is distinct from elitism in that it includes maximally rather than minimally, though the difference is sometimes in the eye of the beholder.

Torgerson explains fandom's reaction to SP with one, but what I've been hearing from anti-SPers is two and three (with a dash of four when it comes to GG and VD).

TNH @ 134: "We've been worrying about bringing on a system of warring slates. It's unnecessary. You don't need a slate to beat a slate. What you need are a lot more votes, chosen according to the individual voters' preferences. It doesn't matter if their distribution is unfocused, as long as there are enough of them."

This. It's started already: there've been at least half a dozen Fluorospherians who have said they went a bought supporting memberships for the first time. I'm going to hazard a guess that a lot more will be sold by August. Who wants to bet that this year will have the highest turnout ever?

This is a thing which happens periodically in democracies. People get used to things working just fine without their direct input, and focus on other things. As watchful eyes fall away, a small, but organized minority sees an opening and exploits the inattention to do something they've never been able to get done before. Once people realize what is going on, they mobilize and toss the minority out. Newly vigilant, they keep a close eye on things--until memory starts to fade, the danger is forgotten, and the whole thing starts again.

#175 ::: nathanbp ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 10:20 PM:

#157, #167: Yeah, I don't see 4/6 helping that much without a competing slate, which is problematic. Something more drastic like increasing the nominee count to 15 or 20 while leaving the limit for nominating ballots at 5 would be required I think. This would have unfortunate side effects though.

#176 ::: Kelly Jennings ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 10:29 PM:

The demand that we must read all the works -- every word of the works! -- written by the Sad Puppies before we decide to vote against them, or it's just not fair annoyed me last year, and it annoys me this year.

Mind you, I did read enough of each Sad Puppy nomination last year to know it was not award-worthy -- and I even read every word in VD's tepid novella, mostly because I couldn't believe how awful it was. That's not the part that annoys me.

No, it's the righteousness. The lecturing. The insistence that WE must read everything THEY have written, when I will bet you dollars to donuts not one in six of them have read anything not written by one of their SP-Approved Authors in years.

Nor will one in six of them read anything on the slate this year, either. Why would they? They already know who they plan to vote for. Do you think there's any chance at all Brad Torgersen really might vote for Goblin Emperor?


#177 ::: Alexander ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 10:31 PM:

162, 164, 170.

Totally irrelevant to my point. I am not discussing the individual merits of the authors in question, or whether or not every year there are inevitably writers who are left on the list who are arguably deserving.

I am pointing out that giving 'no award' to an author for doing X, when they would have never won an award while not doing X, is unlikely to be a productive remedy.

#178 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 10:32 PM:

Alex R. #87: From now on when I see a Brad Torgenson or Larry Correia book at the store I will carry it over to the mystery section and tuck it in behind some ancient Agatha Christie novels.

I work in a bookstore, so I will tell you: (1) Please don't do that to the bookstore workers. We get quite enough of that as it is, and we do not appreciate it. (2) And if you do do it, that's a lousy place to hide them. Agatha Christie is still one of our more reliable sellers.

#179 ::: between4walls ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 10:32 PM:

Henry at Crooked Timber is hosting a thread to discuss notably good works of the past year that didn't have made the Hugo ballot.
http://crookedtimber.org/2015/04/05/sucky-hugos/

#180 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 10:38 PM:

177
You just blew your chance of winning that argument. You're telling people who have been following the Hugos for years that we don't know anything about the field and the awards.

Did you actually have any other reason for coming here besides wanting us to feel sorry for your favorite un-nominated author?

#181 ::: Zack ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 10:39 PM:

In addition to the "4 in 6" proposal, considering the shortlist we have this year, I'm thinking a hard limit on the number of nominations any single person may receive in any given year would be an appropriate Obvious Rule Patch. I'm currently thinking to set that limit at 3, no two of which may be in the same category; I could be persuaded that 2 or 4 was more appropriate.

And, independently of this whole kerfuffle, as long as we're talking rule changes, it has seemed to me for some time that maybe there should be a lifetime limit on the number of times the same creator and/or the same series can win a particular category, after which they are automatically disqualified from further nominations.

#182 ::: Acaloa ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 10:43 PM:

I lurk on and off on Making Light and a few other places. I've never wanted to post, though I've learned a lot.
I write. (I have even been known to publish once in a while.) I attend cons, not just worldcon, and I've been known to vote for the Hugos. Just not this year. I haven't had time to inform myself. And I lost 20 or 30 hours in the last three weeks as my husband pipes up with yet another comment and I have to go chase the context... because I just have to understand the context.
So with no further ado:

Sad puppies
Sad puppies
Sad puppies aren't much fun

It’s all about fairness, they call
We deserve the top place of all
Sad puppies aren't much fun

Sad Puppy was sad last fall
He's still sulking in the hall
Sad puppies aren't much fun, no no no
Sad puppy says your days are through
He’s going to throw you in the stew
Sad puppies aren't much fun

Sad puppies
(Sad or rabid) sad puppies
Sad puppies aren't much fun

(Come on everybody out there, sing along ok?)

(Sad sad sad) Sad puppies
(Rabid oh, Rabid) rabid puppies
(Mad sad mad) sad puppies aren't much fun

(One more time for sad sad puppies)
Sad puppies
Mad puppies
oh… Rabid puppies…

#183 ::: Peace Is My Middle Name ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 10:48 PM:

Teresa Nielsen Hayden #9

Er. Would you like a little more real identity from me? I am almost nearly a first-time poster, although I would file my own teeth before defending any Sad Puppy or, gods help us, GamerGater.

#184 ::: Peace Is My Middle Name ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 10:48 PM:

Ugh, #95 I meant.

#185 ::: Tatterbots ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 10:53 PM:

This might work to discourage slate voting:

1) A rule that if a nominee finishes below No Award in the final ballot, that person, or the author of that work, may never be shortlisted again.

2) The practice, which seems to be growing up anyway, of ranking slate nominees below No Award.

This combination would provide a strong incentive for anyone on a slate to get themselves taken off it or decline their nomination. If nobody wants to be on a slate, slates won't succeed.

It also lets voters judge cases on their individual merits. Mercy should emerge naturally for nominees who find out about their slate inclusion too late, or are popular enough to have been shortlisted without the slate's help.

#186 ::: Jaymie ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 10:53 PM:

Alex @ 177, when they come to the ballot through a connection with other writers who have said that I need to be exterminated, then I have no strong problems placing them below No Award this time. There are three places where I'm slightly sad over this, but not enough to change my position. They chose to lie down with pups so they can get up with fleas, when, really, they could have been the pig that got up and walked away.

#187 ::: Cat ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 11:03 PM:

I love the idea of more nominators and voters in the Hugo Awards. But I think we're going to need 10 times as many as the Sad Puppies have, which will be difficult to swing.

Why do I think this? Because when Brad was collecting suggestions for the Sad Puppy Slate, 41 people (if I counted correctly) nominated 35 books (if I counted correctly). The most nominations any single book got was three; four books got this many. Four more books got two nominations each and the other 27 books got one nomination each.

So among the Sad Puppies, a group whose tastes could be reasonably expected to align better than those of fandom as a whole, the most popular nominations were still getting less than 10% of the vote, so to speak.

Brad curated those suggestions to a list of 5 books, which presumably got near 100% of the Sad Puppies available nominations.

1) So this is a huge simplification but it looks like a slate boosts a small group's nominating power ten fold.

To counter a slate without a slate, I suggest we will need ten times as many people. At least, because fandom's tastes are probably wider than the Sad Puppies and I'm by no means sure that 10x as many nominators means 10x as many nominations for the most-favored book. But 10x would be a good start.

Looking at the number of Nominations, Best Fan Writer, which the Puppies nominated in, has 777 nominations. Best Fan Artist, which they didn't, has 296. That suggests the Puppies as an aggregate have about 480 people.

480 people voting in lock-step could probably sweep most of the Hugo categories, as the Puppies did: 1,827 nominated in the Best Novel category, and 480 is well over 10% of 1,827.

We need 4,800.

We might be able to get away with 4,800 total, rather than 4,800 new...but we still need about 3,400 more nominating in the Best Novel category next year.

We'd better get started.

#188 ::: Grace Seybold ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 11:10 PM:

Teresa @155: Yes, that's him. We were at the last two Farthing Parties (and had a great time; I look forward to the day Montreal has a permanent English-language con again).

The decision has definitely taken up a lot of his energy and thought-space over the past several days (as I'm sure is obvious from the length and detail of his response). I'm not sure I'd have been as level-headed as he has, if it had been me.

#189 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 11:16 PM:

heresiarch @174: This is a thing which happens periodically in democracies. People get used to things working just fine without their direct input, and focus on other things. As watchful eyes fall away, a small, but organized minority sees an opening and exploits the inattention to do something they've never been able to get done before. Once people realize what is going on, they mobilize and toss the minority out. Newly vigilant, they keep a close eye on things--until memory starts to fade, the danger is forgotten, and the whole thing starts again.

I take what I think is your point, although I think it could be argued -- and reasonably well supported -- that that's exactly what happened with gay marriage, for instance. I'm not quite sure how I distinguish the two cases, besides that I approve of gay marriage and I am ever more dubious of the Sad Puppies. Obviously the structure doesn't tell.

Perhaps the distinction is that one group is a minority trying to gain rights for itself at no cost to others', and the other is a minority trying to gain something for itself at the expense of other minorities and the community as a whole.

#190 ::: Steven desJardins ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 11:29 PM:

Tatterbots, I think that proposal is counterproductive. I plan to rank Skin Games below No Award this year. I read and enjoyed it, but I don't think it's quite Hugo caliber, and in an ordinary year I'd hesitate before deciding whether to put it just above or just below NA. This year, I have no hesitation. But if your rule were in place, and my act had permanent consequences, I would have to go the other way: I don't think Jim Butcher ought to win a Hugo this year, but I couldn't endorse a permanent ban either. So if your idea were in place, it would actually increase the likelihood that Skin Games would win.

#191 ::: Peace Is My Middle Name ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 11:36 PM:

Tatterbots #185

The never shortlisting again thing bothers me. It feels like an overly complex solution to the problem and another weak point which could be gamed to disastrous effect.

I am sorry for unsuspecting authors etc. who may have found themselves on the ballot only because of SP and the GG's unethical behavior.

I would hope they would refuse the nomination, since to accept the support of gleeful sadists who revel in anonymous rape and death threats cannot be pragmatically handwaved away.

I see no reason to reward the tainted nominations of SP and the GG by giving them any consideration whatsoever.

But I am pretty angry at the moment and may be being unjust. Perhaps there is something extraordinary, beyond the merely good, truly exceptional enough to be worthy of a Hugo on the ballots.

That's athing to remember. The Hugo does not go like a consolation prize to whatever happens to be less bad than other things on the ballot. It is supposed to go to the honestly extraordinary.

If nothing on the ballot is deserving of the award, "No Award" is a legitimate vote.

#192 ::: DanAudy ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2015, 11:54 PM:

@160

In the editor's definitely Toni Weisskopf and Anne Sowards are worthy candidates. Not sure if Anne Sowards would have gotten a nomination without Sad Puppies but Toni Weisskopf would have definitely been a contender without.

"Big Boys don't cry" by Tom Kratman also might have made it on it's own despite his association with the appalling Vox Day. I've heard good things about it and have it on my backlist to get to eventually. Hard to say though since all the short form categories are pretty unpredictable.

#193 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:00 AM:

Sheila Gilbert of DAW has also been doing good work for many years as a book editor. She should be considered.

#194 ::: Ken Burnside ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:00 AM:

I was told I was on the Sad Puppies slate the day after Brad posted it. I posted about it here, on Google+

I largely copy-pasted the material that was sent to me, inserted a bit about my piece, posted, and moved on to writing other things.

I saw Sad Puppies as nothing more than a chance to get my work out in front of more readers. Honestly, that's all I see this Finalist nomination as.

I don't think anything in "Best Related" has a chance of beating "Letters To Gardner." I ask that you take the time to read it, hopefully enjoy it, and do as your conscience demands.

#195 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:03 AM:

The Hugos aren't lifetime achievement awards. It's not a prize for "best novel (or novella, novelette, short story, dramatic presentation, fanzine/etc.) by someone who has never won the Hugo before." And it's certainly not "best total body of work by someone who published something in the appropriate year and has never before won a Hugo."

I'm not even sure how you would define such a thing—would Dean Koontz lose points for the books he autographs "collect do not read?" But it probably doesn't matter, because few people are going to care about an award defined that way. SFWA's Grand Master awards are a lifetime achievement honor, but it would be absurd to limit them to writers who never won the Nebula.

The Hugo for best novel is supposed to be for the best novel. Writing the fifteenth- to thirtieth-best sf novel every other year for a couple of decades would be no small achievement. But it wouldn't make any individual one of those books the best sf novel of the year in question.

#196 ::: CP ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:04 AM:

TNH #149 S, yr rl ss s wth bhvr? Y dslk slts, nd fl thy shld b pnshd?

Y mn lk ths:
http://whtvr.sclz.cm/2008/01/03/th-2008-wrd-pmpg-pst/
Bng Jhn Sclz's nnl slt
http://mrkvnnm.blgspt.cm/2008/01/2008-wrd-slf-pmpg-pst.html
Bng Mrk Vn Nm's slt
http://www.kschrdr.cm/wblg/hg-rr-lgbl-wrk-frm-2008
Krl Schrdr (hy, lk, thr's Tr bk n thr. wndr f w dg rnd, w'd fnd smn Hydn pshng tht bk tht yr)
http://www.sfwrdswtch.cm/?m=200902
fw thr /s/l//t//s rcmmndd lsts...

Gvn yr xtrm rctn t SP, t's lmst lk th ss sn't rgnzng, t's rgnzng tht y dn't lk.

Whch gts bck t Brd's whl thng bt gtkpng, nd dmnstrts t n th mst grgs f mnnrs.

PJ vns #180: "Y'r tllng ppl wh hv bn fllwng th Hgs fr yrs tht w dn't knw nythng bt th fld nd th wrds." Y knw, rgmnt by spcl knwldg _nvr_ wrks. mn, tryng t s mm'd lgcl fllcy t mk yr pnt? Srsly?

hrsrch #174: Y mk n ntrstng pnt bt rsns fr tkvr. Bt y rlz, hp, tht #1 nd #3/4 r flp sds f th sm cn. Y bsclly mk Brd's (nd by xtnsn Lrry Crr's) rgmnt fr hm.

#197 ::: Kevin J. Maroney ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:06 AM:

PJ @ 180,

I think that Alexander at 177 (and earlier) was simply making the point that, since Vox Day was never going to win a Hugo under normal circumstances, arranging for him to not win a Hugo under abnormal circumstances is unlikely to cause him much distress. The Hugo process was never going to reward him, so breaking it completely is his victory condition.

#198 ::: Peace Is My Middle Name ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:07 AM:

Ken #194

I am sorry, my conscience demands I have nothing to do with doxxers, online stalkers, homophobes and misogynistic death threat-makers.

Context matters.

I wish you luck in future years' nominations.

#199 ::: Keith "Kilo" Watt ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:10 AM:

I, too, was dismayed -- but not surprised -- at the SP/RP slates effectively taking over the Hugos. The statistics are straightforward: Given the (healthy) diversity of opinions of SF fandom, it doesn't take a terribly large block to completely swamp the nominations. While, the 4/6 rule might ensure that the entire nomination list isn't from a slate, it's still fairly easy for any bloc of voters, acting in lockstep, to guarantee at least 4. At that point, there still aren't enough "non-slate" works to vote on to make any real claim that the Hugos are representative of the favorites of fandom-at-large. Frankly, I don't think there's any rule change that can be proposed that can fix that. With apologies to Teresa, increasing the people nominating won't have a measurable effect either -- SF fans are simply too diverse, and I don't see that as a bad thing. Their individual votes will never outweigh bloc voting.

Like many others, I don't want to see social media marketing (in order to build a slate) become a requirement to win a Hugo. At that point, the Hugos have no real meaning, or, at the very least, are no longer the Hugos as we have known them. The puppies have shown that bloc voting works, and this should come as no surprise to anyone who follows American politics. If we don't want to the Hugos to be decided by bloc votes, as opposed to individual votes, I see only one course of action: Depend on the writers to be willing to accept no Hugo, if the alternative is a tainted Hugo.

That's a hard choice for any writer, but ultimately, only they can decide what the Hugo will be, not the voters. That seems strange, but think about it: In spite of what the puppies seem to think, the only people involved in the whole process with any significant individual power at all are the authors themselves.

As voters, we can support those authors who ask not to be on any slate (and, of course, those who weren't put on a slate to begin with). If being on a slate -- whomever that slate belongs to -- is known to mean you won't get a Hugo, then suddenly slates have been rendered powerless. Eventually, the puppies and other slates simply won't have any authors to nominate. It will take some time, because I have no doubt that many of these groups would be happy to simply cripple the Hugos if they don't get their way. So be it. The Hugos would have been crippled anyway.

So, for me, any work which appears on a slate will get a "no award" vote from me. I don't actually care what slate it is -- even if it is a slate of my favorite works. Yes, this hurts some deserving authors. To those who ask if it's fair to those authors, I can only point out that there may have been much more deserving works that were forced off the list. Just because a work is Hugo-worthy, doesn't mean it was the best of that year. It's easy to say, "Well, this one might have won on its own merits." We'll never know. Fundamentally, whoever wins the 2015 Hugos -- if anyone does -- will never be certain that they won on their own merits. If nothing else, the puppies have cheated those authors of that.

Just my thoughts,
Kilo

#200 ::: Jaymie ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:10 AM:

CP, you're being disingenuous if you're confusing here's-the-work-I've-done-that-is-eligible with a slate.

#201 ::: DanAudy ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:10 AM:

@196

I realise that this is probably hopeless but you do understand that none of your examples are slates right?

All of those examples are authors reminding voters which of their works are eligable for nomination that year. This is a longstanding and greatly appreciated by voters thing because it is often hard to recall precisely which year something you read 10 months ago will be eligable for.

#202 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:14 AM:

200
I have CP shortlisted as a troll.

#203 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:16 AM:

Is there any chance of the Hugo Losers Party (or whatever its official name is) inviting the people who would have been nominated if they hadn't been crowded out by the Puppies' slates? (Yeah, it's not much consolation.)

I'm really annoyed at the Puppies for lots of reasons, but the moderators have a bucket-full of spare vowels I don't need to add more too.

Lots of people have mentioned that lots of good work and lots of good authors didn't get nominated, and deserved to. That's a much more serious problem than just writing a great piece of work and having $FamousAuthor write a great piece of work at the same time and stealing your Hugo. And it's even more serious for the Campbell Award candidates, because you can only be "Best New Author" when you're new, so you've got 1.5-2 shots at it. Eric Raymond commented that he didn't think his puppy-nominated piece was Campbell quality; other writers were crowded out who were potentially great.

As a Supporting Member of the con, I'm also angry at the Puppies for personally ripping me off. One reason I buy a membership is because the reader packet includes (most of) the Hugo nominees, and instead of getting legitimate work nominated by people from a wide range of interests, I'm getting mostly Puppy Chow. Putting a few of their friends on the ballot last time was one thing; I enjoyed Correia's work even though I don't think it was Hugo quality, but Torgersen's writing wasn't, and Beale's wasn't as bad as expected but still didn't belong on a Hugo ballot. But this time, it's almost all selected by a small group of people from one particular niche, who've already thrown out most of the wide weird variety of work that make the Hugo nominees interesting.

#204 ::: Nat Lovin ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:18 AM:

In addition, of course, none of those lists have 4 or 5 nominees in most of the categories.

#205 ::: Eric K ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:18 AM:

Ken Burnside, #194 I see that you endorsed the Sad Puppies slate, and that you appear to have done so as an attempt to get your work onto the Hugo ballot:

I could, theoretically, be in the running for a Hugo

What is "Sad Puppies 3?"

Sad Puppies is an organized attempt by writers on the conservative and libertarian axis to get worthy works on the Hugo ballots that would otherwise be excluded by the way that SF Fandom at WorldCons usually runs.

Sad Puppies tries to get good action-adventure yarns, with competent heroes solving problems up on the ballot to compete alongside the tone poems of existential angst.

To help the Sad Puppies Campaign, you need to have either been a member (not attendee, a member) of LonCon or be a member or attendee of SpoKon this year. You will have a recommendation list for what works to put before attendees of the convention in Spokane.

To me, this seems like a pretty cynical way to get yourself onto an awards ballot: Whip up a bit of culture war, and supply people with a pre-made list of recommendations to vote for. I wonder how many people nominated stories from that list without reading them? What value do you see in a receiving a nomination thanks to a slate like this?

#206 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:20 AM:

Cat@114 - Yeah, everything you said, including the issues with slates, and "If you were a dinosaur" making me cry. (I'd also liked Rachel Swirsky's 2011 nominee.)

#207 ::: Ken Burnside ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:25 AM:

@DanAudy (201):

No, I recognize that there's a difference between a slate and an author pointing out that something was eligible.

I was unaware that I was eligible until after the slate had been announced. I know better now.

For a bit of context: nearly all of my writing output is technical writing or games. I wrote The Hot Equations on a whim because it's a topic I know cold, did a first draft on a train, let it sit, and revised three days later before submitting. I made further edits at the behest of the editor to remove equations because they're not eBook friendly.

Guess I'll need to sell a few more short pieces this year. Hopefully, this will make it a small bit easier to climb out of the mire and muck of the slushpile...

Which is my victory condition in all this: To get more readers.

#208 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:31 AM:

196
'Argument by special knowledge'? Really? [/raised eyebrow]

How many years of reading SF do you think are sufficient to qualify, or are you like some of the more conservative voters in the US, who think that any knowledge at all is so dangerous that it must be avoided at all costs?

#209 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:32 AM:

I'll try to read the nominated works; I'm not promising to finish any of them, and since there's a slateful of Wright, I may end up treating "not finishing" on a per-slate basis. And slates break the process so thoroughly and deliberately I can't support slate-nominated work above No Award.

But I'll still probably have rank-ordering among the nominees, so there will be a number of categories for which my vote looks like "NA A B C D", or maybe "NA A B" if C,D,E are really awful, because if there is still an award in a category, I'd still like it to go to the best work.

My current prediction for how I'll vote on the novels (having not read any of them, but having enjoyed the first two books in Jim Butcher's series, and having not liked the excerpt of Ancillary Justice last time) is
"Goblin Emperor, Ancillary Sword, NA, Skin Game (sorry, Jim), one of the others"

Any idea if Orbit's going to include the entire Ancillary Sword in the reader packet this time, or just an excerpt again?

#210 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:35 AM:

Tatterbots@185

It is a poor blaster that does not point both ways.


Kicking someone off the Hugo list forever would be quite a prize for a group who could organize a bunch of No Awards.

#211 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:43 AM:

209
Having read Ancillary Sword as well as Goblin Emperor I agree with those - I think Sword suffers a little from being the second book of what appears to be a trilogy.

#212 ::: Barry Deutsch ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:50 AM:

Ken #125:

You wrote that you only got to enjoy the feeling for a few hours before reading comments by your peers made you sigh.

But the fact that you publicly sneer at other nominees' work, as in your comment on Amazing Stories earlier today, suggests that you're either pretty insincere, or you're a hypocrite.

I don't think you should feel good about this nomination, because getting nominated because slate voters wanted to stick it to SJWs isn't the same as getting nominated because your work is excellent.

I've read all five of the nominated works in the "Graphic Stories" category. Four of them are there on merit - they're mostly very mainstream, but they're undeniably skilled works by top creators. In contrast, the Sad Puppies nominee in this category is not even remotely in the same class, and the comparison created by putting him on this list is unfair to him.

Additionally: I don't know who it was, but a cartoonist who has worked a lot longer and harder than the Sad Puppy nominee, and produced better, more original work, was knocked off the list by slate voting. Probably that person would have enjoyed being nominated, too. Honestly, I think that person deserves more sympathy for this situation than you do.

#213 ::: Ken Burnside ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 01:01 AM:

@Peace:

I work in the games industry - analog rather than digital. I've friends and colleagues who work on the digital side.

I've seen some of the inboxes of my female colleagues.

You and I are in vociferous agreement on the relative merits of GamerGate. Until pretty much this post, I was unaware that GamerGate had hitched themeselves to this wagon.

I hope you find something worth voting for in each category. If you read my piece, I hope you enjoy it - even if you rank it lower than No Award.

Again, my victory condition is more readers.

#214 ::: Barry Deutsch ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 01:17 AM:

On second thought, I think my previous comment (#212) was too harsh on Ken.

It's fine if Ken wants to criticize a nominated work from last year that he doesn't think deserved its nomination. But it's also fine to criticize what slate voting has done to the awards this year.

#215 ::: Doctor Science ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 01:18 AM:

In addition to all the worthy *works* that have been shoved off the ballot by the SPs/RPs, I think there's an *issue* we would otherwise be talking about, but aren't going to have the energy for this year.

When sf/f readers think about "really good books I read in 2014", The Martian comes to a *lot* of people's minds. If it were copyright 2014, it would be the clear front-runner for the novel Hugo, don't you agree?

What the case of The Martian proves is that an independently-published novel *can* be of award-winning quality and popularity -- but it's likely to take a couple years of "platforming" before it becomes widely known, and by that time it's not longer award-eligible.

#216 ::: UrsulaV ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 01:29 AM:

@215 - Nope, I'd still have gone "Goblin Emperor." But that's cool. Both really good books, anyhow.

Discoverability is the downside of the indie bargain. You can do whatever you want, but people may not know you've done it. That's the trade off you make in self-pub at the moment. A few authors have managed to buck the trend--we had self-pubs in 2013, as memory serves?--and webcomics have been doing it for awhile, but it's still tough unless you're a well-known name.

I suspect we'll see more and more hitting lists, but people will probably be taking several books to build an audience before one makes an award list. Much harder for a first novel, though, until we see a significant change in the way people find books.

#217 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 01:32 AM:

I've thought since I read it that Ancillary Justice is the first half of a novel whose second half is Ancillary Sword -- neither of them really works, for me, as a separate work from its other self. Justice just stops abruptly, and Sword starts thoroughly in medias res without the actual structure of flashbacks and such that would make such a starting-point a literary choice.

#218 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 01:35 AM:

As a gay man, I object to being told I should be killed. You might think I should be used to it, but it still annoys me.

I feel no obligation to read anything by, or endorsed by, people who think I should be killed.

SP and RP are simply vandals. They know we value the Hugos, so they've set out to destroy them. I feel no obligation to read their work.

Everything on either slate will go unmarked on my Hugo ballot. Sorry, Jim Butcher. Love your work, but it's more important that these tactics fail. No Award will be rated in each category.

Important: Don't rate things below No Award. Leave them unmarked instead. If No Award is eliminated, your ratings below it count as positive votes! No Award should always be the last thing rated in each category.

My Hugo reading list will be short this year! I may actually be able to read all the legitimate nominees. Only upside to this digusting situation.

I will never put a number next to Brad Torgerson's name on a Hugo ballot, even if he gets a legitimate nomination someday. The same goes for the loathsome Vox Day and Jim C. Wright.

Now. Time to take Joe Hill's admonition to heart.

#219 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 01:40 AM:

217
I looked online a month or so back, and the third one is Ancillary Mercy, due out in October.

#220 ::: SorchaRei ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 01:44 AM:

@ Doctor Science #250

I don't know that The Martian would be my top choice, although I loved it. I'd have to read it and The Goblin Emperor again to sort that out. But I do agree that the book raises a question that might want to be addressed, and that it's unlikely to be addressed this year.

On one hand, I would be open to a suggestion that if a book is published independently and then subsequently published by a publisher, it is eligible in the year it is published by the publisher only if it was not nominated in the first year it was indie pubbed. On the other hand, lots of really great books never came anywhere close to the Hugo ballot. And on my too-often-used third hand, I would also be open to a new category for "republished works" which would cover both this sort of book and other kinds of republishing (such as Baen rescuing the orphaned Liaden books and sending them back into the world in omnibuses at the same time she commissioned new works in that universe).

#221 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 01:51 AM:

Important: Don't rate things below No Award. Leave them unmarked instead. If No Award is eliminated, your ratings below it count as positive votes! No Award should always be the last thing rated in each category.

Thanks much for that advice. I have bookmarked your post in my "Sad Puppies" folder and will read your advice again before I vote.

#222 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 01:52 AM:

I am especially pissed because I should be able to be happy about the Hugos right now.

You know what's awesome? Goblin Emperor. That book is completely amazing. I want to roll around in it and read it when I'm sad. I love the body language, the verbal language-- the way both are meaningful but not explained because they're just there, like shrugging and slang. I love the competence and the decency. I love the way it relies on competence and decency, the way the characters do things I hope I would do in their places.

I want to be absolutely, furiously happy for the nominees, and no, I'm not disinterested here*. I am going to be furiously happy for the few I love that made it on. I am going to celebrate Ms Marvel and the graphic novels I haven't read but hear are exceptional. I am going to giggle at Guardians of the Galaxy because that movie, oh that movie. I am going to be furiously happy because a bunch of assholes aren't going to ruin me hoping a seriously good book will win.

*I am sort of on the ballot.

#223 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:00 AM:

RE: The Martian @215 Doctor Science, 220 SorchaRei

Well, each Worldcon does have the ability to give out a one-time Special Award. I'd love to see it go to The Martian this year. But it may be that the Sasquan concom already has plans for that award.

#224 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:00 AM:

Diatryma: "I am especially pissed because I should be able to be happy about the Hugos right now." This, right here. I have always enjoyed seeing the Hugo and Nebula nominations, stocking up on cool new reading, celebrating on behalf of friends and acquaintances who got nominated, the whole deal. I very much resent the theft of that happiness from thousands of us, for any reason, but most particularly for such brutal and stupid reasons.

#225 ::: Kevin Standlee ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:12 AM:

JJ @223:

Worldcon can present as many Special Awards as they want during the Hugo Awards ceremony, but none of them are Hugo Awards and none of them can receive a Hugo Award Rocket®. You may be confusing this with the ability of a committee to add a Special Hugo Category; however, if they do that, they have to put it on the nominating ballot and follow all of the other Hugo rules.

Xopher @218:

In my opinion, you're giving bad advice. Ranking things after No Award says, "I would rather this not win, but if it must, I prefer it over the things I voted lower." And because of the No Award Showdown rule, if one of those lower-ranked works is the preliminary winner, you'll still have a vote registered against it.

#226 ::: DanAudy ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:20 AM:

@218

While I fully appreciate your opinion on the subject I would rather put my rankings for work I consider decent quality that are there solely because of a slate below 'No Award' rather than simply leaving them blank because if something from the slate has to win I'd rather it be something ok than vile.

#227 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:25 AM:

Hmm, maybe. But I don't actually have a lot of preferences among the Sad Puppies; it's a disaster if any of them win.

I have to read up on the No Award Showdown rule. I'm primarily concerned with voting to minimize the chance of SP/RP nominees winning.

#228 ::: Aaron ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:32 AM:

"But evaluate the final nominees on their own individual merits. That's how we did it. I think you all can do it too."

I did last year. I read every Sad Puppy that made it on to the 2014 Hugo Ballot. And then I ranked them all below "No award", because, quite bluntly, none of those works should have been anywhere close to the nominee list. They were simply not good enough - ranging from a high point of mediocre down to trash.

So why should anyone now trust your judgment on anything? You handed Hugo voters a pile of rancid garbage last year, so maybe you'll excuse us if we don't take your exhortations to read what you're proffering this time as being made in good faith.

#229 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:41 AM:

185/191
What I think might possibly work is more like
- a nominating slate results in the backers losing their membership and being banned for the two following years.
- soliciting people to join for the purpose of nominating from a slate gets the same result

It feels like it should be something like 'conspiracy to defraud', because it blocks better works from the ballot for reasons that have nothing to do with quality.

I'd like to see nominating ballots where everything is from a slate ruled invalid (ballot-box stuffing in general but this kind of thing in particular), but I don't know if there's a way to write a rule that would work.
(I'd really like to see how the nominations would have come out if the slate ballots were tossed.)

#230 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:45 AM:

Diatryma @ 222: With you on every word.

Like you, I am super happy The Goblin Emperor is on the ballot, because it is so much about the power of decency, human dignity, and mutual respect.

#231 ::: Steven desJardins ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:57 AM:

Up until about 1998 I felt obliged to read every nominee before voting. That year, about a third of the way through a terrible novel by an author who had previously had several terrible works on the ballot, I had an epiphany: It was okay not to finish. In fact, it would have been okay not to have even started. I knew I hated that author's work, and right then I made the decision that I would never read another of his stories, even if it was nominated for an award, unless someone whose taste I respected said it was worth my time.

I don't think this is a bad rule. I think that if that author wrote something that deserved to win, then I would certainly see someone say, "Wow, so-and-so really stepped up his game with this one!"

Right now the Sad Puppy slate is in a similar position. Like Aaron, I read what they had to nominate last year, and based on their track record, they haven't earned the benefit of the doubt. I will read any work that gets credible praise—a couple have already qualified—but the only way anything on the Sad Puppy slate will get a place above No Award is if it's better than at least one of the works I nominated in that category. If it can't clear that bar, it doesn't deserve the award, and I will be very surprised if anything on that slate can clear that bar.

#232 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 03:00 AM:

abi, #74: "Upset about the Wrong People casting nominations" is in fact a SP talking point, and suggests that Chris may have come over here straight from another blog post, with no idea of what's actually going on.

pgbb, #86: That's largely how I feel about it as well.

Also, the heads-I-win-tails-you-lose aspect (expressed, not quite in so many words, as "if you don't let us win, you've proven yourselves to be a bunch of dirty poopy-heads") is... well, let's just say that I don't respond well to blackmail of any sort and leave it at that.

Pete, #88: I read and loved Starship Troopers 30-odd years ago. I re-read it a couple of years ago. IMO, while the "story" parts of it have held up quite well over the intervening years, the "ideas" parts have not been nearly so successful. The ideas that felt fresh and interesting to me-then strike me-now as both dated and, in some cases, actively harmful. (I have a blog post marinating on my reasons for that opinion, but it may be a while before I get it written.)

IMO, the cry of "Heinlein couldn't win a Hugo today!" is a slight misstatement of the issue. The complaint really being made is "a book just like these old Heinlein stories couldn't win a Hugo today," and my response to that is that I should certainly hope not! The world today is very different from the one in which Heinlein won his early Hugos, and books which spoke eloquently to that world should not be assumed to speak to this one in the same way. If Heinlein himself were still alive and writing today, he wouldn't be writing those books; he'd be writing books influenced by 50 years' worth of living and observation. I strongly suspect that a lot of the Heinlein-worshipers wouldn't like them.

That said, I really hope you enjoy The Goblin Emperor, because it knocked me endways and I want everybody to enjoy it as much as I did!

Teresa, #96: Oh, that's choice. Sounds like Correia, one of the founders of the SPs, wants a Hugo very badly -- but he wants it to win on its own merits, not because it got a boost from a picked slate. Telling, that.

Zara, #110: My sympathies. That makes how many people now who have said they weren't contacted? At least 3 by my count, and I might have missed one.

Ken, #125: As someone who is a Finalist, and probably would not have been without the Sad Puppy slate

Which is exactly the problem. Your nomination, and your Hugo if you win, are tainted by not having been gained on their own merits, but by special pleading. If you think that objecting to this is "prejudice without reading the evidence," I don't really know what else to say.

P J Evans, #127/159: I think what you're actually saying here is not "we don't have to play by the rules," but "we don't have to follow the social conventions that they have already disregarded".

What they've done is technically "within the rules"; it just makes hash of a number of long-standing social conventions which have never had to be codified as rules because it wasn't necessary until now. And I agree with you that if they aren't following those conventions, we are under no obligation to do so.

Andrew, #139: *snork* That analogy may be more appropriate than you know.

Kevin R., #189: I think a better analogy than gay marriage might be birth control. The momentum toward marriage equality has come primarily within the last 10 years, and the backlash there is coming from people who still remember perfectly well what it was like when marriage was a special privilege reserved for het couples. Birth control, OTOH, was (apparently) a settled issue for long enough that there are women old enough to be grandmothers who don't remember that fight. Only the Radical Religious Right never forgot that once upon a time, there was no such thing as a woman being able to decide for herself whether, when, or how many children to have (and whether or not she would also have sex). And now they're mobilizing to take it away again.

Jaymie, #200: That's another SP talking point.

eric, #210: Yeah. AKA "don't give them ideas".


I will say again that my biggest problem with the SPs isn't that they want more diversity in Hugo representation, it's that they want less. Which has now been amply demonstrated.

#233 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 03:10 AM:

Parlor psychoanalysis: Do all these SP and RP men revere Heinlein so much in part because they'd like to be Lazarus Long, festooned as he is with beautiful lissome redheads as his age advances?

#234 ::: Mike Caputo ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 03:12 AM:

>not at all about vengeance, score-settling, or a desire to “hurt” “social justice warriors” and “hunt down” the “disease”.

f crs t s. Y'v rrngd thngs s tht t hs t b. Th Hg wrds, lk vrythng ls scl "jstc" tchs, hs bcm mr bt pltcs thn bt th thng tslf. Y'v nfstd mvs, tlvsn, nd bks, mng thr rns, wth yr prtncl brnd f systmtzd snctmny. t's mpssbl t scp. Y nsffrbl scm wn't vn lt ppl dnt mny t gd dmn chrty t rsc th ppl whs lvlhd y jst dstryd. hr fw dth thrts wr md t ths pr ppl, t. Jst mgn: tlrnt, nlghtnd "prgrssvs" thrtnng vlnc!

Prsh th thght.

#235 ::: Mike Caputo ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 03:12 AM:

>not at all about vengeance, score-settling, or a desire to “hurt” “social justice warriors” and “hunt down” the “disease”.

f crs t s. Y'v rrngd thngs s tht t hs t b. Th Hg wrds, lk vrythng ls scl "jstc" tchs, hs bcm mr bt pltcs thn bt th thng tslf. Y'v nfstd mvs, tlvsn, nd bks, mng thr rns, wth yr prtncl brnd f systmtzd snctmny. t's mpssbl t scp. Y nsffrbl scm wn't vn lt ppl dnt mny t gd dmn chrty t rsc th ppl whs lvlhd y jst dstryd. hr fw dth thrts wr md t ths pr ppl, t. Jst mgn: tlrnt, nlghtnd "prgrssvs" thrtnng vlnc!

Prsh th thght.

#236 ::: rochrist ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 03:18 AM:

TNH @134 I was actually eligible to nominate this year. I didn't, because I didn't feel I'd read nearly enough of this year's work to have any idea what I was nominating. I suppose I won't make that mistake this year.

#237 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 03:19 AM:

Randolph #143:
Could be rules will be enough.
Could be. The Hugo IRV voting system favours the least disliked work to win and "No Award" is a way of declining to award the Hugo should none of the finalists be palatable. Combined, they work somewhat like an immune system, one that will be tested this year.

#238 ::: MIchael Ellis ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 03:28 AM:

Ww, s mch slt. lv th ntjb cpl f mssgs bck wh ctlly thnks thr's sm srt f mvmnt t tk wy wmn's brth cntrl ft n th lnd, bcs ys, clrly f th gvrnmnt dsn't mndt tht mply hlth plns dn't ply fr brth cntrl, wmn wll nvr b bl t cgh p th $10 mnth t by t thmslvs dwn t th lcl phrmcy.

#239 ::: Keir ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 03:28 AM:

I am not a Hugo voter, but I quite like knowing that the Hugo is a somewhat reliable if imperfect guide to what's going on in sf/f. It would be very frustrating for me if it became the venue for strange American kulturkampf.

Also good grief there's something truly depressing about any group of people who condemn the very idea of social justice.

#240 ::: Chris Lawson ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 03:31 AM:

Lee@232: I'd go further with the Heinlein argument -- I have no idea if a modern Heinlein would have a chance at a Hugo or not, but it is beside the point. SP might as well complain that today a movie like Gone With The Wind would never win the Best Picture Oscar, or that Rudyard Kipling would never win the Nobel for Literature. Tastes change, and rejection of the racism in GotW and the colonial apologetics in Kipling are not a sign of SJW weakness but of a greater insight among judges/voters.

#241 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 03:34 AM:

Xopher @228: your preferences may not be the same as mine, but if I were voting in the Editor categories (short form and long form) there are people who I'd vote below No Award simply on the grounds of their association with a slate, and people I'd vote below No Award if they got on the ballot under their own steam. (Or, to put it another way: there are a few cases where it seems worth expressing a preference for 'Don't Like' over 'Poison-Ivy Stew.)

Diatryma @222: Congratulations.

#242 ::: DanAudy ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 03:36 AM:

@235

There once was a man named Mike
Whose anger was quick to spike
He raged at collusion
To bring about inclusion
And longed to return to the Third Reich

#243 ::: Fred C. Moulton ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 03:41 AM:

In 235 Mike Caputo writes: "The Hugo awards, like everything else social "justice" touches, has become more about politics than about the thing itself."

To which I reply; your statement does not match my experiece. I have been a Hugo voter for many years and previous to the various Puppies crusades I do not ever recall discussion of politics and the Hugos.

I am reminded of how people speak of sports records that might be tainted in some respect as having an asterisk next to it; I am concerned that this will be the year of the Hugo Finalist asterisk.

For those you claim that the Puppies are only about having more people participate I am reminded of a saying from my childhood. I will modify the language so that it does not contain any four letter words: "Please do not micturate on either of my lower extremities which I use for perambulation and then attempt to persuade me that the event was merely spring time precipitation."

#244 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 03:45 AM:

Intuition says four nominees per category per ballot for six nomination slots could usefully combine with a maximum number of nominees per ballot to lessen the power of slates.

That addition would have at least the obvious and, I think, unfortunate side effect of making people who read almost everything and fill their slates accordingly less influential.

Thinking that out rigorously would be a hell of a way to get back into serious math, but I didn't expect my best friend's death last month to knock a seriously good poem onto the page either.

#245 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 03:53 AM:

me @ 244: You sure are writing carelessly these days. What's gotten into you? Look--this:

"a maximum number of nominees per ballot"

should be

"a maximum number of nominations per ballot"

which is not so bad, I guess, but this:

"people who read almost everything and fill their slates accordingly"

is just sloppy. I know there are times when "slate" and "ballot" can be used interchangeably, but right now is pretty much the worst of all possible time to do that. So you should have said:

"people who read almost everything and fill their ballots accordingly"

I know things have been rough on you lately, but geez, brother, get it together!

#246 ::: Idumea Arbacoochee, Who Knows Abuser Logic When She Sees It ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 03:55 AM:

Mike Caputo:

You've arranged things so that it has to be.

What are you, six? Grow the fuck up and own your own choices, child. Do what you do because it seems the right thing to do, then stand up straight and deal with the consequences like an adult sentient being.

What a chickenshit reason to do anything.

#247 ::: nathanbp ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 04:00 AM:

Thinking some more on the best voting system for nominations, I think that 4/6 will not be enough to eliminate the effects of slates. Instead I think a system where each member only has one vote in each category would be the best solution, as it leaves a slate unable to obtain more than 1 or perhaps 2 out of the 5 nominee positions. To still allow members some freedom in nominating instead of feeling like they had to go for the big popular work, I'd suggest that something like Single Transferable Vote be used. Each member would get to submit 5 candidates as before, but now they would have to rank them. Votes would be assigned first to their number 1 choice, then reassigned to their next choice in turn as candidates with the least votes were eliminated. In the end, the top 5 candidates that were left would be the nominees.

This system means that if your number one candidate wins, the rest of your ballot is ignored. STV normally includes some kind of reassignment of excess votes, but I'm not sure how well that works with the large number of different candidates for the Hugos. Not including it probably incentivizes listing works you think are popular lower though.

To me this seems like a better way to limit the power of slates while still letting people submit a bunch of different works and having the best filter to the top. Although looking at the nomination votes from 2014 I suspect that in the categories with fewer voters a slate could still do fairly well.

#248 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 04:02 AM:

abi: Thank you.

I've been trying really hard to keep my inner redneck from using words like gtfcker and shtlckr*, which come to me rather easily on some shitty days, and seeing you unload helps a lot.

*orginally I said psslckr, but then it occurred to me that's wrongly ambiguous when self-disemvoweled.

#249 ::: Idumea Arbacoochee, Not In The Mood ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 04:02 AM:

Michael Ellis @238:

Click on the link and read it before you try to debate it. Otherwise you just look like some kind of knee-jerk reactionary driveby with no agenda but ceaseless negativity. And we wouldn't want that, now, would we?

#250 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 04:08 AM:

DanAudy @242:

Except there hasn't been the collusion that the Sad Puppies claim there has. They're not the counterweight to some Inclusiveness Cabal.

#251 ::: crazysoph ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 05:00 AM:

(Those who know me, bear with me, please.)

Anyone who has ever taken a paint brush in hand learns in a hurry that, once your brush is loaded with your paint/ink, you cannot just push it any old way without getting a mess.

Nice, if a mess is what you wanted.

My teacher - from whom I'm learning oriental brush calligraphy - had reminded me that I've been doing this for eight years. I still make beginner's mistakes, but that's okay - learning what works, and what does not, is the work of a lifetime.

Most recently, we were given homework for which we could choose any kanji (or more than one) - I decided "heart" would be my focus, and so I found my model and started practicing. I went through a period of struggling with my model - I had decided I didn't like it, and was trying to "correct" it on the fly.

You can guess how well that went for me.

In the end, I resolved to try and like my model, see what worked about it rather than what did not. It's not as if I'm chained to it, after all - I can complete some practices, then find another model and work some more, and submit the lot to the judgement of my teacher. Who isn't even my final arbiter. She's just a friendly soul accompanying me on this part of my journey. She's proven her worth (as if she ever was required to), and I trust her.

Crazy(and putting this comment next to the chili sauce recipe)Soph

#252 ::: Keir ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 05:12 AM:

A few thoughts on technical voting system mechanics.

The awards that appear to be the worst hit are the ones with less involvement. The Best Novel, for instance, still looks on track to deliver the result(s) that were always most likely, no? So it seems that the Puppies aren't actually that powerful as far as voting strength goes.

So presumably, while theoretically something like 4 noms per voter might be insufficient, in practice it might work. And as long as two good works are likely to get through, they will presumably win, at which point the incentive to keep getting things nominated and beaten must be pretty weak. Sucks in the short term because you might have a run of years with some very weak Hugo nominees and the winners will presumably tend to be more consensus and less likely to be unusual jumps, but in the long run it would work through.

I mean, these guys don't care about sf - I don't mean in the sense that they're doing a bunch of damage to it, but I mean in the sense that what they really care about is fighting "sjws" and if you take that away I doubt they're going to hang around genre book awards without that buzz.

#253 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 05:38 AM:

abi @251 - surely, the fact that the SP/RP slate has been so successful (in getting on the ballot) demonstrates that there isn't any organized collusion against them?

Tatterbots, a lifetime ban for "beneficiaries" of the slates seems a bit strong to me. People change, writers develop. (And, as others have pointed out, a system like that could be gamed by the bad guys.)

Ken Burnside, you say your victory condition is "more readers". You have created a situation where people feel justified in dismissing your work without reading it. If you are serious about your victory condition, you need to review your strategy.

Unrelated musings: I actually bought The Goblin Emperor last night (Kindles are handy things), and so far I'm enjoying it a lot.

And the guy at the top of this page, the bearded gent with the sunglasses, reminded me of something, and I've finally pinned down what it was. There's no facial resemblance, but the attitude is very like that of Odin Quincannon in Preacher, when he's sucking up to the Klansmen. Dear me, Preacher. I'm coming over all nostalgic now.

#254 ::: Eemeli Aro ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 05:40 AM:

nathanbp @247, I like the idea of using STV for the nominations, just as it's currently used for the finalists. It would cut down the effect of a single block much more efficiently than 4/6 would, while keeping the system fair and balanced.

Implementing either of those choices, however, does require an amendment to the WSFS constitution, which'll need to be ratified in 2016 to take effect in the 2017 Hugos at the earliest. So the options for next year are rather limited, given that the rules don't give much leeway.

The only plausible option for next I've been able to come up with is to publish the rankings of candidates while the votes are still being cast, which is technically allowed (read: not explicitly forbidden) by the constitution. It would bring light to the actions of any voting bloc, and allow WSFS members to vote accordingly, and/or adjust their votes. It would just be a rather strong deaprture from the current system, which I fear is heading towards competing blocs and anti-blocs.

#255 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 05:44 AM:

Oh, dear. Looks like I disemvowelled comments the rest of you weren't finished playing with. My apologies for being so hasty.

#256 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 05:45 AM:

Ppl cn stll ply wth dsmvwlld cmmnts.

#257 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 05:53 AM:

I really hope that Michael Ellis @ 238 isn't the friend I had back when I was attending UC Berkeley. (I'm pretty sure he isn't, though.)

#258 ::: Peace Is My Middle Name ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 05:57 AM:

Ken #213

GamerGate did not "hitch themselves to this wagon," it's even more morally repulsive than that.

They were invited in by the Sad Puppies as a deliberate act.

Sympathies to your women digital colleagues.

#259 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 06:00 AM:

:: mutters to self ::

My last should have said abi @250, of course. As usual, when errors of this sort arise, it is all the fault of malicious leprechauns who move the keys about while I'm typing. It is not a mistake on my part, oh no. I am perfect. Well, I'm a perfect something, anyway.

#260 ::: crazysoph ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 06:22 AM:

b's cmmnt @ 256

ys, ndd w cn.

Crzy(Ai oe e iee e a - (a o)Sph

#261 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 06:46 AM:

As anyone who's ever raised a child knows, everybody poops, and that brought on this meditation:

Everybody has to take a shit somewhere.
Shit lying around draws flies.
You don't always have the wherewithal to bury your shit.
Sometimes you have to fling your shit away.
When shit is flung in your direction, it isn't always being flung at you.
When someone sneaks into your business and uses their shit to write on your bathroom wall*, then they are Going Too Far and in the way that Isn't Funny.

Thus endeth the meditation. And won't somebody please think of the androids?

*this happened at a place I worked at decades ago

#262 ::: Devin ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 06:47 AM:

Kier @252

The awards that appear the worst hit are everything except Best Novel and the Dramatic Presentations. And even there, note that the SPs didn't have any homegrown options for movies, so they appear to have just slated stuff they thought would win, and it did.* For that matter, their slate for Best Novel is the most plausible and least contrived of the bunch: five novels by five different authors, a full one or two of which might have made it anyway. (I haven't read Anderson or Butcher recently, but they've written things I liked in the past. If someone I trusted said one of them had upped his game and written something deserving of a nomination, I'd believe it.)

So I can't share your optimism: it's not really a sliding scale, it's one category that looks halfway reasonable, two more they didn't try to fuck, and twelve that scream manipulation.

*I don't know, maybe Torgerson is just furious that Edge of Tomorrow made it, but if so I can't really see why. Winter Soldier's the only one that clearly opposes his 'values,' which gave me a chuckle. Double chuckles if he doesn't realize it and somehow imagines Steve Rogers is on his side.

#263 ::: Colin Harris ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 07:08 AM:

Simple but radical way to fix the SP issue. I feel we have (with the best of intent) become schizophrenic in our approach to the Hugos. It started as being an award given by Worldcon for the work that Worldcon members liked best ...which is NOT the same as trying to be a people's choice award for the field as a whole. This is schizophrenic because the Worldcon demographic is NOT typical of the broader SF community - it represents a particular historic thread within the diverse tapestry right back to the 1930s.

(Of course 50 years ago the world was smaller and Worldcon taste pretty much WAS the whole community's taste, but now these paths are diverging and we need to decide clearly what we are trying to do.)

Are we happy that "the traditional Worldcon constituency" is a valid thing in terms of having a convention where like minded people come together, and a set of awards that it gives? Or do we purport to be broader than that?

This is a debate that has gone on for the last 10-20 years not only on the Hugos but more broadly within the Worldcon community, when people point out the size/success of e.g. SDCC or D*C and say Worldcon has to adapt to that model, etc.

To me this feels like a basic identity problem. The Worldcon community should feel comfortable in its own skin and in its own worth. The message should be "this is what we do and who we are. If you feel the same way, come and join us!" and we should feel that we will find enough like minded souls to take the event forward.

Saying this clearly would defuse much of the problem. It's only because we still tend to present Worldcon as something that is SUPPOSED to be representative of the full field, that the friction and sense of exclusion and the attacks arise.

And back to my solution ... my suggestion would be that you can nominate and vote if you are an attending member of the previous or current Worldcon. Simple. (A two year spread helps when the Worldcon travels to Australia/Japan etc so the voter base doesn't become too thin. Going for 3 years would be preferable but administratively very hard).

This would return the Hugos to being the awards given out BY THE MEMBERS OF WORLDCON - the people who meet in person as a community, the people who make friends and engage with each other. Which would be back to the original intent - because Supporting memberships (which now drive the awards and are the way that the SP/RPs etc vote) were only intended as a peripheral part of the Worldcon structure, to help fans who could not attend every year to stay in touch - not as the tail that wags the dog.

#264 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 07:10 AM:

I'm going to do what I should have been doing, namely, getting a supporting membership and voting, and doing the concomitant reading I feel necessary to do so. That's going to carry on into the future. SF has done a lot for me by fucking up my life in mostly good ways, so I should take this duty on. I have old-fashioned tastes--Dick, Delany, Ellison, Silverberg--but I'll adjust.

Since I'm not convinced someone has shit-writ the walls, I'm going to read the nominees to the extent I can before deciding where to place them on my ballot. I expect I can order those nominees pretty easily, but judging them against Noah Ward this year in particular will be hard, as there is arguably a lot of stuff not on the ballot which normally would be.

The obvious omission (obvious to me and my ilk, at least) is the second volume of James Patterson's Heinlein biography, the absence of which genuinely mystifies me. Despite the flaws in Patterson's work, it's the first attempt at a comprehensive biography of maybe the most important writer in the field, and how it can't be even nominated leaves me bamfoozled.

So: Not right here right now, but somewhere soon, I'll be looking to read work people feel should and would have been on the ballot. That seems fair, especially for this first uninformed year. Next year, I plan to read widely enough for me to nominate in a variety of areas, though I'll be damned if I'm going to turn on the television or wade through movies or long series to do so.

Once the dust has settled, I'd appreciate any help in building that reading list. For now, I see why people need to keep dampened cloths over their breath holes. After this mother of storms...

#265 ::: Keir ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 07:21 AM:

262 - Perhaps Best Novel is simply the one about which there's most consensus among the nominators - but it's also the category in which the most - ~1,800 - ballots were cast, vs 800-1,400 for the rest.

My thought process is that if we assume that the each member of the slate had roughly equal votes cast for them, then it would seem likely that Ancillary Sword and The Goblin Emperor topped the nominations, followed by the SP slate - with some noise knocking out the least popular two. So it looks a lot like the Sad Puppies can get something on the ballot when the number of ballots drops below 1,100, but start getting outvoted when it hits 1,300 or so - which probably means they'll get swamped in the final voting, especially given IRV.

So even a little fix would probably shift the momentum against them, particularly given I can't imagine most of these guys are actually that invested in the Hugos compared to the rest of the electorate. (Or, in other words, good enough is probably good enough.)

#266 ::: Chris Camfield ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 08:09 AM:

Hi all, new poster here, and new supporting member this year because of these slate shenanigans. (I'm not a con-goer, but I've been reading SF and fantasy for 30 years. My first favorite author was Zelazny, and these days really love Leckie, Jemisin, Brust, McKillip, Wells... so many others)

Fortunately for myself I've read the two non-SP best novel awards, and even deciding between those two is going to be extremely tough. I'm going to do the very best I can do learn up on all non-slate candidates and vote for who I think is best.

263 - if a non con-goer can contribute $0.02, I think what you are saying makes sense. Or, if the mechanism existed (which I imagine is not true...) supporting membership could require having been to WorldCon in the past X years, so that it could serve people who had attended recently, but just couldn't make it in a particular year.


#267 ::: Tatterbots ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 08:16 AM:

Steven desJardins @190: True for now, but in a year where the rule applied, the onus would be on Jim Butcher to avoid putting you in that position. It might go something like this:

Slate compilers: To prove we’re all about getting worthy works onto the ballot, and not about identity politics, we suggest you nominate Damn Fine Novel by Generally Popular Author.
Hugo administrators to Generally Popular Author: Congratulations, your book has made the Best Novel shortlist! However, you ought to know that it was featured on a slate, and because of this rule and the way it tends to interact with voter behaviour in the final ballot, accepting the nomination could get you banned. What do you want to do?
Generally Popular Author in an open letter to the slate compilers: You bastards. Call yourselves my fans? Damn Fine Novel was my best work to date, and I thought it was in with a legitimate chance. But I don’t want to be banned, so I declined the nomination. Don’t you dare put Damn Fine Sequel on your next slate.
Slate supporters: Aw, we thought we were helping! Guess we won’t try that again.

eric @210: To be sure, the blaster would point both ways. But it would be wielded by the consensus of voters in the final ballot, with all the power and nuance afforded by instant runoff voting, and several months to consider where to aim. Because they tend to care about the Hugos, I think they would wield it with considerable wisdom.

Hmm. Slates could still be used to bully authors into withdrawing under threat of a ban, before the voters could have their say. I wish I’d thought of that last night.

Peace Is My Middle Name @191: Any rule can backfire. The point of an indirect solution is to make it harder to game the system because the penalty would only apply at the voters’ discretion.

PJ Evans @229: Banning the creators of slates, as opposed to the works on them, wouldn’t be much of a disincentive if disrupting the awards was the only reason those people joined in the first place.

Steve Wright @253: Yes, perhaps a shorter ban would be better.

#268 ::: Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 08:33 AM:

@267: If a rule were to be written that resulting in the banning of authors nominated by a slate all the wreckers have to do is put their bete-noires on a slate.

#269 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 08:41 AM:

Clearly it's all become too much - I've just tried to decode a disemvoweled message by pasting it into rot13.com. Turns out it doesn't work.

#270 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 08:53 AM:

Tatterbots #267: Slate supporters: Aw, we thought we were helping! Guess we won’t try that again.

Nope. "Slates could still be used to bully authors into withdrawing under threat of a ban" is the key point, because the real issue would be:

Slate supportersGtrfckrs: Bwa ha ha, sucks to be you! And we'll keep doing that until you write your uppity-X characters getting what We Say They Deserve.

#271 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 09:01 AM:

I still think the short nomination period created the artifact of disenfranchising some hundreds or even thousands of people--there are thousands of people who were eligible to vote, as members of one or more of the 2014, the 2015, or the 2016 Worldcon, who did not nominate. Had the voting period ended on March 31 or April 15, that would have been long enough for them to have read more of the work published and discuss not only "what's worth nominating," but decide what was worthwhile which was most likely to be marginalized by the bloc ideologues and trolls, and make a deliberate countervailing voting effort.

Years a couple dozen people in NESFA felt strongly that two or three stories in particular they belonged on the ballot. There was no slate and if the ballots had been available to compare, the commonalities would have been mostly those few stories, and some of the other listings on the ballots were wildly different. Also, the NESFA recommended list was available online and there weren't that many other lists around--there was no slate, just a listing of what people liked, with the initials of who the recommenders were for each item listed.

But this year, nominations closed in very early March, after having been opened on what, Jan 15? That's WAY too short. The SP and RP types had organized and had their slates of "You should be nominating these works and people for the Hugoes because ideologically they are being marginalized by the Abominable Despicable Leftist Slime Liberul Censors!!!" all set out with leaving little effort required for considering -other- work to nominate/have to think about. They also gave instructions on how to vote.

They engaged in consolidated campaigns, versus the usual tthousands of prospective nominators individually making individual decision about what to nominate or even if to nominate. "I haven't read enough in that category, and I don;t remember which novels I really liked last year, and who did those covers? and..." and the result often is procrastination or "I'll get around to it"

The shorter the nomination period, the less time there is to "get around to it" particularly if one's involved in workong on conventions on Martin Luther King Day Weekend and President's Day Weekend, and going to a debriefing after such conventions,

# 207 Ken
"Which is my victory condition in all this: To get more readers."

You seem to think "there is no such thing as 'bad'publicity"....

#272 ::: lexicat ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 09:07 AM:

Colin Harris @263,
Supporting memberships have been part of Worldcon for at least 40 years. And speaking as an Australian fan who cannot spend even moderately large sums on travel, I do not agree with a suggestion that will effectively exclude me from participation in Hugo voting.

Don't we have enough people trying to shut others out as it is?

#273 ::: Steve davidson ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 09:11 AM:

Abi @100.

Absolutely. Rejecting slates is, as I've said elsewhere, similar to drinking age laws. Neither makes a judgement on the person/work. Its a rejection of the methodology, not a political movement. It's the one thing that a voter can do that doesn't take us down the oath of competing slates.

#274 ::: Steve davidson ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 09:24 AM:

@121. They're trying to confuse the issue. If people might not have been contacted, then they might not be guilty of wanting inclusion, in which case it might be OK to exempt them from the no-slates voting.

Here's the thing: Voting "no slates" is a default. You're not required to make any judgment about the works or even enter into the political debate.

And its easily rectified by a nominee - just disclaim involvement. I'll even accept "I originally agreed to be on the slate, but now that I've had some time to think about the harm its doing..." - regardless of how disengenuous such a statement might be. because the idea is NO SLATES, and not any of the other BS surrounding it. The rest we can deal with later.

#275 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 09:34 AM:

Tatterbots, I really don't think the committees should be in the position of punishing writers for who their fans are - we've seen several cases of innocent victims of the SP's machinations already.

The idea of changing the nominations system to make manipulation of this kind harder, though, is a very sound one. And of course the SPs (since they believe the nominations are already being gamed by nefarious industry insiders) will support such measures whole-heartedly, won't they? - I don't believe I managed to type that sentence with a straight face.

Here's an extreme view, someone tell me what's wrong with it.... If you're nominating something for a Hugo, you think it deserves to win, right? And since (barring some freak circumstances) only one thing can win, what's wrong with only allowing one nomination per person per category?

It might even make things easier for casual lurker types such as myself - if I'm called upon to make a list of the best short stories or related works, say, I might find it hard to fill all the slots, and just give it up as a bad job. But I'm damn sure I could come up with one thing I'd read or seen in any given year.

(I'm sure there are counter-arguments, I'm just throwing this out there.)

#276 ::: Cat ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 09:45 AM:

Colin Harris @263 I also would prefer not to be shut out of Hugo voting by a rule requiring attendance at a WorldCon that would wipe out my total con-going budget for a year and a half.

I'm hoping the slate = no award option will take hold in the popular Hugo voting consciousness. I think that is the best "immune response" we can hope for.

I wouldn't encourage official blacklisting of people on slates who end up below No Award--slates can and have put people on the ballot without asking permission.

Thank you Steve Taylor @269 for mentioning rot13.com--I used to know how to do that in-browser but I have forgotten; now I have a way of deciphering those messages again. :-)

#277 ::: The Deuce ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 09:57 AM:

Thnks fr ths wk-p cll Ptrck. Y'v prsdd m t's mprtnt t sgn p nd vt n th fnls.

h, bt th wy, 'M WTH GMRGT! HHHHH!

#278 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 09:57 AM:

232
Yes, that's it.
And I'm pissed because what we're getting from the juvenile canines (of both descriptions) is the same kind of crap we hear, in the US, from political conservatives, with their same 'solutions' that involve lying about their goals and their motives, cheating better people out of places on ballots, and stealing elections. (That they're willing to project their motivations and actions onto others as normal behavior is something else I've already seen far too often.)

I don't think they have enough left of their souls to be embarrassed by what they've done, either.

#279 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 10:00 AM:

http://chainsawsuit.com/comic/2014/10/15/the-perfect-crime/

Translated for the current unpleasantness:

"Hey, would you give me a Hugo?"

"What's this?! are you mugging me?"

"Huh? No, no. I'm just one guy who's asking nicely if you can spare a Hugo. I'm not associated with those Vox Day or Gamergate fellows"

"OK, what do you want, Vox Day and Gamergate?"

"WE DEMAND YOU GIVE HIM A HUGO!"

"Please understand that I do NOT condone these guy's actions and they do NOT represent me...

....But you should probably give me a Hugo"

#280 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 10:05 AM:

I have a suggestion, for Sad Puppy Con, run by Larry Correia and Brad Torgeson and Vox Day and the other Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies. They can list the works and individuals they feel deserving of Sad Puppies Achievement Awards, put out a ballot of them to select best of the previus year, have programming dedicated to their preferring styles of writing and content and writers and editors, and generally convene with like-minded individuals who have their set of common interests.

#281 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 10:06 AM:

265
Best Novel, and Best Dramatic Presentation (long form), are historically the categories with the most nominations and the most final ballots. Right now the Hugo site is overloaded (as you might expect), or I'd link to it so you can look at past years' numbers.

#282 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 10:12 AM:

276
And there are people like me, for whom the con-going budget is pretty much 'win the lottery'. (The chance of that happening is slightly smaller than the chance of having NCC-1701 appearing in orbit over San Francisco.)

#283 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 10:26 AM:

I need to take back something I said earlier. I said that the appearance of two non-SP works on the ballot for Best Novel showed that the SP supporters were not marching in lockstep. This turns out not to be true. Their appearance can be accounted for by a. Correia declining nomination, and b. a conflict between the two lists, with Day (very nicely) recommending Torgersen where Torgersen recommended Gannon.

In general I think that all non-puppy nominations in areas they contested, except possibly the two DP's, can probably be explained by ineligible candidates (Mike Glyer at File 770 has noted a few), refusals of nomination, or conflicts between the lists. On the whole they seem to be voting very consistently. No doubt when the full voting figures are released, the puppy nominees won't all have exactly the same votes - partly because some of them have support from outside the movement, but partly because there will be some people who sympathise with the slate but don't vote it mechanically - as there clearly were last year. But it looks like the differences will not be large.

Cat@187: I think 480 may be an overestimate, because more people are likely to vote on fan writer than fan artist anyway. Most people who follow the field at all can probably think of someone who can plausibly be called a fan writer, whereas I don't think I know instinctively of any fan artists.

Last year, 200 people, voting consistently, would have captured every category except the two DP's and Best Novel. I can well imagine that, in a year without one outstanding candidate such as AJ was, they could capture Best Novel as well.

On another matter, I'm wondering if 'Torgersen' should be added to the spelling list on the blog's front page.

#284 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 10:44 AM:

I wonder....
I wonder what the results would be if there were a five point scale for rating Hugo nominees (or maybe a seven point scale), with positive and negative values. The most negative value would be for "this does NOT belong on the ballot, it is crap!" Zero would be "It's mediocre to me, but other people I respect seen to think it's wonderful." The highest positive rating would be"I think this is a highly deserving candidate for a Hugo."

There would be two dimensions of output--the absolute value received, which the highest cumulative value would get the Hugo, and the distribution value, a bar chart showing the distribution of approval/disapproval ratings.

The issues I have with "pick one" or "rank order these" are that ther is no way to get the actual distribution of opinion and enthusiasm about listed if someone thinks all five nominees are eqully goo, the rule prevent the person from voting them all as equal. and if someone thinks three nominees are all complete tinkers which shouldn't be on the ballot, there's no way to express just how vile one thinks they are, on the ballot.

#285 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 10:55 AM:

Over on Twitter, Saladin Ahmed asked for people to suggest things they felt should have made the final ballot. That was yesterday, though, so perhaps someone else would like to start a new round going.

#286 ::: Steven desJardins ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 11:07 AM:

I wonder if it might be effective if we put in a second No Award showdown: after testing the winner against No Award on all the ballots, test the winner against No Award on ballots from attending members only. If it fails either test, award no Hugo.

I presume most of the wreckers are only buying supporting memberships, so this would serve as something of a sanity check, without disenfranchising genuine fans who can't afford to attend.

#287 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 11:08 AM:

Something worth remembering, since the Sad Puppies/GamerGate connection has been questioned.

Below is ULTRAGOTHA, commenting in the thread of my first post -- the one about the Hugos being about to explode. There's an initial quote from me saying that while I hadn't seen screenshots of Gamergators being recruited, I'd been assured by someone trustworthy that they did exist.

ULTRAGOTHA @678, 30 March 2015:

Teresa Nielsen Hayden @592 Sound unlikely? Apparently there are screenshots. I haven't asked to see them because I'm trying to steer clear of insider information while this discussion is running, but I know the person who has them is very reliable.
I have also seen them with my own eyes in both the comments to one of Torgerson’s blog entries in January and as an addendum by Correia on his blog post discussing Sad Puppies.

Abi @598 and 612: It was seeing those invitations to GG to get involved that made me decide to leave the Sad Puppy nominees off my ballot entirely. I won’t even vote them below No Award because they’d still be counted if I did. I was actually more willing to read any nominees of theirs that ended up on the ballot this year than last year. They seemed, at first, to at least be giving a sop to works they liked as opposed to works they just thought would poke sticks in “SJW” eyes like last year. But after seeing that, no way.

If someone wants a project, I expect there's data waiting to be gathered up that indicates or proves that there's a Sad Puppy/Gamergate connection. Might want to hurry; it's not improbable that it will get scrubbed.

#288 ::: Danny Sichel ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 11:10 AM:

The never-shortlisting-again thing mentioned in @185 would be a HORRIBLE overreaction. I've left works off my ballot if I utterly loathed them, even if they were by authors whose works I voted #1 in other years.

Hypothetically, is it possible for authors to -- for any reason whatsoever -- recuse themselves from the ballot after it's been announced?

#289 ::: Jim Treacher ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 11:15 AM:

Hv gd cry, Ptrck.

#290 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 11:15 AM:

Paula Lieberman@271: But a longer nominating period means a shorter voting period, when last year's was already short enough. Getting both into the year is always going to be a problem.

Colin Harris@263: I sympathise with your general point, and said something similar a while ago: I think we should accept the WorldCon and the Hugos represent a part of the wider community, and one awards process can never adequately cover the whole field. But I feel your solution is too extreme; in addition to what others have said, it would make the voting body geographically more limited. Is there any way in which we can ensure that voters are actually (emotional, not just financial) supporters of WorldCon, without requiring attendance?

(I think it's a version of the Gillette problem. Gillette ended their cricket sponsorship because more people associated them with cricket than with razors. WorldCon created a set of awards to be an attraction of the event, but now the awards are more famous than the event, and people are signing up to vote and wondering why they have to support this odd 'convention' thing.)

On various proposals that have been made:

Four for six: I don't like the idea of anything that increases the number of nominees, given that many people feel, not unreasonably, that they should try to read them all, in the absence of specific reasons not to. Three for five would be better, I feel.

One nomination each: this has many advantages, including making nomination easier, but I think it might increase the advantage possessed by works published early in the year.

STV for nominations: sounds a good idea. Clearly FTTP for slates is ridiculous; political systems with multi-member constituencies always have some proportionating mechanism. Since an actual list system would be condoning the slates, STV looks the best answer. But might this lead to some works getting on the ballot on the ninety-fifth count? One might feel that would be excessively random.

#291 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 11:37 AM:

Keir @252:

The awards that appear to be the worst hit are the ones with less involvement. The Best Novel, for instance, still looks on track to deliver the result(s) that were always most likely, no?

I'm not certain of that. I haven't read Goblin Emperor yet, though it's on my list, but I strongly suspect that The Three-Body Problem would have been on the list had it not been for the Puppies, and I'd rank it over Ancillary Sword. (I liked Sword a lot, but it suffers a bit from middle-book syndrome and from comparison to its outstanding predecessor.)

As Teresa noted back in #91, the absence of The Three-Body Problem gives the lie to the Puppies' claim that what they're supporting is old-style SF. It's an outstanding, Hugo-worthy work of classic-style SF, but since it was written by someone they can't claim as one of their own they not only didn't list it but contributed to shoving it off the ballot.

#292 ::: Doctor Science ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 11:38 AM:

TNH @287:

I've taken screencaps of the post in question. Quotes:

EDIT 2: Hello to the GamerGate readers who’re stopping by because of Nero’s plug. To clarify, normally all supporting members get a packet of ebooks consisting of all of the nominated works, so they can read them before judging. So the membership is $40, but you normally get way more than $40 worth of reading material (and if we get our way, it won’t all suck!).

And *the very first comment*:
ratseal, on January 26, 2015 at 4:00 pm said:

Enjoyed the youtube podcast from Daddy Warpig. Never having met you in person, I was expecting a booming baritone that I JUST knew had to accompany the 6’3″ height, tetsubo and Manatee Wrangler persona.

Your voice was quite mellow. Not Yardmoosey at all!
ratseal, on January 26, 2015 at 4:01 pm said:

For anyone else that was interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1CP9IbbYUg (the podcast)

I haven't watched the video, someone else can take the hit.

#293 ::: Kevin J. Maroney ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:15 PM:

Doctor Science @292: Daddy Warpig certainly seems to be a GooberGate fellow traveler if not a full-out Goober. (Hard to tell with a group that so deliberately obscures its membership and lies about its goals.) In recent tweets he talks about GooberGate in the third person but also roots them on.

#294 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:18 PM:

Hmm. It seems there's been a serious outbreak of irritable vowel syndrome in this thread.

In a discussion elseweb of the nomination list, much amusement has been expressed about what appears to be the universal genius of John C. Wright and Theodore Beale. Why is it, then, that I cannot get into Wright? Is it a matter of my cultural immaturity? My horror at Catholicism (I wonder what my great-great aunt Emilia Pardo Bazán would say?)? Or that I think that Rudy Rucker did it better?

As for Beale, has it not been said Vox Stercor Vox Day?

#295 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:20 PM:

Teresa wrote @ #96:

  Tatterbots @18:

     Larry Correia says he turned down a nomination.

Larry Correia knows what that nomination was worth.

This moose suspects that once he found out how successful his plan had been, and had a faint inking of the storm it would cause, he chickened out. His declining the nomination is merely damage control, as is Mr Torgerson's flurry of lies and spin.

Chicken Correia, does anyone have a suitable recipe? (For disaster, perhaps?)

#296 ::: Tatterbots ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:28 PM:

@275, @288 and others:

Okay, it's not such a good idea as it seemed at 3 a.m. Scratch that then.

Going to the other extreme, would it be useful to put a short primer on voting etiquette on http://www.thehugoawards.org/i-want-to-vote/? Something along the lines of "You should have personally read/watched every work you nominate, and you should nominate the works you personally think are the best ones you've read/watched in the past year"?

There'd be no way to police it, and it wouldn't discourage deliberate troublemakers, but it might make the more well-meaning puppy voters think twice, especially if it got plenty of google juice.

#297 ::: Peace Is My Middle Name ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:33 PM:

I'm kind of out of the loop here. What is GooberGate?

#298 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:36 PM:

Fragano @# 294

At least it's not Irritable Owl Syndrome, of the kind they were suffering here until recently.

#299 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:38 PM:

I think I wasted my money on a Sasquan membership.

There are one or two people who could have been on the ballot without the Sad Puppies, and I hate the idea of putting No Award ahead of their work.

It's tempting to vote No Award for everything.


#300 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:39 PM:

#297

Replace "oob" with "am" and all will become clearer.

#301 ::: UrsulaV ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:43 PM:

Does anyone else find it sort of telling that we've gone from "Gamergate had nothing to do with this! We don't even know you exist!" to sporadic gloating from people claiming to be Gators? (Honestly, I don't think they had a lot of sway over it, I just think they're jerks piling on where they see weakness, but still. Invite them in and you're on my shit list, regardless of the success of the invite. Accept a nomination from someone who invited them in, and you are also on my shit list--sorry, Mr. Burnside, I think you're in the wrong and will not read your work, nor vote it above No Award, because I do not reward crassly mercenary acts tied to people who think I should be banned from writing SF. Count me out of your victory condition. I wish you luck on your future endeavors, but it is unlikely that I will read them for many years, until the bad taste has faded.)

Sigh. I am tired and the goldenseal and the grape hyacinth is blooming in the garden and I am going to Africa in five days on safari. Perhaps by the time I get back, the initial rush of unpleasantness will be gone and there will be good explanations that I can point to. I love that people want to learn what's going on, but I can only type out explanations so many times.

One of the weirder discoveries of my adult life is how exhausting explaining, even to nice people, can be, when you have to keep doing it.

#302 ::: UrsulaV ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:44 PM:

Also, congrats, Diatryma! Can you tell us what it's for? (I understand if you don't want to, given...everything...and that really really sucks that we have to be cagy about this now.)

#303 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:56 PM:

Peace Is My Middle Name #297: Just another snarky reference to the Gators. While this thread is way past "don't mention the sealions", some folks are annoyed enough to coin dysphemisms anyway.

#304 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 12:59 PM:

Cadbury Moose @ 295... I prefer Chick Corea myself.

#305 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 01:00 PM:

Dave Bell @ #299

I don't think it was wasted. This moose was only going to join having nominated some (IMAO) worthy works by virtue of being a member of Loncon 3, but it has now become imperative that as many honest fen as possible vote in order to defeat the SPs and their cynical machinations.

My main annoyance is whether or not I can ethically vote for Interstellar and Guardians of the Galaxy since they both appear on the slate(s) but would have been certain of a nomination anyway.

Decisions, decisions....

#306 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 01:04 PM:

Various on the nomination period, starting with Paula:

With the current online voting system, there is actually no good reason not to start the nominating period well before the first of the year. There's a good reason not to start allowing mail-in ballots, and an excellent reason not to start counting the ballots before mid-March -- and that is that people wouldn't have seen the December books in time to make a good decision. But nowadays, ballots can be changed at any time before the counting starts -- which means there really isn't a good reason not to let people start listing things on their own personal online ballots earlier. Like, for example, at the end of the voting year's Worldcon, where a lot of people will have met and talked about books.

The current voting period is an artifact of old forms of communication, and we might want to change it now.

#307 ::: Chris Gerrib ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 01:05 PM:

Cadbury Moose - it's not like the movie producers have any interest in Sad Puppies. That and the Short Form are categories I personally am okay with voting on the whole thing. (Says the guy who got the 4/6 rule on the WSFS agenda for this year.)

#308 ::: Peace Is My Middle Name ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 01:07 PM:

#300

Oh, of course. Thank you.

#309 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 01:16 PM:

Oh, and if you want to confirm that people still want to have the same ballot that they filled out in September -- it's easy enough to add a "Voting is ending soon -- are your choices still your choices?" email notification.

For those who might want to push it back to the start of the year, I'm thinking that the newly-seated Worldcon folks would probably like to have a year, rather than three months, to figure out exactly how they want to manage their Hugo nominee database. It's a form of politeness to the volunteers who are actually doing the work -- a year should be plenty of time, and three months might be a little tight.

#310 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 01:24 PM:

abi is mentionned here:
http://scarlettina.livejournal.com/1130683.html

Yay!

#311 ::: Zack ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 01:24 PM:

Re the schedule, I recall someone saying way back in thread 1 that year-round rolling nominations would make sense, and I rather like that idea. I also find the notion of extending the eligibility period to two years (no double dipping) attractive.

Last year after the final results were published I started in on an experimental website that would recalculate the results under different voting systems, but gave up after determining that there's not enough information in the tally sheet to reconstruct the raw vote totals (that is, 12 votes ABCDE, 23 votes ACBED, etc). I'd still like to make that happen, but I'd need to get the raw totals from somewhere...

#312 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 01:25 PM:

Cadbury Moose #298: Owls are a symbol of wisdom, unlike, say, Beales. Or Mr Communist Party.

#313 ::: jnfr ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 01:27 PM:

I read Teresa @134 and decided to purchase a supporting membership for the first time this year. I follow the Hugos only tangentially since I'm usually years behind on my reading, and I've never been to a WorldCon and don't imagine I will ever go to one.

But I think the best response to this debacle is to expand the democracy and get more of us involved who care about the integrity of the system.

I also read Scalzi's recommendations on how to proceed with the vote, and I'll be thinking very carefully about how I cast my own. But I'm glad to be a part of the process at last.

#314 ::: D. Eppstein ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 01:27 PM:

Paula Lieberman 284: that system (where each nominee is given points in a range like 0 to 10 or whatever, independently of each other nominee, by each voter) is called range voting and it has two good modes of operation and one very bad exploitable failure mode.

The first good mode is where all voters are of good faith, honestly want to determine the strength of support for each candidate, and have reasonably similar ideas about what the scale means. Professionally, I use this system in this mode regularly, for determining which submissions get into selective academic conferences.

The second good mode is where each voter wants to maximize their influence over the process, and therefore "bullet votes": they assigns a scor of 0 to everything they dislike and 10 to everything they like. In this case, the system degenerates to preference voting (vote yes or no on each candidate and count the yes's) which is still a fair system, although a bit noisier.

The really bad failure mode is where some voters are operating in the first mode and some voters are operating in the second mode. The bullet voters feel completely justified because they operated within the official rules and achieved what they were trying to achieve, maximizing their influence. But the honest voters get disenfranchised (their votes count much less than the bullet voters) and feel cheated (the bullet voters are not "playing fair"). Much bad feeling can result. Some people will say this mode is still ok because the two kinds of voters are likely to be randomly distributed and balance each other out, but in my experience when this pattern happens it tends to happen hand-in-hand with nonrandom distributions of the voters (e.g. imagine the sad puppies all agreeing to bullet vote, and the other Hugo voters voting honestly because that's how they think the system should work but then getting upset at the results).

The other issue with your suggestion, of course, is that it best fits a scenario where the nominators are all choosing from a known small set of candidates, when really the point of this phase of the Hugo process is to find that small set from a huge field of eligible publications.

#315 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 01:29 PM:

For this years problem, I think Colin nearly has it at #263.

I think it would be enough to limit nominations to actual Worldcon members. Ancillary members could still vote.

#316 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 01:38 PM:

311
I think what you get in the published numbers is about 1/6th of the actual results, based on how the counting program ran in 1971, 1972 (same program), and 1984.

You'd need the actual ballots to reconstruct what happened, I think. That's how we were testing it in 1984....

#317 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 01:52 PM:

Ursula: I followed Dr. Science's link over to Nether Nostrum Nation, and sure enough, Dryad WadPig and the gators were all over the place. A little basic Googling demonstrated that he's a member of that community, and that the gators and SJW-stompers have dominated its comment threads all along. You can find other names you'll recognize, like Dryad WadPig exchanging compliments and insane rants with John C. Wright.

So, link established.

I already didn't believe Jaygi Lamplighter's line about how the Sad Puppies were just spreading the word about stories that a lot of people really liked. Yeah, right. It's all kittens and rainbows.

I'm once more amazed at the offhand way these people lie. Brad Torgersen changed his tune a half-dozen times in the same thread. Lamplighter and the others who've been trying to sell the idea of the SP campaign as happy democracy and fellow-feeling have done so knowing that MHN's history is there for anyone to read.

They have a very strange relationship with the concept of fact vs. falsehood.

#318 ::: John M. Burt ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:00 PM:

Definitely, #GamerGate and #SadPuppies were made for one another . . . . o_0

#319 ::: John M. Burt ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:03 PM:

Proof, if more were needed, that #SadPuppies and #GamerGate are littermates is the fact that the person who consciously chose to call himself "Daddy WarPig" thinks GamerGate "humbled" someone.

#320 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:04 PM:

Breaking news: Charlie Stross has been researching Castalia House, an obscure publishing house in Finland that somehow managed to get nine works onto the 2015 Hugo ballot.

Short version:

1. It's creepy, and

2. it's owned by Vox Day.

#321 ::: glitchy ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:05 PM:

For those who who feel ethically bound to consider all works on their individual merits: consider that those merits are often manifestly evident without needing to experience the work itself.

Some amount of Hugo voting has always been about trends and, yes, at least sometimes semi-organized campaigns. (As an active con-goer I've heard "Hey, nominations are open, would you consider voting for my thingie?" more times that I can possibly remember, and it's not like rasfw doesn't have a say too.) The problem I see from my corner of fandom isn't about the specific voting process (however flawed) as much as the abrupt expansion of the voting community vs. the inertia of what both we and the rest of the world think "Hugo nominated!" means, and ponying up for a supporting membership isn't a terribly good sign of serious involvement now. (Was it ever?) Possibly there should be some inertia in the voting/nominating population, too? "Vote n times and you also get nominating privs"?

On the other hand I don't particularly *want* to raise the barrier to entry to being involved. I think Worldcon desperately needs new faces and ideas if it isn't going to fade into moldering irrelevance, including ideas that challenge the establishment. I'd just like those people to be actively engaged with sf, not just out to score points and move on. I have no idea how to measure that engagement well.

#322 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:10 PM:

320
Why am I not surprised by either of those?

(Happy Easter, Teresa!)

#323 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:12 PM:

(brainstorming mode, so this is going to be rambling....)

Seems to me that there is something of a Legion of Inequality [first order/draft terminology] involved, and that various of them are deserving special demerits and charred pieces of wood* or paper (or maybe charred obsolete microprocessors, or perhaps "coaster" CD-ROMs) with mouse turd clusters in recognition of their singularly repulsive disservice to the science fiction community, the Worldcon, and the Hugoes.

* Reference to the Hogus

#324 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:16 PM:

I think it's important to figure out if the ballot was swung by the SP, the RP, or both. The two groups demand different responses. Are we dealing with a disciplined reactionary faction, a bunch of criminals who just want to trash things, or both?

In 20th-century politics the pattern was that the disciplined faction invites the thugs in, and then finds they can't control them. Theodore Beale is the son of Robert Beale, former board member of WorldNetDaily, who was sent up for 11 years for tax evasion. It is likely, based both on his family history and his conduct, that Theodore Beale knows all about inviting the thugs in. It also seems likely to me that other members of the faction are having doubts—may have had them for some time.

D. Eppstein@314: "The really bad failure mode is where some voters are operating in the first mode and some voters are operating in the second mode." Isn't that exactly what we have here?

Teresa Nielsen Hayden@317: "I'm once more amazed at the offhand way these people lie." I think some of them are believing their own bullshit rather than lying; the malleability of memory is itself an amazing thing. Others seem to be people with personality disorders who simply don't care at all. Lying like that works just fine in governmental politics, where winning office and the power that goes with it is the important thing. A sufficiently ruthless person doesn't need to care how much they lie in those elections; most of the communications with voters is one-way via video and voters mostly don't go back to check what was said. I don't think it will work nearly as well in the quasi-academic politics of the Hugo Awards, where so much communication is written, and rereading, sometimes obsessively, is routine, but I also am not at all confident of the outcome; we could discover a different way for things to go wrong.

#325 ::: Manny ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:19 PM:

glitchy @321: "I think Worldcon desperately needs new faces and ideas if it isn't going to fade into moldering irrelevance, including ideas that challenge the establishment." This is what it comes to. Everything else is details.

#326 ::: rochrist ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:19 PM:

Charlie Stross has a rather alarming theory that Vox Day's little Finnish publishing house venture is, in part, designed to churn out lot's of newly minted folks qualified to join the SFWA, with an eye toward the Nebulas (and also to poke Scalzi in the eye, he's totally obsessed with Scalzi).

#327 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:20 PM:

Happy Easter, P J!

I got hit by a vicious and fast-moving respiratory infection my second day here at Minicon, so I'm holed up in my hotel room, alternating rounds of napping with smiting the ungodly on the internet.

It's a weird way to spend Easter. Hope you're having a more cheerful time.

#328 ::: Doctor Science ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:21 PM:

TNH @317:

They have a very strange relationship with the concept of fact vs. falsehood.

The technical term is bullshit: talk (writing, etc.) the purpose of which "is to impress the listener and the reader with words that communicate an impression that something is being or has been done, words that are neither true nor false, and so obscure the facts of the matter being discussed."

It's possible that what's going on is more like truthiness than bullshit: that they are concerned with expressing a truth they *feel* to be true, and that their "facts" are really just stories they tell each other to support what they feel.

It certainly is striking how the rhetorical strategies we're seeing them use here parallel what goes on in conservative political media and politics.

#329 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:21 PM:

Teresa, sounds like a candidate for Worst. Station of the Cross. Ever.

#330 ::: D. Eppstein ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:26 PM:

Randolph 324: Well, for a different voting system, but yes, the scenarios look quite analogous.

#331 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:29 PM:

Bruce: That would explain why St. Veronica brought me a bucket of ice chips to suck on. I was wondering.

#332 ::: Pfusand ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:36 PM:

Thank you, Charlie Stross! (I thought it looked like a promising line of inquiry, and I was dreading trying to figure out how to do the investigation myself -- starting from a point of almost complete ignorance.)

Go, you.

#333 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:37 PM:

327
Moving several thousand census records from 'unlinked' to where they belong. It's down to fewer than 2500: the end is much closer.
And also trying to get a list of people prioritized by 'how closely related' - that's a spreadsheet with only about seven or eight thousand more lines to remove (because I have to merge two different lists to get the information I really need).

#335 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:45 PM:

Cadbury Moose #305:

Honest question: were the producers of the Best Dramatic Presentations (short & long forms) actually asked if they wanted to be on SP/RP slates & did they reply?

Given we know that not all the written works' creators were contacted prior, I wouldn't be surprised if the movie/TV producers had no idea they were on SP/RP slates.

#336 ::: Victor Raymond ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:45 PM:

It's not very surprising to me that the phenomenon of the SP slate has taken place, but not due to any reference to recent fannish history. Rather, it's kinda unsurprising because the sff sub-culture is a part of a larger culture, which is itself dealing with current social debates about racism, sexism, etc. (none of that is news to any Making Light readers). But I'm not advocating any sort of "well, we're all part of the 'Real' World, now, so just deal." I do sometimes see fans make the argument that fandom is somehow different, and that whatever other people have suffered, fans have had it worse (...but we're getting close to Gator territory with that). Such exceptionalism is, well, crazy talk. In that sense, rather than fandom being different, it's a reflection of these larger social conflicts. With that in mind, the rationale for the SP slate is a kind of historical revisionism, one in which the Golden Days of Yore need to be "restored" - but we've heard that shtick before, and it doesn't wash.

Although I am not particularly happy about saying this, the entire unfolding SP/RP slate drama constitutes what I've come to refer to as "material for class" i.e. an example of social conflict, with understandable (if not always likable) social forces at work. But it's also so very specific in character as to make it useful only in a "Sociology and Science Fiction" class.

Personally? A whole lotta "No Award" happening RSN.

#337 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:47 PM:

Ken Burnside, you say your victory condition is "more readers". You have created a situation where people feel justified in dismissing your work without reading it. If you are serious about your victory condition, you need to review your strategy.

Agreed. I originally read the post at Armed and Dangerous where ESR discussed this issue. I thought ESR's response was very intelligent and appropriate, while Ken's was simply selfish. Ken may not be a Sad Puppy, but he's willing to surf a wave of shit that's rolling over other people so he can get where he wants to go.

In some ways Ken's behavior is even worse than that of the Sad Puppies. The SPs may be assholes, and their behavior is certainly deplorable, but the SPs at least pretend to care about something, while in my opinion, Ken's attitude is maximally uncaring and selfish. When everything is said and done, Ken's reputation will suck so badly that astronomers will claim he's a newly discovered black hole.

#338 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:52 PM:

Colin, #263: Given the difference in cost between a supporting and an attending membership (even if you don't actually go), that would end up forcing a lot of long-time fans out of voting, which is not a condition I'm happy with.

Steve W., #275: There have been many years when I read several things which I thought were ALL good enough to win -- as in, I would have been perfectly happy seeing any of them walk away with the rocket. So now you're asking me to make a personal choice, at the nomination stage, about which of these works is most deserving? That rather defeats the overall goal of having the awards in the first place.

#339 ::: Idumea Arbacoochee, Still Not In The Mood ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:54 PM:

CP:

Whereas snarky gifs are so very, very direct and constructive. I get you.

#340 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:54 PM:

I thought ESR's response was very intelligent and appropriate...

I think I spoke too soon. ESR posted an announcement of his nomination yesterday night and he's now feeling much more enthusiastic about being a candidate for the Campbell.

#341 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 02:57 PM:

Colin Harris @263:

The problem with your requirement is that it would disenfranchise fen who are on fixed incomes, which includes me.

So my 40+ years as a fan, actively participating in fannish activities (filk), working for and running cons, and reading/watching SF and Fantasy, counts for nothing? I'm not allowed to vote because I can't pony up the attending membership fee?

I don't think so...you'll have to pry my right to vote in the Hugos with a supporting membership out of my cold, dead hands.

#342 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 03:03 PM:

Charlie makes an interesting case, but maintaining membership in SFWA is rather expensive. Are Beale's pockets that deep, that he could pay the dues for enough active members to make a difference in Nebula voting? Are there enough people who would pay that kind of money annually on their own, simply for the privilege of fucking with SFWA?

I have my doubts.

#343 ::: Brad DeLong ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 03:05 PM:

#336 Victor...

As I wrote over in The Other Thread (#564 April 04, 2015, 06:49 PM), there is more. The coming of the internet: (1) greatly increases potential joy from intentional communities of interest, (2) greatly increases the ability of those who want to fuck with such communities to express their dominance *somewhere* to do so, and (3) has not generated an adequate... well, Vernor Vinge might call it "Countermeasures". We need such...

And it's not that there is more verbal and emotional violence now than in the good old days. It's only that the sides are more even. And so I find myself thinking of the old-line SF writer's genuine "where's the harm?" belief that while the *boyfriend* of anyone harassed had, of course, the right to punch the harasser in the nose, the one harassed should just take the joke...

Brad DeLong

#344 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 03:12 PM:

Zack @311: that assumes more continuity in the administering of the Hugo Awards (and, more generally, in the Worldcon) than actually exists. There is no organization that could keep running such a ballot system year round, year after year: each Worldcon is a very independent entity that is tasked with administering the Hugo Awards. And historically, it has been impossible to change that (not that it might not change in the future, and SP/RP might be one of the forces driving such a change).

What I proposed has the advantage of working in the system we currently have, which is a feature rather than a bug IMO.

#345 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 03:16 PM:

According to Jo Walton's History of the Hugos for 1989:

"There’s a curious withdrawal—apparently P.J. Beese and Todd Cameron Hamilton’s novel The Guardian, which I have neither read nor previously heard of, had enough votes for a nomination, but the administrators concluded that the votes were bloc votes and disqualified them."

Does this mean the Hugo Committee can invoke the Bloc Voting rule against the SPs? Or have the rules changed since then?

#346 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 03:24 PM:

My $0.02 is here: shorter version, I think VD is going after the Nebulas, because for VD it's all about the eeeeeebil Scalzi wot done him wrong, and VD won't rest until he's kicked dirt in Scalzi's symbolic face.

Beth: AIUI, VD is a tax exile. His dad is in Federal prison in the US for tax evasion to the tune of roughly $1.6M. One may speculate about where the money ended up: certainly we're not talking about penniless people here, and I am guessing if VD can afford to pony up the lucre to found a publishing company he can probably pony up the $5000 a year or so to maintain a string of sok puppet SFWA memberships.

#347 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 03:24 PM:

Soon Lee @ #335

Given the SP spokesweasels proven track record for honesty and integrity, I firmly believe that nobody outside the SP/RP/GG Axis of Evil had any prior notification at all.

My thoughts on the DP(LF) ballot were simply a "Do I go fully nuclear on any ballot solely containing entries on various slates, or is a slightly more nuanced vote acceptable?" musing.

SP2 introduced the pups to the rolled-up newspaper and it obviously wasn't enough, I think it's time to deploy the cattleprod. (No, Simon, not your cattleprod.)

#348 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 03:25 PM:

Also, I am assuming everyone here is aware of the symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder? I suspect we're seeing a classic example of it in action.

#349 ::: johnofjack ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 03:25 PM:

This has, for the first time, inspired me to purchase a membership so I can vote.

Unfortunately this means I'll have to rearrange my "to read" pile, as I intend to at least try to read all the candidates (but I will note that I bounced pretty hard off The Goblin Emperor, through no fault of the book's--I have a Pavlovian aversion to archaic language--and that I feel no obligation to read anything which fails to command my attention).

Luckily I've already read Ancillary Sword & quite liked it.

I think the graphic novel nominees, with one exception, range from good to great; and I wouldn't feel it absurd and insulting if any of the Dramatic Presentation nominees won. The rest of the Puppy slate, well....

#350 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 03:33 PM:

I wonder if Mr Communist Party with the bad case of irritable vowel syndrome is a sock puppet for a certain venereal disease?

#351 ::: Anna Feruglio Dal Dan ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 03:34 PM:

I will not be reading any of the slated nominees, and I will not rank them. If there are nominees that were not on a slate I will rank them followed by No Award.

Usually I don't nominate, because I am not widely ready enough to make an informed choice. And if I can't read at least some of the nominees, I don't vote in the relevant category.

But this year, it's different. This is ballot stuffing, and while it is within the rules it is certainly against the spirit of the award. It also deprives countless people of their fair chance - I feel especially sorry of the people who lost a chance of being on the Campbell shortlist. These people have knowingly and maliciously deprived me of my chance to choose. I am not going to reward them by reading the material they deem good enough. Even if it is by deserving people.

#352 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 03:39 PM:

SP2 introduced the pups to the rolled-up newspaper and it obviously wasn't enough, I think it's time to deploy the cattleprod.

It's been forty years since grammar school, but I haven't forgotten what bullying looks like. You cannot civilize a bully with polite words. It requires zero tolerance and direct action of some kind. In the case of the Sad Puppies our actions cannot be direct in the physical sense - I don't do fist-fights anymore - but if your cattleprod is metaphorical, I'll be happy to help you deploy it.

One of my most wonderful memories of dealing with a bully was the time 8-10 of us surrounded the slightly bigger, slightly older, and much meaner kid who lived behind my house and chanted "Bully of the Block" for 10-15 minutes until he ran home crying.

Yes. His behavior changed after that.

Does anyone else have an inspiring story of dealing with a bully, preferably without violence? I noticed that the last hundred or so posts are pretty much devoid of poetry.

#353 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 03:41 PM:

Bill Stewart @ 203: better yet, throw a party for the excluded nominees and the few nominees who weren't on the slate -- and encourage everyone to desert the official party. I'd be happy to chip in for an alternate party; I'd rather not chip in for security at the official party, however necessary that might be if some of the SP slate are anywhere near as bad in person as they are online.

Arkansawyer @ 264: Since I'm not convinced someone has shit-writ the walls, What evidence would it take to convince you of this? The slates (SP and RP) exist, and dominate the nominations; do you think that just growed?

TNH @ 317: They have a very strange relationship with the concept of fact vs. falsehood. Does this differentiate them from any other reactionary force in the U.S.?
      If I had the stomach for it, I'd analyze the similarities between them and USSR propaganda -- but I don't have the will and I wouldn't wish the job on anyone.

Alex R @ 345: Jo is incorrect; the nominees were not disqualified. Short form: N3 announced that debatable nominating had distorted some of the categories, so it had added a nominee to those categories. The issue was outright fraud, not just block voting; a number of minimalist ballots came in with blocks of new supporting memberships paid for by money orders bought most of a thousand miles away from the addresses of those memberships. The resulting shtstrm (as in, "Who can't tell which of these is not like the others?") caused the nominees (in Novel and IIRC 1-2 other categories) to withdraw -- despite N3 making clear that none of the evidence implicated the nominees. Whether the nominees figured out who did it and had private discussions with that person has never been reliably reported.
      The Locus quote following your excerpt ("enthusiastic New York fen") is simply false. At least one edition of Howard DeVore's history-of-awards is even worse; it claimed that a cock-and-bull explanation of the nominations made clear that they were legit, when it actually made the fraud more obvious with outright lies.
      I have not read through all of the comments to see whether Jo was corrected at the time; I'm guessing not, because her statement was sufficiently wrong that she probably would have corrected it (as I've seen other Tor bloggers do) if given evidence.
      Yes, I was on the concom.

#354 ::: Nick ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 03:42 PM:

I'm sorry to see this has happened -- American politics have always been 'political', but that isn't an excuse for what's happened to them since the 1990s; the Hugos have always been political too, and now the same thing has happened to them as well -- an angry, reactionary minority that follows the forms but doesn't care about their spirit has organized itself. One thing we've seen from the recent functioning of the American government, is that a system can't work when a large chunk of people reject its basic premise. Now that's happened to the Hugo awards, and I predict that they aren't going to be fixed.

They've shown that they don't care about the principle of the award -- people voting for what they like. They've invited people in who aren't interested in the award at all, but see it as a little proxy snub to people who do care. An award is a contest -- and people don't like playing with other people who decide that they don't care about fair play. I'm sure that this is a concept that everyone will sneer at -- but it's what makes contests possible. It's obvious to everyone that what makes a Hugo valuable is the independent voting of all the people who care about it.

When the Hugos are awarded based on the votes of fans, that is something an author can receive. When the Hugos become a battleground of different politicized voting blocks, it's hard to see why an author would care. Let this go on for a few years and the Hugos will be finished -- which, incidentally, is the same attitude that American reactionaries have towards their government. They've figured out that it's easier to break things than to participate.

The honest response of people who are unsatisfied with the Hugo results would be to set up their own organization and award. They don't seem to be too interested in doing this, because they see the Hugo award as something worth breaking. Within this, I think the most contemptible position of all is that of the author in this thread, who benefitted from the corruption of the process, would like to keep his nomination, is proud of it, and sees it as a 'victory condition' that will bring him more readers. I really can't understand how anyone could honestly combine that set of beliefs.

#355 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 03:46 PM:

349
For me, once I got past the first chapter, the language was part of the story; it's formal/informal and personal/impersonal distinctions, that we're not used to meeting (the royal 'we', as opposed to 'I', in particular).
You might want to look at chapter 24.

#356 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 03:59 PM:

CHip @ 353

Thanks for the very clear explanation of what happened.

#357 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 04:03 PM:

#345, Alex R.: To reiterate what Chip Hitchcock said, perhaps a little more simply, the 1989 Hugo committee had hard evidence (numerous nominating ballots cast with sequentially-numbered money orders, mailed from the same location) that someone, not necessarily the beneficiaries of the ballots thus cast, was playing fast and loose with the rules. Hugo votes are supposed to be cast by natural persons, one per natural person; you can't just buy a bunch of memberships and vote them as you please, making up (or appropriating) names to be attached to them. IIRC, there was also the matter of a non-zero number of the ballots having been ostensibly cast by people who turned out to have not cast them.

As far as I know nothing in the current situation resembles that.

#358 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 04:05 PM:

(Perhaps I didn't need to post that additional explanation. No offense intended to Chip!)

#359 ::: Doctor Science ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 04:12 PM:

Have the SPs (etc.) even reviewed Goblin Emperor? Or The Three-Body Problem? I'm just going to assume they don't like Leckie, on account of too much lefty feminism.

GE and 3BP may be too "slow" for them, not enough shootin and 'splodin, so what about the James A. Corey books?

I'm trying to figure out whether they even realize what other people are reading.

#360 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 04:13 PM:

I guess disemvowelling is censorship to those who lack the ability to figure it out. Complaining about it tells the world you're that kind.

#361 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 04:13 PM:

PNH: one picky detail. I don't know where the ballots were mailed from; I don't know whether even the administrator knew. The money orders may not even have been sequentially numbered; I don't remember whether that was revealed. What nailed the fraud was that MO serial numbers could be traced; these came from a post office a long way from the new members' addresses.

You're right that the current mess has no resemblance to 1989; given the net's tendency to make communities-of-interests, nobody should be surprised that a bunch of people could be summoned to cheat.

#362 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 04:15 PM:

And no offense taken; I'm not a great writer, and I'm a worse editor of myself.

#363 ::: Juli Thompson ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 04:33 PM:

@Elliott and Fragano, hello fellow Economist geeks! One of the minor sacrifices of parenthood was the realization that I just don't have time to read every issue from cover to cover. I love the dry humor.

Count me as another first time supporting member of WorldCon.

Teresa @327 - Sorry your visit isn't going well. The hellish respiratory whatever it is has been going around here. Hope you get better!

#364 ::: PresN ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 04:47 PM:

One more person here buying a supporting membership to help outvote this nonsense; first time too! I do hope that the nominees make it onto a voter's packet; I'd rather not track down all the obscure ones to vote on them, and I would like to at least look at them, even if I don't read all the way through.

I am starting to wonder, though, as I fill out all the Wikipedia lists of Hugo categories- do Torgeson and VD only read two magazines? A large number of their nominees are from Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show and Galaxy's Edge - they nominated the zines, the editors of the zines, people who have only published in said zines...

Also- does anyone know what happened to the Retro Hugos? I thought they were going to be there again this year, but there's no mention of them anywhere.

@231 - Oddly enough, when I read your post about giving yourself permission to not read all the way through a nominee in 1998, my first thought was "I bet there was a Robert J. Sawyer novel that year". There was- was that the author you were thinking of? A lot of people seem to like him, but I still regret trying the sequels to Humans.

@295 - I find Correia's nomination rejection to be particularly classless: he claims that he didn't want to "politicize" the other nominees, but he was perfectly willing to let his book be on the slate in the first place so that he could get nominated.
A nomination without the hassle of potentially losing! For someone who has said repeatedly that the Hugos are meaningless because of a cabal of liberal gatekeepers, he certainly tries very hard to get nominations.

#365 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 04:57 PM:

CHip @ 353: "Since I'm not convinced someone has shit-writ the walls, What evidence would it take to convince you of this?"

The "someone" I had in mind was the Sad Puppies. I hadn't seen a solid line from them to the thugs--highly suggestive stuff, but nothing dispositive. Doctor Science @ 292 has a link to Larry Corriera's site which puts at least a dotted line between the thugs, who apparently initiated that contact, and the Sad Puppies. I'm closer to being convinced.

I'm a very hard sell on direct causality.

There are lesser claims of which I'm already convinced. I was already planning to go to KC with the ex and the daughter. But now, my receipt from Sasquan just arrived.

#366 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 05:09 PM:

Victor, #336: I'm not so sure that it's specific enough to fandom as to be unrelatable outside of a class focused on science fiction. I think it's a reflection in microcosm of something much more broadly applicable in the culture (cf. pretty much the entire current platform of the Republican Party) and thus serves as an example of "and this is how that dynamic plays out in a much smaller group with the same general demographics and more personal interaction".

CHip, #353: Interesting! I didn't go to that Worldcon, and I don't recall hearing about this at the time, so it's fascinating to look back on now.

PresN, #364: Card's influence on the slate doesn't surprise me; his publicly-stated positions align nicely with those of the people who started this nonsense.

Apparently a fair number of people do bounce off Sawyer's writing, which seems odd to me. My immediate reaction after getting to the end of Hominids was "Wow, that man can WRITE!" and although I haven't liked everything I've read by him, my issues are always about the content (sometimes he picks plots that don't interest me), not the style.

#367 ::: 'As You Know' Bob ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 05:14 PM:

I'm a life-long reader of SF, and I have only voted for the Hugos once in my life before this.

For half-a-century or so, I've relied on the Hugo lists to pay attention to the field *for* me, and to point out things that I should know about: Now that it's been gamed, this year's Hugo list is worthless to me. (Thanks, assholes!)

I feel bad for the authors who have been denied their chance at a nomination by this prank. (Where are the honors for The Three-Body Problem ? The Peripheral ? My Real Children ? Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century? and a dozen other more-worthy works? (...especially in the 'shorter' categories....)

Most years, I figure the WorldCon will do a perfectly adequate job of finding new things that I should be aware of. But not this year - because assholes have gamed the list.

I'm irritated enough by this to put my money down and purchase a "Supporting Membership" and vote for "No Award" where appropriate, simply to discourage this sort of vandalism.

And any "writer" who has participated in this? You've damaged - if not entirely ruined - your reputation.


#368 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 05:17 PM:

Lee @ 366: I too have mixed feelings about Sawyer, but yeah, his style is very readable. He's a good writer.

#369 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 05:19 PM:

Juli Thompson #363: Wonderful! Do you write poetry, by any chance?

#370 ::: Siera21 ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 05:24 PM:

If GamerGate is involved then any slated nominee is essentially turning a blind eye to the fact that their nomination comes partly from a group that will almost certainly eventually be responsible for someone's death (if only through Swatting).

I will certainly be bearing that fact in mind in my future reading choices.

Ken Burnside, if your aim is to widen your reader pool, I do not believe that you are succeeding.

#371 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 05:35 PM:

Alex R, #337: "In some ways Ken's behavior is even worse than that of the Sad Puppies. The SPs may be assholes, and their behavior is certainly deplorable, but the SPs at least pretend to care about something, while in my opinion, Ken's attitude is maximally uncaring and selfish. When everything is said and done, Ken's reputation will suck so badly that astronomers will claim he's a newly discovered black hole."

It's worse than that.

Not only has Ken Burnside expressed contempt for the very people he's now begging to give his work a fair reading, he's openly admitted that the SP slate is about ballot-stuffing the nominations:

---------------------------------------------
Ken Burnside on 2015-02-03 at 12:22:24 said:

I understand the hesitancy of being anyone’s “political bludgeon.”

As this is the “make sure these titles get on the WorldCon ballot” phase, the odds of you getting a Campbell, or me getting a Hugo for “The Hot Equations” is slim. I doubt that anyone can read much of a political context into Hot Equations; if anything you can argue that it’s a fairly thorough evisceration and deconstruction of some SFnal tropes.

This seems to be the “in thing” in some circles, though it doesn’t delve into the tone-poems of existential angst informing the reader of the hopeless oppression of nonseptunary polyphase-fluidic gendered androids. And their love of dinosaurs. (You only recognize four genders? You sexist fascist, you.)
---------------------------------------------
http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=6661&cpage=1#comment-1428456


Methinks that Mr Burnside has used up his quota of disingenuousness for the week.

#372 ::: Victor Raymond ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 05:41 PM:

#343 Brad DeLong - total agreement; we haven't - as a society - devised the social tools to limit or otherwise sanction the actions of online bullies. As you point out, that's because the social context of the technology is so new.

#366 Lee - total agreement; you've neatly rephrased what I was (sort of) intending to say. I'm currently an adjunct at a community college teaching sociology, and I bounced off of how I might teach this to my Intro to Soc students. But it is definitely possible and a good example, as you have said.

#373 ::: Robert Z ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 05:42 PM:

Tatterbots @ 296: ...would it be useful to put a short primer on voting etiquette?...

Well, there is this at the Sasquan FAQ:
Q: Do I have to nominate/vote in every category?
A: No. You need only vote in areas where you feel competent to judge. If you never read novels, just ignore that category.

I think this obliquely -- but only obliquely -- addresses the topic of slates: it implies that if you don't "feel competent to judge," then you shouldn't be borrowing someone else's competence.

And one of the larger issues we keep coming back to is the mutually exclusive notions of what the Hugos actually are, how the awards are determined, and what a Hugo award means.

As long as the SP/RPs continue to believe that this is a popularity contest between warring socio-political value systems (rather than an award issued by members of the current Worldcon), then no "etiquette primers" at the Sasquan or Hugo website will do the slightest good: it will all read to them like elitist scolding from hostile "gatekeepers." (After all, Magnussen would still have peed in Sherlock's fireplace even if there were a sign on the wall saying that such behavior is inappropriate.)

For what it's worth, I'm another first-time supporting member. SFF reader for 35+ years. I do not yet know the extent to which I will designate No Award; I will assess all the works as best I can, and vote according to my own tastes and conscience.

...But, of course, the problem here is that slate voting undermines and potentially invalidates just such a strategy, for exactly the reasons abi lays out elsewhere.

#374 ::: Pete M ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 05:47 PM:

Two thoughts, two suggestion, and an aside.

Thought: I suspect that some of the Sad Puppy ringleaders may now believe they've succeeded too much. By taking entire categories, they've reduced the legitimacy of any SP nominees that actually win. Getting two or three items on the ballot says "hey, read these overlooked stories; you might just like them." Getting five says "screw you." Their actual agenda might have been served by a smaller success.

Second thought: I realize that passions are running high right now. Many are angry that bloc voting for a slate that was set out and campaigned for reduced the chances for more organic nominees. People are angry about that.

(The Puppies would insist that there were prior whisper campaigns, secret slates, and general cliquish behavior; I don't have knowledge enough to comment intelligently on those claims.)

It's possible, though, that this is a problem that will solve itself without drastic rule changes. It's very possible that, next year, there will be enough non-Puppy voters to cancel them out. And it's possible -- perhaps even likely -- that the Puppy movement will lose energy and enthusiasm.

Hence, suggestion 1: Before making drastic rule changes, it might well be sensible to figure out whether this is a trend or an anomaly.

Suggestion 2, even more radical. Extend an olive branch. Instead of heaping abuse, say "we know you feel like you've been excluded by a clique of insiders. We don't think it's true, but we understand that you feel this way, and we even understand why."

Then ask the organizer of the next group of Sad Puppies to do one of two things. Either limit her suggestions to three books, or expand it to ten. Either would encourage people to consider works they might not have looked at previously, but would reduce the damage due to bloc voting.

Vox is, of course, a lost cause. He'd rather pee in the soup than divide it fairly. But other people maybe not so much.

Aside: I have begun my Supporting Member duty of reading every nominee. Today I read Lou Antonelli's "On a Spiritual Plain." I thought it was OK, kind of interesting idea, but one that wasn't developed fully enough, and it fizzled in the end. Below "No Award" it will be.

As a further aside, Vox Day (I think it was him) on a comment on File 770 said he would have recommended The Three Body Problem, had he read it in time. Apparently he agrees with Teresa on something.

Of course, that does illustrate one weakness of having one guy orchestrate a bunch of votes: you are limited to what that one guy has read.

#375 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 05:54 PM:

374
The olive branch might have worked before the second time. This was their third. If they had intentions of being reasonable, they've had plenty of time to figure it out. (Also: they lie. A lot. I wouldn't trust anything they say, at this point.)

#376 ::: rochrist ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 05:56 PM:

Screw an olive branch to people who associate with Vox Day.

#377 ::: UrsulaV ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 05:56 PM:

@374 This is a group that brought in Gamergate. People who, when Brianna Wu's dog was dying, made Twitter accounts in her dog's name and tweeted her saying "I'm dying, lol!"

That is my hard line. I don't expect other people to toe it, but I will not extend an olive branch to people who think that's funny.

#378 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 05:58 PM:

#377, UrsulaV: Damn right.

#379 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 05:59 PM:

Since Alex R. mentioned a shortage of poetry in #352...

Come, my friends,
'T is not too late to seek a new award.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The nominations; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the bars
Of all the western cons, until I die.
It may be that the SJWs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the final ballots,
And see the great Heinlein, whom we knew.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved fan and pro, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of puppy hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to stuff, and not to yield.

- Tennyson, "Sad Puppies"

#380 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 06:00 PM:

I don't think extending an olive branch to the guy who wrote this would do much good:

This is just one little battle in an ongoing culture war between artistic free expression and puritanical bullies who think they represent *real* fandom. In the long term I want writers to be free to write whatever they want without fear of social justice witch hunts, I want creators to not have to worry about silencing themselves to appease the perpetually outraged, and I want fans to enjoy themselves without having some entitled snob lecture them about how they are having fun wrong. I want our shrinking genre to grow. I think if we can get back to where “award nominated” isn’t a synonym for “preachy crap” to the most fans, we’ll do it.

That’s what I want. Strategically, we get there faster without them trying to spin it as all about me.
That was pulled from a post explaining why he turned down his nomination.

Three guesses who Correia thinks are the puritanical bullies. First two don't count.

#381 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 06:00 PM:

Since Alex R. mentioned a shortage of poetry in #352...

Come, my friends,
'T is not too late to seek a new award.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The nominations; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the bars
Of all the western cons, until I die.
It may be that the SJWs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the final ballots,
And see the great Heinlein, whom we knew.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved fan and pro, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of puppy hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to stuff, and not to yield.

- Tennyson, "Sad Puppies"

#382 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 06:02 PM:

Pete M @374:

I won't "extend an olive branch" to a group of people who have invited GamerGate into the conversation. There are some things that are off the table for olive branches.

Furthermore, I won't leave a vulnerability open for future exploits. Knowing that in a given year, no one chose to blow up the Hugos, even though they could, isn't OK. It becomes like the filibuster in Congress: you don't even need to do it, just threaten it, and get your way.

(Note that I make no distinction between slates whose values I share and ones that I don't in this. The threat of a nominee-filling slate from The Kittens Who Love The Authors I Like causes me the same abhorrence as this year's Puppies.)

Individual authors and fans of a conservative bent are as entitled to fandom as I am. If they join the conversation that is the Hugo process in the appropriate fashion, individually nominating works and authors they think should win, great. If they do it in sufficient numbers that those nominees win, that's fair.

And personally, I think I'm going to start to look a little more widely at my nomination candidates. My tendency is to be wildly fond of one or two books, then fill the slate with others that everyone was reading, so I read and liked. I think I'll try to make that set of books ones from authors who have not ever been nominated for Hugos.

But I'm not going to leave an exploit open in the fond hope that we don't settle into Mutual Slates Of Destruction.

And GamerGate is right out.

#383 ::: Jaymie ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 06:06 PM:

Pete M @ 374

The so-called "whisper campaigns" and "secret slates" have been pointed to are nothing more than writers saying this-is-what-I-did-last-year-that-is-eligible. Confusing the two shows an interesting misinterpretation of language at best.

#384 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 06:12 PM:

I need to allow more time for trying to post again. Sorry for all the duplicates of late.

When it comes to dealing with reactionaries, there's a mindset that puts all the burden of accommodation on their enemies and targets. I want to see those who've done the harm to start, just for once, with an apology and a surrender of unearned gains, and then we can see what to do. It's not our job to cajole burglars and would-be murderers and rapists into feeling better about themselves; it's our job not to let them get away with the crimes they have committed or the ones they'd like to.

(Someone may object to comparing the SPs to murderers and rapists. But Beale isn't the only one out there who indulges in elaborate rationalizations of why there should be more murder and sexual violence, and they deliberately sought out the support of the people in the computer gaming world doing the SWATing and so much other harassment, not the ones on the receiving end. They play games with others' lives and safety. This is what they choose, and it's okay for us to say so.)

#385 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 06:18 PM:

Extend an olive branch.

I keep trying to post something that reads like this:

"I hate to be too gung-ho about even a metaphorical ass-kicking (I don't do physical violence if I can possibly avoid it) but when dealing with bullies you don't extend an olive branch until they are (metaphorically) bruised and bleeding at your feet. The extended olive branch should include the condition that the particular offensive behavior and all similar behaviors should never-"

But I can't make myself believe it. I'm just too goddamn angry. No fucking olive branch. None.

#386 ::: Peace Is My Middle Name ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 06:20 PM:

Jaymie #383

I've noticed a deliberate misuse of language and a deliberate conflation of radically different concepts on the part of the SPs which I suspect is part of an attempt to confuse people, whitewash themselves, and pretend they are only doing the same as was done to them first.

The "slates" that they claim others have proposed in the past are nothing more than plain old book recommendations or the socially acceptable act of an author pointing out that their work is eligible for the current ballot, and certainly nothing like their concerted effort to orchestrate a full slate of nothing but two men's approved candidates.

#387 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 06:23 PM:

PresN @ 364: Retro-Hugos are optional; otherwise they probably wouldn't have passed, as too many people would have objected to being forced into something of frequently-dreadful results.
      <rant>I wouldn't mind much if RH were restricted to individual works, but the best-at-their-trade awards (artist, fan writer, etc) rarely (IMO) reflect the specific year they're given for. Silverberg, who won a fan award in 2001, was at least non-plussed, as he wasn't yet active in 1950 (or at least was minimally active); IIRC even Freas admitted to not having much work out in 1950. And that was for 50-year awards; there's not enough material around from 75 years ago to judge. And for the works, there have been some remarkable years -- but there have also been years when No Award should have appeared at least once. No, I'm not impressed by the claims that the RH educate people about the good old stuff, which all too often (IMO) shows its age.</rant>

#388 ::: Pete M ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 06:29 PM:

#377, UrsualaV. Of course I don't think that Briana Wu should be taunted about her dog being ill. I don't endorse that, or any form of cruelty.

I don't do Twitter, largely because I am far too verbose for 140 characters.

Anyhow, I can see that my suggestion didn't meet with a lot of approval. Which is fine. But to be clear I wasn't suggesting an olive branch to Vox himself, and certainly not to Gamergaters (whoever they are), but rather to folks who might be generally sympathetic to some of his critique of recent Hugo winners but who aren't cruel or unreasonable or narrow-minded.

Humans are very good at forming ingroups and playing us/them games with outgroups. Like the Green and Purple Drazi. That's why, for example, people root for the Chicago Bears, despite the fact that many players have never even set foot in Chicago before being signed with the team.

I am suggesting trying to tamp down the us/them reflex in others.

382 abi: One of my contentions is that it's possible that slates won't be able to blow up the Hugos again, because people are aware of the danger and are more likely to respond.

Further aside (yes I know I ramble) the idea of voting for "a slate" would never even occur to me. I can imagine reading somebody's suggestions because I like or respect the person. But I can't imagine wanting to follow, or actually following, a "party line." Any party line.

#389 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 06:41 PM:

I'm considering something. (I know y'all are thrilled to hear that!) Maybe it's time for an online biographical sketch of that shy & reclusive soul (and long-time Hugo write-in candidate) Noah Ward.

I mean, Noah's been mentioned a lot lately, here & elsewhere, but do any of us know the Real Noah Ward?

#390 ::: Robert Z ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 06:45 PM:

fidelio @389: I agree. After all, he must surely hold the record for Most Nominated with Fewest Wins. That's actually rather impressive.

#391 ::: Danny Sichel ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 06:47 PM:

To repeat my earlier question:

Hypothetically, is it possible for authors to -- for any reason whatsoever -- recuse themselves from the ballot after it's been announced?

#392 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 06:59 PM:

Is Sasquan obliged to hold a Hugo Ceremony? I appreciate they need to give out Hugos, I'm wondering about all the fuss that goes with it.

I've been to the Sidewise Awards and also the Prometheus Awards, which are held at Worldcon, in a normal program room at random program times like 2pm. Hugos could be done like that, with no reception or celebrities.

I also wonder what would happen if somebody said to Mr Torgerson and Mr Correira "OK, you won, we surrender. Now what?" The problem is that there isn't anyone to say it. There are no SJW, just a bunch of random people. But if somebody did? Do they want to sow the citadel with salt, or what?

#393 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 07:05 PM:

Hugos could be done like that, with no reception or celebrities.

I like that, except for the people who do deserve an award are being short-changed. My own evil thought was that the "base" of the hugo awards could be modified to mount vertically to a wall, and the rocket could be attached with a spring. The rocket would hang downward in a completely non-Freudian manner...

#394 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 07:05 PM:

Jo Walton @ 392... That is a neat thunder-stealing notion.

#395 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 07:06 PM:

And of course, the celebrity could very very carefully chosen...

#396 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 07:08 PM:

Pete M @ #374

The only olive branch this moose would extend to the SP/RP organisers would take a certain amount of preparation. Jellied petrol and white phosphorus are not an off the shelf item in the UK.

I've looked at enough of their self-justifications, evasions, rules-lawyering, and outright lies (not to mention the recruitment of the Gator sociopaths) that the only answer from here comes down to "Kill it with fire". That is all.

And "SJW" is a badge of honour any civilised person should be proud to wear.

#397 ::: HelenS ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 07:09 PM:

fidelio@389: I wish Noah Ward weren't an obviously gendered name. Perhaps they also use the name Ngaio Ward (you know, like the mystery writer Ngaio Marsh)?

#398 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 07:11 PM:

If it's any use, Noa is a woman's name in Dutch..,

#399 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 07:18 PM:

Alex R. @ #395

And of course, the celebrity could very very carefully chosen...

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre FTW!

(Though probably not if there's anyone legitimately receiving an award (i.e. for merit rather than by ballot stuffing).)

Change the award base for a packet of PAXO?

#400 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 07:22 PM:

N.O.A. Ward, with substantial debate over what the initials actually stand for. Probably pronounced "James", so as to be ineluctably male.

Jo, there is much to your suggestion. Thinking about possible presenters...Steve Brust? David Gerrold? N.K. Jemisin?

#401 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 07:24 PM:

(Though probably not if there's anyone legitimately receiving an award (i.e. for merit rather than by ballot stuffing).)

I'm don't think that's true. The committee merely needs to find a celebrity which is offensive to Sad Puppies and acceptable to everyone else. Janeane Garofalo would probably be perfect, but I doubt the Worldcon can afford her, but the expression on an SP's face when accepting the award...

#402 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 07:27 PM:

David Gerrold and Tananarive Due are already schedule to host the Ceremony.

#403 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 07:27 PM:

Thinking about possible presenters...Steve Brust? David Gerrold? N.K. Jemisin?

George Takei.

#404 ::: HelenS ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 07:28 PM:

I thought of Noa (I didn't know it was Dutch, but figured it was almost certainly a "real" name someplace), but Noa Ward is so much less fun than Noah Ward. Is Waard a possible surname in Dutch?

#405 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 07:31 PM:

Serge: OK, Sasquan's way ahead of me, then.

#406 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 07:31 PM:

Pete M, I must say I admire your principled stance here.

However, there are people around who are strongly confrontational, who don't accept that other people aren't strongly confrontational, and who therefore regard any attempt at "extending an olive branch" or "reaching a compromise" as a sign of weakness and impending collapse in their opponents - so it only motivates them to push their agenda harder.

And I'm inclined to believe people like that comprise the hard core of SP/RP membership. So, principled though your approach may be, it won't work.

#407 ::: Steven desJardins ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 07:32 PM:

It's a pity Terry Pratchett is no longer with us, for many reasons, but, in this particular context, because he could have hosted the Hugo ceremony with magnificent scorn and wit.

#408 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 07:34 PM:

Serge @ #402

David Gerrold and Tananarive Due are already schedule to host the Ceremony.

Eminently satisfactory.

#409 ::: Kevin Standlee ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 07:34 PM:

PresN @364:

This year's Worldcon elected not to present Retrospective Hugo Awards. The rule authorizing Retro-Hugos permits Worldcons to hold them under certain defined conditions, but does not require them to do so.

Jo Walton @392:

Is Sasquan obliged to hold a Hugo Ceremony?
No, it's not a WSFS-mandated function. Thinking about it as a former Worldcon chair, former Events Division Manager, and former Hugo Award Administrator, the only reason I think I'd call for canceling the ceremony entirely would be if No Award won in every category. (And I don't expect that to happen this year.)

(I'd better say in case it's unclear: I have none of those positions this year and have no authority at all regarding this year's Hugo Awards. I update he web site, but I'm not part of he management chain for the 2015 Worldcon Hugo Administration or Hugo Awards ceremony. I am speaking for myself only and only theoretically.)

Alex R @403:

George Takei was host of the 2007 Hugo Awards Ceremony in Japan, and was very good at it. I particularly liked when he was dealing with Ultraman (who was supposed to present one of the categories), and said, in exasperation, "Never work with a 60's television star."

#410 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 07:35 PM:

I think the whole thing has to be tainted for the legitimate nominees too.

This is in fact one of the many horrible things about it.

When you had a Hugo nomination, previously, you knew you were on the list with these other awesome things, that your work was being considered alongside theirs. That cannot be what anyone is feeling right now.

And do the legitimate nominees want to get dressed up and go to a reception full of rabid puppies? Maybe we could have a Making Light party for the legitimate nominees -- what are there, four of them?

#411 ::: siera21 ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 07:35 PM:

Noa is a pretty important concept in Maori culture
it's the opposite or absence of Tapu (which is one of those interesting words that has no direct translation but has the same root word as taboo and sometimes translates as sacred or restricted or forbidden but does not quite mean any of these things)

Noa is what you get after Tapu has been lifted (sometimes on a new building or on a scarce resource or even on a place where someone has died).

#412 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 07:38 PM:

Alex @385:

With regard to bullies, I prefer what the folks on Rec:Eq would call the Three S Solution. You got a morose canine harassing your stock or killing your poultry?

Sht, Shvl, nd Sht-p. You can't break a dog of those sort of habits, and with regard to this particular breed, I'm not going to try.

(Nor am I likely to have the opportunity to exercise this method -- and twenty seconds of pleasure are not worth twenty to life.)

[I have disemvoweled a phrase here because I want to emphasize that I am Not OK with threats of physical violence or death, however rhetorically they are meant. That's GamerGate crap, and we're not playing in that mud.—Idumea Arbacoochee, Whose Pen Is Mighty Enough For All Her Needs]

#413 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 07:40 PM:

Jo Walton @ 410... Another excellent suggestion.

#414 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 07:41 PM:

By the way, what happens to a category's Hugo trophy if N.Ward wins?

#415 ::: Steven desJardins ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 07:43 PM:

There are two legitimately great nominees in the Best Novel category, the Graphic Story and Fan Artist categories are mostly untainted, there are legitimate choices in the Dramatic Presentation, Semiprozine, and Fancast categories. The Hugo ceremony may be abbreviated this year, but I hope we can still celebrate what's worthy of celebration.

#416 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 07:47 PM:

siera21, 411: Welcome to Making Light!

Is it fair to say that "tapu" means "not for use in daily life"? So "noa" would be something like "ordinary, useful, it's OK if it wears out"?

#417 ::: Aaron ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 07:51 PM:

"Hypothetically, is it possible for authors to -- for any reason whatsoever -- recuse themselves from the ballot after it's been announced?"

I will defer to those who are more versed in the rules than I, but there have been a few cases in which a nomination has been withdrawn from consideration after the nominees were announced. In the case of people like Burnside who allege they only want more eyes on their work, withdrawing their nomination seems to me like the thing that anyone with any kind of integrity would do at this point.

I've seen several people say that some of the nominees were blindsided by their nominations and only later found out that the reason they were nominated was their unknowing inclusion on one of the two slates. I have little sympathy for them even if that is true. If they don't want to be associated with, and treated like a member of, either the Sad or Rabid Puppies, they can withdraw their nominations. If they don't, I have no qualms about leaving them off the ballot in favor of "no award".

#418 ::: Aaron ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 07:51 PM:

"Hypothetically, is it possible for authors to -- for any reason whatsoever -- recuse themselves from the ballot after it's been announced?"

I will defer to those who are more versed in the rules than I, but there have been a few cases in which a nomination has been withdrawn from consideration after the nominees were announced. In the case of people like Burnside who allege they only want more eyes on their work, withdrawing their nomination seems to me like the thing that anyone with any kind of integrity would do at this point.

I've seen several people say that some of the nominees were blindsided by their nominations and only later found out that the reason they were nominated was their unknowing inclusion on one of the two slates. I have little sympathy for them even if that is true. If they don't want to be associated with, and treated like a member of, either the Sad or Rabid Puppies, they can withdraw their nominations. If they don't, I have no qualms about leaving them off the ballot in favor of "no award".

#419 ::: siera21 ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 07:58 PM:

TexAnne@416 thank you =)

I have definitely seen noa translated as ordinary or everyday before (disclaimer, I am not Maori so I am probably missing a lot of nuance here).


Sidenote, it has always weirded me out that Taboo/Tapu and Mana, two of the Maori/ Pacific Island language words that I would consider most important and least directly translateable have moved into common English language usage.

#420 ::: Edmund Schweppe ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 08:02 PM:

Teresa Nielsen Hayden @320:

Breaking news: Charlie Stross has been researching Castalia House, an obscure publishing house in Finland that somehow managed to get nine works onto the 2015 Hugo ballot.
Short version:
1. It's creepy, and
2. it's owned by Vox Day.
Not surprised, here, that Vox Day owns Castalia House. (The creepiness is something else again.)

On the other hand, it makes my job as a Hugo voter somewhat easier. The Castalia House owner tried successfully to stuff the nominating ballots for personal benefit; therefore everything from Castalia House (including the owner) gets a one-way trip to Downbelow NoAward Station. No question of ideology, no question of literary merit, no question period.

#421 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 08:04 PM:

siera21 @419 -- perhaps they've been appropriated by English (which steals words all the time) precisely because they are both important (or at least useful!) and untranslatable.

#422 ::: Chris Lawson ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 08:10 PM:

Pete M @388: "But to be clear I wasn't suggesting an olive branch to Vox himself, and certainly not to Gamergaters (whoever they are), but rather to folks who might be generally sympathetic to some of his critique of recent Hugo winners but who aren't cruel or unreasonable or narrow-minded."

No. There only people sympathetic to the SP/VD critique of recent Hugo winners will be cruel or unreasonable or narrow-minded. There may be people who feel excluded from the Hugos, but nobody reasonable would have the slightest sympathy for the SP/VD view. In fact, I find it highly ironic (and not a little hypocritical) that SP/VD wants to take us back to "more inclusive" Golden Age of SF, where almost every single nominee for the Hugos and Nebulas was a white male with tertiary education, usually in the sciences. SP inclusive? My arse.

The current SP3 slate, which recommends 23 pro writers, includes only 3 women and 1 non-white. I'll say it again. Inclusive? My arse. What SP means by "inclusive" is actually the opposite. They *only* want nominations and awards to go to their little clique of like-minded bullies and self-servers. And this year they have succeeded.

#423 ::: Keir ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 08:12 PM:

Mana is funny because mana in Māori [1] and NZ English means almost nothing like what mana is usually used to mean in non-NZ English, as far as I can tell.

Tapu/tabu/taboo do at least overlap a fair bit.

[1] Macrons are super easy to type on a Mac, by the way - just change the keyboard to Māori and then ALT + vowel = macron vowel.

#424 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 08:17 PM:

Pete M, are you the Pete M from rec.arts.sf* newsgroups?

It will strongly affect how I read your comments.

#425 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 08:18 PM:

In my opinion, Laura Mixon is a legitimate nominee in Best Fan Writer. Ancillary Sword and The Goblin Emperor* are certainly legitimate nominees.

I must confess that I would love, really love, to see Mr. Beale being forced to accept an award from David Gerrold and Tananarive Due. But not quite enough to force those worthies to share a stage with him.


*disclosure: TGE is my book and I am biased. But I love the Leckie.

#426 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 08:19 PM:

John A Arkansawyer @264: I'd appreciate any help in building that reading list.

It occurs to me that this could reasonably be a running topic in the Open Threads, a la HLN and AKICIML, and such. WILFTH (What I Like For The Hugos) (hey! you can even pronounce the acronym!) maybe.

I, too, would find this handy.

#427 ::: Arete ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 08:20 PM:

Originally, it was numbers that called to me
I could hold them in hand and head, one two three
Books lost the early fight to my attention
I easily fell to other forms of distraction

The teacher read to us, hoping for us to learn
"Little House" somehow made my mind burn
In a moment, books became my end all, be all
Pocket money disappeared to many books' siren call

Books were both an escape and a pleasure then
Bullies coming to call and not saying 'when'
Books giving me both heroes and skills
Teaching me how to use my own power of will.

I know what bullies are. I have long known their face.
And I'll be damned if they think they have right to this place.

=====

Otherwise known as: another supporting membership has been bought. Money's tight, but not that tight.

#428 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 08:21 PM:

Shoot, Shovel, and Shut-Up. You can't break a dog of those sort of habits, and with regard to this particular breed, I'm not going to try.

In this case, there are other options, including voting, shunning, shaming, and mockery, which IMHO is particularly effective.

Note that the image I have linked to above is free for all commercial and non-commericial uses, including remixes and copies/creations/mutations of your own in a different media.* Feel free to put it on a coffee cup or T-Shirt. If anyone wants the .xcf (Gimp) files so you can make your own changes, please let me know. You will need to provide a throw-away email and if you wish to preserve the appearance of the current art, you will need to download, and possibly purchase, some version of the Sawasdee font. (You can, of course, use a different font.)

It is barely possible that the LonCon committee will feel my alterations to the rocket motif violate their copyright. If so, I claim satire, parody and temporary insanity.

* Is it obvious yet that I'm not a lawyer?

#429 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 08:22 PM:

This has been echoing through my brain for a couple of days now.

"He can be made to take a positive pleasure in the perception that the two sides of his life are inconsistent. This is done by exploiting his vanity. He can be taught to enjoy kneeling beside the grocer on Sunday just because he remembers that the grocer could not possibly understand the urbane and mocking world which he inhabited on Saturday evening; and contrariwise, to enjoy the bawdy and blasphemy over the coffee with these admirable friends all the more because he is aware of a "deeper", "spiritual" world within him which they cannot understand. You see the idea - the worldly friends touch him on one side and the grocer on the other, and he is the complete, balanced, complex man who sees round them all. Thus, while being permanently treacherous to at least two sets of people, he will feel, instead of shame, a continual undercurrent of self-satisfaction."
- C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

#430 ::: Galen Charlton ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 08:24 PM:

I'm not up to offering a sonnet, but here's a haiku suggesting a fanac:

Puppy wins! Enjoy!
Now accept your next award:
Leaden asterisk.

#431 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 08:25 PM:

Lee @ 429

I'm not remotely Christian, but IMHO C.S. Lewis was an extremely perceptive writer.

#432 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 08:48 PM:

Lee @ 429: Hm. I wonder what Lewis would say about me. I go to church with over-educated people and have my fun with the general run of folks. And my church chaps my ass a lot for just that reason.

#433 ::: Jaymie ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 08:55 PM:

Peace @ 386,

In many cases, I'm sure you're correct, and the confusion is deliberate. On the other hand, I fear many of them glory in and are proud of their sloppy thinking.

Pete M @ 388,

No. Not this time. I can be civil and even friendly on an individual basis, but "No Award" with me is non-negotiable. Those on the SP ballot have allied themselves with a few people also on the ballot who have said in plain, blunt language that I am vermin and need to be killed, simply for existing. No.

Perhaps I'm taking it a little too personally, but as my own state has four bills in committee to make me living my life illegal, I can possibly be expected to be a angry.

#434 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 08:59 PM:

I haven't seen it mentioned in this post, but I'm pretty sure that VD and the RP/SPs are violating the Sasquan code of conduct. Their behavior is clearly intended to harass Sasquan members that they don't agree with, and it is causing harm to Sasquan members as well as Sasquan itself, WSFS and the Hugos.

#435 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 09:05 PM:

Pete, #388: I can't imagine wanting to follow, or actually following, a "party line." Any party line.

And that is why your "olive branch" suggestion is not useful. You need to be able to imagine that there are others who will not only do this thing which is incomprehensible to you, but glory in so doing because they expect it to hurt you.

Over in the DFD threads, we have the well-established principle that advice which is good when dealing with healthy relationships cannot be applied to abusive ones in the same way, because there is an underlying assumption to most relationship advice that both parties will respond non-abusively. I think something very similar applies here.

Steven, #407: I wonder if Christopher Lee (who is known to be a fan) could be persuaded to host the ceremonies in persona as DEATH. (HH1/2K)

#436 ::: ebear ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 09:27 PM:

I'm looking forward to the 2015 Retro Hugos in a year or two. They could then hold the record for the shortest lapse between the publication year and the Retro Award.

#437 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 09:29 PM:

Lee @ 435... Saruman is one of us f/sf fans?

#438 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 09:30 PM:

Ebear @ 436... (rimshot)

#439 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 09:31 PM:

DanAudy @201, those reminder posts aren’t actually all that longstanding. It’s in the past few years that this kind of thing has become acceptable; before that, it was looked down upon as “campaigning.” More recently it’s been derided as “award-pimping”. It’s a controversial practice, and the Sad Puppies slate is part of the controversy.

Remembering what came out that year is part of the process. You’re supposed to be picking the best novel of the year — how good could it have been if you can’t even remember it?

That blog post I linked to, by Abigail Nussbaum, also points out that if an author just has a bibliography page on their website, and keeps it up to date, that allows any interested reader to easily look up what that author has had published in the past year, and (since it’s a standard professional practice) avoid any accusation of “award-pimping.”

#440 ::: Kevin Standlee ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 09:37 PM:

Serge @414:

A good question. It has been almost forty years since No Award won. I don't know what happens to trophies earmarked for categories where there is no winner. I'd speculate that the Worldcon might donate the unused rockets to a future Worldcon, saving them on how many they need to purchase.

Aaron @417:

There have indeed been cases of finalists withdrawing after the final ballot has been announced. To my recollection, however, the ballot has not then been back-filled with the next-highest-placing nominee.

Alex R @428:

It's not Loncon's logo. It's the World Science Fiction Society's logo, a registered service mark of WSFS and the property of not just one Worldcon, but all Worldcons. As Chairman of the WSFS Mark Protection Committee, I'm troubled by this usage. WSFS spent a lot of effort and money getting the logo registered and established, and this sort of mangling actually can damage its status.

Damaging Worldcon is one of the things that at least some of the Puppies want to do. Let us not help them along by damaging Worldcon's intellectual property.

#441 ::: PresN ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 09:38 PM:

Kevin Standlee @ 409 - Thanks! Was trying to update the Hugo Award Wikipedia article, and figured Sasquan must have decided not to do them but couldn't find an announcement to that effect.

#442 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 09:41 PM:

Kevin, I doubt very much that the Hugo Mark Protection Committee, which I esteem, wants to go down the road of harrassing parodies. Please reconsider your statement about this in a big hurry.

Corporate logos are parodied in political cartoons all the time. That's what this is.

#443 ::: Michael Johnston ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 09:45 PM:

JJ @371: What strikes me is that neither Torgersen nor Burnside seem to get that we are not, in fact, unable to find these comments they leave in other places, comments which again and again make it clear that the SP slate isn't about bringing more people to the table, but about drowning out the voices of those they do not approve of.

Ken Burnside can argue otherwise all he wants, but his use of the phrase "tone poems of existential angst" to describe the SF he does not approve of, and which I have now seen in at least two different conversations elseweb, shows his true feelings quite clearly.

#444 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 09:46 PM:

Noah Ward, Noah Ward
Better that than being bored
And my ballot is going to look sparse.

Nominations they closed
The results are that we're hosed
So my ballot is going to look sparse.

And it's ick barf yuck
For the ballot's full of muck
Stuff I can't even read if free,
And I'm going to vote
'Gainst the tide of shit afloat
With that long list of crap nominees!

#445 ::: Kevin Standlee ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 09:48 PM:

Interesting. Mike Resnick has posted that he was not asked to be on the puppy slate and considers "Vox Day one step, either direction, from certifiable."

#446 ::: Joyce Reynolds-Ward ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 09:50 PM:

Lori Coulson @#412---happy to see another former denizen of the Wreck here! Myself, I'm somewhat thinking the entire lot of them could stand with a little round pen work.

(Rec.equestrian on Usenet was...somewhat notorious in its day. The current Facebook version is much tamer, but has links to other groups which maintain a similar spirit. Like farriers. In its prime, the Wreck successfully managed to humble quite a few trollish sorts. One such dubbed the place "Wreck.Eq" and we've proudly borne the title ever since. The Wreck's favorite means of dealing with under the bridge types was to engage in a monster virtual party otherwise called the Bogbash whilst mocking the troll. Hmm.)

#447 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 09:51 PM:

I'm another who just bought a supporting membership in Sasquan. I've been a SFF reader for close to 50 years and have never previously voted in the Hugos. I used to not know how they were voted on. Then, once I knew, I always figured I wasn't well-read enough to vote on them or especially to nominate. But I always found not just the winners but the nomination lists some handy suggestions for worthy reading, and I hate having that trashed.

It occurs to me that the SP may be increasing fan participation in voting in ways that were not quite their purported goal. But it is not at all a good way of achieving this.

The Goblin Emperor spoiler rot13'd
Vg erzvaqf zr bs gur sryybj jubfr anzr V sbetrg, jub jnf erfcbafvoyr sbe gur fnobgntr bs gur Jvfqbz, jub gbyq Znvn gung ur qvqa'g erterg vg orpnhfr ur unq jnagrq punatr naq Znvn jnf nyernql punatvat guvatf (zber bcraarff, zber flzcngul sbe gur aba-abovyvgl). Naq Znvn ernyvmrf jvgu ubeebe gung vg'f gehr, ohg qbrfa'g oryvrir vg jnf jbegu vg.

#448 ::: Kevin Standlee ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 09:53 PM:

Patrick @442:

It's not the existence of the artwork, which is clearly parody, that is worrisome from a mark-protection standpoint. It's the suggestion that it should be being merchandised and monetized in some way. These are different things IMO.

#449 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 09:57 PM:

Kevin, #448: That's a little more reasonable, but it wasn't remotely clear from your initial remarks.

It does seem pretty clear that the guy is simply trying to disclaim any exclusive claim on his parodic image, and that it would behoove the Mark Protection Committee to handle the matter in a more low-key manner if they're really all that concerned.

#450 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 09:57 PM:

Avram @439: Remembering what came out that year is part of the process. You’re supposed to be picking the best novel of the year — how good could it have been if you can’t even remember it?

Based on past evidence, pretty damn good, my memory's just that lousy, and as a reader I don't care about publication dates except once a year when nominating for the Hugos. A year is a long damn time. Asimov's and Analog publish their yearly index of stories in December, as I recall, which has the same effect, and perhaps F&SF does as well. It's just good practice.

As a sometimes Hugo-nominating fan, I really appreciate those posts. I also appreciate our esteemed hosts posting the lists of what books they've edited, because that's even harder for me to figure out, and I wish more editors would do that. People who don't like those posts... don't have to make them or read them, but should stop crapping on those of us who need and use them. Publishing one was never a guarantee you would make it on the ballot, although some people seem to think it was (selection bias, a fine vintage).

When I see people complain about the behavior and its effects, it's mostly the people now pushing the SP slate. As has been repeatedly observed, there's a qualitative difference between saying "hey, my works are eligible," and "hey Gamergate, vote for these five works in every category to stick it to the SJWs."

One of these is ethical and useful; the other isn't.

#451 ::: Kennedy Trengove ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 09:59 PM:

Charlie Stross or Teresa--

Right now this thread, and the linked article on Charlie's blog, and the Wikipedia article are the only claims I can find anywhere that Day (nee Theodore Beale) owns or founded Castalia House, the publisher that was recently heavily nominated by Sad Puppies/Rabid Puppies.

There is a relatively execrable article by Breitbart that references him as the Lead Editor. There are a few public sources that list Day as living in continental Europe - alternatively Italy or Switzerland.

Can anyone provide a link that can be used on Wikipedia that suggests ownership? The original link on Wikipedia that was used with that claim went to the Castalia House website, which turns out has no ownership information on it (and archive to archive.org, apparently never has).

#452 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 10:00 PM:

Kevin, #445: "Interesting. Mike Resnick has posted that he was not asked to be on the puppy slate and considers "Vox Day one step, either direction, from certifiable."

I read the linked comment. He's very clear that what he's disclaiming is the endorsement of Vox Day's slate, not the other one. He was in fact endorsed by both of them.

(I like Mike. I've co-edited with Mike and sold stories to him. I'm not trying to slap him around; just clarifying a point.)

#453 ::: Industrial Voodoo ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 10:01 PM:

lh SFF SJWs, t s nc gn, th ldr f GmrGt.

ntc sm f y, lk th hsky lss frm Tr, kp nsstng tht GmrGt s stffng th Hgs' bllt bx.

Hr r th RdChnt srch rslts fr ll th thrds bt th Hgs:

http://www.rddt.cm/r/Ktknctn/srch?q=hgs&srt=nw&rstrct_sr=n

Hr r th Twttr srch rslts fr ll th twts cntnng th trms "gmrgt" nd "hgs" btwn gst '13 nd Mrch '14:

https://twttr.cm/srch?f=rltm&q=hgs%20gmrgt%20snc%32014-08-01%20ntl%32015-03-31&src=typd

(Fr ths wh rn’t n th lp, GG hs thr mn hbs: RdChnt, GG Twttr, nd 8Chn.)

Y cn s th vst cnsprcy by GG t rg th Hgs.

Nw dn't gt m wrng, f y cntn t b dsngns, sntnts twts wh flsly ccs s f rggng th Hgs s y cn bttr nl yrslvs t yr crsss, w’ll b mr thn hppy t strt stffng th bx. S f y'd lk tht t hppn, by ll mns cntn. W'll vn hlp y pnd th nls.

Mch lv, GmrGt

#454 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 10:09 PM:

Pete M @374:

Thought: I suspect that some of the Sad Puppy ringleaders may now believe they've succeeded too much. By taking entire categories, they've reduced the legitimacy of any SP nominees that actually win. Getting two or three items on the ballot says "hey, read these overlooked stories; you might just like them." Getting five says "screw you." Their actual agenda might have been served by a smaller success.
That's been my assumption. Why else would they have suddenly been showing up all over the place, posting quantities of special pleading on behalf of the SP campaign? It's not like they felt they had to talk to us before.

My scenario is that after the Hugo Administrators had phoned them to confirm the nominations, so many of them knew they were on the ballot that by pooling their information, they could reconstruct what the final ballot looked like, and appreciate how thoroughly they'd overdone it.

I wonder if that was the point at which Larry Correia declined his nomination?

Second thought: I realize that passions are running high right now. ... The Puppies would insist that there were prior whisper campaigns, secret slates, and general cliquish behavior; I don't have knowledge enough to comment intelligently on those claims.
I've been wondering whether they're letting themselves be trolled. John Ringo certainly got trolled a while back when he blew up at John Scalzi.

As John Ringo told the story, he got into a conversation with a SMOF he met at Lunacon, hanging around in the consuite. Right there you've got grounds for alarm. Late-period Lunacons were practically SMOF-free zones, and if any SMOFs had been attending, they wouldn't be retailing sensitive private information to someone they'd just met in the consuite,

This person, whoever they were, spun John Ringo a wild story about how the people counting the Hugo nominations had arbitrarily ruled out and discarded enough votes to keep Ringo off the final ballot. The story was impossible about four different ways, but Ringo swallowed it whole, and bore a grudge against everyone he imagined had been involved.

I like to think that if Correia & Co. really were up against prior whisper campaigns, secret slates, and general cliquish behavior, I'd have heard something about them by now. I haven't heard a peep. I don't think they exist.

#455 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 10:14 PM:

Of course, nobody has accused GG of a "vast conspiracy to rig the Hugos"; that's a crude attempt at misdirection.

Some people do think that people in Correia's and Day's crowd have played happy footsie with GG, and that this reflects poorly on them and their campaigns. This is a long way from thinking that GG is itself capable of executing any vast conspiracies. My general sense is that although GG is good at frightening people, and they may well get someone killed sooner rather than later with stunts like SWATting, they aren't actually capable of "rigging" a lemonade stand.

#456 ::: UrsulaV ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 10:19 PM:

@453 Yawn. Why not just jump to "it was a false flag from Ghazi!" and get it over with?

#457 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 10:19 PM:

Let us not help them along by damaging Worldcon's intellectual property.

Hi Kevin. Please note that I have great respect for the Hugos. The cartoon I created is an attempt to mock the Sad Puppies. I realize that my creation may in some respects be juvenile, and it is certainly irreverent, but it is not aimed at you or yours, and this should absolutely be obvious from the context.

I believe that satire and mockery is a very powerful weapon against the kind of bullying being engaged in by the Sad Puppies, and I will make whatever contributions I can towards their shunning and shaming. In my view the very worst thing we can do is take the Sad Puppies seriously. If a Worldcon trademark can relax and go along with whatever jokes get told on the weeping whelps, that trademark's value will be enhanced, not damaged.

#458 ::: Cat ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 10:21 PM:

A couple of books that are naturals for the Sad Puppies came out in 2014, as people have mentioned before me. One of them was Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue With His Century which was a natural for Best Related Work, and the other was The Three Body Problem which was a natural for best novel.

I saw Larry Correia admit, in a comment at his blog, that the Heinlein bio would have been included in Sad Puppies if he had known about it in time.

I saw Vox Day admit, in a comment at File 770, that The Three Body Problem would have been included in Rabid Puppies if *he* had known about it in time.

Instead the Puppies slates locked up three out of five of the Best Novel positions and locked up Best Related Works entirely--and in the process locked these two books out of the Hugos.*

Because a slate doesn't just harm works by those poopyheads on "the other side." A slate harms every single non-slate work. Emphatically including works the slate makers would have been glad to vote for, if they had just let other nominators put them on the ballot. Slates prevent other people from suggesting nominees you would love but have overlooked for you.

This is why slates are too toxic for me to tolerate.

-------------------------------
*When the post-Hugo nomination stats come out, as I mentally remove the Sad Puppy candidates from the list, I will remember that, based on my look at suggestion distribution when Brad asked for Sad Puppy candidates, the two books would probably have received about 10% of the Sad Puppy vote in the absence of the slate. So I'll add that to their totals and look where they fall. I bet they'll at least get *close* to the fifth position.

#459 ::: Aaron ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 10:23 PM:

Interesting. Mike Resnick has posted that he was not asked to be on the puppy slate and considers "Vox Day one step, either direction, from certifiable."

Then the only honorable thing for him to do is withdraw his nomination.

#460 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2015, 10:24 PM:

Hello, Fluorosphere --

I'm closing down comments until tomorrow morning my time, or tomorrow morning Abi-time if she feels like reopening them.

And I bid you good night,
good night,
good night.

#461 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 06:01 AM:

Thread's reopened. I took a few vowels for a sentiment that, in my judgment, needs deprecation in this conversation.

Dutch neepery:

The word waard in Dutch means "worth" or "value", as in de moeite waard, which means "worth the trouble".

So it's not too much of a stretch to take Noa in the Māori sense and Waard in the Dutch sense, and come up with a workable Dutch woman's name that means "It's of no more than ordinary worth", or, more colloquially, "Meh."

Indeed, I think I'm going to start talking about Noa Waard as well as Noah Ward, for those very reasons.

#462 ::: Doctor Science ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 06:23 AM:

Kennedy Trengove @451:

I don't consider this proof, yet, but here's the start of a chain of evidence:

castaliahouse.com is registered to:
Registrant Name: MARKKU KOPONEN
Registrant Organization: ALPENWOLF OY
of Kouvola, Finland.

What is alpenwolf? Their website appears to be for a game system, "MAKERS OF THE 3DV DIGITAL TABLETOP".

alpenwolf.com is registered to:

Registrant Name: Theo Beale
Registrant Organization: Comtrol GmbH (comtrol.ch)
of Oxfordshire, UK.

#463 ::: Nigel Holmes ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 06:42 AM:

I may have missed it; but has anyone considered this solution for next time? As long as the only people putting up slates are the kind of people who like to pretend they're defending their culture against "social justice warriors", Hugo organisers can make the voting process more (emotionally) costly for them by donating Worldcon supporting membership fees to charities that support diversity.

#464 ::: spacefaringkitten ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 06:43 AM:

A couple of comments on technicalities and one on olive branches:

Teresa Nielsen-Hayden @134:
"Want to strike back against the Sad Puppies and everything they represent? Buy a supporting membership. Vote for the nominees you love or like or find worthy. Do it with no agenda beyond your love of SF. Next year, buy one early enough to nominate."

I think you can nominate next year if you have a supporting membership this year. You don't have to be supporting member or the 2016 Worldcon at that point, a Sasquan membership is enough. Please correct me if I'm mistaken.

Xopher Halftongue @218:
"Important: Don't rate things below No Award. Leave them unmarked instead. If No Award is eliminated, your ratings below it count as positive votes! No Award should always be the last thing rated in each category."

It is my understanding that the system does not work like this. Rating anything below no award is completely safe and it will only "count as a positive vote" for the unworthy work when it competes against unworthy works #2, #3 and #4. I will be rating all of the nominated works in the ballot, because I want to have an influence on who gets a Hugo in the unfortunate situation that it is given out in Rabid Puppy dominated categories. There are bad and worse works there, and the STV system lets us have a preference.

The important part is remembering to put No award in the ballot. It will possibly be eliminated as a candidate, but that doesn't matter because there's the no award showdown rule.

(The situation where your vote can mistakenly help a candidate you hate is when you write one or two most unworthy works below no award and leave something out completely. Then the ballot does count as a vote for the unworthy works against the items left out, but not against no award or anything above that.)

Again, please correct me if I have it wrong, but I'm fairly certain this is how it goes.

Pete M @374:
"Suggestion 2, even more radical. Extend an olive branch. Instead of heaping abuse, say 'we know you feel like you've been excluded by a clique of insiders. We don't think it's true, but we understand that you feel this way, and we even understand why.'"

I don't believe that olive branches will cut it or that one ought to compromise with Vox Day and his trolling minions. However, I think that in addition to Gamergaters and conservative trolls, there are newcomers who simply believe whatever lies Torgersen and Correia are feeding them about Secret Masters of Fandom wanting to keep everybody else out.

In case anybody can stomach it (it's a lot to ask, or course), I think it's worthwhile to take part in online conversations (especially the neutral or moderately pro-Puppy ones) and articulate why what happened was disgusting and why you're voting for no award. That can have a positive impact or no impact at all. My fear is that Puppies can successfully spin the backlash against them as unfair bias against commercial SFF/new fans/whatever and recruit even more new voters who are only marginally aware of what is happening.

I plan to try out everything on the shortlist and decide how I'm voting after that. Having done that last year, I don't have high hopes about finding anything worthwhile, though. I have absolutely no idea what sort of stuff Analog is publishing now, for example, so I'm going to educate myself where I can.

#465 ::: johnofjack ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 06:53 AM:

I am not sure it would achieve anything to offer an olive branch, as the Puppies want domination rather than negotiation or compromise. The problem with reasoning with someone who's unreasonable is that you are reasoning with someone who's unreasonable.

As people are sharing poetry:

There once was a fellow named Vox,
A vile and despicable bloke
Who sought to control
What showed in the polls
To gild all the shit that he wrote.

But folks were appalled by this pox
Who'd enlisted SWATters who doxx,
And the free-thinking horde
Checked "No Award"
Since Vox' ethics smelled worse than his socks.

#466 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 06:55 AM:

spacefaringkitten @464:

Please note that Teresa and Patrick's surname is "Nielsen Hayden", unhyphenated. (It's not an uncommon mistake to make.)

You're correct that you do not need a membership in the current year's Worldcon to nominate works; you can be a member of the previous one. So current Sasquan members can nominate for MidAmericon.

However, if you're not a Sasquan member and don't want to become one, but do intend to become a MidAmericon member, it's worth doing it early enough to nominate.

Regarding No Award, Kevin Standlee has now done the definitive post on how it works. (Thank you, Kevin!) I expect to be linking to it a lot.

Regarding reaching out to the non-dogmatic*, not-trying-to-poke-anyone-in-the-eye Puppy supporters, I think that's a great and useful idea. I, personally, have no spoons left for doing it after cleaning up the ankle-biters who have been infesting this particular conversation. But I would encourage anyone with more vril to do that, and I thank them in advance.

----
* Pun kinda sorta intended, I admit.

#467 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 07:04 AM:

On Olive Branches: In general I approve of making room for enemies to become... not-enemies. And I approve of thinking about that before lines have been drawn, swords have clashed, the blood-dimmed tide loosed etc.

But, this has to work itself out first. We have to know the answer to the question "What happens when a slate dominates the nominations of the Hugos?" And when we have that answer we can figure out our response to people who say "Well that was dumb. I regret doing that."

Although one Olive Branch I'm considering extending; next year, if a Sad Puppy is asking for recommendations, I will happily help them out with suggestions of my favourites.

#468 ::: Chris Meadows ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 07:30 AM:

I personally wonder what percentage of the Sad Puppies crowd are rabid True Believers, and what percentage are people who liked the authors' books and just went along with their suggestions partly out of fan-worship and partly out of lack of anything better to put in so they might as well nominate the slate.

Going by the arguments folks are making here, people seem to think they're mostly the former—which would mean olive branches wouldn't help. But why does that necessarily have to be the case? Seems like in most movements involving a large number of people, you only hear from the ones who are extremely politicized, while the ones who just "go along" have better things to do with their lives than take part in the discussions.

If it does happen that most of the votes come from people who don't care about the politics but are just letting themselves be herded along, treating them as The Enemy rather than simply misguided risks converting them into the enemy. "Wow, if they're really that hostile toward us, I guess Correia et al must be right."

But then, if there isn't a way to reach the apathetic go-alongs without catering to the true believers, it may well be that the distinction doesn't matter. Might be nice if there were, though.

#469 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 07:31 AM:

Abi making puns?

#470 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 07:45 AM:

Chris Meadows @468:

I think that the people we're arguing against here are mostly dyed-in-the-wool True Believers, and the griefers who have been coming over are not helping that perception. But what proportion of the total body of slate voters are what? I don't know.

Unfortunately, the True Believers are the trusted voice of a lot of the slate voters, and they've been quote-mining and spinning to keep the troops on-side. I'd be happy to see conversations with ordinary enthusiasm-driven Puppy voters; I suspect we'd have a lot more in common than not.

Or not...a lot of the messaging on the various Puppy organizing blogs has been about "making the SJW's cry" and poking people like me in the eye. If the Puppy voters have decided that I'm a legitimate target for that kind of invective, then there's very little I can do.

I don't know. I don't hate people who like different fiction than I do. But it doesn't seem to be a reciprocal thing from where I'm sitting.

#471 ::: Juli Thompson ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 07:47 AM:

Fragano @369 - I write bad poetry. I may eventually work up the gumption to share some here.

#472 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 07:56 AM:

Avram@439: A lot of people are not in a position to remember what came out during the year, because they haven't read it. Many people only read short fiction when considering it for awards, and typically read novels only when the paperback comes out, which may not be within the year of initial publication. I think the Hugo nomination system was probably devised on the assumption that people had been following the field during the year, and it works best when people do, but if we want to increase participation we have to accept that a lot of people will be running about at nomination time saying 'Oh dear, what is there?'.

Teresa@454: I've been wondering about this. We've been assuming that the actual aim of the puppy slates was to shut out everything else. But given the number of confusions about the voting system I've seen, can we be sure that that is true? Perhaps they thought that if they got a third of the votes they would get a third of the nominations.

On the question of declining nomination: I agree that anyone actually offered the chance to be on the slate should have declined. However, if they only found out about it afterwards, I still think it is reasonable to accept nomination, since declining it might enable a less acceptable candidate to win.

#473 ::: Chris Meadows ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 08:07 AM:

abi@470:

Still, I can't help wondering how many of those people want to eye-poke SJWs because of their socially-just political views, and how many of them want to eye-poke them for the heinous crime of (per Correia et al) causing works they don't like to win the Hugos year after year.

Political bias is so interesting, isn't it? To someone on the right, anything centrist to moderately-leftist looks messagey.

#474 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 08:23 AM:

I've had this thought and I can't shake it.

One common belief of the mediocre is "If they just had a chance to discover me, they would love me." Getting a nomination puts your work into the hands of thousands of people. Or to put it another way, "get my work out in front of more readers. " (Ken Burnside, post 194)

I don't think they have the subtlety to have a thought like this and not share it, but they may think they have already won and are on their way to FAME AND FORTUNE.

#475 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 08:28 AM:

Chris Meadows @468, my suspicion is that a lot of the supporters come not from fans of the SP authors' work, or from political fellow travellers, but simply from people who want to make a noise and break things. (Because they want attention, and doing something constructive is hard, it takes skill and effort, it's much easier to destroy stuff.)

It's very hard to have a constructive dialogue with out-and-out vandals of this kind... and I'm not entirely convinced that some of their groups' leadership doesn't fall into the same category.

It would not surprise me if it turned out that Vox Day, for instance, didn't actually believe a word of the political stuff he's written - that he's just stuck to that line because he knows it gets him attention and it upsets people.

There may be people in this world capable of holding a productive dialogue with guys like that... but I think their talents might be better employed in, I dunno, bringing peace to the Middle East or something. Saints are in short supply, these days.

#476 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 08:32 AM:

Sandy B., #474: That is a very astute observation.

#477 ::: Arwel Parry ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 08:34 AM:

It's been a while since I last posted on ML as, to be honest, I don't read as much SF as I used to when I was younger (or as quickly!). I was moderately aware of the SP fuss last year at Loncon but thought it had all blown over. I haven't bought supporting memberships in Worldcons I didn't intend to go to since the nineties, but one of the last things I did before I left Eastercon this morning was visit Paul Dormer and buy a Sasquan supporting membership so I can "no award" the bastards (and I certainly wasn't the only one). I became aware of the Hugos and Worldcons back around 1970 when I came across one of Asimov's anthologies, and I soon came to regard them as a useful guide to what might interest me. I'm appalled that these sods have been gaming the system, and that even the non-SP winners this year and probably next year are likely to have an asterisk next to them like East German athletics records to indicate there's something dubious about them.

I must admit that when I heard that Castalia House is a Finnish company, for a moment I did wonder if it was all a ploy to get people to vote for Helsinki 2017! :)

#478 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 08:38 AM:

Abi, #466: "[Y]ou do not need a membership in the current year's Worldcon to nominate works; you can be a member of the previous one. So current Sasquan members can nominate for MidAmericon."

Correct but not complete. In fact you can also nominate if, by January 31 of the year in question, you are a member of the following year's Worldcon. Quoting the WSFS Constitution: "Each member of the administering Worldcon, the immediately preceding Worldcon, or the immediately following Worldcon as of January 31 of the current calendar year shall be allowed to make up to five (5) equally weighted nominations in every category."

#479 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 08:49 AM:

And speaking of the rules...So far, I have been opposed to most of the Hugo procedural tweaks I've seen suggested, partly because I don't think they'd be very effective, but more importantly, because most of them can easily be framed as bureaucratic moves designed to limit democracy, and I'm in favor of democracy even when it sometimes yields results I don't like.

However, the reform proposed here by longtime British fan Mike Scott seems to me like something that would be effective and would increase the system's ability to democratically represent a wide range of views. Scott correctly points out that the biggest problem with this year's ballot isn't the inclusion of the SP stuff, it's the exclusion of all the stuff they forced off. What he proposes is a system that could accommodate the views of passionate factions while preventing those factions from driving everything else off the ballot.

I'm not convinced by Scott's argument, but I'm intrigued. I'd be interested to see it discussed here. (And now I'm regretting that conflicting claims on my time yesterday evening, here at Minicon, kept me from having the conversation Bruce Schneier wanted to have about the strengths and vulnerabilities of different voting systems.)

#480 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 09:09 AM:

Patrick @479 - I read it with interest, but I have some immediate concerns with the idea.

If implemented, it'd potentially yield a much wider range of nominees - which is overall a good thing (unless you are organizing the Hugo Losers' party). However, might that not result in the actual votes for the good stuff being hopelessly diluted?

Consider that the nominating Puppies will also vote for the slate like the good little Party apparatchiki that they are. But if the opposing vote is spread out over anything up to ten worthy candidates, is there not a danger that the slate will retain its unfair advantage?

This isn't a problem if the non-slate voters all remember to rate the slate stuff below "No Award"... but people are fallible and forgetful at times, and the process shouldn't have to rely on them remembering to do that.

#481 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 09:09 AM:

The problem is that if there are 15 great things, and 2000 nominating fans, they're going to distribute their nominations between those 15 things according to their taste, meaning each thing gets around 133 votes. And if there's a slate, and 150 people vote that slate, then those will be the five things that get on the ballot.

A counter slate strikes me as the worst possible option -- it's worse to do evil than suffer it.

#482 ::: Steve Downey ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 09:10 AM:

The SP seem to be looking back to a Golden Age that really never was. I was curious, so I checked on Google, and according to them, Brad Torgersen turned 41 today, and Larry Correia is 38. Their remembrances of the Golden Campbellean Age is roughly the same as mine, then, from when I was 13 and reading everything I could get my hands on. [I turn 50 this month.] John C. Wright is a few years older than me, at 53, but still started reading well after whatever the age was they think their giants roamed the earth.

#483 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 09:20 AM:

Steve Wright, #480: I would be more concerned about that if Hugo voting (as opposed to nominating) was first-past-the-post, plurality-wins. But it's not.

It's hard to convey in a brief paragraph how effectively the existing preferential-voting system militates against victories by small factions that don't have broad support. I think maybe you really have to have administered a preferential-ballot election to grasp this fact. Teresa and I have administered two, and have had ringside seats for several others.

Basically, the voting system we use was designed to produce wins for the candidates that are most broadly acceptable, not the candidate that can muster 300 passionate supporters out of a couple thousand.

Jo Walton, #481: I'm not sure of you're arguing with Mike Scott's idea or with something else. If you are, your argument seems to me to be conflating the way nominating currently works with the way preferential voting works. Clarify?

#484 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 09:25 AM:

Further to Jo Walton's #481: "A counter slate strikes me as the worst possible option -- it's worse to do evil than suffer it."

I completely agree with this. Just in case it isn't clear, if anyone ever tries mounting an SP-style "slate" to promote what might superficially be called "my" kind of fantasy and SF, I will both oppose it and vote No Award above any nominated person or work that didn't actively reject the "slate's" support. Even if this means voting No Award above friends of mine and works I've published. I agree -- slate-promotion breaks the Hugos, period.

#485 ::: Peace Is My Middle Name ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 09:25 AM:


Jo Walton #481

I agree, and I find the very idea of slates repugnant.

One of the repeated claims of the Sad Puppies is that the so-secret-they-have-no-online-presence members of fandom have been doing this very thing already, that Scalzi and others did it first.

While this falsehood is a transparent and obvious ploy to make the hideous and undemocratic thing they did look less bad, it is also a good point that even they consider slates unfair, given how they are arguing about them.

I have never voted straight ticket in any election, and I would never vote for a slate, even of works I adored.

#486 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 09:30 AM:

Patrick, I bow to your psephological experience. And also greatly appreciate the opportunity to use "psephological" in a sentence. (It comes so rarely....)

#487 ::: sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 09:32 AM:

Patrick @479 I seriously like the idea as a way to defang slates, but I think that keeping the number of nominees down is a good thing. Keep it to 5 - it keeps costs down for the con, and we've already had the discussion about not having enough time to read all the nominees. 15 is too many, and I read quickly.

#488 ::: crazysoph ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 09:40 AM:

Oh dear... inner whimsey has begun conspiring with my love of handcrafts and desire to try yet another medium.

And I'm thinking of trying to find slate, and begin exploring how to "translate" my calligraphy into inscribing "SP" on its surface.

Far too much effort for what is essentially a snarky gesture, and yet... like knitting socks for someone one year, who had essentially been a "sock-puppet", immensely satisfying to my inner gnome.

Crazy(never mind me...)Soph

#489 ::: UrsulaV ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 09:41 AM:

@ 474 - Have now seen this go by with three separate nominees in another venue--"but my work is good enough to deserve a Hugo, so it's okay and I feel okay about this."

And I am not good at yelling at earnest people, so all I can say is "I cannot support this process and I hope I have the chance to vote for you in the future when it isn't tainted by that."

And I want to yell "Because of this slate thing, no one will ever believe you got there on merit!" and I won't, because it's cruel, but it true, and I don't have the energy to deliver hard truths anymore.

And meanwhile, people I'd hate to be stuck in an elevator with have turned down nominations because they don't want to win that way, and people I rather like are trying desperately to justify to themselves that it's okay because no, really, they deserve the Hugo, and I just...

It's hard to watch people fail to clear an ethical hurdle. You cringe internally for them, and I'm doing too much cringing these days already. This whole thing makes me very sad for all of us.

#490 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 09:46 AM:

#482, Steve Downey: As ever, I wonder at people who use the name of John W. Campbell as a stand-in for hard-nosed rationality. (Not that I think that these people are actually all that rational, but we're talking about public affectation, not internal mental practice.) Campbell was a great editor and a huge influence on modern SF, but he was also a sucker for silly woo-woo ranging from psionics to Dianetics to perpetual-motion machines.

The best thing about the "Campbellean" approach was his exhortation to SF writers to "ask the next question." But it shouldn't be forgotten that, in the face of shiny notions that he wanted to believe in just because, he was about as tough-minded as an Ecstasy-drenched hippie at a jam band show. Then again, given the things some people believe in, maybe it's understandable that they parade their icons of John W. Campbell, Jr. like a religious procession displays its plaster saint.

#491 ::: dh ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 09:48 AM:

Patrick--

It's hard to convey in a brief paragraph how effectively the existing preferential-voting system militates against victories by small factions that don't have broad support.

This would be a good topic for a future post.

#492 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 09:51 AM:

I pointed elsewhere that the Leftie Voting Bloc that the Forlorn Puppies rebelled against is a silly notion. I mean, we're more likely to argue with each other than to walk in lockstep.

#493 ::: Buddha Buck ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 09:52 AM:

sisuile @487

Unfortunately, as I read the proposal, it does not defang the slates except by allowing more nominees on the short list. The current top 5 that would be nominated would remain nominated. So if you limited the nominees to 5, the proposal would have no effect, except perhaps in categories where there are too few nominees surviving the 5% rule.

#494 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 09:52 AM:

Steve Wright @ 486: I bow to your vocabulary! I didn't even know that "psephological" was a word!

I've been keeping quiet in this discussion for a variety of reasons, including the fact that I've always found voting for literary works very difficult (see previous thread); but one thing I've realized as I've been gritting my teeth, preparing to buy a Sasquan membership and vote on the current Hugo ballot is--God, I wish there was a write-in option. I know that that isn't a good idea for all sorts of reasons, so please don't anyone take it seriously. Just--I wish, I wish . . . I could vote for something else . . . in some categories, almost anything else. This is going to be painful.

#495 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 09:55 AM:

Serge @492:

No we're not.

(someone had to say it)

#496 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 09:56 AM:

UrsulaV @489 - I agree wholeheartedly, and am leaning more and more to a default position of "No Award above anything on a slate".

Any slate. Slate voting is anathema to the democratic process - it's reducing what should be a carefully-considered process to a mechanical box-ticking exercise. It is a self-described political elite saying to the voters, "Here you are, here's your allowed choices, don't argue with them, and above all, don't think for yourselves." It actually does not matter what the politics are, here - it's the method which is intrinsically obnoxious.

#497 ::: Peace Is My Middle Name ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 09:58 AM:

#489 UrsulaV

I feel for you. I feel for them too. It must be terrible to be in that situation.

I think an ethical withdrawal with the knowledge that very good work is likely to be legitimately recognized elsewhere is better than being known as someone who grasped at a tainted prize.

For that matter, while I might consider voting for a candidate of *genius* gotten onto a ballot through sleazy means ... maybe, I dunno ... I do not want to vote for a merely adequate or even somewhat goodish candidate gotten there through shenanigans, not for one of the top prizes in the field, and not when it was arranged by people for reasons of hatred and exclusion.

#498 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:11 AM:

abi @ 492... (someone had to say it)

Wise gal, eh?

#499 ::: Buddha Buck ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:11 AM:

Steve Downey @482:

I think I mentioned this in a previous thread, but in connection with your comment, I'm about 2 years older than Brad, and John Campbell died when I was about 2 months old.

There is no way I could have grown up reading new SF that was written/edited/curated by John Campbell, and the same goes for (almost) all of the players here (VD was alive, but 3 years old, when Campbell died, John C. Wright was 10, which is old enough). Sure, I read older stuff from the "Golden Age", but that's not the state of SF when I was growing up.

So this isn't nostalgia for their youth; this is nostalgia for before their time. They may be just as well be asking for a return to family and culture like they saw on Happy Days when they were kids.

#500 ::: Phlop ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:17 AM:

Re the Castalia House / Vox Day connection: It seems perfectly clear from his blog that he's involved in running it. See the following posts:

Announcement
FAQ

#501 ::: Robert Z ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:17 AM:

Serge Broom @492: That's the problem, innit?

I'm imagining a group of, say, fifty so-called "Leftie Voting Bloc" all trying to decide where to go for dinner together. Fifty people, a hundred opinions. No one can agree on anything, and everyone's getting hungry. Finally someone says, "Well... how about the RcstSxstHmphbcDpsht Burger Bar?" And everyone says in unison, "No way!"

The owner of the RSHD Burger Bar hears about it, and accuses everyone of walking in lockstep, of being brainwashed, and insists there must be a conspiracy against him.

#502 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:18 AM:

This'll be my first time voting for the Hugos. I'll do my best to read all the legitimate nominees and vote accordingly.

And I'll be voting for absolutely nothing that appears on any organized slate, and taking care to vote No Award after the legitimate nominees in every category.

I hate to do that. I expect there's some worthy work I'll be disregarding. But I hate it more when people violate a norm to gain advantage and imagine that they're the first sufficiently smart people when they're merely the first sufficiently shameless people. I'm pleased to do my little bit to reinforce the taboo against electioneering.

#503 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:22 AM:

Serge @492 et seq: I am reminded of Les Barker's inimitable comic poem, Jason And The Arguments.

#504 ::: Tim Bartik ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:23 AM:

@481 Jo Walton confirms -- as if any more proof was needed! -- that she has very much assimilated the best of Plato into her thinking, the Socrates from the Crito and the Gorgias. (I absolutely loved The Just City).

@479 Read the Mike Scott linked proposal. I think this is very much worth considering.

More to the point: the high road is NOT a counter-slate, as others have pointed out. The high road is opening up the Hugo slate to MORE choices, more democracy. Mike Scott's proposal seems like this might be one way to do so. Perhaps there are others as well.

#505 ::: Wendy Bradley ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:23 AM:

I agree with 'As You Know' Bob at #367: "I've relied on the Hugo lists to pay attention to the field *for* me, and to point out things that I should know about: Now that it's been gamed, this year's Hugo list is worthless to me. (Thanks, assholes!)"

However I think Colin Harris has one possible way forward at #263 - let this year and the year before's Worldcon attendees nominate, and the same three years of attendees and supporting members as now vote, perhaps?

#506 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:25 AM:

Robert Z, #501: You have a very clear and accurate insight into exactly how things work.

#507 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:31 AM:

Doctor Science@462:Pulling that thread a bit further, I see that Comtrol GMBH is the UK branch of Comtrol Corporation. Comtrol is the company founded by VD's father, Robert Beale--now in federal prison for tax evasion.
The company management is now:
Board
Rebecca Summers-Beale – Owner
Jim Murdakes
Ehssan Taghizadeh
Bradford Beale – President
Management
Rebecca Summers-Beale – Owner
Bradford Beale – President

Rebecca Summers-Beale is VD's mother and Bradford Beale is VD's brother.


#508 ::: Tim Bartik ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:33 AM:

re @490. John Campbell had many serious limitations politically, scientifically, and in many other respects. But it actually seems to me that in some of the rhetoric by the SP slate, they actually seem to be more reactionary than Campbell. They seem to almost be nostalgic somehow for pre-John Campbell SFF, that really was just space adventures. These adventures had some energy and appeal , as can be seen if you read some of the anthologies of "pre-Golden Age" SF that were put together by Asimov and Damon Knight. But Campbell was trying to evolve the SFF field beyond just space adventures. And the field has moved forward since then, as any field must. This particular variety of slate voting seems to be trying to move the field back to pre-Golden Age thinking about what SFF is.

#509 ::: Kennedy Trengove ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:37 AM:

Sorry, I didn't mean to intimate there is some doubt about his involvement in Castalia House. There isn't. Or running it, or being the force behind it.

I edited the Wikipedia to remove the unsourced claim about founding it/owning it, and sourced an article discussing him being the lead editor. Especially with BLP, the sourcing guidelines are quite strict.

Thanks for the legwork.

#510 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:37 AM:

Elliott Mason @ 503... Drat. Work's network won't let me go to the site of "Jason and the Arguments". (Cue in the Bernard Hermann score)

#511 ::: Robert Z ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:38 AM:

Thank you! And what's even more ironic is that everyone said "no way" for any number of different reasons. Even those of us who might otherwise like a good burger -- you have a problem that he's a racist; she considers him a sexist; he thinks he's just plain crazy and dangerous; I'm annoyed how his menu doesn't have any vowels.

#512 ::: Stephen Rochelle ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:38 AM:

Patrick @483; dh @491: The shorter than "write more than a brief paragraph" illustration for how preferential ballots look odd to American eyes may be to link to the Hugo voting stats from last year (PDF link).

In particular, Best Editor, Long Form (p 10) shows Toni Weisskopf garnering the most first-place ballots but winding up in 4th place as support lower on the ballot shifts more strongly to the other candidates.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form (p 8) shows "The Name of the Doctor" starting below No Award on the first place ballots but eventually crushing it when it came to a head-to-head match (albeit for 6th place) -- the small faction of people who thought nothing should win end up with far less influence than those who found "Name" a poor winner but a worthy nominee.

The same page also shows how multiple related entries don't badly fracture the vote: "The Day of the Doctor" reliably picks up the majority of other Who-related votes as the lower-place nominees are eliminated, which is how it winds up in 2nd despite trailing the Orphan Black episode through most of the tally.

Best Novelette (p3), meanwhile, illustrates a rejection of a nominee in favor of No Award.

(Hi, all. I lurk enthusiastically and appreciate poetry. My own particular talent for editing song lyrics on the fly while preserving some semblance of rhyme and meter translates poorly to text, however.)

#513 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:42 AM:

Sandy B. @474:

I've had this thought and I can't shake it.

One common belief of the mediocre is "If they just had a chance to discover me, they would love me." Getting a nomination puts your work into the hands of thousands of people. Or to put it another way, "get my work out in front of more readers. " (Ken Burnside, post 194)

I too have been hearing that message in their comments, most clearly in Ken Burnside's, but also in Torgesen & Co.'s dogged insistence that we have to read the SP nominees "and judge them on their own merits."

"Writers thinking about being writers" is an idiosyncratic flowchart. It has two big end states (I sometimes think of them as sump ponds) labeled THEN EVERYONE WILL READ AND LOVE MY BOOK, and THEN EVERYONE WILL REALIZE I'M A NO-TALENT FRAUD WHO CAN'T WRITE. The second of these is mostly indulged in private. The first gets more frequent public airings because it's an essential component in so many ill-advised schemes. Both have the power to block all other thought.

I have to believe this aspect of writer-mind was in play, because I can't otherwise account for the absence from their strategic plans of THEN FANDOM WILL BE ANGRY AND DISGUSTED, AND WILL VOTE IN RECORD NUMBERS FOR "NO AWARD".

Just for the record, I'll repeat my objections to Torgersen & Co.'s insistence that we read their work:

1. We are entitled, if we wish, to decide that the Sad Puppy nominees merit a "No Award" for the way they got on the ballot. We're not obliged to consider their other characteristics.

2. The works the Sad Puppies jammed into the ballot have had the same chance to delight their readers, pick up a word-of-mouth buzz, and catch the attention of the SF world, as every other work published in 2014.

Insisting that we have to read them amounts to a demand for a second chance that other works aren't going to get. At bottom, it's also a forlorn assertion that this time, the results will be different.

#514 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:42 AM:

@pnh The best thing about the "Campbellean" approach was his exhortation to SF writers to "ask the next question."

Isn't that Ted Sturgeon's line? Did he get it from Campbell?

#515 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:51 AM:

Serge Broom @510: That was the best option for a recording of a performance I could find. Mr. Barker's own site has what albums of his it's on (and there's a punk rock cover band who've adopted it as their band name, perhaps inevitably). I particularly think "An Infinite Number of Occasional Tables" would be appreciated by most Fluorospherians, if you can find a copy.

It is also available in two of Mr. Barker's chapterbooks of amazing comic poetry, which I greatly recommend, but it's hard to figure out WHICH ones, because of his site design. I got into his stuff because a west-coast filk convention imported him. I heard his concert and LMFAO, as the kids are saying these days, then picked up one copy of everything on his table (ahh, my halcyon days of full employment and disposable income!!), an action I have never regretted.

He was shocked at the number of filkers who did likewise, necessitating an emergency re-shipment of more stock from England before his next tour venue.

#516 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:52 AM:

Teresa Nielsen Hayden @ 513... THEN EVERYONE WILL READ AND LOVE MY BOOK, and THEN EVERYONE WILL REALIZE I'M A NO-TALENT FRAUD WHO CAN'T WRITE

Third end-state is "All will love me and despair" if Galadriel decides to become a writer.

#517 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:55 AM:

Steve Wright @475, Chris Meadows @468: I think the population of the Puppy Nexus contains fans of the authors' work, and political fellow travellers, and friends of theirs for whom that friendship was the social vector through which they found fandom, and vandals who just want to make noise and smash things.

There's nothing you can say that's appropriate for all of them.

#518 ::: nathanbp ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:58 AM:

Patrick #479: That system might help, but 10% as the cutoff may be too high. Looking at last years nomination numbers from http://www.thehugoawards.org/content/pdf/2014HugoStatistics.pdf, I draw the following conclusions:

1) For best novel, novella, novelette it would not have brought in any additional nominations. For Short Story it would bring in one additional by eliminating the 5% rule.

2) Depending on how many Puppies you think there were last year (their slate got between 69 (VD's Novelette) and 184 (Warbound) nominations), they would have gotten additional nominees in Novella, Novelette, and Short Story under that new system if they had a fully filled out voting slate (and knocked out nominees from Short Story).

3) To simulate this year's voting, let's take last year's and make the Puppy total 200 and assume they filled every category on their nomination ballots. Under the current rules, that would have left the Best Novel nominees as Ancillary Justice and The Ocean at the End of the Lane, with the Puppies sweeping the rest of the Novel category, and all of the Novella, Novelette, and Short Story categories. So, a good simulation of this year.

Under the proposed rules change, the following would still have been nominated in that case:
Best Novel (assumed additional ballot count 16) - The Wheel of Time (Neptune's Brood and Parasite would have been below the 10% threshold)
Best Novella (assumed additional ballot count 89) - Six-Gun Snow White, Equoid, and Wakulla Springs (ignoring the 2 on the SP slate)
Best Novelette (assumed additional ballot count 108) - Lady Astronaut of Mars, The Waiting Stars, The Truth of Fact, The Truth of Feeling (ignoring hte 2 on the SP slate)
Best Short Story (assumed additional ballot count 200) - None (all nominees were below 10%)

So it would help some, and more than 4/6, but in widely spread out categories like Short Story, I don't think it would do enough. And 10% may still be too high in some cases. Although I'm not sure any of the proposed changes could prevent the short story category from being overrun. Maybe specially extending it to twice the number of nominees as the other categories?

It's harder to model the effects of using STV since there's no data on how many ballots had more than one of the nominees on it.

#519 ::: ebear ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 11:05 AM:

UrsulaV @489

I have been having exactly the reaction you describe, complete with sorrow and worry for a few very promising careers. We're seeing first-hand how pro ball players get into steroids.

beth meacham @514

I wondered that, too.

***

I've written a bit about fandom as a functional anarchy here.

As a tabletop gamer of 32 years' experience (how the hell did THAT happen?) I'm about to write a post about how to deal with min-maxxers and munchkins via community standards.

#520 ::: Michael Eochaidh ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 11:07 AM:

Doesn't this whole thing remind anyone else of a comic book super villain's origin story? The disgraced scientist plots his insidious revenge against society and his former colleagues and cackles menacingly as his plans come to fruition. Just substitute "writer" for "scientist."

In this analogy, some or most of the authors on the slate are minions. My apologies to Ken Burnside, but I do think he and many of his colleagues have been used.

Just to be clear, though, Brad Torgersen is not the writer I would cast in the disgraced scientist becomes super villain role.

#521 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 11:07 AM:

Chris #473:

The reverse also works--something you might read as a story with little ideology or political content will be read by someone else as unpleasantly ideological. Ideology is what other people have; I and my allies simply have good sense and an understanding of how the world works.

#522 ::: Nicklas ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 11:15 AM:

Robert Z @501: The best and easily understandable explanation of the left I've read.

Steve Halter @507: Control? Oh, I hope they uses cones of silence in the board room.

#523 ::: ed g. ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 11:17 AM:

Patrick @479 - That's an interesting proposal, but I wonder if something simpler might be better.

What would happen if we eliminated the nominating phase? Instead, we go directly to the preferential ballot: all members rank up to five works in each category. Since the vote tallying is done in software (um, I assume?) the very large number of voting rounds should not require a huge additional effort from the administrators.

The strengths of the preferential-voting system should eliminating ballot-stuffing. Since all eligible work would be on the ballot, nobody could feel that "their kind" of SF was excluded from consideration and No Award could be eliminated.

The disadvantage is the up-front work needed to adapt the voting software and databases.* Also the complete voting breakdown would only be available online--too long to publish in the con bulletin, and tedious to read in any case.

*If nobody better volunteers, at least some of the work is within my competence.

#524 ::: Kennedy Trengove ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 11:18 AM:

Teresa--

I have to believe this aspect of writer-mind was in play, because I can't otherwise account for the absence from their strategic plans of THEN FANDOM WILL BE ANGRY AND DISGUSTED, AND WILL VOTE IN RECORD NUMBERS FOR "NO AWARD".

It would be discreditable to the Hugo's if there is only 1 or 2 awards given this year (to say Novel and something else that was not dominated by the slate). Can't that be enough motivation?

Sad Puppies 4 is already underway. No rule change can change the process until earliest 2017.

After two years of basically no awards being given how much damage will have been done to Hugo's as an award?

#525 ::: Industrial Voodoo ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 11:20 AM:

Patrick Nielsen Hayden wrote: "My general sense is that although GG is good at frightening people, and they may well get someone killed sooner rather than later with stunts like SWATting, they aren't actually capable of 'rigging' a lemonade stand."

Pt, snc GmrGt s s ncmptnt tht ts mmbrs cn't vn fgr t hw t rg rnky-dnk py-t-ply wrds rckt, ds tht mk Trs n dt fr thnkng t hs? r jst ncmptntly dsngns fr clmng t hs? Cm n, Pt, y’v lrdy cncdd GG sn’t mnngflly nvlvd n SP, nd y’v thrwn pr Trs ndr th bs n n clmsy ttmpt t sv fc whl mkng th cncssn. t ths pnt y my s wll bck th bs vr hr t. Vrm-vrm.

nd th vdnc strngly pnts t Bphmt bng rspnsbl fr th swttng, nt GmrGt. f w wr gng t d GG vs SJW dd pl, thnk mst ppl wld b bttng tht th nxt bdy wll trn p n th chrrd rmns f pzzr.

#526 ::: Robert West ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 11:25 AM:

Patrick, at 483: I've seen some talk on SP-related sites of trying to get around the IRV ballot by caucusing seperately, with the idea being that everyone who caucuses will then agree to support the caucus' selection as their top ballot choice.

*That* proposal would break the hugos even worse than slate voting does.

#527 ::: Guess ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 11:26 AM:

Annie Beil posted on her blog that she is a socialist. Yet another non right winger supported by SP. They just liked her story...

#528 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 11:27 AM:

Beth, Bear -- I always heard "ask the next question" quoted as Campbell, but maybe you're right.

#529 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 11:32 AM:

Regarding "read the work and judge it on its merits":

You don't need to finish the glass to know the milk has gone sour. Sometimes, just sniffing it is enough.

#530 ::: UrsulaV ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 11:33 AM:

@ 519 Oh god, Bear, you don't know how much of a relief it is to hear someone else say it. The worst casualty of this isn't people bumped off the slate, it's the rest of us watching good people discover their feet of clay.

And fandom's memory is so damn long, and it's going to hurt them for so long, and when people are yelling at them, they're going to go for comfort to the people telling them they're justified because nobody likes to have someone say "You are committing a small banal evil" and...

*headdesk* I'm so tired.

#531 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 11:35 AM:

Okay, hear me out. We all can agree that slates are bad, mkay? And stacking the vote is right out, mmkay?

That's why MY brilliant plan calls for a superficially slatish-looking object called a "smeerp." By using this "smeerp," we can "beautify" the votes (not Stack!), and…

Wait! I'm not done! You haven't heard my new words for "becoming what we condemn" and "destroying the village in order to save it" yet!

[/]

#532 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 11:36 AM:

Ted Sturgeon re: "ask the next question". He made a logo of a Q with an arrow coming out of its tail.

I remember a medallion-type necklace, and believe he also had a rubber stamp of it.

He used it on his stationery -

#533 ::: Idumea Arbacoochee, Whose Voodoo is All Handmade ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 11:38 AM:

Industrial Voodoo:

A few points, none of which you can answer, because I'm going to ban your disingenuous ass:

Neither Teresa nor Patrick has said that GG organized anything. That's not the problem with their presence in this conversation, as anyone with the ability and desire to acquire information by reading the original text could determine with minimal effort. Since you're clearly lacking one or both of these, allow me to restate: Bringing GG in is a problem because they're menacing thugs.

Of course, you can say it's Baphomet, or the Hurdy-Gurdy Brotherhood of Fez-Wearing Zoroastrians, or whatever you like. As you know, Vood, chans and hashtags are intended to be amorphous and deniable. Saying it's not GamerGate is so deeply expected behavior that it's boring. But that tenuous deniability doesn't change the fact that where GamerGate goes, abuse, threats, and assholes follow.

Now, since you've had three chances to contribute anything of even the remotest value to this conversation, and you've been a miserable and pathetic failure three times, why don't you go play somewhere else?

(And I reiterate what I said earlier to another failure at commenting: is this really the best and most admirable thing you can do with all of the resources at your disposal? That glorious internet of fascinating information, that depth and breadth of human culture, that infinitely flexible and creative human mind, and this is how you hope to make your mark on the world? I am disappoint.)

#534 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 11:46 AM:

Michael Eochaidh @520:

Doesn't this whole thing remind anyone else of a comic book super villain's origin story? The disgraced scientist plots his insidious revenge against society and his former colleagues and cackles menacingly as his plans come to fruition. Just substitute "writer" for "scientist."
Yes, it does. Maybe the writers knew someone like Vox Day?
In this analogy, some or most of the authors on the slate are minions. My apologies to Ken Burnside, but I do think he and many of his colleagues have been used.

Just to be clear, though, Brad Torgersen is not the writer I would cast in the disgraced scientist becomes super villain role.

The role Torgersen is auditioning for is J. Jonah Jameson.

#535 ::: Stephen Rochelle ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 11:46 AM:

ed g.@ 523: "What would happen if we eliminated the nominating phase? Instead, we go directly to the preferential ballot: all members rank up to five works in each category."

That's so close to the current nomination procedure that I don't see how IRV retains much distinctive character; rather, it looks to so dilute IRV (because the size of the ballot no longer matches the size of the nomination list, and so far more votes shift to "no preference" whether you like it or not) that it instead effectively becomes FPTP, and we know that slate voting can have outsized influence there.

#536 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 11:48 AM:

I'm convinced by the arguments that continuing to rate below NA is worthwhile. I don't care which pieces of John C. Wright's excrement win, so I won't rate them against each other, but I will rate Jim Butcher above the other SPs.

Everyone will please now stop telling me I'm wrong to have said otherwise. I was; I no longer am.

And wow, I got in at just in time to see an Industrial Voodoo comment with its vowels. Not a pleasant experience, but a rare one, I hope. BTW, Dust, shortening the names of people well known to go by their full names isn't a way to get anyone to listen to you.

Robert Z., fine work! Right wingers can never understand that we fall in love (or hate), because all they do is fall in line.

Guess, don't care. On the slate, below NA. And I'm sure there's screaming behind the scenes, as they realize they've nominated a leftie GURRRL. Unless she's a deliberate token.

#537 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 11:50 AM:

482
They're definitely looking backward, then. I've been reading SF (and Astounding/Analog) longer than any one of them has been alive. i also know I'm not the only one here who can remember when John God was editor.

#538 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 11:51 AM:

pnh, bear: I was once privileged to hear Sturgeon give a talk about Asking the Next Question, and how he applied it to his work and life. He habitually wore a medallion that was a Q with an arrow through it, meaning "ask the next question". I don't say that he might not have gotten the phrase from Campbell, but he certainly made it his own.

#539 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 11:53 AM:

If anything, a year (or two) of mainly No Award votes could be seen as the best way to preserve the Hugo Awards rather than a damaging blow, if the alternative is to allow, for the indefinite future, a culture of voting by competing slates develop.

No "fix" will completely block the effect of voting by slate; it will only dilute it. Consistently sending a message that slate voting is utterly unacceptable in the community which gives out the awards is the only way of preventing a general, defensive, embrace of slates by all sides. Voting No Award is one effective way of doing that.

Consider, as a simple example, this year's Best Dramatic Production -- Long Form nominees. If people make an exception for Guardians of the Galaxy because it was considered good by a lot of people other than the Puppies slates, that will send a signal that there is no downside of being on a slate if you have a good enough work anyway -- which in turn means that from a strategic perspective if you have a work you think could win there is no incentive to avoid slate voting and some incentive to push it as a part of a slate (because its likelihood of being present on the nominations list is increased). If it loses to No Award it means that being on a slate always has immediate negative consequences.

#540 ::: jnfr ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 11:57 AM:

I have definitely been scratching my head over Annie Bellet's inclusion on the list. I've watched her self-pubbed books rising on the fantasy lists with some delight, because I love seeing writers succeed on their own terms. I have no idea how she got hooked into this slate, but she seems to accept it just fine.

#541 ::: kcr ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 12:03 PM:

I've been thinking about this for three threads now. A summation of the problem (that I see) is that there is a system that has worked, for long enough to be traditional, in a way that requires a sort of gentlebeing's agreement above and beyond the actual rules, and at best we're dealing with people who think they're party to a different agreement (and seemingly don't care while claiming the agreement has already been broken). The system has only rudimentary protections against people trying to game it, because they've never been seriously needed, and certainly wasn't designed with gaming in mind.

The system I'm referring to is fandom itself, not specifically the Hugo awards (and I am worried that this is not the only group that has been inspiring people to purchase a supporting memberships, but that's not the point of this and other people have alluded to it). I think nearly all of your mechanisms are vulnerable to an influx of a large enough group of sufficiently organized people and that such a group is inevitable given the internet, and I think experience has shown that once the griefers show up to a sufficiently large party, it's really hard to make them go away, because it's nearly impossible to protect your institutions from people who want to set them on fire unless they had a designed in fire suppression system.

#542 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 12:03 PM:

crazysoph @488:

AUGH -- I have been REALLY out of it this weekend. This realization JUST dawned:

Sad Puppy = Sock Puppet

I think I need another cup of coffee...

#543 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 12:07 PM:

So far, what I'm seeing from the juvenile canines is lying, cheating, and stealing. They're certainly ethically challenged, since they seem to think that anything is fair in order to reach a goal, and I'm wondering if they're also morally challenged.

I'm certainly sorry for the works that would have been on the ballot without the interference. (LA Public library: all the dead-tree copies of TBP are checked out, on hold, or in transit.)

#544 ::: Michael Eochaidh ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 12:10 PM:

Teresa @534: Oh, that's a great analogy.

And it's entirely coincidental that the esteemed Mr. Day is a disgraced writer. Just as it's entirely coincidental that Baphomet always seems to be doxxing or swatting GamerGate's enemies.

#545 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 12:14 PM:

Elliott Mason @305 et seq:

In regards to fandom and going to dinner, I submit for your amusement:

Dinner Party

#546 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 12:14 PM:

The current situation, especially with the possibility of SP4, is beginning to remind me of 1998's British miniseries "Invasion Earth", in which alien wasps open a gate into our reality for nefarious purposes. In the end the solution is to nuke the gate's site, making it unliveable, but with the expectation that the wasps will try again and again elsewhere on Earth, and with the understanding that we'll nuke each site until the aliens give up. We may have to use the Nuke Award until the Puppies's supporters realize what their leaders are up to, and if they don't, well, it's goodbye to the Hugo.

#547 ::: kcr ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 12:18 PM:

Serge Broom @546

The problem is that killing the Hugo seems to be the followers' objective.

#548 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 12:18 PM:

Lori Coulson @545: Have you heard Gary Ehrlich's words to that tune? Milesverse. About the dinner in A Civil Campaign. :-> Google is failing me in terms of finding an online lyricset.

#549 ::: nathanbp ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 12:18 PM:

Robert West, #526: I'm not sure what the point of caucusing before the IRV would be. It doesn't seem to me like that would cause much difference in the final outcome (since IRV is basically the same as running the caucus).

#550 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 12:26 PM:

nathanbp, this is one of those "don't give them ideas" things.

#551 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 12:26 PM:

kcr @ 546... I know, but if we let them dictate what the Hugo should be, we've lost too. At least, this way, there's a chance that people on the other side will eventually break rank with the jerks and sanity will prevail. If it doesn't, then what is the Hugo worth?

#552 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 12:28 PM:

I have never understood the impulse to drag the world, kicking and screaming, back to an earlier time. Especially to a time you, yourself, did not experience. It seems to me to be one of many forms of insanity.

I can understand nostalgia for childhood. You had no responsibilities, were provided for, cared for, loved. It was all good. But nostalgia for a 'golden age' before your own lifetime, which is what this is, is just plain nuts.

There are reasons why some writers whose work I like a great deal do not win awards, and it isn't because there's a conspiracy against them. Nor because they're too 'literary', or not 'literary' enough. Or too 'masculine' or too 'femininine' or too this, that, or the other. It's because they don't grab enough readers by the metaphorical short and curlies and lack some other quality that appeals to a broad audience. I don't see it as a big deal. I know what I like and what scratches what mental itch. I'd thought this would be obvious to anyone with half a brain. Apparently, it is not.

#553 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 12:28 PM:

I have never understood the impulse to drag the world, kicking and screaming, back to an earlier time. Especially to a time you, yourself, did not experience. It seems to me to be one of many forms of insanity.

I can understand nostalgia for childhood. You had no responsibilities, were provided for, cared for, loved. It was all good. But nostalgia for a 'golden age' before your own lifetime, which is what this is, is just plain nuts.

There are reasons why some writers whose work I like a great deal do not win awards, and it isn't because there's a conspiracy against them. Nor because they're too 'literary', or not 'literary' enough. Or too 'masculine' or too 'femininine' or too this, that, or the other. It's because they don't grab enough readers by the metaphorical short and curlies and lack some other quality that appeals to a broad audience. I don't see it as a big deal. I know what I like and what scratches what mental itch. I'd thought this would be obvious to anyone with half a brain. Apparently, it is not.

#554 ::: Chris Gerrib ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 12:34 PM:

I've been repeatedly told by commentors on Torgersen's site that voting No Award is "victory" because it proves we're all SJWs and blocking their glorious stuff out of SJW-ishness (or whatever).

The goal is not to win in terms the Sad Puppies accept, because short of literal death they won't accept defeat. The goal is to win in terms of everybody who's not a died-in-the-wool partisan.

#555 ::: Robert West ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 12:36 PM:

Nathan - imagine you have 500 people voting.
Also Imagine that there's a subblock of 200 people all of whom really like three of the books but who don't agree on how to order them. They might ordinarily show up on voting day and split their first place votes 67/67/66, but instead they show up on voting day and split their first place votes 200/0/0 based on who they agreed on in their individual caucus.

Now imagine the other 300 have split their votes 60-60-60-60-60.

Without the caucus, you have an opening split of 127-127-126-60-60-60, which gets resolved via IRV.

With the caucus, you have an opening split of 260-60-60-60-60 ... and the person who got 260 opening votes simply wins outright without an operation of IRV.

#556 ::: kcr ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 12:38 PM:

Serge Broom @546

Absent a hard-and-fast them detector, I don't think you can keep them from devaluing it.

(Sorry, kind of a pessimist.)

#557 ::: Robert West ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 12:39 PM:

Xopher - oh, sure, and I'd be perfectly happy for a moderator to delete the entire subthread about this if they were worried that this might be giving SP ideas.

That said, it's an idea I've *already seen* floated, and on the chance that other people (a) might not have seen it and (b) might have an idea how to successfully combat it, I wanted to make sure that people were aware the idea is floating around already.

#558 ::: jcr ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 12:39 PM:

Theresa @513,

Thank you for noting the fundamental hypocrisy of the trying-to-be-legitimate non-rabid SPs.

There is the spirit of the award and there are the rules. The spirit of the award is that you nominate works you read that you think are worthy and you read all the nominees with an open mind and choose the most worth one. The rules allow you to nominate and vote based on whatever criteria you choose.

The SP slate was antithetical to the spirit of the nominating process. Why should I feel obligated to now honor the spirit of the award in voting?

I thought that last year it was at least arguable that every nominee was chosen in good faith and I read at least part of each one. It was a complete waste of time. Some people may adore Theodore Beale's politics, but his fictional offering was nearly subliterate--the nomination was an insult to any honest Hugo voter.

So I have been insulted, my time wasted, and the nominations gamed in a manner against the spirit of the Hugos (but not the rules). And *now* I am supposed to honor the spirit of the award and treat these nominations like any other?

#559 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 12:46 PM:

kcr @ 556... Same here.

#560 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 12:47 PM:

453: "Quit your whining or we'll really give you something to cry about."?

Hmmm, yeah.

#561 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 12:51 PM:

It was clear at the outset that whatever happened would be victory for the Sock Puppies.

They win Hugos. "VICTORY! We're the best!"

They are shut out by creative application of the rules. "VICTORY! They had to cheat to shut us out!"

No Award sweeps the Hugos. "VICTORY! We kept some worthy people from winning!"

We pay them no attention whatever. "VICTORY! Just because!"

I'm sure you can think of others. So trying to find something they won't declare victory over is futile. Best thing, then, is to keep the awards as honest and viable as possible. victory.

#562 ::: giltay ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 12:54 PM:

ebear @ 519: Munchkins! Yes! The sort of people when, confronted with a system designed to create good stories, take it upon themselves to *win*. And will whine and moan to the GM that they're just following the rules and you should totally accept their super-strong super-tough super-awesome out-of-place character in your story because the rules say you have to.

#563 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 01:02 PM:

Patrick, #483: Would it make sense, then, to institute preferential ranking for the nominees, and select them by the same IRV process used in the voting? Or does that break down when you don't have a defined set of options? Or is there something else that I'm missing?

Mostly I'm thinking that if the FPTP nature of the nominations are what makes them so easy to game, then changing that process to something we already know is much harder to game is probably a better option than any other kind of change. But I can see where that might have a failure mode of "too many things nominated".

Teresa, #513: WRT the "you HAVE TO read these books and judge them on their own merits!" thing (sometimes with the stated or implied addendum of "it's your Fannish Duty!", I have several thoughts.

1) This is a version of "if you're so TOLERANT, then you have to tolerate my bigotry too!" and fails for the same reasons -- which were thoroughly discussed in (I believe) the first of these threads.

2) No, I don't. I have the right to vote a book down for any reason, from "I hate zombies and refuse to read zombie books" to "I've already seen excerpts and this is an execrably-written piece of shit" to "this author is an asshole and I wouldn't vote for anything of his even if it was the Great American Novel", and so does everyone else. You (general, not specific) do not get to tell me, or anyone else, what we have to read.

3) I have never heard this particular argument coming from anyone who I could identify as not being a white male. (Which is not the same as saying that only white males make the argument; for example, I don't know Brian @35, so I have no way of knowing whether or not he is white.) Women tend to use the descriptive formulation, e.g. "I don't feel comfortable voting without having read everything" rather than the prescriptive one.

4) I am under no moral obligation to treat a work that got onto the ballot by gaming/cheating the same way that I would treat a work that got there fairly. Which is a subclass of (2), but specific to this situation.

albatross, #521: Both of these are sub-cases of the general "fish don't see the water" class.

Lori, #545: That song just never stops being funny. This is probably because I've been at dinner parties like that.

#564 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 01:02 PM:

I'm coming to the conclusion that Brad Torgesen's putting about the story that everyone on the SP slate was informed in advance and had no problem with it was not simply an innocent oversight, but a deliberate strategy for creating FUD. One result it's bound to have is that there will be a group of writers who might not have originally sympathized with the SP aims, but who will feel that they've been treated unjustly if a sizable number of people vote for them below Noa Waard.

I guess what I'd be inclined to say to people in that position would be: if your book got on to the slate by illegitimate means, it is no more deserving.of my time, consideration, or a chance of winning than books which were pushed off the final ballot by this campaign. They can't win; you shoudn't be able to either. That's a matter which is entirely independent of your intentions, or whether I like your book, or indeed it's author.

Obviously, that's not going to convince anyone who thinks slat voting is legit; and human nature being what it is, people who had no opinion either way about slate voting, but have benefitted from it are probably more likely to give it the benefit of the doubt.

I'm inclined to think that the inclusion of people like Bellet Matthew Surridge, and Andromeda Spaceways might be an instance of the FUD strategy too. (But I'd be amused if it turned out that the SPs process was vulnerable to the same kind of exploit as the one they've been perpetrating.)

incidentally, I think I've seen some people trying to thread a needle between the SPs and the RPs. I'm going to state something which I hinted at earlier: I suspect that splitting these slates was a purely strategic decision on the part of Torgesen, Day , and Correia - roughly speaking, a way of making sure that they could count on the votes of people who were sympathetic to their overall aims, but were put off by Day's overt racism (or, who knows, his execrable Latin.)

#565 ::: ebear ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 01:22 PM:

Chris Gerrib @554

"The goal is not to win in terms the Sad Puppies accept, because short of literal death they won't accept defeat. The goal is to win in terms of everybody who's not a died-in-the-wool partisan."

This.

Hell, Theo's spent the better part of the last ten years declaring total victory with his eyebrows smoking. Why do we care more now than then what he and his pals declare to have won?

The inability to admit defeat or wrongdoing is intrinsically linked to the inability to recognize one's own mediocrity. Which is inextricably linked to the inability to improve.

#566 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 01:33 PM:

@ Guess, 527: who is Annie Beil? I made an effort to figure out who you mean by that, and the only Ann* I found is Ann Leckie, and there is no Beil. Is that who you mean?

#567 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 01:36 PM:

I am unconvinced the SPs invited the GGs.

This is a distressing situation, but I don't see an invitation to the GG people. At worst, I see someone not telling them to piss off. That's sad, and a little sorry, but not the same thing.

I might infer more, but I don't know it. I've long thought about how deniability and repudiability work in the Brave New World. This is a prime example of the unknowable*. Sometimes you have to make inferences and bet on them and see how it all shakes out, but this is not one of those times. And I think some of you are making a lot of stew from one oyster.

So that's why I'm not going for the "On a slate? No vote for you this year" option. Nothing against those who do, but speaking as someone who has pushed the rules till they bent a little in his time (and doesn't regret most of it), this falls short of Over The Line for me. I am going to take voting this year, and nominating and voting from here on out, very seriously.

So congratulations to the Sad Puppies! They certainly made me a new Hugo voter.

*I hope. If it does become knowable, it'd almost have to be through discovery. That would mean court action of some sort. And that would mean a further escalation, which I don't want to see.

#568 ::: Steven desJardins ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 01:36 PM:

Lucy, there's an "Annie Bellet" in the Short Story category.

#570 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 01:41 PM:

567
'Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, such as finding a trout in the milk.'

They're unlikely to have left any smoking guns, but there's more than enough circumstantial evidence to show that someone invited in the Gaters, who were otherwise extremely unlikely to have shown up.

#571 ::: Q. Pheevr ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 01:41 PM:

I've never voted in the Hugos. I enjoy SF, but don't generally have a thorough enough knowledge of what's been published in the current year to have confident opinions about what should win, although it does make me happy when something I know and like gets recognition there. And I can't see buying a membership and voting this year, because it would feel too much as if I were just joining for the sake of voting against the Sicced Puppies,* rather than voting for good SF. So anything I say here is nothing more than the murmuring of a sympathetic outsider; if it's not constructive, please feel free to dismiss it with or without comment.

1. I think it's an obscene travesty that Henry Kissinger has a Nobel Peace Prize, but it doesn't diminsh my admiration for what Aung San Suu Kyi or Desmond Tutu did to earn theirs. Or for what Mahatma Gandhi did without ever receiving one. This is probably a rather obvious point, but I mention it because it seems hopeful and reassuring (but emphatically not as a way of implying that people shouldn't be upset about this, or shouldn't worry about how to prevent other Kissingers from receiving Peace Prizes for bombing other Cambodias).

2. Here's a hypothetical nomination system: Every nomination must be accompanied by a one-sentence rationale. The sentences would not be evaluated for sense, or coherence, or grammaticality, or anything else but uniqueness (which could be done by computer). Each nominee gets a score equal to the number of unique sentences submitted in its favour. This is obviously a very low bar for anyone trying to muster an army of sock puppets, in this age of automated text generation, but suppose further that the sentences are made public once nominations have closed. Any nominee whose supporting sentences read like lorem ipsum, or are hopelessly generic, or primarily express a political gudge, would be revealed to voters and to the world at large as having attracted a particular kind of support. I don't know whether this would actually do any good, but it struck me as a potentially interesting idea.

*I'm using the spelling "sicced" here rather than "sicked" (which I think I would normally prefer, by analogy with "picnicked") for the sake of minimizing ambiguity. The resemblance to "sick puppies" is deliberate, although I have vague misgivings that it may have ableist undertones.

#572 ::: UrsulaV ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 01:42 PM:

@ 567 I'm not trying to change your mind--you vote however your personal Jiminy Cricket tells you. That's all any of us can do. But if it matters at all, the founder of the Rabid Puppy slate is a Gator poster boy himself. (Literally, as in "on some of their homemade posters.") And Wright has written impassioned allegiances to them, which you can find pretty easily online. There is a great deal of little bits of "dragging that cultural war over here" evident, at least to me, and they add up quickly.

For me, that was a bridge too far, but other people's lines fall wherever they fall, and I certainly don't expect people to conform to mine.

#573 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 01:46 PM:

Guess @527: Yet another non right winger supported by SP. They just liked her story...

The ideological heterogeneity of this or that slate isn't really at issue to folks who object to Hugo slates on principle.

The fact that you can point to lefties on the SP slate merely offers more evidence that the people who vote No Award over slate-tainted nominees are objecting to a process, not an ideology.

Which is to say: You're only proving what they're already stating plainly.

#574 ::: ebear ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 01:46 PM:

Dammit, @569 posted while I was editing it.

Here's the link:

http://djangowexler.com/2015/04/05/the-hugo-awards-game-theory-and-a-modest-proposal/

#575 ::: SorchaRei ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 01:48 PM:

I love Bellet's work, but golly she left a bad taste in my mouth last night over at Whatever. There was a discussion in John's thread on this matter about the fact that some voters (me, for one) would consider a SP nominee who agreed to be on the slate in a different light than one who was there unknowingly.

Several of us stated our willingness to treat a SP nominee who could state that it had been a surprise to them to find themselves on the slate as if they had not been slated. Eventually, that conversation got into a cul-de-sac and John asked us to shut down that part of the discussion.

Bellet IMMEDIATELY posted a "thank you for shutting down that discussion and can I just say that I hope people will give me the benefit of the doubt and read my story because that's the only fair way to vote" comment. Which raised hairs on the back of my neck because a bunch of people had been saying that she could achieve that effect by telling us that she had not agreed to be on the slate, and she didn't do so.

So I take her comment to mean "I did agree, because I wanted the nomination, even if it meant people nominated me whether they read my story or not, but now I want to be judged 'fairly' by people who go to the trouble of reading my story".

Despite the fact that her nominated story is very, very good, I will be voting it below NA. And it will be a long time before I forget that she was willing to use the SPs to get what she wanted but doesn't want to be held accountable for that choice.

#576 ::: Idumea Arbacoochee, Gardener of Threads ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 01:50 PM:

ebear@574:

And I fixed the link while you were posting that. One of those days.

#577 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 01:52 PM:

P J Evans @ 570: That's very possible but not the only plausible explanation. And assuming "someone" did invite* them, that leaves the question of who that someone was.

Alternatively, it's quite plausible that the GG people are as tuned in to gossip as the rest of us, heard about this without any direct invitation, and drove on by.

Capability versus intention, suspicion versus proof.

UruslaV @ 572: And yet, what we have at the top of this post is not that but something else.

*as opposed to calling up what you can't put down

#578 ::: Bryant ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 01:53 PM:

@Ebear, #569: I think that would have bad consequences. Wexler nails them; you'd have anti-slates dedicated to keeping people off the ballot, whether or not those particular people were part of a slate. This means you'd cut off the two fringes and drive awards towards the middle; I don't think that's worth the benefits.

#579 ::: Kelly McCullough ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 02:00 PM:

Bear, Ursula V, so much with the pain of watching smart, talented people shoot themselves in the foot by not bailing out/declining the nomination for reasons of slate voting. There are people in a number of categories who I like a great deal who I am going to be stuck voting no award for. Some of them might well have made it without the slate, and that makes it doubly sad. It hurts to watch people you care about making bad decisions.

On another note, I generally don't pay an enormous amount of attention to the Hugos despite writing novels in the field—part of my personal sanity management campaign involves not getting emotionally sucked into things I can't affect in any meaningful way. I write what I write and hope that it attracts attention and keeps enough people entertained so that I can afford to feed the cats, but try not to get to wound up about the rest of it. Sadly, this year I can't avoid paying attention, because this slate voting thing needs to run into a brick wall hard. Because of that, I just wandered over and bought a supporting membership and will be voting on the Hugos for the first time after a lifetime growing up in fandom. On the upside, I get to vote for Goblin Emperor which I adored when I got a copy for blurbing purposes.

#580 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 02:00 PM:

On the idea of right wingers voting for leftie's books, several denizens of this parish have won the Prometheus award, which is given by some libertarian sorts, for fiction which (from wikipedia) "The best science fiction novel promoting individual freedom published in the United States in the previous calendar year"

Which in itself is a rather ideological position on which to make an award; but what is being done to the Hugos is different and certainly worse because as far as I am aware, not being much into fandom, they are awarded not with reference to any ideology, but to what a broad cross section of readers of SF thought were the best works.
Individual readers might view that through their own ideological lense, but in normal practise things would even out. The Prometheus awards are openly ideological, but organising Hugo awards to fit your own ideology seems to be against the general principles.

#581 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 02:02 PM:

Random thought: After all this, it will be very difficult going forward for any author to say they didn't know they were on the slate, with the possible exception of Campbell nominees who may not have been around long enough. Next year, we already know there will be another slate (because the SPs are already talking about it) and finding out whether or not you're on said slate will be a simple matter of Googling for it.

And since one of the ways that the SPs claim legitimacy is their willingness to remove someone from the slate on request, well...

#582 ::: UrsulaV ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 02:09 PM:

@ 575 SorchaRei - I believe that your analysis of the situation is not incorrect.

Sigh.

#583 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 02:10 PM:

praisegod barebones@564: "I suspect that splitting these slates was a purely strategic decision on the part of Torgesen, Day, and Correia"

I think that's probably right; it's an effort to keep some of the conservatives who would otherwise flee the ballot. As you say, it also sows general confusion.

I am leaning more and more towards just voting no award in the categories dominated by the SP--for one thing, to vote honestly, one is thrown back into reading for nomination, which is a lot of work and if there's something I like better than what is on the ballot, I would be placing "No award" at the top of my list anyway. Perhaps "No award" with the few acceptable works below it is the way to go.

Doctor Science@462: If one pays the five-Euro fee, the Finnish business registry will divulge more information about a registered business; perhaps the actual owners will be listed.

#584 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 02:14 PM:

I'm a little surprised not to see more discussion of what Tom Whitmore @306 said. I think he (and Paula Lieberman, who also brought up the topic) are quite right: the current nominating system is a historical artifact, and should be updated to take advantage of current technology.

I think we should take it even further: make the nominating period 14 months long. Say I'm a supporting member of the 2020 Worldcon (as I plan to be) -- well, what if all through 2019, whenever I read a story and thought "Hey! That was a really great story!", I could immediately jump onto visioncon.org and add that story to my nominating ballot. Right away. No having to worry about keeping a record and remembering that story a year later. (My memory is not at all what it used to be.) For me, that would lower the bar to making nominations quite a lot.

We want more nominations and more nominators, to swamp the slates. It seems obvious that one way to achieve that is to make the nominating process easier.

(14 months: start it up on January 1, 2019; end on February 29, 2020, to accommodate anyone who wants to take a bit of time after the end of the year to look back on the year as a whole.)

There's more that could be done with this. How about a page on visioncon.org's site listing everything that's been nominated to date? People looking for something interesting to read could go look at that page and find stuff to check out. (You might want to make it the stuff that's on two ballots, or three; but that's a detail.)

I say 2020 because changes take some time, but I know of no reason why MidAmeriCon couldn't start this up now.

#585 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 02:21 PM:

P J Evans @570 They're unlikely to have left any smoking guns, but there's more than enough circumstantial evidence to show that someone invited in the Gaters, who were otherwise extremely unlikely to have shown up.

Well, as has been stated, Vox Day has declared himself a gamergate supporter, which gained him a certain amount of attention in those circles. For that matter, I am certain that some 'gaters read SF; it seems to me quite likely that a handful follow awards.

Also, I don't see the chaos, mayhem and sheer self-destructive stupidity that follows in the wake of a full scale Gamergate style campaign*. What I think is involved (on top of last year) are a few dozen gater/red-piller types who have a passing interest in SF, $40 to spare and a big love of sticking two fingers up at liberals/feminists/SJWs/PC/leftists etc., and so were easily recruited to vote. Not the hard core harrassers and their supporters. Which is probably more by luck than judgment.

* Chaos, Mayhem and Sheer Self-destructive Stupidity being, of course, the work of third party trolls, not real gamergaters who I understand have to pass an examination in ethics to be accepted.

#586 ::: Aaron ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 02:23 PM:

"Alternatively, it's quite plausible that the GG people are as tuned in to gossip as the rest of us, heard about this without any direct invitation, and drove on by."

As Jim Hines pointed out on his blog, literally five minutes of Googling will show that the SPs enthusiastically courted the GG crew.

"And it will be a long time before I forget that she was willing to use the SPs to get what she wanted but doesn't want to be held accountable for that choice."

The way for those unknowingly nominated by the SP/RP slate to prove their "innocence" as it were, is for them to withdraw their nominations. This is allowed, and has been done before. If they choose to remain on the ballot, I don't care how much they protest their lack of involvement, they are Puppies and I will treat them and their works as such.

#587 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 02:24 PM:

David @ 584: Well, I think 14 months is maybe a *little* long if we want to avoid confusion about eligibility . . . but a longer nominating period seems like a good idea in general, if the details can be worked out. Especially given that "announcing Hugo nominees" seems to be tied to Easter, which is kind of a movable feast, earlier some years than others.

It also seems to me like a relatively minor change, even without invoking the use of new technology--maybe even one that could be implemented by individual Worldcons as they go and one I can't see even Slate Makers objecting to without looking like idiots. (Yes, I know. Never mind.) However, I could be wrong about that, never having been involved in running a Worldcon. People who know more than I do, opinions? (Or did I miss earlier posts on this topic? If so, sorry.)

#588 ::: crazysoph ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 02:25 PM:

Quoting for truth here, zingy one-liners:

David Harmon @529 "You don't need to finish the glass to know the milk has gone sour. Sometimes, just sniffing it is enough."

Xopher Halftongue @536 "Right wingers can never understand that we fall in love (or hate), because all they do is fall in line." (Cautious addendum about broad brushes, but your insight parses very neatly.)

***

And Lori Coulson @542 - I honestly hadn't thought of it that way, until you made that connection explicit. I'd join you for that coffee but in this timezone we're approaching nightcap territory.

Crazy(and good night - I am suspecting the comments won't be open when I'm awake, unless our gracious hosts are feeling trusting and/or full of energy)Soph

#589 ::: ebear ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 02:26 PM:

I think nobody's discussing Tom @306 because it's intuitively obvious that he's correct. This is one of those moments when the call for a vote goes up and everybody looks around and says, "But we already decided that was a good idea."

Bryant @578 +1

Idumea @576 this is where a "like" function comes in handy, since I wouldn't have to clutter the thread to say "thank you!"

;)

#590 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 02:26 PM:

Praisegod Barebones @564 I suspect that splitting these slates was a purely strategic decision on the part of Torgesen, Day , and Correia

It doesn't have the trademark insults, rants and high drama of a serious Vox Day dispute. On the other hand, they might be on good terms, but not so good as to pack the slate with Day's own publishing house's work; a mere tactical disagreement.

#591 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 02:28 PM:

Around 20 years ago, there was an anonymous remailer working in Finland, and the operator thought it was "safe". The system could be subject to a court order, but that would be difficult to get.

That belief turned out to be mistaken. He shut down and destroyed the records.

I wonder if VD and his cohorts are using Finland because of a half-remembered echo of the misconception. These days, anyone who thinks that secret identities can be safe against technical attacks on the internet is a fool, but I wonder what the VD gang think they can hide in Finland.

And who thinks that after VD, Correia, and Torgeson, there should be a fourth. And a real dog?

#592 ::: Idumea Arbacoochee, Smiling at Bears ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 02:32 PM:

ebear @589:

These small touches of sociability and good manners aren't clutter. They're the sunlight in which we sit while we discuss hard issues.

It's much more difficult to do this in the dark, or the bright, efficient glare of a conversational clean room.

#593 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 02:33 PM:

I have been taking an unpleasant slog through gamergate forums. Specifically, the KotakuInAction reddit board. There are many Hugo-related threads there now. (You can google it, I won't link.)

I haven't spent a *lot* of time browsing, but the prevailing discourse is: "We weren't directly involved with the SP, but they're obviously our kind of people." (My paraphrase.) Much agreement about the pervasive SJW conspiracy and how nice it is to see them lose.

(As cited, Vox Day has said the same thing in the other direction.)

Also much lamenting of the left-wing delusion that GG must be involved with everything. Condemnation of mainstream journalism like the Telegraph article, etc. Invitations to weigh in with public comment. (I'm sure many of the comments here came straight from there.)

As KIA is a web forum, none of this is universal concensus. There are plenty of people debating how much of a SJW conspiracy there really is and whether the SPs acted ethically. Nevertheless, I think I've summed it up.

And now I'm going to close that window and wash my hands.

#594 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 02:40 PM:

Kevin @ 448

It's not the existence of the artwork, which is clearly parody, that is worrisome from a mark-protection standpoint. It's the suggestion that it should be being merchandised and monetized in some way.

Kevin, I find this to be a very reasonable concern, so I have altered the license to disallow commercial use, and suggested that anyone who wishes to use it commercially should contact WSFS. I thought the art was only used at LonCon, and thus not relevant to anyone's future plans.

I have also posted another piece of Sad Puppy art, which will hopefully be enjoyed by all. This one involves a slightly higher grade of humor...

The new piece of art is remixed from CC licensed photograph, so anyone who wishes should be able to use it commercially.

#595 ::: Bruce ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 02:41 PM:

@91- TNH- 'The absence of 'The Three Body Problem' is a bloody shirt, suitable for waving'.

@458- Cat- 'The Man Who Learned Better; 1948-1988' William Patterson'

Other bloody good bloody shirts-

Larry Niven- 'The Goliath Stone'
Barbara Hambly- 'Crimson Angel; a Benjamin January Historical Mystery'

Anyone got other suggestions?

#596 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 02:43 PM:

The other thought about GG that occurs: that entire *movement* is organized around causing destruction while being able to say "No, *we* didn't do that, we don't even have an organization or leaders or official action of any kind." KIA is where targets get debated, and then the mob of individually-acting free agents shows up on somebody's doorstep.

#597 ::: Robert West ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 02:43 PM:

> the KotakuInAction reddit board

Those guys attempted to overrun the /r/printsf subreddit, and were driven back due to some concerted (and largely thankless) action by the moderators.

#598 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 02:46 PM:

One positive (?) development; I have bought my own copy of Three Body Problem. If this many people think it belonged on the ballot, I want to read it myself.

#599 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 02:48 PM:

Andrew Plotkin @593:

You're a brave man. Here, have a drink.

For me, there are three questions, and you've answered one (somewhat, chan culture being what it is).

Q1. Did the Puppies reach out to GamerGate?
A1. That's what Patrick's screen shots at the top of the entry seem to indicate, but it depends on the identity of the person in question. (And were there other contacts?)

Q2. Assuming arguendo that the answer to Q1 is no, and that it was someone not of the juvenile canine persuasion, did the Puppies welcome the move by the third party?
A2. I haven't had time to follow the links to the blogs, but my impression is that the answer was yes. I'll look when I have time (which, at this rate, will be sometime in 2023)

Q3. Did GamerGate, having been contacted by one means or another, do much about it?
A3. From what you're saying, probably not. (The pathetic level of trolling they've done here isn't really material; we've had worse from coprophilic serial trollers on a dull day.)

I have a big problem if A1 turns out to be yes. I have a weary sigh all saved up if my suspicions of A2 are correct. And, as I say, I appreciate the further data on A3.

#600 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 02:57 PM:

abi @ 599:

I have a big problem if A1 turns out to be yes.

Me too. Just because I don't consider it proven doesn't mean I can't be convinced. And I've seen enough of A2--not much, but enough--to see your sigh and raise my middle finger. I'm going to leave it at that for a while, partly for the good of the conversation, and partly because I have an interesting (for values of "interesting" that don't mean "horrid") problem to work on.

#601 ::: Trismegistus Shandy ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 02:58 PM:

On Mike Scott's proposal:

I am not mathematician to formulate this proposal rigorously. But it seems to me that the long list of Hugo nomination data in a given category generally fits some kind of power-law-ish distribution -- a Zipf distribution? a Yule distribution? Not sure. But anyway, we could analyze the nomination data for various categories in years when there was no organized campaign to get specific nominees on the ballot, and figure out what the distribution typically is. And slate voting -- at least, effective slate voting by a large bloc -- would make the distribution look a lot different from that: instead of number of falling off steeply at first over the first two or three nominees and then more gradually later on, there would be five-ish nominees with roughly the same number of nominations. They might rank above all the diffuse power-law nominations, or they might rank somewhere in the middle of them, but in any case there'd be a plateau to the left of or in the middle of the expected slope.

That kind of statistical anomaly could, ideally, be a trigger to activate some kind of immune response such as Mike Scott suggests -- expanding the number of shortlisted nominees for instance.

On the other hand, if a publicity campaign were to increase the number and diversity of nominators (what some of the Sad Puppy organizers claimed they wanted) without persuading the new nominators to vote in lockstep, then the slope would shift upward (number of nominations) and maybe stretch out a bit left to right (increased diversity?), but remain roughly the same shape.

What did I like for the Hugos:

My Real Children has gotten a lot of love here, so I need do no more than mention it. My other nominee in the novel category was Landline by Rainbow Rowell; I've enjoyed two of her earlier books, Fangirl and Eleanor and Park, which were mainstream but of fannish interest. Landline is overtly fantastical, and almost as wonderful as Fangirl, which was was one the best books I've read in years.

#602 ::: Chris Meadows ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 02:58 PM:

Bruce @ #595:

As I wrote here, I would have liked to have seen a Best Related Work nomination for Designers & Dragons, a 4-volume work comprehensively tracing the history of the pencil-and-paper role-playing game medium from its earliest days to the present. It's a really amazing work of scholarship, and given that so much of RPG gaming is based on fantasy or science fiction, it surely qualifies as a related work.

I'm not sure that anything the Sad Puppies did necessarily knocked it off the list, though. Never seen any indication that enough people nominated it to make it a serious contender. Which is a damned shame.

#603 ::: Kevin Standlee ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 03:00 PM:

Alex R @594:

Thanks!

The Hugo Award logo is a registered service mark of the World Science Fiction Society. It was first unveiled as the official logo of the Hugo Awards at the 2009 Worldcon. Accept no substitutes!

#604 ::: Aaron ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 03:03 PM:

"Q3. Did GamerGate, having been contacted by one means or another, do much about it?
A3. From what you're saying, probably not. (The pathetic level of trolling they've done here isn't really material; we've had worse from coprophilic serial trollers on a dull day.)"

I think GG did as much as they could. Their trouble is that, despite VDs woofing and puffing on their behalf, there really don't appear to be very many GGers left. They seem to have been reduced to a core of die-hards who also align themselves with groups like A Voice of Men and Stormfront.

This is not to say they wouldn't be able to cause plenty of misery and grief for others. It only takes a few hundred people to pile on to one or two targets to make their online lives miserable, especially if the GGers use their now well-known tactic of creating dozens of sock-puppets each to use as harassment tools.

As evidence of GGs ineffectiveness, I need only point to VDs own claim about how GG somehow taught Gawker a lesson. Well, if they did, it doesn't seem to have been much of a lesson, as their traffic doesn't seem to have done anything except the normal flow over the last year. Gawker also hasn't lost any advertisers as a result of GG action.

#605 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 03:04 PM:

Fragano @552--The problem there is the insecurity and desperate need for validation present in people who do this sort of thing. It's not an issue for you. You like what you like--and you like a lot of things, of all sorts and kinds, and are willing to try something new, because you might like it. Brad Torgerson's statements about The One True Cereal are telling, when you think about this.

Despite Colson Whitehead's dismissal of "You do you" as the perfect expression of modern narcissism (he manages to sound like the lovechild of David Brooks and William Saffire really well in that NYT column), I find that phrase applies really well to matters of personal taste, whether it's reading preferences or the Great Mayonnaise Versus Miracle Whip Debate. If you're comfortable with what you like, it's easy to say to people who like something else "That's OK, you do you and I'll do me." If, on the other hand, you aren't comfortable, for whatever reason, it's very easy to slide into the doctrinaire position, whether you're talking about books, music, or condiments--almost anything, in fact, that's a matter of personal preference.

For some of these people, it's not enough for someone to tell them "You do you." Everyone else must do the same, in order to validate their choices and preferences. It's not conservatism; it's insecurity. (Thanks to a quirk of my keyboard, that came out with 5 u's, which has an interesting, and perhaps not inappropriate sound effect.)

#606 ::: HelenS ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 03:06 PM:

Barbara Hambly- 'Crimson Angel; a Benjamin January Historical Mystery'

I thought the Benjamin January mysteries had no sffnal content.

#607 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 03:15 PM:

Helen @ 606: That January novel has a bit of mysticism in it, as I recall. I don't think it's enough to qualify it as "historical fantasy," myself, but that may be the logic behind mentioning it. Was that it, Bruce at 595?

It's a good book, and a truly horrific (meaning: focusing on some utterly vile and little known historical context) entry into the series, in any case.

#608 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 03:18 PM:

abi@599:

Q1: Plausibly not.
Q2: Yes. Here (by way of Jim Hines' site) is the key link:
http://monsterhunternation.com/2015/01/26/sad-puppies-3-the-ensaddening/
(You have to scroll down quite a way.)

Trismegistus Shandy@601: I think there's a problem, in that you would only be guaranteed to get that kind of narrow gap if the slate worked perfectly, which the current one isn't doing. I tried to check the 'highest and lowest' figures (visible here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/coalescent/17038229312/) to see how in lockstep they were, but there's only one category - Best Related - where every entry is a puppy nominee, and both lists were in agreement. (The difference there is 67.)

#609 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 03:25 PM:

John A., #567: I think I see why you make that statement, but I think you've also missed at least one intermediate step. The screenshots at the top of this post represent a definite invitation -- there is no reasonable argument against that. The bit I think you've overlooked is that somewhere either on this thread or the last one, someone posted a link to Correia acknowledging it on his own blog with a "welcome to the GamerGaters, and here's how you sign up to nominate" post. That goes well beyond simply "not telling someone to piss off"; whether or not the SPs issued the original invitation, they made it clear that they were pleased with the results.

(And there's a third option too -- that this may have been done in the "will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest" style, so that they could have that plausible deniability.)

Bruce, #595: As much as I love the Benjamin January mysteries, I consider them mysteries, not SF/F. I'm only halfway thru Crimson Angel; is there something in this one specifically which moves it into the SF/F category? (Mysticism, religion in general, and the sort of coincidences that make people go "hmmm..." have always been part of this series, so unless there's been a big change, I don't think they count.)

#610 ::: Guesso ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 03:40 PM:

I posted a couple of times under 'guess', but the thread is so long when I search for my posts, I find so many people use the word 'Guess' it takes a long time to find it. If this is an issue please feel free to change my handle elsewhere to Guesso. Its just so I can find my posts.

It looks like SP nominated a socialist (Annie Bellet). She appears to be getting harassed by people because the SP crowd likes her writing. So first off not everything they nominated is by conservatives. She felt the need to state she is a socialist in her blog because people are giving her a hard time. John Scalzi said in the comments of his Hugo post that he felt her short story was deserving of nomination as well.

Its not about getting conservatives on the ballot. Its about getting voices heard. I am posting a link to her blog entry. There are more comments about this in her blog. I don't see why its a bad thing that conservatives like a story written by a socialist.

https://overactive.wordpress.com/2015/04/05/hugo-nomination-and-thoughts/#comments

#611 ::: Bryant ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 03:45 PM:

Re #593: I have done the same legwork and came to the same conclusion. Further, I searched the archives for relevant discussion and found very little; the busiest thread on the subject at the time nominations were open had three comments.

However! (This is the important part, re: #599.)

Because I am a masochist I dug into Twitter. Correia reached out to Milo Yiannopoulos on January 26th, with specific reference to GamerGate. See these tweets:

https://twitter.com/monsterhunter45/status/559761358124642305
https://twitter.com/monsterhunter45/status/559761848040292352

And Milo tweeted about the campaign on the same day:

https://twitter.com/Nero/status/559772587157630977

So. I reach the following conclusions.

Correia reached out to a prominent GamerGate figure. He specifically says that his tactics are very similar to GamerGate. I don't think his outreach was all that successful, but he sure tried. Claims of innocence in this regard are no longer operative.

#612 ::: Cheradenine ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 03:46 PM:

Guesso, #610: "Its about getting voices heard" not by promoting them, but by making a concerted effort to drown out all other voices. It's ridiculous to say that a movement that got John C. Wright 3/5 of the novella nominations is about *increasing* the variety of voices representated.

The net effect of the slate is that Correia, Tergerson, and Day got to pick the bulk of the nominees. I and others don't care as much about the political persuasions of the people they picked as the subversion of a democratic nominations process.

#613 ::: SorchaRei ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 03:47 PM:

Guesso @#610.

Please see my comment at #575 where I explain why I'm not impressed with her behavior at Scalzi's blog, and why I won't vote her above NA despite the fact that her story rocked.

#614 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 03:49 PM:

610
The issue is not the politics of their selections, but the idea of having a 'slate' of Approved-By-Them nominees. You seem to be misapprehending this.

(I don't choose my reading by the politics of the author, unless it's politics that I'm reading about. What other people do is of course their business.)

#615 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 03:51 PM:

Guesso @610:

I think it's clear enough. You can also click on the words (view all by) next to your name and see all the comments you've made here.

I would suggest you read the thread (or possibly this entry), because you seem a little confused why people might have a problem with Annie Bellet's presence on the Hugo ballot. It's really nothing to do with her ideology, and everything to do with slate-based nominations. I'm happy that people like her writing, but having the Sad Puppies use a slate, even one containing a socialist like her, robs other people of the ability to have their choices make it onto the ballot.

As I said, please don't assume it's an ideological thing, or that there's some magical ideological thing anyone can say to make the damage SP/RP have done to the process of voting on the Hugo award suddenly OK.

I'm sorry, though, if she's getting harassed. It's a difficult position for her to be in, both excited to be on the Hugo ballot and hurt to find all these people not excited right along with her. I'd be disappointed if I found out that it was anyone from this community giving her any kind of a hard time at all.

#616 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 03:58 PM:

Guess @610: I'd never heard of Bellet, but she sounds interesting. I'm keenly looking forward to reading her work. I expect I'll enjoy it quite a lot. It's always exciting to see unfamiliar names on the Hugo shortlist and check them out.

I'm very sad that I won't be able to vote for her. I hope that at some point in the future she's on the ballot again, without having disqualified herself by accepting a place on a slate.

I wonder: Do you, Guess[o], imagine that my refusal to vote for her slate-tainted work constitutes harassment?

#617 ::: AnonBecauseGG ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 04:03 PM:

I want to point out that Theodore Beale lists himself as "Lead Designer at Alpenwolf" at LinkedIn.

Castalia House is a part of Alpenwolf (registered as "aputoiminimi" = as an alias for Alpenwolf, auxiliary business name or supplementary firm-name, take your pick).

VD has gamed the system to milk the maximum benefit for his new (2014) publishing house. This does not strike me as "fair game", or "reilu peli", as Finns are wont to say.

He is also gloating in Black Gate's blogpost's comments about what he's done, with zero shame.

This is absolutely disgusting.

I also want to point out (as it was mentioned in Stross' post's comments), that Castalia House is a total unknown in Finland as well, and that their publisher left a very chilling message (translated) to a sci-fi mailing list:

"As must be clear to most, Castalia House is ideologically opposed to the majority of practically all fannish groups in this country."

So, yeah. Finnish SFF fandom does not want VD and his kin either and he's not connected to Helsinkiin 2017 bid in any way.

#618 ::: UrsulaV ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 04:17 PM:

Thank you, Bryant. That was depressing.

...err, that came out wrong, but thank you. Good to know.

#619 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 04:21 PM:

Bryant @611:

So A1 is yes. Thank you for looking into it.

(I have screenshots, because.)

#620 ::: philrm ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 04:28 PM:

fidelio@605: ...the lovechild of David Brooks and William Safire...

Thanks for that. (Resumes pouring bleach into skull.)

#621 ::: Bryant ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 04:49 PM:

@618 & @619: not my pleasure, precisely, but at the least my satisfaction at resolving an unpleasant question.

Thanks for grabbing screenshots.

#622 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 04:55 PM:

Bruce @595:

Diana Gabaldon's "Written in My Own Heart's Blood" (time travel through stone circles)

#623 ::: Doctor Science ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 05:04 PM:

The YouTube video I referenced above is (at least in part) an interview or discussion between "Daddy Warpig" -- the guy whose tweets are in the OP -- and Correia.

Daddy Warpig seems to consider himself a GamerGater. The podcast of his conversation with Correia is here. It's an hour long, so I ain't touching it -- but if someone wants to document a smoking gun, it's probably in there.

I consider the connection between Sad Puppies and GamerGate to be solid, and damning.

#624 ::: HelenS ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 05:09 PM:

"aputoiminimi"

Before realizing this was a Finnish term of art, I tried to parse it as Bealian Latin, with amusing-to-me results such as "Toward the little whores."

#625 ::: Cheradenine ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 05:09 PM:

There's a blog post up from Abyss & Apex's editor, Wendy Delmater, here:

http://www.abyssapexzine.com/2015/03/sad_puppies_3

The contrast to the responses from folks affiliated with Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine is, I think, interesting and telling.

#626 ::: Happy Kitten ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 05:15 PM:

For anyone who's still capable of being amused by VD's antics: in the Black Gate comments he posits that the Shadowy Cabal he's trying to counteract is led by the Nielsen Haydens, who rigged the nominations in years past to keep people like Iain M. Banks, Terry Pratchett and J.K. Rowling off the ballot. Which, you know, sounds exactly like something that would happen in reality as we know it.

#627 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 05:16 PM:

There's only one pleasant aspect to all of this, but it's a bit of "Inside Baseball" Hollywood style. As has been recorded since the beginning of films, Credit is All, and the ultimate weapon is preventing your personal credit from being attached to a project. Among cinematographers, it's using the clapboard backward if the director insists you make a shot that you think will look unprofessional.

The most famous is the one for directors: they use the name Alan Smithee. (There was some discussion about retiring that name when "An Alan Smithee Film" came out--I don't know how it ended up.)

For members of The Writers Guild of America: you get to choose yours. Ellison's is Cordwainer Bird. David Gerrold has one too: he ended up using it on all the episodes he wrote of "Logan's Run."

Guess what it is?

Just guess.

Yes, this year we may have the glorious moment where No Award is presented by Noah Ward.

#628 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 05:17 PM:

625
Yes, it is. (makes mental note)

#629 ::: Jim Henley ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 05:19 PM:

@Dr. Science ~623: Yeah, ALL their videos are freakishly long. Like, dudes will do a *series

@UrsulaV ~456: My finger went immediately to the Upvote button *but it was not there*. Good show!

#630 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 05:19 PM:

There's a blog post up from Abyss & Apex's editor, Wendy Delmater, here:

Note this very telling sentence from her post. "I was also offered a Best Editor, Short Form spot on the slate, and I turned it down."

Writing under orders?

#631 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 05:21 PM:

This seems relevant:

The rules permitted a contestant to submit any number of entries as long as each was written on a Skyway Soap wrapper or reasonable facsimile.
I considered photographing one and turning out facsimiles by the gross, but Dad advised me not to. "It is within the rules, Kip, but I've never yet known a skunk to be welcome at a picnic."

—Robert A. Heinlein, Have Space Suit, Will Travel

#632 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 05:23 PM:

I suspect that A&A saw Torgersen as the kinder, gentler face of SP, and pretty much heard the "we're not associated with VD any more; it's safe" message.

I think they're sincere. I'm disappointed that they didn't do better due diligence, either before or after the fact.

I hate slates. They put people in horrible positions all over the place.

#633 ::: Kevin J. Maroney ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 05:33 PM:

Bruce @627: Walter Hill was credited as "Thomas Lee" for the 2000 film Supernova after Adam Smithee was retired in the wake of An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn. It does not appear that either name has been used since.

#634 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 05:37 PM:

Well, I read the post from A&A, and will suffer no qualms of conscience over them; they are evidently happy to be part of the slate and receive the benefits. I wonder if they'll be equally happy with all the consequences, but that's their problem.

I noted also the comment about the slate "giving a voice" to the "little fan". I suppose I'm a "little fan", in that this is the first time I've done anything more than sit quietly at home reading books. But Torgersen and Beale and their cronies do not speak for me, and I can find my own voice, thank you very much.

#635 ::: ebear ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 05:42 PM:

If we're talking up 2014 works that would have made fine Hugo nominees, then in addition to those already mentioned may I recommend Gibson's THE PERIPHERAL, which was remarkable even for Gibson, and Monica Byrne's THE GIRL IN THE ROAD.

#636 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 05:45 PM:

634
I wonder what they think the difference is between 'little fans' and everyone else?
(IMO, 'little fan' is under 4 feet high. YMMV.)

#637 ::: Idumea Arbacoochee, Playing Atropos ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 05:52 PM:

Dear people, I'm going to bed, and there's no one else on watch. I'm closing these threads for the moment.

#638 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 08:57 PM:

Reopened.

#639 ::: Brad DeLong ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 09:02 PM:

Either dead-on or off-topic, depending…

I have just been made aware of some of the content of a book forthcoming in the winter of 2016 from BAEN. It looks to be the perfect slate-header for SAD PUPPIES V: THE PUPPYING:

(Spoilers for Vorkosigan Adventures up to end of chapter 1 of “Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen”)

It looks like it pushes *all* of Torgerson’s buttons:

* The good guys fighting against evil corporations? Check.
* The good guys polyamory socialists? Check
* The troops are the feared evil terror of the galaxy? Check.
* Sympathetically features members of traditionally devalued minorities? Check.
* Transgender? Oh boy. Check.

The only one of Torgerson's boxes it doesn’t check is that it (apparently) does not take a sympathetic POV from the eye of Sergyarian Subcutaneous Plague Worm…

----

Torgerson:

>SF/F literature seems almost permanently stuck on the subversive switcheroo.... Our plucky underdogs will be transgender socialists trying to fight the evil galactic corporations. War? The troops are fighting for evil, not good, and only realize it at the end. Planetary colonization? The humans are the invaders and the native aliens are the righteous victims. Yadda yadda yadda.... Ffor Pete’s sake, why did we think it was a good idea to put these things so much on permanent display?

#640 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 09:45 PM:

Aaaaand we're open again. Greetings from Brooklyn.

#641 ::: Brad DeLong ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:02 PM:

& spoiler-containing URL for report on Lois McMaster Bujold MinniCon reading of chapter 1 of "Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen":

http://servantofclio.tumblr.com/post/115623389286/as-ive-noted-i-attended-a-reading-by-lois

#642 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:28 PM:

I have felt overwhelmed in the past at the volume of work involved in trying to read for the Hugos. The one upside of this year's situation is that I might actually be able to catch up on everything I haven't read or otherwise formed an opinion about.

If the other Graphic Novel nominees and The Goblin Emperor are anywhere near as good as Rat Queens, which I read last night, I'm in for some fun.

#643 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:32 PM:

While we're speaking of additional suitable works for nomination, I'd mention Station Eleven (published Sept 2014.)

I thought that it was a lovely book, but beyond that the author did some very interesting things, to my mind, in telling a quintessentially sfnal story (deadly plague! post-apocalypse! characters kicking badguy ass!) all in a largely lit-fic style rather than a genre style. That really opened up the pacing and the stylistic space for the book to be about much more than the surface events, and in particular to be tacitly about the significance of art and stories in people's lives. (That's my take on it, anyway.) I doubt it would have gotten onto the ballot anyway, as I'm sure it would piss off a lot of chronic SF readers as being No True Science Fiction, but worth a mention.

#644 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:33 PM:

"Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen"

New Bujold. Alex does the happy dance!

#645 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:33 PM:

Ok -- being as I haven't voted on the Hugos in a long time, there is one thing on the ballot that confuses me.

How the hell do you even allow one person to take three slots in the same category on the ballot? I was telling one of my fellow OVFF concom members about that and she looked at me and said, "We don't allow that in the Pegasus Awards, why does the Hugo?

In the Pegasus Awards, which has five slots per category, you can't have more than one song per filker (or team of filkers) per category on the Final Ballot. Plus, we restrict the number of times any filker can appear on the Final ballot to twice.

We have some very prolific writer/composers, which can cause interesting cascades on the Nomination Ballot. Because we're not a big con, it was easy enough to get the concom to support putting this rule in place. (This was done some years before we had the Pegasus Award Committee.)

I can understand why the Hugo doesn't restrict how many times one can appear on the Final Ballot -- BUT why does it allow someone to appear multiple times in one category?

#646 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:38 PM:

645
I don't think it's happened before (although I could certainly be wrong). Something else to consider at the business meeting?

#647 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:44 PM:

Brad, #641: OMFG indeed. That's going to be amazing.

Lori, #645: That's a good point. I had wondered the same thing.

#648 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:47 PM:

It has happened before -- Michael Swanwick was nominated three times for Best Short Story in 1999 (and in fact won). It is relatively rare, and I suspect just hasn't been considered a problem.

#649 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:50 PM:

Lori Coulson @645: I believe that 2 stories in the same category has happened a few times (and someone will do the research to give you the examples). In general, people have felt that this split the vote for that author, so that s/he became significantly less likely to win than if s/he only had one story on the ballot. This may date back to the time before preferential balloting, which takes a lot of that sting out -- but I do know that the community standard, not rule, was that if you got nominated more than once in the same category, you picked which story you wanted to see get the nomination. And this was not an infrequent occurrence (every 5 to 10 years or so). No rule seemed necessary.

#650 ::: tigtog ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:52 PM:

Now that comments have reopened, I want to heartily thank Tim Walters #631 for that exquisitely apposite RAH quote, and have resolved to refer to the SP/RP supporters (and anyone involved in similar rule-gaming shenanigans elsewhere/when) as Picnic Skunks from this day onward.

I also paid for my membership to Sasquan a few hours ago, and plan to do my little bit as one of the multitude of Fandom Antibodies. No votes from me for anybody whose nomination comes via a slate that's Skunking up a Picnic. Slate voting needs to be ruthlessly unrewarded.

#651 ::: Emily H. ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:55 PM:

Looking over the past Hugo ballots, I see more than a couple instances where a person is up against themself in a category; Michael Swanwick a few times in the late-90s/early 00s in short stories, John Varley in 1977 and Ursula LeGuin in 1995 and Greg Egan in 1996 and 2008 for novelettes, George R.R. Martin in 1981 for novellas, Nancy Kress in 1992, etc. If someone is both very prolific and very good, I don't see any reason why they couldn't write two short stories or novelettes that were both among the five or six best of the year; recognizing great work should be a bigger priority than trying to spread nominations around to a larger pool of writers.

It burns me that every other novella got pushed off the ballot in favor of, not even five other writers, but just three other writers, but I think that's because it's a slate, not because there's anything so inherently bad about a single person monopolizing more than one nomination in a category.

#652 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 10:59 PM:

It has happened before, though I can't quote the year. Remember, the Hugo nomination is for the work, not the person.

#653 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 11:11 PM:

Prose categories that have had multiple entries by the same person in the same year on the ballot:

Short Story Hugo:

  • 1959: Two stories by Cyril Kornbluth
  • 1981: Two stories by Jeff Duntemann
  • 1992: Two stories by Mike Resnick
  • 1999: Three! stories by Michael Swanwick
  • 2003: Two stories by Michael Swanwick
  • 2005: Two stories by Mike Resnick

Best Novelette Hugo:

  • 1967: Two stories each by Charles Harness and Roger Zelazny
  • 1977: Two by John Varley
  • 1996: Two by Greg Egan
  • 2008: Two by Greg Egan
  • 2013: Two by Seanan McGuire

Best Novella:

  • 1974: Two by Michael Bishop
  • 1981: Two by George RR Martin
  • 1988: Two by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • 1996: Two by Ursula Le Guin
  • 2005: Two by Charlie Stross

Best Novel:

  • 1973: Two by Robert Silverberg

#654 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 11:37 PM:

I can see that it's happened in the past, and if the rest of fandom is ok with it, then I won't bitch.

IMVHO: The work IS the person, and once per category should be enough.

#655 ::: Buddha Buck ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2015, 11:38 PM:

Lori Coulson @645:

My feeling, which could be bogus since I have not had a say in how these rules were decided, is that the award isn't for "Best Writer of a Short Story" or "Best Novelist", but rather for "Best Short Story" and "Best Novel". Yes, the author gets it, but in the same way that the producer gets the award for Best Picture in the Oscars.

Similarly, going with the Oscar example, actors and actresses are allowed to be nominated multiple times, but only once per role.

If Noa Waard has published two outstanding SF/F novels in a given year, or sells three top-notch short stories which capture the imagination of the nominating readership, why should only one be allowed?

#656 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 12:02 AM:

I'm shutting down comments again. Weary travellers are weary. The next voice you hear will probably be Abi's.

Good night, all --

#657 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 09:30 AM:

My favorite comment on the subject of this year's nominations is from writer Lavie Thidar elsewhere:

"It's an honor not to be nominated."

#658 ::: UrsulaV ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 10:04 AM:

@ 657 Serge -- Heh. I was thinking some variation on that myself.

I am not the kindest person and my sympathy is a limited supply, but those individuals who are still clinging to their Rabid nominations because dangit, they're Hugo worthy, while VD is off railing in the comments at Black Gate that we vote for his slate or the Hugos are a smoking ruin...well, let's say my charity is wearing thin. I can feel bad for somebody else's useful idiots, but only to a point. When it's obvious to anybody that you're being used as a hammer...sigh.

My charity probably grow back in a year or two--my grudge holding skills aren't what they used to be. Life might be easier if they were...

#659 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 10:23 AM:

P J Evans @636 - thanks to strenuous dieting, I am now under four feet tall when I'm lying down, does that count?

#660 ::: Mike Scott ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 10:37 AM:

Just found Patrick's mention @479 of my proposal for changing the rules for making the shortlist. I'm happy to answer any questions anyone might have. I reran the 2014 nominations using a lightly tweaked version of my proposal here: http://drplokta.livejournal.com/166760.html. It added 16 nominees, an average of one extra candidate per category, three of whom had been displaced by sad puppy candidates (Banana Wings and The Drink Tank in Best Fanzine and Patrick Nielsen Hayden (who he?) in Best Editor Long Form). It also ironically added two more sad puppy candidates plus a short story by an author who had a novel on the puppy slate, but I don't think that's a problem. I believe the effect would be more dramatic this year when the puppies put up a stronger showing, but of course we won't have the detailed nomination figures until late August.

In an ideal world, the effect of the proposal would be that if there is a nominating slate (or more than one such slate) that dominates a category, all of that slate's candidates still get nominated, but so does everything that would have been nominated if the slate didn't exist (which might of course include candidates from the slate -- I'm pretty sure Interstellar would have been nominated anyway, just for example). And then the voters can make a choice from a properly diverse range of nominees. Attempting to define that with a simple numerical algorithm that doesn't call for discretion from the administrator is inevitably going to lead to imperfect results.

#661 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 11:07 AM:

659
Were you spherical before? (Uniform density not required.)

#662 ::: Sten Thaning ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 11:11 AM:

A proposal for changing the voting rules, in the spirit of "change as little as as possible":

* Like now, nominate 5 works. The top 5 works appear on the ballot.
* However, the 5 next highest works are also printed, either in order of most nominations or in alphabetical order, on the ballot. It is clear that this is for information purposes only.
* When selecting works, you are free to substitute one or more of the 5 nominated works for a write-in candidate.

So for the "best dead author", the following nominations are shown on the ballot:
Asimov
Bester
Clarke
Dick
Elgin

I then decide to vote for
1. Zelazny (write-in)
2. Elgin
3. Dick
4. Clarke
5. Wells (write-in)

Does this completely defeat the point of nominations? Would it be easier for a group to direct a write-in campaign for a work not on the ballot?

I realize that the No Award rules make this less workable than I would like. Is there a way to tweak it?

#663 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 11:21 AM:

Sten Thenning @ 662: As someone who wistfully wished for a write-in option (see above), I regretfully decided that something like this would be a terrible idea. It would invalidate a large part of the nomination process, and--likely more important--I think it would be almost impossible to administer. I also suspect that it would be even more susceptible to gaming the system than the current nomination process, which is saying something.

#664 ::: Sten Thaning ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 11:40 AM:

Ah, didn't think about the administration part. Check for eligibility, notify the winner if it is a write-in candidate and repeat if declined, decide whether different spellings makes a difference (extra fun if a name is originally written in a non-latin language) etc.

OK, objection noted. I withdraw that suggestion.

#665 ::: Mike Scott ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 11:42 AM:

Sten Thenning @662: That's indistinguishable in effect from just having ten names on the shortlist. I think it inconceivable that any write-in candidate who's not in the list of runners-up would ever win, unless something has gone even more badly wrong than this year.

#666 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 12:02 PM:

I doubt I can make you guys stop talking about voting mechanisms and voting theory. Just try to not talk yourselves out on the subject before Bruce Schneier's thread gets started.

#667 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 12:04 PM:

662
It's hard enough to get people to mark their ballots in an unambiguous way now! Don't make it harder for the people who have to deal with them.

(Tell them 'number 2 pencil only' and 'rank in order of preference, and you'll get 2H pencil, black India ink, blue ball-point pen...and people ranking two nominees in one category the same way, or using proofreading marks to make corrections to their inked rankings.)

#668 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 12:05 PM:

I had a read of the blog post that Cheradenine #625 linked to. Whilst I see no reason to doubt the sincerity of the poster, I also think it would be nice if they had a better look at what Torgerson et al have been up to rather than swallowing the party line wholesale.

There is also a post, seemingly from someone involved in SF&F, I can't work out whether someone the blog owner knows or one of their people, but it says:

"Sad Puppies is showing people like me, and my sister, that we do have a say in the Hugo voting.I have been a reading SF for just shy of 40 years now, but I’ve never been actively involved in the “fandom”. I never put any thought into how stories were nominated for the Hugo, I just assumed it worked like the Oscars – publishers and other writers did the nominating and voting. I was surprised to learn through reading Sad Puppies 2 last year that we, the fans, were the ones with the voice. I thought it was great, but not something I could participate in. The voting was done at World Con. I can’t afford to go to World Con, perhaps the most expensive SF Con known.Along came Sad Puppies 3 and I learned that you could get a “sponsor”(she means “supporting” – Ed.) membership and get the same opportunity to nominate and vote without having to go World Con. So, for the first time this 40 year fan gets to have her say. Maybe my little voice will amount to nothing, but perhaps the authors of those stories will be pleased to know that someone thought that highly of their work.

Sad Puppies isn’t hurting anyone, it is letting us little people, the quiet fans, know that we can join in and have our say."

To which I can only say, you need to get some new friends, since all the fannish sorts I know only through this blog (and the handful in real life) would have apprised her of all that at any time and would likely encourage them to join and vote.

Unfortunately there seems to be no awareness of how a slate picked for political reasons is antithetical to the idea of picking works on their merit.

#669 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 12:08 PM:

TNH @ The Comment Of The Beast:
I doubt I can make you guys stop talking about voting mechanisms and voting theory.

No power in the 'Verse can do even the first half of that. (For which I am mightily glad, by the way).

Just try to not talk yourselves out on the subject before Bruce Schneier's thread gets started.

Tulips opening.
An inexhaustible spring
Of conversation.

(pun intended)

#670 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 12:10 PM:

668
It used to be, when more people read the magazines, that people were more aware of supporting memberships, if not of how the Hugos are supposed to work. This has come up already - how to get the word out to people who might be interested. I'm surprised that they've never run it through Google, though.
(Analog still has a convention listing in the back, with addresses and costs. But if you never see it - it's not on most newsstands, and I suspect most libraries don't get it - you wouldn't know.)

#671 ::: Tatterbots ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 12:17 PM:

Mike Scott, I like your idea for its generosity, but how well does it cope with the effects of more than one non-overlapping slate, or a larger (double or triple size) slate?

This is similar to the problem I have with the suggested "4/6" rule. It seems too easy to get around. It might seem like worrying too much too soon, but we don't really have a good sense of how much support the slate people can gather, or how good they might be at spreading out nominations across a bigger list than one person can vote for. I realise there's no way to fix this completely unless you make a system that either allows for arbitrarily large shortlists, or starts excluding things for some other reason than having too few votes.

#672 ::: Peace Is My Middle Name ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 12:19 PM:

Please, where are the comments on Scalzi's Hugo post?

My browser shows it as "uncategorized" and without comments, so I assumed he had turned them off for it and didn't realize what I was missing.

A number of people here have referenced some very serious issues in those comments, but I can't find them.

#673 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 12:25 PM:

P J Evans, #670: If you don't realize that the option exists, there's no reason to Google for it.

This is one of the reasons I've been talking about Worldcon doing more outreach. Insofar as the SPs are getting people who read and love SF to realize they can have a voice in the Hugos, that's a good thing. But they shouldn't be the ONLY people doing it.

#674 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 12:28 PM:

Peace is My Middle Name: Just click on the post title. Comments are currently closed,but the existing ones can still be seen.

#675 ::: nathanbp ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 12:28 PM:

#672: If you click on the title on his blog you can view the comments (or this link). The comments count doesn't show up while new comments are turned off.

#676 ::: Philrm ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 12:31 PM:

Peace is My Middle Name@672: I think that Scalzi is in Australia, and is turning off the comments to that post when he's not available to moderate it.

#677 ::: Eimear Ní Mhéalóid ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 12:33 PM:

Peace, you can still read the comments - if you click on the post title on Scalzi's blog you'll get the post+comments. When comments are open you also see the number of comments on the main page and can click on that too.

#678 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 12:36 PM:

673
I'm in agreement with you. But I think that once you know something exists, it becomes possible to find out more about it. (Remarkable lack of curiosity, for a fan: don't they use search engines?)

#679 ::: Shawn Crowley ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 12:41 PM:

The SP trolls are popping up everywhere. On Salon, one is gloating about breaking the "far-left clique" which had been excluding SP authors. The comment is indistinguishable in style from all the nasty Fox News-style tribalism that degrades every on-line forum. While claiming to be increasing the breadth of SF the main message is "we win, you lose, ha ha."

#680 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 12:46 PM:

P J Evans #678 - there is of course the possibility that the bit I quoted is not real and was just made up to fit with a view. But if we think that way all the time we'll end up like the SP's. Better to act like it is probably real, at least to start with.
It's also another example of how humans mess things up; people doing bad things can end up with some good consequences, but also people doing bad things can get good liking people on their side by good propaganda or because the putative good person simply doesn't know any better.

#681 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 12:48 PM:

Does anyone know the date of when the Sad Puppies reached out to Gamergate? Or does anyone have some URLs where I could research this? I've got a long work day today, but I'd like to have that information.

#682 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 01:00 PM:

Alex R @681: See Bryant @611.

#683 ::: UrsulaV ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 01:01 PM:

@681 tweets from Correia to Nero "Straight men don't get AIDS" of GG were dated Jan. 26. Vox and Wright both proclaimed allegiance last year.

#684 ::: Chris Meadows ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 01:04 PM:

The saddest thing is that a lot of the Sad Puppies supporters genuinely do seem to believe that they're "having an impact" and "taking back" the Hugos, finally getting their voices heard and all that. (Heck, I'll even grant that the people behind Sad Puppies believe it, too, though the way in which they've acted on those beliefs is by and large reprehensible.)

As guthrie @ 668 points out, it's too bad that it took the Puppies to reach out to those people who felt disenfranchised and let them know they could have a say. I wonder what it would have looked like if they'd all nominated their own candidates instead of a slate?

#685 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 01:07 PM:

Aaron @ 417: Kevin @ 440 matches my (somewhat older but thinner) recollection. There's even been a case where someone refused the award in realtime, out of pique; in 1986, Judy-Lynn [Benjamin] Del Rey won Best Editor, but her widower (Lester) turned it down, saying she should have been honored in her lifetime. He may have had some cause for irritability; I'm sure somebody said something somewhere about a sympathy vote. (I never never heard anything, but 30 years ago I was oblivious even to things going on under my nose, let alone in the broader world.) Judy-Lynn's commercial skills were very widely acknowledged; the quality of her work was more debated.
      Given the evidence that the Puppies did not ask everyone's permission-to-slate and the frequently unpleasant content of the Puppies' websites, I think anyone who wasn't contacted should be held harmless -- not voted for, but also not excoriated. See e.g. #445 -- I know Resnick just well enough to say he'd see no point in lying about this.

PNH @ 479: I haven't tried to math examples, but my first reaction is favorable. I'm completely unimpressed by any arguments that it would impose too great a financial burden; right now I'm hearing about Sasquan spending six figures on many dances etc., which I consider less relevant to the Worldcon than getting right one of the two mandatory tasks.

Jo @ 481: I don't have complete nominating records, but my recollection is that there's never been a year in which nominations were at all uniformly distributed; instead they tend to tail out. Normally the top nomination-getter has 2-3 times as many nominations as the one that just squeaks onto the ballot; the absence of that this year is a measure of the slate's effect.

Buddha Buck @ 493: does it matter if half the ballot is legitimate nominees and half slate, as long as we get the number of legitimate nominees that we used to? I don't see "Hugo-nominated" on very many book jackets; under this system we just keeping putting all the Puppies below No Award -- a nuisance, but sometimes you have to shovel shit to find the pony.

Bartik @ 508: Well put. I wonder if the puppies even realize that Campbell published the first Pern stories? He didn't care that they were drippy, angsty, etc.; he just wanted to see what someone could do with dragons in SF.

albatross @ 521: I think you're trying to blur a real distinction. Consider what would happen if you could ask everyone whether every story were ideological. I think you would find the Puppies in a tail of "people who think almost all stories are ideological"; you might also find that many of their nominees would be in the tail of "stories almost everyone thinks are ideological". It really is possible to say that some people and works are on the fringe, just as one can say that "The Eye of Argon" is bad writing.

ed g.: My immediate reaction matches @535; have you tried a simulation?

PNH @ 528: I know Sturgeon pushed the idea hard in the intro to his story in Dangerous Visions; he may have picked it up from Campbell, or Campbell from him.

Fragano @ 552: It's simple: the past's own lies about itself, and the near-past's lies about the further past, are still around; some people drink them. Parson Weems isn't much believed any more, but he has many equivalents. And there are people who object to anything challenging or expanding the simplified worldview they got when they were small; a letter in yesterday's Boston Globe hits all the right buttons about improving teaching ("facts not conjecture", "unbiased") -- then whinges about "an unfavorable light thrown on the Founding Fathers". The simplified worldview has its advantages in early teaching -- Cohen et al have even used the term "lies to[for?] children" non-negatively -- but it does make problems if we want adults to deal with complexity.

Gerrib @ 554: they're denying their own claims; they insist they're the Silent Majority defeating a tiny cabal, but where does that leave them when No Award wins? Typical fall-back-to-next-distraction tactic, ISTM....

Robert West @ 555: that only works when the caucus is a huge minority (40% in your example) \and/ the caucus's choice is good enough (or covert enough) to get other votes. Rerun your arithmetic with the caucus being 2/7 -1 of all voters.

Arkansawyer @ 557: The slate itself was a cheat, regardless of whether GG were involved; shunning is a proper answer to cheats.

Lori Coulson @ 654: if the work is the person, should a person be limited to one nomination for the entire ballot? Avram noted all the cases of authors having >1 in a category; I can think of many cases (probably many more altogether) of >1 on a ballot. Does OVFF bar this? If not, why not? (semi-rhetorical question).
      The more I think about it, the more I dislike the idea that the work is the person; aside from limiting a person to one kind of work (at a time?) (just try that with Mike Ford!), it lets the award bleed into a personality contest. I'm sure there have been votes influenced by authors' personalities, but my UUSWAG is that it hasn't been common in the Hugos.

I'm depressed to hear that Bellet is getting harassed (if she's actually getting harassed, and not just asked for a straight answer on what she knew and when she knew it). Not surprised after what happened to some innocent beneficiaries in 1989, just depressed.

#686 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 01:09 PM:

P J Evans, #678: I have to admit that it took me an embarrassingly long time to reach the point where "look it up on Google" was a top-level mental response to wanting to find out something. So perhaps I have a little more sympathy for people who may still be developing that response. :-)

#687 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 01:17 PM:

P J Evans @670: I'm surprised that they've never run it through Google

I've been an SF reader since the mid-70s, some years more voracious than others. I've been aware of the Hugos for most of that time, and I've used it as a pretty reliable way to find good new stuff.

I don't attend conventions because it just doesn't scratch an itch that I've got. Until this year I had no idea how the Hugos were awarded, and it never even occurred to me to wonder. It was just one of many, many things in this world that seemed to work just fine without my involvement, and that suited me. If I'd wanted to know how it worked, I expect I'd have Googled it, but I never did.

It certainly would not have occurred to me that I could vote for the Hugos. If you'd asked me to guess, I'd have speculated that it worked very like the oscars, and were nominated and voted upon by industry folk. I'm surprised to learn how it really works.

I expect there are plenty like me--fans who read a fair bit but aren't con-goers, and wouldn't ordinarily get involved, but who can be motivated to throw a little sand in the gears of the redpiller machine when it clatters and honks its way toward something valuable and fragile.

#688 ::: Jan Vanek jr. ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 01:19 PM:

Just for the record's completeness, my small contribution to AKICIF: Sturgeon's essay "Ask the Next Question" (Cavalier Magazine, June 1967) is scanned at the website of The [Gunn] Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas, which administers BOTH the Sturgeon and Campbell Awards – I would hyperlink directly but this seems to cause my comments to be eaten by the spam(pa)troll. He doesn't mention JWC in any way, and I expect he would have if there was anything to; neither can I find any other such attribution online including Google Books, which are quite well-stocked. Is it possible to mistake this for some other adage of Campbell's? (Though I can think only of "thought variant", which he took from F. Orlin Tremanyne.)

As for Castalia House, the Finnish Trade Register (you have to google it per above) offers free online search of basic data, where "Castalia" gets you Alpenwolf Oy with e-mail to one Markku (Koponen, suggest other websites apparently made by harvesting the register database); see comments under Charlie's post. Details like alternate registered names or company officers cost 6 EUR, without guarantee anything interesting comes up; though some other websites do list Castalia House as a trading name explicitly.

#689 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 01:20 PM:

Lee @688, I think there's more to it than that in this case.

It's not so much a situation of "I don't know how the Hugo award winners are picked" and not getting immediately to "I will Google to find out" as it is a matter of "I know how the Hugo award winners are picked", where what they know is wrong. One of the things I learned when I was teaching astronomy to college freshmen is that it's vitally important to get people to un-learn their wrong preconceptions before you can teach them the right answer, and in a case where there's no obvious teaching situation, it's very easy indeed for someone to persist in a misconception without ever thinking to check its truth.

#690 ::: Sten Thaning ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 01:27 PM:

CHip @685: The slate itself was a cheat, regardless of whether GG were involved; shunning is a proper answer to cheats.

I don't think it was a cheat. A cheat would have been someone hacking into the database to change the numbers, or an individual figuring out how to vote several times using the same membership. This was either a loophole abuse or a case of broken rules. In my mind it is a very different scenario. (I might be guilty of overreacting when someone is being accused of cheating, though.)

I suppose it depends on whether you think breaking the spirit of a rule while following the letter should render the same punishment as breaking the rule as written. In a lot of situations, gaming the system (like tactical voting) is considered normal. The proper answer, in my opinion, is to change the rules to prevent it from happening again.

#691 ::: sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 01:36 PM:

Bruce @ 627 I have informed my fannish household of this tidbit (being the designated follower of the threads/gossip on the kerfuffle). Cackling & guffaws resulted. Thank you.

#692 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 01:37 PM:

Sten Thaning @690: I suppose it depends on whether you think breaking the spirit of a rule while following the letter should render the same punishment as breaking the rule as written.

I don't. The punishment for breaking the rule as written should be some kind of official sanction from the authority that made the rule. Since they didn't break the rules, that wouldn't be appropriate in this case.

The punishment for breaking a taboo while remaining within the letter of the rule should be a response from the community that also remains within the letter of the rule, such as promoting the practice of voting No Award above any slate-tainted work.

#693 ::: james woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 02:04 PM:

Checking in here after lurking for a long time to say that inviting the #GamerGate wrecking crew into the Sad Puppies campaign was what aroused me from my slumbers. I probably would have stayed out of this latest mess like I've stayed out of all the previous ones, but the #GamerGate people need to be stopped.

Where do I get my uniform and marching orders?

#694 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 02:04 PM:

Fidelio #605: I have my own insecurities, and lots of them, but to need that kind of security blanket people have to be massively insecure. Conservatism is, to a very large degree, driven by fear*, and that sort of fear easily turns into rage. Those of us who try to see other ways are so easily, then, turned into The Enemy.


* Writing that, I was reminded of one of my favourite poems, Norman Cameron's The Thespians at Thermopylæ:

The honours that the people give always
Pass to those use-besotted gentlemen
Whose numskull courage is a kind of fear
A fear of thought and of the oafish mothers
(Or with your shield or on it) in their rear.
Spartans cannot retreat. Why, then, their praise
In going forward should be less than others

But we, the actors and critics of one play,
Of sober-witted judgement, who could see
So many roads, and chose the Spartan way,
What has the popular report to say
Of us, the Thespians at Thermopylae?

I think of that as one of the best comments about MilFic ever. With a few honourable exceptions (Joe Haldeman, Eric Flint, David Drake, Lois McMaster Bujold) it glorifies the Spartans and doesn't think to tell the story of the Thespians.

#695 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 02:08 PM:

Happy Kitten #626: That's so far past delusional that it couldn't be tracked by the Hubble.

#696 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 02:10 PM:

CHip @686:

Lori Coulson @ 654: if the work is the person, should a person be limited to one nomination for the entire ballot? Avram noted all the cases of authors having >1 in a category; I can think of many cases (probably many more altogether) of >1 on a ballot. Does OVFF bar this? If not, why not? (semi-rhetorical question).

You've got to remember that the Pegasus Award slate is tiny compared to the Hugos. The categories are as follows:

Best Filk Song
Best Classic Filk Song
Best Writer/Composer
Best Performer

The above categories stay the same for every year. In order to make the net wider we have two categories that change every year. This year's selections are:

Best Adapted Song
Parodies, pre-existing lyrics set to new music (for example, setting a Kipling poem), or other material adapted to filk.

Best Adapted Song
Parodies, pre-existing lyrics set to new music (for example, setting a Kipling poem), or other material adapted to filk.

The reason for limiting the number of times a person is on the ballot to two appearances, is that we have many Big Name Filkers* who would totally dominate the ballot if the two appearances rule was not in place. The concom is trying to keep the ballot inclusive, and we're trying to spread the joy -- having been lucky enough to be the person contacting the nominees to inform them of their nominations, it is indeed a joyful experience.

Now -- what I was saying about the Hugos is not to limit 'how many times' one can appear on the entire ballot, but to limit that appearance to once in each category -- that way you don't get one person taking three of the five potential slots.

*There's one fellow who is known for being able to generate an on-topic wonderful filk about almost any situation...in less than 60 seconds.

#697 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 02:32 PM:

Sten @ 690
It's pretty much accepted in industry that you can't make rules so foolproof that they will prevent a smart, determined bad actor with the right access levels. I tend to agree with Laertes @ 692 - the best response to ill-intended rules lawyering is a collective, ethical response within the existing rules, unless they are demonstrably inadequate to the needs of the membership. I'm not convinced a level of brokenness has yet been demonstrated that would require a substantial overhaul of the rules. Remember too, that the replacement rules will be by definition untested and unrefined by time and therefore prone to exploitation by the adept and determined.

#698 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 02:45 PM:

Followup to me:

I'm not saying don't ever change. But I think it would be wise to let this round play out and decide what changes are needed when reactions are slightly less immediate. The Hugos will still be there next year and for many years to come. Brief awkwardnesses are part of growth and, I think, not always to be feared.

#699 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 02:47 PM:

Sten, #690: I agree with you that it wasn't a cheat; if it had been, there would be a method of dealing with it. It was the exploitation of a loophole, or rules-lawyering, or gaming the system; my gamer friends have described it as "min-maxing" and "munchkining', both of which are looked down on in the gamer community; it was "wrong, but not illegal" -- take your pick. There's a difference between "legal" and "ethical", and that's where this kind of griefing falls.

No, I don't think that gaming the system should entail the same punishment as outright cheating. But I don't think it should be rewarded either, which is where I part company with the "Okay, they're on the ballot, now you HAVE to treat them the same as any other candidate" argument. No, I don't. You don't reward behavior that you don't want to see happen again.

james, #693: Actually, you don't get a uniform or marching orders, because we are not the SPs. What you get is three threads' worth of people discussing options and possible responses, and the chance to read them and make your own decision about the choice that best suits you.

(Sorry if that sounds a little harsh, but you don't hand the people who are shooting at you more ammunition even if it's intended as a joke.)

#700 ::: Robert Z ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 02:48 PM:

james woodyatt @ 693: Hello from another recent delurker, mobilized by the same concerns. I can't speak for anyone else, but my humble suggestion is: Your uniform is come-as-you-are, and your marching orders come from your conscience.

#701 ::: Sten Thaning ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 02:48 PM:

Laertes @692: Interesting. The way I think about these concepts, "cheating" by definition involves breaking the rules (usually with a strong connotation of not wanting to be found out). The idea that you could cheat within the rules is new to me.

#702 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 02:50 PM:

KayTei @ 698: Given that (as I understand it) the business meeting where WSFS considers changing the rules isn't until Sasquan, i.e., late next summer, and that the earliest any rule change could take effect is 2017, I suspect that hasty action isn't likely to be a problem--which is a good thing, I would tend to agree. Talking about possible changes over the next several months, however, is a good thing--as well as discussing what an "ethical response" to the current situation might be, I believe. (In other words, not disagreeing with you at all, just pointing out that not many rule changes are likely to be instituted Right Away anyway . . .)

#703 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 03:11 PM:

james woodyatt @693:

Long time no read! Good to see your prose again.

There isn't really a uniform or marching orders. We're kind of doing marching not-orders.

If you find this matter makes you want to do something about it, the basic "something" to do is to buy a supporting membership for Sasquan (here)> This will entitle you to vote in the Hugos (and nominate for next year's awards too).

How you use those votes are up to you. There are various suggestions around, many of them involving the use of "No Award" in the rankings (this blog post by Kevin Standlee is a helpful explanation of the meaning and implications of that choice).

I can tell you what I am going to do, which is to put every entry on any slate of any kind under No Award, because I disapprove of slates. Even when I like the work in question.

But you have to figure out what you, as an individual, want to do. Because—and I really do mean this—that's the whole point. I wrote a whole blog post on the matter and everything.

#704 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 03:12 PM:

695
I sometimes describe that level as 'they'd need a radio-telescope and a native guide just to start looking for a way out'.

But it's also very easy to tell lies to people who don't know that they're lies, and if the lies benefit the teller and not the hearers...caveat emptor doesn't cover malice.

#705 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 03:16 PM:

701
Those of us in the US (or following US politics to any degree) have seen a lot of this kind of rule manipulation.
It may not break rules in the literal sense, but it's definitely breaking them in other ways.

#706 ::: Kevin Standlee ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 03:18 PM:

Laertes @692:

The punishment for breaking a taboo while remaining within the letter of the rule should be a response from the community that also remains within the letter of the rule,...
That is very nicely put. I hope you don't mind if I start using that. Somewhat to my bemusement, I find myself being asked to speak to reporters because of my visible position on the Hugo Awards Marketing Committee and because the Chairman of HAMC is mostly enjoined from speaking on the record on account of being one of this year's Hugo Award Administrators.

#707 ::: Buddha Buck ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 03:19 PM:

CHiP @685:

My comments that you were replying to were in response to a suggestion to adopt Mike Stone's proposal, but limit nominees to 5 per category.

As Mike Stone's proposal diffuses slates exactly the way you suggest -- by allowing additional non-slate nominees onto the ballot -- limiting the nominees to 5 would not work.

I think expanding the ballot, while still limiting the number of nominations per person, is possibly one of the better ways to deal with this. The current attack by SP3 is about ballot access, not gimmicking the final vote.

IRV is designed to deal with multiple candidates where FPTP is fundamentally broken. Limiting the final ballot to 6 choices (counting Noa Waard) should not be necessary from a voting system standpoint.

#708 ::: Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 03:28 PM:

@703: It seems to me that votes can be divided into 4 categories. (It's been implicit in the discussion, but I think an explicit statement is worthwhile.)

1) votes for non-slate nominees
2) votes for human shields
3) votes for the SP group
4) votes for No Award

One might decide to vote for the nominees based on their merits, ignoring the existence of the slate. But if one wishes to express an opposition to the sabotage of the Hugo nominations, one has to make two decisions - whether to merge categories 1 and 2, or 2 and 3, and where to place No Award (before 1, before 2, or before 3).

I recognise that there is a range of criticism to be addressed to the responses of the various human shields.

#709 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 03:34 PM:

Stem @701--A lawyer of my acquaintance sometimes makes this distinction between legal and ethical: if it's legal it may or may not be ethical. You can do a good many legal-but-unethical things and not get into legal trouble, but you'll still do a lot of harm.

What's been done was legal; the community consensus here is that it was both unethical & likely to cause harm.

#710 ::: Michael Eochaidh ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 03:34 PM:

Laertes @687: We're probably in the same boat. I had no idea until last year that there was a Hugo packet sent to supporting members, and decided against it.

This year I'm angry.

#711 ::: tavella ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 03:38 PM:

Unfortunately, expanding the ballot won't work. Sure, if you were talking about ethical actors it would, but do you think that the creeps currently playing would have any issue with whipping up a web page that would assign voting slates to people, ensuring that the votes were still spread out to fill all slots? You have to remember Brad T for all his ego is just a cover; the Rabid Puppies were the ones providing the real voting power. And Beale is deep in the whole MRA/white supremacist/GG/et al network, both on and offline. I suspect the real vote recruiting went on in much less public venues than Twitter.

I've come to the conclusion that the only ways to fix it are to restrict the pool of eligible to nominate or to institute a jury filter step, a la the Nebulas. And I'm not even sure that restricting nominations to attending voters would be entirely impervious; there'd be fewer ballot-stuffers willing to put up that much money, but there'd also be fewer normal voters.

#712 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 03:38 PM:

CHip @685 Lester Del Rey (justly, imho) rejected the Hugo awarded to Judy-Lynn because he felt that it had been voted because she had died. And there was in fact considerable sentiment around the convention that it would be a nice thing to do, to memorialize her. She would have been the first woman editor to win a Hugo, and this in a field that has been edited by women since the beginning (Cele Goldsmith). No few of us (other women editors working at the time) remarked that we didn't think a Hugo was worth dying for.

#713 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 03:40 PM:

On legal but not ethical and cheating yet within the rules, see the financial bubble and ensuing global depression of 2008 onwards. There was of course also some criminal activity, but things couldn't have gotten so out of hand without people trying as much as possible to game the system for more power and money for themselves, without actually breaking the rules.

So it is here with the SP slate.

I suppose one thing to do tactically is to attempt to split the "But I like those works and they need more publicity" or "I didn't know I could join and vote!" people from the instigators of it all.

#714 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 03:58 PM:

Stewart, #708: 2) votes for human shields

This. A subset of the people on the SP slate appear to have been selected for exactly this purpose. Some of them, based on their responses, seem to be aware of it, while others are not.

beth, #712: No few of us (other women editors working at the time) remarked that we didn't think a Hugo was worth dying for.

Oh, SNAP!

#715 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 04:24 PM:

Lori @696:

I think a key difference here is that the Pegasus has "Best writer/composer" and "Best performer" as two of its categories.

There's no Hugo for "best fiction writer," which is what would overlap the novel, novella, novelette, and short story categories.
There's a "best fan writer" category, and "best fanzine," but no "best fanzine article," and most of the fanzines that wind up on the ballot have writing and artwork by several people.

It's easy to think "I'm voting for the writer" when someone has published lots of books (or short stories) in a series, with a continuing plot and characters: but even there, if Stephen Brust's Hawk was on the ballot this year, a vote for it should be based on that book, not how much the voter liked Phoenix or Jhereg, let alone whether they share Brust's political opinions or like spending time with him at cons.

I'm using Brust as an example because it's handy: a book that was eligible and fits the description. I don't think Brust's fans are more or less likely to vote on this basis than Bujold's or Butcher's (or the fans of novelists whose names don't start with B.)

#716 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 04:39 PM:

Vicki -- exactly, the map is not the territory. And filk is a small pond compared to the ocean of published SF.

I am bothered by the fact that someone, anyone, could be permitted to take 3 of the 5 slots in any category. To me, it doesn't seem fair. YMMV, and probably does.

#717 ::: Arwel Parry ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 05:05 PM:

Lori @716: I'm reminded of many occasions in the BDP categories when Doctor Who and Babylon 5 have had multiple nominations (at least until Joe Straczynski started declining multiple nominations for B5 since he didn't understand that they weren't cannibalizing votes for his episodes). I wouldn't want any restriction to limit the number of nominations for different episodes of series, as there's scope for genuine differences of opinion.

#718 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 05:12 PM:

I'd missed the human shield angle hitherto, and it makes my life a lot easier.

See, I thought I had a paradox. If I allowed myself to blanket vote NO AWARD for SP/RP nominees, then I would be allowing the slate nominations to dictate my voting pattern: they'd have won. But if I evaluated everything on their merits as legit nominees, the slates would also have won.

Thank you so much for giving me a better solution!

I'll look for people who I think are human shields and evaluate them on the merits of their work. But I'll blanket NO AWARD the wmbt-flchng pgfckrs who organized the slate, and their adoring chorus -- and by being inconsistent in my approach I'll defeat their objective of controlling my voting pattern.

(Think it's a reasonable compromise?)

#719 ::: Idumea Arbacoochee, Gardener of Threads ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 05:34 PM:

tigtog @650:

I was digging around in the back end for other reasons and found this comment, stranded and alone! I've fed it tea and biscuits and put it back in play (fortunately, the next comment was duplicated so I could unpublish something and keep the numbers straight).

Thanks for commenting, welcome, and I'm so sorry you got caught in moderation for so long!

#720 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 05:40 PM:

Mike Scott has some wisdom-containing words. I especially like:

2. I'm angry about what has happened to an award that was meaningful to me before I even knew what science fiction fandom was, and so are a lot of other people. But it is important to channel that anger in ways that are constructive rather than destructive, rather than acting hastily and regretting it later.

5. That in turn does not mean that we should have a "happy kittens" slate of inclusive and socially relevant SF to counterbalance the sad puppies. Slates are the problem, not the solution, and if the Hugos are reduced to competing slates then they are dead.
7. Any "solution" that allows voters or nominees to be disqualified (other than because they're actually ineligible) can and will be abused. We must move forwards rather than backwards and make the process more inclusive not less inclusive. And it's seldom wise to actually persecute groups who have delusions of persecution.
#721 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 06:13 PM:

Soon Lee: The spectre of disqualified voters and discarded votes is a fiction dreamed up by the Sad Puppies. In the real world, Hugo administrators go to considerable effort to allow any ballot or scritchy mark thereon that can be interpreted as casting a vote.

The Hugos have always been inclusive. Anyone can buy a membership; anyone with a membership (this year, last year, et cetera) can vote. Before the Sad Puppies came along, people only voted in the Hugos because they cared about voting in the Hugos. That's why we never had to build a fence around it.

The SPs focus isn't on broadening the Hugo electorate. If it were, they wouldn't have a slate. Inclusiveness doesn't come with a list of works to vote for.

#722 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 06:16 PM:

Charlie Stross@718:

I sympathise with your plan. However, I see a problem here. If everyone who is not a puppy followed your plan, it would work. If everyone who is not a puppy voted 'no award' except where there are non-puppy nominees, it would also work. But I see no chance of either of these things happening. Certainly we can't get everyone to follow the 'no award' plan; there are people who aren't keeping up with discussion as we are, and wouldn't see the point. And those who do support the 'no award' plan aren't going to abandon their principled stance. But the split between the human shield voters and the 'no award' voters might lead to Vox Day getting a Hugo.

I get the sense that some people are suggesting that 'we' should work out what to do. But there is no 'we'. That's the point; they think there is a 'we', but there isn't; just the convergence of many independent viewpoints.

#723 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 06:23 PM:

721
I remember that in 1984 there were some ballots that we couldn't figure out, and we mailed them fresh ballots with a request to please re-mark it so we could tell what they wanted.

(Then there was the one that came back blank, marked 'Abstain'. On the back. [shrug] It got counted, because it was returned.)

#724 ::: Buddha Buck ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 06:25 PM:

Idumea @719: Oh great, now I have to scroll back several pages of comments ;-).

Charlie Stross @718:

The difficulty with the human shield approach is identifying the human shields, especially in a non-biased manner. Unfortunately, the most common method suggested for human-shield identification is for the human shields to express their innocence by declining their nomination -- effectively shooting the hostages to save them (to extend the human shield metaphor).

I've heard about the following behaviors from slated nominees:

1. Decline the slate, and are removed from the slate.
2. Decline the nomination
3. Accept the nomination, claiming no prior knowledge of the slate or allegiance with the slate organizers
4. Accept the nomination, knowing about the slate or are aligned with the slate organizers

In my mind, (1) are clearly fair actors, (4) are clearly not, (2) are "shot hostages" , leaving (3) as the only human shields remaining to judge what sort of treatment they should get.

How do you decide how to treat individual nominees in that category?

#725 ::: UrsulaV ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 06:29 PM:

@718 Stross - I'll be honest--this is spiteful of me, maybe, but every day that goes by that Human Shields don't step off the ballot, even with Vox monologuing like a badly written super-villain all over the net, even knowing that they're being used as shields--and definitely those who agreed to be on the SP slate in the first place and are demanding that we MUST read them and judge on merit...

Well, the less I feel inclined to reward them. Less Human Shield and more #NotYourShield. People who feel comfortable winning this way, with everythng coming to light, are starting to trouble me. I honestly expected more resignations and less doubling down, and I'm sad to have been so naive.

#726 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 06:55 PM:

Belated doggerel

Whose votes these are I think I know
The sad and rabid puppy show
Have filled the ballot with their slate
And stand upon the dung and crow

They say the liberals bar the gate
Or they don't win, at any rate
Social justice makes them bored
And so they've loaded up our plate

But bloc votes are a sharpened sword
Against the fan-love that is stored
In nominations broad and deep
And so we summon Noah Ward

For votes should not be cast by sheep
We've values that we want to keep
And books to read before we sleep
And books to read before we sleep

#727 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 07:01 PM:

OtterB, that is made of win.

#728 ::: Seth ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 07:17 PM:

#479, if you want to eliminate a slate, subtract the nominations of the third (or fifth) highest count rather than the first. A runaway favorite isn't a slate, and a "slate" of one isn't keeping much off the ballot.

Sasquan has very few requirements; "fairness to nominees" isn't among them.

Finally, the standing ovation when "No Award" wins a few times should be indicative.

#729 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 07:21 PM:

So much win, OtterB; and thanks as well to Fragano at 694.

We are Making Light, and likely to remain so for all the foreseeable future.

#730 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 07:42 PM:

Serge at #516, thanks for the first good laugh I've had in all of this. That's one of my favorite quotes about the use and abuse of power.

#731 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 07:49 PM:

A policy I'm thinking of adopting is to put "no award" before anything on the slate, but to include votes below that line for the "innocent human shields".

If I'm parsing the voting system correctly, this means "I would rather no slate candidates won at all, but if one has to, I'd prefer it to be [insert name of human shield]".

Who's an innocent human shield? I will base this on prior knowledge of the candidate concerned (Andromeda Spaceways, for instance), simple common sense (the big movies in Dramatic Presentation Long Form probably don't even have the slate on their radar), or possibly on behaviour since then (Annie Billet sounds as if she has quite genuinely been thrown under the bus by the slate's organizers, and probably deserves better than that.)

Anyone who is clearly on board with the slate from the outset, or has no problems with being on it now it's revealed, is an uter weed and a wet, i diskard them.

And I will, to the best of my ability, read all the nominated works and judge fairly. In the event that John C. Wright has produced something so magical and insightful and moving that it clearly stands head and shoulders above everything in the field, my vote will reflect that. (In all honesty, though, I do not expect that to happen.)

#732 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 07:59 PM:

Serge Broom @516:

Third end-state is "All will love me and despair" if Galadriel decides to become a writer.
Hunh.

I was going to say something witty and lightweight, but it now strikes me that she's describing the SP's position: they want to seize things we love and smash them beyond repair, and they want us to re-read their books, and love them this time around.

Like the blonde wig, it worked a lot better on Gwyneth Paltrow.

#733 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 08:09 PM:

Steve Wright@731:I've been mulling listing the shields below no award as opposed to leaving them off. I'll probably mull for some time.

#734 ::: Rob T. ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 08:37 PM:

TNH @ #732:

"Like the blonde wig, it worked a lot better on Gwyneth Paltrow."

Um, perhaps you meant Cate Blanchett?

#735 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 08:41 PM:

Unfortunately, in a generalized situation, treating "human shields" above No Award creates a different variety of problem.

Say the Sad Puppies had been countered by another slate - one containing The Goblin Emperor, City of Stairs, Annihilation, Ancillary Sword, and The Three Body Problem, and that the person who drew up the slate had not cleared it with the authors. If you pass good authors who were not complicit then you pass the whole slate. To discourage slate voting, you have to vote down even stuff that is excellent. There's no problem ranking them after No Award, but as soon as you rank them higher, you are effectively endorsing the idea of "good" slates, as long as the authors aren't implicated;and I don't think that's where most people want to go.

#736 ::: Grace Seybold ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 08:45 PM:

OtterB, that was delightful.

I'm also belatedly joining the squee chorus for the new Bujold; this is the first I'd heard of it. Huzzah!

#737 ::: John E. Bartley, III ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 08:51 PM:

s lflng fn nd vlntr t mltpl cnvntns, fl t ndrstnd why th wrng knd f fns shld b nwlcm smply bcs thr prspctv ds nt mtch yrs.

Lrry Crr hs bn frthrght n hs xplntn f th bs f th gd grcs f fndm by spcfc thrs wh hv gmd th systm n yrs pst. Lt's tk lk t th fcts, th cntnd rrtnl mss f trth by th rgnl slctrs f vts n mss.

Crr ds nt wsh nyn t vt fr hm bcs f wh h s, nd hs wthdrwn frm cnsdrtn. H hs ls ffrd p snd sttstcl nlyss.

Grntd, wr Prsdnt Rslyn, wld b srly, ny xtrmly, tmptd, t gv Vx Dy th dlx tr f th rlck. Bt, jst bcs thr's btthd ssctd wth n d ds nt mn th d tslf s tmtclly sspct, jst th btthd; nd thr r ngh rsnbl flks qstnng th rgnl dlgs tht sggst Crr's 'mdst prpsl' fr fn t vt fr bks n thr mrts ln, nd nt n th rc, crd, clr, rnttn, prspctv, r rgn f th thr, s wrthy f cnsdrtn.

#738 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 08:53 PM:

737
[Citations needed]

#739 ::: Aaron ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 09:01 PM:

"Larry Correa has been forthright in his explanation of the abuse of the good graces of fandom by specific authors who have gamed the system in years past."

Correia's claims in this regard amount to either distortions or outright fabrications. What he thinks happened is not what actually happened.

#740 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 09:05 PM:

John E. Bartley, III @737

My goal is to discourage the use of slates in Hugo voting. How would voting for each work on its merits (rather than voting slate works below No Award) do anything to further that goal?

#741 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 09:05 PM:

This has been going on for days, and yet I haven't seen one puppy apologist forthrightly address the charge that organizing a slate is unfair because it artificially amplifies the voting power of the fans thus organized.

All they're able to do is construct straw men on the order of "wrong kind of fans [are] unwelcome..."

One gets the idea that the reason they refuse to acknowledge that argument is that they've got no answer to it that passes the horse-laugh test.

#742 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 09:08 PM:

John E. Bartley, III @ 737, I suggest Correa's 'modest proposal' for fen to vote for books on their merits alone, and not on the race, creed, color, orientation, perspective, or origin of the author, is worthy of consideration.

It would help if you'd actually read the threads. NOBODY is saying that people shouldn't nominate books on their merits along... except, perhaps, the Sad Puppies. If the Sad Puppies had taking the 35 books that their fans had recommended and said, "go forth, read, and nominate what you love; he's a possible place to start", that would have been perfectly fine with everyone. But that's not what they did. They took those 35 books, pared it down to 5, and said, "this our slate". And THAT'S the problem. People weren't being encouraged to nominate what they loved; they were encouraged to nominate a slate.

And slates are the problem. Not liberals, not conservatives, not radicals, not reactionaries. Slates break the Hugos. Because it's no longer "what do I love". It's "whose lockstep do I want to march in." Slates aren't about what the nominators love; they're about what the slate-builders love.

Really, instead of arguing against a strawman, you might want to read the actual arguments of the people in these threads.

And to imply that people MUST read every word before they can decide to downvote a candidate is just silly. There are books that I've thrown across the room after reading a few pages. You want me to waste hours of my life on something I hate? I don't think so; life is too short. I'll give it the same chance I give in the bookstore. They'll get a page or two, to see if they make the first cut. If I can't finish a page or two, they're not Hugo material in my opinion... and it's my opinion I'm being asked for, after all.

Cassy

#743 ::: MickyFinn ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 09:09 PM:

No offense intended to anyone with a similar name, but John E. Bartley, III is really an almost perfect name for a puffed up, self important, pompous figure of ridicule. Although it really needs an Esq. at the end of it for full points.

#744 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 09:11 PM:

UrsulaV, #725: "I'll be honest--this is spiteful of me, maybe, but every day that goes by that Human Shields don't step off the ballot, even with Vox monologuing like a badly written super-villain all over the net, even knowing that they're being used as shields"

Steve Wright, #731: "A policy I'm thinking of adopting is to put 'no award' before anything on the slate, but to include votes below that line for the 'innocent human shields'."

Steve Halter, #733: "I've been mulling listing the shields below no award as opposed to leaving them off. I'll probably mull for some time."

The problem is that I have seen at least 3 people pretend to be Human Shields with the "Oh, noes, I had no idea, I thought I actually earned my nomination!", here and in a few other places -- whilst in posts they've made elsewhere, they make it clear that they're quite happy to use the SPs to get their Hugo nom and maybe even a rocket (if they're not actually enthusiastic SP supporters themselves, which I think is true in at least one of those cases).

I started out thinking that I'd do what I did last year: read all entries, and rank them all based on my feelings about the material.

But now, I'm thinking that I'll read them all (or at least as far as I can into some of the works, before my gorge rises and I have to dash to the loo), and if the authors whose works I like have something nom- or vote-worthy in other years, I'll be happy to do so -- but that all the "innocent enablers" are going to be left off.

As UrsulaV said at #489: "It's hard to watch people fail to clear an ethical hurdle. You cringe internally for them"

I've decided I really can't, based on my own internal ethics, cut slack to people who can't clear this ethical hurdle. No matter how torn they may be, they have to know that their nomination is at least questionable, at best deserved but tainted, and at worst, not deserved. Someone who would grasp at an award under those circumstances... well, I sincerely hope that I never have to rely on the integrity of someone like that in a life-or-death situation.

#745 ::: Peace Is My Middle Name ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 09:16 PM:

#674 Andrew M

Belated thanks. I found 'em.

#746 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 09:16 PM:

741
Or the assumption that because they have a slate that the rest of us must have one also: more projection going on there than a multiplex cinema.

I also got a laugh out of the claim that he's been a 'volunteer on multiple conventions' and that he knows this is going on (implied: from his own experience). My experience with fans is that any three fans will have at least five opinions on anything.

#747 ::: Brendan ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 09:21 PM:

In regard to how voting works, CGP Grey did a series of youtube videos on Single Transferable Voting that may be worth the watch (https://www.youtube.com/user/CGPGrey/videos)

VD er TB(um is there a short way of referring to Mr Beale that doesn't sound like a disease?) quite laughably offered himself up to GG as part of their campaign Not Your Shield. He portrayed himself as a Native American pro-GamerGater.

I think it is telling that his slate did better than the SPs, while the SPs may have reached out to GG, Beale was already well ensconced in their community.

If you weren't sure if The Sci Phi Show and Journal were Shields, they are not. The journal is sold by Castilia House. Both of Lou Antonelli's works were from there even though "Letters from Gardner" is listed on the Hugo listing through a different publisher.

#748 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 09:30 PM:

James@75:Yeah, what I am mulling is to either list them below No Award or not to list them at all.

#749 ::: tigtog ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 09:31 PM:

Idumea Arbacoochee, Gardener of Threads #719, thank you muchly for rescuing my forlornly stranded comment, now comfortably sipping its tea at #650. I had /almost/ reached the point of posting plaintively about its forlornness, but having on occasion myself rescued sadly marooned comments from unexpected places in website backends, I at no point took it personally.

To save folks scrolling I'll thank Tim Walters #631 once more for that gloriously apposite RAH quote, and reiterate that any slate-voting shenanigans will forever now be visualised by me as skunks turning up to a picnic. Picnic Skunks arriving via any slate will never be welcomed by me, and I will be using my brand new Sasquan supporting membership to make that very clear in the deployment of my voting privileges.

I *will* be ranking the human shields above the rest of the Picnic Skunks in the slots below No Award. However, the several nominees whose status as human shield I hold some suspicions regarding will only be one slot higher than John C. Wright.

#750 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 10:16 PM:

John Bartley @737, these aren't the people you think you're dealing with, they don't think the things you believe they do, and you don't know what has happened to bring us all to this point.

None of us think you're the "wrong kind of fan," nor have we ever thought that about you or people like you. Fandom isn't big on that kind of distinction. We're all just fans here. Furthermore, no one's ever kept you or anyone else from buying a membership and voting in the Hugos. You've never been excluded. It's always been open to you.

I don't know whether Larry Correia actually believes his own nonsense about cabals, secret slates, conspiracies to exclude, and insidious self-promotional campaigns. What I do know is that if any of that stuff had been going on, I would have heard about it, and I haven't. Not a peep. John Scalzi's said the same in his latest column: if all that stuff were happening, he'd know about it -- which is true, he would -- and it just isn't happening.

And where in the world did you get the idea that Hugo voters don't judge works on their merit? They do. They always have. What you don't understand is that they genuinely admire and enjoy the works they vote for. It's not because of the author's "race, creed, color, orientation, perspective, or origin," and that noise about "worthiness" is just noise. The simple fact is that Hugo voters honestly like or love the works that their votes put on the ballot.

(Come on. If you're going to believe that Hugo voters pick works because they're morally elevating, you would have to believe they read and nominate George R. R. Martin's work because they somehow think it's good for them.)

If you're willing to calm down and react to what's right here in front of you, you're welcome to stay and talk. But if you just want to yell some more about the SP's strange talking points, take it somewhere else.

#751 ::: Tamlyn ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 10:16 PM:

@725 UrsulaV

I think the Human Shields don't step away because they're convinced they're in the right; that they do deserve this no matter how they got onto the ballot. They don't see the everything coming to light the way you do; they skim over the reasonable discourse on the 'other side' (as they see it) and only the angrier bits jump out, the bits that seem to them abusive. They might not even realise the blindness.

Of course, some of them know exactly what they're getting into and don't care.

Many people believe whatever they are capable of is all that everyone else is capable of. People who don't decline nominations might tell themselves that the people saying to decline, well, they wouldn't be nominated/already have their Hugos. Anyone else in their position would do the same.

Ditto for all the rhetoric about how the Hugos have been manipulated for years. The SPs would manipulate them, so of course the 'other side' would. When they say that hasn't happened... well, the other side must be lying because that's what the SPs would do.

#752 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 10:20 PM:

Cassy B., we are of one mind.

Now someone give poor Mr. Bartley a hand up and offer him a cup of coffee. He's been hit from both sides.

#753 ::: 4jkb4ia ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 10:23 PM:

About the time that SP3 was featured on Breitbart, I visited Torgersen's site, and he wrote that most of the Hugo voters do take it seriously but they cannot stand the dreck they have to read/vote for. In that sense SP has already won. The Hugo ballot looks to their enemies what it looked like to the fans that Torgersen talked to.
I also saw that Torgersen had written that some GGers were interested in this and that they were welcome. I could not believe at the time that these folks could get their whole slate onto the ballot. I thought that they were likely to coalesce around one of the five, maybe Gannon or Correia. But I was quite aware that if you get GGers involved in this that means all kinds of trouble.
One more who will happily spend $40 to be an ordinary fan who will vote. I will read everything. I have little hope for most of it.

#754 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 10:30 PM:

4jkb4ia @753:

The Hugo ballot looks to their enemies what it looked like to the fans that Torgersen talked to.
I can't make head nor tail of that. Can you explain?

#755 ::: katster ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 10:38 PM:

Teresa @754:

I think she means that the SP's have won because the ballot [this year] looks to non-SPs (particularly those on what the SP perceives as 'the other side') like the way ballots [prior years] looked to the SP crowd. That is, full of stuff they don't like.

At least that's how I parsed it.

#756 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 10:38 PM:

4jkb4ia #753: "The Hugo ballot looks to their enemies what it looked like to the fans that Torgersen talked to."

TNH, #754: "I can't make head nor tail of that. Can you explain?"

I think 4's saying that the SPs have succeeded in turning the tables: They were complaining that what they nominated didn't get on the ballot, and they couldn't stand the voting options they were then given. Now those of us who, while we didn't get everything we wanted on the ballot, at least got to see some of it there, have been presented with a ballot full of what we regard as dreck.

#757 ::: katster ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 10:44 PM:

Also, hi, another mostly-lurker who's been reading these threads with avid interest. I'm on the outermost fringes of the Fluorosphere, but I did show up to the 2008 Making Light Party at the Denver Worldcon for a bit, and still have my button.

#758 ::: UrsulaV ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 10:48 PM:

@ 751 - Sigh. You're right, I'm sure. It's just...

I mean, look, I'm up for a Nebula this year. (I don't expect to win--Eugie Foster ought to get it, as far as I'm concerned, and I'll stand and cheer if she does.)

If I found out tomorrow that somebody had been handing out fifty dollar bills and free hugs to people if they agreed to nominate it, I would recuse myself so fast that they'd think the Nebula was made of asbestos and fire ants.

I am not that good a person! I am small and petty and greedy and malicious and I have lost my temper three times today already at stupid people! I just can't believe I'm anybody's moral superior--I'd be turning down as much because I didn't want people to snort and roll their eyes when my name came up as because it's right!

It's just...can't they see how tainted this is? Do they think we're not watching?

I dunno. I really expected just a flood of refusals and I'm stunned that it isn't materializing.

#759 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2015, 10:50 PM:

Hey guys, hey Katster, I'm about to shut the thread down for the night. I'll see you in the morning.

#760 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 10:35 AM:

Someone posted elsewhere that she was planning to open the attachment for each nominated story, start reading and decide based on the merits of the writing, with the caveat that, in some cases, the reading would stop as she came across the author's name on the title page.

#761 ::: Zvi ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 10:41 AM:

Serge @761:

It was Mary Robinette Kowal.

#762 ::: Chris Meadows ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 10:46 AM:

Here's a blog piece comparing the Hugo situation to the decline of the Republican party. (Worksafe despite the URL.) Interesting perspective on things.

#763 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 10:49 AM:

There's at least one of the slated and nominated works which is by a writer I find worse than foul. (No, not the obvious one. Someone more conventionally horrid.)

If that person has managed to write something I feel Hugo-worthy, I'll be hard-pressed not to vote for it out of amazement and hope for the future.

#764 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 10:53 AM:

Zvi @ 761... Right. It was Mary Robinette. I wonder if sockpuppets are foolish enough to pick a fight with her, what with her being a puppeteer?

#765 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 10:54 AM:

I'm having a big problem with the term "human shields". I think that's escalating language. It implies that putting them below No Award is the equivalent of killing them. Feels like a rhetorical weapon to me.

Let's remember that no one in this situation is going to be shot, bombed, or otherwise physically harmed* by the application of votes on a Hugo ballot.

I also have a problem with trying to evaluate the people who were included on the SP/RP slates for some kind of moral probity or compliance with my ethical views. That is very close to exactly what SP/RP accuse people like me of being, and claim not to be themselves. It's also a very high bar to set people who were just trying to make some good art. I'm not sure it's a bar I'd clear myself.

Going back to my own personal principles here: I object to slates. I think they break the Hugos. So for me, it's not about the moral probity—or even the artistic ability—of the people on them. I will put anyone on a slate below No Award when I vote for the Hugos, even if Ursula Le Guin herself winds up there. Normal service will resume when the Hugos aren't broken.

I'll also read the Hugo entries, up to the point where I can't stand them any more. And if I find an author whose work I like by so doing, I'll put them on my list of "people to watch for", because finding good authors. If they produce something good in 2015, I may very well nominate it in my personal, private, non-slate fashion.

As always, let me be clear that this is my own personal opinion. Everyone should examine their own conscience and figure out what they feel is the best thing to do in this situation.

-----
* I gather from Mary Robinette Kowal's blog that there have been death and rape threats sent to people. That's totally unacceptable behavior, from anyone. It is also, alas, something I expected; there is a set of trolls who circle every internet quarrel looking to inflame it with these tactics.

#766 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 11:03 AM:

I do wonder whether all these people know about Day. It may in fact be that there is no real fundamental difference between Torgersen and Day, but certainly there is a difference in the way they present themselves.

A lot of discussion has focused on Torgersen and the Sad Puppies, because, I think, in the run-up to the announcement, most people assumed that they would be more successful. But in fact, as Mike Glyer has shown, where there was a conflict between the lists Day was more successful. I'm also fairly sure that Day did not ask the nominees if they consented to be on his list, given that it was basically cribbed from Torgersen with a few alterations to make it worse.

If some of the nominees were made aware of Day's significance, might they take a different line?

#767 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 11:12 AM:

abi @ 765... I heard from her blog about the threats. Iago wannabes?

#768 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 11:26 AM:

Mary Frances @ 702

Oh, totally agreed that talking about it now is helpful in all sorts of ways. It's just that one fail-mode that I have noticed never seems to end well is when people get into trying to one-up rules lawyers by closing each "loophole" in the rules as it gets taken advantage of. It often extends into trying to proactively bomb-proof your rules, which in my experience, tends to get clunky, hard to administer, and it puts the rulemakers in a conflict-based relationship with the larger group, which is emotionally draining for everyone.

I tend to think that any agreed-upon rules will do just fine for the majority of people who will act in good faith. But when you change the rules to stop people from behaving poorly, you appear to admit that what they did was appropriate under the former rules. I think the message here is that the larger community feels it was not appropriate, even though it was permissible - if the rules change and they find a different loophole, that won't be appropriate either, even though it may arguably be permissible.

So the strategy of reaching out to include the broader fanbase and downvoting slate picks feels like a good solution to me, because the rules aren't the problem - the problem is people who are focused on winning at all costs.

(Sorry for the delayed response - I finished figuring out what I wanted to say about 10 minutes after Teresa closed the thread for the night.)

#769 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 11:28 AM:

Mary Frances @ 702

Oh, totally agreed that talking about it now is helpful in all sorts of ways. It's just that one fail-mode that I have noticed never seems to end well is when people get into trying to one-up rules lawyers by closing each "loophole" in the rules as it gets taken advantage of. It often extends into trying to proactively bomb-proof your rules, which in my experience, tends to get clunky, hard to administer, and it puts the rulemakers in a conflict-based relationship with the larger group, which is emotionally draining for everyone.

I tend to think that any agreed-upon rules will do just fine for the majority of people who will act in good faith. But when you change the rules to stop people from behaving poorly, you appear to admit that what they did was appropriate under the former rules. I think the message here is that the larger community feels it was not appropriate, even though it was permissible - if the rules change and they find a different loophole, that won't be appropriate either, even though it may arguably be permissible.

So the strategy of reaching out to include the broader fanbase and downvoting slate picks feels like a good solution to me, because the rules aren't the problem - the problem is people who are focused on winning at all costs.

#770 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 11:29 AM:

Oh, drat it. I got the dreaded internal server error, but I swear I double-checked the thread before reposting.

#771 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 11:47 AM:

Serge @ #767

Or a false flag operation by the Gators or V.D.?

#772 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 12:01 PM:

On expanding/restricting the poll of voters:

Either, if done effectively, would help to overcome the present problem. Both, however, would have downsides.

The downside of restriction is obvious; it would prevent people voting who want to vote and have a valuable contribution to make.

One downside of expansion is that it would threaten the Hugo packet; this depends on a bet by publishers that the number of people who will read the works in order to vote is less than the number who might be attracted by a win. But more generally (and connected with that), I think it would weaken the force of the Hugos as a system of recommendation, which several people here have said they value it as. If it's to be a way of finding good stuff and bringing it to a wider public, it needs a voting body which is not the same as everybody who has any interest in the field; and ideally a voting body which does not just read and enjoy SF, but is engaged in discussion of it.

I think at the moment the Hugos fall uncomfortably between two stools. They are neither wholly open nor wholly closed; and because they try to be open, they attract criticism for not being more open. There's obviously nothing wrong with a body of restricted membership (The Motion Picture Academy, the Institute of Library Professionals, whatever) giving awards. You may wonder whether WorldCon is a body whose awards deserve notice, but I think they do, because members of WorldCon are typically engaged in a conversation about science fiction. But if the awards seek to be more than a set of awards from a body which has a valuable point of view - if they seek to be definitive in some way - they come up against the problem that they don't represent everyone.

Perhaps, if this situation continues and a change is needed, the answer is to split the Hugos in two. Have one set of awards which is widely advertised, has a low bar to participation, and probably has a reduced number of categories, so that it will cover only things with a wide popular appeal. Have another which actually represents the judgement of WorldCon - I think restricting it to attending members is too narrow, since it limits people financially and geographically, not just on the basis of interest, but perhaps to attending members and those who have been supporting members for three years, so that it catches people who have an actual interest in the convention, not just in the awards.

#773 ::: UrsulaV ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 12:03 PM:

@ 771 - Cadbury Moose - I'll be honest, this makes me cringe a little.

Gators yell "False flag!" so often that it appears to be a hindbrain reflex. At this point, if Brianna Wu was visiting California and the whole Ring of Fire let go at once and half the Pacific was a smoking crater, Gators would claim she'd gotten to the news media and faked the lava to make herself look like a victim.

I don't want be like that. Not because I think they're incapable of it, not because I don't think they're awful--heck, at this point I might piss on Torgersen/Vox/Correia/et al if they were on fire, but I would send them a bill afterwards for my services.

But that said, just because you are a loathsome human being doesn't mean that people can't do bad crap to you. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, I think we should treat this as entirely sincere and reprehensible.

I'm not saying that it's not worth looking into, but I really feel the first response to "I got a death threat" should always be "Oh god, are you okay? That's awful!" not "Nah, you probably made it up."

I'm not trying to lecture you here, Moose, I suspect you're just pointing out the possibility, but I start to get really uneasy when we're yelling the same thing as KiA.

#774 ::: Robert Z ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 12:11 PM:

Andrew M @766: The way I'm thinking about it, there are two issues here. One is about having a problem with slates in this sort of election process; the second is about having a problem with slates assembled by people whose politics/morals/tastes differ from one's own.

It's the second issue that has caused this discussion to become so murky so quickly. If the Sads had existed without the Rabids, I suspect the last few weeks would have gone very differently.

The SPs think people have a problem ONLY with the second. But people really have a problem with mostly the first. (But the second is Totally. Not. Helping.)

That is, if people want to be horrified or disgusted by VD, or disappointed/squicked that Torgersen/Correia are comfortable associating with VD, fine. But they should really have a problem with the destructive influence of slate-voting.

If I were an author whose work had appeared on the SP or RP slate, I would have asked to be removed because of the first reason, not the second -- no matter how much I might otherwise agree with or be disturbed by the slate-maker's politics/world-view.

So I think it might be unfair to demand that authors who have appeared on the slate(s) recuse themselves in order to prove that they're moral enough to win a Hugo. We simply need to educate people on why slates are bad.

#775 ::: Robert Z ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 12:26 PM:

me @774: I want to amend my last comment; it sounded smug, like I would have known exactly what to do after getting a nomination notice from the Hugo people and learning about my work's inclusion on a slate. To be honest, I can't know for sure what I would have done. I only hope that once I noticed the internet exploding, I would have known to get educated, fast.

#776 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 12:28 PM:

KayTei #769: Well yes. See also, bullies co-opting Zero Tolerance policies, which has been discussed on at least one DF(D)Ts.

I think the issue is roughly that the defenders have the "position of the interior" -- to "bulletproof" the rules, they need to cover all possible exploits. Meanwhile the attackers only need to find one opening. That's a fundamental asymmetry, and it suggests that what's needed is instead an "active" defense -- see what they're trying, and respond to that. Which is indeed what is happening.

I agree with various others here that the No Award response is simply correct for this and next year. And something like the N-2 rulechange is probably a good idea for moving forward But I doubt that anything much more drastic than N-2 that is needed, or wise, because adding complexity or instability to the rules is likely to make more openings than it closes.

#777 ::: Buddha Buck ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 12:38 PM:

Robert Z @775:

What should, in your opinion, an author do if he/she gets the "you were nominated" call after making the following series of blog-posts?

2015-01-01: Just a reminder to my fans, here's a list of works I've put out this year which are eligible for various awards. I despise the idea of Hugo slates, so please don't put me on any.

2015-02-05: It looks like the Shthd Pgfckrs put my story on their Hugo slate this year. Regardless of the politics or merits of the Shthd Pgfckrs, I despise Hugo slates, and do not want to be on their slate. Please remove me.

2015-03-15: Hugo nomination season over tonight, and still the Shthd Pgfckrs have not removed me from their slate, despite repeated requests. At this point, I almost hope I don't get nominated, as I don't want to have to make a difficult lose-lose decision.

#778 ::: Buddha Buck ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 12:38 PM:

Robert Z @775:

What should, in your opinion, an author do if he/she gets the "you were nominated" call after making the following series of blog-posts?

2015-01-01: Just a reminder to my fans, here's a list of works I've put out this year which are eligible for various awards. I despise the idea of Hugo slates, so please don't put me on any.

2015-02-05: It looks like the Shthd Pgfckrs put my story on their Hugo slate this year. Regardless of the politics or merits of the Shthd Pgfckrs, I despise Hugo slates, and do not want to be on their slate. Please remove me.

2015-03-15: Hugo nomination season over tonight, and still the Shthd Pgfckrs have not removed me from their slate, despite repeated requests. At this point, I almost hope I don't get nominated, as I don't want to have to make a difficult lose-lose decision.

#779 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 12:46 PM:

Robert Z@774: I wasn't actually trying to suggest that they should withdraw, though I now see I could easily be read that way; I really was just speculating. I actually think there is quite a good reason for them not to withdraw, i.e. that it might increase the chance of the really horrible people winning.

#780 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 12:47 PM:

Teresa Nielsen Hayden @750,

Reading GRRM's SoIaF is good for people, insofar as it makes them feel much better about living on Earth and not in Westeros.

Westeros: like Somalia, but with evil magic and undead!

#781 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 12:51 PM:

Dept. of "You'd Better Believe I Took a Screenshot":

Slate has published a story about the Sad Puppies mess. It's passable, mostly, but it does contain this startling bit of information:

"Day is far from the only writer to invoke Gamergate as a model for the Puppies. Not only do Torgerson, Correia, and co. seem animated by a similar leeriness of minority voices and perspectives, but Teresa and Patrick Nielsen Hayden, the founders of Tor books—a progressive SFF publisher that’s collected its share of Hugo plaudits—have tried to document Twitter cross-pollination between the movements."
That settles it: David Weber's a progressive now. I bet he'll be surprised to hear it.

#782 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 12:59 PM:

Ursula V@773:

I think there are two different things to ask:

1. Did the death/rape threats occur?
2. Who issued them?

As for 1, yeah, I don't actually think my sympathy and caring for people is in such short supply that I need to a forensic examination of the evidence before I ask if someone's OK. I'd rather sympathize with a liar (if there were such a thing in this situation) than be callous to someone suffering.

As for 2, well, I'm increasingly convinced that there are a set of monstrous trolls on drama llamas galloping across the plains of our shared discourse like some weird-ass Golden Horde*. I think they happily issue grotesque threats to anyone who looks vulnerable, in whoever's name will make the best pretty shiny fire.

In other words, I don't think GamerGate grew out of nothing. I don't think transformed sweet, innocent daisy-picking angels into monsters. I think it was a convenient rallying-place for disparate groups who have been doing this for ages but hadn't found a place to meet up before.

-----
* I know you're on the verge of traveling, so please don't take this as a desperate desire to see your drawing of such a thing. Until you're back and caught up, at least.

#783 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 01:00 PM:

Teresa @ 781... Next we'll hear that Sharon Lee's being published by Baen means that she is not a liberal.

#784 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 01:02 PM:

What I'm finding in a couple of places people have linked to elseweb is people who sincerely seem to believe that the Hugo awards should be something other than they are.
Which seems awfully entitled, given the actual situation of what the Hugos are and how they are decided. But instead they think they should be decided differently because this is the internet age after all.
THis thought sparked by Justin Landons piece on pornokitsch and the comments below. The article is to my mind spoiled by making the basic assumption that liberals are making slates/ packing the voters in for their pet projects. Oddly enough the only problem he seems to mention is the rejection of Jonathan Ross as host in London, but nevertheless he states many times that the anti-SP's use the Hugos as a political football too, despite the lack of evidence.

#785 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 01:21 PM:

David Weber's a progressive now. I bet he'll be surprised to hear it.

There is actually a very liberal bent to some of his writing. Weber's personal politics are very clearly conservative, but his authorial voice is surprisingly liberal. I'm not going to go digging right now, but if I were minded to I could write a long post full of quotes. It might be fun to debate some time, but right now I'm just noting the fact in passing.

#786 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 01:26 PM:

Compared to VD, Attila the Hun was a progressive, so in that sense, the Slate article wasn't that far off.

#787 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 01:27 PM:

Compared to VD, Attila the Hun was a progressive, so in that sense, the Slate article wasn't that far off.

#788 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 01:29 PM:

...drama llamas galloping across the plains of our shared discourse...

I'd also love to see a picture of a drama lama. In fact, I want a picture of several lamas playing instruments, with a caption that reads, "Dramalama? That band sucks!" And I want T-shirts! Nice T-Shirts.

As with Abi, this is not a request for Ursula to draw anything.

#789 ::: rea ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 01:34 PM:

In case anyone's interested, here is VD's specific claim about bloc voting in the past (I don't believe it for a minute):

Former Hugo admins have ADMITTED they know about past bloc votes. Just to give one example, there was a Tor bloc vote in the Long Form editor category from 2007 to 2011. A Pyr editor put together a rival bloc vote of about 50 additional votes in addition to his usual support and topped the nominations for three straight years, but kept losing until the two Tor editors both declined their nominations to let him win an award. After that, his nomination vote promptly went back to the usual 40 or so votes.

The following year, the Tor bloc voters arranged for Patrick Rothfuss’s editor at DAW, who had never received a single nomination vote in 30 years, to get their bloc votes, then win the award. (Both Scalzi’s and Rothfuss’s novels received the same 48 bloc votes that year.) Two years later, she was back to getting no nominating votes again while PNH of Tor won the award again.

Go through the nominating statistics. It’s very easy to see what was happening. And please don’t insult your own intelligence by claiming it was mere coincidence.

http://www.blackgate.com/2015/04/05/black-gate-nominated-for-a-hugo-award-in-a-terrible-ballot/#comments

#790 ::: rea ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 01:34 PM:

In case anyone's interested, here is VD's specific claim about bloc voting in the past (I don't believe it for a minute):

Former Hugo admins have ADMITTED they know about past bloc votes. Just to give one example, there was a Tor bloc vote in the Long Form editor category from 2007 to 2011. A Pyr editor put together a rival bloc vote of about 50 additional votes in addition to his usual support and topped the nominations for three straight years, but kept losing until the two Tor editors both declined their nominations to let him win an award. After that, his nomination vote promptly went back to the usual 40 or so votes.

The following year, the Tor bloc voters arranged for Patrick Rothfuss’s editor at DAW, who had never received a single nomination vote in 30 years, to get their bloc votes, then win the award. (Both Scalzi’s and Rothfuss’s novels received the same 48 bloc votes that year.) Two years later, she was back to getting no nominating votes again while PNH of Tor won the award again.

Go through the nominating statistics. It’s very easy to see what was happening. And please don’t insult your own intelligence by claiming it was mere coincidence.

http://www.blackgate.com/2015/04/05/black-gate-nominated-for-a-hugo-award-in-a-terrible-ballot/#comments

#791 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 01:37 PM:

Trying to pin any kind of ideological identity on Tor is a fool's game. We simply do not select books to publish with any criteria other than "will this make money? Do you love it?"


#792 ::: Robert Z ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 01:39 PM:

Buddha Buck @778: Given that particular scenario, I'd definitely turn down the nomination. And that goes for the slate assembled by "Unofficial Robert Z We Loves You Forevar Fan Club"...

But what if I didn't know I was on a slate when I get nominated? Yay, I do a happy dance, etc; then I start noticing the hue & cry over slates, etc; and I start to realize what a terrible idea slate-voting is, etc. (And this is all without taking the motives/politics/tastes/etc of the slate-makers into account.) What would I do then? Am I still able to turn down the nomination after they've been announced? If so, I think I'd have to seriously consider doing so. If not, then I think I'd have to say, "My esteemed colleagues Noa Waard and Noah Ward are more deserving of your vote this year. And if I win, I will not accept." Then I'd go have a good mope somewhere dark, with comfort food.

But that's just me. And it's taken me a lot of contemplation and reading to come to this point of clarity. If someone comes to a different conclusion, all I can ask is that they not be so shocked and dismayed if Waard & Ward beat them this year.

This leads me to a question I've been starting to wonder about. Let's say that slates continue to be A Thing (and thanks to SP4, it's looking like they will be). Are we, as a community, going to be able to say, "Slates are bad, and if you do them, you MUST contact everyone to give them a chance to be removed"?

This year's slate-makers have already shown they don't respect the process as it stands, so what makes me think they'd respect a request like that? We'd have to make it a rule. And if we're going to make new rules, we might as well make a rule banning slates. But to do that, we'd have to change the voting process. And if we do that, it won't be the Hugos anymore.

#793 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 01:43 PM:

Vox Day's claims

When you have a large enough set of numbers, there will be coincidences. That's all there is to it. (And shame on Vox Day if that's the best he can do.)

#794 ::: Bruce ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 01:44 PM:

@602- Chris Meadows- 'Designers and Dragons'
@622- Lori Coulson- Diana Gabaldon- 'Writing in my Heart's Blood'
@635- ebear- Gibson 'The Peripheral'; Monica Byrne 'The Girl in the Road'

I'm bloody grateful for these bloody shirts.

@606 Helen S- 'no sffnal content'.
@607 Mary Frances- 'a bit of mysticism in it. Was that it'?
@609 Lee- 'I'm halfway thru 'Crimson Angel'. Is there something that is specifically making it into the sf/f category'

Yes, and it's a spoiler. Um, a technician has a chance to amplify his skills and do good at a moral price. 'You have the technique of Balzac, but not the technique of Wells' said Arnold Bennett to the young Aldous Huxley. The technique of the naturalist novel alone would make 'Crimson Angel' a good historical mystery. The technique of sf, dealing not just with tools that just sit there, but also with changes in the state of the art and the way ethics change with technology, makes 'Crimson Angel' SF.


Is this is all just hooey I made up because I like Barbara Hambly and like SF, so they must connect? 'Crimson Angel' could use a spaceship. Then I'd know. But I didn't make up Arnold Bennett. And I know Hambly has the SF chops to do this stuff, so I watch for it.

#795 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 01:47 PM:

One of the many truly ridiculous things about that conspiracy theory is that it assumes that other publishers either didn't know about it (even though, according to VD, it's obvious), or, for some inexplicable reason, allowed Tor to dominate the Hugo voting without complaining to the high heavens. Yeah, right.

He's not just accusing Tor of involvement, he's saying that every SF publisher is involved in a massive conspiracy to decide who gets Hugo awards.

And his evidence is "waves hands" we don't need to see his evidence.

And people will believe him! That's the worst part. Or the funniest part, if you're a Gene Wilder fan. (common clay of the new West...)

#797 ::: JBWoodford ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 01:55 PM:

OK, so the claim is that Betsy Wollheim had to have gotten block support, because she'd never been nominated before? And that couldn't have had anything at all to do with "The Wise Man's Fear" coming out the year before, right? I mean, three years in the editing (inferred from The Fount of All Knowledge), then hitting the top of the NYTimes hardcover fiction list three weeks after it came out...no, must be a conspiracy.

Sheesh.

#798 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 01:56 PM:

guthrie #784: My take on the Justin Landon article is that he's overworking his analogy to create a false equivalence, directly opposing the actual structural correspondences and the actual differences in the situation.

The SP/RP/GG are properly compared to the Tea Party, co-opting popular complaints to try and subvert an existing organization, but with the actual Tea Party, it was the Republicans they did it to, after the latter had been weakened by ongoing corruption and decay.¹ The Tea Party couldn't have pulled their moves on the Democrats (at least, it wouldn't have gotten them nearly as far), precisely because they'd have been one group among many, with no powerful control system to take over.

The Democrats, in contrast, are the "big tent" in American politics, and suffer the classic vulnerabilities of disunity and divided interests. ("I belong to no organized political party...".) While they've also been partly suborned, that's been done more directly by the moneyed interests, roughly the "globalists" -- but there's still a fair bit of pushback active within the party, which the globalists can't squelch completely, because of that same "big tent" character. To parallel the globalists, the SP/RP/GG folks would have to take over genre publishing, and I don't think they have that much money.

In fandom, the reavers aren't subverting a cohesive group, they're trying to take down the big tent. And I think that in the long term they're going to fail, precisely because we do have increasing experience in dealing with bad actors. And more importantly, because the shift in our positions wasn't a matter of marching orders "from the top", it was the leadership getting smacked upside their heads by the shifting membership. (That is, we already did choose a new electorate.)

¹ IMnsHO, pardoning Nixon was the single most crucial failure of American politics over the last century (possible competition: Prohibition), leading directly to most of our later problems.

#799 ::: pedantka ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 02:02 PM:

(Is this the email address I use to comment here? I can't remember.)

I'm seeing a lot of mentions in news coverage of people intentionally nominating non-white, straight, male authors. Now, as far as fandom is concerned, I live under a rock; I know that people have recently been challenging themselves to spend a year or so *reading* only works by non-SWMs, and I can see that having an obvious knock-on effect on nominations, but is there any evidence anywhere of those preferences being exercised as a deliberate nomination strategy?

#800 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 02:13 PM:

rea@789: What is 'a bloc vote' meant to mean there? A group of people who always vote for the same candidate is a bloc in some sense, but it doesn't need to be organised; it is a natural consequence of having awards for people, who are eligible year after year. A group of people who always vote for two candidates, who are editors for the same publisher, is perhaps a bit more bloc-ish, and not exactly a coincidence, but doesn't require a conspiracy to explain it.

guthrie@784: I think it is true that sometimes political campaigning enters into the Hugos. For instance, last year's Best Related winner was clearly promoted in a political way, and indeed the way Ancillary Justice was publicised had political aspects (which rather overshadowed aspects of the book I found more interesting). Of course, this is quite different from issuing slates; and in any case it does not dominate the Hugos as a whole; I don't see anything especially political about the three previous novel winners, nor about last year's novella, novelette, graphic story, dramatic presentations etc. (And indeed, was not the novelette a celebration of space travel very much in the spirit of 50's SF?)

#801 ::: rea ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 02:22 PM:

Andrew M @ 800--I have no idea what Mr. Beale means by a "bloc." Making sense is probably too much t expect from him, even in small things.

pedanka @799--Of course SWM (I gather the "S" is "straight," rather than "single") can't get nominated, which is why worthy authors like Scalzi and Stross never win. It's much like the prejudice against military SF, which is why Leckie's books don't get nominated. We all know the lefty establishment prefers fantasy authors like Correia and Day.

#802 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 02:23 PM:

798
And in both cases, getting support from people who are usually described as low-information voters: they're unfamiliar with, in the case of the Hugos, fandom in general and conventions in particular, and can't tell truth from lies without the experience they don't have. And one of the lies is that the people who do have the experience are all lying about the [nonexistent] conspiracies (as well as the actual conspiracies).

#803 ::: JBWoodford ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 02:33 PM:

Of course SWM (I gather the "S" is "straight," rather than "single") can't get nominated, which is why worthy authors like Scalzi and Stross never win.

Stross just mentioned elsewhere on the Interwebs that he identifies as bi in a het relationship. Scalzi just looks *fabulous* in Regency getup.

#804 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 02:34 PM:

Andrew M @800:

I don't see anything especially political about the three previous novel winners

Redshirts is by John Scalzi. The Puppies, especially VD, despise Scalzi beyond all reason. They may not see this win as political in the sense of larger-world politics but they certainly see it as a win for an "insider". (The fact that Scalzi's politics are a bit left of center contribute to their contempt but I don't know if they're the primary issue.) They may also feel personally betrayed by Redshirts, due to the twists it takes after starting out seeming like a straight-out rocketship adventure.

Among Others may be a celebration of classic SF and fandom, but it's (a) about a girl and (b) doesn't actually have rocketships, so I think they view it as having literary cooties.

#805 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 02:45 PM:

[I had written this yesterday afternoon (Hawaii time) just as Teresa closed the threads down... posting it now as it's still relevant I think.]

Tamlyn @ 751, re Ursula V @ 725 et al.:
Many people believe whatever they are capable of is all that everyone else is capable of.

Well, the other side of that rule applies too: many people are not habitual liars and simply can't imagine that a whole group of people would completely and blatantly lie to them, especially about things which could easily be checked. If they're told "This kind of thing has been going on all along, you just didn't know about it", their first impulse is going to be to believe it. We've seen this repeatedly right here in the earlier threads on the topic. Honest people, even smart people, can be extremely gullible. Whether they have the common sense to later think "Wait a minute..." or the luck to get exposed to some actual facts about the situation is going to depend on a lot of random factors.

That's the time-honored "Big Lie" technique, that is. If a lie is big enough that it could easily be disproved, a lot of people will initially believe it - because why would anybody lie about something which could so easily be disproved?

And of course a lot of people have an awfully easy time believing anything that strokes their ego, such as "Gee, I really am a Hugo-caliber writer! Everybody loves me! I knew it all along!"

(For example, I was honestly surprised to see ESR initially saying that he knew his writing wasn't Hugo or Campbell grade, and suggesting that he felt maybe he should withdraw. That showed a laudable level of honesty and self-assessment. It is unsurprising that he's retreated from it and decided that staying on the slate would be a tribute to the writers he idealizes and a service to readers, even though he knows his writing isn't very good.)

#806 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 02:52 PM:

Among Others is a love letter to fandom. Of course it won. Mind you, I adore it and think it's a really good novel, but I think it won because of being a love letter to fandom, who return the love.

A bloc vote would be a sequence of ballots that had exactly the same ranking of the nominees in all categories. I'd really like to see the proof of that. I can promise you that even the Hugo ballots of Tor employees would NOT meet that criteria.

#807 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 02:57 PM:

JBWoodford @ 803: Stross just mentioned elsewhere on the Interwebs that he identifies as bi in a het relationship.

Well, he mentioned it recently, but it's definitely not the first time, and I don't think he's ever been secretive about it. As he wrote on one of those occasions, it's classic "bi erasure" - if you're in a long-term heterosexual relationship, everyone else automatically classifies you as straight. To counteract that, you'd have to be practically shouting from a megaphone that you're bi, most of the time.

Some of us might like to be correctly identified but just don't feel that we should need to be constantly publicizing it. It's a bit of a double-bind.

#808 ::: JBWoodford ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 03:13 PM:

Clifton @807:

I think I may have seen him mention it a number of years ago as well; it was more that having just seen the statement (along with a comment on not wanting to contribute to bi erasure, as you say), I wanted to get the correction in.

#809 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 03:18 PM:

lorax @804: IMO Among Others and Redshirts share a characteristic (besides being stonkingly good reads) that makes them much more likely to be nominated for/win a Hugo: they are deeply about fannishness, about what it's like to engage with a text you are a fan of.

Among Others is about growing up isolated and learning your morals from the books that are your friends. Redshirts is so deeply meta it goes down a further meta-wormhole towards the end (before the twist; the twist does it AGAIN), and the text it is meta about is one of the foundational pieces of fiction of our society … thinly disguised.

Fen love reading books about themselves, just as the Oscar voters love movies-about-Hollywood (or writers) beyond all reason.

The SPs probably had reasons for hating both works: the girl cooties lorax mentions, in Among Others' case; their hatred of Scalzi for Redshirts, perhaps. Though I've also noticed they tend to froth angrily about books where the protagonist is notably non-powerful, and the Redshirts protag definitely fails to be Butch And Strong. (Goblin Emperor also has a severely non-powerful pro tag). I imagine they dislike the sensation of being inside a viewpoint character of that sort.

#810 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 03:19 PM:

TNH @ 781: as of this reading, the parenthetical clause about Tor is gone.

Alex R. at 788: Drama lamas? Didn't Kipling write about them fighting with pen cases in Kim?

Bruce at 794: but was the improvement historically documented? Noticing how tech has affected history is not SF, IMO.

pedantka @ 799: I'm sure \somebody/ used that as a guiding principle; among >2000 nominators, you'll get >>2000 principles. But none of them made any public attempt to drive a SJW-ish slate.

lorax @ 804: VD et al. may consider the mere idea that cannon fodder thinks for itself to be intolerably SJW-ish; cf Rummy's "You go to war with the army you have [and screw them if they don't have adequate armor]." Or they may hate him because he's so articulately centrish \without/ sounding smug/pedantic/"reverse-racist"/...; cf the Republicans' desperate attempts to take down Clinton (who was hardly liberal but could just-folks better than Reagan, taking away their only tool for conning the electorate).

The Hugos may lean comparatively leftward in years when the Worldcon goes out of North America; cf the novel wins in 1975, 1985, 2010, and 2014. But if so, ISTM that it reflects an electorate that puts the "world" in "Worldcon"; I don't see a membership map in Sasquan's PR3, but I remember US Worldcons having relatively small fractions of overseas memberships. (Ancient data: 1980 (Boston) was ~5% Canadian, ~5% other non-US; 1979 (Brighton) was ~40% US attendance, ~60% US membership (due to a hard-fought Worldcon race?).) That probably makes the Puppies even sadder; their philosophies run alongside US exceptionalism.

#811 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 03:25 PM:

PS: a post of mine from this morning is still waiting judgment -- I didn't \think/ it was particularly triggering, but will listen if there was anything other than a mindless filter objecting or glitchy software hanging up....

#812 ::: Chris Meadows ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 03:34 PM:

I'm going to take my crystal ball and predict next year's biggest headache so you can all be sure and stock up on analgesics ahead of time.

Terry Pratchett's final novel will be published posthumously later this year.

Recent posts by some SP partisans have loudly lamented the fact that Sir Terry never won a Hugo. (Conveniently eliding the fact that he was nominated for one but declined the nomination because he preferred to be able to enjoy himself at WorldCon.)

I wouldn't put it past them to put that Pratchett novel on their slate. They're probably already planning it now.

#813 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 03:38 PM:

I was just saying on the Bruce Schneier thread that the Puppies are not a super-organized huge group, but a mixed group of people with different agendas, some of whom would not do it if it were harder.

We can see this from the figures -- they didn't all vote in all the categories, only the ones they cared about.

There are probably a maximum of 300 of them.

I was thinking about ways to make it harder for them.

And I just thought of something we could do instantly that wouldn't make it harder but might make it significantly less attractive to some of them and which doesn't involve voting or rules or anything, because it was never discussed at the business meeting and isn't official.

We can stop doing the voter packet.

People talk about the voter packet as if they're entitled to it, as if it's something you get for your supporting membership, but it isn't at all.

It's something John Scalzi started on his own, and then Worldcons have taken over. (I've always felt uncomfortable with it because the readers feel -- quite legitimately! -- that they have paid for the books, but the writers don't get a penny. I've said this here before.) But we're not obliged to do a packet, nobody is entitled to it.

If MidAmerican announced now that they wouldn't be doing one, so it wasn't an inducement to vote, I wonder how many Puppies would just wander away and not find their $40 so well spent?

#814 ::: Simeon Beresford ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 03:41 PM:

I never got the Jonathon Ross thing, A guy gets vilified by the British right wing press. And the left wing of American Fandom turned on him.

Meanwhile Jim Butcher who has written objectionable stuff and is on the sad puppies Slate seems to get a free pass. Remember when Harry Dresden's apprentice offered herself to Him or the time when she had involuntary orgasms while he watched and cracked jokes about it with a friend?
Both He and Jonathan Ross strike me as two human beings trying to be better people and getting it wrong sometimes.

#815 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 03:48 PM:

lorax@804, et al: Oh yes, I know why they didn't like Redshirts. (Whether they had a special reason for disliking Among Others, or whether they've just forgotten it, I'm not sure.) My point was just factual; I think there is (non-puppyish) political campaigning in the Hugos, but I don't think it dominates them.

pedantka@799: In the same spirit, I think some works by non-SWM's are sometimes promoted with the aim of increasing diversity; I have certainly seen people advocating specific works on those grounds. I think this has probably had more of an effect in the short fiction categories and the Campbell than in Best Novel, but two examples of it there were the nominations for N.K. Jemisin and Saladin Ahmed. This does not, of course, mean that people are voting for works they haven't read and enjoyed, but sometimes they may be giving special weight, among the works they enjoy, to works by diverse authors. Again, this clearly has not taken over the whole ballot.

#816 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 03:55 PM:

Jo, I've been advancing that suggestion in other places. The voter packet is a recent development, not some traditional thing like the supporting members getting a program book. Eliminating it would remove a external inducement to buying memberships for purposes of bloc voting.

#817 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 04:00 PM:

I think the shorter-fiction categories might be seriously harmed by the packet disappearing, but certainly taking the novels and graphic stories out of it would remove a lot of people's extraneous motivation without making it significantly harder to read all the nominees.

#818 ::: rea ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 04:06 PM:

I wouldn't put it past them to put that Pratchett novel on their slate.

In that rather weird thread I've link to above, Mr. Beale bizarrely claims that a SJW conspiracy kept Banks, Rowling, and Pratchett off the ballot in past years.

#819 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 04:11 PM:

I'm not sure removing the packet would have the effect of reducing SP participation or leverage. It isn't clear how many of the SP/RP's actually read anything that is nominated vs just looking at it as $40 to mess with something.
It would also likely have the effect of cutting down by some extent of supporting memberships for non-SP/RP voters who want the additional incentive to join.

#820 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 04:15 PM:

Presumably, Pratchett's family could decline his nomination.

Banks is the really weird one. Being both a 'literary' author and a leftist one, I'm sure the puppies would be very upset if he had been regularly nominated.

I am very concerned about the idea of either dropping the packet or leaving out the novels from it. I realise it's not guaranteed, and there is a kind of paradox in that it brings in more voters, but a large increase in the number of voters would make it impossible. However, dropping it voluntarily would probably mean either than the number of voters dropped significantly, or that more people voted on stuff they had not read.

#821 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 04:15 PM:

Jo Walton @813, for many of those 200–300 bloc voters, the $40 they spent isn’t for a packet of free books, but for the schadenfreude of upsetting liberals. They’re the same sort of people who contributed money to Memories Pizza, or participated in Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.

#822 ::: Benjamin Wolfe ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 04:29 PM:

I find myself strongly inclined towards Jo Walton's suggestion - I've actually got no desire to give drive space to much of what's on the ballot. Doing away with the voter packet this year would, I think, minimize the exposure that certain bad actors would get, and I think that's probably for the best.

In fact, I wasn't planning on downloading the packet this year, given the likely poor ratio between things I might conceivably want to read and things that I have no need or desire to.

#823 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 04:30 PM:

I agree with Elliott here, partly because it's not that difficult to go to a bookstore or library to get recent novels. Finding stories that were published in a magazine several months earlier is harder. If we want people to vote knowledgeably in the short fiction categories—which to me includes not voting for anything you haven't read—making it easier to find those stories is a good idea.

There's also less effect on the author's income (possibly none at all).

#824 ::: Joris M ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 04:40 PM:

@797 JBWoodford

If my memory serves me Wollheim was actually championed for by her authors in the year of nomination and win. That seems to have risen enough awarenesses.

#825 ::: Michael Eochaidh ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 04:51 PM:

Andrew M @820: I actually don't find it weird that they're complaining about Banks not getting nominated. First, he's just another rhetorical stick to beat the evil SJWs with.

Second, he's unlikely to disagree with them after his unfortunate demise.

Publicly, at least.

#826 ::: Em ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 04:54 PM:

Vicki @823: While it is true that novels are easier to obtain than non-web-published short fiction, they can still be pretty difficult. A hardcover book runs thirty dollars* at a bookstore, which is a good chunk of money; not all libraries are likely to have new science fiction (where I live, I'm lucky to get science fiction in English at my local library; they're under no obligation to do so, and given the actual cultural makeup of my area, the language they focus on other than French should really be Chinese). My local libary also doesn't have a snazzy inter-library-loan system. My own best bet for new novels other than the voter's packet is "hope my friends have them so I can borrow them".

Easier? Yes. Easy? Not necessarily.

*At the moment, anyway. Given the exchange rate, I'm expecting that to increase.

#827 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 05:00 PM:

Simeon Beresford@814:

I only heard about "the Jonathan Ross thing" in passing and I don't have a strong opinion about it. But I don't think Jim Butcher is getting a free pass here. I've seen criticism of what he puts in his stories; I try to pay more attention to it now.

Butcher has not publicly commented on his nomination that I've seen. (I just did a quick check of livejournal, twitter, and his official web site.) If he continues to have no comment through the voting period, I will seriously question whether to buy his next book. I will forgive a lot, but not the "lie low and hope it blows over" plan.

(I just read _Skin Game_ recently -- when the paperback came out. I enjoyed it greatly. If it had appeared on the ballot in a normal Hugo year, I would think "Well, it's not the pinnacle of the series, but neither was Captain Vorpatril's Alliance and hey.")

#828 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 05:11 PM:

I agree with Em. An additional factor is that the books may not have appeared in one's country yet. (My memory is that Among Others didn't reach the UK till after it won the Hugo.)

And no, of course their pronouncements aren't actually surprising. It's just that some of the ironies are striking.

#829 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 05:41 PM:

WRT the packet, I'd say include the first two (or maybe three) chapters of novels, and the equivalent for graphic novels. That's usually enough for a decision.

#830 ::: james woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 06:02 PM:

Abi, I'm somewhat bothered by a fiddly ethical consideration.

I haven't reviewed any of the Hugo nominated material, and I don't know that I will have the time to review it before the votes of supporting members are to be cast. Basically, I'm thinking about buying the privilege to cast a vote against giving any award at all, on the grounds that I'm concerned about tactical voting in the nominating rounds degrading the integrity of the award itself.

Is that okay? I think it might be, but I'm a bit troubled by it. On the one hand, I have a personal interest here: I use the Hugo award as a convenient short hand to know if I'm probably going to enjoy a work of art. I want the award to be high integrity. On the other hand, I feel really skeevy about voting in an election when I haven't reviewed any of the relevant questions.

#831 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 06:14 PM:

UrsulaV, #773: Ye ghods. I went and looked up what's under discussion here, and my response, I have to admit, is twofold.

First, there's the obvious "No, jeezus ghod, you don't do that shit because decent people don't do that shit!"

But since there appear to be some people who won't accept that (just as there are some people who won't accept that torture is Just Flat Wrong, no matter who's doing it), my second response is the tactical/pragmatic one -- "Don't do that shit because when someone else is shooting at you, the last thing you want to do is hand them more ammunition!"

I offer this second reaction up just in case any of the people who have rejected the first one should happen by here.

Buddha Buck, #777: I would like to think that if it were me, that's the point at which I would make the LBJ Decision. But that, like "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one", is a decision that nobody can make for someone else. It is a valid consideration only if you yourself are the "one" in question.

Teresa, #781: Since that Slate article quoted Torgerson's ridiculous "cover art" claim, I rather wish they had also quoted the takedown of it up in the Particles.

Alex, #785: You don't actually need direct quotes. All you really need is the example of how the Grayson culture is handled in the Honor Harrington series. Grayson is very clearly set up to be the deeply-conservative world in desperate need of progressive enlightenment by the Manticorans. (Note: My personal position about that story arc is not nearly as negative as I've just made it sound. But it can easily be read that way.)

Bruce, #794: Interesting. I'll withhold judgment until I'm finished, though.

pedantka, #799: intentionally nominating non-white, straight, male authors

I can't speak for anyone else -- but I certainly do intentionally nominate things that I've read and enjoyed, and a fair number of them happen to be by authors who are not straight white males, because that constitutes a significant percentage of what I read and enjoy. What the SPs are doing here is assigning the word "intentionally" to the wrong half of the sentence. I'm certainly not going to skip over nominating something by a straight white male author if it blows me away.

On a similar note, I am not picking up the "for one year, read nothing but works by women and PoC" challenge because I refuse to give up the next Changed World novel! (S.M. Stirling is another writer widely regarded as extremely conservative, but you'd never know it from reading that series.)

#832 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 06:19 PM:

james, #830: "I haven't reviewed any of the Hugo nominated material, and I don't know that I will have the time to review it before the votes of supporting members are to be cast. Basically, I'm thinking about buying the privilege to cast a vote against giving any award at all, on the grounds that I'm concerned about tactical voting in the nominating rounds degrading the integrity of the award itself."

That sounds to me like an eminently appropriate reason for obtaining a membership and voting it.

As someone else said, it's a legal response which indicates in no uncertain terms that the use of a legal-but-ethically-spurious tactic to "game" the Hugo Awards is simply not acceptable to those people who nominate and vote in good faith, and who appreciate having the reading suggestion list which results from those good-faith efforts.

#833 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 06:25 PM:

I don't know if Pratchett's or Banks's family would reject a slated Hugo nomination (I suspect they wouldn't be asked about being slated, given the sloppiness that has characterized the current slates, because it's usually more difficult to track down next-of-kin than the published author, but never mind). I do know I wouldn't blame the families for not refusing the nomination. I also know that if something like that happens, the rest of us should speak up loudly against the sheer indecency of slating an author who can't be asked what he thinks about Hugo slates--and mention repeatedly that Pratchett, at least, had officially turned down a non-slated nomination during his lifetime.

And yes, I can already write the responses, but I find I don't care much. It's bad enough having to think about the ethics of voting or not voting for slated works that might actually be good enough to stand on their own; those authors still have future works to write. I flat out refuse to let the SPs or anyone else co-opt authors who cannot refuse their slating.

How about this? I'm going to read the works of recently-deceased authors (that I enjoy) BEFORE the slates are announced, and if I think they are worthy of Hugos, I will nominate them myself. Then, if they are slated . . . I'm going to spit nails, is what I'm going to do.

Maybe it won't happen. I can hope. Sufficient unto the day . . .

#834 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 06:38 PM:

Lee @ 831: Well, that mention of S. M. Stirling sent me down an interesting rabbit hole.

First, I found that the heatherlands domain is now full of ideographs whose meaning I do not know. I'm not terribly surprised it was abandoned, all things considered.

Second, I discovered I know--I mean, if my life were just very slightly different, the daughter and I would see her play this weekend--a contributor to his series. (Now that I've added that link during preview, I see she's not listed as playing. I would have sworn she was! But folks near Fayetteville, Arkansas should go anyway.)

Third, I realized that S. M. Stirling has the sort of cultural liberalism--social justice, if you like--which matches up quite well with rightist neoliberal economics.

(I realize just used liberal first in the modern sense and then the classical sense there. That confuses people sometimes, so I mention it now to avoid that.)

james woodyatt @ 830: 'On slate? No vote!' is a rational tactic. I decided not to when I bought my membership, unless I was convinced at least one slate maker clearly and deliberately invited in thugs. People have made a case in these thread that that indeed happened. If you judge that to be so, I think that's a reasonable response. If you judge it not to be so, I think it's not.

That's how I parse it. Other folks draw their lines elsewhere. They've made good cases for that position and I don't criticize them for doing so. We all have to discern how to Do The Right Thing.

#835 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 07:05 PM:

John A Arkansawyer @834: If you're looking for the musician formerly known as Heather Alexander, his site is now here.

#836 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 07:14 PM:

Elliott Mason @ 835: Excellent! Thank you. I'm surprised the domain didn't get handed off. Or maybe it got sold by the owner. I can't read ideographs, so I'll just hope it's the latter.

#837 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 07:15 PM:

Pratchett. About whom John C. Wright has written before, including loathing himself for not punching him. Suuure they respect anything about him or his work.

#838 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 07:17 PM:

Elliott Mason @ 835: S. J. plays music with them! I'll be damned! I'm not best buddies with her or anything, but we're acquainted, and I love this track she's on:

Beetz In My Salad

#839 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 07:21 PM:

Bruce Baugh @ 837: Jumping Jeebus! He really is a pgfckr, isn't he? Cultured one. But he's no Pound.

#840 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 07:28 PM:

Before Scalzi instituted the Hugo packet, we used to habitually put all the short fiction online for free, and link to it from the Hugo page. This meant everyone could read it, not just the voters, but I don't think this was a bad thing. Some people would take it down afterwards, others leave it up.

#841 ::: UrsulaV ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 07:54 PM:

@ 837 Somebody might wanna screenshot that, incidentally...he seems to be editing his past a bit.

His screed against Pratchett infuriated me all over again. I keep thinking there's nothing more they can do that will make me madder, and yet again, they astonish.

#842 ::: Cat ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 08:19 PM:

For this year, getting rid of the novels and graphic novels in the Hugo packet would make no difference to me. As it happens I already bought (and, after my year's worth of reading, nominated) _The Goblin Emperor_ and _Ancillary Sword_, and I have promised myself the graphic novels as "there there" presents for how the rest of the Hugo Nominations turned out.

However I'd like to put in a word for that voter packet. I don't have the kind of discretionary cash that makes buying 5 hardback books and 5 graphic novels a picnic. Last year I *barely* managed to get the three novels that weren't in the packet in time for the voting through InterLibraryLoan (I live in rural Tennessee--we *have* ILL but it doesn't, for whatever reason, seem to work reliably.)

When I've already shelled out $40 of my book-buying budget on a Supporting Membership, that voter packet makes a real difference in my ability to participate in an informed way (or to participate in next year's nominations in an informed way; if I have to spend $150 on 2014 books, that's money I *can't* spend on 2015 books in order to nominate.

And the kind of nonSFF reading thugs we're concerned about aren't going to care about reading the voter packet anyway, are they?

Oh, also, I have song lyrics about the current Hugo situation. Would this be a good thread to post them in? Or should I just take them quietly away with me?

#843 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 08:26 PM:

842
it's as least as appropriate as the Open Thread. (I also think we have the same book budget.)

#844 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 08:45 PM:

The trouble with reading (or at least skimming) and ranking all the nominees on their merits is that we don't have the chance to rank whatever works were forced off the ballot by the slate voting.

#845 ::: Chris Meadows ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 08:47 PM:

I'd really rather not lose out on all those interesting books and short stories (well, in years where the Puppies haven't piddled all over the ballot, anyway) just because some other people are big jerks.

Adding insult to injury, it would give them yet another victory to crow about, in that they forced the nasty liberal SJWs to stop sending out their preachy message tract fiction to hapless unsuspecting Hugo voters. (Yeah, it would have the side effect of blocking their stuff, too, but that's just a sacrifice they're willing to make.)

#846 ::: Edmund Schweppe ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 09:08 PM:

Teresa Nielsen Hayden @781:

That settles it: David Weber's a progressive now. I bet he'll be surprised to hear it.
Well, obviously Weber's one of those progressive types. No true conservative would write twenty-some-odd books about a nation ruled by a black woman, would he? </sarcasm>

Jo Walton @813:

We can stop doing the voter packet.
As noted elsewhere, the vandals wouldn't care; they were only in it for the lulz.

I have a great deal of sympathy for authors and publishers who are concerned that the voter packet cannibalizes sales. The free nature of the packet, though, is IMHO one of its greatest strengths, in that I can read the stuff I haven't already purchased without financial risk. If I find a particular work to be crap, I'm not out any money; if I find that I really like a particular work, OTOH, I go out and buy myself a non-packet copy.

#847 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 09:13 PM:

David Harmon @ 776
Yes, exactly! Thank you, that is a very clear statement of the problem.

---

More generally, I am not sure I understand the purpose of eliminating or reducing the voter packet. The current strategy is to bring in more voting fans, to outweigh the ringers, correct? And for the strategy to work long-term, they must see it in their interest to continue paying for the privilege of voting the Hugos. In my experience, anger at the sort of provocation being flung by the puppies is only useful for short-term mobilization - it will not sustain the larger membership over any length of time.

So why would you reduce the value of a voting membership by eliminating the only existing long-term incentives likely to appeal to an expanded audience of people who are not motivated by trolling? More than that, you are putting barriers in their way, by requiring them to pay lots of money (in memberships and to buy the books) that will drive a lot of younger and less wealthy people out of the pool by necessity, even if they generally want to participate.

It feels self-sabotaging.

#848 ::: Cat ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 10:04 PM:

No Award
lyrics by Cat Faber 2015

The Puppies have pooped in the punchbowl
It's the kind of thing Puppies will do
And now they declare that it just isn't fair
That we don't want to sample the brew.
See? It smells lovely, they promise
And they take an extravagant whiff;
Understand, if you can, that I'm not a big fan
Of the kinds of things Puppies will sniff.

And I'm nobody's patsy to crown on request,
One of your block-voted cronies the best.
The Hugos one option can always afford
No Award! No Award!

I read and I sought and I pondered,
I worked hard to find good nominees.
For the sake of their hate, they just voted a slate,
Now they want my support, if you please.
Their slate locked out many good options,
Things they themselves would have adored,
If they'd let other voices produce other choices
To vie for the Hugo Award

And I'm nobody's patsy to crown on request,
One of your block-voted cronies the best.
The Hugos one option can always afford
No Award! No Award!

So I'm sorry, I will not consider
Any work from a slate anyhow.
“Be fair” you decree, and I say “I agree!
What a shame it's too late for that now!”
And where there are no honest choices,
No Award will, alas, have to serve.
No Award's the refrain, as the Puppies complain
'Cause they think it's unfair—now that's nerve!

And I'm nobody's patsy to crown on request,
One of your block-voted cronies the best.
The Hugos one option can always afford
No Award! No Award!

#849 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 10:45 PM:

I wonder whether lovers of fan art are perturbed that the two slates did not see fit to list five potential nominees for the Best Fan Artist award, and indeed, both chose to list zero potential nominees.

Perhaps the reason is that, alone among Hugo categories, the Fan Artist nominations were perceived as sufficiently fair and balanced throughout history, and therefore the organizers of the slates trusted that this category would once again produce a fine list of excellent nominees without need of any tinkering on their part.

One would, as a lover of fan art, hope that the reason is not that not one but two slatemakers considered Fan Artist so insignificant as to be beneath their notice. For that would be sad.

#850 ::: katster ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 11:29 PM:

After a couple of days worth of thought, and lots of reading (thanks to you all, among others), I've come to my decision on this matter.

It's similar to abi's, because I think it's the best option of them all, as much as it makes me angry and sad.

#851 ::: katster ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 11:34 PM:

I have no idea how that duped up. I didn't get a server error or *anything*.

#852 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2015, 11:47 PM:

Not to worry, Katster.

Meanwhile, we're shutting down comments for the night in ten minutes or so. We'll see you all bright and early tomorrow morning.

#853 ::: Jonathan Crowe ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 08:39 AM:

I thought the reason VD and the Puppies Hate Scalzi So is because they see him as a kind of class traitor. Old Man's War comes out and Instapundit embraces it and they're all excited: Look! Just! Like! Heinlein! Then Scalzi turns out to have Dastardly Liberal Opinions, which he wasn't supposed to, and so they're madder at him for "fooling" them than they'd ever be at, say, China Miéville, whose tin is at least correctly labelled.

#855 ::: James Harvey ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 08:59 AM:

I'm still turning over in my mind the best approach to all this. Very brutally I have a very busy life, and haven't voted the Hugos before on that basis (except Loncon3, where I was an attending member). But I also feel I shouldn't ignore this hijack attempt on an institution I value because of its symbolism and history.

So if I buy a supporting membership and vote, I think I vacillate between two positions:
- Read and rank the non-slate works and then vote No Award
- Vote No Award in all categories.

Given that I may just not have the time to read the nominees, I can see myself just voting No Award across the board from time constraints as a "better than doing nothing" option.

But I can also see myself voting that way in any case:
- it answers my doubt that the remaining, few non-slate works are a sufficiently representative sample of the year's SF (what I call the "what no Three Body Problem problem")
- it would express a view that, in the current acrimonious environment, we might be just better stepping away from the awards and not giving them at all for the year. I realise this sucks for the people who deserve them. But most of them aren't even nominated.

So that's my current tuppence worth.

#856 ::: James Harvey ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 09:00 AM:

I'm still turning over in my mind the best approach to all this. Very brutally I have a very busy life, and haven't voted the Hugos before on that basis (except Loncon3, where I was an attending member). But I also feel I shouldn't ignore this hijack attempt on an institution I value because of its symbolism and history.

So if I buy a supporting membership and vote, I think I vacillate between two positions:
- Read and rank the non-slate works and then vote No Award
- Vote No Award in all categories.

Given that I may just not have the time to read the nominees, I can see myself just voting No Award across the board from time constraints as a "better than doing nothing" option.

But I can also see myself voting that way in any case:
- it answers my doubt that the remaining, few non-slate works are a sufficiently representative sample of the year's SF (what I call the "what no Three Body Problem problem")
- it would express a view that, in the current acrimonious environment, we might be just better stepping away from the awards and not giving them at all for the year. I realise this sucks for the people who deserve them. But most of them aren't even nominated.

So that's my current tuppence worth.

#857 ::: James Harvey ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 09:02 AM:

argh apologies for the double postage! I did check after the first internal server error!

I think GRRM weighing in probably carries a lot of weight, and is good news.

#858 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 09:06 AM:

Regarding Sir Terry - would it be feasible (practically and procedurally) for the current or upcoming Worldcon committee, or for the WSFS, to vote him some sort of lifetime achievement award? It would have the merits of honouring his memory and respecting his known wishes. (Both of which are far more important, really, than drawing some of the Puppies' carious fangs.)

There may be a number of unused rocket-shaped objects this year, and that would at least be putting one of them to good use.

#859 ::: Tim Bartik ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 09:09 AM:

Not sure whether to put this on this thread or on the voting methods thread, but I think it's more appropriate here.

1. As noted on the voting thread, under current Hugo nomination rules, slate nominations are a dominating strategy, allowing 200 to 300 slate nominators to totally control the nominations even if 1700 other voters disagree. Slate nominations multiply a voter's power by a factor of 5 to 10 times or more.

2. The Hugo nominating rules cannot be changed for next year. In addition, the SP group has already said it plans to do another slate.

3. If the SP group is wise, they will design a slate that will include some attractive options, in an attempt to weaken the position of "No Award" for anyone slated. In addition, they will try to organize even better so that they fully control all slots. This also makes a No Award position less tenable, as it would lead to no Hugo Awards being handed out at all.

4. For next year, the slate tactic is highly unlikely to be successfully countered by simply encouraging many more people to nominate. For that to work, nominations would have to expand by an infeasible amount.

5. For the long-term, I think someone should come up with a better nomination voting system that is less subject to slate gaming, and ideally, rewards diverse tastes. The voting thread has some interesting ideas. This long-term approach has the virtue of responding to the complaint that the Hugo nominations do not fully reflect the diverse tastes of SFF readers. Given the somewhat random nature of the current process, with relatively small numbers of votes determining nominations up until this year, there may be some legitimacy to this complaint. Slate voting as a response, however, is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

6. But what should be done for next year? My conclusion is that for next year, the only way to counter the political power of a slate under current voter rules is to have a counter-slate. But this of course would be equally unethical, and against the interests of diversity.

7. Therefore, my suggestion for next year is that a counter-slate be designed, but be chosen by a voting process designed to maximize diversity, using one of the voting plans outlined on the other thread. In other words, someone outside the Hugo process could run a voting process, and solicit participation. This would be used to construct a counter-slate ONLY if it received a certain minimum number of nominations.

8. If this alternative is rejected as being unethical, I think the likely consequence is that next year's Hugos will be totally controlled by one slate, and that either no Hugo Awards will be handed out, or that the Hugo's will be forced to agree to go along with the slate's nominations.

#860 ::: Tim Bartik ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 09:09 AM:

Not sure whether to put this on this thread or on the voting methods thread, but I think it's more appropriate here.

1. As noted on the voting thread, under current Hugo nomination rules, slate nominations are a dominating strategy, allowing 200 to 300 slate nominators to totally control the nominations even if 1700 other voters disagree. Slate nominations multiply a voter's power by a factor of 5 to 10 times or more.

2. The Hugo nominating rules cannot be changed for next year. In addition, the SP group has already said it plans to do another slate.

3. If the SP group is wise, they will design a slate that will include some attractive options, in an attempt to weaken the position of "No Award" for anyone slated. In addition, they will try to organize even better so that they fully control all slots. This also makes a No Award position less tenable, as it would lead to no Hugo Awards being handed out at all.

4. For next year, the slate tactic is highly unlikely to be successfully countered by simply encouraging many more people to nominate. For that to work, nominations would have to expand by an infeasible amount.

5. For the long-term, I think someone should come up with a better nomination voting system that is less subject to slate gaming, and ideally, rewards diverse tastes. The voting thread has some interesting ideas. This long-term approach has the virtue of responding to the complaint that the Hugo nominations do not fully reflect the diverse tastes of SFF readers. Given the somewhat random nature of the current process, with relatively small numbers of votes determining nominations up until this year, there may be some legitimacy to this complaint. Slate voting as a response, however, is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

6. But what should be done for next year? My conclusion is that for next year, the only way to counter the political power of a slate under current voter rules is to have a counter-slate. But this of course would be equally unethical, and against the interests of diversity.

7. Therefore, my suggestion for next year is that a counter-slate be designed, but be chosen by a voting process designed to maximize diversity, using one of the voting plans outlined on the other thread. In other words, someone outside the Hugo process could run a voting process, and solicit participation. This would be used to construct a counter-slate ONLY if it received a certain minimum number of nominations.

8. If this alternative is rejected as being unethical, I think the likely consequence is that next year's Hugos will be totally controlled by one slate, and that either no Hugo Awards will be handed out, or that the Hugo's will be forced to agree to go along with the slate's nominations.

#861 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 09:15 AM:

James Harvey @855, I believe that the non-slate nominees in the fiction categories this year consist of Ancillary Sword and The Goblin Emperor for novels, and most of the Graphic Stories. So "read and rank all the non-slate works" is not likely to be a huge undertaking.

#862 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 09:59 AM:

Jonathan Crowe @853: I think there's also some kind of mysterious class-traitor aspect to Scalzi's refusal to embrace the cult of permanent smoldering resentment.

Other possibilities: (1.) They can't understand why his post-Heinlein military SF wins awards and hits bestseller lists, and theirs doesn't. (2.) They secretly imagine they could have written Redshirts if they'd thought of it first.

Vox Day's admirers hate Scalzi for his role in getting VD thoroughly and legally kicked out of SFWA.

Red Pill misogynists hate him for his support of anti-harassment measures and his support of female SFWA officers, and also for his unapologetically happy marriage to a woman who's smart, strong, authoritative, funny, attractive, and several inches taller than he is.

Finally, online trolls, bullies, and blowhards purely hate him for what he does to them in the threads at The Whatever.

#863 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 10:39 AM:

Steve Wright: As I understand it the concom is allowed to make special awards (e.g. last year's to the creators of Superman) but they cannot be rocket-shaped objects.

Question: What would happen if there were a lot of 'no awards'? Would we get a series of presenters arriving on stage, reading out the nominees, opening envelopes and saying 'No Award'? Or would the hosts simply say 'There is no award in six categories this year', and those categories be skipped (freeing up time for other things)?

#864 ::: UrsulaV ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 10:43 AM:

Chance Morrison points out on Twitter that Wright's "Yes, Virginia..." was published in 2013 and may not have been eligible to be on the ballot this year.

https://web.archive.org/web/20140102140427/http://www.scifiwright.com/2013/12/yes-virginia-there-is-a-santa-claus

#865 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 10:55 AM:

859
'The good guys' also having a slate is not an improvement. The idea is to prevent slates.

#866 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 11:14 AM:

Has anyone ever tried to compile a list of everything that is eligible for a particular Hugo category in a single year? I've seen M. David Blake's Campbellian Pre-Reading Anthology, of course. Is there anything else like that? An anti-slate, as it were?

#867 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 11:20 AM:

Tim @ 860

I don't see a reason to try to lock into a strategy for next year based on suppositions. Let's see what things look like then and respond adaptably and proportionately to what actually happens.

#868 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 11:35 AM:

Sarah @866 I am not an expert, but the eligibility is almost arbitarily wide. Things that spring to mind:

- The Hugo Admins do not determine if a work is SF or not; voters do so.

- There is no requirement that the work be in English.

- There is no requirement that a book be published on paper, or that a dramatic presentation be recorded.

So the question discussed somewhere here over if the Barbara Hambly book is SF-enough or not-SF-enough is determined for-the-Hugos by the voting process rather than by a rule*.

* What such a rule would look like I leave to the imagination of the reader

#869 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 11:46 AM:

@ 868 I understand that it would be difficult, but can you think of anyone, aside from Mr. Blake, who has made the attempt, even for a single category?

#870 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 11:57 AM:

Locus Magazine makes an effort to list every SFF category book published by traditional publishers, month-by-month. I don't think it's possible to get them all any more, what with online self publishing.

The number just from traditional publishers is in the thousands.

#871 ::: David Kirkpatrick ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 12:00 PM:

I've been reading many of the posts on this topic, both here and on other blogs. I'm in agreement with the broad consensus that slates are a horrid concept with respect to the Hugo Award, and have no sympathy for the Picnic Skunks* because of their use of the method.

I will be voting No Award for all of the candidates who IMHO have affiliated themselves with the Picnic Skunks (of either stripe). This is a slightly more nuanced position than a blanket 'On Slate = No Award'.

I am concerned that a hard-line position on slates will be used against non-Picnic Skunks next year. It is easy to imagine the Picnic Skunks putting a few popular authors on their slate, then chittering away that anyone with a strict 'No Slate' policy is hypocritical if they vote for the slate-included author. (The Picnic Skunks would then, of course, fail to vote for the nominee for the actual award.) I can even see them trying it with Scalzi's 'The End of All Things', but he'd probably figure out an elegant way to eviscerate them. Which would be fun to watch, actually....


*Thanks to Tim Walters @631 for this:

The rules permitted a contestant to submit any number of entries as long as each was written on a Skyway Soap wrapper or reasonable facsimile.
I considered photographing one and turning out facsimiles by the gross, but Dad advised me not to. "It is within the rules, Kip, but I've never yet known a skunk to be welcome at a picnic."
—Robert A. Heinlein, Have Space Suit, Will Travel

#872 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 12:08 PM:

Hm. Yes. I wonder if I could build something that would crawl Amazon and compile a list of books...? That would gather up a decent number of self-published works as well.

This strikes me as a problem that would be best solved with a combination of automation and crowdsourcing.

Many hands make light work, especially on the internet.

#873 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 12:14 PM:

Andrew M. @863: AFAIK, no Hugo Ceremony has ever skipped a category because No Award won. In theory, and very likely in practice as well, they don't know that's the outcome until the sealed envelope is opened and the winner is read out. I've been imagining Sasquan announcing each category separately, and the presenter reading out the full list of nominees, just as it's always done. The ceremony isn't just about who won. Being nominated is also an honor, no matter who or what you lose to. It would not do to skip that part.

Besides, if we were that concerned about saving time, we wouldn't have Dave Kyle going on about the Big Heart Award, or the John W. Campbell Award crowning their winner Queen of the May, or the ceremonious presentation of the Seiyun Award Overseas Edition, or the pause for the annual In Memoriam list. The event might finish faster, but the effect would be like skipping categories: it wouldn't feel like the real thing.

#874 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 12:16 PM:

It would be pretty obvious from the number of rockets on the display, I would think. Unless a trophy is made with "no award" on the baseplate.

#875 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 12:29 PM:

For the long-term, I think someone should come up with a better nomination voting system that is less subject to slate gaming, and ideally, rewards diverse tastes.

I've been thinking about this issue for the past couple days, and I disagree completely. No matter what kind of voting rules are created, they will be gameable. It might be harder to game them, perhaps even so difficult that running multiple computer simulations is required to successfully game them, but they will be gameable.

The new rules that need to get made are rules governing the appropriate behavior of authors, publishing houses, and fans in terms of what behaviors are appropriate in publicizing work for Hugo purposes only. This would involve restrictions on slate voting, "party" politics, etc.

I also believe that some kind of catch-all rule is necessary, something like this: "...all forms of slate voting and any other efforts which might be determined by the committee to violate the norms of publicizing work for the purpose of winning a Hugo."

The Hugo committee should have the power to block a particular nominated story, an author, a publisher, or a slate from the Hugos, including penalties such as a temporary or permanent ban for repeated block-voting activities.

For myself, I feel that it should be legal under the Hugo rules for authors/publishers to do the following, and probably nothing else. Obviously someone might come up with a legal activity which I haven't thought of:

1.) List their published work which are appropriate for Hugo nomination for a given year and not go any further. In other words, an author/publisher can say, "My short story, "Rayguns and Saucers" is eligible for a Hugo this year," but not "Please vote for my story "Rayguns and Saucers" for a Hugo this year."

2.) Host a discussion about Hugo nominations which is not oriented towards picking a slate or organizing any kind of block voting. Authors/publishers would have to monitor their discussions closely to make sure that no discussions of block voting evolved on their blogs/websites. (In other words, what Scalzi or Stross did is legal, but it is also the furthest anyone can go without penalties.)

Fans would obviously be allowed to continue recommending books/stories/etc as before as long as they don't organize slates.

#876 ::: Cat ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 12:34 PM:

What are they going to do with the unused Hugos (if there are some)?

One of my friends got chosen to make the bases this year and he was just honored and thrilled to death and it makes me sad that the puppies had to spit in the punchbowl this year of all years.

#877 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 12:40 PM:

Teresa Nielsen Hayden @ 862

I agree with you (and Jonathan) completely on the subject of why they hate Scalzi. These are the exact same reasons why I hate Scalzi! (Actually, I don't hate Scalzi, I just feel deeply envious of his life, except for the part where he lives in Ohio.*)

* F--k Ohio! I live in a part of the country where I can ski and surf in the same day!

#878 ::: Stephen Rochelle ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 12:41 PM:

Alex R. @875 wrote: "The Hugo committee should have the power to block a particular nominated story, an author, a publisher, or a slate from the Hugos.... Fans would obviously be allowed to continue recommending books/stories/etc as before as long as they don't organize slates."

What prevents the deliberate creation of a slate for the purposes of disqualifying works one is opposed to? Arbitrary disqualification (particularly if/when coupled with arbitrary failure to disqualify) on the part of the concom will make this current mess look like a polite discussion about the merits of ketchup.

#879 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 12:42 PM:

On the Hugo packet: I want to add my strong support to Cat@842. Last year, the samples in the Hugo packet worked fine for me; I could look at the samples to see if the books were worth reading, and go out an buy them if they were. (To give a high position to a book without reading all of it seems unwise.)

But this turns on some very contingent circumstances which aren't going to apply in every case, namely:
a. All three books were available in paperback where I live (which may, indeed, be why the publisher only issued samples)
b. I am, now, financially comfortable enough that I can go out and buy three paperbacks without undue loss: (this has not always been so in the past).

Bear in mind, also, that as well as Best Novel we also have to read novel-length works for the Campbell.

The Hugo packet is important in drawing new people in - and, specifically, the kind of people we want to draw in, people who want to read and consider new stuff. There is, certainly, a problem in that if it draws too many people in it will become unworkable, one reason why 'the more voters the better' is too simple. But at the moment, the Hugo votership consists of two groups of people; those who can afford to follow the field through the year, and those who are prepared to put in a fair amount of time reading the Hugo packet. I think that's fair. But getting rid of the packet would restrict it to the first

#880 ::: rea ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 12:43 PM:

AlexR @ 875: " Authors/publishers would have to monitor their discussions closely to make sure that no discussions of block voting evolved on their blogs/websites."

There's a legal rule, though, that people with websites that have open forums aren't responsible for the contents of comments. The Hugos aren't necessarily bound by US law in that respect, but it would be a shame to have people lose Hugos due to bad comment moderation policies.

#881 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 12:45 PM:

Teres@873: Thanks. But when I said 'leave time for other things' I didn't mean shorten the ceremony; I meant that perhaps other things should be done to fill out the ceremony (including some special awards).

#882 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 01:02 PM:

One of my friends got chosen to make the bases this year...

Can he cut the wood in the shape of an asterisk?
\snark

What prevents the deliberate creation of a slate for the purposes of disqualifying works one is opposed to?

I think it would be obvious when that happened. For example, if Brad Torgerson set up a pro-Scalzi slate and Larry Correia filed the formal complaint, everyone would know it was a bullshit attempt to knock Scalzi off the ballot and the slate could be ignored.

I don't claim to have perfect answers, but unless someone comes up with a change to the voting rules which is well beyond the current state of the art, I don't see a voting rules change as the workable solution without a corresponding change to the rules for authors/publishers. Note that most of the current controversy would go away if the Sad Puppies slate could be erased under rules that made it illegal for publishing houses to promote a slate. Castalia house would lose all its nominees and life would go on.

#883 ::: Kevin J. Maroney ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 01:13 PM:

Alex @ 875, I recoil in horror at the idea that the Hugo administrators should be expected to enforce rules against campaigning. That doesn't mean it isn't the right decision, just that it triggers a deep-seated distrust ideas that boild down to "Let the admins police it."

#884 ::: Aaron ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 01:15 PM:

For those who don't want to scroll through JCW's entire tedious screed linked in #837 and the banal comments that follow to get to the part where he talked about regretting not punching Pratchett in the face, here it is:

"I sat and listened to pure evil being uttered in charming accents accentuated by droll witticism, and I did not stand up, and I did not strike the old man who uttered them across the mouth: and when he departed, everyone stood and gave him an ovation, even though he had done nothing in his life aside from entertain their idle afternoons."

Just JCW fantasizing about punching an old man because he thinks differently from JCW.

#885 ::: Aaron ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 01:22 PM:

845: "Adding insult to injury, it would give them yet another victory to crow about, in that they forced the nasty liberal SJWs to stop sending out their preachy message tract fiction to hapless unsuspecting Hugo voters. (Yeah, it would have the side effect of blocking their stuff, too, but that's just a sacrifice they're willing to make.)"

For many of the Sad Puppy nominees, not having their material in the voter packet would probably be the best course of action. The worst thing that could happen to their reputations is that people might read the junk they have on the ballot.

#886 ::: Em ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 01:26 PM:

Alex @822 I think it would be obvious when that happened. For example, if Brad Torgerson set up a pro-Scalzi slate and Larry Correia filed the formal complaint, everyone would know it was a bullshit attempt to knock Scalzi off the ballot and the slate could be ignored.

You'd be surprised. Get someone else to do it. Use a sockpuppet. Obvious isn't always. For my day job, I'm a GM on an MMORPG. It's not a huge one, but it's old and big enough to have self-generated factions among the players (as opposed to built-in factions like the Horde and the Alliance). Say, for instance, there's one player that "everyone knows" is cheating -- and we're reasonably sure they are as well, and are monitoring their play, but they haven't slipped up yet -- we still can't ethically remove them from the game. There's a common misconception among MMO players that all it takes to get someone you don't like banned is X number of complaints (as opposed to X number of complaints of incidents with appended chatlogs showing misbehaviour, server records, etc.) so sometimes we get complaintspam where everyone bands together to rain complaints down on someone's head and it sure looks like "everyone knows" something. Doing things on the basis of what "everyone knows" makes for really bad policy, even if what they know to be true actually is true.

#887 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 01:28 PM:

Sarah @872 - I have no doubt that one could create a list of major/likely eligible candidates for Best Novel. Other categories perhaps less so. For example I posted a poem that is a fantasy story on the Making Light Open Thread yesterday. Is that Hugo eligible as a short story*?

It's not that such a list is a bad idea, but I think it should be carefully described**. I would be perfectly happy if it were titled something like Towards a partial list of notable science fiction novels eligible for the 20XX Hugo awards.

* If by some mischance someone should think this a good idea please do not nominate it.
** Would you be outsourcing your definition of Science Fiction to Amazon, for example?

#888 ::: Em ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 01:28 PM:

822? Whoah, self, what happened to your ability to read numbers. 882.

#889 ::: Victor Raymond ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 01:33 PM:

I have to admit that whenever a rules change gets proposed in almost anything, my first reaction is "well, who gets to enforce it, and how much work is that going to be?" Not to say that there aren't good reasons to change things, but there are basic issues of enforcement, intended and unintended consequences, and sheer amount of work involved and who gets to do it that affect how viable and worthwhile a rules change really is.

#890 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 01:33 PM:

Kevin J. Maroney @ 883: I think the Hugo admins would in general agree with you--vociferously!--and categorically refuse to have anything to do with campaign policing. And those people who would embrace the concept are--probably not the kind of people you want to hand that level of oversight to . . . even if it would work, which I suspect it wouldn't.

#891 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 01:40 PM:

Elliott Mason @874: They don't always have the rockets on display during the ceremony. Patrick tells the story of me being the person with the award for Best Novel rocket in 1993: I was standing at the back of the stage with one rocket in hand, and when the tie between Willis and Vinge was announced I suddenly had two rockets.

I would be surprised, with the current controversy, if Sasquan put out a visible row of rockets. It's not a universal practice at all.

#892 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 01:43 PM:

I can't possibly support the idea of a counter-slate, as much for practical reasons as ethical ones. The Sad Puppies got their slate organized because they are a small group with relatively homogeneous reading tastes - and even they have managed to split into two factions. How on Earth could anyone organize a counter-slate that would adequately represent "the whole of the rest of fandom"? It'd be more work than administering the Hugos themselves.

And, from that ethical standpoint, it would be everything the SPs are (currently falsely) accusing people of doing - a pre-selection process that blocks smaller voices. No, counter-slating is not the way to go. Even if it means next year's Hugos get broken the same way as this year's....

One can hope, I suppose, that the less intransigent supporters of the SPs realize how much damage has been done, and shy away from joining in next year's shenanigans. (The hard core will carry on, of course. Hard cores always do.)

#893 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 01:47 PM:

I won't get behind a counter-slate either. If they want two years of No Award, then they can have two years of No Award.

#894 ::: Samuel ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 01:48 PM:

I sold make it plain that he only reason I'm buying a membership this year is to nominate HPMOR as best novel next year, but I'd like to have an approach for my voting anyway.

Now, I was not particularly impressed with the treatment of Patricia Wrede a few years back, but Vox seems toxic, so on the whole, my personal plan is to view for Skin Game- urban fantasy being vastly underrepresented, but no award for the rest.

#895 ::: Ravi ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 01:51 PM:

875, 883:

I don't think there needs to be a catch-all rule about campaigning. Among other things, that probably wouldn't catch a successful privately-managed slate (and don't forget this is the kind of alleged misconduct the Sad Puppies sometimes claim they're responding to).

Instead, there should be a catch-all rule about manipulation (with slates called-out as an important form of manipulation, but not the only one) that can be applied *after* the votes are in. In that case it doesn't matter what slates people announce, talk about, claim to have voted or whatever. Instead what matters is the slates (public or private) that were actually voted and whether or not the slate votes changed the nominees.

More generally what matters for a finding of nomination manipulation is:

1. There is a problematic pattern of votes in favor of a work (or some works).

2. That pattern of votes made the difference between the work or works being nominated or not.

On the one hand, that is also an awesome and troubling power. On the other, unlike enforcing rules about campaigning, there's an important safeguard: the committee would have to "show their work" and publish the voting data that demonstrates irregularities.

This year that would have been easy. There have been X votes that voted one of the two Puppy slates exactly (or with, at most, a handful of differences). Without those votes the Puppies would not have been nominated. In other cases, finding manipulation might be harder, but the catch-all rule would give committees the responsibility of looking for it and the publication requirement should ensure any disqualification is grounded in solid evidence. The failure mode here is a corrupt committee, but that should be a smaller and simpler problem to deal with.

#896 ::: Bruce ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 01:56 PM:

@CHip- 'But was the improvement historically documented? Noticing how tech has affected history is not SF, IMHO.'

I hope Hambly just made it up. Writing fiction about tech affecting people is SF, IMHO, and Bennett's NSHO.

#897 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 02:00 PM:

TNH #862: I think you've nailed it. Scalzi is the Ur-white-bro type, but he isn't racist, sexist, homophobic, or taken up by worrying about how those people (for whatever values of those people you care to insert) are crapping up the landscape by merely existing. Instead, when he emerges from behind his keyboard, he treats everyone with the same degree of geniality, and they can't abide it.

#898 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 02:19 PM:

Where did I see a description of SF authors as high school students in a lunch room, with the comment that Scalzi was sitting with the MilSF writers but that he wasn't going to stay there?

#899 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 02:22 PM:

My biggest problem is the way that VD specifically and openly organized a voting campaign for his own self-promotion. I see no problem in Worldcon (as GRRM says, they own the thing) specifically targetting him and all his works for disqualification, now and forever. Nobody can mount a stand on that supposed moral high ground without deservedly being bombed into the stone age; I don't care how excluded they feel.

#900 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 02:23 PM:

One thing I like about the proposal Bruce Schneier floats at the top of his voting methods thread (or the 5,1,5 version of the more general family) is that as well as minimizing the influence of slates, it's also a reasonable response to the thing the SPs claim that slates are a response to - namely the existence of secret cabals.

So to that extent, it ought to be sellable as an even-handed response to anyone who's voting for the SP slate I good faith and for the advertised reasons. I don't think the slate organisers fall into that category, but I'm willing to believe that a non-negligible proportion of their voters could be.

(Another reason why it seems good is that 'as many people as possible get to have at least one nominee on the ballot seems like a reasonable response to people for who really do want a diverse pool of nominees.)

If it turns out - as I suspect is true - that there aren't any secret cabals - well, the change that's been instituted is one that at least has the benefit of making claims about the existence of such cabals harder ot sustain with the appearance of good faith.

(Posted here because although I'm referring to the voting methods slate, this post seems to be more about the politics of the actual Hugo electorate than would be appropriate for that discussion.)

#901 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 02:35 PM:

I'm not sure I agree with C. Wingate's proposal @899, but I share his sense that the conversation should be focussing more on the Rabids than the Sads (and I'd add that even if their organisers are in cahoots, they probably appeal to rather different constituencies of potential Hugo voters.)

It's understandable why that hasn't happened, given that some of the Sads have been over here engaging in at least a facsimile of rational discussion, and it's difficult to imagine even that much happening with the Rabids. However I'm beginning to wonder whether the whole point of the Sad slate was to be a distraction of precisely that sort. But anyway, regardless of intent, that seems to be what's happened at Making Light..

(Also, in the interest of citing one's influences: Abigail Nussbaum was making a similar point about the relative significance of the two slates over on Twitter several days ago.)

#902 ::: Tsotate ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 02:45 PM:

Jo Walton @813, the Picnic Skunks are already doing their best to reduce the value of the packet (by packing it with stories which are outright awful.) I don't really want to do their work for them by reducing its value to zero.

#903 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 02:55 PM:

Teresa, #862: (1.) They can't understand why his post-Heinlein military SF wins awards and hits bestseller lists, and theirs doesn't.

It seems very likely that in their narrative, Scalzi wins while they don't because he's a class traitor, a suck-up to the Ruling Cabal. That still doesn't explain the best-seller lists, but consistency is not a necessary component of right-wing narratives in general.

Alex, #875: I strongly disagree with your suggestion, for reasons that mostly boil down to "I'm reading Bruce Schneier's guest post and the commentary thereon, and learning a LOT." Briefly, I think that this is a case of the perfect being the enemy of the good; trying to come up with a set of rules that will prevent any level of gaming and yet still be fair and, more importantly, be seen to be fair, is a mug's game. The objective here is to make it significantly more difficult to game the nominations. You might want to go read the other thread; it's extremely informative.

Steve W., #892: even they have managed to split into two factions

I believe that this "split" is largely illusory -- merely corroborative detail intended to lend artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative. But that's just my personal opinion.

I cannot support any suggestion involving a counter-slate either. You don't defeat a bully by adopting his tactics; the best you achieve with that is detente.

This morning's random thought: Does it seem to anyone else that the SPs are employing a bait not entirely unlike those used by vanity publishers? "Traditional Publishers The Liberal Cabal don't like books from outsiders conservative authors and so are deliberately shutting you out of the process awards. Sign up with us and we'll see that your book gets the exposure Hugo it deserves!"

#904 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 03:52 PM:

Oh, lordy, lordy -- there is some fool over on Tom Smith's Facebook page claiming that SFWA puts up "a secret slate" for the Hugos every year...

I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

#905 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 03:55 PM:

As fa as there being two factions the groups divide up as follows: the SPs are delusional and the RPs are bat-coprolite-crazy.

#906 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 03:58 PM:

C. Wingate @905: So not just batshit, but mineralized into solidity through millennia of constrained pressure?

#907 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2015, 03:58 PM:

Opposition to slates is good. I oppose slates. And I may be getting dragged back into Worldcons anyway (I was at Chicon 7 and we have Midamericon memberships).

Voting everything on a slate the worst possible way is a strong way to punish those works for being on a slate.

But.

All it takes is a web site to publish a slate. If many people thoughtlessly downvote anything listed on a slate, this is an easy way to damage a work/person's chances. And since many people have said the only tolerable response to being slated even involuntarily is to withdraw, this can hurt people even more.

So okay, around here we probably all understood that simple-minded adherence to simple programming often produces bad results / can be manipulated. But proliferation of slates intended as cover for the few real ones is still a useful tactic; it can require considerable work to separate the...hmmm; not "wheat and chaff", since the "real" thing in this case is the "bad" thing you're looking for. Anyway.

Anger and striking back are good, certainly (anybody who thinks I am a near-enlightenment Buddhist must not know me very well), but one of the simple practical reasons why livable societies find ways to keep the "striking back" part under fairly strong control is that it's awfully easy to end up striking in the wrong place, or at least splashing innocent parties. Heck, this seems to apply at the nation-state level, too; so it probably applies at every level from individual to there.

*This* year there seems to be little question that the slates were acted on by many followers, and that some blowback is appropriate; but I'm currently holding short of advocating downvoting any work listed on a slate *as a general principle*.