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April 26, 2016

Hugo finalists, 2016
Posted by Patrick at 01:50 PM * 287 comments

4032 valid nominating ballots (4015 electronic and 17 paper) were received and counted from the members of Sasquan, MidAmeriCon II, and Worldcon 75.

BEST NOVEL (3695 ballots)
Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie (Orbit)
The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher (Roc)
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
Seveneves: A Novel by Neal Stephenson (William Morrow)
Uprooted by Naomi Novik (Del Rey)

BEST NOVELLA (2416 ballots)
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com)
The Builders by Daniel Polansky (Tor.com)
Penric’s Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold (Spectrum)
Perfect State by Brandon Sanderson (Dragonsteel Entertainment)
Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds (Tachyon)

BEST NOVELETTE (1975 ballots)
“And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead” by Brooke Bolander (Lightspeed, Feb 2015)
“Flashpoint: Titan” by CHEAH Kai Wai (There Will Be War Volume X, Castalia House)
“Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang, trans. Ken Liu (Uncanny Magazine, Jan‐Feb 2015)
“Obits” by Stephen King (The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, Scribner)
“What Price Humanity?” by David VanDyke (There Will Be War Volume X, Castalia House)

BEST SHORT STORY (2451 ballots)
“Asymmetrical Warfare” by S. R. Algernon (Nature, Mar 2015)
The Commuter by Thomas A. Mays (Stealth)
“If You Were an Award, My Love” by Juan Tabo and S. Harris (voxday.blogspot.com, Jun 2015)
“Seven Kill Tiger” by Charles Shao (There Will Be War Volume X, Castalia House)
Space Raptor Butt Invasion by Chuck Tingle (Amazon Digital Services)

BEST RELATED WORK (2080 ballots)
Between Light and Shadow: An Exploration of the Fiction of Gene Wolfe, 1951 to 1986 by Marc Aramini (Castalia House)
“The First Draft of My Appendix N Book” by Jeffro Johnson (jeffro.wordpress.com)
“Safe Space as Rape Room” by Daniel Eness (castaliahouse.com)
SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police by Vox Day (Castalia House)
“The Story of Moira Greyland” by Moira Greyland (askthebigot.com)

BEST GRAPHIC STORY (1838 ballots)
The Divine written by Boaz Lavie, art by Asaf Hanuka and Tomer Hanuka (First Second)
Erin Dies Alone written by Grey Carter, art by Cory Rydell (dyingalone.net)
Full Frontal Nerdity by Aaron Williams (ffn.nodwick.com)
Invisible Republic Vol 1 written by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman, art by Gabriel Hardman (Image Comics)
The Sandman: Overture written by Neil Gaiman, art by J.H. Williams III (Vertigo)

BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION (LONG FORM) (2904 ballots)
Avengers: Age of Ultron written and directed by Joss Whedon (Marvel Studios; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Ex Machina written and directed by Alex Garland (Film4; DNA Films; Universal Pictures)
Mad Max: Fury Road written by George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, and Nico Lathouris, directed by George Miller (Village Roadshow Pictures; Kennedy Miller Mitchell; RatPac‐Dune Entertainment; Warner Bros. Pictures)
The Martian screenplay by Drew Goddard, directed by Ridley Scott (Scott Free Productions; Kinberg Genre; TSG Entertainment; 20th Century Fox)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens written by Lawrence Kasdan, J. J. Abrams, and Michael Arndt, directed by J.J. Abrams (Lucasfilm Ltd.; Bad Robot Productions; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION (SHORT FORM) (2219 ballots)
Doctor Who: “Heaven Sent” written by Steven Moffat, directed by Rachel Talalay (BBC Television)
Grimm: “Headache” written by Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt, directed by Jim Kouf (Universal Television; GK Productions; Hazy Mills Productions; Open 4 Business Productions; NBCUniversal Television Distribution)
Jessica Jones: “AKA Smile” written by Scott Reynolds, Melissa Rosenberg, and Jamie King, directed by Michael Rymer (Marvel Television; ABC Studios; Tall Girls Productions; Netflix)
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: “The Cutie Map” Parts 1 and 2 written by Scott Sonneborn, M.A. Larson, and Meghan McCarthy, directed by Jayson Thiessen and Jim Miller (DHX Media/Vancouver; Hasbro Studios)
Supernatural: “Just My Imagination” written by Jenny Klein, directed by Richard Speight Jr. (Kripke Enterprises; Wonderland Sound and Vision; Warner Bros. Television)

BEST EDITOR ‐ SHORT FORM (1891 ballots)
John Joseph Adams
Neil Clarke
Ellen Datlow
Jerry Pournelle
Sheila Williams

BEST EDITOR ‐ LONG FORM (1764 ballots)
Vox Day
Sheila E. Gilbert
Liz Gorinsky
Jim Minz
Toni Weisskopf

BEST PROFESSIONAL ARTIST (1481 ballots)
Lars Braad Andersen
Larry Elmore
Abigail Larson
Michal Karcz
Larry Rostant

BEST SEMIPROZINE (1457 ballots)
Beneath Ceaseless Skies edited by Scott H. Andrews, Nicole Lavigne, and Kate Marshall
Daily Science Fiction edited by Michele‐Lee Barasso and Jonathan Laden
Sci Phi Journal edited by Jason Rennie
Strange Horizons edited by Catherine Krahe, Julia Rios, A. J. Odasso, Vanessa Rose Phin, Maureen Kincaid Speller, and the Strange Horizons staff
Uncanny Magazine edited by Edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, and Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky

BEST FANZINE (1455 ballots)
Black Gate edited by John O’Neill
Castalia House Blog edited by Jeffro Johnson
File 770 edited by Mike Glyer
Superversive SF edited by Jason Rennie
Tangent Online edited by Dave Truesdale

BEST FANCAST (1267 ballots)
8‐4 Play, Mark MacDonald, John Ricciardi, Hiroko Minamoto, and Justin Epperson
Cane and Rinse, Cane and Rinse
HelloGreedo, HelloGreedo
The Rageaholic, RazörFist
Tales to Terrify, Stephen Kilpatrick

BEST FAN WRITER (1568 ballots)
Douglas Ernst
Mike Glyer
Morgan Holmes
Jeffro Johnson
Shamus Young

BEST FAN ARTIST (1073 ballots)
Matthew Callahan
disse86
Kukuruyo
Christian Quinot
Steve Stiles

JOHN W. CAMPBELL AWARD FOR BEST NEW WRITER (1922 ballots)
Pierce Brown *
Sebastien de Castell *
Brian Niemeier
Andy Weir *
Alyssa Wong *

* Finalists in their 2nd year of eligibility.

Comments on Hugo finalists, 2016:
#1 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 01:51 PM:

This thread will be civil.

Note: peddling blatant falsehoods is uncivil.

So is failing to respond appropriately to the reactions you get from others. If you don't want to be part of the conversation, post your statements elsewhere.

If we decide you've been acting in bad faith, we may remove or disemvowel your previous as well as your current comments.

If you think the real problem isn't your behavior, but rather our inability to deal with widely differing opinions: you're wrong. You're also a cliché; but mostly you're just wrong. The same goes for thinking that the regulars here share a single set of political opinions, or that none of us are conservatives or centrists.

#2 ::: Zeke ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 02:00 PM:

Fascinating list -- one wonders if the nomination of Mr. Tingle was canine-driven, or perhaps a reference to dinosaur-themed stories that have appeared here from time to time.

#3 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 02:04 PM:

That list speaks for itself, and that's all I intend to say here.

#4 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 02:05 PM:

I've been planning to vote for Mike Glyer for Best Fanwriter since before last year's Hugos were awarded.

#5 ::: Zvi ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 02:08 PM:

RP non-'slate' here:
http://file770.com/?p=28115

Conclusion: RP picks swept almost everything. Except novels (2/5).

#6 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 02:15 PM:

Teresa @ #4

As, indeed, has this moose - and not simply for the amount of effort put in tracking the Hugo controversies. Mike and File770 have both been outstanding over the past few years.

As for the nominations, there are things moose can happily vote for having already read/watched them, and other things that will need to be experienced (possibly with an eleven-foot pole) before a decision can be reached.

An interesting ballot.

#7 ::: The Raven ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 02:25 PM:

It appears we are now in a world of competing slates. Thank you so much, Puppies.

#8 ::: Arwel Parry ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 02:26 PM:

Oh my. Well, I can foresee some more wins for Noah Ward. At least there's a decent Doctor Who episode in BDP Short form, but My Little Pony?? BDP Long form, I favour the Martian - I wouldn't have given SW:TFA a high position because I felt it was too derivative of the original SW movie. At least Mike Glyer has a good stab at one or two!

Any argument against ratifying E Pluribus Hugo has gone out of the window...

#9 ::: Jeff R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 02:28 PM:

Why are there no creators listed for Batman #1 in the retro? Of all of the solutions to the Kane/Finger priority question, that seems like the worst possible.

#10 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 02:31 PM:

What worthy non-fiction works were squeezed off the ballot this year, since the "Related Work" category has been eaten by rabid puppies?

#11 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 02:32 PM:

Okay, I do have one more thing to say, but it's just a news report:

File770.com has crashed.

#12 ::: Scrabble ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 02:33 PM:

@Arwel Parry: If it does get ratified, is 2016 or 2017 the first year of works for which it applies?

#13 ::: Seth Gordon ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 02:38 PM:

Raven@7: I wouldn’t call it “competing slates” so much as one slate versus a few organically popular works. To the extent that the top Sad Puppy picks disagreed with both the Rabid slate and the general buzz in our allegedly SJW-filled community, it seems like the Sads were ignored.

The Sad Puppies are like Bukharin, and the Rabid Puppies are like Stalin. And we are now in the “Stalin kicks Bukharin out of the Politburo” stage.

#14 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 02:44 PM:

Well, this certainly makes me feel disappointed about the effort I put into nominating a good selection of short works by the deadline. (Not disappointed about the time I spent *reading* them, though - that was its own reward.)

#15 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 02:44 PM:

I was surprised that "Obits" was on the RP list. It's a Stephen King story, neither his best nor his worst, which means it's pretty solid but I don't think it would have on the nomination list under normal circumstances.

What's interesting is that it's a story of disaster caused by someone who writes "humorous" obits that cause real deaths, and eventually the effect spreads beyond the targets.

It's a story about the evils of trolling.

Did Vox even read it before it was nominated, or (and I suppose this is more likely) he has no idea it might apply to him?

#16 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 02:46 PM:

Zvi @5:

RP non-'slate' here:
http://file770.com/?p=28115

Conclusion: RP picks swept almost everything. Except novels (2/5).

Yup. Here we go again. The Pups are going to f*ck up another year's worth of Hugos. They have no more excuse for it now than they ever had before.

What's different: This year, the Pups salted their slate with some high-quality non-Pup nominees (in spite of furious objections from a number of them).

Two thoughts. First, I don't think the Pups did it to honor the non-Pup nominees' work. I think those names are there purely as protective coloration, and that the Pups are hoping to thereby avoid triggering the SF community's immune responses.

Second, I don't think the Pups are actually going to vote for any of those camouflaging nominees. I think that when they cast their final ballots, they're going to vote for their own guys again.

The Pups didn't go to all this trouble just so they could give Hugos to people who aren't Pups. They've come up with multiple contradictory excuses for what they're doing, but at bottom it's always been about getting Hugos for Pups.

#17 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 02:48 PM:

I'm not surprised File770 has crashed. Half of fandom (ok, I exaggerate, but honestly I don't think by much) must be trying to post their reactions there.

@Zeke, Mr. Tingle's work was on the Rabid Puppy slate.

#18 ::: Jared Dashoff ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 02:48 PM:

@Scrabble If the Business Meeting ratifies EPH this year, it will be put into effect for the 2017 Hugos to be awarded at Worldcon 75 in Helsinki, Finland.

#19 ::: The Raven ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 02:49 PM:

Seth Gordon@7: I would say that is accurate. I was counting the large disorganized opposition to the puppies as a kind of diffuse slate, but that's a quibble.

Jon@11: file770.com is back again. And, yes, Glyer definitely is high on my Hugo ballot list. He's doing excellent journalism.

#20 ::: Seth Gordon ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 02:51 PM:

If Mike wins two Hugos, can he sell one of them and use the proceeds to buy a more robust Web host?

#21 ::: Zack ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 02:54 PM:

I have mostly not been following the buzz around this year's nominations; I sent in my ballot on time, based on what I had time to read, and that was it. This is to say that I haven't even heard of a lot of this stuff and in many cases it's not obvious to me whose slate(s) it might've been on.

Things that jump out at me:

* Overall, this ballot appears to be less poisoned than last year. Best Novel, Novella, Graphic Story, and both forms of Dramatic Presentation appear completely unaffected, and Novelette, both forms of Editor, Semiprozine, Fanzine, Fan Writer, and the Campbell all include at least two entries I've heard good things about.

* On the other hand, Short Story and Related Work appear to be write-offs again.

* Sure looks like there was an astroturfing campaign on behalf of one particular publisher, eh?

* ... and over in Retro Hugo land, gosh that's a lot of Heinlein. I have _no idea_ whether that is to be expected.

#22 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 02:59 PM:

zvi@5: There are actually some rather interesting non-sweeps. That some things would be able to beat the slate in Novel and Dramatic Presentations was to be expected. But there are also non-slate nominees in Novella (Binti), Novelette ('And You Shall Know Her...'), Semiprozine (Uncanny), Fan Writer (Mike Glyer!), Fan Artist (Steve Stiles), Campbell (Alyssa Wong) - and no fewer than three people in BELF, one of whom, interestingly, is Jim Minz, suggesting a group of Baen fans who are not wholly beholden to Mr Day.

There is also only one slate nominee in BESF, but that's because Mr Day proposed only one.

#23 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 02:59 PM:

Raven: The Pups have stirred up widespread dislike, disgust, and dismay, but it hasn't prompted people to champion specific non-Puppy works -- which is proper.

#24 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 03:02 PM:

Number of nominations was way up this year, and I think a lot of that was non-Pup, but if they're running a slate and the rest of the SF field isn't, they can still game the system.

#25 ::: The Raven ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 03:02 PM:

tnh@16: and if the Pups get some of the authors of works they picked as coloration to withdraw, that's a win for them.

Anyone know if Aramini's work on Wolfe is any good?

#26 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 03:07 PM:

Zack: Actually a lot of the things in the categories you mention are on the slate; it was composed in a rather weird way, including things that would have been nominated anyway (Seveneves, Penric's Demon, The Martian), things that could actually be represented as popular but neglected (The Aeronaut's Windlass - I suspect this is where the King story comes in), things by Mr Day's friends and clients (most of the BRW category - and, I fear, Jerry Pournelle, who edited an anthology with Castalia House last year), and absurd things intended to cause embarrassment (Chuck Tingle).

#27 ::: Joshua K. ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 03:11 PM:

@15 Nancy: I'm not sure what of Stephen King's fiction could be expected to make the ballot under normal circumstances. None of King's fiction has ever been nominated for a Hugo before. His only prior appearance on the Hugo ballot was for Danse Macabre, which won for Best Nonfiction Book 34 years ago.

#28 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 03:11 PM:

Andrew M. @26:

...and absurd things intended to cause embarrassment (Chuck Tingle).
A friend just texted me to say "I hear that's not even the best Chuck Tingle."

#29 ::: The Raven ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 03:12 PM:

tnh@16: Yah. If I remember correctly, last year Cat Faber estimated the weight of a slate vote as around 10 times that of a non-slate vote.

#30 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 03:16 PM:

Arwel Parry #8: MLP: Friendship is Magic is actually quite creditable fantasy, as a whole series, and strongly social-justice oriented. I'm not sure why the Puppies nominated it.

In fact, almost every category they swept has a nominee in it that strongly disagrees with everything they supposedly stand for, making me think they picked it to prove their "power" when in fact a lot of anti-puppy people ALSO nominated it.

Uprooted, for example, was strong in the nomination discussion among the feminist fen of my acquaintance.

Speaking personally as someone with the right to vote, no matter WHAT I do or how this comes out, the Puppies are going to claim victory (either by winning or by burning the shit-filled dumpster to the ground), so my actions are now completely independent of anything they've done.

I do wonder what's going to go down at the business meeting this year, though.

#31 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 03:16 PM:

PS to 22: Some of the non-slate results may be the result of withdrawals. In the editor category I know that Brian Thomas Schmidt, who was on the slate, wanted to distance himself from it (interestingly, since he has been on two Puppy slates before without objection).

#32 ::: Zack ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 03:21 PM:

Andrew M: I wrote all of that before looking at what the RP slate actually was (thank you, File770, for reposting it).

I'm not sure what I think of "protective coloration" / "getting out in front of the parade" tactics here. On the one hand, if the RPs continue to dilute their brand with generic popular stuff, eventually they will be indistinguishable from the background noise. On the other hand, we'll still all be wondering what would have made the shortlist without the slate.

#33 ::: Joshua K ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 03:21 PM:

@16 Teresa: On the final ballot, what difference does it make whether the Rabid Puppies vote for the "non-Pups" on their slate? The Rabid Puppies are clearly outnumbered by the anti-Puppy vote by a significant margin, based on last year's vote results.

#34 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 03:24 PM:

Elliott@30: Uprooted was not a slate pick. The slate picks that got through in Novel were Seveneves and The Aeronaut's Windlass.

I have an idea that the particular episode of MLP that they picked could be read as having an anti-egalitarian message, though I can't remember the details.

#35 ::: Arwel Parry ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 03:27 PM:

Scrabble @12 If it passes, E Pluribus Hugo will be in effect at Helsinki 2017 for works published in 2016.

#36 ::: Scrabble ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 03:28 PM:

@Jared Dashoff: The 2017 Worldcon in Helsinki, at which works published in *2016* are up for award, yes? (Jeez, this is confusing.)

#37 ::: Arwel Parry ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 03:30 PM:

Elliott Mason @30 Hmm, well I'll take your word about MLP though it's not the sort of thing that would attract me to watch it. On the other hand, I did stream The Lego Movie a couple of months ago and found myself quite enjoying it...!

#38 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 03:30 PM:

File770 appears to still be down. Slashdotted, I presume.

#39 ::: Scrabble ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 03:32 PM:

Gosh, I should have refreshed first! Thanks, Arwel. Uh... commentary on the finalists... well, aside from some of my novel picks, I think most of the works I nominated were kind of outside chances anyway. But I'm sad that Cuckoo Song didn't make as novel, and Steven Universe was robbed, I say, robbed!

#40 ::: Zack ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 03:35 PM:

My nominating ballot doesn't have a lot of overlap with the shortlist, but on reflection the main thing I'm sad not to see make it is The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage.

#41 ::: Cheradenine ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 03:36 PM:

Ugh - not surprising at all, but still somehow disappointing. The difference between the effect of a slate and a rec list is nicely outlined, as the RP slate dominated while the SP rec list seems to have had very little effect. If Vox wanted to construct an advertisement for EPH, he couldn't have done a better job. (I don't know what the impact of EPH would have been here, though; health issues have kept me from continuing the ballot simulations I put together last year.)

Would a 2015 retrospective thread where we share works we nominated that weren't finalists be appropriate? I read some amazing short fiction in putting together my ballot, and would love to share it (but don't want to take this thread off-topic).

#42 ::: Laurence Brothers ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 03:46 PM:

Horrifying results. Soon seeing the words "Hugo-nominated" on a book cover will be a bad thing if this keeps up.

#43 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 03:53 PM:

Cheradenine, #41: The I See You Like Science Fiction thread is still active, and would be an entirely appropriate place to talk about things you liked that didn't get shortlisted.

I made a point of not looking at either the SP or RP slates while making my nominations. Now I suppose I'll have to, because the overlap will be weighed into my voting decisions.

#44 ::: Scrabble ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 04:03 PM:

A thing that strikes me: the number of ballots for Short Story were greater than for Novella and not ridiculously far off from the Dramatic Presentation categories. I guess it doesn't really say much about how *many* works each ballot nominated for that category, so perhaps that's what the exploit took advantage of.

#45 ::: Paul Weimer ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 04:04 PM:

Will EPH help alleviate this? Yes, I've seen the models and such, but the proof, unfortunately, will be in the pudding.

Hugo nominations as a barometer of things I should pay attention to in genre is becoming depreciated. And if Beale and company keep it up, it will be permanent.

#46 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 04:10 PM:

As I understand it, a problem with the current voting system is that not only is it vulnerable to slates concentrating votes, if you vote for one item in a category, you have one vote. If you vote for five items in a category, you have five votes.

This is a disadvantage to people who vote for less than five items because they didn't find five things they thought were worth voting for, and an advantage for slate voters who don't need to read or think as much.

#47 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 04:15 PM:

Scrabble @ 44:

AIUI, short story typically has a very spread out field of nominations, so I'd expect slating to have a particularly strong effect there. (I'd also expect EPH to have a significant effect against straightforward slate voting, but perhaps to be susceptible of being cleverly gamed, but I'm less use about this.)

#48 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 04:25 PM:

Honestly, if EPH even only gets one or two more non-slated items on each ballot, that's still better than what we have. I don't expect it to be a perfect fix; slates will still have a disproportionate effect... but the perfect is the enemy of the good.

#49 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 04:28 PM:

Well, I nominated My Little Pony. I thought it was a well-written and interesting episode of a good show that gets too little respect. I think it's worthy of consideration for a Hugo.

I get that some people bounce off of the cuteness and the singing in the same way that some people bounce off of the pronoun thing in the Ancillary books, or the language that Tolkien or Banks used.

But trust me, there's good stuff in there.

#50 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 04:29 PM:

Zack, Joshua --

Only one Puppy nominee can win in any category. (Yes, ties exist, but you can't finagle them.) Some of the Pups' followers might vote for specific Pup nominees because they liked the work that much, but more of them are running on a nasty mix of resentment and self-pity, and will vote for any Pup nominee.

So, if the Pups' goal is to get Hugos and revenge, they lose nothing by adding some camouflage nominees to their slate. It's enough if a Pup candidate wins in that category. And if adding those nominees confuses the issue enough to keep fandom from voting "No Award", it's a big help to them.

I don't think the camo nominees can water down the Pup slate. Mostly I don't believe many Pups have read them; and if so, they're sure not going to vote for them.

Goodness isn't the point. Look at how much crap the Pups have been willing to nominate, this year and in earlier years. That's not love. That's spite, revenge for imaginary wrongs, and the fuggheaded conviction that if the Pups don't get what they want, nobody else should be happy either.

#51 ::: PhilRM ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 04:31 PM:

Scrabble, #44: Presumably those ballots were spread out over a much larger number of works than in, say, Best Novel. This is an unavoidable consequence of the expansion and fragmentation of the field: there are no longer just a handful of magazines that everyone reads. This is especially true for the short story category, since so many of the e-zines publish short stories almost exclusively, with even novelette-length work uncommon.

#52 ::: ian morris ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 04:32 PM:

looks better then last year, including raptor erotica and episodes of friendship is magic resembling a Kurt Vonnegut story.

#53 ::: Joe H. ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 04:35 PM:

At what point do they generally post the full list of nominees & vote tallies?

#54 ::: KristianB ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 04:41 PM:

#30: "MLP: Friendship is Magic is actually quite creditable fantasy, as a whole series, and strongly social-justice oriented. I'm not sure why the Puppies nominated it."

I don't know whether to read much into this or not, but I note that the specific episode they nominated is a Harrison Bergeron type of story, in which the heroines find a village where all ponies have been "made equal" by having their special talents stripped away. If you were looking for an episode that would appeal to right-wing culture warriors, I'm not sure you can find one better than that.

#55 ::: Joshua K ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 04:59 PM:

@53 Joe H.: The full list of vote tallies is required to be published within 90 days after the Worldcon, but nowadays it usually comes out the night of the Hugo Awards ceremony, shortly after the ceremony is over.

#56 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 05:05 PM:

Abi @49:

Well, I nominated My Little Pony. I thought it was a well-written and interesting episode of a good show that gets too little respect. I think it's worthy of consideration for a Hugo.
Same reasoning that put Skottie Young in my list of nominees for Best Professional Artist.

#57 ::: Joshua K ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 05:17 PM:

@50 Teresa: I still don't understand. The Rabid Puppies are able to get pluralities, but based on last year's final ballot, there is a majority of voters opposed to them. Outside of BDP-Long, every Rabid Puppy finalist last year finished below No Award.

The RPs' goals may be to get Hugos and revenge, but the only way something on the RP slate is going to win a Hugo is if it has mainstream appeal. Thus, for example, The Sandman could win for Best Graphic Story, or File 770 could win for Fanzine, even though they were on the RP slate, but they have mainstream appeal -- they could be considered the "camo" on the slate. They're not from Castalia House.

Many anti-Puppy voters may give the "camo" nominees a break, and not vote them below No Award just because they were on a slate. On the other hand, some anti-Puppy voters may be so opposed to slates that they would vote No Award above The Sandman or File 770, just to express opposition to slates. But neither of those voting patterns would benefit the "core" (non-mainstream appeal) Puppy finalists.

I can't see how Vox Day or his close associates could take home a Hugo this year unless the voting patterns are much different from last year.

#58 ::: Zvi ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 05:23 PM:

@57 Josh RPs don't want Hugos; they know they can't get them for the reasons you stated, especially after last year. They want to break the award, which they have almost done, and then declare victory over the SJWs.

#59 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 05:41 PM:

I'm inclined to wonder if there was a sort of "Boaty McBoatface" factor at work with regard to the Chuck Tingle story - it's so obviously ridiculous, people nominated it for that reason alone?

(I intend to do as I did last year, read whatever I can get hold of and judge on its merits, if any. Chuck Tingle must surely be more fun than some of last year's nominees....)

#60 ::: Cat ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 06:44 PM:

Regarding the effect of the slates on Best Novel, I am pretty sure that Uprooted was on the Sad Puppy slate (or recommendation list if you like--slate light, with only half the unfair advantage.)

I nominated Uprooted myself, mind you, and am probably going to give it a "Guardians of the Galaxy" exception--i.e. Assume that it would have made the ballot anyway and judge it on merit. The same goes for Seveneves, Penric's Demon, the Martian, Mad Max, Andy Weir and File770. Some I nominated, some I didn't but I think they'd probably have made the ballot without slates.

The rest of it I'll have to look into and make some decisions. I'm kind of bummed about Best Related: I thought Letters To Tiptree and You're Never Weird On The Internet were both really good, and The Thrilling Adventures Of Lovelace and Babbage went into Graphic Novel because I had fewer nominees in that category, but it could reasonably have been a Best Related also.

#61 ::: Schismatism ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 06:58 PM:

Bit of an explanation for Elliott Mason (#30) and others who are confused about MLP's place on the ballot. As a fan of MLP, I am admittedly somewhat disappointed, on the grounds that there were certainly superior episodes in the fifth season -- particularly the final one thereof, which went so far as to create a 'Sound of Thunder' theme -- but I suppose that they wouldn't quite fit within the Hugo ballot for this year. When, however, 'The Cutie Map' aired, quite a number of fans decreed that it was specifically an 'anti-SJW' themed episode because of its supposedly anti-egalitarian message: its primary antagonist brought everyone else down to the same level, instead of raising everyone else up. This, as KristianB (#54) mentioned earlier, appealed to those who feel that they are being brought down, regardless of whether or not it is the case. (A particular brother of mine specifically laughed in my face, regarding the episode, so it is something of a sore point for me, I fear.)

I do like how several of the finalists are at least modestly balanced to some degree. The Martian, for example, was a shoe-in for this year's Hugos, and so it's unsurprising to see it here. But... then I look at Castalia House and similar slate picks, and I just have to say, 'Next year, WorldCon staff, next year.'

Say. Last year, Black Gate was on the list as well, and their editors penned a rather reasonable and appropriate response to the shenanigans in question. I wonder what their response will be, this time.

#62 ::: Kevin Standlee ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 07:16 PM:

Scrabble (and anyone else):

The 2017 Hugo Awards (to be presented in Helsinki at Worldcon 75) will be for works first published or appearing in calendar year 2016.

There are exceptions, but that is the general rule. The Hugo Awards are named for the year in which they're presented, but the works were published the previous year.

#63 ::: SorchaRei ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 07:24 PM:

I'm bemused by the 17 paper nominating ballots.

My approach this year (I think) will be to eschew slate finalists, except in the case where the work is one I nominated myself. This is true of only one item on the ballot, outside the DP categories. Otherwise, I will be a Noah Ward voter again this year.

#64 ::: Joe H. ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 07:27 PM:

@Joshua K. -- Thanks!

Another interesting question, although I'm not sure when or if we could find out -- how many of the nominators actually have Midamericon memberships vs. how many are Sasquan carryovers?

For the fiction categories, I've read some, I nominated at least one that was also on the slate; I'll have to read and make judgment calls. BRW is basically a dumpster fire, and I'm also sad about Fancast -- the one nominee I'm familiar with (8-4Play -- it's a group of mostly Americans in Japan who run a company that does localizations of Japanese games into English, primarily) is fun but nothing I ever would've nominated, not least because it has little to no sffnal element. Sigh.

#65 ::: Jim Henry ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 07:32 PM:

Is there a list of people who were on the Sad or Rabid list but asked to be taken off and weren't? I seem to recall hearing of such but I can't recall specifics.

#66 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 07:37 PM:

Well at least I don't have to read anything by John C. Wright this year.

#67 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 07:43 PM:

Many -- possibly all -- of the authors who're affiliated with the Pups would be better off if they'd instead used that time and energy to write.

#68 ::: Schismatism ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 08:04 PM:

@Teresa (67): I'm not entirely certain that I agree fully, as that would in turn mean that VD had more time to write. When it comes to 'there are more productive uses of one's time', though, I couldn't have said it better.

@Jim (65): I've not heard of any. Perhaps they're as exasperated as Scalzi, and fed up with the whole thing; then again, perhaps the slates didn't tell them, /again/, and so they didn't get the news until it was too late.

@Kevin (62): Thanks for the clarification. I'd say it libels my intelligence when I don't look for even the most major details, but it really, really doesn't. MLP's fifth season ended in November 2015, with one of my favorite treatments of Bradbury's classic; I'd have preferred that over the start. Ah well, such is hindsight.

#69 ::: Arwel Parry ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 08:10 PM:

Jim Henry@65 Alistair Reynolds asked them to take Slow Bullets off their lists.

#70 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 08:15 PM:

OMG, Steve Stiles is the only non-Puppy nominee in the Best Fan Artist category. Lovely cartoonist. I've been voting for him for years, and will be happy to vote for him again.

#71 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 08:16 PM:

This year has been shit for me, and I don't have time or energy this year to hate the Puppies. Please someone, hate them for me.

#72 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 08:19 PM:

I'm going to campaign hard for EPH.

I'll have to put more effort into my reading list this year. Last year, it was easy: anything the Puppies listed, I didn't read, and it wasn't on my ballot. This year they're trying this "human shields" strategy, assuming (as far as I can tell) that we can't or won't change ours.

So I'm going to read things if I think they would have made the ballot absent Puppies, or if someone tells me it's worthy of consideration. I see no reason to read things just because they're finalists, because that strikes me as letting the Puppies control my reading list, and I'm not having that either.

But anything published by Castalia House, or written by any of the Sad or Rabid organizers or their most vocal supporters, I can scratch off from the start. I suspect I will keep this as a policy even if the Puppies grow up and stop this nonsense, because they've tried to wreck the Hugos, and that I do not forgive.

#73 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 08:20 PM:

Mike Glyer has made his position on slates very blindingly clear, so you can take it as read that he disapproved of being on the Sad Puppy slate. (Don't recall if he was on the Rabid slate or not.)

#74 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 08:22 PM:

Alex 71: I'm hating them enough for some number of people to ride along. "Now you know my secret: I'm always angry."

While I'm not a rageaholic, my inner store of rage, which years of therapy have only partially drained, is better directed at a deserving target.

#75 ::: Greg Hullender ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 08:24 PM:

In a normal year, the nominating votes seem to follow a "power-law" distribution, with a different exponent for each category. This means that for a category like Best Dramatic Presentation (long form) if you double the total vote, then you roughly double the vote that the #1 item gets. But for Best Short Story, if you double the total vote, you only add 40% to the #1 item. (It's the square root.) This is because the other votes are spread out over so many possible nominees.

Without EPH, to prevent slates from sweeping the Short Story category, we'd need to at least double the number of votes--even though this year was already a record-breaker for nominations.

#76 ::: Arwel Parry ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 08:26 PM:

Well I'm going to vote for File770, because I nominated it - I don't care that the Puppies did too. For the rest, I will take a look at the nominees, but am inclined to vote for Noah ahead of anything from Castalia House...

#77 ::: Greg Hullender ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 08:29 PM:

@#72 ::: Xopher Halftongue
"But anything published by Castalia House, or written by any of the Sad or Rabid organizers or their most vocal supporters, I can scratch off from the start"

Trouble with that is that in the Best Novelette category, the short story "What Price Humanity?" is arguably the best story of the five finalists, even though it was published in a Castalia House anthology. It is a story good enough to stand with Hugo winners from the past. (Very different from the trash they nominated last year.)

I think the right solution is to ignore the slates and simply vote for the best stories. Yes, they'll claim victory if anything they nominated wins, but who cares? If EPH passes, no one will need to listen to anything they say ever again.

#78 ::: Stephen Frug ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 08:32 PM:

#25: I, too, would love to know if anyone liked Aramini on Wolfe. Based on what I've heard, I have very strong priors against anything from Castalia House being worthwhile... but I have a great interest in Wolfe, so I would be very interested if anyone has any opinions on the work, pro or con (not for Hugo reasons, just for readerly ones).

#79 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 08:44 PM:

The LA Times site has frontpaged the Hugos.

#80 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 08:49 PM:

I've always assumed that if voters thought a Puppy-slated work was good enough, some of them would vote for it. That's not a win for the Puppies; it's a win for the story.

#82 ::: Greg Hullender ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 08:55 PM:

#80 The scenario I fear is where an unworthy work ends up winning simply because it wasn't on a slate, even though there was a Hugo-worthy work on the ballot.

#83 ::: Schismatism ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 09:07 PM:

@Teresa (#81): Scalzi is, of course, his usual fantastic, inveterate self. I particularly like the line, "The Donald Trump supporters of science fiction."

@Greg (#80): Yeah, that brings to mind a downward spiral. I'm not especially fond of the implications.

#84 ::: Schismatism ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 09:09 PM:

Apologies: #80 (Teresa), I misread the conversation, and apologize for my misquote. I do agree that even a Pup-voted item should be considered on its own merits.

#85 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 09:12 PM:

Andrew M @34: File770 is reporting that Uprooted was on the Rabid list.

Arwel Parry @37: It is utterly drenched in girl cooties, which is a problem for some people, but the first season makes clear that it's a primer in healthy social interactions and emotional intelligence, set in a world run by an immanent creator-goddess who intervenes in daily life and has a swath of mythological associates who also show up in the plot. Each ep wraps up in a moral-of-the-story way, but the morals in question are rarely the kind that were on TV-movies in the 80s, and often fairly subversively SJW.

Plus it's funny. But I'm way behind on it, so I don't know what recent seasons are like.

---

In general, why on earth does a new omnibus printing of Sandman count to make the whole thing eligible again? I mean, I get that the category is newer than ANY part of the work, and it's a seminal work both of fantasy and comics, having influenced most of the people writing either today. It's a worthy work.

But does just being published in a 20-year-anniversary edition make something eligible again?

#86 ::: Joe H. ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 09:14 PM:

Elliott Mason @85 -- Sandman Overture was actually a brand-new miniseries -- a prequel to the original series -- that wrapped up (and got a hardcover collection) in 2015.

#87 ::: Sarah E ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 09:16 PM:

Schismatism @ 61:
Thanks for clarifying. Without having seen the episode, the only explanation I could think of was a possible overlap between the RP and the subset of Bronies who don't like sharing the show with its target audience.

#88 ::: Guess ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 09:27 PM:

Wertzone should have gotten a hugo nomination. Anyone who likes fantasy will like the long series of 50+ blog entries on the history of epic fantasy. I have read fantasy for decades and there was alot In there I did not know.

#89 ::: Schismatism ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 09:28 PM:

Elliott Mason (#85): Well, I can't deny that it's made of diabetes. I suggest catching up with the end of S3 and going from there.

While this is entirely speculative, and dire speculation at best (the very worst kind!), I wonder if their plan is to split the votes of the legitimate fans, so that their own will reach the top. Divide and conquer, such as it were, and force the fans to create a slate to prove that they're 'not so different'.

If so, there's a vital flaw they may not have considered.

#90 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 09:29 PM:

Greg 77: A pity it was published by Castalia House, then. I'd really like people to consider publication by them to be detrimental to their chances of winning awards.

#91 ::: Joshua K ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 09:31 PM:

@85 Elliott: I haven't been able to get onto File770.com for several hours, so I can't check that myself, but Uprooted is not listed on Vox's site as being on the Rabid list. On the other hand, it is on the Sad list.

(The respective lists can be found by searching for "rabid puppies 2016" or "sad puppies 4" in your preferred search engine.)

#92 ::: Joshua K ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 09:35 PM:

@73 Casey: File 770 was on the Rabid slate for Best Fanzine, but Mike Glyer individually was not on the Rabid slate for Best Fan Writer.

#93 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 09:56 PM:

Greg Hullender @82:

The scenario I fear is where an unworthy work ends up winning simply because it wasn't on a slate, even though there was a Hugo-worthy work on the ballot.
There are a lot of ways to answer that. One is that if that situation ever arises, I'm sure fandom will figure out how to cope with it. It certainly hasn't happened yet.

Second answer: How could that happen? An unworthy work is extremely unlikely to get onto the final ballot in a slated-up year.

Third answer: If it's truly that unworthy, fandom will vote it below No Award.

Fourth: The authors of good works that have been put on slates against their wishes can publicly denounce the slates, and disclaim all connection to them.

Fifth: The scenario I fear is the one where excellent works get driven off the ballot by crap from the Puppy slates. Unlike your scenario, this one has already happened.

Sixth: Be consoled that if your scenario ever does happen, 100% of the blame for it will belong to the Puppies, for maliciously and irresponsibly f*cking around with the Hugos.

And seventh: Look on the bright side. If your scenario happens, at least that Hugo won't have been handed off to a bunch of racist, homophobic *ssholes.

#94 ::: Privatiron ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 10:08 PM:

Raven, 25 and Frug, 78: I cannot speak to what the book is like, but I suspect that it is heavily based on the snippets Aramini has been posting on urth.net for years. If that is the case, it should be fairly comprehensive and thorough in rooting out allusions and references in the work. He also has some interesting ideas on what is actually going on in the stories; he certainly has thought through them a lot more than I have. I don't always agree with his interpretations, but he is probably worth checking out.

On the other hand, I have the sense that he is attracted to some of the more "traditional" aspects of Wolfe's thought/character. And that he is not averse to being associated with Beale. How that affects your desire to read him or potentially vote for him is up for you to say.

I don't have a vote and I won't be buying something I probably read for free in many little pieces. But you probably won't feel like you completely wasted your time. Let me know if the book is radically different than my conjecture. And if so, apologies in advance.

#95 ::: Privateiron ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 10:11 PM:

Correction: I should have said I cannot speak to the exact text of the book, but based on comments on urth.net, I am fairly certain it is based on the (literally) hundreds of snippets he shared with the group and should not be radically different than those.

#96 ::: Greg Hullender ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 10:13 PM:

@90 Xopher Halftongue

I understand how you can feel that way. I feel that way too sometimes. But I just feel like it's not the right thing to do.

#97 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 10:17 PM:

I'm bummed that the Discworld series as a whole didn't get a nomination (seeing as how it's at least as worthy of one as the Wheel of Time series as a whole). If it turns out that it got bumped by a slated work, "bummed" will become "furious".

#98 ::: Stephen Frug ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 10:39 PM:

#94/95, Privateiron: Thanks. That's helpful. Also not wildly into the idea of buying a book from Beale; maybe I'll just go read urth.net. Or just reread Wolfe.

#99 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 11:23 PM:

File770 had a breakdown on the effectiveness of the Rabid Puppies slate but it's currently down. The page is mirrored here and by Glenn Hauman at Comicmix.

Some of the works on the Rabid Puppies list were clearly chosen to mess with those who take a "Noah Ward to anything that appears on a slate" stance:

"Aha! Gotcha! If that's the stance you take, you must therefore No Award Sandman:Overture even though you love it."

But given that the WSFS membership saw fit to award a Hugo to "Guardians of the Galaxy" last year despite it being on the Rabid Puppies list, I trust the voters to respond to this year's ballot appropriately. Hugo voters are not inflexible automatons.

If nothing else, this result will increase support for the ratification of E Pluribus Hugo.

#100 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 11:24 PM:

"Rabid Puppies slate placed 64 of its 81 recommendations on the final Hugo ballot."

#101 ::: Anthony Easton ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 11:27 PM:

Can someone explain to me how something like Ishiguro's The Sleeping Giant will not get nominated, even among the sad puppy/rapid puppy slate? Or, that it wasn't nominated for any of the major awards?

#102 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 11:45 PM:

@ 74 - Thanks Xopher!

#103 ::: Anthony Easton ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2016, 11:58 PM:

Buried not Sleeping

#104 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 12:02 AM:

Mike Glyer says he has upgraded his webhosting contract so that he "can have unlimited whatzises... Now they are migrating all the stuff to a virtual private server."

Hopefully this will be a fairly quick process and File770 will be available again shortly.

#105 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 12:06 AM:

One of Scalzi's money quotes from the LATimes piece:
The Puppies are running in front of an existing parade and claiming to lead it.

I'll repeat here what I posted on Whatever, to those of you who say you are going to No Award everything that appeared on VD's slate:

Please don’t do this. I hope that no one will use this as their “rule” when voting.

VD deliberately put worthy works on his slate just to try to provoke this exact reaction. People who automatically put anything on his slate below “No Award” on their Hugo ballot are allowing him to play them like a harp. Please don’t allow yourself to be manipulated in this way.

If any of the works on his slate get a Hugo, VD is going to claim Victory. If all the works on his slate get No Awarded, he will still claim Victory. So just disregard his slate. Make him irrelevant.

If there’s stuff you don’t want to read, then don’t read it. If there’s stuff you read that merits being placed below No Award, then fine, that’s where it goes. But please don’t No Award works you would otherwise rank on your ballot.

I nominated several worthy works which also happened to appear on VD’s slate. I don’t care what he does. I am not allowing him to manipulate my Hugo nominating or voting. I am making him irrelevant.

#106 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 12:29 AM:

Aaron Williams, a terrific cartoonist, has posted on his blog all chuffed that he's a Hugo finalist. I now have to make a long comment ensuring that he has some idea of what he's getting into. Sigh.

#107 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 12:45 AM:

David Goldfarb, #106: Aaron Williams, a terrific cartoonist, has posted on his blog all chuffed that he's a Hugo finalist. I now have to make a long comment ensuring that he has some idea of what he's getting into. Sigh.

That's the biggest tragedy of all this mess -- that unsuspecting human shields are being used in a way that will make them forever doubt whether they would have gotten the Hugo nomination on their own. And it's even worse if they end up below No Award -- either because of anti-slate sentiment, or because they were nominated before their work was ready for prime time.

It's all very sad. :-(

#108 ::: Stoic Cynic ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 01:14 AM:

File 770 looks to be back up albeit still missing about 4 days of posts...

#109 ::: Heather Rose Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 01:19 AM:

Being a data-driven person, I threw the finalists into my Hugo2016 spreadsheet, did some initial analysis of what I'm willing to consider voting for and came up with the following.

Items/people I nominated are finalists in 5 categories, with a total of 9 items. Given my eclectic tastes, this is probably similar to the rate in a non-slate year.

There is something/someone I'm willing to vote for over No Award in 11 of the 16 categories (including Campbell).

There are four finalists (in four categories) where one of my nominations also happened to be on the Rabid Puppy slate. Note that this is nearly half of my nominations that were finalists. As I ignored the slates when drawing up my nominations, this seems a perfectly reasonable basis for ignoring the overlap when voting.

The startling thing is how little effect the RP slate had on the potential that I could vote for a finalist that I nominated.

#110 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 01:36 AM:

@JJ: In this particular case I think it's clear. Full Frontal Nerdity doesn't even appear on the longlist for the last three years, and I see no reason to believe that it would have this year either absent the Rabid Puppies, let alone the shortlist.

When I said "make sure he has some idea what he's getting into", by the way, what I meant was "make an impassioned appeal for him to withdraw from the ballot." I have now done so.

#111 ::: Leah Miller ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 01:40 AM:

I'm not saying you should read Space Raptor Butt Invasion...

But Chuck Tingle did just release a new work: Slammed in the Butt by My Hugo Award Nomination.

That's not a joke. Well I

#112 ::: Leah Miller ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 01:42 AM:

Well I mean it's as much of a joke as anything Chuck Tingle does is probably a joke? But the product exists.

#113 ::: Kendall ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 01:44 AM:

@Soon Lee #99: Preach it! We are not robots! No one should allow Beale to program their Hugo ballot. The dirty tricks changed this year; the response should also change. I'm a little worried some people will act like robots; I can only hope it's a minority, and not doo damaging.

@JJ #104: Thanks so much for posting here re. File770. I was wondering, and somewhat baffled since (despite thinking the problem was too much traffic) the one time I got through, there were barely any comments on the new posts.

@JJ #105: Again, preach it! No blind No Awarding, please. I'm not going so far as to ignore his slate, though; I won't be considering him or his house, and there are some other items that IMHO are fairly obvious trolling that I'll probably ignore. But even this may change without notice, as I explore the finalist list more. Hell, even last year (when I was mostly "just No Award slate"), I made exceptions for Reasons; this year, new dirty tricks = even more flexible me in response.

@David Goldfarb #106 & #110 & @JJ #107: Agreed - sad. I enjoyed Aaron Williams's stuff back in the day, but I don't read it now, so I haven't nominated it. I doubt he'd've gotten on the ballot on his own (not well known among WSFS members), but he gets an honest look from me, due to excellent past work. See? I can be flexible!

@Stoic Cynic #108: I'm baffled anyone can get to File770.com, while all I get is the "temporarily unavailable/check back soon/ if you're the owner, contact tech support" message. What's the trick? Anyway, hopefully the latest stuff will get restored.

#114 ::: Kendall ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 01:49 AM:

Argh: That should be "not too damaging" at the end of my first paragraph. Help, oh wonderful moderators...I have a stupid typo there. ;-( Clearly I didn't read my preview closely enough.

#115 ::: Stoic Cynic ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 02:04 AM:

@Kendall

Your browser might have cached the redirect.

Try typing the link in a fresh tab:

http://file770.com

The site is going nuts with new activity. You ought to be able to get back in...

#116 ::: Kendall ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 02:13 AM:

@Stoic Cynic: Thanks - no luck. I tried a browser I usually only use for work stuff, cleared the cache/history/etc., and...no luck. Maybe there's a DNS change that just hasn't propagated to my neck of the woods yet. Rats. I'll try tomorrow morning.

#117 ::: snowcrash ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 02:24 AM:

Fyi, file770.com is back up with the missing recent posts restored (the original comments are lost though)

#118 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 02:30 AM:

File770.com still returns a suspended page for me despite clearing cache & reloading. I'll check in tomorrow.

#119 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 02:45 AM:

The way I look at it, Beale did a good job of hamstringing himself. His "poison pill" tactic gives me more chances to vote for something I love (several of his slate picks overlap with my nominations). So I will, even if they also appear on his slate. In most cases, there's still a bright line between that and absolute crap, and Noa Waard can mark that*.

Of course Beale and his ilk will cry "hypocrite" since I said I wouldn't vote for anything on a slate. But I'm a grownup, and I change my approach as the situation changes. As far as I'm concerned, this was my gambit to get him to slouch toward the irrelevance that he so richly deserves.

The Sad Puppies did what I hoped they would when the announced their plans last year: they created a recommendation list, and they did it openly. I respect the heck out of that. This year, I'm reserving my ire for Rabids, not for Puppies in general. I know the Sads still hate many of the people and things I like, and I'm not delighted with their vitriol, but they're acting like fans now, not vandals. I honor that.

----
* And where it's not clear, I'll use my (gasp) judgment.

#120 ::: Leah Miller ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 02:52 AM:

After some conversations on other parts of the internet, I'm starting to think discovering the Chuck Tingle phenomenon might be one of the best things to come out of this debacle. This person is achieving some high-concept performance art.

My favorite discoveries so far:

Slammed In The Butthole By My Concept Of Linear Time

Oppressed In The Butt By My Inclusive Holiday Coffee Cups

Reamed By My Reaction To The Title Of This Book

But wait... it goes further somehow?

Living Inside My Own Butt For Eight Years, Starting A Business And Turning A Profit Through Common Sense Reinvestment And Strategic Targeted Marketing

And finally

Turned Gay by the Existential Dread That I May Actually be a Character in a Chuck Tingle Book

#121 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 02:59 AM:

@116, @117: if, as I've heard, he moved to a different server, then there's nearly certain to be DNS propagation time involved. Which would explain why different people are getting different results (I'm still getting the "down" page, even with alternate browser, full refetch, etc.).

#122 ::: aramini ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 03:18 AM:

As far as those interested in my book on Wolfe, I made it as rigorous as I possibly could. I have spent the last four years working pretty obsessively on this project. If you want to see the approach I take, you can check out my videos on Wolfe, which are filled with spoilers after the first one. The fact of the matter is that no one would publish over 300,000 words of criticism save Vox, and it obviously would never have made it onto an award platform without him. He gave me full control over the content and the cover design. So it goes.

In any event, I poured my heart and soul into writing this book, inspired by love of Gene Wolfe, who should long ago have won a Hugo. Producing it is certainly the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzlbiFMwxeYCQwAzzyXpr3l3zAo4NBQ1c

#123 ::: Kellan Sparver ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 03:27 AM:

Xopher @90: A pity it was published by Castalia House, then. I'd really like people to consider publication by them to be detrimental to their chances of winning awards.

Certainly Castalia House authors shouldn't be rewarded for selling their work to a publisher with a known history of sleazy and dishonorable marketing practices like gaming awards ballots. Any more than if, say, PublishAmerica pulled a similar stunt.

#124 ::: Kellan Sparver ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 03:34 AM:

abi @119: For myself, I expect to make significant use this year of the ability to rank works below No Award.

#125 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 03:42 AM:

aramini @122:

Thanks for stopping by to explain.

Obviously, different people will have different feelings on the matter, but it sounds to me like you're pretty much in the "good stuff despite the source" category.

#126 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 03:51 AM:

I can now access File770.

In other, more important news, Thomas A. Mays withdraws his story "The Commuter.

Annie Bellet has much sympathy (as have I). It sucks for the people caught up in this situation.

#127 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 05:31 AM:

@aramini:

He gave me full control over the content and the cover design.

A churlish person (which I am inclined to be, sometimes) might suggest that this is because "Day" wants to do as little work as possible when it comes to editing. Certainly, some of last year's "edited by Vox Day" content (ahem) suggests a similar "light touch" approach. (A list of all the uncorrected spelling and grammar errors in Riding the Red Horse is not available on request, because there are only so many hours in the day, dammit.*)

I read and reviewed everything last year, and I will try to do the same this year.... Some people did make a conscious choice to no-award anything on a slate, but I don't think it was nearly as many as the Puppy camp likes to think; me, I take the view that any slated work starts with a strike against it (slating suggests, but does not prove, that the work wasn't strong enough to get onto the ballot legitimately), but I will read and judge as best I can.

*N.b. - I know there's a difference between an acquiring or commissioning editor and a sub or copy editor. I still think a decent editor would make sure the subbing got done properly. John W. Campbell would have.

#128 ::: Jack V ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 06:37 AM:

Hm, I wonder if Vox Day is deliberately mixing up several categories, of things which will get nominated anyway (so he can say he made it happen), of things that might be on the edge (so he can say he made it happen), things he published (so he can claim he got a hugo), weird stuff (so he can make the awards look ridiculous).

And progressive stuff -- Novik and Bujold are writers I expect he really really wants to lose, so maybe he's hoping to double-bluff them into a no award?

And if he mixes it up like that, it's that much harder for people to ignore it when voting, and gives a much greater chance for SOMETHING to happen he can claim as victory.

#129 ::: Jack V ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 06:40 AM:

Conversely, it seems like maybe the sad puppies are reverting to nominating stuff they actually think is good? If so is better than the alternative. But it seemed like it was rabid puppies who got all the trolls to vote for them.

#130 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 07:22 AM:

I don't care enough to vote this year. I can think of better things to spend my money on.

But I would be inclined to put all slated candidates below Noah, no exceptions. We've had another very public campaign to rig an election. I am getting fed up with them. It's not just the Hugo Awards, it's everywhere.

Voting isn't magic.

#131 ::: Kellan Sparver ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 07:30 AM:

Jack V @128: And if he mixes it up like that, it's that much harder for people to ignore it when voting, and gives a much greater chance for SOMETHING to happen he can claim as victory.

One is supposed to be predictable to one's friends and unpredictable to one's enemies, but the easy way to achieve unpredictability to your enemies if your friends are the trusting type is to just do random shit and claim you won regardless of what happens.

This keeps your hardcore base engaged at the expense of anyone who can read the final award ballots from the last few years, or who saw the discussion around EPH and its success at last year's business meeting.

Fortunately fandom are smart people, and I trust us to see through that kind of flim-flam.

#132 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 08:10 AM:

Jack V@128

Naomi Novik's "Uprooted" is NOT on the RP's slate. At least according to file770.com

(e.g. http://file770.com/?p=28115)

#133 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 08:23 AM:

Aramini:

The "best related" nominees in a normal year can and do come from all over, on a very broad range of topics. I suspect you're wrong about your book only having had a chance at the ballot because of slating: almost any other publisher might have taken the energy yours has used on slating and trying to burn down the Hugos on publicity. Instead of your publisher promoting your book, or at least getting out of the way so you can talk about Gene Wolfe and what makes him interesting and important, you're out here defending your publisher.

I hope for your sake and that of the work that "complete control over the contents" means that you chose topics and could veto changes, not that Castalia did no copyediting or proofreading.

#134 ::: aramini ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 08:56 AM:

Vicki:

Yes, my editor spent over a year on various parts of the book, sending each change back to me. There was one version mix up but he even checked things like mistakes in MY sources (for example, a reversal of the colors in the lands of Oz east vs west, something I never would have caught.) My editor matthew king worked very hard on it because he was a Wolfe fan too. I sketched a cover and vox got me four covers based on that to chose from based on themes I provided, then let me add what I wanted to it. The only thing that has been slow is updating to version 2 of the ebook on amazon, which i reminded my editor to do asap now that people might be looking at it again.

As I said, I know how little my book would bring a publisher because I know how many copies it has sold, and they are not in a charity business. My book and its size would only be published by someone ideologically interested in it, because frankly it will never sell well. University presses couldn't be bothered to even look at the quality of the analysis.

#135 ::: Cat ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 09:06 AM:

Greg Hullender @81 wrote

80 The scenario I fear is where an unworthy work ends up winning simply because it wasn't on a slate, even though there was a Hugo-worthy work on the ballot.

Well, if what I should consider an "unworthy work" is a work that I personally didn't like, would never have dreamed of nominating, and voted below No Award when it made the ballot, that has already happened. So...

Personally I was okay with that because it was an Honest Nomination, and The Hugo Voters Had Spoken, and sometimes that won't come out how I want because that is what democracy looks like.

But perhaps there is some less subjective definition of "unworthy work ends up winning."

Jack V @128 --
Remember that *whatever* happens, Beale will claim it as a victory. So there's no point worrying about that.

#136 ::: Scrabble ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 09:14 AM:

I've seen some inexplicably harsh, black-and-white backlash against Uprooted at File 770. I guess maybe related to slating or something. How byzantine.

Well, I'm pulling for TFS to claim Best Novel, anyway, since I've already paid my dues.

Away from the whole tangle of slates and whatnot, anyone still trying to reform/remove the BELF category?

#137 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 09:57 AM:

Joe H. @ 64:

I'm pretty sure a great deal of the effect is carryover from Sasquan memberships, although it would be nice to know for sure.

I think I'm going to look into everything I care about that I think would have made the ballot without Puppy activity, and ignore the rest. I am disappointed that this is the first year I've gone out of my way to read a bunch of short stories to make sure I had nominations, and then none of them are on the ballot, but that's how these things work.

#138 ::: Joe H. ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 10:04 AM:

My biggest disappointment (other the downballot dumpster fires, that is) is the absence of Elizabeth Hand's Wylding Hall from either novel or novella (I think it skated the border); but, to be honest, I don't know if it would've made the list even without interference.

#139 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 10:16 AM:

Anthony Easton@101: "Can someone explain to me how something like Ishiguro's The Buried Giant will not get nominated, even among the sad puppy/rapid puppy slate?"

It was on my ballot (along with Jemisin, Leckie, and Ken Liu's Grace of Kings). I certainly recommend it to other readers of Making Light.

I can't speak for anyone else, much less other awards, but although I consider it a brilliant work, it's also a very difficult one; difficult to read, understand, or even like. It's not the kind of book the puppies claim to like: it's driven primarily by character and theme; although the bones of the plot are vaguely quest-like, it's not at all the focus of the prose; and what action there is is largely backgrounded to rather stilted dialog. (It also often uses the technique I think as typified by Patrick O'Brian: leading up to just the merest beginning of an action sequence, then jumping ahead to a summary of the aftermath, with a sort of "Well, Sophie, that was quite a battle!")

All that being said, I do think it rewards the work put into reading it, but I'm not surprised that it isn't a fan favorite.

More prosaically, I think Ishiguro is one of those "mainstream" authors who write what is undeniably genre fiction, but is marketed as general literature because they are respectable types. (cf Margaret Atwood, P.D. James, Walter Mosely, Salman Rushdie.) Not that I think this is a useful distinction, but I do think it's a real phenomenon. Because of that, some traditional genre readers (that is, Hugo Award voters) may not have encountered it or thought it the kind of thing they'd enjoy.

#140 ::: Scrabble ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 10:22 AM:

I've read TBG. It didn't impress me. People sometimes have different opinions about things!

And yeah, considering that the "puppy" factions really have it in for any work that strives for "literariness", "even among the sad puppy/ra[b]id puppy slate" is not really a clause that makes any sense. Of course it wouldn't be on their slates. It would be more surprising if they had nominated it.

#141 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 10:25 AM:

Part of the situation is that Beale has done some decent work as an acquiring editor. There's Aramini's book, and Eric Raymond's story (not worthy of a Campbell nomination, but a pretty good first story) and Ken Burnside's essay (excellent in my opinion) were commissioned. I gather he treats his authors well personally and that means he's likely to get their loyalty.

#142 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 10:44 AM:

Yes, Uprooted is on the Sad list but not on the Rabid list.

The Sad list was compiled by a genuinely open process; many believed in advance that this would not happen, but it did. Hence, one cannot really ask why 'they' put things on the list; many of the things on the list were put there by people opposed to the SP movement, in order to test the openness of the process.

So far as I can see the SP list has had no effect on the ballot: nothing from the list has reached the ballot unless it was either on the RP list, or widely liked in the community. It may be, of course, that there is a contingent of SP works that gained just too few votes to reach the ballot; but I think it's quite likely that it has had no real effect. Although it was certainly planned in such a way that it could be used as a slate, it ended up not really working as a slate, because what it included was so disparate that no one would want to vote for it all in order to bring about a definite outcome.

anyone still trying to reform/remove the BELF category?

Yes, Kevin Standlee has a proposal, but he doesn't intend to bring it forward before 2018, given all the other stuff we have to accomplish before then.

#143 ::: Kendall ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 10:48 AM:

BTW I did get back into File770.com last night, yay!

@Soon Lee #126: Thanks for the info re. Mays's story; I've commented in support. That sucks for him and must've been a very tough decision.

@Scrabble #136: I'm a File770.com regular and am in the middle of Uprooted and I've commented a couple of times recently how much I'm enjoying it. I've seen others like it, meh it, and dislike it, so I think you're way oversimplifying comments there. (It wasn't on the RP slate, BTW.)

Regardless, it's a strong contender for me so far, but I'm not done with it, plus I have a couple of the other novels yet to read. :-)

#144 ::: Kendall ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 10:50 AM:

@Andrew M #142: I think one or two items (e.g., Minz's BE nom) are related to SP4, but in general, I agree. Shoot, Happy Puppy already showed up at File770 to say he voted the SP4 list...of course, the list has 6+ items in some categories, so that's just a baffling statement on his part.

#145 ::: Chris ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 10:53 AM:

There are a number of things on that list that I'll be putting below No Award on principle. There are some Puppy-slate nominees that will definitely go above No Award, including a few that were also on my nominating ballot. And I think I have to vote for the cartoon equines, because ponies.

#146 ::: Scrabble ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 10:54 AM:

@Kendall: Never said "File 770 unanimously hated it" and never would; that would be silly and indefensible. "SOME backlash" was the phrase, key also being "inexplicably harsh" and "black-and-white". As a non-regular myself, it had to be pretty inexplicable and B&W to stick in my memory...

#147 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 11:55 AM:

Kellan Sparver @124: Note, if you rank them below No Award, your vote may still count towards giving them the award.

If there are indeed works you believe are completely undeserving and without merit, then put No Award on your ballot after your preferred choices and completely omit the other titles.

Otherwise, depending on the vagaries of how the votes are counted, if No Award sufficiently fails to win, you are now voting for the others in the order that you ranked them.

So if you think something is kinda not as good as your favorites, but sure, if other people like it, it deserves a Hugo, you can put THAT title below No Award.

#148 ::: Kellan Sparver ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 12:45 PM:

Elliot Mason @147: Note, if you rank them below No Award, your vote may still count towards giving them the award.

Yeah, that is my intent. For instance, I may object on principle to giving an award to any work in a category (eg. Novella) in which it has no honest competitors, so I would rank 'No Award' first. But if I read Binti and like it, I would rank it as well, because if we are going to give an award despite my principles, we should give it to something worthwhile. The same might go for the Sandman book, or some of the other works slated by the Rabid Puppies but which stand on their own merits.

The dumpster fires, on the other hand, will get put out with 'No Award' and nothing else.

#149 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 12:54 PM:

Everything about the Hugos is awful now. I can't tell you how heartbroken I am. One of the many, many awful things in the whole awful show is watching folks thank their fans for nominations, as if they're on the ballot for anything other than some asshole's desire to discredit the Hugos by nominating the worst things he can think of. It's just sad.

#150 ::: Eric Franklin ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 01:22 PM:

I think that one of the saddest things about this list is that the Best Related Work category is 100% sunk.

None of the nominees there are likely to politely bow out like Thomas Mays did with his short story.

The other sadness for me is the number of actual quality nominees who are relatively unknown (Full Frontal Nerdity springs to mind for me) who are now tarred with the Puppy brush.

#151 ::: Sten Thaning ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 01:28 PM:

Lee @ 97: I considered nominating the Discworld series this year but decided against it. Terry Pratchett declined at least one Hugo nomination when he was alive and I don't feel comfortable nominating someone against his will when he has no say in the matter.

#152 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 02:08 PM:

Teresa Nielsen Hayden @67: Many -- possibly all -- of the authors who're affiliated with the Pups would be better off if they'd instead used that time and energy to write.

But, but—that would take actual work!?!

#153 ::: Rail ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 02:16 PM:

Scrablle @146: I've seen some criticism on File770 of the abusiveness of the relationship in Uprooted, but I must have missed anything else.

#154 ::: Stephen Rochelle ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 02:17 PM:

Elliott Mason @147 wrote: Note, if you rank them below No Award, your vote may still count towards giving them the award.

False. Any work A you rank above some other work B, including No Award (NA) as A or B and including "did not rank" as "rank above", is always, only, and ever going to be a vote by you for A over B, excepting the cases where they are both eliminated from contention.

In particular, the No Award Test at the end of voting means that a potential win by D, whether your ballot is A B C NA D or just A B C NA, is going to count you as voting for No Award in lieu of D. The only distinction is that the former says "I'd rather see D win than E" -- but in the case that either D or E is the potential winner, you have voted to support No Award preferentially and to your fullest extent.

#155 ::: Stephen Rochelle ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 02:40 PM:

Amending my own 154, because I think I mis-read somewhat:

There was a lot of misinformation and confusion last year about whether ranking a work after No Award could help that work defeat No Award specifically. That particular statement is false, due to the No Award Test.

However, it is true that the stuff you rank (or choose not to rank) below No Award could matter as a vote at a stage other than the No Award Test (and I think, re-reading, that this is what Elliott intends). If you've got two or more equally desirable things (for versions of "desirable" that include "meh" or "deplorable") at the end of your ballot, you can leave them all off as a statement of lack of preference. There is a distinction in a ballot that ends "... NA D E" vs "... NA (with D and E omitted)", in that you're voting for D to win over E. But that's the only case in which you're voting for D to win: if it has come down to D or E, and the No Award Test won't prevail (which is, again, distinct from whether No Award has been previously eliminated in the initial process).

Summarizing: a ballot of "A B C NA D E" differs from a ballot of "A B C NA (D & E omitted)" in only two circumstances: if D and E are the final head-to-head contenders, the first ballot says D is preferable (the second ballot is discounted), and that breaking (or creating) a D/E tie for 1st Place where D can pass the No Award Test but E cannot would see D awarded the Hugo when E might have instead failed at the NAT step. Critically, that second case is really narrow -- not just a tie but a tie between one thing likely to garner significant No Award opposition and a second thing which is not so likely. The ballots are identical in that you personally are never voting for either of D or E to win against any of A, B, C, or No Award, and both will vote for No Award in lieu of D or E as the Hugo winner in the NAT.

#156 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 02:48 PM:

This came up in one of the threads last year. Kevin Standlee explained how it's supposed to work.

#157 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 03:05 PM:

Based on the title, this particular Chuck Tingle episode has both dinosaurs and sodomy, so it's obviously written by some Clarion workshop grad.

I've almost never thought of Steve Stiles as the best fan artist, but his nominated work has always been fun and fannish, and appropriate for the venues he's drawing for, and I'll be happy to vote for him.

I'm surprised to hear Marc Aramini saying he had an editor from Castalia - based on what I saw from last year's Puppies, I'd assumed they did none of that (there's a dreadful lack of copy-editing, and most of the work showed the lack of higher-level editing as well, though I suppose Beale wasn't going to try telling his buddies Kratman and Finest Author Of Our Time JCWright that their work needed work.)

#158 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 03:53 PM:

I can vote "No Award" in a spirit of perfect charity, even if I'm convinced that the work would never have gotten onto the final ballot without the help of a slate.

Ranking it beneath "No Award" doesn't mean I think it's bad. It means that every year, there are lots of good works that don't get nominated for a Hugo, and I feel that the nominee should have been one of them.

#159 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 04:15 PM:

Sarah, #149: This, too, shall pass.

Don't forget to engage in self-care, which may mean withdrawing from the whole conversation for a while. I had friends who drove themselves into a state resembling PTSD by obsessively watching the media in the wake of 9/11, and the same kind of thing can happen on a smaller scale.

#161 ::: LadyKay ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 04:37 PM:

I am planning to be generous with the close-the-computer and have a cup of tea/knit/exercise self-care plan. Last year, I realized around June how much emotion and attention I had poured out.

#162 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 04:44 PM:

All glory to Mike Glyer, who tells us when there's something we need to know about.

#163 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 04:51 PM:

Elliot Mason@147: Note, if you rank them below No Award, your vote may still count towards giving them the award.

I would describe that as a big chunk of misinformation (and I've seen it spread in cases where it's pretty clearly intentional disinformation) that floats around.

Yes, your ballot could end up in that pile, helping that work to win—but only when it's compared to some other work that you ranked even lower. The order of your rankings below No Award still matters. I find this terribly useful; the difference between "bad" and "worse" can be huge. It cannot help that work win compared to some work you ranked higher.

I think of this as an error made by people who think of "elections" in terms of first-past-the-post majority. Australian Ballot doesn't work that way.

Plus there's the question of the No Award test in the rules that a work has to pass for final victory; that seems to have been covered already.

#164 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 04:55 PM:

aramini@134 and elsewhere: I'm very glad to see your description of what publishing with Castalia house was actually like, and your other remarks relating especially to your book from there. First-hand reports are interesting and valuable information.

Good luck with your book. Gene Wolfe deserves serious attention, and one valuable kind is that of obsessive fans, which sounds like what you have published.

#165 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 05:13 PM:

I was pleased to see that AKA Smile (Jessica Jones) made it. That was my only non-colliding choice. Although, I don't care that The Martian collided.

I think my general plan this year will be the same as two years ago--look at each work on its merits. For some works, the lack of merit may become clear very quickly.

This situation also seems to ensure that EPH will get ratified.

#166 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 06:12 PM:

I'm confused by the term "backlash" used to describe negative reaction to Uprooted over at File 770. It seems a strange way to characterize posts in which people explained (thus, not "inexplicable") why they didn't the novel.

I'm not even sure how to parse the complaint "black-and-white" when applied to that conversation.

Anyway, having become a File 770 regular over the past year, and having, if not participated in those conversations (I read it late), at least watched those conversations about Uprooted unscroll (heh), I just find the application of those terms baffling.

#167 ::: Zack ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 09:05 PM:

dd-b @163: The exhortation not to rank anything below No Award, as seen e.g. here, addresses an aspect of the rules that is genuinely confusing to new voters, even as longtime participants don't understand how they could possibly be misinterpreted. I recall this coming up last year on this very site, with Kevin Standlee describing the effect of preferences below No Award in terms that were accurate but deeply misleading if you didn't already understand the rules, and then getting quite indignant when told that he was confusing people.

Let me be concrete. Suppose I vote A<B<C<NA<D in some category. That is effectively the same as voting A<B<C<NA<D<E. But what a new voter may very well think it means is A<B<C<E<NA<D. In other words, they may think that putting D on the ballot below No Award but leaving E off expresses a preference for E over both No Award and D, when precisely the opposite is true.

This is a problem because the natural thing to do with something you never got around to reading is leave it off the ballot, and the natural thing to do with something you especially hated is give it the "worst possible" score. Another concrete example: suppose that my honest preference among F,G,H,J,K is G<H<NA<F with no opinion on the relative merits of J and K. There is no way to express this preference. Marking G, H, NA, F expresses G<H<NA<F<(J,K) which ranks J and K as worse than F, when what I probably thought I was saying was G<H<(J,K)<NA<F.

That is what people like The Weasel King are trying to caution people about.

#168 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 09:17 PM:

Soon Lee @99:

File770 had a breakdown on the effectiveness of the Rabid Puppies slate but it's currently down. The page is mirrored here and by Glenn Hauman at Comicmix.

Some of the works on the Rabid Puppies list were clearly chosen to mess with those who take a "Noah Ward to anything that appears on a slate" stance:

"Aha! Gotcha! If that's the stance you take, you must therefore No Award Sandman:Overture even though you love it."
If so, it's stupid of them. Voters can tell the difference between plausible nominees, and works that only got on the ballot via the slate.

I intend to keep pointing out that this year's Puppy-slate nominees weren't asked whether they consented to be on it. To repeat an earlier point of mine, if I were an unwillingly Puppified nominee, I'd be denouncing the Pups and their slate at every opportunity, and I'd keep doing it from now until Midamericon.

But given that the WSFS membership saw fit to award a Hugo to "Guardians of the Galaxy" last year despite it being on the Rabid Puppies list, I trust the voters to respond to this year's ballot appropriately. Hugo voters are not inflexible automatons.
The individual voters sorted out the issues pretty smoothly last year. I'm hoping they can do it again.
If nothing else, this result will increase support for the ratification of E Pluribus Hugo.
Yup. It'll be interesting to see how EPH tests out. It may not be a panacea.

JJ @105: VD and the Pups always claim they're victorious, no matter how badly their plans go astray. Before the 2015 Hugo Awards ceremony had ended, they were explaining how it was a triumph for their side, rather than the massive repudiation and defeat it obviously was.

The 2016 Hugo voters will decide for themselves what's worth a Hugo and what isn't. It's what they always do.

=====

Some general remarks:

I find myself irritated by people saying they hope the Hugo voters will make up their own minds. Where is that even coming from? Hugo voters have always made up their own minds, thank you very much.

I'm also irritated by being asked to give the Pups' nominees a fair chance. They've already had one. Asking for more amounts to special pleading on behalf of the Pups' preferred works and authors.

If a Pup-favored book or story was published within the year of eligibility, it has already had the same chance to be read, generate word of mouth, and find its audience, as all the other books and stories published during that time. And if, after having had that chance, it only got onto the Hugo ballot because it was on the Puppy slate, then it's reasonable to say it didn't please the readers anywhere near as much as the work it displaced.

Why should I allow myself to be guilt-tripped into giving the intrusive work an extra-special second chance? It hasn't earned it. That extra measure of attention is supposed to go to nominees that get onto the ballot by being good. Those are the works I want to be reading now, not stuff that got onto the ballot because its author is part of the Pups' social continuum, or for some other reason is favored by them.

Fairness is not the issue. Fairness is what the Pups got rid of, because they don't like what a fair process does to their preferred nominees.

So. There are Puppy nominees on the ballot again. We're stuck with them. What I don't see is why we're obliged us to pretend that they're as legitimate as any other nominee in Hugo history.

I recognize that this is an idiosyncratic opinion, and I take sole responsibility for it. But if you're worried about Hugo voters making their own judgements, congratulations: this is me making mine.

#169 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 09:48 PM:

Teresa, #168: So. There are Puppy nominees on the ballot again. We're stuck with them. What I don't see is why we're obliged to pretend that they're as legitimate as any other nominee in Hugo history.

That sums up my position pretty well. It's the same argument as pretending that an Olympic medal is equally legitimate whether or not it was obtained by the use of performance-boosting drugs.

#170 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 09:51 PM:

"It'll be interesting to see how EPH tests out. It may not be a panacea."

I don't think its proponents expect it will entirely solve the problem, though it will help.
But we may also see some improvement due to shrinking of the Rabid puppy pack.

As I understand it, those who paid for a supporting membership last year to push a slate then got the right to nominate for the following year as well (that is, this year). So there was no extra cost for people who wanted to trash the Hugos last year (which is pretty clearly by now the Rabid agenda) to do it again this year, and therefore we got another near-sweep.

But eventually they'll have to cough up another $50 to keep it up. (It's not clear to me when most Puppies bought their memberships, so I'm not sure whether they'll have to do that starting next year or the year following. If I'm reading the rules correctly, it looks like if you buy at the right time you can participate in 3 years' worth of nominations with 1 year's supporting membership payment. WorldCon might want to rethink that in the light of the current exploit.)

In any case, when it is time to pay again, some of the vandals might re-up, but I suspect many won't be as interested and prefer to move on to some other form of self-amusement that doesn't cost them as much. (I suppose a slate leader could try subsidizing memberships to avoid that fall-off, but that can get complicated and expensive.)

If I'm right, we may well see the first signs of Puppy fall-off in the final vote totals this year. If I understand how the system works, a supporting membership only gives you 1 year's worth of voting rights for the final ballot, and the initial Puppy recruits have already had that. If Rabid drek gets fewer votes this time around than last year, then we may also see a fall-off in Rabid nominations after the nomination rights they initially paid for expire.

#171 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2016, 11:55 PM:

Teresa 168:

Why should I allow myself to be guilt-tripped into giving the intrusive work an extra-special second chance? It hasn't earned it. That extra measure of attention is supposed to go to nominees that get onto the ballot by being good. Those are the works I want to be reading now, not stuff that got onto the ballot because its author is part of the Pups' social continuum, or for some other reason is favored by them.
Fairness is not the issue. Fairness is what the Pups got rid of, because they don't like what a fair process does to their preferred nominees.
So. There are Puppy nominees on the ballot again. We're stuck with them. What I don't see is why we're obliged us to pretend that they're as legitimate as any other nominee in Hugo history.
Again, you say what I've been thinking but couldn't articulate as clearly.

#172 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2016, 12:39 AM:

John Mark Ockerbloom #170:

I'm in agreement. Last year 586 members voted Vox Day into their first spot for BESF. Greg Hullender suggests that fewer than half of those voted the Rabid Puppy slate this year, more declined to slate this year's nominations despite it being free for them. I am hopeful that this year's attempt has been Vox Day's best/worst effort.

I think EPH has two effects, the purely mechanical role as a nomination tallying system that helps reduce slate power to a level appropriate to their numbers, but IMO it will also have a deterrent effect; if slaters can no longer monopolise a whole category, they might be less inclined to even bother.

Additionally, let's not forget that getting to the finals is no guarantee of a win, and worse, coming below "No Award" is a distinct possibility, an outcome that came as a surprise to more than a few slate voters last year.

#173 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2016, 03:16 AM:

Zack@167: Yeah, some of the attempts to explain this certainly fall into "true so far as they go" combined with "deeply misleading if you try to take it further". I worked with actual counting of this system (not Hugos, but we use it in Minn-StF also) long long ago, and wrote one of the early programs for it even, and I approach it as a programmer trained as a pure mathematician, so possibly my understanding and the history that lead to it isn't typical.

Your explanation of what confuses people makes it sound, maybe, like they're seeing "No Award" as more magical than it is. That makes sense -- my sense of it as an ordinary candidate comes directly from treating it as such when counting paper ballots, an experience few people have these days. (Plus of course there's the other way it's magical, the test of the winner against NA at the end of the Hugo balloting process. One magic leads to other magics...in people's heads very easily.)

#174 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2016, 03:23 AM:

tnh@168: I don't think even the strongest proponents of EPH actually expect it to be a panacea. I do feel our hope that it will help some has a modest basis in reality, at least.

One of the things I'm afraid of is it will help "considerably", but that that will not be perceived as "enough". People are very fond of panaceas. Well, with luck any further proposed changes will be examined this carefully also, and people will listen to expert reports (or do the work to make their own opinions valid), and nothing too stupid will get passed.

#175 ::: johnofjack ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2016, 07:11 AM:

I was a strict no-slater last year and I, too, am changing my tactics. Doing otherwise would be allowing VD to manipulate me; and since I don't let my loved ones manipulate me I'm not sure why I should extend that power to people I hold in contempt.

I am rather annoyed that The Sculptor didn't make the ballot. Given that George R. R. Martin praised it rather highly on his LJ, I would be amazed if the Rabid Puppy shenanigans hadn't forced it off the ballot.

But I am absolutely delighted that The Fifth Season made the ballot despite the Puppies. I think it's one of the five best books I read last year.

#176 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2016, 08:21 AM:

In re slated works getting an undeserved "extra chance" and all works being equal in their ability to garner eyeballs ...

I am in no way pro-Pup or the way they do things, let me be clear.

But there is also a lot of stovepiping in media right now. There are a lot of wonderful things that likely Hugo voters never see.

For example, just last year, Home was a movie with the best alien invasion of Earth I've ever seen in ANY film, and a strong moral compass and emotional center, PLUS a black protagonist, and a great score.

But because it was an animated film for kids, I had an uphill battle trying to convince even the Hugo-nominators **I personally know** to give it a chance. Its studio didn't believe in it, pulled all the ads early, shortened its run. And once it was on DVD, I kept getting dismissive "Oh, kid stuff" contempt every time I tried to get people to engage with its content.

The pups HAVE NOT, for the most part, picked unknown good works to nominate (modulo, perhaps, things like the Wolfe bio this year and so on).

But in general, there is lots of good work that never gets seen by the small subset of fandom who actually bother to nominate for the Hugos (or know that one can). And there's a LOT of confirmation bias in that. Until just recently it was damn hard to get on a Hugo ballot if you were black and your name wasn't Delaney or Barnes or Butler -- and the fact that I can name them all off the top of my head emphasizes how rare success was in our genre, in terms of being published in the big magazines or read by likely voters.

There is a possibility, in future, for some group who ARE NOT the Pups to actually try to use slating tactics (or social media blasts, which I've also seen treated contemptuously by likely Hugo voters) to get genuinely mind-bendingly amazing work in front of people who had written it off categorically.

And that would be a good thing.

#177 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2016, 08:59 AM:

John Mark Ockerbloom@170:

I don't think its proponents expect it [EPH] will entirely solve the problem, though it will help.

I don't think its proponents do, but plenty of casual observers do. There's a conversation which keeps repeating itself at File 770 that goes something like this:

Commenter (in the course of discussing something else): 'Thank goodness next year EPH will be in place, and we won't have to worry about slates any more'.
Me: 'EPH reduces the influence of slates, but it doesn't mean we don't have to worry about them. They may still be able to get a lot of spots in a lot of categories, and that would still distort the process'.
Angry EPH defender: 'No one is claiming that EPH is a complete solution. But at the moment nothing better has been proposed.'
Me: 'Well, if no one hopes for it to be a complete solution, that is fine.'
(Two days pass.)
Commenter (in the course of discussing something else): 'Thank goodness next year EPH will be in place, and we won't have to worry about slates any more'.

#178 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2016, 09:10 AM:

David Dyer-Bennett@174: My fear is the reverse; that people will be too ready to take anything EPH produces as 'enough'. If (as is likely) it leads to at least one non-slate nominee in every category, people will see this as a triumphant outcome, ignoring the fact that slates still have a majority of spots in a majority of categories, and that this is still a distortion of the process.

(This is not to say that your fear is wrong. People may react in both the ways we imagine.)

#179 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2016, 10:15 AM:

"There is a possibility, in future, for some group who ARE NOT the Pups to actually try to use slating tactics... to get genuinely mind-bendingly amazing work in front of people who had written it off categorically.... And that would be a good thing."

No. NO SLATES, Pup or otherwise.

If you want to get good work in front of people, you can participate in the many SF recommendation threads here and elsewhere, promote it on your blog or other media, or even create your own awards aimed at surfacing amazing but neglected work.

If some of that work also ends up getting a Hugo nomination after that extra attention, great. But trying to skew the ballot with a coordinated nomination slate has been frowned on by the Worldcon community no matter who's doing it. EPH is intended to limit the damage of slates, not to make them acceptable.

#180 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2016, 10:25 AM:

I don't find using slates to get the "right" works onto the shortlist any more agreeable than using ballot-stuffing to get the "right" candidates elected. I can quite honestly dislike an unethical tactic even if it might give agreeable results.

Though, speaking of this slate, I am generally going to avoid checking things off against the slate as an automatic No Award. Some things that were on slates were things that I nominated myself, and heard other non-slate voters excited to nominate: it's just playing into the stupid "Here are my game rules!" thing the puppies have going if I vote against good work honestly nominated because some percentage of the people nominating it were doing it for spiteful reasons.

Besides, the vast majority of what's on the slate will be easily slotted below No Award because it's clearly not good enough. I'm still angry about the Graphic category, where I had a hard time narrowing my list of truly excellent work from 10 down to just 5 to nominate--none of which 10 made it onto the shortlist on account of that slate. I highly doubt I'm going to see anything in that category as good as any of those 10.

But if I'm surprised, and find something amazing there? Sure. I'll put it above no award, and assume people other than the slate voters nominated it too.

#181 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2016, 10:48 AM:

Did the SPs have a slate at all? When I googled around, all I found was a Wiki discussion that looked a whole lot like the one here in the I See You Like Science Fiction thread. That seems consistent with what abi #119 said.

If that's right, the SPs are basically doing exactly what we would want any group of fans with strong opinions to do, right?

#182 ::: Steven desJardins ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2016, 11:03 AM:

I get the sense that the Sad Puppy behavior is somewhere between "here's a recommended reading list of 10-12 items you might want to consider" (completely unproblematic) and "vote for five items from this list of 10-12 to maximize our impact" (diffuse slate, totally problematic). It's trending in the right direction, and they should be praised for better intentions and better behavior, but I suspect their intentions and behavior are not yet completely innocuous.

#183 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2016, 11:06 AM:

Elliot #176:

This is a datapoint of one, but the SF thread here has gotten me to read more (linked) short SF in the last few months than I'd read in the previous few years, including a couple stories that are on the Hugo list now, and a fair number of stories that aren't so much in my usual range of things to read.

Right now, I'm in a kind-of perpetual spoon shortage, and I find it's a lot easier for me to pick up the next book in a series or something comfortable by an author I know, rather than something very new and daring that I might either really like or really hate. Linked recommendations are a huge win--people I know and whose opinions I respect suggesting something decrease the activation energy needed to get me to download and start reading a book, or read a short story, or whatever.

I think the broad problem you're pointing out is pretty hard to solve, overall--there are always some frontiers of art or literature or whatever, and it seems like it's always hard to get people to pay attention to what's happening there, or to understand and appreciate it when they do see it. And usually, some of the really novel stuff happening ages badly and seems gimmicky when you read it ten years later. And other stuff no longer seems all that innovative or exciting, just normal stories like you're used to reading. (Both sides of this are kind-of instances of the "Hamlet is derivative" pattern.) And similarly, there are always new artists doing cool stuff, and having a hard time getting anyone to pay attention because they or their work doesn't fit the pattern most readers are looking for.

#184 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2016, 11:10 AM:

When the SP group started compiling their list, they did say 'You maximise your chances of success if you vote for the top five things', which looked very like advice on how to use it as a slate. In the end, I think it turned out as not very like a slate, because of the extremely disparate kinds of thing that were on it - no agenda would actually be promoted by voting for them in order. So it ended up as more of a genuine recommendation list.

#185 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2016, 11:59 AM:

The RP plan of using decent items to camouflage the rabid items is rather like setting out a grouping of apples and oranges and then proclaiming that clearly everything is an apple.
In reality, it is wildly easy to tell the difference.

#186 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2016, 12:07 PM:

The RP plan of using decent items to camouflage the rabid items is rather like setting out a grouping of apples and oranges and then proclaiming that clearly everything is an apple.
In reality, it is wildly easy to tell the difference.

#187 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2016, 12:47 PM:

Andrew M@178: That would certainly be an unfortunate outcome, and I cannot say it's "inconceivable".

#188 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2016, 12:54 PM:

Elliot Mason@176: Well, it's always possible for misguided people (that being a personal judgment) to use any conceivable tactic for any conceivable goal. However, attempting to manipulate a popular-vote award by exploiting implementation issues (present I believe in any polling mechanism IMHO) is not in my opinion a legitimate tactic to achieve the goal of raising awareness of certain types of works. That's also personal opinion, not received wisdom, of course.

One reason is that there are many other tactics available, including public disucssion and advocating for certain works, recommendation lists, and more specialized awards. Juried awards, and awards voted on within limited groups (the Hugo is a mixed case there, anyone can buy a membership but not everybody actually does), can raise the profile of different kinds of work without the risk of devaluing the big popular award or being accused of cheating.

I sometimes find myself arguing for the silver lining of a basically bad situation, but I don't really think it's a very useful activity. When it gets down to conceivable future silver lining, I'm pretty confident of that, in fact.

#189 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2016, 01:11 PM:

Elliott Mason @ 176: For example, just last year, Home was a movie with the best alien invasion of Earth I've ever seen in ANY film, and a strong moral compass and emotional center, PLUS a black protagonist, and a great score.

FWIW, although I enjoyed Home, I thought it a pale shadow of its source material, Adam Rex's bitingly funny The True Meaning of Smekday. It had all of the virtues Elliott mentions (well, not "score"), but a great deal of additional nuance. It critiqued conventional hero-saves-the-day narratives in a devastating way. I strongly recommend it.

#190 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2016, 01:30 PM:

Personal anti-slate voting policy -- some brief thoughts about, rather than an announcement of.

Flexibility is key. Anybody considering a "policy" for themselves here is clearly viewing the situation as one of conflict, and an important tactical concern is not to let the opposition dictate the terms of engagement if at all possible. (Or is that strategic? Or perhaps both?)

I consider pushing for "slate voting" in the Hugo awards to be anti-social behavior, which roughly means angling for personal (and, by extension, group) benefit at the expense of others in the community, out of proportion to the size of your group.

Many of the works on the RP slate are not to my taste; so no particular policy decision is necessary to give those low rankings (often below No Award).

Last year a little (DP sometimes, I believe), and this year more often, the slates appear to include works that had a good chance of being finalists on their own merits and without slate support. I don't pretend to know on what basis they were included -- because the slate creators liked them? Because they're trying to punish the authors (since being on a slate is "bad")? To play with our heads?

Some authors/creaters are much less connected to the SF community than others. In the Dramatic Presentation categories, in particular, it's rare for directors or producers to be fans (they don't have time, if nothing else). This is also true of some authors. It's also hard to really be sure of any particular case, especially in the negative.

I personally don't feel a creator should be punished for having been chosen by a slate creator. Among other issues, it's too easy a tactic to punish an author you don't like -- "You have a possible Hugo-winner this year, so I'll block that by putting it on my slate so everybody ranks it below no award." Nope, don't wanna be manipulated that way, thanks though.

I do feel that, once you've shown awareness of the situation, choosing to try to actively benefit from it is not good for the community. (I think this is a judgment call, but this is my own personal decision in most cases.) In particular, it's very different from somebody not even knowing what's going on.

So, what kind of makes sense to me, is to vote each item according to its merits, except that if I believe with sufficient confidence that the creator of a work is complicit in the slating, I may vote that work lower than its merits merit. That's a judgment I'm making, often with insufficient information to be really confident, and in particular often without being able to give the URL containing the information I remember at the time I cast my vote :-) . When in doubt, I think the creator should be given the benefit of the doubt.

#191 ::: Stephen Frug ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2016, 01:55 PM:

Aramini,

I appreciate your stopping by, and I think you have convinced me to take a look at your book. One question about this sentence:

"The only thing that has been slow is updating to version 2 of the ebook on amazon, which i reminded my editor to do asap now that people might be looking at it again."

Does this mean that interested readers should wait before buying the kindle version of your book? Or is the updated version now the one that readers will receive?

Good luck with your book.

#192 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2016, 02:05 PM:

Well, I'll vote for what I nominated, which may include some of the RP camouflage. But there are some nominees that I'm not going to bother with, I don't have enough years left to waste my time attempting to read something I know will bore me.

I gave them the benefit of the doubt last year, and encountered the most self-serving drek I'd ever read. No more.

#193 ::: Eric Franklin ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2016, 02:08 PM:

Soon Lee @172:

Additionally, let's not forget that getting to the finals is no guarantee of a win, and worse, coming below "No Award" is a distinct possibility, an outcome that came as a surprise to more than a few slate voters last year.

This year, they don't see "No Award" as a loss, though. And last year, they spun it as a win, once discussion of No Award started to pop up.

Because we're all such bullies that we'd rather no-one got to play with our toys than share it with them. Apparently. The fact that we're repudiating their methods never occurred to them, just like it apparently never occurred to many of them them that maybe their books weren't garnering nominations because they're not appealing to a broad base of readers.

#194 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2016, 02:42 PM:

Alex Cohen @189: I'm glad you liked the book. I bounced off it within the first chapter (but soldiered on through another, in case it got better), because of the general tone of meanness that runs through it.

The changes made for the movie make it much better and more joyful for me. THey don't focus on why Tip is named what she is, for example, and none of the characters are shamed by the narrative.

#195 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2016, 02:43 PM:

Elliott, #176: NO SLATES. Period.

There is no circumstance under which slating tactics are a good thing. I don't care whether it's the "right people" doing it for the "right kind of things" or not. (Which, in case you haven't noticed, is exactly what the SP/RP movement is accusing us of doing.) It makes a mockery of the process.

#196 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2016, 02:52 PM:

Aramini @134:

The only thing that has been slow is updating to version 2 of the ebook on amazon, which i reminded my editor to do asap now that people might be looking at it again.

That raises an interesting question, which I don't really expect you to be able to answer; what does the arbitrary editability of ebooks imply for award nominations and voting? In the case of a clear V1, V2 like you seem to have here, it seems to me that the version most readily available between nominations and the close of voting should be the same that was most readily available during nominations, so that Hugo voters are basing their votes on the same text that Hugo nominees did. That's certainly what the expectation of paper books would have been - it would be extremely unlikely that a new revised edition would be released in that time period. So while I appreciate your desire to have the best possible version of your work available, it seems a bit odd to have a moving target out there.

It's even harder in the case of more rapid iteration and refinements, when even the nominees may have been nominating based on various different versions of a text. I have no idea how to handle this, but it seems like there should be some way to formulate a best practice.

(I'm a Wolfe fan myself, but I will not be purchasing your book, because I'm also a woman, a lesbian, and the mother of a child of color, and it would be very foolish of me to give a single penny to Vox Day. I'm not assuming you share his noxious views, but in this case that doesn't matter to me, other than that I will say I am sorry.)

#197 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2016, 04:30 PM:

Kevin Standlee posted an interesting three stage voting proposal on his LiveJournal. It seems like it could be useful to consider in the future depending on how events unfold.

#198 ::: Steven desJardins ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2016, 08:37 PM:

My personal slate voting policy, unchanged from last year: I will rank a slate finalist above NO AWARD only if it faces genuine non-slate competition (at least two non-slate items in the category), or if it is at least as good as the least good of my own nominations in that category. If something is only the best item in a category because a clique succeeded in pushing better items off the ballot, then it doesn't deserve to win a Hugo.

#199 ::: MC DuQuesne ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2016, 08:58 PM:

Lorax @196, that issue is particularly relevant with the current retro-hugos. The version of If This Goes On... that was published in '40 was heavily edited in subsequent editions and the novella version seems to be unavailable without finding a old copies of Astounding.

"Heinlein completely rewrote "If This Goes On—," almost doubling its size. Many of the changes add detail about the Cabal; others reflect the mature craftsman smoothing over roughnesses of style. He tones down the drama of the leap from the rocket skycar —quite dramatic without the description of leaping through a sheet of flame. But other changes work on the characterization of the individuals, making the motivations more credible. Perhaps he also took to heart another reader comment, about the ending collapsing, in the ASTOUNDING letter column. At any rate, Heinlein, 1953, was a much more skilled and polished craftsman than Heinlein, 1939, and he took the opportunity to revise this pivotal story of the Future History."

http://www.heinleinsociety.org/rah/works/novels/ifthisogoeson.html

#200 ::: aramini ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2016, 11:00 PM:

@196 lorax: good question. These are for the most part typos that crept in when a version mix up occurred (like principle/principal misuses) and are more distracting than actually "different" versions. I just find them embarassing. It represents 200 minor changes in syntax or formatting and perhaps a few unclear sentence revisions. This was about 320,000 words of dense material,and editing it was headache inducing for long stretches. The preview on amazon says version 2 but my kindle version hasnt updated yet. It should automatically update and I have contacted my editor about it again. I dont know if amazon takes time to institute the update or not, being ignorant of many things about publishing.

I do think the point you raise about different versions is an excellent one, but that is the nature of ebooks. The text is more mutable. I dont feel version 1 and 2 of my book are different unless punctuation and the occasionally misused homonym is a deal breaker for you. However, we DID edit them out before release, but we had too many versions running around at that point and some changes were not saved.

#201 ::: aramini ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2016, 11:11 PM:

Part of the difficulty of my book was the Table of contents. All of the 115 plus essays had to be split into their own file from my original word document, then reformatted paragraph by paragraph. Since then I have learned how to write them in markdown so the editing and prep time is not such a nightmare, keeping them as individual files for volume 2 - which has 132 essays. My editor automated some of it and I think this created a few strange formatting issues as well, given all the parentheses used in crediting sources. When people ask why I didnt self publish, that level of technical ebook creation was way beyond me. There would have been no working table, and it needed one badly. Now for the print version he is making the index for me so I don't have to.

#202 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2016, 09:13 AM:

It used to be not unusual in scholarly publishing to have minor errata tipped in, on a new printing, pending a new edition: this sounds analogous (although on a smaller scale) to the kinds of changes Aramini is making. (In legal publishing, where currency was more critical, old style hardcover reference books had pockets in the back so that updates could be issued during the (one-to-two-year) life of the edition; these have long been replaced, first by looseleaf and then by digital versions.)

#203 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2016, 09:52 AM:

Now I'm trying to remember how World Books were updated when I was a kid in the 60s. Possibly stickers?

Anyone know?

#204 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2016, 10:04 AM:

@Elliot Mason: stacking the nominations to favour one group's view of "genuinely mind-bendingly amazing work" on the ballot, at the expense of other groups... is not, in my opinion, a worthwhile thing to do. Let's not forget that some of the Puppies believed, or still believe, that their work is "genuinely mind-bendingly amazing" and deserved special treatment as a consequence of that. (I know, it seems deeply incredible to those of us who read last year's stuff, but some of them really were sincere believers in their own brilliance.)

There is an issue with under-representation of minority groups in awards like the Hugos, and - well, I'm not sure what the answer to that is (beyond persuading dozy erks like me to read more widely), but I'm pretty sure slates aren't it.

#205 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2016, 10:56 AM:

it was genuinely mind-bendingly amazing all right, just not in a good way (and got the reward it deserved). It's just that this moose regrets the time and effort expended in reading the dreck.

#206 ::: Joshua K ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2016, 01:27 PM:

@181 albatross: On sadpuppies4.org, you can find the recommendations list (which some might consider a slate) by clicking on "THE LIST" at the upper right. At the top of the list, there is a link to a set of spreadsheets which contains all the recommended works in each category and the number of recommendations received.

In addition, under the "SP4 Recommendations Pages and FAQ" tab, you can find links to the discussion threads in which all the recommendations were made for each category.

#207 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2016, 01:41 PM:

Nancy Lebovitz @203: they issued an annual update volume which was about the size of one of the volumes of the encyclopedia (if you're talking about the World Book Encyclopedia set).

#208 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2016, 01:58 PM:

#207 ::: Tom Whitmore

I'm remembering update volumes now that you mention is, but I think there was also something (ring binder?) to be done by hand.

#209 ::: Kevin Standlee ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2016, 02:23 PM:

Scrabble @136:

Away from the whole tangle of slates and whatnot, anyone still trying to reform/remove the BELF category?

I wrote up a comprehensive revision proposal last year. I'm not planning on introducing it (even though GRRM offered to co-sponsor it as long as he didn't have to get up early to come to the Business Meeting to debate it).

In addition, I'm chairing next year's WSFS Business Meeting, and I've been trying to avoid yet another situation that requires to me to recuse myself for a substantive issue the way I had to do for Popular Ratification last year.

I'm in a bit of a bind here; I'm one of WSFS's good dependable BM chairs, but I'm also in demand as a policy-maker and floor leader. It'd hard to be both the Speaker and the Majority Leader simultaneously, particularly as Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised obliges the Chair to be non-partisan (like the British Parliament), unlike the US House of Representatives (ironic, since RONR is descended from the rules of the US House of Representatives in the 19th century).

(I'm also chuffed at being the only person to chair WSFS Business Meetings in five different countries: USA, Canada, UK (Scotland), Japan, and Finland. Selfish of me, I know.)

#210 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2016, 03:40 PM:

Nancy Lebovitz @208:

When I was a kid in the 1980s, the annual update volume (which by then was bound, at least for World Book) came with little stickers that you put next to the articles in the full set, so you'd know there was an update available.

#211 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2016, 11:03 PM:

Kevin@209: Well, excesses of pride or the wrong kinds of pride, can certainly be negative. But it seems like you are in demand to chair WSFS Business Meetings, and it's clear that there are other viable candidates, it's not just "Hobson's choice". Seems like perhaps you should be allowed to take some pride in an actual accomplishment like that.

#212 ::: Hakan ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2016, 10:02 AM:

Don't worry, once EHB passes Vox will move his shenanigans to elsewhere... Unfortunately He's already pointed towards the Locus awards in April. Since voting for Locus doesn't cost anything, his slate will be much popular with the gamergate crap. He didn't do a massive campaign for this year's I believe, next years might be different. When the Locus awards are announced we can see how effective he was this year.

#213 ::: Glenn Hauman ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2016, 10:21 AM:

Teresa: I'm glad to hear your opinion that you can vote valid works below No Award. I make much the same argument here: Neil Gaiman does not need a pity Hugo.

In other news, one of the nominees for Best Fan Artist is completing commissions for nude teenagers-- why yes, that's virtual child pornography by law.

Commission: Ms Marvel nude - kukuruyo - archived 30 Apr 2016 07:46:26 UTC

#214 ::: Sarah E ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2016, 09:05 PM:

I see Tingle has just released a new story, 'Space Raptor Butt Redemption,' which appears to be a comment on his current position.

#215 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2016, 10:33 PM:

There does seem to be a deliberate effort on Beale's part to ruin the Hugos for everyone else. That kind of power-trip is fascinating. In much the same way that a multi-car pile up is fascinating.

#216 ::: Renee ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2016, 05:18 AM:

My impression is that Beale wants a Hugo all his own, full stop. He's willing to use others as stalking horses, and to take credit if they get Hugos, but he won't rest until he gets one all for himself (tho' I suspect he would take a Nebula in lieu). It may be his way of thumbing his nose at everyone who did not vote for him for SFWA president, and for those people (possibly the same people) who voted to kick him out of that organization. Or maybe he just thinks he's that good and how dare anyone say otherwise, and the only reasonable response to the intransigence of the masses is to declare war.

In short, my opinion is that he wants a Hugo to prove to all 'those people' that they were wrong, dead wrong, so wrong! So nyah. And things like EPH won't stop him; they'll just make him more determined that 'they' are depriving him of his just reward.

Reward for what, I don't know. Maybe just for showing up. Isn't that what we all want? I remember being very happy with getting gold stars for attendance in kindergarten ...

#217 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2016, 09:50 AM:

It's going to be interesting to see what the Dragoncon results are--it has a large contingent of of paranormal romance writers and readers who are members, they do lots of networking, and the Dragoncon awards are anyone can vote....

#218 ::: Rail ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2016, 10:47 AM:

Nancy Lebovitz @203: The annual Year Book updates included stickers to place on the appropriate page in the encyclopedia that specified "New Article" or "Updated Article" and the Year Book to look in.

#219 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2016, 11:13 AM:

TB is based in Europe now, Italy isn't it? And the publisher he owns with so many nominations is based in Finland.

One of the political hot potatoes in Europe is the exploitation of tax law differences between the different countries, people living in one country but earning all their income in another.

This could get interesting. Could the Finnish Tax Administration become qualified to be nominated for a Best Dramatic Work Hugo in 2018?

#220 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2016, 12:03 PM:

Dave Bell @ #219

I find your views intriguing and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Also on the Hugo front, it's a pity that we can't get Mac II to run the nominations through EPH and supply a "What If?" result (and also a "Top 15" in each category) in advance of the deadline for the business meeting. That way we would know if EPH was going to be enough on its own or whether 3-stage voting is necessary to defeat slating, and thus be able to chop a year off the waiting period.

Time, workload, and confidentiality would be against it, unfortunately.

#221 ::: Steven desJardins ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2016, 03:57 PM:

It's my understanding that the Hugo administrators do intend to release a report on the effect EPH would have had on the nominating process, after the Hugo awards ceremony and before the debate on EPH at the Sunday Business Meeting.

#222 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2016, 04:29 PM:

EPH has been tested on last year's votes, and though the full results haven't yet been published, we know in outline what the outcome would have been - ten more non-slate finalists, and at least one non-slate finalist in every category. (This would still give slates a majority of finalists.)

So whether EPH is enough to defeat slating depends on what 'defeat slating' means; if it means 'prevent a sweep', it is (even with last year's turnout, and presumably more so with this year's); if it means more than that, perhaps not.

#223 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2016, 07:48 PM:

EPH may not be enough on its own. Certainly the "increase the number of people nominating" has been demonstrated to have little effect in the less popular categories this time around. Whether EPH will be sufficient to make the "wrecking" attempts unworkable in future is unknown at this point. Kevin Standlee has suggested 3-stage voting as a potential solution: keep the existing nomination and final ballot stages, but have an intermediate Yes/No vote on the top 15 nominations in each category by the membership before taking the top 5 that survive that vote through to the final ballot. It would mean that obvious nonsense (Wisdom from my internet, Safe Space as Rape Room, etc.) would be likely to get rejected by the non-slating membership and not force genuinely liked work off the final ballot.

The problem is that if EPH turns out to be less effective than thought, it will be another three years before something else can be added to the filtering process.

#224 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2016, 08:26 PM:

John Mark Ockerbloom @ 170 (re how many years of nomination a membership gets): what matters is less when the mess-makers bought than what. If any of them bought a MAC2 membership(*) they can widdle on next year's nominations as well. (Whether to keep this rule is being debated.) If they bought Sasquan memberships (as I expect practically all of them did), they'll have to pay again to cause more trouble.

(*) Note that the WSFS rules say that they'd have to have bought MAC2 memberships by 31 Jan 2015 (see 3.7.1), so there is some time component in the tactics.

#225 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2016, 08:31 PM:

Following recent discussions on 3-Stage Voting, Kevin Standlee has written up a Double Nominations system.

I like it for two reasons: unlike 3SV, members are not asked to vote against anything. Secondly, it seems to me like what EPH is trying to achieve i.e. arriving at a set of finalists that more reflects consensus opinion. But while EPH tries to do this in a mechanistic manner, with Double Nominations the decision-making is placed back in the hands of voters.

#226 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2016, 08:37 PM:

Another 3-stage proposal that's been mentioned on File 770 is: take the top 15 nomination getters, send them out to people, let them vote their 5 choices from among those 15. (Who gets it might be everyone who could nominate, or everyone who could vote, or maybe just that year's attending members.) In this way, everyone gets some of the vote-concentrating benefit that a slate would provide, but the slate arises organically from the will of the community, rather than coming from the tastes of one person or a small group.

This seems to be better received than Kevin Standlee's original downvote proposal, because it gets away from the negativity of it: everyone is still voting for things instead of against them.

#227 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2016, 09:06 PM:

225
EPH doesn't take the decisions out of the voters' hands. It counts their choices in a slightly more complicated way. (We went over that last year. Several times.)

#228 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2016, 09:16 PM:

P J Evans #227:

Poor wording on my part & not what I meant.

Would it be better if I re-word to say that Double Nominations gives voters a more hands-on role in the process? EPH is a fire & forget system, whereas with Double Nominations, members get one more chance (between the first round of nominations & voting for the winner) to have a say on the composition of the final ballot.

#229 ::: Kevin Standlee ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2016, 10:03 PM:

I'd like to remind anyone commenting on alternative selection schemes that, as long as the Hugo Awards have a goal of being a democratically selected award that broadly reflects the decisions of a majority of the voting members, any criticism that can be restated as "But what if the Griefers get a majority of the votes?" is moot. If they really do become a majority of WSFS members, then they get to decide what they want. Most of the problems they've caused have been because ~20% of the electorate can dominate a first-five-past-the-post nomination ballot, getting 100% of the nominations. That's the part that seems unrepresentative and unfair.

Cadbury Moose @223:

Kevin Standlee has suggested 3-stage voting as a potential solution: keep the existing nomination and final ballot stages, but have an intermediate Yes/No vote on the top 15 nominations in each category by the membership before taking the top 5 that survive that vote through to the final ballot.

As Soon Lee notes @225 and David Goldfarb @226, I have since then also posted an alternative Semi-Final stage called Double Nominations based on a suggestion from File 770 commentor Hampus Eckerman. I think I like it better than 3SV, in that instead of a "downvoting" phase as I suggested, the Top 15 from the first round (you can set the cutoff somewhere else if you prefer; some people want 5% instead; others seem to think you should list the top 50% of the works nominated, which I think is absurd) are on an unordered list. You check off up to five, including up to one write-in. You don't rank works here; you're making nominations again. The top five (including any write-in that manages to squeeze past the field) go on to the final ballot. As with 3SV, you wouldn't know how many nominating votes any nominee received at either stage until after the Hugo Awards ceremony when the statistics are published.

Personally, I think the electorate after the initial nomination round should be the voting members of the current Worldcon only (including supporting).

CHip @224:

Note that the WSFS rules say that they'd have to have bought MAC2 memberships by 31 Jan 2015 (see 3.7.1), so there is some time component in the tactics.

I may be misunderstanding you, but just to be clear, even if they bought their MAC2 membership after the 31 Jan 2016 deadline, they'll still be eligible to nominate next year.

Griefers, by timing their membership purchases, can get it down to only having to buy memberships one year in three if they're only interested in wrecking the current nomination stage and don't care about voting on the final ballot.

#230 ::: Lydy Nickerson ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2016, 10:47 PM:

Kevin @229: One could never accuse me of being good at math, so maybe this is actually a stupid question. But why would the second stage round of approvals not be as vulnerable to slating as the first round?

#231 ::: Steven desJardins ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2016, 11:14 PM:

Lydy, let's go with a simple model. Five slate works on the second ballot, plus ten non-slate works. 200 slate voters, 1000 non-slate voters.

Every slate work gets 200 votes from slate voters.

If the non-slate voters cast five votes each, and only vote for non-slate works, then that's 5000 votes divided among ten works. The average non-slate work gets 500 votes, absolutely swamping the slate works.

Of course, the non-slate voters won't have perfect discipline. Some of them won't check off five nominees, some will check off some slate nominees, particularly if the slate voters use this year's tactic of choosing legitimately good "shield" entries on their slate. But even if non-slate voters check off, on average, three non-slate items each, that's three thousand votes divided among ten nominees, so the average non-slate item gets three hundred votes (again swamping slate votes, just by a smaller margin), and the five most popular probably get significantly more than three hundred votes, so a slate item can only make the ballot if a pretty substantial fraction of non-slate voters (over 10%, in this simplified example) pick it as one of the five best.

If slate voters outnumber non-slate voters, they can get 100% of their choices on the ballot, but that's true of just about any nominating system. The second-round voting system pretty much neutralizes the ability of slates to put garbage on the ballot, up to the point where they make up a third of the voters. Past that point, they might be able to get crap on the ballot, but even then, it would be tough.

#232 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2016, 11:39 PM:

Essentially what the second nomination phase does is take all the votes that were spread out in the long tail, and see what would happen if those voters were picking from a slate of 15. Slates get extra power because they are concentrated, where the rest of the voters are diffused. This phase would concentrate the rest of the voters.

#233 ::: Kevin Standlee ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2016, 12:19 AM:

Lydy Nickerson @230

Kevin @229: One could never accuse me of being good at math, so maybe this is actually a stupid question. But why would the second stage round of approvals not be as vulnerable to slating as the first round?

Because in the first round, the ~80% of the electorate spread their votes over literally hundreds of works. For example, in 2015, 1827 cast nominating ballots. They nominated 587 individual works. Griefers concentrated their voting power on exactly five works and pushed them through, whereas the rest of the electorate divided their votes amount 582 other works. A second round would concentrate the votes of the vast majority of the members among around 10 works (plus any write-ins, with the understanding that write-ins are unlikely to make it through unless there's a huge groundswell of support for any of them). Does this make it more obvious?

I think it's possible people don't realize just how diffuse the nomination round voting is. Go look up the numbers (they're on the Hugo Awards Web Site listing for 2015) to see just how flat and long the tail of nominations is. It's even worse in Short Story, where 1174 people nominated 728 works.

#234 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2016, 01:12 AM:

David G., #252: Let's not call it a "slate of 15", just because Words Matter.

Rephrasing: the second round redistributes the support of the "long tail" voters among the 15 most popular nominated works. Which is similar to what applying Australian voting to the nominations process would do, but puts a lot less effort on the shoulders of the people processing the nominations.

I would find this very useful especially in the area of shorter fiction. I can't read everything! But I can probably work my way thru a significant percentage of the 15 most popular novellas, novelettes, and short stories from the first round and make informed decisions about which ones I want to see on the final ballot. And the shorter fiction is one of the places where we're still having significant problems.

#235 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2016, 02:02 AM:

Second stage voting may be an example of something I've been thinking about-- that there's no substitute for human oversight.

#236 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2016, 05:47 AM:

Having slept on it overnight (and most uncomfprtable it was, too), rushing anything through is probably a bad idea.

EPH should be enough to make things more difficult for the "get our friend(s) a Hugo" type of slate; but something like the Double Nominations (or 3SV) approach may be necessary in order to defeat the kind of wrecking attempt we've seen this year.

(I too like the idea of Double Nomination rather than the 3SV disapproval round. Think Positive!) <Grin>

#237 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2016, 06:01 AM:

We have a few months to get Double Nominations refined enough to submit to the Business meeting. If it passes this year, 2019 will be the earliest it takes effect. Why not get it into the pipeline this year?

#238 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2016, 07:18 AM:

Hmmm... possibly. If it were submitted and passed this year, ratified (with real rat if the wreckers had another go next year) , it would presumably be in place for 2018.

It all depends what other people think, though it's a lot simpler to explain than EPH, and also lacks the potential for block-voting to exclude something that was fairly nominated.

#239 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2016, 10:00 AM:

It seems to me that you need both EPH (or something like it) and Double Nominations (or something like it). Otherwise, it would be too easy to pack the round of 15 with slate entries.

2014 is the most recent year that no slate tried to game Best Short Story. (Yes, the two Puppy factions gamed other categories but, for whatever reason, they left Best Short Story alone.) That year, a short story needed at least 43 nominations to make the ballot. To keep things simple and because the number of nominators have been rising even without the puppies, let's round that up to 50. So, if your story gets 50 nominations, absent gaming, it's pretty likely it will be in the top 4. (There were only four short story finalists in 2014.)

In that case, given how we currently tally nominations, 150 tactically deployed nominators can engineer a 15 way tie for 4th place or better. The result would be a round of 15 consisting mostly or entirely of slate entries chosen by only 10 to 20 percent of the nominators. This is not an appealing prospect.

You still need EPH (or something like it) to generate the round of 15. That way, it's more likely that some non-slate stories will have enough nominations to crack the top 15 even in the face of tactically deployed nominators. Yes, the system would still be gameable, but it would be harder and would require more people to pack the round of 15.

#240 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2016, 01:09 PM:

What I see both of Kevin's proposals doing is eliminating early works that would be at the bottom of the results in an actual vote (not absolutely necessarily below No Award, but way low, not possible winners). That's one reason its important that the voters in the middle round be the same people as the voters in the final round.

The benefit of doing this, as I see it, is that it prevents works that have no chance of winning from taking up a slot on the final ballot (possibly displacing something else with an actual chance). The first proposal does this directly, by letting people vote "no" on items they'd rank terribly low (maybe below No Award); the second, indirectly, by simply noting they didn't get many votes among people in the final voting pool.

Basically, we're weeding the nomination pool.

I don't entirely share the apparently-common distaste for "negativity"; the first proposal is simple, direct, and seems rather clearer (to me) about what it does and how it does it.

Considering the second proposal, it occurs to me that there's yet another way to accomplish about the same thing. I think it's theoretically valid, and I'm pretty sure it's not feasible to apply in the real world.

But...doesn't simply expanding the nomination list a lot, say to 15, and having people vote in our current style (STV / IRV / "Australian" ballot) on that big list accomplish the same thing? (The practical issues, which I think make this not useful in our situation in the real world, include time to read a larger list, lesser chance of assembling a "reader packet", more work for the Hugo admins to do in secret on a tight schedule, and no doubt others I'm not thinking of.)

#241 ::: Steven desJardins ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2016, 02:03 PM:

Yes, it's the practical issues—particularly, the expectation that voters would read three times as many finalists—that makes expanding the finalist list a non-starter. In the Business Meeting's "fill in the blanks" vote to decide on numbers for 4 and 6, anything over 6 was defeated.

If the Business Meeting interprets the second stage as being analogous to the final round of voting, where you really are expected to read everything, I predict SRV/Double Nominations to be defeated soundly. If the argument that, like the nomination stage, you aren't expected to read everything, but only to vote for the eligible works that you have read and consider worthy, convinces a majority of the Business Meeting, then it has a chance.

#242 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2016, 02:26 PM:

I tend* to go with what John Chu says at 239, namely that both EPH and either of the other two are very complementary. I rather like doing EPH at each of the first two nomination stages.
*Of course, more thought needs to go into how this would all best work.

#243 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2016, 02:47 PM:

I think the idea is that the second stage would simply be a repeat of the first (nomination) stage, with only the works from the "List of 15" (plus possibly a write-in option) available to be voted on.

This would remove any "slate advantage" from the first stage by making it a straight fight between (say) 200 block voters and over a thousand fans voting on merit. The list of 15 would be unranked, and the ballot would be "pick any 5 works off the list or use a write-in if you must (but be warned write-ins are extremely unlikely to get through)"

That should thoroughly level the playing field, unless the block vote is exceptionally large (in which case they deserve to win anyway).

The final round would be carried out as normal, i.e. STV.

#244 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2016, 03:14 PM:

Cadbury Moose@243:That is the current, initial, form that Kevin wrote up on his blog. But, as Kevin notes, more consideration on the new proposals is very much needed. For example, 3SV has already spawned DN.
Let's make sure EPH gets passed this year and think about and possibly nominate new proposals that may be better or complimentary.
Thinking about new proposals could even involve a couple year think.

#245 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2016, 03:16 PM:

Cadbury Moose #238:

You're right, I was wrong. I mistakenly thought "Popular Ratification" passed last year.

#246 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2016, 04:39 PM:

Steve @ #244,

Er, I thought I was describing DN?

3SV (Three Stage Voting) - the initial proposal:

Stage 1: Nominations as usual, EPH generates a list of 15 in each category for Stage 2. This is not ranked and no totals are given.

Stage 2: Nominators then get to vote Yes/No/Abstain on each entry on the List of 15. A majority 'No' vote for a nominee causes it to be dropped from consideration. The top 5 remaining entries (based on number of nominations in stage 1) go through (subject to the 5% rule, etc. (probably).

Stage 3: Final ballot using STV as per current practice.

DN (Double Nomination) - the alternative suggestion:

Stage 1: Nominations as usual, EPH generates a list of 15 in each category for Stage 2. This is not ranked and no totals are given.

Stage 2: Nominators then get to re-nominate 5 candidates from the List of 15 generated by Stage 1. (Write-ins may be permitted.) The top 5 in each category (EPH may be used for the counting method) go to the final round (subject to 5%, etc.)

Stage 3: Final ballot using STV as per current practice.

3SV allows the electorate to object to individual nominations but can be seen as being negative. It might also lend itself to abuse by campaigns to bar particular individuals/works, but there would have to be a majority to achieve that in each case.

DN focusses the nomination process on items with a reasonable popularity rating (i.e. enough nominations to reach the top 15). At the same time it removes the power of the slate to dominate the nominations by restricting the choice to the list of 15, where presumably the 1 to 4 thousand non-slate voters will outweigh a few hundred griefers, no matter how well disciplined they may be.

That's the understanding of this moose, anyway.

#247 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2016, 04:58 PM:

Cadbury Moose @ 246: Cool. Good synopsis.

#248 ::: Bernard Yeh ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2016, 06:59 PM:

Actually, you probably can't have write-ins for the second round of Double Nomination. A disciplined 1-item-per-category slate can easily get their own write-in into the top 5 among 16 (15 + write-in) in the broad and shallow categories (e.g. Short Story) and generally any category where there there is broad support for at least half (7+) of the 2nd round nominees. The slate wouldn't even need to participate in the first nomination round, and it probably should not, in order to maximize its chances of the write-in succeeding. To be sneakier, it should nominate as many likely 2nd-round-nomination-vote getters in the first round as possible, in order to distribute support among the 2nd-round 15 as evenly as possible, then jump in with their write-in.

Additionally as somebody mentioned before (either here or in last year's EPH discussions), without some form of additional slate protection like EPH, the second nomination round can likely end up being the contents of the three most popular slates.

#249 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2016, 07:23 PM:

Cadbury Moose@246: In the middle stage of 3SV, it's only people eligible to vote in the final stage who get to vote. Kevin's proposal on LJ says "Voting would be open to voting WSFS members (supporting, attending, and whichever others qualify) of the current Worldcon only as of the date of the release of the Semi-Finalist "Long List." "

I think this may be important; at least, when viewing the middle stage as eliminating "hopeless" candidates, it makes sense that it be the same voting population that will make the final ranking that gets polled.

#250 ::: Kevin Standlee ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2016, 09:03 PM:

Bernard Yeh @248:

A dedicated 20% deserves 20% of the final ballot. Our final ballot system can deal with one or two bad works in each category. Heck, even before the Griefers turned up, most people seemed to think there were a couple of clangers on the ballot anyway.

FWIW, I don't think people in it totally for the lulz will be willing to stick around forever if they only get 20% of the slots and keep finishing behind No Award. It would rapidly get boring, and their short attention spans would go find someone else to troll. Unless there really is a single Sooper Genius paying them to do this, which I doubt, because grifters don't pay other people; they get people to pay them.

#251 ::: Bernard Yeh ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2016, 04:06 AM:

Kevin Standlee @250

Two comments:
1. The tactic I described can be used not just by the current set of griefers, but any rich crank with a following who would like to have a Hugo finalist nod. To use a past example: scntlgy. Yes, the actual final voters will almost certainly put it behind No Award, but it would displace a better potential finalist, which is a concern several people voiced upthread. Heck, a group organized like scntlgy that is not reliant on the public internet for followers and communication could possibly even maintain enough operational security to spring a surprise with this tactic. And I note that they don't need to participate in the first round. They can expect that normal, fair, un-slated voting in the first round to produce 15 plausible 2nd round candidates that could split the vote enough that a normal 4 or 5th place work in the 2nd round could be overtaken by a 2nd round write-in bullet slate candidate. (possibly despite EPH too.)

2. If a write-in slate was known to be in existence before the end of the 2nd round nomination voting, the obvious counter-tactic is to propose a counter-slate to narrow the voting of the bulk of fandom to 5 'best' choices from the 15 to prevent a slate write-in from getting to the final ballot. Except that counter-slating is also disfavored by the bulk of fandom... and who is going to make the counter-slate, and ... Knowledge of a write-in slate at this stage is going to distort some (perhaps many) fan's voting behaviors.

The simple solution for the Double Nomination proposal that prevents this tactic: Do not allow write-ins in the 2nd nomination round.
If a work can't get enough support in the first round, it doesn't get another chance via write-in. And given that, there would still need to be some sort of slate power reduction mechanism applied to the first nomination round, else the second round nominees become mostly the contents of multiple competing slates. And again in the 2nd round, because the voting method is still the same** just with reduced choice space, which still makes the 2nd round vulnerable to slating.

It seems to me that an additional nomination round is somewhat counterproductive, because:
* it provides a focus for another round of slating and culture war based on the 2nd round nomination list,
* by itself it doesn't seem to help against the current exploit to the unmodified nomination system,
* another nomination round basically doubles the analysis complexity and attack surface, and
* it adds some work (it may not be a lot of extra work as you say, but still additional work) that may not be necessary in the near future.
The current set of griefers may get tired of their game soon as you predict, and we should wait and see if the current proposals (if passed this year) work.

** (Your original proposed voting method of yay/nay/abstain votes per work in the second round is I think better in controlling or deterring slates, despite the negativity of possibly having to vote against something.)

#252 ::: Kevin Standlee ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2016, 11:14 AM:

Despite the ability to game it as described, I'm pretty sure we need to have write-ins in a Double Nomination-like system, for political reasons. That is, it would be difficult to get such a proposal passed or ratified otherwise. Considering the number of proposals I've seen that amount to "just add write-ins to the final ballot" (a hugely problematic suggestion, for multiple reasons), I think folks really need a way to, as I put it, "let off steam" in some way, and second-round write-ins seem to me to be the least-intrusive way of doing so.

I'm not ideologically wedded to either 3SV or DN. One is stated negatively (disqualify works from the Top 15) and other positively (pick works from the Top 15), but both act fairly similarly, in my opinion.

Let us be careful of letting the perfect be the enemy of the better. "Second Best Tomorrow" should IMO be the goal. We can make incremental improvement later if necessary.

I do not think the Griefers are going to get tired in the short term (next year or three) unless EPH reduces their impact to two or fewer finalists per category (which would be in line with their likely voting strength). Early rumors of how EPH would have affected last year's ballot do not sound promising to me.

Although I do not intend to introduce either 3SV or DN myself, I have a feeling that someone is going to do so. So it looks likely to me that I'm going to find myself recusing myself in Helsinki yet again should either or both proposal make it past the Kansas City meeting.

#253 ::: Steven desJardins ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2016, 12:54 PM:

I very much prefer DN to 3SV, both because I'd rather vote for things than against things, and because the latter seems only useful as a defense against slate voting, while the former could be useful even in an ordinary voting year. I want Hugo reform that works both in the presence of and in the absence of slate voting.

I would, however, strongly oppose a write-in option, which only has a chance of affecting the final ballot if some group runs a large, organized campaign. I do not want to encourage the very sort of vote coordination most of us have been vociferously decrying.

#254 ::: Jim Henry ::: (view all by) ::: May 04, 2016, 05:15 PM:

I agree with Steven and others upthread; allowing write-ins in the second nomination round would give slate voters a better chance to get something on the ballot that they might not be able to get on in the first round. I don't see how it would *organically* affect the final ballot unless some work from the previous year had a huge explosion in popularity after the first nomination deadline and before the second. Could that happen if had a limited edition release in the previous year, and then had its paperback and/or ebook release right around the time of the first nomination deadline, and had one or two influential people recommending it to their readers/listeners about that time? It seems unlikely.

I also don't understand why Kevin thinks it politically necessary to allow write-ins.

#255 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: May 04, 2016, 05:52 PM:

Jim Henry: I also don't understand why Kevin thinks it politically necessary to allow write-ins.

Kevin can speak for himself (obviously!) but I suspect he's looking at the possibility, even in non-slate years, that the vote total for nominees 5-15 will be of Very Small differences. Or even 10-15. If the work that made #16 in the nominations has some vocal adherents, this might give them a chance to write-in their Absolute Favorite and lead to them being more willing to accept the outcome without more than the usual complaints of "Unfairness!"

Even with slating, though, I don't think it would make that much difference to the shortlist--the idea of DN (or 3SV) is that even concentrating voting wouldn't help all that much. It might get one work on the short list that wouldn't otherwise have been there, but that would be about it. However, I would be the first to admit that my math skills are not up to the task of explaining the numbers . . . and I could be dead wrong. But I do think that that might be the "political" logic--to make the "one or two nominations difference between works on the lower end of the scale" less significant.

#256 ::: Kevin Standlee ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2016, 12:04 AM:

The political argument here is that it's a reaction to the people who claim that the perfect fix to the system is to add write ins -- even five write-ins -- to the final ballot, without any thought to what electoral chaos this would create. I think it's necessary to have write-ins at the second stage of a double-nomination system to let voters let off steam, not that I think it likely that anything will make it through to the finals.

I also don't consider it a show-stopper or deal-breaker. I'd vote for it with or without the feature.

#257 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2016, 01:46 AM:

Question: have we considered having the second stage of nomination use approval voting? Instead of having everyone look at 15 and choose 5, have them look at 15 and tick off all the ones they would be happy seeing on the final ballot. That might do even better at producing a final 5 that reflects the will of the community.

(Note that "vote for as many as you want" is perfectly compatible with using EPH on the results.)

#258 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2016, 04:14 AM:

David Goldfarb#257:

I like it!

#259 ::: Leah Miller ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2016, 01:49 PM:

Have... have you guys been paying attention to like... all of Chuck Tingle's post-nomination activities?

Because this is some frankly amazing dadaist performance art. He's just announced who he would have accept the award on his behalf, and it is quite the thing.

I think that we should afford Mr. Tingle (sorry, dr tingle) the same respect we would any master of the form whose most brilliant work wasn't the one nominated.

#260 ::: Kevin Standlee ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2016, 02:24 PM:

David Goldfarb @257:

I've added approval voting as an alternative proposal in the original write up, with credit to you.

#261 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2016, 02:59 PM:

259
That's going to make for a really - interesting - convention.
And then there's this reaction.

#262 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2016, 03:21 PM:

Kevin @ 229: I was responding to the antepenultimate paragraph of #170, which wondered about a single supporting membership getting 3 years of nominating privileges. As I read the rules, people who bought a MAC2 membership by 31 Jan 2015 could nominate for 201{5,6,7}. My guess is that few of last year's slaters realized that they could cause more trouble by the non-obvious tactic of joining MAC2 rather than Sasquan, but I have no idea whether the slate managers got people to join early enough that this would have let them spoil 2015.

I think DN is stronger than 3SV; the latter can be bent to fit the Puppy narrative of exclusion, while the former makes clear that they aren't a silent majority.

#264 ::: Cubist ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2016, 07:51 PM:

It's been suggested that Chuck Tingle be nominated in the category of Best Related Work for next year's Hugo ballot.

Not any of Tingle's books, but the man himself.

That… makes a certain degree of sense…

#265 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2016, 07:55 PM:

He does appear to be quite a piece of work.

#266 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2016, 11:06 PM:

Correction to my #262 and #224: Kevin's discussion in other blogs makes clear that I'd missed a point: the slaters would have had to join \some/ seated Worldcon (Sasquan or MAC2) by 31 Jan 2015 in order to nominate last year. (He says this constraint is due to the mess at N3, but I haven't followed all of the fallout from that even though I was on the steering committee.) So there's no separate time dependency (contra Ockerbloom@170) in whether the slaters can also affect 2017, just a matter of which con they joined.

Side note: has anyone else had trouble getting to Open Thread 211? I get "The connection to the server was reset while the page was loading." on Firefox, and "This page can’t be displayed" on IE; this dates back at least to my last comment here, but I see some people have been able to get through since then. Any suggestions on making this work? Or is this a gnome issue? (I'd email, but I'm not getting the ML-specific trouble screen with the ]problem-desk[ email on it.)

#267 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2016, 12:28 AM:

I'm pleased that people like my suggestion. In fairness, it comes from remembering things that Jameson Quinn said back on the endless EPH discussion threads, so he deserves some of the credit.

#268 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2016, 06:01 AM:

I've been hating the loss of privacy-- it used to be that fans could do fan stuff without it showing up in the mainstream media.

However, I have a minor consolation that I'll get to listen to the BBC and NPR talking about dinosaur porn.

#269 ::: Ingvar M ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2016, 08:38 AM:

David Goldfarb @ #257:

Isn't that what 3SV is? You have 15 long-listed works, for each you vote "yes, this is worthy", "no, this is not worthy", "prefer not to say (abstain / no opinion)" and if there's a majority "no" for any work, it'll not be on the short-list for that category.

Ah, I think I have spotted where my confusion comes from! Instead of going with the order from the long-list selection to pick the 5 for the short-list, you'd go with the number of approvals in the approval-voting stage (and at a guess use the number of nominations for the long-list selection as a tie-breaker)?

Essentially a DN-with-up-to-15-nominations?

#270 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2016, 10:02 AM:

Ingvar M raises a good question, and one I'm not sure I understand. Let me restate to see if I'm getting it; with Approval Voting, does that reset the pool-from-which-the-fans-nominate from "everything written in previous year" to "these fifteen works", and then the fans are essentially doing brand-new nominations from that pool of works from scratch? So once it gets into the Final Fifteen, it's an entirely new ball game? (But if lazy nominators simply don't vote, and therefore it's a fifteen-way tie, what breaks the tie?)

Or does it maintain the ranking it came into the Final Fifteen with, but some works can be scrapped if-and-only-if they don't get enough approval?

I'd appreciate clarification, because I've just confused myself...

#271 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2016, 10:56 AM:

As I understand it: The proposal is indeed for a reset. The original DN proposal from Hampus Eckerman was for a reset in which each voter gets five votes; David's amended version is for a reset in which each voter gets as many votes as they like. In both cases, ranking in the original ballot ceases to matter, except in so far as it determines the top fifteen.

I'm not sure I get the bit about lazy nominators not voting - that would only be relevant, surely, if no one voted, and I'm fairly sure someone will.

#272 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2016, 01:01 PM:

Here's how I see the nominating process:

First round: everyone chooses 5 works on their ballot from the entire pool of eligible entities. We have a long-long-list on the order of a hundred or so things, in categories like Short Story where the pool is large.

We run EPH on those ballots to cull the pool down to 15 items.

We send that list of 15, in a random order, or alphabetical by author/person -- unranked, is the point -- to the voters. (I would support limiting this step only to the group eligible to actually vote. But that's a detail.)

The voters now return another set of ballots, including up to 15 items from the list. Possibly: up to 16 items, if we include the write-in option.

We now run EPH on that set of ballots to cull the pool down to the shortlist of 5. (Or 6, or however many.)

No doubt Kevin Standlee will correct me if I have misunderstood something.

#273 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2016, 02:05 PM:

David Goldfarb@272: that all sounds pretty good to me. (I'm not a big fan of the write-ins at the second stage, but I can see Kevin Standlee's point about it being a necessary option if the overall proposal's going to gather support.)

I suppose the next thing to do is to try and find (plausible) hypothetical cases that will break that process? (If there were to be a fifteen-way tie at stage 2, surely the result from stage 1 would be allowed to stand, in that case? Should we hypothesize a fifteen-way tie in stage 1? It seems vanishingly unlikely.)

#274 ::: Kevin Standlee ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2016, 03:08 PM:

David Goldfarb @272:

No doubt Kevin Standlee will correct me if I have misunderstood something.

You got it in one.

I also think it should be limited to just the current Worldcon's voting members. One of the points of any of these proposals is to not have to resort to the heavy-handed approach of No Award, and it's the members of the current Worldcon who vote on the final ballot, not the union of three Worldcons' members. Therefore, I want that same electorate (in general) to make the decision, essentially saying in advance which works they don't even want to see on the ballot.

(My personal advice is that you should use No Award when there are finalists that you don't think should even have been on the ballot, not just that you didn't personally care for them.)

We send that list of 15, in a random order, or alphabetical by author/person -- unranked, is the point....

Yes, the order should not reflect how many first-round nominations each semi-finalist received. Inasmuch as I expect most people will vote electronically, if the people programming the ballot want to be really fancy, they could arrange it to present the finalists in different randomized orders to every person, to cut down on the effect that any particular order has upon how people vote. This is an implementation issue, not something critical to the proposal.


Steve Wright @273:

If there were to be a fifteen-way tie at stage 2, surely the result from stage 1 would be allowed to stand, in that case? Should we hypothesize a fifteen-way tie in stage 1? It seems vanishingly unlikely.

I don't think the chances of a 15-way tie that likely, but if people are convinced it's a problem, I see no problem with using the count from the first round as the tie-breaker. Remember that the Hugo Awards can tolerate ties. We've had as many as eight finalists due to last-place ties in the nominating round, and we've had multiple winners when there was a tie for first place (which is possible, albeit unlikely, with IRV.)

Instant-Runoff Voting has a tie-breaker system (most first-preference votes), but we don't use it in the Hugo Awards because we don't need to do so. It's okay to give out multiple awards in the same category. We do use the tie-breaker for the other two elections we conduct (Worldcon Site Selection and WSFS Mark Protection Committee) in those cases where we can't have multiple winners.

#275 ::: Bernard Yeh ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2016, 03:59 PM:

@257, @260.

I was going to propose approval voting for the 2nd round in my comment @251, but decided against suggesting it. (and like @267, I probably picked it up from last year's EPH threads here, probably from Jameson Quinn when the threads were discussing multiple nomination rounds).

The positive attributes of approval voting:
* No explicit negative voting
* Possibly more resistant to write-in gaming tactics (I'm not totally positive of this), so you can safely leave write-ins in the proposal.
* Works great in determining the overall will of the body of voters, IF a majority of the voters understand it is an Approval Vote, and not the same as a pick one or pick 5 vote, i.e. voters really need to vote for every work that they would be comfortable having on the final ballot, not just the ones they themselves nominated in the first round, and especially works they may not like. (The question for the second round should be: "is it Hugo-worthy?", not "Do I like this work?". Yes some people think the two questions are effectively identical, but for multiple-winner AV to work best, it requires the bulk of the voters to have empathy for other works and voters).

The negative attributes, (and why I didn't suggest it):
* In multiple winner elections (such as this one) it encourages vote collusion: i.e. I'll vote for your favorite works if you'll vote for mine, in hopes that both sets of works get to the final ballot (up to the number of winners). This works even better for multiple colluding slates, such that the combined slate votes might get enough votes to significantly reduce the effectiveness of EPH.
* If a majority of voters do not understand or do not care that the vote is an Approval Vote, my understanding is that it devolves to first-past-the-post plurality voting, i.e. the existing voting method. Basically making it no different from the first nomination round. This appears to be the reason why some organizations that had adopted AV went back to plurality voting according to the wiki article on AV.

How AV differs from original 3SV yay/nay/abstain (IMO):
* My assumption is that 3SV would be comparing yay versus nay votes for each given work independently. AV would be comparing total yay votes between works. In a sense, not voting for a work in AV would be equivalent to giving it a nay in 3SV, but its not a perfect equivalent.
* In AV, there is no way to give a no-opinion on a work. Either you vote for every work that you have no opinion on (trusting the 1st round voters), or you don't vote for those works, basically equivalent to rejecting them. To be fair, DN and the current nomination process all share this same flaw.

#276 ::: Jon Baker ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2016, 06:37 PM:

A question about empirical verification of EPH.

I understand that the Hugo Committee doesn't feel they can sufficiently anonymize the data, to allow it to be released even to the limited pool of EPH proposers. Would it be possible for the Hugo Committee to do the opposite? Give them the EPH program, and have THEM run it against last year's or this year's nomination data?

The data are presumably already in a uniform format for the current tabulation programs to run; it shouldn't be too hard for the EPH proposers to ensure their program can read that format.

That way, the program can be run against a real dataset that includes last year's or this year's slate, and the (one hopes) different results can be presented to the Business Meeting before the second vote.

Or has this already been done and I just missed it?

#277 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: May 07, 2016, 11:56 AM:

So "Cat Pictures Please" by Naomi Kritzer is now on the short story ballot, since Mays has bowed out.

#278 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: May 07, 2016, 12:33 PM:

Jon Baker@276: Jameson Quinn and Bruce Schneier have the somewhat-anonymized data, under a non-disclosure agreement, and there is expected to be a report on this year's data before the business meeting Sunday (so after the Hugo ceremony).

And here is a post on File 770 about testing it with the 2015 data. EPH works but is not a panacea, based on one year of actual data (which is entirely compatible with my expectations).

#279 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: May 07, 2016, 04:17 PM:

elise@277

There is also a replacement nominee in the "Best Fanzine" category. The blog Lady Business (ladybusiness.dreamwidth.org) has been added to the ballot due to the withdrawal of the previous nominee Black Gate.

#280 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: May 07, 2016, 06:38 PM:

All Hail Black Gate for their greatness is HUGE! (As is Thomas A. Mays.)

This cannot have been an easy decision and moose respect you for it.

#281 ::: errhead ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2016, 09:36 PM:

Since slating is obviously still an issue, and the paper on using EPH with the 2015 Hugo data may not be released in time, I updated my 1984 data based web app. Broke apart the the 2 puppies slates, and added a couple others I was able to find. Also added a slate discipline setting to better model actual voting. This means slates are no longer entirely eliminated during tie breaking process and gives a slightly more realistic picture of real world effectiveness. The multiple competing and complementary slates gives a decent idea how EPH and 4&6 differ from the current method.

Also added a checkbox for using the Highlander Slate Elimination on the ballots before running the proposed counting methods. This goes through the ballots and removes any duplicates in a category, so if 5 people vote identically for Best Novel, only one ballot is counted. This seems less than democratic at first glance, but this is the nomination phase, so diversity is a higher objective. This method of slate fighting really optimizes the traditionally fannish method of widely varying nominations. The more slavishly devoted a slate is the less effective it is. At least with the 1984 data it's very effective at removing slate influence, yet still mirrors the original 1984 results.

I'd appreciate any comments or feature request/suggestions. Link in my name or here: https://hugoslatesimulator.herokuapp.com/

#282 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2016, 04:16 AM:

This comment comes in two parts - one's about voting workers, the other about the works that have been nominated

Voting workers: one of the (acknowledged) weaknesses of EPH is that the more dispersed the pool of nominations is, the less effective it seems to be. And since dispersal among the fiction categories seems to correlate with length of work, it's least effective with Short Story. (This seems like a pity, since I think that this is one of the places where the Hugo adds most to the community, but none of what I'm going to say depends on this point, so I hope it doesn't become the main focus of discussion.)

However, it strikes me that there might be a relatively straightforward fix for Short Story in particular, which would be to institute what I think the process worms here call 5/10 - ie, nominate 5, shortlist 10. That way, even if the slate is maximally disciplined, you still get 5 non-slate finalists.

Obviously you couldn't do this for a category like novel - increasing the list of finalists from 5 to 10 would leave people with too much to read. But 10 short stories rather than 5 doesn't seem as much of a problem.

Am I missing an any other obvious drawback? Is there some reason why there need to be the same number of shortlisted works for each category?

#283 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2016, 11:09 AM:

praisegod barebones @282, a version of your proposal has already preliminarily passed; 4/6. Nominate 4, have 6 finalists for all categories. (It has to be ratified this year to go into effect, just like EPH does.)

Your proposal does assume that there's only one effective slate of bad actors, however.

#284 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2016, 12:25 PM:

pgbb, #282: In addition to what Cassy says, there's the option of someone or someones putting up a full slate of 10 picks and a very disciplined group choosing 5 from among them. This probably still wouldn't sweep the category, but it would stand a chance of putting more than 5 slate works on the ballot. The same caveat, of course, applies to 4 and 6 or any other proposal along the same lines.

My nominating approach for this year was to conscientiously ignore the slates until after I had sent my nominations in, so that my opinion wouldn't be colored by knowing whether a given work had been slated or not. Because of that, I feel that I can vote for anything or anyone I nominated with a clear conscience, even though several of them have been co-opted as shields.

#286 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: May 16, 2016, 08:22 AM:

Received an email notice from MidAmericon yesterday that voting is now open for the Hugos and Retro Hugos. The voting period closes 11:59 pm PDT on July 31.

According to the email, the Hugo Voters Packet will be available on May 23. The Retro Hugos Voters packet will "follow soon after".

#287 ::: Joshua Kronengold ::: (view all by) ::: May 16, 2016, 08:07 PM:

I'm kinda glad I didn't notice this thread until today. Saves time and energy.

That said:

#173: A third effect of EPH is to reduce the accusation of hidden vote correlation. Of course, there's still the theory that voters do a single-line correlation, but as we know, that isn't actually all that effective unless votes in a category are low.

Re 3SV and alternatives: I posted comments on Kevin's LJ, but: I like 3SV if practical (combined with EPH), because it gives voters a very targeted way of saying "no" to things that would end up below NA anyway and see some more nominees. But I would want a quorum minimum, because if people stopped participating in 3SV for lack of anything to downvote, it would be too easy to game. Maybe express the minimum majority as a fraction of the total number of nominators. I don't like the mroe nuanced alternatives to 3SV because they grant the larger pool of nominators more power without giving them time to get more information. 3SV in practice would be unlikely to kick in except to remove troll or offensive (to the majority) candidates, but a full second stage (rather than a majority veto) would replace the informed nominations with a much larger, less informed pool--more democratic, but less effective in terms of picking high quality nominees with a lot of diversity.

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