Amanduh sure is dumb

Since 1955, the Hugos have been awarded through a fairly straightforward process: Members of the World Science Fiction Convention nominate and then vote on their favorites in a variety of categories. Past winners have included luminaries like Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Connie Willis, Robert Heinlein and George R.R. Martin.

That all changed two years ago, when a group of conservative sci-fi fans and writers, believing that sci-fi had been taken over by “social justice warriors” who supposedly emphasize diversity and progressive themes over quality, revolted and set out to take over the Hugos so that the nominees and winners were whiter, more male, and more conservative.

Two overlapping groups of conservatives — deeming themselves the Sad Puppies (more standard conservatives) and the Rabid Puppies (more alt-right and white supremacist) — began publishing suggested ballots, prior to the Hugo nominations, so that their people could vote for finalists as a bloc and crowd all other potential nominees off the ballot. Collectively, they are known as the Puppies, a choice which not coincidentally makes them sound cuter and sweeter than a nest full of reactionaries and outright bigots has any right to sound.

Voluntary organisation into a voting group is a bad idea now, is it?

There go political parties…..

53 thoughts on “Amanduh sure is dumb”

  1. The Left have always been in favour of voting as long as it got them the result they wanted. Anything else, not so much. One man one vote, once, remember? Its just becoming less of a secret now, they aren’t even paying lip service to the idea of democracy any more. Brexit showed that in spades.

  2. She may have some points in the article, but there’s lots more she’s leaving out. There are 2 different Puppy groups, Sad and Rabid. The Sad Puppies (named because boring message fic is the leading cause of Puppy Sadness…) were founded by Larry Correia with the intent of getting a slate of non-message fic nominated for the Hugos. At the same time, Vox Day set up the Rabid Puppies, which had an express intention of trying to f*ck things up.

    Corriea only ran the Sad Puppies the first year. Last year is was run by Brad Torgerson, and this year it was collated by 3 female authors. Vox Day has run the Rapid Puppies slate the last 3 years.

    Things came to a bit of a head last year, when a great number of the Puppy nominations all got voted below “No Award”. This repeated itself this year, which means that some pretty significant figures in SF (like Toni Weiskopf of Baen Books (a woman!) and Jerry Pournelle) got no awarded because of who nominated them.

    This though proved Corriea’s main theory, which is that WorldCon “fandom” is a clique (which they denied after SP1, but then pretty much confirmed after SP2 with the mass no-awarding) – http://monsterhunternation.com/2016/08/22/my-thoughts-on-the-2016-hugos/

  3. What does this dozy leftist agit-cow care about science fiction?

    Because SJW CM scum were attempting to take it over as it is a medium that often appeals to the young. As with the games industry.

    Once their antics are tumbled and counter action taken–what was a leftist putsch being deservedly kicked in the teeth is now declared to be a “rightist” coup .

    Prince of Lies indeed.

    Purge and purge now. We can’t win a defensive war and the left must be destroyed if there is to be any future for the human race at all.

  4. That all changed two years ago, when a group of conservative sci-fi fans and writers, believing that sci-fi had been taken over by “social justice warriors” who supposedly emphasize diversity and progressive themes over quality

    Because that just *never* happens in other fields, does it?

  5. ““The Puppies, a lot of them — certainly their ringleaders — they’ve got a huge overlap with Gamergaters, men’s rights activists, that whole wing of the internet,” Teresa Nielsen Hayden, a sci-fi editor and writer explained to me over the phone. “

    So it doesn’t matter that they may have a point, they are tarnished by the company they keep. Funny how this is frowned upon when it comes to others, isn’t it?

  6. “Watching Hugo voters choose “no award” instead of their nominees did not teach the Puppies Catholic virtues like humility or grace, however.”

    Suddenly, Amanduh loves her some Catholic virtues!

  7. dearieme said: “Anyway, who gives a bugger about SF except teenage boys?”

    The people who think SF that interests teenage boys is problematic.

  8. @Dearieme

    Well, SF is pretty much any story set in the future or any alternative planet or universe which actually gives a pretty broad backdrop against which to set a story. Some of those stories will be shit and some thought provoking and profound.

    Covers just about anything really from (as examples) the dark brooding of Blade Runner to the camp comedy of Flash Gordon.

    Just because some stories set in the past are crap wouldn’t mean I’d generalise about or dismiss all stories set in the past.

    Just a thought.

  9. I read all sorts of stuff – currently on Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove (a Texas cowpoke epic set in 1876, I wholeheartedly recommend it) – including sci-fi.

    It’s like most things, some of it is excellent, some was excellent but it now dated (eg a lot of Heinlein), and a lot of it is dross.

    As a rule, the stuff which tries to smuggle a message in is dross. But these fuckers have to have control, don’t they? Ironically, it was all basically predicted in one of the great sci-fi works, 1984.

  10. Bloke in Costa Rica

    I don’t think anyone would accuse Kazuo Ishiguro or Virginia Woolf of writing for teenage boys but how could Never Let Me Go and Orlando be described as anything other than science fiction?

  11. Lonesome Dove (a Texas cowpoke epic set in 1876, I wholeheartedly recommend it)

    The TV series was brilliant.

    It’s like most things, some of it is excellent, some was excellent but it now dated (eg a lot of Heinlein), and a lot of it is dross.

    I gave up on Stranger in a Strange Land because I found it so dated. But I loved Starship Troopers.

  12. I was going to come here and post some further explanation about the Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies phenomena, but LeoTea has said pretty much what I was going to say, so all I’ll do is add more detail.

    Larry Correia (bestselling author of the Monster Hunter series among others – pulpy all-action modern fantasies that are a lot of fun) started Sad Puppies 1 when he said that even though his fiction was enormously popular, he’d never win a Hugo Award simply because of his right-wing politics. He got lots of people to nominate him for the awards (although not quite enough to get shortlisted) and predicted that the (left-wing) science fiction ‘establishment’ as personified by the people who run the awards would go mental.

    He was right. They went mental. In particular, he was accused of ‘gaming the system’ to get himself an award (regardless of the fact that authors have been asking their fans to nominate them for years).

    Sad Puppies 2 in 2014 was again organised by Correia. This time, to counter suggestions that he was only in it for himself, he suggested works by other authors eligible for different categories (best novella, best short story, best related work etc), much as various SF magazines and blogs had been doing for years. The common thread was that these were all authors who, for one reason or another (not just political), were good authors who never got the appropriate recognition in the awards.

    Once again, Larry was right, and the establishment went mental. Organised voting against the Sad Puppies picks meant that in eight categories, the Sad Puppies pick finished last, in one category it finished second to last and in one category it finished below ‘No Award’ – i.e. sixth out of five nominations.

    To completely get past the idea that this was all for Correia’s benefit, Sad Puppies 3 in 2015 was organised by up and coming author Brad Torgersen. (If you want to read a really good example of a modern SF short story, read his ‘Outbound’.) Once again, suggested nominees were given for each category, but this time, several in each category. At the same time, author, editor and publisher Vox Day started the rather more aggressive ‘Rabid Puppies’ campaign which used similar methods.

    This time the anti-puppy rhetoric was much stronger from the establishment. Irene Gallo, creative director at Tor Books (possibly the most important SF and Fantasy publisher in the US) described the puppies (including some authors actually published by her firm) as “unrepentantly racist, misogynist, and homophobic” (which might be news to Torgersen’s african-american wife) and “extreme right-wing to neo-Nazi”. Torgersen was accused of being “cowardly” for not attending the convention where the awards were announced. (He was actually serving in the US Army in Afghanistan at the time.)

    The puppies campaign was successful enough that most of their nominees made the shortlist, but again organised voting meant that ‘No Award’ ranked above pretty much all of the Puppy nominations. This even meant that in some categories there was no award given at all.

    So once again, Correia was proven right.

    This year, Sad Puppies 4 was organised by Kate Paulk, helped by Sarah Hoyt and Amanda Green. The suggestion process was changed drastically to a simple open ballot – anyone could go the Sad Puppies website and suggest a work to be nominated, and then Paulk collated the suggestions into a nominations list. This meant that the Sad Puppies suggestions list included some authors that did win awards (the likes of Neil Gaiman) among others that were habitually overlooked for whatever reason. (The Rabid Puppies used the same system as before.)

    And despite this, once again the establishment did was Correia had said they would do and went mental. At the convention, the moderator at the panel discussing the state of short fiction was thrown out of the convention for expressing pro-puppy views. And in the voting, once again the awards went to the usual anti-puppy suspects.

    For example, ‘Best Novel’ went to N.K. Jemisin, an author who had described Day as “a self-described misogynist, racist, anti-Semite, and a few other flavors of asshole”, to which Day had replied that Jemisin was “an educated, but ignorant half-savage, with little more understanding of what it took to build a new literature by ‘a bunch of beardy old middle-class middle-American guys’ than an illiterate Igbotu tribesman has of how to build a jet engine….” Day got thrown out of the Science Fiction Writers of America for that. Jemisin on the other hand was given a Hugo. At the awards ceremony, Gaiman won for Best Graphic Novel and had a rant at the Puppies who had helped him to get nominated.

  13. To be fair, the anti-puppy nominated a barely Sci-Fi short story “If You Were A Dinosaur My Love” in 2015. The Rabid Puppies return the favor this year with “Space Raptor Butt Invasion” by Chuck Tingle this year. It didn’t win, but it sure was funny.

  14. Bloke in Wiltshire

    Awards always turn to shit, either because the industry or political movements take them over. Cannes is now run by lefties. In the last decade or so, they’ve given the Palme d’Or to Michael Moore, Mike Leigh and twice to Ken Loach.

    And once you get a certain clique in charge, they can then select who gets on juries or can get a vote.

    Best thing is just to walk away and create alternative awards.

  15. The puppies are amusing. Ultimately its not them and not the organisers of the Hugos who decide what is good sci fi.
    Its the readers.

    Awards are nice and all but do not mean something will be enjoyed by any particular reader. Have had Hugo winners I’ve not even got halfway through and Hugo winners I’ve finished in 24 hours of reading in a single spell.
    And many a book that has never been nominated for awards.

    Readers get to decide what they like. Not groups who are involved with conventions or awards.

  16. @Tim N

    TV passed me by, didn’t even know there was one (didn’t watch a lot of telly back then) but I’ll definitely get it on DVD (if I can be arsed to dig out my DVD player!) having looked at the cast.

    I really recommend the book – 900-odd pages and one of those books I am constantly missing when not reading it.

  17. Oddly enough just finished reading. the original foundation trilogy which won the only award given for best series, it was interesting, but it’s terribly dated in terms of content and style.

  18. @Mark Poles

    Thanks for that. I could never be arsed to find out much about what it was about – that was an interesting précis.

    I loved this: ‘Torgersen was accused of being “cowardly” for not attending the convention where the awards were announced. (He was actually serving in the US Army in Afghanistan at the time.)’

    Fucking hilarious.

  19. Outside of a touch of Ray Bradbury and Philip K. Dick, the sci-fi I’ve read in my younger days wasn’t worth a shit. Given the sort of nonsense that has surrounded the Hugos for the past few years, I can’t imagine anything that could induce me to start reading it again. And are sci-fi readers so stupid that they need the Hugos to guide them? It’s like watching movies because they got a Best Picture Oscar… You really want to spend your time watching crap like Hamlet, Tom Jones, Rocky, Midnight Cowboy, Oliver! and Around The World In 80 Days?

    This just seems to confirm what a lot of people who don’t read sci-fi have suspected about those who do… Namely, that they spent most of their childhoods locked in dark closets.

  20. (If you want to read a really good example of a modern SF short story, read his ‘Outbound’.)

    On your recommendation I’ve just bought it on Kindle. 😉

  21. “Oddly enough just finished reading. the original foundation trilogy which won the only award given for best series, it was interesting, but it’s terribly dated in terms of content and style.”

    Agreed, but at least they had the attribute of being short. The later books bloated in the way all modern fiction has tended to do. Animal Farm, if written today, would be 600 pages long and filled with tedious dialogue.

  22. On a sexism related aside:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/work/male-managers-40-per-cent-more-likely-to-be-promoted-than-women/

    Is it bad, but I read the headline as “Male managers 40% more likely to be better than women managers”?

    I can defend this reading by stating that multiple sociological studies have shown that the key to being promoted is by successfully adhering to the rules (written or unwritten) of that organisation. I suspect the fact that men can better read those rules may account for much of that 40%

    {snigger}

  23. “the sci-fi I’ve read in my younger days wasn’t worth a shit…. I can’t imagine anything that could induce me to start reading it again. ”

    Yup + 1

  24. @ Dennis the Peasant
    ” Namely, that they spent most of their childhoods locked in dark closets.”
    I spent as much as possible of mine outdoors playing football and cricket. But we didn’t have floodlights so we had to come indoors after dark.

  25. @ Rob,
    It was dated when I first read it more than 40 years ago – but it was so well written that I forgave that.

  26. @Tim N
    If you loved Starship Troopers (a rattling good yarn), you should read Bill, the Galactic Hero in which the great Harry Harrison rips the shit out of it.

  27. A great modern scifi novel is Altered Carbon. A sort of blade runner crossed with Sam Spade, its a cracking read.

  28. “This just seems to confirm what a lot of people who don’t read sci-fi have suspected about those who do… Namely, that they spent most of their childhoods locked in dark closets.”

    You must be a sad fucker, Dennis.

    I’d confidently say I’ve built a fulfilling & extremely remunerative life on the back of reading SF as a kid. (Although I prefer Speculative Fiction to SciFi. I’m not a Doctor Who or Startreck fan)
    For a start it taught me to handle unfamiliar concepts. And to think “outside the box “. So if I come across something unfamiliar or need to widen my knowledge I just get on & add it to all the other things I’ve had to understand & learn. And I’ve found pretty well anything is doable if of you approach it from the right direction. Although that direction mayn’t be the most obvious one. It will likely borrow concepts from widely unrelated fields. But I don’t go around trying to sell people my talents. I simply find out what people need, how to provide it & sell them the result.

  29. I wonder if Amanda has ever actually read any Heinlein. By coincidence, I’m just re-reading Time Enough For Love, which I strongly suspect would make her head explode from the reactionary male attitudes crossed with free love.
    Spoilers for anyone who hasn’t read it – it’s crap, but entertaining crap. And yes, the lead protagonist does ultimately fuck his mother.

  30. William Gibson’s The Peripheral is pretty damned good. Nearly everything by Neal Stephenson is worth picking up (assuming you have the strength). Bruce Sterling’s Distraction is fun. Rule 34 by Charles Stross was interesting.

    But has anyone read Stross’ Neptune’s Brood? It’s fun enough, but having read it twice I’ve got the distinct feeling that something is horribly wrong with his ideas about money and the economics of situation, which would probably blow the entire plot out of the water. The piractical combat accountants are great though.

  31. Charlie Stross often gets his economics wrong. I used to pop by his blog occasionally just to marvel at it.

  32. His blog is pretty interesting, there’s a lot of value in the comments, generally, but they can very, very easily rapidly go full echo chamber on the right (as in right-on) subjects.

    It’s a wider thing about SF though; the world building is required, and the resulting work/story/plot needs to be internally consistent with that, to avoid the Star Trek transporter problem. Or the Jurassic Park “oh, it’s Unix, we’ve got these at school” issue. Niven & Pournelle had the Alderson drive worked through by a mate at JPL. The plot of The Mote in God’s Eye relies on how the drive works. Given that this can end up with fairly heavy physics and chemistry and the rest, maybe adding economics is a bit of a big ask.

    Maybe (macro) economists ought to try world building and story telling rather than maths? Don’t know.

  33. The Inimitable Steve

    As we saw with the international leftie dummy-spitting over Brexit, and the mass media freak out over GamerGate, it’s all about The Narrative.

    Doesn’t matter how esoteric or trivial the subject matter is, the progressive narrative of feminism and globalism and multiculti-ism must be seen to win at all times and in all places, lest proles start thinking there’s no “right side of history” after all.

    It’s shades of the historical inevitability of socialism. Naturally, socialism needs every comrade’s hand to the wheel to make its inevitability non-evitable. So whether it’s a dispute over the political and economic structure of Europe or the representation of one-legged black lesbians on the social committee of the South Derbyshire Pigeon Fanciers League, once the signal goes up that The Narrative is being challenged, lefties swarm in like a cloud of bees.

    So, the state of skiffy.

    Some pretty good summaries above, to which I’d add that SJW convergence means traditional science fiction publishing is dying on its arse.

    Which is partly because the publishing biz is being disrupted by technological and business model changes similar to the music industry was disrupted by Napster and iTunes and Spotify.

    But mainly it’s because the new gatekeepers in skiffy publishing are social justice warriors, and The Narrative is more important than selling books people might want to read.

    So the vast majority (something approaching 90%) of editors in publishing houses are women. And a certain type of woman, too: the liberal arts graduate cat lady with problem glasses and a chip on her shoulder, who unironically uses words like “problematic” and “patriarchy”.

    Just like their wretched predecessors in 19th century temperance movements, these hags think they know what’s good for you. And what’s good for you isn’t optimistic space adventures of the likes Heinlein used to write, or grand speculative engineering in the vein of Clarke, it’s heavy handed message fiction about how stupid and bigoted white Christian men are.

    So the gatekeepers are pushing garbage like gender-neutral feminist fiction, unpleasant racist revenge fantasies by black women, and stories about sentient computers persuading ignorant Christian bigots to come out of the closet as homosexual.

    Nobody wants to read this shit. The sales figures are pathetic, and this is during a time when sci fi and fantasy is more mainstream and popular than ever.

    Meanwhile, good authors like Nick Cole – whose book CTRL-ALT-REVOLT is one of the funnest, freshest sci fi adventure novels of recent years – are being dropped by big publishers for going off-message.

  34. The word itself – progressive – is a relic of the belief in historic inevitability. Everything we want is emblematic of a desire to go forwards. Everything you want is reactionary and counter-revolutionary.

    In economic terms this sort of thinking is a dead-letter. There are lots of anti-capitalists but few people post 1989-1991 seem to have the conviction that capitalism contains the seeds of its own destruction.

    So ‘progressives’ cling to the social ideas of the New Left in an effort to show that they are on the “right side of history”. They then raft their discredited economic ideas to the basic notion that being unpleasant to gays and ethnic minorities is bad and pat themselves on the back for being forward thinkers.

    As a result the worst ideas of the post-war consensus, like nationalisation and wage councils get to be presented as shiny new ‘progressive’ ideas, rather than the revanchist bollocks they really are.

  35. Spot on, TIS.

    I must confess I really enjoyed some of the Star Wars books at uni, which a friend got me on to. This was before the prequels started, so these books pretty much were the ongoing story.

    Nice, light entertainment. And as far as I remember, no message. Just a bit of geeky escapism. No harm in that.

    When The Force Awakens came out, I thought I’d take a look at the tie-ins. Terrible writing, and of course, now there’s a bloody SJW message! Glad I just got a Kindle sample and didn’t hand over real money.

    Why the bloody hell does Star Wars need to have A MESSAGE now?

    http://evilavatar.com/forums/showthread.php?t=228807

  36. If you loved Starship Troopers (a rattling good yarn), you should read Bill, the Galactic Hero in which the great Harry Harrison rips the shit out of it.

    Thanks!

  37. The great thing about the SJW takeover of the Hugos is that I now know which SF books not to buy. The vast majority of Hugo winners in the last ten years have been utter bilge.

    And the funny part is that they gloat about ‘No-awarding’ books just because of their politics, when the whole point of the Puppies was to show that the Hugos had become a political toy.

  38. …they gloat about ‘No-awarding’ books just because of their politics

    No they don’t. They vote “no award” in preference to the Puppies’ nominees because they object to the way the Puppies have used slates to mess up the shortlists. And also when the nominees are not very good.

  39. Let’s see here…

    You got the authors, publishers and fans of a low-selling genre that has always struggled to be taken seriously spending the last few years in a circular firing squad shooting away like mad, guaranteeing that what news reaches those who don’t read the genre makes those involved in the genre look like a bunch of two year olds who have lost their binkies.

    And I’m the sad fucker.

    Got it.

  40. Pingback: Altered Carbon | White Sun of the Desert

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *