Sunday, April 5, 2015
Last year was only the second year of the so-called Sad Puppies campaign, a movement started by Larry Correia and which has since grown bigger than he is and beyond his control. It is an effort to reclaim the Hugo Awards for the sf fandom and take it from the hands of a small group of shrill elitists who've been giving it out mostly to poorly written message-heavy Leftist fic.
Last year, the opponents of the Sad Puppies gloated when the Sad Puppies campaign had little discernible effect on the Hugos, but, of course, that was only the second year. This year, the movement was spearheaded by author Brad R. Torgersen, and it also got a major boost from disgruntled GamerGaters sick of being lied about on the Internet and on Law & Order, and who wanted another piece of SJW.
Because the Hugo is a fan-given award, anyone can vote (and I believe there is still time to register, and they give you all the works so you can read them before you vote on them) simply by paying $40 to Worldcon for a two-year membership. Sad Puppies has registered so many people that the Worldcon folks must be swimming in cash.
Last week, the SJWs were wringing their hands over the Hugo finalists even though the finalists hadn't been announced yet (which means they more-or-less admitted that some among their number have inside information and that, therefore, they really have had the award tied up for their special group in previous years). The finalists were announced this last Saturday, and as the rumors predicted, it looks like the Sad Puppies pretty much own it. The only category they don't own is "best graphic story," which is no surprise, since the Puppy slate in that category was pretty dang weak. So the nominations there have gone to titles like Rat Queens and Sex Criminals, which I've never heard of and am not sure I want to.
I confess I don't follow new literary sf these days, but have instead turned my attention to older stuff (I'm reading Talbot Mundy) and anime (I'm watching Sailor Moon . . . still), so most of these titles are unfamiliar to me anyhow. But I am pleased with the "dramatic presentation, long form" (fancy way to say "movie") category, which is pretty much a list of the best sf films from last year.
This year in Hugos is the Year of the Puppy.
In particular, three of the five novella titles are by John C. Wright, and the fourth is another from Castalia House, which is run by Vox Day, whom SJWs hate with vile passion (in fact, there's a troll who stalks bloggers who mention his name, so I expect that guy to show up now and test my spam filters). So if the SJWs absolutely can't bring themselves to vote for something Puppy-boosted, their only choice in that category is No Award or Arlan Andrews's "Flow."
In fact, Wright has six nominations total this year, which I believe is a record. He deserves it. He was being hailed as one of the best sf talents of the fledgling century, if not the best, up until he announced his conversion to Catholicism, at which point all the right-thinking people set about ignoring him. Although I like his works nominated this year, I do think it a shame he never won anything for The Golden Age or Awake in the Night Land, which I consider to be his best. And I await Somewhither, his alternate history mashup actioner, with baited breath, because over three or four years I've watched its development from blog joke to real novel, and it's been pure awesomesauce the whole way. His ongoing Count to the Eschaton Sequence, on the other hand, I don't much care for.
Larry Correia was nominated for his novel Monster Hunter Nemesis, but turned it down and thumbed his nose at everyone who's said he started this just to get a rocket statue.
This article at Breitbart is Puppy-slanted but mostly accurate, if you want a rundown of the fight thus far. I think its only error is misidentifying Chicks Dig Time Lords as a work of fiction (it's nonfiction, and it won a Hugo in the "best related work" category).
Congratulations to all nominees.
Sad Puppies 4 is already planned, but I admit I'm beginning to wonder what this will mean in the end for the Hugos. Although the Sad Puppies are not the first to produce voting slates (I believe the award for that goes to John Scalzi), it was until a few years ago not a done thing, or at least not a thing done openly. I expect that next year the SJWs will get organized and produce a slate of their own, which means the Hugo, rather than returning to what it is supposed to be, a fan-given award for which the whole body of English-language sf (at least in theory) competes, will become a battle between competing slates.
I know that's not what the Sad Puppies actually want, but that means sooner or later they'll have to change their tactics, though I admit I have no suggestion as to how they ought to change them.
Even though the finalists are announced, there is still, I believe until mid-month, time to register with Worldcon and vote for the award. Go here to do so. Remember, for $40 dollars you get the complete package of Hugo finalists, which means a collection literature worth much more than forty bucks.