The Sad Puppies Hugo campaign… Sorta successful for everybody but me. :)

So the Sad Puppies Hugo stacking campaing was a success for almost everybody else I pushed, but me, as we didn’t get enough to break MHL into best novel.  It will be interesting to see how close we got when the numbers come out after the awards.

Considering how many of the Monster Hunter Nation picks made it, that’s pretty cool, since my fans aren’t exactly the WorldCon type.  Oh, but we will be back… Just out of spite. You think Sarah McLachlan music is sad? You ain’t seen nothing yet. 🙂

Toni Weiskopf is up for Best Editor, long form. She really really deserves to win, but SMOF hates all of Baen except for Bujold, so we’ll see what happens there. Jim Baen, who launched tons of careers of some of the biggest names and series in sci-fi, had to die before he got a nomination, and even then he lost to David Hartwell, who has spare Hugos cluttering up his house.

Vincent Chong, who did the Mage Brute (French Hard Magic) cover is up for Best Artist.

My friends at Elitist Book Reviews are nominated, and deserve a win for having the best review place on the internet. If they lose, it will be because somebody in SMOFdom discovered I like them.

Stan Schmidt needs to win best editor, short form. He’s retiring now, but he’s only run the leading sci-fi magazine for like the last couple of decades, launching the careers of literally hundreds of writers.  But he’s no Doctor Who.

Here is the list of all the nominees:

And for those of you that follow this stuff, it is pretty much what you expect, as in a big SMOF popularity contest where various people with lots of WorldCon factions politicking for them are insta-noms, and everybody else is shut out.  Luckily, only one of the nominees for best novel is a dying polar bear story of global warming sadness and evil capitalism, which would normally win, but it will surely lose to Scalzi, who is liberal blogger who happens to write books too, and God help us if they ever start doing Doctor Who novelizations because that will be your five nominees a year.

For the other Best Novel noms, Lois Bujold is awesome, but she’s won like 8 Hugos. Mira Grant is cool as heck. In person, she’s really great, and I like her, but notice that since she is beloved by SMOF, she is nominated in every Hugo category except Car of the Year. Saladin’s a nice guy, and beloved by SMOF (we were up for the Campbell at the same time), but I’m predicting he’ll come in last, becasue this is his only book and he’s not built up a huge SMOF backer faction yet, but just having nominated a guy with an ethnic name will make the SMOFers feel all warm and tingly inside and good about themselves, so that’ll be enough for them. (Note, I’m not actually placing any bets that the voters actually read all the works).

My buddy Brandon Sanderson is up for Novella, but he’ll probably lose for not being popular enough with the SMOFers, which is too bad because the story is unfreakingbelievable. Mira Grant would normally win this one because of how many WorldCon fans she’s got, but Jay Lake will win this category easily. Sure he’s very talented, but he’ll win because he’s fighting cancer, and the votes aren’t decided on the actual books. Once again, I’ll be surprised if half the voters actually read the stories.

My buddy Howard Tayler is up for one for best graphic story, but he’ll probably lose for not being trendy enough because he’s only been telling this story every single day for 12 years. Both Brandon, Howard, and my friend Dan Wells are up for Writing Excuses again (a Podcast which helps thousands of aspiring writers improve their craft and learn the business) but they are up against something Doctor Who related, so they will inevitably lose.

In Novelletes, Seanan McGuire has two noms, and she is Mira Grant, so she wins this one.  Also, the way the Hugo votes work so the lowest count nom is dropped, then the next, and the next, and your 2nd and 3rd places votes count too, you don’t have a problem with faction’s splitting the vote. To be fair, Seanan got screwed a couple of years ago for best novel, and had the most 1st place votes, but still lost once they worked out their weird Hugo vote tabulation magic.

Game of Thrones isn’t being considered a movie this year, because it got its Hugo. And now it is back to the Doctor Who love, because you know, there were absolutely no other TV shows made over the last decade.

I found this because of the blog trackback to my Sad Puppies campaign. It is a pretty good overview of some of the problems with the Hugos. And I think he is only scratching the surface of the issues:

BOOK BOMB! Today! Fire with Fire by Chuck Gannon! Tell your friends!
Reminder! BOOK BOMB tomorrow! April 2nd!

36 thoughts on “The Sad Puppies Hugo campaign… Sorta successful for everybody but me. :)”

  1. John Scalzi is an insufferable asshole. That said, he writes pretty entertaining books. Redshirts was funny enough that I often laughed out loud, and at times it was even touching. Kudos to him that I only vaguely pick up on his political philosophy when I’m reading his books. (I expect SciFi authors to be flaming leftists, so maybe my filter is set to “high”.)

    That said, I had to stop reading his blog, because it made me want to never read one of his books again. I couldn’t disagree with him more on absolutely everything.

    And he has that whole small man/ginormous ego thing going on. Which would be cool if he had, you know, a chin.

    1. It’s a good thing you have a picture as an avatar, because I read your name & comment and at first thought I’d posted and forgotten about it.

      I agree completely on everything you just typed.

    2. As to why you disagree with Scalzi on EVERYTHING, I suggest viewing Evan Sayet’s talk on “how liberals think” from 5 Mar 2007. In that presentation he explains exactly why they always get it wrong, all the time – it isn’t stupidity, and it isn’t evil – it is that they actively, and willfully refuse to discern the difference between good and bad, success and failure. They refuse to even notice a difference, it is just different opinions, different choices, different beliefs.

      1. I’ll definitely check that out. I’ve known enough liberals that I really like or respect as human beings to know that it isn’t willful evil or stupidity.

      2. Much as I dislike his politics, he gets some things right as well. He is very much in favor of people being paid for their work, and I am inclined to agree with his anticreeping posts as well.

        Much as I like to read what Larry has to say on subjects, to find something I can agree with that is put into words fun to read; I also like to read Scalzi at whatever, even while disagreeing with him on many points.

        I occasionally listen to NPR too, but mainly because I like Car Talk.

      1. As a child of Heinlein, I loved it.

        It’s a lot like looking at Megan Fox. I can appreciate her body (I mentally airbrush the tattoos), but all her performances in the theater of my mind have nothing to do with her politics. You have to cut her some slack, she’s a professional liar (actress) and if she didn’t espouse those opinions, she’d be unemployed.

        Scalzi once said, quoting someone else ‘There’s a name for people who attribute the attitudes, motivations and personality of a character in a book to the author: Idiot.’. So the case in point is that he has sterling characters, while his own attitudes are left wing hippy.

        He further got into a bit of a back and forth with a person on his blog after he said “anyone who votes Republican is brain dead.” A commenter wrote back “I voted republican, and you’ve just called me brain dead.” Scalzi then said several times ‘I didn’t call you brain dead. I’m an author and I know how to communicate.’. At that point, I gave up on his blog too.

        So I see absolutely no reason not to read Old Man’s War, even though I don’t like Scalzi’s politics. Besides, the farther we go seeing the caving of the Repubs, the less interested I am in voting for them. Right now I consider myself a social libertarian.

        Incidentally, I thought of a terrific sequel to Old Man’s War.
        Spoilers: if you haven’t read the book, don’t read farther.

        The doctor, who got a brand new body. It occurred to me that not all of the old bodies are going to die gracefully. If SF has a repeating theme, it’s that some old crotchety characters are damn hard to kill…

      2. @steve: “Scalzi once said, quoting someone else ‘There’s a name for people who attribute the attitudes, motivations and personality of a character in a book to the author: Idiot.’”

        S.M. Stirling used a similar quote (“There is a technical term for someone who confuses the opinions of a character in a book with those of the author. That term is idiot.”) when replying to “idiots” about his Draka series. Anyway, the original is quote is variously attributed to either Larry Niven or Robert A. Heinlein.

  2. I remember a newspaper op-ed cartoon from about 1983. That was the year after both Gandhi and ET were in theaters. The cartoon showed Gandhi with an armload of Oscars, looking askance at ET… with an armload of moneysacks.

    You’ll have to console yourself with being a multiple-bestselling author whose fans actually understand and appreciate your work. 😉

  3. Well, I’d set one of the Monster Hunts at a Hugo event. A bit like John Ringo did with Princess of Wands.
    Nothing like some unmensionable horror eating the literati.

    1. Yes. He does, and lots of us know of both and choose to spend our time here. I haven’t looked over there in a few years, and feel no pain whatsoever at the loss.

  4. I’m curious, just based on what I’ve noticed about where my favorite authors live (mostly in the South and in the Rockies), if WorldCon and the SMOF are mostly Yankees. Or am I reading too much into a cultural divide between the self-appointed movers and shakers and, well, a significant portion of the market.

    1. I very much enjoy Dr. Who, space hippy.

      Especially now that he’s willing to pick up a gun, and has intentionally caused the deaths of untold swaths of sentients who chose to be his enemy. I think his body count must be a million by the last series. I think he wiped out the entire Dalek race at one point, so he’s also genocidal. Even though it got retroactively changed later (Time Lord) he still did it.

      Remember Rory showing up in full Centurion armor on the Dalek command ship, pointing out the window and watching the Dalek ships of their fleet explode to make a point?

      All the bad guys joining together to kill him? because he was so terrifying? The race that used the word “Doctor” to mean great warrior?

      Yeah, he’s still OK. And his wife wasn’t half bad either…

  5. I think you significantly overstate the significance of the SMOFS (“Secret Masters of Fandom”), which represent the perhaps 500 (at most) people who actively are involved in the organization and operation of Worldcon and who take an active interest in the rules of the World Science Fiction Society.

    1. They don’t form a monolithic bloc, no matter what you seem to think. We (and I’d count myself among them) argue incessantly. Go look at the video of the past couple of WSFS Business Meetings (links to which are on the website) and you’ll see just the tip of the iceberg of the debates.
    2. There were over 1300 people nominating this year, which is a lot more than the total number of people who could be considered “insiders.”
    3. All it takes to be a SMOF is to work hard and get involved. Remember that 90% of success consists of showing up.

    1. /Every/ group that has three people or more will have ideological brawls between themselves — and the only reason it cuts off at three is that two people are just an argument, to borrow from Terry Pratchett. If you go into a LGBT group and start an argument about homophobia or more homophobia, or a pro-gun group and talk about less bad gun laws or even fewer bad gun laws, there’ll be lots of people on both sides ranging from reasonable debate to bickering to cutthroat attack. That doesn’t mean that these groups are going to have many blocs desiring, say,

      SMOF treatment of Baen is pretty monolithic on this topic : if you bring up the publisher, expect to hear “OH JOHN RINGO NO” or the most shallow and misleading summaries of Kratman’s books possible, and possibly Bujold as a grandfathered exception*. If you bring up other people who work for that publisher, expect their works to be discussed within that lens. I’ve personally defended Correia’s MHI book series from people who expected it to be a right-wing diatribe because it had a gun-owning accountant.

      This is more than politics, of course, but something closer to ideology. Timothy Zahn hasn’t been a Hugo Nominee since 1984 or something, and is neither obviously right-wing or a Baen publishee, even though both the Quadrail series (pulp) and the Cobra series (milSF) are quite good and /everyone/ knows him for single-handedly reviving the /Star Wars/ EU. The genres just aren’t Hugo material — for all the good and bad that implies about the awards..

      *And even Bujold’s Vorkorsigan series is treated as much more right-wing than her books under other publishers. /Ethan of Athos/ was pretty shallow in its pro-gay-stereotype manner, but the mainline books are very clear in demonstrating the Barrayan Empire’s conservative and militarily hawkish aspects to be bad things… yet a lot of folk treat it as a Hard Men Making Hard Decisions pro-imperial stance.

      1. You mystify me. I’m Chairman of the WSFS Mark Protection Committee, the closest thing the World Science Fiction Society has to an ongoing permanent body. I co-chaired the 2002 Worldcon. I’ve administered the Hugo Awards three times. By any reasonable fan, I’m about as much of a modern SMOF as it’s possible to be. I’m plugged in to the SMOFS e-mail list (which isn’t really secret; you just have to ask to get added, and it’s not nearly as interesting as I bet you think it is). I’ve never heard any of the things you’re saying here about “SMOF Treatment of Baen.”

        There’s no conspiracy, gattsuru. Just because the people who vote don’t as a whole agree with you doesn’t mean the system is rigged against you.

  6. What is everyone who nominates British or something? Why does Dr. Who get 3 freaking nominations in short presentations?

    1. I hope that’s meant to be a joke, because it implies that only British people will vote for British works, only Canadians for Canadians, only Americans for Americans, and so forth, which is silly. I do know that DW episodes are generally among the most popular suggestions made at the Bay Area Science Fiction Association Hugo Recommendation Nights, and while there are a couple of expat Brits who attend now and then, the membership of BASFA can’t really be considered “British.”

      1. I implied no such thing, but from my personal experience Dr Who is more well known in the country of its origin than by the general populace of people here in the States. And even people that are aware of it don’t necessarily watch it or consider themselves fans. So when one show so wholly dominates a category as to take up 3 of the 6 nomination slots it makes one wonder.

        1. Let me suggest, then, that the population of people who are members of Worldcon and who participate in the Hugo Awards process just might contain a higher-than-average-compared-to-Americans percentage of people who know and appreciate Doctor Who. As I said, I know it’s the most popular choice among the BASFA crowd, who are mostly Americans.

          Even when Worldcon is in a different country, Americans represent the single largest group of voters. So works have generally got to be popular with American SF fans who are members of Worldcon to have a chance of being nominated. Doctor Who obviously fits that mold better than most American-produced SF/F for some reason.

    2. Maybe British is hip these days? seems to push UK writers and shows almost as much as they push feminism.

      1. There’s just a faction of WorldCon attendees that are raging Doctor Who fans. According to Wikipedia, the modern Doctor Who has 20 nominations and 6 wins. And they bleed over into other categories too, so you’ve got things like fan writing about Doctor Who and Best Related Works about Doctor Who winning too.

        Like I pointed out above, Writing Excuses, insanely popular, very helpful, destined to lose because obviously anything related to Doctor Who is the best thing created in the world.

        The one time there was a threat of a big upset was when Game of Thrones (Martin is another favorite with his own big fan faction) was going up against Doctor Who (not only that, but another fan favorite-Neil Gaiman directed episode!) So all of a sudden Game of Thrones wound up in a different category that year, and all the TV episodes together became long form, that way they could both win their respective Hugos and everybody was happy. Except for every other TV production team in the world that doesn’t have a Hugo Faction in place.

        There are tons of good things that come out every single year, but ironically enough you can go through the catalogs of upcoming works in January, before anybody has actually read/seen any of these things, and you can predict 80% of the nominees in most of the categories.

        1. correia45:

          You make the decision to treat the entire season of Game of Thrones as a single long-form work that year sound like a conspiracy. It wasn’t. It was the administrator bowing to the will of the voters, who voted it in as a single serialized work. This may come as a surprise to some people, but Hugo Administrators prefer to do what the voters request as long as it’s not actually prohibited by the rules.

          (From my turns as Administrator, I have gotten the impression that some folks think the job of the Administrator is to find “gotchas” to disqualify works. It’s not.)

  7. I like Dr. Who, even though I’m a couple seasons behind. I think it’s really benefiting from a lack of competition. There just aren’t many American science fiction shows on the air at this time. The Sci-fi network is now full of lame ass reality shows and wrestling, there isn’t a Star Trek series currently running, and we haven’t had a big syndicated show like Babylon 5 on for a long time either. There just isn’t anything out there to go up against Dr. Who.

    1. Doctor Who benefits from a very loyal fan base, but I don’t wonder if it may lose out to Orphan Black or other productions on BBC america. They’ve been putting together some really good television – I liked Copper a great deal.

  8. just for the record, Larry’s prediction that Brandon Sanderson’s wonderful “The Emperor’s Soul” would lose for Best Novella (because “the votes aren’t decided on the actual books”) was factually wrong.

    So was his prediction that Seanan McGuire would win for Best Novelette.

    I’m just saying.

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