Monster Hunter Nation

A response to George R. R. Martin from the author who started Sad Puppies

When one of the most successful authors on the planet takes the time to talk about something you did, I figure that deserves an in depth response. I’ve got no direct line to Mr. Martin, but I am hoping that this will get back to him.

I am going to respond to some of the things Mr. Martin said to try and explain my reasoning. His words will be in italics, mine will be in bold. The link to his original articles is provided. Since I’ve read like 4,000 posts on this topic this week and written a novel worth of responses, I’ll not be going through everything he said and just be responding to things that I think need clarification or direct response. I will provide links to each of his posts so that you may read them in their entirety.

http://grrm.livejournal.com/417521.html

Let me begin with the basics:

Who owns the Hugo Awards?

You know, looking back, I am probably partly to blame for some of the misconceptions that seem to exist on this point. For years now I have been urging people to nominate for the Hugo Awards, and saying things like “this is your award” and “this award belongs to the fans, the readers.” I felt, and still feel, that wider participation would be a good thing. Thousands of fans vote for the Hugos most years, but until recently only hundreds ever bothered to nominate.

Still my “it is your award” urgings were not entirely accurate.

Truth is, the Hugo Awards belong to worldcon. The World Science Fiction Convention.

Mr. Martin, that is exactly one of the reasons I started this campaign.

When I started this the Hugo Awards were not portrayed as the awards that belonged to WorldCon. They were portrayed as the awards that represented the best of all of fandom. After my first experience seeing how the sausage was made, I publically said the same thing you said there, that the Hugo Awards don’t represent all of fandom, they represent one tiny part of fandom.

I was called a liar.

I too was nominated for the Campbell for Best New Writer. As a young, new writer, who had grown up reading the great ones, I was super excited by this incredible honor. See, I was born around when you got your Campbell nomination. I was one of those fans who grew up believing it when great authors said things like “this is your award” and “this award belongs to the fans, the readers”.

Because I was naïve.

I was overjoyed when I found out I’d been nominated. I was even dumb enough to think that I might have a chance. I had already read works from two of the other nominees and I knew that they were remarkable story tellers. I had read Wells and Beukes and knew the quality of their work was excellent. In any fair wordsmithing contest either could kick my ass, and I hadn’t even read Ahmed or Grossman yet, but if they were as good as the other two, then there would be a lot of quality works to choose from.

But that’s the kicker… I hadn’t realized yet that for many voters it wasn’t about the quality of the work. 

Within a few days of the nominations being announced I not only knew that I was going to lose, I knew that I was going to be last place. Only it had absolutely nothing to do with my writing, but rather, who I was, and what I was. 

I know you remember when you were starting out, Mr. Martin, because you talk about it in this very post, that scrimping, saving, and sleeping on couches phase of your career, where you are desperate to get your work out there in front of people, to get any exposure at all, and I’m betting that you were always really excited to hear what readers had to say about your creations. Right?

I know I was. So I went out on the internet and started searching my name, trying to find out what the buzz was for the Campbell nominees. I started calling friends who belonged to various writer forums and organizations that I didn’t belong to, asking about what people thought of my books in there.

You know what I found? WorldCon voters angry that a right-wing Republican (actually I’m a libertarian) who owned a gun store (gasp) was nominated for the prestigious Campbell. This is terrible. Did you know he did lobbying for gun rights! It’s right there on his hateful blog of hatey hate hate! He’s awful. He’s a bad person. He’s a Mormon! What! Another damned Mormon! Oh no, there are two Mormons up for the Campbell? I bet Larry Correia hates women and gays. He’s probably a racist too. Did you know he’s part of the evil military industrial complex? What a jerk.

Meanwhile, I’m like, but did they like my books?

No. Hardly any of them had actually read my books yet. Many were proud to brag about how they wouldn’t read my books, because badthink, and you shouldn’t have to read books that you know are going to make you angry. A handful of people claimed to have my read my books, but they assured the others that they were safe to put me last, because as expected for a shit person, my words were shit, and so they were good people to treat me like shit.

At first I was shocked, then I got angry. What the hell? This is supposed to be the most prestigious awards in scifi and fantasy?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not lumping all of the WorldCon voters in with that perpetually outraged, politically motivated clique. I know plenty of voters read my books and just didn’t think they were as good as the people I was up against. Awesome. I salute you for you being an honest person with an honest opinion, and let’s face it, people have different tastes.

But don’t tell me now that the Hugos don’t have whisper campaigns…

Though I knew I still had fans voting, and I figured there were a lot of honest people who would give my works a fair shake regardless of my politics, I also spent most of my adult life as an auditor who did statistical analysis for a living. I understood how Australian Rules voting worked, and the rankings are not most popular to least popular, but rather least disliked to most disliked, and 72 hours after the nominations came out it was pretty obvious I was going to be most disliked.

Then I went to my very first WorldCon.

Mr. Martin, you talked about your positive, joyous experiences at WorldCon. How you were welcomed as a peer, about how you had all these great, wonderful, memorable experiences.

But I’m betting before your first WorldCon a whole bunch of malignant lying bastards didn’t spread the word to thousands of complete strangers that you were a racist, sexist, homophobic warmonger who deserved to be shunned. 

Side note, I’m not racist, sexist, or homophobic, but if that crowd (I’ll talk about the derogatory label my side uses that you don’t like in a minute) decides you are the enemy, they will smear you with those labels, regardless of the evidence. If you don’t believe me, read the many, many news articles about Sad Puppies that came out a few days ago working off that same script.

I met many wonderful people at that WorldCon. I also had many people treat me like garbage. I was berated by other panelists. I had people get up and leave the room when I entered. I had belligerent drunks challenging me at room parties because “Oh, it’s that fucker”. 

A lot of people will tell you now that I bring this upon myself, because I am rude and abrasive on the internet now. Yes. Now. But back then I was still trying to play it cool, and didn’t think I could have a successful career if I made the wrong people angry. It wasn’t until after that WorldCon that I said screw it, they’re going to hate me anyway, might as well state my honest opinions.   

So I mostly hung out with the Barflies, because they were cool. But I can hang out with Barflies at fifty other cons where I’m not assumed to be the second coming of Hitler because the internet said so. And while I hung out with them, I got to hear how many of them were shunned for various reasons too. 

Then I went to the award ceremony, and the parties, and the various schmoozefests, and I discovered that the Hugo Awards were like one great big In Joke. And the cool kids told their cool stories to the other cool kids, and lorded it over those who weren’t part of the In Joke. Honestly, it reminded me of high school, and I was the poor fat kid who had inadvertently pissed off the mean girls.

Then I got to meet and hang out with a whole bunch of authors, artists, and creators who spent most of the con bitching about how broken and biased the Hugos were. Some of these were old school, and got the In Jokes. Some were so talented, so famous, so successful, that it blew my mind that here they were at dinner, pissed off and angry that they knew they would never get any sort of consideration.

After the awards were over and all the cool kids patted each other on the back about how brilliant they were, and everything shook out pretty much exactly how everybody predicted it would anyway, they released the actual numbers for nominations and votes, and I discovered just how freaking tiny the number of people involved in this supposedly most prestigious award in the world was.

The winners were those who played the game, and as I sat there with the losers, I watched the game already being played for next year. As an author, I was sad. As a fan, I was disgusted. But as an auditor, I marveled at how something so statistically insignificant could be taken so seriously.

That was my first exposure to how the process really worked.

So I went home, dejected. And when I openly spoke about my experience, and I said pretty much exactly what you just said there, Mr. Martin, that the awards don’t represent all of fandom, and that they just represent one tiny, insular, clique of fandom… I was called a liar.

I was attacked all over again. I was told it was just sour grapes from a loser, but what could you expect from a shit writer, making shit product? The Hugos represent greatness, worthiness, and all of fandom. WorldCon is inclusive. How dare you question it?

So I said I would prove it, and I did. 

Here we are, a few years later, and oh how the narrative has changed. Now we are being told that the idea that the Hugos represented all of fandom and not just the tastes of one small convention were misconceptions. Now the most successful author in the world and editors for the biggest scifi publishing house are telling us that it belonged to just WorldCon all along.

Too late.  When people like me kept getting told that it represented all of fandom, we believed you. When you told us that if we wanted the stuff we liked represented better we should get more people involved in the process, we believed you.

And we did. Now we’re the bad guys.

((Never believe anyone who states loudly and repeatedly that they don’t care about awards, especially if they don’t care about one award in particular. Aesop saw through that okey-doke centuries ago. Boy, them grapes are sour. If you don’t care about something, you don’t think about it, or talk about it, or try to change the rules so you get one. The people who keep shouting that they don’t care if they ever win a Hugo are the ones who want one the most, take that to the bank)).

 

I am many terrible things, but dishonest is not one of them.

Let me clarify something, because I have been personally attacked for this for three years now. Yes, like most authors I dreamed of winning a Hugo, because I was very naïve. In the past I did very much want to win a Hugo. Just like I was dumb enough for a couple days to think that I might actually have a shot at winning a Campbell.

However, I know that I will not ever win a Hugo. I’m way too good at statistical analysis. I had a snowball’s chance in hell before I upset the apple cart and made myself radioactive to the typical WorldCon voter.

I launched the Sad Puppies campaign with the idea that if I could get authors with the wrong politics onto the Hugo ballot, I could prove to the world that the Hugos were in fact what you are all now admitting that they are. (Mission accomplished) Plus I wanted to expose that the perpetually outraged crowd would react with vehemence, vitriol, lies, and career sabotage, so that the world could see that our genre is overrun with bitter culture warriors who have politicized everything, and that if you had the wrong politics they would do everything in their power to destroy you (mission accomplished beyond my wildest dreams).

Not only did I know going into this that I would never win a Hugo, I also knew that I was going to make myself a target, and that I would be slandered, threatened, and have my career sabotaged.

But I still did it anyway.  

The thing I’m shouting about is bigger than just the Hugos. It is about freedom of expression, and the ability of authors to say what they want to say without fear. It is about exposing the malignant, destructive bullies who live to persecute others for crossing their invisible lines.

I got a nomination for my novel Warbound last year. The people I’m trying to expose rose to the occasion, formed lynch mobs and started attacking. I got a nomination again this year, for my novel Monster Hunter Nemesis, but I refused the nomination, specifically to prove that this isn’t about me wanting a Hugo. Apparently that still isn’t enough.

Allow me to demonstrate my conviction, and state for the record that I will never accept a Hugo award nomination for myself. However, I will continue to assist other authors who I believe have been unfairly blacklisted and shunned get theirs.


You will all have noted, no doubt, a common thread here: worldcon.

The Hugos belong to worldcon.

I am glad we are on the same page now.

If important people like you had said this to the people feeling disenfranchised before, then you wouldn’t be seeing this backlash now.

But instead of telling us the truth, that we were right and the Hugos belong to just WorldCon and didn’t represent all of fandom, my people were insulted, and told we were stupid, and that we liked stupid unworthy things. When an outsider dared to complain in public about how they would never get considered, they were told it wasn’t because WorldCon was biased, it was because they just weren’t good enough.

Worldcon continued… but the steady growth that had characterized worldcon through the 60s and 70s stopped. That 1984 worldcon in LA remained the largest one in history until last year at London. Meanwhile San Diego Comicon and Gencon and Dragoncon grew bigger than worldcon… twice the size, ten times the size, twenty times the size… Dragoncon even went so far as to break with a half-century old fannish tradition by moving to Labor Day, worldcon’s traditional date, a date that had up to then been inviolate. And why not? Dragoncon’s attendees were fans, sure, they were comics fans and Star Wars fans and cosplay fans, and some were even book fans… but they were not “trufans,” as that term was commonly used, and they didn’t care when worldcon was.

 

While WorldCon complains of the shrinking and greying of fandom, Salt Lake City ComicCon has been around for 2 years and has 150,000 attendees. For some people, books might not be their primary fannish outlet, but they still read books. Just because somebody plays Dragon Age or the Witcher doesn’t mean they don’t read fantasy novels too. Heck, I believe Halo tie in novels are some of the bestselling books in scifi.

If somebody was introduced to fantasy by watching Game of Thrones on HBO, and then they bought and read all your books, discovered they liked fantasy and read other books, and they thought some are awesome and deserving of an award, are they somehow lesser fans on the scales of fandom because they don’t know WorldCon trivia?

So do you not want those fans to vote in the Hugos because they don’t share the proud traditions of WorldCon, or not? Because I do.


(The term “trufans” is an unfortunate one in this argument, since some of the Sad Puppies and their supporters take it amiss, and understandly, when told they don’t qualify. The term is a very old one, however, probably dates back to THE ENCHANTED DUPLICATOR, a parody of PILGRIM’S PROGRESS about the search for “true fandom.” Like “SMOF,” it is at least partially a joke. And if any of this paragraph makes any sense to you, you are undoubtedly a trufan… but don’t worry, you don’t need to know what a mimeograph machine is to be a real fan, I swear).

 

Yes, part of the issue of why my side is very loud right now is that people like Teresa Nielsen Hayden have been very explicit that they aren’t welcome, and that they are the wrong kind of fans.

But now that we are talking terminology, let me explain why exactly the term SJW has come into common usage. Much the same way SMOF and trufan have taken on meanings representing groups with a shared mindset to your community, SJW has taken on a meaning representing a group with a shared mindset to my community.

The term SJW is way bigger than Sad Puppies, and predates Sad Puppies, and has entered the general lexicon of easily half our nation, but probably mostly the red state tired of getting yelled at half. We use the term SJW because it is far easier than typing out Perpetually Outraged, Searching For Offense, Quick to Accuse Racism/Sexism/Homophobia/Privilege/Patriarchy, Holier Than Thou, Politics Before Fun, Unholy Cross Between Communists and Puritans, Twitter Lynch Mob Forming, Career Sabotaging, Social Justice Crusaders.

The term has stuck, and shows up everywhere in America. Comet Guy with his “offensive” shirt did more to popularize the term SJW than anything my people ever did. It is here to stay.

And to contrast SMOFs, who are mostly normal, sane, good people, Brad came up with the term CHORFs for the really snobbish elitists, because unlike SJWs, we have a sense of humor


Other conventions have other awards. Wiscon has the Tiptrees. The World Fantasy Con presents the World Fantasy Awards, or Howards. The Bram Stokers are given by the HWA, the Nebulas by SFWA. Libertarians have the Prometheus Awards, though I don’t know where they give them out. I just came back from Norwescon, where they handed out the Philip K. Dick Award. We used to have Balrogs and the Gandalfs, but they went away. The Japanese have the Seiun awards, the Spanish have the Gigameshs, the Czechs the Newts. Australians have Ditmars, Canadians Auroras. Gamers have Origins Awards, comic fans have Inkpots and Eisners.

I don’t denigrate any of these awards. I’ve won an Inkpot, I’ve handed out an Eisner. I won a Balrog too, but it was smashed before it reached me. I have a Newt and a bunch of Gigameshs and even a Seiun. Awards are cool. Awards are fun. Or should be. I don’t expect I will ever win a Tiptree or a Prometheus or a Dick, but that’s fine, I applaud them all the same. Writing is a hard gig, man. Any recognition is a plus. Big or small, any award is a pat on the back, a way of saying, “hey, you did good,” and we all need that from time to time.

The difference is that none of those awards claimed to speak for the entirety of fandom.

The barbaric outsiders shelling out their $40 to get involved now grew up being told that the Hugos were it, the Big Deal, the best of the best, and like me, they were naïve enough to believe it for a long time.

Yet, as the Hugos became increasingly politically skewed in one direction, people can now admit that is because they reflected WorldCon, not all of Fandom, only for all these years Fandom were the ones being told that they were dumb for liking the wrong things. They were wrongfan having wrongfun.

If the Sad Puppies wanted to start their own award… for Best Conservative SF, or Best Space Opera, or Best Military SF, or Best Old-Fashioned SF the Way It Used to Be… whatever it is they are actually looking for… hey, I don’t think anyone would have any objections to that. I certainly wouldn’t. More power to them.

Mr. Martin, up until a week ago, nobody in the upper echelons of fandom or publishing would say that the Hugos belongs to just one tiny convention. They kept claiming to represent the best, most worthy things in our whole genre. And we had stuff that we thought was great and worthy too, but it was ignored or shunned, so why would we go start another award when there was a perfectly good award right there already claiming to represent us too?

We started doing this 3 years ago. Maybe, if 3 years ago some VIPs had come out and said what you’re saying today, we would have done that instead. “Okay, Sad Puppies 2013 or 2014, you are right, you really are outsiders, and we’re insiders and we want to keep this our thing, so go do your own thing” would have avoided a lot of trouble.  But you guys didn’t say that then, so you can’t get mad at us for taking you at your word that you represent everyone, and then get mad at us for not knowing the insider information that you guys claimed didn’t exist until last week!


But that’s not what they are doing here, it seems to me. Instead they seem to want to take the Hugos and turn them into their own awards. Hey, anyone is welcome to join worldcon, to become part of worldcon fandom… but judging by the comments on the Torgesen and Correia sites, a lot of the Puppies seem to actively hate worldcon and the people who attend it, and want nothing to do with us. They want to determine who gets the Ditmars, but they don’t want to be Australians.

 

I told my WorldCon experience above. I know Brad had a similar experience when he first got involved with WorldCon too.

Why do the many people involved in the Sad Puppies campaign seem to hate WorldCon? Because the SJW crowd (I know you don’t like that term, but it is the appropriate one to use here) hates my kind of fan, actively and routinely attacks my kind of fan, and calls them racist, sexist, homophobes without evidence, all day, every day.

I know the SJWs are only one small clique at WorldCon, however they are the loudest and the meanest. And sadly, the moderate, rational, normal WorldCon folks rarely seem to condemn them for their antics. So from over here on the Sad Puppies side, they take your silence and lack of condemnation against the hate mongers as tacit approval, and then they tend to lump you together.    

So why then would they want to attend when they are told their kind is unwanted?

Why would they stick up for WorldCon, when in their minds they think the silent majority of WorldCon attendees are the same as the vocal minority of crusading social justice crowd who actively and openly despises them?

WorldCon claims to be inclusive, but scroll through the various comments threads on the various fan blogs on my side of the fence and get their perspective sometime. SFWA also claims to be welcoming, inclusive, and apolitical, but again, read how they are really perceived by many. Snobbish, snooty, bossy, self-righteous, etc. Don’t take my word for it—you know I’m terribly biased—but ask them yourself.

 

The prestige of the Hugo derives from its history. The worth of any award is determined in large part by the people who have won it. Would I love to win the Hugo for Best Novel some day? You’re damned right I would. But not because I need another rocket to gather dust on my mantle, as handsome as the Hugo trophies are. I want one because Robert A. Heinlein won four, because Roger Zelazny and Alfred Bester and Ursula K. Le Guin and Fritz Leiber and Walter M. Miller Jr and Isaac Asimov and Frederik Pohl and so many other giants have won the same award. That’s a club that any science fiction and fantasy writer should be thrilled to join.

Yet honestly, with the current state of the Hugos, how many of those greats that you list would win today? Sadly, I think we both know the answer depends on how well they could play the game.

My personal favorite on there is Robert Heinlein. Hypothetical question, if Robert Heinlein wrote Starship Troopers in 2014, could he get on the Hugo ballot now? Or would he be labeled a fascist with troubling ideas, and a product of the neo-colonial patriarchy?

And before you dismiss that question, maybe you should read up on what the voting clique that shall not be named says about Heinlein now.

Sadly, I suspect the only way Heinlein could get on the ballot today would be if my horde of uncouth barbarian outsiders got involved and put him on our suggested slate.

[[Once again, comments and dissent are welcome, but I expect courtesy from all parties. And yes, that means those of you who are on “my side” as well. Let’s not throw around insults, or charges of misogyny and racism, please. And Puppies, sad or happy, if any of you feel inclined to reply, please avoid the term “Social Justice Warriors” or SJWs. I am happy to call you Sad Puppies since you named yourself that, but I know of no one, be they writer or fan, who calls themselves a social justice warrior. Offending or insulting posts will be deleted. We can disagree here, but let’s try for respectfuldisagreement.]]

We do not mind being called Puppies, but for the record we are doing this on behalf of Sad Puppies, because good books being excluded over political message dreck is the leading cause of Puppy Related Sadness.

We do not however like being called racists, sexists, misogynists, homophobes, fascists, hate mongers, the KKK, or wife beaters. Especially in major media outlets like Entertainment Weekly, Salon, Slate, the Telegraph, and io9. If you would like to compare the amount and level of vitriolic lies spread in this contentious debate, it is pretty obvious which way those scales are going to go.

As for the term SJW, as I said above, that isn’t going to happen at this point. It is entrenched. You might as well tell people not to say conservative or liberal, because though often inaccurate when applied to every single individual in a movement, they are useful, handy descriptors that get the point across quickly.

http://grrm.livejournal.com/417600.html

I find the above link to be an excellent article about the tone.

Yes, I do get angry, and yes, I have said some very mean things as part of that.

I know you’re not looking for excuses, Mr. Martin, but I’m a little nobody, no name, hack author, who sells a tiny fraction as many books as you do, who had the bright idea to expose the bias in a biased system. As a result I’ve had people who know better spread the vilest lies about me you can imagine, and even when they know it is a lie, they have continued.

For five years, nobody on your side said a damned thing about tone when I was the one being labeled a hatemonger, or a “rape apologist” by disingenuous SFWA presidents, or they were using fabricated “scare quotes” to show I was a homophobic woman hater in the Guardian.  

So, yeah, I’m angry. When people who haven’t talked to my wife since high school reach out to her, worried for her safety, because they read about how her husband is a wife beater, I get angry. Right now in about 50 blogs going out to I don’t know how many hundreds of thousands of people, the narrative is that I’m an angry white man, trying to keep scifi straight and white and male.

And the fans who got involved with Sad Puppies? It turns out that one of their primary motivators to finally get involved was that they watched all this happen live. And as more of them voiced their opinions, more of them were publically attacked too, which motivated more to jump in, etc. etc.  

But once we finally succeeded in making a big splash, and everybody started paying attention, and tons of people on my side are speaking up now too, and media outlets from the both sides of the political spectrum are reporting on it, and the insults are flying back and forth…

Now we get warnings about tone.

You know the most heartening things I’ve seen this week are? Writers who are my polar political opposites finally standing up and saying things like yes, Larry Coreia is an asshole, but he’s not any of these horrible things you are accusing him of, or yes, Larry Correia is an asshole, but please quit threatening to kill him and his entire family.

That’s been nice.

But yeah, I’ve said some pretty mean things during this debate, so you’ll have to forgive me if after the 1000th post calling me a bunch of things I’m not, I come off a little testy. When you have professional culture warriors like Brianna Wu and Arthur Chu, who make their livings off of generating political controversy, saying that Brad Torgersen’s two decades of interracial marriage is just a shield to hide his true secret racism, then yes, there is a serious tone problem.

People like us have been dealing with people like that for our entire careers. One of my goals was to get your people to notice it.

So thank you for calling for civility.

Personally, I will try to remain civil to anybody who disagrees and wants to debate, but I’m way past the point where I have any mercy left for people who just want to scream in my face, or the mind readers who ignore what I actually say and do to tell everyone what I really meant, and I will treat them accordingly. 

http://grrm.livejournal.com/417812.html

Mr. Martin, on this last post of yours, there is actually very little that I disagree with, and it is actually extremely nice to see a writer of your caliber and level coming out and saying this stuff. For that, I am truly appreciative, and I’m not just blowing smoke. I’ll explain why below.

The Sad Puppies and their supporters have argued that they are not the first to campaign for awards in our (not so) little genre.

They’re right about that, of course.

I’ve been around a long time. So has campaigning, by one means or another.

(I left out several paragraphs here about campaigning for the Nebulas, just because of space, because this blog post is already huge, but I would really recommend that everyone go and read the whole thing. The Nebulas aren’t the Hugos, but the communities are intertwined)

And what about the Hugos, you ask?

Yeah, there too. In the ongoing discussion of Puppygate, numerous people have cited one instance, wherein a stack of identical nominating ballots arrived with the same postmark, paid for by consecutive money orders. Those were disallowed. In 1987, members of the Church of Scientology campaigned successfully to place L. Ron Hubbard’s BLACK GENESIS on the Best Novel ballot. That was not disallowed — the Scientologists had done nothing illegal, after all, all they’d done is buy supporting memberships to a convention that they had no intention of attending, for the sole purpose of nominating LRH for a Hugo (hmmm, why does that tactic sound familiar?) — but their campaign created a huge backlash. Hubbard’s name was booed lustily at the Hugo ceremony in Brighton, and his book finished last in the final balloting, behind No Award. (The winner that year was Orson Scott Card, with SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD, for those who are counting).

Of course, there were also recommended reading lists. That wasn’t campaigning, not strictly, but certain lists could have huge influence on the final ballot. The annual LOCUS Recommended Reading List, compiled by Charles Brown and his staff and reviewers, was the most influential. If your book or story made that list… well, it did not guarantee you a place on the ballot, but it sure improved your chances. NESFA (the New England fan club) had an annual list as well, and LASFS might have done the same, not sure. And of course the Nebulas, which came before the Hugos, carried a lot of weight too. Win a Nebula, and the chances were good that you’d be a Hugo nominee as well. Again, no guarantee, some years the shortlists diverged sharply… but more often than not, there was a lot of overlap.

One quick note, after SP2 made a little bit of a dent and I had said a bunch of things in public about the bias in the awards against people with the wrong politics, various incredulous fan bloggers started looking at it. These were people who don’t like me (which I am totally cool with) but they were honest, and figured my claims of political bias in this process would be easily disproven.

Except they ended up finding various things that indicated maybe all of us “right wingers” weren’t such liars after all. That prestigious influential LOCUS Recommended Reading List you mentioned? I think it has like 40 or 50 books but ZERO from Baen (a publishing house that gets a bad rap because it is willing to publish any author regardless of their politics, from capital L Libertarians to card carrying Communists as long as they can tell a good story).  Most of the other various lists from various pro places? The politics of the recommend authors are either unknown or overwhelmingly fell in one direction. You can guess which direction that is. 

Chaos Horizon picked two Hugo contenders to compare for 2015, one “right wing” (me, because of my showing during SP2) and one “left wing” (because this overtly political and opinionated author is a perpetual Hugo favorite) and they compared the buzz and reviews. What they found was so lopsided it surprised even me. Our books sold about the same, came out within a month of each other, and I had higher reviews on Amazon, except the left wing author had been plugged on ALL the recommendation places they checked. The right wing author was on ZERO.

So there were always these factors in play. Cliques, I can hear the Sad Puppies saying. Yeah, maybe. Thing is, they were COMPETING cliques. The NESFA list and the Nebula list were not the same, and the LOCUS list… the LOCUS list was always very long. Five spots on the Hugo ballot, and LOCUS would recommend twenty books, or thirty… sometimes more, when they started putting SF and fantasy in separate categories.

 

Yes, there were competing cliques, but the only cliques who mattered all looked virtually identical to us outsiders looking in. And hardly anything they ever nominated represented anything we liked. To most of us barbarian wrongfans, the competing cliques were indistinguishable from one another.

For example, correct me if I’m wrong but I believe with last year’s winners, every single one shared similar political viewpoints. And all but one of them was white, yet that year was hailed as a huge win for diversity.

You need to see this from Wrongfan’s perspective. You guys had competing cliques, but to us it was like an Eskimo having a thousand different words for snow, and you can tell us about your many diverse and wonderful types of snow, but all we saw was snow.

And in recent years when we looked at the ballots it was like, awesome, let’s choose between these five items of approved socially conscious message fiction. Yay! We’ve got selections from: religious people are stupid bigots, capitalists are raping the earth, capitalists are stupid bigots, bigots are stupid, and I’m not quite sure what the hell this last thing is about and I’m not even sure if it qualifies as fantasy or scifi but it has bigots in it… Oh man, tough call.

Again, now we can openly say that this all makes sense because my kind of people aren’t WorldCon regulars, and this award belongs only to WorldCon, so the stuff making the ballot wasn’t aimed at us… but sadly that wasn’t what you guys were telling us when we started this. This stuff was supposed to be the best stuff in the whole world.

So we formed our own competing clique and actually bothered to show up.


Bottom line, lots of people influenced the Hugos (or tried to), but no one ever successfully controlled the Hugos.

 

And I truly don’t want to either. I don’t want to be Hugo Pope.


That became even more true when we entered the age of the internet. Suddenly blogs and bulletin boards and listservs were everywhere, and there were DOZENS of people drawing up recommended reading lists and suggesting books and writers and stories. Sweet chaos. It was glorious. So many people talking about books, arguing about books, reading books.

That was also when the practice of writers blogging about their own eligible books and stories took root. “Say, the Hugo nominations are coming up, and I had a few things out last year. Hey, check them out.” Some people were deeply offended by this practice. (Some still are. Check out the blogs of Peter Watts and Adam Roberts on the subject, for instance). Others, especially newer writers and those hungry for attention, seized on it at once as a way of getting their name out there. Publishers and editors began to encourage it. Publicity and advertising budgets being what they were (non-existent in many cases), new writers and midlist writers soon realized that if they did not publicize their books, no one would.

And once it really got rolling, there was no stopping it. “Everyone else is doing it,” you heard writers say. “I have to do it, in self-defense.” They were not wrong. Sometimes the difference between making the Hugo ballot and falling short is a single vote. The writer who refused to self-promote and then fell a few votes short… ouch.

[And yes, I have done all this myself. Mentioned my own work, drawn up recommended reading lists, blogged passionately about people I thought deserved a nomination. I am not condemning the practice, just reporting on it. It always made me feel awkward, but like many of my friends, I knew that if I refrained and then missed the ballot by a few votes, I would be kicking myself. I’d sooner see the practice die out. But until it does, you have to play the game.]

Of course, not everyone was equally good at self-promotion. Certain subfandoms were better organized than others (the DOCTOR WHO fans, for instance). Certain writers were more skilled at social media than others, and built up huge personal followings on Twitter and Facebook, or through their blogs… numbers that soon translated to multiple Hugo nominations.

 

You have no idea how incredibly glad I am that you wrote all of that, Mr. Martin. After the week I’ve had… Holy moly.


And that was pretty much where we stood, until the Sad Puppies came along.

Last year I didn’t do anything different than what was listed above. I talked about it on my blog. I tried to motivate and rally people to get involved. I plugged stuff I liked. And all of a sudden there was a little clique of Wrongfan nominating for LonCon, just big enough to get one item into every category. We were no different than the other above mentioned subfandoms.

Yet, somehow, when I did that, I was a filthy villain, breaking all the rules, with no respect for tradition. Just as I predicted, there was a wrathful terrible public backlash from the clique which shall not be named, and even though I went into it knowing that none of us would actually win, once the final results came in, the leaders of the clique which shall not be named out of respect for Mr. Martin, moved the goal posts, and danced in our blood. Articles were written about how these horrible racist hate mongers were soundly driven from the sainted halls of WorldCon. Back beneath your rock, foul barbarians! And anyone who supported Sad Puppies was motivated by racism! Booooooo!

That reaction did more to cause the avalanche that was Sad Puppies 3 than anything I could have ever done. It proved exactly what I’d been saying all along. I was joined by a whole bunch of other people, authors, creators, artist, and fans, who said enough of the lies and BS and slander, now we’re in this too. We’re tired of the Hugo awards being a circle jerk of like-minded people telling each other how brilliant they are.

To be perfectly frank, some things changed between LonCon and SasQuan. I’d proved my point about the bias and attacks, and was ready to hang it up. They poked the bear, the bear mauled them, and now the bear just wanted to go back to his cave and be left alone. But Brad Torgersen is an idealist, Mr. Martin, I can’t accentuate this enough. He would be dead in Westeros in fifteen minutes. Brad is TruFan. That man waves his nerd flag high. He looks at the Hugo with adoration like it is some sort of religious icon with a halo around it. He prays to his altar of Saint Heinlein 3 times a day and lights candles for Frank Herbert.

If I was naïve at first, Brad makes me look… hell… I don’t even have a good comparison. So when he grew up hearing that the Hugos represented the Best of the Best, bright shining light on the hill, he incorporated that into the very fiber of his being.

And Brad figured that with my insane stunt of SP2 actually working, let’s make the Hugos represent more of fandom, fans like him and his friends. So instead of a thousand words for snow, we might actually  have some dirt, or grass, maybe even some trees, and no doubt some bullshit will show up once in a while, but damn it, our side is sick of freaking snow!

At that point Sad Puppies was no longer just about proving a point. It was about giving a voice to a whole mess of fans who didn’t think they would ever have one again. The mission changed, and it became about getting deserving worthy creators who would normally be shunned or ignored some freaking recognition for once in their lives.  It was time to stand up to the clique that shall not be named and their lectures about how we were having wrongfun.

Unlike the existing cliques, Sad Puppies 3 didn’t give a damn about politics, race, religion, or orientation. All we cared about was could they tell us a damned good story. The big game you describe, the campaigning, the favors, all that, our suggested slate was made up of the people who didn’t, wouldn’t, or couldn’t play that game. 

I have very mixed feelings about campaigning for awards. Part of me agrees with my friend Lisa Tuttle. Wouldn’t it be great if each reader could make his own nominations, without being influenced by slates or lists or mass mailings? It would also be great if all the children of the world could get together and sing in perfect harmony, but that’s not going to happen either. Like it or not, campaigning is here to stay.

I can see where this is going. I am a Worldcon member and a SFWA member, but I am also a member of the Writer’s Guild of America and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, which means I vote on the WGA awards and the Emmys… and so the flood comes in, DVDs and Blu-Rays and screeners and links to lockboxes, all full of TV shows and movies “for my consideration.” Way too many to watch. Way too many to count. Are there studios and directors and networks that don’t play the game, that don’t send out screeners and run ads in VARIETY and THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Sure there are. They are easy to recognize. They’re the studios and directors and networks who don’t win any awards.

Once you let the genie out of the bottle, he doesn’t go back in.

The Sad Puppies did not invent Hugo campaigning, by any means. But they escalated it, just as that magazine/publisher partnership did way back when. They turned it up to eleven.

If the people attacking us don’t chill out, more of my people are going to get pissed off, and it might hit a 12 or 13 next year. 🙂

 

Their slate was more effective that anyone could ever have dreamed, so effective that they drowned out pretty much all the other voices. They ran the best organized, most focused, and most effective awards campaign in the history of our genre, and showed everyone else how it’s done.

I used to be an accountant. We are monotonously efficient.

Truthfully, we never dreamed that we would block out whole categories with our suggestions. I underestimated how motivated my people became after seeing the childish, petulant, entitled reaction from the clique that shall not be named last year.

I’ve had a bunch of well-meaning SMOFs telling me that they nobody would be upset if we’d only gotten one or two things into each category, but that’s exactly what we accomplished last year, and they still freaked out at us.


The lesson will be learned. The Sad Puppies have already announced that they intend to do it again next year. Which means that other factions in fandom will have to do it as well. Just as happened with the “let me tell you about my eligible works,” the rest of the field is going to need to field slates of their own in self-defense.

 

Mr. Martin, we didn’t start this. We are the inevitable backlash that occurs when the pendulum swings too far in one direction.


I don’t look forward to that. It cheapens the Hugos. Will future winners actually be the best books or stories? Or only the books and stories that ran the best campaigns?

As far as we could tell, it was already like that.

Can all the king’s horses and all the king’s men put the Hugos back together again?

I don’t see how. And that makes me sadder than all those puppies put together.

My honest opinion is that to a gigantic chunk of disenfranchised fandom, we felt like Humpty Dumpty fell off that wall a long time ago.

If you want to talk about going forward, from here, I don’t know what to tell you about your campaigning cliques. They were already there long before we showed up.

But you really want to “fix it” and make sure my people don’t screw it up anymore, and keep the Hugos sacred? Well, right now the ball is in your court.

You’ve got people out there who supposedly love the award so much that they are organizing block votes for No Award against absurdly deserving yet consistently overlooked people like Jim Butcher, Toni Weisskopf, and Kevin J. Anderson, all to burn the whole thing down, just because my people violated your secret gentleman’s agreement and plugged them on a slate. As Brad Torgersen pointed out already, that sounds suspiciously like the story with Solomon offering to cut the baby in half.  And one mother saying, screw it, I’d rather the baby die than that bitch get him. (paraphrasing, obviously).

No matter how you change the rules, Sad Puppies will still obey the rules.  

First and foremost, you guys need to decide, once and for all, what the Hugo Awards really are. There are two choices.

  1. It is the most prestigious award which represents the best works in all of fandom.
  2. It is a little award, for one little group of people, at one convention.

You can’t have both. Pick one, stake your flag on it, and we will proceed from there.

If it is just WorldCon’s little clubhouse award, and some of us aren’t welcome in the clubhouse, then fine. Duly noted, and Sad Puppies next move will be predicated upon that.

But if it is the most prestigious award that represents the best of all of fandom, then that means that all of fandom, including us, gets to participate.

You can’t have both.

I think you will find that the people who are involved with Sad Puppies are willing to talk about the future, but we are very tired of being yelled at and lied about.

No matter what happens, whether you like the term for them or not, you guys need to calm your SJWs down, and tell them to quit forming angry twitter mobs, and scaring the hell out of authors who cross their invisible lines. Most of us aren’t big and successful enough to be immune to their inquisition. I’m fine. You’re doing, holy crap, like mega bucks piles of gold bars fine. But many regular authors are being intimidated by these bullies, having their careers damaged, and it isn’t right.

Anyways, I hope you actually read this, and if so, I appreciate you taking the time.

Sincerely,

-Larry Correia

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Leave a Reply

1075 Comments on "A response to George R. R. Martin from the author who started Sad Puppies"


Guest
1 year 1 month ago

Of course, Larry, we now have to get you a nomination to refuse *every* year. Just because…

Guest
Suburbanbanshee
1 year 1 month ago

The Puppy Buddha Correia, having renounced the Hugo, sat down beneath the bodhi tree and began to meditate upon the Middle Way of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

And the demons and concern trolls of social Mara began to dance and posture, trying desperately to distract him…. 🙂

Seriously, though, I give you all my respect for relinquishing the Hugo Award. May your award be great in Heaven, or at least pretty darned cool.

Guest
Ad Astra
1 year 1 month ago

Larry will have to settle for his Legion of Loyal Fans and dry his tears with huge royalties checks I suppose.

Guest
Jason Calley
1 year 1 month ago

Hmmm… how about this? Perhaps the Sad Puppies should start a meme that anyone voting “No Award” is actually voting for Mr. Correia. After all, he has already publicly and clearly stated that he will accept “no award” or nomination in the Hugo voting.

They could even have a nice celebration if “No Award” wins!

🙂

Guest
hammy007
1 year 1 month ago

Nobody also finds this ironc. A white man bitching about finally facing an ounce of “discrimination” in his life. Whining that he didn’t win anything because a couple people that he had to search really hard for thought he was a racist joke? This is a joke. Let’s screw over people who are exactly like you were in your younger days because you didn’t get your way. Grow the fuck up.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

Well, I think that’s a bit harsh about George. He’s very white and privileged, but I don’t think he’s intentionally racist.

Guest
Stephen St. Onge
1 year 1 month ago

        But Mr. Martin is employing his white man’s privilege to live life on the lowest difficulty setting.  While we shouldn’t be too hard on him, let’s not let him off too easily either.

        And he does need to learn not to whine when he loses a fair fight.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

Oh,wait, I get it now. The real irony is the fanboi coming over here talking about “White” and “Discrimination” when Larry is Latino and grew up damned near a sharecropper.

But right, he’s FINALLY facing discrimination.

So, Hammy, exactly what ethnicity and class are you, son?

Guest
Hep C
1 year 1 month ago

As if you didn’t already now.

He is white, upper-middle class, and riddled with guilt over not having struggled ever in his life.

Guest
John B
11 months 28 days ago

You forget , SJW’s created a new race category “White Hispanic”.

Guest
Micah
8 months 27 days ago

I hope then that his wiki page is wrong because if it isn’t, this is the kind of misleading bullshit fit for a politician. Characterizing someone as being a Latino who grew up damned near a sharecropper in refutation of someone that that calls him white conjures up the image of a Latin American immigrant whose family toiled in someone’s tomato fields… which is horrifically and intentionally misleading if he’s Portuguese and grew up on his father’s farm. There’s a great deal of debate on whether Portuguese even qualifies as Latino, but it sure as fuck qualifies as white. Although your post could be considered ironic, I think hypocritical is more apt.

Guest
Michael Z. Williamson
8 months 27 days ago

There’s no debate that Portuguese are Latino. Unless you’re a racist fuck.

And poor is poor. Portugal is most certainly not a wealthy nation, and immigrants are immigrants.

And Hispanics and Latinos can be of any race.

But we see where your obsession is–if you can characterize someone as white, you can ignore everything else about their history.

I’m waiting for the first White African American. Or is that Allen West?

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

Hear, hear.

I also would not want to be Hugo Pope. However, if the College of Cardinals elects me next time to the Chair of Saint Peter, I will take the name Pope Hugo. Not the same thing.

Guest
Suburbanbanshee
1 year 1 month ago

Heh, I’d pay to see that one… but your wife might be unhappy about the celibacy requirement. Great library and nice rooms for the kids, though!

“Habemus papam! Legem Magistrum et Sanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ laicum Johannem Wright, qui sibi nomen imposuit Hugonis.”

Guest
Margaret Organ-Kean
1 year 1 month ago

Actually if elected Pope Hugo would still be married.

And once enthroned he would be totally qualified to say, “That celibacy thing? It’s a discipline, not a doctrine. Not all priests, bishops, cardinals, and popes need to follow it now.”

Whether he’d do this is a whole ‘nother question. But he certainly could.

Guest
Malcolm Robertson
1 year 1 month ago

As long as he was elected Pope before the Gregorian reforms, he’d be fine.

Guest
Mary
1 year 1 month ago

There are married priests to this day. It is, as Margaret said, a discipline, not a dogma.

Guest
Suburbanbanshee
1 year 1 month ago

Yeah, but married bishops have historically been few, because historically bishops and priests were bound to abstain from sex as well as food and drink before saying Mass. And bishops were saying Mass every day in times when most priests didn’t.

In the Eastern rites, the current rule is that married priests can’t become bishops; they take their bishops from among priest-monks or priests who did not marry.

Back in Alexandria in antiquity, Hypatia’s student who was made a bishop against his inclination was very unhappy about the effects of his sudden be-bishoping on his family life.

Guest
Marissa
1 year 1 month ago

I don’t think there are married bishops though. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Guest
keranih
1 year 1 month ago

I was taught that the original issue was with married bishops (not priests) because in the middle ages, dioceses began to collect (retain?) real property and wealth (gold communion cups, for example) that were inadequately differentiated from the wealth that a bishop (generally a person of the upper educated classes) himself held, and which could/should be passed down to his widow and heirs. One too many screaming matches over whether the bishop’s kids got something and Mama Church said ENOUGH, done with that option.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

Actually, if elected Pope, my first pronouncement would be to reactivate the secular power of the Inquisition, declare a Crusade against the Mohammedans and the government of China, and appoint Skynet and Colossus (the computer, not the X-man) as archbishops.

Worst. Pope. Ever.

People would look back on the Borgias with nostalgia.

And then I would be struck with a lightningbolt out of a clear blue sky, agnostics would STILL call it a coincidence. Some people are just never convinced.

Guest
Differently
1 year 1 month ago

Data should be repeatable. I’m sure that some agnostics would be convinced something weird was going on if multiple Popes got struck by lightning when they did stupid things.
Of course, I’m pretty sure the College of Cardinals would stop electing stupid Popes before it got repeated enough to convince most skeptics.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

Actually, if elected Pope, my first pronouncement would be to reactivate the secular power of the Inquisition, declare a Crusade against the Mohammedans and the government of China, and appoint Skynet and Colossus (the computer, not the X-man) as archbishops.

Worst. Pope. Ever.

I am reminded of the scene at the end of “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” The main character is offered the purple. His response: “You would find me unsuitable. My first official act would be to have you all crucified.”

Guest
Doctor Locketopus
1 year 1 month ago

Ah, but what color of smoke would emerge from the crater, and would that have any significance under canon law?

Guest
murph
1 year 1 month ago

Well no, this model agnostic would call it very weird, while acknowledging weirdness happens.

After all, stand up comic Sam Kinison, who had a whole bit about how we have to drink and drive to get our cars and ourselves back home, and another where in he compared marriage to being in hell, was killed by a 17 year old drunk driver within days of his 3rd and hence final marriage.

God may or may not exist, but if he/she/they/it does, Spider Robinson’s whole ‘irony’ attribute would seem to be part of it’s makeup.

Ultimately, it would become one more datum in the life long, (or possibly eternal) quest to answer the whole god question.

Guest
PavePusher
1 year 1 month ago

Pffftttt. I’m fairly sure that the number of popes who truly kept celibate has been a significant minority, and mostly in modern times where communications spread the word of infidelity faster than pie at a country fair supper.

Guest
The Ubiquitous
1 year 1 month ago

Modern times’ communications? There’s the old joke that seminaries in Rome don’t have fire alarms, because gossip spreads fast enough already.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

You’re a sick man, John. Don’t change one bit. . . (grin)

Guest
Expendable Henchman
1 year 1 month ago

You horrible, right wing, sin hating badbeliever!

I’m voting “NO POPE”.

I’d rather burn the Catholic Church to the ground than have a Pope nominated by you SadSheep jerks!

Guest
Lesser Bull
1 year 1 month ago

Then you can issue a papal bull that rocket ships ought to land on their tails, the way God and Robert Heinlein intended.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

Excellent idea. You will be one of my Legates.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

So I’m not the only one overcome by fan-girl squee’s about Space X landing their rockets on their tails?

Guest
Herb
1 year 1 month ago

Not at all…in fact the “as God and Heinlein intended” line is one I’ve been using since their first attempt although I can’t remember where I picked up.

Guest
Harold
9 months 9 days ago

That sentiment was expressed in Steve Savitzky’s song “The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of” (copyright 1998). Whether that was where you got it from (or indeed, whether that was where it originated) I cannot say.

http://steve.savitzky.net/Songs/stuff/

“But the future that we lost is still someplace out there
Orion still rides hellfire toward the blue,
And rockets proudly land upon their tailfins,
As God and Robert Heinlein meant them to.”

Guest
Sam Hat
1 year 1 month ago

All award competitions and their attendant ceremonies are, and always have been, a joke.

They are, and always have been, a falsehood… a pretense at meaning.

From the junior high pep-rally popularly elected MVP to the Hollywood Oscars, they are all as manipulated and rigged as last week’s pro wrasslin’ cham-peen-ship.

Anyone who believes that they have any meaning whatsoever is precisely the type of moron who would actually buy a book or see a movie based upon its having won such an “award”.

It is an illusion, people.

So stop fighting over something that doesn’t exist.

Go *write* something… ya’ lazy, procrastinating, masturbatory, adolescent fucking trolls pretending to be writers!

Then maybe you’ll win the award of a few dollars of my hard-earned money.

Maybe.

Guest
60guilders
1 year 1 month ago

You weren’t impressive on Torgerson’s blog.
You aren’t impressive here.
Seeing as Correia actually writes stuff.

Guest
Sam Hat
1 year 1 month ago

At least I use my own f*cking name, boy.

😀

Guest
60guilders
1 year 1 month ago

And why should I believe you?
Answer: I have no reason to do so.

Guest
Christopher MacArthur
1 year 1 month ago

You know, Larry, I was once very close to the “leadership” of the “Boskone” Cons here in Boston (since renamed), and I have to tell you, if they were representative of the people who “ran” the Hugos, then yeah, a major problem existed. These characters felt that this was theirs, no one else’s. Screw the fans. They would choose what *they* wanted, because they were the only people who knew what should be lauded.

And, frankly, seeing and hearing him in action, GRR Martin reminds me *exactly* of that ilk.

Guest
Lisa Hertel
1 year 1 month ago

Boskone still exists and is run by NESFA, one of those list promoters: http://www.boskone.org, http://www.nesfa.org

Guest
Mary
1 year 1 month ago

They’re doing some good stuff. For instance, reprinting the works of such masters as Poul Anderson. . . they are currently on volume 6 of his short works.

Guest
DDA
1 year 1 month ago

They renamed Boston? Crap; nobody tells me anything!

Seriously, Boskone still exists and is still run by NESFA. Arisia also exists and is run by Arisia, Inc. and while some folks work on both cons, they are definitely separate and one wasn’t renamed into the other.

Guest
Herb
1 year 1 month ago

Is Boskone still in “exile” is Springfield? The only time I attended it was there and not Boston but that was…not quite 30 years ago?

Guest
Joshua
1 year 1 month ago

“If the Sad Puppies wanted to start their own award… for Best Conservative SF, or Best Space Opera, or Best Military SF, or Best Old-Fashioned SF the Way It Used to Be… whatever it is they are actually looking for… hey, I don’t think anyone would have any objections to that. I certainly wouldn’t. More power to them.”

If gays want to have their own pizzas places that cater their weddings, hey, I don’t think anyone would have any objections to that. I certainly wouldn’t. More power to them.

If illegal immigrants want to have an improved life in their own country, hey, I don’t think anyone would have any objections to that. I certainly wouldn’t. More power to them.

If unabashed cultural Marxists want to have their own public schools, universities and governments that are run by control freak bullies and petty bureaucratic tyrants, and start their own country somewhere else that’s not America, hey, I don’t think anyone would have any objections to that. I certainly wouldn’t. More power to them.

I could go on like this all day.

GRRM’s post is basically, “when my side was in control, everything was fine. As soon as we start losing, the whole thing is broken.”

What a jerk.

Guest
Back from Space
1 year 1 month ago

You’re spot-on. His might not have been the same volume of foot-stomping temper tantrum as Bradford’s screed was, but it’s still a temper tantrum. It’s the pseudo-reasoned response of someone whose grip is loosening, and he don’t like it one bit, no sir.

Mr. Martin, as a historian, here’s a little bit of advice from the years I’ve been studying movements such as what the SJWs (and I call them that to distinguish them from actual social justice activists) represent today:

The revolution eats its own. Today, you might be their darling for speaking power to truth, but they *will* turn on you one day. The fans you have denigrated today will remember, and they will not defend you when the movement turns its hungry gaze and bloody jaws on you. There will be no one to help you, to speak for you, or to defend you. At that point, it will be too late.

Guest
Doctor Locketopus
1 year 1 month ago

The odd thing is that Martin has been attacked by these people on numerous occasions. There’s no shortage of SJW ranting about the sexism and racism in GoT/ASOIAF (because Danaerys is a blond white woman, e.g.).

Granted, he’s big enough to be immune to such attacks, but one would think he’d have more pity for the little guys.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

If he were a little guy he’d be more than made aware he is an ethnic European heterosexual man, the cause of ills in the sick gender feminist ideology SJWs adopted for their own 5 years ago.

Guest
Doctor Locketopus
1 year 1 month ago

James, googling “Game of Thrones racist” turns up some fine examples that you may want for your collection (assuming you don’t already have them).

Guest
Doctor Locketopus
1 year 1 month ago

The butthurt seems especially strong with a fellow named Aamer Rahman.

Guest
Suburbanbanshee
1 year 1 month ago

He’s got his own movie theater. I doubt he wastes much time Googling his name on the Internet. 🙂

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

Let me take a wild guess: “Easterlings”?

Guest
Doctor Locketopus
1 year 1 month ago

Oh, he’s got a whole graduate-level Angry Studies thesis.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

Yeah, I looked; “Easterlings.”

These very odd people seem to want Chinese to tell their own stories, Arabs to tell their own stories, and me to tell those stories too. Tough, I have my own.

Guest
Doctor Locketopus
1 year 1 month ago

Oh, but if you do tell their stories, you’re engaging in “cultural appropriation”, while if you don’t tell their stories, you’re “racist”.

The only way to win that game is not to play.

Guest
John R. Ellis
1 year 1 month ago

“Why can’t the gay rights people make their OWN boy scouts organization? Why can’t female comic book fans accept that the male super-heroes who get all the movies are just BETTER than their favorite heroines? And, seriously, isn’t it time the elderly realized that once they’re old society is right to pretend they don’t exist? If they want help and company, they just need to visit each other! Yeesh.”

….yeah, that part stunk.

Guest
Tony Sandoval
1 year 1 month ago

wow, take things way out of context much?

Guest
Joshua
1 year 1 month ago

No, actually. That’s EXACTLY the context in which he meant it. He just didn’t mean it to apply to the peasants.

Guest
John R. Ellis
1 year 1 month ago

Actually, I was trying to make the point that GRRM saying “Why can’t the unhappy people just go away and do their own thing” was kind of the very thing SJW always accuse the other sides of.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

By the way, who’s in the parade?

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

Clearly, I missed the bulletin “Vast Right Wing White Male Patriarchal Conspiracy Inside Jokes for 4/9/2015.” What is with all the “Who’s in the parade?” stuff?

Guest
Marke
1 year 1 month ago

What a pitiful attempt to twist a legitimate comparison. And assert all only leftists are capable of compassion and empathy for their fellow man.

You disgust me.

Guest
John R. Ellis
1 year 1 month ago

No, that wasn’t what I was asserting. I was agreeing with Joshua’s point that George R.R. Martin’s attitude of “If you people are unhappy, just leave us to do your own thing” very much resembles the supposed attitudes they allegedly claim to combat.

Obviously, I did it poorly.

Guest
Expendable Henchman
1 year 1 month ago

No, you did it very well.

Quit apologizing. Making the other side apologize is how you win this game.

Guest
Retief003
1 year 1 month ago

I kind of agree with him.

The Hugos and the Nebulas aren’t just niches, they are too general niches.

I would love to have a Best Military Science Fiction category, or even an individual award with subcategories like short story, graphic novel, tv series, movie, videogame, board game, best new writer, series and lifetime achievement.

Same goes for a number of subgenres, like Hard SF, space opera, cyberpunk, and so forth.

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Doqz
1 year 1 month ago

LC consistently reminds folks that he posts not to convert the entrenched liberals/SJWs but to reach the fence-sitters.

GRRM, from what I recall, explained the gap between the SoIaF books by the fact that he was so dispirited when Bush was re-elected that it resulted in a years-long writing block for him.

I suspect ‘moderate’ or ‘fence-sitter’ are not the terms that describe him and I suspect he is unlikely to be moved in his opinions. Still, you never know I suppose…

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Joshua
1 year 1 month ago

Pshaw. Martin is no moderate. He’s just smart enough to start to realize that the histrionics that his fellow fascists have been engaged in are self defeating, so he’s striking a reasonable tone. But underneath that reasonable tone are the same fascist arguments that the hysterical have already put forward to no avail. Its just a posture. He’s not being reasonable, he’s being just a tiny bit cunning. And dishonest.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

It’s Raph Koster speaking to GamerGate, all over again.

Guest
Gorgeous Steve
1 year 1 month ago

But that’s the thing. This isn’t exactly trying to convince GRRM. This is one of those essays that will be passed all over the Internet, and thousands of fence-sitters will read GRRM’s casual dismissal of the wrong thinkers, and LC’s calm, logical rebuttal and correction of each point. Whether it sways GRRM or not is immaterial.

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Fence Sitter
1 year 1 month ago

Hi! Fence-sitter, here. I read GRRM’s LJ. Then I read this. I’m left-wing in my politics. I went to Loncon last year. I will never go to another Worldcon, even I, left-leaning, felt disenfranchised. I was bullied for not being a ‘trufan’ because I’d never been to a Worldcon before. Noticing how the voting worked… it’s a statistical nonsense. This article is exactly right. I don’t care what your political views are – I’ll read your books if they’re any good. I don’t appreciate people trying to tell me things are not good because they were written by someone with the ‘wrong’ views. I always wanted to be part of fandom, I thought I WAS. Nope. It’s stupid. Well done, sir, for your excellent experiment. The Hugos and that branch of fandom is now beneath my notice, I’ll carry on reading what *I* want to read.

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Doug Northcote
1 year 1 month ago

Welcome to the party pal!

Seriously. Welcome.

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Samuel Marston
1 year 1 month ago

You get a standing ovation from me! Bravo!

Guest
tuco
1 year 1 month ago

I’ll say that as a fan of sci-fi/fantasy, whether it be books, comic books, movies, TV, action figures, RPGs, video games, and whatever else I may have forgotten, I like that I can run into someone like Fence Sitter above and we can most likely have a great conversation about our mania. I don’t have to give any more of a shit about your politics than you do about mine while we’re discussing whether or not 5e is the best iteration of D&D since 2nd (it is), that it’s a fucking crime that Firefly was cancelled before we got to learn that Shepherd Book was actually the guy who ordered the attack on Serenity Valley (you know he was), how much gas Marvel Studios has left in their tank (hopefully a lot), why Games Workshop had to go so far off the fucking rails (this one may skirt dangerously close to politics depending on your attitude toward free market structures), and whether or not GRRM will actually finish ASoIaF before he gets a piece of a Milky Way the size of my big toe wedged in his ascending aorta.

Seriously, these days being able to talk to someone rationally about something other than politics is becoming less and less common. In a time where our society is turning increasingly toward the main identifier which people apply to themselves is a political ethos, I’m glad that we can ideally have something like a shared geek-out over the fact that this next Star Wars movie *might* not suck. Being told that this shared apolitical interest can no longer be such blows camel dick. Being told that the reason we can’t have a shared apolitical interest is because I don’t believe in the right things is even worse.

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Brian
1 year 1 month ago

Welcome to the land of Enjoyment and WrongThink. We are glad to have another person whom we can share books that we find enjoyable.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

Holy heck, of course Shepard Book ordered the attack. Tuco, you brilliant bastard. Yup. That is absolutely the way Whedon would have (and probably did) set it up.

You a writer yourself? Because that one insight is enough to make me buysomething you wrote.

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@votermom
1 year 1 month ago

It’s true – I was following GRRM’ lj back in 2003 and when Bush won reelection he was all like ” winter has come to America.” Although I suspect his block is more about chickening out about his planned ending, whatever it is.

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Lea
1 year 1 month ago

Yeah, I don’t for one second think his writers block (any of them) have anything to so with politics. He just doesn’t want to finish his story. I think that’s why the last couple books were mostly treading water.

The show is gonna finish it for him though.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

That he’s clearly left politically doesn’t mean that he’s not a “fence sitter” on the idea of inclusion in science fiction and at Cons. And while I’ve never actually talked to the guy I’ve done “fire marshal door guard duty” on his panels and “general hall monitor” for his book signing lines and from what I’ve seen he treats his fans with a great amount of respect… wait, I have spoken to him because he’s signed stuff for me… forgotten that.

In any case!

The thing is really… if your experience at conventions is warm and fuzzy and welcoming (even if you miss the days when you didn’t have to have an actual *staff* keeping you from getting mobbed) it’s reasonable to think that conventions are welcoming and fuzzy places.

Various people have been explaining that to *them* going to a con might have been fun and they might have loved it, but it also would invariably involve at least one moment of silently enduring outright abuse toward you or yours… and probably more than that.

That someone may have never realized that doesn’t mean that they think those people should just go away.

And the same with the sort of terrified self-censorship that wanna-be authors were taught to practice, to make sure they didn’t let anyone find out they had a wrong-thought or voted the wrong way or were religiously observant in a way that wasn’t alternative.

Just because someone is clearly left-politically doesn’t mean that they think that’s okay.

(And it’s also one reason that the term SJW is used… because the self-appointed enforcers don’t actually include everyone that ever secretly or not-so-secretly killed off George Bush in a novel. There ARE liberals out there who are not interested in being the thought police.)

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Feather Blade
1 year 1 month ago

Various people have been explaining that to *them* going to a con might have been fun and they might have loved it, but it also would invariably involve at least one moment of silently enduring outright abuse toward you or yours… and probably more than that.

You mean that GRRM and his warm and fuzzy fellow travelers might have to…check their privilege? ^_^

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Zsuzsa
1 year 1 month ago

Eric Flint is quite literally a card-carrying socialist. He’s not a moderate or a fence sitter either when it comes to politics. But I believe he’s on “our side” when it comes to inclusion in sci-fi fandom. (He had a great essay some years back on why boycotting authors for their politics was a bad idea).

Similarly, while Martin’s comments about Bush clearly indicate there’s no chance we’re making a Republican of him anytime soon, it may still be possible to convince him of the importance of being inclusive in fandom. His works at least (well, some of them) show a considerably more nuanced picture of the world than you might suspect from his political rants.

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Jeff Gauch
1 year 1 month ago

This is battlespace preparation for changing the Hugo rules at Sasquan. The only question I have is if that gambit is predicated on “no award” sweeping the fields, precipitating a crisis, or if the SJW’s are able to lock us out without broader trufan support.

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C. S. P. Schofield
1 year 1 month ago

And if they manage to change the rules, then we can point out that their little award no longer has any meaning outside of their little clique. And won’t THAT be setting the cat among the pigeons!

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AndrewV
1 year 1 month ago

Here’s the thing… Martin is a lot like an older Patrick Rothfuss. He’s a bleeding heart liberal who genuinely wants the world to be a better place. He’s not an SJW. He’s a man you could have a beer with while debating a point of disagreement and not have him smash you over the head with the bottle and say you deserved it.

Martin is an idealist and I believe he sometimes mistakes today’s cries of unoppressed people for equality with the very real equality issues of the 60s. I would like to see him call out the SJW side a little more for their obscene behavior. I also believe that if their side toned down the -ist insults the backlash against them would slow down.

However, as Vox has pointed out several times, the SJWs are always looking for a new target to attack and are seemingly immune to normal human reason. If we cannot reason with them, what other option is there but confrontation? Here’s a question I’d like to see Mr. Martin answer:

Someone who has been slandered with the most vile names imaginable and who faces the very real possibility of having their reputation and career ruined. At what point is it okay for this person to fight back?

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Joshua
1 year 1 month ago

He’s not an idealist if he’s making excuses for why his favorite people should remain in power, and have their way and continue bullying anyone else who disagrees with them, and oh, hey, as I say something so ridiculously outrageous as this, I’ll try to paper it over with a transparently insincere mask of reasonableness.

You can’t be an idealist while spouting about you’re a soi-disant one-of-the-good-guys who’s actually simply an elitist and clinging to power for your clique. There’s a famous phrase you may have heard; “By your fruits shall ye know them,” and those ain’t the fruits of an idealist.

For that matter, I don’t know how you can be an idealist and write such a wretched, nihilistic, amoral, and utterly joyless depiction of the human condition as his work either, but that may be neither here nor there.

I didn’t have a lot of respect for GRRM before this, but his post on this today, especially the more I read it and the more I dig a bit into the details of it, the more I’m convinced that it is not in the least flattering to him at all.

You’d think at least one of these guys would realize, or even at least suspect, that there are enough fans on the SP side that calling them out, calling them names, and contemptuously patronizing them is much worse career suicide than making the Nielson-Haydens and their little clique not like you.

But no.

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Pugmak
1 year 1 month ago

Yep. This is the ol’ step up with a smile and talk and talk, saying nothing much, while his fellow travelers sneak up behind and plant the knife in.

Concern trolling as a distraction. That’s all it is.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

May I borrow your quote?

Guest
Joshua
1 year 1 month ago

It’s hard to read who this question is in response to, but on the off-chance that it’s me, absolutely. I don’t pretend to have said anything particularly brilliant or original anyway.

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Elcrapocrew
1 year 1 month ago

I love this post.

A convenient litmus test to see if someone is being a hypocrite is to simply take something he/she thinks is good and apply the same logic or circumstance that he/she is trying to push on to you.

Quickly you will see that they are not looking for equality or acceptance, they are really after affirmation and overt repression of dissent of whatever their pet project or view happens to be.

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Cara Halvorson
1 year 1 month ago

Oh bravo, sir, bravo!!

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Jason
1 year 1 month ago

you forgot to add one more “if” example:

**if black people want to have their own drinking fountains or stores that cater to their blackness, i wouldn’t have any objections to that.**

when you leave that paragraph out, people might mistake you for reasonable.

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Hep C
1 year 1 month ago

It’s funny, because it looks to me like a flipside of what is going on with GamerGate.

Strange how when it appears to be their side that is on the outside of an entrenched fandom and trying to be heard it is an injustice beyond all human comprehension, but when someone is trying to make something they control more open and accepting to differing points of view? Oh, then it is still an injustice beyond all human comprehension.

So it appears that the sole determination on whether an entrenched fan culture needs to make room for alternative points of view is on what side of the fence the SJWs are currently standing.

Sounds tolerant.

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wysinwyw
11 months 22 days ago

A very obviously flawed analogy.

GRRM isn’t suggesting Sad Puppies shouldn’t be allowed to participate in Hugo nominations — whereas you ARE suggesting gays should be excluded from pizza places, immigrants should be excluded from the US by immigration law, “cultural Marxists” should be excluded from public schools, etc.

GRRM is suggesting that Sad Puppies should participate in the Hugo nominations as equal participants rather than a political bloc. I’m sure GRRM would likewise believe that all the “undesirables” to whom you draw your analogy should also be able to take part in various aspects of public life as equals* — I think your perspective is actually that they SHOULDN’T.

*Well, illegal immigrants are breaking the law by doing so, so I doubt GRRM would actively encourage that. But he’d probably advocate for some compassion for fellow human beings trying to make their lives and those of their children better. What a jerk.

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Michael Z. Williamson
11 months 22 days ago

Sorry, who is proposing to exclude anyone from anywhere? Cite, please. Implied bigotry is obvious straw man.

And equal participants…who pay their $40 and vote. So, you’re saying that a poll tax and a literacy test aren’t “equal” enough for you.

“Bloc” = “the voters I disagree with.” Textbook liberalspeak. Because by definition, the ballot that wins was voted by a bloc who all voted similarly.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

Thank you for sharing with us, Larry. Even though it’s quite long, it’s very well worth reading it. And I agree with you. I am a new writer and a Mormon and a woman. I don’t understand why gender, religion, sexual orientation, color of skin or political ideology should be anyone’s business – especially when it comes to writing or writing awards. I don’t shout my ideas from the rooftops and then yell at people, if they don’t agree with me. I want people to read my work, comment on that said work and not about if they like the color of my hair or where I am from.

Writing should be about writing and writing only. If the book is good, I really care less about what kind of dogs the author has and how many children, where he or she went to school and all that nonsense. Writing is not a reality show, it shouldn’t be treated as such.

To be wide eyed newbie with no connections is never fun, even more so if you somehow don’t belong to some pre-defined mold that “the industry” approves of. Finding an audience and “making” it in this business is hard as it is, without dragging hate and social prejudices into it. Acting like cliques in high school is petty and childish ( but I bet they do it, because now they get to be the cool kids – instead of that bullied fat and pimpled kid they were back then ) – such a shame.

I wish authors, who are already established and recognized world wide would remember how tough it was when they started out and stop making assumptions before hearing, reading and learning both sides of the fence.

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Rob Thompson
1 year 1 month ago

Excellent letter, Larry. Unfortunately, I suspect it will fall on deaf ears. After all, Mr. Martin was one of the people leading the charge to keep the wrong people out. Robert Jordan is one of his particular bete noirs – you think it a coincidence it took until A Memory of Light before there was even the thought of an award. Terry Goodkind – same reasoning. Weber, Stasheff, Correia, Flint, Ringo etc. You all have these things in common – you write good stories, sometimes, exceptional stories; you believe in the freedom of the individual and you have a sense of honour – something sorely lacking from most of the other authors – and I include GRRM in that group.
I applaud your effort to reach out but please, don’t be surprised when your outstretched hand is gnawed off at the wrist. As an aside – I too have ponied up my money for supporting membership (even with the Canadian dollar exchange rate!) because I too have always believed that the Hugo was for all SFF fans – hell – Spider Robinson told me that in person – and if we can’t trust Spider – then we’re all shafted!

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bjlinden
1 year 1 month ago

This is the first I’ve ever heard of GRRM doing anything to prevent Robert Jordan, specifically, from getting a Hugo. You wouldn’t happen to have any links to back that up, do you?

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Zsuzsa
1 year 1 month ago

I’m not going to believe that one until I see some serious evidence. Martin’s fans tend to be somewhat hostile to Jordan, but as I recall, Martin himself has never said anything negative about the man; he’s given Jordan a lot of credit for ASoIaF’s success, saying that many of his fans first picked up Game of Thrones because of Jordan’s endorsement on the cover. He’s also put several little tributes to Jordan in the series: Trebor Jordayne, Lord of the Tor, and Archmaester Rigney (Jordan’s real name), who claims that time is a wheel.

I suppose it’s possible that he says the right things in public but is a jerk about the man in private, but I’d want to see some proof before tossing that accusation around.

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Lea
1 year 1 month ago

Martin’s fans tend to be somewhat hostile to Jordan

Really? How strange.

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Zsuzsa
1 year 1 month ago

Anecdotal evidence only, but I definitely found that when I was a serious ASoIaF fan. On the various message boards I found a lot of Jordan-hate. It tended to fall into two categories:

1) The enthusiastic converts who believed that ASoIaF was OMG!!BEST THING EVA!!! and were determined to raise their idol at the expense of possible rivals (of which WoT was clearly the biggest). Thou shalt have no other gods before Martin.

2) Ex-WoT fans who felt burned by the direction the series took after Book 6 and felt the need to rant about whenever someone would listen.

Between the two groups, you could usually find at least one, more often multiple, Jordan-bashing threads at any given time.

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bjlinden
1 year 1 month ago

2) Ex-WoT fans who felt burned by the direction the series took after Book 6 and felt the need to rant about whenever someone would listen.

Man, those folks must have been pretty upset when ASoIaF started going in the same direction as early as book 4.

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bjlinden
1 year 1 month ago

Yeah, that’s kind of what I thought too. I’ve never seen any sign of animosity between Martin and Jordan, and hoped that anyone who would make an accusation like that would have something comcrete to back it up with. Hell, I *WAS* one of those fans who started reading ASoIaF primarily because of Jordan’s endorsement!

Now, I SUPPOSE it could be argued that Jordan was snubbed in the Hugos because he wasn’t part of the clique, (which hopefully is all Rob Thompson meant) but even if that WERE true, it’s no more fair to blame Martin for that, simply because he is accepted by that clique, than it is to blame all white people for the racism of others. Despite everything social justice advocates say about “systemic” problems, you don’t become responsible for a problem simply by existing.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

It will be interesting to see if they change the rules next year. There will no doubt be enormous pressure brought to ensure This Never Happens Again.

I guess they’ll always have the Nebulas.

Guest
elwood p. dowd
1 year 1 month ago

IIRC, to make a change for next year would require not only a change to the rules, but change about when a change in rules goes into effect. Typically it is supposed to take two years.

Guest
Jeff Gauch
1 year 1 month ago

That might be the motivation behind “no award.” Precipitate a crisis – no Hugos awarded – to drive the attending membership into drastic rule changes to respond to the emergency.

Guest
bkw
1 year 1 month ago

Never let a crisis go to waste.

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Jeff Gauch
1 year 1 month ago

Even if that means you have to manufacture the crisis first.

Guest
Alex
1 year 1 month ago

The Nielsen Haydens are already down as guests of honor for the 2016 con. They, GRRM, a lot of the rest, have long-standing ties to cons (and Worldcons) in the KC area.

I’ll put down $50 that says supporting memberships effectively won’t exist by 2017. They may up the price to basically the same as the con, they may just do away with them entirely – but there is no outcome where the unwashed, uninvited masses will continue to be allowed to decide the Hugos.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

I am beginning a Kickstarter to buy 1,000 memberships for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

“And the winner for Best Graphic Story… uh oh…”

Guest
Doctor Locketopus
1 year 1 month ago

Anyone who’s purchased a membership gets to show up for, and vote in, the business meeting. No rule changes can be made without being approved by business meetings in two consecutive years.

If they cut out supporting memberships, they’ll go broke.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

Gee, wouldn’t self-inflicted bankruptcy be a real shame?

Guest
Alex
1 year 1 month ago

“We had to burn the village in order to save the village.”

They have 2 years to figure out some alternate form of financing. Big publisher sponsorships? Increase the price of an attending membership? Bump up dealer costs? GoFundMes?

Lots of ways to get a little extra cash here and there. But, yeah, it ultimately ends in Worldcon shrinking even further and the Hugos being even less influential.

Guest
Richard Aronson
9 months 9 days ago

I don’t consider myself a trufan, but I have attended five WorldCons. They ranged from good to fantastic. When I go, I try to read every Hugo nominee, and only vote in categories where I have read/seen at least a majority of the nominees. I probably am an outsider, although I am friends with several trufans and authors. I have spoken on several panels, mostly about gaming. My happiest moments are WorldCon were drinking with Terry Pratchett, which alas will happen no more; I also enjoyed lots of panels, especially when Worldcon was more about ideas and concepts in gaming instead of providing game rooms. But as a computer game professional, even by WorldCon standards, I am an outsider.

I have never had anybody try to influence my Hugo ballot. That may be why I consider myself an outsider. I look at the controversy like this:

1) Voting memberships exist for one organizational reason: they bring in more money for WorldCon. They also allow those who care, who read lots of science fiction, to participate, if they care enough to buy a voting membership.

2) Anything the increases voting memberships is good for WorldCon. WorldCon needs money.

3) My back of the envelope analysis of price points and vote numbers suggests that a Hugo award is fantastic as recognition, but doesn’t mean diddly for sales. Given how cheap it would be to buy a Hugo for a publisher’s title, and examples of much larger book buys to influence NY Times bestseller lists, and with the assumption that any nominated novel has a fan base, I’m pretty sure that the publishers don’t think it’s worth doing this.

4) Thus Hugos are a very prestigious little award that means something to the community but has little outside value.

5) If puppies of any mood are unhappy with how this is happening, they are free to organize their own slate using exactly the same rules.

6) It does not feel good to feel disenfranchised. If, say, “Lord of Light” was blocked this year from being nominated by the concerted efforts of puppies, I would move from outsider to anti-puppy status, no matter which puppy was behind the move. And yes, I say this with knowledge that that disenfranchised feeling is a major motivator of this movement.

7) Thus, I urge puppy nominating committees to not try to control any category. Nominate at most three out of five, or, rather, designate for nomination at most three out of five. Two would be more effective still. State you are doing so, and why. Thus, Hugo awards would not be controlled by a fraction of a fraction, those who make the nominations.

In this way, we get a more balanced slate of nominees. You would seem more reasonable. Public opinion would swing your way. The Hugo award itself would have more meaning, since there would be nominations from more viewpoints. WorldCon would make money from all the voting memberships sold, and perhaps use that money to make for better conventions. And you would not risk the farce that a Hugo deserving author (say, Jim Butcher) who was on your slate, turn down a Hugo because he did not approve of what you were doing overall. (As an outsider, I don’t know Butcher’s feelings about puppies, but since his web site touts his nomination, I suspect that if he wins, he’ll accept).

I also suggest that you are hurting your likelihood of winning by nominating most of a slate. Take the novella category. There were four novellas from one puppy publisher. I assume votes for them will be split. I predict the winner will be “Flow” because it is the only non-Castalia House nominee. You see this kind of thing happen all the time in baseball MVP voting. Will Andrews feel he really deserved his win? If “Flow” really did deserve the win, haven’t you diminished Andrews’ joy? And as a science fiction fan, what if history would judge some other novella, forced to the side, as being the deserving nominee from a new writer who deserved the recognition? Will I be likely to become pro or anti puppy?

What you have done, at least in the Novella category, is proven to the science fiction community at large that their system is broken. You have made thousands of Hugo awards fans unhappy and disillusioned. That’s not really why I read science fiction. ComicCon and Game Developers Conference and GenCon are looking a lot more interesting to me than the next WorldCon. I could not persuade my wife to go this year even though she loves the Canadian Rockies, which would be a relatively short/cheap detour. None of my outsider friends are going or voting either.

To me, as an outsider, you have tarnished the Hugos. I don’t think that was your goal. And you look unreasonable and selfish. Which I know was your point: you felt excluded and left out by a nominating process astonishingly easy to game. . I don’t think they are broken beyond repair, but then I’m by nature an optimist

What’s done is done. If you are truly science fiction fans, I ask you to consider what I wrote. If you are more interested in vengeance, I fear for the survival of the Hugos.

Guest
thomas Monaghan
9 months 8 days ago

I notice you totally ignore the last 8 years of the Making Light/Tor group stuffing the ballets for their friends. Like 5 winning long form editor Hugo’s going to Tor editors from a total of 18 nominations. With Hayden himself winning 3 Hugo’s.

Guest
thomas Monaghan
9 months 8 days ago

If thousands of fans are disappointed it would be a surprise for me since there were only 1083 ballots submitted for the Novella category. Sheesh.

Guest
Vee Monroe
9 months 8 days ago

> You have made thousands of Hugo awards fans unhappy and disillusioned.

Richard, I don’t think you see it the other way. You have given some Hugo Award fans hope for the first time in years. I am a passionate reader and writer of SF pulp and ideas-based fiction – what Vox Day calls ‘blue’ SF. I’m a former scientist (female) and was attracted into doing a PhD by SF adventures written by real scientists like Rendezvous with Rama.

I’ve been disillusioned by the Hugos and by short fiction, which seems to be slanting towards fantasy that prioritises emotional masturbation over ideas. I’ve never been tempted to write short fiction because ideas and adventures stories didn’t seem to get published anymore – or, at least, didn’t appear on prominent awards shortlists which I used to pick what to read.

As a result of encountering this year’s Hugo Award nominees, I’m daring myself to write a short story for the first time. If I succeed, I will be a woman writing hard SF. The anti-puppies claim that the puppies are putting women off SF but, in my case, it’s the opposite.

It’s worth mentioning that only 10% of submissions to Tor in SF are by women… Not acceptances, but submissions. Women aren’t being thrown out of SF by a cabal of misogynists. They’re not submitting manuscripts in the first place.

Guest
Bill Roper
1 year 1 month ago

That would (under the current WSFS constitution) require raising the voting fee to the same price as an attending membership. Since it takes two cycles to amend the constitution *and* the vote for 2017 takes place this year, 2017 looks extremely likely to continue to have supporting memberships.

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Expendable Henchman
1 year 1 month ago

The obvious answer is to fire all the honest vote counters.

Keep the money from the Sad & Rabid Puppies, but shuffle the votes so they get two or three nominees only, then the blessed SJW finalists win.

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Alex
1 year 1 month ago

Actual conspiracies are rare because once you expand them beyond one person, they tend to get exposed.

Whatever they do, it will be something systematic, repeatable, and public. GRRM already laid the foundation by repeating the laughable claim that only now are the Hugos too broken. They must be “fixed.”

Guest
Mary
1 year 1 month ago

However, on their blog, they’ve admitted it would be a real trick to change the rules to keep the wrongfans out.

Indeed, some commenters grumbled that what was needed was a moderator.

There is no way to fight abusive rules-lawyers by writing stricter policies. The only method that has ever worked against abusive rules-lawyers is moderators empowered to say, “You’re being an asshole, and now you are banned,” and powerful gatekeepers behind the moderators supporting them when the rules-lawyers attempt to shriek for redress.

Guest
Lea
1 year 1 month ago

These people love moderators! It is just awful to hear words from people you don’t agree with. Ban them all.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

I find it utterly hilarious that the opponents of Sad Puppies have—not satisfied with poking the small sleeping bear—have decided to shove their pointy sticks at Gamegate. When I pointed out that doing this had a good chance of provoking thousands of Gamergaters into buying Worldcon Supporting Memberships next year, I was confidently told that Gamergate would not be around in a year, and that we were racists and misogynists, and “fuck off” and was blocked.

Guest
zealcub
1 year 1 month ago

I don’t think it’ll be thousands but from ehat I heard about the numbers already a small crowd can skew the whole thing.

I am a GamerGater who recently bought a membership. Before this whole kherfuffle I wasn’t really aware of the Hugos nor of the perks of being a member despite reading quite a lot of SFF: I have read stuff from all sides of this issue. Scalzi or Butcher? An author’s nsme really didn’t make a lot of difference because all works can offer interesting perspectives.

I will read, nominate and vote for whatever I end up enjoying most. However, I am abit disappointed by the behaviour of the likes of Scalzi. It is just the same arrogant demeanor we saw in GG from people who want to depict themselves as righteous warriors for justice telljng the unwashed masses what to do when in reality they need to be humbler.
If they write something that deserves an award I will still give them a vote but preaching only works as long as the preacher hasn’t been found out to truly be the most sinful of all. And some of these sjws really seem to be one-trick ponies.

Something tells me the next few Hugos will be very interesting. May the best fiction win.

Guest
Lhasadog
1 year 1 month ago

Funny thing about poking the Gamergaters. They spend money. That’s kind of the point. They are the end consumer of the $100 billion Videogames industry. A Worldcon membership is less than 1 game, and most of them really are SciFi fans. SciFi fans who spend.

At what point do those operating Worldcon see the sudden surge in unexpected funding and start to rethink the whole equation? That’s kind of the thing with the SJW’s. At the end of the day these are all businesses. Money talks. And the SJW’s are typically infamous for not really having any and not spending it so freely. Whereas Gamergaters? I seem to recall the opening salvo labeling them as “Wailing Hyper-Consumers”. In other words nerds who have lots of disposable income and freely spend it. If you’re a starving writer starting out or the people running a declining and shrinking SciFi con, which group would you rather have on your side? The Shrill penniless hippie SJW’s? Or the Wailing Hyperconsumers with money to burn?

Guest
maniakmedic
1 year 1 month ago

Gamers spend AND they will show up – rain, snow, sub-zero temperatures be damned – to wait in line for hours to pick up a game that they will then concentrate on for anywhere from 10 to 300+ hours to finish. Gamers as a whole is the posterchild of the wrong group to lob attacks at and expect them to disappear in short order.

Guest
Stephen St. Onge
1 year 1 month ago

Exactly, Mr. Henderson. Sad Puppies 4 is going to be a tsunami. They’ll be drowned.

The will for self-destruction is amazing, isn’t it?

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

The SJWs made a huge strategic error declaring war on people who play networked war games for a hobby.

Guest
Faceh
1 year 1 month ago

“First and foremost, you guys need to decide, once and for all, what the Hugo Awards really are. There are two choices.

It is the most prestigious award which represents the best works in all of fandom.
It is a little award, for one little group of people, at one convention.

You can’t have both. Pick one, stake your flag on it, and we will proceed from there. ”

That is really all it would take, isn’t it? Well, that and some actual accountability for the position.

Throughout this whole thing, there’s one side that is clearly unwilling to come to the table and talk ‘peace,’ and its clear which side that is.

Its the side that wants to have its cake and eat it. They want to enjoy the prestige of being the most important award in all of sci-fidom, but they want to *operate* as an insular clique that passes down its decisions from on high and let everyone else just suck it up.

That this arrangement has essentially tanked the importance of the award to anyone outside the clique is merely incidental.

Essentially they want to ride on the longstanding reputation of an award that USED to be about the very best of the genre while not having to live up to the standards that such a reputation implies.

And the fact that there is a group willing to TANK The award as a whole really just underlines this.

So that is really all it comes down to. They can either announce to the world that the hugo award is the choice of a small, insular, nonrepresentative sample of the sci-fi fandom, and close the doors on everyone else (and accept the consequences that has for the award) or they can continue with the facade of it being an open process for the fandom and suck it the fuck up when the fandom doesn’t swing their way.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

If you can make me tear up reading a blog post – you may not ever accept another Hugo nomination but you’re on my list of “buy release day” writers. And that’s a short list.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

Always a pleasure to read you, Larry, from your fiction, to this. I’m just a little Fan, no shrines, and when I started out, I had no idea my flag of heartfelt affection for Baen would have me standing in the corner, rejected and confused, in most cons. Fortunately, there are others who feel like me, and want to see more diversity – true diversity – return to the Hugo Awards.

Guest
Ted N
1 year 1 month ago

Find the BarFlies ConSuite, and you’ll never be alone.

Guest
Steven Francis Murphy
1 year 1 month ago

Larry, I just have one thing to say.

Thank you.

Guest
Brian
1 year 1 month ago

Thank you for that response Larry.

Guest
J
1 year 1 month ago

My take is that George is simply sad to see something he loves/loved change and he’s trying to let people know how it changed. I didn’t get the impression he was trying to attack anyone directly. Even when he talked about forming another award.

There are plenty of talks about how to change the Hugo voting system. It won’t happen next year because of WorldCon rules. Some I feel are really fair ideas that leave room for everyone to have a place at the Hugo Awards table. Other suggestions are rather self interested.

A lot of authors are vowing they will decline a nomination if they end up on a slate. That might get used against them.

The No Award campaign is going pretty strong. I can see that forming a counter No Award campaign which some have mentioned, but the more extreme crowd isn’t listening.

I find it all kind of sad. But I’m just going to read the works and let my ballot go where it will. I kind of wish I could go back to the days of Hugo voting when I didn’t know any of the closed-door politics.

Guest
Doctor Locketopus
1 year 1 month ago

I’m giving serious thought to adopting “No Award, No Buy” as a personal policy.

If you try to “game the Hugos” by urging people to vote No Award based on politics, I won’t buy your books.

Guest
windsong
1 year 1 month ago

You’re not alone.

I don’t have a problem with people disagreeing with SP, politics, etc. I do have a problem with hypocrisy and loud online tantrums. I’d rather spend my time in worlds created by honorable authors who truly understand and appreciate real diversity.

Guest
JustAGuyOnTheWeb
1 year 1 month ago

Honestly, I don’t even care if you’re a rabid racist sexist homophobe. I know I’m not supposed to say that, so my view doesn’t get appropriated as some SP3 viewpoint (which it isn’t, I speak for myself), but if you write good books, I don’t care what your personal politics are. That’s the point.

OSC is certainly one example of this, and given the number of people who have read his books or watched the movie version, it just goes to show someone’s writing is what should be judged, not what they believe. That he won a Hugo almost 20 years ago points to a time when this was, in fact, the case.

Guest
windsong
1 year 1 month ago

“but if you write good books, I don’t care what your personal politics are. That’s the point.”

I agree with you. Where I draw the line for myself, as a reader, is when I come across authors attacking–not disagreeing, but outright attacking–others (authors, readers, people at large).

There are a number of stories I’ve loved over the years, many written by authors who have completely different ideas, opinions, and beliefs than I do. I’m fine with that, and I enjoy it because I want to understand how different people tick. In a perfect world, an author spewing hate on the internet wouldn’t affect my enjoyment of their stories. Being only human, I have to admit that a fair number of books have been spoiled for me because their authors have gone on the attack. Not because we don’t share the same political opinions. I’m sad for that.

Guest
JustAGuyOnTheWeb
1 year 1 month ago

I have no idea why I can’t reply to your other comment, but I just want to say that I read what you wrote wrong, and thanks for the clarification.

Guest
windsong
1 year 1 month ago

No worries. Thank you, and you’re welcome. 🙂

Guest
flyergrad
1 year 1 month ago

I agree with you, windsong. To me SFF has always been the vehicle for exposure to new ideas. I do not say I agree with all the ideas, but at least those ideas got me to think.

Also, SFF ideas have brought us many of the things we have today. Ideas from DiVinci (artist, not writer, I know.) got us flying. Ideas from J Verne got us submarines. Ideas from I Asimov got us robotics. What else dreamed of by SFF writers will we see tomorrow?

Unfortunately, today’s SFF lecturing gives me only heartburn.

Guest
Feather Blade
1 year 1 month ago

Heck, Star Trek, soft SF as is it, got us automatic sliding doors and (arguably) cell phones.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

My very first cell phone was a Motorolla Star Tak. The name is no coincidence. It was an explicit callout to Star Trek. My current phone is not a flip phone, but it has voice recognition. I could set it so that when I said “Kirk to Enterprise” it would make the call. (So long as I knew the Enterprise’s number.)

Guest
Khazlek
1 year 1 month ago

The Trek device is a walkie-talkie, its contribution is pretty much just the physical appearance of the device. There were walkie-talkies prior to Trek.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

Thank you for that Larry, as a long time Science Fiction and Fantasy reader (since the 60’s) I appreciate you saying all of this. And I appreciate SP as well.

GRRM needs to understand, that when you keep beating the peasants, eventually they will rise up and take over. The people who are all screaming now made this bed, and now they have to lie in it. There is no defense that can be made for their actions, it is too late for that.

Again, thank you Mr Correia.

Guest
Zap Rowsdower
1 year 1 month ago

The tolerant ones are sure wasting a lot of air telling us why certain people aren’t allowed.

Guest
JSchuler
1 year 1 month ago

GRRM is an example of why moderates are useless. They don’t care about the kid getting beaten up on the playground until the kid gets a good swing and topples the bully into them, spilling their juice box. At that point, suddenly fighting is a terrible thing and the kid who fought back should be ashamed of himself or something.

Yes, he says a lot of good things, but he said them all too late, and only when those things could also work in service of the bullies.

Guest
Patrick J.
1 year 1 month ago

Bingo. I have no skin in this. I’m not a sci-fi reader. But it really grinds me when people start to fight back and are called nasty things because they rejected being treated like crap. As if its their fault they just didn’t die and go away.

For true neutrals I sympathize because usually they don’t see the drama that leads to these things. The “cool set” usually don’t have to do dramatic things. They did it all in advance by whispers and back-channeling. And those oblivious don’t see the change before them or just decide it doesn’t affect them.

And so it goes, life is all high school again… just with some of the roles switched around.

Guest
Will
1 year 1 month ago

Your post is TRIGGERING my memories. How dare you not include a warning.

Guest
les ismor
1 year 1 month ago

It’s amazing to me that a lot of the very vocal “fans” railing against the Sad Puppies will now be patting Mr. Martin on the back; they’ve only spent several years loudly complaining about the “problematic” nature of the popular show based on his novels.

I don’t care about politics, I care about being entertained. I don’t want a mediocre political lecture dressed up with fiction held up as “the best in the genre”.

Just the other day, I saw someone (SJW) online attempting to explain that the “just make your own” argument is steeped in privilege, and is inherently “problematic and dismissive”. Never forget, “It’s okay when they do it!”

I hate to admit it, but I firmly believe these people are willing to destroy the Hugos if they can’t control them.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

“I hate to admit it, but I firmly believe these people are willing to destroy the Hugos if they can’t control them.”

They already *have* destroyed the Hugos for everyone else. But I agree with you that they are petty and childish enough to take up their ball and go home rather than play fair in the future.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

Yes, but how numerous are they really? I mean… how numerous are those people who mostly write “important” things on the internet about how much horrible bad-think is in Game of Thrones? Or who go on and on about any other particular aspect of Wrong Fun involved in a good Colonial Diaspora or First Contact novel or Alternate History?

I mean… will they even try to bring in more and more fans who are politically left or liberal on the theory that *of course* all of those people obviously prefer a certain kind of story? Their voices would be every bit as diluted, no matter who got involved.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

I’m sure there are whole university courses based on parsing the bad-think in Game of Thrones.

Guest
Differently
1 year 1 month ago

Anything that brings more voters in isn’t a bad thing. And especially from Worldcon’s perspective, it shouldn’t be.
Worldcon has gotten lots of extra money from the Sad Puppies campaign, probably over 10,000 dollars this year.
It is in the interests of Worldcon (as a convention), to have more Hugo voters paying them money.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

Yeah, we could totally make up our own award. Hell, some groups have. But none of those awards have ever pretended to be for everyone.

I find it hysterical that this “The Hugo’s aren’t for fandom, they’re for WorldCon” meme fires up this year, despite how well Sad Puppies 2 did. None of their arguments last year swayed anyone (at least not in the ways they wanted), so now they had to try something new, so they’re using the “it’s not for you” line. Whatever.

This is the same award that nominated a soft core porn film for best dramatic presentation in the past. Perhaps some of the people so bent out of shape should consider that before the climb up on their high horse.

Guest
Doctor Locketopus
1 year 1 month ago

After that we can make our own drinking fountains and lunch counters.

Guest
Mary
1 year 1 month ago

Last year, they didn’t have to destroy the award in order to save it — if they can do even that.

Guest
maniakmedic
1 year 1 month ago

Maybe the “No Award” could be the new award. For people who have been paying attention, the publisher could put that on the cover and they’d know it was a good book because it was rejected by a bunch of simpering message fic simpletons who think ignorance is a badge of honor. Take the “No Award” and turn it into something to be proud of.

Guest
Thomas Monaghan
1 year 1 month ago

This was a very good analysis!

Guest
elwood p. dowd
1 year 1 month ago

I want one because Robert A. Heinlein won four, because Roger Zelazny and Alfred Bester and Ursula K. Le Guin and Fritz Leiber

Good grief. Does Martin have any idea how not only Heinlein, but also Zelazny, Bester and Leiber get viewed by SJ– *ahem*, a certain class of folks? Does he seriously think ANY of those authors would have a shot at winning a Hugo in the here and now?

Guest
Doctor Locketopus
1 year 1 month ago

Him bringing up Heinlein, Zelazny, etc. seems rather disingenuous, given that the actual argument is that the SJW capture is a recent thing.

Guest
Pugmak
1 year 1 month ago

“Him bringing up Heinlein, Zelazny, etc. seems rather disingenuous, given that the actual argument is that the SJW capture is a recent thing.”

Actually, no.

People have gotten fed up enough to start fighting back. That’s recent. The SJW have been working on doing what they’re now publicly called out on since PCism became popular.

Guest
Stephen St. Onge
1 year 1 month ago

Hi, Pug!

Something I find amusing: the other day I read a recent fb post by K. Tempest Bradford, saying that people like her have been working to make sf more “inclusive” for the past thirty years. Well, this year a whole bunch of people have included themselves.

Guest
Pugmak
1 year 1 month ago

Hi, back atcha, Stephen!

Keep in mind that with SJWs, whatever they claim they stand for, their actual intended effect is 180 degrees off.

So, yeah, by “inclusive” she meant “only us”.

Guest
Beolach
1 year 1 month ago

Depends on where the line between “recent” and “not recent” is. Yes, the backlash against SJW capture is more recent than SJW capture. But SJW capture is more recent than Heinlein, Zelazny, etc. winning their Hugos.

The Sad Puppies position, as I understand it, is that Heinlein, Zelazny, etc. deserved their Hugos, but that the SJW cliques recently in control of the Hugos would not have awarded them. But historically, they *did* win them, ergo SJW capture must have happened more recently than when Heinlein, Zelazny, etc. won their Hugos.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

“Kameron Hurley ‏@KameronHurley 6h As long as we present SFF as stuff by/for folks like Asimov, Heinlein, Bester and Ellison, this isn’t going to happen.Will be fewer readers”

“Runy ‏@runycat 6h @KameronHurley I would be fucking thrilled if folks could get over their weird Heinlein boners and move forward.”

“Ro Smith ‏@Rhube 5h @KateElliottSFF @KameronHurley @gderekadams @runycat I’m now happy with chucking out ‘classics’ rife with misogyny, racism etc.”

Guest
Doctor Locketopus
1 year 1 month ago

The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley, 2014: Amazon Sales Rank: 39,000, 4 stars

Starship Trooers by Robert A. Heinlein, 19-friggin-59: Amazon Sales Rank: 4,622, 4.4 stars

I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you, Kameron, Runy, and Ro.

Note that this isn’t just a bunch of “old white guys”. Old white guys bought their copies of Starship Troopers decades ago.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

As far as I can tell, Hurley doesn’t really have anything to say as an artist. Her main talent seems to be promoting people like herself and railing against everyone else. Her Atlantic piece shows she can’t even think. I doubt Heinlein or Bester would’ve been dumb enough to write such an article when they were 8 yrs. old. Does she think quote marks are only for dialogue?

Guest
Rob Hobart
1 year 1 month ago

I run a comics/games store on a military base. I sell multiple copies of Starship Troopers every WEEK, to guys who are 18-19 years old.

I don’t even bother trying to stock the SJW message-fic.

Guest
Pugmak
1 year 1 month ago

They let comics/games stores on base now?

Dang, back when I was in, both Heavy Metal and Epic magazines were banned from the PX.

Guest
Thomas Monaghan
1 year 1 month ago

Peterson had a gamestore. Then the moved over to FT. Carson and farther away from me.

Guest
Pugmak
1 year 1 month ago

I was in the Corps. We were under PX Kelly as CMC.

It was the era where it came down from on high that all officers would wear their shiny insignia on both collars and their cover, regardless of garrison, field or deployment.

And, all enlisted had to wear white t-shirts because we were the good guys.

Oh, and no official unarmed combat training because we might hurt a civilian when on libo.

But, the powers that be stood staunch against allowing comics to rot our brains and sap our fighting spirit!

Bastards.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

Old white guys have been busy trying to MAKE Starship Troopers powered armor ever since Heinlein made it up.

Almost 50 years later, starting to get some of the basics working. Still no decent power source, I suspect we have to wait for room temperature superconductors.

Somebody show me an SJW author who invented something that other guys immediately set out to try and make.

Guest
keranih
1 year 1 month ago

Star Trek doors. The Great Bird of the Galaxy was hardly a right-winger, and a guy sat up and said, dude, that would be so useful! and worked for years on proximenty sensors to make the doors work.

One of the ST:TNG guys (JF? maybe?) was talking with some of the TOS crew, and he was “man, the thing I hated most was having a take screwed up because the doors weren’t working right. Bet you guys hated that, too, huh?”

And the TOS actors were like, “dude. We had two crew guys pulling the doors apart on the other side. No automatic opening doors for us.”

The dreams our stuff is made of, indeed.

Guest
SusanM.
1 year 1 month ago

Personally, if the Hugo’s Powers That Be decide they want their award to toddle off into the setting of whatever triple sunset they envision on their own tiny private island, I would have a hard time caring.

They had so damaged their brand years ago with me due to the dreck that they promoted that I had been actively avoiding buying books that had had the so-called “honor”. In fact, I had pretty much given up sci-fi and fantasy altogether letting my Asimov and Sci-Fi and Fantasy and Science Fiction Book Club subscriptions lapse and rarely bought anything from any bookstore anymore.

What I WOULD like to see is some award that DID actually encourage and support anyone, no matter what their personal private thoughts or politics might be, who could tell a good story. Don’t care about personal lives, don’t care about politics. Do NOT want to be harangued about any of those things as part of a story either -unless there was a very good plot-based reason for it.

I don’t care what they call this award, I don’t care who is Pope of it. I just want good stories to be honored.

It doesn’t even have to be stories I like. Not a fan of this Martin dude’s books but I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see him get awards as I know he is very popular and his fans are devoted. But I wouldn’t feel gypped if stories like his won over stories I personally liked better.

He’s no If You Were a Dinosaur My Love, in other words.

Guest
1 year 1 month ago

Oh, but that award already exists: It’s now 2 years old. It’s called the Sad Puppies Nominating Slate.

Seriously, if we were nominated as books that help cure puppy-related sadness, I’d count that as an honor on par with classic hugos… and better than winning a hugo today.

When I’m hunting for a good read beyond the pool of fan recommendations, I’ll buy stories off the list, even without having heard of them before, because they’re good.

Guest
Lhasadog
1 year 1 month ago

Which brings up a truly inspired idea for next year. For SP4 put GRRM on the Sad Puppies Slate. He’s obviously got the quality work product that the fans crave. He rights interesting characters that fans fall in love with. ( Then slaughters them in horrifying ways before their eyes. One suspects ol’ George may have a few “issues”) so put him on the Sad Puppies nominating slate next year and watch what happens. Watch how various people including George react. Much like Larry’s other tests buried into the SP concept. It would show the truth of where things lie.

Guest
Mary
1 year 1 month ago

We’ll have to see how good it is. Me, I gave up on Game of Thrones when I saw Feast of Crows available at the library and realized I didn’t care.

Likewise, though Pratchett’s not getting one is a disappointment, I suspect I would not support Shepherd’s Crown, because I fear I have seen the decline of his writing powers in painful evidence in earlier works.

Guest
Lea
1 year 1 month ago

For SP4 put GRRM on the Sad Puppies Slate.

Dude, no way WoW will be out in time at this point. I guess you could put some random short story on there…

Guest
Cara Halvorson
1 year 1 month ago

“Oh, but that award already exists: It’s now 2 years old. It’s called the Sad Puppies Nominating Slate.”

Okay, this one make me do that snort laugh. And you’re 100% correct 😉

Guest
SusanM.
1 year 1 month ago

The one time someone can truly mean it when they say, “It’s an honor just to be nominated.”

Guest
Kevin P.
1 year 1 month ago

For grins and giggles, I would suggest we call it the “Hell No! Award”.