Do we want an endless cycle of block voting and no awards?
Do we want an endless war between Puppies and Non-Puppies?
Or, like humans and Klingons, can we learn to lay down arms and live together in peace?
I have a modest proposal, but it will take participation from both sides.
Look, Puppies, if your goal is lols or the destruction of everything we hold dear, then, no, there is no middle ground.
But if you’re honestly looking for recognition of your work and maybe actually winning a Hugo, that’s different.
Puppies, I am not unsympathetic to your desire for more stories about spaceships, aliens and robots – and distain for most urban fantasy and mopey teenagers in dreary dystopias. Hey, I love military SF (yeah, Forever War!), too, and I’m bored by genre work that doesn’t have a cool idea – maybe even a hardcore science idea – at its core.
As for your politics… It’s ok with me if some of the heroes are straight white men. I know some of you are Christians and you feel persecuted for that. I am a Christian, too, and I’ve been bullied. But I try to love everyone – whether I agree with them or not.
And so, Puppies, I’m not for censorship or draconian political correctness or trigger warnings. Personally, I think anyone should be able to say whatever they want in the SFWA Bulletin – and people also free to vehemently disagree in response.
I may not agree with everything you think but I’m big enough to let you say them. I’m not afraid of words. Science fiction should be a big enough tent for everyone.
What I am opposed to, is block voting. This is considered rude and will get you no-awarded every time.
What if you Puppies gave up block voting in exchange for Non-Puppies seriously considering your work for recommendation lists?
I’m defining block voting as the presentation of a finished slate, with the call or command for others to vote the slate, perhaps even without reading the pieces, for lols or to advance an agenda.
A recommendation list – and I’ve done this and been on them – is an acknowledgement that there are thousands of stories published every year, but, hey, look, I found a couple I loved. Maybe you’d like them, too, and if so feel free to nominate them. If not, whatever. One year I told everyone over and over how awesome Greg Van Eekhout’s story “In the Late December” was. Not because Greg asked me to, not because of his politics (which I know nothing about), but because I really loved that story. A recommendation list is a suggestion, not a command.
So, Puppies, my offer is this. If you send me some of your best 2015 publications – email them at – I promise to read them and evaluate them on their merits. Regardless of your politics or anything else you may have said in any other venue. And if I like it (which is more likely if it has robots, spaceships, or aliens), I will add it to my recommendation list.
And I will do this by the end of January (in plenty of time for nominating). If you don’t believe me, well, you’ll have time to rev up your voting block engine – but then, of course, if you do so, we will be DONE.
But my voice is only of moderate size.
Which is where you, Non-Puppies, come in.
What if some Big Name Authors were willing to do this, too? People will take it seriously if Big Name Author honestly recommends a Puppy’s story, solely on its merits. That attention may help you get on the Hugo ballot, without the risk of being no awarded that would come with block voting.
What do you think? Puppies? Non-Puppies?
Can we give peace a chance?
War is over if you want it.