I had an entirely different post scheduled for this subject today. It was designed to achieve two purposes:
First, to explain that the Sad Puppies individually and, seemingly, collectively, have roundly rejected most any and all concepts of a possible reconciliation with the fans who have voiced the negative opinion that the puppy’s attempts to manipulate the Hugo Awards are traditionally and socially unacceptable. The one concept that they have provisionally accepted is that of an unconditional surrender on the part of the SJW Cabal opposing them, after which they’ll, maybe, consider the Cabal’s suggestions that they unconditionally surrender, and
Second, to draw a large amount of traffic to the website as seems to happen every single time I mention the puppies here. (And I didn’t even have to go out and recruit my own minions.) This would be nothing but snarky fodder if it weren’t so true. Try it yourselves. Put your rain suit on and then post something (accurately) critical of puppies, sit back and watch the spittle fly.
HOWEVER. I decided that the better course of action was to simply state that both the posts and comments on numerous known puppy-leaning websites would strongly suggest to even the most casual observer that the puppies have no intention of doing anything remotely resembling an attempt to put the past behind us and move on.
Their SPIV “Recommendation” list remains a thinly disguised slate and will not be changed in any way. (Some authors are already acting preemptively and repudiating any inclusion of their works on slates.)
They also have no intention of making their relationship to Rabid Puppies any clearer than it already is. Which is to say, floating around in a muddy puddle of deliberate uncertainty.
We are most likely in the final year of the Hugo Awards being vulnerable to overt manipulation for any purpose. Should measures passed last year be ratified this year, Finland in 2017 will enjoy a convention largely free of effective puppy shenanigans.
In moving forward, I believe it is important that the message sent last year be reinforced this year. We’ve already seen at least one author declaring that
campaigning begging for votes is no longer a problem. If we do not want that mindset to take hold, we will continue to repudiate slate voting this year.
Fans who discover a loophole in the voting rules don’t seek personal advantage – they bring it to the attention of other fans and make proposals at the business meeting and generally use their new found knowledge for the benefit of the whole. (Or, if unhappy with the process, they go off and do their own thing, which is then rewarded or ignored based on the merit of the accomplishment, not a tally of internet one upsmanship points.) Hugo voting actions this year should send that message. Therefore –
I will be nominating and voting for the Hugo Awards this year in the same way I voted last year: I’ll read and watch and listen to everything I can on the final ballot, will vote my conscience and will make sure that any work that appears on a slate (a voting list with a political agenda behind it) will be below No Award and off the ballot.
Unfortunately this year there may very well be far too many good excuses (good works placed on slates, the author/creator failing to repudiate) to sustain the groundswell that we saw last year. I hope that’s not the case, but one must be realistic. If that scenario comes to pass, it will be difficult to put these past few years behind us. The ethical questions will not be resolved one way or the other (it is/is not ok to screw with the awards: doing so will/will not be rewarded). The puppies will have gotten enough support to sustain them, and eventually we’ll be dealing with some other loophole that’s being taken advantage of.
Now for a little story of conventions past in response to one of the regular puppy tactics. Whenever the puppies want to “discuss” issues with their detractors, rather than address them by name, they make up cute little pet names for them. The objective is obvious: dehumanize your opponent. Once you see yourself referred to by one of these pet names in more than one puppy’s blogs, you know that the group think has kicked in and you’ve made it to the top tier. John C. Wright has chosen to label me as someone no one ever heard of (he was born with a propeller beanie on his head and has spent a lifetime as a fan and somehow managed to avoid hearing about me – despite two emails to me and direct mention of me by him in earlier posts, a fact brought up in comments on his site and carefully ignored). This was echoed on a couple of other puppy sites, modified with implications of self-importance. So it’s pretty clear now that I’ve been labelled as the invisible fan.
Mr. Wright and his fellow puppies will have to reach a little farther if they want to go for originality.
Back in the 1970s, a well-known fan named Avedon Carol published a well-received fanzine titled The Invisible Fan. In the first issue of TIF, Avedon published faux LOCs (letters of comment), because all traditional fanzines have LOCs and she wanted the ‘zine to appear as if it had been in publication for a while. One of those fake letters was from a fictional fan named Steve Davidson. Avedon later told me that she made the name up from the commonest names among male fen. I showed up at a Disclave where Avedon was distributing TIF and was promptly pounced upon and introduced all around – the imaginary fan made real flesh. I subsequently wrote several LOCs for TIF, the theme of which was continuously attempting to prove my existence, which Avedon playfully dismissed.
I’ve enjoyed that status as the Invisible Fan for decades. It sets me apart from all the other Steve Davidsons out there.
I guess some puppies have a little more appreciation for fan history than I’ve given them credit for.