Sarah Hoyt recently announced that she was heading up Sad Puppies 5, while at the same time strongly urging her followers to not participate in the Hugo Awards this year.
Please, sycophants, heed your leader’s advice!
Please join her in the effort to bankrupt the Worldcon (lol) and make the world safe for real fans.
After reading File 770’s coverage of this announcement, I went and read Sarah’s screed in the original. And not only that. No. Not only that. I read all the comments as well. (Shower with bleach and sandpaper coming soon. Maybe more than one.)
In an effort to save your eyeballs, I’ll sum up what I found: two things are becoming apparent: first, there’s some cracks showing in the puppy front.
Disagreement over the correct strategy for continuing the attack on Worldcon, the Hugos and Fandom in general. Some want to continue as they had been before, offering up slates of their friends (and poorly written polemics on the dangers of SJWdom for Best Related), while others (the more sensible among them apparently) want to scuttle the whole puppy thing because it has become obvious that they can’t win. Making that admission barely palatable, they’ve slathered cream cheese over the cake as a substitute for vanilla icing, and are now calling for a boycott of Worldcon, believing, somehow, that the absence of their supporting membership fees will do the con in.
Mmmm, No. The only thing that has ever stopped Worldcon was World War II and that decision was made by popular consensus (and the US Draft Board). Not. Gonna. Happen. Especially not over a barely perceptible puddle of puppy pee.
This line of attack is not only interesting, but revelatory of the other thing I noted: It’s going to shock you, so prepare yourselves: illogic.
Somehow, the puppies can simultaneously hold the beliefs that it was their efforts that increased Worldcon membership, (enough of an increase that withholding those memberships could bankrupt the con) yet at the same time they were done in by the cabals fixing of the vote. It wasn’t their efforts, it was their misbehavior.
If as they state, their efforts led to an increase of 400% in voting…Lets say that there used to be 100 cabalistic voters. Now there are 500 voters, 400 of whom were brought in by the pups. And yet they still can’t get wins for their slate picks. Well, either the pups didn’t bring in that many new voters, or some of the puppies are betraying their own. (The pups, of course, would much rather believe that someone “fixed” the vote. Better that than admitting that their actions were so outrageous, ill-mannered and anti-Fandom that they themselves were responsible for their own undoing.)
Not surprising though. The lack of reason in their arguments is apparent from the comments: they STILL believe that “sales = quality”; they STILL maintain that the Hugo Awards are a “popular” award; they STILL think that the resounding NO Award vote was the action of a cabal (but what about all those new members? That must be some POWERFUL cabal!) and they still claim that the Hugo Awards select “The Best” in the genre.
I’ll say it again: McDonald’s burgers have sold the most, but few, if any seasoned eater would call them The BEST. The award is not a popular award in the sense that anyone who reads the genre can nominate and vote. You’ve got to be a member of a relatively exclusive group of people (who, in the aggregate, have more experience with the genre than any other group you’d care to assemble), not withstanding the fact that anyone can self-select to become a member; clearly, many many fans who had not voted for the Hugos saw the puppy attacks as enough of an affront that they were moved to participate (the highest number of No Award wins EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE AWARD representing not just proof, not just a landslide, but an avalanche of rejection); and the results of the award voting is not a simple “Best”, but a consensus of the voting body, well illustrated by not having used a first-past-the-post voting system for decades. Any idiot who can use Google can bother to prove this to themselves. I presume the lack of thumbs on puppy paws is responsible for their inability to use Google. But I digress.
Finally, and perhaps the most disturbing element of all in the comments, references to the US election and Alt-Right talking points sprinkled throughout. The pups slipped up this time around. This whole puppy thing has never been about Fandom, or the Hugo Awards, or Worldcon. It’s always been about an odious political ideology; Worldcon was just the playing field. Throw in the RP’s obvious and direct connections to Alt-Right and the circle is complete.
By way of illustrating the above, I’ve included a selection of comments, with some additional commentary. (Lets hope that the pups are uncharacteristically true to their words and DO boycott Worldcon this year!)
Calling for the Boycott:
Alpheus I would propose that there’s a second reason to have this list. Sarah didn’t say you *can’t* become a member of WorldCon, and nominate and vote. She just said that she can’t bring herself to do it, and recommends against doing it in general.
Quantity Does Equal Quality
RES Not that sales are an accurate barometer of literary quality, but they do represent reader favorites, which is what Hugo previously purported being, the only fan vote that actually matters being the wallet vote..
Phantom182 You know, I must respectfully disagree. Sales really are a barometer of quality.
Uncle Lar Ultimately, the only vote that matters is the multitude of No Awards cast by the public by not buying the trash currently being shoved in their faces under the Hugo banner.
But, as you say, bully pulpits, insider networks, and backroom deals that proved quite soundly at the last two Worldcons that efforts to resuscitate the historical traditional Hugos would be met with orchestrated opposition no grass roots group could hope to compete against.
Sadly, you are correct. The Hugos as we knew them died a number of years ago. May they rest in peace. I hold out great hope for the Dragon Awards as they grow and develop.
But one thing we can and must do is point out the well and proven fact that the Hugos can no longer claim to be a concensus of popular choice of the best SF&F of the year. It has been taken over by PC literary snobs for their own ends and while they are welcome to have it as such they damn well cannot claim a status they absolutely no longer deserve.
We Brought the Numbers But It Didn’t Work the Way It Was Supposed To
suburbanbanshee But generally I agree that Hugo voting numbers grew because normal fans joined and tried to improve things, before getting kicked in the teeth. People get bored easily with maltreatment, not to mention a lack of appreciation of their money and effort.
The Real World Creeping In
So the Hugos stand revealed as not a fan award at all. They are an award handed down by a political action committee. That’s fine, now that the lying about it has finally stopped.
But the Fan Award Hugos are dead. You shut the lid on the casket yourselves in 2015, and nailed it down this year. Looking forward to the cremation in 2017.
Incidentally, since you are combing these comments, I very much enjoyed watching you DemocRats get your asses kicked on November the 8th, and the collective freak-out and threat display from you toothless puffer fish is a thing of beauty.
I hope they take away your cane in Finland, for health and safety.
More Demonstrably Incorrect “Facts” (if the statement is true, what were those Vietnam ads all about in F&SF and Galaxy?)
Jeffro The sff field was ideologically heterogenous before 1980. And if anything, it was anti-progressive before 1940.
Uhhh, what? (Attendees at the con have already voted, or not, by the time of the con)
foxfier and neatly dance around the edge of mentioning that it took people physically walking around the convention lying and nagging people to vote to get those higher numbers.
Descent into the personal…and…no clique, no cornered rats, just fans saying “NO” to ill-mannered know-nothings whose sole purpose in life is to reinforce an echo chamber
thepantom182 All it took to freak the likes of Glyer out was a few blog posts and people like us voting. Larry was mostly screwing around, that’s all it took to rip the sheets off the Hugo clique and get them acting like cornered rats.
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