George R.R. Martin and Christmas Puppies

Sad-Puppies-4So it’s not yet 2016, and the first salvos in the Sad Puppies 4 campaign have already been fired, in the form of a kerfluffle over on George R.R. Martin’s blog.

For those of you who haven’t been following Sad Puppies, I can’t say I blame you. It’s basically an ongoing civil war within Science Fiction & Fantasy fandom, between those who believe that the genre should serve the cause of social justice, and those who believe that there should be room for writers on all sides of the political spectrum—that it should just be about telling good stories. Last year, the Sad Puppies (the ones who believe it should only be about the stories) swept the nominations for the Hugo Awards, the (onetime) most prestigious awards in the SF&F genre. The resulting brouhaha was not pretty.

Last year, George R.R. Martin was very aggressive in attacking the puppies. That’s what makes his latest puppy-related blog post so interesting. In it, he basically calls for an end to “puppygate” and for everyone to just get along. In his own words:

The last thing I want… the last thing anyone who truly loves science fiction, fantasy, and fandom would want… would be to have to go through the whole thing again in 2016. Whatever your view of how the Hugo Awards turned out at Sasquan, I think we can all agree that we would like MidAmericon II’s awards to be more joyful, less rancorous, less controversial.

Now, I don’t disagree with Mr. Martin’s sentiment. I too would like to see reconciliation and de-escalation of the ugliness that we saw from both sides in 2015. And to be fair, Mr. Martin does give a positive characterization of what’s going on right now with Sad Puppies 4. That’s a good first step.

The trouble is, you don’t achieve reconciliation by shouting at the other side to lay down their guns first. You achieve it by hearing and acknowledging their grievances. You might not agree that those grievances need to be rectified, which is fine—that’s what negotiations are for—but you do have to make an effort to listen to the other side. And it’s clear enough that Mr. Martin is not listening.

The core of the Sad Puppies movement is a rejection of elitism. In contrast, Mr. Martin’s position is that there are fans and there are Fans. Fans like him, for whom every aspect of their lives revolves around Science Fiction and Fantasy, should have more control, more respect, more ownership—in fine, they should matter more to the genre than the other kind of fans. When pressed, of course, he denies that any part of fandom is any better than the others, but that’s not what comes through in his other positions. “Separate but equal” is the phrase that comes to mind.

The problem here is that Mr. Martin wants to have his cake and eat it too. He wants the Sad Puppies to lay down their guns, but he doesn’t want to lay down his own. If he were genuine about burying the hatchet, he would acknowledge his own elitism, acknowledge that this is a grievance that the Puppies hold against him, and either recant his position or say “we’re going to have to agree to disagree.”

Personally, my position is the opposite of Mr. Martin’s. I think that SF&F should be a big tent that privileges or denies no one—that everyone who calls themselves a fan of the genre should be on equal grounds. After what happened in 2015, I’m as disgusted with the Hugo Awards as Feynman was disgusted with honors and epaulettes:

Am I willing to agree to disagree on that point? Sure, so long as I’m not cut out of the table—so long as I’m not branded a “racist,” or a “misogynist,” or a “neo-nazi” for aligning with the Sad Puppies. But the puppy-kickers and their SJW allies have deliberately mischaracterized us since the beginning, and I have no doubt that they will continue to do so in 2016.

Mr. Martin, if you’re reading this and if you’re genuine in your desire to avoid another “puppygate,” please don’t try to passive-aggressively handwave us away. I applaud your sentiment and believe that your heart is in the right place, but reconciliation requires genuinely listening to the people you disagree with.

Author: Joe Vasicek

Joe Vasicek is the author of more than twenty science fiction books, including the Star Wanderers and Sons of the Starfarers series. As a young man, he studied Arabic and traveled across the Middle East and the Caucasus. He claims Utah as his home.

39 thoughts on “George R.R. Martin and Christmas Puppies”

  1. “The trouble is, you don’t achieve reconciliation by shouting at the other side to lay down their guns first. You achieve it by hearing and acknowledging their grievances.” This runs both ways. Perhaps you could take the first step by refraining from referring to “the puppy-kickers and their SJW allies…” Each side believes in its truth. GRRM is suggesting we leave the past behind and create a better future. Isn’t that what SF is all about? If you think Mr. Martin isn’t doing his part, then maybe you could show him the way?

    1. Well, that kind of already is what the Sad Puppies are about, but you never really hear it because their opponents are so busy smearing them as racists, Nazis, and misogynists, and that kind of takes all the air out of the room. And if their opponents aren’t “puppy-kickers,” then what are they? The term Mr. Martin offered is “Fans,” but the trouble with that is that the puppies are fans too. Using that term only makes sense if you want to distinguish between fans and Fans, exactly as I mentioned.

      If the puppy-kickers don’t like when they’re called puppy-kickers, they’re free to come up with something catchy to call themselves. But saying “I find the term puppy-kicker offensive” smacks me as an attempt to control or limit the speech of those who oppose them. You can either own up to the term, the way the old-timers owned the derogatory term “space opera,” or come up with something else and see if it catches.

      1. The problem with coming up with a name for people who aren’t Puppies is that there really isn’t an opposing organisation or “side” to this. There are the Puppies (Rabid and Sad), and there’s everyone else. My opinions are not the same as someone who blanket No Awarded the entire ballot, including categories with non-Puppy candidates. My opinions are also not the same as someone who liked Guardians of the Galaxy enough to vote for it but No Awarded other Puppy things. Some people made exceptions for some categories, some people didn’t. There aren’t any leaders. No-one told me how to vote. If, say, GRRM declared that people who aren’t Puppies are “Happy Kittens” why on earth should anyone else agree? I never signed up to something. GRRM (for example) speaks only for himself, and the same goes for everyone else. People who aren’t Puppies are never going to have a name because there really isn’t a counter-campaign and never has been.

        No-one can stop Puppies from using CHORF/puppykicker/SJW, but Puppies oughtn’t be surprised if reconciliation efforts don’t get very far because A. They keep acting like there’s a single opposing side when there isn’t (e.g. Torgersen’s ‘the establishment must apologise for’ requests – what establishment? who chose them to speak for anyone else? I never got consulted about who should be leader, and I wouldn’t agree to have one anyway), and B. People object to being labeled with something they never agreed to. Puppies can use insulting nicknames all they like, but Puppies can’t stop people pointing out that the names are inappropriate and rude, either. Are you trying to silence the critics? If any Puppies truly want to meet in the middle now is a good time to start listening when people tell them that silly playground insults aren’t going to help.

        1. Fair points. I think you’re right that the side of fandom opposing the Puppies is not monolithic or formally organized. As such, it doesn’t make sense to demand an apology or response from all of them, given that it’s more a collection of individuals than a single unified movement.

          That said, that doesn’t necessarily mean that “Puppy-kickers” is a meaningless term. A Puppy-kicker is basically someone who goes out of their way to oppose the Puppies, and there are a lot of people in fandom who are doing that.

          Also, the term “SJW” does make sense because there is a wider movement for social justice in our culture: not a single monolithic movement, but an informal movement comprised of many groups and organizations that are all more or less aligned. And in fandom, the SJWs do have leaders and organizers, such as John Scalzi, Chuck Wendig, Mary Robinette Kowal, etc. It’s less of an evil empire and more of a confederation, but it’s still an organized movement.

          1. The problem is that those terms are being applied very broadly; I’ve seen Puppies insist that anyone who posts at File770 (for example) must be all three, which since File770 has people who are rightwing, people who are little-f fans (including me), and people who are very fond of the small and furry sort of puppies (plus a couple of non-Puppy regulars who happily defend some aspects of Puppydom), doesn’t tend to go down very well. It’s all very well to say SJWs or Puppykickers or CHORFs exist but when Puppies label the entirety of Fandom-and-fandom-who-aren’t-Puppies as them the names serve as a reductionist tactic to label a diverse range of people with differing motivations as a single group, and also makes the terms themselves almost meaningless.

            SJW for example used to mean something very specific: People who use social justice language to do terrible things (like hounding people to commit suicide over anything perceived as an infraction) or as meaningless internet point-scoring with no true activism (which is not to say that internet activism can’t be true activism, but just that that particular form is worse than useless). It did not mean, as seems to be the usage from some of the internet these days, anyone left of the GOP who occasionally talks about politics in public. The former usage was useful, the latter usage is just trying to replace “left-wing” or “liberal” or, depending on how right-wing the user of the epithet is, even “centrist” – terms people will happily label themselves with – with an insult. The same for CHORF, puppykicker, ASP, whatever the new and shiny acronyms in Puppyland are these days. I’m not sure building in insulting language from the beginning and demanding people accept without complaint the usage of such labels applied to them is a good start to any conversation, especially when those labels are applied indiscriminately with the only justification being: Well, you disagreed with us.

            I’m quite sure Puppies wouldn’t accept or appreciate insulting nicknames being applied to them (and whenever they come up on File770 the person using them is typically challenged – some people were fond of Requires Hoyt for awhile, for example, but I haven’t seen anyone use it in a long time because others amongst us made it clear that it wasn’t acceptable). I’d appreciate it if Puppies would start doing us the same courtesy. GRRM suggested Fans as a term of use, but I’m not convinced that would be appropriate: Not everyone who disagreed with the actions of the Puppies has the convention background to use ‘Fan’ with a big f. I use anti-slate when I have to refer to people with some sort of short-hand, but of course that doesn’t necessarily cover everyone (there does seem to be a VERY small handful of people who are more invested in the political aspects and less interested in whether the slate itself was an unfair tactic). Still, I have yet to see anyone complain about the usage.

            At the moment, the problem with any chance of conciliation is, frankly, the usage of such nicknames betrays something: The Puppy leadership has no respect whatsoever for the people who have criticised them. This is also clear from the various demands made with no peace offering in return. I’m not sure a conversation can be had about how to move forward if the only acceptable thing to the organised party is complete capitulation on all points, from an indeterminate authority that doesn’t even exist. Someone on File770 suggested these (I’m paraphrasing):

            1. No more slates.
            2. People who aren’t Puppies make a sincere effort to check out works recommended by Puppy and Puppy-sympathetic individuals.

            The problem is there has been no suggestion of commitment to the first, and the latter would be almost impossible to prove. How is a Puppy to know whether people are making the effort? Will Puppies take people saying they didn’t like something at face value or will they continue to insinuate that people only did so because of politics (or that they didn’t read it after all)? How many of this disorganised loosely affiliated anti-slate “group” have to commit to this to make it work? How would you even measure that when there isn’t a single organised group? What number of Puppy-friendly works on the ballot would be enough? Would that end up tainting the achievement of any Puppy-type nominees or winners with a suggestion of affirmative action (there are still a lot of previous winners and nominees who are really miffed about Torgersen’s claims that they didn’t really deserve the accolade, and I don’t blame them)? We know from analysing the numbers that conservative authors have been nominated both throughout the history of the award and recently, was that not enough or was it down to misperception and actually the numbers were about right anyway?

            However, the idea behind them seems pretty good. Moving forward rather than focusing on the grievances of the past which, lets face it, there’s very little chance of people coming to agreement on. I would like to see REASONABLE requests from Puppy leadership instead of silly “the (non-existent) establishment must apologise for [xyz]” requests which don’t really move the conversation forward at all but instead mire it in the past with impossible, unfulfillable demands. I understand the urge: I’d love it if Puppies sincerely admitted fault, that the slates were a bad idea, and that they were sorry that they ended up dominating the ballot, that they shouldn’t have come up with endless insulting acronyms, that the reaction to Gallo was out of all proportion, that the constant comparisons to Marxists or Nazis were unjustified, that the comments about Hugo voters lying about their own motivations and book preferences were wrong, that the Hugo administrators were innocent of the accusations of corruption all along, and so on and so forth. But… It doesn’t mean anything if it isn’t true, and it’s quite clear that the leadership isn’t sorry at all. It also doesn’t help to keep harping on about getting an apology if all that does is extend the issue further and further into the future when instead an agreement to drop the idea of apologies entirely and find solutions for moving forward would be more practical.

            1. You make some good points, Meredith. I think a lot of these misunderstandings and mischaracterizations are symptomatic of the increasing polarization in our culture—not just in fandom, but in mainstream culture as well. And I think that ultimately, the only way to bring things back to reason is to take Brigham Young’s words to heart:

              He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool.

              For the record, in my own personal experience, the File770 crowd isn’t as vile or one-sided as Sarah Hoyt and many of the other Puppies make them out to be. Neither are the commenters over on Larry Correia’s blog, or Vox Day’s blog, as vile or hateful as the SJWs (and I use the term the same way you use it) make them out to be.

              It seems that within SF&F fandom, these massive brouhahas are par for the course. I’ve got no issue with people throwing punches, so long as they can take what they dish out. I’ve taken a few punches from the File770 crowd, but so far no one’s hit below the belt. Mike Glyer’s definitely got his own opinion, but he seems to be pretty fair.

    1. Yeah, fandom wouldn’t be fandom without a massive helping of drama. I used to worry that it would tear the community apart, until I realized that these brawls have been the norm since long before I was born. A lot of unspoken lines were crossed in 2015, but overall I think the debate is quite healthy.

  2. This isn’t about people who believe SFF should serve a cause. This is about sick racialized lesbian liberation ideology which first barged in 2009-12 and started selling lies aimed at demonizing men, heterosexuals and whites as racist, sexist, homophobes who’d kept SFF for themselves by excluding women, gays and non-whites since the Munsey era 100 years ago.

    Every one of these lies has been debunked by anyone who’s taken the trouble read this brutally stupid ideology’s dozen or so foundational texts of books/essays 1970-90 and also knows something of SFF’s 100 year+ history. The fake “diversity” initiative is based on falsehoods that themselves amount to the very group defamation social justice crusaders claim to be against. In short the entire movement is a fraud and its ideology a racist, sexist, supremacist cult. Whether you’re reading pathetic evidence-free attempts to “document” this fake history of SFF through John Scalzi at Kotaku, Foz Meadows at the HuffPo, Kameron Hurley at The Atlantic or Damien Walter at The Guardian they all repeat the same radical “feminist” paranoia and irrational suspicions of straight white males.

    As for Martin, since he seems to know nothing about any of this, he is essentially like a guy who woke from a coma in 1945 and started banging on about why the Americans were invading Okinawa because the Japanese liked pearls.

    The fact Anita Sarkeesian has turned down 10 grand to her favorite charity to debate Milo Yiannopolous tells you everything you need to know about these serial liars. And now, today, Joe Bernstein is turning down what at this writing is $6,500 to be given to the charity of Bernstein’s choice to debate Milo about Bernstein’s propaganda piece at Buzzfeed about much the same subject matter.

    This cult plays the same con game over and over again: they make inflammatory racial and sexual slurs and when they get pushback they cry “harassment” and cite the pushback as “proof” of misogyny, sexism and racism. They push affirmative action in literally hundreds of quotes recommending SFF by race and sex alone and then cry “racism” when we point to these quotes.

    Humanitarian Golden Age SFF: emphasize our commonalities, celebrate our differences.

    “Feminist” SFF: de-emphasize our commonalities, emphasize our racial and sexual differences.

    In other words Third Wave Feminism occupies the same intellectual and philosophical space as the KKK or neo-Nazis while falsely claiming it is Golden Age SFF which did that.

    1. Let me guess, you’re a Rabid Puppy, right? You somehow see that the SF&F genre has shifted to be more representative of the culture as a whole, and you feel like your precious privilege is being threatened? By what, exactly? New ideas and ways of representing people? People who live their lives in a manner that you don’t approve of (because it’s obvious that you hate/fear lesbians, homosexuals, liberals, etc…)?

      The problem is that you make an extraordinary number of claims (lies), and then of course make no attempt to actually back them up with proof. In this case, the burden of proof is on the person who claims the “truth”, which would be you. The burden of calling you a hyperbolic liar lies on those who actually know history (me), and understand where people are coming from.

      The Sad Puppies may have a couple legitimate complaints, however when you read the rhetoric that came our of Hoyt, Torgersen, Correia and Paulk’s mouths, it’s very easy to see how people would look at the movement, and discount it. I’m not even going in to the vileness that is Teddy Beale, the man is a toxic hate-monger.

      Interestingly enough, the original writer also says that it’s not the Puppy’s who need to stop calling those who disagree with them names, you hand wave that away, which is rather sad.

      Milo is…well, a pretty despicable human being in his own right. From not paying employees, and threatening them when they demand payment for services rendered, to being a ardent supporter of the MRA sub-culture, he makes slanderous claims about people he disagrees with (Shaun King – side note: Milo’s claims were lies by a white nationalist)…I guess that’s enough. The fact that you’re using him as a legitimate person who should be debated; well, that says enough here.

      Sorry to pollute your stream Joe. I think that there’s plenty of room for the SP contingent and everyone else in SF&F fandom, and would like to see a real reconcilliation. However as long as the toxicity of the RP group is encouraged, and supported by a large contingent of SP, that’s going to sadly be impossible.

      1. A couple of points:

        I’m always a little baffled by the people who throw out “MRA” as an epithet. What is so evil about pushing for men’s rights? It’s not like men’s rights and women’s rights are mutually exclusive—at least, not unless you see “men” and “women” as distinct social classes, where the advancement of one comes at the expense of the other. And when you take the time to listen to what the MRAs are saying, it actually makes a lot of sense. Domestic abuse committed by women is a real issue, especially domestic abuse of children. Family and divorce law is stacked pretty blatantly against men. Here in Utah, for example, it was legal for a divorced woman to put her child up for adoption against the objections of the father until just recently, when it was challenged in a major court case. In other instances, in order for men to receive any sort of visitation or custody rights at all, they first have to take court-ordered classes that force them to admit fault in the divorce. In short, it seems that the MRAs are fighting an uphill battle very similar to the battle that the Suffragettes fought two or three generations ago.

        I only discovered Milo Yiannopolous fairly recently, and I like a lot of the things that he says. He’s a jerk in a lot of ways, but he makes a lot of good points, and he says the things that other people are afraid to say. That said, he is undeniably a jerk, and a troll. I stopped following him on Twitter because he posted some major spoilers for the new Star Wars, which for some reason he really hates.

        The rhetoric that’s come out of Hoyt, Torgersen, Correia, and Paulk is positively tame compared to the rhetoric that has been leveled against them. Calling them Nazis? Claiming that Torgersen’s 20 year marriage is a shield? I follow Correia and Hoyt, and while they’re certainly quite vocal in their opinions, I have yet to see them cross the line into outright toxicity. Then again, I have a feeling that my definition of “toxic” is very different than the SJWs’ definition of “toxic.”

        Don’t worry about polluting my stream. This is actually a very interesting discussion, and I’m happy to host it. My blog is a free speech zone, not a “safe space.”

      2. “Let me guess, you’re a Rabid Puppy, right? You somehow see that the SF&F genre has shifted to be more representative of the culture as a whole…”

        I’m going to stop you right there, because that’s not what has happened. The SF&F genre has shifted to be representative of a microscopic political fringe, not the “culture as a whole.”

  3. The problem with the puppies was that the stories they nominated were very poor. Out of twenty-five entries in novel, novella, novelette, short story, and related work, only one was actually good enough to even imagine giving it an award, and most were so poor it was astonishing they made it into print in the first place. This destroyed any credibility the puppies might have when they claim they want to reward “good stories, well told.” All other issues are minor compared to this one.

    1. This debate has been rehashed before, and there’s a couple of directions it can go. I bring up “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love,” “Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury,” or any other number of arguably subpar works that have won Hugos in the past, to which you either reply 1) no, those works were good and deserving, or 2) the true sin of the Sad Puppies was that they swept the nominations with a slate.

      The first line of debate is probably the most heated, but it’s also the most healthy because it involves discussing the relative merits of the various different works, which is kind of the point of a “best of” fan-voted award in the first place. I may disagree with you, but I don’t have any issue with taking the debate in that direction.

      The second line of debate isn’t really about the quality of the books at all, but the award voting process itself. And here, I think the Sad Puppies have a valid point: that slate voting is not new, that whisper campaigns have been the norm for many years, and that writers whose politics clash with the elites can expect to be shut out.

      The response to that is either 2a) outright denial, or 2b) the assertion that the Hugos aren’t meant to represent all of fandom, that it’s really just the small subset that attends Worldcon. In 2a, we get right back to the Sad Puppies main line, and in 2b, we come to a form of agreement, except that the people on my side come to the conclusion that the Hugos are no longer relevant, and that the Rabid Puppies campaign to destroy or discredit them makes a lot of sense. And I don’t think that’s what you want.

      If the subset of fandom that revolves around the Hugo Awards wants the awards to remain relevant, they’re going to have to ally with the Sad Puppies in order to defeat the Rabid Puppies. Fortunately, the Sad Puppies are open to suggestions for the books they want to push in 2016, so if quality really is the issue you’re concerned about, Sad Puppies 4 are open to hearing from you.

      1. “. I bring up “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love,” “Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury,” or any other number of arguably subpar works that have won Hugos in the past, to which you either reply 1) no, those works were good and deserving”

        The only problem with your point is that neither IFWADMYL nor FMRB “have won Hugos in the past”. So… it seems to me the award process was working quite good, since the first one is definitely not SF, and the second one is crass, but to tell the truth, my hearth is quite warmed by seeing young women lusting for ancient sf authors, especially one I love very much (author, not woman).
        As for the other “arguably subpar works”, we’ll need names to argue. But I think we won’t go farther than arguing.
        For example, Red Shirts is clearly not in the same category than Dune, but it’s a pleasing read and an homage to an important part of SF (and I’m not a Trekkie). I have not yet read 2312 or Throne of the Crescent moon, but I think RedShirt was better (for this specific award) than Vorpatril or Blackout.

      2. Actually, if you want to bring up “If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love” and “Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury”, there’s another reply: they didn’t win Hugos.

        1. Fair enough. Neither did the puppies in 2015.

          Although I’m pretty sure that “Fuck me Ray Bradbury” did win a Hugo. I remember because I was there.

          1. Doctor Who won the Best Dramatic Presentation: Short Form for “The Pandorica Opens”/”The Big Bang”, followed by two other Who episodes, and “Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury” in fourth (although it was second on first-preference votes). I wasn;t there, so I had to look it up, which is how John Seavey snuck in with his response while I was still writing.

            1. I stand corrected.

              Point is, quality is subjective enough that we can point to more than just the puppy slates of 2015. And indeed, a lot of puppies made the argument that previous Hugo winners have been lacking in quality for several years. Is quality the sole issue, then, or is it slate voting?

              I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not particularly invested in the Hugo Awards. I used to be, but in 2011 after attending Renovation, I independently came to the same conclusions as Larry Correia and lost interest in them. That interest was piqued last year when it became a battleground in the wider culture wars, but I’m not sure whether to participate this year or just write it off again.

          2. Writing “I’m pretty sure that [I’m right and you’re wrong]” when it takes thirty seconds to check the facts just show how serious you are about arguing…

            1. Guillaume Jay,

              Because you’ve never been wrong? And when Joe was corrected on the topic, he graciously acknowledged it. Wow, no wonder this is such a contentious topic if everyone acts like you..

              I guess Mark Twain was right on this one.. “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

    2. “of twenty-five entries in novel, novella, novelette, short story, and related work, only one was actually good enough to even imagine giving it an award,..”

      Just because you didn’t like it, that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t good. That’s a very subjective decision, and could be leveled by both sides. Ultimately that argument means nothing, accomplishes nothing and results in way too much drama for something of way to little value. If your point is you want to debate them on the quality of various works, then I’m lost by the need for both sides to call each other elitists or racists?

  4. “The core of the Sad Puppies movement is a rejection of elitism.”

    …a rejection of elitism. In awards. A rejection of elitism in awards. The core of the Sad Puppies movement is a rejection of elitism in an award–an award specifically given to the best works in the field. The actual, stated-by-Puppies core of their movement is a rejection of elitism in a celebration of the elite.

    So what’s the new plan, hand out Hugos on a first-come, first-served basis?

    1. Elitism, noun:

      1: leadership or rule by an elite
      2: the selectivity of the elite; especially : snobbery
      3: consciousness of being or belonging to an elite

      According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, there is nothing about an award (especially a fan-voted award) that makes it inherently “elitist.” A true meritocracy, for example, is antithetical to elitism. So is a democracy.

    2. “So what’s the new plan, hand out Hugos on a first-come, first-served basis?”

      That’s about the size of it.

      Despite the post-hoc rationalization developed by the Puppies as an excuse and advanced by Joe here in talking about “true meritocracy”, the Sad Puppies started because a single author who self-described as a “pulp novelist” pushed for himself to be awarded a Hugo to stick it to the “hoighty-toighty literati snobs”. It wasn’t about how good the stories were; rather, it was a self-promoting author whipping up his conservative fan-base to mischief.

      And then they started slating to deny anyone else a chance.

      Jim Hines has a timeline pointing at their own statements showing how the Sad Puppy campaign progressed – . The whole thing seems to be a typical exercise in finding rationalizations for conservative resentment over their own escalating sense of grievance, cycling back on itself.

      1. CPaca, the looney liberals have their own “typical exercise in finding rationalizations for resentment over their own escalating sense of grievance, cycling back on itself.” Be smart, become a libertarian…. we have cookies! 😛

      2. What happened in 2015 with the Sad and Rabid Puppies was this: a relatively obscure corner of fandom became a strategically significant battleground in the culture wars, attracting a lot of people from outside. That seems to be what you’re getting at, and on that I think we can agree.

        I disagree that the Sad Puppy slate was meant to “deny anyone else a chance”: in most categories, there were less than five titles on the slate, and on the ones like Best Novel where there were five titles, not all of them made it to the final ballot, suggesting that the slate was not as ironclad as one would expect. With the way that Sad Puppies 4 is being run, I definitely think that’s not the case.

        It may very well have been the intention of the Rabid Puppies to “deny anyone else a chance,” in which case the smear campaign against Sad and Rabid Puppies alike played right into their hands. What else is a sweep of No Award if not “denying anyone else a chance”?

        I also disagree on your characterization of Larry Correia. He can be a bit egotistical, but as someone who knows him IRL I can say that he’s definitely not the megalomaniacal boogeyman that his detractors make him out to be. In fact, I think that he tends to see the whole puppygate affair as equal parts political theater and practical joke.

  5. Myrr, your first paragraph is typical of how your ideology uses the same tactic both for attack and defense. You say that same stuff whether I push back against you or just wake up in the morning. Nothing you say is in evidence about me or all white straight males as a whole. It’s just stuff you made up out of your head. The idea I have privilege is some zany Third Wave nonsense in the first place so how could I feel threatened. I don’t feel threatened, I just think your ideology is clownish and made even more funny by the fact so many of you are so obviously unaware of where it even comes from. I don’t blame all whites for the KKK so stop blaming gay people for Third Wave Feminism. Hating the KKK is not hating whites and hating your clownish cult has nothing to do with millions of other gay people.

    The burden of proof is for a fact on me. Fortunately I have gathered it and documented it; it is not my fault you are unfamiliar with it. Do your homework. I would say what is “extraordinary” are people who drag insane myths like “rape culture,” the “white male colonial gaze” and “compulsory heterosexuality” into SFF in the first place and claim it as central to SFF and then celebrate it with awards nominations for all who promote these things.

    You have tales of lesbian selkies/PoC who flee straight white males, SFF-less novels of noble medieval lesbians, a black Marco Polo given agency by noble Incas, dinosaurs who avenge LGBT, Tarzan in Jim Crow-land, a woman who kills all the male member of her “rape culture” family to avenge noble mermaids, etc., etc.

    What is extraordinary are people who all agree heterosexuality was “invented” and then set about following the rules on how to uninvent it innovated by goofball lesbian “intellectual” Monique Wittig by writing trash like Ancillary Justice while SFF sinks into irrelevancy as a mere vehicle for lesbian ideological dogma.

    The burden of proof is also on your weird cult. Joanna Russ writes a book about how to suppress women’s writing although she was published while still in college. N.K. Jemisin gives a WisCon GoH speech in which she references herself and Samuel Delany as careers “strangled” at birth, although she was given 4 Nebula nods right out of the gate and Delany was published at 20. Despite what must now be millions of words about the white cishet male history of SFF none of you have been able to show even 5 SFF authors 1912-70 on the same ideological page to match just the five winners of the Nebulas the year M. R. Kowal bragged no white men won.

    All that is just a Mukden and Reichstag Fire to power racially and sexually segregated rooms, anthologies, reviews and awards and not only call it “social justice” but blame it on all straight white males in the world. In short, you are being used by sociopaths who love useful idiots. Today, when I look at the Nebulas, Hugos and TorCom, I see insanity promoted by Gayle Rubin, Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde and Judith Butler staring me back in the face. But you’d have to actually know who your masters are to get that.

    In fact you don’t know anything about the history we’re talking about. And the reason Bernstein won’t debate Milo is because he knows his propaganda piece would be torn to shreds, just as I could tear any member of the SFF community to shreds in a live debate who promotes Third Wave Feminism and its anti-science and false history of SFF. Google and Wiki are not available in live debate and there would be tears all around, none of them mine. Unless you’re prepared to tell me what Gayle Rubin, Adrienne Rich and Judith Butler mean in the context of Jacques Derrida and Franz Kafka and the double entendre of the phrase “before the law,” you’d better retire before you need to count your feathers. You have no idea of the insanity you’re promoting, where it comes from or the intellectual gibberish it’s based on. For that you’d have to take a “Queer Theory and Sexual Politics” course at the U. of Wisc.- Eau Claire. Here is a quote from the syllabus:

    “Queer theory finds its genealogical roots in poststructuralist theory, feminist theory, and the grounded theory of queer activism of the 1970s, ‘80s, and ‘90s. We will begin by reading and responding to poststructuralist theory (Michel Foucault) and feminist work that began to address the categories of sex and sexuality in the 1980s and 1990s (Gayle Rubin, Judith Butler).”

    1. This is why I think that indie publishing is really going to revitalize the SF&F field. It loosens the stranglehold of any single faction or ideology and opens the market to anyone who can write a good story, politics be damned.

      If the Worldcon contingent of fandom does not embrace the Sad Puppies, then I predict that a new convention with its own fan-voted award will eclipse the Hugo Awards within the next 3-5 years.

      1. I agree. SFF’s social justice crusaders are being exposed as the frauds they are. They routinely violate the principles behind the concept of “equal protection” and hope we won’t notice. They call themselves “liberal” and “progressive” and yet again and again admit they have no interest in debate or free speech. They cry about “justice” and are opposed to due process via hashtags like #JustListen and kangaroo courts at colleges extorted into existence by Title IX and the Dept. of Education. In other words they stand in opposition to their own stated principles.

        They see themselves as fans of people like Rod Serling and Ray Bradbury and yet those two would’ve despised them. Both men engaged in burying principled morality tales within SFF but sometimes blurted their concerns outright with anti-Jim Crow stories in contemporary settings; 3 for Bradbury which predate 1951, Serling with his 1958 Emmy-nominated and Writer’s Guild-winning “A Town Turned To Dust,” and also 1956 “Noon On Doomsday,” a show about Emmett Till so heavily watered down by network executives Serling claimed even Coca-Cola bottles used to dress the set were removed, Coke being based in the South, Atlanta.

        Bradbury bizarrely had his Fahrenheit 451 censored without his knowledge years after it had been published for the first time as a whole novel in the dark ages of 1954 in the very sexist, misogynist, pornographic Playboy Magazine these “feminists” hate.

        In 1966 Serling spoke passionately to UCLA students about the racist Calif. Proposition 14 housing initiative which was eventually overturned on the principle of “equal protection.” He also believed in debate and free expression on college campuses, not “banhammers,” even if it meant American Nazis, whom he hated.

        So when the Hugo-winning Lightspeed violates the idea of equal protection with a reviewer not reviewing white men and segregated anthologies on spurious excuses, and the Hugo-winning John Scalzi violates the idea of free speech and debate with equally spurious deletions and by saying the world would be better without comments sections and other Hugo winners violate the idea of due process by supporting one-sided definitions of “harassment” and #JustListen you are being sold a con game by bigoted authoritarians, not “liberalism.”

        Bradbury and Serling made “comments” some people didn’t want to hear and there is no doubt in my mind who our social justice crusaders would’ve supported in the ’50s since they have no principles whatsoever.

      2. I would be delighted if the Puppies or a group sympathetic to Puppy aims started up an award to cater to Puppy tastes. Clearly the Hugo’s aren’t filling that niche (which is fine, no award needs to be all things to all people) so why not fill that gap with a new award? I was deeply disappointed to see the total lack of interest from any of the Puppy leaders when Jay Maynard tried to get something moving to create a new award. It seemed to me, from the outside, like the Puppy leadership would rather keep fighting an “enemy” and ruining other people’s fun than work towards providing something that covered that niche.

        1. I have some connections that have sworn me to secrecy on this subject (not Puppy connections per-say, but connections that are friendly to the Puppies). Based on those, I think the probability of a new fan-voted award on the level of the Hugos emerging in the next few years is very high.

          1. I’m thrilled to hear that, although I hope those people get Maynard involved. I felt rather sorry for him. It clearly hit him hard not to have support from the Puppies. More awards is a good thing.

        2. Maynard tried that at the wrong place. Few people – especially in the new counter-movement – want to leave comments at Black Gate due to a heavy hand censoring comments, including me. You can’t call out a gender feminist there without some pompous declaration about “get off my front porch” accompanied by your comment disappearing.

  6. I am making a very simple observation: WisCon and its Tiptree Awards which prioritizes women’s gender and queer issues within an SFF context exists. I am making another factual observation in which that ideology has transferred over to and now dominates the Nebula and Hugos Awards. There is nothing in the least way controversial about that; it is a fact reflected in too many quotes to put into a book even the size of Dune.

    What I don’t get about that is this: why do these people so passionately support this Wisconnite ideology but then deny it even exists when we point to their own stated goals in quotes? There is no doubt that when you prioritize one’s race and sex over art, that when you promote work by race and sex with no author’s name attached, that is an affirmative action movement. Where’s the controversy?

    The people nominated for and especially winning the Hugos and Nebulas in the last 3 years read like a who’s who of Third Wave Feminism advocates. The people booted off the nominations last year by the Puppy initiatives also read the same way. What is in the least way controversial about reading and quoting rhetoric by actual people? How can you promote the idea straight white males are a corrupt cult of “misogyny,” “rape culture,” “privilege,” “patriarchy,” “mansplaining,” racism” and “homophobia” and deny that is even happening at the same time?

  7. Sorry if some of the comments are getting flagged for moderation: I’ve got limited internet access today, otherwise I would figure out how to loosen some of these filters. Running out again, be back tonight.

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