I have been following with some amusement the whole meltdown from certain segments of the science fiction world in response to the Sad Puppies sweep of the Hugos. As someone who snagged a nomination in no small part due to the publicity that this whole thing has generated and seeing an author I published snag one as well (for a really amazing and deserving story) I have pretty clearly taken a side. I agree with what Larry and Brad are trying to do and think it is a good thing. I’ve been following #GamerGate too and the recent freakout about “GamerGate being involved with SadPuppies” strikes me as extremely amusing. Who is really surprised to discover that geeks who play video games would also be geeks who enjoy science fiction and that many of them are sick and tired of being talked down to by the SJW crowd? You can tell the #GamerGate crowd isn’t heavily involved or the Sasquan organizers would be wondering what to do with all the money they received in voting memberships and the number of votes cast for the Hugo ballot would be an order of magnitude larger than it is.
There is talk by the SJW contingent who has melted down, that they should vote “No Award” on any story that has the “Sad Puppy” taint on it. Does this really seem like a good idea to anybody? Leave aside that Vox Day has quite reasonably suggested that he and the Dread Ilk can play that game too, only more effectively. What exactly do they hope to achieve? Make it clear to absolutely everybody that they really don’t care about the quality of the stories that have been nominated for a Hugo and be sure to punish everybody involved for daring to get books they like on the ballot? Brad, Larry, John, even Vox, and everybody else has told people to vote for what they like and made some suggestions and have told people to read the stories and vote for the best one.
Has the SJW crowd thought more than 5 minutes ahead as to what would happen if they actually managed to succeed with this “No Award” madness? The whole point of Sad Puppies was to make it clear that there is a tight clique voting for the Hugos who have a strong political agenda and who care far more that the “right” sort of works get nominated and that the “wrong” works stay off the ballot. To any SJW reading, here is a tip. The absolute last thing you want to do is “No Award” this year. What more evidence could be presented that everything the Sad Puppies organizers have been saying is true?
Beyond that, what exactly do you think will be the long term result of doing this? The number of votes being cast in the Hugo’s were declining each year prior to Larry kicking off Sad Puppies. All of the votes cast are by people who have contributed money to help fund the Worldcon. If you succeed in driving these interlopers away from “your award”, do you think they will keep attending Worldcon (where they aren’t wanted) and will keep buying memberships? What do you think that will mean for Worldcon and the Hugo Award?
The right thing to do is encourage more voter participation in the Hugo’s, encourage more people to buy memberships, attend Worldcon and revive a con that was slowly dying. To read all the stories, vote on the ones you like and avoid voting “No Award” and encourage everyone you know to get involved, read the works and behave like mature adults.
Or you know, keep having a hissy fit, vote “No Award”, drive off the interlopers and sit around toasting in the ideologically correct rubble. Do you really think it would be beyond Vox Day to organize a book give away of Castalia House books worth over $40 to anybody who purchases a Hugo voting membership and agrees to vote “No Award” next year? To really stack the rolls and make sure it is “No Award” across the board? Do you really think the Worldcon organizers are going to change the rules to suit you and drive off a large number of paying voters? They might, but I suspect they love Worldcon more than they care about your politics.
As part of an attempt to calm tempers, we here at SuperversiveSF.com are going to be reading and reviewing all of the different Hugo nominations and also where possible try to have a chat with every nominee that will talk to us. Join us in reading it all and voting for what you like!