It has been an interesting year for the Hugos and I’ve taken a few days to reflect on the results. Strangely both of the extreme factions seem to have declared victory. The Puppy Kicker Brigade seem to have taken No Awarding a number of categories as a vindication for them. That they have successfully repelled the “barbarians at the gate” and shown them once and for all whose boss, or something like that. On the other side, from the Rabid Puppies camp, you can here the baritone laughter of the dark lord from the depths of his skull fortress as he watches the Puppy Kickers behave almost exactly as predicted, cratering the awards rather than letting “Wrong Fans” into the club house and making sure to snub obviously deserving people.
So who really won? Does it really matter? What I thought was the real take home of the evening was the way the TruFans(tm) revealed themselves to be so malicious and spiteful. I’m not sure whether this came as a surprise or a confirmation, either way, it was ugly and foolish.
It is no secret I am in the Puppies camp, Sad or Rabid, probably shifted from day to day but my sympathies were with Larry, Brad, Sarah and Vox. I thought the idea of No Awarding everything was stupid and pointless, but I can understand why some people thought it was necessary, they were wrong, but entitled to their opinion.
I get it, some felt the award nomination process was tainted, that what they saw as unreasonable behavior was not to be rewarded, all th rest of it. I don’t agree with it, but I can understand the impulse. That wasn’t the part that bothered me. You could vote No Award in good conscience, lament the necessity of it and say that you wish it could be avoided but principle demanded that it be done to preserve the integrity of the award and so on. I could accept that, I could understand that.
What destroyed any understanding or sympathy I had for those in the No Award camp was when they cheered the result. That was the ugliest , most spiteful and maliciously mean spirited display I have seen in quite a while. There was no lament that it had to be this way, but there was positive delight taken in destroying the awards, in deliberately ruining the day so that “WrongFans” would learn their place. Such a petty childish display from supposed adults.
A final thought. Many in the Puppy Kicker Brigade think they have won. 3 years ago, I wasn’t voting in the Hugos and I watched as Larry suggested the awards had a participation problem and that that needed fixing. 2 years ago I watched Larry do it again, and do it more successfully than he had the year before. This year, I decided to join in, and I watched the Puppies sweep the nominations and watch the Puppy Kickers collectively lose their minds and then watched them band together to make sure that No Award took the top spot in any of the “soiled” categories. I watched as the reaction was to rush through ill conceived and hastily drawn up rules changes, as people bought voting memberships for others in an effort to sway the vote, as all manner of bald faced lies were told about the various Puppies contenders and participants.
Do people really think this is over? That the Puppies have been shown the door and wont be back? Sad Puppies 4 is already under way with Kate the Impaler at its head, Vox has taken note of what went on and is always ready to play by whatever rules his opponents wish to set. The Puppy Kickers said loudly and clearly it was perfectly acceptable to cast votes without bothering to read the books. What else was No Awarding a book you hadn’t read because you disapproved of its pedigree? Don’t complain when others decide to follow your example.
Time will tell but like so much of the political left in all spheres, they have played every dirty trick they had, campaigned as hard as they were able and managed this Pyrrhic victory all while their opponents were disorganized and arguing among themselves and had never really seriously taken the field of battle. I wonder how they will go now that they have managed to unite the various Puppy Factions and larger forces against them.