Thoughts on the Hugo Nominations EDIT: A File 770 Update

So, for those who have been living under a rock (at least, for those who read this blog who have been living under a rock), the Hugo awards have been announced. There are several notable things about it, but in terms of this blog the biggest are these:

1) Jeffro Johnson, who invited us to write for the Castalia House blog, has been nominated! Congrats to him.

2) Our own Brian Niemeier has been nominated for the John W. Campbell award! Congrats to him and L. Jagi Lamplighter, his editor.

3) Jason Rennie has been nominated for multiple categories! The Sci Phi Journal has been nominated for best semiprozine and…

4) Superversive SF has been nominated!

But wait. There’s one more notable point here:

5) These have all been nominated the same year that “Space Raptor Butt Invasion” has been nominated.

This point deserves some talking about. And get ready, because I’m probably going to disagree with my peers…but not in the way you think.

This nicely sums up what just happened

It’s no secret that the Rabid Puppies dominated in a way that is unprecedented in the history of the Hugos. It was an SJW massacre of epic proportions. But what does this mean?

We got nominated because of a slate. This is slate voting. It’s time we all admit it – Sad Puppies is not that, and wasn’t at the very least since Brad Torgerson started taking reader input into account, but the Rabid Puppies absolutely are. It is the slate of Vox Day. And honestly, I think everybody here knows that. We know “Space Raptor Butt Invasion”, a parody story by a guy who calls himself “Chuck Tingle”, was not going to be nominated unless people voted based entirely on Vox Day’s orders, and in impressively consistent concert. This is pretty much undeniable.

And truthfully, that’s why Superversive SF was nominated. We’re a pretty new blog, with a lot of relatively little known writers among us. Take me. I’ve edited one book and published a few short stories and articles. Not a lot of people have heard of me. Josh also hasn’t published anything but short stories yet (looking forward to “Do Buddhas Dream of Enlightened Sheep”!). And we’re two of the blog’s more prolific posters.

This isn’t an insult. I think Josh is a terrific writer. I asked Josh to be in “God, Robot” because I loved the stories of his I read. I think his articles are great. As I said, I’m really looking forward to his novel. But, as of now, he’s not very well known. As for me, “God, Robot” has gotten great reviews so far, and for an anthology out for a short period of time, with only eight contributors and published by an indie publishing house, we have a relatively decent number of reviews – eleven with only one below five stars, at four. So I certainly haven’t been doing too badly myself as I try to grow something of a reputation.

To put this another way – John C. Wright, who almost certainly got more votes than we did, did not get nominated, because the novel category gets way more votes than the best Fanzine category. We got nominated because this was a category without a lot of voters that was easily able to be dominated by the Rabid Puppies slate. Combined with our presence on the Sad Puppies list we were pretty much a lock.

Does this bother anybody? It shouldn’t. It doesn’t bother me. We’ve been growing a fanbase since we started, and the fact that the Sads AND the Rabids both had us on their lists does mean we’re leaving a mark. I don’t believe we were picked as a parody, for the simple reason that Castalia likes our work enough to give us a weekly column on their increasingly popular blog. An anthology unassociated with us recently opened up submissions for superversive stories. We’re doing very well, and this only gets us more exposure. This is great!

And yet, if we weren’t on the Rabid Puppies slate, we still probably wouldn’t be on the Hugo shortlist. So why doesn’t this bother me? My answer is simple: I agree with what Vox Day is doing.

Vox is not trying to “fix” the Hugos. He’s trying to nuke them, and frankly, he’s already succeeded.

Actually, that’s not really true. He’s not trying to nuke them. He’s trying to expose them, and he has. The Hugos are a joke. Anything with “Space Raptor Butt Invasion” on its list of award nominees is not to be taken seriously. It’s still an honor to be nominated if you weren’t picked as a thumb in the nose because it means you’ve attracted the attention of some fairly big players in the sci-fi world, but the fact is that Vox has proven that the Hugos are so irrelevant that the Most Hated Man in Science Fiction is able to get a relatively small group of volunteers to dominate it in a way that should be impossible if the awards mean anything at all. The Hugos have a little over 4,000 nominees this year. To put this in perspective, Dragon Con, which is starting its own awards, attracted over 65,000 people. And even that is a fraction of the millions of sci-fi fans throughout the country.

The rabid puppies didn’t do anything to the Hugo awards. They just exposed the Hugos as an insular group of back-patting leftists easily overwhelmed by a rather small force of right-wing sci-fi fans. The Hugos were already dead. The Sad Puppies valiantly tried to fix them. They failed. It’s time to show the world what they really are: A joke.

So, I’m honored to be on the Rabid Puppies slate. I’m honored to be part of a group doing its small part to expose SJW’s and turn the tide of the culture war, even if we’re only a small part. And congratulations to the Hugo nominees – you’re part of something bigger than yourself. That’s something to be proud of.

UPDATE: Mike Glyer at File 770 says this about the article:

Like Anthony M at the Hugo-nominated Superversive SF blog who is thoroughly okay with the reason that happened, so why should you have any problem?

I will note that it is a rather sleazy trick to pretend that my argument was anything close to “I don’t have a problem, so neither should you.” That’s not what I said.

I’d explain what I did say, but then I just wrote an article about the subject. And now Mike Glyer has just assured that a bunch of people will think they know the content of said article without actually reading it. So thanks, said the author sarcastically.

  • I have to admit, I’ve been trying to figure this out ever since we got the news. I can’t imagine that five weeks of yakking about Robotech and an anime that’s not actually available in the US isn’t going to impress 1500 people, which lead to the conclusion that we were there essentially because someone brought us up to the Right People. And given our ties to Castalia….

    But it’s exposure, so there’s that. At the very least, some people who would never have heard of us will pop in here to check it out. At the very least, the Right People liked us enough to deem us worthy of being a pawn. The Hugos may have been cheapened by insular SJW frakkery, but hey. It meant something once, and I’ll gladly be part of the memory of what they meant.

  • Thanks for the link! And a hearty congratulations to SuperversiveSF itself and all associated with it on their respective Hugo noms!

  • ksterlingh

    Greetings Anthony, a year ago my posts at SuperversiveSF were openly critical of the methods used by SP3 and the RPs. This year SP4 was handled in a way that was not a slate and though I am not part of the SPs, I congratulate them for improving their methods.

    With this in mind, I am a bit puzzled by the position you have taken. I would hope that any of the finalist “wins” were a result of genuine interest by the SF community in general, even if some picks consisted of a largely SP-oriented audience. If it were due only to being on an RP slate, which is what you seem to be saying, that would diminish much of the honor in having made the finals. Being deemed worthy as a pawn in someone’s game to subvert an award does not strike me as consistent with being “superversive”… or am I missing something?

    And while RP’s slate may very well have revealed a problem with the mechanisms of voting for Hugo nominations, how does proving that potential by openly exploiting it to add “screw you” picks “hurt” SJWs, much less “massacre” them?

    Further, if the Hugo awards have really become so meaningless, a “joke” as you claim, why are you (and by that I guess I should say “we” because I was a part of SuperversiveSF and published in SciPhi during 2015) supposed to be thrilled with having made the finals?

    Suffice it to say I don’t agree with the intentions or methods of Vox Day. And I don’t understand how they fit with the “superversive” concept. Last year there were plenty of SPs speaking out against the RPs and VD. Was this distinction real or not? For any SP to embrace them this year after having received a finalist position due explicitly to their slate, feels a bit off.

    More than a bit off.

    I hope what you said is not the case for SuperversiveSF or SciPhi, as it taints these finalist picks by any code of honor I’ve ever heard. One can of course say thanks to those that voted and hope something good comes out of it, but this sort of petty, incidental victory you described is not something I’d brag about.

    • Anthony M

      With this in mind, I am a bit puzzled by the position you have taken.

      Why is that? I was never particularly invested as a Sad (or a Rabid, for that matter). I went full Rabid after the SJW’s chose to nuke their own awards and insult people in public. Let them burn.

      I would hope that any of the finalist “wins” were a result of genuine interest by the SF community in general, even if some picks consisted of a largely SP-oriented audience.

      You are missing my point entirely. The Rabid Puppies did nothing. These awards had nothing to do with genuine interest by the SF community in general. They’re a tiny, irrelevant award dominated for years by leftist back-scratchers. The Sad Puppies tried to fix it and failed. The Rabids aren’t destroying anything. They’re just exposing the awards for what they are: Completely pointless. A few hundred people voting in concert should not be able to completely dominate a fan-run award like this in arguably the most popular genres in the world as of now.

      Further, if the Hugo awards have really become so meaningless, a “joke” as you claim, why are you (and by that I guess I should say “we” because I was a part of SuperversiveSF and published in SciPhi during 2015) supposed to be thrilled with having made the finals?

      You can, perhaps, read the article, where I explicitly say why.

      Last year there were plenty of SPs speaking out against the RPs and VD.

      So what? I wasn’t one of them. And, you know, people can change their minds after new information comes in like, for example, learning that the SJW’s response to the Puppy campaigns was to asterisk the award show, libel people, and publicly insult them. It’s not unusual.

      I hope what you said is not the case for SuperversiveSF or SciPhi, as it taints these finalist picks by any code of honor I’ve ever heard. One can of course say thanks to those that voted and hope something good comes out of it, but this sort of petty, incidental victory you described is not something I’d brag about.

      Cool. Don’t.

  • Phil333

    @Anthony M:

    “I will note that it is a rather sleazy trick to pretend that my argument was anything close to “I don’t have a problem, so neither should you.” That’s not what I said.”

    So when you said: “Does this bother anybody? It shouldn’t. It doesn’t bother me.”

    What did you mean?

    • Anthony M

      It’s almost as if I wrote an article explaining what I mean, and not a single cherry-picked quote.

      • Phil333

        Yeah, I read your article. Could you answer the question?

        And also, why is it okay for Teddy to try and take a hammer to the Hugos? If they’re soooo irrelevant, they’ll fade out all by themselves without the need for all the histrionics from you and yours.

        The very fact that Ted, and you, feel the need to game them, shows that they are clearly still relevant.

        • Anthony M

          Ah, I love when people call Vox Day Theodore Beale or a variant. It’s as if he’s Voldemort.

          Anyway, I’m not going to explain this to you, because I already did. You don’t get it. You’re not going to get it. The answers to the things you’re saying? I’ve already brought them up.

          To be fair, there’s a little bit to say about the second point – people talked and acted as if the Hugos mattered. George R.R. Martin. Major media outlets. They advertised themselves as science fiction’s most prestigious award.

          And it turns out the award that’s supposed to represent the fans’ interests is so weak that a few hundred people voting in concert can utterly dominate them.

          The Hugos were already a joke. The rabid puppies just proved this to everybody.

          • Phil333

            No, the Rabid Puppies didn’t prove that at all. Some have their power at around 200-250 people – even at the upper bounds of that, they’re still a minority in terms of the total number of nominations. All they’ve proven is that, under the current rules, a dickhead with an axe to grind can come right on in and grind that axe, with only a small handful of useful idiots to help.

            Not because the Hugos are a joke, but generally speaking the organic nominations from people voting for what they actually liked are much more diffuse than the votes you get when you tell people exactly what they should vote for.

            But well done on your gamed nomination. It must truly be an honour to be one of Ted’s useful idiots for this round of Hugo shenanigans.

          • Anthony M

            200 to 300 people can mess up the Hugos by voting.

            I rest my case.