Advocati Diaboli: The Sad Puppies and the 2015 Hugo Award Nominations.

The 2015 Hugo Nominee list is up.

More than anyone could have expected, the voting bloc of the Sad Puppies has made the vast majority of the
nomination slots, and indeed, of their proposed slate, to BE the nomination slate this year.

Brad and his friends are crowing about ‘stealing the Enterprise.’. Jason Sanford
has some analysis of the nominees and book sales, concluding that the Non Puppy nominees, despite what has been asserted, do sell significant numbers of books.. Mike Glyer at File 770 looks at the slate in detail. An interesting note: Larry Correia declined a Hugo nomination for his book. I wonder who got on the final nominee list as a result.

Also of interest, Matthew David Surridge, who also gotten a nomination thanks to the Sad Puppies slate, declined it. At long length, he talks about it at Black Gate.

John Scalzi, who is a Bete Noire to the Sad Puppies, has some good thoughts too.

I do not believe that all of the Sad Puppies nominators read the entire slate of Sad Puppies and found those works to be the only Hugo nominateable ones, and nominated on that basis. Of course that is true of more nominators than just the Sad Puppies, but the practical upshot of a slate of nominees and an active set of fans nominating solely on that basis is the results today.

I know there has always been logrolling behind the scenes for a particular author, or a particular book, but the Sad Puppies have, in the modern internet age, proved that they can and did logroll nearly an entire year’s Hugo slate. There is work on this ballot that has nothing to do with the Puppies, and there are Puppies nominees who are worth consideration. But by and large, they have made this year’s Hugo’s all about the politics, as Charlie Jane Anders says.

If you compare the nominating ballot numbers from this year, and last year, you can see the Puppies activism. I’m not against lots of new voters, I’m on the record
as saying the Hugos need to expand. What I am against is bringing in hundreds of new voters voting a party slate. The results speak for themselves.

Further, here’s the thing. This Sad Puppies ballot voting and their political motivations makes the Hugo Award look like a parochial US only thing. What about fans in Britain? Germany? Australia? Pakistan? Their voices are only slowly being heard in SF awards, and with this slate, those voices are silenced completely this year.

12 thoughts on “Advocati Diaboli: The Sad Puppies and the 2015 Hugo Award Nominations.”

  1. Unless we do away with a popular vote, logrolling/slatemaking will always be a possibility. It is not intrinsically an evil thing, as there is strong campaigning in all quarters for works that the campaigners believe should win. Same thing happens in real-life political voting: “get your vote out” is the sine qua non of any group of like-minded voters, and there’s nothing wrong in and of itself with getting people interested in voting. And there’s nothing to be done for people voting for candidates that they see people they like/respect/follow voting for; it’s a sad fact of American politics that very few voters find out for themselves which candidates they agree with.

    The other option is a juried award, and that concept is just as awash with issues as the popular vote.

  2. I am from Australia and I welcome it.

    Crap from previous years has been unreadable.

    1. and therein lies a major problem. If I don’t like something (military SF) does that mean by default it is not worthy of a Hugo nomination/award?

      1. Hardly, Jason. I have no problem with individual nominations of any SF/F sort.

        I have a problem when a slate of nominees is used to dominate a nomination ballot by block voting. There have been logrolling attempts before and current, behind
        the scenes. I can’t imagine every person in every one of those logrolling efforts read the work in question. Those aren’t cool, either. What the Sad Puppies have done is to do it en masse and in the open. No one
        has ever done that before, and it has distorted the ballot as a result.

        1. It looks to be a pretty diverse ballot, in both the people and works nominated. There are a couple I didn’t like, but thats par for the course. I’ve read a lot of the works in question, and I’m going to make a good effort to read them all before I vote.

          That said, I think the proposal to rank every Sad Puppies work below No Award without reading them or judging the work on its own merit (and not the politics/afilliations of the author) as suggested by several leading voices in SF is pretty reprehensible. And if the final awards come out and that is the case, it will go a long way to proving Correia and Torgersons point.

    2. Have you checked out “Wisdom from my Internets”? You could read a preview on Amazon, but I wouldn’t advise it. Pure drek.

  3. Well

    I’ve been at the BSFA con (Eastercon) this weekend — it’s like the Brit version of SFWA. Sort of.

    Last night there was a last minute panel — the Sad Puppies Reaction panel. Roughly 1/4 – 1/3 of the con turned up which is pretty good going for something that wasn’t on the programme. And the mood seemed to indicate that most of those people were pissed off at the Sad Wankers, sorry, Puppies behaving like a bunch of ….*censors self*

    Various answers to this were mooted (Ranging from “Nuke the award from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure” to “We should write slash about them”, a plan that has me giggling so hard it cured my flu. Also, it is writing itself in my head)

    No concrete answers I’m afraid. I don’t think there can be any. But it was pointed out that this sort of thing has been going on pretty much since the start of the Hugos. SFF has *always* been political. Always. It just pops up in different forms.

    The way I see it is we have to be the change we want to see. No doubt that is also how the Sad Wankers, sorry, Puppies see it too. And to that I may not have an answer.

    You know what we can do? Keep on publishing diverse SFF, keep reading it, talking about it, loving it.

  4. I tried sharing my thoughts on this today, but the problem is I still don’t get the controversy that led us to this point. Maybe I’m just too thick-skinned to feel desperately insecure in my gender/race/etc., but I find it ironic certain people are so upset that the genre’s own goals of progress and diversity are being realized.

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