Well, at least the rabid puppies are. No one is quite sure what the sad puppies are up to these days.
But as for the rabids, Vox Day has released his rabid puppy slate for 2017 (the link goes to File 770, so it’s safe to click). Only that this year, his usual slating tactics won’t work due to the “E Pluribus Hugo” nomination system, so the rabid puppies focus on only one or two items per category now, hoping they can push at least one nominee onto the shortlist in every category. As for the actual list, it’s the usual mix of Castalia House publications, “hostages” and “human shields”, i.e. nominees that are widely popular and probably would have made the ballot anyway (China Miéville, Neil Gaiman, File 770, Ralph MacQuarrie, Deadpool, Game of Thrones), and dinosaur erotica, since Vox Day appears to be a fan of this niche genre. Though considering how hilariously he was pwned by Chuck Tingle last year, Day has chosen to put his support behind another author of dinosaur erotica this year. He has also managed to actually find two decent nominees in the best related work category (which was a complete trashfire in the past two years) and is not pushing Jeffro Johnson’s Appendix N project at us for the third year in a row (Johnson is one of the better puppy fan writers and his Appendix N project was actually sort of interesting, though not two years in a row). Though unfortunately, he has found another John C. Wright story to nominate. Talking of which, the latest post at John C. Wright’s own blog (archive.is link) postulates some very out there political theories.
Of course, even if the rabid puppies manage to push some items onto the ballot, in the end the outcome will be the same as in the previous three years. The obvious human shields will place above “No Award” and might even win, everything else gets no awarded and some people will probably withdraw. Indeed, Mike Glyer has already preemptively withdrawn File 770 from consideration for this year.
Talking of File 770, the reaction over there to the Rabid Puppies 2017 announcement was a resounding “meh”. Meanwhile, Camestros Felapton points out at his blog that the puppies both rabid and sad seem to be rather tired this year.
Camestros also pointed out this little gem of a post by Brad Torgersen (archive.is link), which is a response to this post, where Greta Johnsen interviews N.K. Jemisin. Now personally, I don’t see anything even remotely objectionable in N.K. Jemisin’s answer and I baffle at some of the commenters at Brad’s post who claim that the N.K. Jemisin interview reads like a dense academic paper in postmodern gender studies. Because believe me, I have read dense academic postmodern papers at university and this interview sounds nothing like them.
As for Brad Torgersen, he basically restates the same point he made in his infamous “Nutty Nuggets” post, namely that SFF (since I suspect he’d hate the term speculative fiction) no longer delivers what Torgersen believes readers want, that traditional publishing and traditional SFF are dying and indie publishing rules (a.k.a. the point of every second post on every second indie writing blog) and that it’s no longer possible to judge an SFF book by its cover (whereas these vintage SF covers from the 1960s and 1970s totally illustrate the contents of the respective novels). He also draws another food parallel, though this time about “New Coke”, the spectacularly unsuccessful change in the Coca Cola formula in the 1980s. Now I’m always baffled that Americans are still going on about “New Coke” more than thirty years later, but then I’m not American and have never been a drinker of sugary softdrinks, so any kind of Coke tastes equally offputting to me.
So in short, it’s business as usual, albeit cooked on a smaller flame, in puppy land.
Meanwhile, I intend to do what I did the past three years, namely nominate works I enjoyed, regardless of who else enjoyed them, and will vote for whatever I consider Hugo worthy, regardless of how it got on the ballot.
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