Hugo post-mortem season is still going on, so here are the latest links and reactions:
John Scalzi points out that despite Vox Day’s best efforts, the Hugos still haven’t been destroyed and goes on to call Vox Day “gum on the shoe of history”, an asterisked (cause we know how puppies hate those) footnote in Hugo history that will be forgotten in a few years time. I also find his suggestions for how to handle to problem of Vox Day and Hugo slates better than some of the other proposed solutions, though I understand that this is something the WSFS is reluctant to do for historical reasons.
At Salon, Amanda Marcotte recapitulates the puppy campaign, compares it to Donald Trump’s US presidential campaign and offers some choice quotes from Teresa Nielsen-Hayden and Naomi Kritzer who responds to John C. Wright’s complaints about her Hugo winning short story “Cat Pictures, Please” with a critique of her own of Wright’s fiction.
Jameson Quinn, the man who came up with the “E Pluribus Hugo” amendment to make slates less effective, also draws the Trump parallel (considering it is an election year in the US, it’s probably inevitable) and explains how he came to be involved with the Hugo Awards.
At The Orbit, Stephanie Zvan takes a look at the 2016 Hugo results and attempts to calculate what a puppy-free ballot would have looked like (much better mostly, except in Best Dramatic Presentation longform, where the IMO vastly underrated Avengers: Age of Ultron would have been replaced with the Pixar film of the year).
Interestingly, it turns out that puppy causes célèbre Toni Weisskopf and Jerry Pournelle might well have ended up on the ballot without any slate help, ditto for Sci-Phi Journal and Jeffro Johnson’s Appendix N book. I do agree about Toni Weisskopf and possibly Jerry Pournelle, since both are well known and respected figures in the SFF world. Not so sure about Sci-Phi Journal, which strikes me as very puppyish indeed and might have gained votes from the residual sad puppies, and the Appendix N book. Though the latter might have profited from fans of pulp era SFF and Dungeons and Dragons players of the first hour.
However, Stephanie Zvan points out an interesting effect, namely that Jerry Pournelle, Toni Weisskopf and artist Larry Elmore*, the third puppy cause célèbre (a.k.a. “How could you evil SJWs no award these highly esteemed members of the SFF community?”), suffered from association with the puppies, since they were assumed to have only made the ballot because of the slates and no awarded accordingly. And indeed, Toni Weisskopf was not no awarded in 2013 and 2014, before the puppy shenangigans got fully under way. So in short, Vox Day has actually hurt many of the people he claims to champion.
Meanwhile, puppy cause célèbre Jerry Pournelle seems to have enjoyed himself quite thoroughly in Kansas City, even though he did not get to take a Hugo home (but then he won the first ever Campbell Award, beating out George R.R. Martin among others).
Let’s have some international reactions:
Finnish fan Sami Sundell weighs in on the 2016 Hugos and shares his opinions on the winners and nominees.
The Austrian daily newspaper Der Standard has a regular SFF column by J. Josefson and provides the only German language account of the Hugos and the puppy drama (with bonus explanation of the Chuck Tingle phenomenon) that I’ve found so far. There are German speaking puppy sympathisers in the comments, but then the puppies would fit in just nicely with FPÖ and AfD voters, which have sadly infested Germany and Austria.
The Inquirer, a Filipino news site, does not pay any attention to the puppies and instead celebrates Uncanny co-editor Michi Trota, the first ever Filipina to win a Hugo Award. Unfortunately, author Aries Joseph Hegina fails to mention that there was another Filipina, Alyssa Wong, nominated for the Campbell Award (which she lost narrowly to Andy Weir) and that she also won one of George R.R. Martin’s Alfie Awards.
The Chinese media doesn’t much care for puppy drama either (understandable, since it’s some other country’s culture war) and instead celebrates Hao Jingfang’s Hugo win in the best novelette category, as these articles from Xinhua and the Global Times show. The Global Times article also points out that this is the second Hugo win for a Chinese author in a row and is pleased at the increased interest in Chinese science fiction in the US.
At Quartz, Echo Huang Yinyin points out that Hao Jingfang’s Hugo winning novelette “Folding Beijing” is not all that far removed from the actual class divisions in real world Beijing and the hassle non-residents have to deal with, to the point that there was some debate in China whether the story was science fiction at all.
Add in the fact that Hao Jingfang herself is on record that writing about inequality is a subject near and dear to her heart and I guess Vox Day accidentally slated a dyed-in-the-wool social justice warrior there. But then apparently his latest big master plan is to force Hugo voters to read and vote for social justice warriors in order to destroy science fiction or something.
Talking of the puppies, more of them have apparently finished licking their wounds, so let’s see what they have to say:
Larry Correia has finally resurfaced from a long weekend spent painting Games Workshop miniatures (at least I think that’s what they are, not my scene) to weigh in on the Hugos about which he totally doesn’t care at all, cause they are totally irrelevant. Oh yes, and he totally made whatever point he wanted to make with starting the Sad Puppy campaign (apart from winning himself a Hugo). He’s also angry at Neil Gaiman for saying mean things about the puppies. Interestingly, Correia doesn’t seem to have found Damien Walter’s article about his work yet.
Camestros Felapton offers a blow by blow response to Larry Correia and points out the inconsistencies in his arguments.
2015 sad spokespuppy Brad Torgersen takes issue with the Amanda Marcotte article I linked above and otherwise repeats the same talking points he has already repeated ad infinitum: The Sad Puppies were slandered, Sad Puppies are not racists, homophobes or misogynist, that said the current crop of more diverse Hugo winners and nominees are totally just winning because of affirmative action, cause they can’t possibly be any good. Apparently, Torgersen is unable to recognise the irony there. However, Torgersen also affirms how much he is in favour of diversity, as long as diversity means inclusion of US rightwing talking points (which in the rest of the western world would be far right fringe positions). Oh yes, and Brad Torgersen never really wanted a Hugo anyway nor a Nebula nor a Locus Award, and anyway, the new Dragon Awards are much cooler and better. And just in case anybody had any doubts that this was a real Brad Torgersen post, he also invokes Saul Alinsky whom hardly anybody on the left has ever heard of, but with whom US-rightwingers are obsessed for some reason.
Meanwhile, Dave Freer claims that the Hugo voters who slammed the puppies the third year in a row have only won a pyrrhic victory, because a mystical three quarter majority of ultra-rightwingers will no longer buy the work of writers, editors and publishing houses somewhere to the left of Attila the Hun. And anyway, political correctness is dead, don’t you know? Freer is also very cross at Damien Walter for saying mean things about his work (To be fair, I’ve never read Freer’s fiction, so I have no idea what it’s like or if it’s better than his blogposts). Oh yes, and Dave Freer has sold more books than Damien Walter, so he’d obviously superior. In short, the usual puppy chow.
Brian Niemeier, 2016 Campbell Award nominee who finished last behind behind every other nominee in the category, including our old friend Noah Ward, is outraged, not on his own behalf, but on that of Jerry Pournelle, Moira Greyland and whoever wrote that “Safe Space as a Rape Room” thing. He also believes that WorldCon and the Hugos are dying and is resolved to win a Dragon Award in the best horror category, so good luck to him.
Finally, regarding the WorldCon panel on the state of short science fiction that got derailed, because moderator Dave Truesdale wanted to rant about how politically correct special snowflakes are ruining SF, whereupon he promptly got himself banned, a not very good audio recording of said panel is now online. And yes, it seems to have been as much of a trainwreck as everybody said.
Alec Nevala-Lee who shared a panel on old time radio with Dave Truesdale the day before the derailed short fiction panel offers his take on the controversy and his experiences interacting with Truesdale.
Jim C. Hines offers another response to the problematic panel and the ban that followd it.
At Facebook, Andy Duncan – who was quoted in Dave Truesdale rant about politically correct special snowflakes ruining SFF, quoting something that the late David G. Hartwell supposedly said – points out that Truesdale misunderstood what David Hartwell meant and that Hartwell was not actually opposed to diversity in SFF. Truesdale himself shows up in the comments to claim that he totally didn’t mean what he said as does Hartwell’s widow who has her own take on things. Andy Duncan’s post from the which the quote was taken is here BTW, if you want to read the whole thing.
Comments are closed as on all puppy-related posts.
*Coincidentally, for someone who is supposedly such a giant in SFF art, I have to say that I’d never heard of Larry Elmore before this Hugo season. My book on 1960s to 1980s fantasy art certainly doesn’t mention him.