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[personal profile] daveon
You know I'm still processing my thoughts on all of this, but I have been helped greatly by reading some of George RR Martin's thoughts.  And also looking at some of the general stuff going around.  Rather than do a link salad, because there are LOTS of links I wanted to dump my thoughts.
First off: I like puppies.  I have puppies and love them to bits.  I'm not much of a cat person though, so horses for courses and all that.

The Issue:
The Puppies state quite publically that the 'wrong' kind of stuff was being nominated.  I have read a belief that this is due to 'whispering campaigns' against Conservative writers or a secret cabal pulling strings behind the scenes.

The "Cabal"
If there is one, or for that matter a 'whispering' campaign, I have not noticed - I've only been going to Worldcons for about a decade, frankly, I couldn't afford it before then.  But in that decade there have been very few occasions where the book I voted for has won.  Usually some of my nominations are on the slate though, but if we take the 'Puppies' at their words I like the same stuff as they do - spaceships, FTL, Ais and adventure.  I have read Peter F Hamilton's Reality Dysfunction twice.  Looking at that decade of Hugo Awards there isn't much of a pattern I see.  There's big Space Opera, edgy technothrillers, urban and traditional fantasies - it's pretty diverse actually.  There are some really fucking clunkers in there.  There's also some stuff that upset me badly at the time, River of Gods was robbed is all I am going to say.

So, when I read the charge 'the Awards are all for the wrong stuff' or 'recently the awards have been for touchy feely stuff' or variations on that theme, and I look at the actual shortlists and winners and no obvious patterns emerge, and, in fact, they appear to be largely representative of the stuff I read or was aware of, or was well known of then that charge fails.

Good Writers are Being Overlooked!!!!
Yes, yes they are.  Iain Banks never won a Best Novel Hugo.  He was a screaming liberal, but wrote stuff the puppies claim to love, so what gives?  How about Peter F Hamilton?  No liberal he, I think, writes BIG FUCKING SPACE OPERAS.  Neal Asher?  Amazing stuff.  Jon Courtney Grimwood?  Al Reynolds?  How about Alaistair Fucking Reynolds?  A man who got a $1.5 MILLION dollar advance for his next 10 Novels…  No Hugo for him, and no love from the puppies…

So I looked at the slate again and looked at some of the people.  We have an Urban Fantasy from a best seller author who sells buckets of books.  Good for him, but is the Hugo really an award for selling buckets?  I mean, yes, it has been, but not always.  Ask George RR Martin or Terry Pratchett, a man so overlooked by Worldcon Fandom he was only a Guest of Honour….

So the Puppies claim, in some respects to speak for me, but one of their slate novels is described as 'Akin to Old Man's War!' - now, for me that isn't much of an accolade - I mean I read it, it was alright, it wasn't anything new or special, probably didn't deserve the nomination, but we'll come onto that later.  But it's not a bit of praise on Amazon that is going to make me click 'Buy Now'.

They Did It First!!!!
There is a charge that the 'other side' whomever that is, did the slate thing first.  Well, sorta, and you might have a point.  I certainly know quite a few of the people they would claim to detest who have serious problems with John Scalzi and Charlie Stross for their self promotion activities.  But, hey, I run a small business, if you have a marketing channel you bloody well use it.

The thing is, there is a world of difference between 'hey, I wrote this vote for me! And here is a list of other things you might like' and 'Here is a list of works in each category that you should nominate.' - if you can’t process that difference then stop reading, you're a fucking idiot and I don't have to be nice to you.

The Elephant, or should I say, Puppy in the room.  John Scalzi.  Obviously one of the ring leaders in this cluster fuck is Theodore Beale, sorry I won't grant him his ridiculous nom.  He and many others have a real hard on hate for John Scalzi, which is kinda weird.  Because, frankly, John Scalzi writes EXACTLY the kind of stuff they claim gets overlooked.  And I wonder if we're actually seeing something else more along the lines of 'one of our own turned'…

Scalzi was recommended by noted extreme liberal Glenn Reynolds for Old Man's War, a fairly run of the mill MilSF novel which was no great shakes, in my opinion, filled an afternoon but not much more.  It seems to have come as a shock to some 'fellow travelers' in that space that by their standards Scalzi is a flaming liberal.  Then again, these are people who have basically accused me of being left wing too, which amuses me all the way to the depths of my capitalist little heart.

Where are the greats?!?!?
I've seen this a lot.  Usually, in the form of 'I used to read Heinlein, Asimov, Bradbury, Silverberg, everything today is all touchy feely crap' - uh huh…  like Banks, Asher, Hamilton, Leckie and many many more…  If all you can counter with is Hoyt, Correia, Torgensson and Kloos then you need to get out an READ SOME MORE GODAMN BOOKS.

And finally…
Here's what I believe.  This started because Larry Correia was nominated for a Campbell, went to a Worldcon and didn't get treated with the respect he deserved and he thought people mocked him for his politics and his religion.  Well, probably…  sorry, probably guilty as charged.  He then didn't get a Hugo nomination and assumed its because people didn't like him.  Well, sorry Larry, I don’t much care about your politics, I don't agree with Vernor Vinge much either but I fucking LOVE his books.  I fucking hate yours.  Don't do anything for me.  Sorry.  It's honestly not personal.  Write me a big picture Space Opera and I'll give you a chance.

This has ZERO to do with a culture war, this has everything to do with butt hurt from not getting the respect you think you're due from your peers.  Well sorry mate, that gets earned.
What you don't do is vandalize the prom because you didn't get a date, and that's what's being done here.

So what to do?
Honestly, I don't know.  I probably will protest vote any category where the slate dominates.  Not to say I won't read the works and see if they deserve to be there - I have read a Kevin Anderson and not hated it, didn't think it was all that good mind you.  I have read some John C Wright, and politics aside it stank like the crap my dog did at the vet earlier because he was nervous about being there.  As for the editor category, if you can't write for toffee, as a certain Mr Beale proved to me last year, I'm damn sure you can't edit.

Date: 2015-04-09 05:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kevin-standlee.livejournal.com
I'm glad to hear from you on this subject, and I'm glad that it aroused you to buy your Worldcon membership.

Date: 2015-04-09 06:17 pm (UTC)
ext_58972: Mad! (butt sex)
From: [identity profile] autopope.livejournal.com
ButButBut ... don't you know it's all about ethics in games journalism?!?

Date: 2015-04-09 06:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daveon.livejournal.com
Oh? Stooopid me, because I was thought it was about feeling upset because you got dumped by your girlfriend... see, I just don't understand this stuff do I?

Date: 2015-04-09 06:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bovil.livejournal.com
This started because Larry Correia won a Campbell, went to a Worldcon and didn't get treated with the respect he deserved and he thought people mocked him for his politics and his religion.

He lost to Lev Grossman, but I believe did reasonably well in the voting.

I'm not sure he got mocked, he probably just wasn't fawned over to his satisfaction. After all, he's a shrinking violet who has to wear "asshole" as armor to protect himself.

Date: 2015-04-09 07:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daveon.livejournal.com
He has said he thought people were mocking him for both his politics and his religion.

I'm still not sure about Brad Torgesson who appears to be a perfect Sealion in pretty much every comments thread where I've bumped up against him. But, that said, the Sad Puppies slate didn't actually win.

Date: 2015-04-09 07:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chris-gerrib.livejournal.com
What amazes me about both Torgersen and Corriea (in particular) and the modern American conservative (in general) is their inability to be criticized. If I say an idea is wrong, that is taken to be a "two minute hate" and a personal attack on them. Christ on a stick, man up!

/end rant/

Torgersen really gets me in that regard. He's in the Army, and unless things have changed beyond recognition, he has had to been on the receiving end of a few epic ass-chewings.

Date: 2015-04-09 07:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daveon.livejournal.com
Yes, see my comment on your related thread. It is astounding to me that modern conservatives are so upset and put out because they aren't being treated like the special little snowflakes they apparently are.

To paraphrase Terry Pratchett, why don't you go home and roll about in your money and get over it, which based on the numbers I see for Larry Correia's sales is most certainly the case.

What happened to the virtues of self reliance, self determination, self validation... especially for the fucking Libertarians - isn't that their bloody creed.

I thought the whiny bloggers complaining about not being represented was bad enough, but at least they did something - this is a childish tantrum. Then again, look at Rand Paul yesterday getting all upset because they wanted to make him explain why he's changed his mind so many times.
Edited Date: 2015-04-09 07:46 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-04-09 07:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daveon.livejournal.com
Brad is military? Seriously? Didn't know that.

So does he get belligerent and whiny when a senior officer gives him a dressing down? I rather suspect not.

Date: 2015-04-09 08:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chris-gerrib.livejournal.com
He's a Warrant Officer in the Army Reserve. I think he's something in IT, based on his day job (IT at a hospital). But this is all second- and third- hand.

Date: 2015-04-09 08:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wendyzski.livejournal.com
Ask George RR Martin or Terry Pratchett, a man so overlooked by Worldcon Fandom he was only a Guest of Honour….

Terry Pratchett was nominated for a Hugo and declined the nomination

Date: 2015-04-09 08:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daveon.livejournal.com
Yes I know, I just felt that the fact he was a guest of honour at the convention was a MUCH bigger thing for him than an award.

Date: 2015-04-09 11:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bovil.livejournal.com
There are far fewer Worldcon Guests of Honor than there are Hugo winners. Though GoH doesn't come with a trophy.

Date: 2015-04-10 03:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daveon.livejournal.com
That was the impression I got on the subject.

Bad code

Date: 2015-04-09 08:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hal-obrien.livejournal.com
It's the faulty syllogism that gets to me:

* I'm a "conservative."
* I'm not getting Hugo noms.
* Therefore, It must be because of the sekrit librul cabal.

The idea that, hey, no, it's because you're a bad writer is the Truth That Dare Not Speak Its Name. And you know how I know they're bad writers (almost) sight unseen?

They're blaming their readers. They're blaming their editors. Which are the classic rookie/tyro mistakes.

You don't want me to think you're hopelessly amateur? Fine. Stop acting in a hopelessly amateurish way. (Which has nothing to do with ideology, incidentally.)
Edited Date: 2015-04-09 08:42 pm (UTC)

Re: Bad code

Date: 2015-04-09 08:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daveon.livejournal.com
That's one of the reasons I wanted to go and look at the books on the slate and look them up on Amazon.

They just seem a bit, well, for want of a better word. Naff.

Date: 2015-04-09 09:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] landsmand.livejournal.com
Well, OK, you got my attention - but only 'cos it's you, Dave. You generally make a lot of sense and if you think this is a thing, then I suppose it might be.

This is clearly of huge importance to lots of folk, not least, I suppose, the authors, whose earning potential no doubt goes up quite a lot if they can casually point to a Hugo on the mantelpiece while Skyping their editors and agents.

I must be too stupid to join this debate, I generally don't react to fiction on the basis of the gender preference, ethnicity, religious faith or political alignment of the author; being an old-fashioned sort of cove, I tend to be guided in my appreciation by the quality of the writing, the interest level of the plot, the strength of the characterisation.... that kind of thing.

Still, I suppose I'm glad it's keeping people interested and engaged. Fandom has always kind of vaguely interested me as a social phenomenon, viewed very firmly from the outside and this is bloody interesting to watch.

Date: 2015-04-10 02:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daveon.livejournal.com
Well, on a certain level it doesn't matter... Hugos, meh. Last year, with the concern bloggers worrying about inclusivity the easy conclusion was set up your own awards.

This though, this isn't culture, this is pure vandalism dressed up as something else and I'm not sure it will go away as easily.

Date: 2015-04-10 08:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] landsmand.livejournal.com
I suppose it will keep on grumbling away. I don't have a dog in the fight, I read and enjoy stuff from, um, both sides - and don't read, because I don't enjoy, probably the same amount again, equally from both sides.

There is something mildly praiseworthy in agitating for folk who are disadvantaged to cease to be so, no objections there, just as there are fairly compelling arguments for resistance against excessive advantage on the basis of criteria which are irrelevant to literary merit, but I wonder if a minority genre of fiction is really the most sensible battlefield for the 'warriors' on either side of the argument. The sheer intensity and nastiness of the rhetoric deployed by both sides strongly suggests, much like conflicts in the Junior Common Room, that the most trivial and low-risk issues in closed communities tend to attract the most venomous discord.

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