Imagine my surprise when I stumbled, pre-coffee, to my laptop and one of the first things I see is a notice from WordPress that my blog activity has spiked. Imagine my surprise to see it and know I hadn’t posted anything new for a few days. Imagine my surprise when I check the referrals to my blog and see that I’ve had a number of visitors suddenly showing up thanks to Twitter (a form of social media I hate because it can be such a time sink.). Imagine my surprise when I log onto Facebook and find a whole thread in one of the groups I belong to talking about why folks had linked to my blog.
Okay, I’m slow in the mornings, especially before coffee. I had to follow the links and find the post that was causing all the consternation. Except it wasn’t one of my posts. It wasn’t even something I’d written. Instead, it was a comment posted on my April 7th post about the Hugos and some of the accusations being flung around at that time by Puppy haters about those of us who were either on the Sad Puppies list of recommended nominees or who actually supported what Sad Puppies 3 was all about.
The comment, by someone calling himself Captain Comic, can be found here. Mind you, I can see how the comment might upset some of the more delicate folk but, to be honest, at the time it was posted, I laughed. Why? Because it was exactly how so many of us felt as we were constantly berated by Fans (with a big F) who told us we weren’t “real” fans because we hadn’t been attending WorldCon for years. You can check the post for my response to that and more.
So why did this comment suddenly start trending as WorldCon was getting started? That is the question I was asking myself. So I ventured over to the dreaded Twitter and I looked at the post of Facebook and I didn’t know whether to laugh, shake my head or start looking for false flags. Apparently, someone snapped a photo of the comment — with a change in name at the beginning of the “memo” — as it had been printed out and placed on one of the freebie tables at WorldCon.
Oh the howls of outrage and Puppy condemnation. But what caught my eye was how a fella by the name of Avrim Grumer pretty quickly identified that this Captain Comic had been posting things like this to According to Hoyt and then, immediately after revealing that he linked to my post. Now, it could be he was just using his google-fu. It could be that he reads both ATH and this blog. Doubtful, at least where this blog is concerned. I’m small time compared to Sarah’s blog. If you keep scrolling through the comments to the Twitter post, you’ll see the usual suspects chiming in.
Now, in my under-caffeinated state, I find myself wondering why anyone would be copying that comment and putting it out on a table at WorldCon. I have a hard time believing any of the Sad Puppies supporters would try to stir the pot like that. It would serve our side and our belief that the Hugos need to be awards of the fans, not the Fans. That every lover of science fiction and fantasy has the right to not only know they can nominate and vote for their favorites as long as they pay the appropriate fee but that they shouldn’t be afraid to do so.
Then my suspicious side comes out and I wonder if this was a ploy by a Puppy kicker to stir up trouble. After all, there have been comments on Twitter where people have discussed how afraid they were to attend WorldCon because — gasp — Sad Puppies or Rabid Puppies might be there. We’re such a violent group, after all. After all, we like guns and a lot of us served proudly — or still serve proudly — in the military. And, worst of all, we love entertaining stories. Sure, those stories can have a message but the message does not drown out the story. So that makes us all white, misogynistic male Mormons who are all proudly cis-male.
Whoever copied that comment off and left it for all and sundry to see, well, bad judgment. For those who have linked back to my blog and tried to infer that I, and my fellow Sad Puppy 3 supporters, are somehow evil, not smart. We tend to have long memories of crap like this and we are tired of trying to play by rules you demand of us but you refuse to follow yourselves.
I’d been willing to sit back and wait to see what happened at WorldCon. I was proud of the fact that Sad Puppies 3 helped increase membership to WorldCon to levels never before seen. I was proud of the fact we showed lovers of science fiction and fantasy that they did have a voice in the Hugos. Why? Because the Hugo is something that once meant something to fans, not just to Fans. It should again.
Fans with a little “f” are what make our genre great. They are our supporters, our customers, our readers and our viewers. When we start forgetting that, we are doing no one, least of all ourselves, any good. That is true when it comes to cons and it is true when it comes to what we write. No one has said literary has no place in science fiction or fantasy. At least no one I’m aware of. What we’ve said is that it is time to remember that our readers want stories, not sermons.
When did we lose sight of that?