The Hugos, Vox Day and all the wailing and gnashing of teeth

I was going to simply repost Dave Freer’s Mad Genius Club post but it seems folks out there are determined to raise my ire. The continued personal attacks by certain parties against Brad Torgersen is one example. But it is the misrepresentation and the failure to consider that they might just be wrong that really pisses me off. So, if you don’t want to read how there is more to Sad Puppies 3 than the erroneous belief that Vox Day has been sitting behind the scenes like the Wizard of Oz and pulling strings, move along. Otherwise, grab a chair and sit back. This shouldn’t take long.

Okay, yes, Vox Day was on last year’s Sad Puppies list. Big deal. So were a lot of other folks who didn’t make the list this year. That doesn’t mean any of them were sitting there with their hands up Brad’s back, working him like a puppet. Vox may be many things but that he could not do. For one thing, Brad wouldn’t sit still and let it happen. For another, a number of us who supported SP3 would have had something to say about it. Whether you want to believe it or not, personal integrity is important to us and — this is where you need to listen carefully — that means Vox was not involved in the running of of SP3.

Okay, there were duplicate names on the list of recommendations put out by Brad and that put out by Vox on his Rabid Puppies list. Big freaking deal. I, for one, didn’t bother going to look at Vox’s list so I didn’t even realize I was on it until after the fact. How many others from SP3 can say the same? I have a feeling I’m not the only one.

Now we have someone on Facebook — a former employee of Random Penguin– going around saying that she (or it may be he) KNOWS Vox was involved. Why? Because he was on the SP2 slate. So that is proof enough for this person to condemn everyone and everything on the list.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, where is your integrity when you refuse to consider a work on its merits? You claim that SP3 broke the Hugos and yet you grudgingly admit that we did nothing against the rules. Some of you, those with at least a modicum of integrity, will even admit that all we did was take public what had been happening behind the scenes for years. How many authors and editors and agents talked among themselves and pushed to have one or more works nominated? How many publishers sent books out to members from the previous WorldCon to do just that?

But Sad Puppies “broke” the Hugos because Brad posted a list of recommended nominees.

Oh, but you KNOW we all voted straight ticket. Bullshit. If we did, there wouldn’t be the difference in the number of votes the nominees received in each category, or that one category got when compared to another.

Admit that what you are really pissed about is that Vox put together his own slate and got the majority of his people nominated. How did he do it? By doing the same thing everyone else has done for years but going public with it — by using social media to get fans of his authors’ works to buy memberships and vote.

Where is the hue and cry over people now saying they are taking up a collection to buy memberships for those who have yet to do so for themselves? I respect that Mary Robinette Kowal says she is doing a blind draw and everyone is invited to apply. However, can you imagine the uproar if SP3 supporters were to do the same thing? Oh my, we would be looking out our windows for the lynch squad.

You ask us to respect the Hugos — we do. We also respect the spirit of the Hugos and believe that everyone who is a fan of science fiction and fantasy should have an equal voice in determining what is the year’s best. If you admit that not everyone can afford the $40 to buy a supporting membership, but that their voices should be heard, then how can you turn around and say that only those who belong to “fandom” (as you define it) should be allowed to vote?

I don’t give a rat’s ass about an author’s sex, sexual preferences, religion, political beliefs or anything else. What I care about is whether or not the story is good and entertains me. It can have a message as long as that message doesn’t take precedence over plot and characterization. Don’t preach to me. And don’t tell me, as an author, that I have to follow some artificial tickler list of what I have to have in my books in order to be considered “good”.

As for the rest of it, if your problem is with Vox — and I will admit there is a hell of a lot of what he says I disagree vehemently with — take it up with him. Do not conflate what he says with something he isn’t a part of. Do not punish some very good writers because of your misconceptions and misunderstandings. Quit toeing the party line so closely that you can no longer think for yourselves. Have enough integrity to actually read the entries before voting.

After all, aren’t the Hugos about deciding the best in science fiction and fantasy, and not about voting only for the right sort of people?

For a great analysis of some of what has been going on, check out Dave Freer’s post at Mad Genius Club.



  1. When you get angry ordinary friends talk some sense into you.

    Real friends, OTOH, are walking alongside you with a baseball bat saying “somebody’s going to get it.”

    I’m pretty sure I still have a bat or two from when Athena did Little League.


    Stay strong, my friend.

    1. Thanks. The one thing all this has done is shown us who are real friends are. Well, that and who wants to see readable books once more winning the Hugos. 😉

        1. Yes! Those modern bats just transmit too much shock up to the wrists. (Sadly, I neglected to keep my old-style bat properly waxed for the desert Southwest.)

          Over in the corner is my grandfather’s old Budweiser cane, though, which I have kept up properly. He demonstrated to me once how he used to use it to disarm idiots that came after him with pool cues – do it just right, and you hook the cue down and leave yourself with a perfect swing to take out *both* kneecaps at once.

          (Considering the time period and place in which he owned one of his two snooker parlors, some of those customers may even have had gin on their breath – of the bathtub variety…)

  2. Hope things are going well, Amanda.

    About Vox………. Vox is his own man. I’ve read his blog more than a few times, and I just don’t see what he’s accused of there. He certainly doesn’t attack people the way Requires Hate did.

    Does he have some interesting takes on things? Yeah. Is he maybe a little obsessive? Yeah. Attack him, and he’s going to attack back, and humiliate you. Is he a bad individual to start a fight with? Yeah, most definitely.

    You may not agree with his stances on things, but you’ll find that he deals with facts or has good references when he backs up his argument. If he refers to people in a disrespectful way, you’ll find that his target started it, sometimes years ago. I don’t see him starting fights for the hell of it. Just doesn’t seem to be the way he rolls.

    Equating him with Requires Hate was stupid. There’s no one on the SJW side like Vox, and showing a mirror on it, he’s not like anyone in SJW land. He doesn’t go out of his way to attack like they do.

    Is Rabid Puppies an attempt to game the system? Maybe. But it’s within the rules, and the SJW’s asked for it the way they crowed about things after the last awards. Knowingly repeating myself, starting a fight with Vox has consequences.

    If some stupid SJW wants Vox denounced, let them do it, and reap the wild wind.

    1. Oh, I agree. Vox likes to stir the water but he does have facts behind him when he starts — or finishes — a debate. It is more his style than anything that makes me uncomfortable at times and in no way was this meant to be the “required” distancing that the other side is asking for. Oh, I want the other side to do more than to denounce him. They do that with every other breath. I want them to try to control him. If they think he is uncontrollable now, just wait. If they try to shut him down or shut him up, they will find out what a real fight is. I will then sell concessions and watch, knowing what the outcome will be even if they don’t.

  3. Vox Day seems to be an acquired taste… one that I haven’t acquired myself… HOWEVER… the things that he’s being reviled for don’t seem to be all that hate filled and disgusting…

    The ones I’ve tracked down (as opposed to taking the SJW’s word for what they contain) were food for thought…

    The fight he had with Jemison or whatever her name is was pretty much defensive and to the point.

    All that being said, I was going to drop out since the Hugo ceased to mean anything to me long ago… SP 1&2 were and investment in getting control of the awards out of the hands of people who just don’t appreciate the books that I want to read…

    SP3 has turned into something else… I’m trimming the budget, packing light, and intending on participating in WorldCon this year… I didn’t nominate, but I can be there and not only vote for my favorite works, but be part of making sure that the rules continue to include ALL FANS!!!

    1. Had a conversation with Mary Robinette Kowel about Vox on another forum last night and this morning. I’m still a little unsettled by it, and it didn’t go sideways or bad or anything.

      But it became real obvious that Ms. Kowel and I were seeing things through very different colored lenses. So different, it boggled my mind. It stopped me and made me wonder if instead of lying about things, some SJW’s just can’t visualize any point of view but their own.

      From my perspective, her parting shot was not only off topic, it brought up another whole issue of wtf? As far as point of view goes.

      It’s going to be really tough to co-exist at an event if one party cannot see the other’s viewpoint, or even admit to themselves someone might have a different viewpoint.

      1. I have wondered the same thing where a few of them are concerned. I’m even willing to give some of them the benefit of the doubt for just that reason. But folks like Chu and TNH, I can’t. MRK is at least willing to talk and try to explain — in reasoned tone and with reasoned words — whey she feels as she does. Not so with Chu and TNH and some of the others.

  4. Sounds like y’al did worse than break the rules, You beat them at their own game, I ran into my first science fiction book in the school library one Midway Island in the late 50s I have been reading ever since as a Kid I got caught more than once reading with a flashlight under the covers when I was supposed to be asleep. I never really paid much attention to awards etc and I guess I am not a Trufan(?) I just read, I have noticed that a lot of the authors I do read are on one side of this issue and the ones on the other? I have never heard of. Now I know I should not paint everyone with the same brush, but I am beginning to dislike these smug self satisfied outraged so called Trufans I might just buy a WorldCon deal; thing and say stuff them

  5. I don’t give a rat’s ass about an author’s sex, sexual preferences, religion, political beliefs or anything else. What I care about is whether or not the story is good and entertains me.

    I’m going to have to take some exception to this. I do care about an author’s sexual preferences. If their preferences run to small children, or goats, or corpses, then I’ll do my best to not spend a dime on their work. If their preferences run in other directions that are not as immediately and obviously harmful, yet are not a “civilizational good”, then they have a strike against them. A strike, it takes more than one. Ditto for their religion and political beliefs. Now, to be clear, I don’t go around and vet somebody before I read their work. If I ever do find out about their “protected class categorization”, it’s almost invariably because something in their work sent me seeking to quiet my spidey sense. (Note: sex is missing from my list, because on that, I don’t care.)

    I don’t give a damn how good of a story Mohammed or Stalin or Pol Pot or Marion Zimmer Bradley may have written. They were all unrepentant moral monsters, and I won’t give them one thin penny of my hard earned money, nor a vote. To say, as so many of the Sad Puppies have repeatedly done, that ALL that matters is the story, is as morally blind and idiotic as the position taken by the SJWs, namely, that ALL that matters is the person.

    The SJW’s are correct that a good society doesn’t reward moral monsters. Where they go wrong is in their almost total inability to recognize moral monsters. Anybody who has a poster of Che on their wall, without a crosshair between the eyes, loses any right to pass judgment on the morality of others.

    As G.K. Chesterton, a pretty good writer in his own right, said, ““Do not be so open-minded that your brains fall out.”

    1. You’re right of course. There are lines in the sand I draw, pretty much the ones you noted, and when I find them, I don’t cross over them. But, for those who don’t cross that line, I really don’t care.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.