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.