What a Novel Idea

sad_puppies_3_patch(Cross-posted from Mad Genius Club)

Time has now past to register for Sasquan in order to take part in the nomination and voting for the different Hugo Award categories. That means it is time to grab your snack and drink of preference and sit back to watch as certain heads start exploding because — gasp — Sad Puppies didn’t go away like they thought it would. Instead, Brad Torgersen has taken up the call to help bring attention to science fiction and fantasy works that do something unheard of in the halls of social justice warriors and their subset, the glittery hoo-hahs. These revolutionary works actually entertain the reader or viewer without hitting us over the head with a “socially relevant” message.

The Hugos began in 1955, iirc. I remember a time when I was younger when winning an award actually meant something when it came to sales of a title. I looked for books that had the stamp of being a Hugo winner on them because I could be certain they were books that I would enjoy. The story would entertain and make me think. Those books were, in fact, some of the best in science fiction or fantasy for that year. They were books I wanted to read.

Sadly, that has changed over the year and, with that change, the Hugos have been seen by many readers as having lost their relevance. After all, who wants to read a novel that is more concerned with preaching a message than it is in telling an entertaining story? Worse, in some ways at least, fewer and fewer readers actually know that the Hugos exist, much less what they are supposed to reward.

Yet, with that sad reality smacking us in the face, if you dare rock the boat and offer up a slate of recommended nominations that doesn’t meet the social justice platform, you will find yourself and the books and other works included on your slate, attacked by the SJW side. Don’t believe me, look at what has already started happening with the Sad Puppies 3 slate. Within a short time of Brad releasing his slate, the following tweet by Ian Sales appeared:

[name redacted] surprised Jim Butcher is on their list, didn’t know he was a fascist. Not that I’ve read his books or ever plan to

This was posted at 6:09 AM yesterday. Two things strike me on this — the first is the automatic assumption that Jim Butcher is a “wrong” thinker just because he is on a list compiled by someone who doesn’t buy in blindly to the SJW agenda and the second is that the decision is being made without ever having read anything written by Butcher. But, in some ways, that doesn’t surprise me. This seems to be the approach all too often of zealots and those who blindly follow them.

If you continue looking at Sales’ twitter feed on the topic you will find that he made another mistake. He assumed that Sad Puppies 3 is the exact same list as that released by Vox Day. It isn’t. There are some similarities and there are some differences, as there should be because they were made by two different people with different tastes and different reasons for putting the lists together. But just because there is some overlap and — gasp — because Vox Day is involved in one, both lists must be tainted, at least in the eyes of the SJW crowd and their hangers on.

So watch as this becomes a negative campaign on their side, just as it was last year and the year before. They won’t be out there extolling the wonderful plots and well-crafted stories of their nominees. No, you will see instead attacks on the authors and editors listed on SP3 as people because they don’t fall into lock step with the right-thinkers.

When did we forget that to be the best in science fiction and fantasy, the work has to be readable or watchable and it has to be entertaining? Yes, even groundbreaking science fiction and fantasy can both groundbreaking and entertaining. That is something that too many publishers and too many in the SJW sect have forgotten.

Fortunately, people like Brad haven’t. He’s put together a slate of nominees that include conservative and libertarian authors. If you look closely enough, you might even find a liberal or two. This is not a slate of evil conservative men who want to push women into the kitchen or the bedroom and never let them out. What it is, is a slate of titles that honor what science fiction and fantasy happen to be. So I urge you to consider the works he has proposed.

I’ll even go one further than many of those who are so quick to condemn the SP Slate. I urge you to read not only these titles but those put forth by the other side. If you do, and if you enjoy science fiction and fantasy that has a great story and entertains (and yes, it can still have a message but that isn’t a requirement), I have a feeling your personal slate will resemble SP3 more closely than it will the SJW slate.

Anyway, here is the Slate for Sad Puppies 3. (Full disclosure here. Brad has listed Cedar, Dave and me under the best fan writer category and Jason for the Campbell Award. I know I speak for all of us when I say it is an honor to be included on SP3.)

Best Novel
“The Dark Between the Stars” – Kevin J. Anderson – TOR
“Trial by Fire” – Charles E. Gannon – BAEN
“Skin Game” – Jim Butcher – ROC
“Monster Hunter Nemesis” – Larry Correia – BAEN
“Lines of Departure” – Marko Kloos – 47 North (Amazon)

Best Novella
“Flow” – Arlan Andrews Sr. – Analog magazine November 2014
“One Bright Star to Guide Them” – John C. Wright – Castalia House
“The Jenregar and the Light” – Dave Creek – Analog magazine October 2014
“Big Boys Don’t Cry” – Tom Kratman – Castalia House

Best Novelette
“The Journeyman: In the Stone House” – Michael F. Flynn – Analog magazine June 2014
“The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale” – Rajnar Vajra – Analog magazine July/Aug 2014
“Championship B’tok” – Edward M. Lerner – Analog magazine Sept 2014
“Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium” – Gray Rinehart – Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show

Best Short Story
“Goodnight Stars” – Annie Bellet – The Apocalypse Triptych
“Tuesdays With Molakesh the Destroyer” – Megan Grey – Fireside Fiction
“Totaled” – Kary English – Galaxy’s Edge magazine
“On A Spiritual Plain” – Lou Antonelli – Sci Phi Journal #2

Best Related Work
“Letters from Gardner” – Lou Antonelli – Merry Blacksmith Press
“Transhuman and Subhuman: Essays on Science Fiction and Awful Truth” – John C. Wright – Castalia House
“Wisdom From My Internet” – Michael Z. Williamson
“Why Science is Never Settled” – Tedd Roberts – BAEN

Best Graphic Story
“Reduce Reuse Reanimate (Zombie Nation book #2) – Carter Reid – (independent)

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)
“The Lego Movie” – Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
“Guardians of the Galaxy” – James Gunn
“Interstellar” – Christopher Nolan
“The Maze Runner” – Wes Ball

Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)
Grimm – ” Once We Were Gods” – NBC
Marvel’s Agent’s of Shield – ABC
Warehouse 13 – SyFY
A Game of Thrones – “The Mountain and the Viper” – HBO

Best Editor (Long Form)
Toni Weisskopf – BAEN
Jim Minz – BAEN
Anne Sowards – ACE/ROC
Sheila Gilbert – DAW

Best Editor (Short Form)
Mike Resnick – Galaxy’s Edge magazine
Edmund R. Schubert – Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show
Jennifer Brozek (Shattered Shields)
Bryan Thomas Schmidt (Shattered Shields)

Best Professional Artist
Carter Reid
Jon Eno
Alan Pollack
Nick Greenwood

Best Semiprozine
Sci Phi Journal – Jason Rennie
Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show – Edmund Schubert
Abyss & Apex
Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine

Best Fanzine
Tangent SF On-line – Dave Truesdale
SF Signal – Jon DeNardo
Elitist Book Reviews – Steve Diamond
The Revenge of Hump Day – Tim Bolgeo

Best Fancast
“The Sci Phi Show” – Jason Rennie
Dungeon Crawlers Radio
Adventures in SF Publishing

Best Fan Writer
Matthew David Surridge (Black Gate)
Jeffro Johnson
Amanda Green
Cedar Sanderson
Dave Freer

The John W. Campbell Award
Jason Cordova
Kary English
Eric S. Raymond
Amy Turner Hughes

To quote Brad, “Remember: only YOU can combat puppy-related sadness!”

About the author

Writer, proud military mom and possessed by two crazy cats and one put-upon dog. Writes under the names of Amanda S. Green, Sam Schall and Ellie Ferguson.


  1. But of course Jim Butcher’s a fascist. He writes strong male characters. [Sarcastic Grin]

    1. To clarify, from the Hugo Site, “Anyone who is or was a voting member of the 2014, 2015, or 2016 Worldcons by the end of the day (Pacific Time/GMT – 8) on January 31, 2015 is eligible to nominate.” That is the first deadline and, in many ways, the most important one. Also from the Hugo site, “Nominations close at 23:59 Pacific Time (GMT – 8) on March 10, 2015. The works/people receiving sufficient nominations in this first stage of the balloting will go on to the final ballot, which will be announced later this year. Only members of the 2015 Worldcon will be eligible to vote on the final ballot. The January 31, 2015 membership deadline does not apply to the final ballot, only the nominating ballot.”

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