Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Of Hugo awards, liberals and sad puppies

I'm not sure how many of my readers have been following the drama surrounding the Hugo Awards.  For a description of them, see here.  They're generally considered among the top awards in the field of Science Fiction and Fantasy literature.

It's been obvious for many years that they've become dominated by a clique of leftist, progressive, politically-correct writers, editors and publishers, to such an extent that those concerned would actively vilify and try to damage the careers of those with whom they disagreed.  As for admitting them as candidates for a Hugo, heaven forbid!

A couple of years ago my friend Larry Correia and some colleagues mounted a campaign they called 'Sad Puppies', trying to get regular folks like you and I to register for WorldCon (the convention that awards Hugos) and thereby become part of the nominating electorate.  To the utter horror and disgust of the loony left, they became more and more influential.  There are now so many of them that they may well dominate this year's shortlist.  As a result, the politically correct who've had things all their own way up till now are going ballistic.

The current brouhaha kicked off with Teresa Neilsen Hayden and her cohorts commenting back and forth.  If you want prime examples of hate-filled progressive whining, hysteria and overreaction, the comments below the lead-in article are worth reading.

Not to be outdone, Larry and his Sad Puppy buddies have been firing back with both barrels.  The resulting fuss is enormously entertaining, although it'll take you quite a while to get up to speed with it all.  For those who'd like some light reading and a lot of laughs, here are some of the more important articles, in alphabetical order by author surname.  If you want just one hysterically funny response, try Mike Williamson's article (linked below).

Larry Correia:  Sad Puppies Update: The Melt Down Continues

Vox Day:  Rabid Puppies 2015 and The Toad tries to walk one back

Sarah Hoyt:  All The Scarlet Letters

Brad Torgerson:  Defenders of the nail house and Former TOR editor still longs to gatekeep the field

Michael Z. Williamson:  Who's A Real Fan?

John C. Wright:  Tor Editor Libels Tor Author

To summarize the whole problem in a nutshell, although it's only tangential to this debate, I highly recommend Aaron Clarey's essay 'The Underrated Gift of Sanity'.  It's a commodity that appears to be in short supply on the left side of the current fuss.



EDITED TO ADD:  Kate Paulk sums up the whole mess in an excellent article at Mad Genius Club, published (inevitably) the morning after I wrote this one.  Go read.


Morris said...

Yes, been following this.

Larry's fisking of the "Toad of Tor" has been most entertaining..

Brad Richards said...

I'm just a reader - don't attend cons or anything of the sort. I started with Star Trek, discovered Heinlein in my school library, and off it went.

Because of that (not attending cons, etc.), this whole kerfuffle has passed me by. But it sure does explain some things. I used to look up the Hugo award winners as a way of discovering interesting authors. Several years ago, I gave up on this, because the Hugo stories were just not to my taste. I thought the whole field was going to fall off the left side of the earth.

Now you tell me that this was just an SJW takeover of Worldcon, which is finally being corrected by the Sad Puppy movement. Explains a lot, and hopefully means that I can start enjoying some of the Hugo award winners again.

In the meantime: where would a wandering fan go to find a current list of SF authors that isn't tilted to the left? I already have your Maxwell series :-)

Peter said...

@Brad Richards: You could do worse than try the authors mentioned in this article, and those they recommend. I've been doing that for some time, and found some wonderful new reading matter through them.

Jim said...

I guess folks Like Pournelle, and even Heinlein, would have no chance at an award in recent years.

cutelildrow said...

@Brad Richards - I started much the same way you did, but moved away from sci-fi because for a long time, outside of reading the few available Star Wars / Star Trek novels I could get my hands on, what sci-fi was on offer wasn't to my taste either, in the same way that the Hugo award winners weren't. They were no pleasure to read and a slog to try get through.

My most recent recommendation to look for good SF authors to read was to look at the list of authors available at Baen. Until I looked there, I had not been aware that James Doohan, aka Mr. Scott of the Enterprise, had ever written books. They have a long, long list.

Sherm said...

Good Reads has a list of best SF books that were never nominated for a Hugo or Nebula award. Seems a good place to start if you're looking for something new. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy heads the list.

Any award that ignored both Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams can't be a serious award.

Mogrith said...

One Useful thing to come out of this is a new word:


Cliquish, Holier-than-thou, Obnoxious, Reactionary, Fanatics


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Peter said...

Folks, I'm not prepared to allow anonymous commenters, who haven't got the courage to identify themselves, to spread gossip and/or negative remarks about anyone else.

If you want to do that sort of thing, set up your own blog to do it. I won't tolerate it here.

Barry Birdwell said...

In the far past (>10 years ago) I would locate the Hugo nominee list and read all I could. The vast majority were excellent! In the past decade, however, I've cared less and less for the Hugo nominees; I'm to the point I prefer depending upon references to new authors or books from my favorite bloggers. (Yes, this is my way of saying thanks for pointing me to "Pixie Noir" which was a most wonderful read.) Larry C and Sarah H are two of my favorite authors now....

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