Hugo Award

My absolute LAST ever post on Sad Puppies ever; or, how I met Larry Correia.

Anyone who reads my blog regularly (so nobody) knows that I’m pretty politically opposed to the Sad Puppies- and, at this point, that I really don’t care about it anymore. I just don’t have the energy to care about online drama. At Rose City Comicon (I really should have posted this sooner, but first weeks of the semester and all), I ran into Larry Correia, founder of the Sad Puppy movement.

Honestly, I was a little intimidated to talk to him. As easy as it is to disparage people online who are on the opposite side of the political spectrum, it’s another thing entirely in person. Not just because Larry’s a really big dude (which he is), but because it’s actually pretty tough to completely dismiss someone for their political beliefs in person- annoying, I know.

So after walking past his booth once and not saying anything, I worked up the nerve to go chat with him. My friends might have helped pressure me a bit; just a bit.

And, well: He’s actually a really nice guy in person.

We spent ten or so minutes chatting about his experience so far in Portland, the Sad Puppy movement, Vox Day (Larry readily admitted that Day is a terrible person, but vagaries of politics put them on the same side on one issue), Marion Zimmer Bradley (terrible person, more on that below)*, Jim Butcher (we both think he’s a badass), Brandon Sanderson (his work ethic is terrifying), etc. Oh, and his Grimnoir trilogy, which I liked quite a bit, despite my investment in the Sad Puppy drama on the opposite side of him at the time. I actually have changed my opinion about the books since- it’s still more violent than I usually prefer, but I’ve decided that it’s not nearly as problematic as when I first decided. (Malazan, I blame you for that.) Regardless, I liked it when I first read it, and I like it still.

Anyhow- Larry Correia was quite friendly, we had a lovely conversation, he took a picture with me, and OH GOD I’M BALDING IN MY 20s YOU CAN SEE IT IN THE PHOTO AHHHH. (Actual real life problems, people. Probably going to pull a Tywin Lannister and shave it all off soon.)

The conclusion I came to?

The internet makes assholes of us all. Is that a grossly simplified conclusion? Yes, yes it is. We are on the internet, however, so…

The internet makes assholes of us all: especially me.

*As far as the Marion Zimmer Bradley bit- I’ve been in a bit of a mental feedback loop for a while about her now. Her books were a big part of my childhood, and then recently I found out about, well… Well, she was a genuinely horrible person. I normally prefer to judge art independent of an artist, but she did such horrible things I couldn’t separate them- but nor could I easily come to a conclusion. Hearing Larry’s take actually helped, believe it or not. He used to be a fan (can’t remember which book of hers he had on his shelves) but tossed it when he learned about her actions. Frankly, hearing that from someone so far away from me politically helped me make up my mind more than hearing identical things from people on my side of the political spectrum. Jim C. Hines, for example, said some very similar things, and you can’t get much farther apart in SF/F than Hines and Correia. (Actually, you can- Samuel Delaney and John C. Wright, for example, but my point should be apparent.)

Hugo Awards and such.

Alright, copy/pasted winners list, with a little commentary from me. Long story short: The Sad and Rabid Puppy movements got their asses kicked hard in the voting (they got zero awards), but are now insisting that it’s a victory for them.

I spent the weekend of the Hugos camping in central Washington for five days on a geology trip. Gotta admit, I didn’t really worry about any of this stuff during the trip. Fun fact, folks: Real life is better than internet drama! Following this, I’ll be avoiding blogging about the Sad Puppies and all that drama- in fact, about internet drama at all.

BEST NOVEL (1827 ballots)

  • Winner: The Three Body Problem, Cixin Liu, Ken Liu translator (Tor Books)
  • Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • The Dark Between the Stars by Kevin J. Anderson (Tor Books)
  • The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (Sarah Monette) (Tor Books)
  • Skin Game: A Novel of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (Roc Books)

The Three Body Problem totally deserved this one. One of the best science fiction novels I’ve read in a long time. I reviewed it a while back. Props to Marko Kloos for pulling out of the race so Three Body Problem could get in- that had to be a tough decision. (Larry Correia also withdrew from the race, along with numerous other authors. Correia was the only Puppy to do so, to my knowledge.)  As for the other two Sad Puppy nominees still on the ballot, I’d be shocked if Anderson or Butcher paid much attention to the drama at all- by all accounts they both seem to be really nice, really busy guys with no time for internet drama. I feel kind of bad for them, getting caught up in something entirely out of their control.

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Here come the Hugos, prepare for internet drama!

Edit: Oh, wait! I’m going to be camping during the upcoming Hugo Drama! That’ll be nice.

I’ll give some quick coverage of the drama, for some sort of closure’s sake, since I’ve been blogging about it off and on for a while, but I’m pretty tired of it.

Seriously, internet drama is one of the greatest wastes of time you can have in your life. There is essentially nothing redeeming about it. Arguing with people online? Most of the time, you’re making yourself an actively worse person. Time spent arguing with people on Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, etcetera does nothing more than bring you that much closer to death.

I seriously regret all the time I’ve spent on Internet drama. None of that shit is what I want to remember on my deathbed someday.

Sad Puppy Hugo Drama- We hear from some of the nominees

At this point, I imagine nearly every Hugo nominee has something to say about the awards. By my not very scientific calculations, I’m pretty sure that far more people have rejected a Hugo nomination than is the norm. Many of the nominees were completely unaware of the Sad Puppy nomination, and are moving to distance themselves from it. Following are a selection of various statements regarding the nominations, including some from some of the lesser known categories. (Best Semiprozine and best Fanzine).

As far as the Best Novel nominees go, they’re generally avoiding the controversy-

-Jim Butcher, unsurprisingly, chose to avoid the controversy, merely posting a basic announcement. Can’t say I blame him in the slightest.

-Marko Kloos still hasn’t done much commenting beyond a retweet of a John Scalzi blog post. That being said, he does seem to have just had a family pet die, so we should probably be respectful and leave him out of our internet flame war for a bit.

-Kevin J. Anderson hasn’t commented beyond a simple tweet about the nomination.

-Ann Leckie merely thanked her fans, noted that she does not generally discuss who she votes for, and provided a link for Hugo voter registrations.

-Katherine Addison/ Sarah Monette merely noted her nomination and her excitement about it. (Her Goblin Emperor was my personal favorite this year, though I still need to read the Marko Kloos and the Kevin J. Anderson.)

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Hugo Nominees announcement and commentary (with associated Sad Puppies drama).

Edit: Someone associated with Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine (awesome name) has contacted me to let me know that they weren’t even aware of the existence of Sad Puppy until AFTER their nomination, and are less than pleased about it. More on that later.

In many categories, I actually had to list off the rare selections that weren’t from the Sad Puppy slate, the Hugo Award’s first ever official political party. I should note that they’re unlikely to win many of them, since they don’t actually possess a majority- they instead exploited the fact that nominees seldom get more than a relatively small number of the votes, since there are a huge number of nominees to start with- people have different tastes, so it isn’t uncommon for there to be dozens of nominated best novels, for instance. It didn’t take that many votes for them to sweep the nominations. They claim that they’re doing it entirely on artistic merit, but since they also claim they’re doing it to fight supposed SJW conspiracies even more frequently, have a clearly organized structure, and are dedicated to voting as a bloc, I can confidently say that yes, it is political. The Hugos have always been political- it’s an award ceremony. They’re ALWAYS political. Sad Puppy, however, is the first of its kind. Frankly, I think it’s a terrible thing. I’ve tried to give them a fair shake, and I’m going to continue to do my best to do so, but I’m going to be very up front about the fact that I consider them to be both violating the spirit of the Hugos and associating with some frankly terrible people. (Well, mostly just Vox Day/Theodore Beale, professional racist/sexist/homophobe/transphobe/internet troll/pickup artist/Gamergate spokesman/ writer, and the only person ever kicked out of the SFWA. He highjacked their official Twitter feed to relay racist comments directed at another author.) My roommate remarked that this whole situation is very reminiscent of much of the current American political scene- his exact description was that it was a microcosm of the macrocosm, which I found rather apt. This piece outlines a course of action that I agree with pretty strongly- simply vote No Award above any piece on a political slate.

BEST NOVEL (1827 ballots)

  • Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • The Dark Between the Stars by Kevin J. Anderson (Tor Books)
  • The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (Sarah Monette) (Tor Books)
  • Lines of Departure by Marko Kloos (47North)
  • Skin Game: A Novel of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (Roc Books)

There are three Sad Puppies entries here- only Ancillary Sword and The Goblin Emperor are not on the list. I’m personally rooting for The Goblin Emperor- I’d be okay with Ancillary Sword winning, even though I thought that it wasn’t quite as good as Ancillary Justice (still great, though.) Skin Game was good, too- it’s a Dresden Files novel, though, and I’m a bit of a fanboy for Jim Butcher. I will, of course, read Lines of Departure and The Dark Before the Stars before making any firm decision. None of the nominated best novel authors listed on the Sad Puppy slate are a part of it, or have even provided any public commentary. Marko Kloos, however, retweeted a link to a blog post by John Scalzi that is distinctly and pointedly critical of Sad Puppies. That being said, none of the three appear to have repudiated Sad Puppies, either. In addition, Larry Correia reports to have declined a slot as a Hugo nominee, for the stated purpose of not having it be about him, and not distracting from the actual issues. Whether you think it is a classy move or a politically savvy one, it is certainly an intelligent move.

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