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.