Saturday Waffling (August 22nd, 2015)


In case you missed it, I interviewed Peter Harness.

On to new business, the Hugo Awards will be announced this evening, so let's just call this a thread to talk about those, even if that does mean things won't really pick up much until Sunday.

In any case, a brief note about them, made in advance of any actual outcomes. The Puppies, and particularly Vox Day, have insisted that widespread victories for No Award would constitute a victory for them.


You know what would constitute a victory for the Puppies? What they actually campaigned for, which was their slate. If their slate gets roundly and rejected and defeated, that's called losing.

In fact, this is pretty straightforward. If Puppy nominees win, it's a victory for fascist scum. If No Award wins, it's a victory for SJWs. If non-puppy nominees win, it's a victory for moderates like George R.R. Martin who put value orthodox sci-fi fandom for its own sake and independently of what it actually does.

Two of those outcomes mark a defeat for my position and my view. One doesn't. Just about the only exception is the Dramatic Works categories, where the Puppy slates were mostly not that different from what would normally get nominated, and even there, I'm inclined to view it as a category where there's just less to gain for the Puppies compared to the other two sides.

But either way, the winners are going to be, you know, the ones who win.


Froborr 1 year, 6 months ago

"The winning team shall be the first team that wins."

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iWill 1 year, 6 months ago

Jesus, the childishness of these people though. If our books win, victory, if our books don't win, also victory. I thought 'heads I win, tails you lose' was very clever when I was nine. The sheer petulance on display is astonishing.

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camestrosfelapton 1 year, 6 months ago

Anything where VD ends up looking like a loser is a victory.

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Frezno 1 year, 6 months ago

Ahahaha look at these dorks trying to shift the goalposts at the last minute for their own ends. Doesn't Voxy know that lying is against one of the Talking Cat Commandments?

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Eric Rosenfield 1 year, 6 months ago

I disagree with your position that we should vote for No Award for everything. I think it's throwing the baby out with the bathwater, punishing legitimate choices for the actions of bad actors.

I voted for anything that was not on the puppy slate, and then no award.

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timber-munki 1 year, 6 months ago

VD's comment does smack of a character smugly saying at the end of a story that everything as gone according to their plan - kind of a dick move, but then again it's par for the course from his play book.

Personally any outcome where the Puppies don't win is a good thing. It's a better thing where creators of stuff I like get recognition and better sales/more opportunities for more outlets of their extant & future work so I guess I'm aligning with GRRM, then again as a polite middle child compromise is kinda my thing (as well as validating my personal preferences).

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jane 1 year, 6 months ago

omg, it's Saturday already?

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Iain Coleman 1 year, 6 months ago

With such strict victory conditions, I fear you are doomed to disappointment. Hardly anybody seems to favour the blanket No Award approach.

Jim Henley has posted his, somewhat more elaborate, victory conditions here:

I broadly agree with Henley, though I think he is being a bit too pessimistic about the prospects for major victory according to his scale. We shall see soon enough, I suppose.

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Philip Sandifer 1 year, 6 months ago

I should note that I'm not going to be terribly disappointed if the moderates win. I'm a leftist radical; I always lose to moderates.

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Andrew Plotkin 1 year, 6 months ago

I voted moderately, so you can shake your fist in my direction as well.

(* You didn't mention the Graphic Story category, where it's quite plausible that the sole Puppy nominee comes in last even without a No Award. I hope you find that at least moderately(**) satisfying, if it happens.)

(** Har har.)

The interesting question after all this is not "which book wins a Hugo?" (a question that I pay only momentary attention to most years) but "what percentage of the Hugo voting public thinks supporting the Puppies is more important than reading books?" That's what all the post-season analysis will be about, ultimately.

There's also the question of "What will Beale/Torgersen do next year?" But that's not outcome-dependent. (Since, as noted, the only outcome they recognize is "victory".)

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Philip Sandifer 1 year, 6 months ago

It's not even particularly fist-shaky for me. I don't expect the hardline progressive faction to win, especially since I think all of us had categories where we were tempted to stray from our own hardline. (I'd love Ms. Marvel and Listen to win, for instance, though I kept the faith in my own votes.) My position is based on the logic that Beale's actions are already sufficient to render the 2015 Hugos worthless as awards, and we may as well concede that.

So if non-Puppies win, well... I hope the winners enjoy their victories, but I have to say, I'm always going to view the 2015 winners as having an asterisk in the record books, no matter who they are.

But ultimately, I think the relationship between my position and the moderate one is roughly that of the two puppy factions. A non-puppy victory to me is much like a Rabid-only nominee would be to a Sad Puppy, I imagine.

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camestrosfelapton 1 year, 6 months ago

I thought your position made sense but the question was ultimately a tactical one: what approach would obstruct the puppies best taking into account that it would rely on getting people to vote for it. Selective 'No Award' of various kinds had the advantage that different flavors of it would amount to the same effect. In particular the Puppies made that approach easier by nominating shit*.

Additionally at the time when you first proposed a blanket No Award, the banner Best Novel category was still uncompetitive. In the end there were three worthwhile non-puppy books (yes, VD has tried to magically adopt The Three Body problem as an honorary puppy but that is just in his solipistic fantasy Hugo land).

[*and nominating stuff that was worse than just shit]

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Philip Sandifer 1 year, 6 months ago

That felt good. Even the categories my picks didn't win felt good.

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