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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. Penn
    January 24, 2016 @ 10:35 pm

    Sad Puppies IV sees to me to be an attempt to gather the consensus of the community as to the best writing of the year. I can’t figure out the way that their stated goal isn’t redundant to the Hugo nomination process itself. It appears to be a way to pre-nominate the nomination process itself, except under someone else’s control and with a smaller audience.


    • Elizabeth Sandifer
      January 24, 2016 @ 10:46 pm

      Indeed, a voted on recommendation list for a fan award is kind of inherently perverse.


    • Kate
      January 25, 2016 @ 12:37 am

      It’s still a ()^)*^ing slate, and will be treated with the same contempt as last year’s slate was.

      What a bore!


  2. Kate
    January 25, 2016 @ 12:34 am

    I hope and expect that this next iteration of the discredited, defeated movement will be like a fart that the perpetrator thinks will be a mighty trumpet blast, but comes out as a tiny peeping sound.


  3. Kate
    January 25, 2016 @ 12:38 am

    PS There’s a cute little girl puppy with a bow in her, er, hair! I may be ill.


    • Elizabeth Sandifer
      January 25, 2016 @ 1:29 am

      Don’t worry; they’re actually goggles.


      • Kate
        January 25, 2016 @ 8:09 am

        So they are (although I read it at first as “goggies”). I thought perhaps a token girl had been added. Perhaps the three small puppies are meant to represent the three women who are fronting the campaign… no, they’re three boy puppies, according to the artist. Can one simultaneously be a puppy and a “Bitch Queen”? All very adolescent.


  4. Al Martorano
    January 25, 2016 @ 7:57 pm

    For my money, the Hugo’s 2004 decision to ignore three Whedon scripts in favor of awarding the dramatic short form award to Gollum’s odious MTV acceptance speech (for best CGI character–a category almost surely invented just for him) in which he calls Dobby the House-Elf a “fucking faggot” is why I’ve never been impressed when Who wins one. What were they competing against, a car commercial? (I think you’ve mentioned this on the blog at some point Phil…I can’t remember where.)


    • Elizabeth Sandifer
      January 25, 2016 @ 9:28 pm

      Yeah, I suspect that was the product of a lot of people having a lark and then being surprised when it turned out a lot of other people had the same lark. I don’t think much of anyone was happy about that outcome, and it remains one of the handful of genuinely embarrassing Hugo choices.

      But there’s still relatively few years when Dramatic Presentation has gone to something undeserving, even if it did go to Doctor Who a few too many times. (Waters of Mars in no way deserved it, and probably one of the S1-3 Moffat episodes should have lost to Battlestar Galactica; likely Girl in the Fireplace to Downloaded.)


  5. airboy
    January 27, 2016 @ 2:48 pm

    Briefly – the Hugos at one point in time meant good, exciting writing. Over the last decade the Hugos have been Trufans (note your focus on those who attend Worldcon) voting for boring message fiction.

    Your understanding of the difference between the Sad and Rabid groups is lacking. How exactly would the Sad Puppies group prevent the Rabids from forming their own group and encouraging others to vote in a different direction?

    The readership of SF is much broader than the trufen attending Worldcon.


    • Seth Gordon
      January 27, 2016 @ 3:41 pm

      “over the last decade the Hugos have been Trufans… voting for boring message fiction”

      Titles and authors, please. At least ten.


      • Elizabeth Sandifer
        January 27, 2016 @ 9:26 pm

        The last decade of Best Novel winners included Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, The Graveyard Book, The City & The City, and The Three-Body Problem.

        That’s a damn fine list of winners. I maintain that anyone complaining that the Hugos have been going to unworthy winners with any sort of regularity is, quite frankly, full of shit.


    • seanohara
      January 27, 2016 @ 4:41 pm

      Of course the Hugos go to “boring message fic.” That’s what science fiction is. Has been ever since H G Wells decided to write a satire of the Belgian Congo with Martians as the Belgians and England as the Congo. The idea that Ancillary Justice and The Windup Girl are any more egregious examples of this phenomenon than Starship Troopers and Stand on Zanzibar is so preposterous that anyone who makes it clearly has never actually read the Hugo winners of the 1960s.


      • Hypo-Calvinist
        January 27, 2016 @ 7:55 pm

        “…never actually read the Hugo winners of the 1960s.”

        No, I think they’ve just internalized the messages of the earlier stories. If you don’t realize that you are wearing rose colored glasses, it’s easy to call everyone else out for not seeing the world in its “true” color.


    • Tom Galloway
      January 28, 2016 @ 12:27 am

      Well, yeah, there’s kinda a focus in Hugo voting by those who attend Worldcon. That’d be because the Hugos were created and have always been awards voted on by members of Worldcon (or WSFS to be technical). Something the Pups fairly consistently get wrong is that the Hugos are attached to Worldcon, not Worldcon is attached to the Hugos.

      That’s usually followed up by the cognitive dissonance of simultaneously claiming that the Hugos have lots of prestige (often in a sneering manner ala “The Hugos claim to be the most prestigious SF award”) but for some extended period they’ve been awarded to crap and so don’t mean anything anymore.


      • Camestros Felapton
        January 28, 2016 @ 11:04 am

        Well observed. It is
        1. the Hugos are prestigious
        2. The Hugos aren’t prestigious anymore
        3. Awards are pointless
        4. It is is just a popularity contest
        5. The award winners aren’t popular
        6. The Puppies should be winning Hugo awards and it isn’t fair that they haven’t
        7. Sad Puppies not winning proves that there is a bias against conservatives
        8. Sad Puppies were not conservatives because some nominees were not conservatives
        9. Sad Puppies is about celebrating pulp (Larry C)
        10. It is a SJW lie by terrible journalists that Sad Puppies is about pulp (JCW)


  6. steve davidson
    January 28, 2016 @ 12:26 pm

    I think one of the saddest things about this whole running sore is that the misunderstanding about what the Hugos are, how they run, how and who gets to vote, originated in ignorance rather than being deliberate.

    Sad because it means that most of the puppy-affiliated come from a non-fannish background and are now giving themselves excuses for never engaging.

    And I think one of the sickeningly funniest thing about it all is – you can’t find a straighter, more directly enacted version of democracy in action than within WSFS; it’s an UNincorporated literary organization. Why? At least partially so that there is no high ground for political influencers to seize.
    The franchise is extended to EVERYONE. Governance is extended to EVERYONE. You think something needs to be done or addressed? Go do it. You want official sanction? Write a proposal, go to the business meeting, present it and have it voted on.
    Monied influences have been reduced to next to nothing: surplus earnings from Worldcons are routinely donated to future Worldcons and other fannish enterprises – no strings attached.
    The institutional prohibition against campaigning is a direct result of maintaining the egalitarianism that is inherent in WSFS (and Fandom). Why no campaigning? Because it is recognized that some members of the community can avail themselves of high degrees of influence, should they so choose. It was recognized that fandom needed to be in bed with business (publishers, etc), but also recognized that seeming to favor one business over another (say by bloc voting for a publisher’s works) would quickly destroy relationships with every single other business not so favored.
    When it comes right down to it, there is one political environment in which people get what the puppies claim they want.
    But of course they want a slight change to that dynamic. They want to control it. Sorry. Better minds than theirs have spent decades perfecting a system in which that ain’t gonna happen.

    If I get half a breath, I think I’m going to recruit some fan historian writers and produce a series on how and why fandom works the way it does; not a history so much as a “here is how and why we’ve arrived where we have”.

    Final thought: It is STILL very important (IMO) to ensure that puppy slates gain no traction again this year; outsiders are watching – outsiders who enjoy joining a fight only if they know they can win. IF puppies succeed in getting a win this year, it will be a signal that the fight may be worth joining.

    I’ve stated that I’m doing the “no slate works” on my final ballot again this year I am also urging anyone who might be nominated this year to do what Jo Walton, Adam-Troy Castro and others have done – to publicly announce that they repudiate slates and ask that their works be removed from such when they are so included).

    There is every indication that the puppy slates this year will include works that ought to be on the final ballot. Getting nominees to repudiate slates is the only shield that voters will have against having a hard decision to make.

    Note for the puppy-afflicted: telling everyone what I am doing and explaining why is not the same as campaigning, no matter what the voices in your head are saying.


  7. LostSailor
    January 28, 2016 @ 9:44 pm

    Yeah, Kate, et al.! Why are you doing this?

    We explicitly told you to go away after last year. We slandered you, labeled you racists and Nazis in the press, so why aren’t you obeying our dictates? I mean you’re only lobbying for “literary mediocrities” that we sneer at the way we sneer at you, so why bother?

    You say you want to be inclusive and not kick people out, but you can’t say you don’t want to kick people out, that’s only something we get to do right before we kick them out; unfortunately you don’t seem to go. You’re not even trying to build bridges by completely capitulating to every demand of your moral and intellectual betters, people who will always vehemently oppose you and your existence.

    So what exactly is the point of you, as a human being, let alone a writer or SFF fan?

    Begone! Begone, I say!


    • Elizabeth Sandifer
      January 28, 2016 @ 10:45 pm

      It was hardly slander. The actual movement that succeeded last year – the Rabid Puppies – made no effort to pretend that it did not exist to advance the political goals of Vox Day, who is, by any reasonable definition, a racist jerk.

      Which is the crux of it. At the end of the day, the Puppies movement is a bunch of pathological liars who have been all too happy to carry water for racist bullies. And you honestly can’t say that about the Hugo Awards before you lot came over to shit on them.


      • LostSailor
        January 29, 2016 @ 11:14 pm

        Attaboy, Phil. Way to build bridges (or is it just cheap theater?) and bring people back into the fold! I’m sure the “pathological liars” will all listen to you now…


        • Elizabeth Sandifer
          January 30, 2016 @ 2:23 am

          Yeah, not really trying to build bridges with a bunch of lying fascist sympathizers. More trying to discredit them completely.

          Now fuck off.


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