Pupp y K ick­ing

David Lang­ford re­ports on more Hu­gos con­tro­versy

SFX - - Opinion -

This year’s Hugo Awards at Sasquan, the World SF Con­ven­tion in Spokane, were un­usual. Never be­fore had Dra­matic Pre­sen­ta­tion been handed out, or suck­ered out, by a Dalek. Never be­fore had Best Novel been pre­sented via video from the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion. And never be­fore... but first, some back­ground. Af­ter a trou­bled sum­mer in SF cir­cles, Sasquan’s per­ma­nent reek of smoke from rag­ing US wild­fires seemed ap­pro­pri­ate. In SFX 262 I told how “Sad Pup­pies” and “Ra­bid Pup­pies” fac­tions gamed the Hugo nom­i­na­tions to swamp the fi­nal bal­lot with their choices, and guessed there’d be wide­spread vot­ing for No Award. Since then, record num­bers had paid $ 40 for Hugo vot­ing rights. No one knew whether the surge was pro- or anti- Puppy.

Anti, it turned out. “No Award” was an­nounced five more times in one evening – for Novella, Short Story, Re­lated Work ( non­fic­tion) and both Pro­fes­sional Editor cat­e­gories. These were the Hugo slots en­tirely filled by Puppy nom­i­nees. Else­where, from the fan awards to Best Novel ( Cixin Lui’s The Three- Body Prob­lem), Pup­pies were gen­er­ally smacked with the rolled- up news­pa­per of plac­ing be­low No Award. The only win­ner from the slates, for Best Dra­matic Pre­sen­ta­tion, was Guardians Of The Gal­axy – which vot­ers clearly reck­oned was wor­thy on its own mer­its.

Was this cruel? It was hard for Pup nom­i­nees to sit through cheers of re­lief at each “No Award” ( though they could have re­fused the tainted nom­i­na­tion, as some prin­ci­pled folk did). Very few Puppy works had award- win­ning qual­ity, and many were down­right aw­ful. The Sad slate was mostly crony­ism, with Sad leader Brad Torg­ersen list­ing his bud­dies. The Ra­bid slate added naked self- pro­mo­tion: Theodore “Vox Day” Beale, the Arch- Ra­bid, unashamedly stuffed the bal­lot with work from his own small press Castalia House.

That apart, what are the Pup­pies’ aims? The of­fi­cial ide­ol­ogy varies, with goal­posts not so much mo­torised as fit­ted with faster- than- light drive. Es­sen­tially, Pup­pies Want Hu­gos and have been un­fairly de­prived of them by a tiny, evil ca­bal of So­cial Jus­tice War­riors ( SJWs) who for many years have con­trolled the award – no ac­tual ev­i­dence here, but THEY KNOW IT – and pre­vented nom­i­na­tion of Puppy- favoured SF.

What Pup­pies like in­cludes media tie- in SF, mys­te­ri­ously omit­ted from their slates, and mil­i­tary SF... un­less it’s by suc­cess­ful mil­i­tary- SF au­thor John Scalzi, who un­der­stat­edly refers to Beale as RSHD ( Racist Sex­ist Ho­mo­pho­bic Dip­shit) and is Puppy Public En­emy # 1. What Pup­pies hate also seems to in­clude women who write ac­claimed mil­i­tary SF. Es­pe­cially Ann Leckie, whose An­cil­lary Jus­tice won the 2014 Hugo but is BAD be­cause it’s told from the view­point of an em­bod­ied AI who doesn’t un­der­stand gen­der and calls ev­ery­one “she”. This is just too yucky, and proves that Leckie’s Hugo vic­tory re­sulted from the SJW con­spir­acy. Like­wise, pre­sum­ably, her wins of the Arthur C Clarke, BSFA, Lo­cus and Ne­bula awards – pretty much a clean sweep of the top SF hon­ours.

The World­con busi­ness meet­ing passed some mea­sures against bal­lot- stuff­ing, but these need rat­i­fi­ca­tion in 2016 to take ef­fect in 2017. Ex­pect another year of shenani­gans, with those who dis­like slate vot­ing again be­ing abused as SJWs and Puppy- Kick­ers. What jolly fun!

David Lang­ford is so glad to be out of the Hugo run­ning.

“pupp ies also seem to hate women who write ac­claimed mil­i­tary sf”

Il­lus­tra­tion by Andy Watt

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