Hello my Imaginary Friends,
I’ve talked about the Sad Puppies before but as it turns out they’ve escalated. I planned on writing a long essay about the subject but giants have started to enter the fray. I’ll leave a plethora of links at the bottom of this post for those that are interested.
What are Sad/Sick Puppies
The Sad Puppies and Sick Puppies are groups of Science Fiction and Fantasy fans that are sick of what they call “Social Justice Warriors” corrupting the pure essence of genre fiction. Or in some cases they say they are about promoting authors that would normally never get on the ballot on their own.
It almost sounds plausible. Almost until you hear that the second architect is Theodore Beale (AKA Vox Day). If you don’t recognize the name you might recognize the movement he founded called GamerGate. The association of Beale alone makes me not trust them.
Their members can’t seem to come up with a consistent explanation. Some range from, “I miss science-fiction that was just adventure and not social criticism” to “too much emphasis has been put on pushing agendas in science fiction when good books are being ignored”
What did they do? / #PuppyGate
They legally, if not ethically, created a slate of authors that they believed should be nominated and then voted as a group to make sure they made the ballot. Meaning that between 2 to 5 of each category in the Hugo’s are Sad Puppy candidates (That’s out of 5 by the way).
Read about both sides below.
How it makes me feel
This is the first time since I’ve decided to become an author that I’m glad I haven’t been published and that I’m not involved in this world. Had I heard about this kind of thing when I started I would have never tried to be published.
I try to include diverse characters in my books. It’s not always easy but it’s a reflection of our world and should be done. I want people to read my books and relate to some of the characters, not just white-straight-men but everyone.
I want politics in my science fiction and fantasy. I want social issues to be reflected in what I read and write. Anyone who tells you there weren’t social or political ideals in classic science fiction needs to go re-watch Star Trek, Re-Read Asimov, and get their heads out of their asses.
Are the awards broken? I have no clue but I think they might be. This may turn them into a political party style event, that would suck considering that tactic doesn’t work well for regular people even in politics.
I had dreams of maybe someday winning the “Triple Crown” of Science fiction (Hugo, Nebula, and Campbell Memorial Award). Now that I’ve read up on them and followed the politics, not to mention that a lot of the authors I greatly respect haven’t won all that many awards means I’m not sure how much I care anymore.
This whole debacle has soured me on these sorts of things.
I’ll settle for someday living off my writing. That’s all I really need. Anything more is bonus.
Here are all the links I promised and some of the better explanations:
- John O’Neill (Editor of Black Gate): Sad Puppies and Super Puppies: The 2015 Hugo Train Wreck
- S. M. Carrière (Self Published Author, Talented, and could kick your ass. She also does more research than I do) I Don’t Even Know
- Hayden Trenholm, (Publisher, Author, and Playwright): Part 1, Part 2
- Salon Magazine: Sci-fi’s right-wing backlash: Never doubt that a small group of deranged trolls can ruin anything (even the Hugo Awards)
- Mary Robinette Kowal (Award Winning Author): Please stop with the death threats and the hate mail
- John Scalzi (Ex Hugo head and Award Winning Author): A Note About the Hugo Nominations This Year
- Chuck Wendig (Author, Screenwriter, and Game Designer): The Hugo Awards: GamerGate Edition, 2015
And in the spirit of showing both sides:
- Brad R. Torgersen (Award Winning Author and Architect of Sad Puppies): Sad Puppies 3: The Judgment of Solomon
- The National Review: Social-Justice Warriors Aren’t So Tough When Even ‘Sad Puppies’ Can Beat Them (Warning might make you want to punch your screen)
And finally if you’re willing to dedicate the time, here are George R.R. Martin’s thoughts on the whole thing:
To Borrow Ajay Fry’s tagline, “See you in the future”,