#PuppyGate or How the Hugos lost my Respect

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.

What Now

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.

Further Research

Here are all the links I promised and some of the better explanations:

And in the spirit of showing both sides:

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”,

Éric

Disgust and Disdain

Hi,

I can’t remember if I’ve spoken about #GamerGate or #SadPuppies

If you’ve happily avoided these two movements you’re lucky and feel free to click away if you don’t want to get very angry, sad, and lose a little hope in humanity.

GamerGate was/is a hate movement with a veneer of fighting for journalistic integrity. I’m sure there are some in the movement that generally believe they are fighting for better accountability between journalists and video gaming companies but most are threatening people, specifically women, with violence and doing other horrific things.

SadPuppies was a movement that believes the Hugo and SFWA have strayed too far away from its Hard Science roots. To them, this means there are too many non-science writers, woman, and minorities that are dominating the field. “Real Science Fiction” is written by old white men with science degrees, or at least that’s how they sound.

The two movements have the same base in fear of losing privilege and fear of outside influence. Science Fiction and Video Games, have been dominated by white men for a long time and slowly over the past couple of decades women and minorities have started to take a place in both industries.

I’m an outsider, or fringe element to both industries. I play games but I’m not active in any communities outside of TableTop games, and I write but I’m only mildly active in the Ottawa writing scene. This means that I only know what I’ve read or seen from the news and people affected.

As an outsider these movements scare me. Plain and simple the things that have been said and done to certain people is fundamentally wrong. Threats of murder, rape, etc are evil. There’s no room for jest here they’re evil. Calling the swat team on someone, or posting their personal information online without permission is even worse than the threats. These acts are wrong on every level.

It’s not just the overtly evil acts that scare me. It’s the cliques, in fighting, and excluding of people for no other reason than that they disagree with you. The inborn sexism, racism, homophobia, and hate makes two of my favorite pass times feel dirty.

I want to make a career out of writing and I’d love to write for TableTop or video games but these events have made me not want to get involved with them.

Think about that for a second… I’m a thirty year old, white, cis, middleclass, five foot eleven, two hundred and fifty pound, man and these movements have me terrified to get involved.

Take another moment to think how it must feel for everyone else.

We need to stop being afraid of diversity and start embracing it.

Idic

 

Live Long and Prosper

Éric

Coffee RAGE!

If you live in Canada or the US and you watch network television, you’ve probably seen this commercial or similar ones.

Why this makes me angry

I like coffee. I drink it with sugar and cream and that’s ok.

It makes me angry when someone believes that there is only one right way to do anything, especially when it involves food or drink.

I just want to grab them by the judgmental collar and yell. ARGGG!

The theory behind the commercial isn’t new, it’s playing on the feeling that coffee is no longer pure. It’s the same sort of sentiment you see in #Gamergate, #womanruinsciencefiction and #fakegeekgirl. It’s a feeling that you aren’t special anymore because other people like something.

It’s the stupidest reaction but common. Just because you can buy a Latte, Cappuccino, Espresso, etc; doesn’t mean you’re black coffee tastes any worse.

Coffee beans are an ingredient. Are you going to go yell at the French for making croissants because the only bread flour should be used for is white bread? No. If we can use an ingredient in a new way, that’s great, variety is awesome.

“We went back to the source.” I highly doubt they went to Ethiopia and asked the original farmers how they have their coffee.

Have some coffee knowledge:

Click on the image for the rest of the 15 Coffee facts at theOatmeal.com
Click on the image for the rest of the 15 Coffee facts at theOatmeal.com

Advertising Failure?

Now if you’ve tasted Nabob coffee you have your own opinions on it. On average I find it’s a step above battery acid. But that’s not important apparently.

In advertising, brand, name, and recognition are what you’re selling.

All this commercial does is reinforce the belief that brewed coffee is the best kind of coffee. Not that Nabob coffee is the best. The commercial is obviously trying to say that you should brew their coffee instead of buying a 5 dollar Starbucks drink. I think this is a mistake. I think they’re selling fear of change.

This commercial makes me so angry I rant at the TV every time I see it. My wife could probably repeat word for word my rage rants. But I had to spend fifteen minutes searching for the commercial because I couldn’t remember the brand. To me that’s failure.

Sure it’s memorable but only the content not the brand.

Is this really worth a 500+ word rant?

YES!

This commercial is a sign of what is currently most wrong with western society. Fear of change.

We live in a paradoxical time where new and amazing technology is being developed faster than we can keep up, but we are paralyzed in fear of that same technology. Technology and media is redefining our everyday lives in amazing and beautiful ways. We have instant access to the complete collection of human knowledge and we can communicate with each other instantly from anywhere, heck we can control a robot that’s on another fracking planet.

It’s time to stop being upset and sad that things aren’t the way they were. It’s one thing for an 80 year old to talk at length about the good old times but I’ve been hearing more and more 20 year olds decrying the death of society and how things were better in the past. (Yes I’m looking at you Pluto deniers.)

Things change… Get over it!

Nostalgia is a nice place to visit but don’t live there.

 

What’s your favourite nostalgic memory of “The Good Old days”?

Eric