For those that don’t know, there’s been some unrest in the field of Science Fiction and Fantasy over the Hugo Nominations last Saturday. To summarize, a group of people got together a list of potential nominees for the prize known as the Hugo. They suggested these names on their sites, even on occasion provided links to their works on Amazon so they could be bought and evaluated before being picked. This tactic proved quite successful and they won a spot for a host of authors and likewise who probably would not have appeared on the Hugo list otherwise.
The problem is that the people who put up the nominees were all conservative. And conservatives are all Evil.
Thus the real intent was to clearly put all white males on the ticket and strangle the chances for the right sort to win.
It doesn’t matter that the group (Sad Puppies 3 for short) says they had a slate containing men and women of different political beliefs. They’re all Cis White Conservative Men set on making sure Cis White Conservative Men only get the award.
Don’t bother to look it up. I said so. Thus it is.
Seriously, how high school is that?
This is at least the impression I get from
Part of my problem, see, is that unlike Seavey, I actually read the Sad Puppy posts. Or, and this is a little more nasty an attack than I really want to use, I have better reading comprehension than Seavey does. Either way, he’s flat-out wrong and, unfortunately, quite intent on proving he has no idea what he’s talking about.
The rest of this post, I intend to repost a few bits of his Hugo Awards post, breaking off occasionally to make comments. I’ve done this before, but have in recent days learned it’s called a fisking.
There’s a name for everything, I tell you.
Before that, I’m going to point out that Seavey’s words are his own copy-written material, and despite the now common practice of reblogging pieces, I’m going to respect his rights on the matter.
Also, in the interest of providing context, I’m also linking a couple of the Sad Puppy crew. There is the originator of the movement, writer Larry Correia, who covers pretty much everything you need to know about their side of things with his A letter to the SMOFs, moderates, and fence sitters from the author who started Sad Puppies. But in case you need more, he does provide more links to what he thinks on the matter. Which is… pretty much as huge as that post, as I recall.
Frankly, he makes me look like a piker when it comes to huge posts.
Then there’s the guy running the show, writer Brad R. Torgersen, who’s SAD PUPPIES 3: The unraveling of an unreliable field covers why he has taken up Correia’s batton on the matter.
Finally, a note on abbreviations might help. SMOF stands for Secret Masters of Fandom, a somewhat tongue in check reference to convention runners. One of the ones I’ll be using later is CHORF. Created by Torgersen, it stands for Cliquish Holier-than-thou Obnoxious Reactionary Fan (or Fanatics). To set an example, based upon The Hugo Awards, Seavey is a CHORF.
It sounds like an attack, but as we are about to see, it’s an all too accurate description.
Words, words, words, am I right? Well, here are some more.
Part of me wants to do a savage, scathing, detailed, point-by-point takedown of the utter mendacity, stupidity, hypocrisy and unmitigated gall that it takes to claim that you’re doing the right thing by attempting one of the most prestigious awards in your field so that an unrepentant racist, misogynist and general terrible human being stands a good chance of winning…
If you haven’t read Seavey’s piece, this is the second sentence. It’s the exact moment where he lost me for good and all for the rest of his piece.
The person he is probably referring to is writer and editor Vox Day. He has a blog right over here and had his own slate running with Sad Puppies called Rabid Puppies. If I gathered correctly from all I’ve read on the matter (and I’ve done A LOT of reading on the matter, according to my now crosseyed stare), his crew did better getting on the Hugos. From reading his blog, I have come to the conclusion Day isn’t really that likeable a human being.
That’s beside the point.
The Hugos, supposedly, are representing the best works Science Fiction and Fantasy have to offer on a year to year basis as judged by fans. If it’s a good story, it should win. If the person involved did a good job as editor, they should win. Simple.
That’s not what the Hugos are for Seavey, though. It’s a way of pushing Politics. Screw Science Fiction and Fantasy. Screw the writers and creators. If it doesn’t say what he wants it to say, he’s going to do whatever it takes to make it so.
But that’s getting ahead of ourselves.
The next paragraph I won’t reproduce here. Short version, Seavey won’t actually detail what’s wrong with the Sad Puppies actions, because it gives them a legitimacy they haven’t earned.
Sad Puppies stance is, again keeping something small in a post that’s already gigantic, that Message fiction has been strangling the Hugos for a long while now. As evidence, last year, among the other nominations, was Neubla award winner “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love“. Wikipedia describes the plot thus: As a paleontologist lies in a coma, his fiancėe tells him how things would be different if he were a Tyrannosaurus rex.
That’s. Not. Science. Fiction. Or. Fantasy. In fact, according to the same post, some of the people praising it have even noticed that fact.
There is something wrong with the Hugos if something that isn’t Speculative fiction comes that close to winning. It has nothing to do with the story itself being good, bad, or indifferent, or what it’s politics are. If it’s not Science Fiction or Fantasy, it doesn’t belong as a Hugo.
And there’s no need for that. The Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies openly ginned up a slate of nominees who agreed with them politically, purely to show that the Hugos could be hijacked by a small group of sufficiently dedicated assholes. Everything else about this, from the “it’s really all about the stories” to “Scalzi did it first” to “but my wife is black so I can’t be racist” to “GamerGate didn’t get involved” to “Correia declined his nomination”…
Every single one of the straw man quotes Seavey brings up in the above quote are based upon responses to attacks on what the Sad Puppies were doing.
For a specific example, the “but my wife is black so I can’t be racist” comment stems from Torgersen’s post A dispatch from Fort Living Room. In this, Torgersen very foolishly uses his marriage to defend himself from an attack from Entertainment Weekly over his Sad Puppy efforts. We’ll get back to this real quick.
Basically Seavey’s carping that they tried to defend themselves. How dare they (another line he uses later in this sentence.) What they should have done is keep silent as their betters were talking.
Which is elitist and arrogant as all hell and gone. And, sad to say, exactly why calling Seavey a CHORF isn’t being insulting.
In this next part, I’m emphasizing one point, again to come back to later:
…”you have to read all our garbage entries before you can vote against them or you’re the hypocrite here” to “voting ‘No Award’ just shows that you’re a tool of the Man (the black, lesbian Man)” to “the real victim is us white male science fiction fans who can’t get Hugos anymore” to “the rules don’t explicitly say you can’t do this” to “how DARE you, sir!” to every other defense, obfuscation, dodge, lie, and bad-faith argument they have advanced is all just an attempt to conceal that basic fact.
The really hilarious part is that “the real victim is us white male science fiction fans.” That kills me every time I read it. Because if Seavey ever took a moment to stop being a CHORF, he might have realized the slate in question not only doesn’t consist of all white males, it doesn’t even consist of all conservatives. Hell, from what I’ve heard, one of them is bi-sexual.
You’d have thought that would be a good thing in Seavey’s view.
Don’t take my word for it, though. Entertainment Weekly says the same thing in the correction of the piece attacking Torgersen.
Here’s their correction:
After misinterpreting reports in other news publications, EW published an unfair and inaccurate depiction of the Sad Puppies voting slate, which does, in fact, include many women and writers of color. As Sad Puppies’ Brad Torgerson explained to EW, the slate includes both women and non-caucasian writers, including Rajnar Vajra, Larry Correia [yep. Even Correia], Annie Bellet, Kary English, Toni Weisskopf, Ann Sowards, Megan Gray, Sheila Gilbert, Jennifer Brozek, Cedar Sanderson, and Amanda Green.
Seavey makes a very bad mistake in the next paragraph in trotting out the word subtext in the next sentence. Because based on this reading, it’s clear he’s perfectly fine with defenses, obfuscations, dodges, lies, and bad-faith arguments. It’s just who they come from that matters.
Let’s go back to the point I’ve highlighted earlier. The “garbage entries” portion.
At no point does Seavey ever mention one of their names.
At no point does Seavey ever mention one of their works.
It is clear, very clear, that the works and people don’t matter. They are all garbage to Seavey.
The authors are garbage.
The works are garbage.
Now, as Entertainment Weekly piece state, these authors are Women and People of Color. Thus in this piece Seavey has outed himself by his very words as racist, misogynist and general terrible human being.
Just like Vox Day.
Now Seavey isn’t going to respond to this amusing little revelation (who the hell is going to read all of this except for me, anyways?) Just as well. Because the accusation was made. It must be true! Saying he was illustrating his opponents’ true intent with his words won’t work. Subtext. Besides, any defense is hiding the fact his lying to hide his racist, misogynist, terrible human beingness.
Do I believe any of that? Nope. Wrote every word of the thing giggling.
But it’s the same attack Seavey depends on his readers believing to prove his own point. He has said the Sad Puppies are evil so they are evil. No point in using their own words or even hearing them out.
The problem is, if you do listen, you find out that they’ve been honest about what they are doing and why their doing it from the start. That’s what Entertainment Weekly found out. That’s what “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” proves. The Sad Puppies aren’t lying. They never have been.
But Seavey, God bless him, is just too clever for that. He won’t be fooled. He’s going to vote No Award because, as he says in the best part of his post:
So don’t argue with the Puppies. Just vote “No Award” in the categories they dominated, and leave them right the hell off the ballot. Because Puppies don’t understand “No”. They understand a newspaper to the nose.
See how clever Seavey is? What a zinger! And it’s the perfect metaphor for what he’s doing, too.
According to Correia, “boring message fiction is the leading cause of Puppy Related Sadness”. Meaning that the Sad Puppies are symbolic for Science Fiction and Fantasy fans who don’t like boring message fiction. Which means Seavey’s going to go off and whap those fans right on the nose. How dare they not like the stuff he does? Dirty unclean beasts that they are. No, better still, ignorant fools who need the good, smart Seavey to lead them by their leashes to the Promised Land of Good Fiction.
Isn’t that great?
Pardon me as I vomit on my shoes profusely.
Not based on that last point, exactly; I’ve just been sick of late.
Close to two thousand words later, my basic take is this: Seavey didn’t do the research. He took the basic talking points of the CHORF and ran with them, making an ass out of himself as he went. He will never see this, as like so many CHORFs he can’t possibly be wrong. The only people who will agree with him on reading what he wrote are probably CHORFs, which means they were going to do the same thing anyways and thus all of his efforts here were for naught. At best, he got some exercise writing.
Speaking as a Speculative Fiction writer, I hope the Sad Puppies win. I hate Message Fiction. I don’t mind a point of view that doesn’t mess with mine and I hope a lot of people with different points of view get elected for Hugo next year and hopefully in all the years that follow.
This is in direct opposition to Seavey, who wants no such variety. He wants his views and those like his, and no others, at Hugo. And I think that’s sad.
What’s also sad is that he didn’t give us his point for point analysis. I bet that would have been so funny, I’d have died laughing.