Sunday, April 05, 2015

The 2015 Hugo Awards: Thoughts on the Nominees

If you've been hanging out on (certain parts of) twitter in the last two weeks, you probably had a sense of what was coming in this year's Hugo nominations.  The rumor storm has been brewing furiously, and yet even those dark hints were not quite enough to prepare us for just how dismal this year's nominees would be.  The organized right-wing voting campaign that last year gave us Vox Day, Hugo nominee, has largely swept this year's nominees, completely sweeping six out of seventeen categories, and dominating a further seven, including best novel and the Campbell award.  There's already been a lot of talk on this issue--this thread at Making Light, begun when the whispers of this year's results began to be deafening, is more than a thousand comments long, and Mike Glyer at File 770 has been furiously collecting responses from the campaign's instigators and supporters.  There will no doubt be more verbiage spilled on this issue in the coming weeks, and maybe nothing I have to say here is particularly new, but here are my thoughts at the moment.
  • To begin with, I'd like to discourage people from referring to the bloc-voting campaign with the moniker Sad Puppies.  Larry Correia chose that name when he started encouraging his fans to "take back" the Hugos three years ago, and Brad Torgesen adopted it for his suggested slate of nominees when he took over the project this year.  In the latter case, there seems to have been a deliberate attempt to distance the Sad Puppies from the toxicity of bigots like Vox Day (who was not on Torgesen's ballot) and to present a kinder, gentler face of right-wing bloc-voting.  Day's response to this was to post his own suggested slate, the Rabid Puppies ballot, including himself in several categories.  As this analysis by Mike Glyer shows, it was Day's choices that prevailed, with almost all Puppy nominees appearing on both ballots or on Day's alone.  Our current slate of Hugo nominees are not a Sad Puppy ballot; they're a Vox Day ballot.  They represent the views of a racist, misogynistic, homophobic troll, whose supporters solicited the help of GamerGate to achieve their goals.  Using Sad Puppies as a blanket term allows the people who helped make this happen pretend that it comes down to nothing more than a political disagreement between equally valid stances (as Torgesen has been doing in the Making Light thread) instead of what it actually is, a hate campaign.

  • Having said that, it is equally important to say (and a lot of people have already said it) that the Sad and Rabid Puppies' tactics are as legitimate as their politics, whininess, sense of entitlement, and general contempt for the award they claim to crave are risible.  I don't say this out of some noble desire to fight to the death for the rights of those I disagree with (because seriously, fuck them), but because I would really like it if this year's nominations actually spurred a meaningful discussion of how the Hugos work and how we want them to work.  Already there are multiple suggestions for introducing safeguards into the system that would (it is argued) help alleviate the influence of any single determined voting bloc.  On the other hand you have people arguing that we wouldn't be seeing this result if online campaigning of any sort--including things like my recommendation posts--had not become normalized in the last decade (I have a history of being sympathetic to that stance, but I think the ship has sailed on returning to those norms, even if we had any reason to believe that the people who voted with Vox Day would feel any need to respect them).  And on the third hand, there are those pointing out, with some justification, that any democratic system is vulnerable to those who care more about winning than about the system's well-being, and that this is simply the cost of doing business.  Since the Hugos are essentially a write-off this year (I've said several times that I'd be perfectly happy to skip the awards in favor of getting the nominating breakdowns right now instead of in August), I think we have a golden opportunity to really talk about this award and what we hope to get from it, and perhaps even come up with ways to make it better.

  • So what to do about these nominees?  Historically, the Hugos have tended to be extremely vulnerable to manipulation in the nominating phase, but extremely resilient in the voting phase.  You could usually count on the larger Hugo-voting membership, even those who aren't clued into every nuance of campaigning and strategizing, to be able to tell the astroturf nominees from the ones genuinely deserving of consideration.  This year, for obvious reasons, I don't think we can rely on that effect, which leads to the obvious question: what are people who are disgusted with this turn of events to do?  The way I see it, there are three options.

    1. Proceed as normal: read the voter packet, learn about the nominees, and vote according to their literary merits.  I can see the appeal of this approach--proceeding with dignity in the face of undignified behavior--but I have to say that, aside from any other considerations, it strike me as masochistic.  I mean seriously, three John C. Wright novellas?  Who could possibly be expected to put themselves through that?  More importantly, I don't see the merit in pretending not to smell the turd that the various puppies have left on our floor--certainly no one involved with this campaign is going to be chastened by our doing so.

    2. Write this year off: forget about the Hugos, enjoy the Worldcon if you're going, and try again next year.  Again, I can see the appeal--as someone who loves the award, I was hoping to vote on this year's ballot out of love and enthusiasm, not beleaguered resentment.  Those $40 would have been a lot easier to spend in the former case.  But taking this approach means leaving the Hugos to those who want to destroy them (or, in the best case, those who are blissfully unaware of this fracas and may hand Vox Day and his ilk a Hugo simply because they've chosen the best of a raft of bad options).  Especially given how likely it is that the puppy campaigns and their GamerGate supporters will try to influence the winners as they did the nominees, I don't think we have the right to cede the field.

    3. No Award: place every Sad/Rabid Puppy nominee under No Award, even if it means choosing it as your first choice.  (Deirdre Saoirse Moen has a handy guide for how to do this.)  To be clear, trying to achieve this result will take some doing.  It will mean not only voting that way yourself, but publicizing the fact that you've done so and why.  No Award has only won a category once in the Hugo's history.  To achieve that result six times in a single year will be no small matter.

  • Having read the above, it probably won't surprise you that I've chosen door number three (except for the Best Dramatic Presentation categories, where I honestly don't see the point).  When I stated this on twitter last night I got the predictable whining about how I was being unfair and not judging works according to their quality.  I think that my response at the time probably says all that needs to be said on this issue:

  • Some people have been making the point that people who were on the Sad and Rabid Puppy ballots may not have been informed of that fact, and their permission not solicited.  Despite Torgesen's claims to the contrary, this does appear to be the case.  Some nominees, having been informed of how they got their nominations, declined to accept them.  Others, obviously, did not.  Some are only now realizing what the score is.  I feel sorry for nominees who were overjoyed to receive what they thought was genuine recognition only to realize that they've been embroiled in a political fight not of their making.  I feel less sorry for those whose response to that situation has been to pretend that they are not being used as a shield by bigots and hate groups.  Nevertheless, I stand by my decision that all Puppy selections, willing or unwilling, should go below No Award.  It's the only way to register my disgust at this behavior, and, if it causes people to be extra-cautious about associating themselves with Vox Day and his ilk next year, then all the better.

  • One extra point in favor of becoming a supporting member of Sasquan in spite of the horrible Hugo ballot: supporting members are eligible to vote for site selection, even if they aren't on-site for the convention.  This year the convention will be voting on the location of the 2017 Worlcon, and if, like myself, you're very eager to see the Helsinki bid win, it might be worth your money just for that.  There are more details about how to vote here, and the exact process will be clearer once Sasquan opens the site selection ballot.

  • And speaking of next year, what of it, and the future of the Hugos in general?  I've been seeing a lot of people assuming that the Rabid Puppies' success will result in a counter-slate by their ideological opponents, and that the Hugos will devolve into pure bloc voting.  What I haven't seen is anyone standing up to produce such a slate, and I don't think that I will.  People who vote out of a genuine love for the award and the field will inevitably be a lot harder to corral than those who vote out of hate and resentment.  I think that next year those of us who care about the Hugos will do exactly what we did last year--produce dozens of lists of interesting, diverse work for people to consider and hopefully nominate.  But what does that mean for the future of the award?  The way I see it, only two things can happen: either Vox Day and GamerGate stop what they're doing and let the Hugos go back to being what they were, or the award will die.  Once again, the Hugo-voting Worldcon membership is neither passive nor stupid.  They will notice if the award becomes the fiefdom of a bunch of politically-motivated bloc voters, and they will stop taking it seriously.  This is what happened to the Nebula award ten years ago: once it became clear that the award's shortlist had no bearing on anything except who was better at logrolling, the award quickly became a joke.  The SFWA had to work hard to rehabilitate it, and it still doesn't have anywhere near the cachet it did in the early 00s.  I don't say this because I have a solution, or because I believe a hate group like GamerGate cares that the only possible outcome of its actions will be to burn the Hugos down, but because I honestly don't see another possible outcome.

  • That said, it is worth remembering that the Hugos aren't the only award out there.  Alongside their nominations, yesterday also saw the announcement of the winners of the James Tiptree Jr. Award and the Philip K. Dick Award, both of which delivered interesting winners and honors lists.  We should be seeing the Clarke shortlist soon enough, and the list of submitted novels certainly suggests some intriguing possibilities.  I have my (loudly-stated) problems with the Locus Award, but if you're looking for an alternative to the Hugos that is still a popular vote award, you could certainly do worse.  2014 was a fantastic year for genre writing.  It's a shame that the Hugos aren't going to acknowledge that, but that doesn't meant no one else has.

  • Some interesting links on this issue: I like Nicholas Whyte and Andrew Hickey's takes on the situation.  Jason Sanford looks at how well the nominated novels have sold to see if the Puppy selections truly represent the "real" genre (spoiler: they do not).  Stats-maven Niall Harrison has got an analysis of the number of votes needed to get on each of the ballots this year and last, which suggests some interesting conclusions.

  • I will have some more to say about the Best Fan Writer ballot later in the week.


delagar said...

VD has stated openly that his *intention* is destroy the Hugo Awards. That is, he doesn't care -- none of his rabid dogs -- about winning. Like GG, their true pleasure is in destruction. said...

I'm glad you shared Moen's post, because I keep reading "rank the slate after No Award," which translates, to me, as ranking "No Award" in whatever slot, and then ranking the rest of the nominees below No Award, which will actually earn them votes. With that in mind, between now and the end of the voting period, it'll be important to make sure people understand: stop ranking after No Award!

Foxessa said...

But surely Ancillary Sword merited the nomination and was not part of the coalition slate, but was nominated by enough members that it arrived on the Best Novel list?

Foxessa said...

But surely Ancillary Sword merited the nomination and was not part of the coalition slate, but was nominated by enough members that it arrived on the Best Novel list?

Joe said...

What about us golden-age Heinlein-loving, lifelong (I'm 58) SF fans who've felt marginalized by the ideological bent of recent Hugo recipients? (Exception; I like Sclazi a lot, he's a good storyteller and the wide divergence berteen his politics and mine does not sledgehammer me from the pages as I read them)?

ajr said...

"stop ranking after No Award!"

If you consider all works below 'no award' to be equally appalling, then sure, don't rank them.

If, however, you consider the works between 'no award' to range from 'good, but tainted by being on slate' to 'awfully badly written' to 'actually offensive', then you might wish to rank them after no award to reflect this.

Take BDP:LF, for example. Voting strictly against the slate means putting 'no award' ahead of Guardians of the Galaxy, The Lego Movie, and Interstellar. But you might consider that, under normal circumstances, they would have been nominated anyway, and that you'd want to rank them accordingly

Or in the case of the editing categories, you might decide that Vox Day is by some degree the worst candidate, so you'd rank everyone *but* him after 'no award' in order to reflect this.

The thing to remember is, your vote only gets reallocated to these after 'no award' gets knocked out - which means 'no award' probably isn't going to win. By this point, any further of your choices are not giving an extra vote as such, but rather a way of saying "x is less objectionable than y"

Michael Grosberg said...

I had this idea of perhaps getting people to vote for John C. Wright. He's on all the literature categories, and getting him - and only him - to win all the awards would show the bloc voting for what it is, a complete subversion of the process, and would have the benefit of not giving the puppies (of any color) a valid reason to complain.
I wasn't sure if this or No Award was the best way to proceed - it probably isn't - but given the elimination rounds built into the voting process, perhaps the best thing to do is rank him below No Award on every category. If No Award gets knocked out, at least Plan B will work (assuming he gets some right-winger votes as well to tide him over the other choices).

Abigail Nussbaum said...


The question of whether or not to rank below No Award was raging last year, with lots of arguments and counter-arguments. But I think ajr is right to say that you should do it if and only if you care which of the nominees win if No Award isn't an option. As Michael says, for example, you could put No Award first in a category but still rank the nominee you dislike least below it.

The important point, I think, is to remember that No Award is a nominee like any other. In the Hugo system, you rank the nominees according to your preference, and leave them off if you don't care which one of them wins once your ranked nominees have been eliminated.


Ancillary Sword, according to Glyer's breakdown, wasn't on either of the puppy ballots. It will be interesting to see where it ranked among the nominees that did make it onto the ballot, but right now it's certainly a heavy favorite to win.


You are free to do whatever you like, just as you always were. You are not, however, free from the consequences of your actions, or from being judged for them. If you feel that your devotion to Heinlein (an author who has been dead since 1988, so I'm not really sure why you're mentioning him in the context of an award given to recently-published work) justifies allying yourself with a man who once called a black woman a "savage" and who may be connected to neo-Nazi groups, another man who spews homophobic screeds with alarming regularity, and a hate group whose tactics include making bomb threats and scaring women out of their homes, that's your prerogative. Just as it is my prerogative to draw conclusions about you from that choice.

Oh, and for the record: the Hugos don't exactly represent my tastes either. Even on good years I consistently find the works nominated for them too populist, too sentimental, and too backwards-looking. It had somehow never occurred to me that the correct response to this was to burn the whole thing down.


I think you may be giving the puppy voters too much credit. I'm sure they'd be perfectly happy to take a sweeping victory for Wright. In general I tend to distrust "heighten the contradictions" tactics. The people who would be susceptible to them surely already know the score, and the people they're meant to shame rarely seem to respond that way.

Manach said...

Off course the SW are complaining about Wright getting the nominations as he does not bow to the small gods of PC-ism - never-mind he is a talented and accomplished writer, just not their type of diverse opinion they embrace.

scipiosmith said...

Last year, I came to the conclusion that Sad Puppies could be a positive force in fandom; not in themselves but because, after Vox Day got on the ballot for Best Novella in 2014, there seemed to be a lot less feuding and fighting in fandom than usual, there was a real blitz spirit, an us vs them division that united online fandom for what Charles Tan a battle of light vs darkness. I actually hoped they would keep getting works onto the ballot so that that concordia ordinum might be maintained.

Although I never predicted that they might triumph so utterly as they have now, I'm still not convinced that I was mistaken in my opinions. Disasters do have the potential to bring out the best in communities, and so far there does seem to be a rally-round response of united condemnation. Considering how vicious some of the civil wars in fandom have been in recent years, is not peace worth what is, at the end of the day, no more than a bauble, as worthy or worthless as its electors?

ethelmay said...

It should be needless to say, but The Goblin Emperor is also not a puppy pick, and it's the one I'd bet on if I were a betting woman. I think it's got a pretty good chance, especially with Ancillary Sword being second in a trilogy and a follow-up to already-Hugo'd Ancillary Justice. But I certainly won't be surprised if AS wins; it was very good too.

Janet Nussbaum said...

Reply to Joe
Abigail's Mom here, another 'golden-age, Heinlein-loving SF fan'

Nothing I've heard or read about Heinlein makes me believe that he would have supported the kind of strong-armed/brown-shirted/anti-diversity type of activity set to bring down this year's Hugo's

Wikipedia says the following:
Heinlein's books probe a range of ideas about a range of topics such as sex, race, politics, and the military. Many were seen as radical or as ahead of their time in their social criticism. His books have inspired considerable debate about the specifics, and the evolution, of Heinlein's own opinions, and have earned him both lavish praise and a degree of criticism.

Abigail Nussbaum said...


Yes, how dare we impugn the honor of a man who once threw a tantrum over a cartoon that featured two girls holding hands?


I did not get involved with the Hugos in order to fight a battle of light vs. darkness. I did it in order to highlight what is excellent and worthwhile in the field. I don't see anything to celebrate about the fact that a bunch of reactionary yahoos have robbed us all of that opportunity, no matter how righteous it makes us feel to oppose them.

And to be honest, I distrust that feeling of righteousness. Yes, we can all pull together in the face of bigots and hate groups, but at the end of the day, what does that accomplish? Does it help to address the real problems that still plague the genre, or does it simply give us something "more important" to worry about while allowing those problems to continue to fester? As I said to Joe, the Hugos were hardly a bastion of diversity and progressivism before this year, for all that they were slowly getting better. There's still a lot of work to be done, and frothing nutjobs like Vox Day and his ilk are distracting from it.

Nicholas said...

Oh, and for the record: the Hugos don't exactly represent my tastes either. Even on good years I consistently find the works nominated for them too populist, too sentimental, and too backwards-looking. It had somehow never occurred to me that the correct response to this was to burn the whole thing down.

Well, it's certainly occurred to me. I've been quietly observing these developments for some time (and it was in fact your blog that called my attention to the sorry state of the Hugo to begin with, years ago) and, as someone deeply invested in speculative fiction but not at all in 'fandom' minus a handful of second-order connections via friends, I have yet to encounter a single persuasive argument that the Hugo is worth defending or that involvement in the Worldcon-and-environs bubble is in my best interests as a reader. I won't be lighting any torches but I've believed for a while now that the optimal course for those in my position is to turn our backs as the remaining shreds of the Hugo's credibility fall to ash.

The heart of this fracas, as far as I can tell, is that the Hugo is the lone SF-specific award that has some brand recognition, and that alone makes it worth saving; and this salvation should come in narrowing the chasm between principle and practice such that the Hugo actually lives up to its (in my view undeserved) reputation as the highest honour in the field, and to put the 'world' in Worldcon while we're at it. You're as aware as anyone that both of these claims are risible. One doesn't need to be a sad or rabid puppy to find it blindingly obvious that the only systematic criterion for what qualifies as SF in Hugo-land is whether the authors are perceived to be in the orbit of a particular, narrow-minded, US-centric old boys' network of fan communities. If these communities want to maintain an annual award as a public celebratory expression of their values, fair is fair, but they really don't have any business pretending this MTV Teen Choice affair of theirs is a defining or even important marker of what SF has to offer.

Consider that the structure being lit on fire is the one pushing the likes of Connie Willis or Mike Resnick as established masters (when I would say their basic competence is up for debate); whose proponents like that hack John Scalzi have long committed to the anti-critical, demagogic attitude that to question the popular vote is to insult the reader; whose anachronistic siege mentality precludes them from giving passing consideration to the speculative forays of 'literary' types like George Saunders or Zadie Smith or even expressly genre-descended writers like Ned Beauman or Nick Harkaway; whose parochialism is on full display via their ignorance of writers published as SF outside the US like Adam Roberts and Christopher Priest (and this is just in English); who already marked themselves as susceptible to get-out-the-vote mobilization (cf. Seanan McGuire, Robert Jordan); and who, frankly, seem more interested in reflections of their community identity than in literature at all. This is worth preserving?


Nicholas said...

I know the solution you prefer, as I've seen you work towards it for years: invest in the system, recommend a wider range of works you'd rather see, elevate the online conversation with quality criticism, continue to participate in hopes of bringing Worldcon to Helsinki. Change the practice to fit the theory, you say. And I do understand your sincerity in this. But as someone who has long found the Hugo worthy of all the contempt it gets, I have to differ. If the root of the problem is that the Hugo commands a level of prestige that is a complete mismatch for the tribalistic perspective on literature it actually delivers—the exact contradiction that has led the other arch-populist factions in the room to see the award as both contemptible and worth seizing—I think it has forsaken the right to that prestige. It forsook it before the puppies were ever a factor. And it is in the interests of SF, which I do not see as bound to the fandom that styles itself as the core of the field, for the Hugo's lack of credibility to be more widely known, and for generalist publications to stop covering it as though it were representative of anything special. As a popular vote from a small convention membership it isn't designed to bear a greater load than the insular populism it has always expressed. Why bother fixing it? This isn't a democratic government; it doesn't have any sway over the apathetic. Why invest in the structure as though it were worth upholding?

Let's just say I'll be very interested to see the nomination statistics this year and how everything might have shaken out minus the puppy slates. Perhaps we'll see Liu Cixin and Jeff VanderMeer; one is international, the other published this year by FSG, but they are both familiar to the conventional crowd, the former through his English-language publisher and translator. I wonder how much further down the list we will go to find Emily St John Mandel or David Mitchell (and I say this as someone who was hard on Mitchell's latest). My point is that I doubt the ballot would have looked much better. It might be shorn of loudmouth provocateurs like Vox Day, but I would be surprised to find myself dissuaded from the view that this all amounts to a turf war between territorial populist tribes who are not worth my time and not about to introduce me to any refreshing vision of what SF can be. I can understand the sense of duty (and thrill) in making a stand and refusing to capitulate to this crowd in particular, but at which point can we all admit that the stakes are all about communities and not about books? Why not simply get on with reading? I say, disinvest. Let the Hugo die. The optics of abandonment would have been better years ago but now is as good a time as any.

Adam Roberts said...

As ever, Abigail, this is eloquently and passionately argued. I find myself agreeing with Nicholas, though:

spacefaringkitten said...

Thanks for the link to Harrison's photo! I did some further calculations based on that:

Abigail Nussbaum said...

Nicholas & Adam:

I'm obviously sympathetic to both your arguments, and as I say in this post I do feel the appeal of simply writing the whole endeavor off. The Hugos' problems extend much further and much deeper than this years' results, and may perhaps be insurmountable. The same democratic nature that made the awards so hackable is also the reason that they will inevitably be populist and tend towards, if not the lowest common denominator, then certainly not the standard of excellence and innovation I'd like to see rewarded.

I'm not sure I could explain why, despite recognizing the sense in both your arguments, I don't feel compelled to follow your example. Perhaps Niall comes closest in his excellent editorial from yesterday. Despite all its problems, I am excited by the idea of an award that reflects the tastes of the community. Even if that community often seems indifferent or even hostile to me and my tastes, it's still one where I can, by and large, see my place, and participating in its awards is important to me (in fact it's arguably the core failing of the puppy slates that they reject that sense of community). Obviously, that could change - I may lose interest or throw up my hands in disgust - but right now I don't feel the need for that yet.

Tim Ward said...

There's more than the Hugos at stake, though. This kind of mass vote rigging is a fact of online culture now, at least if you're from the *chan or reddit school of internetting, and it's effectiveness is becoming more and more apparent to people who not of that world but are, um, *enthusiastic* about their politics and know an effective tool when they see it. So I think that this sort of thing is something we're going to see a lot more of in the future.

Therefore, I suggest that what is at stake here is not just the Hugos but the credibility of any kind of award or accolade decided by a popular vote. Anything that cannot defend itself against this kind of brigading will eventually come to be seen as about as credible and relevant as a petition.

If you care about and find value in popular awards, this is a battle that is going to have to be fought sooner or later.

And perhaps even if you don't care, it might be worth fighting anyway - groups like Gamergate and other assorted dudechanredpillbro assholes and, indeed, assholes from other parts of the political world do things like this for one reason and one reason alone: it makes their viewpoint seem more widely accepted than it actually is, and therefore more credible to people who don't know the context. I don't really want to see a world where political discourse is defined by packs of mutually antagonistic maniacs screaming abuse at each other. More than it already is, anyway.

Migly said...

I have to agree with Nicholas about some of the chronic shortcomings of the Hugos, which are infinitely amplified this year, so many good works that might have made the ballot being shut out this year.

However, a couple of the novels he mentions did not make the Nebula shortlist either. And it's not something that can be dismissed as subjective taste -- Emily St John Mandel's book was rousingly endorsed by George R.R. Martin, so Nicholas is in good company.

Hugo voters seem to scatter their votes widely -- another reason Sad Puppies could waltz in and dominate the ballot, in addition to sheer numbers -- so a lot of good works get votes but not enough votes. (The short story category is the weakest in this respect.) said...

I am not widely read in the recent science fiction field. I still read a lot of Orson Scott Card and Harlan Ellison, who are both considered "old school" now, although of entirely different political bents. I also like George R.R. Martin, but doesn't everyone? I had never heard of Sad Puppies before today.

Can someone tell me honestly... Is Ancillary Justice and its sequel part of this conservative movement? I had planned on reading it, because I heard it was good, but it sounds like it was part of a politically-motivated Hugo takeover. Can someone tell me if it is any good?

Kate Nepveu said...

Is Ancillary Justice and its sequel part of this conservative movement?

Absolutely not. (a) Didn't appear on the Rabid/Sad Puppies Slates; (b) it is blatantly about the evils of economic exploitation and imperialism; the narrator is from a culture that doesn't recognize gender and therefore calls everyone she/her; and the high-status skin color is a fairly dark brown.

I think _Justice_ is excellent. _Sword_ is more divisive; some people think it's as good or better, some people (like me) think it's too much of a middle book to say. My thoughts at greater length.

Gary Farber said...

"No Award has only won a category once in the Hugo's history. "

This is quite wrong.

"No Award" won Dramatic Presentation category four times, in 1959, 1963, 1971, and 1977. That makes five times "No Award" has won the Hugo.

Rich Horton said...

No Award has of course never won a Hugo, and cannot. Five times there has been no Hugo awarded in a given category due to the voters' intention that no award be given. If no Hugo was awarded, nothing won a Hugo. ... Sorry, Gary, I know you know that, and I'm nitpicking.

I understand the motivations of those who will choose to vote No Award in all categories, or for all SP/RP nominees. I disagree ... I will vote No Award only for those nominees that I truly feel are not worthy of an award. (Which might, indeed, be a lot.) I'm usually pretty lax about this -- I don't vote No Award above stories I just thought were OK but not really award-worthy (like, say, most of last year's much-denigrated Short Story category, which I also thought kind of mediocre (except for the Samatar story)). I only vote No Award above stories I thought downright bad. I might modify that a bit this year ...

Voting any story below No Award (as opposed to leaving it off the ballot) generally renders a No Award vote meaningless, by the way.

sinboy said...

"ur current slate of Hugo nominees are not a Sad Puppy ballot; they're a Vox Day ballot. They represent the views of a racist, misogynistic, homophobic troll, whose supporters solicited the help of GamerGate to achieve their goals. Using Sad Puppies as a blanket term allows the people who helped make this happen pretend that it comes down to nothing more than a political disagreement between equally valid stances (as Torgesen has been doing in the Making Light thread) instead of what it actually is, a hate campaign."


Allow me to demonstrate the relationship between Sad Puppies and Vox day by this comic. Sad puppies are represented by the guy asking for $20, VD is the guy with the gun

Gary Farber said...

"No Award has only won a category once in the Hugo's history."

It's not an important point, but I'm a touch surprised you haven't put a correction in your post, or acknowledged the error in comments.

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