My response to Mike Glyer of File 770 on Sad Puppies 3

Over at File 770, the web form of one of the longer running SF Fanzines, Mike Glyer is mocking the “Sad Puppies” campaign to present WorldCon/Hugo voters with a broader spectrum of authors than just those on the left,

I’m not going to get into the whole history of the campaign, It’s all around, although best explored on Larry Corriea’s blog, Monster Hunter Nation.

Anyway, after reading the post this morning and mulling over a response during idle moments at work, I decided to post a reply. And if, by some chance, it would end up mysteriously lost in the Ether, I decided to copy it here as well. Now mind you, I don’t have a dog in this hunt. Technically, Kiwi is eligible as a Novelette, but the chances of it getting nominated, let alone winning are infinitesimal. But the whole experiment in exposing the political bias in the electorate and the unbelievable shitstorm it generated last time was pretty amazing to watch. And I thought I’d inject a little reality into the discussion.

So, without further ado:

Getting a Hugo for Larry Correia was never a part of the agenda. Indeed, if he had actually won an award, he would have lost his argument.

The overall question is: Is it appropriate to judge a work on the basis of the author’s personal/political views, or only on the work’s actual merit? This is a question fandom really should reflect on.

If the Hugos could be voted on in some kind of double-blind method, where the name and personal history of the author wasn’t known, would that help make the award truly reflect the best of that year’s SFF?  Well, this is of course impossible.

So we are left with: Are the Hugos an award based on the quality of the fiction, or are they an award for authors based on their political views? And does the Hugo/Worldcon electorate specifically lean Left/Liberal? The starting assumption, based on the recent nominees/results was yes, but to test that assumption one would need to put some quality fiction from authors of different political viewpoints on the ballot. (The fact that this took a special effort tended to reinforce the premise). If the vote was based purely on quality, some of these works could at least be expected to place well. If the vote was based on the author’s politics, that could also be seen by the results.

Indeed, in the frenzy of reaction and attempts at blacklisting, and the promises of so many to not even CONSIDER reading the works on the proposed slate, so that no proper judgement of quality could be made, the premise was proven to be correct.

Now the experiment should be repeated for validation. And if the Hugos truly are being awarded based on politics instead of quality, calling the Hugo an award for the best in SFF would be an utter falsehood.

If you read the comments on the File 770 post I linked above, you can see what I was talking about in my second to last paragraph, when one fellow said:

Well, now I know what to autorank below No Award should any of the obvious Puppy only items make the final ballot.

No consideration made that any of these items might actually be good, well, other than the carve-out he made for Guardians of the Galaxy, which was on Brad Torgersen’s list.

So in consideration of that comment, I appended this to my response:

Oh, and Tom Galloway, are you suggesting that you would vote against anything on Brad’s list, REGARDLESS OF QUALITY? Would that not make you part of the problem? You should vote for quality regardless of who is supporting the nomination. Brad’s list is no different than TOR pointing out which of its products are eligible this year. It has no power beyond informing the electorate of possible candidates.  They must still make the ultimate decision.

So, we now wait to see if the comment ever comes out of moderation. It was posted 2/3/15, at 12:36 AM.

[ETA: for some reason, Search engines direct a lot of people to this particular article. But if you’re interested in the issue, there are a lot of better ones on this site. Please stick around and check them out.]

6 thoughts on “My response to Mike Glyer of File 770 on Sad Puppies 3

  1. Yes, as you say, it was just the usual first time posting moderation.

    I’m glad you perceived I am mocking Sad Puppies 3. I decided mockery was the most effective tool at my disposal for awakening people to the reality that any moral or ethical basis they might claim for their choices is undercut by the fundamentally dishonest act of bloc voting for a bunch of stuff they haven’t read or seen.

    On the other hand, people who have read stories by Correia or anybody else on that list and loved those works — I think their opinion is as good as any other voter’s.

    • I would have to add though, that if you think voting en-bloc for works they haven’t read is unethical, you should feel similarly about the even larger, and successful act of bloc voting AGAINST works, and encouraging people to vote against them without reading them, even though they’ve been provided for free in the package.

      Getting the left-tilted side of the fandom to coat themselves in anti-glory was the goal of the effort, and in that it succeeded spectacularly.

      This year’s round includes good writers from across the spectrum, and yet, people whose politics is virtually unknown, like Jim Butcher, are being called every name in the book.

      Fandom prides itself in calling itself intelligent and open minded, but instead it’s proving itself to be parochial and intolerant.

    • I don’t believe I did. I merely stated what you should be thinking if you wanted to be ethically consistent. Conversely, I don’t think I’ve seen you write anything condemning those parties who said last year that they would vote everything that made it through the nomination process on that slate below No Award without reading it.

  2. I’ve rarely seen a more obvious form of projection than this. Mr. Glyer, kindly take the plank out of your eye before pointing out the speck in ours.

    Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan put together equal your Hugo awards, Mr. Glyer. Think about it.

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