Hugos and Such
As I said on Twitter, congratulations to the Hugo nominees — particularly those who earned their spot on the ballot. And thank you to certain individuals for making sure the anti-slate legislation gets passed this year.
The Sad Puppies this year opted for a recommendations list as opposed to a formal slate. The Rabid Puppies, to nobody’s shock, continued their efforts to slate-shit all over the ballot. I’d been guessing and hoping that the puppy influence would be lessened this year. I figured the Rabids would get some nominees through slate-voting, but that we’d also see more viable candidates on the final ballot.
File 770 has posted an analysis of the puppy effectiveness, and the impact varies a lot from one category to the next.
Comparing this year’s results to last, it looks like once again the Rabid Puppy slate had the greatest impact. I was mistaken in guessing their influence would be diminished this year. They appear to have gotten roughly the same number of candidates onto the final ballot, if not slightly moreso. Though this year’s ballot is completely free of John Wright’s work, which surprises me a little.
It’s also clear that Beale and the Rabid Pups were trying to play a slightly different game this year. In addition to the nominees that were Beale’s own ego-stroking (Vox Day for Best Editor, work from his publisher’s blog for Best Related Work, etc.), and blatant “crap-on-the-Hugo” nominees, there were also a handful of nominees presumably chosen to make poor SJW brains explode, like File 770 for Best Fanzine. Or nominees that would almost certainly have made the ballot without the slate, like Andy Weir for the Campbell.
I assume this is designed to make people say, “Oh, woe is me, I can’t vote for anything on a slate, and therefore must vote against File 770 and Andy Weir even though I might consider them deserving,” after which the Rabid puppies will proclaim victory. Or else people will vote for File 770 and Weir, and they’ll win, and the Rabid puppies will proclaim victory.
My, what a brilliant stratagem that absolutely no one could have foreseen. What ever shall we do? Alas, how we are trapped by the cleverness of their clever trap.
A lot of the stuff on the ballot is, just like last year, utter crap. I suspect most people are fully capable of reading for themselves and deciding what’s worthy of winning, what deserved a place on the ballot, and what should come below No Award. Just like last year.
All in all, my sense is that the Rabid Puppies had pretty much the same level of influence as last year, and the Sad Puppies had a minimal impact. Like last year, my biggest disappointment is for the worthy individuals and works that got knocked off the ballot by a relatively small group’s coordinated poo-flinging.
The results, along with lists of non-rabid nominees and my notes comparing this year to last, are below. As before, I’d encourage people to read and to vote. And if you’ll be at Worldcon, please try to get to the business meeting.
Best Novel has three nominees that weren’t on the Rabid slate. (All three were on the “raw” Sad Puppy recommendation list, and two were on the final, “official” Sad Puppy list.) This is similar to last year’s final Best Novel ballot, which also had three puppy-free nominees.
- Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie
- The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
- Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Best Novella had one Rabid-free nominee. Given that Binti is also a Nebula finalist, I think it’s safe to say this one very much earned its spot. All four others were from the Rabid slate and the Sad list both. This is similar to last year’s final ballot.
- Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
Best Novelette is pretty much a repeat of Novella, with one Rabid-free nominee that was on the Sad list. All four other nominees were on the Rabid slate. Once again, pretty close to last year’s ballot results.
- “And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead” by Brooke Bolander
Best Short Story was swept by the Rabid slate, just like last year.
Best Related Work was another Rabid sweep. Once again, effectively the same as last year.
Best Graphic Story is yet another Rabid sweep. The Rabid puppies were actually more effective in this category this year.
Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form had three Rabid-free finalists. All three were on the Sad list, but come on. Is there any way these weren’t going to make the ballot in a normal year? This is roughly the same as last year’s results.
- Ex Machina
- Mad Max: Fury Road
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form had two Rabid-free nominees. Again pretty much equivalent to last year.
- Doctor Who: “Heaven Sent”
- Jessica Jones: “AKA Smile”
Best Editor – Short Form only had one nominee from the Rabid slate, and that nominee made the ballot. This is much cleaner than last year, when it was another slate-dominated category.
- John Joseph Adams
- Neil Clarke
- Ellen Datlow
- Sheila Williams
Best Editor – Long Form sees two Rabid slate nominees, once again an improvement over last year’s slate-sweep.
- Sheila E. Gilbert
- Liz Gorinsky
- Jim Minz
Best Professional Artist was swept by the Rabid slate this year. Last year saw only a single slate-free nominee in the category.
Best Semiprozine has a single nominee that wasn’t on the Rabid slate, a step down from last year, when we had three slate-free nominees.
- Uncanny Magazine
Best Fanzine is another Rabid sweep, similar to last year when we had only one slate-free nominee.
Best Fancast: swept by Rabid slate. (Last year saw two slate-free nominees.)
Best Fan Writer sees one non-Rabid nominee. Last year saw only a single non-slate nominee.
- Mike Glyer
Best Fan Artist has a single non-Rabid nominee, compared to last year, when the Rabid Puppies forgot or neglected to include this category on their slate.
- Steve Stiles
Campbell Award for Best New Writer (Not a Hugo) sees one non-Rabid nominee, just like last year’s one non-slate nominee.
- Alyssa Wong
April 26, 2016 @ 5:37 pm
Absolutely NOTHING I nominated got on the ballot due to Puppy shit (Except in movies, because duh).
I hope they enjoy their No Awards and EPH.
Sads took input from outsiders, including their nemesis File 770, so some of their list may be from non-Puppies.
April 26, 2016 @ 5:42 pm
Slight corrections: Ancillary Mercy and Uprooted were on the Sad list. Jessica Jones also was not, but the Doctor Who episode was. Liz Gorinsky was not on the Sad list either.
Jim C. Hines
April 26, 2016 @ 5:55 pm
Updating now, thank you. I’d been working with the File 770 post, but the raw Sad Puppy list actually has a lot more on it, including 100+ novels.
April 26, 2016 @ 6:16 pm
The “official” list of what the Sad Pups were promoting is here: http://sadpuppies4.org/the-list/. That’s what I’ve been working off of to determine who was recommended by the Sad Pups.
April 26, 2016 @ 7:04 pm
To be honest, I don’t have a problem with a recommendation list of over 100 novels. If someone whose taste in books is kinda similar to mine gave me a list of 100 books and told me I might find something worthy on there, I’d be fine with that. If this is what the Sads are doing then, while I find their motivation a little on the nose, at least their execution is fairer. The Rabids, on the other hand, can take their slates and place them (not)gently in the orifice where the sun doesn’t shine!
Jim C. Hines
April 26, 2016 @ 7:08 pm
I need to clarify that. The “raw” list was over 100 novels. The final, “official” Sad Puppy recommendation list was 10.
April 26, 2016 @ 7:31 pm
I think my main response has been a mix of exhausted oh god this again, and mild satisfaction that a handful of things I liked made it past the puppies, mainly Fifth Season, Binti and “aka: Smile.”
April 26, 2016 @ 8:14 pm
They all had so much fun the last time, I guess they had to try it again. I am pleased that several novels I liked made the short list, but sad that the short stories didn’t.
April 26, 2016 @ 8:45 pm
Yeah, there were some great short stories this past year.
April 26, 2016 @ 8:50 pm
i have never really followed the Hugo awards so i probably don’t get it (i don’t get Justin Beiber either so bare with me).
If there is such corruption and bias and whatever ever else, why not just fork it. I work with computers and lots of open source stuff. If someone is unhappy just quit participating in a project and fork it.
Mr. Wikipedia just informed me the Hugo has been around for 63 years. I understand the will to want to hold on to stuff with a tradition, but sometimes you need to change. Just boycotting the Hugo seems pointless and as an outsider looking in the sad puppies/rabid made me not want to follow any of it (again i have done zero research, it is just an outsider perspective).
Create your own name it something cool (Like Oguh) and rewrite the rules to avoid favoritism (or whatever the infighting was about) and start fresh. This would not be the first time. I know getting traction would suck, but if enough authors are angry they will follow and the other will wither and die (i am looking at you blackberry..jk).
Anyway don’t beat me up to much over this post. Again this is just from an outsider looking in with not a lot of information.
Jim C. Hines
April 26, 2016 @ 9:06 pm
Joe – The Hugos have been going for 60+ years, yes. And the pups have pissed in the pool for two years now. There are rule changes that will probably go through at Worldcon this year to minimize the impact of future slates, and to get back to a more representative ballot.
“as an outsider looking in the sad puppies/rabid made me not want to follow any of it”
My sense is that this is part of the Rabid Puppies’ goal. They don’t like the Hugos, so let’s destroy them. It’s upset some people for the past couple of years, and justifiably so, but in the long run I don’t believe it’s going to have much impact.
Short version: it’s been an obnoxious two years, but in the big picture? The Hugos were here before the pups, and they’ll be here after.
April 26, 2016 @ 10:27 pm
This year the Sad Puppies had a recommendation list that they were quite open about assembling, so I certainly don’t have a problem with that. They acted much closer to how people told them they should have acted. So whatever I think about the individuals involved personally, I have no problems with SP4. It is far better than last year’s slate.
Plus Rabid Puppies had such a mix of “would have been nominated anyway”, “not sure it’s the year’s best, but I have heard others talking it up”, and “pure trolling.” So, personally, I have no problem just voting on the merits of the works themselves this year. I’m not going to let the Rabids make me dislike or down vote a work just because they listed it. I’m not letting them have that power. Last year was such a train wreck that it was much more difficult separating the works from these ate ugliness (although so many of those finalists were turdtastic, so voting on the merits only last year would have largely been the same results, I think).
So, to each their own, but personally, this shows how important EPH (and/or other nomination improvements) is, but as for Hugo voting, I’m hoping to avoid the drama and just look at the works this year. Everything that needed to be said was said last year, and especially since it’s mostly just the Rabids causing harm now, I’m more than happy to keep ignoring them until there is something that can actually be done (like improve the rules). Otherwise, it’s just feeding an ego I don’t care to feed.
April 26, 2016 @ 11:08 pm
We were thinking of skipping this year’s WorldCon until the Puppy fiasco in 2015. I sat through the entire Business Meeting, and will probably do the same this year in order to increase the chances of ratifying EPH and shutting this nonsense down in future.
As last year, I will at least attempt to read all the nominated works and vote on the merits. I’m still expecting No Award will make my ballot in multiple categories. 🙁
April 27, 2016 @ 12:18 am
But the key is that 10 is way more than 5, and I think the 10 came from the most popular of the 100.
I’ve got a lot less issue with Sad this year.
April 27, 2016 @ 1:58 am
Re: Best Graphic Story
I’m sure Neil Gaiman falls under the category of “would have made it on the ballot anyway” (I nominated it).
I feel sad for Letters to Tiptree in Best Related, and Rat Queens and Ms. Marvel in Graphic Story, though. I loved all three of them.
Dara Korra'ti (solarbird)
April 27, 2016 @ 2:48 am
My recommendation for this year is different to last year, in no small part because of several included sabotage nominations made, I think, with the hope of repeating strategies from last year.
To wit, this is why we need e pluribus hugo.
But the strategy is very simple:
1. Punish slate operators and supporters. NO AWARD above all candidates who organised, supported, or promoted the slate, with no exceptions. Create it, boost it, whatever – NO AWARD those people. That includes Vox, that includes Castilia House, and that clears out a decent chunk of the ballot right there.
2. The rest, vote by merit, as if it were a normal year.
The Sad list was big enough that I’m willing to consider it a reading list; the behaviour is marginally better. They get a pass, this time.
(I expand on this here, for those interested – and yes, I’m posting this link around, sorry, I think a response is necessary and I explain that: http://crimeandtheforcesofevil.com/blog/2016/04/26/again-e-pluribus-hugo-is-a-requirement/ )
April 27, 2016 @ 4:37 am
For what it’s worth, Tales to Terrify, is a sister podcast of StarShipSofa. We won the Hugo back in 2010 and have been nominated since then again. So we’ve “made it” before without Puppy help.
Like others have said, this needs to be considered when voting. So, so many amazing writers and markets could and would have made it without Puppy help, especially writers in very early stages in their career. They’re trying to discredit their names. Let’s not let them do that. Don’t give them more credit than they’re worth.
Ultimately, we’re happy that Tales to Terrify got a Hugo nomination. But I’m also worried about the association. I don’t know how many of you know this, but TTT founding host and editor Larry Santoro died just under two years ago from cancer. He gave TTT everything he had and the whole community adored him. He was absolutely dedicated not only to diversity, but showcasing newer writers alongside bigger ones. He was a powerhouse – we all loved him and it crushed us all when he passed. The fact that Tales to Terrify got this nomination now and was supposedly bloc voted on not only threatens to undo everything he and the team worked on, but soil his reputation as well.
Not getting the award? Not a big deal.
Having Larry’s legacy and the years he spent working on the podcast dragged through the mud? Quite a big deal.
We had absolutely no clue about *any* of this – and the fact that we’re even associated with Day disgusts me. It’s put us in a tough decision, and I can’t imagine what some others are going through. The District of Wonders has already scored a Hugo. Others are in a far more vulnerable position.
I speak for the whole team when I say we’ve *always* been committed to diversity, both in authors and work featured on the show – and we always will be.
Whatever happens, like Dara says, vote for what you want based on nothing but *merit*. Pretend Day doesn’t exist. Squash him from your minds – don’t play his game. Vote for the best damn content and let it shine. Soldier on.
Because really, that’s all we can do.
April 27, 2016 @ 8:12 am
I can only speak for myself, but saying things like this can go a long way in distancing yourself from that mess. It sucks that you are put in a position that saying something like this far and wide might be necessary, however. I think this year’s Rabid slate was such a mixed bag, that hopefully people will recognize many finalists like your podcast have nothing to do with them.
For what it’s worth, I’m looking forward to listening to it. I love podcasts and am always looking for new ones. StarShipSofa might be more my speed since I’m more of a SciFi fan than Horror fan, but I can look past that as well in judging the quality. Good luck to you!!
April 27, 2016 @ 9:16 am
I think we can vote on the merit of the work for the most part this year. As has been said here and elsewhere, the Rabid slate this year is a mix of ego stroking and “would have been nominated anyway”. I know that I personally nominated Binti and Sandman: Overture.
April 27, 2016 @ 11:45 am
And Nimona, and Bitch Planet, and lots of other good things that got shut out.
Thoughts on this year’s Hugo finalists | stompydragons
April 27, 2016 @ 12:43 pm
[…] Jim C Hines: Hugos and such […]
That sure was… a Hugo ballot, I guess – angelahighland.com
April 27, 2016 @ 1:01 pm
[…] Dara has a post up over here calling out the percentages of Rabid infections on the various categories. File770 had put up a post with the actual Rabid slate, but their site went down and as of when we last checked, they’re in the process of moving to a new server. Meanwhile, John Scalzi has commentary, and so does Jim Hines. […]
April 27, 2016 @ 4:13 pm
Hmm. Well, whether Lois Bujold’s novella “Penric’s Demon” was slated by either side or not, I’d still have voted for it (if I’d had the chance to attend this year’s WorldCon – I doubt I will have another chance until it returns to either Britain, Ireland or mainland western Europe, and only the former would not be a struggle to attend for me. Baggage handlers are painfully awful with wheelchairs, and I can’t afford to set aside a grand to replace mine). I don’t think I’ve ever read a novella that I more wanted to become a full novel – and wow, that sentence is tangled, but oh well. I’m sure it gets its meaning across.
Frankly, slate voting can stuff it. I don’t mind reading a rec list, but I would never vote for anything purely because somebody with a blatant agenda said I should. Like other commenters here, my vote would be by merit only. In fact, I’m not even looking at the slates from either side.
I’m rather relieved I can’t vote this year, anyway. Two people I consider casual friends are both up for Best Novel, and both their entries are brilliant. This way I don’t have to agonise over deciding which to vote for… But I loved attending my only WorldCon, and despite all this rubbish I still wish I could be there again. Good luck with EPH.
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