There was supposed to be a difference between the two puppy breeds. Rabid Puppies were supposed to be the foam-mouthed extremists who want to destroy the Hugos and wreak maximum havoc, while their sad cousins are — despite buying into some objectionable ideas — actual SFF fans. Or that’s what I thought. I’m not sure you can make the distinction anymore.
Sad Puppy figures Brad Torgersen, Cedar Sanderson and Peter Grant, among others, have decided to join the professional troll Vox Day on his crazy crusade against Tor books. They’re all supporting a GamerGate-inspired mailbox-stuffing campaign that tries to get a person who is working for an SFF publisher (and who they don’t like) fired.
I am disgusted, I have to say. We can disagree about who should get an award or what sort of science fiction is overlooked, but threatening a person’s job and livelihood because of a disagreement over a fucking science fiction award is just disgusting, no other word for it.
Ok, perhaps Irene Gallo shouldn’t have written so harshly about them on her personal Facebook page, but she has apologized. Brad Torgersen lets people sling worse crap in the other direction in his blog’s comments, and the Sad Puppy author Lou Antonelli has actually used exactly the same words as Gallo to attack a blogger he disagreed with. There’s plenty of blame to go around in this mess.
Responsible adults don’t act like Torgersen and his lynch mob. To contrast their mindlessness, I’ll end with a link to Sad Puppy author Gray Rinehart’s thoughtful and constructive blog post. There’s some food for thought in there for everybody, I think — Sad Puppies and Happy Kittens alike, and a bonus section for Christians (I believe Torgersen and a fair number of his co-Puppies belong to that group).
So, here it is.
EDIT 16/6: In the comments, Cedar Sanderson was unhappy over the fact that I suggest she wants to get somebody fired. I acknowledge that she is not linking to Day’s campaign with that stated goal, unlike Peter Grant, so perhaps it’s fair to say that my post wasn’t accurate in that respect. Later on, Grant has also been sending Tor and Macmillan new mail with the addition that he isn’t demanding for anybody’s resignation. That’s sort of nice to hear, but I still feel that complaining about your opponents’ personal views to their employers in the hope of creating some professional trouble for them is disgusting, plain and simple.
Moreover, on Brad Torgersen’s site, I was told by a commenter that getting people fired should be the Puppies’ goal because something similar has happened to Brandon Eich and Tim Hunt (and nobody there disagreed with him), so it’s simply not true that all complainers weren’t specifically hoping to see resignations. I hope Sanderson’s and Grant’s comments about that aren’t just meant to be fig leaves they can point to in case something messy happens at Tor and they want to deny responsibility.