Monthly Archives: August 2015

Wisdom from the Hugo Results

Here are seven (nutty) nuggets of information that we can get out of the Hugo results and statistics:

1. The science fiction and fantasy fandom won’t take any bullshit from conservative culture warriors who want to use Hugo awards to make a political point

Not counting the movie and TV show categories, every single nominee on the two slates finished below No Award, by a significant margin. That was a surprise to me. I expected that the results would be a mixed bag, but the fandom was out in force and up in arms.

2. I’m not a puppy-kicker after all

I tried to give every nominee a chance (even though many weren’t worth it) and ended up putting few puppy picks above No Award. As I was doing it, I still considered myself some kind of an Anti-Puppy hardliner, because I’m sure my dislike for the Puppy movement and their absurd arguments does show and some pro-puppy commenters made it clear that they think I’m a nasty, wretched SJW troll. But what do you know — turns out that the majority of fans was less forgiving and I ended up being the mellow moderate.

3. We need EPH

The Hugogeddon 2015 has proven, though, that the nomination phase is easy to game. The system breaks down when there’s tactical voting, and it should be changed so that we can be sure that the results reflect the opinions of 100% of the nominating fans, not 20%. E Pluribus Hugo rule change proposal is the logical step to the right direction. The long list of great works that Brad R. Torgersen and Vox Day managed to force out makes a very good case for EPH.

4. Puppies might bite our ankles until the end of time

In the tradition of all true supervillains, Vox Day vowed to be back for blood next year. I very much doubt that he has the minionpower to do much damage without a sizeable useful idiot contingent that will be hard to put together after everybody saw how miserably Sad Puppies failed. In the age of Internet, however, trolls are a resource that will never be exhausted.

5. Puppies often lie…

It will be interesting to see how the Puppy ringleaders plan to coin the campaign next year. First, it was about the swashbuckling fun that feminists take away from wrongfans. Then, when very little fun was to be found on the slated works, the goalposts switched place and it was about getting more people to realize that they could vote. At some point, it was also about countering the evil, liberal mass media that lies about the Puppies, or evil, liberal creative directors who lie about the Puppies, or evil, liberal publishing houses that publish Puppies AND lie about them.

None of these goals requires throwing smear around like Brad Torgersen did right from the start in his screed posts, though, so the logical conclusion is that sticking it to the SJWs was mainly the point all along. I guess most Hugo voters realized this.

6. …but some Puppies are honest

Despite what many people may think, all Puppy voters didn’t follow the party line.

Take Dark Between the Stars by Kevin J. Anderson, for example. It’s very hard to come across any praise for the book by somebody who isn’t a devout puppy, I think. It was severely bashed in almost all non-Puppy reviews I read. However, the stats show that out of the 251 voters who thought that DBtS is the best book of the year, only 130 chose Jim Butcher’s Skin Game (that’s the other Puppy nominee) as their second choice. Nearly as many of them (93, to be exact) thought that Three-Body Problem, Goblin Emperor or Ancillary Sword is the second best novel of the year. I guess they voted what they felt is the right choice. Especially Goblin Emperor and Ancillary Sword were severely bashed by Puppies, in turn, but over fifty voters went that way.

Another example: in the fan writer category, fans of the staunch anti-SJW evangelist Amanda S. Green were more likely to have the staunch social justice advocate Laura J. Mixon as their second choice than fellow-Puppies Dave Freer or Jeffro Johnson. Actually, even if you combine the Green-Freer and Green-Johnson voters, they’ll still lose to the Green-Mixon crowd. Judging by the internet rhetoric, that was unexpected. And that’s a nice setup for my last point.

7. Other fans like the weirdest things

If two fans can’t get a fight started about the merits of some book or writer, they aren’t real fans at all. You can’t herd cats and you can’t herd fans.

Yes, I mostly agree with the non-Puppy voters on the Puppy nominees’ merits. The non-Puppy nominees’ merits are a different matter entirely. Three-Body Problem is good, Ms. Marvel is great and there’s a nice raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy, sure. However, nobody in the world can convince me that they’re better than Ancillary Sword, Sex Criminals and Lego Movie. No one.

Congratulations for all the Hugo winners and losers, and condolences for everybody who just learned that they would’ve been on the ballot if the Puppies hadn’t messed it up!


Hugogeddon 2015 Debriefing

WordPress is generous with all kinds of interesting figures, and I guess there’s something interesting there to look at now that the Hugo voting has ended and everybody is in waiting mode.

I started blogging here when I began looking for things to nominate for the Hugos five months ago. During this Hugo season, the WordPress stats tell me, I’ve written 52 blog posts that have been viewed a little over 18,000 times. I have no idea how good or measly figure that is for a project like this, but I’m of course grateful for every reader and visitor.

In addition, I guess there were plenty of people who only read the bits that were quoted in File770 Puppygate roundups. In his web fanzine, Mike Glyer followed the Hugo mess and quoted extensively from all sides of the discussion. Many of my posts were featured there, and it seems that I even got my own tag on File770 (how great is that). According to the WP stats, File 770 is the place which sent most traffic in my blog, and as a matter of fact, the ten next largest traffic sources combined generated less traffic than Mike Glyer alone. In case you happen to read this, Mike, my hat’s eternally off.

This being the internet, the most read posts seem to be those in which I was being snarky and judgmental. The more enthusiastic ramblings didn’t draw people’s attention the same way which is something one would expect, I guess. In contrast, one thing I wasn’t expecting was that the most clicked links were those leading to Jeffro Johnson’s blog. Who would have thought?

One consequence of being occasionally snarky and judgmental is that some people get angry with you. This is what author Brad R. Torgersen, the Chief Sad Puppyteer of this year’s Hugo mess, opined about me:

I suspect the furball has no solutions, merely complaints. If we actually do get back to the moon before the middle of the century, spacefaringkitten is the kind of sad-sack who will find an excuse to whine about it.

It sounds so cool that I had to integrate it into the blog’s subtitle.

Another disgruntled customer was writer R.K. Modena who — I realized only yesterday — was asking around in Twitter if anybody involved with #GamerGate would recognize my writing style and tell her who I was. What she would have done with the information, I have no idea. Sent me a head of a horse, perhaps?