Rabid Puppies 2016: Best Short Story

The preliminary recommendations for the Best Short Story category:

  • “Tuesdays With Molakesh the Destroyer”, Megan Grey, Fireside Magazine
  • “Asymmetrical Warfare”, S. R. Algernon, Nature Nr. 519
  • “Seven Kill Tiger”, Charles Shao, There Will Be War Vol. X
  • “The Commuter”, Thomas Mays, Amazon Kindle Single
  • “If You Were an Award, My Love”, Juan Tabo and S. Harris, Vox Popoli

Other 2016 Hugo categories

On a related note, there is an interesting discussion of what fueled the Puppies movement over at The Right Geek. She’s a Sad, not a Rabid, but her perspective is pretty accurate on the whole.

Over the same time frame, the Puppies have also become concerned about the artistic direction of our field. The “Human Wave” movement, the “Superversive” movement, and the more generalized complaints about “message fic” and “grey goo” that started gaining steam before last year’s Sad Puppies campaign are all flailing attempts by the Puppies to describe the flatness we’ve perceived in many recent award winners — particularly in the shorter fiction categories, where the stylistic sophistication and emotional catharsis beloved by creative writing professors and MFA programs the world over appear to be crowding out more accessible stories with identifiable plots and recognizably science-fictional ideas. Have the aforementioned accessible stories been shut out of the mix entirely? No, thankfully — but prominent fannish critics have definitely been agitating against any “traditional” authors who happen to be short-listed. When Larry Correia was nominated for the Campbell back in 2011, for example, one such critic hyperbolically proclaimed that a win for Larry would “end writing forever.”

Finally, before the Puppies became a controversial sensation, many of the same people were getting nominated for the Hugo year after year after year. Now, this state of affairs may have been justifiable if fandom were really tiny, but it’s not. As I remarked in my previous post, thousands of science fiction works are published and bought every year, and the most recent circulation figures I could find for, say, Asimov’s or Analog exceed the number of people who voted in the Hugos in 2012 by over 1000%. To us Puppies, the proposition that a couple thousand super-motivated Pre-Puppy World Con voters were in any way representative of the fandom in the aggregate was and is ridiculous on its face.

The Puppykickers have been trying to have it both ways. On the one hand, a very small group of people were creating awards they can’t even define solely for the sake of giving them to an even smaller group of people they like (awards such as the Best Related Work and Best Long-form Editor), on the other, they have repeatedly asserted that these awards, which are nothing more than the subjective popularity contest among a very small group of people, somehow prove that the recipients are objectively superior to the majority of their various colleagues and competitors in the science fiction and fantasy fields.

The Right Geek doesn’t quite go all the way back to the very beginning, however. The reason the original Sad Puppies campaign came to pass was because an SF-SJW was on Larry Correia’s blog, taunting him with being an inferior writer because although his books sold well, John Scalzi and other SF-SJWs had Hugo nominations and awards that Correia lacked. When Correia dismissed the SJW’s argument by saying that the Hugos were, like the Nebulas, nothing more than a popularity contest, the SJW furiously denied that was the case, prompting Larry to declare that he would prove otherwise.

Which he did, repeatedly, in spades.

Now Larry is a Hugo-nominated author. Brad Torgersen is a Hugo-nominated author. Mike Williamson is a Hugo-nominated author. Tom Kratman is a Hugo-nominated author. John C. Wright is record-setting Hugo-nominated author. I am a Hugo-nominated author and a Hugo-nominated editor. We are henceforth a part of Hugo history. And SF fandom can’t deny that, any more than they can take John Scalzi’s ludicrous “Best Novel” award away from him or Kameron Hurley’s utterly absurd “Best Related Work” award away from her.

We didn’t make the Hugo Awards ridiculous. We merely drew attention to the fact that the SJWs in science fiction already had.

If the SJWs in science fiction are unhappy with the present state of affairs, they need to realize that a) they started it and b) they exacerbated it. Patrick Nielsen Hayden and John Scalzi didn’t need to publicly attack me back in 2005 and collude to try to get me expelled from SFWA in 2013. SJWs didn’t need to falsely claim that I was responsible for gaming the 2014 nominations. And whoever that SJW was back in 2012 didn’t need to go to Larry’s site and start taunting him there.

The SJWs in science fiction could have done what we were doing to them all along and simply left us alone. But for one reason or another, they didn’t. So, it’s more than a bit rich for them to complain that we are now paying them too much unwanted attention when they went out of their way to draw it in the first place. In the words of Metallica:

Careful what you wish, you may regret it
Careful what you wish, you just might get it

They wanted the baleful eye of the Supreme Dark Lord upon them. Well, they have got it. And if they do not enjoy the burning touch of my gentle hand, how am I to blame for that? It is what they demanded, after all.

Nevertheless, because I am kind, and in the interest of restoring a modicum of peace to the science fiction community, I will extend an olive branch to my enemies. I will be pleased to vacate and disavow my past Hugo nominations once John Scalzi and Patrick Nielsen Hayden return their past awards and do the same. And furthermore, I will forswear all future Hugo nominations for myself if both men agree to do so as well.

Come, gentlemen, shall we not be inspired by the selfless and noble example of the late David Hartwell and allow others their moment to bask in Hugo glory?