Category Archives: hugo awards

Hugo Awards 2016: Geez, not this shit again

Welp, it happened again: The Rabid Puppies, the folks who want to destroy the Hugo Awards, nearly swept the nominations again this year. Not that anyone expected their defeat last year to discourage them. They seem to revel in the whole “If we can’t have what we want, at least we can ruin it for everyone else” thing, so of course they’re back for another go.

At least they avoided being completely tedious and changed their tactics a little this year. Instead of attacking the politicization of the Hugo Awards by nominate tepid right-wing polemics, they mixed things up and nominated some worthy works as well. I’m sure this is some devious mind game or clever stratagem, but it’s not really worth the effort to untangle it.

The Puppies are upset that their preferred flavor of sci-fi seldom wins Hugos. The reason they don’t win is obvious: In a popularity contest, the most popular work is going to win and the stuff the Puppies like is not the most popular. If 60% of the voters prefer one type of book, while 40% prefer another, will the less popular type win 40% of the awards? No, it will win none of the awards because  60% > 40% every time. Obvious, right? That sucks for the fans of the less popular style, but that’s the tyranny of math.

Last year, they gamed the nomination process to sweep the several categories, and the Hugo voters gamed the awards process to ensure that every Rabid Puppy nominee finished below “No Award.” This strikes me as just and the only possible way to preserve the integrity of the awards. The downside is that giving out “No Award” year after year isn’t a lot of fun.

I’ve read suggestions that this year’s troll-fest was a direct response to the Hugo voters’ failure to reward the Puppies to force the voters to give them trophies even if the voters didn’t actually believe they were deserved. No, really, that’s the argument (although it was phrased slightly differently.) The desire, then, is to receive an award, regardless of merit. The sort of thing that Puppy authors might call “affirmative action.”

Fortunately, I have a solution which I think every reasonable person will agree is wise and just: If what the Puppies really want is recognition, then simply reward every Puppy candidate with a “participant” award. You know, the kind they give to grade school children when you don’t want anyone to feel bad. This way, the Chuck Tingles and John C. Wrights of the world can have their recognition without having to try to abuse the nomination process. Then, simply discard any nominations which match the slate proposed by the Rabid Puppies. Problem solved…for a little while at least…maybe.




Filed under hugo awards, rabid puppies

A Lesson In Logic Courtesy of John C. Wright

John C. Wright, loser of a record number of Hugo awards in a single year, has a reasonable beef with George R. R. Martin:

For one, Mr Martin would have seemed more sincere had he not parenthetically added “And too many people empowered VD and his slate… either by voting for the work he slated (often unread)…” Which says, in other words, that those who voted for my works in record numbers, giving me a record number of nominations, did not read those works.

The claim is not correct, but it is politically correct, that is, this is the narrative convenient for SocJus, and the mere fact no one could possibly know this is a matter of sublime indifference.

Often unread, indeed, Mr. Martin? And how, praytell, would you or any mortal man know such a thing? The Hugo committee does not quiz the voters on their reading comprehension.

While is, in fact, possible for a mortal man* to know this by, you know, asking people, it seems unlikely that Martin has personally polled enough of Vox Day’s supporters to know if they read the works they nominated or if they simply voted as Day asked them to without first reading the material. Martin’s jibe is probably not supported by direct knowledge and Wright is right to call him out for this.

While we’re on the subject, check out this even more egregious example of stating an opinion pulled out of one’s ass as “fact:”

The Social Justice Warriors did in fact react precisely as Mr Beale predicted, and after the Sad Puppies unexpectedly swept several categories in the nominations, the SJWs used their superior numbers to vote NO AWARD into that category rather than give the award to whichever work was most worthy among the candidates.

This was done purely and openly for political reasons. The mask is torn. No honest onlooker can doubt the motive of the Social Justice Warriors at this point, or ponder whether the claims made by the Sad Puppies were true or false.

This is just whacky. Just as the Hugo committee does not quiz the voters on their reading comprehension, it also doesn’t request a reason for each vote. The writer may have their own bizarre, petty, paranoid reasons for believing that the results of the voting has some sinister meaning behind it and that the writer knows for certain what this meaning is, but, again, as Wright said, “how, praytell (sic) would you or any mortal man know such a thing?”

The punch line, of course, is that the second quoted section is from….John C. Wright’s blog. He posted it two days before his taking George R. R. Martin to task for doing the same damn thing. He called Martin “dishonest” for his statements, so you pretty much have to conclude that, by his own standards, Wright’s just as dishonest.  I’m starting to get the impression that “No Award” was a deserving winner…

* Is there any other kind of man?

EDIT: Frequent readers are probably aware of the fact that I retracted a post about Wright because it felt mean to be dog-piling on a guy with as many issues as him. That’s still true, but by my math, if he starts attacking other people for doing exactly the same things he himself does? All bets are off.

EDIT 2: Zaklog’s comment lets me know that I haven’t made one part of this clear, so let me elaborate a bit. We’ll use an extended metaphor. Those are fun, right? Ok, let’s say you’re a democrat and you’re trying to get a job at a company that’s been hiring a lot of republicans lately. You show up for your interview, and you tell you’re interviewer “I’m a democrat, and I’m pissed that you have only been hiring republicans. So, I got my buddy to shred all the applications from republicans. Also, I think you’re a jerk, your kid is stupid, and your wife is ugly. When do I start?”  Strangely enough, you don’t get the job even though you think you have a really good resume.

If your takeaway from this is “This just proves that this company won’t hire democrats!”…well, I guess you can say it, but don’t expect anyone to take you seriously when you do.

EDIT 3: It occurs to me that I haven’t specifically identified the logical fallacy employed. It’s the Anecdotal Fallacy: I heard people in an elevator talking, therefor no neutral party could possibly be unconvinced by my statement!


Filed under george r r martin, hugo awards, john c wright, rabid puppies, sad puppies