Thoughts on the 2016 SF&F Awards (Hugos and Dragons)

Well another Hugo Awards has come and gone and the WorldCon convention (this edition in Kansas City called MidAmericon II) ends today after proving that the entrenched powers that be would rather eject legitimate members from their proceedings than allow any dissenting opinions.

I won’t review the whole event (see story at link https://voxday.blogspot.com/2016/08/truesdale-expelled-from-worldcon.html ) but the gist of it is that a well known editor of an on-line sf review site (Dave Truesdale of Tangent Online) was expelled from the convention because during his moderation of a panel on short stories he read a statement that blamed the current impoverished state of sf/f short story sales on the unpopularity of social justice themes. Apparently Mr. Truesdale has an audio recording of the proceedings and when he makes it available it is sure to be enlightening and highly entertaining.

But I think it is painfully obvious at this point that WorldCon and the Hugos are irredeemable. I applaud the efforts of the Sad Puppies to open up the membership to a wider audience (and I celebrate the constructive destruction that allowed Space Raptor Butt Invasion to find immortality as a best short story finalist (well done Rabid Puppies)). I even see that continued efforts to influence the nominating and voting outcomes could improve the results of future Hugos above the present dismal pool.

But what I am much more interested in is whether the new Dragon Awards (associated with the Dragon Con organization) will better reflect the tastes and reading choices of the wider science fiction and fantasy public. The fact that voting is free should guarantee a larger voting pool. Of course that’s no guarantee of perfect representation but it’s sure easier to get people to vote for free than having to plunk down $40 or $50 to do the same.

Right off the bat, an award that has both Jim Butcher and Larry Correia competing for best fantasy novel has got my attention. The Dragon Con takes place during the Labor Day Weekend. It’s just a couple of weeks until we’ll know whether these awards will provide a more representative measure of the broader taste in science fiction and fantasy. If it resembles the results of this year’s Hugos then I think that tells me that the great majority of sf&f readers just don’t care about awards at all and depend on reviews and word of mouth to select their reading material. Either way it will be an interesting data point.

SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police; A Review

Discussing this book is really a combination of explaining the concept of the Social Justice Warrior (SJW) to the uninitiated (or fortunate innocent) and reviewing the efficacy of the content with respect to the book’s stated purpose.

How’s that for a loaded thesis?

So, for anyone who has been in a coma for the last twenty years or living in a Burmese lamasery for the same period of time, an SJW is a person who pursues a policy of seeking out and punishing anyone who does not sufficiently submit to any aspect of the ultra-progressive narrative and agenda. This transgression can be of any kind; action, inaction, word, silence, facial expression, glance or any behavior at all. Most guilty are those who regardless of any other action belong to that most detestable group; the cis-gender, male, straight, white, christian American. They have the Mark of Cain (if I may use such a Judeo-Christian metaphor). For them any punishment is justified and insufficient. The SJW’s favorite method of attack is the internet swarm. These creatures will locate a likely target and using internet posting and e-mail complaints attempt to convince the victim’s employer that he is a terrible person and needs to be de-employed (fired). This sounds highly unlikely but reading a few of the clearly documented and easily confirmed high profile examples from the book it’s pretty clear that SJWs exist and that they do horrible damage to their victims. So in a nutshell that is the meaning of SJW. First part of mission accomplished. Hooray.

Part 2. My thoughts on the book. The author of the book, Vox Day, is an incredibly polarizing individual. For left wing individuals (especially those in the science fiction and fantasy community) he is the devil himself. Their fear and loathing of him is practically a fetish. For the political moderates he is a gadfly. He punishes them for failing to support anyone who the left labels as racist, sexist, homophobic or any other label they use to disqualify their enemies. Lately, in fact, Vox has been more of a scourge of mainstream conservatives than left-wing targets due to the Trump campaign and the reaction of mainstream republican politicians and pundits to it. Therefore he has become a lightning rod for several types of attack. He is aligned with the alt-right and nationalist groups and his popular blog site ( https://voxday.blogspot.com/ ) reflects his take no prisoners approach to the culture wars. For these reasons it would be easy to dismiss his book as a partisan screed only useful for preaching to the far right choir. But that is not the case. The book is actually an incredibly useful tool for explaining to all sorts of people and preparing them for an SJW attack. How to recognize it. How it progresses. What to do and most importantly, what not to do.

The information is laid out in a very orderly arrangement with chronological breakdown of the stages. Interspersed are examples of the high profile SJW victims from the recent past. Also Vox provides his own autobiographical account of an SJW attack.

Grabbing just one nugget from this useful guide I’d say probably the single most important rule is never apologize (although a close second is never resign).

In my estimation this book should be read by anyone who wants to protect himself from being intimidated (and potentially destroyed) by leftist culture thugs. What it also does is allow you to recognize the noxious effect that political correctness has already had on normal human interaction. Basically everyone is afraid to challenge the thought police who impose an unpopular narrative on us all. The fact that it is reinforced at almost all institutional centers (media, schools, corporations and government) shows just how serious the problem already is.

Vox Day has millions of enemies. But he has almost everyone in his debt for providing a useful tool to warn of and protect us from these totalitarian harpies.

Hugos and Puppies and Chorfs, Oh My!

  • Well it’s April and that means it’s time for science fiction and character assassination.  This year will mark the fourth iteration of the greatest literary experiment since the invention of the apostrophe.  At this point the whole saga has become too long and complicated to rehash in detail but the argument in a nutshell is that the Hugo Awards had become a very in-bred mutual admiration prize that a surprisingly small number of voters controlled.  The Sad Puppies claimed that the prizes no longer reflected the kind of stories that the majority of sf buyers wanted but rather a literary style that was heavy on progressive social messaging and flavor of the day affirmative action representation.  In fact what they claimed was that a small group of like-minded authors and the publishers who printed their works (call them the Gatekeepers) basically agreed on a slate ahead of time and because of the small attendance were able to dictate the winners based on their progressive sensibilities.  For this assertion the Puppies were mocked and reviled.  So they formed a slate of their own and captured almost all of the nominations.  The panic and anger this engendered is hard to exaggerate.  Some of the publishing professionals used their media contacts to get multiple news sites to characterize the Sad Puppies as racist, sexist white supremacists.  Interestingly several of the puppies were various combinations of non-white and non-male.  But the truth is no excuse for ruining a perfectly good narrative.  By convincing the larger sf community that evil men were co-opting the venerable Hugos the Gatekeepers were able to recruit a couple of thousand new voters who used the “no-award” option to punish the puppy nominees.  And just to show how petty these gatekeepers were they handed out asterisks at the award ceremony to nominees just to show them how illegitimate their status was.
  • This year the Sad Puppies have decided to take the high road and make the program more inclusive allowing anyone regardless of sensibilities to nominate works.  This has garnered them less hate (slightly) from the Gatekeepers.  However, a very large section of the Sad Puppies has migrated to the Rabid Puppies.  These are followers of a fellow called Vox Day who so despises the Hugo Gatekeepers (or Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) as he calls them) that burning down the Hugos is actually more desirable to him than reforming them.  Now the Rabids are generally a prickly crowd and tend to bite friend or foe when the whim strikes them.  But how can you fault someone who nominates a story for a Hugo called “Space Raptor Butt Invasion.”  If the Rabids manage to capture a substantial proportion of the nominations pandemonium (and hilarity) will ensue.  The character assassination will be phenominal.  But it is instructive to see just how easily the progressives crumble when exposed to just a small fraction of the unfairness that they dish out to conservatives.  Very instructive.
  • So Bravo Puppies (Sad and Rabid).  Long may you gnaw your chew toys.