Of the books nominated for Best Novel by the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies, the weakest to make the ballot was (IMHO) Kevin J Anderson’s The Dark Between the Stars. I’m afraid to say that I found it a bit dull, but tastes differ and I’m sure it sold well and clearly somebody recommended it. Now The Dark Between the Stars was part one of a presumably epic series (The Shadow Saga) and the sequel Blood of the Cosmos was published in 2015.
Now here is something interesting. Of the many books recommended on the Sad Puppy 4 Best Novel pages there are exactly zero recommendations for Blood of the Cosmos. There is one recommendation for a different Kevin J Anderson book Clockwork Lives, which is a tie in novelization with a Rush concept album (honestly, is there nothing Anderson couldn’t novelize?) but that’s it.
If we are to take the Sad Puppy 3 claims seriously Kevin J Anderson (a writer for whom ‘consistency’ is his bankable quality) has gone from being a Puppy-pick for Best Novel i.e. one of the outstanding works of science fiction in 2014 to almost a nobody. Is the sequel really that bad that NOBODY would even suggest it? Does this mean Sad Puppy 4 will tacitly endorse the evaluation of Worldcon voters by going even further than No Award and not even muster a single recommendation for poor Mr Anderson?
The conundrum is easily resolved: the US publisher of both The Dark Between the Stars and Blood of the Cosmos is Tor books and while Sad Puppies is not officially boycotting Tor the overlap between the Tor boycotters and Sad Puppies supporters appears to be quite extensive. It seems that at long last there is a visible impact of the Tor Boycott and it is actually a previous puppy-pick that is the victim. I’m sure Mr Anderson won’t suffer too badly 🙂