File770 has a round-up of the Dragon Award antics from the Puppy and Scrappy quarters today: http://file770.com/?p=36848
The short version. Two authors have asked to withdraw:
- Alison Littlewood – who was an unwilling nominee on the Rabid Puppy slate and doesn’t want her book or her name associated with it.
- John Scalzi – who took one look at Brian Niemeier’s vote-against-SJWScalzi-by-voting-for-me tactic and gave a big ‘nope’ and walked away.
Alison Littlewood has published the response she received from Pat Henry – the president of Dragon Con. There are three things of note.
Firstly, they aren’t going to withdraw either author from the ballot – this isn’t a surprise because logistically they really have no easy way of doing so. They have already sent out Survey Monkey ballots (prior to publically stating the nominees) and so to withdraw authors they would have to restart the process. Given the assumption that the whole award is being run by a couple of people with little support (hence the odd behaviour around the website) they probably don’t have the time or resources to do so. Note Dragon Con itself has the money and resources to do so – they just aren’t going to spend it on the Dragon Awards.
The second thing of note is this bizarre statement of false equivalence: “We are aware of the rabid puppies and justice warriors efforts to effect the voting and we go through a number of steps to avoid ballot stuffing or other vote rigging behaviors. ” As others have pointed out not only is there no evidence of “justice warriors” trying to effect the vote with ‘ballot stuffing’ or ‘vote rigging’ there is ZERO evidence of any left-wing campaign to get any votes in the Dragon Awards. The SF-left, such that it is, has been dismissive of the awards. Meanwhile, the Rabid Puppy slate was there for all to see – just some basic commitment to facts would be nice.
The third thing has been less commented on: “The original purpose of the Dragon Awards was not so much as awards but as a quality reading list.” This original purpose has not been well stated before but there are aspects of the awards that point to it. For example, in the “Process” tab of the site, we have this: http://web.archive.org/web/20170809184831/http://awards.dragoncon.org/the-process/
“During the award nomination period, we will regularly send lists and information about your most popular choices.”
Of course, nothing remotely like this has happened. Also, the 2016 nominee list has been disappeared from the Dragon Award website entirely.
Update: The Verge has some good coverage and more Dragon Con response https://www.theverge.com/2017/8/9/16118054/john-scalzi-alison-littlewood-dragon-awards-controversy-sci-fi-horror