A Comment from the Red Pandas

The Red Panda Fraction left a detailed comment to yesterday’s post but as it was sleepy-time in Australia I didn’t approve it until this morning. I hope they don’t mind but I thought I’d elevate it to a post.

“Thanks for the post.
We do realize it is really late in the game this year to get involved, and the reason for that is that we just didn’t get it together in time. We almost delayed any action at all until after Dragon Con, but we finally got the logo finalized and who doesn’t love a Red Panda?

However, it occurred to me yesterday as I threw out the Tweetstorm that we may have a small impact as long as we stay in the #DragonCon stream on Twitter today. Dragon Con has been a little bit better about promoting the Awards this year, and one of the main criticisms we initially had about the Awards is that very few people were aware of them last year. For example, when I opened the Dragon Con app yesterday on my phone, there was a reminder to vote for the Awards.

We are aware of the problems of putting out a list, but as you point out, it is neither against the rules nor the current spirit of the Dragon Awards. We find the current spirit of the Awards to be problematic, but since some nominees with very obvious political leanings have campaigned vigorously on their own behalf, we have no compunctions doing so as fans.

As a fan group separate from nominees, we don’t believe we’re co-opting nominees. First, the Red Panda Fraction coalesced after the Dragon Awards last year, and first thing we did was work together on nominees and then on voting because no one person can cover all the categories unless that’s their full-time job. We put together suggestions and got feedback on works in the various categories from people who have seen, played, read, etc., them. We then strove to nominate and then vote responsibly as a collective, dividing the labor of reading, seeing, playing, etc. nominated works as best as we could in the short amount of time available to us. In the future, we hope to put together a public recommendation list with short reviews of each work on the list before the nomination process and then for voting. Second, we believe that geek culture, broadly defined, is an important cultural space to which the left in particular has not paid sufficient attention and as such, we need to intervene in it through various means. A recommendation list is a benign way to do so. Websites do it, creators do it, and if there is criticism, similar lists are not hard to find on other side. We do not seek the endorsement of creators nor believe we require it, but I included creators who had Twitter accounts in my tweets, and so far, none of them have asked for us not to put them on the list. Third, we have every right to advocate for works for any reason for the Dragon Awards since it is basically a popularity contest. The majority of us attend and love Dragon Con, and we want to work towards improving the Awards.

Finally, I have to get to the Dragon Con today! Thanks again for the post.”

Some questions/observations:

  • Are they some sort of ‘false-flag’ operation? That isn’t impossible but I think they sound genuine.
  • They imply that they have been operating as a group since last year.
  • Dragon Con isn’t my space or my community – I don’t want to dictate to people in that space/community how they should act/organise against the far right.

Still no reaction from the Rabids or Scrappy Doos.

[ETA: link to the Red Panda Fraction Instagram Page https://www.instagram.com/rpfraction/ ]

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51 comments

  1. Kathodus

    My first thought was false flag, but trolls usually reveal themselves – they can’t help but overstate the hyperbole and be as extremely (whatever they’re trolling) as possible. Still… not encouraging to see people on the Left taking cues from some of the most annoying, least self-aware people on the right.

    Like

    • Jasper Meer

      We’re a fairly gregarious lot, and love the fandoms. I’m totally encouraged by working with Red Panda Fraction. It’s been a lark and I’ve even had good bleed between our Metro Atlanta DSA Chapter. You say we’re taking cues, but I say there are many paths through what interests we share with others – Politik, geekery, or drink recipes in my experience with RPF (I mixed up a Mai Tai for a fellow at DC today using the Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki (2017) recipe; it was just as good as the one I got in San Francisco!) I’m a big fan of interconnectivity. If this is what the right in America is doing, then I’ve no doubt it works.

      Like

      • JJ

        Jasper Meer: <em,If this is what the right in America is doing, then I’ve no doubt it works.

        The question isn’t whether it works. It’s whether it’s right.

        Your group obviously sees nothing wrong with nominating and voting for works you have not read. To me, the idea of doing that is utterly anthetical to who I am as a reader, and as a fan.

        Kat Goodwin has done a good job explaining why — as well as explaining how unfair what you’re doing is to the authors on your slate. If they win, it will be claimed that they only won because of politics, and not because of the quality of their works. That puts a big tarnish on the awards — as it already did last year, when nearly-unknown works by nearly-unknown authors won several categories, illustrating that the Dragon Awards are a joke. But those authors campaigned for, and coveted, their glitter-covered turds, and they deserve exactly what they got. The authors you’ve slated don’t deserve it.

        I thought that hijacking awards to reward works based on political affiliation rather than quality was appalling when the Puppies did it with the Hugos and the Dragons, and I think that it’s appalling that your group members are doing it now, with apparently not a twinge of conscience.

        So hey, congratulations. You’ve now given the Puppies ammunition that people on the left are just as bad as those on the right. You all must be very proud. 😐

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Mark

    In lieu of just saying “ticky” I’m going to copy my comment to them from the last thread:

    So, are “we” going to reveal the names behind the panda? Not that you’re obliged to do so, but it might allay some suspicions.

    Did your method involve people nominating things they hadn’t actually read, or did everyone read the recommended item in each category before nominating?

    To be frank, at the moment you’re providing a near-perfect post-hoc justification for the silly claims by DC staff about “Justice Warriors” and I’m treating you with scepticism until proven otherwise.

    On the other other hand, your proposal of some sort of recommendation site tailored to the Dragon Award categories seems to me to be a perfectly reasonable response and entirely in the spirit of the rules, provided it doesn’t rise to the level of the politically motivated slates seen elsewhere.

    To follow up a bit, I also doubt they’re an actual false-flag attempt, they’re just inadvertently doing exactly what one would look like if you wanted to confirm the silly DC claims.
    I think it’s good if DC regulars are trying to do something about the situation – they are the ones with the interest and power to fix this, not us uninvolved popcorn-chuckers – but the “fire with fire” tactic combined with overt politicising seems counter-productive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • JJ

      I think they’d be far better served at this late date to work with DragonCon heads to ensure that all DragonCon members receive e-mails next year: first, notifying them of the awards and how to register and nominate, then later, notifying them of the finalists and how to vote.

      I agree that the “fire with fire” and political verbiage make this slate no better than the various flavors of Puppy, Scrappy, and Inkshares slates, and I’m really disappointed that they chose to go about it in this way.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jasper Meer

      “Did your method involve people nominating things they hadn’t actually read, or did everyone read the recommended item in each category before nominating?”
      RPF spread the nomination link because DC does such a horrible job promoting it. We made no recommendations for the nominations portion & encouraged folks to nominate the works they loved over the past year. After the DC posted the finalist nominee list, that’s when we set to work. So, two tines to the fork. First, ensuring as many folks we knew got a chance to nominate what they individually love. Second, taking DC’s finalist nominees by categories and assigning working groups to consume and critique by the categories so we could generate a slate based off of informed consumption. The RPF slate’s a pretty good list to use for recommendations, so I don’t mind sharing it.

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      • Mark

        Jasper, here’s what you wrote:
        “We made no recommendations for the nominations portion & encouraged folks to nominate the works they loved over the past year. After the DC posted the finalist nominee list, that’s when we set to work.”

        And here’s what RPF wrote:
        “first thing we did was work together on nominees and then on voting”
        “We then strove to nominate and then vote responsibly as a collective”

        You are contradicting yourselves about what you did in the nomination phase. Could you please sort your story out and then come back to us?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jasper Meer

        “You are contradicting yourselves about what you did in the nomination phase. Could you please sort your story out and then come back to us?”
        Hmmm. I’m not reading any contradiction in this, but perhaps a misreading that parses into a contradiction. The misreading was either willful and/or untrained, in which case there’s no bottom to any explicandum or argument; or it’s an earnest mistake and I should invest the time in laying out how there is no contradiction. Skimming over your other comments… Oooooo! THERE’S MORE GAMING TO BE DONE AT DRAGONCON TODAY!

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      • Mark

        Jasper, you say there was no collaboration for your nominations (as opposed to finalist votes), your colleague says there was. I’ll put it more clearly: did DC receive substantially identical nomination ballots from yourselves and your colleagues, and if so how many?

        Liked by 1 person

      • redpandafraction (@redpndafraction)

        @Mark We did collaborate on nominations. People suggested choices with some discussion. We reached out to people who had knowledge of fandom that others did not (like games). There was one partial list suggested by a member of the Fraction a few days before the nomination deadline. We did not expect nor insist people use the list. We did not ask if they used it or not. Some people simply said that they put in their nominations.

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      • Contrarius

        Guys — I just gotta say — could you at least fix your handle so it says FACTION instead of FRACTION?? The editor in me screams silently every time I see that, and it doesn’t do the public image of your group any good.

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      • Contrarius

        Yeah, yeah, but I only have to look at your misspelled words once apiece! This “fraction” crap is like Chinese water torture — over, and over, and over, drip, drip, drip! GAAAAaaaaaaahhhhhhh.

        Liked by 1 person

      • redpandafraction (@redpndafraction)

        I had to change accounts so I’ll get notifications when there are new posts.
        We’re sticking to Fraction since:
        “Fractions
        When there are a number of activities going on at the same time, larger branches will want to organize themselves into fractions. A fraction, (subcommittee or working group), is simply a group of members that focuses on a particular political activity or area of movement work. Not all fractions need to be permanent, but should focus on fulfilling the needs of the branch at any particular time. For example, a fraction might be organized to focus on anti-death penalty or immigrants’ rights work, to build for a national demonstration, or to build for an upcoming ISO conference.”

        http://www.internationalsocialist.org/get-involved/members-resources/organizing-branch

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  3. Lurkertype

    I doubt if they’ve been that active, but I like their idea of actually reading/watching the things on the recommendation list. If only they’d gotten the list out in time for nominations. Heartily approve of letting people withdraw from their list. AND I *love* that they realize that the DA are strictly a popularity contest.

    They do need to tone down the stereotypical SJW wording, though — makes them look either false flag or stupid. Remove a few buzzwords. And who’s running this thing? (although I understand if they don’t want to ID themselves, what with the right-wingers loving to attack and doxx.)

    I’ll be interested to see what they come up with for next year, and wish them well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kathodus

      Huh. I didn’t think it sounded too over the top. But then, I couldn’t possibly count of the number of posts I’ve read in the past three weeks by radicals, completely lost in jargon and their red bubble, discussing current issues.

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      • Jasper Meer

        So far, I’m the only one coming out, which is a-ok. We’ve a non-reveal policy based off of a few members’ bad experiences with doxxing. DA is a popularity contest with very little transparency. We’re interested in improving the integrity of the awards. No matter how the DA awards shake out, we’ve made lark of consuming a lot of work in a short run to kick out a slate that we’re confident in using amongst ourselves and recommending to non-RPF friends. The bigger project is improving the DA process, but in practice we’re getting a lot of joy and coincidental organizing.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Cora

    Well, whoever is behind the Red Pandas, their recommendation list is pretty close to my votes in the Dragon Awards, with a handful of changes, e.g. I picked Becky Chambers over Scalzi and Liu Cixin in best SF novel and Beth Cato over China Mieville in best alternate history.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jasper Meer

      Hej Cora! Thanks for speaking to our Slate! If you’ve further recommendations for lit, film, or games in the upcoming year, then please pass them on to me. Hell’s bells, friend me on facebook, even. We obviously have similar tastes & that’s golden.

      Like

  5. Kat Goodwin

    Lurkertype: “(although I understand if they don’t want to ID themselves, what with the right-wingers loving to attack and doxx.)”

    Yeah, that’s the problem. They aren’t willing to identify themselves to protect themselves, but had no problem with painting a big old target on the authors’ backs and exposing them to death threats. By naming themselves an animal group, they placed themselves in a direct battle with the ridiculous Puppy nonsense, meaning the Pups will have fun attacking everyone the Red Pandas bring up, even if authors remove their name from a political list they once again did not ask to be shoved on. The blithe “oh it’s fine, nobody complained” response certainly does make them look like a false flag op, and if they aren’t, it’s another clueless group of people trying to turn helpless authors into football teams with animal mascots.

    The goals of the Red Pandas may be noble, if they are who they claim to be, but their execution seems to be the same mess. It’s certainly not making it more appealing to authors to be nominees of these awards, at this point.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jasper Meer

      I’m pretty blithe on the whole, but Lawd help us if anyone considers me noble! Also, I’ve been a professional issue campaign organizer as well as an NGO organizer for volunteer service projects. The level of execution from our organizers is about where I’d expect it to be for pure volunteerism and social engagement one year in, but if you’d like to donate some cash to accelerate this…

      Like

      • Kat Goodwin

        If you’re trying to imply that being a volunteer means that it’s okay being a dick to the very people you want to help, I’m not sure I’d want to be part of any campaign you’re running, thanks. It’s very simple: NEXT YEAR, BEFORE you put authors on the list for your specific and directed war with the Puppies over the Dragon Awards, that makes them the targets of harassment, contact the authors to see if they’re okay with it first and give them the chance to reject your endorsement and not be on the list, or accept your endorsement and be on your list. They all have contact information on the Web and they’ll appreciate it. They might even help you promote your group of fans in return. Or you can have some authors get very pissed off with your group and denounce it for causing their families to get death threats without their consent, while demanding to get pulled from your list. Which as the Sad Puppies can tell you, is embarrassing and not a good look for your group.

        The red panda is a favorite animal of mine. How about your group tries not tarnishing its rep and making a not very good impression for Atlanta and DragonCon as being welcoming by having some concern and consideration for the authors you want to help? Cause your responses are disturbingly Puppy-ish here. Most of us are sympathetic to your cause and supportive of the authors you support, but that means, as fans, we’d also not big on a liberal group deliberately harming good authors because they can’t be bothered to understand the cultural game they’re trying to play. Courtesy towards the authors is not going to hurt y’all.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Jasper Meer

    Howdy, Red Panda Fraction ring-tailed goon chiming in & happy to answer your questions…
    1. Are they some sort of ‘false-flag’ operation?
    No, we’re all earnest readers, watchers, and players in fandom. I run a monthly Intown Atlanta tabletop RPG day, for instance, and contributed recommendations for the scant gaming categories (which really need to be sub-divided a bit more,) as well as a few other category working committees. More than anything, my fellow DC attendees (and RPF are all DC attendees) and I just wanted to see good work rewarded. Our principal organizers were explicit in their guidance about that. Collectively, we examined the assigned category nominees, consumed and critiqued them in a very short time frame (everyone in RPF submitted their own DC award nominations, as RPF believes individuals should be at liberty to nominate the works they love; we only really went all-in with work committees after the final nominations list popped up.) The DC awards have many problems we’d like to see corrected in terms of transparency of process and NOT being vulnerable to political or industry manipulation. Our objective in correcting what’s broken with the awards is pretty straightforward. Until the DC awards are fixed, we will continue to organize and “fight fire with fire” as fire is the tool-of-conscience available to us. Blame the Dragons for that…
    All this aside, we really did put together a good voting slate on the merits. I’m using it now for categories to which I wasn’t assigned. S’tasty bamboo, friends. Chew it up!
    2. They imply that they have been operating as a group since last year.
    True, we’ve been operating since last DC due to a commonly held perception of problems with the DC Awards process. Atlanta is the largest of small towns (seriously, Atlanta is only 470,000 citizens within its incorporated boundaries.) Geekdom across the sprawl of metro Atlanta (and those who move from Atlanta yet return for DC, as we’re a highly transient lot) mostly know one another. We’re not fractious on the whole (there’s a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor in the Red Panda Fraction name, even.) If anything, we’re pretty happy fandom pandas looking or any old excuse to come together in good numbers to discuss and critique the fandoms we love.
    3. Dragon Con isn’t my space or my community – I don’t want to dictate to people in that space/community how they should act/organise against the far right.
    Aww, but we’d love to see ya in Atlanta for Dragon Con! We’ve an amazing Center for Puppetry Arts that houses the entire Jim Henson Collection and a deservedly world-renowned botanical garden, if those sweeten the pot for an Atlanta holiday! Plus, I’d like to think we’re friendlier than most places. Our airport is massively disproportionate to our wee city, so flights here are mostly cheap! Come to DC and meet a few RPF members (not all of us – I haven’t even done that!)

    Like

  7. redpandafraction (@redpndafraction)

    (I wrote this last night after a long day at the Con. It has been edited to reflect that you’ll be seeing a comment here soon by a Panda who revealed himself.)

    We have no plans to reveal ourselves in the foreseeable future [Edit: Rad Sonja and Comrade Pooh are remaining anonymous for the time being. You’ll see someone from the RPF reveal his identity when Camestro wakes up. I’m very happy that another Panda has spoken out.] It’s odd to ask us to do so, Mark, when the host of this blog is also anonymous, and your identity is not immediately obvious here or on Twitter. We have had some experience with doxxxing hence our wariness. I know of no easy way to allay suspicions at the moment. [Perhaps the post by our fellow Panda will do that.]

    As for having EVERYONE read the recommended item in each category before nominating, that’s wildly impractical. It’d be difficult for a variety of reasons such as differences in taste in regards to the categories, agreeing on one work to start with (What happens if we have don’t find it acceptable? Have the whole Fraction read works until one is found?), available time, and eyestrain. In any case, it’s a characteristic of the left to do things collectively. There are fractions within the Fraction. We divided the labor. The Dragon Awards are not the Hugos and should be not treated as such.

    I don’t think we gave the DC Staff any reason to talk about Justice Warriors at the time that post was written. If the Fraction did, it was due to a relatively small number of people. Regardless, they’re going to complain about “SJWs” no matter what we do. The nominees are supposed to be a reading list anyway, right? There is some welcome signs that they have made more of an effort to get DragonCon members to vote. There were reminders on the DragonCon app. I think there was maybe an email, but today has been a bit of a blur as I have entered into Dragon Con time dilation.

    As for the issue of being politically motivated, of course we are. Who isn’t? Asking us not to be so is itself a political stance. One’s aesthetics are informed by one’s politics, consciously or not. We have made our politics apparent so I suppose that makes us easy to criticize. I have had no time to discern the politics of anyone here. I hope that one of the Fraction might have more to say about intervening in geek culture in the future.

    I am puzzled at the use of SJW as a pejorative term in the comments. I’m curious exactly what rhetoric some of you would find more acceptable. You might find our rhetoric displeasing, but I find attempting to be as inclusive as possible much more “just” than advocating for some form of white supremacy or nationalism. Earnestness might be an aesthetic faux pas to some, but, after the recent natural disaster shitshow here in the United States that’s still unfolding, I think some earnestness is in order.

    In any case, we’re still finding our voice(s). I hope it’ll be more playful and humorous in the future, like, for instance, issuing a communique in red and black signed by Comrade Pooh, my current nom de plume, on Instagram.

    We will try through normal routes to make our voices heard at DragonCon about the problems with the Awards, but I’m not sanguine as the prospects of anything being done given the structure of its governance. Camestros has done exemplary work in tracing out the connections between the Dragon Awards and various groups, but one of the Fraction might have more to contribute after the Con is over, work which might shed more light on what the difficulties are.

    [The RPF was asked to be interviewed by Doris V. Sutherland (https://dorisvsutherland.wordpress.com/). I have given her a lot of information on our process in developing nominations. I’m not sure where she’s publishing it so keep an eye out for it.]
    Off to DragonCon for day 3!
    Comrade Pooh

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark

      //We have no plans to reveal ourselves//

      I have no issues with this, and I specifically said “Not that you’re obliged to do so”. Doing so could be a positive, for the reasons I stated, but not doing so is not a negative.

      //As for having EVERYONE read the recommended item in each category before nominating, that’s wildly impractical…The Dragon Awards are not the Hugos and should be not treated as such. //

      I’m afraid that this is where we part ways.
      It’s “impractical” to read 7 books for an award? There were upwards of 50 to read for Hugo finalist purposes. Each person nominating could (and should) have read what they nominated, and only done so if they were happy that the rec they had received was something that was genuinely the best thing they’d read in the category. I’d still have side-eyed the political side of it, but at least there’d have been a veneer of actual-fans-actually-reading to it.
      No, the Dragons are not the Hugos, and there’s no expectation of you voting for anything other than “that thing you read that seemed cool”, but the absolute bare minimum for a credible engagement with the process of giving a book an award is to have read the book.
      I didn’t read particularly widely for the Dragon Awards – I think I only had 2 possible candidates for Alt Hist for example – and I don’t believe the Dragon Awards themselves in any way expect you to have done so, but I only voted for things I’d actually read.

      What you have achieved is to – between yourselves initially, but now among a wider audience – suggest that people should vote for books they haven’t read as an explicitly political act. It shouldn’t require more than a modest knowledge of the puppy-kerfluffle to know why I and probably others will find that unacceptable.

      //I don’t think we gave the DC Staff any reason to talk about Justice Warriors //

      The suggestion is not that you gave DC any reason to make their claim that the Dragon Award had been attacked by “Justice Warriors”, but that you’ve given them retroactive reason – and as we all know to our weary cost, these sorts of things quickly gain a “well, you did X afterwards, so what we did before was okay” argument. If you want to achieve something here, don’t go falling into really obvious traps.
      However, it does occur to me that if a significant number of people nominated the “Red Panda” slate identically then the DC staff would have noticed this privately, and that was the source of their comment. So, how many “Red Panda” nomination ballots do you think DC received – enough for them to identify it as such?

      //We will try through normal routes to make our voices heard at DragonCon about the problems with the Awards, but I’m not sanguine as the prospects of anything being done given the structure of its governance. //

      I think that ordinary DC fans making their voices heard to encourage DC to fix the problems is the ONLY reasonable solution here. Counter-slates are not a solution.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mark

        (You always find something after you hit post…)

        I was assuming that any requirement to have read the book was a purely moral one, albeit one I feel to be very important. In fact, it’s explicitly required: “What is the best and most outstanding science fiction novel you have read in the last year, one that you would tell your friends to read?”

        Liked by 1 person

      • Cora

        Well, I had definitely read the books I nominated for the Dragon Awards in the respective categories. I had problems with some such as best horror or best alternate history, since I don’t read a whole lot in those genres, though in the end I found something to nominate. Coincidentally, that’s also why I don’t nominate in the gaming categories, because I don’t game.

        For the voting, however, I don’t feel compelled to have read everything in every category. It’s not possible anyway and not expected, unlike with the Hugos. And I don’t have to wade through yet more JCW to know I won’t like it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • redpandafraction (@redpndafraction)

        Seven books in one category from the release of the nominations on August 3rd until September 1st? That’s impractical for people who are knowledge workers of one sort of the other, which a number of the Pandas are. They have designed the Awards to make your assumed moral requirement more like an arduous penance. Enjoy your hairshirt.

        Like

      • Mark

        Sorry, you’ve lost the thread of your own argument there, and mine too. I was referring to reading the books you nominated, not the finalists. That’s why I wrote “Each person nominating could (and should) have read what they nominated”. 7 books refers to there being 7 categories for novels, in which you nominate 1 book per category, hence 7 books to have read by the nomination deadline of July 24th. Presumably your members were able to identify candidates for you all in reasonable time?
        I’m not sure why being a knowledge worker is better or worse for reading than any other job, but I’m very surprised to see one using it as an excuse for not having done their own homework.
        You’ll see my additional post above, which points out that it isn’t a moral requirement but an actual one in the rules. If you can’t find the time to at least read one book in a category, then you’re allowed to leave it blank.

        Now in fairness, the Dragon Awards arrangements for finalists is clearly ridiculous and no-one could reasonably expect to have read all the finalists before voting, and I’m not saying otherwise. Mind you, it’d be nice if you’d at least read the one you voted for, but I’m guessing you don’t agree with that either.

        I would be interested to hear an answer as to your numbers at nomination time and whether you think this would have lead to you being identified as a slate of “Justice Warriors” by DC staff.

        Liked by 1 person

      • redpandafraction (@redpndafraction)

        @Mark I shouldn’t have written that long post during the con. I was too busy and tired, and my tone was unnecessarily combative. Maybe one of the Fraction will sketch out the governance structure of Dragon Con as best can be discerned so everyone can see that working through normal channels is very difficult.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Kat Goodwin

      Hello, Pooh, social justice warrior here. I will accept that you guys are a legit group with liberal leanings. Partly because you all seem largely clueless about what you are dealing with, for one thing, and because one of you did come forward. I don’t have an issue with you forming a group to advocate and spread word for authors you love for the Dragon Awards or anything else. I don’t have a problem with you advocating for cleaning up the Dragon Awards either — they certainly need help. You are fans and no one is going to be able to control what you do, as is how it should be but also why, in this online age, you could have a little more consideration for the authors you’re trying to support.

      The problem is that you didn’t just form a liberal group to make a recommendation list — you called yourselves Red Panda Faction, made up cutesy codenames like the Puppies and declared that you are fighting “fire with fire” — you are going to cultural war with the Puppies, (which means also Gamergaters and alt right trolls.) And the problem with that is that, just like the Puppies, you’re drafting authors into a very nasty political fight without their consent. It’s the authors you pick who don’t get to hide their identities, the authors who get doxxed, harassed and threatened, and have to deal with the PR consequences of you claiming them for your army. This isn’t “playful and humorous” for them. It’s a serious issue that involves their time to deal with it, their safety and careers. If you’re “wary,” what the hey do you think they’re dealing with at this point?

      Most of the authors you’d want to put on the list will probably be okay with it. But some won’t and they won’t know what they are in for because you haven’t bothered to let them know you put them on your team. It doesn’t matter whether they withdraw from your list or not — as soon as they are on it publicly, they are a target, or a bigger target than they already are. So please, next year, if you’re still going to call yourselves the Red Panda Faction, for the love of fandom, contact the authors you want BEFORE you put them on your list and make sure they are okay with it. Not just hope they notice on Twitter and let you know after the fact. Because what you are doing, the way that you are doing it, is not fandom — it’s activism. And it’s using authors who should get to decide the course of their own activism, about an award or anything else. If you want authors to actually be interested in being involved with the Dragon Awards, anonymously announcing them as your standard bearers is not how to go about it.

      The Puppies — and all their various new, snappy named sub-factions, have been just dying to have a left proclaimed opponent supposedly seeking to oppress them to rail about for the Dragon Awards. (Which is why all the sneers about liberal ballot stuffing even though liberals are right now mostly ignoring the awards.) And you Red Pandas just gave them one. Which is fine. But since the proxy fight is over authors, don’t make the exact same mistake the Puppies made with authors, is all I’m saying.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jasper Meer

        Hi Comrade! What have you been reading, watching, or playing of late? Red Panda Fraction should really start looking at books, cinema, and games for 2018. 2017 is done.

        Like

      • KR

        For that cheerfully rude and dismissive response to a thoughtful, articulate, fair criticism, I hereby match you up against Jon del Arroz in any future zoo-themed brackets.

        Bonus points for completely (un?)ironically proving her point by calling her Comrade and assigning a title “playfully” derived from your side which you have to know would be annoying to her. Noticing the Bernie fan stuff orbiting around your group, I am going to go ahead and assume there’s some gender weirdness buried in all this somewhere.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Lurkertype

        Everything Kat said.

        You Red Pandas need to actually read it, consider it, think about it, take it on board. Without showing the glib ignorance of the whole deal you did here.

        We need Bernie Bros in this mess equally as much as we need Puppies and Frogs, thanks.

        Which is to say, not at all. None of you.

        Like

  8. Jasper Meer

    It’s 2324 here in Atlanta, and I had another brilliant day at DC. Mostly, I played and ran tabletop RPGs, but connected with friends from RPF, Metro Atlanta DSA, and 2016 Bernie Sanders volunteers. Mutual fandom & shared politics are a fine way to build camaraderie.
    Now I’m off to bed because I’m playing again tomorrow at 0900 through 2100. It’ll be a long day, to be sure. Wherever you may be at the moment, I’m glad for your interest in RPF. I’ve answered what I can about our process and development so you can better imagine RPF island on the lovely map provided. Be sure to reach out if you’re ever in Atlanta or ESPECIALLY if you’re attending DragonCon! I’d be too happy to give ya tips about either.

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  10. Mark

    Doris has an increasing article up with Panda commentary

    http://womenwriteaboutcomics.com/2017/09/04/2017-dragon-awards/

    “Speaking to WWAC, the Red Panda Fraction explained that it has been active in private for some time now and took part in the Dragons’ nomination process. It informed us that it contains approximately fifty people, around twenty of whom took part in discussions about award nominees.”

    This quote doesn’t definitively say that twenty people voted an agreed slate in nominations, but if they’re not prepared to clarify for themselves then I have to go on what they’ve said so far. It appears that when DC said they were aware of “rabid puppies and justice warriors efforts to effect the voting” it was because they could see the Panda slate in the nominating stats along with the puppyish shenanigans.

    Liked by 1 person

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