You’ve Probably Forgotten about Brad Torgersen By Now (so apologies for reminding you)

The erstwhile leader of the Sad Puppy 3 debarkle is having a major Facebook moan about the Hugo’s being an ‘affirmative action’ award, again. This time he declares himself vindicated because oh-my-gosh lots and lots of women and “and/or minorities” won Hugos. Notably, when the converse happens (men winning a great big pile of stuff) this is not regarded as proof of an award being an ‘affirmative action’ award for men.

Anyway, just in case you were sitting around wondering whether Brad had either mellowed or gone on a basic reasoning course, the answer is no, he hasn’t.

“About 30 months ago, I openly declared that Science Fiction literature’s so-called most prestigious award, had become a tool of affirmative action. It wasn’t about the stories anymore. It was about the identities.

The response of the cognoscenti was to call me—and anyone else who agreed with me—a host of terrible names. It was “oppressive” to acknowledge the truth. We were “hateful” for pointing out what was in plain sight.

Last I checked, they gave out no less than 16 Hugo awards to women and/or minorities. For the publishing year 2016. Only 2 out of a total of 18 Hugos, went exclusively to “oppressors.” “


22 thoughts on “You’ve Probably Forgotten about Brad Torgersen By Now (so apologies for reminding you)

    1. Just a reminder that there are still some constants in this world. The moon still goes through its phases, the rivers meander to the sea, Brad Torgersen still can’t imagine how women might genuinely write award winning books… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  1. He is astoundingly vitriolic, almost every time I’ve seen him interact with people he disagrees with (we’ve had some polite interactions on his blog, around posts that were not political or controversial, though).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Went over and looked at the rest of the post where he gives a list of things to do to win a Hugo. He’s got 5-7 well covered:

    5) Complain endlessly about how SF/F is hostile to you.
    6) Have lots of friends who complain about SF/F being hostile.
    7) Have lots of fans who also complain about SF/F being hostile.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I seem to recall that a lot of the name-calling was coming from his side. Specifically, from him. Not only did he hurl insults at everyone, he tried to cast himself as the victim by referring to anyone who didn’t agree with him as a puppy-kicker.

    The man has absolutely fucking no self-awareness whatsoever.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I still want to know what all those terrible names that people called him were. Something like “chorf” or “puppy-kicker”?


    1. lampwick: I still want to know what all those terrible names that people called him were.

      “racist”, “sexist”, and “homophobic”

      Of course, the fact that he actually said things that were racist, sexist, and homophobic had nothing to do with that. 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I can’t seem to access the post. Either Torgersen has made it private or Facebook has now changed so that people without Facebook accounts can’t see anything at all.


    1. Hmmm – I know that sometimes they show when you don’t have an account and sometimes they don’t but I don’t really know why (or how or what). To be honest I only have Facebook to get around the problem of when people link to Facebook posts.


  6. It’s really just a closed circle jerk. I was going to say something, as Brad is slamming N.K. Jemisin’s Patreons (of which I am one), as “fans,” in other words people who really don’t like what they say they like, but then I thought, what’s the use? Leave them alone in their “glory.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I was going to leave my comment about Brad having half of his list for getting a Hugo checked off already. But then I figured it would be more appreciated here. 🙂


  7. And it apparently never occurred to him that:
    – The Hugo awards have often gone to work that the voters consider ‘new’ or ‘groundbreaking’…
    – The viewpoints of women and minorities have usually been underrepresented in SF…
    – Thus, SF written by women and minorities using underrepresented viewpoints has a greater chance of being ‘groundbreaking’,
    – Which results in having a greater chance of getting a Hugo award.
    This would make it a self-correcting ‘problem’: as the previously underrepresented viewpoints become more common, less of the work would actually be new, and the Hugo awards would regress towards the mean of being more generally representative of the population at large (rather than the old bias towards white males or the current correction towards newer things).

    Of course, what people like Brad are usually really complaining about is that they don’t want those ‘alien’ (to them) viewpoints becoming more common, as that means more competition and less space for them, and they’re being threatened with being pushed down off the B-list by the new talent.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. For most of the history of the Hugos, the awards list were mostly white men, a small percentage of white women and a once in a blue moon POC, thanks to systemic discrimination. And folks like BT were fine with that, declaring a pretty unnatural spread to be simply happening naturally for decades. So by that reasoning, a year or two where white men are the minority in awards should be equally natural in occurrence and unremarked. The complaint only makes sense if you view white women and POC authors as mostly inferior and hardly ever worth the merit of an award, while white men are naturally superior most of the time, and that discrimination has never existed in the field, despite reams of historical evidence that it did. For BT, only discrimination towards white men is real, despite the stats. Or at least that’s the position he’s arguing.

    And this is the standard argument when a rigged system of discrimination and bias starts to unravel and change, as audiences change and want and like a wider range of stuff, and a field or industry becomes less dominated by the ones at the top and their artificial barriers. The sad thing is that again except for awards, fiction authors don’t directly compete with each other. They’re symbiotic and can help each other sell, growing the field with new readers. That symbiosis is one of the main reasons that fiction authors are seen as a supportive community and SFF particularly with its magazines, specialty media, conventions, and anthologies and collaborations. But that support and interest used to go mainly to white men because they rigged it to go that way, in acquisitions, promotions — and accolades. Now that it’s less that way, those who can only see things in hierarchical, puppy beat puppy terms mourn its decline because they can’t imagine that things aren’t rigged one way or another. And we have folks like BT whining about wanting to have white male quotas, which is ironic.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And, of course, in America, that makes his kids black and therefore inferior talents according to his way of thinking. Hope they manage to find good shrinks when they’re older.


      1. I doubt that’s his reasoning. Cultural change is an adjustment process most of the time, unfortunately. The same SJWs whose work made his marriage legal and his kids’ civil rights protected somewhat, continue the work to further unravel discrimination and change bigoted cultural attitudes that have physical, legal and economic consequences. Inter-racial marriages and their kids still face discrimination and violence in the U.S. — from BT’s allies — but they are no long legally banned or rare surprises in the culture for the last few decades. They have become a “normal,” frequent enough part of the culture, which BT is used to, (just as marriage equality will become a “normal” part of the culture, which is why the homophobic battled so hard against legally having it. See also the resistance reaction to the demand for convention harassment policies and how those policies are slowly becoming a “normal” part of conventions.) And on that particular change for interracial marriage, he benefits from it. And from that, he’ll argue that the problem is all fixed and is not systemic to other things, such as fiction publishing.

        If you cannot countenance a field equaling out and growing larger for all as a result, but instead frequently view things in finite, hierarchical terms with someone being up at the expense of someone being down, then efforts to unravel discrimination towards women in general, POC authors, etc. are seen as an attack to replace one top dog with another, while denying that the cultural top dog exists at all except as happenstance — or exists but should not then be “punished” — which others getting more equality and attention, having that be more normal and common in the culture, is labelled as being towards the top groups. BT’s argument is that the winners list shows that A) white women and POC aren’t being discriminated against (rather than that discrimination clearly recorded in the past has lessened) ; and B) that they are therefore using a false narrative of discrimination to harm and shove out white men (and conservative authors,) and are cheating by rigging the system to make them one up, rather than finally more of a fair shot — because accepting their success as earned means the culture has changed. A list of 18 with 16 white men winners, this argument goes, is not discrimination but happenstance of merit — even though we know from white male authors themselves from the past that this spread was caused by various forms of discrimination, consistently over decades. But a current day list with only two white male winners we’re supposed to see as discrimination, not happenstance and genuine merit/interest in a culture where people are less discriminatory in their attitudes, (and thus less against inter-racial marriage as well.)

        So if Linda Nagato talks about how she was told to go away by publishers with her excellent military SF series Red because the bigoted view in fiction publishing is that women-written military SF can’t sell, Puppies call her a liar. If black and Asian authors writing about POC protagonists have their book covers whitewashed by their own publishers because of bigoted views of their own booksellers, the Puppies wave that away as unimportant and unharmful, while the promoting of those black and Asian authors is painted as trying to harm and remove white male authors. It’s a battle to hold on to the status quo “normal” unequal culture because that culture is seen as a benefit in that area and the change is viewed as losing, rather than growing the field.

        It brings to mind a quote from Samuel Delaney’s essay in the New York Review of Science Fiction: “Since I began to publish in 1962, I have often been asked, by people of all colors, what my experience of racial prejudice in the science fiction field has been. Has it been nonexistent? By no means: It was definitely there. A child of the political protests of the ’50s and ’60s, I’ve frequently said to people who asked that question: As long as there are only one, two, or a handful of us, however, I presume in a field such as science fiction, where many of its writers come out of the liberal-Jewish tradition, prejudice will most likely remain a slight force—until, say, black writers start to number thirteen, fifteen, twenty percent of the total. At that point, where the competition might be perceived as having some economic heft, chances are we will have as much racism and prejudice here as in any other field.”

        Also that sense of threat from black and other POC authors being “mouthy” about the obstacles and discrimination they do face in the field, in order to change it, which folks like the Puppies try to simply dismiss and also violently try to silence. A list like the current Hugo winners means a change in the field, a lifting of blocks — but that means that the culture won’t be what it used to be like, just like a culture with inter-racial marriage is not what it used to be when that was blocked. A call for change is fake if it’s a change you fear will not benefit you. A sign of change must be refuted as fake, harmful, etc., to deny it traction in the culture, because you fear it will not benefit you, etc. So it’s entirely possible for one up, one down thinkers to be for equality in one area that they feel benefits them (still up,) and slowly becomes normal to the culture at least in part, and be totally against it in another area where they are sure it will be one up, one down and they’ll be down. It’s actually the “moderate” position about politics and culture.

        Liked by 4 people

    1. I’d say so. The Sad Puppies 4 website under her stewardship was probably the most constructive (least destructive?) thing to come out of the puppy campaigns.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. In some ways its sad they never transitioned to their proposed recs-only model, as that might have been a bit of a positive legacy, but on the other hand their current slow slide into obscurity is at least quiet.

        Liked by 4 people

Comments are closed.