Sarah A Hoyt designated leader of Sad Puppies 5 aka The Pups of Ennui, has written a piece ostensibly about John Ringo pulling out of a con at Pajamas Media. https://pjmedia.com/trending/of-conservatives-and-conventions/?singlepage=true
The piece re-litigates the Sad Puppies campaign (which as Chris Chupik has told us, the Pups all moved on from years ago).
Let’s count the errors, omissions and statements whose relationship with the truth varies from “It’s complicated” to “Not in a relationship”.
“For those of you wanting to follow this at home, the score card is this: Five years ago, my friend Larry Correia started a movement called Sad Puppies, which was a half joking attempt to get books not of solid leftist bent (not even right wing, just not preachy left) nominated for the Hugo”
The campaign being, of course, the “How to get Correia nominated for a Hugo” campaign and the books he wanted to get nominated for a Hugo were his own. http://monsterhunternation.com/2013/01/08/how-to-get-correia-nominated-for-a-hugo/
The revisionist stance of the Puppies means a rationalisation for later campaigns propogates backwards in time to change the rationalisation for earlier campaigns.
“When Larry tired of the game after two years, my friend Brad Torgersen took it over…”
i.e. After Larry got tired of repeatedly losing.
“Brad ran it creditably, suggesting fan-favorites who had never got nominated (over the last decade, the Hugos have become a log-rolling club of leftists.) He got people who’d never before nominated to nominate, increasing the number of people involved by three fold. “
Brad set out to create a slate of works. He did ask for suggestions: “Thus, I am going to slowly compile a slate. Of books and stories (and other things, and people) for the different categories.” https://bradrtorgersen.wordpress.com/2015/01/07/announcing-sad-puppies-3/ but comparisons of suggestions given in the comments and his final slate show that basically Brad just picked people he liked with little regard for the quality of the work or whether the authors wanted to be associated with the slate.
Sarah then gets into a list of complaints about how the Sad Puppy slate was characterised:
“Imagine our surprise when we found out that:
1.We’d promulgated an immutable slate, that had to be voted for in order. We must have managed that by cleverly telling people to read and vote for those they liked, or add others, or whatever, just get involved.”
It is true that Brad did not ask people to stick tightly to his slate but he also made it clear that the works needed extra effort to get nominated: ‘As noted earlier in the year, the SAD PUPPIES 3 list is a recommendation. Not an absolute. Gathered here is the best list (we think!) of entirely deserving works, writers, and editors — all of whom would not otherwise find themselves on the Hugo ballot without some extra oomph received from beyond the rarefied, insular halls of 21st century Worldcon “fandom.”’ https://bradrtorgersen.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/sad-puppies-3-the-2015-hugo-slate/
Sarah is also magically ignoring that this was part of an escalating campaign of rhetoric about the Hugos from her side including combative rhetoric around awards from Baen chief editor Toni Weiskopf: “So the question arises—why bother to engage these people at all? They are not of us. They do not share our values, they do not share our culture.” https://accordingtohoyt.com/2014/03/10/the-problem-of-engagement-a-guest-post-by-toni-weisskopf/
‘2. We were against the participation of women, people of color, and people of different gender identification and orientation in science fiction and fantasy. (How we were supposed to divine all that except perhaps women, is beyond me. And even there, there are gender neutral names.) The fact that three of us, in the “inner council” were women made no difference. Since we’re not leftists, we’re obviously not “real women.”’
Sarah once again forgetting that the Sad Puppy 3 leader Brad Torgersen has repeatedly refered to women and people of colour winning Hugo Awards as example of “affirmative action” and has forgotten that people could see and read the comments and attacks by Sad Puppy supporters and who they tended to be directed at. People had already seen two years of Sad Puppy campaigns and the kind of nasty rhetoric used by those campaigns. Larry Correia make claims like this about Saladin Ahmed way back in 2013 “just having nominated a guy with an ethnic name will make the SMOFers feel all warm and tingly inside and good about themselves” was stuff that PEOPLE NOTICED https://burger-eater.livejournal.com/982918.html
A core part of Sad Puppy rationalisations requires heavy compartmentalisation of facts. People are not supposed to put 2 and 2 together or notice patterns of behaviour, repeated themes or even overt statements made at different points.
3. We’d done this to oppress people by being gatekeepers. Note our coalition was one best selling author (Larry Correia), a promising beginner (Brad Torgersen), a midlist author (me), and two indie authors (Kate Paulk and Amanda S. Green). None of us had or had ever had gatekeeping powers. In fact, the people who called calumnies against us to Entertainment Weekly (who later retracted) and other national publications were gatekeepers, since everything points to their working for TOR.
That the Sad Puppies 3 slate was gatekeeping is a simple fact. Brad picked who he felt should be nominated and asked people to vote for those people as part of what he saw (and other puppy leaders had characterised) as a culture war. He literally tried to set up a gate and tried to control that gate and had some success (not without help from the rabid elephant in the room*). That the Sad Puppies have not had much in the way of gatekeeping powers prior is irrelevant to whether they were attempting to gain gatekeeping powers. Manifestly they did attempt to do that. Claiming otherwise is just silly.
Nor did that attempted gatekeeping end with the Hugos. The sad story of the collapse of Sad Puppies 5 centred around Sarah Hoyt’s attempts to control and gatekeep what had originally be characterised as a wide movement: https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2017/06/07/where-is-sad-puppies-5/
Failing to be GOOD at gatekeeping is different from never attempting to be gatekeepers. The Sad Pups were just bad at it, that’s all. Failed gatekeepers but still wannabe gatekeepers.
“After our nominees were treated horribly at the 2015 Hugos, after leftists bought memberships by the dozen for the express purpose of voting “no award” over people they proudly admitted they’d never read, we thought there was no point.”
“Treated horribly” was people not voting for them and being happy when they didn’t win. Oh the horror! “Leftist” bought memberships for many reasons but the SAD Puppies where a side show – people where more motivated to vote against the Rabod Puppy campaign run by kyrpto fascist Vox Day (the said elephant in the room mentioned earlier).
No evidence of any individual buying multiple memberships for themselves. That claim is just a lie.
Onto Sad Pups 4:
“My friend Kate Paulk, probably the most conciliatory woman in the world, ran it the next year and did everything the left said they wanted done. They still attacked her.”
Who is “they”? Many of the so-called “Puppy kickers” that Hoyt could name either were neutral about Sad Puppies 4 or praised Paulk for trying to fix some of the worst issues of previous campaigns. Several noted Sad Puppy critics pariticpated in the recommendation process in good faith.
“I and Amanda claimed the right of succession, but never took it, because it was obvious the Hugos were dead, their reputation destroyed and only academics seeking tenure could be interested in them. The only reason we claimed them was to prevent a few deluded people from trying to ride a movement they had nothing to do with to fame.”
Except that is NOT what they said at the time. Sad Pups 4 had segued initially into Sad Pups 5 like this:
“In the near future, this site will be shut down and a new site for Sad Puppies 5 will go live. In the meantime, if you have any books, movies, etc., you think award-worthy, please list them in the comment section. Your recommendations will be migrated to the new site when it is ready.” http://sadpuppies4.org/2017/01/10/sad-puppies-5/
And in January 2017 Amanda Green had said this:
“So, let’s be very clear. The New Year is here and with it comes the time when we need to start thinking about the books we read and whether we feel they are worthy of being nominated for any of the various awards being offered this year. Be it the Hugo, the Dragon, the Rita or whatever, it is something we need to keep in mind and, if we are so moved, we need to nominate them for the appropriate award(s).” https://madgeniusclub.com/2017/01/10/sad-puppies-5-and-recommendation-lists/
Now, true the emphasis was off the Hugo Awards but that was already true for Sad Puppies 4. The campaign was ‘always’ (where ‘always’ means the rationalisation of the day which changes the next day), about promoting science fiction.
As for the claim that the Hugos is for academic seeking enure, I’ve debunked that more than once https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2017/07/08/hugos-for-academics/ It is a claim that has almost no basis in anything factual.
Ho hum. One reason I began compiling a timeline back in 2015 was that I expected a degree of revisionism from the Puppy camp. The Ministry of Truth-style rewrites of past events was to be expected and along with it the unshakeable faith that this weeks re-write was always true even when it was at odds with last weeks re-write.
The Pups haven’t ‘moved on’. They can’t move on because that implies an element of personal growth that requires some engagement with facts and reality. Repeatedly lying to oneself is not the way forward.
*[Elephants can catch rabies]