Certantibus in medio catulorum: May 2015

I mangled Latin using Google Translate when I put together a timeline of the Puppy Debarkle. The problem is, I have no idea what I was trying to say with some of these tags, other than to give sections of the timeline a portentous feel. I think maybe it was an attempt at “certainly this is the middle” but who knows?

Perhaps a better tag would have been a Latin version of “it is all over bar the shouting”. In truth, all the core arguments had been made about the attempt to game the votes of the 2015 Hugo Awards. The shouty part was still going but despite the noise even that was dying down. The constructive part i.e. voting reform was well under way.

The shouting would continue but much of it would wait until next month. Irene Gallo’s comment on Facebook characterising the two Puppy groups as “extreme right wing to neo-nazi, respectively” sat unremarked during May. Weeks later, Vox Day would use the comment to keep the pot boiling. It was a clever tactic on his part and drawn from GamerGate: keep the angst high, escalate the argument and give people something to do i.e. boycott Tor Books.

Gallo’s comment would even draw some criticism from parties beyond the Puppies (Eric Flint for example in this disappointing post). Now? It seems very tame. From key Sad Puppies we’ve since seen more aggressive anti-gay and anti-trans sentiment, we’ve seen tolerance of genocide, extreme anti-Roma prejudice, endorsement of authoritarian regimes and policies and encouragement of violence against protestors and politicians for having the views they don’t approve of. To what extent that was reflected in broader Sad Puppy support back in 2015 we’ll never know but “extreme right wing” was putting it mildly and “neo-nazi” as a term remains a case of distinguishing small kangaroos from large wallabies. Ironically Flint’s post would have seemed a sensible move on his part, attempting to heal a growing fracture but as a Marxist he really should have spotted that the fracture was far deeper than a spat amid one community but rather part of deep social divisions becoming more manifest.

  • 2015/5/1 Voting opens for the Hugo Awards [124]
  • 2015/5/2 On File 770 Juliette Wade provides an account of how Brad Torgersen invited onto Sad Puppies 3 and why she later withdrew. Brad disputes her account in the comments. [125]
  • 2015/5/4 Brad Torgersen implies on Twitter than John Scalzi is gay. Scalzi replies saying “If Brad Torgersen wants to insult me, insinuating I’m gay won’t work. It’s not an insult to be gay. Be an insult to be a Sad Puppy, however.” Torgersen later apologizes. [126]
  • 2015/5/6 Alexandra Erin reviews “The Little Prince” in character as John Z. Upjohn, USMC (Aspired) – a satirical Puppy commentator [127]
  • 2015/5/7 Vox Day describes himself as ‘the leader of Gamergate’. [128]
  • 2015/5/10 John Scalzi posts an essay on why he regards the Hugos as not broken. “the flaw is fixable by addressing the nomination process so that a) slating is made more difficult, while b) the fundamental popular character of the Hugos (i.e., anyone can vote and nominate) is retained. There are a number of ways to do this (the simplest would be to allow folks to nominate three works/people in each category and have six finalist slots on the ballot; there are more complicated ways as well), but the point is that there are options.” [129]
  • 2015/5/11 Tor Creative Director Irene Gallo posts a message on her personal Facebook page that describes the Sad and Rabid Puppies as “extreme right wing to neo-nazi, respectively”. The comment goes unremarked beyond her Facebook page at the time. [130]
  • 2015/5/12 At Making Light, Keith ‘Kilo’ Watts posts the wording of a proposal for the Hugo Awards to adopt a single divisible vote with least popular eliminated system (SDV-LPE) [131]
  • 2015/5/14 The Sad Puppy 4 blog goes online with a post from Amanda S Green promising that on September 3 ‘more goodies to end Puppy-Related Sadness will start appearing here’ [132]
  • 2015/5/18 Hugo Packet (a collection of nominated works made free to members) is released online for members. [133]
  • 2015/5/19 At Making Light the name ‘E Pluribus Hugo’ is first suggested by Joshua Kronengold, as a name for the SDV-LPE proposal, [134]
  • 2015/5/24 A $3.4 million deal between Tor and John Scalzi is announced. [135]
  • 2015/5/26 At Making Light a thread starts on finalising the wording of the E Pluribus Hugo proposal [136]

4 thoughts on “Certantibus in medio catulorum: May 2015

  1. Yes, that is where I fell in love with Alexandra Erin. I boogied with her briefly at the dance that Scalzi DJ’d at Worldcon 2018 so it’s clear where my feelings stand!

    (I also took a photo of him in mid-thrash, which Mrs. Scalzi told me was “perfectly him”.)

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