A Debarkle Appendix

A reference post of things too tabular to contain within the next chapter.

In the last chapter I covered the announcement of Sad Puppies 3. In the comments to that thread, Brad crowd-sourced suggestions for the forthcoming slate. I’ve done a rough compilation of those suggestions here and semi-cleaned them up https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1_6mfGeQcRYvNUXt5BOuE-v7TeVEUUbTrOi6TR18GDR4/edit?usp=sharing

Because people didn’t necessarily mention categories or check word counts for short fiction or check eligibility etc, I’ve only given rough categories eg “short” means anything other than an obvious novel. Likewise, I haven’t distinguished editor or BDP length. A number of anthologies were suggested, which wasn’t necessarily ignorance about Hugo categories as they are an obvious source of short fiction ideas but for convenience, as some anthologies were suggested as possible Best Related Work, I’ve thrown them all in there for ease of counting.

66 people were suggested, most of them just the once. The top picks (at least 2 suggestions) were:

John C. Wright14
Jason Rennie7
Thomas A Mays6
Larry Correia5
Brandon Sanderson5
Jim Butcher4
Jack Campbell4
Joshua Young4
Toni Weisskopf3
Andy Weir3
Vox Day2
Lou Antonelli2
Kevin J Anderson2
Ken Burnside2
James L. Cambias2
Charles Gannon2
Drew Hayes2

Works suggested (with less than 2 suggestions filtered out)

CategoriesWorkAuthorCOUNTA of Link
Artist Total2
BDPInterstellar4
Guardians of the Galaxy2
BDP Total14
BRWThe Hot EquationsKen Burnside2
BRW Total9
Campbell Total2
editorSci Phi JournalJason Rennie5
BaenToni Weisskopf3
editor Total13
fan worksSci Phi ShowJason Rennie2
fan works Total9
graphic Total2
novelSkin GameJim Butcher4
The MartianAndy Weir3
The Lost FleetJack Campbell3
Monster Hunter NemesisLarry Correia3
Judge of AgesJohn C. Wright3
Trial by FireCharles Gannon2
A Sword Into DarknessThomas A Mays2
novel Total48
semipro Total2
shortDomoJoshua Young4
One Bright Star To Guide ThemJohn C. Wright3
The Plural Helen of TroyJohn C. Wright2
Queen of the Tyrant LizardsJohn C. Wright2
Island in a Sea of StarsKevin J Anderson2
short Total37
Grand Total139

People with long memories will see the beginnings of a sketch of the eventual SP3 slate there.

How do these compare with the actual Sp3 slate? The first question to ask is ‘which SP3 slate?’

I think there are maybe four versions. Unfortunately, I don’t have the very first version that Brad put out but by looking at reposts and archives I’ve collated some versions at different dates. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1mozMBDZayTw2Kd0APAsFDjX4KpFbr3iKxFP3WCqBve4/edit?usp=sharing

I have arranged it so the same things appear on the same line but that means changing the order they were presented in. The Rabid Puppies slate in particular, had a deliberate re-ordering to make certain nominees more prominent.

BPD-long is oddly stable and derived from suggestions. I don’t know why they bothered though, except for completeness. The only interesting suggestion was the indie film Coherence.

BDP short was a complete mess. The agenda I suppose was to oust Doctor Who but Game of Thrones wasn’t exactly a contrarian suggestion. The brilliant tacticians at ELoE HQ probably shouldn’t have bothered.

There were only two suggestions for Best Graphic Story both of which were better than the eventual SP3 pick. Again, tactically, strategically, they’d have been better leaving it blank. This was the biggest unforced error of Sad Puppies 3 and was simply handing their opponents a rhetorical stick to be beaten with.

Best Related Work had a number of suggestions but this was another category where the smart thing to do even on a cynical, trollish ‘make liberal heads explode’ strategy was to just pick ONE thing: Ken Burnside’s The Hot Equations. Better written than the others and included in Vox Day’s Castalia House, Riding the Red Horse anthology and yet very Baenish and MilSF. The rest were a mix of dull, bad, wrong and objectionable in ways that helped discredit the whole enterprise.

I’ll have more analysis and speculation in the proper chapter.

9 thoughts on “A Debarkle Appendix

  1. I should add, Domo by Josh Young (Sci-Phi Journal #1) wasn’t terribly original but it was a decent read and there are worst examples of do-robots-have-souls out there. Instead, Antonelli’s dull On a Spiritual Plain ended up on the slate, also from Sci-Phi journal. Why? I’m speculating but possibly because it has a lot in common with Opera Vita Aeterna, Vox Day’s 2014 Hugo finalist (an elf rather than a robot but both have conversations with priests about god etc). Bonus speculation: in addition to the Puppies not wanting to run the same theme again (possible) maybe Vox Day didn’t want it included because it covers a similar theme as his earlier story but does it a lot better.

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  2. I note that the Martian got a few recommendations, which kind of makes the fact that Brad left it off all the more egregious. His defense, as I recall, was that he wasn’t aware of the novel at the time, and the fact that there were recommendations for it when he went crowdsourcing kind of puts the lie to that claim.

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    1. Not quite. They were keen on the novel but it was ineligible. What they didn’t understand was that Weir was eligible for the Campbell.

      After, when it was pointed out that they had kept Weir off the ballot, Brad claimed that the non-Puppies were unaware of the Novel.
      {I can’t remember if that was an argument with Snowcrash or Mark Kitteh but I think it was one of them}

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      1. camestrosfelapton: After, when it was pointed out that they had kept Weir off the ballot, Brad claimed that the non-Puppies were unaware of the Novel.

        There was a little more to it than that. BT left The Martian off the slate because a bunch of Worldcon members had pointed out that it was ineligible due to its earlier self-publication.

        Then, when Worldcon members pointed out that the Puppies had kept Andy Weir off the Campbell ballot, BT came out with the accusation that it was Worldcon members’ fault for not being aware of and nominating it for Best Novel back when it was eligible (due to being self-published). Of course, none of the Puppies had been aware of the novel then, either, or promoted it for awards, so BT was blaming Worldcon members for the same thing of which he and the rest of the Puppies were also guilty.

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  3. Something have never understood is why the Puppies felt they needed to make a slate that covered all categories. If they had limited themselves to, say, six categories, they’d have made their lives a lot easier.

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    1. Hugos uber alles?

      BDP Long always leans towards the popular/populist anyway. Look at all the Star Warses and Marvels that have won; even more nominated.

      But then we wouldn’t have had the amusement of Bradders complaining that da culch’rul eeleet ignored Avengers, six months after it won by a landslide.

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