Debarkle Chapter 42: May

At the blog of Teresa and Patrick Nielsen Hayden, the mammoth thread on voting reform for the Hugo Awards continued into May. The proposed voting method for the nomination stage was still labouring under the lengthy acronym of SDV-LPE and while the algorithm had been fine-tuned and tested the public-relations work in selling the idea to Worldcon members was only just beginning. Voting method expert Jameson Quinn presented his way of explaining it to a lay audience:

“This system uses the same ballots as the current system; you just vote for all the works that you think may deserve a Hugo, up to a maximum of 5.

When counting the votes, the system eliminates one candidate at a time, until there are 5 left. At each step, it is designed to look for the two candidates who do the least to increase the “representativeness” (or “diversity”) of the candidate pool, and eliminate whichever of those two has the fewest supporters.

Thus, when you add a candidate to your ballot, you are essentially doing two things. First, you have 1 “representativeness point” to spread among the candidates, to protect them from even being considered for elimination; and so adding a candidate to your ballot redistributes that point. This means that if a group of voters all vote for the same 5 works, their “points” will all be spread five ways, and so those 5 works will probably end up eliminating each other. But second, once two candidates are selected for possible elimination based on representativeness, your ballot will count fully for whichever of them you supported (if any). This means that, if you voted independently and not as part of a slate, it is unlikely that adding an additional candidate to your ballot will cause any of the candidates already on there to be eliminated if it wouldn’t have been otherwise.

In other words: While it is theoretically possible that you’d prefer the results of voting “narrowly” — for just one or two of your favorite candidates — rather than “broadly”, in practice it is very likely to be safe to vote “broadly”, and simply vote for all candidates whom you think may deserve a Hugo.”

https://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/016206.html#4125080

The debate now shifted to a formal proposal for the Worldcon business meeting (to be held in August) to change the rules to the new system. A new thread was started using wording written by Keith “Kilo” Watts. The “to-do” list still included:

Name of the system

How to handle ties

How to handle withdrawn nominations

Best way to present at the business meeting

The final formal proposal language itself

http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/016246.html

The bigger work to come for all the proposals to change the rules was persuading members. A further obstacle was that any rule change could not be enacted for 2016. Worldcon operated a three-stage process for constitutional change: voted on in the first year, ratified in the second and implemented for the third year. This meant that even if the various rule changes were agreed to in 2015, they wouldn’t impact the nomination process until the 2017 Hugo Awards began.

Elsewhere, Vox Day was sceptical that any kind of change in the rules would make any difference to his style of Hugo campaigns, short of eliminating the cheaper supporting membership option altogether:

“There is one thing and one thing only that will work. Ban supporting memberships. And even then, you’ll merely return to the days of log-rolling where the whisper candidates who have manufactured “buzz” dominate.

In the game industry, very smart people spend a lot of time attempting to anticipate very smart griefers. In 25 years, I have never seen a system that will stop them cold without constant management and post-release tweaking. I’m designing a system for a technology company right now that has multi-level monitoring-and-response built into the system for precisely that reason.”

Vox Day, comment at File 770 http://file770.com/time-considered-as-a-helix-of-semi-precious-puppies-55/comment-page-1/#comment-257363

Voting in earnest had begun for the 2015 Hugo Awards with ballots listing the finalists released on May 1[1]. People had until July 31 to vote and so there were many weeks to go before the fate of the Puppy campaigns would be decided and a few weeks after that until the results would be announced.

April had been a mixed month for the public-relations campaign of the Sad Puppies. Their apparent victory in the nomination stages was more than the leaders had expected and the scale of the controversy was possibly more than they had planned for. Nevertheless, they had started as winners. Brad Torgersen had gained some sympathy after the error-prone Entertainment Weekly article (see chapter 41) had falsely claimed that the Sad Puppies had only nominated white men. After anti-Gamergate campaigner Arthur Chu had referred to Torgersen’s wife and child as “shields”[2], Torgersen compared himself to a prisoner in a gulag[3]. However, both Correia and Torgersen had used April to argue with George R.R. Martin and his posts about the Puppy campaigns. Correia, in particular, followed his normal style of internet argument in an attempt to discredit Martin’s characterisation of the Sad Puppies[4]. While their responses pleased their followers, they reacted to Martin’s posts on “Puppygate” as if he were a major opponent rather than a potential ally in opposing the No Award Strategy[5].

The Sad Puppy campaign needed to start May with some positive presentation of their views. Unfortunately, things quickly went badly wrong.

One of the lingering side-questions in April had been whether the people Brad Torgersen had chosen for his slate had all been contacted by him, and if they had, what he had said. At File 770 author Juliette Wade gave an account of her experience. Wade had been on the very first iteration of the Sad Puppies 3 slate but had immediately asked to be removed. She explained that she had been contacted beforehand by Torgersen but she had not understood that he was asking her to be on the Sad Puppies slate.

“I did not notice the word “slate” or think anything of it at the time. We then discussed his upcoming work duties (army reserve stuff). Then on February 1 the Sad Puppies list was posted, and I was alerted to it by my friend Lillian Csernica. I remember feeling cold and a little sick. I immediately IMed Brad at 6:28 pm.”

http://file770.com/an-account-of-juliette-wades-withdrawal-from-sad-puppies-3/

Wade’s version of events did not cast Torgersen in a very bad light, although she did describe him as being disingenuous. In an odd decision, Torgersen decided to leave a comment on the post:

“Juliette’s a colleague at Analog and I’ve been hoping for three years to see her name finally appear on the Hugo ballot. It’s unfortunate that Juliette’s fears — at being shamed, shunned, and ostracized, for appearing on the “wrong” list — caused her to withdraw when the slate was released. Which says far, far more about Sad Puppies’ detractors, than it does about Juliette, or me for that matter.

Once again, the Are your papers in order? factor rears its ugly head. Nobody should have to be afraid of being on a list of suggestions. But Juliette (and a few others) were. Because they didn’t want to be punished for an association. Brilliant, folks! Just brilliant. Let’s make hard-working authors afraid of having the “wrong” people put those authors forward, for recognition.

If you can’t see the problematic nature of this atmosphere that’s been created — by the field’s progressive fans and pros alike — you’re not paying attention.”

Brad Torgersen comment http://file770.com/an-account-of-juliette-wades-withdrawal-from-sad-puppies-3/comment-page-1/#comment-256133

People were quick to point out that Wade had said nothing about any fears. Torgersen replied with further elaborations on Wade’s thinking and why she had withdrawn out of fear of reprisal. A repeated response from the Sad Puppy leaders to finalists on their slate withdrawing had been that they had done so out of fear of reprisals. Torgersen was sticking with that messaging in his comments on Wade’s post at File 770. That position unravelled when on May 3 Juliette Wade also left a comment.

“Brad Torgersen, you are pretty brazen, trying to speak for me, and I would appreciate it if you never attempted to do so again. I was entirely unaware of the Sad Puppy connection because I had deliberately been avoiding looking at your wall, much less your blog, for going on two years. My maintenance of our friendship was out of courtesy. I guess I was too idealistic, thinking that Sad Puppies might be over and that you would just be talking to me about some Hugo recommendations, but I do like to think the best of people. It should not be my responsibility to go and look up whether a person is being dishonest every time they say they like my work. Just to be clear, you have clearly got no idea of my motivations and are trying to spin them to your benefit. I was appalled by your actions in the Sad Puppy business last year and obviously made a mistake in thinking that you should be taken at your word (with the understanding that people include all relevant and important information when they are informing someone of something, which you did not do in this case.) I would never, ever have wanted to associate with Sad Puppies after last year, because of the depth of my anger over their behavior. I felt sick that you had deceived me and betrayed my confidence, and the fact that you denied having done so is irrelevant. You, and your actions, were what I was avoiding in pulling myself off the list.”

Juliette Wade comment http://file770.com/an-account-of-juliette-wades-withdrawal-from-sad-puppies-3/comment-page-2/#comment-256184

Torgersen and Correia had objected to their campaign being called misogynistic, homophobic and racist. Having undermined himself on the first of those points Torgersen promptly undermined himself on the homophobia. Posting a joke on Facebook about how both he and Larry Correia like women he added “We’re not sure about Scalzi on that count. If you know what I mean.”[6]

John Scalzi pointed out the problem:

“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.”

https://twitter.com/scalzi/status/595075792465502208

Torgersen attempted an apology but missed the gist of John Scalzi’s point. In a comment on his own blog Scalzi explained:

“Two, the apology is for insinuating about my sexuality, but apparently not for suggesting that there is anything at all wrong with being gay. Which is to say Torgersen appears to be apologizing for the not offensive thing (insinuating regarding my sexuality), and not about the actual offensive thing: The homophobia that asserts that being gay is such a shameful thing that implying that I am so is an insult that rates an apology. Allowing that “even Scalzi” doesn’t deserve to be called gay does appear to apply that to Torgersen, being gay is a real problem. There’s a lot left unexamined, here.”

https://whatever.scalzi.com/2015/05/04/id-rather-like-men-than-to-be-a-sad-puppy/#comment-784102

Meanwhile author Myke Cole (who also had a military background) castigated Torgersen as an officer:

“You have long held the posi­tion that homo­sex­u­ality is immoral behavior, and most recently made den­i­grating jokes regarding the ori­en­ta­tion aimed at Mr. John Scalzi. Your moral posi­tions are your own, and I will not ques­tion them. How­ever, I will remind you that you are a mil­i­tary officer and charged with the lead­er­ship of men and women of *all* walks of life, reli­gions, creeds, sexual ori­en­ta­tions, socio-cultural back­grounds and eth­nic­i­ties. Every single one of these people has the right to believe that you will faith­fully dis­charge your duties as an officer, not spend their lives care­lessly, not make them endure unnec­es­sary hard­ship, that you will care for them with com­pas­sion and ded­i­ca­tion. On or off duty, you are *always* an officer.”

https://archive.is/gygyZ#selection-133.0-139.608

Cole did not cite any examples that Torgersen had a long-held position that homosexuality is immoral behaviour[7]. For defenders of Torgersen and the Sad Puppy campaign, Cole’s letter was seen as an attack on Torgersen’s military career. Torgersen had frequently employed his military background and family circumstance as a way of adding an element of personal integrity to his claims about the Sad Puppies. In the subsequent arguments, that question of his personal integrity came under question in two ways, firstly on whether those substantial claims about the Sad Puppies 3 slate were true and secondly whether his marriage and rank lent any credence to his claims.

Vox Day’s advice to Torgersen was unambiguous:

“Does no one listen or learn? Never, EVER apologize to SJWs! Case in point: “The apology was worse than the ini­tial attempted slur — it rein­forced the fact that Torg­ersen thinks calling someone gay is a slur.”

I repeat. NEVER APOLOGIZE TO SJWs. They will see it as fear, take the apology, and use it as a club with which to beat you. Never back down to them, never retreat, never apologize. Notice that this was all posted AFTER Torgersen apologized to Scalzi.”

https://web.archive.org/web/20150506072017/http://voxday.blogspot.com/2015/05/never-retreat-never-apologize.html

In the comments to John Scalzi’s post on Torgersen’s homophobic comment, Rachel Swirsky had another concern with how the multitude of arguments were being conducted:

“Please, please, please, please stop with the “put down” rhetoric about the puppies, and the “you know what has to be done about rabid animals” and “take the dog out behind the barn.”
It’s vicious and horrible. The puppies and how they’ve acted toward me and others sucks. But good lord, let’s keep threats of violence, however unserious, out of it. Please.”

https://whatever.scalzi.com/2015/05/04/id-rather-like-men-than-to-be-a-sad-puppy/#comment-784139

Even without comments about putting down rabid dogs, the debate was becoming polarising. For the Sad Puppies this was strategically damaging but for Vox Day it was less of a problem. While it was easy for people to mock Day’s “Xanatos gambit” claims there was a sense in which the final outcome of the Hugo voting was less important for his objectives. Day had commercial goals and political goals. His commercial goals were to promote his right-wing publishing house to a right-wing audience. At File 770 he boasted:

“I don’t despise the institution nor am I trying to destroy it. It’s just in the way at the moment. I am going to disrupt the publishing houses, but even that’s just a side effect of the very thing I told SFWA about two years ago. It will be live well before the end of the year and the model conservatively predicts we’ll be selling 10k SF books per day within two years.”

Vox Day, comment http://file770.com/the-paw-of-oberon-54/comment-page-2/#comment-257005

Day was still convinced that video games would become the main outlet for selling books and that Castalia House and its video game parent company Alpen Wolf would lead the way (see earlier chapters). The conflict and “war” rhetoric was all adding to publicity and attention.

The political goal was not so very different from the commercial goal. Day had long been critical of mainstream conservatives and their willingness (as Day perceived it) to work with centrist and moderate left institutions. The Rabid Puppy campaign was intended to radicalise.

“You all really need to stop crying about the fact that someone who doesn’t belong to your community and has been attacked by part of your community for over a decade doesn’t care if your community is destroyed. I don’t care about your institutions. I don’t care about your feelings. I don’t care about your gentlemen’s agreements. I don’t care if you have the feelbads or if you’re laughing at how adorable I am.

I’m simply going to do what I’m going to do, and so are my 346 Vile Faceless Minions. At this point, very little would change if I got bored and retired to a monastery tomorrow. The cultural war in science fiction is finally out in the open.

You haven’t destroyed Brad Torgersen by your attacks on him. You just turned him and dozens of people like him into me.”

Vox Day, comment http://file770.com/the-paw-of-oberon-54/comment-page-1/#comment-256981

Whether either strategy was genuinely working in his favour was a whole other question but in May 2015 he was convinced that the conflict worked in his favour:

“I didn’t say I don’t care about anything. But I’m not here because I care about the Hugos or your opinion. I’m here so that neutral parties can clearly see the difference between me and you, between Rabid Puppies and the SJWs. I’m here to help people choose their side.

The comparison is not quite as flattering to you as you probably think it is. For every five neutrals exposed, I estimate that three join us, one joins you, and one stays neutral. Sure, these run-ins tend to inflame those already on your side, but that’s a price worth paying.”

Vox Day, comment http://file770.com/the-paw-of-oberon-54/comment-page-2/#comment-256987

Writer and Sasquan Guest of Honour David Gerrold had a very different perspective on the idea of there being a two-sided conflict.

“Vox Day set out to hurt the SF genre by damaging our award system. Whether Brad and Larry cooperated or colluded with him is irrelevant. The seeds of dissension have been planted and the crop is coming in nicely. We’ll harvest in August and then we’ll begin the next chapter. Some people have suggested that there is equivalence by talking about “two sides.”Nope. There’s one side, and then there’s a lot of confused, hurt, and outraged fans who were looking forward to the usual Worldcon where we only complained about what the committee did wrong. (That’s a tradition. Even the best run conventions get complaints that they were too well run. I’m not kidding.)”

https://www.facebook.com/david.gerrold/posts/10205517432107535

Gerrold discussed ways forward but also pointed to the one substantial obstacle to any kind of reconciliation.

“The SFWA expelled Vox Day for his unprofessional behavior. Fandom as a community, and the Worldcon as an institution, should have the same power to invite someone to the egress. Other conventions have taken steps to protect themselves from toxic and disruptive individuals — and based on the back-and-forth conversations I’ve seen, and as unpleasant a discussion as this will be, maybe it’s time to have a discussion about the mechanisms for shutting down someone who has publicly declared his intention to destroy the awards.”

ibid

Could Worldcon expel Vox Day? Regardless of whether the rules permitted such an expulsion, there was a more basic problem. Day might not even be a member of Worldcon and whether he was or not was wholly irrelevant to the actions he was taking. Day was also boasting of hundreds of “minions” who would be willing to vote on his instructions and he had proven that he had sufficient votes to impact the Hugo nomination process. Expulsion may have been the SFWA’s solutions to their Vox Day problem but the World Science Fiction Society would need a different one.

The two-sided war model of the continuing conflict suited Day’s purposes but it was rhetoric that the Sad Puppies found themselves reaching for. Back in April, Brad Torgersen had unwisely posted (and then wisely deleted) an essay framing the conflict as akin to the American Civil War:

“The Hugo award is just a thing; a mere football. These divisions go far beyond a silver rocketship. They are drawn along political lines — liberal, and conservative; progressive, and libertarian — as well as along artistic lines — taste, expression, and the desire for meaning. If one side has announced angry shock that Sumter got shelled, it’s because that side had the luxury of ignoring the other side. At least until now. The grays have thrown off their teeth-grit veneer of second-class citizenship, and the blues are rallying to the status quo. Voices long quiet, have erupted with the yell of rebellion. And there is every sign in the world that the blues will stop at nothing to put down the grays.”

Brad Torgersen in a deleted post quoted here https://workbench.cadenhead.org/news/3742/brad-torgersens-science-fiction-civil-war [8]

On May 2, IT guru, contrarian[9] and 1981 Hugo finalist Jeff Duntemann, critiqued the Puppy controversy as essentially feeding the Puppy campaign by opposing it:

“My conclusion is this: The opponents of Sad Puppies 3 put them on the map, and probably took them from a fluke to a viable long-term institution. I don’t think this is what the APs intended. In the wake of the April 4 announcement of the final Hugo ballot, I’d guess the opposition has generated several hundred kilostreisands of adverse attention, and the numbers will continue to increase. Sad Puppies 4 has been announced. Larry Correia and Brad Torgersen have lots of new fans who’d never heard of them before. (I just bought the whole Monster Hunter International series and will review it in a future entry.) To adapt a quote from…well, you know damned well whose quote I’m adapting: “Attack me, and I will become more popular than you could possibly imagine.” Or, to come closer to home, and to something in which I have personal experience: “Feed puppies, and they grow up.””

http://www.contrapositivediary.com/?p=3402

Vox Day certainly was enjoying the attention. Like everybody paying attention he was also curious about the makeup of the many new members Worldcon was getting in 2015. Day also announced early in May a change in voting strategy. According to Day, he had always been keen on the Puppy campaigns voting “no award”. This was akin in Day’s eyes to burning the Hugo Awards to the ground. Now, hoping that many of the new members would be supportive of either the Sad or Rabid Puppy campaigns, Day offered this advice to his followers:

“Now that the science fiction SJWs have publicly declared No Award, the best possible outcome for us is for them to try to burn down the awards and fail. And that is why we should not help them do it. I very much understand the temptation to cry havoc, run amok, and gleefully set fires, but keep this in mind: while strategic arson is good, strategic occupation is glorious. Translation: stow the flamethrowers. For now. And as for those who are tempted to freak out and overreact simply because the other side is throwing punches, keep in mind how the great champions react to getting hit.”

https://web.archive.org/web/20150506214735/http://voxday.blogspot.com/2015/05/patience-is-strategic-virtue.html

However, the impression given from the framing of two sides in conflict ignores the nature of the volume of the discussion. It was true that the key leaders of the Sad and Rabid Puppies were the focus of a lot of criticism but it was far from simple name-calling. The conflict had engaged many people who had only been partly engaged with the Hugo Awards in the past and the apparent threat to the Hugo Awards was inspiring new interest.

Both Jim C Hines[10] and K. Tempest Bradford posted statistical breakdowns of the Hugo Award finalists by gender. Bradford pinpointed 2007 as a point in which the representation of women in the awards had actually declined compared to previous years, only to rise consistently up to 2014.

“This happened for a lot of reasons. Many of those seeds were planted in 2007 in online conversations about gender bias and racism. It took a while for some of them to take root and grow strong. Because even with all the shouting and discussion, the larger world of fandom didn’t participate or even know about it. Did some WorldCons gain more supporting memberships after 2007 due to these issues?”

http://tempest.fluidartist.com/unintended-consequences-a-post-about-the-hugos/

Meanwhile, writer and pop-culture analyst Alexandra Erin began a delightful series of book reviews but from the perspective of a fictional John C Wright character eager to discover SJW/liberal tricks in innocuous books such Corduroy, Imogene’s Antlers or If You Give a Mouse a Cookie [11]. In a similar vein File 770’s daily Puppy Round-Ups started carrying poems and jokes from the comments of the previous day’s round ups such as this take on a famous and much parodied poem:

This is Just to Say
We have nominated
The stories
That were on
The ballot
And which
You were probably
Hoping
For better stories
Forgive us
Revenge is delicious
So sweet
And so cold

Ultragotha, quoted http://file770.com/i-am-not-a-puppy-i-am-a-free-man-515/

Sad Puppy supporters also tried their hands at comedy, with Catholic fantasy writer Declan Finn posting a series of “Sad Puppies Bite Back” stories at his blog[12].

But what really caught fans attention in May was the release of the 2015 Hugo Award Packet. The packet was a relatively recent but now firmly established tradition originally pioneered by John Scalzi. Works from finalists were collated into a downloadable collection for Hugo voters, making it easier for people to read works that they hadn’t already read.

People had already started reviewing the finalists before the packet was released but the packet helped fuel an explosion of reviews. I’ll save those for another chapter.

Meanwhile, over the month progress had continued on the voting proposal at Making Light. The technical but clunky name of SDV-LPE had been replaced with the grand title of E Pluribus Hugo (EPH for short), meaning “Out of the Many, a Hugo”. The efforts of the group working on it were now focused on writing a formal proposal for the 2015 Worldcon business meeting. Jameson Quinn also started a Go Fund Me fundraiser to pay for him to attend Sasquan and speak for the proposal[13].

And what else happened in May? Two things and both of them related to the Tor Books.

The first was the announcement in the New York Times that Tor Books had signed a $3.4 million deal with John Scalzi for 13 books[14]. The deal did not literally cause the heads of his many detractors to explode.

The second was a Facebook post on May 11. Irene Gallo, creative director at Tor, described on her personal Facebook page the Sad and Rabid Puppies:

“There are two extreme right-wing to neo-nazi groups, called the Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies respectively, that are calling for the end of social justice in science fiction and fantasy. They are unrepentantly racist, misogynist, and homophobic. A noisy few but they’ve been able to gather some Gamergate folks around them and elect a slate of bad-to-reprehensible works on this year’s Hugo ballot.”

Irene Gallo, comment Facebook – since deleted

Her comment drew little attention at the time…

Next Time: June – The Tor Boycott


Footnotes

136 thoughts on “Debarkle Chapter 42: May

  1. VD: I am going to disrupt the publishing houses, but even that’s just a side effect of the very thing I told SFWA about two years ago. It will be live well before the end of the year and the model conservatively predicts we’ll be selling 10k SF books per day within two years.

    Well, there’s a boast that didn’t age well. 😀

    Liked by 7 people

      1. Interesting enough that Bean is seen as a leser than Tor by Brian here.
        I will think less of any writer who publishes with CH.
        And it isn’t either/or. There are a lot of us, who read Nora and John (or neither) and others. (Next year Scalzi made second place after Jemisin, so that wasn’t to bad)

        Like

      2. All of those goons are constantly predicting the downfall of the gaming/music/publishing/comics/movie industry and the revolutionary new day of their “indie” (ugh) culture. I suppose it’s good for keeping the marks conned and riding the grift train, but it’s something else again to watch it from outside the bubble.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. For reference, Beale’s ‘conservative’ prediction of how well Castalia House was going to be doing (3.6 million books per year) within two years exceeds the total print sales for Fantasy and SF books for January-June 2018 (according to Publisher’s Weekly – this was the most recent year I could find data for, at least for free) by ~ 25% and 33%, respectively. (These are, literally, print sales – e-books are not included, and of course don’t include self-published books – the data are from BookScan.) In other words, he was claiming that Castalia House would, at minimum, take over something like one-third of the traditional SFF market.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. I had the same thought. It made me wonder what he’s been up to. Not enough to check, but I thought about it for several seconds.

      Like

  2. Torgersen presenting the Puppies as the rebels traitors and losers of the Confederacy

    Fixed that for you.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. It is interesting — and by interesting I mean no surprise at all — that Torgersen chose as Confederacy to represent his side in this. The Confederacy is seen by those who know little and have thought less about history as valiant heroes, fighting for their beloved country; it requires education and ability to think critically before we can understand that they were neither valiant nor heroes, and that what they were defending was their right to enslave other human beings.

      And, of course, what those who celebrate the Confederacy at this end of history are *actually* celebrating is bigotry and racism, along with the wilful ignorance that makes such bigotry look like heroism.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Valiance, like courage and bravery, is a morally-neutral virtue. It’s virtuous because it’s effective, not because it’s morally good; it can be used in either a good or a bad cause.

        Flying a plane into the twin towers took tremendous courage. That didn’t stop it being evil. I have always despised the people who called it cowardice.

        The Confederate army fought competently and sometimes brilliantly, with courage and valiance.

        That didn’t stop it being evil.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Awhile ago I’d been looking for examples of this around the ‘Boogaloo’ movement i.e. when talking about a new US civil war, the right naturally seeing themselves as the confederacy even if they aren’t from the South

        Liked by 1 person

      3. As a non-USian, I am often confused (and/or impressed) by the way strong patriotism for USA seem to coexist seamlessly with a view of the rebels of the Civil War as heroic freedom fighters.

        On the one side, there’s an very strong emphasis on showing respect for USA as a union – there’s flag-waving, the pledge of allegiance is recited in schools, the national anthem is played at sports events, the military is valorized, the constitution is treated almost as Holy Scripture and the founding fathers as prophets. On the other side, people who went to war in an attempt to break up that union – and who won no concessions in this fight(*) – – are treated as role models to emulate.

        It’s just odd.

        (*) It’s possible to imagine a situation where a failed rebellion still manage to achieve some worthy goal, and gains some concessions. That’s not the case in the US civil war. The Confederacy did not fight for anything laudable, and they did not achieve any of their goals. While it’s possible to consider the Civil War a good thing because it was a catalyst for ending slavery, that’s not a version that makes the Confederates into role models. There’s no history of the Civil War that says “the rebellion was a mistake, but at least the rebels did a good thing in securing [x].” Even those who insist the war was about states’ rights will have a hard time arguing that the war led to an increased recognition of states’ rights.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Johan F — You’ve noticed something that many USians have never even thought about, or if they have they somehow manage to deal with the cognitive dissonance. As for the South not having gained anything, a few years after the war they got rid of Reconstruction and brought in sharecropping and Jim Crow laws, which, if they didn’t give them a return to slavery, set up a system pretty close to it. US history since then has been about the North trying to find ways to compromise with the South — for example, Social Security originally didn’t apply to jobs usually done by black people. In my grimmist moments I sometimes wish Lincoln had said, “Go ahead and secede, then.” (Of course the North doesn’t have a shining record on race either, but it’s better.)

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I grew up in the South (Chattanooga, Tennessee–right on the border with Georgia). My family has been in the South since before there was a United States. Quite a few of my ancestors fought for the South during the war. I’m old enough to remember the end of segregation, and I grew up under the threat of being drafted for Vietnam, so I remember lots of conversations in elementary and high school with family and friends about patriotism. And we did discuss the contradiction involved in being proud of the old South and yet still being a patriot. (In fact, at one time some 70% of officers in the US military came from the South. Perhaps that’s still true. It has long been the most patriotic part of the country, in the sense of people honoring military service.)

          So I know a thing or two about it.

          The Economist had an article about 30 years ago that observed that America had a “captive” nationality in the South, and that someday that might become a problem, as it had in different countries in Europe.
          The South is a lot like a “captive nation” in that it has its own history, its own culture, its own dialect, and even its own flag. People in the South feel like they’re citizens of two countries, and they’re fiercely loyal to both of them. That’s probably the best way to understand the paradox. This was always weird, but it wasn’t particularly dangerous as long as no one really forced them to choose.

          If you understand it as being similar to how a Scotsman can also be a patriotic Brit, it ought to make more sense.

          Liked by 1 person

      5. @ Lampwick
        “ I sometimes wish Lincoln had said, “Go ahead and secede, then.” (Of course the North doesn’t have a shining record on race either, but it’s better.)”
        You would probably wish differently if the Confederacy had succeeded in its plans to become a slaveholding empire, extending down to Brazil and including Cuba. Certainly the North was racist, but it did not use slavery and white supremacy as its foundation and raison d’etre, as the Confederacy openly did (until they lost and needed another story).

        Liked by 2 people

      6. It only looks like a contradictory dualism of loyalties if you don’t understand that it is entirely centered around white supremacy and its maintenance. The Confederacy was trying to maintain white supremacy — what the U.S. should be in their minds. Their failure is the Lost Cause of continually trying to maintain and increase white supremacy. Cops, the military, etc. are all violent authoritarian forces that have helped to maintain white people’s dominance and supremacy in the U.S. — in line with the values and aims of the Confederacy, and so they are good. Many of the founders were slave holders, who they identify far more with than the founders who were abolitionists, and all of them were technically white, so the founders are the ultimate creators of white supremacy for them. The Confederacy was upholding that white supremacy of the founders because the traitorous U.S. government abandoned white supremacy and the political and economic leverage it gave the South.

        So for them, the U.S. is the greatest country of all because it is white supremacist with white supremacist founders who kept white people in control of the society. The loss by the Confederacy is a lesson in what happens if things become less white supremacist. The Confederacy was upholding the central tenants of the U.S. as a white owned nation and seceding only out of desperation and so for them the Confederacy is good. The U.S. is controlled by and favors white people as a white supremacy and so that is good to them — as long as it stays mostly that way. The veneration of the Confederacy is there to remind BIPOC of how white people are powerful and can become violent and treat them even worse if white supremacy is challenged. And to remind Southern white people that they are part of a grand tradition of ultimate white supremacy and need to uphold that culture.

        Most of them won’t put it that way. They’ll just say that they are the proud Americans with the right values, which means white people are the supposed default and central people of the U.S. and naturally superior and in charge. And they are also proud of their “Southern heritage” which is white people being in control and being able to repress POC, particularly Black people, as the naturally superior who are in charge. It’s the same thing in their minds. The Confederates, to them, weren’t rebel traitors; they were rescuers for white people who were rudely rejected but the cause can still rise up again. Which is why you have people waving Confederate flags and defending Confederate monuments in states that were part of the Union, not the Confederacy, or were not yet states during the war. To them, both the Confederate flag and the American flag mean white power.

        Liked by 4 people

    2. Which is something else Myke Cole could have called him out on! Being a traitor-supporter.

      (And a supporter of slavery of exactly one “race” of people. Toss Bradders back there and his wife isn’t, and she and his kids are property to be sold at any time for any reason.)

      Like

  3. many people who had only be partly engaged -> many people who had only been partly engaged
    (Or even people who had mostly drifted away from SFF, including me)

    “ Her comment drew new complaints at the time” – new or few?

    You’re doing a great job of keeping the story both flowing and comprehensible, despite having to manage a lot of threads.

    Greater attention didn’t really increase the puppies’ reach; they took every opportunity to reveal the whole range of their lousy behavior to as many people as possible.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Tyop patrol:
    events did not cast Torgersen in a, particularly bad light
    Orphan comma after ‘a’.
    when on May 3Juliette Wade
    Needs a space after 31

    Like

  5. Three suggested edits:

    its willingness (as he saw it) of working with

    s/ of / to /

    on the idea of their being a two-sided conflict.

    s/their/there/

    curious about the make up of the many

    s/make up/makeup

    Like

  6. Here how I like to think of the difference between EPH and AV (Approval Voting):

    Both systems are trying to make the voters (nominators) as happy as possible by selecting the most popular works. AV assumes that the more nominees a voter gets into the final list, the happier he/she will be. EPH assumes that a voter will be just as happy to get one nominee in the last as to get all five into it.

    You can see it as a metaphor for the different mindsets involved in the conflict. AV says, “The more I get, the happier I am, and I’m happiest if I control all the results. My tastes are universal–or at least they should be. Everything that I didn’t nominate that gets into the final list is bad.” EPH says, “I’ll be happy if I can just get one of my suggestions into the list. I don’t mind seeing works I didn’t nominate in the final list. Different people like different things, and it’s good to have a diversity of nominees.”

    This is really clear when you look at how EPH operates. You start with one point spread over five nominees, or 1/5 of a point each. When one of your nominees is eliminated, you still keep your whole point–i.e. you’ll be equally satisfied with four as you would have been with five–and each remaining nominee is worth 1/4. When you’re down to only one nominee, that one gets the whole point. Only if that one is also eliminated do you end up disappointed.

    To look at it another way, AV picks a list of finalists that maximizes the average number of nominees each person gets onto the ballot. EPH minimizes the number of people who didn’t get anything onto the ballot.

    It’s less obvious why, absent slates, EPH and AV tend to produce almost identical results, but it’s experimentally true, and I think that went a long way toward earning support for it.

    Liked by 7 people

  7. One thing that’s noteworthy in Cam’s re-telling of this tale is the extent to which all of the Pups were such complete shit-talkers. From Vox’s claim of imminent riches by way of Castalia, to the various predictions of Scalzi and Tor’s rapidly approaching demise, to the Civil War-style rhetoric engaged in by Torgersen, Correia et.al., they just couldn’t stop themselves from bullshitting.

    Around 40 years ago, I used to hang out with this guy in law school who was a decent guitar player and a great source for Peruvian Marching Powder (yes, I know, you don’t need to point out the irony contained herein, but the statute of limitations has long since passed). Anyway, he would get cranked up and start talking and would just go on and on about the bright futures ahead of us, the fabulousness of his new guitar, the hotness of that one woman, the way it was +sure+ to snow that night, whether it was really always warmer in Ft. Lauderdale than Palm Springs, how that one professor was a secret Communist, and the absolutely best way to make marinara. And almost none of it was based in reality. Or maybe it was, but in an alternate universe. And each moment the words emerged from his mouth, he believed them all. Even if he contradicted himself 4 times in the next ten minutes.

    And every time Cam quotes one of these folks, it brings that guy back to mind.* Except that for the most part, he didn’t seem a really bad person, just coked-up, overenthusiastic and not willing to stop and think about what he was saying. I find it difficult to think that of most of these people, who seem more driven by jealousy, greed and un-earned pride.

    * Just to be clear, I am NOT accusing any of the Pups or their pals, including but not limited to Vox, Correia, Freer, Wright, Hoyt, or Torgesen, of being addicted to illegal stimulants or using the same.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. They had/have an impressive ability to say six contradictory thing before breakfast. That would be funnier if current R politicians hadn’t picked up the trick, and the shamelessness.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Your old marching powder chum was probably a decent guy when not on any drugs.

      Unlike…

      But ego and self-righteousness are basically getting high on your own supply of brain chemicals, right?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Should the last line be “drew no complaints at the time”? If, as I expect, you’re setting up for Vox’s antics that overshadowed the Nebulas a little while later.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Back in 2015 I warned (as our host quoted me saying) that making a fuss about SP would just attract more attention to SP. I now think I had parts of it backwards: I think SP/RP was a symptom, not a cause, of a larger and less noisy conflict about the way publishing works. From where I sit, 2015 was the year that ebooks hit the knee of their curve. It’s tougher to prove, but I also think that 2015 was when a huge number of people finally got onto social media, thus amplifying the reach of individuals into media discussions and reviews. Indie publishing has grown with Kindle and was already a force by 2015. The commotion raised the profiles of a lot of indie authors, to the extent that I joined them.

    That combination of forces already existed when the SP/RP thing rose above the noise. The Puppies were an accelerant, as commotion of all sorts tends to be. Publishing is a weird business (I worked in it for many years, though not in fiction) with a weird business model. Ebooks are a bad fit to the existing business model, which is why the Big HoweverManyThisWeek publishers don’t want ebooks to be a thing. Ebooks eat hardcover sales, and hardcover sales are what keep the biggies afloat. Smaller imprints like Baen have done better on the ebook side than, say Harper Collins.

    My point is that Sad/Rabid puppies was mostly a sideshow during a historic realignment of the publishing industry. It made a point and then it went away. I don’t see anybody trying to influence the Hugos anymore. I’d be more concerned about whether Worldcon can remain a viable institution in an era (unlike the ’70s, when I was most active in fandom) where fandom as we knew it has mostly gone online. (I’m not sure how the big media cons fit into this, though it’s worth paying attention as things continue to unfold.)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. From a fanperspective: Ebooks played not a role in the conflict that I am aware of. (Okay perhaps for the Hugo Packet) The mobilisation of a group via the Internet seems for me more the point. Easier access to get a supporting membership could have played a role, but it was mostly that a few writers could mobilize people that did exactly what they were told to do, without remorse.
      Indies vs Tradpub was more a talking point than a real part of the conflict.
      And while we haven’t seen Logrolling in the Hugos after 2017 other awards had their moments (the Nebula in 2019 and the Dragon awards nearly for the whole existance).
      Re Online: That is one reason why I hope the virtuell membership is a success.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Jeff Duntemann: Sad/Rabid puppies… made a point and then it went away.

      The only point the Puppies managed to make was that they are shitty writers with an unjustified sense of entitlement. 🙄

      Liked by 7 people

    3. Off-topic: Back in 1980 I subscribed to Asimovs and remember enjoying your story “Guardian” very much, in one of the first issues I received (I still have that issue on a shelf in fact).

      Liked by 1 person

    4. The Puppies may have engaged in some indie vs. trad pub rhetoric at times, but the works that they put on their slates were mostly traditionally published or from Vox Day’s small press Castalia House. Even puppy slate finalists like Annie Bellet or Kary English, who were mainly indie authors, were slated for traditionally published works rather than their indie works.

      Meanwhile, the first self-published Hugo finalist, Seanan McGuire’s novelette “In Sea Salt Tears”, made the ballot in 2013, one year before the puppies started barking.

      Liked by 1 person

    5. Jeff, I think you have a good point that the Sad/Rabids were mostly a sideshow during wrenching changes to the publishing industry. And you’re right that there have long been grounds for concern about how viable Worldcons can remain viable — though none of those grounds, IMO, have anything to do with anything raised by an SP or RP spokesbeing. E.g., long before the pandemic, convention-running volunteers (of whom I’m a minor example) noticed that Worldcons tend to be a financially problematic size: too big for almost all hotels, too small for a typical convention centre, thus difficult to plan finances for.

      Also, what you say about ebooks being a driver of much of the social change and of insurgent self-publication accords with a lot of what I’ve heard elsewhere.

      I’m a reader of your blog (intermittently), and several other SP-affiliated blogs (ditto), but, to my mild embarrassment, must admit that I’ve basically never spoken up on SP public forums — even though I had a number of reasonable conversations with Theo Beale on his. Self-knowledge is a difficult thing, but my best surmise is that the prominent-in-those-places victim narrative, which I privately consider unmerited, reality-challenged, undignified, and frequently in the nature of a tantrum, offended me to the point where I remained silent lest I speak my mind and be uncivil (because I’m a blunt Scandinavian-American). This was a failure on my part: I’d always claimed the RPs and SPs are just as much fans as everyone else, but held back from interacting with y’all, so I’m sorry and will try to do better.

      Here’s where I’m going to indulge my native bluntness a bit, and I hope you’ll take it in the spirit of intellectual respect I’m intending: Over the years you’ve written about the SPs and the Hugos, I’ve repeatedly been frustrated by your quite intelligent commentary getting important things wrong — in my view as a frequent Worldcon staffer, WSFS Business Meeting participant, and Hugo Award voter. Some examples from your Aug 23rd, 2016 blog entry:

      Virtually all of the winners [at MidAmericon II] were people and works favored by the Worldcon Elite and their loyal followers.

      If you find yourself referring to a profoundly democratic institution (WSFS and the Hugos) as an “elite”, then you are doing English wrong. Actually attend a Worldcon — or even just talk to regulars online — and you find that there isn’t an elite and cannot be one by the nature of the setup, and also that getting fans to be “followers” is about as likely as herding cats.

      The first time I read that blog post, my eyes rolled hard enough to take g-force damage, and, as mentioned, I carefully didn’t comment as my tone would have been unconstructive.

      Vox Day continued his efforts to get the Worldcon community to destroy its own Hugo Awards by voting the doomsday slate of No Award over anybody recommended by either the Sad Puppies or the Rabid Puppies, or anything published by Vox Day’s publishing company, Castalia House.

      Speaking of tantrums, this recurring notion that a Hugo voter choosing to include No Award in the voter’s rankings or a category, placing some finalists under that, is somehow wrongful, when No Award has several highly traditional and often deployed use-cases, is difficult to respond to charitably. Again, being admittedly blunt, here, this is an example of the false victim narrative that puts me in the awkward position of needing to decide if the speaker is really that misinformed about Hugo voting, or if this is a rhetorical dodge. Either way, if I voice that perception, I end up sounding unpleasant, so I typically say nothing and move on.

      The perfectly normal use of No Award, sans Theo-type smokescreening about “the Worldcon community destroying its own Hugo Awards by voting the doomsday slate” is explained in many places, including my, in a patient and relaxed moment, detailing them in April 2016 on Eric Flint’s But for Wales? blog entry. Trotting out the victim card in response to Hugo voters just doing regular Hugo voting as they have for long decades is pretty seriously uninpressive, and telling me and others that we were tools of some shadowy left-ideological conspiracy for voting our conscience entirely on our own is more than a bit insulting.

      Scalzi has said more than once (and he isn’t alone) that Worldcon management should have the power to toss out any Hugo ballots that show evidence of slatework. Oh my, what could possibly go wrong? [snip more Scalzi opinions]

      Here’s a better question: Why would either a Worldcon concom or the WSFS Business Meeting give an effing damn what John Scalzi thinks? I’m sorry, but are you yet another of those sad (pun intended) people unable to distinguish between WSFS and SFWA, or who imagines that whoever has the noisiest Internet presence gets to run the convention? Here’s the way it works, Jeff: Scalzi gets one ballot for each Hugo Award election, and one ballot for site selection election, same as me. For the WSFS Business Meeting, he would get one vote if he showed up, but he doesn’t, so I get one vote to his zero.

      Sad Puppies 4 brought a significant number of new memberships to Worldcon. Attendance figures have not been released at this writing, but 4,032 valid nomination ballots were cast, and 3,130 valid voting ballots. That’s about twice last year’s numbers. Obviously, not all of those additional people were Sad Puppies supporters, but many of them were certainly APs (Anti-Puppies) who might not have joined except to counter the Puppies threat.

      No, look again. What you saw overwhelmingly with both Sasquan and Mid-Americon II, and then a third time at Worldcon 75 (Helsinki) was traditional supporting and attending members bothering to nominate and vote who otherwise probably wouldn’t have, their attention drawn by the hoo-hah. At the time, more-patient people than me ran the numbers, and te implication was pretty clear.

      Liked by 4 people

  10. I’d forgotten this quote by Day which you included: “…the days of log-rolling where the whisper candidates who have manufactured “buzz” dominate.” Now I find it incredibly revealing about Day. He thought people talking about the books they enjoyed was some form of artificially generated whisper campaign. And it was something he could never replicate because not a lot people talked about enjoying his work (either written by him or published by Castalia).

    He seems to have thought that getting people to talk positively about a work was due to personal connections with authors or reviewers, the publisher pushing a book, or the kind of money to pay for an effective marketing campaign rather than due to the quality of the work. When in reality he was at a disadvantage because his own writing didn’t generate people organically talking about enjoying his work. His behaviour subsequently lost him connections and publisher, true, but that wasn’t why his work didn’t generate ‘buzz.’

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s tempting to treat everything Vox Day says as the product of a hallucination, but that’s not accurate. As SFWA member he probably heard about lots of log-rolling for the Nebulas where it’s a known issue.

      The same problem beset the Horror Writers Association, which in contrast to SFWA, created a set of rules about awards promotion to address it — http://file770.com/awards-co-chairs-interviewed-about-hwa-guidelines-for-promoting-works-for-the-bram-stoker-awards/

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I’m sure you’re right about where and how Vox Day learned about log-rolling. I just think he mistakenly extended that definition to include all positive talk about a work and ignored that readers might actually want to talk about the works they enjoyed without any intent to promote sales for the author and/or publisher.

        Like

      2. I wouldn’t say everything Day says should be treated as false, but you have to realise when dealing with Day, this is a person, who is not on your side, has as agenda, destruction and has a picture from the world that is differently from everything most people see as reality.
        In short you should think twice before taking his advice on anythink. I still think aligning themselves with Day did work for Larry and Brad as last as bad as the slatetaktik.
        This is btw my moment of shame, I was afraid Day could really break E Pluribis Hugo and was very relieved when he released Rapid 3 and it was nothing like this.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. @StefanB I think the biggest weakness of EPH is that if you are sure some particular work will end up in the list of finalists, then you can give extra weight to your other choices by not listing that one. This isn’t much of a benefit, though.

        Day was dumb enough to believe that the way to play EPH was to produce a slate with just one candidate per category. This is stupid in two ways. First, if you had a slate of 5 vs 1, you’re more likely to get at least one of your 5 in the finalist list, simply because you’re more likely to get votes from other people who just happened to like one of those works. The whole idea that EPH rewards “bullet voting” was mathematically ignorant from the get go.

        Second, and probably more important, if you ask people to only vote for one thing, odds are very good that they’ll add in at least one other work–something they personally liked. EPH will then cheerfully eliminate their slate nomination, thinking that they’ll still be pleased that their other, presumably more popular, choice made it into the final list.

        For a man who talks so much about how smart he’s supposed to be, he sure doesn’t seem all that bright.

        Liked by 2 people

            1. Dave feels everybody should want to grow up to be him, while at the same time admitting they aren’t good enough to do it.

              Liked by 1 person

      4. @Greg Hullender:
        We can be happy that the puppys didn’t have you.
        Re work to be sure to be on the final ballot: I don’t know how many works a normal hugovoter is sure of that they are on the ballot and thinks about it. (I think I was sure of 3, but had at last 3 works, that I thought, were higly likly not appearing on the ballot) And if many people think like that they risk that the sure work isn’t on the ballot. If they love sure work I don’t think the risk is worth the push for the other work. (last year example, where I didn’t have nomination rights, I was sure that Good Omens would be on the ballot, it was also my first vote in its category)

        Re buillet votes: What you don’t have in your analisis, is that Beale wants to have control. If he had a full slate, those works that would have mainstreamsupport would get on the ballot, ak hostages. It wouldn’t be impresive.
        I have to admit that I was happy because the moment Beale revealed his strategy, it was clear that he would only have one or in some categorys 2 finalist in a category. That means there would be mostly normal Hugos which a few embarasments. It was what I hopped EPH would give us and Beale didn’t even try to fight that.

        Like

    2. The only advantage of Bullet Voting under EPH is that it puts all the support against one work rather than a list. If you can bullet vote a work onto the shortlist you can guarantee getting (at least) one work from a slate on the shortlist. What you can’t control is which one.

      EPH reduces the ability of slates to get more than one work on the shortlist. This is a bigger disadvantage to the Puppies than just removing their ability to completely control the shortlist (to the extent they had it – they didn’t manage it for Best Novel). If they nominate popular works they dilute the strength of the rest of the list. If they nominate “hostages” they risk the hostages getting more nominations than the rest of the slate and again, reducing the chances of the rest getting through.

      If the Puppies couldn’t muster the votes to overcome EPH – and they couldn’t – bullet voting might be the best option so far as the nominations go. But the Puppies – at least in public – were treating anything less than a win as worthless – and even controlling the shortlist didn’t get them the wins they really wanted.

      In the end I think that EPH was more important in stopping the Rabids than the Sads. The Rabids were happy just to sabotage the awards, while the Sads hoped to win. For the Sads, EPH was -I think – just the final nail in the coffin.

      Like

      1. Not to jump on you, but I’ve been having a conflict elsewhere about claims for EPH, so maybe this is a good place to say my piece. EPH does not limit a slate to one work — it operates to open up one or more positions in a category to non-slated works. EPH makes it hard for a slate to monopolize the ballot. A properly orchestrated slate could still claim several nominations.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Yes, including inadvertent “slates”. At the time Doctor Who was what people considered but in recent years multiple Good Place episode finalists show that EPH has a mild impact on organic “slates”

          Liked by 4 people

      2. Yes, I acknowledged that a slate could get more than one entry in the shortlist. But even that is made harder by EPH. The only easy way is to nominate things with substantial outside support (at the cost of anything else on the slate).

        Creating a voting campaign to attack EPH – except by sheer numbers – may be possible (I haven’t crunched numbers). But I think it would require more organisation than is practical for most people.. Putting out a list and telling everyone to vote for it is easy. Crafting a voting campaign with more than one slate would be more work and require followers willing to buy in (and I think that they’d find fewer willing to go that far).

        Like

        1. Creating a voting campaign to attack EPH – except by sheer numbers – may be possible (I haven’t crunched numbers). But I think it would require more organisation than is practical for most people.. Putting out a list and telling everyone to vote for it is easy. Crafting a voting campaign with more than one slate would be more work and require followers willing to buy in (and I think that they’d find fewer willing to go that far).

          I actually did crunch the numbers, in a 2017 article titled, “Fix the Slating Problem Forever.” I evaluated several different voting schemes against the data for 2014, 2015, and 2016 and the then-preliminary data for 2017. I suggest looking at just 2015 and 2016, since those were the main slating years. Among other things, it shows that even with EPH and 5/6, a properly constructed slate would have taken 50% of the finalist slots, but even so, it would have prevented any sweeps (where the slate takes all slots and the fans are forced to use no-award.)

          Camestros: if you find anything useful in that article, please feel free to use it. It’d be nice for something useful to come out of all the work I put into it!

          Liked by 1 person

      3. Though bullet voting still happens. You can see it in the vote redistribution in the detailed nomination statistics, which reveal that occasionally, a group of voters only nominated one particular work. This is not necessarily intentional, e.g. one example I recall was a Chinese movie which was likely mainly nominated by Chinese Worldcon members.

        Just as the detailed nomination statistics can reveal unintentional slates. For example, people who nominate me also frequently nominate Cam and Paul Weimer, probably because we know each other and many of the same people and hang out in the same circles.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes. I was allowed to review the keypunch cards for the 1972 Hugo voting — and all I discovered was that people I knew happened to be good friends of one of the winners had voted for him. Not much of a scandal, since I’d voted for his story myself….

          Liked by 2 people

      4. Note that we know of at least one case where the 2017 Puppies didn’t bullet vote – in Best Fancast (page 5 of http://www.worldcon.fi/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/HugoReport3_nomination_details.pdf ). There were 61 voters who voted for both “Superversive SF” and “The Rageholic” and another 15 who voted only for “The Rageholic”, and none of them voted for anything else in the top 16. You can see this because neither of them gain any points when any other work is eliminated, and when Superversive SF is eliminated in round 81, all of its half points go to The Rageholic, which then has 76 full points.

        This is an example of EPH working as intended to limit the number of entries from this mini-slate, but it also reflects the weakness of the 2017 version of the Puppies, who needed to pay for new memberships to be eligible to nominate in 2017. With only 76 Puppy voters in this category, the best they could manage would have been a tie for sixth place based on total nominations under the old rules. Vox Day simply didn’t have the number of supporters in 2017 to be much of a factor. I also note that we don’t necessarily know from these results if they truly tried to bullet vote in other categories, or if they also nominated other works that simply didn’t make the top 16. (He may have made some comments about his intentions elsewhere that I haven’t read).

        Liked by 1 person

    3. As I recall, Catherine Asaro’s Nebula winning THE QUANTUM ROSE was seen by the Puppies as a prima facie example of logrolling.

      Fear of romance cooties in Science Fiction on their part, more belike.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Tyop Patrol:

    “…short eliminating the cheaper supporting membership” needs an “of” after “short.”
    “Torgersen compared himself to living in a gulag” could be “Torgersen compared himself to a prisoner in a gulag” to make both things being compared equal.
    “Public relations” when used as an adjective sometimes has a hyphen and sometimes not:
    “…tested the public-relations work” but then later
    “April had been a mixed month for the public relations campaign.”
    I’d use the hyphen.

    More later, if I have time.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. >even if the various rule changes were agreed in 2015
    agreed to

    You need a [2] in the body for your Arthur Chu “shields” footnote.

    >had immediately been asked to be removed
    immediately asked to be

    You skipped [5] in your footnote numbering. (What? Well edited things should have 2 number fives! Not none!)

    You need a [12] in the body for your Declan Finn footnote.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Tyop Patrol: “short eliminating” should be “short of eliminating”. And where Juliette Wade “had immediately been asked to be removed,” the “been” appears to be in error.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. More proffreading:
    “… he added “We’re not sure about Scalzi…” A comma should be added after “added”.
    “On May 2, IT guru, contrarian and 1981 Hugo finalist Jeff Duntemann, critiqued” — The comma after Duntemann should be deleted, since everything before it is the subject of the sentence and “critiqued” is the verb. You can take this comma and recycle it for the sentence about Scalzi.
    “But what really caught fans attention” should be — fans’ — possessive
    “Two things, and both of them related to the Tor Books…” — delete “the”

    And that’s it for me. Very clean, and readable too.

    Like

  15. @Greg Hullender:

    I actually did crunch the numbers, in a 2017 article titled, “Fix the Slating Problem Forever.” I evaluated several different voting schemes against the data for 2014, 2015, and 2016 and the then-preliminary data for 2017. I suggest looking at just 2015 and 2016, since those were the main slating years. Among other things, it shows that even with EPH and 5/6, a properly constructed slate would have taken 50% of the finalist slots, but even so, it would have prevented any sweeps (where the slate takes all slots and the fans are forced to use no-award.)

    Greg, I respect your analysis highly, but cannot help noticing that even you sometimes use phrasing about Hugo voting that appears to imply first-past-the-post poling, i.e., speaking as if only the first-ranked choice on a ranked-choice ballot exists or matters.

    When you say “forced to use No Award”, you probably intended something like “Rank No Award as choice #1, and rank nothing below”, but that is only the most extreme example of including No Award in one’s rankings. But the far more typical and frequent usage is the way the composite Hugo voter ranked his/her choices for Best Novel in 1987:

    1. Speaker for the Dead, OSC
    2. The Ragged Astronauts, Bob Shaw
    3. Count Zero, W. Gibson
    4. Marooned in Realtime, V. Vinge
    5. No Award
    6. Black Genesis, L. Ron Hubbard

    I.e., the composite 1987 voter expressed a view that four finalist novels were among the best in SFF publishing that year, and merited (in the voter’s view) being on the final ballot, and one did not.

    I may come across as picayune, but, if we WSFS voters are going to help people understand ranked-choice voting, IMO we need to be better at reflecting it in how we phrase things.

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    1. When you say “forced to use No Award”, you probably intended something like “Rank No Award as choice #1, and rank nothing below”, . . .

      Actually, all I really meant was “forced to vote in such a way that no Hugo is awarded in many categories–even though there were award-worthy works in those categories that year.”

      Like

  16. @Jeff Duntemann: I forgot to add, and should have included, that you voiced my view (modulo some rhetorical excess) in your remark in that same Aug 23rd, 2016 blog entry about MidAmericon II’s expulsion of Dave Truesdale, over his deliberately (and borderline-irrelevantly) provocative and argumentative, but otherwise fair) remarks while moderating the “State of Short Fiction” panel. I was not present at said panel, but listened to the audio recording, read some credible first-hand accounts, and talked to fellow attendees who’d been there, and it’s obvious that the MidAmericon II concom blew this one badly — making a decision we fans (IMO) should deplore.

    Folks, before jumping in to differ, please likewise listen to the recording. If I’d been doing programming, my reaction to Truesdale’s strenuous 40-minute effort to pick a fight with someone/anyone might have been “I’m not going to, ever again, invite this guy to be moderator, irrespective of his status as an SFF editor, as he seems to be a truculent asshat” (not to mention that his recurring resort to crude name-calling language was disappointing in a professional wordsmith) — but expelling him from the convention strikes me as a serious overreaction.

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    1. expelling him from the convention strikes me as a serious overreaction.

      I was there that day, and I agree 100% that it was an overreaction that reflected badly on WorldCon.

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        1. I suppose it’s where you set the bar.

          I was in a hospital instead of at MidAmeriCon II, so I relied on eyewitness reports like yours of what Truesdale did (left as a comment on File 770):

          At 3:00 PM at today’s panel on The State of Short Fiction, Dave Truesdale (of Tangent Online) shocked panelists and crowd alike by abusing his position as moderator to give what sounded like an alt-Right rant against political correctness. He declared that political correctness had destroyed short SFF by making it bland and destroying the careers of people. He waved around a fistful of pearl necklaces and told people to “clutch your pearls” and shut up whenever they felt the urge to point out some injustice.

          He had started reading from a multi-page prepared speech (which he attributed to the late David Hartwell) when Sheila Williams shouted at him to stop. (It helped a lot that he seemed to be clueless as to how to operate a microphone whereas she was clearly a master, so she easily shouted him down.) He seemed very surprised that almost the entire crowd (minus one person who might have been a relative) was angry with him. From his behavior, I think he expected to have at least a large cohort agreeing with him.

          Eric got a photo of Truesdale reading while Neil Clarke turned his back and other panelists grimaced.

          The panelists denied that SFF had declined in quality or that political correctness particularly influenced them as editors. They did note that overt bigotry was no longer acceptable, but Truesdale indicated that he was okay with that change.

          At a subsequent panel, we heard that MidAmeriCon II apologized to the panelists, saying no one had any idea this would happen. According to one source, he’d been about to launch into a section titled “definition of a bigot” before he was derailed. Most people seemed to agree that they’d never seen a panel moderator abuse his position to hijack the panel as a platform for his or her own personal agenda.

          Supposedly Rich Larsen was able to change shirts in the middle of this performance without anyone noticing except the guy who gave him the replacement shirt. “Everyone was watching the stage.” No pics available to prove or disprove. 🙂

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Yep, that’s pretty much how I remember it. But, in my view, that doesn’t rise to the level of behavior required for expulsion. It strongly suggested he should never, ever, be allowed to moderate a panel again, but not that he be expelled from the convention entirely. He made an ass of himself, but he didn’t threaten anyone.

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      1. He was truculent and self-indulgent, yes. If I’d been head of programming, I’d have been annoyed at the pointless pushing of people’s buttons, and not invited him to a similar role at any future con. However, he did moderate the panel, made sure all the panelsts were heard and got equal time, treated them with respect, and tried to simmer down the audience after riling them up. So, he did the job of moderator — just throwing in being a bit of an asshat in so doing.

        Doing the job asked competently, but leaving a little bit of a bad taste by speaking like an asshat in so doing, isn’t something we should expel people from Worldcons for, IMO. Among other reasons, it just makes the minor and transitory asshattery much more prominent, giving it a huge bullhorn it otherwise wouldn’t get.

        And, IMO, it’s simply disproportionate to the asshattery offence.

        (Er, if you say you listened to the mp3, I believe you, Mike, but I have a hard time believing most people who did would conclude that the asshat committed a ban-worthy offence.)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Mary Robinette Kowal was booted herself later, and did not feel the need to whine about it either in public or in a safe space, despite being one of those dreaded SJW and a woman.

        Liked by 4 people

      3. 1) Truesdale broke the Code of Conduct so the convention had every right to expel him.

        2) The Code of Conduct was there to protect people from harassment in participating in the convention. What Truesdale did in the panel was harassment and it was bigoted towards marginalized people. You may think that complaining about political correctness — civil rights — is simply a guy being an asshat but the purpose of complaining about political correctness when you have the mike is to accuse marginalized people or those working with them of malfeasance and illegitimacy to try to block them out of the field. What may have seemed not all that serious to you was not a mild problem to many people in that room. They were harassed and they were discriminated against and they were forced to deal with Truesdale’s bigoted accusations.

        This is an excellent example of other convention conflicts where people keep trying to downplay this behavior as just a guy being obnoxious. It is not a guy being obnoxious. It’s deliberate harassment that discourages people from the field, from fandom and from attending these conventions because they will have to be harassed by people like Truesdale. The need for consistently enforced Codes of Conduct, the upset over Ross being the emcee of the Hugo awards presentation, the upset over the pieces in the SFFWorld Bulletin — these are people trying to explain how discrimination and harassment — deliberate or accidental — has direct and substantial impacts on their participation in the field and fandom and whether they can participate at all.

        And it is eternally frustrating to watch other people try to downplay and dismiss this stuff and insist that marginalized people have to not regard folk like Truesdale as a threat to themselves and have to endure ranting harassment for an entire convention without any consequence to their harassers. The SFF field is 80-90% white authors, women authors and fans continually are harassed, it has a dismal record on LGBTQA+ issues and most conventions are nightmares for disabled folk. And it is that way in large part because harassers like Truesdale are prioritized and protected from the consequences of their actions while their targets are supposed to go along with it and waste their time and trauma having to deal with it. (And part of the trauma is the fact that someone ranting like Truesdale can become physically violent towards his targets and they never know when that might happen.)

        3) Truesdale believes that it was a mistake letting women have the right to vote in the U.S. and other countries. He is no different from Beale — he sees the marginalized as threatening and is an open and active bigot. He should never have been made a moderator of any panel at the convention in the first place. But since he was and since he used that opportunity to harass other convention attendees and industry speakers about fake claims of supposed unfair advantage (like the Puppies), he was rightly booted. He broke the rules, he was unprofessional and he harmed people.

        He. Harmed. People. He made it a hostile workspace. And if he hadn’t been booted, he’d have continued to do it throughout the convention at his targets with more harassment.

        Liked by 6 people

  17. @Jeff Duntemann:

    Continuing in my admittedly blunt but (I hope) polite recounting of things in your Sad Puppies blog entries that disappointed me (because you’re obviously a bright and perceptive guy) by getting important things wrong — let’s move on to your (preceding) Apr 26th, 2016 piece, the day Mid-Americon II released the Hugo finalists list.

    So I took a quick look around, and… …the Puppies had done it again.

    No, they really didn’t. In the final year before EPH ended the ability to have disproportionate influence on the finalists list through coordinated slate-nominatng, both Puppy slates (but with SP as a wholly owned subsidiary of RP) got their last real chance at attention, getting a few slots in a number of categories. But even at that, claiming success from putting a Neal Stephenson novel, a Bujold novella, a Marvel Studios Avengers movie, and a hit movie made from Andy Weir’s hit novel is a lot like walking in front of a marching band and claiming to be the band conductor.

    I was not alone last year in suggesting that the only thing really wrong with the Hugo Awards is that almost nobody participates. 4,000 ballots sound like a lot, but when you consider that 100,000+ people routinely attend events like DragonCon and ComiCon, the Hugos start to look like a rounding error.

    Shall we recap the either chicanery or obliviousness? “4,000 ballots” refers to those in the 2016 nominating stage, but somehow you are comparing numbers of people who nominate works — a process that notoriously requires serious engagement with the year’s works and thus always has lower turnout than the final ballot, with attendance at two gate-cons? How is that not comparing two vastly different things, sir?

    It would of course be great if more supporting and attending members bothered to nominate, but doing so mindfully requires a whole lot of advance preparation, and so we see the predictable result.

    But comparing Hugo nominations turnout with attendance at the two biggest gate-cons? Really?

    By my counts (starting with a nice tally on Breitbart) only ten nominees out of a total of eighty were not on one of the Puppy ballots.

    To look even better strutting in front of a marching band and pretending to be the conductor, rent a snazzy uniform for the full effect.

    I doubt I’m alone in thinking that changing the rules after you get your butt whipped sounds, well, weak-king-ish.

    In what universe did Sasquan voters deciding resoundingly that the 2015 puppy finalists were unworthy of representing the year’s best qualify as them “getting their butts whipped”? Are you perhaps a relative of Monty Python and the Holy Grail’s Black Knight?

    The problem is this: The Puppies may not dominate the ballot in years to come, but one particular slate just might. Nothing in EPH makes the No Award slate difficult to use. [snip Sherlock-like deduction that Theo Beale’s faceless minions can use No Award in their rankings, too]

    You would be a lot more impressive in writing about No Award’s use in WSFS ranked-choice voting, if you showed some sign of knowing about how it works, its long and entirely uncontroversial history, and how/why WSFS voters make it and the second-stage No Award runoff available.

    If EPH works as designed, the APs won’t need No Award.

    As the saying goes, “Not even wrong.” You have ignominiously failed, here, to even try to grapple with how it works. Sorry if that sounds vituperative: There are only so many times I’m willing to re-explain Hugo voting mechanics to people who don’t seem to want to descend far enough down the abstraction ladder to deal realistically with the subject.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Rick quoting Duntemann: Nothing in EPH makes the No Award slate difficult to use. [snip Sherlock-like deduction that Theo Beale’s faceless minions can use No Award in their rankings, too]

      Well, yeah, EPH and No Award happen in different rounds of voting with different electorates, so they don’t have a lot of direct effect on each other. But EPH doesn’t need to make No Award difficult to use. No Award already is difficult to use, because to be effective, a No Award campaign needs the support of an outright majority of the final round voters, or at least a majority after partial ballots listing only less popular choices are eliminated. That makes the result at Sasquan even more impressive, because those voting to No Award five categories represented a clear majority of the final voters.

      And Beale’s minions never came close to getting a majority of even the nominating electorate. They had maybe 15-20% of the 2015 nominating electorate, and that was their high-water mark. I remember some conversations at Worldcon where we were discussing the various anti-slating countermeasures and what moves Beale might make in response, where the question came up of what might happen if he was able to go even bigger in bringing in enough outside voters to get an outright majority of the electorate. The answer was if he could do that, especially for both the Hugo voting and the Business Meeting of two consecutive Worldcons, then he would have won – he and his supporters would basically own the Hugos at that point, and the rest of us would either have to live with it or go off to form a new award of our own. But that didn’t happen.

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      1. @Dave Wallace

        And Beale’s minions never came close to getting a majority of even the nominating electorate. They had maybe 15-20% of the 2015 nominating electorate, and that was their high-water mark.

        Actually, the way I figure it, the Puppies’ were just under 10% of nominators in 2015 and just over in 2016. It’s scary what they were able to do with such a small number of dedicated people. And it’s scarier what they could have done if they had been smarter.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Further responding to Mike Glyer quoting a first-hand account of the Truesdale thing:

    Most people seemed to agree that they’d never seen a panel moderator abuse his position to hijack the panel as a platform for his or her own personal agenda.

    I’d agree that he kind of did. Fair.

    At the same time, he didn’t railroad the other panelists, and gave everyone else on the panel plenty of space to speak freely. To the extent that the others kept answering his continual low-level tirade, instead of discussing the State of Short Fiction, isn’t that on them?

    But you’re certainly fair in saying that it’s a matter of where you draw the line. I’ve just never seen it drawn that way in the style of “He did the job of a moderator well enough in other ways, but vented a bunch of cranky and inflammatory opinions at best highly tangential to the panel subject, therefore we’re going to expel him from the entire rest of the convention”, and am uneasy with that. I think it was unwise and disproportionate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rick Moen: it’s obvious that the MidAmericon II concom blew this one badly — making a decision we fans (IMO) should deplore… expelling him from the convention strikes me as a serious overreaction.

      Rick Moen: So, he did the job of moderator — just throwing in being a bit of an asshat in so doing… Doing the job asked competently, but leaving a little bit of a bad taste by speaking like an asshat in so doing, isn’t something we should expel people from Worldcons for, IMO.

      Rick Moen: To the extent that the others kept answering his continual low-level tirade, instead of discussing the State of Short Fiction, isn’t that on them?

      No, no, and no. I love you, Rick, but you are speaking from a place of “privileged older white dude who can be generous in cutting slack to other older white dudes”. You’re doing what GRRM did.

      He didn’t do the job of moderator “competently”. Serving on a Worldcon panel is a position of trust and responsibility, and as a moderator of a panel, even more so. Truesdale abused that trust and responsibility. Competent moderators don’t launch into a lengthy screed which soapboxes their own bigoted opinions and makes their audience feel personally harangued and criticized, rather than showcasing the other panelists’ opinions on the panel topic as their position requires.

      This is exactly why convention Codes of Conduct exist: to prevent someone from using the unique access privileges afforded by the convention to cause physical or emotional harm to other attendees. The audience showed up to that panel for an insightful discussion of SFF short fiction – not to be subjected to a lecture from a bigot about what awful people they are. (Did you read about the reactions of some of the audience members?)

      He didn’t stop his screed because he was finished doing what he intended to do (he wasn’t even close to done reading everything he had intended to read). He stopped because the other panelists forced him to.

      And the other panelists were right to not let his bigotry and abuse go unchallenged, rather than letting Truesdale proceed with doing whatever he wanted in the panel, as if what he was doing was normal and acceptable – which would have been a tacit endorsement of what he did. The fault for that is entirely on Truesdale.

      If Worldcons want members to believe that they take their Code of Conduct seriously and intend to enforce them, then MidAmeriCon II did exactly the right thing in this case.

      And as it happens, Truesdale experienced exactly zero consequences of his membership being withdrawn – as he himself admiitted to slinking away to the Puppy suite immediately afterward, not participating any further in official con events, and not even realizing he’d been expelled until he checked his e-mail after the convention was already over.

      Liked by 8 people

      1. Fuck yes, what @JJ said.

        Try being not straight, not white, not male, not well-off, not well-educated, not older (etc) and see how Dave was attacking everyone who wasn’t exactly like him (and you).

        It’s not much of a punishment if the person involved doesn’t even know they’ve been punished.

        MRK being expelled was *before* she had (IIRC) 2 other panels to be on, at least one of which she was going to moderate. That was no fun for her and really no fun for the con since Programming had to run around to find substitutes on short notice.

        And yet Dave was the one who whined, while Mary said “My bad, I’m sorry, I’ll go away quietly.”

        Lemme Google for the quote I’m trying to remember:

        “I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action’.”

        Fill in “woman”, “LGBT”, or other as appropriate.

        Dave did NOT fulfill the duty of a moderator, and he insulted both the audience and the panel by doing it just to get his screed in.

        He deserved to be thrown out… but he actually wasn’t, as it happened, as he’d already run off to his safe space where he wouldn’t have to deal with anyone who might suggest he’d fallen down in his duties. That might hurt his fee-fees, and SWM RWNJ can’t handle that.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. @JJ:

        You’re doing what GRRM did.

        Oh, really? I fucked up being a Hugo emcee?

        I’m speaking as a WSFS and Midamericon II member, one who had exactly the same membership status and (past and prospective) voting power as each and every other member, and is the equal of all others. You have a problem with that? Take it up at the Business Meeting.

        And as to your “No, no, and no”, you just comprehensively ignored my point, without the courtesy of bothering to address it, and I hereby object: Even an asshat, self-indulgent fannish convention panel moderator lacks the power to prevent the other panelists from being on-topic. Just in case I missed something, I just listened (a few hours ago) again, to all 40 minutes of that darned panel, and the other panelists, all of them articulate SFF editors, had every opportunity to make the topic be about the State of Short Fiction, but instead they kept engaging with Truesdale on his tiresome and repetitive tirade about “political correctness” and “special snowflakes”, etc.

        Upthread, I asked: Isn’t that on them? The obvious answer is “yes”. If I had a chance to be a Worldcon panelist on a topic central to my profession, and saw the moderator wanting to waste time on borderline-irrelevant ideology, I would advise the moderator I’m sorry he felt that way but that I would be insisting on spending my panelist time discussing the panel topic, and see if any other panelist followed suit. None of these folks did. That’s a lost opportunity for them and for the audience. If I’d been present, I’d have been disappointed in all of them.

        I didn’t say what Truesdale said was OK — not hardly. What I said was that, IMO, (1) his misconduct wasn’t enough to derail the panel: The other panelists’ failure to show leadership helped that happen. And I said that, IMO, (2) expelling someone from an entire convention for merely venting crankish, asshat, self-indulgent opinions while serving as moderator is an overreaction by the concom that is unwise.

        He didn’t do the job of moderator “competently”.

        Oh, really? I’m curious, what do you think a fannish convention panel moderator’s responsibilities include.

        I’ve made a casual study of this, and collected handouts to moderators from a number of tendons, regional cons and Worldcons. Generally it is approximately: Introduce the other panelists, give all of them fair and frequent opportunities to speak, make sure everyone does, handle and intercept questions/comments from the crowd, try to keep the conversation moving, keep an eye on the clock. Truesdale did that. His suckage lay in other places.

        This is exactly why convention Codes of Conduct exist

        Was some particular part of “IMO, a disproportionate response” unclear, JJ? Or do you think expulsion is the only conceivable remedy to any controversy?

        And as it happens, Truesdale experienced exactly zero consequences of his membership being withdrawn – as he himself admiitted to slinking away to the Puppy suite immediately afterward, not participating any further in official con events, and not even realizing he’d been expelled until he checked his e-mail after the convention was already over.

        Irrelevant to the point. As I’m sure you already know.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Rick Moen: Oh, really? I fucked up being a Hugo emcee?

          No, you cut the Puppies a whole bunch of extra slack and give them the benefit of the doubt because you have the ability to do that, just as GRRM did.

          I know that you pride yourself on the “civil discourse” in which you engaged with numerous Puppies. But I don’t get the sense that you recognize the immense privilege you enjoy which enabled you to do that. If a woman, or LGBTQ person, or BIPOC had tried that sort of discourse, they would have received a very different response than you did. I remember Cam and a couple of other people who tried it and got banned from Puppy blogs, despite what they said being quite rational and reasonable.

          You talk about what you heard on the recording of the panel. But you don’t talk about the effect that the panel had on many of the audience members. So you’re missing a great deal of context. (A couple of them I specifically remember was that one audience member started crying, and another went back to their hotel room and sat there, shaking, for a couple of hours.)

          And I think that you’re also operating with a big side helping of Geek Social Fallacy #1.

          MidAmeriCon II was right to pull Truesdale’s membership. What he did was an egregious violation of the Code of Conduct. And it disappoints me to see you giving him cover and minimizing the seriousness of what he did.

          Liked by 4 people

      3. Rick Moen: “the other panelists, all of them articulate SFF editors, had every opportunity to make the topic be about the State of Short Fiction, but instead they kept engaging with Truesdale on his tiresome and repetitive tirade about “political correctness” and “special snowflakes”, etc.”

        Do you understand that you are blaming victims of abuse for confronting an abuser rather than enduring and attempting to ignore him? (A variation on just ignore the trolls and they’ll go away which never works for the marginalized, who deal with doxxing, deaththreats and stalking.) Truesdale was accusing those professionals of malfeasance and of the marginalized cheating and getting an unfair advantage over cishet white men — a bigoted accusation that marginalized people always are forced to deal with (and one the Puppies made as well.) He derailed the panel and harassed them and you’re upset that they didn’t fix the problem he created and instead defended themselves?

        That wasn’t their job, to fix the problem that Truesdale created. It wasn’t their obligation to put up with his accusations as the moderator without comment. It wasn’t a right you have to demand that they hand wave away targeted harassment and not be upset about it.

        You keep trying to minimize what Truesdale did because it doesn’t seem that bad to you. And they’re correct — that’s what privilege is. It’s not that bad to you because it wasn’t aimed at you and you don’t have to deal with those accusations constantly your whole career. Instead, the panelists were just supposed to put up with Truesdale’s rant and he receive no consequences for it. Why? Truesdale isn’t a child who needs to be coddled. He verbally attacked the panelists because he could and you feel everyone should have just gone along with it and not gotten upset, no matter how much it’s part of the toxic culture they regularly have to endure.

        If that is your attitude and you were in charge of a convention, then I would not go to that convention because I would not feel safe. I would not be able to trust you. I would not want to be on panels where that sort of thing would be allowed to happen and I would be expected to put up with it and try to fix it while the harassers said anything they wanted. And then get blamed by others for being the problem no matter which strategy I chose to try to deal with the harassment while the harasser walked off whistling to do it again to somebody else who maybe isn’t as mouthy as me. Somebody who is Black and/or a young woman who would never ever go to a convention again because of that harasser and the support the convention gave him.

        I took Scalzi’s pledge. I don’t go to conventions where there is no Code of Conduct. And if the Code of Conduct is not enforced, then I know that convention has a discriminatory, abusive culture and it is dangerous and not worth it. You may not feel that people should take behavior like Truesdale’s as serious as that, but we do because we have to, because it is serious for us. You may feel that people should not defend themselves from accusations like Truesdale’s but we have to because there are thousands of Truesdales making accusations and trying to block us out, and if we don’t challenge it, his attitudes control the industry even more than they have so far. The Puppies were the same, even worse.

        I don’t know if you can get this, but after Trump and 1/6, I would think that maybe you could try to understand why we feel you are being dangerously dismissive about it.

        Liked by 5 people

  19. Bless you, @Mike, I didn’t mean to imply you said you’d listened to the recording. I meant that if you did, I think you’d be less inclined to think the concom acted wisely. But that’s a guess, obviously.

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  20. I “like” that first quote from Teddy, where he manages to both be wrong about how the Hugo vote proposal would kill slates, and that he’d be able to write self-fixing software.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Too prove your point, that they were aimed at Brad too, I have a paragraph from the “The monster at the end of this book!” review:

      “I remember when the cover of a book used to mean something. When you could look at the cover of a book and know exactly what you were getting. If you saw a gleaming chrome spaceship over the shoulder of an intrepid, chiseled explorer holding a ray gun, you didn’t even have to buy the book and read it because you knew exactly what the story would be just by looking at it. But you bought it anyway! And you read it, and liked it! Because that book was an objectively good book, and you knew it by looking at it.”

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I think there were at least two puppy personas created by Alexandra Erin. One was a JCW/Vox Day type and the other was a Brad parody who signed his reviews with USMC (aspiring).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If I was your editor, I’d probably recommend “perspective of a fictional Brad Torgersen character with a naming nod to JCW plus the dog whistles and jargon of VD”.

        Because “he” definitely went for the military aspect as well as literally the “book by its cover” one. I was honestly surprised to read you thought “he” was JCW when it’s clearly Brad.

        AFAI am concerned, the only thing the “reviewer” had in common with JCW was being named John. He was always a Brad/Teddy parody to me. Not enough multisyllable archaic words and run-on sentences to be JCW,* plus not trying to uphold the British Empire. Along with making sure to get that military reference in. And I don’t think JCW would use the “blue-pill beta cuck” reference so enthusiastically, what with him priding himself on being a gentleman. ** Likewise “keeping frame”, video game references, etc.

        Also, Alexandra Erin herself said John Z. Upjohn is a “composite puppy”

        (“Theophilus Pratt”, the RPRB reviewer, is, of course, neither JCW nor BT. Neither is James May, reviewer of “The Poky Little Puppy”.)

        But it was a great excuse to read all those again!

        *Except for the Richard Scarry review.

        ** Narrator: He is not, in fact, a gentleman.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. Torgersen wasn’t a homophobe of the Wright kind. I remember he caught some flack at his blog for supporting gay marriage. His statement about Scalzi seems to be more rooted in toxic masculinity than in hatred towards gays.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. Wright’s homophobia is overt and calculated (although he also denies he is homophobic). Brad I think genuinely believes he has no malice towards gay people. However, his ‘affirmative action’ characterisation rests on deep prejudices against LGBTQI people.

      I can’t recall if he got into the If You Were A Dinosaur… bashing but among the other Pups (especially Hoyt) who regard themselves as having pro-gay credentials, there is a systematic denial that LGBTQI people face prejudice and )more worryingly) a denial that they face hate crimes and violence.

      Like

  22. In case people were wondering, that “tendons” in my recent comment to JJ was actually typed as — and intended to say — “gencons”, but then autocorrect stepped in, and I failed to notice before posting.

    Like

  23. @Lurkertype:

    Try being not straight, not white, not male, not well-off, not well-educated, not older (etc) and see how Dave was attacking everyone who wasn’t exactly like him (and you).

    Unfortunately for your current lazy rhetorical swipe, I recently listened to the recording, and can, I think reasonably, report that Truesdale (I won’t call him “Dave”, because I am not on a first-name basis and get the impression he’s a crank, but you do you) was not attacking persons who were “like” much specifically: It was an extremely vague and abstract, but also by-the-numbers, complaint against alleged hypersensitivity, cheekily combined with name-calling.

    It’s not much of a punishment if the person involved doesn’t even know they’ve been punished.

    This is so obviously incorrect that I really don’t need to say much, but: When I say that IMO it was an overreaction by the concom, my concern is far less whether some particular asshat suffered any subjective loss and a great deal more whether the concom acted reasonably, in part because of my concern that future Worldcon concoms also behave reasonably.

    MRK….

    I’ve entirely forgotten the details about what happened with Ms. Kowal, and was not then, nor am I now, addressing that. However, I would assume that Ms. Kowal acted to correct whatever the problem was, as she tends to be a class act, and, if I were a convention programming staffer, would want her as a moderator in a heartbeat.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So the fact that people wept and went away shaking from his screed isn’t proof enough they felt attacked because you personally listened to those words (ages later, knowing it was coming, and knowing he did not “get away with it”) and decided it wasn’t that bad?

      And do you understand what a “dog whistle” is? A word which doesn’t sound that bigoted from the outside but for fellow bigots and targets alike, it’s obvious what is meant? I suppose you should be glad you aren’t a fellow bigot or a target. Dave Truesdale lives in the land of dog whistles, because he wants to maintain the veneer of “not Vox Day” that had kept him from suffering consequences long enough he was on that panel years after many other people knew exactly what kind of a bigot he was.

      MRK was something about bringing alcohol to share into a panel or other place where if noticed, it could have endangered the licensing. Not only did she not say anything ungracious to anyone, her crime was based on unthinking and excessive courtesy.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. I am unsurprised that you don’t remember what MRK was booted for (it’s a parallel example, doofus), and that you continue to be listening to Truesdale’s clear aggression with SWM ears and brain.

      We all have our biases. Some of us see them more clearly and try to work around them, rather than smugly assuring everyone of the rightness of their interpretation.

      “Well, actually” is what you’ve been saying all along.

      You seem to be suggesting that I, JJ, Kat, and Mike are all idiots who need to be instructed by you on the proper interpretation of who’s an asshole.

      Like

  24. “and based on the back-and-forth conversations I’ve seen, and as unpleasant a discussion as this will be, maybe it’s time to have a discussion about the mechanisms for shutting down someone who has publicly declared his intention to destroy the awards.”

    One might wish that Gerrold had used that same reasoning when Lou swatted him and the awards ceremony at WorldCon, intending to disrupt the convention.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Kat Goodwin: One might wish that Gerrold had used that same reasoning when Lou swatted him and the awards ceremony at WorldCon, intending to disrupt the convention.

      Oh, yes. To this day, I still have a great deal of anger and resentment toward the starstruck Sasquan concom members who, despite their acknowledgment that CUL had violated their Code of Conduct, decided that it was a good idea to let Gerrold dictate their response, instead of following their stated procedures – and against both them and Gerrold, for completely disregarding that CUL’s actions had the potential to seriously impact the other attendees, and that Gerrold was not the only “victim” of CUL’s actions.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Yep, all the marginalized people were supposed to suck it up and be scared and live with that fear and harassment and have the environment be toxic and unsafe. That’s their responsibility as inferiors who were obligated to make their harasser feel better and accepted, free of consequence. It’s the demand that the marginalized not make waves when they are attacked and threatened, that they stay silent so that others don’t have to do anything about the harassers. Which lets the harassers continue to discriminate and make things difficult for the marginalized because hey, they got to do it before with no pushback. And indeed Lou did it again with trying to dox and swat the Meadows along with Freer.

        The Puppies repeatedly accused the marginalized of malfeasance and cheating. And the marginalized were supposed to suck it up, let the Puppies have their say but stay silent, letting the Puppy narrative about them prevail. The Puppies brought in Gamergaters to the party — people known to violently stalk and threaten marginalized people they targeted. And the response of many were that the marginalized targets should:

        1) ignore them and dismiss the dangers and discrimination they were causing, no matter that they had to protect their online presence from doxxing, worry about their families’ safety, etc.;

        2) coddle the Puppies, defer to them as having a point that the marginalized were inferior cheaters and not upset them by challenging what they say, letting bigoted lies stand;

        3) not take any action that would cause consequences for the Puppies, no matter how much harm and trauma they caused the marginalized, not use No Award, not raise a fuss about the ceremony swatting, etc. because it would upset institutions and the convention and that was more important than what happened to the marginalized and how it shut them and blocked them out of the field, discouraging many fans from participating at all.

        Shorter version: our society says that cishet white people can harass and attempt to damage the marginalized and this is normal and must be tolerated whereas marginalized people standing up to their harassers and demanding consequences is not normal, is unreasonable and must be shut down, furthering discrimination against them. Because that’s what we’re used to. That’s what the convention organizers were used to, what they thought was reasonable and that’s what they imposed on the marginalized because they are used to having the bigoted power to be able to impose it on them. It’s normality.

        Liked by 1 person

  25. @Kat Goodwin:

    1) Truesdale broke the Code of Conduct so the convention had every right to expel him.

    Move the goalposts much? That was simply not under dispute. All I said was that, IMO, it was a disproportionate response from the Midamericon II concom, and unwise.

    [the purpose is to] accuse marginalized people or those working with them of malfeasance and illegitimacy to try to block them out of the field.

    OK, as I might have missed something, in honour of the Show-Me State that hosted Midamericon II, please cite where specifically in the 40 minutes Truesdale was speaking, he lodged that accusation. Please provide the relevant quotations. Your accusation sounds serious, but at the same time pretty vague and abstract, but possibly when you have cited specifics it will be clearer.

    And it is eternally frustrating to watch other people try to downplay and dismiss this stuff and insist that marginalized people have to not regard folk like Truesdale as a threat to themselves and have to endure ranting harassment for an entire convention without any consequence to their harassers.

    I’ll note in passing that I said nothing of the kind.

    Truesdale believes that it was a mistake letting women have the right to vote in the U.S. and other countries. He is no different from Beale — he sees the marginalized as threatening and is an open and active bigot.

    Are you saying he voiced this view of women that he has (that you say he has; I wouldn’t know) during his time as moderator? Am guessing no. But you throw it in anyway. Ah, noted.

    He. Harmed. People. He made it a hostile workspace.

    You know, Midamericon II was not a workplace for any attendee. Accordingly, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) lack any obvious application in that area.

    Like

  26. @JJ:

    No, you cut the Puppies a whole bunch of extra slack and give them the benefit of the doubt because you have the ability to do that, just as GRRM did.

    Actually, I don’t. I’m a pretty cynical observer. I just have a sense of tactics. Specifically:

    I know that you pride yourself on the “civil discourse” in which you engaged with numerous Puppies

    No, you are quite thoroughly mistaken on that. In two ways, actually. The lesser point is that before today (if you count Mr. Duntemann), I shied completely away from engaging with the SPs: As I mentioned, best guess, their prevalent victim narrative was something I found difficult to be polite about, so I said nothing to them (to the best of my recollection), full stop. (I haven’t said “why”, yet. That’s in the next paragraph.) Theo Beale and a few of his Dread Ilk I did engage with at the time. So, I count one (with a side of a couple of groupie ditto-heads).

    The greater point is that I don’t pride myself on remaining civil. I do it because the other thing is ignominiously ineffective — and Mom didn’t raise me to be ineffective. The main advantage of speaking in a spirit of charity is that it works better whenever I very politely dismember someone else’s doubtful contentions and bad logic, and let the reader infer that there was bad faith on the other side without ever actually saying so. It’s not to be nice. It works better.

    But I don’t get the sense that you recognize the immense privilege you enjoy which enabled you to do that.

    Even if I weren’t a bit of a cynic, I’d still call bullshit on your attempting to change the conversation to be about me personally. This is what people do when they don’t have a real response to what was said — changing the subject to highly conveniently scrutinise the speaker instead of what was spoken.

    Anyway, your other problem is the “enabled you to do that”, since you don’t have your facts straight, as I’ll get to next.

    If a woman, or LGBTQ person, or BIPOC had tried that sort of discourse, they would have received a very different response than you did. I remember Cam and a couple of other people who tried it and got banned from Puppy blogs, despite what they said being quite rational and reasonable.

    Cam is an odd example for you to cite, being neither to my knowledge a woman nor an LGBTQ person, nor a BIPOC, but more to the point certainly not being perceived as that. Cam is of course a pair of mediaeval syllogisms, but that goes without saying.

    Anyway, another reason why I never dove into the fray at the Puppy blogs is my estimation that I’d have been quickly banned, which makes it funny that you say I “received a different response”. I didn’t post there, and, if I had, I expected I would have gotten that response — specifically because I saw the performative victimhood being used to claim reasonable commenters were some sort of oppressors and thrown out with nasty and often personal comments. (For the record, I correctly guessed that Theo Beale wouldn’t do that to me, in part, because I’d just seen him be reasonable and cordial to Deirdre, and she gave me a couple of tips. And by the way, since you have raised the matter, Deirdre is LGBTQ in addition to being female, making your point concerning Beale just that much less on point still. She’s public about that fact, but for any further discussion you’d have to talk to her, not me.)

    You talk about what you heard on the recording of the panel. But you don’t talk about the effect that the panel had on many of the audience members.

    You know what I always hope to see a concom do? Evaluate actions, those that properly come before them, on those actions’ individual merits. An action is not better per se if someone in the audience cheered; it is not worse per se because someone in the audience cried.

    And I think that you’re also operating with a big side helping of Geek Social Fallacy #1.

    Nothing I said was even within 10,000 figurative miles of “ostracism is evil”. An attentive reading of what I wrote, where I said if I had been a programming staffer seeing such behaviour, I’d not want to ever again have him as a moderator, would have correctly inferred that I see Geek Social Fallacy #1 as childish bunk. (Also the other four, by the way.)

    What I said was that, IMO, the action was disproportionate and unwise. That is a quite different thing.

    Also, I was careful to stress, every time, that I was voicing my opinion, not pronouncing something incontestable. What I find it remarkable, and a bit disappointing, is that you keep doing the opposite, e.g., the framing of your concluding paragraph.

    At this point in typing my current comment, I got about two words into a concluding paragraph that would have taken a parting swipe, but then remembered having cured mostly myself of that bad habit about 1992 on Usenet. Not taking the parting swipe helps avoid unnecessarily injuring friendships — and also helps avoid being ineffective.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rick, I think pretty much everything you’ve said in your comments here on this subject is wrong. But neither of us is going to convince the other, so I’m going to leave it at that.

      Liked by 2 people

  27. @Kat Goodwin:

    Do you understand that you are blaming victims of abuse for confronting an abuser rather than enduring and attempting to ignore him?

    You might have an utterly excellent point if i had blamed the other panelists for Truesdale’s misconduct. However, that is just not what I said.

    What I said was that it was within the power of the other panelists to talk about the State of Short Fiction, that by and large they did not elect to do so and instead engaged with Truesdale on his mostly-irrelevant-to-the-topic hobbyhorse for 40 minutes, that if I’d been a panelist invited to a Worldcon panel within my specialty, I’d have used the opportunity to be on-topic, and that if I’d been an audience member I would have been a bit ticked off that nobody on the panel angled back to the subject I came to hear them talk about,.

    Also, if that’s what you call “confronting an abuser”, sounds to me like a pretty ineffective job of confrontation, for the most part lacking the confrontation bit. More to the immediate point, the scheduled panel got derailed.

    Truesdale was accusing those professionals of malfeasance […]

    You’re sounding extremely abstract, still. Again. Would you mind, once again, in case I’m missing what you’re talking about, quoting the relevant statements? Whom specifically did Truesdale accuse, and what specific malfeasance did he accuse them of?

    He verbally attacked the panelists […]

    Would you mind, once again, in case I’m missing what you’re talking about, quoting the relevant statements? Whom did he attack specifically, and by saying what specifically?

    If that is your attitude […]

    My “attitude” is that, IMO, the concom overreacted, and was unwise in the action taken. IMO, other remedies for Trousdale’s misconduct would have been wiser. You seem to be in a big hurry to draw sweeping and dramatic personal conclusions about me based on that opinion, and to my knowledge we’ve never even spoken. I am not going to respond in kind. (Again, not because of any specific intention to be nice, but rather because it would be pointless and ineffective.)

    You may feel that people should not defend themselves from accusations like Truesdale’s

    This bears zero resemblance to anything I’ve said.

    I don’t know if you can get this, but after Trump and 1/6, I would think that maybe you could try to understand why we feel you are being dangerously dismissive about it

    You think it’s reasonable to compare self-indulgent rambling about “political correctness” at a literary conference to invading two Federal buildings and trying to topple the Legislative Branch? No comment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 1) Dave Truesdale said women shouldn’t have gotten the vote in writing in the petition about the SFWA Bulletin he crafted with Robert Silverberg. This was well before this convention. Truesdale’s anti-women and anti-POC views were well known. The people running the convention making him a panel moderator was a violation of their own Code of Conduct, because the Code of Conduct is intended to keep people from bigoted and other harassment that drives the victims out of the convention, limits their ability to participate in the convention and creates a hostile, unsafe and threatening environment for them at the convention, which in turn affects their ability to participate in fandom and the industry. Bigoted harassment is discrimination.

      2) Having taken the opportunity of the power of being a panel moderator to stage a bigoted verbal attack to harass the panelists and the marginalized people in the audience, Truesdale broke the convention’s Code of Conduct and so was expelled. Your argument is that the convention runners should have ignored their own Code of Conduct and given Truesdale’s bigoted harassment a free pass. That means the convention environment would be unsafe and marginalized attendees would have faced continued bigoted harassment from Truesdale and others. That would be an act of discrimination against the marginalized and a betrayal of trust of the attendees who paid to attend or who were working the convention. Your stance that the Code of Conduct should not be followed if the convention runners don’t feel like it (inconsistency) is why Codes of Conduct were needed at conventions in the first place — because convention runners frequently side with bigoted harassers and discriminate against the marginalized, patronizingly demanding that the marginalized not be so “upset” about it.

      3) A convention is a workplace. The panelists were professional editors who were at the convention and on the panel because IT WAS PART OF THEIR JOB. They were working. And the attendees in the audience had paid to be there. The financial and ethical obligation of the convention in both of those circumstances is to provide a non-discriminatory environment safe of bigoted harassment. Bigoted harassment impedes marginalized publishing professionals and authors from being able to work the convention and do their jobs and advance their careers — systemic discrimination. It also blocks marginalized attendees who are fans from participating in the convention and some from trying to break into the industry — systemic discrimination.

      4) Truesdale’s rant was bigoted harassment. He accused marginalized authors of being inferior and published only for their identities, of taking what should be given mainly to white men like it was before. He accused marginalized authors and the panelists of conspiring to destroy white men’s careers — of being threatening and needing to be stopped. He insisted that marginalized authors and others should be silenced about discrimination and civil rights in their work and in their careers because their concerns were unreasonable pearl clutching and threatening to their betters. He used the platform of moderator to tell the marginalized that they were invaders who should be shut up and stopped from participating, that they were threats to men like Truesdale.

      This is the foundational accusation and threat of systemic bigotry. It’s the same sort of violence as a white person screaming slurs at POC employees in a store or burning a cross on a lawn. It is an attempt to establish and maintain bigoted myths about marginalized people’s inferiority, about civil rights being threatening and about the marginalized needing to be shut up and put back in their place, blocking their ability and presence in the area that people like Truesdale feel is their supreme turf. The goal is to continually subject marginalized people or their allies to this exhausting harassment and threat so that they will give up and be kept out, or if they refuse, put down with violent enforcement.

      For you, what Truesdale did was a little annoyance because you aren’t the target of it. For the marginalized in the audience, it is part of the same continued threatening harassment they receive on a daily basis that seeks to paint them as inferior, illegitimate and threatening as a way to justify controlling them, block them from opportunity and participation and if they insist on challenging it, threaten them further with violence. The woman in the audience didn’t cry because Truesdale was annoying. She cried because he was threatening and traumatizing, because he was saying she and others shouldn’t be there.

      Most Black SFF authors will only go to certain conventions where they know that the convention runners will not go along with continued bigoted harassment from people like Truesdale. Women authors and fans will avoid many conventions because the people running them won’t deal with continued sexist and sexual harassment. These restrictions limit their participation in the field, the ability to do their jobs and their mental and physical safety. Even at conventions where they feel safer, they have to be on guard against harassment all the time and often have to deal with it. Them having to take such steps is discriminatory and a failure of convention culture.

      5) The panelists were accused of ruining white men’s careers and of being hacks who chose inferior marginalized authors by their panel moderator. They were victims. Your demand is that they ignore the attack and make the trains run on time, giving the accusations legitimacy and acceptance. You place the responsibility to “fix things” on the victims of the attack who were being accused and harassed rather than the one who was doing the harassing to fix it. This is a demand the dominant make of the marginalized all the time as part of systemic bigotry — that the marginalized have to treat the attacks as reasonable or at least tolerable and ignore it for the sake of harmony. Don’t speak up, stay silent and let such harassment continue to happen as normal, no matter the damage to themselves and the hostile society it creates for them.

      But the panelists, being people in positions of power as editors, had an obligation to all the marginalized people in the audience to speak up against the bigoted attack, to not be bystanders who shrugged off the accusations and went back to talking about short fiction. If they had not stood up to Truesdale’s attack, if they had ignored it, that would be an act of discrimination against the marginalized in the audience and contributed to what had already happened. It would tell others that those editors were not to be trusted, would likely also be discriminatory. Standing up to Truesdale’s attack was also a risk for them, because it exposed them to harm from people in the audience who agree with Truesdale and might be even more violent. But the harm of letting Truesdale’s attack stand without challenge was considerable.

      You don’t understand the stakes involved. You keep trying to downplay and dismiss what is a massive wave of constant bigoted harassment the marginalized have to navigate. You keep trying to pretend that people like Truesdale aren’t being violently threatening when they engage in public bigoted harassment, that there’s no substantial and contributory impact, only mild inconvenience. You keep expecting the marginalized to put up with this stuff, no matter how it harms and exhausts them, while letting bigots do almost anything they want and pretending it’s small potatoes because to you, it is small potatoes. And this is why the toxic bigoted culture of conventions and the industry has been so slow to change. Because too many people in dominant and powerful positions keep insisting that the culture is fine as long as the marginalized aren’t bleeding on the ground (and sometimes not even after that.) You think your position is reasonable and civil. We’re trying to explain to you that your stance is discriminatory and contributes to harm, even if you don’t intend it that way.

      And this was the issue with the Puppies. They continually bigotedly harassed marginalized authors they picked as targets. They brought in people who were known to be violent as allies and set them at those targets. They damaged their targets’ careers and sent violent threat their way. They said the marginalized should get out of the field and were meritless and cheaters. And a lot of people thought that was small potatoes and marginalized people shouldn’t be upset about it, that it didn’t really impact them. That’s not true. It is a constant narrative that marginalized people are inferior, cheaters, thieves, threatening, unreasonable, incompetent, dishonest, hysterical, invading and illegitimate. That’s what our society says is normal — our society is still on the Puppies’ side, even if they only partially succeeded. The Puppies used the narrative, Truesdale used it and the MAGAs who invaded the Capitol used it. And to make any headway against it, it has to be stood up to and refuted each and every time from the minor to the major, because it is all the same threat of bigoted discrimination. Otherwise, the culture of a convention, the SFF field, the U.S. etc. remains one of bigoted discrimination and thirty different kinds of violent harm.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Rick:

      I commend to you the First Rule of Holes, since apparently you never heard of it before posting the message I am replying to.

      You have two ears and one mouth. Use them in that proportion.

      STOP TRYING TO TELL OPPRESSED PEOPLE THEY AREN’T OPPRESSED.

      With friends like you, we hardly need Puppies…

      Liked by 1 person

  28. @Rick Moen
    “Also, if that’s what you call “confronting an abuser”, sounds to me like a pretty ineffective job of confrontation, for the most part lacking the confrontation bit. More to the immediate point, the scheduled panel got derailed.”

    “…got derailed.” That is a masterful use of the passive voice, Rick, to make it seem like that derailment came out of nowhere, thus exonerating the Truesdale as moderator, whose job it is to KEEP the discussion on the rails, of deliberately derailing the discussion himself. Why is it hard for you to say “Truesdale derailed the panel?” Maybe because outright saying “Truesdale the moderator derailed the panel, and the panelists did an ineffective job of confrontation,” DOES put the blame on panelists for not sufficiently wrestling the moderator back on topic when the moderator deliberately sabotages his role in order to hector, accuse and insult his listeners. Fudging Truesdale into the passive voice may make your blame of the panelists for not leaping into the role of moderator that was dumped on them by surprise more palatable to you, but you’re still blaming the panelists.

    Which seems to me kind of tacky. The panelists came to participate in the panel in good faith. The moderator abused his role to sabotage the panel, and you’re criticizing the PANELISTS for not wrestling away the role of moderator from Truesdale to your satisfaction, when that’s NOT the role they agreed to participate in.

    At the same time you lament that Truesdale’s punishment for taking advantage of his assigned role to sabotage the panel for the panelists AND the audience was far too harsh. What do you think would have been an appropriate reaction? If you’d been in some position of authority there, would you have said to panelists who came to complain of what the program’s assigned moderator had done, “Yeah, our bad, we’ll let people know he does this kind of thing and they won’t let him do it again. Probably. You REALLY could have done a better job of dragging him back on topic, though. Both sides.”

    Liked by 5 people

  29. Rick Moen:

    How nice for you that you are able to listen to the Truesdale recording (more than once!) and feel that he was merely being a bit of an asshole. Even Greg as an eye-witness does not have the full context in which MidAmeriCon made their decision. Since Truesdale was not available for them to discuss the situation with him, I think they did a good job letting other members know that he would not be allowed back to continue his abuse. He got enough push back on his bad behavior that he expelled himself, but the convention had every reason to expect that he might be back to dish out more.

    No, I was not there and will not listen to that recording. I’m pretty sure I read his rant and other accounts back at the time, but that’s as far as I go. The pearl clutching comment (complete with props!) mentioned in Greg’s account shared by Mike above absolutely makes my blood boil. If I had been there, I can’t imagine not leaving at that point. This is what that says to me: You are not a person with legitimate concerns. Accusing you of behaving like a hysterical woman is the deepest insult I can imagine and should serve well to shut you up.

    Color me completely unsurprised that you do not remember the circumstances surrounding Mary Robinette Kowal’s suspension and aren’t expressing concern about an overreaction in that case.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. @Laura

      The pearl clutching comment (complete with props!) mentioned in Greg’s account shared by Mike above absolutely makes my blood boil. If I had been there, I can’t imagine not leaving at that point.

      I don’t know that anyone left, but Neil Clarke, one of the panelists, simply turned his back to Truesdale while the man was speaking.

      Up to that point Neil and I had a very frosty relationship, largely because I wrote negative reviews for a lot of Clarkesworld stories. We’d had some very hostile e-mail exchanges, although of course, nothing in public

      But at the next panel after the one we’re talking about, he and I talked to each other about that ridiculous Truesdale performance, and he made the comment, “At least with your reviews, it’s clear that you really read the stories and were writing your honest opinions about them.”

      After that, we were always friendly in person, and when we exchanged e-mail, we gave each other the benefit of the doubt. So if I were going to argue that anything good came out of that panel, it would be that as a result of it, Neil and I acquired a certain mutual respect for each other. I only wish I had figured out how to do that for all the editors.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Your reviews were always useful whether I agreed or not. I think you would find at least one small pro for even the lowest ranked stories. You were open to discussion. And you highlighted others’ recommendations. Not things you see at Tangent Online.

        Liked by 4 people

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