[FIRST WITCH] When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning, or in rain?
[SECOND WITCH] When the hurly-burly’s done, When the podcast’s lost and won.
[THIRD WITCH] That will be ere the set of sun.
[FIRST WITCH] Where the place?
[SECOND WITCH] Upon this blog.
[THIRD WITCH] There to meet with Camestros.
[FIRST WITCH] I come, Graymalkin.
[ALL] Fair is foul, and foul is fair, Hover through the fog and filthy air.
[Camestros] OK people! Today we FINISH this. Susan – ready?
[Camestros] Timothy – ready?
[Timothy] Locked and loaded.
[Camestros] OK viewers,
[Straw Puppy] Woof
[Mr Atomic] …cleaning…
[Camestros] welcome to the final episode of this season of the Book Club Roundtable Review Club Non-Audio Podcast Club!
File770 has a round-up of the Dragon Award antics from the Puppy and Scrappy quarters today: http://file770.com/?p=36848
The short version. Two authors have asked to withdraw:
- Alison Littlewood – who was an unwilling nominee on the Rabid Puppy slate and doesn’t want her book or her name associated with it.
- John Scalzi – who took one look at Brian Niemeier’s vote-against-SJWScalzi-by-voting-for-me tactic and gave a big ‘nope’ and walked away.
Alison Littlewood has published the response she received from Pat Henry – the president of Dragon Con. There are three things of note.
Firstly, they aren’t going to withdraw either author from the ballot – this isn’t a surprise because logistically they really have no easy way of doing so. They have already sent out Survey Monkey ballots (prior to publically stating the nominees) and so to withdraw authors they would have to restart the process. Given the assumption that the whole award is being run by a couple of people with little support (hence the odd behaviour around the website) they probably don’t have the time or resources to do so. Note Dragon Con itself has the money and resources to do so – they just aren’t going to spend it on the Dragon Awards.
The second thing of note is this bizarre statement of false equivalence: “We are aware of the rabid puppies and justice warriors efforts to effect the voting and we go through a number of steps to avoid ballot stuffing or other vote rigging behaviors. ” As others have pointed out not only is there no evidence of “justice warriors” trying to effect the vote with ‘ballot stuffing’ or ‘vote rigging’ there is ZERO evidence of any left-wing campaign to get any votes in the Dragon Awards. The SF-left, such that it is, has been dismissive of the awards. Meanwhile, the Rabid Puppy slate was there for all to see – just some basic commitment to facts would be nice.
The third thing has been less commented on: “The original purpose of the Dragon Awards was not so much as awards but as a quality reading list.” This original purpose has not been well stated before but there are aspects of the awards that point to it. For example, in the “Process” tab of the site, we have this: http://web.archive.org/web/20170809184831/http://awards.dragoncon.org/the-process/
“During the award nomination period, we will regularly send lists and information about your most popular choices.”
Of course, nothing remotely like this has happened. Also, the 2016 nominee list has been disappeared from the Dragon Award website entirely.
Update: The Verge has some good coverage and more Dragon Con response https://www.theverge.com/2017/8/9/16118054/john-scalzi-alison-littlewood-dragon-awards-controversy-sci-fi-horror
[Camestros] Welcome back, loyal viewers!
[Straw Puppy] (woof)
[Camestros] This is the exciting third episode of the Book Club Roundtable Review Club Non-Audio Podcast Club. A bit of a change in the roster this week. Susan can’t make it and Timothy’s long term collaborator and all-round trickster Straw Puppy is here to take her place. Welcome on board Straw Puppy.
[Straw Puppy] woof
[Timothy] Ha, ha, great joke there Pups.
[Camestros] Sooooo, we still seem to be stuck reading Run Star: Realms Rescue…
[Timothy] Correction, Dragon Award Nominated Star Realms: Rescue Run.
[Theme music – fades out]
Dragon Award winner and guy worried about demons, Brian Niemeier also has things to say about Sad Puppies V. It starts diplomatically enough: http://www.brianniemeier.com/2017/06/dragon-big-you-small.html
“When Sad Puppies V leader Sarah Hoyt explained why SP didn’t release a list of recommendations in time for this year’s awards season, several folks in the Puppy scene voiced dissatisfaction with her rationale.
Me? I read both sides’ arguments, tried to see the issue from the major players’ perspectives, and was satisfied that I’d gotten a decent handle on the group dynamics at work. Even if I disagreed with a particular call, it was easy to understand where the party who made it was coming from.”
However, astute readers will have noted that in Hoyt’s earlier piece she made some comments about the Dragon Awards – essentially saying that they are an award for big writers and that some maybe less deserving people won in 2016 because the award was just starting. Of course Brian Niemmeier fits that discription (or at least a lot more so than Larry Correia whose success is undeniable). So Brian N has somethings to say about that:
“Full disclosure: I firmly believe that for any author, comparing yourself to another author is a sure path to insanity. I’m a live and let live kind of guy. You can take shots at me all day, and I’ll take it in stride.
But if this blog has established nothing else, it’s that no one gets to mess with my readers.
Remember: Sarah tried to DISQUALIFY! my readers who made Souldancer the first ever Dragon Award winner for Best Horror Novel. She implied that their choice was just a fluke–an early bug in the system that will surely be worked out in time.
Sarah thinks that you, dear reader, made a mistake. You gave a Dragon Award to an unworthy “small name” author. And don’t forget, she based her assessment on Amazon sales rankings.”
Of course Sarah Hoyt has thought this through a bit further than Brian. Mind you Brian isn’t neccesarily attached to the multiple layers of claims and ad-hoc rationales of the Sad Puppy movement.
Back with the Sad Pups, we had claims from wayyyy back that award votes were just subjective opinion (i.e. there is no broad sense of quality beyond an individual except maybe sales).
More recently, and from many quarters of puppydom, claims that the numbers who voted in the Dragon Awards must be huge because Dragon*Con is huge. Yes, that argument is innumerate as eligibility to vote in the Dragons isn’t connected to Dragon membership (in theory the number of voters could be much bigger than Dragon*Con membership) nor was the award well publicised to Dragon*Con attendees last time (i.e. theire is no reason to think many of them voted). However, *IF* the Dragons are meant to be a huge award with many people voting then regardless of how wonderful Brian’s readers are, or even how good his book might be, Hoyt’s right that it winning the award is a fluke. The answer is obviously that not many people voted in the awards which is why a relatively obscure (sorry Brian) science fiction story could win “Best Horror Novel”.
Hoyt’s comment is aspirational for the Dragon Awards: i.e. the hope and expectation (possibly misguided) that they will become big. Unfortunately wins like Brian Neimmeier’sare good for him but not particulalry good for the awards.
Some other anti-Hoyt comment are here:
and this one that Doris spotted earlier http://jimfear138.blogspot.com.au/2017/06/done-with-dead-puppies.html
Why yes, now that you mention it, all these anti-Hoyt pieces are coming from people of the mannish less-than-50% of humanity.
Ok I take that comment back: http://dawnwitzke.com/index.php/2017/06/25/omsg-i-need-a-nap/ although this is less directed at Hoyt personally.
*I prefer to name groups by how they name themselves but the latest version of Puppyness arising out of the fading away of the Sad Puppy brand doesn’t have a name of their own. Based on my earlier post on recent events, I think “The Scrappy Doos” is a decent moniker to cover a more disperate phenomanon.
Firstly it carries on the puppy theme, secondly it encapsulates the relative threat level compared to other incarnations and thirdly it is a handy metaphor for the disconnect between how cool Scrappy thinks he is compared to how annoying he actually is.
Anyway, some people like Scrappy, so I hope it isn’t too demeaning a name and currently I don’t have a better label.
Compared with the Sads and Rabids, the Scrappy Doos are not a coordinated group, they may or may not have been involved with either Sad or Rabids campaigns in the past but if they were they would have been on the periphery. They tend not to make strong distinctions between the Sad and Rabid campaigns and can be seen as ‘monopuppists’ (i.e. the idea that really the two campaigns were one campaign in different forms). They tend to be more overt in their self-promotion. Just as the Sad Puppies were incorrectly described as being a group of Mormon men, the Scrappy Doos may be incorrectly decsribed as Catholic men.
In terms of existing movements they are closest to the Superversive movement and the Pulp Revolutions movement. Those two movements* can be seen as offshoots of the Rabid Puppies but this can be misleading. The Rabids had a core of straight Alt-Right griefers willing to do exactly what Vox Day told them to do for the lulz. Superversive began independently of the Rabids but has attached itself to Castalia for promotion and is focused on literary works (although of a right leaning nature). Pulp Revolution arose from the Castalia House blog and hence is more closely connected to Rabid Puppies but again is not the same as the griefing group.
[eta – paragraph went astray] Whereas the Rabids collectively were not particularly interested in the field of SFF, the Scrappy-Doos have more in common with the Sad Puppies in so far as they tend to be actively involved in writing, publishing and books. In this sense they are more like other groupings in fandom. However, where significant voices in Sad Puppies (Correia, Torgersen, Hoyt, Freer) had had some success in trad-publishing (mainly centred around Baen Books), the Scrappy Doos are involved with small publishing groups or self-published.
Time for an info-graphic.
Names at the top indicate people who helped establish entities below. Dotted lines imply some degree of association. Arrowed lines imply on-going activity. Pink boxes are websites around which quasi-groups have formed organically to some degree. [eta: graphic tweaked a bit]
*[I’m using the word ‘movement’ generously here – we aren’t talking about huge numbers of people. ‘Tens’ rather than ‘hundreds’ I think]