Genesis of the Puppies

Just when I think I’ve definitely not got any more links to add to the Puppy Kefuffle Timeline, I find a blog post I had never read before that falls right at the start of the first Sad Puppy campaign. I was looking because of a comment elsewhere made me want to see what Puppy-aligned people had been saying about the Hugo Awards *prior* to Sad Puppies 3. People who have followed the kerfuffle are nodoubt familiar with the position Puppies hold now but what were they saying prior, before all the shouting started?

The answer, on the whole, is not a lot or at least not where it is visible.

However, this post by Sarah Hoyt at her blog stands out:

Before people think Human Wave is cool and try to imitate it, we must make them know it exists. Besides, a lot of them walked away from the fifth “and then everyone died” supposed space-opera and aren’t reading anymore. We need to let them know we’re here.

Only right now, no one does. We’re out in the hall and making bad jokes, but they can just ignore us. We must get in, so we can throw rubbery rolls at the self-adoring speakers.

Yesterday I had a brain storm and I thought: Awards. (I also made a typo, the rest of you — infants — have been having WAY too much fun with.)

Before you pelt me with rubber rolls – even two years ago, I’d have been the first to say “oh, not awards, they’re SOOOOOOO stuffy.”

But the thing is in indie publishing, and in all publishing as it moves to Amazon and other electronic venues, being able to put on the cover a little seal that says “winner of the blah blah award” (we’re not calling it a blah blah award. No, you can’t talk me into it.) does give you a huge leg up. Most of the readers who are rediscovering SF (or anything else) because they can finally find stuff they want to read, see the Hugo and it doesn’t say to them “Award given by small group of people who attend Worldcon.” They see “Award” which means someone other than the author’s cat read this masterpiece and approved of – or at least finished—it. That means they’re twice as likely to buy it.


It is like looking at the branching point of an alternate timeline – a nicer one really. I don’t want people to see this as me mocking Hoyt for not getting her award started – it isn’t a trivial task and Hoyt herself pointed out the complexities. What is relevant here is that ‘movements’ of people often require something that helps coordinate them motivationally and not just organisationally i.e. a reason to make an effort to do something. In this case Hoyt’s ‘Human Wave’ movements was in a chicken-egg/catch-22: an award was an idea to get that kind of motivational coordination BUT to get an award off the ground you already need that kind of motivational coordination.

What is noticeable is that the difference between current Puppy rhetoric about awards (that they don’t matter and everybody ignores them and please vote in the Dragon Awards) and Sarah Hoyt’s viewpoint at the time.

In our timeline, Larry Correia had already begun his attempt to get himself nominated for a Hugo (in what would become retrospectively called Sad Puppies 1). Larry offered a simpler task (freep an existing award) to his larger fanbase.

Spam Filter

I had an increase in spam recently. A lot of it was unpleasant comments about Taylor Swift (truly) – the same comment but from different addresses and then the same comment again but with random mispellings.

I zeroed the spam filter (sorry Phantom) and shortly thereafter in popped another another message:


It is spam obviously and declared to be such by whatever Bayesian algorithms are running the spam filter. But…what is it for? An advert for being a freelance paralegal? What is a freelance paralegal anyway? Is it an attempt to create links for “” – which appears to be a Linux forum?

Searches on the IP address takes me straight to a spam reporting website which lists a long list of comments caught by other spam filters on othe rblogs for the same IP address. Often, but always, linked to a or similar website but sometimes no website or the BBC.

Anyway, no, changing into a freelance paralegal would not be a good possibility for me.




Tuesday Beer: Galactopus @LittleBangBrew

It’s a Tuesday evening and I’ve a hectic day of work tomorrow, so I probably shouldn’t consume three cans of 10% abv barelywine but…
…I know my readers would WANT me to drink a beer called “Galactopus”, which features a planet devouring octopus on the label.

The sacrifices I make for you all.

It was very nice and made my head spin somewhat.

Review: Doctor Who – Eater of Light

The retro-style episodes take an overt aim for the Sylvester McCoy era, with a story by Rona Munro who last wrote for Doctor Who in the 1980s. The McCoy elements come out in the general oddness but also in how harsh the Doctor is to the young Pictish warrior woman – at times the dialogue being quite jarring given the character of Capaldi’s Doctor.

We are in Scotland during the Roman occupation of the rest of Britain. Bill endears us all again but this time by revealing her obsession with the lost Ninth Legion of the Roman Empire. That includes a shout out to the children’s classic The Eagle of the Ninth.

Of course the lost legion was killed by an alien monster and so the Picts, what’s left of the Roman centurions, Bill, Nardole and the Doctor unite to defeat it. However, the story to get to that point is nicely done, making use of the the classic Doctor and Companion go off on slightly different adventures.

The fact that crows can talk was a nice touch, making the gritty, realistic setting have a sense of the deep past and misty mythology. Some neccesary Scottish jokes and Latin Tardis translation jokes kept the humour up.

The main story finishes quite early leaving a longer epilogue on the Tardis where Missy has been doing some odd jobs…

Next week: Mondasian Cybermen!


In Which Timothy Doesn’t Review Wonder Woman

A quiet Friday evening…

[Timothy the Talking Cat] Movie night!
[Camestros Felapton] Hmm? Sorry, I’d nodded off. What are we watching?
[Timothy] A special treat – 🎶Wonder Woman 🎶 here to fight the force of evil 🎶
[Camestros] It’s a bit late to go the cinema…
[Timothy] I am boycotting the cinema due to its blatant cat discrimination.
[Camestros] Technically the cinema is boycotting you. So, you’ve somehow got a pirate copy of the new Wonder Woman movie?
[Timothy] I guess so – I downloaded it from the internet like the mad-skillz edgy cyberpunk hacker that I am.
[Camestros] Dare I ask where from?
[Timothy] A strange and sinister corner of the shadowy reaches of the web called ’Netflix’.
[Camestros] You hacked Netflix? And Netflix had Wonder Woman?
[Timothy] I stole your password.
[Camestros] No! When?
[Timothy] After I stole your phone…

[spoilers, of sorts, after the fold…]

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