You may have heard about how the 2015 Hugo Awards nominations have been disrupted this year by two separate slates of nominees and their respective voting blocks.
There’s a lot of coverage on the matter, with some of the best from io9, the Daily Dot, and George R.R. Martin (yes, Game Of Thrones fans, these people compelled GRRM to take valuable time away from writing to respond to the situation. Add that to their list of offenses.) If you don’t want to click through on everything or read our previous post, here’s what you need to know for this column:
There was a slate released by the Sad Puppies on February 1 that included a varied list of authors, many of a conservative bent, including authors that have been previously nominated for Hugo and Campbell awards.
And then, one day later, there was a slate released by Theodore Beale that he called the Rabid Puppies slate, which heavily copied the Sad Puppies list and added many items that he published through his publishing house, Castalia House, which was founded just last year.
Theodore Beale is… an interesting fellow. He came to prominence writing for WorldNetDaily, a website partially funded by his father, a convicted tax evader. Theodore Beale, who often goes by the presumptuous pseudonym Vox Day, happens to believe that marital rape is impossible, that autism causes atheism, that vaccines cause autism, that Obama’s birth certificate is forged, that there is no global warming, that feminism is failure, and on and on and on.
He is the only person to be expelled from the Science Fiction Writers of America for using an official SFWA Twitter account to link to a blog post that called SFWA member and African-American author N. K. Jemisin “an educated, but ignorant half-savage.”
And he boosted his Rapid Puppies slate by reaching out to the #Gamergate community, a group of people (the word “class” seems inappropriate here) that he has long supported, and who clearly tipped the balance in many of the Hugo categories.
In short, we find Mr. Beale to be a racist, sexist, homophobic, inflammatory, self-aggrandizing troll who who has no compunctions about burning down an entire community to exact revenge and gain his own personal amusement. His choice of the name “Rabid Puppies” is spot on, along with his logo choice that blows up the Hugo Award.
But what to do about it? More to the point, since the Hugo Awards won’t be given out until WorldCon in August, what can we do about it right now?
Ironically, Beale has given us the answer himself.
Of the unique items on the Rabid Puppies slate, nine are works that Mr. Beale had a hand in, either as a writer, editor, or publisher through his house, Castalia House, or where he previously blogged at Black Gate. (Hat tip to Mike Glyer for compiling the list.) Replying to a commenter about the quality of his works, Beale said:
No problem. I can objectively prove their superiority. Average Amazon ratings out of 5.
4.64 Sad Puppy Best Novel recommendations
4.60 Rabid Puppy Best Novel recommendations
4.46 2015 Hugo shortlist 4.46
3.90 2010-2013 Hugo shortlists
In short fiction, Amazon ratings and number of reviews
4.6 (63) One Bright Star to Guide Them (2015 finalist)
4.3 (121) Big Boys Don’t Cry (2015 finalist)
4.4 (48) Lady Astronaut of Mars (2014 winner)
4.3 (152) Equoid (2014 winner)
The Sad Puppy nominees are objectively superior as rated by Amazon.
We’d like to thank Mr. Beale for reminding us that Hugo Award nominations aren’t the only things that can be gamed…
You can game Amazon ratings as well.
Here’s a list of all of Mr. Beale’s nominees, complete with handy links to Amazon. It might be a good idea to take a look at the reviews and see which ones are helpful. If you’ve read the works, you should add your own review.
NOMINEES APPEARING ONLY ON RABID PUPPIES 2015 SLATE ON AMAZON
- “The Plural of Helen of Troy” by John C. Wright, City Beyond Time, Castalia House
- “Pale Realms of Shade” by John C. Wright, The Book of Feasts & Seasons, Castalia House
“Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” by John C. Wright, The Book of Feasts & Seasons, Castalia HouseUPDATE 4/14: “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” by John C. Wright was previously published on a web site in 2013 prior to its inclusion in The Book of Feasts & Seasons in 2014, so it is not eligible for the 2015 Novelette Hugo and has been removed from the ballot.
BEST SHORT STORY
- “Turncoat” by Steve Rzasa, Riding the Red Horse, Castalia House
- “The Parliament of Beasts and Birds” by John C. Wright, The Book of Feasts & Seasons, Castalia House
BEST EDITOR (Short Form)
- Vox Day, Riding the Red Horse, Castalia House
BEST EDITOR (Long Form)
- Vox Day, Castalia House
THE JOHN W. CAMPBELL AWARD
- Rolf Nelson, The Stars Came Back, Castalia House
If you’d like to look at the reviews for the other nominees from Castalia House:
- “One Bright Star to Guide Them” by John C. Wright
- “Big Boys Don’t Cry” by Tom Kratman
- Transhuman and Subhuman: Essays on Science Fiction and Awful Truth, by John C. Wright
- “The Hot Equations: Thermodynamics and Military SF” by Ken Burnside, Riding the Red Horse, Castalia House
- Eric S. Raymond, “Sucker Punch”, Riding the Red Horse, Castalia House
Oh, and to answer the title question: what do you do to rabid puppies?
You put them down.