Escalation on the Puppy Front

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice.

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June 17, 2015

And we all know just how effective Scrappy-Doo was, right?

Oh, for fuck’s sake.

Original post from Peter Grant, endorsement from the wannabe supervillain himself.

As Laura Resnick says at the end of her post:

So I’m more concerned about what persons, organizations, or businesses will be the Puppies’ next target. I didn’t think they would stop with the Hugos, and I’m skeptical they’ll stop with Tor, either.

Indeed. And I know that there is a school of thought that says to deprive assholes of air, but in my experience that doesn’t work in the long term: they just find newer, softer targets. So as far as I’m concerned, the more people calling them out on their bullshit, the better.

So here’s an incomplete list of people published by Tor. Incomplete because I’m writing this on my lunch break, not incomplete because I omitted people for ideological reasons. This is pretty long, so I’m sticking it behind a cut. If you’re so inclined and the budget allows, maybe buy a book on Friday?

  • Katherine Addison (Sarah Monette)
  • Ann Aguirre
  • Kevin J Anderson
  • Catherine Asaro
  • Steven Barnes
  • Elizabeth Bear
  • Gregory Benford
  • Beth Bernobich
  • Steven Brust
  • Tobias S. Buckell
  • Orson Scott Card
  • Jacqueline Carey
  • Adam Christopher
  • Wesley Chu
  • Seth Dickinson
  • David Drake
  • Rosemary Edghill
  • Kate Elliott
  • P.N. Elrod
  • David Farland
  • Max Gladstone
  • Terry Goodkind
  • Robert Heinlein
  • Tracy Hickman
  • Kameron Hurley
  • D.B. Jackson (David Coe)
  • Robert Jordan
  • Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Mercedes Lackey
  • Michelle Lang
  • Cixin Liu
  • Ilana C. Myer
  • Cherie Priest
  • Jean Rabe
  • Hannu Rajaniemi
  • Melanie Rawn
  • Kim Stanley Robinson
  • R.A. Salvatore
  • Brandon Sanderson
  • Robert J. Sawyer
  • John Scalzi
  • V.E. Schwab
  • Dan Simmons
  • Judith Tarr
  • Karen Traviss
  • Harry Turtledove
  • Catherynne M Valente
  • Greg Van Eekhout
  • Jeff Vandermeer
  • Carrie Vaughn
  • Joan D. Vinge
  • Vernor Vinge
  • Jo Walton
  • David Weber
  • Dan Wells
  • Margaret Weiss
  • Lawrence Watt Evans
  • Jack Whyte
  • Fran Wilde
  • Kate Wilhelm
  • Jack Williamson
  • Terri Windling
  • Gene Wolfe
  • Patricia Wrede
  • John C. Wright
  • Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
  • Jane Yolen
  • Timothy Zahn

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  1. Muccamukk

    I’m not sure how completely behind Tor I can get after that apology from Tom Whatshisname and throwing Gallo under the bus. I wasn’t boycotting them over that because I like so many of their authors and don’t want to hurt them, but I don’t think I’ll be going out of my way to support them over this either.

    I doubt the Puppies have the power to do much of anything on this scale anyway.

    • Natalie Luhrs

      Yeah, that’s a legit position to take. I’m not happy about that apology, either.

  2. Mister_DK

    er, looking at your list I don’t think that’s quite right. Off the top of my head, Karen Traviss has been self publishing for a while now, David Drake is at Simon & Scheuster, and David Weber is with Baen.

  3. Kate Elliott


    Writers sometimes publish with more than one publisher, or have backlist with a different publisher than the one they are publishing new work with.

  4. Sarah

    John C. Wright (and his wife, L. Jagi Lamplighter) are both Tor authors and supportive of the proposed boycott (although Wright is getting many of his newer works published by Castalia House). I will accede to their wishes and not purchase either of them.

    OTOH, I’m glad to find out that Catherine Asaro is a Tor author. VD has complained about her for many blog posts and pointed to her book The Quantum Rose as an example of everything that’s “wrong” with SF/F today. When he makes those comments (as well as the asinine BS about how Heinlein, Asimov, Lovecraft, et al wouldn’t win a Hugo today), what he’s really saying is that people like me, who hold my worldview, shouldn’t be part of SF/F fandom.

  5. Dawn Incognito

    You know that if the roles were reversed, the same people calling for this boycott would be howling “CENSORSHIP! FREEZE PEACH! SJWs bark bark bark….” What a pack of fucking hypocrites.

  6. Nu

    Lots of authors I love on that list and plenty more to discover! Hilarious that Asaro is VD’s bane. I’ve been meaning to read Asaro for some time- past time I picked up her stuff! I’m looking forward to it.

  7. Bruce Arthurs

    DAMN, but that’s an impressive list of authors! Hadn’t quite realized how much of my book-money has been going to Tor.

  8. Parris McBride

    You did miss the WILD CARDS series; Tor has been repubbing old volumes and new books for several years. Something like 30+ writers have written in the WILD CARDS series over the decades. And GRRM has edited every single book. May be the longest running shared world series in SF.

  9. Tim Lieder

    Oh cool. Ilana’s name is on that list. Her first book comes out in September but it’s available for pre-order.

    • Natalie Luhrs

      There are several folks who are debut authors whose books haven’t come out yet, but are available for pre-order: Ilana Myers, Fran Wilde, and Seth Dickinson are the ones I know for sure.

  10. Cat

    Cool. I’ll make sure to get something Friday. Since VD hates Asaro, I’ll check her stuff out first.

    I’m not very happy with Tor about apologizing for Gallo. But I’ve already told them so.

    Now I’m going to help make sure they say “boycott? Oh, is *that* why our sales are up?”

  11. Laura Resnick

    Keep in mind that we don’t know the background of that Tor apology.

    Speaking with absolutely no inside knowledge whatsoever of what happened last week at Tor, but with 25+ years of experience as a writer dealing with big publishers (including Tor) in the age of corporate acquisitions and conglomerate ownership, when a corporation like Macmillan receives dozens (or was it hundreds?) of complaint letters about the exact same thing, and a number of those letters (it seems likely in this instance) use words like “libel” and “defamation,” it’s a pretty standard CYA corporate response to issue a comprehensive apology in order to close the matter.

    Tor is not an independent company, it’s a division of Macmillan, and I gather the Puppies were writing to Macmillan as well as to Tor? (And they clearly continue doing so now, if you read Peter Grant’s blog posts on the latest contortions of this mess.) For example, when I had a very minor legal issue with Tor 4 years ago, it was Macmillan that contacted me and resolved it with me, not Tor. So I think it seems unlikely that Macmillan did NOT have a say in how Tor dealt with the complaints about Gallo last week…. and, in fact, it think it would not be surprising if Macmillan had THE say in how that was handled, and perhaps even drafted (or at least reviewed) the Gallo and Doherty apologies, to make sure those statements would eliminate rather than compound any potential liability for the company.

    So whatever one thinks of that apology, I suspect that blaming Tom Doherty or at Tor Books for issuing it (or even necessarily for its exact wording) may not be an accurate reflection of what occurred within the corporation.

    • Natalie Luhrs

      Thanks for stopping by, Laura! You make an excellent point about not knowing the background. I do still think it was shitty to single out one employee instead of just clarifying their social media policy internally and externally.

  12. Laura Resnick

    I do agree the appearance of publicly reprimanding Gallo, rather than just apologizing and clarifying company positions or policies, seemed gratuitous and made a poor impression.

  13. Periwinkle

    I’ve been following the summaries on File 770, and I thought I’d seen it all, but part of the “open letter” just leaves me stunned.

    […] all current or former employees of Tor, and by the Tor-published author John Scalzi, concerning supporters of the ‘Puppies’ slates for the Hugo Awards.
    Tor should publicly apologize for the efforts by all, repeat, all of the persons I named above to demonize, denigrate, slander and lie about the ‘Puppies’ campaigns;

    I thought the campaign against Irene Gallo was ridiculous, but on what planet is a company responsible for the actions of former employees? Just what power does it hold over them?

    And then there’s singling out one author, John Scalzi. I’m all for calling out hurtful, offensive or just plain wrong writing, whether it’s in books or on blogs (not that I’ve seen John Scalzi write any). I’m all for boycotting individual authors, and telling the publisher why. If a publisher decides an author is no longer worth the money or hassle, they can cease publication and pay out any contract termination penalties. I don’t see want to see publishers have or use any other disciplinary power over authors, not even authors I see writing hateful nonsense. Weren’t the Puppies all about the freedom of the author to write what they like?

    John Scalzi hasn’t even written all that much about the Puppies. If there’s anyone still trying to suggest that both campaigns aren’t part of a personal vendetta against him, this letter isn’t helping.

    • Natalie Luhrs

      I know, right? I know I made a facetious comment on Twitter a couple weeks ago about Tor reprimanding Wright and Card for their actual hate speech, but I also made it knowing that it was not something that would happen because authors are not employees of their publishers.

  14. Sarah

    John Scalzi hasn’t even written all that much about the Puppies. If there’s anyone still trying to suggest that both campaigns aren’t part of a personal vendetta against him, this letter isn’t helping.

    That is indeed a personal vendetta with VD’s writing all over it. Witness the demands for apologies from Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden, both of whom – as far as I can tell – have said absolutely nothing about this brouhaha. VD is mad at them and at Scalzi because they were mean to him on Making Light ten years ago. And what’s particularly hilarious about THAT is that VD and all of his reactionary friends like to make fun of hypersensitive people who want to run around slapping trigger warnings all over everything, and VD specifically uses the word “feelbad” as though to say that anyone who is bothered by someone else’s speech needs to stop crying and get over it.

    Does anybody know what time zone they’re going to be starting this boycott from? I know they said noon tomorrow and I was assuming Eastern Time? I want to buy a book immediately after it becomes a go, and also to send an e-mail to the Tor PTB that I am purchasing in opposition to the boycott.

  15. Periwinkle


    Witness the demands for apologies from Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden, both of whom – as far as I can tell – have said absolutely nothing about this brouhaha.

    There hasn’t been much in the past month. Patrick made the post below in April. It probably counts as libelling puppies, since it quotes one of them verbatim.

    Does anybody know what time zone they’re going to be starting this boycott from?

    There probably isn’t an accurate answer to that, because having an “if our demands are not met” deadline before starting the boycott doesn’t make sense either. Well, it only makes sense if the boycott organiser is grandstanding and wants to wring multiple angry blog posts out of it. Does anyone out there support the boycott but really likes certain Tor authors, so they’re purchasing enough Tor books to fill their survivalist bunker before the deadline? That would really teach the publishers a lesson…

  16. Kristin King

    Just bought a TOR book, thanks for your post.

  17. yamamanama

    The hilarious thing is Goodkind and Simmons would fit in amongst the Rabid Puppies.


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