Obligatory Hugo Nomination Reaction Post

Written by Natalie Luhrs

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

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April 19, 2014

I love seeing my friends and colleagues getting nominated for Hugo Awards.

Love it.

This is how excited I get:


And I am really excited by seeing so many great nominees.  There are going to be lots of first time winners this year, which is AWESOME. My favorite novel and short story from last year were nominated (Ancillary Justice and “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love”). The fanzine, best related work, and fan writer categories are full of so much awesome I might explode (how am I supposed to decide between Liz Bourke, Foz Meadows, Kameron Hurley, and Abigail Nussbaum for fan writer? SERIOUSLY!). Book Smugglers! Pornokitsch! A Dribble of Ink! all in fanzine! The Campbell Award (not a Hugo) has a wonderful slate of nominees. Pacific Rim! So. Much. Awesome.


And yet. There is some not-awesome, too.  Let’s talk about that, shall we?

I don’t love is Wheel of Time being nominated as an entire singular work.  Sorry, no. I don’t care how you bend the rules, no.  A 300,000 page that dragged on for 20+ years and had two authors is not a singular work.  Article 3.2.4 of the WSFS constitution is the rule that applies here:

Works appearing in a series are eligible as individual works, but the series as a whole is not eligible. However, a work appearing in a number of parts shall be eligible for the year of the final part.

I can see how the rule was interpreted and I don’t agree with it, especially since the final part of WoT was split into three volumes.  But I can see the interpretation and I hope that this doesn’t turn into a trend in years when long-running series conclude.

What I agree with, even less, is the campaign that went on to stuff the ballot box on the part of Larry Correia and Vox Day.  They each wrote a post, shortly before the nominating deadline, exhorting their readers to submit a particular ballot. You can see their posts here and here (both are donotlinkified for your and my protection). I would be extremely interested to know how many ballots match that list in all respects. I would also be interested to know how many supporting memberships were bought for spouses, children, and extended family who did not actually submit those ballots.  It would be ridiculously easy to game the nominations that way. Ridiculously.

It’s also potentially a violation of Article 6.2:

Natural Persons. In all matters arising under this Constitution, only natural persons may introduce business, nominate, or vote, except as specifically provided otherwise in this Constitution. No person may cast more than one vote on any issue or more than one ballot in any election. This shall not be interpreted to prohibit delivery of ballots cast by other eligible voters.

Not that it can be proven, of course–I assume they were smart enough to use different email addresses and mask their IPs if they voted on behalf of their grandparents and spouses.  As Renay said on Twitter, this was gross and manipulative and not in the spirit of the award.

I am, very much, looking forward to ranking “No Award” higher than Vox Day, Larry Correia, Brad Torgerson, Dan Wells, Steve Diamond, and Toni Weisskopf.


But hey! Look at all that awesome that is on the ballot! Woo!


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  1. delagar

    I suspected something like this for the Vox Day, Correia, and Torgerson nominations.

    And Yay, yay, yay for Ancillary Justice and Kameron Hurley! Also Foz Meadows!

  2. Polenth

    Unfortunately, there’s nothing to stop them gaming the winners either. Those of us who are apparently destroying science fiction will all vote for different people based on our preferences. They’ll all vote for the same person. It’s hard to counteract that sort of organisation if someone wants to skew the results.

    But of course, we’re the one who get accused of destroying the awards and making them meaningless. Not them.

  3. SMD

    Out of curiosity, why did you mention Dan Wells? Is it just a matter of not liking his work? It seemed here like you might be associating him with the other “lot,” but that may just be me misinterpreting.

  4. Vox

    “I would be extremely interested to know how many ballots match that list in all respects. I would also be interested to know how many supporting memberships were bought for spouses, children, and extended family who did not actually submit those ballots. It would be ridiculously easy to game the nominations that way. Ridiculously.”

    In answer to the latter question: zero. Sure, we could easily game the nominations that way. But we didn’t. Larry has more readers than anyone in the field except Martin and MAYBE Gaiman. I have more blog readers than anyone in the field period. We didn’t have to do anything more than Scalzi and a number of other people have done.

    We didn’t make the new rules, we’re just playing by them and proving our case.

  5. Natalie Luhrs

    @Polenth: Yep. It is absolutely possible to organize a group to vote as a bloc.

    @delagar: So very excited for Ancillary Justice! So excite! So much great stuff on the ballot.

    @SMD: He appears on the ballots provided by Correia and VD. I will not, as a matter of principle, vote for anyone who appears either of those ballots.

  6. Natalie Luhrs

    @Vox: I don’t believe you, not one bit. Don’t comment here again, either.

  7. SMD

    @Natalie Luhrs:
    Ah, OK. Didn’t look close enough. Thanks for the clarification!

  8. Joris M

    So many great people on that list.

    @Polenth: Luckily the way Hugo voting works (instant-runoff style) does meant that won’t be a problem. And the additional ‘no award’ option can be used as well.

  9. Alexvdl

    I think that tarring everyone on that slate with the same brush would be unfair. A moot point as Markos Kloos didn’t reach the shortlist for Campbell, but Kloos is not at all in the same group as the rest of the nominees, and I believed has mentioned before being uncomfortable by the praise given him by Teddy.

  10. Brad

    Considering people have been politicking the awards and gaming the system for years, why are you surprised?
    (Someone actually sent an e-mail to Larry telling him not to vote for himself because he was not a SWFA member.)

    This has been going for years. Larry and Vox are just honest enough to do it in public.

    Great Quote – “I am, very much, looking forward to ranking “No Award” higher than Vox Day, Larry Correia, Brad Torgerson, Dan Wells, Steve Diamond, and Toni Weisskopf.”

    Nice to no that you care more about the politics of the person then their about ability to write, edit or publish. People like you are exactly why other people will do these things. You care more about politicks then about the integrity on the award. That is how you cheapen the awards. Thanks for making their point so very well.

  11. Joseph

    @Natalie Luhrs: You really don’t like when your fragile reality is attacked do you?

    Gods forbid that the fans actually nominate someone they enjoy reading. Someone that isn’t pushing whatever message fic is trendy today. You know, an author who actually tells an entertaining story that people are willing to pay money for.

    I hope Larry, Vox and the others do win. They deserve. They actually entertain their legion of fans.

  12. Paul Weimer (@PrinceJvstin)



    It’s not the “people nominating what they like”. People are entitled to doing that.

    However, the “sample ballots” posted by Larry Correia, etal, feels awfully like Boss Tweed machine politics. “Vote the VD/LC slate”. “Upset the applecart by voting this slate. Make the Pink SF crowd cry!”

    It’s spiteful.

  13. Joseph

    @Paul Weimer (@PrinceJvstin): Spiteful? Are you kidding me? Larry is just doing what the Special Snowflake crowd has been doing all along. He energized his fan base to vote for him. Nothing spiteful in any of that.

    I mean hey, a book that actually entertains a huge portion of the science fiction fandom might actually win a Hugo! Why is that a bad thing? Why should the obscure message fic crap that all the Special Snowflakes fawn over be the one that only wins?

    Why is it that the authors who think correctly are the ones who are lauded? Are you people so afraid of Joe and Jane Sci-Fi reader? You know, people who pay money to be entertained and not be force fed some stupid preachy crap in their entertainment?

    • Paul Weimer (@PrinceJvstin)


      Spite. I can’t look into Larry and Theodore’s hearts, but their motivation seems clear as day to me: Show up those they disagree with politically and socially.

      Or to quote Larry Correia

      “”Don’t forget to nominate. The cut off is coming up fast. It doesn’t do any good to send $40 to combat Puppy Related Sadness if you don’t nominate :)”

  14. Yamamanama

    I think I’ve met more people named Sarah/Sara than there are people who read Vox’s story.

  15. David Selig

    @Joseph – non preachy popular novels win the Hugo all the time. It really makes me laugh when people make the Hugo seem like some sort of elitist “highbrow” award. It’s a popularity award after all, anyone who pays 50-60 bucks can vote. Harry Potter won a Hugo some years ago, and books don’t get any more popular and commercial than that. The idea that Larry Correia’s nomination is unique because he sells a lot of books is laughable.

    The problem is people block voting to get something on the ballot (many of them without reading it most likely) just because a popular author/blogger told them to and they want to score some points in a childish game against the political “enemy”.

  16. Natalie Luhrs

    @Brad: Nah, I think getting people to nominate works because of some weird agenda and not encouraging people to nominate what they love cheapens the award.

    @Joseph: I don’t like assholes. And you’re starting to annoy me.

  17. GeekMelange

    I am very sad that Mary Anne Mohanraj’s excellent novella, “The Stars Change” wasn’t a finalist in the category (seriously, it’s fantastic), even more so considering some of the other nominated works.

    On the other hand, I’m absolutely tickled that “The Five(ish) Doctors” did net a nomination.

    I haven’t read the works by MRK and Ted Chiang that were nominated but will definitely be running out to check them out.

  18. Michael J. "Orange Mike" Lowrey

    Toni Weisskopf is a fine editor, even if she and I disagree (vehemently) on a number of political issues. Don’t throw her in the same box with Vox Day and Larry C. Remember: she also publishes people like Eric Flint who are to MY left (and that takes work). It’s not her fault that Correia likes her and put her on his slate.

  19. Ann Somerville

    ” It’s not her fault that Correia likes her and put her on his slate. ”

    Ms Weisskopf can speak and disavow the tactic, if she wishes. If she doesn’t, then I don’t think it’s unreasonable to treat her differently from anyone else on the list. If you benefit from assholery and don’t complain about it, then you’re an asshole too.

  20. Nate

    Natalie… Isn’t John Scalzi guilty of doing exactly what Larry did on his own blog? Larry put up a blog post and asked his readers to vote for him. So did Vox. So did John Scalzi.

  21. ZeeWulf

    You have proven those author’s points extremely well with your bigotry and hateful intolerance of their beliefs and positions. I just cannot possibly see you as caring and a campaigner for justice when you put out such vitriolic hate.

  22. Brendan

    So wait, now you’re asking that someone “disavow” their friend or you won’t consider voting for them? That’s wrong and (I can’t believe I’m actually writing this,) precisely the kind of exclusive elitist foolishness that Correia started the whole sad puppies campaign for. Vox Day’s a racist, sexist asshole, no mistake, but blowing off everyone on that list because of one nominee does them and yourself a disservice. Judge the works on their merits.

  23. Tim

    Natalie: I just found this article by googling about the Hugo nominations. I didn’t know who Larry C. or Vox was until doing some research just now. It now seems pretty clear to me, that youre the asshole in this instance. Enjoy your sour grapes.

  24. Yamamanama

    Sure you didn’t.

  25. Carl Henderson

    I can’t speak to what Vox Day posted. I don’t read his blog or his fiction. However, I do read Larry Correia, and am certain he never suggested or encouraged anyone purchase multiple memberships and vote in the names of other people. I’m fairly certain that none of the commenters on his blog did so either.

    Do you have any evidence for these accusations?

  26. delagar

    Vox “entertains [the minor] portion of the science fiction fandom ” who also happen to to racist, sexist, homophobes.


  27. Jon LaForce

    Everybody should excuse Ann Somerville, she’s got something coarse and gritty stuck just below the belt . Hence why she whines about one of the most successful publishers in the market. To paraphrase Katt Williams “all these haters come out accusing him of cheating, and Barry just walks over and hits another home run. And they can’t say a damned thing.” Toni is to publishing what Barry is to home runs- you can hate all day, but then she goes out and nets yet another NYT best seller that millions of people buy because they genuinely enjoy reading a whacking good story.

    Unlike Barry though, there is no questioning Toni Weisskopf’s integrity. She continues to set a standard that other publishers wish they could achieve. She continues to have some of the most highly successful and happy authors on the market. Oh, and she does it all from Wake Forest NC. Most of the civilized world would need a google search just to find North Carolina, let alone Wake Forest. Meanwhile, look there, Toni’s about to step up to the plate. Again. And she’s going to prove once again, why whiny, elitist arrogant snots like you, Natalie the Useless Snowflake, and so many others, have absolutely zero clue what you’re talking about.

    In the meantime, this Leatherneck is going to crack open a tall Dr. Pepper and read MHI to his sexy blonde wife before they fall asleep in bed together. Oorah.

  28. Brendan

    And let me say, when I suggest you judge on the merits, I do NOT think that VD or likely Correia is going to pass. VD because that much hate and stupid can’t help but show up in his writing, and Larry because he writes action fantasy, is super conservative, and I’m guessing the combo’s not your cup of tea. As for the others, I’ve no idea, but isn’t the idea to choose the best in the field? Should you discount them just because someone you may disagree withvehemently, even despise likes them too?

  29. Yamamanama

    “Snowflake,” huh?

    Well, at least it makes it obvious who’s side you’re on.

  30. The Street Mime

    Natalie: “Don’t comment here again, either.”

    Shut up, they explained.

  31. Ann Somerville

    “Everybody should excuse Ann Somerville, she’s got something coarse and gritty stuck just below the belt ”

    Yeah, another wanker I ate. They play hell with the digestion.

    I’d say something cutting about the people whose names you drop but I’ve never heard of any of them, so the point you are making so tortuously is passing over my head.

    “this Leatherneck is going to crack open a tall Dr. Pepper and read MHI to his sexy blonde wife before they fall asleep in bed together. ”

    I prefer a single malt whisky before I cuddle up to my sexy redhaired husband, but that’ll be later.

    Sorry to disappoint you if you think I’m too…something…to be partnered. I guess you’re scrabbling around for something to sling at people expressing opinions politely and reasonable, and went for the cheapest shots you could find.

    I suggest spending more on your insults writer. Might be more effective.

  32. delagar

    Yeah, when you hear “Snowflake,” you can just disregard the rest of the post. It’s one of Vox’s boot-lickers.

    Also when they go on to tell us about the “hot, hot” wife they all claim to have waiting. (As if.)

  33. Paul

    If I had a nickel for every white guy I saw on the internet saying something like “You are intolerant of my/my buddy’s assholishness, therefore it is YOU who is the real asshole!” and then carrying on like they’d made some sort of awesome enemy-smiting point, I would have about $3.15. If the comments keep going this way, I might have enough to afford a Wawa hoagie by this time tomorrow.
    Be sure to mention how hot your wives are too– I mean, nothing wins an argument on the internet quite like the fact you have an attractive spouse, amirite?

  34. Joseph

    @delagar: Sorry to disappoint you darling but no we are not Vox’s boot lickers. Just fans of novels that actually entertain and authors that actually can tell a story without it being drowned in whatever message the Special Snowflake Brigade is pushing that month.

    The OP’s little blog post is a perfect example of the vitriol and hatred towards those of us who don’t enjoy the “right” kind of science fiction and fantasy and towards those authors who happen to hold dissenting opinions.

  35. Ann Somerville


    “a perfect example of the vitriol and hatred towards those of us… ”

    who think women are second class citizens, that black people are savages, that whites are superior to all other races, that Muslims should be murdered out of hand, that female children should be allowed to drown, and can’t tell the difference between a man satirising rape culture and actual rapists.

    In other words, people who really, really, *really* deserve vitriol and hatred.

    Oh and who write like shit too. When your brain is full of white supremacist MRA crap, there isn’t any room for talent.

  36. Joseph

    @Ann Somerville: Point out where Larry Correia says any of that. I don’t care about Vox Day. I haven’t read his work, so I can’t speak to it.

  37. Joseph

    @Ann Somerville: And as for writing like shit, is that why Larry is a New York Times best selling author? Is that why he was able to quit his day job and write full time, because he writes like shit?

  38. delagar

    I actually tried to read one of VD’s “novels” once. Got maybe 15 paragraphs. That he (and his boot-lickers) actually believe this is how people act, and speak, explains a great deal.

    Massive silliness.

    If you can take the venom — and it really is hard to take, since they spend most of their time talking about how much everyone hates them and how much they hate everyone else, plus just how evil women and gay people and anyone not white and Christian is — it’s somewhat entertaining to go read the comment section at VD’s blog.

    Watch them crowd around and earnestly assure one another that their SF is the Real SF and it’s the only SF anyone Real reads and that Other SF is only being read by “those” people and just because the agents and the so-called real publishing houses and agents and awards committees and NYTimes Best Seller Lists and Publishers Weekly and all “those” people CLAIM that Leckie and Jemison and Kameron Hurley and Kij Johnson….

    It’s hilarious, as I said, if you can take the bile.

    They’re pretty horrible, though. I recommend small doses.

  39. Jonathan LaForce

    And there Ann goes, making an ass out of herself. Why’s that kiddies? Because she likes to assume!

    You see folks, Ann doesn’t actually know a single damned thing about me. She doesn’t know whether I’m black, white, brown or yellow, she just assumes that I’m white and begins to rant. She doesn’t know if I’m a father, and if I am, the gender of my child.

    As for the wife, well, I’m simply stating what I intend to do with my time, namely spend it with my wife. I happen to hate reading aloud- she likes listening to me read. Therefore I read aloud to her.

    All you’ve shown thus far is that you’re a racist, ignorant leech who needs help remembering to breathe in, and breathe out,

    Hey delagar, if you need help pulling your head out of your ass, here’s a helping hand- I hadn’t heard of Vox Day before the whole dust-up with SFWA . Still haven’t read anything by him. Probably won’t anytime in the next five years, because I am that damned busy.

    Please feel free to keep this going, you’re all providing me with a good chuckle over the pitiful state of your supposed brilliance.

  40. delagar

    Sorry, Jonathon, I don’t believe a word you boot-lickers say. Just SOP.

    Shouldn’t you be getting back to your hot blonde wife? Or is she in Canada for the weekend?

  41. Joseph

    @delagar: And you just keep making assumptions based on your own fantasies.

  42. Ann Somerville

    ” Ann doesn’t actually know a single damned thing about me”

    Dude, based on your behaviour here, jumping out of the box spewing sexist abuse, I really don’t want to.

    “She doesn’t know if I’m a father, and if I am, the gender of my child. ”

    Why would I care on either point? The only person to bring up – in the crassest possible fashion – their family is you.

    You’ve yet to mention anything that remotely addresses Natalie’s post itself. Each and every one of your comment thus far is simple nastiness and obscure references which make you sound fucked in the head.

    So no, I don’t know anything about you, and I don’t want to know. I don’t care what your colour is. I don’t care about your family, your brand of underpants, whether you like pegging, or who you vote for. All I care about is that you attacked me personally without the slightest cause, and have kept on attacking me, over something I give less than one shit about. You’re just a loaded faeces gun and you’ve gone off half-cocked.

    “who needs help remembering to breathe in, and breathe out”

    No, I use an iron lung for that. Saves energy.

    Christ, what an arsehole. If you’re not a VD fan, maybe you should be. You’re made for each other.

  43. Ann Somerville


    “Is that why he was able to quit his day job and write full time, because he writes like shit? ”

    Worked for Dan Brown, Stephanie Mayer and EL James, didn’t it?

    But I was confused. I thought you were one of VD’s pets, but now I realise you’re one of Correia’s lap dogs. So perhaps you’re not a racist, homophobic dipshit, but you certainly are a sexist arse.

    Whatever, you’re incapable of forming a coherent argument without resorting to unimaginative insults, and that serves neither the man you’re defending, or the point – whatever that is – you’re trying to make. Natalie is talking about people who organise ballot stuffing. Correia and Beale have unashamedly done so, and that’s what she objects to.

    If Correia is such a hotshit writer, I don’t know why he has to resort to such tactics. Sad to be so successful and so insecure, don’t you think?

    Now, why don’t you tell me about your outrageously hot and sexy personal love monkey? It seems to be the only topic you guys get really worked up about.

  44. James Davis Nicoll

    Wait, am I the only one here who has read a whole VD book? He co-wrote a book with Bethke and since I liked Bethke’s stuff, I picked it up. It appeared to be akin to a The Moon is a Harsh Mistress homage. A terrible, terrible The Moon is a Harsh Mistress homage. Can’t recall the title. Probably wasn’t “Remember The Moon is a Harsh Mistress? Like That But Bad.” But it could have been.

    (Might not have been as bad as Zubrin’s Mars novel. That was pretty bad, too)

  45. Joseph

    @Ann Somerville: I’m sexist am I? You can tell all that by a couple of posts? You must be able to read minds or something.

    Ballot stuffing? So people buy a membership and they get to vote on the Hugo. Larry did what John Scalzi has done before, asked his fans to vote for him. I guess it is okay for Scalzi to do it because he has all the right ideologies? Because he has guilt for being a white male, which really Larry couldn’t claim being white.

    His sales show what a hotshit writer he is. The proof is in the pudding darling and Larry has lots of pudding now doesn’t he?

    Of course you Special Snowflakes are aghast that an outsider who makes money and writes to entertain instead of to preach has been nominated for an award that you all hold dear. You don’t have the first idea as to why we all find it hilarious the outrage that you are spewing forth.

    Dan Brown is successful, so is Stephanie Myers, as is Larry Correia, Orson Scott Card and others. They write stories people want to read. They don’t write message fic that preaches to the reader. They get paid to write stories that people want to read and it kills all of you that they are successful at it. That your boring, pretentious crap you call literature does not pay. That all you have are awards to give one another. That is why you are all in an uproar over Larry Correia being nominated and you don’t want to admit it.

  46. Abi Sutherland

    The way I look at it, this was a nice fundraiser for Loncon. A bunch of people who don’t normally put their money into Worldcons did so, and as a result, the convention has more resources to do what it wants to do.

    Since apart from the Jonathan Ross thing, the convention has been expressing a set of values that I appreciate, I’m actually more OK with this than I would think the VD side of the community would be. They’ve just funded what looks to be a really tolerant and inclusive convention, with a good anti-harassment policy and everything. I’m looking forward to going and bringing my children.

    And from what I’ve read of Day’s work, I’m not convinced that the vast bulk of the SF-reading community will vote for it to win. It’s possible that I will get his work in my Hugo pack and swoon with the magnificence of it, but I’m not betting the rent on that. Given the way that he has interacted with the community as a whole over time, I suspect that Noah Ward will appear above his name on a lot of the ballots. So in the end, he got a nomination. But a wide variety of people have, in the past, and will in the future. It doesn’t make him particularly special. (Indeed, there is more than one Hugo winner that has not stood the test of time at all well, and many notable omissions.)

    It’s upsetting and hurtful, and was meant to be. It feels like a poke on a bruise, and the sneering twerps who are following the upset to people’s blogs are kind of nauseating. But it’s not going to have a long-term effect on the community, which is still heading in good and interesting directions.

    Shorter me: asshole tax, extinction burst. Be of good heart notwithstanding.

  47. JMH


    “Larry did what John Scalzi has done before, asked his fans to vote for him.”

    It’s interesting that no one has actually addressed this point, even though it has been made repeatedly in this thread.

    As for Scalzi himself, his remarks on the whole matter are (not surprisingly) sober and mature:

    “Vox Day has every right (so far as I know, and as far as you know, too) to be on the ballot. You may not like it, or may wish to intimate that the work in question doesn’t deserve to be on the ballot, but you should remember what “deserve” means in the context of Hugo (i.e., that the nominators follow the rules while nominating), and just deal with it like the grown up you are. …

    “Correia and Torgersen disagreeing with me or trying to score points off of me for their own purposes isn’t really enough to dissuade me from giving their work a fair shake. It’s a pretty simple thing as far as I’m concerned. Your mileage may vary, of course. But this is my mileage.”

    I love John Scalzi. The guy is a real class act.

  48. David Selig

    Yeah, sure, Orson Scott Card doesn’t “write message fic that preaches to the reader”… this is the funniest thing I’ve read in a while.

    What’s next, Ayn Rand didn’t write message fic either?

  49. Brad R. Torgersen

    Ms. Luhrs,

    Since we’ve never spoken, nor written, nor have we interacted with one another (in any way that I can remember) I will confess sadness that you would draw up a “kill list” containing names you specifically won’t support merely because of perceived affiliation or association — while simultaneously insinuating that the offending pieces on the Hugo ballot got there merely because of a scheme.

    In fact, if you’d seen the reader mail I’ve seen regarding my Analog magazine pieces, you’d realize that there are readers (and Worldcon members) who still vote for this stuff because they enjoy the work(s) in question. Not for political reasons. Though I understand that for some people in fandom all things, all works, and all artists are political — even if they don’t deliberately set out to be.

    It’s quite unlikely I will win. There are more popular, more talented, and more capable writers than myself with works on the ballot in my categories. However, as the 2012 triple nominee for the Nebula, Hugo, and Campbell — a rare thing, that — I like to think I’m at least somewhat competent as a storyteller. And since telling good stories is the point of the whole enterprise, I content myself knowing that — Hugo or no Hugo — I am producing product that more and more people find worth their time and money.

  50. Shannon

    Wait, am I understanding this all correctly? You can ask your fans to vote for your work or the work of others you think are deserving, and those fans have to pay $40 each for the privilege of voting?

    So what exactly is the problem (other than you have to pay to vote – shades of a poll tax on those who can least afford it)? I haven’t read or watched or even HEARD of most of the authors or works on this list, but the ones you seem to have the most problems with are the ones that seem to be successful and popular.

    Over the years I’ve read a lot of stuff that I disagreed with that was brilliantly written, and vice versa. Shouldn’t the awards be for the best written, acted, whatever, especially if it is offensive? Kind of like “I disagree with with what you have to say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.” Or the original intent of the 1st Amendment, to defend unpopular speech (as popular speech needs no defense). Offensive AND popular works should be honored since it is so hard to combine the two.

    On the Wheel of Time nomination, THAT is using a technicality to get nominated! The rule was originally put in place so that stories that were published as a series in SF/Fantasy magazines back in the day could be nominated in the year the final part of the story was published, not so a multi-novel series could be nominated years after the fact.

    As an aside, why on Earth do you find the term “Snowflake” offensive?

  51. SilentMajority

    I’ve never read anything by Larry Correia or Vox Day, but I have to say that I am scratching my head as to why everyone is up in arms over their nominations. I didn’t see either of them doing anything that I haven’t read other authors do over the years…that is letting their fans know that their work is eligible for nomination and making suggestions for other nominations. I read hundreds of posts like that every year.

    I don’t know a thing about Vox Day, but before I proclaim him a sexist, racist, homophobe perhaps someone can provide empirical evidence?

    Ballot stuffing claims also seem pretty far fetched. Since the Hugos have a pay-to-vote system in place it seems highly unlikely that ballot stuffing would be much of an issue. Seriously, you’re expecting me to believe that someone would pay $120 for just 3 votes?

  52. NelC

    @SilentMajority: I don’t know a thing about Vox Day, but before I proclaim him a sexist, racist, homophobe perhaps someone can provide empirical evidence?

    You patently have an internet, please don’t pretend you don’t know how to use it. We aren’t your servants, nor public prosecutors; we have no obligation to provide you with evidence you may quickly find yourself. But I’m feeling generous this morning, so try this link for evidence of both misogyny and racism.

  53. Stacia

    Hard to take the “judge the book on its merits” argument seriously when it’s so difficult to find Summa Elvetica and Other Stories anywhere. It’s out of print everywhere and I can’t find an ebook version of the 2013 printing with the nominated story in it. Just how did enough people read this story that they could accurately vote on it by its merits alone?

    That’s an honest question, by the way. If there’s an answer that explain this, I’ll be glad to hear it.

  54. Yamamanama

    You’re not. I read The War In Heaven once.

    It was terribad.

  55. perlhaqr

    # of ballots for the 2014 “Best Novel” Hugo award nomination: 1923

    # of people who have Larry Correia friended on Facebook: 4991

    It’s not even close to a rigorous scientific measure of things, but it does seem rather more likely that 40% of Larry’s blog readership bought one membership to the con, than that 10% bought four memberships apiece, or 5% bought eight.

    The main effect of Larry’s posts, as far as my participation went, was in pointing out that you can vote to nominate even if you’re not planning on going to the Con itself. So, as someone pointed out above, WorldCon got $40 it otherwise wouldn’t have, I’ll get a swadge of PDFs with a bunch of new fiction to read, (Including, perhaps, the entirety of WoT? Hadn’t thought about that. Better clear up some disk space…) which is cool because I normally don’t get to read things the year they come out. (I prefer to wait until series are finished before I start reading them. *taps foot impatiently and glares at GRRM*) I will certainly cop to having bought a membership specifically because Larry mentioned it, and to having voted to nominate him, but I only bought one. It’s all I could afford. Two would have been beyond my budget.

    You are, of course, welcome to presume I’m lying, but… *shrug* There’s really nothing I can do about that.

  56. SilentMajority

    @NelC You patently have an internet, please don’t pretend you don’t know how to use it. We aren’t your servants, nor public prosecutors; we have no obligation to provide you with evidence you may quickly find yourself.

    Thanks for the link, and you’re correct I am hooked up to the internet. However, my searches didn’t turn up anything that got my panties in a bunch.

    Vox Day is crass, I’ll give you that, but the main point of the article is addressing falling birthrates in Western civilization. Which is a huge problem if your society is built around entitlements that depend on future generations to pay for them. We are not even replacing ourselves at this point, which puts essential programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid at risk because they rely on large groups of people to fund them.

    In no way am I suggesting that women shouldn’t have the opportunity to follow their dreams. If you really want to see where women are shamed and looked down upon it’s when those dreams are to stay home and raise their children. If women want to be doctors then they should have the opportunity, if they want to be lawyers nothing should stand in the way of their hard work and dedication, and if they want to invest their time and energy into lives of the future generation then that should be celebrated also.

    Vox Day obviously wrote part of that article to upset as many people as possible, and because of that he’s a jerk. However, the topic of falling birthrates and its effects on society are a real issue. Isn’t it at the very least worth discussing without yelling and name calling?

  57. Natalie Luhrs

    Just a few general comments, I”m not going to bother responding to some of this nonsense.

    Naturally, people can and do campaign for the Hugo. People talk about who they’re nominating and what works they have that are eligible. This is a thing that happens. What is different, to me, in this case is that it’s not clear that people actually nominated things that they had read and loved. Instead, there is an awful lot of overlap between the fiction nominees and the ballots proposed by both Larry Correia and Vox Day–the former posted last year that he was trying to stack the nominations so he’d get one. I have no reason to believe that his motivations were any different this year. John Scalzi mentioned his eligibility several times, talked about folks he was likely to nominate, but didn’t cross what–FOR ME–is a line. You should nominate what you’ve read and loved and not what someone else tells you to nominate.

    As for people buying multiple supporting memberships: I am sure people do it every year. My concern, this year, is that it was done in support of what I feel is an inappropriate manipulation to score points off of fandom. I’m going to go ahead and quote Renay again–she’s saying things much better than I can:

    The difference between authors who encourage their fans to take part, to nominate what they like the best whether its work by themselves or other creators, and what Correia and Day did is stark to me. One is about love: of genre, of fans, of fans being passionate about things they love. The other is about malice and jealously. If the only way you can be celebrated for your work is by gaming the system, fellas, I gotta say, you’ve already lost.

  58. Abi Sutherland


    It’s pretty easy to find out how the Hugo nomination system works, this being the internet and all. But in the event Google-fu was your dump stat, let me explain.

    Nominating for the Hugo Awards is one of the privileges of being a member of Worldcon. The main point of a Worldcon membership is to allow you to go to (attending) or support the existence of (supporting) the convention itself. The association between the Hugos and Worldcons is long-standing, and has created an award that reflects the tastes of the con-going community within fandom.

    If people feel that the requirement that Hugo voters be members of Worldcon is some sort of poll tax, they are of course free to start another award. There are other awards out there, such as the Campbells, the Locus Awards, and the Nebulas. But it’s also the case that many of these awards have some kind of requirement for who gets to nominate and/or vote for the winners. Such is this world of ballot-box stuffing, alas.

    What I will say is that if you haven’t heard of the other authors in the list, then maybe you should look them up on Amazon. They’re good enough that a bunch of people have nominated them for awards. Who knows? You might like some of them. (This is slightly different than, say, hearing that someone whom you have heard of and dislike, or don’t trust to write a story that won’t leave you wanting a shower after reading.)

    Although the “Snowflake” question does make me suspect that you’re concern trolling, in the event you’re not, consider this: if someone writes a racist or sexist screed, and as the target of that screed you object, do you think that being called a “[Special] Snowflake” is a constructive or an insulting term?

  59. Yamamanama

    I’m not offended by being called a snowflake, it just makes it really obvious that Correia sent you.

  60. Abi Sutherland

    @Silent Majority:

    I do suspect that the topic of the pressures on women who want to stay at home, and the demographic issues that Day feels are significant, are somewhat off-topic on this thread. Surely we have enough of a thrash going already, without a derail too?

    Day is, as you say, crass and a jerk. He’s also prone to shit-stirring for its own sake, has been directly and personally racist to other members of the community, and advocates treating women in a fashion many of us don’t particularly want to be treated. From what I’ve seen, many of these traits are also present in his fiction, which makes it unlikely that the con-going community as a whole is going to enjoy it. (As I’ve said, I’ll give the particular work in question a try if it’s in the Hugo pack. But I’m not holding my breath.)

    It’s that contrast between the values that he espouses and the values of the community that makes me wonder about his nomination. I’m not even talking about conservative writers like Correia here; I’m talking about how if people treated their fellow con-goers the way that Day treats fellow members of the fannish community, he’d be ejected from any con with a harrassment policy. It makes it unlikely that his nomination is the product of people who are going to or supporting the convention anyway thinking his work is the best thing that’s come out this year. (The ignorance of some of the commentariat about the way that Hugo nominations relate to Worldcon memberships work underlines that, too. It’s not arcane knowledge, if you come at the question from the usual directions.)

  61. Natalie Luhrs

    One more note. I’m not letting every comment through any more. I will be actively moderating comments on this post from here on out. Just put someone using an obviously fake email address into the troll-bin.

  62. Kevin Standlee

    Further to Abi Sutherland’s comments above:

    The Hugo Award isn’t some separate independent thing that just happens to be handed out at Worldcon, the way some other awards (like, say the Golden Duck or the Prometheus or Chesley Awards often are). The Hugo Awards _belong_ to the World Science Fiction Society. The Worldcon is the annual convention of the World Science Fiction Society. The way you become a member of WSFS and therefore get to vote on the WSFS awards called the “Hugo Awards” is to join the Worldcon.

    The Hugo Award is an integral part of Worldcon. The aren’t separate entities. It’s not a “poll tax” to vote for the Awards — WSFS isn’t a government, and therefore calling it a tax is foolish — it’s your membership dues in the World Science Fiction Society.


    Addressing the charges of people buying multiple memberships and stuffing ballots: having been a Hugo Administrator (and a Worldcon Chairman) myself, I have seen little evidence of such action in the past, aside from one particularly notorious event 25 years ago that led to a nominee withdrawing his name from contention. On the other hand, if you consider me paying for both me and my wife’s memberships at the same time on the same transaction and the two of us submitting our Hugo Nominating ballots on the same computer around the same time and both with the same e-mail address (because my wife does not do e-mail), then I guess we’re engaging in ballot-stuffing, even though our two ballots have never been identical because her tastes are not mine.

    Actual human beings are watching the ballots as they come in, and would be probably be aware of any suspicious voting patterns.

  63. Natalie Luhrs

    @Kevin Standlee: I’m glad to know that there are actual people watching the ballots as they come in; as most of them are electronic now, it would be very easy to aggregate them into a database with minimal review. Thanks for the clarification!

    • Kevin Standlee

      Incidentally, I’m not saying it isn’t possible to game the system, but it takes a lot of work. And nominating ballots require a whole lot more human scrutiny than final ballots, because you have to aggregate free-form text nominations. Computers aren’t very good at doing that.

  64. SilentMajority

    @ Abi Sutherland

    For what it’s worth I wasn’t intentionally trying to derail the topic. It’s just that I couldn’t find anything online to support the claims that I have been reading online. The link provided only proved to me that Day is a jerk and D-Bag, but that doesn’t automatically make him a racist, sexist, homophobe, just that he likes pissing people off. Considering the overall feelings toward Day on this site I felt like I had to go a little further in-depth less I get accused of wanting to lock women up in the baby-making closet.

  65. Nate

    Well, Larry has also been collecting fan’s names to account for votes, as well as cases where registration wasn’t accepted, received. So there’s evidence his votes are genuine.

  66. Abi Sutherland

    @Silent Majority:

    I think pretty much everyone would agree that the best way to get a good sense of Day’s views would be to read around on his blogs (he has more than one, but they’re linked). In particular, you might search for his comments on NK Jemison, if you want to find out why many people (including me) feel that he’s pretty thoroughly racist.

    It’s not reading that I would recommend for pleasure, because neither his views nor his approach are at all to my taste. But if you want to know what sorts of things he says, well, they are right there. He’s not being subtle.

  67. Joseph

    @Natalie Luhrs: So will we see an apology from you for claiming that the fans of Larry Correia were cheating the system?

    • Natalie Luhrs

      @Joseph: I never claimed they were cheating. I claimed they were colluding to nominate a specific ballot en masse and possibly gaming the system in order to do so–I noted in my post that such gaming would not be able to be proven; the fact that actual people are looking at the ballots doesn’t change that.

  68. NelC

    @SilentMajority: I’m a little confused. You didn’t know anything about Vox Day this morning. Now you’ve read the link I’ve provided and the VD post it linked to, I’m assuming, and you’re willing to call him both “crass” and “a jerk”, but you want to argue the toss over specific parts of his post that you seem to agree with, as though this thread was about the demographics of the Muslim world or anything other than Vox Day being a crass jerk who is attempting to stuff the Hugo ballot box?

    I do not believe that you’re posting in good faith. Or perhaps you need another link?

  69. Joseph

    @Natalie Luhrs: “I claimed they were colluding to nominate a specific ballot en masse and possibly gaming the system in order to do so”

    And this is different from other authors asking for their fans to nominate them how?


    I think there’s a difference between, ‘here are my eligible works, here is who I intend to vote for, I encourage you to vote for your favorite things’ and ‘buy a supporting membership and here is a sample ballot’. I think the Correia campaign, at a generous interpretation, is some sort of attempt to show those damned liberals ‘we have clout, too’. Which, from comments on his blog, seems to be what his supporters think, also.

    Members of WSFS tend to not be happy with voting campaigns. The last time they thought a novel was nominated due to a voting campaign it came in below “No Award” on the final ballot.

    Given what the other four nominees have going for them, and the admitted popularity of Correia’s work (even if not generally among WSFS members) I think this year is going to be a close race. I think even No Award will be up there in the race.

  71. SilentMajority

    @ Abi Sutherland

    Just read some of his comments about NK Jemisin. Yeah, that was some pretty hardcore racist language. You really don’t come across that too much anymore.

    It’s too bad that Larry Correia is lumped in with VD because they really don’t share anything in common…

  72. kamas716

    Wow, Natalie. I think you’ve proven with this post exactly the point the people like Vox and Correia were trying to make. What’s really hi-larious is that you seem to be oblivious to it.

    I would much rather see someone campaigning for FOR votes on works they find worthy than campaigning AGAINST a work because they find something disagreeable with the author/actor that isn’t even in the work up for nomination.

  73. Abi Sutherland

    @Silent Majority:

    You’ll have to take the issue of Correia’s association up with Day up with Correia himself, given that he recommended Day’s work on his Hugo slate. He’s also linked approvingly to Day’s blog and defended Day against that very accusation of racism.

    All of which is totally his right to do, of course. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s in full agreement with Day. But it’s not a spurious or invented association.

  74. Alexvdl

    I think the most telling thing is the type of rhetoric being spewed on either side.

    On one side you have a group of people who do not like the nominations and think that something hinky might have gone down. Some of them have decided not to read some of the works because of the authors who wrote it. They’d like assurances that no one has gamed the system unduly (which incidentally the vote counters have popped up here and other places saying that nominations were watched by humans as they came in. And I’m sure that they’ll be rechecked just to for due process.) Some of those people think that No Award will get a workout this year. All of those are pretty reasonable avenues of approach.

    Then you have one side who is actively trumpeting their “ideological victory” with tweets like “Congrats to @voxday and @monsterhunter45 on your nominations! I do hope you win if only to make the lefty wabbits’ collective heads implode” and other such things. It says a helluva lot to me when your congratulations are for sticking it to the “rabbits” or “sad puppies” or whatever you call them, rather than for getting a work on the ballot.

    And of course there are extremists and assholes on both sides. No one should be denying that. But it seems a large portion of people on “their side” are making it less about the love of sf/f and fandom and more about the ability to score political points and piss people off.

    Finally, Brad Torgerson, that was actually a pretty eloquent statement. I am impressed that you approached the issue with tact and respect. That’s a lot more than I expected, frankly. If it’s in the packet I’ll read your works.

  75. Stacia

    @kamas716: Which is it, that VD and LC were trying to make a point with their campaigning, or they were merely listing in good faith some “works that are worthy”? It can’t be both.

    As soon as we can find a couple of people who have even read VD’s story, we can tell you whether these traits are in the work in question or not. I’m going out on a limb here and guessing they are, but who’s to say?

  76. Nate

    “I claimed they were colluding to nominate a specific ballot en masse”

    Yes, that would be the definition of a popular vote, would it not?

  77. Nate

    “I think the most telling thing is the type of rhetoric being spewed on either side. ”

    What you have is one side pointing out that what they are doing/the noms are completely within the rules, and the other saying they don’t like it so they MUST have done something wrong. Sans evidence of course

  78. Stacia

    @Natalie Luhrs: That’s some impressive packing of nearly every single one of his bigoted talking points into one page, I’ll give him that. Thanks for posting the excerpt.

  79. Abi Sutherland

    @ Natalie:

    I do keep hearing that there’s too many gooey relationship scenes in SF&F these days, but that’s not the source I was expecting to see one from.

    Learn something new every day, I guess.

  80. neongrey

    As far as it goes– you know, if neither one of them was buying voting memberships for people, I’m fine with downgrading the act of providing specific ballots for their readers to input to merely ‘really tacky’.

    ‘Vote for me!’ is ordinary and expected. ‘I like this person, vote for them!’ is pretty ordinary as well. ‘Here’s a comprehensive ballot to submit’ is tacky.

    And really– if someone you deem to be really reprehensible gets put up for an award of any sort, it behooves you to say ‘this person is really reprehensible’.

  81. Sean

    *headshake* some of “teh berning stoopidz” on this is amazeballs.

    I’m especially impressed by this bit by David
    “the problem is people block voting to get something on the ballot (many of them without reading it most likely) just because a popular author/blogger told them to and they want to score some points in a childish game against the political “enemy”.

    Project much?

    *shrug* all the people I talk to on his FB and blog, even those that don’t agree with his politics [surprise surprise] own all or almost all of larry’s novels in at least one format. Some like me, own them in dual formats…ie dead tree and ebook. I’m that way with most of my authors in recent years. At least those that come out of the House of Baen.
    Hell if I had the shelf space, I personally would own all my favorites, in hardcover, mass market/trade paperback, as well as signed hardcover and or mass market/trade paper. Alas I don’t own the house on haunted hill with all that space to be able to fill up.

    As for the comment made about purchasing memberships to use to vote with….
    speak from personal experience do we?

  82. Zaklog the Great

    @Natalie Luhrs: Aww, you’re all butthurt because people who disagree with you get to be represented and now you’re kicking other people who disagree with you off of your board. That’s cute.

    I love liberal open-mindedness and tolerance.

    • Natalie Luhrs

      @Zaklog: I sure am! Because this is a privately owned site and, as such, I get the final say on who gets to speak here. It is AMAZING how that works. BANNINATED.

  83. Jen

    “Instead, there is an awful lot of overlap between the fiction nominees and the ballots proposed by both Larry Correia and Vox Day–the former posted last year that he was trying to stack the nominations so he’d get one.”

    Or maybe Larry was asking for support from his very large fan base who were not previously familiar with the Hugo? I myself had never heard of it until Larry posted about it, even though I have been a fan of scifi and fantasy since I was old enough to read. I was excited to join and vote for the works of authors I actually enjoyed reading. Without a new influx of voters every now and again, the whole voting group grows stale, with the same people voting for the same authors over and over, with no fresh perspective.

    So I nominated books and stories I had actually read, along with an editor I very much admire and a fanzine whose book reviews have introduced me to some authors I never would have discovered otherwise. Then once I received the nominated works, I discovered several other authors I had never read before, and enjoyed their works thoroughly.

    Isn’t that how it is supposed to work? Nominate works you like, read all the nominated works, then vote for the one you liked most? Well, that’s exactly what I did, with Larry’s full encouragement. Not only will his work get shared with new readers, the works of other authors will be shared with Larry’s readers. I see that as a win win for everyone involved.

    So I resent the implication that I joined Worldcon only because The Lord of Hate “told me to”. That my nominations were made blindly because Correia “told me who to nominate” and my fellow Correia and Torgerson and Wells fans and I aren’t smart enough to make decisions on our own. We support our favorite authors with our time, and our money, and now with our nominations. Larry and others who write books and stories fans actually want to read and spend money to purchase deserve to be nominated for awards despite what other authors think. And if it takes mobilizing his fan base to do that, then so be it.

    And speaking as a nothing more than longtime fan of the genre, and a female one at that, I am thoroughly disgusted with the narrowly defined parameters of “acceptable” into which people like you are trying to force science fiction writing. To me, sci-fi has always been the most open of genres. If you could imagine it, and craft a story around it, then it was fair game. And if it was a good story, someone made money. There should not be ANY restrictions on how someone writes sci-fi. NONE. One gender, two genders, twelve genders. Two arms, no arms, six arms. If the story is good enough, it will sell, and if it isn’t, it won’t. Y’all come across looking like a bunch of hysterical idiots for trying to create conformity to a message and weed out true freedom of expression within the ONE genre that is – or used to be – wide open to imagination. There’s a reason so few of you message writers make money at this. Tell me a story, one I will enjoy, without pushing some agenda at the expense of a plot, and I’ll buy your book. Otherwise? You and your fellow messagebots can pat each other on the back and keep handing the same awards back and forth to one another. Maybe that will generate enough friction to keep you warm in the winter. It’s great to have an ideology, and kudos for sticking with it, but you certainly won’t be paying the bills off your writing.

    Maybe they can make the Hugo out of foil wrapped chocolate – then it would be edible at least.

    • SMD

      Just going to respond to this part, because I don’t really want to deal with the grittier stuff going on in the comments here:

      “And speaking as a nothing more than longtime fan of the genre, and a female one at that, I am thoroughly disgusted with the narrowly defined parameters of “acceptable” into which people like you are trying to force science fiction writing. To me, sci-fi has always been the most open of genres. If you could imagine it, and craft a story around it, then it was fair game. And if it was a good story, someone made money. There should not be ANY restrictions on how someone writes sci-fi. NONE. One gender, two genders, twelve genders. Two arms, no arms, six arms. If the story is good enough, it will sell, and if it isn’t, it won’t.”

      Unless I’m mistaken, I don’t think this is what people are saying. I think it’s fair to say most people who are on the anti-VD/Correia side are, generally speaking, unfamiliar with their fiction, so their primary concern is the seeming politicization of the Hugo on the grounds not to improve representation, but to piss on the perceived “liberal” voters. Whether that’s true is secondary to the point I’m concerned with here.

      So the concern isn’t about the quality of the work per se, but the individuals who wrote it. The contention that sf/f is an (mostly) open genre is otherwise untouched by these concerns, since, indeed, one can write just about anything in sf/f and, for the most part, get away with it (exceptions abound, as always).

      That said, the quality of the work is not necessarily indicative of sales or vice versa. Nor is it necessarily the sole, objective criteria of awards like the Hugo. That people believe they are assessing on the grounds of quality is entirely subjective, and what you might find “good” may not be what I find “good,” and neither of us is technically wrong. This would seem to also contradict the idea of sf/f as an open genre, too: the idea that sales are the primary determination of whether something is quality and, therefore, worth reading; but, indeed, we would be fair to suggest that there may be wonderful works out there that don’t sell, but perhaps still deserve attention anyway. I just don’t see the sales figure point as a valid one to saying “this is good.” After all, Twilight sold a lot of copies, and I would call that garbage at best.

      As for the question of restrictions: well, no, there have to be restrictions on writing. Maybe you just meant in writing alone, not publishing, which is fair, but “everything goes” is not necessarily indicative of “writing good stories” either, and not a particularly useful tactic for writing. Almost all writers restrict themselves on presumably reasonable grounds: to write good stories.

  84. delagar

    Re the excerpt from VD’s book: that’s what I’m talking about.

    This is how that lot thinks people act. That’s how they think people talk. That’s they think language works. And, apparently (unless VD has an awful lot of sock puppets, which I guess is not entirely out of the question, given that he has a huge trust fund) lots of his readers agree.

    I’m just…what?

  85. LL

    @Stacia: That novelette was part of The Last Witchking, which was released Jan 28, 2014 and is readily available on amazon. For those who are actually interested in the story, it is about an elf sorcerer who goes to a monastery to learn and debate the religious leanings of the monks which lead them to believe magic is bad/evil and the developing friendship between the elf and the head monk. It’s an interesting example of how politics and religion can be set aside through respect and friendship. Very hateful of Vox, to be sure.

  86. Brad

    @Natalie Luhrs:

    How lovely to know that you want to rag on someone and do not want them to defend themselves. How lovely and totalitarian. It is a shame you do not control the moderation on the site. You need to find a blog site where you can keep impure thoughts off of it. You could be the next Delores Umbridge.

  87. Brad

    The one area I agree with you is ……. I am sorry but any novel that spends 20 pages to contemplate the same burr on a tree from 5 different view points does not deserve a Hugo. I liked the “Wheel of Time” Series, but it is not Hugo worthy.

    • SMD

      Honestly never read the Wheel of Time. Not sure I will for the Hugos on the basis that I don’t have time to read that many bloody books…

  88. Keith

    I’m really a bit confused over the argument of mentioning “Snowflake” = Correia supporter.

    Heck, my wife and I have been using the term “Special Snowflakes” to refer to over-protected children with helocopter parents for a decade or more.

    Now, I admit, I voted for Larry this year. Didn’t vote for Vox, didn’t read any of his stuff in the last year, and voted for Brad, whose work I discovered last summer. Not sure what they’re putting in the water out Salt Lake way, but in the last few years, have found SEVERAL authors from out that way who I’ve really come to like.

    And, at least to me, that’s all this is, I nominated a bunch of stuff **I** found worthy of a nod. Not all of it made it to the final nominees, but that’s the way things work.

    I am, however, somewhat amused at all the moaning and wailing: Larry and Vox basically did a get-out-the-vote drive, and so far, it’s been successful. Time will tell, whether it makes it over the line at LonCon. And shortly, I’m going to have a metric buttload of good stuff to read, when the voter packet comes out. And THAT is why I paid my 40 bucks. . .

  89. Natalie Luhrs

    @Brad: I am sorry, but: what the fucking fuck? This is a privately owned and operated website and I do, in fact, control the moderation of the comments. Banned.

  90. Nina

    Honestly I do not understand the hate wheel of time and it’s fans are getting, yes it’s a long story, yes some books in the middle were bad, yes it’s impossible to read it all before the deadline…I know this because I read it all and I can judge it better than people who only heard of it. I admit I was hesitant about voting it in and I’m more hesitant now that I’m see other novels it’s running against. but Wheel of time does have its merits and if it was the final book that is nominated I would vote for it without blinking because it was a masterpiece , so please don’t discredit the nomination just because you never liked it, clearly there is some reason why people read all 300,000 pages!
    also, technicality or not, before the nomination were open the Hugo committee was consulted and they said they can’t rule it out but they would decide if it got enough nominations , it did, they didn’t rule it out…so no rule breaking there, it was all done with the consent of the hugo committee all the way.

  91. delagar

    “…bit confused over the argument of mentioning “Snowflake” = Correia supporter.”

    This is either disingenuous or actual ignorance. Don’t know which. But anyone familiar with VD / Correia knows that they and their followers have a special vocabulary they use among themselves: a jargon, a slang.

    Pink SF. Shambling Shoggoth. Snowflake. And several other terms.

    They’re so used to talking this way, they start thinking it’s normal speech. So it’s not hard to identify them when they leave their enclaves.

    • Keith

      OR, it might just be a part of reality you haven’t experienced. I will admit, I was amused when I say Correia use the phrase “Special Snowflake”, but considering I’ve been using it for a decade-plus, and had no idea who Larry Correia WAS, more than 3-4 years ago. I’ve seen it pop up, here and there, long before Correia was even published. . .

    • Keith

      This was beginning to bother me, being called “disgenuous or ignorant”

      So I did a quick google search. Yep, It’s been around for quite some time. . .

      From Urban Dictionary:

      special snowflake
      A member of that newly-adult, me’er-than-me generation which expects attention and praise just for being themselves — doing anything to deserve it is completely optional.

      Oh, he’s too much of special snowflake to get a day job — his mom’s paying the rent while he hangs out waiting for the perfect high-paying project to come along. I guess the market for C-minus filmmaking majors is a little soft right now or something.
      by Bathsheba February 20, 2008

      Note the date, 2008.

      November 2013

      Yahoo! Answers, 6 years ago (presumably, 2008)

      My point ? SOME of us were using the phrase long before it became, as you seem to believe, a dogwhistle for Correia/Day minions. . .

  92. James Resoldier

    Ok, I will freely admit that I’m a fan of Larry Corriea. I truly enjoy his books. I don’t, generally, read his blog, follow him on Facebook or whatever. I have friended him, and do occasionally communicate over social media.

    I didn’t pay for a worldcon membership. I can’t really afford to right now. Had I done so, I would readily voted for him. I don’t know day, so he would not have been on my ballot.

    I flatly resent the implication that my VOTE, the one thing that I could really do to affect the outcome of the award, could be so cheaply swayed or bought.

    That is all.

    • Natalie Luhrs

      @James Resoldier: You know what? If you love Correia’s work, then I am really happy for you–we all should be able to spend our time reading things we love. That’s why we read, right? To spend some time doing something that, in some fundamental way, feeds a part of ourselves. Humans create and consume stories–that’s what we do. I have absolutely NOTHING against folks who nominated works they love.

      My concern was–and is–that there were people who bought memberships and nominated things they didn’t read and that they did so as a bloc in order to make a point. That makes it less about the quality of the work and more about scoring points off other people.


    @Nina: “Honestly I do not understand the hate wheel of time and it’s fans are getting”

    Where are you seeing hate for WoT and it’s fans?

    What I’ve been seeing is several people not agreeing with the rule that lets a 15 novel long work be nominated as “Best Novel”; and others pointing out how hard it’s going to be to read all that and make an objective decision before the voting deadline.

  94. David Selig

    Where did this myth come from that the Hugos are all about the message and they aren’t any fun? Some of you make them seem as a juried award for highbrow literary fiction, which is about as far from he truth as it gets. It’s a popularity contest. In fact the typical Hugo nominated novel lately is much more focused on plot and “cool” action scenes/technobabble than literary experimentation of any kind or “message”.

    Larry Correia and his buddies aren’t the only ones who write entertaining SFF, very far from it.

    Can I just ask what for some examples of the “message fic”, which have been nominated for or won a Hugo recently?


    If that’s a valid sample of the work that was nominated, I can’t imagine many people voting it above … well, much of anything. Eye of Argon is better than that.

    I really, really liked Lady Astronaut of Mars. I hope all the rest of the Novelettes make it to the Hugo Packet so I can compare them.


    Heh, and over on Making Light someone has had much the same thought!

  97. LL

    @Natalie Luhrs:

    My concern was–and is–that there were people who bought memberships and nominated things they didn’t read and that they did so as a bloc in order to make a point. That makes it less about the quality of the work and more about scoring points off other people.

    And so your solution is to not read Vox’s book but No Award it anyway? And you advocate doing that for the whole “offending” slate?

    I am, very much, looking forward to ranking “No Award” higher than Vox Day, Larry Correia, Brad Torgerson, Dan Wells, Steve Diamond, and Toni Weisskopf.

    What is the difference, exactly?

    • Natalie Luhrs

      @LL: There’s only so many hours in a day for me to spend reading–less for things I don’t enjoy. After some thought and consideration, I will more than likely put some of those folks on my reading list, but they’ll be at the bottom. And hey, I’m only one voter. Never fear, I’m sure my opinions won’t have an effect on the outcome!

  98. delagar

    “Where did this myth come from that the Hugos are all about the message and they aren’t any fun?”

    It came from VD/ Correia.

    They claim that “Pink SF” or any Sf that is not written by “their” team is “Message SF” that no one really likes to read, and that is just being published and sold because the publishers and writers have an agenda.

    They claim these publishers and writers have an agenda. Their ultimate claim is that these publishers and writers are going to “destroy the genre” with their nefarious ways.

    Hence, this attempt to fight back.

    That the women (and men) writing what they call “Pink SF” might be writing what people want to read seems to escape the VD/Correia crowd. Go figure.

  99. Nate

    Still no answer on how asking people to vote for what they want/like is ballot tampering when it’s larry correia, and not when scalzi helpfully reminds people they can vote “no award” above the ones he doesn’t? Didn’t think so

    • Natalie Luhrs

      @Nate: Since you seem to be unable to read, you’re not allowed to comment here any more. Have a wonderful day!

  100. Paul

    Step 1: Go to website of person who said something bad about that thing you love.
    Step 2: Be obnoxious enough to get banned by repeatedly hammering the No, It Is You Who Is Intolerance point.
    Step 3: Go off into the night surrounded by the warm glow of self-righteousness, secure in the knowledge that you have Proven A Point On The Internet.

    As hobbies go, I mean, I suppose it beats heroin. But are Scrabble or philately such boring alternatives to this? Are there no gardens to water or walks to take outside?

  101. LL

    @Natalie Luhrs: I’m sorry you don’t have enough time for Vox’s story because I think it’s a great one. When he released the Summa Elvetica book (way back in 2008!!), I didn’t bother to ever read it. I thought to myself, “A blogger, meh, how can he write a good book?” He offered some of the short story books up for free on Amazon recently, so I tried them out. I didn’t even realize they were in a high fantasy world until I read the first one and I was hooked. I have read them all out of order, so the references to the elf sorcerer who is the main character in his novelette didn’t reach complete A-HA moment until I finally read SE a few weeks ago. It’s too bad that so many people are unwilling to even read his story before putting it in a No Award status. I guess that is sort of like not reading a book by a black author because he or she is black or a book written by a woman because the reader is misogynist. Says a lot about that whole “tolerance” cloak in which they wrap themselves.

  102. Abi Sutherland


    Just because a word or phrase has been in existence for some time does not mean it cannot also be co-opted and used as a dogwhistle at some later date. Dogwhistles rarely use new coinages, because they’re not being overt.

    When I was a kid, I used to sing insulting words to an long-extant tune whenever my brother would annoy me (which was quite often). After a while, all I had to do was hum that tune with a smirk on my face to enrage him. Alas that there was not yet an internet, so that I could use the provenance of that tune to refute the allegation that I was getting at him by humming it.

    • Keith

      Ah, but because others use it one way, is not proof that still others use it another way. As I said, I find it amusing. But to use a dogwhistle. . . . it helps to have a dog. . .

  103. neongrey

    Oooh, with that ‘no, it’s you who are the real racists’, I think I’ve got a bingo!

  104. Ann Somerville

    “Still no answer on how asking people to vote for what they want/like is ballot tampering when it’s larry correia,”

    Because Correia posted a ballot sheet based on who would annoy the ‘lefties’ most when they won, and Scalzi didn’t.

    Because Correia admitted carrying out a ballot stuffing exercise last year.

    And because Correia clearly attracts even more of the kind of foul-mouthed angry male commenters who launch bitter, misogynistic and condescending attacks against women like smart, vocal Natalie who speak truth to power without the slightest fear. Scalzi attracts a few of them too but he also tells them to knock it the fuck off when he finds out they’re making nuisances of themselves in his name.

    Correia wanted outrage, so did VD. For them to pretend it’s shocking, shocking I say, to find that the people they wanted to hurt – after this last year or so particularly – are speaking up about it – is disingenuous at best and downright villainous at worst.

    I realise you’ve been banned for being a tosspot. Too bad for you.

  105. Peter

    If I may be so bold, although it’s vague, I don’t think the implication really is “if you use the words snowflake, period, you must be one of these VD/VC supporters.” It’s more like, “If you’re tossing around the term to refer to the SF authors who usually win Hugos or those who enjoy them” you are… because it’s rather an exact term to keep cropping up in that context, where, judging by your own definitions, it’s a rather loose fit at best.

    I’m new to this whole debate, never heard of either author before the noms and sort of stumbled onto it, but… yeah, after jumping on their blogs a few random times, they do seem to have their own jargon, some of which is also used by other people in other contexts, and snowflake seems to be one of those terms they love to use against their perceived enemies (maybe enemies is too strong a word, but, meh).

  106. Sean

    @Natalie- re worried about people voting who haven’t read the stuff by Day, Correia etc. Asked and answered counselor, asked and answered. At least by my own experience and others. You may have missed it because mayhap you don’t really want to read your whole way through the schmorgasbord of comments? *shrug* I can’t blame if you if that’s the case. Given the number of comments at this point…I don’t want to wade through every frickin one of them either. Didn’t want to, but I did by and large.

    • Natalie Luhrs

      @Sean: Less the stuff by Correia, more the other items on the ballot; it’s always been clear that Correia has a devoted fanbase (understatement of the year? MAYBE).

      I’ve read every single comment, since this is my site and I am, at this point, approving every comment as it comes in since some folks can’t behave themselves.

  107. delagar

    LL & Others: as I stated above, I made a concerted effort to read VD’s writing, back during the Late Unpleasantness.

    It was unreadable crap, to put things plainly.

    But I beg others not to take my word for it. Please. Read his submission yourselves. Draw your own conclusion. He may not be the worst writer on the planet.

    I do think he might be in the top five.

  108. Sean D Sorrentino

    I just want to say that nothing has made me smile so much today as reading the screaming hatefest that you’ve built. There’s nothing quite so satisfying as watching you guys scream bloody murder about the system being retaken by a Hispanic guy with an internet connection, a Facebook page, a blog, and a whole pile of bestsellers. The fact you call him racist is just the icing on the cake.

    I don’t know if any of you can write a novel worth reading, but for pure screaming hate, you guys are tops.

    • Natalie Luhrs

      @Sean D Sorrentino I never called him racist. Sheesh. It’s Vox Day who is the racist on the ballot–and that’s who everyone else is referring to as well.

      Y’all aren’t so good with the reading comprehension stuff, are you?

  109. Douglas Brown

    “Snowflake”, as a term to one who is convinced of their own specialness, really got to the masses with the cult hit Fight Club:

    Tyler Durden: Listen up, maggots. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else.

    As far as gaming an election system, it’s already been proven mathematically (Arrow’s impossibility theorem) that no election with more than 2 candidates can be “fair” except in the case of a dictatorship.

  110. Rachael Acks

    @Keith: If it helps salve your wounded feelings about the “Special Snowflake” thing since you seem so concerned about it, I don’t personally tend to take its use as a sign of the dread puppy lords. The term is more a flag that that the person using it a smirking, contemptuous douchebag.


  111. DemetriasII


    It is no more ballot stuffing than voting straight party in a presidential election.

  112. DemetriasII


    How is that gaming the system? His fans want to get him an award. They pay to vote for him and they vote for him. If you have an Author you want to win. Why don’t you go organize people to pay and vote for that Author?

  113. DemetriasII

    @Natalie Luhrs:

    So if we can get Vox to nominate Scalzi you will drop him just cause the “Dread Lord” said he wrote a good yarn?

  114. Jason

    I’d like to ask the hosts here a question: There was some backpedaling regarding to accusations of racism and Correia (I don’t care much regarding Vox, since, honestly, I really don’t read him more than the occasional blog post, which reinforces why I usually don’t read him–not to my tastes) but that was more or less changed to sexism.
    Honestly, I really am curious, what has Larry said that’s sexist? Can you give a specific example? What is it, aside from his willingness to confront those with whom he disagrees, that sets you so off edge with him? And again..please be specific, and don’t go with “well so-and-so said…” Go straight to the source, please.

    Second, I’d like to make a statement:
    Many of you are rather mean and vitriolic when talking about those of us who are conservative bent, and I’ll be honest, it’s little wonder a hostile response is sent back. But I guarantee a grand majority of us, despite what others may claim, would be the first to stand up were any of the injustices and generally terrible things we’ve had ascribed to us to be performed in anyone’s direction, if we know about it and see it happening. I don’t know any of you regulars (and for the record, we visitors are using donotlink as well; it’s kind of a dirty tactic, that…) but I’d still stand up willingly for your rights, no matter how much I disagree with your opinions.

    We’re not all terrible people. Don’t forget, we really are humans too, we’re really people who care, who breathe, who have families and loved ones, who weep, experience joy, sorrow, excitement. There have been many accusations of us dehumanizing those whom we do not agree with…is it any better to do the same to us? Because I do feel rather dehumanized. As if my opinions that Correia, Weisskopf, Wells and Torgerson (And XKCD, for that matter.) all deserve awards don’t matter because you don’t agree with our politics.

    Can we instead look upon the merits of the writing? Larry’s campaign was to point out how angry people would be were he to get nominated, how many screams would be raised against him. That it wasn’t about quality, but popularity and saying the right things to make a small subset of fandom (And it is small..2000 votes to nominate the best fiction out there? Talk about tiny sample!) happy. And right now, with the growls being posted, I’m seeing he’s entirely right.

    Why not honestly look at the works presented? Why not vote on their merits, instead of whether or not you like the politics of the author. Example: I loved Old Man’s War. I cannot stand Scalzi’s politics; I react similar to how some view OSCard. I love to read Eric Flint’s books, but he’s so red in his politics, he carries a CPUSA card. (Actually, I think he might…)

    And for the record, I didn’t get a membership and vote; I forgot.

  115. Alexvdl

    Don’t you all know the best way to convince someone of something on the internet is to go to their website and be a giant dick to them? Nothing says “You’re right, we misjudged you” like telling someone that they’re the REAL racist, or that they are a big ol’ poopyhead.

    It’s pretty simple. If you want Theodore Beale, Larry Correia, or any of those mentioned to win the Hugo, pay your money and vote. At no point is it necessary to bea giant douche on the internet. Do you think that Natalie is wrong about something? Then you could either go on with your life, or even politely mention it. But some of the puerile bullshit being flung around means that even if you’re right, people are going to assume you’re wrong because you’re acting like an idiot.

  116. neongrey

    @delagar: You say that, but I’ve had to read self-pub kindle porn for review as a favour. I bet I can suffer through this.

  117. Jason

    Ummmmquick clarification; I didn’t mean to lump XKCD with me politically; I love it but I suspect we don’t share viewpoints as much. I was just pointing out another favorite of mine.

    Juuuust wanted to make that clear.

  118. MadLogician

    I note that Loncon has nearly four times as many Attending Adult memberships as Supporting ones. Any attempt at ballot-stuffing would likely be outweighed by votes from fans (like myself) who plan on spending far more than $40 to attend.

  119. Kevin Standlee

    Buried among the many comments here was one that I think implied that the writer thought that I was the _current_ Hugo Award Administrator. I am not. I was one of the administrators of the 1993, 1994, and 2002 Hugo Awards — the last being one of the first that actually had online voting; prior to that, you actually had to fill out a paper ballot and carry it uphill both ways in the snow mail it by paper mail to cast it. The most well-known attempt at what appeared to have been fraudulent voting happened in the days when there was no such thing as electronic voting, by the way.

    In addition to the above, I was co-Chairman of the 2002 Worldcon in San Jose, and I am currently Chairman of the World Science Fiction Society’s Mark Protection Committee, which manages the service marks of Worldcon such as “Hugo Award;” however, I am not speaking officially for WSFS or any other body of which I am a member here. My views are my own. I do not have “inside” information about the administration of this year’s Hugo Awards. My knowledge is what anyone else can get by asking the current Administrator and what he is willing to say officially.

    With all of those hedges in place, let me repeat that in all cases with which I am personally familiar (with the exception of the one I mentioned above, which doesn’t even appear to have been orchestrated by the person who was the “beneficiary” of the campaign), there does not appear to have been a systematic or organized element of voter fraud, assuming you mean a large number of votes purchased and cast by one person repeatedly. I actually got myself banned from one of the “right-wing” (for lack of a better term) web sites by telling the people there last year that their fantasies that Tor Books were “buying” the awards by purchasing vast quantities of votes and that there was obvious voter fraud were just that: fantasies and delusions.

    I do not believe that anyone is engaging in large-scale fraud. I do think, however, that just as in the “mundane” world, people’s attitudes have become so polarized that they can get into a mindset of believing that they are the only True and Proper Thinkers and that Everyone Else Agrees With Them, so that they only way anything other than their own opinions could have prevailed is due to fraud. As I pointed out on my own LiveJournal yesterday, “The failure of your favorites to make the shortlist for/to win a Hugo does not constitute a failure of process.” The converse of that is true: The fact that shortlisted nominees you dislike intensely for any reason made the cut does not constitute a failure of process.”

    The World Science Fiction Society (WSFS) is a club. It is a very large club, with thousands of members around the world, and anyone can join it by joining the World Science Fiction Convention, but it is indeed a club, with “open source” rules that any (attending) member can amend if s/he can convince enough other members to support the changes. (The fact that it’s possible doesn’t mean that it’s easy!) The Hugo Awards process is far more transparent than most awards, including the fact that after the final results are announced, the number of nominations each work received, as well as the list of other works that didn’t make the cut but did get a substantial number of votes, is published with the voting statistics. For an example of this, see the 2013 Hugo Statistics (caution: large PDF).

    In short: a bunch of people responded to a get-out-the-vote drive, in a way that some people found intensely distasteful. This has happened in the past, and it will no doubt happen again. The best way to deal with such things is to nominate and vote for the things you personally like and to encourage others to do the same. With WSFS, there is no “them,” there is only “us.”

  120. The Doc

    It’s been interesting reading all the posts. Disclaimer – I’m a big LC fan, never read Day, and agree with much of Correia’s rants (I find him amusing).

    I think his point of the Sad Puppies campaign (nice bit of humor there, IMO) was that the nominations are often popularity contests, or about nominating the “right” group of authors – that people would nominate without reading .

    It’s easy to ascribe nefarious motives to an outcome that one doesn’t like, but there’s another, simpler explanation. And I think Occam might support it.

    My experience has been that if I enjoy a writer’s work (and enjoy his writing on a blog or social media), I tend to enjoy books he’s recommended. For example, from Butcher’ recommendation, I read Connolly and Wendig. From Correia, I read Hoyt and Wright.

    Since I like Correia’s voice (I don’t know, maybe that makes be some kind of “ist”, or maybe I just have a strange sense of humor), I ended up reading most of the books on his recommendation list, and had I decided to pony up and vote, I’d have voted for the rest if I didn’t have strong preferences otherwise.

    As for the banning, of course that’s entirely within your rights. But I think you’re making a mistake, and giving others a free shot at minimizing your arguments.

    I used to run a fairly successful blog (over a thousand followers at its peak, and about twice that in daily visits), and I always welcomed dissension and strong discussion. I tend to enjoy places with a wide diversity of beliefs and perspectives, and never got offended at anything other than the grossest of infractions. But my outrage-o-meter is set at a pretty low gain, so I’d rather let people stick around. If what they were saying was truly stupid or beyond the pale, they would quickly become a pinata for the other regulars (or a cat-scratching post). Letting people comment when you find their stuff distasteful is IMO a sign of strength and confidence.

    But of course, it’s your blog, so your rules

  121. Rachael Acks

    @Jason: I don’t know about sexist, but my first exposure to Larry Correia were his phenomenally dickish posts about Alex Dally MacFarlane. Certainly didn’t give me warm fuzzies as someone who huddles under the big rainbow LGBTQ umbrella myself.

    (Which then adds in the question, when you talk about standing up for the rights of others as a conservative, do you get why that’s not the most convincing claim ever?)

  122. The Doc

    @Rachael Acks:

    My sense of Correia’s point wasn’t an attack on LGBTQ – only on the idea that ANYTHING other than story should set the tone of fiction.

    He can definitely be dickish – that’s part of his style – he’s unabashedly masculine, and that’s a style that often is used in that genre. Having spent a lot of time in locker rooms (and since I teach Finance, one of the historically testosterone-soaked fields), it tends to roll off me. But for those seeing it from the outside, it can be jarring. If you grew up in it, you tend to respond with the “Man – you’re being a real dick”. And more often than not, the other person agrees, you have a beer, and move on.

    I know from a fact that he’s got a great deal of friends on every part of the LGBTQ continuum. But the common trait they all share is a thick skin.

  123. Ann Somerville

    @The Doc:

    ” Letting people comment when you find their stuff distasteful is IMO a sign of strength and confidence. ”

    Insisting that someone let you comment in their space, demanding that they then pay attention to your views while they repeatedly ignore your explanations, is draining of strength and patience.

    And Natalie does not owe you, me, or anyone else the benefit of her attention.

    Those stridently demanding to speak here, have plenty of other more welcoming fora in which to spout. Many of them have come from fora where they have indeed been spouting. Insisting that Natalie let them stink up her place with *their* agenda and *their* opinions is privileged bullshit.

    Having seen what she’s let through, I have no doubt that what’s making it through is pretty damn sickening, and wading through that just to make sure that people reading in her space aren’t being blindsided repeatedly by hateful speech, demands more strength than you credit. Of course, that kind of strength works against your particular interests, so it’s valueless to you.

    But not to the rest of us.

  124. delagar

    Neongrey: Just try it, I challenge you.

    Quick plot summary: an immortal Elf seeks Jesus. Among the Monks. (Because VD Can’T Think Where Else Jesus Might Be Hiding?)

    Nothing happens for 90 years and 90 pages. Then he goes to buy wine. Because Monks R out Of Wine. Monks R Slaughterd While Elf is Gone. NOOOOOO! Elf yelps to Jesus on Cross. WHY YOU LET THIS HAPPEN?

    I skip a little tedious adolescent Theology talk in Act Two, Plus a Silly Epilogue that I think VD thinks is Dramatic. But that’s the basic story.

    His point (I think) is that God Is Real. And So R Demons.

    The plot is pointless. The writing is dull and bad. And there’s so much of it!

    Yeah. Definitely Hugo material.

  125. Jason

    @Rachael Acks: OH! Hey! I thought you were familiar; You posted on his post earlier this year regarding the gender thing. Larry doesn’t play nice when he fisks someone he disagrees with.
    At the same time, disagreement doesn’t mean we want to ‘kill all teh gheys’ or something nuts like that. It merely means I (Or effectively we, in this case, since I guess I seem to be picking up the mantle at the moment)…disagree. I don’t have to hate you to disagree with your conclusions or positions, nor does my disagreement require me to be hateful.
    ..it just is disagreement. I can guarantee, though, I, while disagreeing with some of your opinions, would gladly stand up for your right to hold them, and fight against anyone who wants to do you, or others like you harm. Because it’s the RIGHT thing to do.

  126. Leatherwing

    @ULTRAGOTHA, the sample linked/posted is not from the nominated work. That sample is from a much longer novel called A Throne of Bones. They take place in the same universe.

    I’ve read both Correia and Day. I think Correia writes fun action scenes and has created some memorable characters. Met him at a reading at Dragoncon and he was very personable. Day has built a pretty impressive fantasy world in Selenoth. Many of his characters are priests, scholars and elves, so the language tends to be a little dry. But I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read. YMMV

    And someone else mentioned that the nominated work is from Summa Elvetica. It is not. It takes place in the same universe, but comes from The Last Witchking collection. He has made it available in electronic format on his blog, so it is available for evaluation prior to voting.

  127. delagar

    “…while they repeatedly ignore your explanations…”

    Yes, this is key.

    From what I have seen so far, most of the hostile commentators are ignoring every explanation, while continuing to repost their same arguments (“Snowflake is *so* a term in common use, and therefore!”) with additional insults larded in.

    That’s not dialogue or argument; that’s shouting. Why does Natalie have to submit to being shouted at? Go yell at your mythical hot blonde wife. That’s why you invented her.

  128. neongrey

    @delagar: Dearie me, that sounds vile. Might be a “fun” game, ‘which is worse, horrible Kindle porn, or this Hugo nominee’.

    I think I’ll save it for a day when I feel like I have too much faith in humanity.

    That day is not today.

  129. Stacia

    This thread is overflowing with people either genuinely ignorant of the lengthy, troubling history of VD’s and LC’s actions, or those disingenuously claiming ignorance of it. It’s baffling how many people have shown up, steadfastly refused to do a ‘net search to understand the context of this post, and barged in, opinions blazing, certain that Natalie has taken one little thing out of context and gone off on an unjustified rant. When told repeatedly that there is a lengthy history here, they say who cares, it doesn’t matter, judge by the merits of the work… oh, and they don’t vote and/or haven’t actually read the works, but they’re sure VD and LC have been both writing and behaving in a good faith manner.

    I can’t think of a better way to show that it’s the politics and ethics people on VD’s/LC’s side are voting for and arguing about, rather than any merit to the works. Not everyone is doing this, of course, but so many are that it’s undeniable.

  130. Stacia

    @LL: Thank you, I appreciate it. I asked on two other forums with no response, so I’m glad to get one here.

  131. Elizabeth R. McClellan (@popelizbet)

    A data point:

    On Correia’s blog post with his sample slate, I saw in the comments someone stating that they were nominating a particular work to make liberals’ heads explode.

    I follow a lot of blogs of writers the Correia Commentariat find distasteful. I’ve read a lot of eligibility posts and a lot of “this thing that is eligible is a good thing” posts not made by the creator of the thing.

    I have never seen anyone else suggest that a work or an author should be nominated to irritate or upset or bother someone else. The only thing other than the quality of a work I’ve ever seen cited as a reason to nominate its creator is that the creator is in the last year of eligibility for a time-limited award like the Campbell.

    Now, I’ve seen posts that aggregate eligible works by writers marginalized along one or multiple axes. But even then I’ve never seen “vote for these folks to make the bigots so angry!” given as a reason. “People complain about lack of representation on the ballot of these groups, here are people in these groups who have made eligible things, consider them” yes. “Wouldn’t it just grind their gears if we nominated this person” no.

    The only thing I’ve seen even close to that other than a comment on Correia’s blog is various dissatisfied people suggesting a SHARKNADO nomination to make a point about lack of quality in that category. That doesn’t appear to be an organized suggestion targeted to annoy a specific ideological group, from what I’ve seen: it’s a statement about the lack of good choices coming out of Hollywood in general. So I don’t feel it voids my point, but it’s still worth noting.

    To me, being nominated for any artistic award as part of a slate based on ideology would feel insulting. Others obviously disagree, especially as they overtly state that ideology and in-group status is what is getting others nominations-there seems to be an assumption that by doing this they are fighting fire with fire.

    Here’s another interesting data point: even so-called “pink sf” writers have savaged other “pink sf” writers for making eligibility posts/mentioning their eligibility/successfully motivating their fan base to vote for awards/having some measure of success to which others don’t feel they’re entitled. Funnily enough most of the people savaged the worst for self-promotion around awards eligibility have been marginalized people. But when Correia comes out and says “nominate me and my friends for these specific things” anyone who says boo about his methods or motivation hates democracy and freedom and puppies. Correia’s just a NYT bestseller with a blog and savvy marketing and there’s nothing wrong with that…except that when Seanan McGuire did much less overt self-promotion for last year’s Hugos she was tacky, she was Susan Lucci, her fans were just being led to vote for her uncritically (which is of course the Only Reason she had so many nominations), she was The Worst in every respect. One standard for everyone would be nice, now, wouldn’t it?

    I only vote in the Hugos on rare occasion when there is something I feel passionate about in the running. One year it was a single short story that was excellent enough that just voting for it was worth the cash, even though I ended up voting in other categories where I felt educated enough to make a good choice. I think I may feel passionate enough to shell out the money this year just because I think the field has more worthy luminaries than people who think misgendering is okay if you call it fisking and that SYG laws are there so whites can shoot people like Nora Jemisin for being thieving savages. And until someone changes the rules to say I can’t vote based on those criteria, I’m just playing the game.

  132. Jonathon Side

    I’m not a fan of either VD or Correia, but I am a fan of Dan Wells, so I don’t think it’s fair to lump him in with those guys, even if they did recommend he be nominated. What I’ve seen of him suggests he’s a fairly decent guy…. but I could be misinformed and he’s said horrible things somewhere, I don’t know. I’d like to think not.

    So I’m uncomfortable with the idea of voting no award on ALL the names. I figure… vote on the merit of the work. Or the merit of the author’s politics. But to vote against someone just because some asshole mentioned them in some way, that just seems to verge on petty, for me.

    Unless the person mentioned by the asshole is known to be an asshole too. In which case, sure, game on.

    • Natalie Luhrs

      @Jonathon Side: I’ve been thinking a lot about this particular issue the last couple of days. I am likely going to be moderating my position on this; there are works I know I won’t enjoy on the ballot and others that I honestly do not know if I’ll enjoy or not–that latter group, I’m more inclined to judge on the merits (Wells falls into that last group for me).

  133. Richard

    I’ll be travelling from Australia to London later this year to attend WorldCon… I hope that makes me a ‘genuine’ fan.

    Although I haven’t read many of the works in question and didn’t put in a nomination, I have read both Correia and Torgersen in the past and enjoyed their work. They’re entitled to rally their fans just as much as anyone and I don’t see that any ‘line’ has been crossed here.

  134. Yamamanama

    @the sample: It’s like Anakin and Padme, but worse.

    Here’s the opening from Opera Vita Aeterna: “The pallid sun was descending, its ineffective rays no longer sufficient to hold it up in the sky or to penetrate the northern winds that gathered strength with the whispering promise of the incipient dark.”

    • Keith

      Need more Grignr (evil grin)

  135. The Doc

    #Ann Somerville

    I hope I didn’t come across as saying she MUST allow dissenting voices she finds distasteful on the side. As I said, her blog, her rules. And not everyone finds it draining. Some of us live for the give-and-take.

    I get the position of avoiding what one considers vile, inappropriate or simply frustrating. I simply happen to come from a different tradition (old-school academic). In my circle of friends, people who are easily offended don’t stay around too long. Almost any topic is considered fair game, and debate gets pretty heated at times. It’s almost a feature when someone gets crusty – if it’s a valid rhetorical device, it gets noted as such. If not, it gets called out.

    While others might disagree, I think it’s a sign pf respect for one’s audience to leave the trolls in – if they’re truly trolls, they’ll end up being chewed appropriately. If not, that either says something about the arguments and actions of the so-called troll or about the quality of response of the audience. Maybe they need to up their game/thicken their skin.

    But to restate, her blog, her choice. It’s just that I think it’s a stronger move to leave things in. Most blogs I spend a lot of time in tend to do so, and I like having the diversity of opinions. Like Justice Louis Brandeis said in a 1927 court case, “1927, “If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.”

    Ah well – off to terrorize some undergrads.

  136. Yard Moose

    Larry’s my neighbor here at Yard Moose Mountain. We don’t really talk all that much (He tends to be busy writing), but we do have an understanding. Feed me Single Malt Scotch, I keep the trolls, gnomes, Yeti, and Smart Car owners away from Yard Moose Mountain.

    Now, for all that being said, patrolling and my constant battles with the aforementioned critters (even some for local charities) don’t leave a lot of time for reading, let alone looking for new authors to enjoy.

    For the record, I own every Eric Flint and John Ringo manuscript available for mass market publication, and I own Larry’s works out of a profound need for personal enjoyment. I don’t really care if Eric Flint is a nutter left wing labor activist (he is), what I DO care about is the quality of the story and his 1632 series is EPIC. I don’t care if John Ringo is to the right of Attila the Hun (he is) all I care about is when the next book in the Posleen series is coming out, or when the next series in the “Ghost” series comes online.

    Before I met Larry, I couldn’t tell a Hugo award from an Oscar. However, I have since signed up and after reading the authors on the slate, I enthusiastically voted for each one that Larry recommended. So, I guess I am trying to figure out the source of your rage? I don’t care about his political views, but I do care that you are trying to savage his reputation and your personal attacks on him, his character, and his fans are simply representative of either jealousy, and a severe misunderstanding of how the world works.
    – He publicly asked for people to vote for him and his “slate” of books. I expect any decent author to do this if they expect to win, especially the way the Hugo award has been awarded. Christ almighty, an awards speech for the Hugo was nominated last year or the year before for the Hugo.
    – You decry him being racist. This is probably the laughiest, laughable charge I have ever heard thrown around.
    – You think he hates women. Again, no proof.

    You should be thanking him and the other “white mysoginist rapist”, Vox Day, for promoting the event, the award, and ultimately getting people (or animals) like myself to be exposed to new authors. It’s refreshing and anything that can be done to expand reading and the Sci/Fi world (and market) should be done soonest.

  137. Rachael Acks

    @Jason: It’s really two different issues, so I’ll try to separate them a bit more explicitly.

    Nice is as nice does. Functionally, it doesn’t really matter if people are *nice* about disagreeing, all that really colors is my opinion about them as a person, which I think is fair. Larry Correia and I no doubt disagree about a lot of things. His attitude in that post just made me think he is a total asshole, and nothing I’ve seen since has changed my opinion. I was particularly unimpressed by his hyperbolic arguing style, because I find it intensely disingenuous. I was downright angered by him misgendering Alex, and that is really the one place where I might get off thinking he’s anything worse than a dick on the internet. (I also recall that the comments on that post were a really disturbing mass of transphobia and other nasty things; while Larry didn’t write that stuff, obviously, he lets it on his site and that will color my opinion too.)

    But whatever. I’m sure he loses a lot of sleep that some random person on the internet thinks he’s a jerk.

    So yeah, disagree with me all you like and I’ll disagree with you and it’s fine. Hell, I have dear friends with whom I disagree constantly. I’m a grown up and I understand that disagreement does not mean hatred. (Though depending on how hyperbolic the disagreement is, it sure starts getting harder to see.)

    The other issue is the whole conservatives will totally defend our rights thing. Let me be a bit more clear about that. When I’m still getting political advertisements that treat transwomen as sexual predators because they want to be able to use the women’s restroom, and I keep hearing about how queer people are destroying traditional values, and the rights of lgbtq people world wide are still under attack by people who explicitly identify themselves as conservative, you are going to have to forgive me for not buying that one. And that’s not even touching on the issue of my rights as a woman.

    I’m sure at this point you could say that not all conservatives are like that. And I realize that is very true. But considering the label conservative is to this day being used as banner for bigotry, you’re going to have to forgive the suspicion, and the disbelief. It’s been earned.

  138. delagar

    @Yard Moose: Yard Moose, this comment tells me all I really need to know about your reading comprehension skills. Thanks for playing, though.

    I did a second read through of VD’s Hugo entry last night, just to see if it was really as bad as I thought. Y’all owe me, that’s all I gotta say.

    I was trying to see what was so bad about it.

    Here’s what’s so bad about it: the utter lack of imagination.

    I believe VD is attempting to write a Meaningful Story. This Jesus-seeking Elf is Satan (or something) and it’s all about how even evil seeks God or whatever.

    But VD is so wrapped up in his God-blathering that he can’t manage to imagine a story, or characters. He tediously describes wooden doors, and mattresses, and dust on robes, and chicken dinners; he fails to bother to imagine one living character, or scene, or even one line of living dialogue.

    Go read Connie Willis’s Doomsday Book. See what she did with something of the same material. Compare what a real writer does to this abortion.

  139. Alexvdl

    Look at that. Polite conversation has done more to change someone’s mind than calling them bad names. It’s a miracle!

  140. The Doc

    I have an interesting idea – why not just vote based on the quality of the story? My understanding is that that’s what an award is for – not for political leanings, not because they support (or don’t support), and not for any reason other than it’s a great story.

    Whether or not you like someone’s politics or not, if their story stinks, don’t vote for it. Likewise, if someone who’s personal style (or political leanings) turns you off, they might still write one heck of a story. Here are a couple examples :

    Orson Scott Card holds some views that many find aborhent (sp?). Yet, he is arguably one of the best writers in the YA genre of our generation (and he’s written a lot of good non-YA stuff too).

    Woody Allen and Roman Polanksky are by most objective measures pretty messed up puppies (the nanny? really?). Yet, they still did some fantastic cinematic work.

    As my father told me years ago (somehow he’s managed to get smarter every year for the last quarter century despite having died), “truth told by an ass is still truth, and good work by a flawed person is still good work”.


  141. Sean

    Verily sayeth Rachel…” I also recall that the comments on that post were a really disturbing mass of transphobia and other nasty things; while Larry didn’t write that stuff, obviously, he lets it on his site and that will color my opinion too.”

    Larry lets EVERYTHING through on his comments section. Whether he agrees with the sentiment or not. He even leaves comments up by people who come to deliberately troll him. I don’t recall offhand anywhere in the last couple years I’ve been reading his blog, where he’s deleted or even blocked someones IP. Hell . He gets the occasional one come in that posts looonnnnng [and occasionally pedantic] responses in the comments just to be argumentative. He doesn’t delete any of them., though occasionally one of the long ones gets it’s own post in response.

  142. delagar

    Re Doc’s latest comment: This is what I’m talking about when I say there’s no conversation happening here.

    I post not one but two lengthy exegeses on why VD’s story is no fucking good at all. To wit: I am not insulting VD; I am speaking of his work, and just exactly why it is terribad.

    Doc says: but why you not address his work and not his POLITICS? WHY O WHY?

    It’s like…I don’t know…Conservatives can’t hear any voice but their own, maybe?

  143. Mark

    I did not register in time to put in nominations, but this is my first year following the Hugos closely, and I’m surprised by the amount of vitriol on all sides. Some assorted thoughts:

    – I find the complaints around “Message SF” and its prominence in the Hugos to be odd. Scalzi is outspoken on his blog, sure, but if Redshirts is “Message SF”, I’m rather confused.

    – The notion of voting “No Award” for a book that you have not read simply because it appeared on the sample ballot seems rather harsh, and I’m glad to see that Natalie is considering a more moderated approach (not that she owes anyone anything, of course).

    – I can see not wanting to have anything to do with Vox Day, but I’m still going to give his story a shot. Worst case scenario, I can vote against it with a clear conscience.

    – The Hugos are a populist award, so it doesn’t surprise me that popular authors get nominated, even for less than stellar works. The semantics of Correia’s drive can be argued, but they’re still semantics. In my mind, there’s nothing particularly worse here than I’ve read in a million similar posts, and I sincerely doubt any serious voting fraud was involved. Correia is popular enough that his nomination isn’t that surprising. Vox Day was a bit of a surprise, until I realized that it doesn’t take much to get nominated on the Novelette ballot (I think I’ve heard of things getting on the ballot with only 40 votes or something like that).

    Antics aside, I’m really looking forward to reading all the fiction (that I’ve not already read) on the ballot (with the possible exception of Vox’s story, though I’ll try).

  144. delagar

    Plus I wasn’t the only one, either. Several other commentators here have addressed the works of the writers.

    Y’all only hear your own words, is it? That’s not dialogue.

  145. Rachael Acks

    @The Doc:

    Really depends what you mean by “our generation.”

    I do a lot of personal soul searching on the question of separating the art from the artist. There is a lot of osc’s older stuff that’s still quite meaningful to me. But I can’t stomach supporting his platform when he uses that platform to basically attack the fundamental rights of a set of human beings. Likewise, while Woody Allen had never been my cup of tea, I can’t get past the bit where he’s a reprehensible human being that I’m tacitly supporting by putting money into his work, because these things do not exist in a vacuum. Heh, maybe I’ll finally be able to stand watching his movies once he’s dead.

    If you can separate the two, good on ya I suppose. It’s an argument I have often with friends and I’m never happy with the conclusion. But at the end of the day you have to do what lets you live with yourself, and not everyone is going to make the same value judgment.

    I saw you responded to one of my comments previously; sorry, didn’t see the response until now. Frankly, I found Correia’s entire argument disingenuous, based as it was on a straw man he’d crafted for maximum hyperbole. Which might not have even rubbed me the wrong way quite so bad, except the minute you add the conservative dog whistle to something, you invite all of the”conservative” baggage too. Which at this point involves a history of vociferous anti-lgbtq rhetoric and that’s going to color how I respond to it.

    I started of my career in the telco tech shop. I did a turn in EMS. I know the locker room attitude and I can deal with it just fine. I speak fluent affectionate asshole-ese. I get the attitude and I get the hyper masculine bullshit. But I also don’t quite buy it as reasoning in this case. It’s one thing when you’re shooting the shit with guys you know and work with, and another when it’s some random stranger who doesn’t know you from Adam. And none of the guys I ever worked with turned everything into some kind of weird-ass conservative versus liberal thing. Maybe I just got lucky.

  146. Natalie Luhrs

    I think everyone’s pretty much had their say on this subject, so it’s time for me to close comments on this post.


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