The Hugo awards window (for 2015’s nominations) will be open soon. As one of Baen’s newest authors, I wanted to be be the first guy out of the gate with SAD PUPPIES 3. For those of you who don’t know what SAD PUPPIES is, it’s a (somewhat tongue in cheek) running effort to get stories, books, and people onto the Hugo ballot, who are entirely deserving, but who don’t usually get on the ballot. Largely because of the nomination and voting tendencies of World Science Fiction Convention, with its “fandom” community. In the last decade we’ve seen Hugo voting skew more and more toward literary (as opposed to entertainment) works. Some of these literary pieces barely have any science fictional or fantastic content in them. Likewise, we’ve seen the Hugo voting skew ideological, as Worldcon and fandom alike have tended to use the Hugos as an affirmative action award: giving Hugos because a writer or artist is (insert underrepresented minority or victim group here) or because a given work features (insert underrepresented minority or victim group here) characters.
Likewise, the Hugos tend to be a raw popularity contest, for all definitions of “popular” that include “Trending with Worldcon.” Which may or may not have anything whatsoever to do with actual sales success on the open market. And that was Correia’s original point: if the Hugos really are the preeminent award in SF/F how come the Hugos so often ignore works and people who are, in fact, successful ambassadors of the genre to the consumer world at large? What the heck is going on here?
So, SAD PUPPIES has tended to push back. Against the Worldcon fandom zeitgeist.
Last time, it was Larry Correia carrying the guidon for SAD PUPPIES. He did it bravely, and with no small degree of criticism from those who cannot stomach seeing the Hugos visited by folks who aren’t of the body of fandom per se. This time? I volunteer myself. I don’t have Larry’s fan base, but they are familiar to me (and I to them) and since SAD PUPPIES is actually a much bigger, more viral effort (every year it’s conducted, it gains steam) I hope to see a lot of activity that goes well beyond the ordinary corridors of what might be called “the conversation” in SF/F.
Thus, I am going to slowly compile a slate. Of books and stories (and other things, and people) for the different categories. So that hopefully deserving works and artists — who tend to be snubbed at awards season — get a chance on the final ballot. It doesn’t take a massive number of nominating votes to secure a final spot for a specific work or person. All it takes are a few dozen interested people (with Worldcon memberships) to list a given work when they nominate.
So, here we go. I will periodically post updates as the list expands. Of course, comments are open. Anybody want to make suggestions?