Panel: how to protect science fiction awards from Bad People™

MODERATOR: My friends, it is with deep regret that I must come before you — the Peoples Republic of Science Fiction — to announce that Bad People™ have come into our country, and they are seriously messing up our awards.

AUDIENCE: (gasps, shouts of outrage)

MODERATOR: (bats hands down toward the floor, in a plea for silence) I know, I didn’t want to believe it either. For many decades now, the Peoples Republic of Science Fiction has been a bastion of inclusiveness and tolerance, because as every caucasian progressive over the age of 45 knows, the way you demonstrate your diversity to the public, is to occasionally welcome in an Asian person — who has identical politics to caucasian progressives over the age of 45.

AUDIENCE: (cheers, applause)

MODERATOR: Yes, yes, we know we’re wonderful, don’t we? Well, friends, it’s time for us to take a stand. The forces of Badthinkery® are upon us. Our Hugo award — silvery, phallic, entirely sausage-like — is being invaded by Bad People™ intent on inflicting their Badthinkery® on our beloved field.

AUDIENCE: (more gasps, more shouts of outrage)

MODERATOR: It’s true. We can’t deny it any longer. The Bad People™ couldn’t leave well enough alone. I mean, aren’t they satisfied, clinging like they do to their God, their guns, and their Megyn Kelly? Why did they have to come after us poor, innocent, dafodil-scented Fans in our beloved little nation of Trufandom?

AUDIENCE: (wailing, tears, gnashing of teeth)

MODERATOR: I know, friends, I know. It’s beyond horrible. For how many years has our beloved little country been a bastion of light amidst the cultural darkness of the mundanes — those nasty outsiders who have lives, and jobs, and families, and who haven’t been going to Worldcon (like it’s a religious duty) since they were teenagers?

AUDIENCE: Throw them out! Throw them out!!

MODERATOR: Yes, well, I think it has come to that, friends. Indeed. The Bad People™ have pushed us too far. Drastic times call for drastic measures. We must find a way to purge our Peoples Republic of Science Fiction of Badthinkness© perpetrated by Bad People™ who do not share our tolerant, inclusive values, which stand for never tolerating anyone who might be a Republican, a Tea Partier, a Baen fan, or a Wheel of Time reader.

AUDIENCE: (wild cheering)

MODERATOR: We will cast out the Unfans™ and their Unfannishness®!

AUDIENCE: (more wild cheering)

MODERATOR: We will make the Hugos a juried award, and end this hideous pox upon our beloved genre!

AUDIENCE: (titanic, wild cheering — with a few boos)


MODERATOR: Oh, pardon me, our Guest of Honor would like to add a few words. Yes, please, the floor is yours, sir.

GRUMPY OLD FAT RICH FAMOUS AUTHOR: Back when I didn’t have two nickels to rub together, the Hugos represented something special in this field. They were the yearly culmination of the collective Fannish spirit. Our communal celebration of what is best in this genre. We did this together — the many, come to unite as one.

AUDIENCE: (tepid applause, some straining forward in their seats, not quite sure where this is going)

GRUMPY OLD FAT RICH FAMOUS AUTHOR: Now, it’s all well and good to get rid of the Bad People™ because Lord knows I’m as sick of them as you all are.

AUDIENCE: (a spontaneous roar of agreement)

GRUMPY OLD FAT RICH FAMOUS AUTHOR: Our genre has never, ever been about Bad People™ nor should we ever be forced to tolerate the intolerant, who of course were never real Fans in the true meaning of Fannishness anyway, because we say so.

AUDIENCE: (collective orgasm of hearty ascent)

GRUMPY OLD FAT RICH FAMOUS AUTHOR: But this has to be done very politic-like. Why do you think all the great Socialist reformers of the past hundred years, have always staged elections? It didn’t matter if they were at the pinnacle of a one-party system, and gave themselves titles like “President.” What mattered is that their subjects — excuse me, citizens — were able to vote. That is the basis of the Republic — allowing people to pretend that there is actual democracy happening.

AUDIENCE: (murmurs, a few shouts, some scattered golf claps)

MODERATOR: (coughs nervously) But, sir, how are we to preserve and protect our glorious accolades?

SHRIMPY FAMOUS-ON-THE-INTERNET AUTHOR: I know nobody included me in this conversation, but I am going to include myself anyway, because everybody knows it’s all about me, in the end — me, me, and me. In fact, the only reason the Bad People™ exist at all, is because they are out to get me. That’s why there’s trouble in the Peoples Republic of Science Fiction. There are individuals who don’t like me, and have decided to get militant about it.

MODERATOR: (fawning over Shrimpy Famous-On-The-Internet Author) Well, please, by all means, have my chair! We would love to hear more.

AUDIENCE: (cheers, laughter)

SHRIMPY FAMOUS-ON-THE-INTERNET AUTHOR: I agree one hundred percent with my lovely and esteemed colleague, who is wealthier and more famous than me, so I will suck up to him at every opportunity — just like I do with that rock star Sandman guy. We of the pure and true fold, don’t need to tolerate the intolerant. Diversity means ensuring that a rainbow spectrum of ethnicities, genders, and sexualities — who all vote the same in national politics, have the same ideas on economics, and also literary taste — are afforded the opportunity to come celebrate with us, this most wonderful thing we call Science Fiction and Fantasy.

AUDIENCE: (massive, outlandish, squeeing approval)

SHRIMPY FAMOUS-ON-THE-INTERNET AUTHOR: But we have to be careful about how we go about ensuring that the Baen people, the FOX News viewers, the homophobes — did I tell you this hour how much I love and adore all gay people, for all time, everywhere? Because I, like, totally do! — and the transphobes, islamophobes, and other assorted Heinlein devotees, are kept out of the awards process. Do it too bluntly, and we risk sacrificing the public face of the field. We have to be sure we can say to the world — with straight faces — that Science Fiction and Fantasy is still a field that celebrates all ideas. Even though we want to make damned sure that SF/F’s power people and core literary prizes remain firmly on the side of the right ideas. Progressive ideas. For all definitions of Progressive which include, “Whatever Jon Stewart is being cute about this week.”

AUDIENCE: (murmuring wonderment at the great man’s epic intellect)

MODERATOR: (crying) My God, that was so beautiful . . . (reaches for tissue)

GRUMPY OLD FAT RICH FAMOUS AUTHOR: (steeples fingers) We’re kind of stating the obvious at this point. So, since we agree that we can’t be direct in addressing the problem of Bad People™ meddling in our business, what’s your proposal?

EDITOR TO THE SHRIMPY FAMOUS-ON-THE-INTERNET AUTHOR: (clears throat) Actually, it’s not his proposal, it’s mine. Because when it comes right down to it, we all know you writers would sell your souls for the right offer; from my house specifically. I can make or break any of you, any time I want. Same goes for people like that chump moderator over there, licking the hand of the caterer who’s putting out the lavish spread of food and treats — a spread my company is of course paying for, because the best way to win the hearts and minds of Fandom, is to give them free shit. Anyway, you all will rubber stamp whatever I want, in the end — just like when we split the editor category — so I’ll have my wife draft something on our blog later in the week. We can assume it will pass with flying colors at the business meeting, right?

MODERATOR: (in between mouthfuls) Weeth willth maketh thure of it, thir! (grabs more food)

EDITOR TO THE SHRIMPY FAMOUS-ON-THE-INTERNET AUTHOR: Splendid. Just make sure to get that business meeting packed with our guys. Shouldn’t be hard. Nobody but Trufans gives a crap about the business meeting anyway. There won’t be enough Bad People™ there to override or overrule whatever we decide to adopt. Then we need to be doubly sure that we pack successive business meetings, to lock it in. We’re progressives, dammit. We know more about bending bureaucracy to our will, and instituting rules that suit our agenda, than anybody else! The Bad People™ think this genre is about having fun? HAH! Pathetic fools. This genre is about making sure people know who is in charge! That the right authors and the right publishers are rewarded for creating the right product that affirms the right politics and ideas! We’ll have those Bad People™ shut out very quickly. It won’t be hard. Most of them have jobs and lives that prevent them from focusing on this field full-time, like a proper Trufan should. They will get discouraged, and move on to other things.

SHRIMPY FAMOUS-ON-THE-INTERNET AUTHOR: But what about that one guy who, like, totally hates me personally? He’s not going to quit, and he actually has fans who do what he says!

EDITOR TO THE SHRIMPY FAMOUS-ON-THE-INTERNET AUTHOR: Which guy that hates you personally? They are legion. With more springing up all the time.

SHRIMPY FAMOUS-ON-THE-INTERNET AUTHOR: you know, he’s short, brags a lot, has a gargantuan ego, and thinks he’s the center of attention, even when he’s not.

MODERATOR: (stares)

AUDIENCE: (stares)



EDITOR TO THE SHRIMPY FAMOUS-ON-THE-INTERNET AUTHOR: Look, are we about done here? I have more important things to do than come be on a panel in front of a bunch of little people. (begins to tap rapidly at cell phone . . .)

MODERATOR: (with chicken salad on his cheek and collar) Absolutely, no problem! Uhhh, we’ll just keep an eye on your wife’s blog. Whatever she sends out, we’ll make sure it’s all done up formal and everything, for the meeting. Perfect. That solves that.

GRUMPY OLD FAT RICH FAMOUS AUTHOR: (frowning) I’m not sure, now that I am really thinking about it. I mean, obviously we have to do something. But what if we go too far? What if we end up excluding a bunch of people who shouldn’t be excluded? I mean, how do we tell for real who the Trufans are, versus the Bad People™? In the end, no genre award matters unless it has the blessing of our people. Make it too hard for them to nominate and vote, and we wind up driving them away too.





MODERATOR: (quickly gets the roaming mic into his hands) Okay, well, this has been a rousing and illuminating session, friends. I just want to say again how proud I am to call all of you my comrades. The Peoples Republic of Science Fiction will not only survive this latest onslaught by Bad People™ engaging in Badthinkery®, it will thrive like never before. In fact, we will emerge from this crisis stronger than ever! A purer, more correct Fandom! More inclusive of people who think and talk and act just like we do! Is that not a thing to cherish and celebrate? I tell you, friends, this is surely a golden age for us. The Bad People™ will be buried by history. As they always have been.

AUDIENCE: (wild applause, hooting and fist-pumping)

GRUMPY OLD FAT RICH FAMOUS AUTHOR: (frown continues to deepen)

MODERATOR: For those interested in staying until the next panel, stick around. In five minutes we’re going to hear from four old white people — and, I am told, one angry not-white, possibly genderqueer person — about how Science Fiction and Fantasy have together been a Nazi literary hell-hole of racial, sexual, and gender oppression. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

AUDIENCE: (hoverounds begin to queue for the exit — it’s a big queue!)

SHRIMPY FAMOUS-ON-THE-INTERNET AUTHOR: Just so everybody knows, I love this next panel coming up. In fact, I am going to invite myself onto that panel too. Because I think we should all care about how privileged we all are, and how this privilege makes us bad. Well, except for me. I am awesome, because I just said that. Did everyone hear me say it? I said it. You back there, recording this on your phone? Post that shit to Twitter. Do it. Because I’m wonderful, and the world needs to know.


  1. Yes, clearly “Space Raptor Butt Invasion” is one of the five best short stories of the year…

    No problem, folks, nothing to see, move along…

  2. Ah yes, SRBI. Also known as, “Hoist with their own petards, they were.” I wonder if Patrick will actually wind up reading that one over the mic at the big event? Couldn’t be any worse than, “F**k me, Ray Bradbury.”

  3. To add: the thing about (the latest iteration of) awards squabbling, is that we’ve definitely achieved Poe’s Law critical mass. There is practically no distinguishing between the parody, and the real. Of course, humor is easier to find when you’re a bystander. Believe me, I know.

  4. Chris, people gave the robber their money for years, got sick of it, took their ball and went home. Yes, I know you probably cant see that at all…

  5. I would have tossed in mentions of earlier campaigns of exclusion, including the one at the first Worldcon, and what they did or didn’t accomplish. There’s something wrong with fandom if it has to learn that lesson the hard way multiple times. Doesn’t anyone remember history?

  6. It is kind of funny how the hugo people are all proposing more and more ways to limit who votes on it and want to deny participation to the fans, of what is supposed to be a fan award. I even like how some of the ‘moderate’ people are the ones proposing the most immoderate solutions.
    My fav so far however is the one about banning anyone whose vote that they do not like.

  7. Those that don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Those that do learn from history are doomed to watch all the other ignorant rats repeat it.

  8. “Chris Gerrib on May 17, 2016 at 2:31 pm said:

    Yes, clearly “Space Raptor Butt Invasion” is one of the five best short stories of the year…”

    Great strawman you erected. Too bad you had to knock it down so easily.

  9. I will admit there are some truly appalling ideas being thrown around (the strongman variety).
    But I don’t understand why rule changes in general are being characterized as wanting to cut out the fans from Hugos. Isn’t it the case, that currently the nominations really only represent Vox and Friends? Even the Sad Puppies’ recommendation list (which, by the way, I applaud the transparency demonstrated by Kate) is hardly represented. How is the nomination a representation of the fans collectively and not simply a narrow band of fandom in the Rabid voting like a whipped vote in a political party?

    Top that with an openly expressed desire to burn the whole thing down (This used to be a funhouse…) is not some change needed, or is the entirety of fandom actually just Castalia House? Or have I missed something? Did all the Sads become Rabids this year? There used to be complaints of PN Hayden and his editors’ undue influence in the Oscars, while I was never really convinced of that, don’t we have clear and incontrovertibly proof of influence of another editor for his publishing company? One Vox Day? Colour me confused.

  10. The way to defeat Vox’s fans isn’t to try and make rules to exclude them, but rather to just get more fans involved so that the number of people that Vox influences don’t matter for the award.

    This is a record year for nomination votes, with only ~4000 votes out of well over 10,000 who were eligible to vote.

    If you look at the number of nominations, you will see that Vox didn’t have that much influence in categories where there were lots of votes, but in categories where there were not many votes, he had a huge influence.

  11. @Chris

    Umm … “Space Raptor Butt Invasion” is at least as worthy to be on the ballot as “If You Were a Dinosaur by Love”.

    No TruFan(tm) gets to complain about Vox’s choice after they put that mess on there.

  12. Ive been thinking about the various proposals to stop BadThink(TM) getting on the ballot.

    I wonder if they appreciate that short of simply disqualifying BadThink(TM) works out of hand there is nothing they can do to stop it. Vox has a collection of dedicated fans who are happy to follow his lead. Any voting system will be open to exploitation from an organized group of actors. 4/6 wont work, EPH wont work, nothing will because nothing fair with such a tiny collection of voters will ever be proof against a collection of organized voters with an axe to grind.

    The stupid part is that the most effective way to make Vox get bored and find something else to do is to remove No Award from the ballot and insist people just read and vote on what is on the ballot and decline to vote in that category if they don’t like anything.

    But the collection of head injury patients that make up the TruFan(TM) Are too stupid to consider the obvious.

  13. [quote]The stupid part is that the most effective way to make Vox get bored and find something else to do is to remove No Award from the ballot and insist people just read and vote on what is on the ballot and decline to vote in that category if they don’t like anything. [/quote]
    Oh, I don’t think any of the proposed systems will help, and I can’t think of any that would. You have one group (Rabid) whipping the vote and everyone else, Sad or otherwise voting whatever they feel like, but it turns out whipping a vote for five options when everyone else is choosing from hundreds makes your votes highly efficient. But don’t you think he would just as pleased with the No Award gone and just fill in the entire nomination process with Castalia picks? “And first, second, third, fourth, and fifth slots go to Vox and Friends!”

    I can’t see why getting rid of No Award would get Vox bored considering it was never the primary cause of Vox getting involved- No Award can only be pointed to AFTER everything else went down.

  14. @Falling

    “I can’t see why getting rid of No Award would get Vox bored considering it was never the primary cause of Vox getting involved- No Award can only be pointed to AFTER everything else went down.”

    Getting rid of No Award will prevent the TruFans(TM) from having a collective shit fit and burning the awards down and basically behaving like a collection of school children.

    Vox _wants_ them to do that. Do you know how much Vox cares about actually winning one of those cheap plastic rockets? Not at all would probably be overstating the case AFAICS. Heck, i’m on the ballot twice and I don’t really care about winning one either. Makes no difference to me. I don’t expect it to translate into subs for Sci Phi Journal and that is the only validation I care about. It might boost the profile of SuperversiveSF some and that is welcome but that will happen whether we win or not.

    But Vox finds the idea of them burning the awards down and doing exactly as he predicts absolutely hilarious. Want to stop him, want him to get bored, take the gasoline and matches away from the no award voting morons. That is the only thing that will spoil the fun. Changing the rules is a win for Vox, black listing nominations is a win for Vox, anything they try to do to exclude Vox from the awards is a win for Vox. Letting him on the ballot, letting people vote without no award and letting him win if he gets the most votes in a straight up contest, then applauding politiely at the ceremony is the least fun most boring thing they could do.

    I’ve actually explained this to a few of the brain damaged morons. They reject it out of hand because they are short sighted idiots who don’t understand their opponent at all.

  15. @jwrennie
    Oh, I don’t think he cares about actually getting the award- what I mean it would work as well for him to burn down the awards to block in the editor section Vox Day forever. Not because he wants the award, but because he knows how much it burns up other people to see his name on the lists.

    “Letting him on the ballot, letting people vote without no award and letting him win if he gets the most votes in a straight up contest, then applauding politiely at the ceremony is the least fun most boring thing they could do.” That’s perhaps the most likely scenario I’ve heard where Vox would perhaps go away. 0.01% of it happening and even then, I wouldn’t put it past Vox to keep on going anyways (burn down the awards is the goal after all), but may be his followers would bog off. Or maybe not. I am actually at a loss to understand Vox and Friends perspective, as I would never even consider using their methods. So I actually have a hard time seeing what would get them to stop. Would they troll to their grave? I don’t know.

  16. The Puppy groups are groups of fans (in the sense that that are people who have bought memberships and are not part of the convention committee) who got together to vote for their favorites. No matter what you think of them as individuals, they showed that it was possible for ordinary people to influence the Hugo Awards.

    If the convention committee had simply accepted the vote and given out the awards–doing their job, in other words–it would have had the effect of encouraging other fans to campaign and get involved and try to swing the vote to get their own favorites on the ballot. If, as some contend, the Puppy groups represent a small fringe group of science fiction fans, then they would have been facing other groups of fans this year that would be working to make their own voices heard.

    On the other hand, the behavior of the award presenters at Spokane last year sent a very clear message that the powers that be have no interest in what the fans have to say. The bloc “No Award” voting was bad enough, but the way that the award ceremony was used as a platform for personal attacks was unconscionable. There is no way that anyone will ever be able to believe that the WorldCon committee is unbiased now. For a couple of years now there have been claims that a small group of publishers run the Hugos, last year WorldCon came out and admitted it. More than that, they bragged about it.

    No matter what happens now, the Hugos are dead. It doesn’t matter what wins, or if anything does. As far as ordinary readers of science fiction and fantasy are concerned, the award is meaningless. We know that our opinion doesn’t count.

  17. @falling
    You really do not understand Vox, or what motivates him at all. @jwrennie is completely correct, if fairness returned to the awards, if the ‘trufen’ stopped acting like complete jackasses, Vox would be done with it. He’s only doing what he is, to prove a point. And he’s proving it constantly and winning every match-up.
    The only way to win the game now is not to play. Get rid of no award, get the Trufen’s collective heads out of their collective butts, let the fans vote, apologize for the stupid chorf-holes, and stop with all these stupid schemes that are so incredibly easy to game.
    If you want to know who the majority of the fandom are siding with, it’s NOT the hugo committee or the Trufen. They’re all pretty sick of those self-righteous idiots. Stop thinking that the small amount of people who attend the con are representative of anything, beyond a couple of publishers.

  18. I find it interesting that no one seems to consider what happens when VD just switches to having his followers just vote No Award in every category.

    Last year he didn’t need to, they did it for them.

    How will things go when no awards are handed out at all?

  19. What would happen if Beale switched to having his followers vote No Award in every category?


    Beale has enough people to game the nomination system, because the nomination system is vulnerable to being gamed. 10% of nominators voting in lockstep are enough to drown out 90% of nominators nominating honestly.

    But at the voting stage? He’d have to have 50% – a larger percentage – of the voters – a (much) larger pool. He doesn’t have the numbers for that.

  20. Assuming that everyone else votes for the same thing in that category…
    Which they don’t.

  21. The concern will be (Because Vox isn’t an idiot) when he gets a few on the list, as will be easy short of an outright blacklist, and then turns around and has everybody vote No Award, when people are voting No Award further down the list.

    There are lots and lots of ways to game any system. The problem the Hugo clowns have is that they want to keep the tiny exclusive controllable voting pool while simultaneously making it hard for particular actors to game the system (while allowing them to keep doing so).

    There is talk of making information public and making slates easy to find. Lets see them do that. Bet that plan will quietly get shelved.

  22. @Draven

    Irrelevant in a preferential voting system, which is essentially what the voting stage Hugo process is.

  23. Perfectly relevant. He said Vox would need 50%, when he wouldn’t need 50%, just a simple majority.

  24. And would require everyone else to vote for the same thing. If everyone votes equally for all five nominees, plus No Award, then the Rabid Puppies need one-sixth plus one of the votes… a simple majority, and far far less than fifty percent. One third of it, even.

  25. @Draven

    Sorry I misunderstood what you meant. Yes I agree. Vox needs much less than 50%.

    If he gets something on the board though, then people will be voting No Award part way down the list out of spite. There is much potential for mischief given the weird voting rules in that case if I understand them correctly.

  26. That’s really not how ranked preferences work Draven.
    The rabids giving their first preference to no award would only succeed if it allowed a majority of voters did that. Otherwise, it just goes to their next preference.

  27. Sorry, that should be ” would only succeed if a majority of voters also did that.”

  28. There seems to be some confusion in terms. The word you are looking for is “plurality”. A majority is 50% + 1 vote or more. Winning a plurality is getting the most votes, often from among more than two candidates and often with less than 50% of the votes cast.

  29. This is real bs Brad, why wouldn’t Bad People be a registered trademark? You can’t allegorize social justice hegemony with a weak ass unregistered me-and-my-buddies-say-it’s-our-IP symbol like that. If the personages in your chamber play really do determine who gets what alignment you must use (r).

  30. Did a white man just say something?

    LOL. That’ll never work.

    Why did those Golden Age neckbearded sub-dudes lock out lesbians and CoP? Were they daffy?

    Why were there no magazines aimed at women until last year? Why did John Campbell have that “White Men of Science-Fiction” anthology for 6 decades? I love history. I have so many questions about it. Wouldn’t Burrough’s Land That Time Forgot have been more interesting if an all-female egg-laying tribe have set those dinosaurs to just kill all the white men? Just think of all those bastards running around in fear of their lives. Hahahaa. And they’re trapped on that island. Burroughs couldn’t see very far into the future, could he? That’s not progressive.

  31. @Falling: “Did all the Sads become Rabids this year?”

    When your approach is an organised campaign slandering any and all puppy supporters, the ridiculous misbehaviour at the awards ceremony, and the general condescension that TruFans have shown to the puppy side… well, you’re creating your own monsters.

    Here’s an article that might explain some of it, in a nice safe left-wing publication, just for you:

  32. I wonder who “James May Sucks” is? Me? *I’m* Tim Kyger, and don’t need to hide behind a nom de plume to express my opinion. Oh and yes, I also don’t need to use profanity to express my opinions either (although it *is* more fun). Mr/Ms “James May Sucks” is typical of the puppy kickers in behavior. BTW, Mr/Ms “James May Sucks”, I ran a WorldCon once (you can look it up — oh, wait, you might not be able to do that…) and I do have some fannish credentials. People know who I am. Who are *you*?

  33. draven and jwrennie: if the Hugo Awards used simple first-past-the-post voting, you would be right. They don’t. 50% I said and 50% it is.

  34. I can’t believe you’ve come to the point where you have to put up lunatic fantasies instead of actually quoting people. Have you considered actually doing research? Unhampered by reality, you are free to go down your little rabbit hole but its literally crazy to do so.

  35. Goldfarb: if everyone outside the “no award” clique writes a complete ballot, listing all five nominees above “no award”, then the “no award” clique needs to send in 50% + 1 ballots to gain their point. With incomplete ballots, though, “no award” can win with less than an absolute majority. In the extreme case, where every ballot lists just one nominee, “no award” wins if it has more votes than any single nominee; if every ballot has two nominees, “no award” wins if it has more votes than the top two nominees combined, and so on.

    Last I heard, it was quite common for Hugo voters not to rank all five nominees on their ballots, especially if they hadn’t read some of the works. So “no award” can win while falling short of a majority of ballots cast.

  36. “Annalee @leeflower Special shout-out to my fellow queer writers, who were so well represented, both in numbers and in quality, on this year’s #Nebula ballot.”

    “This weekend’s winners reflect many different types of diversity beyond gender. Half are women of color, half are self-identified queer women – which mirrors the overall diversity of the ballot. 24 out of the 34 works nominated for the award were written by women from multiple racial and cultural backgrounds and a spectrum of sexual orientations. Of the 10 works by men, five of them were written by people of color and queer authors.” – K. Tempest Bradford

    It’s all about genre and writing. That’s a huge demographic overload and no, there’s been no affirmative action push and open collusion to make it so. A thousand quotes like that versus none on the other side is a phantom in my head. I’m impressed any of those winners could lift their heads up without embarrassment. Apparently black and queer pride means just that: blood and supremacy, not in achievement. But then, when you’re convinced virtually all people on Earth hate you, that delusion will take you anywhere you want. But boredom isn’t hate, it’s just boredom, and this cult is creating the most boring SFF in history. There’s a reason we have gay and Africana studies sections of the bookstore: so I can know how not to be bored by this bizarre racial and sexual narcissism. Don’t put romance fiction in the WW II section either. Thank you.

    A friend of mine once said Americans will do anything to lose weight but exercise and eat sensibly. It’s the same here: WorldCon will do anything but address the real problem; it’s anti-white, anti-male, anti-heterosexual cult. That stays – no matter what.

  37. Hmm. It was this I was thinking of, in regards to No Award,

    The No Award Test

    The final check before a winner can be determined is known as the No Award Test. The valid ballots are divided into three piles: those in which No Award is ranked higher than the prospective winner (PW), those in which the prospective winner is ranked higher than No Award, and those in which neither No Award nor the prospective winner have preferences listed. Note that a ballot that contains a preference for the prospective winner but does not contain a preference for No Award goes into the “prospective winner higher than no award” pile. This is because lack of preference is, by definition, lower than any preference. Having got the three piles, the votes in the “prospective winner higher than No Award pile” and the votes in the “No Award higher than prospective winner” pile are counted. If the number of votes with the prospective winner placed higher is greater then the result is confirmed. If the pile with No Award placed higher is greater then no award is given in the category that year.

    It’s important that you realize that we count the ballot at this stage if the prospective winner is ranked OR No Award is ranked. You don’t have to rank them both. The only ballots that don’t count here are those that rank neither the PW nor NA. To put it another way:

    If the PW ranks higher than No Award (or the PW is ranked and NA isn’t mentioned), count this as a YES vote for the PW.
    If No Award ranks higher than the PW (or NA is ranked and the PW isn’t mentioned), count this as a NO vote against the PW.
    If neither the PW nor No Award is listed, this is a blank ballot and doesn’t count at all.
    Total the YES and NO votes. If YES wins, the PW is confirmed. If NO wins, then No Award wins.

  38. Last year I did just as the puppies suggested, by reading and viewing all of the entries, and voting for the entry that I thought was best. So what did I get for all of my effort? I’ll tell you, I got a big fat no award, and insulted at the awards ceremony, and a list of people of honor for this year’s Worldcon that was nothing short of a slap in the face. Well, my response to these shenanigans should make Mr. Beale smile.

  39. EPH won’t lock any group out of the nomination round, and nor should it.

    It’s designed as a proportional system that prevents any well-organised group from dominating the nominations out of all proportion to their numbers. It would have the same effect on any insider cliques as it would have on the Rabid Puppies. As a guess there would still be at least 1-2 puppy picks nominated in each category, maybe more if there’s a significant overlap with the mominations from wider fandom.

    In the longer term, Worldcon do need to decide exactly what the Hugos are supposed to represent; at the moment it’s neither one thing or the other, hence all the mixed messages and goalpost-shifting.

    Either it needs far wider participation such that no single inward-looking clique can dominate, or they need to lock it down by making at least the nominations juried, and accept that it will lose a lot of its status as a result.

  40. Michael Brazier: Okay, yeah: you might be able to throw it to No Award with only 49%, or 48%. You’d need 50% or better to guarantee it. Still, you bring up a point I didn’t consider and I appreciate a good nitpick.

    That’s still thousands more Dread Ilk than Beale actually has, so a nitpick is all it is.

  41. > The only way to win the game now is not to play.

    The Torlings are locked in like a pit bull on a Porterhouse. They’re running on greed, indignation, and outrage; they can’t let go of any of them without compromising their self-images. And by squatting and drawing their lines in the sand, they’ve made themselves sitting targets.

    The various Puppies, sad or Rabid… are Out already, so they’re mostly in it for the lulz. They can keep the Torlings spun up to an entertaining level with negligible effort, and despite Vox and the Sad-Organizer-of-the-Year, there’s no central controlling organization.

  42. You know, I have the suspicion that the “Theodore Beale” in these comments isn’t really Theodore Beale.

  43. Draven: no recent winner got 50% on the first round of the balloting. (Except for No Award, of course.) The first round isn’t what matters. Every winner for the last three decades and more had 50% when it won.

    Quit putting your ignorance on display, and go read up on Instant Runoff Voting. It’s not like this information is hard to find.

  44. Quit showing your bias that anything I say has to be wrong. My point still stands- he doesn’t need 50% to win no award.

  45. I have it on good authority a rotund, jolly old gentlemen will take up his banjo at WorldCon and filk us with “Raperations”: a promise for no more rapes.

    “Yeah, c’mon all you big strong men
    Learn to zip up your pants again
    I got myself in a terrible jam
    Dragons don’t age as quickly as ham
    I can’t stall with rapes
    Or trenchers with mutton
    I keep ending up with a whole lot of nuttin’

    One… two… three… what am I writing for?
    I’ll never finish, I don’t give a dam
    Next stop a piece of ham

    And it’s four… five… six… put away the pricks
    Well, there ain’t no time to wonder why
    Not when it comes to tuna on rye

    Well, c’mon generals you gotta move fast
    The next woman raped might be the last
    I’ve run out of characters to abuse with stalkers
    Even I can move faster than those damned White Walkers
    There’s gotta be a better way for peace to be won
    Than raping women to kingdom come

    One… two… three… what are they fighting for?
    Don’t ask me I don’t give a damn
    My eye’s on a leg of lamb

    And it’s five… six… seven… the Jets are favored by eleven
    There’s no time to wonder why
    If the Jets are on the rapes gonna fly”

  46. @Goldfarb: “That’s still thousands more Dread Ilk than Beale actually has, so a nitpick is all it is.”

    So you may think. But Vox’s following is increasing every day. My guess is he can pull maybe a 1,000 right now (500 minions and then another 500 or so who aren’t minions). If we go back to the pre-Puppies Hugos there were only 1848 valid ballots in 2013, and 1922 in 2012. So yeah, Vox will have the following to No Award categories. The only question is can the Trufans maintain their current level of interest in the Hugos post-2015. In other words was last year an anomaly or a trend. We’ll see this year and beyond.

    There were over 3,000 No Awarders in 2015. In the Novella category where Vox’s slate swept the nominations there were 3495 No Awarders, and 1842 who voted for various stories. Slate discipline was lacking since voters picked and chose their favorite, not always following Vox. But it is far easier to maintain slate discipline with blanket No Awards in each category as we saw in 2015.

    So we’ll see who wears down first, Vox or Trufans, but I wouldn’t bet the Hugos that Vox will cave first.

  47. @Draven: My last comment to you was tactless. I apologize for it.

    @James: Pfft. Get real.

    I’ll put it this way: if Beale were to tell his followers, “No Award in every category!” (without giving them a set of rankings to put below it), nothing would make me happier. The folks at File 770 would be dancing for joy.

    Beale knows this, of course – he has the smarts to read the rulebook of the game he’s playing – which is why you won’t see him do it.

    Of course, he kinda needs to. I seem to recall a threat from him last year. I’ll quote him verbatim, even give you a link:
    If No Award takes a fiction category, you will likely never see another award given in that category again.
    So then we should not see awards given this year in, for example, Best Short Story and Best Novella. Otherwise we might start thinking of Beale as the kind of fellow who makes empty threats.

  48. I believe what with Dr. Tingle’s phenomenally successful Hugo Campaign SRBI might have a shot at defeating Cat Pictures Please, yet still be ranked under No Award on more ballots than it is ranked above it.


    The first 20 people to post a photo on Instagram or Twitter with this flyer hanging in their favorite bookstore will get a free Audible code direct messaged to them for Chuck’s classic tale BUTTCEPTION: A BUTT WITHIN A BUTT WITHIN A BUTT.

    The poster of 1 photo (best or most creative), as chosen by Chuck himself, will receive the honor of appearing by name as a side character in an upcoming tingler.”

    Now that’s meta!

  49. Goldfarb, the folks at File 770 danced for joy when they saw the 2015 Hugo awards ceremony – which shows how little they understood the fight they were in. They thought (and from what I can see still think) that Ted Beale wants to control who gets a Hugo, and rejoiced because he hadn’t done so. In fact Beale’s goal is to discredit the Hugos – and Sasquan’s organizers did more to help him achieve that in one evening than all his minions put together managed in months. The Rabid Puppies don’t need to collect enough ballots to force a No Award; they only need to collect enough to provoke successive Worldcons into repeating the scandalous behavior of last year’s ceremony.

    And we both know Beale has the numbers for that, don’t we?

  50. @Goldfarb:

    Scoff all you like but remember last year Day recommended No Award in the Graphic Novel category and 810 followed him. He has likely added more to that number since then.

    I don’t pretend to know his strategy, whether he plans to No Award the categories this year or not, but remember as long as he controls the nominations the Trufans will do the No Awarding for him. I’m guessing he’s betting that Short Story, Novella and Novellete will be No Awarded this year. That’s a safe bet.

    It’s when the nominating rules change and he can’t dominate the nominations, that’s when you’d have to worry about No Awards from Day. A 1,000 No Awarders out of a pool of 2-3,000 voters (I don’t think Trufans can sustain their numbers from last year, but we’ll see), is going to do a lot of damage. So Trufans are stuck, they either accept the nomination slates from Day, and either vote for his choices or No Award the categories, or change the nomination process and risk having the categories No Awarded by Day.

  51. The establishment keeps underestimating Vox, and Vox keeps kicking their asses. You’d think they’d learn something at some point, but no.

  52. @Draven

    I wonder if you understand how the votes are counted regarding no award. As far as I understand, there have to be at least 50% voting for NoAward, othervise a work with fewer votes will still trump NoAward in the final tallying. NoAward votes are counted differently, so it is more difficult for NoAward to win.

  53. What this year lacks — and last year had — is the full-court-press media frenzy over SEXISRACISHOMERPHOBERERS come to destroy science fiction. I mean, they’ve sorta-kinda tried a little bit, but with a crew of all women doing SP4, they can only attack Vox, and frankly, Vox is old news. The determined Puppy Kickers won’t be able to rely on 500 to 750 non-Fandom votes, who have all registered explicitly for the purpose of performing SOCIAL JUSTICE by putting “no award” against everything Teresa Nielsen-Hayden and the others told them (the non-Fan SJW voters) to. Meanwhile, Vox may have doubled or even tripled his numbers, because I know a lot of decent people who were disgusted — absolutely disgusted — with David Gerrold, the Nielsen-Haydens, et al., last year, and now those same disgusted individuals are not in a mind to celebrate SF, they’re in a mind to punch back hard at the people (Gerrold, TNH, PNH, et al.) they see as ringleading the anti-Puppy crusade.

  54. @David Goldfarb “Every winner for the last three decades and more had 50% when it won.”

    I won’t bother going back to the other 29 years to find where you were wrong.

    Orphan Black: “By Means Which Have Never Been Tried” 2240/4705 =48%
    Lightspeed Magazine 1827/3880=47%
    Galactic Suburbia Podcast 1442/3384=43%

    @Micael Gustavsson no, No Award is treaty exactly as any other nominee in the vote counting, and can win with less than 50%. There is an >additional< head to head check of No Award vs the winning nominee after the winner is determined, which makes it easier, not harder, for No Award to win the category


    Kameron Hurley likes to start out articles with stuff like “If you spend a lot of time studying history” and then lie about everything.

    No, you coonish gasbag. The reason we loved the space operas of C.L. Moore and C.S. Friedman is because they were good writers who didn’t write paranoid non-fiction defaming all white men like Leckie’s shit about “white cis dudes” or Jemisin’s “diabolical” whites or academically corrupt histories like Justine Larbalestier’s Battle of the Sexes.

    We’ve told you a thousand times what we are objecting to and lying about it the one-thousandth and first time won’t change that. You’re not fucking talented “upstarts,” you’re fucking bigoted, ignorant supremacists who can’t write or even tell the truth.

  56. Brad Said:

    “My friends, it is with deep regret that I must come before you — the Peoples Republic of Science Fiction — to announce that Bad People™ have come into our country, and they are seriously messing up our awards.”

    I have to agree with you there. Ms. Gallo had it just about right.

  57. @MV DuQuesne

    I was quite sure the final head to head check meant that NoAward had to have more than 50%. I may be wrong of course, since I’m not infallible. Does anybody here know the exact formulation?

  58. Sorry, ETA: “If No Award is ranked above the winner or No Award appears but the winner doesn’t…”

    Basically, the gambit banks on the fact that a lot of people will tick No Award and leave the rest of their slots blank. Even though No Award will lose the contest for first place, if a lot of people preferred No Award to, say, Space Raptor Butt Invasion, it may still, ahem, come from behind.

  59. The bottom line is that nothing will win a Hugo unless more than 50% of the Hugo voters approve of it. This may take multiple rounds, so for example in round 1 “Blasters of the Space Patrol” may have 40% of the vote and the other nominees spread out the 60%. Since nothing got 50% in that round we drop whoever got the least votes, and take everybody’s second choice votes and add it to the first choice votes of the 4 remaining candidates. We do that until somebody (or No Award, which counts as a nominee for this discussion) gets over 50%.

    Conceptually, it’s as if we all stand in a room and vote for one of the 5 nominees. If none of them get a majority, we have the nominee with the least votes be ineligible and we vote again for the 4 remaining nominees. We repeat this until somebody passes the 50% mark.

    Again conceptually, once we get a winner out of the above, we take another vote asking “should we not give out an award?” and the voter’s options are No Award, Yes Award or Abstain. If on that second vote we get more “No” than “Yes” then the Nos win and no award is issued.

    Since any ballot that ranks the Prospective Winner above No Award (and not putting No Award on your ballot counts as ranking Prospective Winner above it) in this second vote, in practice to No Award a category you need a majority of voters.

    In short, the process is designed to get majority consensus on an acceptable winner, which may not have been anybody’s first choice.

  60. Chris Gerrib, but wouldn’t it be interesting if something like this happened:

    1. Cat Pictures / 2. No Award (1001 ballots)

    1. Space Raptor / 2. Cat Pictures / 3. No Award (1000 ballots)

    1. Space Raptor / 2. No Award (1000 ballots)

    1. No Award (1000 ballots)

  61. Hate to break it to Kameron Hurley, but if you’re getting regular coverage over at, you’re part of the Establishment. Mind you, like most of her ilk, Hurley is raging against an Establishment that’s been gone for decades, if it ever existed at all. A Straw Establishment, if you will.

  62. “Also, I admit that I expected it to work slightly better than it did in the study. The aspect I didn’t account for (and, in retrospect, should have anticipated) is that even off the slate, popular works are slightly positively correlated. I suspect that’s largely or entirely innocent: some nominators are reading all the well-known books that come out in the field and tending to have some overlap in what they like, while other nominators are way out in some niche sub-genre and are unlikely to name anything that has broad appeal. The effect is weak, but it mean that EPH is slightly discounting the organic nominees as if they were a bit of a slate. I’d estimate that, as compared to the zero-organic-correlation model I was using, that may have taken away 5-10% of the voting power of the organic voters, which is enough to turn 3 slate nominees into 4 in several categories.” – Jameson Quinn at vile 770


    Translation: “EPH is affecting *our* slate more than expected!”

    They didn’t expect the puppies to have actually used their slate as a reading list. They didn’t expect non-puppies might enjoy the same things puppies picked. Their assumptions of puppy discipline and willful denial of other slates has thus led to the under performance of their “fix”.

  63. I noted also that Jameson Quinn felt the need to immediately retract that 5-10% figure, realizing that it violated his NDA preventing him from disclosing what will happen to “non-puppy” finalists under EPH.

    I can’t figure him and Schneier out. It looks as if Quinn may honestly and naively believe it’s a great (new?) idea to bring a culture war to Worldcon – a convention which he had barely heard of before he got drawn into Making Light last year. Shouldn’t Schneier know better?

  64. @Chris Gerrib “The bottom line is that nothing will win a Hugo unless more than 50% of the Hugo voters approve of it.”
    No, as listed above for Mr. Goldfarb, the last nominee standing after everything else is eliminated can win with a simple plurality as long as it’s more popular than No Award.

    @Brian Z
    In that case it’d go
    1st Round :
    Space Raptor 2000, cat pictures 1001, no award 1000
    2nd Round:
    Space Raptor 2000, Cat Pictures 1001
    Space Raptor is presumptive winner
    No Award Round:
    Space raptor lower than No Award 2001, Space Raptor higher than No Award 2000

    No Award wins the category.

  65. @Brian Z

    Isn’t the culture war already there, regardless of whether EPH is instituted or not?

    As a european living in a country with a proportional election system (and who never have really got the anglo saxon affinity for first past the post systems) I may be biased, but it seems to me like something like EPH should have been instituted anyway; there already is a kind of proportianality in the voting itself (“australian ballot”), so it makes sense to have proportionality in nominations itself. To bad that issue is mixed up with all the other stuff.

  66. “Here are the five things, let’s choose one that most of you will be most satisfied with” historically was mostly pretty good at choosing, from five good finalists, one really good winner.

    The nominations worked because most participants (used to be some hundreds of hardcore ones) read a decent sampling of new novels plus the stories or serialized novels in the big magazines. We all know the same field, know which things are important to look at and have all read an awful lot of them. I’ll write down my top picks, you write down yours, and great things will rise to the top.” If your picks didn’t rise you’d get grouchy, otherwise you wouldn’t be much of a fan, but you’d go and sincerely applaud whether it was Ursula Le Guin or Larry Niven.

    Now thousands of new people read thousands of wildly different kinds of things and you end up with the stuff that may have got a lot of buzz online but it’s pretty mediocre at least as often as not. Worse, the sense of entitlement – “we want an award for our stuff/people too” – is destroying whatever sense of a community sincerely honoring all of its authors might be left.

    EPH’s “fixing things” so each fractured subculture can its tiny slice of a tiny pie is neither here nor there. You saw what happened in 2015. One star reviews and viscous blog posts became performance art and spectator sport. The grumpy old fat rich guy has at least thing right – the only point of doing this is if fans are willing to come together, read together, and honor the same authors. Otherwise, just throw in the towel.

  67. Interesting how the Puppies get accused of waging culture war, yet apparently the other side somehow *isn’t* with their endless attacks against us?

  68. There is no such culture war in SFF. We went 100 years without such racial sexual defamation and garbage. Chalk it up to John Scalzi and his feminist KKK cult, not “culture.” Read something like Sandra Miesel’s work on Poul Anderson’s Van Rijn series. It immediately predates the rise of this cult. There is nothing in her work about “patriarchy,” “misogyny” or “cultural appropriation.” You can kiss that all good-bye. Miesel may as well have been 100 years ago. In only a few years, this cult has destroyed the integrity of the Nebulas and the Hugos, turning them into the vacuous intersectional lesbian-gazing boredom of WisCon’s Tiptree Awards.

  69. Interesting how the Puppies, et al., get accused of waging culture war, yet apparently the other side somehow *isn’t* with their endless attacks against us?

    This is because the average Puppy-kicker didn’t get much beyond, “I know you are, but what am I?” in terms of gradeschool debate tactics. They have been taught that feelings trump logic, and that ad populum is not only not a logical fallacy, it is an iron-clad law of the universe. Ergo, if you and enough of your friends believe in bullshit, it’s magically not bullshit, it’s truth. And not just truth for you, but truth for all people, for all time. Facts are racist. Reality is sexist and homophobic. Objective analysis — metrics, data, the deductive approach to achieving conclusions — goes by the wayside. Because being “right” about a thing, doesn’t depend on reasoned debate. It depends on identitarian dogma. The more victim hats you can wear at any one time, the more “correct” you get to be — even if you’re mentally and/or emotionally unwell, to a ravingly unfortunate degree.

  70. @Chris Gerrib No, Your denseness is impressive, but you are no Episiarch. Rounds continue until there is a majority or until the other options are eliminated in which case the last remaining nominee can win with a plurality, as happened 3 times last year. There is also no majority requirement in the No Award round, just more ballots in the higher than no award pile than the lower than no award pile. The no preference pile can be higher than both other piles put together and it doesn’t matter.

    @Christopher M. Chupik
    They punch up, which is good. We punch down, which is bad.
    They are cultural war revolutionaries, which is good. We are cultural war counter revolutionaries, which is bad.
    They have 4 legs, which is good. We have 2 legs, which is bad
    The puppies obviously and in-arguably voted for the slate blindly and unread. To even insinuate the No Awarders didn’t read the works they voted down is a vile lie that no good person can countenance.

    If the kickers didn’t have double standards they’d have no standards at all.

  71. And nothing highlights that pointed memory-holing of data like this chart based on Theodore Peterson’s Magazines of the 20th Century and Standard Rate and Data. Every time I look at how women dominated that era’s magazines and then think of Le Guin writing how SFF mags were examples of “male elitism” I laugh. There was nothing special about SFF mags; they were magazines. If women didn’t particularly care for them and men did, tough shit. Am I to apologize for every hobby women had no interest in? And yet almost every day SFF’s feminist crew of blowhards is whining somewhere about how women were locked out of SFF. They sure as hell weren’t locked out of the rest of it.

    Key: (G)=general interest, (M)=aimed at men, (W)=aimed at women


    10.2 Reader’s Digest (G) 1922
    5.7 Life (G) 1936
    4.8 Ladies’ Home Journal (W) 1883
    4.6 Saturday Evening Post (G) 1821
    4.5 McCall’s (W) 1870
    4.2 Woman’s Home Companion (W) 1873
    4.2 Family Circle (W) 1932
    4.1 Better Homes & Gardens (G) 1922
    4.1 Look (G) 1936
    3.7 Collier’s (G) 1888
    3.6 Woman’s Day (W) 1937
    3.4 Good Housekeeping (W) 1885
    3.0 American Home (W) 1928
    3.0 TV Guide (G) 1948
    2.8 American Legion (M) 1919
    2.7 American Magazine (G) 1876
    2.7 Coronet (G) 1936
    2.5 True Story (W) 1919
    2.5 Household (W) 1900
    2.3 Confidential (G) 1952
    2.3 Better Living (W) 1951
    2.2 National Geographic (G) 1888
    2.2 Redbook (W) 1903
    1.9 Time (G) 1923
    1.8 True (M) 1944
    1.7 Everywoman’s (W) 1951
    1.6 Town Journal (G) 1894
    1.6 Parents’ Magazine (W) 1926
    1.6 Workbasket (W) 1935
    1.4 Popular Mechanics (M) 1902
    1.4 Photoplay (G) 1911
    1.4 True Confessions (W) 1922
    1.3 Argosy (M) 1882
    1.2 Popular Science Monthly (M) 1872
    1.2 Modern Screen (G) 1930
    1.2 Western Family (W) 1941
    1.1 Boy’s Life (M) 1912
    1.1 V.F.W. Magazine (M) 1914
    1.1 Elks Magazine (M) 1922
    1.0 Newsweek (G) 1933

    Women – 16 – 44.7
    Men – 8 – 11.8
    General – 16 – 51.4

    “Annalee @leeflower May 11 To declare a few white dudes ‘canon’ is to plant a flag on an entire genre and claim that all of it must be filtered through one tradition”

    “Annalee @leeflower May 14 Special shout-out to my fellow queer writers, who were so well represented, both in numbers and in quality, on this year’s #Nebula ballot.”

    That’s the sweet little buttercup who moderated a panel on internet harassment at the Nebulas. Her Twitter feed shits on men and whites every… single… day.

  72. “MC DuQuesne on May 21, 2016 at 1:56 pm said:

    @Chris Gerrib No, Your denseness is impressive, but you are no Episiarch.”

    I like your style, Duquesne. 😀

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