How You Should Vote for the Hugos This Year

(Warning: Hugo neepery follows. Ignore if bored with the topic.)

Now that the Hugo voter packet is out, I’m getting asked rather a lot, mostly with an air of confidentiality, how I plan to vote in this year, what with the actual democratic nature of the Hugo nomination balloting representing hundreds of individual viewpoints subverted by a couple of jerks who created interlocking slates (one prominently featuring work created by one of these jerks’ own publishing company) and encouraged people, either bluntly or with a wink and a nod, to vote a straight ticket rather than come up with their own independent choices. People are wondering whether I plan to put all the nominees pushed by the slates under the “No Award” option, or simply leave them off my final ballot altogether, after placing “No Award” below the works/people I feel are legitimate choices.

My short answer is no, I don’t plan to do that. I will detail my longer answer in a second. But before I do, some thoughts to the Hugo voters this year:

To the people planning to put everything/everyone on Puppy slates below “No Award” or leave them off your ballot altogether: This is a solid and totally legitimate choice to make, and don’t let anyone tell you any different. My understanding is that at least one of the head Puppies has been notably petulant on the subject recently, which is a matter of some irony. If you believe that slates are inimical to Hugo balloting, or wish to register your disapproval of the selections this year, or think that the Puppies are assholes who deserve to be smacked on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper, or any other reason you choose to No Award them, it is your right, and some would argue, your responsibility, to vote them below “No Award” or leave them off the ballot entirely (after having placed “No Award” below your last actual choice). If this is your path, then rock on with yourself.

To the people planning to vote on the nominees as if it were a completely normal year: This is also a solid and totally legitimate choice to make, and you should also not let anyone tell you any different. Because you might not think slates matter much one way or another, or you might think the individual nominees, no matter how they arrived on the final ballot, deserve to be treated with courtesy and respect, or you might simply think “cool, stuff to read” and just get to it, or any other reason you might have to read and rate. Again: This is your path? Cool. Rock on.

To the people somewhere in the middle, for whatever reason: Hey, you know what? That’s fine too. It’s okay to be conflicted. After all, not everyone on a slate asked to be there, or there might be some people on a slate who you think should have been nominated regardless, or in your reading you might find something on a slate that blows you away and deserves a shot, or (again) whatever — it’s your ballot and your choice for voting. Rock on with your choices.

The short version of all of the above: If you vote your own conscience, there is no wrong way to vote for the Hugos. There is, simply, your vote. It’s your own choice. Think about it, take your vote seriously — and then vote. No one can or should ask you to do anything otherwise.

With that as preamble:

I think the slates are bullshit, and I think the people who created them (and at least some of the people on them) are acting like petulant, whiny crybabies and/or obnoxious, self-aggrandizing opportunists. I’m also aware some slate choices were not made aware they had been put on slates, or were placed on them under false pretenses. Some of those so slated chose to leave the ballot, which I think is impressive and well done them, but I can’t really fault those who chose to stay, not in the least because for some of them it would be politically or personally awkward to withdraw, for various reasons. And, on the principle that a stopped clock can be correct twice a day, it’s entirely possible something or someone that is a slate choice is genuinely deserving of consideration for the Hugo, and I am loath to discount that, particularly if the person to whom the award would be given was also an unwilling (or misinformed) draftee onto a slate.

So here is my plan:

1. I am going to look back on my own Hugo nomination ballot, and identify in each category the work/person I nominated that I judged to be my “last place” choice in the category.

2. When confronted with a nominee on the final ballot who was placed there by a slate, I will ask myself: “Is this work/person better than my own ‘last place’ nominee?”

3. If the answer is ‘yes,” then I will rank that work/person above “No Award” on my final ballot, and otherwise rank them accordingly to my own preference.

4. If the answer is “no,” then I won’t put that work/person on my ballot at all, and I will put “No Award” below my choices in the category so it’s clear that I would prefer no award given than to offer the Hugo to anything/anyone I’ve left off the ballot.

This, for me, strikes the appropriate balance between fairness to the nominees on the slates, and registering disapproval for the concept of slating. This way, if the work is genuinely good in my own estimation, it gets a fair hearing. But if it’s not, out it goes — and not just out, but also suffering the existential ignominy of “No Award” being preferred over it or them.

As I think this is a decent plan, I naturally encourage people to adopt it for their own, or adapt it for their own purpose. For those Hugo voters who didn’t nominate this year, I would suggest either creating a mock nomination ballot to use as a guideline, or using another award final ballot as a substitute. Here’s this year’s Nebula ballot, and here’s this year’s Locus finalist list. Choose your least favorite work in each category and use that as the benchmark.

But remember: It’s your vote and your choice. With the Hugos, it’s a very good year to take both seriously. Don’t let anyone keep you from voting your own conscience.

139 thoughts on “How You Should Vote for the Hugos This Year

  1. Heh, ironically, I sent you an email just this very morning with a question about Hugo voting. I sent it by email because I couldn’t figure out where might be another good place to post it. But lo, the Scalzi provides! (I hope you don’t mind me reposting my question here.)

    My question is, how exactly does one judge the Hugo Editor categories? In past years when I’ve voted on the Hugos, I’ve typically left the category blank because I didn’t feel I understood the criteria well enough to make an informed decision. This year, though, I’m… less inclined to leave it off the ballot altogether. I’m not really sure where to begin, though, or how exactly I’m supposed to separate the author from the editor, especially with regards to the Long Form category. Can you give me any advice?

  2. Jason:

    Start by googling the editors and seeing what the list among the works they edit. Some of the editors this year edited stuff that’s also on the ballot, so that’ll make things a bit easier. If you’re not sure you can make an informed, useful choice, I think it’s fine to skip the category on the ballot.

  3. I will start reading each nominated story. Any I finish will appear on my ballot, those I give up on won’t. No award will apear above any story I would not recomend to a friend, and on any ballot I have left woks off.

  4. The Editor-Short category is effectively a proxy for “Best Magazine or Anthology” — vote for editors who produced magazines and/or anthologies you thought best. The Editor-Long category is effectively a proxy for “Best Publisher,” although it’s trickier here because the same publisher can have multiple editors.

  5. Agreed.

    I’m treating the works as the “normal year” now that they are on the ballot, with the caveat of understanding that if I don’t think a work is good enough, it’s not being ranked and No Award will get a vote.

    I figure that I disagree enough with several works in every other year (and sometimes I flat out don’t understand how a nomination happened because my tastes diverge sharply) that many of the works surpass that minimum standard.

    I like your idea of how you’re voting, but if I applied that every year, I’d have a whole lot of No Award going on. Which may happen in the future anyway. I think I’m gradually evaluating with a firmer hand.

  6. >> In past years when I’ve voted on the Hugos, I’ve typically left the category blank because I didn’t feel I understood the criteria well enough to make an informed decision.>>

    That’s perfectly accebtable.

    >> This year, though, I’m… less inclined to leave it off the ballot altogether. I’m not really sure where to begin, though, >>

    You might begin by figuring out why you’re less inclined to leave it off the ballot this year.

    If your inclination is due to some insight into the quality of the work done, then figuring out how to judge the quality of the work done would help you come to a decision, but if your inclination is due to objecting to or being offended by the results of slate voting, that’s a perfectly acceptable reason to vote as well.

    I find it hard to judge editing from outside — on the one hand, if a published work is full of errors or poorly constructed, that’s the editor’s fault even if it’s also the writer’s fault, because the editor didn’t get it fixed. But on the other, if the work is excellent, who gets credit for it? To some degree, the editor who thought it was good enough to buy, but beyond acquiring, was the work excellent as is or did the editor help make it so? And how do you tell, as a reader, when good editing involves getting out of the way and when it involves getting in there and helping?

    In the end, when judging editors from the outside, I judge by the choices they made (what they acquired in the first place, or in comics, who they hired to make the work happen), by the quality of the finished work (whether they pushed the author into improving it or recognized that it was fine as is), and how people who do work with them talk about them. Editors authors find helpful tend to get praised by those authors for helping. Editors who just make things smooth and friendly get praised, too, though maybe a bit less. Editors authors don’t find helpful don’t get publicly dissed, but they don’t get a lot of praise either.

    In the end it’s one vote, so if you take your best shot and figure that wiser (or more knowledgable) heads will act was a corrective if you’re wrong, you’re probably on fair ground.

    But it’s hard to judge. This is why most awards in my field dropped “Best Editor.” It tended to go to “Editor of the Most Popular Book,” which just isn’t the same thing.

  7. I downloaded the voters packet last night and was amused that Castalia House couldn’t be bothered to send pdfs or whatevers of their nominated short stories.

    Yes, I know they’re available for free already, but you’d think VD would go through the tiny amount of effort to send it to Sasquan.

  8. I wish I’d saved my own nomination ballot. That said, I have a decent enough memory for the short fiction and novel categories that I can remember more or less what was in ‘last’ place. So far, none of the puppy stuff has impressed me more than those, though one of the non-slate nominees didn’t either (I try to finish books, but the Goblin Emperor’s purple prose started to get into the ultraviolet and I couldn’t get past 50 pages)

    This is a good method though! Saving it for future use.

  9. Me, too. Well put, John.

    I’m a first time voter. Right now I’m just trying to get through the shorter works and ignoring the slates. The slates may or may not affect my ballot.

    One thing that does color my take this year is that I am also reading the compleat H.P. Lovecraft right now. Despite some issues with his plotting habits (The “it was so horrible that I can’t describe it, and if I could there are no words, and if there were words you wouldn’t understand them!” approach), I’m loving his craftsmanship with the English language.

    I’ve also devoured a few Robert Silverberg anthologies in the last few years. So the bar, she is high regardless of the slates.

    Regards,
    Dann

  10. After 40 years of being a non-con-going fan, I voted for the Hugos for the first time last year – in large part because I thought “Redshirts”, while a fine book, wasn’t of the same caliber as “Throne of the Crescent Moon” or “2312”. Upon discovering how few people normally nominate and vote for the Hugos I was determined that I wasn’t going to sit still after “Ancillary Justice” knocked my socks off.

    I both nominated and have voted this year, though I’ve been waiting for the Hugo packet to get a look at the works in a few categories. It’s very beneficial to me that the online voting mechanism really makes this possible, allowing the voter to “vote as they go” – especially if they haven’t read a lot of the work on offer.

    My personal approach is a mix of the methods our host outlines. I’m not going to simply blast “No Award” in a category if there’s something in it I would likely have voted for anyway, but I have made use of it if some of the works in a category aren’t up to my personal threshold of worthiness.

    But there’s a couple categories where, well, I simply couldn’t bring myself to vote for someone who views friends and family members of mine as “subhuman”, or their fellow-travelers. And dudes, if you’ve lost the 50-year-old straight white military veteran guy, you just may be Doing It Wrong.

  11. Bill: Worth noting that all of the Castalia House stories are in the packet. They are either in Riding the Red Horse (included in the Related Work folder), in the John C Wright collection in the Novella folder, and the Kratman story is also in the Novella folder. All are included with epub, mobi, and pdf.

    Each folder in the packet includes a Notes file that gives a little info on where stuff can be found. It’s the same note in each folder.

  12. I think I’m stuck with the option of the middle path. The slates for both dramatic presentation categories contain works that I also nominated, and I really disliked one of the non-puppy nominees. I’m going to treat this category as if it were a normal year, because I think this is a decent representation of what was good in those categories last year and because any other course of action hurts my head.

    On the other side of things, I don’t have infinite amounts of time and have yet to read two of the novels, three of the graphic novels, and any of the short or related fiction. I’d also like to try to evaluate the ‘zines and the fancasts this year. I will try to get to everything, but if it comes down to a time crunch, I’m inclined to allocate more time to the non-slate nominees and to scan or sample the rest, and I won’t feel guilty about placing a slate nominee below No Award based on a more cursory reading.

  13. Bill Ruhsam: Too bad Castalia didn’t send their nominated stories to Sasquan. I know I can download the stories directly from Castalia House, but I just don’t trust them to send malware- or virus-free files.
    As they say, lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.
    Or in this case, lie down with rabid puppies, and who knows what you’ll get up with.

  14. I filled out the bulk of my ballot, having already read most of the novels and shorter works.

    For the most part, I swept down the line and put No Award over all the slated stuff, with exceptions for categories like Dramatic Presentation since those are all likely nominees, puppies or not. That was my default position. And I ranked everything else I’d already read or listened to, so if I’m hit by a bus my vote will be in there.

    Now, armed with the packet, I’m going back and checking everything out. In the (so far) rare instances when a Puppy suggestion seems worthy, I’m still leaving them under No Award but I’m ranking them. Otherwise the slated items remain blank.

    It’s possible a Puppy suggestion might wow me. But I’m inclined to punish the perfectly legal maneuver with my perfectly legal response.

  15. Joe Sherry writes:

    I like your idea of how you’re voting, but if I applied that every year, I’d have a whole lot of No Award going on. Which may happen in the future anyway. I think I’m gradually evaluating with a firmer hand.

    I think if everyone did that in Short Story every year there would be a whole lot of No Award going on.

    So far, I’ve been pretty mild mannered with No Award. I’ve really only ever used it a couple of times. I generally just consider the work against the other works on the ballot. If I actually used it on all works that really I don’t think deserve a Hugo, that would account for a fair fraction of my final ballot for Short Story, Novelette, and Novella every year, and also a novel or two here and there.

  16. Good summary of options, John. I think Kary English is worthy of consideration regardless of her puppy status because her work is good, and because she has been a positive influence (as far as I’ve seen) in all the slate discussion. However, anything by VD or published by Castalia is off the ballot. I’m not even going to read it. I will not support that man in any way. Yuck.

  17. Mike writes:

    I generally just consider the work against the other works on the ballot. If I actually used it on all works that really I don’t think deserve a Hugo, that would account for a fair fraction of my final ballot for Short Story, Novelette, and Novella every year, and also a novel or two here and there.

    And why is that a problem? Last year my vote for short story was simply “No Award,” with no other votes. I didn’t like any of them, I didn’t feel any of them deserved the Hugo, so my vote was for No Award. (More people thought otherwise.) I felt and voted similarly for most of the other short fiction nominations last year.

    Just because a work is better then the other 4 nominated works does not mean it deserves a Hugo. In my opinion, one should be considering the works against other eligible works, not just the other nominated works. If there is a short story that didn’t get nominated, but it is better than all the nominated works, then vote No Award. Don’t vote for something just because it got nominated, and don’t be worried about voting No Award.

  18. Dang it, Scalzi. There you go again with your insistence on thought and conscience and personal agency for everyone. If This Goes On, you’re going to make the world a better place for EVERYONE.

  19. I have voted for best novel already but was waiting for the Hugo pack for the other written fiction categories. I plan to give them a read and be open minded about it and determine their worth on their intrinsic value.

  20. Here’s why I’m going to rank-order most works that I put below No Award
    – Some of them are going to win anyway, unless Noah sweeps the slate-tainted categories
    – I’d rather have those be works that are ok or mediocre than bad, and rather bad than worse.

    I don’t have large set of works I’ve nominated myself to compare with; most of the novels I read in 2014 were published in 2013 or earlier, especially because publishers have a habit of releasing hardbacks the first year and paperbacks a year later. But still, I can usually tell a Hugo-quality work when I read it*. (So, for instance, Correia’s trilogy the other year wasn’t quite Hugo-quality, but was a fun read anyway, and I finished it after the voting was over; Torgerson’s nominated works were even worse than Beale’s.)

    (*By definition, my opinions on that are at least about 1/5000th authoritative :-)

  21. I’d like to add my thanks (and I suppose I should also thank the Tantrum Puppies for their efforts, as otherwise I’d never have heard of all this). I’ve never voted for the Hugos, so there’s that, and also, I’ve been largely not reading SF for a long time now for various reasons. I’ve been introduced to some reasonably interesting stuff, so that’s good. No rolicking space operas like Asimov and LeGuin used to write, but you go to read with the authors you have.. It’s sort of interesting to see the seamier modern seamy underbelly of SF, and all this has brought up some fond memories of my junior high school time when we liked to get together, wonder about girls, discuss the deep metaphysics of Star Trek (would Uhura or Rand bend over on the next show?) and pretend we were grown-ups – so, thanks again to the “Sad Puppies”!

  22. I’ll be ranking every slate work below No Award. Sorry, Mr. Butcher, I love the Dresden series (and it’s the only nominated novel I owned before Hugo season started, for that matter) but Job One for this voter is to discourage slates as strongly as I possibly can. Maybe with a flamethrower.

  23. Kevin M. writes:

    And why is that a problem? Last year my vote for short story was simply “No Award,” with no other votes.

    I’m beginning to think it isn’t a problem. Not because of Puppies, but because I think I should start expecting better of the works on the ballot. I really liked the English story. It’s going above no award on my ballot.

    Just because a work is better then the other 4 nominated works does not mean it deserves a Hugo. In my opinion, one should be considering the works against other eligible works, not just the other nominated works. If there is a short story that didn’t get nominated, but it is better than all the nominated works, then vote No Award. Don’t vote for something just because it got nominated, and don’t be worried about voting No Award.

    So if there is a work which didn’t get nominated, which I happen to think is better than all of the nominees, which may never have been considered by the other voters during the nominating process, and which happens to align perfectly with my tastes, I should vote no award? I don’t think that’s an entirely reasonable metric. I think I might start applying a “would I buy it if I published a magazine” test.

  24. I, too, am a First Time Hugo Voter, thanks to the foofaraw raised by the Sad Puppets. Much like shalezero says, I’m planning on ranking No Award above any work listed on a slate. If I like the slated works, I’ll rank them below No Award. If I don’t, then I won’t list them at all.

    I admit to being disappointed in Jim Butcher’s shrugging acceptance of his presence on a slate. I’ve been a fan of his works for some time now, and I did enjoy “Skin Game”, but I’d feel a lot more guilty about ranking it below No Award if I thought he was unaware of having been slated, rather than being aware and not objecting in any meaningful way. While I don’t believe that he *actually* agrees with politics of the Sad/Rabid Puppies, allowing them to use his novel comes off as implicit acceptance.

    I do feel bad for those authors who were on a slate without their knowledge, and/or found out about it and turned down their nominations, but at this point I feel it’s important enough to do what I can to minimize the success of the Sad Puppets at winning awards.

  25. So if there is a work which didn’t get nominated, which I happen to think is better than all of the nominees, which may never have been considered by the other voters during the nominating process, and which happens to align perfectly with my tastes, I should vote no award? I don’t think that’s an entirely reasonable metric. I think I might start applying a “would I buy it if I published a magazine” test.

    There’s often going to be a piece that knocks one’s socks off, which is why I think voting for the pieces that outrank your least favorite piece of your nominations (or what your nominations would have been) is a better strategy.

    For me, last year’s Hugos, James Mickens’s “The Slow Winter” was the piece I loved the most, and nothing beat it. But it was in an obscure sysadmin journal and thus not something most Hugo nominators would see.

  26. By “is a better strategy” I didn’t mean than whether or not you’d buy it “if I published a magazine” but rather the earlier part of the paragraph. Having had to buy things for a market, it’s really tough. There are pieces where I’ve frankly seriously considered opening my own ‘zine just so that I could publish the pieces that were ultimately rejected from my various stints as an editor.

  27. There’s often going to be a piece that knocks one’s socks off, which is why I think voting for the pieces that outrank your least favorite piece of your nominations (or what your nominations would have been) is a better strategy.

    I agree that is a better strategy, but if you are a dedicated short fiction reader, I still think the odds are good that you will have five candidates, all of which you like better than all of the actual nominees and I still think that is a test that is somewhat unreasonable test.

  28. I’m another first-time voter and I’ve got a stupid question: is there a single place where I can find out what’s been nominated by all currently involved slates? I have my own thoughts about how I intend to rank things, but the first thing I would need to do is find out what the slate nominees *are*. I don’t know at this point whether there are only the two I know of (SP and RP) or if they’ve bred and had little horrific puppy litters of their own by now, while I was busy getting married and couldn’t pay much attention. Thanks, nice folks.

  29. pocketnaomi

    Fortunately there are only two slates to deal with; the Sad Puppies and the Rabid puppies, which can be found really quickly by Googling them.

    I don’t link those here because I don’t want to give the Rabids the thrill of increasing their traffic on the back of the truly awful things they have done. But rest assured, if you are voting as your inner moral compass dictates, no-one here is interested in harassing you about it. Have fun!

  30. Yeah. I No Awarded the slate polluted categories, plus the ones with only one non-slate candidate (Sorry Wesley Chu – but I didn’t really like your Tao book anyway as I felt there were glaring plot holes in it).

    I read everything last year, and probably will go back and revise a bit, but my expectations aren’t high. Based on last years’ puppy infestation, opening Dozois Years’ Best SF at random has a better than 75% chance of coming across a story that is better written than anything on the puppy lists.

    For the novels, I’ve read 3BP and AS, it’s a hard choice, will have to take a look at TGE too.

    I’m up to Dead Beat in Dresden, coming in late to the party, it’s fun but not Hugo worthy so far.

    I’m part way through the first 15 lives of Harry August, wishing I read it earlier as I’d have nominated that instead.

    I always no award editor long form as I don’t see how you can make a useful judgement as an end consumer.

  31. Define slate. File 770 compiled this list of people making recommendations but it probably isn’t exhaustive:

    http://file770.com/?cat=17&paged=7

    The only slates that are being discussed in this thread in terms of whether people will No Award all of the works are the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies. Of the two, the Rabid Puppy list is the only one in which the compiler, Vox Day, exhorted voters to trust his judgement and nominate as-is without reading the work. It contains a large number of works from Castalia House, which Vox owns. The File 770 article contains links to the Puppy slates.

    If you really want to get into it, there are a large number of blogs involved, but File 770 does a digest compilation daily.

    I’ve really started to appreciate File770 this year. I’m likely to nominate it next year.

  32. I read everything last year, and probably will go back and revise a bit, but my expectations aren’t high. Based on last years’ puppy infestation, opening Dozois Years’ Best SF at random has a better than 75% chance of coming across a story that is better written than anything on the puppy lists.

    I haven’t done that, but I’d venture to guess that’s also true of non-Puppy nominees in recent years.

  33. I haven’t done that, but I’d venture to guess that’s also true of non-Puppy nominees in recent years.

    Let me revise that. I meant if you compare a random story from a ballot with a random story from the Year’s Best. Not that 75% of the Years’s Best is better than every recent nominated story. I do have a handful of favorites.

  34. This is my first year voting for the Hugos, though I’ve been a long time fan and convention-goer. Though I am opposed to everything the puppies stand for I didn’t feel comfortable simply voting No Award over the slated categories, so I’ve been slogging my way through a number of the nominees (I got started on the Best Novella, Best Novelette, and Best Short Story nominees before the packet was released, since I was able to find a number of them online), and it’s been a hard slog indeed.

    There is nothing in the Best Novelette category that I would consider voting for. I only managed to finish two of the stories, and they weren’t very good. The rest caused me to bail out in the first few paragraphs for one reason or another. I’ve also written off everything in the Best Novella category, either because it is published by Castalia House (I refuse to sully my brain with Beale’s trash), or because I read it and it was not up to snuff (a number of these stories were published in Analog magazine, which I thought was a quality publication: has something changed?).

    I’m still looking forward to the Best Novel nominees, and I’ve been having fun filling out my exposure to the Best Graphic Story and Dramatic Presentation (Long and Short forms) nominees.

    One question: What are the criteria for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer? (I know one of the nominees, and he has been writing for over 20 years, so I’m a bit confused)

  35. @pocketnaomi; I recommend the Puppy Free Hugos Guide link that BW gave if you are in a hurry, or the File 770 one that soonleenz gave if you have more time.

    If you want to talk it over with someone, you can e-mail me or contact me on LJ.

    @Mike
    “Define slates”

    “Slates” that make no difference don’t bother me. The list of five works per (most) category that was curated and partly produced by people unknown and published (in very slightly varying versions) on or linked to by at least four high-traffic conservative blogs plus getting writeups on conservative “news” sites and bringing in gamergates–the slate that let 17% of the Hugo nominators lock up 75% of the final ballot the Hugo awards–*that* slate(s).

    The Puppies knew perfectly well what a slate was–they all called it that–until after a lot of non-Puppies started calling for No Award as a legal response to a legal but unethical move. Then it was all “Slates? What are those? Where am I? What are these wiggly things attached to my palm?”

    @people in general
    Personally at the moment I intend to place everything on the slate under No Award. (I went in and did this the day after voting opened, in case I forgot or got hit by a truck or something. I can change it anytime before the deadline if I want to re-order the non-Puppy candidates anyway, so why not?)

    It is possible something will really knock my socks off and I will consider making an exception, but at this stage it doesn’t seem likely. Stories seem to benefit greatly from an enthusiastic reader prepared to do some headwork* to elide small flaws and view the story in the most advantageous way (*see headcanon, which I think is a similar but not identical concept.) And the problem with the Puppies playing me for a patsy in the belief that I would then cooperate with crowning a Puppy work “best” is that now I resent those stories and I am in no mood to cut them any slack at all. My socks are quite tight. They will be hard to knock off.

    I accept other people’s right to have looser socks. But I am not going to be guilt-tripped by Puppies.

  36. I hesitate to ask this, but is there any sort of operational definition of the term “Social Justice Warrior”? I’m sincere in the question. While I’m pretty sure what the basic outline of the answer is going to be, I’d like to make an attempt to understand the content of the critique as distinct from the character of the critics.

  37. Like eselle28 above said, ” I will try to get to everything, but if it comes down to a time crunch, I’m inclined to allocate more time to the non-slate nominees and to scan or sample the rest, and I won’t feel guilty about placing a slate nominee below No Award based on a more cursory reading.” That sums up a lot of my thoughts. I’ll probably postpone some of my slate readings until closer to the end. I’d rather spend my time reading The Three-Body Problem than the Castalia House ones.

  38. @jhe

    Do you want a non-ironic, neutral and not-much-used definition of SJW, the Puppies’ definition of SJW, or the original, obscure tongue-in-cheek self-definition?

  39. shalezero said:

    “I’ll be ranking every slate work below No Award. Sorry, Mr. Butcher, I love the Dresden series (and it’s the only nominated novel I owned before Hugo season started, for that matter) but Job One for this voter is to discourage slates as strongly as I possibly can. ”

    I have watch Butcher a lot. He isn’t stingy with his interview time, and he seems to be a genuine nice guy. You compare him with Correia at MonsterHunterNation and you can see quite a difference in personalty. I think Jim will understand. I also think he tries very hard to stay out of anything political. He just isn’t going to get involved in this slate business one way or the other.

    No Award isn’t new. In the past it seemed to happen in Dramatic presentations. One year Rod Serling was below “No Award”. One year “No Award” won the category placing films “Carrie”, “Logan’s Run”, “The Man Who Fell to Earth”, and “Future World” below it.

    The problem I see is the increase in membership. This will be the first year that supporting members will have more voters than attending members. The feels like increased puppy power. The slate voters will have a certain amount of power above their actual numbers because the non slate voters will be spread. I don’t really have a feel for what that means.

    VD is threatening retaliation. He says: “If No Award takes a fiction category, you will likely never see another award given in that category again. The sword cuts both ways … We are prepared for all eventualities.”

    How much of that is bluster?

  40. “No Award” is always, always a valid option. That’s why it’s on the ballot. I’ve voted that sometimes since before incontinent juvenile canines started writing and whining.

    Being opposed to slates in general (regardless of political views), those are all getting left off the ballot. No Award and then NO SLATES.

    At least in the written stuff. Movie, puh-leez: the pups are giving themselves way too much credit there. Pretty sure that’s what everyone expected the Longform category to look like. Though I do think the non-dogged CA2:TWS is the best of that lot.

    @deirdre’s post is very helpful in knowing what’s on a slate and not, and she has a link to File 770’s as well.

  41. cabridges

    It’s possible a Puppy suggestion might wow me. But I’m inclined to punish the perfectly legal maneuver with my perfectly legal response.

    Heh. Like this summation. Will steal!

    Am pretty much No Awarding all Puppy items, with the exception of the Dramatic Presentation categories.

    Non-slate items are not guaranteed a spot above No Award however.I’ve been randomly pitting them against a couple of stuff from the Locus shortlist, and seeing how they compare.

  42. I am using the non-Puppy Hugo nominees & winners of the last three years as calibration points for whether the Puppy nominees are good enough to place above “No Award”.

    So far, it’s not looking good for the Puppy-nominated works. What this exercise is showing me is the stark contrast; the Puppy nominees are mostly dross.

  43. @snowcrash: I agree. Sometimes one just thinks “WTF is this doing on the ballot?” and votes it behind No Award. This is true of a non-Pup nominee this year for me, as it was when I voted 2 years ago, pre-Incontinent Canines. No, this sucks why is it on here? NO AWARD for you. Absolute quality matters as much as relative.

    @Wild Bill: It’s all bluster. As soon as the Puppies go away (or at least stop with the dumb-ass slates), things will win again. And if the Hugos get canceled, then the piddlin’ pups will never get their bright shiny rockets, so they don’t even want that. Heck, we still give out Best Dramatic Presentation, even though it’s been No Award-ed more than once.

    I have voted No Slates and will rework my ballot further as we get closer to time. Haven’t read 3BP yet, so it may come up in my rankings.

  44. jhe @ 44: I haven’t investigated carefully — once the Puppies claimed that the Hugos are a Merit Award ((I got into Fandom in 1958, and by 1960 I was aware that they were based on Popularity among s-f Fans — a situation that has not changed) I decided that they’re mostly nincompoops — but I haven’t come across any specific & good definition of SJW/Social Justice Warrior. The term seems to have to do with people who have grown into the moral standards common among liberals in the 2015’s, rather than in the era when the U.S. Congress had practically no members who were Black, Asian, or Female. And s-f, accordingly, almost never contained a major character in any of those categories. (Mind you, that was before I started reading it c. 1940.) My impression is that the Puppies apply the term to anyone they dislike. *sigh* And that they dislike anyone who wins any Award when one of them doesn’t. Yeah, there _are_ people like that, and I suppose it’s inevetable that an Organized Group of them would show up in Fandom. We have over the years, coped okay with an occasional individual example over the years, but the Group is something new.

  45. Hilarious how many people are so opposed to slates they a re going to slate vote no award. Disappointing how many people will openly admit voting against a work because of an authors personal beliefs, when those beliefs were not part of the work on the ballot.

  46. Unreal how many commentors call the sadpuppies unethical…then gloat about how they are automatically voting no award without reading any of the nominees.

  47. SJW = Social Justice Warrior. People who Puppies dislike who are not conservatives and sometimes promote equality and justice and may have a different definition of liberty.
    I had never heard of that term before gamergate and the puppies. The conservative definitions are incoherent or contradictory but SJWs are accused of political intolerance by those who are obviously promoting a political agenda.

    CHORF, Brad Torgersen’s new word acronym for science fiction SJWs. Cliquish, Holier-than-thou, Obnoxious, Reactionary, Fanatics. It is hard to visit the Rabid Puppy site or even his site and not think he is projecting.

  48. dan

    Don’t worry, some of us are voting No Award especially after reading the nominees.

    I also wonder, did the Puppies read all that they were nominating?

  49. Says it al, sadlyl:

    Nathan in a comment on Vox Popoli – May 20 at 5:08 p.m.

    Sounds more like they are looking for reasons to justify what they’ve already decided to do. As for graphic novels, can we burn that category down at least?

    Vox Day in a comment on Vox Popoli – May 20 at 5:36 p.m.

    As for graphic novels, can we burn that category down at least? Go for it. It merits it.

  50. “THANK YOU, LORD SCALZI, O MOST GAMMA OF RABBITS! WE OF THE SJW CABAL HEAR AND OBEY. OFF TO THE VOTING MACHINES!”

    *Sniff* *Sniff*
    Don’t look now, John, but I think a puppy has peed on the carpet.

  51. @Dan – Some people don’t feel like rewarding what they feel to be bad faith tactics. One blogger explained it as the finals of a race where you know many finalists doped in the semi-finals. I cannot blame people for wholesale No Award.

    Personally, after slogging through all entries in most of the packet, I wish there was something stronger than No Award. Something akin to brain bleach.

  52. Nop, I had the distinct impression that was sarcasm. And rather jolly tongue-in-cheek sarcasm at that.

  53. What’s “Hilarious”, Dan, is that you left the most obvious reason why someone would vote “No Award” because they think the choice offered didn’t actually merit a Hugo Award.

    If you want people to respect your argument, you should at least offer something besides weak strawmen and political nonsense. If you want us to believe that something on your “slate” is worthy of an award, pick a work, demonstrate that you’ve read it, and tell us all why we should read it too. Don’t give us more useless nonsense about “political voting” or “anti-slate” voting.

  54. @Dan
    I haven’t read all the nominees. Not yet. Got a few weeks to do so yet.

    Journeyman:Stone House – profoundly dull. It felt to me like this was chapter 2 of a forthcoming novel. I’m not quite sure why it was published as a stand alone story let alone why it would be worth nominating.
    One Bright Star – Very stylised. Not to my taste.
    Triple Sun: An indifferent bit of pulp. Nothing fundamentally wrong with it, nothing especially right.
    The Collected Tweets of Michael Z. Williamson: They killed electrons for this?

  55. Dan: you do not have the “gotcha” you think you have. But it’s… let’s go with cute… cute that you think you do. *pats the puppy on the head* Try not to piddle on the carpet, ‘k?

  56. Dan: I wasted my time slogging through the garbage on the slate last year, and will do so again. I’ll be shocked if anything rises above mediocre, however, based on prior experience.

    I did actually read JCW’s Golden Age trilogy, as it drew me in in the first book and wanted to see how it went. Ironically, I seem to recall that rules lawyering was a prety major plot point.

    If the rabid puppies really care about quality, they should put quality on the ballot, not middling fiction written by their friends and allies. I’d love it if I found a great new (to me) author out of this, but so far it hasn’t happened.

  57. Dan:

    This suggests that you believe it’s unethical to punish those you believe have acted without ethics, by refusing to consider them on the same merits as those who have, in fact, acted ethically.

    Which is a curious definition of “unethical.”

    In any event, the Puppies lost the ability to complain about people doing things that are entirely allowed by the rules when they promulgated a slate and asked others to vote for it uncritically. Well, they can complain, and do, but it just makes them look like hypocritical whiny children, more than they already do. One is not obliged to take the whine seriously.

    Gary D:

    The fact that Brad Torgersen calls other people Cliquish, Holier-than-thou, Obnoxious, Reactionary, Fanatics suggests such a complete failure of self-knowledge on his part that all one can do is say, “bless his heart.”

    Also that Brad Torgersen’s Acronym-Fu is substantially weak.

  58. dan: Hilarious how many people are so opposed to slates they a re going to slate vote no award

    And now we see that the pups don’t know what the word “slate” means. You can’t “slate vote no award”.

  59. It seems to me that in the Hugo voting system the No Award option is there to be used when no nominated work worthy of an award is on the ballot, other than those that may already have been ranked higher. As far as I’m concerned there are several reasons why a work may not be worthy of an award: (1) it is not of sufficient quality; (2) it is not really sf/fantasy, according to my lights; (3) it is on the ballot because it was on one of the “slates”. So my voting process is to eliminate all Puppy slate nominees, read the remaining nominees, rank those that I judge to be actual sf/fantasy and of award quality, and then No Award.

  60. @John Scalzi

    Ah, “bless your heart.” In the hands of a Southern lady of a certain age, this is a bigger weapon than thirty-seconds of non-stop expletives from anybody else.

  61. Structural question – is there any difference between ranking a submission below No Award, and just not ranking it at all?

    As an example, with six nominees

    A StoryILoved
    B StoryILiked
    C StoryThatWasOK
    D StoryIDisliked
    E StoryIHated
    F StoryThatMadeMeGougeOutMyEyesWithARustySpoon

    Is there a difference between:

    1 A
    2 B
    3 C
    4 No Award

    and

    1 A
    2 B
    3 C
    4 No Award
    5 D
    6 E
    7 F

  62. NickPheas:

    “Journeyman:Stone House – profoundly dull. It felt to me like this was chapter 2 of a forthcoming novel. I’m not quite sure why it was published as a stand alone story let alone why it would be worth nominating.”

    It was essentially a three part serialized story in Analog. There is of course, a long history of that kind of publication. It suffered as stand-alone Hugo nominee. I actually found it moderately readable, but the dialect treatment was annoying. Below no award for me.

  63. However, anything by VD or published by Castalia is off the ballot. I’m not even going to read it. I will not support that man in any way.

    There was a woman on one Sad Puppy thread saying she was published by Castalia and defending VD. I went to the publisher’s site to look her up and dammed if she isn’t the woman in the office next door to me at work. Small (sad) world.

  64. Cally also set me straight on how “no award” works. I thought I would be best off voting for good works, then “no award”, but I was schooled on the fact that if, god forbid, “no award” doesn’t win, then its on to the works below that and if I don’t vote those works at all, then its as if I vote them all a tie.

    So, my newly informed voting method is to vote the works I like, “no award”, then anything by VD and Castilia House at the the very bottom, anything by major pups just just above that, and randomize the rest on top of those.

    I’ll be damned if VD is getting any help from me at all to get a Hugo, so bottom of the list, as far below no award as the ballot will allow.

  65. As I understand it, the definition for Social Justice Warrior is someone who judges a work, event, or person based solely on how closely it hews to the SJW’s list of ultra-liberal opinions, regardless of the actual quality of the work, event or person. Someone who delights in taking offense and calling the thunder down for every perceived slight, deserved or not, because it violates a liberal litmus test.

    How it’s far more commonly used is to label anyone the speaker doesn’t agree with so that the speaker may then strawman all over the place.

  66. One other key thing to remember, since you have a membership in this year’s WorldCon, you will be eligible to nominate in next year’s WorldCon. I do not think the usual apathy will prevail next year.

  67. Ultimately, it seems a bit futile to try to define Social Justice Warrior. It’s largely a slur to indicate that someone is occasionally critical about how identity is represented in fiction, or would like to see more diversity in the genre. Not much more than that. Any attempt to connect to larger political views is probably going to fail. After all, Eric Flint who is a pretty committed Marxist and trade union activist somehow falls out of the SJW category, while Scalzi, who in another era might have been a progressive republican, is firmly within the category.

  68. The term Social Justice Warrior seems to come out of some area of the US culture wars that I was unfamiliar with until this Puppy assault on the Hugo Awards. As far as I can see it’s just a term used by the “conservative” side for the people they think of as enemies. There is evidently an element of sarcasm involved. Presumably they think “social justice” is a pretty much meaningless concept and certainly not anything worth striving for, and that the “warriors” don’t have any of the positive attributes they ascribe to actual soldiers.

  69. Just a word about the Best Editor–Long Form category, from a previous Best Editor-Long From nominee–while it is true that every one on the ballot was on a slate, it’s also true all of them (except Vox) are worthy of the award. And they probably all (except Vox) didn’t know they were being “slated” I know for a fact that Anne Sowards didn’t. She was likely taken up because she’s Jim Butcher’s editor..Jim Minz and Toni are Baen editors and Sheila’s house is DAW. Both Sheila and Toni have been on the ballot before. They are all deserving. Of course, I favor Anne, my former colleague, since I had first-hand knowledge over fifteen-plus years of the quality of her work, but,to repeat–they are all deserving.

  70. While the puppies’ goals vary and aren’t entirely coherent or consistent, a motivation that they all claim to share is a desire to expose readers to material that they wouldn’t otherwise check out. As I read through the nominations, I feel a little conflicted: by evaluating items on the slates, I give the puppies exactly what they claim to desire. And while I’m ranking slate work a bit harsher than I might otherwise, if something really blows me away (hasn’t happened yet), I’ll give it its due. Somehow I don’t expect that the puppies to be pleased w/ the results, even after reluctantly conceding their (supposed) core demand.

  71. @KevinM: Just because a work is better then the other 4 nominated works does not mean it deserves a Hugo. In my opinion, one should be considering the works against other eligible works, not just the other nominated works. If there is a short story that didn’t get nominated, but it is better than all the nominated works, then vote No Award.

    That’s a little too extreme for me, but de gustibus, etc. I’d rather look at it and say “This story isn’t the one that I would have picked, but I did enjoy it and even if it’s not the best choice, it’s a perfectly defensible choice”. It’s not like I’m able to read everything out there. My choice for “best” is really “best stuff that I happened to get around to reading, taking into account the fact that I was in a really bad mood for a week or so in April and hated everything I read”.

  72. “THANK YOU, LORD SCALZI, O MOST GAMMA OF RABBITS! WE OF THE SJW CABAL HEAR AND OBEY. OFF TO THE VOTING MACHINES!”

    *Sniff* *Sniff*
    Don’t look now, John, but I think a puppy has peed on the carpet.

    It was a joke, Nop.

    It’s clearly a joke. I took it to mean that DAVID was making a sarcastic anti-Voxxer joke, and I assume that is what David is saying.

    But the more I look at it, the more I realize that it could be a sarcastic pro-Voxxer joke without changing a byte. I can understand the confusion. It’s like a picture of the projection of a cube that can swap orientation while you stare at at.

  73. Regarding “No Award”, Kevin Standlee has an excellent explanation.

    One point to remember:

    If you vote No Award in any place, and then rank some works, and then leave other works off your ballot entirely, you’re ranking the ones you did choose (even behind No Award) ahead of the works you left off the ballot. Any work you ranked might collect your vote to come in ahead of the works you left unranked, even to the point of being declared the Preliminary Winner.

    So if there is a nominee that you really don’t want to win, just omit it from your ballot.

  74. ThIs marks the second year in a row that the short story category has been full of lousyness. This year, they’re simply weak for a different reason (being full of far-right ideological puppy manure) than last (being full of left-wing ideological self-consciously “literary” dross)

  75. I read the nominated Short Stories last night and well they go from atrocious: The Parliament of Beasts and Birds and Turncoat to passable: A Single Samurai. Nothing I would in good conscience vote as best of 2014.

  76. I wonder whether part of the problem is that puppydum simply hasn’t read much SF/F; nowadays the field is absolutely vast by comparison with the (insert metal of choice) age genre.

    For example, I am fairly sure that the time travelling hot Viking vogue passed them by, which is probably just as well since it’s certainly repugnant to all that VD holds dear, though you could at least judge the contents of the book from the cover; hot Vikings set against a 21st century cityscape are pretty obviously time travelling hot Vikings.

    Maybe part of this is guys of a certain age feeling totally bewildered by walking into a bookshop to find themselves surrounded by hundreds of books within the genre, as it is now, i.e. exceedingly diverse, and not knowing where they can find the stuff they are sure is SF/F.

    At that point, for a particular kind of mindset, paranoia sets in; instead of grasping that time travelling hot Vikings are there because there is a flourishing market for them, they conclude instead that there’s a conspiracy to force customers to buy things which customers don’t want to buy.

    There was a time when I might have been somewhat uncharitable about plots involving time travelling hot Vikings; today, not so much. As I plod through the puppydum nominations I find myself yearning for a plot, any plot, or even the semblance of a plot, which might enable me to see some likelihood of reaching ‘The End’, as opposed to it just stopping…

  77. ThIs marks the second year in a row that the short story category has been full of lousyness. This year, they’re simply weak for a different reason (being full of far-right ideological puppy manure) than last (being full of left-wing ideological self-consciously “literary” dross)

    Some of them are weak, but I don’t see the far right , though I do see a fair amount of religion.

    I haven’t read the Diamond story yet, so perhaps I’m missing some ideology.

    I think Totaled is a strong story. The POV character attributes her misfortune in part to the Tea Party and the amorality of corporations. I’m not seeing a right wing view.

    I think Turncoat isn’t very strong, in terms of drama and execution, and something happens that made me think “Oh no, not Independence Day again!”. It could have been better and I’m sad that it wasn’t. I know that Philip Sandifer attributed Vox’s interest in the story to a theme that he sees as reflective of Vox’s religous beliefs, but I’d say that George Lucas uses the same theme in the Star Wars films. I can perhaps see religion, but not the right wing.

    I think On a Spiritual Plain has an interesting premise and poor execution. It’s supposed to be scientifically consistent with reality if we accept a bit of scientific hokum at the beginning. I have doubts about that. The physics seem dubious to me and it contains a frustratingly wrong math reference. It needs more show and less tell. I want this story to be better so I can like it. Again, I can see how this story has religious overtones, but religion isn’t the exclusive province of the right.

    The Parliment of Beasts and Birds definitely has a religious theme. I gather that it is supposed to be reflective of John C. Wrights Catholicism. I didn’t care for the style, or the story. John C. Wright is right-wing, and he is religious. Is there something particularly right-wing about the religious view of this story.

    I thought it was a nice change from self-consciously literary dross, but I had certainly hoped for better.

  78. Soonleenz: “So if there is a nominee that you really don’t want to win, just omit it from your ballot.”

    Wait. I thought it meant we should go other way. so, like, I dont want VD to win at all. So I thought that meant:
    (1) works i like in order i like them
    (2) no award
    (3) any puppy work that is NOT VD
    (4) VD

    I would rather a non-VD pup win than to have VD win, so doesnt that mean i need to vote all the works below no award so VD is absolute last? If i leave all pups off the ballot, then that means VD is ranked as a tie with all the other pup works, yes? Or did I read the rules wrong again?

    Man, this is the third time I thought I had a handle on “No Award” and still dont.

  79. @Soonleenz’ repost of @kstandlee’s explanation (Kevin is the Hugo expert and knows how the voting works) is worth reading and remembering.

    If you don’t want to be even fractionally partially responsible for Puppydum* getting a vote, leave those works off your ballot ENTIRELY. ANY ranking of them may end up being a vote for them. Mentioning them at all gives them a fractional vote by default.

    So, @Greg, your purposes would be best served by voting Stuff I Liked, then No Award and stopping there. At least leave The Clap completely off.

    @stephenfromottawa: That’s my thinking too. I have No Awarded plenty of stuff** in the past for not being that good, or not being SF/F, notwithstanding any “social issues” or the identity of the author.

    The Samurai story is a fanfic of that “Shadow of the Colossus” video game, only with less actual characterization, poignancy, and emotional investment. Yep, a video game that’s much deeper than this story which rips it off.

    “Totaled” is a perfectly serviceable story, but it’s not Hugo-worthy no matter who wrote/nominated it. It would have been Hugo-worthy in… hmmm… maybe 1966, but not since then. There were a couple of nice moments, but my socks did not move.

    @Don Fitch, thanks so much for your sensible commentary and for reminding us how things really WERE back before most of us were born. You are an elder statesman, and I salute you.

    I don’t think we can actually accuse the Incontinent Canines of being “of a certain age”. I’m pretty sure they’re all younger than I am, for instance, maybe younger than Scalzi. Now, their thinking may be of a certain age. A past age, back when TV was black and white. When the women, gays, minorities, non-Christians, etc. knew their place and weren’t all uppity.*** Don Fitch is of a certain age, and you don’t see him throwing hissy fits.

    I remain unimpressed with “Twilight” for the terrible writing, but I have no philosophical objection to dreamy vampires (as long as they don’t sparkle). Or time-traveling hot Vikings, as long as they are sufficiently hot. 50SOG is also terrible writing, but if people wanna read well-written consensual BDSM, please enjoy your whips and chains (I shan’t partake). I avoid the vast territory of right-wing prepper post-apocalyptic stories, where Manly Men have to have a lot of guns to survive the complete breakdown of civilization world-wide because a Democratic President only spent 95% of the time kowtowing to the military-industrial-financial complex instead of 100%. Shrug. Just don’t nominate that as quality and say it’s the only Real Thing.

    *TM Stevie

    ** Heuvelt, FFS. Quit nominating him, he’s not that good! I don’t care about his politics or identity, he’s just a bad storyteller! I’ve put him below No Award every time he’s on the ballot.

    ***Except when they were.

  80. Greg, check the Kevin Standlee link, but I’m pretty sure that if there is a story you absolutely don’t want to win no matter what, you leave it off the ballot while ranking No Award somewhere on the ballot. The stories ranked on the ballot below No Award have a chance to win (depending on how other voters rank them), and your ranking MIGHT contribute to that, but the ones left off the ballot entirely get no ranking and no help from your vote at all. If you leave multiple stories off the ballot, that means they are all tied for last place, so to speak.

    So. Rank the stories you want to win, then the stories you wouldn’t mind seeing win, then No Award, then the stories you don’t think are better than No Award but you won’t want to turn in your library card or gouge your eyeballs out if they win below No Award (that means you’d rather see No Award given than one of these stories win, but you’re willing to risk that one of them might beat No Award in the final countdown, depending on how many other voters ranked them higher than you did)–and then leave the stories you don’t think should be on the ballot at all OFF the ballot, with no ranking. One of the stories you left off the ballot might still rank above No Award, or even win, depending on how everyone else votes, but it will be with no assistance from your ballot ranking.

    I think.

  81. No Award is a candidate in the election.

    If it gets eliminated, the preference voting will take the next candidate in line and your preference will be taken into account. You would be saying, “if No Award doesn’t get it, then I guess I’m OK with one of these other winning.”

    If you want no way, no how to vote for VD, but are OK with other Puppies winning but wish to express your disapproval you want:

    (1) works i like in order i like them
    (2) no award
    (3) any puppy work that is NOT VD

    Leave Vox off the ballot entirely.

    After the winner is selected, the result can still be No Award depending on the No Award Test.

    I will not try to describe it. Link here:
    http://www.thehugoawards.org/the-voting-system/

    I’m trying to imagine the circumstances where the test applies.

  82. @Stevie, With his connections to Minnesota, I believe that VD still has some interest in Vikings, though perhaps only time travelling Vikings if they can somehow prevent Gary Anderson’s missed field goal in the 1998 NFC championship game.

  83. Lurkertype

    Thank you for enlightening me on ‘Samurai’; I can make sense of understanding it as a fanfic ripoff from a video game. I was unable to make any sense of it as an original story, and that drives me up the wall.

    And I must apologise to any guys who may have thought I was referring to them when I wrote ‘guys of a certain age’; I followed it immediately with the reference to a ‘certain type of mindset’ to go with it, but I should, at the very least, have inserted ‘some’ in front of ‘guys of a certain age’. I was trying to riff on the European concept of ”women of a certain age” obviously didn’t work, so I should also not have confined it to guys; mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

    But I am very grateful that we can have these exchanges when we may disagree but respect each other’s views in good faith. Particularly, since we may change our minds as a result of them.

    To me, perhaps the most dreadful thing to come out of this is the belief that there is One True Fandom, all of whom will march in logstep together in the opening Olympic ceremony, for the future Olympic sport of Synchronysed Regurgitation of what OTF leaders have taught them.

    It’s not a pretty thought…

  84. My first thought was to vote no award on all of the slate nominees, but two thing immediately jumped out at me.

    Game of Thrones is a rabid puppy nominee, as are the Lego Movie and Guardians of the Galaxy. The idea that I should not consider any of these because they were on the puppy slate is just so ludicrous. None of these have anything to do with the puppies and the puppies are actually penalizing work that will probably not have a chance because of an association that I’m sure GoT and the others would be very upset about. Now, I find it interesting that the discussions of how to vote tend to want to exclude the dramatic presentations. Why is that? Are you so sure that the rest of the works can be tied to these idiots?

    The other thing that caught my attention was Dave Creek’s post https://www.facebook.com/davecreek/posts/10152797018734473 wherein he officially declared himself not a “sad puppy”. He was subsequently removed from the lists. He clearly disagrees with just about all they stand for and makes that very obvious in his post. His inclusion was not sought after and not welcome. So, should someone not be considered because they are on a slate that they did not want to be on? If the no award idea is successful and the slate nominees do poorly, might Vox Day’s slate next year include Scalzi as sort of an anti-slate?

  85. Lurker dropping in to comment because the issue of how to vote your preferences is interesting to me both professionally, and because I’m familiar with the Australian system, but I wasn’t sure about how the ‘No Award’ twist combined with not having to rank all the options. The different answers in this thread all sound plausible, so I spent some time working it out.

    One of the key points of the Australian system is that it’s designed to reveal true preferences, which is the (roughly) same thing as saying there isn’t any reason to worry about gaming the system. So if you want to know how to vote to get what you want, the simple answer is you should rank all candidates in order of your preference. Suppose your preference order is: A/B/C/No Award/D/E. Then vote that.

    But here, you don’t have to rank every candidate. Should just vote A/B/C/No Award, leaving off D and E?

    Well, the answer is the same: rank in your true preference order. If after No Award you just don’t care about the rest, then vote A/B/C/No Award. If it came down to a choice of D or E, and you would prefer D to get the Award, then vote A/B/C/No Award/D/E.

    This is because your vote stays with your highest ranked candidate remaining on the ballot. If it comes down to A vs E, your vote goes to A (either way you vote). If it comes down to C vs D, your vote goes to C (either way). If it comes down to No Award vs E, your vote goes to No Award (either way).

    It’s only if the vote comes down to D vs E that it matters which way you voted. If you voted A/B/C/No Award, your vote goes to neither – and perhaps E might beat out D by one vote! If you had voted A/B/C/No Award/D/E, then your vote would have gone to D, and it would be a tie between D and E! So if you actually do care about which of D or E might win, then you should include them in your rank order.

    There are NO circumstances in which your vote will ever be counted in favour of the candidate you put in last place – so voting A/B/C/No Award/D is the same as voting A/B/C/No Award/D/E.

    If you really really think something is so awful it doesn’t deserve an award no way ever, then put something in the other 5 slots, and then either put the awful thing in last place or leave it off depending on your whim – it just doesn’t matter.

    Again, the only strategy is: vote your true preferences.

    And to those who’ve already effectively said this above, sorry for just repeating what you’ve already explained. I hope this gives a slightly different approach that might click for some people who remain as confused as I was a little while ago.

  86. OK, I’ve watched both videos. I get the idea of IRV. I’ve also read through the hugo rules on counting votes and then skimmed it several more times. the thing I don’t see anywhere is blanks on a ballot.

    So, if my ballot looks like this:
    (1) My favorite
    (2) no award
    (blank)

    The section in the hugo rules titled “Elimination and second round of balloting” says that in my case, if (1) doesn’t win and (1) has the least number of votes, then my ballot is re-tallied as if it was a vote for (2) no award. And if “No Award” gets more than 50%, then no award wins. done voting.

    Got it. Makes perfect sense.

    But if “no award” doesn’t get 50%, and if No Award has the lowest percentage of votes, then my ballot is retallied for my third (3) choice. Except I don’t have a third choice. So… Who gets my vote???? People have said its treated like a “tie” for the other candidates, but does that mean my ballot goes to the other 4 candidates equally? The 4 remaining candidates each gets +1 vote? that seems… weird.

    The “No Award Test” makes it clear that voting for “no award” above the pups is extremely important because if a pup ends up first to get more than 50%, then the number of ballots with [no award greater ranked above the pup] versus the number of ballots with [pup ranked above no award] is what determines whether the pup wins or ‘no award’ wins that category.

    But I don’t get what happens if (2) no award on my ballot above doesn’t get 50%, then where does my ballot go?

  87. I think Turncoat makes the most sense viewed as an expression of demographic anxiety. The AI sode represents post-Euro America. AIs are POC, the remaining organic humans are the white folks who “want their country back” and the Uploaded are the palefaces who join the winning team.

    I am pretty sure this makes Turncoat’s villain, called Alpha 7 Alpha IIRC…

    Scalzi!

    This is the key to all mythologies.

  88. @stevie, no worries. I’m the very definition of une femme d’un certain âge myself. :) So I’d say Puppydum is ideas of a certain age.

    @Greg: Well, all’s I’m saying is, leave the clap off entirely to be sure. If you don’t have anything ranked after No Award, your ballot doesn’t go on to the next rounds. I think. galah seems to have sussed it out. Maybe. But definitely leave Teddy off.

    @Jim Henley: Scalzi can’t be Alpha 7 Alpha because he’s a gamma. I dunno, it just makes me think of 7 Zark 7, a bad filler and expository device from a kids’ show (Make up your own joke).

  89. @Greg:

    But if “no award” doesn’t get 50%, and if No Award has the lowest percentage of votes, then my ballot is retallied for my third (3) choice. Except I don’t have a third choice. So… Who gets my vote????

    No-one gets your vote.

    My understanding is that your contribution stops at this point; you no longer have any say in how it all plays out. The point is that in IRV, it’s a race to 51%.

    In your example, if your favourite ends up in last place, it is eliminated. Your vote is now added to “No Award” to see if “No Award” reaches 51%. If it doesn’t, you’re done.

    If you had “Obnoxious Twit” next, then when “No Award” is eliminated, your vote goes next to “Obnoxious Twit” and can potentially contribute to “Obnoxious Twit” achieving 51% & winning. Which is why if you really don’t want “Obnoxious Twit” to win, leave them out.

  90. Greg, I think what happens in that situation is that your ballot (for that category only) becomes irrelevant to the final result–you don’t help the works you despise win anything, and you’ve already done everything you can to keep them from winning by where you placed No Award.

  91. @ Lurkertype – THANK YOU. I have been reading reviews and going “Wait–am I the only person here who played “Shadow of the Colossus” like three times?”

  92. Charles Owen:

    This seems to have been a consistent puppy tactic the last two years, and it’s the one that I find most objectionable, especially as the puppies involved white supremacists with a record of violently threatening even people they are allied with. They deliberately did not notify many people that they had been put on a slate that is declared to be a right-wing crusade against authors perceived as too liberal, insisting on a press war. Others they notified but were not honest about the stated aims of the slate and its organizers. They deliberately messed with these people’s careers without their consent and frequently without knowing their politics, plus put their families potentially in danger. They did a bunch of media interviews talking about their slate, thus giving these people no chance to state their own actual views as opposed to the impression the puppies wanted to give that the slate candidates were right-wing and against social justice.

    And when people put on the slate objected, complained and withdrew or tried to, the puppies tried to claim they were scared of liberal cabalists, would not admit they did anything wrong, and pretended that they weren’t a right wing slate anymore, even though that had been the expressed aim of the campaign. They trapped people and then tried to harm their careers further, while making them the targets of online terrorists.

    So basically no, authors should not be punished for being put on the slate. Problem is, it can be difficult for people to know who did and did not want to be on the slate. That’s the point of voting slates — to have a set of very specific people united in their ideological political aims, not to draft people against their will. And voting for them sort of ties them to the slate ideologically, whether they want it or not. If you read their work, you may decide to vote for it, or you may decide that it is awful, whether they willingly participated or didn’t. Or you may regretfully decide that if the puppies picked them, you’re not reading and/or voting for them because the puppies crammed the vote to get them nominated.

    Since you have the free right to vote any way you wish according to your conscience, there isn’t a right or wrong answer. I favor trying to check the candidates out, at least finding out their actual position, but there is no requirement to do so. Basically, it didn’t matter to the puppies who they picked, since the point was to vote the slate automatically whether they read anything on it or not.

    The people who did manage to withdraw from the slate or nomination on it have gotten a fair amount of support and new readers.Those who stayed on or were stuck because the nomination closed are in a less fun position. It seems like most people are trying to take that position into account, but there’s no getting out of it — this is going to be a whacky election.
    What this teaches writers and artists in the future is to check that angry torch bearers have not decided to draft you into their right-wing movements. Egotistical Internet searches may not be a bad thing, even if you’re just publishing some short stories or writing as a fan.

    The dramatic awards go to big Hollywood movies and popular t.v. shows. The productions don’t care that they win the Hugos and they would be on the nominations with or without the puppies’ slate. So one of them winning isn’t really a win for the puppies’ efforts and doesn’t shove the Hugos one way or another. So most people are taking that into account.

  93. Ursula and Lurkertype: being a man of a certain age I got to a bridge early in Colossus and could not figure out how to cross it; so I started playing Okami instead.

  94. @Greg: soonleenz is correct above with the 51% comment, with the clarification that, once all of the listed choices on your ballot are eliminated, you have abstained from the vote and no longer factor into the result for that round, with one exception. The exception is the No Award Run-off; if you ranked A B NoAward, and D wins the category, your vote goes back in to the D-vs-No-Award test (because you have ranked at least one of No Award or D, thus expressing a preference between the two). Conversely, if you ranked A B C and D wins, you’re not part of the D-vs-No-Award (because you have indicated no preference of No Award vs D).

    However, soonleenz is incorrect about the implications of “helping ‘obnoxious twit’ win”. You can vote A B C NoAward D, which notes that D is lousy but better than E. And if A B C No Award are all eliminated, you are indeed expressing a preference for “D rather than E”, helping it reach a majority, but your ballot goes right back to “No Award rather than D” (or “rather than E”, if E wins D-vs-E) for the run-off. You could have instead stopped at A B C No Award as your ballot, at which point you abstain from the D-vs-E showdown but still vote against whichever wins in the run-off. So it’s misleading to say “‘A B C NA D’ helps D win” — it only helps D finish above whatever is listed below it, including whatever you didn’t list, but it does not in any way help D finish above No Award (or A, B, or C).

    shortish version: only leave things off if both of these statements are true: (1) you have absolutely no relative preference amongst them, and (2) you like all of them less than the lowest-ranked thing on your ballot. If you think one thing is mostly crap and another is completely crap, you should rank both to express that. If you are undecided about stuff in the middle but think something else is completely crap, you need to assign some sort of ranking to the middle stuff to indicate that it’s better than complete crap. Leaving things off your ballot is a convenience, but it is never required for purposes of strategic voting.

  95. I read two of the Hugo nominated Novella’s last night. The first one was Big Boys Don’t Cry by Tom Kratman which is basically forgettable. This really did not engage me in the least.

    Also read One Bright Star to Guide Them by John C. Wright which suffers mightily from telling instead of showing syndrome. All I have to say is I am not looking forward to reading anymore from Wright if that it is the best he can produce in fact I am dreading it. Neither of these two stories deserve a Hugo. I’ll read the remaining Novella’s this weekend.

  96. My understanding is that Jim Butcher’s reluctance to comment explicitly on his appearance on the Puppy slate(s) stems from an incident some years back (described here in a locked-but-visible thread on his forum).

    Having said which…he has been sharing links to some very pointed blog postings on this subject (primarily from Eric Flint IIRC) on Facebook with considerable glee ^_^ which reassures me no end, YMMV!

  97. BTW, there’s been some extensive discussion on how to make the Hugo voting process more robust, and to mitigate the impact of block voting over at Making Light:

    http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/016246.html

    The current proposal is for the system technically named SDV-LPE (nickname E Pluribus Hugo), and details are available on the thread. It’s currently the best proposal I’ve seen that addresses and enhances the process itself.

    There’s a GoFundMe setup to send a voting expert to the Sasquan Business Meeting and to support the proposal, locate here:

    http://www.gofundme.com/sasquanvoting

  98. What Stephen Rochelle said.

    I think the problem people who are familiar with first past the post voting are having is that they are thinking about ensuring their vote counts. But with preferential voting, your vote always counts no matter what, as long as you have ranked everyone, and your vote never helps the candidate you ranked last.

    In a world we are more familiar with: suppose you have three candidates for President, R, L1 and L2, where R is a right wing candidate and L1 and L2 are left wing candidates, and your preference is L2>L1>R. Suppose also that you think L2 has 25% of the first place votes, L1 has 35% of the vote, and R has 40%. In first past the post, if you vote for L2, you are ‘helping’ R win the election/wasting your vote – if all the L2 voters put L1 first, L1 would have won, not R. That’s the vote splitting problem.

    But with preferential voting, you rank the candidates L2>L1>R, and in the first round L2 is eliminated, and your vote then goes to L1, for the final head-to-head with R. Your vote counts in that final round, no matter what, and it never helps R get elected.

    If, though, you voted for L2 in first place, and left L1 and R off the rest of your ballot, THEN your vote wouldn’t count. It would be as if you didn’t vote at all in the final head to head between L1 and R. So leaving off L1 and R here is what you should do if, in the hypothetical case where there was a ballot with only L1 and R on it, you just wouldn’t bother to vote at all.

    Really – you are best off ranking all the candidates honestly, because that way your vote always goes to the candidate you prefer of those still in the running (and leave off your last placed option if it makes you feel better, that just doesn’t make a difference to who wins or loses).

  99. @ snowcrash: one clarification:
    The Making Light discussion is regarding the Hugo nomination process, not the voting process. The voting process is already robust and slate/block-resistant, and nothing over at Making Light proposes to alter the voting process as discussed or linked here.

    Apologies for the detail-nitpicking, but I figure when the conversation has already moved into the details….

  100. The “No Award Test” makes it clear that voting for “no award” above the pups is extremely important because if a pup ends up first to get more than 50%, then the number of ballots with [no award greater ranked above the pup] versus the number of ballots with [pup ranked above no award] is what determines whether the pup wins or ‘no award’ wins that category.

    I’m having trouble understanding the scenario in which this can happen without No Award winning it outright.

  101. Mike,
    Suppose no one votes No Award at the top of their ballot. It becomes the first thing eliminated from contention, even if everybody listed it in second — so it’s not visible until the test round at the end.

    For example, consider ballots that only vote one work and then NA. 100 votes for A NA, 75 for B NA, 50 for C NA. NA is eliminated first with 0. C is eliminated next with 50. A now wins 100-75 among ballots with a remaining preference, but then loses the No Award test 100-125.

  102. For example, consider ballots that only vote one work and then NA. 100 votes for A NA, 75 for B NA, 50 for C NA. NA is eliminated first with 0. C is eliminated next with 50. A now wins 100-75 among ballots with a remaining preference, but then loses the No Award test 100-125.

    Thanks Stephen.

  103. I agree that voting for and promoting GOOD stuff is the best answer to the cynical and mean-spirited recommendations of the Bawling Beagles … not that their nominees didn’t contain a few worthy contenders, like Dave Truesdale in the fanzine category. He came within 8 votes of the Hugo at the first San Antonio worldcon, and is a good fella. But my votes were on the basis of quality and worth, and — like Glazer, speaking only for myself and in no way for Sasquan, for which I’m publications head — I recommend them loudly and sincerely.

    Novel — THE THREE-BODY PROBLEM by Cixin Liu (the year’s most original and audacious and entertaining novel)
    Long Drama — INTERSTELLAR
    Short Drama — The FLASH pilot (that’s for you, Julie Schwartz!)
    Editor, Long works — Toni Weisskopf
    Editor, Short works — Mike Resnick
    Fanzine — JOURNEY PLANET
    Fan Artist — Steve Stiles, Steve Stiles, Steve Stiles, Steve Stiles, so deserving even Brad Foster endorsed him.

    By the way, if anyone has any suggestions for how to make the Sasquan souvenir book uniquely enjoyable, I’m listening.

    VOTE.

  104. It was a joke, Nop.

    I’m finding a special kind of irony in that DAVID got labelled a puppy by stealing my schtick.

    Ahh, time is a circle and all that. Mensen and classclone are really close to it though.

    DAVID probably doesn’t deserve such nonsense. (As for puppies and me… let’s just say, Monday’s surprise is probably a little less shocking than what’s actually been going on behind the scenes).

    The Samurai story is a fanfic of that “Shadow of the Colossus” video game, only with less actual characterization, poignancy, and emotional investment. Yep, a video game that’s much deeper than this story which rips it off.

    Which, for the peanut gallery, is a game famous for not actually telling you what’s going on (a la Dark Souls) for the majority of the game. Inscrutability wrapped in inscrutable sushi layers. And (spoilers): the payoff is really dark. Don’t kill your Gods type dark.

    ~

    As for the HUGOs. Good luck all, I suspect decent types will wiggle a bit in future to make sure great writing gets on there and not blog screeds.

    Per ardua ad astra

  105. Phil Boswell

    I’ve tried to sign up to Jim Butcher’s board but I can’t actually recognise the spam denying spaghetti letters in question, even asking for further attempts, and listening instead to them is no help because I have quite severe antibiotics-induced hearing loss.

    I am perfectly happy with this: my motto down the years has been “Better Deaf than Dead!” and that battle pennant will always ride with me. It’s just that I should like to know what he’s saying, but can’t access it…

  106. I’m finding a special kind of irony in that DAVID got labelled a puppy by stealing my schtick.

    Not everything is about you.

  107. Not everything is about you.

    And that was the irony. Deflection to prevent witch hunts.

    Rephrase: I find it ironic that ALL CAPS are being labelled in that way. Happy now?

  108. @ASF######: your comment that one if the puppy’s stated goals was to ‘expose readers to works’…
    And I’m sorry, but the first picture that popped into my head was of the stereotypical raincoated flasher. “Here’s something you’ve never seen before!”
    Ummm. yeah. gee. Thanks. Not.

  109. There are certainly several works on the Slate lists that can be considered as contenders, just from the buzz there was in fandom when they appeared. I shall give them fair consideration.

    I haven’t done any reading of the Hugo Package yet, but the example of last year’s slate supports the idea that the current slate works are not of Hugo Quality. I remember looking at something and thinking, “But I have written better stuff than that!” And I doubt I shall ever be Hugo-nominated.

    For most slate works, the answer seems pretty easy. If it can’t even past the slush-pile test, I am not going to waste my time reading all of it. It hasn’t earned my vote. One of the slates might also cast doubts on a certain person’s ability as an editor: if the works escaped your slush-pile, what does that say about your editorial skill, I shall likely think.

    And just consider an example from this year: Mad Max: Fury Road looks almost certain to get a nomination next year. And I can easily see it getting onto all the slates there might be, just to tweak the noses of those who will not consider any work on a slate.

  110. So…. if i vote like this
    (1) nonpup work
    (2)no award
    (3) minor pup
    With (4) and (5) blank because they remaining options are VD, or major pup.

    if my ballot gets down to 3, then i end up giving a vote to help minor pup possibly win. but maybe i decide thats better than seeing VD win anything. And if (3) does go over 51% then hopefully there are enough no award ballots so that no award still ends up winning.

    And if (3) doesnt get 50% then my ballot is removed from any further rounds, so i am not giving +1 to VD, but I still have a “no award” to hopefully swing the final result ti no award.

    so, the thing i still cant quite wrap my head around is voting FOR a minor pup versus leaving minor pup off ballot and possibly let VD win.

    I *think* that as long as I vote for ALL non pup works in a category then no award, then by the time we get to any pup awards, if it gets that bad, then its a pup-versus-pup fight and since SOMEONE has to win, then voting for a minor pup chooses the lesser of two evils.

    i think.

    There is the revulsion I am feeling about potentially helping a minor pup win that part of me would rather put them on the ballot at all. But I think if i understand it correctly, if the vote tallying got that far along, then its down to pup only choices anyway, so either i try to choose the lesser of two evils (pup that is not vd), or i leave it blank and vd might win something because my ballot is essentially removed from the vote tallying.

    Ugh.

  111. Greg: yes, basically the reason you’d be listing anything below No Award is because if “Thanksgiving Dinner with the Most-Loved Members of your Family” and “Barbeque with your Best Friends” have both already been eliminated, and now it’s a choice between “Half-Burned Toast”, “Watery Gruel with Spoiled Milk Garnish” and “Cyanide Soup”, if one of them HAS to win, you’d rather it was the unpalatable Toast over the barely edible Gruel, and better that than the poisonous Soup. If you’re violently allergic to Watery Gruel (now with added nuts and nut products!), and it would be as deadly to you as the Cyanide Soup, so you have no preference between them, then leaving them off your ballot ties them for last.

  112. Stevie: A little rough, but I think this is the relevant bit from that thread.

    Re: Hugo Award Nomination – Sad Puppies
    « Reply #20 on: April 10, 2015, 07:23:49 AM »
    Quote from: Goldmonkey on April 10, 2015, 05:53:28 AM

    If Jim does, in fact, *not* agree with the vile philosophies of these sad little flea-creatures… then let him speak out.

    Instead of hiding in his bunker at his ($) publisher’s ($) request. :|

    Back in 2011 Jim read an article that hurt his feelings and discussed it publicly. Someone valiantly took the side of the article’s perspective and Jim’s fans took to defending him and made her very miserable which Jim was very upset about. The last thing he said in that interaction was,

    Quote (Jim Butcher)

    Nah, grace and dignity would have been for me to keep my damned mouth shut. :)

    I think we can expect him to follow that advice to himself this time around. This is not the first time I have seen that interaction influence his decisions to remain quiet amid controversy.

    Which makes sense considering the echo chamber that is the internet. No matter what Jim does, feelings already are stomped on and with the size of his readership, he has pretty dang big boots that would end up with poopy on them no matter where he puts his feet down in this morass if he chose to say anything.

    And this one.

    Re: Hugo Award Nomination – Sad Puppies
    « Reply #25 on: April 11, 2015, 07:38:26 AM »
    You may have noticed that Touchy Topics are not allowed on the forum, such as politics*.

    This is by the wishes of the head owners of house you play in, as it was once allowed but then eventually verboten, the reasons being too varied and complicated to go into here. Please consider possible reasons for this stance, and the possibility that there may be more at play here than you can see from your vantage point.

    *As such, I have to lock this thread.
    « Last Edit: April 11, 2015, 07:52:44 AM by Mickey Finn »

  113. (Sigh) One of these days, I’ll figure out how the blockquote thing works. Clearly not today.

  114. Morgan Walther

    Thank you for taking the time and effort to provide me with that information.

    It’s comforting to know that, even in these stressful times, fans reach out to other fans and get a response. You have cheered me up no end!

  115. Cthulhu: Yes clearly you invented ALL CAPS.

    Our host is well known for USING ALL CAPS to be funny.

    If you can’t parse the (meta) humor, don’t snipe, especially to someone like me. At this point you’re just niggling in various threads to get a response: it’s puppyish, and I don’t do mud-wrestling with your kind. And you’ve not very good at it which makes it worse.

    The Locus awards have already widened their breadth this season due to this, and you’ll see other ripples abound. 2016 might be a Golden Year for SF/F literature.

    (Host got two solid nominations this year, the world’s not ending).

    YET.

  116. The Dramatic Presentation categories are a special case. I think it is safe to vote those two categories as if the Puppies didn’t exist.

    Although there were candidates on the Puppy slates, they were mainstream works that were almost certain to be nominated anyway. In what universe was Interstellar, Guardians of the Galaxy, Game of Thrones, or The Flash not going to be on the ballot? The only marginal one is The Lego Movie, and I think the big question there is not its quality but whether it is genre.

  117. Cirriban:

    (Sigh) One of these days, I’ll figure out how the blockquote thing works. Clearly not today.

    Ooh, I know this one! I had to ask. You know these little symbols: Well, in between them with no extra spaces at the start of the quote you put the word blockquote. And at the end of the quote, in between with no extra spaces, you put /blockquote. And there you have it.

  118. Cally and everyone else: thanks for the explanations and answering repetitive questions about voting nit pickery. Normally, it wouldn’t be that big a deal about “no award” and what to put below it, if anything. But the pups have made it extremely important for me.

    I’m planning on hiring a servant and every night at supper have him say to me “Lord, don’t forget the Puppies.”

    Anyway, thanks everyone who helped.

  119. Cthulhu: I actually feel I owe you an apology on this particular thread. On the other threads I really did think that your attempts at meta humor crossed the line into just being a jerk, but in this thread I was in a very bad mood and I picked a fight unnecessarily I am sorry.

    However comparing me to Puppy because I don’t agree with you is not acceptably ether and I think it should be noted that in the last thread we clashed in I gave you much ore of the benefit of the doubt than many of the other posters. Possibly more benefit than you actually deserved.

    Finally I think it should be noted that I do “get” met humor I just don’t think that yours is particularly funny. “Also Niggling in various threads to get a response” is kind of rich coming from you.

    I also feel that I owe David an apology. I really had no business butting into this discussion especially since you were handling it fine on your own.

Comments are closed.