Sci-Fi & Fantasy Girlz discussion

The Weird, Fun, & Miscellaneous > The Hugo Awards/Sad Puppy/Rabid Puppies

Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Gary (last edited Aug 23, 2015 05:37PM) (new)

Gary | 1470 comments Anybody been paying attention to the drama surrounding the Hugo Awards this year? I've only been paying attention to the periphery, but it looks like it's turned into something bigger than I had expected.

message 2: by Text (new)

Text Addict (textaddict) | 60 comments Gary wrote: "Anybody been paying attention to the drama surrounding the Hugo Awards this year? "

Enough to know that it brought all the wing nuts to the yard. :sigh:

message 3: by Gary (new)

Gary | 1470 comments It does look like the door was open to the asylum next door.... I'm not clear on how that worked exactly, though. It seems a very small minority can get control over the voting slate somehow or another, and that's what they did.

message 4: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 301 comments I am at Worldcon this very moment (was on a number of program items). The No Awards sweep was a rebuke to the Puppies, who tried to ram their own slate of mediocrities through. I could wish that if they dislike the Hugos so much, they would go and start their own award and give it to each other. They do not have to come and mess with ours.

message 5: by Gary (last edited Aug 23, 2015 09:17PM) (new)

Gary | 1470 comments How exactly did they get the books they wanted on the slate? Apparently, the nominations are open, but the voting happens at Worldcon?

One way or another, they're going to simultaneously declare victory and proclaim that they are the victims. That's how that kind of rhetorical methodology works. It's been around for quite a while. Typically, that kind of fringe element doesn't control any given community. However, the Hugo Awards appear to have been wide open to this kind of gaming of the system.

message 6: by Text (last edited Aug 24, 2015 07:01AM) (new)

Text Addict (textaddict) | 60 comments Gary wrote: "How exactly did they get the books they wanted on the slate?"

There are two phases: nomination, then voting on the top 5 nominees. Only the announcement of the winners actually takes place at WorldCon.

Anybody with a membership (from current or the previous year, I think) can nominate any qualified work they really like. If you look at that stats from 2014, for example (, you'll see that out of 1595 ballots for the initial nominations in the novel category , the eventual winner received 368 votes (23.1%). The rest of the top 6 received 218, 184, 160, 120, and 98. In the shorter-works categories, there were under 1000 ballots each, and the actual nominees got in with under 200 votes - and in the short-story category, under 100.

In 2015 (, every category received over 1,000 ballots. Of 1827 ballots in the novel category, the top 7 all got over 200 votes - and two of the nominees that were on the Rabid Puppies slate declined the nomination.

In the short story category, there were 1,174 ballots cast and each of the nominees got over 100 ballots - and the top 2 over 200 (and one of those was withdrawn because of being on the Puppies slate).

Overall, it looks like that in the non-novel categories it probably took only 50-75 slate votes to push the voting in the Puppies' direction. Which are only impressive numbers in the very small world of SFF, when you think about it.

message 7: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 301 comments Yes, an organized cabal has a lot of power over the nomination process. Thus the puppy-dominated slate. But the =voting=, especially after all this brouhaha, is pretty well controlled by the larger membership. The preponderance of 'no award' votes shows that fandom in the mass did not agree with the puppies and disliked the slate the rammed onto the ballot.

The rules shall (hopefully) be modified to lessen any bloc's power. And everyone who is eligible to nominate MUST nominate. It is only because so many of us didn't nominate, counting upon others to pick the best for us, that a tiny group could leverage themselves.

message 8: by Gary (last edited Aug 24, 2015 04:19PM) (new)

Gary | 1470 comments Thanks for the summary, Text. I'm not a big fan of awards in the first place (I don't watch the Oscars, Emmys or things along those lines.) However, I am aware they have some sort of impact, and a lot of folks are interested in that kind of validation. In that context, it's kind of horrifying that the system is gamed that easily.

message 9: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 301 comments For decades it was essentially an honor system. Everyone agreed, without it ever being said, that they would nominate the best short story, or novella, or whatever, they read that year. These are the first pack of morons who wanted people on the slate for -other- reasons (white, male, etc.). Thus their choices were not especially good stories, because they were selected for totally extraneous reasons. Naturally regular voters were enraged.

message 10: by Gary (last edited Aug 24, 2015 07:04PM) (new)

Gary | 1470 comments It's funny. I had no idea how that kind of thing worked. I suppose, had I thought about it, I would have imagined some grand council of hoary Olympians, impaneled upon the mountain top and dispensing awards to those worthies first to reach the summit....

In the 21st century, that system looks hopelessly naive. Innocent, maybe, but completely vulnerable. Hell, the Boyscouts have been more or less co-opted by religious fringe elements. What chance has the SF community? It's going to take some revision to fix, and sad to say it probably can't be as open a system again without this kind of manipulation becoming a regular occurrence.

message 11: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leonierogers) | 152 comments I voted for the first time this year, after realising that I could. (For some reason I was under the misapprehension that nomination/voting was up to some mysterious panel of sci-fi luminaries.)

I completely agree with Brenda that a significant number of the choices on the puppies' slates were not particularly good stories. I slogged through the packet because I wanted to vote with integrity, and some of them were clearly not representative of the best Science Fiction and Fantasy in any way, shape, or form.

Now that I have this newly discovered power, I shall nominate and vote next year :) And am planning on being in Helsinki for 2017.

message 12: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 301 comments Do. Read widely and then nominate, early and often. And when the finalists are announced, vote your heart. That's what the Hugos really are. Nor do people have to go to Kansas City or Helsinki or whatever. You can get a Supporting Membership that allows you to get the Hugo finalists and then vote. If we all do this, the Puppies have no chance. (And if the adjustment to the voting rules goes through. Those in charge are not relying upon Pureness of Heart only.)

message 13: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leonierogers) | 152 comments Exactly - as I'm Australian, I discovered all of this by attending two of our local cons. I became a supporting member, paid my site selection fee, was provided with the Hugo Packet (such a bonus, even if I didn't like all of the stories - but someone GAVE me stories, so that's clearly a win) and voted.

It's nice to be involved.

message 14: by Sarah (last edited Sep 02, 2015 02:00PM) (new)

Sarah | 71 comments I think sometimes people don't nominate because they're afraid they haven't read widely enough. I don't think that matters as long as you're voting for things you truly liked. Not for the author's past efforts. Not for something someone else asked you to vote for.
And part of the problem in recent years has been that the field is so rich right now that 500 people nominating might have 500 different first choices, so a coordinated effort easily overtook the earnest nominations.

If enough people nominate and vote for the stuff they loved, that will still rise to the top, I think.

Some awards you can vote/nominate for:
Anyone who pays for supporting membership can nominate for the Hugos.
World Fantasy Convention attendees can nominate for the World Fantasy Award, though I believe the final choice is by jury.
The Tiptree Award has an open nomination process:

This Wikia collects people's suggestions over the course of the year:

And I started the hashtag #BestSF2015 on Twitter today to collect ideas and start reading early for next year's nominations.

back to top