Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

Rant: Sad Puppies vs. Anti-Puppies, as the Kilostreisands Pile Up

Yes, I’ve been scarce in recent weeks, but bear with me: I’m off doing something difficult but important, which I’ll tell you about later.


Although it’s been going on now for three years, I hadn’t ever heard of the Sad Puppies phenomenon until a couple of months ago, and what brought it to my attention was an ongoing rumble raging up and down the social networks and blogosphere. The rumble was just a rumble until April 4, when the Hugo Award nominations for 2015 were announced. Then, ye gods and little fishes, the Puppies swept the slate and it became Hugogeddon. I’ve already described the Sad Puppies thing here as part of a series that I’d originally intended to focus on Sarah Hoyt’s Human Wave SF manifesto. It’s a movement to bring new people into the Worldcon culture and perhaps get some attention for writers who for whatever reason are never considered for the Hugo Awards. The Sad Puppies 3 effort was all very much up-front and out in the open. The most powerful man in SFF publishing, Patrick Neilsen-Hayden, stated quite clearly that the group violated no rules whatsoever.

But oh, my, the dudgeon, the squealing, the bright purple faces, the curses and threats and slobbering on the floor. Writers of considerable stature, whom I had read and long respected, lost that respect instantly and went onto my Seventh-Grade Playground Tantrum-Throwers List. They seemed to think that anyone who put forth a list of recommended authors or works was trying to dynamite the awards, and (worse) that this was a brand-new thing that had never been tried before. Well…Mike Glyer, who belongs to the Anti-Puppy (AP) faction, pointed out that slatemaking has been practiced erratically since the very first Hugo Awards season in…1953. Apparently the difference between recommendations and a slate is that a slate is put forth by people we dislike.

Takeaway: Hugo Award slatemaking is nothing new, and does not violate the rules. You have a constitutional right to be upset about it. I have a constitutional right to think of it as a nonissue. I’m not going to argue that point any further in this entry. (I doubt I will argue that point further at all. Don’t even bring it up in the comments.) I have something else in mind entirely. Let me phrase it as a question:

How in hell could a couple of mostly unknown authors turn the venerable Hugo Awards inside-out?

My answer: adverse attention. For a definition, let me quote from a textbook that I made up just now: Zoftnoggin & Wiggout’s Fundamentals of Sociometry.

Adverse attention is a rise in the attention profile of a previously obscure phenomenon caused by the actions of an entity that opposes that phenomenon. In the vast majority of cases, the triggering force is outrage, though it sometimes appears through the action of envy, pride, lust, asshattedness, butthurt, or other largely emotional psychopathologies.

This being sociometry, adverse attention may be quantified, and there is a standard unit for expressing it:

The fundamental unit of adverse attention is the streisand, defined as one previously uninterested person achieving a degree of interest in a phenomenon sufficient to compel them to email, share, or retweet information about that phenomenon to one other person in a social network. As the information propagates across a social network, the connectedness of the network influences the total amount of adverse attention that arises. For example, if each of ten previously uninterested persons receiving the information passes it on to only one previously uninterested person, eleven streisands of adverse attention have been created. If one of those previously uninterested persons has 200 followers on Twitter or 1000 Facebook friends, the number of streisands increases rapidly. In a sufficiently dense network, the rate of increase can become close to exponential until the number of previously uninterested persons asymptotically approaches zero.

I’ve seen evidence for this in the comment sections of many blogs that have criticized or condemned the Sad Puppies. A common comment goes something like this: “Wow! I never knew that you could vote for the Hugos without going to Worldcon! And I just downloaded the free preview of Monster Hunter International. This is way cool!” Zing! The world gets another Puppy.

The emotional tenor of the criticism matters too. I’ve seen a few comments that go something like this: “I’d never heard of the Sad Puppies before. I’ve been trying to figure out which side is right, but the sheer nastiness of the Sad Puppies’ critics makes me think they’re just sore losers. I’m more or less with the Puppies now.”

Then, of course, there are the hatchet-job articles (all of them roughly identical) in what most people consider legitimate media, like Entertaintment Weekly, which later retracted the article once it became clear that it was libelous. The Guardian wrote another hit-piece that fell short of libel but still misrepresented the phenomenon. These are not just blogs. These are significant publications that have a lot of readers.

And those streisands just keep piling up.

It’s something like a sociological law: Commotion attracts attention. Attention is unpredictable, because it reaches friend and foe alike. It can go your way, or it can go the other way. There’s no way to control the polarity of adverse attention. The only way to limit adverse attention is to stop the commotion.

In other words, just shut up.

I know, this is difficult. For some psychologies, hate is delicious to the point of being psychological crack, so it’s hard to just lecture them on the fact that hate has consequences, including but hardly limited to adverse attention.

My conclusion is this: The opponents of Sad Puppies 3 put them on the map, and probably took them from a fluke to a viable long-term institution. I don’t think this is what the APs intended. In the wake of the April 4 announcement of the final Hugo ballot, I’d guess the opposition has generated several hundred kilostreisands of adverse attention, and the numbers will continue to increase. Sad Puppies 4 has been announced. Larry Correia and Brad Torgersen have lots of new fans who’d never heard of them before. (I just bought the whole Monster Hunter International series and will review it in a future entry.)

To adapt a quote from…well, you know damned well whose quote I’m adapting: “Attack me, and I will become more popular than you could possibly imagine.”

Or, to come closer to home, and to something in which I have personal experience: “Feed puppies, and they grow up.”

Actions have consequences. Who knew?

53 Comments

  1. TRX says:

    “Give a man a platform and he will speak his mind. Deny him a platform and he will build his own… and you will never silence him again.”

    The only hit I got on Google pointed back to a comment by Theodore Beale on his web site. Which seems appropriate, somehow.

    1. People keep screaming at me how evil Vox is, and whereas it may be true, the guy is very bright and highly articulate. It could be an original with him. He’s made a career out of not letting people silence him, so yeah, it fits.

      1. Vox is quite distasteful to me. However, I have reached the “Churchill Point” with the SJWs. When Churchill was asked how he, as a lifelong anticommunist, could justify an alliance with Russia after the invasion, he answered: “If Hitler (y”sh) were to invade Hell, the least I could do would be to make a favorable reference to the Devil in the House of Commons.”

    2. alauda says:

      It sounds like him, all right.

  2. […] “Rant: Sad Puppies vs. Anti-Puppies, as the Kilostreisands Pile Up” – May 2 […]

  3. TRX says:

    As the smoke from burning bridges continues to rise, I foresee some sizeable changes in the publishing industry.

    I think the Tribal Effect is going to close a lot of doors for potential sales for the Puppies and the Ilk. Any editor who accepts a manuscript from them is going to get the fish eye from their peers and potential future employers, as they move about the industry. It’s already hard enough to sell a book; as the Editor Tribe circles the wagons it’s going to become harder.

    That leaves Baen in the catbird seat… and Beale’s Castalia House. Which, while small, appears to be a real publisher. Actually printing paper, if needed, is just a matter of passing the task off to the kind of people who do that sort of thing.

    In the short term, this is likely to depress advances and royalties even more. I doubt Baen and Castalia will pay any more than they have to, and they’ll have plenty to choose from.

    In the longer term… that’s likely to look very nice on their balace sheets. And while editors are what writers and agents deal with, editors are near the very bottom of the pecking order at a publisher; they’re workers, not management. And management is generally far more interested in profits than their lower-level employees jumping into an internet-wide poo-flinging contest.

    There are also probably some publishers out there who don’t normally do SF, who may look around and wonder, “Hey, people might actually buy this stuff?” and branch out a bit.

    It’s going to be years at the very least before this plays out.

    1. Nah says:

      The purpose of SP is to promote authors who are *already* being ignored because badthink. Therefore any attention they get from the SP campaign can only improve their situation.

      1. Precisely. SP authors have nothing to lose in the conflict, and AP authors have nothing to gain. It’s pretty much that simple.

    2. It’s been playing out for some years now, actually, and, yes, it has a few years to go.

      Almost none of the Puppies and related issues in SFF publishing would exist at all were it not for the rise of indie ebook publishing. I’m an anomaly in that regard (being an actual publisher with 30 years’ tenure) but I’m hearing from people who have no experience at all in publishing who are making money and sometimes making a decent living from their self-published books. This gives traditional publishers less and less control over the direction in which the industry moves.

      The “farm team” strategy is something that few have remarked on, but it’s becoming a sort of standard mechanism: Traditional publishers watch the Amazon rankings and then sign indie authors who come out of nowhere and suddenly have a following. This is not a winning strategy for traditional publishers, because the more it happens, the less necessary traditional publishers will be. It’s still difficult to get print books into the retail channel, where the business model is a weird pathological twist on consignment. POD direct through Amazon, Lulu, and the like can provide paper versions to those who like paper. I’ve been doing that successfully for some years, especially with my “Carl & Jerry” repubs and my (very) obscure Old Catholic histories.

      The Manhattan gatekeepers are losing power year by year. This means we don’t necessarily have to give a damn about them. I was shocked at how liberating that realization was when I finally internalized it last year. (The catalyst was my current conflict with a gazillion dollar conglomerate over a contract I fulfilled a year ago and have not yet been paid for.)

      The big fancy 2-story B&N store in Scottsdale where I used to drop so much cash when I lived there closed a year ago. I’ve heard of others closing as well, and those that are open are devoting more shelf space to toys and tchotchkes. This is not good news for traditional publishers, to belabor the obvious.

      Your final point bordered on reading my mind. I’ve said nothing at all about it publicly, but over the past year I’ve suggested to a couple of independent tech presses that they should consider launching experimental SF imprints. The money’s there; the trick is finding it. The Manhattan presses don’t know how to find sales; they literally buy them. (This is called “pay to play,” and it comes perilously close to bribery.) The smaller presses could adopt the Baen playbook and do quite well. People are reading more than ever, and small, nimble, tech-savvy imprints could go after the Manhattan fortress presses and beat them at their own game.

      I’ll have more to say about this in future entries.

      1. RKModena says:

        (°ㅁ°)!

        Obscure Catholic histories?

        My mother became a Dominican Tertiary Nun (Or is it a Tertiary Nun of the Dominican Order?) after my father passed away and I think she might be interested.

        Heck, I am.

        Got a link so I can save up for those books? =D Pretty Please?

        1. The two books I republished are not general Catholic history, but more specific: They are original-source histories of the Old Catholic tradition. I’m not sure how useful they still are except to scholars, but the Old Catholic tradition brought me back to Catholicism (in the broader sense) after 30 years of bitterness.

          Old Catholicism can be tersely described as “non-Papal Western Catholicism,” in that it does not recognize the authority of the Pope of Rome. Its roots go back many hundreds of years, but it only became a religious tradition in the 1870s, in the wake of the First Vatican Council. Pope Pius IX basically declared himself and his successors infallible, and (worse) declared that this infallibility is a dogma that must be believed by all in order to achieve salvation. A large number of Europeans (and later, people elsewhere in the world) broke with Rome and formed their own Catholic jurisdictions.

          It’s complicated, and contentious. It still exists, though for reasons I don’t understand it’s extremely obscure. In my (still-unfinished) non-SF novel Old Catholics Fr. Rob Prendergast describes Old Catholicism as “God’s junk drawer,” where the Odds of the greater Catholic world tend to collect. I’m one of those Odds, and for me the OCC was a healing force of peculiar power. It may not work for everyone, but it worked for me. I don’t talk about it much for that reason: It’s not a general solution, and I don’t want to come off as preaching.

          But I digress. The two books I republished concern the roots of the Old Catholic break with Rome in the 1870s. I bought original editions, scanned them, OCRed them, and laid them out fresh, with new indexes. The first is The New Reformation by Theodorus:

          http://www.amazon.com/New-Reformation-Narrative-Catholic-Movement/dp/1932084002/

          That’s the “what” of the OC phenomenon: It describes the Council itself, and what happened there and in the immediately following years. The “why” is told in the second book, The Pope and the Council:

          http://www.lulu.com/shop/janus/the-pope-and-the-council/paperback/product-2063590.html

          Weirdly, Amazon no longer sells this book, and I don’t know why. It has to be ordered from Lulu, the POD house I published it through.

          Now, before you buy them, consider: They are both in the public domain, and you can find facsimile scans of the original books on Google Books. They include marginal scribbles and squashed bugs, but they’re free.

          https://books.google.com/books?id=KQE8AAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=the+new+reformation+theodorus&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CB4Q6AEwAGoVChMI05PZ1fKFxgIVijesCh1_xwDH#v=onepage&q=the%20new%20reformation%20theodorus&f=false

          and

          https://books.google.com/books?id=JBwNAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=the+pope+and+the+council+janus&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CB4Q6AEwAGoVChMIts6P-fKFxgIVkhKSCh00jADb#v=onepage&q=the%20pope%20and%20the%20council%20janus&f=false

          Note that both books were written for scholars and are extremely dense; there are passages quoted in Koine Greek in Greek typescript. More recent and popular treatments of the subject exist.

          1. RKModena says:

            My mother studies this kind of thing, so she’ll be delighted, honestly. Old Catholic history she would be very enthralled with!

            I’ve had no problems with Lulu; since we publish through them too.

    3. Greg says:

      Given that TOR already publishes John C. Wright and Orson Scott Card (and, for that matter, that Baen publishes liberal authors), I don’t know that I fully agree with your detective work, Lou. ( /Fargo)

      ” Any editor who accepts a manuscript from them is going to get the fish eye from their peers and potential future employers, as they move about the industry.” Which ‘them’? Have any editors said anything like this?

      If Larry Correia, who has a proven track record in sales, active fanbase, and NY Times bestsellers, wants to jump publishers, he’s going to have a lot of offers. I can’t imagine any editor caring about whether or not a writer was on this year’s Hugo slate except as how it pertains to future sales (exception: Vox Day, but a lot of his blog posts suggest he would not respond to editorial suggestions, and he already has his own publishing house anyway.)

      1. You’re both right, albeit at different levels. PNH leans left, but he’s not stupid, and he knows he’s being watched. If an author of Correia’s status were to approach him with a proposal and it came out that the proposal was turned down, his group publisher (or whatever the job is called at Tor) would want to know why. Unless there was something objectively wrong with the proposal, he could get in serious trouble.

        It’s down at the bottom where the real issue lies. Finding new talent before your competitors do is one job of acquisitions editors like PNH and his peers, but without a track record, ideological bias is easier to pull off, and it may not be conscious at all, but more a matter of what resonates with the editor.

        This is why indie publishing is a good place to start. If you can make money without a publisher, you can make money for a publisher. The catch is that once the ebook industry truly matures (there are still some thin spots, as I’ll explain in a future entry) sharp people may not need a publisher at all, and may need something more akin to a PR rep.

        1. Carbonel says:

          Given that TOR already publishes John C. Wright and Orson Scott Card (and, for that matter, that Baen publishes liberal authors), I don’t know that I fully agree with your detective work, Lou.

          Interesting choices. Card, author of the Ender’s Game megafranchise is untouchable. He’s a Clint Eastwood or Bruce Willis of SF publishing. No matter whose sacred cow he gores, he’ll be published. Wright, on the other hand, was a darling of the Right People when he was publically attacking the Moronic Godbothering Flying-Spaghetti-Monster worshipers (I am unjust: His attacks were far more clever and stinging). After his conversion, and equally public screeds in favor of traditional morality, Wright stopped being published by the major outlets. All his new books are coming out of Castallia House which released over ten years worth of short stories had been rendered Untouchable by his +++ungoodthink last year. Stories, mind you (Like “One Bright Star” and “Awake in the Night”) which were written while he was still an atheist.

          The blacklisting has grown in brazenness and scope over the past several years, but it’s always been there. Internet captures of careless Twitter comments by some of the dinosaur editors have made the bias and blackballing hard to deny. And indy has made it easier for writers like Sarah Hoyt to tell the truth and shame the devil.

          If you’re looking for proof of “them” and the fish-eye “you’ll never work in this town again” attitudes you need go no further than her blog. Most of the other authors who’ve managed to get accepted at Baen or build an Indy following have similar tales.

    4. Danby (Vile Faceless Minion #0301) says:

      “In the short term, this is likely to depress advances and royalties even more. I doubt Baen and Castalia will pay any more than they have to, and they’ll have plenty to choose from.”

      Castalia house specifically has as part of their business model paying much much more in royalties than the big 6 publishers. If you take a stroll through their offerings, you will nots that it consists largely of 2 types of works. 1) Established authors (Wright, Pournelle, Day) selling back-catalog work, and stories that other houses have refused. 2) True experts (William Lind, Martin Van Creveld) publishing non-fiction in areas that will appeal to Vox’s audience. I would expect 1) to change as CH finds their feet and builds a stable of writes and a brand, but it’s a hell of a good way to get a catalog together in short order.

      John Wright for instance, says the stories published in Transhuman and Subhuman, City Beyond Time and A Book of Feasts and Seasons were written over a period of 30 years, were offered to other publishers, and were for what ever reason rejected by those publishers.

      CH publicly states that their rate is 50% of net (after Amazon’s cut), and they cover all the production costs like professional “cover” illustrations and translations. And they pay weekly.

      So, no, CH is NOT trying to screw every last nickel out of their authors.

      1. This is certainly a strategy that can win, though in truth, “not being in NYC” is a strategy that can win. I think (against a certain amount of pushback from its fans) that a certain amount of Baen’s success lies in not being a part of the Manhattan publishing culture.

        What makes Castalia unique in SFF publishing is that it’s a startup without print fiction’s historical baggage. I don’t know yet how much of its line is print, but a quick scan suggests not much. Publishing’s conventions with print books can be deadly for reasons that I can’t take up right now, but they were part of what put us out of business in 2002. In my day, success was basically about cash flow, not sales. With ebooks as the primary medium, cash flow management becomes a great deal simpler.

        I do think we’re on the verge of an explosion in SFF publishing startups. Everything will be tried, and what works will replace most of the ancient baggage that traditional print houses are saddled with. It’s going to be an interesting five or six years in SFF, trust me.

  4. TRX says:

    So far I’m seeing quite a bit of “No Award” and “burn it down” rhetoric from the AP side. I haven’t noticed any from the SP side.

    I saw “Planet of the Apes” as a kid; when Charlton Heston blew up the world at the end, I wondered WTF?!, but eventually forgot about it. Then years later, someone commented that Heston’s character had nuked an entire, working civilization, more or less out of spite. His people had killed themselves off, so he’d do the same to their successors, for reasons that were so obvious they didn’t need to be explained.

    Being somewhat dim, I’m still trying to figure the explanation, but I’m seeing some of that mindset now. “Well, *obviously* we should trash the whole thing rather than let someone else play!”

  5. zeph says:

    I am not seeing this angry rhetoric you speak of but, perhaps I just don’t visit bad enough blogs? What are you reading and why are you reading it? This whole “sad puppies” thing is just boring as hell, although I think you’ve plopped down on the wrong side of it. “Sad puppies” indeed, that’s such a descriptive name for a group of tiny whiners.

    1. It’s not boring to me, as I’ve been in publishing now for 30 years, and this is yet another (of many) earthquakes in the industry since the very early oughts, when my first publishing company went under. I was blindsided back then (that story is complex and involves details I choose not to share) and I don’t intend to be blindsided again, whether or not I have my own publishing firm. I’m also a working author who still makes a lot of money on my books, so I have a dog in this fight.

      I was going to cite you a particularly nasty post on Facebook by a name-brand author of my own vintage, but I can’t find it now and I’m pretty sure it’s been deleted. (I generally find what I look for.) I’m guessing she had second thoughts, as she damned well should have, and probably sooner.

      Look hard enough and you’ll find it. However, if you’re not in the biz on the writing or publishing side, it’s probably a bad use of your time.

      I’ll admit that I have a grudge against Manhattan Monoculture in publishing (not simply SFF but all publishing) for both public and personal reasons. Manhattan publishing is currently getting its ass handed to it in bloody little chunks (and has been for fifteen years or so) for reasons that have little or nothing to do with SFF but a great deal to do with the bizarre and terribly sclerotic mechanics of the industry ecosystem that publishing has evolved since WWII.

      A lot of it really does come down to Amazon, which knocked out almost half the retail shelf space a few years back when Borders sank out of sight. Manhattan publishing coevolved with B&M consumer bookselling. The B&M bookselling business model is failing, and Manhattan has no idea what to do next. I’ve written about this before; here’s a good place to start:

      http://www.contrapositivediary.com/?p=3179

      I’m not so much on the side of the Puppies as I am on the side of independent authors and small press, which is the same side, if not behind precisely the same tree. I am very definitely on the side that opposes the big NY publishing conglomerates. If that makes me a Puppy, so be it. Sad, however is not my thing. As I see it, the NY houses are choking on their own bile, and I’m waving my “Go Bile!” banner as hard as I can.

      This is too much to work out in the comments, but I hope I gave you a better sense for why I’m saying what I’m saying. Like everything else in the universe, it’s complicated. But I suspect you knew that.

      1. TRX says:

        > Manhattan publishing coevolved
        > with B&M consumer bookselling.

        Their whole business model centers around a concept few young adults are familiar with nowadays – retail.

        Sure, you could buy some paperbacks directly from the publisher with the handy order form on the back page, but paperbacks were a fringe market. *Real* books sold by retail, with distributors, wholesales, brokers, and whatnot, multiple levels providing little or no value, but each taking their cut of the cover price.

        There’s not much left of the retail market nowadays. Good riddance to the leeches and vampires.

        1. Back in the early 90s, we basically launched Coriolis Group Books by selling our books from house ads in the back of PC Techniques Magazine. It was necessary cash flow in a business model where books were sold to retailers at what amounted to net 180 terms…and the provision that retailers could return books at any time for a full refund. With ebooks sold online, all that crazy stuff goes away. Print publishing is handcuffed to a corpse, which it continues to drag around and will until the industry collapses.

  6. […] may be within reach, especially if the munchkins are promising to burn Munich for us as we advance? Jeff Duntemann’s summary to which Mike Glyer directed our attention yesterday is informative in this […]

  7. Mick says:

    Excellent take, and intelligent comments. I am appalled at the casual relationship the AP side has with the truth. I am one of those “holy crap, i can vote on the hugos?” People, and i have been a fan of sf/f literature for 30+ years.

    1. Many thanks for speaking up. A great many people simply do not believe that you (or anyone like you, much less hundreds or thousands like you) exist.

      1. Carbonel says:

        We have been speaking up. We just tend to get disemvowelled, or have our comments deleted at AP sites.

        I’m another (and posted my “manic puppies” “slate” on my mommy blog.

        I will note, however that my unconnected friends, who only read the occasional Facebook page and EW rags, absolutely do not believe me about the history of causes of SP. One intelligent, capable, and very dear friend kept repeating “but slates are BAD” as if it proved something. So the lies have gone half-way ’round the world and then some.

        1. You’re always welcome here. Big things are happening, and I want to stay ahead of them. If you have reports or insights I’d love to hear them. I’d like to see your Manic Puppies slate if you’re willing to post a link here.

          As for lies, well, they’ll be with us longer than the poor, death, and taxes put together. All we can do is keep telling the truth, and not let the bastards grind us down.

  8. Erbo says:

    The adverse attention phenomenon isn’t new by any means. I recall a part of Tracy Kidder’s the Soul of a New Machine in which companies like DEC were giving upstart competitor Data General so much adverse attention that customers were giving them a look. A supposed quote from customers: “Who are these Data General guys, so we can avoid them? What’s Data General’s phone number, so we can be sure not to call it?”

    The APs are basically handing out the Sad Puppies’ phone number…and I have a feeling that, when all is said and done, it’s the APs that are going to need the pooper scooper.

  9. Lexington says:

    I’ve seen evidence for this in the comment sections of many blogs that have criticized or condemned the Sad Puppies. A common comment goes something like this: “Wow! I never knew that you could vote for the Hugos without going to Worldcon! And I just downloaded the free preview of Monster Hunter International. This is way cool!” Zing! The world gets another Puppy.

    That’s a truth. Unfortunately for the Puppy types, this cuts both ways, and their chosen representatives aren’t doing them any favors on that front.

    1. It cuts both ways but not equally. Here’s why: The Puppies are a brand new thing. There are many more people who don’t know about them than there are people who don’t know about fandom or Worldcon or the Hugos and actually care. In a sense, Worldcon has a saturated or near-saturated market, and the Puppies do not. So there’s more upside from attention on the Puppy side. This won’t always be the case, obviously, but it’s certainly the case right now. Nor is it a zero-sum game. I’m starting to see a whole new fandom coalescing, one that may participate in traditional fandom or cons but will not be defined nor certainly controlled by them. Basically, they’ll be visitors, not homies. There are already Puppy-friendly cons like Libertycon, and I think there will be more in coming years. As this new SFF culture grows (and I doubt it will be called anything containing the word “puppies”) there will be less contact between the two. Traditional fandom has a severe generational problem: We’re now moving from fifty shades of gray to fifty shades of white, and the list of SKs continues to grow. The Puppies trend young, for reasons I don’t understand and am still researching. Traditional fandom is a Boomer thing, and like all human generations, we will eventually run out of Boomers.

      1. Tesh says:

        I’d suggest that at least part of the “youth skew” of the SP brigade is the usual youth backlash against overweening, self-righteous, lecturing authority figures. It’s a similar thing that drives the GamerGate crowd. It’s not politically cohesive, as some try to parse it, at least not along left/right U.S. lines. It’s more about people getting tired of obnoxious control freaks and finally fighting back, which is why SP and GG are important.

        That mentality tends to skew young, largely because The Man tends to skew old.

    2. Carbonel says:

      “I remember feeling cold and a little sick.”

      Yes, the problem is that the having people withdraw from the “Sad Puppies” slate because they’re terrified of what it will mean for them, rather proves the point the SPs are making about the state of the field.

      No one should have to warn another person about recommending their work for a slate, unless, of course, it’s unfair to subject a unsuspecting writer to hate-mail, harassment, and loss of employment for the crime of associating with you.

  10. Rich Rostrom says:

    Got no dog in this fight at the moment. I still consider myself a fan, though I hardly read current SF any more.

    Only one smoking gun I have noticed: the flagrant and obvious lie about the Sad Puppies which was fed to major media outlets, several of which repeated it automatically.

    That lie came from somewhere, and it came from someone with important connections to the media. It was almost certainly someone employed at a major NYC publishing outfit. Until that liar is exposed and repudiated (which includes begin fired), anti-Sad Puppies has no crediblity with me, and should not have with anyone else.

    1. “Until that liar is exposed and repudiated (which includes begin fired), anti-Sad Puppies has no credibility with me, and should not have with anyone else.”

      Bless you for saying so. It is so rare to hear someone on the side of simple honesty and simple decency these days, your words are refreshing.

  11. TRX says:

    Back in the late 1980s, when the internet was a kinder, gentler place, I saw a comment on a security newsgroup that stuck in my mind.

    “It’s hard to defend against a highly distributed enemy.”

    Larry Correia ran SP1 and SP2. He handed it onto Brad Torgerson for SP3. Theodore Beale forked RP1. And Brad has already passed the baton for SP4 to someone else.

    I’ve seen comments from writers in other genres that express the same sort of dissatisfaction that led to the Puppies. Heck, the SFWA was formed because a number of SF writers felt they were being shafted by their publishers.

    It’s not about the Hugos any more. By this time next year there may be half a dozen groups of puppies. And kittens, and wombats, and fruit bats…

    All this time, the industry has been circling the wagons to defend itself against the Evil Amazon Empire and ebooks, oblivious to the peasant revolt in its own back yard.

    note to self: buy more popcorn

    1. Dave W. says:

      SP4 is being run by Kate Paulk, AKA “Kate The Impaler”. I seriously can’t wait to see how she deals with the Anti-Puppy libelers.

      1. Mmmmmm…effectively?

      2. WATYF says:

        No doubt they will say that she’s “not a REAL woman” whilst accusing her of misogyny.

        WATYF

  12. TRX says:

    What I find most interesting about the SJW take on “slate voting” is their apparent belief that their readers, or at least the paying fans at the convention, are such mindless drones that they will nominate and vote according to some list they saw on “the intarwebz.”

    Well, I guess it worked well enough in the old days, when the “slates” were sub rosa instead of being out in the open… but it still shows what they think of the people who do the voting.

  13. jic says:

    “My conclusion is this: The opponents of Sad Puppies 3 put them on the map, and probably took them from a fluke to a viable long-term institution.”

    Somebody (I wish I could remember who) recently wrote that the smartest thing the APs could have done after the nominations were announced would have been to write something like this:

    ‘Wow, the puppies have really had a big impact on the nominations! It’s great to see so many new people getting involved with the Hugo Awards, and congratulations to all the nominees.’

    If they had, interest in the SP campaign would have dropped off sharply, and after a couple of years things would have gotten back to ‘normal’. But instead, the APs threw a collective tantrum, and I don’t think that will work out too well for them in the long run.

    1. Bingo. I’m working up another entry that looks at this from another angle, and with some luck will post it in the next few days.

  14. Wolfmanjim says:

    Speaking of adverse attention, the AP crowd has been using the GamerGate shibboleth so much that the GG leviathan has taken notice.

    Cthulhu has been summoned. Hilarity will ensue.

    1. Popcorn. Cubic yards of popcorn.

  15. jack says:

    Thank You Jeff. Your blog will now go onto my desktop and will be, probably, a daily stop.

    1. Well, thanks! Do be aware that I generally post only 7-12 times a month; I don’t have the volcanic energy of a Sarah Hoyt or a Vox Day. I do post shorter items on Facebook and Twitter a little more often.

      I have another item on the Puppies phenom that I should post later today or tomorrow, once I get it wrestled to the ground. (I edit too much; such men are dangerous. To themselves.)

  16. […] As I said several weeks ago, the slobbering, high-volume, high-profile hate hurled by the APs probably took the SPs from a fluke to an ongoing institution. I call this “adverse attention,” and it cooks down to the Streisand Effect: Screaming about something attracts attention that makes that something a lot more visible. The sensible response to the SPs would have been silence. […]

  17. […] delenda est. Related: There can be no peace with the anti-Puppies. Related: The Streissand effect and the Puppies. Related: The inability to comprehend of the SJW’s. Related: The three options for the rival […]

  18. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard says:

    Very good post. I’ll have to book-mark your site. [Smile]

    A Book Loving Dragon who supports the Sad Puppies movement.

  19. Michael Kay says:

    Ill be bookmarking your blog. Well said.

  20. […] Ironically, most of that commotion came from the Sad Puppies’ opponents, who could have strangled the Puppies in their sleep simply by keeping their mouths shut. But no: They had to vent their tribal butthurt, and in doing so recruited thousands of brand-new Puppies to …. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *