Only you can make literati heads explode: Torgersen & Sad Puppies 3

An announcement from the esteemed and bold Brad R Torgersen. These next words are his:

The Hugo awards window (for 2015’s nominations) will be open soon. As one of Baen’s newest authors, I wanted to be be the first guy out of the gate with SAD PUPPIES 3. For those of you who don’t know what SAD PUPPIES is, it’s a (somewhat tongue in cheek) running effort to get stories, books, and people onto the Hugo ballot, who are entirely deserving, but who don’t usually get on the ballot. Largely because of the nomination and voting tendencies of World Science Fiction Convention, with its “fandom” community. In the last decade we’ve seen Hugo voting skew more and more toward literary (as opposed to entertainment) works. Some of these literary pieces barely have any science fictional or fantastic content in them. Likewise, we’ve seen the Hugo voting skew ideological, as Worldcon and fandom alike have tended to use the Hugos as an affirmative action award: giving Hugos because a writer or artist is (insert underrepresented minority or victim group here) or because a given work features (insert underrepresented minority or victim group here) characters.

Likewise, the Hugos tend to be a raw popularity contest, for all definitions of “popular” that include “Trending with Worldcon.” Which may or may not have anything whatsoever to do with actual sales success on the open market. And that was Correia’s original point: if the Hugos really are the preeminent award in SF/F how come the Hugos so often ignore works and people who are, in fact, successful ambassadors of the genre to the consumer world at large? What the heck is going on here?

So, SAD PUPPIES has tended to push back. Against the Worldcon fandom zeitgeist.

Last time, it was Larry Correia carrying the guidon for SAD PUPPIES. He did it bravely, and with no small degree of criticism from those who cannot stomach seeing the Hugos visited by folks who aren’t of the body of fandom per se. This time? I volunteer myself. I don’t have Larry’s fan base, but they are familiar to me (and I to them) and since SAD PUPPIES is actually a much bigger, more viral effort (every year it’s conducted, it gains steam) I hope to see a lot of activity that goes well beyond the ordinary corridors of what might be called “the conversation” in SF/F.

Thus, I am going to slowly compile a slate. Of books and stories (and other things, and people) for the different categories. So that hopefully deserving works and artists — who tend to be snubbed at awards season — get a chance on the final ballot. It doesn’t take a massive number of nominating votes to secure a final spot for a specific work or person. All it takes are a few dozen interested people (with Worldcon memberships) to list a given work when they nominate.


Please go HERE to nominate works for Mr Torgersen to publicize for this once-prestigious award. Leave no suggestions here, or I will retaliate by posting a column on ontology.

In the interests of clarity, for those of you unfamiliar with this ongoing SFF melee in the Culture Wars, let me reprint Mr Larry Correia’s Sad Puppies 2 announcement, the cartoon edition, from last year. I omit the registration information, since World Con is being held elsewhere this year. These next words are those of Larry Correia:

It is that time of year again, when I make a heartfelt plea to my fans to nominate some good stuff for the Hugo awards. And this year I’ve added cartoons!

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For the full interactive media effect as you read this VERY SPECIAL MESSAGE you should open this link in a new window and play this song in the background:

Note. I am a writer, not a cartoonist. However, since everybody seemed to like the silly cartoons I did for the special Kickstarter autographs I figured this was worth a shot.

Okay, click on it to blow it up. I have no idea what I’m doing. :)


EDIT: Reader Steve Skojec made a helpful video for Voice Over guy!

VOICE OVER GUY: The ugly truth is that the most prestigious award in sci-fi/fantasy is basically just a popularity contest, where the people who are popular with a tiny little group of WorldCon voters get nominated and thousands of other works are ignored. Books that tickle them are declared good and anybody who publically deviates from groupthink is bad. Over time this lame ass award process has become increasingly snooty and pretentious, and you can usually guess who all of the finalists are going to be that year before any of the books have actually come out or been read by anyone, entirely by how popular the author is with this tiny group.

This is a leading cause of puppy related sadness.


CorreiaTech CFO, Wendell the Manatee.

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Thank you, Wendell. Profound words indeed.

For just $40 you can register as a supporting member for WorldCon and nominate up to five works in every category. This year [last year, if you are reading these words this year] Warbound, the last book of the Grimnoir trilogy is eligible. And since FDR is actually one of the villains this book will make literati heads explode!

Only you can make literati heads explode.*

*Disclaimer. Literati heads might not literally explode.

But wait. There’s more! Normally all of the voters are sent a packet of all the nominated works to read, so you get more than your membership costs worth of eBooks. Sure, most of them are screeds about corporate greed, global warming, dying polar bears, or whatever the left wing cause of the day is, but that’s why we need to nominate some works that are actually entertaining.

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