Tor Editor Libels Tor Author

If my accustomed Vulcan calm could be perturbed, no doubt it would be by the allegations Teresa Nielsen-Hayden late of Tor books is leveling against myself and the other members of the Evil Legion of Evil Authors. But since I am imperturbable, I merely raise one eyebrow and wonder on what evidence, or one what chain of reasoning, she makes her outrageous allegations.

The esteemed Brad Torgersen responds with admirable patience to this untoward defamation.

Larry Correia responds with less patience, but with a refreshing clarity and directness akin to shot of straight vodka, or perhaps a baseball-bat backfence-buster swing to the skull:

Here is a small sample, first of Mr Torgersen, next of Mr Correia. The quotes in italics are hers. The comments in bold are his. I make a comment below.

TNH: When I say the Hugos belong to the worldcon, I’m talking about the literal legal status of the award. But I also know that one of the biggest reasons the rocket is magic is because it spiritually belongs to all of us who love SF.

You hear that, fans? We don’t count. The Hugo is Teresa’s personal prize. Hers, and that of the other TruFen and SMOFs. Nobody who voted for or supports Sad Puppies 3 loves SF. Teresa herself — the queen SMOF — has declared it. Nobody who hasn’t been properly inculcated into fandom to Teresa’s satisfaction will ever be allowed to love SF/F the way Teresa and her fellow TruFen love it. All you Dragoncon fans? You don’t count. All you Comic Con fans? You don’t count either. In fact, nobody who ever fell in love with SF/F beyond the borders of Teresa’s fiefdom (at Worldcon) gets to love SF/F like she and the TruFen love it.

There’s a few words for that kind of attitude. One of them is delusional. The other is snobbish. And those are the polite words. I am sure you can think of others, perhaps more apt than I’ve used. Again, Teresa is dog-whistling to the faithful — as the ship slowly sinks beneath their feet, they move the chairs and tables aside for one last glorious dance on the aft deck.

TNH: I’ve been thinking about the aspects of the Sad Puppy campaigns that bother me most. So far there are three. First, there’s the Best Related Work category. That’s where the reference works wind up. Good reference books are labors of love, especially that last 10% of quality that takes 50% of the total labor. People who create reference books get one shot at the Hugo.

Yes, Teresa, that’s clearly why Chicks Dig Time Lords beat The Resnick & Malzberg Dialogues for Best Related Work. Because TruFans are so obviously devoted to scholarly, serious discussion and inspection of the field.

TNH: Second, the nominees on the Sad Puppy slate who got onto the ballot. Indications are that a fair number of them, maybe a majority, are respectable members of the SF community who, for one reason or another, are approved of by the SPs while not being ideologically Sad Puppies themselves. This means they’ve dreamed of winning the Hugo, just like all our other writers and artists and editors. They might not have had any real expectation of winding up on the ballot this year, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t wish for it with all the pure luminous desire of Ralphie wishing for a Red Ryder BB gun. They’ve been put in a horrible position. I mean, I’ve wanted a Hugo since I was in middle school, but I dreamed of being given one by SF community, not Larry Correia.

Teresa has no clue whatsoever how completely tired of the TruFan attitude many of my colleagues are. Some of them had given up long ago of ever being close to a Hugo. Not because they didn’t merit inclusion on a final ballot. But because the attitudes, biases, and blind spots of TruFans and SMOFs had become so predictable and shopworn, what point was there in hoping? We didn’t have to do much coaxing to get people onboard for Sad Puppies 3. Our policy was plain: we want good works from good authors regardless of ideology, and who’d be predictably passed over. Either because they’d been unfairly and endlessly passed over before (again: predictable biases) or because they were still new enough to be relatively buried in the “white noise” that comes with being new. Every person (and every work) on our slate, is a work that is deserving. In many instances, we feel these men and women are far, far, far overdue for recognition — when it comes to the field’s so-called “most prestigious award.” We also knew that Teresa and other TruFan SMOFs would have a come-apart — that anyone would dare tamper with the blessed status quo. Despite the fact a small mountain of writers, artists, and editors all hate and detest the status quo.

TNH: I think at least two of those nominees turned down the nomination. I hope they someday get a real one.

Because Teresa is used to the behind-the-scenes (and rather Machiavellian) nature of SMOF politics, I am sure it’s shocking for her to see us doing honestly and openly, what’s been done by SMOFs and TruFans for years. But notice how she’s already teed up the asterisk: assuming anyone on Sad Puppies 3 is a Hugo final ballot nominee — to say nothing of a winner — Teresa and the SMOFs and TruFans will stamp (in their minds) an asterisk next to the name of that work, or that author. One also guesses they will waste no opportunity to use the internet, and other resources, to decry and de-legitimize the winners. The TruFen and SMOFs don’t care if the potential nominee or winner actually deserves to get the nomination or the win. The nomination or the win were not vetted and approved by Teresa, TruFen, and SMOFs. So they will hiss and boo good men and women (who tell good stories!) for the sake of their tattered, soiled, smelly SMOF cred; as taste-makers.

And these are the people who praise themselves for being “inclusive.” Are you convinced yet? No, I am not either.

TNH: Third, the ballot itself. This grows out of wondering why so many Sad Puppies are suddenly out and about on forums they don’t normally frequent, belatedly spreading this new and not very believable line about how the whole Sad Puppy thing is motivated by love, rather than spite and resentment. They sure haven’t felt the need to spread this line before now. Neither have they put a lot of effort into hiding the spite and resentment.

Don’t look now, Teresa, but is your whole song and dance about, “We didn’t approve this, we didn’t approve you, we don’t approve, we don’t approve, we don’t approve,” winning you any hearts and minds beyond SMOFville?

Consider something Teresa moaned about earlier:

#499 Teresa Nielsen Hayden – March 29, 2015, 03:43 PM: Why are people talking about what would happen if everyone who reads SF voted in the Hugos? IMO, it’s not a relevant question. The Hugos don’t belong to the set of all people who read the genre; they belong to the worldcon, and the people who attend and/or support it. The set of all people who read SF can start their own award.

* * *

Read the whole thing:

Mr Larry Correia addresses the same remarks likewise:

TNH … the ballot itself. This grows out of wondering why so many Sad Puppies are suddenly out and about on forums they don’t normally frequent, belatedly spreading this new and not very believable line about how the whole Sad Puppy thing is motivated by love, rather than spite and resentment. They sure haven’t felt the need to spread this line before now. Neither have they put a lot of effort into hiding the spite and resentment.

So much bullshit crammed into one paragraph. 

1. Forums we don’t normally frequent? Not really. My people show up all over. Only your kind normally just block or “disemvowel” them. 

2. Belatedly? We’ve been saying the same thing the whole time. You assholes have just chosen to ignore what we actually say and make up bullshit in “scare quotes” for us instead. 

3. Brad showed up on your blog because you had a gang of assholes lying about his character. How DARE he defend himself. How RUDE! 

4. To be clear, Brad Torgersen has always been motivated by love. I’m the one motivated by spite. Get it right. 

5. We’ve consistently spread this line the whole time. The fact you had your head shoved up your ass isn’t my fault. But I can understand the confusion. You guys lie so much that it must be hard to keep track of which narrative you’re using about us now. 

6. Again, I’m the spiteful one. I don’t like liars and career sabotaging bullies. I suppose it is because I didn’t get to Live Life On The Easiest Difficulty Setting.

Read the whole thing, by all means:

* * *

My comment: I am motivated, she says, not by what I have publicly, notoriously and repeatedly stated my motives are, but by some unworthy form of spite or resentment. I see. Any protestation to the contrary is dismissed as an unconvincing lie. Accusing me, of all people, of dishonesty certainly has the advantage of being a novel and unexpected accusation.

But on what is it based? No written word of mine can lead an honest onlooker to draw this conclusion. Did she speak to me and deduce this? She did not. Does she have my strange Vulcan power of the Mind Meld, that she can read the secret workings of my green-blooded heart? She does not.


Is it her claim that I am some interloper, some newcomer, who has been reading science fiction since the days when the moonlanding was still science fiction, been a Tor author since before the turn of the millennium, nominated for a Nebula for one of my Tor novels, been insulted by Harlan Ellison like an old hand, been to mass with Gene Wolfe, and wrote the authorized sequel to AE van Vogt’s work, the author whose first story in 1939, back when ANALOG was still ASTOUNDING, heralded the Golden Age of Campbell? It seems she does.

I express no surprise. The rhetorical effort being made here is argumentum ad hominem; instead of objecting on any real grounds, Mrs Hayden casts aspersions on my character. It is illogical, but for humans of a certain type, libel is the only arrow in their empty quiver, so they let fly.

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