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Hugos Refuse To Award Anyone Rather Than Submit To Fans' Votes 1044

An anonymous reader writes: You may remember way back in April there was a bit of a kerfuffle over the nominees for the Hugo Awards being "too conservative" based on a voting campaign organized by a group of science fiction fans who wanted to promote hard science fiction over more recent nominees. This was spun as conservatives "ruining" a "progressive" award. The question was left: would the final voters of the Hugo awards accept these nominees, or just take their ball home and refuse to give out anyway awards at all? The votes are in and we know the answer now: they'd rather just not give out any awards. (Wired has a slightly different slant on the process as well as the outcome of this year's awards.)
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Hugos Refuse To Award Anyone Rather Than Submit To Fans' Votes

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  • Lovely summary. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rei ( 128717 ) on Sunday August 23, 2015 @01:22PM (#50374853) Homepage

    It's like Slashdot doesn't even try any more.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      And sourcing from Breitbart of all places. :| Disgusting.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        And not just Breitbart - Milo-freakin'-Yiannopolous. That dipshit is as dishonest as the day is long, even Andrew Breitbart die-hards despise the guy.

      • by Geoffrey.landis ( 926948 ) on Sunday August 23, 2015 @02:06PM (#50375151) Homepage

        Yeah, the headline is false- in fact, it is backwards.

        The fans voted for no award.

        No award wasn't instead of the fans' votes: it was the fans' vote.

        (not in all categories, though.)

        -- this is an artifact of the fact that it only takes a plurality to get on the ballot, but it takes a majority to win (with single transferable vote). So a small groups can get works on the ballot, if the rest of the nominators are split, but if the majority doesn't like those works, a small group can't make those works win.

        • by Intrepid imaginaut ( 1970940 ) on Sunday August 23, 2015 @03:38PM (#50375723)

          Meh, digging into the numbers a bit, it seems 5950 people voted. For contrast 8363 people voted on the last slashdot poll, so we aren't talking about a whole lot of fans, making it an easy balance to swing either way with relatively small numbers of voters. There's more detail on the breakdown of the voting here [wordpress.com].

          • by CrankyFool ( 680025 ) on Sunday August 23, 2015 @03:45PM (#50375749)

            Nobody had to pay $40 to vote in the Slashdot poll. They had to pay at least $40 to vote in the Hugos. This is also, apparently, a huge increase over the last number of people who voted in the Hugos (65% more than last time?) suggesting a significant groundwell.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by farrellj ( 563 )

        The AC who submitted this is of obviously from the "Sick Puppies" camp. Anyone who has a clue to how the Hugo system works could have predicted, and many did, that this would be a sweep for "no award" in the categories that were influenced by the actions of the "Sick Puppies".

        And really, it was all about numbers. The Puppies are a small minority and were thus clobbered by the greater SF Community. To them, it's a well known "fact" that a Hugo win can boost the sales of books and collections, and that is wh

  • Headline is Bad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 23, 2015 @01:22PM (#50374857)

    The headline there is stupid. The result IS the fan's votes. In six categories "No Award" won the vote.

    • Re:Headline is Bad (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tylikcat ( 1578365 ) on Sunday August 23, 2015 @01:41PM (#50374989)

      ...and most of the folks I know did indeed sit down and slog through most every story, and only voted "No Award" if they really felt nothing was up to Hugo quality. (Personally, I'm perfectly happy to stop reading about the point that stabbing pencils into my eyes sounds like more fun than continuing reading, but then I'm not a purist.)

      The saddest story is the alternate universe where there wasn't an attempt to organize a voting bloc: http://www.tobiasbuckell.com/2... [tobiasbuckell.com]

      (As an aside, I think there's at lot to be said to building bridges with sad puppies, though it has to be a mutual effort. Rabid puppies? Not so much.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 23, 2015 @01:23PM (#50374863)

    This sums it up pretty well: http://io9.com/how-the-hugo-aw... [io9.com]

    "This actually sounds like a compelling argument at first â" but the saboteurs themselves have already disproved it. Their own success shows that their conspiracy theory is absolutely false. If there had been a left-wing conspiracy to stuff the ballot, it would have largely counteracted the efforts of Beale and his friends. The Beale strategem only succeeds if all the other nominations are scattered and disorganized. And that kind of disorganization is exactly what we saw in most nominations. It appears that everybody except Bealeâ(TM)s crew simply nominated whatever stories they happened to enjoy in 2014. Had there been a secret left-wing bloc nominating its own stories in lockstep, then Bealeâ(TM)s strategy would have failed."

  • by ctid ( 449118 ) on Sunday August 23, 2015 @01:37PM (#50374961) Homepage

    This is the most ignorant story summary I can ever remember reading on Slashdot.

    I don't believe that it is worth engaging with it, but readers should understand that there has always been a "No award" option. Furthermore, anyone can join up and vote in the Hugos. There is no "cabal" of "SJWs" who are taking over anything. Anybody can sign up to vote in the Hugos. If the majority voted "No award" in some categories, that reflects a democratic view of those people who bothered to register to vote.

  • by Dr. Jest ( 10116 ) on Sunday August 23, 2015 @01:41PM (#50374997)

    I have to wonder why Slashdot ran that submission from an anonymous coward (sorry, reader). The Wired article Timothy mentioned in passing looks like it has a stronger grasp on reality but that submission is what people will actually read. Do we need to start moderating the editors or as the GG/Puppies contingent gotten so strong here that it's a lost cause?

  • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Sunday August 23, 2015 @01:42PM (#50375007) Homepage Journal

    The Hugos are a fan vote, not a judge vote. The fans voted: they rejected an attempt by two groups, one a band of right wing extremists, the other a kinda "We feel in our gut that previous winners are left wing but can't come up with a coherent reason why", to hijack the awards by gaming the nomination process.

    The two groups, Vox Day's "Rabid Puppies" (the right wing extremists), and the "Sad Puppies", attempted (mostly successfully) to force fans to choose between only works they believed were ideologically sound by focusing nomination votes on two slates. With fans only able to vote for the highest supported works, there was a strong chance each ballot would only have Puppy-supported works on it. This happened in a number of ballots.

    The fans said no. The choices we're stuck with suck. We'd rather not vote for anyone.

    The headline is an outright unmitigated lie. The fans voted. They rejected the slates they were offered. The Hugos accepted the fan's choices here.

    (And how ironic that supporters use the SJW canard when both Puppy campaigns were blatant attempts to prevent anyone voting for anything that might be ideologically unsound to the grounds involved.)

    • I'm genuinely curious: how many awards this year went to white men (or if we throw out this year, let's take the last 5 instead)? Was it approximately proportional to their demographic representation in the field? Too high? Too low?

      Both sides are so busy screaming at each other, I've never seen actual data. To determine whether I feel that the 'puppies' groups were reactionary wreckers (the popular narrative) or whether they identified a actual "politically correct" slant toward a nomination process tha

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 23, 2015 @01:46PM (#50375039)

    > This was spun as conservatives "ruining" a "progressive" award.

    Umm, according the blithest troll behind the group that's exactly what it is:

    "For his part, Beale—who runs his own small publishing company, Castalia House, which got five of its writers and editors (including Beale himself) on this year’s Hugo ballot—has been outspoken about his goals. “I wanted to leave a big smoking hole where the Hugo Awards were,” he told me before the winners were announced. “All this has ever been is a giant Fuck You—one massive gesture of contempt.” Some nerds just want to watch the world burn."

    [..]

    “I have 390 sworn and numbered vile faceless minions—the hardcore shock troops—who are sworn to mindless and perfect obedience,” he said, acknowledging that his army wasn’t made up solely of sci-fi fans. On the contrary, “the people who are very anti-SJW said, ‘Okay, we want to get in on this.’”
    -- source: http://www.wired.com/2015/08/won-science-fictions-hugo-awards-matters/

    They are the typical scummy trolls, just like any other juvenile middle school troll. It's rather sad to see *adults* behaving that fashion. WTF is wrong with some people, really. And that's who you have writing your summary, great job there Slashdot. Breitbart, *really*?! Pretty low.

  • by russotto ( 537200 ) on Sunday August 23, 2015 @02:14PM (#50375217) Journal

    Yes, the social justice clique burned the awards to the ground to stop any Puppy-nominated candidate from winning. But all Vox Day (the Rabid Puppy leader) wanted was to take the award away from that clique, and he was openly willing to burn it down. They did it for him. Bravo.

    The Sad Puppies this year were run by Brad R. Torgersen. He's the most moderate of the puppy group. He explicitly wanted the Sad Puppy slate to be apolitical, the best works around. So on the slate were works by people in the Social Justice clique, and works by those who were neither puppy nor SJ. All the clique had to do to save the award for themselves is vote for those works. But instead they hounded some of their own people into withdrawing their nomination, and refused to vote for those neutrals (e.g. Jim Butcher) who remained. Once again, bravo, SJW/CHORFs; in stomping on as decent a person as Torgersen you gave victory to Vox Day.

  • by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Sunday August 23, 2015 @02:27PM (#50375307)

    Science fiction authors always had political differences, which fans were in many cases aware of. In the days of the Big Three, we had, let's see...a New Deal Democrat, a military/libertarian Republican, a gay Eurosocialist. The worlds they built reflected their sociopolitical values, and guess what - nobody worried about it! It just caused them to offer different styles of future, which fans debated as alternative scenarios, which is the whole idea. The field as a whole had no net political coloration.

    What Beale and his minions (there might be henchmen in next year's budget, but they'll never be able to afford cronies) are mainly concerned about seems to be identity politics, especially when combined with the current softening of the science being presented in an effort to broaden readership. I think they have a point on the retreat from science into what Beale calls "angsty fantasy," but do fans really care deeply about the gender ratios in their stories? Beale is attacking from a fundie Christian perspective that has zero following in the genre.

    If SF needs a political mission, I would like to see it address a real present danger, which is the general culture's mounting disrespect for science itself. Tis showed up first as a generalized fear of every application of science, but it has mushroomed into deep-seated evil like this:
    http://dgrnewsservice.org/2015... [dgrnewsservice.org]

    If these people gain political traction, everything we value here is in deep trouble. If the genre wants to charge into a political battle, this is the one it needs to join.

  • by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Sunday August 23, 2015 @02:39PM (#50375375) Homepage
    There were a bunch of people that did not win awards. They falsely believed there was a conspiracy against them. To "prove" this, they initiated their own conspiracy, which they claimed was a 'counter conspiracy'.

    But if you compare the results of this year's vote, to votes of previous years, you can easily see that this year is the only year where there was an organized attempt to get certain people elected. Categories that they did not care about were ignored, there was no disagreement at all among the conspirators, while their was no unified pattern of votes in previous years. In previous years there was real competition - rather than an agreement for all of one category of voters to focus on a single, predetermined winner.

    So the analysis of their attempt to game the system proves that they were in fact WRONG, and previous awards were fair voting, rather than a conspiracy as they paranoidly claimed.

    But it's not entirely fair to blame the conspirators. They simply abused a system that was not designed to handle intentional abuse.

    Frankly, the main problem is that people simply don't care enough about the Hugo's to cheat - until now. So now we have to upgrade the voting system to account for a-holes trying to game the system.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 23, 2015 @02:41PM (#50375391)

    I haven't heard anyone ask this: were the nominated works any good? If you don't like the nominees, is it because of their politics or because the works sucked?

    I just want to read a good yarn. I have never researched the political views of any author, and I'm not about to start now.

  • by chill ( 34294 ) on Sunday August 23, 2015 @02:57PM (#50375483) Journal

    The WSFS brought this upon themselves by intentionally being vague and nebulous about what they're giving awards for.

    The popular belief is that Hugo awards are for science fiction and possibly fantasy, but the truth is you can nominate any form of fiction.

    Quote the FAQ:

    The charter explicitly makes fantasy as well as SF eligible for our awards. Works of fantasy have often won Hugos, and, in fact, Hugos have been won by works that some people consider horror or even mainstream. There will never be universal agreement about the precise distinctions between genres and sub-genres, so WSFSâ(TM)s position is that eligibility is determined by the voters. To paraphrase the great SF editor and writer Damon Knight, a Hugo winner is what the Hugo voters point to when they award a Hugo.

    The idea of voting for a work based on the gender, race, skin color, sexual identity, etc. of either the author or characters is stupid. How about basing it off the plot, character development and writing quality?

    For example, Citizen Kane was a great movie and that isn't impacted by the fact the main characters are all heterosexual and white. It wouldn't be improved -- nor detracted from -- if the characters were of a different race or sexual orientation. The story stands alone.

    Conversely, Gigli was a steaming pile of fecal matter. Replacing everyone in it with a wide variety of LGBTQ people of a random variety of races, skin colors and genders wouldn't help. It would still be shit all on the merits (or lack there of) of plot, writing and character development.

  • by _KiTA_ ( 241027 ) on Sunday August 23, 2015 @02:58PM (#50375489) Homepage

    The Sad Puppies won. Yes, they didn't win a single award -- in fact, some really good works lost to No Award, seemingly just to spite them.

    But that was the point.

    Their stated goal was to prove that there was a group of people out there voting for political reasons and fixing the Hugos. To fight this, they did the unforgivable sin of nominating some good works (such as one of the Dresden Files novels) for a Hugo.

    The CHORF / SJWs fell for it en mass, just as George R R Martin begged them not to [livejournal.com] (archive version [archive.is]) back in April. They proved the Sad Puppies point -- that the Hugos are fixed by a group of gatekeepers.

    The Hugos have been fixed for years, to the point that Steven King outright refused to participate due to how bad it became. The CHORFs proved the Sad Puppies' point more than anything else could. The Hugos have been forever tarnished by this -- not by the Sad Puppies voting in the "wrong way" for the "wrong type of fans", but by the CHORFs decreeing that you have to have the right politics, the right thoughts, the right opinions, to be a "real fan" or a "real hugo winner."

    • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Sunday August 23, 2015 @03:15PM (#50375615) Journal

      The Hugos have been forever tarnished by this

      Probably not. Eventually ideological people get bored. They're in it for the emotional high, and as soon as things get tough, they leave.

      • by Jesrad ( 716567 ) on Monday August 24, 2015 @04:36AM (#50378541) Journal

        But the S.F. readers get bored of it much faster... Only the people who think they have a religious duty to "correct" reality have the patience, energy and engagement to stick around when everything goes eye-rollingly consternating.

        I had not heard of this whole mess before today, and I find it already tedious just searching for basic factual information about WTF happened and who has been an arsehole and who stuffed whose ballots. I was just hoping to learn of exciting new authors, and now it feels like I'm somehow reading a Twitter argument between some random MRA and my transgender SJW sister.

    • [The Sad Puppies'] stated goal was to prove that there was a group of people out there voting for political reasons and fixing the Hugos.

      And in retrospect, they succeeded in proving there was one such group indeed: the Sad Puppies.

  • If the shoe were on the other foot, the rally cry would be for the liberals to go establish their own award and awards process. Why can't the conservatives do the same? Yeah, we know that slashdot has catered to the right for some time (note the breitbart link in the summary as yet another of thousands of front-page examples here) but really the hypocrisy here is rather extreme.
  • by unami ( 1042872 ) on Sunday August 23, 2015 @06:03PM (#50376379)
    ...turns out, it isn't as easy as you thought to rig an election. it's not their authors being "conservative" that makes those books lose. incidentially they are all - sometimes entertaining - pulp novels. it's the quality, stupid.
  • by seebs ( 15766 ) on Sunday August 23, 2015 @06:33PM (#50376535) Homepage

    The Hugos did not "choose not to award anyone rather than submit to fan's votes". They submitted to the votes of the fans, as always. The fans voted for "No Award".

  • by nickweller ( 4108905 ) on Sunday August 23, 2015 @07:22PM (#50376731)
    "The facts of this case are the same as in gaming and in every other industry that social justice warriors touch. They do not care about art forms. They do not care about science fiction. They do not even particularly care about talent. They care about enriching and ennobling themselves and their friends, and pushing a twisted, discredited, divisive brand of authoritarian politics."

Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must be first overcome. -- Dr. Johnson

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