An open letter to Puppies and everyone

So, about those Hugos…

A couple of days ago, I said the following in the comments on File 770.

I don’t consider myself a spokesperson for the SP, or even an SP notable, but I’ll say it. I never got involved in this with any idea that I’d even make the ballot, much less that VD would run his own campaign or that there would be a ballot sweep. If I’d known that, I wouldn’t have participated. To the extent that I’ve been part of that, even unknowingly, I apologize.

Let me elaborate a little.

If you read Totaled and loved it enough to nominate it, thank you. That’s exactly how the Hugos are supposed to work, and it shouldn’t matter to me or anyone whether you identify as a Puppy or not. So if you’re one of those readers, then rock on. I am humbled and grateful for your support.

But as we know, Bob, there was a push this year to nominate things sometimes without having read them, and for reasons that had little to do with fannish enthusiasm. I never asked to be part of that, and had I been given the choice, I would not have wanted my work used that way.

I’m also not comfortable with the ballot sweep. My sense from the Sad Puppies is that locking up the ballot was never one of the goals of the movement, and that it was accidental, unintentional and unforeseen. If I’m wrong, and nominating five works in some of the categories was a deliberate attempt to sweep the ballot, then I wouldn’t have wanted to be part of that, either.

The Hugos should represent all voices, so if Sad Puppies is about drawing attention to works that might otherwise be overlooked, I can support that and I’m happy to stand for it. But if it’s about shutting out other voices and other work, if it’s about politics or pissing off certain segments of fandom, that’s not something I can get behind.

The whole point of fandom is that our love for the genre unites us. It’s about having a place where genre is paramount, where literature comes first. So if that’s who you are, and that’s what you want, then I’m with you. That’s why I invited everyone to talk about books here on my blog.

But if you’re in this with some other agenda, take it elsewhere. I don’t want to be part of it.


18 thoughts on “An open letter to Puppies and everyone

  1. Hi Kary,
    When Brad posted his recommendations I begin purchasing the works of authors I was unfamiliar with including a new author named English. I’m so glad I did. The four stories of yours I have read are all outstanding; I’ve re-read Totaled several times and I get tears every time. I will continue to check your page occasionally to keep up with your work.
    Be pleased with the nomination and I have my fingers crossed that you break through with an award. You have my votes.
    Hugs and prayers.

    1. Thank you, Bill. I appreciate your support. 🙂

      I’m looking forward to the day when my blog (and most of my energy) can get back to being about the work.

  2. Yes, I couldn’t agree more! Hugo nominations and voting are supposed to be about each person’s personal choices. Worldcon fandom has been saying that bloc voting to seize control is a bad thing. Puppies have been saying that voting on a work for social or political reasons alone is a bad thing. If people just vote their personal taste, then we can all agree to disagree about what makes the perfect story.

  3. You should never have to apologize for someone liking your work. I don’t think SP3 was about politics. I have no idea what RP2 was about as I don’t follow VD or consider myself one of the RP supporters.

    Just continue to write excellent stories and let the rest of the stuff sort itself out.

  4. I love books and would be happy to talk about them.

    My favorites for this year (so far) are _Bryony and Roses_ by T. Kingfisher, _Uprooted_ by Naomi Novik (stayed up too late last night to finish, but *sooo* worth it) and _The Pyramids Of London_ by Andrea Höst.

    But I have yet to finish _Voyage of the Basilisk_ or _Tropic of Serpents_ and I’ve been looking at _The Affinities_.

    I was very disappointed with this year’s Hugo reading but I haven’t checked everything yet. I liked your story rather better than the others, but won’t be voting for it, since I don’t think the ballot in that category is up to a level of quality that would make for fair competition this year.

    I’ll be happy to talk about books with people who don’t want to invoke politics, but to do that everyone will have to leave the Puppies out of it entirely and also stop trying to imply that Hugo voters were basing their votes on politics before the Puppies came along. Because that is totally politics all the way down.

  5. Hi, Kary.

    Again: “Well said.”

    I understand the reasons given why some may not vote at all, but I respectfully disagree with them. I believe it is better to vote (even a “No vote” if one believes none in a category are worthy) than to compound fault by treating unjustly those like yourself who were corralled unwittingly and unwillingly by the SP &/or RP delegations. One does not correct one injustice by performing another. “Totaled” is a story worthy of its nomination and for consideration for this year’s short story Hugo.

    Dr. Bob

    P.S. From above: But as we know, Bob, …” ?

  6. I didn’t nominate because I wasn’t really aware I could vote for the Hugos until the kerfuffle ensued. The increased visibility of the Hugo allowed me to learn that not only could I vote, but I could have also nominated if I had joined prior to the deadline.

    I’ve read extensively online and it appears to me that the Sad Puppies were as surprised as everyone else that they had such an impact on the nominations. As for those stating that SP followers didn’t read anything on the slate and voted lockstep, I don’t believe that’s true. They had book bombs and promoted authors. They are an enthusiastic group of readers who discuss stories daily. I’ve found a wealth of reading material from lurking in various SP sites.

    Frankly, all the outrage about slates doesn’t make sense to me. I wish there were more slates from more groups. There is so much reading material being produced each year that it is impossible for one person to navigate it all. If every author, group, or reader made their “best of” list, it would make it easier to find those gems that might be overlooked.

    I’m hopeful that the TruFen and the Sad Puppies can come together for the good of a genre we all love. Surely, that touch point is sufficient to override everything else.

    Finally, it shouldn’t matter who likes an author’s writing. The story’s the thing.

  7. “My sense from the Sad Puppies is that locking up the ballot was never one of the goals of the movement, and that it was accidental, unintentional and unforeseen”

    Brad said exactly that. It wasn’t the intention and in hindsight it would have been better to organize things differently. But what is done is done.

    I think the fact that it did sweep the way it did indicated the tiny number of nominations being cast for stories.

  8. First time Hugo voter. Became aware that I could vote due to Sad Puppies reaching the more mainstream press.

    Enjoyed “Totaled” and voted it #1 in the nominated category. Also voted you for a Campbell. That being said, I don’t like reading depressing stories no matter how well written. So I won’t read it again. Excellent writing and well done – just don’t want to experience it again.

    Without the Sad Puppies nomination, I’m sure that I never would have read your work. In the last 10 years I’ve mainly read Roc, Baen, and Butcher’s imprints because I like escapist stories with a lot of action and military SF. The Hugo got me to read your work. It and the Goblin Emperor were two high quality works I otherwise would not have read.

  9. The internet, especially the right-wing conspiracy nuts and those opposing them have now turned the awards into their private battlefield, their platform, their private joke and feel-good bubble. This is ridiculous, those people from both sites, the sad puppies and the ones opposing them have destroyed the Hugo Awards, and are turning the awards into a political rostrum, distracting from what the awards exclusively should be about. The quality of the books and nothing more.

    This is just a sad affair. People voting for books they haven’t even read, hurting the Hugo awards bit by bit. That said I’m glad you got nominated, but sad if people not vote for you, either because you got nominated partly because of the puppies slate, or because you broke ranks with the puppies and the bitter VD. This whole affair might be more ridiculous than sad.

    Best of wishes though, I hope to read more of your books in the future!

  10. Hi Kary: We interacted a bit on File 770 a couple months ago. I wanted to congratulate you – for real – on being the top vote-getter in your categories below NA. Obviously the electorate took a hard line on slate candidates, which was predictable. But of the NA voters for short story, you picked up 3/4 of the ones who expressed a preference for position 2, and already had the most votes among people who did not vote NA for position 1. Similar story for the Campbell, where you picked up more votes in the subsequent rounds than anyone else.

    I hope and trust you’ll have a great career, well beyond the time when 2015 is a bad memory for all of us, and I look forward to following it.

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