Sorry, I couldn’t not use that title. If you don’t understand yet, you will.
I wasn’t going to talk about the Hugo nominations this year because it’s basically just the same as last year’s debacle with a side of dinosaur porn. But something I just saw on Twitter has me laughing so here we go.
Let’s see how fast I can make this recap:
The Hugo Awards are a big award in science fiction and fantasy. In the last few years, a few people have complained that too few of the awards are going to white men. There must be some sort of Liberal Cabal behind these awards forcing this to happen. A couple of these people started a group called the Sad Puppies to make a slate of fiction that they believed should be nominated. Vox Day, who is basically SFF’s version of the Westboro Baptist Church, leaped on the bandwagon started the Rabid Puppies along the same vein.
The way the Hugo awards work make it pretty easy to game the system if you get enough people to vote exactly as you do. In order to get these votes, the Puppies went to GamerGate, since their interests are ideologically very similar. GamerGate, incidentally, was started when some douchecanoe got angry at his ex-girlfriend Zoe Quinn (<–remember that name), who was a video game reviewer, and decided to try to ruin her career by getting a group of gamers to threaten to rape and kill her and other women in gaming. As you do.
When last year’s nominations were announced, just about all of the Puppies’ slate made it onto the short list. Vox Day’s stuff was on there, along with other authors he had published in his personal publishing house. John C. Wright showed up six times, more than anyone in Hugo history, although one of those was eventually disqualified because it wasn’t even eligible. That disqualification was seen as another liberal conspiracy, of course, but whatever.
Long story short (too late): when it came around to the Hugo Awards ceremony at WorldCon, all but one of the works nominated by a Puppy slate was listed below “No Award,” meaning that the voters felt that they were not worthy of a Hugo even if they were the only work in that category. Multiple categories were a complete wash-out. There has never been so much applause at the announcement that no one has won.
After various “We meant for that to happen” announcements, the Puppies said they’d be back. And, lo and behold, they were!
This year, the Sad Puppies, who might have been a bit embarrassed to be lumped in with Vox Day’s people, changed their slate to a list of recommendations instead. Most of their list didn’t make it on. The Rabid Puppies, meanwhile, chose a lot of really popular stuff that would have made it on anyway, like Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves. Incidentally, that single work from the Puppies’ slate that actually did win last year? It was Guardians of the Galaxy. It looks like they learned from that, and now are choosing works that people are less likely to vote under No Award. Then, if Seveneves wins best novel, they can claim they won, even though it was actually a very good book and would have been on the ballot anyway. Hey, I nominated it too.
Still, there were some works that wouldn’t have made it onto the ballot without a lot of help. Stuff like Vox Day’s essay, “SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police.” Or “Safe Spaces as Rape Room,” by Daniel Eness. Both of those are up for Best Related Work. In Best Short Story, there’s “If You Were an Award, My Love,” which was published on Vox Day’s blog and is a parody of Nebula Award winning “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love,” by Rachel Swirsky. And then there’s “Space Raptor Butt Invasion” by Chuck Tingle.
You may know Chuck Tingle from other Amazon self-published fare as “Helicopter Man Pounds Dinosaur Billionaire Ass,” “Pounded in the Butt by My Own Butt,” and “Pounded in the Butt by My Book, ‘Pounded in the Butt by My Own Butt.’” Okay, I’ll admit, I went through the list of his works on Amazon and would have included all the titles if I could because they’re hilarious. I mean, come on: “Slammed in the Butt by My Own Concept of Linear Time” sounds fantastic. Chuck isn’t a Puppy, and from some statements he’s made, it seems that he was completely unaware of the whole slate thing, like some of the other unfortunates who were included on the list. The Puppies only included him as a ‘fuck you’ to the voting populace.
Chuck Tingle is a pseudonym, and his(?) real identity is currently unknown. Since it seems Chuck would like to keep it this way, he’s decided that he’s not going to go to the Hugo Awards ceremony. Instead, he’s sending someone else in his place to accept his award, should he win.
Yes, you read that right. He’s sending Zoe Quinn, the face that launched a thousand GamerGaters. Four for you, Chuck Tingle.
And thus ends this edition of Hugo Hijinks. I’m sure I’ll post again after the award ceremony, since I’ll actually be at WorldCon this year. And oh man, I’m looking forward to reading “Space Raptor Butt Invasion.” As for the rest of the stuff on there, we’ll see.