(See the full cartoon here: http://www.defenestrationmag.net/2016/04/hugo-boss/)
For another year, the Hugo Awards will be a battleground rather than a celebration.
What’s the fight over? Two groups of fans and writers, the Rabid Puppies and the Sad Puppies, have felt dissatisfied by the nominees to the Hugos in the recent past. They justified their dissatisfaction with an argument largely involving a supposed left-wing plot: nominations were being based on social-justice issues rather than quality. Or, perhaps: left-wing social-justice types had organized secret slates to nominate each other.
In light of that, the Puppies felt justified in promoting their own slate, which largely contains their own works and which supposedly harkens back to what “real” science fiction used to be and should still be.
Every single one of the Puppie’s contentions has failed to stand up to scrutiny. For example, if there were secret slates, the Puppies couldn’t succeed with their own slate, although they’ve had near-total success this year. If you haven’t seen all the discussion and scrutiny, you can get a recap here: http://file770.com/?page_id=22881
Instead, their nominees last year and this year reveal what really happened: the Puppies consider themselves masterful authors, and they weren’t being nominated, so they sought someone or something to blame. Yet their slate demonstrates exactly why they weren’t being nominated: they’re at best second-rate writers, unworthy of nomination. They’re so unskilled, so blinded by politically inspired rage, and so lacking in humility that this idea doesn’t seem to have occurred to them.
This year, like last year, as a dutiful Hugo voter, I’ll read all the nominees and carefully consider whether they represent the year’s best. I’m not hopeful, however. This is another attack by organized jealous wannabes.
Which is all the Puppies really are.
— Sue Burke