Sunday, July 05, 2015


Here's a neologism for you: Genrecide.

The dispute that arose when the Sad Puppy selections did so well in the Hugo nominations has probably created a permanent split of science fiction fans - not one created by the literature, but for social reasons.

Both sides have said such horrible things about each other that I doubt the rift will ever be healed. I wouldn't be surprised if some semantic distinction arises later - such as the Sad Puppies' type of fiction being called spec fic as opposed to science fiction.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden and her blog Making Light started the civil war when she realized her chums - the usual suspects - were not getting their Hugo nomination notice emails as usual. She blew up and started the vituperation a week before the actual announcement was made - proving the point, as Larry Corriea was pointed out, that there is an insider clique after all.

Mike Glyer, who's been running his fan site File 770 since dirt was invented, unfortunately has kept the wildfires burning by collecting up Puppy posts and republishing them on his site. The comments threads there have become the clearing house for all Puppy Kicker resentment.

I don't believe either side of completely right or completely wrong, but it really doesn't matter anymore, because regardless of how or who started it, and how it ends, thanks to the internet too much has been said attacking too many people by so many people that there will probably be a long-term drop in readership and popular support.

Perhaps in the future people will say they read magic realism, or space opera, or dystopia, or alternate history - but as a result of the Puppy Wars, no one will actually want to admit they read "science fiction" because of all the negative connotations in the wake of the current unpleasantness.


  1. I think you're right, Lou. The degree of malicious, unfounded personal attacks has put a number of authors on my Do Not Buy list, as well as more than one publisher. I'm going to be reading and reviewing a lot more works by independent authors and small presses from now on as well as reading more in other genres. After this year, I don't care who wins a Hugo or Nebula. The only awards I'm interested enough to pay attention to are the Gemmell and the Shamus.

  2. Sigh.
    Teresa Nielsen Hayden and her* blog started** the civil war*** , proving****

    *(and Patrick Nielsen Hayden, and Abi's, and, well, a lot of people's group blog)

    **started? Are you saying Brad and Larry and Vox Day slated the Hugos *after* TNH found out about the Hugo nominations?

    *** (a thing where people point out that there's been an honor system for 60 years of NOT slate voting the Hugos, so it's kind of a dick move ≠ civil war)

    **** (or that TNH was just paying attention to the fact that Brad and Larry and Vox had all publicly announced their intentions to slate-vote the Hugo nominations)

    ***** an insider clique OFFS. I give up. Lou, enough people have explained enough things at this point, and you STILL haven't corrected your post from June 30 wherein several people pointed out to you that both Brad and Larry were nominated for the Campbells in their 2nd year of eligibility, and there is no 3rd year, and that LOTS of people have only gotten nominated for the Campbell once. At this point, I can only assume you're trolling File770 for blog hits, but even that doesn't seem to be working well, since I'm the only one who bothered to show up.

    It's kinda like this:

    1. Well, you are correct, I got that stuff about the Campbell Award wrong.

      I don't necessarily want my stuff repeated on File 770, but on the other hand, I guess I can't stop Mike Glyer from copying it.

      My post is my opinion, and really, people have been hateful towards me and the Pupps, I don't think it makes any difference what I say, I'll be attacked. So the urge to explain or clarify is pretty much suppressed.

      Now this this is where you come back and call me stupid or a liar.

  3. I'd be interested in your take on the Sad Puppy nominee "Wisdom from my Internet". Do you feel it was a good example of what the Sad Puppy campaign was about?

    1. No. It is a piece of trash and a joke. It shows how slipshod and slapdash the whole Puppy effort war. Brad wasn't trying to organize a slate, he was trying to come up with at LEAST five recommendations in each category. I know because I remember some internal discussion on the subject. Nobody knew about the Rabid Puppies and how the whole thing would go critical unexpectedly.

      But nobody believes us anyway.

  4. No, not for social reasons. For gaming the system. For creating slates. For nominating dreck instead of good stuff. You are a puppy since you refer to people who are against slates as "puppy kickers" and you simply cannot understand why sf fans would be against slates. Sad.

    1. Nobody gamed the system on purpose. It wasn't meant to be a slate. The whole thing went horribly off the rails, but there has been such a witch hunt against the Pupps that rational discussion is impossible.

  5. the usual suspects - were not getting their Hugo nomination notice emails as usual Well, it helped that Mike Williamson and you both broke the embargo to announce your nominations.

    Regardless of who started things - two wrongs don't make a right. You don't fix doping in the Tour de France by publicly doping.

    1. Williamson didn't know what he was doing. It was pretty stupid. I actually was depressed when he shot his mouth off on a Friday because I had hoped I would be nominated in the same category and I assumed I hadn't. I got my own email on Saturday.

      And I don't recall every saying I had a nomination in advance, because I know about the embargo, but you Puppy Kickers are so obsessed with the subject that in many cases you have convinced yourselves of a narrative that actually doesn't exit. Attempst to set the record straight only unleash a twitter mob.

      Now, I did pull a prediction out of my butt that the Pupps would get maybe two-thirds of the nominations, but that proved to be too low. I wish I had been right, because what happened makes us look bad. I don't know that it would have made a difference, though, because the witch hunt that has been underway shows the elites will brook no opposition.

    2. Your prediction and Williamson's announcement, due to their timing, looked like both of you had let the cat out of the bag.

      Saying Williamson didn't know what he was doing (AKA, "read the whole bleeping email") is pretty weak.

      The Sad Puppies may not have wanted to game the system, but when lead Puppy Torgersen crowed about "stealing the Enterprise" it certainly seemed like the result was desired and was in fact welcomed.

      You may be upset at some of the names you've been called. But I've been called a liar, a CHORF, a dickless wonder (by John C. Wright on his blog) and now a puppy-kicker. We can argue about tone or we can argue about substance.

      And the substance is this - a faction of fans nominated stuff, such as "Wisdom from my Internet" and much of Wright's stuff, not because it was the best SF of the year but because they wanted to piss people off. As Gomer Pyle would say, surprise, surprise, they succeeded.

    3. Aw, shit, Chris, I hate to say it, but I agree with you. What happened isn't what I would have wanted, but I volunteered for the mission. Whose stupid idea was that? Oh, it was mine!

      Lesson learned. I will never participate in any project like this again. This isn't the first time in my life I got involved in a project that blew up in my face. Probably won't be the last, either. But at least I can say that, in the previous examples, I learned something and in the long run grew and learned from it.

    4. Everybody makes mistakes. Not everybody admits doing so. I'm truly sorry this blew up on you.


Latest reviews

"It’s possible that you haven’t run into the stories of Lou Antonelli. Since 2003, he’s been publishing delightful short tales of alternate history all over the nooks and crannies of the SF world. Thanks to Fantastic Books, we now have 28 of these little gems in one place. "Many of Antonelli’s stories have an unexpected twist ending. And many of them are what he calls “secret history” stories, which aren’t exactly alternate history—they’re set in our familiar history, but there’s always some element that contemporary observers missed. " -

- Don Sakers, The Reference Library, Analog July-Aug. 2014

A better path develops for a distraught man in “Double Exposure” by Lou Antonelli (debut 6/11 and reviewed by Frank D). Jake is about to end it all. He has been trying to keep his high maintenance wife happy for decades and has needed to embezzle to satisfy her spending habits. Now, on the verge of indictment and abandoned by his spouse, he buys a gun. Before he pulls the trigger, he spies a Kodak one-day photo hut. Curious, he pulls up to the window. They are holding pictures of him and his last girlfriend from 30 years before. The package is a lot thicker than it should be. Double Exposure” is listed as an Alternative History story but I would classify it as a Magical Realism tale. It is set as a second chance tale, a look into a life that should have been. The author is inspired by his memories of the old photo huts (I remember them) and of their disappearance. A cool idea (photos of another life), one that I could imagine would make for a great anthology.

- Frank Dutkiewicz, Diabolical Plots

“Great White Ship”: A traveler stuck waiting for a flight strikes up a conversation with an old airline employee. The Old Timer tells him a story of a Great White Airship that arrives from a most unusual destination. The story of a craft from an alternate reality and how it got there is only the precursor to the final act. This is one of my favorite stories from this site. I have a great passion for lighter-than-air craft and their potential as a future means of transport, which opens the story. The author uses this speculation to launch into an engaging tale. As fascinating as the main story line is, the alternate history premise that accompanies it is just as worthwhile. This story was well written and very well thought out. It is well worth the read. Recommended.

- James Hanzelka, Diabolical Plots

Blog Archive


The content of this web site is subject to the following creative commons license: Click here for the fine print