I’ve had a few people ask why I called the Sad Puppies campaign “vandalism”. Some of this will be restating what I said before, but –
Because the organizers of the Sad Puppies won’t care for WorldCon after those who did care for it are driven away.
Organizing and running a con like this is a massive amount of work. People do it for the love of the work. And you know what drove that love? The SF literature. Specifically – for a group of people who read widely and deeply in SF to get together every year and argume amongst themselves “What is the absolute best out there? What pushes the frontiers? What is genre-defining?”
And yes, these people tend liberal. It’s an admitedly somewhat intellectual/ivory-tower sort of passtime. They’ve spent decades creating a garden for them to all gather in and discuss and kvetch. And they even give their own neat little award to the guys and gals they like best.
Then an outside group says “What the hell is this shit? This is not the fiction we like!” But they can’t be bothered to organize their own party, and put in the decades of work building up their own infrastructure. Instead they crash this party.
And the key thing here is, the WorldCon people are used to being very splintered and fractious about their fiction. That’s where the MAJORITY OF THE FUN is. That’s why its very easy for someone who wants to get a concentrated block to vote together smash the party. They simply took advantage of the fact that they were willing to unite in solidarity while the WorldCon attendees were having fun bickering
But the problem is that this concentrated block is still a minority in the absolute sense. They don’t attend the party – they just spent their money to throw a turd in the punch bowl. The people who come to the party will be upset and refuse to vote for them. So they will get a bunch of No Award results.
Now, how many years are people willing to keep showing up at a party for an award that is always given to “No Award”? How many times are the people who created WorldCon and love it willing to keep throwing that party?
When they quit, will the Sad Puppies step up? Are they willing to do the work themselves? Or will this just crow about how great it is that the liberal oppressors have been smashed, and go home?
So they have grabbed a lot of fame, glory, and controversy for several years, and won the adulation of their side. Rah, rah, go our side!! And when it’s all over they don’t bother to rebuild, they only leave the ruins of a garden that took decades to build up. They destroy what others created with love for their own short-term profit and/or kicks.
That is why I call them vandals. It has nothing to do with taste in ficton, and everything to do with what happens to the con at their hands. But I’d love to be proven wrong.
EDIT: I originally used the term “Sad Puppies.” I should have specified “Sad Puppies 3/Rabid Puppies.” Since this was first posted, the Puppies have split into distinct not-so-odious “Sad Puppies 4”, and truly-vile “Rabid Puppies” groups. Nowadays the criticism in this post applies primarily to the “Rabid Puppies,” and not nearly so much to the “Sad Puppies 4” group. That latter group should seriously considering changing their name next year to distance themselves from the Sad3/Rabid debacle of 2015.
“And yes, these people tend liberal. It’s an admitedly somewhat intellectual/ivory-tower sort of passtime. They’ve spent decades creating a garden for them to all gather in and discuss and kvetch. And they even give their own neat little award to the guys and gals they like best.”
Indeed. A -walled- garden built by TOR books. Only problem is, its not your garden, is it? Its the World Convention of Science Fiction, and the award for the best in Science Fiction is called the Hugo after the guy who did more to make SF popular and widely read than anyone before or since.
You -stole- it and walled it off, and then dined out on the stored up prestige for thirty years.
But I’m a vandal for helping kick the wall down. So be it. Next year we bring a back hoe and a bobcat to clear the wreckage, industrial demolition style.
>You -stole- it and walled it off, and then dined out on the stored up prestige for thirty years.
I’m not sure you understand how looting and vandalism work. If you protect something, nurture it, and see it grow in popularity and prestige over thirty years, that’s actually doing right by it. It’s when you start crowing about how bad-ass you are, and how much everyone who’s currently caring for the garden should be punished, and then fail to even *show up for the convention*, much less actually DOING THE HARD WORK of keeping the con going year after year without pay… that’s when you’re the guy *stealing* something. Which one of these two is representative of the Sad Puppies movement?
>But I’m a vandal for helping kick the wall down. So be it. Next year we bring a back hoe and a bobcat to clear the wreckage, industrial demolition style.
If you lot actually care for the con and keep it going and make it stronger, I will change my tune. Your current rhetoric doesn’t fill me with confidence.
“But I’m a vandal for helping kick the wall down. So be it. Next year we bring a back hoe and a bobcat to clear the wreckage, industrial demolition style.”
Then what? I mean seriously, what’s the plan? You’ve got some rockets because you found how to game the system.
I’d mind a little less if the novels on the slate were better but the description of one as being as good as Old Mans War when I thought that kinda sucked doesn’t fill me with hope and I don’t like Urban Fantasy.
The slate looked to be mostly urban Famtasy and MilSF, two sub genres I’m not a fan of.
So you’ve wrecked everything and torn it down, what next?
“So you’ve wrecked everything and torn it down, what next?”
We burn the wreckage and sow the very earth with salt. Or, you know, not.