There have been a few blog posts pop up relating to my noble endeavor to end Puppy Related Sadness by going directly to my fans and asking for them to nominate me for a Hugo. As usual they’re written by humorless finger shakers or people who just don’t get it. But that’s okay, because I’m here to help!
Here is one that linked back to my blog today: http://file770.com/?p=15783 This is a pretty good one that brings up some interesting points, so it’ll serve to clarify a few things. The original post is in italics. I’m in bold.
Larry Correia’s Vulgar Blog Post – His Word
Actually, no. Somebody used that word to insult my shameless self-promotion, so I took it and made it my own, which is sort of what I do when people try to insult me. (as a result Monster Hunter Nation is now the #1 Google result for Cismale Gendernormative Fascism!)
Adam Roberts, meet Larry Correia!
Okay. Nice to meet you, Adam (okay, I’ve got absolutely no idea who that is, but we’ll run with it).
Last week Larry Correia served up a whole hot fudge sundae of self-promotion, victimhood, and smof-stomping in “Sad Puppies 2: The Illustrated Edition” at Monster Hunter Nation.
Self-promotion. Check. Victimhood? That implies that I’m sitting around rather than doing something, but hey, to left wingers “victim” is like an achievement, and since I’m normally just a filthy heartless capitalist 1%er on the internet, ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED! Smof-stomping? Sounds awesome.
Then he quotes me.
Some people rejoice in sad puppies. They say that having one tiny group of fans always vote for their favorites is “tradition.” They call popular authors’ attempts to stir up their non-WorldCon attending fanbase to vote in their little popularity contest as “vulgar.” By being vulgar and super non-traditional Larry Correia’s Sad Puppies 1 campaign only missed the Best Novel cutoff by a few votes, and those brave souls who supported him last year can do so again for FREE this year. But he needs more help… Larry Correia fans are far more likely to spend $40 on ammo, or snacks for the while they watch the new season of Justified than to join WorldCon, and if they actually attended a WorldCon they would probably be very, very bored.
But if somebody like Larry Correia would be nominated for a Hugo, then puppies everywhere would rejoice.
Indeed. And if you’ve watched the video you’re imagining Voice Over Guy and even the proper background music as you read that.
It really gravels him, as many fans as he has, that last year he lost what everyone admits is a popularity contest. Correia’s Monster Hunter Legion missed the 2013 Hugo ballot by 17 votes.
Ah, but here the obfuscation starts. First off, I was unaware that gravels was a word. Sweet. Second, Everyone admits it is a popularity contest? Really? That’s fascinating, because outside of a tiny insular group of folks that attend WorldCons, most people aren’t aware of that. In fact, me coming out and saying that it was just a popularity contest certainly managed to cause a lot of twisted panties. And most of that tiny insular group (smof, if you will) sure don’t like to come out and publically admit that it is just a popularity contest. You see, the Hugo is SUPER PRESTIGIOUS and they’d love to keep it that way.
His strategy for avoiding the same fate in 2014 involves the rhetorical sleight-of-hand of convincing his fans that voting for their favorite (him) is a virtuous act of nonconformist rebellion, while the identical behavior directed by other fans towards their favorites (not him) is hideous elitism.
WHOOOSH. That is the sound of the Point flying past somebody totally oblivious.
Okay, let’s break this down for the utterly clueless. There’s not really any “rhetorical sleight-of-hand” involved with me going directly to my fans and asking them to pony up cash to vote for me. (I do like how it is implied that you guys are so easily bamboozled though).
If anything, compared to most self-promoting writers, I’m at least honest about it. The part that seems to get me in trouble is that I’m asking my readers instead of the proper gate keepers.
As for the nonconformist rebellion bit, he must have missed the last few years of internet arguments, literati trolling, and assorted BS my regular readers have watched transpire on this blog, Facebook, or Twitter, but that can’t possibly be why a bunch of you who don’t give a crap about going to WorldCon kicked in money to vote last year. I guess I’m just that good at stirring up nonconformist rebellion. Shrug.
Shouldn’t that work?
Considering how unpopular I am with the typical WorldCon attendee, and the fact that I missed last year’s short list by a handful of votes with a total that would’ve put me 2nd or 3rd in any prior year, and my entire suggested slate of nominees made the short list in every single other category, yep. Pretty much.
Along the way, Correia called on people to nominate his editor at Baen, Toni Weisskopf. Now that’s something I can agree with – Toni Weisskopf should be competing for a Hugo. She’s a terrific developer of talent.
So there’s hope for this guy yet!
Beneath a photo of Toni’s dog, Daphne, Correia continued –
Daphne is sad because most of her owner’s authors are despised and ridiculed by the traditional WorldCon voting crowd and the snooty literati. She knows that her owner deserves a Hugo for Best Editor because of her impressive career editing hundreds of popular works of sci-fi and fantasy and for discovering dozens of new authors who went on to be big sellers…
Yep. Now let me point something out for. You realize Toni is worthy, and you are apparently aware of her many remarkable achievements, but did you realize that the only Hugo nomination Toni has ever received was because of my campaign last year? Well, huh… Go figure.
But since we’re on this topic of this biased little popularity contest and how worthy figures like Toni have gotten completely hosed by this cliquish little group, were you aware that Stan Schmidt had been nominated over THIRTY times before he final won, and he actually had to retire in order to get that? If you want to talk about an editor developing new talent, you’d think the guy who edited Analog the entire time most of us have been alive, Schmidt should have won his Hugo long ago. But nope. He had a enough fans to get the nom, but since he wasn’t a WorldCon favorite, Stan was ignored.
And that’s in a category that at least has some different people win once in a while. Locus has won THIRTY Hugos. 30. Three zero. If you want a glimpse into the type of people who vote for the Hugos, they read Locus, and the only time I’ve ever showed up in Locus is on their bestseller list.
Hmmm… Maybe a little shake up might do this super prestigious award a little good!
For all that the Hugos are a popularity contest, fans are aware a writer can sell an enormous amount of sf — stuff they like! — without moving them to give him an award. One of my personal favorites, Mack Reynolds, sold hundreds of stories in his career, only one of which garnered a Hugo nomination.
Wait… So you’re saying that Mack Reynolds was really really good, but got mostly ignored because he wasn’t a fan favorite of one tiny splinter faction of all sci-fi readers, yet I’m the bad guy?
It sounds absurd to argue that Toni Weisskopf has rendered service to the field while pretending her authors – which is to say Baen-published authors – are generally despised and ridiculed.
You must not know very many Baen authors… We are the black sheep of sci-fi/fantasy, but the thing that really pisses off the groupthinkers is that we’re so damned proud of that.
And for the record, we’re only despised and ridiculed by the literati message fic types. Find some politically correct SMOFers (which is most of them), bring up Tom Kratman and watch them burst into flames. That’s really it for the ridicule though, since out in the real world we actually sell books by the ton and sleep on large piles of money.
Begin with Larry Correia himself. Worldcon members nominated Correia for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2011. They sure didn’t despise him that year.
Well, I can see that somebody totally doesn’t know the origin story of Sad Puppies!
Let me help you out. I got the Campbell nomination because one small contingent of WorldCon voters is made up of Baen Barflies, and I was the new writer that they all got behind that year, and that in and of itself was a miracle, since getting all the Barflies to vote together is like herding cats. Just ask them. But my first book had made a big splash with Baen readers, so they nominated me. Most of WorldCon didn’t despise me then because at that point they hadn’t heard of me yet.
Then my name showed up on the shortlist so they looked me up… Hoo boy. It was the end of the freaking world. Most of them didn’t actually read my book to know they needed to vote against me. They found out I was an outspoken, right wing political blogger, and gun rights activist. Critics came out of the woodwork. Smofers actively campaigned against me. If you voted for Larry Correia, you were a bad person. I was accused of misogyny, racism, hatey-hate-mongery, and why wouldn’t I keep my Jesus out of their uterus! My favorite post however was from a British blogger who said that “if Larry Correia wins the Campbell it will end literature forever”.
So about a week after I got the nomination, and estimating the number of Barflies going to Reno, I figured I would come in last. Bingo. Not that I mind, since the guy who won hasn’t published a book since and my 11th is coming out this summer, so I’ve managed to squeak by (and personally, of the five of us, I thought Dan Wells was the most talented writer).
Watching people brag about how they hadn’t read me, and never would, but were super proud to vote against me because of my having the wrong politics was enlightening. But that’s only part of it. Actually attending that WorldCon was very eye opening. It is an extremely political environment. If you want to win, you suck up to the right crowd. If you don’t say the right thing to that crowd, buh-bye.
Now, talent and sucking up to the right crowd are not mutually exclusive. There have been some extremely talented nominees, but the only way to be a nominee is if you’re popular with the right people. But if you are popular enough, then the actual quality is irrelevant. You make it sound like everyone admits this, when in fact, very few do.
And this isn’t even getting into the many allegations of fraud and complaints of missing nominations I heard, which aren’t my stories to tell, but I’m a retired auditor, so let’s just say that the public part of Sad Puppies is only half the fun for me! Somebody really cynical might think I’m just doing all this as a way to collect data for analysis, but that’s just crazy talk. 🙂
So I decided in Reno that if this thing was just a popularity contest, since I was popular outside of this tiny group, why not just go directly to my fans, tell them about how it works, and then ask them to go vote?
When I left that WorldCon I had a long conversation with another author who I will not name. I won’t out this particular person because he is decently popular with the WorldCon voters clique and has won a Hugo. I told him what I was thinking of doing. His comment to me was that he was normally against my crazy desires to break everything (hey, former auditor, can’t help it), but in this case, the system sucked and needed it.
Of course, that was years ago. Since then my fans have gotten a lot of enjoyment out of literati twatwaffles coming around, picking fights, calling us names, and explaining how I’m not a *real* writer and my fans are dumb. So if you want to know how I got 100 people to kick in $60 last year to do this, it certainly isn’t because of my crafty sleight of hand, but rather because they’ve personally seen the snooty morons up close, and like me, rejoice in anything that pisses those people off.
Lois McMaster Bujold is a 12-time Hugo nominee, 5-time winner – and 3 of her Hugo-winning novels were published by Baen.
You’ll note that in the prior posts of mine you went through, I always say most Baen authors, as in all but one. Lois is our one anomaly because there is a big group of WorldCon voters who love her. The Barflies are a small group, and there is some crossover between them and the Bujold fans, but there are more Bujold fans at WorldCon than there are Barflies. If Lois writes a Vorksogian novel, she is going to get nominated that year. The rest of us are fully aware of this. She’s had an entrenched fan base at WorldCon since 1989.
Once again, popularity contest, and she’s popular with that group. And I really like Lois! I think she’s an extremely good author. The main difference between Lois and the rest of us however, is that the average Correia/Ringo/Kratman/Hoyt/Williamson fan would rather set themselves on fire than sit through a WorldCon, especially when it is competing with DragonCon (i.e. Nerd Mardi Gras).
Other current Baen authors have history with the Hugo/Campbell awards from when they were with other publishers. Timothy Zahn won a Hugo and received two other nominations for short fiction in Analog.
Wait… So your evidence that the WorldCon voters aren’t biased against Baen is one of my publishing house’s authors won a Hugo in 1984? I was in 4th grade. Many of my readers hadn’t been born yet. And judging by the general cardiovascular fitness of most WorldCon attendees, I’d hazard a guess that most of the people who voted in 1984 are dead now.
Wen Spencer won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer when she was with Roc.
So one of our authors won an award before she was published by us. Wow. That sure is some compelling evidence that the WorldCon clique isn’t predisposed to dislike stuff from Baen!
It is a little surprising that two leading alternate history authors, Robert Conroy and S. M. Stirling, who are up for the Sidewise Award almost every year, have never made the Hugo ballot. (Stirling’s Nantucket trilogy came out when he was at NAL/Roc, so as I’m suggesting, the pattern probably has nothing to do with Baen.)
Conroy and Stirling are both accomplished authors. Full agreement… Wait… So are you agreeing with me now that this popularity contest is stagnant and needs a good kick in the nuts?
You want to know why those guys win Sidewise Awards but not Hugos? (same reason I’ve won some Audies). It is a juried award where a handful of specialist experts read a bunch of submissions and weigh their relative merits, instead of a popularity contest decided by warring cliques of fandom. Sadly, which award has more name recognition to regular readers? Yep. The popularity contest.
However, I never said it was just about Baen (especially since this bias extends into categories other than best novel or best editor). This applies to anybody who isn’t popular with the in crowd in any category.
And there are some more Baen authors — Michael Z. Williamson, Eric Flint, David Weber, and Mercedes Lackey – who have provided so much entertainment over the course of their careers it’d be great to see them nominated someday.
Interesting. I’m friends with some of those people and have had long conversations with a few of them about this very topic… Want to guess which one of us they agree with? And if you think I’m militant about the bias in this business, Mike makes me look like a hippy with a Give Peace a Chance sticker on my Prius.
I too would like to see some of those authors nominated someday, but they won’t ever be nominated unless they do the same sort of thing I’m doing right now that you find so very distasteful. The only reason I can do this and have a chance of sneaking in is because I have a bigger online presence than the other people you mentioned, and my fans are hard core. If I thought I could pull this off with somebody else the literati found as uncouth as me, I’d do it in a heartbeat.
And the sad thing is if Flint or Lackey were to get a nomination nowadays, at least their politics would keep them from getting character assassinated the whole time.
In fact, the part I’m really excited about is if I do pull this off, I will have demonstrated once and for all that it is just a popularity contest, and then I can’t wait to see what authors way more popular than me do with this most prestigious award EVAR. I don’t know how many blog posts I saw lamenting some amazing favorite book of theirs not making the list. Good. Now you know what you need to do in order to get your favorite author on there for next time.
See, I suspect when you say self-promotion, you’re using it as something derogatory. Popularity contests are always about self-promotion. In the past, the Hugo was about self-promotion, only it was promoting yourself to the WorldCon crowd. After the reception I got from WorldCon, I figured what the hell, I’ll just go around them. Of course, the people most offended by this sort of barbarity are the people currently getting their way.
You mentioned Hideous Elitism earlier, as if I didn’t approve when other authors engaged in self-promotion. Quite the contrary. I think it is fantastic. Now you’re putting words in my mouth.
You’ll note that in all of these silly campaigning posts I’ve done, I’ve never bashed any other author’s promotion of their work. Take Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant for example. She promotes herself and is popular with the WorldCon crowd and has won some stuff. Good. I like her writing. I’ve VOTED for her. An author who doesn’t self-promote is a sucker. Look at last year’s best novel winner, John Scalzi. I am the political polar opposite of Scalzi. I disagree with Scalzi on about just about everything, but as a capitalist I’ll give him points for being such a shameless self-promoter, and the typical WorldCon voter loves him.
I think if an author wants to actually make a living at this stuff, they’d better be a self-promoting machine. My problem isn’t with the authors and other creative types promoting their work, since that is sort of our job. But some of us will never be liked by the average WorldCon voter. Period. My problem is with one tiny group of gate keepers declaring themselves the deciders of all that is good.
So we can either put up with the gate keepers, or we can go around them. I don’t know how you define “victim” but I’m guessing we have very different definitions of the word. 🙂
And since I’m on a roll, the comments to this blog post are good too.
- 1. Reed Andrus on January 22, 2014 at 3:47 pm said:
Larry Correia seems to be in the small-but-very-visible class of genre authors whose work is extremely good while (his in this case) personality sucks. There are a few others I could name, but probably won’t in the interest of fair play. Nice write-up on this particular innocuous kerfuffle.
My personality sucks. That is remarkably nice compared to most of the things I’ve been called on the internet. At least this guy was honest enough to admit that I can actually write. Most of the time they just call me names and haven’t actually read my stuff, so I call this a huge step in the right direction.
Luckily, the award is for Best, not Nicest. Though in all honestly I’d be curious as to what the criteria for “nice” would be to somebody like Mr. Andrus. I’m betting for the people on my side of the aisle that probably means not arguing back whenever somebody tells us how stupid we are.
There’s no “rhetorical sleight-of-hand” here. Larry is openly acknowledging the Hugo Awards as a popularity contest and he’s asking for votes. And anyone asking for votes while being less honest about this is fair game to be—rather gently—mocked.
“You can beat any system. All you do is turn the handle the way it goes, only more so.”
Now this guy gets it. And that is also a really good quote.
EDIT: Wait just a second… This post was from a website called File 770… That sounded strangely familiar for some reason. Oh, will you look at that. Thanks, Wikipedia. File 770 has won SIX Hugos for Best Fanzine and been nominated another TWENTY TWO times. Well, shucks. I can’t imagine why they’d think shameless self-promotion by a WorldCon outsider would be such a terrible thing!
And on that note, my nomination for best Fanzine will be going to http://elitistbookreviews.blogspot.com/, who Sad Puppies 1 got a Hugo Nomination for last year. 🙂
But since I’m surfing around the interwebs tonight, let’s see what other fun ad Puppies related stuff I can find in the track backs. From http://chris-gerrib.livejournal.com/
Okay, that is a very fair post, but the poster is missing one big part of the puzzle (and he did vote for me for the Campbell, so we’re cool) 🙂 He read MHI and didn’t think it was Hugo worthy. Fair enough, except that was my 1st novel. I’m promoting Warbound, which is the 10th novel I’ve written. You know what they say about practice. And speaking of the Campbell, like I said, I wanted Dan to win.
He said MHI is just basic Let’s Go Kill Some Monsters fiction. Okay, but Warbound is the last book of a trilogy which is a totally different series, and as far as originality goes, I don’t know, it is a pretty standard diesel punk, 1930s alternative history, super heroes with sci-fi based extraterrestrial magic, noir-pulp, epic fantasy, Tesla weapons, gangster, zeppelin, great depression, samurai power armor novel…
(though my favorite negative review is, and always will be, the guy who said the Grimnoir trilogy was just ripping off the X-Men when I had FDR try to round up over a hundred thousand people who were considered scary to put them in concentration camps. Holy crap.)
My Grimnoir trilogy has already been nominated for a bunch of other awards, including the Hugo equivalent of other countries, and won a couple of juried awards like two Audies for best audiobook, so it isn’t like I’m just chucking crap at the wall to see what will stick. This is actually a good book, not that very many WorldCon voters would ever look at it otherwise. 🙂
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