drplokta: (Default)
[personal profile] drplokta
Having posted a proposed solution to the issue, and a couple of analyses arising from it, here are my actual thoughts, in no very coherent order. Non-friend comments are screened.

1. My first Worldcon was 1987, and I've attended roughly half of the Worldcons since then. I was shortlisted for a Hugo every year from 2000 to 2008 (although Wikipedia incorrectly lists me as a nominee in 1999 as well, and was a winner in 2005 and 2006. I'm a frequent business meeting attendee, and I was a bid chair and a division head for last year's Worldcon, Loncon 3. I think I'm as well qualified as anyone to have an opinion.

2. I'm angry about what has happened to an award that was meaningful to me before I even knew what science fiction fandom was, and so are a lot of other people. But it is important to channel that anger in ways that are constructive rather than destructive, rather than acting hastily and regretting it later.

3. Fortunately and unfortunately, the process will make it difficult to act hastily. Any changes to the rules cannot take effect until 2017 at the earliest, possibly 2018 if one carried-forward resolution from Loncon 3 is ratified at Sasquan (I think its ratification just got a lot less likely).

4. That doesn't mean there's nothing that can be done next year. Only about 15% of the people eligible to nominate actually did so. The more people that participate in the process, the harder it is to game. I did not nominate this year. It was a mistake I will not be making again.

5. That in turn does not mean that we should have a "happy kittens" slate of inclusive and socially relevant SF to counterbalance the sad puppies. Slates are the problem, not the solution, and if the Hugos are reduced to competing slates then they are dead.

6. It's not a bad thing that people with different views are joining Worldcon and voting in the Hugos. That's what we want to happen. What's bad is that they are voting a collective slate rather than their own actual individual preferences, which gives them a disproportionate influence on the shortlist. We need to find a way to encourage them to actually follow the spirit of the rules, even though this means that their preferences are unlikely to be recognised in the results since they are in a minority.

7. Any "solution" that allows voters or nominees to be disqualified (other than because they're actually ineligible) can and will be abused. We must move forwards rather than backwards and make the process more inclusive not less inclusive. And it's seldom wise to actually persecute groups who have delusions of persecution.

8. It's striking how little effect the slate has had on the Best Dramatic Presentation categories. Does anyone think that Interstellar or Game of Thrones needed the help of the puppies to get on the ballot? We need more media SF that is offensive to white male heteronormative middle-American values, and we should be finding or creating it, and nominating it. Although in fact Game of Thrones is full of things that the puppies are supposed to be against. Did they actually watch and understand it?

9. I salute those who were on a puppy slate and refused their nomination. I've experienced the thrill of a first Hugo nomination, and I understand how difficult it must have been. Congratulations to Matthew David Surridge and, yes, to Larry Correia for doing the right thing. And perhaps one or two others who have not yet become public (or I've not heard about). I will bear you in mind for future nominations.

10. I understand those who have said they will read the nominees and vote based on their individual qualities. It's a fair and principled position, although it is not my position, as I believe the abuse of process means that they should not receive any votes. What I ask is that you only vote for a sad/rabid puppies candidate if you sincerely believe it is the best of the year in its category, and not just the best of an impoverished shortlist, especially in the six categories where there are no puppy-free alternatives.

11. If you were on a sad/rabid puppy slate without your knowledge or consent, then you have my sympathy. I know there are some good people who have no connection or sympathy with the puppies' views in that position. Nevertheless, you are now in a no-win situation that is not of your making.

12. Suppose there are five nominees in a category. Thing you like a lot, thing you like a bit, thing you have no opinion about, and two things you detest. If you vote for "thing you like a lot", then "thing you like a bit", then No Award, and then the "things you detest", just to show them by putting them behind No Award, then you have helped the "things you detest" to beat the "thing you have no opinion about". Always remember that anything that isn't on your ballot at all is ranked behind everything that is on your ballot.

13. Remember, this is the last gasp of a dying subculture. The culture wars are over, and they have lost. It's similar in spirit to Hitler's (disobeyed) orders that Paris should be destroyed by the retreating German forces.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-04-07 07:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/la_marquise_de_/
It's highly likely Sheila Gilbert doesn't know she's on their slate. She has zero online presence, as either a reader or a commenter, seriously. She just doesn't participate in the online community. I have no idea why Beale et al have listed her, as she is liberal and feminist and supportive of writers who are diverse, of QUILTBAG writers, and of socialist writers. The list of novels she's edited includes many many with QUILTBAG themes and central characters, central characters of colour, and all the things VD and co hate most. Given some people are saying anyone who hasn't rejected the nomination deserve to be punished by association, I just wanted to let them know that Sheila, at least, probably has no idea about any of this.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-04-08 09:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] smofbabe.livejournal.com
Sadly, the SP slate ballot-stuffing punishes both deserving people/works that were pushed off the ballot *and* those that made the ballot but will now be negatively affected by the backlash. Many people will be voting No Award either because they do not think the ballot should be treated as legitimate due to the obvious SP slate influence or because they believe that it is impossible to determine the best people/work in a given category for this year because the SP poison-pill slate crowded many or all other possible choices off the ballot.
Edited Date: 2015-04-08 09:06 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-04-08 05:18 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-04-08 06:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daveon.livejournal.com
I[m coming around to the 'fruit of the poisoned vine' position that any category which is tainted gets a straight No Award from me, even BDP-LF which I actually think would have looked just like that anyway.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-04-07 08:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] history-monk.livejournal.com
This scheme looks pretty convincing, and quite a bit better than the one Charlie Stross talked about at Eastercon.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-04-08 04:24 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-04-08 09:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] smofbabe.livejournal.com
Very good and articulate points. I especially like #8 :->

(no subject)

Date: 2015-04-08 12:00 pm (UTC)
nwhyte: (angry)
From: [personal profile] nwhyte
I agree with every word of this. (Except that I did make a few nominations this year.)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-04-08 12:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] voidampersand.livejournal.com
#10 and #12 are both really good points that clarify the meaning of "No Award".

(no subject)

Date: 2015-04-08 04:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] randy-byers.livejournal.com
Great stuff, Doctor P. I've mostly only been nominating in the fan and dramatic long form categories in recent years when I was eligible. (None of my nominees for dramatic long form made the ballot this year, by the way. There were a lot of great offbeat SF films last year, but it's the more popular ones that of course make the ballot.) My problem with nominating in the other categories is that I don't really keep up with the work that's eligible, so I'm not sure how I can help out in the nomination phase next year.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-04-08 06:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daveon.livejournal.com
Ditto - I read 1 SF novel that was eligible last year (Ancillary Sword) and I didn't think it was as good as Justice and didn't nominate.

There were a range of good movies but the reality was Interstellar, Lego and Guardians were always going to be there.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-04-08 05:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] debgeisler.livejournal.com
Thank you, Mike. This was clear, concise, and level-headed. :-)