Apr. 7th, 2015

drplokta: (Default)
OK, so tweaking the numbers a little, what would the 2014 shortlist have looked like if we shortlisted everything getting nominated in at least 10% of the nominating ballots, after subtracting the number that nominated the most popular item (but not more than 25%), with a minimum of 5 nominees per category and a maximum of 10. I'm using Larry Correia's sad puppy 2 slate for information.

Best Novel: unchanged; there were no puppies, and one withdrawal.
Best Novella: unchanged; there were two puppies included.
Best Novelette: unchanged; there were two puppies included.
Best Short Story: add "Dog's Body" by Sarah Hoyt, which failed the 5% rule. No puppies (though Sarah Hoyt was on the puppy slate for Best Novel).
Best Related Work: unchanged; there were no puppies.
Best Graphic Story: unchanged; one puppy was removed due to inelgibility.
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: Add Ender's Game, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Her, Thor: The Dark World & Europa Report. No puppies.
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: unchanged; no puppies.
Best Editor, Short Form: add Bryan Thomas Schmidt (a puppy), Lynne M Thomas and Anne Vandermeer. No puppies were previously included.
Best Editor, Long Form: add Patrick Nielsen Hayden. One puppy was previously included.
Best Professional Artist: unchanged; no puppies.
Best Semiprozine: unchanged; no puppies.
Best Fanzine: add Banana Wings & The Drink Tank. There was one puppy previously included.
Best Fancast: unchanged; no puppies.
Best Fan Writer: add Justin Landon & Steven H Silver. No puppies.
Best Fan Artist: add Marine Starkey & Ninni Aalto. No puppies.
Campbell Award: add Frank Chadwick (a puppy). Another puppy was withdrawn due to ineligibility.

Frankly, I think that's a better ballot than the one we had. We don't avoid puppies driving off a couple of novella and novellette nominees that would otherwise have been on the ballot, but we get back Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Banana Wings and The Drink Tank that were kept off by puppies. And we get a wider and more interesting choice for BDP: Long Form. We've added two or three puppy nominees onto the ballot as well, but I don't actually object to that, as long as the voters also have plenty of non-puppies to choose from.
drplokta: (Default)
Here are the 2013 Hugos (for 2012), revisited using the same rules as I just did for 2014. The sad puppies were just getting going, and basically consisted of Larry Correia asking people to vote for his novel (which he did to a degree that I find distasteful, but nothing worse than that; it certainly wasn't an organised slate like the later sad puppies campaigns).

Best Novel: Add Monster Hunter Legion by Larry Correia, (the only sad puppies 1 candidate).
Best Novella: Add “In the House of Aryaman, a Lonely Signal Burns” by Elizabeth Bear, “The Boolean Gate” by Walter Jon Williams and “All The Flavors” by Ken Liu.
Best Novelette: No change.
Best Short Story: Add “No Place Like Home” by Seanan McGuire & “The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species” by Ken Liu.
Best Related Work: No change.
Best Graphic Story: No change.
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: Add John Carter, Brave, Wreck-It Ralph, Cloud Atlas & The Dark Knight Rises.
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: Add "Mark Reads ‘The Shadow War of the Night Dragons – Book One: The Dead City’".
Best Editor, Short Form: Add Ellen Datlow, Lynne Thomas, Gordon Van Gelder & Gardner Dozois.
Best Editor, Long Form: Add Anne Lesley Groell & Betsy Wollheim.
Best Professional Artist: Add Stephan Martiniere & Bob Eggleton.
Best Semiprozine: Add Locus, New York Review of Science Fiction and Interzone.
Best Fanzine: Add World SF Blog, Argentus, Challenger & File 770.
Best Fancast: Add The Writer and the Critic & Radio Free Skaro.
Best Fan Writer: Add Abigail Nussbaum & A Cracked Moon.
Best Fan Artist: Add Taral Wayne & Katy Shuttleworth.
Campbell Award: No change.

That's added 33 nominees, or an average of two per category. That's twice as many as 2014, and I think veering in the direction of too many, although most of them seem like perfectly reasonable additions. That 10% cutoff might want to be 12%.
drplokta: (Default)
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.

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