George R.R. Martin Holds Additional Ceremony After the Hugo Awards to Protest 'Sad Puppies'

Monday, 24 August 2015 - 2:29PM
Monday, 24 August 2015 - 2:29PM
George R.R. Martin Holds Additional Ceremony After the Hugo Awards to Protest 'Sad Puppies'
The Hugo Awards took place on Saturday, and it was arguably the most controversial in the ceremony's sixty-year history. After factions known as "Sad Puppies" and "Rabid Puppies" conspired to flood the vote and ensure certain books and authors were nominated, voters turned out in droves to ensure that none of their nominees took home awards. Then, as a victory lap, Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin held an alternative ceremony and gave out awards to those who should have been nominated in the first place.

"Puppygate," as it's now called, is a long and complicated saga, but in short, it's a similar ideological conflict to Gamergate. Certain members of the sci-fi writing community became disgruntled at the relatively recent trend of awarding Hugos to more inclusive, representative stories, which they claimed was at the expense of plot development. They openly disdain "SJW's" (very much like Gamergaters) who write and support "niche, academic, overtly to the Left in ideology and flavor, and ultimately lacking what might best be called visceral, gut-level, swashbuckling fun." They called themselves "Sad Puppies," and bloc-voted for conservative, anti-progressive authors in order to game the system and ensure that their authors were nominated. 


This led to the formation of the more radical Rabid Puppies, who are led by Theodore Beale aka Vox Day, who is known for calling black people "half-savages" and his opposition to women's suffrage, on the grounds that "women are very, very highly inclined to value security over liberty" and are "very, very easy to manipulate." The Sad Puppies try to separate themselves from the Rabid Puppies, but they all worked in tandem to push through their nominees.

Luckily, more voters turned out at the Hugo Awards than ever before, and by voting for "No Award" in place of any Sad Puppy nominees, they ensured that none of them took home an award, and that any non-Sad Puppy nominee won by a landslide. The results are still sort of a joke, then, but at least the puppies didn't get the satisfaction of winning.

George R.R. Martin, who has been outspoken in his protest of the Sad Puppy movement, tried to rectify this. He began an annual "loser's ceremony" following the Hugos many years ago, with the mantra, "Losers Welcome. Winners Will Be Mocked. No Assholes!" But this year, for the first time, he held the Alfies, an alternative awards ceremony named after the first Hugo winner Alfred Bester. He stated, "This year all of us were losers," and gave awards to authors Patrick Rothfuss, Ursula Vernon, Jo Walton, John Joseph Adams and Liz Gorinsky, who would have been nominated were it not for this controversy, as well as Marko Kloos and Annie Bellet, who turned down their Sad Puppy-supported nominations.

Via Wired.
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