Earlier this week, Breitbart took up the issue of the Sad Puppies Hugo campaign.
In summary, Sad Puppies is a campaign to counter the left wing bias in the Hugos, where third wave feminist authors are over-represented, and anyone on the right is maligned. So some of the right wing fans decided that the right wing minority should actually push some of the more right wing authors. Fair enough. There are no rules about promoting certain authors and certain books. I don’t think the Hugos could work if there were such an rule. And there’s no denying there’s a clique in Fandom.
The article is rather too apologetic in places, but the point that politics shouldn’t enter into the nominations is valid.
So great! Let’s see their slate from last year:
I have only included the fiction part, and only those that made it to the shortlist, simply because these are the ones I read.
“Opera Vita Aeterna” was simply the most pointless tedious Novelette I’ve read. Honestly, did they just include this one to piss off Scalzi?
“The Exchange Officers” was has some action. But this is the 21st century. We rather expect something with a little more filling.
“The Chaplains Legacy” started well, but the story itself was unconvincing, and I couldn’t get more than a page into
“The Butcher of Khardov“.
I actually rather enjoyed the “Warbound” series, but I still wondered what it was doing in a Hugo awards list. It’s very pulpy and action packed, but it really felt more like a pulp RPG than something that is meant to have some sort of point beyond mere entertainment.
So essentially, the reason these works needed the push from the right wing was because they were rubbish. Not because of politics.
WSFS membership simply isn’t made up of the staunch “Social Justice Warrior” that Breitbart seems to think. It’s certainly left wing, and has its fair share of third-wavers; but it is mostly a Labour/Democrat voting flavour of left wing. While a lot of them will quite likely turn their noses up at the more toxic right-wingers, there’s no significant bias towards the extremists on the left.
So we now have Sad Puppies 3. I approve of this in principle, I just hope this year a few of them are actually, you know, good!