I suspect Isbella Biedenharn is going to be hearing from her superiors shortly:
Hugo Award nominations fall victim to misogynistic, racist voting campaign
by Isabella Biedenharn
The Hugo Awards have fallen victim to a campaign in which misogynist groups lobbied to nominate only white males for the science fiction book awards. These groups, Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies (both of which are affiliated with last year’s GamerGate scandal), urged sci-fi fans to become members of the Hugo Awards’ voting body, World Science Fiction Convention, in order to cast votes against female writers and writers of color. Membership only costs $40, and allows members to vote for the 2016 nominations as well as the 2015 nominations, which were just released.
Sad Puppies broadcast their selection on Feb. 1, writing: “If you agree with our slate below—and we suspect you might—this is YOUR chance to make sure YOUR voice is heard.” Brad Torgerson, who runs Sad Puppies along with Larry Correia, complains that the Hugo Awards have lately skewed toward “literary” works, as opposed to “entertainment.”
Torgerson also writes that he disagrees with Hugos being awarded for affirmative action-like purposes, as many women and writers of color went home with awards in 2014: ”Likewise, we’ve seen the Hugo voting skew ideological, as Worldcon and fandom alike have tended to use the Hugos as an affirmative action award: giving Hugos because a writer or artist is (insert underrepresented minority or victim group here) or because a given work features (insert underrepresented minority or victim group here) characters.”
The other lobbying group, Rabid Puppies, is run by Theodore Beale (who goes by the name Vox Day). As The Telegraph reports, “Members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America have called for Beale’s exclusion from the group after he has written against women’s suffrage and posted racist views towards black writer NK Jemisin.”
Fortunately, some sane voters allowed well-deserving writers to pull through. Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Sword and Listen was nominated for Dramatic Presentation, and Annie Bellet’s Goodnight Stars was nominated, despite having a non-white, female protagonist.
Plenty of members of the science fiction community have voiced their disgust with both sects of “Puppies.” Writer Philip Sandifer wrote on his blog Sunday, “The Hugo Awards have just been successfully hijacked by neofascists.” Sandifer’s post, which is worth reading in full, addresses what this disaster means for the sci-fi world:
To be frank, it means that traditional sci-fi/fantasy fandom does not have any legitimacy right now. Period. A community that can be this effectively controlled by someone who thinks black people are subhuman and who has called for acid attacks on feminists is not one whose awards have any sort of cultural validity. That sort of thing doesn’t happen to functional communities. And the fact that it has just happened to the oldest and most venerable award in the sci-fi/fantasy community makes it unambiguously clear that traditional sci-fi/fantasy fandom is not fit for purpose.
As writer Joe Abercrombie put it:
The Hugo Awards have never looked less like the future of anything.
— Joe Abercrombie (@LordGrimdark) April 4, 2015
It should be amusing to see the back-pedaling from this malicious hit piece. It’s like they have one tactic: call the media and lie. How fortunate that #GamerGate has demonstrated the complete impotence of the tactic.
UPDATE: They’re scrubbing the article and title, but Daddy Warpig provides the archived original.
CORRECTION: After misinterpreting reports in other news
publications, EW published an unfair and inaccurate depiction of the Sad
Puppies voting slate, which does, in fact, include many women and
writers of color. As Sad Puppies’ Brad Torgerson explained to EW, the
slate includes both women and non-caucasian writers, including Rajnar
Vajra, Larry Correia, Annie Bellet, Kary English, Toni Weisskopf, Ann
Sowards, Megan Gray, Sheila Gilbert, Jennifer Brozek, Cedar Sanderson,
and Amanda Green.
This story has been updated to more accurately reflect this. EW regrets the error.
They left out the only Native American. WHY DO THEY HATE INDIANS?