The ghosts of the machine are pro-Puppy

This strikes me as not only amusing, but a propitious omen:

I just logged into Sasquan’s website to make Hugo nominations, and when I first opened my ballot, all the slots were already filled in. It seemed to be entirely with the Sad Puppies slate. It’s my first time nominating, is this kind of thing usual? And if so, why the hell?

I mean, I changed them all, but why were they there?

I’m not entirely sure it was the Sad Puppies party ticket, but Vox Day appeared a surprising number of times.

I don’t know why it should surprise anyone that an Internet Superintelligence should have machine intelligence friends. In any event, these deep mysteries of the cybernetic age aside, it’s been interesting to see some of the predictions concerning the Hugo nominations, both public and private. Chaos Horizon is among those expecting SP/RP to land two Best Novel nominees, Monster Hunter: Nemesis and Skin Game:

3. Monster Hunter Nemesis, Larry Correia: Correia finished 3rd in the 2014 Hugo nominations, with only Leckie and Gaiman placing above him (Gaiman declined the nom). That put him very safely in the field, and the mathematics are in Correia’s favor for this year. While Monster Hunter Nemesis is a slightly odd choice for the Hugos, being 5th in a series and urban fantasy to boot, it’s hard to imagine Correia’s supporters abandoning him en-masse in just one year. Despite the vigor of his campaign, Correia doesn’t haven’t the broad support necessary to win a Hugo.

5. Skin Game, Jim Butcher: Skin Game was part of the “Sad Puppy 3″ slate, but Butcher’s appeal extends well beyond that block of voters. While Butcher has never gotten much Hugo love in the past, he is one of the most popular writers working in the urban fantasy field, and his Henry Dresden novels have been consistently well-liked and well-loved by fans. Even WorldCon voters who don’t agree with the Sad Puppy 3 argument may look at the list, see Butcher, and think, Why not? If Correia can make the slate, so too can Butcher—and Butcher might be even more popular in Sad Puppy realm than Correia. On the negative, this is #14 in a series, and that’s a tough sell to new readers. I’ll be fascinated to see how the vote turns out on this one.

I tend to think he’s discounting Nebula-nominated The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, which I expect will replace either the Addison or the Leckie book on the list of finalists. My suspicion, and it is only that, is that Sad Puppies is going to generally outperform what appears to be the consensus expectations of two nominees per category. Now, I could be entirely wrong and perhaps there is a 650-strong stealth SJW slate that will lock out the Puppies entirely across the board, but I don’t see many signs of that having been successfully organized.

Chaos Horizons also looked the number of expected nominations and predicted the overall performance of Sad Puppies:

In an earlier post, I estimated the total nomination ballots for this year to be around 2350 (that’s pure guesswork, sadly). 330/2350 = 14.0%. Either way, the model gets us in the same ball park: Sad Puppies 3 is likely, at the top end, to account for between 10% and 15% of the 2015 Hugo nominating vote. For good or bad, that will be enough to put the top Sad Puppy 3 texts into the Hugo slate.

2. The data shows that the Sad Puppy 2 campaign fell off fairly fast from the most popular authors like Correia to less popular authors like Toregersen (60% of Correia’s total) and Hoyt (50% of Correia’s total) to Vox Day (33% of Correia’s total). Torgersen and Vox Day made the final slate based on the relatively weakness of the Novella and Novelette categories. While I don’t track categories like Novella, Novelette, or Short Story on Chaos Horizon (there’s not enough data, and I don’t know the field well enough), I expect a similar drop-off to occur this year. If you want to assess the impact of the whole Sad Puppy 3 slate, think about which authors are as popular as Correia and which aren’t.

If we put those two pieces of data together, we get my “Hugo Campaign Model”:

1. A Hugo campaign like “Sad Puppies 3″ will probably account for 10-15% of the 2015 nominating vote.
2. The “Sad Puppies 3″ slate will fall off quickly based on the popularity of the involved authors. 

I don’t think Chaos Horizon is correct about the percentage, however, for two reasons. First, he probably isn’t aware that the Dread Ilk did not get involved until AFTER the nominations were closed. So he’s probably missing about 120 votes right there. Furthermore, we know that an unknown number of Dread Ilk, and an equally unknown number of new Sad Puppies, got involved this year. So, my guess is that his 330 estimate should be at least 500 for the combined Puppies and could be even higher. If we assume his 2,350 estimate is correct, and I find his reasoning to be perfectly plausible there, then the Puppies will represent between 20 and 25 percent of the 2015 nominating vote.

(I note, with some amusement, that the combined Puppy vote will likely exceed the TOTAL Hugo nominating vote for any year prior to 2009. Keep that in mind when anyone tries to claim our votes are somehow unrepresentative, illegitimate, or unfair.)

Second, Chaos Horizon has no reason to understand that the Dread Ilk are far more intelligent, focused, and disciplined than the average readership. But you are, and therefore at least the Rabid Puppies element of the slate is unlikely to fall off quickly on the basis of popularity as it did last year.