Don't straw man me. Don't vote for my award picks simply because I liked them

Don't straw man me. Don't use me to rationalize your own actions.

For some reason my picks for the Hugo and Nebula Awards are being held up as the opposing slate against the Sad Puppies campaign of Larry Correia, Brad Torgersen, and Vox Day. Evidently my nominations, in some deranged way, legitimizes the Sad Puppy campaign to stuff the Hugo ballot box.


I've never organized a campaign to stuff the Hugo Awards ballot. Have I stated the authors and stories I'm voting for? Yes. I've done this for many years. Have I encouraged others to consider the stories I liked and, if they also like them, consider them for a nomination? Yes. Because that's what you do in the marketplace of ideas and beliefs which we call life. It's part of what we call "Having a damn opinion!"

And yes, I've been overly eager about trying to get people to check out the stories I've enjoyed and consider them for the awards. I do this because I love our genre and it's still a kick that I can nominate stories and authors for awards. In my recent post about my award picks, I even used the word "amazing" four separate times, which as an author I find embarrassing. But I used the word so many times because I'm excited about these stories and want others to share in this excitement.

But I've never picked my nominations by race or ethnicity or the author's political views. In fact, I've selected stories written by authors whom I likely disagree with on many issues. For example, in 2012 I selected Brad Torgersen's Analog novelette "Ray of Light" as one of my Hugo, Nebula and Locus Award selections.

I've also called for reforming the Hugo process so logrolling and ballot stuffing are more difficult to accomplish. I've praised rule changes which made it harder to game the Nebula Awards system. And I've also said if Larry Correia and Brad Torgersen want to stuff the Hugo ballot, more power to them.

Wait. What?

Yes, last year I stated that if Worldcon refused to make reasonable improvements to the Hugo Award nomination process, then ballot stuffing will be the inevitable result. While I'm personally disgusted by the Sad Puppy attempt to stuff the ballot, this may be the only way for the Hugos to ever be improved. If Larry, Brad and VD succeed this year, then next year there will no doubt be an opposing ballot stuffing campaign. Followed the next year by yet another from a different political direction. The result will be a vicious cycle which may finally force Worldcon to fix the Hugo process.

Or, more likely, it'll destroy the entire Hugo Awards as we know it. But when people play with fire, burning down the house is usually the end result.

The funny thing is when Vox Day went ballistic on my picks for this year's Hugo and Nebula Awards, he focused on the gender and ethnicities of the authors I nominated. And while Larry, Brad, and VD try to say they're nominating the best stories and authors, their obsessive focus on politics, and their attempt to merge the Hugo Award ballot stuffing with the unrelated issue of GamerGate, gives lie to their focus on the best stories.

But again, more power to them. Break the Hugo Awards if you can. But don't come back crying like a sad puppy when the results of your actions turn out to be not what you expected.

And most of all, don't vote for my award picks simply because I liked them. Read and consider them and make up your own damn minds.