Yes, the Sad Puppies campaign swept the Hugo Awards

The Hugo Award nominees won't be announced until April 4, but you don't need to be Nostradamus to see what's coming. The Sad Puppies slate of nominees essentially swept all the Hugo Award categories with the exception of Best Novel.

Don't believe me? Then wait until Saturday and find out. Or you can examine the evidence. Brad R. Torgersen and Larry Correia, who organized the campaign, have both written posts claiming a pending victory without actually stating that their slate won (since the nominations are technically sealed until the 4th). I'm sure they've received the same private messages I've had from people who either made the final ballot or know of people who made the list. Add in that some of the nominees from the Sad Puppies slate have outed themselves, and that Kate Paulk is already gearing up to run a Sad Puppies 4 campaign — and yeah, it's obvious where all this is going.

While the fact that the Hugo Awards can be gamed may shock some people, it's actually somewhat easy to do in the categories with lower voter participation, such as the short fiction categories. For example, if a few dozen people organize to vote for the same short story they can land that story on the final ballot. The reason this hasn’t been a major issue before is no one organized a large enough voting campaign like Sad Puppies 3. Basically, people had too much respect for the Hugo Awards to try and land only particular stories on the final ballot for political reasons. Most Hugo voters also took their nominating ability serious and voted for what they considered to be the best stories — and not for certain slates of stories and authors merely to make a larger cultural point.

Last year I wrote about how the Hugo Award rules needed to be changed so the awards weren't so easy to game. Otherwise the end result would be competing voting campaigns, which would result in the destruction of the entire Hugo Awards. It now appears this is where the Hugos are going. I'm also hearing that the people who help run Worldcon are outraged that this gaming of the awards succeeded. As a result, a number of proposed rule changes are already being considered. But such actions won't change this year's final ballot, which will be dominated by Sad Puppy stories, authors, and editors.

I guess congratulations are in order to Brad and Larry and the entire Sad Puppies campaign. You successfully gamed the Hugo Award nomination system. So go ahead and crow and jump around and do your little happy dance.

That said, I hope you realize that most people in fandom do not care for or support political games like this. Just as the vast majority of people in most countries only pay attention to politics when they have to (such as around election time), so does most of fandom ignore the political controversies which pop up in our genre from time to time. But this vast cross-section of fandom, while apolitical, also will not enjoy seeing their cherished Hugo Awards manipulated to score political points.

I predict a backlash is about to wash over the Sad Puppies. And when it does, it'll be interesting to see what happens next in our genre.