Social Justice Warriors as Thought Police

In an effort to remove the jackboots of the Social Justice Warrior crowd off the neck of the Hugo awards and writers who don’t play politics the way the SJW want them to (including those who don’t want to play politics at all)- a campaign called Sad Puppies 3 was started- more about the back story of that later.   BAsically, the Sad Puppy people decided to get the word out (in a more formal and cohesive way) that there were good writers in the sci-fi world who deserved Hugo award hominations and were not going to get them because of the dominations of the award by the Politics First SJW fascists.  Naturally, SJW’s are angry.  One of the things that they are angry about is a little strange.  The Sad Puppy people did not tell everybody they were nominating that they would be on the Sad Puppy slate (they meant to, but a couple slipped through the cracks, as happens).  Think about why that matters.  Every year, there are the Homeschool Blog Awards.  Most years I’ve been nominated.  Some years I’ve won.  At no time, ever, has anybody nominating me asked me if that’s okay.  Why should they?

Sarah Hoyt explains:

“…ten years ago, I lived in a state of fear. And the fact that my fear was real and serious is justified by that accusation to Brad, “You bad bad man, when you decided these people deserved awards, you didn’t TELL THEM you were putting them on a recommend list.”

I lived in fear because of the implied end of that sentence “And you knew that because you associated them with you, a known conservative, we would make their lives miserable and do our best to end their careers.”

And that, my friends is what I realized when I sold my first novel in the late 90s. Most Americans might not be that sensitive to the “climate” but I was. I had after all grown up in a socialist (at best, during the better times) country where to graduate you had to present the proper progressive front. I knew the signs and the hints and social positioning of “further left than thou.” For instance, my first SF cons, as an author, in the green room, I became aware that “a conservative” was a suitable, laughter inducing punchline for any joke; that all of them believed the Reagan years had set us on course to total dystopia; that the US was less enlightened/capable/free than anywhere else; that your average Republican or even non-Democrat voter was the equivalent of the Taliban.”

You have to read the rest.  Don’t miss the priceless story of the nonsensical attitude about Libertarians.  My story is not as good, but I still am just a strange combination of horrified and amused when, in the course of arguing with some Obamadolators about the CPSIA and how it was going to devastate the children’s crafted toys industry (which it did, by the way, but they just disappeared quietly into the night, like any bad socialists, sent away to reflect and repent, so you don’t even realize they are gone).  The thing is, that many of the Obamaphiles were pefectly aware of how bad the law was going to be, but they were equally sure it didn’t matter because now we had a new President and he could just make the law not be a law any more.

I tried to explain why he couldn’t do that (yes, I was naive about his hypocrosy over executive orders) and discovered that I needed to explain the three branches of government in the American system, because these adult business women had no idea that the Constitution (presuming it were followed) prevented the President from just doing what he wanted.

Most of the responses were shrill, incoherent, bit on emotion, and utterly lacking in logic, but one stands out.   “You sound like a libertarian,” she said.  And it was clear she was holding her nose to type those words.

Alrighty then.  Understanding that we have a Consitution and three branches of government, and knowing what they are and what they do defines a Libertarian- yes!  But it’s a *bad* thing.

the horse whut

At least she got libertarianism better than Hoyt’s editors.


Part of this post is ostensibly about the Sci-Fi genre, but like the few posts I’ve done on Gamer-gate, that’s really not it.  It’s about the increasing fascism of the left, of the ‘Social Justice Warriors’ and how the world they are making is world of thought police and braying pod-people, pointing and squawking at all those who don’t think exactly as the SJW demands, or, in some cases, they do think exactly like the SJW, but they don’t squawk loudly enough at non-pod-people.  And the braying is for the purpose of singling out, bullying, and attacking, isolating, shaming, and punishing.



Author Larry Correia said this about the Hugo awards- the sci-fi world in general, loudly, bravely- and to prove his point, three years ago he started what he called ‘Sad Puppies,’ a way to nominate the sad puppies, authors he felt wrote ripping good stories, but weren’t getting the love from the SJW for reasons he believed have nothing to do with the literary quality of their books.

He says:

“I started this campaign a few years ago because I believed that the awards were politically biased, and dominated by a few insider cliques. Authors who didn’t belong to these groups or failed to appease them politically were shunned. When I said this in public, I was called a liar, and told that the Hugos represented all of fandom and that the awards were strictly about quality. I said that if authors with “unapproved” politics were to get nominations, the quality of the work would be irrelevant, and the insider cliques would do everything in their power to sabotage that person. Again, I was called a liar, so I set out to prove my point.”

He said that it was really just him and some blog posts where he listed some of his favorite overlooked authors.  Last year was Sad Puppies 2, and it wasn’t just him, and they had fun:

“Sad Puppies is a campaign to get authors and artists nominated, who would normally be shunned by the politically motivated Social Justice Warriors who had become an insurmountable voting block. .

Last year I did a big push with several blog posts and cartoons (featuring Wendell as our spokesmanatee) to try to get people who aren’t typical WorldCon attendees to participate. We managed to get people and things despised by SJWs nominated to almost every category. The ensuing public freak out was hilarious and proved my point.”

This year is Sad Puppies 3, and it’s been, apparently, wildly successful and the subsequent melt-downs and take-downs are popcorn worthy.

It’s not just the sci-fi world.  The pizzaria in Indiana didn’t actually turn down any gay customers- and they said they wouldn’t.  When a spitefully minded SJW type reporter ambushed them by asking what they would do if they were asked to cater a gay wedding, they said they wouldn’t.  And for that, the SJW all over the nation went into shaming mode and issued death threats and put the family out of business.  Thanks to go-fund me, they will probably be just fine.  But there are other people who know they can’t count on that every time, that there are such things as compassion fatique, and they are counting on the fact that if they cyber-bully enough people long enough, hard enough, everybody who disagrees with them, or just doesn’t agree quite as loudly and as passionately as the SJW believe is appropriate, they will be able to successfully all dissent.  Success here is measured by how afraid they can make you be, how they can frighten people out of thinking what they wish to think and out of the free expression of those thoughts.

(Irony: condemning Sad Puppies for politicizing the process and urging everybody not to vote on any nominees who were on the Sad Puppy slate.  Read about that here.)

Correia was nominated, but turned it down:

“This is just one little battle in an ongoing culture war between artistic free expression and puritanical bullies who think they represent *real* fandom. In the long term I want writers to be free to write whatever they want without fear of social justice witch hunts, I want creators to not have to worry about silencing themselves to appease the perpetually outraged, and I want fans to enjoy themselves without having some entitled snob lecture them about how they are having fun wrong. I want our shrinking genre to grow. I think if we can get back to where “award nominated” isn’t a synonym for “preachy crap” to the most fans, we’ll do it.

That’s what I want. Strategically, we get there faster without them trying to spin it as all about me.”

This entry was posted in Books, culture, government, libertarian ideals, Philosophical Ponderings and Ideas. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.


  1. MotherLydia
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    YAY! I was just thinking I needed to see if Common Room knew about the Hugo stuff and that I needed to point it out to you!

  2. MotherLydia
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    (I didn’t know until very recently. My husband has read some of the Castalia House stories, really enjoyed them, and heard about it there. He’s purchasing a supporting membership and planning to read the Hugo nominated books and vote this year because there are actually books nominated he cares about a lot! He’s very excited and gotten me to agree to read some of them as well.)

  3. Kai Jones
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    There’s a big difference between purchasing multiple memberships solely for the privilege of nominating (a problematic accusation, if true), and people who were already Worldcon fans and had purchased memberships with no ulterior motive (that is, they go to Worldcon every year or most years, are part of the community) deciding how to vote now that the nominations have been announced. Hugo voting is unusual–“No Award” is a valid vote, for example, and it’s not first past the post voting either. Additionally, only a small percentage of Worldcon members actually nominate or vote on the Hugos, so it’s easy to game them.

    • Headmistress, zookeeper
      Posted April 7, 2015 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      “No vote’may be a valid vote, but the hilarious, and also shameful, thing about it is that the person I mentioned who is pushing the ‘no vote’ has explicitly said he will do that for political reasons, while at the same time accusing everybody else he dislikes of bringing politics into it, and *also* saying he’s not bringing politics into it.

      I don’t agree that there is somehow something nefarious about fans who have not paid their membership before paying it this year for the purpose of voting. I read Sci-fi, I like it, I’ve been a sci fit fan since Andre Norton days in grade school (that’s over 40 years). But I’m not a convention goer. I *have* noticed the deteriorating quality of the Hugo awards for years (like many other book awards), and it’s been a long time now since it meant anything much to me beyond, ‘this book is probably boring.’ I didn’t know that the Hugo awards were something any fan who had paid dues could vote on. Discovering that this year does not somehow make me a non-fan, a member of the untouchables (and unvotables), a second class citizen. Fandom is not a fiefdom for snobs.

      And troubling allegations are just that- allegations. If there’s any substance behind the allegations, I haven’t seen it. What I have seen is demonstrably false accusations, a load of guilt by association, a deliberate conflation of different people with different ideologies into The Enemy.

      I also see quite a bit of evidence of wrongdoing on the SJW side- they clearly knew ahead of time that this year’s Sad Puppies had been more successfull than previously, and they knew it before the nominations were announced. How did that happen.

      As for how easy it is or is not to game the Hugos, I think you should think about that a little longer. If true, that’s not a new thing, so why is suddenly a big screaming issue this year? Who’s been gaming them for years?

      • Kai Jones
        Posted April 7, 2015 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        The Hugos are almost meaningless for quality-they’ve always been a popularity contest, and yes, they’ve been lightly gamed before. There’s an argument in Worldcon fandom about whether something as innocuous as an author listing on their personal blog which works of theirs were eligible for nomination might be objectionable.

        You’re absolutely right that it’s a big screaming issue this year because leftists and people who are interested in increasing diversity in S/SF publication (that includes me) are miffed that the “slate” is different from what we want to see win awards. But it’s also a big screaming issue because gaming the nominations finally overcame fandom’s chaotic tendencies-it would still be an issue if I had made up a slate of nominations only written by women of color that had swept the field so that nothing but my slate even got nominated. It would just be less loud. The slate nomination win has already produced a proposed rule change that would limit the possibility of *any* such slate dominating the nominations in the future. And the ability to vote “no award” makes it at least possible that having won the nomination battle doesn’t mean winning the award.

        Ironically, the slate punished some very good books that even the Sad Puppies admit they would have included on their nomination slate had they known about them, including a comprehensive second volume of a biography of Robert A. Heinlein (one of my favorite S/SF authors). This after one of their arguments for proposing a slate was that Robert A. Heinlein couldn’t win a Hugo these days…which they have now ensured by their slate.

        As for defining fandom-of course you get to define whether you are a fan, but con-going fandom is a subset of general S/SF fandom, which is further a subset of people who read S/SF. And Worldcon fandom is an even smaller subset-I’ve only been once, and I recognized it as a clique that didn’t have a place for me.

        • Headmistress, zookeeper
          Posted April 7, 2015 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

          The Sad puppies aren’t opposed to ‘diversity.’ They just think it’s better to judge a book on its own merits rather than the personal politics, gender, or skin colour of the author. Have you looked at their slate? It’s not lacking in diversity.

          • Kai Jones
            Posted April 7, 2015 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

            I might be more willing to believe they wanted books judged only on their merits if they hadn’t nominated the same author for 3 different works in one category–it’s really hard to believe he wrote 3 works that each deserved a merit nomination but nobody else’s work did.

            And “judging on its merits” is the same as pretending we’re color blind: society is not color blind and the publishing industry does treat white male authors preferentially, which means more of them get published, which means more of them get sold, which is a self-reinforcing cycle of preference.

            And again, I might believe it was about merits if Vox Day hadn’t posted that it was about Christian men taking back society from secularism. He clearly has an agenda that is about more than just judging a written work on its merits.

          • Headmistress, zookeeper
            Posted April 7, 2015 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

            Vox Day has nothing to do with Sad Puppies- and none of the posts I’ve shared here, and not a single word of the discussion on my part has referred to Vox Day or his efforts at ALL. THAT’S what I’m talking about when I say I see a conflation of two very different groups.

          • Headmistress, zookeeper
            Posted April 7, 2015 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

            Also- which category has 3 different works by the same author? Again, here’s the slate:

            I’m not finding any category with even *2* works by the author.

            I see a handful of different people nominated twice in different cateogries. One is a Castalia author. One is an independent, nominated for art work and for a graphics novel. One is Kary English. See what she has to say about it. One is nominated for something he does with Baen and for his fanzine, which I assume is independent.

            Oh, and only nominated once, but Eric Raymond, who says that Christians are worse than Nazis. Ideology clearly matters less than the stories to these people

            You’re obviously NOT taking the time to let these people speak for themselves, but you’re listening to other people tell you stuff that isn’t true. I think you’ve confused Vox Day’s slate with Sad Puppies’ because of that.

  4. Posted April 7, 2015 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    My goodness, you know your stuff – and express it beautifully. Bravo!

  5. MotherLydia
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    I went to Worldcon in Anaheim (1998 ). I came very close to going to Australia to go to Worldcon with a friend and was sitting at the Worldcon Green Room in San Antonio visiting with said friend about 18 months ago (one of the things we discussed was if she’d read any good science fiction lately but she couldn’t think of anything she’d heard about that was good and ought to be read.) I had no idea that a membership (Or supporting) allowed you to vote on nominations for the Hugos! Nor do I recall voting for the Hugos themselves the one time I actually managed to attend — I didn’t feel I’d read enough of the books to make a good judgement call.

    Oh and in the run-up to that San Antonio Worldcon, I went around and looked at the nominating information because one of the competing nominations was for Spokane — and some of the people involved were folks I worked with on cons at Westercon, NorWesCon and other Northwest conventions when I lived up in that area of the country. And one of the discussions/complaints was about the “aging” of worldcon attendees and what could be done to bring new fans in. So I do think there is an awareness at least at one level that they want more people attending. And if nothing else, this will bring Worldcon to more Science Fiction fans notice. And could get not just more supporting memberships, but maybe more attendees as well. If this one were in Seattle (and could thus be combined with visiting friends) it’d be something we had to think about more.

    • Headmistress, zookeeper
      Posted April 7, 2015 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      Exactly. And the dues *help* the cons. But I think the gatekeepers prefer the narrow, elitist little clique they’ve created and they want to keep it that way- and others…. want some fresh air and new faces.

    • Kai Jones
      Posted April 7, 2015 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

      I went to Worldcon in Anaheim too! That was my first and likely my last-it wasn’t what I thought it would be and although I like a lot of individual fans, I am not a good fit for enjoying Worldcons.

  6. Kai Jones
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Vox Day owns the publisher Castalia House, which published many of the “slate” nominations.

    • Headmistress, zookeeper
      Posted April 7, 2015 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      Take a gander at Brad Torgensen’s family. HE’S the guy essentially running Sad Puppies.

      Here’s the Sad Puppies slate. Castalia published 3 of the nominations by my count:

      The nominations, Kai. The *nominations.* Sad Puppies is about the *nominations*. The authors, the stories, the *books.* Not who published them, not gatekeeping, but opening the gates. You’re being lied to. I really suggest you take some time to read what Brad Torgensen himself has to say about why he’s doing Sad Puppies 3, because his reasons truly have absolutely NOTHING to do with Vox Day.

      Let’s take this guilt by association (and third hand association at that) and make sure we apply that standard evenly, across the board. Because some books on the slate were published by a company owned by Vox Day, that makes Brad Torgensen a racist and his goals are entirely racist (did you look at his family picture)? So look at the slate. I see Tor. I see Baen. Baen dominates for what I think are obvious reasons. I see Roc. I see the freaking Cartoon Network and NBC. So you’ve just proven that Torgenson and other Sad Puppy 3 proponents agree politically with the folks at NBC, with Vox, with the Cartoon Network people, with Baen, Tor, Roc and Ace publishing, plus a whole slew of others. Or maybe not. Because that’s completely impossible, and it’s not the most obvious explanation anyway.

      Maybe that list shows that they mean it when they say they don’t care about the politics, the creators, the writers- they care about good stories.

      It’s admittedly confusing because Correia started Sad Puppies all on his own and that first year, it was about the politics, too- he said so. He was doing this by himself and he nominated books he liked, and Sad Puppies was himself and a couple of blogposts. 2 was a few more friends. This year was Brad, and I think it would be fair if you allowed him to defend himself instead of accepting as gospel truth what 3rd parties are saying- especially when they’re confused about the difference between the Sad Puppies slate and Vox Day’s slate.

      HEre are some of the authors: Rajnar Vajra
      Larry Correia
      Annie Bellet
      Kary English
      Toni Weisskopf
      Ann Sowards
      Megan Gray
      Sheila Gilbert
      Jennifer Brozek
      Cedar Sanderson
      Amanda Green

      If we’re going to apply your guilt by distant association standard, then you also have to say that Torgensen agrees with the politics of all the authors and their publishers on this list. That’s not even possible, since these authors are published by different publishers and have varying political backgrounds.

      Once again, Vox Day’s political agenda has absolute nothing to do with Sad Puppies. If his company indeed published some of the titles on the slate, that actually doesn’t disprove what I said- it’s about the books, on their own merits, not about the politics, not about the sort of person the author is (and definitely not about the publisher). He’s not the one being voted for. He has nothing to do with Sad Puppies. *HE* started

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