Despite the Rabid Puppies pissing in the punchbowl of the Hugo Nominations again, the fans of the 74th WorldCON have proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that love is real.
For those of you just tuning in, the Rabid Puppies are an organized group of evildoers intent on destroying the Hugo Award, and are spearheaded by the odious Vox Day (Theodore Beale). I wrote a number of previous articles about their attempted coup last year, but the gist of their agenda is that women and people of color are destroying the good old boys club of science fiction. Boo hoo.
Unfortunately, they successfully hijacked both last year’s and this year’s Hugo nominations.
This year made it abundantly clear that puppy power is waning. As Chuck Tingle would tell those bigots, there’s no use fighting against the power of LOVE.
The other thing you should know is that this year Voxman, as Tingle calls him, used a number of “human shields” in his slate in an attempt to shine a light on the so-called hypocrisy of Hugo voters. Since last year’s debacle ended with a high number of “No Awards” (the Hugo’s version of a vote of no confidence), Voxman seemed to be hoping that by putting movies like The Martian on his ballot, the SJWs (as he calls his enemies) would activate our conspiracy phone tree and lockstep vote ‘No Award’ for what was clearly one of the very best hard science fiction movies of the year.
Here’s a shocker.
Voxman was wrong.
Turns out, science fiction fans love science fiction. We all read The Martian and adored the movie, too. We did not, as it happened, need Voxman to tell us what good science fiction looked like, and we happily voted for its author and its movie without hesitation. The very best part? Two astronauts accepted on Andy Weir’s behalf. The first, the aptly named, Stanley G. Love, accepted the Campbell Award for best new writer, and, as part of the ceremony, he graciously accepted and wore the traditional tiara. Secondly, when the movie won best dramatic long form, it was accepted by astronaut Jeanette Epps, a black woman.
I cannot actually imagine a larger middle finger pointed directly at Voxman.
First a tiara-wearing man and then a black woman, both unshakable in credentials as hard science advocates as actual astronauts, accepting for the winners of his slate vote.
Fuck you, Theodore Beale. Love is REAL. And you know what? We know what love looks like, it looks like science written well and awards accepted by astronauts.
We also know you look like a jerk, but most of us are too nice to say.
As I sat next to my dear friend and fellow Bitter Empire contributor, Naomi Kritzer, during the ceremony I noticed just how polite we were. Last year the Puppies gave the Hugo ceremony attendees some flack because some of their ridiculous picks were booed. This year, everyone waited until the nominees were listed and the clapped. Politely. Even as a woman emcee was forced to read the disgusting title “Safe Space as Rape Room” and all the other despicable titles in a Vox-controlled category we were all decent enough human beings to clap anyway.
AND THEN WE CHEERED THE FUCK OUT OF NO AWARD.
We were thrilled when women, three of whom were women of color, won the big four awards:
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com)
“Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang, trans. Ken Liu (Uncanny Magazine, Jan-Feb 2015)
BEST SHORT STORY
“Cat Pictures Please” by Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld, January 2015)
We gasped in horror when Neil Gaiman’s acceptance speech called out the Rabid Puppies for what they were. And then we cheered.
There was so much love, Voxman, you would not believe the love.
At the pre-party Hugo banquet, I watched women and men surround Zoe Quinn to compliment her amazing sparkly unicorn dress and say things like, “If you need help, I’ve got your back.” Just typing this made me tear up again because I love science fiction fandom. I love that we are all nerds who used to get pushed around by bullies and we now are willing to stand and say “Never Again.” Also, she had unicorn shoes, which were positively top-notch.
If you’re wondering why Zoe Quinn of GamerGate fame was there, it was because she was Chuck Tingle’s appointed award acceptor. The Rabid Puppies thought that it would be hilariously clever to put up “Space Raptor Butt Invasion” (which we proudly live-blogged our reading of) in the short story category, which they dominated until Thomas A. Mays declined the nomination and my friend Naomi’s story, “Cat Pictures Please” was able to rise up from under the Puppy Slate, and win!
Truly, the Puppies’ greatest mistake was accidentally unleashing the sparkly gay unicorn of DOOM that is Chuck Tingle. Mr. Tingle has proved to be their greatest enemy in so many ways, even taking possession of a domain name therabidpuppies.com. He was also typically gracious and hilarious when he lost to Naomi Kritzer for best short story:
congratulations to @NaomiKritzer for winning best short story she is a true buckaroo. sad but relieved i wont be revealing true identity
— Chuck Tingle (@ChuckTingle) August 21, 2016
I’m sure Voxman will say that Naomi and the others only won so that fandom could kick sand in his face, but, like always, Theodore Beale is wrong.
If Voxman wants to beat us at our own game, he and his cronies should try to actually write something that doesn’t suck.
Good luck with that Voxman. Love is real.