Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.
It seems like they're clinging to the notion that their particular vision of sci-fi represents the essential core of the genre and is thus eternal and immune to the public's (perfectly natural) changes in taste over time, so therefore the reigning popularity of John Scalzi and whoever can only be due to cheating and corruption. Of course this notion of requires the ignoring of vast swathes of sci-fi history from the Futurians to the New Wave to all sorts of other big upheavals in the genre.
As for the Dragon Awards - I think if they gain traction, they're eventually going to pull in a wider and more diverse electorate than diehard Sad Puppy/Rabid Puppy voters.
It might not even take that long. How big is Dragon*Con, and are puppies especially well-represented in those who go to it?
They've set themselves a trap where by their own argument the award will have more credibility if a wider base of people vote for it - but the more they widen that base, the less ideological control they have.
Isn't it beautiful? It'll be like a bad Scanners remake.
Oh, I see what you did there. Cute.
It's actually something I began doing years ago, weird as that sounds. It's almost a tic at this point, if it's a multi-"dear" situation.
Ichneumonn: yes, that is a significantly better title, although it buries the lede a bit more. But punch and clarity may be preferable to exactitude here.
Yeah, if it were me, I wouldn't worry too much about burying the lede in the title. Descriptiveness is what the article blurbs are for.
Oh dear deer dere.
Oh, I see what you did there. Cute.
As for the Dragon Awards - I think if they gain traction, they're eventually going to pull in a wider and more diverse electorate than diehard Sad Puppy/Rabid Puppy voters. Who wants to bet that in ~10-15 years people are going to be complaining that the Dragon Awards are overrun with "political correctness," "social justice warriors," and "message fic," and we see the whole process start all over again?
Best fantasy novel (including paranormal)
@Adrienne: Oh dear deer dere. Let's hope they clean up that bracket set and really put those anti-slate rules into effect before the actual *voting* happens, or else they'll just doubly embarrass themselves.
And no short story prize? Really now. You dishonour us in this way. Unbelievable.
File770 has details, as they do with everything. Also many excellent points (and a great deal of snark) in the comments.
† - No, D*C isn't actually run by the puppies; but it's had ties to Baen for years, and thence to the Puppies; and really, just read the award description. It's like a list of Puppy talking points about What's Wrong With the Hugos.
Anyway, sounds like an interesting article, I look forward to reading it. Sorry to hear about your computer troubles, that sounds pretty aggravating; still, I, for my part, can be patient. As far as I'm concerned, take however long you need to pull the article together.
OK, I'm going to come clean about my article idea.
The title idea I had sort of gives it away, but also doesn't at all: "Games Are (Not Not) Art."
It's not really meant to be a "rebuttal" of Dan's older piece, or meant to invalidate his points with respect to what he defined as "games," but to explore the different potential definitions of a "game" and make the argument that the kind of game framework that he sets forth is only one potential interpretation of the concept that describes only a very specific kind of game, and that by applying it to things that don't work that way or things where that element is explicitly part of forwarding a narrative that can only be told in that way.
My main case study in terms of demonstrating how games can be satisfactory both by Dan's definition—the test of skill as entertainment, which I have heard referred to as the "ortho-game"—and as a narrative that can only exist within that paradigm and through the exploitation of tropes and structural idioms mostly unique to it is... well, you probably know what it is if you've played it.
Unfortunately, the computer I was last playing it on has been in White Screen of Death Mode for a while now and I'm waiting on my significant other to show up here with *his* computer to finish the damned thing. Given how far I've come in it, I already have enough to support my argument, but I will need to finish the game to confirm my suspicions. It feels a bit like I'm three quarters of the way through a really fun book, and I know there's a twist coming and all of my intuitions are pointing me in one particular direction, but... my renewal period ran out and I need to pay the fine before the library will even let me look at it again. Very frustrating.
The thing is I get the impression that the various brands of Puppy are really thinking more about politics and internet discourse in general rather than sci-fi, because I seriously doubt that any of them were actually alive at a time before the New Wave wrecked Golden Age, John W Campbell-style conservatism's stranglehold on the genre for good. The whole "political correctness" narrative they peddle sounds much more like something an aging Republican would complain about after reading tumblr for a while than something specifically related to sci-fi.
Plus, their notions that politics are a recent phenomenon in the Hugos is fucking silly - Double Star, winner for best novel in 1956, included a shitload of Heinlein's political ramblings, as did all his other Hugo winners excluding Have Spacesuit Will Travel. Of course, they were libertarian ramblings, so clearly in those cases the Hugo voters chose them purely based on the quality of the stories, and the political content didn't factor in at all!
Which would presumably mean that the takeover has been in effect for some 46 years, seeing how Ursula LeGuin got the 1970 Hugo for The Left Hand of Darkness.
Ironically, all it seems they've succeeded in doing is politicizing the Hugos even more than they were before.
"Please, someone explain to me how I should see this as anything but transparently manipulative, wanky shit."
Also, wasn't part of the complaint that the types of fiction allegedly being snubbed were conservative stories by conservative authors? If so, then nominating Ancillary Mercy makes even less sense to me.
In some respects it's curiously effective as a wrecking strategy, in the sense of attempting to force anti-Puppies to either deny their real favourites the prize or vote for a Puppy candidate.
On the other hand, Guardians of the Galaxy was a Puppy candidate last year, so the Hugo voters have already demonstrated that being nominated by the Puppies isn't the mark of Cain.