Still Not Finished With Sad Puppies

With some apologies because this is not a matter which particularly touches me, or the books that I write, I am moved to write about this imbroglio one more time, because it seems that it didn’t end with the official Hugo awards slate of nominees being finalized – with many good and well-written published works by a diverse range of authors being put forward. The Hugo nominations appear for quite a good few years to have been dominated by one particular publisher, Tor. And it seems that the higher levels of management at Tor did not take a diminishment of their power over the Hugo nominees at all gracefully. (This post at my book blog explains the ruckus with links, for those who may be in the dark.)

A Ms. Irene Gallo, who apparently billed as a creative director at Tor, replied thusly on her Facebook page, when asked about what the Sad Puppies were: “There are two extreme right-wing to neo-nazi groups, called the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies respectively, that are calling for the end of social justice in science fiction and fantasy. They are unrepentantly racist, misogynist and homophobic. A noisy few but they’ve been able to gather some Gamergate folks around them and elect a slate of bad-to-reprehensible works on this year’s Hugo ballot.”

Oh, yes – outraged science fiction fans have had fun with this resulting thread.

And who can blame them? Four sentences which manage to be packed full of misrepresentation and a couple of outright lies; the voicing of similar calumnies had to be walked back by no less than Entertainment Weekly when the whole Sad Puppies thing first reached a frothing boil earlier this year. Now we see a manager of some note at Tor rubbishing a couple of their own authors, and a good stretch of the reading public and a number of book bloggers … which I confidently predict will not turn out well. I have not exhaustively researched the whole matter, but tracked it through According to Hoyt and the Mad Genius Club, where there are occasional comments about anti-Sad/Rabid Puppy vitriol flung about in various fora. I would have opined that Ms. Gallo’s pronouncement probably isn’t worst of them, but it seems to have been the straw that broke the camel’s back, coming as it does from an employee very high up in Tor management. People of a mild-to-seriously conservative or libertarian bent, are just sick and tired of being venomously painted as – in Ms. Gallo’s words – “right-wing to neo-nazi” and as “unrepentantly racist, misogynist and homophobic,” when they are anything but that.


(Cross-posted at my book blog, and at

18 thoughts on “Still Not Finished With Sad Puppies”

  1. Along with Baen, a major establishment publisher of science fiction – which if you aren’t into it, then you probably don’t care. They tend to dominate Hugo nominations and pull a great deal of weight at science fiction conventions, which has excited a great deal of unhappiness with writers of science fiction of late. The indy writers and those of an antiestablishment bent are biting back, but it’s not hilarity ensuing.

  2. No one in good faith could read what Larry Correia (Sad Puppies) had to say about the subject or read his fiction and reasonably conclude that he was a neo-nazi, a racist, a misogynist, or a homophobe. Vox Day (Rabid Puppies) is certainly more obnoxious, but I wouldn’t call him any of those things either, if words still have fixed meaning.

    But for the left words no longer do, so their endless accusations are merely attempts to silence dissent and intimidate the dissenters. Orwell had them pegged decades ago.

    Like Robert Schwartz, I can’t bring myself to care about all this, as I gave up on SF from outfits like Tor a long time ago, and I already loath leftist thugs of all strips, ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations.

    But it kinda sorta reminds me of something. I recall that prior to the Civil War, American society split along North-South lines, as the country moved toward that conflict. For example, the Baptist church split into Northern and Southern sects, which I think continues to this day.

    Today it appears we now have an ideological divide between science fiction writers. We already have politically incorrect fast food chains (Chick-Fil-A) and retailers (Hobby Lobby). We plainly need the conservative equivalent of Go Fund Me, which has revealed itself to be just another leftist tool.

    Why not everything?

    This won’t end well, one way or another.

  3. I’m sorry to say I have an instinctive sympathy for anyone in the West accused of being a neo-Nazi, because it’s overwhelmingly likely that he’s nothing of the sort. By contrast, there’s every chance that his accuser has thoroughly Nazi instincts. Ironic, I know, but there it is.

  4. Rip Van WinkleXennady,

    if words still have fixed meaning

    Of course not; where have you been?

  5. Kirk Parker,

    I know, I know. Sigh.

    I’m old enough to remember ye olden times when words did, although I recognize that now they don’t, but I deleted a digression about the meaning of “good faith” to spare everyone yet more discussion of the rather painfully obvious fact that leftists are liars, in every possible sense of the word.

    And they’re proud of it, mightily so, just as I’d expect the disciples of Lucifer to be.

    I’ve learned to despise them, thoroughly and well, as any decent human being should.

    I despise them so much I’d be happy to see them dead, and I believe they feel the exact same way about me.

    Did I mention that all this won’t end well?

    Yes, I see that I did.

  6. Xennady Says:
    June 8th, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    Two [and arguably three if you include the growing Islamic influence] hostile nations/peoples in one set of borders; with irreconcilable differences in views of ideology, faith, history, economics, language, and the worth of the human being. At least two of the three have openly expressed the desire to eliminate the other two. The third is moving in that direction.

    We are in interesting times.

  7. I clicked through to this little snowflake’s photo – pretty close to a unibrow, always the sign of a lefty. Sorry to say she looks like a moron.

  8. “In the future, everyone will be a Nazi for fifteen minutes.” (Andy Warthog)

    Jokes aside, what these pizdy don’t realize is that National Socialism, (neo-)Marxism, and radical islamism are just three competing brands of the same evil: totalitarian collectivism. So a bunch of them accusing classical liberals and libertarians of being neo-Nazis is about as credible as… Bill Clinton or Ron Jeremy calling somebody a womanizer.

  9. “if words still have fixed meaning”

    Of course not; where have you been?

    Lewis Carroll beat you to it:

    ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’
    ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’
    ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’

    Verily, there is nothing new under the sun.

  10. Here’s some speculation that I have yet to turn into a post: After reading several of John Scalzi’s books, starting with “Old Man’s War”, I wondered whether he would be better if he had gone to a different publisher, for example Baen, instead of Tor.

    Scalzi has — no doubt about it — real writing talent. If we believe what he says, for instance in an afterword to OMW, he got a lot of help from Patrick Nielsen Hayden and Teresa Nielsen Hayden at Tor.

    And I have been thinking for some time that that may have been unfortunate, that his books would be better if he had gotten some help instead from, for instance, Jerry Pournelle.

    One example of many: In the series that begins with OMW, there is a “Colonial Union” of planets settled from Earth, but somehow independent and much more powerful. A Pournelle, a Larry Niven, or a Poul Anderson would have asked Scalzi to explain how that had happened.

    But explaining it might — I suspect — have spoiled the political points that the Haydens, almost invariably, want to make.

    In short, I suspect that the Haydens, and others at Tor, are making science fiction worse than it could be, by putting the stories into political straight jackets.

  11. Hmmm … one does wonder. I read his first book, Old Man’s War, when he serialized it, back in the Dark Ages of Blogging. Haven’t read any subsequent, but people who have keep saying that … well, quality goes down.

    Following along on Sarah Hoyt, one does suspect that Tor might just be making science fiction worse, by screening for social justice elements first, and politically straight-jacketing.

    MS Gallo has posted one of those sniveling “I’m sorry you were offended” half-apologies, and there has a posting by the founder of Tor offering a rather more handsome statement … but I do have the feeling that this really has poisoned relations between those relatively conservative authors published by Tor and the editors that they have to work with, as well as readers of popular science fiction who fall on the conservative/libertarian side of the scale.

  12. “I’m sure she doesn’t realize the NAZIs were radical leftists), then that puts her to the left of – I dunno – Stalin. What a sweetie.”

    Nice. Still I’m not sure that the nazis are not where the extreme right and the extreme left meet and go for lunch. I trust everyone will work towards their advantage and just want to be somewhere else. Oh well, extreme hippy I guess.

  13. Remember when SF con attendees would say, “infinite diversity in infinite combinations?” Nowadays it’s “approved diversity in approved combinations.”

    I first noticed it when SF cons in my area (won’t say where) started discouraging certain groups from attending. Then panels became raging hate-feats at anyone different. Then I quit.

  14. he was a neo-nazi, a racist, a misogynist, or a homophobe

    Even if he were, so what? SF once had room for communists (too many to name) to John Norman. Now it doesn’t.

    You cannot appeal for progressives to be tolerant, because “tolerance” means “you must tolerate progressives.” You cannot appeal for progressives to support diversity, because “diversity” means “you must accept progressives.” You cannot appeal to American tradition, because AmeriKKKa is the worst country in the world. You cannot appeal to the Constitution, because it is an old, outmoded document written by slave-owning dead white males. You cannot appeal to liberty, because liberty is no part of progressivism.

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