With five days of Hugo Award voting left, Sad Puppies IV leader Kate "The Impaler" Paulk concludes her reviews of works in every nominated category.
The Campbells being the last category on the list, it just so happens that Kate's final series of reviews includes my eligible novel Nethereal.
I couldn’t stop reading Nethereal. The combination of fantasy styling over science fiction with an intricate layered plot and remarkably human characters sucked me in and refused to let go. Of note: Niemeier is the only finalist in his first year of Campbell eligibility.High praise indeed, considering I'm up against Andy Weir. And her official review wasn't the only place that Kate expressed praise for Nethereal. Here's a comment she left on my unveiling of the updated cover with a blurb from Larry Correia:
Whether your sympathies run more lachrymose or hydrophobic, you've got to show Kate--and her co-conspirators Sarah Hoyt and Amanda Green--due respect. They took on the thankless task of running Sad Puppies the year after SP3 leader Brad Torgersen was raked over the coals by international media hacks. That takes real conviction.
On second thought, their efforts weren't entirely thankless, as evidenced by this message from one of my readers:
...finally finished Souldancer. What a book! Now, more than ever I'm so happy the whole Sad Puppies thing happened - I've found so many new awesome writers (including you) through the hashtag that I'm just amazed. I mean, I thought sci-fi, for one, was surely dying since the bookstores were selling nada but...then you guys happen! And world seems right again xDThese sentiments are hugely significant, especially since the ringleader of the clique that burned down the Hugos has been appointed to succeed Tom Doherty as the head of Tor Books.
The Big 5 NY publishers, especially Tor, continue to hemorrhage market share. Meanwhile their former readers flock to indie and small publishers who offer them stories they want to read instead of trying to force people read what the literati think is good for them.
In the absence of multi-million dollar advertising budgets, Sad Puppies has proven quite effective at connecting self-published and non-Big 5 authors with SFF fans who'd despaired of finding fun stories to read. That fact alone justifies SP's continuing campaign.
Four years ago, Larry Correia founded Sad Puppies to uncover the bias in the Hugo Awards process. It seems that while they were at it, the Puppies also saved science fiction.
So thank you Kate, Sarah, Amanda, Brad, and Larry.
My SFF books Nethereal and Souldancer are both available now. Read with caution unless you have a couple of weekends to kill.