The Sad Puppies Saga Explained

The most common reaction when people find out I was nominated for a Hugo Award is for them to ask "What's a Hugo Award?" So I wouldn't be surprised if the number of people who are vaguely aware of propaganda claiming that right-wing bigots tried to deny women and minorities the most prestigious award in SFF outnumber the people who know what the award in question is.

Thanks to establishment mouthpieces like Entertainment Weekly, Wired, and The Guardian, even fewer people know the easily demonstrable truth--that Sad Puppies was a corrective measure aimed at balancing the dreary political message fiction that had come to dominate the awards ballot by nominating popular works that people actually like to read.

Into the confusion swirling about the Hugos step the Qu Qu and @Azu_Rayn: two intrepid investigators who sifted through a mountain of information to produce the best video I have yet seen on the Sad and Rabid Puppies campaigns. My compliments to these gentlemen for doing the hard research so you don't have to.

Everything you wanted to know about the Hugo controversy but were afraid to ask is here:

Here's the Harlan Ellison segment that was referenced in the video above:

My comment: far be it from me to differ with Uncle Harlan, but the intervening years have shown that the internet itself has devalued the Hugos less than the self-interested machinations of Tor Books science fiction manager Patrick Nielsen Hayden.



  1. Sad Puppies was the first such movement I have ever followed from its inception* and it educated me a lot on how people see stories.

    QuQu's video explains what the experience was like for those of us who were watching from the sidelines, but it goes a bit further than that.

    It's a very surreal experience when you see the media lying extensively about something you were actually there for from near the start. It's like walking into work after Syme was vaporized and wondering why nobody remembers he existed.

    Then you remember that we actually live in 1984 now, and it all falls into place.

    *I would have said GamerGate, except that I didn't take it seriously at first. Mostly because I have hated and distrusted the game press since I read a review of Strider 2 for the PS1 decrying it for being an arcade game. And that was a long freaking time ago. From that point on it became easy to see the narratives game journos were crafting in an attempt to shape the industry to their whims.

    1. My dad's a retired cop. Watching the nightly news with him did a great deal to inoculate me against the spin and deceit that even the local press is a vector for.

      Go ask any police detective how accurate the press has been when covering cases he's worked.

  2. Was the begging author in Uncle Harlan's video John Littlefeet?

  3. In any case, I loved his description of the award as an anal suppository. It fits with the wooden assholes that were given out. Though I don't agree with his politics much, I do admire Ellison's take no prisoners and leave no safe spaces attitude.

    The video itself was spot on. It clearly explained what went down and why. The details weren't as complete as I'd like, but I've been following this for a couple of years now. As a primer, it's perfect.