“Incidentally, there is support for Wijeratne’s story”: a response to file770 and a record of the Nebula Award madness

27 Responses

  1. Camestros Felapton says:

    Hi
    I am sad that you found yourself embroiled in a conflict when I’m sure you just set out to write engaging and imaginative fiction. Just some additional background.
    Cora Buhlert Who you mention above is not American – she’s German and an indie writer with a very broad knowledge of the indie publishing inSF and other genres.
    I’m not American either. These days I live in Australia but I’ve lived in SE Asia and I have also worked in South Asia. I’m just a blogger and I’m not really connected with publishing. In 2015 I started tracking far right (from conservative to extreme neo-nazi like groups) involved in book publishing. That in turn led me into the conflict around the Hugo Awards known as the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies. The more extreme of those groups being associated with various racist and misogynistic campaigns in popular culture in the US, Europe and English speaking countries (such as ‘Gamergate’ and Comicsgate). Attempts to use skates to rig awards, or to use mass voting to distort review sites have been a key tool for such groups. So it’s something I look out for when used by anybody for whatever reason.
    I’m also just interested in data and SF 🙂

    20booksto50k came to my attention last year because of a different Award: the Dragon Award. The Dragons (connected to DragonCon in the US) has zero issue with slates. I’ve been following how various groups campaign (legitimately) for those awards. Last year authors related to 20Books or LMBPN enjoyed some success.

    So a natural question when I saw similar results in the Nebulas was ‘did they hav e a slate’. So I looked and the answer was ‘sort of’ and that’s what I wrote about (following Cora’s post). The sh!t, as they say, then hit the fan.

    Now there’s a big difference between saying a slate is a form of cheating (debatable IMHO and depends on the context) and that the people ON the slate cheated. Most of the people Ikniw looking at the situation saw it as the list being a problem rather than the people in it.

    The problem, as Annie Bellet herself found in 2015, is that once voting comes under doubt, people nominated really get caught up as footballs in the argument. Of course that’s yet another reason why people have become cautious about how to present recommendations.

    I really hope this experience has not put you off writing. In truth people are more forgiving than the past few days might suggest.

    • yudhanja-admin says:

      I understand. I read your posts on the movements – they were extremely helpful establishing context. Thank you for that.
      I’ll do the follow-up soon, but right now I really need sleep. I assumed SF&F of all kingdoms could stand without too much infighting. Clearly I assumed wrong.

  2. Hampus Eckerman says:

    Hi there, I’m very sorry for the somewhat rude message I sent you on twitter. I can understand your anger at the time. It is no fun to be unwittingly thrown into a hornet nest right after being praised.

    I do hope this will not leave a permanent bad taste for the fan world, even if it has been a bad wake up to its fraught politics (as a lot of us others had in 2015). I did visit Sri Lanka a few years ago and found your country both beautiful and welcoming.

    All the best to you. I did buy your book Numbercaste because it seemed righ up my alley.

    Regards,
    Hampus Eckerman (from Sweden)

  3. I believe in a system of human justice that has (by and large) prevailed in people’s minds for some time, and the human race generally agrees upon: It is upon the accuser to provide evidence.

    Thus far, I have seen no evidence that the existence of a list has influenced voting in any way.

    Science Fiction readers & writers who are making these accusations: You of all people should know that correlation does not equal causation. Please stop applying faulty logic in your thinking.

  4. Chameera Dedduwage says:

    I just read the piece in entirety. Given the amount of drama involved, I’m pleasantly surprised to see a breeze of reason throughout the entire narration. And I’m heavily impressed by the composure with which you hold yourself.

    Unfortunately, I’m unable to offer any other opinion than to say I’ve seen your work from the very early days, and I was happy that you were always producing good quality, highly readable stuff; even in your budding days as a blogger. You have good stuff inside you. Wat’s more, you have a remarkable ability to counter emotional excrement with pure reason. Thus, my only recommendation would be that the only answer to these rants is just that: let your work speak the loudest, and the rest will follow.

    What you’ve done so far is okay. What you’re doing is okay. You are okay. Remember that.

  5. It feels worth noting that Tor, Azimov’s, Analog, Clarkesworld, Locus, and many, MANY other publishing groups or ‘zines all had their own recommended reading lists which were in most senses identical to the one posted in 20Books.

    With all this precedent, it looks like a recommended reading list was something that was fairly *typical*, rather than an exception.

    I’m curious why there is no furor over a magazine creating a slate of their best works and publishing it during the Nebula nomination “hot zone”, but when a person posts such a list in an indie writer’s group, it’s a massive problem?

    Consider this: suppose I write a blog post next year in early January. I do a quick review and listing of the few dozen indie works I feel are especially good. I cross-post this across various sites trafficked by indie writers.

    Have I created a slate? I am asking; because if so, then almost every major SF&F magazine ALSO created a slate this year.

    Honestly, the only way to fix this sort of mess is to do a form of blind judging; I’ve advocated such to SFWA for future Nebulas, and we’ll have to see if they decide to roll with it. Anything but blind judges results in a popularity contest, which means we’re always going to see this sort of issue.

    Regardless, the vitriol sent in the direction of folks who a) didn’t ask to be put on the reading list in the first place and b) didn’t have even the vaguest idea that the reading list was breaking some sort of unwritten rule (since SO MANY other groups were doing the same thing) is unacceptable. I’ve gotten some of this flak myself just for having my name on the list – and I didn’t even SUBMIT any work to the Nebula this year, since I understand the system better and know that no indie work can possibly win an award (the final ballots are invariably slanted toward specific publishers, due to the reality of the internal SFWA ‘slate’). I had a co-authored book up there submitted by the publisher (the quality of which I stand by 100%, BTW).

    I understand that SF&F ‘fandom’ is still in a state of PTSD following the depredations of the puppy bullshit, but launching into full-on rabid attack against someone for screwing up *by accident* seems over the top and uncalled for.

  6. I’ve been observing the in-fighting in the SFF community for years. I’m active in online groups that contain a lot of SFWA members, as well as groups that contain well-known indie authors. I’ve attended a few WorldCons and World Fantasy Cons, as well as indie author get-togethers. In some significant ways, the schism between indie and trad SFF authors is mimicking the widening schism between conservatives and liberals in the United States. Each career path–indie or Big Five–attracts a fundamentally different mindset, so each form of publishing tends to attract people who lean a certain way, politically. There is some collectivism vs. individualism going on there. The two groups have surprisingly little interaction. They hardly speak to each other, with the exception of hybrid subgroups–Big Five authors who lean indie or who are going indie, or indies who have gone Big Five. Even those tend to stick with one group or the other. If you (or anyone reading this) would like to chat about macro-view observations about the SFF industry, I’m always up for it.

    A Nebula nomination should be something to be proud of, and to celebrate. I’m very sorry that this was your experience. If nothing else good comes of it, I hope it brings you new readers.

  7. A very tragic turn of events for what should have been a happy moment.

    I too was delighted by my Nebula nomination in 2012, for a cover story I did in Analog magazine, in December 2010. As the man who wanted to see Annie Bellet recognized with a Hugo in 2015 — being her friend going back to 2010, when I first met her at an Oregon writing workshop we both attended, and having attended several other Oregon events as her friend up through 2013 — I am deeply saddened to learn that she feels to this day she was somehow the object of something sinister from the Puppy side. All I wanted, or any of the rest of us wanted, was for her to be recognized as a quality, up-and-coming storyteller.

    Now, I am used to people misconstruing what Sad Puppies was about. We’ve been getting words put in our mouths since 2014. And I don’t blame people who don’t have any interest in the political warfare of American literary science fiction for not understanding who Sad Puppies are, who we were, and more importantly, who and what we are not. I will state emphatically that we’re not the many and sundry evil things we’ve been called, nor are we the many and sundry evil things ascribed to us. But we are a loose collection of science fiction and fantasy authors from across the Anglosphere (and beyond!) who got tired of seeing the Hugos (and to a much lesser extent, the Nebulas) dictated by what might be best described as “quiet combinations.” The behind-closed-doors groups (most of them American) who have for decades made it their business to influence who and what ends up on both the Hugo and the Nebula ballots.

    You see, American science fiction has been at rhetorical war with itself since the 1920s, when the genre began to take a coherent form and Hugo Gernsback’s so-called “scientifiction” gelled through the pulps, into a more recognizable genre that began to hit its stride roughly around World War 2. Which is also when one of the first major “battles” in American literary SF/F fandom occurred, with the so-called Exclusion Act. Ergo, Sam Moskowitz tried to block the Marxists (aka: Futurians) from the 1939 World Science Fiction Convention, or Worldcon.

    Now, there generally hasn’t been much “world” about Worldcon, even when it goes overseas. So the political rancor which came up through the 1940s, 1950s, and then especially with the 1960s, followed the event — thus it followed the awards. The literary break between so-called Campbellian storytelling and so-called New Wave storytelling, was just fuel for the fire. And it’s this chasm which persists into a new era of division: establishment Traditional authors, vs. Indie authors, or against hybrids who work both ways.

    For the New Wave Americans who style themselves as taste-makers, the major awards — Hugo, Nebula, among others — are seen as tools in this taste-making. Thus a way to make sure Indie authors and small presses are treated with no small degree of prejudice, before they can be anointed with either a Hugo or a Nebula.

    Therefore, Sad Puppies was deemed heretical three years running. 2013, 2014, and especially 2015. We had a number of indie authors on our recommended reading list. Which is not unusual. Locus and other publications/people have always tried to “guide” Hugo and Nebula voters in this way. For our effort we had all the sins in the calendar ascribed to us, because we dared to make a public call to action which required active voter participation in the extant democracy of the Hugo voting. And this was deemed horrible because the way you are supposed to get a Hugo award, is bide your time and become chummy with all the correct political players at Worldcon — which, again, is not very ‘world’ — and maybe some day if they like you enough, you might get a nomination. Maybe even win?

    The reason I chose to get involved — and was thus declared a minor demon from the nine hells — was because I was that rare triple nominee: Hugo, Nebula, Campbell, for 2012. This does not happen very often, and at the time I was quite thrilled. But of course, being nominated means you start to really dig down on how and why and what I discovered through two years of conversations and examinations, did not thrill me. The awards were not, as I had always hoped, awards for merit. They were a “cool kids club” if I can use that particular piece of American vernacular. Friends giving friends awards. You just had to make sure you were in the right friends group, and this included displaying the correct “progressive” politics — for whatever flavor of “progress” Americans are in love with this decade.

    Anyway, 2015 was a maelstrom of verbal attacks — and a major media misinformation campaign not too different from the kind launched against American teenager Nick Sandmann. I had to write several media outlets and ask them if they felt like having me bring them up on a slander lawsuit for what amounted to horrible, baseless accusations. It was lies from one side of American SF/F to the other, and back again. Annie was a casualty, though I will say she’s now making the mistake of beating other people up with her crutches — and that’s the wrong way to go about anything, no matter how wrong you believe yourself to have been.

    Since 2015, the ordinary keepers of propriety at Worldcon — remember how I keep saying there isn’t much ‘world’ in it? — have made it their business to police both the Hugo, and the Nebula, and they are trying to police the Dragon too. Though they haven’t gotten enough of a foothold in that realm, yet, to successfully drive out the infidels of indie publishing, all us dirty Puppies from Puppydom, law conservative fans, Trump voters — all 63,000,000 of them secret Nazis, doncha know? — and anyone else they deem unfit.

    I am afraid the Hugos and Nebulas are probably going to perish in this state, too. Because Worldcon is dying. Its old guard is not being replaced with sufficient numbers, and those new people who do come, come almost exclusively from the American university system and its many and sundry “woke” social departments. Again, their objective is to use the Hugo and Nebula as tools of politics and political activism. Literary merit — fun storytelling! — is not the point for them, and it never will be. And they have sufficient numbers at both Worldcon and within SFWA to ensure both bodies are permanently “woke” for the duration.

    Ironic, then, that you got caught in the “woke” dragnet. I have said in other places that the “woke” project in America, and in certain pockets of Europe, is attacking the roots of its own tree! In their zeal to discover and drive out all of us unclean conservatives, libertarians, “fun” fans, authors who like storytelling over politics, etc., they poison the very waters in which they swim.

    Anyway, that’s my two nickels on the matter. A friend had point me to this latest imbroglio.

    I am sad for you. And I am sad for Ronnie, of whom I’ve become aware through acquaintances at the Superstars Writing Seminar, which my friend and mentor Kevin J. Anderson founded. And I am sad for Annie Bellet, both that she harbors so much ill will toward me and mine, and also that this ill will could result in her going on the offensive against you, Ronnie, or anyone else who is trying to make a go of it in these confusing, crazy, exciting, and altogether tumultuous publishing times.

    Good luck with your future work. Sounds like you’ve got all the “pieces” and plenty of enthusiasm — albeit tempered, now, with the realization that the American side is quite possibly fatally toxic when it comes to Worldcon and SFWA. Don’t worry about that. Worldcon and SFWA are not the audience, and never were. The audience remains blissfully unaware of the vast majority of all of this, and merely wants to be told an engaging, enjoyable story. In the ways you (and Ronnie, and Annie, and all of us) are uniquely equipped to tell it.

    My best to you, from the sands of Kuwait.

  8. Angela says:

    I’m so sorry, Yudhanjaya. While I follow SFF writing news closely, I almost never de-lurk to comment due to my own difficult experiences within the community. But you didn’t deserve any of this, and I wouldn’t feel right staying silent.

    Your story idea sounds thought provoking and entertaining. Your post here is passionate, well-written, and cogent. Although I don’t qualify to vote on the Nebula entries this year, I will be seeking out your work.

    I hope you can recapture the excitement of your recognition after the dust settles. Please don’t withdraw. I believe that if anything can overcome the artificial divisions we as humans invent to separate us, it will be stories.

  9. francisT says:

    First thing you have to realize is that a large fraction of the US seems to think that nothing important happens outside the US unless it reflects on something/someone in the US and/or was caused by them, can be blamed on them etc. (depending on whether that person is on their ‘side’ or not) or can be used to score points on a domestic US political adversary.

    This means that US coverage of all world events is uniformly terrible. So far as I can tell (and I live in Japan so E&OE) in the last week the US news has been dominated by the senate testimony of an admitted liar who was also President Trump’s man to pay off bimbos. They just about squeezed in Trump’s meeting with the DPRK dictator Kim and that was more or less it for foreign events. India vs Pakistan was so far down the list that probably the widest coverage came as feedback to particularly tasteless joke by a comedian called Trevor Noah (don’t bother to look this up).

    To people like this, squabbling about ‘slates’ for an award where a couple of thousand people vote is far more important than geopolitics. Moreover, for those invested in the status quo, any threat to that must be vanquished with extreme prejudice because if the status quo is overturned their position as ‘mover and shaker’/influencer is threatened and they might find that actually nobody cares what they think anymore.

    The publishing world and the SFWA are gradually being dragged (kicking and screaming) into the 2000s and forced to recognize that many small press/Indie writers make significantly more income from writing than many traditionally published ones – these Indie writers often have an order of magnitude more sales by volume and they make significantly more on each unit sold. This fact clearly threatens all those who, for various reasons, thrive in a trad pub world because it suggests that trad pub is not in fact producing books that people want to read. Their only hope to continue to prove their relevance is to receive non-monetary awards such as the Nebula and Hugo and they purely hate that people might take the awards and the money from them.

    Hence all this whining about ‘slates’. If you look at discussion of these awards in recent years you see very clearly that slates appear to be a thing but they didn’t call them such they called them something like “list of recommendations” and that is of course (sarcasm) COMPLETELY DIFFERENT (/sarcasm).

    I can’t speak for other Sad Puppy types (I see Brad responded anyway) but for me the Puppy movement was inspired by the fact that when I was a child the phrase “Hugo Award Winner” or “Nebula Award Winner” meant a story that I wanted to read. About a decade ago (maybe a couple more years ago now) I noticed that in recent years – even years where I nominated and voted – the stories that won were universally not my cup of tea. At the time various SMOFs and other sorts said that the fix for this was, obviously, to recruit like minded people and nominate/vote the stories we liked. My attempts at organizing this were pathetic, but then I’m a nobody in SF, and I gave up and in the years that followed grew even more dissatisfied with the state of the Hugos. The problem was that it wasn’t just the winners that were terrible, in my opinion it had got to the stage where I hated every single nominated story. When I publicly stated this on various SF fora I was told more or less that my tastes didn’t count and (paraphrasing slightly) the Hugos weren’t for the most enjoyable story but the one with the most appropriate message.

    When Larry Correia (who is not a nobody) said more or less the same thing as I did and volunteered to try and fix it, I was ecstatic. Although his failures to get anywhere with Sad Puppies 1 & 2 were depressing. When Brad took over and did some organization so we could actually see what we could nominate/vote for and the result of that was that we got stories on the Hugo ballot that I liked I was over the moon because finally, I felt, we were bringing the Hugo back to where it had been in my youth. But the response to SP3 by the SF establishment was disgusting and the vitriol displayed sickening. There was no attempt to actually argue logically, it was all personal attacks – some very personal – and complete and utter unwillingness to pay any attention to what we were saying. It became clear then that there was a small but vocal number of SF-related people – fans, writers, editors – who felt personally threatened by our nominations and who would (and did) do anything to make sure that such a thing never happened again. Thus we now have the “Dragon Award” which has books I buy and mostly enjoy reading and the Hugo which has books you need to pay me a significant sum of money to read.

    I’m not even slightly surprised that the same unpleasantness has boiled over again. I’m sorry you’ve become embroiled in it and I hope you don’t feel in anyway discouraged by it. To my mind being the victim here is rather like what “Jailed by the British” often signified in the middle of the 20th century – someone who is worth paying attention to because they’ve got the establishment upset and unable to respond in a civil manner. I look forward to reading everything you have written.

  10. Rick Moen says:

    Yudhanjaya, I’m pained on behalf of you and your friend Ronnie over the severe unpleasantness you recently went through, but relieved to see you approaching the subject with a firm sense of humour and very winning sense of perspective. (For whatever it’s worth, I’m another File770 regular, and FWIW my reaction on observing the fracas was that it was a matter internal to SFWA, that SWFA could deal with and has no use for involvement from me.) If it helps, the impression I get from this (above) blog post is that you’re a crackerjack storyteller, and I’ll therefore now be actively interested in seeing whatever else you and your friend Ronnie create.

    Hey, you said talk to you about Asia, so: If you ever can, do visit my beloved home town, Victoria, Hong Kong, the place that never stands still and is always reinventing itself. I personally think the illustrious Dr Johnson was sadly mistaken in his geography: It’s actually Hong Kong concerning which, if you’re tired of that place, you’re tired of life.

    But anyway, please do keep writing. It’s plainly your métier.

    Best Regards from waterlogged California,
    Rick M.

  11. L. Buis says:

    Thanks for taking a stand on this. I’m really tired of watching people roll over and withdraw good stories because of public attacks–it seems to be happening more and more. I appreciate your defense of your work and your right to be on the ballot.

  12. Felix J. Torres says:

    First, my heart goes out to you getting dragged into somebody else’s fight.
    Second, do no not under any condition withdraw: Nebulas are voted by working professionals and are generally considered to be awarded on the quality of the writing. Hold your head high and blow a raspberry to anybody offended. Then ignore them.
    Third, what few will tell you (if anybody hasn’t already) is that in the US publishing world terms like indie and hybrid have slightly different meaning than in the UK and elsewhere, where an indie publisher would be a small to mid-sized traditional publisher not owned by a multinational conglomerate, typically european. In the US that would be referred to as a small press publisher. Indie is reserved for self-publishers, author coops, or authors reaching the market via other non-traditional publishers. Hybrids being authors with traditional contract but also independent releases. (Lois Bujold, Diane Duane, and many others.)
    Fourth, the Hugo “Puppy Wars” of recent vintage were fought almost exclusively by traditionally published camps. Indie authors just shrugged and mostly quoted Shakespeare’s “pox ‘pon both houses”.
    Fifth, the root cause of the recurring fights is not really political but economical. Ever since the mainstream of online book sales (both new and used) in the 1990s and the mainstreaming of ebooks circa 2010, sales of traditionally published books have been in decline (masked by format shifts and price hikes) and even the biggest of big names are seeing their finances squeezed. The legacy authors see it as a zero sum game with their finances paying the price. Cureent tradpub contracts have refoected the decline and have been described as “toxic”. Jerry Pournelle, upon seeing the terms offered to his daughter for her authorized followup to THE MOTE IN GODS EYE, urged her to go indie and then crowed about how her first month sales out earned the contracts offered.
    Sixth, you may or not be aware that in the US and UK SF market over half thirds of unit sales are going to Indie and hybrid authors. A mayor portion of the rest is going to deep backlist classics (Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, and others who established themselves last century.) It is not a good time to be a traditionally published SF author without a big established fanbase.

    So, stand tall and proud, ignore the carping, and get back to what you enjoy. Writing.

    If you’re still interested in the deeper context, try these two links:

    http://authorearnings.com/sfwa2018/

    (There is actual video on youtube of the presentation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mqNUWHr0lM&feature=youtu.be&t=8m59s)

    https://www.thepassivevoice.com/sad-puppies-roundup/

    BTW, TPV is a nice, civilized site focused on Indie publishing. Might be worth an occasional glance.

  13. One of the things I’ve tried to do is document the ins-and-outs of conflicts like this recent one. It’s why a post like this is so valuable as it provides an honest insight into one person’s experience. After the fact, things get swamped by competing narratives. I see a couple of those in the comments above: things that make sense at a broad brushstrokes level but which don’t always agree with the details.
    One is about other reading lists. It’s an old and long argument and I won’t rehash it here. The best account of the ways the 20books list went awry has already been written by Jonathan Brazee in his post to the SWFA about the list. Like many kinds of promotion, the line between smart marketing and annoying potential readers isn’t always clear. The simplest rule to follow when it comes to awards and promotion is ‘don’t do things that will annoy potential voters’ 🙂

    The second narrative in the comments is that somehow this whole fuss was indie writers versus trad-pub writers. I can see how that helps people make sense of an argument that seemed to spring out of nowhere. Unfortantely it really doesn’t fit the facts very well.
    1. The most notable voice in objecting to the 20books list was Annie Bellet. Bellet is not only an indie writer with friends in 20books (including one of the nominees) but also somebody who has gone to great efforts to get self-published authors involved in the SWFA. Casting her objections as somehow anti-indie is absurd on the face of it. Cora Buhlert who has done the most work documenting the issue is also an indie writer and also somebody who puts great effort into promoting indie writers.
    2. The indie-v-trad pub division makes some sense in the world of novels. It’s not wholly irrelevant in Novellas (particularly with Tor.com). For shorter fiction? That’s not the division in play. Take the short fiction category which has two finalists associated with 20books. the other finalists are from independent magazines like Firside Fiction, Uncanny and Apex. The finalist are no more (and no less) trad-pub or indie than each other.
    3. The indie/trad-pub distinction makes sense when looking at publishers (although the boundaries are vague) but increasingly makes less sense for authors. As Yudhanjaya points out in his post, he has works in both modes. The 20books list included people like Lawernce Schoen (whose work I admire) who has both trad-pub and indie works.

    There’s always going to be differences of opinion but keeping those differences grounded in reality is important.

    • yudhanja-admin says:

      Indeed. That was a great part of my initial confusion – the framing of this as some fight between trad and indie authors. Good to see that there are people keeping record with impartiality.

  14. William Alan Webb says:

    Your blog caught me up on a lost of recent history that had passed me by. I asked Colonel Brazee for some recommendations on stories to read that might be worthy of my Nebula vote, but made it clear that I wouldn’t vote for them unless I thought them worthy. But I whole-heartedly supported his purpose then, and still do so now. I couldn’t understand what the hell this was about until I read your blog post. Now I get it.

  15. Hampus Eckerman says:

    Torgersens version is a bit weird since most of the authors on his slate were traditionally published – or hybrids – for large and well-known imprints such as Tor (John C Wright) and Baen (Michael Z Williamson, Lou Antonelli, Larry Correia and more). Neither publisher have been lacking in the awards and none of them can by any stretch be called “small”.

  16. Jordan Wester says:

    Hey, just so you know, I found “Messenger” because of this controversy and I’m super excited to read it. Mecha are my jam!

    I’m so sorry you’ve had to be exposed to the insanity that is the US groupthink. Unfortunately, the US is very polarized and controlled by the fringe elements of both the Left and the Right. I mostly stay off of the internet because its so poisonous. I figure we have another 10 years or less of this nonsense until the next generation (the Post-Millenials/iGen) gets old enough to be the new influencers (polling suggests they are not into extremism- in the same way the 1970s rebelled against the activism of the 1960s.).

  17. The Phantom says:

    I am a proud former member of the Sad Puppies. I say former, because there hasn’t been a Sad Puppies for four years now. “Member” is a bit of a misnomer too, there was never anything to belong to. I am also a -Canadian- as distinct from an American, and so I have a slightly different perspective.

    You, through no fault of your own, have been dragged into a political fight between factions. One faction is the American Left, which like the Left everywhere (Indira Ghandi for example) treats everything as political. If a book gets an award, that is a political thing.

    The other faction, Sad Puppies being a tiny part, is people like myself who are mostly tired of being scolded by the Left.

    I can’t speak for anyone else, so I’ll speak only for myself. I’m a crusty old man, 62 years old. I’ve been reading science fiction voraciously since the 1960s. I have read pretty much everything. I also know Japanese anime a little bit, I’ve seen Evangelion, for example.

    Waaay up at the begining of this post you said something INTERESTING. It was this:

    “In one of these conversations, we started discussing why aliens always attack America. … Our belief was that any sane hostile alien should compute the population of the Earth and attack the centers of highest mass – i.e. India and China.”

    That is [sadly] one of the most original things I’ve seen a science fiction author say in quite some time. Really, it is. You made me think. My first thought was “wouldn’t aliens attack where there were the most lights at night?” but another thought was that these days, China probably has the most lights.

    But that’s the thing, here. I’m in this because I want to read your story with the interesting idea in it. I don’t care about much of anything else, really. I want to see something nobody else thought of.

    Which is why I’ve been using the Hugo Awards and the Nebula Awards as a Do Not Read list for 30 years. The same tired political scolding gets the prize year after year after decade. It’s been like that since the 1990s.

    The people -doing- the scolding are terrified that the Wrong People will be given an award. They don’t care what’s in the book, so long as a political opponent doesn’t get an advantage or the Wrong Message might get spread.

    That’s why I bought a WorldCon membership and voted in the Hugos for 2014/2015. To serve notice that I can see what they’re doing, and I’m tired of it. For my efforts I’m regularly branded a racist, a bigot, a homophobe, a Nazi, and a few other similar things by the same people accusing you of cheating.

    So this year they haven’t had any Sad Puppies to scream at for four years, and they needed a new target. Congratulations, that’s -you-. New target.

    It doesn’t matter -at all- what you do from here on out. Accept the nomination, don’t accept it, apologize, tell them to shove it, none of these things matter. You have been chosen as The Target, and they will continue to throw their dung like the monkeys they are.

    But on the bright side, this is some really great free advertising for you. I bet your sales will go way up. Silver lining made of real silver there for you. ~:D

    PS, I’m an indy writer too. Drop me a line, and I’ll explain to you why aliens will obviously attack Canada first.

  1. March 2, 2019

    […] ETA3: Yudhanjaya Wijeratne shares his own view of his Nebula nomination and the aftermath. […]

  2. March 2, 2019

    […] REBUTTAL. Yudhanjaya Wijeratne’s post “’Incidentally, there is support for Wijeratne’s story’: a response to file770 and a… tells how he would like readers to visualize the history of his Nebula Awards nominated story, and […]

  3. March 3, 2019

    […] File 770 for a roundup of posts here and here. See Yudhanjaya’s blog here about this enlightening experience with the Nebulas so […]

  4. March 3, 2019

    […] comments to Yudhanjaya Wijeratne’s interesting account of his experience of the fuss (here http://yudhanjaya.com/2019/03/incidentally-there-is-support-for-wijeratnes-story-a-response-to-file7… ) and the other is in a Facebook post here […]

  5. March 4, 2019

    […] THE LOST CAUSE. Yudhanjaya Wijeratne’s post “’Incidentally, there is support for Wijeratne’s story’: a response to file770 and a record … has attracted notice and comments from people who assume after his experience he should to be ready […]

  6. March 5, 2019

    […] Continued from previous. So,  recap of recent events [1]: […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *