Edward Lear
Given a few days to find themselves on the Sad/Rabid Puppies’ lists, people are now into arm-waving mode. The list seems to have struck some people as an honor, but others as a crisis. So what’s that all about?

I notice that some individuals who are in strong position for the Hugo nomination (or nice sales contracts) have taken offense. That suggests they think appearing on the Puppy list will reduce their chances of success, or maybe taint their triumph if they, for example, get an award. Other more modest people have announced they appreciate the support of fans, of whatever persuasion. Various bloggers have checked in with snarky comments.

Kate Paulk, who requested and collated recommendations to make up the Sad Puppies’ list, has dug in her heels, declaring that fans of the writers submitted their names, and she expects to honor their choices. Various people have followed up with more snarky comments.

So, is this crisis-mode response discrimination against the Puppy faction? Have their activities of previous years done enough damage to warrant this kind of reaction? Is Kate Paulk telling it straight?

Let’s look at it. The listing has more in common with other lists of recommendations than a slate. If lists of recommendations were a problem, then everybody should be in crisis mode. See Chaos Horizon for an analysis of the various lists and their effects on the awards. Therefore, publication of a simple list shouldn’t be a problem. Fans will vote how they want to vote, and I suspect the “honored to be recognized” response will play better than “you dimwits, get me off your list.”

But, is Kate Paulk telling it straight? I don’t quite think so. Unfortunately I’m not going to have time to read the whole list of recommendations before the award nominations are due, but I have worked through the short stories and some of the related works. I can’t speak for the novels, but much of what I’ve read are not neutral recommendations. If you’re keeping up with my reviews, these works are slanted to present the Puppies side of the recent conflict. That means they are written by SJW’s on the Puppy side.

Who’s right? I suspect the SFF community needs to consider the Puppies’ point of view. If you’re reading along on my social commentary, you’ll note that the 50-year era of multiculturalism has closed, and we are now entering a period where community is becoming more important. This means the actions of divisive activists will be less well received than in the past—on all sides. I know people like to fan the flames, but wouldn’t community building be time better spent?

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