Revenge Of The Nerds: SciFi Fights Back Against Social Justice


The petty tyrants of the Social Justice Warrior movement have been active in nearly every corner of our modern culture, seeking to disqualify and discredit people without the requisite bona fides to satisfy the SJW movement’s strange calculus of race, sex, and sexuality politics.

These thought policing radical leftists have made their presence known in the university system, national sports broadcasts (remember Bob Costas going off on a gun control rant during halftime of a Sunday Night Football game?), national news broadcasts, Hollywood, and many other venues.

Breitbart has gotten a fair amount of mileage from covering the cultural war against the SJW movement in video games, known as #GamerGate. Originally a campaign to get video game “journalists” out of bed with developers (literally and figuratively), #GamerGate has morphed into a powerful cultural weapon against the SJW movement.

A similar movement arose, before #GamerGate was even a gleam in Twitter’s eye, in the speculative fiction world.

Born from a desire of one man, bestselling author Larry Correia, to prove that the genre’s biggest awards – the Hugos – have become nothing more than a rubber stamp for approved identity politics, the Sad Puppies movement started three years ago with the stated goal of getting good stories instead of irritating message fiction nominated for the Hugos again.

Each year, Correia learned more about the Byzantine workings of the Hugo awards, and the insular clique that controlled the nomination process. After two go-arounds, he handed stewardship of the campaign off to Brad Torgersen and, combined with the incendiary Vox Day’s parallel Rabid Puppies campaign, the Puppies had unprecedented success in placing nominations for this year’s Hugo awards.

That success led to the Puppies being pilloried in mainstream media, being called misogynist, racist, homophobic, Nazis, animals, exclusionary – basically every left wing buzzword for “bad” that exists. Entertainment Weekly started the hit parade with a piece that was so unbalanced they had to issue a correction the same day it was published.

“CORRECTION: After misinterpreting reports in other news publications, EW published an unfair and inaccurate depiction of the Sad Puppies voting slate, which does, in fact, include many women and writers of color,” they wrote. “As Sad Puppies’ Brad Torgerson [sic] explained to EW, the slate includes both women and non-caucasian writers, including Rajnar Vajra, Larry Correia, Annie Bellet, Kary English, Toni Weisskopf, Ann Sowards, Megan Gray, Sheila Gilbert, Jennifer Brozek, Cedar Sanderson, and Amanda Green. This story has been updated to more accurately reflect this. EW regrets the error.”

In other words, they got literally everything wrong.

Piece after mainstream piece followed the narrative established by EW’s original story, though, and Puppy pushback grew as well. For the first time in anyone’s memory, the Hugos were being covered in National Review, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, every major newspaper… the foot soldiers of the left mobilized, en masse, to stop the evil racist misogynist Puppies from stealing the Hugos.

In fact, ground-floor Sad Puppy and Science Fiction author Sarah Hoyt told me that the Puppies are primarily a female movement.

“I mean, Larry started it, but we egged him on to run this year,” Hoyt said. “This year should have been me as point of the spear, but I had a near catastrophic health event and major surgery. So Brad being a gentleman took over.

“Let me see, myself and the critique coven: Kate Paulk and Amanda Green and our friend Cedar Sanderson were there from the beginning. Other women who write include [redacted], [redacted], [redacted] and about a dozen other women on my blog.”

Paulk has already been tapped as the lead on Sad Puppies 4 for next year’s awards, with Hoyt and Green as her primary support.

The final awards ceremony for this year’s awards was Saturday night in Spokane.

The results were fairly astonishing. The SJW contingent crowed for months that they would place “No Award” above every Puppy nominee. Since the Puppies swept the nominations in several categories, this threat meant that a huge portion of categories wouldn’t get a Hugo this year.

The SJWs made good on their threat.

First, they made a mockery of the proceedings by putting on “entertainment” on the main stage that included a mock battle of the world of speculative fiction slaying the interloping Puppies, then they publicly declared this year the year of the asterisk awards before moving on with the awards.

In the actual awards announcements, No Award took five categories. This unprecedented result – No Award is a rare outcome, on the order of once a decade – left no doubt that the SJW crowd really is ready to burn the awards down rather than let someone else win it.

In the words of original Sad Puppy Correia: “I said the Hugos were dominated by cliques that cared more about an author’s identity and politics than the quality of their work. Tonight they proved me right.”

Indeed. Not only did the SJWs prove that the Hugos are “their” award, they also went out of their way to marginalize women to do it. Torgersen drove that point home on Facebook, in discussing the “best editor: long form” category. The two leading vote-getters were both women, Toni Weiskopf of Baen Books (Correia’s publisher) and Sheila Gilbert of DAW.

“For emphasis: science fiction’s so-called True Fandom throws women under the bus. Toni and Sheila are the two most-voted editors in the history of their category. Nobody has EVER gotten 1,200+ and 700+ Best Editor votes, respectively. That’s historic. A win for women! And True Fandom ruined it with NO AWARD. Yup. The tolerant and inclusive True Fandom. The people who want science fiction to be a safe place for women. Until True Fandom throws those women under the bus. Mark it in your minds, friends. Remember it. Know the truth of it. The people who parade their inclusiveness and their tolerance, threw THE MOST-TANGIBLY-SUPPORTED EDITORS IN THE HISTORY OF THE HUGO AWARDS,under the bus. Women who have given decades to the business. Deserving women. Under the bus. By True Fandom.”

Outspoken Sad Puppy author Tom Knighton reinforced Torgersen’s point. “The fact that Toni Weisskopf lost to no award proves that they don’t care about women, diversity, or anything but what ideology you hold,” he told me. “She has more than earned a Hugo, but they felt it more important to punish her than recognize excellence in the field because she works with the wrong sort.”

In the wake of the unprecedented results, the SJW contingent is in full-throated shout that they have defeated the Puppies, marked their territory, and held firm in the face of attack.

Vox Day rebuts. “the side that resorts to a scorched earth strategy is the one that is losing and in retreat. All they have accomplished is to convert many Sad Puppies into Rabid Puppies.

“They have talked about sending us a message, and we have heard it. I don’t know about you, but the message I heard was ‘bring more Puppies.’”

Hoyt, having already signed up for the mainstream media abuse that will come with the coming year’s campaign, was still a little shocked by how classless the leftists were. “I thought the SF establishment would be on their best behavior tonight to give the lie to any claim of political bias in SF/F. Instead, they handily confirmed all of it with their baseless one-sided accusations and their juvenile behavior.”

Still, she is ready for the challenges ahead, telling me “Myself and the other two women who are point of the spear next year?

“We’ll remember this.”

Mick Warshaw has written professionally for newspapers and magazines. His experience living all over the country as an Air Force brat combined with his experience in several different industries helps him see multiple sides of many issues. Mick also has three wonderful children. In addition to the news, Mick writes about sports, video games, pop culture, and original speculative fiction. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, and his personal blog.