This is all a touch obscure, but well worth the payoff. Background:
The tastes of the voting audience for the Hugos (comprised of the attendees of the World Science Fiction Convention, or WorldCon) seem to have grown more diverse in recent years. And their selections have reflected that: Last year’s awards were swept by writers of color and women, myself included. So it was a surprise when a majority of voters woke up April 4 to a nomination slate almost exclusively overrun by novels, stories, and related fan efforts promoted by a small group of writers who claim the Hugos are turning into affirmative-action awards catering to left-wing ideologies. Their efforts to influence the voting process are led by the novelist Larry Correia and the Internet personality Theodore Beale, who’s best known for his desire to deny women the right to vote and his firm belief that black people are “savages.”
Things were so bad that in several categories, the only choices were what the Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies demanded. Thanks to some drop-outs, in the end only five categories out of 16 were 100% Puppy. While the Hugos are rare in allowing people to vote “No award” for any category, these are incredibly rare. A Puppy victory seemed assured.
The members of the World Science Fiction Society rejected the slate of finalists in five categories, giving No Award in Best Novella, Short Story, Related Work, Editor Short Form, and Editor Long Form. This equals the total number of times that WSFS members have presented No Award in the entire history of the Hugo Awards, most recently in 1977.
Instead, it was a rout. Every Puppy nominee failed to get an award, save one: Guardians of the Galaxy nabbed Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form. Even worse, the victory speeches leaned to the progressive.
Laura J. Mixon, who won for Best Fan Writer, gave by far the most stirring speech. Her winning blog post had meticulously described the venomous behavior of a female, left-leaning troll (an Internet troll, not a troll-troll). “There’s room for all of us here,” Mixon said. “But there’s no middle ground between ‘We belong here’ and ‘No you don’t.’ I believe we must find non-toxic ways to discuss our conflicting points of view.” In closing, Mixon, who is white, added, “I stand with people from marginalized groups who seek simply to be seen as fully human. Black lives matter.”
And so the Twitters quickly filled with Puppies claiming… victory?!
Exceeeept there’s a much better explanation: the Puppies lost because everyone saw them as cheaters trying to shove an agenda, so the community shoved back. There’s no conspiracy or rigging involved, just basic human nature and a culture shift. Rather than reveal a creeping social justice influence, this just shows the Sad Puppies are a group of sad conspiracy theorists.
And that the science fiction community strongly values diversity and tolerance.