Across the Wide Missouri: Thoreau: Slates, the Final Frontier: "I’ve never followed the Hugo awards before, but this time a lot of people that I pay attention to are talking about the political controversies involved...

...And, honestly, I can get pretty frustrated by holier-than-thou liberals, whether in real life or on the internet. Plus, I’m actually in Vancouver for a few days, so I feel like I really ought to tune into SF issues, what with all of the SF that gets made here. So I wanted to give the Sad Puppies a fair hearing.  And I came across this from Brad Torgersen, who is apparently one of the leaders of the melancholy young canines:

The book has a spaceship on the cover, but is it really going to be a story about space exploration and pioneering derring-do? Or is the story merely about racial prejudice and exploitation, with interplanetary or interstellar trappings?There’s a sword-swinger on the cover, but is it really about knights battling dragons? Or are the dragons suddenly the good guys, and the sword-swingers are the oppressive colonizers of Dragon Land?

A planet, framed by a galactic backdrop. Could it be an actual bona fide space opera? Heroes and princesses and laser blasters? No, wait. It’s about sexism and the oppression of women.

Finally, a book with a painting of a person wearing a mechanized suit of armor! Holding a rifle! War story ahoy! Nope, wait. It’s actually about gay and transgender issues.

Or it could be about the evils of capitalism and the despotism of the wealthy.

Do you see what I am trying to say here?

Since Mr. Torgersen is apparently one of the leaders of this effort, I feel that it is probably fair to take his complaints as a summary of the Sad Puppy agenda.  Well, I have one very simple question for Mr. Torgersen:

Are you now or have you ever been a fan of Star Trek?

That is all.

Comment by Jim Henley — April 13, 2015 @ 7:41 am

If the time the Pups long for ever existed, it ended before they were born. The first-ever Hugo went to Alfred Bester’s The Demolished Man. Elric was literally about making the Evil Wizard the protagonist. Samuel R. Delany won a Hugo ~1969 for a short story about de-sexed spacers on a romp in Istanbul. Robert Silverberg existed and so did Ursula LeGuin. The SF coming out of Galaxy and F&SF in the 50s was substantially social criticism. Theodore Sturgeon’s ‘Thunder and Roses’ is in the SF Hall of Fame and it came out in 1947, IIRC. I could go on and on and on.