Ever since Kate, Sarah, and Amanda announced Sad Puppies 4, the usual suspects started crawling out from under their rocks, excoriating the project, accusing it of being an ego trip, and implying that the project is the “same old, same old,” meaning white/cis/hetero/insert evil privilege here males trying to get themselves an award and take back science fiction from those poor, oppressed, victimized *insert victims of the month here* who are finally getting their shot at glory…
But despite the impotent condemnations of the Sad Puppies cause, at least one social justice warrior extraordinaire has decided that imitation was the sincerest form of flattery.
Our favorite pedo-apologist Phildo Sandifer has decided to start his own version of the Sad Puppies campaign in a blatant ripoff he calls “Weird Kitties,” (’cause that’s not obvious or anything) and I call “Peculiar Pussies,” both for the cowardly hypocrisy of blatantly stealing an idea from those you publicly condemn, and the weird criteria Phildo is apparently using to nominate works for the Hugo Award. Well… “criteria” may be an overstatement.
You see, Phildo doesn’t think actually READING the work is important. No, I’m not kidding. If your eyeballs are threatening to explode out of your head right now, I don’t blame you. But here’s proof!
Yeah, I know. It left me scratching my head as well. That’s like saying eating is a terribly inefficient way of finding out whether a dish is good. Ain’t nobody got time for that! A feeding tube is much more efficient, right?
Seriously… If you’re going to nominate a work of literature for an award, wouldn’t it make sense for you to READ THE FUCKING THING FIRST??
Apparently, Phildo doesn’t think that’s necessary, which left even some of his SJW buddies scratching their pointy little heads.
So how should a work of literature be judged? Does Phildo believe it’s sufficient to just take a look at the author’s bona fides? And would those criteria be? If K. Tempest Bradford had her way, it would be anyone but white cis hetero males. So much for quality, right? How about a blurb? A review? Is it sufficient to judge a novel or a short story by something someone else wrote about it without experiencing the joy (or revulsion) of reading the work yourself?
Amanda S. Green – one of the Sad Puppies 4 chairs – has a good discussion here about how one is to judge the quality of a work.
My next thought was to wonder how, if reading a book wasn’t the most efficient way, we are to determine if a book is any good. Best sellers lists are artificial lists based on pre-orders of a book. Pre-orders. That means only reviewers, beta readers, a few lucky fans and editors and agents have read the book. Oh, wait, maybe I’m starting to see something here. Maybe we should pay attention to what the so-called gatekeepers say is good. Hmm, the problem with that is it leaves out so many books that are either small press or indie published or aren’t being pushed as much by the traditional publishers.
Maybe we should wait to see what our teachers tell us is good. The problem with that is it means we won’t be reading much that doesn’t already qualify as “classic”. And what about those of us who are out of school? Are we supposed to just stop reading because we don’t have an educator guiding our reading?
Reading should be joy! Fiction stories should stimulate imagination and take the reader on an adventure. It should make one think. It should evoke emotions – fear, joy, sympathy, hatred. How can one get that from a review? How can one experience all the richness that literature has to offer, if one judges the work by the color, gender, sexual orientation, or sexual preference of the author without reading the book?
Apparently, that doesn’t matter to Phildo. And that to me is the basic, but crucial difference between the Sad Puppies campaign and whatever Phildo and the Progtard Crew try to vomit up in response: The Sad Puppies are dedicated to promoting quality work – work that speaks to readers. Sad Puppies don’t care who submits the work. Sad Puppies don’t care who wrote it.
Anyone can post any number of recommendations (obviously not for the same work – one recommendation per person per work), and there is NO political test. The only criteria is that you’ve read it/watched it/seen it and you think it’s one of the best in its Hugo class published in 2015.
Meanwhile, Phildo is yammering about his cheap ripoff and soliciting submissions – based on… who the hell knows?
Well, if that’s what the progtard crowd is now throwing at us (much like angry monkeys flinging poo), I don’t think the Sad Puppies have too much to worry about.