(Updated: Now with the Whitman Brothers…)
There is a pivotal moment in The Darjeeling Limited where the Whitman brothers, traveling through India in an attempt to reconnect as family, have a massive brawl on their train. It ends with two of the brothers being maced by the third, who runs off screaming “Stop including me!”
Having seen the recent slate of Hugo nominations, I wondered if a similar moment existed for some of the nominees. It was my understanding more than a few were added to the Sad Puppy and Rabid Puppy voting slates. How did they feel upon finding they were now had a dog in this hunt?
Over at Black Gate (An excellent on-line fantasy magazine, by the way. Add it to your Feedly stream.) Matthew David Surrage discusses, at length, how it felt to be added to the Sad Puppy slate and receive a nomination because of it.
It is a detailed, very thoughtful and very through review of both his own experiences as an unwilling Sad Puppy nominee and a critique of the thesis which lead to the birth of the Sad Puppy campaigns. I heartily encourage folks to read it.
As for my feelings: First, I do agree with Matthew’s assessments. He spoke with more rigor and eloquence than I could possibly muster.
Second – this is, in some ways, parallel to what I’ve seen in the grassroots community when Citizen’s United and the rise of 501(c)4’s came into being. The likelihood of a change in the rules is slim – this is the new reality. In the future, I see competing slates jockeying for our attention. For on-line media who cover the genre without publishing short stories (I see you, io9.com) this is a chance for them to start dominating via editorial picks. Who will get more attention? The Sad Puppy slate? Or IO9’s recommended Hugo nominees?
Oh, what brave new world…