Ever since the Puppy Powered Nomination Blowout Announcement a certain group of Fen have been threatening/promising to vote “No Award” across the board in every category that the puppies swept. And my response to this, as I have mentioned over at Vox Day’s and most recently at Brad Torgersen’s blog is “please do”.
And the reason is very simple. When you find out that your house has termites, the very first thing you do is to get it inspected. If you find the termites are just nibbling around the edges of your beams, you can then get your house tented. But if they have fully infested your house, if they have weakened the beams to the point that its causing structural problems, well then you may have to tear down the house and rebuild.
And that my friends is where we stand right now in relation to the house of Hugo. We know the Chorf’s have infested our beloved home, but we don’t know how deep the infestations goes. It may be that the log rolling, the whisper campaigns, and the silent slates are the result of a small minority of Hugo Voters, in fact I firmly believe that to be the case. Given the statistical breakdown’s provided by Chaos Horizon on the effective size of the puppy bloc’s, its easy to see that it wouldn’t have taken a very large group to quietly game the Hugos in earlier years when the number of voters was substantially smaller. I seem to recall a post somewhere (I thought it was on chaos horizons but I could be wrong) stating that it would only have taken about 70 people in total to game the Hugos in earlier years. That sounds about right to me.
But either way, as soon as the vote totals are released, we will KNOW exactly how deep the infestation goes. We will know from the number of No Award votes. We will know because (unless Vox changes his mind and advises the dread ilk to preemptively vote no award across the board, which I don’t believe he will do. This year) it wont be our side that will be voting no award. And my sense of things is, is won’t be the undecided or the moderates who do so either. So far as I can tell the only people who are seriously considering voting the No award slate are the fully in the tank Chorfs. Even GRRM, who is by no means a puppy lover is advising against the no awards slate. Yes there may be a few who vote the no awards slate because they are offended by the idea of slate voting (which is deliciously ironic) but I suspect that most fans, regardless of their personal opinion on puppies, will simply vote for the works they like best. Which is exactly as it should be. But the Chorfs? The Making Light crowd? They will vote every puppy submission whether sad or rabid below no award and in so doing, they will tell us exactly how many (or as i truly believe, few) they actually are. And I suspect that when the votes are counted, they will find that there are far fewer of them than they believe. So to Scalzi, the Haydens and those like them I say. Bring it. Vote the no awards slate. Let us all know just exactly how many of you there are.