The Rabid Puppies are the best thing to happen to the Hugo Awards in decades.
Five years ago, nobody in the mainstream media was talking about the
Hugos. It was considered a niche of a niche market. Maaaybe you'd see a couple of column inches
discussing the results, but certainly no real acknowledgement or analysis. You can count on one finger the number of
Hugo Award winners given significant air time on NPR, for example.
Then the Rabids showed up, knocked the nomination process tail over
teakettles and suddenly the Hugos became a viable way to virtue signal. The People’s Radio made sure to present
stories about the brave kingmaker clique standing up to those very bad, no
good, horrible fans who liked writers that didn’t look right on camera. Entertainment Weekly rushed a story out the
door so fast they didn’t even have time to perform the simplest fact checking
or even read the list of names of white guys like Chixin Liu before going to
print. It was a bonanza of coverage for a modest little corner of fandom, and
it only occurred because of the Puppy driven controversies.
Had the Puppies never shown up spoiling to fight for their own beloved
works, the winers would have been no different, but the mainstream press would
have given Hugo a considerably dimmer spotlight.
Think I’m wrong? Just wait.
Sooner or later the Rabids will lose interest in Hugo. They’ve largely met the goals established at
the outset. They’ve exposed the
corruption for everyone but the Fake News to see. They’ve forced Worldcon to revise the
nomination process to make it far more difficult for the insiders to dominate
the ballot list. Best of all, and a year
earlier, they exposed the years of PizzaGate style activity of the despicable people
at the heart of fantasy and sci-fi publishing.
In short, the Rabids managed to allow a little bit of sunlight into the
While that sunlight might burn the flesh of the Puppy-Kicking vampires, it
also acts as a strong disinfectant. Even
if the Rabids were to walk away from the Hugo Awards forever more, they have
done tremendous good for the Awards by raising its profile, for better or
Remember, though, that the Puppy Kickers are the classic examples of 'useful
idiots'. They welcomed the spotlight shone on them by the mainstream
media – which holds those nerds in such contempt that they couldn’t bother to
report on the Hugo Awards until they had been bitten by the Puppies. Once the Puppies do fade away, the Hugos will
have one year of grace in which the media will fall all over themselves
congratulating the vampires for drawing the curtain back over the windows and
preventing the Van Helsing’s* of the Rabid Puppies from
exposing them to unwanted attention. The
next year, the only sound you’ll hear from the media will be crickets. The next year, the Hugo Awards will once
again be nothing but a minor blip of an event taking place in a backwater
mutual masturbate-a-thon than no one in the mainstream media cares about.
So enjoy it while you can, Hugo Award insiders, because your relevance now
depends entirely upon the Puppies.
*Thanks to the couple of guys who filled in for my brain on that one!