[personal profile] markbernstein56
Note: This post specifically relates to the current controversy over the nominations for the 2015 Hugo Awards. If you have no idea what I'm referring to, and don't really care, you'll probably want to skip the whole thing. If you want to learn more, this is a pretty good place to start, and will help what follows make some sense.

Over the last six days, I've read a lot of discussion about the RP/SP slates, and the effect they've had. It's been an upsetting and frustrating week for a lot of us. Part of that is the very human (and often very fannish) feeling that we ought to be able to Do Something. And I think we can. It'll take some planning and commitment, but the opportunity is there.

I've seen many people write about the harm done to the awards themselves, now and in the future, and what, if anything, can be done to minimize that harm in the future. I agree that it's something we should consider.

But there are people, specific people, who have been harmed this year. I mean the people whose works and bodies of work would have earned them a place on this year's final Hugo ballot, had they not been pushed off by the Puppy-slate entries. These are the folks who have been well and truly bitten by the Puppies.

In late August, we'll know who those people are. Once the Hugos have been awarded at Sasquan, the Hugo Subcommittee will release a set of numbers showing how many nominations were submitted for each of the top fifteen or so nominees in each category. This PDF shows the 2014 figures, with the nomination numbers starting on page 19.

Once that's out, I will figure out which five novels would have ended up on the final ballot if all of the Puppy-slate nominees had been removed.

Then I'll buy them. (I've already bought Ancillary Sword and The Goblin Emperor without waiting to see whether or not they're in the free packet.)

It's simple, really. I'll fill out and submit my final Hugo ballot, yes, but now that the Puppies have hijacked the awards, my wallet is the best voting mechanism I have this year. If some authors were cheated out of the honor of a nomination, let's offer them some compensation in the form of increased sales.

And now, in the interest of raising that compensation to a meaningful level, I hereby announce the Help the Bitten initiative.

Here's what I propose, and plan to do:

1) Over the next four months, set aside a little money each month. Whatever you can afford, nothing more.

2) Once the figures are released, I (and, I hope, others) will create and post, as widely as possible, the Puppy-Free Ballot (PFB). In each Hugo or Campbell category, the PFB will list the top five (or more, in case of ties) nominees that did not appear on either Puppy slate.

3) Within the limits of your budget, choose actions from this list:

- Buy nominated PFB Novels
- Buy nominated PFB Graphic Novels
- Buy nominated PFB Related Works
- Buy anthologies that contain nominated PFB Novellas, Novelettes, and Short Stories
- Subscribe to magazines that contain nominated PFB Novellas, Novelettes, and Short Stories
- Subscribe to nominated PFB Semiprozines
- Buy works by PFB Campbell nominees
- Buy works edited by PFB Editor nominees (both Long and Short Form)
- Buy books or prints by nominated PFB Artists

I admit to being at something of a loss as to what to do for the PFB nominees in the Fan categories. I'd love to hear your ideas.

If you like this idea, I hope you'll consider boosting the signal.

If you have an idea for a nifty slogan, or cool piece of artwork, I'll be happy to share it what social media outlets I have (Dreamwidth, LiveJournal, Facebook, and Google+).

Thank you.
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markbernstein56

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