I moderately dislike people on both sides of the Sad Puppies/SJW divide.
But my attitude toward the Sad Puppies is getting dragged down by my visceral hatred for game promoters.
Here is what happened with the Sad Puppies.
The Sad Puppies posted a slate of recommendations.
The nominations favored the Sad Puppies.
(This PDF is kind of bogged down in minutiae – the TLDR starts at page 18 of 26.)
And then the administrators ignored the nominations and gave the awards to other people.
The members of the World Science Fiction Society rejected the slate of finalists in five categories, giving No Award in Best Novella, Short Story, Related Work, Editor Short Form, and Editor Long Form. This equals the total number of times that WSFS members have presented No Award in the entire history of the Hugo Awards, most recently in 1977.
The WSFS isn’t actually democratic. The fee-paying peasants can pay $40 to give suggestions, but the ruling clique has veto power.
The purposes of the WSFS, according to its rules, are as follows: to choose the recipients of the annual Hugo Awards (Science Fiction Achievement Awards), to choose the locations and Committees for the annual World Science Fiction Conventions (the Worldcons), to attend those Worldcons, and to choose the locations and Committees for the occasional North American Science Fiction Conventions (the NASFiCs).
So if the peasants were hoping to get representation when they paid their $40, their hopes were disappointed.
Regardless, they exposed the non-democratic nature of an overrated literary society.
The only way the “Sad Puppies” exercise will pay off is if the paying public – the few who actually SPEND MONEY on sci-fi books – decide to boycott the SJWs and spend money on Sad Puppies books.
I still read sci-fi – but I get it for free from Project Gutenberg. There are too many good old books for me to waste my limited time on new books. I won’t be sending any money to the Sad Puppies. I tried to read one of their books and gave up about 100 pages in. It was not very good. I would rather read Robert E. Howard.
But I would not be sad if the SJW publishers were to close up shop and stop pretending that they have talent comparable to Phil K. Dick and Roger Zelazny.
Now the SJWs are crowing about how they are dominating GenCon.
The woman who is boasting the loudest has a grand total of three creative credits at her company. Her title is “Project Manager.”
The tabletop gaming industry is being claimed by a woman with a grand total of three gaming titles in her chosen specialty. Because she claims to be one of the “insiders” who own the industry.
Great. They are welcome to it. I don’t think tabletop role-playing games are a huge cultural force right now. If the non-creative bureaucrats want to proclaim themselves queens of a dying industry, that’s fine by me.
Conversely, if the SJWs manage to revive the dying tabletop industry, I’ll be the first to praise them. Being a SJW doesn’t mean that you’re automatically devoid of talent. I am willing to praise Samuel Delaney’s fiction-writing ability even though I don’t praise his sexual choices in life.
I would be willing to play Jessica Price’s tabletop games, but unfortunately she seems to publish nothing but Pathfinder, and I have always hated Pathfinder. It’s worse than D&D 3.5. If she publishes something in a system I don’t already hate, I might actually take the time to look at it.
Similarly, I will be entirely willing to read books or play games created by SJWs, provided that their creations impress me with their quality. (The guy who makes Numenera appears to be an ardent promoter of sexual perversion. But Numenera looks like a pretty cool game.
And it’s supposed to get a computer adaptation:
I probably won’t run an actual tabletop campaign, but I might try the computer game once it gets out of beta testing.)
I am not willing to look at someone’s creation simply because the creator chairs a panel discussion at GenCon.
I have seen a lot of tabletop gaming, and I have seen a lot of narcisstic jerks on both sides of the DM screens. But most of all, I have seen a lot of mediocre games that only existed to inflate their creators’ egoes. Game creators are frequently addicted to self-promotion much more than they are addicted to games.