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'My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic' episodes nominated for 2016 Hugo Awards as part of 'Rabid Puppies' slate

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ifiwereahorribleafflictioniwouldberabies.jpgThe Hugo Awards announced their nominees for 2016, and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic gained its first nomination for the Best Dramatic Presentation: Short Form for the episodes "The Cutie Map" (Part 1 and Part 2). However, furries and bronies perhaps shouldn't celebrate so soon; last year's Hugo Awards were pretty controversial, and this year is apparently the sequel.

Looks like the ponies are actually Trojan horses. For puppies.

The Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies are "slates" of nominees designed to abuse a loophole in the Hugo Awards rules by which a group of voters can assure nominations for a pre-approved set of nominees by agreeing to vote for them. These slates were begun in order to fight what they describe as "political correctness" (and opponents would describe as "progressive social stances") in the works nominated and winning at the Hugos. The politics of those running the "puppies" slate are frequently described as "neo-conservative;" the founder of the Rabid Puppies, Vox Day, is described by Wikipedia as a "white supremacist." And the My Little Pony episodes were on his list.

The obvious question is how a children's television show like My Little Pony (one created by feminist Lauren Faust known for its progressive themes, no less) came to be associated with someone like Vox Day. Part of the answer may be that Day is looking to further embarrass the Hugo Awards, especially after none of his slate won an award last year (even in categories where his slate swept the nominees, "No Award Given" received the most votes, leaving many categories unrewarded), and perhaps figured a nomination for a cartoon about magical horses was an embarrassment. This year, one of his short story selections was "Space Raptor Butt Invasion" by Chuck Tingle, a story of what Wikipedia delicately calls "niche erotica" (and, yes, is exactly what it sounds like). Or perhaps Day is just a legitimate fan of both ponies and "niche erotica", after all.

However, the two episodes in question were praised by conservative sources as "anti-Marxist", which may be on point about the episodes in question (and, admittedly, the show, being based on a toy line, can hardly be called anti-capitalist), but hardly holds up as a valid interpretation of the show's ethos overall. The TV movie that was the most recent airing of Friendship is Magic before the nominated episodes contained villains whose viewpoints could be considered closer to The Federalist's, for instance.

The Best Dramatic Presentation: Short Form, in addition to the My Little Pony episodes, contained two further Rapid Puppies selections; the Jessica Jones and Doctor Who episodes, however are not associated with the slate (or the Sad Puppies slate), and though I have not seen the Jessica Jones episode, the Doctor Who episode, setting aside everything else, was better than the My Little Pony episodes, anyway.


Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (3 votes)

This is unfortunate if it's true. MLP is genuinely a goodhearted, wonderful show. It's funny and the characters are endearing. The lessons it extols are sincere and all about inclusion. It deserves legitimate appreciation and recognition, and I'd hate to see it used as a tool of partisan gamesmanship.

Your rating: None Average: 3.1 (15 votes)

> The Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies are "slates" of nominees designed to abuse a loophole in the Hugo Awards rules

How is it a loophole when Tor Books had been doing the same thing for years?

> the founder of the Rabid Puppies, Vox Day, is described by Wikipedia as a "white supremacist."

Vox is a Native American (indigenous). Makes you question the reliability of Wikipedia.

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (12 votes)

So, okay. Tor, the science fiction imprint of multinational conglomerate Macmillan Publishing, is party to a "social justice warrior" conspiracy that guarantees only that SJW-blessed books (presumably mostly, if not exclusively, from Tor) ever get Hugos. This has a minor problem: it's banana crazypants.

Tor is literally responsible for more than half of the science fiction books published each year, which means that sheer statistics alone would lead you to expect that out of 5 best novel nominees, Tor would reliably place 2 or 3 every year; if they were consistently getting 4 or 5, the Puppies might be onto something, but they just aren't. In the 2014 Hugos, Tor had only 1 out of 5 nominees; in 2013, they had only 1 out of 5; in 2012, 1 out of 5; in 2011, none. In fact, I can only find two instances going back to 2000 where Tor got 3 nominees, which again is still in normal statistical expectation given their market size: 2006 and, ironically, 2015. Why is 2015 ironic? Because that's the first year the Rabid Puppies pushed their slate; if they hadn't, Tor would have probably had just 1 or 2 again.

Extra credit irony: The novel I see vilified the most by Puppies -- other than anything by John Scalzi -- is Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice, which was published by Orbit. Which is, just so we're clear, not Tor. And yes, I've seen people argue that Tor is secretly responsible for the nomination of books that are not published by them anyway; I presume a similar mechanism explains how Apple is secretly responsible for every Samsung Galaxy S7 sale.

As for Mr. Day's claimed Native American ancestry (among several other ethnicities) functioning as a "get out of racism free" card, well, there's no arguing with logic like that. Shine on, you crazy diamond.

- Chipotle

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (5 votes)

You seem to have addressed another post entirely (I'm not the above poster). What the poster said: "How is it a loophole when Tor Books had been doing the same thing for years?"

That refers to "slates" of nominees", which implies that the books are not nominated individually solely on merits of the contents within, but with some extra promotion or whatever...

... which is exactly what businesses do...

Which would have nothing to do with conspiracy, attacking the contents of the books, statistics of who wins, or even bias on the part of the critic.

"Banana crazypants", what, to observe standard business promotion? What's next, is it outer-space loony-tunes to say the Oscars are an industry circlejerk?

If you don't like the Sad Puppies, don;'t give them credibility by protesting too much.

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As for Mr. Day's claimed Native American ancestry (among several other ethnicities) functioning as a "get out of racism free" card, well, there's no arguing with logic like that. Shine on, you crazy diamond.

Here's the source. While this is a thing to get popcorn for, it takes a special kind of logic to treat ancestry like a credibility card about the contents of science fiction books.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (3 votes)


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You have to admit he has a thing going on, although I can't quite put my finger on what it is.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

I think the author is indeed somehow mentally challenged (or pretends to be), and someone (he says his son) is helping him roll them books out because they think they're hilarious. They're inoffensive fun IMO.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

I like what I'm seeing but it's a little "winky" and in on the joke, and less sincere than I feel about furry stuff. I do love Hunter Fox and his books like "A Billionaire Dinosaur Forced Me Gay", considering that he endorsed my blog ;) Chuck Tingle hasn't gotten a Nobel prize yet, so there is room for competition about who can get the best award for gonzo prank erotica. BTW if anyone ever wants to get theirs hyped, I take milk bones for payola.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (2 votes)

Little winky?

I'm not an expert, but I don't think any of the winkies involved in these stories could be described as "little".

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

I wonder what award you can get for being a winky expert.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (2 votes)

This one.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

I'd give an award in the category of "Fabulous person and/or animal" to Patch'O Furr, every year, all year.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

You are just the sweetest dog around! :)

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

You know eventually I'll want to interview you!

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Unless I interview you first. Patch.ofurr at gmail for all tips, solicitations, after dark account trades etc.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

So, as I recall, but I'm not that into the sci-fi community so forgive any inaccuracy: there was the complaint by the Sad Puppies that sci-fi was taking itself too seriously and that they missed the fun and non-serious romps, where space captains romped about the galaxy, and bedroom.

However, the Hugo Awards seem to lean toward the more serious pieces dealing with social issues. This, in turn, the sad puppies worry that sci-fi authors are all going to start writing "Oscar Bait" pieces in hopes of getting a Hugo. But interestingly these tongue in cheek stories seem to be satiating both. It's still placing the underrepresented identity into a protagonist role, while at the same time putting it into the situation of a non-serious romp.

Surely, everyone should be happy now!

Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

The episode was more anti-cults than anti-Marxists.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

I'm not sure whether to be troubled about this or not. I'd like to know more about it. I think good will and honesty would help their cause, and if so, I wouldn't be opposed to people gathering votes for something they love. I think, if anything, the people responsible for those groups should be upfront and come forward to speak about their point of view. We're all here trying to have fun and make friends after all, not to oppose others. That's a lesson at the heart of My Little Pony.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Okay so after looking a bit into it, I think I understand what's going on. They don't actually like MLP, they're just looking to 'embarrass' the Hugo awards. Whatever. If the literary work or piece of art is actually about sci-fi, there shouldn't be a problem. If it's not about sci-fi, which is what the Hugos are for after all, then they could just take away the nomination as inadmissible.

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Theodore Beale is the Neo-Fascist spawn of a tax-dodging fugitive from justice.

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (3 votes)

Well, I am not a supporter of Vox Day or the Rabid Puppies. But I did vote for MLP's "The Cutie Map, Parts 1 & 2" in the nomination round. Of all the items on my ballot, it was one of only two that also appeared on the Rabid Puppies slate. I voted for it because I genuinely thought it was a good episode (episodes), not out of a desire to embarrass the Hugo Awards or anyone else.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

There's stuff on the Rabid Puppies slate that's good. The speculation is that Day pushed a few things as a way to "trap" people who said that they'd never vote for anything on a slate out of general principle. This is kind of silly, since most people will vote for stuff they think is genuinely good, especially if there's a good chance it would have gotten on the ballot without a Puppy Push. I don't know if MLP would have made it on its own -- I'm not sure how many old school sf/fantasy fans think of it as genre, despite the magical talking ponies! -- but everything I've heard about it suggests it's worthwhile enough to be there.

- Chipotle

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

More relevant.

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Just a quibble for accuracy here. It's not Wikipedia who calls Day a "white supremacist. Here's the actual quote from the article: "Mike VanHelder's assertion in Popular Science that Day's views are 'white supremacist'."

Your rating: None Average: 2 (2 votes)

So goddamn relevant I'm thinking about putting down the 50 bucks just to vote for this guy.

(And Doctor Who and Mad Max.)

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

Aw, you beat me to it! Yes, the counter-trolling of the trolls has now become officially delicious. :-)

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crossaffliction (Brendan Kachel)read storiescontact (login required)

a reporter and Red Fox from Hooker, Oklahoma, interested in movies, horror, stand up comedy

Formerly Wichita's only furry comic.