This post by Tasha Robinson originally appeared on NPR on 8/26/15.
“We smacked the Sad Puppies with a rolled-up newspaper,” said a woman on the shuttle bus between hotels at WorldCon in Spokane, Wash., on Sunday night. “It’s the only way to teach them.”
The presentation for the 2015 Hugo Awards had ended an hour earlier, and this was the mood in public areas at the convention: ebullient, relieved and more than a little smug. 2015 was the year science-fiction fandom’s most prestigious award was dominated by a voting bloc calling themselves the Sad Puppies, and a more extreme offshoot, the Rabid Puppies. The Puppies claim the Hugos have been taken over by affirmative-action-driven voters pushing a diversity agenda by nominating women and non-white writers, regardless of the quality of their work. For 2015, they organized their own corrective slates, consisting largely of conservative, straight white males — including themselves.
Sunday night’s ceremony revealed that the Hugo voters turned out in inflated numbers to reject the Puppy candidates. According to the awards’ official site, nearly 6,000 of the 11,635 eligible WorldCon members voted this year, up from 3,587 in 2014.