There’s absolutely no reason Vox Day’s Rabid Puppy vandals should have any effect on the Hugo awards this year.
The Rabid Puppies have done us a huge favor by publically posting their entire slate, and vowing to vote in lockstep. This makes it extremely easy to identify their ballots – simply compare them to the Rabid slate. I propose that any ballot where at least two categories perfectly match the corresponding Rabid Puppy slate be removed from the Hugo nominating pool (alternatively, loosen it to any two categories that match 4 out of 5 Rabid nominees, or tighten it to any three categories matching all five). This will give us a mostly rabies-free Hugo ballot.
There is no reason to honor any Rabid vote. They have publically and repeatedly proclaimed their hatred of WorldCon and the Hugo awards. They have loudly stated that their intention is NOT to participate in good faith, but rather that they intend to vandalize and destroy the Hugo awards to the best of their ability. They paid for a supporting membership last year? So what? When a hooligan attends a concert in order to rush the stage, destroy the band’s instruments, and ruin the concert, he is kicked out of the venue. His ticket is not refunded, and no one apologizes to him. He deserves only scorn.
It is a travesty that anyone is even considering honoring these votes. The only way the Rabid Puppies can vandalize the 2016 Hugo awards is if they are allowed to do so by their victims. It is said “Good communities die primarily by refusing to defend themselves.” The Rabid Puppies seek only to vandalize. They are driven by spite. They’re proud of these facts. In what world is it OK for us to pretend they are participants in the system? This only legitimizes them. It gives them power they could never muster on their own… all because we’re too polite to tell them ‘no’? What madness is this?
We were caught unaware in 2015. In 2016, we know exactly what is happening and how to counter it. There is no excuse not to do so.
As a concession to the truly over-concerned, when the Hugo nominations are announced there can be two lists announced – the true Hugo nominees, which have had the Rabid ballots removed; and the hijacked Hugo nominees, which shows the results with the Rabid ballots included. This acknowledges the problem, and demonstrates its effects, without legitimizing them and giving them power.
I do not include Sad Puppies 4, because I’m willing to believe they may be acting in good faith this year. They seem to want to change the Hugos by getting more people involved and recommending works those people might like, which is a legitimate form of change for a popular-vote award. They still have some serious messaging problems, due to their anger issues. But at least they want to participate, rather than destroy.