Unofficial Statement of Sad Puppies 3 on St Wulfric’s Day

Here follows an entirely unofficial, very special, and personal statement of purpose from the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Malignant and Universal Inquisition of the Doctrine of the Faith, as written by my hand, John C Wright, esq, Grand Inquisitor, Archdeacon of Darkness, Solicitor General and Attorney-at-Large of the Evil Legion of Evil Authors concerning Sad Puppies 3.

There being much confusion and conundrum, contortion and caviling, falsehood and fiddling, noseblowing and bloviating about the purpose and animating spirit of Sad Puppies 3, be it resolved that to declare our true intent, be the following known by these presence to all men, gentlehobbits, flying ponies, munchkins, marshwiggles, underpeople, vampiresses, umberhulks, homunculi, zoanthropes, artilects, moravecs, ghouls, ghasts, Gugs, Fungi from Yuggoth, and the Squire of Gothos:

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We are the storytellers of science fiction and fantasy. We promote, praise and endorse of the Sad Puppies slate of Hugo nominations for this year.

We denounce and abjure and anathematize anyone who pretends to be a storyteller, but who, when asked to tell a tale of science fictional wonder, instead delivers a nagging lecture or dull piece of partisan political propaganda.

We are not opposed to a woman author winning a Hugo for writing award-winning science fiction regardless of her sex, but we are opposed to a women author winning a Hugo solely on the ground of her sex regardless of her writing skills; or anyone winning a Hugo solely on the ground of being not white, or not straight, or not Christian, or any number of factors about the writer that have nothing to do with the writing and everything to do with the reverse bigotry euphemistically called affirmative action.

The enemies of storytelling have staked out their basic complaint: they say SFF field is a racist, sexist, homophobic, cisnormative patriarchic field, dominated by and run for the benefit of straight, white, old men. Period. Therefore the so-called and self-appointed agents of progress have mobilized to make sure the Hugos are defined more and more by winners who are the opposite of the supposed oppressors. And storytelling be damned.

The lovers of storytelling have staked out our basic complaint: we say the field has become too politically correct, with writers and works being unfairly attacked for invented-bogeyman political sins, while the awards have become a political football that the Politically Correct covet and manipulate. We say the majority of fans have been walking away from the field entirely, because they feel unwelcome and because the field no longer reliably provides good storytelling, which is what the fans want. And political correctness be damned.

We are not opposed to social, political or philosophical messages woven into stories, covertly or overtly. Some of the best science fiction stories of all time are rich with a pointed political message.

But we are against the message clubbing the fiction into semi-consciousness with
a tonfu, stripping the fiction nude of clothing and carkeys and eyeglasses, coating the fiction with honey and stinging insects, then and plunging the fiction face first into a pickle barrel full of drug-maddened rabid weasels and then having the cackling message slam the lid, chain and duct tape and nail the barrel shut, only to roll the shrieking fiction helplessly trapped in the weasel barrel downslope into a raging river coated with a burning oil slick, over a steep waterfall, and into the arms of an exploding octopus.

We are against innocent writers merely trying to earn our bread being slurred and slandered and scorned and screamed-at by no-talent ne’er-do-wells, shunned, shut out, dis-invited, harangued and harassed, and having our customers driven away, merely for failing to heed and obey whatever unseen and unknown doublethink pious conformity in political leftwing lunacy preoccupies the mind-holes of the literati this season.

It is not the politics of the politically correct lunatics we mind: it is the lunacy, the endless accusations, the false charges, the self-righteous killjoy prigs who never shut up.

We want to feast on the rich and varied banquet of the science fiction and fantasy field, because that is the nature of festivity. The harpies want to crap on the feast and befoul, because that is the nature of harpies.

The time is come to begirt ourselves with this high purpose as if with the wings of Calais and Zethes and drive the harpies from our happy feast tables forever.  We cast away the sword and spear of malice and invective, content to wrestle hand to hand, armed only with the merit of the stories we support, needing no more arms than Beowulf when he faced monstrous Grendel, interloper in the joyful halls of Hereot.

We, the storytellers of science fiction, therefore rally to the standard, sound the trumpet, and vow with manly firmness to oppose political correctness, reassert that storytelling is indeed our noblest queen, highest star and first love, and, in that spirit, we denounce the politically correct mandarins for being vicious, narrow-minded, duplicitous jerks.

The nagging lecturers, peevish political thought police, and smug mandarins don’t censor us, but they do indulge in an informal conspiracy of lying about our motives, they mock and fleer and sneer, they engage in motte-and-bailey rhetorical tricksterism* — and then go crying to their ideological mommies if ever they are discovered, called out, rebuffed, chided or scorned.

They also eat their own with amusing frequency.

And their antics are the leading cause of persistent morose sadness syndrome in big-eyed puppies. For the sake of the puppies, not to mention a return to good storytelling, join with us against them!

United Underworld

To which I set my hand and seal
John C Wright, Grand Inquisitor, etc.

X (his mark)

this Twentieth day of February, Year of Our Lord 2015,
the feast day of Saint Wulfric of Haselbury, anchorite;

in Fairfax County, Commonwealth of Virginia,
United States of America,
Tellus, called by the vulgar, Sol III,
Orion Spur of the Sagittarius Arm,
Milky Way, Local Group,
Virgo Supercluster,
Continuum 616

Here is the original announcement:

And here is the slate:

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* Footnote: In a medieval castle, the desirable circle of open land fenced by a wall is called a bailey, and a tower in the middle is called the motte. Medieval lords would do their work and play in the bailey. When an enemy approached, the lord and his folk would retreat to the motte and rain down arrows on the enemy. When the enemy departed again, they would emerge to frolic to the pleasant bailey and do their work. 

Hence motte-and-bailey rhetoric is when one makes a bold, controversial statement, and, when challenged, one retreats with haste, and claims the statement was obvious  and uncontroversial, clearly right and ergo any challenge is silly and ill-meant. Once the argument washes over, the bold and controversial statements emerge refreshed and strengthened to frolic in the sun and resume their work of falsehood.