I tell you, it has been seriously amusing to watch the narrative take shape around this.
Background: George R. R. Martin has been attending WorldCon since 1971, I believe when he was up for a Campbell (new writer award). He did not win, but as no more than six people are considered finalists for this honor each year and each writer has at most two years of eligibility, he recognizes this as such a signal honor that he lists it on his website alongside his awards and other honors.
(Contrast this with Larry Correia, who seems to feel like his own Campbell nomination constituted a contract that was broken when he didn’t win it.)
A few years after that, Martin, being a frequent flyer on the Hugo ballot, instituted what he called the Losers’ Party, for all the nominees who don’t win. There are alcohol, and ribbons. It sounds like a lot of fun, and of course, it’s all in good spirit… it is an honor to be nominated, and the Losers’ Party just reinforces what rarefied air one breathes in making it to the ballot.
This year, Mr. Martin decided to hand out his own award, which he calls the Alfies, after Alfred Bester (the author, not the Babylon 5 character named after the author).
He apparently made them out of hood ornaments, which award trophies are often mockingly compared to. That right there should tell you how serious this business was.
Now, Mr. Martin is not the president of science fiction and fantasy. He does not occupy a position of leadership or authority with WorldCon. He is not affiliated with the Hugos except insofar as they are occasionally affiliated with him. This party that he instituted is a Hugo tradition, but it’s not a Hugo institution. In short, the party is no more an official ceremony than a guy who looks like Drunk Scary Santa Claus is an official presenter, which he is no more than the hood ornaments he’s passing out are official trophies.
George R. R. Martin, in his private capacity as an individual human being, thought he would have some fun and recognize some individuals he thought could use some recognition/a laugh.
And a few Puppies “caught him” doing it, and immediately started casting around for “evidence” and wringing their hands with glee over the thought that they’d found proof that the Hugo award ceremony was a scam, that the fix was in, that the real awards were being handed out by Drunk Scary Santa Claus to the people ordained by the hive mind…
It’s funny, but you know, this is the difference between the Sad Puppies and everybody else.
All along, people have been telling the Sad Puppies that if they don’t like the tastes of the broader fandom that selects the Hugo Awards or they don’t like how the awards are administered, they’re welcome to go make and give out their own awards.
The Puppies, meanwhile, not only demand complete control over these awards right here, they’re outraged at the idea that someone they disagree with can just up and decide to give out an award they don’t have any influence over.
If you want proof positive that the Puppies won’t be happy until everything is under their control, if you want the ultimate refutation of their cherished PR myth that they are anti-authoritarian, look no further than this: the epic tantrum they threw over a private individual taking it upon himself to hand out trophies he made as he saw fit.
Isn’t it GRR Martin’s freedom of speech, as an individual, to pass out any awards as he sees fit? And remember, he passed out two of them to people on the Puppy slate–Annie Bellet and Marko Kloos–who declined their nominations because they didn’t agree with how the Puppies ran things.
I think that’s where they got the idea that this was the SJW hivemind, giving out the “real” awards.