[Note: I am assuming that if you are reading this very new blog you are already familiar with the Puppygate brouhaha surrounding the Hugo Awards. If not, allow me to recommend George R.R. Martin's very good analysis here and here and Eric Flint's excellent post here.]
I'll admit the title of the post has to do with more with me being clever than just the Sad Puppies. The primary villain in this whole fiasco is, as far as I'm concerned, Vox Day (aka Theodore Beale) and the Rabid Puppies. Like John Scalzi and many others, I am fairly convinced that Larry Correia and Brad Torgerson allowed themselves to get played big time by Vox Day and now they don't know how to put the monster back in the box.
But this is less about the various breeds of Puppy but rather the effect Vox Day and his slate and his tactics have had on various people in the community of fandom. I've just finished listening to the Nerdvana Podcast's latest two part episode on Hugogate with Kevin Standlee as a special guest to explain what happened, what can be done now and what can be done in the future to fix things. If you haven't listened to it, you can find it here and here. Take a couple hours and listen to what everyone has to say.
One of the things you will notice throughout the podcast is that at several points through out it that Christopher J. Garcia seems to be on the verge of tears and he is convinced that the Hugos have been irreparably tarnished and essentially destroyed. Chris Garcia is someone in fandom I greatly admire and respect. He's personally a great guy with a wonderful sense of humor and his knowledge of science fiction and fandom is second to none. He won a Hugo in 2011 here in Reno for co-editing the fanzine Drink Tank after being nominated six previous times. Anyone who was at the 2011 Hugo ceremonies and saw his acceptance speech knows just how important the Hugos are to him.
Now while I have been a fan of science fiction since I was a kid, I've only been involved in organized fandom for the last few years. Chris, on the other hand, practically grew up in fandom. To a large extent it's not just friends to him, it's family. The Hugo is not just an award but the highest accolade he can receive from that family. Therefore by Vox Day's slate and tactics he is pissing on Chris' family. I can truly understand why Chris is so upset about this. And I know there are a lot of other people out there in fandom who feel the same as he does.
Where Chris and I disagree is in how much damage has been done. He thinks the Hugos are irreparably damaged whereas I think they just got an embarrassing black eye. He thinks that the Hugo administrators failed in not disallowing the Sad/Rabid Puppy slate nomination ballots. I agree with Kevin that the Hugos have rules for a reason and that we need to work within those rules or else we truly are the controlling clique the Puppies claim we are.
So how do I see things playing out?
Two things are going to happen this year at Sasquan. First, there is going to be the World Science Fiction Society business meeting chaired by Kevin Standlee that will address the issue of changing the rules to prevent slating from occurring. I don't know what those exact changes are going to be but like Kevin I hope they go for something simple like instituting a 3/6 or 4/8 rule . The other is that we will know who, if anybody, won any awards. Vox Day actually did something miraculous by inflicting his slate on the short list, he managed to unite fandom a task akin to herding cats. I fully expect No Award to win most, if not all, the slated categories.
"But wait," I hear you cry, "Didn't Vox Day threaten to burn down the Hugos if No Award wins any of the writing or editing categories?" Yes, he did and I fully expect him to try. But whatever the outcome I expect that in the immediate aftermath of the results the Sad Puppies are going not so quietly get out of the business of pushing a slate. I fully expect various blog posts from Correia or Torgerson -who have to be aware that they've been played - stating they either proved their point about a clique (if No Award wins) or crowing about their victory (if something they supported wins) and that they don't need put forward slates any more. This will leave Vox Day floating out there without the fig leaf of respectability the Sad Puppies gave him. Also we will have the voting and nominating numbers after the awards ceremony so there will be a better idea of just how many people are actually supporting the puppies. We know you don't need that many people with at least supporting Worldcon memberships to get a particular work/author on the ballot because only a fraction of the supporting membership sends in nominations.
Along comes 2016 and while Vox puts forward his slate of nominees there are going to be a lot of mad fans out there who may not have nominated before who are going to next year. I didn't nominate this year but I won't make that mistake next. Many of my friends have said the same thing. I don't think it will keep VD's nominees completely off the short list but there should be enough whole punched in it that there will be worthy works for the membership to vote for instead of No Award, and No Award winning again still exists as a worst case possibility, which admittedly is a second black eye. Also in Kansas City, whatever rules changes get decided on at Spokane will be confirmed by that year's WSFS meeting.
Therefore by 2017 it becomes a battle of attrition between Hugo supporters (whether "social justice warriors" or just people who enjoy a good story) and Vox Day and his horde of Visigoths (with apologies to the actual Visigoths) on a playing field where the rules no longer favor his gaming the system. At this point Kevin believes, and I agree with him, that we can eventually wait out Vox until he gets bored and decides to find something else inside or outside of fandom to destroy. Chris seems to be of the opinion that Vox can just keep buying supporting memberships for his friends in an attempt to swamp serious voters. Perhaps he's right but the more Vox tries, the greater the chance is that we can actually nail him him for explicit vote buying and then ban him and his supporters within the WSFS rules.
Like I said earlier, I don't have Chris' history with fandom and I am looking at this very dispassionately from my view as a politics junky who does statistics for a living. We are looking at a couple painful years but I don't think the Hugos are a lost cause.
Finally, I would like to say that I hope I am interpreting Chris Garcia's feelings and opinions on this correctly. I am basing it largely on what he said on the Nerdvana Podcast and what he has publicly written. If I'm wrong, I hope he will set me straight. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what separates a mature adult from the various puppies. They can have strong opposing opinions and discuss them rationally and if one person or another is in the wrong they should be willing to admit so.
 If you haven't listened to the entire podcast, there are several proposals that would change the number of finalists slots and the number of works/people you can nominate in those slots. So rather than the present five nominees for five slots there would be six slots and you can make three nominations in each category or eight and four if that's the way things go. That way it makes it, if not impossible, at least very hard for a group of people to completely control who gets all the nominations in any given category.