In the face of the disappointing news that, for a second year running, the Hugo awards have been hijacked by Rabid Puppies (the rightwing campaign protesting the Hugos' apparent bias towards liberal and leftwing science-fiction writers), George R.R. Martin urges authors not to withdraw. In 2015, the Rabid Puppies and their less-extreme counterpart, the Sad Puppies, managed to dominate the Hugo shortlists with their preferred selections — and many of the nominated authors withdrew in protest. This time around, George R.R. Martin wants to make sure that the authors themselves are not punished for their inclusions on the Rabid Puppies' voting slate.
“Withdrawing is the LAST thing they should do,” Martin wrote on his blog. “They wrote good books, stories, graphic novels, they did NOT take part in any slate… Punishing them … demanding they turn down this honour … simply because Vox Day listed them, is insane.”
Martin is particularly keen for the authors to stand their ground as he believes the Rabid Puppies' leader Vox Day selected them deliberately in order to pressure them out of the running. This seems pretty likely — especially as the authors that the Puppies nominated, such as Neil Gaiman and Stephen King, are known to actively oppose everything that Vox Day stands for.
Already, short story author Thomas A Mays has withdrawn his nominated story due to being included on the Rabid Puppies slate; he wrote on Goodreads that he had "hoped it would compete on its own with honour."
Hard-working science-fiction authors have found themselves nominated along with what Martin describes as "purely 'f*** you' choices" — such as a parody short story called "If You Were An Award, My Love," and Vox Day's own essay, "SJWs Always Lie."
To make up for this destruction of the long-established Hugo awards, George R.R. Martin will host his own Alfie awards for the second year running. The Alfies are based on actual Hugo voter numbers and nomination sheets, void of any members of the Sad or Rabid Puppies campaign groups. And so, despite the best efforts of rightwing groups to destroy progress and diversity within literary awards, George R.R. Martin will ensure that science-fiction authors are getting the recognition that they deserve.