The Guardian tackles the most important questions of today:
For the second year running, campaign group Rabid Puppies has dominated the Hugo shortlists, encouraging its supporters to block-vote for specific titles and authors that they believe have been overlooked because of leftwing bias in science fiction publishing. The vast majority of the “slate” recommended by blogger Vox Day ended up with a Hugo nomination – including, on the best short story ballot, Space Raptor Butt Invasion by one Chuck Tingle.I am flattered that there are those who believe that my writing is good enough for me to secretly be the Hugo-nominated Shakespeare of our time. But alas, that is not the case.
Tingle’s presence shifted the dynamic of the post-Hugo discussions. Wasn’t his placing on the best of the best of science fiction list indicative of the Rabid Puppies’ true motivations, people asked: not to reward “better” writing, but to simply destroy the Hugos’ reputation? The presence of the author behind titles such as Helicopter Man Pounds Dinosaur Billionaire Ass and My Ass Is Haunted By the Gay Unicorn Colonel does somewhat detract from the grand stature of the Hugos. It’s easy to see why the Rabid Puppies would nominate Tingle; when a tingler appeared on the ballot, they must have had conniptions.
Day initially presented Tingle’s nomination as a way of combating homophobia in science fiction. (“The decades of discrimination against gay dinosaur love in space by the science fiction community stops now, and it stops here!”) but later admitted it was a joke. “I don’t give a quantum of a damn what my critics thought about it. Some things are worth doing simply because they are amusing,” he wrote, following it up with: “Chuck Tingle’s nomination is not a joke. Well, all right, it is.”
So who is he? The easiest answer would be the Rabid Puppies leader himself, Vox Day. But no. “I am not Chuck Tingle,” Day says. “I have my suspicions, but I do not actually know [who it is].” Nora Jemison, nominated for best novel for The Fifth Season, doesn’t know either, or “even if they’re only one person”.