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Sad Puppies is a recurring online protest orchestrated by sci-fi writers Larry Correia and Brad R. Torgersen, which aims to get works of fiction on the ballots for the Hugo Awards ceremony that would typically be excluded due to the perceived liberal political biases of the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon). In 2015, the campaign was criticized for gaming the Hugo nomination process and for promoting writers with homophobic ideologies.
The Hugo Awards is an annual awards ceremony named after the founder of the science fiction magazine Amazing Stories Hugo Gernsback, which honors notable science fiction and fantasy works of the previous year. In 1953, the first ceremony was held at the 11th Worldcon in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On January 8th, 2013, science fiction author Larry Correia published a blog post titled "How to get Correia nominated for a Hugo," in which he accused the Hugo Awards of being a "popularity contest" and claimed he might be overlooked for writing "unabashed pulp action that isn't heavy handed message fic." On January 16th, Correira published a follow-up blog post featuring a picture of a sad-looking pug dog, which invited readers to help pulp novelists reach the ballot for the upcoming Hugo Awards.
On January 14th, 2014, YouTuber Steve Skojec uploaded a video titled "Sad Puppies," which asked viewers to help "end puppy sadness" by voting for better books at Worldcon (shown below).
On March 25th, Correia released his slate for that year's upcoming Huge Awards. On April 24th, Correia published a blog post titled "An explanation about the Hugo awards controversy," in which he explained that the point of the Sad Puppies campaign was to expose political bias in the award ceremony:
1. I said a chunk of the Hugo voters are biased toward the left, and put the author’s politics far ahead of the quality of the work. Those openly on the right are sabotaged. This was denied.
2. So I got some right wingers on the ballot.
3. The biased voters immediately got all outraged and mobilized to do exactly what I said they’d do.
4. Point made."
On February 1st, 2015, Torgersen published the Sad Puppies 3 slate for that year's Hugo Awards. On February 5th, the conservative news site Breitbart published an article about Sad Puppies. On April 4th, the Hugo Awards announced the 2015 finalists, featuring many authors and works listed on the Sad Puppies slate. That day, critics of the campaign on Twitter accused Sad Puppies of supporting racist and homophobic authors (shown below).
News Media Coverage
On April 5th, 2015, The Daily Dot published an article about the Huge Award controversy, accusing Sad Puppies of gaming the ceremony and being a "Gamergate-affiliated campaign." On the following day, The Telegraph, Entertainment Weekly, Salon, Slash Dot and io9 published articles about the scandal. On April 7th, Correia published a blog post criticizing the negative coverage, arguing that many of the sites had incorrectly described the Sad Puppies slate as being exclusively right wing, white, straight and male. The Entertainment Weekly article was subsequently updated with a correction, acknowledging that the site published an "inaccurate depiction" of the Sad Puppies voting slate and that it included "many women and writers of color." On April 8th, the news sites The Federalist and The National Review published articles praising the Sad Puppies campaign.
 The Daily Dot – How the Sad Puppies Internet campaign gamed the Hugo Awards
 The Federalist – The Hugo Awards How to Fight Back in the Culture War
 The Telegraph – Hugo Award nominations spark criticism over diversity in sci-fi