While the final ballot appeared settled last week, another Puppy nominee has withdrawn from the Hugo Awards.
The blog Black Gate Magazine was nominated in the best fanzine category as part of Vox Day’s Rabid Puppy slate. Previously Black Gate contributor Matthew David Surridge had withdrawn from consideration, offering a lengthy explanation of his reasoning and a detailed dissection of Puppy logic. On Saturday the blog’s editor John O’Neill informed Sasquan that he was withdrawing the blog from consideration as well.
Citing Connie Willis’s passionate withdrawal from the ceremonies, O’Neill wrote:
“Like Ms. Willis and many others, my larger concern is with the integrity of the Hugos. Giving Hugos to members of the Rabid Puppies slate would be a tacit acceptance of slate voting as a legitimate way to award Hugos, and I feel this would permanently tarnish an award that has done an enormous amount to promote and celebrate some of the finest SF and fantasy this field has ever seen.”
O’Neill argues that because he opposes slate voting and has advocated for “No Award” voting, he cannot in good conscious stay on the ballot.
It is unclear how this withdrawal will affect the ballot. Sasquan previously announced that the ballot had been finalized and no further changes would be allowed after the withdrawal of Marko Kloos and Annie Bellet.
“It’s our hope that the Sasquan committee will be able to replace our name on the ballot with another deserving candidate. If that’s not possible, nonetheless I feel removing our name will focus attention on those candidates for whom the award may not be so problematic.”
We’ll see what happens. It’s in Sasquan’s court now.
EDIT: Black Gate stays on the ballot. According to File 770, Hugo administrator confirmed:
“The ballot is indeed locked, and Black Gate will remain on the ballot. (That’s because the ballot is already at the printer and we can’t change it anymore.)”
File 770 reports the administrators are considering adding a statement to the online ballot regarding Black Gate’s withdrawal.