I am withdrawing because this has become about something very different than great science fiction. I find my story, and by extension myself, stuck in a game of political dodge ball, where I’m both a conscripted player and also a ball. (Wrap your head around that analogy, if you can, ha!) All joy that might have come from this nomination has been co-opted, ruined, or sapped away. This is not about celebrating good writing anymore, and I don’t want to be a part of what it has become.
I also wish to disassociate myself from the originator of the “Rabid Puppies” campaign. To put it bluntly: if this nomination gives even the appearance that Vox Day or anyone else had a hand in giving it to me because of my perceived political leanings, I don’t want it. I want to be nominated for awards because of the work, not because of the “right” or “wrong” politics.
It can’t have been easy for either writer to give up an honour that few authors will get to experience even once. It’s a credit to their character that both choose the right thing to do, voluntarily withdrawing rather than profiting from an unearned nomination. Hopefully, this also means that some of the writers excluded unjustifiably from the Hugo ballot thanks to the Puppies now can be added back in.
What I found interesting in Bellet’s withdrawal is that she felt “stuck in a game of political dodge ball” thanks to her nomination. It’s clear that for those writers on the Puppy slates but not part of the hardcore loonies, there is a lot of social oprobium they have to deal with, as for some strange reason people have not greeted the slates with unadulterated joy. For the Wrights, Days and Correiras this is not a problem, they’ve burned their bridges a long time ago, but for those drafted into the slates (or gods help them, who were naive enough to volunteer), it seems there is a cost, there’s social pressure to reject the slate. If we’re lucky, now that the first two writers have done the decent thing, have gotten respect from the sane part of SF fandom for it, more will follow.