I just sent this email to the programming email for MidAmericon II. I shall keep folks updated on the results.
Director of Programming,
In view of the extraordinary levels of hostility and controversy surrounding the Sad Puppies campaigns and the 2015 Hugo Awards, I would like to offer to host one or more panels on the history and goals of the Sad Puppies campaigns.
As one of the organizers of Sad Puppies 4 and an attendee at MidAmericon II, I can offer a factual perspective that has been lacking in a number of circles, leading to a number of people making statements so ill-informed they bordered on actionable libel and slander.
My goal, as I have stated more than once, is to increase the reach and real prestige of the Hugo awards: with our beloved genre so widespread that large media-focused conventions draw crowds in excess of fifty-thousand, it is a travesty that the highest number of votes ever cast in a Hugo ballot is below six thousand.
I understand there are those who believe that the motives of the Sad Puppies supporters are to destroy the Hugo Awards. Nothing could be further from the truth: the Sad Puppies want to save the Hugo Awards from irrelevance – one only needs to look at the increase in nomination and final vote ballots cast in the past five year to realize that the Sad Puppies campaigns have massively increased income to the Hugo Awards (via Worldcon memberships) and public interest in these awards.
Regardless of one’s opinion of the views of any particular Sad Puppy supporter, it is entirely possible that without the infusion of interest and funds inspired by the Sad Puppy campaigns (whether from Puppy supporters or those dedicated to keeping the Sad Puppies from ‘destroying’ the awards) that the Hugo Awards could have ceased to exist as lack of interest reduced the voting population to single digits.