If you had asked me, back in January of 2015, how likely I was to spend part of my summer at WorldCon in Spokane, I would likely have laughed. If you had asked how likely I was to go primarily to attend the business meeting, I would have laughed harder. I had never been to an SF Con before, never been a part of organized fandom, and hadn't even been paying much attention to the Hugos ever since I let my subscription to Asimov's lapse back in 1992, the year my son was born. The closest I'd ever gotten to organized fandom was attending a couple of readings at Greyhaven in Berkeley many years ago, when a friend was reading some of her short fiction there.
But the puppies changed that. When I heard that they had taken over several categories on the Hugo ballot this year for political reasons, I got pissed. It didn't seem fair that a small group of around 15-20% of the nominators was able to control 100% of the ballot. I remembered how much the Hugos had meant to me growing up, when the lists of winners and nominees had formed a recommended reading list for me at the library. I got angry that someone was trying to devalue that, and got angrier when I got to know more about some of the history of Vox Day and what he stood for. I went to various blogs to find out what was happening. I got involved in the discussions over at Making Light about the E Pluribus Hugo amendment as a possible solution and as a constructive way to channel that anger. Ultimately, I decided to shell out for two attending memberships for me and my son so I could come to the business meeting at Sasquan and vote for EPH.
We had a great time. I got to meet some of my favorite authors and make new friends. I've now paid for attending memberships to MidAmericon II for me and my son, so we can go next year and vote for ratification. We're also talking about maybe taking the whole family to Helsinki in 2017, and I'm planning to vote for the San Jose WorldCon bid for 2018 in the hopes of getting to go to a WorldCon close to home.
So in a backhanded way, I can thank the puppies for connecting me to WorldCon fandom, and for getting me to read more contemporary SF so I can vote and nominate intelligently for the Hugos. I've come to realize just how much the Hugos have meant to me over the years, and I'm glad to be able to help keep them representative of the broader interests of fandom.