As I noted in my previous post, I basically stopped reading most new SF and paying attention to the Hugos after the birth of my son Kern in 1992. I didn't stop reading SF altogether - rather I was mostly seeking out and re-reading the stories and authors of my youth to share with my son as he got older. As soon as he was old enough, I introduced him to Tolkein, and to Asimov's Foundation trilogy. Later, he returned the favor by sharing some of his enthusiasms with me. I did catch a few contemporary novels - we read the Harry Potter series together as a family as they were published, and I did read A Song of Ice and Fire some time after A Dance With Dragons came out. But for the most part, my reading in this period was originally published pre-1993.
So what does the state of SF look like to someone emerging from a long hibernation? It's surprisingly familiar, actually. I enjoyed all three of the non-puppy nominated novels this year. Overall, it seems like there is more urban fantasy themed stuff out there, and a bit more diversity among the authors. But I see a definite connection between the works I was reading and enjoying back in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, and the non-puppy stuff that got nominated this year.
Conversely, I wonder what the Puppies were reading that leads them to think that a concern with social justice themes is a recent innovation in SF. Did they ever read The Forever War? The Left Hand of Darkness? Heck, did they ever read Stranger in a Strange Land? Hugo-winners all, that bunch. Have they read anything by Alice Sheldon/James Tiptree Jr.? Ursula Le Guin? Joanna Russ?
If there's an earlier age that the Puppies are hearkening back to, where white male concerns went largely unchallenged and a rocket ship on the cover meant you could count on a simple space adventure, it would be the 50s and earlier, a time when several of their leading figures weren't even born. And even so, I suspect that is something of an oversimplification.