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Michael Z Williamson

Michael Z. Williamson is a writer, editor, and former soldier who was noticed by meme forp22madmike.jpg his involvement in the Hugopocalypse and for his online bigotry. His writing includes military fiction and science fiction works, as well as nonfiction blogposts on the survivalist website When he's not writing or making tasteless, offensive, and oftentimes racist jokes, he restores and crafts edged weapons such as swords.

He refuses to tell anyone what the 'Z' in his name stands for.


Williamson has written several novels. The best known of these is the Freehold series, which features a war between a colony called Freehold and the planet Earth. Freehold is a utopia which has no government regulations, omnipresent firearms, voluntary taxation, negligible crime, and nudity being openly accepted by the populace. Conversely, Earth is miserable in the grip of the totalitarian United Nations. The story features lots of guns, lots of sex, and lots of incompetent UN soldiers being slaughtered by sexy libertarians with really big guns.

The rest of his fiction is in a similar vein.


One of Williamson's works, a collection of tweets titled 'Wisdom From My Internet', was on the Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies ballots in 2015. This caused some controversy.

The first problem was that Williamson revealed he was on the list earlier than he was supposed to. The Hugo committee waits a few weeks between notifying the nominees and posting the ballot for the world to see; this way, if a nominee wishes to decline their nomination, they have a few weeks in which to do so. A replacement nominee can then be brought onto the ballot without others learning that the replacement did not make the original ballot (since they would not have known what the original ballot was). Williamson, however, posted that he'd made the ballot as soon as he found out. He later apologized in the version of 'Wisdom from My Internet' which went out in the Hugo voter's packet, though he took the opportunity to get in a few digs at his detractors:

“First of all, I must apologize for inadvertently releasing the info early a couple of weeks back. I only got part of the email notification, and as I have no experience receiving Hugos, only voting on them, I wasn't aware of the perfectly logical rule of there being one public announcement. […] Apparently, several Tweeters noticed, and rather than inform me of the faux pas, they preferred to just call me names behind my back. Thanks, Jackwagons.”

The second problem was that Wisdom had nothing whatsoever to do with genre fiction. It's a collection of tweets, mostly political (and often juvenile) in nature. Most reviews panned it; an example is here. A few examples of Williamson's Hugo-nominated wit and wisdom:

  • Romney only strapped his dog to the top of the car to stop 0bama from eating him.
  • There is no mode of travel called “bitch hiking.”
  • The “Agony of Madonna” isn't about a certain pop star's promise to get naked if 0bama won the election

So, how did it get onto the ballot anyways? Well, Williamson himself described the process in a comment on Mike Glyer's blog:

“Brad asked what I’d published that might be Hugo eligible, and I mentioned “Wisdom.” I completely forgot about Soft Casualty’s publication timeframe and potential eligibility, because I am at heart a writer, not an award seeker.”

The revelation that Wisdom was put on the Sad Puppies ballot because Torgerson wanted something from his friend Williamson and this was the work they happened to remember put a crimp in the Puppy's arguments that they were just trying to reward meritorious science fiction.

Finally, Williamson aroused more controversy when he announced that he intended to vote 'No Award' for the entire Hugo ballot, including his own work, on the basis that the Hugos had no merit because nothing good ever won them anymore:

As for the Hugos, in the last twenty years or so, they've been less and less awarded for either literature or entertaining storytelling, and more and more awarded for trite fanfic. When not, it's been the same incestuous group awarding it within a circle of in-people, to the point where there are winners with literally 50 nominations and 30 wins.

Adam-Troy Castro noted how ridiculous this was and theorized that Williamson's real goal was to save face in the event that the Puppy works got crushed by No Award; if the Puppies themselves voted for No Award, they could claim that they wanted No Award to beat them. Meme also discussed this.


Williamson says he's not prejudiced, noting that his first novel featured a female protagonist and a diverse cast, and claiming to receive flack from the right as well as the left. However, several comments he made online tend to belie that assertion.

In June 2015, a white supremacist shot up a historic black church in Charleston and killed nine worshippers. Williamson went online and tweeted a joke about it. Appalled, Natalie Luhrs of Radish Reviews began going through his twitter feed and Facebook page to see if he'd made similarly offensive comments. He had, and she documented quite a number of them. Williamson was eventually suspended from Facebook on account of his racism, though he quickly switched to an alt account and kept right on going.

Williamson subsequently protested that he's not a bigot (though he has made jokes in support of the confederate flag). Meme considered his comments carefully, weighed all the evidence, and came to the conclusion that he's a racist jackass.

Views on Other Puppies

Williamson is friends with Torgerson, which was how his work got on the ballot in the first place. However, he's not as fond of Rabid Puppy leader Vox Day (though he still extols Day's ostensible brilliance):

“Yes, he's a troll and an asshole. He trolled SFWA into removing him, even though per their own bylaws the officers have no authority to do so. He might be planning a lawsuit as we speak. NEVER think you can win against a man like this. He is narcissistic, vicious, and an expert at manipulation.”

michael-z-williamson.txt · Last modified: 2021/08/30 06:03 by nonnymousely