Hugo reading 2017: Chuck Tingle

I’m putting all of this behind a cut, because Chuck Tingle may be hilarious, but he is in no way safe for work.

Chuck Tingle, for those of you who who don’t know, is a writer of very strange, very silly, gay erotica (for a value of gay that includes gay sex with dinosaurs, Starbucks holiday cups, and the Euro).  It does contain some science fictional themes, but mostly the reason the science fiction community knows about Tingle is that he was nominated by the Rabid Puppies last year, in an attempt to undermine the Hugo awards and show how stupid they were, and he promptly turned around and began trolling the Puppies relentlessly and hilariously. 

Normally, I’d save the one I know I’m going to like for last, but I’m so cross after my previous Hugo reading today that I’m starting with Chuck Tingle, and you can’t stop me.

Tingle’s voter packet takes you to a secret page on his website that welcomes you in all caps with “Hello Hugo Award voters welcome to my secret page feel free to get hard here as an online bud”, followed by the subtitle “It has been suggested that this way is not safe for work this is warning of this way.”

So you know where you are at with this one.

The secret page has links to three interviews with Tingle and his interaction with the Puppies, a link to the website that Tingle helpfully made for the Rabid Puppies last year, a video he made about them, a link to his twitter and a storify of some of his more famed Tweets, and a copy of his seminal works, “Slammed in the Butt by my Hugo Award Nomination” and “Pounded in the Butt by my Hugo Award Loss”.

If you haven’t read any of Chuck Tingle’s work, you may not be aware that he has a very idiosyncratic style.  Here’s a nice quote from one of the interviews:

MORE IMPORTANT reason to write tinglers is to prove that love is real for all who kiss. saw a man on TV talking about buds kissing buds and he said “oh whats gonna happen if we let buds kiss buds whats next are they gonna kiss PLANES TOO?” so i thought “YES ALL LOVE IS REAL WE SHOULD KISS PLANES because they are HANDSOME.”

The storify of Tingle’s tweets is really a story in tweet form of his nomination, starting with a link to his story ‘Slammed in the Butt by my Hugo Award Nomination’, following up with links to various newspapers and magazines discussing his nomination (I do love his tendency to claim every newspaper or magazine that writes about him as a product of his home town, Billings), taunting ‘Voxman’ and his ‘Devilman agenda’, announcing that Zoe Quinn will accept the award on his behalf if he wins, campaigning hilariously for votes, creating a video about ‘Voxman and the Bad Dog Blues’, gleefully noticing that the Sad Puppies have neglected to register a website, and creating one for them, and ending with the inevitable drowning of his sorrows in chocolate milk and publication of his new tingler POUNDED IN THE BUTT BY MY HUGO AWARD LOSS.  It’s an entertaining narrative, which I think explains extremely well just why he was nominated for this award.

Moving on to the website, which was announced thusly on Twitter:

sometimes devils are so busy with scoundrel attacks they forget to REGISTER important website names. PLEASE ENJOY http://WWW.THERABIDPUPPIES.COM

The website is called THE TINGLED PUPPIES, and he cheerfully introduces it “Hello my name is CHUCK TINGLE (worlds greatest author) and here is a story about how devils always lose.”  The current version of the website is pretty minimal – during the awards season last year, he blatantly encouraged people to vote and follow all the Puppies’ least favourite people, and also to support the Billings Public Library.  Currently, he is just noting the Puppies’ recent unsuccessful efforts to parody John Scalzi.  It’s a bit disappointing, actually – I liked last year’s version better.

The video is a cartoon narrated by Tingle himself.  It explains about how he was nominated, and how he found out that the ‘bad dog blues’ nominated him.  After an existential crisis, “Is Chuck only world’s best author at the hands of a scoundrel?”, he is led out for a walk in the park by a strange, dirty dog, who introduces him to VoxMan.  After a confrontation in which he is tempted by the devilman,  Tingle rejects him, and Voxman and his devils and his dogs try to attack him.  Fortunately, Chuck remembers that love is real, and this gives him the strength to run away.  He gets home, and realises that he can’t keep running from the devilmen.  A true buckaroo needs to prove that love is real for all who kiss.  And so he decides to do so.

It’s quite fun, though I do find Tingle’s voice hard to listen to – I’m not sure if he uses voice modification software, but the combination of Southern drawl and slurred words is a bit painful.

And then we have the short story.

Slammed in the Butt by my Hugo Nomination starts off being quite autobiographical.  He talks about how he has written all his life, and is quite successful, and how much he enjoys writing gay erotica ‘particularly that of the dinosaur and unicorn variety’.  And then he gets an email congratulating him on his Hugo Award nomination.

There’s just one problem.  His name is not Chuck Tingle, but Tuck Bingle, and he has never written a book titled Space Raptor Butt Invasion, though it certainly sounds like something he would write.  He realises that this email has come to him by accident, and was supposed to go to another layer of the Tingleverse.  Moreover, he himself is clearly a character written by an author in a higher layer of the Tingleverse.  Reality, you see, exists as a stack of parallel worlds, and “The deeper into the Tingleverse one gets, the gayer the universe becomes, until eventually you reach the bottom layer, which is known as The Tingularity. There is some speculation about what The Tingularity entails, whether it is an entire universe of abs, calves, or cute butts, but one thing is for sure, it is the epitome of hot, sweaty gayness in it’s rawest form.”

And if you think that it’s unreasonable for me to learn all this from a simple email notification, the author would like me to remind you that I’ve been living in a deeper level of the Tingleverse for years, growing more and more suspicious of the bizarre happenings around me every day. He doesn’t have time to tell you about the fact that my mailman is hunky unicorn in leather, assless chaps, or that the last flight I took was delayed because the planes were all having a hardcore gangbang on the tarmac.
Most importantly, though, the author would like me to remind you that this is a short story and, ultimately, is about getting off more that anything else. He says, “bare with me.”

The story then gets very meta.  The author decides to speak through the barista, who explains a bit more about the various Tingleverses, and also about the Hugo awards, and how some people are unhappy that Tingle was nominated.

“But why?” I continue. “I still don’t get it, Space Raptor Butt Invasion seems like a serious piece of science fiction literature.”
“As crazy as it sounds, some people up there just don’t see it that way,” the barista informs me.

Bingle decides that he wants to help Tingle win his Hugo.  Chuck Tingle connoisseurs have probably guessed already what he needs to do to make this happen.  And if you haven’t guessed, consider the title of this short story.

        “What do you need me to do?”
“Get f—ed up your butt by the Hugo Award nomination,” the barista responds.
There is suddenly a loud smash as the door to the coffee shop flies open and a massive, shiny award steps inside. The muscular living object is shaped like a rocket, tall and handsome with a ripped set of gorgeous abs that run across his length. He rocks from side to side on his wooden base, approaching our table while the rest of the coffee shop patrons run and hide with screams of utter terror.
“F— him?” I question. “How is that going to make them take us seriously?”
The barista shakes his head. “No, no, the stuff before all of this is what’s supposed to make them to take us seriously. At the end of the day, this is still gay erotica, you’re gonna have to get pounded.”

And yeah, that’s pretty much where the rest of this story goes.  Bingle suggests that a date would be nice, but the barista vetoes this on the basis of wordcount, then reluctantly concedes. “Alright, just one date, but I’m only going to take like, two sentences to describe it, tops. After that you’ll each get a line of dialog and then it’s right to the fucking.”

Which accounts for the rest of the story.

Honestly, I found this one pretty hilarious.  I pretty much skipped the erotica thing, because Tingle’s style of erotica is not really my cup of tea, but the rest of it was very good, and actually significantly better than the book he was nominated for last year.

Pounded in the Butt by my Hugo Award Loss is in an even more autobiographical vein.  In this story, Tingle is seized with anxiety – what if he wins the award?  How will his life change?  And what if he loses? As he is walking to the shops, he is followed by two ‘huge, breathtakingly handsome rocket ships’, embodying his Hugo award anxieties, who tell him that, win or lose, he will be facing down one of them tonight.

I think you can guess what that entails.

This particular story is a bit more expressionistic, and Tingle makes it pretty clear that writing this is more or less his coping strategy for the stress of the evening.  I didn’t find it as entertaining as the first one, but it’s still surprisingly clever.

So there you go.  Chuck Tingle’s nomination for Best Fan Writer.  Honestly, I think this is strangely well-deserved.  I’m really hoping that I can put him first on my ballot with a clear conscience, because he has done a lot to make the last year more palatable (I very much enjoyed his work on the various elections, too).  And he is a much better writer than I had expected, based on Space Raptor Butt Invasion.  Nice work, Chuck Tingle.

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