I've liked Michael Flynn's books for a long time (started with "In the Country of the Blind", which was both one of the first and one of the best secret history/conspiracy books i ever read, even if the ending seems a little rushed to me.) I haven't read "The Journeyman: In the Stone House" yet, but all else being equal i expect it to be good. In any other year i would be happy to vote for him, either as my first choice or one of my top two or three.
But this year i don't know what to do. If he wins, if any author from the Disgruntled Canine slate wins, they'll crow about it and argue that proves their point, which i think is absolutely and fundamentally wrong, and it will encourage them to do the exact same thing next year, a fate i'd like to avoid at _almost_ any cost.
It certainly complicates issues that he's been nominated multiple times starting long before the Canines got involved, starting back in the 80s. So it's _possible_ that he would have gotten nominated even without the involvement of the Canines (not that they'll admit that if he wins.) And even if he does win it won't prove that the Canines managed to promote someone who wouldn't otherwise have been considered (not that they'll admit that either.)
So if i don't vote for him and he loses i'll feel bad for him. If i vote for him and he wins the Canines will take credit and i will be enraged. And they'll take it as a license to continue doing what they're doing, which will enrage me further. (Not that the necessarily need the encouragement, but the encouragement certainly wouldn't help.)
And to top it off He Who Shall Not Be Named is now threatening to make sure no one ever wins a Hugo ever again in any category that is No Awarded this year. I really don't want to go along with those kind of tactics even if i would have voted for one of the nominees anyways.
This was a bad enough dilemma when the entire category was filled with people from the Canine slate, but on monday it was announced that upon review two of the Hugo nominees were not eligible because of when they did (or did not) publish their work. In one case it displaced a Canine slater with another Canine slater, but in the case of Novelette a Canine slater was replaced with a "normal" person.
So now there's an even stronger temptation to vote for the non-slate person and No Award the rest of the category.
This year no matter how i vote i'm going to feel horrible about it. Thanks Canines! (I'm sure that makes them happy, because i strongly suspect that at least half of them are more interested in making other people unhappy than actually improving the quality of the Hugo nominees.)
(Flynn has said he doesn't remember being notified by Torgersen about his inclusion on the slates, which makes him an innocent bystander who's just getting caught in the crossfire but doesn't really alter the fundamental conundrum.)