Log in

Previous Entry | Next Entry

On the Darkling Plain

The longer the Puppygate Wars drag on, the more pessimistic I grow about the future of the Hugo Awards. I started out by saying that the Sad Puppies (and their Rabid cousins) had broken them, and every day and every post and blog and story I read underlines the truth of that.

My friend Janice Gelb, long time worldcon volunteer and SMOF, has suggested that the only thing we can do at this point is abolish the Hugo Awards altogether. When I first heard that notion, I dismissed it out of hand. Some good will, some civility, a mutual exchange of ideas, and surely we could find a way to salvage the situation.

I am no longer convinced of that. The Sad Puppies are digging in and doubling down, and so is worldcon fandom. Meanwhile, off in the cesspools, the Rabid Puppies grow ever more rabid. Nuclear options are being seriously considered, and Vox Day has apparently threatened that if NO AWARD wins in any category, he will see to it that no award is ever given in that category again.

My first inclination was to dismiss that threat as so much toxic wind. But I am not so sure. According to FILE 770 http://file770.com/?p=21877 there have been 1352 new Supporting Memberships purchased this month, an unprecedented number. Very few of these purchases, I fear, were motivated by a sincere desire to support WorldCon. No, all these new supporting members are plonking down their money for a vote on the Hugos.

Ah, but which side do they represent? Are these members of traditional fandom, signing up to take back their awards? Are these Sad Puppy supporters, anxious to vote their slate to victory? Are these all NO AWARDers? Or maybe these are the Vox Day fans. Beale seems to have much more control over his followers than Correia and Torgensen do over theirs... the ballot actually has more Rabid Puppies than Sad ones. Could it be that Vox Day has successfully roused the GamerGate bogeyman that he was been threatening us with? No one knows. Unless...

I think it is All of the Above.

Meanwhile, two of this year's nominees have withdrawn their stories from contention: Marko Kloos in Best Novel, and Annie Bellett in Best Short Story. I understand their desire to be out of this mess. Both nominations were, pretty clearly, due to their inclusion on the Sad Puppy slate, but neither writer was actually an active participant in the slate-making. And both were first time nominees. I remember how much joy my first Hugo nomination brought me in 1974, and I regret that these two young writers (I do not know either one, I am not familiar with their work, and I have no idea of their political, religious, or literary convictions) will think back on their own nominations with regret and rancor, rather than fondly. One's first Hugo nomination, like one's first sexual experience, should be a memory to treasure, not a trauma.

The flood of supporting memberships will continue, I think. I believe one can still join (and vote) up to July 1. Those 1300 new supporting members will become 1500... maybe 2000... maybe 3000. Very few of whom will bother to turn up at the con. Great news for SasQuan's bottom line. Not so great for fandom. For worldcon. For SF. More Sad Puppies may withdraw, (I doubt very much that any of the Rabid Puppies will), like Kloos and Bellett. More presenters may withdraw, like Connie Willis. The business meeting will be loud and long and rancorous, as all these new rules proposals are debated and voted on. And the Hugo Awards themselves...

I do not see a happy outcome here.

Maybe all the new voters are Vox Day acolytes, and the Rabid Puppies will sweep the board.

Maybe the NO AWARDers will carry the day, and the night will end with no Hugos given out at all. And then Vox Day will double down next year and try to make good on his threat to make sure no more Hugos are ever given.

Maybe NO AWARD will win in the All-Puppy categories (Related Work and the three Short Fiction categories), while the other rockets go to the non-Puppy nominees in split categories. I actually thought this was the most likely outcome, until I read about the flood of new members.

Maybe some awards will go to Puppies, and some to non-Puppies. A split verdict. I don't see this as likely at all, actually... I think those new voters are going to trend one way or another, heavily... but I supposed it could happen. And afterward, wow, what fun getting all the winners together for the traditional "class photograph."

Any way the dice fall, I foresee lots of booing and hissing as the names are called out, lots of unhappy presenters, angry winners and angrier losers.

Only one thing for certain: no matter what happens, Vox Day will declare that he's won.

And as for me... I don't know right now. On odd numbered days, I lean toward opting out of SasQuan entirely. Stay home, work on the book, I don't need this grief. On even numbered days, I am determined to go... and to go BIG. Take the Hugo Losers Party back. I started it, after all. And this year, so far as the Hugos are concerned, we are all going to be losers.

It is all very depressing.

Fandom is supposed to be fun.


Page 3 of 5
<<[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] >>
Piet Nel
Apr. 16th, 2015 08:10 am (UTC)
What the Hugos mean - to me, anyway
You know, I don't care about anybody's politics, but I do care about the major SF/Fantasy awards.

To me, they've always been a long reading list. If I read something that I like today, and I then learn that the same author was nominated for a Hugo twenty years ago, I go "Wow! I haven't heard of that one. I wonder if I can still find it somewhere?"

I love to pore over the lists of winners and nominees with the idea that I'm looking at the best, or at least some of the best, authors and works in the field. Of course, nobody agrees with all the finalists and winners, and I have certainly never agreed with the entire roster of winners - but that's the game. That's democracy. I have at least respected the winners, regardless of my own taste.

So in a scenario where I'm rummaging in a second hand bookstore, and I suddenly come across a well worn paperback that's selling for a penny or two, I sometimes go "Wait a minute . . . wasn't this a finalist for the Hugo?" And I'm much more likely to buy it, and share it out after reading it.

But violence has been done to such simple pleasures. Are we heading for a situation where I see that a book won a Hugo, and I go "Meh", and turn away from it? That would be sad.

Apr. 16th, 2015 09:03 am (UTC)
One first timer voice
I don't claim to know, where all the new memberships come from. I know that one comes from me.

I bought it because, even though I live in an area were the worldcon was never really near and have consequently never attended, the Hugo meant something to me since I was twelve and it continued to do so. I did buy books because of that sticker on the cover. I bought "Among Others" because of it, "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell" in the later years. Robinson, Bujold, Cherryh and others in the earlier years. Since I learned "Lord of Light" had one, the Hugo meant something to me, even though I was never physically at WorldCon.

I think, the thing with democracy is, that everybody has a vote. Before the nomination a lot of fandom was asleep. Now everybody is wide awake.
The new member influx comes from both sides, I'm sure, but most SP and RPs already joined up for nomination. We will see how much of fandom comes to defend the Hugos, but I heard from many people who think that now that the Hugo has helped them find good books for decades it is time to help the Hugos. So I have hope, that people come to read.

I'm afraid that the Yeats quote you posted might be accurate in this case, but I am also very convinced that the vast majority of fandom would like to keep the Hugos to be about good books.
Apr. 16th, 2015 09:13 am (UTC)
An outsider's view.
I mostly just follow grrm's livejournal for updates on how is the next son of Kong coming along. By the way, keep it up Mr. Martin. Not all of your fans want to whine and complain about uncertain release dates. Your books are amazing, and therefore your criteria and method for writing them also are.

I am not american. I'm not even a native english speaker, as you might have noticed by my flawed writing. I am from a tiny island that belongs to Spain called Tenerife.

All that I knew about the Hugos was that they were a prestigious award that some of the writers I have read had won. After reading your posts on the matter and some of Mr. Correia's, I just wanted to say that I share the sense of the depression. This kind of dispute makes everyone involved a little less civilized by taking a huge chunk out of the reserves of "faith in the human race" that most of us still have, as I often say.

I am half a world away, and american politics are a bit alien for me, so I dare not say who is right or wrong. By your tagging methods, I am probably to the left of Mr. Martin, so Mr. Correia's views, however "civil" they might be, just strike me as arcaic and scary. By Vox Day I have only read what Connie Willis quoted and it just makes me sad.

I do agree with Mr. Correia in that fandom is much bigger that anyone can imagine. And I like to think that I speak for a big portion of us when I say that we just want to enjoy great stories.

I'll do my part and keep enjoying.
Apr. 16th, 2015 09:57 am (UTC)
Please follow your own advice and keep Gamergate out of this.
"Could it be that Vox Day has successfully roused the GamerGate bogeyman that he was been threatening us with?"

Exactly what does Gamergate have to do with Vox Day?
How is this not "guilt by association"?
If Beale ever goes to eat at McDonald's, should the company close its doors and fire its hundreds of thousands of employees?

You keep saying you don't want to discuss Gamergate here, but then here you are making these small jabs about the movement. You put the flamebait out there just to censor discussion afterwards?
That's not fair! As if dealing with the mainstream media doing the exactly that for the past half a year wasn't enough, we also get to see our SF/F heroes do the same thing?
Is this the lesson we're supposed to learn, that biased journalism will always rule the world and there's nothing we can do about that?

Same goes for all these people putting the Sad and the Rabid in the same bag. What the hell?
Apr. 16th, 2015 06:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Please follow your own advice and keep Gamergate out of this.
^ This please.

Over in r/KotakuInAction (the GamerGate subreddit) essentially anyone posting about SadPuppies, RabidPuppies, or this whole Hugo thing is told to take it to different subreddit.

Same thing with /gamergatehq/ (the GamerGate board on 8chan), and I don't see why anyone would use the GG hashtag on twitter with anything relating to SP/RP.

So in summary GG is not targeting the Hugos, nor does it plan to.

I know it might seem nitpicky (and it probably is), and you have every right to say "no", but please leave GG out of this.

Edited at 2015-04-16 06:35 pm (UTC)
Apr. 16th, 2015 10:01 am (UTC)
Please, Mr Martin, don7t opt out of Worldcon. I can understand not wanting to sit through an excruciating Hugo Ceremony, but the Hugos are not the sole focus of Worldcon and while the outcome of the vote will likely be a major issue of discussion, I am hoping we can still do what we always do. Celebrate science fiction and its diversity with panels, presentations, parties and discussions. Even if the supporting memberships now pouring in a going to complete the demolition of the Hugos, Worldcon isn't just the Hugos and not going is allowing the SPs/RPs to not just win at their Hugo wrecking but help to wreck the Worldcon as well.
I hope to see you in Spokane.
Apr. 16th, 2015 10:04 am (UTC)

I just wanted to let you know that there are still people who do use the Supporting Membership the way I think it was originally intended.

LonCon last year was my first WorldCon, and I thought it was wonderful. I knew upfront that I wouldn't be able to make it to Sasquan, but I wanted to still be part of WorldCon. Not just part of the Hugos - for one thing, I'm eager to have a say in site selection, and frankly, I get a warm glow from the idea of contributing to the continuation of something that made me happy.

I'm really sad that my first go at nominating for the Hugos were so futile, and that the Awards were hijacked this year.

I'm going to choose to be optimistic about the people who have bought memberships since this ruckus started, and hope that at least some of them fully intend to attend WorldCon in the future, and that it's one of the few positive outcomes of this mess that people have discovered WorldCon because of the media attention.

Apr. 16th, 2015 10:06 am (UTC)
Make them pay for their enemies.
I've read your message a few days ago about deleting non-topical Sad Puppy posts, I hope this is consider on-topic, and I apologise if it isn't.

Some people have suggested raising the Worldcon entry fee. I would go one step further.
A few months ago the city of Wunsiedel in Germany did a beautiful thing to a neo-Nazi march. They pledged 10€ to an anti-Nazi charity for every meter the Nazis marched.

I think something similar might work here. Choose a responsible charity that is also as far opposed to the puppies' views as possible. Raise the Worldcon entry fee and donate all additional profits to said charity. This may not deter any sad puppies, but I can't see any rabid puppies giving money to, say, a charity supporting young, struggling, non-white, non-heterosexual and (perish the thought) female scifi writers.
And even if they kept damaging the Hugos, they would also help to strengthen the wider community and its diversity.

Edited at 2015-04-16 10:07 am (UTC)
Apr. 16th, 2015 10:20 am (UTC)

Also, I refuse to believe that Vox Day is as powerful as he thinks he is.

I hope that the world is not as bleak as that, and the Hugos do have a future.

Apr. 16th, 2015 10:36 am (UTC)
Sad all round
I hope that this years Worldcon event will be better than you fear.

I'd just like to say that #GamerGate has NOTHING to do with the Hugos or Sad/Rabid puppies. Nothing at all. All we want is ethics in journalism. But then we get blamed for everything these days. We certainly are not a personal army for anyone.

As a woman and a #GamerGate supporter, I have no stake in the Hugos.
There is just one thing that made me wonder if the Sad puppies might have a small point.

When the nominations were announced, the internet exploded with '#GamerGate has taken over the Hugos!'.

This came from people who oppose #GamerGate, the people who frequently claim the title 'SJW' for themselves, and now seem to make up a large amount of Worldcon voters.

I found that a little bit strange.

I hope these extra voters are people who really want to preserve the Hugos and vote based on the material, not the author. But then when we see the same people who shouted '#GamerGate!', offering to buy memberships for people, I'm not hopeful.

Peace out.

Apr. 16th, 2015 04:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Sad all round
I do get the impression that GamerGate is very large.

At least the Puppies suggest that it is. Thousands instead of hundreds, at the least.

In which case, it may be that some GamerGaters got involved while others did not. I seem to recall that was somebody named 'Daddy War Pig' or something on that order who weighed in. But I have no idea whether he is a genuine GamerGate leader, or not. Or even whether GamerGate HAS leaders, in the sense the Puppies do.
Re: Sad all round - dashingbolt - Apr. 16th, 2015 05:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 16th, 2015 10:51 am (UTC)
Puppy Gate
Mr Martin I don't know anything about Puppygate but I can see this thing has got to you.

In situations like this, in my own life, I ask myself this question:

'When I'm on my death bed, (and winter is fast approaching) is [Insert your own vexation] Puppygate going to be on my mind, at all?'

If the answer is 'No', then, Mr Martin, make all your days odd numbered days, and go run with the wolves instead, either figuratively in Westeros, or in reality, going to your own wolf sanctuary, or whatever else makes life worth living and precious to you.
Apr. 16th, 2015 10:54 am (UTC)
I know the Hugos are dominating the discussion, but at least part of the increase in supporting membership numbers will also be people who wish to vote on the 2017 worldcon bids. There is a strong wish to bring it back to Europe that year, and I, along with many other, have bought supporting memberships so we can vote for the worldcon selection rather than the Hugos.
Apr. 16th, 2015 04:23 pm (UTC)
Good point.

2017 is one of the most hotly contested site selections in years. The Washington DC bid is very strong, but I am voting for Helsinki myself.
(no subject) - shalezero - Apr. 16th, 2015 07:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - grrm - Apr. 16th, 2015 07:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - flake_sake - Apr. 16th, 2015 09:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Bernhard Vienna
Apr. 16th, 2015 11:28 am (UTC)
Do not engage!
There is nothing to be gained from such a debate.

You should always listen to me. Really!

If you need help with plot points or decisions about character deaths, you can always ask me those questions, too : ).
Apr. 16th, 2015 12:32 pm (UTC)
All this could have been avoided if the Sad Puppies / Rabid Puppies had been viewed as participants rather than thieves, for simply following the rules the organization itself set down for voting. They were never "your" Hugos any more that those of any other fans willing to pay for the votes.

On what logic was it necessary to automatically hate anyone and everyone the SP / RP nominated?

This is a self-inflicted injury on the part of Left SF fandom.
Apr. 16th, 2015 04:24 pm (UTC)
Something can be legal, and still underhanded.
(no subject) - rcade - Apr. 16th, 2015 06:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 16th, 2015 12:51 pm (UTC)
The opinion of a "regualr" fan
So here's a "serious" comment on the subject (unlike my smartass comment earlier).

I've been a sci-fi fan since I was 10 (maybe even younger). Later on I also started liking fantasy writing. Basically the whole idea of reading of creatures, worlds and technology that don't exist in daily life excited me. When I grew older I also loved the debate of moral and philosophical points that were still theoretical or non-existent in our reality.

Anyway, I never knew what was behind the Hugo award (worldcon etc.) until I've read it in your recent series of posts. What I did know for sure after reading a couple of SF books that when it says "Nominated for/winner of a Hugo award" was a mark of quality.

I'm not a US citizen (I don't like the word "American" as I feel it's a misrepresentation - America is a continent not a country), far from it. I live in a small country far away across the narrow sea.

However, reading about this whole mess with the puppies, their motivation and ways of doing things definitely upset me. I hate when people try to destroy something good (or change it into something unrecognizable) just because they can't be or won't be a part of it and what it stands for.

I'm a man of facts and reason. I read both your posts and comments from fans and authors from "the other side". I agreed with you, not because I like your books or the show or stories (I do love all of them).
I agreed with you because you've showed your case basing it upon cold hard facts - both in older and recent history of the award.
All the other side had to offer was hyperbole, conspiracy theories, resent and childish insults.
I hope puppies are reading this too since as I said earlier, I came upon this subject with no opinion whatsoever. I know puppies feel offended but as Christopher Hitchens once said - the fact that someone feels offended doesn't constitute as a reasonable argument.

I'm not going to address all the "reasons" puppies give to show they did nothing wrong, but the one that strikes me as the silliest is "it was perfectly legal, we acted withing the written rules". I love it when people use this excuse to justify something bad they did. I instantly ask them if it's okay for me to sleep with their spouse since it's not illegal and there's no written rule against it. The face they usually make makes it all worthwhile.

Anyway, since the puppies broke the machine despite "playing within the rules" I see a couple of options - instituting a rule that says that only people who come to the convention can vote for the Hugo (that might work since most puppies are in it for politics and not out of fandom so they won't purchase plane tickets/hotel rooms etc. just to swing the vote). The other way is letting things take their course and if it's a disaster as some people think it'll be (puppies win across the board) just shut the whole thing down until a better system of voting is put into place.

If things go as planned and I were voting (I won't be as I have zero time right now to even skim the candidates) I would definitely go NO AWARD on puppy controlled categories. This doucebaggery should not be rewarded in any shape or form.

I know some of my ideas sound extreme but this is an extreme situation that requires extraordinary solutions. Fandom should fight for what it holds dear without holding back. There might not be a second chance (I'm aware of all the "burning down the house" arguments).

I also want to salute the writes who have withdrawn despite the price they'll pay in recognition and other aspects. Unlike the people who stuffed them in their slate without even asking them, they did the right thing.

lastly, It's been a pleasure reading your thoughts on the subject, especially the hatespeech/Freedom of expression post. These subject matter is sad and even makes me angry but they're beautifully written.

P.S. To answer a question you raised in an earlier post - it's not the internet that's toxic, it's just a portion of humankind that always was this way (as history teaches us)- the internet is just a mirror and an amplifier.
Apr. 16th, 2015 01:28 pm (UTC)
Susan Grigsby [http://m.dailykos.com/story/2015/04/13/1376743/-Freeping-the-Hugo-Awards] says that the long list of nominations will be released after the awards.

Could/Would it help to ask that, under 'freedom of information' logic, the individual voting BALLOTS be released, too? Voter name, nominations and maybe how long each individual has been a member? That would give independent eyes an idea of many aspects:

A) How widespread this is/was
B) How (un)likely the Slate titles were to have been nominated purely on their own merit
C) General transparency on issues including whether new-member influx radically changed anything; diversity and scope of all nominations, etc.

It seems as if most people/fans would approve (or at least not oppose) putting their name on "their" opinions. It seems as if such transparency could even adequately help weed out - or at least give a starting point towards asking questions about - those people who ONLY voted for titles based on *somebody else's say-so*.

It wouldn't fix it, but would not something like this help? (And require a lot of work, but hopefully for veey good reasons.)
Apr. 16th, 2015 06:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Dissection
If that were implemented, I'd stop participating. Not all of us can easily put our names to our fannish activities. And especially in light of the harrassing a lot of people experience / have experienced, I think it's a bad idea to make targeting them even easier.

(Just for the record, I've been a supporting member for a few years, btw, and I've loved and voted for many things that ended up winning.)
Re: Dissection - bibliophilip - Apr. 16th, 2015 11:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Dissection - rev_bob - Apr. 17th, 2015 10:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 16th, 2015 01:36 pm (UTC)
Publish the ballots - with the name of the voter, and maybe how long they've been what kind of member - and then at least the post-awards assessment can sift and see what happened; how widespread; which titles "should" have been nominated, etc.

Surely no-one could object to their votes being widely known - one's own opinions may perhaps be embarrassing, but if they ARE one's own opinions it shouldn't be too troubling to put your name to. Whereas being shown to have voted solely on someone else's say so would be somewhat damning. (And the possibility that some people voted freely for exactly what others were told/advised/recommended to seems fairly small.)

It wouldn't fix the awards, but it would shine lights on what happened.

(Ballots containing only *directed* selections could maybe even be removed for a post-awards "Fair" award.)
Haniy Gigliuk
Apr. 16th, 2015 09:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Transparency
As you can see from one of the responses above, some people WOULD object. It would also probably require a change in the rules, which takes two Business Meetings.
Re: Transparency - bibliophilip - Apr. 16th, 2015 11:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kevin_standlee - Apr. 17th, 2015 02:35 am (UTC) - Expand
Secret Ballot - bibliophilip - Apr. 17th, 2015 05:24 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Secret Ballot - kevin_standlee - Apr. 17th, 2015 04:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Secret Ballot - bibliophilip - Apr. 17th, 2015 09:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Secret Ballot - kevin_standlee - Apr. 18th, 2015 02:18 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 16th, 2015 02:12 pm (UTC)
The sad puppy thing saddens me some
I prefer politics be kept out of fandoms where possible. It seems like, in this case, riding a wave created by one group they decided to attack their enemies using those opposing that one group. The fandom they targeted had no politics and wasn't related to them at all. They just talked like it was to rally those already opposing a group that wasn't involved. To be fair I haven't read a ton into the issue other than your blogs as I am involved primarily in a very different issue and fandom. This is why I can related to the seeing your fandom assaulted by outsiders. It seems in this case the sad puppies were the outsiders. I am sorry for your loss. In this era you have to fight for your fandoms when you shouldn't be. Fandom is about fun.
Apr. 16th, 2015 02:19 pm (UTC)
The Hugos
Hi George,

My glass down here in OZ is half full. The Hugo novel nominations have always been enjoyable and varied reads. Just keep writing your great books and smiling when you can 😄. I'll have to join up, read all the nominations and then vote for what I believe is the best nomination on it's merit. Of course it will only be my humble view. My vote could go either way ..... one would hope all these new members could leave the baggage of their lives behind in the past, read each book in the moment the author has set and use reason to make a decision ....... wishful thinking .....well my glass is still half full.

Regards oz_ahs

P.S Storm the wall and take back "The Losers" party if you need too ....... all of your patient readers will understand
Apr. 16th, 2015 03:25 pm (UTC)
I'm an optimist; I believe the Hugos--and fandom--will survive this. I wonder if all the people who now have supporting memberships realize that they also get to nominate next year?

Like you, I wonder which side the new supporters are on--and then I get really sad that I think of them as sides. Fannish wars are family feuds; never pretty, and always upsetting. I understand where the Puppies are coming from; I why some propose the nuclear option; and like most, I wish we could just move on. At this rate, it might be best to downplay the ceremony, maybe just hand out a certificate in an hour-long daytime program item. Which is immensely unfair to Adam Beaton, who's been planning it, David Gerrold and Tananarive Due, who are hosting it, and all those who deserve their moment of glory.
Apr. 16th, 2015 03:34 pm (UTC)
Be of good cheer!
I'll be at MidAmericon II. It'll be my first Worldcon. I'm voting for the first time in this year's Hugos and I'm going to do it the way I think is right: By reading as many of the stories on the ballot to which I can get access and voting accordingly. I'm used to reading good things by bad people and vice versa. If anything, I have a slight bias toward writing by people with whom I disagree politically.

(I have two of Larry Correira's books right here, too, so I can see what his writing's like. So far, I'd say good but not great. I may skip to the newer one to give myself the best shot at digging him.

(I want to like writers' work. When I reviewed music, I began each time wanting to like each thing.)

I'll probably not vote at all in Dramatic Presentation--Short Form. It doesn't interest me and I'm ignorant in that field. I've seen most of the movies, so I'll vote in that after watching the others, I guess, even though I'm not a big moviegoer either. I'm a reader, of books and comics. who'd be unmoved if the Hugos dropped those categories.

There is the argument against expanding the voting base to, say, Dragon*Con (been there twice and had fun) or ComicCon. I don't tell media fans what's good media and I don't want media fans telling me what's good writing. So far as I can tell, Worldcon is primarily about the written word and secondarily about media.

(Graphic novels fall between the cracks and I'd be thrilled to have yet another graphic novel award or three from media fans to use in my booklooking. That'd make for a great compare-and-contrast.)

Over the years, I've spent so much time reading SF of all sorts, and the Hugos were one way of finding things I liked. There were others: Some magazines were consistently more interesting. Some publishers were a better bet. Time itself is a wonderful refiner, both of the work and of myself. Now that one of my guides is under attack, I'm going to take on the duty of supporting it.

My expectation was that you'd weigh in on this issue and that you'd be heard. As I expected, you were critical of all "sides" (there are at least three disputants. I don't see the SPs and the RPs as a united front), including the one with which I'm most in agreement. That was my hope, that someone with a commitment to fandom and a career independent of it would talk sense. You have.

So you've done a good thing, at least for me, and I think for other people. Maybe it'll all work out. I am foolishly (by choice, not nature) optimistic about these things.

And now, I'm wondering when I can go dig out my copy of the Analog with "A Song for Lya". I mean, you beat out Robert Silverberg's "Born with the Dead"? That's one of the best stories I've ever read, period! Literary fiction, genre fiction, whatever. Just like the Ellison story that won that year, I remember exactly when and where I first read it. If your story won out over that, it's gotta be good!
Apr. 16th, 2015 04:22 pm (UTC)
Re: Be of good cheer!
That first Hugo win of mine for "A Song for Lya" was a huge upset. Silverberg had kicked my ass in the Nebulas and crushed me in the Locus Poll, everyone expected him to go three for three.

But upsets are what make any contest fun.
Zachary Paul
Apr. 16th, 2015 04:17 pm (UTC)
So, I take it there are no provisions that will allow hasty rules changes in case of emergency circumstances? Granted, that's probably as bad to you as the nuclear option of "No Award'. But, the Science Fiction fans of the 1950s certainly couldn't have foreseen the potential of the internet enabling this kind of hostile hijacking of the nomination and voting process.

If things shake out over the summer the way it seems like they are, you may be right: The Hugo Award as we know it may be dead. It might be a good thing? For all the prestige and the honor one received by winning one, it's pretty apparently that people have considered the Hugo process enormously flawed for decades. Maybe this whoe debacle could allow the reworking and formation of a new Hugo?
Michael Pullmann
Apr. 16th, 2015 04:33 pm (UTC)
Has Beale explained how he's planning to accomplish not dying so he can rig future Hugo Awards from now until the end of time?
Apr. 16th, 2015 04:58 pm (UTC)
The surge in memberships is really not surprising

I tend toward your side of the debate on this issue. When I first heard that this happened, my immediate sad conclusion was, well, that means that the era of 'idealized' candidates is over. The voting pool for the Hugos was too small to have any other outcome. If the puppies, (sad, rabid, otherwise) insist on a slate of nominees every year, the only effective countermeasure to it is an opposing one, most likely from Scalzi or Tor, since those are the two that seem to aggrieve the puppies the most.

At that point, you would have the 'major' parties. At some point, you would see the emergence of opposing, middle way slates, perhaps one from a conservative group that does not want the taint of association with Vox Day, perhaps another from a liberal group that acknowledges that there might have been some shenanigans going on beforehand that tipped off this entire thing, perhaps another from a group that tries to eschew any sort of political angle altogether... but it's pretty easy to recognize what all of this resembles. It's basically parliamentary politics.

And for an idealized voting process like the Hugos, it's very unfortunate, but then again the question could be asked whether the rather random direct democracy approach really ever produced awards for the 'best novel of the year' since so many readers don't even know of a book's existence until several years after its publication. But that's a digression...

At any rate, the real point here. The surge in memberships that was the subject of your post today. It's not surprising, not just because people want their voices heard, but because of the very nature of the way this has reached the public's attention. A certain sub-section of the fandom in this case has been characterized very poorly in how the media, the left side of fandom, and even, to a certain extent, writers like you, have characterized them.

I know that I certainly would not want to be characterized as 'misogynistic' simply because I voted for books or short stories or novelettes to be nominated for Hugo awards. I certainly would not want to be characterized as a 'bully' as Connie Willis did when she opted out of presenting. Or a 'cheat.' Or any of the names that are commonly coming from the left side of this debate.

(I understand that in writing this, people will ascribe political leanings to me that I may or may not have. I can claim whatever, but they are going to assume what they are going to assume regardless of what I would claim, so I won't make any.)

What I will say is that you have been wholly correct in what you've tried to do all along in trying to keep the discussion civil, but there have been dozens of media outlets and hundreds, even thousands, of commentators on them that have opted not to follow your example. They have descended into rudeness, assumptions, name-calling, vitriol, and baseless accusations directed at the followers of the puppies.

No matter what their individual motivations were prior to all of this, I can assure you that their motivations crystallized during all of it. Their motivations now are to defeat those that have identified themselves clearly as their enemies. When someone calls you a 'bigot' whether you are one or not and all you have to do to spit in that person's face is to pay $40 and vote, you have all the motivation you need to pay the $40 and vote.

I know this opinion will be unpopular here because your followers are largely left leaning and it is always difficult to believe that you have played any sort of role in your own situation, especially if there is a convenient set of targets out there to blame, but this is reality. The time to resolve this was long ago, well before the internet mobs became involved in the situation.

It was when the problem could still be contained to a few hundred attendees at Worldcon.

At any rate, sorry this was so long. I'm not sure how to fix it or even if it can be fixed, though changing the Hugo rules so that to make a nomination, a voter has to provide verification of attendance at at least 2 of the last 4 Worldcons would probably be a good start. It would at least remove the people who are paying $40 to feed a grudge or make a political point.
Apr. 16th, 2015 05:58 pm (UTC)
Re: The surge in memberships is really not surprising
As a Hugo voter who watched Larry Correia and his pals insultingly characterize Worldcon members as "social justice warriors," CHORFs, SMOFs and other names for months, I find it rich for you to claim that we're the people who descended into rudeness and name-calling. The Puppies have been treating people as their enemy since their movement began.

I wasn't their enemy. I was a person who voted for SF/F works I liked. I'm still not their enemy -- I just think what they're doing to the Hugos is wrong.

SF/F is not a culture war. There's a fringe on the right and a fringe on the left who would like it to be, but the rest of us are here to enjoy good work and carry on a proud six-decade tradition. I wish the fringes would stop using the genre as a proxy war for political arguments they could be having elsewhere. Like, say, politics.
Apr. 16th, 2015 05:20 pm (UTC)
I used to attend (and work on) Worldcons when I was single, and then with my husband, but since we became parents we've had to cut back. I was outraged by all the posts about how the Hugo ballot had been hijacked and thought of buying a supporting membership to vote in protest. But then I looked at the ballot and was saddened to see that several of the puppy-associated stories are from Analog. I am a huge Analog fan and have been since high school. These days it's my main connection to the field, as I don't have much time for novels. For many years I was disappointed that so few Analog stories were on the final ballot. Now several good Analog stories are there, but a vote for them supports the Puppies, who seem to be turning fandom from a big family whose members sometimes diagree into warring tribes out to destroy each other. And if one of those stories wins, nobody will ever know whether it won on merit or due to Puppy support. It seems there is no proper course of action.
Page 3 of 5
<<[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] >>


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

Latest Month

July 2017


Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Lilia Ahner