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Hugo Voting Continues

With the Puppy Wars heating up again -- not that they have ever really cooled down -- this seems an opportune moment to remind all and sundry that there is still plenty of time left to join Sasquan and cast your ballot for this year's Hugo awards.

With the electronic ballot, once you have a membership number and a PIN, you can go and post some preferences and votes now, then return a day later, or a week later, or a month later, and change them, or add some more rankings. Your vote does not get counted until balloting closes.

The ballot is here: http://sasquan.org/hugo-awards/voting/

If you have not voted the Hugo Awards before, please note that it is an "Australian ballot," a preferential system whereby one ranks the nominees. You don't just vote for one. You can rank NO AWARD as if it were any other finalist; ahead of some nominees, behind others.

(Which is the way I believe one should use NO AWARD. As I have stated previously, I am opposed to the nuclear option of just blindly voting NO AWARD in every category).

Of course, you need to be a member to vote. Supporting Memberships will cost you $40. You can sign up to buy one at https://sasquan.swoc.us/sasquan/reg.php

In addition to voting privileges, a Supporting Membership will get you the convention's program book (usually a handsome item, though it varies from year to year) and other publications.

You can also sign up as an ATTENDING member and actually attend the convention, which is the course I strongly recommend for those who have the time and the money. Cons are fun, especially worldcon; that's what they are all about. Reading, panel discussions, the art show, the dealers' room, the masquerade, filksinging... all sorts of great stuff goes on. Something for all tastes. And EVERYONE is welcome, despite what you have heard. (Just don't be an asshole. Assholes get welcomed too, but the welcome wears out more quickly).

Both supporting and attending members get an electronic "Hugo packet" that will enable you to read many of the works nominated for this year's rockets. You should do that, no matter what side of the Puppy Wars you are on; we want informed voters. Yes, sadly, IMNSHO this is the weakest Hugo ballot in recent memory, thanks to the Puppy slates... but there's still some damn strong work there, especially in Novel and Dramatic Presentation. And of course it is possible that your own tastes may differ from mine.

So join, read, vote. And fifty years from now, when your fannish grandchildren ask you, "Say, gramps, what did you do in the Great Hugo War?" you'll have an answer for them.


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Jun. 15th, 2015 07:02 pm (UTC)

I'm looking for advice on the voting system for newcomers to the voting (i think there were multiple posts on that but now I do not remember where to look). Specifically, how to deal with the partially read categories. Suppose, I read two works in a category, and I consider one to be Hugo-worthy, and another one not. What's the way to express this with the voting? Should I put the worthy one in first place, no award in second, the unworthy one in the third, and leave the rest empty?
Jun. 15th, 2015 09:52 pm (UTC)
You know, there are no rules for this... it is between the individual voter and his conscience.

The key question here is WHY you have not read the works you did not read. Were you unable to find them? Were they by an author you have tried before, and found wanting? Were they from a subgenre that does not hold your interest?

The vote you've suggested actually puts the works you have not read BELOW the one found unworthy, so I don't know that it is the best way to go.

The ideal would be to read ALL the nominees. A least a taste. You don't need to eat the whole roast to know the meat is bad, but you do need to give it a sniff, at least.
(no subject) - crocobar - Jun. 15th, 2015 10:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Jeff Zh - Jun. 18th, 2015 06:14 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 15th, 2015 09:07 pm (UTC)
"If you want to bring politics in it, then cal them "liberal fans" or "progressive fans."

Good advice, for both sides. The entire HugoGate thing came about DUE to politics, this is the bottom line for me. The Puppy "side" in its entirety based their claims and grievances on the notion that writers who have been consistently winning Hugos have been of the opposite political persuasion as themselves, and that their work reflects this, and that no "conservative" based SciFi/Fantasy books have ever been given the time of day.

Is there even a shred of truth to this? Not up to me to decide - I think there is likely a least SOME small claim to be made, but I think the "Puppies" need to embrace reality, and understand that a large majority of science fiction/fantasy authors and readers both, come from a more liberal place in terms of thought process, beliefs, and so forth. This is just how it is IMO. Is there conservative Scifi/fantasy? Obviously, but overall, it's a smaller slice of the pie.

I think most folks involved should embrace the horror. Even those on the non-puppy side, the "liberal side" as GRRM just stated, have used terminology which bears this out. Even George has frequently used the terms "our side", and "us", and "we", when describing his side of things, which gives a pretty obvious signal that he considers himself part of a certain "side". So, this being the case, it should be easy for anyone to see that the two "sides" are essentially split over politics, the undying left and right. Shocker, right - much like everything else in America and the free world right now.

I thought from the beginning what the puppies did, whether they had a case or not, was a very underhanded way to go about things, and curiously is the one thing the "right" often accuses their opponents of doing. A back door, quasi-ok, short cut to advantage. If you can't convince somebody of the legitimacy of your argument by rational means, then it isn't worth arguing in the first place. The puppies dismissed this notion right out of the gate.

What I feel a better course of action would have been, would have been to embrace what GRRM has somewhat alluded to - understand that there IS two sides, a left and right. Regardless if you're left, and believe the whole notion behind puppygate is nonsense and without merit, or if you're right and a puppy, and certain you have a just cause worth fighting for (even dirty fighting), circumventing an existing, long standing, and respected award, and drawing so much negative press towards it, is NOT a solution.

What I'm getting at is the Puppies, in all the variations, should start their own award and process. Embrace the horror - again. The Hugos have more left leaning authors. Start a new award that focuses on more right leaning authors. Let the fans sort it out. GRRM recently gave advice to a new writer here, saying not to worry about minutiae and such - the fans will sort themselves out. They would in this case as well.

I explained this idea to a friend; Star Trek is a progressive idea. I won't call it liberal, but certainly progressive. If it didn't have this progressive nature written into each episode and film, then it wouldn't be Star Trek, as the first season established the nature of the franchise for the future. Is it not the same with the Hugos? I'm sure some folks thought Star Trek was too "left", and wanted to see something different. Well, that came along did it not? People created other shows, books, stories, and films that are great examples of more "conservative" sci fi. What those who created these things did NOT do is start a campaign against Star Trek, trying to undermine and change it to their point of view - they went out and created what THEY and what fans with THEIR ideas and beliefs wanted to see.

The fans worked it all out.

Edited at 2015-06-15 09:10 pm (UTC)
Jun. 18th, 2015 07:41 pm (UTC)
I could not agree with your statement more gman109!
Jun. 15th, 2015 09:34 pm (UTC)
Everyone is welcome
But some are shy. At a con once Bill Rotsler came up in the restaurant, picked up me and my tableware and deposited me at the table of another lady who was alone, recommending that one never eat alone at a con. It was wonderful. So if you are at a con and see someone looking a bit lost or lonely introduce yourself, it's a con, you already know you have something in common. Make a new friend. You'll be glad you did.
Jun. 15th, 2015 09:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Everyone is welcome
Good advice.
Re: Everyone is welcome - sue_bursztynski - Jun. 15th, 2015 11:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
Frank Probst
Jun. 15th, 2015 11:31 pm (UTC)
Don't be an asshole
I think this is good advice for life in general, but it's particularly good advice for cons. If you're a new writer, the panel discussions about getting your work published are good, especially if you're someone who is looking at traditional publishing versus self-publishing (or some combo of both). Don't be afraid to chat with the panelists afterwards, but if they're obviously on their way somewhere else, don't chase them down the hallway. And ESPECIALLY don't promise anyone that you'll do something if you can't deliver on it. For new writers, networking is really important at cons. If you develop a rep of promising things that you can't deliver on, you're going to make it very hard on yourself as you try to get your work out there.
Jun. 16th, 2015 04:40 am (UTC)
Re: Don't be an asshole
Networking is crucial for new writers... but they, especially, need to be pleasant.

Many new writers, having come to cons to promote themselves, make the mistake of being too aggressive. They demand to be on panels. If they get on, they build pyramids of their books in front of themselves. They answer every question by citing their own work. They talk over more experienced and knowledgeable writers.

And they do themselves more harm than good.

Think of being on a panel like being a guest on CONAN or THE TONIGHT SHOW. You want to be charming and funny. You don't need to be profound. No one expects profundity from a con panel.
Jun. 15th, 2015 11:43 pm (UTC)
The rest of your opinon on categories....
Really enjoyed earlier posts on what you read and found worthy. Will you be updating your opinions soon? I would like to compare my likes of the nominees to yours and other responders. Such as what your thoughts on are the Ann Leckie and Jim Butcher novels?

Edited at 2015-06-16 01:12 am (UTC)
Jun. 16th, 2015 04:41 am (UTC)
Re: The rest of your opinon on categories....
Have not read those yet. Right now I am working on the graphic novels.
Brooklyn Ann
Jun. 16th, 2015 01:01 am (UTC)
Award Fiascos
As an author I've been following the Hugo craziness fairly closely and have been blown away by the insanity of these Puppies.

I've realized how naive I've been about how these sorts of things play out and the capacity for enmity among the involved parties.

It makes me wonder if there is or will be forthcoming drama for awards in my genre (Romance). I really hope not because I intend to enter the RITAs next year for my historical paranormal romance (and let me tell you, the categorizing for such a mixed genre is difficult on the forms. Apparently I have to pick one or the other).

Awards aside, a tragedy in the romance genre has come to light. One of the people in charge of one of the biggest romance conventions has been publicly attacking another respectable convention, and as an author, I feel extremely uncomfortable and conflicted. Will I receive censure for attending one or the other of the events? The whole point is to meet and connect with readers.

For the time being I do not plan on attending either until the dust settles, but I am still perplexed at such hostility in an environment that is supposed to celebrate the genre and its readers and writers.

I mean, it would be like the SFWA and Worldcon attacking each other. (Please tell me that doesn't happen!)

I apologize for the rant, my whole point is that fiction conventions and awards are supposed to celebrate their respective genres. Not to generate hostility or exclude or tear others down.

Thank you so much, George, for your reasonable and encouraging posts on the Hugos and reminding everyone why they exist.

Edited at 2015-06-16 01:09 am (UTC)
Jun. 16th, 2015 04:42 am (UTC)
Re: Award Fiascos
SFWA and Worldcon have had some frictions over the decades, but nothing that was ever truly serious. And since SFWA officers change regularly, and worldcon committees change annually, any bad feelings soon fade as new people take over.
Re: Award Fiascos - JWKGRR - Jun. 18th, 2015 11:26 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 16th, 2015 03:15 pm (UTC)
Objectivity in judging this year's nominations is likely impossible
And that is probably to be expected since the issue is so divisive and people's positions are now set in cement. If you look through File770 every day, you'll see toward the bottom of the roundup, a variety of people's evaluations of the various nominees and, sadly, they are predictable evaluations. They are either outright dismissals or they are flatly hostile to the works.

And this is not meant to impugn their ethics. I am sure that many went into reading them with the best of intentions at heart, but like I said, it's nearly impossible for them to be objective.

It's like asking someone from the right to read 'If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love' or 'Redshirts' objectively. Frankly, it just doesn't happen because the situation causes them to regard the work with antipathy, no matter what their reaction to it might have been when reading it in a vacuum.

They will see no worth in it, just as many on the left will never see any worth on almost everything on the Puppy Slate because those works are now tinged with emotional hurt. Those on the right are emotionally hurt because they felt for years that they were marginalized by the powers-that-be and the pillars of the community in science fiction/fantasy, while those on the left are emotionally hurt by what happened here.

You can make an objectively plausible case for both sides. Essentially, once liberal editors reached the highest positions of authority, (especially at TOR, where the corporate culture seems to be liberal), the most probable outcome was for them to hire like-minded first readers. When culling the slush, those first readers were attracted by a certain type of fiction and tended to send it up more often. Over the course of time, even military and hard science fiction, long one of the few remaining holdouts where conservative outlooks tended to dominate, was infiltrated by work like Old Man's War and Ancillary Sword. This is not to say that either of those works is bad. Quite the contrary, both are quite good. But the existence of each of them in the very heart of what the 'old school' milsf fans considered their bailiwick indicated that they were quite close to being pushed out of the field entirely.

Is that a fair assessment? Is it a fair suspicion? Who knows?

What we do know is that the perception of marginalization they feel is real. And because they feel it to be real, it's no small wonder that the knee-jerk reaction towards work they regarded as emblematic of what was being done to them was completely negative and total. Of course, 'If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love' was worthless, because anything that is contributing to driving my tribe out of what I've loved forever is worthless.

So there was never an objective reading from the right for any of these works. Combine that with the relatively frivolous nature of 'Redshirts' when it won, with the implication that people were supposed to accept this work as being comparable to works like 'Flowers for Algernon' and 'Dune,' and the notion that in addition to the organic movement of the publishing industry to the left, there was also a more directed, background system in place to get even the lesser works of left-wing, (and TOR), authors these awards. Again, none of this might be true, but important thing is that they believed it was real, which was why the work was never given a fair reading.

The same thing is happening here. There may be nothing on this slate that is comparable to 'Flowers for Algernon' or 'Dune' either, but I would submit that if we've established that 'Redshirts' is a work worthy of a Hugo, there are definitely works in every category that are comparable to it. But I am not reading all of this with the heart of someone who is wounded. I do not have the emotional investment in any of it of either the left or the right.

My only real interest is whether the award can ever be salvaged and my unfortunate conclusion right now, based mainly on the reaction of the left, (because let's face it, the attitudes of the right in this case are far more entrenched and the reactions of the left are newer), is no, it won't happen. People's ideological filters are so high now that an objective reading from either side is probably impossible for the foreseeable future.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 16th, 2015 04:36 pm (UTC)
I am in love with this blog
How have I just now found this. Mr. Martin, you're one of my hero authors and I love killing time on your blog. So much good stuff. I believe in the Hugo's and I cannot wait until Puppygate is a shadow in the past.
Jeff Zh
Jun. 18th, 2015 06:44 am (UTC)
Discourse kickers
Interestingly, in the regular political debate (that is: outside SF and the internet, in the "real" world) in German speaking countries, there is the term "Gutmensch" (something like "Goodhuman") used pejoratively by rather conservative people. Once someone uses that term, you know you don't need to read or listen further.
Jun. 18th, 2015 04:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Discourse kickers
It's bad to be a "good human?"

Jun. 23rd, 2015 11:46 am (UTC)
Hi George!
What do you think of the Spanish cover of The World of Ice and Fire?


Will we see something like that in your books?
John Doherty
Jun. 26th, 2015 10:25 pm (UTC)
grrm boss
grrm for president ! i love your books i live ine westeros i have the deseace "westerofobia"
Jul. 1st, 2015 03:34 pm (UTC)
An Honest Question...
How has Patrick Rothfuss not been nominated? I'm pretty sure when his 3rd book comes out he will, but you really have to ask yourself why his books were ignored so totally when they were released. These were both books that I could not put down and tore through. I haven't done that in ages. I know that George nominated him, but he did not make the final ballot.
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