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Speaking of Awards...

As I was saying, 2016 was not a great year. It was not even a good year.

But that is not to say that some good things did not happen.

Worldcon is always one of the highlights of the year for me, and has been since I attended my very first in 1971. One of my favorite worldcons of all time was MidAmericon, the Kansas City worldcon in 1976 (you know how up to date they are in Kansas City, they've gone about as far as they can go). This year's worldcon, MidAmericon II, was alas, not even close to that legendary innovative gathering in '76... but we saw friends, ate barbeque, signed books, enjoyed panels and readings, and had fun in all the ways fans always do when they gather.

In 1976, I lost two Hugo Awards, and held the first Hugo Losers Party in my room (with the help of Gardner Dozois, my fellow loser). That was one of the highlights of the con, beyond a doubt.

As it happens, I reclaimed the Hugo Losers Party last year in Spokane, so I held one once again at Big Mac II. Since my old room in the Muehlebach was no longer available (that whole wing having been demolished in the interim), I rented the Midland Theatre instead and had the bash there. And once again, it was one of my favorite parts of the con.

In 1976, Hugo losers got nothing at the party but a lusty cheer, some cheap booze, and maybe a few cheez puffs. In 2016, however, at least a few of the lucky losers got Alfie Awards. (Which of course did not exist in 1976, since I just made them up last year). They're made of old hood ornaments (as some early Hugos were), polished and replated by Tyler Eugene Smith.

Turns out most of the 2016 Alfie presentation was recorded, and has now been uploaded to YouTube. So for all of you who were not able to attend the Hugo Losers Party, here 'tis.

(Do note that the early part of my talk, where I explain the awards and talk about Alfie Bester and the first Hugo, is missing).

Congrats once more to all the Alfie winners... and to losers everywhere.


Dec. 6th, 2016 01:23 am (UTC)
Wishing you and yours well in the year to come, sir.
David Levin
Dec. 6th, 2016 01:35 am (UTC)
Congratulations !
Congrats to all the 2016 Alfie winners. Good job

Those are some large awards. They do look like hood ornaments.

Winners and losers party like 1976. You deserve it.

Anyone who lost, just being there in the running is a win.
Alex Alexis
Dec. 6th, 2016 03:07 am (UTC)
What are your hopes for 2017?
I truly love your idea for the Alfie Awards, you're all great sports.

Regarding the imperfect nature 2016 has, do you look forward to anything in the next year/ do you think 2017 will be any better?

Edited at 2016-12-06 03:31 am (UTC)
Dec. 6th, 2016 04:28 am (UTC)
RE: What are your hopes for 2017?
Predicting the future is an uncertain business at best.

On a personal level, 2017 could very well be spectacular, productive, fun, fulfilling.

But it will be a bad year for our nation, and a worse one for the world.

(I would love to be wrong, of course).
Dec. 6th, 2016 05:50 am (UTC)
Re: What are your hopes for 2017?
I totally agree.
Here in Germany, we are relieved about Austria's results of the elections, but next year, Germany votes and I am very scared of the results. I am part of the left party and we are trying to "fight" racism - but lately it seems that being a so called "worried citizen" (meaning: people that blame everything on refugees) allows you to be racist.
Unfortunately, that gives the right-wing populist party AfD a big chance of winning more and more votes :(
But: we need to keep on fighting fascism and all the other bad in the world. Hope always dies last...
Red Zen
Dec. 6th, 2016 11:40 am (UTC)
Re: What are your hopes for 2017?
You're really fighting the system, Melanie.
Kyler Rose
Dec. 7th, 2016 03:43 am (UTC)
Re: What are your hopes for 2017?
"worried citizen"

Just like how "economic anxiety" in the U.S was basically a code word for brown people are scary.
Dec. 7th, 2016 05:26 am (UTC)
Re: What are your hopes for 2017?
If we on the left are going to turn the tide of right wing populism currently threatening to engulf western civilization, I think one of the first things we're going to have to do is acknowledge that yelling 'racist' at those who express concern about refugees and immigration in general is both ineffective and often unfair.

Without question, there ARE racists among such people, genuine bigots who will hate brown people no matter what you do. However, there are also decent and genuinely concerned people who aren't a lost cause, who may simply be misinformed or who may even have a decent argument for their concerns. The best approach is not to label them and dismiss them, driving them towards the actual racists, but to fairly consider their concerns and, if possible, offer strong arguments why they're misplaced.

Caleb Howell
Dec. 7th, 2016 02:12 pm (UTC)
Re: What are your hopes for 2017?
You are stating one of the main reasons why Donald Trump was elected. The left lumped everyone on the right, or anyone voting Trump into being racists and bigots. It worked really well for the left, so well they are doubling down on that policy after losing the election. /s
Dec. 7th, 2016 05:13 pm (UTC)
Re: What are your hopes for 2017?
The left errs by too often finding everything racist. The right errs by too often finding nothing and no one racist, short of a guy in a Klan robe openly yelling racial slurs or something that can be interpreted as racist against white people, who after all are the real victims.

Example: Can you imagine the feeding frenzy Breitbart and the like would have had if Clinton or Obama had suggested a judge couldn't rule on her case objectively because he's a white male? I can.

Yet oddly enough, there was no such feeding frenzy among Trump's base when Trump said the same thing about a judge "because he's Mexican" (i.e. born and raised in the United States, but of Mexican heritage.)

In the long run, I suspect this approach will bite the right in the ass. Younger voters, even younger white voters, largely have no taste for it and the older white voters who do will die off. Four years of being associated with this approach via Trump and his less restrained supporters may well sink the Republicans for years to come.

Edited at 2016-12-07 05:17 pm (UTC)
Dec. 6th, 2016 03:17 pm (UTC)
What are your hopes for 2017?
this message eases my heart :-)
Dec. 7th, 2016 12:07 am (UTC)
Re: What are your hopes for 2017?
Biden will save us in 2020.
Jason Kimball
Dec. 7th, 2016 05:59 pm (UTC)
Re: What are your hopes for 2017?
Regarding our nation and the world, there are some benefits to the election, like no more supporting extremists and overthrowing governments. ASOIAF helped me realize the horrors of war, and it's heartbreaking to think of the endless chaos in Syria or Libya, and every other candidate wanted to start another war in Ukraine. So at least that won't happen. We'll stop trying to impose our will in Libya & Syria by using mercenaries & terrorists, so there are some positives.

And the media never covered any of that. They actually implied Trump would be the one to get us into WW3, while advocating for someone who wanted to act very aggressive towards Russia. I think the perspective of the geopolitical nerds is very illuminating, and those guys are filled with hope for the first time in over a decade. It's December, the holidays are coming up, we should all be more hopeful and optimistic!
Dec. 7th, 2016 07:09 pm (UTC)
Re: What are your hopes for 2017?
I am all for peace as well. But you have a different definition of "very aggressive" than I do. The only one starting a war in the Ukraine at the moment is Putin. The question is, what should the world and the US do about it?

Trump is a loose cannon. No one actually knows what he will do in foreign affairs. And that can be very very dangerous.
Red Zen
Dec. 8th, 2016 02:04 pm (UTC)
Re: What are your hopes for 2017?
All it takes for some doves to become hawks is the replacement of (D) for (R).

Google for "defense lobby campaign contributions hillary trump".

You might know better than the lobbyists. But I doubt it.
Jason Kimball
Dec. 9th, 2016 04:20 am (UTC)
Re: What are your hopes for 2017?
Russia is such an interesting subject, a huge problem for me has been the lack of objective information. We have a major problem with our media. For instance, almost no one is reporting on a missile shield we're building near Russia's border, something from the the Bush era. As soon as Putin heard about it, he said his country would focus on offensive weaponry to counteract it. So Russia dumped money into hypersonic nukes, and now they've developed them. We just activated the first part of the missile shield, and Putin said before it reaches a certain point of advancement, he will attack it. He went into everything in a meeting with international press four months ago (https://youtu.be/kqD8lIdIMRo), he believes that if unchecked, our system will neutralize Russia's entire nuclear capability.

So things were looking very serious. Especially with every other candidate proclaiming that Crimea belonged to Ukraine. For me, I can't side against the people of Crimea, especially with the takeover of Ukraine's central government. If the rebels had to overthrow Yanukovych, then that's different; but they signed an agreement for peaceful, coordinated transition of power (co-signed by 3 EU nations and Russia). Then they staged their coup the next day! They didn't have to do that; they could have held the elections as agreed, in which case Crimea would still be Ukrainian territory. I think Trump will want to move forward from the incident, and I really hope we move forward from it. Because what can we do about it? Is there an answer that doesn't completely trample the will of the people of Crimea?

I see Trump more as an aggressive advocate who is very flexible, I think a loose cannon is something far more dangerous. I know Iran really drives Trump crazy, if he is a loose cannon as president, I think we'll at least find out quickly.
Christopher Frazier
Dec. 6th, 2016 07:26 am (UTC)
Thanks the insight!
Thanks for the look into the losers party. My fantasy novel series will likely never be exposed enough or good enough to be a loser myself. So that really was great to see, thank you! Because most likely I never will.
It didn't match up with what I had visualized in my mind. I pictured a GRRM version of the Breakfast Club movie for some reason (not really, kidding but still cool).

I have to agree with you George on 2017. I think 2017 will be a brutal year. In short, I think we will all get leg Trumped. My biggest fear is an all out war with China honestly. I would love to be wrong. I don't want to play a radioactive version of the Walking Dead in real life or Fallout 4 in real life (kidding but still).

You know what would make 2017 better (if you don't count world peace world) In my fantasy world, the NFL announces the Raiders won't be coming to Vegas. Instead, announces Vegas gets an expansion team, they get named the Direwolves.

The new owner wants to seek your permission to use the Stark Direwolf on their helmets with the same color pattern and maybe some other GoT themed elements.

My question is, you were offered bags of money, part ownership, and free suites for lives would you do it? I know there is a ton of legal stuff I have no idea about - like HBO rights but if it came down to just you would you?
Red Zen
Dec. 6th, 2016 11:47 am (UTC)
I hope that 2017 is wisdom. If humility commands honesty, nobody is much affected by what entertainers do to advocate for one political candidate or another. But the world is forever moved by every word of genius committed to paper by one of the worlds most beloved authors.
Daniel De Simone
Dec. 6th, 2016 05:04 pm (UTC)
Speaking of videos of things...
...this is my round-about way of trying to stay on topic when the actual topic is closed.

Was there a video of your discussion with Emily St. John Mandel? Would love to see it.
Kilian Boss
Dec. 6th, 2016 05:49 pm (UTC)
Speaking of a bad year...
... I don´t know if you are already aware, but Peter Vaughan, who portrayed Maester Aemon in Game of Thrones, passed away today. Albeit in the proud age of 93 and surrounded by his family, but let´s hope this will be the last tragic news of 2016.

Back in 2010 when you announced the actors for the show, you wrote: "He's going to be a sensational Maester Aemon."

So he was. And now his watch has ended.
Dan Koifman
Dec. 6th, 2016 11:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Speaking of a bad year...
He saw three and ninety summers. And now his watch is ended.
Dec. 7th, 2016 05:08 am (UTC)
I was following this blog back when the Sad/Rabid Puppy stuff from the previous WorldCon was coming up a lot here. It was interesting to see how much turmoil it was causing, but I wasn't personally affected by it. I'm simply not deeply invested enough in Sci-Fi/Fantasy fandom to worry about who wins a Hugo and who doesn't.

Now, though, it feels like the tidal wave of right wing populism that struck the Hugos was an unnerving premonition of things to come, on a far grander and more terrifying scale.

I now live in dread at which country will succumb next. France? Germany? The Netherlands?

2016 was bad. 2017 could be much, much worse if the tide doesn't turn.
Dec. 9th, 2016 04:44 am (UTC)
And you throw a hell of a party.


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

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