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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.


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.


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

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