Hugo Aftermath

I was saddened at the results of the Hugo awards last night, but not surprised. The efforts to put story first did indeed prove just what they were intended to: the clique of voters that prefers message to storytelling also doesn’t care about quality, or even if the story is actually SFF. So… we carry on. In the coming years I do expect to see an erosion of those results, because I am an eternal optimist. I also don’t really care, because having read the nominees, the ones who won… well, this is why so many people pick up a book with “hugo” on the cover, and promptly put it back down, unless they are trying to impress some terribly literary person. They just aren’t fun to read, and in many cases are badly written. Some, while well done, don’t belong in science fiction or fantasy at all, and are only here, I presume, because they meet the expected standards of what is acceptable content.

And that is what the thought it: approved content. They completely ignore diversity unless it’s in an approved story. Or by an approved author, who can be any shade of pale as long as they say what is required. Authors in shades of other colors who don’t stick to the party line are ostracized.

Shrug. For me, I want to take Toni Weisskopf’s words to heart. “Science Fiction ought to be fun.”

For more in-depth commentary, I recommend Dave Freer’s post this morning. Or the commentary here.  I really don’t recommend delving into twitter, because while there is such a thing as a sore loser, there is also the gloating (and pointless) winner. I refuse to think that the Hugo voting is not clean and above-board. I don’t think it needs to be corrupt. Look at what Orbit did this year, only releasing excerpts of it’s books, and think about why they might have done that. There are several reasons, and I think it’s the key to this mess.

The inestimable Toni Weisskopf (taken at LibertyCon 27)

The inestimable Toni Weisskopf (taken at LibertyCon 27)

And Oh, yeah, free story! Click, download, and share the link so others can enjoy too.



17 thoughts on “Hugo Aftermath

  1. I think the thing to do here is to write the best stories we can. It’s going to take a lot of good art to dispel the cultursmog of bad “art” and we’ve got to do the work. Not whine about it. Ultimately, the winners are the ones with royalty checks to deposit. Seeing heads explode because The Banished One gets a nomination is the half-time show.


  2. I think what this round of Hugos did was get out more voters. If SFF readers want an award for “Best” SFF, they’re going to have to pony up and vote. Otherwise it’s going to remain the Progressive cliques’ internal award for saying the right thing.


  3. I happen to think that the Hugo voters may have just shot themselves in the foot by choosing Ancillary Justice as the winner despite Orbit having just sent out partial copies. After all, there’s zero need to send out complete copies of the books for voters to read since it’s clear you can win by not doing that.

    So, as more and more partials are sent out, part of the allure of being a Hugo voter is gone.

    And to think, they could have just picked a lefty friendly book that had been included in the member packet in full.


    • I think it’s also clear they knew they could count on votes by people who didn’t care if they hadn’t actually read enough of the stories to cast a true vote – that they could count on the votes to come in for them based solely on ‘party lines’


  4. I’ve never seen such anger, ungraciousness and nastiness from the *winners* of a contest before. But let them enjoy their “victory” for now. In a decade, we’ll see who’s still standing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Popularity contest is contest of popularity, film at eleven.

    To be honest, I’m not sure what Correia (who I met this weekend at GenCon, by the way; he seems like a nice guy) was trying to prove with this. Sure, you can get pretty much whoever you want nominated. And I, at least, read and voted on most of the works, including voting the Vox Day story above “No Reward”. (I didn’t think it was the best in its category, but I did think it was pretty good, regardless of Day’s personal status as a poor excuse for a human being. For that matter, I still like Ender’s Game despite Card having turned into a monumental jerk. Sue me.)

    The thing is, unless you can actually recruit people in sufficient numbers who are willing to pay the $45 to cast their vote, AND who are likely to think the works in question are more deserving than the other nominees, it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion. (And why didn’t more people do that, I wonder?)

    You can say quality will out, you can say popularity will out, whatever, but either way, the works that will win are the works that the majority of voters think are worthy. You don’t have to nominate a block of conservative fiction and see it lose to ascertain that, and there’s no need to act like it’s some kind of Great Revelation that Proves Something. It was, as I said, a foregone conclusion from the very start.

    The failure of Orbit to provide complete copies of its works didn’t prevent me from reading them. Overdrive had all of them in its checkout system in my public library. And for what it’s worth, I personally did think Ancillary Justice was the best in its category. It wasn’t just a ripping good yarn (as effectively every other nominee was), but it also challenged my preconceived notions of what a story could do. It blew me away, so I voted for it. Whether it was given away free or not wasn’t a matter of concern for me.


    • *shrug* the point was to prove that it’s become an insular mental mutual masturbatory circle jerk /echo chamber. Both the initial outraged reaction of the GHH/SJW crowd that owns the hugos, and the results proved it beyond a shadow of a doubt. You are right though If you want to change it, then much like politics sadly, you are gonna have to get out the vote. But how many readers KNOW they can put out the $45 membership fee to get the vote. How many are willing to do so to effect that change? Also quite frankly, more to the point, how many like me frankly don’t give a rats ass? for the simple reason I vote the only way that matters…with my wallet; giving money to authors I actually enjoy.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I read everything–the way most of the voters did, as far as I can tell–and voted based on what I liked best. I liked _Ancillary Justice_ best–not least because it showed me something I didn’t know about the inside of my own head–and _Warbound_ least. Just because my tastes differ from yours doesn’t mean I’m pretending to like things I actually hate. So it doesn’t mean anyone else is, either.

    It is a bit of a popularity contest too, because that’s only human, and the Sad Puppies did themselves no favors with the spokesperson they wound up with. Beginning your attempt to win a Hugo with “Hey, all you Hugo judges! F* you for a bunch of prejudiced jerks!” is the kind of tactic that gets people to look up from the fun stuff we were reading and say “Well, f* you right back, jack, whoever you are.”

    Write the best stuff you can, stop being jerks in public, (check out Brandon Sanderson for an example of not being a jerk in public) and see where it goes. I like reading good stuff and if you can produce the stuff I enjoy most in a given year, I’ll vote for you.


  7. I *love* Correia’s work. Nonetheless, when it came time to vote, I voted _Warbound_ 2nd *last* on my ballot (ahead of WoT which should never have been eligible, despite my love for parts of that series). Why? First of all it was unapologetic *pulp*. I like some pulp in my reading diet, but it does not have the quality that I personally would like to associate with the Hugo award. Second of all, Warbound was #3 in its series (a factor that also hurt the Mira Grant book on my ballot). I would have weighted Hard Magic higher, but the sequel-to-the-sequel didn’t have anyhing new to add to the genre.

    In consequence, I was left with two choices on the novel list that stood head and shoulders above the rest, in terms of quality of writing and originality. Many others seem to have made similar judgments. No bias against the politics of the writers is necessary to explain the outcome.


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