2015 Hugo Awards Nomination Thoughts

hugo_rocketWell, the Saturday before Easter came and went and as is traditional it brought the announcement of this year’s Hugo Short List. And to say I was disappointed is to put it mildly. Of all of my nominees only six made it on to the ballot: Strange Horizons, Lightspeed and Beneath Ceaseless Skies in the Semiprozine category, Galactic Suburbia and Tea and Jeopardy in the Fancast category, and Wes Chu for the Campbell Award. While I’m stoked for these six that they’re there, because I think they’re very deserving, I’m still sad that nothing I nominated in the fiction categories made it and that no one I nominated for Fan Writer made it either.  

As for what did make it? I’m excited to see Ancillary Sword and The Goblin Emperor on there for Best Novel. The dramatic presentation categories are surprisingly interesting, but since I’m not going to shell out to get all of the DVDs to watch them, I’m going to have a hard time voting for them. The same goes for the graphic novel category.

To address the elephant in the room, and no it’s not a pink one, the Hugo Short List was swept by the Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies. You can see the full slate over here at tor.com. While I plan on reading the non-Puppy nominees and as much of the Puppy nominees as I can stomach (if it’s not working after 10%, I’m giving myself permission to be done), I’m not too hopeful about the experience. But whether or not the fiction will work for me or not, what pisses me off most is that it seems as if the Hugos have become a battlefield for political positions. Political positions that reflect mostly a US political reality, not the one that I live in here in the Netherlands every day. Then again, Dutch political parties, even on the right, are almost socialist by US standards, so I shouldn’t be surprised by this.

On the Adventures in SciFi Publishing podcast in the interview episode with Larry Correia and Brad Torgerson, Torgerson stated something to the effect that SJWs/the Hugo voting public thought his ‘side’ were having fun wrong. But to me that just smacked of hypocrisy as by his standards I’m having my fun wrong, since I enjoy works that include stuff I find important that clashes with his preferences. So I value diversity, equality, and yes, I’d call myself a feminist. That does not make me an SJW as the Puppies designate everyone who holds these values. And yes, looking at my nominating slate, my nominees reflect my preferences, but I didn’t pick them based on this. I picked them because I very much enjoyed reading them.

There’s lots of authors I love, who have never been nominated for a Hugo, who are very successful commercially, but will probably never be nominated, such as Mercedes Lackey, Robin Hobb, Trudi Canavan, or Jacqueline Carey to name but a few. But there are also a large number of authors I love that fit the “SJW-message fic” the Sad Puppies decry who haven’t made the ballot either (thus far; I still remain hopeful for the future) so I can understand it is frustrating not seeing the things you love on the ballot, but I very much think what happened with the SP/RP slates isn’t the answer.

Meanwhile to give you some more perspectives from people who are putting it far better than I could and give some far more well-reasoned responses, I’ll leave you with the following links.

  • Renay welcomes us to the Glitter Hellscape that is this year’s Hugos, but also maintains a stance of reckless optimism.
  • Abigail Nussbaum shares her thoughts and offers her view of using No Award.
  • Wesley Chu is nominated for the Campbell (YAY WES!!) and shares his intention of making this year’s WorldCon as much of a party as it always is.
  • Ana of the Book Smugglers offers her own eloquent views of events and links to her an Renay’s reaction episode on Fangirl Happy Hour, which I highly recommend you listen to, since it is both hilarious and tear-inducing.
  • Paul Weimer has a thoughtful reaction on his blog.
  • Justin Landon, in a guest post over at Pornokitsch, has a very reasoned take on the whole situation (and also proves why he one day needs to win a Hugo for Best Fan Writer)
  • Michael Senft of Relentless Reading shares his thoughts about his first foray into (Hugo) participatory fandom.
  • Jason Sanford has several posts about the whole mess.
  • Shaun Duke has a clear take.
  • Annie Bellet, one of the authors pushed by SP/RP shares her mixed feeling about her Hugo nomination.
  • As does the crew of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine.
  • Sarah Chorn also weighs in with her thoughts on how the Hugos have lost their focus on art.
  • And finally, Mike Glyer of File 770 has a round-up of both SP/RP reactions and those on the other side of the divide.

This was the second post in this year’s Hugos posts. The next one will go up after voting for the Awards closes this summer. It’ll be interesting to see how I land on that. I expect there’ll be a number of blank and no awards showing up.

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5 thoughts on “2015 Hugo Awards Nomination Thoughts”

  1. I just posted my thoughts on the Hugos today as well. Maybe I’m missing something, but I still don’t get the whole controversy that led us to this point, and I get the ‘no award’ movement response even less. No matter how you look at it, it’s just a mess.

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