On the Outside of the Hugos, Looking In

The 2015 Hugo awards were given out over last weekend, at Worldcon in Spokane, and the meltdown is ongoing. The commentary on this at the follow-up post at According to Hoyt has gone over 1,000 comments, a record that I haven’t seen on a blog since the heyday of a certain blog that is not mentioned any more (but whose name referenced small verdantly-colored prolate spheroids). I’ll admit, right from the get-go, that as a writer and blogger I have no real dog in this fight over the Hugo awards – not even the smallest of timid and depressed of puppies, but I did feel enough of an interest in it to post about it a couple of times. I merely observe with sympathy as an interested internet ‘friend’ and fan of some of those who are deeply involved, rather than a directly-involved author. I love Connie Willis’s books and Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan saga, used to love Marion Zimmer Bradley – alas, my collection of her books is now boxed and moldering away in the garage . My science fiction and ‘con’ activity extends only as far as having an entire run of Blakes’ 7 taped on VHS from when it was broadcast on KUED in Salt Lake City in the 1990s, having gone to the Salt Lake City ‘con several times, and once to the Albuquerque ‘con’ when it happened to be on a weekend at the time  I was TDY to Kirtland AFB for a senior NCO leadership class. I had a marvelous time, on all those occasions … but my personal writing concentration is on historical fiction, and to a lesser extent, socio/political blogging.

An excellent run-down of the whole Sad Puppies 1-3 background contained in this post – yes, it would otherwise appear to be yet another convoluted inside-baseball saga, of interest only to those directly involved – but this kind of stuff counts in the long run. It’s pop culture, of course – but pop culture is upstream from political culture. What is in the movies, books, games, on television and in social media eventually ties into the larger issues. Indeed, some would suggest that pop culture frames and sets the agenda, especially with people who aren’t political junkies.

I agree with the above-linked author Rob, at SF Author, that shutting out perceived Puppy nominees with a “No Award” is a move that will backfire on the social justice/politically correct brigade. It’s a poison pill, devaluing what had once been a valuable award property for any author or editor, an award that was a major signifier of quality in speculative fiction. It’s not the quality of the story being judged – it’s the political opinions or the connections of the author himself, or the bona fides of the party/parties which nominated the work in the first place that is being rewarded … or in the case of No Award, not acknowledged at all. How very Stalinist; how very lock-step the march to judgement is. Voting No Award on an ideological basis risks the very real possibility of reducing the thing itself to a relatively meaningless rocket-shaped knick-knack. The properly-accredited insiders will log-roll and award it to each other for small-appeal and mediocre work at smaller and smaller cons; meanwhile those authors writing ripping good yarns that readers actually want to go out and read will cheerfully ignore the whole thing in favor of something more meaningful … such as generous royalty payments at the end of every month.

It would also seem, from posts and comments by attendees at the ‘con, and at the awards ceremony itself, that the speakers and a large part of the audience behaved quite churlishly to certain authors and nominees … which is just another brand on the fire, and cause for a good part of the 1,000+ comment string. Seriously, what Hugo nominee with any self-respect will want to go to such an event in future?

My previous posts on the Sad Puppies here at Chicagoboyz are here and here. And here — just for fun is the inevitable Downfall parody referencing the Hugos at this years Worldcon.

59 thoughts on “On the Outside of the Hugos, Looking In”

  1. It’s pretty to think that WorldCon will pay a price, but, if so, I don’t think it will because of the boorish behavior of the presenters and voters, but rather because SF itself is dying. These days fantasy, games, comics, etc rule and it is conventions like DragonCon that the popular authors attend. Compare the Web sites of DragonCon and Sasquan and see which one you would choose to spend money to attend.

    It is amazing how thoroughly youngsters are indoctrinated in the Social Justice doctrine and it may be a couple of decades before they begin to wise up. Of course there are rebels, but they are not yet a majority. Perhaps there will be a spark and the tumbrels will roll, but I am not going to invest my retirement funds betting on it.

  2. Oh, Michael – burn!
    Chuck, a good many of the other puppy-sympathizers also wonder if Worldcon is worth the candle, and are already speculating on the means of awarding a Hugo, or something rather like a Hugo through one of the other and bigger and more popular cons.
    It might come to that. It will build slowly, of course. There have already been a few new commenters, to the Hoyt thread, previously uninvolved or neutral to vaguely anti-puppy absolutely outraged at how it all came down in Spokane.
    And a major editor/manager at Tor is reported to have been an absolute abusive d*ck and in public to John Wright’s wife, who was trying to be civil and conciliatory. The jerk in question is apparently Tor’s big editorial/managing cheese, and Tor publishes the work of both Wright and his wife. (She’s a writer, too.)
    So, yeah – I am glad to be indy, and own the company that publishes my books. I do not have to endure abusive tantrums in public venues from the editors and managers that I write for.

  3. I almost agree with Chuck. SF is not dying, but the old publisher-oriented SF died. IMO SF went mainstream, with mainstream incomes for the most successful, and independence for all the rest who want it.

  4. …are already speculating on the means of awarding a Hugo, or something rather like a Hugo …

    I think that’s a spectacular idea. Who died and left them gods of the awards? Now to sweeten the deal, add a nice cash prize too. That’s a winning formula.

  5. From a science fiction fan of 65+ years and a gamer for more than 40:

    Science fiction and computer games are outrageously politically incorrect. Peruse the ubiquitous lists of all time best sci-fi and computer games. They are overwhelmingly dominated by the “space opera” genre, this from “horse opera” out of “soap opera”. White hats and black hats, destroy the legions of evil – and some petty bureaucrats along the way.

    Of course the social justice warriors are out in force. This is a front in the long march through the institutions. It seems that they may be encountering a bit of resistance. It’s about time.

  6. Agreed Roy.

    I started noticing a decline in the quality of the Hugo winner stories in the late 1980’s. It struck me as strange, that despite excellent books by Niven/Pournelle, and Poul Anderson, mostly dreck was getting nominated and winning in the late 1990’s and it got even worse in the 2000’s.

  7. “I started noticing a decline in the quality of the Hugo winner stories in the late 1980’s. It struck me as strange, that despite excellent books by Niven/Pournelle, and Poul Anderson, mostly dreck was getting nominated and winning in the late 1990’s and it got even worse in the 2000’s.”

    And exactly what are you doing about that? Bigots win when there is no one to confront them on their bigotry, and the Hugo Awards is suppose to be an open process. Anyone can participate in the nomination and voting process. So instead of complaining that “dreck” is getting nominated and winning, get involved and nominate books and stories that you believe deserve the award.

  8. Precisely what happened this last time around, Farix … and those categories which were filled with Puppy nominations got No Award for their trouble and interest. Hence the fury.

  9. Farix,

    When I noticed this decline, I QUIT buying Hugo award winners. I, like many other fans, voted with my money. Working at a nuclear plant under construction and raising 4 boys left me little time to get involved in something like that. Hell, my other hobby, model rocketry also had to go on hiatus. I used to compete in that hobby and no longer had the time to do so.

    Also, I had no idea the Hugos were voted on by the fans and one specific convention, as I was not involved in the fan culture. I just like to read good science fiction. I used to spend $20-30 a month at Borders/Barnes & Noble back in the 80’s and that amount got progressively lower as the quality of the stuff I saw in bookstores declined. Rarely, as my favorite writers put out a new work, I’d splurge, and occasionally I would buy from a new writer because it seemed promising, but more often than not, I had ended up getting a dog turd leftist political message disguised as poorly written sci-fi. I discovered John Ringo when I bought the Last Centurion in the bookstore at the Pittsburgh airport. I can guarantee he’ll also never win a Hugo because he’s way too conservative and military for those prissy types who control the awards.

  10. Farix, what you describe is Sad Puppies 1-3. The results:

    1. Sad Puppies one was declared about Larry wanting a Hugo and blown off.
    2. Sad Puppies two was declared about Larry wanting a Hugo and, ‘oh, but the way, why didn’t you recommend complete lists of nominees’.
    3. Sad Puppies three saw Larry declining a nomination and the presentation of complete lists of recommended nominees which was then blasted as slate voting.

    It is a heads I win, tails you lose game. But people have been playing it for three years and now it is there fault because they are doing nothing. A concern trolling you are now doing on at least two blogs.

  11. I wonder if Farix is another alias for that troll(Clamps, Luscinia, etc) from Taxachussetts who was infesting boards while stalking and threatening a little Filipino woman. Vox Day finally caught him and got a police order against him, but he still pops up occasionally spouting his crapola.

  12. I don’t think so, Joe – Farix seems much more rational than Luscinia/Clamps — who was really, really irrational off the wall. Still a bit of a whiner, though, and too lazy to read through what has been written previously, before parachuting in and dropping his pearls of judicious wisdom before us ungrateful swine.

  13. You do realize that if it was about quality, then you wouldn’t be championing Kevin Anderson and Vox Day. Right?

  14. Whoever said that I am championing Kevin Anderson and Vox Day, hmm? Seems like you are taking a seven-league-boots leap to a conclusion, Alauda. Right?

  15. Oooooohhhhhhh!! Another concern troll. Deny and denounce the eeeeevvvviiiiilllll Vox Day!! Or be subject to being forever associated with him and his vile faceless minions. Hey troll! Are you proud to be associated forever with Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Hitler and all the minor socialist murderers that have killed over 100 million people in the last 100 years?

    BTW…I’d much rather be in the company of Vox Day (Ted Beale) than being associated with Sam Delaney, Walter Breen and Marion Bradley. He’s never killed anyone nor has he sexually abused children.

  16. @Alauda, If your lies were more imaginative you could be a successful writer, but I’m afraid I’ve got to do the No Award thing.

  17. Classy comeback troll.

    You’re just projecting Alauda, like all SJW’s do. Why hide behind an alias? Use your real name like I do, or have you got something to hide? Like the fact you are just a SJW troll for example?

  18. Oh, bless your cotton-pickin’ little heart. Alauda — there is no movement … well, not a particularly organized one, anyway. It’s more of a distributed insurgency. There is VOX DAYYYYY!! the supreme lord of evil, the boogey-man/Emmanuel Goldstein whom we must all denounce in accordance with the command of all the right-thinking social justice weenies, and then there is Sad Puppies, the distributed and leaderless insurgency who … have suggestions for cool books and neat stories that fans of science fiction might enjoy much, much more than the literary equivalent of Filboid Studge on offer of late.

  19. Oh, please, you idiots nominated a story in which an elf and a monk discuss religion. So don’t talk about neat stories that fans of science fiction might enjoy vs filboid studge.

  20. Who you calling an idiot, Alauda — you know that you shouldn’t denigrate yourself in that fashion. It’s pathetic … and trollish.

    One more time – there is nothing more than an distributed insurgency, wherein individuals put up books, stories and individuals that they think other readers might find interesting and worthy of a nom. Other individuals agree with them — shocker, I know.

    Do you even get the reference to filboid studge? Rather doubt it, actually.

    Look, Alauda – yer a troll, and not a particularly amusing or original one. In fact, I think that you are Luscinia under another nym, and I am prepared to mock you, repeatedly, you empty-headed animal food trough wiper! … Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!

  21. Real classy. No one on our end nominated dinosaur porn though. No one on our end nominated Anita Sarkeesian. No one on our side acted like a bunch of 4 yr olds during the entire controversy. No one on our end supports the fake woman Brianna Wu. No one on our end nominated and voted a Hugo for Redshirts.

  22. Also, I’m not the one making baseless assumptions that Brianna Wu is transgender and I’m not the one who nominated Wisdom From My Internet or Transhuman And Subhuman either.

  23. Also, I’m not the one making baseless assumptions that Brianna Wu is transgender

    Points and laughs at the moron troll…..

  24. Well, what else would you mean by “fake woman?”

    “The dead goblin didn’t have any answers for him, and the gaping mouth gaping loosely open made it look about as stupid as Forex was feeling”
    is not good.

    “They were followed by ten more dwarves, then another ten, who spread out on either side of the hill and the opening that gaped like an open wound.”
    is not good.

  25. Because Encyclopedia Dramatica is (1.) a trustworthy source and (2.) a site not totally infested with malware and trojans.

    So not only do I not believe you, I’m not even clicking your link.

  26. Troll, troll, troll we go,
    Gently down the stream,
    Trollerily, trollerily, trollerily
    Life is but a dream!

    Now, Alauda, go and boil your bottoms, you sons of a silly person, or I shall be forced to taunt you again!

  27. Breitbart isn’t much better than Encyclopedia Dramatica, and by that, I mean they’re just as trustworthy but at least their site isn’t infested with malware and popups.

  28. Another reason I don’t read Sci Fi. I read it when I was a kid and still read old Hal Clements novels.

    It does seem to attract weirdos.

  29. Mike, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle write some really good stuff. I cannot recommend them too much. The late Poul Anderson is another. Sarah Hoyt is another good one. I also like John Ringo.

  30. Again, points and laughs at the clown walking down the middle of the street….

    Andrew, your schtick is getting old.

    Of course you would think Breitbart, Fox, Instapundit, and this place are untrustworthy. I’m sure you much prefer those paragons of objectivity and honesty like (p)MSNBC, CNN, and the NY Slime. I bet you miss the old Soviet Pravda.

  31. “Science fiction and computer games are outrageously politically incorrect. Peruse the ubiquitous lists of all time best sci-fi and computer games. They are overwhelmingly dominated by the “space opera” genre, this from “horse opera” out of “soap opera”. White hats and black hats, destroy the legions of evil – and some petty bureaucrats along the way.”

    I agree so many popular games and Sci-Fi books are very much as you say. Popular does not mean good though and I dispute your best claim. My favorite game is Stalker which is designed to humiliate you. It’s kind of the opposite of western hero games and one of the best video games ever made.

    The space opera genre was very right wing and aggressive but they were hardly good books. Jerry Pournelle springs to mind. There were also subtle and insightful books written as Sci-Fi, very many of them.

    Video games since Doom. I’m playing Elder Scrolls Online right now, it’s a hoot. I’ll be 69 in 2 weeks.

  32. Just because you want to read the grey goo that passes for “mainstream science fiction” these days does not mean most of the rest of us do.

    Just note that the books Dr. Pournelle has written with Larry Niven (and Steve Barnes) have vastly outsold all the crap that passes for “award winning science fiction” in the last 20 years.

  33. They are simplistic and bombastic. Good guys vs bad guys. I used to enjoy Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven. Larry could come up with some cool stuff, but he stopped that a long time ago, I guess about when he and Jerry hooked up. Jerry’s present sometime banner, I do keep up, has his hero Robert Heinlein pontificating:

    “Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded—here and there, now and then—are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

    “This is known as ‘bad luck’.”

    I’m sure that this is fodder for you lot but it was stuff like this that turned me off RH quite early on. It’s obvious bullshit. I was young then.

    I grew up.

    I’m not sure what you mean by grey goo. I enjoy the Ian Banks Culture stuff among others. My big phone does a good Kindle impersonation so I try some new authors once in a while.

    I know quite a bit about video games if that interests you. ;)

  34. You probably don’t like it because it is true. That tells me you still have not grown up.

    That is a fact of life. Just look at what happens to nations where they persecute/kill the truly creative guys who develop new technologies and ideas. They never live up to their potential because information flow is severely restricted and ideas contrary to dogma are viscously put down. Ever hear about Lysenko? Stalin also hated the idea of computers, so the old USSR did not even try to build one until the mid 1950’s after he was dead. Despite having huge advantages of material resources and a talented, well educated technical sector, the Russians still have trouble building anything well and very little of the technical advances brought out in the last 100 years have come from there. Look at how Hitler crippled his war effort by kicking out/killing all the Jewish talent Germany had in the 1930’s.

    I guess you have not read Larry’s collaborations with Greg Benford (Shipstar) and Steven Barnes (The Moon Maze Game) have you? He still has one of the best imaginations of any science Fiction writer still alive and producing. He also is not hung up on political correctness which is another reason you don’t like him or Dr. Pournelle.

  35. No the real world is not simplistic and bombastic. Many would like it to be but it aint.

    The Russians are perhaps 10 years ahead in EW, that’s what the pentagon says anyway. You may have heard of the US destroyer that was completely shut down by a Russian plane flying near it, true story.

    I quit reading Jerry quite a while ago. He is not all that great a writer apart from any views he might have.

    The right wing likes simple truths and as the world is not all that simple I find it childish, if nothing else. Yeah I grew up. A lot of the rest of you have not.

  36. That just told me you are naïve beyond most libtards. I seriously doubt the Russians are 10 years ahead. We proved that 4-5 years ago when we shut down their advanced S-300 A-A missile system so the Israelis could bomb the reactor the Syrians were building. The guy claiming that was a typical pentagon empire-building denizen trying to get more funding for his pet program. That is a typical ploy that has been used over and over for the last 50 years.

    Simple and bombastic is a SJW trait, not one of Jerry Pournelle. You are projecting again.

    Three traits of a SJW:

    1: They ALWAYS lie
    2: They ALWAYS double down on those lies
    3: They ALWAYS project

    So far I’ve seen you fulfill all three traits. because you view the world in simple and bombastic terms, you assume everyone does, therefore you project.

  37. They ought to, since Vox Day got the court order on you for harassment and stalking, especially for what you were doing to Shadowdancer. Remember her, the little Phillipino woman you were making threats to?

  38. Hardly Andrew. Hardly. Very hard to lie when there is evidence from multiple sources.Typical SJW – look at rule #3 (projection).

    There is documented evidence. You have been banned from all the websites Ms. Modena posts to. Hell, I’ve looked at your past posts here and they are exactly like those Vox, Sara, Larry and others have kept as evidence. You are a typical chicken$h1t libtard SJW, bravely posting under a one name alias.

  39. Actually, it’s the other way around, Shadowdancer the Stalking Douchebag Duskstar only posts on sites I’m banned at.

    And I’m not buying Vox’s shitty book. Apparently, it’s so bad, his followers attacked someone who posted excerpts of it because they couldn’t believe Vox wrote something so shitty.

  40. Keep digging Andrew, keep digging. This is now getting amusing. Your vast power of idiocy is coming out in full here.

    Just remember, Vox and Maarku are watching you and BTW, living rent-free in your head.

  41. Since this thread has degenerated to a notorious and well-known troll (meaning you, Alauda) offering nothing more than juvenile insults I am declaring this thread most sincerely dead, and closing comments. Say goodbye, Alauda.

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