The Hugo Awards were last night.
First off, congrats to the winners. I’m happy for them. I enjoyed the winning work in each category that had a winner. Well, except Guardians of the Galaxy, through no fault of its own. I don’t go to movies, and rarely watch them.
Five categories went to No Award. To me, that seems a bit harsh. I read everything that came in the Hugo packet, and dug up everything I could that wasn’t in the packet. For me, only four or five works out of dozens rated below No Award. The people who annoy me on all the sides of this kerfuffle are the ones willing to vote on the person or the politics, damn the writing. I don’t ask that my authors be sane, or kind, or pleasant. I ask that their writing entertain me. I’ll admit that the authors from the Sad|Rabid side of the aisle mostly floated my boat less than some of the others. But not all of them.
And from all the sides, I find myself in general less entertained by hot-button current issues in the guise of SpecFic. If your characters are interesting, compelling, worth caring about, then it doesn’t matter to me about gender, race, etc. If the character exists only to be the gender or the race or whatever … then that character doesn’t advance the story.
For the coming years, I can only see the Puppies continuing to get their authors into contention. That’s unless the anti-Puppies also start block-nominating. That defeats the purpose of a bunch of people reading and nominating a bunch of stuff, and the best of the best bubbles to the top.
Is there a way around the conundrum? Sure. Get everyone to vote. EVERYONE. If every purchase of a SpecFic book (online, print, whatever) came with a token for a Hugo nomination, then people who read LOTS of SpecFic would get more nomination power. But everyone who just buys ONE book also gets a nomination token. Some tokens will go unused. Others will be sold on a darknet market somewhere. But getting more fans into the process will bring it closer to where I think it needs to be – representative of the likes and dislikes of the readership. There are ways to make it relatively honest, though there will still be a dead (zombie?) vote.
Would this put more voting power into the hands of people who buy popular work, instead of less popular but more “literary” work? Sure. But if I purchase and read 17 works next year (especially easy, since I ought to get a token for every month of Clarkesworld, for example), I can apply all 17 of those tokens to the one literary work I read. Of course, no one of consequence will see this idea, and it wouldn’t happen anyway, because herding cats. But I’ve had fun with the thought experiment.
Also from WorldCon: Sigh. I don’t think I can make it to Helsinki in 2017. That’s a deal, because I was hoping that DC in 17, my local WorldCon bid, would succeed.
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DoD announced no new casualties in the last week. Ciao!