Not that you need another Hugo commentary, but…

Last night I posted this on Twitter and facebook:
“The Puppies obviously care a lot about the fiction they like. That’s good: they should use that passion to establish an award of their own.”

My friend Dan Willis responded with this:
“And here I thought the Hugos said for years that they were a fan award, representing the best fiction SF had to offer.”

I realized that my post sounded pretty exclusionary, which was not my intention. The Hugos ARE a fan award, and anyone can nominate and vote, and that needs to happen more, not less. My comments were mostly directed to the Rabid Puppy group, whose leader has stated unequivocally that he doesn’t want to change the Hugos, he wants to destroy them. Even Brad Torgerson has said in interviews that he doesn’t care about the award. They don’t like the way the award is being handled, or the kind of fiction it tends to celebrate, so I think it makes the most sense to take that energy and start celebrate the kind of fiction they do like–to creat something positive instead of tearing down something else.

It would be awesome if a single award represented the best that all science fiction had to offer. The Hugos certainly don’t: their refusal to consider most YA or tie-in fiction is a good example, and yes, they tend (at present) to swing fairly liberal and reward certain Chosen Ones. But the thing is, I don’t think a single award CAN represent the entirety of science fiction. That’s simply too big of a tent. The Hugo, and arguably every award ever, has an inherent bias, and that bias changes over time but it’s there, and it will always be there. If the Puppies want to celebrate old school, spaceships and ray-guns SF, as many of them claim, yay. More power to them–I like old school spaceship and ray-guns. So turn your creative energy and your obvious passion toward celebrating the fiction you love, instead of gaming and attacking and destroying an award that other people love. That way we actually gain something from this–two something’s, actually, because there would be two awards–instead of just losing everything and making people angry and sad.

I don’t want to exclude anyone from the Hugo: it should be, and needs to be, a fan-driven award. But the fans driving it need to be people who care about it. If people spent more time supporting the things they care about, and less time fighting over what they don’t like, the world would be a much, much happier place.

5 Responses to “Not that you need another Hugo commentary, but…”

  1. Joe Mazzola says:

    Very well said, and that last bit reminds me of Thorin’s dying speech from The Hobbit, which is never a bad thing.

  2. Mike Scott says:

    The reason there’s no YA Hugo is pretty simple; none of its advocates can define what they want to give the award to in a way that the Hugo administrator and voters can use to determine if a novel should be in the Nest Novel or Best YA Novel category without having to make a judgement call (which different administrators and voters might make differently, which would be a Bad Thing). Objectively define YA, and there will soon be a YA Hugo.

  3. Rich says:

    The problem is that the Hugos are NOT a fan award, but a “trufan” award. It’s sickening that the Wolrdcon regulars claim to be about pushing diversity in fiction, and then do their best to exclude women, men of different ethnecities, and people of diverse sexual preferences *just because they were nominated by a group protesting under a name*. And they did. They applauded “No Award” which isn’t like slate-voting in the least (apparently voting for different material you like is “slate,” but voting “No Award” and instructing your friends and co-writers and fans to isn’t). This misses the point of *why* Brad Torgersen, Larry Correia, even the hated Vox Day have no respect for this award: It’s a LIE. It is NOT the fan choice. How about leaving the numbers as they are and seeing who was voted best by the numbers, instead of obfuscating the voting? How about objectively seeing that Toni Weisskopf had more votes for best editor than anyone ever before–by a large margin–and recognizing that “No Award” winning the category smacks of hatred, malcontent, and corruption? Yeah, they *should* go make their own award, one where the Real Fans, nor the Trufans, are heard.

  4. Jeff says:

    I find it incredible how a group of people who are united under the banner of “everyone should be welcome and represented” thinks that a group which is angry about their complete lack of representation should just go make another award. If I said that gay people (3% of the population) who were angry about the fact that they never saw any books with their views or by their authors nominated for a Hugo you would say “yeah, that’s BS and they should get representation and made to feel welcome”. But when it is conservatives (20-30% of the population) who are shut out you just say “no one here likes you so instead of trying to get representation among a group where you are not wanted and harshing everyone’s buzz why don’t you go away and do your own thing where we do not have to see you.” You don’t even sound like you believe in diversity at all, your arguments just boil down to “groups I like should always be made welcome and included, even if not everyone is cool with that because otherwise its unfair to them and you are not comfortable with their inclusion that sucks but I’m afraid you being uncomfortable is worth it. Groups I don’t like being excluded is cool though, they should go away, lest anyone I do like be made the least little bit uncomfortable.”

  5. admin says:

    I’m sorry that that’s what you got out of this. It’s not what I said or intended, but let me reiterate the salient points one more time: if people want to participate in the award, I believe they should. I directed the “start a new award” comments fairly explicitly toward the people who have expressed a desire to destroy the Hugo, rather than improve it.

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