April 24th, 2014

Some quick thoughts on the Hugo nomination

1. Yes, we saw organised (for very small values of organised) campaigns that managed to put several works that caused controvery (either artistic or political) on the Hugo ballot this year.

2. Organised does not mean vote rigging or cheating. However, any organised group is infinitely more likely to accomplish something than an un-organised group.

3. The Sad Puppy Slate candidates are, based on what little I've read of them (basically the sample chapters of Warbound and A Few Good Men) and about them by the backers, all based on a political aesthetic.

4. From a literary standpoint, the quality of those I've sampled is very low: poor characterisation, railroaded plots, and lots of infodumps doubling as political pamphlets.

5. If those yearning for "the good old days" only can muster this as their flagship works, then they're clearly losing.

6. That said, I think we who wants a diverse fandom and sf must not push back too strongly - that way lies exclusionism, the very thing we want to eliminate. People like Vox Day we will never reach, but we should take care not to create allies for him.

7. Read, or read not, Larry Correia's, Vox Day's, et alis nominated works. But I think one should not put "No award" over any work before one has tried to read it oneself (at least enough to form an informed opinion of one's own on the work). Doing that proves their point.

8. Organise! Or in this case, if you want good Hugo nominated works, then talk about the works you'd like to see nominated, and ask others to nominate what they appreciate. Sf fandom started out with appreciating science fiction as literature, and we should show that.