Dave Freer on the ongoing Hugo Brouhaha
Speaking of points of view, I wanted to add something to Brad’s Torgersen very gentle point of view on the pushback against the Sad Puppies 3. I think it is fairly important when writing a point of view to establish where it comes from, and what could motivate that point of view, and of course how reliable that narrator is known to be on the subject. Let’s start by saying a lot of the outrage and smear is coming from Making Light and commenters thereon, the mouthpiece of an editor at Tor, and a major force in Tor.com. Now, at the moment I’m busy putting together a database of the Hugo history. Tor and indeed in shorter works Tor.com are very, very extensively represented. Out of proportion to their share of new publications. As a large, powerful publisher with influence and with a considerable camp following, suggesting they ‘check their privilege’ before whining and bad-mouthing is not a joke, even if it is hilarious goose-sause. Of course, depending on your point of view, they may just be able to find better books or have better editors. If it’s better books they’ll have stood the test of time… Hmmm. Well, check the sales rankings. If it’s better editors… well, check sales rankings. How embarrassing. I do understand why they would be very angry about the status quo being disturbed though.
The other thing is just how familiar those bad-mouth slanders and slurs and campaign seemed. It’s a technique we’ve encountered before… Someone called ‘Requires Hate’ who was much beloved by many of the crowd who hang out with the Anti-puppies and, it seems by the evidence, a darling (for no reason whatsoever) of a couple of the major figures on Tor.com. That’s the crowd that nourished this viper, and used her for a role model. The pattern seems to have endured, even if she’s not doing it.
From my point of view it’s really funny. Especially the projection.
You see, from my point of view I don’t have a darling I’d like to see get a Hugo. I couldn’t care less. Given the award’s present status it’s not going to do them a lot of good. Authors I like are populist, not literary, and getting the same award as Politically Correct ‘literary’ garbage (from my point of view), isn’t going to sell extra copies to their audience. If anything it might sell the literary garbage, or revive the value of the award. I would however derive a lot of satisfaction from their angry frothing at the mouth, and being proved right about the ‘elitist’ clique thrashing about viciously trying to keep their hold on power. I don’t want that power – I think it is a terrible idea that anyone has it. I’m all for it being a real people’s choice. Then it’d point me to books and stories I might want to read.