One thing is clear:  a lot of people involved with the Hugo Awards care very much about the award.  One other thing is also clear: a lot of people not involved with the award also seem to care very much.


And another thing is clear, at least to me:  much, if not all of this questioning regarding the Hugo awards, the state of SF in general (it’s dying, it’s not dying, this is SF, this isn’t SF, keep the ghetto, destroy the ghetto, leave the ghetto), the state of conventions, of magazines devoted to the subject, of the entire state of affairs surrounding the SF Community (if there even is such a thing anymore) is indicative of confusion, lack of direction and a lack of purpose.  I believe that we are rapidly losing touch with the very things that made everything about SF so special – the intimate and on-going relationships between all segments of that community and I further believe that our loss of purpose is due – at least in part – to a near abandonment of the community’s ideals – ideas that once occupied a lot of the community’s attention.


The older generation?  The Establishment?  It needs to remember that sharing was once a high Fannish ideal.  As were openness and the aggressive embrace of diversity.  It’s not enough to state that anyone can attend a convention if they want to.  It’s not enough to say that awards can be changed or improved – join up and work for change.  The divide between old and new is a cultural one… Traditional Fandom must also do one other thing.  Perhaps the most difficult thing of all.  Recognize that as the newer generations come along, they will be bringing with them new and different ways to express Fannish ideals and traditions, and recognize that many of those new expressions, while different, are equally valid.


The man who said that back in 2013 had this to say yesterday.

 I don’t care what side of the political spectrum the voting slate comes from, nor what its motivations are, nor what the agenda is – good, bad or indifferent.  If a work is on a voting slate (NOT an eligibility list) then it goes below No Award.


Individuals who find themselves on a voting block who want to avoid being ranked below No Award should immediately remove themselves from those lists, or make a public statement disassociating themselves from that list.  In cases where this happens (and it already has this year), I’ll give due credence and look into things on a case by case basis.  Not removing yourself implies endorsement of the methodology, regardless of how deserving you think your work may be.


I don’t have to worry about whether or not a nominated work is really good and deserving of the award:  if it’s on a voting slate, it’s taken itself out of the running so far as I’m concerned (a position that is easily rectified as noted previously).

I’d say BITE ME but I’m afraid of what I’d catch. I’m too tired to be more polite. Dude, I’m apolitical, do you even know what that means? No, you don’t. You use your mag as a bully pulpit for your politics, I’ve protested to you about it. Two years ago, you were rational and reasonable. Now? I’ll vote for who the hell I want, based on their merits.


4 responses to “Stark Contrasts”

  1. James May said something over at Brad’s that made it sound like shortly after the 1st quote was published the guy got the “full treatment” for something he published and has been forced to choose between full compliance and his hope to get Amazing Stories off the ground again.

    That’s sort of assuming whatever might have gone on inside his head, and who can actually know, but it would explain how someone could seem to go from having a reasonable opinion about upsetting the status quo to demanding the status quo.

    1. I don’t think it was the post I pulled that quote from, it was another post. But yes, there is obviously an enormous amount of pressure applied to anyone who doesn’t conform. Join us, or else, basically. It’s revolting to watch.

      1. Martin L. Shoemaker Avatar
        Martin L. Shoemaker

        I choose “or else”. Proudly.

        1. Or Else: looking like the happening place to be.