I thought The Fifth Season was much better than The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and I’d highly recommend it. I didn’t like The Obelisk Gate quite as much–I thought it suffered from middle book problems. I am looking forward to the Broken Earth but haven’t read it yet, so I’m not yet sure if she sticks the landing.
Of course women write as well as men! I just fear that by involving gender in an issue like this we may accidentally have turned it into a metric where it shouldn’t be. I would hope that gender, race, and other accidents of biology are ignored when considering who’s written the best novel. Regardless of whether the best story was written by an AI or a mutant orangutan, the best author should win.
Making an issue of gender or race where it shouldn’t be relevant seems to imply that it’s an important factor to consider when judging an persons accomplishments. I disagree with that.
If Neil Armstrong had been black would the headline have read “First Black Man On The Moon” Instead of just “First Man On The Moon?” Would it have been important for us to know his race? Only if we were racist enough to feel that “black man” and “man” mean fundamentally different things. In much the same way we are now implying that “female sci-fi author” and “sci-fi author” are not the same thing. I also disagree with that.
Because assholes like Vox Day exist. Because there are a lot of manbabies out there that want to exclude the icky cootie infested girls from their boys club. Because way way too many men are still of the opinion that women can’t do writing ‘cause reasons’.
It seems to me that you’re conflating a BB article title that says “Hey, a lot of women won this year, cool” with an official position of the Hugo Awards.
I followed the link to amazon. I would be of great help if there was an actual description what the book is about instead a wall of quotations for marketing purposes:
"Best book ever, buy it."
"I sold my firstborn to read this book"
Yeah thanks, but please tell at least what genre it is …
How about your read their works and decide for yourself?
I’ve read “Too Like The Lightning.” It was good, but I prefer hard sci-fi to fantasy. I felt the same about “All The Birds In The Sky.” Of this year’s nominees the only one I’ve read that I truly enjoyed was “Death’s End.”
The others in the list appear to also be fantasy, and so not really my style. Since the entire genre isn’t really up my alley I don’t feel like I’m a fair judge.
Do you think the Hugo committee isn’t, either?
[ETA] Also you do realize that there was a time, within living memory, when women would take male pen names or write under their initials as opposed to reveal their gender (James Tiptree Jr. comes to mind). Because they wouldn’t get published more often than not, right?
Such as J.K. Rowling. Her publisher made her use her initials because they assumed boys wouldn’t read books by women.
I assumed that N.K. Jemisin uses her initials for a similar reason. It’s weird to me that people get hung up on “if the author’s a woman I won’t read it”. I rarely even notice an author’s name unless I already liked something they wrote and I’m looking for another work of theirs. Occasionally I’ve had the experience of reading two books years apart and then realizing that, oh hey, the same guy wrote these!
But of course, the REAL problem is that women winning a hugo might have denied a talented man who deserved it more… /s
There fixed that for you.
Also thank you @beschizza for giving us the term broflake, it is so spot on.
Sadly, doesn’t seem to be Science Fiction. Meh.
Not exactly a fair comparison, as plenty of people have won Hugos, and Armstrong was the first person ever. But aside from that, it is worth pointing out when the first black/hispanic/woman/gay/trans/whatever person receives any award. Not because they are separate from the normal, as you say, but because it acknowledges the struggles and systematic oppression that they and others like them have had to endure and overcome to get there.
As one of the Hugo voters (and Worldcon 75 volunteer, who was in the awards audience), I’d say they very much won because they were really good. That so many of the winners were women is just a nice bonus, and an effective “up yours!” to the Puppy crowd.
The best won and they didn’t get a free ride. Here’s why:
People who attended the previous Worldcon and bought memberships for the 2017 and 2018 Worldcons got to nominate works for the awards. So best novel received 2078 ballots cast for 652 nominees, and to become a finalist an author needed just 156 votes (a person can nominate up to 5 works in a category, but in that case each nomination is worth just 1/5 as opposed to a single nomination which counts as a full vote). You can see that nobody is barring members from nominating any work they liked. Members of Worldcon 75 then got to vote on the finalists, with 3319 fans casting their ballots.
For Worldcon 75 they used a new transferable vote system, which makes it impossible for organized blocs of voters to achieve a victory unless lots of other people also supported their nominated works. This was in direct response to the Sad/Rabid Puppies exploiting the voting mechanics in 2015 and 2016 to punch above their weight. The puppies were essentially organizing like a political party, nominating a slate of works that were more or less in line with their views. Then they told puppies to vote for that slate, rather than according to their individual tastes. The new voting system is designed to hinder blocs of voters from hijacking the awards, ensuring works can win on their merits.
Here you can see how transferable voting worked at Worldcon 75:
Note that most of the Hugo finalists were female so hardly surprising they did so well this year.
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