Hugo Awards 2015 and "Sad Puppies"?

So they announced the Hugos yesterday:

And apparently, it’s become political, with a campaign called “sad puppies” intended to counter the “politics” of more inclusivity?:


[edited to add] NK Jemisin’s speech at Wiscon:

And a classic speech by Samual Delany on racism and sci-fi:


Obviously the only point of awards is to give prizes to the stuff that makes the most money.

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Methinks some of these individuals never internalized the golden rule, and have fallen into the trap of simple pettiness. I hatehatehate trash talk that people use on externalities to justify irrational behavior.

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The io9 article points out that there has been an ongoing debate about popularity vs. literary writing. It’s weird because sci-fi has historically been ghettoized from literary fiction, and now that it’s attained some cultural capital, there are those who wish to close down the borders in a way that makes them feel comfortable and they are willing to self-immolate to keep things “pure” and free of people they see as interlopers (much could and has been said on gamergate?).


I feel sorry for the authors that could have used the extra recognition. The Ancillary series (though Sword was a weaker entry) and The Goblin Emperor are both great reads.


I’m sure there are people who ended up on the slate because of the sad puppy thing who aren’t into their agenda, and it seems a bit unfair to them. But it’s the sad puppy folks who should bear the blame for doing this in the first place.


Ick. Stuff like this reminds me of why I got out of active SF fandom.
For a bunch of folks who are supposedly into exploring new ideas and thoughts, there’s a vast amount of smug privilege running through it.


while the big consumer world is at the theater gobbling up the latest Avengers movie, ‘fandom’ is giving ‘science fiction’s most prestigious award’ to stories and books that bore the crap out of the people at the theater: books and stories long on ‘literary’ elements… while being entirely too short on the very elements that made Science Fiction and Fantasy exciting and fun in the first place.

So they can be fun or good? Sounds like a bogus dichotomy to me.

I avoid these just like I do any other contrived “award”, where an in-group can self-congratulate for finding others to justify their taste criteria. There is always a politic/bias behind selection, even if might not be obvious. “There were 100,000 works, but we found the best one!” Sure you did, what a coincidence… I would rather that people were just less gullible about these things. I prefer honest reviews, criticism, and commentary any day.

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The point is that the awards had begun to be more inclusive, and this has walked that back somewhat. I’m inclined to agree that these are contrived in the first place, but it also helps bestow some cultural capital on people’s work. We’re collective animals, and while we can indeed help to create our own communities (sci-fi fandom is indeed a constructed community anyway), we also work within those created before we were around. We can opt in or out, but in this case, there are people who seem to be actively keeping people out of places that others want to go. By doing so, they are helping to deepen inequality in this particular community. Since literature is one place where we work out ideas about society, it seems important to me that it’s inclusive.


Also, this was a pretty good round up of what happened:

The article pointed out that in addition to all this, it’s also distracted George RR Martin from writing the Winds in Winter!!!


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