To Burn or Not to Burn

That is the question when it comes to the Hugo Awards after this year’s petulant, foot-stomping debacle perpetrated by the SJWs and their compliant, cliquish lackeys. All the details are here, including a number of links written by respected authors in the sci-fi community, explaining their views on last weekend’s events. I won’t rehash it here.

An interesting discussion has sprung up post-fiasco, however, which is worth a closer look. It’s the question of whether or not the Hugo Awards can be saved. And by “saved,” I mean “can integrity and professionalism be restored to the Hugo Awards after the weekend’s puerile display, or should the Hugos, WorldCon, and all its childish, sneering arrogance just be allowed to rot on the vine, which is what it is already doing anyway?”

Can an organization that threw deserving, respected, dedicated female editors under the bus with a “NO AWARD” vote rather than see them take home a Hugo, merely because of who happened to support their nomination, be saved?

Can an organization that viciously sneered about this being “the year of the asterisk” – and if you don’t get the joke, the asterisk basically means that the award was somehow tainted, cheating was involved, etc. (Of course, now the callow, derisive jerks claim that the asterisk simply means the Hugos made history this year with the number of attendees… sure.) – be saved?

Can an organization whose  supposed leaders – supposed legends in the science fiction field – told the audience that cheering the “NO AWARD” victory was just fine, but booing it is a no-no, be saved?

Some have rightfully said that the Hugos are beyond saving. When members of a clique deride and jeer a block effort to ensure there was no winner, rather than a winner whose only guilt was endorsement by the “wrong” fan base with the “wrong” politics, it can be rightfully argued that there’s no hope for the organization.

And it’s not as if these childish bullies hid it! Hell, they’re proud of it!

There have been some calls for taking the whole thing down by simply block voting “NO AWARD” for every category. Isn’t this what the childish troglodytes did this past weekend? In their huffy, angry zeal to punish those with whose political views they disagreed, they simply block voted for a “NO AWARD” rather than see authors and editors, who may have been deserving and worthy, take home the prize merely because of who endorsed them.

So what to do?

Burn it all down with block “NO AWARD” voting?

Simply take the ball and go home, leaving the Hugo/WorldCon circle jerk to stroke themselves until their little hands get tired, while creating a new award that focuses on actual skill, artistry, and good literature outside the Hugo construct?

Here’s the thing. I think that regardless of the disgusting display of SJW wankery that the Hugos have become, solid writing, good entertainment, and great storytelling should continue to be nominated. Sad Puppies wasn’t about old, white men, no matter what the shrieking shrews of the WorldCon clique claim. The Sad Puppy slate was more politically diverse than the mostly pasty, white milquetoast progressive winners (the human ones, not the “no award”) who walked away with Hugos this year. Women such as Toni Weisskopf, who got the most votes for best editor (long form) in the history of the award, and who was “no awarded,” because PUPPIES… Writer Megan Grey… editors Anne Sowards and Sheila Gilbert… editor Jennifer Brozek… fan writers Amanda Green and Cedar Sanderson…  And these ladies and gentlemen were nominated without a thought to what their politics were.

That’s what the Hugos were supposed to be about. Great writing. Great art.

What it turned into was the “Plastics” from “Mean Girls” wielding their popularity and willfully keeping others from their clique. Hell, they admitted as much.

And if you allow them to keep doing it, that’s exactly what they will do. The Hugos will be a desiccated carcass of what it was supposed to be. And fans who truly want to see a quality body of work represented will be sorely disappointed.

I wouldn’t want to be responsible for the death of an iconic award by simply refusing to fight. Would you?

If it were up to me, I’d keep nominating the best science fiction works I could possibly find – without regard to gender, race, politics, or anything else. Hell… I’d blindly read the works first and make my decision, and THEN figure out who the author is, if that were possible! But work to nominate the best! And then, if the pathetic plastics keep “no awarding” superlative nominees, then they will succeed in killing off quality and art all by themselves, as well as painting themselves to be the disgusting bigots that they are.

And the Sad Puppies won’t have to do anything but nominate the best works out there, which is what they did in the first place.

But to surrender and let it all just die, allowing them to declare victory?

Or to burn it all down by voting to ensure no winners?

I don’t know… just seems counterproductive and shitty somehow. Unconditional surrender sucks. Fighting for what is right even in the face of concerted prog-screeching seems like the honorable thing to do.


12 responses

  1. Nicki – I, like most SF fans of my acquaintance, pay little to no attention to who or what “wins” any “awards”. I read the authors that I enjoy reading and buy the books that feature them. I’m one of those “troglodytes” who insists on a REAL book and don’t even own an e-book reader, though, so maybe it’s ME that’s out of step.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nope. You’re not. That’s what any literature should be, regardless of the author’s color, gender, whatever.


    2. PAPPAD I swear I think I was either channeling you or RAH was talking to us both from the other side- I started typing almost the exact same words.

      Gospodina Nicki…I USED to get the annual Hugo Award anthology from my old Sci-Fi Book Club account… The original stories like “No Truce with Kings,” “The Dragon Masters,” “Almagoosa” and so many more stay with me to this day- but I gave up on the Hugos about the same time I gave up on the Oscars and every other Award Program. It’s become a bunch of Hacks patting each other and mostly themselves on the back…

      I find myself rereading Andre Norton, Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke, Pournelle and all the rest. But then, I stayed up to watch “Things to come” AGAIN -yeah Pappad, I had DVR’d it days before but still treated it as if it was on “live” TV and stayed way too late, I’m a Luddite too Pappad.

      I made the conscious decision to read authors writing stories I’m interested in and watching shows & movies I want to- because I like them. The Author, actor, director go all Political and PR and they stop getting my dollars. I’ll re-read and watch stuff from BEFORE they went political. Now I apply this to everything – Supported the Mets for YEARS, right up until they made that anti-2nd Amendment ad- Same for Bond, James Bond – once they started doing free anti-firearms ads after making millions going around shooting people on the big screen… well you get the idea. Enough hyperbole about Hypocrites! Back to riding the Sea of Grass with Milo Moray and the Horseclans – or maybe it’s time for a trip with Lazarus Long. Then again- there is that new Zombie show- at least THEY get to shoot the bastards in the head!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. _If_ the Hugos are to be burned to the ground, the way to do it is to not join the CHORFs in “No Awarding” everything. The way to do it is to keep nominating and supporting good books and editors and let the CHORFs do the No Awarding.

    Let them pour the accelerants and strike the matches. It’s win-win*, a Xanatos Gambit, for us. Either they start letting good books and editors go through or the Hugos are utterly and thoroughly destroyed. And we don’t have to do anything but put forward good books and editors to make it happen.

    *Note, yes I know that’s not the normal meaning of “win-win” but enough people have used it that way that I decided to just go with it here


  3. I’m of three minds right now. The emotions are still flowing a little too loosely to come up with a game plan. Initially I felt like just throwing in with Vox Day and burn it all to the ground, year after year after year. It’s become a comical farce of itself, so there isn’t anything really to lose. And really, it wasn’t even that No Award won 5 times, it was the disrespect shown up on stage in in the cheering crowd that pissed me off so much.

    Another part of me wants to say ‘F*** it’, and let them have their little dildo on a plaque. I’ll go back to using the Hugo list as my way to weed out stuff not worth touching.

    But the longer I think about it, the more I want to throw in with Kate, and Sarah and Amanda next year with SP4. This is the award of Heinlein, Bester, Asimov and Clarke, it should be worth saving.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your last sentence. That. 1000x that.


  4. I cut my teeth on Chaucer and Shakespeare, Heinlein and Paul Ffrench (Asimov) and other writers whose imaginations spat in the face of ‘inside the box’ physics. Those authors were way ahead of me. They never let the ‘rules’ hold them back.

    When I used to browse the bookshelves on my lunch hour, if I spent 15 minutes reading a middle chapter and put the book back, it was because I knew it was crap. Period. I won’t buy crap. You can’t fool people with bad writing or your personal baggage. It just doesn’t work. Setting politics ahead of quality doesn’t do anything but annoy me. It means the writer isn’t interested in telling a story at all. The agenda is more important I won’t pay for that.

    You’re supposed to write the books you want to read. These people don’t understand that. Neither do they ‘get’ that traditional publishing, including Tor, is being pushed aside by indie authors who can hire a good editor through Amazon or Smashwords for help, and produce the good stories that don’t pander to politics.

    I think awards are far less important than the stories that people create. If you write to win awards, you are not writing a story. You’re writing to please everyone and make them like you. That is not creative writing. It is pandering to the lowest common denominator and has all the lasting value of a formula romance.

    The best thing you can say about that kind of thing is that it’s twaddle, with all the depth and intellect of a pack of Twinkies. That loud sucking noise you hear is the filling in the Twinkies being removed by a turkey baster.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Someone else said it best. I want good stories. I don’t want to be preached at!


    2. I don’t have a particular problem with the author’s politics being part of his story IF it’s a good story in the first place. That said, I haven’t found many asshole leftists CAPABLE of telling a decent story around “climate change” or any other socialist ideas. John Ringo’s “Paladin of Shadows” series were VERY “political,” but good stories nonetheless. Lots of people objected to the S&M elements of the series, not to mention the borderline pedophilia, which may be why he’s abandoned the series. I love Tom Kratman’s and Michael Z. Williamson’s books and there are political elements in them, too. Same for David Drake and David Weber. In fact, these authors comprise most of my recent book purchases.


  5. “I want good stories. I don’t want to be preached at!”

    I don’t much mind being preached at IF the story can carry it. Some of the best writing ever, SF or otherwise, has had an embedded sermon. But you have to give me characters I care about, and you have to keep my interest. Bore me, or insult my intelligence, or make al your characters loathsome, and you’ve lost me.

    “Mainstream” novels have this problem to a significant degree; Tom Wolfe deals with it in a couple of the essays in HOOKING UP; the way that the Literary types turned their backs on the Novel of reporting (Steinbeck) and took up bootless navel-gazing. Or took up well explored methods like what they call Magical Realism, and got all excited about this “new” approach, as if it wasn’t something that (say) Ray Bradbury hadn’t been doing rather better circa 1960. They don’t read much outside of their little Literary Circle, and so don’t know what has gone before and what has been done to death.

    And the “Literary” Sf types are imitating their mainstream idols, and producing drivel.

    Tolkien preached (his views on the evils of industrialization are one of the weak points of LOTR). Heinlein preached. Kipling preached. They also told damn good stories.

    Tell me a story, dammit.


    1. To me, there’s a difference between having having a moral or a message as part of your story and having the message BE your story. I don’t need having other people’s values shoved down my throat.


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