You’ve all been wondering about these awards, haven’t you? Even some people who don’t care about science fiction have been curious. This is the year politicking and block voting came to the fore, with several categories tainted by a slew of nominations from two right-wing niche voting cliques, the Sad and Rabid Puppies, led by people like the Odious Vox Day. If they couldn’t win a popular vote by, you know, being popular, they were determined to conquer by being disciplined.
Here’s the list of Hugo Award winners, announced last night. Note that in the list, the Sad/Rabid Puppy slate of nominations is listed in red (by the way, being listed in red doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a Right-Wing Work of Evil…just that it was nominated by a Right-Wing Axis of Evil). The winner in each category is listed first, in bold.
I was hoping that Ancillary Sword
would win best novel, but instead a book called The Three-Body Problem won, which I have not read. The nice feature of an untainted ballot, though, is that even if your favorite doesn’t win, you learn about other worthy books. Neither of those are poisoned by Puppy-ness.
The interesting response to the Puppies, though, is that in all the categories that were filled with Puppy-nominated stuff, Best Novella, Best Short Story, Best Editor, Best Related Work — where there was no alternative to Puppy poop — the same winner was announced: NO AWARD. There are no Puppy winners at all. Some of those works could have even been respectable, but getting slathered with Puppy love was the kiss of death.
I don’t consider that a victory for the anti-Puppies, but a sort of best-of-a-bad-situation reaction to diminish the influence of bad actors on the awards. But guess who has declared victory?
Vox Day! Not a single nominee of his choosing won any awards, but this is a triumph because he has declared that the Hugos
need to be burned down in their entirety, and getting the SF community to turn their back on him in five categories was exactly what he was planning all along. He’s also planning to pull this nonsense again next year.
It seems to me, though, that if your goal is to have a lasting impact on a genre, painting big bullseyes on proponents of your ideology and daring everyone to shoot them down is somewhat counterproductive. Not that Vox Day will be clever enough to figure that out.
If you’re interested, they Hugo committee is also considering a rule change to reduce the impact of bloc voting. Sounds reasonable and fair.