My take on the 2015 Hugo Awards. They were sad.
This is only my second year of “involvement” with the Hugo Awards and said involvement consists of paying $40 for the voter’s packet (because that’s a frigging awesome deal, or least it was last year) and then trying to do my “duty” by reading the works in the packet and voting for the ones I like. I don’t nominate because I don’t read enough new fiction each year to feel like I have any idea what the “best” is. I thought I was going to get a sampler from the Hugo packet and feel like that was true in 2014.
Unfortunately, for the 2015 packet I really feel like I got fucked by bunch of paranoid nitwits who thought there was a conspiracy theory to keep out certain kinds of fiction and promote other kinds of fiction. Those nitwits were then used by a jackass to further his own goals, which I think are mainly to get a lot of attention. The dude is a troll and if everyone would just stop talking about him he would slink sadly back to his cave to mope and occasionally to throw a tantrum. Seriously, never, ever, mention him. Have all the SF/F bloggers not been on the internet long enough to know that you don’t feed the trolls.
So anyway, the nitwits got used by the troll and together they nominated a bunch of really crappy fiction for Hugo awards and I’m pissed because I had a bunch of 4 and 5 star works to read last year and this year there have been a couple of 4’s and large number of 2’s and 3’s plus three 1 star ratings this year and none last year. I will admit that I probably judged the nitwit noms somewhat harshly, but that’s what’ll happen if you make me read your favorite stories and they don’t measure up.
I generally think the nitwit claims are bogus and founded in paranoia. After reading all the literary noms this year I think their idea of what “good” is very different from mine. I suspect there are a large number of people who would agree and I think that is probably the biggest reason why their favorite stuff isn’t winning awards.
But really, the nitwits didn’t matter because they got used by the troll and I don’t think he gives a shit about anything except getting attention.
So, that’s my take on the 2015 Hugos. I really hope that in 2016 the Sad Puppies will wise up and if they want to make a list of 10 or so works in each category that they recommend that’s be cool. If they want to say “vote for these five” then that would make them assholes, which the word I started to use this year before I decided to be nicer.
It would be nice if a lot more people read more SF/F and nominated next year which I think would cancel out anything the troll might try. I doubt that will happen because there is a ton of new SF/F every year and as mentioned, I certainly don’t feel qualified to nominate anything for best. I suspect a lot of other people feel the same way and like be they rely on the Hugos to highlight some of the best of the year and to provide a really good deal and an excuse for reading it. It’s not perfect, there are humans involved so that should be obvious. But at least 2014 it gave me a bunch of good stuff that I probably wouldn’t have read otherwise. In 2015 I read a bunch of crap and was generally pissed off.
So hey, Sad Puppies, remember Wheaton’s Law and don’t fuck up my 2016 packet. If you’ve got something you think should be in there it’s fine to say so, but it’s not fine to stuff the ballot box with Puppy Shit. It’s also not okay to play with trolls.
- Best Semi Pro Zine
- Best Graphic Story
- Best Novel
- Best Related Work
- Best Fanzine
- Best Short Story
- Fan Writer
- Best Novelette
- Best Novella
A note on the order of the categories above: I put them in order of how much I enjoyed reading them. I did this largely because I’m not sure I’ll even vote for Semi Pro Zine but almost everything in that category was good. It was far superior to the rest and I’m not a big fan of short fiction. The bottom categories were all pretty horrid but Novelette and Novella went to the bottom for making me suffer longer.
2015-10-28: Fixed the Fanzine link.