Damien Walter, in his essay for the Guardian “Science fiction’s real-life war of the worlds”, sets out to give Larry Correia a verbal spanking (though without ever mentioning Correia by name, following the latest weasely fashion).
Heaven knows Correia deserves one for asking Hugo voters to put politics ahead of literary quality. Unfortunately, Walter’s attempt to deliver an apocalyptic knockout is so inept it’s the fans he ends up insulting.
Walter’s critique of Correia’s bloc voting campaign accuses it of interfering with the triumphant march of history:
Of course there is a certain irony in forming a political clique and launching an overt political campaign to de-politicise sci-fi– although registering the irony requires more self-awareness than these authors can seem to muster. And that irony is only made stronger when 2014 has proved to be a pivotal year in liberating science fiction from its own innate political biases.
For decades, science fiction’s major awards were given, year after year, to white male authors….
Year after year? What an insult this is to those of us who have been voting Hugos to women’s stories – for decades. Walter is guilty of what C. S. Lewis and Owen Barfield called “chronological snobbery,” acting like people of the present-day have a monopoly on virtue.
Women have won 16 Best Novel Hugos since 1970. They won 4 out of 10 in the Seventies and 4 out of 10 in the Nineties.
Five times between 1974-2001 women won half the fiction Hugos awarded in a year.
Year after year? Women won the Hugo in 5 consecutive years from 1981-1985, and in 10 consecutive years from 1988-1997.
In short, in the past few decades a lot of major sf awards have been won by people who are not white dudes.
If Walter wants to point out that happened less often in the past than in this decade, there’s still no reason to act like it absolutely never happened before.