Memories of Tonight’s Hugo Ceremony

While I was in an elevator leaving the Hugo ceremonies, Frank somebody looked me in the eye and said “How’d you like that. That’s what you wanted, wasn’t it,” in a surly voice. Since he was being rude I told him to get off my case.

But let me answer Frank’s question now. The whole situation is a tragedy. It would have been a worse tragedy if any of these slate nominees had been rewarded with a Hugo. For that reason, yes, the outcome was what I voted for.

That should not detract from the accomplishment of Hugo ceremony hosts David Gerrold and Tananarive Due in pulling off a ceremony that was often funny, rich in creativity, and somber when appropriate (Gerrold was reduced to tears by seeing Nimoy on the in memoriam list).

Things began with a giant grim reaper figure lumbering onstage accompanied by an evil assistant. Three Star Trek redshirts, led by Due, battled with them and the lone survivor, Due, cleared the stage so that a reluctant David Gerrold could follow her out.

Some other highlights were Robert Silverberg’s “blessing of the Hugos” — a reminiscence of the “tension, apprehension and dissension” that plagued the 1968 Worldcon, including intermittent clouds of tear gas drifting up from downtown Berkeley, and to dispel similar tensions in 2015 he ended by taking out a tambourine and performing the Hare Krishna chant sung by street-roaming initiates back then.

Later, Connie Willis took a turn on stage, talking about her experience being bitten by a bat, and a mild concern about possible vampirism. Then she reassured Gerrold and Due about the challenges of emceeing the Hugos, remembering half a dozen things that have actually gone wrong at Worldcons, and suggesting a couple more that haven’t gone wrong yet but could, all of which despite being comedy seemed to leave Gerrold and Due a little more shaky than before she started.

During the introduction, Linda Deneroff of Sasquan’s WSFS Division laid the foundation for Hugo voters exercising the no award option. And it came up several times in the pro categories, as you know, though at the beginning there was a whole string of fan categories which had winners and the night seemed darned near normal for a little while.

TAFF delegate Nina Horvath was the presenter of all the fan categories. Gerrold personally handled most of the categories where there was no winner (though not ONLY those categories, so it wasn’t entirely a tell.) And for the dramatic categories he was assisted by a lifesize Dalek, which provided considerable amusement.

The acceptances were fun, best of which was Pat Cadigan reading Thomas Heuvelt’s speech from a tablet, with her characteristic asides and humorous timing. Campbell winner Wesley Chu obviously enjoyed himself, spontaneously falling to his knees before the bearer of the Campbell tiara so it could be placed on his brow.

Although I had a press seat in the balcony, the house lights were so low I couldn’t see a screen or write a note. Thus the File 770 Hugo coverage was provided by commenters watching the livestream — you all did a hell of a job, and extra credit for finding links to the voting stats and other commentary!

Definitely buying a tablet or something before I tackle another Worldcon though. This hotel computer is so limited — can’t edit or post photos, can’t copy between windows, etc. etc. But I will recharge my Kindle and be back at work in the morning.

795 thoughts on “Memories of Tonight’s Hugo Ceremony

  1. @Brian Z

    It seems very interesting that some believe ranking things implies having a higher opinion of one than another and others don’t see it that way. Does it imply we don’t agree on the meaning of the ballot itself?

    No. It’s just a different approach.

    There were other editors on the ballot who were not Baen. Why aren’t you worried about those ending up under No Award?

    And this:

    Meredith, by all means, get rid of Long Form and go back to one simple Best Editor award – I’m all for that.

    Is not what I said I wanted. Don’t imply it was, please.

  2. Lis Carey, I listened carefully, and I have not claimed you said something else. I asked, by explaining the behavior of those voters, do you condone it? Because I assumed or at least sincerely hoped that you wouldn’t.

    The Best Editor Long Form nominee doesn’t owe us anything. If the Baen editors say they work as a team, then treat them as team members like they want to be treated and just look at what Baen has out these days.

    This is what I’m hearing, not specifically from you, and you can tell me if you think I’m wrong:

    Thousands more voted in both Best Editor categories than ever before. Their goal in participating in that category was either:

    1. Make sure Vox Day lost to No Award.
    2. Make sure “the puppies” lost to No Award.

    Those outcomes necessitated placing No Award on the ballot. The conscientious way to do that would be to go buy a lot of the work from all the editors, educate yourself about their different approaches, and decide where they all belong. But that would take months. The voters wanted to send a message, whether Weisskopf said she was part of a team, provided an annotated list, or send free copies of every Baen book from 2014. People wanted to watch No Award to win, then cheer wildly.

    And they have a right to make a protest vote. Fine. All I’m saying is, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how that approach might affect others. If I were an editor, after that performance, I sure wouldn’t want a Hugo.

  3. Why aren’t you worried about those ending up under No Award?

    You missed where I also complained about Gilbert and Resnick. They’re examples.

    Is not what I said I wanted. Don’t imply it was, please.

    Right, you wanted the “gold watch.” Mamatas and I already discussed that. Best Professional Editor could be handled that way if there was a custom – or a rule I suppose – not to give it to the same person again and again.

  4. @Brian Z

    The majority of your comments focus on Baen, and specifically Weisskopf.

    That still ignores what I said about Best Editor Short. Seriously. Stop trying to rewrite what I said.

  5. When will Brian Z run out of candy? I mean, I realize that he’s getting the ego strokes he needs when people respond to him and all, but sooner or later, he has to run out of candy, folks.

    Dealing with you directly and honestly by quoting you accurately is no fun at all, because the other is like a Pavlovian whistle. Your knee might not jerk if he posts in good faith, so where’s the sense in that for Brian?

    I’m just glad I’m not the one who cleans his monitor.

  6. That still ignores what I said about Best Editor Short. Seriously. Stop trying to rewrite what I said.

    You wanted to get rid of Best Editor Short too. And having a slightly different point of view doesn’t rewrite what you’ve said.

  7. Robert Reynolds, do you have any substantive disagreement with what I said?

    I don’t know about candy, but sadly summer is over and it is time to move on. I had no idea this would last so long, but still, it was an interesting and educational experience. I learned a lot about different people’s points of view.

  8. @Brian Z

    I said I hadn’t decided on Best Editor Short.

    Also, that’s two different attempts to rewrite what I said now! Mutually exclusive ones!

  9. @Robert: This thread actually represents a kind of achievable Brian Z. utopia.

    * It’s confined to one thread.
    * It’s (primarily) one person engaging rather than a dozen people making sure Brian knows what they think of him, over and over.
    * Meredith says she has her reasons, and she’s earned considerable credibility around here.

    As ambiguous heterotopias go, I’ll take it.

  10. Brian Z, everyone can see that you lied about what I said.

    The Best Editor Long Form nominees don’t owe us anything–but we don’t owe them anything either, including a vote above No Award.

    The Best Editor Long Form is not a team award. The Baen editors were not nominated as a team; they were nominated as individuals. And we don’t know what they worked on, because they didn’t tell us.

    The voters don’t have months to go out and buy lots and lots of Baen books to assess the overall quality of Baen editing in the manner you seem to be claiming would be “right.” But if they did, and this is another point you seem determined to miss, without any indication of who worked on what, it still wouldn’t help the voters rank them individually.

    And they were on the ballot individually. “Baen editing team” wasn’t an option on the ballot.

    No one was owed a vote on faith, or on sales, or on the fact that the Puppies thought sweeping the ballot would force us to vote for their choices. NO ONE IS OWED A VOTE ABOVE NO AWARD.

    Much though you Puppies resent it, the exhaustion and annoyance produced by reading crap you forced into the ballot used up the patience and generosity of the voters. That’s a normal, predictable human reaction. It’s not, as you would like to pretend, a moral failing, at least not when the consequence is that someone is denied a vote for a spiffy fan award, rather than food or medical care.

    And, though I’m sure you consider this horridly unfair, too, the one thing we know for sure Toni individually produced last year is an essay in which she called most of active fandom–thw very people who had to vote on the Hugos–fuggheads, for not being okay with the Puppies’ bad behavior last year. That didn’t increase the store of goodwill available.

  11. @Brian Z:

    I’m breaking with long-standing intention to reply to you here. I cannot have any disagreement with what you say here (substantive or otherwise) because, apart from your filk, I no longer read more than the first line or so of anything else you post.

    I determined some while back that you are trolling. If pretending to be a cross-dressing three-toed sloth named Bernard would get you more responses, you would pretend to be just that. I also determined that, apart from your filk, I find your efforts to be boring. So I don’t read them any more. I need no script to do so. I ignore you the old-fashioned way.

    You may well be the nicest person in the world IRL. But I can only go by what I see here and here, save for your filk, you bore me.

    I will now return to standard policy regarding trolls who bore me. If I can ignore the pain I’m in at the moment, ignoring trolls is comparatively a walk in the park. There-you got one of my spoons for the day. Take a star out of petty cash to show the other trolls at the Sunday evening troll cotillion.

    Further Deponent Saith Not.

  12. I mean, my old goal of eventually somehow persuading Brian Z to engage in unambiguous good faith didn’t pan out, so I thought I’d try something new. Depressingly, it does seem to be working better… I would rather the old goal had been achieved.

  13. @Meredith:

    Swing at will then and I’ll put a bowl under Brian to catch the overflow!

  14. @Robert Reynolds

    It also serves as an excellent outlet for post-minor-surgery spoon-draining grumpiness. Keeps me from snapping at someone else who I’m not keen on in the more current threads.

    ETA:@Jim Henley

    *snicker*

  15. @Meredith:

    Now that reason I grok! I’ve done that myself, though I prefer to go after people who are actively mean. That way, I don’t feel bad about what I say. I actually try to lay low this time of year, because I can turn mean without always realizing it when I feel like this.

    May you feel better soon.

  16. Meredith: Arguing in bad faith to persuade me to argue in good faith?

    Robert Reynolds: Go in peace. Have a great end of summer and a great autumn.

    Lis Carey, I can see your comments are heartfelt and I don’t dispute them. I won’t even argue that you are not listening to what I said. But your thoughts do help confirm my impression that if this is what fandom has to offer (on both “sides”) authors and editors will be running miles to avoid a Hugo nomination for the foreseeable future.

  17. @Brian Z

    I was quite clear about giving up at getting you to argue in good faith. I tried that, it failed.

    Every single thing I said I’ve said I’ve meant, and unlike you, I never decided to completely rewrite anything you said. Nor refuse to quote in order to make it look like you may at some point have said something unkind about someone. I think, ulterior motive aside, that still leaves me arguing in good faith. Unlike you.

    ETA: For example, trying to misrepresent my opinions on the Best Editor categories in two mutually exclusive ways, that was definitely my favourite one.

  18. @Robert Reynolds

    Brian Z’s attempts to make it look like I said something dreadful about Baen editors (among other things) counts as mean-spirited in my opinion, however pretty the words. He does usually manage to stop short of aggression though, which I do appreciate.

  19. Brian Z.: authors and editors will be running miles to avoid a Hugo nomination for the foreseeable future.

    As you are neither an author nor an editor who was up for a Hugo or in any danger of being nominated for a Hugo in the foreseeable future, your opinion on this subject is, in my opinion, utterly without basis.

    Not that it’s stopped you from offering hundreds of opinions without any valid basis on here in the past 5 months.

    You might want to consider trying the opposite, and see if it gets you some of the respect or consideration you seem to be so desperately trying, in vain, to acquire.

  20. Brian Z: In your opinion? It is the vile sock puppets like you that they will be running a mile from.

    Sockpuppet: online identity used for purposes of deception.

    Ah, I see you are confabulating again. I have never used my online presence for purposes of deception, and have been quite honest and open about my opinions.

    But then, since the vast majority of your posts on here in the last 5 months have clearly been made with the intent to deceive, I can see why you would be confused about the definition of that word.

  21. Meredith, you have admitted your rude accusations were not made in good faith, but I replied to you politely anyway. Do you mean JJ’s mask, or yours?

  22. @Kurt Thank you for pointing me to “Damaged”. It crystalized why I’ve been avoid “Hugo Winners” for the last decade or so. My thoughts are here. Short version: The main character in Damaged is a cross between an emotional, whiny teenage girl, and a battered spouse. She’s a pathetic loser. The main character in Turncoat is a rational man who looks at what his side is doing, decides it’s wrong, and goes over to the other side, bringing at least temporary victory to the right side.

    Sadly, I believe that you prefer Damaged to Turncoat. I believe that your preferred main character is a whiny, pathetic, loser. I believe that you prefer stories where emotion and feeling have primacy over reason and logic.

    I just don’t believe that “Science Fiction” / “Speculative Fiction” written to pander to those beliefs will ever be worth a damn.

  23. You’ve got us: it was a secret whinespiracy all along, with Scalzi as the Moan Man and GRRM as the WingeMeister.

  24. About TDTWTUD: There’s two ways to look at its Hugo Award.

    1: It’s a pure demonstration that the Hugos are about nothing other than politics and cliques, and quality is utterly unimportant. This would be backed by the fact that I’ve yet to see anyone claim that story is even worthwhile, let alone “great” (sorry, Lis, but “Competently written” === “Is she pretty?” “She’s got a great personality”).

    2: It is a demonstration of what type of story “Hugo Voters” like: “gray goo” crap focusing on whiny and pathetic characters, and crappy worlds that only an idiot would ever want to be part of.

    Frankly, I don’t know which is worse. And I don’t really care, either. You all have fun with your warning sticker. We’ll help you burn it down again next year, and after that I, at least, am done with you. Because you no longer matter.

  25. Protest Manager–it was better written than most of the Puppy crap. And not being the kitchen and of story I like is not, currently at least, a crime.

    Unlike you, I’ve seen a to me surprising number if genuinely positive comments on it. I don’t see what it is they like, but it would be beyond silly to deny that they do like it.

  26. @Protest
    You might want to re-read Turncoat. The main character isn’t a man, it’s a genderless computer. Part of the point of the story is that it was never human, unlike some of its allies.

    Also, why did you put “quotation marks” around Hugo Winners?
    Does anybody have a link to Damaged?

  27. @Protest – You might also want to re-read the comments here on The Water… Lots of people said that they didn’t live it and did not vote for it.

    This is part of the problem with slates- after they filled up the rest of the category with Friends of Brad and John Wright, people were left with only one semi-reasonable choice. In a normal year, this story probably wouldn’t have won.

  28. http://www.tor.com/2015/01/21/damage-david-levine/

    @Protest Manager

    If your aim here was to parody the SP as only wanting Manly Tales of Manly Men, you’ve succeeded.

    More seriously, on Damage you might want to wonder why the AI has been designed that way, so as to be subservient to the pilot, compared to the logical AIs in Turncoat who are now trying to kill humanity. Both are valid story choices, producing different extrapolations from the authors. It’s just that Damage produces a more interesting story, and is generally better written.

  29. @BrianZ Dude! Did you forget that Meredith clarified that (originally perfectly clear) remark just a few posts up on this very same page?

    If you are going to lie that blatantly about what someone said, couldn’t you, I don’t know… Do a better job of it? Wait a page or so, then it wouldn’t be so trivially easy for us to scroll up and confirm that once again, you are lying through your teeth. Maybe get your lies a bit closer to reality? This is just silly.

    On the other hand, if you actually believe that she said she was the one arguing in bad faith… You need to get that checked out, man. That is a shockingly low level of reading comprehension. Maybe someone you know in real life could help by reading the comments with you?

  30. Thanks for the link! Yep, clearly better than Turncoat, without the annoying ‘where did *that* come from’ bits. A couple parts in the action scenes could stand a re-write or clarification, but generally good.

    I can see why Protest doesn’t like it, though. The main character is a gurl!!!! Oh noes!

  31. I just don’t believe that “Science Fiction” / “Speculative Fiction” written to pander to those beliefs will ever be worth a damn.

    The cool thing is that you’re entitled to believe what you like, and science fiction, like honey badger, don’t give a shit what beliefs you think it’s pandering to.

    But hey, you go ahead and spend another year fulminating about something you claim doesn’t matter to you, and see how many people believe you.

  32. I see Protest Manager managed to completely miss the point somewhere above that an awful lot of Hugo voters didn’t vote for TDTWTUD. It was closer to losing to No Award than any of the other non-slate winners.

    (As it happens, I have written a comment somewhere about why I liked and voted for it, but it was a long time ago and I’m not up for hunting it down right now. Someone who’s figured out how to search the comments might be able to give pointers on how to find it.)

    @Maximilian

    Oh, he doesn’t. He’s just been lashing out because he thought he was doing his usual time wasting and then found out that he was being contained instead. He’s also flounced and failed to stick it at least twice in the more recent threads. I appreciate the spirited defence, though. 🙂

  33. Meredith: I have written a comment somewhere about why I liked and voted for it, but it was a long time ago and I’m not up for hunting it down right now.

    Is this the one you mean?

    Meredith: I need to move Heuvelt’s story above No Award, too – the protagonist was a little shit, but he was very effectively written as a little shit, and having poked around some of Heuvelt’s other work I’m persuaded that was a deliberate choice rather than the author’s bias shining through.

    More here (rot13’ed for spoilers).

    ETA: search terms used
    “TDTWTUD” OR “upside down” “meredith” site:file770.com

  34. @JJ

    Yep, those, thank you! I don’t expect to change anyone’s mind, but that’s why it just about scraped above No Award for me. I quite understand the reasons for disliking it, and it would have been nice to have, y’know, the other four legitimately chosen options we were supposed to have. I probably would have ranked one of them higher.

  35. You know, I’d been wondering why Brian Z was getting up my nose so badly since I got back. I was looking through one of the old threads and he used to be way better at keeping things subtle a couple of months ago. The twisting of words was done with more space between comments, the particularly egregious misrepresentations or insults were buried in much longer texts. It’s not just me being grumpy (although I am grumpy), he really is worse.

    Brian Z, I think you should take a break. The results rejecting Puppydom clearly got to you and you’re no longer meeting the high standards I’ve come to expect from licensed File770 trolls. Rest, relax, come back when you’re up to snuff again.

  36. If you are going to lie that blatantly about what someone said, couldn’t you, I don’t know… Do a better job of it?

    Heh. Since Meredith was concealing her honest intentions, she had to redefine a good faith argument as “not rewriting what other people said,” and in the process rewrote what I said. Nice try.

  37. @Lis

    “Unlike you, I’ve seen a to me surprising number if genuinely positive comments on it.”

    Well, All I saw here was people saying they had not voted for it. Shrug.

    Because, like I said, I don’t know which is worse. But the apparent fact that the Hugo Awards are now dominated by voters who like gray goo crap makes “Hugo Award winner” a warning label for me.

    And let’s be clear, I value your opinions on books about as much as you value mine. If I said about a Puppy nominee what you said about TD, you could rightfully say “that’s such a crappy story even PM couldn’t say something nice about it.” Thus I quoted what you had to say about TD.

    But the fact that you found it difficult to get in to Skin Game, a story I was sucked in to despite knowing nothing about the Dresden Files, means we’re pretty much never going to agree on what qualifies as “good”.

  38. @Maximillian

    I’ve read the story multiple times. Yes, I know the main character is a computer program. So? He chooses the name “Benedict” at the end of the story.

    Why did I put “” around “Hugo Winners”? Because once upon a time being a Hugo Winner was about being a quality story. That’s no longer the case.

    And Max, that would be the whole “I don’t see anyone here saying nice things about it.” However, I will note that it got more nominations than any other non-Puppy entry, and it did win.

  39. @Meredith

    I’m curious, do you always fail tho sadly at reading comprehension?

    Let me try to dumb things down so even you can understand:

    Known Fact: TDTWTUD got more nominations than any other non-Puppy story in its category, and won the Hugo Award.

    Possible Conclusions:
    1: The Hugo voters do not give a damn about story quality, all they care about is politics and cliques.

    2: The Hugo voters actually think that a gray goo pice of crap like TD is a “great” work, and worthy of a Hugo Award.

    I really don’t care which one of those is true. Either one leads to the same result: The Hugo Awards are now a “warning, avoid this work at all costs” sticker, not a “great work, read this!” So, enjoy your domination of the Awards, and in the future I’ll thank you for so nicely identifying works and authors to avoid.

    Someone (possibly @Kurt) complained that no Puppy people were willing to come “discuss” books here or at Making Light. I therefore find it very amusing that no one here wandered over to my site to respond to my reviews. You’re not willing to leave your cocoons, why do you expect anyone else to come into them?

    Oh, and here’s a hint: I have a life. Which means that I only come here to continue this when I don’t have anything more important to do. Sorry if that hurts your sense of self-importance.

    Now, am I going to help you all burn down the Hugo Awards again next year? Of course! I’ve got the Sasquan membership that lets me nominate, I can’t see any reason why I shouldn’t spread the news about the books and stories I like this year, and it’s always for to return an FU. But, after the disgraceful vote, and even more disgraceful behavior at the Awards ceremony, do I give a damn about any of you? Of course not.

    And as I said in my review: I’m never going to have the slightest shred of respect for the story opinions of anyone who prefers “Damaged” to “Turncoat.” That would include you, yes?

  40. Protest manager:

    So your taste and preferences differ from that of the vast majority of Hugo nominators and voters. This is hardly a news flash. This is something which was made very clear to all the Puppies when the results were announced at the Hugo ceremony.

    The Hugo nominators certainly do value quality — it’s just that their idea of “quality” differs from yours.

    You no longer feel the Hugo Awards have value for you. That’s fine. Don’t pay attention to them any more. Go find other sources for suggestions which align more closely with the sort of stuff you want to read. Some people look at the Nebulas, some use the BSFA awards, some use the Prometheus awards to get recommendations for works they will like. Find whatever works for you.

    No one will feel the slightest bit bad or upset if you do not come to File770 to post your opinions; if you feel that it’s a waste of your time, why are you doing so?

    As far as “burning down the Hugos”, gosh, aren’t you so cute. The Puppies — as they discovered on August 22 — are a small minority, They — and you — are certainly capable of throwing big tantrums, as you’ve demonstrated. But you do not have the capability to “burn down the Hugos”, as was so adequately demonstrated this year. And after EPH passes next year, you can keep throwing tantrums all you like, and the rest of the Hugo nominators and voters will not care.

    By the way, the David D Levine story is “Damage”, not “Damaged”. You might want to consider upping the quality control on your blog; someone might get the idea that you don’t actually know what you’re talking about.

  41. @Protestor
    JJ has a good point on knowing what you are talking about. I know that ‘gray goo’ is an accepted Puppyspeak term for ‘things we don’t like’, but you should know that in scifi it already has a definition going back decades: out of control nanobots. Using the term the way you do just makes people scratch their heads and wonder how much scifi you actually read.

    But you probably “don’t care” about that, the same “way” you don’t care about how quotation marks work. Feel free to “continue telling us about” how much you don’t care about scifi or awards, and that you are really angry and “burning” down something “that you” don’t care about.

  42. Shorter Protest Manager:

    “I don’t care about the Hugo Awards so much that I want to spend lots of effort to destroy them because I don’t get my way!”

    Hey, PM: If you’re so convinced about how Right you and your friends are, and how you and your friends are obviously the only real fans and are the Real Majority, why don’t you go forth and start the Really Awards. If you’re actually right (which I doubt), then obviously everyone will immediately start paying attention to the Really Awards for Really Really Good Stuff by Really Really Real Writers selected by Really Really Really Really Real Fans.

    But I doubt you will do it. Burning down things is so much more fun than building, isn’t it?

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