Barkley — So Glad You (Didn’t) Ask — Special Irish Worldcon Edition, Day Four

DAY FOUR

By Chris M. Barkley:

Field Notes

  • Damn it, why didn’t I pack a pair of blue jeans? I mean, blue colored blue jeans? It would have SO matched the shade of blue of my Samuel R. Delany t-shirt. Ah, so it goes.
  • The weather this morning was brilliantly good. And then came the rain squalls. I had such high hopes. Is this what makes the Irish, Irish?
  • In case anyone was wondering, my identifying pronouns at the Business Meeting were HE, HEY YOU and THAT GUY.
  • I am convinced that one of my three flatmates is a cultural saboteur; for several days now I have placed the toilet paper in the bathroom to roll from the top, only to turn late and it’s been reversed. I have vowed to discover who the culprit is BEFORE I LEAVE THIS ISLAND! Enough said.
  • Speaking of the loo, my first encounter with toilet in the apartment was startling to say the least. As I flushed, an epic Angel/Niagara/Victoria Falls torrent of water crashed into the bowl, scaring me out of my wits. I sure hope that’s all greywater and not the drinking sort.
Chris M. Barkley

Juli and I saw our good friends Robbie Bourget and John Harrold on the tram this morning. They were headed to the Business Meeting to hear the announcement of the Site Selection team of the winner of the 2021 Worldcon bid. They looked remarkable happy at that moment so I suspect that they were either not working or their jobs were completed and they were enjoying themselves…

The meeting started promptly and, as expected, Washington D.C. was the overwhelming choice with 798 votes.

The 2021 Worldcon has been dubbed DisCon III and will be held from August 25 (MY BIRTHDAY, WooT!) to August 29. The Guests of Honor are author Nancy Kress, Baen Editor in Chief Toni Weisskopf, Uber Fan Ben Yalow, with Special Guests Malka Older and Sheree Rene Thomas. Co-Chairs Bill Lawhorn and Colette H. Fozard promised that an Artist Guest of Honor will be announced at a later date.

Mike Nelson distributing PR #0.
Nancy Kress

The runner up results in themselves were whimsical and amusing in themselves:

None of the Above 18

Minneapolis in 73 3

Tampere in 2032 in 2021 3

Peggy Rae’s House 2

Rapid City, South Dakota 2

Xerpes 2010 2

Any Country That Will Let Me In 1

Anywhere NOT in the United States 1

Beach City 1

Boston in 2020 Christmas 1

Free Hong Kong 1

Haimes, Alaska 1

Helen’s Pool Cabana 1

I5 in ‘05   1

James Bacon’s Living Room 1

Laconia Capital City, Laconium Empire 1

Malmo, Sweden   1

Ottawa 1

Port Stanley, Falklands 1

Ratcon in 2002 1

One of these days a joke bid is going to win and there’s going to be trouble. I must also say that as an American, I was surprised that there weren’t a lot more protest votes against the DC bid considering our, let’s say, turbulent political situation at the moment. The mere thought of the current president showing up unannounced is a logistical and political nightmare none of us want. But, we’ll see, I suppose.

Worldcon 76 convention Chair Kevin Roche presented pass along checks of $10,000 (US) to the con-chairs of Ireland (James Bacon) New Zealand (Norman Cates) and Washington. This generous donation was done despite the pending litigation brought against Worldcon 76 by Jon Del Arroz, who filed a lawsuit alleging defamation after being banned from the event.

Mr. Roche promised that more funds would be distributed to current and future bid when litigation has been concluded.

In other news, the group backing an amendment to establish a Best Game or Interactive Experience category suffered a minor setback when the members of the meeting voted to refer the legislation back to the Hugo Study Committee for another year discussion.

This was done in spite of a fairly extensive 60-page report compiled and written by the group sponsoring the category. I spoke to one of those sponsors, Claire Rousseau and several others who were there to see the outcome. They were all extremely upset that this proposal would not be discussed in a formal debate for at least another year or more.

Claire Rousseau

As a personal aside, I told them that I had been on the receiving end of these sorts of setbacks on numerous occasions and while they may be feeling disappointed right now, they should should remain vocal and more importantly, persistent, if they feel they have a just cause.

Mark Richard’s advisory motion to also issue an award to translators of Hugo Award winning works was also soundly rejected by the attending members. After the vote Mr. Richard, was approached by Jo Van Ekeren and Joni Brill Dashoff with some helpful suggestions on how to make the proposal clearer and more palatable to the members who opposed it.

Profound disappointment does not even begin to describe how I felt about this, but I will refrain from editorializing about this until my final report.

By a fortuitous coincidence, my final Worldcon panel, “Get Us Out of the Twilight Zone: the Work of Jordan Peele,” was scheduled right after the Business Meeting in the same room. My panelists were media critic and Abigail Nussbaum (who won the 2017 Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer), Dr. Andrew Butler, a distinguished film critic from the UK and Dr. Wanda Kurtcu, who organized the POC meetup the previous day.

Looking through my bag, I could not find the placard with my name printed on it, which we were supposed to keep and use at each panel. Luckily, I found a folder filled with name placards and not only found one with a blank side to write on, I also picked up an autograph as well.

Over the course of our hour, we took an in depth look at Mr. Peele’s first two films, the Academy Award winning horror film Get Out and Us, a more overtly ambiguous fantasy film. I believe that while Us is a more ambitious movie, Get Out had an edge in being my favorite because of its straightforward and take no prisoners narrative.

Doctor Butler had not seen the first season of the revival of The Twilight Zone so when the other panelists and I discussed the episodes we were a little diligent not to drop too many spoilers for him and the other audience members. Doctor Kurtcu pointed out rightly that Twilight Zone, like the original Rod Serling series and other shows like Black Mirror, darkly reflect what is going on in the world today.

Ms. Nussbaum, like myself, were not really ardent fans of the horror genre but it seems as though Jordan Peele has a true artistic vision to express that is striving to transcend the usual boundaries of genre.

Towards the end of the session, an audience member said that Mr. Peele’s next project was a reboot of the Candyman film franchise.

“All right,” I said. “We all know what to do. NONE of us should say Candyman three times before the film is released.”

We appeared at the Press Room office a little before seven to pick up a lanyard for Juli so she could attend the Hugo Award Ceremony. We were delighted to find out that some of the press passes had not been claimed so now she could sit with me in the designated area. (This is not unusual; when I ran the Press Office, there were occasions where passes had not been picked up and I issued them to late arriving reporters or convention staff members who wanted a seat closer to the action.)

While we were waiting to be escorted to the press section, I came across UK author Paul Cornell, who I had not been in close proximity to since LAcon IV in 2006. I was particularly delighted to see him because he wrote one of my favorite Doctor Who stories of the modern era, the Hugo-nominated episode “Father’s Day”.

Paul Cornell

The Press section wasn’t that close to the action this year; it was located in the first three rows of the upper balcony just to the right of the center of the stage. What it lacked in proximity was made up for by its height, which provided a sweeping view of the stage.

The first big surprise of the evening was the winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, Jeanette Ng. Not surprising that she had won the award, because she is an exceptionally fine writer and was favored in this category. Oh no. It was because of what she said in her acceptance speech:

John W. Campbell, for whom this award was named, was a fascist. Through his editorial control of Amazing Stories, he is responsible for setting a tone of science fiction that still haunts the genre to this day. Sterile. Male. White. Exalting in the ambitions of imperialists and colonisers, settlers and industrialists. Yes, I am aware there are exceptions.

But these bones, we have grown wonderful, ramshackle genre, wilder and stranger than his mind could imagine or allow.

And I am so proud to be part of this. To share with you my weird little story, an amalgam of all my weird interests, so much of which has little to do with my superficial identities and labels.
But I am a spinner of ideas, of words, as Margaret Cavendish would put it.

So I need (to) say, I was born in Hong Kong. Right now, in the most cyberpunk in the city in the world, protesters struggle with the masked, anonymous stormtroopers of an autocratic Empire. They have literally just held her largest illegal gathering in their history. As we speak they are calling for a horological revolution in our time. They have held laser pointers to the skies and tried to to impossibly set alight the stars. I cannot help be proud of them, to cry for them, and to lament their pain.
I’m sorry to drag this into our fantastical words, you’ve given me a microphone and this is what I felt needed saying.

<do the hat thing>”

You can see that “hat thing” (eventually) on YouTube or the streaming broadcast online.

Jeannette Ng

I was one of the people madly cheering this speech. I posted a meme on Facebook as she was still speaking: “Jeannette Ng is AWESOME!!!!!” Moments later, swept up in the moment, I posted another meme, “I’m just gonna say it: The Name of the John W. Campbell Award SHOULD BE F***KING CHANGED!”

To clamor atop a soapbox for a moment; NO, I am not advocating that the life and work of John W. Campbell, Jr. be scrubbed from history. But neither should we turn a blind, uncritical eye to his transgressions. When the winners of such a prestigious award start getting angry because the person behind it is viewed to be so vile and reprehensible, that ought to be acknowledged as well.

I think work and legacies of film director D.W. Griffith and H.P. Lovecraft have survived fairly intact since they have been deprived of their privileged status. And that is precisely the point; for decades JWC’s white privilege has given him cover to be adored by generations of readers, writers, editors, fans and scholars. The time has finally come to call him out.

Jeannette Ng said out loud what people have been either thinking and whispering for the past several decades. Rebecca Roanhorse’s speech last year in San Jose alluding to her discontent was the tipping point. Ms. Ng just picked it up and threw it over the edge. (Climbs off soapbox.)

Other momentous moments included Charles Vess double whammy for Best Professional Artist and the Special Category addition for Best Art Book, both for his meticulous and detailed art for the gigantic omnibus, The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition. Becky Chambers’ Wayfarers won Best Series, a dizzying ascension for a writer who only had a draft version of her debut novel five years. She tearfully thanked her supporters, readers and the Hugo voters for making “room for her at the table”.

The Best Long and Short Form Dramatic Presentations went to popular front runners; the former to the Oscar winning animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and the latter by “Janet(s)” an excruciating funny episode of NBC’s farce/philosophy seminar The Good Place.

There was a lot of criticism that the Lodestar Award (or, as I call it, The Ursula K. LeGuin Memorial Award) either would not be very popular at all or might suffer from “award fatigue” by Hugo nominators in general reading community. Well, the statistics posted online after the ceremony show that there were 216 nominated books on 512 ballots. So, as far as I’m concerned, you can stick a fork in that theory, because it’s done. 

Best Profession Editor went to the late Gardner Dozois. I must report that I did not vote for him; he was a fine person, a marvelous writer and one of the greatest, if not THE GREATEST, editor we are ever likely to see. But, I note, he had won fifteen Hugos for editing between 1988 and 2004. Now his estate has another award that he will never know of or enjoy. It’s fine for us to honor the dead, but not at the expense of the living.

Best Novel went to Mary Robinette Kowal’s The Calculating Stars, an alternate history story in which the 1950’s suffers a cataclysmic event and the “space race” is reframed is an actual struggle for the survival of the human race, led by women astronauts. I hope that this book, and its sequels, will not only endure but inspire future generations of young adults and grownups.

A PDF of the voting results and nomination longlists are available at: www.thehugoawards.org

We headed to Martin’s after the ceremony and almost immediately ran into Carole’s partner John. He told us that the wallet had not been turned in yet and everyone is presuming it is lost for good. Credit cards have been canceled and other friends have offered other help, too.   Carole was there, enjoying herself and John reassured us that she was feeling a lot better since that night. We were rather concerned so it was nice to see that she was having a good time.

John also said, “Hey got get a drink at the bar. DC is paying for all of the drinks on their tab!”

I feigned confusion. “Your mean DC Comics?” John gave me one of those resigned looks he make after hearing a bad joke. “Go get a drink,” he shouted over the din.

We got into the nearest queue but the DC tab had already been tapped out so we had to resort to buying our own drinks.  Hugo Admin Nichols Whyte sidled up to the bar and in a burst of American generosity, we bought him two ciders, citing his fine work for the con.  

As we were ordering our own ciders our, I was accosted by an older man standing next to me, whom I thought was a complete stranger. But it wasn’t; Jerry Kaufman was a fan we had met previous at the Spokane Worldcon. “So,” her said, “what are you proposing for the name change?”

Now it was my turn to be genuinely confused. “Excuse me?”

“I heard some people talking about it. It was your Facebook post.”

With that I sat down and whipped out my phone and checked the post I had completely forgotten about from two hours ago. While it had not gone exactly viral, it had several “likes” and who knows how many views.

While I sat and posed for a few pictures with my friends, I suddenly realized that I was drinking this cider on an empty stomach, which meant that I was going to be incredibly tipsy in the next five or ten minutes.

I told Juli about my dilemma and after some chit chat with some friends in passing, we bade everyone good night. We stepped into a chilly and damp night. The walk back was bracing and kept me on my feet as we walked back to our apartment.

After fumbling to check the Facebook post and send my esteemed editor a brief, spell check enhanced email, I fell into bed, and, according to Juli, was asleep in two minutes. 


P.S. DAY FIVE BREAKING NEWS! I am incredibly PLEASED to report that Carole’s wallet was turned in to the local police station today, WITH THE CONTENTS ALL ACCOUNTED FOR!!!!

Carole and John have already left Dublin for a tour but will be returning to the city on Friday recover the wallet.

Who’s says there are no Happy Endings at Worldcon? A big THANKS to the local citizens and the Dublin Garda for your diligence in this matter…

67 thoughts on “Barkley — So Glad You (Didn’t) Ask — Special Irish Worldcon Edition, Day Four

  1. You’ve correctly reproduced Jeannette Ng saying “Amazing Stories” when she meant “Astounding”. Did anyone else hear her start off by saying “Joseph” Campbell instead of John?

  2. Well. If we don’t want Campbells name anymore, then naming it after LeGuin instead would be as good as anything. And after having read some of Campbells political essays, I’m perfectly happy with having his name removed.

  3. Hampus Eckerman: Well. If we don’t want Campbells name anymore, then naming it after LeGuin instead would be as good as anything.

    There is no “we”. The Campbell belongs to Dell Magazines, not to WSFS. While WSFS or individuals can request a name change, I think it’s highly unlikely that Dell will be willing to replace the name of the editor of their flagship magazine for 40 years with that of any other person.

    The only thing WSFS can do in an official capacity is to tell Dell that Worldcon will no longer administer or present the award.

  4. JJ said:

    There is no “we”. The Campbell belongs to Dell Magazines, not to WSFS. While WSFS or individuals can request a name change, I think it’s highly unlikely that Dell will be willing to replace the name of the editor of their flagship magazine for 40 years with that of any other person.

    They could replace Campbell with Dozois. That said, I’m not impressed with Ng’s sanctimonious (and historically inaccurate) virtue signalling—if she has a problem with Campbell she should have refused the award. It’s not a Hugo “new writer” award but the “JWC award for etc”.
    Oh well, I look forward to a Tiptree Award acceptance speech from Ng where she deals with that writer’s CIA service, the murder of her husband, etc. Soon we’ll have all those historical offenders brought to book!

  5. @David Shallcross: I think that was from Ng’s site. The F-bomb may have been an improv.

  6. Camestros: He, my first impulse was to order ribbons named “Fuggheads always win” to distribute. 😉

    Baen had a table in the dealers room or perhaps it was fans of Baen? There was some sign or membership in an armada or something. Anyhow, I was happy to see them and hope they had a great time.

    I’m kind of tired of culture wars, so I’m glad to see Weisskopf come. Let the memories of fugg-ups by us Fuggheads disappear in the fugg of fuggettfullness.

  7. I forget who said this originally so can’t credit properly, but I saw a suggestion that if more radical replacement names don’t go down very well, then Gardner Dozois had many of the qualities and influence on the genre that Campbell’s name was originally meant to evoke.

    (Obviously JJ’s point regarding Dell is likely to be insurmountable anyway, but I thought it was an interesting suggestion)

  8. … if she has a problem with Campbell she should have refused the award.

    She earned the award. She gets to decide how she accepted it. If you’d prefer it be won differently and are still Campbell eligible, good luck.

  9. @Paul Fraser

    Will you also accuse Michael Moorcock of “virtue signalling”

    By the early fifties Astounding had turned by almost anyone’s standard into a crypto-fascist deeply philistine magazine pretending to intellectualism and offering idealistic kids an ‘alternative’ that was, of course, no alternative at all. Through the fifties Campbell used his whole magazine as propaganda for the ideas he promoted in his editorials. His writers, by and large, were enthusiastic. Those who were not fell away from him, disturbed by his increasingly messianic disposition (Alfred Bester gives a good account of this). Over the years Campbell promoted the mystical, quasi-scientific Scientology (first proposed by one of his regular writers L. Ron Hubbard and aired for the first time in Astounding as ‘Dianetics: The New Science of the Mind’), a perpetual motion machine known as the ‘Dean Drive’, a series of plans to ensure that the highways weren’t ‘abused’, and dozens of other half-baked notions, all in the context of cold-war thinking. He also, when faced with the Watts riots of the mid-sixties, seriously proposed and went on to proposing that there were ‘natural’ slaves who were unhappy if freed. I sat on a panel with him in 1965, as he pointed out that the worker bee when unable to work dies of misery, that the moujiks when freed went to their masters and begged to be enslaved again, that the ideals of the anti-slavers who fought in the Civil War were merely expressions of self-interest and that the blacks were ‘against’ emancipation, which was fundamentally why they were indulging in ‘leaderless’ riots in the suburbs of Los Angeles! I was speechless (actually I said four words in all — ‘science-fiction’ — ‘psychology’ — Jesus Christ!’- before I collapsed), leaving John Brunner to perform a cool demolition of Campbell’s arguments, which left the editor calling on God in support of his views — an experience rather more intense for me than watching Doctor Strangelove at the cinema.

  10. Mark: then Gardner Dozois had many of the qualities and influence on the genre that Campbell’s name was originally meant to evoke.

    How bulletproof does the history of the replacement namesake need to be? Dozois did everything you say. But a decade ago Feminist SF did one of those counting exercises on his annual Best collection and criticized the underrepresentation of women.

  11. @Mike

    Very good point, and I suspect that the same problems that led to the Lodestar being called the Lodestar and not the Favourite Author X Award would eventually win out.
    However, the point of the suggestion I saw (and I wish I could find it again so I wasn’t badly paraphrasing someone else’s argument) was along the lines that if there’s a constituency of people objecting to what they see as an attack on Campbell, Dozois might be a conciliatory replacement – and Paul Fraser above has inadvertently provided an excellent example of that constituency.

  12. If Jeanette Ng actually believes Campbell was responsible for setting a “Sterile. White. Male.” tone in SF, she should be sentenced to reading the collected editorial output of F. Orion Tremaine. The amount of casually genocidal behavior I encountered in sampling 1930s sf was remarkable.

  13. @Hampus

    I’m kind of tired of culture wars. . . Let the memories of fugg-ups by us Fuggheads disappear in the fugg of fuggettfullness.

    Well said. (and I definitely am one of those whose fugg-ups will hopefully be forgotten)

  14. I was surprised that there weren’t a lot more protest votes against the DC bid considering our, let’s say, turbulent political situation at the moment

    I think three years without an American Worldcon to be a bit much. Likewise, three years with. Sorry Memphis.
    Just because I do not want to block Americans chances, does not mean there’s any chance of my visiting the USA during Trump’s second term.

  15. I think Lee Harris’ suggestion of the Dell Magazines award for best new writer quite reasonable, though I don’t know if the general population would know Dell as anything other than a computer company.

  16. I think it’s simpler to just retire the Campbell, and make “New Writer” a Hugo category.

  17. Paul Fraser: I’m not impressed with Ng’s sanctimonious (and historically inaccurate) virtue signalling

    You’re entitled to your opinion of her speech, but for all the gods’ sake, get your terminology correct.

    “virtue signalling” is when people say things not because they really mean and believe them, but because they want to earn brownie points with a particular group of people.

    I am quite certain that Ng fervently believes and means everything she said. It wasn’t “virtue signalling”.

  18. Hampus Eckerman on August 20, 2019 at 3:18 am said:

    Camestros: He, my first impulse was to order ribbons named “Fuggheads always win” to distribute. ?

    Baen had a table in the dealers room or perhaps it was fans of Baen? There was some sign or membership in an armada or something. Anyhow, I was happy to see them and hope they had a great time.

    I’m kind of tired of culture wars, so I’m glad to see Weisskopf come. Let the memories of fugg-ups by us Fuggheads disappear in the fugg of fuggettfullness.

    🙂 good point I shall put my mind to forgetting this https://accordingtohoyt.com/2014/03/10/the-problem-of-engagement-a-guest-post-by-toni-weisskopf/ ASAP

    Seriously though, yes, it is good for this kind of rapprochement. TW may have sided with the puppies but she avoided indulging in the nastier public aspects of that particular fight. Wanting to be involved in WorldCon is a positive sign of personal growth and potential healing of rifts.

  19. Camestros Felapton: TW may have sided with the puppies but she avoided indulging in the nastier public aspects of that particular fight.

    Well, she didn’t use a lot of epithets, but I wouldn’t exactly call telling us Worldcon members that we’re not real fans a benign stance. 😐

  20. JJ on August 20, 2019 at 1:21 pm said:

    Camestros Felapton: TW may have sided with the puppies but she avoided indulging in the nastier public aspects of that particular fight.

    Well, she didn’t use a lot of epithets, but I wouldn’t exactly call telling us Worldcon members that we’re not real fans a benign stance.

    fugghead at least was an epithet of some classic fannish standing.

  21. @David Goldfarb
    I’m not sure if Jeanette Ng said Joseph instead of John W. Campbell, but she definitely said “Amazing” instead of “Astounding Stories”. There was also a lot more swearing in the original speech. She also overran her 90 second limit – people, time your speeches before you hold them.

    And no, Jeannette Ng wasn’t virtue signalling, but obviously passionately believed every word she said. She was pretty much bursting with passion.

    @Hampus Eckerman
    I suspect you’re thinking of the Royal Manticorean Navy, a Honor Harrington fan group, which indeed had a table in the dealers’ room. The entire Royal Manticorean Navy seemed to consist of two people and a teddy bear. There was no official Baen table, though I spotted a Baen book or two on some of the dealers’ tables.

  22. They were all extremely upset that this proposal would not be discussed in a formal debate for at least another year or more.

    UH, I’m not sure what conversation Chris Barkley is remembering here or what he thinks ‘extremely upset’ people look like – witness my extremely upset knitting & posing for pictures! We were all expecting to get referred to the Hugo Study Committee and quite happy that the proposal did not get postponed indefinitely on Friday, but I suppose it’s possible that he is writing in the spirit of Robert’s Rules and that wrap-up posts, like debate, need not be factual.

  23. Camestros Felapton: Toni Weisskopf has been one of the leading editor/publishers for a long time and is completely deserving of being a Worldcon GoH, and she accepted the invitation, so it’s sad to me that anyone would be trying to gin up some hostility towards her.

    She’s Correia’s publisher, and it’s unrealistic to think she’s going to do or say anything that’s going to strain that relationship. Which there’s no need to even address — it’s her career being celebrated.

    Of course, I realize Larry’s fans are busy screenshotting the negative comments here for his future use. That somebody like me might think well of Toni Weisskopf — well, sometimes a person just has to say what they think is right. (And since there’s no closed captioning, at least you won’t be reading “Cream of Throwns” behind me while I’m saying it.)

  24. Steven desJardins: I think it’s simpler to just retire the Campbell, and make “New Writer” a Hugo category.

    I think what’s going to happen is that the Campbell award will be driven off from the Worldcon, and another event that’s less sensitive to these things (what about Dragon Con?) will tell Dell how happy they’d be to host it. And the new writers who make the shortlist will reflect the interests of members of the new host event.

  25. While it’s nice to get Guests of Honor who are widely loved, it’s quite normal for GoHs to not necessarily be read or adored by 100% of a Worldcon’s membership. The idea is to recognize people who’ve had significant careers and contributions.

    I absolutely agree that Toni Weisskopf has had a career of great significance in terms of what she’s done for Baen.

    And while I wouldn’t be willing to nominate or vote for her for an Editor Hugo due to the appalling quality of the spelling, grammar, and covers with which so many Baen books appear, and I think she’s a major jerk for telling a bunch of us that we aren’t real fans, and I thus have no interest in hearing her speak, I will certainly agree that a Worldcon GoHsip is deserved here.

  26. Glad to hear the wallet was finally recovered; hope not having the working credit cards doesn’t cause too much trouble with whatever remains of your trip. (I’m guessing from experience that the providers won’t reactivate the cards.)

    @Paul Fraser: would you care to provide actual instances in which Ng’s speech was “historically inaccurate”?

    @Judge Magney: That’s “Orlin”, not “Orion”. if I guess that your reading of his editing is more accurate than your reading of his name, I’ll note that Tremaine edited Astounding for 4 years, according to the tastes of his time; Campbell was editor for 33 years, and in some ways carried the tastes of the 1930’s into the 1960’s.

    @Mark: Moorcock’s descriptions of Campbell’s enthusiasms for fake tech are on, and I’ve run into at least one other para-quote about his support for slavery, but I think M underestimates what I’ve heard was C’s tendency to throw out provocative ideas just to get people to pull out their best arguments. (I’m also getting a bit of redder-than-thou tone off that essay — and wonder particularly about his claims of Tolkien’s reactionary stance, given what a Filer has reported here of a paper on Tolkien’s professed politics.)

    From all the reports I’ve read, JWC was inclined to be a domineering jackass, but ISTM that he at least started as representative of his time, where Lovecraft’s attitudes were so extreme that his contemporaries called him on them. Moreover, in addition to the writers who simply parroted his opinions, he supported or even developed writers who were better people than he was (e.g., according to Williams he was Sturgeon’s only genre market for several years, and published Mack Reynolds — even the Homer Crawford stories — back when Reynolds was a reasonable writer), and who provided steps forward that other writers have built on; I wouldn’t assume that Dozois’ work would have been possible without Campbell’s before him. wrt renaming the award for Dozois, I wonder whether his intended-to-be-humorous sexual innuendos (or exuendos, considering how blatant some of them were?), however jovial, would raise a stir over naming the award for him.

    But as @JJ notes, the name is out of fandom’s control, modulo either major diplomacy or a replacement of Dell’s sponsorship with an official Hugo. I am not as certain as @OGH that such replacement would make Dell seek another awarding authority rather than just folding the award, but I wouldn’t bet either way.

    @JJ: what do you see as Weisskopf’s positive personal contributions? ISTM that mere longevity in the field is not enough (e.g., I’m less than pleased with Lackey and Dixon being New Zealand’s GoHs); beyond that, and beyond not just the poor quality of copy (frequently noted here) but also the apparent lack of structural editing in the few recent Baen books I’ve read, ISTM that Baen himself was responsible for most of the innovative things his house has done, with Weisskopf simply carrying on the the established policies.

  27. I’m disappointed that the motion to award Hugos to the translators of winning works was defeated, as well. Translation is a lot of work, and I imagine that some aspects of SFF make it even more challenging than it is for non-genre stories.

    For example, there’s an excellent manga series called Tsubasa which involves both cloning and time-travel shenanigans. It’s not uncommon for written sentences in Japanese to omit pronouns, as it’s assumed the reader knows who/what is being talked about. So there were many lines in the manga where the translator basically had to guess which iteration of a character was being discussed.

    Prophecies could also present a tricky situation, since so much can depend on exact nuances of wording. Even a seemingly minor inaccuracy–or just a “there’s no exact correlate in this language” issue–could render a major plot point nonsensical or meaningless.

    The translator of a Hugo-winning work absolutely deserves recognition, IMO.

  28. Mike Glyer on August 20, 2019 at 5:06 pm said:

    Camestros Felapton: Toni Weisskopf has been one of the leading editor/publishers for a long time and is completely deserving of being a Worldcon GoH, and she accepted the invitation, so it’s sad to me that anyone would be trying to gin up some hostility towards her.

    Noted.

  29. Nina, if I understand correctly, there were some technical issues with the motion, which was drawn up very late, and it was given to the Hugo study committee to tidy up. Certainly concoms have given Hugos to translators before, so it sounds to me like it has a good chance once it’s cleaned up. And if it doesn’t pass, it will probably be because people prefer not to tie the hands of the committees too much, especially as they are already doing this.

  30. I find it curious/interesting that a Worldcon would choose someone with as much baggage as TW. I’m not saying she’s not deserving, just that there are probably at least 50 people just as deserving and as “famous” who could have been chosen to be a GoH.

  31. Ita: This idea that she’s got baggage reflects how you feel about things (and a few other Filers, it seems). Despite that it may not be a widely-held perception.

    SFWA gave Toni Weisskopf its Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award for distinguished contributions to the science fiction and fantasy community just two years ago.

    And back in 2016, Kristine Kathryn Rusch said about her Women of Futures Past anthology, “When it became clear to me that the sf field was losing its history, particularly the history of women in the field, I decided to do an anthology. And I immediately knew who would be the perfect publisher/editor: Toni Weisskopf of Baen.”

    I could dig up more examples from news I’ve run here over the years, but my point is that a lot of people consider her to be just the opposite of someone with baggage.

  32. I’m disappointed that the motion to award Hugos to the translators of winning works was defeated, as well.

    Was it? I thought the precident was will established. There was a proposal for a specific award for translated works, which I am happy to see defeated.

  33. JJ—
    Agreed, not virtue signalling. I withdraw that comment.

    Mark—
    I’m not defending Campbell. He had many deeply unpleasant and troubling views, but I don’t think he was a fascist. Or that he had the long lasting influence on or control over the field that Ng thinks he had.
    As for Moorcock, I suspect he would identify anyone who is politically to the right of him as a fascist (including, say, the British Tories).

  34. I would be very sad to see the Campbell go elsewhere – it seems to me that it’s developed a small community inside Worldcon specifically for new writers, and I think that’s a valuable thing for both them and Worldcon. The name itself has little resonance for me. He’s yet another person who failed to match the politics and culture of his time, let alone rise above them. The award I value. Him I do not. (I acknowledge his historical importance. I just don’t care about him.) I don’t know whether it would be possible to replace it with a not-a-Hugo under Worldcon’s control and keep the community and professional boost, and that worries me. I want the kinds of new authors that Worldcon nominates to keep getting that recognition.

    Toni Weisskopf’s career both professional and fannish is much more than That Article (as irritating as it was). I think she’s a very suitable choice for Guest of Honour, and I’m honestly quite intrigued to see if she’ll present the Hugos.

    @Paul Fraser

    No-one who saw Ng deliver her acceptance speech could possibly believe she didn’t mean what she was saying.

  35. @Chip Hitchcock
    What was historically inaccurate? Well, Campbell didn’t edit Amazing for a start, and then her whole analysis of his responsibility for the male, white imperial/political nature of the field thereafter. Campbell was an influential editor in the 1940s but his influence declined markedly thereafter; he was also only one of many, many editors in the book and publishing field, some of whom were women—the idea that he was this single over-arching gatekeeper is nonsense; more generally, there is no acknowledgement of the fact that the demographics of the field influenced what it became (a largely white male readership will produce a largely white male cadre of writers), or any consideration of larger political (Cold War) or cultural factors that influenced society and the field.
    Did Campbell have an effect of how SF developed? Obviously, but his lasting influence is grossly overestimated (he has been dead for almost fifty years for one thing, and there have been many movements since that have overwritten or reversed his legacy). What I think prompted all this is Alex Nevala-Lee’s book, and by proxy Campbell, getting so much attention. And that probably also explains why Nevala-Lee’s book was last on the ballot.

  36. If we’d start to count everytime someone’s said something embarassing on social media, I’d guess we’d have far fewer GoHs. If one post is the only baggage on TW, I’d say there are a lot more problematic people out there that we’d gladly invite. Her “get of our lawn” article and claims to historical greats is hardly unique. Not even the condescending language is that special anymore.

  37. My feelings on Toni are complicated. While I have fallen outside of her social circles these days, I’ve certainly been part of them in the past and I vice chaired the 2010 NASFiC where she was Toastmaster. Basically, everything in this thread both good and bad is true. But, the negative goes farther then what has been addressed which is what makes this so complicated. If you go back to the original Puppy slate, it was saturated with Baen content. The sentiments, and sometimes the phrasing, being used where the same ones used by Toni. Not just in her role as fan, or even editorial content, but in her sales presentations. While ultimately, the individual authors are responsible for their behavior, Toni’s role goes a step further then silent consent. And its not just the SP issue either. Some of the negative behavior by people like Ringo and Correia are a part of how Baen markets their books. Which, again, comes with a level or responsibility beyond silent acceptance.

  38. Mike, if another convention ends up hosting the Campbell, then I expect WSFS will create a replacement (either a new Hugo category, or a new named award), and people will stop paying much attention to the re-homed Campbell.

  39. There are good arguments for renaming the Campbell or replacing it while it moves to another con. The best argument against doing it is the decades of prestige attached to the name because of the winners and nominees. It’s easier to replace a statue than to replace a name. Generations of fans have seen the words “Campbell Award winner” or “Campbell Award nominee” on a book cover and known what it means. Renaming puts the award in the same place as the Lodestar, which has a long way to go before it’s revered in SF/F.

  40. @Paul Fraser

    I’m not defending Campbell. He had many deeply unpleasant and troubling views, but I don’t think he was a fascist. Or that he had the long lasting influence on or control over the field that Ng thinks he had.
    As for Moorcock, I suspect he would identify anyone who is politically to the right of him as a fascist (including, say, the British Tories).

    Plenty of people accused Campbell of being some species of fascist. If you feel Moorcock is too far left to serve as a fair arbiter on the issue, how about this quote from Campbell’s obit

    “At different times during the course of his career he was called a reactionary, a romantic, a fascist, a visionary, a conservative, an Objectivist, a troglodyte, a technocrat, a racist, and other sundry epithets—some more caustic, some more complimentary.”

    (Source) That’s the not-exactly-left Reason magazine acknowledging that it’s an opinion long held about Campbell by some. Point being, Ng didn’t leap on stage and suddenly declare something no-one else ever had, she responded to being given an award with his actual name on by saying something that plenty of other people already had – and she had a perfect right to do so. The difference being, this year a lot more people have been willing to listen.

    @Claire Rousseau

    UH, I’m not sure what conversation Chris Barkley is remembering here or what he thinks ‘extremely upset’ people look like – witness my extremely upset knitting & posing for pictures! We were all expecting to get referred to the Hugo Study Committee and quite happy that the proposal did not get postponed indefinitely on Friday, but I suppose it’s possible that he is writing in the spirit of Robert’s Rules and that wrap-up posts, like debate, need not be factual.

    Unfortunately you may find that Chris is constructing a windmill around you, for him to then tilt at.

  41. @Hampus:

    Baen had a table in the dealers room or perhaps it was fans of Baen? There was some sign or membership in an armada or something.

    That was a fan table for The Royal Manticoran Navy, the independent fan and charitable good-works club for readers of David Weber’s (and lately Eric Flint’s, etc.) Honor Harrington mil-SF novels and stories. Pleasant folk, the lot of them; they were also at Spikecon.

  42. @Mark

    “At different times during the course of his career he was called a reactionary, a romantic, a fascist”

    That could be Moorcock, once, so you are not advancing your argument. Third time lucky?

  43. I can’t work out how to delete part of my previous post, the one with:
    “JJ—Agreed, not virtue signalling. I withdraw that comment.”

    @JJ
    I took at face value that your definition of “virtue signalling” was correct. It is not, or not entirely. You state “virtue signalling” is when people say things not because they really mean and believe them, but because they want to earn brownie points with a particular group of people.”
    That is a common usage since 2015, but it is by no means the only one. Wikipedia and a couple of other dictionaries give this definition too: “The action or practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one’s good character or the moral correctness of one’s position on a particular issue.”
    So, yes, she was. In future you may wish to check the advice you are dispensing is correct, and I should not take things at face value.

  44. Claire Rousseau on August 20, 2019 at 4:20 pm said:

    We were all expecting to get referred to the Hugo Study Committee and quite happy that the proposal did not get postponed indefinitely on Friday, but I suppose it’s possible that he is writing in the spirit of Robert’s Rules and that wrap-up posts, like debate, need not be factual.

    Chris does indeed have a history of ignoring what actually happened in the BM in favor of what’s in his own head. He did it last year, too. Three times. Twice after he’d been corrected.

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