Pixel Scroll 4/28/16 All My Hugos

We’ll divide the Scrolls again today. This is the Hugo-oriented one.

(1) PERMISSION GRANTED. Glenn Hauman, rebutting a post by John Scalzi, says creators should not be discouraged from withdrawing, in “Neil Gaiman Does Not Need A Pity Hugo” at ComicMix.

(By the way, what follows is offered by Hauman as a hypothetical Neil Gaiman quote – Neil hasn’t actually said this.)

Neil Gaiman is well within his rights to say, “Yes, I believe Sandman: Overture is Hugo-worthy, but I don’t think I should win just because Scott McCloud’s The Sculptor was pushed off the ballot. I said The Sculptor was the best graphic novel I’ve read in years, it says so on the cover of the book. If I’m not going against that, it’s not a fair competition.”

Neil Gaiman does not need a pity Hugo. He’s already won five Hugos, fairly. He does not need a fixed fight to win them.

Lois McMaster Bujold does not need a pity Hugo. She’s already won four Hugos for best novel, tying the record. She does not need to play against the literary equivalent of the Washington Generals.

Stephen King does not need a pity Hugo. He’s Stephen Goddamn King. (And he won one in 1982.)

And getting votes for being the only good candidate in a bad field, a deliberately weakened field, is getting a pity Hugo….

(2) HUGO AWARDS REPEALED. Matthew Foster (who credits my fan writer nomination to the Sad Puppies, because we all know how much they love me) offers this take: “Here We Go Again – Welcome To The Vox Awards”.

So there it is. You, the regular fans, made nine choices. That’s it. The rest were hand picked by Vox or the Sads. Might you (the plural you) have chosen some of those same works/people? You might have. But you didn’t. Vox chose them. And the Pups chose the rest Y’all (going Southern for clarity) did not. Y’all chose nine and that is all. Sure you can go with the “Well, I would have…” Yes, but you didn’t. Vox did. So if you are happy with Vox handing your choices, then go ahead and just somehow say it’s all OK.

And that’s what I’m already seeing. And it started last year. George and John and Mary, much as I like them, were wrong. They went with the “Oh, just vote for the best of what’s there and it will work out.” No, that wasn’t the thing to do and it didn’t work out. This year even the Sads didn’t do that well, though they did better than fandom. Vox did. The 2016 Hugos are NOT the Hugo Awards. They are The Vox-hugo. They will celebrate the best in what Vox likes. If you go along with it, you are not voting for the Hugo winner. You will be voting for the Vox-hugo winner.

There are no Hugo awards for 2016.

(3) LOVE WON’T KEEP US TOGETHER. Amanda S. Green expresses her vision of fandom in “And so it continues — Hugo Awards Part Whatever”.

The Dragon Awards are exactly what a fan award should be. You don’t have to pay for the privilege to nominate or vote. All you have to do is register online. You can embrace your inner geekdom and fandom and not worry about someone condemning you because you might not be of the same political or social ilk as the next guy. It is a celebration of the genre, something the Hugo used to be.

So here’s the thing. Let the Fans have the Hugo. Vox has already pretty much burned it down anyway. Let the Fans have the award they can be “proud” of. Let the Hugo fade into obscurity. Wait, it pretty much already has where the every day fan is concerned. Fandom is aging. Fandom (with a small f) is growing. We see it with the ever increasing size of the various Comic-Con conventions. We see it with the increasing size of DragonCon. Those cons will help save fandom. I’m not sure Fandom can be, not as long as it continues to insulate itself from the rest of us.

So here’s my recommendation. If you are going to vote for the Hugos, do so based solely on one criterion. Do you believe the work deserves to win the Hugo, a fan award that once meant everything in the genre and not just to some fans and authors but to fandom in general? If you do, then vote for it. Do not vote for something — or against it — because of who nominated it. Vote on the work. Does it entertain? Is it well-written? If it has a message, did you enjoy that, learn from it or did it beat you over the head until you wanted to throw it against the wall?

In other words, unlike the other side, I’m advocating that you judge the work itself and nothing else. For me, I’m registering for the Dragon Awards and casting my vote there. Then I’ll stand back and watch Vox bring the Hugos to their knees because Fandom was foolish enough to think they could push him into a corner and he would back down.

(4) SPLAT. Marian Crane’s “Another year, another Hugo Awards pie fight” is well worth a visit for the pie fight GIF.

At least one author (Dr. Chuck Tingle, of Amazon Kindle Dinosaur Erotica fame) was apparently Puppy-chosen for his potential shock value to the fainting left-wing violets. Which shows the former might not understand fannish humor on the left. Because Tingle…Tingle is like ‘Robot Chicken’ meets Larry Flynt, with a generous helping of meth. He’s filthy and hilarious. But I read andy offutt in his heyday, so don’t go by my tastes, please.

I’m probably a bad person for laughing my ass off at this year’s nominations. The entertainment value alone is priceless. I am about as likely to write something worthy of being nominated as I am to be the first mayor on the Moon, so I normally wouldn’t care about the Hugos. But this year at WorldCon (MidAmerica Con, by its formal name), the Hugo nomination and voting procedures are going to be changed by attending members. Which is why memberships on both right and left, conservative and liberal, have soared this year.

(5) NOVEL IDEA. Michael Damien Thomas posts a thought never before contemplated by the internet.

(6) THE CHORF TINGLE ASTERISK. Larry Correia “On the Hugo Award Announcement” (April 27).

This is going to be brief because I retired from the Sad Puppies campaign last year.

All I can really say to the CHORFs is that they had a chance to deal with people like me or Brad, but instead they decided to be a bunch of pricks and hand out wooden assholes while block voting No Award. In the process they insulted disgruntled fans, and proved that they were a bunch of cliquish elitists just like I’d said they were to begin with.

That’s how you end up with Space Raptor Butt Invasion. Have fun with that.















(8) STAYING ON. The crew of the fancast Tales to Terrify, a Hugo nominee on the Rabid Puppies slate, tells “How our 2016 Hugo nomination because a real Tale to Terrify”.

Then, just yesturday, we found out that Tales to Terrify was one of the fancasts on the Rabid Puppies slate. To be honest, it was like the whole thing turned into a real-life horror story. Something to make our most stalwart listener’s blood run cold.

Still reeling from the sheer shock and disappointment, we just wanted to let our listeners and the science fiction community know that we did not know we were on the Rabid Puppies slate. We would never agree to be on their slate. We have never agreed with either the Sad or Rabid Puppies, or their ideas about what science fiction should be and who should write it, or their bullying tactics. We do not support the Puppies’ attempts to ruin the Hugo Awards. We are disgusted that we were drawn into their ugliness without our knowledge. In the words of someone close to Tales to Terrify, “this has been like being presented a polished turd.”

We’re all sickened by it. Tales to Terrify and the entire District of Wonders has always (and will always) celebrate a diverse range of voices, be they authors, narrators, or editors. We do not agree on shutting anyone out or any form of discrimination.

Larry Santoro put so much into the podcast. The entire community adored him – he was a powerhouse and the rock on which the podcast stood. It crushed us all when he passed. Tales to Terrify being on the Rabid Puppies list like this threatens to dishonour his reputation and everything he built the podcast to be. If Larry were around today I’d want him to be proud of what we’ve accomplished. And the Rabid Puppies want to tear that down and disrespect his memory. And it sickens me. It sickens everyone of us. Last year, these Puppies peed all over so many Award categories, and the biggest winner was “no award” – whether there were deserving nominees on the ballot or not. So much of the joy was just taken out of the Hugos for so many… What the Puppies did wasn’t right.

Now it looks like this year’s awards will carry the stink of these Puppies as well. We only hope that the changes in Hugo Award rules for next year will stop them messing on the red carpet anymore. Let’s get back to celebrating what’s great – the works we love.

For now, we need to decide what to do about Tales to Terrify’s sh… uh… slate-stained Hugo nomination. It was a hard call. Honestly, it still is.

After lots of conversations today, and checking out the wise words of George R. R. Martin, John Scalzi, and others, we have decided to allow our nomination to stand. In the LA Times yesterday, John Scalzi said “Hugo voters are smart enough, and trust their own tastes enough, to know the truth.” So, I’d just like to invite you to have a listen when the Voters Packet comes out, think about all the nominations in all the categories, and vote for whatever you consider to be deserving, according to your conscience and good judgement. I’d invite you to vote based on merit, not on a slate. What you feel is worthy.

(9) RULES CHANGE PROPOSAL. Kevin Standlee has distilled his ideas about “Hugo Awards: 3-Stage Voting”.

The key points of 3-Stage Voting are:

Nominating Stage Does Not Change: Nominate up to five works per category per member, with members of the previous, current, and following year’s Worldcons all eligible to nominate.

New Semi-Final Round: The top 15 nominees in each category are put up to a yes/no vote on each nominee in a new Semi-Final round, with only the current Worldcon’s members eligible to vote.

Final Ballot Voting Does Not Change: The five semi-finalists from the first round with the most nominations that are not eliminated in the second round (and who don’t decline or are found to be ineligible) go on to the final ballot, which is voted by the same Instant Runoff Voting system we have used the 1960s.

Now let’s unpack the details of how this would work, because there are a lot of them, and they interact in ways that you might not expect and that I think actually improve the overall process in many ways….

(10) ALWAYS POLITICAL. “Sci-fi’s Tea Party trolls go to war: Battle over prestigious Hugo Awards heats up” at Salon.

…It might be nice to think that science fiction, or any kind of literature or culture, could be free of ideology. But the best science fiction writers have often been deeply political. Perhaps the genre’s greatest-ever novelist, H.G. Wells, was a socialist. Frank Herbert’s “Dune” was driven by environmentalism. Robert Heinlein was a lefty who became a kind of military-worshipping libertarian. Octavia Butler wrote novels suffused which feminism and issues of race. One of Ursula K. Le Guin’s most famous books, “The Left Hand of Darkness,” looked, without scorn, at a race of people who change their genders repeatedly throughout their lives. Philip K. Dick managed to be various odd mixtures of left and right, depending on the time period. Orson Scott Card, author of “Ender’s Game,” is an opponent of same-sex marriage but liberal on some issues….

(11) PERSEVERANCE. Joe Sherry shares Hugo thoughts at Nerds of a Feather.

Now, to loop all of this back to how I opened this essay because it gets to how I really want to respond to the Hugo Awards and how I intend to move forward both through the rest of this year and in the future: I’m going to continue to participate in the Hugo Awards by sharing awesome work, by being excited about cool stuff, by talking about cool stuff, and also by looking at and reading as much of the nominated work as I can. There’s some really good stuff nominated, even if I might not like exactly how some of it made it onto the ballot. I’m not going to burn it all because I don’t like  You can’t take the sky from me. I still love the Hugo Awards, even on days when I don’t necessarily like them all that much. That’s also what I do.

(12) A SINGAPORE FIRST. Benjamin Cheah, author of Flashpoint: Titan, comments on his nomination.

This nomination marks a milestone in Singapore literature. If my research is correct, this is the first time a Singaporean has been nominated as a finalist for the Hugo Awards. SFF is borderless, defined not by nationalities or arbitrary identity markers of writers or characters, but by its fearless exploration of technology, ideas and values. SFF, at its greatest, is an analysis, assessment, and affirmation of the human soul. I am proud to have played my part in growing this field, even if it were but a small role.

I acknowledge that the Hugos have been mired in controversy over the past few years. 2016 is no different. But no matter your position, if you are a voter, I ask only that judge each work on its own merits. Let the awards go to the most deserving, to the best and brightest in the field.

This is how we can make the Hugos great again.

(13) POETRY CORNER. Pixel Frost in a comment on File 770.

Whose bar this is I think I know
She’s on another planet though
And yet it can’t be sci-fi here
The bar’s a tavern, and there’s snow

The audience must think it queer
Despite AIs and starships here
This can’t be real SF, it’s fake
Because of snow. It’s very clear.

They give their puzzled heads a shake
And say there must be some mistake
The good reviews must make them weep
For purity of sci-fi’s sake.

But space is lovely dark and deep
And there are deadlines yet to keep
And chapters yet before I sleep
And chapters yet before I sleep

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, and Hampus Eckerman for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Brian Z.]

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474 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/28/16 All My Hugos

  1. There have been times when a set of nominating ballots had an unusual amount in common with each other. The list of voters casting those ballots was not “a certain editor and his best friends.” A pattern can emerge from participation by a like-minded group of voters without a mastermind.

    That doesn’t refute Protest Manager’s point. The Making Light folks rejected a long list stage. They designed instead an insanely complicated yet obviously ineffective system, because they feel strongly that any cohort of like-minded voters (read: themselves) deserves to get a couple of the things they like best on the final ballot.

    I still reject that premise.

  2. Brian Z: That doesn’t refute Protest Manager’s point.

    No, but the drawbacks cited by Kevin Standlee do.

    And since you’re once again asserting that you are so against slating and slaters being allowed to get even one work on the ballot for each category, I’ll ask you again: please provide links to all of your posts on Puppy blogs where you plead with them to stop slating.

    Or provide links to all your posts providing an adequate solution to stop the effects of slating.

    You can’t provide these links, because you’ve never made any such posts, or provided any such solutions.

    The truth is that you object to EPH because it will stop the Puppies from running roughshod over the Hugo ballot.

  3. JJ! Right on cue!

    I argued for a long list stage last summer!

    “The puppies” DID “stop slating”!

    If you can link to all of YOUR posts on Vox Day’s blog where YOU “plead with” him to “stop slating,” I promise to go there and write another one right this very second!

    Good times.

  4. Brian Z: I argued for a long list stage last summer!

    But it’s not an effective solution to stop the effects of slating.

    Brian Z: “The puppies” DID “stop slating”!

    No, they didn’t. The Sad Puppies kind of stopped slating — but that was certainly not due to any influence on your part.

    And the Rabid Puppies are still slating.

    So once again, you have provided a post full of falsehoods.

  5. Brian Z: If you can link to all of YOUR posts on Vox Day’s blog where YOU “plead with” him to “stop slating,” I promise to go there and write another one right this very second!

    As I am not the one who argued repeatedly that the people here on File770 should go over and try to make peace with the Puppies, and listen to their concerns, and make concessions to them, I don’t know why you think I should have made any such posts.

    Conversely, you are the one who repeatedly told Filers that they needed to do these things — and yet, (un)surprisingly, you never went and made such posts yourself.

    One of the two of us is a huge hypocrite — and it’s not me.

  6. Re: Aaron offering to fix Jim’s imaginary cow, Mike Glyer said:

    And I’m imagining this will be File770’s first livestreamed event.

    I think you meant “livestocked.”

  7. Did I hear an admission that the Sad Puppies didn’t slate? Progress!

    Is your assertion that a long list is “not an effective solution” just your personal opinion? If not, prove it.

    Of course I went and made such posts. You can Google them yourself, thanks. That’s what Google’s for.

  8. Brian Z: Did I hear an admission that the Sad Puppies didn’t slate?

    No, what you heard was me saying that the Puppies still tried to do a Top 10 slate — but that it failed massively, because they did not have the “binders full of supporters” that they believed they had, and because they didn’t realize that they would be subjected to the same vandalism by Declan Finn which they themselves had subjected the Hugos. The failure of the Sad Puppies to slate this year was a failure of understanding, not of intent.

    Brian Z: Is your assertion that a long list is “not an effective solution” just your personal opinion? If not, prove it.

    An effective solution to slating will:
    1) not disqualify ballots of voters
    2) nullify the unfair magnification effect of slating
    3) not substantially change the existing Hugo nominator experience
    4) not artificially concentrate Hugo nominators’ picks

    A middle shortlist step fails #3 and #4 spectacularly. A middle shortlist is, for all intents and purposes, a “counterslate”. It is not an effective solution to slating. It is also massively susceptible to subversion by bad actors.

    Briian Z: Of course I went and made such posts. You can Google them yourself, thanks. That’s what Google’s for.

    It’s not my job to prove you didn’t make them. It’s your job to prove that you did (links, or it didn’t happen). But nice try.

  9. BigelowT: I think you meant “livestocked.”

    It will be if Aaron succeeds. Otherwise….

  10. In my view, the Sad Puppies campaign did nothing other than what they said they were going to do and observably did do. If you believe otherwise, that’s your right. I don’t find your “binders” and “vandalism” theory particularly compelling.

    It is up to WSFS members, not you, to decide whether or not to “substantially change the existing Hugo nominator experience.” Several of them have discussed possibilities in this thread.

    I don’t know what you mean by “not artificially concentrate Hugo nominators’ picks.” Explain if you like, I’m mildly curious. Whatever it is, it is again up to WSFS members.

    If you prefer not to go to the trouble of typing a couple search terms into google, allow me to suggest a second option: feel free to continue pretending that you think I didn’t make them.

  11. I apologize for not giving you specific guidance. For example, you might search for the name of a commenter followed by one or more words describing a topic you are interested in. You can search a specific site by typing “site:” followed by the web address. Good luck.

  12. Brian Z: I apologize for not giving you specific guidance. For example, you might search for the name of a commenter followed by one or more words describing a topic you are interested in. You can search a specific site by typing “site:” followed by the web address. Good luck.

    No, Brian.

    It’s not my job to support your claims. That’s your job.

    And clearly you’re not doing it, because your claims are false.

  13. Sorry, JJ. You are the one who made a claim here:

    You can’t provide these links, because you’ve never made any such posts

    You have now supported your claim by demonstrating, through the use of Google search, that Brian Z has never posted the three words please, stop and slating, in that order, on the internet.

    The flaw in your argument is this: demonstrating that Brian Z has never typed three particular words in one particular order does not constitute evidence that he did not type other words, in some other order.

    If you would like to improve that argument, or come up with a different one, I have given you some pointers about how you might get started. Good luck with it.

  14. As long as the two of you keep this on the April 28 scroll I can pretend it’s already over. Which it should be.

  15. Brian Z: Of course I went and made such posts.

    You’ve been practicing dishonesty on here for more than a year now. Of course you’re never going to stop, and certainly not with this instance.

    It’s really quite amusing, watching you flail around with your attempted obfuscations and evasions, but I’ve got a book to read.

  16. “They designed instead an insanely complicated…”

    Insanely complicated? Oh man, then most of us here are soooper geniuses. Seems only puppies have a hard time understanding it.

  17. Insanely complicated? Oh man, then most of us here are soooper geniuses. Seems only puppies have a hard time understanding it.

    Just like with everything else, he seems to be working with his own personal definition of “insanely complicated” that bears no relationship to reality.

  18. I’m sure that to him, many things are “insanely complicated”.

    Which is why he needs his Teddy, to simplify things in his life.

  19. Maybe you’re right. EPH creates no headaches for the Administrators at all. No excruciating data scrubbing. No opportunities for error. No do overs every time someone drops out. Why, a child of five could do it. Out of curiosity, aren’t you guys worried that being unrepentant, irredeemable assholes might someday backfire?

  20. Brian Z: Out of curiosity, aren’t you guys worried that being unrepentant, irredeemable assholes might someday backfire?

    Being one doesn’t seem to bother you at all.

  21. Out of curiosity, aren’t you guys worried that being unrepentant, irredeemable assholes might someday backfire?

    When dealing with you, I don’t worry about it. I’m not too bothered by the idea of upsetting a sniveling lying weasel like you.

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