Why S. B. Divya Declined Two Hugo Nominations

S. B. Divya

Author S. B. Divya announced today in social media why she declined a 2023 Hugo nomination for the novelette “Two Hands, Wrapped in Gold” and removed her name from the list of Hugo-nominated semiprozine Escape Pod’s team members.


I was really excited to receive notice of a Hugo Award nomination back in 2018 – my first! I got the email at the office, and I had to step outside so that my co-editor, Mur Lafferty, and I could properly squee over the news that Escape Pod was a finalist for Best Semiprozine.

A few weeks ago, I was very surprised to receive another such email – that my story, “Two Hands, Wrapped in Gold,” had been nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Novelette. In addition, Escape Pod was nominated again for Best Semiprozine. As is customary, the awards team asked if I wished to accept the nominations or withdraw from consideration. Unfortunately, I’ve decided to choose the latter option.

Along with many other writers, I signed a petition last year against hosting the 2023 World Science Fiction Convention (AKA “WorldCon”) in Chengdu, China. The reason was to protest the Chinese government’s treatment of the Uyghur people in Xinjiang province. I believe that mass human rights violations and possible genocide have occurred in the region.

Given that China is primarily a state-run nation, no event of a magnitude like WorldCon’s will be free of government involvement. To compound this, one of this year’s Guests of Honor is Sergei Lukyanenko, an apologist for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, another act of aggression that I cannot support. I hold no ill will toward Chinese fandom, writers, or artists, and I know that many of them are working under repressive conditions, however I cannot in good conscience participate in this year’s WorldCon.

For these reasons, I chose to withdraw my novelette from consideration for the Hugo Award. I also asked the Escape Pod team to remove my name from the list of editors on the ballot. Non-participation in WorldCon includes staying out of the awards ceremony. I deeply regret having to take this action, and I have tremendous gratitude for everyone who loved “Two Hands, Wrapped in Gold,” and chose to nominate it for this great honor. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


47 thoughts on “Why S. B. Divya Declined Two Hugo Nominations

  1. Is there a list of nominees who have declined their nominations so far?

    In normal times, a complete list usually doesn’t come out until the voting stats are released post-Hugo Ceremony.

    But, then, these isn’t normal times…

  2. There is not a list of who has declined. This is the first public statement I’m aware of.

    Yesterday I sent a message to R.F. Kuang asking whether or not she had declined, because so many wonder why her book isn’t a finalist. I haven’t heard back, and don’t know that I will — I just thought it was part of my work to ask the question.

  3. Much respect to S. B. Divya. I support your decision, and respect the homage you’ve paid to those who nominated you.

  4. I respect and understand S.B. Divya’s decision not to participate this year. I salute their steadfastness and courage…

    CMB

  5. It’s nice to see someone who is willing to Walk The Walk, and not just Talk The Talk.

  6. I nominated the novelette, but I have to respect her decision.

    I am sure she’ll have many more nominations in the coming years. Her talent to too great to escape notice.

  7. @John S/ErsatzCulture–

    Note that the first comment is a follow up from that poster (who is a fan account with 36.8k followers, as far as I can tell) with a screengrab of Mike’s comment in this thread, so any comments that are made here or at other venues are likely to be seen by Chinese fans, albeit possibly second hand.

    That is fortunate. The discussion has to take place,–including with Chinese fans, to the extent their government will allow it to. And since that government won’t really allow it to, at least let Chimese know and have the chance to think about the views of western fans.

  8. It’s apparent that it’s part of her freedom to promote this announcement. Nevertheless, as a person who lives in China, I still want to point out some facts happening in China, especially including Xinjiang, are completely different from what she said. Considering some of the similar protests in western SF are usually connected with Liu Cixin, one of the greatest SF writers all over the world, casting unreasonable criticizing to him, I don’t think this kind of announcement without any fact-check and any real sympathy to local people in Xinjiang is acceptable.
    In File 770 there are some reports telling the stories of anger among Chinese SF fans like me to this worldcon. But OUR anger is completely different to YOURS. I have to point out this frustrating fact that some of the people living in the western world never show their basic respect to one of the greatest population in this world and so rude they are that a report on this website have to tell them that Chinese SF fans are HUMANS! I still appeal to all of the people to pay more attention to some urgent events happening in worldcon83 instead of throwing our feelings to some pure imagination.
    In addition, I have received a sad message from one of my friends. He told me that he used to write a similar reply which was deleted by File 770 several minutes later. I must point out freedom of speech should be respected and really put into practice in File 770 and any other similar civil news websites. I can believe it is just a small mistake made by automatical check, but I think this news should accept different voices.

  9. Zimozi Natsuco: The criticism of Liu Cixin has a factual basis — his own statements to an interviewer which were published in The New Yorker (2019):

    When I brought up the mass internment of Muslim Uighurs—around a million are now in reëducation camps in the northwestern province of Xinjiang—he [Liu Cixin] trotted out the familiar arguments of government-controlled media: “Would you rather that they be hacking away at bodies at train stations and schools in terrorist attacks? If anything, the government is helping their economy and trying to lift them out of poverty.” The answer duplicated government propaganda so exactly that I couldn’t help asking Liu if he ever thought he might have been brainwashed. “I know what you are thinking,” he told me with weary clarity. “What about individual liberty and freedom of governance?” He sighed, as if exhausted by a debate going on in his head. “But that’s not what Chinese people care about. For ordinary folks, it’s the cost of health care, real-estate prices, their children’s education. Not democracy.”

    As to comments here, it could be possible the Askimet program spammed something it shouldn’t have, on the other hand, all first comments are screened. Last week I got one set of comments about Chengdu left under nine different names but all registered here using the same email address and from the same IP address. So I did not approve them because of the deceptive registration. Nor do I approve comments left by Anonymous, which some try to do. Nor do I approve some other comments I find offensive because I don’t have to host that sort of thing. However, your comment has appeared, which hopefully tells you something.

  10. It is an interesting message. I wonder if I can get more detailed information concerning these comments . Here is some information I can tell now. In some Chinese social media,the news and sf fans’ comments about the worldcon81 are always criticized by some similar accounts registed and sending comments automatically. These accounts can be figured out via thier own behaviours by real people easily. It seems that someone is trying to disturb the normal discussion and freedom of speech of us. Maybe we should fight with them together.
    If you are willing to share more relevant information, please email me or reply here. Thank you very much!

    Mike Glyer: Last week I got one set of comments about Chengdu left under nine different names but all registered here using the same email address and from the same IP address.

  11. Zimozi Natsuco: I wonder if I can get more detailed information concerning these comments.

    I notice how you completely fail to acknowledge the valid criticism of Liu Cixin’s stance on the Uighurs — and your own incorrect previous comment — and instead engage in concern trolling about spam comments.

    If you want western SFF fans to have a positive perception about Chinese fans and you want to be treated with respect, then engaging honestly with the people here, instead of dissembling, would be your first step.

  12. I think it is unacceptable to send people’s names and email addresses to others without their permission. That’s why I always ask permission when I want to do it. Which I don’t, here. Keep in mind I am only acquainted with you through a couple of comments you have made.

  13. Dear Mr. Gyler,
    Thank you again for your respect to personal privacy. If you have trouble sending me the account and email of these suspect accounts, maybe it’s better to just share some of the contents of their comments. The comments are broadcast to the public and we all have the rights to read and share. Also,the automatic accounts are easy to be recognized via thier speeches. In most of time, they use similar languages and words, and the sentences they use are always too simple to be sent by a real person.
    Looking forward to your reply and further communication!

  14. @Zimozi Natsuco–

    Considering some of the similar protests in western SF are usually connected with Liu Cixin, one of the greatest SF writers all over the world, casting unreasonable criticizing to him, I don’t think this kind of announcement without any fact-check and any real sympathy to local people in Xinjiang is acceptable.

    No matter how great a science fiction writer Liu Cixin is, we are still able to disagree with his political views as expressed by him, and say so. Stuffing the Uighurs into “re-education camps” is genocide, trying to wipe out their culture and them as a people, just as much as killing them in large numbers.

    Suggesting that if they weren’t forced into “re-education camps” they’d be engaged in terrorist attacks as their only alternative, is morally repellent. It doesn’t make more inclined to take him seriously, but less.

    Saying that he’s a great science fiction writer, and therefore it’s disrespectful to criticize him, is an argument from authority, and is not going to fly well.

    There is nothing for S. B. Divya to be criticized for. She has declined a finalist position for the Hugo’s this year, for reasons of principle, and said so. She has no obligation to anyone to remain silent, to pretend she didn’t win that position, or that she is declining for unrelated reasons. You have a country that you love, whose policies you support, and you feel hurt and offended when foreigners criticize your country and its policies.

    Well, I’m an American. I love my country too, and support its policies overall, though not every policy and not 100%. I’m fine with saying that, because the willingness and freedom to criticize our government when we think what’s it’s doing is a mistake, or seriously wrong, is part of what built our country.

    Do I get offended, hurt, annoyed, when my country is criticized in ways that I think are mistaken? Yes, absolutely. Do I expect them to shut up about their criticisms because they’re “rude”?

    No, of course not. Criticism, even if mistaken, is information. You don’t make anything better by shutting off information.

    Free speech is a widely shared value in the western world, and if you’re going to participate in WorldCon, whether just Chengdu or WorldCon going forward, you’re going to encounter a lot of it. And when you try to tell people they have no business criticizing your country’s policies because it’s rude, you’re not going to get them to shut up.

    They’re more likely to wonder what your country is hiding.

  15. Yesterday I sent a message to R.F. Kuang asking whether or not she had declined, because so many wonder why her book isn’t a finalist. I haven’t heard back, and don’t know that I will — I just thought it was part of my work to ask the question.

    @Mike Glyer Over on Reddit Fantasy, a user commented that he’d asked R.F. Kuang’s editor, and was told no, that she had not declined a nomination.

  16. Divya has the unshakable right to stand up for her principles and decline a nomination if she so wishes. I support this.

    If, say, a non-American author were to decline a Hugo nomination to be held at a US Worldcon because of any number of US Policies they disliked, I’d be hurt, and angry, but it would be their right to do so. And I would have to respect it, period.

    And to try and refute their belief and principles with refutations is worse than useless, it’s insulting.

    Declining a major award is not a casual act. Respect her wishes and her decision.

  17. I heard one person say that they were so sure Babel would be nominated for a Hugo that they just decided to wait to read it.

  18. I can understand the author declining the Hugo. I must point out that this is a fan nominated award and though I don’t know the identity or number of people who participated in the nominations, I suspect they nominated out of support of the authors not the Chinese government.

    Having said that I support S.B. Divya in her declining her nomination for the Hugos in such a suspect Worldcon. I hope her reasoning will be heard by many fans.

  19. For Mike Glyer, Lis Carey, JJ and others:
    Thank you again for your instant and in-time reply. Please regret me for replying some questions at this time after a one-day-long exhausting trip on train.
    Liu’s interviews are widely spread in China both in English and Chinese. Yes, it is normal to talk about different political problems and events. Just like my posts and others’, we need to respect different opinions. I never casts doubts on the resistance to Sergei Lukyanenko, because the war and conflict(or invasion or “special military action” as Sergei Lukyanenko supports) between Russia and Ukraine is really happening in the real world. Nevertheless, the accuse like

    The reason was to protest the Chinese government’s treatment of the Uyghur people in Xinjiang province. I believe that mass human rights violations and possible genocide have occurred in the region.

    is not right and far from the facts. First, not only Uyghur people live in Xinjiang. Now 56 enthic groups live there, including han, weiwuer(Uyghur), hasake, hui and so on.( To ease the word, I have to use Hanyu Pinyin directly). Not only Uyghur but also other enthic groups have their own languages, regions and living patterns. So it is not a good expression to simplify a complicated question just like shouting for “Uyghur people”, dismissing others living in that region. What about Kazakstan, Chinese Han, Hui, Kyrgyz, Russian(Yes, in China there are Russians called”Eluosi Zu”) and so on? Another example: How to define and expose what a “re-eadcation camp” is? I have to point out some of the foreigners( I believe none of a person on File770 is a part of them) can do nothing expect shouting”re-education camps!!!” when they are talking about Xinjiang. Many RECs(in short) apeearing in the media are just boarding schools for those who live in small villages which are too small to set up a modern school. A sf fans living here told me before that the real social problem is never “re-education camp” or other similar accusarion. These regions face various problems like enthic problems, educational problems, econoic problems and so on, but a “Auschwitz” never grows. That is why I have to try to clarify some truth again and again, because it is not the truth.
    Even these long and boring setences which are considered as “propaganda words” in most of the time can not clarify this question clearly. Thus Liu feels tired when he was asked this qusetion. Imagine: You are just a novelist, but all the interviewers you meet are thirsity for the same political question. You might try to explain during the first one, but you will finally give up and try to tell them you do not care about this after repeating your explaination. Then you will be described as a microphone of the “devil” government. So what can Liu do? Claim “Yes! I withness the massacre and the camps!” and win applause and more hugo award, going against his conscience?
    I am not afraid of talking the ” hidden sides”. But we need to talk these things happening in the real world, don’t we? We should not talk about fake news. Many Chinese sf fans are thirsity for communicating with the whole world. But once they join the society, they are taught to “censure your country”,”find what your country is hiding” or ” keep away from your government” and others far away from sf itself, with accusation based on the fake news instead of the truth. Reapeating lies and If we join a society only for political debate and self-criticism, why we need to look for a international science ficiton society? We do these things at our own home and social media all day long!
    “try to tell people they have no business criticizing your country’s policies because it’s rude”? No, I am willing to criticize these things, it is not rude. I argue on many other social media for a long time for the mess in worldcon81, strictly criticizing hugh problems like abused investment, ignorance of science fiction, bolcked social media account, lack of enough and useful communiaction, frequent delay and so on. Witnessing these chaos arrogance and unfair from the comittee, most of the sf fans in China have returned thier tickets and memberships to express their disappaearance and anger. But I cannot find reports concerning these things on English media. Maybe we do not communicate enough, but only concentrating on Xinjiang and ingoring what is happening in Chengdu at this time does no help to international communiacation and the future of worldcon. I have to warn that without enough supervision and focus, this worldcon is ruined by some of improfessional staffs in the Worldcon81 comittee who only cares about thier own profits. Thus many Chinese fans and I feel despaired: we are shouting that there are many “hidden sides” during this worldcon. But others dismiss, only abmonishing for the unkown “hidden sides in your country”.
    A small thing can be the example. Sergei Lukyanenko has been causing controversy for a long time. Many SF writers have decided to boycott him and the worldcon81. Nevertheless, I received some message that the comitee have decided to stop inviting him to Chengdu. An evidence is that Lukyanenko didn’t appear in the honor guest list which only includes Liu Cixin and Robert Sawyer during the press conference, several promotion concerning him has been deleted on public social media. But no one knows whether he can go to Chengdu, even the comittee and Lukyanenko himself can not give an answer. The comittee refuses to answer any questions; the writer himself did not receive any offical notice. It is very confusing! So maybe you can find a “hidden side” of this worldcon by this special message, and I have more, waiting to share with you.

  20. Zimozi Natsuco: When I clicked on the Chengdu Worldcon website just now I saw this —

    He’s still prominently advertised as a guest of the convention.

  21. Mike Glyer:
    It is confusing. Yes, there is no formal announcement or notice. But a news conference held in April could provide some evidence.Here are the news reports:
    https://weibo.com/5726230680/4899085415351492
    https://m.sohu.com/a/670197633_120083328/?pvid=000115_3w_a
    https://weibo.com/1856068543/4894390768636144

    Sohu news “The first time in China: how worldcon shows the charateristic of Chengdu” mentioned that:

    Liang Xiaolan, the full-chairman of the worldcon81 comittee and the vice-chiarman of the Chengdu Science Fiction Asscoiation, tells the reporter that the well-known Chinese SF writer Liu Cixin and Rebort Sawyer who is reagrded as the top of Candian Sci-fi will come to Chengdu worldcon and react with the audience.

    Weilaiju Kehuanban (Sci-fi Ofiice, Future Affairs Adminastion)”Handbook for worldcon81(sorting according to the information of the conference)”:

    [planorama]: The guest we knoe now includes Roberts Saywer and Liu Cixin. Invitation has been sent to George.R.R.Martin and the staffs of Wandering the Earth:2.

    These two reports concerning the news conference only mentioned Liu and Saywer as the honour guests. Another evidence is that Baguangfenwenhua(8 Light-minutes Culture), the main insitution which introduces Lukyanenko’s works (Oh, maybe you can notice that he is” Lukianeko” on the Chengdu Worldcon Website!) to China, deletes several promotion weibos and reports about Lukyanenko’s book after April 25th, the date of the official news conference. His name disappeared on the revelant reports and social media. There is no reason for hiding a honour guest. Thus several sf media and fans, such as SF Light-year (Kehaun Guangnian) guessed that maybe the Russian novelist had been rejected by the comittee, waiting for a offical announcement. Even some people who live in China and support Ukraine showed thier welcome to this decision of “expel a fascist Russian writer who is not welcomed in the international society”.
    But, as you see, the official announcement and claritication never come. The whole committee refuses to answer any question from Chinese fans concerning this writer who is sitting at his home and waiting anxiously. Even when Riverflow, who wins two nomination of Hugo, was asked to go to the headquarter of Chengdu Business Daily and listen to the report of the promotion of Worldcon81, he could not get a clear answer from the only one staff from CBD who treated him. This question is complicated and puzzling!

  22. @Zimozi Natsuco–

    It is confusing. Yes, there is no formal announcement or notice. But a news conference held in April could provide some evidence.

    No, a news conference three months ago which merely doesn’t mention Lukiaenko, with no announcement since, is not evidence that he’s been removed as a Guest of Honor. Given China’s (and not just the Chengdu WorldCon’s) lack of transparency on everything, it’s equally likely that they’ve figured out it’s better to stop talking about him for now, and trot him out for his events at the con itself “when it’s blown over.” Except that it won’t.

    If they want us to believe he’s not a Guest of Honor anymore, they have to say so. Say so officially. Not just a coy attempt at disappearing his GoH position, whether temporarily or permanently.

  23. The committee from the beginning has done a poor job of publicizing its GoHs. The new Chengdu Worldcon website launched in early September 2022 minus any statement at all about who their Guests of Honor are, even though their names had been announced immediately after they won the bid in 2021. That omission was not remedied until the end of November 2022. I’m still expecting to see a photo of Worldcon opening ceremonies with Robert Sawyer beaming at his fellow GoHs.

  24. @Mike Glyer:

    The committee from the beginning has done a poor job of publicizing its GoHs.

    I can’t agree with you anymore. The necessary communication between fans and the comittee is missing——no matter the fans are Chinese or foreigners. I guess you can write an email to ask them to illustrate it. Thus I also agree with Lis Carey’s opinion concerning the comittee’s work on communication.
    In addition, I have to add more message.

    it’s equally likely that they’ve figured out it’s better to stop talking about him for now, and trot him out for his events at the con itself “when it’s blown over.” Except that it won’t.

    This might not be right. Most of the staffs in the comittee might feel scared facing the ask of petition. They cannot ask “It is better to stop talking about him and you should stop your action.” because they are afraid of foreigners. So they gave up and try to avoid Lukyanenko so as not to ruffle western sf fans’ feathers. But Lukyanenko is Russian; he is a foreigner, too. These staffs have to try to hid the news of boycott and decline so that he can feel satisfied. And it is very funny that they cannot satisfy western fans whom they want to apple-polish, isn’t it?
    But I need to clarify something more important. We Chinese sf fans also buy memberships and tickets. Many of them spent a lot of money (under the rules of WSFS!) to support Chengdu winning the bid. Now when a foreign member ask for a boycott, a notimation and so on, this comittee will kneel down and act as fast as they could. On the contrary, if a Chinese member write an email to inquire something or ask for some useful change like reduce unnecessary cost, he or she will only be asked to shut up and support this meeting without any condition by the comittee and its helper from Chengdu Business Daily.They send various message on Facebook and Twitter(though it is slow) and allow foreigners to criticise, while they just use robots to spread praise for the comittee and delete Chinese fans’ reviews on weibo, bilibili and other Chinese social media. This kind of comparison can make anyone who is an upright and honest person angry, especially it reminds us of those who used to sell his families, friends and the whole Chinese nation to the invador just fot his own profits without a glimpse of eyes in the continous war in the first half of the tweniteth century. In other words, the comittee is full of betrayers and thieves. They will ruin the whole worldcon; also they will make more foreigners feel even worse to the whole China. And THIS is why I am angry now.

  25. @Zimozi Natsuco:

    I think your first sentence is a victim of the ambiguities in the English language, as it can be read two different ways, with opposite meanings:

    [1] (You have said something I disagree with, and so from now on) I can’t agree with you anymore

    [2] (I agree with you 100%, and therefore) I can’t agree with you anymore

    I think you meant #2? This is not a criticism of you – I briefly studied Chinese ~20 years ago, and all I can remember is “wo shi yingguoren”, and I could never do the 4 tones properly 🙁 – but I don’t want people here to get the wrong impression about what you are trying to say.

    Your earlier comment about social media posts about Lukyanenko being deleted are interesting. I notice that just last month that 8 Light Minutes published 2 books by him, so they still have a relationship. (I won’t post links, but people can search the ISBNs 9787513350075 and 9787513351300 and see the listings on Douban, if they want.)

    What I personally still don’t understand is the nature of the relationship between Chengdu Worldcon, Eight Light Minutes (and SF World Magazine, for that matter). The CEO of Eight Light Minutes (English language news article) is also a vice-chair of the Chengdu Worldcon committee. (I think 2 people at SF World Magazine are also vice-chairs of the Chengdu Worldcon committee?) This close relationship maybe makes it difficult to say anything publicly about Lukyanenko?

    This seems a bit strange to me, as Worldcon is supposed to be fan-run event. I remember seeing the Chinese version of the Chengdu Worldcon website, and the staff page had photos of the organizers, with a short description underneath. When translated to English via machine translation, many of them said “CEO of company X”, “CEO of company Y”, “CEO of company Z”, etc. At the time I just thought that was just a bad machine translation, so did not think too much about it. None of that information was on the English language version of the site, and unfortunately there is no copy of that page of the old Chinese site on archive.org.

    In defence of the Worldcon committee, I guess 996 makes it impossible to have a “pure” volunteer Worldcon in China, as people would not have enough free time to work on such a big, international event? That said, I’ve looked at some of the material put out by university groups – I think 0gsf is mostly written by students? – and it is very impressive compared to what my university SF group did ~30 years ago, so I congratulate them.

  26. @John S / ErsatzCulture:
    Please forgive my grammar mistakes! /cry~ That might be due to my poor English and there might be more mistakes, so maybe Mr.Glyer might misunderstand my words. And sorry to Mr. Glyer.
    Relationship between Lukyaneko and 8 light minutes is still there. Several messages said that 8 Light Minutes have confilcts itself due to its relationship. But they might stop public promotion of the two books, afraid of being accused.
    Also, you mention the confusing relationship between 8 Light-minutes and Worldcon81. The two institutions are professional on sci-fi literature and culture. So some of the staffs working in these institutions join the worldcon team might be acceptable. As far as I can know, most of them gets no salary for thier work in worldcon. You also mentioned that so busy many Chinese people are that they cannot spare time to join the work. Also, so big China is that it is a hugh cost to travel to Chengdu and stay there for several days and throw themselves into voluntary work. These are difficulties we have to meet. Thus the worldcon in Chengdu had to invite some whose work are assoicated with sf so that their work is professional.
    But there is an exception. Chengdu Business Daily (CBD for short) is a news media. It is a business media like Washingtion Post or Bloomberg. But CBD seems to be a mian part of worldcon81 and the committee.Leaders from CBD seem to take control of the committee, including Chen Shi, Wang Yating, Liang Xiaolan and so on. The office of Chengdu Worldcon and Chengdu Science Fiction Association, the leader insitition of the bid for worldcon81 in 2021, are all set up in the hall of Chengdu Media Group, the parent company of Chengdu Business Daily. All Chinese sf fans cannot find CBD’s any asssociation to SF and their work to the development of sf. Thus I do not think CBD’s control of worldcon81 is a goog thing; its participation instead of sf fans has indeed led to chaos and dispair.

  27. @Zimozi Natsuco I’m posting this to thank you for bringing a Chinese fan’s perspective to the discussion about Worldcon.

    While I have been concerned from the beginning about a Chinese Worldcon because of the human rights abuses of the Chinese government, I have never once doubted that there are a great many Chinese science fiction fans that I would be delighted to greet as brothers and sisters in fandom.

  28. @Zimozi Natsuco–

    This might not be right. Most of the staffs in the comittee might feel scared facing the ask of petition. They cannot ask “It is better to stop talking about him and you should stop your action.” because they are afraid of foreigners. So they gave up and try to avoid Lukyanenko so as not to ruffle western sf fans’ feathers.

    And what can foreign fans do, to make them afraid? Not come? Your government unfortunately is doing a lot to discourage fans who would not hesitate to travel to Japan or South Korea. Foreign attendance may be low anyway.

    Ignoring Lukyanenko isn’t going to help. His GoH status is the elephant in the room, and no one is going to overlook it just because the committee tries to pretend it’s not there. Doing so is just going to further annoy both people who want him dropped, and, most likely, any supporters who really want him honored.

    But Lukyanenko is Russian; he is a foreigner, too. These staffs have to try to hid the news of boycott and decline so that he can feel satisfied.

    Whatever else he is, Lukyanenko isn’t an idiot. I guarantee you, he knows about the boycott and about Divya declining the finalist spot because of him.

    And it is very funny that they cannot satisfy western fans whom they want to apple-polish, isn’t it?

    Since they’re not doing anything to actually satisfy western concerns, either on Lukyanenko, or communication, or getting necessary functions such as Hugo nominations and responding to fans, I’m not sure what else they would expect.

    It’s good to hear a Chinese fan’s perspective, but it’s frustrating that you don’t appear to really understand what people are concerned about.

  29. @Zimozi Natsuco

    Your defense of how China treats the Uyghurs doesn’t match in any way what I read about it in Western press (and I’ve read a lot about it, from many sources).

    Genocide” is a fair term for what is happening there.

  30. I think people are being unfair to Zimozi Natsuco, who appears to be a university student based on the hyperlink on their username. I know for a fact that I would not be remotely comfortable getting into discussions about horrific things (e.g. Opium War) that I personally have/had no control over, especially if I was communicating in a foreign language – even if I fully acknowledged the reality of those events in my mind. I think all the statements from authors have said that they bear no ill will to the Chinese fans, and I think we should have empathy for the fans’ situation. I don’t recall ever seeing anyone criticizing Tor for publishing Cixin Liu – not to mention OSC – so giving a student grief about Liu feels a bit downpunchy to me.

    @Zimozi Natsuco: Thank you very much for the information. I apologize for being rude or unfair about Ms. Yang, or 8LM. Certainly, her book looks very interesting.

    I saw in the Weibo post about S. B. Divya a comment which mentioned “information asymmetry” – Xìnxi bu duìchen, apologies for not being able to post proper Hanzi or even accented pinyin – and I definitely feel with regard to this Worldcon, that all of us are suffering from it. If all of us can communicate with each other, then perhaps we can more properly understand the situation?

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