I’m sure we’re all by now familiar with the latest Hugo drama. This one is a little bigger than the usual kerfluffle, a full blown explosion 9000! Just to recap for those hiding in caves or have better things to do (which should be all of us), for the past three years, a group led by Larry Correia and Brad Torgensen has been creating a voting slate to counteract what they feel is a liberal slant in the Hugo Awards. They aren’t entirely wrong though one could argue the readership has modernized but whatever blah blah blah. Joining them this year is another group led by a racist, sexist, and a homophobe, and they invited a bunch of assholes to participate. Together, they broke the spirit of the nomination process if not the rules and got a bunch of their guys on the ballot.
Full disclosure, I’m a nominee for the John W Campbell Award this year for best new writer (NotaHugo), and I’m one of the few nominated that was able to get on the ballot without a slate.
OMG YOU GUYS ROCK THANKS FOR NOMINATING ME I WANT TO MAKE LOVE TO THE WORLD AND I LOVE PUPPIES AND WOMEN AND ICE CREAM AND THAT EXCELLENT QUICHE AT COSTCO AS WELL!
Ok, there’s a lot more to it than that but you get the gist. Since then, the internet has been afire. It’s the end of the world. People are canceling their memberships, deciding not to go to Sasquan, and saying how the Hugos Awards are completely ruined. Basically, where the fuck is Rick Grimes and Daryl Dixon to save the day because the zombie apocalypse has cometh! That Daryl, so hot right now, Daryl.
I mean, I haven’t seen so many people on both sides of the political spectrum get so collectively worked up since when Twinkies announced they were going out of business. Actually, now that I think about it, the last time there was this much drama was last year when Jonathan Ross was announced as the host, and the year before that when I drank all the Ardbeg at the San Antonio scotch tasting (I’m still apologizing for that).
Now, I will go on record saying I don’t like slate voting and I feel what’s gone down this year is bad for the Hugos and bad for fandom. The nomination process might have to be re-examined and future safeguards might need to be put in place. I won’t even get into the Gamergate crap or the fact that a lot of the puppies’ intentions are to ruin it for the rest of us. If you’re curious and want to learn more about it, feel free to look elsewhere on the internets. It’s everywhere and about as much fun to read as getting a vasectomy with a pair of pliers. (Technically, I don’t know since my boys can still swim all the way down the tunnel but it just sounds painful)
Anyway, how has all this drama and puppyness affected my Worldcon and my relationship with the Hugos and with fandom?
NOT A DAMN THING. I WILL REPEAT. NOT A GAWD DAMN THING.
Now, I love the Hugos and everything it represents. My apprenticeship as a novelist has been a steady diet of Hugo-winning novels since I was just a baby bookworm. Worldcon is one of my favorite weekends of the year, and I won’t let a bunch of small people with small lives ruin it for me. I hear a lot of these guys aren’t even readers and fans but they just want to “stick it to SJW.” Okay, um, you really stuck it to them, guys. /golfclap Congrats, you used your allowance to put SJW in their place instead of buying Witcher 3. Well done. Sasquan thanks you for your $40 contribution. Now move along, nothing to see here.
At Worldcon this year, I plan to hang out with my friends and fellow authors who I see only a few times a year. I get to leave my writing cave and shed my bathrobe and pretend to be civilized. I will talk shop and laugh and drink and just generally geek out over hanging out with so many fantastic people. Let’s get a few things straight. None of us go to Worldcon because of the Hugos. It’s true. We go to Worldcon because we love Science Fiction and we love Fantasy and we love geekdom. We love Doctor Who and Wheel of Time and Star Trek and Scott Lynch (and his flowing hair). We love the community and the gaming and the mingling with authors whose works we grew up reading.
For those of you who are thinking about canceling your membership or not going, I ask you to reconsider. Don’t let other people who honestly have very little effect on your lives change your decisions. The Hugos aren’t everything and Worldcon is big enough for everyone. Still go and geek out and have a blast. Still go and meet your favorite authors and play games. Still go and spend quality time with your tribe and those you care about.
The only way you let “them” win is if you let them affect your choices. The only way you let them win is if they don’t let you do what you love. Don’t give them the chance.
Last week, 147 people were slaughtered in Kenya. A woman in Indiana has been sentenced to jail for 18 years(!!) for feticide. The US has just reached a deal with Iran, and Eva broke a nail. These are all the things I think about more than the drama at the Hugos. All of these will have longer lasting consequences than the puppies slates.
We do not have the power to control other people’s actions and thoughts. We can only control our own. Don’t let them have that power over you. In the end, haters gonna hate (and no I’m not quoting Taylor Swift!). Remember why you want to go to the Worldcon in the first place. Come to Sasquan. I promise, it’ll be a blast. I’ll bring cookies. Just remember to nominate next year.
As for the puppies and drama? Nothing to see there.
IN THE END,
This blog post was brought to you by the letter L, the number 3, and my patreon page.