Monday, April 20, 2015

Hugo Awards "Broken"

Alexis de Toqueville is famously quoted as saying, "In a democracy, people get the government they deserve." De Toqueville may not have actually said those words, but the sentiment remarkably apt, for it implies a world of manipulation, coercion and downright shenaniganing.

The principle of "one person one vote" underlies all forms of democracy. It is predicated on the faith that power brokers will not game the system. From the first day the system was devised, they have, and they will continue to do so in ever more ingenious ways.

In the case of the sadly "broken" Hugo awards, the system was gamed by some old right-wing dogs, the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies, both of which attempted to stuff the box with nominations of authors they perceived to be conservative. Two of those authors have now pulled their names from the nominations and Connie Willis, who was asked to present the Campbell Award, has also withdrawn.

George R. R. Martin says the Hugos are "broken." He may well be correct, for as long as literature continues to be the domain of intelligent discourse, there will be people on the other side who insist on bringing it down to their level.


Hugo award nominees withdraw amid 'Puppygate' storm

By Alison Flood: The Guardian, April 17, 2015

Two authors have withdrawn their work from contention for the prestigious Hugo science fiction awards in the wake of what George RR Martin has called “Puppygate”, the controversy that has “plunged all fandom into war”.

Marko Kloos, whose novel Lines of Departure had been picked along with four other authors for the best novel Hugo – an award that counts Dune and Neuromancer among its former winners – announced on Wednesday that he had withdrawn his acceptance of the nomination. Annie Bellet, whose Goodnight Stars was a contender for best short story, also withdrew from the race.

Both writers had been included on a slate of titles pulled together by a group of right-leaning science fiction writers dubbing themselves the Sad Puppies, who had mobilised fans to pay for membership of Worldcon, enabling them to vote and thus flood the categories with their choices. Brad Torgersen, the author behind Sad Puppies, wanted to reverse what he called the Hugos’ favouring of works that were “niche, academic, overtly to the left in ideology and flavour, and ultimately lacking what might best be called visceral, gut-level, swashbuckling fun”.

But they were also on the slate for the so-called Rabid Puppies campaigners, led by the writer Theodore Beale, known online as Vox Day, an inflammatory far-right blogger who was expelled from the Science Fiction Writers of America following racist comments about the award-winning author NK Jemisin.

Read more HERE.

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