Wading Into Dangerous Waters
This year’s Hugos.
The Hugos are awards given to outstanding Science Fiction and Fantasy writing. For those who don’t know, if you pay to be a member of WorldCon for a year, you get to vote on what should win a Hugo award for that year.
DISCLAIMER: I have never voted. I was a member back in 2001, but that’s just because my home town of Philly (which I hadn’t been to in over a decade) was hosting ‘The Millennium Philcon’, because fandom cannot resist a bad pun. I also have read none of the writing up for votes this year.
Typically, unless you are part of these circles, this seems to happen magically.
Over the past few years, there has been a push for more inclusive titles. Books and novels and poems written by people who aren’t white, cis*, males. Because diversity is a good thing, reading things by people with different experiences and backgrounds makes for new stories.
The group known as “The Sad Puppies” objected that people were putting diversity over quality. That these works were getting votes because they were different, not because they were good. They put forth a voting slate (which is very uncommon for the Hugos) of what they felt to be good writing. Some of the writers on their slate are not affiliated with The Sad Puppies.
Other people, such as Jim Hines, argued that The Sad Puppies only like a narrow subset of the genre, and that just because the more diverse novels didn’t fill that niche doesn’t mean that they aren’t good writing. He also suggested the that ‘Puppies’ are ‘sad’ because they’re not getting Hugos and it’s a lot of sour grapes.
Having read a little of Jim Hines, but none of the other authors in question, I’m not prepared to speak to anyone’s quality of work. But, the Hugos will be awarded tomorrow.
It’ll be interesting to see how things shake out.
* cis – When your genitalia matches your gender identity