There’s been a lot of hate spewing about on the subject of the Hugo Award. While it seems as though it is mainly emanating from one side, there has been reaction – more or less justified – from the other.
To recap the situation: A small group – comprising some fen (plural of fan), publishing professionals and outraged proponents of social changes – want the Hugos to stay small, with a decreasing number of nominators and voters. The other side, headed by an equally small number of adherents, want the award to grow larger, have more voting input, reach a greater number in fandom.
I think there’s a way for both sides to be happy.
Leave the Hugos to the smaller group, variously called SMOF’s, CHORFs and such, and let the other group, referred to as Sad Puppies, have their own. And since the SP’s insist the awards must reflect both good story telling as well as open-mindedness, the awards could be called thus:
The Heinlein Award – for advancement of the best Speculative fiction, of all categories.
The Adam Selene Award – the best provocative fiction depicting social and political changes
(Due to the original being a computer construct, this award if presented via social media.)
The Clarke Award – the best hard SF for the year.
The Norton Award – the best soft-core SF of the year.
The Piper Award – for the best alt/time fiction
The Tolkein Award – best high fantasy, with a lesser award, The Hobbit, for the best light fantasy.
The Baen Award – in two sets, for both Best Publisher – and Best Editor – of short and long fiction.
And last but not least, The Doc Smith Award. For the most enjoyed space opera of the year
These awards are proposed by all fans worldwide. A Rotating Panel comprised of the previous years winners will oversee the vote tabulation, with a set of members selected at random noting the largest number of votes for each category. We’re supposed to be technically adept – let’s prove it by using technology to do the computing. A suitable program, secure from tampering, should be easy for us to devise. All selection meetings will be open to viewing, by placing a recording on line within 24 hours of the meet.
The awards, with the exception of the Selene award, will be presented at a Science Fiction Convention picked by the Rotating Panel for the next year. At least six calender months must separate the award ceremonies: thus, a presentation made in December of one year puts the next presentation of awards to the following July.
I’m sure there will be lots of dissension caused by this proposal, along the lines of ‘you demoted the Hugo’, to ‘what! You didn’t pick X author’s name for an award?’ and similar attacks. Hey: I’m one person, scarcely genius, looking for a suitable remedy. And I did it before I finished my morning coffee. So go easy. And before you complain too much of the naming, these people are all safely dead, Don’t wish that on your favorite author or editor.
These awards are open for debate, with the exceptions of the Heinlein, the Clarke, and the Tolkein. They should stand as testimonies to our foundations.