29 Comments

Hugo Awards to be announced Saturday

Ride the Rocket!

Ride the Rocket!

With the Hugo awards coming Saturday I thought I would ruminate on the meanings to me personally. This is not a Puppy piece, this is simply ruminating on what will happen. I am not predicting winners or losers. My best guess is that no matter who wins what there will be screams of cheating and declarations that the other side lost.

I wish you people knew how sick of you I am.  Oh, not those who are honestly partisan about their favorite authors or books or other element of fandom. That is what this is for. Those who honestly hate the best novel nominee of the other side are fine too. I dislike some of the books too. I also love a couple of books without being sure they are Hugo worthy. I’m not sure Hugo worthy has any meaning. I personally thought Skin Game was a great book. No I didn’t, I thought it was a great continuation of a very enjoyable series.

I’m honest enough to admit I’m not sure what constitutes a great book. The meaning of “great book” is far too subjective. Hell, there are people who still think the works of  Hemingway are great books, long after most readers have decided he was an overrated nihilist.  Yes, he may have been a great writer a century ago, that doesn’t mean anyone enjoys reading him today. And, to me, being able to enjoy a piece of fiction is part of its greatness. If it isn’t enjoyable it isn’t great fiction. And just because it was enjoyable at one time doesn’t mean it is enjoyable today. After all, making mud pies was enjoyable at one time, I think I grew past that.

Some of the other categories are even worse. Let’s take  Best Editor, any form. 98 percent of those eligible to vote on this category have no clue whether the nominees are any good. I am personally rooting for Toni Weisskopf, not because I know that her work is the best, but because I like and admire her. I haven’t a clue about her editing. In all probability neither do you. Editing is an invisible process to anyone not directly involved, usually the editor and author.

Best Fan Writer is the category that personally concerns me the most. Three of the five are known to me personally, one is ok but, I really don’t know him, and the other is, well lets just say my respect for her could be much higher. Naturally I want one of the three I know to win. Which is the question. One is a really good and underappreciated author who could use more exposure, I’d love for him to win for many reasons. I happen to know he doesn’t want the win because he considers himself primarily an author and not a Fan Writer. The second is as good as anyone in the field and could use a little more exposure for her indie work herself. The third is my wife, and I don’t know whether I want her to win or not. While I love her work and think she deserves recognition for it a large part of me looks at the state of fandom and would prefer she not be exposed to any more of the disgusting people who are trying to drive it.

And that is the core of why I am sick of it. The lies and slander, libel and chicanery in fandom makes me want to kick sand over a lot of them. I am aware that the Hugos are a popularity contest and that too many of the people involved are mentally and emotionally  middle schoolers. That doesn’t mean  that I believe it should be that way. It mostly makes me wish I thought that the Hugos and fandom would be destroyed by this years tempest in a  teapot. Sadly it will survive despite the gloom and doom screeches of the infantile.

Worst art ever

What art has become. Is it any wonder we long for a more vibrant artform in our stories and tales?

Some people have suggested that we should start another award and let the Worldcon people have their plastic toy, after all the award has become worthless like the most strident screamers. That would not help, it would simply make for another batch of screaming children fighting over who is the coolest kid in school. And before anyone says that this one would be different let me tell you a truth. It wouldn’t, at least not after a couple of years. This is because such things are so important to middle schoolers that they will game anything started. Most of the people who become important in these little cliques are the totally untalented who have no real life or accomplishments. The people who are competent have jobs, lives, and talents. In other words, they can’t spend most of their lives working for something so unimportant. Yes good people do serious work for cons, running them and organizing, doing good for the community. The people who gain control of awards are usually the totally untalented. Look athe the loudly self-proclaimed TrueFen for an example of this.

All in all, the best thing about the Hugos Saturday? They will be over.

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29 comments on “Hugo Awards to be announced Saturday

  1. Toni is known to tell authors to take a given scene and ‘make it not suck’.

    At the very least, it sets a high bar for other editors to clear.

    Like

    • Yes, but how many readers can tell who did this? Or for that many how do readers know that she picked the right scene to make not suck/? 🙂 I trust Toni as a person. I’m not smart enough to know how good she is, neither is anyone else who hasn’t worked with her.

      Like

    • There is also my favorite comments on sentences I mishmashed through editing: “Please rewrite in English.”

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I have essentially the same conclusion, for essentially the same reasons. I differ in my evaluation of the nominees in Best Fan Writer. I spent more time reviewing entries for that category than I did all the others combined. There ain’t a cull in the bunch, and no matter who wins, they deserve it. Like you, I am not happy about the possibility of post award fallout.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. one is there for one piece, the others are there for a body of work. Other than that, you are right. Still doesn’t change me from being conflicted over who

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  4. Over until next year, at least.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh, hey, I saw that folded carpet thing in person once as a kid! Blew my mind at how much hackery gets called “art”.

    Good luck to all.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. “If it isn’t enjoyable it isn’t great fiction.”

    In High School literature, they made us read The Scarlet Letter and write long-winded essays about the subtle literary allusions present in the work. The best I could say is that I found the book profoundly boring. The worst would probably be too vulgar for this venue.

    Yet the book is regarded as one of the the greats in literary history by whomever it is who decrees such things. Some might suggest that the time period that book was written in is what bores me, but I find Jules Verne’s writing plenty interesting, and his work dates from a roughly similar period. The fact of the matter is, I had no interest in the subject matter of Hawthorne’s book. I thought the plot was terrible and felt like the author was trying to beat me over the head with a moral lesson.

    Those are the same problems I have with much of the work put forward by the SocJus crowd. I don’t know if all of the Sad Puppies slate is worthy of award or not. Like you say, it’s really hard to tell, sometimes. I do know that some of those nominated I have enjoyed reading, and that’s progress of a sort.

    Liked by 2 people

    • And I think that is the crux of the matter, too many people are trying to define great literature as being as crappy as the stuff we were forced to read in school. Those books probably were great literature at the time, they are like milk that has been on the shelf too long, past their sell by date

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      • The Gardner F Fox story I just read would probably make the “sci-fi needs to be more literary” crowd’s head explode. It may have been about as well written as Axe Cop, but it was about as fun, too.

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        • I’m not familiar with gardner F Fox, nor Axe cop. >Makes not to check them out

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          • Gardner F Fox wrote a bunch of golden age pulp sci-fi stuff as well as comic books. Axe Cop is a gonzo superhero comic written by a 6 year old and illustrated by his adult brother. They’re both worth checking out.

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            • Yes, Fox wrote a lot of great stuff. Created about half of DC’s characters, too. Someone needs to reprint the best of his space opera.

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      • My definition of great literature still lies in things like Shakespeare and Mark Twain. I do not aspire to ‘great literature’, but people saying things about my books like “It’s great, I loved reading it, I think you’ll enjoy it too, and I hope she writes more!”

        Or “I didn’t get any sleep because of you.”

        Liked by 2 people

        • Of course one question that should be asked before people get too bent out of shape is, does a book need to be great literature to be Hugo worthy?

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          • No. Nobody will know what is ‘great literature’ till later, likely long after the author is dead. And it’s an act of vast arrogance to claim the Hugo represents that, as the Hugo is a YEARLY award, which means it’s simply what the fans participating in Worldcon voted as ‘the best’ for *that previous year’s offerings.* No more. No less.

            Liked by 1 person

    • One of the problems with a lot of “great literature” is that it’s fed to kids at the wrong ages to truly appreciate it. Stories that I could not relate to at all as a teenager resonate with me much more now that I am an adult. There are a lot of adult fear & existentialist angst that will not resonate with a highschooler the way it would with someone with some years under their their belt. Scarlet Letter, Ethan Frome, Dorian Grey… It doesn’t help that a lot of it gets taught wrong, too. Poor kids who grow up thinking that Romeo & Juliet is a tragic romance and tale of young true love and not a biting and sarcastic excoriation of the Catholic priesthood as a celibate institution giving advice on matters of love and marriage!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Agreed. Xenophon’s Anabasis would have been rather boring to read in school. At my age, now, it resonates with me in ways that would take me a great deal of time to explain. I am glad I chose to read it later in life, as opposed to earlier.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. A good editor should be like a good offensive lineman in football. If they are doing their job correctly, you should never know they are even there. When they are being noticed it’s usually NOT for something good.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. And I love that shot of Slim Pickens riding the H bomb, a-swangin’ his cowboy hat an’ yellin’ YIPPEE YAHOO!!!!
    I’m gonna watch Dr. Strangelove again.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. They should play “The Rains of Castamere” at the Hugo ceremony.

    It would be . . . appropriate.

    Like

  10. Given the level of frothing we’ve heard already, and the move of the vote on “E Pluribus Hugo” to Sunday morning AFTER the Hugos, I suspect the vote has already leaked in some circles, just like the Nielsen-Haydens telegraphed that they had info on the Nominations before release.

    Given the level of invective, I suspect it’s REALLY bad from their POV. As in VOX getting a rocket. . .

    Like

  11. Due to a near-miss missile defense by the Soviets, the B52 suffers loss of radio and the bomb bay doors are, in the words of James Earl Jones, ‘negative function.’ Here’s Slim Pickens last line of dialogue, before the YAHOO as he rides the ‘HI THERE!’ nuclear bomb down: “I’m gonna get them doors open if it harelips everybody on Bear Creek!”

    Like

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