There’s one Hugo Award topic I’ve stayed completely silent on other than a couple of retweets, because I didn’t really feel all that familiar with the issue and lots of other people have talked about it. But not saying anything about it has been bothering me, so here goes.
If you follow discussion about the Hugo Awards, you probably know about this already, but I think most people in the places I post probably don’t. On this year’s ballot, in the Best Novelette category, is a work by Vox Day (aka Theodore Beale). Vox Day is an unrepentant sexist, racist asshole, and there’s plenty of documented evidence to show that.
Day’s presence on the ballot has been put down to him and Larry Correia (on the ballot for Best Novel) encouraging their followers to buy memberships and putting forward a slate of suggested nominees to include on their ballots. Several names on that list made it to the shortlist.
I have no intention of reading Vox Day’s novelette or including it on my voting ballot. I’m also inclined to pass over the other names associated with him through this nominating list.
I’ve seen people who want to see outrage over this situation (see that Bleeding Cool article I linked above, for example), but I can’t see what there is to be done about it other than just not voting for Vox Day and those who support him. They didn’t break the rules to get on the ballot, as far as anyone can tell, but they’re not going to win the awards, either. Of course, their very presence on the shortlist is being read by some as damning to the Hugos as a whole, but that opens a question over what could possibly be done to prevent it. I’m not sure there’s any way other than getting more people to buy Worldcon memberships and nominate each year. Add enough voices, and the small minority who support Theodore Beale – and who arguably only bought their own memberships to thumb their noses at those who dislike him – will be drowned out.