One Last Hugo Thing

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.

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Hugo Award Shortlist

The shortlist for the 2014 Hugo Awards (and the 1939 Retro Hugo Awards) was just announced. You can see it on the Loncon3 website. I wanted to just make a quick post looking at the shortlist compared to my own nominations.

Overall, 11 of my nominations ended up on the final ballot. Unfortunately, not all of the ones I was most excited about: The Shining Girls, Rupetta, and Locke and Key are nowhere to be found. Oh well.

Also, while Doctor Who used to be a good show, these days I don’t think it really deserves to have two episodes on the ballot. Of these two, “The Name of the Doctor” was bad, “The Day of the Doctor” wasn’t. At least the godawful “The Time of the Doctor” didn’t make it. But, this is a popular vote and it’s a popular show, so no use getting worked up about it. I have no issue with the two other Doctor Who-related things that made the short form ballot – I even nominated one of them.

Awkward

This post is something of a companion piece to my post “Anxiety“, and it’s one I was supposed to write over a month ago.

At the end of November I went down to Leeds for a day, for two reasons. Firstly, to see old friends I had been out of touch with for years, and secondly, to visit the Thought Bubble comic convention. Each of these things served as an excuse to do the other, really.

Thought Bubble became the first convention I’d ever attended, then. I can’t say I was entirely certain what to expect, though I wasn’t surprised by how it went. I spent several hours walking around the halls, and attended one panel, the Writer’s Roundtable, which was interesting.

But that’s pretty much all I did: I walked around the three halls. For hours. I saw some interesting art, I saw creators I recognised, but I was too uncomfortable and awkward to actually interact with people.

I did manage to exchange a few awkward words with a few people – usually with the easy excuse of buying something from them. I managed to mutter some very awkward praise to one creator whose book I’d recently read (“It was… uh… really good.”)

I couldn’t bring myself to line up for signings. I bought a signed print, but only while the artist (Fiona Staples, of the excellent Saga) was away from her table.

I don’t know how people do it – go up to a stranger and praise their work, ask them to sign something, whatever. I just wander round awkwardly keeping to myself.

And now I’m wondering how bad I’m going to be at Loncon3 in August. Will I just not dare interact with the great authors I see there, get books signed, say I liked their work? It’s entirely possible, knowing me, that I’ll find myself still just walking past and looking…