No Award at the Hugos

 

hugo-award-logoWell, if you’ve been following the Sad Puppies story, the votes are in. Rather than swallowing their pride and liking something on the merits, the Social Justice Warriors out of spite voted for no awards to be given in several categories.

Before the Hugos were a proxy for politics, they were about good science fiction. I’ve got a book on my shelf, or in a box, or maybe my brother has it, that is a compilation of Hugo winning stories from the ’50s and ’60s. Some of the stories are fantastic, amongst the greatest things I’ve ever read. Some aren’t all that great in my estimation, but they got the award because other people disagreed with me. It’s about the science fiction, not about the politics, right?

Even if it isn’t about the politics on the surface, it usually is in the end. It seems a group of people realized that A) it’s a major career boost to have that “Hugo Award Winning” on your dust jacket, and B) A relatively small group of people could swing the voting one way or another. And so the Hugos in recent years have gone to a small, poorly written, and overwhelmingly leftist set of stories.

The Sad Puppies slate, more than anything else, was about putting the science fiction back into the awards. Not every story can be “Flowers for Algernon,” but we can do better. The Rabid Puppies, on the other hand, were about extracting revenge. They’re looking to push right-leaning authors, and rub the whiny leftists’ faces in it. As a fan of the genre, I don’t think obsessive right-wing literature will be much better than obsessive leftist trash, but as a culture warrior I appreciate the fight-to-the-last-breath mentality.

Which brings us back to “No Award.” The triumphant Breitbart article I linked up top is calling this a win. Quoting from Vox Day (who, if you haven’t been following along, leads the Rabid Puppies):

The SJWs will try to portray this as a victory – they would try to portray suicide by self-cannibalism as a victory – but anyone who knows anything about history understands the significance of one side resorting to burning down its own houses in order to deny it to the enemy. That is a defensive tactic borne of desperation.

Maybe, but the first historical example I think of is Napoleon’s army reaching the ashes of Moscow. Tactics born of desperation can be pretty dangerous. As the saying goes “If you’re not willing to shell your own position, you’re not willing to win.” It may be that the future of science fiction will be this sort of proxy political knife fight.

If you want to see the future of science fiction in person, you can get your front-row seats at next summer’s WorldCon in Kansas City. If you’re joining the metaphorical knife fight, remember the first rule: Bring a metaphorical gun. And the second rule: bring lots of friends with metaphorical guns. What better friends to back you up in a sci-fi gunfight than other Ricochetti? Join us for the Ricochet WorldCon Meetup while you cast your vote for next year’s Hugos. Or just attend the meetup. Because frankly, Ricochet Meetups by themselves are pretty awesome.

There are 54 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Carey J. Inactive
    Carey J.
    @CareyJ

    From the article:

    Worldcon is now designing a Byzantine new rule system designed to thwart a Puppies resurgence in 2016. But anyone who loves sci-fi knows that no matter how air-tight the bad guy’s rules seem, the good guys will find a way through. Does anyone really think SJWs can design anything without leaving an unguarded exhaust vent?

    We don’t need exhaust vents. We’ll just sic Qadgop the Mercotan on them.

    Qadgop the Mercotan slithered flatly around the afterbulge of the tranship. One claw dug into the meters-thick armor of pure neutronium, then another. Its terrible xmexlike snout locked on. Its zymolosely polydactile tongue crunched out, crashed down, rasped across. _Slurp! Slurp!_ At each abrasive stroke the groove in the tranship’s plating deepened and Qaggop leered more fiercely. Fools! Did they think that the airlessness of absolute space, the heatlessness of absolute zero, the yieldlessness of absolute neutronium could stop QADGOP THE MERCOTAN?

    • #1
  2. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    I’m on the same page as you, Hank.  There have been Hugo winners that are outstanding pieces, and there have been books I’ve bought because they won the Hugo for best novel and found them to be simply OK.

    Here’s one really cool benefit of being a WorldCon member for a given year that I forgot to mention in the post you linked to.  I had mentioned that you get to nominate and vote for the Hugos.  Here’s what I forgot to mention.  After the nominations are counted up and you’ve got the five finalists in each category, you’re probably thinking to yourself “I’ve only read two of the novels and none of the short stories, novellas, or nevellettes.  So I guess I won’t vote in those categories.”  Not so fast.  For the last several years, the WorldCon has provided to the members all of the short stories, novellas, novelettes, and most novels in electronic format so you can read them all and make an informed vote.  You can also see samples of the work of the artists who are nominated.

    Yes, it is a shame that some people vote for an author based on ideology rather than the actual quality of the work.  In the past I have nominated novels by Robert J. Sawyer and John Scalzi even though I don’t agree with all of their ideological/political viewpoints, because the work deserved it.

    • #2
  3. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    Since I finished school I have the time to help be a disruptive influence next year.

    • #3
  4. Whiskey Sam Inactive
    Whiskey Sam
    @WhiskeySam

    Hank, that segue was Lileksian.  Never saw it coming.

    • #4
  5. Hank Rhody Contributor
    Hank Rhody
    @HankRhody

    Meters of neutronium armor. There’s something of an arms race between the various science fiction authors for who can come up with the biggest gun. And then they have to come up with an even bigger one because otherwise there’s no conflict in the story. I just read a John Ringo novel where they were throwing around anti matter hand grenades.

    • #5
  6. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Hank Rhody:

    As the saying goes “If you’re not willing to shell your own position, you’re not willing to win.” It may be that the future of science fiction will be this sort of proxy political knife fight.

    Hank, I didn’t know you were a Schlock Mercenary fan.  Two thumbs up.  I’ll have to show you the Schlock Mercenary challenge coins I bought at WesterCon.

    • #6
  7. Hank Rhody Contributor
    Hank Rhody
    @HankRhody

    Whiskey Sam:Hank, that segue was Lileksian. Never saw it coming.

    High praise that.

    • #7
  8. Sabrdance Member
    Sabrdance
    @Sabrdance

    I’m highly tempted -but I usually have to return to class by then.

    I don’t know who won this fight.  Napoleon’s entry to Moscow was a disaster because he wanted to govern Moscow.  Vox always intended to burn Moscow to the ground, and then salt the earth as he left.

    • #8
  9. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    The Leftists kill everything they touch, don’t they?

    So now everyone knows that the Hugos were nothing but an avenue for propaganda, and that the Left not only doesn’t believe in democracy, but actively hates it, and works to kill it.

    Good work guys.

    The Hugos will likely die, as no-one but the SJW will take them seriously any more, and there aren’t enough SJWs to sustain a business.

    Good riddance.

    • #9
  10. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey
    @AustinMurrey

    Sabrdance: Vox always intended to burn Moscow to the ground, and then salt the earth as he left.

    Vox is a weird character on the internet – which is saying something, since the internet is basically nothing but a collection of people’s weirdness on full display.

    I’ve followed this since SP1 since I love Larry Correia, and it’s been pretty entertaining on a dollar-for-laughs value.

    • #10
  11. Hank Rhody Contributor
    Hank Rhody
    @HankRhody

    See, salting the earth is exactly the sort of weapon of mass destruction that doesn’t get enough play in modern science fiction. They’re too intent on their gamma ray lasers.

    As far as Vox goes, he’s gotta do it again next year. And it’ll be harder, because the SJWs are going to up their organizing game. I’m sure he’d be happy with No Award next year too, but if he doesn’t get on the slate it’s still a loss overall.

    • #11
  12. Carey J. Inactive
    Carey J.
    @CareyJ

    Hank Rhody:Meters of neutronium armor. There’s something of an arms race between the various science fiction authors for who can come up with the biggest gun. And then they have to come up with an even bigger one because otherwise there’s no conflict in the story. I just read a John Ringo novel where they were throwing around anti matter hand grenades.

    Ringo has used antimatter cluster munitions in the Legacy of the Aldanata books. I think it was Hell’s Faire. The Troy-class battlestations from the Troy Rising books were impressive.

    David Webber’s Armageddon Inheritance books had some pretty scary stuff left over from the Fourth Empire. Planetoid-class ships, warp rifles, the bio-weapon that destroyed the Fourth Empire, planet-busting gravitonic warheads were all nasty stuff.

    But nobody beats Doc Smith for sheer overkill. Primary beam weapons that treated emitters as expendable cartridges to be burned out with one shot. The aforementioned neutronium armor. Planet-sized negaspheres of antimatter. Ringo’s SAPL from the Troy Rising books is a pale imitation of Smith’s sunbeam. Heinlein didn’t invent the concept of powered armor. Smith did.

    • #12
  13. Hank Rhody Contributor
    Hank Rhody
    @HankRhody

    Tuck: The Leftists kill everything they touch, don’t they?

    (…)

    The Hugos will likely die, as no-one but the SJW will take them seriously any more, and there aren’t enough SJWs to sustain a business. Good riddance.

    The thing is, there are still a lot of plain old science fiction fans out there. And Sad Puppies is actively trying to return it to what it was. I wish them luck, but I’m not sanguine.

    • #13
  14. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    I stopped caring about the Hugos after Hominids won best novel.

    What a steaming load of hipposcat that book is!

    • #14
  15. Hank Rhody Contributor
    Hank Rhody
    @HankRhody

    Austin Murrey: I’ve followed this since SP1 since I love Larry Correia, and it’s been pretty entertaining on a dollar-for-laughs value.

    Yeah, I’m a big fan of Correia. I read a longish post about guns and gun culture and such, which was well done and spot on the money. I picked up Monster Hunter International off of a free Baen book promotion off the strength of that post. I finished the book, and bought the next three and read those that weekend. It was the first time I spent money on a new book in years.

    I don’t think that absent the connection I’d fall on a different side of this issue.

    • #15
  16. Hank Rhody Contributor
    Hank Rhody
    @HankRhody

    Randy Weivoda:

    Hank Rhody:

    As the saying goes “If you’re not willing to shell your own position, you’re not willing to win.” It may be that the future of science fiction will be this sort of proxy political knife fight.

    Hank, I didn’t know you were a Schlock Mercenary fan. Two thumbs up. I’ll have to show you the Schlock Mercenary challenge coins I bought at WesterCon.

    Been reading it daily for over a decade now. At least when Kevyn used an anti-matter grenade they pointed out what a stupid idea the thing was.

    • #16
  17. Sabrdance Member
    Sabrdance
    @Sabrdance

    Carey J.:

    Hank Rhody:Meters of neutronium armor. There’s something of an arms race between the various science fiction authors for who can come up with the biggest gun. And then they have to come up with an even bigger one because otherwise there’s no conflict in the story. I just read a John Ringo novel where they were throwing around anti matter hand grenades.

    Ringo has used antimatter cluster munitions in the Legacy of the Aldanata books. I think it was Hell’s Faire. The Troy-class battlestations from the Troy Rising books were impressive.

    David Webber’s Armageddon Inheritance books had some pretty scary stuff left over from the Fourth Empire. Planetoid-class ships, warp rifles, the bio-weapon that destroyed the Fourth Empire, planet-busting gravitonic warheads were all nasty stuff.

    But nobody beats Doc Smith for sheer overkill. Primary beam weapons that treated emitters as expendable cartridges to be burned out with one shot. The aforementioned neutronium armor. Planet-sized negaspheres of antimatter. Ringo’s SAPL from the Troy Rising books is a pale imitation of Smith’s sunbeam. Heinlein didn’t invent the concept of powered armor. Smith did.

    There was also the time they nulled the inertia of two planets moving in opposite directions, placed them on either side of a third planet, and then de-nulled the inertia.

    I always envision that like one of those thingies on a CEO’s desk.

    “Clack”

    • #17
  18. Carey J. Inactive
    Carey J.
    @CareyJ

    Hank Rhody:See, salting the earth is exactly the sort of weapon of mass destruction that doesn’t get enough play in modern science fiction. They’re too intent on their gamma ray lasers.

    As far as Vox goes, he’s gotta do it again next year. And it’ll be harder, because the SJWs are going to up their organizing game. I’m sure he’d be happy with No Award next year too, but if he doesn’t get on the slate it’s still a loss overall.

    After Nevil Shute’s On the Beach, there wasn’t much more to be said. That’s what happens when you throw enough cobalt-jacketed bombs. But science fiction writers have been completely blowing up planets since the days of Doc Smith, and will probably continue to do so.

    • #18
  19. Hank Rhody Contributor
    Hank Rhody
    @HankRhody

    Yeah, the antimatter hand grenade was from a Legacy of the Aldenata book. Still seems like a terrible idea to me. I’m working through the series right now. I can’t seem to get into Cally’s War.

    At least in the Armageddon’s inheritance series their anti-matter missiles are still in space. I gotta give David Weber credit though, for the laser warheads in the Honor Harrington series. Project Excalibur is too wonderful an idea to let sit idle.

    I read Triplanetary, but I never got ahold of the next book in that series. I’ll grant him precedent in inventing overkill.

    • #19
  20. Hank Rhody Contributor
    Hank Rhody
    @HankRhody

    Carey J.:

    Hank Rhody:See, salting the earth is exactly the sort of weapon of mass destruction that doesn’t get enough play in modern science fiction. They’re too intent on their gamma ray lasers.

    (…)

    After Nevil Shute’s On the Beach, there wasn’t much more to be said. That’s what happens when you throw enough cobalt-jacketed bombs. But science fiction writers have been completely blowing up planets since the days of Doc Smith, and will probably continue to do so.

    I was thinking more in terms of literal salt. Completely irradiating perfectly good planets is a hallmark of classic science fiction.

    • #20
  21. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    Hank Rhody:…I read Triplanetary, but I never got ahold of the next book in that series. I’ll grant him precedent in inventing overkill.

    If you’ve not read the rest of the series, you have no idea what overkill really looks like. ;)

    They’re all on Amazon.  I’m a big fan, but at this remove, they’re definitely a period piece.

    • #21
  22. Carey J. Inactive
    Carey J.
    @CareyJ

    Hank Rhody:Yeah, the antimatter hand grenade was from a Legacy of the Aldenata book. Still seems like a terrible idea to me. I’m working through the series right now. I can’t seem to get into Cally’s War.

    At least in the Armageddon’s inheritance series their anti-matter missiles are still in space. I gotta give David Weber credit though, for the laser warheads in the Honor Harrington series. Project Excalibur is too wonderful an idea to let sit idle.

    I read Triplanetary, but I never got ahold of the next book in that series. I’ll grant him precedent in inventing overkill.

    Actually the Qadgop the Mercotan passage was “written” by Smith’s protaganist, Kimball Kinnison working undercover as a science fiction writer. I suspect it was intended as a Bronx cheer to critics who characterized Smith’s books as bad space opera. Sort of like South Park’s Terrance and Phillip.

    Webber’s antimatter missiles had an interesting safety feature. Each one contained a warp generator as a fail-safe. If the warhead was about to lose containment for any reason, the generator would kick it (and anything else within several feet) into hyperspace.

    But the Fourth Empire’s real ship-killers were the gravitonic warheads. They created what amounted to a miniature, short-lived, black hole at the target. The gravitational forces they created did nasty things to enemy shields. And shields aren’t proof against gravitational/tidal forces.

    • #22
  23. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    Hank Rhody:See, salting the earth is exactly the sort of weapon of mass destruction that doesn’t get enough play in modern science fiction. They’re too intent on their gamma ray lasers.

    As far as Vox goes, he’s gotta do it again next year. And it’ll be harder, because the SJWs are going to up their organizing game. I’m sure he’d be happy with No Award next year too, but if he doesn’t get on the slate it’s still a loss overall.

    I believe his stated intent is to no award next year.

    • #23
  24. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    Austin Murrey:

    Sabrdance: Vox always intended to burn Moscow to the ground, and then salt the earth as he left.

    Vox is a weird character on the internet – which is saying something, since the internet is basically nothing but a collection of people’s weirdness on full display.

    I’ve followed this since SP1 since I love Larry Correia, and it’s been pretty entertaining on a dollar-for-laughs value.

    He is weird.  He is an old school internet flame warrior.

    Perfectly willing to state the obvious in the most inflammatory way possible.

    • #24
  25. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Carey J.:

    Hank Rhody:Meters of neutronium armor. There’s something of an arms race between the various science fiction authors for who can come up with the biggest gun. And then they have to come up with an even bigger one because otherwise there’s no conflict in the story. I just read a John Ringo novel where they were throwing around anti matter hand grenades.

    Ringo has used antimatter cluster munitions in the Legacy of the Aldanata books. I think it was Hell’s Faire. The Troy-class battlestations from the Troy Rising books were impressive.

    David Webber’s Armageddon Inheritance books had some pretty scary stuff left over from the Fourth Empire. Planetoid-class ships, warp rifles, the bio-weapon that destroyed the Fourth Empire, planet-busting gravitonic warheads were all nasty stuff.

    But nobody beats Doc Smith for sheer overkill. Primary beam weapons that treated emitters as expendable cartridges to be burned out with one shot. The aforementioned neutronium armor. Planet-sized negaspheres of antimatter. Ringo’s SAPL from the Troy Rising books is a pale imitation of Smith’s sunbeam. Heinlein didn’t invent the concept of powered armor. Smith did.

    Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. C-beams glittering in the dark near the Tanhauser Gate. So on and so forth. Etc.

    • #25
  26. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Carey J.:From the article:

    Worldcon is now designing a Byzantine new rule system designed to thwart a Puppies resurgence in 2016. But anyone who loves sci-fi knows that no matter how air-tight the bad guy’s rules seem, the good guys will find a way through. Does anyone really think SJWs can design anything without leaving an unguarded exhaust vent?

    We don’t need exhaust vents. We’ll just sic Qadgop the Mercotan on them.

    Qadgop the Mercotan slithered flatly around the afterbulge of the tranship. One claw dug into the meters-thick armor of pure neutronium, then another. Its terrible xmexlike snout locked on. Its zymolosely polydactile tongue crunched out, crashed down, rasped across. _Slurp! Slurp!_ At each abrasive stroke the groove in the tranship’s plating deepened and Qaggop leered more fiercely. Fools! Did they think that the airlessness of absolute space, the heatlessness of absolute zero, the yieldlessness of absolute neutronium could stop QADGOP THE MERCOTAN?

    He’s nothing compared to the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal.

    • #26
  27. Amy Schley Moderator
    Amy Schley
    @AmySchley

    Sarah Hoyt is one of the Sad Puppies who will be there in person. I’ll try to get her to come to the Meetup. :D

    • #27
  28. Carey J. Inactive
    Carey J.
    @CareyJ

    Misthiocracy: Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal

    The Vogons keep a bugblatter beast in a metal box. Qadgop treats neutronium armor like it’s an ice cream cone.

    • #28
  29. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Amy Schley:Sarah Hoyt is one of the Sad Puppies who will be there in person. I’ll try to get her to come to the Meetup. :D

    Cool!  I haven’t read any of her books yet but I’ve heard a lot of good things about Darkship Thieves, so it’s on my list of books to buy.

    • #29
  30. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Carey J.:

    Misthiocracy: Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal

    The Vogons keep a bugblatter beast in a metal box. Qadgop treats neutronium armor like it’s an ice cream cone.

    I say the Bugblatter Beast remains in the box by choice.

    ;-)

    • #30

Comments are closed because this post is more than six months old. Please write a new post if you would like to continue this conversation.