Oh hey, the Hugo finalists were announced today.
Man, August is just gonna be chock full of entertainment. I mean, the Presidential election campaigns should be in full swing by that point, and I get a hotly-contested Hugo award? It’s like Christmas! Only four months early, and with significantly more swearing.
It’s going to be interesting to see how Hugo fandom handles it this year. I mean, last time around they went for the worst possible outcome, purely out of spite, but they’re going to be faced with a much tougher set of challenges this time around.
Do they hand the Best Novel win to N.K. Jemisin, because she’s the only non-Puppy nominee, or do they vote in Ann Leckie or Neal Stephenson despite their “questionable” status on the ballot? Do they privately acknowledge that politics also likely played a significant role in getting Jemisin in this year, since despite her talent and previous nominations, her status as a nemesis of Vox Day is fairly well understood by Hugo voters at this point, I’m sure, and her being the only non-Puppy to make the slate in Best Novel almost certainly involves a fair number of people voting her in deliberately to tweak Day’s proverbial nose.
Will they just “No Award” Best Novella this year, despite the presence of authors like Brandon Sanderson, Alastair Reynolds, and Lois McMaster Bujold? It seems unlikely, but it’s inevitable that there will be a significant faction attempting to do exactly that. The quality of the work is irrelevant in the face of political maneuvering, apparently, at least if the politics aren’t palatable. Or so we learned last year.
For that matter, will the Rabid Puppies manage to mobilize enough voters this year to overwhelm the No-Awarders? (Nowarders?) I’m not saying that that’s a desirable outcome, but it would certainly be an interesting one. I’d ask the same question about the Sad Puppies, but history shows us that despite the oft-repeated refrain from their opposition, the Sad Puppies would probably be better named Sad Kittens to indicate the apparent difficulties encountered in herding them.
Vox Day’s disciples seem a more… disciplined group, no pun intended, and I can see the distinct possibility of them throwing all their weight behind a single candidate this year, if that’s what they’re told to do. And while it would be an utter travesty, there’s something strangely appealing about the notion of Space Raptor Butt Invasion winning in Best Short Story, just for the title alone, and the awkwardness of some poor presenter having to read it off in front of a crowd of boo-ing convention attendees.
Say what you will about Rachel Swirsky and “that damned Dinosaur story“, but it’s certainly served as fuel for both tongue-in-cheek humor and ridiculous amounts of politicized outrage in the last couple years.
All things considered though, the next four months should be chock full of fun. Assuming that screaming, straw men, logical fallacies and blatant hypocrisy are your idea of fun, at least.
Ever seen what happens when you chuck a cinderblock into a washing machine? Well, if you keep track of Hugo fandom for the next few months, you can skip clicking on that link, since they’re almost certainly about to put on a fairly convincing impersonation. A lot of violent flailing, shuddering, wailing, and ultimately self-destruction.