Alexander Film Works

About Time? Hugo Tantrums

In Think About It on June 17, 2015 at 9:32 pm

I suppose it’s about time I chime in on the entire kerfuffle about this year’s Hugo Awards.

If you don’t know what the Hugo Awards are, they’re given out every year (since 1953) at the World Science Fiction Convention, this year held in Spokane, Washington.  They’re named for Hugo Gernsback, the publisher of the first recognized-as-such science fiction magazine, Amazing Stories, in 1926.

For more information about the Worldcon (as it’s known), you can look up at the World Science Fiction Society’s site.

Anyway, there are two factions who are trying to game the system, for reasons they deem fitting and proper; one calls itself the Sad Puppies, headed by Larry Correia and Brad R.Torgersen, and the Rabid Puppies, a group backed by Theodore Beale, who styles himself “Vox Day”.

The objections arise not from the stated goals of these groups, but from their methodology.  The stated goals are that the Hugo Awards have been “hijacked” or “co-opted” by what they call Social Justice Warriors, who are putting message and ideology before storytelling in science fiction, and the Puppies (both groups, as best I can tell) want to restore the “old-time” Sense of Wonder, space opera action, “Bat Durston, Space Marshal”- style shoot-em-ups to the awards list.

Both Puppies groups have put forth “slates” of works they think are Hugo-worthy.  They have urged their like-minded followers to buy supporting or attending memberships to Sasquan, the upcoming Worldcon in Spokane, and to nominate the works on their slates when the nominations were open, which was around the first of the year.

In addition, it is alleged that the Rabid Puppies slate has recruited help from participants in “GamerGate”, a group of male gamers who were (and are) violently opposed to women developing, playing, or writing about games, for the reason I’ve heard is equivalent to “No Girls In Gaming because… Girls!”

And the further allegations about Beale/Day, and examples of his rabidly virulent misogyny, homophobia, and rank stupidity seem to be substantiated by his blog, “Vox Popoli”.  {Side note: he doesn’t seem to know enough Latin to know that the correct term for “voice of the people” is “vox populi”.  Or, alternatively, he may not care.}

Since I rarely nominate for or vote on the Hugo Awards, because of my lack of time to read the entire eligible list of works to find something worthy of nomination, I feel it’s a pathetic attempt to get their way, a tantrum on the order of a two-year-old wailing and weeping in the toy aisle of Wal-Mart because they didn’t get the toy they wanted.

Disclaimer:  I know no one of these people personally, nor, it seems, would I want to.

And thus goes another Crisis in Fandom (when I use the term, I refer to “Science Fiction Fandom”, which has been around about as long as the magazines.

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