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Hugo Nominations and Awards - 2020 Winners Announced

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People on Twitter are really mad at GRRM because he's mentioning John W. Campbell too much, which is apparently unforgivable since Campbell was officially cancelled last year by the woke crowd. 

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19 hours ago, Maltaran said:

Also, I hope if they’re subtitling they do better than last year, and we don’t get any dog magicians.

Holy Kwok Lee! But subtitling in real time must be tricky.

Not many of my first choices, but generally not a bad set of winners.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, David Selig said:

People on Twitter are really mad at GRRM because he's mentioning John W. Campbell too much, which is apparently unforgivable since Campbell was officially cancelled last year by the woke crowd. 

Oh, there was some anger when the Retro Hugos were announced and Campbell inevitably won for editor, short form, as well (plus Lovecraft winning Best Series). People seem to want damnatio memoriae, that the the names of Campbell  and other offenders be erased from their present and future. I was arguing with a writer/critic acquaitnance who was concerned about the "message" that it sent, and said anyone who did not put Campbell beneath No Award was senseless.

For my part, the only message Campbell going 8 for 8 at the Retro Hugos is that the chance for him to lose one based on historic context was already passed, in 2004; any Retro Hugo for the 40s is by default his because he simply was that dominant. Just think of the fact that 3/4ths of the Retro Hugo nominees in the short fiction categories were published by him. How in the world was he not supposed to win it unless one decided to tip the scale in favor of present feeling instead of actual merit?

I will say I'm very glady Arkady Martine won for Best Novel, and looking at the statistics she actually ended up coming ahead only in the final rounds after trailing Seanan McGuire for a bit. McGuire also lost Best Series in similar fashion. She has a really strong group of fans at the Hugos, but only occasionally enough to get the prize (still a nice position to be in; I believe she has 3 so far).

 

Edited by Ran

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55 minutes ago, Ran said:

People seem to want damnatio memoriae, that the the names of Campbell  and other offenders be erased from their present and future.

I don't have an issue with the Retros, but going on about him for an hour at the Hugos was in bad taste. And all the mispronunciations in pre-recorded segments?

Memory wasn't my first choice, but it was the best pure SF (rather than fantasy) and a very worthy winner.

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It sounds like a lot of people were unimpressed with the GRRM performance (and by extension the convention for allowing carte blanche). I didn't stay up to watch, sounds like I didn't miss much. 

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, felice said:

I don't have an issue with the Retros, but going on about him for an hour at the Hugos was in bad taste.

No one went on about him for an hour. The entirety of the lead-in to the Astounding Award announcement was ten minutes long, and the Campbell part was substantially less than that (In fact, just checked, and it's 1.5 minutes of it :P)

Quote

And all the mispronunciations in pre-recorded segments?

The issue, I think, was a lack of immediate feedback. ConZealand should have patched someone in by speaker phone when George was recording these whose job was just to make sure everything was said right, both coaching right beforehand and calling for a re-recording if there was an issue.

Quote

Memory wasn't my first choice, but it was the best pure SF (rather than fantasy) and a very worthy winner.

Well, that part doesn't matter to me, the Hugos should go to fantasy when they merit it!

Edited by Ran

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12 minutes ago, Ran said:

No one went on about him for an hour. The entirety of the lead-in to the Astounding Award announcement was ten minutes long, and the Campbell part was substantially less than that (In fact, just checked, and it's 1.5 minutes of it :P)

I was exaggerating a bit, but GRRM must have spoken for a couple of hours total, and Campbell came up on more than one occasion.

12 minutes ago, Ran said:

The issue, I think, was a lack of immediate feedback. ConZealand should have patched someone in by speaker phone when George was recording these whose job was just to make sure everything was said right, both coaching right beforehand and calling for a re-recording if there was an issue.

Yep. Though putting on a WorldCon is a huge job, and pivoting to online at relatively short notice can't make it any easier. I'm unimpressed, but I'm more inclined to cut unpaid volunteers slack than many people I know (though I also totally understand why they're pissed off).

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3 hours ago, Ran said:

Oh, there was some anger when the Retro Hugos were announced and Campbell inevitably won for editor, short form, as well (plus Lovecraft winning Best Series). People seem to want damnatio memoriae, that the the names of Campbell  and other offenders be erased from their present and future. I was arguing with a writer/critic acquaitnance who was concerned about the "message" that it sent, and said anyone who did not put Campbell beneath No Award was senseless.

For my part, the only message Campbell going 8 for 8 at the Retro Hugos is that the chance for him to lose one based on historic context was already passed, in 2004; any Retro Hugo for the 40s is by default his because he simply was that dominant. Just think of the fact that 3/4ths of the Retro Hugo nominees in the short fiction categories were published by him. How in the world was he not supposed to win it unless one decided to tip the scale in favor of present feeling instead of actual merit?

A lot of the most vocal people in the community have become ridiculously woke and have mastered the art of being offended by anything. It's embarrassing. As expected, the Best Related Work award was given to the speech in which Jeannette NG called Campbell "a fucking fascist", which made this category even more of a joke than it already is. The same people who find racism in everything keep calling the likes of Martin and Silverberg "Old white guys" as an insult and feel smug about it. These awards have become extremely political and it's really no coincidence that white men have barely wbeen nominated for anything in the fiction category in the last 5 years.

People on Twitter were even saying GRRM is transphobic because he made a joke about about the Oscar statues not having penises or something like that. It's insane.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, lady narcissa said:

They agreed with my ballot on two of the winners in the fiction category (A Memory Called Empire and As the Last I May Know). I thought This is How You Lose The Time War was maybe a case of style over substance but it was enjoyable enough that I think it's a reasonable winner even if it wasn't my choice. I thought Emergency Skin was OK, but not as good as some of Jemisin's other work and I preferred some of the other nominees.

One thing of interest in the full stats is that Ann Leckie's Raven Tower would have been a nominee in Best Novel but she declined, I don't know why. I read it earlier this year, it was a reasonably good book but I would have put it high on the list for best novel.

I just saw the CoNZealand have issued an apology for some of the issues with the ceremony: https://conzealand.nz/blog/2020/08/01/an-apology-from-the-conzealand-chairs

Edited by williamjm

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2 hours ago, David Selig said:

These awards have become extremely political and it's really no coincidence that white men have barely wbeen nominated for anything in the fiction category in the last 5 years.

We've discussed this before, and I feel more comfortable saying it's a thing generally against men rather than white men specifically. Male authors of color hardly do any better than white male authors.

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3 hours ago, David Selig said:

it's really no coincidence that white men have barely wbeen nominated for anything in the fiction category in the last 5 years.

How often were they nominated before that?

16 minutes ago, Ran said:

We've discussed this before, and I feel more comfortable saying it's a thing generally against men rather than white men specifically. Male authors of color hardly do any better than white male authors.

Haha...keep your heads up fellas.  One day men will finally catch a break.

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3 minutes ago, Inkdaub said:

How often were they nominated before that?

Haha...keep your heads up fellas.  One day men will finally catch a break.

Two wrongs don't make a right, you know.

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6 hours ago, Ran said:

How in the world was he not supposed to win it unless one decided to tip the scale in favor of present feeling instead of actual merit?

This is the fundamental problem with the Retro Hugos. How does it make any sense for voters in 2020 not to vote on present feeling? Are they supposed to be re-enacting the historic Hugos or what?

The juxtaposition above - present feeling vs 'actual merit' - is also a bit of rhetorical sleight of hand. These things are not opposites. Our present understanding of Lovecraft and Campbell is valid and absolutely bears on their actual merit.

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, Inkdaub said:

How often were they nominated before that?

Just prior to the puppies, there had been several years of what one would expect in a fair playing field of more-or-less equal representation; one category might be 50-50, another might be all male, another all female, all in the same ballot.

 

20 minutes ago, mormont said:

This is the fundamental problem with the Retro Hugos. How does it make any sense for voters in 2020 not to vote on present feeling? Are they supposed to be re-enacting the historic Hugos or what?

They are voted how people want to vote them, which what Ben Yallow said when commenting on the Retro Hugo panel at Helsinki (he was one of the people who helped push it through) was the intention -- that's why there's no instruction and you deal with them how you want. He did add that the originator of the idea had certainly hoped people would try to put themselves in the shoes of congoers of whatever year was being voted on, but it's not codified.

So, for me, I don't vote the Retros based on name or even on trying to figure out what I would have thought was best as a fan in the 40s, but based instead on the quality of what they actually did that year as I see it today. I did not vote this year, but would have had no trouble placing Campbell first because he published so much more good writing than the others. (Though that said, he had the advantage one one in not being a reprint magazine editor and on the other of being a monthly rather than quarterly; there is some merit to the argument that Campbell had both higher highs and lower lows than some of the others that year, who were more consistent, but IMO the quantity of highs is unmatched).

Quote

The juxtaposition above - present feeling vs 'actual merit' - is also a bit of rhetorical sleight of hand. These things are not opposites. Our present understanding of Lovecraft and Campbell is valid and absolutely bears on their actual merit.

 

I'm not sure how that changes the quality of their work product retroactively? Even bad people can produce significant art, and such as the field of SF was, Astounding and Campbell were -- in the 40s -- far and away the home of much of the best writing done in that period.

As I remarked earlier, 2004 was the 1954 Retro Hugo and there Campbell was past his heyday and was eclipsed by Pohl, Gold, and Boucher, all of whom I believe I placed ahead of him on my own ballot. 

 

Edited by Ran

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I really enjoyed both A Memory Called Empire and This is How You Lose the Time War - of the Hugo nominees I read, they seem very deserving.

As someone who's way out of the loop: what's the deal with Campbell?

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1 hour ago, Ran said:

I'm not sure how that changes the quality of their work product retroactively?

It doesn't. It allows us to more accurately judge the quality of their work.

With a more modern understanding of Campbell's work, we can see how his choices negatively impacted the field at the time and for decades to come, and vote accordingly.

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Not too bad a list of winners, not many of my first choices made it, but I can live with that.

  

14 hours ago, David Selig said:

People on Twitter are really mad at GRRM because he's mentioning John W. Campbell too much, which is apparently unforgivable since Campbell was officially cancelled last year by the woke crowd. 

Keep in mind this is part of a trend. Last year the hugo losers party he organizes apparently didn't have room for many of the actual losers. This year he apparently dwelt more on the past than on the present and future.

It seems that many feel Martin has lost touch with the actual people that make up SF and worldcon culture these days.

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