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Hugo Nominations and Awards - 2020 Winners Announced

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1 minute ago, David Selig said:

IMO it was great that F&SF and Galaxy appeared in 1950 and gradually took the genre in a different direction.

Yes. Galaxy, F&SF, etc. came into existence thanks to what he had achieved, but they definitely moved things on in a great direction (I am a huge fan of Alfred Bester's output in the 50s, much of it published in Galaxy). And then the 60s brings the New Wave, which caused all sorts of turmoil and drama in fandom, and it was good and fine. 

1 minute ago, David Selig said:

But just screaming "Racist" and "Fascist" (he was never a fascist, BTW< that word has a specific meaning which isn't "everyone you disagree with politically")

Yes. I feel like Ng and everyone parroting the line got it from Moorcock, who claimed Astounding was "crypto-fascist", which is a perjorative that needs more support. Nevala-Lee even laughs it off in Astounding, noting the profound irony of the claim "given Campbell's lifelong war against the establishment." 

1 minute ago, David Selig said:

and dismissing him completely isn't the way to do that.

Damnatio memoriae has its own logic, apparently.

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3 hours ago, williamjm said:

I just noticed in the Chairs' apology on the CoNZealand website they say:

 

 

They say they 'were made available to us', however they don't say that they were made available to GRRM, which is consistent with what he's saying on File 770. I wonder if in all the complex work to set up the virtual ceremony they failed to arrange passing along the phonetic guide.

That said, GRRM could probably have tried a bit harder to find out how names were commonly pronounced, it wouldn't take much searching on the Internet to discover that Siobhan isn't pronounced with a 'b', for example.

I think if it was a 'GRRM talks about his Con experiences' panel then I think it could have been a good one, there was just a bit too much of it for an awards ceremony introduction.

GRRM and Silverberg already had a "panel" basically just a chat between them where they talked about past con experiences (I watched about half of that) so, indeed, there was too much of it.

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8 hours ago, Ran said:

He referred to it as the Campbell Award for the era when it was the Campbell, and the Astounding for the present. The award was not (and really cannot) be renamed retroactively.

Of course it can be! The award has a new name, but it's still the same award, and it's entirely appropriate to refer to past winners and finalists of that award using the current name. What it used to be called is irrelevant.

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I don't really have any feelings towards the Hugos - yay for John Picacio but also several question marks regarding the Lodestar nominees. Anyways, what I do feel is like maybe, just maybe, racist and sexist views are on a higher level than deeply unpleasant. 

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1 hour ago, kairparavel said:

several question marks regarding the Lodestar nominees.

What's up there?

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Even I know that “Siobhan” is pronounced “Sha-von” 

and I’m a fucking accountant from the US, not someone for whom that would be common. Like it should be for anyone who reads fantasy. For instance, I also know that “Niamh” is pronounced “Nee-av”. 

and I am nowhere near as well-read as half of anyone.

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I agree that awards for Jemisin and Jeannette Ng are a joke. Jemisin story was really bad and even if you agree with Ng opinions, it still was a short political screed competing with real books.

 

As for other categories, I expected Kameron Hurley to win, based on most reviewers opinion, but this opinion apparently wasn't shared by most voters. I am rather happy with Arkady Martine win (I put TMCE second, after Muir), but it seems a little surprising to me. Short story is the only category in which my first choice won, but I wasn't very much impressed with the whole list. Lodestar remains a category in which authors popular with Hugo voters still have big advantage over more widely popular authors, but I suppose it is a feature, not a bug.

 

Ran, thanks you for using the term "damnatio memoriae". I never heard it used in this context, and it fits very well.

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I have attended only one Worldcon, Helsinki in 2017. In the Hugo ceremony, Ada Palmer seemed to be proud to win John W, Campbell Award. I had no idea that there was something wrong in the name of the award.

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1 hour ago, Jussi said:

I have attended only one Worldcon, Helsinki in 2017. In the Hugo ceremony, Ada Palmer seemed to be proud to win John W, Campbell Award. I had no idea that there was something wrong in the name of the award.

Lots of people didn't know, or just didn't give it much thought, till Ng drew attention to it. It's also perfectly possible to be simultaneously proud to win an award and be aware that the name is an issue (I'm pretty sure Ng was also pleased to win!). And it's natural for people of colour to be more profoundly offended by the award being named after a racist than white people, though that's no reason for us not to recognise that their objections are well founded and support them.

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8 hours ago, felice said:

The award has a new name

Yes, it has a new name now.

8 hours ago, felice said:

, but it's still the same award, and it's entirely appropriate to refer to past winners and finalists of that award using the current name.

 

The award was the Campbell. Past winners were Campbell Award winners. The plaques they have do not now magically say "Astounding Award". Copies of New Voices do not say "Astounding Award". That is the relevance. It is concrete. It is not just an idea, but was a tangible thing for 45 years under that name.

The idea that the past is irrelevant strikes me as exactly the opposite of the reason for upset, since the whole point of the discussion is that it's very much relevant because if it were truly irrelevant no one would care a damn about what the award is called. And the problem, for me anyways, is that if people show that names of things matter and have relevance, then this extends to the past as well as into the future. It was the Campbell. It is now Astounding.

This whole aspect of the conversation feels Orwellian to me:

Quote

The past was alterable. The past never had been altered. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia.

 

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16 hours ago, Ran said:

...

I think people need to look at the start and see how much focus he gives to newcomers. This is a constant theme with him, in fact, when he does panels on fandom and so on. He wants more people to become part of the fandom. He wants them to become part of a tradition that stretches back to 1939. So he talked about when he was a new fan, and a new writer, and a new editor. Because that connects him to the new people today. Or at least, that was, I think, his intention.

There doubtless is a cultural gulf, but the sense of being new, of being part of something grander than oneself, of meeting your heroes and so on, is something he's experienced and everyone ought to be able to find common ground on.

...

That seems to be part of the problem. His type of personal history and specific tradition is a tiny cornerstone in what makes the community of communities present at worldcon and speculative fiction in general. It is not really relevant enough for most people to spend much time on in a ceremony aimed at the present and future.

The history of people who came in through comics, games, romance, modern sf without ever reading the classics, craft, etc etc is just as valid. And focussing on this specific part of history, the section most associated with privilige and exclusion, isn't the best of form. Could it have been saved by putting it in a larger context? I assume so, but George does not seem the person to be able to do that.

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1 minute ago, Seli said:

The history of people who came in through comics, games, romance, modern sf without ever reading the classics, craft, etc etc is just as valid. And focussing on this specific part of history, the section most associated with privilige and exclusion, isn't the best of form. Could it have been saved by putting it in a larger context? I assume so, but George does not seem the person to be able to do that.

I think that's likely true. I have my suspicions about how future Worldcons will approach things like toastmaster and host selection, and I'm not sure everyone will be happy with the results. It will be interesting to see how things are done forty years from now, if the Worldcon is still a thing.

Edited by Ran

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6 hours ago, felice said:

What's up there?

As far as I know the same problem that plagued the comic/graphic novel award in the beginning (and at a lesser scale all of the awards). It is more focussed on works by people known in the community rather than on the best works available. So young adult/middle grade works by writers known for adult SF as well are nominated over very succesful and just as groundbreaking works by people only writing that type.

(see also the podcast category)

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10 hours ago, felice said:

What's up there?

More of a personal observation than anything else. As was mentioned up thread it's an interesting to me disconnect between authors and books popular with Hugo voters vs the greater YA world who don't participate in the Hugos or Worldcon. I'm not outraged or anything. The one book in the category that I'd actually read was the weakest of the trilogy so I found that as surprising as the rest of the nominees that were completely unfamiliar to me. Looking back at the 2019 nominees, it was more reflective of popular/highly praised books in the greater YA world. I'm curious to see what will happen in this category going forward and if it can 1) begin to lure more YA reading people into the Hugo fold and 2) how that might be reflected in nominations and winners. 

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7 minutes ago, kairparavel said:

I'm curious to see what will happen in this category going forward and if it can 1) begin to lure more YA reading people into the Hugo fold and 2) how that might be reflected in nominations and winners. 

I rather doubt it will happen. Thing is most Hugo voters know and like authors like Nnedi Okorafor, Yoon Ha Lee, Naomi Kritzer etc.  and are likely to read their books, but don't care about more popular YA authors (and often probably didn't even hear of them).

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Oh dear me, I read up on this via Twitter which was/is on FIYAH with smartass remarks and some genuine hurt feelings.

The name pronunciation thing is, for me, the most personally annoying... but forgivable. My real name is common enough in many places but weird/unpronounceable where I actually live. It's been a lifelong struggle to correct people's pronunciation/spelling. I always dread talking to someone when they need to write down my name or remember it for something since it often takes them forever.

It's been so difficult that I actually have a totally different, easier to pronounce, name that I go by IRL if my legal name isn't needed.

I am at peace after reading GRRM's reaction and apology at File770.

... And yes, the names mispronounced were mostly "ethnic" names just like my own. This is what it is like IRL for me. I hope that in the future people can take more care in pronunciation but I honestly don't expect things to change. In my 40-odd years of life only two people IRL have been able to properly pronounce my name after reading it.

P.S. I've been to events where amateurs presented and hosted stuff. It could have been worse!

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I thought A Memory Called Empire was excellent, so really no complaints from me about that winning. The Light Brigade was quality as well, if maybe to a lesser extent. The rest of the slate not so much, in my opinion. However, are we really going to argue that men aren't publishing the same quality of work? A Brightness Long Ago is equal to if not better than every novel nominated. Children of Time and Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky was phenomenal as well.

Edited by bms295
Wow, didn't realize Children of Time was published in 2015. My point still holds true for Children of Ruin though

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57 minutes ago, kairparavel said:

As was mentioned up thread it's an interesting to me disconnect between authors and books popular with Hugo voters vs the greater YA world who don't participate in the Hugos or Worldcon. I'm not outraged or anything. The one book in the category that I'd actually read was the weakest of the trilogy so I found that as surprising as the rest of the nominees that were completely unfamiliar to me. Looking back at the 2019 nominees, it was more reflective of popular/highly praised books in the greater YA world. I'm curious to see what will happen in this category going forward and if it can 1) begin to lure more YA reading people into the Hugo fold and 2) how that might be reflected in nominations and winners. 

Yes, last year the Lodestar nominees were a more main stream bunch than in 2018 and this year.  And the person who won in 2019 was a new author whose book sold phenomenally well and was on all the best seller lists.  And she apparently did not care she won the Lodestar because she made no mention of winning the award anywhere on her social media and she did not respond to any congratulations from some of the bigger name authors who congratulated her on winning on social media.  I compare that to the excitement from the winners of Lodestar in 2018 and this year from whom the award apparently meant something.  I guess I'd be fine with the Lodestar nominees not necessarily reflecting main stream YA - so long as the books are quality - if it means the books get broader exposure than they otherwise would get as a result of the award and if it meant the award would mean something to the people who win.  I hate to see an award wasted on someone who doesn't care about it.

Other somewhat tangential YA/Lodestar/Worldcon thoughts...today on Twitter Samantha Shannon was observing she had missed attending Worldcons in the past because she didn't realize you could just attend as an author, she thought you had to be invited to attend and present as at the book related conventions she was familiar with.  She takes responsibility for not looking into it and realizing otherwise but it could speak to the broader issue of mainstream YA not generally participating in Worldcons, there is a lack of knowledge about it on their part.  I think this comes down to the individual Worldcons.  At Spokane there were a couple of bigger name YA authors but all told me they had specifically been invited by programming to attend as they lived in the area, they would not have ordinarily attended.  But others might not make this outreach.

I thought it was interesting that Veronica Roth attended and participated in Dublin last year.  She is so successful that she has pretty much pulled back from attending a lot of YA related conventions she used to attend in the beginning of her career.  But she was clearly attending Worldcon because she wanted to learn more about the community and authors and the Hugo nominated books.  She has posted about reading the Hugo nominees and broadening her reading of SFF.  Watching her and Patrick Rothfuss on a panel together in Dublin was one of the more interesting panels I attended last year.  So I think there is a benefit to bringing in authors from outside the traditional Worldcon community.

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2 hours ago, bms295 said:

The rest of the slate not so much, in my opinion.

Its the impression I get from a lot of other reviewers, though by no means all. 

Quote

However, are we really going to argue that men aren't publishing the same quality of work?

I've seen some vague motions in that direction, but as we saw upthread it seems more like it's simply men's time in the barrel according to some, whereas in the past it's been suggested as some sort of demographic thing, women publishing more or women being a larger share of the Worldcon population and so on. Actually, in that regard, there's a user on Reddit who has been tracking the demographics of SFF publishing for awhile who culls lists from Tor and the ISFDB to track things. Some interesting details, at least when it comes to the gender distribution across different genres (YA, SF, Fantasy). Basic point is that over the time they've tracked, at least when it comes to novels, men and women are roughly 50-50 in adult SFF (women are very dominant in YA, which skews it).

Quote

A Brightness Long Ago is equal to if not better than every novel nominated.

I certainly put it on my nomination ballot, but for whatever reason Kay has never been a Hugo finalist (though he placed second, behind Melissa Scott, in the Campbell Award [ahead of Carl Sagan(!), Tad Williams, Karen Joy Fowler, and David Zindell]. This despite some high and consistent placements at the Locus Awards over the years, including 2nd place for Ysabel (which won the World Fantasy Award that year) and this year being among the best novel finalists. 

OTOH, that he has never been a Nebula finalist makes me think that the issue is that he simply doesn't network in the same way as most genre writers, and perhaps is seen as straddling too much of the literary side of the genre? Certainly, the WFAs tend to run a little more highbrow. 

Edited by Ran

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Hopefully not a derail, but this reminds me I've never read anything by G.G. Kay, though I've heard many good things and should definitely consider it one day.

So, which Kay book should I read first? (or basically which one is best, and isn't in the middle of some series)

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