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Hugo Nominations and Awards - Onwards to 2020

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13 hours ago, Ran said:

I think it may take a little while for the full post-Puppy thing to shake out. But it may be that the Hugos are set to favor female voices for the forseeable future, if that's what the voting body skews towards. We'll have to wait and see.

Honestly, my reading is this: the Puppy fiasco resulted in a tendency to amplify minority and women writers' voices, that has persisted even after the Puppy fiasco because in the main those writers are doing work that is actually really good

I mean, I see a lot of furrowed brows over the lack of white male writers on the list, but few specific examples being given of works from white male writers that have been unjustly omitted. 

You also have to factor in that some of the white male writers that tend to get Hugo nods have either not published much this year, or what they have published has not had much critical acclaim. 

And, yeah, that longlist will show a few more white guys. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, mormont said:

Honestly, my reading is this: the Puppy fiasco resulted in a tendency to amplify minority and women writers' voices, that has persisted even after the Puppy fiasco because in the main those writers are doing work that is actually really good

If you looked at the Hugo short list as your sole gauge of what's good, you would think men have seriously under-performed for three years running. If you looked at the Locus awards or the Nebulas, you would get a very different picture.

This is just a factual thing. There is a real disparity between the Hugos on one side and the Locus and Nebulas on the other, despite there being some substantial cross-over in the voting bodies. In the three years prior to the Puppies, the awards were having some real parity between men and women. The puppies pissed all over that, and the end result seems to be that the disparity has -- for now -- swung entirely the other way.

Quote

I mean, I see a lot of furrowed brows over the lack of white male writers on the list, but few specific examples being given of works from white male writers that have been unjustly omitted. 

I didn't care for the focus being on "white male writers", since expanding it just to  "male authors" hardly  budges the number given that that just adds P. Djèlí Clark and Yoon Ha Lee to the tally. It's a female vs. male thing, not a white male vs. everyone else thing.


Referring to the Locus Awards recommended reading list or the Nebula Awards nominees announced in February provides some more examples of male authors who did work that genre experts and professionals thought worthwhile. Looking at those same awards over the last two years also feature a number of male writers who seem to not be well-regarded enough by the WSFS to make the short list in the last three years.


ETA: And speaking of the Locus, the 2019 poll is now open. Don't forget to write in Circe in the Fantasy section and The Invasion in YA! And vote Fire and Blood in.... Best Collection!(???)

Edited by Ran

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Posted (edited)

Bestselling books marketed as mainstream, like Circe, traditionally didn't do well in Hugo contest  and it apparently didn't change.  I wonder if Marlon James and Margaret Atwood will have more luck next year. James seems likely to make my list, but it is still very early, so it is hard to say.  The same goes for Rejoice which I nominated. It is a book by bestselling fantay author and probabły flew below the radar of most voters.

Edited by Bastard of Godsgrace

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Bastard of Godsgrace said:

Bestselling books marketed as mainstream, like Circe, traditionally didn't do well in Hugo contest  and it apparently didn't change. 

True. Chabon managed just fine, though, and Susanna Clarke, so ... I don't know. (I did not realize what a mainstream push it got, BTW, until I checked the Amazon listing today and it listed a looooong list of publications that have named it one of their books of the year.)

It may be another sign of a more insular shift of the Hugo voting body, similar to the prevalence of self-regarding works being nominees.

Edited by Ran

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2 hours ago, mormont said:

Honestly, my reading is this: the Puppy fiasco resulted in a tendency to amplify minority and women writers' voices, that has persisted even after the Puppy fiasco because in the main those writers are doing work that is actually really good.

I totally agree that there are a lot of really good works being published by female writers these days (I am leaving the race part aside, since on second thought it was probably a mistake to bringing it up, as Ran said), that's the majority of my reading and I can't keep up with all the stuff I want to read at all. But there is also a lot of really good works by men too. It doesn't seem likely that the Hugos ignoring the latter is only a coincidence. And it's not like the nomination list consists only of widely acknowledged masterpieces and/or extremely popular works. 

Quote

I mean, I see a lot of furrowed brows over the lack of white male writers on the list, but few specific examples being given of works from white male writers that have been unjustly omitted. 

 

Here is one example"

https://www.tor.com/2018/06/06/meat-and-salt-and-sparks-rich-larson/

Easily the best short story of the year for my money. IIRC it will appear in all the "Best of the Year" anthologies too.  Rich Larsen, Robert Reed, Greg Egan, K. J. Parker, to name a few short fiction writers off the top of my head, also continue to produce top quality work, usually published in the top markets, but are ignored by the Hugos lately.

And yeah, Circe, not being nominated is a shame.

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I enjoyed Circe but in it was a pleasant read sort of way, not nominate it for a Hugo way.  So I didn't nominate it.  Perhaps others felt the same about it?

As for mainstream...that does not seem to be an obstacle to the Lodestar nomination this year.  In contrast to last year's Lodestar nominations, I felt this years were pretty mainstream with a number of NYT best sellers and pretty available everywhere in bookstores.

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58 minutes ago, Ran said:

If you looked at the Hugo short list as your sole gauge of what's good, you would think men have seriously under-performed for three years running. If you looked at the Locus awards or the Nebulas, you would get a very different picture.

Hmm... not that different, I think. Naomi Novik, Rebecca Roanhorse, P. Djeli Clark, Aliette de Bodard, Martha Wells, Brooke Bolander, Tina Connolly, Alix Harrow, all appear on both Nebula and Hugo lists this year. 

So if we use both lists as a gauge of what's good, we see seven female writers who overlap. Could it be that female writers are, in fact, just performing very well right now? (I don't like to think of it in terms of men 'under-performing' because a, writers can be performing very well indeed and still not get an awards nomination and b, it implies that if men were performing as expected they'd naturally push out female writers). 

58 minutes ago, Ran said:

I didn't care for the focus being on "white male writers", since expanding it just to  "male authors" hardly  budges the number given that that just adds P. Djèlí Clark and Yoon Ha Lee to the tally. It's a female vs. male thing, not a white male vs. everyone else thing.

Fair, but I do think it's important, because I think the underlying story is of readers looking for fresh perspectives, and Clark and Lee provide that. 

58 minutes ago, Ran said:

Referring to the Locus Awards recommended reading list or the Nebula Awards nominees announced in February provides some more examples of male authors who did work that genre experts and professionals thought worthwhile.

Not in novel, really: there's only one male writer on the novel list for the Nebulas. In the shorter fiction, perhaps, but shorter fiction nominations tend to have more variability due to the combination of lots of short fiction being published and less interest in nominating.

The most plausible story, to me, is that a combination of the Puppies' shenanigans and other factors is simply drawing attention to excellent female (and black and trans and gay and disabled) writers who've tended to be overlooked before, and the current trend should be seen as a re-balancing, a generating of interest in what these writers have to offer. I'm sure there are male writers who could have been on that list and not looked out of place: but that doesn't mean the current nominees are undeserving, or that there's anything wrong with the list as it stands. 

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First, I'll withdraw my pulling the Nebulas into this. They have a borderline trend in common with the Hugos, it's just less stark (partially because of fewer categories, so the numbers are smaller).

In any case, I am not talking about common names that appear in both. Both the Locus and the Hugos have a lot of commonalities in female names, and when the Hugos have a male name the Locus awards almost inevitably have that male name as well. But there are a lot of male names who do _not_ appear in the Hugos that do appear on the Locus. I'm not talking about specific categories. I'm talking about all the fiction categories, all authors, and how the gender balance in the Hugos is heavily skewed towards women while they have been more even in the others. The differences between the Locus vs. the Hugos post-EPH/death-of-puppies are stark in terms of gender balance. 

2017:

Hugos: 18 women, 5 men (8 if you include the Puppies who placed below No Award) (Long lists: 61 women, 35 men)
Locus: 40 women, 40 men

2018:

Hugos: 29 women, 6 men (long list is tougher to figure because they only gave titles, not authors)
Locus: 46 women, 34 men

2019: 

Hugos: 35 women, 7 men

Locus: TBD
 

It seems to me the Locus Awards are presently better at highlighting male and female voices. The Hugos are better at highlighting female voices, at least for now. Since the WSFS votes, it's the WSFS that decides if this is what they want. 

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19 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

I dunno, I'm kind of with Wert on this one. Can;t think of many books of the type that get nominated for the Hugo that have been written by dudes. Rejoice is the only one that I can even think of of the top of my head. Now, the Gemmell awards, that would be different.

Keeping in mind the pendant for current voters for engagement: Looking at the Locus recommended reading list the one title that could be added is Blackfish City by Sam Miller,. Goodreads Reader's Choice adds Rosewater by Tade Thompson, but I am not sure how eligibility works out for that one.

 

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Thanks for all the congratulations, folks. I am absolutely over the moon on this one. I'll bow out of this now, but I hope to see some of you in Dublin.

:cheers:

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1 hour ago, Ran said:

First, I'll withdraw my pulling the Nebulas into this. They have a borderline trend in common with the Hugos, it's just less stark (partially because of fewer categories, so the numbers are smaller).

Yeah, but I feel that for different reasons the Locus isn't a great comparison either: it's a bit apples and oranges, even if we look at the Hugo longlist.

1 hour ago, Ran said:

It seems to me the Locus Awards are presently better at highlighting male and female voices. The Hugos are better at highlighting female voices, at least for now. Since the WSFS votes, it's the WSFS that decides if this is what they want. 

I feel that walking into any bookstore and looking at the SFF shelves, female voices still need quite a bit of highlighting.

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44 minutes ago, mormont said:

I feel that walking into any bookstore and looking at the SFF shelves, female voices still need quite a bit of highlighting.

Which could be enough to explain the Hugo imbalance on its own. If male authors are still disproportionately published/promoted/reviewed, then readers who actively seek out a more balanced selection are more likely to read the same works by non-male authors, which is  big advantage in the nomination stage, as votes aren't split as much.

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, felice said:

Which could be enough to explain the Hugo imbalance on its own. If male authors are still disproportionately published/promoted/reviewed, then readers who actively seek out a more balanced selection are more likely to read the same works by non-male authors, which is  big advantage in the nomination stage, as votes aren't split as much.

This sounds like an interesting factor to consider, yeah, that the fewer choices are leading to what comes off as an over-compensation simply because it concentrates votes. I'm not strictly sure this is right, especially in the short fiction category, but it must be some kind of factor.

24 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

I may be wading into a shitstorm here but I thought Yoon Ha Lee identified as female:

He identifies as male.

Edited by Ran

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1 minute ago, Ran said:

This sounds like an interesting factor to consider, yeah, that the fewer choices are leading to what comes off as an over-compensation simply because it concentrates votes. I'm not strictly sure this is right, especially in the short fiction category, but it must be some kind of factor.

He identifies as male.

Wow, I got that backwards. Bad brain! Bad!

 

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Currently reading Infomocracy, since I'm familiar with enough of the Series finalists to fairly evaluate the category this year. Took a while to get into; while the worldbuilding was interesting, it wasn't initially clear why I should care about the characters or their affiliations. The present tense prose probably didn't help. But I'm finding it quite compelling now.

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Have they said when the voter packet will be available?

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5 hours ago, Maltaran said:

Have they said when the voter packet will be available?

I haven't seen anything yet.  But looking at when the packets have been released for the past few years it seems it can be from mid-May to mid-June.  Since 2014, we've got May 30th, May 18th, June 14th, May 17th, and May 29th.

In the meantime, a handy reference for the things like short stories that are currently available for free online: 

http://file770.com/where-to-find-the-2019-hugo-award-finalists-for-free-online/

 

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19 hours ago, Maltaran said:

Have they said when the voter packet will be available?

The last date for anybody contributing material to the packet was only a few days ago, so I'm sure it will take them a while to get organized. Also, good info there from Lady N. :thumbsup:

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