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LugaJetboyGirl

Hugo Nominations & Awards: 2021 and Onward

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Posted (edited)

Let's continue our discussion of the Hugos and other Worldcon Awards.

@Lily Valley I recommend starting with A Deadly Education, then Cemetery Boys and Legendborn.

I'll have to give Elatsoe another try because it was a DNF for me, and the others have been on hold at the library for weeks.

 

ETA: this is a continuation of the previous thread found here

Edited by LugaJetboyGirl

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Copied from the other thread: 

@Lily Valley thread is already closed but I'm going to respond anyway because I enjoy recklessly wielding mod power. My recs to read from the list (from what I remember of your tastes, so please forgive if I fuck up something): 

Harrow the Ninth -- but for the love of god read Gideon the Ninth first because you'll be lost otherwise. anyway, mega-queer sword lesbians and the necromancers they love/hate. the second book is mindfuck territory, which means people have either loved or hated it.
Network Effect(?) -- I haven't read it but from the other Martha Wells work I've read I think this might be up your alley?
Upright Women Wanted -- same author and vibe as River of Teeth. Come along, hoppers!

Also recommended but not sure if it's your cup of tea:
Cemetery Boys -- It's trans and queer and wholesome as hell
Ring Shout -- a horror-laden take on Jim Crow-era injustice (written by a Black man, so it's not cringe)
Finna -- It's IKEA but full of interdimensional wormholes
The City We Became -- LOL fuck Staten Island

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Mike Glyer forwarded the question regarding the BRW featuring a work that seemed to violate the Code of Conduct (and make the WSFS complicit in it) to the concom. His write up, including a quote from me regarding the ridiculousness of the situation, is here. Their response at present is that Code of Conduct violations are not discussed in public and are dealt with internally. I do not fault them on that, as such things need proper time and consideration. But if weeks wear on with no apparent word or action from them, it will seem like they are willing to be forced to violate the Code of Conduct.

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Out of curiosity how many ‘nominations’ do you need to get nominated? I believe @williamjm put me forward as best new writer last year for Resurrection Men, but obviously 1 vote isn’t enough to get on the list.

 

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16 minutes ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

Out of curiosity how many ‘nominations’ do you need to get nominated? I believe @williamjm put me forward as best new writer last year for Resurrection Men, but obviously 1 vote isn’t enough to get on the list.

 

It depends on category. The range of number of nominations in Best Novel was 309 for the work with the most nominations and 132 for the work with the least.

In the Fan Artist category, the least had just 10 nominations. In Best Related Work, the least had just 31.

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2 hours ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

Out of curiosity how many ‘nominations’ do you need to get nominated? I believe @williamjm put me forward as best new writer last year for Resurrection Men, but obviously 1 vote isn’t enough to get on the list.

 

The full dataset of final voting and initial nominations is published after the awards each year.  For example, here is the 2020 data (PDF link).

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Ran said:

Mike Glyer forwarded the question regarding the BRW featuring a work that seemed to violate the Code of Conduct (and make the WSFS complicit in it) to the concom. His write up, including a quote from me regarding the ridiculousness of the situation, is here. Their response at present is that Code of Conduct violations are not discussed in public and are dealt with internally. I do not fault them on that, as such things need proper time and consideration. But if weeks wear on with no apparent word or action from them, it will seem like they are willing to be forced to violate the Code of Conduct.

I hope the Con organizing committee does the right thing and applies the rules set of its own Code of Conduct, but after looking at the ridiculous mental gymnastics on display in the File770 comment thread where a bunch of people are basically arguing that GRRM doesn't deserve to be protected by the Code of Conduct because he is a rich white guy and Luhrs was "punching up" and that even arguing for applying the Code of Conduct in this case is "a disgusting weaponisation of the CoC" since apparently it is only "designed to protect members of marginalised and disadvantaged communities from the actions of primarily wealthy white american men" and not vice versa, I highly doubt they will.

Edited by David Selig

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Posted (edited)

First, anyone who assumes that other people are arguing in bad faith with no evidence other than "I disagree with them" needs to think as to whether his response would change if he believed that other people were in fact arguing in good faith. If he believes he'd make the same argument, then why baselessly claim it is bad faith? If he realizes that he would not make the same argument, then maybe he needs to rethink his position.

Secondly, he is wrong about the Code of Conduct being only about attendance at the convention:

Quote

Reporting

Before the convention: You can report harassment or other CoC violations by email to [email protected] This address will be continuously monitored by our Listener Team both prior to, and for the duration of, DisCon III.

Emphasis mine. How can CoC violations be reported before the convention if the CoC only covers the event? Sanford is factually wrong. Would he like to be only about the convention itself? And yet I know of a number of cases where people were quite properly reported for CoC violation and barred from the convention in advance (Jon Del Arroz, for one, a decision that IIRC Sanford covered or commented and seemed to approve of then). 

Discon III has already published a livestream and a press release that feature this work telling GRRM to fuck off. The CoC has already been violated, near as I can tell:

Quote

Comments directly intended to belittle, offend, or cause discomfort including telling others they are not welcome and should leave

So a Discon III staff member or volunteer presenter has directly repeated in an official media broadcast a title whose intent is to offend or cause discomfort specifically by telling GRRM he is not welcome. That is absolutely something that seems like a violation of the Code, and it's a violation being perpetuated by the con itself. They need to figure out whether they're okay with that, or whether they need to take steps to mitigate it by, for example, not using that title.

ETA: His remarks about the CoC are worse than I realized, as Discon III's CoC group already revoked the membership and banned someone for harrassing Sanford back in February. He absolutely knows it's not only about how you act at the convention, so why did he say it? Or is it that it should only be about how you act at the convention, unless it bothers him, then it applies before?

I really liked his reporting on the Baen's Bar mess, and the harrassment he received is deplorable, but his partisanship in this matter is making him out to be a hypocrite.

Edited by Ran

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6 minutes ago, Mr Gordo said:

That is interesting, I'm not familiar with the whole Code of Conduct, that seems like layer type stuff to me. Is the main issue people have with the title? Cause I can see that.

I think it's certainly a big part of it, because it's such an in-your-face thing that literally has the convention itself publishing and having staff and presenters and such repeat the words in various official contexts.

I have quibbles with the fact that the actual text repeats the sentiment, and in general I have a problem with how much navel-gazing is going on in the Best Related Works category over the last few years, but the title being repeated over and over at an event where GRRM is a member is just cruel. 

He made his mistakes and made his apologies. Much criticism he and  ConZealand received was and remains perfectly sound. But mak

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38 minutes ago, Mr Gordo said:

Yeah that seems reasonable and sane. Poor man will probably be attacked for the next month for it. :(

So, somewhat tangentially related since she is up for the Astounding, Lindesy Ellis is, christ I dunno how to describe it. Lot's and lot's of twitter/youtube drama over "things". I have no opinion on what's going on either way as I'm not aware of what happened or what's going down since so much stuff keeps getting removed/deleted but my SFF twitter is full of it right now and it's fascinating to watch from the outside. Kind of how non Star Wars fans must have felt on social media when The Last Jedi came out. I'm raving a bit, I need some soda.

I don't have Twitter. What is going with her?

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Crying cancel culture rather than just fessing up to a bad take and apologising, which is certainly what her movie length video is intended to look like it's doing - I'm not interested to watch it in order to find out, is the text book move of people with more social status and clout attempting to shut down criticism from a lower status group. It should have been extremely obvious this would be the result, but stirring shit to get trending may well be the point for all I know.

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Some real "the beatings will continue until morale improves" stuff goes on on Twitter. 

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On 4/14/2021 at 10:20 PM, Mr Gordo said:

Jesus I just laughed so hard at this soda came out my nose. 

I mean, full disclosure I say "LOL fuck Staten Island" at least once every day, but that's because my friend lives there and they're usually complaining about it, too. :lol:

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Lindsay Ellis's video is very good, actually, and I definitely approve of the message that a lot of people who show up for Twitter dogpiles of individuals are doing it for reasons of entertainment and/or making them feel like they're "doing" something about racism/sexism/inequality etc. because it's a lot easier to harangue some Twitter person than it is to actually go out and do something like volunteer to register voters or build houses or whatever.

Though she doesn't use the term ,"horseshoe theory" fits some of what is going on in her particular case. A bunch of 4chan rightwing Internet trolls who were the first to target her surfaced things from years go, some of which she had already made apologies for, and now the very online left are taking that grab-bag of old takes and videos and whatever and basically just doing the same thing.

There is a pretty dark part after the halfway mark (which she provides warning about before she gets into it) that made me feel a mixture of anger and sadness that anyone would feel like they'd have to lay their soul bare like that to try and give context to people who genuinely don't deserve it.

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I have read this thread as an almost complete outsider -- I have never attended a WorldCon. After reading about the "puppies" controversy on this board back when it occurred I joined the organization for that one year to vote against them, but that was a one-time thing.

But I must say that as an outsider I am mystified by the nominations for "best related work". Whether or not the "Pretty Terrible" article by Luhrs violates the convention's rules, it seems to be a post by someone on their personal blog about one event at last year's convention. Two of the other nominees seem to be online conventions themselves, and a fourth nominee is a YouTube video about still another fan convention. 

Along with the above you have a translation of Beowulf and a critical study of Octavia Butler's works. Talk about apples and oranges!! The fact that those sorts of things are in the same category is just boggling my mind. I don't see how conventions themselves or works about conventions in any medium are the same thing as those two books. To me it's actually insulting to Maria Dahvana Headley and Lynell George to have their books included in a category with the other four things. There should be a separate category for "works about fandom" if the Hugos want to honor things like Luhrs' blogpost and other conventions. "Best related work" should be for the sorts of things the Locus Awards call "best nonfiction" -- works of literary criticism, biography, or history that illuminate one's understanding of some aspect of speculative fiction. It somehow makes me take the entire Hugos way less seriously as awards at all to see that the navel-gazing fandom stuff is in the same category. 

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Posted (edited)

@Ormond

The Hugo Awards are the wild, wild west of literary awards. Here is the WSFS Constitution's description as to what qualifies:

Quote

3.3.6: Best Related Work. Any work related to the field of science fiction, fantasy, or fandom, appearing for the first time during the previous calendar year or which has been substantially modified  during the previous calendar year, and which is either non-fiction or, if fictional, is noteworthy primarily for aspects other than the fictional text, and which is not eligible in any other category. 

This is very, very broad. The history of the awards shows that for many years winners were things like the Science Fiction Encyclopedia, Sagan's Cosmos, King's discussion of horror in various forms of media Danse Macabre, biographies of authors, accounts of fandom history, essay and review collections, and even art books for awhile.

But now it seems like it has changed. The first organization ever nominated went on to win in 2019, and two years later two organizations have been nominated. It's an odd direction for it to go and I'm not sure what solution there is besides splitting it up as you suggest and trying to leave space for actual books. 

Edited by Ran

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It's not so odd when one recalls that the WSFS is a society of nerds and we nerds love a loophole.

'Hey, technically you could nominate almost anything in this category... hmm...'

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Best Related Work has been the lowest or one of the lowest-nominated and voted categories for donkey's years. Blog entries and essays have perked it up because they can be read in half an hour or less, whilst a 300-page biography of a major SFF figure or a book-long analysis of fandom might be too much to read (especially if the voter is also reading a dozen novels between Best Novel and Lodestar, plus novellas and short stories, maybe more if they want to vote on Best Series etc). There's been a lot of complaints about that, such as the thrust of Jeanette Ng's speech being similar to the book Astounding that came out a couple of years earlier which went into a lot more detail exactly why Campbell was a racist arsehole. But you could read that speech in five minutes or watch it on YouTube in a lot less, rather than reading a pretty big book on the same issue.

That said, you could also argue this is a good thing: Jeanette Ng's speech was a short and accessible encapsulation of things people had already said in greater detail elsewhere, and it led to a change in SFF fandom, so why not give it an award? Kameron Hurley's "We Have Always Fought" also summarised an argument that could have been made at much greater length into a shorter and more accessible format.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Werthead said:

Best Related Work has been the lowest or one of the lowest-nominated and voted categories for donkey's years. Blog entries and essays have perked it up because they can be read in half an hour or less, whilst a 300-page biography of a major SFF figure or a book-long analysis of fandom might be too much to read (especially if the voter is also reading a dozen novels between Best Novel and Lodestar, plus novellas and short stories, maybe more if they want to vote on Best Series etc). There's been a lot of complaints about that, such as the thrust of Jeanette Ng's speech being similar to the book Astounding that came out a couple of years earlier which went into a lot more detail exactly why Campbell was a racist arsehole. But you could read that speech in five minutes or watch it on YouTube in a lot less, rather than reading a pretty big book on the same issue.

That said, you could also argue this is a good thing: Jeanette Ng's speech was a short and accessible encapsulation of things people had already said in greater detail elsewhere, and it led to a change in SFF fandom, so why not give it an award? Kameron Hurley's "We Have Always Fought" also summarised an argument that could have been made at much greater length into a shorter and more accessible format.

I have no problem with the Hugos giving speeches or blog posts or other conventions awards. I just don't think they should be competing with books like Beowulf or The World of Octavia Butler. It's like if the Oscars had best full length script, best song, and best catering on a movie set all in the same category. :)

Edited by Ormond

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