Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Wrong Kind of Laugh: Hugos as Joke

It has come to my attention that we of the Sad Puppies are taking the “True Fan” Puppy Kickers, far, far too seriously. Once, I joked that I was the Sad Puppy comedy corner with my Sad Puppies Bite Back series, Tom Knighton pointed out to methat I fit right in. After all, the spokes-critter was a Manatee for God's sake – all the Tweets were some variety of “Hooonnn.”

And for all that, we're still taking them too seriously.

I've seen multiple reactions to the Hugo awards ceremony. Tom Kratman said, “Yes!” Larry shrugged and said “I told you so.” Ringo said “So glad to have all my previous statements about the Hugos proven right. There is no point to tilting a diseased windmill.” Vox Day was happy to get five No Awards. Tom Kratman wanted even more. Cedar Sanderson makes me wonder if she's joining WitSec.

One reaction I have not seen was laughter.

Sure, they threw insults at us. But I've been a fat, nerdy, Conservative Catholic New Yorker for years, if I let insults bother me, I'd have slit my wrists already.

But let's look at this – They had a Dalek come out to present the award for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short form), and a Dalek announces that it was a fan of John Scalzi, Puppy Kicker -in Chief…

Could I have a show of hands? How many people would want their spokes-critter to be a genocidal alien Space Nazi? 

This is like atheists getting a personal endorsement by Satan. This is Planned Parenthood getting a quote from Moloch. I'd really rather not get an endorsement by Adolf Hitler, thank you.

These “True Fans” thought it was a *good idea* to get an endorsement from one of the most famously evil creatures in science fiction. Hell, if they had said “Vox Day,” that would have at least fit the theme they had going of Vox as Supreme Dark Lord. Since Daleks run on hate, it would have fit Larry's joke of being the International Lord thereof.

But no, they picked a Dalek for a fan. Nice going, “True Fans.” Do you idiots even watch Doctor Who? Or did you figure that it was nominated every year, then google it to find the first thing that came up?

But these are "True Fans" ... and if they were any more tone deaf, they would be unable to tell the difference between Mozart and banging garbage can lids together.

There was also a comedy skit where overweight women dressed in Star Trek outfits stopped “Death” from stealing the Hugos … and somehow, not a single redshirt dies? How is this even funny? Given what we've come to expect from redshirts, how is this even possible?

But, no, Scalzi wrote a book called redshirts, so this is the heroic Scalzi saving the Hugos from the evil Vox Day ... this is just badly done Soviet Propaganda at this point.

This feels like growing up in grammar school, back when being a science fiction fan was anathema . Bullies would make jokes about fandom, but since they didn't know anything about fandom, the jokes made no sense whatsoever. Sure, the bullies thought it was hilarious, the targets of the jokes wondered what the hell they were talking about.

As the night went on, it just became more and more farcical. The best “fan” author, named Mixon, went up and then, before God, man, and everyone, thanked Tor editor Patrick Hayden for all his help.

Funny, when half the internet suggests that something screwy is going on with the Haydens, and their relationship to the Hugos, the last thing I'd want is the winner for best fan writer thanking the professional editor (adjusted for values of professional) for all his help. This in no way smells of bias.

Pardon me if I start banging my head against a wall. After a while, I might even come to enjoy it.

This was before said fan writer shouted “black lives matter!” like some hysterical harpy from hell. Politicizing the Hugos? No, not at all.

Honestly, don't you just love it when the “True Fans” spend all this time boasting about how wonderfully neutral they are, and then double down on the psycho-leftist front?

Imagine any outsiders looking at the Hugos. Imagine a relatively neutral party, who only tuned into the Hugos because he wanted to see if Kevin J. Anderson or Jim Butcher won. First, this person would have scratched their head as s/he wondered why it took over an hour to give out two awards. Then, this person would have seen a collection of mummies on parade and an audience who applauded the fact that no awards were given in five major categories – and then wonder who John C. Wright was that he was screwed out of a Hugo when he had 3 out of the 5 nominations.

And after all that, for every boast by George RR Martin made about how the Hugo voters have always meant well, and have integrity, and for every impression he gave off as trying to be the reasonable one, Martin is the one who gave out personal awards to people he thought should have won. Which means he was in on it before hand – otherwise, how did he know what awards to give out to who? Or do we really think he was going to do this regardless of any Hugo win, loss or no award?

This is a joke. From start to finish, the Hugos was an overwritten (it went overtime), poorly run farce. Even when I didn't agree with Jon Stewart, I could at least intellectually understand how his jokes could be funny if I worked at it hard enough. But this? I would say all of these jokes were lauded with applause given by brain damaged seals, but I'm afraid of offending brain damaged seals.

I watched the Hugos with a friend of mine, side-by-side with a Webinar presented by Vox Day. We had been expecting Darth Vader, and instead got Super Nerd, who my friend described as cuddly – yes, cuddly. Vox came off as reasonable and intelligent, and well spoken, and the “True Fans” came off as the CHORFs they are.

Once upon a time, a script doctor was called in to work on a play. He removed part of a scene, and was told “You can't remove that line! It gets a laugh every night.”

The script doctor answered: “Yes, but it's the wrong kind of laugh.”

I've been laughing at the Hugo awards since Saturday night. But trust me, from the CHORF point of view, it's definitely the wrong kind of laugh.


  1. Couldn't agree more. The Hugos have been a sci-fi joke to rival the film version of Battlefield Earth since Patrick Nielsen Hayden conspired to create his own personal award category.

    Still, it's hard not to sympathize with folks who grew up venerating the Hugos as the pinnacle of SFF achievement. Disillusionment is rough, but in the long run casting off illusions is always worth the cost.

    Besides, Hugo infatuation seems most prevalent among traditionally published authors of the Baby Boomer to early Gen X demographics. The current crop of indie only authors and fans with no living memory of Big 5 SF novels that aren't mostly garbage tend not to even know about the Hugos, or if they do, they don't care.

    The demise of NY publishing was always going to make the Hugos irrelevant. The CHORFs just hastened the end by a few years.

  2. There's plenty of laughter, though much is off-screen.

  3. I have spent since the awards ended laughing.

    How can it be anything but funny?

    Cheering at five no awards? Who cheers at not getting awards. Not to mention admitting that would not have happened if Vox Day - never heard of the guy, he does not sound important - had not had the wrong politics. And then proving that by handing out awards anyway.

    This coming from GRRM no less,.

    The Awards ceremony sounds amazingly terrible. I must watch it.

    Endorsed by a Dalek...the idiots.

    Thank you for this post.



  4. One thing that stuck out to me at the Hugos was Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form did not bother to send anyone to accept the award indicating they did not place much value on it?


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