Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Newsflash: Hugo Awards Swamped by Crap

This once again boils down to a, "If anyone still cares about the Hugos anymore" story.

Their pathetic list of nominations came out this year. Is anyone surprised that it's all Tor, all the time?

I'll go into detail in a minute, but let's look at one thing in particular.

Six nominees for best editor. See anything missing?

I'll give you a hint: we were all told that This Person would have almost certainly have won the Hugo award for best editor, but she lost because she was a Puppy Pick.

If you said, "Who is Toni Weisskopf, Alex?" you'd be right.

But strangely enough, Toni isn't here. But she's not a Puppy Pick this year. We were all told that she would have *won* if she weren't a Puppy Pick.

Guess what: she wouldn't have even been NOMINATED if she weren't a Puppy Pick.

They lied. Shocking, isn't it?

Yeah, I know it's not a surprise, but I can't convey the depth of my sarcasm without indulging in a dump truck's worth of hyperbole right now.

I mean, where do you want to start?

How about Best series?
The Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)
The Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone (Tor Books)
The Expanse by James S.A. Corey (Orbit US / Orbit UK)
The October Daye Books by Seanan McGuire (DAW / Corsair)
The Peter Grant / Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch (Gollancz / Del Rey / DAW / Subterranean)
The Temeraire series by Naomi Novik (Del Rey / Harper Voyager UK)
Okay. Bujold is good. Novik is ... okay, I guess. I gave up after she rewrote Waterloo.

Everyone else ... should I have heard of these people? I'm almost surprised that they're just this obscure. Then again, I wouldn't have heard of Jemisin without the whole Hugo mess, so I'm not surprised.

But where's Honor Harrington?

Where's Black Tide Rising?

Where's Terry Goodkind?

Where is any of a half dozen other, good, BETTER writers? You know, the people who sell ten times the books than these folks? If these represent all of fandom, shouldn't we be expecting more best sellers on the list? After all, you become a bestseller by selling more books than other people. So ... where are the big names? There are six nominees here, but only two are people I can pick out of a lineup? Really?

But of course, this doesn't represent all of fandom, this just represents an ever shrinking niche that is WorldCon.

Best fan writer is interesting, if only because it's Mike Glyer (770), Jeffro Johnson (Castalia), Chuck Tingle (anarchist), and Foz Meadows, who I'm sure I should know of offhand, but danged if I know who it is. There's also a Natalie Luhrs and Abigail Nussbaum.

But best dramatic presentation, long form .... look at this

  • Arrival -- okay. Sure. I've heard good things.
  • Deadpool -- not surprised
  • Hidden Figures -- Who? What? Huh?
  • Rogue One -- Eh. Okay. It was entertaining.
  • Stranger Things, Season One-- I've also heard good things about this.
  • Ghostbusters, -- AAARRRRGGGHHH. Expect this to win. Because the Hugos

Argh, this is depressing me. Let's see if I can plow through the rest of this without getting an ulcer.

Best Related work: "Geek Feminist"? Really? Ugh. Carrie Fisher's "The Princess Diarist."  "The Women of Harry Potter." There's an Ursula Le Guin project, and a Neil Gaiman. I guess someone decided that "womyn" were the "in" thing this year. (Again, expect crap Ghostbusters to win)

Best Novel .... again, who?

Best Fanzine: Oh, Jeffro and the Castalia blog. Congrats again, man.

And, as someone just pointed out to me: all but one of the John W. Campbell Award nominees are women. What are the odds of that, considering they are "clearly an oppressed and underrepresented member of literary society?"

I guess "womyn" really were on the bullet points this year.

[EDIT.] Keep in mind, this is a list where the most votes went to Best Novel .... with a little over 2,000 votes. Jon del Arroz did a great job of showing just how bad a drop this is. A 44% drop in some cases. This has to hurt revenue.

You can see the whole list here.

But why bother? Go vote in the Dragon Awards.  Here are some suggestions.

If you want books by someone you've never heard of before, 

Here, have some of mine.

Starting with the Love at First Bite series. 



  1. Hidden Figures? Is that about women mathematicians? How is is sci-fi? Unless they're saying the true story is made up...

  2. The expanse was OK and less nihilistic and better balanced than GRR Martin's work, but you still get strong empowered grrrrrls (and martian marines), the gay lesbian couple as major players a few books in, excuses for a thinly veiled PLO, "communism that works" and so forth.

    Goodkind - really liked the Sword of Truth but got really tired after a few books of getting beaten over the head with ideology even if I agreed with it - the book where he carves the statues stands out despite the preaching, as does the followup, but I got tired of it.

    And yeah, the finalists list looks like crap, and no surprise they lied about Toni.

  3. I knew it was gonna be completely rigged - they as much as explicitly said so. So, I didn't even bother nominating and won't bother voting.

  4. Terry Goodkind? Are you kidding? The first three books in his series were okay at best (sans some ridiculous and unecessary explicit stuff). But post-Confessor, have you attempted to read The Omen Machine and beyond? Trainwreck doesn't even begin to describe it. I don't have any particular hatred of Goodkind, but to argue that he should be on the shortlist of anything for best series is absurd.

  5. Before whining you should perhaps read the criteria for the best Series Hugo. Neither Goodkind nor the Honorverse met it.

    And this is from someone who thinks Victor Cascella yelling "I'm a free man" is one of the best scenes in Fantasy, ever.

  6. Actually, the Honorverse was eligible. (See http://file770.com/?p=30940 ). I don't know about Goodkind.

    1. Thank you, sir. I didn't think I was going insane.
      ... Okay, any more insane.

  7. Despite it's one or two shots at prog-service (like fan service, but for left-wing sacred cows) The Librarians fantasy-adventure TV series would be a good pick.

    In other news, if this goes through: much internet browser weirdness. IE won't let me access your site (no scrolling functionality). Brave won't let me comment (I tried logging in via google, wordpress & LJ: nope). Only Firefox worked.

    1. Yeah, the Librarians is off the wall enough for fun.

      I tend to use AOL (yes, I'm old) or Chrome. I've just assumed IE has been broken for the last decade.

  8. "Foz Meadows, who I'm sure I should know of offhand"

    He's currently being sued by Vox for defamation.

    1. Thank you. I knew I've run across the name at least once.
      I should probably research. Considering that Vox didn't have Clamps put away in jail, or a booby hatch, I have to figure that Foz did something to really piss him off.

    2. *she.

      And Beale isn't suing anyone, much less Foz Meadows.

  9. So we'll be back to the award being decided by about 200 people, if that. But hey, TOR's happy, they'll sweep the awards. I suspect we'll hear something about 'The Year of the Women' or something like that (even though Charlie is just a guy in drag) as almost all the nominee's are women and I suspect all of the winners will be women.

    1. Yes, but given how Tor has to drop authors, will they be able to really afford all of this?

    2. Also, no bet about all women winning

    3. Considering that the least nominated category had over 500 nominations, I think your math is off.

    4. Richard PaolinelliApril 5, 2017 at 12:22 AM

      Hey Obvious, what department do you work in at Tor? Just asking. For a friend.

    5. ... did you think that my pointing out J Van's lack of math skills required a job in publishing?

    6. Obvious, you're the one with a complete lack of math skills. As well as English skills.

      First off I said 'We'll be back to' not 'we are back to'. Future tense, not present tense.

      Second, of the people who voted, how many do you think will be attending the convention? How many of the ones voting are doing so because they were members last year? You know, the year where a number of authors bought a couple of hundred memberships to give to their friends and 'like minded people' so they could stack the vote? Oh wait, I wasn't supposed to comment on that, because it's okay when your side breaks the rules.

      Historically, the voting at the convention is less than the nominating votes. If they're not back to the low numbers they historically have gotten prior to the whole SP thing this year, I'm sure they will be next year.

      Oh, and just what do you do at TOR? Inquiring minds want to know. :-)

    7. I guarantee you that more than 200 people will be voting in the Hugos. Your math is stupid and hedging it towards the future doesn't change that.

      You weren't supposed to comment on that because "a number of authors bought a couple of hundred memberships" isn't a thing that happened.

      I noticed you've moved the goalposts from "200 hundred people" to "numbers they historically have gotten".

      Eventually, y'all will learn how to rely on facts and not feelings of persecution. HOpefully.

    8. Okay, points by order:

      1. I didn't say less than 200 people would be voting, I said that the results would be determined by less than 200 people. Which, except for the 'puppy' years has been historically true. The winner usually got less than 200 votes to win.

      2. It did happen. Everyone knows it happened, they were advertising about it! Where were you? In a cave? Or back in the mental institute under going more therapy?

      3. Didn't move them at all, as I said above, historically the numbers of votes are small. Without the 'Puppy' voters who increased voting to levels not seen before in decades, if ever, it will go back to being decided by a small minority.
      Who all work for TOR.

      Well, thank you for playing, please see the girl on the way out to pick up a copy of the board game! We're sorry that you didn't win anything, but then, you never do.

      Ta ta!

  10. Awww... Are you feewings hurt by these mean mean people?

    Start yourself a hashtag, snowflake

  11. I totally get where you are coming from. I felt the same kind of crushing disappointment when the Oscars blackballed my favorite movies from last year. They didn't nominate "God is Dead?" or its brilliant sequel. None of the Atlas Shrugged movies got nominated. Not even the new adaptation of "Left Behind" was nominated for Best Picture! I really thought one of those movies where a baby dies, meets Jesus, and then is brought back to life would have at least earned Actor or Actress nominations for the baby actors. As Jon Del Arroz says, these fine movies were BLACKBALLED!

  12. You should post a list of books she edited so they can be nominated for other awards. List her work this year and we can all nominate her for next year's Hugo.

  13. Honor Harrington used to be pretty good, but IMO it went downhill after Honor became Mary Sue, and the infodumps got longer and longer. If you could separate out the earlier books and nominate them as a series, that would be better. Temeraire is good in a lot of ways, but I have issues with Novik's worldbuilding.

    1. Having met David Weber, I would hardly call Honor Harrington 'Mary Sue'.

    2. Technomad: While I wouldn't call her a Mary Sue, I will concur that the books have gone down hill. It felt like the last few books have been spinning their wheels. We've covered the massive strike on Manticore from three points of view already? I feel like the last five books could have been three. Perhaps less.

      The overall series though? I think it could easily take best series in a straight fight. If we cut out every series because it had a few weak entries, we'd probably never get anything nominated. Except Jim Butcher.


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