The 2015 Hugo Award nominees were announced yesterday, and the list of nominees is reportedly rife with controversy.
I wouldn’t know. I look at the list of finalists for Best Novel, do a quick mental check to see if I’ve read any of them, and then generally move on with my Internet browsing. The list of finalists is controversial supposedly because lists were published encouraging voters who to nominate, not based so much on the merits of the work, but on the political leanings (or lack of political leanings) of the finalists.
Some have criticized the Hugo Awards for being manipulated by so-called Social Justice Warriors (SJWs), people who believe white men have too much clout and power at the cost of non-white, non-men. SJW’s try to even the playing field by promoting, usually on Twitter and Tumblr, less deserving women and minorities over more deserving white men.
Or maybe the women and minorities are more deserving than the white men, but the white men are getting ahead because their whiteness or maleness is just too overpowering, like too much Old Spice slapped on by an octogenarian with a head-cold.
The main list of recommended nominees was Sad Puppies 3, published by writer Brad R. Torgersen. Many of the finalists on the Sad Puppies 3 slate made the final cut and are now in the running to be winners of the 2015 Hugo Award.
The Hugo awards are weird. Though they said to be the most “prestigious” award in the world of science fiction, fantasy, or speculative fiction. The cold hard fact of the matter is anyone willing to fork over $40 for a membership to Worldcon, can nominate finalists and vote for the Hugo Awards.
Anyone means anyone. Technically, you don’t even have to be a fan of the genre. If you have $40, your opinion is just as important as anyone else who is voting for the Hugo Awards.
What this “controversy” really does is illustrate just how meaningless and stupid the Hugo Awards are. If you have an extra forty bucks and you’re willing to spend it for the privilege of voting, your say is just as important as anyone’s.
As I said earlier, I mostly pay attention to the list of Best Novel nominees. With this year, I haven’t read any of the titles nominated. That’s not to say I won’t eventually. I purchased Ancillary Justice, the first book in the same series of Ancillary Sword, I just haven’t read it yet. I also want to read The Goblin Emperor. Although I have never heard of it before, it sounds like an interesting read.
These two books that I want to read, Ancillary Sword and The Goblin Emperor did not appear on the Sad Puppy 3 slate, yet were nominated anyway. They also seem to be the only novels written by women. The other books nominated for Best Novel did appear on the Sad Puppy 3 slate.