Currently, the SFF world is all abuzz talking about the Hugos, but of course there are other awards announcing their shortlists at this time of the year as well. One of them is the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction and this year’s shortlist includes a science fiction novel, The Power by Naomi Alderman. This isn’t the first time the Bailey’s Prize has recognised speculative fiction – The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers was one of last year’s nominees.
But now, let’s get back to the Hugos: My own take on the 2017 Hugo Awards shortlist is here (and hits are currently going through the roof thanks to Mike Glyer of File 770 linking to it), so let’s take a look at other reactions from around the web:
At the Barnes & Noble SFF blog, Joel Cunningham is very pleased by the scope and diversity of the 2017 Hugo nominees and declares that the future of science fiction is diverse. He also makes a crack about the Marvel Comics diversity uproar, but then it is low hanging fruit.
Case in point, at Fusion.net, Charles Pulliam-Moore focusses on the Hugo finalists in the graphic story category and points out that the nominations for Ms. Marvel and Black Panther (as well as for the Image comics Monstress and Saga) belie the claim by Marvel’s vice president of sales David Gabriel that diverse comics don’t sell.
At Bleeding Cool, Jude Terror focusses mainly on the comic related Hugo finalists, but then Bleeding Cool is a comics site. Of course, he also cannot resist making a crack about three of Marvel’s supposdly so unpopular diverse series getting Hugo nods.
David Gerrold is happy to see the Hugos return to their pre-2015 form, as the sad puppies fade into obscurity, and hopes to see the rabids fade away soon as well. He also points out that the attacks on the Hugos by the sad and rabid puppies caused the WorldCon community (and SFF fandom in general) to come together to repeal them.
At Dreaming About Other Worlds, Aaron Pound is happy to finally have a good Hugo shortlist full of fantastic nominees again. He also points out that the sad puppies faded away and that while the rabid puppies managed to get a few of their choices onto the shortlist, their impact has been much diluted by the 5/6 and EPH voting systems as well as by the rabids’ own incompetence in determining what is eligible.
At Bookriot, Alex Acks is also generally pleased by a very good Hugo shortlist before proceeding to measure the impact of the rabid puppies on the 2017 Hugo ballot. He comes to the conclusion that there is still puppy poo on the ballot, but it’s manageable. And since the 5/6 system has given us an extra nominee per category, we are basically getting a full category of five finalists plus an occasional additional serious finalists.
Camestros Felapton offers his comments on the 2017 Hugo ballot and is overall very pleased with the outcome. So far, nothing has been heard from Timothy, the talking cat.
In a follow-up post, Camestros Felapton also offers a guide how to evaluate the nominees in the best series category, since the reading load for a long and unfamiliar series can be heavy.
Ana Grilo and Thea James of The Book Smugglers are thrilled to be nominated for the Hugo in the best semiprozine category in a year with such a great shortlist.
Ana Grilo is also nominated in the fancast category along with Renay Williams for the Fangirl Happy Hour, which is one of my favourite SFF podcasts. They have now uploaded a special 2017 Hugo nomination edition of the Fangirl Happy Hour. Renay and Ana are also happy that the Hugos are finally back to normal and that people are back to agonising about how to rank the many good choices on the ballot rather then looking for something, anything at least halfway decent to vote for. They also have some strong words about the rabid puppies.
ETA: At Wired, Jason Kehe reports about the 2017 Hugo shortlist and particularly focusses on two nominees, Chuck Tingle for best fan writer and Stix Hiscock for best novelette. He also reads Alien Stripper Boned From Behind by The T-Rex, so you don’t have to.
Meanwhile, the estimable Dr. Chuck Tingle has responded to his second hugo nomination in his own unique way by writing and publishing Pounded In The Butt By My Second Hugo Nomination. Because love is real.
Abigail Nussbaum is happy about her well deserved Hugo nomination in the best fan writer category, but frustrated about the continued puppy poo presence on the shortlist. She also finds the finalists in several categories a bit predictable and middle of the road and would like to return to those pre-2014 of arguing about the Hugo shortlist and the various nominees and not about puppies.
Indeed, we are seeing some predictable grumblings about the quality of the shortlisted works from the anti-nostalgic part of the SFF spectrum (for my theory of the three fractions of speculative fiction, see this post).
On Twitter, Ian Sales had this to say about the 2017 Hugo finalists in the short fiction categories:
this weekend I have to read the Hugo short fiction categories for a panel at Eastercon. May not make it out the other side…
— Ian Sales (@ian_sales) 5. April 2017
Also on Twitter, Jonathan McCalmont shares his thoughts about the 2017 Hugo finalists:
Also amused that Penny is up for a Campbell. We’ve gone from nominating fascists to nominating people who write apologia for fascists.
— Jonathan McCalmont (@ApeInWinter) 4. April 2017
McCalmont’s issues with Campbell nominee Laurie Penny stem from the fact that Laurie Penny knows internet troll Milo Yiannopoulos from way back and uses those connections and the fact that Milo considers her a friend to get an inside look at the so-called alt-right movement and uses this access to write revealing articles about them. Here is an older article from The Guardian where she follows Milo and friends around the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, during last year’s presidential campaign, and here is a more recent article from Pacific Standard Magazine written during Milo’s fall from grace.
Now I’ve been quite critical myself of the flood of “We must understand how the white rustbelt Trump voter thinks, so I visited Dogshit, Ohio*, to interview a few of them” thinkpieces or the German variant, “We must understand how the white East German AfD voter thinks, so I visited Klein Ostkotzski in Saxony** and interviewed a few them”, because a lot of those articles and thinkpieces can be reduced to “Wah, won’t someone think of the widdle white man” whining. However, Laurie Penny’s articles are not like that. For starters, the Milo and Trump supporters she looks at are not unemployed steelworkers in the rustbelt, but young white middle class men from a generally privileged background. And she reveals these characters for what they are, pathetic and whiny little boys. And unlike the many “Wah, won’t someone think of the poor widdle white man” articles, I don’t see those artices as an apologia, but rather as a scathing look at what those people are truly like. Because that’s what journalists do, go to dark places, so we don’t have to.
Besides, Laurie Penny is nominated for a Campbell Award not for her journalistic work, but for her fiction, i.e. the short story “You Orisons May Be Recorded” and the novella Everything Belongs to the Future. Besides, she is one of six nominees in a very strong category, so those who disagree with Laurie Penny’s nomination still have five other nominees (well, four organic nominees and one puppy) to vote for.
Others have issues with works that did not make the Hugo shortlist. Here is someone named Will Ellwood complaining that Dave Hutchinson’s Fractured Europe trilogy did not make the shortlist. Which I’m actually grateful for, because I do not like those novels. And besides, a lot of my favourites did not make the shortlist either.
@ApeInWinter A society which does recognise the Europe books is not mine.
— Will Ellwood (@fragmad) 4. April 2017
I’ve also seen grumblings about the fact that the Fireside Fiction report on the state of black science fiction is missing from the best related work shortlist and indeed it would have been a most worthy nominee. Though I suspect that when the extended nomination lists come out in August, we’ll see that it narrowly missed the nomination threshold. And given the trashfire that the best related work category was these past two years, I guess we’re all just glad to have something decent to vote for.
But in general, the British contingent of the anti-nostalgic fraction seems to have decamped to the Clarke Award Shadow Jury project, which not just generates some interesting reviews, but is also a lot more productive than what the majority of puppies are doing.
And while we’re on the subject, let’s hear what the puppies, both sad and rabid, have to say (all links go to archive.is):
Vox Day lists all the rabid picks he managed to get onto the ballot, predictably chuckles a bit over Alien Stripper Boned from Behind by the T-Rex and grumbles about the best novel (unsurprisingly, he still hates N.K. Jemisin, though he urges his fans to vote for The Obelisk Gate, because… well, I guess it makes sense to him, if not to anybody else) and best series finalists (he hates everything except for the Vorkosigan saga). In short, nothing new or even overly shocking from the Supreme Lord of Darkness or however he refers to himself these days. He also seems to be a lot more interested in the latest US political scandal.
Declan Finn, an indie writer who attached himself to the puppies, is not at all happy about the 2017 Hugo ballot and declares that it has been swamped by crap. Besides, there are way too many women on the ballot for his tastes and that’s just not possible without interference by the shadowy SJW cabal that meets every Wednesday in the basement of the Flatiron building, cause women can’t possibly be any good, can they? Plus, the one woman he really wanted to see there, Toni Weisskopf of Baen, is missing from the ballot (good point, actually. I suspect her status as a puppy cause celebre cost her organic nominations). He also claims that he hasn’t heard of most of the nominees in the series and novel categories, though he knows they are inferior to his personal favourites, because those sell so much better. Coincidentally, I had to google what Black Tide Rising even was (a series by John Ringo, it turns out). Though I’m stunned that Finn missed The Expanse (written by two white men at that), even though everybody is talking about the TV series based on the books these days. Oh yes, and the Dragon Awards are much better, so would you please vote for him? In short, Finn manages to fill the whole puppy bingo card in one post (with bonus misgendering and transphobia in the comments), which takes some doing.
ETA: Declan Finn also chose to take issue with some commenters at File 700 picking apart his post, so he made a follow-up point declaring that he totally doesn’t care about the Hugos, and besides, Honor Harrington totally was eligible for best series (yes, it was. Hugo voters still chose not to nominate it. They also chose not to nominate four of my five best series nominees. It happens). Finn also can’t grasp that File 770 commenters make fun of Terry Goodkind. Now I’ve never read Goodkind, since extruded fantasy product is not my thing, but I’ve also never heard of anybody over the age of fourteen who genuinely liked his books. Finally, Finn still feels the need to whiteknight for Toni Weisskopf and is apparently really upset that last year’s all-female Ghostbusters film got a Hugo nod. Though I’m surprised he believes it will win, considering it’s up against the massively popular and critically acclaimed Arrival and Hidden Figures (but then, he’d probably hate Hidden Figures, too) as well as against the nostalgia appeal of Stranger Things.
Jon Del Arroz, a newish puppy recruit (he joined their ranks after complaining that a con was discriminating against him for voting for Donald Trump), insists on pointing out that the number of Hugo nominations in 2017 (coincidentally the second highest number of nominations ever after 2016) means that WorldCon is dying, because it discriminates against “real fans” (TM) who are conservative and Christian. The Superversive SF blog makes the same point, nominations are down from an all-time high in 2016, so that means the Hugos and WorldCon are dying. Aw, puppy math! I guess it makes sense in some parallel universe.
Meanwhile, the editor of Cirsova magazines is just happy to be nominated in the best semiprozine category and manages to express his joy without any swipes at Tor, social justice warriors and other nominees. He also offers some links to interviews about the magazine from around the web for those who are interested in learning more.
At Every Day Should be Tuesday, a Castalia House blogger named H.P. declares that the 2017 Hugo Award shortlist does not interest him enough to purchase a supporting membership for WorldCon 75, so he can vote. However, he does like some of the finalists and is looking forward to reading/watching some of the others and not just the rabid puppy picks, too. So it is possible for puppy sympathisers to write about the Hugos without getting rude about it.
Larry Correia, the man who started it all when he was angry about losing the Campbell Award to Lev Grossman back in 2011, has emerged from his mountain top retreat, where he paints miniatures and writes Monster Hunter books, to remind people to nominate and vote for the Dragon Awards where wrongfuns are still allowed to have wrongfun (and voting controls are non-existent), since the Hugos seem to have fallen back to the Tor SJW cabal. Aw, and I’d thought Larry Correia had gotten tired of the whole puppy thing and decided to focus on his career rather than piss off a whole genre.
John C. Wright is happy that his novel Iron Chamber of Memory placed third in the 2017 Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance Book of the Year Awards (the winner was Peter Grant – the writer, not the protagonist of Ben Aaronovitch’s Hugo-nominated series) and also notes that he was nominated for a best short story Hugo as the token white dude in that category. I guess he has finally realised that he can’t win that one and focusses on the awards he can win. Good for him.
Meanwhile, Brad Torgersen and the Mad Geniuses are conspicuously silent on the 2017 Hugos beyond some of the usual “Traditional publishing is dying and we are the future”.
Comments are still off – Puppies poop elsewhere.
*Town totally fictional
**Town totally fictional as well