I haven’t really commented on the whole fiasco with the Hugos this year. I’m not a big name writer, and I haven’t been as involved in the fandom while I fight cancer. So, I don’t have a stake in the awards in the simplest sense – I’m not nominated for anything and I haven’t lobbied on behalf of anyone who did make the official nomination list. The only stake I have is in the overall Hugo’s integrity, which I believe we all have a stake in.
As I’ve read, watched, and listened to various points of view –I refuse to call them “sides”–I’ve reached the following conclusions:
- Some Sad/Rabid Puppies* really believe there is a conspiracy against their fiction. I haven’t seen any evidence of this, but I know how heated opinions can get in fandom.
- Some Sad/Rabid Puppies intentionally gamed the system because they were butthurt over never winning an award. It’s hard to lose, and there is the temptation to “right” the perceived wrongs, but it doesn’t make it just.
- Some people were caught up in the Puppy slates, both those who supported the Puppies and those who did not. Those who stayed or withdrew were damned either way.
- A lot of good fiction was either pushed out, withdrawn, or tainted because of the scandal.
- Nobody truly wins when SFF stays fractured.
Based on results from the Hugo ceremony last night it’s clear that the voters were not going to be intimidated by slates and championed diversity in the SFF fandom.
This year was ugly. I saw people who I admired become monsters. These people came from several points of view, but mainly from a particular one. And that particular point of view was often disingenuous. Look, there’s room for a variety of beliefs and types of fiction under the SFF banner, but there is no room for hate. In those moments of weakness, we need to ask ourselves, is this what it means to be human? Is this who were want to be?
We should be celebrating each other’s successes. Fellow writers aren’t the enemy. We’re all adding our own unique spin on the world. Isn’t that was SFF is?
What happened this year guarantees there are no winners. Let’s be better. Let’s write better. Let’s make SFF fandom a place where we’re all welcome and can celebrate the best fiction there is.
*Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies are two different groups of writers who feel wronged by the overall SFF fandom. They both swing more conservative, with the Rapid Puppies extreme far right. They perceive the Hugos as flawed and run by an elitist liberal clique. Their movements are to bring science fiction they perceive as being slighted into the mainstream award-worthy sphere.