Next year will surely be interesting.
For a bit more context: the two major awards in SF are the Hugos, which are awarded by fans in general, and the Nebulas, awarded by the members of SFFWA, the major professional association of spec fic writers. The Hugos have a Byzantine voting system which is quite subject to gaming, especially in the nomination phase, and so (shock of all shocks) it was gamed for explicitly political reasons.
One interesting fact I found last night which the Wired article missed: if you look at the full ballot, you'll see that in all of the categories except for Dramatic Presentation*, the Sad/Rabid Puppy candidates not only lost, but every single one of them rank-ordered behind "No Award."
This wasn't simply a defeat for this attempt; it was a resounding, loud response from the community that the entire behavior was not welcome.
And I'm very happy to hear that. The writing that the puppies were upset about hasn't been winning awards left and right because it's "diverse;" it's been winning awards because it's good. The influx of women, people of color, people of various genders and sexual orientations and so on, has meant a tremendous amount of new blood in the field, and it shouldn't be surprising that with lots of new writers, you get lots of new quality.
And beyond that, there is no field more likely to benefit from this particular kind of change than SFF: after all, in a field which spends so much of its time thinking and writing about the experiences of change, of foreignness, of meeting the Other and of being the Other, is it any particular surprise that outsiders of various sorts are going to bring a huge raft of fresh perspectives?
So. The most fucked-up Hugo Awards in their 68-year history happened last night, and the consequences were pretty good.
* This has always been a very unusual category in the Hugos, since it's the only set of Hugos given by the SF community to people outside the community. They follow a completely different pattern, and are basically a vote on "best TV episode / best movie of the year," and are generally not taken very seriously.
h/t for the link.
For the fathers, that changed everything. Jan, who spent more than 30 years in the United States, remembers their reactions. “I swear to God, the guy was crying. He said, ‘I don’t know how to write my name. I put my thumb on everything. And my 4-year-old girl knows how to write my name.’”
"WTF-8 is a hack intended to be used internally in self-contained systems" - we'll see how long that lasts.
- Neon Frenzy
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