Some thoughts on the Hugo nominees


That’s a bit of a misleading post title, I’m afraid… I’m not going to comment at length because it’s a bit churlish to comment on a ballot one is part of, and also because my brains are fried (thanks to the snakelet, whom I think is secretly a zombie–has uncontrolled gestures, drools all the time, eats Mom’s brains, what more evidence do you need?). But, more seriously–broadly, I agree with John Scalzi on the matter: you may or may not agree with the particular people on the ballot, but insofar as I know everyone has full rights to be there.

As John points out, it doesn’t mean everyone gets automatic first place votes, or even votes above No Award. ETA: Where I disagree with John is that if you don’t want to read some or all of the nominees, that’s entirely fine by me. Yup, even if said nominees are me. I don’t think being on the Hugo ballot entitles you to equal, measured and fair consideration on the sole basis of your work. See the end of the post for more details.

Also, whatever your thoughts on the ballot, please read and vote? The Hugos won’t be a huge inclusive award unless there are lots of voters reflecting all walks of fandom, and this year is already on track to have a record number of voters–which is great. FYI, if you’re not attending Worldcon it’s not too late for a supporting membership, which nets you the voter’s packet–lots of good fiction–and voting rights. Remember it’s an Australian system, i.e. ranking by preference, which, by cushioning much of the effect of a splitting of votes, allows you to express several preferences, though it’s not a panacea (do read the rules, though, because they’re not always intuitive, especially with regards to the use of the ranking system and “No Award”, which can be downright confusing. Further info here, including in the comments. I certainly wish I had known this at my first Worldcon).

Further reading, below, well worth consideration (on the Hugo ballot, but more generally on the issue of divorcing authors from their works and the old “let’s consider these solely on merit” chestnut). I don’t agree with everything, but this is stuff well worth keeping in mind.

Rose Lemberg

S.L. Huang

Ferrett Steinmetz

(slightly edited post)


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