hugo awards

/Tag: hugo awards

Today in Hugo Award wank…

But once a year, like clockwork, the Fan Hugo short list comes out and somehow I can never quite avoid seeing it. When I do see it, I increasingly find a bunch of total strangers who’ve not visibly participated in fandom, and I see red all over again. I will inevitably be told that the failing is in me, that were I to educate myself, I would discover their merit. As often as not, whatever merit is involved, what I actually discover are more neo-pros doing nothing remotely to do with fandom as we know it, or if they do, only in pursuit of making money off us.

Ulrika O’Brien on profiteering [emphasis added].

So it’s extremely no secret that I am… not a fan of the Hugo Awards as they currently exist,1 meaning any time Hugo-adjacent wank bubbles up from the pits of the internet I am totally all the fuck over them! This one is today’s! More under the cut because hoo boy. Long wank is lo-oo-ong!


  1. Which, incidentally, makes me exactly one of the “fan culture outsiders” O’Brien rants about later on in the article. []
2019-06-27T11:34:09+10:0027th June, 2019|Tags: fandom, hugo awards, sff|

Hugos Homework: Best Novel.

So, better late than never I guess; the Hugos packets came out a while ago, but neither being the most organized nor the fastest reader, I’m only getting around to going through them now.

So. Starting with the novels. First off, full disclosure: I no-awarded this category under my own personal protest rule of doing so in any category in which all finalists are American. Partly because of this, I didn’t full read each novel, instead gave them a “first fifty pages” check, which is how I decide on all my reading; basically, a book has fifty pages to either grab me or turn me right off. If it does neither, it gets put aside in the “not for me” pile. Actual reactions to each work on the list are below but, spoiler alert: my NFM pile has just gotten much taller…


2019-06-03T10:20:58+10:003rd June, 2019|Tags: books, books read, fandom, hugo awards, sff|

The world in WorldCon.

Given that it’s Hugos nomination season soon, T.  R. Napper has an excellent (start of a) list of eligible non-USian works.

(For backstory, see this, this, this, this, and particularly this.)

2019-01-06T09:18:13+10:006th January, 2019|Tags: fandom, hugo awards, sff, worldcon|

Welcome to your authentic Hugos experience.

A couple of years ago, I was at an Author Event listening to a Big Name Editor talk. Let’s refer to the editor as “You”, just to be confusing.

So. You are a big name SFF editor, who publishes well-known, well-regarded annual collections of the “best of” variety. You have won multiple Hugo and World Fantasy awards, to name just a few. You are, for the most part, visibly a member of some, but not all, of the most privileged groups in society.

What I remember most about You speaking is the way You mentioned, quite offhandedly, that You never do blind or slush submissions for anthologies any more. You feel You don’t “need” to, because You have been in the scene for decades and You know it and are an identified tastemaker. Instead, when You’re putting together an anthology, You approach the authors You want to include. They rarely say no. I mean, why would they? You’re You, after all.

Like I said, this was just one little throwaway comment in a bigger, much longer and far-reaching conversation. Yet every time I think about things like diversity in SFF, or inclusion, or slates or cliques or whatever the Outrage Du Jour happens to be… I think of You, and Your comment. Because, here’s the thing. Those authors You include? The ones You choose to represent as the “best of” Your industry? These authors are, almost exclusively, already well-established big names. They’re also almost exclusively like You, demographically speaking.

Incidentally, I don’t read Your anthologies. After all, they’re always filled with the same handful of authors writing the same handful of stories. And they just aren’t my thing.

Funny, I guess. The way that goes.

2018-08-22T08:41:32+10:0022nd August, 2018|Tags: books, hugo awards, publishing, sff|

The format is political.

So a while back, there was a proposal floating around to jigger with the fiction categories in the Hugo Awards. Specifically, the idea was to add a “best saga” category, while simultaneously dropping the category of “novelettes”.

Sounds reasonable, right? I mean sagas are super popular, and what the fuck even is a novelette, amirite?

Well, as N.K. Jemisin points out, what the fuck it is, is often a way for marginalized voices to start careers. In other words, it’s much easier for people who exist outside of the perceived SFF “orthodoxy”–that is, anyone who isn’t a straight, white, middle-class man–both to write shorter fiction, due to time constraints, and to get it published, since markets for shorter fiction tend to be more, say, adventurous than those for commercial novels.

Not only that, but the addition of the sagas category flips to the other side, in that it implicitly benefits authors with established careers, specifically the aforementioned straight, white, middle-class men.1

In other words: the format is political.

  1. Actually, this is an interesting assumption in itself, since there are a lot of, say, YA and UF/PR series that would qualify, almost all of which would not be written by men, if nothing else. []
2015-07-15T07:49:02+10:005th September, 2015|Tags: hugo awards, publishing|