- Jul 20, 2014
I'd known of Correia's efforts but not of the exact contents of his ballot. Now all is clear. I firmly believe Torgersen's stories were nominee-worthy and one was award-worthy but I was surprised to see them nominated. It's not so much the politics (and I don't think it's debatable at all that, these days, the more conservative ones are underrepresented in the awards pace the random Card) as the fact that it was an Analog story and, however good, had an old-school sensawunda and love of story and positive nature that is anathema these days. So, yeah, if the infamous author is what he's reputed to be, mixing that up into the great accomplishment of getting Torgersen properly nominated is a shame and is then something I have to explain - I'm not promoting Torgersen because of Correia and a right-wing agenda (any more than I'd promote this year's Swirsky nominee for a left-wing agenda) but because I read Analog and Torgersen's the best thing in it and deserves promotion.John Scalzi said:Doing that changed the argument from something perfectly legitimate, if debatable — that conservative writers are often ignored for or discounted on award ballots because their personal politics generally conflict with those of the award voters — into a different argument entirely, i.e., f*ck you, we got an undeserving bigoted sh*thole on the Hugo ballot, how you like them apples.
Well, I have read it and didn't like it so I don't think it merited all the awards and I don't think winning so many means anything, but that's just me. Still, all the awards indicate excellence but do not require it. Half a dozen people vote on the Clarke, a few hundred on the Nebulas, a couple thousand on the Hugos, (or however many for all these) - many of these are the same people, etc. It didn't win the Locus award which may well have a larger voter base than the rest combined (I don't know). And we all know terrible artists have won Grammys, terrible flicks Oscars, terrible novels (before this) Hugos, etc. But I don't think Correia's point was about this or any one thing winning (after all, he couldn't have known specifically who the winners were going to be) but about an overall bias. As every single Nebula this year was won by a woman, three of the four main Hugos were won by two women and someone with an Asian-sounding name - the fourth to a very liberal Scot, I think - and the best picture went to a Sandra Bullock vehicle and Ancillary Justice itself calls everyone "she" and never specifies the gender of any character even though this seems to have nothing to do with the plot. Now, I hope everyone understands that some of my best friends are women. I mean, I was thrilled that Pat Cadigan won a Hugo last year (even though it was just my second favorite novelette of the year) and I love Greg Egan's Diaspora (which calls everyone "ve" instead of "he" or "she") and so on. I'm just saying that Correia is making a point about generalized systematic bias in which (a) someone like, e.g., Torgersen is unlikely to get nominated as a white male Mormon Analog/Baen author despite the quality of his fiction and his being moderate in it. And I think someone like Torgersen is unlikely to get nominated because he writes clear optimistic stories with genuinely good, if imperfect, people in them. (I think this is actually much more important, myself.) And (b) if such people did get nominated, a certain stripe of liberals would start trashing the incorrect people without having read their work. So this guy initiated the overcoming of (A) and (B) certainly seems to have happened.I do not regularly read any of their blogs. I saw the Scalzi one because that post was retweeted all over the place.
But as far as Ancillary Justice goes (I have yet to read it), it is hard to take criticism of it winning seriously when it nearly swept all of the awards. When I get the feeling a particular award was an anomaly for political reasons I tend to check the other awards. It seems justified.
Oops, forgot this part. I think more people were complaining about this on the other Hugo thread. I can't speak to the nominee slate as I almost never read books the year they come out unless they're that dying breed of "original paperback". All I know is that I hope the Stross nominee, Neptune's Brood, is better than Ancillary Justice because I've alread bought it (now that it's out in paperback) and it's very near the top of the Pile.I'm curious - for those who thought the nominee selection was poor, which novels would you have voted for?
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