We are all Science Fiction: A Neutral Discussion On the Puppy-Inspired-Hugo Ballots - The Hugo Issue Part 3
We are all Science Fiction:
A Neutral Discussion On the Puppy-Inspired-Hugo Ballots
The Hugo Issue Part 3
While it is certainly true that the Puppies have thrown the normally sedate voting system on its ear, it is vital to note that they did nothing wrong. The Hugos have historically been nominated and voted upon by the attendees of WorldCon, a select group of people who purchase either a supporting or attending membership. With supporting memberships starting at $40, it was simplicity itself for the Puppies to gather enough like-minded folks to vote for stories and authors proposed via Torgersen’s and Beale’s Sad and Rabid Puppy slates.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this approach, since the de facto attendees of WorldCon have been doing this for years, but not with the same amount of foresight and intent. It’s perfectly okay for like-minded individuals, even slate-provided ones, to vote for the stories and authors they think most deserve to win awards.
So what’s the big deal?
Those who are against the Puppy antics feel strongly that the very spirit of the awards has been sundered, and that the works that “deserve” to be nominated for their literary merit were pushed off the ballot this year, leaving only the choices of the Puppies to vote for. This is maddening to the anti-Puppies voters because, in most cases, the nominations aren’t what the Puppies touted them as being, namely the best representations of entertainment science fiction available. While the Puppies eschew “message fiction,” it appears as if the slates were almost selected to send messages, contrary to the stated intent.
Regardless, as stated above, the Puppies, be they Sad or Rabid, did nothing truly wrong. They brought excitement back to the voting process, drove membership sales to unheard-of heights, and have generated quite an excess in revenue for the Sasquan convention hosts. Intermixed with the finger-pointing and shouting, there is an energy to the voting this year that hasn’t been seen in decades, and voters have bandied about voting suggestions that deliberately exclude Puppy nominations, including those who don’t actively espouse the same protestations. Notable nominees include Kevin J. Anderson and Annie Bellet, as well as Kary English, a favorite for her short story “Totaled.”
Regardless of where any participant stands in this “tempest in a science-fictional teapot,” there is no doubt that all the participants love Science Fiction, and that what we are discussing here are only preferences for different types of stories, with the Puppies advocating for more traditional Science Fiction and the non-Puppies advocating for more literary works. At the conclusion of the Award Ceremony on August 22nd, we will all know, as a family, who won and who didn’t, regardless of how the nominees arrived on the ballot.
It should be exciting!