I summarized the Hugo nomination slate earlier, being both sad, yet optimistic that this hijacking can’t last.
Because I’m ignoring the standby advice of “DON’T READ THE COMMENTS” I was casting about for what other people thought about the current slate of Hugo nominees. I found Breitbart:
As with GamerGate, the political biases of a small elite has led to the exclusion of those who think differently — even if they’re in the majority.
If you’re citing GamerGate in a positive light, I don’t think I need to read more, however…
Brad R. Torgersen, who managed this year’s Sad Puppies campaign, spoke to Breitbart London about its success: “I am glad to be overturning the applecart. Numerous authors, editors, and markets have been routinely snubbed or ignored over the years because they were not popular inside WSFS or because their politics have made them radioactive.”
Torgersen cites a host of authors who have suffered de facto exclusion from the sci-fi community: David Drake, David Weber, L.E Modesitt Jr, Kevn J. Anderson, Eric Flint, and of course Orson Scott Card — the creator of the world-famous Ender’s Game, which was recently adapted into a successful movie. Despite his phenomenal success, Scott Card has been ostracized by sci-fi’s inner circle thanks to his opposition to gay marriage.
Well. There’s always differences in taste and whether a particular person thinks an author is worthy of a nomination. Here’s my own particular take on this list of authors he’s citing:
- David Drake: Wonderful military and space adventure scifi. You should read him. Probably due a nomination for his Hammers Slammers, but that was a long time ago. His most recent stuff is good, but I’ve never put it up as the best of year work.
- David Weber: Honor Harrington will live forever. His Honorverse is great, right up until book 8. The rest of his work is good, but worthy of a Hugo? C’mon, people. Read with some critcality. If your method of nominating is “best enjoyment of a novel this year” I’d still not go with Weber and his endless staff meeting infodumps. I will read all of his books, but unless he changes up, they’ll never be “best novel.”
- L.E. Modesitt Jr.: Haven’t read his stuff since early Recluse and The Forever Hero. I could see one of the Recluse books being nominated. I’m curious about how they fared in the nomination process1.
- Kevin Anderson: Discussed him in the previous post. I’ve never read him, but I will now.
- Eric Flint: Great world building and politics; terrible and stereotypical characterizations. I’ve never read anything by him that I would nominate as Best Novel.
- Orson Scott Card: Our illustrious journalist seems to be forgetting Card’s two Hugos (Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead, both worthy!) and his three other nominations. Could it possibly be that the rest of his work is not good enough to merit a nomination? I think so, and I’ve read it. Card’s work since Ender’s game has not been as good, straight up.
The article goes on to crow about how this is the downfall of Tor Books domination of the industry. I’m wondering if the author remembers that Tor Books publishes David Weber, also? If Tor is dominating the Hugos, why isn’t Weber getting nominations? Huh. Oh, Wait. Kevin Anderson is a Tor author, too. How weird. It’s like the publisher has little to do with the Hugo nomination process. I know, crazy.
Another method of polarizing discussion is by quoting Vox Day:
Vox Day, Lead Editor of Castalia House, commented on the nominations:
Vox Day is another of my perfect bellwethers. If he says it, I think oppositely. That’s because I don’t think there are subhumans amongst us, among other reasons. Don’t know who he is? I recommend Google, because I will not link to his site2. Vox Day has some similarities to Hitler: entirely polarizing and there’s no point bringing him into a discussion. He’s a very specific Godwin corollary.
Done ranting about Breitbart, now. At least I know not to read those articles anymore. Thoughtful commentary I can do. Obviously slanted politi-speak I’m not gonna.