The 2015 Hugo Ballot is open for voting. If you’re a member of Sasquan, you get to vote. Put in your $40 for a supporting membership and register your opinion on what the best of the nominated works are. If you buy a supporting membership to Sasquan, you’re also eligible to nominate for next year! And, for a super-duper bonus, there is likely to be a lot of the eligible works distributed in electronic version to members for free in what is called Hugo Voter Packet. Last year I received the entirety of the Wheel of Time in ebook for my registration. That right there paid for the membership.
Now, on to other topics: If you’re not aware of the kerfuffle over the Hugos this year, I recommend a Google search. All I will state is that I’m using No Award liberally while voting.
As of today, I’ve ranked all nominees in all categories. Four of the categories which were entirely dominated by the Rapid Puppies and Sad Puppies slates I have voted No Award as the top slot. I make no bones that this is solely because of the negative influence that these slates have had on the whole process. It’s also because I have read nothing in these categories to date.
Usually, I have strong opinions on the Novel and Short Story categories; I’ll vote in the Long Form Dramatic Presentation and I’ll vote No Award in the Short Form Dramatic Presentation (because I think that category should be eliminated). I’ll look at the candidates in the other categories and vote if and only if I’ve had time to properly evaluate the candidates. Frequently I do not. In that case I leave the category blank indicating no preference.
Not this year.
I’ve blanket voted No Award on Short Story, Novellette, Novella and Related Work because of the shittiness surrounding the nominations process. I’ve stated in the past that I’m not in favor of the blanket No Award strategy for this year, but this whole thing has made me so tired and aggravated that I’m changing my mind. On the Puppy-dominated categories, I’m voting for No Award or I’m ranking the Non-Puppy nominees top by default, despite any unfamiliarity I might have. Restating the above, if and only if I have time to get into all the various nominations will I potentially re-rank the category.
I’m not really looking forward to the Hugo Packet this year because I genuinely do not expect any quality reading below the Novel. Probably when I’m in a better mood I’ll start reading the various submissions for Novellette, Novella, and Short Story but at the very first sign that I’m not engaged or that the story is crappy, I’m done. This is what the current controversy has done to me; I’m being extremely restrictive of my attention. If you can’t keep it for 5 minutes, you’re going below No Award. I figure I’ll be done with the Short Story reading in about 30 minutes.
By the way, if you aren’t familiar with No Award, please check out this post by Kevin Standlee. If you want the general how-to of Instant Runoff Voting, which is what the Hugos use, go to their site.
The one thing I will leave you with is, if you rank something below No Award, your vote may potentially go to that nominee. This is how instant runoff works. If you do not want a nominee to get your vote in any circumstance, do not rank them. Leave them off the ballot entirely.