Links: 04/16/15

Oh, I want to believe. “Chewie, we’re home”–Natalie becomes a 9 year old again.

After All She Gave

I’ve really been enjoying Mark Knopfler’s new single, “Beryl” the last few weeks.  It’s a bit of an earworm, but I am absolutely not sorry for that.

The song’s about Beryl Bainbridge, who was consistently short-listed for the Man Booker Prize (Britain’s top literary award) but never won while she was alive–the year after she died, she was given a special prize by the committee.

At any rate, this song and its subject have been much on my mind the last couple weeks (for reasons) and I thought I’d share.

Links: 04/10/15 – Awards Version

hugo-poopThis week, the big story in my corner of the world is (still) the Hugo award nominations.  However, I don’t have it in me to collect all the links I’ve read–there are a lot of posts and think pieces and more than a handful of articles in mainstream media outlets.  Which is exciting!

I bet it annoys Brad Torgersen to no end to see his name misspelled in so many interesting ways. I know it would bother me, and on that front I am a tiny bit sympathetic.  But otherwise, I hope he takes some time to read this from George R.R. Martin because it’s becoming more and more clear that this really has diddly to do with the so-called invasion of SFF by evil evil evil Social Justice Warriors and more to do with Torgersen and Larry Correia’s sadness that they didn’t win the times they were nominated in prior years.  Sad puppies, indeed (get off the cross, Brad: we need the wood). I’d also like to point to Larry Correia’s 2011 Worldcon report–if you read it, it sounds like he had a pretty decent time and the mass shunning and rudeness that he claims now.

And at the same time, we have Vox Day, making threats in the comments at File 770 in which he declares that if No Award comes in first in any category that no one will ever win Hugo in that category again.  Hey, Vox? Are you six?

And then here’s Brad Torgersen telling us to grow up and trying to distance himself from Vox Day which is, well, really rich on his part. Consider that Larry Correia reached out to GamerGate for assistance before the supporting membership deadline and then used his commenters to deliver names of Social Justice Warriors to same shortly afterwards so, presumably, his hands would remain clean. I wonder who suggested to Correia that he contact GamerGate? I wonder what Correia was hoping to achieve by doing so?  Attempting to distance yourself from Vox Day and his GamerGate buddies at this point in time is too little, too late.  You don’t get to take any sort of moral high road on this. None.

Anyhow. Mike Glyer at File 770 has been doing a great job collecting links and analysis and if you really want to read more about this, you could do worse than his Hugo Awards tag. I’ll be nominating Mike for Fan Writer next year for his work on this even though he already has ten million Hugos. Good work is good work and collecting all this in one place is a heck of a lot of work.

…and I just went to my links folder and that well is dry, friends.  So instead, here are some award winners and shortlist that seem to be quite full of excellent things to read:

And I just finished reading Max Gladstone’s Two Serpents Rise which was a lot of fun and had a delightfully twisty plot but was marred by what I felt was a rushed ending. Nevertheless, I’m planning on reading Full Fathom Five very soon.  And I also just started reading Elizabeth Bear’s Karen Memory and holy wow, the voice (I’m not that far into it so that’s about the only opinion I have right now)–very different from Bear’s other novels.

Poetry Wednesday

leaf on water

Here’s some poems I’ve been grooving on lately.  Maybe they might be your sort of thing, too.

(I might try to make this a regular sort of thing. I love poetry!)

More Thoughts on the 2015 Hugo Awards

hugo-poop

I’ve got a few thoughts about the 2015 Hugo Award nomination process rattling around in my head, so I thought I’d share.

First, though, I want to acknowledge that putting forth a slate and nominating a slate is not against the rules as they currently stand.

But that doesn’t mean it’s right or that it’s within what I perceive to be the spirit of the Hugo Awards.

It does a disservice to all the people who proposed works for the Sad/Rabid Puppy slates whose suggestions didn’t make the slate. The Hugo Awards aren’t a lifetime achievement award or a prize for selling a lot of books. They’re supposed to be for the best work in a particular category in a given year.

There is, for me, a massive difference between putting forth a list of recommendations or letting people know what you’re eligible for: that is providing information for voters in a genre which has become extremely large and diverse. It’s not telling people how to vote. It is not telling people to nominate in a specific way in order to upset people that you perceive as your adversaries and not as fellow readers and fans.

I don’t keep a running list of everything I’ve read over the course of a year, so I find recommendation lists and comment threads, as well as eligibility posts, extremely useful for me in terms of jogging my memory or providing lunchtime reading material as I consider my ballot–I discovered quite a number of wonderful stories this way, including Eugie Foster’s “When It Ends, He Catches Her”.

That brings me to another point: there’s nothing in the rules that says voters must read everything that’s on the ballot. Choosing not to read works because they were on a slate and to rank No Award above them is within the rules of the Hugo Awards. Which is what I will be doing–if the work appears on either the Sad or Rabid Puppy slate, it will be ranked below No Award or left off the ballot entirely.

I will try to read those works where the nominee was unaware that they were put on the slate until after the fact (which, despite multiple statements to the contrary by organizers and supporters of the Sad and Rabid Puppy slates, is a thing that happened), but the default position for those works will be below No Award.  Nominees who were aware of and participated in this process will not appear on my ballot at all. I know this hurts worthy works, but it’s the only way I can participate in the process and be right with myself and my convictions.

I am glad to hear that there are a number of folks intending to make proposals at the WSFS business meeting this year to propose changes which will mitigate this kind of manipulation of the nominating process. I am not savvy in the ways of the WSFS constitution and business meeting to do this sort of work myself, so I salute and appreciate those who are.

Finally, for all those who are exhorting folks to set politics aside and take the works on their merits: You are aware that logrolling the nominations in this way was political, right? You just have the luxury of pretending that it wasn’t.