Over the last few days, I have been voraciously combing the internet, reading anything and everything I can find on the nominees for the Hugo awards and wrestling with my own conscience. I think I have finally come to a conclusion as to what I am going to do.
I will read all the Hugo nominees as if this were a normal year. I cannot betray my own sense of professionalism and well, I’ve read Glenn Beck and the entire Left Behind series without throwing the books through the window or across the room. I am, as I said in my earlier post, not looking forward to this. I am not reading these because the Sad Puppies demand that I must — I am because I feel an obligation to my own conscience to do so, just as I would any other year.
That said, I will rank all the nominees on either the Sad Puppies or Rabid Puppies slates below No Award.
There are some things on the ballot for which it pains me to have to do this. I have loved the Dresden Files ever since my good friend Eileen introduced them to me by giving me the books for Christmas — but Jim Butcher is on the slate. Guardians of the Galaxy was my favorite movie of the year and a work I might have actually nominated if I’d felt well enough to turn in nominations. Nope. The Lego Movie is right behind it in terms of movies I loved last year, and would have been a very close #2 to Guardians. Sorry.
I am especially grieved to make this decision in cases like Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Black Gate, and Annie Bellet. It grieves me because Jen Brozek, a person I know and respect, is on the short form editor ballot and I would love to see her win a Hugo.
But I can’t vote any of these folks above No Award. I am sorry, but this is what my conscience demands of me. I will read your work in my packet. I will consider you for my own nominations in 2016 — and I plan to participate in the nomination round next year. But any ranking you may earn by the quality of your work will go after No Award this year.
I have decided this because I care about the Hugo. I have cared about the Hugo ever since I found out about it in an introduction in one of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation novels, and I dream of winning it someday. But in order to keep that dream alive, I have to make sure the Hugos survive. If it comes to a slate vs. slate situation, I would have even less chance of ending up on the Hugo ballot than I already did. So the only thing I can do is express my horror and displeasure at slate voting, and use what few tools I have to express that displeasure.
For those who are saying that I am only doing this because I disagree with the political stances of Sad/Rabid Puppies, I would be doing this if it were the John Scalzi/Making Light Slate of Rainbow Joy Kittens.
My mind is my own, and I make my own decisions.
It doesn’t really matter. I am just one person, and my blog is so minuscule that it won’t register. My vote is but a drop in an ocean, but it is mine. My mind, my thoughts, my opinions — they are my own.
15 thoughts on “My Mind is My Own”
Yep. Not a number, a free man. ;) (I loved that show when I finally sat down and watched through it.)
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What I am waiting to see is the Hugo Packets. Will they include all the Sad Puppy favorite publisher’s works, or will there be some catch on reading those. If I have to jump through hoops or worse pay for them, then No Award. And anything where it is obvious, they just through it on the list without permission, I have no problems with voting for that. Heck, I nominated Guardians and the Lego Movie. I have no problems voting for them. Because Yes, I did nominate. I may not fill up every slot (a lot of my reading is not eligible (too old or not SF)), but I get something in before the deadline.
Yeah. I’ve just been pretty disengaged with fandom for the past year and a half/two years, for reasons that are partially my own head and partially life. So I ignored nominations.
But everybody’s decisions are their own. This is the stand I feel I have to make, and it’s the one that makes me happiest with what is an unhappy and troubling situation.
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(Followed this over from Making Light.) It’s an entirely reasonable way to approach this problem – I would say that, because it’s more or less what I’m planning to do myself!
And you are not a drop in the ocean – the whole thing has blown up because the Hugo voting pool is small enough that a tiny, tiny group of wreckers can have a disproportionate effect on it. You are a drop in… a bathtub, maybe, or even just a fair-sized bucket. Still small, but maybe enough to add a flavour of rationality to the whole!
Just to be clear, I too would be doing this even if it was the John Scalzi/Making Light Slate of Rainbow Joy Kittens. Slates break the Hugos.
(Although I now want there to be some other context in which we can have the John Scalzi/Making Light Slate of Rainbow Joy Kittens. Perhaps it can be Steven Brust’s next band.)