A Few Hugo Requests
As we go through this strange sensation of Déjà Hugo, I had a few requests to put out there.
1. Don’t tell me, or anyone else, how to vote.
If you want to talk about deciding how you’re going to vote, great. If you want to put forth an argument for No Award or for avoiding the No Award option or for how to treat blatantly rabid nominees vs. trolling nominees vs. human shields or whatever else, fine. But I’m already starting to see people doing the, “If you vote this way (or don’t vote this way), you’re an asshole” thing.
Let me put it this way. The rabid puppies were able to make this year’s mess by lining up and following their voting orders (a tactic which hopefully won’t work very well in the future). Do you really want to follow that guy’s strategy of trying to tell people how to vote?
Some people will probably choose to No Award the whole slate. Others will try to evaluate every work on its own merit. Me, I’ll try to read and evaluate them all, though I’ll probably be more skeptical of most of the rabid works.
I’m not complaining about discussion/debate on how to respond to the rabid puppies this year. I just don’t appreciate people trying to dicktate how I should vote.
2. No asterisks, please.
I did make a crack about asterisks and the Hugo last year after the trophy was released. And I think a lot of people had a mental asterisk over the whole thing, because let’s be honest, last year was anything but normal for the Hugo awards. So yeah, I definitely get it.
But at last year’s Hugo award ceremony, they handed out wooden asterisk plaques, and later sold additional wooden asterisks.
I don’t believe this was done with malicious intent (though I obviously can’t read anyone’s minds). Maybe it was an attempt at humor, and/or to acknowledge the elephant in the room. I appreciate that the sale of the asterisks raised several thousand dollars for a good cause.
Whatever the intentions, it resulted in a lot of people feeling hurt and attacked. I know from experience how nerve-wracking a Hugo ceremony can be in a normal year. Last year, and this year, tensions and anxieties and fears are exponentially higher. And for many of the people in attendance, the asterisks felt like a big old slap in the face.
Like I said, I don’t think that was the intention. (Others will disagree, and have gleefully pointed to the asterisks as “proof” that “the other side” is evil and nasty.) In this case, I don’t think intention matters so much as the impact it had, including hurting some good, talented people.
3. Don’t be an abusive doucheweasel.
For example, here’s a conversation from last year where Moshe Feder had to delete someone’s comment calling for the Sad Puppies to kill themselves. WTF, people?
Or here’s someone suggesting the Sad and Rabid Puppies be rounded up and dropped into Daesh territory.
Then there’s the vitriol directed at the nominees themselves. Particularly at the women on the ballot. (I’m sure we’re all shocked to hear that women tended to get the most and the nastiest of the attacks.)
As one nominee noted last year, “We have been called assholes, bitches, mongrels, yapping curs, talentless hacks and so many more things that I can’t even name them all. I have seen at least one suggestion that all of us should be euthanized.” Another talked about the “helpful” emails they received, saying things like, “If you don’t reject the nomination, you will be forever linked with those people. Always hated.”
And whatever choice the nominees made about withdrawing or staying on the ballot, there were people who would attack them for it, calling them gutless, comparing them to Nazi sympathizers, and worse.
I’m not trying to say anyone can’t or shouldn’t be angry, or trying to stop anyone from expressing that anger. But there’s a difference between expressing anger and harassing people. There’s a difference between criticizing people who are actively trying to “burn the Hugos down,” and attacking everyone and anyone who might in any way be connected with — or being used by — those people.
I’m also not interested in debating whether one “side” was worse than the other. I’m simply pointing out that this shit happened. These are some of the public comments. Some of the emails/messages sent directly to folks were far worse.
Finally, I know there are people who delight in being abusive doucheweasels, and nothing I write here is going to change that. I guess I’m just asking the rest of us, myself included, to be careful, and to remember Wheaton’s Law.
Thanks for listening.
April 28, 2016 @ 9:32 pm
I suspect the slated works will get No Awarded strictly on their own merit if they’re the same “quality” as last year’s.
Also, Jim, points for “dicktate”! People who don’t follow Wheaton’s Law automatically do that.
Jim C. Hines
April 28, 2016 @ 9:36 pm
A lot of them, probably. But I think there are a handful of good works interspersed in there.
April 28, 2016 @ 9:39 pm
There was a great deal of quality work last year that got No Awarded for reasons that had little to do with quality. Toni Weiskopf, Mike Resnick, Sheila Gilbert, Jennifer Brozek, Jim Butcher and several others were worthy nominees.
How sad that the first comment on a blog about not being a jerk is a snide remark.
April 28, 2016 @ 9:41 pm
Jim. I’m going to tell you how to vote. Please vote wearing clothes, with your mouth safely unopened to avoid gnat-tering or other incidents of human on insect violence. Thank you
Jim C. Hines
April 28, 2016 @ 9:45 pm
I WILL VOTE NAKED WITH MY MOUTH FULL OF GNATS IF I WANT TO AND YOU CAN’T STOP ME!!!
April 28, 2016 @ 9:47 pm
LIKE BUTTON!!! (cuz the LOL button has its mouth open)
April 28, 2016 @ 9:50 pm
I need this statement embroidered on a pillow.
April 28, 2016 @ 9:51 pm
Oops, nesting fail.
April 28, 2016 @ 10:18 pm
I’m getting to the point where I’m just beyond caring. I’ll vote and that will be that. We’re supposed to believe that the Hugo is “science fiction’s most prestigious award” yet no one bothers to treat it this way. Okay, right, that’s a broad brush stroke. Some people refuse to treat the Hugo with any sort of respect, may steel toed stormtroopers from the Bureau of Weights and Measures kick my ass into the following week if such a hyperbolic note of imprecision finds it’s way into my future off-the-cuff opinions.
April 28, 2016 @ 10:34 pm
You say that now, but gnat’s going to come back to make you eat those words.
April 28, 2016 @ 11:21 pm
April 29, 2016 @ 12:03 am
Wait, most of us will be voting in the privacy of our own homes. Why *can’t* Hines vote nekkid? His house, his rules.
April 29, 2016 @ 5:07 am
Is “dicktate” a typo or deliberate? Either way it’s an awesome word!
April 29, 2016 @ 5:20 am
Kary, while I agree that there were some people thrown out with the bathwater last year, you overstate the case, and ignore some of the other reasons why people lost. For example, even Butcher fans acknowledge that that book wasn’t one of his best, and in the editor categories Weisskopf made it impossible for most people to judge the quality of her work.
It’s a fair question whether broad judgements are of use in this sort of discussion, but of itself the judgement is, well, broad but fair.
April 29, 2016 @ 6:18 am
I think you should vote whilst assuming your favorite super-heroine pose.
Jim C. Hines
April 29, 2016 @ 8:25 am
April 29, 2016 @ 8:54 am
You know, as a Sad Puppy supporter who will quite frankly disagree (amicably I should hope) with you on many issues, I’m willing to agree here. I was disappointed with/spoke against those who piled upon the authors who recused themselves last year under threat of cultural shunning, just as I did not appreciate all the puppy-kicking comments from the other side. Because quite frankly, we were quite misrepresented last year (for example, said to be anti-women when we had voted for people who are very much women.) or accused of racism and whatnot when really, quite honestly, many of us non-rabids really, truly desired to have a say at the table in a real, legitimate manner.
Unfortunately, the behavior and anger on both sides has led to…well….butt raptors.
I had to explain that to my wife the other day. It’s like dealing with her students at their worst. And embarrassing as hell.
Jim, I realize you’re threading a careful needle here, keeping from accusing your side of the issue with being deliberate with certain offenses while acknowledging our view on the matter. I feel like I’m noticing more and more from certain factions a realization along the lines of a particular line from Hunt for Red October. ..”this business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we’ll be lucky to live through it.”
Thankfully the stakes aren’t as high as that but…yeah.
April 29, 2016 @ 10:05 am
“Unfortunately, the behavior and anger on both sides has led to…well….butt raptors”
Well, no. The petty spite and self-aggrandizement of a pathetic man-child has led to butt raptors.
I think that having apparently moved away from the slating of the past, the Sad Puppies campaign have the perfect opportunity here to leave clear blue water between them and VD, and part of that is not indulging in this suggestion that VD is somehow a creation of this kerfluffle. VD was nursing a decade-old grudge when a convenient bandwagon came his way, and he was going to act like a spiteful buffoon no matter what; the only difference is the precise material he had to work with.
While I appreciate you aren’t going that far, I’m seeing quite a lot of reactions that boil down to “hur hur” and celebrating this as an act of petty revenge.
The Sad Puppies such as yourself who genuinely want a place at the table (which I would say was always yours for the taking) need to consider if they want that table smashing up.
April 29, 2016 @ 10:42 am
Great points as always, Mr. Hines. It’s really great to see a sane post among all the frothing.
Just wanted to add one small point of mine. People at both sides of this debate: can we cool it with the Chuck Tingle bashing? The author has been his usual weird and surreal self during this hullabaloo and is taking his status as a pawn in a larger game very sportingly.
I did not nominate Chuck Tingle. I am not planning to vote for Chuck Tingle. But having to listen to either “How do you like them butt raptors on your Hugo ballot?” or “You hate SFF because you put Chuck Tingle on the ballot” must get tiring after some time. Nobody likes to be considered the type specimen of bad writing.
April 29, 2016 @ 11:16 am
Agreed. I rather enjoy his weird and surreal self, (and have a very small suspicion that my wife voted for him, and/or will vote for him).
Like his thing or not, there are a lot of people who enjoy his stuff, or reading the titles of his stuff, or whatever, and are not enjoying him being held up as The Worst Thing Ever.
April 29, 2016 @ 11:20 am
Went through it last year.
Delayed publication of material to 2016 to avoid being nominated this year.
To those who are nominees this year:
Good luck. Take cover; incoming fire from all quarters is en route. You will have friends shriek at you if you don’t drop out. If you do drop out, you’ll be called a “traitor.” Make the decision that’s right for your mental health.
To those voting this year, my advice remains the same:
Read the works. Vote your conscience. In that order.
April 29, 2016 @ 11:26 am
The Sads were just about as besides the point last year as this. They barely got on the ballot, and they certainly weren’t driving the agenda, not with such a distracting show as VD was running.
That said, I think this is missing the point? Jim said he wasn’t interested in debating which side was worse than the other (though I think many of us can agree that VD is The Worst! OMG!) The point is that regardless of who is comparing themselves to Confederate Generals and who is calling who Himmler, if we want to claim that the Hugos stand for more than a bunch of poo-flinging monkeys, we’ve got to stop flinging quite so much poo.
Butt Raptors are about the best thing going in this mess, tbh. At least they’re fun.
April 29, 2016 @ 11:30 am
Nice try, but too little too late… Your comrades are already ramping up the rhetoric and vitriol again this year. Personally, I’m looking forward to looking up certain individuals to see if they have the balls to repeat what they said from the safety of their keyboards last year about myself and others, both in public and private emails. As far as a seat at the table, I was told point blank ‘we’ don’t deserve seats at the table because we haven’t spent untold years volunteering at Cons. We haven’t ‘earned’ the right to have a say…
Jim C. Hines
April 29, 2016 @ 11:34 am
Sorry, I’ve got way too much going on to waste much time on this. If you want to offer a productive comment — that would be one that doesn’t make simplistic assumptions about who my “comrades” are, and doesn’t feel like a personified testosterone overdose trying to pick a fight — feel free. Otherwise, go stir stuff up elsewhere.
Jim C. Hines
April 29, 2016 @ 11:36 am
Yep. The debate on which side is worse, or whether the “sides” even exist, is one I’d rather not get into on this post. Thanks!
April 29, 2016 @ 11:49 am
Jim, I was trying to make my reply to Zee about issues now and going forward (and avoid tediously re-arguing the last few years), but as I obviously failed I apologise and will drop the tangent.
Jim C. Hines
April 29, 2016 @ 11:55 am
No worries. This post just feels like it would be so easy to derail, so I’m a bit more on-edge about watching the discussion than I usually would be.
April 29, 2016 @ 12:23 pm
We can certainly agree to disagree on this issue, but I actually think we’re talking about two different things. Part of that is my bad for not nesting my comment properly when I posted above.
It sounds like you’re talking about reasons why people lost. I, however, was talking about why people were No Awarded, and I was specifically addressing the idea that all of last year’s No Awards were justified based on quality (which is how I’m interpreting Sally’s comment, especially the scare quotes around quality. Perhaps I’m misinterpreting her, and if so, I welcome a corrective).
Anyhow, I’m posting for clarity only, not looking for a fight. 🙂
April 29, 2016 @ 12:41 pm
When I used “lost” I really meant No Awarded – I’ve no idea why I used that wording, my bad.
(Also in the interests of clarity, not fights; Jim has made it clear he doesn’t wish for any of those)
April 29, 2016 @ 5:50 pm
On the Internetz, nobody knows your mouth is full of gnats.
Pixel Scroll 4/29/16 Dr. Strangelist | File 770
April 29, 2016 @ 9:03 pm
[…] (6) DEJA HUGO. Jim C. Hines presents his thoughts about the Hugos, and the difference between anger and abuse, in “A Few Hugo Requests”. […]
April 30, 2016 @ 3:05 am
Hard to type that way.
May 2, 2016 @ 8:02 am
I am coming around to the view that every comment section and social media venue should have a version of that anti-bullying software that scans for abusive or obscene words or phrases and asks, “Are you sure you want to post this?”
And maybe add a mandatory cool-down period before you could hit Yes.