Hugo nomination

Alyssa Wong did a much more in-depth, comprehensive writeup of the current Hugo situation, so you should probably go read that first (and vote for her for the Campbell, for God’s sake! I don’t need to sing her praises; they are self-evident), as this is mostly just addressing where I stand as one of the current Hugo finalists. I’ll try and make it short, as your time is precious and if you’re anything like me you are sick unto fucking death of hearing about the issue.

So. That silly cyberpulp story I wrote and sold to Lightspeed a year ago has now managed to net itself a hat trick of nominations: Nebula, Sturgeon, and Hugo (EDIT: Make that a quartet; it just got onto the Locus Award ballot as well). I’m honoured. I’m beyond honoured: I’m fucking stunned and honoured. However, making this pretty much the textbook definition of a pyrrhic victory, the Hugos have yet again been hijacked by semi-sentient anal glands, who spewed hot, smelly ass juice all over the ballot, squeezing deserving legitimate work out and smearing the palmful of legitimate noms who got through with expressed butt infection funk. This gunk is straight-up rancid. Stains clothes, kills flowers, soils hope. In an attempt to be very clever doggies, they also stuck several legitimate, worthy works that would have probably gotten on the ballot anyway onto their slates as shields.

So, what’s a nominee to do?

Not a whole lot, honestly. We have two options: Stay on target, or withdraw. Both are perfectly valid choices, but I’m not withdrawing my nomination. The reasons are thus:

A. “Trail of Dead” was NOT on the Rabid slate. It is the only nominee in the Novelette category that wasn’t on their shit-smearing list. Additionally, Hao Jingfang’s Folding Beijing–a fine novelette that would have gotten on the ballot under its own steam–was Rabid-slated, but is definitely worth touching your eyeballs down on, regardless. The entire intent of RPs using legitimate works as shields this year was to make people bounce off them on principal. Don’t give ‘em the satisfaction. Read and use best judgment.

B. It WAS on the Sad ‘Recommended’ list, but ‘eligibility’ for that sideshow was downright farcical and seemed to involve people mentioning things in a comments thread. If I recall correctly from my one glance at their methods, three people brought up my story, and one of them hated the fucking thing (pretty per for the course with “Trail of Dead”). Either way, I don’t believe the Sad List had a huge bearing on this year’s outcomes. At this point they’re just ticks on the frothers’ matted backs. I’m still not happy about my inclusion, but …

C. … This story is also currently a finalist for the Nebula and the Theodore Sturgeon. It was on the 2015 Locus Recommended Reading List (and is apparently a Locus Award finalist, to boot). It was on several end-of-year best-of lists, and earned a spot in Rich Horton’s Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2016. Tl;dr: Many people really, really, really liked “Trail of Dead.” I can’t say whether or not it’s a good enough story to also belong on the Hugo ballot; I’m a terrible judge of my own work and there are plenty of people who will gladly let you know it’s vulgar, brainless garbage that makes a mockery of the hallowed Nebula, Sturgeon, Locus, and Hugo ballots. Conversely, there are many other people who will tell you it’s one of their favourite stories of the year. Both viewpoints are equally valid; if you read it and it’s not your thing, it’s not your thing. One way or the other, it managed to kick, punch, and claw its way through a wall of slate voting onto a fourth ballot, and I think it deserves a shot, if only to be a two-handed, middle-fingered salute to all slate puppers everywhere. The future is coming, there’s no stopping it, and they won’t always get their precious way no matter how big a howling toy aisle strop they throw, be it on an awards ballot or out in the wider world.

Hard pounding this, gentlemen. Let’s see who will pound the longest. Or, in Rhye terms, got here anyway, you fucks. Let’s see this through to the bitter fucking end.

6 thoughts on “Hugo nomination

  1. I had you on my Sturgeon nomination list as number 1. Your story rocks. Maybe it’s a either love or hate thing, but damn, I loved it like a burning thing. I’m incredibly happy that you made the finalists on all of these and I hope you walk away with some sort of statuary. You deserve it.

  2. I, too, loved, Loved, LOVED And You Shall Know Her By The Trail Of Dead. While I’m not sure what that says about me, I know what it says about your story. It rocks. Your story encouraged me to hunt up other stories, and enjoy them. Now I wait for more. And I wait for the time of voting. Be well, write what you will.



  3. I spent some time today working on a blog post to put up later this week, and this included some analysis of the SP list and whether it mattered in any way. I’m just going to C&P something I wrote there:

    I think you can see the SP lack of impact most clearly with the Best Editor: Short Form category.

    The Rabid Puppy list had only one entry, Jerry Pournelle, leaving this a fairly side-open field. The Sad Puppy list had only six entries, and one of them was Bryan Thomas Schmidt, who had requested an asterisk and had stated publicly that he was not going to accept a Hugo Award this year. This is a relatively low-turnout category generally. (In 2015, there were 1,827 nominating ballots cast for Best Novel; there were 870 cast for Best Editor Short Form, and Vox Day got on the ballot with 162 nominations.) If the Sad Puppies were going to matter, they should have been able to their other contenders on the ballot: John Joseph Adams, S.M. Sterling, Jason Rennie, and Paula Goodlett.

    John Joseph Adams got on the ballot. He’s the editor of Lightspeed, a previous Hugo finalist, and lost out (barely) to VD last year — he didn’t actually need their help. Their other recommendations — S.M. Sterling, Jason Rennie, and Paula Goodlett — did not get on the ballot.

    I’d also have figured that if the SPs were going to matter, they’d have gotten Dave Freer on the ballot for Best Fanwriter — he blogs with Kate, Amanda, and Sarah at Mad Genius Club, and is very popular with the SP crowd. Nope. Declan Finn didn’t get on there for “Sad Puppies Bite Back,” either. The Sad Puppy choices that got on the ballot in spite of not being Rabid Puppies are all up for Nebula Awards with the lone exception of the Dr. Who episode — I may have missed one, but I’m pretty sure this is true in every case.

    So. Yes. The SP slate had no bearing on this year's outcomes. I'm glad you're on the Hugo ballot — you clearly, CLEARLY earned your spot there.

    • One reason Dave Freer wasn’t on the “Best Fan Writer” list is that he’s an author — he was surprised by last year’s nomination (and would have declined it but wasn’t given the opportunity before the announcement). Dave has over a dozen published books, I’m not sure why he’s being stuck in the “fan” category.

  4. I haven’t read the whole thing yet, but I directly quoted your first paragraph and said “This is gonna be fun.” I’m looking forward to it. Congrats on all your nominations. :)

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