Friday, April 24, 2015

More About the Hugo Hooroosh

From facebook:

I was reading George Martin's Not a Blog and noticed something. Larry Correia was up for a Campbell Award for best new writer in 2011. He didn't get it and -- per him -- at a bad time at Worldcon. Brad Torgerson was up for a Campbell and a Hugo in 2012 and got neither. But you are only eligible for a Campbell for two years after you first publish. It looks as if both these guys had fast and very promising starts to their careers. (A Campbell is not chopped liver. Being up for a Hugo a year or two after you first publish is not so bad. In addition, Correia was on the New York Times bestseller list in 2011.) This is Puppy # 3 this year, which means Puppy #1 was in 2013. Okay, two years after not getting the Campbell, Correia began an attack on the Hugos, because he felt the selection process was unfair. I don't know if Torgerson joined Puppydom in its first year or a year later. In either case, he was campaigning against the Hugo a year or two after he was first up for the Campbell and Hugo. This seems to show a huge impatience. It wasn't as if these guys watched the Hugo process for ten or twenty years and decided it was unfair. They decided this almost as soon as they were published.

I have been a Hugo nominee once, 25 years after I was first published. When I got the Tiptree Award, almost 20 years after I was first published, people assumed it was for my first novel. No, I'd had three novels previously published, but they more or less sank like stones. It was frustrating and angering and depressing to work for 20 years before I got much attention. Did I think the award system was fixed? Not that I can remember. I thought life was unfair. Looking back, I think I didn't write enough and my writing wasn't a kind that got quick attention. Point is, Correia and Torgerson came into the field, were noticed at once, and decided this notice was not enough, because they didn't win the Campbell and (in Torgerson's case) the Hugo. The award system must be crooked.

I realize my description of my career sounds like a whine. Whining is not bad, now and then. Trying to destroy the Hugos is not good.

What I notice is how hard people work in order to succeed, and I also notice that many people work equally hard and write well and don't pile up money and awards. I think someone should have taken Correia and Torgerson aside and told them writing is a very difficult line of work and maybe they should get MBAs.

5 Comments:

Blogger Andrew Pelham said...

It doesn't take 20 years of participating to notice the authors you like, and the works you like, aren't being nominated.

When Larry did SP2, he wasn;t attacked on the grounds he wrote and nominated bad stories, but on the personal beliefs of the people he nominated.

As a writer, do you want what your right judged on its merits, or should I take into account your personal, political, and religious beliefs beforehand? If you are up for an award, an award given for literary reasons, but are then attacked because of what you beleive in, or who else appeared on the ballot with you, how exactly is that a right and proper thing?

The SP3 slate was not ideologically driven, did not confine itself to one subset of politics, race, religion. It nominated a bunch of good writers who wrote some good stories. The Rabid Puppies slate did their own thing, and mustered enough numbers in categories to swing the votes.

The wailing and gnashing of teeth began before the nominations were out. Gamergate wasn't even brought up by either side until after the SP/RP sweep was shown, but thats OK; I mean lets get a group of internet savvy folks who are willing to fight and spend money, who before they were casually thrown in as the reasons the SP/RP slates did so well, the vast majority of which did not even care about the Hugos existed, lets poke them in the eye and see what they do.

Two quick facts for you Ms. Arnason:

Larry Correia was a certified accountant before he turned to writing. He doesn't need an MBA.

When Larry complained, they (the Powers that Be) told him to do something about it. He did, openly, transparently, and within the rules. And yet people are still upset?

Research: It does a post good.

7:12 PM  
Blogger Liz W said...

It's never entered my head that I would get a Hugo. I'm not American, and I'm female, and my books are not popular enough.

I can, however, see why the SPs could get to the conclusion that the awards were biased: it's not so much that they would have expected to get a Hugo straight out of the writing gate had not other people who were right out of the gate also been nominated over and over. I mean, I noticed, and I've a lot less invested in the awards.

What I don't believe in is a liberal conspiracy: I have a model of the world which prioritises emergent properties, not conspiracies, and I think voters got used to nominating a rather small pool of writers who (IMO) are not up to the standard of previous winners. That's always been the nature of popular awards, however, and I'm sure you would have found similar opinions had you canvassed writers in the 1960s. Bitching about the Hugos is, after all time honoured.

5:44 AM  
Blogger Alan said...

While there were indeed many people who didn't like the politics of the SP3 slate I think that a lot of anger was over the slate aspect of SP3 (and, of course, the same for SP4 and RD).

7:51 AM  
Blogger delagar said...

Eleanor: I'm afraid you got linked at File 770. The Puppies are going to be pissing on your carpet for awhile.

10:42 AM  
Blogger Eleanor said...

Oh, 770 is to blame, eh? The real villain is Google, of course, though Mike Glyer's diligence hasn't helped me here.

7:53 AM  

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