Orwell Was 4 Years off

Iron Curtain

Over at the Castalia House blog, a reader poses this pivotal question:
Follow-up question. Several articles said the Hugo Awards have been a SocJus Safe Space for three decades and a little. So did the Hugo Awards go down hill in 1980?
CH blog editor and Appendix N author Jeffro Johnson answers with an expertise that few others can rival:
There are many posts on this, but here’s the short version.
1) Campbellian “Hard” SF was itself a modernist post-Christian movement that reset sff history by unpersoning the grandmasters of the pulp era.
2) The Hugos were a part of this revisionist wave and are thus… suspect to begin with.
3) Add to this that (and I’m not kidding) actual communists made a concerted effort to take over science fiction about the time that the Hugos began.
4) And seriously. Does anybody actually read seventies sff…? How stupid the “award-worthy” stuff was then?
5) And if the Hugos were such a gold standard, then why did the hard core sff fans that created the first wave of rpgs seem largely oblivious to the critically acclaimed award winning stuff of the sixties and seventies?
6) See also Marrion Zimmer Bradley and the story behind stuff like “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”.
1980 is where the current iron curtain of the mind has been set. But the real cultural damage was done by 1940.
For more in-depth documentation, see this eye-opening video by The Qu Qu and Dan Wolfgang:

Print science fiction--once a dominant form of mass entertainment--was hijacked after WWII by screwdriver-wielding Modernists and outright Communists who wanted to make SF more literary in the former case and a propaganda tool in the latter.

Arising during this takeover of the genre, the Hugos were compromised from the beginning. Their current sorry state: a participation award given to authors from the most victimized groups by a small clique of dwindling fossils, was their inevitable intended end.

Happily for lovers of imaginative, exciting sci-fi, a new generation of storytellers has emerged to take back the genre from its treacherous erstwhile stewards. The Superversive and Pulp Revolution movements, as well as countless independent authors who simply strive to tell entertaining tales, are moving science fiction out of the literary ghetto where it's languished these many years.

The Dragon Awards have been hailed as a pro-fan replacement for the corrupt Hugos. But recent events cast doubt on Dragon Con's ability to stand firm against allowing a small but vocal segment of fandom to exert undue influence over the award process. The only solution is for the greater legions of honest fans to make their voices heard via ballot.

Request your free Dragon Award ballot.

Get the fan favorite Soul Cycle, including 2017 Dragon finalist The Secret Kings, for less than $9.

The Soul Cycle - Brian Niemeier



  1. As usual, Jeffro brings the Info Hammer. The guy should write a book.

    1. I agree. The vitriol & bile his writing receives could make for a work written about those who oppose his views and the result he makes on their digestive tracts. I propose, "Appendix? Oh!"