2019/12/04

No American Man

Has won a Hugo Award since 2010.
Not A Single American Man
Special thanks: @MorlockP
Kidding aside, we've now gained enough distance from the Sad/Rabid Puppies campaigns to do a proper postmortem on the Hugos.

To recap, author Larry Correia started the Campaign to End Puppy-Related Sadness when he smelled something rotten among the oldpub clique that hands out the Hugo Awards. He set out to prove that winning a Hugo has less to do with literary merit and almost everything to do with scratching the right backs while having the right politics.

After three years, Larry decided he'd proved his point and retired from the Sad Puppies. By any objective metric, he was right. When you have one publisher winning more than twice as many Hugos as the next most award-winning house, and when SFWA officers constitute an oversized chunk of Best Novel winners since 1986, you'd have to be terminally naive not to see a cool kids' clique trading participation trophies.

Imagine if one movie studio won more than twice as many Best Picture Oscars than its closest competitor in a similar span of time. What if a preponderance of Best Picture winners had also been directed by current and former high-ranking officers of the Directors Guild? Anyone who's not a total NPC would at least entertain suspicions of some shady backroom  deals.

For its first three yeas, Sad Puppies performed the vital public service of wising normies up to the convergence of legacy sci fi publishing. In a way, it prefigured what #GamerGate did in the video game scene. But like pretty much every dissident online movement since, SP quickly devolved into petty territorial bickering. When its original founder was replaced by people who still want a pat on the head from oldpub, SP became just another bogeyman in the Left's morality play.

For his part, Vox Day saw the writing on the wall and launched his own Rabid Puppies campaign. To their credit, RP forced the Hugo clique to torpedo their own awards and ram through convoluted rules changes. Like Larry, Vox decided to take a step back--ostensibly to gauge the results thus far. But then everybody got swept up in the Trump phenomenon and mostly forgot about the Hugos. The founding of the Dragon Awards helped that process along.

Where do the big sci fi awards stand now? The Hugos had rather unimpressive participation rates when Larry started SP. The Sad and Rabid Puppies campaigns gave the Hugos a massive boost. Now, contra predictions of the Hugos' imminent demise, they've basically stabilized at roughly 50% above their pre-SP numbers, but less than half their 2016 peak.

In short, the Puppies exposed the Hugos as a members-only accolade within the Death Cult and gave them a boost by helping to raise awareness among other cultists. Meanwhile, the general public has once again forgotten that the Hugos exist.

As mentioned above, Dragon Con now hosts the Dragon Awards. The Dragons boast far larger and much more open participation than the Hugos, and after rebuffing an SJW takeover attempt, they've largely settled into an antipodal role as readers' choice awards for fans of a certain SFF publisher.

Today, in this Year of Our Lord 2019, we have the Tor Awards and the Baen Awards, which boils down to the solution the SF SJWs suggested when the Puppies forced them to be honest.

That's not to draw a false moral equivalence. The Dragons are, all-importantly, honest. Plus, the bigger indies have a fighting chance at winning.

Speaking of which, check out my Dragon Award-winning and nominated series.

12 comments:

  1. The Hugos got one last hurrah from the Sad/Rabid Puppies campaign, but now they're meaningless (other than as a list of books to avoid).

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    1. They're meaningful to the Death Cultists as indicators of status, as well as for behind the scenes as who gets to determine status.

      For the rest of us, nomination = stay away.

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    2. Yes, the World Con crowd wanted a safe space where they could pass around participant ribbons undisturbed by normal people. They got their wish.

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    3. Nick

      Agreed. I simply don't read SciLit. There are so many other genres and authours more worth my time.

      xavier

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    4. Brian, according to "The Last Closet" ribbons aren't the only thing they pass around. Worldcon does not sound like a child friendly environment.

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    5. About as safe as the national parks from today's post.

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  2. The Tor Awards and the Baen Awards.

    So we choose between the clique pick award, and the award that has no category for short fiction.

    It's rough, but the Dragons are still an improvement.

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    Replies
    1. Both awards are popularity contests. The Dragons are just honest about it and have a much larger voter base.

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  3. I see it as more of a "We write to be invited to the right parties" award and a "We write so readers will enjoy our work and pay us to keep doing it" award. With the Dragon's, even when the folks I voted for didn't win, I could honestly see that the winners were justified. With the Hugo's, I just assume whoever wins is whoever Tor is pushing that year.

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  4. I wouldn't be upset if awards for things (movies, books, tv, music etc.) simply disappeared. The clout chasers would also disappear overnight because they have nothing to create for.

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    Replies
    1. They'd at least move on to other ways of getting attention so we could get on with our hobbies.

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