Friday, April 25, 2014

The Two Minute Hate Report

Much, much but-hurt from liberal sci-fi fandom.

Level 10 but-hurt.

I mean Ned Beatty deep in the back woods of Georgia but-hurt.

There is an award in science fiction called the Hugo Award. It is named for Hugo Gernsback (AKA Hugo the Rat) who the was publisher of Amazing Stories magazine and when he got fired from that, Thrilling Wonder Stories.  He paid his authors next to nothing, (hence the moniker) and most of what he published was both quickly and wisely forgotten.  None the less, the guy who writes the best science fiction novel of the year is supposed to get an award named after Hugo Gernsback.

This is decided by the attendees of WorldCon.  Buy a ticket and you can vote.  That's it, that's all the qualifications there are.

Look it's a popularity contest but it is one that used to be taken seriously by the fans in question.  In it's day, the Hugo was valuable. If a book got the award it was worth a look.

Last year the winner was Red Shirts by John Scalzi.

Red Shirts is a Star Trek derivative.  It is also supposed to be a comedy.  One thing it is not, is a serious choice.  Another thing it is not, is worth a look.

Scalzi is generally held by people who aren't Will Wheaton to be competent but over rated. Mostly because he's both.  He writes liberal military science fiction and vehemently denies that he was ever a six foot tall Marine.  He feels it's important to deny this for some reason and does so repeatedly. The only discernible source of these rumors he must deny about himself...are naturally his denials.  He also denies that he is the new Robert Heinlein.  He denies this a lot too.  Well someone has to of course because he most certainly isn't, so it might as well be him.

Scalzi has however through tireless self promotion made something of a name for himself among the people who know who Felicia Day and Jonathon Coulton are.  He is tragically taken for a major talent in science fiction by people who don't know a lot about science fiction because of this.  He was for an outstanding example, the creative consultant on Stargate Universe.

He is fond of his own smirk

His winning the Hugo for something that wasn't remotely even his best work.  Let alone best novel of 2012 was the straw that broke the camel's back.

There has been a rebellion.  A frantic stuffing of ballot boxes by right wing fandom to make certain their own choices are for the first time in years, simply nominated.

Project Sad Puppies.

I shall let the architect of this evil scheme Larry Corriea explain:

Short Version:
  1. I said a chunk of the Hugo voters are biased toward the left, and put the author’s politics far ahead of the quality of the work. Those openly on the right are sabotaged. This was denied.
  2. So I got some right wingers on the ballot.
  3. The biased voters immediately got all outraged and mobilized to do exactly what I said they’d do.
  4. Point made.
I’ve said for a long time that the awards are biased against authors because of their personal beliefs. Authors can either cheer lead for left wing causes, or they can keep their mouth shut. Open disagreement is not tolerated and will result in being sabotaged and slandered. Message or identity politics has become far more important than entertainment or quality. I was attacked for saying this. I knew that when an admitted right winger got in they would be maligned and politicked against, not for the quality of their art but rather for their unacceptable beliefs.
If one of us outspoken types got nominated, the inevitable backlash, outrage, and plans for their sabotage would be very visible. So I decided to prove this bias and launched a campaign I called Sad Puppies (because boring message fiction is the leading cause of Puppy Related Sadness).
The Hugos are supposed to be about honoring the best works, and many of the voters still take this responsibility very seriously. I thank them for this. But basically the Hugos are a popularity contest decided by the attendees of WorldCon. I am a popular writer, however my fans aren’t typical WorldCon attendees. Anyone who pays to purchase a WorldCon membership is allowed to vote. Other writers, bloggers, and even publishing houses have encouraged their fans to get involved in the nomination process before. I simply did the same thing. This controversy arises only because my fans are the wrong kind of fans.

There Larry touches it with a needle.  The wrong kind of fans.

Thirty years ago it was safer to be seen in public wearing a ball gag and assless leather chaps than a Starfleet uniform. There were liberals and conservatives back then too but we were all outcasts together.

I was on hand thirty years ago when fandom nearly ruptured over SDI/Star Wars.  Heinlein and Clarke stopped speaking to each other for few years.  I had friends that I avoided for a while but fandom in general was drawn back together by wiser heads.

But this time it's different.

This time it's permanent.

So whats happened?  Why has fandom fatally split?

The first reason is money. When it was found to be had in great big heaping gobs, Being a nerd became so mainstream people actually started bragging about it.  I can't believe I live in a world where there are not only actual, nerd poseurs but the people who dislike science fiction are hesitant to admit it for fear of being seen as a little odd.

The second was pride.  When the Danes were finally curious, they started asking what makes science fiction so special.  That was pickle.  How do you impart a sense of wonder to someone who doesn't feel wonder?  It was like trying to explain green to a man that was born blind.

However if you were a liberal you could explain just how progressive sci-fi was!

There was Ursula Leguin's Left Hand of Darkness or Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover novels or Robert Heinlein's...lesser works...or more accurately his bad books.

(Comic book fans were much, much worse. *)

Bottomline if you were a liberal fan, you could explain that to a liberal Dane.

And that led to the third reason.  Liberal herd instinct.  The carnivorous cattle are never tolerant when they aren't being forced to be tolerant.  When fandom reached a certain demographic tipping point; courtesy of reason one.  Well they were now like the...less fortunate girl...who suddenly finds herself embraced by the popular mean girls.  Time to forget about your old friends if you know what's good for you.

The fourth reason would be campus life.  Liberals have been quite successful at making American universities islands of censorship in a sea of freedom.   Having gotten a taste for suppressing viewpoints, they just want more. Much, much more.

The carnivorous cattle are used to eating their fill.
They are hungry for more.
And they smell blood.





*Never mind that the first comic book to go mainstream was Dark Knight Returns which was about as liberal as the Charles Bronson's Death Wish.

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