Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Hugo Awards 1953-2018

The Hugos finally died last night.  The most prestigious award in Science Fiction was given to a woman who admits that she can't really support herself with her writing...because no one wants to pay money to read her stories.

I have no trouble admitting when someone is better than me at something.  I'll never be as good a novelist as Ursula K. LeGuin.*  My characters won't be as good as Bujold's.** So when I say that I'm a better writer than N.K. Jemisin it's not sour grapes, it's an accurate assessment.  I'm a medium talent story teller and I know I'm better than this woman, who has just been awarded the Hugo for three years running.

If Jemisin had any brains at all she would have bowed out this year.  The only thing she had going for herself until last night is membership in a very exclusive club.  Being mentioned in the same breath as Bujold gave her a nice halo effect.  But winning three in row makes her unique.

 It puts her work in the spotlight.  Jemisin has to be able to stand on her own as one of the true giants in the field.  More influential than Heinlein, more creative than Niven, more layered than Card, more poetic than Zelazny. 

And there is no question about it all.  N.K. Jemisin is none of these things.  She can't even hold a candle next to any of these spotlights.  She is no giant in the field, she's a midget on a hilltop who All the Right People are saying, is a giant.  So far as that goes she couldn't really be blamed for that.

The Torlings wanted to show He Who Must Not Be Named 'what for.'  Sclazi would have been okay for that but he's that most horrific of things, a Cishet-White-Male.  It would be an affirmation of the superiority of the Patriarchy and also, they were still pretty embarrassed about giving him the Hugo for Red Shirts.

No, the SMOFs needed an angry SJW, black woman who had had a run-in with Vox Day.  N.K. Jemisin had the perfect resume.

Think about it. Three Hugos in three years should not only make her a giant but also the G.O.A.T.    Up until now she has been able to get by on Hipster Literacy.  Which involves hipsters (A) knowing they are supposed to know your, name if they are good hipsters.  (B) Reading the plot summary on Wikipedia. (C) going to B&N and reading the first and last chapters of your book without actually buying it and (D) bragging to all their hipster friends on Facebook that they have read your book and that they should too.  (E) Cycle repeats without any sales.

And if she can't support herself writing than she obviously isn't getting those sales.  Three consecutive Hugo awards should equal one seven figure contract and nobody is even thinking of giving Jemisin so much as a six figure deal.

If Jemisin had had the sense that God gave a goat she would have refused a third nomination with the old excuse of "needing to give new blood a chance".  But in accepting the nomination and then the award, the midget on the hilltop is agreeing with All the Right People, that she is indeed a giant.

And now the worst thing that can possibly happen to N.K. Jemisin is going to start happening.  People will actually start reading her books and judging her works on their own merit.

Her career can't survive that.

*In her prime... I had to say it somewhere.
** Before she fell off the rails about sex...that needed a mention too.


Rigel Kent said...

The only thing I've ever read of Jemisin's is the transcription of her most recent acceptance speech, and my god, it was a mess.

The woman can't even string together a single coherent sentence. But the Hugo voters expect the rest of us to believe she's the greatest living SF writer? What a joke.

Hausman said...

Hugo voters, the Nebulas and the New York Times....

even the Dragon awards if you go by nominations....

Emmett Fitz-Hume said...

Back before I had ever heard of Vox Day, before the puppy campaigns and even before I knew who Scalzi was, I took Jemisin’s first book (can’t remember the title and I don’t feeling looking it up) out of the library in my weekly stack. I knew nothing about the author.

It was unreadable, or so close as to not make a difference. From what I understand, she hasn’t gotten any better.

Nothing but an Affirmative Action Author.

exfarmkid said...

Nice analysis: Short, to the point, and accurate.

Chris Lutz said...

Do publishers even recognize that putting a Hugo winner/nominee on the cover of a book is a sales killer? I know I avoid anything that has that on there unless it is 20-30 years old.

I had a job babysitting a mainframe back in the early 00's which left me some time to kill. One of the early ebook vendors would give away the short story Hugo winners/nominees. Almost all of them were horrible. One was about two lesbian witches who created a wonderful neighborhood after they straightened out the heterosexual white guy. I even think the guy's wife left him to join the lesbians. It was bad.

Mr. Bee said...

I propose there's an underground Hugo subgroup who were too sissy to be part of the protest groups but who nevertheless think the present set up is an abomination. This particular outcome would be the best way to show the award is now deader than Seth Rich with six .357 magnum rounds through his skull.

Jew613 said...

At the end of the day Jemisin will always know she is a fraud, that she got thr awards not because of ability but because she filled out the right checkboxes.

Chris Lutz said...

@Bee - I think there is also a group that thought they were safe from the loons. Scalzi comes to mind. Soon all of those hetero-white women will find themselves tossed out as well.

Mr.MantraMan said...

I love me some Jes, she is perfect a colored women with the Jonesing for some white meat she seems to have lost or cannot get and she is the millstone about the establishment.

I wish upon her a 7 figure contract with Tor, I'll spend Tor into the ground to prove they are not the made up word "racist."

You can get a lot of bon bons and perhaps she can even attract a low SMV white male to give her the once a year rogering she writes about with 7 figures these days.

IMO when a woman writes about a man being a homosexual it is a sign of frustration. "he spurned me, must be a pillow biter."