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.