The Hugo Awards honor the best of science fiction and fantasy. They are given out each year at WorldCon – which is the event to attend if you are a fan of scifi/fantasy. It’s also great for writers, too. This year there was a bit of a controversy surrounding the nominees. It has been reported multiple places, and I dare not do the whole story justice by hashing it out here but will try.
There are some folks who felt the Hugos were given to those in inner circles. A conspiracy if you will to cherry pick nominees even though nominations are open to all WorldCon members. So one group set out to make sure that there were some well deserving names on the ballot. This did not sit well with the establishment. Words were said. Accusations thrown around for months. It was pretty ugly especially coming from a community known to be very welcoming of new writers.
The awards were given out this past weekend. When a member votes, they can either vote for a nominee or vote No Award which basically says no one in this category is worthy of the Hugo. This year No Award won five categories – a record for the Hugos. Sad really. It’s like cutting off your nose to spite your face. No one wins and who is really hurt? Those five empty winner slots and the fans who had filled the auditorium or watched online to see how the voting went.
The award ceremony itself was very venomous as joke after joke was made to this one group of people. It really was like being back in high school as this was the kind of antics you would expect from stupid teenagers and not grown professionals.
As a journalist, I have been amazed at how the media has written about this story. Some articles are balanced but even those seem to sensationalize the story. I have been glad that my husband has been so interested in this. It’s been a big story that we get to talk about. When I was an active journalist, we never talked much about the news so getting to share this story together has been kind of fun. With a lot of news stories especially controversial ones that affect people’s lives, I wish it would not have gotten so big or the name calling so loud. I guess it’s easy for people to forget they are talking about real people sometimes.
We are attending WorldCon next year, and I’m already excited. I hope this story does not have such a negative impact next year. Maybe the backlash from this year’s WorldCon will put a stop to any future shenanigans around the Hugos. Stop thinking in a her mentality and vote for the piece or work. Who cares who nominated/endorsed it? If you like it, vote for it. Maybe that should be the campaign for next year’s Hugos – Just vote.