Space Ramblings

Tag Archives: Vox Day

Hugo Awards Still a Politicized Pile of Shit

05_nuke

If you’re paying attention, you know you’re supposed to be outraged because Kevin J. Anderson got nominated for a Hugo instead of Random Tor Discovery of the Month Writer.

And I would be outraged, really, if the Hugo Awards hadn’t devolved into a pile of politicized worthless shit that gave awards to worthless writers. Kevin J. Anderson sucks. So does John Scalzi.

If I have to live in a world in which Neil Gaiman, Michael Chabon and China Mieville get awards for just showing up (at least they can actually write) and in which John Scalzi and Cory Doctorow get nominations for just being around (they can’t write, not on that level) then don’t expect me to care about Kevin J. Anderson and Vox Day ending up there.

Sad Puppies didn’t nuke the fridge. John Scalzi did with a Hugo for Redshirts. The last time the Hugo Best Novel award wasn’t a joke was 2007 with Vinge and Rainbow’s End. It’s been a shitshow ever since.

I can’t even say if 2015 is worse than 2011 – 2014 when everyone stopped pretending that this was anything except insider blowjobs.

Finally the Hugos will be entertaining. We’ll get to see which slate recruits enough people to give a Hugo to Charlie Stross or Vox Day, Ted Chiang or Brad Torgensen, Mira Grant or whoever. We can stop pretending this has anything to do with merit and just watch the hair-pulling and name-calling.

The Hugos have a messy history, but there’s never been an ongoing shitshow like this when worthless writers are promoted because of politics, e.g. Ted Chiang, John Scalzi, N.K. Jemsin, and when insiders create the myth that a few of their darlings are the only ones worth watching.

If fandom is going to be an adjunct of The Onion’s A/R or The Mary Sue, then let’s just kill it now. It’ll be a mercy killing.

And say what you will about Sad Puppies, any list of short stories on which John C. Wright appears and “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” doesn’t is a major improvement in the genre.

 

Is Science Fiction Fandom Hopelessly Polarized?

argument-380x258-tm

This isn’t just about Larry Correia and Vox Day. Or Jonathan Ross. Or Patrick Nielsen Hayden. Or Mick Resnick. Or all the rest of it. The bitter accusations and counter-accusations. The outrage and counter-outrage and counter-outrage-outrage.

Science Fiction, like a lot of publishing, rests on more than ever on writers marketing themselves over social media. That’s why we pretend that Scalzi is a good writer, when he’s actually a bad writer and an entertaining blogger.

It’s what he has in common with some other recent big names.

We have less of a fandom of writing now and more of a fandom of writers and causes. Followings of writers who are the best at online presence because they polarize and mobilize.

The Hugos have been worthless for a while, but the 2014 finalist list shows how easy it is to rig them. After Vox Day’s appearance on the list, I don’t see why any writer would even want to be associated with them.

But it’s all about the marketing. And the marketing is now all about the politics.

It’s easier to market yourself as a writer if you have controversial political views. It’s much harder if your views are ordinary, boring or if you don’t have any.

A bad writer with an entertaining and controversial online presence. A dramatic online presence. Beats a good writer with little online presence.

In a fractured marketplace where that same audience is buying movies, video game and a dozen other things, politics pulls people together. Fandoms built around writers with a commanding online presence have more power because fandom is a pale twisted shadow of what it once was.

Science Fiction is polarized because that’s what stands out in a crowded and mediocre marketplace. You can’t set yourself apart from the latest 40 urban fantasy series or Martin imitators who are growing out their beards, but you can set yourself apart by being loud and obnoxious.

Maybe this is what’s happening with our politics, but it is what’s happening with our Science Fiction. And then everyone is outraged and outraged by the outraged and no one can hear themselves talking because they’re screaming talking points at each other.

And you pick a side, any side, join in, because that’s fandom now.

Custom Avatars For Comments
UA-32485431-1
%d bloggers like this: