Brad Torgersen, 2x 2014 Hugo nominee for Best Novella and Best Novelette, weighs in on the Hugo kerfluffle:
As has often been the case when I observe these kinds of things, I remain puzzled that the group which dubs itself “fandom” (in the parlance of the original Worldcons of yore) and which is always self-analyzing so as to determine how it can bring in more young fans, more diverse fans, and more energetic fans, could react so poorly to Larry Correia bringing Monster Hunter Nation to the Hugo nominations — as if the state of New York were aghast that the state of Texas showed up for a national party caucus during the run-up to a major election.
Isn’t bringing new people into old-school fandom part of the point of Worldcon?
But it wasn’t just Monster Hunter Nation that had certain people in fandom riled up. Wheel of Time fans managed to get the entire series (Jordan/Sanderson) on the ballot too — for Best Novel Hugo. Which is not precisely against the rules of the nomination process, but Wheel of Time is a massive series that is almost 30 years old. Seeing it in the Best Novel category alongside the other books for 2014 is highly unusual to say the least. So unusual, in fact, that some people in fandom have chosen to get upset about it; to the same degree those individuals in fandom are upset about Monster Hunter Nation getting the third installment in Larry Correia’s Hard Magic series onto the ballot, with Warbound: Book III of the Grimnoir Chronicles.
My response to the plaintiffs is: why not?
As does Larry Correia, 2014 Hugo nominee for Best Novel:
Allow me to explain why the presence of my slate on the Hugo
nominations is so controversial. This is complicated and your time is
valuable, so short explanation first, longer explanation if you care
- 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.
- So I got some right wingers on the ballot.
- The biased voters immediately got all outraged and mobilized to do exactly what I said they’d do.
- 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
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.
It’s interesting to see how much more sane and reasonable both men sound than the Torlings and the shrieking pinkshirts offended that their little SF/F sanctum has been invaded by the ideologically impure. In any event, there is considerably more to both posts than the small portions I posted here, so don’t hesitate to click through.