George Martin and the SF-SJWs are a bit downcast at the belated discovery that E Pluribus Hugo is going to work about as well as relying upon one recommended individual per category withdraw after being nominated:
Over the past few months, I’ve read countless variations of the statement that goes, “well, this is the last year we will have a problem, come summer we’ll pass EPH and all will be fine.” I had my doubts about that every time I heard it, and this new report just confirms them. We may indeed pass EPH, and it may help… a little… but all will not be fine.
We may pass 4/6 too, and that could also help… slightly… but it’s easily thwarted, if you have hundreds of followers who will do exactly as you tell them, and the Rabids seem to have just that.
If EPH and 4/6, or both, are passed at MidAmericon II, and work more-or-less as advertised, the slates will no longer be able to completely dominate entire categories by taking all five slots. The reforms should ensure that there are at least one or two legitimate nominees in every category. Which is better, certainly, than what has happened to Best Related Work the past two ballots, say. But it is still far from ideal. Future ballots will instead look more like last year’s Best Novelette, Best Professional Artist, and Best Fan Writer shortlists, or this year’s Best Fan Artist, all of which featured one legit choice and four slate candidates. Maybe we’d see some improvement in some categories, and have two finalists to choose between.
Better than what we have now? Sure. But comparable to being able to choose among five strong candidates to decide which one was the very best of the year? Not even close.
I can hear the proponents of EPH and 4/6 saying their reforms were never meant to be a cure all. Yes, I know that, I never believed otherwise, and I applaud your efforts to help. I just wish these reforms helped more. Neither EPH nor 4/6 is going to prevent us from having VD on the Best Editor shortlist from now until the heat death of the universe.
This is evidence in itself of the decline of science fiction. The “beardy middle-aged middle-Americans” of the sort that NK Jemisin decried had sufficient math to see this coming. What passes for today’s “science fiction” writers, not so much.
If they think they’re tired and demoralized now, well, just wait. The Rabid Puppies haven’t even begun to exhaust their tactical arsenal.