In science fiction, there have always been battles, but the scandal during this year’s Hugo Awards, is not the kind fans want to see. These awards recognize achievements in science fiction literature as well as artistry and fan categories. It’s a big deal within the community, and it looks great to everyone that may not be so in touch with our world. The prestigious awards have been handed out since 1953, but this year a controversy between creators has become the main news story.
Fans and writers alike decided that the Hugo Awards had been lacking as of the last few years. They thought that some award winners were not worthy of their titles, and that their work had been chosen based on more political reasons then the actual content of the pieces. A group referred to as the Sad Puppies felt that some work was only recognized based on its reflection of minorities, for instance female or diverse writers and/or characters, or works from those who were recognizable. They decided to release a slate of names that they believe were of high quality and deserving of nominations. It should be noted that both female and writers of diverse backgrounds were included on this list. The Hugos can be voted on by a member of Worldcon, the sponsor of the Hugos, who has paid a $40 membership fee, so it’s accessible to fans. This year, the group got the nominations to tilt in their favor.
Also lending their own slate of nominees were the Rabid Puppies. This group takes a much bolder stance. The group’s leader, Vox Day, is a real piece of work. The guy has outwardly raged on many topics from feminism to homosexuality. He is the second person ever to be thrown from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America organization after using their OFFICIAL Twitter page to use hateful words against black author N.K. Jemisin.
It seems as though the campaigning for nominations worked and was within the rules of the Hugo Awards. Many in the community are disheartened and some authors have refused their nominations. There’s a lot of information floating around the web, and it’s all a battle of words, rules and politics. In the end, though, we all kind of lose.
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