Hugo Stuff: Just taking a moment to acknowledge…

…that the Hugo nominations are going on right now, and they will be an ongoing thing through the end of March. I echo the sentiments of Mr. John Scalzi in saying that if you can nominate (meaning, as I understand it, that you already had a World Con membership as of January 31st, including a membership for last year’s), you should nominate.

Even if you can’t fill out all your allotted choices in every category, nominate what you can, where you can. Please don’t let any sense that you don’t know the field well enough to confidently assert that something is truly “the best” stop you; the purpose of the nomination is not to make that determination, but to provide choices for the wider fandom as a whole to make it later. Nominate your favorites, nominate whoever and whatever you thought was notable in 2015, and if you feel insecure or like an impostor, know that there are people out there who not only never question their own right to participate, they’ll never question their right to dominate.

The fact that a small, self-entitled clique that sought to wrestle control of the award away from fandom at large was able to game the ballot formation so effectively last year came down to how low participation in the nominations historically has been. The fact that this same clique was given a thorough drubbing by fandom at large in the actual awards came down to how high participation was.

I haven’t been talking about the Sad and Rabid Puppies much this year because the Hugo Awards are going to happen every year and I don’t want that to be my life, but I understand they’re still at it, still spinning the same narratives, still spreading the same propaganda, still appealing to the biases and suspicions of the biased and the suspicious. I don’t know how much impact they’ll have.

For nominations, there are three possibilities: they’ll have another walk in the park, their machinations will be shut out entirely, or they’ll have some impact but not be able to seize as total control as they did last year. I think if everybody who was mobilized to get involved and vote on conscience and merits rather than politics stays involved, their ability to unduly influence the process will be nullified, but that depends on a big if.

My name has come up in a few circles as a possible nominee. By that I mean, I know that some people have nominated me, but that’s not the same as making it onto the ballot, even without any puppies piddling in the box. In truth, it is an honor just to be nominated, even if I don’t make the short list. It is an honor to have my name being mentioned in conjunction with some of the giants of the field.

If you’re a Hugo voter and you didn’t realize I was even in the running, the way I understand it is that people are nominating me in two categories: Fan Writer and Best Related Work. Fan Writer, as I understand it, is for people who write about fandom and sf/f media, which is something I do from time to time both in this space, and on my Twitter, and (mostly in the form of Star Trek meta) in other parts of the web.

The fan writing I believe they’re referring to is primarily my writing last year about the Hugo Awards and the puppies and related sad/angry animals, which you can find mostly (along with other similar things) filed under the deliberately dismissive heading of Noisy Nonsense.

The “related works” I have heard people talking up include both my satirical “Sad Puppies Review Books” series (also available as a collection, with a few bonuses, here) and the parody e-booklet John Scalzi Is Not A Very Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular

I am not going to tell anyone how to nominate or how to vote. I do have some mixed feelings about the Related Work category being used in this fashion, but not so thoroughly mixed that I’d turn down a nomination. I will, however, point out that my satirical efforts also fall under the broad heading of “fan writing”, and as the Best Fan Writer category is for a writer and not a particular work, you could safely nominate me in that category and know that I will take it as a nod towards my silly writing as well as the more serious stuff.