Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Hugo Awards

The winners of the Hugo awards this year mostly agree with my votes. EDIT: January Jessica Jones beat My Little Pony, and some of my votes for 2nd place actually came in first, which is fine with me. N.K. Jemisen got best novel rather than Seveneves, and Folding Beijing beat Obits. The very awesome Cat Pictures, Please beat Chuck Tingle.

Both Mike Glyer and File 770 won. Mike has been seriously ill lately, which has saddened and alarmed many of us filers.

The Martian won Best Picture, and Andy Weir won the Campbell Award. Actual NASA astronauts accepted on his behalf, both times. Plus they talked about how much they liked it. Dayumm, that’s a mark of supreme science fictional praise.

Was there applause at the No Awarding this year? Hell yes, there was applause. If I had to characterize the type of applause, I’d call it “take yer dang slate and skedaddle” applause, very earthy and midsouthwestern.

It seemed to me that the voters were distinguishing between (i) works that might have wound up on the ballot with or without a slate, and (ii) works that were only on the ballot because they were slated. Where slates pushed away all the (i)s they were vigorously No Awarded, and when the slaters held onto that populist mentality, the voters forgave the slating. The voting members didn’t mind it when slaters came along to underline selections; they just didn’t like having puppy selections foisted upon them. Just as the puppies dislike having ultraliberal works foisted upon them.

That’s what it all really boils down to. People don’t like having works foisted upon them that sneer at them from every page. We’ve become a tragically uncivil culture since the advent of the internet, and beyond that, some people are tired of making nicey nice with folks that constantly joke about killing them. 

Science fiction, meanwhile, shows no signs of ceasing to be political at any time soon, and I’m looking forward to the art this phase of the culture war will inspire. The Hugo rules were changed last weekend and potentially next year’s awards will be less slatey. And maybe I’ll cease being interested, although I’m definitely going to the 2018 Worldcon in San Jose, since it’s nearby.

And finally … I realize this is pathologically weird, but it’s my brain and I’m the one that has to live with it … I’ve been going through Postmodern Jukebox videos. They were the band whose music was sampled in the theater while we were all sitting there waiting for the Hugos to start. The song partially stuck in my head is sort of a mutant cross between Dionne Warwick’s I Say A Little Prayer and Pat Benatar’s Shadows of the Night via Adele. I haven’t found it yet. But I will. 


  1. Uhm, it's Jessica Jones. January Jones is the actress who played Don Draper's wife in Mad Men.

  2. Hi Charon!

    It's Jessica Jones though, not January.

  3. Whoopsie! Thanks for catching that, Bonnie and Cora!