Why Some Creative Works May Never Win a Hugo Award

stewart

Screenshot taken from twitter

Okay, so the people on twitter who (very politely) accused me of being a moron because I was clueless about exactly what the Hugos are, and how creative works are awarded Hugo Awards are correct. I didn’t do my homework. I did have one woman accuse me of not even being a fan, and admittedly, in my youth I read a ridiculous amount of science fiction and fantasy compared to today.

So many books, so little time.

That said, I do read science fiction, but not every book I read is SciFi. Am I still a fan? Maybe not by that person’s standards, and I especially don’t read brand new science fiction, since I can’t afford to buy a bunch of brand new books, digital or otherwise. I usually depend on the public library, or occasionally a friend will lend me a book, but those works are usually several years (or decades) old.

That brings me back to the Hugos and twitter. I’m not getting any more tweets, but some of those previous tweets are being “liked” on twitter, and they show up in my notifications. I saw the tweet again yesterday that I posted a screenshot of above.

So really, the Hugo voters, those who nominate a work for a Hugo, and then those who vote for finalists and winners, aren’t all that many folks. Who are they?

I went to the Hugo Awards FAQ page and found out:

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Is Jeff Sessions Trying to Establish an American State Religion?

I know I’m pushing it, but I decided to share these thoughts here on my “fiction” blog.

Morning Meditations

sessions U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

I just found out that “Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday announced the Department of Justice’s creation of a ‘religious liberty task force’ to ‘help the department fully implement our religious guidance'” over at CNN.

Actually, someone I know from my Powered by Robots sister blog reblogged an article called The First Amendment Under Siege posted at The Shinbone Star. You can find out more about their staff here (although discovering that one of their reporters used to work for MSNBC told me a lot about the particular bent of this publication).

I suppose I shouldn’t get into politics on my “religious” blog, but this topic is or should be of interest to all people of faith in the U.S.

It’s tough to get an unbiased view of what Sessions is up to, so I had to look at a number of differing…

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Is There Value Left in WorldCon and the Hugo Awards?

hugo

Found at io9.gizmodo.com – No image credit available

I’ve continued to consider the problems I’ve read about recently regarding the upcoming WorldCon 2018, which I wrote about yesterday.

Since I’m not published in SF/F (although I am as far as textbooks and self-study guides go), I suppose it shouldn’t be particularly relevant. To the best of my understanding, the Cons (and it has been over 20 years since I attended any SF/F convention), allow fans to meet and greet their favorite authors as well as up and coming talent, plus provide authors a big marketing opportunity, so ideally, it should be a win-win.

Also, again to the best of my understanding, a number of awards, including the Hugos are presented at WorldCon, which traditionally has been a big deal.

But are the Hugos still a big deal?

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An Outsider’s Point of View: Why Did WorldCon 76 Implode?

implosion

The Wellington Annex in Albany, collapses in a picture perfect implosion by Jackson Demolition of Schenectady as seen from the roof of the Albany County Office building Saturday – Used as an example of “implosion” – Photo credit: Peter R. Barber

In following the Superversive SF blog, today, I came across two related articles: Declan Finn’s WorldCon Melts Down and Richard Paolinelli’s My Thoughts on WorldCon 76…. Paolinelli’s wasn’t particularly illuminating, but he promised a more detailed account later today. Finn described a situation where the Con violated its own rules by “misgendering” one of the guests causing some sort of meltdown.

Pending Richard’s subsequent blog post, I decided to look for more information. Interestingly enough, the only article I found was at The Daily Dot, which I can’t say is a completely neutral publication. The missive in question is Worldcon faces backlash for sidelining marginalized authors (updated), originally published yesterday (July 23rd) and updated today.

WorldCon is one of the oldest, if not the oldest science fiction convention in the world, and apparently, that’s the problem. Traditionally, according to the article, it’s been dominated by white, conservative people, it’s fan base, and has struggled to accept more marginalized and #OwnVoice participants in recent years. I get the feeling the Con wants to be more progressive, but, at least from The Daily Dot’s perspective, its own history and biases have gotten in the way.

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When Social Media Becomes a Lynch Mob

duplass 1

Screenshot of Mark Duplass’s tweet about Ben Shapiro

There are days when I lose all hope for humanity. Really, it’s gotten that ridiculous.

First off, actor Mark Duplass said something nice about conservative speaker, attorney, and Orthodox Jew Ben Shapiro on twitter. Then he is immediately caught up in a twitter-storm so severe that the very next day, he formally apologizes.

Then “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn defends Duplass while at the same time, sliming Shapiro. And then, it’s discovered that Gunn made some pretty horrible tweets back in the day and is subsequently fired by Disney so you won’t see him directing “Guardians 3.”

I suppose Shapiro thought in the aftermath of all this, someone might take a look at his “dumb stuff” tweets, so he posted a list of them, and promised to keep updating it (I haven’t had the time to read that last article yet).

What the heck is going on? Have liberals have decided as a group, that no individual liberal can be friends with or even like a conservative without starting a social media flame war?

Why? How did we enter this twilight zone of dysfunctional communication?

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Toxic Fear and Things That Go Bump In The Night (and on Social Media)

fight or flight

Found at cbt4panic.org website – no image credit given

What started all this was a post by conservative speculative fiction writer Jon Del Arroz at the SuperversiveSF blog called My Post Mocking Feminism Goes Viral – Twitter Locks My Account. Apparently, his twitter account was temporarily locked again, this time for mocking something called National No Bra Day which is supposed to raise awareness about breast cancer by having women go braless (sort of like No-Shave November). This year, the event is on Saturday, October 13th, which makes it odd that anyone would bring up the topic now. Anyway, here’s Del Arroz’s tweet for your consideration.

If you go to Mr. Del Arroz’s blog, you’ll see that he is frequently critical of leftist and progressive causes, and leftist speculative fiction author Jim C. Hines went so far as to post a lengthy missive on his blog chronicling, in great detail, a list of Del Arroz’s supposed “trolling and harassing.”

On the other hand, I’ve been assured by numerous people who I respect that Del Arroz is being treated unfairly by a number of authors (such as Mr. Hines), and particularly by several Cons (conventions) for his religious and political views.

Why?

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Whose Voice Is It, Anyway?

men describe women chart

Found at Electric Lit online magazine (click on the image to see a larger version)

The chart posted above was acquired from the article If You’re Not Sure How a Male Author Would Describe You, Use Our Handy Chart over at the Electric Lit online magazine. As I understand it, the chart was created as a gag, and I found it pretty funny. In fact, I toyed with the idea of writing a story using the chart just as a joke.

Then it took on a life of its own on twitter, as reported at the same magazine, in an essay titled ‘Describe Yourself Like a Male Author Would’ Is the Most Savage Twitter Thread in Ages.

Apparently a male author claimed he could write authentic female characters, and was immediately challenged by Gwen C. Katz (@gwenckatz). A combination of hilarity, hostility, and moral angst ensued. I should say that after writing most of this missive, I noticed these articles were written last April, but they’ve showed up in my gmail inbox from Medium in the last couple of days. Wonder what the message is?

I decided to write about this because I’ve gotten a hold of a review copy of the To Be Men: Stories Celebrating Masculinity anthology edited by Sirius Métier and published by Superversive Press. It was published digitally about two weeks ago (as I write this) and seems to be doing pretty well, both relative to its Amazon reviews (five so far, and all five star ratings) and in terms of sales.

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Encouragement, Discouragement, and the Impostor Syndrome

impostor syndrome

azilliondollarscomics.com

Every day the Medium Daily Digest appears in my Gmail inbox, giving me the opportunity to read articles from various progressive voices. If you’ve read other of my social commentaries on this blog (not the hottest of topics among my readers based on the statistics, “likes,” and comments), you know I sample a wide range of opinions in an effort to keep informed.

Much of the time, it isn’t easy reading the opinions of people who don’t like you, or at least, don’t like what they think you stand for, but I don’t want to spend all my time reading and listening to viewpoints with which I already agree.

That’s why the article We Need to Redefine Success for Writers by James Ardis came as a bit of a surprise.

He certainly isn’t widely published, and his advice seemed fairly generic, but I was compelled by the source. Usually, it is the more socially and politically conservative authors, typically who operate in the speculative fiction genre, who are the ones suggesting indie publishing.

The Ardis essay was the sort of “cross-pollination” I’ve always hoped was possible but feared was doomed from the outset.

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Can There Be Intersectionality Between Masculinity and Feminism?

ban men

“Ban Men” image found at Campus Reform website

I find myself writing more frequently about social issues on this blog for whatever reason. I probably shouldn’t, especially since I’m white, male, straight, cisgender, old, conservative (relative to liberal states – in relation to Idaho, I’m probably a moderate), and religious.

In other words, based on that collection of labels, I’m a pretty terrible human being, at least among a certain set of demographics.

I’ll say at the outset that the closest article I’ve written to this one in terms of theme is Injured and Dangerous about a group of hostile, aggressive, and potentially lethal men called Incels. Click the link I provided if you haven’t heard of them and prepare to be terrified.

Earlier today, I read an article from Campus Reform called Feminist prof doubles-down on call to ‘hate men’ written by Toni Airaksinen. She was referencing an opinion piece written by Suzanna Danuta Walters for the Washington Post titled Why Can’t We Hate Men?.

Yikes.

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Ghostbusters, Ocean’s 8, and “Gender Flipping”

Ocean's 8

Promotional poster for the 2018 film, “Ocean’s 8”.

I think I may have seen the 1960 film Ocean’s 11 at some point decades past, or at least parts of it. It had an all-star cast which included Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Peter Lawford. The sole primary actress featured was Angie Dickinson, and the movie (as I understand it) set the bar for all big-time heist movies.

It’s been remade and “sequelized” (if that’s a word) numerous times in the early 21st century as you can read here. Those movies also had an all-star cast which included George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and Don Cheadle. Catherine Zeta-Jones seems to be the primary female lead in these films.

I think I’ve seen parts of some of them years ago when one or the other of my kids were still at home and watching them, but I didn’t have an interest in viewing any of them.

But why am I telling you all this and why should you care?

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