Cover art for Dan Simmons’ novel Hyperion.
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It’s been almost three years since I wrote Hugo Award Winning Novels I Have Read. I authored the blog post mainly in response to the idea that these awards have really changed over the years. At the time, I was reading for review N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season in an attempt to understand how I remembered Hugo award winning novels being so outstanding in “the old days” vs. how I perceived the more modern tomes.
If you click the first link, you’ll see a list of the winning and nominated novels I’d consumed in my youth, their awards issued between 1953 and 1988. I read most of them.
I was posting something similar in a Facebook group earlier today and started wondering if, by now, I’d read any more recent Hugo recipients. I have:
- 1990 Hyperon by Dan Simmons (winner).
- 1993 Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson (nominated).
- 2013 Redshirts by John Scalzi (winner).
- 2021 Network Effect by Martha Wells (nominated).
I read and reviewed Hyperion mainly because it was a Hugo winner AND Simmons was being trashed on an online fanzine (which shall not be named) by modern SciFi fans because of his politics. I hear that after all these years, it’s going to become a movie. Simmons is still with us and I wish him success.
EDIT: I picked up some additional material on the twitter stream and thus the content. Any changes I’ve made in this blog post are bolded.
I started following fantasy author Jeannette Ng on twitter after she gave a rather “unusual” acceptance speech upon receiving what used to be called a “Campbell Award.” I recorded my reactions HERE.
I follow her, not because I’m likely to read anything she’s written, or even that we agree on much (if anything), but to understand differing points of view. Most of the time, I don’t give her much thought, but today, I saw a thread on twitter that caught my attention. I only read part of it since, due to the nature of twitter, threads get nested in interesting ways requiring a lot of clicking and time to open them and read.
So I took a screenshot (several actually, and I edited them together) to capture what I thought were the most representative points. Apparently, the discussion was about what got various people interested in Science Fiction and Fantasy (SF/F). However it was also a debate regarding progressive vs. traditionalist voices in SF/F, and if it were possible to speak to the positives of what an author crafted while setting aside the more “difficult” aspects of their life (More text beyond the screenshot).
Update: Someone I know on twitter captured a much more straightforward vision of this thread Here. Since people sometimes delete their material, I redid the screenshots and updated the image below. Oh, and Ms. Ng, if you ever get around to reading this… “Stale, pale, male crowd.” Cute.
Mike Glyer (right) sitting with Marty Cantor – April 2008.
The other night it occurred to me that I hadn’t received an email notification of any posts on File 770 for over a week. That seemed rather odd to me since Mike Glyer writes on his “fanzine” rather frequently. Frankly, he’s pretty “chatty.” I thought the emails were going to a different tab in Gmail, but no. Then I checked my spam folder just in case, but again, no emails from File 770.
So I looked, and as of this writing, the latest File 770 post is from today. In fact, not a day has gone by when Mike Glyer hasn’t posted something on his fanzine.
I checked my WordPress Reader to see if they showed up there. Nope. Not present. So where have my notification emails been going?
Undated photo of the late author Marion Zimmer Bradley, found at Wikipedia
I’ve been considering science fiction awards named after flawed human beings lately.
Of course, on my blog, this all started with Jeannette Ng’s Campbell Award Acceptance Speech and Here We Go Again, and then continued into The Sins of John W. Campbell Revisited, Tiptree Award Name May Change (Here We Go Again), and here, and here, and so on.
Then, I saw today that someone has read an article I’d written last January called Out of the Ashes of Avalon. I had been exploring the serious allegations of child neglect and abuse leveled at beloved feminist fantasy author Marion Zimmer Bradley, as well as the fact that her husband was sentenced to prison for sexually abusing her daughter (and some say Bradley actively participated in that abuse).
What surprised me most wasn’t that Bradley was possibly (likely) capable of both failing to protect her minor age daughter and possibly sexually abusing her own child, but that there seemed to be some sort of debate between more conservative and more liberal participants and fans in SciFi as to whether this constituted any sort of “problem” with Bradley.
Meme found on Facebook
I was checking on Facebook this evening and, alas, was inspired to end the work week with a bit of snark. This really is the nature of social media, and especially (but not exclusively) twitter. It’s also the nature of blogging and fandom.
Over the past year and a month or two, my investigation into “science fiction fandom” (as opposed to science fiction) seems to indicate something pretty similar to what you see above. The same as when you comment on twitter, and for that matter, blog in general, Facebook, Instagram, whatever.
Cover art for Marion Zimmer Bradley’s novel “The Mists of Avalon
I’m aware of the name Marion Zimmer Bradley because, if you read science fiction and fantasy at all, that name comes up quite a bit. That said, to the best of my knowledge, I don’t believe I’ve read any of her works, including her arguably best known novel The Mists of Avalon. Although rumors of her being a perpetrator of child sexual abuse in one manner or another have come into my awareness over the past year or two, I never paid much attention to them.
Then I found an interview published at Life Site News with Bradley’s daughter Moira Greyland titled INTERVIEW: Daughter of famed sci-fi author explains mother’s gay pedophile worldview published last May 2018, which discussed Greyland’s book The Last Closet: The Dark Side of Avalon.
This is the book’s description at Amazon: