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breeden
ursulav

The Hugos Thing

Disclaimer: This is how I feel about a weird and complicated situation. Other people can feel very differently and not be wrong, nor are they under any compulsion to feel the way I do.

So the Hugo awards were given out a few days ago, generally awesomely, and the long-list came out immediately after, as it does, and once again, it appears that I would have made the ballot if not for the weird ballot-stuffing hijinks that have been going on for a couple years.

And honestly, I wouldn't have said anything, but a couple people have expressed their sympathy, very cautiously, and it occurred to me that maybe I should say something to forestall concerns, because people may think it's a sore bit.

So--no, really, I'm cool.

1) I was in Ireland having the time of my life. I glanced at the results to see if...well, okay, to see if Chuck Tingle had won, I'll be honest, and saw links and clicked and said "oh, look, Wooden Feathers...uh, let's see, math, so if...ah. Well, goddammit."

And I waved it at Kevin, who looked at it, and uttered some variation on "Goddammit."

And then we went back to being in Ireland and having the time of our lives, because Ireland.

2) Naomi Kritzer's story rocked and her win was absolutely well-deserved.

3) Look, the shiny rocket ship is shiny and the big plastic cube full of planets is shiny (and also sets off airport security like WHOA) but that's not the real prize. It's awesome, but it's the symbol, not the prize. You could go buy a trophy if you really want something else to dust.

The real prize on any literary award is that a bunch of readers and writers thought your stuff deserved to stand with the best stuff of the year. And I totally got that. Wooden Feathers got the votes of a whole bunch of people who thought it deserved recognition. I feel the love! And the love, for me, is the important bit at this point, because:

4) I've still already got one. The buff still doesn't stack. I'm already fairly well known in my weird little field. It won't impact my career the way it might somebody else's. Other people definitely have the right to be upset, but for me, it seems a bit churlish to demand more.

And, of course, the really important one...

5) I'm 39. My first major sale was a little over nine years ago. In writing terms, I'm still so wet behind the ears that I can sustain a breeding population of newts in my scalp.

And I've already written a bunch of stuff. I have readers whom I love and am grateful for, and who have somehow not run screaming into the night yet. I will very likely keep writing until my hands go or my mind goes or I am killed in a freak gardening accident, and if the gods of words are kind, I will write a great many stories between now and then. And some will rock and some will suck and a couple will probably be profoundly baffling, and maybe a couple will even be great.

So, y'know. To those future stories, whatever they may be.

Onward!

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Worth noting: two Hugo reform amendments were ratified at Worldcon this year, which make slate voting a bit less effective and add an additional finalist in each category. If this year's Hugos had been run under the new rules, there would have been, on average, 1½ extra non-slate nominations per category. There are a couple other amendments up for ratification next year. Worldcon is, by design, slow to change their rules, and reluctant to make major changes, but people are working on fixing the problem.

I'm glad they're slow and careful. Kneejerk reactions often have unforeseen consequences. The changes are clearly needed and they may not entirely remove the impact of unethical persons (we all know who I'm talking about), but they will make it harder for those persons to achieve their goals..

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