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Thread: 2017 Hugo Awards

  1. #51
    Not as sweet as you think Aggy B.'s Avatar
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    So, lack of writing skill can draw further attention to political slant in fiction. Because the execution of an idea is a part of telling the story effectively. And, sometimes folks just fail in that regard. But, seamless presentation of a political/social/cultural idea isn't a requirement for being an author.

    Worldview, of course, does play a role. Things that challenge our personal views will stick out more than those things which are already a part of them. Thus liberals are more likely to complain about conservative "messages" and conservatives about liberal "messages", and we too frequently assume that those things stand out to us because of lack of craft, but that's only sometimes the case. (I have a friend who hates government social support systems. He wrote a book in which the protags mother goes on welfare and then never does anything else because it's more appealing to sit at home and get free stuff. I disagree with that particular take on the issue, but it was compounded by the fact that this information is *told* to the reader, rather than shown. Just a block paragraph of text in which the narrator tells us protags mother is lazy and worthless and on foodstamps. So yes, craft is an issue too. But then, craft is always an issue with creative work.)

    Also, ideas about what folks value as creative change. Warhol was ridiculed for his "pop art" by the "real" artists of his time. Now we look at his work as being pretty avant garde. I imagine readers follow similar shifts in direction as new authors try new things.
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  2. #52
    Beastly Fido Roxxsmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aggy B. View Post
    (I have a friend who hates government social support systems. He wrote a book in which the protags mother goes on welfare and then never does anything else because it's more appealing to sit at home and get free stuff. I disagree with that particular take on the issue, but it was compounded by the fact that this information is *told* to the reader, rather than shown. Just a block paragraph of text in which the narrator tells us protags mother is lazy and worthless and on foodstamps.
    This is an example of a style I don't care for, even when I agree with the author's take on things. There are styles and narrative viewpoints where a narrator can get away with temporarily stepping outside of the story to explain something to the reader, or to reflect on something, but it either needs a very strong, possibly rather quirky voice, or it should be limited to very brief passages, imo.

    But I can be sensitive to political biases that are shown and not told. If a writer is showing me a parade of lazy characters who feel entitled to not work because of welfare, or is harping on some other issue that's dear to their heart, it can still make for uncomfortable reading. Some stories aren't written with people like me as the target audience.

    There's one very popular SF writer whom I never liked as much as many people do, even before the internet era allowed this person's rather conservative sociopolitical views to become common knowledge. I liked the stories well enough, and the writing was good, so I tried 2-3 of their earlier books, but something just didn't quite resonate with me--something about the way the person characterized certain religions and also the roles played by male and female characters in their plots.

    It just wasn't for me, but many of my contemporaries think this authors' novels are life changing, the best they've ever read. I don't know if it's because they agree with the authors' basic views, or if they're less sensitive to how those views came through than I am.
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  3. #53
    Merovingian Superhero ULTRAGOTHA's Avatar
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    The final ballot is open! You should have received a personalized link to it in the e-mail you gave to Worldcon 75. If you need any help, e-mail hugohelp@worldcon.fi

    The packet isn't out yet but there will be one.


    ETA: Here is the link packet JJ at File 770 put together (not to be confused with our AW JJ).

    Where to Find the 2017 Hugo Finalists For Free Online

    If you are a member of Worldcon 75, or become one before the Hugo Voting Deadline, you can vote for this year's Hugo Winners. Winners announced on the FRIDAY (note, departure from usual Saturday date) of Worldcon in Helsinki on 11 August.
    Last edited by ULTRAGOTHA; 04-24-2017 at 08:46 PM.
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  4. #54
    Tending bar by the litterbox. Thomas Vail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DongerNeedFood View Post
    There has been a heavy slant toward social message books recently.
    No there hasn't. You're just factually wrong here.

    That's one of the reasons why the whole puppy silliness crash and burned so badly, because they _felt_ there was this thing happening and by golly they didn't like it. But when something as cursory as, 'all right, let's take a look at the previous years' nominees and... huh. None of the data supports your assertion, so... I'm sorry your feelings are hurt, but take it up with reality?'

  5. #55
    Aerospace engineer turned writer Laer Carroll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DongerNeedFood View Post
    There has been a heavy slant toward social message books recently.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Vail View Post
    No there hasn't. You're just factually wrong here.
    Tom is correct. I've been seven years retired, so I have time to read two or three complete SF/F novels each week and sample two or three more from the public library across the street. That's even spending from six to as much as ten hours a day writing or researching my own books.

    Before retirement I still managed a book a week, much of it SF/F. Since the early Sixties.

    Again, this "the liberals are flooding the world with books" idea is false. EVERYBODY is flooding the world with books, conservatives and liberals and unclassifieables alike.

    The number of new fiction titles has been slowly increasing for well over a century as publishing becomes ever cheaper because of slowly improving technology, the consolidation of publishers, and the outsourcing of printing to places with lower labor costs. (Example of that last: as of this year Simon and Schuster's books are printed in China and shipped to their distributors.)
    Last edited by Laer Carroll; 05-01-2017 at 11:34 AM.

  6. #56
    Aerospace engineer turned writer Laer Carroll's Avatar
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    We owe MUCH THANKS to JJ, whoever s/he is, for working to add clickable links to excerpts to many of the Hugo nominations, including links to videos of the trailers for the dramatic noms. And to Ultragotha for posting the following link.

    http://file770.com/?p=34237

    Based on that I've already bought one of the Best Related Books and the first of two of the books in the Best Series noms. (I already have all of the books in Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga.)

    Unfortunately none of the Best Novels appealed to me. Not because of some imaginary "justice" (conservative code for "liberal") slant, but because I didn't enjoy either the main character or the situation they had to deal with. Maybe next year my taste will closer align with the Hugo nominators for that year.
    Last edited by Laer Carroll; 05-01-2017 at 09:33 PM.

  7. #57
    Get it off! It burns! Dennis E. Taylor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DongerNeedFood View Post
    I didn't like the idea of voting slates, but I definitely understood the Sad Puppies' point of view. There has been a heavy slant toward social message books recently.
    It's more likely that a more militant attitude has brought about more overt (and extreme) reactions to any book that includes a subplot that conservatives don't like. Two cases in point:

    1. One of my books uses a Christian theocracy in the first part of the book as part of the inciting incident. I've received a quite amazing number of one-stars by (wait for it) Christians because of this. It isn't by any stretch a message or even a major part of the plot of the book, but ya know, 'atheist attack'.

    2. Another book (which isn't out yet) has a plot partly based on some of the consequences of Global Warming. In Beta group, one of the members was obviously a right-winger, as he 'suggested' that the book was not believable because it used a ridiculous plot device and I should switch to something like a global pandemic or something.

    These are 'message' books only if you define 'message' as "writing anything I don't like". And because of today's militant, intolerant, up-against-the-pegs social and political climate, that kind of reaction is almost guaranteed.
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  8. #58
    Aerospace engineer turned writer Laer Carroll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis E. Taylor View Post
    It's more likely that a more militant attitude has brought about more overt (and extreme) reactions to any book that includes a subplot that conservatives don't like.
    I'd change the word "conservative" to "anyone." On many issues I'm a liberal, but plenty of my fellow liberals are just as judgmental and intolerant of opposing viewpoints as conservatives.

    I'm especially annoyed at those who profess to be in favor of free speech yet who refuse to let someone whose opinions they dislike speak at (say) a university by shouting them down, or even offering violence. Not only is it not true liberalism to act this way, but it is poor tactics. It gives their opponents a chance to pretend to a virtuous higher ground, to shout "WE are the ones being persecuted!"

    To broaden the discussion a bit, does anyone see any trends in this year's Hugo noms? I get the impression that in the last few years there has increasingly been more diversity of characters and plots. And more diversity of literary styles.
    Last edited by Laer Carroll; 05-04-2017 at 03:43 PM.

  9. #59
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    The best way to change the nominees for the Hugos is to register as a supporting member and nominate and vote.

  10. #60
    Get it off! It burns! Dennis E. Taylor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laer Carroll View Post
    I'd change the word "conservative" to "anyone." On many issues I'm a liberal, but plenty of my fellow liberals are just as judgmental and intolerant of opposing viewpoints as conservatives.
    Oh, I'd agree with you on general terms. But in this specific instance, there is no equivalent left-wing group attempting to cherry-pick books and gimmick the noms. Nor have I heard much in the way of screams of outrage for the religious message in books like "Left Behind" - either the series or the Cage movie. Or for that matter, the very anti-AGW Crichton book, "State of Fear" (Scientists, on the other hand, were quite vocal about the 'facts' presented in the bibliography)
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  11. #61
    Merovingian Superhero ULTRAGOTHA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AW Admin View Post
    The best way to change the nominees for the Hugos is to register as a supporting member and nominate and vote.
    Absolutely! If you join Worldcon 75 this year before the deadline, you can vote this year AND nominate next year (though you have to join Worldcon 76 next year to vote next year).
    "Everyone is entitled to their own opinions; but everyone is not entitled to their own facts."
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  12. #62
    Live a poem...Or die a fool. \/ Beanie5's Avatar
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    Can we have a vote on who we think will win?

  13. #63
    Merovingian Superhero ULTRAGOTHA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beanie5 View Post
    Can we have a vote on who we think will win?
    This year I don't think it's very easy to predict who will win in most categories. It's always more chancy with the Hugos because they use Instant Runoff Voting (or ranked voting). This means that the "least disliked" tends to win more than the "most popular". But most of the categories are filled with such strong finalists where that what leans voters towards their #1 pick is so tiny that we'll probably have a broad scatterings of #1s and #2s which makes handicapping this year very difficult.

    G-d I hope that made sense.
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  14. #64
    Aerospace engineer turned writer Laer Carroll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ULTRAGOTHA View Post
    ...I hope that made sense.
    Only because I'd already looked up Instant-Runoff Voting!

    Awards systems and some election systems allow more than two candidates. Such is the case of France's Presidential election. When no candidate is a clear winner there's a runoff. "Clear" may be more than 50%, or 67%, or other number. Runoffs are usually between the top two candidates. But they may be the top three or four or more, in which case there may need to be more than one runoff election.

    The Hugos like the Oscars and a lot of award systems (including some elections) use instant-runoff voting as mentioned above. Voters are allowed more than a yes or no vote. They can rank their choices. In the case of no clear winner the lowest votes are dropped. Then the votes are re-calculated. Some systems allow the other votes of the losing choice to be included, some don't.

    Here are the specifics of the Hugo voting system: http://www.thehugoawards.org/the-voting-system/. It includes a discussion of the No Award vote.

    The idea is to produce a result that are most pleasing to most people. Whether it does or not is debatable.

    After the results are certified the Hugo committee publishes the results, so we can see who the 2nd, 3rd, and so on winners were.
    Last edited by Laer Carroll; 05-05-2017 at 04:25 PM.

  15. #65
    killin' werds AW Moderator zanzjan's Avatar
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    Links for the unfamiliar are great, but the arcane mechanics of Hugo voting is also a topic that's been covered at some depth both here and elseweb, and assumptions about people, esp. long-time members, not knowing anything about it could be misplaced and/or misinterpreted.

    Folks should be mindful that AW is a community and this is a conversation of peers rather than a lecture hall.
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  16. #66
    Aerospace engineer turned writer Laer Carroll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ULTRAGOTHA View Post
    G-d I hope that made sense.
    Quote Originally Posted by Laer Carroll View Post
    Only because I'd already looked up Instant-Runoff Voting!
    Quote Originally Posted by zanzjan View Post
    …the arcane mechanics of Hugo voting is also a topic that's been covered at some depth both here and elseweb, and assumptions about people, esp. long-time members, not knowing anything about it could be misplaced and/or misinterpreted.
    If I understand this rightly, previous comments I made could be interpreted as disrespecting you, ULTRAGOTHA. (Or possibly, every member of this forum, "esp. long-time members.")

    If so, I apologize completely. Because of your postings I've been introduced to some authors I might never have known about and bought several of their books.
    Last edited by Laer Carroll; 05-06-2017 at 09:53 AM.

  17. #67
    Merovingian Superhero ULTRAGOTHA's Avatar
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    My answer was more tilted towards how hard it is to handicap the results this year. Harder than last year and *really* harder than 2015.

    After several years of doing these Hugo threads, I assume most readers in the Science Fiction/Fantasy forum know how Instant Runoff Voting works. There will always be those that don't, though, and ones for whom the ins and outs of how the Hugos work are opaque. If anyone does have questions, I would be *delighted* to answer them here or in PMs.
    "Everyone is entitled to their own opinions; but everyone is not entitled to their own facts."
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  18. #68
    Aerospace engineer turned writer Laer Carroll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ULTRAGOTHA View Post
    After several years of doing these Hugo threads, I assume most readers in the Science Fiction/Fantasy forum know how Instant Runoff Voting works.
    I didn't though I've been here four years, until your recent post caused me to look it up. And the specific version used by the Hugos. That's why I posted a link to each, and gave my limited understanding of the subject.

    I'm still uncertain over some issues. Top of the list may be the No Award choice and how it works, even though I read and re-read the well-written explanation given in the Hugo site. Some people seem to consider it controversial, but I don't see why.

  19. #69
    Merovingian Superhero ULTRAGOTHA's Avatar
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    The question about No Award is--whether to assign a rank to the the works you rank below No Award or leave them off your ballot.

    If there's only one thing you think belongs below No Award, then it doesn't matter if you assign a ranking or not.

    If there's more than one thing you think belongs below No Award, then the question you ask yourself is: If any of these things actually ends up above No Award in the final voting, do I care which one(s) ends up higher?

    If you think one is marginally more worthy than the other(s), then rank that one higher than the other one(s). By the time the voting gets to the works you think belong below No Award, your first choices have already fallen off the ballot. So you're basically telling the Administrators which of the unacceptable works that are left you think is just a bit better than the other unacceptable works.

    If you think they are all equally bad, then you can leave them all off your ballot. They won't be counted one way or another and everyone else who DID rank them will determine their place in the final voting.


    The main controversies I've seen over No Award are:

    1) For decades, people have used it to state they think an entire category should not exist. They rank No Award as #1 and then either do or don't rank the rest of the entries. This isn't actually controversial as that's one of the reasons No Award exists. But it generates conversation almost every year. (An alternative, which I use in some categories, is to just not vote at all in that category. I'm fine it exists; but I either don't consume works in that category (hello, Podcasts!) or I didn't read/watch enough to have an informed opinion this year.)

    2) With the advent of the Puppy controversy (those not up to speed on this, check out File770.com for 2015 entries after April of that year, or look at the 2015 Hugo Award and 2016 Hugo Award threads in this forum, or google the scores of articles in the mainstream press that year on Sad or Rabid Puppies, or PM me, because, trust me, you do not want that re-hashed on this thread) some people feel works should not be voted below No Award merely because they are part of scheme to game the nomination process. Others disagree and point out WSFS members have been using No Award in this manner for decades.
    "Everyone is entitled to their own opinions; but everyone is not entitled to their own facts."
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  20. #70
    killin' werds AW Moderator zanzjan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ULTRAGOTHA View Post
    trust me, you do not want that re-hashed on this thread
    ^seconds this strongly.

    There were also some really in-depth discussions of the maths behind voting changes on Making Light that are very googleable.
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  21. #71
    Merovingian Superhero ULTRAGOTHA's Avatar
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    The Hugo Award packet is out!

    It contains MULTITUDES. WOW. File 770 has a breakdown of what's in it.

    You will have received an e-mail from Worldcon 75. Log into your Hugo ballot and the download links are in every category. Very handy!

    If you want a copy, you must be a member of Worldcon 75 It is intended as an aid to Hugo voting and only available to people eligible to vote for the Hugos.

    (Disclaimer--in previous years I have just been a member of Worldcon. Last year I was a pre-con volunteer. This year I'm on staff, though nowhere that is involved with the Hugos.)
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  22. #72
    Merovingian Superhero ULTRAGOTHA's Avatar
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    "Everyone is entitled to their own opinions; but everyone is not entitled to their own facts."
    --Daniel Patrick Moynihan

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    "He has the courage of a fighting cock and the brains of a chicken."
    -I cannot find the attribution for this :-(
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  23. #73
    Ships full of vampires are hell. AW Moderator amergina's Avatar
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    Winners Winners Chicken Dinners! Congrats to one and all!

    http://www.thehugoawards.org/hugo-hi...7-hugo-awards/

    (Special congrats to our very own RedWombat for her Best Novelette win!)
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  24. #74
    killin' werds AW Moderator zanzjan's Avatar
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    I love that the Hugo winning list had a plenitude of Ursulas.
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  25. #75
    practical experience, FTW rwm4768's Avatar
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    Based on the lists, it looks like there was considerably less "Puppy Drama." I haven't been following that closely, so maybe I missed it.

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