So the nominations for the 2014 Hugos have been announced. You can see a full list here. There is some good stuff. There is also some ... bad stuff. If you want to vote, you can still sign up for a supporting membership through LonCon.
Of course this is the genre fiction community and we can't have anything without lots of controversy. This one involves a racist shitbag and literary nobody Vox Day (What? You haven't heard of him?) asking his racist shitbag fans to vote him in,a campaign along with conservative shitbag and much more popular and better writer Larry Correia. So yeah. Vox got his nomination and people are pissed. The general response has been a promise to vote his story below "Give No Award," which basically means you'd rather they give no award this year than give it to Vox. Which, I can't really blame those people.
There have been a couple interesting reaction posts in the blogosphere. The first comes from Scalzi, who essentially says that, no, asking for nominations is not "rigging the vote," and at this point, Vox's work should be judged on its merits. I agree with the first part. And I guess I mostly agree with the second, in that I will be reading Vox's story and basing my vote on the work itself, rather than the fact that it's by a horrific human being who literally called a black woman a "savage" and has absolutely no shame about it.
The part that irks me about Scalzi's post, though, is that it get uncomfortably close to the whole merit defense people use to justify a lack of diversity. "Well, if African Americans/women/gays were better at X, there would be more of them in X! You can't complain that we don't have enough diversity, because all these straight white men just happened to be the best candidates!" And I know Scalzi's one of the people that gets it, and that's not what he's saying. But it still seems uncomfortably close. Yes, we can judge Vox's story on its merits. But the fact that the nominations aren't based on merit is pretty bad.
Another reaction I really like is Kameron Hurley's. I don't have much to say about it -- you should read it -- but I will comment that I totally agree that the Wheel of Time being nominated for Best Novel (that's the ENTIRE SERIES recognized as a single serialized work) is more absurd even than Vox or Correia's nominations.
Finally, the most HILARIOUS reaction comes from Vox Day himself. Seriously. Just check this shit out. I don't want to respond point by point, but I do want to point out some of the more gut-busting entries.
3- [Our] purpose ... to prove that the awards are a mere popularity contest, contra the insistence of those who have repeatedly asserted they are evidence of literary quality and the intrinsic superiority of the nominated works. We have shown that it is.
Vox is straight up admitting that his work has no evidence of literary quality. That does not make me excited to read it.
Referring to someone's criticism of his story's theology: And anyone who is sufficiently educated will recognize that the theology is not "adolescent", it is paraphrased Thomas Aquinas from the Summa Theologica.
Bahahahahaha .... *breath* .... BAHAHAHA. Wow. Yes, Thomas Aquinas! Basic theology written almost 1000 years ago and that most people read in high school, or as a college freshman. Yup. That's absolutely the height of fresh and complex theology. Fuck!
The Wheel of Time is dreadful. It has always been dreadful, in sum and in part. I find it mildly amazing that people are more offended about my novelette being nominated than that gigantic insult to literature.
I ... agree with Vox Day. Hm.
Anyway, I've got a lot of reading to do, especially when the Hugo Packet gets sent out. I won't be reading the entire Wheel of Time series (seriously, I just won't -- I've gotten far enough to know it's not for me), but I do plan to read as much of the rest as I can.