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07 September 2015 @ 05:29 pm
Hugo Awards 2015: Roundup Thoughts  
Well, it's already been two weeks since the Hugo Awards. My, time does fly. In the last couple week of run-up to the awards and the follow-up after the results were announced, I've gotten back into the Hugo neepery. I've been reading commentary and diatribes from all parts of the fan and opinion spectrum. Frankly, I'm getting a little burned out. Once anyone gets into epithets and derisive attitude, I'm out. It's made my reading go a lot faster :-)

But I've also crystallized the core of my opinion about the whole process. What it comes down to, for me, is this:

Fans Disagree.

If you ask a group of fans "What's the best SFF TV show", they will disagree. You'll get a range of opinions (Star Trek! Game of Thrones! Doctor Who! Battlestar Galactica! Fringe! Quark!). Some answers will get more votes than other. But overall, the fans disagree.

Even if you're asking a group of like-minded fans, say Star Trek fans, "What's the best episode", you'll get a range of answers and thus, disagreement.

Post a list of "Five Best Episodes of Doctor Who" and what will the majority of posts be? "How could you put A first?" or "How could you forget B?" or "That ranking is terrible and way off-beam, you bozo."

In the end: Fans Disagree.

So you might think my sympathy is with the Puppy groups. In one sense, I have some sympathy with SP. They disagree with what gets nominated for and wins Hugo Awards. What fan hasn't disagreed and said "*That* got nominated?" or "*That* won? Give me a break" or "I liked *This* but it didn't win. Sheesh." In having that opinion, they are acting like fans.

But when it came to their nominating votes, they did not act like fans. All indications are that the groups largely agreed when voting. They voted for the same set of nominees, again and again and again. The nomination numbers are pointing that out, especially in certain "high-profile" categories. They didn't vote their opinions. They didn't vote what they individually thought was the best. They didn't disagree. They voted like a voting bloc that was trying to make a point. This is certainly even more true of the RP bloc than the SP bloc.

And that's the core of my problem with it. The vote from these fans was not done based on individual likes, but on complying with an agenda. As a result the response from the final ballot voters ended up, in my opinion, partially based on nullifying the bloc vote and the agenda. So we end up with a lot of No Awards.

I'm hoping that things are different in 2016 and that the SP group changes their tactics to be more about having people vote their individual favorites and then we'll see what rises to the top in the nomination process. (I wrote off the RP group a while back). It certainly will be an interesting year.

I'll do a second post on how I voted on the final Hugo ballot and why.
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Dorothy Winsordawtheminstrel on September 8th, 2015 11:24 am (UTC)
Good analysis, Jeff. You pinpoint the issue.