I enjoy cultural voyeurism. I find a corner of the internet and, for months, read the seminal blogs and websites of that culture. Looking at the world through a new lens fascinates me — it is probably why I love speculative fiction.
A couple of years ago, I stumbled on the “manosphere“. Reading the manosphere blogs, I was shocked by their angry, viltriolic rhetoric. *shudder* I never expected that corner of the world to collide with mine.
Lead by Vox Day/Theodore Beale (one of the more repellent manosphere characters whose appalling diatribes got him kicked out of the SFWA) the Rabid Puppies blew up my beloved SFF icon this year — the HUGO awards. With the help (witting or unwitting) of the Sad Puppies, they filled the HUGO nomination slate with their own candidates by using targeted block voting.(Excellent recap by Susan Grimsby at The Daily Kos.).
Why do I care? I have been reading Sci Fi/Fantasy/Speculative fiction for 30 years. As a voracious reader (in High School I would read 5+ books/ week) I noticed that many of my favorite novels (Ender’s Game, Hyperion, Ringworld, Uplift War) had a Hugo on the cover so I began to seek out Hugo winners. I didn’t always like the book, but it was always interesting. Thanks to the Hugo awards I discovered writers like Connie Willis.
I’m not a Fan with a capital F. I don’t go to conventions. I don’t participate in online forums. I’m just a fan. Until this controversy, I never though about voting in the Hugo awards because the people who had the time and energy to read and vote were doing a fine job. If anything good comes of this mess, it is that more people like me will get involved. They will vote. And to vote they will read more awesome books.
I will be voting for the Hugos this year. I will not automatically place anything in the Sad/Rabid Puppy slate below No Award — I will be use the winning stories from the last 30 years as a yardstick by which to judge the candidates. Candidates that do not measure up will be placed below No Award.
So if you love SFF, join me. Pay your $40. Read everything in the packet. Make up your own mind. Use whatever method of judging you deem best. VOTE!
Some links for more info: