For the first time since 2007, Dara and I will be going to Worldcon. We’ve come out of the mire of the financial hits leveled at us by several consecutive years of medical crap, and moreover, the convention’s taking place in our home state. We can drive to it. Even better, I and several other authors in NIWA are banding together to run a table there. We’ve got books. We’re gonna sell ’em.
The thing that makes me sad and tired and wary, though, is what’s happened with the Hugo ballot this year.
As y’all may remember, since Dara and I semi-regularly post about this, there’s a broad ultra-right-wing conservative clique within SFdom. They’ve been up in arms lately because the wrong things have been winning Hugos. And by “wrong things”, I mean “things created by women, people of color, and queers”. They’ve pushed back against this with an organized rush to get things they consider acceptable onto the voting ballot.
And the particularly vile part of this: they’ve reached out to GamerGate to pull them in on these shenanigans. All in the name of getting additional recruits for their declared war on “social justice warriors”.
(About that phrase, by the way: I’m now ranking “social justice warrior” right alongside “political correctness” on the list of phrases that set my teeth on edge. I’ve said before that if the first words out of your mouth on any issue are “political correctness”, then you are part of the problem. Likewise, I here and now state for the record that if you are the sort of person to dismiss progressives and liberals as “social justice warriors”, you are going to have to work very, very hard to get me to respect and take seriously anything you have to say. Do not bank on your success in that regard.
Besides, me? Totally a social justice healer. But I digress.)
Dara has written up a comprehensive post on the matter, and what attendees of Worldcon can do about this to cut this and future Hugo shenanigans off at the pass, in the name of trying to keep the award from becoming entirely meaningless. Her recommendation: vote “No Award” on any category overloaded with the nominees from the voting bloc in question.
I will be following Dara’s recommendations, because it is deeply disheartening to me to see SFdom becoming, more and more, a microcosm of the same “us-vs-them”, toxic tribalism that has infected US culture in general. If you’re going to Worldcon too and therefore have the ability to vote on the Hugos, I encourage you to consider doing the same.