Science Fiction Is Really, Really White

This post by Jennings Brown originally appeared on Vocativ on 8/21/15.

The Hugo Awards, science fiction’s most prestigious prize, are just around the corner. A Vocativ analysis of the nominees and winners shows it’s almost all white people

The 2015 Hugo Awards, celebrating the year’s best works of science fiction and fantasy, will be held this weekend amid a giant squabble about diversity in the genre. A group of white writers who believe that the voting process has been manipulated to include too many minorities are fighting to steer votes towards authors that are truer to the genre.

But if you crunch the numbers, it’s pretty hard to argue that white writers are being squeezed out at the Hugos. Vocativ tabulated every writer, editor and artist associated with the 65 works nominated this year in all 13 professional categories (there are four categories for fan work). Out of nearly 100 people responsible for those 65 works (some works had multiple authors), only three were non white.


Read the full post and chart on Vocativ.

A Reply to Larry Correia [from George RR Martin]

This post by George R.R. Martin originally appeared on his blog on 4/13/15.

I am just about blogged out on the whole Puppygate thing, having devoted half a dozen posts and thousands of words to it over the past few days. However, Larry Correia responded to some of those posts on his own blog, MONSTER HUNTER NATION, as several dozen of his followers immediately emailed me to point out, and I promised to reply in turn. So here it is.

My original posts were long, and Mr. Correia’s reply was long, and if quoted them all, and then piled more on top of it, all of Live Journal might sink beneath the weight. So I am going to cut out the stuff by me that Correia quotes, since the originals are all available upstream, and edit down his own reply to just the point I want to answer.

To make it clear who is speaking, I will set off Correia’s statements with brackets and try to italicize them… though for some reason the italics on LJ have not been working well of late. We’ll see if they work here.

Here goes.

[[CORREIA: When one of the most successful authors on the planet takes the time to talk about something you did, I figure that deserves an in depth response. I’ve got no direct line to Mr. Martin, but I am hoping that this will get back to him.]]

It did. Through several sources. I would have responded earlier, but as you can see, I have been busy posting about other aspects of this thing. But I do appreciate the response, andeven more so, the courtesy you have shown. It’s my hope and belief that people on different sides of an issue can disagree, even heatedly, without it turning into rancor and namecalling. We are, after all, fighting about a literary award.

[[CORREIA: When I started this the Hugo Awards were not portrayed as the awards that belonged to WorldCon. They were portrayed as the awards that represented the best of all of fandom. After my first experience seeing how the sausage was made, I publically said the same thing you said there, that the Hugo Awards don’t represent all of fandom, they represent one tiny part of fandom. I was called a liar.]]


Read the full post on George R.R. Martin’s blog.


How The 'Sad Puppies' Internet Campaign Gamed The Hugo Awards

This post by Gavia Baker-Whitelaw originally appeared on The Daily Dot on 4/5/15.

Everyone loves to say that awards ceremonies are rigged, meaningless, or just blatant popularity contests. In the case of the most prestigious honor in the sci-fi/fantasy community, this kind of accusation now feels worryingly true.

Each year, the Hugo Awards are voted on by paid members of Worldcon, the World Science Fiction Convention. Fans nominate their favorite books, movies, and commentators, and the most popular choices make it onto a shortlist of five nominees per category. People then vote for the eventual winners, which are revealed at Worldcon in August.

This year’s nominees were announced on Saturday, and most of them came directly from a Gamergate-affiliated campaign known as Sad Puppies. By bloc-voting for a specific slate of anti-progressive authors, editors, and fans, the Sad Puppies managed to game the selection process in every major category. And yes, they did choose that name for themselves.


Read the full post on The Daily Dot.


Neil Gaiman on the Hugo Awards Controversy

When Jonathan Ross was invited to host the Hugo Awards this year it caused a huge rift in the British Science Fiction community. Many felt the choice of Ross was totally inappropriate, as Ross is not involved in the community of Science Fiction authors and publishers, and some concluded it must be a cynical grab for more American attention.

A huge firestorm of criticism erupted on Twitter, with personal attacks being hurled not only at event organizers, but at Ross and his wife as well. In a post made to his Neil Gaiman’s Journal yesterday, Gaiman reveals that he had acted as the go-between for Hugo Awards organizers in reaching out to Ross in the first place, and goes on to comment on the whole mess. From Gaiman’s Journal:

Twitterstorms are no fun when people are making up things about you or insulting you for things you didn’t do or think or say. When scores of people from a group that you consider yourself a part of are shouting at you, it’s incredibly upsetting, no matter who you are. And these things spill over and get bigger — I was saddened to learn that Jane Goldman, Jonathan’s wife, one of the gentlest, kindest people I know (and the person who, with Jonathan, got me onto Twitter, back in December 2009) had deleted her Twitter account because of all this.

I was seriously disappointed in the people, some of whom I know and respect, who stirred other people up to send invective, obscenities and hatred Jonathan’s way over Twitter (and the moment you put someone’s @name into a tweet, you are sending it directly to that person), much of it the kind of stuff that they seemed to be worried that he might possibly say at the Hugos, unaware of the ironies involved.


Click here to read the full post on Neil Gaiman’s Journal.