awards

The Hugos are broken, science fiction is broken, everything is broken (via @ian_sales)

A solid critique of the Hugo Awards and Science Fiction, by Ian Sales, presented here without comment since I honestly don't know enough about this area. For the record, though, I'm not really a fan of popular awards, and any popular award that doesn't understand or try to adapt to the modern world of social media and mass communication is at risk of being unrepresentative:

The Hugos, despite half-hearted changes implemented over the years, are based on a model of fandom which hasn’t existed since the 1960s. What are “fan writers”? What are “fanzines”? Once, the profiles of these might have been high enough in the sf community for worldcon members to know what they are and vote intelligently on them. There’s a reason pro writers are winning the fan writer Hugo now – people know who they are. And despite having a World Wide Web for twenty years, the Hugos still have no idea how to deal with online content.

And more:

It doesn’t help that the Hugo Awards claim to be global yet are clearly only American. The worldcon, the membership of which nominates and votes on the awards, takes place in the US four out of every five years, and even when abroad the shortlists are often dominated by American works. Works published globally are eligible for the Hugo (now; it wasn’t always the case), but it means little as the voters are chiefly US-based.

Ian then heads into a discussion on modern Science Fiction in general, which is also worthy of a read. So do click through to the original, and feel free to throw any counterarguments out into the comments: http://iansales.com/2012/09/06/the-hugos-are-broken-science-fiction-is-broken-everything-is-broken/

Some advice about your opinion about art

Award-winning author Brad R Torgersen writes an interesting and lengthy post about a very useful skill for writers, which I will paraphrase as: 'shut the hell up for a minute while you think about how your opinion is a personal value-judgement'.

It took a seasoned pro to pull me aside and say, “Look kid, author X or novel Y may not be to your taste, but they obviously work for somebody. Instead of getting mad about it, stop and think about how or why a given writer or a given book, or series of books, is speaking to an audience that large. There’s something deeper going on, and it’s worth considering. Maybe even respecting — though you personally may not like what author X puts out.”

For extra points, watch the funny animation at the top of the page from the start, which will prepare you for every award-controversy-diatribe in the history of EVAR.

Read Brad's well-constructed and entertaining advice here: http://bradrtorgersen.wordpress.com/2011/06/28/fear-and-loathing-at-the-awards-table/