Amanda Green already schooled this editorial from the Amazing Stories webzine. In fact, Amanda didn’t just steal the ball, she went with the crossover fake, took her man all the way to the hoop, ran him into the standard, then dribbled back out to the top of the key and dropped a supremely graceful 3-pointer through the net. So, before you read me, go read her. It was magnificent. It was art.
Hugo award voters, don’t CHORF your final vote card.
You may not agree with or even like Sad Puppies 3 or the “open” slate process we’ve employed, but before you get sniffy and go chalking NO AWARD at the top of your lists for the categories — and the damned final ballot is not even out yet, so how in the hell did we jump directly to people calling for you all to vote NO AWARD?! — consider this.
There are men and women on the SP3 list who deserve to be recognized regardless of association with the SP3 slate. Some of them have invested decades in the field, and have published many, many different quality works, for the enjoyment of many, many different fans. You can hate on the slate. You can even hate on me, as the front man for SP3. But the moment you start hating on the participants, you’re crossing a line. You’re proving what Larry Correia said you’d prove, all the way back with SP1 in 2013: that the award is not now nor has it ever been about quality or merit, it’s just a “cool kids” award for people deemed worthy of being in the “cool kids” club.
So, you can go ahead and CHORF the ballot if you feel like it. We (SP3) obviously can’t stop you. In fact, when the final numbers are released at the end of August, we’ll have a precise look at just how many CHORFs there are voting in the Hugos this year. Because we’ll see (first-run) exactly how many times NO AWARD is brandished in any given category, by a certain number of people.
I’m optimistic. I like to think the actual number of CHORFs at Sasquan is going to be low. Not every SMOF is a CHORF, and not every fan is a TruFan, and not every voter is inclined to get his fruit-of-the-looms wedged up his exhaust port simply because the Hugo ballot looks rather different than it has in years past. Don’t quote me on this, but I am pretty sure somebody smart once said that change is a good thing. And when I say change, I don’t mean exchanging green apples for red apples, nor Granny Smiths for Golden Delicious. I mean, apples for pears, and apples for grapes, and bananas, and star fruit, and watermelons, and kiwi, and all sorts of stuff that wouldn’t necessary make the ballot without some organized effort.
And, really, let’s not kid ourselves. Organized effort has been part of the Hugo awards from the inception. It’s just normally done on the down-low. SP has decided that the down-low is not sufficient. And no, we don’t care if you think it’s gauche. Commanding people to stay silent and sit on their hands is a great way to guarantee that whatever sneaky little trickery you yourself are pulling, will work largely unopposed. Perhaps it’s not occurred to some readers that the best way to be sure your own skulduggery succeeds, is in making the other guys abide a higher standard? That’s one of Alinksy’s rules, after all: make the other people abide a rule you yourself will happily break.
So, having observed the not-so-hidden dirty laundry which has accompanied this award in years past, SP merely dared to ask, “What if we were honest, and what if we gave a voice to every man and woman who has told us privately that (s)he is sick of the way the Hugos typically turn out? Tired of the blind spots, biases, and predictable outcomes?”
Regardless of how they get there, the people who make it (on April 4th) deserve your respect. Do them the dignity of acknowledging there presence. Again, you don’t have to like SP3, nor me as the front man. But those participants? They’ll have earned those slots the way any other nominees earned those slots in years past. Maybe the final ballot as a whole won’t be to your taste? But then, when is the final ballot ever? Kvetching about who got missed and who should have been on it, has also been with this award since the inception.
SP merely decided to go to work. Not bitch and moan impotently. We did our research, and we took a past Hugo winner’s advice:
“It’s actually true, so let’s say it again: change the Hugos by nominating, voting and participating, or (much more slowly and far less reliably) actively making your case to the people who are nominating, voting and participating. As a pro tip, explicitly or implicitly disparaging their intelligence, taste or standing to make choices when you try to do that is unlikely to persuade them to decide anything other than that you’re probably an asshole.”
– John Scalzi, April 5, 2013
I especially like the last part: explicitly or implicitly disparaging their intelligence, taste or standing to make choices when you try to do that is unlikely to persuade them to decide anything other than that you’re probably an asshole.
In other words, don’t CHORF it, dudes. A book is a book is a book, and a story is a story is a story.
Read your final ballot packet. You paid for it, after all. Go with the stories that speak to your heart.
That is all. Carry on.