Nightmare at the Hugo Awards: No Award “Wins” Five Times…including for Best Editor Categories
Folks, right now, I’m not happy. As a writer and editor, I look forward to the Hugo Awards ceremony every year to see what other people active in science fiction and fantasy think of other writers and editors.
This year, apparently the other active writers and editors in my field think that no awards at all should be given out to editors. Because that’s what “won” at the Hugos this year — No Award — in both “best editor, short form” and “best editor, long form.” (These were two of the results of the 2015 Hugo Awards; go take a look at the rest if you are so inclined. I’ll wait.)
Look. I understand that the SF&F community has been rent asunder over the past few years. But one thing I thought everyone could all agree on was that books do not produce themselves.
To have a book that reads well, you need not only a good writer with an interesting plot and some excellent characterization, but a highly competent editor to pull the story into its best-possible form.
Why? Well, the best writers in the world can and often do make mistakes, and it’s up to your handy-dandy, trustworthy, hard-working editor to fix them.
The people who were nominated for Hugo Awards all have a great deal of experience as editors behind them. None of them were people who just came in off the street and started editing yesterday; most have edited for at least ten years, and some a great deal more…even the casual fan is aware of Toni Weisskopf of Baen Books and Sheila Gilbert of DAW Books, to name two fine editors who were passed over for “no award” in the long form category, because these two ladies have had long and successful careers as editors to date.
How “No Award” can be voted for by anyone in good conscience over either of them bothers me.
Quite frankly, even though I’ve not been a fan of Vox Day as an editor or a writer, I don’t see how “No Award” can come before him, either. His authors have all sworn blind that he is as hard-working as any of the other editors who were nominated, and he’s been in the SF&F field for quite some time.
Editing awards are about simply that: editing…and who’s good at it.
And speaking of Vox Day solely as an editor — solely for the work he has done — if he’s been nominated for an award, dammit, he deserves to come in ahead of “no award” just like all the other hard-working editors in these two categories.
As a hard-working, lesser-known editor, let me be the first to say, “Boo, hiss!” to the Hugo Award voters who decided to turn the editing awards into a mockery — all because some respondents apparently did not like the Sad Puppies and/or Rabid Puppies, and decided to throw their votes away rather than vote for any of the people who’d actually done the work to help put high-quality books and magazines up for sale.
Hugo Awards committee people, I don’t blame you for this nonsense. You did your best with a bad hand, and I appreciate the hard work and effort you put in.
I do blame the campaign in the media, that has done its best to devalue the hard work of people of various races, creeds, ethnicities, and sexuality/gender preferences. Because I am tired of the narrative framing already, that somehow voting for “No Award” has brought back the “integrity” of the Hugo Awards…as that is simply hogwash.