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Hugo Award 2023--What happened?
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lisagarrity
Posted 2023-10-23 7:34 PM (#27605)
Subject: Hugo Award 2023--What happened?



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This has been the strangest Hugo award since the Sad Puppies tried to push through their slate. I think the only literary Hugo I agreed with was the Hugo for best series. Nettle and Bone is a nice book but pretty light-weight for a major award. Actually, the whole short list was light-weight. So many books missing--The Mountan in the Sea, Babel, How high We Go in the Dark, Sea of Tranquility. Maybe they didn't deserve to win but not to be mentioned? The shorter works I also differ on though not to as great extent.

Am I right, is this a strange year or have I succumbed to the Cranky Old Woman disease?
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finminer
Posted 2023-11-14 3:42 PM (#28574 - in reply to #27605)
Subject: RE: Hugo Award 2023--What happened?



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I agree with you - it was a very weak field & the book that should have won the Hugo wasn't even nominated, yet won the Nebula. I just read Kowal's book not long ago & found it poorly written & very weak - perhaps she's a political favorite in her leadership position? I'd be very curious about the demographics of today's voters and how they've changed over the years. I recognize that there's compensation due for past failures in recognizing women, gender & various other aspects, but the danger in that is overcompensation & it feels to me that recent results bear that out. The Hugo is a popularity contest, so if F&SF has younger demographics, it's feels like it's going towards lighter stories with non-traditional gender as at least an aspect of the story (they are very much marketed that way). Note that I have nothing against books like that, but I feel that they may be getting an artificial market boost while better books are ignored because they don't have those aspects. Over 80% of the Hugo & Nebula novel nominees in the last five years are female. I've read all but 7, and while some great female writers have emerged, you can't tell me that there are no male writers out there who can compete - how about Adrian Tchaikovsky as an example. Also, six of the last eight Damon Knight Grand Masters have been female, including the last four. This year, it was Robin McKinley, who I had never even heard of, was chosen ahead of more obvious male writers, such as George R.R. Martin & Kim Stanley Robinson. I did research McKinley & read a couple of her books, and while she is probably worthy, her career has not been nearly as illustrious. It felt like they were stretching past more obvious candidates to find a worthy female author.
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lisagarrity
Posted 2023-11-15 5:57 PM (#28575 - in reply to #27605)
Subject: Re: Hugo Award 2023--What happened?



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i think Robin McKinley was a worthy choice due to her influence in the fantasy field. But there are SO MANY worthy candidates and I think the award is skewed by the need for the author to currently be living. People are voting for authors on the basis of health rather than overall best choice. And as much as people deny it, politics are playing a part. Otherwise Card would be a grandmaster. I hate his politics but his influence on the field has been huge.

Your point about the voter demographics is interesting. The Harry Potter generation is now voting and their favorite books generally are not mine. The new SFWA President is Jeffe Kennedy who is a fantasy and paranormal romance writer. It will be interesting to see who she champions.
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gallyangel
Posted 2023-11-17 3:51 AM (#28576 - in reply to #27605)
Subject: Re: Hugo Award 2023--What happened?



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Its always been a popularity contest.
If you look back at the Hugos and ask how many of the winners are being republished on a regular basis, that shows you what their staying power is.
There are Hugo winners that shook SF to its core and changed everything, and there are many many more which are long forgotten (unless you're doing the Hugo list for your reading on this site!)
And since it's a popularity contest, the criteria always changes.

Edited by gallyangel 2023-11-17 3:53 AM
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finminer
Posted 2024-01-26 1:11 PM (#29289 - in reply to #27605)
Subject: Re: Hugo Award 2023--What happened?



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Take a look at File 770. There's a real sh7tshow going on around the Hugos right now. It has to do with certain disqualifications & a severe lack of transparency in how the voting works. It seems that governmental restrictions led to this.
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lisagarrity
Posted 2024-01-26 1:45 PM (#29293 - in reply to #27605)
Subject: Re: Hugo Award 2023--What happened?



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I've been following it on File 770 and a few other sites. I thought Sad Puppies would be our lowest point for the award. I didn't imagine how wrong I would be.
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