Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

I Guess I'm One of Them

As we approach Worldcon, it's once again time for Silly Season with the Hugo Awards, where people trot out the same old tired lines (and lies) about how the Awards actually work. Cheryl has an excellent report on one such story, particularly the comments that perpetuate the assumption that there really is a shadowy group of Secret Masters who Control The Hugos and who plot to prevent Real Fans (which is to say include "anyone who thinks like me" and exclude everyone else) from participating. Like Cheryl, I'm insulted by people who basically say that everything she, I, John Scalzi, and all of the other people who have been working to improve the visibility and viability of the Hugos is rubbish and of course the Awards are terrible because they don't reflect their personal interests.

Well, guess what? I'm one of Them. I'm one of those people who works behind the scenes with the Hugo Awards, chairing the Hugo Awards Marketing Committee, staying heavily involved in WSFS business, and so forth. I'm pretty much Mr. Insider. But you'll probably be surprised to find that the Hugo Awards don't always reflect my tastes. Doubtless this would really surprise the Conspiracy Theorists, who would, if they had the Power that they imagine people like I have, ignore those stupid voters and give the Awards to the Right People. On the other hand, I'd rather have the awards reflect the voters' tastes and have the process be as open and transparent as possible.

Complaining that the voters have bad taste is one thing. Saying that the awards are illegitimate because Your Favorite Work didn't win or get nominated is just stupid. Want to make a difference? Get involved yourself. Don't let "Them" do it.

Note that the main article to which Cheryl is reacting does criticize the voters. But the author carefully states that he doesn't have voting rights. (He puts it in such a way that implies that someone is preventing him from having those rights, rather than him simply being unwilling to buy a WSFS membership.) I would, however, ask the author of that article "Why aren't you a voter? It's not hard. Why aren't you out there telling people what works you think should be nominated before the voting deadline instead of complaining about the choices after.

But if you're happier just sitting back and whinging, don't expect to be taken seriously. Remember, the only Secret of the Secret Masters of Fandom is that there isn't anything Secret about them.
Tags: hugo award, smof

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