Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
As a youth, I looked for Science Fiction books with Hugo Winner on the cover because that was a sign of quality science fiction writing.
For the last 30 years, Hugo winners have been more about political correctness than starships and laser beams, a future of despair, not hope. Look, I read escapist fiction to escape political correctness and despair, I don’t want it in my Science Fiction so I quit buying SF.
Three years ago, author Larry Correia noticed the trend and in a parody of typical politically-correct appeals, claimed that boring message fiction was the leading cause of puppy-related sadness. He said the Hugos put authors’ politics above the quality of the work, that conservatives were shunned. He formed the Sad Puppies club and got a few conservatives nominated for the award. The Liberal response was typical: Sad Puppies are racist, sexist and homophobic and must be shunned. SP did it again last year and the response got worse. This year there were two groups: Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies, who swept the nominations and then the fur really flew.
The major media reporting on the controversy started from the wrong premise: they examined genitals and scrutinized skin color to see if Sad Puppies nominees filled quotas of women and racial minority authors. That investigation entirely misses the point: regardless of who wrote the stories, were the stories any good?
The metric used to measure the problem, IS the problem.
The 2015 Hugos were announced: no Award won several categories. Politically correct fans would sooner give no award at all than let conservative nominees win, not even the woman, Hispanic or American Indian Sad Puppies nominees. Politics ruled; Liberals burned down their politically correct village in order to save it.
The insanity goes beyond science fiction.
President Obama nominated Sotomayor to the Supreme Court because she was a “wise Latina.” Is there something about being a woman that makes the Commerce Clause easier to understand? Some special cultural benefit of having Spanish ancestors that gives you clearer insight into the Due Process Clause? Liberals insist Diversity is Essential but never provide an intellectual justification for it.
We can see the results of Affirmative Action in the Hugos and in the White House. When will we, as a society, get the message that rewarding the least qualified and punishing the most qualified on the basis of immaterial factors such as race and sex . . . is a stupid way to run a society?
I’m happy that Joe can explain the flap about the Hugo Awards because I, myself, have never cared for sci-fi.
And when I say “sci-fi”, I mean “sci-fi fans”, of whom I have the grossly-unfair stereotype of being a roomful of people who look and act like Comic Store Guy on Simpsons…
…and who justify the stereotype, in part, by doing such a terrible job (Joe Doakes excepted) of explaining why we should care? Reading sci-fi fans’ “explanations” of the Hugo Award flap is like reading about “Gamergate”; clogged with subcultural jargon that, like all subcultural argot, is intended to make the subculture opaque to outsiders.
And it works! What is a “sad puppy?” (Joe explains it adequately, in context, which is a first). What in the f*****g f*****g f*** is “Dragoncon?” Who is who, and how do we know, and for the love of The Force, why does it matter?
So it’s a start. Thanks, Joe.