There is a war going on in the blogosphere between certain employees of Tor, the once great publisher of scifi/fantasy, and the proponents of alternate slates for the Hugo, the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies. I have watched it with some interest, since I am undoubtedly one of those the Puppies in general would not like, but I have found their position actually has merit.
There was a time, many years ago, when one could buy a book honored with the Hugo award and know that the book would be well written, well edited, and thought provoking. This has not been the case for several years, I am sorry to report. In fact, there was a time, again many years ago, that one could buy a book published by Tor, and have a good read that might be thought provoking but was at minimum a good story well told. This is sadly no longer the case. I used to buy a Tor book even if the blurb wasn’t particularly inviting, because I trusted Tor. This is no longer the case.
Tor employees have attacked the Sad/Rabid Puppies as racist, misogynist, right wing whackos. The fact is that this reviling became much louder after the Sad Puppy slate won most of the Hugo niminations. What? They outvoted you? Doesn’t this sound like the Republicans after our current president was elected? Are you sure you want to go there?
As for me, as a longtime reader and fan of scifi and fantasy, I no longer pay attention to the Hugo. It has become a tiny, parochial award instead of the great honor it used to be. Many of the authors who won it in the past would be discarded now as old white men, in spite of the brilliant, ground breaking work they did. It makes no sense. And for a publishing company to get into this argument through its employees is unacceptable. The Hugo used to be an award to tell fans that a work was great and worthy of reading. When it has become such a small thing, a publishing company is certainly taking its life in its hands by stooping to get involved in the fight.
The whole mess leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. For a group of writers to have to propose an alternate slate because the guardians of an award have neglected over half of the good books published in a year is inexcusable.
White men have as much a right to be read and heard as do all the other permutations of writers. I’m an elderly white woman still trying to perfect a book that is worthy of publishing. By the time I’m ready, will old white women join old white men on the no-go list? And who decides?
Political correctness carried to an extreme is as bad as any other philosophy or religion. Do the politically correct at Tor and the Hugo want to be compared to the Taliban or Isis? Because that’s where you’re headed. Extremism in any venture is inherently unstable.