Author Topic: This story is not SF (from an episode thread)  (Read 21861 times)

WillMoo

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on: September 29, 2014, 10:11:01 PM
Another story that isn't science fiction in the slightest.  :-\  I don't really care if it was a Hugo nominee or winner for that matter. It isn't sci-fi.
That being said, I did like the story but it didn't really go anywhere.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2014, 04:21:57 PM by eytanz »



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Reply #1 on: September 30, 2014, 02:57:51 AM
Another story that isn't science fiction in the slightest.  :-\  I don't really care if it was a Hugo nominee or winner for that matter. It isn't sci-fi.
That being said, I did like the story but it didn't really go anywhere.

Another coin in the genre jar.

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WillMoo

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Reply #2 on: September 30, 2014, 08:00:49 PM
I am going to go broke if they keep running non-sci-fi in what is supposed to be a sci-fi podcast.  :'(



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Reply #3 on: September 30, 2014, 08:28:46 PM
I am going to go broke if they keep running non-sci-fi in what is supposed to be a sci-fi podcast.  :'(

And that's another coin for the genre jar.

We've had this conversation ad nauseum already (hence the genre jar).  To summarize:
1.  It's been a tradition for many years for Escape Pod to run as many of the Hugo Short Story nominees as possible.
2.  Hugo Short Story Nominees are not restricted to science fiction only.
3.  Therefore, for this stretch of up to 5 episodes in a row around the middle of each year, there's going to be a possibility of some fantasy stories.  

The tradition could be changed and stop running Hugo noms.  But I don't see why it should.  Many people like it.  I personally like to keep an ear out for the Hugo awards and this makes this category easy to grab even if you're not a voter.  It also helps draw in new listeners who may not have followed Escape Pod otherwise but are attracted by the award buzz.  It brings the conversation about the Hugo awards from the general Internet to this well-moderated community of conversational awesomeness where there is much interesting conversation to be had about it.

The tradition could be changed and split the nominated stories to the different casts.  But I don't see why it should.  The convenience of having them all in one place is lost if you put them in different places.  And Escape Pod is the one who came up with the awesome idea in the first place so why not let them continue it.  And it would complicate the planning of the year's episodes when/where the editors are inclined to do such planning. If they all run on Escape Pod then EP can aim to have five empty slots in the middle of the year (sometimes less if the 5% rule goes into effect).  If some might go to Podcastle and some to Pseudopod and some to Escape Pod, that makes any potential for planning kind of wishy-washy.

For future years, if you want to avoid Hugo fantasy stories all you have to do is skip a few episodes when they start talking about Hugo nominees because some of them may be fantasy.  Easy peasy.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2014, 08:40:05 PM by Unblinking »



albionmoonlight

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Reply #4 on: October 01, 2014, 05:01:58 PM
I am going to go broke if they keep running non-sci-fi in what is supposed to be a sci-fi podcast.  :'(

And that's another coin for the genre jar.

We've had this conversation ad nauseum already (hence the genre jar).  To summarize:
1.  It's been a tradition for many years for Escape Pod to run as many of the Hugo Short Story nominees as possible.
2.  Hugo Short Story Nominees are not restricted to science fiction only.
3.  Therefore, for this stretch of up to 5 episodes in a row around the middle of each year, there's going to be a possibility of some fantasy stories.  

The tradition could be changed and stop running Hugo noms.  But I don't see why it should.  Many people like it.  I personally like to keep an ear out for the Hugo awards and this makes this category easy to grab even if you're not a voter.  It also helps draw in new listeners who may not have followed Escape Pod otherwise but are attracted by the award buzz.  It brings the conversation about the Hugo awards from the general Internet to this well-moderated community of conversational awesomeness where there is much interesting conversation to be had about it.

The tradition could be changed and split the nominated stories to the different casts.  But I don't see why it should.  The convenience of having them all in one place is lost if you put them in different places.  And Escape Pod is the one who came up with the awesome idea in the first place so why not let them continue it.  And it would complicate the planning of the year's episodes when/where the editors are inclined to do such planning. If they all run on Escape Pod then EP can aim to have five empty slots in the middle of the year (sometimes less if the 5% rule goes into effect).  If some might go to Podcastle and some to Pseudopod and some to Escape Pod, that makes any potential for planning kind of wishy-washy.

For future years, if you want to avoid Hugo fantasy stories all you have to do is skip a few episodes when they start talking about Hugo nominees because some of them may be fantasy.  Easy peasy.

Personally, I like having Hugo month on EP.  The (great) idea of having all the stories in one place would get lost if all the stories were in three places.



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Reply #5 on: October 02, 2014, 09:57:44 AM
I've only been listening to EP for a few years, and only dip into the early episodes when someone says something about one that catches my interest. Like, "It's got Squonk in it," but... well... I guess that's my point, really. I gather that Hugo Month predates the other EA podcasts and started back when Escape Pod was a less rigidly defined speculative fiction podcast.

It's kind of like the way Easter Eggs predate Christianity and actually come from Pagan beliefs about the goddess of springtime. But Christians still love their Easter Eggs, right? Or do we have to do away with them now?

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Reply #6 on: October 02, 2014, 03:28:24 PM
"Speculative fiction is a broad literary genre encompassing any fiction with supernatural, fantastical, or futuristic elements."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speculative_fiction

This whole discussion has dragged on well past any useful term in several forum threads and on our website. I'm done with it, and I have more patience than most people you will ever meet, which means most other staff that read the forums are either on the edge of darkness right now or stopped reading the forums altogether months ago. Start a petition, get 300 listeners to sign onto it, and send it directly to one of the editors, or buck up and sit out for every run of Hugos we ever do.

tl;dr - "useful action or STFU"



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Reply #7 on: October 02, 2014, 04:33:04 PM
Glad to see this split away from the episode threads.  Thank you, hardworking moderators!



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Reply #8 on: October 02, 2014, 04:45:16 PM
Glad to see this split away from the episode threads.  Thank you, hardworking moderators!

Ditto.


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Reply #9 on: October 03, 2014, 02:04:08 PM
Count me as another vote to keep Hugo month right where it is, on Escape Pod, even if it means taking the occasional break from pure sci-fi.  I treat a Hugo month non-sci-fi story that I don't happen to like the same way I treat a regular EP episode that I don't happen to like: "Oh well, hope I like next week's episode more."

(To moderators and editors and such, I'm sorry if even adding a positive note like this is just adding fuel to the fire.  Now that I've said my piece here, I doubt I'll have anything more to say about it going forward.)

 -Andy



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Reply #10 on: October 05, 2014, 01:08:15 PM
This is just a thought, but if the Hugo nominees had a different theme tune at the top of the podcast, like the flash episodes do, and maybe a notice if it isn't SF, might that help to head off this discussion in future?

And I do mean a notice not a warning.

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UnfulredJohnson

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Reply #11 on: October 12, 2014, 11:10:07 PM
I don't mind it, so long as the story is decent. A good story is a good story regardless of genre. But the hugo nominations aren't always that good. The whole thing has become very political and I don't like that. I think the integrity of the process has been compromised a lot. But then people have been saying that about the hugos for years.  If I had to vote though, I'd say keep the hugo week. It generally works out better than worse. For me anyway.



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Reply #12 on: October 13, 2014, 02:51:40 PM
The whole thing has become very political and I don't like that. I think the integrity of the process has been compromised a lot.

The process is the same as it's ever been--people vote for what they want to vote for.  Individuals may or may not vote for political reasons, or for fiction that supports their own ideals, or just for good fiction.  There's no way to determine people's motivations, and no way to keep people from voting for whatever those motivations are. 

I, for one, prefer to vote just based on how good I thought the story is.  And I'll vote against a story that I think is bad even if it fits my political/philosophical ideals. 

But as long as there's not evidence of fraud (which I haven't heard any), the integrity of the process is exactly what it has always been--people voting for whatever they want to vote for.



UnfulredJohnson

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Reply #13 on: October 13, 2014, 04:42:34 PM
When I say integrity, I mean people who vote for a story that they may not enjoy or even have read at all, but vote for it because it represents ideals they share and believe in. That seems to me to be a little dis-honest, because let's be honest, everyone claims to vote for stories on merit, but is that the case? Obviously no one can prove this, but I don't think it is. And that's where I feel the integrity is compromised.

But then it's the same with every awards ever. There's no such thing as an award based solely on truth and beauty and quality, and even these things are subjective. There will always be outside factors in play. But I think it can be matter of degrees. How much do these outside factors influence the process. A bit? A lot? Loads.



eytanz

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Reply #14 on: October 13, 2014, 05:26:32 PM
Is there any evidence whatsoever that that happened? People voting for stories they haven't read or enjoyed, that is. Because if not, and this is just idle speculation, then it's sort of pointless to discuss it. I mean, we can throw spurious allegations around all day, but unless we have something to back them up with, then that's all they are.

For what it's worth, I think it's entirely wrong to classify ideology as an "outside" factor in literature. Literature has always been political, both implicitly and explicitly, throughout the years. It's not the only factor, and if people were disregarding all other factors in favour of voting along some sort of ideological line then there's a problem, but stories should be judged upon everything that they contain, not just the part of it that has no bearing on political issues.



UnfulredJohnson

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Reply #15 on: October 13, 2014, 06:21:25 PM
Well it's fairly obvious to me that there are two opposing factions in sci-fi today. It would be naive to think they are not using the hugos as a forum to affirm their positions and view points. Wasn't vos day nominated for exactly that reason? Anyway, thats just my own take on it. If you feel it's a spurious allegation then I'll leave it at that.



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Reply #16 on: October 13, 2014, 06:42:23 PM

Well it's fairly obvious to me that there are two opposing factions in sci-fi today.


I see more than two factions. None of them are pointed in the same direction, but few are in full opposition.

Quite frequently speculative fiction is a great Rorschach Test, and what the reader pulls from the story says as much or more about the reader than the story.

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


UnfulredJohnson

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Reply #17 on: October 13, 2014, 07:10:33 PM
How many factions do you think there are fenrix? And how would you classify them?



eytanz

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Reply #18 on: October 13, 2014, 07:38:46 PM
Well it's fairly obvious to me that there are two opposing factions in sci-fi today. It would be naive to think they are not using the hugos as a forum to affirm their positions and view points. Wasn't vos day nominated for exactly that reason? Anyway, thats just my own take on it. If you feel it's a spurious allegation then I'll leave it at that.

Is there any reason to believe that the vast majority of people who nominated Vox Day's story didn't read it, or read it and didn't enjoy it?

In any case, any allegation is spurious unless you give evidence for it. "It would be naive to think otherwise" is not evidence, or even an argument.

As for factions - there are certainly people who view things in that way, but I think the vast majority of SF/F readers are simply interested in getting SF/F stories they enjoy. That might mean getting less stories that upset their political sensibilities, but for most readers that is probably one of many considerations, which is how it's always been.



UnfulredJohnson

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Reply #19 on: October 13, 2014, 08:02:37 PM
The reason I mentioned about vox day is because I read this

http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/04/24/an-explanation-about-the-hugo-awards-controversy/

Where Larry Corriea says he nominated vox day to prove a point. So I hope this will get me out of spurious jail. I should have mentioned it earlier. It's just stuff like this which makes me think it has less and less to do with the quality of the stories every year, and more and more to do with politics.

 




eytanz

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Reply #20 on: October 13, 2014, 08:34:46 PM
I'm familiar with that story, but you need to consider several things:

- Nomination is not voting, because nomination is done in an open field. People who nominate one story out of hundreds might very well use different criteria than people who vote for one out of five.
- The amount of votes needed to get a story on the ballot is significantly lower than those needed to win. The people who got the Vox Day story on the ballot were organised, but they were also a small minority of the voting body overall. It's just that the other votes were split over a larger field.
- Your actual claim above was that people nominated/voted for the story without reading it. There's no evidence of that here.

That said, I'm not disputing that the Vox Day novelette was nominated for political reasons. Still, I don't think that this is representative of the field as a whole. I certainly don't know that anything similar happened in the Short Story category which is the one relevant for EP.



UnfulredJohnson

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Reply #21 on: October 13, 2014, 09:15:55 PM
No that's true there is no evidence of it, but you must admit, given all the kerfuffle, it's not a hard leap to make. I would also imagine that everyone who voted vox day under the 'no award' section  would be equally suspect of voting their politics, at least thats how it appears to me. Not that I could blame them given what I've read about the man. 

Anyway this is more of an opinion or a supposition than an allegation. I'm trying very hard to keep a neutral tone here.




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Reply #22 on: October 14, 2014, 12:23:31 AM
I see more than two factions. None of them are pointed in the same direction, but few are in full opposition.

Agreed. Two seems shockingly small, and they don't divide on any consistent axis I've been able to discern.

Quite frequently speculative fiction is a great Rorschach Test, and what the reader pulls from the story says as much or more about the reader than the story.

I agree with that completely, except as a storyteller, I'd say it's virtually any story, not just speculative fiction.  We routinely use the phrase "story quality" like there's some obvious, widely-accepted measure of what that is.  A casual perusal of the EA forums on any given day seems like it should be enough to dispel that notion, but it keeps cropping up, in all sorts of ways...

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Reply #23 on: October 14, 2014, 02:02:02 AM
Yeah, the Vox Day thing was explicitly (at least in some quarters) done to prove a point rather than because the supporters actually enjoyed his writing.  However, that seems to be the exception rather than the rule; most people seem to vote for stories they like rather than because of some kind of weird ideology. 

That said, "liking" a story can certainly include being in accord with its political or cultural viewpoints, and I don't see why that should stop (and as Eytan pointed out, everything is inherently political anyway; you couldn't separate it out if you tried.  The mere act of trying to avoid "politics" is a political statement and a political act.)



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Reply #24 on: October 14, 2014, 04:36:54 PM
I would also imagine that everyone who voted vox day under the 'no award' section  would be equally suspect of voting their politics, at least thats how it appears to me.

You're overgeneralizing.  I voted Vox Day's story under No Award because it was, IMO, not a quality story.  It was boring and relied heavily on tropes that are already well worn.  I also voted plenty of other stories under No  Award in various categories--most of them I just thought were boring, not offensive. 

And as others have said, there is no way to avoid politics because avoiding politics is also politics.  And if someone has read the story and voted for it because they like the message it sends, I don't see what's wrong with that.  "Sending a worthwhile message" is a thing that stories can do, and if you felt that it moved you personally, why should you feel like you can't vote for it.  And as Eytan said, getting something nominated is a much lower bar than getting it awarded.

I agree that it's dishonest to vote for a story that you haven't read.  But how do you intend to prove that's happened?  People vote privately and don't have to write a book report on the stories they've read to prove they've read them.

I have heard from people on the Hugo committee that there are plenty of votes that are voted for authors that haven't published anything this year, or works that weren't published in the voting year.  That kind of thing leads me to believe that some people just put names they know on the ballot regardless of whether it makes sense--it wouldn't surprise me if those same people also voted by stories written by their favorite author that they haven't actually read.  But, again, how do you show that that's the case instead of just speculating?



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Reply #25 on: October 15, 2014, 08:29:17 AM

I have heard from people on the Hugo committee that there are plenty of votes that are voted for authors that haven't published anything this year, or works that weren't published in the voting year.  That kind of thing leads me to believe that some people just put names they know on the ballot regardless of whether it makes sense--it wouldn't surprise me if those same people also voted by stories written by their favorite author that they haven't actually read.  But, again, how do you show that that's the case instead of just speculating?

Erm. That can't happen with voting — since folk are always voting on a shortlist of stories that were published in the voting year.

It can very easily happen with nominations of course. That said another explanation is that it's actually quite tricky unless you're an ardent tracker of publication dates to figure out when a story fits into hugo rules for being able to be nominated. I've certainly encountered stories that are "new" to me that I don't realise are reprints at the time.

For me the most parsimonious explanation for folks how-did-X-win is just that people have different tastes. As browsing the story comment threads proves ;-)



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Reply #26 on: October 15, 2014, 02:03:14 PM
Erm. That can't happen with voting — since folk are always voting on a shortlist of stories that were published in the voting year.


You're right.  I meant nominations, not voting.

Quote
That said another explanation is that it's actually quite tricky unless you're an ardent tracker of publication dates to figure out when a story fits into hugo rules for being able to be nominated.

Not that tricky.  A quick Google search will usually find it.  I know this because I end up having to do this for most of the podcasts I listen to do decide what's eligible.  I wish that every podcast would do what Clarkesworld does and publish an explicit list of what is eligible in their published stories that year so I don't have to dig for it.



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Reply #27 on: November 17, 2014, 06:37:25 AM
Another story that isn't science fiction in the slightest.  :-\  I don't really care if it was a Hugo nominee or winner for that matter. It isn't sci-fi.
That being said, I did like the story but it didn't really go anywhere.


I had the same feeling about The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere and  If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love.

I political correctness and popular vote is not a good  combination. I am sad I going to miss  Worldcon 2015, but now feel maybe not.
Having  been disgusted  with two panels  that were just conservative or Bush  bashing at Orycon 2013-12. I beginning to think there is  a bigger issue in the SF con seen. 



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Reply #28 on: November 19, 2014, 10:44:40 AM

I had the same feeling about The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere and  If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love.

I political correctness and popular vote is not a good  combination.

I'm not altogether sure where political correctness comes into either of those stories. Political correctness is not the same thing as writing about demographic groups who traditionally experience prejudice, or voting for such stories to win awards because you think they're good stories.

I am sad I going to miss  Worldcon 2015, but now feel maybe not.
Having  been disgusted  with two panels  that were just conservative or Bush  bashing at Orycon 2013-12. I beginning to think there is  a bigger issue in the SF con seen. 

I can't comment on that because I don't pay attention to the voting in awards. I'm one of those who just feels happy for the winners. I'd be careful not to wander too far down the road towards, "Votes for all who can be trusted to use them properly," though. Just because your favourites didn't win, that doesn't mean the voting was rigged, or that people only voted for PC reasons.

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Reply #29 on: November 19, 2014, 03:09:22 PM

I had the same feeling about The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere and  If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love.

I political correctness and popular vote is not a good  combination.

I'm not altogether sure where political correctness comes into either of those stories. Political correctness is not the same thing as writing about demographic groups who traditionally experience prejudice, or voting for such stories to win awards because you think they're good stories.

I am sad I going to miss  Worldcon 2015, but now feel maybe not.
Having  been disgusted  with two panels  that were just conservative or Bush  bashing at Orycon 2013-12. I beginning to think there is  a bigger issue in the SF con seen. 

I can't comment on that because I don't pay attention to the voting in awards. I'm one of those who just feels happy for the winners. I'd be careful not to wander too far down the road towards, "Votes for all who can be trusted to use them properly," though. Just because your favourites didn't win, that doesn't mean the voting was rigged, or that people only voted for PC reasons.

I agree with SpareInch.  I didn't see anything PC  about either story.  The Water That Falls On You From Nowhere starred gay characters, but what was PC about it, exactly?  If You Were a Dinosaur My Love may or may not have starred a gay character--it plays intentionally coy on the exact details, probably so that anyone can put their own characteristics in the slot, we only hear gay slurs by a bunch of murderers that neither confirm nor deny the actual sexual orientation of the character.

I voted for The Water because I thought it was effective at conveying emotion.  I didn't vote for If You Were a Dinosaur because I didn't think it was effective at conveying emotion--for many others it was effective and they voted accordingly and good for them. 



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Reply #30 on: December 30, 2014, 01:52:58 AM
As Winston Churchill once said, "It has been said that democ­racy is the worst form of Gov­ern­ment except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." 

After several years of muttering to myself about the Hugo process not resulting in awards for my favorite stories, I decided to do the "supporter" route, pay my $40, and get the right to vote in the Hugos.  It is actually a pretty good deal because I not only got to vote but received a digital package that contained almost all of the Hugo nominees in all the categories!  This included the books, short stories, and much more.  It was a pretty sweet bonanza.  I was able to read many of them on my Kindle.

http://www.thehugoawards.org/i-want-to-vote/



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Reply #31 on: January 14, 2015, 04:40:41 PM

I had the same feeling about The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere and  If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love.

I political correctness and popular vote is not a good  combination.

I'm not altogether sure where political correctness comes into either of those stories. Political correctness is not the same thing as writing about demographic groups who traditionally experience prejudice, or voting for such stories to win awards because you think they're good stories.

I am sad I going to miss  Worldcon 2015, but now feel maybe not.
Having  been disgusted  with two panels  that were just conservative or Bush  bashing at Orycon 2013-12. I beginning to think there is  a bigger issue in the SF con seen. 

I can't comment on that because I don't pay attention to the voting in awards. I'm one of those who just feels happy for the winners. I'd be careful not to wander too far down the road towards, "Votes for all who can be trusted to use them properly," though. Just because your favourites didn't win, that doesn't mean the voting was rigged, or that people only voted for PC reasons.

I agree with SpareInch.  I didn't see anything PC  about either story.  The Water That Falls On You From Nowhere starred gay characters, but what was PC about it, exactly?  If You Were a Dinosaur My Love may or may not have starred a gay character--it plays intentionally coy on the exact details, probably so that anyone can put their own characteristics in the slot, we only hear gay slurs by a bunch of murderers that neither confirm nor deny the actual sexual orientation of the character.

I voted for The Water because I thought it was effective at conveying emotion.  I didn't vote for If You Were a Dinosaur because I didn't think it was effective at conveying emotion--for many others it was effective and they voted accordingly and good for them. 

I guess  you disprove me to a point. The PC question has to do more with the story selection and voting. Did the story  was select have to day the characters  were gay or a good story?   Noting  escape pods call for diversity in submissions I have to wonder.



SpareInch

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Reply #32 on: January 14, 2015, 04:54:50 PM
The two stories you mentioned didn't go through the EP submissions process. As for the call for diversity, I've never noticed that leading to bad stories being chosen because they were written by or feature a minority group. As far as I can see, it's just a way of encouraging as many different perspectives as possible.

As far as awards go, I think everything goes in fads and fashions, and where you have fans doing the nominating and voting, you have to trust them to nominate and vote for what they like.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2015, 04:56:48 PM by SpareInch »

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Reply #33 on: January 14, 2015, 05:29:38 PM

I guess  you disprove me to a point. The PC question has to do more with the story selection and voting. Did the story  was select have to day the characters  were gay or a good story?   Noting  escape pods call for diversity in submissions I have to wonder.


Firstly, the Escape Artists call for diversity has nothing to do with Hugo month. During Hugo month Escape Pod runs the short story finalists for the Hugo award. Escape Pod doesn't select the stories, they just obtain audio rights in order to be able to share what was determined by the Hugo voters to be the top five spec fic stories for the last year.

To address the colander-hat portion of your comment, straight white dudes are going to submit stories no matter what. Straight white dudes submit stories in greater numbers than any other group. However, people that identify with other groups are more likely to submit if you make them feel welcome and explicitly ask them to. Making other groups feel more welcome has no suppression effect on the submission rates of straight white dudes. Overall submissions numbers go up, but the other groups become better represented.

Nothing against straight white dudes. Some of my favorite stories are written by straight white dudes. I have a bunch of straight white dude friends.

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


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Reply #34 on: January 15, 2015, 03:01:45 AM
Frankly, most of us on staff ARE straight white dudes.  That's why we have to make an effort to make people who aren't feel welcome.




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Reply #35 on: January 15, 2015, 09:58:31 AM
The reason I mentioned about vox day is because I read this

http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/04/24/an-explanation-about-the-hugo-awards-controversy/

Where Larry Corriea says he nominated vox day to prove a point. So I hope this will get me out of spurious jail. I should have mentioned it earlier. It's just stuff like this which makes me think it has less and less to do with the quality of the stories every year, and more and more to do with politics.


And for me the fact that fact that none of the vox day bag of stories actually got an award, or seriously ranked in the voting, shows that the Hugos are actually pretty hard to fix ;-)

I still say that Occam's razor points us to different kinds of stories being written and published — and the community of readers' tastes changing — as being a far more parsimonious explanations that conspiracy and politics.

The comments on all the Hugo stories this year certainly show a bunch of people who do like them. I liked 'em. I found them fun and interesting and thought provoking. If I was an attendee I would have probably voted for 'em. In other years there have been stories that got Hugo's that I didn't like.

So what? :-)



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Reply #36 on: January 15, 2015, 03:29:28 PM
What everyone else said, the Hugo run every year doesn't go through the EP slushpile--the EP staff reaches out to the authors that are selected by Hugo voters to be on the ballot, end of story.  So if there is any skew in voting it's in the Hugo voting population, not in Escape Pod staff.

In the Hugo voting population, there were 865 people who nominated in the short story category in that year, whose only common trait is that they were willing to pay $40 last year this year or next year to get the right to vote and to get access to a bunch of e-copies of the nominated works.  Once the nominees were picked, 3587 people voted to end up picking The Water Falls, which even though the Hugos use instant runoff voting, was the clear winner even before the runoff rounds.

If there's any bias it's a bias in the minds of the voting fanbase (not necessarily the ENTIRE fanbase, but that part of the fanbase that cares enough about the award and has $40 to spend to vote).  If one wants to complain about that, the only appropriate way would be to either complain to each of the 3587 people individually (which would be logistically impossible) or at them in general via blog post (which will be lost in the field of similar complaining from other people who didn't like the way the voting turned out) because all the voters made their own choices for their own reasons which they are not required to divulge.


So what? :-)

The answer to your question is:
DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMM.

;)



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Reply #37 on: January 15, 2015, 09:58:08 PM
I know  the issue  abut  voting  at the Hugo awards is by popular vote but with in a system  that insures winners have a majority  support.  To me this s a bigger issue with my own bias   as an Evangelical  Christian (an not the way you think). The sad state of Christian  media grieves me greatly. A good example is Saving Christmas. I rather read Ben Bova  than any Christian Fiction. The only exception is some niches of Catholic Science Fiction (The anthology  Infinite Space Infinite Time for example) 

The problem is in Evangelical circles  we traded artistic excellence for demand any    "Christian" media (movies, book and bad praise songs) have to be evangelical to a point it become a bad chick tract. I do not say this lightly  as a person who has an interest of sacred  and secular Classical music  from  medieval to baroque periods. Now the question in my mind is the obsession with diversity could drive  down the quality of Science Fiction  is the same as evangelicals  drive down  quality  of Christian media. 



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Reply #38 on: January 15, 2015, 10:10:33 PM
Now the question in my mind is the obsession with diversity could drive  down the quality of Science Fiction  is the same as evangelicals  drive down  quality  of Christian media. 

I hear where you're coming from in the Christian fiction example, but the thing about the Hugo voting is that there's no common element to the voters except that we want to vote for the Hugos (and get some e-copies of the fiction). 

I don't think of what you're seeing as an "obsession with diversity" but rather as a "representation of humanity".  I know gay people.  I know African-American people.  I know Muslims.  I know Hmong.  I know women.  And various combinations of these and many other traits.  So why shouldn't writers and characters in fiction be as diverse as reality?  What is wrong with that?



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Reply #39 on: January 15, 2015, 10:11:24 PM

I know  the issue  abut  voting  at the Hugo awards is by popular vote but with in a system  that insures winners have a majority  support.  To me this s a bigger issue with my own bias   as an Evangelical  Christian (an not the way you think). The sad state of Christian  media grieves me greatly. A good example is Saving Christmas. I rather read Ben Bova  than any Christian Fiction. The only exception is some niches of Catholic Science Fiction (The anthology  Infinite Space Infinite Time for example) 

The problem is in Evangelical circles  we traded artistic excellence for demand any    "Christian" media (movies, book and bad praise songs) have to be evangelical to a point it become a bad chick tract. I do not say this lightly  as a person who has an interest of sacred  and secular Classical music  from  medieval to baroque periods. Now the question in my mind is the obsession with diversity could drive  down the quality of Science Fiction  is the same as evangelicals  drive down  quality  of Christian media. 


I understand where you're coming from. I love seeing well written representations of faith in fiction. Even better if it's positive. Podcastle ran one that covered this nicely: PodCastle 307: Out of the Deep Have I Howled Unto Thee. If you know any authors that write good speculative fiction with solid religious themes, point them to our submissions guidelines.

Far too frequently, what I've run into are things that wander into didacticism over story on one end, or terrible college freshman attempts at disproving god at the other end.

« Last Edit: January 15, 2015, 10:14:09 PM by Fenrix »

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Reply #40 on: January 16, 2015, 01:24:19 AM
Or Hobo Satan.



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Reply #41 on: January 16, 2015, 10:49:59 AM
The problem is in Evangelical circles  we traded artistic excellence for demand any "Christian" media (movies, book and bad praise songs) have to be evangelical to a point it become a bad chick tract.

This, for me, is exactly the issue with the vox day stuff. His view is that the stories on his promoted slate didn't get voted for because "the biased voters immediately got all outraged and mobilized to do exactly what I said they’d do."

My view is that the stories just weren't that good. In fact verging on the bad. IMHO Larry Correia's Warbound wasn't in the same league as the other nominations for best novel. Ditto for the other stories that were part of the campaign.

I'm politically way to the left. But I still love Starship Troopers & The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

I'm an atheist. But I love Blish's wonderful 'A Case of Conscience' which is about around faith and Catholicism as much as it is aliens. Ditto for Card's "Speaker for the Dead", despite the fact I find a stack of Card's personal views on faith and sexuality personally abhorrent.

I'm more than happy to read things that do not fit into my world view.

I have little patience for poor writing, plotting, world building and characterisation.





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Reply #42 on: January 21, 2015, 01:12:48 AM
The reason I mentioned about vox day is because I read this

http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/04/24/an-explanation-about-the-hugo-awards-controversy/

Where Larry Corriea says he nominated vox day to prove a point. So I hope this will get me out of spurious jail. I should have mentioned it earlier. It's just stuff like this which makes me think it has less and less to do with the quality of the stories every year, and more and more to do with politics.


And for me the fact that fact that none of the vox day bag of stories actually got an award, or seriously ranked in the voting, shows that the Hugos are actually pretty hard to fix ;-)

I still say that Occam's razor points us to different kinds of stories being written and published — and the community of readers' tastes changing — as being a far more parsimonious explanations that conspiracy and politics.

The comments on all the Hugo stories this year certainly show a bunch of people who do like them. I liked 'em. I found them fun and interesting and thought provoking. If I was an attendee I would have probably voted for 'em. In other years there have been stories that got Hugo's that I didn't like.

So what? :-)



Occam's razor is all well and good, but how about the old adage: no smoke without fire?

This was my first year paying any attention to the hugos what-so-ever and after seeing the stories nominated and the pieces that won, I have to say, speaking as an outsider looking in, it did appear to be a pretty good year for the liberals. 

And so what? Erm... nothing I guess. Nerds like equality. No big news there. It's pretty clear that 'modern day' genre fiction has penchant for stories which feature diverse characters. Again so what? I don't see why everyone has to go around claiming that all stories are created equally, when clearly stories which feature diversity are favoured. Again so what? Maybe thats as it should be, but why not just admit that. There's no shame in it as far as I'm concerned. There's no need to go around pretending you would have voted for vox day when that simply isn't true. I wouldn't have voted for him because he's a huge racist, and I don't like that on a personal level, and to be honest I have a pretty hard time believing anyone who says otherwise.

It's a great time for gays and women and ethnicities of all kinds to writing genre fiction. Why not just come out and say so.

I think a lot of this stink arises from the fact that a large chunk of old school (read: straight white male) sci-fi and genre  fans feel abandoned by all this diversity and change. They don't have any characters they can relate to anymore. Which sucks for them, but the times they are a changin' I guess.

The only question left is weather or not diversity (genre fictions buzz word for the last three years) is taking precedent over quality. There is no answer to that. Art being subjective an all. But I'm sure all the old school geeks certainly think so. We all want characters that are relatable, even straight white males. And people shouldn't be so hostile when discussing this stuff. This topic carries huge tension on this forum, and to be honest I don't think it helps anyone.  ;)




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Reply #43 on: January 21, 2015, 02:18:02 AM
Ninety percent of everything is crap; the fact that we're finally seeing even a significant fraction of stories consciously feature something other than "default" straight white male perspectives won't mean that ratio suddenly changes.  In either direction. 

Increased equity for historically discriminated minorities is not the same thing as "a great time."  Nor is being made equal with others "getting abandoned."  This article may be relevant.



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Reply #44 on: January 21, 2015, 10:13:47 AM
There's no need to go around pretending you would have voted for vox day when that simply isn't true. I wouldn't have voted for him because he's a huge racist, and I don't like that on a personal level, and to be honest I have a pretty hard time believing anyone who says otherwise.

You are, of course, entitled to your opinion. But if it's a good story that I enjoy I'd be happy to vote for it, and recommend it to others.

I think Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead are wonderful novels. Especially Speaker for the Dead. I own 'em. Read 'em. Enjoy 'em and recommend them to others. If Speaker was on a ballot for best novel I'd happily nominate it and vote for it.

I also think Orson Scott Card is a raging homophobic asshat who I wouldn't piss on if he was on fire.

Personally I don't have a problem with separating the merits of a piece of art from the merits of the artist. Otherwise I couldn't enjoy Wagner, or Dr. Seuss, or Tintin or Jack London or Lovecraft, or …

I'd read a couple of Theodore Beale, aka Vox Day, novels (well one and a half, I couldn't finish the second) years before this Hugo nonsense. From my perspective they sucked. I've not read the one on this year's nomination (I would have if I was voting) but if it's anything like the ones I read I'm really not surprised it lost.



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Reply #45 on: January 22, 2015, 03:20:37 AM
Another very recent example from PodCastle fits the positive stories about faith that are good: http://forum.escapeartists.net/index.php?topic=8322.0

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Reply #46 on: January 26, 2015, 03:16:57 PM
Another very recent example from PodCastle fits the positive stories about faith that are good: http://forum.escapeartists.net/index.php?topic=8322.0

Not regarding Christian religion, but another story involving faith which neither preaches nor belittles it is "That Leviathan Whom Thou Hast Made" by Eric James Stone--Mormonism rather than Christianity, but a very good story.  I would like to see more of that caliber about any and all religions which involve religion in some major way but without trying to convert me nor trying to belittle the religion.  Religion is an important and vital part of many people's lives, but it doesn't get represented that way in a lot of SF.



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Reply #47 on: January 26, 2015, 03:24:49 PM
There's no need to go around pretending you would have voted for vox day when that simply isn't true. I wouldn't have voted for him because he's a huge racist, and I don't like that on a personal level, and to be honest I have a pretty hard time believing anyone who says otherwise.

I don't really care if you believe me or not, but I do say otherwise.  I want to vote for the best in a category, period, though if the story itself does convey a visible message I can't agree with that may be reason enough to vote down the story because I don't think i.  I went into Vox Day's category with gritted teeth--oh I hope I don't like Vox's story, I really don't want to vote for it but I will if I have to.  I might've regretted it, and probably would feel the need to bathe after casting my vote, but that I was my intent (I don't think it's unreasonable to vote a story down because you hate the author, but I don't want to do that any more than I want to vote a story up because I like the author, it's supposed to be a contest of story quality not author likeability and I want to vote accordingly).  I was quite relieved to discover the story was worse than the rest of the stories in its category by an order of magnitude and to my eye was clearly out of place there because of the way it got pushed onto the ballot.  Same for Larry's book. 

This, for me, is exactly the issue with the vox day stuff. His view is that the stories on his promoted slate didn't get voted for because "the biased voters immediately got all outraged and mobilized to do exactly what I said they’d do."

My view is that the stories just weren't that good. In fact verging on the bad. IMHO Larry Correia's Warbound wasn't in the same league as the other nominations for best novel. Ditto for the other stories that were part of the campaign.

That's my view too.  Vox's story was incredibly boring.  Larry's novel also--it was the 3rd book in a series and so I expected to have to play catchup, but it was so overexplanatory and slow it felt like a badly paced first novel--I was never behind, I was always waiting for the book to catch up to me, and for that to happen in a THIRD novel says to me that there were major major issues.