Author Topic: This story is not SF (from an episode thread)  (Read 21898 times)

adrianh

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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. 



SpareInch

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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. 



El Barto

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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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Fenrix

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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.

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Scattercat

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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.




adrianh

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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.

;)



Scatcatpdx

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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?



Fenrix

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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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Scattercat

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



adrianh

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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.





UnfulredJohnson

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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.



adrianh

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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.