The 2015 Hugo Awards and Wired Magazine

In response to the Wired article below:

Sad Puppies offered a choice of men and women of different races as was shown when this all started, the issue with the Hugo “purists” is that they simply don’t consider them to be “the right kind of author”, so please stick to the established information.

Additionally, the Rabid Puppies was not a joint effort; it was Vox Day riding the coattails of the SP and perhaps nothing more than his luxuriating in the hatred that so many in the traditional Hugo community have expressed for him. That said, it is nice to see the Hugo folks give a misogynist, rape fantasy promoter such as G.R.R. Martin a free pass and allow him to present an award, especially after they threw a fit last year over a presenter simply because he had previously told jokes about obese people, way to work those priorities…

What it comes down to with Hugo and their membership/voters is that they were/are a very small insular group, and outside of the name, there is nothing that would make the award stand out as anything special. It is not an industry award that signifies popular success and the small voting size and open membership hardly make it a true literary award, it is a popularity contest.

To that end, it can be said that the Sad Puppies true “crime” in the eyes of the Hugo “purist” community has been that they made the Hugo Award more relevant than it has been in decades. They have brought in new members, increasing the voting population on both sides of the spectrum, which means more paying membership and more Con attendance. As seen in the Hugo “purists” who feel their private preserve has been intruded upon by these peasants who read books without the standard issue packet of litmus tests, what the “purists” have bemoaned from the start as not “true fans” of Sci-Fi or they are “the wrong sort of members”. Let a right-leaning group say something like that and you can just sit back and watch the outrage Tsunami that develops, but when it is the Hugo “purists”, the media just nods in approval.

In their anger over increased membership and income, the Hugo “purist” Community has made the group a singular oddity in today’s world of public organizations with open membership who traditionally pursue greater numbers and dues to boost their position and credibility. However, they do seem to bear a striking resemblance to some of the good old boy clubs that let themselves go out of business rather than accept new members whose melanin levels might be a bit too high for their taste.

The membership has choice to make today, either keep things as they are and accept the change in voter balance and these ongoing drama festivals every year or change the nomination process and/or voting.

On the changing the system front, I would suggest basing the nominations on data from unbiased sources, such as the Publishers Association in the U.K., or Association of American Publishers or even go worldwide with the International Publishers Association and other rating systems that are already in place for the other categories. The important thing is that nominations be based on quantifiable data and quality instead of the authors’ politics or superficial and uncontrollable aspects such as gender or race. You still allow member voting on the overall winners, but this nomination system guarantees everyone has an equal chance at a nomination.

If the books submitted are of sufficient quality no one should care about the author, in fact if you walk through a bookstore deciding on which book to buy based on the notes about the author, you probably should not be voting on the quality of a book.

Who Won Science Fiction’s Hugo Awards, and Why It Matters

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A Long Time Until Now (Temporal Displacement Series Book 1)

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Read: June 13 to 21, 2015
By Michael Z. Williamson

Excellent storytelling from start to finish; however, if you are given to kneejerk reactions to dialogue without reading further then you might have some trouble as Williamson plays with people’s social triggers, but in the end his characters come out as strong individuals who are able to set aside differences and work as a team. Any weakness that develops is realistic and as he states in the book due to people getting “Army old” and wearing down. The handling of the sexual situation was realistic and had a bit of humor at times, the conversations in that regard will ring true to many veterans and the lack of violence towards females should be a surprise for those that go into these books looking for such issues.

The living conditions and capabilities were spot-on, none of the near magical ability to master ancient technology such as iron forging or even gardening that you see in some time travel books. The author’s depictions of the other time travelers and the local inhabitant’s appeared to be historically accurate, in as much as we know their behavior to have been. The depiction of the future people was also reasonable, given our current culture and high-tech dependence. There are also a few jabs at the federal bureaucracy are also included and worth a chuckle unless you work in that bureaucracy.

Overall, this was an exceptional book, more in-depth than the author’s previous work and look forward to more books if this is indeed an ongoing series. Mr. Williamson’s day-to-day politics and opinions can anger some people, but it is best to remember that the work is what is important and to that end, he has created his best work here, in this book. I would recommend this book to any Sci-Fi reader looking for thought provoking, action sci-fi.

Trial by Fire (Tales of the Terran Republic, #2)


Trial by Fire (Tales of the Terran Republic, #2)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Read from June 09 to 13, 2015
By Charles E. Gannon

Incredible book, as enjoyable as the first book in this series was this installment is exponentially better than the previous. The main characters filled out helping the reader feel a connection to them, which often made what came later difficult to read, yet it made the reading more enjoyable long-term. When it comes to the action sequences, one must admit that for Science Fiction both it and the strategy on all levels was within reason to include the author’s “warts and all” vision of humanity.

The plot twists were well done and not heavy handed, Mr. Gannon appears to have a touch of G.R.R. Martin or Robert Kirkman in him in that no character seems truly safe from the Reaper. The ending was satisfying, yet left the road open to a continuing line of stories in this universe.

While in different Sci-Fi categories this book is right there with “The Martian” as some of the best Sci-Fi that we have read this year. Now to await further installments in this series, I would recommend this book to fans of Science Fiction without reservation.

Fire with Fire (Tales of the Terran Republic, #1)


Fire with Fire (Tales of the Terran Republic, #1) Charles E. Gannon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Excellent story, complex characters and believable villains, the story was fast paced with no time wasted on superfluous actions or extended moralizing/preaching.  The only weak point I could point to in this edition was in the Audible narration, this could have been stronger as some of the accents and vocal aspects did not convey as well as one would like, but not the author’s fault on that account. Nevertheless, I would strongly recommend the book for fans of science fiction, well done.