Make the Hugos Better

Worldcon is less than two weeks off, which means that it’s time once again for the SF part of blogdom to explode with complaints about the quality of the nominees. There are some reasonable reactions, but it’s mostly slightly over-the-top broadsides.

It’s worth emphasizing again that the source of the problem is also the solution to the problem: the Hugo Awards are voted on by fans. This means that they tend to skew to the middlebrow, true, but it also means that they can be fixed, in a way that, say, the Oscars really can’t.

If you don’t like the stuff that gets nominated for the Hugos, buy a membership and vote for better stuff. Next year’s Worldcon is in Australia, so actually attending is a bit steep, but a supporting membership with full voting rights is presently $50 US. If you can’t afford that, pool your money with some like-minded friends.

Or, better yet, you could try to convince people of the greater value of the works you prefer. Say, by using one of those new-fangled Internet thingies that let you broadcast your opinions to the entire world. I’ve got nominating rights next year, and I am willing to be convinced of the worth of other books than the default award fodder, so convince me.

If you think the recent Hugo nominees are mediocre, immature, or insufficiently diverse, tell me what I ought to be reading and nominating instead. I will make a good-faith effort to read books and stories recommended to me as more deserving than this year’s nominees, and if I like them, I will nominate them for next year.

If you just wait until the nominees are set, though, and then complain about them at length, I have approximately zero sympathy for you. These are fan-voted awards– if you’re a fan, vote, and get your friends to vote, and make the awards what you want them to be.