Tuesday, April 7, 2015

One-Year Portlandiversary!

1. Today is our one-year Portlandiversary!

The view from the car almost exactly a year ago.

As I told Rob earlier, my life is basically 95% perfect, and it's all because we took a chance. It has been a truly exciting year. In this year I:

  • Secured a part-time day job, the schedule I wanted.
  • Wrote something like a dozen stories.
  • Re-wrote and re-re-wrote my novel (it's done now).
  • Started teaching classes at Portland Community College.
  • Got some kick-ass tattoos.
  • Slayed the dragon and drank his blood.
  • Did not have to look at snow for the first time ever in my life.
  • Started up my freelance editing business.

It's been an awesome year, perhaps the most awesome year ever. Seriously, the only year that could possibly compare to this one is the first year I lived in Pittsburgh (and if you want to know what I was like back then picture Kimmy Schmidt sans bunker). I am looking forward to many, many, many more years here in Portland with Rob, doing what I do, letting the tiny animal statues downtown alert me to the changing of the seasons because the weather sure doesn't.

They are wearing tiny hats! This isn't a real city!

I figure next year is the year when I'll finally be Oregonian enough to tell those damn transplants to get off my lawn.

2. I have a new flash story up at Daily Science Fiction, "Clarity." It is really depressing! Read it and weep, but also feel paranoid, because if I try to elicit any sort of emotions with my writing those emotions are depression and paranoia.

3. I also sold a flash story to Lightspeed's special Queers Destroy Science Fiction issue! The title is very long! As a bisexual woman married to and monogamous with a male-bodied person living in the most liberal city in America, I am aware that my queerness is largely invisible unless I come out and talk about it, which I rarely do because... sometimes I think it's not relevant? Although it is, and it certainly was in the past, and I think it's important for people with misplaced straight privilege to come out. So I'm out, I've never been in, but now I'm visible and I am thrilled to be destroying science fiction with many fine writers. Full list of authors/stories here.

4. I have Thoughts about this year's Hugo Awards, which you can read beneath the jump cut below (it got long).


Finally, there's been a lot of talk this weekend about That Hugo Thing, and as this is insider baseball I don't feel the need to post a link, if you're clued into the genre world at all (and I don't think there's anyone reading this blog who isn't) you already know what I'm talking about. While I think the King Puppy (VD) is despicable beyond words and what the Puppies did was skeezy as fuck, there is one thing about this whole situation that's been nagging at me: Did you even nominate, brah?

Some numbers: There are an estimated ten thousand people who were eligible to nominate works for the 2015 Hugo Award (7,951 attending LonCon3 members, plus whoever has already registered for Sasquan this year). Ten. Thousand. People. And yet! The category that received the most nominations (Best Novel) only received 1800 of them. Out of ten thousand possible nominations. That is terrible. Most of the short fiction categories got around 1000 nominations. That's worse. A lot of the fan or art categories got only a few hundred nominations but I don't really care about that part of the award.

It's not as if the rules are hidden. The email I got after signing up for an attending Sasquan membership clearly stated that it granted me the right to nominate (but not vote) for the 2016 Hugo Award along with the right to nominate and vote this year. I got emails this year reminding me to nominate. Why did so many people just... forget? WSFS memberships are expensive, guys! If I'm paying $175 for a membership, I'm sure as shit going to take advantage of everything that membership entitles me to do. Did none of these "members" read anything published in 2014 that piqued their interest? Because I thought being a fan meant keeping up with the field, reading current work, and having an opinion on it. Thousands of people just left their valid nominations to rot, and I think that's partially to blame for This Hugo Thing.

So yes, I hate what the Puppies did. I loathe their politics (although I know that not everyone on the slate shares the ringleaders' politics). I really despise "slate" voting and think it's inevitable that this ushers in an era of hot slate-on-slate action in which case just shut the whole award down, it's over. But this coup would never have occurred had even a quarter of the eligible nominators bothered to spend a half hour filling out their ballot. Especially if you're a member of SFWA and can just copypasta your Nebula ballot into the Hugo one.

(The only fiction category that was somewhat able to climb out of the Puppies' grasp was Best Novel, indicating that the Puppies, assuming they nominated in lockstep, added only a few hundred additional voters. So yeah, that kinda validates what I'm saying here. Another thousand votes -- ten percent of that ten thousand -- would have more than cancelled them out.)

I don't blame people who can't afford a supporting membership for not nominating/voting. $40 is a lot of scratch for voting rights and a couple of free ebooks, and I'll probably never buy a supporting membership, just not enough in it for me. I am however blaming the hell out of people who already paid for their membership (either in 2014 or 2015) not taking the time to nominate stuff they liked. If you had the power to nominate and you didn't, you don't have any right to complain about Sad Puppies. (I did, so I can complain, go me!)

And... that's it.

No comments:

Post a Comment