It’s been an age (in internet time spans) since the 2015 Hugo Award Nomination Shortlist was announced. Much has been said on all four metaphorical corners of fandom about the controversial short list and the methods used by certain parties to attempt to populate those short lists with their own chosen candidates.
I’m not going to talk about those parties or those methods. Instead this post is for me to express my decision on how I am going to act when considering my ballot.
First of all though, allow me to explain my way of muddling through the nomination process itself.
I did not go looking for recommended lists of works to consider. I did not even pay any attention to the rumblings on twitter that crept into my timeline. I simply recalled the many, many books and stories that I’d read over the previous year. I considered which of those I thought worthy of being considered for an award, and then I carried out some basic checks online to see if they were eligible.
I want to make that clear before I go on, because when the nomination process concluded, I started to pay more attention to the developing story that surrounded the current controversy.
I’m not going to list here which Novels, Novellas and so on that I nominated, but I will say that most of them did not make the short list in any category.
Do I think that the methods used by certain parties were fair? No. Will I be voting No Award automatically for anything nominated in that way? No.
I’m going to do what I did last year. I’m going to read as much of the nominated works as possible (unless I’ve already read/listened/watched it etc), I’m going to seek out watch the TV show episodes and Movies too. I’m going to listen to the podcasts and look at samples of artworks. In short I’m going to Vote based upon what I think of the nominated work first and foremost. (I’m not promising to finish everything – If I don’t like something after a while, I reserve the right to call it a day!) If I when I’m done with something on the list – I think that it is deserving of an award nod, then so be it. But if i think it doesn’t deserve to be – then I’ll consider either not voting for it, or if I think it is truly dire “No Award”.
I know others online are expressing other opinions such as “No Award” for everything or “Don’t even Vote”. But I’ve been thinking about what I will do for a while and I didn’t just want to make a rash decision. So even though many people might disagree with what I’m going to do, It’s what I’m going to do.
I’m not going to urge anyone else to follow my lead – Just that whatever you do with your Hugo Vote this year, you think carefully first. It may mean I’m dooming myself to some pretty dull reading over the next few months, but so be it.
I’ll probably blog about the Hugo Awards again at some point – most likely after I’ve cast my vote. I’ll see you on the other side.