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I've seen a number of people discussing the best way to vote in this year's Hugos, given the fiasco of the year's nominations. I will be voting this year for the first time, and the methodology I intend to use is slightly different from anything I've seen discussed elsewhere - possibly because I haven't known where to look, but still, it seemed like it might be worth writing up.

I haven't voted in the past because the Hugos are voted on by members of WorldCon, and well, I'm too introverted and have too strong a preference for reading over listening to be much of a con-goer, and I always thought buying a membership for a con you don't plan to attend was a bit of an odd concept. (Here's the registration page to buy memberships for this year, if you need it.) But, well, the Hugos are not just about WorldCon; when I was growing up as an awkward geeky fat kid, they were also a symbol of a community where I felt at home, even if I engaged with it mostly through print media and the occasional chat with the owners and other fans at Glasgow's science fiction bookshop, where I would beg my father to take me every time we were in town visiting my grandparents. It has never been as diverse a community as it should be, but it has been mine, and ever so slowly, it has been getting better. Those behind the Puppies want to reverse that, and I won't let them do that without a fight, or at least without trying to reduce the harm they do as much as possible. I understand why some fans feel their efforts will be better invested elsewhere than in trying to save something that wasn't that wonderful to start with, but we each have to make our own choices about how best to eke out our reserves of time, money and energy, and this is one of the choices I am making.

So here's what I intend to do:

1) Read/watch as much of each nomination as I can bear.

2) Research each Puppy nominee enough to place them into one of three categories:
a) Those who have publicly distanced themselves from the views behind the slate. Some people are on the slate against their will, and I don't want to penalize them purely for that. They are not damaging to the kind of fandom I want to see. If they've made it clear that they are in this category, I want them to have as much chance of winning as anyone else.
b) Those who have actively and publicly participated in hate speech. Those people are actively destructive to the kind of fandom I have been and want to be a part of; I don't want to contribute to anything that might signal to them that their behaviour is acceptable there, and I certainly don't want them to win a Hugo.
c) Those who don't care enough to protest their inclusion on the slate, or aren't engaged enough in fandom to notice. I would rather these people not get the recognition of a Hugo, because, other things being equal, I think creators who engage with the fan community and speak out against Puppiness are better for the health and vitality of that community than those who don't; but if we have to have a Puppy winner, obviously I'd prefer these people to the hate speakers.

3) Vote for non-Puppies, and Puppies who have distanced themselves (2 a), in order of merit as I perceive it.

4) Put No Award ahead of all other Puppies.

5) Below No Award, rank non-hate-speaking Puppies (2 c) in order of merit as I perceive it, in the hope that if we must have a Puppy as a category winner, we at least get one that is passively rather than actively vile. I think most of my readers are sufficiently familiar with IRV (instant runoff voting, which is basically what the Hugos use) to understand that anything ranked on your ballot - even below No Award - counts above anything that is not ranked at all; but if anyone is confused about this, this is the best explanation I've seen.

6) Leave hate-speaking Puppies (2 b) off my ballot entirely, because at that point, I don't care how good or bad the writing is - they're all as bad as each other in terms of the damage I'm trying to reduce.

This entry was cross-posted from Dreamwidth, where there are currently comment count unavailable comment(s). View DW comment(s).


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 8th, 2015 07:12 am (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation of what the situation is - I've seen some rumblings around the edges on Twitter, but hadn't picked up the full details until I clicked through to your helpful link.
Apr. 8th, 2015 08:16 am (UTC)
This seems very carefully reasoned and clearly explained.
Apr. 9th, 2015 02:54 pm (UTC)
I would make a further suggestion. The Hugos are supposed to be awarded to the best of the year. If the shortlist in a category has been impoverished to the extent that the work or person that you believe to be the best of the year is not on it and cannot be voted for, then surely No Award is the only thing you can vote for instead. We're supposed to be voting for the best of the year, not the best of the shortlist.
Apr. 9th, 2015 04:30 pm (UTC)
I don't feel I've read widely enough this year to make that judgment - and in any case, any shortlist is a compromise in that sense. My question is what's best for the fandom - and while I'm 100% certain that No Award would be a better result for the fandom than giving an award to one of the hatespeakers or their fellow travellers, I'm also fairly certain that No Award would be a worse result than giving an award to a non-Puppy, even if it isn't the particular non-Puppy I might have chosen.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )