A lot of verbiage has gone under the bridge since the release of the Final Ballot:
Several people attempted to withdraw from the center of controversy. Two (at least) requested removal from the slate. Two claimed no fore knowledge and distanced themselves publicly; two more pulled their names from the final ballot. (And I for one choose to believe these claims.)
One potential awards presenter declined to participate on the basis that doing so would endorse the gamesmanship.
The recruitment and participation of gamer gate minions was publicly disclosed.
Worldcon GoH David Gerrold, promised that the attempt to ruin the awards for everyone would not succeed – at least during the awards ceremony. Slate, Dailykos, WAPO, Breidbart, EW and other mainstream venues have turned their attention to the Hugo’s.
GRRM, Scalzi, PNH/TNH have all had multiple says, each one of which has been responded to with mynahbird regularity (and as much originality) by minions who reveal utter unfamiliarity with – or complete disdain for – fandom with almost every word they type. That and a stupifyingly brilliant inability to read and comprehend anything that contradicts their (current) world view.
A lot of discussion has centered on the No Award option, about which I’ll make a few points.
1. I shared my methodology, which some have said is the wrong way to implement No Award. Read and vote for non slate works. Then place No award, then read the works from slates and put anything worthy on the ballot below No Award
2. Both Scalzi and GRRM have stated that they won’t automatically vote No Award for all categories that are from slates. They’ll read everything first. Both suggest that there may be little difference between works from slates and works that didn’t deserve to have been nominated in the first place.
3. Many others have declared that they will be voting No award without even reading any of the slate works.
Note that there is very little daylight between the first two No award methods. The only real difference is the sequence that the works are read in.
The cabal of troublemakers and malcontents are campaigning strenuously against the No Award option, lumping all three variations together under a nuclear option rubric, and claiming that anyone who endorses it are guilty of discrimination, being tools of the SJW cabal, stifling the diversity of the field. At least one full round of daily discussion has been devoted to the utter chutzpah of this last claim. It’s truly mind boggling. Apparently we’re not allowed to push for true diversity in the field until after we honor fake diversity by giving it a bunch of Hugo rockets. Pointing out that this is pretty much the way things have worked up till now doesn’t really seem to penetrate.
So here’s an argument in favor of voting No Award (whichever methodology you choose) that I’ve not seen presented before:
Just as the slates proved that the Hugo award nomination process had a flaw that made it vulnerable to manipulation (but only when people who don’t care about the system get involved) voting No Award proves that the final found of voting still works, and works well and as intended.
Voting No Award not only sends a message of displeasure and rejection of nomination campaigns, it also sends a message that the awards system itself is healthy and has worked exactly the way it was intended to.
What I currently find most vexing about this affair (at the moment; since the goal posts keep shifting daily, no doubt a new vex will arrive tomorrow) is the claim made by the malcontents that this whole thing is a response to their being rejected by fandom. They attempt to belittle fandom by comparing it to the wider world of popular culture; they tout their sales & monetary success at the expense of other authors who have been well-received by fandom and they complain that fandom – Worldcon fandom – rejects them because of their political views. Yet with every word they type and every comparison and complaint they make, they reveal that while they may be fans, they sure aren’t FANS, and don’t respect fandom enough to learn its ways.
The nominating rules for the Hugo Awards have been in place for decades. The “flaws” inherent in those rules have been present for decades. Why is it then that it took decades for someone to take advantage of them? Could it be that none of the tens of thousands of fans who have voted over those decades was smart enough to recognize the flaws?
Doubtful, considering the generally high-percentile demographics of fandom. The reason no one has taken advantage up till now is because FANS wouldn’t do that. FANS know what the point of the awards are and why they’re conducted the way they are.
The only real flaw in the awards process is a flaw in fandom. Until this year, fandom was just too open and accepting to be able to comprehend just how low some people who call themselves fans would go.
Well, now we’ve been warned. Now we’re the wiser, and, I suppose, the better for it. So gee, thanks so fucking much malcontents.