To everyone who reached out: thanks! I apologize if I caused anyone undue concern. I appreciate the kind notes and solidarity. (And I will respond, directly and individually, to each of you. It'll just take a few more days.)
|Ed & Ruth at Hugo reception|
But in the greater scheme of things? I'm good. No, better than good. The con was fun. I caught up with friends from around the country, went to some great parties, met with lots of fans, and took part in interesting panels. I even brought home a memento I can wear at Worldcons ever after (click/enlarge the image above to see my official Hugo Nominee rocket lapel pin).
My recent absence from the web has a simple explanation: Ruth and I went from Sasquan in Spokane straight to Glacier National Park in Montana. From there we went to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, then to Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho. I'm just now back online. Someday, perhaps, I'll blog about those parks -- geology and ecology are also apt topics for SF and Nonsense.
(Either way, there's nothing like seeing up-close and personal the truly awesome power of Nature to put our petty squabbles into perspective. And if I'd had a decent Internet connection -- which, usually, I didn't -- I had different goals for my vacation time than hanging out on the web.)
For today, I'll focus on the Hugo situation. I'll begin by offering the sentiments I had hoped (but not expected) to have the opportunity to share at the Hugo ceremony. The people I would have recognized that night still deserve to be acknowledged and appreciated.
So -- after some happily surprised stammering -- what would I have said had the balloting gone differently?
I have many people to thank. Of course, there is Trevor Quachri, editor at Analog, for publishing "Championship B'tok."
|Didn't come home with me.|
Also Eric Flint, then editing Jim Baen's Universe, and Ian Randal Strock, then editing Artemis, for publishing two stories that appeared at mid-series.
And Roger MacBride Allen, editor at FoxAcre Press, for publishing the InterstellarNet novelizations.
But back to "Championship B'tok" itself. Thanks to readers who supported the story. And many thanks to my first and favorite reader -- my wife, Ruth -- for sharing the adventure with me through so many drafts.
Thanks, to all of you.
Of course, "Championship B'tok" didn't get recognition that night. That's okay. Stories from within any ongoing series -- as, clearly, is the case here -- rarely win, and I didn't expect "Championship B'tok" to be an exception. Not even in a normal year --
Which 2015 wasn't. (For my immediate reaction to the Puppygate kerfuffle, posted days after this year's nominations were announced, see "Of Hugo Awards, Sad Puppies, and notoriety.")
|A terrific con|
So what do I mean to criticize? Audience cheering at the Hugo ceremony whenever No Award "won" a category. This was, IMO, both rude and wrong. If recommendation lists (aka "slate voting") for Hugo nominations -- completely within the rules -- were improper, how were organized campaigns against the nominees any more appropriate?
In my 15 years of con-going and the 25 years since my first pro sale, I had never -- till this year's Hugo season -- encountered hostility toward nominees based upon who recommended their stories or inferences about authors' personal views. (Or from wild speculation about those personal views, with no more factual basis than guilt by presumed association.) To put it mildly, I find this change unfortunate. A Hugo award is supposed to be about the story.
And hence, I'll offer one final appreciation: to every Hugo voter -- whether they liked or hated my story -- who considered the Hugo-nominated works on their individual merits. Thank you all.