Another Day, Another Hugo Controversy

220px-Vox_Day_by_Tracy_White_promo_picYou may remember how, when the UK's biggest chatshow host Jonathan Ross was asked and agreed to host the Hugo Awards for free, certain people were up in arms.

Charges of sexism, of bullying, of being outside of the fan community were laid. None of which seemed to actually stack up when they were challenged, with Ross declaring himself a feminist and actively supporting feminist campaigns. But there was the idea that having a controversial host would draw unwelcome attention from the media, and that he would not be a suitable, inclusive figure. There had been much debate and discussion about attitudes towards women, LGBT folk and people of colour in science fiction. When even the sweetest of folks Paul Cornell from a previous year had to apologise for some statements that weren't taken in the way they were intended, a safe pair of hands was considered by many the most desirable choice. So Jonathan would have to just do the Eisner Awards to much acclaim instead.

So, onto the nominations. Science fiction author Vox Day (pseudonym for Theodore Beale), nominated for Best Novelette for Opera Vita Aeterna, published in The Last WitchkingLet's see what Wikipedia says,

Media Matters has described one of his WND columns as a "racially charged rant"[22] showing hostility to minorities. He has compared immigration by Mexicans and others to the US with a military invasion[23] and with the Nazi invasion of Europe,[24] specifically to Operation Barbarossa.[25] Beale is opposed to feminism.[26]

With quotes like this,

If Americans can find the courage to consciously reject the myth of the melting pot and expel the Mexicans from the American Southwest, the Arabs from Detroit and the Somalis from Minneapolis, they can reclaim their traditional white Anglo-Saxon Protestant culture. This is highly improbable because so many descendants of that culture have rejected it in favor of the vibrancy of diversity while those who haven't are far too frightened of criticism and social rejection to even articulate their thoughts.

and this,

I describe feminism and equalitarianism as being unsustainable because they are ideologies that cannot be sustained for more than a short period of time once they become tangible policy measures.

and especially this,

The reason many people believe a woman is at least partly responsible for her own victimization is because in many cases that is demonstrably true.

I use the term "genuine rape" because most so-called "date rape" is not rape nor a crime of any kind, because he said-she said is no basis for a system of justice. If sex without written permission is a crime, then all sex is rape and all men are unrepentant criminals.

I have to confess that I don't understand this ceaseless quest for victimhood. Being raped doesn't confer some mystical moral superiority on a woman, it just makes her a victim. And unfortunately, in all too many cases, it just makes her a stupid one.

And definitely this, referring to author and critic of his NK Jemisin,

"It is not that I, and others, do not view her as human, (although genetic science presently suggests that we are not equally homo sapiens sapiens), it is that we simply do not view her as being fully civilized for the obvious historical reason that she is not… The laws are not there to let whites "just shoot people like me, without consequence, as long as they feel threatened by my presence", those self-defense laws have been put in place to let whites defend their lives and their property from people, like her, who are half-savages engaged in attacking them."

Yes, this might have something to do with it. He was also expelled from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America after using a SFWA twitter account to link to his blog, where he called another author "half-savage" and an editor a "fat frog".

Response has been vocal, in parts. Though not quite as much as Ross received. And some wanted to point out the difference.




Although some are more bothered by the procedural problems in his nomination.

What I agree with, even less, is the campaign that went on to stuff the ballot box on the part of Larry Correia and Vox Day.  They each wrote a post, shortly before the nominating deadline, exhorting their readers to submit a particular ballot. You can see their posts here and here (both are donotlinkified for your and my protection). I would be extremely interested to know how many ballots match that list in all respects. I would also be interested to know how many supporting memberships were bought for spouses, children, and extended family who did not actually submit those ballots.  It would be ridiculously easy to game the nominations that way. Ridiculously.

Either way, it's Hugos War again. At least we've got someone who is actually prejudiced, and offensively so, to rail against this time.

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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