The big news of the last week or so is that this years Nebula Award winners (with the exception of the Grandmaster Award) are all women. Naturally this should be taken as sincere recognition of an excellent field, the most impressive of whom just happened to be female, right?
Let’s hear from some of those who discussed the winners:
“Yes!. All the fiction winners are women. The white male patriarchy takes one right in the balls. “
Because women are naturally less violent and more nurturing, the obvious metaphor here is clearly one of… oh, wait? What? Presumably the non-violent nature of women takes second place to kicking the white male patriarchy where it hurts. Me thinks I scent a teensy amount of hypocrisy here.
Nah, impossible. These are the Feminist Hoo Haas of Glitter. They can’t be hypocrites. The glitter grants them instant righteousness or something. Anyway, having seen a picture of the trophy, it’s just not as convenient a shape for feminine satisfaction as the Hugo. No wonder they’re getting their glitter all in a flap (and we won’t even go near the latent sexism that such phallic shapes just happen to be perfect for feminine pleasure, because it’s got to be sexist, right? It couldn’t have anything to do with, oh… biology or evolution).
Another genius from Twitter:
“2014 Nebulas & all the fiction winners are women – The idea that women don’t belong in scifi has another nail in its coffin”
You know, apart from wondering why they need to keep putting nails in that damn coffin – surely they don’t think there’s something undead in there? – I have to wonder what the likes of Andre Norton, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Anne McCaffrey (herself a winner of both the Nebula and the Hugo back when they meant something) and such would think that there was ever more than a minority of socially inept (even by Odd standards) nerdy guys who were afraid of catching girl cooties that actually believed women didn’t belong in scifi.
Of course,we have to hear from tolerant, polite side of the debate:
“Another dinosaur complaining about the Nebulas. Wish they’d just leave sff and be hush for good.”
Gosh. And they call us nasty. We’ve never advocated kicking them out of anywhere, but we’re mean because we call them on tripe like this which isn’t that far off trying to claim we don’t deserve to exist. Don’t believe me? Consider this – there’s exactly one way to get someone to “be hush for good”. It’s called ‘dying’.
So naturally I had to go and find myself some preview text of the winning pieces. Now, before I start here, let me say that I have no argument whatsoever with Samuel Delaney’s Grand Master award. The man is a true giant of the field and deserves to stand with the other Grand Masters. Yes, I have read his work. Yes, I do know he’s black and gay. Do I care? Nope. He’s written some damn good books and that’s all that matters as far as the Grand Master award is concerned.
I started reading the novel winner. Went “wait, what?” This kind of cutesy games with pronouns was being done back in the sixties and they’re still calling it ground-breaking? No, it’s not. It’s confusing to readers who want to be able to tell who is whom (and in extreme cases, what). In addition to that, it’s clunky, sends confusing as hell signals (snow plus tavern then suddenly science fictiony trappings then we’re back to all the fantasy ‘medieval tavern’ signals. Screw that). One of the short form winners started “as you know, Bob”ing less than five paragraphs in. Another one was starting to look like a kind of maybe until it dropped the interesting and started an extended flashback infodump. And the shortest one was more like the output from someone on serious mind altering pharmaceuticals. I swear the only reason that one counted was instead of fantasizing the injured loved one had been a kick-ass warrior or something the dopey narrator fantasized him as a micro-T-rex.
Really. That is what is winning Nebula awards now.
Makes this little gem from Twitter look almost prescient:
“as great as it is that so many women won #nebulas, now i’m wondering what form the inevitable backlash will take.”
The backlash ain’t because so many women won. The backlash is because so much of what won is utter shit. Pardon my Australian. If this is the best SFF has to offer, the field is not dying, it’s dead.
Of course, it’s not the best that’s on offer. It’s the best SFWA’s governing Glittery Hoo Haas and Social Justice Warriors can find. Because glitter and “I’m special because I have a vagina” and social justice don’t make good fiction. They’re too busy beating people over the head with the message or claiming to break new ground that’s been broken and trampled so much it’s not just tamed, it’s frigging domesticated complete with frilly little apron.
Naturally, someone had to include a comparison with the Hugos, and the inevitable (and backwards) assumptions:
“Pretty healthy podium line-up in the Nebulas this year; I imagine the Hugo ballot-stuffers are suitably furious.”
Sorry darlin’. I’ve actually spoken to some of the alleged “Hugo ballot-stuffers” and they’re mostly finding this whole orgy of self-congratulatory masturbation rather amusing. And since nomination and voting for the Nebula’s is restricted to SFWA members, well. Let’s not forget this is the organization that expelled someone because they didn’t like what he said. The organization that has yet to publicly acknowledge who they expelled, much less why. Yes, everyone and their dog knows, mostly because the person who was expelled chose to make it public. Complete with his rebuttal of the claims (and shall we investigate just why SFWA’s officers felt the need to pull a DMCA takedown on their report? The one that is supposed to be a public document? Hm? I hear crickets chirping in the distance).
Not to mention, an award whose nominations must be made by members of a small organization and is voted on by members of the same small organization is much more vulnerable to ballot stuffing and other such shenanigans than an award that’s open (in terms of what gets nominated and the voting) to anyone with about $50 to spare for a supporting membership to the current Worldcon.
Oh wait… they mean that the wrong people can nominate the wrong people for Hugo Awards. And even worse, the wrong people can – are you prepared for this horrific revelation? – vote. Gosh. It’s a bit like the way Party membership in the old Soviet days protected people from those horrible, horrible anti-Communist thoughts, da Comrade?
Speaking of which:
“The SFWA is an organization composed of writers of SF&F. The nebulas can be voted upon by anyone in the SFWA–not a committee. There are quite diverse opinions among its membership.”
Yes, the opinions among SFWA’s membership are very diverse. They range from Marx worship all the way through to Stalin worship. With a sideline of Mao and Pol Pot for fun. Apart from the members who shut the fuck up because they don’t feel like being drawn and quartered for their heretical views. Yes, I know about this. I used to be one of those members. I am not a member any more, and believe me this makes me much happier.
There is a “review” of the winning novel on Tor.com. I don’t recommend anyone bother – not only is the review fangirl squee over fucking pronouns, it’s bad fangirl squee pretending to be a review. I’m not much of a reviewer, but at least when I’m going to go fangirly and squee all over the place I tell people up front so they can skip the post if they want. Yeesh.
Now all I need is one of Sarah’s gifferific images of the Glittery Hoo Haa and the Phallic Hugo to traumatize everyone forever (no! Don’t Google that… oh… um. I’m sure you’ll recover eventually?).
(The Kate slinks out and goes into deep, deep cover far from anything resembling Nebula, Glittery Hoo Haas, or Hugos)