This is very much a thinking out loud post – well all my post are really, because editing and crafting things would mean a giant pile of stuff never posted because I am lazy and my attention span does its own thing. Where was I? Oh, this is just a thinking out loud post on the topic of the content produced by the Puppy Kerfuffle this year in relation to the Hugo Awards next year.
On the Puppy Timeline I have a NINETY-SIX links to blog posts and articles written in 2015 about the Puppy Kefuffle. Now note that this is just some of the things written. I haven’t counted how many articles Mike Glyer’s Puppy Round-Up posts at File 770 there are but it is far more than the nearly 100 that I’ve got listed as there are at least 90 Round-ups each with their own set of multiple links (it could come close to a thousand?)
In short the amount of content is huge. A semi-serious suggestion (which did appall some people) was that the WSFA Business Meeting from this year’s WorldCon be nominated for Best Related Work because of the epic nature of the meeting. It is fair to say that the Puppy Kerfuffle was a big thing (within the limited scale of ‘things’ in this context) and had a big impact on fandom in general.
I think it is inevitable and not inappropriate that, as a consequence, the fanzine categories, the Best Related Work categories and the Best Fan Writer categories will be affected by the scale of the Kerfuffle related conversation. I say ‘not inappropriate’ because the Hugos do reflect the interests of their audience and hence it does make sense that a core topic of interest should be represented in the nominations. Also, as the Best Fan Writer category showed this year with the impact of the Mixon Report discussion, part of the role of the nomination can be to help mediate the nature of a diverse and diffuse community of people.
However, I think it would not be great if that was ALL there was. There is a danger in becoming too introspective and too self-referential. Hugo Awards for things about the Hugo Awards, runs exactly that risk of a community looking inward rather than outward. The Hugo Awards may not be best served as being a popularity award but that doesn’t mean it should be inward looking. I’d hope that things/people other than Puppy-Kefuffle related things get nominated in these categories in 2016.
I do not mean that NOTHING related to the kerfuffle should be nominated. Given the quality and quantity of the writing that would be equally silly as nominating nothing but Puppy related stuff (pro or con, but lets face it, probably con). The only way of ensuring that is people nominating diverse stuff – which I hope people would do anyway. 🙂