Previously on Hugo Choices:
Best Editor – Long Form
Oh, how much do I hate this category? Let me count the ways:
- There is no way of independently finding out who edited what so you are wholly reliant on the Hugo packet to even find out what these editors edited.
- Even then you haven’t necessarily read any of the works that the editors list, (assuming that they listed anything).
- Even if you HAVE read a work that the editor said they edited, you still have no idea what contribution they made.
- Even if you have somehow some way identified the contribution one editor has made there is no obvious way of evaluating that compared with the other finalists (even assuming that you’ve overcome issues 2 & 3 for at least one other finalist)
Please, may I have another category as this one seems to be broken…
This is a silly and divisive category. It positions the Hugo Awards as an industry award, which they aren’t. While the Puppy kerfuffle has played out in many arenas it is notable how much of the precursors to the kerfuffle surround this category (in particular the attempt to lobby for Jim Baen to win the Hugo for this category posthumously) and how much the Sad Puppies focused on this category in the aftermath of the actual 2015 Hugo voting (specifically Toni Weisskopf losing to No Award).
So we have one easy decision in this category: Vox Day has convincingly provided sufficient evidence not to rank him anywhere on the ballot. One way or another I’ve ended up reading more Castalia House output than seems plausible and all other objections aside (which are legion) it is safe to say that the editing is notably not good or at times laughably bad. This itself provides some hope for the category: bad or neglectful editing is at least noticeable. Good editing, on the other hand, is often invisible.
In terms of books I’ve read that were edited by the finalist from 2015…the only one seems to be The Dark Forest by Liu Cixin (edited by Gorinzky). I’m sure that was a daunting task as it was a complex book translated from Chinese but it was also a flawed book. Maybe it needed more editing or less or maybe Gorinzky did a perfect job with an imperfect book??? – arrrggggghhhhh. Stupid, stupid category.
Irony of ironies I’ve spent more time looking at the editing output of Vox Day than the other candidates – so the only one I genuinely feel equipped to critique is the one who I wouldn’t vote for anyway.
So how else to vote? Others (was it George RR Martin? Can’t recall…) have suggested that this category is a Best Publisher category. Ah, yeah, but. I’ve been impressed by Tor’s *shorter* form output via Tor.com but aside from The Dark Forest, the standout works of 2015 aren’t from Tor. Best Publisher looks more like Orbit than DAW, Tor or Baen.
So still stuck how to vote. I could just leave it blank but… I do have at least one solid and highly defensible judgement in this criteria: No Award deserves to beat Vox Day. So No Award gets onto the ballot. That means I can’t really leave the rest of the ballot blank – I haven’t judged the other editors and found them lacking in award worthiness but instead find myself in a position of agnostic disinterest. If it weren’t for Mr Day then I could leave the ballot blank…
I’m tempted to put Toni Weisskopf number 1 just in the hope that stops all the lingering moaning from the Sad Puppy side of things. This is a poor basis for voting but perhaps marginally better than no basis at all.
So interim results:
1,2,3,4: The people above
5: No Award
Second 5: Vox Day
Hopefully, I can submit my ballot like this: