Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Stupid Obvious Hugo Question

Yo. The Puppies had a go at gaming the Hugo Awards but they lost resoundingly, and (I assume?) rules will change to make Hugo Awards a bit more resilient to gaming next time round. Let's see what happens next year! Yeah! ("Hi Sad Puppies 2016. Please roll 1d4 and vote only for the corresponding name ...")

Also, the full Hugo data came out and it became (mostly) obvious who was edged out of the shortlists by the Puppies slates. And some of those authors, and their friends & fans & whoever, are probably a little sad about that, though they're probably mostly looking on the funny side, or the bright side, or some other great side -- I don't know, the halloumi-flavoured side or something. Gah!

So, I'm wondering:

Would fandom be interested in holding a kind of one-off, informal, bolt-on prize, drawing on the same data? 

Kind of to see what would have happened? A special prize, just for this one weird year, where everyone who could vote in the Hugo Awards can vote again, but on short-lists where all the Puppies-slated nominees have been removed, and other authors bumped up to fill their spots?

(Or indeed, if possible, generating a set of shortlists for this year by running whatever rules will be used next year on the nomination data?)

Call these one-off awards the Hug0 Awards or something? Or Hugos Prime? Okay, probably those names are a bit close to the real thing, at least without some kind of official endorsement. So call them the Stalinist Disappearing Wrongthink Paint Happy Faces on Sad Puppies Awards? Whatever you called it, it might generate significant prestige! Or not! Yeah!

It would never be a perfect exercise. It's impossible to interpret and interact with the data as though the Puppies never happened at all. For instance, there's no way to figure out which Puppies-slated nominees might still have made it onto the ballot without the Puppies situation -- or at least, without full Puppies situation, with only discreet, informal bloc-building and virality effects -- and who knows, whether some of them might even have won if they hadn't withdrawn, or forged ahead all sticky and gross with Puppies licking, unable to draw love from a non-Puppies crowd. And there's also no way to be fair to whatever vaguely Puppies-friendly authors Puppies followers might have voted for who weren't included on the Puppies slates.

But you could do a pretty interesting approximation of an alternate timeline Hugos.

Is there appetite for that kind of thing? Is something like it already happening?

Probably not, I'm guessing? Better to move forward not back? Better to move left not right? Better to move mercy not nostalgia? Better to dwell in a floaty bittersweet ethereal Schrödinger's Hugos, where everyone who might have won in a way has won, and everyone on the long-list just shares in the ectoplasmic superpositioned rocket, with Noah Ward as the trustee, better that than NAIL EVERYTHING DOWN EXACTLY WITH ROCKETS? Better that than have most nominees wind up sad about losing in two timelines, and even the winners a bit disappointed that they won only on the wrong timeline?

Or maybe it'd be fun. Thought I'd ask.

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Earlier posts: Quick Hugo Thought (in a very similar vein). Happy Puppies > ideas for reforming Hugos (which might also work for a kind of bolt-on award layer run on Hugo data).

Elsewhere: File 770. Wired on Hugos. We've Always Been Here Storify about that Wired article (which I think maybe has led to it being a bit amended?).

PS: There's a super-quick way of doing something a bit similar, which is just to assume the winner is whoever gets the most nominations but avoids being included on a Puppies slate. Or a variation: the winner is whoever the winner was except the No Awards are replaced with whoever got the most nominations but avoided being included on a Puppies slate.

PPS: Update! Doing an ickle bit of research, I come across GRRM's Alfie Awards, and the poor ol' Paranoiappies who have doxxed them as the SECRET REAL SJW HUGO AWARDS. Because, you know, a secret Hugo you can't tell anybody about would definitely be as good as a normal one. Better. Shhhhh. Also, I come across Jay Maynard's proposal for a Trust Level Trophy.

PPPS: Update! A Kickstarted anthology. Yeah that's a better idea.

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