Books By C. LItka

Books By C. LItka

Monday, August 10, 2020

The Hugo Awards 2020

This is another one of those post where I direct some comments at the clouds. In short, an opinion piece.

The Hugo Awards for 2020 have come and gone. Finally. Especially for the participants who discovered, to their dismay, that old men like to talk. And talk.

What made the Hugo Awards infamous this year was its master of ceremonies, George R. R. Martin. It seems that George has a hard time finishing things, including his anecdotes. His long winded rambles kept the contestants sweating as they impatiently awaited their fate – the thrill of victory, for the lucky ones, the agony of defeat for all the losers. I tend to feel sorry for all the losers, but then, well, they’re all volunteers, so I guess they took their chances, and lost.

I tried watching the recorded live stream of the show ( to see what it was all about. That lasted five minutes. Well, maybe it was closer to three before I bailed. Whatever entertainment value George possesses as a toastmaster, is lost when he’s just talking to a camera.

But many participants objected to more than just his tediousness. He apparently talked a lot about John Campbell, the golden haired editor of the best-est ever SF magazine, Astounding – at least according to its loyal band of geriatric SF fans. While it is possible that old George was just reminiscing about his youth, it seems more likely that he came to praise Campbell as a deliberate rebuttal of 2019 Hugo winner, Jannette Ng’s efforts to bury Campbell. Certainly, the anti-SJW faction of the SF fandom took it that way.

Speculative fiction by its very nature stories of today, looking forward. There should be no tradition, no orthodoxy in speculative fiction. Let the dead bury the dead. If you’re going to celebrate new books, it should be with today’s rising stars – not the remnants of stars that have faded from the main sequence. But that said, being no fan of awards for creative work, these award ceremonies can be as tedious, controversial, or as contentious as they’re wont to be. I don’t care.

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