Friday, August 26, 2016

The Hugo Awards

For far too many years now, we have had the various Repellent Puppies doing everything they possible could to keep the Hugo Awards whiter than a Trump Rally, more male than a Catholic seminary and as welcoming to minorities as a UKIP convention. While much has been said about Vox Day, he’s only the most repellent, reeking eruption of the whole festering mass.

Which it is why with great joy that The Hugo Awards this year celebrated, POC, Women and women of colour. In the face of an active campaign to suppress marginalised voices, marginalised work and marginalised stories, we saw those very people and those very stories celebrated. With N.K. Jemisin, Nnedi Okorafor and Hao Jingfang all winning prestigious categories and “no award” being voted for when a category had been stuffed with Puppy choices (and so many of these books were nothing about celebrating an author - but desperately using these books to slap people who dared to want to see themselves in stories).

We have spent so many posts writing about why this inclusion is important - but we don’t have to repeat them because N.K. Jemisin’s acceptance speech makes it clear why this matters to women, POC and women of colour specifically

This is good news for everyone. Yes, even cishet, white able-bodied men who don’t have enough empathy to care one iota

There is no upper limit to the number of stories there can be out there. This is Speculative Fiction, of every genre of media out there, this is where imagination lives, this is where creativity thrives in all it’s massive, incredible variation. This is what this genre is. Let others have their Literary fiction with carefully crafted elaborate text to sooth the insomnia of the pretentious, we have the huge vistas of human imagination to dance through, wallow in and be amazed and moved by the awesome vastness of this genre.

That is this genre. It is imagination. And even if you think diversity is some evil plot by those nasty nasty social justice warriors, the very idea of limiting the inspiration of this genre should outrage every fan.

No-one is going to stop cishet white, able bodied men writing books or being protagonists in books or TV shows. And I can’t even imagine any possible way that anyone could possibly think this was under threat or that cishet, white, abled bodied men didn’t dominate both as writers and characters to an overwhelming degree (and if you do think that and that the evil minorities be destroying your fiction, then I have a special token I can see you that will totally protect you from our evil ways. I might as well profit from your nasty and you’re clearly disconnected enough from reality that my sales pitch may have a chance). You will still have these stories - we’re not taking your stories, hell we enjoy many of those stories ourselves!

We’re adding to the genre, not taking away. We want more - more characters, more stories, more different stories, more richness, more breadth, more imagination. We want more from this genre and these Hugo Awards have proven that so do many more. Many of us see this genre’s potential and we should all be celebrating any sign that it is reaching for that - that this amazing playground of imagination isn’t building unnecessary walls or driving out inspiration.