I’ve been getting some e-mail asking me about some post-game kvetching on the Hugo wins and also the possibility of a Hugo for YA, so briefly on each:
Post-Hugo Kvetching: Meh. There’s always post-Hugo kvetching, for the same reason there’s pre-Hugo kvetching, which is, people like to kvetch, and/or they have a hard time internalizing that their own tastes are not in fact an objective standard of quality. I do think there’s a core of commenters whose problem internalizing that other people have other tastes is overlaid with a more-than-mild contempt for fandom, i.e., “Oh, fandom. You’ve shown again why you can’t be trusted to pick awards, you smelly, chunky people of common tastes, you.” Fandom does what fandom does with folks like that: it ignores them, which I think is generally the correct response to such wholly unwarranted condescension. But if people want to gripe, however they want to gripe, it’s their call.
Point is, yes, people are bitching about the Hugo results. When do they not? Let everyone have their fun and we’ll all meet back here next year for more of the same.
YA Hugo: Another meh from me. I don’t think YA books really need a separate Hugo, inasmuch as there have been two recent Hugo winners that were YA books, nor do YA novels seem to have a problem of late getting onto the ballot. Also, philosophically, there’s the question of whether having two novel Hugos privileges novels over other writing formats (answer: yes). But at the same time YA has distinct goals and awarding literature for young readers is laudable.
As it happens I think SFWA split this baby reasonably well by creating the Norton Award: It’s not a Nebula Award, but it’s quickly becoming a significant award in its own right, because it is its own award, not a Nebula. The Hugo ceremony is already host to other non-Hugo awards, including the Campbell, so maybe, if there is to be a YA-only award at Worldcon, the solution is having a not-a-Hugo YA award which can develop its own personality.
Thoughts on either of these?