Notes on Awards and Slates, 3/18/16
Posted on March 18, 2016 Posted by John Scalzi 1 Comment
1. As a reminder, I’ve withdrawn my work published in 2015 from award consideration, a fact I’ve mentioned here more than once, and which is well-known in science fiction and fantasy circles. I have no interest in that work being nominated, or suggested for nomination, for awards. To the extent that I am able, in the event my 2015 work is a nominee or finalist for awards, I will decline nominations or withdraw from consideration. This year, please nominate other people and works for awards instead.
2. As this is and has been my stated and well-known wish for the last several months, you may assume any presence of my 2015 work on any slate (or “recommendation list,” nod, nod, wink, wink) designed to produce award nominations is unsolicited and unwelcome and contrary to my expressed wishes, and my work has been placed on that slate without my knowledge, approval or consent.
3. Likewise, as it has also been my long-held position that I would never voluntarily participate in an award nomination slate, you may assume that my presence on any such slate is not voluntary, particularly, again, this year, and that again my appearance on it is without my knowledge, approval or consent.
4. If I or my work has been placed on an awards slate without my desire, knowledge or consent, it’s worth asking what other work may have been placed on such a slate, also without the desire, knowledge or consent of the author. You might also consider what sort of person would add an author and their work to an award nomination slate without their consent, and why those doing so would choose to do such a thing.
5. Some explanations as to why one might place someone or their work on an awards nomination slate without their expressed consent could include but are not limited to:
a) Desire to bring the legitimacy of quality to an otherwise dubious assemblage of potential nominees;
b) A transparent attempt to hide an overall political agenda by bringing in outside work, and/or to use that outside work as camouflage (i.e., slate, minus unwilling draftees to slate, equals actual slate);
c) The hope that by nominating good, outside work, other more dubious work will also get nominated as people vote the entire slate;
d) Latching on to the good reputation of the outsiders and their work for the publicity value, to draw attention to other more dubious work;
e) Being an asshole to people you don’t like, because you’re an asshole.
6. But it’s also entirely possible that those crafting award nomination slates are merely innocent enthusiasts of my work, wishing in all good will to promote a thing of mine that they love. That’s a lovely sentiment, and I appreciate the thought. However, inasmuch as I have a long-stated opposition to myself or my work being on slates designed to produce award nominations (or “recommendation lists” nod, nod, wink, wink, that are designed to achieve the same result), I would then simply and with due appreciation request they withdraw my work from their slate. This would be the case any year, but particularly this year, when I’ve already noted publicly, more than once, that I’ve withdrawn my 2015 work from award consideration.
Note well that in a perfect world I should be able to have my work dropped from a slate for any reason, or no reason, particularly from a slate I did not ask to be part of, and to which my work was added without my desire, knowledge or consent. That would seem to be the polite and respectful thing to do on the part of the slate makers. And not just me, of course; any person who’d prefer they or their work not appear on a slate (or even a particular slate) should have their wishes respected.
7. If those who have made an award nomination slate, who did not seek the approval of those they have placed on it to be on it, will not then remove those who ask to be removed, at once and without delay, it is reasonable to ask why they will not, and what purposes their refusal serves. See point “5” for some possible explanations. I would particularly note sub-point “e.”
8. In sum:
I’m not seeking award consideration this year;
I would not willingly participate on an award nomination slate;
If I’m on such a slate it’s without my consent;
Those who have put me or my work on such a slate should remove me from it;
If they won’t remove me, or anyone who asks to be removed, they’re likely assholes;
And maybe you should factor that in when thinking about them and their motives.
That about sums it up.
I don’t really feel like discussing this nonsense any further here, so comments are closed on this one. Thanks.
Oh, except to note: Honestly, folks, I’m realllly sort of burned out on spending time thinking about petulant little assholes trying to game the Hugos for their own petulant little asshole reasons, so it’s pretty likely I’m not going to be the go-to resource for covering this bullshit this year.
With regard to the Hugos, here’s my plan, which is a plan I heartily suggest the rest of you follow.
1. Read a lot within the genre.
2. Nominate the stuff you love in as many categories as you feel like nominating in.
3. Don’t worry if you only can think of one or two things in a category. That’s fine.
4. Nominate your choices, not anyone else’s.
5. When the nominations come out, give the work nominated a fair shake.
6. Sometimes “fair shake” can mean deciding something is awful and placing it below “No award.”
7. Vote your choices, not anyone else’s.
8. And you’re done!
As for future hijinx by various groups with slates, may I suggest rolling your eyes, saying “who gives a shit what those assholes do,” and then not thinking about them anymore.