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Hugo Thoughts: The Editors

Hugo Award LogoHugo voting has officially begun. It sounds like the Hugo voters’ packet won’t be available until later this month, so I’ll probably hold off on sharing my thoughts on most categories, but I thought I could at least jump in and look at the editors on the ballot.

For those looking for a completely puppy-free ballot, there are zero candidates in these two categories who weren’t on the Sad Puppy and/or Rabid Puppy slates. The (SR) after a person’s name means the individual was on both slates. The (R) by Vox Day’s name indicates that he only appeared on his own slate.

Best Editor, Long Form

  • Sheila Gilbert (SR): Disclaimer – Sheila is my editor, and has been for almost a decade. Sheila is one of two senior editors and co-owner of DAW. She was on the Sad Puppy slate this year, but has also made the Hugo ballot twice before without bloc voting or ballot-stuffing shenanigans. I think she could have earned this nomination without canine assistance, just as she’s done in the past. Beyond that, I think she’s a good editor and a good human being. I count myself lucky to be able to continue working with her.
  • Toni Weisskopf (SR): Weisskopf took over at Baen Books after the death of Jim Baen. This is her third year on the ballot. Sad Puppies have pushed her nomination all three years. While I disagree with her on some things (the same could be said about anyone), she’s done some excellent work at Baen.
  • Jim Minz (SR): Minz is the second Baen editor on the ballot this year. (Trivia: He originally worked for Tor.) He’s edited folks like Larry Correia, John Ringo, Hal Duncan, Eric Flint, Terry Goodkind, Nancy Kress, Mercedes Lackey, Elizabeth Moon, Frederik Pohl,and many more. This is Minz’ first time on the ballot, but it doesn’t seem unreasonable for him to be there.
  • Anne Sowards (SR): Sowards is an editor at Ace, and her authors include Jim Butcher, Kat Richardson, Kelly McCullough, and others. She’s never made the Hugo ballot before, but like Minz, she’s certainly earned some cred as an editor.
  • Vox Day (R): No.

Best Editor, Short Form

  • Edmund R. Schubert (SR): “My name is Edmund R. Schubert, and I am announcing my withdrawal from the Hugo category of Best Editor (Short Form). My withdrawal comes with complications, but if you’ll bear with me, I’ll do my best to explain…” His full post is very much worth reading, if you haven’t seen it yet.
  • Jennifer Brozek (SR): Disclaimer – I had a story in Brozek’s anthology Human for a Day. Brozek is a hard-working editor and author, and has been making a name for herself in several areas. She edited four anthologies that came out in 2014: Bless Your Mechanical Heart, Beast Within 4: Gears & Growls, Chicks Dig Gaming (non-fiction), and Shattered Shields (with Bryan Thomas Schmidt). This is her first Hugo nomination, and in many ways, I think that’s a shame, because I think she’s been reaching the point where she could have gotten there without the puppies.
  • Mike Resnick (SR): Resnick has won at least five Hugos, but he’s never won for his work as an editor, though he’s been nominated in that category twice before. He’s the editor of Galaxy’s Edge Magazine, and has edited a number of anthologies over the years, though I’m not seeing any from 2014. (It’s possible I’m just not finding them.) Reading the 2014 issues of Galaxy’s Edge would probably be the best way to get a sense of Resnick’s editorial tastes and skill.
  • Bryan Thomas Schmidt (SR): Disclaimer – I’m one of the folks Schmidt denounced as “rotten meat looking for a place to stink” last year. Schmidt has been moving up in the editorial world, including co-editing a couple of anthologies for Baen. That said, I don’t believe there’s any chance he’d have made the ballot at this point in his career without the Rabid and Sad Puppies. I also question his editorial professionalism, based on things like the submission guidelines he posted last year for World Encounters. Among other things, stating “no assholes allowed” and that he won’t bother with anyone who has “slandered [his] name” or “resents [him] for not sharing your views” seems inappropriate to me, particularly when I’ve watched Schmidt’s overreactions to disagreement and seen the kinds of things he characterizes as slander.
  • Vox Day (R): No.

I’ll be voting No Award over at least some of the candidates here. Others, in my opinion, have earned some recognition through their work in the field. It annoys me that I can’t support any of them without in some way also supporting or validating the slate-voting mechanism that got them there. It’s a problem I expect to have in most of the categories.

Basically, is my desire to vote for a handful of these candidates stronger than my desire to vote against the bloc voting and other destructive crap?

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

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Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
stevendj
May. 6th, 2015 08:35 pm (UTC)
I intend to vote No Award over anything that's not at least as good as the least-good item I nominated, or one of the top 2-3 nominees from previous years' ballots. If something wouldn't win against the items that were pushed off the ballot by slate voting, then it doesn't deserve to win. (Obviously, there's no way to know for certain how good the other items on the ballot would have been, but this seems like a reasonable metric.)
jimhines
May. 6th, 2015 08:39 pm (UTC)
I'm not going to try to tell anyone how to vote re: the slate stuff, but that sounds like a reasonable approach to me.
martianmooncrab
May. 6th, 2015 08:36 pm (UTC)
sometimes its going for the Lesser Evil.. sigh..
jimhines
May. 6th, 2015 08:38 pm (UTC)
I get enough of that in political elections :-P
tandw
May. 7th, 2015 12:17 am (UTC)
That, more than anything else, is what bugs me about this. I've never voted for the Hugos, so this is mostly academic (except insofar as it affects people I know), but I deeply resent the way that the presence of a slate has turned this into something like a political election. And that sort of horse-trading and internal calculus shouldn't be part of a literary/genre award.
flake_sake
May. 6th, 2015 08:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks for this. I have too little insider knowledge to vote properly in the editor categories and so it is good to read something about the nominated people.

I already looked at the nominated artists and read most of the shorter works and I have to say, so far the puppies made it easy. I figured if there's something that would merrit a Hugo, I would not vote it out because of how it ended up on the slate.
So far they have mostly nominated really bad and extremely preachy stuff.
starcat_jewel
May. 7th, 2015 12:36 am (UTC)
AIUI, if you want to register a vote against the slate but still have some preferences within it, you vote No Award at the top, then rank the choices that you feel have merit, and leave off the ones you don't. What that does is to register your preferences if No Award doesn't win. If there's something that you really don't want to see win at all, don't rank it on your ballot.
theweaselking
May. 7th, 2015 04:05 pm (UTC)
Basically. No Award, then things under No Award, means "Nobody should get it, but if someone HAS to get it it should be person 2, then 3, then 4".

Your vote will then:
1) Never help anyone you haven't listed against anyone you have
2) Never help anyone on your ballot against No Award

If No Award is eliminated (and in most years it's eliminated first), your vote goes to your #2. You are now helping that person beat everyone else on the ballot.

However, once they've succeeded and eliminated everyone else, No Award comes back and there's a recount only between No Award and the presumptive winner, and your vote goes to No Award.
la_marquise_de_
May. 7th, 2015 12:06 pm (UTC)
The slate for long form editors seems to have had one basic tenet: editors who don't work for Tor. The puppies didn't ask the people they nominated, and they don't care about their work (except in the case of Mr Beale himself). It's just 'not Tor'. For that, they are slurring the names of people like Sheila.
It's a hideous mess. I don't want to harm or punish people for having been used by the puppies but I don't want to give the puppies an inch in thinking that they have 'won'. There are no easy answers.
jimhines
May. 7th, 2015 12:30 pm (UTC)
I think many among the pups will call it a victory regardless of what happens. I'm also hopeful that folks realize not everyone was consulted, and some of them have little to no awareness of the puppies. Even for nominees who know what's going on, that's an awful position to be in, and a difficult choice to make.

As for voting...yeah. Some of the nominees make it easy this year. Others, I suspect I'll be struggling right up until voting closes.
adrian_turtle
May. 7th, 2015 02:41 pm (UTC)
Is it really possible to work in the SF industry and not be aware of the Puppies? They were easy to ignore last year and the year before, but they've been discussed in the mainstream and semi-mainstream media several times in the last month.

An editor might easily not have known they were on the slate before the nominations became public. And they might refrain from public comment now because they think it's unprofessional to get involved in this kind of messy argument, or because they don't want to alienate potential customers. But that's different from being completely oblivious.
msagara
May. 7th, 2015 05:42 pm (UTC)
They have been discussed in the mainstream media on-line. If you do not spend your free time on-line in any venue, I can easily imagine not actually being aware of the Puppies. But yes, I can’t see that it would remain that way, given that editors have authors who are on-line.

So: editor knew nothing about the slate. Editor accepted Hugo nomination, knowing nothing. In the case of Sheila Gilbert, she would hear about the slate because her authors (some of them) would contact her when the news propagated - mostly to ask her if she knew.

She did not know. If her authors hadn’t contacted her, she still wouldn’t, either. She doesn’t read blogs. She doesn’t interact much on-line. She only very recently joined Facebook - I think because of Betsy Wollheim - but she’s almost never there. She is just not someone who spends time on-line. Frankly, given the number of books she’s responsible for a year, it’s a small miracle to my mind that she gets anything else done, and this would include eat and sleep.

And at this point, if I were an editor, I would absent myself entirely from the discussion for purely professional reasons. If every voter votes No Award and no slate, there is nothing they can do to change that. If they withdraw from the ballot, they make a statement, yes - but at what cost? Sheila was one of my nominations - for obvious reasons. I am not SP. Or RP. Sheila has been on the ballot before. There was no reason - until contacted by her own authors, who are on-line - for her to question her place on the ballot this year.

Withdrawing because she got slate votes - when she’s been on the ballot without them - would, yes, show disapproval of the slate - but how many of us had her on our nominations’ list totally aside from the slate we didn’t know about? She’d be essentially saying, “because of the icky people, I will withdraw my name”. This implies - without directly stating it, of course - that there are GOOD readers and BAD readers.

And again, I think it highly, highly unprofessional to say that or imply that when you are a publisher. Highly.

So: She didn’t know. When she found out - and of course she did - she didn’t withdraw. If your moral compass requires you to keep her off your voting list entirely, she has nothing to say about that, nor should she.
akiko
May. 7th, 2015 01:24 pm (UTC)
I re-read BTS's call for submissions, since I remember it being problematic but couldn't remember the details. That is probably the worst-written CFS I've ever read: it's verbose, convoluted, and a huge mess--the weird racist aspects aside. The CFS needed an editor, which does not predispose me to his editorial skills.
deborahblakehps
May. 7th, 2015 11:21 pm (UTC)
I honestly haven't been paying a lot of attention to this, other than the requisite eye-rolling, but is there any reason not to simply vote for the person you most think deserves the award?
jimhines
May. 7th, 2015 11:32 pm (UTC)
In many cases, the people I most think deserved the award were kept off the ballot by the combined puppy bloc voting.
deborahblakehps
May. 8th, 2015 01:37 am (UTC)
SIGH
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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