Apparently a big-tent approach leads to conventions breaking historical records. Good for them. As the teapot tempest continues, I have actually decided to register as a supporting member of WorldCon. My husband is a WoT fan, meaning, unfortunately, that I won’t be able to vote WoT below “no award” because of the Patriarchy. His irrefutable logic is that he’s read more of WoT than I have – to the tune of “all of it” – and therefore his opinion of it overrules mine, since I never finished the first half of the first novel. LOL In the spirit of fairness, I might actually go buy the first two books in Larry’s Grimnoir Chronicles (possibly in audio format, since I hear they’re great in audio) just to put Warbound on a more even footing with WoT. Even though obviously WoT is going to win on account of having tons of fans!
Of course, I’d like to thank Tor editor Teresa Nielsen Hayden for excusing me from having to read all the nominated works in their entirety: if a person as “senior” in the sciffy genre as she is says that it’s okay to judge a work by the author’s politics, then I’m under no obligation to give any work by Tor a fair shake. And since Tor has not purged TNH for her doubleplusungood badthink, the way Mozilla did with Eich, the Rules of the Game as established means that I have no obligation to treat any Tor-published work fairly; I may, in good conscience, vote them all below “no award” not for their literary merit, but because I personally find the values expressed by Tor repugnant.
Yeeeeaaaaah, I’m gonna at least read a little bit of them all anyway. Just because TNH and those like her are disgusting bigots doesn’t mean I’m going to force myself to sink to their subterranean level. Besides which, having to do background checks on all the authors’ politics sounds (a) boring and (b) like a lot of unnecessary work. And John C. Wright is published by Tor, and I like him, so who knows what other conservative authors might be publishing with Tor too? I figure, I’ll give every work (in the categories I intend to vote for, in any case) a fair chance, and if any of them are too boring or too infuriating to finish (I’m looking at YOU, WoT) then they get to go under “no award.”
Besides which, unless you’re dealing with message-fic – granted, an all too common occurrence in mainstream publishing – it’s very hard to definitively nail down an author’s political stance. Oh, sure, Mercedes Lackey is so obvious in some of the Valdemar books that she might as well have a giant, flashing neon sign… and then she goes and writes romance novels that uphold the heteronormative oppressors. (Or something.) She also wrote a *snicker* were-seal romance, which, considering that “were-seal” is used as a derogatory term for modern fantasy romances in the Evil Den of Vox Day, I can’t help but think she’s trolling somebody with that. I guess it could be a coincidence, but coincidences aren’t nearly as hilarious, so I’m sticking with my interpretation.
Take Vox Day’s novelette “Opera Vita Aeterna” as another example – if you read it not knowing anything else about him, you’d think he was a left-leaning kumbaya Catholic with a “COEXIST” bumper sticker on his car. No kidding. I’m serious. The main theme of the novelette revolves around a friendship between a fantasy!Catholic monk, and an atheist elf sorcerer who has a pet demon. Not only do we have friendship transcending species, we also have friendship transcending religion – there’s no sappy conversion scene, nothing like that. It’s even more obvious if you’ve read Summa Elvetica how kumbaya this story is – at the in-universe time of “Opera Vita Aeterna,” the assumption of mankind is that elves don’t even have souls. “Opera Vita Aeterna” is practically an episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, for crying out loud! (Okay, not really. Bloody death doesn’t occur in the universe of MLP:FIM.)
The truth of the matter is that most artists are kind of cracked in the head. And if you’re going to go around underbussing entire oeuvers due to their creators being total jerks… you’re going to be left utterly impoverished. That means that if a total pinko commie produces great art, I’m not going to claim that it’s not great art just because communism is The Most Evil Thing Ever Invented In The History Of Mankind.
Because true art transcends politics.
Also, by joining up this year, I get to nominate works for next year’s Hugo, and next year, John C. Wright needs to win a Hugo Award for Awake in the Night Land. I don’t know what category it would fall under, so hopefully Castalia House will take a leaf out of Tor’s strategy book and discreetly put a list of their eligible works and what categories they’d fall under on their website for next year.