I haven’t had much to say this week – too busy reading and metaphorically munching popcorn over the Hugo tempest in between getting things done. Hopefully when the dust settles, the folks who’ve locked themselves in closets in self-defense from the bullies (or put on chameleon coloring to blend in) will be able to start thinking about being able to come on out. I’d link, oh, everything on Sarah Hoyt’s blog for at least the last week and a half if I could. I do believe I will be nominating her posts on the field of scifi for the 2016 Hugo Best Related Work. Very meta, no?
The SJW ideological-conformity police have already successfully driven two authors from the Hugo nominations for the crime of “being liked by the wrong people.” I read Lines of Departure and thought it was weaker than the first book of the series – and seriously, in a matchup with KJA and Jim Butcher, there was no way on Earth that Lines was ever a true contender for this year’s award. So Kloos’s decision is actually fairly tactically sound, even if he’s doing the “I’m not one of them I promise!!! I’m very sorry the Bad People liked my writing!” song-and-dance like a puppet on the end of an SJW’s strings.
Bellet’s nominated-and-withdrawn work is linked in the comments at MHI – but it’s no great loss to the Hugos to have that short story off the ballot as well. It’s another TV soap opera-type storyline wrapped in scifi drag. Well written, yes. Maybe my standards for SF shorts are too tough, but meh, whatever. “The MOON EXPLODES!” does not make a natural disaster story into a SF story, I’m sorry. The entire storyline would not be changed in the slightest if you substituted in literally any other “the sky is falling!” major natural disaster. But you should read it anyway if you like that sort of thing, it’s a decent story and the author is skilled at her craft.
Who knows how many other authors will withdraw from competition this year because of the SJW screeching and witch-hunting? Note, this isn’t declining nominations, like Correia did, which means something else got on the slate but “nobody knows” which was the low guy on the list of nomination votes. The decision to disqualify one of John C Wright’s works (despite breaking WorldCon precedent to do so) meant that everyone knew which work was the least popular in nominations votes. Will they do the same for the withdrawn stories, I wonder? Or will the category simply shrink?
The mental image of a teapot shrinking as the tea sloshes around inside angrily, amuses me.
Anyway, the other reason I don’t have much to say this week is that I’ve been up to my elbows (sometimes armpits) in my aquariums. Some of that is typical maintenance – turns out my canister on the 75 was way overdue for a cleaning, oops – and adding things to the filter media. The planted tank canister got a little filter bag of aragonite sand, in the hopes that the water will leach the calcium and assorted minerals for the crypts. The 75 got its very own packet of Purigen. I messed around with the driftwood in the planted tank, trying to get the hardscape arranged in a way that didn’t scream “amateur who doesn’t know what she’s doing” quite so loudly. I think I’ve managed something I’ll be happy with, though it certainly wouldn’t win any awards at the moment, and I’ll have to disturb it again to attach the mosses! I do promise to take pictures once things are properly placed and the water clears, though.