55327_girl-writing_mdSilly me. I thought the Hugo Awards were a recognition of excellence in SF&F writing. Now I notice a series of blogs and articles about a political agenda that has infected this year’s slate of nominees. For anyone in the dark, the Hugo Awards are named after Hugo Gernsback, founder of Amazing Stories magazine back in 1926. This award is administered by the World Science Fiction Society and presented at Worldcon every summer. If you buy a membership to the society, you can nominate and vote in a number of categories, including fiction and film.

You may have noticed the SFWA kerfluffle last year about sexism, closely followed by anthologies like Women Destroy SF and now Queers Destroy SF. These titles are tongue-in-cheek reference to a trend toward inclusiveness: more women and minority writers, more women characters, more minority and more LGBTQ characters in both published fiction and award nominations. So, now it looks like the backlash has set in at the Hugo Awards. From all accounts (see example here), a conservative group has stacked the nominations with white male fiction, excluding these uppity new minorities that seem out to destroy traditional SF. I agree that too obvious an agenda can spoil science fiction stories, but doesn’t a very visible political agenda devalue the science fiction award as well? C’mon guys. It’s the 21st century. Give it up.