55327_girl-writing_mdHave been to Theodore Beale’s (aka Vox Day’s) blog site today to poke around. Interestingly he seems to be casting the current kerfluffle about the Hugo Awards as an “in crowd” issue. According to Beale, a problem with the Hugos in previous years is that large publishers have manipulated the slate of nominations to feature their own publications. Now we have an accusation that might stick. This is business, so it’s all driven by economics, after all. Awards increase sales. If you really want to understand what’s going on, just follow the money flow.

This means that Beale has only copied what he sees, and manipulated the awards to get publications from his own publishing house on the ballot. Fair’s fair, according to Beale. Discussion in the comments section involves possible strategies that different factions might mount next year in an effort to take over control of the nominations process for themselves. It really is all about power and marketing.

In other news from Mike Glyer’s File 770 site, Jameson Quinn, a doctoral student from Harvard, is requesting funds through a GoFundMe campaign to attend WorldCon’s business meeting and present a system to prevent packing the slate in the future through buying memberships. While the Rabid Puppies think the nominations problem will even out over time, other factions seem to be thinking that the system needs to be changed. The question is what other plan the WorldCon management might come up with.

So, is all this talk about traditional SF versus the new diversity just smoke and mirrors? Is the real issue here about a small publisher versus the large publishing houses? It’s hard to separate the right wing content from the publisher, which puts Beale at a disadvantage in today’s market. Because of the current social climate, I don’t personally think he would prevail in getting any stories on the ballot even in a perfectly free market. Still, I have to admire his mouse with a sword attitude.

I’m planning to write something soon on the probability of a short story getting nominated for the Hugo’s. As a lowly, reclusive short story writer, I don’t have a dog in this fight. It certainly is interesting to watch, though.

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