2018 Awards Eligibiliity

Hello, readers.

Here are some things of an awards-eligible nature.

Thing one.

To see some of what we talked about over on the Storyological Podcast last year, and which is eligible for awards this year, go here.

Thing two

I published a story last year in Phantom Drift called  “Maemi.”

It is eligible in the SHORT STORY category for all such awards, like the Nebulas or Hugo’s, which enjoy the presence of a category for short stories.

Below, you will find reprinted what I wrote about that story in an old blog post from the before now time:

I wrote “Maemi” during the third week of Clarion, in answer to Delia Sherman’s challenge that I do that thing people sometimes do which is to go read a bunch of fairy tales and select one with which to muck about.

I spent several days in the UCSD library and sat at the window, reading many fairy tales. Off and on, on the ledge of the building near my window, a crow would come and sit and hop about and look at me curiously. As much as I might have wished, the crow and I never said more than a few words to each other. Alas, most of the time I was doing most of the talking.

The fairy tale I chose involved a little girl, and a lion, also a bird, and no small amount of magic or betrayal. It turned out this was “Beauty and the Beast.” It wasn’t called that in the book I read, and I didn’t recognize it, but when Delia told me that this was the true nature of the story I had chosen it made sense. At least, that is, the kind of sense one finds in fairy tales. Which is a sort of inscrutable sense that tricks you into understanding something altogether different and more important than whatever thing you set out to understand.

I combined this fairy tale with the story of a little girl in Korea who was sold by her father into sexual slavery during the second world war.

I lived in Seoul for two years and, while there, I taught English at an all-girls school. One weekend, during my second year, I went with a group of friends (some of whom were part of a group called Durebang), to the House of Sharing in Gyeonggi-do. We walked through a museum and an art gallery and, later, met several of the women who lived there and who are called, sometimes, “comfort” women. A large group of kids showed up, at one point. A school trip, I think. One of the old women, through some manner I never entirely understood, instigated a K-pop dance-off among the kids, the teachers, and some of the group that inclued me. Roly Poly1, I believe, was the song of choice. I’m pretty sure Roly Poly will always be, because of this, my favorite K-pop song. All of those kids and everyone dancing. And the old woman who danced for a bit and then sat, chuckling at the gorgeous mayhem she had created 2.

There are many books about that time in Korean history. I have read many of them. Two I remember, in particular, both by Nora Okja Keller, are Comfort Woman and Fox Girl. Here are some others.

As it happens, there are no lions in the story I ended up writing, but there is a bird and no small amount of magic or betrayal. I added a bit of music, as well. It seemed the right thing to do at the time.

Happy Monday, readers.

ttfn.

  1. This is the video of Roly Poly. The long version. If you are only interested in the music, I would suggest skipping to the four minute mark or so. I have the whole thing on in the background right now. It later became a musical. Because that’s how things work in Korea.
  2. Some of all of this came back with me to Seoul. And I talked about it with my students, one day, in an after school class in which there were only maybe eight of us. I talked about what they knew about that part of Korean history. I don’t remember what they said, really. And I don’t remember if I talked with them about how it felt that week in school, seeing every classroom full of girls the same age as though taken during the war. I think maybe I did.

emptying my pockets of puppies

Hello, readers.

This morning, I watched a periscope of Tom Warren trying on a $17,000 watch. We live in the future and it’s ridiculously expensive.

The best part of my Apple Watch periscope was the guy who was wearing the iPod nano as a watch! Legend

And I almost bought one of the cheaper versions before I noticed it wouldn’t be delivered until the end of May, and I figured if one must wait that long, one might as well wait a little bit longer and see how the thing works. Also, I might find something more interesting to spend that money on, in the meantime. Perhaps a post-wedding adventure, or two.

Also, the hugo award nominees were announced at Eastercon. A fairly fervent fervor occurred in the wake of those announcements involving puppies. To make a long story short, there were some angry puppies angry about the supposed lack of good old-fashioned, traditional futuristic science fiction and possibly elf-laded fantasy(?) and they campaigned to get a lot of certain types of writers on the Hugo ballot and succeeded in large part this year, as opposed to last year, and here’s a whole lot of people of note who’ve written on the subject.

Why SAD PUPPIES 3 is going to destroy Science Fiction! from big puppy Brad R. Torgersen

In other words, while the big consumer world is at the theater gobbling up the latest Avengers movie, “fandom” is giving “science fiction’s most prestigious award” to stories and books that bore the crap out of the people at the theater: books and stories long on “literary” elements (for all definitions of “literary” that entail: what college hairshirts are fawning over this decade) while being entirely too short on the very elements that made Science Fiction and Fantasy exciting and fun in the first place!

Yes, people do read the non-Puppy novels up for the Hugo and Nebula Awards from Jason Sanford

All of these numbers indicate that people are reading the novels on the Sad Puppies slate AND the novels their campaign implies no one reads. In fact, if you take VanderMeer’s novel into consideration, then far more people read the first novel in his Southern Reach series than all the other Hugo and Nebula shortlisted novels combined with the exception of Skin Game by Jim Butcher.

What these numbers tell me is there’s no reason to say that the Sad Puppies campaign represents the true genre fandom any more than people should say the novels which made the Nebula Awards are the true fandom. People in the science fiction and fantasy genre are reading all of these works.

So the next time someone tells you their view of SF/F represents the genre’s true fans, don’t believe them. Because the numbers say otherwise.

Also very much worth reading:

The Hugo Awards Were Always Political. But Now They’re Only Political. from Charlie Jane Anders

A Note About the Hugo Nominations This Year

Where’s the beef? from George R.R. Martin, and a guardian article about his post.

Hijacking the Hugo Awards Won’t Stifle Diversity in Science Fiction from Kameron Hurley in The Atlantic

Holding the Hugos–and the English Language–Hostage for Fun and Profit from Cat Valente

The 2015 Hugo Awards: Thoughts on the Nominees from Abigail Nussbaum

Happy weekend, readers.

 

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