When I logged on to Twitter on Sunday, by chance the first thing I saw in my timeline this tweet by John Scalzi,
I’ve followed Cathy Young’s writing since the late 1990s and she is, if anything, meticulous with the facts in her articles. I was surprised that she would get such a basic fact about the Hugos wrong.
Except, she didn’t.
The article is Mutiny at the Hugo Awards, and in its second paragraph describes what the Hugo awards are:
The Hugos are science fiction’s Oscars, selected by fans—anyone who pays the $40 World Science Fiction Convention membership fee is eligible to nominate and vote—and presented at the annual WorldCon. Earlier this year, a large share of the nominations was captured by the so-called “Sad Puppies” slate, organized by a group of writers opposed to what they saw as a politically correct domination of the Hugos.
Wait, what? I thought “Cathy Young apparently doesn’t know the Hugo are not given by the SFWA,” but there she is accurately describing the Hugo nominating process.
Young does mention Scalzi and the Science Fiction Writers of America several times, including this,
Hoyt told me in our email interview last spring that her personal worst example of the Hugos’ political corruption was a 2013 win for a white male: the Best Novel award to “Redshirts” by John Scalzi, a satirical riff on “Star Trek.” Hoyt, who dismisses the novel as “bad fanfic,” thought the award was blatant cronyism on behalf of Scalzi, a recent president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and one of the fandom’s high priests of “social justice” ideology.
It is possible that Scalzi was referring to Hoyt’s “cronyism” allegation–since the SFWA and Worldcon are completely separate organizations, Scalzi may have meant that his tenure as president of SFWA would have had zero impact on any Worldcon awards process.
After someone pointed out to writer Charles Stross that Young’s article accurately described the Hugo award process, Stross responded that this was missing the point,
So maybe Scalzi meant something similar. This is a pedantic objection, in my opinion, but maybe that’s what he meant.
Except a few hours Scalzi went full circle when a follower of his was surprised that Young’s article accurately explains the Hugo award process. This person assumed that the article had been edited without any sort of correction notice. Scalzi helpfully Retweeted and amplified this claim.
Personally, if I were going to refer to an article as “appallingly stupid,” I would avoid setting up a false narrative about what that article claims. That seems “appallingly stupid” in itself.
But, then, I’m not John Scalzi, and presumably he’s too busy checking his royalty statements to bother with accuracy.