So… the “Tron Guy” wrote a ridiculous post on the Black Gate website proposing a new award for SF&F because there aren’t any awards that he, personally approves of. While I don’t really have a problem with the perpetual twelve-year-olds of the genre building their own 501(c)(3) NO GURLS, QWEERS, OR POCS ALOWED!!!1 treehouse, (frankly, they can do as they want) my snark didn’t really fit within the confines of Twitter, so.
Tron Guy wants the “Insert Here” award for SF&F Storytelling. As opposed to… literally every other award in SF&F, which somehow manage to not be about storytelling, apparently.
“… it’s a way to ensure that at least one set of awards for SF/F represent what it’s truly about: the story above all else.”
Which means… what, exactly?
From comments by tron guy himself:
“The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere and Ancillary Justice. The former is a standard coming-out story with a bit of fantasy bolted on the side, and the latter, while it may be military space opera, wouldn’t have had the acclaim it did if it hadn’t been for the gimmickry used to drive home the SJW-approved message about gender.”
No messages about gender, OH NO. Is Tron Guy too hypocritical to realize that all fiction has a message to it, even if he agrees with it sometimes? Or is his reading comprehension too low to notice said messages? It is a mystery.
“See, for example, the protagonist in Lock In, whose gender is left unspecified throughout the entire book. Scalzi’s been praised for doing so, but to me, it leaves me unable to form a mental image of the character, and I have a much harder time reading a work if I can’t picture the characters involved.”
Nothing that requires effort to read! NO! NO! NOOOO!
Ok, ok, so the problem with awards in the genre, such as the Hugos, is presumably two-fold, by Tron Guy’s reckoning:
- Because he disagrees with the winners of said awards, they Do Not Represent TRUE fandom.
- It is full of icky SJW-approved messages, and has been infiltrated by the PC police, who won’t let Just Plain Stories win awards.
Fixing the problem of the Hugos not being accessible to enough eligible voters, well, that’s admirable, right? I mean, the fact that you have to pay to be a member of Worldcon to vote is usually a barrier to some people, if only as a contribution to general “meh” over having a say, unless the Hugos are in the process of being hijacked by some racist fucknuggets.
So, obviously, Tron Guy announced how he’ll make the Insert Here award more open, right? Perhaps, no cost to vote? Actively reaching out to groups of fans who don’t typically vote in major genre awards to see what they liked this year?
To become an eligible voter for the (insert name here) Awards, a person must be vouched for by one or more existing eligible voters.
But… wouldn’t that… limit the number of fans able to vote?
This is defined as having a trust level of 1 or greater. When first registering to vote, a person’s trust level is 0.
So if you decide to vote, you first have to prove yourself, or what? How does one do that? Are you given secret award secrets to test if you leak them to the Evil SJWs?
An existing eligible voter whose trust level is 3 or greater may raise or lower the trust level of up to three other people by 1 each, and this number rises by 1 with each additional trust level until a maximum of a trust level of 10 is reached.
Are we voting for an award here, or designing a tabletop game?
The undersigned, as well as prior recipients of a (insert name here) Award and current and past members of the Foundation Board of Directors and Judging Committee, may raise or lower the trust level of any person by 1. A voter may not raise the trust level of anyone who raised his own, nor of anyone in the chain of trust leading back to those holding unlimited trusting privileges.
Ok, but what happens if someone registers to vote and none of your friends knows that person personally? Do you just reject them out of hand? Does that mean that they’re not actually a science fiction and/or fantasy fan? Yeah, I’m being facetious. Obviously this award to make sure that all of fandom gets a voice and that true fandom can vote on awards untainted by SJWs intends to limit the voting membership to Tron Guy’s friends. Which, more power to you, but why do you think anyone is stupid enough to believe your stated reasons for the award?
I’d respect the NO GURLS ALOWED clubhouse shit-show more (not a lot more, but more) if Tron Guy were just honest about wanting to be in charge of the genre and what is Considered Good SF Storytelling.
All registration and trust level processing shall be done automatically by the (insert name here) Award website. All records of trust levels being raised or lowered shall be retained for a period to be determined by the Foundation Board of Directors; this period is intended to be limited only by practical methods of data storage.
This last bit is quoted just because of my own personal LOL. Keeping a record of who vouched for who to make sure that NOT ONE SINGLE voter is improperly allowed to vote, and, presumably, to make sure that if someone turns out to be an SJW, the people who vouched them can be reprimanded for their lapse in judgement sounds like a lovely breeding ground for future hilarious drama.
So, he’s going to “give all of fandom a means of influencing an award that represents them” by starting an award that can only be voted on by people that he and his friends “trust”. Sounds legit.
What about his second concern, that SJW disapproval is ruining science fiction for the rest of us?
Obviously, in order to make sure that the award isn’t hijacked by political grudge matches, and the like, and that political correctness won’t ruin the awards, it’s important to make sure that worthy, interesting, GREAT STORIES aren’t excluded. Therefore, obviously no work should be excluded for politics, right? Clearly the voice of the voters should be tantamount, and whatever they say, goes. After all, these are voters with “trust levels” who need to have their very own award that isn’t tainted by politics.
The nominees are then considered by the Judging Committee. The judges shall evaluate each work solely by its storytelling. The judges may disqualify any work they find to have an emphasis on other than telling a good SF/F story.
It’s hilarious, because this award proposal is abysmally stupid, and so very obviously full of shit. It’s not-so-hilarious, because I think Tron Guy believes the shit he’s shoveling, and truly does believe that a story about gender neutral/gender unmentioned/queer/POC/women can’t possibly be Good Storytelling. That’s depressing because it’s just same-shit-different-day.
That said, Maynard can continue to gleefully tootle the Tron theme on his dog whistle if he wants while I go back to writing filthy “SJW-approved” fiction, like the 8,000 word NOVELETTE I currently have in Uncanny issue 6 (available if you buy the issue now, and free in October), or the flash I’ve got in Fireside Magazine.
Best Novella – Written SF/F stories between 5,000 and 50,000 words in length.
Best Short Story – Written SF/F stories 5,000 words in length or shorter.
Giving yet another god damned word-range to what counts as novella is not going to minimize voter confusion, for the love of Jesus H. Tiptree.
PPS: I’m now a grad student and will not complain if you throw money at: paypal.me/keffy
September 12, 2015 at 08:31
I wish someone would explain to me what the ‘SJW approved message about gender’ was supposed to be in Ancillary Justice. I really, really liked that book, and it struck me that the pronoun thing was a really clever SF storytelling alienation device that got you thinking in various ways. It never crossed my mind that it was some kind of political statement.
September 12, 2015 at 08:57
People have been asking Tron Guy things like that in comments to his post. They eventually got him to admit that after hearing about the pronoun bit in Ancillary Justice he refused to even try to read the novel… And he didn’t read Lock In either despite raising the main character’s lack of a specified gender as another thing that was obviously wrong with the current SF scene.
Naturally he accuses everyone who voted Ancillary Justice a Hugo of only doing so because of the evil gender conspiracy, not because they really liked it.
September 12, 2015 at 09:10
Well, he did say that Lock In’s lack of a specified gender made the book too hard for him to read…
September 13, 2015 at 12:35
Must have been so hard to read that he didn’t even get to the part where the protagonist is paralyzed and cerebrally piloting a robot surrogate around, which is what the book follows, eliminating the need to visualize their corporeal body outside of about two scenes.
I’m starting to learn that the “I don’t have problems with gender-progressive/queer/POC characters/elements in fiction, it just has to be done WELL” is a red flag rather than something to be taken at face value. Yeah, token characters suck. But I’ve noticed their opinion of what constitutes a token or a cheap gimmick has more to do with its prevalence than the quality of the implementation, and blame their own discomfort with the issues on the work’s implementation of those issues instead. It’s like how I learned early that “I don’t have a problem with gay people, I just dislike those that make their sexuality their *identity*” usually means “I only can stand gay people if I can just imagine they’re straight in all but name.”
September 15, 2015 at 07:08
Entertainingly, he made his well-informed decisions regarding the story-telling quality of Lock In and Ancillary Justice based on a few blog descriptions of the books. He did not, in fact, attempt reading the book. (This came up after he argued with Cat Valente in the comments for a while before finally admitting that he had no idea what he was even talking about.)
September 12, 2015 at 08:54
It gets better. Tron Guy admits in comments that he *hasn’t even read Ancillary Justice.* He just read the “gimmick” and said “ugh icky message fiction.” source
September 12, 2015 at 09:10
September 12, 2015 at 09:00
“Or is his reading comprehension too low to notice said messages?”
It’s low enough that he was puzzled by GRRM’s suggestion to name the awards after Jubal Harshaw, one of the main characters in Heinlein’s SIASL:
“I seem to recall Harshaw as more of a lawyer than a writer, but then I haven’t read Stranger in a few years.”