Monday, July 20, 2009
Been reading a few posts recently devoted to the perceived flaws in the Hugo Awards and the various ways that people ought to respond to such perceptions. I used to care more about the entire deal (and I guess this post indicates that I still care somewhat), but I find the interesting point being not whether or not the WSFS award needs to be reformed or have its voters select a "better" shortlist (frankly, I do agree with those who say that the novel shortlist this year is rather bland, to say the least), but that in a day and age of different "tribal groups" (yes, that term will be used to explain several facets of online/group behavior, lest some think I'm thinking just in pejorative terms of a few), that such an award as the Hugo could carry even a modicum of authority proclaiming "this is the best of the previous year."
Is it a matter of mere age bestowing increased respect? Are the awards surviving on the nostalgic memories of past winners whose works appear to be surviving the test of time? Is there an "exclusivity" factor to be considered? Why not consider a combination of various juried and "popular vote" awards and then find the only thing of importance in what you yourself take from your own encounters with these works?
As for myself, I am awaiting the shortlist for the World Fantasy Award (I could have missed its announcement, admittedly) more than I am discovering who will win the various Hugos this year. I do like to see various personalities displayed in juried picks than I care for a presumed "safe medium" that most "popular" awards convey. But then again, since when have I been known as a lover of the middle-of-the-road?
What about you? Do you find yourself drawn to other awards than the Hugos? Are the Hugos still worthy of your attention? Are there solutions to the annual gripefests? Will world peace and/or world domination by wildebeests be achieved first?