Saturday, April 11, 2015

Mary Robinette Kowal is buying votes for the Hugos

ETA 5 (posted at the top as well as the bottom because it's the most important ETA): An Apology to Mary Robinette Kowal

Ask for a supporting membership to WorldCon at Talk with me about being a fan of science fiction and fantasy. Currently, there are 30 available, ten from Mary, 10 from an anonymous nominee, and 10 from Shimmer Magazine.

Don't know anything about science fiction, the current Hugo controversy, or fandom in general? No worries. Mary provides a very short guide to all you need to know. (Though I must note she leaves out the Rabid Puppies.) (She seems to be providing the guide for her readers from the romance community, but it's useful for all non-fans who would like to vote.)

Worried about voting for things you haven't read? No worries. In the comments, Mary notes,
It doesn’t require you to finish reading all of them. I just read until I stop enjoying the thing.
As for not reading everything before voting… I look at it like this: If I only have time to read three things, then those three were the most compelling things I read that year. I just leave the other ones off my ballot. I don’t vote No Award, I just don’t include them.

I also get the packet and start reading work, but when it stops being interesting, I stop reading. I won’t vote for something that I don’t find excellent.
Her reasoning seems to be that she believes GamerGate brought in non-fans who affected the nominations. So far, I haven't seen any analysis of the actual numbers to support that; please leave a link in the comments if you know of any.

It is amusing to see fandom's patricians buying votes for plebes. I expect the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies will take their cue from Mary.

May the richest fan win.

ETA: I just noted this in the comments:
...she's trying to be fair. She's planning on a drawing. I can't imagine any fairer way to buy votes. It's like giving out beer at a polling station—no one's telling anyone who to vote for. She can buy votes in her community, Vox Day can buy them in his, and Correia and Torgersen can buy them in theirs, and the people with the deepest pockets will buy the result in a perfectly fair way. This is going to be fun to watch. Popcorn, please!

Which is to say, yes, I think it's a well-meant misstep, but it's an enormous one.
ETA 2: I just noted in Mary's reddit thread that I could be wrong about this turning into a vote-buying war. Vox Day may decide to simply tell his followers to enter Mary's contest.

ETA 3: Mary added an application box to her post under "FURTHER EDITED TO ADD".

ETA 4: Some people have said this is not a case of rich people reaching out to their own communities. But I picked up the term from Mary, who says in her post: "I encourage others to reach out to your own communities as well."

ETA 5 (posted at the top as well as the bottom because it's the most important ETA): An Apology to Mary Robinette Kowal