Non-Fictional Musings About The Hugos

Based on the recent Hugo affray, I had a bit from Guards! Guards! drop into my head. (Stop right here if you don’t want spoilers.) Early in the book, the Elucidated Brethren of the Ebon Night decide to summon a dragon to right all their perceived wrongs:

“I dunno that the Patrician is a threat, exactly,” he said. “He’s not your actual tyrant, as such. Not as bad as some we’ve had. I mean, he doesn’t actually oppress.”

“I get oppressed all the time,” said Brother Doorkeeper. “Master Critchley, where I work, he oppresses me morning, noon and night, shouting at me and everything. And the woman in the vegetable shop, she oppresses me all the time.”

“That’s right,” said Brother Plasterer. “My landlord oppresses me something wicked. Banging on the door and going on and on about all the rent I allegedly owe, which is a total lie. And the people next door oppress me all night long. I tell them, I work all day, a man’s got to have some time to learn to play the tuba. That’s oppression, that is. If I’m not under the heel of the oppressor, I don’t know who is.”

“Put like that-” said Brother Watchtower slowly- “I reckon my brother-in-law is oppressing me all the time with having this new horse and buggy he’s been and bought. I haven’t got one. I mean, where’s the justice in that? I bet a king wouldn’t let that sort of oppression go on, people’s wives oppressing ’em with why haven’t they got a new coach like our Rodney and that.”

The Supreme Grand Master listened to this with a slightly light-headed feeling. It was as if he’d known that there were such things as avalanches, but had never dreamed when he dropped the little snowball on top of the mountain that it could lead to such astonishing results. He was hardly having to egg them on at all.

“I bet a king’d have something to say about landlords,” said Brother Plasterer.

“And he’d outlaw people with showy coaches,” said Brother Watchtower. “Probably bought with stolen money, too, I reckon.”

“I think,” said the Supreme Grand Master, tweaking things a little, “that a wise king would only, as it were, outlaw showy coaches for the undeserving. “

There was a thoughtful pause in the conversation as the assembled Brethren mentally divided the universe into the deserving and the undeserving, and put themselves on the appropriate side.

While the dragon they summon is at first obliging, it soon becomes too much for them. Their association with the dragon ends with them becoming so much dragon-charred fricassee, but a little on the dry side.

“We never intended this,” he said weakly. “Honestly. No offense. We just wanted what was due to us.”

A skeletal hand patted him on the shoulder, not unkindly.


And there it is. Currently, certain Morose Canines are upset with how their plans to get what was due them has turned into people not much liking their associates of a more rabid nature. After all, they just wanted what was due them. Never mind that a few days before the announcements went out and the shit duly hit the fan, they were congratulating themselves on a job well-done. (I learned that the Puppy slates had likely done well, not by Vast Conspiracy Mail, but by the online twitterings of various Puppy followers, who were already excitedly congratulating themselves on their gaming of the Hugos.)

Now that the likes of David Gerrold and Connie Willis and GRRM have said that they resent this in the most scorching of terms, and now that at least two nominees have withdrawn, so as not to be associated with the more rabid canine fellowship, a number of the morose puppies are upset that everyone else is upset and weirdly, oh so weirdly, associating the two slates. Funny that.

Funny how making common cause with a man who called black women half-savages pisses people off. Funny how putting forth the work of a man who posts violent homophobic diatribes pisses people off. Funny that.

“We just wanted what was due us.”


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