So let me tell you, I had a fun Easter weekend. I found out Thursday that I had a huge kidney stone obstructing my ureter, and oh, man, is that some serious pain. I spent Thursday through Tuesday morning on maximum pain meds, and still not always able to keep it at bay. And my father-in-law came into town the night I learned about this, which meant that I missed not only time with my wife and kids, but with him also (he’s a great guy, and looks like Mario with gray hair). And then on Saturday, as I’m trying to distract myself from all the pain, the Hugo nominations came out. And the internet melted, at least in areas that I watch.
Let me say up front, I am a straight, white, Mormon guy. I get no advantage from that, certainly not in the publishing industry. I wrote a book, finished it 15 years ago, got a very nice rejection from Baen, and no other publisher bothered to tell me anything. I was told by people who had connections, that I needed connections. And so I let the book sit, and worked on a few other stories, and didn’t think I would ever do anything but share my writings with some close friends. And then I discovered Sarah, Cedar, and the whole Mad Genius Club. And everyone there said, “Put it together, put it up on Amazon. Anyone can do it!”
And I did. I make about $30 a month off of 7 novellas and 2 novels (which each contain three of the novellas). I’ve sold exactly one paper edition, and I know who got it–his mother bought it for him for Christmas, and he bugs me every few weeks to autograph it.
I don’t write for glory. I don’t write for fame, fortune, or anything else. I write because I have stories to tell, that float around in my head until I put them on paper (or disk, cloud, or a mixture thereof). When my wife brags about my stuff being on Amazon, I don’t know what to say. It’s out there, I hope people enjoy reading it, and I intend to keep writing.
And I knew about the Hugos, and the Nebulas. I’m that kind of geek. But I thought you had had to actually go to WorldCon to vote on the Hugos (I knew the Nebulas were an industry thing, and I’m not qualified for the guild yet). Then I heard about Larry Corriea and Sad Puppies, and I laughed, because he was tweaking so many noses. And Then I found Vox Day, and found out how serious some people could be, both in being attacked and in counter attacking.
I like the Sad Puppies. I read Larry’s blog, and Brad’s blog, and I want to do my part to reduce Puppy Related Sadness. I also read Vox Day fairly regularly, because he does have some good insights, though he does tend to voice very strong, very unpopular opinions very loudly. And I wish people would grow the hell up about it.
I didn’t join WorldCon, because I haven’t read anything published in 2014 except for my stuff that I edited. I read some Heinlein. I read Monster Hunters International. I was a beta reader for Dragon Noir, and so slow about it that Cedar got it published before I finished. I don’t have time to read much right now. I don’t even watch enough TV or movies to vote in those categories. Pat Patterson, on the other hand, should definitely join and vote. That guy reads tons, and reviews things, too. He even read If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love. He’s the perfect guy to vote on the Hugos.
But too many people act as though this is a super serious battle, one where Lines MUST Be Drawn, Stands MUST Be Taken, Foes MUST Be Vanquished.
And all for a rocket trophy.
T.L. Knighton got it right: it doesn’t matter all that much. The people fighting the hardest are the ones who have the most invested in giving it great meaning, or in restoring it’s prestige. Or people like Larry and Brad, who in trying to prove a point, have been libeled beyond belief. Or Vox Day, who believes in punching back twice as hard, and proves it by punching back three times as hard.
Fans, both True and Wrong, in the end don’t care all that much. They want good stories, told well, in whatever fashion appeals to them. How many weeks are we going to spend torching houses when there’s much better ways to spill ink? Oh, that’s right: until someone has been put in there place and stays there.
Good luck with that.