A Tale of Two Streams and One Alligator

Can’t believe I sat up until 7am to watch the Hugo Awards. No doubt I could have watched the following day but the idea was to watch the live chat which in the end proved to be a non-event. The moderated chat was understandably so bland it was coma-inducing whereas the unmoderated was so dumb it was unwatchable. With such contrasting streams, one far too clean, the other impossibly murky, even Gator insisted she wasn’t really tempted to dive in. Still, I kept her enormous jaws taped just in case.
But the coverage was compelling enough to ignore the streams. David Gerrold and Tananarive Due did a great job as hosts. Connie Willis and Robert Silverberg gave great speeches as ever. And the award for best novel was presented live from the International Space Station. How cool is that?
As for the big kerfuffle, the SF community has been vindicated. It’s pulled the best result possible from a bad situation. It was sad to see No Award in five categories and some talents snubbed but I think GRR Martin said the most intelligent thing of the night when he blamed it all to a large degree on the internet. Yes, there have been disagreements before, and slates, and kerfuffles. But the internet has magnified it all to a ludicrous degree. The internet is a great thing, but it’s also an evil thing. It magnifies ambition. It magnifies division. And by facilitating campaigning and similar organisational activities it also makes it easier to act on those bad feelings it’s stirred up.
I’ve long had my doubts about the main arena I’ve been an active member of–the Writers of the Future Forum. It’s the only writer place my avatar/alter ego/muse/call her what you will “Gator” gets to type in genuine green ink. The fun smilies only spur her on to new acts of mischief. Her hilarious life there is an addiction fueled by the frenzied greasy-pole-climbing of the the results which come out each quarter. Us regular forumites all have our “successes” chalked up in our signatures like notches on a bedpost. Who started that bedpost wheeze I’ve no idea but I can’t help feeling it’s pernicious and much more destructive to the SF new writer community than the prospect of Gator doing another DEATH ROLL on a thread she doesn’t like much.
The Writers of the Future forum magnifies ambition, has probably magnified it too much, although to be fair the threads have withered a bit of late. It may be that its heart has been ripped out by the Hugo kerfuffle. And for once, no one can blame Gator for that. She is, after all, only a very little gator and right now she’s a very sleepy one too.

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Posted in awards, reviews, Uncategorized, writing

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