Sunday, April 5, 2015

Knitting and drafting and contests, oh my.

Last week, I alluded to a sweater I was working on. As you may recall, it was almost finished and I was just dying to get it off the needles. Well, I succeeded. This is it.

It looks complicated, but really there were only a couple of rows of the chart that made me pause and go, "What the what?!?" The rest of it wasn't that bad. Really. Honest.

Anyhow, it's done, and I've now moved on to a knitting project that's much less of a head-scratcher.

What I'm not doing, unfortunately, is going gangbusters on the newest book. Camp NaNoWriMo started this past Wednesday, and usually by the end of the first weekend I'm comfortably ahead of where I need to be. This time around, however, it hasn't happened. I keep getting distracted with other (mostly) necessary duties. But I have promised myself that before I go to bed tonight, I will be caught up to where my word count ought to be today. That means I have to put another 1,300 words or so on virtual paper tonight. So this blog post will be a little shorter than usual, so that I can get to that. I'm assuming you guys would rather read a new book from me than read my bloggy blathering about this and that, anyway.

So let's see...that covers the knitting and the drafting...oh, right. Contests. First, thanks to those of you who voted for Scorched Earth in the Big Al's Books and Pals Readers' Choice Awards. Unfortunately, we couldn't pull it out this year. But I'll keep trying if you will.

The other thing I wanted to mention tonight was the kerfuffle over the Hugo Awards, which are handed out every year at Worldcon. Nominations for this year's awards were announced yesterday, and the science fiction world is up in arms over them. It seems that last year's winners included several younger women and writers of color. This angered a contingent of sci-fi's old guard, and prompted them to stage an insurrection of sorts to take back the Hugos for the kind of sci-fi they like to read (and write). They called themselves the Sad Puppies, and they drafted a slate of nominees and encouraged all their friends to nominate their slate. Some people reportedly went so far as to buy a non-attending membership to Worldcon so that they could vote for the Sad Puppies slate. And it worked. This year's list of nominees is chock-full of Sad Puppy favorites.

Does this amount to stuffing the ballot box? I'd say so. Should these conservative guys who don't like women and people of color winning their awards get over themselves? I think so, yeah. But do they have a point that Hugo voters have tended in recent years toward selecting winners based on literary merit, rather than popularity? Sure, they do, and I don't think that's a bad thing. There's a lot more going on in speculative fiction these days than pure entertainment. Personally, I like books that give me something to think about. I guess these guys don't. Whatev.

The one thing I think is guaranteed is that the committee responsible for the Hugos will make some changes in the nomination system between now and next year. I hope the Sad Puppies are enjoying their fifteen minutes of fame, because I have a feeling it's just about over.

And now I'm gonna go write.

These moments of bloggy blathering have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell.

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