Earlier this week, I posted about the “Sad Puppies'” reactionary campaign to hijack the Hugos. I have an addendum to that: two nominated authors, Annie Bellet and Marko Kloos, have announced that they’re withdrawing their works from consideration.
Both Bellet and Kloos were part of the Sad Puppies’ slate, although neither sought out that support. In respective public announcements, they both stated that they don’t wish to be associated with the SPs’ campaign, nor do they want anyone to harbor the suspicion that their works might have won because of political pressure rather than inherent merit.
This can’t have been an easy decision for either of them, but I think it was the right one. It took courage and integrity to decline their nominations, and that deserves to be rewarded. I hadn’t heard of either author before, but I’m definitely going to seek them out now.
What’s more, Bellet’s nominated story, “Goodnight Stars“, is available online. It’s a disaster story in the genre of works like Lucifer’s Hammer. I’ve read it, and I can confirm that in spite of the SPs’ favoring it, it’s legitimately excellent. I’d very much like to see it expanded to book length. Here’s a (short) excerpt:
The redwoods whispered overhead in the warm summer breeze as Lucy Goodwin gathered another handful of fallen branches for the camp fire. She looked up at the sky, squinting in the afternoon sunlight. The meteor shower the night before had been amazing. She hoped she and her friends would be treated to more tonight. Everyone had asked her about meteor showers and the Perseids and all that space crap. It was embarrassing.
As if she knew anything just because her mother was on the Moon. She snorted. Mom was an engineer, not an astrophysicist. Though you’d never know from how hard she pushed sciences at her only kid.
Read it for yourself, and support the authors who refused to be part of the toxicity in SF/F fandom. And if you’re looking for more reading suggestions, I’m also perusing the Serious Kitten Awards over at David Futrelle’s blog, We Hunted the Mammoth. Check it out!