Well, it's that time of year when the controversy starts. Yes, I'm talking about awards season in the Science Fiction and Fantasy community.
The finalists for the 2017 Hugo Awards have been announced and, for me, there weren’t all that many surprises. You can see the list here. As in most years, the list is dominated by traditionally published authors. There are many good quality indie science fiction authors whose work is deserving of recognition and it is a disappointment to me that only one category has a self published author as a finalist. The nature of the nominated work is bothersome, however.
Best Novelette is the sole category with a self-published work as an included finalist. This should be a good thing, right? Well, once you learn the title of the work, you might be forgiven for having second thoughts.
Alien Stripper Boned From Behind By The T-Rex by Stix Hiscock is the sole insulting slap at indie science fiction authors. I kid you not. You can take another look at the nominees here and verify it. Apparently dinosaur porn (a real thing…who knew?) is the only type indie work deemed worthy to be a Hugo finalist.
Just to make sure this was not some kind of misprint or joke, I checked out the offending entry on Amazon. Sure enough, the short work in question was published in July of 2016. It has garnered 4 reviews (four!) with an average star rating of 3.6 out of five. Two “readers” apparently thought the work was worthy of 5 stars…no accounting for taste, I guess. Neither is this the author’s first effort. He has published a previous volume entitled Half-Man Half-Horse, All Love. (I just threw up in my mouth) WTF is going on?
Clearly this is some kind of protest action akin to the sick puppies movement of previous years. But what the hell is their point? Should the work manage to be voted as the winner, aside from the adolescent titters (pun intended) arising from the audience at the presentation in Helsinki, Finland this August, what do the 1097 individuals responsible for for filling in their ballots hope to accomplish? Surely nothing good for independent authors.
Frankly, I had little faith in the dignity of the Hugo awards after the last few years. Now that Mr. Hiscock can justifiably claim his work to be a Hugo nominee, the apocalypse is surely not far behind?
On to more worthy things…
Indie author Dane Edmondson has penned a wonderful second volume in his Dark Tide Trilogy entitled Eclipse. Here is a synopsis:
The Federation burns.
We call them the Krai’kesh. They came from deep space. Creatures of claws, pincers and endless malice, they ravage the galaxy.
As the war flares, as planets crumble, Admiral Martin Rigsby and his fleet blast into battle. They won one battle at the edge of the galaxy. Their next battle must be fought against the dark tide of the enemy.
Marine Lieutenant Derek Jamison, along with his Eternal allies, must race against the clock to save as many human lives as possible and stop yet another planet from being obliterated.
Agent Kimberly Hague finds new allies on Crossroad Station as she pursues a lead on the traitors to humanity. But she soon finds herself in grave danger.
The Krai’kesh will not rest until the last human is dead. Martin, Derek, Kimberly and their allies must defeat them. They must win. Or the Federation and all humanity will fall.