Zed Lopez

Row, Row, Row Your Vote

Yesterday was the voting deadline for the Hugos and the Ennies (perhaps the biggest RPG award.)

I have a supporting membership in LoneStarcon 3, so I had Hugo voting privileges and received the voting packet that inluded most of the nominated work. I’m not going to say how I voted, but I will say I’m a big fan of Ken Liu’s Mono No Aware, originally published in The Future Is Japanese. (I could have sworn I remembered that Nick Mamatas released a free ebook of that some time recently, but now I find no trace of it. Have I dropped into a similar but not identical timeline again?)

Of the short fiction, I read all but one novella, and I read all but two of the novels. It’s not a coincidence that the three works I didn’t read were PDF-only in the packet; the three nominated novels I did read I took out of the library. Publishers: what is it you imagine you’re accomplishing when you withhold a more-pleasant-to-read (for many people) format from a voting packet for an award? I’d seen all but one of the long-form dramatic presentations (i.e., movies) so I felt okay voting in that category; everything else I left blank. It makes me sad that I haven’t read any of the nominated comics.

This is the first time I’ve paid enough attention to the Ennies to know it’s a free popular vote and I could have voted. But as au courant as I imagined myself to be in RPGs, I still hadn’t heard of most of the nominees. I was astonished to learn that a jury reads everything submitted to make the nominations. But there wasn’t a single category where I felt comfortable voting given that there was only one category where I had familiarity with more than one nominee.