Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Classy responses to an impossible situation
I was very sorry to hear this afternoon that Marko Kloos, whom I consider a friend, and Annie Bellet, whom I don't know personally, have both withdrawn their works from the Hugo Awards shortlist for 2015. You'll find their statements concerning the matter at the links provided.
I've been even more sorry (not to mention very angry!) to read some of the comments left on their blogs by those who disagreed with their decision. They show a lack of class, consideration and courtesy. Such decisions are the authors' alone to make, and should not be second-guessed by those who aren't in their shoes. Under the present highly politicized circumstances surrounding the Hugo Awards, I daresay more than a few of those nominated have had to take a long, hard look at the situation and ask themselves, "Is it worth it?" I can't for a moment blame Marko or Annie for deciding that in their cases, it wasn't. Indeed, had I been nominated in the extraordinarily bitter, biased and controversial circumstances prevailing at present, I might have been tempted to do likewise. Thankfully (and I really mean that!), the situation did not arise.
I've known Marko for the best part of twenty years, initially online when we were both members of the same Internet forum, and later in meatspace through our mutual friendship with Tamara. We have several things in common; we're both veterans of foreign military service, both immigrants to the USA, and both of us have married American ladies. I enjoy his military science fiction, and expect to continue to do so. I don't know Annie Bellet at all, but based on her response to such difficult and trying circumstances I intend to buy at least one of her books. It's the best way I can think of to thank her for the classy, polite and respectful manner in which she's handled what must have been an almost impossible situation. I wish some of the extremists on both sides would learn from her example, and from Marko's.
I wish Marko and Annie every success with their future careers, and I hope they each receive future Hugo nominations untrammeled by political correctness or partisan discord.