Artistic judgments are silly if expressed as dogmas, at least until we get an "artometer" which can measure objectively how many micro-michelangelos or kilo-homers of genius a given artifact has in it.
-- Robert Anton Wilson
(Context for the quote is here.)
Yesterday, I griped about the fact that Iain Banks has never won a Hugo award, and then today (via Arthur Hlavaty) I ran across this long blog posting by Cora Buhlert about the controversy stirred up by the just-announced Hugo nominations list.
Buhlert's own opinions include these sentences: "Basically, he is enraged that Lois McMaster Bujold has won as many Hugos as Robert Heinlein, when the two of them shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same sentence, let alone placed on the same level. I actually agree with that point, since Lois McMaster Bujold is lightyears better than the grossly overrated Heinlein." I think Buhlert's full of it. No doubt she would regard some of my opinions as equally bizarre.
Buhlert also writes, "I’d have thought that this year’s Hugo shortlist was pretty much uncontroversial. I mean, we have a healthy representation of women and writers of colour, most of the nominations went to works and writers that are popular or at least talked about, there are very few 'What the Fuck?' nominees compared with other years (e.g. last year’s nominees included a filk CD and a Hugo acceptance speech from the previous year)."
This certainly seems true of the best novel nomination list, which doesn't have any of the unpleasant surprises of past Hugo nominations; I'm not well-enough informed to talk about some of the other categories.
l've griped at this blog about how Robert Anton Wilson never won any literary awards, except for a Prometheus Hall of Fame award. I don't think he ever got a Hugo nomination.
One of my other favorite writers, Vladimir Nabokov, never won the Nobel Prize for Literature. He never won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction. And — get ready for it, folks, this is the biggest outrage of all — he never won a Hugo!