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I Am No Award!

August 30, 2015
(image via wikimedia)

My name is No Award, and I have come to claim my prizes! (image via wikimedia)

It’s a great time to be No Award.

Last weekend the Hugo’s gave out its honors  for the best in science fiction, and No Award dominated the night, taking home the trophy in five categories.  No Award obliterated the competition in Best Novella, Best Short Story, and Best Related Work.  No Award also demonstrated great skill as an editor by winning Best Editor, Short Form and Best Editor, Long Form.

I’ve never heard of anybody named No Award, and I’ve never read anything by No Award, but No Award must be awesome.

No Award won so many honors because Hugo voters are in a big argument over stuff that non-Hugo voters don’t care about.  Science fiction fans have always liked to argue about stuff that other people don’t care about.  Before I was born, it was Jules Verne vs. H.G. Wells or Flash Gordon vs. Buck Rogers.  When I was a kid, it was Star Wars vs. Star Trek or Marvel vs. DC.  Today, science fiction fans are divided between social justice warriors and sad puppies.

According to the sad puppies (I really don’t want to explain the concept, even though it’s kind of funny), No Award was just being manipulated by social justice warriors, but social justice warriors complain that sad puppies are a bunch of whiners (and bigots and racists and sexists).  I don’t know.  I’ve tried to read up on it, but there is no unbiased account of the controversy.  (The closest is probably this. ).

It’s too bad because it’s typical politics where both sides seem to have a point, but then everything gets personal.  I can barely keep up with politics when it’s about politics. As a reader who sometimes likes science fiction, I just want to yell out: “Captain Kirk would kick Picard’s ass!  Argue about that!!”

No Award might be controversial, but every award should have the possibility of No Award.  As a writer, I empathize with being nominated and then finding out that No Award won.  If I didn’t win an award, I’d be more upset if there was no winner at all than if somebody else had won.  Maybe others would take consolation in that nobody won at all, but I’d be ticked.

As a spectator, however, the drama of No Award is great.  What if No Award could win the Oscars?  I can hear the gasps in the audience, and can see the stunned expressions on the faces of outraged actors and actresses.  If there was a possibility of No Award, I might watch the Oscars again.  But only if they used it.  If the Oscars had a No Award choice and didn’t use it, that would take the fun out of it.

The Pulitzer Prize has the possibility of No Award, and Pulitzer isn’t afraid to use it.  A few years ago, No Award won the Pulitzer in the fiction category.  It’s always controversial when No Award wins a Pulitzer category, but it makes the Pulitzer’s more interesting, and maybe it makes all potential nominees work a little harder.  I wouldn’t know because I’ve never been nominated.

The whole thing makes me wish my name was No Award.  A few years ago, I chose Jimmy Norman as my pen name, but I wish I’d changed it to No Award.  In hindsight, No Award would have been much better.  I would have ruled the Hugo’s if I had changed my name to No Award.

Sometimes average people proclaim themselves to be their idols.  In the past, people have shouted: “I am Spartacus!”  Others have proclaimed: “I am Malcolm X!”  A couple years ago, Robert Galbraith declared: “I am J.K. Rowling!”  But I have finally discovered an idol that I can aspire to be.  From now on, I can shout: “I am No Award!”


What do you think?  Are awards better off with the possibility of No Award?  What pen name do you wish you had chosen?  What other fun activities have been ruined by political bickering?


New from Dysfunctional Literacy!

It’s not science fiction.  It’s not political.  It’s just Nice Things.

Now available on the Amazon Kindle!

Now available on the Amazon Kindle!

  1. Yes! No award can be very entertaining. More entertaining even than somebody winning. I skipped the Oscars last year because I got bored before it even aired. I would totally watch it, if the possibility of no award was an option.
    And was used.

  2. I think everything has been ruined by political bickering, especially politics.

    • It would be okay if they just kept it to politics. Then when I felt like listening to political bickering (which doesn’t happen much), I could just watch politicians (and politicians only).

  3. I wish I had as many awards as No Award!!

  4. The link you posted is nowhere close to being unbiased, by the way. It just repeats the Sad Puppies are racists and sexists line.

  5. Elemming permalink

    Noah Ward is a registered pen name of David Gerrold.

    I am very sorry many prominent Puppies are sexists and racists, too.

  6. Anonymous permalink

    It seems to me that both sides want to be “right” in an era of do-as-you-please. I declare BOTH sides to be losers. It therefore would seem that no award should win.
    BUT-I have read books on both sides of the argument. I must say that I thought the Correia book was the best. HE shall therefore win my award of $$$$$. And really, that is all that matters in a consumer driven economy. And no comments of “Jane, You ignorant Slut.” He shall have my money.
    I also really enjoyed Nice Things. And I am hoping for Better Things-or Worse Things as the case may be.

    • At least you’ve read some of the books, so you can have an opinion of who really deserves awards and who might not.

      Me? I’m just an outsider looking in. The last Hugo winner I’ve read was probably a Neil Gaiman book (but I forget which one it was).

      And thank you for reading Nice Things!!

  7. I can just see the movie trailer for the film adaptation of one of your books: “From bestselling author No Award…”

  8. I’d heard about this controversy, but am a little puzzled by the details. It all seems to be utterly subjective anyway, so I’m not sure how it’ll be resolved. Someone’s gonna have to take a step back and calm the f**k down.
    As for No Award – I appreciate the sentiment, and lord knows there are times when I wish the Oscars would use it, the amount of times someone wins when they don’t deserve it. But if there isn’t a book/film/performance good enough to win, why don’t they just be honest and say ‘Sorry, we’re not even going to bother nominating anyone, cos they’re all rubbish.’ Then everyone can just adjourn to the pub that bit earlier.

    • The good news (I guess) is that it’s gotten people talking about science fiction, but the bad news is that this arguing probably doesn’t make people want to read science fiction.

  9. liviespeaks permalink

    Oh no award, you remind me of that girl in highschool that won almost every award. Slightly annoying, but entertaining at the same time.

    But on a side note, I’m just glad that Galactic Surburbia won an award. They’re awesome.

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