WorldCon Week: Next

One of my dearest friends and colleagues explained something to me this weekend. Setsu Uzume is our PodCastle host and their work is measured, compassionate and relentless, much like they are.

Setsu told me that while my outros are about finding hope in horror, their outros are about choice. My work has inspired and evolved their work. I got that an awful lot on WorldCon weekend and it never failed to humble and inspire me.

So let’s talk about choice. Because as is always the case the Hugo winners are being followed by a cloud of discussion, most great, some not so. Most notable is renowned old white man Robert Silverberg who decided to not only not applaud, as near as we can tell, any winner but also bury NK Jemisin for a speech he decided was too angry.

NK Jemisin it should be noted is a black woman who has had to work twice as hard to get where she is and has done so anyway. Silverberg, it should be noted, lacked both the courage to say this to her face and to spell her name right, read her books or give any indication of caring that he was waltzing blissfully into the arms of the same idiot bigots who protested outside on Saturday.

Silverberg made a choice. And that choice was to look backward. And that choice is provably, utterly, wrong. As I’ve been saying all year, you can’t steer the rocket if you’re facing backwards on it.

This was a ceremony which opened with Geneva Benton, one of the best young artists in the game winning. This was a ceremony that closed with NK Jemisin becoming the first author ever to win three consecutive Best Novel Hugos. This was a ceremony where Sarah Gailey’s extraordinary perception and focus, humor and hard fought joy, was seen and finally rewarded.

This was a ceremony where Matt FUCKING Wallace and Mur Goddamn Lafferty won the Best Fancast for Ditch Diggers. And Mur thanked me for my hard work behind the scenes. On stage.

Oh and a voting run that saw THREE of our shows on the long list, two of our editors land there and me miss out on being a shortlisted Fan Writer by 13 votes.

Which may be my new lucky number.

So like Setsu reminded me, its about choice. One is small, bittter, inward facing. The other choice is anything but. I know which one I’m choosing.

This piece originally appeared as part of my weekly newsletter, The Full Lid. If you liked it, and want a weekly down of pop culture enthusiasm, occasional ketchup recipes and me enjoying things, then check out the archive and sign up here.

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