Asshole the first: The sci-fi community was in an uproar over the weekend after the Hugo Award nominees were announced. A writer named Theodore Beale, who uses the pseudonym Vox Day, was nominated for Best Novelette. Ceilidhann at Bibliodaze explains that Beale is an old-fashioned bigot.
When author N.K. Jemisin (a woman of colour) called [Beale] out in a speech she gave at Continuum in Melbourne, [Beale] responded in terms I can only describe as abhorrent:
“It is not that I, and others, do not view [Jemisin] as human, (although genetic science presently suggests that we are not equally homo sapiens sapiens), it is that we simply do not view her as being fully civilized for the obvious historical reason that she is not… The laws [Stand Your Ground Laws] are not there to let whites “just shoot people like me, without consequence, as long as they feel threatened by my presence”, those self-defense laws have been put in place to let whites defend their lives and their property from people, like her, who are half-savages engaged in attacking them.”
Beale has been ejected from the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. He's claimed that rape cannot exist within marriage, and he also says that women with short hair likely have mental disorders. Hell, he's stated that women should not have the right to vote. His blog is a shitty place, full of shitty racist commenters. Beale, of course, loves the attention this is bringing him, which is why it's best that people don't engage him. Knowing human nature, though, that's probably impossible.
Asshole the second: The Hugo Awards is also presenting something called the "1939 Retro-Hugo Award," in which Hugo voters decide the best science fiction writing of 1936. In the novella category, Ayn Rand has been nominated for Anthem. If it's any consolation to the sci-fi community at large, you should know that Rand would hate Beale: Her Objectivist schtick falls apart if everyone isn't born under the promise of equality, and Beale's argument seems to be that pretty much everyone but Beale is inferior. I wasted a good chunk of this morning imagining a Twitter-fight between Rand and Beale, and it made me very happy.
The winners of the Hugo Awards will be announced on Sunday, August 17th in London.