Congratulations to the 2014 Hugo winners, with special congratulations to John Chu for his short story: The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere, which can be read at http://www.tor.com/stories/2013/02/the-water-that-falls-on-you-from-nowhere.
I am highlighting this story for a few reasons. First there was a bit of a trolling controversy set up in the nominations this year and it looks like the fans who voted for the Hugos were less than impressed by the trick. The sci-fi community has had plenty of similar controversies in the past, including entire religions trying to game the system.
Good try, nice of you all to drop a high school debating club gambit into the fandom… Not!
More importantly, more stories like John Chu’s The Water… are exactly what are needed to again show that the entire opening up of the field of narrative, of story-telling by voices that have previously kept (or been kept) silent is a great, honorable, beautiful and needed thing. And it was done with such heart; the minimum of sci-fi tricks; no scaring the horses; a real class act! Damn! What a sweet love story, with guys… (1)
And because this is a blog about Genshiken, manga, anime and games – mostly from Japan, I hope that some Japanese rotten girls get a translated copy of this story, find it boring and then realize that while they can still make their own personal hawt fantasies, something that is closer to “authentic” and “not-other” is sitting off to the side waiting for them whenever they are ready for it. Some of them already are. Heck, this one should be emailed to a whole bunch of -insert your fave ass-hat bigot- for- profit here- but they would ignore it and/or just use it as proof of some damned conspiracy or another. That’s what they do to put food on the table; it is the banality of evil made even more stupid and banal.
Oh K-rist must stop now…
As for a whole bunch of the rest of us; including a middle age cis-gendered het guy like me who is still working on getting the stupid bogie-men of all manner of different prejudices learned in my youth out of my wetware, stories like this are a relief from the aforementioned bullshit that makes up “the culture wars” (2).
Glad I developed the sci-fi habit way back when – It helps a bit.
Well done and well done!
Thank you John Chu.
PS: Yup; the majority of fans who voted really meant to prove that heartfelt writing, even if dealing with history, gender politics and stories deserved applause, hence the award for “Best Related Work” / Best Fan Writer essay: We Have Always Fought: Challenging the Women, Cattle and Slaves Narrative by Kameron Hurley http://www.sfwa.org/2013/05/guest-post-we-have-always-fought-challenging-the-women-cattle-and-slaves-narrative/ …Just in case the high school debating club team didn’t get the message: -FLICK- on de ole forehead… (And not in any way to say the essay won for controversy and not quality – dammit everything goes sideways when the little politiks games intrude.)
Meanwhile in the non-controversy department, Equoid by Charles Stross http://www.tor.com/stories/2013/09/equoid (Wow thats 3 winners all free and legal for the web-reading!) Is buckets of Lovecraftian fun, with 3 more freely available “Laundry” tales out there as well.
Thanks and congrats to these writers and their web enablers/ crew/ co-conspirators for the fine reading materials! Guess I can stay off the manga aggregator sites tonight,
1) Later: Zeitgeist time? The fans voting for the Hugos had no way of knowing that the gentle “Love is Strange” movie was about to be released. see: http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2014/08/22/love_is_strange_anti_lgbtq_workplace_discrimination_happens_in_real_life.html
2) Later again: So I gushed enthusiastically about this story to a married lesbian friend and she shivered when the “meet the parents” theme came up. I then made a few noises about how painless it was for a stick- in- the- mud- straight- guy to read a m-m gay romance story. Her very gentle rejoinder: “Don’t worry, a lifetime of reading het stuff hasn’t turned me straight”. Extreme Duhhh!-on- me moment!