The Tiptree furore

It’s a crazy debate.

This was a longlist, not a shortlist, let alone an actual award. All it means is that one person thought the piece worthy of note. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t; I haven’t read it, and don’t especially intend to (and I believe it’s been taken down so I can’t now anyway), but I would bet that most readers would rate it as of higher quality than the worst stories on the Hugo or Nebula shortlists (let alone longlists). People make choices and sometimes other people disagree with them. There are many, many examples of stories and novels on the Hugo or Nebula long lists which are really bad; which fail to meet the criteria we would like to associate those awards with, in other words. Why should it be at all surprising that the Tiptree long list suffers from the same deficiency?

I don’t read fanfic myself but it is obviously a part of the genre and it is good to see, however grudgingly, the gatekeepers of the genre starting to acknowledge that.

Edited to add: OK, I’ve now read “Arcana”. It is slightly worse than the two Burstein stories on the Hugo short-list. It’s not that much worse (the Burstein stories also evoked my sub-editing instincts pretty forcefully). Its being unfinished should not really be an issue. To be honest I find Liz Henry’s defence largely convincing.

One thought on “The Tiptree furore

  1. One misses the tone and pace of the previous season; I find The Leisure Hive very languid, despite its visual impressiveness and splendid sound design (building on Doctor Who and 1970s BBC drama’s already strong record). Meglos I really must revisit, just because…

    JN-T seemed keen to develop Doctor Who in the direction of an ensemble programme, and (as I have said before) I’m sure that he envisaged the TARDIS becoming the equivalent of the vet’s house at Darrowby in All Creatures Great and Small, where characters gather to discuss the progress of the episode.

    Bidmead had several misapprehensions about the programme, but the drive for more science and for new writers was shared and perhaps instigated by the head of serials, Graeme MacDonald, so the refreshing of the programme’s creative team wasn’t just a production office whim. He has odd ideas about story structure (too much exposition gets pushed into part four) but once he is gone the series is weaker for his not being there.

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