There was a time when science fiction was a place to explore new ideas, free of the conventional wisdom of staid, “mundane” society, a place where speculation replaced group think, and where writers as different as libertarian-leaning Robert Heinlein, and left-leaning Isaac Asimov and Arthur Clarke would share readers, magazines, and conventions.
But then, there was a time when that sort of openness characterized much of American intellectual life. That time seems to be over, judging by the latest science fiction dust-up. Now, apparently, a writer’s politics are the most important thing, and authors with the wrong politics are no longer acceptable, at least to a loud crowd that has apparently colonized much of the world of science fiction fandom….
The Hugo Awards are presented at the World Science Fiction Society’s convention (“Worldcon”) and nominees and awardees are chosen by attendees and supporters. The Hugo is one of the oldest and most prestigious awards in science fiction, but in recent years critics have accused the award process — and much of science fiction fandom itself — of becoming politicized.
That’s certainly been the experience of Larry Correia, who was nominated for a Hugo this year. Correia, the author of numerous highly successful science fiction books like Monster Hunter International and Hard Magic, is getting a lot of flak because he’s a right-leaning libertarian.