That of course is a very different position from concluding that the entire nominations process is steered by a secret left-wing conspiracy (it isn't, and never was), let alone nominating your own choice of bad stories rather than the ones you fear might otherwise make the ballot. Even less is it a justification for attempting to destroy the awards entirely, just because you and your friends never win.
But I'll admit that I too bear some responsibility. I'm one of those people who in the past has rarely nominated short fiction for the Hugos because I don't actually read that much of it as it comes out. I have looked to the BSFA shortlist and the Hugos themselves to inform my short fiction reading, and then the anthologies that come out later in the year. My personal reading style is to try and get through the mountains of unread books, mostly novels, on the shelves by my bed. Maybe I need to start seeking out short fiction more proactively.
On a happier note, I'm inclined to feel that the high-profile press coverage of the last three weeks, which has been generally pretty hostile to the slates, will have motivated people who previously passively appreciated the Hugos, but did not feel sufficiently invested in the outcome to take part. Now they do and they will. There will be significantly increased participation in both voting this year and nominating next year. That has to be a good thing in itself, and it's a good chance to bring genuinely greater diversity to the voter base. The slate architects deserve no credit whatsoever for this, as their intention was to pull a political stunt rather than actually to improve matters.
To the short fiction categories.
Best Short Story
Four of the five finalists in this category are on the ballot because of an organised campaign by a racist misogynist whose declared aim is to destroy the Hugos, rather than because of their ostensible literary merit, and the fifth is there because of an allied campaign whose organisers have made it clear that they have no problem in colluding with the organiser of the more successful campaign which has dominated the nominations this year. Their position on the ballot is illegitimate and they will not get my vote.
I am not interested in the views of those nominated on either the process or more general political issues; it just seems to me pretty clear that if you don't want a racist misogynist whose declared aim is to destroy the Hugos to succeed, it's better not to vote for those candidates that he has pushed onto the ballot. My vote will therefore have a single preference:
1) No Award
Even if I could put aside the circumstances of the nomination process, I would have difficulty in voting for some of the finalists. The behaviour of at least two of the authors would make me hesitate about giving them a chance to strut onto the stage as winners, regardless of the merits of their fiction.
Four of the finalists in this category are on the ballot because of an organised campaign by a racist misogynist whose declared aim is to destroy the Hugos, rather than because of their ostensible literary merit. Their position on the ballot is illegitimate and they will not get my vote.
It must be admitted that this is one of the more respectable parts of the slate, though also a category where any pretension to "democratic" or "transparent" crowdsourcing was simply abandoned. I'm particularly sorry to lose the chance to vote on Michael F. Flynn's story. I've generally enjoyed his fiction, and often voted for it. But not this year.
My vote will therefore have two preferences:
1) No Award
2) "The Day the World Turned Upside Down", Thomas Olde Heuvelt
I'm afraid that once again Olde Heuvelt's writing has failed to grab me. The story is close in spirit to Ted Chiang and to last year's winner by John Chu, but I felt it did not have the same finesse of execution. Chance Morrison has given her own typically caustic take on the story; it lost me with gur tbyqsvfu va gur 7 Hc obggyr; fheryl gur pbapragengvba bs pneoba qvbkvqr naq gnegnevp npvq jbhyq xvyy gur cbbe perngher bss?
However, if through some awful chain of circumstances my vote should be decisive in whether the Hugo (or one of the lower places in this category) goes to "The Day the World Turned Upside Down" or to one of the slate nominees, I would prefer that "The Day the World Turned Upside Down" won and the slate nominee lost; I am therefore giving it my second preference.
All five finalists in this category are on the ballot because of an organised campaign by a racist misogynist whose declared aim is to destroy the Hugos, rather than because of their ostensible literary merit. Their position on the ballot is illegitimate and they will not get my vote. My ballot will therefore have a single preference:
1) No Award
Even if I could put aside the circumstances of the nomination process, I would again have difficulty in voting for some of the finalists. Three of the nominated stories are by an author whose online conduct has been so grotesque that I would be disinclined to give him the chance to appear as a winner even if I liked his writing. (I did like some of his early work, but have been less enthusiastic about his more recent output.) One of the other two is by an author who has repeatedly resorted to obscene and vicious abuse of those who disagree with him, and again I don't particularly want to reward that behaviour. This is not about political views; it is about professionalism.
I have not engaged in systematic research on the behaviour and views of all nominated authors, and I'm not interested in finding out more about any of them at this stage, because as I have said this isn't going to sway my vote. In any case I am dubious about demanding loyalty oaths - or disloyalty oaths, for that matter - from writers or indeed anyone. I am just recording what I've noticed in general reading around this year's Hugos, and I suspect I am not alone in making some of those judgements.
Sorry to be grim. But we are in grim circumstances.
2015 Hugos: Initial observations | Voting No Award above the slates | How the slate was(n't) crowdsourced | Where the new voters are
Best Novel | Short fiction | Best Related Work | Best Graphic Story | Pro and Fan Artist | Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form), Best Fan Writer, John W. Campbell Award