Back in June I spoke a bit about the films which had been nominated for the Hugo Awards at this year's World Science Fiction Convention. As you might recall the nominees were "The Avengers", "The Cabin in the Woods", "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey", "The Hunger Games" and "Looper".
Well, pumpkins, Labor Day weekend has come and gone and the little troopers have departed from San Antonio where the 71st Worldcon was held (if any of you ever get a chance to attend a SF convention in San Antonio then here are two little words of advice: Do It!). The votes were tallied, the statuettes passed out (along with, I'm sure, several of the attendees) . . . and Joss Whedon's "The Avengers" took home the gold.
As I stated back in June, I'm not altogether unhappy with this (as compared to, for instance, Child Bride who felt that "The Hobbit" should've copped the award). I liked "The Avengers" and am privately happy that the voters aren't as touchy as they used to be about efforts based on comic books.
(Here I should point out that, in order to vote, one need only be a member in the World Science Fiction Society, be a paid attendee to a Worldcon, or both. I last voted in 1997 and was pleased that my selection for Best Short Story won.)
But back on subject. Out of 1591 ballots, "The Avengers" received just over twice the number of votes for "The Hobbit" (in second place). "Looper" was in third place, "The Cabin in the Woods" was in fourth, leaving "The Hunger Games" as tail-end Charlie.
Interesting. I felt "The Hunger Games" was too commercial for a Hugo nomination. Apparently I was mistaken, but at least I gain a small bit of satisfaction in seeing it coming in dead last in the voting. Here I should point out that, as a rule, Hollywood pays no attention to the Hugos. Rather than being interested in how the fans feel they instead concentrate on placating the kids carrying money. Herein ends my Snotty Comment for the article.
Something else I should point out. Up until 2003 the movies competed on the same level with episodes from SF television programs. But with television currently throwing so much product at us (some of it occasionally watchable) it was decided to split the voting into "Long Form" and "Short Form" Dramatic Presentation.
Which is something of a pity as I would've been interested in seeing "The Avengers" go up against the "Blackwater" episode of "Game of Thrones" (this year's Short Form winner). Especially seeing as how "The Avengers" and "Blackwater" were practically neck and neck in terms of voting. Everyone's of course happy that two such fine productions were honored, but I'm willing to bet I'm not the only person who's wondered how things would've fallen if the two happened to complete against each other.
(It would've been especially difficult for me. I've become a "Game of Thrones" fan, and "Blackwater" was a memorable episode, even though saying that means I care more for it than I did for the "Doctor Who" episode "The Snowmen", which was an extremely good story.)
(And while we're on the subject of Hugo Awards, I guess I have to go and read John Scalzi's "Redshirts", seeing as how it beat out my personal favorite: Lois McMaster Bujold's "Captain Vorpatril's Alliance".)
Going back to films, I'm also idly speculating on how the voting would have gone if Peter Jackson hadn't made the "Lord of the Rings" films previously (all three of which took home the Hugo). Would "The Hobbit" on its own have garnered enough votes to beat out "The Avengers"? Did the voters unconsciously feel that Jackson had already won enough?
If the Marvel and DC films stay on schedule (and maintain any sort of quality) then it'll admittedly be a hard road for Jackson in terms of Hugo voting. Not only that, but the more I hear about Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity", the more I feel it'll definitely be nominated next year, as will Gavin Hood's upcoming adaptation of Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game".
(But while I'm at it, no nomination for Jake Schreier's "Robot and Frank"? Then again, considering the sparse distribution of the film, there probably weren't that many people familiar with it.)
Anyway, that's how the deal went down last weekend. We're left now with our "could have beens", "should have beens" and the interesting mental image of Joss Whedon dancing back and forth in front of Peter Jackson's home going "In your FACE, Jackson . . . in your FACE!"
(Which probably isn't happening, but this is, after all, the genre of speculation.)