That’s clearly what they want to do, but with SFWA’s nomination of Nalo Hopkinson as this year’s Grand Master of Sci-Fi, they’ve finally made the turn from nominating people are obvious choices (Niven, Bujold, Gibson) to the Diversity & Inclusivity Affirmative Action Award.
If you’re wondering who Nalo Hopkinson is, I was wondering the same too and had to do some research to find out who she was.
She’s only written a handful of novels, another handful of comics, and has a few short story collections to her name. In fact, her publishing credits are less than half of what I have and I’ve only been in the business as a professional for three years.
Much of her work isn’t even science fiction, or only loosely associated with science fiction through use of “magic”. Clicking on her individual works, it becomes clear why she was chosen:
Notice a trend? An obsession with skin color. That’s all these awards committees care about, bodies of work doesn’t matter as long as it’s “presenting a strong vision of African culture” as one reviewer put it.
Speaking of reviews, her most reviewed book has less reviews than For Steam And Country, so it appears her readership isn’t all that large outside of the SFWA committee either.
Since SFWA has gone full violation of California law by offering black writers free memberships when other races are discriminated against by having to pay fees, it’s no wonder they picked a Grand Master with so little actual accomplishments in the field.
Maybe I’ll say I identify as black and see if I can join and get an award next year for being stunning and brave.