Well, it may not be the message that WorldCon wanted to send, but the lesson of Spokane has been delivered, and we read it loud and clear:
Stay the fuck out of the Hugos, Indies!
This is a Big 5 award, and your kind aren’t wanted here!
You’ve proved that you can get a couple of thousand people to vote a “No Award” slate and prevent anyone who doesn’t have the advertising budget of a major corporation from winning anything.
You’ve proved that ordinary fans have no voice in the awards.
You’ve proved that the Hugo awards are just like the Oscars–a closed group of industry insiders run the show and will not allow anyone who isn’t part of their clique to participate.
Okay, I kind of had that idea already, but it’s clear now. If the Hugos were ever fan awarded, they aren’t now. It’s an advertising gimmick for the publishing industry. It’s like any other manufacturer’s association seal of approval–all it shows is that a particular company is a member of a particular organization.
It’s actually refreshingly honest. Rather than try to maintain some kind of facade that the awards reflected the opinion of science fiction fans in general, when a group of Indies accused the Hugos of being controlled by a handful of big corporations you responded, at the top of your lungs, “You’re goddamned right it is, and it’s going to stay that way!”
Message received, WorldCon. I’ll stay out of your sandbox.