The strangest thing to me about the puppies - Zer Netmouse
The strangest thing to me about the puppies|
The Hugos are decided by the people who join Worldcon and vote. There is no power elite.
Do you want to edit that?
Nope. I've been running conventions for about twenty years this year. I know most of the worldcon-affiliated fannish power elite personally, or at least by reputation. Some of them are smofs, otherwise known as the floating worldcon committee, and many of them are involved more in their local clubs than in running worldcon (except when it's in their neck of the woods), but all of them consider participation in and the continuance of, "fannish" culture, important. It's not a single, coordinated entity, and there are people who gafiate for years and may or may not come back, the community is plunged into war on a semi-regular basis, yada yada yada. But there are very definitely fans who have more authority and influence in the worldcon community than other folk, and I don't think it's inaccurate to refer to that influence as "power". They are the type who can and will get things done, which includes publishing or otherwise expressing their opinions, whether in fanzines, blogs, club newsletters, listserv discussions, at club and concom meetings, on panels at cons, in pro or semipro magazines, or podcasts, or wherever. They are a motley assemblage of people and their power has been earned through years of putting in their hours and proving their worth. I do not mean elite in terms of people with a snobbish attitude (though a few of them do have that), but more as you might refer to someone as an elite athlete, or perhaps an elite stockbroker or business consultant.
The Hugos are voted on by (a subset of) anyone who pays at least $40 and is a member of the Worldcon, yes. But this whole sad puppies thing started because that's not (historically) the same group that determines what gets on the ballot. Many fewer people nominate, and the group that most influences those nominations includes both the nominators themselves and the people who both run and appear on a lot of convention programming (at Worldcon and similar conventions), such as "best X of the year" panels, as well as those who write fannish reviews, run well-attended online discussion forums, etc.