The Long and Short of it… Dramatic presentation at the Hugos

Now, we all know awards season is in the air – like it or hate it, there’s an excitement in the air as people devour and reread the books that they would like to recommend, are recommended, the ones that got away etc. The internet hums with discussion pre and post awardage, which is actually a pretty good feeling. Then again, I’ve only of course seen it from the outside looking in. SF is famed for having so many cross channels of communication (it is classically in its nature, after all), but there are glimmers of discussion that cross the genre boundary and venture out into the mainstream. Very exciting it is, too.

Obviously, Best Novel and so on is one of the big guns and most speculation is delivered that way. I will probably do another post for that, but for now I want to focus on Dramatic presentation.

I don’t want to go into detail on this, but to open up a discussion. Arguably less speculation and dialogue goes into these two categories, because, well… let’s say it’s easier to call the winner, perhaps, than the novel. I can understand that. Shows like Game of Thrones and Doctor Who has mass appeal by the bucket load, and it adds a certain something to a whole load of viewers, no matter what their viewing tastes are.

When you take the definition of the award into account: “a dramatized production in any medium, including film, television, radio, live theater, computer games or music”, it would be interesting to see more horses in the race. The films that have won from the beginning have really helped to define the genre (for better or worse, depending on your slant), but I for one would like to see a wider board of entries in terms of media, especially with the Long/Short divide. I know that Lucas Back in Anger was a nomination in 2006  and as much as I love satire, it’d be nice to see a wider range that theatre provides as well as this form. After all, I don’t think you need telling that SF in theatre is incredibly marginalised and is usually associated with simply a comedic representation. Awards are effective, I feel, not only in rewarding the people involved, but also to show their work to the public. It’d be great if SF theatre in more forms were out there (yes, it is out there) for the recognition and reward of seeing the genre in a different light. That’s just me though, and I am of course biased. I research SF theatre for my PhD, after all. It’s not me wanting an award either (although I’m sure we’ve done the fake acceptance speech with a water bottle, right? Right?), but I think theatre is a great arena for staging SF and music and videogames have their own takes on immersion and affectation that would be nice to see in the limelight too.

Because of this, I want to open it out to you all. Do you feel there is an elephant in the room  when it comes to dramatic representation or are you happy with the way it’s been going so far? Over to you, guys.

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