A Pet Peeve
But this entry isn't about that.
Yesterday, I watched the Brit Awards, broadcast (near-)live on TV for the first time in 18 years, which tells you much about the timidity of British broadcasters. The Arctic Monkeys won in two categories, putting up a video-message on both occasions, saying they 'couldn't be there' because they were 'rehearsing'. They dressed up in hideous costumes—different ones each time—which must have taken longer for them to put on than to get to the event, because they did make it to the Oasis (Musical Achievement) after-party!
Celebrities not turning up to award ceremonies where they are honoured are a pet peeve of mine. I can understand it (grudgingly) if they are actually on tour/playing a gig or—as in Robbie's case—in rehab. I cannot understand it if they feel that they are too big to grace the event with their presence, because it makes me feel like an idiot sitting in front of the telly watching it.
Closer to home, it is understandable if the director for last year's blockbuster doesn't show up at the Hugos—especially if they are held in a different continent—but we may see the author equivalents of the Arctic Monkeys snubbing the event. Again, there may be some valid excuses, time and money being two (even Hugo nominees pay for membership, let alone travel). A few authors have indicated that they cannot bear to lose, but they ought to be bigger than that.
This year, I'm not going to nominate some of my favourite authors—and not just because I haven't yet read their latest novels. I'm doing it because I want to give some of the newer talent a fair crack at the shortlist, and even though we can nominate five in each category, every nomination counts equal. I don't want to dilute the vote. This is significant, because few people nominate and vote for the Hugos (I think it's just 5 and 10% of the membership, respectively). But I hope that the big wigs will still turn up, and most of them will, because Worldcon is about much more than just the Hugos.