January 9th, 2014


Labor Day Group

Adam Roberts, who once said that the trouble with Hugoes is that Mack Reynolds won a lot of them (he didn't), is now presenting the latest iteration of the complaint that the award is a popularity contest that goes to self-promoters. John Scalzi, who represents all that Roberts despises in this matter, replies.

The champion

There is no such thing as America's Foremost Public Intellectual. I can't even begin to imagine how they'd do the brackets. But naming one seems a harmless form of sport, and when Ta-Nehisi Coates made a suggestion, it didn't bother me. But he named a black woman, and someone whose name I probably should know was shocked and said Coates obviously should have picked one of a few specific white men, or perhaps a particular dead white woman if she hadn't been dead. That doesn't make the guy America's Foremost Public Asshole (for the same reason and because the competition is even fiercer), but it isn't good. Coates discusses.

ETA: Charles Pierce joins in the fun.