In a surprising development, the dispute among “Trufans” “SMOFS” “Sad Puppies” and “Rabid Puppies” has produced a result: We now know exactly who runs the Hugo Awards. It turns out to be Mrs. Gladys Knipperdowling, of Grand Rapids, Iowa.
Mrs. Knipperdowling, 81, came forward yesterday to reveal that she has personally chosen all Hugo winners and nominees since 1971 when her aunt Betty “got too old and cranky,” as she put it in an exclusive interview. “I wouldn’t have said anything about it,” she added, “but then I heard there was all of this trouble.”
Asked about the people usually accused of picking the Hugo winners, Mrs. Knipperdowling became confused. She claimed never to have heard of the Nielsen Haydens at all, and when John Scalzi was mentioned, she asked, “Is he the nice young man in the bow tie?”
Asked about social justice issues and diversity, and whether those had any influence on her choices, Mrs. Knipperdowling did not appear to understand. After some explanation of various issues, we tried to explain “Gay” “Bi” and “Trans,” at which point she told our interviewer, “Oh, we don’t talk about that. Or race. Or religion. People just are who they are, God bless them.”
We wanted to know, when she completes the list, what does she do with it? “I just mail it, you know. To the Post Office box. The one in Schenectady.”
Asked how she ended up in the position, she replied, “I guess I sort of inherited it. One day Aunt Betty just said, ‘Oh, I’m tired of this. You do it.’ She used to spend hours reading that stuff so she could pick what was best, and then she’d just send the list along, you know. But I do it different. I don’t like to read. Except Cosmopolitan and The Economist.”
What is her method for deciding who gets on the ballot and who wins?
“Well, I try to find nice people,” she said.
Gladys Knipperdowling says she sometimes asks her neighbors who should win a Hugo, especially, “that dear Mr. Choudhury next door.”