I'm writing a bit blind here because I'm not a finalist for the Hugo Award and haven't seen the speech guidelines Worldcon is evidently sending to this year's nominees. I first heard about them from Mary Robinette Kowal on Twitter and received confirmation from other Hugo finalists that the guidelines do indeed exist.
To my knowledge no previous Worldcon has created guidelines about what the Hugo winners should say at the award ceremony. The guidelines appear to be in response to the controversies around this year's Hugo Award process and are supposed to create "a safe space for all nominees" at the ceremony.
Which is, in theory, a great ideal. After all, none of us want personal attacks and nastiness spewed from the Hugo Award stage. But the guidelines evidently also reference political views and that disturbs me.
Like many people in the genre, I have strong views about the gaming of this year's Hugo Awards. I also believe passionately about the direction our genre needs to take and dislike the political views and statements of some of this year's nominees.
But I don't want any of the winners censoring themselves at the award ceremony. I want to hear what the winners truly think about the state of today's science fiction and fantasy genre. The Hugo Award ceremony is a very prominent stage for the ideas and beliefs which shape our genre for both good and ill. I want every winner to speak truthfully about what they see in our genre today.
Does that mean attacking and vilifying people on the stage? Hell no. Does this mean I'll agree with what everyone will say when they receive their Hugo Award? Probably not.
But I want to hear their true views on our genre.