Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Hugo Awards, and Some Thoughts Thereon

Up till now, I've only reviewed the Hugo nominees for this year, and not blogged about the controversy about the nominations. Those who have been following the Hugos this year, though, will be well aware of the Sad Puppies, the Rabid Puppies, and the general fannish reaction to both the fact of the slating, and the perceived poor quality of nearly everything on the slates. (Excluding the Best Dramatic Presentation nominees, both Short and Long Form.)

Last night was this year's Hugo Awards ceremony, and the results are in. The complete Hugo voting results and statistics are available here. Note that this is a PDF. What the detailed results reveal is in some cases heartbreaking. Good work was kept off the ballot. The much-admired Eugie Foster's excellent "When It Ends, He Catches Her," might have made the ballot for Best Short Story without the Puppies' slating, and as she is new deceased, she won't get another chance. Works the Puppies would presumably have loved, including Brad Torgersen's The Chaplain's War and Charles E. Gannon's Trial by Fire, weren't on the slates, and appear to have just missed nomination because of that. [CORRECTION: Gannon's book was on the Sad Puppies slate, while the Rabid Puppies slate dropped it and added Torgersen's book.  It seems likely, therefore, that absent the slating, neither would have made the ballot anyway.] The Puppies didn't even serve their own interests well--at least the Sad Puppies' stated interest of getting overlooked, more politically conservative writers on the Hugo ballot. The Rabid Puppies claim their goal was always to "burn down the Hugos," though that's not what they were claiming at first. The Best Novel winner, The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, made the ballot at all only because Marko Kloos declined his slate-driven nomination for Lines of Departure. The Best Novelette winner, Thomas Olde Heuvelt's "The Day the World Turned Upside Down," likewise made the ballot only because John C. Wright's "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus" was disqualified due to prior publication.

 "No Award" took the Best Novella, Best Short Story, Best Related Work, Best Editor-Short Form, and Best Editor-Long Form categories. Puppies are now bragging that that's what they intended all along, but that's not supported by what they said in the aftermath of the nominations announcement, before they began to get a sense of the backlash against them.

This morning's Sasquan Business Meeting will be debating and voting on the E Pluribus Hugo proposal for modifying the vote counting in the nominations phase, from First Past the Post (the way most US political elections are decided), to Single Redistributable Vote, which is similar to how the Hugo final ballot votes are counted. Even if it passes, we're vulnerable to one more year of slating, because it would need to be ratified at MidAmericon II next year.

Herewith, the Hugo results in the categories where rockets were awarded.

BEST NOVEL
The Three Body Problem, Cixin Liu, Ken Liu translator (Tor Books)
BEST NOVELETTE
“The Day the World Turned Upside Down”, Thomas Olde Heuvelt, Lia Belt translator (Lightspeed, 04-2014)
BEST GRAPHIC STORY
Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal, written by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Adrian Alphona and Jake Wyatt, (Marvel Comics)
BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, LONG FORM
Guardians of the Galaxy, written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman, directed by James Gunn (Marvel Studios, Moving Picture Company)
BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, SHORT FORM
Orphan Black: “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried”, ” written by Graham Manson, directed by John Fawcett (Temple Street Productions, Space/BBC America)
BEST PROFESSIONAL ARTIST
Julie Dillon
BEST SEMIPROZINE
Lightspeed Magazine, edited by John Joseph Adams, Stefan Rudnicki, Rich Horton, Wendy N. Wagner, and Christie Yant
BEST FANZINE
Journey Planet, edited by James Bacon, Christopher J Garcia, Colin Harris, Alissa McKersie, and Helen J. Montgomery
BEST FANCAST
Galactic Suburbia Podcast, Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Presenters) and Andrew Finch (Producer)
BEST FAN WRITER
Laura J. Mixon
BEST FAN ARTIST
Elizabeth Leggett
JOHN W. CAMPBELL AWARD FOR BEST NEW WRITER
Award for the best new professional science fiction or fantasy writer of 2012 or 2013, sponsored by Dell Magazines (not a Hugo Award).
Wesley Chu