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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019) and AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021).

Friday, August 26, 2016

Hugo Awards 2016 - and, alas, a bit about the Puppies

The 2016 Hugo Awards were decided last Saturday, 20 August. Congratulations to the winners! I've taken far less interest in the awards than I did last year (in particular, for last year, see here and especially my summation here). Many people are still beating to death the Sad Puppies/Rabid Puppies angle on the Hugo Awards, but as far as I am concerned the "Puppies" are a spent force. Continuing to go on about them now is more like virtue signalling than making a genuine contribution to debate within the SF community. I'll say something brief and then leave it.

I wish the Puppies would go away, frankly, which hasn't happened. I previously said (see the above links): "I repeat my hope that the Sad Puppies campaign will not take place next year [i.e. in 2016], at least in anything like the same form. If it does, my attitude will definitely harden. I've been rather mild about the Sad Puppies affair compared to many others in SF fandom, and I think I can justify that, but enough is enough."

Well, the Puppies did have some influence, again, on what works were nominated: see especially items associated with Castalia House. However, that's not necessarily such a terrible thing in itself. They are entitled to champion work that they consider valuable, as others have always done.

But there was far less of a sense than last year of meretricious work getting on the ballot merely from knee-jerk, politicized Puppy support, or that high-quality work was being driven off the ballot. The exception is "Best Related Work" - which was a mess once again.

As for the outcomes, the Puppies had no real success in obtaining awards for their favourite works and authors (this was also the case last year). All in all, the form of the campaign was less virulent, this time round, and except for "Best Related Work", the consequences were less destructive.

I still say this: if the Puppies think that good work by politically conservative authors is overlooked in the Hugo process - or if they think the composition of delegates at World Science Fiction Conventions is biased against conservative authors - they need to make the case rationally (or they can organise their own conventions!). At the same time, the rest of us in the SF community can take some blame if we didn't take part in nominations or if we didn't nominate worthy titles for "Best Related Work". Plenty of good commentary and criticism related to SF was published in 2015. Why didn't enough of us nominate it?
Best Novel (2,903 final ballots, 3695 nominating ballots)
  • The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik (Del Rey)
  • Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie (Orbit)
  • Seveneves: A Novel by Neal Stephenson (William Morrow)
  • The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher (Roc)
Best Novella (2,903 final ballots, 2416 nominating ballots)
  • Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com)
  • Penric’s Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold (Spectrum)
  • Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds (Tachyon)
  • Perfect State by Brandon Sanderson (Dragonsteel Entertainment)
  • The Builders by Daniel Polansky (Tor.com)
Best Novelette (2,560 final ballots, 1975 nominating ballots)
  • “Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang, trans. Ken Liu (Uncanny Magazine, Jan-Feb 2015)
  • “And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead” by Brooke Bolander (Lightspeed, Feb 2015)
  • “Obits” by Stephen King (The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, Scribner)
  • No Award
  • “What Price Humanity?” by David VanDyke (There Will Be War Volume X, Castalia House)
  • “Flashpoint: Titan” by CHEAH Kai Wai (There Will Be War Volume X, Castalia House)
Best Short Story (2,706 final ballots, 2451 nominating ballots)
  • “Cat Pictures Please” by Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld, January 2015)
  • No Award
  • Space Raptor Butt Invasion by Chuck Tingle (Amazon Digital Services)
  • “Asymmetrical Warfare” by S. R. Algernon (Nature, Mar 2015)
  • “Seven Kill Tiger” by Charles Shao (There Will Be War Volume X, Castalia House)
  • “If You Were an Award, My Love” by Juan Tabo and S. Harris (voxday.blogspot.com, Jun 2015)
Best Related Work (2,545 final ballots, 2080 nominating ballots)
  • No Award
  • Between Light and Shadow: An Exploration of the Fiction of Gene Wolfe, 1951 to 1986 by Marc Aramini (Castalia House)
  • “The Story of Moira Greyland” by Moira Greyland (askthebigot.com)
  • “The First Draft of My Appendix N Book” by Jeffro Johnson (jeffro.wordpress.com)
  • “Safe Space as Rape Room” by Daniel Eness (castaliahouse.com)
  • SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police by Vox Day (Castalia House)
Best Graphic Story (2,171 final ballots, 1838 nominating ballots)
  • The Sandman: Overture written by Neil Gaiman, art by J.H. Williams III (Vertigo)
  • No Award
  • Invisible Republic Vol 1 written by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman, art by Gabriel Hardman (Image Comics)
  • The Divine written by Boaz Lavie, art by Asaf Hanuka and Tomer Hanuka (First Second)
  • Full Frontal Nerdity by Aaron Williams (ffn.nodwick.com)
  • Erin Dies Alone written by Grey Carter, art by Cory Rydell (dyingalone.net)
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form (2,171 final ballots, 2904 nominating ballots)
  • The Martian screenplay by Drew Goddard, directed by Ridley Scott (Scott Free Productions; Kinberg Genre; TSG Entertainment; 20th Century Fox)
  • Mad Max: Fury Road written by George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, and Nico Lathouris, directed by George Miller (Village Roadshow Pictures; Kennedy Miller Mitchell; RatPac-Dune Entertainment; Warner Bros. Pictures)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens written by Lawrence Kasdan, J. J. Abrams, and Michael Arndt, directed by J.J. Abrams (Lucasfilm Ltd.; Bad Robot Productions; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
  • Ex Machina written and directed by Alex Garland (Film4; DNA Films; Universal Pictures)
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron written and directed by Joss Whedon (Marvel Studios; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form (2,423 final ballots, 2219 nominating ballots)
  • Jessica Jones: “AKA Smile” written by Scott Reynolds, Melissa Rosenberg, and Jamie King, directed by Michael Rymer (Marvel Television; ABC Studios; Tall Girls Productions;Netflix)
  • Doctor Who: “Heaven Sent” written by Steven Moffat, directed by Rachel Talalay (BBC Television)
  • Grimm: “Headache” written by Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt, directed by Jim Kouf (Universal Television; GK Productions; Hazy Mills Productions; Open 4 Business Productions; NBCUniversal Television Distribution)
  • No Award
  • Supernatural: “Just My Imagination” written by Jenny Klein, directed by Richard Speight Jr. (Kripke Enterprises; Wonderland Sound and Vision; Warner Bros. Television)
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: “The Cutie Map” Parts 1 and 2 written by Scott Sonneborn, M.A. Larson, and Meghan McCarthy, directed by Jayson Thiessen and Jim Miller (DHX Media/Vancouver; Hasbro Studios)
Best Editor, Short Form (2,257 final ballots, 1891 nominating ballots)
  • Ellen Datlow
  • Sheila Williams
  • Neil Clarke
  • John Joseph Adams
  • No Award
  • Jerry Pournelle
Best Editor, Long Form (2,386 final ballots, 1764 nominating ballots)
  • Sheila E. Gilbert
  • Liz Gorinsky
  • No Award
  • Toni Weisskopf
  • Jim Minz
  • Vox Day
Best Professional Artist (1,907 final ballots, 1481 nominating ballots)
  • Abigail Larson
  • No Award
  • Michal Karcz
  • Larry Elmore
  • Larry Rostant
  • Lars Braad Andersen
Best Semiprozine (2,063 final ballots, 1457 nominating ballots)
  • Uncanny Magazine edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, and Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky
  • Strange Horizons edited by Catherine Krahe, Julia Rios, A. J. Odasso, Vanessa Rose Phin, Maureen Kincaid Speller, and the Strange Horizons staff
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies edited by Scott H. Andrews
  • No Award
  • Daily Science Fiction edited by Michele-Lee Barasso and Jonathan Laden
  • Sci Phi Journal edited by Jason Rennie
Best Fanzine (2,281 final ballots, 1455 nominating ballots)
  • File 770 edited by Mike Glyer
  • Lady Business edited by Clare, Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay, and Susan
  • No Award
  • Tangent Online edited by Dave Truesdale
  • Superversive SF edited by Jason Rennie
  • Castalia House Blog edited by Jeffro Johnson
Best Fancast (1,497 final ballots, 1267 nominating ballots)
  • No Award
  • Tales to Terrify, Stephen Kilpatrick
  • The Rageaholic, RazörFist
  • 8-4 Play, Mark MacDonald, John Ricciardi, Hiroko Minamoto, and Justin Epperson
  • Cane and Rinse, Cane and Rinse
  • HelloGreedo, HelloGreedo
Best Fan Writer (1,909 final ballots, 1568 nominating ballots)
  • Mike Glyer
  • No Award
  • Jeffro Johnson
  • Morgan Holmes
  • Shamus Young
  • Douglas Ernst
Best Fan Artist (1,855 final ballots, 1073 nominating ballots)
  • Steve Stiles
  • No Award
  • Christian Quinot
  • Matthew Callahan
  • Kukuruyo
  • disse86
The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (2,406 final ballots, 1922 nominating ballots)
Award for the best new professional science fiction or fantasy writer of 2014 or 2015, sponsored by Dell Magazines. (Not a Hugo Award, but administered along with the Hugo Awards.)
  • Andy Weir *
  • Alyssa Wong *
  • No Award
  • Pierce Brown *
  • Sebastien de Castell *
  • Brian Niemeier
* Finalists in their 2nd year of eligibility.

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