Here’s a brief recap: over the last few years a number of writers (primarily conservative Americans) have become increasingly convinced that the growing number of women and non-white authors winning Hugo Awards is somehow evidence that the awards have been ‘hijacked’ by a minority group of voters and social justice warriors (SJWs). Their concerns are succinctly summarized at the right-wing new site Breitbart.com.
To make a point about how the awards are influenced by what they perceive as a small group of liberal elites, a handful of authors created a slate of nominees heavily dominated by conservative writers, and asked their followers to support those slates in their entirety. The primary slates were Brad Torgersen’s Sad Puppies 3 and Vox Day’s Rabid Puppies list.
Under cover of this semi-political movement, which added roughly 200 additional nominating ballots to last year’s total (and nearly 800 to the 2013 total), at least one of the organizers heavily seeded his slate with his own works. Vox Day’s Rapid Puppies ballot included no less than ten nominees for his Castalia House publishing company, and listed himself for both Best Editor (Short Form) and Best Editor (Long Form).
The results? As tabulated by Mike Glyer over at File 770, a total of 61 final ballot nominees from Sad Puppies 3 and Rabid Puppies made the final list of nominees. Only 24 nominees did not come from either list.
In short, the Hugo ballot this year was essentially dictated by two individuals who asked their followers to vote for their suggested candidates, regardless of what they actually thought was deserving.
In related news, Black Gate, which was not included in the Sad Puppies slate but was part of Rabid Puppies, received its first Hugo nomination this year. We were not informed of our inclusion, and only found about it after we were contacted by the Sasquan awards committee last week. Black Gate blogger Matthew David Surridge, who found himself in a similar situation when he received a nomination as a result of being listed on both slates, discussed the reasons he declined the nomination here yesterday, in his lengthy article A Detailed Explanation.
Since the Black Gate nomination was for the entire site (which is run by a group of nearly 40 volunteers, many of whom are thrilled by the nomination), we did not decline. That’s a choice that will doubtless expose us to some (perhaps deserved) criticism. I’ll have more to say about all this later.
For now, I’ll just say that I think that an organized campaign to bring new fans into the voting process, while simultaneously urging them NOT to read broadly and make up their own minds, is a Spectacularly Bad Idea. Among other things, it badly damages the Puppies’ cause.
The stated goal of the Puppies slates is to make a very public point, and that point has now been made in a spectacular fashion. Yet there is already excited chatter about Sad Puppies 4, which hopes to have even more success next year.
The only way this will be interpreted is as an attempt to seize complete control of the Hugo ballot (which is already 71% owned by the Puppies), and silence all other voices. Whatever point the Puppies are attempting to make has already been lost. The authors they wished to celebrate by placing them on ballot will be badly hurt in the coming backlash (which is already beginning).
There will be a response, and it won’t be pretty. Last year, I don’t believe a single one of the Sad Puppies who made the Hugo nominating ballot placed above “No Award.” My guess is that virtually the entire awards slate will be rejected out of hand by Hugo voters, who do not take kindly to being dictated to.
The nominees for the 2015 Hugo Awards are:
Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie (Orbit)
The Dark Between the Stars, Kevin J. Anderson (Tor Books)
The Goblin Emperor, by Sarah Monette (writing as Katherine Addison) (Tor Books)
Lines of Departure, Marko Kloos (47North)
Skin Game, Jim Butcher (Roc Books)
Big Boys Don’t Cry, Tom Kratman (Castalia House)
“Flow,” Arlan Andrews, Sr. (Tor.com, 11-2014)
One Bright Star to Guide Them, John C. Wright (Castalia House)
“Pale Realms of Shade,” John C. Wright (The Book of Feasts & Seasons, Castalia House)
“The Plural of Helen of Troy,” John C. Wright (City Beyond Time: Tales of the Fall of Metachronopolis, Castalia House)
“Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium,” Gray Rinehart (Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show, 05-2014)
“Championship B’tok,” Edward M. Lerner (Analog, 09-2014)
“The Journeyman: In the Stone House,” Michael F. Flynn (Analog, 06-2014)
“The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale,” Rajnar Vajra (Analog, 07/08-2014)
“Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus,” John C. Wright (The Book of Feasts & Seasons, Castalia House)
Best Short Story
“Goodnight Stars,” Annie Bellet (The End is Now (Apocalypse Triptych Book 2), Broad Reach Publishing)
“On A Spiritual Plain,” Lou Antonelli (Sci Phi Journal #2, 11-2014)
“The Parliament of Beasts and Birds,” John C. Wright (The Book of Feasts & Seasons, Castalia House)
“Totaled,” Kary English (Galaxy’s Edge Magazine, 07-2014)
“Turncoat,” Steve Rzasa (Riding the Red Horse, Castalia House)
Best Related Work
“The Hot Equations: Thermodynamics and Military SF,” Ken Burnside (Riding the Red Horse, Castalia House)
Letters from Gardner, Lou Antonelli (The Merry Blacksmith Press)
Transhuman and Subhuman: Essays on Science Fiction and Awful Truth, John C. Wright (Castalia House)
“Why Science is Never Settled,” Tedd Roberts (Baen.com)
Wisdom from My Internet, Michael Z. Williamson (Patriarchy Press)
Best Graphic Story
Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal, written by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Adrian Alphona and Jake Wyatt, (Marvel Comics)
Rat Queens Volume 1: Sass and Sorcery, written by Kurtis J. Weibe, art by Roc Upchurch (Image Comics)
Saga Volume 3, written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples (Image Comics))
Sex Criminals Volume 1: One Weird Trick, written by Matt Fraction, art by Chip Zdarsky (Image Comics)
The Zombie Nation Book #2: Reduce Reuse Reanimate, Carter Reid (The Zombie Nation)
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
Captain America: The Winter Soldier, screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, concept and story by Ed Brubaker, directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo (Marvel Entertainment, Perception, Sony Pictures Imageworks)
Edge of Tomorrow, screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, and John-Henry Butterworth, directed by Doug Liman (Village Roadshow, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, 3 Arts Entertainment; Viz Productions)
Guardians of the Galaxy, written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman, directed by James Gunn (Marvel Studios, Moving Picture Company)
Interstellar, screenplay by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, directed by Christopher Nolan (Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, Legendary Pictures, Lynda Obst Productions, Syncopy)
The Lego Movie, written by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, story by Dan Hageman, Kevin Hageman, Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, directed by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller (Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, LEGO System A/S, Vertigo Entertainment, Lin Pictures, Warner Bros. Animation (as Warner Animation Group))
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
Doctor Who: “Listen”, written by Steven Moffat, directed by Douglas Mackinnon (BBC Television)
The Flash: “Pilot”, teleplay by Andrew Kreisberg & Geoff Johns, story by Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg & Geoff Johns, directed by David Nutter (The CW) (Berlanti Productions, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television)
Game of Thrones: “The Mountain and the Viper”, written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss, directed by Alex Graves ((HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; Television 360; Startling Television and Generator Productions)
Grimm: “Once We Were Gods”, written by Alan DiFiore, directed by Steven DePaul (NBC) (GK Productions, Hazy Mills Productions, Universal TV)
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 Editor, Short Form
Edmund R. Schubert
Bryan Thomas Schmidt
Best Editor, Long Form
Best Professional Artist
Abyss & Apex, Wendy Delmater editor and publisher
Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine, Andromeda Spaceways Publishing Association Incorporated, 2014 editors David Kernot and Sue Bursztynski
Beneath Ceaseless Skies, edited by Scott H. Andrews
Lightspeed Magazine, edited by John Joseph Adams, Stefan Rudnicki, Rich Horton, Wendy N. Wagner, and Christie Yant
Strange Horizons, Niall Harrison, editor-in-chief
Black Gate, edited by John O’Neill
Elitist Book Reviews, edited by Steven Diamond
Journey Planet, edited by James Bacon, Christopher J Garcia, Colin Harris, Alissa McKersie, and Helen J. Montgomery
The Revenge of Hump Day, edited by Tim Bolgeo
Tangent SF Online, edited by Dave Truesdale
Adventures in SF Publishing, Brent Bower (Executive Producer), Kristi Charish, Timothy C. Ward & Moses Siregar III (Co-Hosts, Interviewers and Producers)
Dungeon Crawlers Radio, Daniel Swenson (Producer/Host), Travis Alexander & Scott Tomlin (Hosts), Dale Newton (Host/Tech), Damien Swenson (Audio/Video Tech)
Galactic Suburbia Podcast, Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Presenters) and Andrew Finch (Producer)
The Sci Phi Show, Jason Rennie
Tea and Jeopardy, Emma Newman and Peter Newman
Best Fan Writer
Amanda S. Green
Laura J. Mixon
Best Fan Artist
Brad W. Foster
The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer
Eric S. Raymond
The Hugos are named after Hugo Gernsback, the founding editor of Amazing Stories, and this year will be awarded at the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention, Sasquan, in Spokane, Washington, on August 22, 2015.