The lead up to this year’s Hugo Award ceremony reminded me a little of the 2012 election. All the polls and buzz at the time (and for months in advance) seemed to indicate that inveterate slimeball Mitt Romney was going to lose, but Mitt and Fox News seemed so convinced that they were going to win that I found myself in a knot of stress until Ohio was called for the President. In much the same way, the majority of reaction and community response to this year’s Puppy slates has been decidedly not in the Puppy’s favor, but they’ve seemed so certain all along that they were going to prove, well, something. Like the jerkwads at Fox News, they seemed certain that they were going to win–certain enough that they had everyone else on edge.
Even streaming the Hugo Award ceremony, the tension in the room felt palpable Saturday night, and it wasn’t until the announcement of the winner of the first major award that the atmosphere began to lighten. Anyone following the Puppy mess very closely knew that the John W. Campbell Award was going to be the bellwether, and as soon as non-slate nominee (the single non-slate nominee for that award) Wesley Chu’s name was read, it was as if everyone there breathed a collective sigh of relief and started to actually have fun.
The rest of the ceremony went off without a hitch. There were a couple of very nice acceptance speeches–Wesley Chu’s was notable, as well as Julie Dillon’s, Ken Liu’s (accepting for Cixin Liu’s The Three Body Problem), and those from the editors of Journey Planet and Lightspeed Magazine. David Gerrold and Tananarive Due were excellent once the mood in the room loosened up. Connie Willis was wonderful.
There were a couple of real surprises in store, which was nice. Unsurprisingly, No Award was the big winner of the night, taking five categories in which the Puppies had managed to secure all of the nominees. In more interesting news, though, Orphan Black won in Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form), which is excellent. It’s a great show, and it’s nice to see it finally getting some awards recognition (although Tatiana Maslany’s Emmy nomination this year is promising). In Best Graphic Story, Ms. Marvel took home the rocket, which was surprising to me, at least–I was fairly certain it would go to Saga.
Perhaps the biggest upset of the night, though, was in the Best Novel category. I LOVED The Three Body Problem, but it seemed to be considered a long shot to win. Most of the speculation I saw leading up to the awards seemed to agree that Best Novel would go to either Katherine Addison’s The Goblin Emperor or Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Sword, and the reaction to The Three Body Problem‘s win seemed to be generally pleasant surprise, but surprise nonetheless. It’s the first ever translated novel to win a Hugo Award, which makes the win historic as well. And if that wasn’t enough to hammer home the point that the Hugo Awards are about progress and change and forward thinking, the Best Novel winner was literally announced from space.
The full list of 2015 Hugo winners:
- Best Novel – The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu (Tor Books)
- Best Novella – No Award
- Best Novelette – “The Day the World Turned Upside Down” by Thomas Olde Heuvelt (Lightspeed, April 2014)
- Best Short Story – No Award
- Best Related Work – No Award
- Best Graphic Story – Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal (Marvel Comics)
- Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) – Guardians of the Galaxy
- Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) – Orphan Black: “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried”
- Best Professional Editor (Short Form) – No Award
- Best Professional Editor (Long Form) – No Award
- Best Professional Artist – Julie Dillon
- Best Semiprozine – Lightspeed Magazine, edited by John Joseph Adams
- Best Fanzine – Journey Planet, edited by James Bacon, Christopher J Garcia, Colin Harris, Alissa McKersie, and Helen J. Montgomery
- Best Fancast – Galactic Suburbia Podcast
- Best Fan Writer – Laura J. Mixon
- Best Fan Artist – Elizabeth Leggett
- The John W. Campbell Award – Wesley Chu
Probably the best general piece published this weekend about the Hugo Awards was over at Wired: “Who Won Science Fiction’s Hugo Awards and Why it Matters”.
io9 gives us an idea of the Hugo Awards we would have had if it wasn’t for the Puppies’ slates.
If you’re into that sort of thing, you can just read the full 2015 Hugo voting stats for yourself.
Black Gate is succinct in saying “Dear Puppies: Your Taste Sucks”.
And Foz Meadows’ piece is worth a read, “Hugos and Puppies: Peeling the Onion”.
I’m not naive enough to think this mess is going to be laid to rest after this, especially not when Vox Day has already published like eight posts since Saturday night threatening that he’s going to keep trying to destroy the awards. However, just looking at this year’s voting stats, it seems to me that his claim of 400 voters is actually somewhat exaggerated. I’d guess there were closer to 275-325 dedicated Puppy voters, and so I’m also guessing that Day’s claims that there are many more where those came from can be largely chalked up to Day’s delusions of grandeur.
I expect that there will be a Puppy slate or two next year, but I don’t expect they will be as successful as they were this year. We certainly aren’t going to be free of the Puppy whining and pouting (when they aren’t insisting that they were wildly unsuccessful on purpose) for some time, but I imagine they will lose interest after 2016. Surely, by 2017, someone, somewhere will have done something to earn a harassment campaign from these assholes that will direct their attention elsewhere.