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The 2015 Hugo Awards

The 2015 Hugo Awards have been announced! Congratulations to the winners in this historic year.

The awards ceremony was livestreamed. Watching it in real time with [personal profile] norabombay in chat was a blast. I hope future Worlcons continue to make the awards ceremony available live for those of us offsite. A potentially fraught ceremony was handled with grace by the MCs, David Gerrold and Tananarive Due.

Nomination and voting statistics are up for this year's awards and are being crunched, as you would expect from SF/F fandom.

Comments:

The Best Novel Hugo came down to a tight race between The Three-Body Problem and The Goblin Emperor. I would have been pleased with either winning; both writers did something interesting, and each is in a position to keep writing and have future shots at the award.

I'm personally not a fan of "The Day the World Turned Upside Down", but its presence among the winners, along with Cixin Liu's The Three-Body Problem, means that two works in translation went home with rockets, in an award that rarely recognizes works in translation.

In many of the puppy-dominated categories, No Award crushed the puppy nominees. The notable exception was "Guardians of the Galaxy" for Best Dramatic Presentation - Long Form, where fandom's feelings about Chris Pratt, spaceships, and the Marvelverse carried the day.

The Marvelverse did really well overall, walking off with Hugos for "Guardians of the Galaxy" and Ms. Marvel: Volume 1. "Captain America" was nominated but lost out to its more standalone and less Bucky-angst-inducing sibling film (I love Sebastian Stan's ability to project damaged angstiness as much as the next fangirl, but I am so bored with movie fight scenes undercut by my awareness that all actors have been signed for another million movies) and Agents of SHIELD missed the ballot by ten nominations. The puppies campaigned for three of the BDP (Short Form) nominees, but in this particular category I'd be hard-pressed to guess which nominees would have made it on the ballot - or sunk deeper into the long list - without the puppy thing. Since Orphan Black made it onto the ballot over AoS, and went on to win with a respectable margin, I am not that fussed about AoS's near-miss.

Best Related Work is the category where the puppy influence really burns me. The five works that were bumped off the ballot by the puppies were:

What Makes This Book so Great (Jo Walton)
Chicks Dig Gaming (Jennifer Brozek, Robert Smith, and Lars
Pearson)
Shadows Beneath: The Writing Excuses Anthology (Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells, Howard Taylor)
Invisible: Personal Essays on Representation in SF (Jim C. Hines)
Tropes vs Women: Women as Background Decoration (Anita Sarkeesian)

Look at all those smart people and the cool things they wrote about! I would have voted for Walton's What Makes This Book So Great in a heartbeat. It's a collection of essays about novels Walton reread, which she wrote for Tor.com over a period of some years. If you scoll back far enough on Tor.com's Jo Walton Tag or search the website by a particular author, you can find most of the essays online for free. I adore the way Walton talks about reading; she is a good essayist, and her enthusiasm and depth of knowledge in SF/F jumps off the page.

Other notable bumps include, ironically, the Sarkeesian nomination, and the Hines and Chicks Dig Gaming bumps. ("Gamergate again?" you ask. "Why yes!" I have to say, "Yes, some people continue to behave badly on social media.")

Speaking of, social media was a landmine as the awards ceremony wound down, and continues to be contentious this morning.

I wasn't really impressed with the awards audience for cheering No Award, but as I was throwing my hands in the air with every category where poor quality work was not rewarded, I am scarcely in a position to criticize. The puppy slates and the ongoing childishness of the puppy subculture really struck a nerve in a community that tries to celebrate diversity and look to the future. Hopefully we can do this in the next Hugo cycle by nominating works written with skill and talent that use the expansive toolsets of a diverse genre to create interesting works of speculative fiction, in ways that acknowledge the field's history of pulp and the Golden Gate and the New Wave and cyberpunk and urban fantasy, and the rest of SF/F's rich history, without feeling constrained to color exclusively within those lines.

This entry cross-posted at http://ase.dreamwidth.org/654379.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.

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