Monday, August 24, 2015

2015 HUGO AWARDS: The Puppy Slates Are Overwhelmingly Rejected!

The 2015 Hugo Awards were given out on Saturday evening in Spokane Washington and the results were eye-opening, to say the least. Because of the Puppy kerfuffle (where two different cohorts of "fans" successfully coordinated efforts to place on the final Hugo ballot works and people using criteria different from mere merit and quality) I discovered that I could register and vote for the 2015 Hugo winners myself and did so.

In the end, even though there were only a few hundred ballots to nominate works, there ended up being 5,950 voters for the award winners.

The biggest news was that in five categories where the Sad Puppies/Rabid Puppies had successfully managed to completely fill all 5 slots on the ballot, the option of NO AWARD was deployed by a significant majority of voters. In the history of the Hugo awards there had been previously been a rand total o five NO AWARD winners and in one evening that tally was matched. The categories in which this occurred were: Best Novella, Best Short Story, Best Related Work, Best Editor (Short Form), and Best Editor (Long Form).

The second biggest story was that the Best Novel was won by Cixin Liu for The Three-Body Problem, which was my vote for the winner of this most important category. This was historic, because it was the first time an Asian man had won the Best Novel AND it was the first time a translated work had received this honor. Additionally, the two nominees associated with the Puppies, Skin Game by Jim Butcher and The Dark Between The Stars by Kevin J. Anderson both ended up below NO AWARD in the final tally (which is where I had placed them on my ballot, along with the 2nd place finisher The Goblin Emperor).

Best Novel (5653 final ballots, 1827 nominating ballots, 587 entries, range 212-387)
  • The Three Body Problem, Cixin Liu, Ken Liu translator (Tor Books)
  • The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison (Sarah Monette) (Tor Books)
  • Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie (Orbit US/Orbit UK)
  • No Award
  • Skin Game, Jim Butcher (Orbit UK/Roc Books)
  • The Dark Between the Stars, Kevin J. Anderson (Tor Books)
What lots of fans and observers are trying to figure out is exactly what are the relative sizes of the four groups who participated in the Hugo voting: Rabid Puppy supporters, Sad Puppy supporters, Anti-Puppies (like myself) or neutral voters. Right now the estimates seem to have the two Puppies groups at about 10% of the total each with the anti-Puppies roughly at 50%.

Also, since the Hugo award administrators release the vote counts for the Top 15 nominees in each category, we can also know exactly which works and people were left off the ballot because of the Puppy slates from this winter. Author Tobias Buckell has released the list of what the Hugo ballot would have looked like without the intervention of the Puppies. Here's the alternative history Best Novel category
Best NovelAncillary Sword by Ann Leckie
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin
Lock In by John Scalzi
City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennet
City of Stairs is a very interesting urban fantasy novel (which I haven;t yet reviewed but I intend to, as well as rad the upcoming sequel, City of Blades when it is released in 2016.) For some reason the Puppies hate John Scalzi with the passion of a thousand dying suns (probably because he's smarter, makes more money and is more popular than any of them) so they are probably pleased they denied him another Hugo nomination. (Scalzi's win of the 2013 Hugo for Best Novel for Redshirts is often cited by some of the "head Puppies" as What Is Wrong With Science Fiction.)

Another point people have noticed is that the Puppies prevented Andy Weir, the author of the best-selling science fiction book of the year (The Martian, soon to be a major motion picture starring Matt Damon directed by Ridley Scott) from being nominated for the non-Hugo for best New Writer called the John W. Campbell award. Instead that went to my choice Wesley Chu!

There were a whole bunch of word written about the Hugo awards before they happened, K'm sure there will be a whole lot written now that they have happened. It is likely that the Puppies will try to repeat their domination of the award nominations in January 2016 but there are now nearly 6,000 people (like myself) who are empowered to make our own nominations and try to blunt their desire to blow up science fiction's most prestigious award.

Happily, it is likely that technical changes to how the nominations are calculated will go into effect for 2017 year, since two proposals were passed at the recent Worldcon business meeting that are designed to blunt the impact of slates on the Hugo nominations. But until then, the fight will go on.

However, in the fight between the forces of good and evil, Saturday's results at the Hugo awards was a big win for the good guys who support inclusion and diversity (and playing by the rules).


Anonymous said...

The conflict between SJWs and the opposing group is filtering out into the wider community and I don't see it changing any time soon. I have been forced to take sides and I am firmly in the GamerGate supporters group as a progessive, gay man. I have had enough of the general hate that is being projected towards those of us who at first just wanted to left alone.

We played games and when corruption was identified between the makers and the reviewers, we voiced our opinions. These are billion dollar industries and instead of common sense prevailing, we were insulted. There are extremists in every group but the SJWs went much further doxxing, etc.

Calling GamerGate supporters losers, miscreants, hate-mongers, racists, misogynists and just about anything else that they can throw at us then, well, their will be a respnse from those who are none of those things. Gamers have patience, are used to gaming the rules, are dedicated and this is not going to go away.

We will be ready for the Hugo Awards, too.

Ron Buckmire said...

If you don't want to be called names like losers/miscreants/racists/misogynists then why not stop creating names like "SJW" and "CHORF" and "SMOF" etc? And maybe stop associating with people (like some of the Puppies or their supporters) who say racist, misogynistic or homophobic things? Just a thought!

It's very disappointing to me to see a self-described "progressive gay man" on the side of the Puppies. Do you really think the head of the Rabid Puppies shares your values? Do you really want to further his agenda? As for the Sad Puppies, I think they are mostly misguided but not generally hateful, but REGARDLESS both groups of Puppies acted like assholes when they tried to game the Hugo awards and the 5 NO AWARDS are a direct result of that action, and then what they did and said during the months-long saga that ensued which is well-documented on

I know nothing about the GamerGate crowd whatsoever but my understanding is that they too are engaged in some fight over how to accommodate diversity among their ranks.


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