Five categories result in ‘No Award’ at Hugos 2015
24th Aug 2015
The 2015 Hugo Award winners were announced on Saturday night, with Chinese author Liu Cixin topping the list for Best Novel with The Three Body Problem and G Willow Wilson scoring Best Graphic Story for Ms Marvel Volume One: No Normal.
But the biggest story of the night was the unprecedented number of categories in which no award was given, after voting members’ rejected a loaded slate of nominees.
Earlier this year, the Hugos attracted attention after two right-wing campaign groups, the Sad and/or Rabid Puppies, formed a voting bloc in an attempt to load nominations in favour of white, male writers. The controversy prompted two nominated writers to withdraw from the competition, while high profile sci-fi and fantasy authors including George RR Martin urged voters to reject the Puppy slate.
[This] equals the total number of times members have presented No Award in the entire history of the Hugo Awards And that’s exactly what’s happened, with the five categories featuring only Puppy-endorsed candidates, including Best Novella and Best Short Story, going unpresented as voters selected ‘No Award’ in protest.
Following Saturday’s announcement The World Science Fiction Society, which hosts the Hugo Awards, noted the five ‘No Award’ results “equals the total number of times that WSFS members have presented No Award in the entire history of the Hugo Awards”.
Not only that, but many of the categories that did secure winners are certainly not Puppy-friendly. G Willow Wilson‘s 16-year-old Muslim shapeshifting superhero woman protagonist presumably sticks in their craw, as must feminist writer and engineer Laura J Mixon‘s win for Best Fan Writer. In fact, not one Puppy-favoured nominee succeeded in winning an award, lending credence to Mixon’s acceptance speech assertion: “we must find non-toxic ways to discuss our conflicting points of view.”
Certainly less toxic than stacking the pack.
You can read the full list of winners, and non-winners, on the Hugo Awards website here.