The Hugos were awarded Saturday, August 22, 2015, in Spokane, Washington under an apocalyptic haze. The pictures coming through on social media were of an eerie, sickly yellow sky, looking, as one of my colleagues, Jed Hartman, suggested, very much like something from William Gibson’s Neuromancer, “The sky was the color of a television tuned to a dead channel.”
The haze was caused by nearby forest fires, but the end-of-the-world vibe seemed particularly appropriate for this year’s Hugos which have been their own bitter battlefield. As we discussed here extensively, the “War for the Hugos” combatants were the Sad Puppies/Rabid Puppies versus… well, the rest of us, many of whom the Puppies liked to label: SJWs (Social Justice Warriors) whom they claimed were a small clique of liberal insiders who conspired to keep Christian, white, male authors off the ballot.
I’m not sure how ‘small’ is defined by them, because, according to the Sasquan/WorldCON official tally, there were 5,653 valid voters this year. That is, according to some, sixty-five percent more than have EVER voted before. And at the end of it all, after the smoke cleared (almost literally), the majority of this record-breaking number of eligible voters repudiated nearly the whole Puppy slate.
In the categories dominated by the Puppies [which included Best Novella, Best Short Story, Best Related Work, Best Editor (Long Form), and Best Editor (Short Form),] the award went to no one, No Award. Or, as has been bandied about social media, “Noah Ward,” whom it was humorously suggested better rent a tux/get a nice dress to accept the honor. No Award has won before, but this year took an unprecedented number of awards.
Notably, the slate pick for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form, Guardians of the Galaxy won. I think one can demonstrably say that GoG won not because it was a Puppy pick, but because is was fucking good.1
In a year in which the Puppies have been whining about all those annoying people of color, women, and non-Christians, the Best Novel was given to a Chinese author, Cixin Liu (translated by Ken Liu) for Three-Body Problem, the Best Novelette was also a work in translation (The Day The World Turned Upside Down, Thomas Olde Heuvelt, Lia Belt translator), and the Best Graphic Story win went to Ms. Marvel which is not only about a Pakistani-American Muslim female super-hero, but is also written by G. Willow Wilson who is herself a Muslim woman.
It might be an understatement to say that the Puppy plan for world domination plan has backfired.
Of course, this has by no means shut them up.
We have Breitbart claiming the the “SJWs Burn Down the Hugos to Prove How Tolerant and Welcoming They Are,” and John C. Wright reports on his rambling, in-desperate-need-of-editing post on his blog that Tor editor, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, cursed at his wife.2. Wright also says that even though he says, in all “modesty,” that he is the best of the bestest, he won’t be writing for Tor anymore.
And so the war wages on….
[Featured pic via Shutterstock]
I’ve met PNH and he can be a not-very-well-socialized curmudgeon nerd, but he’s also a Roman Catholic who was called a “Christ-hater” by Wright. ↩