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Some thoughts on the Hugo results

By / August 12, 2017 / no comments

Two things jump out at you when you look at this year’s Hugo results.

First: Practically all the winners were women. All the individual winners were women, and the group winners (Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda for Best Graphic Story; Lynne M. Thomas, Michael Damien Thomas, Michi Trota, Julia Rios, Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky of Uncanny Magazine for Best Semiprozine; Clare, Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay & Susan of Lady Business for Best Fanzine; Emma Newman & Peter Newman of Tea And Jeopardy for Best Fancast) were all or predominantly women. The only exceptions were the two Dramatic Presentation winners, in both of which the teams involved were all men. We’ve had strong female showings in the Hugos before, but this is the first time we’ve had something approaching a clean sweep.

Second: Every candidate clearly identified as part of a Sad or Rabid Puppies slate finished below No Award in the voting. The influence of the Puppies has been steadily declining, and now they have been distracted by the Dragon Awards. I wonder if this marks the end of their influence on the Hugo Awards?

The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth)   The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth)   The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth)

Other than that, I notice that N.K. Jemisin has now won the Best Novel award in successive years for The Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate, just at the moment when the third and final part of the sequence, The Stone Sky is published. Anyone care to bet against that completing the set next year?

Meanwhile Seanan McGuire seems to be turning into a predictable name on the Hugo ballot. Since winning the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2010, she has appeared on the Hugo ballot (as Seanan McGuire or as Mira Grant) an astonishing 11 times. This is the third time she has picked up a rocket.

The Starlit Wood: New Fairy TalesAs for the short story, “Seasons of Glass and Iron” by Amal El-Mohtar, which first appeared in the anthology The Starlit Wood, it seems to be easily the most popular story of the year. I’ve lost count of the award shortlists it has already appeared on, and this isn’t the first time it has picked up the prize.

And this was the last really big award announcement of the year (we’ve still got a few things like the Dragon Awards to come, but this is the last of the major international sf awards). So we’ll start compiling our checklist of which books stand out as the best of the year according to the various award juries and voters. That will come in the next few days; and after that we’ll be giving our own assessment of what were the best books of the year. It’ll be a very different list, I can virtually guarantee that.

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Paul

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