2015 Hugo Awards

2015 Hugo Award TrophyPresented at: Sasquan, Spokane, Washington, USA on August 22, 2015

Hosts: David Gerrold and Tananarive Due

Base design: Matthew Dockrey

Awards Administration: John Lorentz, Ruth Sachter, Linda Deneroff, Ron Oakes, Dave McCarty, and Glenn Glazer




2,122 valid nominating ballots (2,119 electronic and 3 paper) were received and counted from the members of Loncon 3, Sasquan, and MidAmeriCon II the 2014, 2015, and 2016 World Science Fiction Conventions. 5,950 valid final ballots were cast by the members of Sasquan. For the full breakdown of voting and nomination see here (PDF).

Presentation of Best Novel at the 2015 Hugo Awards Ceremony

Making the Hugo Award trophy base (by Matthew Dockrey)

In some categories below, the members voted to give No Award in a category. This means no Hugo Award was presented in that category. In some categories, the members voted No Award ahead of some of the finalists. When this happened, we have listed No Award as if it was a finalist, with all finalists listed in the order in which they placed.

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)

Note: The Three-Body Problem was originally published in Chinese in 2008. The 2014 publication by Tor was the first English-language version, and therefore it is again eligible for the Hugos, according to section 3.4.1 of the WSFS Constitution.

Best Novella (5337 final ballots, 1083 nominating ballots, 201 entries, range 145-338)

  • No Award
  • “Flow”, Arlan Andrews, Sr. (Analog, 11-2014)
  • Big Boys Don’t Cry, Tom Kratman (Castalia House)
  • One Bright Star to Guide Them, John C. Wright (Castalia House)
  • “The Plural of Helen of Troy”, John C. Wright (City Beyond Time: Tales of the Fall of Metachronopolis, Castalia House)
  • “Pale Realms of Shade”, John C. Wright (The Book of Feasts & Seasons, Castalia House)

Note: Both Big Boys Don’t Cry and One Bright Star to Guide Them were previously published in much shorter versions, and were significantly expanded to novella-length in their 2014 publication. Following previous precedents, for the purposes of the 2015 Hugos they are designated as new works.

Best Novelette (5104 final ballots, 1031 nominating ballots, 314 entries, (72-267)

  • “The Day the World Turned Upside Down”, Thomas Olde Heuvelt, Lia Belt translator (Lightspeed, 04-2014)
  • No Award
  • “The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale”, Rajnar Vajra (Analog, 07/08-2014)
  • “Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium”, Gray Rinehart (Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show, 05-2014)
  • “The Journeyman: In the Stone House”, Michael F. Flynn (Analog, 06-2014)
  • “Championship B’tok”, Edward M. Lerner (Analog, 09-2014)

Best Short Story (5267 final ballots, 1174 nominating ballots, 728 entries, range 132-226)

  • No Award
  • “Totaled”, Kary English (Galaxy’s Edge Magazine, 07-2014)
  • “A Single Samurai”, Steven Diamond (The Baen Big Book of Monsters, Baen Books)
  • “Turncoat”, Steve Rzasa (Riding the Red Horse, Castalia House)
  • “On A Spiritual Plain”, Lou Antonelli (Sci Phi Journal , 11-2014)
  • “The Parliament of Beasts and Birds”, John C. Wright (The Book of Feasts & Seasons, Castalia House)

Best Related Work (4901 final ballots, 1150 nominating ballots, 346 entries, range 206-273)

  • No Award
  • “The Hot Equations: Thermodynamics and Military SF”, Ken Burnside (Riding the Red Horse, Castalia House)
  • “Why Science is Never Settled”, Tedd Roberts (Baen.com)
  • Transhuman and Subhuman: Essays on Science Fiction and Awful Truth, John C. Wright (Castalia House)
  • Letters from Gardner, Lou Antonelli (The Merry Blacksmith Press)
  • Wisdom from My Internet, Michael Z. Williamson (Patriarchy Press)

Best Graphic Story (4412 final ballots, 785 nominating ballots, 325 entries, range 60-201)

  • Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal, written by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Adrian Alphona and Jake Wyatt, (Marvel Comics)
  • Saga Volume 3, written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples (Image Comics))
  • Rat Queens Volume 1: Sass and Sorcery, written by Kurtis J. Weibe, art by Roc Upchurch (Image Comics)
  • Sex Criminals Volume 1: One Weird Trick, written by Matt Fraction, art by Chip Zdarsky (Image Comics)
  • No Award
  • The Zombie Nation Book : Reduce Reuse Reanimate, Carter Reid (The Zombie Nation)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form (5240 final ballots, 1285 nominating ballots, 189 entries, range 204-769)

  • Guardians of the Galaxy, written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman, directed by James Gunn (Marvel Studios, Moving Picture Company)
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier, screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, concept and story by Ed Brubaker, directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo (Marvel Entertainment, Perception, Sony Pictures Imageworks)
  • Edge of Tomorrow, screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, and John-Henry Butterworth, directed by Doug Liman (Village Roadshow, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, 3 Arts Entertainment; Viz Productions)
  • Interstellar, screenplay by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, directed by Christopher Nolan (Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, Legendary Pictures, Lynda Obst Productions, Syncopy)
  • The Lego Movie, written by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, story by Dan Hageman, Kevin Hageman, Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, directed by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller (Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, LEGO System A/S, Vertigo Entertainment, Lin Pictures, Warner Bros. Animation (as Warner Animation Group))

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form (4705 final ballots, 938 nominating ballots, 470 entries, range 71-170)

  • Orphan Black: “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried”, ” written by Graeme Manson, directed by John Fawcett (Temple Street Productions, Space/BBC America)
  • Doctor Who: “Listen”, written by Steven Moffat, directed by Douglas Mackinnon (BBC Television)
  • Game of Thrones: “The Mountain and the Viper”, written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss, directed by Alex Graves ((HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; Television 360; Startling Television and Generator Productions)
  • The Flash: “Pilot”, teleplay by Andrew Kreisberg & Geoff Johns, story by Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg & Geoff Johns, directed by David Nutter (The CW) (Berlanti Productions, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television)
  • Grimm: “Once We Were Gods”, written by Alan DiFiore, directed by Steven DePaul (NBC) (GK Productions, Hazy Mills Productions, Universal TV)

Best Editor, Short Form (4850 final ballots, 870 nominating ballots, 187 entries, range 162-279)

  • No Award
  • Mike Resnick
  • Jennifer Brozek
  • Bryan Thomas Schmidt
  • Vox Day
  • Edmund R. Schubert (Withdrew after ballot finalized)

Best Editor, Long Form (4907 final ballots, 712 nominating ballots, 124 entries, range 166-368)

  • No Award
  • Toni Weisskopf
  • Sheila Gilbert
  • Anne Sowards
  • Jim Minz
  • Vox Day

Best Professional Artist (4354 final ballots, 753 nominating ballots, 300 entries, range 118-188)

  • Julie Dillon
  • No Award
  • Kirk DouPonce
  • Alan Pollack
  • Nick Greenwood
  • Carter Reid

Best Semiprozine (3880 final ballots, 660 nominating ballots, 100 entries, range 94-229)

  • Lightspeed Magazine, edited by John Joseph Adams, Stefan Rudnicki, Rich Horton, Wendy N. Wagner, and Christie Yant
  • Strange Horizons, Niall Harrison, editor-in-chief
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies, edited by Scott H. Andrews
  • No Award
  • Abyss & Apex, Wendy Delmater editor and publisher
  • Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine, Andromeda Spaceways Publishing Association Incorporated, 2014 editors David Kernot and Sue Bursztynski

Best Fanzine (3818 final ballots, 576 nominating ballots, 162 entries, range 68-208)

  • Journey Planet, edited by James Bacon, Christopher J Garcia, Colin Harris, Alissa McKersie, and Helen J. Montgomery
  • No Award
  • Black Gate, edited by John O’Neill (Withdrew after ballot finalized)
  • Tangent SF Online, edited by Dave Truesdale
  • Elitist Book Reviews, edited by Steven Diamond
  • The Revenge of Hump Day, edited by Tim Bolgeo

Best Fancast (3884 final ballots, 668 nominating ballots, 162 entries, range 69-179)

  • Galactic Suburbia Podcast, Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Presenters) and Andrew Finch (Producer)
  • Tea and Jeopardy, Emma Newman and Peter Newman
  • No Award
  • The Sci Phi Show, Jason Rennie
  • Adventures in SciFi Publishing, Brent Bower (Executive Producer), Kristi Charish, Timothy C. Ward & Moses Siregar III (Co-Hosts, Interviewers and Producers)
  • Dungeon Crawlers Radio, Daniel Swenson (Producer/Host), Travis Alexander & Scott Tomlin (Hosts), Dale Newton (Host/Tech), Damien Swenson (Audio/Video Tech)

Best Fan Writer (3884 final ballots, 777 nominating ballots, 265 entries, range 129-201)

  • Laura J. Mixon
  • No Award
  • Jeffro Johnson
  • Dave Freer
  • Amanda S. Green
  • Cedar Sanderson

Best Fan Artist (3476 final ballots, 296 nominating ballots, 198 entries, range 23-48)

  • Elizabeth Leggett
  • Spring Schoenhuth
  • Ninni Aalto
  • Steve Stiles
  • Brad W. Foster

The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (4338 final ballots, 851 nominating ballots, 220 entries, range 106-229)
Award for the best new professional science fiction or fantasy writer of 2013 or 2014, sponsored by Dell Magazines. (Not a Hugo Award, but administered along with the Hugo Awards.)

  • Wesley Chu*
  • No Award
  • Kary English*
  • Eric S. Raymond
  • Jason Cordova
  • Rolf Nelson

*Finalists in their 2nd year of eligibility.



605 thoughts on “2015 Hugo Awards

  1. I note that you leave out that the people you seem to have a problem with, whom I happen to be one of, PAID just like everyone else for the right to cast our votes. So my question is why is everyone so upset about the organization making more money and the voter base being expanded?

    ” It’s about a group (probably of around 200 people) who have gamed the nomination process”

    Unlike the group that normally games the process and has done so for the past decade or more.

    ” I don’t like people telling me who I should vote for.”

    Yea, like someone was forced to vote SP. Have you ever considered that maybe the people who voted are Sci-Fi fans themselves who just happen to agree that the titles deserved to be on the nomination list? Sad Puppies actually got me interested in the HUGO again after about 15 years, and no I didn’t vote straight SP.

    It is just amazing to me how many people want to act like toddlers and gripe and moan about how it was a corrupted process, blah blah blah, they can’t actually say that the nominee’s actually don’t deserve to be on that list, because each of them do.

    And now that same vicious clique who wants to gripe and moan is leading a campaign to have everyone vote “No Award”, so basically they are saying that since the ones they want can’t win no one should win.

    1. Considering that the specifically stated goals of the campaign was to force everything off the ballot other than their choices, I think that saying that “if we can’t win, then nobody should be able to win” is a gun that points both directions.

      There is a big difference between people saying, “Here’s what I wrote last year and if you liked it I hope you vote for it,” and “here is a list of five candidates; vote for these to make my political enemies cry.” In addition, the various recommendation lists such as those posted on the front page of this web site do not confine themselves to forming a curated slate designed to cut off all further debate, but generally include many more recommendations than their are available ballot slots.

      Now perhaps you believe that there are Secret Cabals that issue marching orders to their minions to go forth and vote a particular slate every year, but I’ve been a Hugo Award administrator three times and have spoken with many others. Such behavior is very easy to spot when watching the ballots come in, and there’s been no sign of it.

      Of course, you’re always welcome to vote No Award in any category and at any position if you think that the finalists are not worthy of the award, and you always have been able to do do. The last time it won was 1977, but it’s always on the ballot.

      1. That’s BS, Kevin. They NEVER said they wanted to force everyone else off. They joked that it would be amazing if that happened, but they never said it was their goal. They did say, however, that their goal was to get more people of all kinds nominated, rather than just that incestous few that met the requirements of the self appointed lords and masters of Scifi.

        Facts please, annotations where they said it was a goal, that wasn’t said in jest. And “thats the impression I got” is unacceptable as a response.

    2. “And now that same vicious clique who wants to gripe and moan is leading a campaign to have everyone vote “No Award”, so basically they are saying that since the ones they want can’t win no one should win.”

      You misunderstand the people proposing this (or at least me). I am sure that at least some of the people on the ballot this year that were on the sad / rabid slate thoroughly deserve to be on it. I certainly recognise some of the people on the slate and like their work.

      The proposal that people on the slate should be voted below “no award” is not because people or works are not liked, it is because block voting is not liked. It has not happened before, as Kevin has said. (I know you have difficulty in believing this, but unless you are willing to call Kevin and other Hugo Administrators liars then this is the case.)

      1. So in other words, “it’s happened before, but we said nothing, because it was quiet. But this..this is open and embarrasing and outrageous” is the attitude I’m getting here.

        It wasn’t “polite”, and it was out in the open, therefore, those damn cons and their win over Gore, lets change the electoral colle…”oh, sorry, crossing examples here.

        Right, right, back on course. If the legal, lawful rules are not to our liking now, lets change them because they’ve been used to show up the men and women behind the curtai…..dammit, I keep doing that, don’t I!

        1. Rick, if you want to believe all those conspiracy fables then so be it. Kevin has told you the truth and you don’t want to see it out there.

          There’s no point in debating with people who have blinkers on.

  2. Kevin you have been immanently fair thus far, but yes I do see a difference in a campaign to have people nominated and a campaign to have “No Award” just because people are mad that their “faction” didn’t win. Whether it is liked or not the Hugo Awards is a popularity contest and there is absolutely nothing wrong with the list of nominee’s this year.

    So I will break it down to simple questions.

    1. Is there anyone on that list that doesn’t deserve to be there?

    If there are then I don’t see them.

    2. Was anything that happened against the rules.

    Nope, I looked.

    3. Was the Hugo Award “harmed”?

    Expanded interest, publicity, and more money? Nope can’t see the harm there.

    So to me here is what really happened. A group of folks who wanted to see different authors ,who are very deserving of the award, nominated for an award that is decided by popular vote got together and made that happen. I care that the nominee’s are deserved of the award, not the motivations for SP, and from what I can see they are all deserved of the award, wouldn’t you agree?

    Now what I see is basically what I will call, “the old guard” having a hissy fit because the nominee’s aren’t who they wanted. Funny I thought Hugo was a fan award, not a certain fans award, or just these fans award. Am I wrong? Out of the 100 or more books I read for pleasure each year probably about 60 to 70% are Sci-Fi, so why is my vote for those authors less deserving than any other fans, just because I happened to agree with SP/RP’s lists? I tend to read novel and I see authors that I love to read represented throughout the nominations and that makes me happy, because I believe they deserve the award.

    Frankly, I resent the seeming implication that I must have voted for SP suggestion because I must be some kind of mindless right wing nut. (No that is not directed at you Kevin, let me be very clear.) But certain “high ranking” members of the old guard are saying exactly that and they are making themselves and the Hugo’s look bad all because of their own vicious petty petulant hate. That’s just my opinion, that and 50 cents won’t even get you a bad cup of coffee.

    1. 1. Is there anyone on that list that doesn’t deserve to be there?

      No work is on the final ballot that does not qualify to be on the final ballot by the technical rules. “Deserve” is a subjective value judgment that can only be made by individual members. No nominee (in any year) is likely to have been nominated by a majority of the electorate, only a plurality. This is one of the reasons No Award is on the ballot all the time. It’s how the membership as a whole can make the value judgment of whether that work deserved to be on the ballot.

      2. Was anything that happened against the rules?

      No. Nothing was done that was against the rules. Against all tradition, against all prior practice, yes. But not illegal in a technical sense. Nobody has ever organized a bloc vote of the scope involved, or pitched it as “vote for these things to make those people unhappy.”

      3. Was the Hugo Award “harmed”?… Expanded interest, publicity, and more money? Nope can’t see the harm there.

      If more money in the coffers of the current Worldcon and a huge amount of controversy are your own metrics, I can see how you would decide that there was no harm done.

      I thought Hugo was a fan award, not a certain fans award, or just these fans award.

      The Hugo is an award given by the members of the World Science Fiction Society. It is not an award from “every person who ever consumed any sort of SF/F genre entertainment product anywhere in the world.” Now the way you join WSFS isn’t hard; you pay the membership dues ($40 this year). But the Hugo is not and never has been “the award from all SF fans anywhere.”

      Personally, I’ve always felt that people who believed that the Hugo Awards (or Nebula Awards, or Locus Awards, or any others) institutionally do not reflect their views would be better served by setting up awards that do so. (See, for example, the Prometheus Awards for libertarian SF.) But setting up awards is not an easy process. (I know; I’ve done it, as one of the directors of the SF & F Translation Awards. We managed two years but disbanded them late last year due to lack of resources to keep them going.)

      Frankly, I resent the seeming implication that I must have voted for SP suggestion because I must be some kind of mindless right wing nut.

      You might want to consider the avowed views of the leadership of the Rabid Puppies slate, then, with which it is difficult for the Puppies to not find themselves associated. When your pack leader actually thinks the best thing for the Worldcon and the Hugo Awards would be to “burn them down,” one has to wonder how much good faith one should ascribe to him.

      Those of us who have spent many years in volunteer service to WSFS resent voting slates and bloc voting of any sort. This is not a specific reaction to you personally, but to the tactics used. Historically, the final ballot performance of candidates perceived by a majority of the electorate to have reached the ballot by less-than-ethical means has been poor.

      1. You said:

        “Historically, the final ballot performance of candidates perceived by a majority of the electorate to have reached the ballot by less-than-ethical means has been poor.”

        But when certain categories include only titles or persons from one or both of these 2 lists, the only other option is to vote “no award.”

    2. 1. Is there anyone on that list that doesn’t deserve to be there?

      [Named finalist redacted. I would really prefer that people not debate the relative merits of individual candidates here. There are plenty of forums for that elsewhere. And as I said elsewhere, the answer to that question is that it’s up to the individual voters to decide what candidates don’t deserve to be on the finalist list, because it is a subjective and personal value judgement. -ed.]

  3. Every year there is contention around the Hugos, some years more than most. And always the issue is around voting, vote garnering and manipulation of the system – though the manipulation actually is just a reflection on how fandom views itself rather than the voting.

    There are also problems with the preference system in place as well, and the issues this creates where one work could get a heap of first preference vote, but still be surpassed by a work that only got a large number of other preferences.

    The organizers do indeed have their hands tied as these are the rules and systems in place, and when you have an award where everyone has their say then of course the unhappy will indeed yelp loudly.

    Because of the structure of the voting system it can only ever be seen as a political verdict, as the system is based on a democracy system, a political device in itself, so lobbying, block voting, favour votes, all things associated with the democratic system will be shown in this smaller venue of an award. While it annoys me, then democracy can annoy me with its fickleness, I am happy there is an award at least. Do the brightest and the best win? In the awards heyday you could say yes, as everything was new and everybody was excited and engaged, but now it is more about proving something is of value and doing this proving by some rather odd selections. Political? Only as much as voting generally goes – the popular get in, the not so, well, not.

    For the Hugos to earn any true value it would have to venture into dangerous territory, and an area that is just as much politized as what is already in place. But, the system has been in place for major International awards for a long time.

    The proposed variant, while a suggestion is full of other problems and one being the individual’s right to vote. Or in the instance of the Hugo, you pay to vote. I don’t know of any other award where this is really beneficial to the award or the recipients. Maybe the Brittish Awards also have this function, but speaking to one of the organizers some years ago it was made apparent voting participation was pretty low – as small as only 75 voters across the board. I would see this as a problem.

    There could be a compromise made in the future, but it takes some horrendous planning and will power to make it work. In Australia (granted smaller venue) works for consideration for the Aurealis Award need to be first registered as eligible. There is a selection panel that reviews all the works (supplied by publishers or writers) and the short list supplied by the judges, with one of the five as deemed by the judges, in this case 3 – to be the recipient.

    A system I used with Australian Shadows, which I think has changed now (I set it up, but didn’t run it) was a similar process as the Aurealis, but with a professional author/judge to select the recipient from the top five supplied.

    With the Hugo you are talking about 1000s of works in some categories, which means vetting and selecting is rather an arduous task, but when you make as a condition works must be registered on an online data base and works supplied to X judges, you do get the more hardy participating. The organization would move away from just a nomination phase to a more targeted search. With teams of 3 judges, with maybe twenty teams for some of the broader cats, you can vet workds down from 1000s to say sixty quickly and then the sixty also judged down to 5 or even 10 by the last teams. So the voting system isn’t completely replaced. The top 5 or 10 are announced for judging by the fans and attendees of the con. This way there has been a peer type review process involved at some point in the process and the vetting is done by willing readers. Given authors make available works in the final ballot for readers, the idea of 10 on a vote ballot is reasonable. Dealing with the preference system is a real difficulty and this is part of the reason why democratic systems tend to get a bit messed up. I call it ‘But it is my right’ syndrome. Membership of the con can be supplied with 10 vote options, ranging 1 to 10 points. This way the only thing you are looking at are pure numbers, not back counts or cross counts. This enable the first across the line with the most accumulated numbers to be the recipient.

    While I do try to make this sound rather simple, I know to make change is damn hard, seriously so, and no one if anyone will be happy with the change. But, if you want things to be taken seriously while still supporting the core principles of the award, then maybe something like this does have to happen.

    What happens if things stay the same? The problems will be publishers, who do not like bad press, will edge away. Slowly at first, the odd not showing up here or there, and author not being available perhaps, then it shifts to no representation at all, because one again there is contention and argument over the awards.

    I will of course follow the awards like I always do, and I still think they are very important, to one the industry, but also to the author who may receive the award. But let us not cheapen the award to the point where even the recipient may be less than thrilled.

  4. ” Against all tradition, against all prior practice, yes. ”

    These things change, it happens with time.

    “vote for these things to make those people unhappy.”

    Ok, so is the assumption that everyone who voted for suggestions by SP did it just to make that little clique unhappy? Because if that is how they feel, then my advice to them is “don’t flatter yourselves”.

    “Nobody has ever organized a bloc vote of the scope involved”

    This I have to disagree with, I see the “old guard” as the bloc that has voted, now there are new member who are forming their own bloc’s.

    “a huge amount of controversy”

    Yes, controversy that has been heightens by the “old guard” and their absolute meltdown. (I refuse to use names but it should be obvious who I am referring to) I have seen vicious personals attacks in public area’s, calling people who supported SP things such as “Sociopath’s” and most of those are coming from members of the “old guard”, who’s opinions I used to respect. At least 2 of those I have lost all respect for in their reactions to the Nominations.

    “But the Hugo is not and never has been “the award from all SF fans anywhere.”

    “Personally, I’ve always felt that people who believed that the Hugo Awards (or Nebula Awards, or Locus Awards, or any others) institutionally do not reflect their views would be better served by setting up awards that do so. ”

    So the dirty outsiders should so elsewhere? Come on Kevin your better than that. (Yes, that is exactly how those comments made me feel.)

    “Rabid Puppies slate”

    Actually I only mentioned RP because I saw it mentioned elsewhere, I honestly hadn’t looked into them until after the nominee’s were announced.

    “Those of us who have spent many years in volunteer service to WSFS resent voting slates and bloc voting of any sort.”

    Good, I hope you will come out against the effort to start the “No Award” Voting block.

    Frankly, it is the viciousness of the response that has me baffled and it makes those of us who want to be included feel unwelcome.

    “than-ethical means”

    What breach of “ethics”? The rules were followed, people paid to be able to vote. The process was followed. So there was a campaign to get certain authors voted for in a popularity contest? So what, we have the same thing every year in November here in the US. There is nothing “unethical” about it.

    What I can tell you is that looking at the reactions I know which side of the fence is being the most offensive. What it comes down to for me, is either paying members have the right to vote and vote the way they darned well please and if they do then how they vote or why they voted for what is no one else’s business. Either that or the awards should be shut down.

    As far as the obvious personal grudges on both sides I suggest a big ring and those inflatable Sumo costumes and let them get it on.

    1. This I have to disagree with, I see the “old guard” as the bloc that has voted.

      That would be true if the “old guard” consisted of one person who took suggestions, decided which five works should be nominated, and issued The Approved Slate. Since this has never happened before, I conclude that such a bloc of such a scope has never existed.

      hat it comes down to for me, is either paying members have the right to vote and vote the way they darned well please and if they do then how they vote or why they voted for what is no one else’s business.

      You’re right. You do. And you have the right to complain bitterly about this “old guard” who you are convinced have been secretly producing bloc votes. (They haven’t been, but I don’t know what will convince you otherwise.) And they have the same right to complain about your votes as you do about theirs. And they have the same right to vote that you do. And if a majority of the members of the Worldcon who participate in the final ballot vote for something other than what you wanted, that’s right, too.

      And if the members of WSFS vote to change their rules to make it more difficult for organized minorities to dominate the nominations by producing bloc votes, well, then, shouldn’t you be happy about that, too, given your contention that there has been a Secret Conspiracy Bloc Vote all along?

      1. Keith, you’re either completely out of touch with what your OWN people are saying, or you’re complicit in what has been going on within Worldcon and the TOR publishing group for years. This string lays out ALL the things you say didn’t ever happen, and points out pretty conclusively that Teresa Nielsen Hayden and most probably her husband are part of and/or leaders of the clique. I’m 63 years old, have read science fiction since I was 10 or 11 years old and never attended a “con” because I worked for a living. And you have the gall to tell me ‘I’ am not a real fan? Really???


        1. never attended a “con” because I worked for a living

          These two things are not mutually exclusive, says a 20-year employee of an international supply-chain-management company who has attended every Worldcon since 1989 and co-chaired one in 2002. Unless you’re a trust-fund baby (which I’m not) or otherwise independently wealthy, you’re going to be able to do that much travel without a job to pay for the hobby.

          You’re convinced that there is a secret cabal giving people marching orders. If there were, Hugo Award administrators would have seen it. We haven’t. It isn’t happening. Consider the possibility that that publisher might just happen to publish stories that are more popular with the people who have tended to join Worldcon and vote for the Hugo Awards.

          It’s not that you’re not a fan; it’s just that you’re not a fan who has participated in the fandom subculture known as Worldcon, apparently. Fandom is large; it contains multitudes.

          The World Science Fiction Society does not consist of “every person in the world who has consumed any sort of SF/F genre entertainment in any form at any time.” It consists of people who have paid membership dues to join the World Science Fiction Society. Most, but not all, of these people have been people doing to to either attend or support the World Science Fiction Convention.

          1. So obviously I’m ‘unworthy’ in your eyes of being a member… So be it. You’ll never see another penny from me. FYI, I actually spent my money buying and reading SF while in the military, and giving most of those books away to other sailors and to libraries maintained by the USO and other organizations.

          2. You’re reading something into what I wrote that I didn’t say. I never told you that you were “unworthy” of anything. Your decision to spend your discretionary income sharing your love of SF/F with your fellow service-members is laudable.

            Of course membership in WSFS is voluntary. Nobody is twisting your arm to join it. Naturally, if you don’t join, you can’t vote in the organization’s elections, any more than you could vote in your local Elks lodge elections if you weren’t a member, or something like that.

      2. “That would be true if the “old guard” consisted of one person who took suggestions, decided which five works should be nominated, and issued The Approved Slate. Since this has never happened before, I conclude that such a bloc of such a scope has never existed.”

        And I conclude that your “one person” argument is a straw man designed to divert attention from the fact that publishing houses, magazines, and editors have been swaying things for two decades by what they allow to be published and who they back, and thus the “organized” system you refer to is simply a beard to hide their duplicitous intent.

        “And if the members of WSFS vote to change their rules to make it more difficult for organized minorities to dominate the nominations by producing bloc votes, well, then, shouldn’t you be happy about that, too, given your contention that there has been a Secret Conspiracy Bloc Vote all along?”

        Yes, we’ve seen this before, such as the last Mondale campaign where rules were changed in the middle of the election to gain a desired outcome. Hoist on their own petard, and suddenly, the rules must be changed to stop those damn dirty ap….uh, fans, that are interloping and destroying the “integrity” of the Hugo’s.

        How’s that sounding so far. Sorry, Kevin, your rational seems a bit thin here. Sure, change it. Lets get a whole bunch more people that have been marginalized by the Hugo’s and their clique in the past in to vote. Lets keep going and going and going and at some point…maybe, just maybe, actual fandom will be represented.

        Cause we aren’t going away now.

        1. publishing houses, magazines, and editors have been swaying things for two decades by what they allow to be published

          Publishers are allowed to publish whatever they want. That’s known as a “free press.” It’s an interesting concept. I suggest you research it.

          WSFS is not in the business of licensing publishers, nor is it any of our business who publishes what.

          1. Of course they are free. I know about that. Authors put their livelihoods in the hands of people with a certain viewpoint and are at their mercy. Just look at what Sarah Hoyt has written.

            And again with your condescension. I suggest you open your eyes and see that the damn has burst. Independent publishing means that the control is no longer in the hands of just a small group of publishers. Communications are the first thing to be controlled in totalitarian states and their ilk. And when the control twists out of their hands, they start to scream and rage and the spittle flies.

            Sound familiar?

            You keep saying the administrators have seen no evidence of an organized plot. I keep saying you don’t need one when you’ve got the good ole boy rigging the game before it even gets to you.

            And I’ll keep saying it while that happens.

          2. Mr. Bennett:

            From the tone of your messages, there is nothing that The Hugo Awards is likely to ever do to satisfy you. I heartily recommend that you go forth and coordinate with your fellow like-minded individuals to create an Award that properly reflects what you personally believe is the best in SF and Fantasy. Or you could just go ahead and buy your favorite authors works, for as more than one of them has said, money is the best reward of all.

    1. Per the announcement, “A list of the top 15 nominees in each category, along with the number of nominations received by each, will be released after the Hugo Awards Ceremony on Saturday, 22 August, 2015 at Sasquan.”

      1. Thanks! I missed that when I read through the intro. I guess I skipped to the bottom. 🙂

  5. Interesting to see the effects of block voting here. The first odd handful of comments are all about how great and wonderful the slate and the outcome is.

    Which, mmmm, kinda runs contrary to the discussions elsewhere (except for obvious exceptions). They’re also generally out of line with such comments here in the past.

    I wonder if there aren’t a handful of people running around the web trying to cast a positive light on this whole thing in venues targeted at those they’ve defined as “the others”. Such a thing surely isn’t possible…..

    1. Ah yes, the gentleman that told authors that wound up on the SP slate they better get right with themselves and run. Nice the way you left off the implied “or else” there.

      1. Rick,

        you seem to respond to everything with a truly distorted take, so there’s little point.

        I didn’t tell anyone to run away from the list. I said that I would not vote for anyone on a slate and that the solution to not being placed below No Award was to disavow inclusion on the list.

        You’re also conveniently over-looking the fact that Andromeda Spaceways has done that, a blogger from Black Gate has withdrawn from nomination entirely and the editor of Black Gate magazine has stated that, if he were voting this year, he would be placing HIS OWN MAGAZINE below No Award.

        I’ll be interested to see how you distort this, next time around.

  6. Yep, Bloc voting is frowned upon. So what is the reaction? “Lets organize a “no award” bloc vote!” (Not implying that you are a part of that.)

    Kevin’s protestations to the contrary, (and let me be clear I believe he is being completely truthful from his point of view), I am not naive enough to believe that there has never been collusion of any sort to affect the vote. The reason I don’t believe it is simple, Humans are involved.

    Now this may be the first time an internet campaign has been used to affect the vote and/or the first time that it has been this successful, but I mean that is just part of the internet age.

    So here is what I see as a new member. SP1 and 2 really not that successful so they were basically ignored. But now SP3 has upset the apple cart. Now the non-SP (old members or whatever) are looking at people that supported SP suggestion and treating them like dirty outsiders who have desecrated the sanctity of their holy temple.

    So the anger is being directed at the authors who were nominated because they were on the list, without any thought that they might actually be deserving of the award and/or at the people who voted for SP suggestions because it must be politically motivated voting. Has anyone stopped for a moment to think that I and a majority of the SP voters voted because we actually believe the titles deserved to be nominated and don’t give a tinkers darn about the politics or about the interpersonal squabbles between the authors, editors, former editors, and what not.

    You may not like the way it happened, but voting “No Award” because you didn’t like the process is about the equal of a petty petulant toddler taking his ball home because the game he wanted didn’t get picked by the group, so he will make sure no one can play. Which is exactly what the “No Award” folks are doing.

    1. Of course there have been past collisions to affect the vote. There was 1989 when someone “voted the phone book” to get a specific nominations in. (The nominee, who wasn’t behind it, withdrew.) There was the nomination of Battlefield Earth, widely seen as a collusion by the Church of Scientology, albeit not so blatant as the pile of money orders purchased on the same day at the same post office accompanying the pile of nominations for the same work in 1989. These things aren’t new, nor are they very difficult to spot.

      When the nominees didn’t suit you, presumably because people you dislike had control of the process, you had the right (and indeed I would say that as a responsible voting member, the responsibility) to vote “No Award.” Why do you think it’s on the ballot?

      1. Well, Kevin, if they aren’t new, and they aren’t difficult to spot, and they challenge the integrity of the Hugo’s, why haven’t they been handled before? Why now, when you’ve clearly been embarrassed at the fact that the unwashed masses have stood and said given a hearty “Bite me” to the publishing houses and ego maniacal editors that seem to demand fealty, such as what Sarah Hoyt writes about?

        1. Mr. Bennett: Because whenever organized blocs have managed to shoehorn works onto the final ballot that left the majority of the members of the Worldcon who vote scratching their heads, one of the following things has happened:

          1. The nominee has withdrawn. (This happened when it appears that someone with more money and enthusiasm than common sense “voted the phone book” by purchasing multiple memberships under different names. There was never any implication that the nominee was involved in this campaign.

          2. The members of WSFS, voting by the rules, not only did not give an award to the “tainted” nominee, they voted it in last place, sometimes even behind No Award.

          In other words, the existing system is designed to reject nominees that the majority of the final ballot voters do not think worthy of the society’s highest honor. Frankly, anyone who actually cared about the World Science Fiction Society and its traditions would have known this long before coming to the table. The selection rules for the Hugo Awards have been substantially the way they are today (discounting minor tweaks) for many years. They’re not secret, and there are people who will be happy to explain areas where they are unclear to anyone who asks.

          1. Because they work for “who’s in charge” and right now, it’s one side, however that effect takes place.

            Above you said something along the lines of “hugo cannot satisfy you, go start your own”.

            You, Sir, are wrong. Hugo can satisfy many people by becoming less insular, but opening the field to more than just the publishing house side approved author’s, by more than just the editor approved authors, by more than just the folks too damn scared for a living to buck the system, that YES I”LL SAY IT AGAIN rigs the game before it gets to the Hugo’s.

            A nominee backed out from one. That shows THEIR integrity. Hugo could have shown theirs by doing what was needed before to correct it rather than just a “tweaking”. But now, when the bias in the process has been esposed, it’s time to “correct things”.

            Sounds like a horse and barn door situation to most reasonable people.

            The Hugos meant something when people like Spider Robinson and Roger Zelazny were in the field. Imagination, story before message, I’d like to see them get back there. You may say they still are, but a preponderance of voters, even if it was a Bloc vote, stood up and said the Hugo’s aren’t.

            In a country (the US) where less than fifty percent eligible vote in a presidential election, to have a percentage vote like this should tell the Hugo’s that even if they don’t like it, something is out of kilter. That many people stood up and said something.

            Perhaps, just perhaps, possibly, maybe….that might be something to consider.

          2. Mr. Bennett:

            2,122 people cast nominating ballots in this year’s Hugo Awards. The eligible electorate was the approximately 10,000 members of the 2014 Worldcon, the approximately 5,000 members of the 2015 Worldcon, and the members of the 2016 Worldcon (I don’t have an exact count, but I’ll guess it’s around 3,000). That makes 18,000 people. Of course each person only counts once regardless of how many of these three s/he is a member of, so the total eligible electorate is somewhere between 10,000 and 18,000 people. This means the voter turnout for this election was between 21% and 12%. While in fact the turnout in absolute numbers is a new record, and also represents a growing proportion of the Worldcon membership taking part in the process, to make some sort of comparison against turnout in US presidential elections is rather puzzling.

  7. I agree entirely with Kevin’s responses, but to further respond to the attempt to conflate SP/RP voting blocks with a suggestion that voting No Award is a responsible option for voters:

    SP/RP came from a single source. The suggestion to vote No Award to register displeasure with block voting arose spontaneously on numerous sites across the web – and no doubt many experienced Hugo Awards voters simply muttered it to themselves after seeing the list.

    What we’re seeing here and elsewhere is a concerted effort to derail the No Award response BECAUSE it is the one response that is capable of effectively countering the SP slate.

    I hope someone is keeping track of new supporting memberships at Sasquan and that those same people will give someone a heads up if it appears to be heading into unexplored territory, as the next phase of this sorry campaign will be to counter the No Awards voting by flooding the final ballot.

    And for the record: I objected vociferously last year when the slate concept was gaining traction – but obviously not strongly enough to generate an effective response. I was also all over objecting to Scientology’s bid way back in the day as well.

    One thing that most of the people who object to the objections to the slate are not distinguishing is that the No Awards response is a RESPONSE. It’s a response in defense of something that has been a tremendous success since at least 1954 (seriously, things have been on the fix that long…?) and a response that would not have been necessary if not for the actions of a few.

    The truly ironic thing here is: Sad Puppies could have done their campaigning and slating and voting on the QT – their entire program could have been sub rosa (and likely more successful for that). But that wasn’t the goal. The goal was to get their nominees on the ballot WHILE upsetting all of fandom. And it’s likely that they’ll fail to one degree or another because of it.

    1. Well, considering that YOU are one of those people behind the concerted effort to block the SP’s, I’d say that yeah, you’re for the No Award. I read your diatribe on your page and am wondering just how ticked off you are that, from what I’ve heard, almost none of the author’s you admonished took your heartfelt advice and ran from the nominations?

      1. From the tone of your remarks, I expect that there are works on the final ballot that you find repellant and unworthy of an Award. I would encourage you to be a responsible voter and rank them below No Award or leave them off your ballot entirely.

        Personally, I would love to have a realistic “None of the Above” choice in other elections. Where I live during the last election cycle, I was presented with a choice in one election between what I described as “crazy” and “crazier” and no realistic ability to vote “Neither; try again with saner candidates or leave the seat empty.”

        1. And you would probably be shocked to find out what I consider repellent. If you are thinking I’m straight conservative white guy, you haven’t seen my collection of materials, and not just from Scifi.

          Again, when one side has dominated the process, no matter HOW, something needs a shakeup.

          This is it. SP isn’t going away.

          1. As I said, you have the same rights as any other member of WSFS to propose, debate, and vote on changes. You have to convince a majority of the other members of WSFS who also care deeply about their organization that you are right.

      2. See above.

        I’m not ticked off. I was mostly writing for concerned voters, not nominees on a voting slate.

        I didn’t expect anyone on the list voluntarily to remove themselves – but of course we’ve since learned that there are at least a handful of works that were on the list without having the opportunity to decide whether or not they wanted to be so included (nice bit of “democracy in action there”) and several of those people ARE removing themselves or doing the best they can to do so.

        I offered a solution to the problem that was:

        legal by the rules in all respects
        part of Hugo Awards tradition
        non-political at least insofar as individual works and people are concerned (saying NO to block voting & slates is saying NO to block voting and slates; it says NOTHING about the works or their authors – heads up – obvious opportunity to distort right here)
        easy to do

        So I’ll play this game: the SP slate got works on the ballot and “violated no rules in doing so”. And that’s ok in your book – why isn’t it ok when my suggestion regarding voting No Award also violates no rules and is, in fact, FAR more in the spirit of the awards than block voting will ever be? I suppose you’ll shift the goalposts now and talk about free speech or some other such.

        You and your co-travelers are having a hissyfit over the No Award suggestion because it is the effective, workable counter to the ill-intentioned voting slates campaign. It’s an idea that most participating fans were well aware of before I said word one.

        1. Oh, I don’t care if you do it. It’s expected when someone that thinks they control things get their posteriors handed to them. Not unlike the Bush/Gore fiasco.

          People got together and told others to stuff it, that they weren’t playing the game any more, and that the Jim Crow style of control no longer works. Naturally, the hissy fit is thrown, but hoss, SP ain’t the one doing it. Libelous rants like the ones on EW that have already been changed to cover posteriors, others ranting and frothing at the mouth like a certain no longer editor.

          All show ONE THING. People no longer follow the script. They lie and say that the slate was all ‘conservative whitey males whut dun got their panties inna twist”, when…like it or not, they won this round.

          Welcome to the death of the New McCarthyism. Enjoy the ride.

          1. Since you keep citing it as some sort of hallmark of the triumph of the underdog, it needs to be pointed out that the victory of Bush over Gore only happened because of the Supreme Court’s order to stop the recount in Florida. Bush lost the general election and would likely have lost the recount; since the Supreme Court inexplicably ordered the recount stopped, we’ll never know how things should have been. Citing that as some sort of benchmark of “justice” only serves to paint you as a painfully limited and partisan thinker. Partisan thinking is the basest form of thought to be avoided in favour of actual thinking!

            [Editor: No further replies re-arguing the Bush-Gore presidential election will be approved. Take that argument somewhere else.]

            As an aside, everyone on here needs to proofread their posts. Horrid grammar errors abound!

    1. There is a difference between “here are the things I published last year” and “here are a list of other people’s works that you should nominate in order to annoy people and score political points.” But somehow it appears that many people, yourself included, cannot tell the difference between the two.

      1. And at this point, we truly, truly hope it does annoy you. Why? Because you are still clinging to the notion that challenging a wrong is wrong. You are still advocating for a jim crow attitude of “ya’ll shut up and be happy wit whut we dun give ya, nah, yah heyah!”

        And as someone that grew up in the south, believe me, I know that attitude well.

        1. You are of course as legally able to propose changes to the rules of WSFS and to elect its Worldcon sites and officers as any other member. I’m sure any proposals you make will be given due consideration by the other members, all of whom have an equal right to participate.

          1. And that is what Sad Puppies has been saying, that crazy little “how bout consider the entire field, not just the ones accepted into your incestous little field.

            Funny that.

  8. ” The goal was to get their nominees on the ballot WHILE upsetting all of fandom.”

    Who is all of fandom again? Sounds pretty exclusionary to me. All of fandom is exactly that – and a bunch of SFF fans who don’t have the RIGHTHING just showed up.

    Remember, the stated goal of SP3 wasn’t necessarily to get Hugo’s, it was to get noms and recognition for authors who are traditionally ignored by ‘all of fandom’.

    Mission accomplished. A Hugo for Anderson or Butcher? Purest, sweetest gravy.

    1. But unlikely because of the way that they have been put forward. Either Ancillary Sword or The Goblin Emperor is likely to win this year simply because the Puppy slate exists. I feel really sorry for Butcher and Anderson, both of whom are authors I admire.

  9. The problem with that attitude is that you are voting “No Award” because the author was recommended by a certain person or list, not on the merits of whether they deserve the award. That is petty and petulant.

    1. It’s the only sane thing to do, Gremlin. If we don’t we’re likely to get into a situation where there are competing slates for votes and people feeling obliged to sign up for one or the other. That’s not what the awards are about. The only way to stop that dead is to vote “no award” above any Puppy nomination this year.

      It looks like the same may need to be done next year as SP4 has already been announced. It takes two years to get WSFS rules changed, so anything that can be done to stop slates having the effect this one has will take at least that amount of time to cut in.

  10. The Sad Puppies controversy and the resistance of entrenched progressives is an interesting microcosm of the greater society that provides an intriguing lesson about the extent to which the Left is willing to go to crush dissent and the ways people find to get around it, and have fun doing it.

    I must admit that I stopped looking for Hugo Award winner on book covers years ago, because quite frankly every winner since Ender’s Game has been boring, but I was also unaware of the fact that Hugo nominations had been captured by the politically correct, although it all makes more sense in retrospect.

    Nevertheless, I can’t help but chuckle at the idea that Progressives thought they could make science fiction a redoubt and force fen to march in lockstep. Heh! Like that’s going to happen. This controversy proves, once again, the fandom belongs to the fans, that controlling fen is as likely as herding cats, and that nobody is going to get a hammerlock or gatekeeper role on science fiction because by nature, it goes where it wants and cannot be controlled.

  11. Just stumbled upon this current kerflufle. I remember, back in the ’60s, the Burroughs Bibliophiles getting a previously-unpublished-until-then ERB novella on the Hugo ballot. Didn’t win. I remember, when working at A Change of
    Hobbit speculative fiction bookstore, a succession of folks coming in with cash to purchase five copies each of BATTLEFIELD EARTH (and how some of the copies we got in as restock had not even had our store’s price sticker removed). The Church did purchase Hubbard a New York Times Bestseller List placement — and, later, a Hugo nomination. It did not win.

    This blanket effort to get not a title but a slate of titles in all categories onto the Hugo Ballot seems new, excessive, and very post-Citizens-United. When an author (or a political stance you support) is being “ignored”, you can extol him/her/it to get others to come around to your way of thinking. You do that by offering valid reasons people should support your author or position. Denigrating others, or denying their majority, may succeed, but is counter-productive. (Me, I never did understand the fact a Hugo was awarded to HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE — even though a lot of people [including me] read and liked it. It just wasn’t , ya know, sf. Yet I bowed to the majority and the zeitgeist.)

    You can complain that a cabal of readers actively keep your favorite author off the Ballot. You can state only a cabal of other-than-your-paid-scientists believe climate is changing. Your favorite writer or candidate could be losing due to secret manipulation, or due to the fact that an actual majority of people do not care for him. The situation is easily changed once you’ve convinced a majority of readers or voters your man meets their needs.

    However, changing the rules (remembering “legally” always trumps “ethically”) to force other choices off a ballot (or otherwise arranging things so that people who may disagree with you can not vote), that’s just wrong. It’s the last desperate recourse of a minority that believes money trumps individual choice, that the most successful bully is always right. (Note how those who adopt such tactics say they do so in reaction to a [false] perception such tactics have been used against them.) (“Voter fraud” anybody?)

    I suspect that, if there were actually a groundswell against Hugo-votes-past, it would take the form of nominations for a number of similarly themed and styled authors — not the blatant repetition of one author and one publishing house across all categories, and several times within categories.

    This is bullying, plain and simple. It is offensive. It is insulting to intelligence. And, if choice has been removed from the Ballot, than No Award becomes an all-too-valid option for those who feel themselves insulted. Those who have purposely rigged the game should not be upset at those who prefer No Award to No Choice.

    1. William: The Hugo Awards are for Science Fiction and Fantasy; it’s in the official definition. They are no longer even officially the “Science Fiction Achievement Awards.” The official name of the Hugo Award is “Hugo Award.” That’s how the Harry Potter work was eligible.

      1. Kevin: My apologies. My confused mind thought that both the WSFS and SFWA had added the “and Fantasy” extension (clearly making official what had long been tacit) only after GOBLET’s win. It is clear from looking at the covers at http://www.listchallenges.com/hugo-award-winning-novels-1946-2012-in that GOBLET did make a sea change in Hugo Winners. It does appear this tempest has now boiled quite far out the teapot. I have found responses both attempting to be balanced (http://www.ew.com/article/2015/04/06/hugo-award-nominations-sad-puppies) and happily being rabid ( http://www.breitbart.com/london/2015/04/04/hugo-awards-nominations-swept-by-anti-sjw-anti-authoritarian-authors). (They call themselves the Right because they always are.) Scalzi may have suggested slates, and the Hugo-Winning much-missed Drink Tank discussed each year their Hugo choices. No big deal. Now, Sad and Rabid Puppies: big deal? Well, even the Bibliophiles and the Scientologists only sought one slot for their agenda. This is the engergizing of, well C. M. Kornbluth had a name for them, to co-opt an entire process, to offer the Henry Ford choice of “any color you want” (so long as it was black). It’s an effort to reduce options, to restrict choice, to deny representation. To buy an election because, well, now we can. Or it could just be the pendulum swinging, the generations shifting, and sf(f) is now about conceptual circumscription and discomfort for those who don’t think as you do. History is written by the winners, and, as the Puppies have pretty much assured their win, they get to write the history, claim they’ve won the revolution. We’ll see how this plays out. Brain-opening, mind-altering, conceptual breakthrough sf will still be written, will still appeal to intelligence and perception and tolerance. It just may no longer win Hugos.

        1. William:

          For information, the oldest copy of the WSFS Constitution that we have available (1975) has this definition for Best Novel (emphasis mine):

          BEST NOVEL: A science fiction or fantasy story of 35,000 words or more appearing for the first time in the previous calendar year.

          …with the subsequent years having equivalent phrasing. This wording descends from an earlier draft of the Constitution first seen in 1963. During a technical cleanup some years ago, WSFS moved redundant language to a general provisions section of the Constitution, but the same principle applies: The Hugo Award has always been for “science fiction and fantasy”. We also address this in the Hugo Awards FAQ under Aren’t Hugos just for Science Fiction?

          The name “Science Fiction Achievement Award” was deleted as the nominally official title of the Hugo Award in 1992.

    2. Yes sir. We’ll get right on that, after you realize the game has been rigged for the past two decades by the “other side”. And Kevin will say “the Hugo administrators have found no evidence of rigging” blah blah blah, and I’ll come back with “the publishing houses and editors have been rigging it before it even reached the Hugo’s” and blah blah blah.

      Funny that.

  12. I disagree, by voting “No Award” you will just be encouraging more slates and being intellectually and factually dishonest about your motives, that is not what the “No Award” is about.

    “No Award” is to be used if you honestly believe that no author on the nominee list is “worthy” and/or “deserving” of the award. Which you have already said you feel sorry for a couple of the authors which means that you do feel they should have some chance at the award.

    “No Award” is not to be used as a weapon because you didn’t like the process or the “how” someone got on the ballot.

    Voting for “No Award” for the first reason I fully support. Voting for it for the second reason is the action of a petty petulant child throwing a foot stomping fit and basically taking his ball home. From the comments of those I have read from those advocating “No Award” it will be the second reason not the first.

    However, since I also see that you are in favor of changing the rules to basically keep the dirty outsiders from affecting “the precious”, well that pretty much speaks for itself.

    Welcome to the internet age, no one did anything wrong or unethical. The nominee list is covers many diverse and talented authors who deserve to be considered. But if you think the “No Award” fit throwing will do anything but expand the number of folks who vote SP, well I have bad news for you.

    However, I would like to all those advocating “No Award” Thanks for making us feel so welcome and for proving that everything Larry and Brad were saying was true.

    1. Gremlin – are you an attending member of Worldcon? If so, go along to the relevant business meeting and state your views and vote accordingly for them. The Hugo Awards belong to all of us – even wreckers – and if you can convince enough people of your point of view you will prevail.

      That’s democracy, you see. Nobody can change the rules if others can’t be convinced.

      On the other hand, democracy is open to gaming. And that’s exactly what your faction have done. It’s totally legal and it’s totally unethical.

      I suspect that any reasonable person considering a change to the rules of Hugo nomination would be very pleased to see processes put in place that would ensure such unethical behaviour will not succeed in the future.

  13. This whole thing is bizarre. I have been reading scifi and fantasy for about 6 decades, but this past year I read several dozen current books including a handful that I really enjoyed, so I decided to spend $40 and nominate a few of them for a Hugo. I then spent January and February reading all of the short fiction I could get my hands on so I could nominate a few of them in appropriate categories. I’m not a member of any of these groups, either the “establishment,” or the “rebels,” nor do I understand the glee at having “embarrassed” any particular entity. I’m just some one who keeps her nose in a book actually reading this genre instead of reading about it. I saw the list of nominations and was totally baffled to find nearly all of the short fiction was published by a single publishing house which I had never heard of except for a few from Analog Magazine, which I have heard of and often read. I’m a librarian, so when I find something to be obscure, I feel confident that many others do also.

    There are some good books in the best novel category including one which I thought was one of the best of 2014, but I’m not impressed by the single nominated short story which I have read so far. It wasn’t a bad story, just not up to the quality of some of the “also rans” I did read and nominate. I plan to keep an open mind, and read as many of these as I can easily obtain, but if the others aren’t better, I will vote “no award.”

    I’m disappointed that there weren’t more writers nominated in the short fiction categories. If the whole plan was to bring in people who have been ignored in previous award seasons, assigning 3 nominations in the novella category to a single person seems to have put a lie to that idea. Women and fantasy have been nearly shut out of the short fiction categories and the Campbell.

    I’m not so naive that I didn’t know that the Hugos, along with many other literary awards, are popularity contests. I am well aware that fans of particular authors promote their favorites very heavily, and while that can be annoying to those of us who don’t share their passions, there is usually room for a number of opinions. But sweeping nearly the whole thing in this way this has been done strikes me as a little nasty.

    So who won this little plot? I don’t know that anyone actually did, but I am definitely one of the losers along with lots of other readers who will part with even more respect for the scifi community. To be perfectly honest, had I known this whole thing was to be shanghaied, I would have saved my $40.

    1. janmaus,

      That is exactly how my first time participating in the Hugo voting process felt. The short answer is that there is no agreement on what is quality. Also, as we’ve seen this year, it’s easy for a group to game the system while the number of people participating in nominating and voting process remains low.

      On a positive note, over the years I have discovered stuff that I ended up liking even though I didn’t expect to like it. Most of the nominations are typically “meh” for me. And I’ve truly hated some of the nominations, even stuff that went on to win. But I keep a glimmer of hope that something I truly love will win someday. I think that hope is important.

      1. I am perfectly aware that it has always been a popularity contest. But I think this episode has bypassed that since many of these nominees are more obscure than “popular.” Every year, I spend pleasure filled hours reading books that have been nominated for major awards, and every year there have been surprises in the fields. My personal favorites are are often not winners, but the nominees are usually of sufficient quality to keep me loving awards season–and finding books to buy for both my personal collection and my public library. This year I feel cheated.

    2. It wasn’t about “winning”, it was about opening doors to new authors. And sometimes, it takes a shock to the system to do that.

      1. New authors? Well, there were a couple of those, but if that was the goal, I would have expected to see more names in the short fiction categories–looks like you were short on ideas for that one. As for Butcher and Anderson, I’ve been buying their books for years, so they are hardly “new,” and whether they win or not, I will continue to do so. I think they have both had plenty of nominations for various awards in the past, although I haven’t researched to see what they have actually won. I’m most interested in reading the new Campbell nominees, but their works are pretty obscure–I hope their publishers include some of them in the Hugo packet or my vote will go to Chu.

  14. Supporting works that I truly believe deserve the award doesn’t make me a “wrecker”, but your insistence that is does makes you look like an elitist snob.

    I used to vote for the Hugo’s years ago, but I got tired of spending my money and time on a award that consistently went to works that I had never heard of, were just plain bad, and when I looked had much lower sales.

    SP3 got me interested in the Hugo’s again. Like I have said repeatedly, I didn’t vote SP and I didn’t nominate for things that I don’t read (i.e. I didn’t nominate for Graphic Novel, since I really don’t read them.)

    “And that’s exactly what your faction have done.”

    No, what my “faction” (what a ridiculous assertion) has done is say that we want the Hugo’s to be more inclusive and take into consideration works that we find worthy, we want to be part of the process. We agree to work by the rules and what do we get in return? We have been called bigot, sociopath, racist, embarrassing and worse. Instead of being welcomed as we should have been we have been met with a level of snobbish elitism and preadolescence petty anger that I have seldom seen in my 40 years on earth.

    As far as if I will be attending the convention, after the reaction I have seen here, I am not terribly inclined to give anymore money to support such an insular and bigoted group of people. Frankly at this point I hope no Hugo’s are awarded this year, it would just prove that the award is as irrelevant as I have considered it to be for the past 15 years.

    Oh, and as far as my “faction” if you think I paid my hard earned money to make Larry or Brad happy or just to tweak the noses of certain individuals who are for the most part irrelevant in my life, well if I ever stop giggling I might respond.

    1. I think a lot of people paid hard money to make Vox Day happy. It’s his Rabid Puppy slate that has had the most effect. And that slate is so similar to the Sad Puppy slate that it’s almost indistinguishable. It would be to the Sad Puppies great benefit to publicly dissociate themselves from a racist, sexist misogynist. Someone who said at the start of his slate:

      “What follows is the list of Hugo recommendations known as Rabid Puppies. They are my recommendations for the 2015 nominations, and I encourage those who value my opinion on matters related to science fiction and fantasy to nominate them precisely as they are. I think it is abundantly evident that these various and meritorious works put not only last year’s nominations, but last year’s winners, to shame.”

      Now, if that isn’t the comment of an elitist snob calling for a faction to do exactly what he says, I don’t know what is. It’s a clear call to wreck the Awards. And as such, anything with Puppy attached to it deserves to be placed under “No Award” this year.

      1. I actually believe you are wrong that RP has more influence than SP, but that is my personal experience and I could be just as wrong. Frankly, I have been aware of SP since SP1, this is the first year I decided to vote in the Hugo’s again. I didn’t even know about RP until the nominee’s were announce and people started having kittens.

        However, when I went to RP and Vox Days site I realized quickly that he is just bitter with a personal axe to grind and I am not interested in his personal prejudices.

        So my experience was that I saw SP’s list and realized that it contained many titles that I had purchased and read over the year, I never looked at their motivations, nor did I give a tinkers darn about what they were. I nominated works that I had read and enjoyed. I honestly believe that that is what most of the SP crowd did as well.

        I think the assertion that just because you happen to have similar reading habits as the SP and in extension Larry and Brad is utterly ridiculous. I have never met either in person and have only ever corresponded with Larry on a couple of shooting forums and at that only a couple of times and have never had a discussion with him of a literary nature. Though I do admit to loving his Monster Hunter Series for its over the top action.

        I think what you see as bloc voting is more an artifact of people seeing the list and saying; “Hey I read that, yea it was a great book and deserves an award.”

        As far as people doing something just to please Vox Day, Humans don’t typically spend money and time on things to please people that have basically no effect on their life. As far as me personally, I don’t know Vox Day and have only recently even become aware of his existence well after my votes were cast.

        Like I said if people want to have personal grudge matches, I think an invite to the 1st annual world con inflatable SUMO battle royal is the way to handle that.

        1. In the last three days I’ve been talking to a group of (Sad) Puppies who I bumped into by mistake. I am becoming convinced that – at least for some people supporting the slate – there was no intention to make the near clean sweep that happened.

          And with Brad Torgersen saying on his most recent post that if Vox carrys through his threatened action to wreck the Hugos in 2016 “he is the biggest asshole SF/F has ever seen in its history” I am even more convinced that Sad Puppies is not just the acceptable wing of Rabid Puppies.

          I still think that kicking the door down and taking control of the Hugos was a *very* bad idea. It’s not exactly designed to make established fandom happy with you. And I’m still toying with the idea of signing up for Worldcon so I can register my protest vote by voting “No Award” where appropriate.

          But perhaps there is room for a conversation rather than the shouting match we have at present. (I’m not naive. I think we will disagree about many things. But perhaps we could agree about how to make the Hugo Awards more inclusive to people from all backgrounds.)

          1. “I still think that kicking the door down and taking control of the Hugos was a *very* bad idea.”

            “And I’m still toying with the idea of signing up for Worldcon so I can register my protest vote by voting “No Award” where appropriate.”

            If that is what you feel you must do then I encourage you to do so.

            “But perhaps there is room for a conversation rather than the shouting match we have at present.”

            I couldn’t agree more. Personally, politics doesn’t enter into my reading habits, unless I am reading a book about politics of course.

            After reading more from many different sources I think the perception that there is some kind of “clique” actually comes from a small group of fairly influential individual who were letting their politics and “social justice” agenda affect their choices and who were using their influence to try to affect the outcome. However, it has become apparent to me that the current situation comes from the interpersonal arguments and grievance that have been around far longer than SP. I will as per my usual, not name names but it has become apparent to me that one thing that would help immensely is if certain members of the publishing community removed themselves from the scene, though I doubt that will happen.

            I will make one thing clear and name one name by saying that none of that last paragraph was aimed in any way form or fashion at Kevin or the Hugo committee. Kevin has impressed me with his sticking to defending the process, though I may not agree with everything he says, I do believe that his personal feelings would only affect his ballot and not the process of the award itself.

            Paul, thank you for your even mindedness and attempts to stabilize the conversation. Sometimes to just takes time to remember that usually when there are 2 sides the answer is usually somewhere in the middle.

    2. Good grief! Who exactly are the “insular and bigoted?” All I did was read a lot of fiction and purchase a supporting membership, since I can’t afford either the money or time to attend. I know a number of other science fiction/fantasy readers who are similarly innocent of ulterior motives. None of us are part of anything, and the people I know and correspond with were similarly blindsided by this whole controversy. More than a few usually purchase their supporting memberships later in the summer just so they can read and vote–hardly motivated to take sides. I fail to see how any “liberal” faction can take charge of those of us who merely read.

  15. Thank you for your comment. I look at what I’ve said and do see it as -um- somewhat strident. I am in favor of tolerance and inclusion. If you, rather than the Brit Breitbart link I read, are more representative of this contested process, then more power to you. I see some truly wonderful and worthy items among this year’s nominees. May they win. May some of the Puppies slate win and others loose so that the results display a truly popular even-handedness. I’m afraid my strident tone came more from what I initially perceived to be the tactics used rather than the nominees that resulted. Thank you for being level headed. We all need giggles to leven our angers.

  16. Nobody on the other side seems to be willing to understand or admit that the SP/RP tactics this time around are not, and can never be, a model for future action. The in-your-face, no-holds-barred aggressive actions in support of well known, well liked, and very successful writers who are not politically correct or well connected is a tactic that can only succeed ONCE.

    It was and is a warning and a demand that the progressives that have managed to assume gatekeeper roles in support of a political agenda that has nothing to do with science fiction or fantasy and has everything to do with advancing a politically correct narrative cease and desist. Everyone needs to get that dialed in.

    The Hugos are in danger of losing all relevance. If the progressive pushback succeeds. If the “No Award” crowd wins the day, do you really think fen are going to just shrug their shoulders, sit down, and applaud like good little puppets? If you do, the fen you are hanging around with are a vastly different breed than the ones I am used to.

    Their solution will be as simple and elegant as it can be. They’ll pick up their marbles and go start their own game somewhere else. WorldCon will be left with an empty sack of nobodies that nobody cares about and an award that everyone ignores.

    Already the battle cry is being raised, “Wrong Fans Having Wrong Fun!” and they are loving it to death because being in opposition to entrenched evil is FUN! NewCon, or whatever it’s ended up, being called will have all the fun and excitement that has been rendered verboten at WorldCon, and the Hugo award committee can sit on their pretty little statues and twirl.

    The established publishing houses cannot even threaten with blacklists anymore because Indy publishing, still in its infancy, is doing the same thing to their gatekeeper role that the Internet did to news. They are dinosaurs, they will have to adapt or perish, and the one thing that they must do if they want to adapt is remember that fans decide.

    Paraphrasing the great Robert A. Heinlein, “Fen and cats will do as they please, and progressives and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.”

    1. Their solution will be as simple and elegant as it can be. They’ll pick up their marbles and go start their own game somewhere else.

      I believe that I and several other people have repeatedly said, “If you don’t think you’re being properly represented, by all means start a set of awards that are run the way you want and that give awards to things you want. Really, honestly. I used to be one of the maintainers of the (now moribund) SF AwardsWatch web site, and one thing that was clear is that there are SF/F genre awards galore, and people setting up new ones all the time.

      Nobody is stopping you from setting up NewHappyFunCon for Real Fans. You don’t need a license to do so. There are hundreds of SF/F events all over the world, and none of them needed anyone else’s permission to start up.

      Incidentally, the rallying cry that “The Hugo Awards are Irrelevant!” isn’t particularly new. It was being screamed from the rooftops before I was born. So was the insistence that “SF fandom is greying and everyone is going to die tomorrow!”

      As it happens, Worldcon as an entity does change and evolve over time. It just does so slowly, as new people assimilate themselves into an ongoing community with a long history. It does, however, resist overnight change and looks very skeptically at influxes of people showing up all at once demanding that everyone else turn over everything to them because they said so.

      1. “demanding that everyone else turn over everything to them because they said so.”

        Please cite the evidence for this claim Kevin.

        I haven’t been reading SF for as long as come, but longer than many. Exactly when did I lose my right to pay my money and participate?

        Can you provide evidence of either?

        1. You have never lost your right to pay your money and participate. You have exactly the same right as every other person on Earth. And if enough people join who feel exactly the same way you do, you get to own the entire organization and make your own rules. That’s how it works. It does not mean “Because I voted, I’m guaranteed to win, or else It’s Not Fair!”

  17. “Those of us who have spent many years in volunteer service to WSFS resent voting slates and bloc voting of any sort.”

    Home many past nominations and awards have you opposed?

    “I believe that I and several other people have repeatedly said, “If you don’t think you’re being properly represented, by all means start a set of awards that are run the way you want and that give awards to things you want. Really, honestly. I used to be one of the maintainers of the (now moribund) SF AwardsWatch web site, and one thing that was clear is that there are SF/F genre awards galore, and people setting up new ones all the time.”

    If you don’t like the way my awards go (which pretend to be open to any fan), start your own and let me have mine.

    Yeah, that’s the answer.

    1. The Hugo Awards are open to any fan. But “having a voice” and “winning” are not the same thing. If a majority of the members vote against your nomination — within those same rules by which you made your own nominations — how can you say it’s not fair and by the book. You had the same rights as every other member. Indeed, if enough people with your same opinion participate, you get the take over the entire organization. Incidentally, when are you planning on filing a bid to host a Worldcon so you can doing things your way.

      Let’s try this another way, in mundane elections: You are presumably eligible to vote in some election somewhere. The fact that you’re allowed to cast a vote representing your opinion doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed to win, is it? Or does “democracy” to you mean “You have to do what I say, because I say so!”

      1. Where did I claim the right to name a winner? Or where did any of the others you malign claim that?

        That is very much a straw man as the point now is the nominations, not the winners. I plan on reading as much of the material of the winners as I can, possibly for the second time in many cases.

        Are you really arguing against that in your crusade against those you view as invaders? Or is it the fact I may be prone to agree with their tastes the problem?

        1. That should have said that I planned on reading as many of the nominees in each category. The “won” the right to be on the list, but only one in each category will win the final vote.

        2. You are of course free to judge the relative merits of each nominee by whatever criteria you choose. And every other member with voting rights has exactly the same right. You’re not saying we should take away their right to make their own decisions for themselves, are you?

  18. Kevin, I salute you.

    Your patience with these fools is in the saintly tradition of Walt Willis and
    James White, who refused to let the sectarian strife of the Troubles in Belfast come between them and their fanac.

    May Roscoe bless you and keep you.

    1. Ahh yes, because petty adolescent name calling makes your points look so much more rational. Geez.

  19. First I would like to sincerely thank Kevin and all other volunteers. It requires a tremendous amount of work to keep an enterprise like WorldCon going.

    The argument of “there is no conspiracy!!! I know because I was there!!!” is not very convincing, for this reason: It is a straw man argument.

    The problem isn’t conspiracy. I don’t doubt for a second that the selection process is and always has been “fair” (at least as much as any popularity contest can be fair.)

    The problem is groupthink.

    Recent nominees and winners have to a very significant degree reflected a particular world view. Not because of a conspiracy, but because those most closely involved in the process share that world view. And that is a bit of a problem.

    I’ve been reading sci-fi (mush less fantasy, admittedly) long enough that when I started, the paperbacks I was buying had a cover price of 25 cents. Sometimes 10 cents. And the progression over time has been that the genre is losing distinctiveness (becoming “less diverse” even), as certain viewpoints took hold in the (once niche culture, now) industry’s halls of power.

    This is not new, it has been going on for some time. I have a close friend who published a dozen fantasy novels from the late-’80s to early 2000’s, who said that he deliberately wrote female characters and then changed them to male. Why? Because no matter how many central female characters a story had, the publisher would always want one more. So he submitted the characters as male so that he could be “forced” to make them female! (he also has a lot of, “there must always be a woman with a sword” stories, but that’s for another time.

    So, while I don’t there is a conspiracy to prevent certain authors from winning, I do think that there is a general culture that tends to reward the right-thinking rather than the best work. My analogy would be that just because the Mike Brown shooting turned out to be a good shoot does not mean that there was not a dominant culture in Ferguson that is a problem.

    So yeah, I think changing the rules to prevent the unwashed from participating is both short-sighted and intellectually dishonest.

    My suggestion instead: Say to the SP people, “OK, you have made your point. We’re going to work with you on a fully open and transparent process that rewards the best work regardless of the politics or identity of the authors. But in exchange, you need to stop with the canned slates that call the whole process into question. Deal?”

    I’d be impressed if such an offer was made. I am pretty sure it would be accepted. But I don’t expect that it will be made, because I frankly think there are people who DO want to preserve a niche for the “right-thinking.”

  20. [Redacted abuse of individual nominee.]

    Should the Hugo committee ever decide to reclaim their once prestigious reputation, they need only find a convenient brick to scrape the “creative output” of the sad puppies from their soles.

    And a little Purell to kill any residual bacteria.

    Here’s hoping.

    Thanks for your time.

    – FLW

  21. Your contact link for reaching the subcommittee… appears to be dead. An open portal to nowhere.

    I. Wonder. Why.


    1. Mr. Watson:

      Which link on which page? The address to contact this year’s Hugo Award Administration Subcommittee is hugoadmin@sasquan.org. It is perfectly possible that we didn’t key it in correctly.

      Please do not ascribe to malice what is more plausibly explainable by human error.

    2. Mr. Watson:

      Thank you for letting us know that we left the “mailto:” off of the address link to this year’s Hugo Awards Subcommittee. We have corrected the error, and the link should now allow you to send e-mail to the 2015 Hugo Awards Administration Subcommittee.

      As we’ve said elsewhere, we here at the web site are not the ones who make technical and administrative decisions about The Hugo Awards; those are made by each year’s Hugo Awards Administration Subcommittee, and each years subcommittee is appointed by that year’s Worldcon. The Subcommittee does not make the Hugo Award rules; it administers them. The rules are made by the members of the World Science Fiction Society acting through the annual Worldcon Business Meeting.

  22. Well if the comment doesn’t apply to you, which I don’t know why you would think that it did since I wasn’t replying to you, then move on. I agree that you haven’t done those things, but then again it wasn’t directed at you.

  23. So let me get this straight: In order to add a book to the longlist of nominees, all someone has to do is pay ~$50 and join some group? Seems kinda like a flawed system, especially seeing as how those involved are now butt-bothered by the nominees.

    1. To nominate works for the Hugo Awards, you must join the current Worldcon at the minimum price level established by that Worldcon. This year, that amount is currently $40. (Consider this payment to be your membership dues in the World Science Fiction Society.) The five nominees with the most votes go onto the shortlist of finalists. Those in the top fifteen places are sometimes called the long list; this list of “They also ran” is released after the Hugo Awards are announced at the Worldcon.

      The membership prices are set by the individual World Science Fiction Conventions, subject to some restrictions set out in the World Science Fiction Society Constitution. The basic supporting membership does not include the right to attend the convention; for that, you have to buy the more-expensive attending membership, which includes a WSFS (supporting) membership in the price.

      1. And only until they scramble desperately to change the rules, and only allow attendees to nominate/vote in the future!

        What, Clueless Stranger, did you think the response to your very good point would be to BROADEN participation in the process? How droll…

        1. I think that changing the rules to allow only attending members to vote would be a retrograde step. So I’m glad that not very many people seem to be suggesting it.

          And, just to dent your prejudice a little, Richard, there indeed are people suggesting that an approach to dilute the effect of any future slate might be to create a voting membership of $5 or $10.

          1. I guess we’ll see what happens at the business meeting. Care to place any bets on whether or not there will be an attempt to restrict voting rights?

            I hope you are right. Really, I would love to be wrong. But my response is prejudice only in the sense that cynicism is prejudice.

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