In a year where many categories had no winners, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ms. Marvel and Orphan Black took home Hugo Awards.
This year's award nominations were dominated by orchestrated slates of nominees, suggested in response to accusations that the awards were becoming increasingly insular and political. A number of fans swarmed the online nomination forms to vote on behalf of the "Sad Puppies" and "Rabid Puppies" slates, who claimed in part that white males and conservatives were being excluded from the awards. Some "Puppies" supporters expanded that more broadly to claiming it's a popularity contest altogether and that the awards are dominated by a small group of friends voting for each other.
Opponents of the Puppies and their actions claimed that the slates were meant to rebuild the awards in their image. Both sides accused the other of caring more about politics than merit, and of trying to exclude deserving nominees.
Negative response to the slates by some nominees, industry professionals and other fans created a tough environment for the Hugos to manage, and along the way, voting "No Award" became an outlet for voters who either objected to the nominees or didn't want to get caught up in the controversy.
Both supporters and opponents of the "Puppies" slates have claimed that the "No Award" represents a victory, with opponents saying that what they see as ballot manipulation was not rewarded and the Puppies saying that issuing no award rather than awarding talented individuals with whose work and/or nomination the voters don't agree illustrates what's wrong with the voting process.
Vox Day, who became a figurehead for the Puppies after helping to organize the Rabid Puppies slate, was nominated in two categories (for both short and long form editor), but neither category yielded Day or anyone else an award. Day, who is active in Gamergate, has indicated that the Puppies were more able to influence he ballots this year because they implemented lessons learned from Gamergate.
For years, small numbers of fans and professionals from across the creative and political spectrum (including the Sad Puppies, who have been active since 2012) have complained about the nomination and voting process for the Hugos, for a number of reasons. It isn't clear if the embarrassment of the 2015 awards will result in change, or what sort of action would be taken to effect that change.
Winners for the Hugo Awards and for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer were announced at Sasquan, the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention in Spokane, Washington. David Gerrold and Tananarive Due hosted.
Ms. Marvel writer G. Willow Wilson responded to her win via Twitter, as she was unable to attend the ceremony:
WE WON!! Clearly the way to win awards is to have last minute scheduling conflicts that prevent you from attending. That's how I won WFA.— G. Willow Wilson (@GWillowWilson) August 23, 2015
But seriously, this is an amazing honor. In spite of turmoil and drama, this community--comics, geekdom, SFF--is astonishing and wonderful.— G. Willow Wilson (@GWillowWilson) August 23, 2015
There are no ordinary people. There are only extraordinary people in ordinary circumstances. You are all amazing. #HugoAwards— G. Willow Wilson (@GWillowWilson) August 23, 2015
You can see the full list of winners below:
Best Novel: The Three Body Problem, Cixin Liu (Tor)
Best Novella: NO AWARD
Best Novelette: “The Day the World Turned Upside Down”, Thomas Olde Heuvelt (Lightspeed 4/14)
Best Short Story: NO AWARD
Best Dramatic Presentation – Long: Guardians of the Galaxy
Best Dramatic Presentation – Short: Orphan Black: “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried”
Best Related Work: NO AWARD
Best Graphic Story: Ms. Marvel, Volume 1: No Normal, G. Willow Wilson; art by Adrian Alphona & Jake Wyatt (Marvel Comics)
Best Professional Editor Long Form: NO AWARD
Best Professional Editor Short Form: NO AWARD
Best Professional Artist: Julie Dillon
Best Semi-pro zine: Lightspeed
Best Fanzine: Journey Planet
Best Fancast: Galactic Suburbia Podcast
Best Fan Writer: Laura J. Mixon
Best Fan Artist: Elizabeth Leggett
John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer: Wesley Chu