Hugo Awards See Huge Loss For Vox Day And The Sad Puppies

The Hugo Awards – probably the now-second-most prominent sci-fi and fantasy awards outside of the Nebulas – were awarded on Saturday. You might recall that there was a huge controversy over the Hugos this year, with authors Brad Torgensen and Larry Correia rigging the ballots against what they perceived as a too-diverse field of prior Hugo winners. Torgensen and Correia called themselves the “Sad Puppies,” while overt racist (really just bad writer) Vox Day formed a faction called the “Rabid Puppies,” proposing his own rigged ballot. It worked: The Hugo nominees were dominated by Puppy candidates. George R. R. Martin got involved with a long series of blog posts, Gamergate got involved, the internet got pissed, and people started proposing ways to fight against the Puppies. (I wrote a longer explainer here.)

One of the proposed offensives against the Puppies was what Martin was terming the “Nuclear Option” – voting “No Award” in every category in protest. Another – Puppy-free voting – was proposed by Deirdre Moen: Vote only for non-Puppy candidates, and in categories that were all-Puppy, vote “No Award.” This year, 2400 more ballots were cast than last year’s approximate 3500, and it was hard to tell what that meant on the numbers alone – whether the Puppies had gone on a registration crusade, or if it had been their opponents.

Martin described on his blog what he hoped would happen:

“If the vote goes the way I am predicting, with a mix of slate and non-slate victors and a few No Awards where they were earned, I will applaud that as the best result we could have hoped for, and a victory for worldcon, fandom, and the Hugos themselves.”

Ultimately, though, the Puppy-Free option seemed to be the tack taken: Five categories of seventeen were granted to “No Award,” and the only puppy candidate that won was “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which, seriously, everyone loves. As The Bloggess puts it, if you’re a nobody in sci-fi, and the award was granted to nobody, it’s like you won five Hugos! Or, at least, you can choose to see it that way. Notable, as well, is that this year marked the first time a Chinese writer won the award for best science fiction novel, with Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem. You can see all the winners here.

The Puppies are, predictably, claiming that they really won, here, with Milo Yiannopoulos tweeting the following:

Vox Day also compared “social justice warriors” to villains, although he went the route of comparing his opponents to Nazis (of course) before deleting that blog post and replacing it with one in which he claims that he knew all along that this would happen:

“It’s fascinating to see SJWs desperately trying to cling to their Narrative on Twitter and elsewhere. They’re insisting that we’re mad, that we’re crying, that we’re upset, when the fact is that I knew this would be the result this year prior to creating Rabid Puppies.”

And maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. Either way, he’s exhausting to bother paying attention to.

But the controversy is over, for now, and if the only thing the sci-fi and fantasy community gets out of this is the sense that their ballots really can count, and motivation to be more engaged with their community, maybe it’ll be good for sci-fi and fantasy, in the end.


[The Blogess]
[New York Times]
[We Hunted the Mammoth]
[Not A Blog]
[Deirdre Moen]
[Hugo Awards]
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