Earlier this week, the Hugo Awards for Science Fiction and Fantasy were announced. This year’s Hugo Ballot, and the year leading up to the event, were rife with controversy, leading some SF and Fantasy readers and prominent authors to declare the 2015 Hugo Awards invalid.
First, some background. The Hugo Awards are organized by the World Science Fiction Society and the awards are given each year at the annual World Science Fiction Convention. To be able to nominate and vote, all that needed is to be a supporting member of the World Science Fiction Convention. There are no written rules as to which works qualify as science fiction or fantasy, and the decision of eligibility in that regard is left up to the voters. For each category, the voter may rank “No Award” as one of their choices. Voters are instructed that they should do so if they feel that none of the nominees are worthy of the award, or if they feel the category should be abolished entirely.
Last year’s award winners (find them here), were to some, a sign that the genre was finally opening up to a more diverse perspective. Others felt that an agenda was being pushed and that the awards were sacrificing literary quality over popularity and fandoms. This year, a concerted effort on the part of the latter group (calling themselves “Sad Puppies”) was made to stuff the ballot box with votes and “No Awards” for books the Puppies thought were being ignored. Another group, calling themselves “Rabid Puppies” did the same. Two SF authors, Marko Kloos and Annie Bellet, withdrew their works from the ballot. George R.R. Martin held his own awards ceremony after the Hugo, handing out “Alfies” to authors who would have won at the Hugo Awards if not for the efforts of the Puppies.
For an thorough exploration of the issues, read io9’s “Eight Books You Need To Know About to Understand The Hugo Awards Snafu” by Charlie Jane Anders and Wired’s “Who Won Science Fiction’s Hugo Awards and Why It Matters” by Amy Wallace. There is also a good breakdown of the 2015 votes on the blog Chaos Horizon.
With all that in mind, here are the 2015 Hugo Award winners and nominees in seven major categories, winner in bold. Click on the title to find it in DPL’s catalog, if available. The complete list is here.