The Hugo Awards just announced its finalists for its 2016 prizes, the most prestigous in the science fiction world. The ballot to select winners will open mid-May. The winners will be announced on August 20th at the 74th World Science Fiction Convention (WorldCon) in Kansas City.
The list of nominees includes many storytellers and storytelling properties often celebrated on this site. Doctor Whoscored a “Best Dramatic Presentation — Short Form” nomination for “Heaven Sent,” the penultimate episode in the latest season, written by Steven Moffat and directed by Rachel Talalay (who is currently in the process of directing the first episode of Sherlockseason 4).
Neil Gaiman has a “Best Graphic Story” nomination for Sandman: Overture.Avengers, Mad Max, and Star Warsall made the ballot for “Best Dramatic Presentation — Long Form.” It includes Ancillary Mercy,the final novel in Ann Leckie’s “Imperial Radch” gender-smashing space opera trilogy.
Of course, the excitement of the day is somewhat overshadowed by the political machinations of several behind-the-scenes campaigns. Anyone with a membership to attend Worldcon can nominate works and, in the past few years, two overlapping-in-values groups named the “Sad Puppies” and the “Rabid Puppies” have enacted campaigns to keep “overtly to the left” works out of the running.
This resulted in many Hugo-nominated authors taking themselves out of the running in protest last year. And, at the 2015 Hugo Awards ceremony, all but one of the “Sad Puppy” finalists ended in a “No Award” ruling, which means voters chose not to vote rather than to vote for one of the candidates. (The exception was Guardians of the Galaxy.)
A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin spoke to The Guardian about last year’s ballot and the Sad Puppies’ part in it, saying:
When the Hugo ballot came out last year it was not just a right-wing ballot, it was a bad ballot. It was the weakest we’d seen for years … When I saw [the 2015] ballot I felt I had to say something and refute the Puppies’ claims that there was discrimination against conservative fiction … This is a genre about the future, it’s about looking at different ways of living, of governing, of sexuality, all those things. It’s always been forward thinking.
As the Los Angeles Times points out, this year, the sheer number of voters in the literary and on-screen categories seems to have mostly prevented the Sad/Rabid Puppies recommendations from dominating, but this was not the case in the fan-related categories where fewer people voted. To learn more about the Hugo nominations controversy, check out this Guardian article on the subject.
Here is a complete list of nominees for the 2016 Hugo Awards:
Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie (Orbit)The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher (Roc)The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)Seveneves: A Novel by Neal Stephenson (William Morrow)Uprooted by Naomi Novik (Del Rey)
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com)The Builders by Daniel Polansky (Tor.com)Penric’s Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold (Spectrum)Perfect State by Brandon Sanderson (Dragonsteel Entertainment)Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds (Tachyon)
“And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead” by Brooke Bolander (Lightspeed, Feb 2015)“Flashpoint: Titan” by CHEAH Kai Wai (There Will Be War Volume X, Castalia House)“Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang, trans. Ken Liu (Uncanny Magazine, Jan‐Feb 2015)“Obits” by Stephen King (The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, Scribner)“What Price Humanity?” by David VanDyke (There Will Be War Volume X, Castalia House)
Best Short Story
“Asymmetrical Warfare” by S. R. Algernon (Nature, Mar 2015)The Commuter by Thomas A. Mays (Stealth)“If You Were an Award, My Love” by Juan Tabo and S. Harris (voxday.blogspot.com, Jun 2015)“Seven Kill Tiger” by Charles Shao (There Will Be War Volume X, Castalia House)Space Raptor Butt Invasion by Chuck Tingle (Amazon Digital Services)
Best Related Work
Between Light and Shadow: An Exploration of the Fiction of Gene Wolfe, 1951 to 1986 by Marc Aramini (Castalia House)“The First Draft of My Appendix N Book” by Jeffro Johnson (castaliahouse.com)“Safe Space as Rape Room” by Daniel Eness (castaliahouse.com)SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police by Vox Day (Castalia House)“The Story of Moira Greyland” by Moira Greyland (askthebigot.com)
Best Graphic Story
The Divine written by Boaz Lavie, art by Asaf Hanuka and Tomer Hanuka (First Second)Erin Dies Alone written by Grey Carter, art by Cory Rydell (dyingalone.net)Full Frontal Nerdity by Aaron Williams (ffn.nodwick.com)Invisible Republic Vol 1 written by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman, art by Gabriel Hardman (Image Comics)The Sandman: Overture written by Neil Gaiman, art by J.H. Williams III (Vertigo)
Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)
Avengers: Age of Ultron written and directed by Joss Whedon (Marvel Studios; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)Ex Machina written and directed by Alex Garland (Film4; DNA Films; Universal Pictures)Mad Max: Fury Road written by George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, and Nico Lathouris, directed by George Miller (Village Roadshow Pictures; Kennedy Miller Mitchell; RatPac‐Dune Entertainment; Warner Bros. Pictures)The Martian screenplay by Drew Goddard, directed by Ridley Scott (Scott Free Productions; Kinberg Genre; TSG Entertainment; 20th Century Fox)Star Wars: The Force Awakens written by Lawrence Kasdan, J. J. Abrams, and Michael Arndt, directed by J.J. Abrams (Lucasfilm Ltd.; Bad Robot Productions; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)
Doctor Who: “Heaven Sent” written by Steven Moffat, directed by Rachel Talalay (BBC Television)Grimm: “Headache” written by Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt, directed by Jim Kouf (Universal Television; GK Productions; Hazy Mills Productions; Open 4 Business Productions; NBCUniversal Television Distribution)Jessica Jones: “AKA Smile” written by Scott Reynolds, Melissa Rosenberg, and Jamie King, directed by Michael Rymer (Marvel Television; ABC Studios; Tall Girls Productions; Netflix)My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: “The Cutie Map” Parts 1 and 2written by Scott Sonneborn, M.A. Larson, and Meghan McCarthy, directed by Jayson Thiessen and Jim Miller (DHX Media/Vancouver; Hasbro Studios)Supernatural: “Just My Imagination” written by Jenny Klein, directed by Richard Speight Jr. (Kripke Enterprises; Wonderland Sound and Vision; Warner Bros. Television)
Best Editor — Short Form
John Joseph AdamsNeil ClarkeEllen DatlowJerry PournelleSheila Williams
Best Editor — Long Form
Vox DaySheila E. GilbertLiz GorinskyJim MinzToni Weisskopf
Best Professional Artist
Lars Braad AndersenLarry ElmoreAbigail LarsonMichal KarczLarry Rostant
Beneath Ceaseless Skies edited by Scott H. Andrews, Nicole Lavigne, and Kate MarshallDaily Science Fiction edited by Michele‐Lee Barasso and Jonathan LadenSci Phi Journal edited by Jason RennieStrange Horizons edited by Catherine Krahe, Julia Rios, A. J. Odasso, Vanessa Rose Phin, Maureen Kincaid Speller, and the Strange Horizons staffUncanny Magazine edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, and Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky
Black Gate edited by John O’NeillCastalia House Blog edited by Jeffro JohnsonFile 770 edited by Mike GlyerSuperversive SF edited by Jason RennieTangent Online edited by Dave Truesdale
8-4 Play, Mark MacDonald, John Ricciardi, Hiroko Minamoto, and Justin EppersonCane and Rinse, Cane and RinseHelloGreedo, HelloGreedoThe Rageaholic, RazörFistTales to Terrify, Stephen Kilpatrick
Best Fan Writer
Douglas ErnstMike GlyerMorgan HolmesJeffro JohnsonShamus Young
Best Fan Artist
Matthew Callahandisse86KukuruyoChristian QuinotSteve Stiles
John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer
Pierce Brown *Sebastien de Castell *Brian NiemeierAndy Weir *Alyssa Wong ** Finalists in their 2nd year of eligibility.