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The 2017 Hugo Awards (thehugoawards.org) 180

Dave Knott writes: The Hugo Awards, the most prestigious awards in science fiction, had their 2017 ceremony today, at WorldCon 75 in Helsinki, Finland.
The winners are:

Best Novel: The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin
Best Novella: "Every Heart a Doorway" by Seanan McGuire
Best Novelette: "The Tomato Thief" by Ursula Vernon
Best Short Story: "Seasons of Glass and Iron", by Amal El-Mohtar
Best Related Work: Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000-2016 by Ursula K Le Guin
Best Graphic Story: Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening , written by Marjorie Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda
Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form): Arrival , screenplay by Eric Heisserer based on a short story by Ted Chiang, directed by Denis Villeneuve
Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form): The Expanse: Leviathan Wakes , written by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, directed by Terry McDonough
Best Series: The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)
John W Campbell Award for Best New Writer: Ada Palmer

This year's slate of nominees, unlike the drama surrounding the 2016 and 2015 Hugos, was less impacted by the ballot-stuffing tactics of the "Rabid Puppies", thanks to a change in the way nominees were voted for this year (including the fact no work could appear in more than one category) in an attempt to avoid tactical slate picks.

The 2017 Hugo Awards

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Here's what a Hugo award actually looks like [twitter.com].
    • But where are the rippling abs? Hm perhaps I'm confusing the tingleverse with real life again.

    • So the best dramatic presentation award goes to the film about making contact with a race of intelligent squid who communicate via the medium of coffee stains whoopee
  • DNW (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Saturday August 12, 2017 @02:39PM (#54999385) Homepage Journal

    So, it's official - the Hugo Awards have become the Harlequin Awards, much like Rock'n Roll Hall of Fame has become Pop'n Roll Hall of Fame.

    That's well and fine, but it's time to drop the pretense, and make room for an award that celebrates the original art form. This doesn't.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by JoshuaZ ( 1134087 )
      What is your objection precisely? Are you arguing that the Vorkosigan Saga is not sci-fi? Are you are arguing that The Obelisk Gate is not scifi? Are you arguing that The Expanse is not scifi? No? So what is your argument other than that things won which you didn't want to win, or possible being uncomfortable with the fact that many woman won?
      • The Expanse is an awesome book series. I haven't seen the television show yet. Obelisk Gate is spectacular sci fi, period. The Vorkosigan Saga is spectacular sci fi, period.

        I've read books by Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Frederick Pohl, Jerry Pournelle, Robert Jordan, George RR Martin, Brent Weeks, Jim Butcher, Harry Harrison, Frank Herbert, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Larry Niven, David Gerrold, Anne McCaffrey, David Brin, Steven Erikson, Raymond Feist, Patrick Rothfuss, Kevin Hearne, JRR Tolkien, CS Le
        • by nyet ( 19118 )

          No Iain M. Banks? Shame on you.

        • I've read the first 4 and plan to read the series only because I like to read crappy books once a year or so

          the expanse books are full of flat and dull characters. plot driven and a lot of the books reuse the same plot, attack the enemy base. and of course the final battle is full of plot ammo, plot life and enough the winner almost dies to fill up a dozen pages of tripe.

      • by globaljustin ( 574257 ) on Saturday August 12, 2017 @06:29PM (#55000301) Journal

        This whole Hugo Awards flap is so hilarious yet so sad. It's the perfect case of a bad solution to a real problem.

        I agree the scifi status quo was sexist, puerile, over-dense, plotless garbage. Something needed to change.

        -simultaneously-

        I also agree that there has been an over-correction almost as extreme as the original problem!

        Both are true.

        The original problem was sexist garbage scifi but the solution is not to promote insipid non-scifi fluff.

        • Hugo is for both sci-fi and fantasy. I'd rather those weren't lumped together, but here we are
        • by dbIII ( 701233 )
          The biggest problem with the "flap" in my opinion was that some utter bastards were instructing people to vote for a specific list of things on a "slate" whether they had read/seen them or not. It was about turning the Hugos into something overtly political, like the Eurovision Song Contest.
          As for this years, I've only read Seanan McGuire's novella, and she well and truly deserved an award for it. She's got a few more in the series as free downloads.
          • Yeah the whole "slate" thing was egregious and embarassing to behold such pettiness.

      • Re:DNW (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ravenshrike ( 808508 ) on Sunday August 13, 2017 @12:02AM (#55001515)

        The stated purpose of the Hugo awards is an award meant to reflect what the majority of sci-fi fans thought was good. The SMOFinati decided to play gatekeepers which means their award is now nothing more then a bunch of sad old people(Average WorldCon attendance age has to be pushing what, 50 years old now?) telling others to get off their lawn.

        • The stated purpose of the Hugo awards is an award meant to reflect what the majority of sci-fi fans thought was good.

          Yes, and that's why some sick sad puppies deliberately stuffing ballot boxes in order to try to make it look less like people are reading sci-fi about stuff they don't like fucked it all up last year. They didn't want people to know that people thought that stuff was good, so they mounted a concerted effort to stop others from finding out.

    • Re:DNW (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Normal_Deviate ( 807129 ) on Saturday August 12, 2017 @04:24PM (#54999771)
      I used to rely on the Hugo, but I noticed it had stopped being useful before I noticed it was because it switched to, "Best sci-fi not written by the people who had written most of the good sci fi." For me personally, the Hugo going SJW was real loss. Maybe the Dragon Award can fill that role now.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Dragon Awards gave 2016 Best SF/F PC/Console Game to Fallout 4. I'm very unhappy with many situations in and around the Hugo awards, but that diminishes my confidence in the Dragon Awards being a suitable replacement. Awards given to FO4, especially for its story, weren't even popular on subreddits devoted to the series.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Phydeaux ( 82550 )
      Yup, you got it. The Puppies purposely ignored it this year so all the progressives got exactly what they want. 80% female winners, a good selection of minorities and everyone gets a participation trophy. Apart form Lois McMaster Bujold (a serious classic Sci-Fi writer), the rest of the winners are all SJWs writing about equality, justice, trans alien rights and minorities. Their stories/books just happen to be set in (roughly) a Sci-Fi world. So, congrats! The only way it could have been better was if Joh
      • Please read Every Heart a Doorway by McGuire, and tell me where the concern is for equality, justice, trans alien rights, and minorities. I suppose you can take "murder is wrong" as relating to justice, but I don't see any of the others.

    • by whitroth ( 9367 )

      I see, are you officially one of the sick/sad puppies, or are you ashamed that you are?

      The ones that won deserved the awards. You don't like that, start your own award.

      We created the Hugo, we decide. (And I've been active in sf fandom probably longer than you've been alive, kid.)

      • by arth1 ( 260657 )

        I see, are you officially one of the sick/sad puppies, or are you ashamed that you are?

        This is not an answerable question. It's on par with "Are you a wife beater, or are you ashamed that you are?"

        We created the Hugo, we decide.

        Except that it's not the ones that created the Hugo that decide. It's whoever ponies up the admission fee.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 12, 2017 @02:40PM (#54999387)

    Last I heard these awards are more about diversity and virtue signaling than any kind of merit.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yep. The actual supposed "take over" was by groups trying to push for more actual science fiction - with an emphasis on science - over the more recent "science fiction" where it's less science and more "fantasy set in the future." This got reframed by SJWs since it turned out most of the fantasy-pretending-to-be-scifi were written by women. They pretended it was really an "attack on women" and an "attack on minorities" despite the fact that it was really a push to make science fiction awards be for - well,

      • by JoshuaZ ( 1134087 ) on Saturday August 12, 2017 @03:18PM (#54999521) Homepage
        This narration is simply inaccurate as a glance at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sad_Puppies [wikipedia.org]. In fact, the first attempt by the Sad Puppies was to nominate Monster Hunter Legion. I quote from its description on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Monster-Hunter-Legion-Larry-Correia/dp/1451639066 [amazon.com]:

        . A conference in Vegas becomes a showdown between Owen Pitt and the staff of Monster Hunter International with an ancient god, one that could turn Sin City into a literal hell on earth.

        Yeah, ancient gods are so so sci-fi. Moving on, when Torgensen ran the Sad Puppies he explicitly said that it was because "popular" works were being passed over in favor of "literary" works or works with political messages http://io9.gizmodo.com/the-hugo-awards-were-always-political-now-theyre-only-1695721604 [gizmodo.com]. Note that that doesn't say anything about whether it is fantasy or scifi. The Rabid Puppies meanwhile explicitly tried to be more extreme and to deliberately nominate "right-wing" sci-fi or simply ruin the Hugos. As Vox Day https://www.wired.com/2015/08/won-science-fictions-hugo-awards-matters/ [wired.com] said:

        “I wanted to leave a big smoking hole where the Hugo Awards were,” he told me before the winners were announced. “All this has ever been is a giant Fuck You—one massive gesture of contempt.”

        Moreover, the idea that the Hugos classically focused on science fiction that was less fantasy is simply not true. "The Graveyard Book" won in 2009, Bujold's "Paladin of Souls" won in 2004, "American Gods" won in 2002, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" won in 2001, and if one looks at nominations rather than winners, fantasy novels have frequently been nominated, going back at least to "Too Many Magicians" in 1967 and Dragonquest in 1972, and Book of Skulls in 1973. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_Award_for_Best_Novel [wikipedia.org]. And that's just in the Best Novel category. Similar remarks apply to the other categories.

        • It was an excellent addition to his body of SF novels. Everything in it could have been told using a more traditional premise. His multitude of admirers didn't question it as being a worthy candidate for the Hugo. It reminds me of Bug Jack Barron by Spinrad in so far as what it had to say about the lengths people will go to to extend life, and how sordid the whole practice of immortality for some, at the expense of others, can get. The style was much different of course. Just beautiful, and I can only thin
        • by wwphx ( 225607 )
          And Vox and his slate all finished below No Award. I was quite happy to see that. They may be able to game the DragonCon award, I'm not bothering with that one.
      • by nyet ( 19118 )

        Nobody has written any decent real SF since Iain Banks died.

        • by Whibla ( 210729 )

          His death was a tragic loss. It makes me sad when I think I'm never going to read another new Bank's sci fi. Fortunately there's still a couple of his fiction novels that I haven't read yet.

          Alastair Reynolds comes close, however, and what he writes, for the most part, counts as 'decent real SF'.

          • by nyet ( 19118 )

            I tried to like Reynolds. I really did. But he just falls short IMO.

            In any case, it isn't surprising that non SF dominated the Hugo Awards (yet again) - there really aren't any great SF authors out there doing real SF.

            I have to say though, I don't think Jemesin's work is that notable either.

          • by joh ( 27088 )

            Yes, I'm re-reading Surface Detail right now and it's astonishing -- others would have made an entire career out of what Banks stuffed into one novel.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by elrous0 ( 869638 )

      Last I heard these awards are more about diversity and virtue signaling than any kind of merit.

      The list of winners tells the story. Only two white males on it, and both were paired with women or minorities. The Hugos are about as welcoming to cis white males these days as a Birmingham lunch counter was to blacks in the 1950's. And you can bet it'll be the same next year. Once the SJW cancer sets in, there is no cure.

      If an Asminov, Bradbury, or Fredrick Pohl started out today they wouldn't even get published, much less have a chance at winning an award.

    • by whitroth ( 9367 )

      No, you petty fascist. We, the fans, decided what *we* liked. Just because your racist and sexist biases overcomes what you learned about literature in school, which you either ignored or have forgotten, doesn't mean that the rest of us don't appreciate a good story and good writing.

      Poor wittle snowflake SIW (social injustice warrior), can't reed gude.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Best Related Work: Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000-2016 by Ursula K Le Guin

    It's nice to see that Le Guin is still at it. She is among the last of the "classic" sci-fi and fantasy masters left alive, after Isaac Asimov, Arthur C Clarke, Heinlein, JRR Tolkien, and the other greats of that era have passed away.

    To be sure there are many fantastic modern authors, but Le Guin's work stands head and shoulders above most who have come since. JK Rowling? You are no Ursula Le Guin.

    • I'm reading The Left Hand of Darkness. If this is what passes for being head and shoulders above most, I'm glad I only paid a few cents for it at a yard sale.

      It's a decent book, and the storyline keeps moving, but I'm trying to find what would make it both a Hugo and Nebula award winner.

      • by RDW ( 41497 )

        It's a decent book, and the storyline keeps moving, but I'm trying to find what would make it both a Hugo and Nebula award winner.

        For me, it's a beautifully written novel with a classic 'what if?' premise that, like most of the best SF, takes a sideways look at contemporary issues, set in a vivid and compelling world. But not everyone has the same taste. Looking at the list of joint Hugo/Nebula winners: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] I see plenty of favourites like Dune, Rendezvous with Rama, The Forever War, American Gods and The Windup Girl, not to mention Le Guin's The Dispossessed. But I'm baffled by the inclusion of Ender's Ga

        • Having not read Enders Game in decades I can see how some of his complaints are valid but some of them are just silly or wrong. Peter wasn't just ambitious, he was a sociopath. Ender while being smart it was really more important that he was a leader and masterful at strategy and tactics. He was also being selected and groomed for his predilection to finish a fight with some measure of finality, though this wasn't something he was really conscious of and probably simply a result of circumstances. In the end

    • Stephen R. Donaldson is still at it.

  • by bigjocker ( 113512 ) * on Saturday August 12, 2017 @04:14PM (#54999739) Homepage

    That's right, the Ghostbuster remake got more votes than Rogue One and Stranger Things in the Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form category:

    1.- Arrival,
    2.- Deadpool,
    3.- Ghostbusters,
    4.- Hidden Figures,
    5.- Rogue One,
    6.- Stranger Things season one.

    I mean, WTF.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Rockoon ( 1252108 )
      So pushing progressivism for progressivism's sake is still alive and well at the Hugo's, even if it didn't exactly overwhelm the process this time.

      When progressivism is the point, you've done it wrong.
    • That's right, the Ghostbuster remake got more votes than Rogue One and Stranger Things in the Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form category:

      Good example.

      This whole Hugo Awards flap is so hilarious yet so sad. It's the perfect case of a bad solution to a real problem.

      I agree scifi was sexist, puerile, over-dense, and plotless.

      -simultaneously-

      I also agree that there has been an over-correction almost as extreme as the original problem!

      Both are true.

      The original problem was sexist garbage scifi but the soluti

    • What does it matter when none of those three really deserved to win? IMO, Arrival was the most deserving and it won.
    • by indytx ( 825419 ) on Sunday August 13, 2017 @06:39AM (#55002231)

      Yay! Arrival won! Let's hear it for deus ex machina time travel/knowledge, garbage sci-fi!

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] "The awards are organized and awarded by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), a nonprofit association of professional science fiction and fantasy writers." Writers, not the fans, though of course writers can be considered fans as well.
  • Description fail (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rossz ( 67331 ) <ogre@geekbik[ ]net ['er.' in gap]> on Saturday August 12, 2017 @08:42PM (#55000887) Homepage Journal

    The Hugo is not the most prestigious award for Sci Fi. I would put the Nebula Award way ahead of it. In fact, over the last few years the Hugo Award has become meaningless.

    • by jebrick ( 164096 )

      While I agree that the Nebula Award is better because sci-fi/fantasy authors due the voting, many of the same books are nominated

      “Every Heart a Doorway” by Seanan McGuire, won both a Nebula and Hugo
      "The Obelisk Gate" was a finalist for best novel
      "Seasons of Glass and Iron” by Amal El-Mohtar, won both a Nebula and a Hugo
      "Arrival" written by Eric Heisserer, won both a Hugo and Nebula

      So either the exclusive club of Sci-fi/Fantasy authors has been compromised or the Hugos are not far off. My

  • Such small minded reactions. Is it that inconceivable that The Obelisk Gate might simply be a very good book?
    Usually i don't care much for fantasy yet I was impressed by predecessor The Fifth Season. Very well written, interesting and original. The Obelisk Gate was a well constructed bridge novel towards the soon to appear final volume. It doesn't make sense to read it on its own, it does expand on the first book.
    I read 2 other books on the shortlist which were good too. From the 3, All the birds in the s
  • by John.Banister ( 1291556 ) * on Sunday August 13, 2017 @04:23AM (#55001971) Homepage
    First I looked here [thehugoawards.org], and learned that one has to join a Worldcon. Then I looked here [worldcon76.org] and learned that minimum price of entry is $50. The money is apparently the only requirement. I also read this [thehugoawards.org] about the voting system. Any member can nominate five works for every category. The six of these nominees in each category with the most nominations are the ones voted on to win via instant runoff voting [wikipedia.org]. So if you feel frustrated about the resulting choices, consider that this is how they got that way, and also, it never hurts to remember that Sturgeon's Law [wikipedia.org] applies as well to opinions as it does everywhere else.

    Since everyone will have a different opinion about what is crap, what would probably work better than having an award system is something like what Booklamp [lifewire.com] attempted to be. Perhaps a search tool for book related social media could help.
  • Everyone should read Liu Cixin trilogy, three body problem, fantastic sf!
  • When George R. R. Martin writes something.

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