The winners of the 2013 Hugo and Campbell Awards have been announced. You may recall that this year’s nominations proved to be unexpectedly controversial, when a bunch of people did not agree with the nominated works and creators at all. Short summary of a long and heated discussion: Yes, we want diversity, but not this kind of diversity.
Now the winners have been announced, so let’s heat up the popcorn and wait for the controversy or not to roll in. John Scalzi finally won a Hugo in the best novel category (he already won best fan writer and best related work) for Redshirts. It wouldn’t have been my first choice (I preferred both Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance and Throne of the Crescent Moon), but it’s one I can live with. It’s also a choice very likely to piss off the “The Hugos are broken” crowd, since Redshirts came in for a lot of flak along with the works of Lois McMaster Bujold and Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant for being too light, too nostalgic and not serious enough (because SFF is serious business, damn you!).
Brandon Sanderson won in the novella category for The Emperor’s Soul, which is the main puzzler in the fiction categories for me. Because I vastly prefer Aliette de Bodard’s On a Red Station, Drifting and Jay Lake’s The Stars Do Not Lie in this category. The Nancy Kress novella also got a lot of good press and actually won the Nebula award in that category. Meanwhile, The Emperor’s Soul was along with the Mira Grant novella the nominee that wasn’t really on my radar at all. It’s not the only Hugo Brandon Sanderson got to take home either, for his Writing Excuses podcast also won in the best related works category. IMO this is another puzzling win. It’s not that I have issues with Writing Excuses. A lot of my writer fans praise that podcast, though I have never listened to it, cause I don’t do podcasts. However, there is a separate podcast category in the Hugo awards, which was won by SF Squeecast (so Seanan McGuire did get to take home a well-deserved Hugo after all). So why did Writing Excuses get nominated in the “Best related work” category, which I have always understood to be for non-fiction books about SFF-nal themes? Indeed, my favoured choices in the best related work category are usually academic books about SFF, though those rarely win.
Pat Cadigan won in the novelette category for the delightfully entitled The Girl Thing Who Went Out for Sushi, while Ken Liu won in the short story category for Mono No Aware. I can’t really disagree with either winner, though I would have preferred both Kij Johnson and Aliette de Bodard in the short story category, since I have read and enjoyed their short stories, while I haven’t read Ken Liu’s. Mur Lafferty won the Campbell award, another good choice.
The Avengers won in the best dramatic presentation long form category, which surprised absolutely no one considering how popular the movie was. Though there was something of a surprise in the short form category, for Game of Thrones finally managed to break the six year domination of Doctor Who and won for the episode “Blackwater”. Next year will certainly be interesting in this category, when we have a rather lackluster Neil Gaiman written Doctor Who episode, the 50th anniversary special, the episode that was supposed to reveal the name of the Doctor, but didn’t and possibly a regeneration episode, too, going up against the Red Wedding.
I can’t say much about the graphic novel and the artist categories, ditto for best podcast. The choices for best editor, best semiprozine and best fanzine should be pretty non-controversial as well (but then you never know). Finally, I am very pleased that Tansy Rayner Roberts won the best fan writer Hugo.
Strangelove for Science Fiction has photos of the winners. I was quite surprised that the gentleman standing next to George R.R. Martin is Rory McCann, the actor who plays The Hound in Game of Thrones, since I didn’t recognize him without the make-up.
The voting breakdown, including works which didn’t make the nomination list, may be seen here BTW. And since Hugo voting is rather cryptic, Nicholas Whyte has taken it upon himself to analyze the breakdown. What I find particularly interesting is that the Cambridge Companion to Fantasy, which would have been my personal favourite in the best related work category, lost out to the podcast by only a couple of votes. Larry Correia, whose self-promotional efforts caught quite a bit of flak during the “Hugos are broken” debate earlier this year, narrowly missed being nominated in the best novel category (Correia himself comments on his blog). Seanan McGuire narrowly lost out garnering another nomination in the short story category. The nominees who didn’t quite make it in the fan writer category are also interesting.
As for reactions, so far everything has been surprisingly quiet. Mondyboy shares his Hugo reactions at The Hysterical Hamster and Cheryl Morgan has some Hugo thoughts here. Among other things, she writes:
I gather that the Angry Young Men brigade thinks that Scalzi winning Best Novel is a sign of the death of civilization.
In fact, that pretty much was my first thought as well. My, a whole lot of people will be very pissed off at this. But oddly enough, the angry young men, at least the usual suspects among them, remain strangely silent so far. At The Guardian, David Barnett has a summary of this spring’s Hugo controversy, but that’s all so far. I suspect the angry young men are still too jetlagged or hungover to react.
Finally, there is some sad news to report, for legendary writer and editor (and in recent years blogger) Frederick Pohl died today aged 93. His last blog post is dated September 2, 2013 BTW, so he was active right up to the end. Jo Walton shares her reactions to the news at Tor.com.