It’s getting really difficult to find new titles for all of these Hugo related posts.
Besides, I forgot to mention that the 1939 Retro Hugos have been awarded as well. Now I have to confess I don’t quite get the point of the Retro Hugos, particularly when none of the nominees are still alive to enjoy them. Never mind that the Retro Hugos will always be coloured by hindsight or does anybody honestly believe that two early shorts by a teenaged Arthur C. Clarke and Ray Bradbury published in fanzines would ever have made it onto a Hugo ballot in 1939, let alone that one of them would have won?
In general, the results are a mix of the bleeding obvious such as John W. Campbell’s classic “Who Goes There?” winning in the best novella category or Orson Welles’ classic radio adaption of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds (yes, that radio adaption) winning in the best dramatic presentation category and the utterly mind-boggling such as a Clifford D. Simak story I’ve never heard of beating Robert E. Howard’s excellent Pigeons from Hell as well as the Henry Kuttner’s highly amusing Hollywood on the Moon and C.L. Moore’s Werewoman. Or how about an early story by a teenaged Arthur C. Clarke published in a fanzine beating Lester Del Rey’s Helen O’Loy (which I dislike for its creepy sexism, but it’s still a minor classic).
I’m also surprised at the results in the best novel category with The Sword in the Stone and C.L. Lewis’ Out of the Silent Planet both beating E.E. Smith’s Galactic Patrol (largely unreadable these days, but of enormous importance to the genre as such) as well as Jack Williamson’s Legion of Time (still readable) and Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Carson of Venus (ditto). I know a lot of people are fond of Lewis because of Narnia (which largely passed me by as a kid), but Out of the Silent Planet is pretty bad and doesn’t even have the significance of something like Galactic Patrol.
Now the Retro Hugos have been dispensed with, here are some more reactions to the 2014 Hugo Award winners from around the web:
At The Guardian, Hannah Ellis-Petersen offers a summary of the 2014 Hugos, though she neglects to mention Charles Stross, Mary Robinette Kowal and Sofia Samatar.
At The Daily Dot, Gavia Baker-Whitelaw offers a summary of the winners and controversies and points out that in spite of the alleged “greying” of Worldcon this latest slate of Hugo winners looks very different from the white male canon of previous years and is also finding their audience in different ways.
Jamie Todd Rubin points out that this year’s Hugo winner slate saved science fiction for him by restoring his flagging interest and faith in the genre. I guess many of us feel that way today.
Double Hugo winner Kameron Hurley reposts her two acceptance speeches at her blog for those who couldn’t hear them live. Some very good points about change, rage and the importance of words plus some bonus fuzzy llamas.
At Teleread, Paul St. John Mackintosh points out that the sad puppies came out looking badly out of their Hugo campaign and might have harmed their cause and credibility more than they furthered it.
Tim Hall makes a similar point at Where Worlds Collide and wonders whether the aim of the Sad Puppies campaign was truly to challenge a perceived leftwing dominance at the Hugos or whether the aim was to discredit WorldCon and the Hugos in the eyes of the fans of the Sad Puppies. Which strikes me as strange, because the Sad Puppies can (and probably already did) set up cons and awards of their own to hang out with likeminded people without discrediting those of the larger genre community.
At From the Heart of Europe, Nicholas Whyte offers some in-depth analysis of the Hugo voting and nomination stats.
Ann Leckie, winner of the Hugo Award for best novel for Ancillary Justice, also recounts her WorldCon and Hugo Awards experience.
John Chu, winner of the Hugo Award for best short story for “The Water That Falls On You From Nowhere” recounts his Hugo experiences and reposts his acceptance speech.
The only thing that somewhat marred the otherwise excellent news from the 2014 WorldCon is that the 2016 WorldCon will be held in Kansas City, Missouri, a city whose main claim to SFnal fame is being thoroughly destroyed by a nuclear bomb in that infamous anti-nuclear war film The Day After in 1983, rather than in Beijing, capital of a country of one billion people, which has a huge if largely non-westernized SF fandom. Considering this comes after the 2015 WorldCon was awarded to Spokane in Washington (which has no claim to SF fame at all, as far as I can tell) over Helsinki and Orlando, it’s kind of obvious that many fans still haven’t grasped the significance of the “world” bit in WorldCon.
Jonathan McCalmont at Ruthless Culture had some thoughts about why holding two subsequent WorldCons in smaller US cities is not a good idea and why he feels there shouldn’t be two US WorldCons back to back at all. One potential solution might be a rule similar to the selection of football World Cup sites, since the FIFA rules state that two subsequent World Cups cannot take place on the same continent. Continents are perhaps a bit much in this case, but why no rule that two subsequent WorldCons cannot take place in the same country?