A Very Few Words on the 2017 Hugo Awards

I’m still in Helsinki with a very slow computer and WiFi connection, so this is only a short Hugo reaction post. Detailed analysis will follow sometime next week.

Even though I am at WorldCon, I didn’t catch the ceremony in person, because I had a panel on alien language in science fiction (which was a lot of fun) which ran right up to the beginning of the ceremony. BTW, I think someone recorded the panel, so it may eventually show up on YouTube. And given the well documented overcrowding issues and the fact that I was hungry, I headed back to the hotel for dinner and wound up sitting in the hotel restaurant with my phone by my side, following the Hugos and occasionally surprising fellow diners with spontaneous outbursts of “Yeah” or “Huh”. No outbursts of “no, no, no” this year, because even though a lot of the winners were not my first or even my second choice, I’m not unhappy with any of them.

The full list of winners as well as photos from the ceremony may be found here. I’m particularly happy about Ada Palmer winning the Campbell, Lois McMaster Bujold winning the brand new best series award (even though that was to be expected), Ursula Vernon’s “The Tomato Thief” winning in the novelette category, Lady Business, Tea and Jeopardy and Uncanny winning in fanzine, fancast and semiprozine respectively.

The Hugo for best novel in a very strong field went to N.K. Jemisin for The Obelisk Gate, following her win last year for The Fifth Season. I honest did not expect The Obelisk Gate to win, because a) it was a very strong year and b) sequels rarely win the Hugo, if the first book in the series won. I think the last time that happened was Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead. I also confess that The Obelisk Gate also wasn’t my first or even my second choice, but I’m nonetheless very happy for N.K. Jemisin.

I’m also very happy that except for the two best dramatic presentation categories, every single Hugo award plus the Campbell went to women (two Hugos, best fancast and semiprozine, went to husband and wife teams).

The full voting and nomination statistics are here BTW. If you look at the voting stats, you’ll see that all puppy nominees except the shields placed under “No Award” (fourth year in a row for Vox Day and sixth time altogether for John C. Wright). We can also tell that there are roughly 85 rabid puppies left, going by the number of nominations the puppy candidates received.

And if you look at the nomination stats, you’ll find my name right near the end with 25 nominations. So thank you, 25 people who nominated me, whoever you are.

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2 Responses to A Very Few Words on the 2017 Hugo Awards

  1. Lela E. Buis says:

    In your extended commentary, you mentioned the win by Amal El-Mohtar. Combined with the nearly all-woman sweep, I think this choice was expected to send a message.

    • Cora says:

      In case you’re wondering whether the fact that Amal El-Mohtar is a Canadian writer of Middle Eastern (I think) Lebanese ancestry was supposed to send a message, I don’t think so. Amal El-Mohtar is a popular writer who had stories and poems nominated for awards before, including a (very good) story on last year’s Nebula shortlist. “Seasons of Glass and Iron” won both the Nebula and the Locus Award in the short story category and I heard people recommending the story and raving about it almost as soon as it came out. It’s obviously a story that spoke to a lot of people, even if it didn’t work all that well for me in the end.

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