Women and writers of color win big at Hugo Awards and the Puppies are even sadder


The winners of the Hugo Awards were announced at a gala ceremony in Kansas City, Mo., on Saturday, marking a good night for women and authors of color, and a very bad one for the “Puppies.”

Writers N.K. Jemisin and Nnedi Okorafor, both of whom are African American women, won the novel and novella awards, respectively. It was a defeat for the groups the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies, who for two years have semi-successfully gamed the nominations for the Hugos — which along with the Nebula Awards are generally considered the preeminent awards in science fiction and fantasy — in an attempt to advance their anti-diversity agendas.

Jemisin, who won for her novel “The Fifth Season,” referenced the Puppies in her acceptance speech, io9 reports. “Only a small number of ideologues have attempted to game the Hugo Awards,” Jemisin said. “That small number can easily be overwhelmed, their regressive clamor stilled, if the rest of SFF [science fiction and fantasy] fandom simply stands up to be counted. Stands up to say that yes, they do want literary innovation, and realistic representation.”


Jemisin’s victory was a repudiation of Rabid Puppies leader Vox Day, who has described Jemisin as an “ignorant half-savage.”

Other winners who are not white men include Hao Jingfang (novelette), Ellen Datlow (editor, short form) and Abigail Larson (professional artist).

It wasn’t all bad news for Day and the Puppies. Six of the Hugo winners were listed on his recommended slate, although, as io9 notes, at least two of them were popular in their own right and would have been likely to win without his endorsement. Those included Neil Gaiman, who won for graphic story, and the film “The Martian,” which won for dramatic presentation, long form.

Gaiman wasn’t there to accept his award for “The Sandman: Overture,”but he did submit an acceptance speech that referred to the Puppies as “pitiable people” and “sad losers.”

Day himself made the shortlist for editor, long form, but came up short, finishing sixth out of five nominees. (Sheila E. Gilbert took home the prize; Day was beaten by all of the other nominees as well as “No Award.”)

One Puppy pick, Chuck Tingle’s “Space Raptor Butt Invasion,” failed to bring home the prize for short story, losing to Naomi Kritzer’s “Cat Pictures Please.”


Tingle, a pseudonymous satirist, isn’t a supporter of the Puppies and trolled the groups by sending feminist video game designer and “GamerGate” target Zoë Quinn to accept his award should he win.

Tingle seemed to have anticipated that he wouldn’t take home the award. Shortly after the awards were announced, he unveiled his latest book, the title of which refers to the loss, on Amazon.

Despite the Puppies’ performance, Day declared victory on his blog, writing that “we have the SF-SJWs exactly where we want them at this point in time.” (“SF” refers to science fiction, and “SJWs” to “social justice warriors,” a derogatory term for political progressives used by right-wing groups.)

In his post, Day again referred to Jemisin as a “half-savage” and complained, “It won’t be long before simply being a minority won’t be enough and authors will have to be gay, blind, and crippled just to be nominated.”

Jemisin didn’t seem too bothered by Day’s trolling. On Sunday she tweeted, “Awake. Checked online: still real. Still won a Hugo. I didn’t dream it.”

She also retweeted a post by her cousin, comedian W. Kamau Bell, who wrote ,”When we were kids everybody thought we were weird. WHO’S WEIRD NOW? Umm... we still are.”

The complete list of the 2016 Hugo Award winners is below.

Novel: “The Fifth Season” by N.K. Jemisin

Novella: “Binti” by Nnedi Okorafor

Novelette: “Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang, translated by Ken Liu

Short story: “Cat Pictures Please” by Naomi Kritzer

Related work: No Award

Graphic story: “The Sandman: Overture” by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by J.H. Williams III

Dramatic presentation, long form: “The Martian” screenplay by Drew Goddard, directed by Ridley Scott

Dramatic presentation, short form: “Jessica Jones”: “AKA Smile” written by Scott Reynolds, Melissa Rosenberg, and Jamie King, directed by Michael Rymer

Editor, short form: Ellen Datlow

Editor, long dorm: Sheila E. Gilbert

Professional artist: Abigail Larson

Semiprozine: “Uncanny Magazine,” edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, and Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky

Fanzine: File 770, edited by Mike Glyer

Fancast: No Award

Fan writer: Mike Glyer

Fan artist: Steve Stiles

The John W. Campbell Award for new writer: Andy Weir


Critic at Large John Scalzi on the Hugo Award finalists and controversies

‘The Fireman’ may be the best apocalyptic read of the year, if you can stand the heat

China Mieville’s ‘The Last Days of New Paris’ makes the surreal real