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Hugo Nominations and Awards - Onwards to 2020

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The 2018 Hugos are over.  Awards were awarded.  The old thread has topped out and is closed.

http://www.thehugoawards.org/

Here are the statistics for the votes and nominations for 2018:

https://www.worldcon76.org/images/publications/2018DetailedResults.pdf

Thoughts? Concerns? Squees?

And onwards to 2019....what have you read and seen that you think you might be nominating?

If you make a recommendation, please name the author as well as the title.  Also, if its a short story or something not sold under its title name please name the publication its included in.  Also, what award are you recommending it for? Best Novel? Best Novella?  Best Novelette? Best Short Story? Best Series?

Also, not attending Worldcon but want to participate and vote for the Hugo awards?  This is achieved by purchasing a Supporting Membership for Dublin 2019 which will allow you to nominate and vote for the Hugo awards for 2019. Details regarding purchasing a Supporting Membership can be found here:

https://dublin2019.com/join-us/

ETA: There is also a separate thread specifically to discuss the YA - Not a Hugo But Given out at the Hugos - Lodestar Award:

 

Edited by lady narcissa
Updated thread title

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3 hours ago, LugaJetboyGirl-irra said:

I nominate Christine Rake of the BwB for Best Fan Artist.

Is any of her work available online?

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That is an excellent question. If you look at the Worldcon YA Facebook page, she did all the graphics for that, including the 'congratulations nominees' graphic. Maybe we find some of her other fandom related stuff.

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And the problem is that some voters seem to not even try to vote in an unbiased manner and are proud to only vote for works by "marginalized" writers and not even consider the works of cis white dudes. Now, I doubt that there are many cases of such blatant bias in action, but the voters in most categories are only a few hundred, so you don't need much to swing the results. Usually it's probably less overt - "These two stories seemed equally good to me, but I want to promote diversity so I will put the one by the Asian woman first and feel that I've done my bit for the cause of diversity".

What I also find really strange is that we have here some people who are trying to proclaim that this is just a blip on the radar, not much going on here folks. That is willfully turning a blind eye to what are some obvious facts about how the Hugo's are in fact very much voted for in the manner of identity politics. 

Let's look at the most representative Hugo, the one for best novel.

In the years 2000-2010, these were predominantly won by male writers, 8 to 2.

Since 2011, we have Connie Willis, Jo Walton, John Scalzi, Ann Leckie, Cixin Liu and then 3 straight wins for NK Jemisin.

Unless male writers suddenly stopped writing books, that in itself is a massive turn around. In the last 8 years of awards, we have 6 female winners, and 2 male. 

Then consider the case of NK Jemisin. Winning the Hugo award is rare for an author. Winning it two years in a row is pretty much unheard of, in the looooooong history of the Hugo's that only happened with Lois Mc Master Bujold in 91-92. Remarkable.

Winning the Hugo Award 3 times in a row is unprecedented. And the first time that ever happens is when an African American Woman is contending, of which there are very few. That in and of itself suggests that yes, gender/identity voting is definitely going on here. So either we are dealing with identity politics/voting here , or we are dealing with a masterpiece trilogy that the world of Fantasy and Science Fiction has never ever seen before, an overwhelmingly good series that is basically on the level of Dune, Lord of the Rings etc, a massive classic that people will be going mad about for decades to come. However outside of the Hugo's that sort of exceptional reception has not been reserved for these books. 

In a field where there is a large output ( and possibly the majority of output even) by caucasian male writers, all of this seems to suggest that the current Hugo voters vote with identity politics in mind and I think it is probably also fair to say that this award will be largely voted for by left/far left voters. 

Edited by Calibandar

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You wouldn't say that decades of white male fans voting for authors that look like them and write about things they care about was identity politics, at all?

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I'm not sure actually.

I mean, the easy answer is to say yes, possibly there was identity politics going on then as well and it has just shifted completely to the other side. 

On the other hand I'm honestly not sure. Fact of the matter is that if you look at general reception of books in the 80's, 90's , the best books were written by men. Also, there were fewer female writers of this sort of fiction than men, which might explain why so many of the best received books were by male writers. So were those people who in the 80's and 90's read mostly top level fiction by male writers engaging in voting based on identity politics, or where they voting for what was simply the best thing out there? 

Today the field is very crowded, and at the same time  there are quite clearly fewer top level works being produced, for whatever reason. I think if we look at the last couple of Hugo awards we do see that there is definitely some overcompensating/identity voting being done. Which is not a disaster by any means, but by this being so blatant the Hugo loses even more credibility as an award. What is it even representative of anymore, you might ask. 

 

Edited by Calibandar

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But there's an assumption being made that there wasn't political agendas in a field of white men. For 60ish years, the Hugo always went to best white dude?

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6 minutes ago, Calibandar said:

I'm not sure actually.

I mean, the easy answer is to say yes, possibly there was identity politics going on then as well and it has just shifted completely to the other side. 

On the other hand I'm honestly not sure. Fact of the matter is that if you look at general reception of books in the 80's, 90's , the best books were written by men.

Were they?

I mean, even the phrasing of that sentence betrays a whole set of implicit assumptions. The best received books were the best books. The reception of a book was not influenced by the fact that the author was a white male, The books we know about are better than the ones we never heard about. And so on.

6 minutes ago, Calibandar said:

Also, there were fewer female writers of this sort of fiction than men, which might explain why so many of the best received books were by male writers.

Which in itself invites the question: why was that? 

6 minutes ago, Calibandar said:

Today the field is very crowded, and at the same time  there are quite clearly fewer top level works being produced, for whatever reason.

Are there?

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12 minutes ago, Calibandar said:

What is it even representative of anymore, you might

Perhaps it's representative of the people voting for it.

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1 hour ago, kairparavel said:

Perhaps it's representative of the people voting for it.

Agreed, and as I said I think we can see from the nominees and what is voted for that the voting group is left wing/far left, if we want to give a more political assignment. The six 2017 nominees for instance consisted of 3 women , 2 Chinese men and 1 transgender person. I have no issue with that whatsoever btw, there is a clear attempt to show appreciation for minority groups , I just dislike if this clear trend is being denied out of political correctness or whatever the motivation is. And as I said I think this sort of identity voting further reduces the credibility of the Hugo as an award that supposedly represents the best stuff published in the field.

Now you might say, Cal, Kim Stanley Robinson publishes very mediocre novels and yet he appears on the nominees each year as well, explain that. That to me is further sign of poor taste. The Hugo voters clearly have a select group of authors that continue to pop up year out, and not out of merit, in my humble opinion.

 

1 hour ago, kairparavel said:

But there's an assumption being made that there wasn't political agendas in a field of white men. For 60ish years, the Hugo always went to best white dude?

I am genuinely not sure we can say that in those years we had the kind of gender/colour based voting that we see now. In fact I doubt it.

Even in the 80's/90's when female writers were by far in the minority we see Lois Mc Master Bujold racking up quite a few awards for best novel. That suggests the voting group back then was not dedicated to voting for men exclusively. In the years that Bujold did not win best novel, she was at least a nominee. Furthermore, CJ Cherryh won not one but two Hugo awards for best novels in the 80's. 

Clearly white men won most of the awards before the big shift in 2010. But I don't think that was as largely the result of identity voting as what we are seeing now. They did after all publish 80% of the output back in those days.

 

Edited by Calibandar

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1 hour ago, Calibandar said:

The six 2017 nominees for instance consisted of 3 women , 2 Chinese men and 1 transgender person. I have no issue with that whatsoever btw

You certainly seem to have an issue with it. You've been complaining about it for a few days now. 

Specifically your issue is that this represents 'identity politics' and 'political correctness' and all those other buzzwords. The problem is, nothing you've said so far really shows that these amount to anything more than your own disgruntlement at someone who doesn't look like the usual winners getting recognition. 

1 hour ago, Calibandar said:

Even in the 80's/90's when female writers were by far in the minority we see Lois Mc Master Bujold racking up quite a few awards for best novel. That suggests the voting group back then was not dedicated to voting for men exclusively.

But as you point out, Kim Stanley Robinson was on the list this year, so that proves the voting group now isn't dedicated to exclusively voting for minorities, so all is well. 

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1 hour ago, mormont said:

But as you point out, Kim Stanley Robinson was on the list this year, so that proves the voting group now isn't dedicated to exclusively voting for minorities, so all is well. 

That is selective on your part.

If you want to give it a balanced view, you'd probably come up with something like this. 

In the 80's and 90's, the vast majority of SFF Books was published by men. The vast majority of highly acclaimed works of that period, regardless of Hugo awards, is also by men. And yet still there were a fair few best novel Hugo awards that went to women publishing in that time. This does not really suggest that people then were actively voting based on identity of white men.

In 2017, you might say that the output is fairly evenly divided 50/50 between men and women. And yet, the Hugo award is now dominated by women. And has been for a while, if one looks at the evidence I presented ( such as of the last 8 years of winners, 6 were female). If you look at how many African American women, Asians or transgenders are actually publishing SFF Books compared to white men, it is only a minute number, almost negligible in qty, and yet when it comes time for the Hugo Award voters to vote for the 2017 award, we find ourselves with a nominees list of 3 women, 2 Asian men, and 1 transgender. And guess what, the first African American woman to be in the running wins the award an unprecedented 3 years in a row. Does anyone believe that would have happened if the Broken Earth trilogy had been written by some white guy?

You want more? The winners of the category of Best novella the last 3 years were Nnedi Okarofor, Seanan McGuire and Martha Wells. Ok that must all be a coincidence. So maybe let's look at the last 6 winners of Best novellete? 5 winners were female, shocking  isn't it, the last man to win that category was 4 years ago.

Not sure whether one is upset with this matters at all, it is plain as day what's going on, just don't deny it or sugercoat it with the usual modus operandi. Facts are a bitch I know and I am not going to respond to those questioning my motivation or other blablabla. If you're happy with how this going on because you enjoy seeing white male authors getting some  "well deserved payback", say so instead.

 

Edited by Calibandar

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41 minutes ago, Calibandar said:

That is selective on your part.

Yes. That is the point. Your selective use of examples to try to prove that the slew of white male winners wasn't about 'identify politics' is an inherently flawed argument. Thank you. 

If you really want to get into a deeper, more comprehensive statistical argument, go ahead. But at least try to apply a bare minimum of rigour, instead of treating your own hunches as facts (50% of SF books published now are by women? Jemisin is the 'first African-American woman to be in the running'?) 

47 minutes ago, Calibandar said:

Does anyone believe that would have happened if the Broken Earth trilogy had been written by some white guy?

One thing is for sure: white guys have had plenty of opportunities to do it. Robert Silverberg was nominated four years running from 1970-73 inclusive. Poul anderson was nominated in '73, '74 and '75. Orson Scott Card got nominated for two entries in a series two years in succession, twice: the third in the 'Ender' series was also nominated. Had it been released earlier, he'd have had the chance to do what Jemisin did. Read the list of nominees from the '60s, '70s and '80s and you see the same names coming up over and over again.

Certainly, what Jemisin has done is unprecedented, but in large part that has to do with her releasing her books in consecutive years (unusual in itself) and actually winning after being nominated (which is down to many factors, but given the shortlist, it's hard to put too much weight on her gender influencing the vote). 

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4 hours ago, Calibandar said:

Now you might say, Cal, Kim Stanley Robinson publishes very mediocre novels and yet he appears on the nominees each year as well, explain that. That to me is further sign of poor taste. The Hugo voters clearly have a select group of authors that continue to pop up year out, and not out of merit, in my humble opinion.

Well, why don't you stop complaining and suggest some damn nominations, then? This is a thread for 2019 Hugo nominations! Show us your excellent taste and we can all move on with discussing actual books to nominate.

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1 hour ago, LugaJetboyGirl-irra said:

we can all move on with discussing actual books to nominate.

All books published in 2018 are eligible, right?

Gnomon, A Veil of Spears and Grey Sister could end up on my list, from what I read so far. Record of A Spaceborn Few too maybe.

I would vote no award before RF Kuang for a Campbell though. (The Poppy War seems oddly popular, wouldn't surprise me to see it nominated)

Edited by Errant Bard
2019->2018

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I would guess that the current popularity of women and non-WASP (passing) writers it to a large extent due to a large part of the voting population in awards (Nebula, Locus, Hugo) is keen on new and interesting viewpoints.

I would swear someone has collected gender data on SF short fiction markets in the past few years (comparable to VIDA) but I can't find it. Maybe someone has a better memory or luck.

And a writer winning the not-a-Hugo on a single work of short fiction is not unheard of, the one I remember is E Lily Yu. And I belief also Mary Robinette Kowall when she beat out the likes of Scott Lynch and Joe Abercrombie for her win.

Edited by Seli

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11 hours ago, LugaJetboyGirl-irra said:

Well, why don't you stop complaining and suggest some damn nominations, then? This is a thread for 2019 Hugo nominations! Show us your excellent taste and we can all move on with discussing actual books to nominate.

^^This.  Margaret Killjoy's excellent book The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion was overlooked last year.  Her new book The Barrow Will Send What it May is eligible.  I just finished it.  It's the second of a series, they're both short, so I'm not sure if they are novel or novella length.  I don't have my notes from last year.  

I personally love this series.  A lot of my friends could be described as anarcho-punks.  This book was clearly not written by a tourist but by a member of the community.  If you've ever been curious about train kids, circus performers (sideshow variety) or the life of punk bands on the road, this book will give you a glimpse of what that life is like.  None of the characters have those jobs, but folks who travel for art often use networks of people like the one described in the books to enable their art.

Brook Bollander's The Only Harmless Great Thing is a fantastic novella about an alternate history where elephants were used to mine uranium.  She has really honed her craft over the last few years.  Some of the events in the novella are real.  Women were used in radium mines, historically and many died of cancer.  The prose is beautiful.

Cixin Liu's Ball Lightening just came out.  I prefer this translator, who translated The Dark Forest to the translator responsible for Three Body Problem, so I've REALLY been looking forward to it.

Yoon Ha Lee's third book Revenant Gun is out.  I really enjoyed the first two.

Rivers Solomon is partnering with Clipping to write a book inspired by the Deep, but I suspect we won't see that until next year.

I'm tired, so that's a start for now.

For the record.  The Stone Sky was the best book on that ballot.  There were several I loved nearly as much that didn't make the ballot, but of the ones on the list it was the clear standout.  Well deserved win to Jemisin.  

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