MidAmericon II, the 74th World Science Fiction Convention held in Kansas City, Missouri, presented the 2016 Hugo Awards Ceremony at 8:00 CST Saturday night. While not entirely free of the controversy that took over the Hugo awards ceremony last year, it was still a much more settled event. The Sad Puppy slate did manage to take over a few award finalist lists through their slate voting, but were successful in fewer categories this year which resulted in fewer incidents of No Award, which is nice.
Author and past Hugo winner Pat Cadigan served as Toastmaster for the ceremony, accompanied by Amanda Hemingway (aka Jan Siegal), provided an amusing, even slightly saucy evening’s entertainment. Cadigan (armed with a whip) took on a dominatrix-persona at times, with Hemingway as her willing minion. Fun, but not distracting from the presentation of the awards themselves. The crowd seemed to enjoy things, and the overall atmosphere was pretty positive.
By the end of the ceremony, I was personally satisfied that the Hugo’s are getting back on track and that they’ve not lost their relevance despite attempts of sabotage from certain quarters. It’s disappointing that slate voting pushed many deserving works and authors off the ballots, but the problems weren’t quite as bad as last year. All in all, this was a good ceremony and I think most people will be very satisfied with the outcomes.
Below I’m listing the award results in order of presentation. (I’m actually typing them out as they’re announced.) Following the complete list, I’ll share a few notes and observations.
Best Fan Artist
Best Fan Writer
Edited by Mike Glyer
Big Heart Award
Joe Siclari and Edie Stern
John W. Campbell Award
Edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, and Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky
Best Related Work
Best Professional Artist
Best Graphic Story
The Sandman: Overture
Written by Neil Gaiman, art by J.H. Williams III (Vertigo)
Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)
Jessica Jones: “AKA Smile”
Written by Scott Reynolds, Melissa Rosenberg, and Jamie King, directed by Michael Rymer (Marvel Television; ABC Studios; Tall Girls Productions;Netflix)
Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)
Screenplay by Drew Goddard, directed by Ridley Scott (Scott Free Productions; Kinberg Genre; TSG Entertainment; 20th Century Fox)
Best Editor (Short Form)
Best Editor (Long Form)
Best Short Story
“Cat Pictures Please”
By Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld Magazine, Jan 2015)
By Hao Jingfang, trans. Ken Liu (Uncanny Magazine, Jan-Feb 2015)
By Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com)
The Fifth Season
By N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
The four winners in the fiction categories are all first time winners and women–three of whom are people of color. This is a good and hopeful sign that science fiction and fantasy continues to grow more diverse and is reaching a broader audience and more inclusive community.
Details on voting breakdown can be downloaded HERE.
Neil Gaiman was not present to accept his award, but his delegate accepting in his place read a message from Gaiman in which Gaiman expressed his general disgust with the shenanigans inflicted upon the Hugos by the Sad/Rabid Puppy contingent. He spoke well of creators and nominees who were not accessories to the slate voting.
Astronaut Stan Love accepted the Jown W. Campbell Award for Andy Weir, author of The Martian. In doing so, he expressed his great admiration for Weir for getting the science right in his depiction of astronauts, their training, and their experiences.
Astronaut Jeanette Epps accepted the Hugo Award on behalf of The Martian‘s win for Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form). Both she and Love were Special Guests for the convention.
Steve Stiles’s win for best fan artist was particularly pleasing to me. He has long been one of my favorite fan artists and he has long deserved winning a Hugo. After over 40 years drawing for fanzines, he’s finally gotten his due. Good on him!
While not relevant to the Hugo Awards themselves, some controversy erupted at a panel presentation Friday on the state of short fiction. I’m not going to give any signal boost to the person behind the controversy, but it wouldn’t be too difficult for you to find out more on Twitter by searching out #MAC2 and the word “pearls”. Do so with caution. It has that stink of victimization reminiscent of Gamergaters.
Other news coming out of this year’s Worldcon is that site selection for the 2018 Woldcon will be held in San Jose, California. The North American Science Fiction Convention (NASFiC) in 2017 will be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico while the 2017 Worldcon is held in Helsinki, Finland.
Want to follow up on Worldcon news yourself? You can keep up on Twitter by following #worldcon and #MAC2.