For a genre often marred by it’s lack of diversity, times do seem to be changing. At this year’s Hugo Awards ceremony, science fiction and fantasy fans proved that women can make a mark. Of the 16 categories, for which awards were given, women took home half. 

Ancillary Justice novel by Ann LeckieThe Hugo Awards are one of science fiction’s and fantasy’s most prestigious awards. Presented annually since 1955, the Hugo Awards are decided by popular vote by members of the World Science Fiction Convention. The Hugo Award ballots are open to anyone who has a paid membership to one of the qualifying Worldcons.

Racking up another prestigious award, Ancillary Justice by Ann Lecki, won the Hugo for best novel. In her debut novel, Ann creates a space opera where the main protagonist is a spaceship AI. If that weren’t interesting enough, the novel also gained notice for interesting way gender is tackled. Although not the focus, the main character comes from a planet without gender distinctions, so it affects her thoughts and reactions on handling binary gender.

Best Novelette went to Mary Robinette Kowal for “The Lady Astronaut of Mars.” Kameron Hurley won two Hugos; one for Best Related Work for “We Have Always Fought: Challenging the Women, Cattle and Slaves Narrative” and one for Best Fan Writer.

In the Editor and Artist categories women dominated. Ellen Datlow won for Best Editor, Short Form and Ginjer Buchanan for Best Editor, Long Form. Best Professional Artist went to Julie Dillon and Best Fan Artist to Sarah Webb.

Although Best Semiprozine went to a publication edited by men, Lightspeed Magazine made waves earlier this year with its overwhelmingly successful Women Destroy Science Fiction Kickstarter campaign.

Along those lines, the movie Gravity, which won for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form, was written and directed by men, but the movie might not have been successful without the committed and riveting performance of its female lead played by Sandra Bullock.

Lastly, though not a true Hugo Award, the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer went to Sofia Samatar. According The Big Idea post on John Scalzi’s blog, she talks about her book A Stranger in Olondria and how she was wrote it while she was in Yambio, South Sudan, where she taught high school English.

This week may bring the usual dose of commentary about how perhaps this year’s selections were lower caliber which is why women won or some other noise. Thankfully John Scalzi has already taken to his Twitter feed to give us an entertaining look at some of those potential passive aggressive arguments.

When all was said and done, 3587 valid ballots were received and counted in the final ballot. Click here to view the complete list of winners.