On April 4, this year’s Hugo nominations were announced at Norwescon. Five nominees were selected in each category by registered members of Loncon, Sasquan, and MidAmericon II (the 2014, 2015, and 2016 World Science Fiction Conventions). This year broke the previous voting record with 2,122 ballots received. Winners will be selected by members of Sasquan 2015 and will be announced at the Hugo Awards Ceremony on Saturday, August 22.
The voting and nominating process for the Hugos differs from other award ceremonies in that anyone who can afford a supporting membership to Worldcon (USD$50) can participate. The goal of this system is to enable the fans themselves to determine the best in scifi and fantasy of a given year, rather than leave it to a selected jury. However, this also means that it is easier for groups to campaign for certain works and for creators to end up on the shortlist.
This is how the group Sad Puppies, run by Larry Correira and Brad R. Torgesen, and the Rabid Puppies, run by Vox Day, managed to sweep nearly every category with a slate of works the two groups felt were more in line with traditional science fiction. That is, more white and more male.
The politics of the situation will be left for another post. Below are the nominees, along with resources to read or purchase their works and decide on the quality for yourself. However, I feel that we should also be aware which works were actively promoted by these two groups, and have marked them as such (*). Now, this shouldn’t stop you from supporting creators whose work you genuinely enjoy, nor is it any reason to blame the authors for the politics of their fans.
Below are the Hugo nominees for 2015. Beside each category I have included the number of valid ballots and suggested entries received for that category, and each entry is accompanied with relevant links.
1827 ballots, 587 entries
This sequel to Ancillary Justice finds Breq, a former AI-controlled warship whose consciousness was transferred to a human body, in service of the emperor and on her way to protect the family of the lieutenant she murdered. Upon her arrival she discovers that not everything is as it seems, and threats are imminent in the form of unfriendly aliens, troubled AI, and old political factions.
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In the first book of the Saga of Shadows series, humans must repair faltering relations with the Ildiran Empire to save the galaxy from the mysterious new threat that has emerged twenty years after The Elemental War nearly destroyed it.
One young, naïve half-goblin heir finds himself the new emperor after an “accident” leaves his father and three half-siblings dead. Having spent most of his life in exile, he must now learn how to rule his new kingdom, all the while aware of possible attack from those who killed the former king.
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This sequel to Terms of Enlistment follows protagonist Andrew Greyson as he is shipped off to a distant colony with other troublemakers and malcontents. He dreams of finishing his time and retiring from military service, but between political strife and the decay of civilization, will there be a home for him to return to?
Skin Game, book 15 in The Dresden Files series, finds Harry Dresden working with Nicodemus Archleone and a group of other supernatural villains to steal the Holy Grail from the highest-security vault in the Nevernever: the vault guarding the treasure horde of Hades himself.
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1083 ballots, 201 entries
Ratha is a sentient war machine designed to fight Earth’s battles against dozens of alien worlds. However, upon discovering it has a conscience, it may not maintain that obedience for long.
Young northerner Rist has decided to leave his icy homeland for the first time. On his journey south he discovers much about the rest of the world: different people, new religions, and technology that leaves him awestruck. But after stealing a spindle of thread-like filament, he must flee for his life to the ends of the earth.
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Years after a childhood adventure to a magical land, Tommy Robertson has been summoned to defend England against the Knight of Ghosts and Shadows. But Tommy has grown up, as have his childhood companions.
*”The Plural of Helen of Troy” by John C. Wright (City Beyond Time: Tales of the Fall of Metachronopolis, Castalia House)
One part of City Beyond Time, the collection of short stories that presents John C Wrights perspective of time travel.
1031 ballots, 314 entries
*”Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium” by Gray Rinehart (Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show)
*”Championship B’tok” by Edward M. Lerner (Analog)
*”The Journeyman: In the Stone House” by Michael F. Flynn (Analog)
Buy the issue
*”The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale” by Rajnar Vajra (Analog)
Buy the issue
*”Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” by John C. Wright (The Book of Feasts & Seasons, Castalia House)
Best Short Story
1174 ballots, 728 entries
*”Goodnight Stars” by Annie Bellet (The End is Now, Broad Reach Publishing)
*”On a Spiritual Plain” by Lou Antonelli (Sci Phi Journal #2)
Buy the issue
*”The Parliament of Beasts and Birds” by John C. Wright (The Book of Feasts & Seasons, Castalia House)
*”Totaled” by Kary English (Galaxy’s Edge Magazine)
Best Related Work
1150 ballots, 346 entries
*”The Hot Equations: Thermodynamics and Military SF” by Ken Burnside (Riding the Red Horse, Castalia House)
*Letters from Gardner by Lou Antonelli (The Merry Blacksmith Press)
*”Why Science is Never Settled” by Tedd Roberts (Baen.com)
Read an excerpt
*Wisdom from My Internet by Michael Z. Williamson (Patriarchy Press)
Best Graphic Story
785 ballots, 325 entries
Best Long Form Dramatic Presentation
1285 ballots, 189 entries
Captain America: The Winter Soldier, screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, concept and story by Ed Brubaker, directed by Anthony Russo & Joe Russo (Marvel Entertainment, Perception, Sony Pictures Imageworks)
Edge of Tomorrow, screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, and John-Henry Butterworth, directed by Doug Liman (Village Roadshow, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, 3 Arts Entertainment, Viz Productions)
*The Lego Movie, written by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, story by Dan Hagerman, Kevin Hagerman, Phil Lord, and Christopher Miller, directed by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller (Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, LEGO System A/S, Vertigo Entertainment, Lin Pictures, Warner Bros. Animation)
Best Short Form Dramatic Presentation
938 ballots, 470 entries
Doctor Who: “Listen” by Steven Moffat, directed by Douglas Mackinnon (BBC Television)
*The Flash: “Pilot,” teleplay by Andrew Kreisberg & Geoff Johns, story by Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, and Geoff Johns, directed by David Nutter (The CW, Berlanti Productions, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television)
*Game of Thrones: “The Mountain and the Viper” written by David Benioff & DB Weiss, directed by Alex Graves (HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead, Television 360, Startling Television, and Generator Productions)
*Grimm: “Once. We Were Gods.” written by Alan DiFiore, directed by Steven DePaul (NBC, GK Productions, Hazy Mills Productions, Universal TV)
Orphan Black: “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried” written by Graham Manson, directed by John Fawcett (Temple Street Productions, Space/BBC America)
Best Short Form Editor
870 ballots, 187 entries
Best Long Form Editor
712 ballots, 124 entries
Best Professional Artist
753 ballots, 300 entries
660 ballots, 100 entries
*Abyss & Apex, Wendy Delmater
*Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine, Andromeda Spaceways Publishing Association Incorporated, David Kernot & Sue Bursztynski
Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Scott H. Andrews
Lightspeed Magazine, John Joseph Adams, Stefan Rudnicki, Rish Horton, Wendy N. Wagner, and Christie Yant
Strange Horizons, Niall Harrison
576 ballots, 162 entries
*Black Gate, John O’Neill
*Elitist Book Reviews, Steven Diamond
Journey Planet, James Bacon, Christopher J Garcia, Coin Harris, Alissa McKersie, and Helen J. Montgomery
*The Revenge of Hump Day, Tim Bolgeo
*Tangent SF Online, Dave Truesdale
668 ballots, 162 entries
*Adventures in SF Publishing, Brent Bower, Kristi Charish, Timothy C. Ward, and Moses Siregar III
*Dungeon Crawlers Radio, Daniel Swenson, Travis Alexander, Scott Tomlin, Dale Newton, and Damien Swenson
Galactic Suburbia Podcast, Alisa Kranostein, Alexandra Pierce, Tansy Rayner Roberts, and Andrew Finch
*The Sci Phi Show, Jason Rennie
Tea and Jeopardy, Emma Newman and Peter Newman