Wednesday, August 16, 2017

2017 Hugo Award Longlist

Over the last couple of years, the various Puppy factions have packed the lists of Hugo finalists with works and people who were mediocre to miserable in quality, which meant that the longlisted nominees were often a far superior collection of books, stories, editors, magazines, writers, and artists. This year, with a handful of exceptions that all came from the Rabid Puppy slate, this wasn't the case - even though the longlisted nominees are, by and large, a strong group, the set of finalists it, taken as a whole, generally even better.

This was the first year in which the E Pluribus Hugo voting system for nominations was implemented, and it seems to have worked as well as one could possibly hope to expect. The change in the voting rules, coupled with their waning ability to whip their adherents into a frenzy after being shellacked in the voting in 2015 and 2016, resulted in the Sad Puppies kind of slinking away after not even putting a token effort into putting together a voting slate. The Rabid Puppies continued their Quixotic quest, but changed tactics, putting forward only one or two candidates in each category in order to try to get someone on the ballot via "bullet voting", and that seems to have had mixed results. They managed to get eleven finalists on the ballot, while five more appear on the longlist. They could have had five more finalists, but Rabid Puppy leader Theodore Beale is apparently really terrible at understanding the eligibility rules, so those five potential finalists were all disqualified as ineligible. The Rabid Puppies were able to get no more than one finalist per category.

As usual, the Rabid Puppy offerings included the worst crap on either the finalist ballot or the longlist, ranging from the intentionally insulting nomination of Alien Stripper Boned from Behind by the T-Rex to the usual array of self-promotion of Castalia House's dreadful products. One thing that is interesting to note is that Beale didn't even try to offer lip service to his previous alliance with the Sad Puppies and their favorite publisher Baen Books. Instead, he simply promoted his own business at every possible opportunity save for the one intentional "joke" nominee and a handful of "hostage" nominees - which are essentially slated nominees with widespread credibility. The idea seems to be a kind of Xanatos Gambit to get "worthy" works on the ballot in order to "trap" the Hugo voters into either voting against something they like or handing Beale a "win" by voting for a "hostage" to win. Like all of Beale's plots, this one is based upon his having no understanding of how normal people behave, and has been a complete failure thus far.

On a side note, one claim that is sometimes made is that because the Puppy slates on occasion include items that have some merit, one should be okay with those finalists because "they likely would have made it onto the ballot even without Puppy support". I've always been suspicious of those claims, in large part because in every year there are so many more good works in every category than there are spaces on the ballot. The notion that any work "probably would have been a finalist anyway" seems to vastly overstate the chances that anything has of getting onto the list of Hugo finalists. This year, the works that had merit on the Rabid Puppy slate were the "hostages", specifically This Census-Taker by China Miéville, The View From the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman, Star Wars Art: Ralph McQuarrie by Ralph McQuarrie, Deadpool, and Game of Thrones: The Winds of Winter. The McQuarrie book didn't make the finalists, so we can set it aside.

Based upon a review of the items that made the list of finalists that only Rabid Puppies would likely vote for (a list that includes Alien Stripper Boned from Behind by a T-Rex, An Equation of Almost Infinite Complexity, An Unimaginable Light, P. Alexander, Theodore Beale, Jeffro Johnson, and Castalia House Blog), there appear to have been between 70 and 90 people voting as Rabid Puppies. if we deduct that amount from the totals garnered by the "hostages", we can get a rough estimate of whether or not these works would have reached the list of finalists without Rabid Puppy assistance. We can't be exact, because the E Pluribus Hugo voting system means that to do so we would need to be able to look at the individual nominating ballots to get an accurate count, but we can make an educated guess. To be conservative, we'll drop seventy votes from each finalist.
  • Deducting seventy votes from This Census-Taker by China Miéville drops it behind The Dispatcher by John Scalzi which would replace it on the ballot.
  • Removing seventy votes from the total garnered by The View From the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman puts it well behind Writing Women Characters by Kate Elliott, which would knock it off the ballot.
  • Pulling seventy votes out of Deadpool's total still puts it ahead of Kubo and the Two Strings and it would stay on the ballot.
  • Game of Thrones: The Winds of Winter was removed from the ballot due to the rule that prevents a single series from having more than two finalists in a category and the producers of Game of Thrones elected to have this one taken off. If one removes seventy votes from this episode's total, it would still have been ahead of Splendor and Misery, which means the producers of Game of Thrones would have still had to make a decision as to which two episodes of the show should remain on the ballot.
So that's a fifty percent "would have made it anyway" rate, which doesn't seem all that great to me. Having these nominees on the ballot isn't terrible, and absent the spamming of the other shitty Castalia House products onto the list of finalists having a group push for these "hostage" works to be on the ballot wouldn't be an issue. There is no doubt though, that even when it comes to the "hostages" the Puppies warp the ballot. That they warp the ballot in an inoffensive way doesn't mean that it is warped any less than when they do it to put crap onto the list. That said, with the Sad Puppies looking like they are an entirely spent force, and the Rabid Puppies increasingly looking like they are heading that way, this is probably not an issue that we will need to really worry about much in the future.

Best Novel

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers
Death’s End by Cixin Liu (translated by Ken Liu)
Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee
The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin [winner]
Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer

Longlisted Nominees:
Babylon's Ashes by James S.A. Corey
Borderline by Mishell Baker
Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay
City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett
The Core of the Sun by Johanna Sinisalo
An Equation of Almost Infinite Complexity by J. Mulrooney [rabid puppy pick]
Everfair by Nisi Shawl
Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen by Lois McMaster Bujold
Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal
Infomocracy by Malka Older

Best Novella

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
This Census-Taker by China Miéville [rabid puppy pick]
The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson
Penric and the Shaman by Lois McMaster Bujold
A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson

Longlisted Nominees:
Chimera Gu Shi by S. Qiouyi Lu and Ken Liu
Cold Forged Flame by Marie Brennan
The Dispatcher by John Scalzi
Forest of Memory by Mary Robinette Kowal
Hammers On Bone by Cassandra Khaw
The Last Days of New Paris by China Miéville
The Lost Child of Lychford by Paul Cornell
Penric's Mission by Lois McMaster Bujold
Runtime by S.B. Divya
The Vanishing Kind by Lavie Tidhar

Best Novelette

Alien Stripper Boned from Behind by the T-Rex by Stix Hiscock [rabid puppy pick]
The Art of Space Travel by Nina Allan
The Jewel and Her Lapidary by Fran Wilde
The Tomato Thief by Ursula Vernon (reviewed in 2017 WSFA Small Press Award Voting) [winner]
Touring with the Alien by Carolyn Ives Gilman
You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay by Alyssa Wong

Longlisted Nominees
Blood Grains Speak Through Memories by Jason Sanford
A Dead Djinn in Cairo by P. Djeli Clark
Everyone from Themis Sends Letters Home by Genevieve Valentine
Foxfire, Foxfire by Yoon Ha Lee
Kid Dark against the Machine by Tansy Rayner Roberts
Red as Blood and White as Bone by Theodora Goss
Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea by Sarah Pinsker
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
The Venus Effect by Joseph Allen Hill
The Visitor From Taured by Ian R. Macleod

Best Short Story

The City Born Great by N.K. Jemisin
A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers by Alyssa Wong
Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies by Brooke Bolander
Seasons of Glass and Iron by Amal El-Mohtar [winner]
That Game We Played During the War by Carrie Vaughn
An Unimaginable Light by John C. Wright [rabid puppy pick]

Longlisted Nominees
Lullaby for a Lost World by Aliette de Bodard
Razorback by Ursula Vernon
Red in Tooth and Cog by Cat Rambo
A Salvaging of Ghosts by Aliette de Bodard
The Story of Kao Yu by Peter S. Beagle
Terminal by Lavie Tidhar
Things With Beards by Sam J. Miller
We Have A Cultural Difference, Can I Taste You? by Rebecca Ann Jordan
Welcome to the Medical Clinic . . . by Caroline M. Yoachim
Ye Highlands and Ye Lowlands by Seanan McGuire

Best Related Work

The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley
The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
Traveler of Worlds: Conversations with Robert Silverberg by Robert Silverberg and Alvaro Zinos-Amaro
The View From the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman [rabid puppy pick]
The Women of Harry Potter posts by Sarah Gailey
Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000-2016 by Ursula K. Le Guin [winner]

Longlisted Nominees:
Archive of Our Own by the Organization for Transformative Works
Bandersnatch by Diana Pavlac Glyer
#BlackSpecFic by Brian J. White, et al
Making Conversation by Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Octavia E. Butler by Gerry Canavan
Speculative Blackness by André M. Carrington
Star Wars Art: Ralph McQuarrie by Ralph McQuarrie [rabid puppy pick]
THEN: Fandom in the UK, 1930-1980 by Rob Hansen
The Tingled Puppies by Chuck Tingle
Writing Women Characters by Kate Elliott

Best Graphic Story

Monstress, Volume One: Awakening written by Marjorie Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda [winner]
Saga, Volume 6 written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples

Longlisted Nominees:
Clean Room, Vol. 1: Immaculate Conception by Gail Simone and Jon Davis-Hunt
Descender, Vol. 2: Machine Moon by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen
Injection, Volume 2 by Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey, and Jordie Bellaire
Lumberjanes Vol. 4: Out of Time by Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, and Shannon Watters
Mockingbird, Vol. 1: I Can Explain by Chelsea Cain and Kate Niemczyk
Oglaf (Bodil Bodilson) by Trudy Cooper and Doug Bayne
Stand Still, Stay Silent by Minna Sundberg
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe! by Ryan North and Erica Henderson
The Wicked and the Divine, Vol. 3: Commercial Suicide by Kieron Gillen and Matthew Wilson

Best Dramatic Presentation: Long Form

Arrival [winner]
Deadpool [rabid puppy pick]
Hidden Figures
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Stranger Things, Season One

Longlisted Nominees:
10 Cloverfield Lane
Captain America: Civil War
Doctor Strange
The Expanse, Season 1
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Kubo and the Two Strings
Star Trek: Beyond
Westworld, Season 1

Best Dramatic Presentation: Short Form

Black Mirror: San Junipero
Doctor Who: The Return of Doctor Mysterio
The Expanse: Leviathan Wakes [winner]
Game of Thrones: Battle of the Bastards
Game of Thrones: The Door
Game of Thrones: The Winds of Winter [no more than two finalists may come from the same series, rabid puppy pick]
Splendor & Misery (album) by Clipping

Longlisted Nominees:
The Expanse: Salvage
Luke Cage: Manifest
Person of Interest: Return 0
Stranger Things: Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers
Stranger Things: Chapter Seven: The Bathtub
Stranger Things: Chapter Eight: The Upside Down
Steven Universe: The Answer
Westworld: The Bicameral Mind
Westworld: The Original

Best Professional Editor: Short Form

John Joseph Adams
Neil Clarke
Ellen Datlow [winner]
Jonathan Strahan
Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas
Sheila Williams

Longlisted Nominees:
P. Alexander [rabid puppy pick]
Sana Amanat
Scott H. Andrews
C.C. Finlay
Lee Harris
Toni Jerrman
Mur Lafferty
Lynne M. Thomas
Ann VanderMeer
Trevor Quachri

Best Professional Editor: Long Form

Theodore Beale [rabid puppy pick, racist sexist homophobic dipshit]
Sheila E. Gilbert
Liz Gorinsky [winner]
Devi Pillai
Miriam Weinberg
Navah Wolfe

Longlisted Nominees:
Anne Lesley Groell
Jane Johnson
Beth Meacham
Joe Monti
Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Jonathan Oliver
Bella Pagan
Marco Palmieri
Toni Weisskopf
Betsy Wollheim

Best Professional Artist

Galen Dara
Julie Dillon [winner]
JiHun Lee [ineligible, rabid puppy pick]
Chris McGrath
Victo Ngai
John Picacio
Tomek Radziewicz [ineligible, rabid puppy pick]
Sana Takeda

Longlisted Nominees:
Tommy Arnold
Rovina Cai
Donato Giancola
Michael Komarck
Todd Lockwood
Reiko Murakami
Likhain (M. Sereno)
Fiona Staples

Best Semi-Prozine

Beneath Ceaseless Skies edited by Scott H. Andrews
The Book Smugglers edited by Ana Grilo and Thea James
Cirsova Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine edited by P. Alexander [rabid puppy pick]
GigaNotoSaurus edited by Rashida J. Smith
Lightspeed Magazine edited by John Joseph Adams [ineligible]
Strange Horizons edited by Niall Harrison, Catherine Krahe, Vajra Chandrasekera, Vanessa Rose Phin, Li Chua, Aishwarya Subramanian, Tim Moore, Anaea Lay, and the Strange Horizons staff
Uncanny Magazine edited by Lynne M. Thomas, Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, and Julia Rios, and podcast produced by Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky [winner]

Longlisted Nominees:
Clarkesworld edited by Neil Clarke
Daily Science Fiction edited by Elektra Hammond: Elektra Hammond, Sarah Overall, and Brian Whit
Escape Pod edited by Mur Lafferty and Al Stuart
Fireside Fiction edited by Brian White
Interzone edited by Andy Cox
Mothership Zeta edited by Editor Mur Lafferty, Sunil Patel, and Karen Bovenmyer.
PodCastle edited by Graeme Dunlop and Rachael K. Jones
Shimmer edited by E. Catherine Tobler, Nicola Belte, Sophie Wereley, Joy Marchand, Suzan Palumbo, Josh Storey, Lindsay Thomas, and Laura Blackwell
Tähtivaeltaja edited by Toni Jerrman

Best Fanzine

Castalia House Blog edited by Jeffro Johnson [rabid puppy pick]
File 770 edited by Mike Glyer [declined nomination]
Journey Planet edited by James Bacon, Chris Garcia, Esther MacCallum-Stewart, Helena Nash, Errick Nunnally, Pádraig Ó Méalóid, Chuck Serface, and Erin Underwood
Lady Business edited by Clare, Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay, and Susan [winner]
nerds of a feather, flock together edited by The G, Vance Kotrla, and Joe Sherry
Rocket Stack Rank edited by Greg Hullender and Eric Wong
SF Bluestocking edited by Bridget McKinney

Longlisted Nominees:
Ansible edited by David Langford
Banana Wings edited by Claire Brialey and Mark Plummer
Black Gate edited by John O’Neill
Chunga edited by by Andy Hooper, Randy Byers, and Carl Juarez
Galactic Journey edited by Janice Marcus
James Nicoll Reviews edited by James Nicoll
Quick Sip Reviews by Charles Payseur
Women Write About Comics edited by Megan Purdy
Young People Read Old SFF edited by James Davis Nicoll

Best Fan Writer

Mike Glyer
Jeffro Johnson [rabid puppy pick]
Natalie Luhrs
Foz Meadows
Abigail Nussbaum [winner]
Chuck Tingle

Longlisted Nominees:
Cora Buhlert
Alexandra Erin
Camestros Felapton
Sarah Gailey
Crystal Huff
Morgan (Castalia House) [rabid puppy pick]
James Nicoll
Mark Oshiro
Charles Payseur
O. Westin

Best Fan Artist

Ninni Aalto
Alex Garner [rabid puppy pick, ineligible]
Elizabeth Leggett [winner]
Vesa Lehtimäki
Likhain (M. Sereno)
Spring Schoenhuth
Steve Stiles
Mansik Yang [rabid puppy pick, ineligible]

Longlisted Nominees:
Liz Argall
Galen Dara
Lauren Dawson aka Iguanamouth
Ariela Housman
Megan Lara
Richard Man
Simon Stålenhag
Kathryn M. Weaver

Best Fancast

The Coode Street Podcast presented by Gary K. Wolfe and Jonathan Strahan
Ditch Diggers presented by Mur Lafferty and Matt Wallace
Fangirl Happy Hour presented by Ana Grilo and Renay Williams
Galactic Suburbia presented by Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce, and Tansy Rayner Roberts, produced by Andrew Finch
The Rageaholic presented by RazörFist [rabid puppy pick]
Tea and Jeopardy presented by Emma Newman with Peter Newman [winner]

Longlisted Nominees:
Down and Safe presented by Michael Damien Thomas, L.M. Myles, Scott Lynch, and Amal El-Mohtar
Fansplaining presented by Flourish Klink and Elizabeth Minke
Midnight in Karachi presented by Mahvesh Murad
The Skiffy and Fanty Show presented by Shaun Duke, Julia Rios, Paul Weimer, Mike Underwood, David Annandale, Rachael Acks, Trish Matson, and Jen Zink
StarShipSofa presented by Tony C Smith
Storyological presented by E.G. Cosh and Chris Kammerud
Superversive SF presented by Dawn Witzke [rabid puppy pick]
Sword and Laser presented by Tom Merritt and Veronica Belmont
Vaginal Fantasy presented by Felicia Day, Veronica Belmont, Bonnie Burton, and Kiala Kazebee
Verity! presented by Deborah Stanish, Erika Ensign, Katrina Griffiths, L.M. Myles, Lynne M. Thomas, and Tansy Rayner Roberts

Best Series

The Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone
The Expanse by James S.A. Corey (first volume in the series: Leviathan Wakes)
October Daye series by Seanan McGuire
Peter Grant/Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch
Temeraire series by Naomi Novik (first volume in the series: His Majesty's Dragon)
The Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold [winner]

Longlisted Nominees:
Arts of Dark and Light by Theodore Beale [rabid puppy pick]
Fairyland by Catherynne M. Valente
Foreigner by C.J. Cherryh
The Laundry Files by Charles Stross
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
Newsflesh by Mira Grant
Remembrance of Earth's Past by Cixin Liu (first volume in the series The Three-Body Problem)
Thessaly by Jo Walton
World of the Five Gods by Lois McMaster Bujold
Young Wizards by Diane Duane

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

Sarah Gailey
J. Mulrooney [rabid puppy pick]
Malka Older
Ada Palmer [winner]
Laurie Penny
Kelly Robson

Longlisted Nominees:
Charlotte Ashley
Scott Hawkins
Cassandra Khaw
Sarah Kuhn
Arkady Martine
Sylvain Neuvel
Sunil Patel
Natasha Pulley
Tade Thompson
K.B. Wagers

Go to previous year's longlist: 2016
Go to subsequent year's longlist: 2018

Go to 2017 Hugo Finalists and Winners

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