Tonight at the World SF Convention, we saw the brilliance and inventiveness of science fiction and fantasy on full display. Tonight's Hugo Awards winners include Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, along with stories by Charles Stross, Mary Robinette Kowal and John Chu. And Kameron Hurley, twice.
Photo by Kevin Standlee
This was really a year that underscored that a younger generation of diverse writers are becoming central to the genre and helping to redefine and expand it. In particular, Leckie beating The Wheel of Time, Chu's inspirational speech and Hurley's double victory felt like a sea change.
Campbell Award for Best New Writer - Sofia Samatar. Julia Rios (from Strange Horizons) accepted the award for Samatar, and read a speech that said in part that it was fantastic to be nominated among such great writers, who have brought so much vitality and inventiveness to the genre.
Best Fan Artist - Sarah Webb
Best Fan Writer - Kameron Hurley. She wasn't here, but Kate Elliott accepted for her. Hurley's acceptance speech called out SF writers and professional storytellers who have insisted that blog posts don't matter, or even that words don't matter — even though they knew full well that words matter most of all. "Science fiction does not like change. Creators do not like being called on their BS," she noted, but anger and calls for change are fueling the future of the genre.
Best Fancast - SF Signal Podcast, hosted by Patrick Hester. Hester wasn't there in person, but Gail Carriger accepted for him, and read a speech in which Hester exulted that he was wearing his Gail Carriger suit, which he hardly ever gets to wear.
Best Fanzine - A Dribble of Ink, edited by Aiden Moher. He thanked a ton of people, winding up with fandom, which gives a voice to anyone who wants one, and is "funny, interesting, smart and never boring."
Best Semiprozine - Lightspeed Magazine.
Best Professional Artist - Julie Dillon.
Best Editor - Long Form - Ginjer Buchanan. The recently retired Ace/Roc editor said "this really caps it off," and thanked everyone who gave a young woman with a Masters in Social Work a chance to learn about science fiction editing, 30 years ago. And she noted, "An editor is only as good as his or her authors," and said she was proud of all the authors she's been associated with.
Best Editor - Short Form - Ellen Datlow, who expressed a love of short fiction, and massive faith in genre stories.
Best Dramatic Presentation - Short Form - Game of Thrones, "The Rains of Castamere." David Benioff and D.B. Weiss seemed blown away to have beaten Doctor Who and Orphan Black to this award, and mentioned that this was the first entertainment award either of them had ever heard of. And they recounted that when they first screened the Thrones pilot for George R.R. Martin, his wife Parris tapped them on the shoulder and said, "Boys, I hope you didn't fuck it up."
Best Dramatic Presentation - Long Form - Gravity. The award was accepted by Vincent Docherty.
Best Graphic Story - "Time" by Randall Munroe (XKCD) - Cory Doctorow accepted the award for Munroe, and donned a pair of goggles and a red cape at Munroe's request. "These are harder to put on that it looks," he observed. And Munroe's speech mentioned that he'd asked Doctorow to read the speech at "one word per hour," in celebration of the comic's focus on long-running cycles.
Best Related Work - We Have Always Fought: Challenging the Women, Cattle and Slaves Narrative, by Kameron Hurley. Hurley's second acceptance speech of the night noted that 10 years ago, her rant about llamas would have dropped like a stone, but "a lot can change in 10 years." Hurley noted that she was just one of many voices fighting to change our view of the past, and without those other voices, hers would never be heard. And what's at stake here is nothing more than people's inclusion in their own history.
Best Short Story - "The Water That Falls On You From Nowhere" by John Chu (Tor.com). He said when he started writing, he heard people saying, "I'm not racist, but" or "I'm not homophobic, but," and this let him know that nobody would ever be interested in anything he wanted to write about. So to win a Hugo, especially for this story, was hugely meaningful to him. He said he'd thought of this as "the little story that could," and thanked everybody who had made it into so much more than he ever could have imagined.
Best Novelette - "The Lady Astronaut of Mars" by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor.com). She thanked her father, who worked at IBM back in the "punchcard days" and inspired her to write a piece of "punchcard punk."
Best Novella - Equoid by Charles Stross (Tor.com). Stross thanked two people without whom this novella would never have happened, John Scalzi and Lou Anders — but he would only tell that story over a drink in the bar, he said.
Best Novel - Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. This was a surprise, given that the entirety of The Wheel of Time was on the ballot. She thanked her readers, because you write alone, but when you connect with readers, it's "wonderful and amazing."