Cixin Liu has won the best novel prize at this year’s Hugo Awards, although no awards were given in five categories, reflecting recent controversy over how the prizes are given.
The annual Hugo Awards are for science fiction and fantasy works and are voted for by anyone who is a member of (i.e. has paid to attend) the 2014, 2015, or 2016 WorldCons. However, this year’s awards attracted controversy because of the actions of two campaign groups - Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies – who allegedly tried to skewer the process so that the awards would go to right-wing authors.
The groups had allegedly paid for fans to go to WorldCon to have influence over the final winners, an accusation which lead authors Marko Kloos and Annie Bellet to withdraw from the awards, despite their work being nominated.
Announcing this year’s winners online, the World Science Fiction Society said its members rejected the slate of finalists in five categories, giving ‘No Award’ in Best Novella, Short Story, Related Work, Editor Short Form, and Editor Long Form.
“This equals the total number of times that WSFS members have presented No Award in the entire history of the Hugo Awards, most recently in 1977,” the society noted.
In total, 12 awards were presented this year. Liu’s The Three Body Problem, translated by Ken Liu (Head of Zeus), won the best novel award, whilst The Day the World Turned Upside Down by Thomas Olde Heuvelt, translated by Lia Belt (Lightspeed), won best novelette.
Awards were also given for best graphic story, best dramatic presentation (long form), best dramatic presentation (short form) and best fanzine.
In July, fantasy author George R R Martin urged “every true fan” of science fiction and fantasy to vote for this year’s Hugo Awards to “help protect the integrity of the rocket”.
He said: “Who are all these new Supporting Members? Are they trufans rallying to the defense of one of our field's oldest and most cherished institutions? Are they Sad Puppies, Rabid Puppies, Happy Kittens, Gamergaters?... Are these the Neo-Nazis and right-wing reactionaries we have been warned of? The truth is...no one knows. We may get a clue when the ballots are opened and counted, but even then, the numbers may well just say, ‘Answer cloudy, ask again’.”