As I said on Twitter, congratulations to the Hugo nominees — particularly those who earned their spot on the ballot. And thank you to certain individuals for making sure the anti-slate legislation gets passed this year.
The Sad Puppies this year opted for a recommendations list as opposed to a formal slate. The Rabid Puppies, to nobody’s shock, continued their efforts to slate-shit all over the ballot. I’d been guessing and hoping that the puppy influence would be lessened this year. I figured the Rabids would get some nominees through slate-voting, but that we’d also see more viable candidates on the final ballot.
File 770 has posted an analysis of the puppy effectiveness, and the impact varies a lot from one category to the next.
Comparing this year’s results to last, it looks like once again the Rabid Puppy slate had the greatest impact. I was mistaken in guessing their influence would be diminished this year. They appear to have gotten roughly the same number of candidates onto the final ballot, if not slightly moreso. Though this year’s ballot is completely free of John Wright’s work, which surprises me a little.
It’s also clear that Beale and the Rabid Pups were trying to play a slightly different game this year. In addition to the nominees that were Beale’s own ego-stroking (Vox Day for Best Editor, work from his publisher’s blog for Best Related Work, etc.), and blatant “crap-on-the-Hugo” nominees, there were also a handful of nominees presumably chosen to make poor SJW brains explode, like File 770 for Best Fanzine. Or nominees that would almost certainly have made the ballot without the slate, like Andy Weir for the Campbell.
I assume this is designed to make people say, “Oh, woe is me, I can’t vote for anything on a slate, and therefore must vote against File 770 and Andy Weir even though I might consider them deserving,” after which the Rabid puppies will proclaim victory. Or else people will vote for File 770 and Weir, and they’ll win, and the Rabid puppies will proclaim victory.
My, what a brilliant stratagem that absolutely no one could have foreseen. What ever shall we do? Alas, how we are trapped by the cleverness of their clever trap.
A lot of the stuff on the ballot is, just like last year, utter crap. I suspect most people are fully capable of reading for themselves and deciding what’s worthy of winning, what deserved a place on the ballot, and what should come below No Award. Just like last year.
All in all, my sense is that the Rabid Puppies had pretty much the same level of influence as last year, and the Sad Puppies had a minimal impact. Like last year, my biggest disappointment is for the worthy individuals and works that got knocked off the ballot by a relatively small group’s coordinated poo-flinging.
The results, along with lists of non-rabid nominees and my notes comparing this year to last, are below. As before, I’d encourage people to read and to vote. And if you’ll be at Worldcon, please try to get to the business meeting.
Best Novel has three nominees that weren’t on the Rabid slate. (All three were on the “raw” Sad Puppy recommendation list, and two were on the final, “official” Sad Puppy list.) This is similar to last year’s final Best Novel ballot, which also had three puppy-free nominees.
- Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie
- The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
- Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Best Novella had one Rabid-free nominee. Given that Binti is also a Nebula finalist, I think it’s safe to say this one very much earned its spot. All four others were from the Rabid slate and the Sad list both. This is similar to last year’s final ballot.
- Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
Best Novelette is pretty much a repeat of Novella, with one Rabid-free nominee that was on the Sad list. All four other nominees were on the Rabid slate. Once again, pretty close to last year’s ballot results.
- “And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead” by Brooke Bolander
Best Short Story was swept by the Rabid slate, just like last year.
Best Related Work was another Rabid sweep. Once again, effectively the same as last year.
Best Graphic Story is yet another Rabid sweep. The Rabid puppies were actually more effective in this category this year.
Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form had three Rabid-free finalists. All three were on the Sad list, but come on. Is there any way these weren’t going to make the ballot in a normal year? This is roughly the same as last year’s results.
- Ex Machina
- Mad Max: Fury Road
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form had two Rabid-free nominees. Again pretty much equivalent to last year.
- Doctor Who: “Heaven Sent”
- Jessica Jones: “AKA Smile”
Best Editor – Short Form only had one nominee from the Rabid slate, and that nominee made the ballot. This is much cleaner than last year, when it was another slate-dominated category.
- John Joseph Adams
- Neil Clarke
- Ellen Datlow
- Sheila Williams
Best Editor – Long Form sees two Rabid slate nominees, once again an improvement over last year’s slate-sweep.
- Sheila E. Gilbert
- Liz Gorinsky
- Jim Minz
Best Professional Artist was swept by the Rabid slate this year. Last year saw only a single slate-free nominee in the category.
Best Semiprozine has a single nominee that wasn’t on the Rabid slate, a step down from last year, when we had three slate-free nominees.
- Uncanny Magazine
Best Fanzine is another Rabid sweep, similar to last year when we had only one slate-free nominee.
Best Fancast: swept by Rabid slate. (Last year saw two slate-free nominees.)
Best Fan Writer sees one non-Rabid nominee. Last year saw only a single non-slate nominee.
- Mike Glyer
Best Fan Artist has a single non-Rabid nominee, compared to last year, when the Rabid Puppies forgot or neglected to include this category on their slate.
- Steve Stiles
Campbell Award for Best New Writer (Not a Hugo) sees one non-Rabid nominee, just like last year’s one non-slate nominee.
- Alyssa Wong