Originally created in 1953, the Hugo Awards are among the most prestigious and beloved accolades for science fiction, fantasy, and related genres. On August 11, 2017, the Hugo Awards Ceremony was held at Worldcon 75 in Helsinki, Finland. Boasting a crowd of sold-out day passes and an epic queue to get into the awards ceremony-proper, this was a tentpole year for the Hugos from an attendance perspective alone--but this year’s ceremony was important for so many more reasons.

In 2015 and 2016 the final ballot was overrun by a conservative, right-wing movement (a.k.a. the "Sad Puppies") who organized and mobilized themselves in slate-voting fashion as a protest against the progressive, “heavy handed message fic” (e.g. stories with progressive, inclusive, and diverse thematic messages) that had overrun the ballot. The Sad Puppies and their viciously misogynistic, homophobic, and bigoted counterparts, the Rabid Puppies argued that popular works were being disadvantaged by the Hugo voters. The parties offered overlapping slates--recommendations made for Puppy votes to nominate in order to “poke the establishment in the eye.”

The Puppies, both Sad and Rabid, were successful in that regard in both 2015 and 2016 as they secured the majority of their nominees on the final ballot. The Hugo voting members, however, had the last say in those years; the World Science Fiction membership chose to vote for No Award instead of Puppy candidates, most notably in 2015.

In 2017, a change in the Hugo award nomination process was put into place, reducing the efficacy of slate voting. As a direct consequence--and further evidence of the erosion of the Puppies’ message of virulent bigotry and hate--the 2017 Hugo Awards were a celebration of diversity and inclusivity. From the Awards’ toastmaster and host, the incomparable scholar and author Karen Lord (Barbadian author of Redemption in Indigo and The Best of All Possible Worlds), to using the venue to present not only the John W. Campbell Award, but Finland’s Atorox Award and two of the Seiun Awards from Japan (thus highlighting the world in WorldCon), this year's Hugo Awards demonstrated a dramatic turnaround from 2015. The presenters and speakers for this year's awards also reflected the truly diverse spirit of the convention and Speculative Fiction overall, spanning 15 countries, 6 continents, and representing a wide spectrum of experiences and representation of communities across SFF fandom.

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The winners and speeches given at this year's Hugo Awards were the true stars of the show; proud, defiant, and glorious. Several winners called out the noxiousness of past years that had subsumed the awards and the momentous change and hope that 2017 represented--either directly, like Best Fanwriter winner Abigail Nussbaum’s powerful acceptance speech (in which she spoke out about how proud she was “that [her] fellow nominees once again represent so much of what our field is capable of”), or indirectly through metaphor, like Best Related Work author Ursula K. LeGuin’s speech (with fandom sailing through and beyond the pockets of gas left behind by puppies and their ilk). Other winners thanked their support systems and communities, whether they be queer, non-binary, or Filipina.

Perhaps the most poignant part of the night came with the presentation of the John W. Campbell award for best new writer to Ada Palmer (author of Best Novel finalist Too Like The Lightning). Her tearful, emotional acceptance speech included a personal message about disability, and the importance of representation and support--especially in the SFF community.

That is the true triumph of the 2017 Hugo Awards, and WorldCon 75: Instead of focusing on controversy and hate, the Awards this year were a resounding message of empathy, of tolerance, of hope. This is a message more important today than ever.

As Book Smugglers, we were honored to attend this year’s ceremony, to be a part of the celebration, and to continue to foster the conversation.

Below is a full list winners of this year’s awards.


Best Novel

WINNER: The Obelisk Gate, by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit Books)

  • All the Birds in the Sky, by Charlie Jane Anders (Tor Books / Titan Books)
  • A Closed and Common Orbit, by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper Voyager US)
  • Death’s End, by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu (Tor Books / Head of Zeus)
  • Ninefox Gambit, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris Books)
  • Too Like the Lightning, by Ada Palmer (Tor Books)

Best Novella

WINNER: Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire (Tor.com publishing)

  • The Ballad of Black Tom, by Victor LaValle (Tor.com publishing)
  • The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, by Kij Johnson (Tor.com publishing)
  • Penric and the Shaman, by Lois McMaster Bujold (Spectrum Literary Agency)
  • A Taste of Honey, by Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com publishing)
  • This Census-Taker, by China Miéville (Del Rey / Picador)

Best Novelette

WINNER: “The Tomato Thief”, by Ursula Vernon (Apex Magazine, January 2016)

  • Alien Stripper Boned From Behind By The T-Rex, by Stix Hiscock (self-published)
  • “The Art of Space Travel”, by Nina Allan (Tor.com , July 2016)
  • “The Jewel and Her Lapidary”, by Fran Wilde (Tor.com publishing, May 2016)
  • “Touring with the Alien”, by Carolyn Ives Gilman (Clarkesworld Magazine, April 2016)
  • “You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay”, by Alyssa Wong (Uncanny Magazine, May 2016)

Best Short Story

WINNER: “Seasons of Glass and Iron”, by Amal El-Mohtar (The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, Saga Press)

  • “The City Born Great”, by N. K. Jemisin (Tor.com, September 2016)
  • “A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers”, by Alyssa Wong (Tor.com, March 2016)
  • “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies”, by Brooke Bolander (Uncanny Magazine, November 2016)
  • “That Game We Played During the War”, by Carrie Vaughn (Tor.com, March 2016)
  • “An Unimaginable Light”, by John C. Wright (God, Robot, Castalia House)

Best Related Work

WINNER: Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000-2016, by Ursula K. Le Guin (Small Beer)

  • The Geek Feminist Revolution, by Kameron Hurley (Tor Books)
  • The Princess Diarist, by Carrie Fisher (Blue Rider Press)
  • Traveler of Worlds: Conversations with Robert Silverberg, by Robert Silverberg and Alvaro Zinos-Amaro (Fairwood)
  • The View From the Cheap Seats, by Neil Gaiman (William Morrow / Harper Collins)
  • The Women of Harry Potter posts, by Sarah Gailey (Tor.com)

Best Graphic Story

WINNER: Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening, written by Marjorie Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda (Image)

  • Black Panther, Volume 1: A Nation Under Our Feet, written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, illustrated by Brian Stelfreeze (Marvel)
  • Ms. Marvel, Volume 5: Super Famous, written by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Takeshi Miyazawa (Marvel)
  • Paper Girls, Volume 1, written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, colored by Matthew Wilson, lettered by Jared Fletcher (Image)
  • Saga, Volume 6, illustrated by Fiona Staples, written by Brian K. Vaughan, lettered by Fonografiks (Image)
  • The Vision, Volume 1: Little Worse Than A Man, written by Tom King, illustrated by Gabriel Hernandez Walta (Marvel)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

WINNER: Arrival, screenplay by Eric Heisserer based on a short story by Ted Chiang, directed by Denis Villeneuve (21 Laps Entertainment/FilmNation, Entertainment/Lava Bear Films)

  • Deadpool, screenplay by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick, directed by Tim Miller (Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation/Marvel Entertainment/Kinberg Genre/The
  • Donners’ Company/TSG Entertainment)
  • Ghostbusters, screenplay by Katie Dippold & Paul Feig, directed by Paul Feig (Columbia Pictures/LStar Capital/Village Roadshow Pictures/Pascal Pictures/Feigco
  • Entertainment/Ghostcorps/The Montecito Picture Company)
  • Hidden Figures, screenplay by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi, directed by Theodore Melfi (Fox 2000 Pictures/Chernin Entertainment/Levantine Films/TSG
  • Entertainment)
  • Rogue One, screenplay by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy, directed by Gareth Edwards (Lucasfilm/Allison Shearmur Productions/Black Hangar Studios/Stereo D/Walt
  • Disney Pictures)
  • Stranger Things, Season One, created by the Duffer Brothers (21 Laps Entertainment/Monkey Massacre)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

WINNER: The Expanse: “Leviathan Wakes”, written by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, directed by Terry McDonough (SyFy)

  • Black Mirror: “San Junipero”, written by Charlie Brooker, directed by Owen Harris (House of Tomorrow)
  • Doctor Who: “The Return of Doctor Mysterio”, written by Steven Moffat, directed by Ed Bazalgette (BBC Cymru Wales)
  • Game of Thrones: “Battle of the Bastards”, written by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, directed by Miguel Sapochnik (HBO)
  • Game of Thrones: “The Door”, written by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, directed by Jack Bender (HBO)
  • Splendor & Misery [album], by Clipping (Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, Jonathan Snipes)

Best Editor, Short Form

WINNER: Ellen Datlow

  • John Joseph Adams
  • Neil Clarke
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas
  • Sheila Williams

Best Editor, Long Form

WINNER: Liz Gorinsky

  • Vox Day
  • Sheila E. Gilbert
  • Devi Pillai
  • Miriam Weinberg
  • Navah Wolfe

Best Professional Artist

WINNER: Julie Dillon

  • Galen Dara
  • Chris McGrath
  • Victo Ngai
  • John Picacio
  • Sana Takeda

Best Semiprozine

WINNER: Uncanny Magazine, edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, Julia Rios, and podcast produced by Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky

  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies, editor-in-chief and publisher Scott H. Andrews
  • Cirsova Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, edited by P. Alexander
  • GigaNotoSaurus, edited by Rashida J. Smith
  • 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
  • The Book Smugglers, edited by Ana Grilo and Thea James

Best Fanzine

WINNER: Lady Business, edited by Clare, Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay, and Susan

  • Castalia House Blog, edited by Jeffro Johnson
  • Journey Planet, edited by James Bacon, Chris Garcia, Esther MacCallum-Stewart, Helena Nash, Errick Nunnally, Pádraig Ó Méalóid, Chuck Serface, and Erin Underwood
  • 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

Best Fancast

WINNER: Tea and Jeopardy, presented by Emma Newman with Peter Newman

  • 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

Best Fan Writer

WINNER: Abigail Nussbaum

  • Mike Glyer
  • Jeffro Johnson
  • Natalie Luhrs
  • Foz Meadows
  • Chuck Tingle

Best Fan Artist

WINNER: Elizabeth Leggett

  • Ninni Aalto
  • Vesa Lehtimäki
  • Likhain (M. Sereno)
  • Spring Schoenhuth
  • Steve Stiles

Best Series

WINNER: The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)

  • The Craft Sequence, by Max Gladstone (Tor Books)
  • The Expanse, by James S.A. Corey (Orbit US / Orbit UK)
  • The October Daye Books, by Seanan McGuire (DAW / Corsair)
  • The Peter Grant / Rivers of London series, by Ben Aaronovitch (Gollancz / Del Rey / DAW / Subterranean)
  • The Temeraire series, by Naomi Novik (Del Rey / Harper Voyager UK)

The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

WINNER: Ada Palmer (1st year of eligibility)

  • Sarah Gailey (1st year of eligibility)
  • J. Mulrooney (1st year of eligibility)
  • Malka Older (2nd year of eligibility)
  • Laurie Penny (2nd year of eligibility)
  • Kelly Robson (2nd year of eligibility)

To quote Best Semiprozine Hugo Award winners Julia Rios and Michi Trota, “We are diverse, and diversity is our strength.”

Onward.