As with last May’s Nebula Awards, women once again were the top winners at this year’s Hugo Awards, presented August 20, at MidAmericaCon II, the 74th World Science Fiction Convention in Kansas City, MO. Despite the best efforts of conservative writer Theodore Beale (aka Vox Day) and the Sad Puppies/Rabid Puppies groups to game the Hugos by flooding the ballot system with their own nominations, two African American writers, N.K. Jemisin and Nnedi Okorafor, took home Best Novel and Best Novella honors for The Fifth Season and Binti, respectively. This was the second major prize for Okorafor’s African-flavored space opera, which also received the Nebula Award earlier this year. Rounding out the quartet of female fiction winners were Hao Jingfang, whose “Folding Beijing” (translated from Chinese by Ken Liu) was named Best Novelette, and Naomi Kritzer, author of “Cat Pictures Please,” recognized as the Best Short Story. Click here to see the full list of the winners and nominees.
Does this victory mean the Puppies are permanently exiled to the dog house? Perhaps, although, as writer Tegan Moore points out, it will take two years for the Hugo voting rule changes instituted in 2015 to take full effect. Still, what matters in the end is good storytelling, and many of the best up-and-coming writers reflect a wide range of voices that are changing the genre for the better.