Once Again, Women Casually Dominated the Hugo Awards

The very cool cover of Kowal’s novel
Image: Tor Books

Once again, as they have for several years running, women cleaned up at the Hugos, a premiere industry award for science fiction and fantasy.

The Verge ran through some of the big wins, noting that it was almost a clean sweep:

Mary Robinette Kowal’s The Calculating Stars (the first in her Lady Astronaut series) won Best Novel; Artificial Condition by Martha Wells took home Best Novella; If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again by Zen Cho won Best Novelette; and A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies by Alix E. Harrow won Best Short Story. Best Series went to Becky Chambers’ Wayfarers books.

The streak is notable, because it comes even after a Gamergate-style pushback attempt in 2015. Slate covered the controversy at the time:

On Saturday, nominations for the prestigious science fiction and fantasy prizes were announced. As usual, the finalists were determined by ballot; any member of the 2014, 2015, or 2016 WorldCons (that is, any fan who shelled out the requisite $40 to sign up for one of those conventions) could vote. And yet the names and works that rose to the top provoked a tsunami of controversy. That’s because a group of rightwing activists managed to game the selection process, proposing a fixed slate of nominees and feverishly promoting it. Since small margins are sufficient to secure Hugo nods, what emerged was what many are calling a strange, ideologically driven, and unrepresentative sample of fiction.

Of course, the idea of a golden age of science fiction that belonged to men and men only was always bogus, as a recent anthology from the Library of America and this Smithsonian tribute to editorial force Betty Ballantine both make clear.

See the complete list of winners over at io9; also, definitely watch N.K. Jemisin’s 2018 best novel award acceptance speech.

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