Chinese science fiction author Liu Cixin (劉慈欣) won the big prize for best novel at this year’s Hugo Awards in Spokane, Washington, on Saturday night. Guardians of the Galaxy got a nod for best dramatic presentation, long form, and an episode of the BBC’s Orphan Black won the equivalent short-form award.
However, Hugo voters gave “no award” in five categories, including best novella and best short story.
The World Science Fiction Society (WSFS) said in its announcement of winners that the “no awards” were without precedent.
Five was also “the total number of times that WSFS members have presented no award in the entire history of the Hugo Awards, most recently in 1977,” it said.
The unprecedented number of no award votes followed a controversy over a voting bloc, known as the Sad and/or Rabid Puppies, that loaded the ballot earlier this spring.
The Puppies say they are reacting to the transformation of the Hugos into what one called an “affirmative action award.”
The Puppies organized themselves to vote as a bloc in the nominating process to put more white, male candidates on the ballot.
As the voting turnout for the nomination process is typically low, the strategy worked.
Critics of the Puppies in the science fiction community said their leaders, among them Vox Day and Brad Torgerson, were promoting unrepentantly sexist, racist and homophobic views.
Among the Puppies’ slate of nominess was a book put out by the Patriarchy Press. Another of their writers, John C. Wright, is better known for his rabidly homophobic views than for his work.
Many prominent writers of science fiction and fantasy who also happened to be white men, including George R.R. Martin and John Scalzi, urged voters to reject the Puppies slate.
On Twitter, Scalzi declared himself thrilled by the outcome:
Award winners included the first volume of Ms Marvel, written by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Adrian Alphona and Jake Wyatt, for best graphic story and Julie Dillon for best professional artist.
Wesley Chu (朱恆昱) received the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer.
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