Hugo Finalist Time!

The Hugo Finalist list is out and what a fascinating mixed bag of wonders it is.

Overall it would be fair to say that the Sad Puppy impact is almost negligible while the Rabid Puppy impact is highly significant in some categories but irrelevant in others. I haven’t looked at Vox Day’s website yet but I should imagine he is crowing, as there is enough Puppy-poo to undermine two major categories plus more. However the headline categories are looking fairly healthy.

The biggest impact from Rabid Puppies is where the categories have lower voting numbers and very diverse fields. When there is less commonality between picks (e.g. in a field like short story with many personal favourites  and little coalescence around one really popular choice) the impact of slate is much, much higher.

In short the kerfufflation is on for another year but it is pretty much a straight issue of one person using his personal wealth and influence to try and wreck something because he gets upset easily.

BEST NOVEL (3695 ballots)

  • Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie (Orbit)
  • The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher (Roc)
  • The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
  • Seveneves: A Novel by Neal Stephenson (William Morrow)
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik (Del Rey)

Wow! I’ve read them all and reviewed most. I haven’t posted reviews of The Cinder Spires or The Fifth Season but The Cinder Spires is an OK inclusion (i.e. it is not an embarrassment to the award to have it nominated and it is much better than Butcher’s Skin Game last year and vastly better that The Dark Between the Yawns). The Fifth Season is definitely and easily my number 1 pick but some of the other preferences will be tricky.

Puppy impact: The Cinder Spires was the best of the bunch from Sad Puppies 4. Timothy is in deep denial, shock and grief that Declan Finn’s vampire book didn’t make it (sorry mate). Seveneves may have got an additional boost from the presence of Puppy voters and its presence on the Rabid Puppy slate.

Things not there:

  • Terry Pratchett’s last novel, The Shepherd’s Crown. Pratchett had previously turned down nominations but it was still a book I though might make it on the list.
  • Larry Correia’s Son of the Black Sword. An obvious Puppy pick, a bestseller and apparently an improvement in Correia’s skills as a writer. Correia has said he would turn down nominations.

BEST NOVELLA (2416 ballots)

  • Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (
  • The Builders by Daniel Polansky (
  • Penric’s Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold (Spectrum)
  • Perfect State by Brandon Sanderson (Dragonsteel Entertainment)
  • Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds (Tachyon)

Looks like a very healthy set of choices.

Puppy Impact: Hard to say. There is a lot of overlap with items in the SP4 list for best novella but they were all pretty mainstream choices anyway and many of the recommendations were from people best described as non-puppies (e.g. Snowcrash or Vivienne Raper).

BEST NOVELETTE (1975 ballots)

  • “And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead” by Brooke Bolander (Lightspeed, Feb2015)
  • “Flashpoint: Titan” by CHEAH Kai Wai (There Will Be War Volume X, Castalia House)
  • “Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang, trans. Ken Liu (Uncanny Magazine, Jan-Feb 2015)
  • “Obits” by Stephen King (The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, Scribner)
  • “What Price Humanity?” by David VanDyke (There Will Be War Volume X, Castalia House)

A bit of mixed bag. Some interesting stories (Folding Beijing, AndYou Shall Know Her…) but

Puppy Impact: Quite high. Two Castalia House,/There Will Be War entries makes this a strong showing for the Rabids. However, it is primarily the self-promotion mode of Rabod Puppies (i.e Castalia House publicity stunt) rather than the angry vandalism mode.

There is enough to vote and discuss.

BEST SHORT STORY (2451 ballots)

  • “Asymmetrical Warfare” by S. R. Algernon (Nature, Mar 2015)
  • The Commuter by Thomas A. Mays (Stealth)
  • “If You Were an Award, My Love” by Juan Tabo and S. Harris (, Jun 2015)
  • “Seven Kill Tiger” by Charles Shao (There Will Be War Volume X, Castalia House)
  • Space Raptor Butt Invasion by Chuck Tingle (Amazon Digital Services)

Puppy Impact: Major Rabid impact. Notably Tuesdays With Molakesh the Destroyer is not there. This is a fun story (fun but not great) that was an SP3 pick last year but was ineligible due to publication date. It was a popular SP4 pick. That it didn’t get on the list suggests an overall low impact from SP4. The Short Story category is the one Vox Day dislikes the most, so this is probably the one he will crow most about.

BEST RELATED WORK (2080 ballots)

  • Between Light and Shadow: An Exploration of the Fiction of Gene Wolfe, 1951 to 1986 by Marc Aramini (Castalia House)
  • “The First Draft of My Appendix N Book” by Jeffro Johnson (
  • “Safe Space as Rape Room” by Daniel Eness (
  • SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police by Vox Day (Castalia House)
  • “The Story of Moira Greyland” by Moira Greyland (

Puppy Impact: Very high. The Gene Wolfe book is possibly a credible entry but I haven’t read it. The rest is a result of Vox Day’s temper tantrum.

BEST GRAPHIC STORY (1838 ballots)

  • The Divine written by Boaz Lavie, art by Asaf Hanuka and Tomer Hanuka (First Second)
  • Erin Dies Alone written by Grey Carter, art by Cory Rydell (
  • Full Frontal Nerdity by Aaron Williams (
  • Invisible Republic Vol 1 written by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman, art by Gabriel Hardman (Image Comics)
  • The Sandman: Overture written by Neil Gaiman, art by J.H. Williams III (Vertigo)

Puppy Impact: Basically the Rabid Puppy list but this was one of the VD categories in which some obvious likely contenders were included (eg The Sandman: Overture)


  • Avengers: Age of Ultron written and directed by Joss Whedon (Marvel Studios; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
  • Ex Machina written and directed by Alex Garland (Film4; DNA Films; Universal Pictures)
  • Mad Max: Fury Road written by George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, and Nico Lathouris, directed by George Miller (Village Roadshow Pictures; Kennedy Miller Mitchell; RatPac-Dune Entertainment; Warner Bros. Pictures)
  • The Martian screenplay by Drew Goddard, directed by Ridley Scott (Scott Free Productions; Kinberg Genre; TSG Entertainment; 20th Century Fox)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens written by Lawrence Kasdan, J. J. Abrams, and Michael Arndt, directed by J.J. Abrams (Lucasfilm Ltd.; Bad Robot Productions; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Avengers: Age of Ultron is a weak nomination. Big shame Predestination didn’t get on.


  • Doctor Who: “Heaven Sent” written by Steven Moffat, directed by Rachel Talalay (BBC Television)
  • Grimm: “Headache” written by Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt, directed by Jim Kouf(Universal Television; GK Productions; Hazy Mills Productions; Open 4 Business Productions; NBCUniversal Television Distribution)
  • Jessica Jones: “AKA Smile” written by Scott Reynolds, Melissa Rosenberg, and Jamie King, directed by Michael Rymer (Marvel Television; ABC Studios; Tall Girls Productions;Netflix)
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: “The Cutie Map” Parts 1 and 2 written by Scott Sonneborn, M.A. Larson, and Meghan McCarthy, directed by Jayson Thiessen and Jim Miller (DHX Media/Vancouver; Hasbro Studios)
  • Supernatural: “Just My Imagination” written by Jenny Klein, directed by Richard Speight Jr. (Kripke Enterprises; Wonderland Sound and Vision; Warner Bros. Television)

My Little Pony got a Rabid Puppy boost but given its popularity and willingness to do interesting things it isn’t the worst thing to be nominated. Fairly healthy category.

I’m skipping over editor and artists for the moment as I’ll need to look stuff up.

BEST SEMIPROZINE (1457 ballots)

  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies edited by Scott H. Andrews, Nicole Lavigne, and Kate Marshall
  • Daily Science Fiction edited by Michele-Lee Barasso and Jonathan Laden
  • Sci Phi Journal edited by Jason Rennie
  • Strange Horizons edited by Catherine Krahe, Julia Rios, A. J. Odasso, Vanessa Rose Phin,Maureen Kincaid Speller, and the Strange Horizons staff
  • Uncanny Magazine edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, and Erika Ensign & Steven Schapan

The obvious Puppy Impact is Sci Phi Journal. I’d have liked to see Giganantosaurous on there but there is enough to vote on.

BEST FANZINE (1455 ballots)

  • Black Gate edited by John O’Neill
  • Castalia House Blog edited by Jeffro Johnson
  • File 770 edited by Mike Glyer
  • Superversive SF edited by Jason Rennie
  • Tangent Online edited by Dave Truesdale

Some major Puppy Impact with Castalia House Blog and Superversive SF, as well as the Puppy adjacent Tangent Online. Tangent is at least a serious fanzine.

Blackgate and File770 are serious contenders.

I’ll leave it there for the mo’.



11 responses to “Hugo Finalist Time!”

  1. I totally agree that the fields with the more diffuse choices suffer more – novella got a non-slate pick compared to short story despite very similar numbers of ballots, and the difference will be that there are probably 10 times more short stories published each year.

    I find the performance of “And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead” really interesting. On ballot numbers novelette should have been a sweep, but suddenly there’s Brooke Bolander sweeping in like the cavalry! It’s a good story imho, but I’ve seen others criticising it for being too retro (I think the retro is part of the charm, myself). The story was hovering around my longlist for ages but didn’t quite make the final cut. Possibly its Nebula nom gave it a boost?

    Semipro is a very credible list, although BCS, Daily SF and Strange Horizons were VD spoilers. Obviously I’ll be ignoring that. The performance of Uncanny is excellent and well-deserved, and I suspect bodes well for a debut win for them.

    The credibility of F770 in Fanzine is only enhanced by the way the site has folded like a wet newspaper under the strain of people wanting to get the results – that’s a true measure of popularity!


  2. Errr, comments are publishing in a dull brown over your dull green background (at least for me – firefox desktop) and are a bit unreadable as a result.


  3. What I’m seeing is the article itself (including the Share This and Related sections) in a box with a white background, and similar white boxes for the sections on the right sidebar. All of those elements are floating over a tiled version of your background. The comments start below the article box and are directly on to the tiled background.
    Running a highlight over the comments with the mouse makes them readable at least 🙂

    (I’d blame Timothy if I were you)


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