2018 Hugo Winners

The winners of the 2018 Hugo Awards, John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and World Science Fiction Society (WSFS) Award for Best Young Adult Book were announced on Sunday, August 19, 2018, at the 76th World Science Fiction Convention.

The administrators received and counted 2,828 valid ballots (2,810 electronic and 18 paper) from the members of the 2018 World Science Fiction Convention.

The Hugo Awards are the premier award in the science fiction genre, honoring science fiction literature and media as well as the genre’s fans. The Awards were first presented at the 1953 World Science Fiction Convention in Philadelphia (Philcon II), and they have continued to honor science fiction and fantasy notables for well over 60 years.

The winners are:

2018 Associated Awards (not Hugos)

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

  • Rebecca Roanhorse

The World Science Fiction Society (WSFS) Award for Best Young Adult Book

  • Akata Warrior, by Nnedi Okorafor (Viking)

2018 Hugo Awards

Best Fan Artist

  • Geneva Benton

Best Fan Writer

  • Sarah Gailey

Best Fancast

  • Ditch Diggers, presented by Mur Lafferty and Matt Wallace

Best Fanzine

  • File 770, edited by Mike Glyer

Best Semiprozine

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

Best Professional Artist

  • Sana Takeda

Best Editor – Short Form

  • Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas

Best Editor – Long Form

  • Sheila E. Gilbert

Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form

  • The Good Place: “The Trolley Problem,” written by Josh Siegal and Dylan Morgan, directed by Dean Holland (Fremulon / 3 Arts Entertainment / Universal Television)

Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form

  • Wonder Woman, screenplay by Allan Heinberg, story by Zack Snyder & Allan Heinberg and Jason Fuchs, directed by Patty Jenkins (DC Films / Warner Brothers)

Best Graphic Story

  • Monstress, Volume 2: The Blood, written by Marjorie M. Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda (Image Comics)

Best Related Work

  • No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters, by Ursula K. Le Guin (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Best Series

  • World of the Five Gods, by Lois McMaster Bujold (Harper Voyager / Spectrum Literary Agency)

Best Short Story

  • “Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience™,” by Rebecca Roanhorse (Apex, August 2017)

Best Novelette

  • “The Secret Life of Bots,” by Suzanne Palmer (Clarkesworld, September 2017)

Best Novella

  • All Systems Red, by Martha Wells (Tor.com Publishing)

Best Novel

  • The Stone Sky, by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)

385 thoughts on “2018 Hugo Winners

  1. Heather Rose Jones: True that and brava.

    It’s a nice crop of interesting winners and nominees, plus the Hugo voting data then brings in a whole other group of interesting stuff that didn’t quite make the short list. My reading has slowed in recent years. Gonna have to work on that, but of course, there is so much out there.

  2. A quick delurk: my story is similar to some others in this thread. I’m a woman in my mid-40s, a dedicated lifelong reader of SF and fantasy, but I’ve always been what I’d call “fandom-adjacent” rather than a true participant. Before the puppy business, I didn’t even know I could *be* a Hugo nominator/voter. I was pretty excited to learn that, and so I’ve nominated/voted ever since and plan to continue indefinitely. I find it’s an excellent way to direct my fiction reading, and it makes me pick up a lot of things I likely wouldn’t otherwise read.

    I don’t think I’m necessarily more likely to nominate or vote for women/nonbinary authors, but so much of the writing that has made a deep impression on me the past few years has been by women/nonbinary writers (and especially POC authors) — and that’s reflected in my Hugo votes.

  3. @Hampus Eckerman: Just assume as a default setting that American linguistic usage will prove to be slapdash and make zero sense. You’ll seldom be wrong. This is, after all, the country where people perennially look confused if I allude to Syria as ‘Asian’. (Apparently, Ambrose Bierce was an optimist when he wrote that ‘War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography.’)

  4. @Rick —

    Just so you know, that quote cracked me right up — and then cracked my mother up as well when I read it to her. Though we’re going to edit it just a bit to read “God’s way of TRYING to teach Americans geography.”

    ;-D

  5. @Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    “not grateful enough”

    Regardless of how much someone feels that winning an award is well-deserved, it is not wrong to be grateful to the people who decide to grant it. But Jemisin’s acceptance speech was heartfelt and wonderful, and I can’t imagine that the people who actually voted for her felt that she was being ungrateful.

  6. @Contrarius: I am startled to find, upon looking up the quotation’s specific provenance in Bierce’s writings that this is yet another false attribution. (It’s also often, equally falsely, attributed to the great attractor of such things, Mark Twain.)

    Nonetheless, you and your mother might enjoy Bitter Bierce, particularly The Devil’s Dictionary. His short but striking career as a fiction writer included some classics such as the much-anthologised ‘An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge’, tending towards psychological horror and with a certain grimness rooted in his Civil War experiences in the 9th Indiana Infantry. (The Devil’s Dictionary, on the other hand, is just morbidly hilarious.)

  7. I already read quite a few Devil’s dictionary quotes to her and Dad after looking Bierce up subsequent to reading your post. And a good time was had by all! 😉

  8. Rick Moen on August 22, 2018 at 12:37 pm said:
    This is, after all, the country where people perennially look confused if I allude to Syria as ‘Asian’.

    To be fair to your countrymen, I live next door to Syria and encounter Syrians fairly frequently and people here would look confused if I alluded to it as Asian.

  9. @Rick Moen: My absolute favorite Devil’s Dictionary entry has stayed with me ever since I read it in the early 1970s:

    Non-Combatant, n. A dead Quaker.

  10. @Laura,@ambyr: Thanks for the explanation!

    @Lenora Rose: A nom de plume associated with a gender other than one’s own is a long standing tradition, I agree. But writing under one’s own name, with a gender de plume, would be an additional bit of complexity.

  11. And just to play Six Degrees of Ambrose Bierce — Bierce disappeared while supposedly travelling with Pancho Villa in 1913. And Dad says that he met Mrs. Pancho Villa at the end of her life in about 1980 (she had been a child bride) in Mexico, where she was running a Pancho Villa museum.

    And now you know!

  12. Hyman Rosen on August 22, 2018 at 1:35 pm said:

    “not grateful enough”

    Regardless of how much someone feels that winning an award is well-deserved, it is not wrong to be grateful to the people who decide to grant it. But Jemisin’s acceptance speech was heartfelt and wonderful, and I can’t imagine that the people who actually voted for her felt that she was being ungrateful.

    I suspect that Silverberg takes issue with Jemisin’s acceptance speech due to factors such as

    1. her daring to take credit for having “worked [her] ass off” on those novels, rather than humbly and entirely attributing her success to her fans, readers, editors, voters, etc.

    2. his (probable, possibly unconscious) assimilation/acceptance/assumption of the very view that Jemisin cites, that black people, and especially black people who aren’t men, aren’t really as good as white people (and men) at stuff, so her Hugo isn’t really deserved at all but rather bestowed upon her by voters with affirmative action principles.

    3. his feeling included among, and thus attacked alongside of, the naysayers to whom she’s gleefully raising that rocket-shaped middle finger.

    And of course he’s participating in a long, long tradition, especially in the U.S., of accusing black people of not being grateful enough, usually to their white benefactors. It’s a tradition that goes back to before the U.S. Civil War, when slaves were supposed to be grateful to their white owners for giving them a civilized home and meaningful work and an opportunity to convert to Christianity.

    Urgh. I need to wash my mouth, fingers, and keyboard off. Even with all the sarcasm in the world, I feel filthy just typing all that. I’m swearing off further attempts for the day to get inside the head of bigots, thanks.

    But no, I agree with you that no one who voted for Jemisin is likely to have a problem with what she said, and that Silverberg’s grousing is baseless even apart from its conforming to a long-established pattern of racist discourse. That was a fantastic speech and we need more like it, not less. She speaks truth.

  13. I’m pretty sure this tweet thread by Jemisin is her reply to Silverberg, among others. My favourite of the points she makes is:

    Sidenote: in my Worldbuilding workshop I talk about power dynamics. Things that are expected, even celebrated, for the privileged become “vulgar” when marginalized people do the same thing. Like showing pride in a moment of achievement! Or pointing at the elephant in the room.

  14. @Viverrine: Perhaps you should ask the people who took the original (troll?) post and ran with it into math geekery?

  15. @Rick:

    Reasoning equivalent to “competes in the Asian Games” would make Israel and Australia part of Europe, thanks to Eurovision.

    More seriously, I think a lot of Americans hear “Asia” and think East or Southeast Asia. The “border” between Asia and Europe is somewhat arbitrary/fuzzy, more than the line between Africa and Eurasia or between North and South America.

    That’s without poking at edge cases, like: is Sri Lanka an Asian country? Is Japan? Is Indonesia? [At this point I hurriedly pull the emergency stop cord before wandering off into plate tectonics.]

  16. @Hyman Rosen

    Jemisin’s acceptance speech was heartfelt and wonderful, and I can’t imagine that the people who actually voted for her felt that she was being ungrateful.

    Good point. As someone who nominated and ranked the books 1st on my ballot for the past 3 years, ungrateful and angry were not my impression at all. I was cheering her on and tearing up sitting there on my couch at nearly 1am. If he had read the books, he might have an inkling of what she was saying. I am proud to have had a teeny, tiny part in her raising that shiny, rocket-shaped finger.

    @Mark
    Thanks for that link and the quote — good stuff.

  17. @Vicki

    …or between North and South America.

    Some Americans think that divide is between the US and Mexico. :/

  18. Pingback: Reactions to the 2018 Hugo Award Winners | Cora Buhlert

  19. I believe that Bujold also started out with Fanfic–or was that already mentioned? And yes, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suspect that women-who-write-fanfic may be one of the factors causing the recent bumper crop of outstanding female SF/F authors. Though I suspect it’s just one of a bunch, including the ones I suggested way earlier in the thread.

  20. I should not be surprised at the number of people who have offered sentiments akin to those Silverberg did. After 2016 no amount of bigotry, hatred and stupidity should surprise me. But dear God if it isn’t depressing what I have spent the day reading.

  21. But dear God if it isn’t depressing what I have spent the day reading.

    It’s incredibly depressing, but at the same time it motivates me to read more of the writers who are being maligned by retrograde fans (and pros). I look at the Hugo ballots of the past two years and I’m thrilled at the turn the field has taken.

  22. Vicki, I would definitely put Japan and Sri Lanka in Asia, and I think Indonesia as well. And the Middle East, sure.

    I think Americans usually use the descriptor “Asian” about East and Southeast Asia and their peoples, while I have heard “South Asian” about India and the surrounding countries, and “Central Asian” about countries north of there. However, UK usage is different, from what I’ve heard, with “Asian” usually implying what Americans often call “South Asian”, India and environs. I think. Can anyone confirm?

    Meanwhile, the Middle East and the Near East and the Levant all seem to be the same place, but those usages are probably from different locations or times.

  23. Orbit’s newsletter says, “Jemisin is the first author to ever win three back-to-back Hugo Awards.”

    I knew this was historic for the three-Best-Novels-in-a-row thing, as people keep saying that. So no one’s ever won three back-to-back Hugos across categories, either? Wow!

    ObLuvsIt: The Stone Sky was first on my Hugo ballot. 😉

  24. Kendall: In the fan categories several people have won three consecutive Hugos. Or more. Semiprozine category too. Probably Best Pro Artist but I’m not going to look it up right now.

  25. @Soon Lee —

    Maybe not? (I got curious and went looking.)

    That’s a great little story from LMB. Thanks for the link!

  26. @Soon Lee: That says that Shards of Honor was not based on an earlier fanfic work. (Although it was based on, um, “fanthought”.) But other sources say Bujold has written fanfic in the past. Just not the one that particular rumor is attached to.

  27. One could argue that “author” excludes editing and imaging; however, I suspect Orbit’s publicist was insufficiently precise (or else being snobbish about fan writing), because the Wikipedia summary (much faster than trying to dig through individual years on the official Hugo site) says Langford took Fan Writer 19 straight times (1989-2007). (Geis took home trophies in 4 successive years, but in the 3rd year he split the award with Susan Wood.) Freas, Emshwiller, Gaughan, Whelan, and Eggleton all got Best Artist at least 3 in a row (Freas did it twice, ~20 years apart!). The search for fanzine/semiprozine sequences, with its attendant question of whether a nominee that moved between the two can be counted as a single sequence, is left as an exercise for the theologian.

    I haven’t tried to collate the fiction lists, but I wouldn’t be surprised to confirm that there were no previous 3-peats even considering all the fiction categories together; there’s a lot of people writing good fiction, making the competition stiffer.

  28. Of course when it comes to Hugos, I can’t help but think that the novel category is the big prize, equal to Best Picture in…wait a second… OH!

    Welcome back Mike!

    Anyway, one can’t understate what a major accomplishment this is. Itis historical. Which is why I can’t help but think that the “Let’s use statistics to prove the Hugos are biased” is insulting in result, irrespective of intent. In not so many words it’s saying that Jemisin and the other women creators didn’t get there by hard work and talent, but by some inexplicable mechanism.

    Or, from Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little’s post, category 3, except including women in general.

  29. @Mike Glyer: !!!!!! OMG how could I not think of that. Hahaha. I blush. Okay so yes, they exaggerated. And I did not put on my thinking cap. Thanks; that should’ve been obvious to me. It makes me curious about 3 fiction Hugos in a row, but that’ll have to wait till I have time to look into it.

    BTW great to “see” you here! 😀

  30. @Chip Hitchcock: Yes, my tiredness has me confused all over. They did say “author,” but probably meant “…for fiction Hugos.”

  31. Best Pro Artist has definitely had long streaks in the past, Frank Kelly Freas and Michael Whelan being two who come to mind.

    Even if we’re restricting things to fiction, the Lord of the Rings movies won three years running in Best DP & Best DP-LF, and Girl Genius won the first three Best Graphic Story awards. (And then the Foglios recused themselves for a year, and haven’t managed even a nomination since – go figure.)

    So Jemisin has broken new ground, solely in the written prose fiction categories. That said, I think that the achievements mentioned above were difficult and impressive but that her threepeat in Best Novel was still more so.

    For the record, just by the by, this 50-year-old privileged almost-straight* white male found Jemisin’s speech inspiring and exhilarating. And has lost a lot of respect for Robert Silverberg.

    *I’m bisexual, but monogamously married to a woman, which makes me straight for most practical purposes.

  32. Michael Swanwick won Hugos three years in a row from 2002 to 2004, but they weren’t all in the same category (two novelettes and a short story.) That’s the only one I could find in a quick perusal of the SF awards database.

  33. @Mark Wink: Thanks, that’s the kind of thing I was thinking of. So, Orbit’s slightly off. Anyway, just curious.

    @David Goldfarb: Oh I agree re. her threepeat in Best Novel being more difficult and more impressive. I mean, shoot, look at how long it’s been before anyone did it?! 😀

    BTW I’m a bi guy married to a guy but I wouldn’t call myself gay (or straight) for any purposes. YMMV* though. 😉

    * This should be YMDV (your mileage does vary), but no one says that, so I wrote YMMV. I can’t just invent phrases/abbreviations. 🙁

  34. @David Goldfarb and @Kendall: Straight or not-straight in terms of privilege, and bi in terms of attraction (whether or not you intend to act on it)? Because it occurs to me that being monogamously committed to someone does not mean you stop being attracted to people. But being attracted and acting on attraction are very different things.

    I’m kind of ace these days, and I still admire people all the time. Lots of attractive people out there in all shapes, sizes, ages, genders, ethnic backgrounds, etc. The variety of delightful people is truly amazing.

  35. @Vicki Rosenzweig:

    You’ll please note I didn’t say people should conclude that any country permitted to compete in the Asian Games must therefore be in Asia. What I suggested was that they might wonder why Syria competes in the Asian games (not to mention that, y’know, if one looks at a map, there it is, in Asia — which can be distinguished from Europe and Africa if aware of what Terra’s continents are[1]).

    @Lenore Jones / jonesnori:

    I think Americans usually use the descriptor “Asian” about East and Southeast Asia and their peoples, while I have heard “South Asian” about India and the surrounding countries, and “Central Asian” about countries north of there.

    In a way, this underlines my point: Somehow, when it comes to Asia, Americans acknowledge three points of the compass to exist, yet the fourth gets (by many of them) magicked into oblivion. I’ve always found this odd.

    However, UK usage is different, from what I’ve heard, with “Asian” usually implying what Americans often call “South Asian”, India and environs. I think. Can anyone confirm?

    Um, no. I happened to grow up attending the British government school system in Hong Kong. (I’m a US citizen born in Palo Alto.) In my schools, ‘Asia’ referred to Asia, and ‘Asian’ meant ‘of or pertaining to Asia’. There was a globe, four-colour illustrated maps, and the like.

    [1] There are of course boundary areas. I always had a difficult time with screeners at American blood banks because their questionnaire ask “Have you spent time in Africa since 1975?’ and I was obliged to say ‘y’ because I’d crossed the Mitla Pass westwards into the near parts of Egypt proper, in the Sinai Peninsula in 1980. US blood bank screeners seemed to have a difficult time grasping that the Sinai Desert is actually not a hotbed of tropical diseases, and most proved, to my astonishment, to not know where the Sinai Peninsula is at all. (One of the screeners who asked ‘Where’s the Sinai Peninsula?’ was wearing a cross pendant at the time. I can’t even.) But the point is that I’d been in Egypt, which is conventionally classed as Africa, and the Sinai is thus arguably in Africa by virtue of location, political sovereignty, or both.

    OTOH, when I donated blood in Ramat Gan, no such comprehension problem. Ditto in London.

  36. However, UK usage is different, from what I’ve heard, with “Asian” usually implying what Americans often call “South Asian”, India and environs. I think. Can anyone confirm?

    Um, no. I happened to grow up attending the British government school system in Hong Kong. (I’m a US citizen born in Palo Alto.) In my schools, ‘Asia’ referred to Asia, and ‘Asian’ meant ‘of or pertaining to Asia’. There was a globe, four-colour illustrated maps, and the like.

    I live in the UK now and Asian = South Asian. Not a particularly helpful usage, but definitely current.

  37. @Xtifr: Yeah, the general assumption at the time I heard the story was that Shards was fanfic at the plot bunny stage, Cordelia’s personality and some of her backstory probably got worked out at that point, and then Herself had a Better Idea, kept what worked with the Better Idea and threw out what didn’t. Thanks to Cassandra Claire and the Fifty Shades writer, this has popularly morphed into “fanfic with the serial numbers filed off”.

    I’ve always felt vaguely insulted by the “incapable of making up one’s own stories” barb, as I don’t consider “creating original characters within the bounds of an existing universe” to be any less capable when the universe is a media property as it is when the universe is the author’s own long-running series. I assume that’s in reaction to something someone had the nerve to say to her.

  38. It’s all fanfiction to one degree or another. Star Trek was Wagon Train to the stars, Captain Kirk was Horatio Hornblower in space, Shakespeare spent half his career writing Holinshed’s Chronicles fanfic and of course those ancient Greek guys all just wrote fanfic of Hesiod and Homer (and each other — one Euripides play has a running gag about how a character was portrayed when Aeschylus wrote him).

  39. The discussion about “Asian” reminds me about differences in “Mediterranean Cuisine”, which in California seemed to stand for “food from countries CLOCKWISE from Turkey”, while in Switzerland it often seems to mean “Food from countries COUNTERCLOCKWISE from Turkey”

  40. I think that it is unfortunate that so many people are attributing motives/beliefs to someone as respected as Robert Silverberg without ever directly contacting him. He did not like the tone of the acceptance speech apparently – that in and of itself does not make him racist, oppressive or any of the other things that are attributed to him. I did not hear the speech but after three in a row I imagine that one should consider themselves an old pro at that point. She has accomplished something amazing and her books are obviously worthy of the prize.

    On a personal note, while I do acknowledge that her books are worthy winners, I personally PREFERRED New York 2140 this year, A Close and Common Obit last year, and Seveneves in 2016. I do not feel this makes me sexist or racist. I simply preferred these books.

  41. @ Matthew Johnson

    I will quibble vehemently over the characterization of Captain Kirk as “Horatio Hornblower in space”. Hornblower was famous for his self-deprecating anxiety and something akin to imposter syndrome. Kirk…not so much.

  42. @Mark Wink: TFTI — so Orbit is wrong even by the tightest definition of “author”. I should have thought to check that specific case, because I remember him getting nominated so many times without winning and the cheers when he finally did win; I’ll just blame how late it was in my time zone….

  43. @Chip Hitchcock: Yeah, I remember Swanwick was the perennial nominee who never won back in the ’90s. Now he’s got 5 of them.

  44. From another UK resident – you’re right Anna Feruglio – Asian in the UK means South Asian.

  45. @Laura:

    I don’t know if I’ll ever actually make it to a Worldcon. It always sounds amazing but exhausting to this introvert.

    It was amazing but exhausting to this introvert. I wish I’d been able to get the full benefit of it, but I’m glad as hells I went.

  46. Anna Feruglio on August 23, 2018 at 1:16 am said:
    (Lenore) However, UK usage is different, from what I’ve heard, with “Asian” usually implying what Americans often call “South Asian”, India and environs. I think. Can anyone confirm?

    (Rick) Um, no. I happened to grow up attending the British government school system in Hong Kong. (I’m a US citizen born in Palo Alto.) In my schools, ‘Asia’ referred to Asia, and ‘Asian’ meant ‘of or pertaining to Asia’. There was a globe, four-colour illustrated maps, and the like.

    (Anna) I live in the UK now and Asian = South Asian. Not a particularly helpful usage, but definitely current.

    Thanks, Anna, that agrees with what I’d picked up informally. Rick, I’m not surprised that Hong Kong usage is different.

  47. John Adkins: [Silverberg] did not like the tone of the acceptance speech apparently – that in and of itself does not make him racist, oppressive or any of the other things that are attributed to him.

    No, but what he actually said about Jemisin and her speech is certainly racist.

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