2020 Hugo Awards

2020 Hugo Design by John Flower

CoNZealand presented the 2020 Hugo Awards in an online ceremony today.

Full voting statistics are here.

Deputy Hugo Administrator Nicholas Whyte’s analysis is here.

2020 Hugo Awards

Best Novel

  • A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine (Tor; Tor UK)

Best Novella

  • This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (Saga Press; Jo Fletcher Books)

Best Novelette

  • Emergency Skin by N.K. Jemisin ( Forward Collection (Amazon))

Best Short Story

  • “As the Last I May Know”,by S.L. Huang (Tor.com, 23 October 2019)

Best Series

  • The Expanse by James S. A. Corey (Orbit US; Orbit UK)

Best Related Work

  • “2019 John W. Campbell Award Acceptance Speech”, by Jeannette Ng

Best Graphic Story or Comic

  • LaGuardia, written by Nnedi Okorafor, art by Tana Ford, colours by James Devlin (Berger Books; Dark Horse)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

  • Good Omens, written by Neil Gaiman, directed by Douglas Mackinnon (Amazon Studios/BBC Studios/Narrativia/The Blank Corporation)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

  • The Good Place: “The Answer”, written by Daniel Schofield, directed by Valeria Migliassi Collins (Fremulon/3 Arts Entertainment/Universal Television)

Best Editor, Short Form

  • Ellen Datlow

Best Editor, Long Form

  • Navah Wolfe

Best Professional Artist

  • John Picacio

Best Semiprozine

  • Uncanny Magazine, editors-in-chief Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, nonfiction/managing editor Michi Trota, managing editor Chimedum Ohaegbu, podcast producers Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky

Best Fanzine

  • The Book Smugglers, editors Ana Grilo and Thea James

Best Fancast

  • Our Opinions Are Correct, presented by Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders

Best Fan Writer

  • Bogi Takács

Best Fan Artist

  • Elise Matthesen

Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book (not a Hugo)

  • Catfishing on CatNet by Naomi Kritzer (Tor Teen)

Astounding Award for Best New Writer, sponsored by Dell Magazines (not a Hugo)

  • R.F. Kuang (2nd year of eligibility)

Photos of the winners follow the jump.

192 thoughts on “2020 Hugo Awards

  1. Congratulations to all the winners! I’m especially thrilled to see the awards for Ng’s speech, and for Good Omens (am seriously deep into love of that series–including multiple viewings, readings of fanfic and meta, and starting a fanfic which I hope to finish someday!). It’s one of the things that has made me happy the last few months!

  2. (Going to pretend I put this in the right place the first time, shhhh)

    Gratz to all the winners! Commiserations to everyone else! Hope you all have a lovely time in the virtual parties or a very nice night’s sleep!

  3. Cora made second place in her catagory not so often as Seanan McGuire made in hers today.
    Camestros was on the longlist for fanwriter.

  4. Congratulations to all the winners! And recognition to all the finalists – a lot of excellent works and people were on the ballot.

  5. ? Raven Tower, by Ann Leckie (Best Novel – declined nomination)

    Wow. I’m startled to see that Leckie declined!

  6. The picture with Best Series is captioned Ty Franck, but that’s actually the other half, Daniel Abraham.

    Eta: at least, I’m pretty sure that’s what they said. And Abraham is the one of the pair that normally wears glasses…

  7. The most curious result was that Arkady Martine, who won the award for Best Novel, didn’t have enough support to make the ballot in the Campbell Astounding Award category.

  8. Xtifr: OK, I’m going with your identification of him as Daniel Abraham. I couldn’t tell, and I thought of the photos of the two guys I found with Google this looked more like Franck. But that was just a guess.

  9. Rich Lynch: The most curious result was that Arkady Martine, who won the award for Best Novel, didn’t have enough support to make the ballot in the Astounding Award category.

    Martine’s first eligible publication was at least as far back as 2015 with stories iin Strange Horizons and Apex Magazine. She wasn’t eligible for the Astounding Award this year.

  10. @David Shallcross: I’m curious who even has it right now. I watched a CoNZealand Fringe panel with Jeannette Ng earlier today and she said she never got the regalia due to logistical snafus, so, as her last act as regnant Astounding winner, she was wearing her own fancy crown instead.

  11. I’ve woken up to the results, and people of Twitter being upset that someone’s recorded presentation was about how wonderful John W Campbell was.
    Anyone able to say who/what?

    Congratulations to all the winners, though I am beginning to think we’re being cruel to Seanann McGuire. So many nominations, so few wins.

  12. @ Rich Lnch

    Arkady Martine made the long list for the Campbell back in 2017, so she was past eligibility for this year.

    Congratulations to all of the winners and the loosers.

  13. NickPheas: Congratulations to all the winners, though I am beginning to think we’re being cruel to Seanan McGuire. So many nominations, so few wins.

    I hope that you’re joking and I just don’t recognize it. McGuire already has 3 Hugo Awards plus an additional 17 more nominations. This is multiples more recognition than the vast majority of SFF authors and fans will ever get in their careers.

    It really is an honor just to be nominated, over literally hundreds or thousands of eligible works/creators. I’m really going to push back against the idea that McGuire has somehow been overlooked or deprived in the Hugo Award arena.

  14. Of course getting very near to a Hugo 3 times in one night is somehow bad luck. But I don’t think it is cruel.

  15. I was disappointed by the absence of The Raven Tower in the nominations, so I am happy to learn that it’s absence was by the author’s choice.

  16. @NickPheas: I was also wondering what exactly happened; my Twitter feed is saying racism, misogyny, and fascism, but it’s a bit light on the details beyond that he apparently mispronounced FIYEAH. (Which is bad and if you’re Toastmaster you should make sure you know how to say all the nominees’ names, but it’s not fascism so I think something else also happened.)

  17. I am thrilled for all the winners, the novel Hugo most of all – but this is hands down the worst Hugo ceremony I have ever seen and whoever thought that having GRRM and Silverberg rhapsodise about what a swell guy Campbell was so there fuck you Jeanette Ng and all of those who applauded her was a good idea needs to never be let near a WorldCon committee EVER AGAIN.

  18. So, the details. GRRM, speaking from a script after all nominees were asked to send in a phonetic transcript of their names, managed to stumble, garble and mispronounce them anyway.
    He kept going on about what a great editor and swell guy Campbell was, and Silverberg called him “the greatest of them all”.
    The whole ceremony was basically GRRM introducing each category by talking at length about WorldCons he’d been to in the early seventies. Basically he talked about himself 90% of the time. When he wasn’t talking about himself he was namechecking Asimov, Heinlein, Bester, Pohl (all writers I love but come on!).

  19. Digging through the short fiction longlists, I noted three stories from F&SF and two from original anthologies in addition to the usual free online suspects.

    Fanzine longlist is a bit frustrating. 9 nominations for both here and Lady Business, both of which announced recusals. 8 nominations for “Yuletide” and, assuming this is referring to the fic exchange, I sincerely do not want to deal with the reaction if it were deemed eligible and made the shortlist. The category overall cleared the automatic No Award threshold by 59 votes.

    The Ten Thousand Doors of January made the Lodestar longlist, and while I suspect it would have been withdrawn if it had made the final ballot, I appreciate the demonstration that yes, something can be eligible for both Best Novel and the Lodestar.

    Moving back to the main ballot I will confess to being quite intrigued by how the Novel transfers played out, particularly the genre-crossing The City in the Middle of the Night and Gideon the Ninth transfers. (Also fifth place was decided by No Award transfers!) I was also amused that 259 people (including myself) No Awarded Rise of Skywalker.

    On repeat winners: The Good Place got 59% in the final round this year, compared to 54% last year; Navah Wolfe got 62%, compared to 56% last year; Uncanny got 52%, compared to 55% last year. (Our Opinions Are Correct got 64%, compared to 52% last year—but last year it only needed five rounds for a majority.) Monstress took its category with 50.3% of the final round vote last year but fell to LaGuardia on 49.3% of that vote this year. Bogi Takács received 45% of the final round Fan Writer vote last year and won the Hugo this year with 52%. And in 2018, InCryptid got 41% of the final round Series vote; it was up to 49.3% this year.

    … I am a nerd who enjoys looking at Hugo stats way too much, what can I say?

  20. I liked hearing the stories but it was a bit embarrassing to hear the… speculative… pronunciation during pre-recorded (!) segments, and awkward to have so much praise aimed at Campbell in particular. Yes, all those peeps were the greats once, but are they now? Will they be in the future? It would have been nice to see more about those greats, too. (There was a bit! Which was nice. But it was fairly heavily weighted to the past, IIRC.)

    As well as (but not more important than) celebrating the finalists and winners the ceremony can also be a celebration of fandom and genre (and the history and present and future thereof), and I’ve felt the last couple of years that that hasn’t really happened so much and I’d missed it, but it sounds like the finalists weren’t feeling as celebrated as they should have this year, and that’s a real shame, and I’m sorry for it. That bit ought never be skimped on.

    Longterm Filers may recall that I’m a bit twitchy about people getting my name right; in a prerecorded segment, the names should be right. If you’re not sure… check and do it again! That’s the luxury of pre-recording. Hell, work in a funny image or something to cut to before reading the list for each category so you can redo the names as many times as it takes without redoing the whole monologue. But get it right.

    I missed the Astounding presentation section entirely, though (lost track of time), so entirely possible something specific happened in that bit that was worse than mispronunciations (already pretty bad) and spots of hagiography.

    (Yes, I should be asleep. There was an Incident with a dust bunny masquerading as a spider. I’ll be trying again shortly. Apologies if this comment ended up a little confused.)

    I love Yuletide; I’ve been reading it since before it moved to the AO3. It’s a fic exchange. That’s a wonderful thing. But it doesn’t look much like a fanzine to me. If that’s what was being nominated under that name I’m… mostly confused? Would be curious to know the logic. Fanlore turning up on the Related Work longlist made more sense.

  21. … This may be late night I-should-go-to-sleep logic but I think I’ve actually talked myself into the logic behind Yuletide? I can kind of conceptualize it as an annual fic zine with a bunch of contributors (each exchange participant) and the exchange mods as the editors. And there have obviously been at least four Yuletides so there’s no eligibility issue on that front.

    That being said even if I can make the argument I still wouldn’t want to see it on the shortlist when there are plenty of fans doing good SF/F nonfiction work to recognize. Not that there’s anything wrong with fiction zines but it’s not really where the category is right now, y’know?

  22. The ceremony was very bad. I feel bad for ConNZ for saying so but really, it was bad in too many ways to ignore or excuse.

    Very happy about the winners. Good choices all round although some of my #1 didn’t win. I wanted Light Brigade to win best novel but Memory was a close second on my ballot – glad it won.

    The long list was a nice surprise. Thank you! It’s an honour just to be a set of transferring votes in a complex electoral system

  23. It was interesting that there were several categories which had definite bullet nominations, including:

    The Wheel of Time for Series
    The Semiospheres of Prejudice in the Fantastic Arts in Related Work
    The Amazing Nightcrawler in Graphic Novel
    Starport in Graphic Novel
    The Wandering Earth in Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
    Interzone for Semiprozine
    SF Commentary in Fanzine
    Adam Whitehead for Fan Writer
    Elsa Sjunneson for Fan Writer
    Steve Stiles for Fan Artist
    Aurora Rising for Lodestar
    Gareth Hanrahan for Astounding Award

  24. Yay, winners, stats, and longlists, oh my!

    ETA: Congratulations to all the winners, of course! 😀

    Best Novel: I dislike creators declining nominations, but anyway, I’m curious why Ann Leckie did so. Anyone heard? Her blog’s months old and she didn’t Tweet about it (yet?).

    Best Related Work: Lordy, people are already talking about doing this again. With multiple speeches! I mean, granted, I don’t like this category anyway, but I hope this doesn’t really become “Best Hugo Ceremony Acceptance Speech.”

    Best Comic Book: Congratulations to “LaGuardia” on edging out “Monstress,” though I still hope for more long-form SFF web comics here. Even most of the long list items are traditional comics, though I’m happy Gaiman & Doran got close(ish)!

    Best Editor Short Form: I’m surprised how many nominations Navah Wolfe got, considering she wasn’t eligible. Kinda funny that the editor that got pulled up to the short list, Ellen Datlow, won . . .

    Best Editor Long Form: . . . and Wolfe won here! 😉 Groovy; she was on my long list.

    Best Pro Artist: Some day, Tommy Arnold! I’m bummed he was so far down in the rankings, but this was a very strong field. I see Jaime Jones on the long list; I hope to see him as a finalist some day.

    Best Semiprozine: THE JUGGERNAUT! Five in a row; they’re good, but. Hey, nice to see “Daily Science Fiction” on the long list; I’ve nominated them several years.

    Best Fanzine: Oh, “nerds of a feather, flock together” was so close! What a race.

    Best Fan Writer: CORA! So close!!! Also, a nod here to @Camestros Felapton & @Ari (Adri Joy) for making the long list. 🙂

  25. A great list of nominees and wonderful winners. Congrats to all.
    And what a marvelous base for the rocket – beautiful and evocative of NZ.

  26. Meredith: I love Yuletide; I’ve been reading it since before it moved to the AO3. It’s a fic exchange. That’s a wonderful thing. But it doesn’t look much like a fanzine to me. If that’s what was being nominated under that name I’m… mostly confused? Would be curious to know the logic.

    I don’t think it fits in that category; it’s essentially an anthology. It’s not eligible in Fanzine because it consists of individual works which are each eligible in the fiction categories. It’s not eligible in Related Work because it’s fiction, and as a platform it doesn’t have the innovative aspects which made AO3 eligible as a Related Work for its non-fictional aspect. If Yuletide had made the ballot in either category, I suspect that it would have been disqualified.

  27. Congratulations to the winners!!!

    (I am now feeling glad I had to leave a Hugo Awards Watch Party early to do my Room Hosting shift. For those interested, there is currently a version of the awards without the extended GRRM interludes. https://youtu.be/7yGPBIQvs0Y )

  28. WRT the ceremony, I think we run up against a fundamental problem with the online model, here, in that the presenters can’t read the room. When they’re able to see and hear audience reaction (muttering/wincing/looking meaningfully at watches/feigning nosebleeds and sprinting for the exit), they’re able to adjust their presentation on the fly. This was not the case, online.

  29. I have to say that the recipients gave wonderful speeches.

    I especially give Bogi Takács huge props for choosing to use eir acceptance speech to highlight the work of other SFF writers and fans.

    It would be really nice to see a certain Semiprozine step back so that other worthy finalists could be recognized in the future.

  30. Congratulations to the winners!

    (@Kendall, Navah Wolfe was eligible for short form too. Not surprised she was on the longlist there.)

  31. Mispronounciations were particularly awkward since R.F. Kuang mentioned that issue in her speech.

  32. The whole “we are name checking Campbell every second sentence and inviting the guy who insulted the three-year winner to give the Hugo for Novel” was not a misstep. It was deliberate. These people are neither stupid nor unaware of the power of words. I’m done finding excuses for them.

  33. Andrew: Mispronounciations were particularly awkward since R.F. Kuang mentioned that issue in her speech.

    Apparently GRRM was asked to re-record the mis-pronounced finalist names, and he refused. So given that, and his insistence on making this year’s ceremony all about ME ME ME with a side dose of “Imma tell you all just how wonderful that racist whackjob John Campbell was”, my respect for him has really plummeted. 😐

  34. @Kendall, oh just looked at the stats. Don’t know why she would be considered ineligible. Maybe she actually declined? Not that it matters. Happy with the results anyway.

  35. JJ:

    “Apparently GRRM was asked to re-record the mis-pronounced finalist names, and he refused. So given that, and his insistence on making this year’s ceremony all about ME ME ME with a side dose of “Imma tell you all just how wonderful that racist whackjob John Campbell was”, my respect for him has really plummeted.”

    https://twitter.com/motbilder/status/1289508783954309122?s=19

  36. Hampus Eckerman: It feels as if George RR Martin has been bitten by a radioactive Suck Fairy.

    Yes, with his newly-acquired “superpower” being “I don’t give a shit, I’m so important that I’m not willing to listen to good advice from anyone”, with a side of “fuck you” au gratin. 😐

  37. I hope that you’re joking and I just don’t recognize it. McGuire already has 3 Hugo Awards plus an additional 17 more nominations.

    I am largely joking. Yes McGuire has many, many nominations, but I was forgetting every Heart a Doorway, and thinking that her wins were all for Fancast which isn’t quite her core activity. She is strangely dominant at nomination stage, but it doesn’t translate to wins for fiction for the most part.

    I did expect Middlegame to win this year, what do I know.

  38. @JJ: Yikes.

    My only regret about dropping out of the livestream watch and switching to Twitter is missing the later acceptance speeches.

  39. The losers party fiasco last year pissed many of my friends off, I think it’s time to retire George.

  40. Andrew: My only regret about dropping out of the livestream watch and switching to Twitter is missing the later acceptance speeches.

    I recommend the Minimum Viable Toastmaster version:

  41. NickPheas: The losers party fiasco last year pissed many of my friends off, I think it’s time to retire George.

    That fiasco I can explain as a total disconnect and lack of communication between Worldcon’s expectations of the party and GRRM’s expectations of the party. I honestly think a significant part of the blame for that is on the various Worldcons, which have relied on GRRM’s generosity while not feeling that they could codify their expectations of that generosity. And because that arrangement was not codified, last year’s result was inevitable at some point.

    Of course, the whole reason that situation came about is because GRRM, with his wealth and influence, had rendered the post-Hugo party irrelevant and poorly-attended because of his competing party. So it’s a question of Worldcon being “damned if you do, and damned if you don’t”.

  42. That fiasco I can explain as a total disconnect and lack of communication between Worldcon’s expectations of the party and GRRM’s expectations of the party.

    Much of the fiasco though would have been immediately addressed if GRRM had shown any sympathy for the losers stood in the rain unable to get in. That the party was going to screw up at some point was probably inevitable, but the reaction on discovering that it had was where the real problem occurred.

  43. Nickpheas: Much of the fiasco though would have been immediately addressed if GRRM had shown any sympathy for the losers stood in the rain unable to get in.

    Yes, I think that his immediate reaction was a very defensive “Wait a minute, I’m paying a shitload of money for this party, I should be able to invite whoever I want, how dare you complain???”

    And I think if he’d stepped back and waited a while to respond, and/or had someone intelligent in his inner circle who was willing to say, “yes, that’s true, but you need to stop and look at this from the other side”, that a whole lot of hurt and anger would have been defused.

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