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.

190 thoughts on “2020 Hugo Awards

  1. Further issues with GRRM’s hosting:

    The ceremony ran 3.5 hours; I looked up YouTube videos of past ceremonies and they generally clocked in around 2 hours (plus or minus 15 minutes).

    • The program started 6pm EDT.

    • After the 1st hour, they only gave out 2 awards, and CoNZealand felt it necessary to tweet an apology for offensive statements in GRRM’s remarks.

    • Navah Wolfe is an Orthodox Jew, so would not be able to stay online past about 8pm EDT. They didn’t present her category until after 9pm EDT.

    • On Wednesday (presumably before GRRM turned in his prerecorded bits), the ceremony was listed as a 2-hour program item, with evening panels starting after that. GRRM talked for so long, it overran two timeslots of panels, forcing people to leave the ceremony for their scheduled items. And all this length was GRRM’s prerecorded segments; CoNZealand knew the runtime 8 hours beforehand. They should’ve edited him down and/or reschedule some of the conflicts.

    • Speaking of honoring the past, one of the panels this shortchanged was the “In Memoriam” remembrances.

    I could go on and on, but – really – that’s what GRRM did. He mansplained the categories in the most insulting ways.
    The graphic novel category turned into a humblebrag about his tv series from 30+ years ago building to a punchline that graphic wasn’t the same thing as PORNOgraphic.
    He remarked on the confusion between novellas and novelettes, then said, “let me explain.” I had hoped this was the setup for a Princess Bride joke and he’d just “sum up” – given that it was 3 hours in. But no, another lengthy ramble about his writing process.
    GRRM told the audience about every Hugo ceremony he attended and many that he didn’t.

    Chelsea tweeted:

    If you name-searched the transcript of the Hugos tonight, in 2020, you’d think the winners based on mention would’ve been:
    Heinlein, Silverberg, Campbell, Lovecraft, and good ole’ GRRM himself

    Prerecording the nominee list meant they could edit out any errors without the audience being any wiser. Pronouncing people’s names correctly is the bare minimum of respect, and GRRM couldn’t even be bothered to do that much.

    And, just like last year, most of the post-Hugo conversation is all about him.

  2. Correction to my earlier comment: the ceremony started 7pm EDT.
    You can look at CoNZealand’s twitter feed to see roughly what time each award was presented.

  3. One thing that was particularly disturbing about GRRM’s segments was that there seemed to be an anti-“Astounding Award” subtext. Note that he never explained why the award’s name was changed, the new name was always pronounced sardonically, and he took every opportunity to mention Campbell.

    If this is true, GRRM made a big mistake. As toastmaster, he’s not supposed to enforce his opinions on the audience.

  4. I also think that the ceremony directors, who basically looked at last year’s Hugo Losers’ Party debacle and went: “Here, George, take this shovel, you’re the next Hugo Toastmaster” have a lot to answer for. They did no favours to the field, the nominee, the spectators, and last but not least GRRM himself who deserved better counsel and better direction and not to be left to make a fool of himself in front of the whole fandom.

  5. If this is true, GRRM made a big mistake. As toastmaster, he’s not supposed to enforce his opinions on the audience.

    If he couldn’t accept the renaming of the Campbell he shouldn’t have accepted the toastmaster assignment at all. What he’s done is comparable to Robert Silverberg continuing to be a part of the Hugo ceremony when he’s been snide and disrespectful of major Hugo winners even though he self-admittedly hasn’t read current SF/F for over a decade.

    The Hugos have done a good job of picking nominees and winners who reflect where the field is today. It’s overdue for the presenters and hosts to reflect that as well.

  6. nickpheas on August 1, 2020 at 7:17 am said:
    Did Silverberg manage to avoid insulting anyone this time?

    No.

  7. Pingback: George R.R. Martin Can Fuck Off Into the Sun, or: The 2020 Hugo Awards Ceremony (RageBlog Edition) | Pretty Terrible

  8. nickpheas wrote: Did Silverberg manage to avoid insulting anyone this time?

    I’m … still not sure what he said. My brain started to disconnect while he was talking.

  9. Anne Marble on August 1, 2020 at 7:57 am said:
    nickpheas wrote: Did Silverberg manage to avoid insulting anyone this time?

    I’m … still not sure what he said. My brain started to disconnect while he was talking.

    Well, there was the “John Campbell, the greatest of them all” bit. I forget if it was him or GRRM who briefly mentioned NK Jemisin winning three consecutive awards and immediately segueing on discussing how many Hugos Heinlein got.

  10. @Anna Feruglio Dal Dan

    GRRM, I think, but IIRC he segued immediately into talking about how many Hugos Lois McMaster Bujold got, and then to Heinlein, while running down the list of exceptional Hugo winning-related achievements.

  11. Excellent winner and nominees showing how fresh the field is.

    Appalling hosting and ceremony by Martin and ConZealand. Their apology is weak and how on Earth they did not realise they had a pre-recorded nightmare on their hands is hard to imagine. Clearly Martin doesn’t like that Campbell has been put into the bin and decided a four hour lecture to the youngsters. He showed his actual interest in new stuff quite clearly – let’s hope that ends his Worldcon associations

  12. @Laura:

    @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.

    According to ISFDB she’s edited three anthologies, and you need to have edited four anthologies (or other things) to be eligible for the category.

  13. Weird thing is GRRM praised the Astounding biography of Campbell, etc. which didn’t pull any punches about him and also had its part in finally getting the award name changed.

  14. If it is the case (and I”m not questing it, just that I haven’t seen definitive sourcing) that the concom asked GRRM to re-record the names correctly and he refused, that is the key point when the ship could have been turned around. No one, living or dead, should be so deified in fandom that a convention feels unable to say “no” to them when they are acting unacceptably. That is, in many ways, the essence of calling people to account for their behavior. The apology says, “Phonetic guidelines were made available to us, and we did not overcome the challenges we faced.” It sounds like the biggest challenge they were unable to overcome was GRRM’s ego.

    The other part that just doesn’t cut it for me is “did not place restrictions on any speech or presentations” because that makes it sound as if censoring the acceptance speeches was on the table. I see a false equivalence here between GRRM’s “speech or presentation” that should have been in support of honoring the finalists and winners and instead was what I can only view as a deliberate fuck you to many of them, and the winners’ “speech(es) or presentation(s)” which exist in a very different context.

    Would they have declined to “place restrictions” on GRRM’s speech if the racism and sexism had been blatantly overt instead of simply implicit and pervasive? Is there any limit that would have pushed the convention to say, “No, sorry, we’re going in a different creative direction”?

    While watching the ceremony I kept thinking and asking “does GRRM think he’s being funny?” And my conclusion is, no, everything he did and said was self-conscious and deliberate. The massive ego. The way every introduction was made to be about GRRM and the same list of past personalities. The constant puffing up of Campbell, Heinlein, and the like. There is no way that was not a deliberate fuck you to the finalists, to the worldcon membership, and to a fandom that no longer unquestioningly worships him and his idols. There is no longer any possible benefit of the doubt to be given.

    And it is not possible to give any benefit of the doubt to any future Worldcon committee that fails to take a lesson from this and works to ensure nothing like it can happen again.

  15. @Goobergunch
    She also has the two novellas, but I guess that’s not enough yet. It’s just as well given the results in both categories. Happy for both her and Ellen Datlow.

  16. Congratulations to all winners and finalists.

    I attended my first Hugo award ceremony in 78. I say this to establish I’m an old fan. I was thoroughly embarrassed and disappointed last night. I am completely tired of the current “old white men talking about the good old days “ (and I am also white) that is dominating too many panels at cons. I love GRRM but he went off the rails. It was just about himself. The defense of Campbell was appalling. I would have been squirming in my seat had I been in the audience.

  17. Another (minor) thing that surprised me, this from the Retro-Hugos:

    Disqualifications included *The Book of Thoth, by Aleister Crowley (Related Work – insufficiently related)”

    I don’t disagree with them, but I am surprised to see the Hugo Awards subcommittee making that sort of subjective judgment, as distinct from “this is too short to be a novella” or “Mur isn’t eligible for best new writer, having published SF more than two years ago.

  18. I think that’s the right call. It’s basically a tarot deck companion book. It’s related to tarot, not “science fiction, fantasy, or fandom.” Even if you consider tarot fiction or fantasy, Crowley didn’t.

  19. I am so glad I did not waste my time with any form of attendance. From the commentary it appears that everybody had a really rotten time of it and that it was more about everybody hating everybody than it was about celebrating the art and craft of Science Fiction. But that just shows that Fandom is more reflective and more a part of mundane culture than it used to be. There are some good things that go with that (diversity and inclusiveness) but also a lot of bad things (the general rage that turns everybody against everybody in a desperate search to find details suitable for attack).

    Congratulations to the writers whose works, which are separate things from the writers themselves, have brought pleasure and (hopefully) wisdom to the readers who read them and voted for them. Good stories endure when their authors are dust.

    I will now go have tea in my cave with the ghost of J. D. Salinger, where we will discuss the latest good books we have read and why it may be a good idea to avoid one’s readers entirely.

  20. @Jon —

    I am so glad I did not waste my time with any form of attendance. From the commentary it appears that everybody had a really rotten time of it and that it was more about everybody hating everybody than it was about celebrating the art and craft of Science Fiction.

    I thought the acceptance speeches were very nice. I especially enjoyed Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone and also Jeannette Ng, and I was relieved that Jeannette remembered how to breathe this time around! And some of the inter-award patter was funny, though I agree with many of the criticisms. I did do some considerable surfing on my phone while the ceremony was ongoing, which helped!

  21. That was probably the biggest disconnect between award presenters and award winners (and by extension, the voting membership) that I have ever seen in any awards ceremony, ever.

    I wish that weren’t taking up so much oxygen. I’d rather discuss things like the acceptance speeches, many of which were powerful (such as those of R. F. Kuang, Bogi Takács, Jeannette Ng, S.L. Huang, or Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone) or touching (like Neil Gaiman’s). Or the vindication of Navah Wolfe. Or Arkady Marine’s well-deserved win with her first-ever novel. Or the general high quality of the winners and nominees. (Two of the winners were my two out-and-out favorites out of everything published in 2019, in any genre.)

    But it’s hard not to talk about it when George R. R. Martin spent the entire time proving R. F. Kuang’s EXACT POINT by mispronouncing names (Not really forgivable for a presenter in any awards ceremony. Bizarrely offensive in a prerecorded one.) And then proving Jeanette Ng’s point — the one she received another award this year for making — on top of it. And then in general seeming to ignore the diverse and brilliant current SFF field represented by this year’s winners in favor of the class of pre-1979.

    There are ways to honor the field’s past while also honoring the present winners, but this … was not that.

  22. Whoever is circulating the story that I was asked to re-record portions of my Hugo hosting to correct mispronounced names, and that I refused, is (1) mistaken, or (2) lying. Never happened.

    CoNZealand did ask me to re-record three of my videos, all for reasons for quality control: poor lighting, poor sound, wobbly camera. I complied with their request on two of the videos, the two that opened the evening; I re-did those live from the JCC. (The originals had been done in my cabin on an iPhone, when we were just trying to get the hang of this thing). The third segment they wanted re-recorded was the bit about the Hugo trophy, where I had some fun with the juicer, the Alfie, and the like. In that case, we decided to stay with the first take, since I no longer had the props on hand and could not easily have reproduced what I’d done at the cabin, which everyone seemed to like.

    There is also a story out there that I was provided with the correct phonetic pronunciations of all the names. That too is completely untrue. Last night at the event I was handed sealed envelopes with the names of the winners, and there were phonetic pronunciations for SOME (by no means all) of the names of those winners on the cards, which I had a second or two to digest before reading them out. I probably got some of those wrong as well. Pronunciation has never been my strong suit. I even mispronounce the name of my own characters at times (witness some of my interviews). But at no point in the process was I ever given a phonetic guide to how to pronounce all the other finalists, the ones who did not win. Had I received that, I would certainly have made every effort to get all the names correct. (I do fear I would have messed some of them up in any case. We all have strengths and weaknesses, and I freely admit, this is one of my weaknesses. I still have trouble with the name of one of my own assistants).

    I do hereby apologize to everyone and anyone whose name I mispronounced. I am deeply sorry. That was never my intent.

    When John Picacio was toastmaster, he went around during the pre-Hugo reception with pad in hand and asked some of the nominees how to pronounce their names. In some cases he had to rehearse the correct pronunciation with the finalists several times to get it down. I was at the party too. I saw John do this. I admired him for it. It was always in the back of my mind to do the same.. but of course, at our virtual worldcon, we never had that opportunity. I never had the chance to actually MEET some of the newer finalists, congratulate them, shake their hands, and ask about their names. Let alone practice with them until I got it right.

    Someone out there right now is saying I could have done all that by email. Yes, I guess I could have. But it would have been a daunting task. There were something like 120 finalists, and I had email addresses for maybe six of them.

    If you want to slam me for failing to do that, fine. But don’t slam me with lies as with the “refused to retape” and “had the phonetic guide but did not use it” stories, which are purest bullshit.

    Regardless of what sins of omission and commission were committed by others, the ultimate responsibility was surely mine, since it was my mouth those names were coming out of… so once again, I am sorry.

    As to the general tenor of my toasting… my intent from the very start was to make the evening one of fun and celebration. Since I expected a great many of those present to be Kiwis attending their con, I thought laying out the history of the awards was more than appropriate. Where the Hugos came from, how the trophy evolved over the decades, who has won it in the past — and who has lost it, something I tried to stress throughout, given my long history as a Hugo loser. Plus amusing anecdotes. The year Lester gave the awards backwards, the year RAH burst from the kitchen, etc.

    I have not attended as many Hugo Awards ceremonies as Silverbob, but I have attended a lot of them. There are a couple of different approaches to being a toastmaster. Marta Randall, in her two gigs, took pride in how fast she could get through the evening, setting records each time for shortest Hugos ever. Connie Willis, on the other hand, likes to draw things out with amusing stories and keep the finalists squirming as long as possible. As a member of the audience, I definitely prefer long-and-funny, like Connie, not short-and-sweet, like Marta. My role models were some of the toastmasters I mentioned: Bob Tucker, Bob Bloch, Asimov, Harlan, and above all Silverbob. I recognize that your mileage may vary. A lot of people loved the way Marta MC’d her two events.

    Of course, every host has his or her own style of humor. Some, like Ricky Gervais, train their wit on the presenters and nominees. Which works wonderfully at the Golden Globes, but I rather sense would not have been well received at the Hugos, considering the nasty brouhaha a few years back when another British comic was lined up to present. He was run off before he could even say a word. My own style is always been more self-deprecating; the main butt of all my stories is always myself.

    Most of the stories I told last night were time-tested, in a sense. I have told those same stories before. Usually they get big laughs. Or medium sized laughs, in any case. That was what I was hoping to hear from the audience in Wellington. Laughs. And appreciation for the long and colorful history of this field we all love: the writers, the editors, the fans, the living and the dead.

    The Hugos themselves are how we celebrate the winners. The honor of being nominated is how we celebrate the losers… (and the hope that one day, the losers too may be winners, as I was eventually — which I why I tell THAT story, to give solace to the recently defeated).

    Anyway, that was my approach. Next year’s toastmaster will have a different one, no doubt. I regret that some of you did not enjoy my hosting. And I am pleased to hear that so many of you did (well, not here on FILE 770, but I am getting lots of nice texts and emails from people who did laugh in the right places). Obviously I wish I could have been everyone’s favorite toastmaster of all time, but you can’t please all the people all the time.

    (Almost everyone liked the hats, at least).

  23. @George R.R. Martin

    Speaking for myself I really enjoyed the awards ceremonies last night. Your time and efforts are greatly appreciated. And the hats were a nice touch.

  24. @Mr. Martin: Thank you for clarifying the rerecording issue. I did enjoy the Del Rey story,

  25. George R.R. Martin on August 1, 2020 at 12:58 pm said:
    Whoever is circulating the story that I was asked to re-record portions of my Hugo hosting to correct mispronounced names, and that I refused, is (1) mistaken, or (2) lying. Never happened.

    I am EXTREMELY happy to hear that you did not refuse to re-record the mispronunciations and more angry than I was before at the complete lack of support and direction you had last night. Why bother to ask people how to pronounce their names if they didn’t pass them on?

    Speaking as a non US fan, just because we don’t live in mainland US we are not unaware of the history of the field. In some cases we were part of that history and even enjoy people telling us about it. In moderation.

  26. @Mr. Martin–May I ask, while you were talking about the history of the awards, why did you not explain the name change from Campbell Award to Astounding Award? Particularly given that you of course knew that Jeannette Ng’s acceptance speech was a finalist this year, even if you did not know that it had won.

  27. This brings to mind one of Rotsler’s Rules:
    Short is better than long. Funny is better than unfunny. Short and funny is best.

  28. @George R.R. Martin

    Oof. I’m sorry, it didn’t occur to me (although it should have! obviously more occasional readers were going to see this post, that’s absolutely my bad) that people would read my comment here without having already seen my happy burbling from while the ceremony was still happening over in the Pixel Scroll. So, in case you see this and to temper my earlier criticism:

    I liked the stories, and the humour. I’m not an especially new fan, but I’m pretty new to this particular bit of fandom (hopped over in 2015 for anti-slate reasons) and I loved hearing about the fannish history. That was great. I enjoyed all of your segments (that I saw, I missed the beginning). (Also, the hats and props were excellent and made me smile every time.)

    I liked the length. I like long and funny! I’m mostly-housebound even when there’s no plague around so I can’t be there for most of the con. I can watch the Hugo Ceremony, live, and chat with other people also watching it at the same time. For as long as the Hugo Ceremony lasts, I get to (sort of) be at Worldcon! And ideally hear nice, funny stories about Worldcon and fandom and fans and cool/funny/charming/happy acceptance speeches and I love it.

    To be honest, given the limitations of remote worldcon’ing, you made exactly the kind of ceremony I love. And, genuinely, thank you for doing that. I really appreciate it. It looked like a lot of work.

    It’s a real shame you didn’t get more support and help with the names!

  29. @JJ: I disagree with some of your analysis about bullet nominations. In particular, I think it’s pretty clear that almost everyone who nominated “The Amazing Nightcrawler” also nominated “Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider” — just look at how “Ghost Spider”‘s number jumps when “Nightcrawler” gets eliminated! (And of course with both written by McGuire, that’s not at all surprising.)

    Similarly, at least 5 of “Semiosphere”‘s 11 nominating ballots had at least one other item in the same category, at least 6 of Elsa Sjunneson’s 15, and 6 of Gareth Hanrahan’s 13. The Wandering Earth shared at least one ballot with no fewer than 10 of the other items on the longlist.

    Most of the other ones I’ll give you, and for at least a couple of the above the conclusion may depend on exactly what is meant by “definite bullet voting”.

    In terms of EPH’s effect on the shortlist, as far as I can tell everyone who would have been in the top 5 in the old system made it on with EPH in use. So with no slating, it’s only affecting what goes into slot #6 (the existence of which itself was an anti-slate measure). It broke the tie between Ellen Datlow and John Joseph Adams, and selected Sheila Gilbert when she had 4 fewer nominations than Priyanka Krishnan. (Navah Wolfe, Devi Pillai, and Priyanka Krishnan seem to have been an organic mini-“slate”.)
    Okay, one exception to the “top 5” above: Jaime Jones with 33 nominations lost out to both Yuko Shimizu and Galen Dara with 32. I’m finding it hard to get terribly exercised about that one.

  30. Hey George, given your commentary above… I don’t suppose you’ll apologise for the REPEATED transphobia? For the deeply inappropriate comment about your co-presenter? For repeated praise of a FUCKING FASCIST, a number of racists, sexists, & sexual harassers, to the exclusion of marginalised people? The criticism of length isn’t a criticism of length per se. It’s a criticism of what you did with that time, and what you did was repeatedly praise bigots and reinscribe the exclusion of the very marginalised people who were winning awards around you.

  31. Congratulations to all the winners!

    Comparing the voting statistics with the ballot I failed to submit, I seem to have been in very close agreement regarding Short Stories, and picked the same winner for Novelette. In Novella, I had Time War listed last. As intriguing as the initial concept was, after a few iterations flitting through time, I completely lost interest in the episodes, and the characters, and after struggling for a few weeks, I finally gave up on the story.

  32. @Jon DeCles: “But that just shows that Fandom is more reflective and more a part of mundane culture than it used to be. There are some good things that go with that (diversity and inclusiveness) but also a lot of bad things (the general rage that turns everybody against everybody in a desperate search to find details suitable for attack).”

    I’m old enough to remember the Old Guard vs. New Wave as a very, very heated thing in letter columns, book reviews, editorials, and such in pro zines and all over fanzines & apas. It would not have occurred to me to describe that as fandom getting mundane. Ditto when it comes to the Futurians and their opponents. I don’t think it fits what’s going on now, unless you assume that fandom is somehow naturally white, hetero, and cisgendered, and we have plenty of testimony from decades gone by from folks who are only some or none of those who’ve been reading and loving the stuff for decades, sometimes for multiple generations.

    (There are a bunch of great stories from Black and other non-white sf fans about their parents watching Star Trek with them when they were kids, because their parents had themselves been sf fans since they were kids, for instance.)

    What looks to some like fandom becoming more mundane looks to me like just the opposite: fandom as institutions coming to terms with who should have been there all along.

  33. Thank you for the clarification, Mr. Martin.

    I was one of finalists last night and am now a newly minted Hugo loser. And no, you did not mispronounce my name – Erin Underwood did.

    All finalists were asked in the very first e-mail we got from CoNZealand to provide a phonetic spelling of their names and the titles of their books, magazines, stories, etc… as well as their pronouns. Therefore, we asumed that you and the other presenters had the information.

    I am interested in genre and fandom history and I did enjoy some of your anecdotes and I liked the shout out to fans and finalists all around the world. However, fascinating as stories about the history of the Hugos and Worldcon may be, they’re maybe more suited to a panel/event like the one you did with Robert Silverberg (which I missed, because it conflicted with one of my panels) than to the Hugo ceremony.

    Also, you’ve been a finalist yourself many times, so I’m sure that you know how the ceremony feels from the POV of the finalists. who are usually very nervous until their category is called. Afterwards, they can relax and enjoy the show.

    This year, an added complication was that the finalists were literally distributed all around the world. I live in Germany and for me the ceremony started at 1 AM. I had dressed up in evening clothes which were not all that comfortable and was sitting in front of the PC with my elderly parents off camera. I’d told my parents that my categories – fanzine and fan writer – should be through by 1:30 AM. By the time my categories was finally called at approx. 2 AM, I really needed to go to the bathroom, but didn’t dare, because I didn’t want to miss my categories. My father had nodded off. My Mom enjoyed your stories and asked me to tell you this (and she thought that Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders were adorable), though she was very tired as well. And since I watched the ceremony via the Hugo finalist zoom, I could see the discomfort of many of the other finalists.

    Of course, you had no way of knowing this, but I hope you’ll also understand the POV of the 2020 Hugo finalists.

  34. Bruce Baugh: …fandom as institutions coming to terms with who should have been there all along.

    Well said. It’s certainly what I aspire to see happen.

  35. Is there a transcript available of the Hugo speeches? I’ve just seen a claim that GRRM erased women writers, but I’m pretty sure he mentioned a number of them.

  36. @JJ

    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

    I think the nominations for Interzone and Adam Whitehead were due to British/Irish fandom voting for local favourites. The Semiospheres of Prejudice in the Fantastic Arts and The Wandering Earth were probably due to Finnish and Chinese fandom doing the same.

    I actually did nominate Aurora Rising for the Lodestar and mine is probably the vote that got eliminated early on.

  37. Hey GRRM, how many people do you have working for you? Do you have a personal assistant? You had the resources to learn how to pronounce people’s names.

  38. @Nancy Lebovitz,

    GRRM name checked a number of female writers.

    He did not talk about any of them beyond naming them, if memory serves. They were named as parts of lists, not individuals. Certainly they did not receive the rhapsodic praise and serial anecdotes of the (white) men.

  39. I will break my lengthy comment silence to say—George, I love you man, but if those were time tested jokes and stories, their time has emphatically passed. A history of the field might be a great panel or a great podcast episode. As a Hugo ceremony, it was excruciating. You’ve done a lot of good for the sff community, and I am begging you to keep doing good by getting new material.

    Have a little respect for your audience. We KNOW the history of the field. We have never once been allowed to forget! But stories about people who died when a lot of the nominees weren’t even zygotes is torturous to sit through. The Hugos doesn’t have to be unending storytime, now with extra trans jokes. It is okay to actually honor the people getting awards right now instead of praising people who have already had ten thousand plaudits heaped upon them. Their names will not pass away from lack of praise.

    All else aside, all nominees were given a survey that included phonetic pronunciations of their names. Clearly someone dropped the ball making those available, and further dropped the ball by not seeing the first mispronunciation and going “Oh crap, get that man the list of names.” That was clearly a failure on someone’s part, and needs to be paid attention to.

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