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.

194 thoughts on “2020 Hugo Awards

  1. @microtherion —

    In Novella, I had Time War listed last.

    I feel very smug about that one. I’ve been telling people since it was first published that it was going to win. 🙂

  2. Having done a lot of online presentations, even before Covid, sometimes through a translator, I can tell you it’s hard. Comedy is ten times harder in this environment, so you have to do less of it. Most of your spoken jokes won’t work. Pulling out an orange juicer can work. You have to trim out all but the most assured laughs, which is frustrating to do. You won’t get any sense of the room. Do they like it? Are people walking out? Are they restless. Normally, you get those things, and you change what you do. Impossible to do in pre-recorded (one of many reasons they should not have allowed almost any pre-recorded material in a live ceremony) but hard even when live via video.

    But what I have said above every presenter who has done remote knows. I wish the Hugo ceremony had known it. There are some fixes. One is to put together a zoom room of 49 volunteers where all show their video, and those who wear headsets send audio. The speaker can see them smile, frown, get bored and even hear them laugh or applaud. You can even feed that with care into the audio for the larger audience. They become a proxy. You can see them looking at watches or getting listless. These days when I give talks I try to insist on Zoom meeting (not the accursed webinar) and demand people show video and wear headsets. It helps a lot.

    But we’re new at this and taking time to figure this out. It is pleasing to learn that the accusation that George refused to correct bad pronunciations is false, though that still makes we wonder, why didn’t the hugo admins ask him to re-do those clips, and shorten the others as the length became apparent. Yes, as said above, George prefers a long and funny ceremony of the sort Connie has done. But that’s almost impossible via video, and should have been quickly nixed as a goal. I don’t think Connie could have done it either, and she’s very good at it.

  3. I would love to know what happened to that list, since none of the people responsible for saying the names seem to have set eyes on it or been aware it existed.


    Hi Ursula, nice to see you again after the disaster of an AO3 discussion, even if only momentarily. 🙂

  4. I only saw parts of the ceremony, but the part involving presenters that impressed me most was Mary Robinette Kowal’s presentation of the nominees for the Best Series award. For each nominee, after naming it, she delivered a representative quote from it, in a voice that was a bit different for each one and that I assume was meant to convey some of the mood of the series. I wasn’t familiar with this years’ series nominees, but the way she announced them made me interested and get curious about checking some of them out. Well done.

  5. Oh wow! In the midst of all this grumpiness about the ceremony, I completely forgot the most important part in my earlier post: to say congrats to all the winners! So, congrats to all the winners!

    And condolences to the losers, several of whom have made it onto my (and probably many other people’s) radar simply by being nominated, so please take that as at least some consolation.

  6. Here’s the thing that really confuses me about the mispronunciations: the nominees in each category have been known since the ballot was finalized. That’s a goodly amount of time. And GRRM has known for equally long that he was going to need to pronounce each and every name on the list, right? So, why did he not proactively try to determine the correct pronunciation. This thing about only having seconds to suss out the correct pronunciation of strange names does not make sense. And even if they never passed him the phonetic pronunciations, why didn’t he reach out via email to the nominees to ask for a phonetic pronunciation?

    I second the delight with Mary Robinette’s presentation. It was wonderful, and now there are things I want to read that I didn’t know I wanted to read.

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  8. Oh goodness, I do have one other minor grumble (not directed at Martin this time). During the In Memoriam scroll, they listed my aunt, Melisa Michaels, which was nice, but she was listed as a fan, which, while true, sort of ignores all the novels you can see at the link I just posted.

  9. @Xtifr–

    Oh goodness, I do have one other minor grumble (not directed at Martin this time). During the In Memoriam scroll, they listed my aunt, Melisa Michaels, which was nice, but she was listed as a fan, which, while true, sort of ignores all the novels you can see at the link I just posted.

    I noticed that, and thought, but she was a writer, right?

    And then I thought, well, a fan too, and maybe her family thought that’s how she’d want to be listed? I’m sorry that it was a mistake rather than a choice.

  10. The only written fiction award that I called correctly was Time War; I felt like it was as close to a clinch for the top spot as possible. That, Good Omens, and Jeannette Ng’s acceptance speech were my only correct guesses for top spot (I had hoped Good Place would win, but didn’t think that it would). Seanan McGuire going 0 for 4? That’s unpossible!

    All in all it was my worst year for correct predictions, I think.

  11. @Lis Carey: Hmm, I hadn’t actually considered that possibility. I haven’t checked with Uncle Richard. I strongly suspect mistake, though.

  12. @Various: One thing I liked a lot about MRK’s presentation was the small, silly thing – pretending she was there with George, in front of a curtain, passing the speaker role back and forth, etc. 😉 That made me happy. Sometimes it’s the little things, you know?

    And yeah, I loved how she read a snippet from each finalist! It was splendid and surprising, making me wonder if anyone had done that before (not that I know of). I’d like this for all works in the future (like we sometimes get video snippets), but inevitably this will lead to mistakes and Twitter-rage reactions, so . . . I don’t know. Maybe not a great general idea, but in a perfect world, it appeals to me immensely.

    The program said 3.5 hours and that was accurate. I’ve been to longer and more tedious, and shorter, which isn’t always better. E.g., I love Picacio as an artist, panelist, and speaker, but he over-did “let’s do this quickly” and rushed the Hugos when he MC’d. This year was in the other direction; we need a happy medium (and a more condensed intro). Prerecorded stuff is fine but should be shorter snippets.

    But I had a ball in the chat with other attendees who were in #major-events during the Hugos. 😉 Thanks to everyone there!

    @GRRM: I’m sorry people are making assumptions (I suspect) and (also) spreading baseless rumors. I LOVE THED HATS! 😉 It was a drinking game of sorts, for some of us in the Discord chat. (Disclaimer: I was drinking tea.) “HAT! DRINK!”

    A few presenters & winners also had some groovy hats and other elegance. 🙂

  13. @Mike V.: I didn’t try predictions, but I would’ve predicted some of the winners accurately, maybe a lot of them. Not the same as my own votes, necessarily, though. 😉

  14. No good deed ever goes unpunished. Can we respect that all of the people involved in Con-running are VOLUNTEERS – including toastmasters, presenters and panelists? That the Hugos involve a significant effort to prepare and produce? And that this Con in particular had very little time to adjust and re-plan a major event which is challenging to perfect in the best of times. GRRM love him or not gave generously of his time, his knowledge and his perspective which is uniquely his. He performed for us for hours. Others might fall on different recollections, jokes or other content – which will be uniquely theirs. I dearly hope future toastmasters will likewise and forever be permitted to offer their own unique perspectives and views and I will be grateful for their efforts.

  15. It should not be the toastmaster or award presenters’ job to research the correct pronunciation of the nominees’ names. That should be the responsibility of the Hugo administrators, and apparently they did that, but why they didn’t pass the information along to the presenters is not clear.
    But the presenters, especially when pre-recording the names of the nominees, so they’re not on the spot on stage, when seeing names they’re unsure how to pronounce, should at least have the wit to say, “Wait a minute, I’m not sure how to pronounce this: I need to find out before we go forward.” Listening to George stumble over names he didn’t know was agonizing and a gross insult to the nominees whose names those were; he should have refused to let that be recorded and insisted on help.

  16. @Archyknitter–The need to find out the correct pronunciation of unfamiliar names is not new, not unique to Worldcon, and not in any way related to, or made harder by, CoNZealand having gone virtual. The con did gather the information—and failed to pass it on to GRRM. That’s unfortunate, and entirely fair grounds for criticism.

    But GRRM also knew who the finalists were, and knew he was going to have to say those names. And, um, he’s not a starving writer with no resources. He has a staff. This could have been dealt with.

    Being volunteers isn’t an excuse for mucking up the obvious things, especially in the upper levels of a large convention staffed with experienced conrunners, including people who have been involved with previous Worldcons.

  17. @Meredith – I am not dead! And I like many here, and in the interests of containing to like them…well, sometimes it’s good to bow out of contentious discussion. Particularly when one is of a personality type, as I Very much am, that will latch onto an argument like a terrier onto a rat.

  18. First I am happy that the rumor was untrue.

    It should have been easy to make sure that you get all the names right for the organisers, for George and probably the presenters. The only excuse that I see is that sometimes people can forget easy thinks or everyone thinks the other will do it.

    As sign of respect it should have been gotten right at last in the preproduced segments.

    I didn’t like Georges program that much.
    Just 2 apologys for the people who planed it:
    1. I would have also taught before that it would have been good.
    2. Unimportant how you feel about last year, George RR Martin had the job for 2 years and it wasn’t unresenable then that fans would have want him as toastmaster.

    Other points are probably standing. Even in the best posible scenario the big mention of Cambell was ton-death and toughless (and that is generous), at worst it was a stealth dig at what happened last year and against a Hugo Award nominee (at the recording time). The Hugowin in BRW exploded in Georges Face. (sorry)

    MRK on the other hand would be a very good futher toastmaster.

  19. @NickPheas: I’ll second @JJ’s comment, noting also that Swanwick had nominations in 1985 (.5), 1990, 1992 (2), 1996, 1997, and 1998 before finally winning in 1999. (Remarkably, he had 3 short stories up in 1999; many authors believe that multiple nominations in one category produce fratricide, leaving the field for someone else.) I liked Middlegame — it was clearly McGuire upping her game — but thought it a bit slapdash compared to other nominees this year. I did think that “In an Absent Dream” was the best of the series so far (and that “…Time War” was heartfelt but contrived and unbalanced in places), but wonder whether some of the impact would have been lost out of context (I couldn’t unread the 3 previous before reading this one) and whether voters felt likewise after recognizing the first in the series.
    I do note that the nominations and winners to my eyes run somewhat ~leftward compared to US years; I also noticed this in 1985 and 2010, but haven’t looked at 2014, 2017, or 2019 to see whether this is specific to ANZ or more general when the membership isn’t overwhelmingly USian.

  20. [[the above got hung up somehow — probably me not pressing the right button — so much of it was superseded by later comments.]]

    GRRM’s comment has an interesting assumption: that people who haven’t been to Worldcons don’t know the history of the field, and so should be fed it at length. Given the amount of material available online, the first part is arrogant, making the second unnecessary. However, knowing this is a matter of perspective; the people producing the ceremony should have taken a hand, possibly discussing with GRRM beforehand what they were looking for.
    Having seen Kowal’s few minutes at the recommendation of another thread, I will also note the abysmal editing; she was left hanging far too long after she was done. IMO the flashy repetition of the announcement was also uncalled for; unless the winners were live and needing time to pull themselves together, it should have been dropped.

    @Lydy Nickerson: ISTM that gathering the list of pronunciations would the responsibility of production rather than talent — especially since it was known some months ago that the talent wouldn’t be able to talk to everyone just beforehand as GRRM cites Picacio doing. Production has to have contact info in order to confirm that people will appear on the ballot; talent doesn’t.

    @Kendall: Kowal did what a fair number of linking videos have done — but she’s spent years honing the art of interacting with things that don’t interact back.

    +1 to the various Filers who pointed out that not having feedback from a live audience (or presenters, or crew) was at least unhelpful in controlling some of the more run-on sections. I don’t know what the custom is now, but the last ceremony I actually attended (2003, when I was doing make-sure-they-don’t-trip-on-the-stairs because I’d brought a tux to wear serving at the losers’ party) had the lights quite high enough for the audience to be visible to the presenters — it wasn’t like a staged play.

  21. While it is always easy to find fault with an event or a performance, it overlooks the many things that went right. I am sure it could be hurtful to have your name mispronounced. I am equally sure it could be hurtful to be heavily criticized publicly for making a mistake(s) – whether its the person in front of a camera or behind. People who volunteer their time to make these events happen may hesitate to put in the effort if they expect to be vilified for anything less than a flawless performance. I’d rather see a follow up review that includes appreciation for the event, the nominated, the winners, and the performers. If debate is needed – imagine a debate that uses curiosity, respect and humility in the place of judgement and blame. Wouldn’t that be interesting and fruitful?

  22. @chip Am I missing something? There was no audience. GRRM did most of his stuff by himself in his cabin in NM.

  23. @Archyknitter

    Let me be utterly blunt. Making a transphobic joke causes harm that is not equivalent to the hurt caused by being called on it

    Praising fascists, racists, sexual harassers from one of the biggest stages in our genre is not equivalent to being criticised for it.

    Mispronouncing names (demonstrating a lack of care about current luminaries) is not equivalent to being criticised for it.

    Publicly discussing where someone was conceived is not equivalent to being criticised for it.

    Continuing the image of genre as unwelcoming to marginalised people is not equivalent to being criticised for it.

    Wanting a performance that doesn’t actively exclude people, actively make them unwelcome, on the night celebrating them, is not wanting a flawless performance.

    I would like to see curiosity, humility, and respect… but not from the marginalised people criticising those in positions of power, but rather, from those in positions of power themselves. Neither GRRM nor CoNZealand demonstrated any of those attributes during, or in the wake of, that ceremony.

    This isn’t just a simple mistake. This is a litany of decisions that GRRM made, and that CoNZealand passed, that made marginalised people feel unwelcome in the genre on a night where marginalised people absolutely dominated the awards.

    There is no equivalency between racism and anti-racism. And in that ceremony, GRRM repeatedly chose the side of racists.

  24. My name is hard to mispronounce, but it is apparently very easy to misspell — Malcom, Malcome, Malcomb… As for the publisher where I worked for decades — Gollancz — let’s not even go there. A high point was a Eurocon award we won in the 1980s, where the certificate managed to misspell both! But nobody intends to misspell or mispronounce names, and it’s really low down the list of first world problems to make a fuss about it.

  25. @Malcolm Edwards

    You know that would be a lot more true if those whose names were mispronounced didn’t include people, and names, not actually FROM the First World. But I’m glad the white guy with the Western name is here to tell PoC to not mind the complete lack of attention to their names in the ceremony honoring them; it’s a great look, sure.

  26. @ D Franklin

    I’m an immigrant in a non-Anglophone country and you know what, it turns out that names with unaccustomed phonemes and orthography are difficult, especially for older people and even for younger people who haven’t acquired a second language.

    Next time one of my wife’s relatives gets my name wrong I’ll be sure to make sure that they feel my righteous anger though.

  27. Dear gods, after the dumpster fire that was the Hugo ceremony, I am feeling so exhausted and dispirited and crushed right now, I can’t even imagine what it feels like for the Hugo finalists.

    rob_matic, that’s really not an apt comparison. Everyone has to put up with microaggressions and crap from their relatives. That’s just life.

    But the Hugo finalists shouldn’t have to put up microaggressions and crap in the Hugo ceremony. It really is not a big ask to get their names right in a pre-recorded ceremony honoring them.

    I say this as someone who has spent their entire life being deliberately mis-named and constantly having my name spelled wrong and pronounced incorrectly. A lot of days, that’s the worst thing that happens to me, because I’m a blue-eyed white woman with a bargeload of privilege.

    For a lot of the Hugo finalists, being mis-named is probably minor compared to the major crap they have to put up with every single goddamned day. Surely getting their names right is the least that Worldcon can do for them. 🙁

  28. I have some real understanding of the irritation mispronounced names causes. My full name is “Gösta Hampus Eckerman” with Hampus being my preferred name. Anglosaxians seem to have a real problem with using names out of order, so at every place they need my id or passport, they will use “Gösta” as my name and mispronounce it, because they have no idea how “ö” should be pronounced.

    Usually I take it in stride, but after two longer stays in hospital in Australia where people could never learn what name to call me by, I gave up. I have now officially removed “Gösta” from my name and will get a new passport and id to avoid this ever happening again.

    My guess is that a lot of people in non-anglosaxian countries change their names in this way or give up on the pronunciation and americanize it.

    And I do have sympathy for those who don’t want to do that and instead choose to express their annoyance. I don’t see it as a microaggression when people do not pronounce my name right. But I find it extremely exhausting when it gets too wrong too many times.

  29. JJ on August 2, 2020 at 1:44 am said:

    rob_matic, that’s really not an apt comparison. Everyone has to put up with microaggressions and crap from their relatives. That’s just life.

    I don’t consider it a microaggression or them giving me crap, which is my point. I’m aware that they are from a different linguistic background and that pronunciation can be a challenge for some people.

  30. Many of us here have a lot of experience in conrunning, including working on Worldcons, including working on this particular con, at various levels.

    There was plenty of time and opportunity to get the names of the people being honored correct.

    Phonemes from outside one’s linguistic experience get harder to master, or in some cases even hear, as one gets older, which in this context means past one’s teens. But you know what? I can tell the difference between people who can’t hear the difference between “Carey” and “Kerry”, and the ones who can’t be bothered to make the effort after I’ve talked to them about it. The finalists were asked in advance about phonetic pronunciation of their names, and then heard them mispronounced in prerecorded segments of the Hugo ceremony. There is simply no way for that to have felt like an insult.

    And neither GRRM nor the official response from CoNZealand made a real apology for causing that hurt, which is owed even when that hurt is absolutely unintentional.

    I have what I think of as an absolutely plain vanilla name. Nothing hard about it, with the only mildly tricky bit being the “s” instead of a “z” where many expect it. And I have learned to just automatically spell both my first and last name, automatically, every time someone is going to write it down or search it in a database, because I have learned the hard way that if I hand them my card with my name spelled correctly on it, they will spell it wrong, first and last names, with it in front of them, spelled correctly, in clear print. I feel that disrespect every time, and I got tired of it, so I just spell it out for them, out loud, every time.

    I can’t imagine how it must have felt to have been asked for phonetic pronunciation of one’s name, and hear it pronounced wrong, in the prerecorded segments of the Hugo ceremony. In ways that weren’t the same as my nice German coworkers in one of the most fondly remembered part of my career, whose language (in most of the country) does not include the “th” phoneme at the end of Elisabeth, but who did their best to get it as right as possible.

    And while I didn’t blame the ones who were trying to get it right and failing, I do still have a special place in my heart for the one among them who, with a definite accent in everything else, every time, pronounced Elisabeth perfectly, every vowel and that “th” at the end. I noticed that extra care, and appreciated it.

    These were our Hugo finalists. The effort should have been made to get their names as right as humanly possible, out simple respect.

  31. I want to say this: I have been reading Martin since I was a child. I love his books. As a person, I have a lot of admiration for him. He has done enormous good to the field and has been enormously generous with his peers. I am a huge ASOIAF fan. I have heard that he has always been a reliable and courteous and charming panelist and GoH.


    He was in the audience like I was last year when Jeanette Ng made her acceptance speech. I was part of the standing ovation. It felt very much like the moment to speak up about some of the dirty laundry of the founding fathers had come. The fact that the name of the award was swiftly changed means that the zeitgeist of the moment was going in that direction. That very self-same speech was up for a Hugo – which it won!

    In this context, going back again and again to how great and wonderful Campbell was feels very much like a kick in the teeth of the audience. I am sure Martin didn’t intend it that way, but he can’t have been unaware of the subtext. He’s a very smart man and a very smart writer. Perhaps he took it as just a bit of a in-joke. A gentle tongue-in-cheek ribbing. But it wasn’t. This is the world, this is fandom, after the murder of George Floyd. Celebrating a racist is the last in a long long line of slights that people of color and those that care about equality and humanity are thoroughly fed up with. I know that Martin is, personally, on the right side of this issue. I don’t think he grasped how violent his words were in the context.

    I know people who have gafiated over this. I know of people who are calling for the Hugo ceremony to become a private for-profit endeavour ran by hired professionals. I know of people who say they will never go to a WorldCon. NK Jemisin does not go to WorldCons because she’s done with the microagressions – and microagressions over and over and over are not so micro in aggregate.

    Also: George I love your books man, but when you are writing a post for an online forum, you do not need to exceed the word length for a novellette. More is not always better than less.

  32. @Malcom Edwards: harsh, but he has a point. It’s not up to you to decide what “it’s really low down the list of first world problems to make a fuss about it.” It might be, but it’s still on that list.

  33. Kendall wrote: The program said 3.5 hours and that was accurate

    Wednesday’s program said 2 hours.
    They updated the schedule on Friday, presumably when staff got GRRM’s prerecorded segments.

    (Insert metaphor about drawing targets after firing the arrows)

  34. Or when the people who had GRRM’s recordings let scheduling know. Definitely after I had looked at the schedule. I figured out pretty quickly that it was never going to fit in 2 hours, but I didn’t think to recheck the schedule. So I still wasn’t expecting an hour and a half more.

  35. Look, on the name thing—when lots of people mispronounce someone’s name repeatedly, one of the things it says is “You are not from here. This is not your home.” And if there was ever a time that one should strive to make sure that nominees get to feel like they are home in fandom, it’s when they’re getting a Hugo!

    Or maybe, like Fiyah, it says “We haven’t heard of you, because you’re not important. If you were important, we would have known your name already.” And how dare we rob people of feeling important on the night of their Hugos ceremony?

    Look, if any genre can lay claim to being about the future, it’s SFF. Does the future look like the young people writing the stuff that we are excited about and voting to acknowledge…or does it look like the same guys telling the same jokes about the same dead guys that they’ve told for decades and expecting everyone to clap?

  36. Yes. My perspective has always been that everyone could gain much more in a discussion by using curiosity, respect and humility. Knowing that we are all human beings with different perspectives it could be more fruitful and far less divisive to seek to understand before making an assumption on a person’s intent. We could even choose to be generous enough to assume that people have the best of intentions. Everybody. All the time. And I believe that most of the time we won’t find intentionally hurtful thoughts – most often hurtful things come from ignorance, not hate. Wouldn’t it be more healing for all if we could stand on the same side of it together and examine it without the blaming? And when it does, in fact, come from hate- then we would all see that too.

  37. I like Asimov and Heinlein, but they haven’t written anything I’ve found good during my lifetime. And I find them less and less interesting for every year. Many of my old favourites are hardly readable anymore with their old fashioned sexism, technology and social values. For younger generations than mine? I guess they’ve hardly read them.

    I think if you are going to start with the old masters, you will have to move forward to the newer ones. And not miss those in between. Every generation has their favourites. Everyone wants to feel theirs acknowledged.

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  39. @archyknitter, I judge actions by their effect, not by the intentions of the actor. If I step on somebody’s foot, I don’t say “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t know there was a foot there!” I say “I’m sorry I stepped on your foot.”

    The whole point of microaggressions is that the intent is irrelevant. What happens is that you hear your name mispronounced over and over and over every day. What happens is that strangers keep asking to touch your hair. What happens is that people keep confusing you for another prominent writer of color.

    Each individual act may be unintentional. The cumulative effect is devastating. One of the winners actually mentioned the effect of having their name mispronounced over and over again in their speech.

    And then there are macroaggressions, like responding to a foundational SF editor’s being acknowledged as racist and fascist by … mentioning his name over and over in the evening.

    When you’re part of a societal problem, you need to be extra careful to avoid reinforcing it.

  40. JJ: Thank you for the When the Toastmaster Talks Less version! I had to drop the live version when a reading I wanted to attend (Naomi Kritzer) started. So glad to watch the short version instead now.

  41. @Cora I am so sorry. I had no idea, and I deeply apologize as I know how awful it can feel to be introduce incorrectly. I wish I had been given a pronunciation guide for everyone’s names, but that did not happen. I hope you can forgive me, and I would love to know what the proper pronunciation is so that I remember going forward. Again, I am so sorry about the mispronunciation.

  42. No, with all due respect, my dude.

    You can’t say, “I really admired John for doing this, but didn’t bother to have one of my personal assistants take care of it when it came my time” and get any sort of credit for it.*

    You can’t say, “I celebrated a guy who was a racist at length and did so while giving out the award whose name was changed because of his racism but history, ya know” and get any sort of credit for it.

    You can’t say, “I was part of an experience that took the joy of being on the ballot and soured it for the majority of people on that ballot – for many, the first time there — and I’m sorry IF anyone was offended by that, but I don’t intend to actually apologize to any of the people who did express that offense, let alone the nominees whose experience I spoiled” and get any sort of credit for it.

    You can’t say, “Celebrating the white male writers while glossing over/swiftly moving past anyone who is not is just part of how our community works and yay Worldcon history” and get any sort of credit for it because there are people, a lot of us, working to change that.

    If you’re going to set yourself up as a community leader, then actually lead by example. For one thing, be willing to put yourself on the sideline sometimes in order to let our new voices speak. Or respect them enough to get their names right.

    *”I only had emails for 6 of them” is surely one of the flimsiest excuses a man publicly enthusing about spending his personal wealth buying a movie theater has expressed in the course of human history. FFS.

  43. If the Con didnt provide pronouncation guides thats on them – at least they should have checked the prereocred material.
    TBS: If I would be a host of a ceremony this important, Id be paranoid about mispronouncation! I would have – at the very least – demanded help on those from the organizers. Sorry GRRM, but its hard to state “Its too mucb work to make sure the names are correct” and at the same time think its an important enough event to lecture the decade long history.

    Which brings me to…. There is a time for everything. There certain is a time to reminiscint about the history and tell anecdotes etc. But this was not it. If you are really care who wins -especially if youre nominated or are a friends/relative of some one who is, you wont be able to adsorb anything you said. I doubt many people actually record details of your lecture. It was not the time and place and was a lost effort for most and a time waste for some.
    Yes, every host has their style, but if the next host plays videogames for 5 hours to showcase the SF storytelling in modern media, before or during the announcements, you propably would complain too.

  44. @rob_matic, ah, so after… numerous… pages of comments, we finally got the “all lives matter” response. Thank you.

  45. @ Anna Feruglio Dal Dan — you may have a point. However, @ D Franklin’s smug and arrogant assumption of moral superiority grated somewhat. A quick examination of their website reveals that I know their uncle (in the 1980s we both sat on the committee of the UK publishers’ CND group), for what that’s worth.

    Should I mention that you misspelled my name? ?

  46. That second question mark was meant to be a smiling emoji. Not sure how that happened…

  47. Pingback: Some Reflections on the 2020 Hugo Ceremony a.k.a. Reminiscing with George | Cora Buhlert

  48. @Malcolm

    File 770 is really quirky about emojis. You have to copy paste the HTML Dec code and add a semi-colon on the end for them to show up.

    I use this site. &# 128512 (I inserted a space so you could see the code) is for a grinning face, for example. Add the semi colon and it will display for you. 😀

  49. For a lot of simple emojis, you can use plain-text. For example, a colon and a rparen results in 🙂 .

    But in general, yeah, WordPress’s handling of Unicode, which used to be quite decent, went to crap a couple of years ago, and remains embarrassingly horrible, for reasons that remain mysterious. Although it may be related to their integration of a lot of Markdown (or Markdown-like) features.

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