Alternate Timeline Hugo Awards

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice.

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August 23, 2015


I think the voters sent a pretty clear message last night on the subject of slates: NOPE.

Wired has a pretty good write-up of the evening.

But, of course, since both faction of Puppies have goalpost moving as one of their main hobbies, they’re claiming this is some sort of victory for them.  I do not think that word means what you think it means.


Here’s the full results–you can see that no award was given out in five categories. This is unprecedented in the history of the awards.

That’s all well and good and I’m glad this is how things turned out last night.

One of the things that happens after the ceremony is that all the statistics are released. Including nominating ballots.  And if you look at those, you can see the ballot that we probably would have happened if a minority of people in our community hadn’t decided to nominate via slate.

This is that ballot (to the best of my ability and ignoring the 5% rule).

Best Novel

Best Novella

Best Novelette

Best Short Story

Best Related Work

Best Graphic Story

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

Honestly, I can’t figure out how this category would have gone without Puppy influence–Guardians of the Galaxy certainly would have been nominated regardless, and I can’t see that some of the others wouldn’t have been, either.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

  • Doctor Who: “Listen”
  • Orphan Black: “By Means Which Have Never Been Tried Yet”
  • Agents of Shield: “Turn, Turn, Turn”
  • Game of Thrones: “The Lion and the Rose”
  • The Legend of Korra: “The Last Stand”

Best Editor, Short Form

  • John Joseph Adams
  • Neil Clarke
  • Ellen Datlow
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Sheila Williams

Best Editor, Long Form

  • Liz Gorinsky
  • Beth Meacham
  • Patrick Nielsen Hayden
  • Lee Harris
  • Anne Perry

Best Professional Artist

  • Julie Dillon
  • John Picacio
  • Galen Dara
  • Stephan Martiniere
  • Chris McGrath

Best Semiprozine

Best Fanzine

Best Fancast

Best Fan Writer

  • Laura J. Mixon
  • Abigail Nussbaum
  • Liz Bourke
  • Natalie Luhrs
  • Mark Oshiro

Best Fan Artist

This was the only category which had no slate nominees.

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

  • Wesley Chu
  • Andy Weir
  • Alyssa Wong
  • Carmen Marchado
  • Django Wexler

This would have been a very different ballot and one that was both interesting and exciting, particularly in the short fiction categories. There’s so much good work here, work that I am genuinely excited about and work that really shows the direction the genre is heading–not just reflecting where it’s been. It’s a shame that were weren’t able to recognize and celebrate these works and their creators for the last four months.

(I am also very grateful to the 76 people who nominated me. That means a lot, thank you. Maybe next year? We’ll see what happens.)

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  1. Steve

    The fact that STD ranked so low even among his slate is a more stern reprimand than L. Ron Hubbard received when he lost to No Award. I do hope this is the last year of these shenanigans.

  2. Sarah

    STD is already making plans to do the same thing again next year, so I wouldn’t count on it.

  3. Sunita

    Thanks so much for putting this together, Natalie. As I said on Twitter, it’s heartening to see how much good work is recognized when people are voting without benefit of a single slate. I don’t expect everyone to like what I like, but, just as an example, I thought City of Stairs was an ambitious book that pulled off much of what it attempted. I know I wasn’t the only one who thought it might have made the Best Novel shortlist. And that’s just one case.

  4. Emma Crew

    I should knit you a rocket ship or something. Congrats!

    (also, my brain is full of world-collidey thoughts when Juliansinger tweets at you and Solarbirdy mentions your blog. Geek nation, interwoven in so many ways.)

    • Natalie Luhrs

      Ha–I’ve known Juliansinger online for over 20 years at this point. And yes: geek nation is very much interwoven. And no congratulations are needed, as I wasn’t nominated for anything. Which, ultimately, is a little blip in my life.

  5. Ronny

    All in all I’m pretty satisfied with the results. The only category I would be happier if something else won would be Long Form Drama. However, when I see who I could have voted for, including some people I nominated, it just starts to feel like a pyrrhic victory.

  6. Derek B.

    Thanks for this. The categories I think you might be wrong about are the editor ones primarily, Long Form where the slates included at least two good candidates (unlike most of the other categories). From the nomination numbers and their both having been nominees before, I think there is a good chance that Toni Weisskopf would have made it in Long Form and that Sheila Gilbert might have too, considering Harris and Perry only had 35 and 31 nominations. Minz had almost as many nominations as Gilbert but considering how the final voting went I don’t think he would have had any chance. Mike Resnick might also have had a decent chance in Short Form but I could easily be way off base on that as the five editors on your list all had at least 95 nominations.

    And congratulations on your large number of nominations, they were well deserved.

  7. MamaDeb

    Just. Thank you. Thank you for giving links and recognition for the stories that didn’t get the audience they might have, win or lose.

    So many GOOD stories crowded out by what we got. That hurts the most.

  8. Tasha Turner

    It’s so important that we nominate next year. Hopefully if enough of the eligible people nominate next year won’t be as bad as this year. Year after if EPH is ratified and works as expected things will get back to “close to normal”.

    And many of the people who missed out due to the slate this year have work coming out next year so maybe they’ll be on the ballot soon.

  9. NowhereMan

    Thanks for compiling this list. Been working my way through the short fiction entries; they’re all great reads.

  10. Emma Crew

    It was in the spirit of “congrats to be good enough to be almost-nominated,” Which is more than most of us can say…

    And yeah, I first met Juliansinger online in 1994 (and one if our scattered random in-person meetings was also that year if memory serves). … you’re not also you a MOO person and I failed to notice?

    • Natalie Luhrs

      I’m not a MOO person, I’m a BBS person: there’s some overlap there. 🙂


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