2016 Hugo Award Finalists Are Revealed

Hugo AwardLast year's Hugo Award nominations set off an explosion of controversy in the science fiction and fantasy world. One group's attempt to dominate the 2015 nominations was a success, leading some finalists to withdraw their names from consideration. Turmoil roiled the community in the months between the announcement of the finalists and the final vote in the summer. In the end, most categories received an overwhelming number of "no award" votes by members in protest of the finalist slate--plus members declared a renewed commitment to voting for their desired candidates for the 2016 nominations.

Now the 2016 award nominations are in. Last year, 2,122 ballots were received for the Hugo nominations. This year 4,032 ballots were received for Hugo nominations, breaking all previous records.

A selection of the categories is below, as well as the finalists for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Congratulations to all the finalists.







  • The Divine written by Boaz Lavie, art by Asaf Hanuka and Tomer Hanuka
  • Erin Dies Alone written by Grey Carter, art by Cory Rydell
  • Full Frontal Nerdity  by Aaron Williams
  • Invisible Republic Vol 1 written by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman, art by Gabriel Hardman
  • The Sandman: Overture written by Neil Gaiman, art by J.H. Williams III



  • Pierce Brown *
  • Sebastien de Castell *
  • Brian Niemeier
  • Andy Weir *
  • Alyssa Wong *
  • Finalists in their 2nd year of eligibility.


The full list of finalist categories can be found here.


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I've been observing the Hugo kerfuffle as a semi-disinterested outsider for the last two years. FWIW, the reality of it is this - the Hugos had come to be an "insider" award for and by a small enclave of SF/F authors and "True Fans" while still being considered by the public at large as THE SF/F award to look for on published works. Membership in this little clique was mighty exclusive. Anyone who did not fit the parameters was not welcome, nor eligible for inclusion, much less Hugo nomination or votes. Straight, white, conservative, Christian, "cisgendered" and/or male - or any combination thereof - was grounds for exclusion.

A grassroots campaign was started, more as a tongue-in-cheek effort initially, to encourage people to sign up to nominate and vote for the SF/F stories they like, regardless of the political leanings, skin color, and/or choice of bed partner. This grew into the Sad Puppies campaign, which made recommendations of books, art, magazines and other works to consider for nomination. The insider "clique" was pretty upset that these folks were upsetting their little apple cart. They, in turn, campaigned to portray the Puppies as being hateful, bigoted, racist, misogynist, homophobic ... who wanted to take over the award and give it only to straight, white, conservative males.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The Sad Puppies campaigned to have works nominated by people of all races, all genders and persuasions, all political leanings, with the only requirement being that they tell a good story. The campaigning worked, and perhaps worked too well.

In retaliation, the insider clique voted against any nominee that appeared on any of the Puppy recommendation lists, and "No Award" was gleefully handed out over and over at last year's Hugos.

This year, the Sad Puppies are led by a contingent of women, of varying races and backgrounds, with a much better organized campaign with again the aim of getting good authors who tell good stories nominated.

I, for one, look forward to the Dragon. Let the little clique have their Hugo. It's meaningless now, and they have only themselves to blame.

Posted by: Lissa | Tuesday April 26, 2016 at 5:06 PM

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