The Hugos, the major fan awards given out every year at the World Science Fiction Convention, have been bedeviled the last few years by a political controversy that eerily mirrors general American politics. Two reactionary factions—the conservative Sad Puppies and the white nationalist Rabid Puppies—have been manipulating the nomination process to push back against the fiction they don’t like: largely works with progressive themes written by women and people of color.
The Rabid Puppies are like Trump and the Sad Puppies are like Mike Pence. Both factions are supported by Breitbart. Together, they are strong enough to dominate the nomination process, where very few people vote. This year, as last year, the list of nominees was top heavy with Puppies favorites. But the Puppies aren’t strong enough to actually win the awards. As in last year, the big awards all went to writers on the non-Puppies slate, with the Puppies generally only winning when they listed work that had long-standing popularity outside their advocacy.
As Slate reports:
All four of the fiction categories were awarded to women: Best Novel went to N.K. Jemisin for The Fifth Season, Best Novella went to Nnedi Okorafor for Binti, Best Novelette went to Hao Jingfang for “Folding Beijing,” translated by Ken Liu and published in the January–February 2015 issue of Uncanny magazine, and Best Short Story went to Naomi Kritzer for “Cat Pictures Please,” published in the January 2015 issue of Clarkesworld. N.K. Jemisin and [Rabid Puppy leader Theodore Beale] have a history: In 2013, Beale called Jemison, who is black, “an educated, but ignorant half-savage,” leading to his expulsion from the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.