Amazing Stories

WORLDCON 76 – SHINY!

Wow, what a weekend!

You know that feeling you get right as you step into the barrel that’s going over the falls, that moment right before they close the lid?

Well, neither do we, but I’m pretty sure it must feel a lot like we did as we boarded our individual planes and headed for San Jose.  The magazines had been delivered, obstacles both physical and emotional had been sorted out and we were utterly committed to the ride, no matter what the eventual outcome. (Which turned out to be pretty effin good!)

The highlight of Worldcons is traditionally considered to be the Hugo Awards ceremony and, despite our storied magazine’s debut taking place this year, Worldcon76’s highlight was no exception.

We’d like to take this moment to congratulate all of the finalists and winners, all of the nominees and the people who work so hard behind the scenes to pull off a very professional awards ceremony.

John Picaccio was this year’s MC and he promised the audience – on numerous occasions – that he would be running a tight and fast ship.  With few exceptions, this was the case.  John was elegant in his suit, passing on a genuine feeling of excitement and joyousness that was infectuous.  He has always been a class act and the MC post at the podium allowed him to show this off.

I’ll just take one moment here to mention that one of the most bittersweet moments I’ve had in quite some time was Steven Silver’s introduction of the 2018 In Memorium Honor Roll;  Steven sounded a bit choked up as he delivered the introduction – I was too – but watching those names go by was almost too much for me.  So many people I’ve known, so many who helped form me as a fan, provided me with wonderful entertainment and interesting concepts, are gone.  I realized that I was seeing far too many familiar names on that list and then I realized that this probably marked the beginning of a trend for future Worldcons.  I honestly almost had to leave the theater to collect myself.

But then, the awards.

A complete listing is included below.  The main things to take away are:

Voting rules changes seem to be effective and the awards are now back on track, working the way they are supposed to and giving us the results we’re looking for – winners based on votes from informed, educated voters that reflect the collective will of fandom.

Stories that take us out of our familiar environs and take us to places we’d likely never encounter are being rewarded with nominations and wins.  Who better to present us with exciting new characters, societies and ideas than authors whose personal experiences are different from what is often referred to as the mainstream?

The award results are reflective of the fact that fandom is open to expanding its cultural reach – despite naysayers who dabble in a field that is supposed to be all about going new places and meeting interesting people who we can then become friends with (rather than shooting them).  These new voices have got so much to share, so much we can learn from.

Specifically, I am honored to have witnessed both Rebecca Roanhorse’s and Nora K. Jemisin’s acceptance speeches.  Rebecca is both black and native american.  Her wins for the JW Campbell Award for Best New Writer and the Hugo for Best Short Story are, so far as I have been able to check, the first for a native american, opening a window into a culture that most of us think we are familiar with, but aren’t.  I don’t want to get anything wrong here and I can’t (yet) find a transcript of her speeches, so I will restrict myself to saying that they were sprinkled with words and sayings from an indigenous nation I’d never heard of before and want to learn more about, her appreciation was genuine, her (writing) voice is unique and the field is better for counting her among its professionals.

Nora was, if past speeches are anything to go by, at her finest.  Elegant, poised and carrying with her restrained emotions from across the spectrum, she delivered a speech that brought the audience to its feet.  Twice.  She fiercely defended her right to be standing at the podium and accepting Worldcon’s highest award, that for Best Novel, for an unprecedented third time in a row, and made the point that even now, even after having won numerous Hugo, Nebula, Locus and other awards, even after having been nominated for far more, some people still question her place and right to be sitting at the table.

Amazing Stories will go on record now and state, categorically, that we believe the Hugo Awards this year were decided upon MERIT, not on identify politics, nor on politics of any kind, and that the winners and finalists were all, collectively and individually, deserving of their places, without question.  Without question.

We will go one step further:  Nora’s speech was in the finest tradition of Hugo Award acceptance speeches, certainly no worse than others we’ve heard and better than most.

And another step:  Diversity of all kinds in the science fiction field is what makes us what we are (and we’re finally learning that we need to be more diverse than we have been);  new voices, coming from new places, expand and invigorate our field rather than diminishing it.  We are also learning that “hate” is not a diversity, it is an unnecessary and unwanted drag on our progress, something that we need to leave behind.

I participated in several events that opened my eyes to the fact that there’s far more diversity out there than most of us are aware of.  That the field has opened up and become willing to accept these former “outsiders” can do nothing but make us better than we are.  The WORLDWIDE excitement about science fiction is palable.  I met with Chinese editors, speaking through a translator;  I met with Latinx authors and artists, with members of the LGBTQI community, with all manner of human beings coming from all manner of backgrounds and personal experiences and all I can say is – thank goodness for their persistence and tolerance.  If they had not so fiercely and passionately wanted to be a part of our community, we would be missing out on what is probably the greatest opportunity that has ever been handed to us.

So how did Amazing Stories do?  Fantastic!  Based on the numbers, we managed to get a free copy of the first new issue into the hands of over 80% of the attendees.  We were overwhelmed with good wishes, positive commentary, requests to submit art, stories, poetry and articles, not to mention a steady stream of subscription sales and advertising inquiries.  Buy stock in Rayban, we’re gonna need shades.

Finally (at least for now), before we display the award results, just a couple of comments.

Women and non-“cis het white male anglo western european etc” people were in the ascendancy this year both in wins AND in nominations.  The FIRST blockbuster film featuring a female superhero won Best Dramatic Long Form.  A collection of essays by a female author won Best Related, etc., etc. This, despite the fact that publishing is still weighted towards the customary white, male, hetero, etc., etc., etc.

Go ahead and believe in a cabal if you want to, because no matter how you slice it, either the cabal is WINNING or diversity is WINNING and it is clear that negative, hateful, thought and people are LOSING.

A point that often seems to get lost in this greater discussion is – every single one of the winners and finalists, even the people who only made the long list, are PEOPLE.  Human Beings.  We all come from the same planet.  We all have the same ancestors.  The differences between us are miniscule, virtually non-existent, except for those that some try to impose on the rest of us out of unwarranted fear, drawn from insecurity and ignorance.  The only things we really have to share are our varied experiences, and, as they say, knowledge is power.  I for one hope to learn as much as I can, from as many different voices as I can.

Nora Jemisin said, at the conclusion of her speech, that “the stars are closer”.  Indeed they are!

(Apologies for the disjointed post.  My brain is still not entirely functional at this time.)

2018 Hugo Award results.  Category winners highlighted.

Best Novel

  • The Stone Sky, by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
  • The Collapsing Empire, by John Scalzi (Tor)
  • New York 2140, by Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit)
  • Provenance, by Ann Leckie (Orbit)
  • Raven Stratagem, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)
  • Six Wakes, by Mur Lafferty (Orbit)

Best Novella

  • All Systems Red, by Martha Wells (Tor.com Publishing)
  • “And Then There Were (N-One),” by Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny, March/April 2017)
  • Binti: Home, by Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Black Tides of Heaven, by JY Yang (Tor.com Publishing)
  • Down Among the Sticks and Bones, by Seanan McGuire (Tor.Com Publishing)
  • River of Teeth, by Sarah Gailey (Tor.com Publishing)

Best Novelette

  • “The Secret Life of Bots,” by Suzanne Palmer (Clarkesworld, September 2017)
  • “Children of Thorns, Children of Water,” by Aliette de Bodard (Uncanny, July-August 2017)
  • “Extracurricular Activities,” by Yoon Ha Lee (Tor.com, February 15, 2017)
  • “A Series of Steaks,” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Clarkesworld, January 2017)
  • “Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time,” by K.M. Szpara (Uncanny, May/June 2017)
  • “Wind Will Rove,” by Sarah Pinsker (Asimov’s, September/October 2017)

Best Short Story

  • “Welcome to your Authentic Indian Experience™,” by Rebecca Roanhorse (Apex, August 2017)
  • “Carnival Nine,” by Caroline M. Yoachim (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, May 2017)
  • “Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand,” by Fran Wilde (Uncanny, September 2017)
  • “Fandom for Robots,” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Uncanny, September/October 2017)
  • “The Martian Obelisk,” by Linda Nagata (Tor.com, July 19, 2017)
  • “Sun, Moon, Dust” by Ursula Vernon, (Uncanny, May/June 2017)

Best Series

  • World of the Five Gods, by Lois McMaster Bujold (Harper Voyager / Spectrum Literary Agency)
  • The Books of the Raksura, by Martha Wells (Night Shade)
  • The Divine Cities, by Robert Jackson Bennett (Broadway US / Jo Fletcher Books UK)
  • InCryptid, by Seanan McGuire (DAW)
  • The Memoirs of Lady Trent, by Marie Brennan (Tor US / Titan UK)
  • The Stormlight Archive, by Brandon Sanderson (Tor US / Gollancz UK)

Best Related Work

  • No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters, by Ursula K. Le Guin (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • Crash Override: How Gamergate (Nearly) Destroyed My Life, and How We Can Win the Fight Against Online Hate, by Zoë Quinn (PublicAffairs)
  • Iain M. Banks (Modern Masters of Science Fiction), by Paul Kincaid (University of Illinois Press)
  • A Lit Fuse: The Provocative Life of Harlan Ellison, by Nat Segaloff (NESFA Press)
  • Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler, edited by Alexandra Pierce, and Mimi Mondal (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Sleeping with Monsters: Readings and Reactions in Science Fiction and Fantasy, by Liz Bourke (Aqueduct Press)

Best Graphic Story

  • Monstress, Volume 2: The Blood, written by Marjorie M. Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda (Image Comics)
  • Bitch Planet, Volume 2: President Bitch, written by Kelly Sue DeConnick, illustrated by Valentine De Landro and Taki Soma, colored by Kelly Fitzpatrick, lettered by Clayton Cowles (Image Comics)
  • Black Bolt, Volume 1: Hard Time, written by Saladin Ahmed, illustrated by Christian Ward, lettered by Clayton Cowles (Marvel)
  • My Favorite Thing is Monsters, written and illustrated by Emil Ferris (Fantagraphics)
  • Paper Girls, Volume 3, written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, colored by Matthew Wilson, lettered by Jared Fletcher (Image Comics)
  • Saga, Volume 7, written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples (Image Comics)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

  • Wonder Woman, screenplay by Allan Heinberg, story by Zack Snyder & Allan Heinberg and Jason Fuchs, directed by Patty Jenkins (DC Films / Warner Brothers)
  • Blade Runner 2049, written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, directed by Denis Villeneuve (Alcon Entertainment / Bud Yorkin Productions / Torridon Films / Columbia Pictures)
  • Get Out, written and directed by Jordan Peele (Blumhouse Productions / Monkeypaw Productions / QC Entertainment)
  • The Shape of Water, written by Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor, directed by Guillermo del Toro (TSG Entertainment / Double Dare You / Fox Searchlight Pictures)
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi, written and directed by Rian Johnson (Lucasfilm, Ltd.)
  • Thor: Ragnarok, written by Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, and Christopher Yost; directed by Taika Waititi (Marvel Studios)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

  • The Good Place: “The Trolley Problem,” written by Josh Siegal and Dylan Morgan, directed by Dean Holland (Fremulon / 3 Arts Entertainment / Universal Television)
  • Black Mirror: “USS Callister,” written by William Bridges and Charlie Brooker, directed by Toby Haynes (House of Tomorrow)
  • “The Deep” [song], by Clipping (Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, Jonathan Snipes)
  • Doctor Who: “Twice Upon a Time,” written by Steven Moffat, directed by Rachel Talalay (BBC Cymru Wales)
  • The Good Place: “Michael’s Gambit,” written and directed by Michael Schur (Fremulon / 3 Arts Entertainment / Universal Television)
  • Star Trek: Discovery: “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad,” written by Aron Eli Coleite & Jesse Alexander, directed by David M. Barrett (CBS Television Studios)

Best Editor, Short Form

  • Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas
  • John Joseph Adams
  • Neil Clarke
  • Lee Harris
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Sheila Williams

Best Editor, Long Form

  • Sheila E. Gilbert
  • Joe Monti
  • Diana M. Pho
  • Devi Pillai
  • Miriam Weinberg
  • Navah Wolfe

Best Professional Artist

  • Sana Takeda
  • Galen Dara
  • Kathleen Jennings
  • Bastien Lecouffe Deharme
  • Victo Ngai
  • John Picacio

Best Semiprozine

  • Uncanny Magazine, edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, and Julia Rios; podcast produced by Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies, editor-in-chief and publisher Scott H. Andrews
  • The Book Smugglers, edited by Ana Grilo and Thea James
  • Escape Pod, edited by Mur Lafferty, S.B. Divya, and Norm Sherman, with assistant editor Benjamin C. Kinney
  • Fireside Magazine, edited by Brian White and Julia Rios; managing editor Elsa Sjunneson-Henry; special feature editor Mikki Kendall; publisher & art director Pablo Defendini
  • Strange Horizons, edited by Kate Dollarhyde, Gautam Bhatia, A.J. Odasso, Lila Garrott, Heather McDougal, Ciro Faienza, Tahlia Day, Vanessa Rose Phin, and the Strange Horizons staff

Best Fanzine

  • File 770, edited by Mike Glyer
  • Galactic Journey, edited by Gideon Marcus
  • Journey Planet, edited by Team Journey Planet
  • nerds of a feather, flock together, edited by The G, Vance Kotrla, and Joe Sherry
  • Rocket Stack Rank, edited by Greg Hullender and Eric Wong
  • SF Bluestocking, edited by Bridget McKinney

Best Fancast

  • Ditch Diggers, presented by Mur Lafferty and Matt Wallace
  • The Coode Street Podcast, presented by Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe
  • Fangirl Happy Hour, presented by Ana Grilo and Renay William
  • Galactic Suburbia, presented by Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce, and Tansy Rayner Roberts; produced by Andrew Finch
  • Sword and Laser, presented by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt
  • Verity!, presented by Deborah Stanish, Erika Ensign, Katrina Griffiths, L.M. Myles, Lynne M. Thomas, and Tansy Rayner Roberts

Best Fan Writer

  • Sarah Gailey
  • Camestros Felapton
  • Mike Glyer
  • Foz Meadows
  • Charles Payseur
  • Bogi Takács

Best Fan Artist

  • Geneva Benton
  • Grace P. Fong
  • Maya Hahto
  • Likhain (M. Sereno)
  • Spring Schoenhuth
  • Steve Stiles

There are two other Awards administered by Worldcon 76 that are not Hugo Awards:

Award for Best Young Adult Book

  • Akata Warrior, by Nnedi Okorafor (Viking)
  • The Art of Starving, by Sam J. Miller (HarperTeen)
  • The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage, by Philip Pullman (Knopf)
  • In Other Lands, by Sarah Rees Brennan (Big Mouth House)
  • A Skinful of Shadows, by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan UK / Harry N. Abrams US)
  • Summer in Orcus, written by T. Kingfisher (Ursula Vernon), illustrated by Lauren Henderson (Sofawolf Press)

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

  • Rebecca Roanhorse
  • Katherine Arden
  • Sarah Kuhn*
  • Jeannette Ng
  • Vina Jie-Min Prasad
  • Rivers Solomon

*Finalist in their 2nd year of eligibility

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