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George RR Martin Decries “Poisoned Well” At 2015 Hugo Awards

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August 29th, 2015

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George RR Martin Decries “Poisoned Well” At 2015 Hugo Awards

Fans of the science fiction and fantasy awards known as the Hugos, will have long been aware of the disruptive influence of the conservative movement in this year’s awards process. That storyline came to a close last weekend, when the 2015 Hugo Awards were presented in Spokane, Washington.

One of the chief actors in this drama has been Game of Thrones author and Executive Producer George R. R. Martin, who has been covering these issues for months on his Not A Blog.

Mr. Martin returned to his blog to say that he had “mixed” feelings about the event, especially about the way his own works were gerrymandered by conservative fan groups like the Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies. Martin went on to explain how we believed Game of Thrones, along with many other works by many other authors, were subjected to an uneven playing field at this year’s Hugo Awards.


The slate voting tactics of conservative fan groups, in Mr. Martin’s view, resulted in “No Award” being given out in several categories, with questionable results being given out in others.

I misliked the roar of approval that went up at the announcement of the first No Award. I understand it, yes… fandom as a whole is heartily sick of the Puppies and delighted to see them brought low… but No Award is an occasion for sadness, not celebration.

I was the designated acceptor for Game of Thrones, and I had some words from David Benioff and Dan Weiss in my pocket, but I didn’t think I would get to use them, and I didn’t.

By slating us, the Pups effectively destroyed our chances. I don’t mind… much. Orphan Black is a worthy win, an excellent show long overdue for some recognition, and GOT had won three years in a row. Even so, there’s a part of me that would have liked to have seen how Game of Thrones did against Orphan Black on a level playing field. Even chances we might have won a fourth, I say. But we’ll never know. The Pups poisoned the well.

The 2015 Hugo Awards appear to have weathered this year’s controversies better than many had expected. However, only time will tell if the pressures brewing in the science fiction and fantasy community will abate, or continue well into 2016.


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Here’s your complete list of winners at the 2015 Hugo Awards (via The Hugos Website):

Best Novel: The Three Body Problem, Cixin Liu, Ken Liu translator (Tor Books)

Best Novella: No Award

Best Novelette: The Day the World Turned Upside Down, Thomas Olde Heuvelt, Lia Belt translator (Lightspeed, 04-2014)

Best Short Story: No Award

Best Related Work:  No Award

Best Graphic Story: Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal, written by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Adrian Alphona and Jake Wyatt, (Marvel Comics)

Best Dramatic Presentation – Long FormGuardians of the Galaxy, written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman, directed by James Gunn (Marvel Studios, Moving Picture Company)

Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form: Orphan Black: By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried, written by Graham Manson, directed by John Fawcett (Temple Street Productions, Space/BBC America)

Best Editor – Short Form: No Award

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Best Editor – Long Form: No Award

Best Professional Artist: Julie Dillon

Best SemiProZine: Lightspeed Magazine, edited by John Joseph Adams, Stefan Rudnicki, Rich Horton, Wendy N. Wagner, and Christie Yant

Best FanZine: Journey Planet, edited by James Bacon, Christopher J Garcia, Colin Harris, Alissa McKersie, and Helen J. Montgomery

Best FanCast: Galactic Suburbia Podcast, Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Presenters) and Andrew Finch (Producer)

Best Fan Writer: Laura J. Mixon

Best Fan Artist: Elizabeth Leggett

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