Men's rights activists troll major science fiction awards

Stix Hiscock, the pen name of an unknown author, will battle for 'Best Novelette' at the 2017 Hugo Awards

There was only one major upset when the nominees for the Hugo Awards, the biggest prize in science fiction writing in the world, but when the name Stix Hiscox was announced, everyone involved already knew what was happening.

The awards for speculative fiction authors have come in for considerably controversy over the past few years, as men’s rights activist groups have planned orchestrated efforts to see female and minority writers from being celebrated.

So when the unheard of Hiscox, a deliberately infantile pen name, was shortlisted for ‘Best Novelette’ for Alien Stripper Boned from Behind by the T-Rex, it was clear that the category had become the latest to be targeted.

It’s not difficult to understand why MRA science-fiction readers would attack the ‘Best Novelette’ prize, itself representing the left-leaning and progressive qualities of the Hugo Awards themselves; four of the last five nods have gone to women, and all of the other nominees in 2017 are female.

As for how the self-published story of an extraterrestrial with a penchant for exotic dancing made the cut, a group of committed MRAs who create voting blocs known as the Rabid or Sad Puppies.

The movement was created by Larry Correia, a fantasy novelist from California, who in 2013 asked fans on his blog to rally behind one of his books in order to “poke the establishment in the eye.” Correia championed his work and urged fans to nominate “unabashed pulp action that isn’t heavy handed message fic[tion],” a critique of the awards honouring works of fiction that have themes of gender, race, sexuality, and identity.

Although unsuccessful, Correia’s book was only 17 nominations short of making the cut, as anyone is eligible to register as a voter in the awards.

Since 2013, either the Sad or Rabid Puppies have carried out planned and detailed voting blocs, leading to rival groups reacting by nominating ‘No Award’ in categories as a failsafe. At the 2015 Hugo Awards, five categories ultimately were handed out to ‘No Award’, which tied with the total number of ‘No Award’ winners in the history of the honours.

Some of the winners at the 2016 Hugo Awards included Neil Gaiman and George RR Martin [Wiki Commons]

Upping their game in 2016, the Puppies thought they had found a virtuoso in a then unknown short-story writer named Chuck Tingle; Tingle had been self-publishing several pieces in a similar vein to the short they rallied behind, the erotic gay sci-fi story Space Raptor Butt Invasion.

But Tingle used the newfound notoriety his nomination secured him to reveal that his avant garde gay erotica was not to be used to oppress anyone. On Twitter, Tingle described his nomination as the work of “devils,” and said that if he won on the night, anti-harassment activist Zoe Quinn would accept the prize on his behalf.

Tingle didn’t win, but has since established himself as the leading name in his niche field, recently turning his second Hugo nomination into the page turner Pounded in the Butt by my Second Hugo Award Nomination.

The Hugo Awards were founded in 1953, named in honour of Hugo Gernsback, the editor of the speculative fiction journal Amazing Stories. Overseen by the World Science Fiction Society, this year’s awards will be handed out in Helsinki on August 11th.

The full list of nominees reads as follows:

BEST NOVEL

  • All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders (Tor Books / Titan Books)
  • A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper Voyager US)
  • Death’s End by Cixin Liu (Tor Books / Head of Zeus)
  • Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris Books)
  • The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit Books)
  • Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer (Tor Books)

BEST NOVELLA

  • The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson (Tor.com Publishing)
  • Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)
  • Penric and the Shaman by Lois McMaster Bujold (Spectrum Literary Agency)
  • A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com Publishing)
  • This Census-Taker by China Miéville (Del Rey / Picador)

BEST NOVELETTE

  • Alien Stripper Boned From Behind By The T-Rex by Stix Hiscock (self-published)
  • The Art of Space Travel by Nina Allan (Tor.com, July 2016)
  • The Jewel and Her Lapidary by Fran Wilde (Tor.com Publishing, May 2016)
  • The Tomato Thief by Ursula Vernon (Apex Magazine, January 2016)
  • Touring with the Alien by Carolyn Ives Gilman (Clarkesworld Magazine, April 2016)
  • You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay by Alyssa Wong (Uncanny Magazine, May 2016)

BEST SHORT STORY

  • The City Born Great by N. K. Jemisin (Tor.com, September 2016)
  • A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers by Alyssa Wong (Tor.com, March 2016)
  • Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies by Brooke Bolander (Uncanny Magazine, November 2016)
  • Seasons of Glass and Iron by Amal El-Mohtar (The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, Saga Press)
  • That Game We Played During the War by Carrie Vaughn (Tor.com, March 2016)
  • An Unimaginable Light by John C. Wright (God, Robot, Castalia House)

BEST RELATED WORK

  • The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley (Tor Books)
  • The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher (Blue Rider Press)
  • Traveler of Worlds: Conversations with Robert Silverberg by Robert Silverberg and Alvaro Zinos-Amaro (Fairwood)
  • The View From the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman (William Morrow / Harper Collins)
  • “The Women of Harry Potter” posts by Sarah Gailey (Tor.com)
  • Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000-2016 by Ursula K. Le Guin (Small Beer)

BEST GRAPHIC STORY

  • Black Panther, Volume 1: A Nation Under Our Feet, written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, illustrated by Brian Stelfreeze (Marvel)
  • Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening, written by Marjorie Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda (Image)
  • Ms. Marvel, Volume 5: Super Famous, written by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Takeshi Miyazawa (Marvel)
  • Paper Girls, Volume 1, written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, colored by Matthew Wilson, lettered by Jared Fletcher (Image)
  • Saga, Volume 6, illustrated by Fiona Staples, written by Brian K. Vaughan, lettered by Fonografiks (Image)
  • The Vision, Volume 1: Little Worse Than A Man, written by Tom King, illustrated by Gabriel Hernandez Walta (Marvel)

BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION – LONG FORM

  • Arrival, screenplay by Eric Heisserer based on a short story by Ted Chiang, directed by Denis Villeneuve (21 Laps Entertainment / FilmNation Entertainment / Lava Bear Films)
  • Deadpool, screenplay by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick, directed by Tim Miller (Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation / Marvel Entertainment / Kinberg Genre / The Donners’ Company / TSG Entertainment)
  • Ghostbusters, screenplay by Katie Dippold & Paul Feig, directed by Paul Feig (Columbia Pictures / LStar Capital / Village Roadshow Pictures / Pascal Pictures / Feigco Entertainment / Ghostcorps / The Montecito Picture Company)
  • Hidden Figures, screenplay by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi, directed by Theodore Melfi (Fox 2000 Pictures / Chernin Entertainment / Levantine Films / TSG Entertainment)
  • Rogue One, screenplay by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy, directed by Gareth Edwards (Lucasfilm / Allison Shearmur Productions / Black Hangar Studios / Stereo D / Walt Disney Pictures)
  • Stranger Things, season 1, created by the Duffer Brothers (21 Laps Entertainment / Monkey Massacre)

BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION – SHORT FORM

  • Black Mirror: “San Junipero,” written by Charlie Brooker, directed by Owen Harris (House of Tomorrow)
  • Doctor Who: “The Return of Doctor Mysterio,” written by Steven Moffat, directed by Ed Bazalgette (BBC Cymru Wales)
  • The Expanse: “Leviathan Wakes,” written by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, directed by Terry McDonough (SyFy)
  • Game of Thrones: “Battle of the Bastards,” written by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, directed by Miguel Sapochnik (HBO)
  • Game of Thrones: “The Door,” written by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, directed by Jack Bender (HBO)
  • Splendor & Misery [album], by Clipping (Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, Jonathan Snipes)

BEST EDITOR – SHORT FORM

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

BEST EDITOR – LONG FORM

  • Vox Day
  • Sheila E. Gilbert
  • Liz Gorinsky
  • Devi Pillai
  • Miriam Weinberg
  • Navah Wolfe

BEST PROFESSIONAL ARTIST

  • Galen Dara
  • Julie Dillon
  • Chris McGrath
  • Victo Ngai
  • John Picacio
  • Sana Takeda

BEST SEMIPROZINE

  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies, editor-in-chief and publisher Scott H. Andrews
  • Cirsova Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, edited by P. Alexander
  • GigaNotoSaurus, edited by Rashida J. Smith
  • Strange Horizons, edited by Niall Harrison, Catherine Krahe, Vajra Chandrasekera, Vanessa Rose Phin, Li Chua, Aishwarya Subramanian, Tim Moore, Anaea Lay, and the Strange Horizons staff
  • Uncanny Magazine, edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, Julia Rios, and podcast produced by Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky
  • The Book Smugglers, edited by Ana Grilo and Thea James

BEST FANZINE

  • “Castalia House Blog,” edited by Jeffro Johnson
  • “Journey Planet,” edited by James Bacon, Chris Garcia, Esther MacCallum-Stewart, Helena Nash, Errick Nunnally, Pádraig Ó Méalóid, Chuck Serface, and Erin Underwood
  • “Lady Business,” edited by Clare, Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay, and Susan
  • “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 (690 BALLOTS)

  • The Coode Street Podcast, presented by Gary K. Wolfe and Jonathan Strahan
  • Ditch Diggers, presented by Mur Lafferty and Matt Wallace
  • Fangirl Happy Hour, presented by Ana Grilo and Renay Williams
  • Galactic Suburbia, presented by Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce and Tansy Rayner Roberts, produced by Andrew Finch
  • The Rageaholic, presented by RazörFist
  • Tea and Jeopardy, presented by Emma Newman with Peter Newman

BEST FAN WRITER

  • Mike Glyer
  • Jeffro Johnson
  • Natalie Luhrs
  • Foz Meadows
  • Abigail Nussbaum
  • Chuck Tingle

BEST FAN ARTIST

  • Ninni Aalto
  • Alex Garner
  • Vesa Lehtimäki
  • Likhain (M. Sereno)
  • Spring Schoenhuth
  • Mansik Yang

BEST SERIES

  • The Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone (Tor Books)
  • The Expanse by James S.A. Corey (Orbit US / Orbit UK)
  • The October Daye Books by Seanan McGuire (DAW / Corsair)
  • The Peter Grant / Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch (Gollancz / Del Rey / DAW / Subterranean)
  • The Temeraire series by Naomi Novik (Del Rey / Harper Voyager UK)
  • The Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)

JOHN W. CAMPBELL AWARD FOR BEST NEW WRITER

  • Sarah Gailey (first year of eligibility)
  • J. Mulrooney (first year of eligibility)
  • Malka Older (second year of eligibility)
  • Ada Palmer (first year of eligibility)
  • Laurie Penny (second year of eligibility)
  • Kelly Robson (second year of eligibility)

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