Everyone loves to say that awards ceremonies are rigged, meaningless, or just blatant popularity contests. In the case of the most prestigious honor in the sci-fi/fantasy community, this kind of accusation now feels worryingly true.
Each year, the Hugo Awards are voted on by paid members of Worldcon, the World Science Fiction Convention. Fans nominate their favorite books, movies, and commentators, and the most popular choices make it onto a shortlist of five nominees per category. People then vote for the eventual winners, which are revealed at Worldcon in August.
This year’s nominees were announced on Saturday, and most of them came directly from a Gamergate-affiliated campaign known as Sad Puppies. By bloc-voting for a specific slate of anti-progressive authors, editors, and fans, the Sad Puppies managed to game the selection process in every major category. And yes, they did choose that name for themselves.