Hugos Battle: Both Sides Claim Sci-Fi Is Being Ruined By Politics

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Photo: Connie Willis Science Fiction Writer Greeley
Writer Connie Willis, right, holds her Hugo Award with two other award winners in 2008. Her "All Seated on the Ground" won for Best Novella.

The Hugo Awards are among the most prestigious in science fiction. Past winners include Isaac Asimov in a process that's quite democratic. Anyone who pays a $40 membership to the World Science Fiction Convention is allowed to nominate works they like. But writer Larry Correia, of Utah, claimed a problem -- liberal bias. So he launched the "sad puppies" movement as a counter-balance to a perceived liberal voting bias.

"You basically have yourself a mono culture of like-minded people rewarding their friends, and when people came in who were outsiders, the outsiders they just worked against," says Correia.

This year, the conflict came to a head. A more aggressive version of the "sad puppies" spun off as the "rabid puppies," taking all the nominations in five categories. A majority of voters responded by giving "no award." Until then, only five "no awards" had been given since the inception of the Hugos in 1953.

Hugo-winning writer Connie Willis of Greeley spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner.