Chuck Tingle and Sad Puppies: The 2016 Hugo Finalists React to Their Nominations

Stephen King, N.K. Jemisin, and Pierce Brown get nods; George R.R Martin and John Scalzi offer commentary. 

The 2016 Hugo Awards — the most important accolade in sci-fi and fantasy, aside from the Nebula awards — announced its finalists today. Among the list of expected nominees were Stephen King, Andy Weir, Jim Butcher, and N.K. Jemisin. The most unexpected nominee, though, was Chuck Tingle, author of the dinosaur erotica short story, Space Raptor Butt Invasion.

If you’ve never heard of Tingle, know this: he follows exactly one person on twitter (Taylor Swift) and he has also self-published such works as Helicopter Man Pounds Dinosaur Billionaire Ass (gotta capitalize on that Christian Grey billionaire trend) and Gay T-Rex Law Firm: Executive Boner.

Naturally, there is a confusion about whether Tingle is a Sad Puppies plant, or if he’s the real deal:

And, if Tingle is a Sad Puppies plant, he’s not a good one:

There’s no lack of sarcasm to be enjoyed about Tingle’s nomination:

As you might recall, the Hugo Awards entered the national spotlight last year because of the Sad Puppies controversy: a group of sci-fi gatekeepers rigged the ballots in favor of Making Sci-Fi Great Again by stomping out that pesky diversity or so-called “message-heavy” science fiction.

As sci-fi juggernaut John Scalzi told Inverse, some believed certain stories were being ignored for more “politically correct” ones:

A lot of the agitation simply has been the idea of science fiction has to be these particular things and has to do it in this particular way. Who’s the boss of science fiction or fantasy? It should be as inclusive as possible about the possibilities of the future and the possibility of alternate worlds and alternate setups. Otherwise, it’s fundamentally missing the point of what science fiction and fantasy can achieve.

For this year’s nominations, the Sad Puppies are not gone, but there is a mild improvement. They put forth a list of recommendations, instead of a slate of works to submit. “This works much better; anyone can publish lists of recommendations for books they want to win,” George R.R. Martin told The Guardian.

The nominees for best novel are as follows:

Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie; The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher; The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin; Seveneves: A Novel by Neal Stephenson; and Uprooted by Naomi Novik.

Ann Leckie, who got a Best Novel nomination for Ancilliary Mercy, seemed overwhelmed:

Daniel Polansky, nominated for his novella The Builders, was shocked:

Best novel nominee N.K. Jemison, who got a nod for The Fifth Season, was quite excited:

Short story nominee Nnedi Okorafor expressed herself with emojis:

Pierce Brown, who recently discussed his series with Inverse, was excited about his nomination for Best New Writer, along with Andy Weir:

Stephen King was more interested in talking about The 100 than his novelette nomination for Obits:

And yes, Chuck Tingle, whose Space Raptor Butt Invasion got a Best Short Story nomination, was over. The. Moon:

A follow up tweet from Tingle is necessary, to feel the full scope of his excitement:

Check out the complete list here. The winners will be announced on August 20 at the MidAmeriCon II Hugo Awards Ceremony in Kansas City.

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