The 2012 Hugo Awards Liveblog

Refresh this page for LIVE updates as the Hugo Awards and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer are given out at Worldcon! We’ll get started at 8 p.m. Central Time. In the meantime, refresh your memory of the nominees, or download some of them to read and enjoy for free.

20:11: We are LIVE.

20:13: Nice spotlight on the assembled Hugo Awards as ceremony director Susan de Guardiola welcomes everyone.

20:15: John Scalzi’s opening remarks. “We’re diverse and we’re all in this together,” he says (while leaving the B out of GLBT, oops). He then jumps up and down and hollers “HELLO DRAGONCON”. Maybe you had to be there.

“Seanan McGuire nominated an incredible seventeen thousand times! Under several names, including Seanan McGuire, Mira Grant, Neil Gaiman, and George R.R. Martin.”

20:22: David Kyle, who was at the first Worldcon, presents the Big Heart Award (which he received himself nearly 40 years ago). “Certain fans deserve recognition because they give time and talent beyond the norm.” The award goes to Juanita Coulson; Merav Hoffman accepts on her behalf.

20:31: Chicon 7 chair Dave McCarty presents the special committee award to Robert Weinberg. Jane Frank accepts on his behalf.

20:35: Memorial montage. Big applause for Neil Armstrong, Ray Bradbury, Kathryn Dougherty, Rusty Hevelin, Steve Jobs (an interesting inclusion), Joe Kubert, Anne McCaffrey, Sally Ride, Maurice Sendak, Josepha Sherman. Slightly awkward lesser applause for those less well known.

Photo of L.A. Banks makes me cry. Glad I brought a hanky.

20:43: Scalzi smoothly transitions from celebrating the past to looking forward. Next up: the Campbell, presented by Stanley Schmidt (who gets a huge round of applause after Scalzi praises his tenure at Analog).

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

Award for the best new professional science fiction or fantasy writer of 2010 or 2011, sponsored by Dell Magazines (not a Hugo Award, * = 2nd year of eligibility).

Lily looks totally stunned. “That’s a lot of people!” she says as she looks out from the stage.

Jay Lake presents Lily with the Campbell Tiara. “It’s a diadem!” Ellen Datlow hollers from the audience. “It is a diadem,” Jay agrees, “but we call it a tiara because we’re writers.”

20:50: Deb Kosiba comes out to talk about this year’s base design.

20:53: Scalzi explains the “stages of Hugo”: elation, intimidation, bargaining, depression, and nervousness. “What if I win? What if I don’t win? What if they switch to a Hunger Games format?” He assures the nominees that there is life after Hugos. “There is still the work, and your friends, and the celebration of the genre…. No matter what, this is a good life we’ve got going here.”

Best Fan Artist

Chris Garcia grabs Maurine in a big bear hug. “I gotta thank Chris,” she says when she gets onstage. “It’s all his fault.”

Best Fan Writer

Scalzi poses to honor Jim’s work making fun of ludicrous cover art. Jim does the same. “You do that quite well. We should collaborate.”

Jim calls for a celebration of diverse voices in fandom, and to that end, will be recusing himself from the category from now on.

Best Fancast

They take turns at the podium (in alphabetical order because Lynne is a librarian). Bear: “This is for everyone who makes awesome stuff for us to squee about.” Paul: “Ta.” Seanan, beside herself: “Y’all gave me a Hugo for never shutting up!” Lynne: “Talk about a Twitter conversation getting out of hand!” She graciously says the voters were “really spoiled for choice” and calls for applause for the other nominees. Cat: “I am stunned. I think we need a new word for when your heart is turning cartwheels and throwing up. I suggest Hugasm.” And a chorus of squee!

Best Fanzine

John DeNardo: “I can’t think of the words to express how this feels. ‘WOOHOO!’ comes close…” He thanks JP Franz for suggesting he start a blog: “Good call.” (On Twitter, Niall Harrison notes that SF Signal is the first blog to win this award.)

Best Semiprozine

There’s a reason this category is called “Best Locus“. Liza still manages to look surprised and pleased. She notes it’s the first Hugo for Locus since Charles M. Brown died.

Best Professional Artist

HUGE applause for John, whose award is long overdue. “You have to lose a lot to every once in a while win something…. I’m here and I’m just blown away.” He gives big props to Tor art director Irene Gallo, and to never-nominated artists Richard Powers and John Burkey.

Best Professional Editor — Long Form

Lots of cheers for Betsy, who looks absolutely thrilled. “I’ve been a long-form editor for 37 years and this was my first nomination. I don’t blog, I don’t tweet, I’m shy about going to parties. I’m standing here for one reason and one reason only: because my authors put me here.” She concludes, “And Dad, FINALLY there’s a Hugo with the name Wollheim on it!”

Best Professional Editor — Short Form

Sheila thanks many people including Stanley Schmidt, “my best friend down the hall… he’s just been the greatest guy in the world.”

 Best Dramatic Presentation — Short Form

  • “The Doctor’s Wife” (Doctor Who), written by Neil Gaiman; directed by Richard Clark (BBC Wales), winner!
  • The Drink Tank’s Hugo Acceptance Speech,” Christopher J Garcia and James Bacon (Renovation)
  • “The Girl Who Waited” (Doctor Who), written by Tom MacRae; directed by Nick Hurran (BBC Wales)
  • “A Good Man Goes to War” (Doctor Who), written by Steven Moffat; directed by Peter Hoar (BBC Wales)
  • “Remedial Chaos Theory” (Community), written by Dan Harmon and Chris McKenna; directed by Jeff Melman (NBC)

Neil explains that he superstitiously avoids writing speeches, but he extemporizes beautifully. He says Doctor Who teaches us “what it is to be bigger on the inside”. He calls Community “a spin-off of the Doctor Who-inspired show Inspector Spacetime” and claims that the Drink Tank speech recreated 1965′s “Award Ceremony of the Daleks”.

Halfway through Neil’s speech, the UStream livestream of the ceremony goes down. Twitter fills with outrage. Genreville immediately gets 100+ new followers. Hi everyone!

Best Dramatic Presentation — Long Form

  • Captain America: The First Avenger, screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephan McFeely, directed by Joe Johnston (Marvel)
  • Game of Thrones season 1, created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss; written by David Benioff, D. B. Weiss, Bryan Cogman, Jane Espenson, and George R. R. Martin; directed by Brian Kirk, Daniel Minahan, Tim van Patten, and Alan Taylor (HBO), winner!
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, screenplay by Steve Kloves; directed by David Yates (Warner Bros.)
  • Hugo, screenplay by John Logan; directed by Martin Scorsese (Paramount)
  • Source Code, screenplay by Ben Ripley; directed by Duncan Jones (Vendome Pictures)

Ron Donachie (who plays Ser Rodrik Cassel) accepts on behalf of HBO. He’s a lifelong fan, aww! GRRM bluntly says, “The show is a faithful adaptation of my books. I love it.” Take that, haters.

Best Graphic Story

  • Digger by Ursula Vernon (Sofawolf Press), winner!
  • Fables vol. 15: Rose Red by Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham (Vertigo)
  • Locke & Key vol. 4: Keys to the Kingdom written by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
  • Schlock Mercenary: Force Multiplication written and illustrated by Howard Tayler, colors by Travis Walton (The Tayler Corporation)
  • The Unwritten vol. 4: Leviathan created by Mike Carey and Peter Gross. Written by Mike Carey, illustrated by Peter Gross (Vertigo)

Ursula asks John to read the plaque and make sure it’s really hers. She didn’t know Digger was eligible for a Hugo and thought the nomination notification email was a phishing scam! She says Sofawolf “exemplifies everything great about small press” and praises her boyfriend for keeping the end a secret for two and a half years.

Best Related Work

  • The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Third Edition edited by John Clute, David Langford, Peter Nicholls, and Graham Sleight (Gollancz), winner!
  • Jar Jar Binks Must Die… and Other Observations about Science Fiction Movies by Daniel M. Kimmel (Fantastic Books)
  • The Steampunk Bible: An Illustrated Guide to the World of Imaginary Airships, Corsets and Goggles, Mad Scientists, and Strange Literature by Jeff VanderMeer and S. J. Chambers (Abrams Image)
  • Wicked Girls by Seanan McGuire
  • Writing Excuses season 6 by Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Howard Tayler, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Jordan Sanderson

Graham Sleight, accepting on behalf of the team: “This is the point where I usually wake up from the dream.” John: *slaps him* Graham: “That’s quality toastmastering!” He thanks the team and adds, “We built this, and we set out to build this, for the whole of the SF community: fans, academics, writers, publishers, everyone.”

Best Short Story

Ken: “On the way up to the stage, I thought of three words: fans, editor, wife. So that’s the speech.”

Best Novelette
  • The Copenhagen Interpretation” by Paul Cornell (Asimov’s July 2011)
  • Fields of Gold” by Rachel Swirsky (Eclipse Four)
  • “Ray of Light” by Brad R. Torgersen (Analog December 2011)
  • Six Months, Three Days” by Charlie Jane Anders (, winner!
  • “What We Found” by Geoff Ryman (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction March/April 2011)

Charlie Jane: “It feels like half my life I’ve been writing these weird little stories and hoping they speak to somebody.” She adds, “When Tor decided to put fiction on their website, they did not have to have unsolicited submissions…. The fact that they chose to have a slush pile, and the fact that they pulled me out of it, is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.” She also thanks Annalee Newitz, “my space captain and my hero”, and her mentor Kelly Goldberg.

I believe–though am not 100% sure–that Charlie Jane is the first openly trans* Hugo winner in a fiction category.

Best Novella

Kij: “I’d like to thank Ted Chiang for not having a story out this year” (and also for helping her with her story). She encourages a round of applause for James Gunn, her mentor.

Best Novel
  • Among Others by Jo Walton (Tor), winner!
  • A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin (Bantam Spectra)
  • Deadline by Mira Grant (Orbit)
  • Embassytown by China Miéville (Macmillan / Del Rey)
  • Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey (Orbit)

“George, I am so sorry!” Jo exclaims as soon as she gets to the microphone. She thanks her aunt for encouraging her to write a book about her family. “My entire life has been vindicated. I need to get new dreams now.” And she quotes her friend Ian: “Lots of people have said this is a love letter to fandom. Didn’t you expect to get a reply?”

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees!

22:25: And that’s a wrap! Now we’re off to stand outside the Losers’ Party in our snazzy suits, since press apparently aren’t allowed in.

EDIT: Nicholas Whyte has his usual excellent analysis of the votes.

7 thoughts on “The 2012 Hugo Awards Liveblog

  1. Lis Riba

    Thank you VERY much for posting this. Not only listing the winners, but including excerpts of presenters’ remarks and winners’ speeches made all the difference in the world.

    1. Rose Fox Post author

      Very glad to help make it feel a little more real for the folks at home, especially once the Ustream broadcast was cut.

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