"This Hugo[...] belongs to all of us."
August 18, 2019 10:00 PM   Subscribe

The Archive of Our Own wins the 2019 Hugo for Best Related Work. Naomi Novik, one of the original founders, accepted the award with several Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) staffers on behalf of all the fans who've helped build, maintain, pay for, and even more importantly use and enjoy the AO3 since its inception, asking for the lights to be raised and anyone in the audience who felt a part of the moment to stand up and be part of the acceptance. posted by current resident (54 comments total) 64 users marked this as a favorite
 
Going down the whole list of this year's winners, I couldn't avoid thinking "The Sad Puppies have never been sadder."
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:15 PM on August 18 [34 favorites]


Grats to AO3! I voted for you.

Taking this to be the Hugo thread, a few more links: posted by Wobbuffet at 10:20 PM on August 18 [6 favorites]


Totally bizarre framing for this post. Anyway...

Best Novel
The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal

Best Novella
Artificial Condition, by Martha Wells

Best Novelette
“If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again,” by Zen Cho

Best Short Story
“A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies,” by Alix E. Harrow

Best Series
Wayfarers, by Becky Chambers

Best Related Work
Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works

Best Graphic Story
Monstress, Volume 3: Haven, written by Marjorie Liu, art by Sana Takeda

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
The Good Place: “Janet(s)”

Best Professional Editor, Long Form
Navah Wolfe

Best Professional Editor, Short Form
Gardner Dozois

Best Professional Artist
Charles Vess

Best Art Book
The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition, illustrated by Charles Vess, written by Ursula K. Le Guin

Best Semiprozine
Uncanny Magazine

Best Fanzine
Lady Business

Best Fancast
Our Opinions Are Correct, hosted by Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders

Best Fan Writer
Foz Meadows

Best Fan Artist
Likhain (Mia Sereno)

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer
Jeannette Ng
posted by thatwhichfalls at 10:23 PM on August 18 [9 favorites]


Ngl this is a larger proportion of a Hugo than I ever expected to win.
posted by potrzebie at 10:25 PM on August 18 [31 favorites]


Still, I felt bad for Lindsay Ellis.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:27 PM on August 18 [9 favorites]


It is only fitting that AO3 should win a shiny, sparkly dildo.
posted by tzikeh at 10:31 PM on August 18 [28 favorites]


If I am understanding this correctly, tel3path & The Whelk have just won a Hugo award for writing a fictionalized AskMe thread populated by characters from the Hannibal universe, and for that I would just like to extend my heart felt congratulations.
posted by The Legit Republic of Blanketsburg at 10:39 PM on August 18 [41 favorites]


Totally bizarre framing for this post

Opinion to be given all the weight it deserves.

It's perhaps worth noting that when the AO3 was created, the entire enterprise was considered far more legally dubious than it is today, with many people taking the (ill-informed) opinion that all fanfic was copyright-infringing. No one knew if any major rightsholders were going to come after the project--one of the reasons the parent organization, the OTW, has a legal committee (with its ex-Supreme Court clerks and law school professors). Yet here it still is. JANIE GIBBS HAS WON HER BATTLE.
posted by praemunire at 10:45 PM on August 18 [57 favorites]


I am so, so proud and happy for AO3 and Spider-Verse! And The Good Place's "Janet(s)" was such a fun episode.

I also feel that The Black God’s Drums should have won best novella buuut that's just my onion.
posted by lesser weasel at 11:03 PM on August 18 [2 favorites]


I'm just going to put my Hugo on the mantle next to my Time Person of the Year award.
posted by persona at 11:04 PM on August 18 [16 favorites]


Re, sad puppies...

The puppies presaged the full shit storm of reactionary politics we've seen everywhere over the last few years. Let's hope their fade into irrelevance is also an omen.
posted by kaibutsu at 11:54 PM on August 18 [10 favorites]


The sad puppies didn’t just fade away randomly; people worked hard to patch the specific vulnerabilities in the voting system that they had exploited.

No comments on if there is a wider lesson there.
posted by nat at 12:47 AM on August 19 [61 favorites]


The puppies faded because the community did the boring and thankless work of organizing, drawing, and passing legislation to block their worthless asses. It took effort to go to the business meetings and perform parliamentary procedural magic. Not to mention the people who organized to deal with the Nazis (and I’m capitalizing because some of them chanted “Blood and soul,” so no hiding behind lulz or irony, kids) who threw their temper tantrum at last year’s Worldcon. Organizing, voting, and deplatforming works.

Congrats to the winners. That was a hell of a good ballot all around.
posted by RakDaddy at 12:48 AM on August 19 [49 favorites]


It's perhaps worth noting that when the AO3 was created, the entire enterprise was considered far more legally dubious than it is today, with many people taking the (ill-informed) opinion that all fanfic was copyright-infringing.

Yeah, it was extremely lovely to see recognition for a volunteer-run project that is so obviously non-commercial in its approach. It's also worth noting that AO3 is important to a lot of folks outside the US. Gita Jackson from Kotaku wrote a good article about it being a haven for Chinese fanfiction writers making homoerotic or queer-themed work: Banned From The Chinese Internet, LGBT Fanfiction Writers Find New Home On U.S. Website. Perhaps rather topical considering the subject matter of Jeanette Ng's brilliant speech.

Seeing so many people, including other nominees, stand up as co-acceptors was the icing on the cake and was sweet enough to preclude the half-serious griping about 'oh everyone's a hugo winner now' which I've seen elsewhere.

Still, I felt bad for Lindsay Ellis.

It's a shame but the Best Related Work field this year was extremely strong all the way through, more so I think than some other categories. AO3, two histories of Worldcon/the Hugos themselves, an apparently definitive work on golden age writers, and a documentary about Ursula LeGuin released the year after her death. I don't think Ellis's heart will be too badly shaken given that she approached the nomination in a pretty clear-eyed way. From her twitter:

We are up against... *checks notes* ... Ursula K. LeGuin and the very institution of fanfiction itself.

...well, it's an honor just to be nominated!

posted by ocular shenanigans at 2:02 AM on August 19 [40 favorites]


Ng's Under the Pendulum Sun is a really outstanding novel--one of my favorites from last year.
posted by thomas j wise at 3:37 AM on August 19


Totally bizarre framing for this post.

The post is about how AO3 won a Hugo, what about the framing is bizarre?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:45 AM on August 19 [39 favorites]


yay murderbot
posted by Justinian at 3:46 AM on August 19 [13 favorites]


I am not going to run around claiming that I have won a tiny percentage of a Hugo, I know where the real honour lies - and I am DELIGHTED that this has happened. This is a huge win for the OTW and for the fanfic community as a whole, I'm so damn happy!
posted by HypotheticalWoman at 3:58 AM on August 19 [8 favorites]


Well deserved!
posted by sallybrown at 4:37 AM on August 19


some of them chanted “Blood and soul,”

Well, they fucked that up then as well. Anyone so pathologically preoccupied with the preservation of "heritage" should know you're supposed to chant "blood and soil" </s>
posted by dmh at 4:45 AM on August 19


I've only read a small fraction of the nominated works (not even talking about AO3!) but there is some good stuff up there. Some of it I've read based on recommendations on here (Murderbot Diaries series by Martha Wells and Wayfarers series by Becky Chambers) and one series is even by MeFi's Own cstross (The Laundry Files). All well worth a read!
posted by Harald74 at 4:45 AM on August 19 [2 favorites]


Hey, it appears that all the short stories nominated are available online! posted by Harald74 at 4:51 AM on August 19 [29 favorites]


Gardner Dozois passed away last year.

.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:42 AM on August 19 [3 favorites]


The Hugo nominees were super strong this year, and I'm excited about so so many of the winners!

I'm especially excited about Mary Robinette Kowal's The Calculating Stars, set in an alternate world where a giant meteor hit the Earth in 1952 and the subsequent race to get humans off of Earth. I had the great pleasure of helping out with some of the space science, and the technical details in it and its sequel are solid, but what makes that novel sing is how it is such a deeply human book. It engages with sexism and racism and anxiety, and offers hope without glossing over the bad.
posted by sgranade at 6:45 AM on August 19 [20 favorites]


BTW, there was a Hugo Awards Fanfare Club this year (FF Talk thread; short story catch-all thread; novelette catch-all thread), if you're curious about reactions others had.
posted by Wobbuffet at 6:53 AM on August 19 [5 favorites]


AO3 is planning a tag wrangling volunteer drive started around the 28th this month, if you want in on the action. They're especially looking for people fluent in languages other than English - and if you can read Chinese, even better (AO3 has had an influx of Chinese writing due to a popular Chinese fansite being banned).

Alix Harrow is the youngest woman to win a Hugo in a prose category. The other that won a prose category before turning thirty are: GRRM, Samuel Delaney, Spider Robinson, Roger Zelazny, and Larry Niven.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:57 AM on August 19 [3 favorites]


Also, looking at the list against my ballot: the only times I voted for the winner were in Novella, Related Work, Long Form Dramatic Presentation, and Fan Artist (I didn't vote in the editor categories and skipped Lodestone and Fancast this year). But there were so many strong finalists that I don't feel like anything was that unexpected!
posted by dinty_moore at 7:06 AM on August 19


Yea Murderbot!
posted by sammyo at 7:06 AM on August 19 [1 favorite]


Yay! I'm so happy! OTW does extraordinary work and I'm so proud and happy.

Reading and writing fanfiction has made me a better, healthier, happier and more self-aware person. I'm so glad that fanworks are getting this recognition, and this outpouring of warmth.

It is only fitting that AO3 should win a shiny, sparkly dildo.
I am also extremely happy to find I wasn't the only person who thought this.

posted by kalimac at 8:13 AM on August 19 [5 favorites]


It's perhaps worth noting that when the AO3 was created, the entire enterprise was considered far more legally dubious than it is today, with many people taking the (ill-informed) opinion that all fanfic was copyright-infringing. No one knew if any major rightsholders were going to come after the project--one of the reasons the parent organization, the OTW, has a legal committee (with its ex-Supreme Court clerks and law school professors).

This wasn't just a theoretical fear. The "Banned From The Chinese Internet" article links to this overview of what it was like in the 90s and 00s, with Anne Rice being one of the worst offenders:

"Individual fans themselves claimed that they were targeted by Rice’s lawyers. “The attacks consisted of, amongst other things, e-mailed threats regarding not only the writing of fanfiction but any writing that any fanfic author attempted to engage in (regardless of who owned the copyright), attacks on businesses that the fanfic authors owned and weeks of harassing personal letters sent to fanfic author’s e-mail addresses and guestbooks,” one fan wrote on their fanfiction website. “The threat of personal harassment is very real. Anne Rice does not want you writing fanfiction and she has the money to make you stop.”"
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:05 AM on August 19 [9 favorites]


I don't read fan fiction at all, but I want to offer my sincere congratulations to AO3! I am always happy to see newer* art forms be accepted by the establishment.

*I am in my forties and this art form is older than me.
posted by soelo at 10:33 AM on August 19 [5 favorites]


This is lovely news! AO3 is an amazing creation.

About Lindsay Ellis: I expect that she'll be nominated again, as she also does great work. That said, maybe AO3 should have been given a special kind of Hugo - it really isn't like any specific related work.
posted by jb at 10:38 AM on August 19


There’s at least one clear precedent for diffuse works—the 1970 Dramatic Presentation award for news coverage of Apollo 11. The AO3 win looks pretty focused by comparison.
posted by Wobbuffet at 10:52 AM on August 19 [3 favorites]


It is only fitting that AO3 should win a shiny, sparkly dildo.

Someone on twitter (sorry; lost the link) said something like, "It's great they won, but that picture of all their hands on the trophy looks like they're jacking off the rocket."

Reaction in the OTW Slack was, "SO GLAD YOU NOTICED."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:59 AM on August 19 [27 favorites]


ocular shenanigans: "an apparently definitive work on golden age writers"

It's worth reading if you're interested in the Golden Age. Still, it's a book where sexual predator Isaac Asimov is the *least* unpleasant person.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:31 AM on August 19 [3 favorites]


I am happy to accept my one hundred millionth of a Hugo, even if I share it with fics so bent that I have stared awake wondering about the author's home life and if they are okay. At its best, fanwork is love, not ultimately just for the original work (although that is important) but for the audience and the community.

(Actually, the funny thing is, when I read a great fic -- and I truly have, publication-quality-- I will be delighted with the author; but when I read a bad fic, I blame myself. It's like, "I don't know what I expected.")
posted by Countess Elena at 1:39 PM on August 19 [12 favorites]


Just delighted that Likhain won Best Fan Artist - she did the cover art for an anthology I published (Sunvault, hope it's OK to link) and is just the loveliest person ever, such a pleasure to work with.
posted by joannemerriam at 2:12 PM on August 19 [3 favorites]


FYI, Mary Robinette Kowal brought her Hugo to her reading this morning. I have photo evidence of myself holding a Hugo. She noted it's too pointy for the alternative uses mentioned upthread, and also that nominees are advised not to hold it near their crotch. "Hold it like a baby instead."
posted by I claim sanctuary at 2:13 PM on August 19 [4 favorites]


...oh, dammit, I meant blood and soil. I blame the jet lag. And the Nazis.
posted by RakDaddy at 2:22 PM on August 19


Let's be honest, this is totally going on my resume.

I'd like to thank Chris Carter and J. K. Rowling for creating the characters I don't own and have no claim to but whom I paired off as round-robin fuck buddies in so many of my stories.
posted by MiraK at 4:35 PM on August 19 [7 favorites]


Now I feel like searching for Scully/Bellatrix slash. Be strong, justinian!
posted by Justinian at 10:14 PM on August 19


Has the Hugo Award trophy ever come with a shipping case?
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:16 AM on August 20


I made a Fanfare post in the Hugo 2019 Fanfare club specifically for discussing the winners, if people want to keep this one more focused on AO3 in particular. Come hang out with us!

Specifically about AO3, I just signed up for an account this year and have been dabbling in...cough...some Jaime/Brienne fic to make up for the hurt caused by the real thing. It's not the first time I've read fan fic, and I have yet to write any, but it's nice to see such an institution get recognized. Any bets on which WorldCon will be first to feature a Best Fic category? I think they all get some discretion in adding a special one-time category, and this year's was Art Book.
posted by j.r at 10:27 AM on August 20 [4 favorites]


Note btw --because some people were iffy about it at the time that the AO3 nomination was announced-- that all joking aside, this was accepted as a win for all fanfic writers on the site, with the Hugo award itself joining the traveling Worldcon exhibition so that as many fans as possible can see it.

And Naomi Novik was very careful in making it clear that yes, everybody was a part of this Hugo win, calling on people to stand up if they had written for AO3.

So if you got your fic on AO3 you are a Hugo winner.

More importantly AO3 is the greatest example of the kind of fandom we should want: cooperative, encouraging, a safe space for both the popular and unpopular.

It's about the only example of users actually taking back control over their own works from the commercial social media platforms (livejournal, fanfiction.net) that had initially nourished them until commercial realities brought a crackdown.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:47 PM on August 20 [9 favorites]


In general, these were some good Hugos.

No fascists, no people being nominated just because they'd been around for a long time or had enough friends, lots of interesting and diverse people being nominated and winning and honestly, few if any duds among them.

Also, when Jeanette Ng could open proceedings by starting her acceptance speech by saying "John Campbell is a fucking fascist" and the whole room exploded in applause mit was clear this is no longer your grandfather's Hugos.

The pups have truly lost the fight, thank fuck.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:50 PM on August 20 [9 favorites]


On /r/Fantasy yesterday and possibly of interest here: "Seeing as how AO3 just won a Hugo, what's some of your fave fanfics?"
posted by Wobbuffet at 5:10 PM on August 20 [5 favorites]


It's about the only example of users actually taking back control over their own works from the commercial social media platforms (livejournal, fanfiction.net)

Dreamwidth is another example. It's for-profit, but it has no ads, and is run by fans who used to be staff at LJ and kept thinking, "I could do it better." They're very aware that their goal is to make enough money to provide a social site, not "use a social site to make as much money as possible." And they're aware of fannish controversies and styles of conflict, and are willing to make decisions like, "no, sorry, that's not actually legal harassment; they can say mean things about you on their blog" or "no, you can't post that here; it's spam; I'm not listening to your justifications and you are banned now."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 4:25 PM on August 21


My only horse in the race was Nine Last Days on Planet Earth, which I read aloud to my partner struggling through sobs during the last few paragraphs. It didn't win, to my disappointment, as it was just so beautifully structured and created such an emotional field.
posted by jokeefe at 10:41 AM on August 22 [1 favorite]


In hindsight I feel like I should have tried to find and/or make a MeFi meetup happen at Worldcon; in the end, I didn't have as much free time as I'd hoped, though.

It was a great ceremony, though!
posted by ChrisR at 9:00 PM on August 22


Tor: Dell Magazines is Changing the Name of the John W. Campbell Award
posted by Chrysostom at 2:47 PM on August 28 [4 favorites]


Reading Astounding, the group bio of Campbell, Heinlein, Asimov and Hubbard by Alec Nevala Lee right now which lost the Hugo to AO3 but is definitely recommended.
posted by octothorpe at 10:25 AM on September 2


Thanks to those who pointed to good AO3 content. I've been really enjoying it over the last week or so. A nice distracting and entertaining read was just what the doctor ordered.
posted by prefpara at 10:37 AM on September 2 [2 favorites]


Oh and Fred Pohl was calling Campbell a fascist back in 1939 so it's not new accusation.
posted by octothorpe at 11:02 AM on September 2 [2 favorites]


And it looks like the *other* Campbell Award is also getting renamed.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:55 AM on September 6


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