The awards ceremony for the 2015 Hugos took place on Saturday 22 August in Washington, USA. Best Novel was awarded to Cixin Liu’s The Three Body Problem, which was originally published in Chinese in 2008 but only released in English translation in 2014; the story follows the response of Earth’s inhabitants following the invasion of an alien civilization. Best Graphic Novel was won by the critically acclaimed Ms Marvel vol. 1: No Normal, a series that is being published to continued praise for its groundbreaking depiction of Muslim American teenage heroine Kamala Khan.
In controversial news at the Hugo Awards, however, a staggering five categories received ‘No Award’ status, after voters decided that no prize deserved to be given (these categories included Best Novella and Best Short Story). This was not due to a lack of quality in the shortlists, but because a voting group, calling themselves the Rabid Puppies, took control of the ballot as a reaction to the Hugo’s ‘affirmative action awards’ – in other words, awarded to minority or underrepresented authors or because of such characters – in the hope of ensuring more white, male nominees would be shortlisted.
In other book news:
Recently released files from Intelligence agency MI5 have revealed that Doris Lessing, the Nobel Prize-winning British author of The Golden Notebook, The Good Terrorist and more, was the subject of twenty years of surveillance by the government department after engaging with communist activists during her lifetime (she married and divorced Gottfried Lessing, a German political activist, in the 1940s). Her phone calls and mail were monitored, and her movements were logged, according to the reports which were made available to the National Archives last Friday.
Kazuo Ishiguru’s archives have been bought for just over $1 million by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas. The archived material includes unpublished chapters, draft manuscripts, rejected pages and simple scribbles.