Thursday, January 25, 2024

Statement on Irregularities and Disqualifications within the 2023 Hugo Awards

On January 20, 2024, the full nominating and voting data for the 2023 Hugo, Lodestar and Astounding Awards was finally made public. Normally the data would be released within days of the awards ceremony. The timing is suspect: the data shows an alarming number of irregularities and - worse - disqualifications. These include the novel Babel by R.F. Kuang, which won the 2023 Nebula Award for Best Novel and 2023 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel. It also includes Nerds of a Feather, Flock Together editor Paul Weimer, who was nominated in the Best Fan Writer category. The full list of disqualifications is as follows:

Best Novel: R.F. Kuang, Babel
Best Short Story: Hai Ya, "Fongong Temple Pagoda"
Best Fan Writer: Paul Weimer
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: Sandman: "The Sound of Her Wings"
Astounding Award: Xiran Jay Zhao

We, the editorial team of Nerds of a Feather, Flock Together, have attempted to contact the Chengdu Worldcon administrative team to obtain an explanation for these disqualifications; we have received no reply, and emails sent to Chengdu Worldcon's contact address have bounced back. Attempts by others to receive clarification from members of the World Science Fiction Society who are active participants in the administration of the Hugo Awards have similarly been ignored, rebuffed or redirected.

This is unacceptable. We demand immediate explanations for these disqualifications and broader irregularities, and urge the World Science Fiction Society to put concrete, formal protections in place to ensure this does not happen again. The credibility of the 2023 Hugo Awards - and the awards more broadly - are at stake here.

The Nerds of a Feather, Flock Together Editorial Team