Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! Before we start, thanks to everyone involved in the OTW election this past week! You can see the results in our announcement post. Congratulations to the board members-elect!
The 2017 Hugo Awards were handed out this week at WorldCon 75 in Helsinki, Finalnd. You can see all the nominees and winners here on the official website. The awards were swept by women and people of colour. As Bustle reports, 8 of the 10 awards went to women, with the Best Novel award going to N.K. Jemisin, a black woman who also won the award in 2016. According to ECNS, Jemisin’s closest competitor for the award was Liu Cixin, a Chinese writer.
The Verge published an article which commented that “This year’s sweep by female creators seems to be a strong repudiation of anti-diversity groups.” In previous years, the so-called “Sad Puppies” and “Rabid Puppies” groups had deliberately subverted the nomination and voting process. As The Digital Reader explains (in their own words):
“Starting in 2013, the Sad Puppies (and its Rabid Puppies offshoot), were either a concerted attempt to introduce a right-wing slate, a regressive slate, an indie slate to the Hugo Awards, or, an attempt to wrest control of the Hugo Awards from an insider clique, prove there was a clique in control of the Hugos, or simply to sow chaos. (The descriptions varied depending on who you asked, the year, and how much they had had to drink).”
Regardless of the Puppies’ motives, The Digital Reader article also says that they did not attempt their subversion again this year, apparently because “the official word is that they have accomplished their goal and retired from the field.” Alrighty, then.
Fans, at least, are quite happy with the results of the awards this year.
holy shit, women totally owned the Hugo Awards this year!
— Tyler (zeta) (@sorryjzargo) August 15, 2017
Elsewhere, there’s casting news for the television adaptation of Good Omens, the urban fantasy novel by authors Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Actor Michael Sheen will play the angel Aziraphale, while David Tennant will play the demon Crowley. Variety was the first news outlet to report about the casting, which, according to a Tumblr post by Neil Gaiman, was the story being leaked and causing a bit of a mess. The BBC later officially confirmed the casting, however.
The Guardian published an article where the former assistant to Terry Pratchett–who passed away in 2015–said that Pratchett would be pleased by the casting choices. “I swear to god, Terry would be absolutely over the moon. We’d already talked about our dream Aziraphale and Crowley, and David Tennant was there,” says Rob Wilkins.
Gaiman’s reaction, according to The Guardian, was mostly focused on the fact that Terry Pratchett is barely mentioned as an author of the book in the Variety article.
Psst. Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens.
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) August 14, 2017
Fans are mixed in their reaction to the casting news, with some happy and others not.
Good Omens casting made me just go "welp, guess this is going to disappoint me"
— chira (@lionschmion) August 15, 2017
And some fans just want to avoid drama.
What do you think of the casting? Let us know in the comments!
Lastly, a Denver court ruled in favour of Taylor Swift with regards to a lawsuit about a 2013 incident of sexual assault. NPR reported on the verdict:
Wanting the trial to serve as an “example to other women,” the star had sought a single dollar in damages, which she was granted. In his closing statements, Swift’s lawyer Douglas Baldridge referenced the example that Swift hoped her suit could be for others in similar situations “by returning a verdict on Ms. Swift’s counterclaim for a single dollar — a single symbolic dollar, the value of which is immeasurable to all women in this situation.”
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