N. K. Jemisin was the first black person to win the Hugo Award for best novel, and now she has become the first person to win the Hugo award for best novel three years in a row, and the first person to win Hugos for all three novels in a trilogy!
I’m going to quote a couple large chunks from her acceptance speech, but go read the whole thing!
Her writing challenges systems of power and white supremacist patterns, tropes, and tendencies in SFF. But just by being herself, a black woman who excels at what she does and who writes books that don’t centre whiteness and erase everything else, Jemisin has been a flashpoint at the centre of the slow change of a community for the better.
This recognition of her excellence feels extra significant considering how she’s been singled out and targeted for racist abuse by white supremacists who want to “return” SFF to a reactionary mythical past that never existed. When she calls SF/F fandom“a microcosm of the wider world, in no way rarefied from the world’s pettiness or prejudice” she’s saying that as a woman individually targeted for racist hatred by the Neo-Nazi leader of the “Rabid Puppies” faction that have over the past several years tried to hijack Worldcon and the Hugo Awards because the genre is slowly becoming less pale, male, and stale, and audiences are liking and buying it. There’s a clear throughline from the Rabid Puppies through Gamergate, through the alt-reich.
Ballot stuffing for the Hugo awards . . . didn’t work. And Worldcon members have tried to make the voting system harder to game. In any case, both under the old nomination and voting system and the new, readers made their appreciation for Jemisin’s work clear.
As she says, this Hugo is a “massive shiny rocket shaped finger” in the face of the naysayers. But, she’s celebrating the potential for the future.
Congratulations to N.K. Jemisin! We celebrate your victory!
Incidentally, look at all the women on that list of winners!