This past weekend, the 2012 Hugo Awards were announced at WorldCon 7 in Chicago, honoring some of the best science fiction and fantasy works of the past year. Hosted by SFWA President, WorldCon 7 Toastmaster and sci fi author John Scalzi, the ceremony awarded authors and writers for best novel, best screenplay, best fanzine and several other categories. Some of the notable 2012 Hugo winners are:
Best Novella: “The Man Who Bridged the Mist” by Kij Johnson
Best Novelette: “Six Months, Three Days” by Charlie Jane Anders
Best Short Story: “The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu
Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form): Game of Thrones (Season 1)
Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form): “The Doctor's Wife” (Doctor Who), written by Neil Gaiman
Best Fanzine: SF Signal edited by John DeNardo
Best Fan Writer: Jim C. Hines
You can find the full list of 2012 Hugo Award winners here.
However, the big news during the ceremony occurred when, during Neil Gaiman’s acceptance speech, the only live broadcast of the event on Ustream was ended because of copyright infringement due to the screening of TV clips (including Gaiman’s winning Doctor Who episode). According to i09, a message reading "Worldcon banned due to copyright infringement" replaced the live feed. And who was to blame? Robots. Automated bots programmed to locate and shut down online broadcasts that contain copyrighted content detected that copyrighted TV clips were being used in the broadcast and ended the live feed. The bots belonged to a third party company hired by Ustream. The Hugo Awards broadcast was never resumed and Ustream’s CEO issued an apology, stating that the company is no longer using the third party responsible for shutting down the feed.
Despite the unfortunate outcome of the Hugo Awards broadcast, we congratulate all of the Hugo nominees and winners. We’re especially anxious to see what Sclazi, whose publisher Tor recently removed DRM protection from all of their e-books, has to say about the technical difficulties due to “copyright infringement.”
For more on the 2012 Hugo Awards and to hear from some of the winners, you can read author Jeff VanderMeer’s wrap up of the ceremony on the Omnivoracious blog here.
BLOG UPDATE 9/10/12: You can now watch the entire video of the ceremony here.