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Amal El-Mohtar wins 2017 Hugo Award

Amal (Jessica P. Wick)

Amal El-Mohtar (Jessica P. Wick)

Ottawa-based writer Amal El-Mohtar is the only Canadian author to be honoured at this year’s Hugo Awards, an international fan-determined accolade for science-fiction and fantasy authors.

The awards were a subject of controversy from 2013–2016 when the Sad Puppies, a right-wing group, ran campaigns to influence Hugo results in protest of progressive nominations. This year, the Hugos were recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for being the longest-running awards for the genre.

El-Mohtar, who won for her short story “Seasons of Glass and Iron” (The Starlit Wood), was one of 18 recipients celebrated at the Hugo Awards ceremony, held in conjunction with the 75th World Science Fiction Convention in Helsinki on Aug. 11.

French-Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve was also honoured in the Best Longform Dramatic Presentation category for Arrival (21 Laps Entertainment/FilmNation Entertainment/Lava Bear Films), which he directed based on the screenplay by Eric Heisserer, from the short story by Ted Chiang.