The Alfie awards are a set of awards organized, sponsored, and presented by genre author George R. R. Martin (GRRM) to supplement the Hugo Awards. The Alfie awards are named after Science Fiction legend and first-ever Hugo Award winner Alfred Bester. GRRM introduced the Alfies in 2015 during the original sad puppies/rabid puppies crisis, when the Hugo Award nomination process was influenced by certain parties with a political agenda. GRMM took offense to both the agenda and the perceived hijacking of the Hugo awards. Although the agenda of the puppies groups largely failed*, it did bump otherwise-worthy nominees out of contention.
GRRM decided to use his standing and influence to right the wrong, and so he instituted shadow awards. Using the Hugo voter numbers and nomination sheets released at the host event, Worldcon, GRRM removed the entries from the Sad/Rabid Puppies campaign slates and calculated alternative winners for the affected categories. GRRM says:
I do not choose the Alfie winners. The fans do, with their nominations. The Alfies go to those who produced outstanding work in 2015, but were denied a spot on the ballot, and thus the chance to compete for the Hugo, by slating.
The awards were presented at the 'Hugo Losers' after-party, originated by GRRM and now once again hosted by him.
The Alfie awards themselves are made from reclaimed automobile hood ornaments, just as some of the early Hugo awards themselves were. Based on event photos, it seems that no two are alike.
The Alfie awards were presented in 2015 and then again in 2016, when an altered 'rabid puppy' slate strategy had a lessened, but still material, influence on the Hugos. At time of writing, GRRM has not yet decided if the Alfies will be awarded again in 2017.
* The 'puppies' slates did provoke a great deal of conversation, not to mention outrage, so if pot-stirring can be considered a victory for them, then there was indeed success. But there was a lot of hard feeling around what had previously been a feel-good event for most folks.
For SciFiQuest 3017: The Frontier that Wouldn't End