The Hugo Awards, a discursion

Off in another part of Teh Interwebs, someone has raised a hue and cry about the Hugo Awards and how Their Favorite Authors don’t stand a chance of getting on the ballot, specifically because the readers of TFA exist in numbers insufficient to sway the nomination process.

Let me pause here for a moment and acknowledge that I have a horse in this race. As a matter of fact, I have three horses enlisted (Saltation, Mouse and Dragon, Carousel Tides) — which this year means very little, since 2010 saw a new Miles book published, which History Has Shown will eat the lunch of every other book that came out last year.

Which brings us handily back to our topic — i.e. How To Get Your Favorite Work of 2010 Onto the Hugo Ballot.

It’s easy: You have to nominate it. Then, you have to convince about 19 other friends to also nominate it. That’s right, it only takes about 20 nominations to get a work onto the final Hugo ballot.

The nomination period is open right now. Here’s the link to the ballot. Now, notice! In order to nominate you must fulfill one of the following conditions:

1. You are an attending member of Renovation, this year’s WorldCon
2. You are a supporting member of Renovation, this year’s WorldCon
3. You were an attending member of AussieCon, last year’s WorldCon

Now, suppose you and your friends have put your nominating where your mouths are and Your Favorite Book achieves the final ballot. That’s when you abandon all hope, right? Because thousands and thousands of voters are going to vote for something else?

Well, let’s look.

Here’s the vote breakdown for AussieCon 4. A total of 1094 ballots were cast, not all participants voting in every category. According to File 770, AussieCon’s total membership was 2034. Some of those members would not have been eligible to nominate, because they had not achieved membership by deadline.

This is actually Quite Good, I’m impressed. More than half of the AussieCon attending membership voted on the final ballot. Compare that with the 2007 stats from LACon, where 500 people (out of a convention massing 6,000 members) bothered to vote on the Hugo Awards.

Now, the Hugo’s claim to importance is that they are “the reader’s award.” If you (yes, you) want them to better reflect what you’re reading, then you need to nominate, and then you need to vote.

That’s how it works, see? Easy.

Here are the Hugo Award Rules

Here is a previous post by Yr Hmbl Narrator on this same subject

6 thoughts on “The Hugo Awards, a discursion”

  1. One small correction: Supporting members of Aussiecon 4 (last year’s Worldcon) are also allowed to nominate for this year’s Hugos.

  2. The Renovation page at states:

    * Are an attending or supporting member of Renovation (the 2011 World Science Fiction Convention) on or before January 31, 2011 23:59 PDT
    * Were a member of Aussiecon 4 (the 2010 World Science Fiction Convention)

    So either attending or supporting members should be able to nominate since the reference to Aussiecon doesn’t discriminate between the two.

    Additionally, section 3.7.1 of the WSFS constitution states:

    The Worldcon Committee shall conduct a poll to select the nominees for the final Award voting. Each member of either the administering or the immediately preceding Worldcon as of January 31 of the current calendar year shall be allowed to make up to five (5) equally weighted nominations in every category.

    That said, I agree the wording on the Renovation website could be clarified. I will ask that this get done. Thanks for pointing that out!

  3. Those of us who live in the frozen North, find it extremely difficult to get to any CON. Otherwise you would have my vote. ?

  4. @Draconis: We must live in the same general area. That’s what supporting memberships are for 🙂

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