Hugo Award


Hugo Award

The Hugo Awards are given every year for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The award is named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine "Amazing Stories". Hugo Awards have been presented every year since 1955.

Hugo Award nominees and winners are chosen by members of the annual Worldcon (although only about 700 of several thousand Worldcon members actually vote [George Flynn: [http://www.nesfa.org/fanzines/votehist.html Hugo Voting: Let’s Look at the Record (Again)] – overview of the 1971–99 statistics; [http://smofinfo.com/wsfs/Hugos/ WSFS Hugo Voting Reports] since 1998] ) and the presentation evening constitutes its central point. The selection process is defined in the World Science Fiction Society Constitution as instant-runoff voting with five nominees (except in the case of a tie). Unusually, the nominees in each category include "No award," if a voter feels none of the other entries are worthy of recognition; if "No award" receives the most votes in a category, then none of the nominees receives an award.

The Hugo Award trophy was co-designed by longtime SF fan and booster Benedict Jablonski. The rocket design has become standardised in recent years and the rockets are currently produced by UK fan Peter Weston. The design for the base on which the rocket is mounted is the responsibility of the Worldcon committee and therefore changes each year. The base design has been selected by various means including committee selection, direct commission and open competition (currently the most common method).

The 2006 Hugo Awards ceremony was held at the 64th World Science Fiction Convention on Saturday, August 26 in Anaheim, California. The 2007 Awards were presented at the 65th World Science Fiction Convention in Yokohama, Japan on September 1. The 2008 Awards were presented at the 66th World Science Fiction Convention in Denver, Colorado on August 9.

History

While "bests" had been voted at all Worldcons since the inaugural event in 1939, no awards were presented until the 11th Worldcon ("Philcon II", Philadelphia 1953). The awards were the idea of Hal Lynch, hand-machined by Jack McKnight and consisted of a finned steel rocket on a circular wooden base. They were not initially conceived to be a permanent Worldcon feature. However, at the 13th Worldcon (Cleveland, Ohio 1955) it was decided to make the physical awards permanent. A new design capable of mass production was made by Benedict Jablonski. It was largely similar to the first design but on a square base, and became the standard design for most of the following conventions. Initially the award was called the Annual Science Fiction Achievement Award, with "Hugo Award" being an unofficial, but better known name. Since 1993, the nickname has been adopted as the official name of the award.

There have been several anthologies collecting Hugo-winning short fiction. The well-known series "The Hugo Winners" edited and introduced by Isaac Asimov was started in 1962, collecting all winners up to the previous year, and concluded with the 1982 Hugos in Volume 5. "The New Hugo Winners", edited originally by Asimov and later Gregory Benford has four volumes collecting stories from the 1983 to the 1994 Hugos.

The 1954 award

Because the awards presented in 1953 were initially conceived as “one-off” awards, the 1954 Worldcon decided not to present them again. [ [http://www.thehugoawards.org/?page_id=11 The 1954 Award] , thehugoawards.org, retrieved November 3, 2007] The 1955 Worldcon decided that they should present them, and thereafter it became traditional. Later, after WSFS got written rules, the Hugo Awards were codified into the WSFS Constitution, and became one of the things a Worldcon must do.

Hugo Award categories

Until about 1960, most Hugo award categories changed from year to year. The current standard award categories (specified in World Science Fiction Society Constitution) have been:
* Hugo Award for Best Novel
* Hugo Award for Best Novella
* Hugo Award for Best Novelette
* Hugo Award for Best Short Story
* Hugo Award for Best Non-Fiction Book (awarded 1980 to 1998)
** Hugo Award for Best Related Book (since 1999)
* Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation (awarded 1960 to 2002)
** Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form (since 2003)
** Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form (since 2003)
* Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine
* Hugo Award for Best Professional Artist
** Hugo Award for Best Original Artwork (awarded 1990 to 1996)
* Hugo Award for Best Professional Editor (awarded 1973 to 2006; split to)
** Hugo Award for Best Editor Long Form (since 2007)
** Hugo Award for Best Editor Short Form (since 2007)
*** Hugo Award for Best Professional Magazine (awarded 1953 to 1972)
* Hugo Award for Best Fanzine (Best Amateur Magazine in some but not all years between 1962 and 1978)
* Hugo Award for Best Fan Artist
* Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer

The rules also allow for an additional category at the discretion of the Worldcon organising committee, the most recent ones being the Hugo Award for Best Web Site in 2002 and 2005. An earlier example was the Hugo Award for Best All-Time Series awarded in 1966 to the Foundation trilogy.

Retro Hugos

In mid-1990s Retrospective Hugo Awards (normally abbreviated Retro Hugos) were added: Worldcons held 50, 75, or 100 years after a Worldcon where no Hugos had been awarded (i.e. 1939–41, 1946–52 and 1954) can also retroactively select Hugos for that year, by the same process as the regular Hugos.

This was a subject of much controversy, with critics of the proposal arguing that hindsight necessarily distorts perception, and there is no point in giving awards decades post factum anyway [ [http://www.locusmag.com/SFAwards/Db/RetroHugo.html The Locus Index to SF Awards: About the Retro-Hugos] , retrieved April 24, 2007.] . There have been only three Retro-Hugos given at 1996, 2001 and 2004 Worldcons (always for 50 years back), while the five eligible in 1997–2000 and 2002 did not organize them; the next opportunity will be in 2014 for the year 1939, starting the 75-year cycle.

Related awards

There are many other science fiction awards; the best-known and most often compared to the Hugos in importance are the Nebula Awards given by Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

Many countries have their national annual SF/F awards voted by readers or convention attendees, including BSFA Award in the UK and the Canadian Aurora Award with separate categories for English and French fiction. Probably the best-known of non-English speaking countries is the Japanese Seiun Award, whose foreign fiction categories are often presented at Worldcon.

The World Science Fiction Convention also awards the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, sponsored by the publishers of "Analog Science Fiction and Fact" which John W. Campbell edited. Although presented at the same ceremony and voted by the same process, it is not formally a Hugo. (Nor should it be confused with the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, a jury-selected prize not associated with the Worldcon at all.)

The Locus Award is a poll of readers of the science fiction news magazine "Locus" which has a higher number of voters than the Hugos. [ [http://www.locusmag.com/2006/Features/AnalysisOfThePoll.html Locus Online: Analysis of Locus 2006 Poll & Survey] ]

During 1974–1980 the World Science Fiction Convention also awarded the Gandalf Award for Grand Master of Fantasy and (in 1978–79) Book-Length Fantasy.

See also

* List of joint winners of the Hugo and Nebula awards
* Rhysling Award for fantastic poetry
* James Tiptree, Jr. Award for works of science fiction or fantasy that expand or explore our understanding of gender
*

References

External links

* [http://www.TheHugoAwards.org/ Official site]
* [http://www.wsfs.org/bm/const-2006.html#hugo Current WSFS Constitution – Hugo Awards section]
* [http://www.fanac.org/fanzines/Philcon/Philcon2-05.html Original proposal of "the Achievement Awards in science fiction"] in Philcon II Program book (JPG scan)
* [http://www.locusmag.com/SFAwards/Db/Hugo.html About the Hugo Awards] in The "Locus" Index to SF Awards; also includes complete lists, alphabetical index of nominated people and records and tallies
* [http://www.awardannals.com/wiki/Honor_roll:Hugo_Award_for_Novel Most honored Hugo Award nominees]
* [http://batwrangler.com/Hugos/ Hugo Award Gallery]
* [http://web2.airmail.net/tharvia/hugos_at_a_glance.html Hugo history at a glance] – graphical overview of when individual persons were nominated; until 2004
* [http://communities.livejournal.com/hugo_recommend Hugo Award Nominee Recommendations] − LiveJournal community
* [http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_hugo.asp Excerpts and summaries of all Hugo winning and nominated novels]


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