Nominations are now open for the 2019 Hugo Awards, to be awarded this August in Dublin at the Irish Worldcon.
The Hugos (as most of you know) are the oldest and most prestigious award in science fiction and fantasy. They’ve been giving them since 1953, and the list of winners… and nominees… is a Who’s Who of our genre. Dublin 2019 will also be presenting the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer, which dates to 1973, and the brand new Lodestar Award for YA fiction.
It is a huge honor to win a Hugo… and almost as great an honor to lose one. I should know. I’ve won a few, lost a lot more, and in 1976 Gardner Dozois and I started the Hugo Losers Party. (It still feels like a punch in the gut to type Gargy’s name, knowing he is gone). To nominate, you need to be a member of either Dublin 2019 or last year’s worldcon, Not ConJose II.
Paper ballots are available for those who want them, but these days most voting is electronic. Worldcon members will be sent a link to the nominating ballot by email. Nominations close on Friday March 15.
For more details about the awards, go to https://dublin2019.com/hugo-awards-wsfs/the-hugo-awards/
My most recent Hugo wins — and losses — have been in the Dramatic Presentation categories, where GAME OF THRONES has been been a strong contender. However, there were no episodes of GOT telecast in 2018, so the show is not eligible this year (the seventh season was shown in 2017, and the eighth and final season debuts this April). As it happens, however, I have another series for your consideration: NIGHTFLYERS, SyFy’s sf/horror series based on my 1980 novella (a Hugo finalist, and Hugo loser, in its day), all ten episodes of which were shown between December 2 and December 12.
There are two Drama categories in the Hugos, Long Form and Short Form, as determined by running time. Feature films usually dominate Long Form, and television shows Short Form. You can nominate a TV show in Long Form, but in that case you are nominating the entire season (GAME OF THRONES won its first Hugo in Long Form, as it happens). In Short Form, you need to nominate a specific episode. So if you’re a fan of NIGHTFLYERS, you can nominate the entire first season in Long Form, or one or more of the following episodes in Short Form:
01 “All We Left Behind”
02 “Torches and Pitchforks”
03 “The Abyss Stares Back”
04 “White Rabbit”
06 “The Sacred Gift”
10 “All That We Have Found”
I expect the competition to be very tough in Dramatic Presentation, Short Form this year. This is a golden age for science fiction on television. Not all that long ago, we were lucky to have one or two genre shows worthy of nomination, but today, in this age of max tv, there are science fiction and fantasy shows everywhere you look — on the broadcast networks, on cable, on the streaming services. Recent winners THE GOOD PLACE and THE EXPANSE both had new episodes in 2018. Fans of superheroics had the Marvel shows on Netflix and the DC shows on the CW to choose from. Zombie lovers had THE WALKING DEAD and Z NATION. Lev Grossman’s THE MAGICIANS had a fun third season. If starships and aliens were your thing, there was a new STAR TREK show and Seth McFarlane’s THE ORVILLE. And of course there is always DOCTOR WHO, a perennial powerhouse, this year with a brand new Doctor, the thirteenth. I’d be very surprised if there were not at least two episodes of DOCTOR WHO on the final ballot (recent rules changes make it impossible for there to be more than two). I’ve undoubtedly forgotten some other shows as well, and there may well be British and Irish shows of which I am entirely unaware… there’s just so much out there, that even someone deeply involved in television on a professional basis, like myself, cannot keep up.
I would like to recommend one series that has never been nominated, but IMNSHO deserves to be: OUTLANDER, based on Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling novels. I have a feeling that Hugo nominators tend to overlook the series because they think of it as a historical or a romance rather than science fiction. It IS both those things, of course, but it is also a time travel show… and more importantly, it’s superb. Amazing production values, well written (and quite faithful to Diana’s books), well directed, and well acted. The cast is doing fantastic work, especially the leads. If you haven’t watched OUTLANDER, you should check it out… and nominate your favorite episode, if you like it as much as Parris and I do.
Whatever you watch, whatever you like, NOMINATE. It IS a singular honor just to be nominated, and far fewer people nominate than vote on the final ballot, so this is your chance to let your voice be heard.
I will talk about some of the other categories in subsequent posts, over the next few weeks.
Current Mood: busy