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Hugo Nominations Due

February 19, 2009

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It’s that time again, boys and girls.

Less than two weeks remain until the close of nominations for this year’s Hugo Awards.

Every year I try to encourage more people to nominate and vote for the Hugos. This is the most important award in science fiction and fantasy, and it’s YOUR award. A jury selects the winners of the World Fantasy Award. The Nebula Award and the Bram Stoker Award are voted by the writers, members respectively of the Science Fiction Writers of America and the Horror Writers of America. But you, the readers, nominate and vote for the Hugos. Yes, you have to be a member of the World Science Fiction Convention, whose award this is, but anyone can join the worldcon. This isn’t the Academy, or even SFWA.

This year’s Hugos will be given at Anticipation in Montreal, and the winners will be voted by the membership of that con… but NOMINATIONS are open to those who were members of last year’s worldcon in Denver as well. So even if you can’t be at Montreal and don’t care to buy a supporting membership (another way to vote), if you attended or supported Denvention III, you are still eligible to nominate.

And I hope you will. I have said it before, and I will say it again — getting nominated is in many ways more important than whether you win or lose, especially for a new writer. That first nomination can be all important in a writer’s career.

And so few people bother to nominate. It’s not too much of an exaggeration to say that thousands of people attend worldcon, hundreds vote for the Hugo Awards, and dozens nominate for those same awards. Yes, some of the “bigger” categories like Best Novel and Best Dramatic Presentation may get hundreds of nominations… but in other, less popular categories, twenty or thirty nominations will sometimes be enough to earn a spot on the ballot. And once that happens, well… It’s a lot like the NFL playoffs. Once you get into the tournament, anything can happen. Just look at this year. The Arizona Cardinals were in the Super Bowl.

So, please, help make our field’s oldest and most important awards more meaningful. The nominating ballot is here:

Every vote counts. You have until February 28.

(I will suggest a few worthy nominees above, in separate posts. Those are just MY choices, however. You may well have your own. It doesn’t matter what you nominate, just NOMINATE).

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