The final ballot for this year’s Hugo Awards was announced today, via Facebook and YouTube, by my friends at CoNZealand.
Congratulations to all the finalists… and condolences to all those who did not make the ballot. Take some consolation in the knowledge that much fine work gets overlooked every year.
The Hugo Award is the oldest and most prestigious award in science fiction and fantasy… not only for writers, but also for artists, editors, and fans. First given in 1953, it was the original award. Many worthy honors have joined it in the half century since: the Nebulas, the Bram Stokers, the World Fantasy Awards, the Dragons, the Tiptrees, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Prometheus, the British Fantasy Award, the Ditmars, the Auroras, the Saturns… even the Alfies. (Yes, I have forgotten some, beyond a doubt). All wonderful honors. But the Hugo Awards remain the greatest accolade that our field has to offer.
One of the reasons is that it is an award chosen by the members of worldcon, the World Science Fiction Convention, the granddaddy of them all. By fans, in other words. By YOU, if you like. You need not even attend the convention: supporting memberships, considerably cheaper, also allow you to cast a Hugo ballot. So if you would like your voice to be heard, head over to the CoNZealand website and sign up.
Sad to say, no one will actually be attending this year’s worldcon in Wellington, thanks to coronavirus. The concom, prudently, has decided to make this year’s convention entirely virtual. A necessity in this time of pandemic, I think, but a sad necessity.
I am the Toastmaster for CoNZealand, the host at the awards ceremony,so originally I was going to get to be the guy handing out the rockets come Hugo night, a once-in-a-lifetime honor that I was looking forward to immensely. I am still the Toastmaster, as it happens, but I guess that now I am going to be a Virtual Toastmaster. I suppose I qualify. I did once write two scripts for MAX HEADROOM, after all (though neither one was produced, which could be an omen). Alternatively, I could just tie the rockets to the legs of ravens… really big ravens…