Hugo Awards 2008: I Want You to Vote!

Hey guys!

Some of you may not have seen it, but I have a new poll pertaining to the relevance of the Hugo and other SFF awards going on at the moment. Feel free to take a second to vote!:-)

These are only preliminary results, but I'm a bit surprised that a vast majority of voters (thus far) care enough that they want to see some changes put into effect. I would have thought that a large chunk of the readers would have lost hope and not care anymore. . .

Here's a list of the 2008 Hugo winners (thanks to Larry for monitoring the whole thing!):

Campbell Award: Mary Robinette Kowal

Fanzine: Mike Glyer, File 770

Fan Writer: John Scalzi

Fan Artist: Brad Foster

Professional Artist: Stefan Martiniere

Best Semiprozine: Locus

Related Book: Jeff Prucher, Brave New Words, the Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: Doctor Who, "Blink" Written by Steven Moffat, directed by Hettie Macdonald (BBC)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: Stardust (based on the novel by Neil Gaiman)

Best Professional Editor, Short Form: Gordon Van Gelder

Best Professional Editor, Long Form: David Hartwell

Best Short Story: Elizabeth Bear, "Tideline" (appeared in the June 2007 issue of Asimov's)

Best Novelette: Ted Chiang, The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate (appeared in limited edition chapbook form and in the September 2007 issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine)

Best Novella: Connie Willis, All Seated on the Ground (limited edition book from Subterranean Press; also appeared in the December 2007 issue of Asimov's)

Best Novel: Michael Chabon, The Yiddish Policemen's Union

4 commentaires:

Anonymous said...

Voted. And discovered with the same surprise you experienced that yes, people still care about the Hugos. But then again, we're also reading reviews of SF/F on blogs, meaning we're sort of hardcore fans, so this might be a sign that you're kind of preaching to the believers :)

Joe said...

I don't really have a problem with the awards, not the results, and not so much the nominations...

I actually have more of a problem with people who bitch about the awards, like it is personal, and not really think about what the Hugos are representing (or the Nebulas, or the World Fantasy Awards, etc).

The novel category, for example, represents a whopping 745 ballots. 745 people total out of everyone at Worldcon and everyone who didn't go but paid for the membership and voted. That's a small sampling, and it gets smaller with the Campbell award: Only 365 people voted for the Campbell.

The Hugos may be the most democratic of the major awards, but it is only a small sampling of the larger SFF fandom and it represents exactly that small slice of SFF and not one bit more.

Given the small number of voters, a small bloc of new voters could swing elections.

Is it unfair that you'd have to pay for the right? Perhaps, but again, understanding the rules of the game - it's Worldcon and a small number of people, it is what it is and the Hugos are a major award.

Adam Whitehead said...

I agree with Joe Sherry's comments, although I also think that it's also quite natural that some genre-lovers would want the awards to change in order to survive in the future.

The small size of the voting pool is of some concern. In fact, take out all the writers, editors, artists and general people in the 'biz' from the voting pool, and I have no doubt you could easily halve the results, at least. If that is the case maybe they should just go the whole hog and make it a juried award?

As usual, genuine concerns about the future and legitimacy of SF's longest-running award, especially with the average Worldcon attendee and winner's age shooting up over the years and little being down to attract the younger generation, have tended to be met by a lot of blinkered looks and heads-in-the-sand behaviour, and the return of that favourite easy crutch when challenged by an alternate viewpoint, "You didn't pay to vote, so you don't get an opinion."

It's irritating because I respect the history of the award, but until such time as the people who actually run the committees actually acknowledge the problems, I suspect the Hugos will ultimately become totally irrelevant, especially as fandom continues its move online and the discovery of just how few people vote on the award.

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