Ask a Question

Do you have a question about the Hugos that is not covered in our FAQ? If so, please ask it here and we will endeavor to answer it for you.

Please note, however, that we cannot issue definitive rulings about Hugo Award eligibility. Each year’s Worldcon establishes a Hugo Awards Administration Subcommittee the manages that year’s Hugo Awards. The Hugo Awards web site is not responsible for administering the Awards and therefore can’t give definitive answers about eligibility. If you have a question about whether a specific work is eligible and in which category, please contact the current year’s Worldcon and their Hugo Awards Administrators.

169 Responses to Ask a Question

  1. Christopher Nickolas Carlson says:

    Hello,

    I’m just curious whether the Hugo Award ceremony was going to be streamed on the Internet this year. I’ve tried looking for info, but haven’t found any, so I’m assuming not, but it would be cool to be able to see it live. This might not be the proper place to ask, but I figured you guys might know, haha. Anyway, thanks a bunch. I’m looking forward to learning the results.

    Cheers,
    Christopher Nickolas Carlson

    • Kevin says:

      Chicon 7 does indeed plan to live-stream video of the ceremony, and we here at The Hugo Awards web site will be providing text-only CoverItLive coverage of the event as we have done for the past couple of years. (The latter is more appropriate if you don’t have sufficient bandwidth for video streaming, don’t want the ads that UStream puts on video streams, or want the results a few seconds faster than the video stream, since the latter is usually delayed from seconds to minutes for technical reasons.) We’ll be posting an announcement here when we know the details. If you haven’t already done so, you can follow the RSS feed of our announcements or follow us on Twitter, where we also will be posting the results as they are announced.

  2. Leticia Kushida says:

    Hello, I am researching about Flowers for Algernon, written by Daniel Keyes.
    I would like to know the exact year in which he received the Hugo Award. In his autobiography (Charlie,Algernon and I) and in his homepage, it says he won it in 1960, for the best short story of 1959, but in this homepage it says it was in 1967. I would appreciate if you can tell me which is correct.

    Regards,

    Leticia Kushida
    Brazil

    • Kevin says:

      Leticia:

      “Flowers for Algernon” won the 1960 Hugo Award for Best Short Story. The expanded novel was nominated for the 1967 Hugo Award for Best Novel, but did not win.

      The rules of the World Science Fiction Society allow works to be nominated an additional time if they are substantially different, such as after a significant revision or expansion. Both the short story and the novel versions of the the work were nominated for Hugo Awards. The short story won in 1960, and the novel was nominated in 1967. I hope this clarifies the situation for you.

  3. Leticia Kushida says:

    Dear Kevin, thank you so much. Your information helped a lot!!

    Reegards,
    Leticia

  4. steve says:

    HI
    DO YOU OFFER A LISTING OF winners only UNTIL present please?

    could you please provide a link?
    much appreciated

  5. JABP says:

    Re: Related Works

    Hello. Could a feature-length documentary film be submitted under the “Related Works” category? Has this ever happened? It would seem that documentaries don’t fit so neatly into the long form “dramatic” category.

    Thanks.

    • Kevin says:

      That’s an interesting question. Every year the works that catch people’s eyes change somewhat, and of course WSFS tries to update the categories to keep pace. But questions like this still arise. To deal with this, each year a Hugo Awards Administrator is appointed. He or she is responsible for answering such questions, based on the existing rules, historical precedent and the will of the nominators/voters.

      It seems reasonable to us that a documentary could be best located in the “Best Related Work” category, but it is not crystal clear and we are not aware of any historical precedent for this situation. Therefore we can’t give a firm answer.

      We suggest that you contact this year’s Hugo Administrator at LoneStarCon 3 with your question.

  6. I have a few questions about what categories certain publications fall under.

    1. Toasted Cake is a fiction podcast that pays $5 for stories on the podcast. Because it pays any amount to authors, that makes it a semiprozine rather than a fancast, right?
    http://www.toastedcake.com

    2. Beam Me Up is a science fiction podcast and radio show. They don’t pay authors, which makes me think it might be a fancast. But since they also play their show on a radio station, it depends on whether the radio station provides more than 1/4 of the income. On the WRFR website it says “WRFR is entirely run by volunteers” which makes me think it might still qualify as a fancast, but I’m not totally sure.
    http://www.beammeuppodcast.com/
    http://wrfr.org/about.html

    3. Journey Into… is a podcast. They don’t pay for flash fiction, which is the only work they take unsolicited. They do pay a small amount for longer work, which they solicit. Does the sometimes-payment make them a semiprozine or a fancast?
    http://www.journeyintopodcast.blogspot.com

    • Kevin says:

      As with our earlier reply regarding Related Works, these are edge cases for which there is insufficient precedent to give a clear answer. Remember that while TheHugoAwards.org is the official web site of the Hugo Awards, we are not the administrators of the Awards and therefore anything we say is an advisory only and cannot be considered definitive. The people actually making the decision are this year’s Hugo Award Administration Subcommittee, and we suggest you contact them with your questions.

      1. Toasted Cake appears to meet the definition of a Semiprozine. It does not appear to be a professional publication, and because it pays its contributors in something other than copies of the publication (podcast), it is not a Fancast, but does appear to meet at least one of the Semiprozine criteria.
      2. Beam Me Up is a tricky one. Because nobody is getting paid, it may well meet the qualifications of a Fancast.
      3. Journey Into… appears to be a Semiprozine, because paying for any contributions meets one of the Semiprozine criteria and disqualifies the work from (in this case) Fancast. As long as it’s non-professional in nature, that appears to make it a Semiprozine.

      You may also want to consult the Semiprozine Directory web site. While it is not an official site, it does have a good working list of likely Semiprozines (and discussion of edge cases).

      Once again, our discussion here is only advisory in nature, and only rulings from the current year’s Hugo Award Administrators are definitive.

  7. Neil Clarke says:

    I’m afraid I don’t follow your logic on Fancast. Where in the definition of fancast does it state that they can’t pay anyone? It simply says non-professional. If fancast had a contributor pay clause there wouldn’t be the need for semiprozine to include “which does not qualify as a fancast” in its definition. By the looks of things an audio or video podcast would be a fancast if it would have been eligible for either fanzine or semiprozine in print.

    I know the intent on this category was to move podcasts out of fanzine, but the actual implementation has removed them from both fanzine and semiprozine.

    • Kevin says:

      Neil:

      That’s true, and is something I hadn’t considered in my initial reply because I thought that I knew what the makers of the original proposal intended to do. This is one of the reasons we warn folks that nothing we say here has the force of legislation, and that without an actual ruling on a real case by a Hugo Administrator, we can’t be sure exactly what’s going to happen.

      It is likely that there may need to be clarifying legislation unless the WSFS Business Meeting really wants podcasts, etc. that are non-professional by definition but that might meet the semi-professional definition to be included in Fancast. That is a plausible reading, since Best Fan Writer and Best Fan Artist are both covered by Semiprozine and Fanzine.

  8. Thomas Enders says:

    Hello,

    - probably this is not the right place to ask, but I try it anyway :-) -

    is there a compilation or some kind of HUGO-winning stories?

    I realise that the novels, novellas, novelettes and short stories are published by many different publishing companies, but maybe some of the bigger houses have had multiple winners over the years and maybe made “collector’s edition” of some kind.

    Is there something you could recommend, maybe put together in consultation with you?
    (Yes, I can search for myself on amazon and the like, but I’d like to have your “official” answer, please excuse if offending.)

    Best greetings from Germany

    Thomas

    • Kevin says:

      Thomas:

      While there have been compilations of Hugo Award-winning fiction in the past, there have not been recent collections except for The Hugo Award Showcase, the first (and ultimately only) in a projected series of collections of Hugo Award-nominated-and-winning works. Should a publisher once again undertake publishing such compilations, we will announce it on this site.

      • Duane Brewster says:

        That explains a lot. I have many “Hugo Awards” books that I used to buy, but noticed they stopped publishing them. That’s a shame. Now there is no way to read the collected stories the way we used to, to know what is being written. I guess the internet really has destroyed the publishing business. I will treasure the Hugo Awards books I have even more than I did before.

  9. Claudio Bottaccini says:

    Hi,
    I’d like to know if I can nominate an eligible project I crowdfunded , getting a sponsor or producer credit in return.
    Thanks

    • Kevin says:

      We’re not sure what you mean about “getting a sponsor or producer credit in return.” Works are nominated for Hugo Awards by the thousands of members of the World Science Fiction Society, and works that receive sufficient nominations appear on the final ballot and are considered “Hugo Award Nominated” works.

  10. Ann says:

    Would a website such as B5Scrolls be eligible for consideration in either the Best Related Works or Best Fan Writer categories, or is it too specific in it’s content, or indeed too small. I feel the hitherto unknown information it contains by way of the interviews with so many Emmy award winning FX artist is quite revealing, and significant, on a number of separate levels that extend way beyond just the production of one televsion show.

    • Kevin says:

      Ann:

      A website cannot be eligible for Best Fan Writer, because a Website is not a “writer.” Writing appearing on a web site can make that writer eligible for Best Fan Writer

      Eligibility for the Hugo Award is managed by each year’s Hugo Award Administration Subcommittee, which is appointed by the individual World Science Fiction Convention, and is not managed by those of us here at TheHugoAwards.org. However, Hugo Award Administrators are unlikely to make a ruling about a specific web site, work, or person unless it receives enough nominations to otherwise appear on the ballot for that year.

  11. Marc says:

    Dear Hugo Awards,

    I have been searching for a science fiction short story that I found in college a few years ago. Unfortunately, I have forgotten the title of the story along with the author’s name and the science fiction anthology it was found in.The short story was written in the early to mid 90′s. It involved Don Quixote magically being time warped into the modern era. He finds a Mexican-American soldier and the two begin a comical journey together. I remember that it was the funniest science fiction short story that I have ever read and I would love to be able to read it again. I would be grateful for any information. Thanks.

    Sincerely,

    Marc Mooney

  12. Randy says:

    What is the process for being the sculptor of the Hugo Award base? How and when are submission made, and how is the selection made?

  13. Kevin says:

    Randy:

    Most recent Worldcons have run design competitions to solicit designs for their Hugo Award bases. Loncon 3 announced this evening during the LoneStarCon 3 Hugo Awards Ceremony that they would be doing so. We don’t have the details handy at the moment, but when they’re available, we’ll post them to the site as an announcement.

  14. sandra_nz says:

    Hello,
    Congratulations on an excellent Hugo Awards night at LoneStarCon, it was my first experience of such a thing and I had a fantastic evening. It was really well run and so lovely to see the winners bounding on stage with such enthusiasm and pride. A wonderful way to celebrate a wonderful genre.
    I would like to know if you are considering an improvement to the communications process, in light of Mary Robinette Kowel finding out at the after-party that one of her works had been shortlisted but deemed ineligible? I understand there are difficulties around the categorization of various works and I don’t have the depth of knowledge to have an opinion at that, but I’m sure you can understand that this must have been very distressing for her to receive this information in such an unexpected and public way.
    Even if the nominee disagrees with your decision, I’m sure they would greatly prefer to be advised in advance, rather than getting a horrible shock at what is supposed to be a celebratory evening.
    Thank you for your consideration.

    • Kevin says:

      Sandra:

      Those of us here at TheHugoAwards.org are not the people who actually administer the awards, so we don’t know who the winners (and in this case, disqualified nominees) are until the ceremony. The communication with nominees is done by each year’s Hugo Awards Administration Subcommittee, which is appointed by the individual Worldcon. Note, however, that the events you describe this year are being discussed in detail by the people involved and are “on the radar” of those who will be responsible for administering next year’s Awards.

  15. John Woolley says:

    The Best Novel award is given to works of 40000+ words; the Best Novelette is for works between 7500 and 17500 words. The Best Novella award fills in the gap, as it were, but has only been awarded since 1968. From 1955 to 1967, what category would a work of novella length (17500 to 40000 words) fit into?

    • Kevin says:

      John:

      Early in The Hugo Awards’ evolution, there were no technical definitions for terms such as “Novel.” The 1963 version of the WSFS Constitution, for example, merely defined “Short Fiction” as “less than novel length,” and did not define what “novel length” was. Therefore, any work that wasn’t a “Novel” would have been classified as “Short Fiction,” including novella-length works until the written-fiction categories were subdivided and more technically defined.

  16. Murray D Wolfe says:

    I read a short story about 35+ years ago that I am trying to find. The premise is similar to that of ‘Divergent’ in that children are tested early in life and ‘streamed’ to professions for which they are particularly suited. The main character of the story, although intelligent and talented, is not particularly suited to any profession, and is ultimately imprisoned with others of his type. This is done to ensure that these people are not disruptive of society. He escapes, however, and after various adventures returns to the prison, the only place where he feels accepted and safe. Can anyone help me find the name and author of this story? Thanks in advance.

  17. Jennifer Hook says:

    I missed the 1/31/14 date to become a supporting member and nominate but can I still sign up as a supporting member and vote?

    • Kevin says:

      Yes, while it’s too late to join and nominate, you will still be able to vote on the final ballot (when it’s issued) by joining Worldcon now.

  18. Jennifer Hook says:

    Oh how exciting! Thank you so much for responding so quickly! I was so upset to think I had missed the deadline by one day when all I really want to do is read all these glorious stories & vote! So happy to learn I haven’t missed out!
    Thx!
    Excited!

  19. Duane Brewster says:

    This may have been asked before, if so, I apologize in advance.
    My question: Is there, or are there any plans to offer, an award in honor of Isaac Asimov? Something like the Campbell Award–
    (Possibly for winning the last Hugo in the last category after winning all others…is there anyone alive who’s done that?)

    Thanks.

    • Kevin says:

      We here at TheHugoAwards.org are not aware of any specific plans for an award in Issac Asimov’s honor. Certainly the World Science Fiction Society has not entertained any such proposals.

      Nobody has even come close to winning Hugo Awards in every category. Considering that the Awards cover the gamut from prose fiction to non-fiction to dramatized works to art, both professional and amateur, to amateur writing about SF/F/Fandom, it would be an astonishing achievement for anyone, even a polymath like the late Dr. Asimov, to have even qualified for every category.

  20. cliff homewood says:

    Two films that were meant to be nationally released in 2013 and then held back, just checking that they aren’t eligible for 2013 and indeed for 2014 – snowpiercer and Zero Theorem (the latter is definitely a top film!).

    • Kevin says:

      If the movies were first shown in public in 2013, then they are eligible for the 2014 Hugo Awards. If they received limited distribution — e.g. only shown once or something like that — in 2013, then any Worldcon member may introduce a motion to the WSFS Business Meeting at the 2014 Worldcon requesting that the works receive an additional year of eligibility due to limited distribution. (This requires a super-majority vote.) If the movies were intended to be released in 2013 but were not actually shown until 2014, then they are eligible for the 2015 Hugo Awards.

  21. Brad Solley says:

    Have you guys considered making each book title in the nominations, as well as winners once they are announced, links to the author’s details page of that book, or to page that has a synopsis of the book and a link to where you can purchase it? When books are nominated as top fantasy books of the year etc, there are many out there who would be interested in reading details such as synopsis of the book, and possibly purchasing it. This would help those authors out even more so than just as it would draw more people to their website to purchase their works.

    As you have it laid out now, it’s kind of a pain in the butt. I see a book I have no clue what it’s about. I have to then go and google search it, find a good site that has good detail on it, read up on it, maybe buy it, maybe not, then go back to your site, back to the award section, find the next book and rinse/repeat. Just a thought that would make your site more useful to the end user.

    • Kevin says:

      Brad: The Hugo Voter Packet, with in many cases the entire nominated work, will be available to members later this year.

      • Brad Solley says:

        I’m not just talking about this year, but past years as well. There is a history listing previous year nominees and winners, but none of the titles are linked to any page referencing the work, so outside of title and author we as potential readers have no clue what the book is about or if it fits our particular interests/style. It would be nice to see the titles be clickable links to more info about the works, and maybe even include things like commentary from the Hugo group about what in the book helped it to win the Hugo award for that year etc. Maybe a place whether others can review the book.

        Just my two bits.

        • Kevin says:

          While your idea has merit, doing the necessary maintenance — and make no mistake about it, such a task would require considerable ongoing maintenance to keep up with the changes — is beyond the resources that we have here. Everyone here at TheHugoAwards.org, just like everyone else who works on Worldcon and its related activities, are volunteers with only so much time we can spend on these things. Are you volunteering to go collect the necessary links and keep them all maintained?

          Heck, even the Academy Awards do not include the kinds of links you suggest, and they have significantly more resources than we do.

  22. Kathleen Hopper says:

    I mean absolutely no disrespect to Robert Jordan (James Rigney Jr.), his family or fans or to Brandon Sanderson, but how does The Wheel of Time qualify as an individual work, single book or film?

    Per your rules:

    “There are three main types of Hugo Award category:
    1.Individual works, for example a single book or film, in which case the Award is given for that work:

    “Year of Eligibility
    All Awards are given for work in a given year. Individual works are eligible only in their first year of publication.”

    “The Categories
    The current list of Hugo Award categories is as follows:
    ◾Best Novel: Awarded for a science fiction or fantasy story of forty thousand (40,000) words or more.”

    The Wheel of Time encompasses 15 books (including the prequel) with the first publication date recorded as January 1990 and the last as January 2013.

    I would be entirely in favor of a Special Category being created, such as “Best Series of Novels” or “Lifetime Achievement” or “Novel Quotes Still Viable 30 Years After Publication.” However, to allow the nomination of a series of books appears to be against your stated rules.

    When you are ready to add a “Best Series of Novels” or “Lifetime Achievement” category, I would like to nominate Anne McCaffrey and her much loved Dragonriders of Pern, Brain & Brawn Ship and Talents series as a perennial candidate.

    • Kevin says:

      As we pointed out in the 2014 Hugo Award finalist listing, “The Wheel of Time series was nominated as and ruled to be a multi-part serialized single work, as defined in Section 3.2.4 of the WSFS constitution.”

      Please bear in mind that what you’re citing as quotation from our web site is a summary of the actual rules of the World Science Fiction Society as listed in the WSFS Constitution. As we say on the categories page, “In case of any ambiguity, the Constitution does, of course, take precedence.” The members of WSFS nominated the work, and this year’s Hugo Award Administrator (remember, those of us here at the web site don’t administer the awards; that’s done by each year’s Worldcon committee) did not overrule the will of the voters that inasmuch as none of the individual elements of the story had ever been nominated, the entire book series was a single serialized work as defined in the WSFS Constitution. There is ample precedent for multi-part serialized works to be nominated (albeit that a serialization has never actually spanned such a long period of time; most serials have at most crossed between two calendar years), which is why Section 3.2.4 is in the Constitution in the first place. (See the section about Serialized Works also located on the page you cited in your question.)

      This decision is final and cannot be appealed, nor will we continue to argue it here. We are only reporting what the 2014 Hugo Award Administrator did in response to the will of the voters of the World Science Fiction Society.

      • Kathleen Hopper says:

        The link you provided was for the 9/2/2012 Constitution (http://www.wsfs.org/bm/const-2013.pdf). The section you quoted was 3.2.6 in the 9/2/2012 version:

        3.2.4: A work shall not be eligible if in a prior year it received sufficient nominations to appear on the final award ballot.

        3.2.6: Works appearing in a series are eligible as individual works, but the series as a whole is not eligible. However, a work appearing in a number of parts shall be eligible for the year of the final part.

        I don’t find a copy of the 2014 Constitution from the 2013 convention linked to the website or by web search.

        • Kevin says:

          Now that’s very strange! When I checked that link, it was pointing to the correct version (as of the end of the 2013 Worldcon), and by the WSFS naming convention that should be the correct file (as of end of 2013 Worldcon), but it certainly is not now. (We here at TheHugoAwards.org do not have direct access behind the scenes of the wsfs.org web site, so I’ll send a message to that site’s webmaster to try and straighten that out.) In the meantime, Loncon 3 has the current (as of the end of the 2013 Worldcon) WSFS Constitution on their web site, and I’ll correct the reference here on the 2014 Hugo page.

          It appears that the plain HTML version at is correct, but the PDF is still accidentally pointing to the previous year’s version.

          My apologies for the confusion, and thank you for pointing out the issue.

  23. Ray says:

    We have a Hugo award trophy with the name Honey Wood on it. I searched through the years and found a Wally Wood awarded one in 1960 and the trophy is the same as I have. Is there a market for these older trophies?

    • Kevin says:

      Ray:

      We are researching what you may have and am trying to direct other groups who are more likely to know specifics to you.

      Kevin Standlee
      Hugo Awards Marketing Committee

    • Ray,

      Do you have any pictures you could send me (tim at smofs dot org) please?

      Also, are you looking to sell or for a valuation? If selling, I’m interested in buying.

      Tim

    • Progress to date: Honey Wood does not appear (as you found) as a winner of either the fan writer or fanzine Hugo. She was, however, secretary of the 1955 Worldcon (Fancy entry here: http://fancyclopedia.org/honey-wood ) so we suspect (subject to pictures) that this is an award made by the 1955 Committee using the Hugo trophy.

      As such, this is almost more interesting if less valuable than a Hugo.

      There is no usual market for these, but I’d certainly pay $100 for it, if it is what we think.

  24. Ray Kirchner says:

    Thanks Kevin

  25. Nicole Wilson says:

    The Hugo Award Voter Packet is available until August 1st. Does that mean that the already downloaded books will erase after August 1st or does it only mean that materials will no longer be downloadable after that time?

    Thank you,
    Nicole

    • Dave McCarty says:

      The materials in the packet are standard e-reader and PDF documents, they will not erase themselves. Items in the packet are only available to voters to download and only while the voting period is open. Once the voting period closes, the download functions will be disabled.

      It is possible this technology could change in future years, this is how it is done now.

  26. Ray says:

    Thanks Tim…I will check with the owner. Her name/nickname is Honey and she is in her 80′s.

    Ray

  27. Ray Kirchner says:

    Thank you Kevin.

    Ray

  28. Will Andy Weir’s book The Martian be eligible for the Hugo Award in 2015? It was originally indie-published, but then published by a commercial press in 2014. The rules seem unclear about this.

    • Kevin says:

      You’ll need to address your question directly to the 2015 Hugo Administrator (Select “Hugo Administrator” from the Committee List) to get a definite answer to this; however, the Hugo Award rules are pretty clear about the fact that first publication is what starts a work’s “clock.” The fact that a work is self-published, published by a small press, or by a large press isn’t relevant. Publication date is publication date, regardless of who publishes it.

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