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.

267 Responses to Ask a Question

  1. Laura says:

    Is this the most current version of the WSFS Constitution available online?

    http://www.wsfs.org/bm/const-2014.html

    • Kevin says:

      Yes, for now. The Business Meeting staff from 2015 are reviewing the minutes of this year’s meeting in order to certify forward the 2015-16 version of the WSFS Constitution for use by next year’s Worldcon. When they have done so, the 2015-16 version will be posted on the MidAmericon II (2016 Worldcon) web site.

      The WSFS.org web site is on the verge of a complete rewrite, and we’re not certain that we’ll actually post the 2015-16 Constitution on wsfs.org until we do the revamp. We do not yet have a schedule for when we will do the revamp, however, as it depends on when our volunteer webmasters have the time to do some heavy electronic lifting.

      All of the amendments passed on to the 2015 Worldcon for ratification received final ratification except the “Popular Ratification” proposal, so you can see what the changes to the Constitution are by combining the 2014-15 version at wsfs.org with the Business Passed On also on the same page.

  2. Laura says:

    Thank you for such a thorough reply!

    (FYI, the link to the constitution from your Hugo Award Categories page is from the LoneStarCon3 site and dated 2012. That’s what prompted my search.)

    • Kevin says:

      Thanks for pointing that out. I’ve updated that page to point to the WSFS rules page and included a note warning people that TheHugoAwards.org, WSFS.org, and individual Worldcons’ web sites are maintained separately from each other and are not necessarily updated on a coordinated schedule because Worldcons are so decentralized and because WSFS doesn’t have a “central office” that runs everything.

  3. Y. C. says:

    I’ve read that the song “In the Year 2525” was nominated for a Hugo Award. Has a Hugo Award ever been given to any music? In looking briefly over the categories and searching at this site, I get no returns for “music” at all and see no evidence of music having been awarded a Hugo Award. Thank you in advance for your reply.

    • Kevin says:

      There is no specific music category. The CD Wicked Girls was a finalist in the 2012 Hugo Awards in Best Related Work. No work of music has ever won a Hugo Award. In the Year 2525 was not shortlisted for a Hugo Award.

      The 1994 WSFS Business Meeting considered, but rejected, a proposal to add a “Best Music” category. The 1995 Worldcon trialed a Best Music category, but withdrew it due to lack of interest (insufficient nominations). There have been no attempts since then to add a separate Best Music category. Any two or more members of the current Worldcon may submit proposed to changes to the WSFS rules including adding Hugo Award categories. See Changing the Rules for more information on the process.

  4. Nana says:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2328813/releaseinfo

    Is the Russian film “Hard to Be a God” eligible or would it have needed a vote to have its run extended?

    • Kevin says:

      From the IMDB information, it would appear that the work has exhausted its eligibility. It was first eligible for the 2014 Hugo Awards (first showing in 2013), then again for the 2015 Hugo Awards (first US showing). If it has not yet appeared in an English-language version, it has one more shot (first English-language version generates a new eligibility); however, it it has already appeared prior to 2015 in English, it is no longer eligible and would have needed an eligibility-extension resolution in 2015.

  5. Samuel Pigott says:

    How old do you have to be to submit work?

    • Kevin says:

      You don’t “submit work” for the Hugo Awards. See Submitting Your Work for more details.

      There is no age limit for either Hugo Award nominees or for people to make nominations. Any person of any age can be nominated for a Hugo Award. Any person of any age can nominate works or people for Hugo Awards.

  6. Nana says:

    Add this site to the sidebar?

    https://hugorecommend.wordpress.com/

    I think it can be assumed that it’ll change with each passing year.

  7. Eric Wong says:

    Is it true that a professional artist can be nominated with one work, but must have three works published to accept a nomination?

    WSFS constitution section 3.3.11: Best Professional Artist. An illustrator whose work has appeared in a professional publication in the field of science fiction or fantasy during the previous calendar year.

    WSFS constitution section 3.9.2: In the Best Professional Artist category, the acceptance should include citations of at least three (3) works first published in the eligible year.

    If so, do those three works all have to be science fiction or fantasy?

    • Kevin says:

      The wording at 3.9.2 has never been “tested,” in the sense that no administrator has ever disqualified an artist for having failed to meet the letter of the wording. The wording “should” (as opposed to “must”) is permissive, and appears to permit an administrator to permit an acceptance that does not include such examples.

      For specific guidance as to how any particular administrator will interpret this rule, you must contact the current year’s Hugo Award administrators, because they are the ones who actually make the calls. The Hugo Awards web site can provide advice and guidance, but nothing we publish here is definitive, and the final authority lies with the current Worldcon’s Hugo Awards Administration Subcommittee.

  8. Nana says:

    David Bowie’s death made me check to see if The Man Who Fell to Earth was nominated for a Hugo. Thankfully, it was, at the 1977 Hugos. Weird thing about that year though: no award won Best Dramatic Presentation. I mean, yeah, somehow Futureworld got nominated, but so were Carrie and Logan’s Run! What happened that year? Was there ever a reason given?

    • Kevin says:

      1977 was the last time before 2015 that No Award was presented in a category. It was the fifth time overall that the members of WSFS decided that none of the finalists deserved the Award. The reason, of course, was that a majority of the voters voted for No Award. There has been speculation that Star Wars [A New Hope], which had just premiered and would go on to win the 1978 Hugo Award, had had such an effect upon the voters that they rejected all of the 1977 Hugo Award finalists by comparison, even though Star Wars was not eligible for the 1977 Awards.

  9. Are books published by Amazon’s CreateSpace eligible for consideration?

    • Kevin says:

      Venue of publication is irrelevant. Electronically published works are eligible just like “paper” publications. So yes, books published through Amazon are eligible. So would a book you wrote and put up on your personal web site.

  10. Eliezer Yudkowsky says:

    Can a Hugo nominee slate be changed after electronic submission, this year?

    I wanted to remind my readers that HPMOR was Hugo-eligible this year, but I thought I had until February 1st to do so. If one of my readers forgets about that and submits their nominee slate immediately, will they get a second chance to resubmit the slate?

    Also, as a statistical matter, how many people submit their Hugo ballots as soon as voting opens, versus submitting them at least a week later? If you happen to know.

    • Kevin says:

      Each year’s Hugo Awards is administered by the individual Worldcon. We do not know whether this year’s Worldcon will use the same system as last year, which allowed people to change their votes until the final deadline. Contact this year’s Hugo Awards administrators at MidAmericon II with questions about how they plan to administer the awards.

      There are no rules about when nominations open. Worldcons can open Hugo nominations whenever they want to do so. Paper ballots have been available for several weeks now.

      To our knowledge, nobody has accumulated any statistics about when members submit their ballots.

  11. Laura says:

    Question about Best Graphic Story:

    For a volume published in 2015 which collects issues which were all previously published in 2014, is the volume then ineligible for the 2016 Hugo?

    • Kevin says:

      Correct. The collected material originally published in 2014 was eligible for the 2015 Hugo Awards. A compilation published in 2015 would not be eligible for the 2016 Hugo Awards, because it only includes previously-published material.

      This is notably the case for various webcomics, which are typically published in serial form, and in some cases then collected together in a printed collection in a subsequent year. Due to the serial-publication rule, the work is eligible when the final element of the work originally is published online, and a subsequent printed collection is not eligible at all.

      • Duane Brewster says:

        Question about: Due to the serial-publication rule, the work is eligible when the final element of the work originally is published online, and a subsequent printed collection is not eligible at all.

        Would the printed collection be eligible if it was published in the same year as the originally posted web art, say, the serialized web-graphic-novel was posted Jan — Dec and the entire collected work was published and released by Christmas of the same year?

        • Kevin says:

          The collection is never eligible on its own. The webcomic became eligible when the final part was published online, period. The printed collection is irrelevant.

          The rules for serialized works are the same regardless of whether the work is a piece of written fiction, a graphic story, or a dramatic presentation. The rule is Section 3.2.4 of the WSFS Constitution:

          3.2.4: 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.

          The rule is the same as for prose novels. Imagine a novel serialized in four issues of a magazine: July, August, September, and October 2014. The final part of the novel was published in the October 2014 issue. The novel is now complete and was eligible for the 2015 Hugo Awards. Subsequently, the four parts of the novel were collected together and published on their own as a standalone novel. The standalone novel is never eligible on its own, regardless of whether it was published in December 2014 or January 2016, because novel as a work became eligible upon the publication of the October 2014 issue of the magazine that serialized it.

          • Laura says:

            Now I’m confused. Last year’s Best Graphic Story was Ms. Marvel vol. 1 published Oct. 2014. It collected issues 1-5 which were published Feb. to June 2014.

          • Kevin says:

            Yes, that’s fine. The five issues were a serialized work, the last part of which was originally published in June 2014, and therefore was eligible for the 2015 Hugo Awards. They had a collective title of “Ms. Marvel Volume 1.” This is similar to how (to give an example of another Graphic Story winner) the Girl Genius webcomics are divided into books, and when the final page of the webcomic is published online, it starts the eligibility clock on that collection, even if the collection itself does not appear in printed paper form until the following year.

          • Duane Brewster says:

            So basically, the printed form of the web-novel is never eligible for nomination. Just the final posted “chapter,” “book,” or “serialized” section as it appeared on the web?

          • Kevin says:

            That is correct. The principle involved here is that the same work is generally not eligible multiple times. A serialized work (regardless of medium of release) is considered the same work even if subsequently collected and reprinted in a different medium.

  12. I was wondering if nominations for the Best Editor, Short Form categories must be a single individual, or if paired co-editors could be nominated as a single entity, as long as they have co-edited four anthologies with at least one of those four published in the appropriate year. Thanks.

    • Kevin says:

      It is unclear whether a pair of editors can be nominated as a single “entity.” You could ask the 2016 Hugo Award Administrators; however, Administrators rarely give rulings on hypothetical cases. In practice, the only way to know is for enough people to nominate the pair as a single editor and force the Administrator to rule on the matter.

  13. My question is specific to two novels, and if I read the FAQ correctly they would be eligible to be nominated this year. They are Green Earth by Kim Stanley Robinson and The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. The former is a re-edited version of the previously published Science in the Capital Trilogy, and the latter was originally self-published two years ago, but then picked up by Harper/Voyager and released in print and e-book in August 2015. Am I correct in assuming these are eligible for nomination this year? If not, why?

    • Kevin says:

      Generally speaking, a work published in English in the USA gets only one shot at eligibility, regardless of medium of publication. That is, electronic publication is the same as paper publication. (You may be unaware that it took years to make it clear that electronic publication counted at all. There were many years in which people argued that a work published only electronically wasn’t really “published” at all.) However, if a work is substantially revised, it can be considered newly eligible. For example, both the short and long versions of Flowers for Algernon were Hugo Award finalists in different years and one version won. In addition, there is no distinction between “self published” and published by a “big publisher.” A work is published no matter who publishes it. There is no “approved publisher list” or anything of that nature.

      The cases you cite are sufficiently on the edge that we cannot give clear guidance. You could inquire of this year’s Hugo Award Administrators (hugoadmin@midamericon2.org). However, Administrators rarely make prospective rulings unless a work receives sufficient nominations to appear on the final ballot. That is, the Administrator is unlikely to decide whether either of the works you cite are actually eligible unless enough members nominated them that they might appear on the ballot.

    • Laura says:

      While the pub date is 2015, the copyright date shown in my Harper Voyager ebook of Becky Chambers’ book is 2014. However, Becky Chambers herself is definitely eligible for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer. She is listed on the award page (http://www.writertopia.com/awards/campbell) as being in her second year of eligibilty (another indication that her book is considered a 2014 work).

  14. Alenadro Ruiz Lara says:

    I want to participate in 2016 Hugo Contest with my science-fiction novel: Génesis and the five Arks, it is a Spanish fantasy and science-fiction novel that was published on 2015. My problem is that I can’t find the basis of the contest for this year (2016) and I don’t know where, how and when have I have to send the novel.
    Please answer if you can help me.
    Thank you

    • Kevin says:

      Alenadro:

      You do not send your novel to anyone. This is not a contest that you enter. You cannot “submit” a work for consideration for the Hugo Awards. Nominations for the Hugo Awards are submitted by the thousands of members of the World Science Fiction Society, and those five works in each category with the most nominations go on to a final ballot. There is no submission process.

      See our article regarding Submissions for more information.

  15. Joseph Teshuwah says:

    I see you have categories for novels, short stories, novelettes, and novellas. Besides word count, what are the differences between these categories of work? Are there specific criteria that make a piece of writing say a “novelette” instead of a “novella” or a “short story,” for instance? Thx

    • Kevin says:

      The categories are solely determined by length. Of course they have to be works of SF or Fantasy, but that is a judgement call by the people nominating works.

  16. Eunice says:

    hello,
    I ‘m from hong kong , I ‘ve published a novel , how can I participate yr contest ?
    pls kindly help advise with Thanks.
    wait yr prompt reply …

    • Kevin says:

      Eunice:

      The Hugo Awards are not a “contest” that you enter. There is no way to submit your work. Works are nominated by the thousands of members of the World Science Fiction Society. Read Submissions and The Voting System elsewhere on our site for more information.

      • Eunice says:

        hello , i just took a look about what u recommended me to see, noted that we can’t “walk in ” to submit my novel, instead your side have certain team will decide what is posed for nomination , then how can i let those party alert my novel , or no way in?

        • Kevin says:

          Eunice: There is no “certain team” that decides what is nominated. Every single member of the World Science Fiction Convention can nominate up to five works. There are thousands of members of the Worldcon. You don’t “submit” works. It sounds like you think that there is a small committee or jury that picks the works that are to be considered. There is no such committee. There is no jury. There were more than 15,000 people who were all eligible to make nominations for what they liked. About 4,000 people made nominations.

          The way you become a contender for the Hugo Award is to come to the attention of the thousands of members of the World Science Fiction Convention and convince them that they should nominate your work. We cannot give you advice as to how you would go about trying to market your work solely to the members of the Worldcon.

  17. Lexi says:

    Is there any prize to winning a Hugo award?

    • Kevin says:

      The winners of the Hugo Award receive a trophy. The trophy is a rocket on a base. The rocket design is constant, but each year’s Worldcon committee produces a base of its own choosing. We have a gallery of past trophies on the web site.

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