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.

337 Responses to Ask a Question

  1. Ian:

    I’ve just been talking to the head of programming for Anticipation. I shall now send you email.

  2. naimah says:

    does the hugo awards have any criteria for choosing the best short story winner? i mean aside from the votes coming from anyone else, don’t they have list of criteria like is the work shows universality, sincerity, etc….

  3. Naimah:

    The criteria is that it has to be a work of SF/F published during the relevant period, and that the members of WSFS have to vote for it. That is all. There are no other criteria.

  4. Jack Koller says:

    Did J Michael Straczynski even win a Hugo for Babylon 5?

  5. Jack:

    Yes, in 1996 and 1997. I understand (although I’ve not seen it myself) that one of the Hugo trophies actually appears in an episode sitting on a shelf.

  6. Alan says:

    When and where are the awards for this year?

  7. Alan:

    The 2009 Hugo Awards will be at the 2009 World Science Fiction Convention, Anticipation, which will be August 6-10, 2009 in Montreal, Canada. The Hugo Award Ceremony is currently scheduled for the evening of Saturday, August 9.

  8. Hello, my name is Mr. Shannon LeJuan Clements and I am the proud author of The Star Explorer: The Discovery. How are you doiong today? Fine I hope. The reason why I am contacting you is because I wanted to know if a person has to be present in order to be nominated or win a Hugo award. Please respond.

  9. Shannon:

    No, you do not need to be present at any event or be a member of the World Science Fiction Convention to be nominated or to win a Hugo Awards. The nominations are made by and the final results decided by the members of the annual Worldcon, but anyone can be nominated or win an award.

  10. Don Thomas says:

    Hellow!
    If I were between the 15 nominated or
    winners for publishing their works…
    which the rights and rules of publishing could be there?
    Inform me, please.
    Thank you very much.

  11. Brenda says:

    Why are you letting one of your judges vote on a bunch of shows they haven’t seen?

    http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3163990

    That forum may be members only, so I’ll quote. This is forums member Parahexavoctal:

    I’m a registered member of Anticipation, the 67th annual World Science Fiction Convention; as such, I’m one of the people voting on the Hugo Awards.

    One of the categories is “Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)”; the problem is that I don’t have a TV, and so I haven’t seen any of the nominees.

    So tell me, goons: which of these nominees deserves to have my vote for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) of 2008, and why? Bear in mind, this is a ranked vote — that is, I’m going to vote for what I (you) think is the best, the second best, and so on up to the sixth best — so put them in some kind of order.

    THE NOMINEES:

    “The Constant,” (Lost) Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof, writers; Jack Bender, director (Bad Robot, ABC studios)

    Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog Joss Whedon, & Zack Whedon, & Jed Whedon, & Maurissa Tancharoen, writers; Joss Whedon, director (Mutant Enemy)

    “Revelations,” (Battlestar Galactica) Bradley Thompson & David Weddle, writers; Michael Rymer, director (NBC Universal)

    “Silence in the Library” / “Forest of the Dead,” (Doctor Who) Steven Moffat, writer; Euros Lyn, director (BBVOC Wales)

    “Turn Left,” (Doctor Who) Russell T. Davies, writer; Graeme Harper, director (BBC Wales)

    and the classic “No Award”, which quite simply means that none of the nominees deserves to win. Even if you rank “No Award” first, the others should be ranked as well.

    The vote deadline is 23:59 EST, July 3; let the arguments begin.

  12. Brenda says:

    And in case it helps you identify the culprit or eliminate the fraudulent vote, here’s the outcome from the same thread:

    …. and I have voted.

    (5) “The Constant,” (Lost) Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof, writers; Jack Bender, director (Bad Robot, ABC studios)
    (3) Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog Joss Whedon, & Zack Whedon, & Jed Whedon, & Maurissa Tancharoen, writers; Joss Whedon, director (Mutant Enemy)
    (1) “Revelations,” (Battlestar Galactica) Bradley Thompson & David Weddle, writers; Michael Rymer, director (NBC Universal)
    (4) “Silence in the Library” / “Forest of the Dead,” (Doctor Who) Steven Moffat, writer; Euros Lyn, director (BBC Wales)
    (2) “Turn Left,” (Doctor Who) Russell T. Davies, writer; Graeme Harper, director (BBC Wales)

    Thank you for your opinions; I did indeed use them as a (partial) basis for how to vote.

  13. Don:

    There are no specific rules for that situation, other than that you should not refer to a work or person as a “nominee” unless that work or person appeared on the final ballot.

  14. Brenda:

    The Hugo Awards are a popular vote award. The only requirement for having a vote is that you become a member of the World Science Fiction Society by joining the current year’s Worldcon. You do not have to be honest or diligent, and indeed it would be impossible to enforce such a requirement.

    In this particular case the person you describe has at least made an effort to judge the quality of the works. But anyone could vote without seeing/reading the nominees and we would never know. We assume, however, that with hundreds of people eligible to vote, the honest and diligent efforts of the majority will drown out the actions of any “bad apples”.

  15. Mike Glyer says:

    The administrator should correct the misinformation posted about Forry’s 1953 Hugo here http://www.thehugoawards.org/ask-a-question/#comment-198

  16. Mike:

    Done; however, because the original (but wrong) answer is sufficiently old, I struck out our mistaken answer but left the struck-through information visible so that anyone coming back later would understand that we had made a correction nearly a year later.

  17. Andrew says:

    Why was there no winner in 1977?

  18. Andrew:

    In the 1977 Hugo Awards, there was no winner in the category Best Dramatic Presentation because the voters selected “No Award” as the winner. Under WSFS rules, “No Award” always appears on the ballot, and if it wins, no Hugo Award is presented in that category.

    There were Hugo Awards in the other categories in 1997.

  19. Any word on the list of other things that were nominated for Hugos this year, but didn’t make the top five?

  20. Ian:

    Read our post announcing the results, which was posted shortly after the ceremony. Note that at the bottom of the announcement are links to the voting breakdowns and nomination information.

  21. Hello. I have a question about last year’s nominations. I am aware that my novel, “Solfleet: The Timeshift Saga, The Call of Duty, Book One of the Excalibur Trilogy” received nominatons–in two catagories I believe. As it turned out, it was not eligible. I understand and that’s okay, but I was wondering if you could let me know how many total nominations it received, just to satisfy my curiosity? I’d prefer an answer by e-mail if possible. Thanks.

  22. Glenn:

    Examining the 2008 Hugo Award Nominations data, I cannot find your work listed. This means that the work did not receive sufficient nomination votes to place 15th or higher. Worldcons are only obliged to disclose placements down to 15th, although they may go lower if they so choose (this year’s Worldcon did so). Therefore, I’m afraid we don’t have an answer to your question other than “fewer than 19 nominations,” that being what it took to make the top 15.

    (Posted and e-mailed)

  23. Terry Rosiello says:

    I know that the Hugo Award is given for the best science fiction,horror,fantasy etc. I would rather the award be given for science fiction only. A few years ago the Hugo was awarded to one of the Harry Potter novels & this year to The Graveyard Book.Regardless of how well written or acclaimed these books are,they are written for children/young adults. I am aware that adults have read these titles & nominated them for the Hugo Award but I don’t agree that they should be allowed to be nominated for an award that started out as an award for the best science fiction.Every year I look forward to reading the Hugo winner & the nominees.I did read American Gods & it was fantastic(& written for adults) but I will not be reading the Potter novels nor the latest Neil Gaiman Hugo winner.Very disappointed.

  24. Terry:

    In fact, if you examine the actual history of the Hugo Award, you’ll discover that it has never been exclusively for science fiction. Ever since the award’s rules have been codified, it has been for “science fiction and fantasy,” regardless of the fact that the nominal official name of the award was “Science Fiction Achievement Award.” (A name since abandoned as official by the World Science Fiction Society. The official name of the Hugo Award is “Hugo Award.”)

    You say that certain works “should not be allowed to be nominated.” I take it that you mean someone should decide, “These works aren’t science fiction, and thus should be disqualified.” Is that correct? If so, then who should decide? What would you do if an administrator disqualified a work as “not sufficiently science fictional” that you personally believed to be SF?

    Because of the extremely thorny issues involved, it has been the practice of WSFS to allow the members of the organization, through the nominating ballot, to decide that works have enough SF (or F) in them to be eligible. Administrative decisions are limited to publication date and length of work. Decision on a work’s “worthiness” are left up to the members who vote.

    You are of course welcome to attend Worldcon and propose changes to how the Awards are administered. There’s no Board of Directors or mysterious “they” you have to persuade. Every person represents him/herself and nobody else. All you have to do is join and participate.

  25. Graeme Harper says:

    Hi, My name is Graeme Harper, I am a Director and I Directed a DR WHO special titled “THE WATERS OF MARS”.

    I was thrilled to have been one of the winners of the HUGO AWARD for this Story but I have never received the award.
    As I live in England I imagine there would be some delay in getting it halfway across the world, but it is several months now since the award ceremony took place in Australia 2010, I am dying to have this award on my mantlepiece, has it got lost?

    With best wishes

    Graeme Harper TV DIRECTOR

    • Kevin says:

      Mr. Harper:

      We will forward your comment to the administrators of the 2010 Hugo Awards. Each year’s Worldcon administers the Awards, including the delivery of trophies.

  26. mike says:

    What happened to the question/comments I posted about the semipro magazine award?

  27. Kevin says:

    Mike @78:

    I don’t know. It may have been inadvertently eaten by the spam-trap. (We receive dozens, if not hundreds, of spam posts for every real one.) Can you re-post the question? You might want to also send a copy of it to info@thehugoawards.org to make it less likely to be overlooked. Sorry about that.

  28. Kennie says:

    Why is the Hugo award important? I’m just interested

  29. René says:

    Kennie, the short answer is that the Hugos are an award that’s been around for about six decades. They are widely respected in the industry. A large majority of early winners are also considered classics today and receiving a Hugo is often considered a sign that the winning work is a good example of the best the genre has to offer.

    The long answer can be found reading and viewing the winning works; this is something many people do. Exploring this website may also be a good idea, we’ll be happy to answer any specific questions to the best of our ability.

  30. Hello,

    My name is Deborah M Pratt and I wanted to know the best way to make the Hugo Society aware of my work. I would like to submit “The Vision Quest” and possibly a short I am shooting based on the world of the books call, “Warrior One”.

    I was Co-Executive Producer and Headwriter of a TV series called “Quantum Leap”, I took the last 9 years to write “The Vision Quest”. I opted to self publish to keep the style of and spirit of the content true to what inspired me in the first place. We received over 400,000 thousand hits to the website last year and have garnered readers from across America and as far away as New Zealand, Canada, Europe and South Africa. The response to the book has been powerful because, what is being discovered in this science fantasy is a deep spirituality and new vision.

    I am a new member and signed up to attend this August. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to facilitate a place for “The Vision Quest” and warrior One” at the Hugos.

    Honor and Light,

    • Kevin says:

      Ms. Pratt:

      There is no “submission process” for the Hugo Awards. The fuller version of this is in our submitting your work page. The way you get nominated for a Hugo Award is for your work to come to the attention of a sufficient number of the members of the Worldcon who think it worthy of being nominated. There is no judging panel or submission process.

  31. Dave Arland says:

    I’m hunting for information about the 1967 Hugo Awards (where STAR TREK won a Hugo.) Where was the convention held? Were there articles written about the winners, etc. ?

  32. Kevin says:

    Dave:

    Listings for each year’s Awards are on the Hugo History page. Specifically, the 1967 Hugo Awards were presented in New York City (“NyCon 3”). We do not have historical archives of articles written about the Awards.

    1967 was only the first time that an episode of Star Trek won a Hugo Award. An episode won the following year as well, and an episode of ST:TNG won in 1993.

  33. Raskolnikov says:

    Do you have a sense of when the shortlist results will be posted? Is it likely to be in the near future, or is that not yet known? Any specific date when ballot counting can be expected to be completed?

  34. René says:

    Renovation, the current Worldcon is in charge of administering this year’s Hugos. Their website is the best place to find the answer to your question, specifically on this page:
    http://renovationsf.org/hugo-intro.php

  35. Evan Filipek says:

    My name is Evan Filipek and I am compling and editing a SF/F anthology with PIERS ANTHONY of his favorite SF/F stories from his formative years as an author. I am in the process of aquiring rights from the various authors and their estates. I have had definite success with some, varrying luck with others and hit a brick wall with several, who happen to be HUGO winners. I am hoping you could point me in the direction of contact info for their estates:ROG PHILLIPS,JACK WILLIAMSON,JAMES GUNN, WALTER MILLER JR., THODORE STURGEON ISAAC ASIMOV (this one should be easy but is giving me trouble!!), PETER PHILLIPS, & GARY JENNINGS. Thanks for your time & consideration
    Most Sincerely,
    Evan Filipek (i can furnish my phone number on request)

  36. Kevin says:

    Evan:

    The Hugo Awards (and the World Science Fiction Society and the individual Worldcons that present the Hugo Awards) are not involved with rights management. You might consider contacting the Science Fiction Writers of America; they might be able to connect you with various literary estates.

  37. Evan Filipek says:

    Done!! Thanks!

  38. In the semiprozine rules, one of the possible criteria for qualification is “had an average press run of at least one thousand (1000) copies per issue.” Does this require physical printing, or would 1000 subscribers to an electronic edition be counted as equivalent?

    Another possible criterion is “paid its contributors and/or staff in other than copies of the publication.” The “and/or” leaves some ambiguity. Imagine three zines:
    Zine A has no contributors, but has staff.
    Zine B has both staff and contributors.
    Zine C has contributors, but no staff.

    If Zine A pays its staff money, it clearly fulfills the criterion. Likewise, if Zine C pays its contributors money, it fulfills the criterion.

    If Zine B pays money to both its staff and its contributors, it clearly fulfills the criterion. But what if it pays money only to its contributors (or only to its staff)?

  39. Kevin says:

    Eric:

    This is a murky area, but given the history of the category and the works that have been nominated and won, such as Clarkesworld (which doesn’t have paper copies), it is clear that no work is going to be disqualified simply because it doesn’t print paper copies.

    Also bear in mind that there are some very significant changes to the Semiprozine category based on the Report of the Special Committee on Semiprozines that were given first passage this the 2011 Worldcon and that will be up for ratification at the 2012 Worldcon. The existing criteria will be completely rewritten, and the issues you raise will be moot.

    In practice, the questions are moot anyway, because historically no Hugo Administrator has tried to narrowly apply the criteria. In general, semiprozines have been what the voters pointed at when they nominated.

  40. Kelley says:

    How many Hugo Awards are given out in a year?

    • Kevin says:

      Kelley:

      As of 2011, there are 15 Hugo Award categories. The number of categories and their definitions are listed in the constitution of the World Science Fiction Society. The WSFS Constitution as of the start of the 2011 Worldcon is available on the Renovation web site here. The number and definition of categories can be changed by the WSFS Business Meeting (see Changing the Rules for more details). For example, the 2011 WSFS Business Meeting passed an amendment that, if ratified by the 2012 WSFS Business Meeting in Chicago, would add a new category called “Best Fancast,” for podcasts and other serial A/V productions of a fannish nature, separating such works from the existing Best Semiprozine category.

      Besides the current 15 permanent categories, Worldcon committees are authorized to add one-shot Additional Categories which are awarded in the same way as the permanent categories.

  41. Vaughn Collar says:

    In or around 1972-74, I remember reading a novella in a book containing Hugo award winnings novella and short stories. This book was purchased through a book club. The story line is one of a post-apocalptic word where religion dictates everything, and mutations are shunned and/or killed. I do not remember the name of the story or even the author; I do remember that the main characters were physic, and the main female characters name was Rosalind; also these characters were rescued from death by a ship from New Zealand. This story, along with Edgar Rice Burroughs, turned me on to sci-fi. Can you help with this?

  42. Rene says:

    It sounds like “The Chrysalids” by John Wyndham (it also came out under different titles)

  43. David Brain says:

    Why are they called Hugo awards? Who is Hugo?

    • Kevin says:

      David:

      The Hugo Awards are named after Hugo Gernsback, a seminal figure in the foundation of modern magazine science fiction. See our FAQ for further information.

  44. Jing Zhang says:

    I’m doing graduate research on fanzines in the 1970s. Do you keep archives of past entry forms? If so, where are they kept and who can I contact to view those archives?

    • Kevin says:

      There are no “entry forms” for the Hugo Awards. You do not submit your work for a Hugo Award or enter a contest. We have a two-stage selection process, whereby in the first stage (nominating), members of the Worldcon nominate works for the Hugo Award, and in the second stage (final ballot), the works that received the most nominations are voted upon by the members of Worldcon. For more information about how the process works, see our discussion of the Hugo Award Voting System.

      We do not keep an archive of the nominating ballots for the Hugo Awards; however, the Hugo Awards History page for each year lists not just the winner, but also the nominees, and when available (only about the last ten years or so) the “They Also Ran” information listing the other candidates in the top fifteen nominations.

      Original response March 19, 2012, updated and elaborated March 31, 2012

  45. Jing Zhang says:

    Thank you Kevin for your previous response. I have a quick follow-up question. How long has this two-stage selection process been in place? Is the process you’re currently employing the same one since the inception of the Hugo Awards?

  46. Jing Zhang says:

    One more thing (sorry, I just remembered this), is the process to add categories and change rules in general also the same historically? Can I infer that the current process as described on this site is the same one used when fanzines were added as a category? Do you know where I can find any sort of information on how/why they were added? Sorry to bother you with all these questions, but they could really help me with my project. Thanks again.

  47. Kevin says:

    The two-stage process has been in place almost, but not quite, from the beginning of the creation of the Hugo Awards. The first year was a simpler one-stage process where you wrote in your favorite work, with no nominations, and the winner was the work with a plurality of votes. Beginning in 1959, the two-stage nominations/voting process was adopted and has been substantially unchanged since then.

    The early Hugo Award categories were decided by the individual Worldcons at their own discretion. Later (after 1963, when the first WSFS Constitution was adopted), the WSFS Constitution included formal rules for the Hugo Awards, with the control over the categories in the hands of the members, not the organizing committees.

    Update: Thanks to WSFS scholar Ben Yalow, we now have an article on this site called “A Short History of the Hugo Awards Process,” which I think addresses your questions.

  48. SJ Parkinson says:

    Good Day,

    Your FAQ’s say that to be considered a book must be “published”. Are self-published e-books considered as potential nominees or must the publication be through a traditional publisher? I ask this as I only see novels on your list published through TOR, Del Ray, Orbit, etc.

    Can you clairfy?

    Thank you for a very well put together and informative web site.

    Regards,

    SJ Parkinson

    • Kevin says:

      “Published” means “published.” It doesn’t mean “printed and distributed by a traditional publisher.” Works are not disqualified because they are (for example) self-published or published in non-print venues. For example, three of the four nominees for Best Short Story in the 2011 Hugo Awards were published electronically, not through “traditional” print magazines.

      Works are not disqualified for being published in “non-traditional” formats. However, works have to get enough nominations from the voters to make the ballot, so if the voters don’t nominate such works, the works won’t appear on the ballot.

      We’ve added your question and a version of this answer to our Frequently Asked Questions list. Thanks for contributing.

  49. Griffin says:

    Is there a resource on the site for learning about Hugo-winning minority authors/creators? I am aware of the awards given to Samuel R. Delany, Octavia Butler, and Ted Chiang, but would like to know more still.

    • Kevin says:

      Griffin:

      We do not include any demographic information such as gender, ethnicity, residency, etc. about any Hugo Award winners. We list the winners’ names.

  50. shamal says:

    Has there ever been an african american winner for best novel?

    • Kevin says:

      Shamal: We don’t collect demographic details about winners, including race, gender, residence, or anything else about them. We collect the winners’ names.

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