2021 Hugo Award Finalists Announced

DisCon III, the 79th World Science Fiction Convention, announced on April 13, 2021 the finalists for the 2021 Hugo Awards, Astounding Award for Best New Writer, and Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book in a YouTube video hosted by Ulysses Campbell, Malka Older, and Sheree Renée Thomas. The full list of finalists is on the 2021 Hugo Awards page.

There were 1249 valid nominating ballots (1246 electronic and 3 paper) received and counted from the members of the 2020 and 2021 World Science Fiction Conventions for the 2021 Hugo Awards. Voting on the final ballot will open later in April. Due to the postponement of DisCon III from their original date in August to December 15-19, 2021, voting will close on November 19, 2021.

Only DisCon III members will be able to vote on the final ballot and choose the winners for the 2021 Awards. If you are not already a member, you can join the convention through the DisCon III website. You must be at least a supporting member in order to participate in the Hugo Awards.

The 2021 Hugo Award base will be designed by Sebastian Martorana. You can see examples of his work on his website. The 2021 Lodestar Award will once again be designed by Sara Felix, president of the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists.

More information about the 2021 Hugo Awards is available on the DisCon III website Hugo Awards page. Questions about the 2021 Hugo Awards process should be directed to hugohelp@discon3.org. Please do not submit questions to the Hugo Awards website, as we do not administer the Hugo Awards and can only pass your questions on to the award administrators.

DisCon III to Include Best Video Game Category in 2021 Hugo Awards

DisCon III, the 79th World Science Fiction Convention, announced on November 23, 2020 that they will include a Best Video Game category in the 2021 Hugo Awards.

As stated in their announcement:

An eligible work for the 2021 special Hugo award is any game or substantial modification of a game first released to the public on a major gaming platform in the previous calendar year in the fields of science fiction, fantasy, or related subjects.

For these purposes, a game is defined as a work wherein player choice, interaction, or participation significantly impacts the narrative, play, meaning, or experience. A major gaming platform means that the game is available on personal computers such as Windows, Mac, or Linux computers (including, but not limited to, via Steam, Epic, itch.io, browser, or direct download), iOS, Android, Switch, PlayStation, and/or Xbox systems. This definition will be provided as part of the nominating and voting ballots.

Members of the 2020 Worldcon (CoNZealand) and the 2021 Worldcon (DisCon III) as of December 31, 2020 may nominate works for the 2021 Hugo Awards, including for the special Best Video Game category. In general, including this special category, works first published in 2020 are eligible for the 2021 Hugo Awards. Nominations open in early 2021. Those works receiving sufficient nominations will go on to a final ballot, where only members of the 2021 Worldcon (DisCon III) may vote. Both attending and supporting members of Worldcon may nominate and vote on the Hugo Awards.

The World Science Fiction Society (WSFS) bylaws (section 3.3.19) allow Worldcons to add one special category to the Hugo Awards presented by that Worldcon. The special category is administered like all of the permanent categories, and is treated the same as all of the permanent categories, including the winner receiving the same trophy as all other categories. A special category does not create an ongoing new category. Permanent categories can only be created by the members of WSFS voting at two consecutive WSFS Business Meetings (held at each Worldcon, and open to all attending members) to add a new category.

While there is no permanent category for video games in the Hugo Awards, a committee of the WSFS Business Meeting has been studying the possibility of adding such a category for several years now. The 2006 Worldcon (L.A.con IV), offered a Best Interactive Video Game category using their special-category authority for the 2006 Hugo Awards, but dropped it from the final ballot due to lack of interest.

Each Worldcon administers the Hugo Awards presented at their convention. The Hugo Awards are not administered by the Hugo Awards web site. Direct any questions about the Best Video Game category or anything else about the 2021 Hugo Awards to the Discon III 2021 Hugo Awards Administration Subcommittee.

Helsinki to Trial Best Series

Worldcon 75 in Helsinki has announced that it will use its special powers to create one Hugo Award category to trial the proposed Best Series Hugo. This is in line with current tradition whereby seated Worldcons use their category creation power to test proposed new categories that have passed one Business Meeting and are up for ratification at the Worldcon in question. This gives members of WSFS an opportunity to see the category in action before voting on ratification.

The full text of the Worldcon 75 press release is as follows:
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