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:

The 75th World Science Fiction Convention, (“Worldcon”) taking place in Helsinki in August 2017, announced today that a special Hugo category for “Best Series” will be included in the 2017 Hugo Awards.

The Hugo Awards are the leading awards for excellence in the field of science fiction and fantasy, and have been presented at Worldcons since 1953. They are voted on by members of each year’s Worldcon.

Fans voted in August 2016 to trial a new Hugo award for “Best Series”, which could be added in 2018. Each Worldcon Committee has the authority to introduce a special category Hugo award, and Worldcon 75 has decided to test “Best Series” in 2017. This follows the precedent of the 2009 Worldcon, which trialed “Best Graphic Story” before it became a regular Hugo the following year. Fans at Worldcon 75 will be able to decide whether to ratify the “Best Series” for future years and suggest revisions to the award definition at the World Science Fiction Society Business Meeting held in Helsinki during the convention.

Nicholas Whyte, Worldcon 75 Hugo administrator, said, “The proposed Hugo for “Best Series” is a big change, the first time that a new category may be added to the written fiction Hugo categories in fifty years. There is clearly a great deal of interest in how this new award will work, and what might be nominated.”

An eligible work for this special award is a multi-volume science fiction or fantasy story, unified by elements such as plot, characters, setting, and presentation, which has appeared in at least three volumes consisting of a total of at least 240,000 words by the close of the calendar year 2016, at least one volume of which was published in 2016.

7 thoughts on “Helsinki to Trial Best Series

  1. I’m glad to see the possibility of an award recognizing a good series, but I hope the final wording includes the element that a series which wins becomes ineligible for nomination thereafter. Otherwise we may end up with a revolving-door situation where a handful of popular series win over and over again as their new installments come out.

    1. Marie: The pending proposal (Item A.1 in the Business Passed On to the 2017 WSFS Business Meeting) makes any series that wins ineligible until at least 240,000 words and at least two volumes have been added to the series.

      1. Thanks for letting me know! I guess it partly comes down to how one views the “Best Series” award — I personally lean toward viewing it as a way of saying “we think this series is worthy of recognition,” and once you’ve said that, you don’t need to say it again. Letting a series win more than once, even with that proposed restriction in place, makes me feel like the award is more like “Best Series That Had a New Installment This Year,” and I’m much less interested in that.

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