1956 Hugo Award Page Updated

Thanks to new information coming to light, we have updated the 1956 Hugo Award history page with the finalists that appeared on the ballot that year. We thank Olav Rokne for bringing to our attention an article on page 15 of the 1956 Worldcon Progress Report 3 that included the names of the finalists along with voting instructions.

Note that the order in which the finalists are listed is the same order that they appeared in the progress report and does not imply order of finish on final ballot. According to the article, the final ballot included space for write-in candidates. In Best Professional Magazine, no finalists were listed at all, so all votes were write-ins.

Voting rules in 1956 were significantly different from those currently in use. The shortlist was not formed based on an initial poll as is done today, but apparently by the convention committee. Should we obtain additional information about the detailed voting for this or any other year, we will add it to the relevant history page.

9 thoughts on “1956 Hugo Award Page Updated

  1. I believe novelette ‘The Assistant Self’ is by F L Wallace rather than P L (I accept that the scan of the PR is unclear). — Mark

  2. Tom Whitmore previously came across in a collection that came into Other Change of Hobbit in the late 1970’s/early 80’s. He contacted Howard de Vore at that time, who dismissed it as publicity for the authors attending. Someone else can check the membership list, but that argument sounded specious to me. The list has worked for me through these years.
    Considering our family history is so well documented, including fannish holdings in library collections, this must have come up at other times. I hope you document it here if there is a Valid reason not to give this credence. Someone needs to check the archives for the other missing early years.
    And, what were the eligibility rules at the time, considering the inclusion of “End of Summer” from November 1954?

    1. Alan:

      When new information comes to our attention, we generally do add it. Tom Whitmore has contributed to our store of historical data here previously.

      It is unclear what rules, other than “Whatever the people running the election decided on the spot,” applied to the 1956 Hugo Awards. In those early days of the Awards (remember that 1956 was only the third time that Hugo Awards had been presented), there wasn’t the extensive documentation and published rules that there are today. The Awards were administered on the spot by each Worldcon Committee, who made their own rules. It was not until the 1960s, after the institution of the WSFS Constitution, amended by the members of the convention through the Business Meeting, that rules became more of a matter of public record.

    1. Hm, now that’s a trickier one. The winner listings are untouched and are based on such other historical information as we already had. It’s unclear what the name announced as the winner at that time was.

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