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.
431 thoughts on “Ask a Question”
The recent episode of Black Mirror, “Bandersnatch,” is an interactive piece. It runs 90 minutes on its default path, but also has multiple other scenes you can branch off to, albeit ones which would cause a gameplay with less time. Would Bandersnatch qualify for Long Form or Short Form?
The boundary between Short Form and Long Form has a 20% (18 minute) leeway precisely due to works that are not clearly one side or the other. Nominate this work in the category where you think it best fits. Short Form is generally intended for things in the nature of television episodes that are not clearly “two hour” or multi-part long works, while Long Form is generally intended for theatrical motion pictures. Anything else is left as a judgment call of the nominators.
Just one ordinary nominator’s opinion, but I would lean toward Long Form because there is more than 90 minutes worth of material even if you don’t watch the other variations. If a “Choose Your Own Adventure” type written story were ever nominated, I would think it would go in the category of its complete word count. I haven’t watch this yet, but I imagine part of the point is that many people would watch more than just the default path.
Also, to go along with what Kevin said about it *generally* breaking down into tv episode vs. movie (obviously some movies are shorter and some tv episodes longer), I notice that Netflix has it as a separate film listing instead of including it with the other Black Mirror episodes.
Hello, Kevin. The last collection of Hugo Winners was published in a solely paperback edition in 1997 – twenty years back! Is there some kind of tussle which is preventing print publication of a 5-yearly collection? Thanks.
There are no issues with using the Hugo Awards service marks, if that’s what you mean. To the best of our knowledge, the only real issue is that no publisher/editor has wanted to take on the somewhat substantial challenge of obtaining the rights to collect the works and the commercial challenge of publishing such a collection.
Plus, Isaac Asimov is not around anymore to “present and comment” on the stories, thereby losing a very big part of the sales and attraction to the collections.
The last Hugo collection was published in 2010. http://www.thehugoawards.org/2009/11/introducing-the-hugo-award-showcase/#comments
Is the full list of works receiving any votes in any given Hugo category ever published?
Ditto for the authors for the Campbell.
If so, where and when?
WSFS rules currently require that “the results of the last ten rounds of the finalist selection process for each category (or all the rounds if there are fewer than ten)” be published by the Administrators. Prior to the adoption of the current nomination system, the rule was that the top fifteen positions in each category be published. Committees have never been required to list works beyond that minimum, although they are not prohibited from doing so. Some have gone farther than the top fifteen, although to our knowledge, none have ever gone down to the “anyone at all who was nominated” level because the “long tail” of nominations is absurdly long.
The detailed nominations information is published after the Hugo Awards are announced at Worldcon, and to the extent that we have the information, you can find it on each individual year’s Hugo Awards page. For example, the detailed information for the 2018 Hugo Awards, Campbell Award, and Award for Best Young Adult Book is at https://www.worldcon76.org/images/publications/2018DetailedResults.pdf.
Some fans wanted to nominate my musical and soundtrack album The Mirror’s Revenge, and they didn’t know which category to use. The play is 122 minutes, but the album is 60 minutes. I believe they used the Dramatic Presentation Short Form. Can you tell me if those ballots were counted, or was the nomination deemed ineligible due to length? Is there some other category for theatrical presentations? I never see plays nominated, and there is lots of good science fiction put on stage. As a playwright, I’d like to increase exposure for stage work to the science fiction community.
The Hugo Awards web site does not administer the Hugo Awards or make rulings. Contact the Dublin 2019 Hugo Administrators with any questions about this year’s awards.
W/r/t “On a Sunbeam”‘s nomination for Best Graphic Story, does this mean that a comic originally published on the web becomes eligible when published in print form in the previous year?
Questions about eligibility such as this should be directed to the current year’s Hugo Award Administrators.
Do you accept also books in French ? WE are a publishing house with the mission to publish French writing authors from Western Canada and Prairies.
We publish 4-6 books per year. Thanks in advance for your reply, Katarina, project coordinator
The Hugo Awards are open to works published in any language, including French. Note that there is no submission process for the Hugo Awards. Works are nominated by the thousands of members of the World Science Fiction Convention. See the Submissions page for a longer explanation.
I am asking for assistance. Sometime back I read a book and the main character was a young woman. She wrecked two boats, there was a hole shot through the earth, a monolith was involved and a dead star. I can’t recall the name of the book or the author but I loved the ending. I would like to find the book again. Thanks, Greg J. Houska, Missoula, MT.
This does not ring a bell with us here at TheHugoAwards.org. Perhaps one of the other people reading this can help.
That is why I queried the awards website. Hopefully someone of the millions who peruse the genre of sci-fi will be able to assist. Thanks for the time.
Who is the host of this year’s awards? I met her quickly in a shop recently and would love to check out her work, but I did not listen carefully enough when she actually introduced herself at the end of our conversation- she only mentioned that she was hosting this year’s awards!
The 2019 Hugo Awards Ceremony will be hosted by Afua Richardson and Michael Scott.
I enjoyed your Short History of the Hugo Awards Process, but it’s missing a key piece of information. I’m curious when the use of Instant Runoff Voting started. Is this known?
The legislative history of the WSFS Constitution is unclear as to when Instant Runoff Voting first was used. It was around 1970. When we learn exactly when it happens, we’ll update the history.
We know that IRV was not being used in 1965, and we know that it was being used in 1971. So usage was implemented sometime between those two years. If the WSFS rules were published in the convention programme book at that time (as they are now), we may be able to find an old programme book which provides the year of the change.
Well, Dan, you got me curious, so with some help from people who pointed me at the right resources, I discovered that the WSFS Business Meeting members made instant-runoff voting (IRV) part of the Hugo Award process at NYcon III in 1967, and it was used for the first time on the 1968 Hugo Awards at Baycon. Thanks for spurring us to find that information!
Is the tale that the Apollo 11 astronauts received a special Hugo award in 1969 for the Best Moon Landing Ever true or apocryphal? I’ve heard it for years, but when I searched the website for 1969 I didn’t find it.
That tale is a misunderstanding of the 1970 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation for “TV Coverage of Apollo XI.”
Kevin, according to _The Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Awards_ by Howard DeVore, the following Hugo was awarded in 1969. (Advent: Publishers, Inc., (c) 1998, ISBN 0-911682-32-5) The citation was also made in my 1981 Misfit Press edition.
Special Committee Award
Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin Aldrin
Special Award for “The Best Moon Landing Ever”
My recollection from my first Worldcon in 1974 was that I saw a photograph of said award there, and it was a real Hugo in appearance. I also recall discussion of special committee awards at the WSFS business meeting at Discon II. This seems to have been a real Hugo acceptable under the constitution in effect at StLouisCon. Alas, memories both fade and appear from nowhere.
This award is different from the 1970 Best Dramatic Presentation award, which is also cited in Devore.
This may be the case, as the documentation of the time is poor. Current WSFS rules would not permit a Special Committee Award to use the Hugo Award rocket, but rules were looser in those days. Typically, rules get changed when the members decide that a Worldcon committee made a mistake and they don’t want that mistake repeated.
Say there’s a certain film (in this case, the Brazilian film “Bacurau”) that premieres in 2019 but only gets play in festivals, set to get a wider release in 2020. It’d have to get its eligibility extended at the Business meeting, a la last year’s Prospect, right?
Say that you won’t be attending Worldcon physically. How would one go about getting someone to sponsor a proposal such as eligibility extension?
You are right that if you think a work that had limited distribution should have its eligibility extended, you would need to get the Business Meeting to extend its eligibility.
You do not have to be physically present at the Business Meeting to submit a proposal to it. Any two members of the current (in this case 2020 New Zealand) Worldcon, either attending or supporting, may submit a proposal to the WSFS Business Meeting. So in your case, if you’re a member of CoNZealand, you only have to convince at least one other member of the convention to sponsor your proposal and then you can submit it to the 2020 Business Meeting. You can use the similar proposals from past Worldcons (see the WSFS.org page Rules archive for minutes of past meetings), or write to us at info@TheHugoAwards.org and we’ll give you a template for such proposals.
Seeking a definitive answer to this because I’ve always been confused by it:
Say a trade paperback comic volume/miniseries is published early in 202x, its final issue having been released the previous year (hypothetical 201X). Would the run being completed in 2o1x make it ineligible for the 202x Hugos or would the TPB form allow it to be nominated? Would eligibility have to be extended beforehand?
In general, the publication of the final issue in any form (including online webcomic) starts the eligibility clock. A subsequent trade paperback collection in a subsequent year generally would not count as a new publication (unless it was substantially different than the original publication, and simply being printed in a different format is not generally considered sufficiently different).
In the hypothetical case you seem to propose here, you’d have to convince the WSFS Business Meeting to extend the work’s eligibility. It’s hard to see, though, how one could make a reasonable case that (for example) online publication is more limited than a trade paperback of the same work, or that serial publication (in a series of comic books) is somehow more limited than publication in a collected one-volume edition. That, however, would be a matter for debate before the WSFS Business Meeting, with a 2/3 vote being necessary to extend eligibility.
Regarding the Dramatic Presentation awards, would audiobook performances be considered a Dramatic Presentation?
Under the current definitions, audiobooks are considered “publication” for the purposes of the “written fiction” categories. So, for example, if a novel-length work was produced as an audiobook, it’s the same as a print edition of the same work (including electronic publication — it doesn’t have to be ink on pieces of paper to be considered “print”).
This is not merely theoretical, by the way. A few years ago, the initial publication of a work was in audio form, and the administrator ruled that audiobooks were not publication for the purpose of the “written fiction” categories. WSFS changed its rules to make it explicit that audiobooks are equivalent to print publication. The relevant section of the WSFS Constitution is:
Note that there is a pending constitutional amendment to include “Series” in that list, as it wasn’t listed here when Best Series was added to the Constitution. This is considered as merely a technical oversight, and the amendment to add it received initial passage at the 2019 Worldcon without objection.
A full cast dramatization (like what GraphicAudio does) might be considered sufficiently different enough from a print or ebook edition to count as dramatic presentation, right?
That question is sufficiently open that we cannot answer it. There is no “case law” (administrator decisions) on which we can give you any guidance. Hugo Award administrators almost never rule on hypothetical cases, so in practice the only way to find out would be for such a work to receive sufficient nominations in the appropriate dramatic-presentation category (based on length) to make the ballot.
The Hugo Awards web site does not administer the Hugo Awards. We don’t make the administrative decisions on eligibility. That is solely the responsibility of each year’s Worldcon, which usually delegates the task to a small Hugo Awards Subcommittee, which is who we mean when we say the “Hugo Award Administrator.”
Why are the awards named Hugo? To what does Hugo refer to?
The Hugo Awards are named after Hugo Gernsback. See our FAQ on this subject for the full answer.
Thank you Kevin, I missed that in the FAQ…
How come your site does not mention Sad Puppies or Rapid Puppies (used the search bar)? What was the controversy about and what has the organization done to address it?
The Hugo Awards web site is primarily archival, in the sense that it records the finalists and winners of the Hugo and related awards.
Due to concerns about vulnerabilities in the nominating process not broadly reflecting the opinions of the membership, changes were made to the nominating process in 2015-onward known broadly as “E Pluribus Hugo” that may minimize the impact of so-called “slate” voting, regardless of who the “slate” voters are.
I have a question about the fan artist category.
One of my friends makes amazing ascii art for a MUSH. I want to know if that work qualifies as something that can be nominated for fan artist. Does it need to be published somewhere other than on the MUSH?
The Hugo Awards web site doesn’t make eligibility rulings; this is exclusively the responsibility of the current Worldcon’s Hugo Awards Administrators. Therefore, nothing we say here can be totally definitive. Furthermore, Administrators rarely make rulings on hypothetical cases, which means that the only real way to get a ruling is for the artist to get sufficient nominations to make the ballot and see if the Administrator rules that they are eligible.
The definition of Best Fan Artist is “An artist or cartoonist whose work has appeared through publication in semiprozines or fanzines or through other public, non-professional, display (including at a convention or conventions),during the previous calendar year.” The question therefore would be whether the artwork on the MUSH is “public, non-professional display.” The “including at” phrase is not exclusive, merely an example. (You can read “including” to be “including, but not exclusively limited to”.) Based on other artists who appear to have made the shortlist based on works appearing online, and based upon legislative history that has made it clear that electronic publication is still publication regardless of medium, there does not appear to be an obvious reason for excluding the work you cite. Again, we can’t make a firm ruling because it’s not within our authority to do so. People who think the artist’s works are worthy of winning a Hugo Award should nominate the artist; the ruling on eligibility will come from the current year’s Administrators.
Are there any awards for things like contributions to the S/F fandom?
If so what are they called, and where would I find a nomination form?
WSFS does not present “service to fandom” awards. There are relatively few such broad-based awards out there, and none of them appear to be ones with a public nomination process that we can think of offhand.
Why is this website so ancient if you publish science fiction?
The World Science Fiction Society does not publish science fiction and fantasy. WSFS is not a publisher. WSFS is the sanctioning entity for the annual World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), the members of which nominate and vote for the annual Hugo Awards. The purpose of the Hugo Awards Web Site is to maintain a permanent archive of the results of the Hugo Awards. (Each Worldcon is a one-shot event, so there is otherwise no central entity that could maintain such an archive.)
Hugo Awards Marketing Committee
Does the Hugo Awards have a student competition? If so, I would like to submit my work. If not, you should consider doing it. It would be a good way to encourage student artists to work in the science fiction and fantasy genres.
No, there is not a student competition. The Hugo Awards are not a juried award, there is no panel of judges, and there is no submission process. Read the Submissions page for further explanation of how works are nominated for the Hugo Awards.
Is it possible for other awards shows to name themselves “Hugo Awards” or are you guys the only Hugo Awards.
Lucas: There are other prizes and awards in various parts of the world that have the word “Hugo” in their name, but the Hugo Awards for Science Fiction and Fantasy are, to our knowledge, the oldest such awards, with a history going back into the 1950s. “Hugo Award” is registered service mark of the World Science Fiction Society (and its subsidiary non-profit corporation, Worldcon Intellectual Property) in the USA and the European Union. It is also asserted as a service mark in other countries that have held or will be holding Worldcons, such as Canada, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand.
The WSFS Mark Protection Committee does work to protect WSFS’s intellectual property and does from time to time take appropriate action regarding infringing uses of the term “Hugo Award.” If you have a specific infringement you would like to report, contact us here and we will pass it along to the WSFS MPC.
Do you know anyone who sells replica Hugo Award statutes? I’d love one for for my bookshelf full of Hugo Award winner books, and I searched the web but can’t find any. Thank you.
The design of the Hugo Award rocket is a registered service mark of the World Science Fiction Society, and WSFS does not license replicas except in highly limited circumstances. (We have authorized replica trophies for use in some movies and television shows, for example.) There are no authorized replica trophies for general sale.
I recently finished editing a first novel by an author whose work I would happily compare to Stephen Donaldson and other writers of his caliber.
My question is, regarding adult content. This book is SciFi/Fantasy, but has an underlying erotic theme with appropriate scenes.
Would such a book be eligible for a Hugo, and if so, would it even stand a chance of winning?
The WSFS Constitution does not regulate the content of the Hugo Awards, other than works must be science fiction and fantasy. Whether a work is appropriate to be a finalist or a winner is ultimately up to the members of WSFS who vote on such works. Note that the members voting on the final ballot have expressed an opinion that some finalists did not deserve to be on the ballot by ranking them below “No Award,” even to the extent of rejecting the entire list of finalists by voting “No Award” as their first choice. This shows that the opinions of the members who nominate works are not necessarily the same as those who vote on the final ballot.
It also appears that instant runoff voting was proposed in 1965 by John A. McCallum in a letter to the fanzine Yandro. George Scithers responded in the subsequent issue, and began championing the change, promising to bring it to a vote at the 1966 Worldcon.
Why are you censoring question you don’t like?
The Hugo Awards website does not administer the Hugo Awards. The Hugo Awards are administered by individual Worldcon committees under the rules managed by the members of the World Science Fiction Society. If you have an issue with this, your only recourse is through WSFS, which is managed by its own members. The Hugo Awards web site only reports about the Hugo Awards. We do not administer them, nor do we have any authority to change the rules, withdraw awards, disqualify works, or anything else of that nature. If you want to change this, you would have to change the WSFS rules by having the members of two consecutive Worldcons change the rules of the World Science Fiction Society. The rules of the World Science Fiction Society are published on the WSFS website.
I am going to do nominations this year for the first time, but am a little worried about opening the nomination form and then not getting all the info correct and not being able to fix it.
For instance, if I read a good story in Analog, do I need to use the official name “Analog Science Fiction and Fact?” Do I have to know the volume and issue numbers, or is the date sufficient?
Also, what if I read another good story after I have submitted my nominations (but still before the deadline), can I log in again and add it?
Terry: Your question got caught in our filters, so we did not see it in time to reply before nominations closed, for which we apologize.
The Hugo Award Administrators are not trying to play “gotcha” with the nominators. The citations are to make it easier for the Administrators to find works. So, no, it it isn’t necessary to spell out the long version titles of where works appear. (You’ll note that our listings here do not do so.)
The system that Chicon 8 used did allow voters to log back in and change/add nominations until nominations closed. Not all Worldcons use such a system. Each year’s convention makes its own decisions on how it will collect Hugo Award nominations.
Fantasy – when was the charter for the Hugo Awards modified to include Fantasy?
Every version of the World Science Fiction Society’s Constitution that we have seen has always included “and Fantasy” even when the official name of the awards were the “Science Fiction Achievement Awards>”
This is my first year voting for the Hugos, when does the Voters Packet go out?
Chicon 8 has not yet announced when a Hugo Voters Packet will be released. We will announce here when they do so.
Would a work of theatre (such as a musical, play, or opera) be eligible for a Hugo Award if it covers the topic of speculative fiction? I’m interested in writing speculative fiction for the stage. If so, what sorts of things would be required for it to be eligible? Would the script need to be published, for example? Would the piece of theatre need to be publicly available online to watch? Or would theatre not fall under any catagory, and thus not be eligible.
Reid: Theatrical works would be eligible in the Dramatic Presentation category in which they fall based on their length. There is no requirement for a script to be “published.” The performance of a theatrical work is, in effect, “publishing” the work. Works would not be required to be available online any more than any other written or dramatic works are so available.
Stage musicals or performances or other pieces of dramatic music have been finalists for the Hugo Awards in the past. The only thing that is required is that a sufficient number of members nominate the work.
So if there’s a war with China over Taiwan how will this affect the 2023 awards ceremony?
Each year’s Hugo Awards and the Hugo Awards ceremony are the responsibility of the hosting Worldcon. You would have to ask the 2023 Worldcon what their plans are.
I’m still a little confused about the Language eligibility issue after reading the FAQ. Let’s take an example: if there is a work that first got published in Mandarin in 2022, must it get translated into an English edition in order to be eligible, or it is already eligible without the translation?
Jim: If a work was first published in Mandarin (or in any language) in 2022, it is eligible for the 2023 Hugo Awards.
If a work was first published in a language other than English prior to 2022 and was then first published in English in 2022, it is eligible for the 2023 Hugo Awards.
Here are the relevant sections of the WSFS Constitution
3.2.1: Unless otherwise specified, Hugo Awards are given for work in the field of science fiction or fantasy appearing for the first time during the previous calendar year.
[This means that any work that first appeared in any language in 2022 is eligible for the 2023 Hugo Awards.
3.4.1: A work originally appearing in a language other than English shall also be eligible for the year in which it is first issued in English translation.
[This means that a work first published in a language other than English prior to 2022 but first published in English in 2022 is eligible for the 2023 Hugo Awards.]
3.4.2: Works originally published outside the United States of America and first published in the United States of America in the previous calendar year shall also be eligible for Hugo Awards.
[This means that if a work was first published outside the USA prior to 2022 but was then published again in 2022, it is eligible for the 2023 Hugo Awards.]
I hope this helps clarify the rules.
Hugo Awards Marketing Committee
There are many science fiction audio drama podcasts. Why are awards give to fan podcasts but not given to science fiction audio dramas?
Rich: Audio dramas of any sort are already eligible in Best Dramatic Presentation (Short or Long Form depending upon length). If a work receives sufficient nominations, it will be shortlisted in the appropriate category. The BDP categories are not exclusively for movies and television, and audio works have been finalists in the past.
Fancasts are not primarily fictional in nature.
In 2022, a professional artist won the Hugo for best fan artist. How does that work?
Just because someone has published art professionally doesn’t mean they haven’t done other artwork that is fan art, i.e. done for non-professional use. A person can be a pro and a fan at the same time. Consider an author who wins a Hugo Award for (say) Best Short Story but who also publishes articles in fanzines and other non-pro places and also wins a Best Fan Writer Hugo Award. This also has happened.