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.

450 thoughts on “Ask a Question

    1. Yes, for now. The Business Meeting staff from 2015 are reviewing the minutes of this year’s meeting in order to certify forward the 2015-16 version of the WSFS Constitution for use by next year’s Worldcon. When they have done so, the 2015-16 version will be posted on the MidAmericon II (2016 Worldcon) web site.

      The web site is on the verge of a complete rewrite, and we’re not certain that we’ll actually post the 2015-16 Constitution on until we do the revamp. We do not yet have a schedule for when we will do the revamp, however, as it depends on when our volunteer webmasters have the time to do some heavy electronic lifting.

      All of the amendments passed on to the 2015 Worldcon for ratification received final ratification except the “Popular Ratification” proposal, so you can see what the changes to the Constitution are by combining the 2014-15 version at with the Business Passed On also on the same page.

      1. This is more a comment than a question but you have a terrible website. Why on earth wouldn’t you have a list of nominees right on your front page?

        1. JJ, there is more about the Hugo Awards than just who the current year’s finalists are. The front page of the web site is the most recent news about the Hugo Awards, with links to information available at the top of the page. Obviously to you the current year’s finalists are the most important information, but other people come to the web site for other information about the Awards.

        2. I’d just like to make it clear that I did not post this comment, and that I find the structure of the Hugo Awards website extremely logical and helpful.

  1. Thank you for such a thorough reply!

    (FYI, the link to the constitution from your Hugo Award Categories page is from the LoneStarCon3 site and dated 2012. That’s what prompted my search.)

    1. Thanks for pointing that out. I’ve updated that page to point to the WSFS rules page and included a note warning people that,, and individual Worldcons’ web sites are maintained separately from each other and are not necessarily updated on a coordinated schedule because Worldcons are so decentralized and because WSFS doesn’t have a “central office” that runs everything.

  2. I’ve read that the song “In the Year 2525” was nominated for a Hugo Award. Has a Hugo Award ever been given to any music? In looking briefly over the categories and searching at this site, I get no returns for “music” at all and see no evidence of music having been awarded a Hugo Award. Thank you in advance for your reply.

    1. There is no specific music category. The CD Wicked Girls was a finalist in the 2012 Hugo Awards in Best Related Work. No work of music has ever won a Hugo Award. In the Year 2525 was not shortlisted for a Hugo Award.

      The 1994 WSFS Business Meeting considered, but rejected, a proposal to add a “Best Music” category. The 1995 Worldcon trialed a Best Music category, but withdrew it due to lack of interest (insufficient nominations). There have been no attempts since then to add a separate Best Music category. Any two or more members of the current Worldcon may submit proposed to changes to the WSFS rules including adding Hugo Award categories. See Changing the Rules for more information on the process.

    1. From the IMDB information, it would appear that the work has exhausted its eligibility. It was first eligible for the 2014 Hugo Awards (first showing in 2013), then again for the 2015 Hugo Awards (first US showing). If it has not yet appeared in an English-language version, it has one more shot (first English-language version generates a new eligibility); however, it it has already appeared prior to 2015 in English, it is no longer eligible and would have needed an eligibility-extension resolution in 2015.

    1. You don’t “submit work” for the Hugo Awards. See Submitting Your Work for more details.

      There is no age limit for either Hugo Award nominees or for people to make nominations. Any person of any age can be nominated for a Hugo Award. Any person of any age can nominate works or people for Hugo Awards.

  3. Is it true that a professional artist can be nominated with one work, but must have three works published to accept a nomination?

    WSFS constitution section 3.3.11: Best Professional Artist. An illustrator whose work has appeared in a professional publication in the field of science fiction or fantasy during the previous calendar year.

    WSFS constitution section 3.9.2: In the Best Professional Artist category, the acceptance should include citations of at least three (3) works first published in the eligible year.

    If so, do those three works all have to be science fiction or fantasy?

    1. The wording at 3.9.2 has never been “tested,” in the sense that no administrator has ever disqualified an artist for having failed to meet the letter of the wording. The wording “should” (as opposed to “must”) is permissive, and appears to permit an administrator to permit an acceptance that does not include such examples.

      For specific guidance as to how any particular administrator will interpret this rule, you must contact the current year’s Hugo Award administrators, because they are the ones who actually make the calls. The Hugo Awards web site can provide advice and guidance, but nothing we publish here is definitive, and the final authority lies with the current Worldcon’s Hugo Awards Administration Subcommittee.

  4. David Bowie’s death made me check to see if The Man Who Fell to Earth was nominated for a Hugo. Thankfully, it was, at the 1977 Hugos. Weird thing about that year though: no award won Best Dramatic Presentation. I mean, yeah, somehow Futureworld got nominated, but so were Carrie and Logan’s Run! What happened that year? Was there ever a reason given?

    1. 1977 was the last time before 2015 that No Award was presented in a category. It was the fifth time overall that the members of WSFS decided that none of the finalists deserved the Award. The reason, of course, was that a majority of the voters voted for No Award. There has been speculation that Star Wars [A New Hope], which had just premiered and would go on to win the 1978 Hugo Award, had had such an effect upon the voters that they rejected all of the 1977 Hugo Award finalists by comparison, even though Star Wars was not eligible for the 1977 Awards.

    1. Venue of publication is irrelevant. Electronically published works are eligible just like “paper” publications. So yes, books published through Amazon are eligible. So would a book you wrote and put up on your personal web site.

  5. Can a Hugo nominee slate be changed after electronic submission, this year?

    I wanted to remind my readers that HPMOR was Hugo-eligible this year, but I thought I had until February 1st to do so. If one of my readers forgets about that and submits their nominee slate immediately, will they get a second chance to resubmit the slate?

    Also, as a statistical matter, how many people submit their Hugo ballots as soon as voting opens, versus submitting them at least a week later? If you happen to know.

    1. Each year’s Hugo Awards is administered by the individual Worldcon. We do not know whether this year’s Worldcon will use the same system as last year, which allowed people to change their votes until the final deadline. Contact this year’s Hugo Awards administrators at MidAmericon II with questions about how they plan to administer the awards.

      There are no rules about when nominations open. Worldcons can open Hugo nominations whenever they want to do so. Paper ballots have been available for several weeks now.

      To our knowledge, nobody has accumulated any statistics about when members submit their ballots.

  6. Question about Best Graphic Story:

    For a volume published in 2015 which collects issues which were all previously published in 2014, is the volume then ineligible for the 2016 Hugo?

    1. Correct. The collected material originally published in 2014 was eligible for the 2015 Hugo Awards. A compilation published in 2015 would not be eligible for the 2016 Hugo Awards, because it only includes previously-published material.

      This is notably the case for various webcomics, which are typically published in serial form, and in some cases then collected together in a printed collection in a subsequent year. Due to the serial-publication rule, the work is eligible when the final element of the work originally is published online, and a subsequent printed collection is not eligible at all.

      1. Question about: Due to the serial-publication rule, the work is eligible when the final element of the work originally is published online, and a subsequent printed collection is not eligible at all.

        Would the printed collection be eligible if it was published in the same year as the originally posted web art, say, the serialized web-graphic-novel was posted Jan — Dec and the entire collected work was published and released by Christmas of the same year?

        1. The collection is never eligible on its own. The webcomic became eligible when the final part was published online, period. The printed collection is irrelevant.

          The rules for serialized works are the same regardless of whether the work is a piece of written fiction, a graphic story, or a dramatic presentation. The rule is Section 3.2.4 of the WSFS Constitution:

          3.2.4: Works appearing in a series are eligible as individual works, but the series as a whole is not eligible. However, a work appearing in a number of parts shall be eligible for the year of the final part.

          The rule is the same as for prose novels. Imagine a novel serialized in four issues of a magazine: July, August, September, and October 2014. The final part of the novel was published in the October 2014 issue. The novel is now complete and was eligible for the 2015 Hugo Awards. Subsequently, the four parts of the novel were collected together and published on their own as a standalone novel. The standalone novel is never eligible on its own, regardless of whether it was published in December 2014 or January 2016, because novel as a work became eligible upon the publication of the October 2014 issue of the magazine that serialized it.

          1. Now I’m confused. Last year’s Best Graphic Story was Ms. Marvel vol. 1 published Oct. 2014. It collected issues 1-5 which were published Feb. to June 2014.

          2. Yes, that’s fine. The five issues were a serialized work, the last part of which was originally published in June 2014, and therefore was eligible for the 2015 Hugo Awards. They had a collective title of “Ms. Marvel Volume 1.” This is similar to how (to give an example of another Graphic Story winner) the Girl Genius webcomics are divided into books, and when the final page of the webcomic is published online, it starts the eligibility clock on that collection, even if the collection itself does not appear in printed paper form until the following year.

          3. So basically, the printed form of the web-novel is never eligible for nomination. Just the final posted “chapter,” “book,” or “serialized” section as it appeared on the web?

          4. That is correct. The principle involved here is that the same work is generally not eligible multiple times. A serialized work (regardless of medium of release) is considered the same work even if subsequently collected and reprinted in a different medium.

  7. I was wondering if nominations for the Best Editor, Short Form categories must be a single individual, or if paired co-editors could be nominated as a single entity, as long as they have co-edited four anthologies with at least one of those four published in the appropriate year. Thanks.

    1. It is unclear whether a pair of editors can be nominated as a single “entity.” You could ask the 2016 Hugo Award Administrators; however, Administrators rarely give rulings on hypothetical cases. In practice, the only way to know is for enough people to nominate the pair as a single editor and force the Administrator to rule on the matter.

  8. My question is specific to two novels, and if I read the FAQ correctly they would be eligible to be nominated this year. They are Green Earth by Kim Stanley Robinson and The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. The former is a re-edited version of the previously published Science in the Capital Trilogy, and the latter was originally self-published two years ago, but then picked up by Harper/Voyager and released in print and e-book in August 2015. Am I correct in assuming these are eligible for nomination this year? If not, why?

    1. Generally speaking, a work published in English in the USA gets only one shot at eligibility, regardless of medium of publication. That is, electronic publication is the same as paper publication. (You may be unaware that it took years to make it clear that electronic publication counted at all. There were many years in which people argued that a work published only electronically wasn’t really “published” at all.) However, if a work is substantially revised, it can be considered newly eligible. For example, both the short and long versions of Flowers for Algernon were Hugo Award finalists in different years and one version won. In addition, there is no distinction between “self published” and published by a “big publisher.” A work is published no matter who publishes it. There is no “approved publisher list” or anything of that nature.

      The cases you cite are sufficiently on the edge that we cannot give clear guidance. You could inquire of this year’s Hugo Award Administrators ( However, Administrators rarely make prospective rulings unless a work receives sufficient nominations to appear on the final ballot. That is, the Administrator is unlikely to decide whether either of the works you cite are actually eligible unless enough members nominated them that they might appear on the ballot.

    2. While the pub date is 2015, the copyright date shown in my Harper Voyager ebook of Becky Chambers’ book is 2014. However, Becky Chambers herself is definitely eligible for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer. She is listed on the award page ( as being in her second year of eligibilty (another indication that her book is considered a 2014 work).

  9. I want to participate in 2016 Hugo Contest with my science-fiction novel: Génesis and the five Arks, it is a Spanish fantasy and science-fiction novel that was published on 2015. My problem is that I can’t find the basis of the contest for this year (2016) and I don’t know where, how and when have I have to send the novel.
    Please answer if you can help me.
    Thank you

    1. Alenadro:

      You do not send your novel to anyone. This is not a contest that you enter. You cannot “submit” a work for consideration for the Hugo Awards. Nominations for the Hugo Awards are submitted by the thousands of members of the World Science Fiction Society, and those five works in each category with the most nominations go on to a final ballot. There is no submission process.

      See our article regarding Submissions for more information.

  10. I see you have categories for novels, short stories, novelettes, and novellas. Besides word count, what are the differences between these categories of work? Are there specific criteria that make a piece of writing say a “novelette” instead of a “novella” or a “short story,” for instance? Thx

    1. The categories are solely determined by length. Of course they have to be works of SF or Fantasy, but that is a judgement call by the people nominating works.

  11. hello,
    I ‘m from hong kong , I ‘ve published a novel , how can I participate yr contest ?
    pls kindly help advise with Thanks.
    wait yr prompt reply …

    1. Eunice:

      The Hugo Awards are not a “contest” that you enter. There is no way to submit your work. Works are nominated by the thousands of members of the World Science Fiction Society. Read Submissions and The Voting System elsewhere on our site for more information.

      1. hello , i just took a look about what u recommended me to see, noted that we can’t “walk in ” to submit my novel, instead your side have certain team will decide what is posed for nomination , then how can i let those party alert my novel , or no way in?

        1. Eunice: There is no “certain team” that decides what is nominated. Every single member of the World Science Fiction Convention can nominate up to five works. There are thousands of members of the Worldcon. You don’t “submit” works. It sounds like you think that there is a small committee or jury that picks the works that are to be considered. There is no such committee. There is no jury. There were more than 15,000 people who were all eligible to make nominations for what they liked. About 4,000 people made nominations.

          The way you become a contender for the Hugo Award is to come to the attention of the thousands of members of the World Science Fiction Convention and convince them that they should nominate your work. We cannot give you advice as to how you would go about trying to market your work solely to the members of the Worldcon.

    1. The winners of the Hugo Award receive a trophy. The trophy is a rocket on a base. The rocket design is constant, but each year’s Worldcon committee produces a base of its own choosing. We have a gallery of past trophies on the web site.

  12. Will the 1941 Retro-Hugo Awards be an actual award ceremony with trophies handed out and speeches made; or, will it simply announce winners at the dance/ceremony?

    1. It appears that the Awards ceremony will be in the form of a dance with an old-time-radio feel to it, with the winners announced. Trophies will be available, as we understand it, although it is unclear who will be doing acceptances. It is not a traditional awards ceremony in the way that the 2016 Hugo Awards will be handled. This is all that we know about it at this time.

  13. For 2017, would the film “The Lobster” be eligible due to a US premiere in 2016? It premiered earlier in places like the UK and Canada in 2015. Would eligibility have to be extended?

    1. The work should be eligible for the 2017 Hugo Awards. Under Section 3.4.2 of the current WSFS Constitution, “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 the work was eligible for the 2016 Hugo Awards by dint of its UK/Canadian premiere, and then received an additional year of eligibility when it premiered in the USA. You may wish to inform people who you think might want to nominate the work of this fact.

      The actual eligibility decision will be made by the Hugo Award Administration Subcommittee (“the Administrators”) of the 2017 Worldcon in Helsinki. You may wish to contact Worldcon 75 directly to discuss this matter with them, so that they know that they may see nominations for this work. Should it receive sufficient nominations to be a finalist, this may save them time in researching the work’s eligibility.

  14. Is the video of the 2016 Award Ceremony going put up anywhere? I was unable to watch the live stream last night.

  15. Hello,

    I’ve read through your website but still have a couple questions: What’s the Worldcon Committee about? What is business meetings and their responsibilities?


    1. The Worldcon Committee (there is a different one each year) organizes each year’s World Science Fiction Convention. Every Worldcon is run by a separate, independent committee in a different city.

      The World Science Fiction Society (WSFS) is an unincorporated literary society. The members of WSFS are the members of the current year’s Worldcon. There is no way to join WSFS without joining the current Worldcon.

      The Business Meeting is the meeting of the members of WSFS (that is, the members of Worldcon) who gather to debate and vote upon changes to the rules of WSFS. Any member of WSFS may attend, propose changes, debate those changes, and vote upon them. The rules include how the Hugo Awards work and how we select future Worldcon sites. Any changes approved by two consecutive Worldcons take effect starting with the following Worldcon.

  16. Is there a database of who has won the most Hugo Awards or of the number of Hugo Awards won by specific authors? Last I saw a reliable count, Connie Willis had won the most, but I don’t know if this is still true. I use this type of information in a professional capacity on a regular basis.

    1. From the way this is described, it does appear that only the third novella (the new one) is eligible, under Best Novella. It does not appear that the two earlier novellas are substantially rewritten in a way to make the combined work a novel.

      Remember that does not make definitive eligibility rulings. Rulings are made only by the current Hugo Award Administrator (each Worldcon administers their awards independently), and they will rarely issue a ruling prospectively. In other words, the only way you could get a definitive ruling would be for the work to get enough nominations to qualify as a finalist. Without a “case before the bar,” Administrators won’t say much of anything, just as courts won’t issue rulings on hypothetical cases, only actual ones.

    1. Welcome to Night Vale is obviously a dramatic presentation. If you nominate an individual episode, it would be a Short Form DP. If you consider a series of episodes to be a story arc and if that series of episodes is long enough, it would be a Long Form DP.

      Note: final rulings on eligibility of individual works are made by each year’s Hugo Award administrators, not by the Hugo Awards web site. What we say here on the eligibility of individual works and their categories is not necessarily what the Hugo Award administrators will decide.

  17. Hello!

    I’m putting together a list of stories I’ve published this year that are award-eligible, and wondered if you could clarify something for me.

    One of the stories I’m proudest of this year is one I co-wrote with Matt Dovey, that’s in Alliteration Ink’s No Shit, There I Was… anthology. The anthology was funded via Kickstarter and was distributed to backers (466 people) in early September, 2016, but with one thing and another, it hasn’t yet been released to non-backers and it appears increasingly likely that it won’t be released this year.

    Is this story likely to count as “published” by Hugo eligibility rules, or should I wait until it’s larger release to tell people it’s Hugo-eligible?

    Thanks! 🙂

    1. Stewart:

      A formal binding ruling would have to come from the 2017 Hugo Award Administrators, who are unlikely to issue “prospective” rulings inasmuch as they generally only rule on the eligibility of works that have received sufficient nominations to make the final ballot. However, from the way that you describe the situation, it does appear that the work has been “published” despite the relatively limited distribution.

      Should you think that the work’s distribution is sufficiently limited, you may wish to submit a motion to the 2017 WSFS Business Meeting asking for a one-year eligibility extension based upon limited distribution. (This is known as a “Section 3.4.3 Extension” because of the relevant section of the WSFS Constitution.) Any two members of the 2017 Worldcon (including supporting members) can submit such an extension request, which requires a 2/3 vote. You do not need to be present at the Business Meeting to submit such a request, although of course you can’t debate it or vote on it if you’re not there.

      If you decide you want to submit an Section 3.4.3 Extension request, contact us and we will provide you with a format for submitting such proposals to the 2017 WSFS Business Meeting.

  18. Hi,

    On the 2017 Hugo Awards page, it says “The 2017 Hugo Awards will be presented on the evening of Friday, August 21, 2016 at a ceremony at Worldcon 75”. Is that last year’s date? It doesn’t seem to be just a year-typo since 2017’s August 21 seems to be a Monday.

    1. It’s two separate errors: the correct date is Friday, August 11, 2017, the Friday night of Worldcon 75. Thanks for pointing it out, and we’ve now fixed it.

  19. For “Best Dramatic Presentation: Short Form”, does it have to be a TV episode?

    There’s so much great work being done in short films these days, that it’s almost a shame to ignore it. Two recent works for your consideration:

    “Scavengers” by Joseph Bennett and Charles Huettner –

    “Reset” by Marcus Kryler and Fredrik Akerström –

    And if Don Hertzfeldt’s “World of Tomorrow” was good enough for an Oscar nomination last year, shouldn’t it have been good enough for at least *consideration* for a Hugo nomination?

    1. Best Dramatic Presentation Short form does not have to be a television episode. The actual definition of the category is as follows (emphasis ours):

      Any television program or other production, with a complete running time of 90 minutes or less, in any medium of dramatized science fiction, fantasy or related subjects that has been publicly presented for the first time in its present dramatic form during the previous calendar year.

      This includes television shows, videos on YouTube or Vimeo or any other generally available electronic media, plays, radio programs, audio plays, or any other dramatic presentation. There is absolutely no requirement that short-form dramatic presentations be presented as television episodes. Non-television works have been finalists and have won the Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form Hugo Award.

      Do remember that the finalists for the Hugo Awards are not selected by a panel of judges. They are the result of the nominations cast by the thousands of members of the World Science Fiction Convention. It’s those members who have to consider what they want to nominate, not us here at the Hugo Awards web site.

  20. How can I search your site for winner’s of your award in the early 60’s for short stories? I read them, could use them to point people how to think forward. (Oh. That term is “Innovation” now.)

    1. Yes. Eligibility for the Hugo Award has nothing to do with any award other than the Hugo Award. For example, some works have won both the Nebula and Hugo Awards.

      Kevin Standlee
      Hugo Awards/WSFS Web Site Team

  21. Why don’t the Hugo Awards recognise poetry? I have read some great science-fiction poetry and write poetry myself. I’d like to see it as a category in future – any chance?

    1. The reason that the Hugo Awards does not have a Poetry category is that the members of Worldcon, through the WSFS Business Meeting, have never created such a category. If you would like to see such a category, you could submit a proposal to the Business Meeting and if two consecutive meetings pass the proposal, it would be adopted as a category. Any two members (even non-attending members) of the current Worldcon may submit proposals. Attendance and voting at the Business Meeting is open to all attending members. See Changing the Rules for more information on the process.

      Alternatively, you could attempt to persuade an individual Worldcon to use their Special Category authority to create a one-time Best Poetry category. This would apply only to that year, although it could be repeated in a future year. The decision to create a Special Category is made by the individual Worldcon committee, not by the WSFS Business Meeting.

  22. Are electronic packets of nominated works available to voters as in some previous years? Or are the voters required to find each of the nominated works on their own? Alternatively, is there a packet of nominated works available for purchase?

    1. Worldcon 75 Helsinki is working on arranging for an package of finalists. This is dependent upon the individual rights-holders being willing to provide such works, and they are not required to do so. When Worldcon 75 has a package available, they will make an announcement, and we will also post an announcement here on the Hugo Awards web site.

      (Arranging such packages is done by each individual Worldcon committee, not by the Hugo Awards web site. Worldcons are not required to attempt to create such packages. They are provides solely through the goodwill of the individual rights holders. It is unlikely that such a package would ever be made as a paid package, due to the large number of rights-holders involved in such a package.)

  23. I’ve been wondering about how people are meant to judge best editor, it seems like a difficult thing to compare. I was reading through the FAQ and saw this about whether certain categories would be eligible: “Best Proofreader would fail because few voters are in a position to pass judgment as they never see books before the proofreader has worked on them”. How is this different for best editor?

    1. In practice, those works whose publishers credit the editors are likely to be those where it is easier to identify who did the work. Some publishers credit editors; some do not.

    1. It is unclear what you are asking for. If you mean you want a single page where every winner of every Hugo Award in every category is listed, we do not anticipate at this time making such a page.

  24. I am looking for volumes 3,4,and 5 of the Hugo Award Winners edited by Isaac Asimov. I have been able to locate volumes 1 and 2 only. Can you direct me?

        1. I can only find those books in used book stores, if I’m lucky. You are very lucky to have found Vol. 1 & 2. You might try Amazon and see if someone has them for sale there. Good luck.

      1. I have found the early Hugo award story collections edited by Isaac Asimov on eBay and Amazon. Most times I have been incredibly lucky and found them at used books sales.
        These are in high demand and not easily found. Unfortunately, I have discovered many library copies have been stolen and are irreplaceable.

        1. Regrettably, publishers have been unable to make a go of publishing Hugo Award winner collections since then. There have been attempts, but they have not been commercially successful.

    1. Because of the complex nature of this work, we cannot say with any authority into which category it would fall. If it received sufficient nominations in a category to make the final ballot, the Administrator would decide whether it was sufficiently eligible within that category to be allowed onto the ballot. Administrators rarely make advance judgements on works unless they have enough nominations to be potential finalists.

  25. Hi i want to ask if scifi poetry falls in any category eligible for hugo award in category
    Thank you

    1. Vicky: There is no category specifically for poetry. Works of poetry would be eligible in the written-fiction category in which they fall by word count. (Mostly Short Story)

    1. Graphic works are not explicitly excluded from the new Award for Best Young Adult Book. The 2018 Hugo Award Administrator (who is also responsible for administering the 2018 YA Book Award and John W. Campbell Award) has not expressed a public opinion on the subject. Therefore, we cannot say for certain whether such works would be ruled eligible if they received sufficient nominations to make the final ballot.

  26. I want to nominate a webcomic which was completed mid-June 2017. I’m not going to San Jose but I will be at Dublin in 2019 – will it still be eligible for nomination?

    1. Short answer: No.

      Eligibility for serialized works such as webcomics is based on the date of the publication of the final installment of the work. A serialized work (such as a webcominc) whose final installment appeared in 2017 is eligible for the 2018 Hugo Awards but not for a subsequent year unless its eligibility is extended by an explicit motion passed by the WSFS Business Meeting.

      You do not have to attend Worldcon (or be an attending member of Worldcon) to participate in the Hugo Awards. You only need be a supporting (non-attending) member. In addition, if you are a supporting or attending member of the 2019 Dublin Worldcon by the end of 2017, you will be eligible to nominate for the 2018 Hugo Awards administered by Worldcon 76 San Jose. (You will have to be a supporting or attending member of San Jose’s Worldcon to vote on the final ballot.)

  27. I study voting theory. Would it be possible to get the (anonymized!) ballots from recent Hugo elections? (Note that voting data like this could be published on, if allowed.) We would like to look at various statistical analyses.

    1. The ballots themselves are administered by individual Worldcon committees, not by or even by a centralized organization, so you would have to contact the individual Worldcon committees to ask that question. However, recent administrators have stated that they will not release such data, even “anonymized,” because they believe it would be too easy to determine how specific individuals voted.

    1. Olav:

      The reason we had no list for 1956 was that the historical data we had from which our original listings were drawn did not include it. Thank you for bringing this historical document to our attention. We have updated the listing accordingly.

      The voting for 1956 was clearly conducted much differently from modern Hugo Award balloting. In particular, there was room for write-in votes on the final ballot, and it appears that voting was “first past the post.” Also, in one category, there were no finalists at all; for Best Professional Magazine, all votes were write-ins.

      1. Kevin,

        Thank you! (And thank you for the shout-out in the statement about the update).

        I’ve been reading a lot of the progress reports from old Worldcons. There’s a lot of interesting fannish history there.

  28. Colossal’s not eligible for BDP-LF, right? It screened at TIFF (Canada) in 2016, but was also screened that same year at Fantastic Fest, a US festival:

    I’m starting to think there should be a distinction between festival screenings and wide releases since if I recall correctly, It Follows and The Witch were both hampered by this distinction. Unless I’m mistaken and films entering wide release don’t need their eligibility extended?

    1. From the way you describe it, it appears that the work was eligible for the 2017 Hugo Awards, and because it did not have its eligibility extended by the WSFS Business Meeting, it has used up its eligibility.

      Attempting to distinguish between “festival screenings” and “wide release” might introduce additional uncertainty into the process, as edge cases might arise that would lead to further disputes. But if you would like to try and come up with a technical definition that you think the WSFS Business Meeting might be willing to adopt, you could propose it as an amendment to the WSFS Constitution. We can help you put your proposal into the correct technical form if you wish to do so.

      1. Well, wide release is defined thusly:

        “In the American motion picture industry, a wide release is a motion picture that is playing nationally (as opposed to a few cinemas in cities such as New York and Los Angeles). Specifically, a movie is considered to be a wide release when it is in 600 cinemas or more in the United States and Canada.”

        …and limited releases are “where a new film is played in a select few theaters across the country, typically in major metropolitan markets.”

        I don’t know how to put this in a technical form, but I think a film’s eligibility to the public should be extended to limited/wide availability to audiences. If a film only screens at a film festival for its year of eligibility, perhaps that isn’t sufficient enough for a nomination, as that is only a closed audience? Essentially, I believe that a film’s eligibility should extend to limited releases (to give smaller films like, say, Train to Busan a shot) and wide releases.

        1. While I’m not sure this is the appropriate venue for the discussion (if only because very few other people are likely to see it), the first thing that comes to mind in reply to this suggestion is that it’s entirely limited to cinematic motion pictures released entirely through “traditional” channels. Any definition needs to take into account all other distribution channels, such as YouTube, Vimeo, and the like, as well as movies shown on television.

          For example, assume a movie was shown at a US film festival in 2017, and also posted to YouTube in 2017, then received a wide theatrical release in 2018. Under WSFS rules, it would not be eligible for the 2019 Hugo Awards, doubly so because both the film festival and YouTube release start its eligibility clock.

          This frankly is a very difficult issue. Other organizations handle it by having all of the judgement calls made by a central Authority. WSFS traditionally has resisted giving much subjective authority to Hugo Award Administrators. The only way that it deals with “limited distribution” is to give the WSFS Business Meeting the authority to extend works’ eligibility, but that admittedly requires “partisans” of a given work to submit such works to the WSFS BM for extension.

        2. Another edge case that comes to mind is when that “limited audience” happens to consist of a disproportionately high number of eligible Hugo Award voters. For example, image a dramatic presentation staged exactly once at a Worldcon, with no recordings nor other distribution of the work. By one metric, it could be considered “limited distribution” because only around 2000 people saw it worldwide and nobody else. But by another, it was aimed directly at a key segment of the electorate.

          Lest you think this a merely academic example, I will point out that this is exactly what happened with the musical Lucas Back in Anger performed once at the 2005 Worldcon and nominated for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) in 2006. Furthermore, the “framing sequence” of the 2005 Hugo Award ceremony, “Prix Victor Hugo,” was also nominated in BDP Short for 2006. (The latter was available for viewing online as well, unlike the former.)

          It is said that “edge cases make bad law,” but they are exactly the sorts of things you have to bear in mind when trying to draw up rule changes, particularly if attempting to make rules that don’t amount to “have some individual or Authority Figure make a subjective judgement call.”

      1. The Hugo Awards were created by fans of science fiction and fantasy to recognize those works that the members of the World Science Fiction Society think were the best of the year. They are not a juried award and have no “higher goal” than reflecting the tastes and opinions of the members. All of the members of WSFS (the membership of the World Science Fiction Convention) are eligible to participate in the process, from making the rules to nominating people and works to voting on the final selection.

    1. The Hugo Awards were first presented at the 1953 World Science Fiction Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. They have been presented annually since 1955. The Awards were initially organized by US science fiction and fantasy fans, although today the entire membership of the World Science Fiction Society can participate in the process for managing the Awards’ rules. The Awards are administered by the individual Worldcons.

  29. Let’s say there is a serialized work I want to nominate, that began season 1 in 2016 and ended in 2017, and has a season 2 that began in 2017 and is still running. Is either season eligible? If so, which one.

    Thank you for your time.

    1. Assaf:

      Serialized works are eligible for the year of the appearance/publication of the final installment. Therefore, the series that ended in 2017 is eligible for the 2018 Hugo Awards. The series that began in 2017 but has not yet finished is not eligible for the 2018 Hugo Awards.

      1. Assaf wasn’t specific, but he mentioned Season 1 and Season 2, so I assume he’s talking about a television show. Kevin’s answer would be correct if he meant a book series, but for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form an episode from a show airing episodes in 2017, for instance Agents of Shield, would be eligible even though the season is still airing in 2018.

        1. The difference is between nominating individual episodes of a television series as Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form (in which case the individual appearance dates, or the date of the last episode of a multi-part episode, apply), or nominating an entire series as Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form (in which case the appearance date of the final episode of the series applies). Nominating an entire season as a single entry should be used if you think the entire season is a single dramatic unit.

          1. I was actually referring to podcasts, though the episodal nature still applies. Specifically, I was asking in terms of a podcast who’s second season ended March 2017, and third season began in October 2017 and is still ongoing.

            Though on an unrelated note, what are the guidelines for a prose web serial? It began its run in 2014, updating twice a week until it’s conclusion in summer 2017. Is it eligible for best series?

          2. The answer I gave regarding television series applies to podcasts as well. If it is a serialized work, then the publication or appearance of the final episode starts the work’s eligibility clock. If it is a series of stand-along works, each work is eligible on its own based on when it appeared/was published.

            If the prose web serial is a single long work released in multiple parts, then it is a single work eligible in 2018 based on its total word count (probably Best Novel based on your description).

            If it is a series of stand-alone works, each of which would be eligible on its own, the overall work may be eligible for Best Series if it meets the length requirement (240,000 words).

    1. Madelyn:

      The Hugo Award was first presented at the 1953 World Science Fiction Convention. The “how” is that the committee of the 1953 Worldcon decided to present awards. Although initially considered as a one-time event, in 1955 they were established as an annual award presented by the members of the World Science Fiction Society (i.e. the members of Worldcon). See the Introduction to the Hugo Award page for more information.

      Kevin Standlee

  30. Hello,
    I would like to nominate a long-running webcomic. The webcomic is not posted on the web in separate books or plot arcs, but just as one comic after another. It is divided up into books for print editions, but the print editions are currently lagging multiple years behind the comic. This means there is no print edition or defined “book” of the comic that contains comics published in 2017. Is there a way to nominate the comic for the Hugos? Should I just nominate the comic itself, or possibly something like “the comic: 2017 run”?

    1. Kevin:

      I’m sorry, but for some reason your question went into our spam trap and we didn’t see it until now.

      The question you raise is a difficult one. The rules for Best Graphic Story, as with most other “story” categories, assume that there are defined stories with a beginning and and end. Therefore, a serialized graphic story (which is what a comic/webcomic is) has to have a point where the creator says “end of story” (not “end of comic,” but “place where this story ends”). The Best Graphic Story category is not a “Best Webcomic” or “Best Comic Book Series” category, but instead is intended to honor a specific story with a beginning and an end.

  31. INOG
    Dear Officials of HUGO award
    I am REZA REYHANI KOLACHAHI, author of ascience fiction-philosopical short story about future or long past of humanity.
    How can I bring it to you?
    Thanks a lot
    RRK 16, may, 2018

  32. Hi… can I participate in this competition? in other words, how my science fiction short story can be evaluated??

    1. No. Abrams would be eligible under Best Professional Artist, and the series itself might be eligible under Best Graphic Story, but neither has been a finalist.

  33. Can short story be considered part of a series? And if an arc of 23 novels, four novelettes, and a short story is broken down into four sub-series, can all of them be considered for the Best Series Hugo?

    1. Before considering this answer, please bear in mind that what we write here is not definitive. The Hugo Awards web site does not administer the Hugo Awards. The Awards are administered by the individual Worldcon committees, and only decisions made by the Hugo Administrator for a given year are definitive. With this in mind, we think the short answer to your question is “Yes, as long as the accumulated material is at least 240,000 words.”

      The definition of Best Series reads “A multi-installment science fiction or fantasy story, unified by elements such as plot, characters, setting, and presentation, appearing in at least three (3) installments consisting in total of at least 240,000 words by the close of the previous calendar year, at least one (1) installment of which was published in the previous calendar year, and which has not previously won….” There is nothing requiring any installment of the series to be of any particular length. There is no requirement that any installment be a a novel. Works of fiction of any length can be considered part of a series. All that matters is that there be enough total words, that it have at least three installments, and that there be at least one installment in the previous calendar year.

      Again, a definitive answer on this subject can only come from the current Worldcon’s Hugo Awards Administrator, and in general the Administrators only issue rulings if a work (in this case a series) receives enough nominations to make the final ballot. That is, Administrators rarely make hypothetical rulings.

      I hope this helps.

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