The Hugo Award Trophies

The Hugo Award trophies, which provide recognition and incentives by the way of awards to demonstrate excellence in the field of science fiction and fantasy, vary from year to year, but all (save 1958’s awards) feature one prominent element: the finned Hugo rocket which stands atop the trophy.

The standard Hugo Award rocket

The earliest Hugo Award trophy used a rocket designed by Jack McKnight and Ben Jason based upon the hood ornament from a 1950s American automobile; however, the shape of the rocket changed over the years as individual committees reinterpreted the design. The current design of the trophy rocket, which is now considered definitive, has been the same since Peter Weston’s refinement of the design debuted in 1984. Since then, every Hugo Award trophy rocket (except those used in 1991) has been literally cast from the same mold by Ashwater Foundry in England.

Each Worldcon Committee designs a base for the trophy. Some have been fairly plain; others have moved toward the fanciful and whimsical. The 1992 Hugo Award, presented by MagiCon, included pieces of an actual gantry from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, while the 1994 Hugo Award, presented by ConAdian, contained pieces of “space metal” — pieces of Canadian sounding rockets that had actually been in space.

A collection of Hugo Award trophy photographs can be viewed through the links below. The photographs were primarily taken by Michael Benveniste and Sheila Perry.