Sep 7 2015

Worldcon 2015 — the awards


I quite enjoyed being at the Hugo ceremony.   It’s been a long time.

You can watch the stream of the ceremony online and see it for yourself.

People had been worried that there might be some public fuss, prompted by the Sad/Rabid Puppies controversy, but there was none.   Audience members were civilized and mostly pleasant (one attempt at booing was shut down rapidly from on stage by co-host David Gerrold).

As for the controversy itself… much has been said elsewhere, by many.  You don’t need me to synopsize  it for you, do you?    If you need background, Here’s an article in Wired Magazine that covers the whole deal.  Also, on Mike Glyer’s File770 site, there’s a collection of posts covering the the Puppies issues as they unfolded.

I’m just glad that part is over.

For the record, here’s what I did:

As a Worldcon member this year, I could cast my votes for the Hugos, so I availed myself of the Hugo Voter’s Packet, which contains e-versions of most of the nominated works (or excerpts from them).   In most cases, it turned out that I had not read the work before.

I read them… or as much of each work as was needed to determine whether or not, in my opinion, the work in question deserved to even be on the ballot.

Some of the items were borderline unreadable, just in terms of quality (those were the ones where I had to stop reading after a while).   Some were perfectly fine, but just nowhere near award-worthy — or even nomination-worthy.  Others were good enough to be nominated.

When you vote, you don’t just vote for the one you want to win — instead you list the nominated works in order, from 1 to whatever, based on how much you think each work deserves the award.  (The ranking below #1 does have an effect on the outcome — It’s called  “Instant Runoff” voting.  You can read about the Hugo process here.)

For each category, I ranked only the ones that were Hugo-worthy, based entirely on my evaluation of the quality of the work.

Sometimes, there was only one Hugo-worthy work.  In some categories, nothing nominated was of sufficient quality, and did not even belong on the ballot.

So I used the “No Award” option.  I ranked the ones I thought deserved to be on the ballot, then gave No Award the next place in the ranking, and shut up about the rest.

Based entirely on quality.   Not politics.

And there were some categories (“Fan artist.”  “Best Fancast”) about which I knew not enough to hazard an opinion.  So I left them blank, which has no negative effect on final numbers.

That’s it.  You can read the official list of winners, and how they ranked, on the Hugo Awards website.

Going forward, I shall be certain to participate not only in the voting, but in the nomination process.   I want it to be difficult to choose between the nominees next year– they should all be that excellent.

Next Year: Worldcon will be in Kansas City Missouri, which will at least be a lot less expensive to get to.   I’m glad I went to Spokane this year, but it was officially Not Cheap.