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The Hugo Voter’s Packet

March 16, 2014

Hugo Award logoWhat is the Hugo Voter’s Packet and why should you care? Hello! My name is Lonnie, and Fran has graciously invited me to stop by and help you answer that question.

If you read science fiction and/or fantasy, you may already know about the Hugo Award. Many people refer to it as the Oscar Award of the science fiction world, but I think that it’s more accurate to describe it as sci-fi’s People’s Choice Award, since anyone can nominate and vote for their favorite works.

Every year, the World Science Fiction Convention is held in a different city around the world. Last year it was held in San Antonio, Texas. This year it’s in London, and next year it will be held in Spokane, Washington. Members of the convention are eligible to nominate and vote for the Hugo Awards, given to the science fiction and fantasy works deemed worthy from the previous calendar year.

Since 2010, every sitting Worldcon has, with the cooperation of publishers and authors, managed to put together a package of all the “in print” nominated works in  DRM-free e-book format. This includes novels, short stories, magazines, related works, graphic novels, and much, much, more. The only cost for this treasure trove is a membership to that year’s convention. In addition to an attending membership (which is usually a couple hundred dollars), you can buy a supporting membership at a much more reasonable price. The current cost for a supporting membership is $40 USD for this year’s convention in London.

The reasoning behind the packet is to give the eligible voters a chance to familiarize themselves with all the works that have been nominated before they vote for them. Back in the early days of the Hugo Awards, it may have been possible to keep abreast of most of the new speculative fiction that was published; it is practically impossible to do that in this age of internet publishing.

If you are interested, you can see the works showcased in last year’s Voter’s packet. Also, you are not required to vote if you buy the packet, and if you do vote, you are not required to vote in every category. If you act quickly enough, there is still time to nominate the works from 2013 you’d like to see win the Hugo. All you need to do is purchase your membership and send in your ballot before March 31, 2014.

If you have any questions about the Voter’s Packet, the Hugo Awards or Worldcon, I’ll be happy to answer them in the comments.

  1. March 16, 2014 9:36 PM

    Hi Lonnie,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to contribute to MyPassionIsBooks Blog about the Hugo Awards, LonCon3, the sitting Worldcons each year, and the attending membership and the supporting membership and what it entails and how it benefits those becoming members at either level.

    Thanks again! We look forward to seeing many more contributions from you over time here on MyPassionIsBooks Blog!



  2. March 16, 2014 9:56 PM

    Fran, it was my pleasure. In addition to being able to participate in the process of determining the winner of the Hugo Awards, the Voter Packet is a great way to get a lot of reading material at a very reasonable price!


    • March 16, 2014 11:49 PM

      Yes, the Votor Package itself with all the ebooks is very nice indeed plus, you get to have a say in the results of the Hugo Awards.


  3. March 18, 2014 9:06 AM

    Hi Lonnie,

    So if you become a supporting member before March 31st of this year, you get to vote in 2014 Hugo Awards right?

    And for that supporting membership, you are able to get all the contents of the Voter Package, whether you vote or not, including all the ebooks?


    • March 18, 2014 11:23 PM

      If you become a member before the end of March, you are eligible to nominate works for the Hugo. The nominations close on the 31st.

      If you become a member after the 31st, you are still able to vote for the Hugo Award once the nominees are announced.

      In both cases, the supporting membership entitles you to the Voter’s Packet, with no further obligation on your part.

      In my case, I am generally not well-read enough in the newest titles to feel comfortable nominating anything, but once the nominees are announced and the Packet becomes available, I feel like I can vote with confidence and give the nominees a fair shake..


      • March 18, 2014 11:36 PM

        That’s a great plan! Thanks for the additional thoughts on it and how you do it. That will likely help some folks to determine how they wish to be a part of the Hugo Awards too.


  4. April 19, 2014 8:00 PM

    The 2014 Hugo Award nominations, as well as nominations for the 1939 Retro Hugo Awards, were announced earlier today. The announcement of the nominations can be found here:

    Regarding the Hugo Voter’s Packet, from the above announcement:

    “A Hugo Voter Packet of nominated works will be released as soon as it is available. The availability of nominated works is dependent upon the generosity of the authors, artists, publishers, and rights holders, and no work is guaranteed to be in the Hugo Voter Packet. Only eligible voters (voting members of the 2014 Worldcon) will be given access to the Hugo Voter Packet.”


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