Hugo Gernsback

Who's Hugo? 

"The Father of Science Fiction." In 1926 Hugo Gernsback started up Amazing Stories  as the first magazine devoted to the fiction about the future. In 1960 he was awarded a special Hugo award in recognition of his influence in the field.

What's a Hugo?

It's an award, "given for work in the field of science fiction or fantasy appearing for the first time during the previous calendar year."

The work generally has to be in English, which makes you wonder why they give it out at Worldcon. If a work is translated into English, the date that the translated work is published becomes the year it appeared.

It looks like a rocket, and the base changes from year to year at the discretion of the Con giving them out. Nominees are given miniature versions as pins.

How long has this been going on?

Since 1953, and the winners were: Novel: The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester
Professional Magazine: Galaxy and Astounding (tie) Excellence in Fact Articles: Willy Ley
Cover Artist: Ed Emshwiller and Hannes Bok (tie)
Interior Illustrator: Virgil Finlay
New SF Author or Artist: Philip Josť Farmer
Number 1 Fan Personality: Forest J. Ackerman

As you can see, the categories have changed and expanded over the years, through a painful process of parliamentary procedure.



Editorial License - Hugo Nominations
by Ernest Lilley - Editor/SFRevu

Deadline for 2001 Hugo Nominations: March 30, 2002
Online Nomination Form: Nomination Form
2001 Additional Category: Web Site!
Also of note:
SFRevu Columnist Steve Sawicki's Novella, "Invisible Friends" (SF Site Review) has been getting some good reviews and Hugo talk. We'd love to see Steve get the nod from our readers.

A Call For Voter Turnout 

Denizens of the WWW! If you were a member of last year's Worldcon, The Millennium Philcon, (SFRevu coverage) or had bought a membership to this year's Worldcon in San Jose (Con Jose), YOU can nominate works published in 2001 for a Hugo!

Just think of it! For the rest of time, you'll have the satisfaction that you were part of the Hugo process for the first year of the second millennium! At least by the Clark Calendar.

And this year is the first time ever a Web Hugo will be awarded.

(Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge.)

An online ballot is available at the Con Jose website, which is a great idea. (nomination form)

(More nudging ensues.)

As the editor of SFRevu, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that I've got a vested interest, but as SF loving web denizens, it should occur to you that you do too.

More and more of the energy of Fandom is being put into the web, and a strong voting turnout this year for the web site award would provide an incentive to make ongoing recognition of it at the Hugos. 

There are a number of great SF sites out there to nominate (no pun intended) and it's going to be interesting to see where the votes fall. If nothing else, I'm hoping to learn more about what makes a good site in other people's eyes. 

There are several sites listing nominations, but the best list I've seen is probably at Emerald City, and if you want to see the rules for the Hugo Awards in all their constitutional glory, the 2000 version is posted at: Hugo Rules. 

(If you want to see the current constitution of the WSFS, it can be found on pg 23 and following of the ConJose Progress Report #3) but as far as I can tell, there's no significant difference.

Good luck to everyone!

Ernest Lilley
Editor - SFRevu

Is a Webzine a Fanzine?

Curious to find out if there was any other category that a web publication could compete in, we asked Kevin Standlee (2002 Hugo Awards Administration) if a Webzine could be considered a Fanzine. He came back with the very reasonable response..."it depends."

Kevin: "Publication" has a broader meaning than "making impressions upon pieces of paper," regardless what old-time fanzine fans want to believe.  For example, showing an episode of a TV show is treated as "publication" for legal purposes.

Anyway, the answer to your question is "it depends."  If what you do is publish defined issues of a 'zine and distribute it by electronic means -- look at how Cheryl Morgan publishes monthly issues of Emerald City -- then it's clearly a fanzine.  If you just have a web site whose content changes irregularly and at which you cannot clearly state "this is an issue of the publication/web site," then it makes it difficult to determine how many "issues" as called for in the rules have been published.

This probably isn't as clear-cut an answer as you would like to hear, but that is because there is insufficient legislative history and award decision precedent to allow me to be more helpful.  Administrators tend to follow the vox populi, vox dei proposal if it's reasonable to do so, but webzines are cutting edge and I can't really tell you what we will necessarily decide on any given case until we actually have the case -- a specific work with enough votes to be nominated -- before us.

So the answer is definitely maybe. Next year we may find out first hand...for now, we'd like a Web Site Hugo please. - Ern

SFRevu Hugo Suggestions -- These are some of the books and films we've reviewed from last year that seem to stand out as well liked at SFRevu. It's not the ultimate list by any means, and I've no doubt missed some great stuff, but you can only talk about what you look around and find your own favorites. (Titles listed in alphabetical order.) - Ern

Dramatic Presentations: 

Additional Categories: Web Sites (we don't review web sites per se, but as noted above, we've a vested interest in the category)

© 2002 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu  

Note: "Kevin Standlee chaired/will chair the 1995 and 2002 WSFS Business Meetings, and was/is a member of the Hugo Awards Administration Subcommittee of the 1993, 1994, and 2002 Worldcons.  Although he was not speaking officially on behalf of ConJose...."

Kevin can be reached at: