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Haikasoru and the Hugos

by nickmamatas

As many of you have heard by now, I have been nominated for the Hugo Award in the category of Best Editor, Long Fiction, along with many other great editors:

Best Editor, Long Form
Lou Anders
Ginjer Buchanan
Moshe Feder
Liz Gorinsky
Nick Mamatas
Beth Meacham
Juliet Ulman

The Hugo is the most prestigious award in science fiction, and it is voted on by the fans, specifically the fans who attend (or support) the World Science Fiction Convention, aka Worldcon. Here are some details. Fans both nominate and vote on the nominees.

Best Editor, Long Form is a relatively new category in the Hugos—for years there was a single editor category, but it was generally dominated by anthologists and the editors of short fiction magazines. After all, their names were on the mastheads, covers, and under the editorial notes or introductions to their magazines and books. Who knows who edits books? Indeed, one reason why my name appeared on the ballot is that I am closely identified with Haikasoru. Someone may have read two or three of our titles, enjoyed them, and thus put me on their nominating ballot. That same fan may have read and loved a dozen books published by Tor or Ace, and had no idea who edited them. Thus, BELF is a fairly small category—it takes only a couple of dozen votes to get on the ballot. For the more popular categories, like Best Novel or Best Dramatic Presentation (itself split into long and short, or basically feature films and TV shows/shorts) may need over one hundred votes just to get on the ballot.

It can be difficult not to make a big deal of the Hugos, since the awards are very important to the field-and I am thrilled to be a nominee for Haikasoru—but I did want to demystify the proceedings a bit. It would be great if more publishers put the name of the editor of the book somewhere on the credits/copyright page to make this category more open to the casual fans. Right now, only the people who really follow the science fiction horse race very closely vote in that category. It’s like being nominated for an Oscar in the Best Sound Editing or whatnot.

The Hugos are having some influence already. James Nicoll, himself a two-time Hugo nominee for Best Fan Writer, has been talking about Haikasoru for months and is now reviewing or having reviewed every Haikasoru title on his blog—follow his schedule here. He also talks about other things, of course, such as books he’s read, Canadian politics, and his forty-nine cats. It’s interesting stuff.

Also interesting is the fanzine Drink Tank (a Hugo nominee in Best Fanzine!) by Chris Garcia (a Best Fan Writer nominee!), especially the recent issue handicapping the Hugos (opens PDF). What he had to say about the Best Editor, Long Form category was especially interesting, I think. Here’s the page, reproduced with permission:

Chanting my name, you say? Well, that could fun. Not very likely though.

And anyway, I don’t need to win a Hugo. My co-worker Urian already created this for me, and it hangs proudly over my desk:

But I’ll see you all in Reno!

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2 Responses to “Haikasoru and the Hugos”

  1. Peter Hollo says:

    Very glad you got up! I was at AussieCon last year and so I had nominating rights, so I’m proud to have contributed a tiny bit 🙂
    Can’t make it Reno, so have a ball! Do you think there’s virtue in getting a non-attending membership to WorldCon just so as to vote in the Hugos?

  2. nickmamatas says:

    In general? I suppose if someone has fifty dollars to spare on SF, I’d recommend buying a couple of hardcovers over voting for the Hugo awards, honestly. But if fandom is one’s big hobby and one loves the Hugos and following the horse race, I suppose supporting memberships can be a good way to spend one’s entertainment dollars. Thank you for your vote, Peter!

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