Friday, September 07, 2007


Hugo Changes Poll

The good folks at the Science Fiction Awards Watch have launched a poll to gauge what sort of changes to the Hugo Awards might be desirable. Things like...
Personally I think we should get rid of Best Dramatic Presentation - Long Form, but that's a discussion for another time. As for the options presented, I think that On-site voting is the one that appeals most to me, though I pity the poor folks who'd be responsible for managing it during WorldCon, if it were to come to pass. Anybody who spends the days of a WorldCon counting ballots should get free admission to the next decade's worth of convention, if you ask me. Adding a YA category is an interesting notion, too.

Go and vote your opinions, and maybe we'll see some changes for the better in the way the Hugos are run. The last few years have seen some really positive changes to the awards for artist and editor, thanks to the tireless efforts of a few generous folks, and serve as proof positive that participation is the key to improving the process.

The on-site voting certainly seems to get getting a lot of support. Personally I can't think of many things worse, especially for the poor nominees. I really don't want to see the first few days of Worldcon filled with "vote for me" parties and fans going round pressuring people to vote for their favorite book. But I guess it is all in keeping with the idea of the Hugos as a popularity contest and would go down well with people who watch programs like American Idol and Big Brother.

Isn't it wonderful when democracy turns out to show that you are totally out of step with the world. :-)
Very true. But I'd considered things like "Vote for me" nonsense and figured it wouldn't happen that often. Wouldn't it be as frowned upon as campaigning for Hugo votes elsewhere generally is?
I think it might for a year or two, but it is one of those things that is hard to stop once it gathers momentum. And it would not be the nominees who would start it. I'm sure that publisher PR people would be tempted to throw parties on behalf of their authors and editors. And there will always be some really dedicated fans whose devotion to their idol will outweigh any other consideration. Eventually it would become the norm, and nominees would have to get involved if they wanted to stand any chance of winning.
Mmm. You may well be right.
Unfortunately there is only one way to find out...
Yeah, I hate the idea of on-site voting for the very reason Cheryl stated -- that it wouldn't take long for the "vote for me" parties to be in vogue. And then it would escalate to who had the bigger, better bash, and then it would be down to who has the deepest pockets....and you can see where that would bueno.
I'm afraid Cheryl is right, Chris. I'm already salivating at the prospect of throwing a "Vote for Me" party, and I haven't even been nominated for anything.
Oh, alright, I wanna go to David's party. What can I nominate him for?

David, could you, like, do a pre-nomination vote for me party at World Fantasy? I have a list of malt whiskies I'd like you to have available.
Vote for me parties, ay.... hmmmmm....

Seriously though, I expect that the mere presence of sites like Science Fiction Awards Watch may have a measurable impact on voting numbers in 2 to 3 years, in much the same way that Irene Gallo's blog and similar online initiatives have brought awareness to the work of some deserving contemporary artists.
Darn it, Lou, don't reveal our cunning plan to everyone!

Yeah, we very much hope that it will. Although many years of nagging people through Emerald City didn't have much effect.
Like David, I'd love to throw a Vote For Me party. But I agree with Cheryl that the two of us, and the rest of the world, should be protected from that side of our nature. The awards weekend is when the voting has been completed, and the contestants can relax, not a last minute blast of selling. That'd be hell on everyone involved. I also think online voting would be a bad idea: you need to have made the commitment of being a Worldcon attendee, or care enough to pay the supporting membership. Nobody seriously buys a Hugo, and the conventions reap the benefits.
Yah, sounds like the On-site voting would lead to issues.

I do like the idea of adding a YA category...I think that's a really important area to be working on to try and get younger readers interested in the genre.
Okay, I've been officially convinced that on-site voting is a bad idea.
How about "Vote for Me Next Year Parties"?
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