Record-Setting Number of Votes for 2016 Hugo Nominations

MidAmeriCon II reports over 4,000 nominating ballots were received for the 2016 Hugo Awards, nearly doubling the previous record of 2,122 ballots set last year by Sasquan, the 73rd Worldcon held in Spokane, WA.

This is the eighth consecutive year the record has been broken. Prior to Sasquan, Loncon 3 (2014) received 1,923 ballots; LoneStarCon 3 (2013) 1,343; Chicon 7 (2012) 1,101; Renovation (2011) 1,006; Aussiecon 4 (2010) 864; Anticipation (2009) 799 — each a new high-water mark at the time.

MidAmeriCon II reports there were 12,715 eligible nominators, also a record. These consisted of the members of Sasquan, and all the members of MidAmeriCon II and Worldcon 75 who had joined by January 31.

The finalists for the 2016 Hugo Awards, John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and the 1941 Retro Hugo Awards will be announced on Tuesday, April 26 via MidAmeriCon II’s social media.

The finalists will be released category by category, beginning at Noon CDT (1 p.m. EDT, 10 a.m. PDT, 6 p.m. London, 7 p.m. Western Europe), through the convention’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/MidAmeriCon2/) and Twitter feed @MidAmeriCon2

The announcement will begin with the 1941 Retro Hugo Awards then continue with the 2016 Hugo Awards and Campbell Award.

The full list of finalists will be made available on the MidAmeriCon II website directly after the completion of the live announcement, and will also be distributed as a press release to all MidAmeriCon II press contacts.

The full press release follows the jump.

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Waiting for Online Hugo Voting and the Voter Packet

The 2014 Hugo Award nominees were announced with a flourish 36 days ago. Although Loncon 3 published the voting form in Progress Report 3 on May 18, fans continue to wait for the committee to open online voting and release the Hugo Voter Packet.

How does Loncon 3’s performance compare with recent Worldcons?

Among the last four Worldcons, Renovation (2011) was quickest to open both paper and online voting, within 5 days after the nominee announcement.

LoneStarCon 3 (2013) needed a full 75 days to start online voting.

The average lapse time to open online voting over the past four years is 28 days.

That means Loncon 3 isn’t going to be the quickest, though we can hope it won’t take as long as last year.

What about delivery of the Hugo Voter Packet?

John Scalzi conceived the idea and put together the early packets. Beginning with 2010, each year’s Worldcon committee has been responsible.

The Renovation committee holds the record here, too — they made the Hugo Voter Packet available within 26 days. LoneStarCon took the longest time, 50 days. The average of the last four Worldcons is 36.75 days.

So – on average – tomorrow is the day the Hugo Voter Packet would be ready.

Worldcon

(Year)

Nominees

Announced

Voting

Available

 

Packet

Available

LonCon 3 (2014)

4/19/2014

(***)

???

LoneStarCon 3 (2013)

3/30/2013

6/19/2013 (**)

5/19/2013

Chicon 7 (2012)

4/7/2012

4/9/2012

5/18/2012

Renovation (2011)

4/24/2011

4/29/2011

5/20/2011

Aussiecon 4 (2010)

4/4/2010

5/4/2010?

5/4/2010

Anticipation (2009)

3/19/2009

5/19/2009

4/22/2009 (*)

Denvention 3 (2008)

3/21/2008

4/2008

4/10/2008 (*)

(*) In these years the packet was created by John Scalzi.

(**) Date online voting opened. Paper voting began being accepted sometime after 5/1/2013 without official announcement.

(***) Print ballot form available in PR #3, posted online 5/18/2014.

Hugo Voting Still Not Open

LoneStarCon 3 announced this year’s Hugo Awards nominees on March 30 but has yet to open the voting. Is 30 days and counting a long delay or not? How does this performance compare with other recent Worldcons?

The answer: It does not compare very well.

Last year, Chicon 7 announced it was ready to take votes 2 days after the nominees came out – meaning paper ballots. Online voting opened 11 days after, according to publicity.

Renovation (2011) said paper and online voting was open in a press release issued 5 days after the nominee announcement.

Aussiecon 4 (2010) reported voting open 30 days after the nominee announcement.

Anticipation (2009) wasn’t taking votes until the 60th day after.

Denvention 3 (2008) is a little harder to pinpoint because the information came in a progress report the month after the nominees were announced. The interim could have been as short as 9 days and as long as 39, and the true figure presumably lies somewhere in between.

Conclusion: The past two Worldcons got voting opened pretty quickly, and at 30 days LoneStarCon 3 is falling behind the curve.

Worldcon

(Year)

Nominees

Announced

Voting

Available

 

Packet

Available

Chicon 7 (2012)

4/7/2012

4/9/2012

 

5/18/2012

Renovation (2011)

4/24/2011

4/29/2011

 

5/20/2011

Aussiecon 4 (2010)

4/4/2010

5/4/2010?

 

5/4/2010

Anticipation (2009)

3/19/2009

5/19/2009

 

4/22/2009*

Denvention 3 (2008)

3/21/2008

4/2008

 

4/10/2008*

(*) In these years the packet was created by John Scalzi.

Sources for the dates are listed after the jump.

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2013 Hugo Nominations Break Record

For the fifth consecutive year Worldcon members have cast a record-breaking number of Hugo nominating ballots. LoneStarCon 3 received 1,343 valid nominating ballots, exceeding the 1,101 received by Chicon 7 last year. Prior to that, Renovation received 1,006 in 2011, Aussiecon 4 received 864 in 2010 and Anticipation received 799 in 2009, each a record-setting figure at the time.

This record-setting trend likely gained momentum from a rules change effective in 2012 which broadened the voting base. Since last year, members in the forthcoming Worldcon have been allowed to nominate too, just as members of the current and previous Worldcon have long been able to do. LonCon 3 in 2014 is a European Worldcon, and I would guess has many members who don’t typically join when the con is in North America, making the universe of potential Hugo nomination voters that much larger than it was in 2012 when the pool consisted of members of three U.S. Worldcons (Renovation, Chicon 7, LoneStarCon 3).

The 2013 Hugo Award nominees will be announced on Saturday, March 30, starting at 3 p.m. CDT.

The nominations announcement will be made simultaneously at four conventions in the United States and United Kingdom, with the shortlists being published through the LoneStarCon 3 website immediately afterwards.

Conventions taking part in the announcement are:

  • Norwescon 36, in Seatac, WA (1 p.m. PDT)
  • Minicon 48, in Bloomington, MN (3 p.m. CDT)
  • Marcon 48, in Columbus, OH (4 p.m. EDT)
  • EightSquaredCon, the British National Science Fiction Convention (Eastercon), in Bradford, England (8 p.m. GMT).

Nominations will also be released category by category via the LoneStarCon 3 Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LoneStarCon3 and the LoneStarCon 3 Twitter feed at twitter.com/LoneStarCon.

The full press release follows the jump.

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Pass-Along Funds

Two Worldcons distributed pass-along funds last year but the good deed seems to have gone unpublicized. The pass-along policy is a commitment to distribute at least one-half of a Worldcon’s surplus to the next three Worldcons that make the same promise.

Renovation, the 2011 Worldcon, gave $20,000 each to LoneStarCon 3 and Chicon 7. John Lorentz says they have another $20,000 in hand to give the 2014 site selection winner. And, adds John, “We expect that there will be a few thousand more for each of them once our final numbers are a little firmer later this spring.”

AussieCon 4 also sent pass-along funds to LoneStarCon 3, another $5,000 check on top of the amount already paid, making a total of $8,400 given to LSC3 from the 2010 Worldcon surplus.

Then, Renovation chair Patty Wells revealed the 2011 Worldcon made its first donation of surplus funds besides the pass-along. They gave $20,000 to the Susan C. Petrey Foundation to fund scholarships and fellowships to Clarion and Clarion West. The Petrey Foundation is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

Other donations will follow. For example, Wells said she is working with the Illustration Master Class as a possible recipient of funds for use in encouraging artist talent.

Mark Slater, Master of Montage

I was very impressed with the video used to introduce the 2010 Hugo Awards Ceremony — another masterpiece by Mark Slater, the fellow responsible for the superb London Calling 2014 bid video.

Images of the Hugo nominees and their works are intercut with flashes of political and scientific news from 2009 (the eligibility year), all flowing together in time to the remarkable background music.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, via Joel Zakem, not to mention I’m in it for about three-tenths of a second so my egoboo detector should have gone off when it was posted…]

Standlee Posts Aussiecon Videos

Kevin Standlee’s video of the Aussiecon 4 Hugo Awards Ceremony is now online here at TheHugoAwards.org.

Kevin warns there is one-minute gap in the coverage beginning just before the tie for Best Novel was announced, the length of time it took him to notice the camera had unaccountably turned itself off.

He’s also posted his video of the Worldcon Chairs Photo Session at Aussiecon 4 on Vimeo.com.

Update 09/18/2010: Changed Vimeo link per Kevin’s announcement.

John Hertz: What a Worldcon

By John Hertz (reprinted from Vanamonde 901):

I’ve come from L.A. to the Worldcon,
To the Aussiecon-Four’s-hopes-unfurled con.
All its meeting and such
With s-f friends, as much
As we can, makes it September’s Pearl con.

Flick said this limerick wasn’t bad enough for the newsletter, Voice of the Echidna, of which she was editrix. Alison Scott in the London office contributed several drawings of echidnas. The Aussiecon III newsletter was The Monotreme, which might have been all right except for a mascot drawing of a platypus, with sunglasses and a lapsize computer (do platypuses have laps?), so that in one issue (duly sent us Supporting Members) an irritated echidna complained “The Monotreme? The Monotreme?” and something had to be done.

Robert Silverberg said “This is the first time I’ve had a propeller beanie tipped to me.” I said “There’s always a first time.” On Hugo Night, I presented Best Fanwriter, which he accepted for Fred Pohl. The Laurie Mann photo on Pohl’s Weblog shows James Daugherty co-head of Hugo Night holding the trophy, me having stepped back, Silverberg speaking, Garth Nix the Master of Ceremonies. A few minutes earlier I accepted Best Fanartist for Brad Foster. Pat Sims and Robin Johnson gave the Big Heart to Merv Binns, whom Johnson in his Fan GoH speech had called the center around which Melbourne s-f had agglutinated for forty years. Right after the ceremony there were Flick and her folks with the voting analyzed on one sheet of paper, the nominating on the other side, copies for all.

In the Art Show, Kyoko Ogushi the con’s Japan agent had brought prints by Nawo Inoue, Naoyuki Katoh who was in the 2007 Worldcon paint-off with Bob Eggleton and Michael Whelan, Masaru Ohishi, and Eiji Yokoyama who again sold everything he sent. In the Masquerade, the Masters of Ceremonies were Nick Stathopoulos who designed this year’s Hugo trophy base, and Danny Oz; my co-judges were Lewis Morley who engraved the Hugo trophies, and Marilyn Pride who was Four for Four i.e. attending each Aussiecon; Morley, Pride, and Stathopoulos were the 1986 DUFF delegates, so we were DUFFers together. On Thursday night at Beverley Hope’s party for her and Roman Orszanski’s new fanzine Straw & Silk I learned Orszanski too was Four for Four. There were ribbons. I’d left early, about 1 a.m., and there in the street peering at my name-badge – I’d put my hat in my shoulder-bag – was Sharee Carton wondering if I knew any good parties, so I sent her to Hope.

Panel discussions are the stomach of our cons. Everything deemed fodder goes into them, some digested. On fanhistory panels Chris Nelson showed fine videos using the Convention Centre’s high-tech lecterns. He had gathered images of contemporary fanzines, prozines, and people, and had made graphs, including maps with colored circles for how many letters from which cities appeared in prozine letter-columns. On the Forties panel Alan Roberts and Art Widner traded stories about trading letters sixty years ago. I moderated the Fifties panel. Justin Ackroyd conducted the crowded Fan Funds auction, with intermittent help including mine. He took off his shoes and worked in his socks.

It was grand making new acquaintances and meeting fanziners in person, including Renaldo the Party Sheep. The Program Book treated generously the Fan Funds, DUFF, and me. Karen Babcock did wonders for disabled access and by the end had a Hero badge. Alan Stewart collated the annual edition of WOOF (World Organization Of Faneditors, invented by Bruce Pelz). There was not one drinking fountain in the Convention Centre. But Australia had Mars bars.

Taking Home Hugos, Then and Now

You don’t need to be told how different airport security is today from what it used to be. Controversies about that subject are constantly in the news. But my jaw dropped when I read about the problems Cheryl Morgan had taking her Hugo home from Aussiecon 4. She really experienced something I only vaguely worried about when I flew home with a Hugo from another Aussiecon 25 years ago.

I transported my Hugo to the plane in a carry-on bag after deciding it would be safer there than in my suitcase. In 1985 security checkers inspected passenger carry-ons with an x-ray machine at the entrance to the boarding lounge. I knew my hunk of solid metal shaped like a mortar round would show up quite spectacularly so I went through the line rehearsing an explanation for the guard about my “literary award.” But I need not have bothered, and my pride suffered a little when he looked up and said, “Oh, you’ve got one of these too.” The guard had already checked in Charlie Brown with his Hugo for Locus and Fred Pohl with a Hugo he’d accepted for Jack Williamson.

Today’s scanners display an even more impressive image of the Hugo. Unfortunately, the guards are not in the least jolly about it. 

Cheryl Morgan had a horrible experience a few days ago trying to depart Australia with her Hugo packed in checked luggage:

Firstly the check-in lady did not pass my comments about the Hugo in the bag on to security (the Thai Airways staff admitted to this). Secondly, having found the Hugo (which I must say lights up magnificently on the scans – I saw a print-out), the security people did not check with the airline, they called the police. And the police, having got involved, were determined to treat the whole incident as a potential terrorist threat.

There’s a lot more detail on her blog, all of it adding up to a nightmare.

Cheryl was finally turned loose. She made her flight in spite of everything and wrote afterwards, “Thankfully all my fears came to naught, and the suitcase and Hugo arrived safely at baggage claim in Heathrow.”

It may not always be true that all’s well that ends well, but Cheryl and her Hugo having reached England together it’s a little less problematic that as word of Cheryl’s predicament spread someone allegedly contacted Australian artist Nick Stathopoulos, designer of this year’s Hugo base, asking if he could make a replacement. He told his Facebook friends, “Cheryl Morgan’s Hugo Award may have been blown up at Singapore airport….” I swallowed the hook long enough to e-mail Cheryl and ask if she’d subsequently discovered damage to her Hugo.

Cheryl cleared things up directly. “You’ll note that Nick also mentioned Singapore, while my post mentions Bangkok. You may want to Google the Australian term ‘larrikin.’ Alternatively you may just want to kick Nick’s butt next time you see him.”

Larrikinism, I now know, is the name given to “the Australian folk tradition of irreverence, mockery of authority and disregard for rigid norms of propriety.” One might say larrikin is the mundane Australians’ word for “faanish humor.”

One last note: The Aussiecon 4 committee offered to have the Hugos shipped and almost half the winners accepted, whether to avoid security hassles or just yielding to the convenience.

2012 Site Selection Report

Mark Linneman’s official 2012 Site Selection report now is posted on the Worldcon website. It confirms the vote totals I ran the other day and is studded with fascinating details about the write-ins. Mark says:

There were 25 votes for “none of the above” and 20 expressed no preference. Minneapolis in ’73 received 8 votes, Peggy Rae’s 4 votes, Monkey’s Eyebrow 3, and Dave McCarty’s and Xerps in 2010 2 votes each. Fifteen different locations each received a single vote. There were 189 mail-in ballots and 337 cast at Aussiecon 4.

Single Votes: Chiculub, Chitzen Atzai, Barnes City,IA, Dave Freer’s House, Mons Olympus, Tenopah, NV, Kauai, No Dams, Antartica, Boston in Orlando, New Zealand 2020, Huntsville, AL,Rottonest Island, The Fabulous Bungalow, Perth, Australia.

Hard to guess the intent behind some of these misspellings. On purpose? By mistake? Years ago a friend of mine cautioned, “Intentional misspellings are meaningless when true errors abound.”