Black Gate, a 2015 Hugo finalist in the fanzine category, has withdrawn from the ballot. John O’Neill announced the decision today:
On April 4th, Black Gate was nominated for a 2015 Hugo Award for Best Fanzine. One of our bloggers, Matthew David Surridge, was also nominated as Best Fan Writer but, as he explained, he declined the nomination before the ballot was announced.
Since the nomination for Black Gate was for the entire site, which produces over 120 articles per month by a team of over 40 volunteers, I did not decline the nomination, although personally I shared many of the Matthew’s concerns. However, over the last two weeks I’ve had the opportunity to hear from many of our bloggers, and by and large they share many of those concerns as well.
Accordingly, on Saturday, April 18th, I informed the administrators at Sasquan that we have withdrawn Black Gate from consideration for the 2015 Hugo Award.
O’Neill also thinks remaining in contention is inconsistent with the staff’s purposes in advocating a “No Award” vote:
Black Gate has, for the past two weeks, been debating the very legitimacy of the current Hugo ballot, and I have been publicly and privately advocating a “No Award” approach to the 2015 Hugo ballot. I have come to the conclusion, reluctantly, that this goes against the spirit of the awards. We can’t both be a part of the ballot, and actively working against it. So we have formally withdrawn Black Gate from consideration for the 2015 awards.
It remains to be seen whether Black Gate will be struck from the ballot. Sasquan previously stated the ballot was locked on April 16