62 thoughts on “CoNZealand Hugo Voter Packet Available

  1. Huzzah!

    I am still going through the packet (my computer BSODed while downloading Graphic Story or Comic, Dramatic Presentation (Short), and Fancast, which DID NOT HELP) but some highlights IMO include complete series for both InCryptid and Planetfall, as well as a link to watch Worlds of Ursula Le Guin online. Also the usual assortment of complete novels, shorter stories, and fan content.

    There is quite a bit of NetGalley content so if you haven’t set that up, be prepared to do so.

    Thank you to all of the creators and publishers who participated!

  2. Woo-hoo! Only two of the six novels are excerpts, and I already own those two! (Not a given, since I own and have read only three of the six finalists.)

    Now my Hugo reading begins in earnest!

  3. Now all they need to do is OPEN the voting…. Unless they do that, it won’t matter when it closes.

  4. Yay! Just came back from a wonderful Nebulas ceremony to see this, so my day is now complete.

    July 15? Heh, that’s the week I took off work. I started reading a few weeks ago, but I’m glad I’ll have those last days at home to cram.

  5. After abandoning my current attempt to delete the previous failed downloads from my external drive, I have finally convinced my computer to download Graphic Story or Comic, and the reason it was so big:

    Image Comics has also provided all the prior volumes in these series in case you need to catch up on the story.

    Yup, that’s the entirety of Monstress, Paper Girls, and The Wicked + The Divine.

    The Dramatic (Short) folder looks to contain the full Doctor Who: “Resolution” episode as well as a clip from The Expanse: “Cibola Burn”, although I have not extracted the files yet so I can’t verify this.

  6. Goobergunch: After abandoning my current attempt to delete the previous failed downloads from my external drive, I have finally convinced my computer to download Graphic Story or Comic, and the reason it was so big

    I would have expected that they would have learned that lesson after 2018 and separated out the big files into individual downloads. Guess not. Thanks for the warning, I won’t be downloading that.

  7. I know this whole situation has made it 100x harder than they could’ve anticipated, but I really wish they’d extend the voting period/pick a later date for the virtual conference.

    It was already going to be a shorter voting period than usual due to the early conference date and voting STILL isn’t open. Gonna be ridiculously hard to try and catch up on reading everything.

  8. Whoa, I don’t know how the .mobi files were created, but most of them are massively-bloated with crap. If you don’t read .mobi, you might want to delete those versions to free up a bunch of space. If you do read .mobi, you might want to use something like Calibre to re-convert them. One of the novelettes went from 16,697 KB to 177 KB when re-converted to .mobi with Calibre.

  9. JJ – I’m just downloading everything now, so I haven’t looked at what’s available, but how the hell is a novelette taking up 16MB?! Is the .mobi file just made up of images of each individual page?!

  10. Joe: how the hell is a novelette taking up 16MB?! Is the .mobi file just made up of images of each individual page?!

    I have absolutely no idea. The only editor I have requires .mobi files to be converted to a different filetype in order to edit it, and the conversion to .epub or .azw3 gets rid of all of the dross, whatever it is.

  11. Well, good for Image Comics. For The Wicked and the Divine in particular, it’s absolutely great and I am rooting for it to win, but volume 9 of 9 does not stand on its own.

  12. Yikes, the website doesn’t even support the use of download managers so there’s literally no way to download those enormous files (5GB?! Thank you for the content but seriously?!) without hoping your browser/internet doesn’t throw its hands up and give up partway through what is inevitably going to be a several-hour download process. I hope the admins can keep looking for alternatives for the big files because this is a huge accessibility issue.

  13. Yaaay! Nice to wake up to this. Glad to hear about WicDiv. I was reading ebooks from my library, but it will be nice to have the previous issues to refer back to.

  14. Poking around finds the 16MB novelette mentioned appears to be Away With The Wolves, further poking and dismantling shows it has a 4.9MB JPEG of the cover image, plus an 11.7MB PNG version of the same image. The epub version supplied seems a bit better in that the cover image is a mere 3.7MB PNG.

  15. I’m now on attempt 3 to get the 3.5GB graphic story folder to download without cutting out or throwing up a 403 error. I did eventually get a download manager (Free Download Manager) to work on some of the “smaller” folders, but there seems to be no way I can get a file this large to directly download no matter how much I “time my bandwidth”, as the instructions put it. I’m on kinda-rural UK internet which is not the best, but certainly not bad in the grand scheme of things either. I know CoNZealand have had a lot to deal with and that this is pretty minor in the grand scheme of things, but putting up files that a lot of users have literally no way of accessing is a real disappointment.

  16. I had good luck last night downloading everything before going to sleep; however it looks like I’ll need to take a couple of days to go through all the stuff and get it properly sorted. Is there a table of contents I’ve missed anywhere that I can use as a checklist?

  17. Andrew, there is a PDF list of contents inside each category folder once it’s unzipped which mostly distinguishes between extracts and full works (and most of the extracts have the word EXTRACT in their title).

    Some of the full novels are in PDF only, which is really a pain. Some of the full novels have to be downloaded from NetGalley.

  18. Andrew, when I was sorting through things last night, it appears that each category has its own .pdf with a list of what’s included in that category, and in what formats. I’m not sure if that’s what you’re looking for, however.

    Be aware that there are several full novels in the Best Editor Long Form category. (And quite a few excepted ones, too, but I’m not counting those.) A quick-and-dirty estimate puts it at somewhere close to 30 full novels and 50+ works of shorter fiction in this Hugo Packet, and that’s not even counting the Graphic Novels which I’ve not looked at yet. Kudos to the folks who negotiated with the publishers. We’re really getting a whole lot of bang for our buck as Supporting Members.

  19. @Cassy: It’s probably just my poor organization, but I’d be better off with a single list that I could go through to confirm that I’ve got everything (or at least have everything that I am interested in).

  20. You are correct that best professional artist is missing. We are working on getting that corrected, but time zones slow things down. So stay tuned on that. We apologize for the omission.

  21. Why is it always such an impossible quest to find a list of what’s actually contained in the packet (without actually downloading)? Like I’d think it’d be something of a selling point “hey buy a worldcon membership and you can not only vote in the hugos but to help you make your decision you can get access to these novels for free.” Honestly, on marginal years (that is, ones where I don’t particularly have a strong opinion on the nominees but I’m willing to have my mind changed) it’s certainly a factor in whether I buy a membership or wait until the next nominating period comes up. Yet every year it seems like it’s a state secret what you actually get in it.

  22. Joe on May 31, 2020 at 12:26 am said:

    JJ – I’m just downloading everything now, so I haven’t looked at what’s available, but how the hell is a novelette taking up 16MB?

    The novelette covers weighty themes and deep issues both of which take up more bytes. That’s just science.

  23. @Peter: No one knows what the packet will contain until after the nominees are announced and after the publishers decide if they are willing to participate- and all that happens too late to for people to decide on becoming members based on the contents I think.

  24. Andrew: Would it not be true that if someone becomes a CoNZealand member (of an eligible class) prior to the close of voting, they would have access to the HVP?

  25. Mike: You’re right – I was thinking of the fact that generally you need to get a membership before Jan 1 in order to be eligible to nominate by the later nomination deadline. I suppose a con committee could advertise their expected packet contents to encourage people to become members. I think so far people have preferred to consider the packet as an aid for voters, rather than a benefit for members (a fine distinction of course). The packet isn’t part of the WSFS constitution, just a recent tradition (right?).

  26. Yes, if Worldcons started advertising the contents of the package as a way of advertising for members, it would look a lot like “pay $45 and get 30 novels” (or whatever the number is). If Worldcons started doing that, then publishers would likely stop being willing to give members access to the works.

  27. So what is the end result of going through the NetGalley process? Is it likely to be less hassle to futz about in Calibre to clean up the Exhalation pdf into a reasonable epub? It took me about 10 minutes of learning Calibre and another 10 minutes to do the specific settings for To Be Taught, if Fortunate for comparison.

    Yes, one pdf that just combines the single-page pdf’s included in each category would be helpful.

  28. The end result of the netgalley process with Exhalation is you get a Adobe DRM epub or if you “send to Kindle” a DRMed azw3. They say uncorrected proof on the cover. Presumably the pdf is too since it has a watermark PROOF across every page.

  29. Tammy Coxen: Advertising the HVP as if it was some kind of StoryBundle would be different than what is done now, which is publicizing that a Hugo Voter Packet is available to members and leaving it up to the community to publicize on social media what its contents are. All the information is out there. So different, but not magnitudes of difference. It seems likely that publishers already understand what their exposure is, and have opted to do what they can to compete for the award.

  30. Thanks to all the creators and publishers who participated! 😀

    @Tammy Coxen: Thank you all for your hard work and for letting us know Best Professional Artist has a packing coming. 🙂 And agreed that not making the packet a big promotional thing, for the reason you state.

    ETA: But good point, @Mike Glyer. That may be why we see more experts and NetGalley stuff (though it varies between publishers, year-to-year, etc.).

    @Camestros Felapton: “The novelette covers weighty themes and deep issues both of which take up more bytes. That’s just science.”

    ROFL! 😉

    @errolwi: I need to look at my year-old Notes on PDF conversion in Calibre, watermarks, etc. Eek.

  31. Thanks Laura.
    Kendall (and anyone else thinking about this option), for To Be Taught, if Fortunate I just had to turn on Heuristic processing, then ‘Search and replace’ what was left over from the watermark, header and footer. Only slightly sophisticated entries included [0-9] to deal with the page numbers, something there are examples of in the Calibre tutorial.

    Yes, thanks to the creators and publishers. I’ve set myself what is I hope a reasonable target of categories to evaluate.

  32. @JJ: FWIW, it’s not just the inclusion of past volumes making the Best Graphic Story ZIP so large. For example, the “Monstress” finalist PDF is almost as large (714 MB) as the other three volumes combined (740ish MB). Although some of it is the past content, e.g., this year’s “The Wicked + The Divine” is only 42 MB, but volume 3 is 429 MB (yes, 10 times the size).

    So I appreciate the finalist content & the bonus previous-volume content, but clearly publishers/creators could optimize this stuff a bit. 😉 Also, future Worldcons (if we get more previous volumes like these) could put previous volumes into a separate ZIP file, which would’ve made the Best Graphic Story ZIP file 1 GB instead of 3.5 GB.

    Props to the folks at CoNZealand working on this. I know it’s more work than it appears and I really do all they’ve done here! 😀

  33. I suspect that advertising the HVP as a “story bundle” would create two problems.

    First, a set of expectations among purchasers that would not match what is actually in the HVP, and expectations of customer service levels that Worldcons would struggle to fulfill.

    It’s not HumbleBundle, and Worldcons don’t have that sort of digital fulfillment arm.

    Second, people buying the membership just for the HVP with no intention of actually voting. If there were a lot of those people, then the publishers – who, remember, are giving away the writing in the HVP – are going to look askance at it.

    It could perhaps be advertised a bit more than it is, but that needs to set appropriate expectations, ie that it’s not a purchase as such, and that you are expected (but not required) to actually vote. The way I often explain it to people is that it’s like the free “For Your Consideration” DVDs/Blu-Rays that are sent to Oscar voters.

  34. @ Camestros Felapton. LOL. No doubt the well known effects of the interference of magic with technology are messing up the formatting in the two mobi files I’ve tried reading so far.

    The amount of stuff is really impressive.

  35. Thanks all for your feedback. We have uploaded the material for Best Artist, added an overall table of contents and broken up the graphic story and BDP into smaller chunks. So that should address the issues you raised. If you encounter any more problems, feel free to email hugohelp@conzealand.nz.

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