Dublin 2019, an Irish Worldcon, the 77th World Science Fiction Convention, (“Worldcon”) taking place in Dublin Ireland in August 2019, announced today that a special Hugo category for “Best Art Book” will be included in the 2019 Hugo Awards, and the Retrospective Hugo Awards for 1944.
The Hugo Awards are the leading awards for excellence in the field of science fiction and fantasy, and have been presented at Worldcons since 1953. They are voted on by members of each year’s Worldcon.
Art books formerly featured strongly in the Best Related Work Hugo Award category, and its predecessors, Best Related Book and Best Non-Fiction Book, and also in the former Hugo category Best Original Artwork. Finalists and winners included collections of works by significant figures in genre art, and annual anthologies of notable and award-winning art works.
Although fewer art books have appeared on the Hugo ballot in recent years, many genre art books of various types are published annually, and they continue to generate intense interest from both reviewers and the wider fan community. The Hugo Category Study committee is also considering Best Art Book as a potential permanent category.
“The Hugo Awards encourage and appreciate the creation of great SF&F genre work, whether in prose, dramatized or visual form,” said Vincent Docherty, WSFS Division Head for the convention. “Dublin 2019 is pleased to honour the ongoing contributions made by artists to the field of science fiction and fantasy in what will be the 80th anniversary of the first Worldcon – whose sole Guest of Honor was artist Frank R. Paul.”
An eligible work for this special Hugo award is any art book in the field of science fiction, fantasy, or fandom, appearing for the first time during the previous calendar year or which has been substantially modified during the previous calendar year, and which is not eligible in Best Graphic Story.
[From a press release.]