The official Hugo Awards site has posted photos of the display Hugo that was shown at Opening Ceremonies. The base design is by Sara Felix and Vincent Villafranca. What a beauty!
2018 HUGO BASE. Sara Felix and Vincent Villafranca are collaborating to create the 2018 Hugo Award base.
Each artist individually has created a past Hugo base.
Sara Felix of Austin, who is also the current president of the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists, created the 2016 MidAmeriCon II Hugo base.
1943 RETRO HUGO BASE. The 1943 Retrospective Hugo Award base is being created by con chair Kevin Roche.
[Thanks to JJ for the story.]
Utah’s unopposed bid to host the 2019 Westercon won the site selection vote. The results were announced on July 2 at this year’s con in Tempe, Arizona.
Utah Fandom Organization, Inc. will host Westercon72 in Layton, UT with Kate Hatcher as chair. Their website will be online shortly
Kevin Standlee reports 43 votes were cast, with 4 No Preference. The 39 votes expressing a preference went to —
Tonopah NV 3
Reno NV 2
Hopland CA 1
Westercon 72 has announced their guests of honor:
- Author Guest of Honor: Jim Butcher
- Artist Guest of Honor: Vincent Villafranca
- Cosplay Guest of Honor: Kitty Krell
- Fan Guests of Honor: Kevin Standlee, Lisa Hayes, and Kuma Bear
There is also a Utah for 2019 bid for the NASFiC, which if selected will be held in combination with Westercon 72.
Everyone’s raving about Vincent Villafranca’s winning design for the World Fantasy Award. However, World Fantasy’s statement in the same press release that nominee pins will still feature the supposedly retired Lovecraft image is being widely criticized.
This is genuinely lovely. But then Vincent Villafranca's work is always fantastic. https://t.co/JpzFcDKMgQ
— Mary Robinette Kowal (@MaryRobinette) April 13, 2017
Bravo, Vincent Villafranca! It’s beautiful, organic, poetic… https://t.co/ZXphSb9FDK
— Irene Gallo (@IreneGallo) April 13, 2017
The new design of the World Fantasy Award is… pretty great, actually. I'd be proud to have it on my shelf. https://t.co/fmfIn4ODib
— John Scalzi (@scalzi) April 13, 2017
@tithenai So can I trade in my existing Lovecraft head for one of those, or do I have to win it again to get one? 🙂
— Jo Walton (@BluejoWalton) April 13, 2017
I love the new World Fantasy Award statuette! In fact….Can I exchange my old one for it?
Though it's true it… https://t.co/cs0Ft6BnCv
— EllenKushner???? (@EllenKushner) April 14, 2017
The new World Fantasy Award trophy has been revealed! I think it's beautiful. https://t.co/dega1SqloF
— Nicholas Kaufmann (@TheKaufmann) April 13, 2017
New World Fantasy Award design is eye-catching. Plus hold it upside-down and you can cut your pizza with it. https://t.co/EUa37zVkxu
— Adam Roberts (@arrroberts) April 13, 2017
The new World Fantasy Award is really lovely. https://t.co/E21lYhu436
— Kat Howard (@KatWithSword) April 13, 2017
There was one dissent, from a Castalia House blogger —
— (((H.P.))) (@tuesdayreviews) April 13, 2017
Here is a sampling of the reaction to the news about the Lovecraft nominee pin:
— N. K. Jemisin (@nkjemisin) April 13, 2017
@nkjemisin Oh, crap.
— Nalo Hopkinson (@Nalo_Hopkinson) April 13, 2017
Friends, I would like you to read this thread & its replies–esp if you're familiar w/ Lovecraft & cthulu mythos. https://t.co/uY8Lgf2Mv0
— Alyssa Wong (?????) (@crashwong) April 13, 2017
— Jason Sanford (@jasonsanford) April 13, 2017
.@nkjemisin But then to learn bust of HP Lovecraft "will continue to live on in the shape of the nominee pins given out" to WFC finalists. SMDH (3 of 3)
— Jason Sanford (@jasonsanford) April 13, 2017
— Crystal Huff (@crystalvisits) April 13, 2017
[Thanks to JJ for the story.]
I am thrilled to have had my design selected to be the new World Fantasy Award. This design relies heavily upon the majesty surrounding trees. I have always viewed trees as being magical, mysterious and oftentimes macabre. They have spurred human imagination for millennia and continue to do so. I live in a rural area in north Texas and am surrounded by numerous ancient oaks. I have always felt that the trees are full of stories. Many of the older oaks have witnessed sweeping changes brought on by humans and extreme weather events brought on by nature.
It was my intention to leave the design open-ended so that it could be interpreted by the viewer. However, one personal view of the design that I would like to share is that the tree represents the story written on paper, and it is being depicted as grasping the mind of the reader, which is represented by the disc. The sculpture can be seen in many ways, but what remains constant is that trees are intrinsically powerful and magnificent.
The artist is already hard at work doing all the bronze-casting/welding involved in making the awards.
Vincent Villafranca’s design for the new World Fantasy Award trophy has been chosen the winner by the World Fantasy Awards Administration and the Board of the World Fantasy Convention following a year-long public competition.
Villafranca, the Chesley Award-winning sculptor and designer of the 2013 Hugo base, was among several artists invited to participate:
Professional artists already proficient in 3-D arts working within the fantasy/horror community were invited to submit designs in the first instance, and those shortlisted were then asked to supply a model and specifications. A professional foundry provided a quote to produce the awards in the future, to ensure it would be within the budget of the seated World Fantasy Convention as well as future conventions.
Villafranca will be at the 2017 WFC in San Antonio, Texas, where the awards will be presented for the first time.
Last year’s WFA winners, given certificates at the 2016 award ceremony in Columbus, OH will get copies of the new statuette, too, once they have been cast.
The press release reiterated the Board’s reasons for asking artists to do the design work without payment, which had aroused intense discussion among professional artists:
There is no financial remuneration for the winner, as the Awards Administration and the Board of the World Fantasy Convention are not fund-holding entities; each convention is run by a discrete group of people and is self-funding, so this was not a commercial opportunity for the winning artist. However, Vincent Villafranca will receive two life memberships to the World Fantasy Convention as a small token of our thanks.
Semi-finalist Misty Hawkins will receive two memberships to the 2017 World Fantasy Convention.
The move to replace the WFA’s bust of Lovecraft, designed by Gahan Wilson, gained impetus in 2014 when Daniel Jose Older collected over 2,500 signatures on a petition calling for the replacement of “avowed racist and a terrible wordsmith” H.P. Lovecraft on the World Fantasy Award. Discussion snowballed in social media and many authors – including past WFA winner Nnedi Okorafor – urged award administrators to move on from the Lovecraft image. Within a few months The Guardian was reporting that the board of the World Fantasy awards “was ‘in discussion’ about its winners’ statuette”. When Sofia Samatar won in 2014, she made a statement about the controversy in her acceptance speech, saying “I just wanted them to know that here I was in a terribly awkward position, unable to be 100% thrilled, as I should be, by winning this award, and that many other people would feel the same, and so they were right to think about changing it.” However, the Board continued using the Lovecraft trophy through 2015.
Given the reason for changing the trophy, it will be interesting to see how authors receive the decision to perpetuate the Lovecraft image in the WFA nominee pins —
The Board of the World Fantasy Convention and the Awards Administration would like to thank world-famous artist Gahan Wilson, who sculpted the original WFA Statuette. The bust of HP Lovecraft, which was in use for more than four decades, was donated in perpetuity and will continue to live on in the shape of the nominee pins given out to all those shortlisted for a World Fantasy Award.
A thorough interpretation of the new design was also part of the press release:
The Awards Administration wanted something representational that would reflect the depth and breadth of the fantasy field, from horror to high fantasy and all stops in between. Trees—good trees, evil trees, prophetic trees, harboring trees, forests full of demons, forests of sanctuary—turn up throughout art and literature from the very beginning. They represent life, strength, nature, endurance, wisdom, rebirth, protection; they symbolize the link between heaven and earth. In Christian mythology, mankind starts with the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. In Norse mythology, the entire structure of the universe is dependent on the giant ash Yggdrasill, the World Tree, which many Eastern European countries see as a home to the spirits of the dead. Indian mythology has the cosmic tree Asvattha, and there are plenty of fantastical trees in Greek and Roman mythology too, including dryads, the nymphs who inhabit trees, the Dodona grove of prophetic trees, and Argo, Jason’s ship, which maintained the magical properties of the tree which provided its wood.
The Green Man is a magical figure in many countries; druids are tied to the oak and the ash; some oak trees were thought to be oracular. Yews guard the entrance to the underworld, rowan keeps witches away. In Native American myth the hero Gluskap created humans by shooting an arrow into the heart of a birch. In Persia, the tree which grew from the decomposing corpse of the first human split into a man and woman, and the fruit became the other races of mankind. Buddha reached enlightenment under a Bodhi tree, which in turn inspired Robert Jordan’s Chora trees.
Trees bestride fantasy literature, from Roger Zelazny’s The Chronicles of Amber to Robert Holdstock’s WFA-winning Mythago Wood cycle, C.S. Lewis’ Narnia chronicles to Michael Sullivan’s Age of Myth cycle, the godswoods of Westeros in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Ents and Enid Blyton’s Magical Faraway Tree.
But not all trees are nurturing: it’s the treatment of a Chora sapling which begins a bloody war in Jordan’s books. Tolkien’s Mirkwood is as evil as its denizens and Weasels and Stoats rampage around Kenneth Grahame’s Wild Wood; J.K. Rowling’s Whomping Willow has terrified millions, while Patrick Rothfuss’ Cthaeh, lurk unseen in the branches of a giant tree in the fae realm. There’s the baobab tree in Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince, Ray Bradbury’s The October Tree, the apple tree in The Wizard of Oz, and many more.
Vincent Villafranca has encapsulated the worlds of fantasy in the branches of our new award, and we thank him.
The 2017 World Fantasy Convention takes place in San Antonio from November 2-5.
The convention-running group ALAMO, Inc., the Alamo Literary Arts Maintenance Organization, debuted the Copperhead Award at Smofcon last weekend.
Fred Duarte, Jr. (1957–2015) is the first winner of the new award, voted to him posthumously by the ALAMO Board of Directors.
The Copperhead Award will be awarded “on an occasional basis to an individual who has made an extraordinary impact on Texas Fandom.”
Fred made an indelible impact on Texas Fandom as a conrunner, a fan, and most importantly as a friend. As a conrunner, Fred had a deep resume. He chaired or co-chaired two World Fantasy Cons (2000, 2006), four Armadillocons (1987, 1988, 1992, 1995), a Westercon (1996), and Smofcon 13 (1995). He ran the WSFS division for LoneStarCon 3 (2013), was vice-chair for LoneStarCon 2 (1997), and headed the “Program ‘Oops’” department for Noreascon 3 (1989).
The Copperhead Award trophy will be designed and cast by Chesley Award-winning sculptor Vincent Villafranca of Wise County, Texas.
[Thanks to Scott Zrubek for the story.]
Ed Dravecky’s photo of the 2013 Hugo Award base in the LoneStarCon 3 Wikipedia article gives the best view of this finely detailed piece I’ve seen outside of the video broadcast during the Hugo ceremonies. (Is that online? I couldn’t locate it.)
Victor Villafranca’s 2013 Hugo Award trophy was displayed for the first time at LoneStarCon 3’s Opening Ceremonies on August 29. Thanks to Kevin Standlee for making his photos freely available at TheHugoAwards.org.
In other Hugo news, look for Ann Gentry’s article about the award, “Hugo Rising”, in the August 30 issue of the Austin Chronicle —
The culmination of Worldcon is the formal Hugo Awards ceremony, in which rocket-shaped trophies named for Hugo Gernsback, editor of the first pulp magazine, are bestowed on outstanding science fiction and fantasy work from the past year. Sixteen categories spanning fiction, film, art, and fan work, plus the unaffiliated John W. Campbell Award for best new writer, make this something like the Academy Awards of sci-fi, with most fans listening for the announcement of Best Novel at the end of the night. And like the Oscars, they have plenty of detractors. Every year the release of the shortlist raises cries of sinister cronyism and downright irrelevance, with fans taking to their blogs to lambast the ludicrous process of whittling down the vast and increasingly varied body of science fiction to just five nominees in each category.
The 2013 Hugo Award base will be designed by Texas-based artist Vincent Villafranca. Vincent is a Chesley Award-winning sculptor who produces futuristic and fantastic bronzes using the traditional lost-wax casting process. In keeping with tradition, the design will not be revealed until the convention itself.
The full press release follows the jump.