A Note For Hugo Nominators

Lou Antonelli reported the other day that when he sent in his Nebula Award nominating ballot he immediately got back a note from the award administrator that a story he’d listed is ineligible:

In reviewing your ballot, I noted that you nominated “Tuesdays With Molakesh the Destroyer” by Megan Grey for a Nebula Award. Unfortunately, it is not eligible in 2014, as it was first published or released in the US in the January 2015 issue of Fireside Magazine.

I checked and learned the Hugo rules also follow the cover date for works appearing in periodicals.

3.2.3: Publication date, or cover date in the case of a dated periodical, takes precedence over copyright date.

Even when a periodical is available for purchase in 2014, if the issue is dated January 2015 issue the cover date controls the eligibility of its contents.

I’m not touting the Grey story, but the example may come in handy if you are considering nominating works that came out late last year.

14 thoughts on “A Note For Hugo Nominators

  1. I got a similar response about one of my Best Dramatic Work Nebula nominations. Props to SFWA’s Nebula folks for staying on top of this and helping people like me avoid wasting a nomination.

  2. I am still wondering when you are going to post a link to Larry’s comments to actually read the works proposed on Sad puppies. You promised if he produced evidence that you would link to it on your own site. His response was as follows:

    “From this very post he’s commenting on I said “Read the books and decide for yourself.”

    From last week “These are my suggested nominations. I am under no delusions that you guys do exactly what I suggest.”
    Shit, I even go through all the best novels and why they should read all of them.

    April 24 – “In closing, I would really like everybody who is a voting member of WorldCon to actually read the works in each category and vote based upon which ones they think are best.”
    “The rules allow WoT to be considered a novel, so it is there. I’d ask readers to judge the works accordingly”

    June 2 – “Or you could actually judge the works based on quality and how much the readers like them…”

  3. Note that this rule also applies to books. Customary practice for the Hugos has been that, if the copyright page lists a month of publication, that rules; otherwise, copyright date. Only if there’s no date on the work do we go by issuance.

    Besides keeping you from wasting a slot now on a work not eligible until next year, it also means that, if you want to nominate now something that has the date “January 2014” or “February 2014” on it, you can go ahead and do so without having to research other data from a year ago to figure out whether it hit the stands in December or not.

    – former Hugo Administrator

  4. Props go to Terra LeMay our current Nebula Commissioner who has worked very hard and is really on top of things. We like her. We really like her.

    -Steve Gould, president
    Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America

  5. Josh: I posted Larry’s clarification here on February 10.

    Larry Correia in his own inimitable way now says he subscribes to the same view:

    • You should wash your hands after going to the bathroom.
    • You should read stuff before nominating it for awards.
    • You should look both ways before crossing the street.

    So there you go, Glyer-50-Hugos (I figured what the hell? Let’s round up!) Thanks to your hard hitting journalism, the nefarious Larry Correia has now gone on the record about some painfully obvious stuff.

    And I followed that excerpt with this statement: “I don’t have to say this but I think he means it. If the rest of the people behind Sad Puppies 3 take his statement to heart, and don’t just treat it as some kind of dogwhistle, they will end up enriching the award’s representation instead of merely doing a hack on it.”

  6. Now I’m wondering, did I leave the impression I was being critical of the notice given to Antonelli? By no means was that my goal.

    I thought Antonelli’s post created a good opening to point out a rule that also applies to the Hugos. And advance notice to Hugo voters is even more valuable because they’re not going to get an e-mail of that kind: Hugo administrators ordinarily don’t rule on eligibility unless something gets enough votes to make the final ballot, which is only known after the deadline has passed.

  7. Mike, I think you and I both know your update was a bit deceptive. You made it sound like Larry never suggested anyone read the books until you stood up to him and he made that post. You conveniently ignore the statements cited that predated your accusations by nearly a year. I can only assume you did not have the time to look them up so you only posted the one link that Larry provided for you. Here is a link to one of the blog posts that I cited in my early complaint dated 04/24/2014. http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/04/24/an-explanation-about-the-hugo-awards-controversy/

  8. What we both know is that your comment is deceptive. Your link is to a post Correia wrote about the FINALISTS. Saying that people should read the FINALISTS. At that point SP2 had already put 7 nominees on the ballot.

    And Josh, this blog has one of those Search boxes — enter “Correia” and you can find out how long I have been following this story. Don’t pretend I haven’t read your links.

    Anyway, as they say in the restaurant business, you’re losing the tip. Larry Correia has now made clear he thinks people should read stuff before they nominate it. And I linked to his statement the day he did it.

  9. Mike,
    Since you have pointed out that you are well versed in the history of sad puppies then it’s hard to give you a pass. I assume you are aware of each of the two links below related to the last two sad puppies. In both of these posts Larry states that people should nominate the works they like even if they don’t match his list. He also solicits reply’s for suggestions of works that other people like. It’s hard for a reader to say they like something if they do not read it. Does Larry say “make sure you read the things you say you like” ? No. Logic would lead a person to believe that it is implied that liking something has a direct relation to actually reading it though.



  10. Actually ignore my last post. I allowed you to suck me down your twisted logic. The original link I posted still predates sad puppies 3. In that post nowhere does Larry say “Now that we are voting on finalists actually read their works.” Also nowhere in sad puppies 3 this year did Larry say ” I know I told you last year to read the works but remember you only need to read the works once we reach the finalist stage.” You are reading hidden messages that clearly aren’t there.

  11. When I made the original post on my blog, it was because I was so impressed that LeMay was on the job, and it was appreciated by yours truly. Rather than wasting a Nebula nomination, I went back and was able to make another choice.

    And yes, that made me realize the same mistake can be made with a Hugo nomination. Mike’s point is quite valid. Last year a bunch of people nominated Marko Kloos for the Campbell Award – enough that he finished in the top five- but upon review, it was discovered he wasn’t eligible because of a prior publication. Which means a number of nominations were wasted.

  12. Unfortunate cases like that of Marko Kloos have happened before. I suspect this is caused by lack of information, not misapprehensions about eligibility rules. Because authors don’t come with initial publication dates stamped on them, the Campbell is the only category on the Hugo ballot (obligatory disclaimer that the Campbell Award is not a Hugo) in which candidates ineligible because of date regularly receive enough nominations to have been finalists were they eligible. More information for voters from some kindly reference site would obviously be a kindness here.

    As far as the misapprehension goes, I’m concerned not only about the next-year stuff (Jan. 2015 now) nominated by mistake, but of the current year stuff (Jan-Feb 2014 now) that people might NOT nominate because of the same misapprehension.

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