Should the Hugos Be Humble?

Chicon 7’s press release announcing the opening of Hugo Award nominations touted the Hugos as “the premier award in the science fiction genre.”’s post based on the same press release downchecked the Hugos to “one of the most prestigious awards for science fiction and fantasy works.”

The same post alerts SFWA members that Nebula Award nomination are being taken and reminds everyone that several stories run by are eligible for both awards.

I cannot deny that a writer trying to nudge voters into supporting the home team must avoid the mistake of antagonizing SFWAns by treating the Hugos as pre-eminent.

Even if they are. 😉

6 thoughts on “Should the Hugos Be Humble?

  1. Since premier can mean first in order, importance, or *time*, and since the Hugos predate the Nebulas by thirteen years, I think a strong case can be made that premier is a factual statement without getting into questions of prestige or pre-eminence.

  2. From Premier and Premiere, Commonly Confused Words: “As an adjective, premier means first in rank or importance. The noun premier refers to a prime minister, or the head of a state, province, or territory. The noun premiere refers to the first performance (of a play, for example). Premiere is similarly used as a verb, meaning to give a first public performance.”

  3. From the Oxford Desk Dictionary and Thesaurus: “Premier, adj. first in importance, order, or time.”

  4. Throwing a salute to Shaw’s observation about two countries separated by a common language, I looked up “premier” in the Merriam-Webster dictionary (begin sound of fife and drum playing Revolutionary War tune). Unlike your Oxford cite, Webster’s says the primary meaning is (1) “first in position, rank, or importance,” while (2) “first in time: earliest” is only a secondary meaning.

  5. …the Merriam-Webster dictionary…

    Which of their many dictionaries?

    Also, it’s dreadful to refer to any dictionary only as “Webster’s” since that’s a generic word and thousands of “Webster’s Dictionarys” have been sold made by hundreds of different people. Setting aside that “Merriam-Webster” only narrows the field down to several dozen possibilities, “Websters” is, absent specificity, meaningless. (Though you did, of course, make clear that you at least mean one of the many Merriam-Webster possibilities; I just have a copyeditor’s knee-jerk horror at ever seeing anyone cite “Webster’s.”)

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