The Extremely Short History of No Award

A lot of people are researching Hugo information this week — especially the track record of No Award, which has won five times.

The option to vote No Award on the final ballot was an innovation added by the 1959 Worldcon committee. Fans received the idea so enthusiastically they went right out and blew away two categories. Best New Author never appeared on the ballot again. And for the SF Movie/Dramatic Presentation category, 1959 marked the beginning of a long love/hate relationship. Fans have chosen to make no award in that category four times altogether:

  • 1959 – SF or Fantasy Movie
  • 1959 – Best New Author
  • 1963 – Dramatic Presentation
  • 1971 – Dramatic Presentation
  • 1977 – Dramatic Presentation

When a minor controversy arose online about whether No Award really won in 1971 (somebody had given credit to a nominated record album), File 770 ran a statement from 1971 Worldcon chair Tony Lewis affirming No Award had gotten the most votes.

Discover more from File 770

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4 thoughts on “The Extremely Short History of No Award

  1. Hunh, I only knew about the 1977 one.

    Still, a rare “Nuclear option” even so.

  2. Just to be clear, in 1971 I voted for the Firesign Theater album, the rest of the nominations being crap, even with 43 years of hindsight.

  3. “So what is happening now? The people on MY SIDE, the trufans and SMOFs and good guys, are having an endless circle jerk trying to come up with a foolproof way to RIG THE HUGOS AND EXCLUDE THEM. God DAMN, people. You are proving them right.” – George R.R. Martin

  4. I was present when No Award was announced at Suncon in 1977. The roar of approval from the crowd was overwhelming…

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