Award season is upon us. That means it's time to nominate your favorite short fiction, novels, TV episodes, movies, podcasts, and other SF media for the Hugo Award. And your favorite new authors for the John W Campbell Award.
Need a primer on the categories and what's eligible for each? That's easy (and found down below). Figuring out what to nominate might be hard. So share which books, stories and people you plan to nominate below in the comments. And if you want to be nominated it's okay to mention that, too. Once. (Seriously, one personal pimping comment each!)
Anyone who attended or bought a supporting membership to the 2014 Worldcon in London or who has an attending or supporting membership for the 2015 or 2016 Worldcons. If you want to get in on the nominating, you'll need to buy a membership by 11:59PM Pacific time on January 31st. If you can't attend but want to nominate and vote, a supporting membership is only $40.
Most of these are pretty straightforward, but there are a few categories that may surprise you by what can be nominated.
Defined as a work of 40,000+ words.
Stories between 17,500 and 40,000 words.
Stories between 7,500 and 17,500 words.
Best Short Story
Stories under 7,500 words.
Best Related Work
This is a catch-all category for stuff that's not fiction or drama or an individual and can include individual blog posts, articles, a collection of essays, book-length works of non-fiction, biographies, and much more. Works of criticism are eligible as well.
Best Graphic Story
Includes webcomics, graphic novels, and comic books.
Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)
For dramatic works 90 minutes or longer. This category is usually filled with movies but can include video games and live theater as well.
Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)
Dramatic works less than 90 minutes. Most of the time this is nothing but TV episodes (and they're usually all from the same show. Thumbs down!). What you may not know is that individual podcast episodes and radio plays are eligible for this category, too.
Best Editor (Long Form)
The editor in question must have edited at least four novels published in 2014 to qualify. Don't know the names of any book editors? Go look in the front pages of books you read and loved, the editor's name is usually there if not in the author's acknowledgements.
Best Editor (Short Form)
You may know magazine and anthology editors better since their names are right on the cover or the masthead. For websites with multiple editors you can nominate one or all. On some, like Tor.com, they tell you which editor acquired each story, so you can match up your favorites with the person who bought and edited them.
Best Professional Artist
See the Hugo website for how they define professional.
A print or online magazine that publishes fiction or non-fiction in or about the genre. Semi-pro for the Hugos means that the zine pays contributors and/or staff. However, if the publication provides more than a quarter of a staff person's income (usually the Editor), then it doesn't qualify. Here's a handy list of qualifying and non-qualifying magazines and websites.
Online or print zines that aren't professional or semi-pro.
Audio and video podcasts and vlogs that aren't professional (see Hugo website for how they define professional).
Best Fan Writer
Anyone who publishes on a blog, semiprozine, fanzine, even mailing lists, is eligible if they've written or written about SF/F.
Best Fan Artist
Not just for fanzines. Any SF/F art available in semiprozines, online, in public, etc. makes an artist eligible.
John W Campbell Award for Best New Writer
This award is for writers who published SF/F professionally for the first time in 2014 or 2013. The Campbell Award has it's own definition of professional publication, found here, which casts the net a bit wider than SFWA does. Here's a list of most authors who qualify. Soon there should be a free anthology with fiction from a bunch of them available for people who want a taste of the field.
What Should I Nominate?
People often get an idea that they have to have read or watched widely in order to pick good stories or novels or podcasts or people to nominate. That's not necessarily true. Whatever you read or watched and loved last year is good enough, even if it was just a little. But, for those who do want to be persuaded or at least know what other folks consider award-worthy, I'm declaring the comments section a Hugo suggestion free zone. Tell us what five works or people you intend to nominate in the categories. And support your thesis.
If you're a writer, editor, podcaster, artist, or other person who would like to see their work nominated, you get one comment to list what you're eligible for. If you published a lot of stuff, try to keep it to one work per category, please.
image credit: Cory Doctorow on Flickr