Award season is upon us

I’ve seen several notifications this week that Hugo nominations are open (including a PIN number being sent to me by e-mail). I’ve also seen a number of blog posts mentioning eligible works. These range from slightly humorous in tone (John Scalzi) to helpful (Mary Robinette Kowal) to matter-of-fact (John Joseph Adams) to oh-yeah-there’s-a-reason-people-make-these-posts (Tobias Buckell). Also, Scalzi has put up his annual thread inviting others to list what they have available for nomination because he’s awesome that way.

I don’t know the details on Nebula nominations — not being a SFWA member yet — but Hugo nominations are open until March 11 (11:59 p.m.). If you were a member of Renovation or are a member of Chicon 7 or LonestarCon 3 (including a supporting member — only $50), you’re eligible to nominate works from 2011. (These are the World Science Fiction Conventions for 2011, 2012, and 2013, respectively.) The Hugo awards are the fan awards, the ones where people have a chance to say “This is the best thing I read last year.” (Or “watched,” in the case of TV shows, movies, and some related works or fancasts.) If you want a say in what the best is in the field of science fiction and fantasy, this is your chance. (Note that several of the works I reviewed in my women in science fiction and fantasy series may be eligible for nomination!)

Here’s the real kicker: every vote counts. You have to scroll down to get to the nomination stats, but the gist is there are slim differences between those that get on the ballot and those that don’t. Last year, Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold had 78 nominations and Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor had 74. Cryoburn was on the ballot. For best novelette, there was only a difference of 2 nominations, and for best editor short form, 1.

Also? It doesn’t necessarily take a lot of nominations to get something on the ballot. For Best Related Work, the one that made it to the ballot with the smallest number of nominations had 35; for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer (not a Hugo, but nominated, voted on, and awarded at the same time), 40. Graphic stories, editors, and novelettes got on the ballot with between 20 and 30 nominations.

You don’t have to nominate in every category, or for as many places as you can (up to 5 in each category) if you don’t feel you know enough to do so. But if you think anything you’ve experienced that first came out in 2011 is award-worthy, please consider nominating. Join Chicon if you need to. It’s worth it.

Oh, and if you need something to put on the ballot, may I suggest

  • Short story: “Matchmaker” in Clarkesworld Magazine (Issue 55, April).
  • Best related work: My A to Z blog series on women writers of science fiction and fantasy.
  • Also I note that I’m in my second year of eligibility for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (as my first qualifying publication was in November 2010).
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