Hugo Voter Packet Update, 4/6/09

First: The Hugo Voter packet is all assembled and at this point all I need to do is drop in a couple of notes. Thanks to all the Hugo and Campbell nominees who are participating; Hugo voters are going to have a lot of fun reading this year.

Second: Over the weekend, the nice folks at Anticipation, this year’s Worldcon, contacted me and offered to help with the distribution of the Packet to Hugo voters, which I am delighted about, since it means a) together we’ll probably do a better job of getting the packet into the hands Worldcon members (and potential voters) and b) it’ll be less of a pain in the ass for me, since the actual Worldcon can more easily verify who is qualified to receive the Packet than I can. This is going to work better for everyone.

However, this will take a few days to set up on the back end, and we’ll want to do a few tests to make sure how we’re distributing the Hugo Voter Packet works like we want it to. So although I said I planned to start distributing the Packet today, it’ll be a few days yet before it’s ready to roll. I’m being vague about exact dates only because we’re still working out the fiddly details, but I don’t imagine it will be that long. We want to get this to you as quickly as we can.

Questions? Thoughts? Drop them into the comment thread. And in the meantime, remember that if you do want to get in on the Hugo Voter Packet action, the way to do it is by becoming a voting member of Anticipation. Which you planning to do anyway, right? Thought so.

18 Comments on “Hugo Voter Packet Update, 4/6/09”

  1. I am eagerly anticipating the packet, even though I already bought all of the nominated novels (OK, in e-book form, but whatever) and saw/heard all of the “dramatic presentation, long form” nominees…

  2. ioresult:

    I have three Hugo nominations. If I don’t show up, they’ll send someone down here to kick my ass. So, yes. I’ll be there.

  3. I walk through the Palais des Congrès every day to go to work (site of the Anticipation convention). I wasn’t planning on going, but now I’m beginning to change my mind.

  4. I am getting very exicted about this years worldcon. This is the first worldcon that i have gone to since Confrancisco. I sort of feel out of fandom for the last few years because of my job, I am a high school social studies teacher in the New Orleans area. I am also getting back into southern fandom by going to Deepsouthcon in Nashville in June.

  5. Ok, I very probably can’t go to WorldCon this year, but I thought that my last year’s membership entitled me to vote on this year’s Hugos– is that not actually true? And if it is, how come I can’t access the packet? (Bitch, gripe — wanna go to the con…mumble — wanna read the stories…)

  6. John,

    Diane has volunteered to be the designated Ass-Kicker for the Hugo Administration Committee. She volunteered as soon as you posted the original comment. I just thought you would want to know.


  7. M.A.

    Your membership in last years con, Denvention, allowed you to nominate. You must be at least a supporting member to vote in the Finals.


  8. What file format is the packet in? I ask because I know a visually impaired fan who would love to take part if his screen-reader software can handle the files.

  9. John nobody can deny you are a science fiction fan now.

    Thanks for this tremendous amount of work!

  10. M.A.: You can still buy a supporting membership for US$50, which not only gives you the right to vote on this year’s Final Hugo Ballot, but also the right to nominate next year (but not vote on the final ballot in 2010), as well as the Worldcon’s publications. But ignoring all that, being able to read all of the nominated works for free makes it a huge bargain in it’s own right, with the voting rights thrown in for extra on top.

  11. Kevin, no offense intended, but the ability to read the nominated works for free was precisely what motivated me to buy a membership.

    This suggests that the voter packet is setting up a perverse incentive.

  12. aphrael:

    No offense taken. What’s the problem? And what do you mean “a perverse incentive?” Personally, I see nothing wrong with giving people an incentive to read all of the nominated works and then having those people vote on the Hugos. That probably makes them better informed than a significant number of the already-eligible members. And it’s great for the individual Worldcon as well, because supporting memberships do actually contribute a useful support to the Worldcon, on account of their variable cost isn’t very high.

  13. “Perverse incentive” is an economics term, meaning roughly, an unintended incentive with unpredicted, probably bad, results.

    In this case, it means the awards risk getting swamped by people who only became members in order to get the (relatively) cheap deal on the reading, which could – if the numbers ran high enough – lead to a very different voting dynamic.

    Maybe I overestimate the risk of that; and maybe the risk isn’t actually of concern.

  14. Oh, I know what a perverse incentive is, but I didn’t see how it applied here. We constantly hear people complaining that the members aren’t taking the time to thoughtfully evaluate the nominees and give a considered opinion of them. Well, if lots of people join Worldcon as supporting members just to read the works and them vote on them, that means the percetage of engaged, considerate voters will increase, and how could that be a bad thing. The fact that is also generates a little bit more income for Worldcons is a bonus.

    I think that what you’re perceiving as a potential bug is actually a feature.

    It will be interesting to learn (if possible) how many people join Anticipation only to get the nominee package.

  15. I think that what you’re perceiving as a potential bug is actually a feature.

    Yep. What’s the perverse downside of the people voting having actually read the works being voted on? None that I can see.