The 2009 Hugo Voters Packet: Now Live

I’m delighted to announce that the 2009 Hugo Voter Packet is now available to members of Anticipation, the 2009 World Science Fiction Convention, to help them catch up on their reading and make informed votes for this year’s Hugo and Campbell Awards. This package is only available to members of Anticipation. This year’s Hugo Packet is ZOMG huge, and includes electronic editions of, in the following categories:

Best Novel

* The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins; Bloomsbury UK)
* Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (Tor Teen; HarperVoyager UK)
* Saturn’s Children by Charles Stross (Ace; Orbit UK)
* Zoe’s Tale by John Scalzi (Tor)

Best Novella

* “The Erdmann Nexus” by Nancy Kress (Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2008)
* “The Political Prisoner” by Charles Coleman Finlay (F&SF Aug 2008)
* “True Names” by Benjamin Rosenbaum & Cory Doctorow (Fast Forward 2)
* “Truth” by Robert Reed (Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2008)

Best Novelette

* “Alastair Baffle’s Emporium of Wonders” by Mike Resnick (Asimov’s Jan 2008)
* “The Gambler” by Paolo Bacigalupi (Fast Forward 2)
* “Pride and Prometheus” by John Kessel (F&SF Jan 2008)
* “Shoggoths in Bloom” by Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s Mar 2008)

Best Short Story

* “26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss” by Kij Johnson (Asimov’s Jul 2008)
* “Article of Faith” by Mike Resnick (Baen’s Universe Oct 2008)
* “Evil Robot Monkey” by Mary Robinette Kowal ( The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, Volume Two)
* “Exhalation” by Ted Chiang ( Eclipse Two)
* “From Babel’s Fall’n Glory We Fled” by Michael Swanwick (Asimov’s Feb 2008)

Best Related Book

* Rhetorics of Fantasy by Farah Mendlesohn (Wesleyan University Press)
* What It Is We Do When We Read Science Fiction by Paul Kincaid (Beccon Publications) (Extract only)
* Your Hate Mail Will be Graded: A Decade of Whatever, 1998-2008 by John Scalzi (Subterranean Press)

Best Graphic Story

* Schlock Mercenary: The Body Politic Story and art by Howard Tayler (The Tayler Corporation)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

* METAtropolis by John Scalzi, ed. Written by: Elizabeth Bear, Jay Lake, Tobias Buckell and Karl Schroeder (Audible Inc) (instructions for download)

Best Semiprozine

* Clarkesworld Magazine edited by Neil Clarke, Nick Mamatas & Sean Wallace
* Weird Tales edited by Ann VanderMeer & Stephen H. Segal – Year in Review

Best Fanzine

* Argentus edited by Steven H Silver
* The Drink Tank edited by Chris Garcia
* Electric Velocipede edited by John Klima
* File 770 edited by Mike Glyer

Best Professional Artist — Art samples by:

* John Picacio

Best Fan Writer — Writing samples by:

* Chris Garcia
* John Hertz
* Cheryl Morgan
* Steven H Silver

The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer — Novels and/or writing samples by:

* Aliette de Bodard
* David Anthony Durham
* Felix Gilman
* Tony Pi
* Gord Sellar

(Update, 5/19: Newly added: “The Tear” by Ian McDonald in Novella, “The Ray-Gun: A Love Story” by James Alan Gardner in Novelette, Challenger edited by Guy H. Lillian III in Fanzine, and pro artwork from Bob Eggleton, Daniel Dos Santos and Donato Giancola.)

Hey, I told you it was ZOMG huge.

And now, to answer the questions:

1. How to do I get this Hugo Voters Packet?

If you are a current member of Anticipation, you have received or will shortly receive an e-mail from Anticipation, informing you how to download the Hugo Voters Packet. Check your e-mail queues; the e-mail is from “” (or at least mine was).

If you are not a current member of Anticipation, then you must join to receive the package. Joining is $195 US/$250 CAD for attending membership (which means you plan on coming to Anticipation this August) or $50 US/$55 CAD for a supporting membership (which allows you to vote for the Hugos). When you join you will receive information on how to download the Hugo Voters Packet.

Note that the retail value of the work in the Hugo Voters Packet is in itself the equivalent of the cost of an attending membership to Anticipation. Add on top of that all the actual fun you will have at Anticipation, meeting up with friends, seeing your favorite science fiction and fantasy authors and notables, and partying your brains out until the wee hours of the morning, and you’ll realize what a deal this really is for you.

2. Why is the Hugo Voters Packet Only Available to Anticipation Members?

Because they’re the ones who can vote for the Hugos and Campbell, and the packet is designed to encourage this voting and to help Hugo and Campbell voters make an informed choice when they cast their votes. Some of the individual parts of the Hugo Voters Packet are available online for non Anticipation members, but the whole package is only available to Anticipation members.

But while the Hugo Voter Packet is only available to Anticipation members, anyone can become an Anticipation member. All it takes is the purchase of a membership. Which, naturally, we all encourage.

3. I am a current Anticipation member but cannot find the e-mail you speak of in question one and/or don’t have my account information handy.

This is a terrible state of affairs that may be rectified by sending an e-mail to When e-mailing, please explain briefly why you are e-mailing, and also who you are, so that the folks on the receiving end can be helpful for you.

4. Who deserves credit for this marvelous package?

The largest share of credit, of course, goes to the individual Hugo and Campbell nominees, who have graciously assented to participate in this years Hugo Voter Packet. They didn’t have to — participation strictly voluntary — but they believe in encouraging Anticipation members to vote, and to vote from an informed point of view. If you would like to thank these wonderful people, head to your favorite bookstore, in the real world or online, and buy their works for yourself or others.

Please also give credit to the publishers of these works, who have also graciously allowed the authors to participate.

I would also ask you to raise your glasses in a sincere toast to the folks at Anticipation, who are handing the distribution and management of this year’s Hugo Voter Packet, which I personally appreciate a whole damn bunch, because, man, is it a lot of work. I am delighted and grateful for their enthusiasm and participation.

5. Can I tell everyone I know or indeed have ever met about this?

Please do, and likewise please encourage them to become members of Anticipation. We’d love to see you (and them) there. And to have you (and them) vote for the Hugos and Campbell.

So there you have it, Hugo voters. Happy reading!

46 Comments on “The 2009 Hugo Voters Packet: Now Live”

  1. Once again, thank you for all the work. I’ve read most of this year’s nominees already, and could have voted for free because I was a voter last year, but I took this reminder to pay anyway.

  2. Actually, while members of the previous year’s Worldcon can nominate for the Hugos and Campbell, one need to be a member of the current Worldcon to vote on the Hugos. So I’m glad you re-upped! Happy voting!

  3. Wow, awesome package! Seriously wish I could attend Anticipation, and the book package would be icing on that cake. I’ve already read all of the main fiction entries but all of those short stories, novellas and novelettes look mighty tasty.

    Support your local bookstore!

  4. Oooooh yummy! Thank you to everyone who worked on this!

    This is my first year as a Worldcon member, and while it wasn’t the only reason for signing up, the packet certainly didn’t hurt. I’ve already read all the novels, but it’s hard to track down some of the shorter works.

  5. I joined just so I could get the packet and vote. I’ve read 3 of the novels already and have #4 at home, but like Phiala said, it’s a treat to get my hands on all the shorter works. Well worth the approx. $50. (It was actually a little under $50 when I joined, I believe having something to do with the US$ – CA$ exchange rate.)

  6. Thanks to everyone who worked on the package and also to you John, as I wouldn’t know about it at all were it not for you :)

    Also, yay for it being possible to sign up for a supporting membership and still get the voting package! I’m off to sign up now, temptation like that is too hard to resist.

    I do have a question though, does anyone know what format the electronic editions are? PDF?

  7. They’re in a variety of formats, depending on what the nominee sent in. There are some pdfs, some doc files and some other formats.

  8. I’m guessing that the EBCDIC-coded WordPerfect 3.0 files aren’t going to get many votes.

  9. Woo hoo! I was super excited to get this. Unfortunately the file for the Graveyard Book was too big to dump onto my Kindle. I’ve already listened to that one being read at Gaiman’s website though, so I don’t feel too bad about skipping it (reading that much on computers makes my eyes bleed). I guess I also feel a little bad about Anthem not being included, as it’s the only book on the best novel list that I hadn’t been intending on buying anyhow, and thus I will probably not read it. Xkcd sort of tainted it for me I’m afraid ( Too many made up words is a pet peeve of mine already.

  10. Thank you very very much, and many thanks to The Happy, Shiny 2009 Hugo Voter Packet Elves. Assuming, of course, that my download ever finishes.

  11. I’m with Megan on Anathem. But huge kudos to Charles Stross or his publisher, or whoever made the logical leap that Hugo voters are liable to have a significant intersection with ebook reader owners, and included a MobiBook formatted version of Saturn’s Children. Already gobbling it up on my Kindle.

  12. Thanks for putting all of this together. It definitely encourages me to vote.

    When I was reading the works included, I couldn’t help wondering about the stories *not* included. It seems to me that if you don’t have your work in the packet, for whatever reason (publisher issues or what-have-you), that this gives you a very real disadvantage in winning a Hugo. Short fiction is not the easiest to find, and most people probably won’t go out and order all the back issues/anthologies that the stories were first published in, for instance.

    I think this is probably less of an issue for Anathem, which has been getting crazy buzz and can be purchased at any of my local bookstores, but this packet seems critical for the short story/novelette/novella categories, at the very least.

  13. It’s probably worth noting, on the short fiction front, that Escape Pod is running a series of readings of the short story nominees, and have already done three of them, by Resnick, Chiang, and Johnson, in that order. I believe, but am not certain, that the remaining two are planned.

    P.S. also note that at “Escape Pod” there is a “Hugo Award” tag that can be used to find readings of this year’s and previous years’ nominees, but also that Mike Resnick’s nominated story for this year seems to be missing the tag and will not be found by this method.

  14. Thanks for putting this together. This is not only awesome, it’s such an intrinsically good idea that I suspect that in another two years, people will be entirely shocked that it wasn’t always done this way.

    (And to follow up on what @Amy said above, that’s going to be especially true for the short fiction categories; for one of those to not be in the packet would be tantamount to refusing the nomination.)

    Now to actually read through all of this!

  15. Re: Anathem and made up words… the words are awkward for the first chapter or so, then basically disappear. Overall a good book (and one of the clearer endings for a NS book).

  16. I absolutely adored Anathem. I will excuse saying that it is the best of the nominees I’ve read so far by saying I haven’t read “Zoe’s Tale” yet.

    With the possible exception of The Diamond Age, it’s his best work.

    To stay on subject: this is going to push me to actually join and vote this time.

  17. Softcopies of nominated works have started becoming available over the past few years; it’s very nice to see them all gathered together. Among other things, it may help reduce the risk of the vote being biased by who happened to get their hands on what, which may reflect publication/distribution/publicity oddities as much as the quality of the work.

  18. @8

    I haven’t seen EBCDIC as character coding, or even mentioned, since the last time I had to use IBM mainframes on the order of 25 years ago. Does IBM even use EBCDIC these days?


  19. Sigh. I’m leaving tomorrow morning on a three-week trip, without my computer but with my Sony Reader. I need to download the Hugo packet tonight, before I go to bed, if I’m going to take any of the works with me. After several hours of waiting, the Hugo packet people have sent me a password, but they haven’t told me where the download page is. Would someone who’s actually gotten their Golden Ticket please e-mail me at with the necessary information?

  20. And apologies if I sounded a little cranky above—I’d hoped to be in bed by now, and I can be overterse when I’m tired. (The rest of the time I’m delightfully terse.)

  21. Reading “Truth” now. So far it’s very good. I see why it’s been nominated.

    I was really hoping that Anathem would be in the packet. After the snooze fest that was the Baroque triology, I’m afraid to buy it. I wonder if I could find it at one of those library things?

    It’s going to be tough finding the time to read all of this before the voting deadline. I may have to take a couple of weeks of “Hugo” vacation!

  22. Oh man! Reading all these comments is seriously making me want to register and read all these fantastic nominations. That and go to Anticipation. Considering I live in the next province over, it shouldn’t be too big of a problem.

    I do have a question though to all of you e-readers and proud owners of Kindles. Is it comfortable and worth it to buy one and read the e-versions of all the works? I’m not opposed to digital copies and reading on a screen, but there’s just something about holding a book in your hand, you know?

  23. @Ana – Speaking as a new kindle owner, it’s totally worth it. It’s weighted almost like a book (between trade paper and hardcover), and the screen is so very close to reading on paper you don’t even notice. Plus the cover I got (the amazon leathery one) folds back around and makes it feel a little more book-ish.

    I actually tried physically “turning” a page last week. Talk about forehead smacking. ;)


  24. Thank you, John! And many more thanks to everyone you mentioned — the nominees who made their works available, the publishers, Anticipation. This is the most comprehensive collection of Hugo-nominated material yet, and it was a delight to receive the email from Anticipation about its availability. I downloaded it Saturday night and immediately started to dig in.

    #8, #24, and #27 — I fielded questions and offered up 7 and 9 track EBCDIC-encoded data tapes when I started working at National Computer Systems 30 years ago. Even then, the EBCDIC tapes were a format that very few of our testing customers customers had any use for. Of course, in those days I believe it was because they didn’t have their testing services automated, but rather did everything with a #2 pencil and a paper form and relied on the paper printouts of the reports generated for storing copies of the results. And, yes, most of those copies were carbon-copies of the originals.

    Ye ghads, where does the time go?

    Oh, that’s right. It goes to reading Hugo-nominated works that I hadn’t gotten around to yet.

  25. Ah yes, key punching Fortran, boot strapping a 16 bit mini by hand, with 4 Kbytes of real core. Doing schmoo tests (does anyone know what that means and where the word came from? I do.). Brings back fond memories.

    I’ll have to see if the exchequer will stand up to the $50, the books alone are worth more than that. How long is this offer good for?

  26. For Metatropolis, I notice that the item included in the pack is instructions for download. Am I right that you would then have to pay audible for the actual audio files? Or is this an even more amazing deal than I currently realize?

  27. What’s the lag time people have been seeing for signup -> email instructions? I paid yesterday at some point and am curious. I emailed the above address too, but I expect they’ve gotten lots of signups (at least, I hope so) because of this, so I’m not real concerned at the time lapse.


  28. Thinking back a half century or so to when I was a teenager I was a supporting Worldcon member (probably either 1957 or ’58, don’t really recall) which cost me five bucks and there was no packet of nominated books, just a bunch of mimeographed mailings. Given that there seems to have been a bit of inflation (while I’ve been too busy having a life to have time to notice), it sounds like quite a good deal today!

  29. @31: I got my Kindle as a birthday present and love it. It is super easy on my eyes, and has a few nice advantages over paper books too, namely being able to change the font size, the weight and being able to read with both hands free. The ease of buying new books is both a good thing and a bad thing.

    All that said, I would not have bought one on my own for a couple of reasons. First, price (I’m going back to school soon and just don’t have that kind of disposable income), second DRM issues, and third, it doesn’t function in temperatures under 32 degrees and has been known to break when stored under 15 degrees. I live in Minnesota. Enough said.

    Anyhoo, I got all the Hugo stuff translated super easy (except the Graveyard book, as mentioned above, and I didn’t even try with the graphic stuff) and haven’t had any trouble, though the formatting is a little bit goofy.

  30. Can I take a moment to (sorry John) plug Farah Mendlesohn’s book? Farah’s work on what makes fantasy what it is, what sort of conversations are had inside of it, and what patterns appear is *incredibly important* to understanding the genre. It’s a great book, and I do hope that Hugo voters seriously consider it.

  31. @ Jon Moses and Megan

    Thanks both for taking the time to answer. I’m seriously thinking about getting one now. Or…you know…just demanding one for my birthday.

    We’ll see how that works out.

  32. Registered tonight. So excited to get started on reading the nominees. I know all I had to do was pay for it, but I am honored to have the chance to vote on these awards and have some small part in them. Now send me my link Anticipation!

  33. @Ana – Go the demanding route. So much less of a headache. ;)

    @Adam – The “welcome” email showed up (for me) around 36h after I signed up, so it may be a bit. Totally worth the wait though.

  34. @ John

    Adding my thanks for a fine job well done. Hopefully as of next year the Hugo Award Marketing Committee will help out with this. We’ll be in touch.

    @ Josh Jasper

    Yes, Farah’s book is wonderful.

    @ Everyone

    The process is not fully automated – someone has to check that a payment has indeed been received and then authorize the web team to send your download instructions. And this is all being done by volunteers who have day jobs. They’ll get to you as quickly as they can.

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