Explaining the Hugos
First, yes, I’ve impaled a headcrab on my Hugo. Because I had to impale it on something. Thing was trying to eat my skull.
Second, given the recent (yet, also, annual) contretemps concerning the Hugos and the shortlists thereof, and whether they truly represent the best of science fiction, and whether something needs to be changed in how they are selected and/or voted upon, let me give you an analogy that I feel explains what the Hugos actually are and how they work:
Let’s say you visit a friend of yours in a city you don’t live in. Your friend has lived in that city her whole life, and is always talking up the charms of the town to you. So you go and you visit and you’re hungry. And you say to your friend, “so what’s a good place to eat around here?”
And your friend says, “well, there’s this very nice and expensive restaurant that just opened up that’s getting fantastic reviews, we could go there.”
You shake your head. “No,” you say. “Take me someplace you go to eat. Someplace you and your friends really like.”
And your friend’s eyes light up and she says “I know just the place,” and then you go someplace in the neighborhood. And maybe it’s a really nice place, and maybe it’s a taco truck. Maybe you get something to eat that you recognize, and maybe you get something that you just have to assume is a local delicacy that you’d have to have eaten your whole life to enjoy. Point is, your local friend is showing you what she considers the local flavor. If you like it, great. If not, well, you’re from out of town, and it’s fine that you don’t like what your friend and her local pack of pals like. They’re still going to like it anyway.
That’s the Hugos.
There, that solves that.