The 2011 Hugo Voters Packet — Now Live!

If I’ve done anything useful at all in the history of Hugos, it’s help establish the idea that letting the potential Hugo voters get a packet of the nominated works to read and evaluate is a good thing for the process and for the award. I wasn’t the first person to think of it, mind you, but I helped give it a push in recent years, and the Worldcons have taken my initial efforts in the area and taken them to new and better heights.

So it pleases me to tell all y’all that this year the folks at Renovation, this year’s Worldcon, have once again worked with the authors, artists and publishers of the Hugo-nominated works this year (and the Campbell-nominated works too! Let’s not forget those!) to offer Hugo voters a free look at many of the nominees and in most of the categories. This will help them — you, if you choose to vote — to make an informed decision about how they will rank the works when it comes time to vote.

What’s available? Go here for the content list of the packet, and the formats in which the content is available.

How do you become a Hugo voter? Why, you sign up to be a member of Renovention, this year’s Worldcon, of course! Which you can do right at this link. You can sign up to be an attending member — which means you plan on coming to the actual convention in Reno this year (in which case, see you there) — or you can choose a Supporting Membership, which means you won’t attend the event but that you may vote for the Hugos. A Supporting Membership is $50 — i.e., less than the cost of all the Hugo-nominated novels included in the voter packet (not to mention everything else). If you’re a reader and love science fiction, you can see how voting in the Hugos turns out to be a pretty decent deal for you.

So check it out, get a membership, have fun reading, and vote. The Hugos are better the more people participate.

19 Comments on “The 2011 Hugo Voters Packet — Now Live!”

  1. Howard Tayler blogged a cost benefit analysis of purchasing a Worldcon membership vs. purchasing all the nominated novels as ebooks.

    I’ll likely make that an annual purchase, as it seems to be a way to get the new and improved ‘Year’s Best SF/F’ in a convenient form.

  2. The packet is great. I downloaded mine over the weekend. It’s very convenient to have everything gathered into one place. I would like to mention that as people read through the “free” stuff the packet contains, if you find things you like then go ahead and purchase them anyway. Or, purchase other things that author has written.

  3. There is some good stuff in the Campbell packets, too. Last year included an entire novel by Felix Gilman. This year? An entire novel by Dan Wells.

  4. I downloaded the packet this weekend as well. I was pleased for find out that I had already read two of the 5 novels as well as several of the novellas and short stories. In the past I’ve had trouble even finding some of the stories nominated, let alone read them. Much easier this way.

  5. Back in 1996, I was the one who recommended to Worldcon (specifically to Chaz Boston Baden) that the nominees make their works available on the web. Since I was a short story nominee, I hosted the other short story nominees on my website.

    Before that, there was a CD-ROM sold with all the nominees on it; I think that was in 1993. But LAcon III was the first Worldcon to make the works available electronically for Worldcon members during the voting period.

  6. If I had a dedicated e-reader, I would SO be signing on for the annual supporting membership. This might be enough to push me into buying a Nook (not a Kindle, as it doesn’t play well with our local library’s e-books)

  7. Michael A. Burstein @5:

    “Before that, there was a CD-ROM sold with all the nominees on it; I think that was in 1993.”

    Yes, 1993. It didn’t do well, I gather. The only thing about it that got any attention was the extra stuff about A Fire Upon the Deep that a lot of hardcore Vinge fans wanted to read but could not get anywhere else. I think much later it was included in an ebook version.

  8. @The Mad Librarian #6:

    The BN Nook is great. I’m seriously considering getting another one since they JUST released a new version.

  9. I find the voter packet most useful for the access to the shorter fiction. Not having an ereader, I prefer to read the novels in dead tree format, but I can easily read the shorter works on a computer screen.

    And yes, I love having it. I support Worldcons even in years when I don’t attend, so having the free reading material is a great bonus.

  10. Re #1 by bkd69
    Tayler also pointed out that although the packet is a great way to get all these books in electronic format at a bargain rate, and to support SFFWA, none of the proceeds go to the authors – so if you like what you read, you are encouraged to buy a copy that does benefit the author.
    Speaking of which, and also mentioned in Tayler’s post, two of the five best-novel nominees are currently discounted to $3 at the Kindle and Nook stores.My understanding is that the retailer is eating the discount on these sales as a promotion device, and the author gets the full value for a sale.

  11. John,

    Thanks for reminding me to get my Renovation registration act together. I would have registered anyway, but the ebooks were a great bonus. Now I have MORE than enough reading material for an upcoming cross-country trip.

  12. I don’t have any ereader, and I was able to read last year’s Hugo packet on my laptop with little difficulty.

  13. This sounds like a fantastic idea. I didn’t know that the casual reader was eligible to vote for Hugos. Very cool.

    So, when is the dealine for voting, if we choose to do so? I’d like to give my self time to read all the materials and make an informed decision. If I choose to participate, I don’t want to snub someone because I gave myself a week to get it all in, and someone didn’t make the cut because I was sleepy one night. Doesn’t seem very fair. =-D

  14. I always buy the novel nominees in dead tree format, and the novellas too where possible, but I still get the Hugo packet for the hard to get hold of stuff. The neat thing about the novels is that depending on where I am I switching between reading the dead tree version or the ebooks on either my computer or Android phone. I’m getting the required reading done about 3 times faster than usual.
    When push comes to shove though I want to vote for the Hugo(s).

  15. Ooooh… tossup between Feed and Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. On one hand, Kingdoms had some wonderful world building and characters that I was actually interested in learning more about. On the other, I do love me some zombies…

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