2016 Hugo Nominations Open

For those of you of a science fictional and/or fantastic bent, the nomination period for the Hugo Awards has now begun and will run until March 31. You can nominate if you were a member of last year’s convention (Sasquan), if you are a member of this year’s convention (MidAmeriCon II), or are a member of next year’s convention (Worldcon 75). If you are not a member of any of these but will still like to nominate, you have until January 31 (that’s two days from the writing of this post) to become a Worldcon member (here’s the information on that).

(If you are currently a member described above, emails including the PIN you’ll need to access the nomination ballot are going out and should arrive in the next week.)

Voting for the Hugos is pretty simple: You look at the categories, find works you like that fit in the category, and then nominate them. You can nominate up to five works per category, although you can nominate fewer, too. And if you nominate online, you’ll be able to update your ballot right up until the deadline, so if a week from now you find something you love, you can put it in, and also a week later, and a week after that, too.

If you’re looking for things to read to see if you’d want to nominate them, or to suggest things that other people might consider for nomination, two ideas for you: First, the Hugo Nominees Wiki, and second, this Hugo Awards Google Spreadsheet. Both are packed with works to consider, and in both cases you can add your own suggestions.

Three points I want to make at this juncture:

1. Your Hugo nominations are meant to be your Hugo nominations, reflecting your own personal taste in science fiction and fantasy work. In the last couple of years, some folks have been presenting slates of potential nominees and encouraging people to vote for the slates for reasons. This didn’t work out well for anyone. Take suggestions, read widely, and then make your own nominations, reflecting your own taste, not anyone else’s.

2. If you are eligible to nominate for the Hugos, I think you should nominate for the Hugos. One reason the slating shenanigans happened was because only a minority of Worldcon members nominate for the Hugos, making the nomination process susceptible to gaming. This year there are at least 11,000 people eligible to nominate for the Hugos; last year over 6,000 people voted for the Hugo awards themselves. If everyone who voted for the Hugos last year nominated this year, any attempts at slating by group would probably be mitigated — and also, the nominations would reflect a more diverse group of science fiction and fantasy fans. The more people who nominate, the better.

3. Folks who are nominating should not neglect the “non-marquee” categories, including fan categories and categories like Related Work and Semi-prozine. Because these categories are often less nominated in, they can be more susceptible to gaming in general. The good news is there are lots of excellent works and people who can be nominated. The wiki and spreadsheet linked above can help with your explorations of the categories.

In short: Nominate, nominate for everything you can, and nominate out of your own brain, not anyone else’s.

(Also, a reminder: This year I’m asking people not to nominate work of mine produced in 2015 and will decline any Hugo nominations I might receive. Nominate others, please!)

30 Comments on “2016 Hugo Nominations Open”

  1. As someone who hasn’t gotten their Hugo Pin yet, I think it’s important to mention that Pins are going out over the next week, and the announcement asked that you wait and see before emailing about your Pin.

  2. The wiki and spreadsheet are helpful a bit in this area, but I’m looking for more information on long form editor, who edited what books. For example, I know I’m going to nominate Marco Palmieri (for editing Schoen’s Barsk, though I’m sure he’s edited more good books this year as well) but writing in “whomever edited Ann Leckie’s book for Orbit” prooooobably won’t work. Any pointers toward where to find more such information?

  3. Would Steampunk be considered Sci-Fi? Jim Butcher’s Aeronaut’s Windlass was something I would want to nominate, but I am not sure if it fits.

  4. This will be my first year to be eligible to nominate, and I do plan to do so. I’m grateful for people’s lists. I read some kick-ass stuff this year, but aging memory being what it is, I’m hoping that the lists provide some helpful reminders. So thank you for the links, Scalzi, and I look forward to getting other recommendations as well. If there’s an Eligible Works post, I’ll try to remember to add some things that I particularly enjoyed, in case that helps others.

  5. Tom Combs: Any work of science fiction or fantasy published in 2015 is eligible to be nominated. The awards are not just for science fiction, unless we are considering science fiction as the larger umbrella of the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres – but it’s a large umbrella.

  6. Thanks so much for posting this with helpful links to eligible works. I joined Worldcon yesterday just to be able to nominate works that I have read and liked. I read so many SF/F books that I figured I should step up and at least voice my opinion!

  7. Thank you for reminding us on the deadline to sign up in order to nominate. I am surprised other sites did not say its in a couple of days. I did not realize it was so soon.

  8. Harriet Rigney should be elligible for long form editor for the Wheel of Time Companion. It should be easy to see the work she did just by looking at it. The whole book is an editing process. Harriet has never been nominated for an award. She edited Enders Game, Gene Wolf, and Wheel of Time. Please consider nominating her.

  9. I worked hard last year to make a great nomination list, and it got wiped out by rabid puppies. Redoubling my efforts this year! (Which means I’m going to have to read more short stories – mostly spent last year reading novels). Waiting for Seanan McGuire to put up her list of what’s eligible, too. Also I need to check my copy of Chimera to find out who her editor was.

  10. I nominated last year for the first time ever, though nothing I proposed made the final ballots. I am eligible to nominate again this year and plan to do so. I have a short list of stuff I’ve read that I liked, and I’ll be browsing the “award-eligible” lists here and elsewhere for other stuff to read and hopefully nominate as well.

    As a side note (and apologies to our host if this is off-topic – feel free to snip out, of course), the last progress report for MidAmericon II included info about the dates and times of the business meetings, plus detailed descriptions about the various proposals under consideration to modify the nominating algorithm, which will be discussed and voted upon at the business meetings. For anyone who is interested in that, you may want to make note of the dates/times and review the proposals ahead of time. I at least plan to attend the business meetings this year, something that I’ve never done before, as I would very much like to participate in the decision-making process.

  11. Thanks for the info. I thought great sci fi, like Heinlein was dead until I found your works (and purchased them in hardback) along with Robinson’s Callaghan series. I’m a librarian so the process of Hugo nominations interest me. Thanks & love your blog. P.S. Sure you aren’t a Slytherin? 🙀

  12. I haven’t been a Worldcon member since 1978 and took a very long break from sf until this last year. I’m joining as a supporting member today so that I can participate in the Hugo voting. A list of eligible items would be terrific.

  13. So just to be clear; If you had a supporting membership last year you can nominate this year? And Love the links to the Wiki and spreadsheet. I wish I known about this kind of thing a long time ago (if they just didn’t appear this year).

  14. re: Geoff K: The Wiki is new this year, the spreadsheet I’m pretty sure is also new this year. Lots of informal (for example, Scalzi’s huge threads each year!) and semi-formal (WSFS lists, etc.) discussions in this area, but this is the first “clearing house level size” effort like this that I’ve seen. I’ve kept a similar spreadsheet for myself in previous years (mainly for dramatic shorts, which I come across sporadically and tend to forget in which year one was made) and found it really useful.

  15. @montsamu,

    I’m also having challenges figuring out Long Form Editor. I saw a suggestion somewhere (File770, maybe) that the best way to do it is to look in the acknowledgements, since authors will generally thank their editors there. Applying that to Ancillary Mercy, I see that she thanks Will Hinton at Orbit US and Jenni Hill at Orbit UK. They’ll both go on my long list (as will Marco Palmieri).


    I agree that the Wheel of Time Companion is an impressive work. I’ll be nominating it in Related Work and will definitely put Harriet Rigney on the long list. Thanks for the suggestion!

  16. Suggestion that authors who like their editors and want to endorse them for Hugo noms should perhaps note who they are on the main page of their author websites?

  17. I know in the past I have barely ever nominated anything because I often worry that I haven’t read enough to be a valid nominator. Now I know better and believe that is absolute nonsense. So, I encourage everyone to vote for the best that they read (or watched) and not get caught up in the hypothetical “what if things I didn’t read are even better?” We have a large team of nominators and voters to handle that. :)

    Also, I humbly suggest the Hugo Recommendation Season blog I’m running. Being my first attempt at it and working 2 jobs kept it from staying on schedule, but I am still collecting recommendations and hope to continue our focus on ALL categories, not just the big ones. So please, read through the recommendations there if you are looking to broaden your reading further, and even bigger please, send in your recommendations for any and all categories! I will be posting an updated schedule this weekend, but right now I’m trying to pull together a Best Fan Artist rec post when NO ONE submitted anything, plus getting ready for hopefully a better week with Best Novel up next! (I know there has got to be some great fan art from this past year – please send me some recommendations!)

    But I am willing to take any recommendations for any category and will post them. No commentary by me, no filtering of what works are acceptable, no gathering into slates – just fans talking about what they loved this past year. So please write a paragraph (or more) recommending something or someone, and send me a link. I would prefer to have trouble keeping up with all of the recommendations than having nothing but crickets chirping for some of the “down ticket” categories.

    Thank you!!!

  18. Scalzi wrote:

    “If everyone who voted for the Hugos last year nominated this year, attempts at slating by group would probably be mitigated…”

    I think this is a bit optimistic. Most of the works on the Hugo ballot in previous years were nominated by 5-15% of the nominators (Ancillary Justice was a runaway favorite in its year, and got 25%.) About a sixth of the people who voted on the Hugos last year were members of the slating group. If everyone nominates, the stuff on this year’s slate will be on 16% of the nominating ballots. If the slate becomes, as previously promised, a list of 10 per category rather than 5, any given slate item will still be on 8% of the ballots.

    That is enough to be felt, though perhaps not enough to close non-slate entries out of whole categories. Come to think of it perhaps that’s what you meant by “mitigated,” in which case I dial back my disagreement.

    I definitely agree we should all nominate. I have been keeping a list of my favorites all year for just that purpose. Just…don’t be too surprised if it isn’t enough.

  19. Geoff K asks: “If you had a supporting membership last year you can nominate this year?”


    Any member of the 2015 (Spokane), 2016 (Kansas City), or 2017 (Helsinki) Worldcons as of the end of January 2016 can nominate for the 2016 Hugo Awards. If you were a member of more than one of those, you can only cast one nominating ballot for each of the two elections (2016 and 1941) this year.

  20. What Jim S. said about figuring out who edited what is good advice, Look at author’s websites (query them, in fact, if you want.) and/or on the dedication and acknowledgment pages of their books. TOR is, to my knowledge, the only US company that puts the info on the copy-eight page, so they do have an advantage in that sense. Most of the rest of us labour in relative anonymity. . F’rinstance not many readers know who Jenn Brehl is, probably. But they should–she edits the late Sir Terry and both Neil and Neal. (and Joe Hill, too.)

  21. There are two tumblrs worth looking at if you are at a loss with where to start on the artist categories, particularly if you know there is art you like but you don’t tend to remember artist names:
    http://2015hugoart.tumblr.com/ and
    http://hugoeligibleart.tumblr.com/ (which is continuing from last year and is focusing on fan artist this year.)

    If you want to lose many, many delicious hours to hugo research, go through online magazines like tor.com or LightSpeed and whenever you like one of the story illos go find the artist’s portfolios/blogs for pro artist noms.

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