Hugo Awards

Hugo Awards
Photo: thehugoawards.org
The Hugo Awards are regarded as the most prestigious awards presented for science fiction and fantasy works as well as for contributions to the genre. They are presented annually at the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) organized by the World Science Fiction Society.

The Hugo Award is named after Luxembourgish-American inventor, writer, editor and magazine publisher Hugo Gernsback. In 1926, Gernsback launched Amazing Stories, the first magazine focused solely on science fiction. His contributions to the advancement of science fiction as a publisher were so significant that he is sometimes referred to as one of the “Fathers of Science Fiction”, along with the novelists Jules Verne and H. G. Wells.

The Hugo Awards are awarded for the best science fiction and fantasy works that were published in English in the prior calendar year. They were first introduced at the 11th World Science Fiction Convention in 1953. The first author to receive the Hugo Award for Best Novel was Alfred Bester for his novel The Demolished Man.

Four main categories of the Hugo Awards are the same as the categories of the Nebula Awards: Best Novel (40,000 words or more), Best Novella (between 17,500 and 40,000 words), Best Novelette (between 7,500 and 17,500 words) and Best Short Story (fewer than 7,500 words). Other categories include Best Related Work, Best Graphic Story, Best Dramatic Presentation, Best Semiprozine, Best Fanzine, Best Professional Editor, Best Professional Artist, Best Fan Artist, Best Fan Writer, and Best Fancast.

The nominees and winners are selected by members of the World Science Fiction Convention. The winners are announced at Worldcon and receive a special trophy. The Hugo Award trophy was created by Ben Jason and Jack McKnight. It consists of a finned rocket ship that stands on a base. The design of the trophy rocket has been the same since 1984, but the base design changes every year.

There is no monetary renumeration associated with the Hugo Awards. The award is nevertheless highly regarded in science fiction and fantasy circles. However, some critics claim that the Hugos are a barometer of reader popularity, rather then artistic merit. The Hugo Award is sometimes contrasted with the Nebular Award voted by members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

Hugo Awards Hugo Awards

Photo: thehugoawards.org



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