Awarded September 7, 1959 by Detention. Another year, another change of categories! The Detention committee retained some of Solacon's changes, and rolled back others and managed to come up with a set of Hugo categories which looked more like the set used starting in the late 60s than any other of the pre-1967 Worldcons.
For the first time, there was a nomination ballot. It was circulated widely through fandom, anyone was allowed to nominate, and then the final ballot was distributed as usual in a PR. (See Early Hugo voting.)
(Note that the modern rules were not yet in places, so categories had as many as ten nominees plus No Award on the final ballot. The committee noted that when the nomination ballot showed there was no clearly preferred nominee, they added No Award as a choice. Additionally, the category titles had not yet been standardized, so one category was "Best STF or Fantasy Movie" on the nomination ballot, but was "Best Hollywood Movie of 1958" on the final ballot.))
There was also an attempted ballot-stuffing: Seventy nominations (a huge number for this period) for R. Lionel Fanthorpe came in from one town in England and none of the voters' names were recognized by British fans. The nominations were ignored and the following year the rule was made that nominators had to be members of the Worldcon. (There was no evidence that Fanthorpe had anything to do with the ballot stuffing.)
Isaac Asimov was the toastmaster at the Hugo Ceremony and was joined by Robert Bloch. According to Asimov, Bloch opened the envelope with the name of the winner of the Short Story Hugo and was so surprised, Asimov had to read that Bloch had won over Bloch's shoulder.
- 1959 Best Novel Hugo: A Case of Conscience by James Blish
- 1959 Best Professional Magazine Hugo: The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction ed. by Anthony Boucher and Robert P. Mills
- 1959 Best New Author of 1958 Hugo: No award
- 1959 Best Novelette Hugo: "The Big Front Yard" by Clifford D. Simak
- 1959 Best Short Story Hugo: "That Hell-Bound Train" by Robert Bloch
- 1959 Best Fanzine Hugo: Fanac ed. by Terry Carr and Ron Ellik
- 1959 Best Professional Artist Hugo: Frank Kelly Freas
- 1959 Best STF or Fantasy Movie Hugo: No award