Hugo Award

The Hugo Award, the most prestigious award in Science Fiction, is named after Hugo Gernsback, publisher of the first all-stf magazine Amazing Stories. The Hugos are fandom's highest honor to its members and others whose work fans admire. Hugo winners are selected annually by the members of the World Science Fiction Society and the presentation ceremonies are central to fandom's most important event, the World Science Fiction Convention.

Fans first awarded the Hugo at Worldcon in 1953 (see The First Hugos). Regular categories are Best Fanzine, Best Fan Writer, Best Fan Artist, Best Novel, Best Novella, Best Novelette, Best Short Story, Best Related Work, Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form, Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form. Best Editor, Long Form, Best Editor, Short Form, Best Professional Artist, Best SemiProzine, Best Graphic Story, and Best Fancast, with others being considered (but probably not “Best Fannish Cat,” at least not yet) from time to time.

The Worldcon Committee can and sometimes does name a committee special category each year. The Hugo has also been called “the tail that wagged the dog”: the first awards were given out more than a dozen years after the first Worldcon, but at present the WSFS Constitution that governs the Worldcon list the giving of the Hugo as the primary function of the convention.

The Hugo Trophy consists of a silvery cast-metal Hugo rocket, which is the same from year to year mounted on a Hugo base which each Worldcon designs specially.

The award was originally named the Science Fiction Achievement Awards, and only informally called the Hugo, but the informal name stuck and is now the official, trademarked name.

Despite some filthy pros' efforts to use the Hugo as a marketing tool, ithe awards are entirely a fannish endeavor. While pros who pay for membership in WSFS may vote, the administration of the awards, counting of the ballots and production of the awards ceremony are all done by volunteer fans.

See Hugo Rules for more information and Hugo voting process if you really want the gory details, and History of the Hugos. See also List of Hugo Categories, List of Hugo Results, Campbell Award and Special Committee Awards.

Official website


Contributors: Dr. Gafia


from Fancyclopedia 2 ca. 1959
(Madle) The International Fantasy Award, named after Hugo Gernsback & by analogy with mundane Oscars, Emmys, etc. Hal Lynch and Bob Madle brainstormed this annually presented set of commendations at the PhilCon II; they are presented by a committee to top fanzines, proz, artists, ktp, at the Worldcon. The poll selecting winners in the various categories is perhaps the only fan poll which still produces results reflecting general fan attitudes, thanks to its size.