The 6 Ws of the Hugo Awards

by AJ Adejare

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There’s a lot about the Hugo Awards that quite frankly, may not know.

Who: Hugo Gernsback is the founder the Amazing Stores magazine, one of hte first Science Fiction magazines and is considered one of the fathers of Science Fiction.  Thus the award is named after him (Hugo).

What The Hugo Awards are a fan driven science-fiction awards held by the World Science Fiction Society.

When The Awards will be handed out on August 22, 2015 

Where  The Awards are held at the annual World Science Fiction Con (or World Con) this year World Con is in Spokane, Washington.  

Why Here’s where things get interesting.  If you know politics, there’s the concept of slate balloting.  Essentially, grab a whole bunch of items/people and convince a set of people to for those particular people.  The trick is that slates usually are ideologically driven, conniving people that you must vote for all of these in order to align yourself as right.  For instance, if you’re a fan of say Steven Universe then the CEO of Cartoon Network may say: Vote for the Steven Party that includes My Gym Parter is a Monkey and Ed Edd and Eddy, while the CEO of Nickelodean says: Vote for the Korra party that includes both Butt Ugly Martians and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Now you  may like one or the other, but in a slate sense you have to pick all even if you don’t like all candidates.

This slate occurred with the latest Hugo Awards where a slue of nominees that otherwise would have needed to contend with other content populate the ballot.

How There was a slate called Sad Puppies that circulated on the internet and thus had a lot of it’s members populate the ballot.  This annoyed many people as it showed the political polarization of the Hugo Awards.  Political not as in campaigning for a favorite work, but more of ideologies.  

Now people are weighing in to counteract slates as it does (and trust me it does) hurt all of the works that should get the nod in the nomination. While other people pulled themselves out of the Hugos so they don’t have to get involved with the larger scheme of the politics.  There are even people contemplating about just doing no award for a lot of the nominees.

There are a lot more pieces out there that will cover the controversy in more explanatory detail but I felt that this piece maybe the first letter to the alphabet so that people can see the words and ideas forming.  

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