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Robert Jordan's Final Year of Hugo Eligibility


JenniferL

It's January and that means awards season is upon us. The biggest award in science fiction and fantasy literature is the Hugo Award, awarded by the members of the World Science Fiction Society at the annual WorldCon. The Hugos are often described as "the Oscars of speculative fiction." They are one of our oldest awards, being granted since the 1950's. Brandon Sanderson won the award in 2013 for his novella, The Emperor's Soul and many other significant writers have won this award as well. Notable Hugo winners include Robert Heinlein, Lois McMaster Bujold, Orson Scott Card, Kurt Vonnegut, and Anne McCaffery. It's truly the highest achievement that an author can obtain and perhaps the most meaningful, as the Hugos are not awarded by a jury or committee, but rather by a direct vote of the members of the World Science Fiction Society. 
 
Who is the World Science Fiction Society? It's one of the oldest, if not THE oldest fan club for science fiction and fantasy fans in the world. It's made up of thousands of fans like you and me, as well as writers, artists and editors and other professionals in the field. In short, these are the people who care about science fiction and fantasy and want to see more quality work done in this area. WSFS has been in existence since the very first WorldCon, held in 1939. Anyone can become a member of WSFS by paying the membership fee, which can include entrance to that year's WorldCon. 
 
LonCon, the 72nd annual WorldCon, will take place in London this year. The members of that convention will award Hugos for works published, broadcast or otherwise made available during the 2013 calendar year. This includes A Memory of Light, the final book in the Wheel of Time series. As an active member of WSFS, I'm very excited at the prospect of being able to nominate this book and honor my favorite author and the amazing literary achievement that is the Wheel of Time. But...
 
In re-reading the WSFS Constitution recently, I saw this clause in the Hugo eligibility rules:
 

3.2.6: Works appearing in a series are eligible as individual works, but the series as a whole is not eligible. However, a work appearing in a number of parts shall be eligible for the year of the final part.

 

 

Simply put, because no portion of The Wheel of Time has ever been nominated for a Hugo, the entire series became eligible as a single work when it was completed. I've contacted the Hugo Administrators for this year and they declined to rule on this interpretation, preferring to wait and see if the nominations received require one. So if more folks nominate just A Memory of Light, that will make the ballot. If more nominate for the entire series, then the series will be listed. If it doesn't make a difference either way, then they won't need to rule. 

 

There's a precedent for this interpretation, though not quite on this scale. Black Out and All Clear, a duology by Connie Willis was nominated and won in 2011 for Best Novel. The first season of A Game of Thrones was nominated as a whole, and won in the Best Dramactic Presentation-Long Form category in 2012. So not only do we have the opportunity to honor one of the most significant fantasy authors, but also to make Hugo history. 

 

Oh yeah. We. As I mentioned before, the Hugos are an entirely democratic process. There is no jury or committee. Anyone, including you, can participate in the process. All you have to do is register as either an Attending or Supporting member of this year's WorldCon. Attending membership is just that. You plan to attend the convention and your membership includes all WorldCon and WSFS publications, attendance at the convention and voting rights for the Hugos and WorldCon Site Selection. Supporting membership is usually significantly cheaper and includes just voting rights and publications. Both categories of membership include access to the Hugo Voter Packet, which in past years has included electronic copies of all or most Hugo nominated works that year. This ensures that all voters have the opportunity to read and fairly evaluate all the works before completing their ballots. 

 

If you'd like to participate in the nomination process, you need to be a Supporting or Attending member by January 31st. Attending membership is currently US $185. Supporting is US $ 40. You can register at the LonCon website, as well as read more information about the Hugos, WSFS and WorldCon. 

 

Even if you don't think that Robert Jordan deserves a Hugo for his work on the Wheel of Time, I still invite you to join WSFS. Its a truly international organization of fans and being a member connects you to a much wider world of fandom with rich traditions and stories. Voting in the Hugos is an incredible privilege and one that I encourage you to take advantage of, regardless of who you plan to nominate or vote for. 

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Does A Memory Of Light deserve a Hugo? Absolutely.

Does the entire series? Absolutely not.

 

I actually disagree with you. I came to the series really late, and read the first 10 books back-to-back-back, and the only books that I thought were really slow were Path of Daggers and Crossroads of Twilight. For the record, I thought they were slow, not necessarily bad. In other words, I enjoyed 12 of the 14 books. That's pretty good.

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I don't think you can judge AMOL on it's own merits. It's like watching the last ten minutes of The Departed and saying "This is the best movie of the year!" It doesn't stand alone, but builds on everything that came before in the story. That's why I'm nominating the entire series, along with some of the other new novels I read this year. 

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I've been a long-time fan of the series and the idea that it is more than deserving of a Hugo. The fact that it has never been awarded any awards is an oversight I hope to help correct.

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Anyone have a link for the supporting membership?  I'd like to participate in voting and learning about who is up for nomination.

 

I dug around on the Londoncon link -- but couldn't find anything about the supporting membership....

 

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Ok, so I bit and paid the $42 for a supporting member. However, when do they mail out the pin numbers and member id's so I can nominate? I haven't received any of this info yet. Also, they need to spend a couple more dollars and get a real website...

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They finally emailed the information to me, so I was able to nominate TWoT. 

 

People waiting for their pin and member number may want to keep an eye on their SPAM folder because that is where I found my member info.

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I signed up for LonCon (or whatever it's called) for the sole purpose of dropping $42 so that I could nominate and vote for the WOT series based on this article. :)

Thanks for posting this and giving me the chance to have my favorite author posthumously honored. 

Having said that, I was about to vote and I decided I didn't want to do it wrong - 

Might you append your article to give a "sample ballot"?

In other words, it currently looks like this:
 

Best Novel

A science fiction or fantasy story of 40,000 words or more that appeared for the first time in 2013.

Title       Author               Publisher
______    _____________     ______________

 

My entries:

 

The Wheel of Time, Robert Jordan, Tor Publishing

 

Would you say the above is right, or should I add Brandon's name... any other corrections?

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You can add Brandon's name, but if you don't the Hugo administrators will figure it out. As long as you get the title correct, they can figure the rest out. They are smart people who have usually done thus before.

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Thanks - and yeah, I'm not nominating anything else in the Best Novel category, as I don't want to cancel out my own vote - even with the last book in the series. 

 

At least, theoretically, I hope that's how it goes...

 

Thanks again!

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I'm seriously hoping the packet will have materials for the retro Hugo's! I've been looking since they were announced, and at least a few of them look like they'll be difficult to lay hands on.

 

Also FYI for first time WSFS members - the packet won't contain all of the nominated materials. It depends on the publishers what will be included. Last year it included all of the written fiction, I think, but not all allowed all formats. So no guarantee that it will include ALL of Wheel of Time - that will be up to Tor, I presume!

 

Only 3 months to absorb everything - you might want to start before the packets come out! I haven't seen an announcement yet saying how long we'll have to wait for packets. One of the novellas is free on Amazon right now - Wakulla Springs. Some of the authors will make their stories available to WSFS members for free in digital format. Check the authors web pages. Keep checking amazon etc.

 

And most importantly, have fun!! :)

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