The Hugo Awards, presented annually since 1955, are science fiction’s most prestigious award. They are voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Convention (“Worldcon”) which is also responsible for administering them. Worldcon is the annual international convention of the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS). The five day long event has been held each year since 1939 with the exception of four years during World War II. Worldcon moves to a different city every year. Melbourne, Australia was the 2010 site. Reno, NV will be the home of this year’s Worldcon. Chicago, IL will be the 2012 site.
Here’s how voting works:
1. Register as a supporting member of this year’s World Science Fiction Convention in Reno (or if you plan to attend the con in person, then purchase the more expensive ‘full attending’ membership). The supporting membership will cost you $50. This membership includes all voting rights in the World Science Fiction Society. This means you get to cast your ballot for the 2011 Hugo Awards as well as nominate works and creators for next year’s ballot when the time comes in 2012. You receive all generally distributed Worldcon publications, including Progress Reports and the Souvenir Book. In addition, you receive a Hugo Awards Voters Packet which is an electronic file containing almost all of the major literary and artistic nominated works (novels, short stories, novellas, art, etc.) on this year’s ballot. The cumulative value of the works in the Voters Packet is a bargain, considering the sum is worth well in excess of the $50 fee.
3. When you’re ready, vote online or snailmail your ballot. Note that you are not required to vote in all categories. Either way, the deadline for voting is July 31.
4. In addition, the 2013 Worldcon Site Selection Ballot is now available. If you’ve paid the $50 supporting membership fee, then you’re also eligible to vote for San Antonio as the official site of the 2013 World Science Fiction Convention. To vote requires an additional $60 fee, separate from the $50 supporting membership fee. You can vote for the Hugos without voting in the Site Selection election, but you can’t do either without first purchasing a membership. Bid chairman Bill Parker explains, “Even though there is only one candidate (San Antonio) on the ballot, the more support we have from the voters the clearer it is that this is where the people want to go.” Good news — note that the $60 Site Selection voting fee applies toward the purchase of an attending membership to the 2013 Worldcon, if San Antonio wins the bid. Parker adds, “The conversion rate for those that vote is generally the least expensive membership.”