The annual Hugo Awards are one of the Top Honors in Storytelling for Science Fiction and Fantasy (SFF). Held at the World Science Fiction Convention (WorldCon), the Hugo Awards honor the best SFFs from publishers, writers and artists to publications and studios. The 2021 ceremony begins tonight.
WorldCon started in New York in 1939, and nonprofits hold the convention with the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS) every year in different locations around the world. The 2021 convention is called DisCon III because this is the third time the convention has returned to the capital of the United States, the first two being 1963 and 1974. DisCon III began on Wednesday, December 15 with in-person events in Washington, DC as well as virtual programming (panels, etc.).
Since the first Hugo Awards in 1953, ceremonies have been held every year towards the end of WorldCon. With 17 regular categories, there are dozens of nominees in all. Along with (and presented) with the Hugo Awards are the Lodestar Award for Best YA Book and Astonishing Best New Writer Award.
Here are the nominees in our favorite and most anticipated categories.
(links only go to the first book)
Best Graphic Story or Comic Book
- DIE, Volume 2: Split the Party – Kieron Gillen, Stephanie Hans and Clayton Cowles
- Ghost-Spider vol. 1: The dog days are over – Seanan McGuire, Takeshi Miyazawa and Rosi Kämpe
- Invisible Kingdom, vol 2: At the edge of it all – G. Willow Wilson and Christian Ward
- Monster, vol. 5: child of war – Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
- Once and future flight. 1: the king is undead – Kieron Gillen, Tamra Bonvillian and Dan Mora
- The parable of the sower: an adaptation of a graphic novel – Octavia E. Butler, Damian Duffy, John Jennings and Hopkinson
Other categories include best: novel, short story, related work, dramatic presentation (long form), dramatic presentation (short film), editor (short form), editor (long form), semiprozine, fanzine, fancast, fan writer and Fan Artist. Discover their finalist here.
Even without reading most of the headlines on time, you all know who I’m supporting …
Each year, WorldCon allows the option for a special category. Thanks to the work of Ira Alexandre and the Games Hugo subcommittee, the 79th WorldCon includes video games for the second time – the first time was in 2006. Eligible games must release or have a “substantial game modification” in the same time window as the other categories.
In the 2020 press release announcing this, DisCon III co-chair Colette Fozard said of the temporary addition: “Since the start of 2020, many of us have spent more time playing than we expected. This award will provide fans with the opportunity to celebrate the games that have been meaningful, joyful and exceptional over the past year. “
The hosts of the Hugo Awards 2021 are SFF giants Andrea Hairston and Sheree Renée Thomas. Initially, Malka Older was supposed to co-host, but withdrew from the events in person because her children are too young to be vaccinated. Luckily for Older and us at home, the prizes will also be streaming! Starting at 8 p.m. EST, DisCon III will broadcast the rewards for those who purchase an event membership.
For those attending in person, you can drop off in the Blue Room (or for a quiet space and overflow the Diplomats Ballroom) from 7:30 p.m. Masking requirements and designated dining areas will remain in effect. as a DisCon III staff member tested positive for COVID-19, and the cases are still increasing.
The results will be displayed via the @ Worldcon2021 Twitter account. We’ll be watching our favorites on their social media accounts and # Worldcon2021 too!
(image: Hugo Awards and Alyssa Shotwell)
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