April 13th, 2015

books

Yet Another Hugos Post

I'm a bit late to the "party, but i figured i might as well throw my 2 cent hat into the ring. Just over a week ago the nominees for the 2015 Hugo awards were announced, and things have kind of gone to hell in a handbasket.

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Needless to say there was even more consternation when those results were announced and there is much discussion about what should be done about it. The immediate suggestion proposed by a lot of people is to just vote "No Award" for vast swathes of the Hugos this year. There are problems with that response that i'm not going to delve into here, but there's also concern about how to deal with the issue in the long term. There have been a lot of people saying the system needs to be changed, and some people claiming that the committees in charge of the Hugos are already working on changes behind the scenes.

I'm having a hard time coming up with a great way to change the system to prevent this kind of thing from happening where the cure isn't worse than the disease. I don't think making the voting more restrictive would really help, and i don't think requiring people to have some kind of credentials or pass some kind of test would be a good idea. (We already have awards like that, one of which is called the Nebulas.)

So here's the ideas i have that definitely won't solve the problem, but i think would ameliorate it somewhat. I shall list them in what i expect will be from least controversial to most controversial order.

1: Allow people to nominate more than five works in a category.
2: Restrict each nominee to one entry in each category.
3: Add a new "Nominating" membership level for WorldCon with a *cough* nominal fee. (Say, $1.)
4: Make the total nominating votes both public and updated on an ongoing basis during the nominating process.

Here are some alternate ideas that i don't like as much and don't synergize with the others listed above, but might help.

5: Restrict the nomination round to full members.
6: Make the number of nomination slots smaller than the number of final slots.
7: Have a jury pick the works that go on the final ballot, possibly in correlation with voter nominations.

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