Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Nerdvana Podcast: The Puppygate Edition

Last weekend I was a guest on the Nerdvana Podcast as the go-to guy to talk about how the Hugo Awards work. We talked for more than two hours. I haven't yet listened to Episode 38 to see what I actually said yet, but I'm looking forward to doing it.

Just as I thought things were starting to calm down a little, two Hugo finalists withdrew today and the Internet Exploded Again. This is an unprecedented situation. No nominee has ever withdrawn after the finalists were announced. (I exclude here Lester Del Rey declining to accept Judy-Lynn Benjamin Del Rey's posthumous Hugo for Best Professional Editor, an incident that led to the requirement that Worldcons give nominees (or their heirs in this case) an opportunity to decline a space on the shortlist.)

The situation with the two disqualified nominees is unfortunate but not unprecedented. The equitable thing in such cases is to backfill the ballot with the next-highest nominee who accepts. What to do when a nominee declines after being announced as a finalist but before the ballot is printed is not covered by any rule, and thus the Administrator has to decide. Whatever this year's Hugo Administrators decide to do, I'll support it. There's a reasonable case to be made for backfilling the position, but also to leave it blank. If the ballot had been published, I don't think you can backfill. In the latter case, it's like when there's a mistake in a baseball game; you can't appeal if the next pitch has been thrown, even if everyone agrees that there was a mistake. But this case is different and new.

I had another media inquiry asking for interviews with someone official from The Hugo Awards. I'm trying to do those only in writing if possible. I'm concerned about stumbling over words in an interview or flubbing a "gotcha" question.
Tags: hugo awards, worldcon

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