April 11th, 2015

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You Only Get One Shot at the 2015 Hugo Awards

Among all of the shouting over the 2015 Hugo Awards "Puppygate" and the calls to vote No Award is floating around something procedurally pernicious and that I encourage anyone who sees it to stamp out. That is the assumption that if the members of this year's Worldcon vote "No Award" on everything or substantially everything on the Hugo Awards ballot, that's okay because "the Retro-Hugos will cover it" or "Worldcon can hold a new election for 2015 next year." Both of these wrong.

ETA: This post is written based on the WSFS rules as they stand in April 2015. It does not anticipate rule changes. Look, it's technically possible to change any rule, so every comment below that has an implicit or explicit "But if you change this rule..." in it, I'll stipulate. I'm attempting to refute people who are assuming that as the rules stand right now certain things can be done that simply aren't true.

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So don't let people talk you into voting No Award solely because you think that there will be some sort of do-over in 2016 or 2065 or whatever. It's not going to happen. As with any Hugo Awards election, I would encourage any member to use his/her right to vote No Award when you think that the candidates you rank below it or leave off your ballot don't deserve to be on that ballot, but don't do it just because you think you'll get a second chance with a new set of nominees.