Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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Too Dense to be Disappointed

A couple of days ago, I mentioned someone writing to WSFS looking for information on "submitting" his book for the Hugo Award. Ben Yalow, who answers these sort of replies, sent him a relatively standard answer pointing him at the WSFS constitution and so forth. The author -- a self-published crank, which is why I won't say who he is or give his web site any play here -- replied:
"Thank you so much for your timely reply to my questions. If I may bother you one more time. In the link, there seemed to be no direct mention of the number of copies to submit for the award and where or whom to submit it, or in other words, there was no actual form to download."
Ben patiently explained that there is no submission form, no requirement for submission, no jury, thousands of potential nominators, etc., etc.

I expect the WSFS web site to be redesigned sometime in the medium-term future. I'm starting to wonder if we need to put a really prominent, flashing button on it labeled HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR WORK FOR THE HUGO AWARD that leads to a page that says, "You can't do it, and here's why" in a bunch of different variations to try and get it through to people that the Hugo Award is a "popular" award, not a juried one.

Alternatively, since the "jury" for the Hugo Award is the union of members of the current and previous Worldcons as of January 31, I suppose we could say something like "If you really insist that you must be able to send a copy to every member of the jury, please ship us 7,000 copies of your book along with a $25,000 application fee to cover the cost of packaging and mailing your copies to each member of the current and previous Worldcons." My only fear is that we might find some crank who has too many dollars and not enough sense who would actually try doing that!

I suppose it's possible that some people who have only heard of the Hugo Award and not actually participated in Worldcons to any extent may have seen that the award has prestige and therefore assumed it couldn't possibly be "popular" and must instead be awarded by a Secret Cabal. Heck, I bet there are regular Worldcon attendees who think this is so.
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