In case you haven’t been paying attention, the nominees for the 2014 Hugo Awards have been announced. By tradition, the Hugo nominees are announced on Easter Sunday, a tradition that is itself a source of controversy. Those people who have at least a supporting membership in this year’s Worldcon will vote on their favorite nominees over the next few months, and the winners will be announced at the Hugo Ceremony during Worldcon.
The 2014 Worldcon will be held in London, but a supporting membership doesn’t allow you to attend, just to vote on the Hugo Awards and do some other things. Traditionally, Worldcons have offered what’s called a “Hugo Packet” which consists of all, or nearly all, of the works up for consideration for Hugos. These works are provided, not by the Worldcon, but by the publishers, who are doing their level best to make it easy for people to decide to give their Hugo vote to their works because the Hugo award is the most prestigious in science fiction.
The thing is, due to a quirk in the rules, Robert Jordan’s entire “Wheel of Time” series is eligible in the best novel category, and it has been nominated. That series consists of 15 or so books, and the publisher (Tor) has made it, that is the entire series, available for the Hugo Packet.
Now, a supporting membership in Worldcon is often considered worth it just for the Hugo packet. For a small cost (typically $40) you get a cross-section of the best SF has to offer, which has a cover price well beyond the cost of the membership. This year, the Hugo Packet has perhaps doubled its normal value. They’re in electronic form, and you don’t get the dramatic presentations, but many people prefer electronic to paper.
Just something to think about.
Oh, and if you happen to need the link to Loncon. You can buy your membership here: http://www.loncon3.org/