This year’s Worldcon, Loncon 3, has announced that participation in the Hugo Awards is now officially at an all-time high. Loncon 3 received 3,587 valid Hugo Award final ballots (3,571 online, 16 paper). The previous high was 2,100 final ballots cast by members of the 2011 Worldcon, Renovation.OOH-RAH! If we want the Hugo Award to represent the preferences of more than just the inner clique, this is a trend that must continue -- and that means getting even more people involved. Sad Puppies 2 was great, but Sad Puppies 3 should blow its predecessors out of the water.
Which means, of course, that during the closing months of 2014, we Human Wavers - and anyone else who, in Eric S. Raymond's formulation, wants to drag science fiction "back into the gutter where it belongs" - need to get busy and do the following:
- Convince friends and family to participate. I for one am going to do my damnedest to persuade both my father and my co-author to buy supporting memberships for the next World Con. If you know anyone who's a fan of science fiction and/or fantasy but hasn't yet participated as a World Con voter because he or she doesn't feel said participation would matter, point them to this bit of news and remind them that a supporting membership is quite affordable and - oh by the way - comes with a lot of free stuff.
- Start assembling our nominations lists for 2015. I will be scrolling back through this year's reviews to select my favorites, and you all should do that too. But beyond that, we also need to come together in online reading groups and discuss the worthies we find. In the down-ballot categories especially, it's hard to generate enough votes to seize a nomination unless you have a dedicated group of backers who are all willing to vote for the same thing. The upside? The dedicated group of backers does not have to be that large. Among our motley crew of Huns, Barflies, and Monster Hunters, we have enough people to seriously kick some ass. We just need to get organized. (Yes, I know, I know -- it's like herding cats. But Larry Correia seems to have had some luck.)