The Hugo Awards: Winner Ann VanderMeer on the Pomp, the Circumstance, the Ceremony

(Stephen H. Segal and Ann VanderMeer, holding their Hugos after the ceremony. Ann is a little hunched over because the award is very heavy. David Howell designed this year's version of the award; the base is made in part from Montreal granite.)

The long-running Hugo Awards for excellence in science fiction and fantasy are announced during an elaborate ceremony at one of genre's biggest conventions, the World Science Fiction Convention. This year, WorldCon was held in Montreal August 6 through 10, and my wife Ann VanderMeer, along with Stephen H. Segal, attended as finalists for a Hugo Award for their work on Weird Tales magazine. Ann is the fiction editor for Weird Tales, while Stephen is the creative director and designer. Given that there's a fair amount of pomp and circumstance surrounding the Hugos, I thought I'd interview my wife about the experience, especially since I was unable to go to Montreal with her. The category in which Weird Tales was nominated has long been won by Locus Magazine, but come Sunday night Weird Tales pulled a rather large and unexpected upset. (In fact, writer Tobias Buckell texted me from the ceremony to tell me about it, and I almost fell out of my seat in surprise.)

As I reported on Omnivoracious right after the ceremony, Neil Gaiman won in the best novel category for The Graveyard Book, with Nancy Kress, Elizabeth Bear, and Ted Chiang won in the three short form categories. You can find a full list of winners here.

What are the Hugos like? Here's a look from Ann's perspective as a first-time nominee and first-time winner. (io9 also has an extensive set of photos.)

Leave a Comment

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this blog until approved.

Comments (18)

Congratulations once more, Ann! And thanks for the great interview, Jeff. You may not remember me in particular, but you both came and shared time with my Odyssey class in 2006, and I feel honored to have spent that personalized time with you. Love the magazine, too!

Posted by: Adria Laycraft | Friday August 14, 2009 at 9:14 AM

Well, this is a little surprising. Ann was such a figure of composure that I had no idea she was so nervous and excited! And her acceptance speech was eloquent (I assumed memorized and rehearsed).

Posted by: Stu Segal | Friday August 14, 2009 at 1:24 PM

Why is science fiction always grouped with fantasy? I find that quite annoying. For the most part I'm not interested in reading fantasy and I have to wade through all the fantasy books at the bookstore when looking for a good sci-fi book.

Don't even get me going on the SciFi channel switching to the SyFy channel. I understand that pro wrestling is fantasy but why group fantasy with science fiction?

Plus the channel seems to only show crappy fantasy. I never see Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter on the SyFy channel. No, instead garbage like Ghost Hunters.

Ghosts are the antithesis of the spirit of science that should pervade science fiction.

Posted by: Brian Macker | Saturday August 15, 2009 at 4:56 AM

I love the idea of Ann letting fans & staff be photographed with her Hugo. That's class, as was Steve Silver doing the same and raising money for charity.

Posted by: Paul in NJ | Saturday August 15, 2009 at 9:22 AM

The Hugo Awards are clearly geared towards narrative, being as it’s focus are traditionally non-interactive mediums. Why wouldn’t the category’s inclusion inspire more than just twitching? Even if its first several years are based around ‘twitch gameplay’ I don’t see how one could assume that video games couldn’t transcend that.

Posted by: battery charger | Friday September 11, 2009 at 9:52 PM

Ann VanderMeer and Steven H. Segal --

This planet has messed its' pants.

Anyone who doesn't read, and learn from, Weird Tales will be left at the boarding gate to sanity.

Thanks for posting the Hugo Award have re-built a sturdy vehicle and are now far ahead of the curve. No shock to me you won.

Just re-subscribed to WT after finding several early 1990's issues in my garage during a massive overhaul. What a sweet was all there: Unique time travel, craggy sludge, the first SK published story, banter and blather...along with a subtle mystery that lingers overnight and during the common hours.

It will be the writers, editors and publishers thirst to find and promote these type of stories who will lead all out of these deep, killing woods.

I hope to be a small part.

Posted by: David Wesley Aiken | Monday January 4, 2010 at 6:44 AM

We have got check out features a great many other possibilities pointing to web-site recently,in addition method have always been everybody thereby charges the fact that plenty blogpuppy owners that may help you glimpse choose as being useless,yet the ones you have normally really, we want study the actual internet site,and furthermore , ganoderma appear contented in addition will be able to read and learn about a specific product latest,along with i just sense your new web site when

Posted by: Nike Shox NZ | Wednesday June 23, 2010 at 7:24 PM

like all the pictures here,so nice

Posted by: nike air max | Monday July 5, 2010 at 7:12 PM

Overall I was tickled about all the awards. This was such a strong ballot in so many categories that it would have been difficult to choose.

Posted by: NFL Jerseys | Sunday July 18, 2010 at 10:54 AM

Hi Ann and Jeff, I'm interested in your book and I'm also researching a piece on Steampunk cuisine for my new site, Toque. Would love to chat with you about it when you have a chance. Thanks. Erika

Posted by: toquemag | Wednesday July 21, 2010 at 10:06 AM

It is a pingback from a further webpage.!!!. as this really is starting to be even more widespread (that is a very good point!) I'll very likely appearance to fixing the exhibit of it.

Posted by: Pumas shoes | Tuesday November 9, 2010 at 3:07 AM

It is a pingback from a further webpage.!!!. as this really is starting to be even more widespread (that is a very good point!) I'll very likely appearance to fixing the exhibit of it.

Posted by: Pumas shoes | Tuesday November 9, 2010 at 3:08 AM

his was such a strong ballot in so many categories that it would have been difficult to choose.

Posted by: tory burch shoes | Wednesday July 6, 2011 at 11:51 PM

yeah,a good thing

Posted by: Burberry Outlet | Wednesday August 17, 2011 at 8:49 PM

Oakley, Inc. today announced the release of [url=htttp://]fake oakleys[/url], August was a busy month for Oakley athletes. There were many highs coupled with the inevitable lows that come with pushing the boundaries of sport. View the gallery to see some of their more astounding moments caught on film.

Posted by: cheap oakleys | Thursday November 3, 2011 at 2:56 PM

Oakley, Inc. today announced the release of [url=htttp://]fake oakleys[/url], Throughout the month of October the Oakley team was busy blowing even our most outrageous expectations out of the water. They laid down new world records, captured million dollar prize purses, ventured into new arenas and so much more. Share in their glory with October’s Best Sports Moments Caught on Film

Posted by: cheap oakleys | Wednesday November 9, 2011 at 4:13 AM

yeah,a good thing

Posted by: dr dre Cuffie | Monday December 12, 2011 at 9:58 PM

Co-starring with the two sports icons was a star-struck young boy named Dawson. At just 7-years old, he stole the show with his bright and cheery disposition. fake oakleys Dawson, in spite of the fact that he’s in the midst of a grueling three-year chemotherapy regimen, exuded incredible positivity and strength.
“He was unbelievable,” Rory said of his inspiring co-star. cheap oakleys “To see someone go through what he’s going through and to have all this positivity coming out of him, it just makes you realize how lucky and how fortunate we are.”

Posted by: fake oakleys | Wednesday May 16, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Lists + Reviews

Best Books Literature + Fiction Nonfiction Kids + Young Adult Mystery, Thriller + Suspense Science Fiction + Fantasy Comics + Graphic Novels Romance Eating + Drinking


Interviews Guest Essays Celebrity Picks

News + Features

News Features Awards


Omnivoracious, The Amazon Book Review

Feeds Facebook Twitter YouTube