Last Saturday, the 2012 Hugo Award finalists were announced, and Omnivoracious posted the ballot. To follow up, we caught up with a few of the nominees to get a small, decidedly unscientific sampling of perspectives on the Hugo Award.
We were curious, for example, about the influence that the Hugos have had on some of the nominees. First on our list to ask was Seanan McGuire because she’s on the ballot four times, twice under her name and twice under the pen name of Mira Grant (for the novel Deadline and novella Countdown).
Was McGuire aware of the Hugos while growing up? The answer was an emphatic yes: “I was! I grew up reading science fiction and fantasy, and read several of the classic Hugo winner anthologies to death. This was the award I literally dreamt about when I was a kid. Let my classmates have the Oscars and the Emmys. I wanted a Hugo. They were the ultimate recognition in the field. Now, all grown up, they still are.”
Mary Robinette Kowal, a 2011 Hugo winner up this year in two categories (best novella and best related work) said much the same thing: “Oh, very much so. I started writing because I loved reading, and the Hugo awards were one of the ways that I chose reading material. It didn't always mean that I would love the book, but more often than not it was something that I needed to read.”
For veteran anthology editor Jonathan Strahan, up for best short-form editing and best podcast, that connection also formed at a young age: “When I first encountered SF as a young reader the Hugo was a stamp of quality, an assurance that a book would be worth reading. Being connected with the Hugo Awards always takes me back to that wonder I felt encountering SF for the first time. So, you can imagine that I'm delighted and honored to be nominated.”