Shimmer Supports Hugo Voters

You know what would be neat? If everyone in the science fiction and fantasy world voted in the Hugo awards. If everyone read widely and discussed what they loved. If all the voices were heard, not just the loudest. A healthy ecosystem is one that’s teeming with millions of kinds of life; let’s find ways to include more people.

If you can afford a supporting membership to WorldCon, I strongly encourage you to buy one. It’s $40. A supporting membership gives you the right to vote in this year’s Hugos — and the right to nominate in next year’s.

If you can’t afford a supporting membership… Mary Robinette Kowal is offering to pay for a supporting membership to WorldCon for ten people who cannot afford it.

This is a splendid idea. Shimmer’s happy to join Mary. We’ll match her offer: ten memberships for people who can’t otherwise afford one. Email with your name, phone number (just as backup in case your email doesn’t work), and a paragraph telling me a little bit about yourself and why you’d like a supporting membership. I expect to get more than ten people interested, so will ultimately choose at random.

Please help us spread the word. Tell a friend, tell your family, tell your community members. Reach out and help us make the table bigger.

And while you’re reaching out? Talk to them about science fiction and fantasy. What are you watching or reading that’s awesome? What are you creating?

I think my favorite thing I read this week was Ishq, by Usman Malik, a reprint in this month’s Nightmare. It’s a story about family and hope and death, and it’s wonderful and terrible.

Comments on this post will be heavily moderated. Don’t be a dick.

Edited to add: vote for whatever works you want; that decision is entirely up to you, and you don’t owe Shimmer (or me!) anything.

9 thoughts on “Shimmer Supports Hugo Voters”

  1. I have mixed feelings about paying random strangers to join Worldcon purely so that they can vote for the Hugos, and particularly in a year when much of the discussion of the nominees is about their politics, and not about the stories at all. This sounds WAY too much like buying votes. That process does not end well. If you want to destroy the Hugos: this won’t do it. But it is one step further in that direction.
    If you HAVE to do this–and this is not something to be encouraged–I’d like to see you ask every one the people applying to agree that they will read the nominees in a category before voting, and not vote on politics, web-gossip, nor innuendo. ALL of the nominees.

  2. Hi Geoffrey! I totally agree that buying votes never ends well, and hope it’s clear that that’s not our intent. People can vote for whichever works they want. and I am fine with people making up their own minds about how thoroughly they need to read or view the works on the ballot before voting. Based on the applications we’ve gotten so far, voters read widely and passionately and intelligently and are very focused on the works.

    My own strategy is to stop reading whenever a work loses me; and there are whole categories I usually don’t vote in because they’re not where my interests lie (Best Dramatic Presentation, for one).

  3. Actually, no. An award that the whole of the SF community voted on might be a really good thing, but it wouldn’t be the Hugos. The Hugos are specifically an award given by the Worldcon. They are run, and the rules for them are set, by people that attend Worldcons. That is their history, that is what gives them their prestige.

    Not understanding this is one of the major errors the Sad Puppies make.

  4. I have to say…I agree with Geoff Landis on this. We should not be recruiting people to vote for Hugos.

    But, I know I’ve run into a couple of people online over the last week who’ve said that even paying for a supporting membership was too much for their budget. I’m willing to buy one supporting membership for someone who always wanted a Worldcon supporting membership and just can’t afford it.

  5. Laurie, thank you! I encourage you to reach out to your networks (maybe the people you’ve seen online recently?) and make your offer directly to them. If you’re not able to connect with someone, get back in touch and I can add you to our offer.

    My perspective is — I did not grow up in fandom at all, and even after attending a few WorldCons myself as publisher of Shimmer, it didn’t occur to me that I could just purchase a supporting membership, or why that might be a good thing to do. I felt like, if I didn’t have the 30+ years of experience of feet on the ground at cons, I didn’t belong. In truth, belonging is largely a matter of just deciding you belong, and every year when I purchase my supporting membership, it’s my way of saying, I do so belong. And I want more people to experience that.

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