Loncon 3, the 2014 incarnation of Worldcon and “the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention,” held at ExCel in London’s Docklands, is playing host this Sunday August 17th to the Hugo Awards, “the leading award for excellence in the field of science fiction and fantasy,” in an event due to be streamed live to fans worldwide. According to information already released by Loncon 3, “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.”
Whether the London venue and record high poll this year do anything to quieten the controversy over the Hugo Awards themselves this year remains to be seen. We have already had the (successful) Twitter whisper campaign against Jonathan Ross compering the Awards. Then there is the unfortunate fact that the Hugo Awards finalists list, displayed on the Loncon 3 site, still boasts work by Larry Correia and Vox Day, both of them implicated in ballot-stuffing campaigns and bigoted commentary against anyone of a different stance. Loncon 3 itself may vociferously support diversity, but some of its Hugo finalists do the exact opposite – and aren’t afraid to rig ballots to do so. (It’s worth noting, by the way, that the official Hugo Awards site doesn’t appear to contain a single release or announcement about any of these controversies.)
Live streaming of the Awards ceremony at 8:00 PM BST will be available on the Hugo Awards site here.