Literary Awards: What are They, and Why Should You Care - Part 2

You may have been hearing a lot of talk about the Hugo Awards this year, and may be wondering

What exactly are the Hugo Awards, and why should I care? 


Welcome back to our series where we let you know more about literary awards, this time with two of the biggest literary awards for Science-Fiction and Fantasy out there: The Hugo and the Nebula. 

The Hugo Award logoThe Nebula Awards logo


Did you miss Part 1 about Children's Literary Awards? Check it out here.


As the most prestigious awards in the Science-Fiction and Fantasy world, the Hugo and the Nebula awards hold a lot of weight in the industry. 

They even seem to be used interchangeably in conversation. They can essentially be loosely differentiated by the people choosing the winners: The Fan-Based Award and The Author-Based Award


The Hugo Award - The Fan-Based Award

This award was created in 1953 and continued annually from 1955 as an award for the year's most prestigious word in Science Fiction. Chosen by the members of the World Science Fiction Convention, or Worldcon, the Hugo Awards are trademarks of Worldcon Intellectual Property, and sponsored by their parent company, the World Science Fiction Society. If you get a ticket to go to Worldcon, you become eligible to vote. 

It may have started as picking the year's most prestigious book in Science Fiction, but now there are several Hugo Awards given in different categories. 

How it works: 

The members of Worldcon choose their nominees for each category between January and March. Then a shortlist is put together for up to five spots in each category, which is usually announced in early April. Then members submit a final ballot, choosing from the shortlist titles. The submission deadlines are usually set for sometime in July. 

The winners are announced at Worldcon, the location of which changes every year. Last year's Worldcon was in Chengdu, China, and this year's will be in Glasgow, Scotland. 


Officially, here are the 2023 Hugo Award Winners (books): 

Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher

Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire book cover

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky book cover

  • Best Graphic Story or Comic - Cyberpunk 2077: Big City Dreams by Bartosz Sztybor, Filipe Andrade, Alessio Fioriniello, Roman Titov, Krzysztof Ostrowski 

Cyberpunk 2077: Big City Dreams by various authors

Terry Pratchett: A Life With Footnotes by Rob Wilkins book cover

See the complete list of Hugo Award Winners that include authors, artists, and magazine publications here.



The Nebula Award - The Author-Based Award

While anyone who becomes a member of Worldcon can vote for the Hugo Awards, the Nebula Awards are chosen by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards Association, an organization with over 2,000 members, many of whom are notable writers in the science fiction and fantasy industry. 

This award started in the same year as the organization's founding, 1965, and originally chose most outstanding novel, novella, novelette, and short story in the industry for that year. 

However, over the years, there have been categories added, including the Andre Norton Nebula Award for Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction, and Nebula Award for Best Game Writing. 

Alongside the Hugo Awards, these awards remain one of the best awards to receive for Science Fiction and Fantasy writing. 

The 2023 Nebula Award winning books will be announced at the annual SFWA Nebula Awards Conference later in the spring, but here are the winners for last year's Nebula Awards: 

  • Best Novel - Babel by R. F. Kuang

Babel by R. F. Kuang book cover

Even Though I knew the End by C. L. Polk

Ruby Finley VS. the Interstellar Invasion by K. Tempest Bradford book cover



Of course, these lists do not come even close to showing the immense amount of outstanding books that come out every year in Science Fiction and Fantasy. 

Read these, so find something else when you come in to the store!

We always love to help find the perfect books for our wonderful patrons.