Hugo Award For Best Novel
The Hugo Awards are given every year by the World Science Fiction Society for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The award is named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and was once officially known as the Science Fiction Achievement Award. The award has been described as "a fine showcase for speculative fiction" and "the best known literary award for science fiction writing". The Hugo Award for Best Novel is given each year for science fiction or fantasy novels published in English or translated into English during the previous calendar year. A work of fiction is defined by the organization as a novel if it is 40,000 words or longer; awards are also given out for pieces of shorter lengths in the short story, novelette, and novella categories. The Hugo Award for Best Novel has been awarded annually since 1953, except in 1954 and 1957. In addition to the regular Hugo awards, beginning in 1996 Retrospective Hugo Awards, or "Retro Hugos", have been available to be awarded for 50, 75, or 100 years prior. Retro Hugos may only be awarded for years in which a World Science Fiction Convention, or Worldcon, was hosted, but no awards were originally given. To date, Retro Hugo awards have been given for novels for 1946, 1951, and 1954.
Hugo Award nominees and winners are chosen by supporting or attending members of the annual Worldcon, and the presentation evening constitutes its central event. The selection process is defined in the World Science Fiction Society Constitution as instant-runoff voting with five nominees, except in the case of a tie. These five novels on the ballot are the five most-nominated by members that year, with no limit on the number of stories that can be nominated. The 1953 through 1958 awards did not include any recognition of runner-up novels, but since 1959 all five candidates have been recorded. Initial nominations are made by members in January through March, while voting on the ballot of five nominations is performed roughly in April through July, subject to change depending on when that year's Worldcon is held. Worldcons are generally held near the start of September, and are held in a different city around the world each year.
During the 60 nomination years, 128 authors have had works nominated; 42 of these have won, including co-authors and Retro Hugos. Robert A. Heinlein has received the most Hugos for Best Novel as well as the most nominations, with five wins (including one Retro Hugo) and eleven nominations. Lois McMaster Bujold has received four Hugos on nine nominations; the only other authors to win more than twice are Isaac Asimov (including one Retro Hugo), Connie Willis, and Vernor Vinge, who have each won three times. Nine other authors have won the award twice. Larry Niven and Robert J. Sawyer have each been nominated eight times, but have only won once, while Robert Silverberg has the most number of nominations without winning at nine.
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... the 1996 Worldcon, the World Science Fiction Society created the concept of "Retro Hugos", in which the Hugo award could be retroactively awarded for 50, 75, or 100 years prior ... Retro Hugos may only be awarded for years in which a Worldcon was hosted, but no awards were originally given ... Retro Hugos have been awarded three times, for 1946, 1951, and 1954 ...
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