I didn’t get the chance to talk about my Hugo experience, but I’m not much for being surrounded by big crowds, and big noisy crowds are even worse. I’ve always assumed the Hugo Awards fell into that category, and I was right. The enthusiasm by which the awards were met was amazing…and noisy. All that energy about reading!
So how did I see my very first Hugo Awards? Well, I’d heard the con was live streaming the Hugo Awards so they could use Callahan’s as a spillover for the attendees. I’d planned to try watching from there, but on our way to drop our stuff in the room, we crossed paths with Travis Reason in the Fairmont bar.
He wanted to stream the Hugo Awards right there and had secured the agreement of the bar employees, but the technical challenges proved a little daunting. Luckily, Colin has been traveling for business a good bit and would bring movies to play from his laptop. The downside was we had to stay with our equipment, a minor hiccup when we had Travis’s enthusiastic company.
I have to say I’m glad I didn’t try to go to the auditorium. It would have been much too overwhelming because each award came on a roar of sound as the audience shared their appreciation of the winners. I am delighted at the option to watch from a distance, though, one I was unaware of at the previous WorldCon I attended if it existed. This means you can watch the Hugo Awards yourself if you didn’t get the chance:
The speeches recognized the broad base of support the winners had and gave a glimpse into the struggles some nominees had overcome to reach this point. One barrier mentioned was how others declared these works would not be able to find an audience. Clearly that isn’t the case. The Hugo ceremony offered a strong reminder that readers are ready and willing to embrace good storytelling even when (especially when?) it doesn’t follow the expected patterns. (FYI: The Hugo Awards are a reader’s choice award with all WorldCon members (supporting or full) able to vote.)
Some of the stories I loved (and voted for) won, which is delightful. Even when my choice didn’t win, I usually liked the one that did for all it wasn’t my favorite. It is a subjective measure, after all.
Anyway, if you’ve been following my blog, you’ve already seen posts about my Hugo preparations, so I wanted to give a special thanks to the technical con crew who made the Hugo Awards viewable outside of the crowded auditorium and talk a little about my experience with them. Were you among the many in the auditorium? What was your Hugo experience?