You are about to learn about a secret way to buy 5 great books at once**, along with 5 novellas, 5 novellettes, 4 short stories and a heap of magazines and artwork, for just $42.34*.
Every year the Hugo Awards are handed out at the World Science Fiction Convention, this year at Loncon3 in London. The Hugos are an award for works of science fiction and fantasy, and you can usually be safe in picking up books that have won the Hugo in the past, which include Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.
Winners are voted for by those attending the convention and so really are a “fan’s choice” sort of awards. Only… you don’t have to go to the convention to vote. There is a special Supporting Membership you can buy that not only lets you vote for your favorites over the past year, but also grants you access to everything nominated, the so called, Hugo Voters Packet.
Now, let’s take a look at what this entails:
BEST NOVEL (You get an electronic copy of each)
Ancillary Justice (sample) by Ann Leckie (Orbit US / Orbit UK)
Neptune’s Brood (sample) by Charles Stross (Ace / Orbit UK)
Parasite (sample) by Mira Grant (Orbit US / Orbit UK)
Warbound, Book III of the Grimnoir Chronicles by Larry Correia (Baen Books)
The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (Tor Books / Orbit UK)
BEST SEMIPROZINE (You get an issue, or a collection of each)
Apex Magazine edited by Lynne M. Thomas, Jason Sizemore, and Michael Damian Thomas
Beneath Ceaseless Skies edited by Scott H. Andrews
Interzone edited by Andy Cox
Lightspeed Magazine edited by John Joseph Adams, Rich Horton, and Stefan Rudnicki
Strange Horizons edited by Niall Harrison, Brit Mandelo, An Owomoyela, Julia Rios, Sonya Taaffe, Abigail Nussbaum, Rebecca Cross, Anaea Lay, and Shane Gavin
BEST SHORT STORY (You get a copy of each)
“If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” by Rachel Swirsky (Apex Magazine, Mar-2013)
“The Ink Readers of Doi Saket” by Thomas Olde Heuvelt (Tor.com, 04-2013)
“Selkie Stories Are for Losers” by Sofia Samatar (Strange Horizons, Jan-2013)
“The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere” by John Chu (Tor.com, 02-2013)
And more and more. There are 17 categories in all.
Let’s just say that it’s more than enough reading material to last a year. There’s a best editor category, and they usually submit an anthology to the voter packet.
As a paying member of the convention (albeit a non-attending one), you are granted these books in order to consider them, in preparation for voting for a winner.
Bottom line, for the cost of this year’s supporting membership, you get your $42.34 back quickly. Really quickly.
Just remember to read it all and vote for your favorite.
* $42.34 is equivalent to £25, which is the cost of a supporting membership at the Hugos.
** UPDATE** As has rightfully been pointed out by commenters, the books submitted and published by Orbit are samples only, not complete books. So 3 of 5 books in the bundle are samples. This is perhaps alleviated somewhat by the fact that the bundle includes the complete Wheel of Time series and a sizeable portion of Jeff Vandermeer’s Wonderbook, a personal favorite of mine.