Actually, it's probably PAST that time. Nominations for the 2015 Hugo Awards for the best sf and fantasy of 2014 close in two days, so I probably should have made this post a month ago. What can I say? I was busy. Too little time, too much to do. But here I am regardless.
The Hugos are the oldest awards in our genre, and to my mind, the most meaningful. These are fan awards, given by the readers... your awards, in short. They have been given annually at the World Science Fiction Convention since 1953 (well, except for 1954, but that's a detail). ((And no, I don't count the 'Retro-Hugos,' which are another thing entirely)). This year they will be award at Sasquan in Spokane, Washington in August. To nominate, you need to be either an attending or supporting member of Sasquan, OR of last year's London worldcon, Loncon, OR next year's worldcon, MidAmericon II. Easy enough to become a member if you're not signed up yet... and if you can't attend, well, that's what the inexpensive supporting memberships are for.
You can nominate on line at http://sasquan.org/hugo-awards/nominations/
All the rules and definitions are there as well.
In recent years it has become fashionable in some quarters to bitch about the Hugo ballot (ah, sweet Internet). But the truth is, the ballot is what we make it. Hundreds and sometimes thousands of people vote for the Hugos when presented with the final ballot. Far fewer ever bother to nominate. In some categories, a couple dozen votes is all that's required to win a place on the shortlist.
And it IS an honor just to be nominated. Even if you lose. (I should know. I've won a few, but I've lost a lot more. Hell, in 1976 I founded the Hugo Losers' Club with Gardner Dozois, but that's a story for another day).
I am going to follow this with a couple more posts wherein I will make my own recommendations of stories and films that you might want to consider when filling in your ballot. Read them or not, as you wish. The important thing is not what you nominate, but that you do nominate.
Friends, fans, readers... this is your award. Let your voice be heard.