Hugo Award Winning Podcast

We are the StarShipSofa

Grant Stone

You’ll notice from my accent that I’m not Tony. But I am a member of the crew. Since Tony C Smith and Ciaran O’Carroll started StarShipSofa, it’s grown into a huge cooperative effort, with volunteers from all over the world.

To all the authors who have kindly let us narrate your stories – thank you.

To all the volunteers who have provided narrations, articles, interviews, transcriptions and artwork – thank you

And to everyone everywhere who has listened and enjoyed the show, thank you so much.

We are the StarShipSofa.

Everybody – Thank you

StarShipSofa 2010 Hugo Award Win

Amy H. Sturgis

I’m an historian, and thus I love to be able to point to certain turning point moments after which things will never be the same. The Hugo Awards are special in the world of science fiction because they are made by, determined by, and administered by the fans.

Technically speaking, electronic publications have always been eligible for the Hugos. The year 2009, however, brought two new and exciting developments for those of us who support new media: first, the audiobook METAtropolis (by Joseph E. Lake, Jr, Tobias S. Buckell, Elizabeth Bear, John Scalzi, and Karl Schroeder, and edited by John Scalzi) was nominated for a Hugo in the Best Dramatic Presentation, long Form category, a first for a straight-to-audio production; and second, the World Science Fiction Society Business meeting ratified a constitutional amendment that added the words or the equivalent in other mediato various Hugo Award category definitions, thereby formally acknowledging what had always been the case de facto, that electronic publications were eligible. A post by michele marques in the Hugo_Recommend liveJournal community on February 7, 2010 alerted me to the furthermost implication of this: podcasts were, in fact, eligible for Hugo nominations.

The rest, as they say, is history. After a great deal of conversation in the blogosphere, the consensus seemed to be that the natural Hugo category for podcasts was Best Fanzine. StarShipSofa fans and family members spread the word. on April 4, 2010, StarShipSofa became the first podcast in history to be nominated for a Hugo, and a mere five months and one day later, StarShipSofa received the award.

From this historian’s point of view, that’s one giant step for StarShipSofa, one gargatuan leap for podcasting. Add to the mix a 2010 Hugo win for the online semiprozine Clarkesworld and another for Frederik Pohl’s blogging at and no one can doubt the emergence of new media into the science fiction mainstream. We have turned a corner, my pioneering friends, and the future awaits.


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