I was surprised as anyone by today’s press release that Interaction, the ’05 Worldcon to be held in Glasgow, will include a ‘Best Web Site’ Hugo Award category. (The news still isn’t on Interaction’s website, as I type, but the press release, first distributed via SMOFs, went out to two dozen SF news-sites later in the afternoon.)
Coupla points to keep in mind. There was a big debate among SMOFs a month or two ago about whether to establish a Best Website (or Web Site) Hugo, but this debate concerned the permanent establishment of such a category, which would entail (as I understand it) the passage of an amendment to the World SF Society‘s constitution by one year’s Worldcon committee, and the subsequent ratification of such an amendment by the following year’s Worldcon committee–a two year process before such a permanent category would be established at the next Worldcon. (Conceivably, an amendment proposed and passed at this year’s, ’04, Worldcon, and ratified in ’05, would establish the permanent category starting in ’06.) Today’s announcement apparently concerns only the latitude that an individual Worldcon committee has to add a single ‘special’ category to the Hugo awards presented at its convention–that’s why only a single ‘best web site’ category is involved, rather than the two (professional vs fan, or sponsored vs independent, or whatever) that were debated among SMOFs.
Second point: the fact that this special category will next occur at the *Glasgow* Worldcon–the first European Worldcon since Glasgow in ’95–means that this ‘best web site’ category is very much open, and no one–least of all me–should consider potential nominees or winners to be fore-ordained. It was at the ’95 con, after all, that Locus Magazine *lost* the Semi-prozine Hugo (to Interzone, by no means an unworthy winner), which has happened only 3 times in the past 20 years.