Skip to main content

Check Out Our Favorite Categories for the 2021 Hugo Awards, How to See the Winners Tonight

That feeling when your favorite authors are competing in the same category.

Collage of SOME of the many Hugo 2021 nominees across different categories. With Hugo Award Log in center. (Image:

The annual Hugo Awards is one of if not the top honors in storytelling for sci-fi and fantasy (SFF). Hosted at the World Science Fiction Convention (WorldCon), the Hugo Awards honor the best SFF from editors, writers, and artists to publications and studios. 2021’s ceremony begins tonight.

WorldCon began in New York City in 1939, and non-profits host the convention with the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS) in different locations across the globe each year. The 2021 convention is called DisCon III because it’s the third time the convention is returning to the U.S. capital— the first two being 1963 and 1974. DisCon III began Wednesday, December 15, with in-person events in Washington, DC alongside virtual programming (panels, etc.).

Since the inaugural Hugo Awards in 1953, the ceremonies have been held near the end of WorldCon each year. With 17 regular categories, there are dozens of nominees altogether. Parallel (and presented) with the Hugo Awards are the Lodestar Award for Best YA Book and Astounding Award for Best New Writer.

Who’s nominated?

Here are the nominees in our favorite and most anticipated categories.

Best Novel

Best Novella

Best Series

(links only go to the first book)

Best Graphic Story or Comic

Professional Artist

Other categories include Best— Novelette, Short Story, Related Work, Dramatic Presentation (Long Form), Dramatic Presentation (Short Film), Editor (Short Form), Editor (Long Form), Semiprozine, Fanzine, Fancast, Fan Writer, and Fan Artist. Check out their finalist here.

Even without reading many of the titles in time, y’all know who I’m rooting for…


Special category

Each year, WorldCon allows the option for a special category. Thanks to the work of Ira Alexandre and the Games Hugo Subcommittee, the 79th WorldCon includes video games for the second time ever —the first time was 2006. Eligible games must release or feature a “substantial modification of a game” in the same time window as the other categories.

In the 2020 press release announcing this, DisCon III co-chair Colette Fozard said of the temporary addition, “Since early 2020, many of us have spent more time gaming than we ever expected. This award will offer fans an opportunity to celebrate the games that have been meaningful, joyful, and exceptional over this past year.”

How to Watch Hugo Awards

The hosts of the 2021 Hugo Awards are SFF giants Andrea Hairston and Sheree Renée Thomas. Initially, Malka Older was set to co-host but withdrew from in-person events as her kids are too young to be vaccinated. Luckily for Older and us at home, the awards will also be streaming! Beginning at 8 p.m. EST, DisCon III will be streaming the awards for those that purchase a membership to the event.

For those participating in-person, you can file into the Blue Room (or for a quiet space and overflow the Diplomat Ballroom) starting at 7:30 p.m. Masking requirements and designated eating areas will remain in effect as a DisCon III staff member tested positive for COVID-19, and cases are still on the rise.

Results will be posted via the @Worldcon2021 Twitter account. We’ll be watching our faves on their social media accounts and #Worldcon2021, too!

(image: Hugo Awards and Alyssa Shotwell)

The Mary Sue may earn an affiliate commission on products and services purchased through links.

The Mary Sue may have advertising partnerships with some of the publishers and titles on this list.

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site

 —The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

(she/her) Award-winning artist and blogger with experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time watching movies, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Balder's Gate 3, Apex Legends, and CS:GO.