The Future Of The Helicon Awards

Another year of The Helicon Awards is in the books. Congratulations to all of the 2022 winners who now have a nice award badge to place on their book covers.

Now its time for us to turn our attention to the future and there are some changes in how the Awards will proceed. What won’t change is the anonymity of the men and women who serve as judges, as well as how the adjudicate the awards. As always, no judge may participate in any category that they could possibly be nominated for. Nor are they allowed to engage in “you push my work, I’ll push yours” arrangements. To date, no judge has won a Helicon Award and we aim to keep it that way going forward.

And, as has been the case all along, I can never win a Helicon either. This was a rule installed from the beginning. I have seen serving Presidents of the SFWA allow themselves to be nominated for the award their organization administers. I find that practice abhorrent and unethical. As the founder of both The Helicon Society and the Helicon Awards, I will not tolerate it here.

In the past, the criteria has been that the awards were open to all SF/F works with no filters. Going forward, there will be one filter: The work being considered must fall under the umbrella of being a Superversive work. The Helicon Society will promote and support Superversive authors and their works. The Helicon Awards will present to the SF/F world the very best in Superversive Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror.

There will also be a reduction in categories. This year, the Helicons consisted of 13 categories. Going forward, there will only be nine. The Melvil Dewey Innovation award will be discontinued as will the Diversity in SF/F award. The latter primarily because its become more of a trolling the SJWs award, which is fun to do, but the Helicons are better than that. So that we continue to honor the legacy of John W. Campbell, his name will now adorn the Best New Author award, replacing Laura Ingalls Wilder. Laura was never a SF/F author to begin with, but we felt she needed to be honored after the way an award she had founded had treated her so poorly a few years ago. 

We also decided to drop the Film and TV series awards as we want the Helicons to be purely a literary award going forward, Therefore, these will be the nine awards presented by The Helicon Society beginning in 2023. 

Best Sci-Fi 

Best Fantasy

Best Military SF/F 

Best Horror 

Best Alt-History

Best Young Adult SF/F 

Best Anthology (Book or story)

John W. Campbell Best New Author Award

Frank Herbert Lifetime Achievement Award

That’s about it for now. See you in 2023!

2 thoughts on “The Future Of The Helicon Awards”

  1. Just a thought. I have no idea how candidates are nominated, but is it possible to inform authors of their being nominated before the awards are issued? As you know, I won a Helicon last year, but it came as a total surprise. It would be nice to be able to say, even if you don’t win, that a story was “Helicon nominated.” Also, of all of us who are indie writers and author superversive tales, how do you know what books and short stories published by the plethora of indie publishers out there fit the description?

    1. To avoid campaigning, and from some quarters, Doxxing, of the judges, the decision was made to not make their deliberations public or release which works were finalists, etc, etc.

      Trust me, I get why folks would want to be Helicon nominees, even if they don’t win, but after seeing what has taken place in the other awards, for now we feel this process works best. Perhaps, in time, we will alter this process and release 3-4 runner-ups? But for now, we’ll just continue as we are doing.

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