When a certain high-profile author and others organized a vote-campaign to place certain stories on this year's Hugo Award ballot, one complaint I heard from people across the ideological divide is that stories were no longer being considered for the Hugo based solely on their merit.
Which, of course, was total BS. Most Hugo voters vote for what they consider to be the best stories. In addition, as Rose Lemberg so amazingly said, the controversy was about much more than simply which stories "merit" being on the award shortlist.
But another issue which didn't receive a lot of discussion back then was how truly "pure" the Hugo Awards selection process actually was in the olden days.
Well, here's an interesting tidbit which definitely casts doubt on the awards ever being a paragon of SF/F purity. On October 18th File 770, a six-time winner of the Hugo Award for Best Fanzine, published an article titled "How The Lucite Was Won."
The article discussed the 1967 Worldcon and raised a fascinating point about how the Hugo Award finalists were selected that year. The history lesson was presented by Andrew Porter, who was the 1967 Worldcon Secretary.
Want to read about this fascinating bit of genre history? Well, you can't, at least not on File 770. The article was published on Oct. 18 and removed later that same day, with the following note being published instead:
"1967 Hugo Story Withdrawn. The story from Andrew Porter I published earlier today about the 1967 Hugos was denied by Ted White, chair of Nycon 3 and will receive no further attention here."
I can't vouch for the accuracy of what Andrew Porter said. But since he was an active participant in that year's Worldcon, his account obviously merits some attention. And if his account is true it would call into question any belief that the Hugo Awards were ever "pure."