Your 2018 Hugo Awards MC Is….

This weekend, the 76th World Science Fiction Convention announced me as the Master of Ceremonies for this year’s Hugo Awards in San Jose, CA, while also opening the Hugo Awards’ Nominations Period! Having won two Hugos for Best Professional Artist, I know how much the Hugos mean to the sf/f field, and it’s a huge honor to serve this stage in front of my colleagues and heroes. Worldcon 76 asked me to be the 2018 Hugo MC last August so it’s been fun keeping that under wraps the last five months, even after being announced as this year’s Artist Guest of Honor.

There’s some history that comes along with this role.

• I’m the first visual artist to be named a Hugo Awards MC. I think this could perhaps be a harbinger of Hugo Ceremonies to come. Many of our best visual creators — such as Brom, Todd Lockwood, Ruth Sanderson, Gregory Manchess, and more — are becoming author / artist / storytellers, conjuring the words and pictures of their own bestselling books and media. Our next generation of illustrators are aspiring to tell their own stories, just as much as becoming hired guns. I suspect there will be more artists following through the Hugo MC door behind me, and they’ll likely come from this expanding universe of hybrid, contemporary artists. (Note: If anyone discovers another visual artist MCed the Hugos, let me know, but from the records I’ve seen, it hasn’t happened yet.)

• I’m only the third Worldcon Guest of Honor to also serve as Hugo Awards MC at the same Worldcon. I believe Connie Willis and David Gerrold are the only others to do this in the con’s 76-year history. We must all be insane. 😉

• I’m especially proud to be the first Mexicanx to ever serve as a Hugo Awards MC. I love being first, but the most important thing is that I’m not the last. With the daily assaults upon our DREAMers, villainizing of our culture by racists, and terroristic threats against our citizens, we’re living in an important moment for Mexicanx north and south of the border. I’m looking forward to sharing my spotlight with all of them.

This year’s Hugos are going to be epic, people. We will celebrate the best authors, artists, editors, filmmakers, and works in our field, and I can’t wait to see you all there.

The Mexicanx Initiative

As Artist Guest of Honor of the upcoming 76th World Science Fiction Convention, I’ve decided to create ‘The Mexicanx Initiative’ — an effort to sponsor Worldcon attending memberships and award them to FIFTY Mexicanx artists, writers, filmmakers, culture shapers, and fans. We need more Mexicanx representation in science fiction and fantasy, and together with my incredible sponsoring teammates, we aim to do that at this year’s convention.

So how does a Mexicanx sf/f professional or fan apply for one of these sponsored memberships? Simple. Answer this:

“Why do you want to attend this Worldcon?”

The rules are short and sweet. You must be Mexicanx — that is, of Mexican ancestry, whether a citizen of Mexico, Mexican American, Mexican Canadian, etc. As the sole judge and jury, I will review all submissions. I will research candidates as best I can. There is no word count limit, but please don’t craft an epic. Keep your statement simple — even something as short as 100 words can be effective. Just make it you. Make it from the heart. You may post it here, or email me. In some cases, I may ask if it would be OK to email or phonechat a few followup questions.

This business, this field, this life is about relationships. It’s about your stories and your dreams. I’m doing this because our world needs more Mexicanx stories, more Mexicanx sf/f pros and fans, and more DREAMers. To own our future, we must own our narratives, lest we continue to be villainized, abused, and butchered. It’s time for us to represent, gente.

My amazing sponsoring teammates so far are:

• Author John Scalzi (THE COLLAPSING EMPIRE)

• Photographer Ctein

• Author Ty Franck (one-half of James S.A. Corey)

• Author Christopher Brown (TROPIC OF KANSAS)

• Super-agent Joanna Volpe (President, New Leaf Literary & Media)

• Super-fan Chris Rose

• Super-fans John and Christine O’Halloran

• Author Mary Robinette Kowal (THE CALCULATING STARS)

• Author Kate Elliott (COLD MAGIC)

• Author and editor Richard Flores IV (FACTOR FOUR)

Fast Forward: Contemporary Science Fiction (Kathi Overton, Tom Schaad, Mike Zipser)

• Super-fan Kat Angeli

• Super-fan Canadiense Anónima

SF in SF and Rina Weisman

• Super-fan Randall Shepherd

• Super-fan Elizabeth B. McCarty

AMAZING STORIES / The Experimenter Publishing Company

• Author Mur Lafferty and husband Jim Van Verth

I’ve wanted to launch this endeavor since I was first named a Worldcon GoH back in August, but only recently has it achieved liftoff — and wow, is it ever rising FAST. I announced on Wednesday, January 24th, that I would sponsor two Worldcon memberships, and within minutes, my good friend Scalzi offered to match with two of his own. We continue to gain teammates and we now have FOURTEEN sponsored memberships to distribute.

Shoutout to Mexicanas: So far, I’ve received very few submissions for these memberships from the ladies, while witnessing a strong wave from the men. Keep those submissions coming, one and all — but women, please don’t let the men have all of these memberships.

Thank you to Worldcon 76 for its very generous support and enthusiasm for The Initiative. Our team goal is to bring FIFTY of the best Mexicanx creators and fans to this year’s convention, and together, we will make that dream happen.

In Loteria We Trust.