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Bogi Takács, First Hungarian to Receive Prestigious Hugo Science Fiction Award

Fanni Kaszás 2020.08.03.

The Hugo Award is an art prize awarded each year by delegates from the World Science Fiction Society for works and achievements in the genres of science fiction and fantasy in the previous calendar year. The award is named after Hugo Gernsback, founder of the sci-fi magazine Amazing Stories. This year, the first Hungarian recipient was also announced at the ceremony: Bogi Takács won the award in the category of ‘Fan Writers.’

The 2020 Hugo Award winners were announced in an online ceremony produced by CoNZealand, the 78th World Science Fiction Convention, on Saturday August 1, 2020 (New Zealand Standard Time). The ceremony was live-streamed via The Fantasy Network and was hosted by legendary Sci-fi writer, father of the Game of Thrones series, George R.R. Martin.

Fact

The Hugo Awards, first presented in 1953 and presented annually since 1955, are science fiction’s most prestigious award. The Hugo Awards are voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Convention (“Worldcon”), which is also responsible for administering them. Each year, members of Worldcon are each allowed to nominate up to five people or works from the previous year in fifteen categories Then, a shortlist is announced of five finalists in each category and a final ballot is sent to members, who cast a final, preferential ballot, which allows voters to rank all nominees. In addition to the Nebula Award, the Hugo Award is the best-known Science-Fiction award. The prize was first awarded in 1953 and, after a one-year hiatus, has been awarded every year since 1955 (it has been officially called ‘The Hugo Award’ since 1993).

Until now, the Hugo Prize has not been awarded to a Hungarian writer. However, previously, Lisa Goldstein, an American writer of Hungarian origin, almost received it in 1988, but in the end she did not win in the short story category. This year, a Hugo award was handed out to the first Hungarian, when Bogi Takács won in the Fan Writers category, in which authors who blog and write in the sci-fi genre are awarded. Takács was already nominated in 2018 and 2019, this year was eir third nomination. Eir short stories have appeared in foreign sci-fi magazines such as Strange Horizons, Clarkesworld, and Lightspeed, and since 2017 ey have been editing the Transcendent anthology series, which collects transgender short stories from the genre.

Back in 2018, in an interview with azonnali.hu, Takács referred to emself as “Hungarian, Jewish, agender and trans.” However, ey said that in the American literature world, it “has become very fashionable in the last few years to talk about “focusing on minorities,” but in practice, this very often leads to unpleasant consequences. Often, majority author’s minority-themed and embarrassingly distorting books are hyped, generally. Minority authors themselves are only picked up by the media when e write about ‘how hard it is to be a minority person.”

To Hungarian news portal index.hu, Takács said ey mostly received the award for their work specifically as a book blogger “and a person who constantly and insistently talks about books.” The Hungarian writer received 284 votes, while Cora Buhler finished second with 263 votes. The full list of winners can be found here.

featured photo: Bogi Takács Facebook/index.hu