The Hugo Awards Base Design

Hugo Trophy & Base

The World Science Fiction Convention has given out the Hugo Awards for achievement in Science Fiction and Fantasy since the early 1950s. The Hugo trophy comprises a metal rocket on a base.

The Hugo Award rocket was inspired by the finned rockets of Willy Ley and was designed by Jack McKnight and Ben Jason. Early rockets did vary; in one notable case in 1956, Dave Kyle got away with using hood-mascots from an Oldsmobile model. The rocket design has become standardised in recent years and the rockets are currently produced by British fan Peter Weston.

(There is an article on the official Hugo Awards website providing more information about the way the rockets are made.)

The design for the base on which the rocket is mounted is the responsibility of each Worldcon committee, and thus changes each year. This is an honour that Worldcon committees take very seriously and typically the design is created either by direct commission of an artist or designer or by open competition.

Loncon 3 hosted a design competition to determine the base that will be used for the 2014 Hugo Award trophies. We separately commissioned a design for the base for the 1939 Retro Hugo Awards, which will be given for the best works of science fiction and fantasy that were released in 1938.

After reviewing the design proposals, the winner of the design competition for the Loncon 3 Hugo base has been selected. The winning design for the 2014 award was submitted by Joy Alyssa Day. This is Ms Day's first Hugo base design.

The base for the 1939 Retro Hugo will be created by Marina Gélineau, who also participated in the design competition. This is Ms Gélineau's second Hugo base, having previously designed the 2011 base awarded by Renovation.

Both bases will be unveiled at the opening ceremony of Loncon 3 and will be on display throughout the run of the convention.

A photographic archive of many of the previous bases can be found here.