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Kiwi Artists Design Hugo Award Bases

CoNZealand, 78th Worldcon host, announced two New Zealand artists selected to create the bases for the 2020 Hugo Awards and the 1945 Retro Hugos.

The Hugo Awards are a major highlight of every Worldcon, recognising the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements from the previous year. Each award features a metal rocket as the central element but the base design changes every year.

CoNZealand invited New Zealand-based artists to submit a base design. Five designers submitted excellent proposals, and two were selected to produce a base for the awards.

The 2020 Hugo Award base has been designed by John Flower. John has been working as an engraver for Trophy Specialists & Engraving in Palmerston North for the past 16 years. He has been a fan of science fiction since he was a wee lad when his father would tell him about the goings on in books by Asimov, Heinlein, and others and is chuffed to be part of recognising the talented people creating science fiction works today.

“The trophy base was designed using open source software and hopefully it captures the sense of wonder of the sci-fi genre and the spirit of cooperation that is required to explore beyond the Earth,” said Flower.

The 1945 Retro Hugo Awards base has been designed by James Brown. Born in Christchurch but a long time resident of Auckland, James studied graphic design and illustration at Auckland University of Technology. He spent a decade working as a miniature painter and sculptor for a tabletop wargaming company, a role which allowed him to combine his love of tiny things with his interests in history and gaming. He also had a brief but very enjoyable stint painting film props at Weta Workshop.

“As a lifelong science fiction fan I attended different NatCons [New Zealand national conventions], but this year will be my first time participating in a Worldcon,” Brown said.

The Hugo nominations closed last month with 1584 people making a total of 27,033 nominations for the 2020 Hugo Awards, while 120 people submitted 1,677 nominations for the 1945 Retro Hugo Awards. The finalists will be announced on Tuesday, April 7 at 1pm PDT/4 pm EDT/9pm BST/8am Wednesday March 8, NZST. Information on how to watch the finalists announcement will be available on CoNZealand social media in the days to come.

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