But there is a wider issue to consider here, and that is the public profile of the Hugos and the respect they are accorded by the SF&F community at large. The level of participation in the Hugos is very low. I used to quote it at around 10% of the Worldcon membership, but on recent trends it is in danger of slipping as low as 5%. It seems like the voters don’t care any more. If people get into the habit of withdrawing in order to give others a chance, it will be much more difficult for the Awards to be taken seriously. It is all very well for people to be sentimental about the results, but we claim that the Hugos are the most prominent award in the SF&F industry. If the best people in the field keep withdrawing then they quite clearly are not.It occurs to me (and it has occured to others) that what the Hugos need is a bit more push and pizazz and perhaps just a tad more involvement by people other than the 5-10% of wolrdcon attendeees and hence I'm going to try and organize a Baen Sweep for next year. This will probably be controversial, I expect that we'll get attacked for "ballot stuffing" "ballot rigging" etc. if we are even close to successful but whether it works or not I truly hope it will make the award a bit more representative than merely being the most favoured choices of some 500 people.