We ended up fourth in the final voting (ahead of Tangent Online), which indicates to me that just in the time period between nomination and voting, the added visibility helped raise our reputation among readers. 111 people voted for us as their first choice -- I can't tell you how warm and fuzzy that makes me feel, so again, I'll just say thank you. Thanks lots.
WorldCon itself was a dizzying whirl, with lots of great people and interesting conversations. We had a fabulous time at our second-anniversary / Hugo-nominee SH tea party, and just masses of our authors showed up (Jed counted 17 fiction authors alone at the convention)! The party was held out in the midst of Fan Space, right next to registration, with tons of new people walking by, asking what the party was for, being fed cookies and tea, handed guidelines, and shown the magazine on Jed's handy titanium powerbook (so sleek and lovely). One of my favorite moments of the convention was when I stood up on a chair halfway through the party, thanked everyone for coming and announced that we were Hugo nominees -- we got a massive cheer from the party attendees, which undoubtedly attracted lots of attention from other con-goers.
I think my absolute favorite moment came during the Hugo ceremony itself. It came after dressing up in a green and gold sari (a gift from my mother), attending the Hugo reception with Jed (dignified in dark suit) and Susan (oh-so-elegant in a black satin Chinese brocade pantsuit), and being paraded to our reserved seats. (Staff members Fred, Michael, Beth, Samantha and Alex were also in attendance at the convention, but we could only persuade the Hugo committee to let us have three tickets for the reception-- they're just not used to such a group endeavor as Strange Horizons, I guess.)
We sat through all the early awards, cheering dutifully. As it got close to the time for Best Website, I suddenly realized that we might actually win, and that I might have to teeter up there on my high heels and give a speech -- I went into a screaming panic (inside my head) and frantically started composing a speech and jotting down names to thank. My heart was pounding.
They started announcing our category. They listed the nominees -- Locus Online, SciFi.com, Tangent Online, SF Site, Strange Horizons. There was polite clapping for every name, but when they called out Strange Horizons, there was a massive wave of applause and cheers from the crowd. Jed and Susan and I just started grinning -- and I was still grinning when they tore open the envelope and announced Locus Online as the winner. I was delighted, and thrilled, and deeply honored to be there, hearing how much Strange Horizons has become loved, in just two years.
Gosh, I'm getting mushy, aren't I? Blame it on the lack of sleep, the emotional highs, and the incredible experience that is WorldCon as a Hugo nominee. We don't know if there'll be a Best Website Hugo again (if not, we'll be asking for you to vote for me as Best Professional Editor next year), but we sure got a lot out of it this time around. It was a terrific ride for all of us. Thanks!