At 11:59:59 pm EST, you still have time to submit your story to the Gernsback Writing Contest for short science fiction.
At 12:00:00 you will no longer have any time left at all.
Three hours later (assuming the same time zone) at 11:58:59 PST, you will still be able to submit your Hugo Awards final ballot.
At 11:59:00 you will no longer have a say in the most prestigious award handed out by the science fiction community, during its most controversial year.
If you’ve not voted, you will forever have to hang your head in shame whenever fans gather to talk about the results. Hang your head and meekly whisper “I didn’t vote”.
The HUGO Awards. The GERNSBACK Writing Contest. Something funny about that combination…
While we ponder, a brief summary of what happens at the strokes of midnights today on either coast:
The Submittable account for the writing contest will no longer accept submissions. (There are still a handful of spaces left open.) The last round of stories submitted will be sent off to the reading team, who will make their final selection of stories to send to the judges.
Twenty stories will be sent along to Cat Rambo, Dave Creek and Jack Clemons, (SFWA members all – Cat is that org’s current president) who will read through them all, confer and emerge with ten finalists. First thru third place will receive their prize money, the stories will be published on Amazing Stories’ website one by one (naturally starting with tenth place and working our way down) and meanwhile the first issue of AMAZING STORIES BI-ANNUAL will be getting put together, to be issued as an anthology of the GWC award-winning entries. At about that same time, all ten authors will receive checks for their work and we’ll open up submissions for the 2nd GWC contest with a new theme.
Meanwhile, over on the west coast, the Hugo Awards administrator and assistants will be donning Level 4 Hazardous Environment suits and entering a Class V biohazard containment facility that not even a rhesus monkey could escape from, a facility primed with a thermonuclear failsafe device, fuel-air explosives being deemed insufficiently toasty for the task.
And the counting will begin. Keen observers will probably be able to gain advance knowledge of the winners based on how many times the counters projectile vomit into their masks. If everyone in the room projectile vomits simultaneously, they’re probably counting the Editor categories….
All kidding aside: get your ballots and your stories by the deadlines tonight. Kicking yourself repeatedly in the butt is no substitute.