A solid critique of the Hugo Awards and Science Fiction, by Ian Sales, presented here without comment since I honestly don't know enough about this area. For the record, though, I'm not really a fan of popular awards, and any popular award that doesn't understand or try to adapt to the modern world of social media and mass communication is at risk of being unrepresentative:
The Hugos, despite half-hearted changes implemented over the years, are based on a model of fandom which hasn’t existed since the 1960s. What are “fan writers”? What are “fanzines”? Once, the profiles of these might have been high enough in the sf community for worldcon members to know what they are and vote intelligently on them. There’s a reason pro writers are winning the fan writer Hugo now – people know who they are. And despite having a World Wide Web for twenty years, the Hugos still have no idea how to deal with online content.
It doesn’t help that the Hugo Awards claim to be global yet are clearly only American. The worldcon, the membership of which nominates and votes on the awards, takes place in the US four out of every five years, and even when abroad the shortlists are often dominated by American works. Works published globally are eligible for the Hugo (now; it wasn’t always the case), but it means little as the voters are chiefly US-based.
Ian then heads into a discussion on modern Science Fiction in general, which is also worthy of a read. So do click through to the original, and feel free to throw any counterarguments out into the comments: http://iansales.com/2012/09/06/the-hugos-are-broken-science-fiction-is-broken-everything-is-broken/