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A few Hugo notes

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The winners of the Hugo Awards were announced last night; congratulations to all!

I think my favorite thing about the Hugos is seeing winners being appreciative of the award, and there was even more of that than usual last night.

(The obvious example being Christopher Garcia's overwhelmed reaction to his fanzine winning the Best Fanzine award. But my favorite specific spoken line was Tara O'Shea's comment on Chicks Dig Time Lords (edited by O'Shea and Lynne M. Thomas) winning the Best Related Work award: “It's a Hugo. I have a Hugo now. Hugos are cool.” (This being a reference to a moment from last season's Dr. Who that was in turn a riff on an earlier running joke.))

I should get up and check out and head off to the con imminently, but a few quick notes about the detailed voting and nominating numbers:

  • I've previously mentioned, I think, that there were a record number of nominating ballots this year, but I think I've neglected to mention that there were also a record number of final voting ballots: 2100 people voted. The previous record high was 1,788, in 1980. That's an amazing jump. Someone the other day suggested that it may have been due to the fact that you can now get a bunch of free ebooks by buying a supporting membership. If so, I'm pleased—though someone else pointed out that publishers, and therefore authors, presumably don't get any money for the free copies that are given out, which does seem unfortunate.
  • In about half the categories, the person or work that eventually won was well ahead in the first voting round and stayed well ahead all the way through. (The biggest example of that was Inception, which had nearly twice as many first-round votes as How to Train Your Dragon, which in turn had nearly twice as many as the next movie in the first round.) In the other half of the categories, things were close for some or all of the rounds; in most of those, the eventual winner didn't get the highest number of first-round votes.
  • Nnedi's Who Fears Death missed getting on the Novel ballot by only four nominating votes; China Miéville's Kraken missed by only six votes; Mary's Shades of Milk and Honey by only nine votes.
  • A bunch of novelettes narrowly missed the ballot. For example, Toby's “A Jar of Goodwill” and Maureen McHugh's “The Naturalist” each missed being on the ballot by only two nominating votes.
  • In the short story category, “Elegy for a Young Elk,” by Hannu Rajaniemi, missed getting on the ballot by a single nominating vote. (Because one more vote would've taken it over the 5% threshold necessary to make the ballot.)
  • Ellen Datlow missed being on the short-form-editor ballot by a single nominating vote.
  • David Hartwell and Patrick Nielsen Hayden declined long-form-editor nominations, which left room for the three-way nominating tie of Beth Meacham, Juliet Ulman, and Nick Mamatas, which is why there were seven nominees in that category instead of the usual five.
  • There's lots more to say about the detailed numbers, but I really gotta get moving.

I'll leave you with a general note: nominating is important, y'all! One or two nominating votes can make a big difference.

So: is there a person or work from 2011 that you think should win a Hugo next year? Then get out there and prepare to nominate it! If you were a 2011 member and/or if you're a member of Chicon 7, the 2012 WorldCon, then you can nominate in 2012 (nomination form will be available in early 2012).

(Note that even though 2011 members can nominate next year, you won't be able to vote on the final ballot next year unless you're a member of that year's WorldCon. A supporting membership currently costs $50; if they continue the tradition of providing a voter packet containing electronic versions of nominated works, then the membership will likely result in your getting far more than $50 worth of good stuff to read.)

Also important, of course, is telling other people what you think should be nominated. So make recommendations.

Okay, enough. Off to pack, then wander around the con, then be on one last panel before I head home.

1 Comment

Oh, the near misses. I'm pretty psyched about the Sheila Williams win, but in general I wasn't over the moon about the fiction choices.

For what it's worth: I did actually buy either hard copies or ebooks for all the novels except Cyroburn. (which I didn't read)


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