A Few Facts About the Hugos

I get that there are people upset about the Hugos. I even get the underlying reason why — a reason that doesn’t exactly match what they are saying. You see, this year the unbelievable, to them, happened. A group of people, of fans, rose up and voted, many of them for the first time. The result is that the usual suspects were not nominated. In fact, a number of people who had never before been nominated, but who are (in my opinion) more than worthy of the nomination. People like Kevin J. Anderson and Jim Butcher, even our own Dave Freer and Cedar Sanderson. There are others as well.

As Dave said in his post yesterday, between Sad Puppies 3 and Rabid Puppies, an upset was in the making and now those who don’t like what happened are threatening to do the really noble thing of voting No Award without having read any of the material nominated. And these are the ones who claim they are looking for more inclusivity in our genre.


Anyway, I wanted to look at the awards for the last few years. I haven’t had time to do a full analysis, but I shall. However, I looked at the nominations and winners for Best Novel going to the Hugo awarded in 2000. That year, Vernor Vinge won. There were two women on the ballot – Lois McMaster Bujold and JK Rowling. The next year, Rowling won for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  One other woman, Nalo Hopkinson was also nominated. Between 2000 and 2014, eight women authors have been nominated for Best Novel a total of 21 times. That is 21 nominations out of 76. While not “equal”, it isn’t bad for a genre that is supposedly anti-woman.

I did not try to do a breakdown by race or sexuality because, well, there is no way to tell for sure on the latter and the former can’t be told all the time by last names.

The next thing I looked at was which authors  received the most nominations and/or wins during that same 15 year period. Charlie Stross was nominated 7 times with no wins. Bujold had five nominations with one win. Robert J. Sawyer has five nominations and one win. Mira Grant has had 4 nominations and no wins. China Mieville, four nominations and 1 win. Scalzi four nominations and one win. Robert Clarke Wilson four nominations and one win. GRR Martin, and Ian MacDonald had three nominations each and no wins. Rowling and Connie Willis have two nominations apiece and each have won once. Vernor Vinge was nominated twice and won both times.

If my math is right, that means 12 authors managed to snag 45 of 76 nominations in a 15 year period.

Now let’s look at publishers. This is where it gets more telling, especially in light of the current vitriol coming from certain corners after the announcement of this year’s Hugo nominees.

Tor, either individually or in conjunction with other publishers garnered 23 nominations and six wins. Orbit received 12 nominations and one win. Ace had eight nominations and no wins. So, three publishers managed to grab 43 of 76 nominations.

Now, let’s look at this year’s nominees for Best Novel.

  • Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie (Orbit US/Orbit UK)
  • The Dark Between the Stars, Kevin J. Anderson (Tor Books)
  • The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison (Sarah Monette) (Tor Books)
  • Lines of Departure, Marko Kloos (47North)
  • Skin Game, Jim Butcher (Roc Books)

Two women, Two nominees published by Tor.

Last year, there were two women nominated. Four of five nominees were published by or in conjunction with Orbit.

Regarding Best Editor Long Form, the editorial award was split between long and short form with the 2007 awards. Since that time, Tor has had 18 nominations and four wins. That is 18 nominations out of 40 slots. Until last year, Tor had at least two nominations per year. Last year, it had only one and this year none. Is this, perhaps, why we are seeing such rabid attacks from people associated with the house?

And yet this year, the ballot is less inclusive than last year. It will be interesting to see how the numbers really fall out when I finish crunching them. In the meantime, you can look at the Hugo nominees and winners by going here.

For everyone eligible to vote this year, I urge you to do what we are all supposed to do: read the nominees and vote for the best entry. How you define best is up to you. For me, it is what book or novella, etc., entertains me the most and is the best written. A book can have a message as long as it doesn’t hit me over the head. But if I start feeling like an author has gone down a checklist to make sure they have all the right sort of characters and the right sort of issues, well, I’m no longer in the story and that isn’t going to get my vote for best.

For those who have their panties in a twist because they believe they are the only “real” fans and are the only ones qualified to vote for the Hugo, I suggest you go back and re-familiarize yourself with the purpose of the award and the rules about voting. I also suggest you look up the definition of the term double-standard. You are upset because SP3 was a “slate” and “political” and yet now you are urging everyone to vote No Award because SPP3 is bad, and made up of only white male, probably all of whom are Mormon and conservative and, well, evil. Now go look at the SP3 list of recommendations, or its “slate” if you will. If you are honest about it, you will see that there are women on the list, as well as people who are well into the liberal political spectrum. As for anything else, well, I couldn’t say. I judge someone’s work on their work, not on the color of their skin or who they go to bed with.

Read the nominees, watch or listen to the digital entries, and then vote for the best. Not for who put their names forth. As for the rest of it, get over yourselves and quit acting like spoiled kids who didn’t get their way. You’re embarrassing yourselves.


44 thoughts on “A Few Facts About the Hugos

  1. As soon as I get my digital package, I’ll be going through it with a certain agenda of my own (Oooh! Bad word, “agenda”!).

    0. Yes, I have a Rule Zero. Rule Zero is simple. In each Category, “No Award” comes 6th. Even if there isn’t anything in place 5. Even if I don’t vote on the category at all. ESPECIALLY if I don’t vote on the category at all, what with the clusterphuq that is the preferential voting system. i might like 4 of the 5 enough to vote on them, but if I put No Award in 5th place, it might well win as the others get knocked off.

    1. Did I finish it? Or was it so boring that I gave up after the first 1000 words? If I was able to finish it, it becomes something positive to vote for. That gives it 1 point on my scale (or 10, I haven’t decided yet, not having seen the electronic package yet).

    2. Did I enjoy it? This’ll get it points too. If I didn’t enjoy it, but I was able to finish it, it’ll at least get on my list, probably at #5.

    3. Would I read it again? This is a big one, especially if it’s a stand-alone. If it’s part of a series I’m more likely to reread it in the future as part of a series reread. (In the past month, I’ve reread Moon’s Vatta series, Ringo/Taylor’s Looking Glass series, Vaughn’s “Kitty” series, Jones’ Stavin kel’Aniston series (Some of the authors I read are self published), Ringo’s Black Tide Rising series (Public Libraries are good for that). I’m listening to several audio/podiobooks as i walk and/or commute to/from work.

    So if it’s something I’ll reread, then it’s something I see as having value to me, and things I value are higher on my list than things I don’t value.

    4. Did it make me think, laugh, cry, or react in any way other than wanting to throw it against the wall in disgust (and my disgust level level is pretty high). Hitting my triggers (and I don’t have many) doesn’t count negatively at this point as if I’ve reached this point, then other things will help me work through it. No matter what, I won’t be curled up in the corner, quivering.

    5. Coin toss. If two (or more) items have reached this point and are equal in all points (highly doubtful), I’ll “toss a coin/roll the dice” to see which one is better for me. If I don’t like the result of the dice/coin toss that will show a subconscious liking of one over the other on my part and I’ll go with my underlying desires. If not, the coin/dice toss will rule at that point.

    And just so you don’t misunderstand, a dice/coin toss could just as easily be for 3rd/4th place as for 1st/2nd.

    And that’ll probably keep me busy for the 3 and a half months between the delivery of the e-package and the actual Con/voting (since I may not be able to afford to go to the Con, having things like a mortgage to pay down/off).

    Wow, I’ve blathered on and on, haven’t I? this must’ve been more of a trigger for me than I thought.

    1. I happen to love your “agenda”. To me, it is the only agenda anyone voting on the Hugo should follow. Well said and thanks for the comment.

    2. I also, like your agenda and have used your coin toss method in the past myself. I intend to follow something similar (Though I hadn’t defined it quite this clearly myself).

  2. I’ve made my decision to send in my $40, after hearing one too many people attack the Sad Puppies for being racist, misogynist, and manipulative. Well freep ’em and the weasels they rode in on.
    In the mean time, I’ve got REVIEW TO DO!!
    Last night, I posted my review of “The Long Way Home,” by MGC fan Sabrina Chase, and this morning, I posted my review of “Knights in Tarnished Armor”, by MGC member Kate Paulk. They are on my blog, and on Amazon as well.
    I do NOT know how the algorithm works that rates Amazon reviewers. I know that when I started, my ranking was 12,000,000 or thereabouts; In a few days, I was down into 4,000,000 range; then I spent a bit of time mucking about around the 100,000 mark. For the last month, I think, I’ve been pretty much oscillating between 66,150 and 66,250. I’m going to ask some of the people here (off line) about a way to get the books I review to the attention of more of the movers and shakers in the industry. There is simply too much good writing that seems to be ignored. I won’t have it!

    1. Hooray Pat! I was going to offer you the $40 to join if you didn’t have it, because I know that you will read all the books fairly. I wish I had time to read them all, but I don’t, and I am not going to vote for things simply because somebody (anybody) told me I should. Same goes for not voting for something.

    1. By coincidence I recently stumbled on her Criptid series and am currently binge reading the entire collection. Highly recommend her for what I consider a wonderful mix of action, humor, and bloody mindedness.

      1. Is it good? I read her Parasite novel last year, but found it rather ham-fisted in some parts and predictable in others, with some interesting bits between. Wasn’t really inspired to look for more.

        1. The first InCryptid book is lots of fun, good enough that I just bought the second without hesitation. IIRC, the only other novel by McGuire that I have read is “Indexing”, which is superb; I highly recommend it.

  3. I find it interesting the The Walking Dead has had such phenomenal success that even people that don’t watch the show know about it, yet it hasn’t received even one nomination.

  4. “As for the rest of it, get over yourselves and quit acting like spoiled kids who didn’t get their way. You’re embarrassing yourselves.”
    Nah, not gonna happen. They will continue to hurl invective, tell unfounded lies about their opposition, try holding their breath until they turn blue, and every other infantile tactic that may have worked for them once a long time ago. And when none of this gets them their own way, one fine day they will simply disappear, only to turn back up in some totally different venue to crank up their People of Liberal Privilege agenda yet again.
    Never did understand the attraction of Whack-a-mole, it’s getting a smidge tiring and repetative.

    1. actually I’ve been telling the puling babes on the other side of this argument something similar. To wit.”stop whining like 3yr olds at a party whose parents have told you to stop squalling and share the toys.”

    2. So true, Uncle Lar, but one can hope. I guess it is the level of whining that has gotten to me. When people start trying to ruin careers — and what else can you call the hatchet pieces in EW and Salon? — it is time to stand up to them. When they threaten family, it is time to stand up. What I don’t think they understand is that we aren’t going to go away. Their threats and antics only make us more determined to be heard.

      1. Amanda, it’s somewhat understandable if you consider their behavior to be that of unruly and very spoiled children. They’ve always gotten their way in the past by outrageous demands or hissy fits or massively rude behavior while the grownups have just tried to humor them to get along. Now they have stepped over a line we adults can no longer accept or condone and we’re saying no quite firmly. This is not how things work in their tiny artificial world, the polite grownups aren’t giving in and buckling under like they always have before. It just isn’t fair.
        Puts me in mind of the Heinlein bit about raising a puppy. When they poop on the run you correct them with a rolled up newspaper. If all you do is shake your finger at them then clean up your mess eventually you have a full grown dog still making messes. According to RAH at that point your only remaining option is to shoot the dog. We may have reached that point.
        The SJW crowd have for far too long been crapping in our world because they believed they owned it. Now we are telling them otherwise and they are snapping back at us rather viciously with threats and attacks. As Sarah and company are fond of saying, “in the end we win and they lose,” but the process will certainly not be pretty.

        1. As a pro dog trainer with 45 years experience, I can attest that RAH was absolutely correct.

          We have the same sort of idiocy going on in the world of dogs, where it’s no longer PC to correct a misbehaving animal, then everyone wonders why it grows up to be an outlaw.

          I’ve often said that when the bully kicks you in the shins and you politely back away, all you’ve done is encourage the bully to kick you again even harder. Eventually you run out of room to back up, and then what? either you go away entirely, or you finally go ballistic and attack the bully, and then of course it’s all your fault for being so violent. Nope, it’s better to kick ’em back the very first time so they learn it’s unacceptable behavior right up front.

          Our problem is fundamentally that we’re too polite, and too accepting of others’ behavior, even at our own expense.

  5. It’s been a tradition throughout much of history that the folks inside a besieged fortress have until the walls are breached to surrender and if they don’t their lives and everything else is forfeit

    Caesar told the Gauls “Murum aries attigit” but he was neither the first nor the last to make that basic point.

    The success of SP3 was the breach in fortress CHORF. They had the opportunity to surrender on April 4th. They decided to fight on, and the fight is getting nastier, as such house to house fights do. But the SJWs have made their choice and they need to reap the consequences in full. So take no prisoners, grant no quarter. Take away their jobs, their life savings, their reputations, their past awards even and leave them penniless and starving in the gutter.

    1. I’m getting to that point, Francis. I don’t really want to ruin anyone but if they come after me and mine, I will defend myself and those I care for.

  6. A check shows that in 2014, there was a record number of Hugo votes: 3,587 out LonCon 3, which boasted 5,891 in attendance. In 2014, Dragon Con had an estimated 63,000 in attendance.Some searching for the largest SF con in the world turns up Comic Con, which, in 2014, had an estimated 151,000 attendees. 3,587 is only 5.69% of Dragon Con attendees, and a mere 2.38% of Comic Con’s, Yet if we take the puppy kickers at their word, they think less than 3,587 out of the whole world are true fans.

    Any way you look at it, that’s an elitist attitude. And that they wish to keep things that way says all anyone needs to know about the Hugos.

    1. And even those numbers imply that to be a “true” fan one must attend cons. I submit that con goers, fans though they certainly are, compose only a small fraction of SF&F fans. The vast majority simply are not in a position to attend more that the occasional local convention, or none at all for a variety of reasons ranging from financial to social.

      1. Absolutely, Uncle Lar. Even here in Texas where there are a number of cons, I can only afford to do one or two a year because you have to look at the cost of not only the con but of room and board and transportation. Then you have to add in the loss of time to do, oh, write. But none of that apparently matters. Because I don’t go to WorldCon, I’m not a real fan.

    2. That is part of the problem. They want to claim to be inclusive and yet they want to hold onto their control of the Hugos and WorldCon by claiming they are the only true fans. I think they need to go back to the dictionary and look up what “inclusive” means.

    3. I went to WonderCon this weekend. Attendance numbers have not been released, but last year it was 60,000. None of those people are real fans either. They were all wrongfans having wrongfun.

  7. That is some really telling analysis there. It might not indicate bloc voting, per se, but definitely “Clique” voting.

    Although considering last year was London, Orbit’s domination might be explainable that way. Aren’t they mainly a European imprint?

  8. I just read that there’s one last Terry Pratchett novel coming out next September. Figure this group will want to know.
    You know, I’m not sure if I’ve read any Discworld. I’ll have to fix that.

    1. No. It would lay the SPs open to the charge of vote buying and other related mopery and dopery.

      1. They are already being smeared with that brush. The puppies want to increase the number of voters? Have every single puppy associated writer offer anyone, regardless of who they are or how they vote, a percentage off of any of their works (whether on ballot or not) so long as they show proof of buying a membership. And then invite every other author, regardless of who they are published by, or liked by, or what slate they are or are not on to join in. Think of it, is Scalzi, and Stross, and Leckie, and Tor, and Correia, and Vox, and Torgersen and Hoyt and Wright, and Bellet, and everyone else all do the exact same thing (which is basically what Sarah is doing on the comments right now) then the only effect it can have is to bring in more voters. The only catch is that you have to read all the nominees and vote your conscience.
        And then do it again every single year. Make it the annual “did you get your supporting membership” super sci-fi sales event. Lets make the month of January as big for us sci-fi fans as late summer is for car guys.

        1. How would you “show proof” on Amazon?

          The only way you could do this would be to have a table at Worldcon. And then you would be undercutting all the bookdealers in the dealer room.

          1. That I don’t know. Perhaps they could send scans of their receipt as Im told Mr Correia’s fans did in SP1? Or perhaps someone might undertake the task of verifying those receipts and then giving the newly minted voter a code that could be entered into amazon such as the promo codes authors often have currently? As I said in my post, I don’t have the skills to set it up, but if you want to increase the number of voters overall, it seems to me that this would be a great way to do it. I assume that Worldcon uses some form of filing system to keep track of new supporting members, does it include a unique id number or something similar? Receipt number perhaps? Maybe that could be used to prove membership, and ther could be a group of authors who all allow amazon to discount their works a little if someone uses that code?

        2. Well, it’s just that the idea seems to be diametrically opposed to the positions the Sad Puppies have taken from the beginning. First, Larry proved conclusively that the deck was stacked. Second, Brad moved toward including people who would never get the nod otherwise. Those are laudable goals, even if the moans from the other side are irritating.
          Frankly, I like Mad Mike’s suggestion: to make it a WORLD award, price the entry at something people all over the world can afford. Charge a buck for the administrative costs. I can scrape up the $40, but that’s because I worked for my entire life in the USA (except for my time in Germany in the Army), and paid into the Teacher’s Retirement System in Georgia for 24 years. With my retirement from TRS and Social Security, I bet I draw more than 90% of the non-US population. African and Indonesians might like a voice as well, in a WORLD award. So: make the entry fee a buck, and let those of us with more dough provide scholarships (without checking politics first).

          1. Ehh. I’m generally against any idea with a sliding scale based on perceived lack of access, I mean that kind of thinking is how we got into this mess in the first place.
            I just know that a lot of people have only recently learned that they can even vote in the Hugo’s, and many still dont know. It just seems to me that using the drawing power of some of these awesome authors to do a Voter Bomb would be in everyone’s best interest. Though I tend to think most new voters would lean towards puppies just due to quality, that’s just me.

            1. It would be a wonderful thing, though. The SJW crowd is foaming over privilege and racism. So, let’s let everybody in the world have a shot. Let us determine whether they really believe in the values they espouse.

        3. I can’t speak for the others associated with SP3, but for me, this is a no. I see some validity in what you propose but there are more problems with it than benefits. At least right now. Just the fact it could give the appearance of impropriety to someone looking in from the outside is reason enough to shy away. Where SP3 is winning is that those who have been sitting on the fence, those fans who didn’t know they could vote for the Hugos, are seeing that we aren’t resorting to the tactics of the other side.

  9. I dunno how to link to individual Facebook comments, but this one took the cake, TNH has lost her #1 spot as elitist SMOF bigot.

    Moshe Feder: Well, I’m sorry to say it, but with that sort of silly attitude, you only _prove_ that you aren’t fans like us. When we came on the scene we took the time to learn the ropes and the jargon. We didn’t whine because we couldn’t always get our way. We put in the volunteer time and earned the right to have a say in how things ran. We didn’t expect to be on charge the day we showed up as neos, and we certainly didn’t dare to tell people how to vote. Tell me, when you go to Las Vegas, will you walk up to a poker table and announce that everyone there will now play with the special cards you brought, using your personal set of rules? If you do, you’ll find life doesn’t work that way in Vegas and they’ll probably eject you from the casino. Life doesn’t work that way in fandom either. You don’t get to take over our award on demand. But we can’t kick you out, so all we can do is try to talk some sense into you and vote

    1. Oh, they have been tag-teaming to see who could be the most insulting and superior. You have to wonder if either of them paused to consider how bitter or how entitled they sound when they go off on tirades like this.

      1. Reminds me of that old saying, “when you find your enemy doing something stupid stand back and allow them to continue.”
        Nothing we do or say will make the slightest difference to the committed SJW. What they spew forth will make a very large and lasting impression on the vast majority of the public who would otherwise never have heard of the whole mess.

    2. “Life doesn’t work that way in fandom either. You don’t get to take over our award on demand. But we can’t kick you out, so all we can do is try to talk some sense into you and vote”

      Sorry, it isn’t your award and it never has been.

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