So, I was looking at the stats on this year’s Hugo Awards, and noticed some interesting things that I wish I’d thought to work into my main post about the ceremony.
The big revelation is that Ann Leckie’s fantasy novel The Raven Tower received enough votes to make it onto the ballot, but Leckie declined the nomination. You can read her post about the nomination here. To quote Leckie directly on why she withdrew The Raven Tower from consideration:
“And when the email came telling me that The Raven Tower was a finalist for the Hugo Award, I thought of the books in that longlist, how often I’d had a bite of this cookie, and how many of the amazing books from 2019 were debuts, and/or were books that, when I’d read them, my first thought was, Oh, this should be on the Hugo ballot. More books than there were spots, for sure. And I realized that I could do something about that, at least in a small way.
And so I withdrew The Raven Tower from consideration.”
Another reason for me to love Ann Leckie. By withdrawing The Raven Tower, a spot was made on the shortlist for Charlie Jane Anders’s The City in the Middle of the Night. The next novel pointwise was S. A. Corey’s Tiamat’s Wrath, book eight in the Expanse series. Interesting that a book eight got so close. Tiamat’s Wrath was about 27 votes away from replacing The City in the Middle of the Night. In total there were 1339 ballots cast in the Best Novel category, with 508 works nominated.
Raven Tower was not the only work to receive enough votes to make the top six yet not appear on the ballot. The Good Omens episode Hard Times was the most nominated work in the Dramatic Presentation; Short Form category. However, the series as a whole also made it on the ballot for the Dramatic Presentation; Long Form award with more votes, and so it was removed from the Short Form category. The opposite happened with the Watchmen TV series. Here, the season as a whole got enough nominations to make it onto the Long Form ballot, however two episodes made it onto the Short Form ballot with collectively more votes. The series was thus removed from the ballot, allowing Rise of Skywalker to make the ballot. This was actually really close, because if Spiderman: Far From Home had received one more vote, it would have gone on the ballot instead.
There are a lot of interesting things in the stat page. Like, holy crap, This is How You Lose the Time War received 469 nominations for Best Novella. The novella with the second most nominations was To Be Taught, if Fortunate which got nominated 215 times. There were 964 ballots cast in this category. Nearly 49% of everyone who nominated novellas nominated Time War. By comparison, about 24% of ballots for Best Novel included A Memory Called Empire, which won not only the award, but also was the most nominated novel (with Gideon the Ninth receiving just one less nomination.)
The statistics for the 2020 Hugo Awards and the 1945 Retro Hugos can be found here.
I’m going to talk about some other awards soon, but I will admit, the interactivity of the Hugos really draws me in. I look forward to participating again next year. Which of course means I need to go out and do more reading. Which in turn means more reviews.