Monday, August 28, 2006

Hugo statistics for 2006

Lots of interesting stuff in the Hugo nominating stats.

For starters, I've suggested to my friend Robert Charles Wilson that he send a thank-you note to Neil Gaiman, 'cause it turns out Gaiman withdrew Anansi Boys from Hugo consideration (presumably because, although flattered by the nomination, with two Hugos already and a superstar career, he felt another writer might benefit more from the award -- a very classy move on Neil's part).

Now, I'm not saying that Anansi Boys would have beat Spin had it been on the ballot, but it might have moved Neil's supporters to actually vote, and their second-place choice (which is significant in the Australian instant-runoff voting system used for the Hugos) might have gone to the only other fantasy on the ballot, George R.R. Martin's book.

Also interesting is that John Scalzi's Old Man's War had only one more nomination than did Dan Simmons's Olympos. Simmons is very popular; had his book gotten one more nomination, or the Scalzi one less (so that they tied and both ended up on the ballot), again, things might have been different.

Once you get past Anansi Boys (withdrawn) and Olympos (which missed the final ballot by one nomination), the next-most-nominated work was my own Mindscan. Of course, I was sad not to make the final ballot, and I note that when I did go head-to-head against three of the four sf novels that did make the final ballot -- for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award -- I did beat them all (and the one fantasy novel on the Hugo ballot, the Martin, came in dead last). Spin, Charles Stross's Accelerando, and Ken MacLeod's Learning the World were all also Campbell nominees; of the SF novels on the Hugo ballot, only the Scalzi didn't make the Campbell Memorial Award ballot (although he handily won the other Campbell, the one for best new writer, this past weekend). Ah, well. One can't be nominated every year. :)

Although, actually, I was nominated this year -- but in the novella category, for my hard-boiled SF detective story "Identity Theft." I never expected to win -- I thought for sure that Kelly Link would, given the acclaim her "Magic for Beginners" has already had. I should have known that the unbeatable Connie Willis is called that for a reason. :) Although I did well in first-place voting (Kelly Link and Connie were tied for most first-place votes, with 124 a piece; I had 109; Ian McDonald had 90; and James Patrick Kelly had 72), as the instant-runoff voting sorted itself out, I came in last place in the final tally ...

That's probably it for award possibilities for "Identity Theft," but it retires honorably, having won the world's largest cash prize for SF writing, and been a Hugo, Nebula, and Aurora finalist.

Speaking of Auroras (the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards), it's interesting to note that Robert Charles Wilson and I -- both of whom have won our share of Auroras -- won our Hugos in years in which we lost the Aurora. When my Hominids won the 2003 Hugo, it lost the Aurora to a novel by Karl Schroeder; earlier this year, Bob's Spin (and, incidentally, my Mindscan) lost the Aurora to a book by Karin Lowachee ... all of which goes to show that there's lots of great Canadian SF around these days!

Last night, Carolyn and I and Bob and his wife Sharry sat by the pool at the Anaheim Marriott and had nightcaps, toasting Bob's Hugo win (and I actually had a drink -- very rare for me -- enjoying a gin and tonic). Bob, who is one of my very best friends as well as one of my favorite writers, observed that it was nice that we'd each won our Hugos in years when the other wasn't on the Hugo ballot in the same category, and I agreed. I'm totally thrilled for Bob. This is a lonely profession, and it's truly wonderful to have a brother, a peer, a colleague, and a friend like Bob. Congratulations, Bob!

(See all the Hugo voting and nominating statistics for this year)


At August 28, 2006 8:58 PM , Blogger Lou_Sytsma said...

Great post Rob! Indeed it must be excellent sharing a moment like this with a compatriot in complete empathy.

At August 29, 2006 10:39 PM , Blogger Jacob said...

I'm glad OMW got the nomination over the insanely over-rated Olympos (though the one third of it that was the Illiad was pretty good).


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