Let us take you back to those thrilling days of yesteryear…when the Hugos were presented at Pacificon 2, the 1964 Worldcon. A memo containing that year’s Hugo voting statistics has been discovered by Tom Whitmore in the records of the late Alva Rogers.
Kevin Standlee has posted a copy [PDF file] on the official Hugo Award website.
Standlee notes that the 1964 awards were decided by a plurality of voters – Way Station won Best Novel with just 24% of the vote. Later the rules were changed to require ranked voting and an elimination runoff, insuring winners would have the support of a majority.
No wonder voter support was splintered all to hell that year – look at the nominees in the Best Novel category, listed in order of finish.
- Here Gather the Stars (alt: Way Station) by Clifford D. Simak
- Glory Road by Robert A. Heinlein
- Witch World by Andre Norton
- Dune World by Frank Herbert
- Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
The winner, Way Station, has long been one of my favorite sf novels.
Herbert’s Dune World, defeated in 1964, was the version serialized in Analog; a longer fix-up novel incorporating this material would win the author a Hugo in 1966 and go on to be recognized as a classic in the field.
Despite the plethora of good work, 7 people voted No Award! Good grief, what were they waiting for?