1964 Hugo Voting Stats Unearthed

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 votersWay 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?

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