By Kyra: [Reprinted from a comment by permission.] Some random observations about the voting statistics released with the 2017 Hugo finalists —
Clear Favorites: The following categories had clear favorites during the nominations:
- Almost 60% of nominators voted for the top pick in Dramatic Presentation Long (DPL)
- Almost 50% of nominators voted for the top pick in Dramatic Presentation Short (DPS)
- Roughly 50% of nominators voted for the top pick in Semiprozine
This may in part be due to fewer options to vote on in the case of Semiprozine — the votes were distributed among 103 nominees, the least of all categories by a significant margin. However, DPL had a number of nominees comparable with many other categories (206), and DPS had one of the highest number (569), so it seems likely that there were certain nominees that were either obviously standout or widely well-known. Probably true of Semiprozine as well — 103 is still quite a few!
Mild Favorites: Several categories had mild favorites:
- About 36% of nominators voted for the top pick in Novella
- About 37% of nominators voted for the top pick in Related Work
Novella nominations were spread over a relatively low list of nominees (187), but the number of Related Work nominees was fairly high (344).
In most of the other categories, about ~25% of nominators, +/-3%, voted for whatever the top pick was. Once again, there was a wide range for distribution of nominees for these, ranging from a low of 152 for fanzines to a high of 652 for novels.
No Favorites: The following categories arguably had no clear favorites:
- Only about 14% of nominators voted for the top pick in Short Story.
- Only about 17% of nominators voted for the top pick in Professional Artist.
- Only about 15% of nominators voted for the top pick in Fancast.
- Only about 18% of nominators voted for the top pick in Fan Writer.
For Short Story, this was almost certainly in part related to the wide number of options available – votes were distributed across 830 nominees! Professional Artist was also reasonably high at 387, but Fancast and Fan Writer were pretty typical at 253 and 275, respectively.
Moral: To have the lowest chance of winning a Hugo, write a short story. To have the highest chance, edit a semiprozine. If that sounds difficult, then simply writing or directing a widely-distributed SFF Hollywood blockbuster will also give you a decent shot.