Tamara Sheehan believes Aurora Award webmaster Clint Budd has verified that her short story “Twenty” was an Aurora nominee, based on this statement in his e-mail of yesterday:
I have your name (as part of a list kept for other reasons) and the name of the story – “Twenty” but no record of the number of nominations. So, yes, you’re right – the story was nominated, but didn’t reach the short list.
Do I need a better understanding of what’s regarded as an Aurora nominee?
The inference is that there is an Aurora “long list” as well as a “short list,” and that anything on the long list is also a type of nominee, like the finalists.
However, the official Aurora Award site says otherwise. The Canadian Science Fiction & Fantasy Association gives this description of the Aurora nominating process:
The Aurora awards are closest to the style of the Hugo awards (which are presented by the SF Worldcon) in the method by which they are selected. First there is a nomination phase to select a short list. Then a voting phase to pick the winner from the short list using the Australian voting method (this method has the voter rank their choices in each category).
Since the CSF&F follows the usage of the Hugos, then they presumably do not characterize as nominees the works or people named on Aurora Award nominating ballots that fail to make the final ballot.
In Hugo usage nominee and finalist are synonymous. If you’re not a finalist you’re not a nominee.
A different case is the long-list/short-list arrangement used in the early years of the Nebula Awards where items on the long list were characterized as nominees and published in a preliminary ballot.
SFWA adopted a two-ballot system for the 1970 Nebulas. It circulated the member-recommended long list of nominees on a ballot for a preliminary vote and put the top vote-getters on the final ballot. That year 45 short stories were nominated and 7 made the final ballot. Works on the preliminary long list were regarded as nominees and recorded as such in Don Franson and Howard DeVore’s A History of the Hugo, Nebula and International Fantasy Awards (1978 edition).
If there are any Canadian fans who know the history and usage of the Aurora Awards and want to comment on this I’d welcome your participation. While I think Tamara Sheehan has made an innocent mistake, if the error is mine I’d be happy to correct it.