Which of These Are the Top 5 Awards in SFF?

A question occurred to me when I compared my Gene Wolfe obituary to those by other writers. None of us wanted to name every one of the many awards he’d received, only the ones that were important enough to mention. We agreed on the top three or four, but I found that the farther we went down the list, the greater the variation. One award popped up in a couple of them that I’d never have included. We obviously had a different opinion about the weight to assign the various awards in the field.

That made me curious about what fandom at large thinks are the top awards. To find the answer, I’ve created an informal poll.

Here is a list of awards to think about. It intentionally leans towards those given to English language authors, but you can write in anything you want. I’ve omitted lifetime achievement awards on the assumption they’ll always be named in a winner’s obituary.

VOTE FOR 6. Write the names or numbers in comments. I’ll tabulate the results on Friday.

  1. Arthur C. Clarke Award
  2. Aurealis Awards
  3. Aurora Awards
  4. Bram Stoker Awards (Horror Writers Association)
  5. British Fantasy Awards (BFS)
  6. BSFA Awards (British Science Fiction Assocation)
  7. John W. Campbell Memorial Award
  8. Chesley Awards (ASFA)
  9. Ditmar Awards
  10. Dragon Awards
  11. Edward E. Smith Memorial Award for Imaginative Fiction (the Skylark)
  12. Eugie Foster Award
  13. Hugo Awards
  14. The Kitschies
  15. Locus Awards
  16. Mythopoeic Awards
  17. Nebula Awards (SFWA)
  18. Philip K. Dick Award
  19. Prometheus Awards (Libertarian Futurist Society)
  20. Rhysling Award (SFPA)
  21. Robert A. Heinlein Award (BSFS)
  22. Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards
  23. Scribe Awards (IAMTW)
  24. Seiun Awards (Japanese National Convention)
  25. Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off
  26. Shirley Jackson Award
  27. Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award
  28. James Tiptree Jr. Award
  29. World Fantasy Award
  30. Writers of the Future / Illustrators of the Future Contest
  31. WSFA Small Press Award

87 thoughts on “Which of These Are the Top 5 Awards in SFF?

  1. Hugo Awards
    Nebula Awards (SFWA)
    World Fantasy Award
    James Tiptree Jr. Award
    Locus Awards
    FAAn Awards

  2. In the order you have them, except the last because I was really torn about picking the JWC, PKD, or Tiptree.

    #1 Clarke
    #4 Stoker
    #13 Hugo
    #29 World Fantasy
    #27 Nebula
    #7 JWC Memorial

    I’m trying to figure out if people listing 5 don’t feel any others are among the top awards, or if they missed or misread the voting instructions, which said “VOTE FOR 6” – or perhaps went by the post title, which says “Which of These Are the Top 5. . . .” 😉 So are we supposed to vote for 5 or 6?!

    In the year 3782, we vote for pi or e – our choice.

  3. Looking at the list, I was surprised to realize that I only pay attention to four of them.

    Hugo
    Nebula
    Tiptree (which you can recuse me from if you like)
    Mythopoeic

    (Wow, and we’re still talking about them in 8081!)

  4. 13. Hugo
    17. Nebula
    29. World Fantasy
    4. Bram Stoker
    15. Locus
    28. Tiptree

  5. BSFA Awards (British Science Fiction Assocation)
    Chesley Awards (ASFA)
    Hugo Awards
    Locus Awards
    Nebula Awards (SFWA)
    World Fantasy Award

  6. Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, Locus, Clarke. I’d be hard pressed to find any others on the list besides the Tiptree that I care much about.

  7. Arthur C. Clarke Award
    BSFA Awards (British Science Fiction Assocation)
    Hugo Awards
    Locus Awards
    Nebula Awards (SFWA)
    James Tiptree Jr. Award

  8. Arthur C. Clarke Award
    Hugo Awards
    Locus Awards
    Nebula Awards (SFWA)
    James Tiptree Jr. Award
    World Fantasy Award

  9. Since the question is which six awards you personally take note of, the ones that will generally make me at least take a look at some winner I’ve not previously read are those mainly given to sf. In alphabetical order:
    Arthur C Clarke
    BSFA
    John W. Campbell Memorial
    Nebula
    Philip K. Dick
    James Tiptree

  10. Hugo
    Nebula
    Sidewise [It’s not on the list above, but I’m voting for it anyhow]
    BSFA
    Clarke
    Philip K. Dick Award

    (I have a soft spot for the Prometheus Award because I’ve enjoyed so many of the books they’ve recognized, but don’t think they make the grade for this poll.)

  11. Clarke
    Hugo
    Nebula
    BSFA
    Kitschies
    Locus

    The Clarke seems to shortlist books that align most closely to my tastes. I vote in the Hugos. The others (plus the Sidewise) are the only ones I actually pay any attention to.

  12. Hugo
    Nebula
    World Fantasy
    PKD
    Chesley (if you’re an artist, it’s probably higher on the list)
    Locus

  13. Hugo Awards
    Nebula Awards (SFWA)
    World Fantasy Award
    James Tiptree Jr. Award
    British Fantasy Award
    Locus Awards

  14. @John-Henri Holmberg: Interesting. The awards I consider the “top” awards and the ones I am most interested in overlap but are not the same. I listed my “top” ones (with my caveats that I wasn’t sure which to list, JWC or PKD or Tiptree). But I’d replace the JWC and Clarke with the Tiptree and the Gaylactic Spectrum, if I were listing the ones I was most interested in, probably. Hmm.

    (As usual, I get no e-mail notices despite checking the box and clicking the confirm button.)

  15. Scratching my head over this–apples and oranges? Authors, artists, fans? I’m going to pretend I am looking at an author. In order:

    First: the author’s national award, eg, an Aurora for a Canadian
    Hugo
    Nebula
    Locus
    World Fantasy

  16. Honestly, I only pay attention to four, so I’m leaving two ballot places blank:
    Hugo
    Nebula
    World Fantasy
    Locus

  17. Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, Campbell, Locus, Dick

    Honorable mention: Tiptree, Stoker

  18. In no particular order:

    28 James Tiptree Jr. Award
    17 Nebula Awards (SFWA)
    13 Hugo Awards
    8 Chesley Awards (ASFA)
    15 Locus Awards
    6 BSFA Awards (British Science Fiction Assocation)

  19. I’ve been aware of the Hugo and Nebula awards since I was a kid.

    I learned about the Locus and PKD awards sometime in adulthood.

    I know about the rest of the awards because of File 770. Of these, I’d pick the World Fantasy Award and the Arthur C. Clarke Award to make six.

  20. Arthur C. Clarke
    BSFA
    John W. Campbell Memorial
    Hugo
    Nebula
    Locus

    The PKD and Tiptree were on my shortlist but left off because of the restrictions on eligibility; both would qualify for the alternative poll of “which awards do you find most useful for alerting you to works that slipped under your radar?”, as would the Kitschies and the Prometheus

  21. Locus
    Nebula
    Hugo
    World Fantasy
    no 5th or 6th place — everything else seems to me to have too many limitations (e.g. in terms of subgenre, or focus, or eligibility) to rank with these.

  22. Hugo
    Nebula
    World Fantasy (I am a fantasy fan more than SFF)
    Locus (I agree with the winners less than with the top two but it often points to the zeitgeist)
    Tiptree
    Clarke (I don’t personally care much if sn award wins it but I don’t deny it as relevant or an accomplishment.)

    The two next runners up which have the same caveat as the Clarke are the Stoker and PKD.

    I pay attention to the Chesleys and the Aurora but understand why Readers are less interested in the former, and that Geographically based awards in general have more appeal to the people who live in the relevant geography.

  23. Missed the edit window for my comment on the Clarke. “Sn award” should obviously be “a book”

  24. Pingback: Top 10 Posts for May 2019 | File 770

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