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. My list:

    1. Hugos
    2. Nebulas
    3. World Fantasy Award (if I could put in a tie with the Nebulas, I would but oh well)
    4. James Tiptree Jr. Award
    5. Philip K. Dick Award
    6. Locus Award

  2. Hugos
    Bram Stoker
    Eisner
    Inkpot
    World Fantasy Award
    Angoulême

    Not all SFF per se, but still where I find my SFF.

  3. (Are we meant to rank them? Mine are in no particular order) Hugo, Nebula, world fantasy, Clarke, BSFA, Locus.

  4. Any order — I’m going to count how many times an award is named, not whether people put it first.

  5. What, no John W Campbell Award (Not a Hugo)?

    My list:

    13, 17, 1, 15, 18, 28

    These are sort of in order of prominence for me. Note that I’d likely held the World Fantasy Award on the list before I learnt too much about how the sausage was made there.

  6. Hugo, Nebula, Locus, Clarke, Stoker, World Fantasy

    In the context of an obituary, the writer’s “national” award (Ditmar, etc) should presumably be included.

  7. Hugo Awards
    Nebula Awards
    James Tiptree Jr. Award
    Locus Awards
    BSFA Awards
    Arthur C. Clarke Award

  8. My picks are:
    Hugo Awards
    Nebula Awards (SFWA)
    Bram Stoker Awards (Horror Writers Association)
    World Fantasy Award
    Locus Awards
    Seiun Awards (Japanese National Convention)

  9. Hugo
    Nebula
    World Fantasy
    James Tiptree
    Theodore Sturgeon
    Arthur C. Clarke

  10. Hugo
    Locus
    Nebula
    Philip K. Dick
    World Fantasy
    Bram Stoker

    Definitely weighted by my familiarity with the various awards; many of the options I’m not familiar with.

  11. Hugo, Nebula, Locus, World Fantasy Award, (in that order) and then for me, the Tiptree Award.

  12. British Fantasy Awards (BFS)
    Chesley Awards (ASFA)
    Hugo Awards
    Nebula Awards (SFWA)
    World Fantasy Award

  13. Hugo and Nebula have always been the big two for me. After that they tend to blur together – I have a sense that Locus and World Fantasy are pretty important, but I don’t really follow the rest at all, except when I hear that a book I’m interested in is up for one of them.

  14. 1. Hugo Award
    2. Nebula Award
    3. World Fantasy Award
    4. John W. Campbell Memorial Award
    5. Arthur C. Clarke Award
    6. Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award (might very possibly have been #1 if we were considering short fiction only)

  15. Ah, I’ll vote anyway.

    Eugie Foster Award
    Nebula Awards (SFWA)
    Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award
    Arthur C. Clarke Award
    Hugo Awards
    World Fantasy Award

  16. Hugo, Nebula, SFWA, World Fantasy, Campbell, Chesley

    (I am shocked, shocked I tell you, that the Hogus are not listed :-> )

  17. Hugo
    Nebula
    World Fantasy Award
    Locus
    BSFA
    BFA

    A few years ago, I would have listed the Stokers, but they seem to be leaning less toward the fantastic in horror more and more of late. The Dick, Sturgeon, Campbell and Tiptree are significant, but more narrow in scope. The Eugie is too new.

  18. Nebula Awards
    World Fantasy Award
    Hugo Awards
    Dragon Awards
    Locus Awards
    BSFA Awards

  19. 1. Hugo
    2. Nebula
    3. Philip K. Dick
    4. Locus
    5. World Fantasy
    6. BSFA

  20. List:

    Hugo
    Nebula
    BSFA
    World Fantasy
    Tiptree

    Why the Chesleys? Why not the Pegasus (to name the awards for our tiny sept of fandom)?

    All the others are for fiction. Chesley seems the odd person out.

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