2008 Hugo Voting Stats Online

2008 Hugo Award
Denvention promptly posted the full Hugo winner list and the complete report of the voting statistics, including the top 15 works or people who received the most nominations in each category.

Skimming over the results, I was intrigued that the outcome in the Best Novel category validated only 50% of the buzz I heard at Westercon, where it sounded like Yiddish Policemen’s Union and Brasyl were duking it out. Instead, the online buzz predicting a strong showing for The Last Colony proved more meaningful, as the Chabon and Scalzi novels finished 332 to 323, Yiddish Policemen’s Union winning by 9 votes. Helping to make the finish close, when Rollback’s votes were redistributed to the remaining two finalists, they split 104-40 in favor of The Last Colony (the other 42 votes either showing a blank or a nominee that was already out of the running.)

As for Brasyl, although it led the field with 65 nominating votes, on the final ballot it got only 110 first-place votes and finished fifth. In fact, only 464 out of 745 ballots cast a vote in any position for Brasyl.

Skipping down to the fan Hugos, after File 770’s category the race I was most curious about was Best Fanwriter. In last year’s cliffhanger ending Dave Langford edged John Scalzi by one vote. There was no such drama this year — John Scalzi started with 190 first place votes and required only a couple of elimination rounds to lock up a majority.

Scalzi made a very gracious acceptance speech that ended by encouraging people to seek out other quality fanwriters and spread the award around. Very likely, his win will crystallize in voters’ minds the (quite accurate) belief that they can look for prospective nominees in a lot of different venues and media. It will be interesting to see whether there is a ripple effect adding several new fan writers’ names to next year’s Hugo ballot.

In Best Fan Artist, Steve Stiles extended Brad Foster, Foster ultimately winning 165-115. Even though Stiles is formally the third-place finisher (based on the count when Foster’s votes are disregarded), I’m most interested in the stats of the “last nominee standing,” the one the winner needed to overcome to get a majority. Does this result mean Stiles is gaining ground among Hugo voters? On the other hand, Frank Wu withdrew this year — and despite doing so still got the most nominating votes — so he may be back in 2009 and that will change the outlook, too.

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3 thoughts on “2008 Hugo Voting Stats Online

  1. Why didn’t Taral Wayne do better? He’s a much better technical artist than Foster and his art tends to be superior in terms of concept as well. Is it that Wayne doesn’t send his art to enough zines to get the exposure? I have to admit to being perplexed about this.

  2. I enjoy Taral’s art a lot and use as much as I can get. Whether he’s technically better than Foster? Maybe an art critic would have some reason for favoring one over the other. I think they’re both highly proficient at what they like to draw.

    Over the years, the artists who did best in this category were proflic, and generously contributed art to a lot of zines. This is still the kind of thing the influences whether someone is nominated. When it comes to winning, I couldn’t tell you what the magic formula is.

    Frank Wu has won this category several times (this year he declined nomination). He makes the work he does highly accessible online. He’s also a fan people enjoy hanging out with, and he’s a gifted fanwriter.

    It may be that fandom in general sees the nominees as five very good artists, and sorts them out by looking at additional plus factors.

  3. Be aware that anime art isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, regardless of how well Taral can do it. The technical skills and conceptual values are high in both artists, but primarily what it comes down to — at least in this instance — is that at the moment there’s much more interest on the part of the Hugo voters in the art which Brad generates. That may vary, and I don’t think vote numbers will ever reflect the quality of work that both artists are capable of. In the meantime, there’s good if not always relatively great recognition in the process of being in the race.

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