2010 Hugo Voting Statistics Posted

Vince Docherty had the Hugo Award voting and nominating statistics available right after the awards, though it took awhile for them to make it online. The report is now here (PDF file).

In the Best Fanzine category I was most interested in learning how Banana Wings placed, knowing how many fanzine fans have said it is the best zine going. (I’ve even heard this from several of File 770’s main contributors who didn’t feel they needed to sugar coat the truth for me!) Banana Wings placed second — a very competitive finish. It received exactly half as many first place votes as Starship Sofa but closed the gap during the the automatic runoff, ending just 46 behind the winner.

I was surprised that when File 770 was eliminated after the fifth round as many as 22 voters listed Starship Sofa as their next choice (the other 46 with a preference going to Banana Wings). People’s tastes aren’t as predictable as I sometimes think… 

I’m not completely sure what to make of the fact that 89 ballots ranked No Award higher than Starship Sofa.  In comparison, 48 ranked No Award higher than Banana Wings. However, it appears all other nominees had more than 50 No Award votes ahead of them. Maybe some people were making a statement about the category, not the nominees?

15 thoughts on “2010 Hugo Voting Statistics Posted

  1. When File 770 was eliminated after the fifth round as many as 22 voters listed Starship Sofa as their next choice

    Preferential voting always throws up oddities like this. In the days when Ian Paisley use to regularly top the Euro Election polls in Northern Ireland, there were always 20-30 of his voters whose second choice was Sinn Fein. Nicholas Whyte, fan but in real life an N.I. electoral stats guru, used to explain this as naturally nationalist voters who voted for Paisley first because of his good work for his constituency. I prefer my own theory, that they were just good old fashioned trouble-makers…

  2. As a matter of fact, I voted No Award ahead of certain choices in all three fan categories. It was a statement alright — that those names had no business being there.

  3. I did vote “No Award: in front of StarShipSofa because, like last year’s winner Clarksworld (which was placed in the correct category this year), it is not what I consider to be a fanzine.

  4. Best Fanzine
    1. File 770
    2. StarShipSofa
    3. No Award

    It was a statement of complete disinterest in the nominees compared to what I value in a “fanzine”. I tried to read the others, and I wanted nothing to do with them in their current format.

    I think the future (and present) of fanzines are blogs and podcasts – and while there is (clearly) still an audience for the traditional of a fanzine*, anything that a traditional fanzine does, a blog or a website can do just as well and be easy accessible to a wider range of readers.

    *I will admit that I have never been part of the fanzine culture. I don’t understand it and it isn’t what I want from my fandom.

  5. I think the difference in the skills called on to contribute to the traditional fanzine (even if digitalized) and creating a popular internet presence can be best dramatized by comparing the one to Mark Twain giving a speech, and the other to Gene Kelly dancing and singing his way to your heart.

    It isn’t that one is better than the other. But they are very different, and one appeals to a much broader audience than the other. I don’t understand why we seem to be forcing them to compete in the same talent pageant.

  6. I don’t think we need to. Or should. And given that it only took 36 votes to get on the final ballot anyway, I don’t think Taral’s point about wider appeal holds a whole lot of water.

    Does a site like SF Signal have a wider audience than most of the fanzines? Probably. It has a much wider audience than my blog, that’s for sure. But, if only 20 more people needed to vote for it (I did), a fanzine of any stripe or definition doesn’t need a broad popular appeal. It just needs the right thirty seven people who think it does good work.

    Which also means that while the skillset to do a blog and a fanzine well *may* be different, neither requires a broad audience. All either needs is an audience of 40 individuals who happen to be Hugo nominators.

  7. “This blog began for two reasons. One was that one of my editors has been coaxing me to do something of the sort for publicity purposes, but the one that tipped the scales was that I’ve been for some time toying with the idea of publishing either an expanded and updated edition of my experiment in autobiography, The Way the Future Was, or a sequel to it.” — Fred Pohl


    So how does this make Fred Pohl a fanwriter, hmm?

  8. I seem to have developed a penchant for amusing Mike Glyer.

    A little while ago I showed him an article I had written for Banana Wings, and he congratualted me for helping it to win the Hugo next year. I’m afraid I was skeptical, and remarked that there was little chance of Banana Wings, File 770 or any other fanzine winning. I said that the Hugo next year was earmed for a sock-puppet lampoon of a Dr. Who episode someone would post on Flickr. Traditional fanzines had not only been obsolelted this year, but the asteroid had been dropped on them.

    Apparently, this cracked Mike up. *Sigh* Unfortunately, I wasn’t trying to be funny.

  9. “So how does this make Fred Pohl a fanwriter, hmm?”

    How does it not?

    Is being a fanwriter a default state, with certain conditions excluding some, or is it a state one only qualifies for by meeting certain conditions?

    Two different philosophical approaches. I don’t think either is illegitimate, but as we say online, YMMV.

    Another answer to Taral’s “So how does this make Fred Pohl a fanwriter, hmm?” is “by the ballots of the voters.”

    But I remain unclear what principle it is Taral is proposing: there should be a rule excluding writers from being eligible for the Best Fan Writer Hugo because we think in future they might use some of the same writing as a draft for, or directly selling it as, professional writing? Or what?

    I’d certainly agree that Fred Pohl has/had unique advantages in getting votes, and I’d opine that if it were, say, John Michel writing as articulately, he wouldn’t get so many votes, and I very much doubt that all the voters carefully read a significant amount of all the nominees’ work before voting, but, then, polls of a self-selected group of people’s personal preferences aren’t “fair,” in any case; there are only degrees, and choices of how to be unfair.

    But the question of anyone’s personal preferences as to how to vote for, and why, and what their opinion is as regards what is or isn’t “fan writing” is separable from the question of eligibility. The standard, occasionally violated, has always been for the Administrator/sub-committee/committee to default to the views of the voters. The problem with doing otherwise is that it would equally authorize a lot of subjectivity into the process by the administrators.

    Thus when one doesn’t like Hugo results, one either persuades enough people to vote the way one likes, or one goes to the Business Meeting to change the rules.

    One way or another, I’m sure there will be New Business in Reno, whomever is on the Subcommittee to recommend changes to the Semiprozine, et al; the only question is how many different formal proposals will end up being submitted, given that, of course, any member can submit one.

  10. When a man says he’s writing a draft for a future book sale, we need only take his word for it. A bit of an intellectual leap for some fans, perhaps…

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