Best Series Hugo: Eligible Series From 2016

By JJ: Worldcon 75, to be held in Helsinki in August 2017, has announced that it will exercise its right under WSFS Constitution to run a special Hugo category for “Best Series.”

To assist Hugo nominators, listed below are the series believed to be eligible as of this writing for the 2017 Best Series Hugo next year*.

Each series name is followed by the main author(s) name and the 2016-published work.

  • 1632 by Eric Flint and a cast of thousands, 1635: A Parcel of Rogues (with Andrew Dennis)
  • 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, The Last Star
  • Age of Legends by Kelley Armstrong, Forest of Ruin
  • Alcatraz Smedry by Brandon Sanderson, The Dark Talent
  • The Alchemy Wars by Ian Tregillis, The Liberation
  • Alien Hunter by Whitley Strieber, The White House
  • Alpennia by Heather Rose Jones, Mother of Souls
  • American Faerie Tales by Bishop O’Connell, The Returned
  • Ark Royal by Chris Nuttall, Fear God and Dread Naught
  • Ascendant Kingdoms by Gail Z. Martin, Shadow and Flame
  • Bel Dame Apocrypha by Kameron Hurley, The Heart is Eaten Last (novella on Patreon)
  • Betsy the Vampire Queen / Wyndham Werewolf by MaryJanice Davidson, Undead and Done
  • Black Blade by Jennifer Estep, Bright Blaze of Magic
  • Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward, The Beast
  • Blackdog / Marakand by K.V. Johansen, Gods of Nabban
  • Blackthorn & Grim by Juliet Marillier, Den of Wolves
  • Bloodbound by Erin Lindsey, The Bloodsworn
  • Broken Empire / Red Queen’s War by Mark Lawrence, The Wheel of Osheim
  • Bryant & May by Christopher Fowler, Strange Tide
  • Cainsville by Kelley Armstrong, Betrayals
  • Cal Leandros by Rob Thurman, “Impossible Monsters” (short story)
  • Carpathian by Christine Feehan, Dark Promises, Dark Carousel
  • Case Files of Justis Fearsson by David B. Coe, Shadow’s Blade
  • Castle by Steph Swainston, Fair Rebel
  • Celaena / Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, Empire of Storms
  • Chaos Station by Jenn Burke and Kelly Jensen, Inversion Point
  • Chicagoland Vampires by Chloe Neil, Midnight Marked
  • Chronicles of Elantra by Michelle Sagara, Cast in Flight
  • Chronicles of Exile by Marc Turner, Red Tide
  • Chronicles of St. Mary’s by Jodi Taylor, Lies, Damned Lies, and History
  • Clan Chronicles by Julie E. Czerneda, The Gate To Futures Past
  • Clockwork Dagger by Beth Cato, Final Flight (novelette) (possibly not enough total words)
  • Colours of Madeleine by Jaclyn Moriarty, A Tangle of Gold
  • Commonweal by Graydon Saunders, Safely You Deliver
  • Commonwealth by Peter F Hamilton, Night Without Stars
  • Cosmere / Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, Secret History, The Bands of Mourning (novellas)
  • Court of Fives by Kate Elliott, The Poisoned Blade
  • Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone, Four Roads Cross
  • Dagger and the Coin by Daniel Abraham, The Spider’s War
  • Dark Eden by Chris Beckett, Daughter of Eden
  • Dark Hunter by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Dragonmark
  • Dark Tower by Stephen King, Charlie the Choo-Choo (graphic novel / scary children’s book)
  • Decline and Fall of the Galactic Empire by Chris Nuttall, The Barbarian Bride
  • Devices by Philip Purser-Hallard, Trojans
  • Diamond City Magic by Diana Pharaoh Francis, Whisper of Shadows
  • Diving Universe by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, The Falls
  • Dragonships of Vindras by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, Doom of the Dragon
  • Dread Empire’s Fall by Walter Jon Williams, Impersonations (novella)
  • Dream Archipelago by Christopher Priest, The Gradual
  • Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, “Cold Case” (short story)
  • Dune by Frank Herbert, Brian Herbert, and Kevin J. Anderson, Navigators of Dune
  • Elder Races by Thea Harrison, Moonshadow
  • Elemental Assassin by Jennifer Estep, Bitter Bite, Unraveled
  • Elemental Masters by Mercedes Lackey, A Study in Sable
  • Elfhome / Steel City by Wen Spencer, Project Elfhome (collection including novella)
  • Elves on the Road / SERRAted Edge by Mercedes Lackey, Silence (with Cody Martin)
  • Emberverse by S.M. Stirling, Prince of Outcasts
  • Europe by Dave Hutchinson, Europe in Winter
  • Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines, Ex-Isle
  • Expanse by James S.A. Corey, Babylon’s Ashes
  • Fairyland by Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home
  • Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire by Rod Duncan, The Custodian of Marvels
  • Fever by Karen Marie Moning, Feverborn
  • Foreigner by C.J. Cherryh, Visitor
  • Frontlines by Marko Kloos, Chains of Command
  • Gaia Chronicles by Naomi Foyle, The Blood of the Hoopoe
  • Gallow and Ragged by Lilith Saintcrow, Roadside Magic, Wasteland King
  • GhostWalkers by Christine Feehan, Spider Game
  • Gor by John Norman, Plunder of Gor
  • Greatcoats by Sebastien de Castell, Saint’s Blood
  • Grisha by Leigh Bardugo, Crooked Kingdom
  • Guardians by Nora Roberts, Island of Glass
  • Guild Hunter by Nalini Singh, Archangel’s Heart
  • Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, The Cursed Child, Fantastic Beasts (scripts)
  • Heartstrikers by Rachel Aaron, No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished
  • Her Instruments by M.C.A. Hogarth, A Rose Point Holiday (online serial novel)
  • Honorverse by David Weber, Shadow of Victory
  • Humanity’s Fire by Michael Cobley, Ancestral Machines
  • In Death by J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts), Brotherhood in Death
  • InCryptid by Seanan McGuire, Chaos Choreography
  • Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman, The Burning Page
  • Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne, Staked
  • Ixia / Sitia by Maria V. Snyder, Night Study
  • Jane Yellowrock by Faith Hunter, Shadow Rites, Blood of the Earth
  • Johannes Cabal by Jonathan L. Howard, The Fall of the House of Cabal
  • Kara Gillian by Diana Rowland, Legacy of the Demon
  • Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews (Ilona Gordon and Andrew Gordon), Magic Binds
  • Kitty Katt by Gini Koch, Camp Alien
  • Lady Trent by Marie Brennan, In the Labyrinth of Drakes
  • Laundry Files by Charles Stross, The Nightmare Stacks
  • League by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Born of Legend
  • Learning Experience by Chris Nuttall, The Black Sheep
  • Leopard by Christine Feehan, Leopard’s Fury
  • Liaden Universe by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, Alliance of Equals
  • Lightbringer by Brent Weeks, The Blood Mirror
  • Long Earth by Stephen Baxter and Terry Pratchett, The Long Cosmos
  • Lost Fleet by Jack Campbell (John G. Hemry), Shattered Spear
  • Magic Ex Libris by Jim C. Hines, Revisionary
  • Malazan / Kharkanas by Steven Erikson, Fall of Light
  • Mancer by Ferrett Steinmetz, Fix
  • Maradaine by Marshall Ryan Maresca, The Alchemy of Chaos
  • Matthew Corbett by Robert McCammon, Freedom of the Mask
  • Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs, Fire Touched
  • Midnight, Texas by Charlaine Harris, Night Shift
  • Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences by Pip (Philippa) Ballantine and Tee (Thomas Earl) Morris, The Ghost Rebellion
  • Monster Hunter by Larry Correia, Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge (with John Ringo)
  • Mutant Files by William C. Dietz, Graveyard
  • Myth Adventures by Robert Asprin and Jody Lynn Nye, Myth-Fits
  • Newsflesh by Mira Grant (Seanan McGuire), FeedBack
  • October Daye by Seanan McGuire, Once Broken Faith
  • Old Kingdom / Abhorsen by Garth Nix, Goldenhand
  • Others by Anne Bishop, Marked in Flesh
  • Pantheon by James Lovegrove, Age of Heroes
  • Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger, Romancing the Inventor, Poison or Protect (novellas)
  • Perry Rhodan / Lemuria by a cast of billions, The First Immortal, The Last Days of Lemuria, The Longest Night
  • Polity by Neal Asher, War Factory
  • Poseidon’s Children by Alastair Reynolds, Poseidon’s Wake
  • Psy-Changelings by Nalini Singh, Allegiance of Honor
  • Psycop by Jordan Castillo Price, Psycop Briefs (collection including 4 new stories)
  • Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen, Fate of the Tearling
  • Raksura by Martha Wells, The Edge of Worlds
  • Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, The Raven King
  • RCN by David Drake, Death’s Bright Day
  • Reckoners by Brandon Sanderson, Calamity
  • Red Rising by Pierce Brown, Morning Star
  • Rivers of London / Peter Grant by Ben Aaronovitch, The Hanging Tree
  • Riverside by Ellen Kushner, Tremontaine
  • Royal Sorceress by Chris Nuttall, Sons of Liberty
  • Russell’s Attic by S.L. Huang, Plastic Smile
  • Safehold by David Weber, At the Sign of Triumph
  • Saga of Shadows by Kevin J. Anderson, Eternity’s Mind
  • Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey, The Perdition Score
  • Santi / Remembrance of Earth’s Past by Cixin Liu, Death’s End
  • Schooled in Magic by Chris Nuttall, Infinite Regress
  • Sea Haven by Christine Feehan, Fire Bound
  • Secret History by Simon R. Green, Dr. DOA
  • Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest, A Sword of Chance
  • Shadow Campaigns by Django Wexler, The Guns of Empire
  • Shadow Police by Paul Cornell, Who Killed Sherlock Holmes?
  • Shannara by Terry Brooks, The Sorcerer’s Daughter
  • Simon Canderous by Anton Strout, “Solus” (novelette)
  • Sorcery Ascendant by Mitchell Hogan, A Shattered Empire
  • Spellwright by Blake Charlton, Spellbreaker
  • Split Worlds by Emma Newman, A Little Knowledge
  • Tao by Wesley Chu, The Days of Tao (novella)
  • Temeraire by Naomi Novik, League Of Dragons
  • Thessaly by Jo Walton, Necessity
  • Thrones and Bones by Lou Anders, Skyborn
  • Time and Shadows by Liana Brooks, Decoherence
  • Twenty-Sided Sorceress by Annie Bellet, Magic to the Bone
  • Valdemar by Mercedes Lackey, Closer to the Chest
  • Victory Nelson, Investigator/Henry Fitzroy by Tanya Huff, “If Wishes Were” (novelette)
  • Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold, Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen
  • Walker Universe by C.E. Murphy, “Slaying the Dragon” (short story on Patreon)
  • Wall of Night by Helen Lowe, The Daughter of Blood
  • War Dogs by Greg Bear, Take Back the Sky
  • Warhammer 40K / The Horus Heresy by a cast of gazillions, Pharos
  • Wild Cards by George R.R. Martin and a cast of thousands, High Stakes
  • Women of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong, Driven (novella)
  • World of the Five Gods by Lois McMaster Bujold, Penric and the Shaman (novella)
  • World of the Lupi by Eileen Wilks, Dragon Spawn
  • Xanth by Piers Anthony, Isis Orb
  • Xuya Universe by Aliette de Bodard, A Salvaging of Ghosts (23 short fiction works, including 2 novellas, may or may not meet the word count)
  • Young Wizards by Diane Duane, Games Wizards Play

* no warranties are made about series eligibility based on word count (or lack thereof)

no warranties are made about the presumed quality of listed series (or lack thereof)

Please feel free to add comments regarding series which have been missed.

Update 10/01/2016: Added series pointed out in comments. Update 10/8/2016: Made more additions. Update 01/13/17: Added three more series. Update 01/14/17: And three more.

188 thoughts on “Best Series Hugo: Eligible Series From 2016

  1. John Lewis on October 2, 2016 at 12:09 pm said:

    Any award for a best series that doesn’t consider Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series is meaningless in my humble opinion.

    Unless an installment of the series is published in 2016, it’s not eligible. Worldcons do not have the right to add a “best all time” category. (Yes, they used to have this right. They do not have it now.) Therefore, they can only use their Special Category authority for works published/appearing in 2016.

  2. andyl, I swear by all the gods that I initially thought you wrote “Plumber of Gor”

  3. To me, having a series where an early installment has won (or been a finalist for) a Hugo is a strike against nominating it as a series. Not because of the language against consecutive nominations, but because an earlier Hugo nomination to me implies that the earlier installments were more individual works than integral parts of a series.

    Put another way, I see the series Hugo to have at least some aspect of serialisation (“a work appearing in a number of parts”) as of 3.2.4.

    So for all that I’m a big fan of Bujold, I won’t nominate the Vorkosigan series or the Chalion series, since to me they feel more like an interconnected set of novels than a series. (Her Sharing Knife books would be wholly another issue.)

  4. @Kendall: that makes two of us; I had to dig into ISFDB to confirm eligibility, and followed the author links.

    @John Lewis: surely you jest; Pern had a few good books and then went badly downhill, culminating in one of the worst Hugo nominees ever. (Raise hands, everyone else who actually finished Moreta’s Ride.) If the rules were looser (as I suggest above), Discworld would be the first thing I’d add, and Iain Banks’s Culture series would be a close second. Feel free to go to Helsinki to argue for wider criteria.

  5. @Chip Hitchcock: Hey, I finished Moreta’s Ride. 🙂 I didn’t read a ton after that, however.

  6. I think Nerilka was my last.

    Dolphins. After 2,500 years, we’ve only just noticed them!

    I just don’t even. That had to be where McCaffrey really jumped the *cough* shark.

  7. Having made it this far my brain now hurts.

    From what I have read I do believe that,

    A Song Of Ice And Fire by George RR Martin

    will qualify due to the release of A Game of Thrones – Enhanced Edition which was published on September 28 exclusively with iBooks.

    From iBooks

    In addition to hundreds of enhancements, you’ll find an excerpt of The Winds of Winter, the hugely anticipated sixth book in Martin’s series.

    I do not use apple products so I can not verify what the excerpt consist of.

    Does a new single chapter published in 2016 in a continuing series qualify?

    I do believe that he has also released 2 previously unreleased sample chapters this year on his website.

  8. Sean Kirk: Having made it this far my brain now hurts.

    I honestly don’t think it will be that bad.

    If a lot of people want to see GRRM and GoT recognized, they will nominate the series based on the eligibility justifications you cite (likewise, for Harry Potter, or for one of the series that has only a short story out this year).

    If GoT makes the final ballot, people will vote in relation to how they feel about the 5 finalists.

    I personally think it would be highly unlikely for me to vote for anything that does not have at least a novel or novella published during the eligibility year — and I would probably not vote for GoT anyway, until I feel that it has a more finished story arc.

    To me, one of the characteristics of a Best Series would be feeling that I have gotten a satisfying story arc out of it. I can’t really say that about the GoT books right now.

    But obviously, everyone will have a different stance on how they judge this category.

    I think the first few years will see some of the obvious really popular, long-running series being rewarded. After things shake out a bit, I think it will settle down into which series had an outstanding entry during the year.

  9. @Sean Kirk: IMHO a sample chapter from an upcoming, unpublished book is not a new volume in a series. But the hundreds of enhancements – hmm, substantial enough changes to make it a “new work”? Gah. I wouldn’t consider it such, but technically, I have no idea if it would qualify.

    I don’t read the series, but if my favorite series published a revised version of the original, 20-year-old novel, I wouldn’t jump at that as sufficient reason to nominate the series. I’d wait for an actual new book.

    But, a bit head explodey, thanks, Sean! 😉

    ETA: Heh, forget series; is someone going to nominate the new “enhanced” A Game of Thrones under Best Novel???

  10. JJ said:
    “To me, one of the characteristics of a Best Series would be feeling that I have gotten a satisfying story arc out of it. I can’t really say that about the GoT books right now.

    But obviously, everyone will have a different stance on how they judge this category.”

    Agreed. For me the first three books in this series would meet this criteria. The fourth and fifth books, not so much.

    My original question “Does a new single chapter published in 2016 in a continuing series qualify?” is in regard to a series’s eligibility.

    But right now I am just trying to decipher what is technically eligible and what is not, so that we all know how this field is going to play, long before nominations open, in just 5 short months.

  11. at Scalzi’s Whatever

    Jared Dashoff said:
    “As a maker of the Best Series motion up for ratification in 2017, a volume is anything. We didn’t want to say work because that gets confusing when you call the series a work of works. We didn’t want to specify any length of each part, either, because we wanted short stories, novelettes, novellas, blog posts, novels, graphic stories (assuming the entire series makes it to 240,000 words), etc. were eligible.

    So, in short, if you penned a letter that tied into the Old Man’s War Series, you’d likely be eligible, given I think you’ve hit 240k words.

    If you were nominated and we were operating under the proposal (not the one-off committee choice Hugo) and you won, OMW is done. There’s a very specific one and done clause. However, if you lost, and decided to write another 240,000 words, you could be eligible again in the year in which you published the last bit of those 240,000.

    Now for the really fun question. What if, say, I, with your approval of course, write a short story in the OMW universe, and the series gets nominated. Then you and I get to decide who takes home the trophy if it wins. Same goes for Ring of Fire, Eric and whoever else is writing whatever part of that series that gets nominated (because, IMHO, each subseries is its own series, but on the whole this is up to the will of the nominators) gets to figure it out. I think the Admins have said you can have 3 trophies, no more. This point becomes a lot easier if the original author has passed, but there are plenty of cases of multi-author series where all are living.”

    Wait “Blog Posts” qualify?
    That’s Puppy Chow smothered in hot gravy.

  12. Sean Kirk: right now I am just trying to decipher what is technically eligible and what is not, so that we all know how this field is going to play, long before nominations open, in just 5 short months.

    As you’ve pointed out, people can make a case for pretty much any series being eligible if something in that series, however brief, gets published in the eligibility year.

    But I think you will find two things with these sorts of edge cases:
    1) a lot of people, like me, are going to require a substantive entry, like a novel or novella, in order to be willing to nominate a series, and
    2) if something with a non-substantive entry actually makes the final ballot, a lot of people, like me, will be inclined to No Award it.

  13. JJ Said:
    “As you’ve pointed out, people can make a case for pretty much any series being eligible if something in that series, however brief, gets published in the eligibility year.

    But I think you will find two things with these sorts of edge cases:
    1) a lot of people, like me, are going to require a substantive entry, like a novel or novella, and
    2) if something with a non-substantive entry actually makes the final ballot, a lot of people, like me, will be inclined to No Award it.”

    Maybe, but “substantive entry” will register differently with every voter without clearly defined parameters.

    I have been gone all weekend and am just now catching up on the latest news. I honestly did not believe that the “Best Series” proposal would pass next year, as it was to broad in its scope & too confusing. That was probably wishful thinking on my part. But since Helsinki announced that it is exercising its pejorative to include this special Hugo category award next year, and I see this as a gateway to the “Best Series” proposal passing, I have been having unnecessary knee jerks all night when I read things like “because we wanted blah, blah, blah, blog posts, blah, blah (assuming the entire series makes it to 240,000 words), etc. were eligible.”, without giving the process its fair shake.

    None the less it will make for some interesting discussions in the coming months.

    It now makes me hopeful that writers like Jack Vance happened to have left behind unpublished stories and or novellas from their “series” like The Dying Earth laying about the house?

  14. I’d like to add The Devices Trilogy by Philip Purser-Hallard, Trojans (the third volume) is due this week I think (memo to self: get down to Forbidden Planet asap.)

  15. typo of the thread: …Helsinki announced that it is exercising its pejorative… I think you mean “prerogative”; they aren’t slamming anything, and they’re certainly not invoking the beast from Dragonslayer. (What I get for being picky and looking things up: the leading actress in that film died in 2004, age 52. Not what I wanted to read on Monday morning….)

  16. I still think that it is not in one’s interest (or the interest of one’s favourite series) to nominate a series on the basis of something small: it probably won’t reach the shortlist, but if it does, this sets back the series’ chances in future, requiring the author to produce another 240, 000 words before it can be considered again. Wait for the series to produce something substantial. (Of course, it’s a bit odd that we have to think strategically in this way.)

    I’m struck by what seems to be a widespread assumption that people will be trying to get their favourite series on the ballot at all costs. This does show how the Series Hugo is something of an outlier among the Hugos. With most of the awards it’s likely that at least quite a lot of nominations will come from people who are surveying the field and picking out the best work of the year. (Yes, I know you don’t have to read everything. Surveying the field doesn’t have to mean reading everything; it can mean following recommendations and checking out the most talked-of works of the year.) With this, you aren’t really in a position to nominate unless you are already familiar with the thing you are nominating, so it becomes more Dragon-like, encouraging people to nominate the things they are already fans of.

  17. Karl-Johan:

    Put another way, I see the series Hugo to have at least some aspect of serialisation (“a work appearing in a number of parts”) as of 3.2.4.

    I read 3.2.4 as contrasting works appearing in parts with series, not equating them, but we probably don’t want to have that debate again.

    But while I think loosely connected ‘same universe’ groups of works have to be seen as covered by the sense of ‘series’, I’d agree that it’s the serially told story that this award is best suited for. Under current rules The Wheel of Time could only be honoured by being nominated for Best Novel, since its individual volumes are not novels: and yet in that category it clearly wasn’t competing fairly with the other, one-volume novels. So a new award to deal with cases like that makes sense. Loosely connected ‘same universe’ series don’t need an award in the same way, as their parts can stand alone.

    That said, the last three Best Novel Hugos have each gone to the first volume of something that is clearly a serially told story.

  18. I finished Moreta’s Ride, too. Can’t remember where I finally quit, though. I tried a couple of random books over the years…probably after Renegades……hoping some of the magic would return. But no joy in that universe again.

  19. Andrew M: With most of the awards it’s likely that at least quite a lot of nominations will come from people who are surveying the field and picking out the best work of the year. (Yes, I know you don’t have to read everything. Surveying the field doesn’t have to mean reading everything; it can mean following recommendations and checking out the most talked-of works of the year.)

    Well, that’s a sad sentiment. People don’t have to read everything to nominate, but the idea that they also won’t have read the things they do nominate thoroughly defeats the philosophy of the award.

  20. Andrew M: Huh? What did I say that implied they wouldn’t read the works?

    I’m glad to hear that wasn’t what you meant. Obviously, the part I quoted is what gave me the other impression.

  21. Andrew M: With most of the awards it’s likely that at least quite a lot of nominations will come from people who are surveying the field and picking out the best work of the year. (Yes, I know you don’t have to read everything. Surveying the field doesn’t have to mean reading everything; it can mean following recommendations and checking out the most talked-of works of the year.)

    Mike, I read this as saying that people will feel comfortable nominating series based on what they’ve read and not feel as though they will have to read all eligible series to do a good job of nominating, since the series they do read will be selected based on their own experience and on recommendations from others.

    Certainly that’s the case with me; I’ve read about 30 ~(20%) of the series on the list (which is now up to around 162 entries, when I get the new ones added), and I don’t feel that by nominating my favorites of those, I’m leaving something out. Other people will be nominating their favorites, which may or may not overlap with mine.

  22. Chip Hitchcock said
    “typo of the thread: …Helsinki announced that it is exercising its pejorative… I think you mean “prerogative”; they aren’t slamming anything, and they’re certainly not invoking the beast from Dragonslayer.”

    You are correct sir. I meant to use the word prerogative. Although you did unearth that interesting factoid. I did not know that the dragon’s name from the movie Dragonslayer was “Vermithrax Pejorative” I loved that movie, when I was ten years old.

    Scott Raun said:
    Would Wild Cards qualify based on David Levine’s Discards? http://www.tor.com/2016/03/30/discards/

    Scott
    at Scalzi’s Whatever

    http://whatever.scalzi.com/2016/09/30/best-series-hugo-category-a-trial-run-in-2017-my-thoughts-on-it/#comments

    Jared Dashoff said:
    “As a maker of the Best Series motion up for ratification in 2017, a volume is anything. We didn’t want to say work because that gets confusing when you call the series a work of works. We didn’t want to specify any length of each part, either, because we wanted short stories, novelettes, novellas, blog posts, novels, graphic stories (assuming the entire series makes it to 240,000 words), etc. were eligible.

    This question would probably be another one of those fringe qualifiers. But, in the case of The Wild Cards series the hurdle would be easily attained with the release of “High Stakes” in September.

  23. @Scott Raun

    Wild Cards qualifies anyway because of High Stakes. No need to look at shorter works as well.

  24. JJ: No, that’s not quite it. Let me try again.

    With most categories, many voters feel they ought to be looking for the best works of the year. If they don’t have time to read everything, they can follow recommendations and check out the most talked-of works (to see if they are any good – obviously they won’t just nominate the most talked-of works without reading them). It’s clearly possible to nominate only authors etc. that one is already a fan of, and no doubt some people do, but it’s not necessary, and if everyone did that the ballot would look very different.

    In Best Series, on the other hand, there is no time to read the whole of even a few highly recommended series within the year, so one already has to be familiar with a series to be in a position to nominate it. This means that existing loyalties will necessarily have a greater effect here than in other categories.

  25. Scott Raun: Would Wild Cards qualify based on David Levine’s Discards?

    Wild Cards is already on the list; the collaborative novel High Stakes was released in August.

  26. Andrew M: In Best Series, on the other hand, there is no time to read the whole of even a few highly recommended series within the year, so one already has to be familiar with a series to be in a position to nominate it. This means that existing loyalties will necessarily have a greater effect here than in other categories.

    Thanks for elucidating, Andrew. I agree with this — but I think that what it will still boil down to is people nominating their natural choices, just as they do with the ~4,200 more-or-less-mainstream SFF novels which are published each year (of which they will have read only a small percentage). I don’t see a problem with that.

  27. Hmm. So if we take forward the idea that recommendations are less actionable in Best Series than in other fiction categories, due to the time investment, that does have implications which will I suspect would make the Best Series award behave in ways more like some of the other, non-work based categories?

    Most other categories obviously don’t have the same “completion” elements for nomination which the fiction (+ best Rel. Work + BDP) categories do – I can nominate a Best Fan Artist off some worthy examples of their work, but I’m not expected to have meticulously scoured the online and offline worlds to scrutinise every single image they have produced in the year. Same for magazines – my strategy this year was to nominate semiprozines which published the fiction I nominated, because that fiction is the best possible recommendation of their work I can see, but I haven’t read any publication cover to cover through the year to make a completely consistent judgement and I don’t think that was expected (sorry if it was!) For some nominators and almost certainly more final voters (after all what is the shortlist but another set of recommendations), I think the same logic will hold – “I’ve read worthy examples of Vorkosigan / Xuya / Perry Rhodan so I am nominating the series on that basis even though I’m not familiar with it all”.

    Is that something that the voter base are generally happy with? And does it make a difference if the “example based” nominator hasn’t read whatever example of the series actually came out in 2016 – which is more likely in the case of a series than for an editor/semiprozine/artist, given that series are usually chronological and the most recent entry is therefore the least accessible to those who haven’t read the whole thing? My intuition is that making a decision on a 2017 Hugo where a portion of the voter base probably aren’t taking into account the 2016 work that made the nominee eligible is something most wouldn’t consider good practice, but I can’t see a way around it happening for an category that requires reading this much material.

    (Edited down to be more responsive to where the conversation actually seems to be on this thread – that’ll teach me for opening windows and half drafting things that I then leave alone for hours…!)

  28. Is that something that the voter base are generally happy with?

    Personally, generally yes. There’s a bit of a grey area if a series has declined in quality – if Todd McCaffery’s next volume is Dragon Maidens of Gor Pern, but the voters are generally mature enough to worry about such things.

  29. (That not particularly meant as a slam on Todd McCaffery, just flailing for an example of a series being taken over by someone else.)

  30. I think that whether one could nominate a series based on partial knowledge of it is going to depend heavily on what kind of series it is is. It works well with the loose ‘adventures of…’ and ‘same universe’ kinds of series, less well with a a serially told story (which is arguably the kind of series which most needs an award). There’s also the complicating factor of series – Dresden Files may be one – where the books are sufficiently self-contained that one can tell what is going on in each without reading the whole series, but one can’t see the point of the thing without wider knowledge.

  31. I too read Moreta’s Ride To the end. More than once too. Haven’t re-read any Pern for some time but did go through the Crystal Singer books fairly recently and still enjoyed them, dated as they are.

  32. Here’s a wacky thought: I wonder how “volume” applies to comic strips?

    I bet Prince Valiant has managed to top 240,000 words– at nearly 80 years, assuming it’s never missed a week, it would need to average a bit less than 60 words per installment, and it does far more than that these days, at least.

  33. Petrea: The drafters may have missed a point; the proposal passed on to Helsinki modifies various other sections of the Rules to make the added section for the new award fit in smoothly but doesn’t touch 3.2.6, which begins

    The categories of Best Novel, Novella, Novelette, and Short Story shall be open to works in which the text is the primary form of communication

    (the rest makes clear that the text doesn’t have to be printed). I don’t \think/ anyone intended that this be open to graphic-novel series, but I’ll bet there are other series (e.g., Girl Genius) that would fit in the absence of this patch.

  34. Does GG really have more than 240, 000 words? You would need an awful lot of comics to reach that.

    (Though there is a series of GG prose novels, which might qualify in the year one of them appeared.)

  35. Chip Hitchcock: I don’t \think/ anyone intended that this be open to graphic-novel series, but I’ll bet there are other series (e.g., Girl Genius) that would fit in the absence of this patch.

    Any such works would also be eligible under Best Graphic Novel.

    I think that there would be a lot of pushback from Hugo voters if a subgroup attempted to get/ succeeded in getting a graphic novel series on the ballot in the Best Series category.

  36. Yeah, this feels like an oversight. I wonder if this would be a small enough change to be able to be added in Helsinki.

  37. So, I appreciate whoever put me on this list, though my eligibility could be subject to rules-y scrutiny depending on how you look at it. (Which can be a good thing to look at, purely as an intellectual exercise, since I seriously doubt I’m a significant contender for nomination.)

    One way of looking at it is that I have two separate series (Maradaine and Maradaine Constabulary) going on right now, and neither one of them would be eligible for 2016 (in that both have only two volumes and the total words is only ~200K for them both). Alternatively, if you considered all the Maradaine books combined as a “series”, that’s four volumes and around ~400K, so: eligible. But, again, it depends on how one defines a “series”. Given that I do have separate series within a larger “series” setting, once the individual series are each eligible (presuming the Best Series award continues), one could argue different forms of eligibility depending on how you look at it.

  38. I just noticed Diana Gabaldon has an Outlander story called “Virgins” out, which would have made the entire series eligible.

    Alas, “Virgins” is the standalone e-book edition of a short story that first appeared in one of GRRM’s Dangerous Women anthologies and therefore ineligible.

    Too bad, because Outlander is a series I’d nominate in a pinch, if it were eligible.

  39. Marshall Ryan Maresca said:

    “One way of looking at it is that I have two separate series (Maradaine and Maradaine Constabulary) going on right now, and neither one of them would be eligible for 2016 (in that both have only two volumes and the total words is only ~200K for them both). Alternatively, if you considered all the Maradaine books combined as a “series”, that’s four volumes and around ~400K, so: eligible. But, again, it depends on how one defines a “series”. Given that I do have separate series within a larger “series” setting, once the individual series are each eligible (presuming the Best Series award continues), one could argue different forms of eligibility depending on how you look at it.”

    Marshall, unfortunately I have not read your books, yet. But as an intellectual exercise, I am fairly certain that your four books would meet the requirements for the Best Series Hugo. Correct me if I am wrong but both the Maradaine and Maradaine Constabulary books are set in the port city of Maradaine.

    The qualifier in this particular case and I am sure this will be true for many other eligible series in this category are those that are stories “unified by elements such as setting, and presentation”

    3.3.X Best Series. A multi-volume science fiction or fantasy story, unified by elements such as plot, characters, setting, and presentation, appearing in at least three (3) volumes consisting in total of at least 240,000 words by the close of the previous calendar year, at least one volume of which was published in the previous calendar year, and which has not previously won under 3.3.X.

    But, then again I am not a lawyer. I only play one on the internet.

  40. Petréa Mitchell said:

    “Here’s a wacky thought: I wonder how “volume” applies to comic strips?

    I bet Prince Valiant has managed to top 240,000 words– at nearly 80 years, assuming it’s never missed a week, it would need to average a bit less than 60 words per installment, and it does far more than that these days, at least.”

    For that matter how about The Avengers, The X-Men, The Justice League, etc? 240K words would be a drop in the bucket for series such as these.

    Who knows Stan Lee could show up to Worldcon and possibly take home a rocket!

  41. @JJ: I don’t follow your reasoning. All of the graphic novels that have been nominated are individual volumes, not the series itself; Girl Genius volumes 8, 9, and 10 won Hugos in 2009, 2010, and 2011 respectively (after which, Phil announced he was turning down future nominations — I forget whether it was 1 year, N years, or unlimited). This is the same situation as the Barrayar and Chalion series; individual members of both have won Hugos, but none has been nominated for a series Hugo since the award didn’t exist.

    And why do you assume that it would take a recognizable subgroup to get GG on the ballot? Its free distribution on the net could give it at least as many eligible-to-nominate readers as any of the print series listed above; a Puppy-style campaign seems unnecessary.

    @Andrew M: I’ve seen a GG novel go by, but haven’t looked inside to estimate wordcount; given the hole I showed, I don’t see how Helsinki could rule out the combination if the graphics don’t have enough text by themselves. However, I don’t think the novels are needed; the graphic has been running 3 days a week since late 2002, which means that by the close of 2016 an average of <110 words per page would put it over the minimum — and a check of several recent pages shows an average way above that. (1 page of ~50, 1 ~100, several ~150 and 1 ~200). (That’s counting only the text shown in the graphics; a script could run twice that.)

  42. We don’t compete Graphic Story and Novel now; if people want to have a Best Graphic Story Series, it should be separate from a Best (non-graphic fiction) Series IMHO.

    @Maresca: I’m with @Sean Kirk; they would be quite valid to nominate now. The ways things can be considered a series (plot, setting, etc.) include various things, but don’t require all of them, IMHO anyway. They may make more sense as two separate series for this exercise, but it’s reasonable to say they’re one larger series. There are other series/subseries things that some could consider as a whole, and others would consider as separate series.

  43. Chip Hitchcock: And why do you assume that it would take a recognizable subgroup to get GG on the ballot? Its free distribution on the net could give it at least as many eligible-to-nominate readers as any of the print series listed above; a Puppy-style campaign seems unnecessary.

    Because I’m pretty sure that there are a whole lot of people like me who would say “OH HELL NO” if someone tried to drum up nominating support for a graphic novel series or a cartoon series in the Best Series Hugo category. And I’d be No Awarding any graphic novel or cartoon series that actually made it onto the ballot in the Best Series category.

  44. The creators of Girl Genius only intended to recuse themselves for one year, but (for whatever reason) they haven’t made the shortlist since.

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