Poll Result: The Top Awards in SFF

In last week’s poll (“Which of These Are the Top 5 Awards in SFF?”) I invited File 770 readers to tell me which of the field’s awards mean the most to them. Ninety-two participants here and on Facebook picked up to six from a list of 31 suggested awards (write-ins were also accepted).  

The Hugo and Nebula Awards proved near-unanimous choices. The World Fantasy Awards and Locus Awards were named by almost three-quarters of the voters. And BSFA Awards, James Tiptree Jr. Award, and Arthur C. Clarke Award were the next three awards with the greatest support.

Here for your entertainment is the complete list. (Apologies for a little formatting problem I was unable to overcome.)


  1. Hugo Awards (91)
  2. Nebula Awards (SFWA) (90)
  3. World Fantasy Award (72)
  4. Locus Awards (63)
  5. BSFA Awards (British Science Fiction Assocation) (37)
  6. James Tiptree Jr. Award (34)
  7. Arthur C. Clarke Award (33)
  8. Philip K. Dick Award (18)
  9. Bram Stoker Awards (Horror Writers Association) (16)
  10. John W. Campbell Memorial Award  (13)
  11. Chesley Awards (ASFA) (9)
  12. British Fantasy Awards (BFS) (7)
  13. Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award (7)
  14. Eisner Awards (3)
  15. Seiun Awards (3)
  16. Aurora Awards (2)
  17. Dragon Awards (2)
  18. Edward E. Smith Memorial Award for Imaginative Fiction (the Skylark) (2)
  19. The Kitschies (2)
  20. Shirley Jackson Award (2)

Also receiving votes:

  • Angouleme Award (1)
  • Aurealis Awards (1)
  • Ditmar Awards (1)
  • Eugie Foster Award (1)
  • FAAn Awards (1)
  • Inkpot Award (1)
  • Mythopoeic Awards (1)
  • Robert A. Heinlein Award (BSFS) (1)
  • Sidewise Awards (1)
  • WSFA Small Press Award (1)

Listed awards receiving no votes:

  • Prometheus Awards (Libertarian Futurist Society)
  • Rhysling Award (SFPA)
  • Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards
  • Scribe Awards (IAMTW)
  • Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off
  • Writers of the Future / Illustrators of the Future Contest

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19 thoughts on “Poll Result: The Top Awards in SFF

  1. No Eurocon Awards.

    No Russian Federation Awards (Roskon, Aelita, Snails etc), no China Awards (Galaxy),… etc.

    The population covered by the nations represented above is a significant proportion of the planet and compares interestingly with the combined population of the nations listed in the post.

    What does this tell us about our community?

    (Just throwing it out there…)


  2. I’m somewhat surprised as someone from the UK to see the BSFA get more votes than the Clarke award. I’d always very much got the impression the latter was viewed as the more prestigious award at least over here.

  3. “What does this tell us about our community?”

    That more people in the community speaks english than russian or mandarin.

  4. SF2 Concatenation: That’s kind of a red herring. The common denominator is — people who read File 770, or at least are willing to vote in a poll I’m running. I don’t doubt that a poll taken by a Russian or Chinese sff website would have very different results.

  5. The results exactly match my preferences, including ones beyond 6. Some apologies to awards that pick good works but I haven’t noticed — but apparently I’m not the only one who hasn’t noticed. If you have a mechanism for picking good works, maybe there’s hope in promoting the award to greater prominence…although the top 5 here are a tough crew to compete with.

  6. Ed: I’m somewhat surprised as someone from the UK to see the BSFA get more votes than the Clarke award. I’d always very much got the impression the latter was viewed as the more prestigious award at least over here.

    The Clarke shortlist is always a bit of an oddity. Though there’s usually a fair bit of overlap between the Clarke shortlist and the BSFA shortlist, in most years the Clarke shortlist almost always has a couple of what I consider to be duds.

  7. I missed the voting, but I’m surprised the Mythopoeic Awards only got one vote. They would’ve had another one if I’d gotten organized. I think they’re interesting, at least.

  8. @Ed: the Clarkes may not have been helped by recent furors; I’d also guess (my study of statistics being several decades back) that the difference between the two awards’ numbers is insignificant given the sample size and the gap between both of them and the top items.
    I am a bit surprised, given what I’ve seen of slamming of Wiscon here, that the Tiptrees ranked so high; I’m also surprised because they are so clearly specialized, valuing one characteristic over others (not unlike what I’ve heard about the Prometheus award). There was a panel about the Tiptrees at one of the early-this-decade Wiscons; I remember the person who claimed to have read more of the shortlist than anyone else (~70 items) also saying that she found a number of them unreadable.

  9. @Mike Glyer: Thanks for doing this! I was curious to see the results. 🙂

  10. There’s a lot of good stuff on the Tiptree list. Of course not everyone will like all of them; that’s true of every list.

    I’m heading to WisCon next week and am hardly a basher, being on the concom myself, but I feel I should clarify that WisCon doesn’t present the Tiptrees. They are usually presented at WisCon, however, and there is a long shared history. But the Tiptree organization is separate.

  11. @Chip

    Oh sure, it’s very much at most proved that there’s a clear top 2, two more following not that far behind and then a group of 3, being the BSFA, Tiptree and Clarke, behind those. The gap between those three is likely not statistically significant and on another day any of them could have grabbed the 5th spot.

    The surprise was that in my mental image I’d of expected the Clarke to be up with the World Fantasy and Locus awards, obviously not the Hugo or Nebula but the next rung down whereas I’d have been assuming the BSFA was rather more parochial in terms of it’s audience.

    It’s obviously tends towards a different type of book in the main than some of the others but that’s why I’ve always enjoyed the shortlist. It tends to celebrate a different stream of SFF than the big two which is valuable in and of itself.

  12. @Chip—

    I think you’re misremembering that Tiptree panel (which I was on) re “unreadable.” My own recollection is that the strongest thing she said against any book is that she wouldn’t have included it on the list herself. She was certainly pleased with the vast majority of the books on the list.

  13. Thanks for the overwhelming support given the Science Fiction Chronicle Reader Awards, not presented since, uh, maybe 20 years ago?

    Then there were the awards SFC gave for the appearance of SF pros, including “Best Buns”. Not gonna go there nowadays…

  14. Andrew Porter: Of course they’re remembered, I actually won SFC awards — but when it came to bunning, I was never in the running.

  15. “SF2 Concatenation: That’s kind of a red herring….”

    Well, tongue was slightly in cheek.

    But the poll was for top awards in SFF and not for top English-speaking SFF Awards.

    In an age where we are tying to be more diverse accept, make Worldcons more international etc, felt it was a point worth making. Also checking non-English language SFF Awards helps see who is doing what where, whom to check out when at foreign SF cons, and even for English speaking editors get an idea as to what books may be worth getting translated….

    Hope this explains.

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