Winners of Three or More Consecutive Hugos in Same Category

N.K. Jemisin winning her third consecutive Best Novel Hugo is an extraordinary achievement. It’s something that’s never happened in that category before, and required a perfect conjunction of eligible novels, quality, and popularity. — In fact, I haven’t found another Hugo fiction category where it’s happened.

Prior to Jemisin’s hat trick, the most dominant run was Lois McMaster Bujold’s non-consecutive threesome, winning the Best Novel Hugo in 1991 and 1992, with a third in 1995.

There’s so much quality competition that winning consecutive fiction Hugos is far from easy. Harlan Ellison should be noted for claiming the Best Short Story category Hugos of 1966, 1968 and 1969. He joins many other two-in-a-row winners. I didn’t spot any more three-in-a-row streaks (let me know if I missed some!)

However, in other Hugo categories there have been many runs of consecutive wins throughout the history of the award.

Best Graphic Story:

  • (3) Girl Genius, written by Kaja Foglio & Phil Foglio, art by Phil Foglio (2009-2011)

Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form

  • (3) Doctor Who (2006-2008)
  • (3) Doctor Who (2010-2012)

Best Dramatic Presentation

  • (3) The Twilight Zone (1960-1962)

Best Professional Editor

  • (7) Gardner Dozois (1995-2001)
  • (6) Gardner Dozois (1988-1993)
  • (5) Ben Bova (1973-1977)
  • (3) Edward L. Ferman (1981-1983)

Best Professional Magazine

  • (4) Astounding, John W. Campbell, Jr. ed. (1953-1957)
  • (4) F&SF, Edward L. Ferman, ed. (1969-1972)
  • (3) If, Frederik Pohl, ed. (1966-1968)
  • (3) F&SF, var. editors (1958-1960)

Best Professional Artist

  • (7) Michael Whelan (1980-1986)
  • (5) Frank Kelly Freas (1972-1976)
  • (4) Bob Eggleton (1996-1999)
  • (4) Frank Kelly Freas (1955-1959)
  • (3) Ed Emshwiller (1960-1962)
  • (3) Jack Gaughan (1967-1969)

Best Semiprozine

  • (9) Locus (1984-1992)
  • (9) Locus (1996-2004)
  • (3) Locus (2006-2008)
  • (3) Uncanny (2016-2018)

Best Fanzine

  • (4) Locus, Charles N. Brown ed (1980-1983)
  • (3) Mimosa, Dick & Nicki Lynch, eds. (1992-1994)

Best Fan Writer

  • (19) Dave Langford (1989-2007)
  • (4) Richard E. Geis (1975-1978)

Best Fan Artist

  • (3) Brad W, Foster (1987-1989)
  • (3) Alexis Gilliand (1983-1985)
  • (3) Tim Kirk (1972-1974)

Conclusion: It all proves what Phil Foglio said in 1978 when withdrawing from the Best Fan Artist Hugo after his second straight win — “As hard as it is to win one of these, it’s even harder to stop.” As you can see, once fans decide they love a creator (or work) they keep right on loving them for a good long while.

Update 08/23/18: Management apologizes for its inability to count, and has corrected David Langford’s run total to 19. Update 08/25/18: Added The Twilight Zone’s three-peat.

36 thoughts on “Winners of Three or More Consecutive Hugos in Same Category

  1. I don’t know how much the publishing schedule differs from the actual writing schedule, but getting out three excellent books in three years without burning out or losing the plot is impressive of itself.

    I hadn’t realised that there’s a second threepeat this year – Uncanny. Also impressive in a category with some strong competition, albeit Clarkesworld and Lightspeed have now achieved pro status.

  2. Might also be interesting to see what the longest streak of winning in any fiction category. That is, winning Best Novel one year and Best Short Story the next would count as part of a streak.

  3. Re: In fact, I haven’t found another Hugo fiction category where it’s happened.

    Um… isn’t Graphic Story a fiction category?

  4. @Greg

    Eyeballing the fiction entries in this sfadb page turns up a few 3 year runs:

    Gaiman, Neil (9 nominations; 5 wins)
    2004: “A Study in Emerald” — short story — winner
    2003: Coraline — novella — winner
    2002: American Gods — novel — winner

    Swanwick, Michael (24 nominations; 5 wins)
    2004: “Legions in Time” — novelette — winner
    2003: “Slow Life” — novelette — winner
    2002: “The Dog Said Bow-Wow” — short story — winner

    Le Guin, Ursula K. (24 nominations; 7 wins)
    1975: The Dispossessed — novel — winner
    1974: “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” — short story — winner
    1973: “The Word for World is Forest” — novella — winner

    A couple of authors have 3-in-2:

    Willis, Connie (24 nominations; 11 wins)
    1994: “Death on the Nile” — short story — winner
    1993: Doomsday Book — novel — winner (tie)
    1993: “Even the Queen” — short story — winner

    Ellison, Harlan (26 nominations; 8
    1969: “The Beast that Shouted Love at the Heart of the World” — short story — winner
    1968: “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream” — short story — winner
    1968: Star Trek: “The City on the Edge of Forever” — dramatic presentation — winner

    And finally a couple of twofers (two Hugos in one year):

    Martin, George R. R. (19 nominations; 4 wins)
    1980: “Sandkings” — novelette — winner
    1980: “The Way of Cross and Dragon” — short story — winner

    Dickson, Gordon R. (7 nominations; 3 wins)
    1981: “Lost Dorsai” — novella — winner
    1981: “The Cloak and the Staff” — novelette — winner

    Lots of longer runs in the other categories, of course.

  5. How is 1989-2007 a run of 20 awards in a category rather than 19 (as I reported in another thread)? Inverse fencepost error?

    As noted in another thread by @Mark, Swanwick got Short Story in 2002 and Novelette in 2003 and 2004; @Mark’s report that Swanwick was the only previous person ever to three-peat over all of the fiction categories taken together seems plausible, and worthy of at least a Ruthian asterisk.

    wrt Foglio’s observation — I was there when Bova got his 4th and embarassedly pointed out that there were a number of other deserving candidates (although technically there were few — the idea that “Editor” should cover work on novels wasn’t even being suggested at the time). He did get next year’s, before leaving Analog for the initial (short) stint at Omni. It’s possible word of this and of Freas’s performance a few minutes later (~”I’ll keep taking these as long as you fools keep giving them out!”) contributed to Freas’s not getting another; I thought it was amusingly ironic that Rick Sternbach — who was recruited later that evening to play “O’Shaugnessy Slush, house artist for Zap-Gun Books”, in the first of the Rivets plays — won instead of Freas.

  6. How many times has an author won Best Novel in the Hugo, Nebula and Locus the same year, as N. K. Jemisin just did?

  7. @rcade

    Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice won all three of those awards (plus a couple more). Not sure if there are other examples.

  8. There are quite a few joint winners of Hugo, Nebula and Locus Awards, Connie
    Willis did it three times:

    Best Novel / SF Novel / Fantasy Novel:
    Niven, Ringworld
    Asimov, The Gods Themselves
    Clarke, Rendezvous with Rama
    Le Guin, The Dispossessed
    Haldeman, The Forever War
    Pohl, Gateway
    McIntyre, Dreamsnake
    Brin, Startide Rising
    Card, Speaker for the Dead
    Willis, Doomsday Book
    Gaiman, American Gods
    Bujold, Paladin of Souls
    Chabon, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union
    Bacigalupi, The Windup Girl (Locus Award for Best First Novel)
    Willis, Blackout / All Clear
    Leckie, Ancillary Justice (Locus Award for Best First Novel)
    Jemisin, The Stone Sky

    Best Novella:
    Robinson/Robinson, Stardance
    Varley, The Persistence of Vision
    Longyear, Enemy Mine
    Varley, PRESS ENTER
    McGuire, Every Heart a Doorway

    Best Novelette:
    Asimov, The Bicentennial Man
    Martin, Sandkings
    Butler, Bloodchild
    Chiang, Hell Is the Absence of God
    Link, The Faery Handbag

    Best Short Story:
    Ellison, Jeffty Is Five
    Simak, Grotto of the Dancing Dear
    Bisson, Bears Discover Fire
    Willis, Even the Queen
    El-Mohtar, Seasons of Glass and Iron

  9. DRL: “Even I couldn’t believe twenty straight wins! 1989-2007 inclusive gives 19, not 20.”

    Assuming you still keep them all on the mantlepiece in your front room, arithmetic can be confirmed by a quick count, too.

  10. Another impressive aspect of “The Stone Sky” winning is that it is pretty rare for later books in a series to win Best Novel. There are Bujold’s Vorkosigan books, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” and Asimov’s “Foundation’s Edge,” but it’s much more common for the first novel in a series to win Best Novel and the later ones not to, I think.

  11. Novel winners that were in series but not the first volume:
    (The Left Hand of Darkness)
    (The Dispossessed) – these are in parentheses because they were in-universe with other works by the same author, but didn’t share characters, so borderline for “in series”
    Speaker for the Dead
    (The Uplift War)
    The Vor Game
    Green Mars
    Blue Mars – this trilogy won for the second and third volumes but not the first….
    (To Say Nothing of the Dog)
    A Deepness in the Sky
    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
    Paladin of Souls
    (Blackout / All Clear)

  12. That nineteen straight wins is why I call Dave Langford’s collection of Hugos the picket fence, because he could practically build one with them. 🙂

  13. David Langford: Will correct! (I’m shattered, though, I really thought you’d made it 20.)

  14. Mark: Your comment is true, though I tried to make clear my stat is only about runs in the same category.

  15. Cassy B: I just gave up trying to find the perfect modifier for fiction to show I meant text-only. People will either agree that part of the conversation should be about text-only stories or they won’t. All sf is fiction — including movies and tv.

  16. I’d forgotten just how long @Dave Langford’s run was. Wow! Locus has more, but broken into three sets.

    @Cassy B.: Half-agreed that Graphic Story is a fiction category, since it’s kinda also an art category. 😉 But yeah, you’re right.

    @Mark (Kitteh): I’m amused that Swanwick’s and Gaiman’s 3-year-fiction-runs were for the same years. Also, interesting to see the 3-in-2 ones and twofers, thanks.

    @GiantPanda: Thanks for the info re. Hugo, Nebula, & Locus wins in the same year; that’s a lot more than I expected for novel. And I’ve only read half of those novels, though others are already in Mount TBR or already in my list to get. I haven’t read most of the short fiction items you listed, though.

    @David Goldfarb: “this trilogy won for the second and third volumes but not the first….” – Very unusual (well, it looks like, unique, but you know what I mean).

  17. @Mike

    Absolutely, I was just branching out to less-pure runs in response to Greg’s question.
    (I’m afraid you seem to have brought out our inner stat geekiness with this article!)

  18. @Kendall

    I hadn’t even noticed that Gaiman and Swanwick did their runs in the same years – do you think they coordinated? 😉

  19. In Best Dramatic Presentation, The Twilight Zone had a 3-year streak from 1960 to 1962.

  20. @David Langford won for the majority of my fannish career. And I’ve recently contributed a tiny item to “Ansible” so this list gives me warm fuzzies.

    The first Hugos I attended were in 1981, so I wasn’t at all surprised at people winning more than once, but was given to understand that Gordon Dickson (and his neon salmon pink jacket) had done a rare thing that year. I know I voted for “Lost Dorsai” (b/c it made me cry) but don’t remember the other… checks Hugo website aka The 24/7 Standlee Signal… nope, I went with Waldrop’s “Ugly Chickens” for making me laugh.

    Huh, I did pretty good picking winners that year. Better than this year, I think. The perils of being a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed youngster turned Olde Phart, and a MUCH larger field to draw from.

  21. I suspect the confusion over David Langford’s streak comes from his 2001 Short Story win – so 20 Hugos in total in the 19 year run.

  22. @Mark: I definitely need to floss my brain more — the Le Guin 3peat was sort-of-before my time (reading but not voting), but I was very much around for “F***! I won a Hugo!” and its followers (and remember the concom discussing how to handle Gaiman being host as well as nominee — I wasn’t 100% conscious at that point but IIRC he handled it very gracefully. And I should have suggested a Marisian asterisk rather than a Ruthian asterisk (which is a large fraction of what I know about baseball — yes, I tend to remember edge cases).

    @OGH: a fair point on being clear on same-category winners; Orbit is definitely up for it though, because they weren’t clear at all. People who manage words for a living should have standards for their own words….

  23. People on rec.arts.sf.written in the early 2000s used to joke about the Best Semiprozine and Best Fan Writer categories being really “Best Locus” and “Best David Langford”, respectively.

  24. @zwol: I used to hear those at either Worldcon or somewhere (else) on the ‘net, I forget where. 🙂

  25. @Peter J.
    Dave Langford’s Hugo total is actually 24. Besides the 19 Fan Writer and the one Short Story Hugos he’s won, he’s also won four times (for Ansible) in the Fanzine category: in 1995, 1996, 1999, and 2002.

  26. @GiantPanda: “There are quite a few joint winners of Hugo, Nebula and Locus Awards”

    In the Best Novella category we get to add: Wells, All Systems Red.

  27. Rich Lynch: @Peter J.
    Dave Langford’s Hugo total is actually 24. Besides the 19 Fan Writer and the one Short Story Hugos he’s won, he’s also won four times (for Ansible) in the Fanzine category: in 1995, 1996, 1999, and 2002.

    It’s 26. 19 Best Fan Writer. 6 for Ansible. And he coedited the Hugo-winning Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Third Edition.

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