7 thoughts on “Marissa Lingen Says Smart Things About Nominating and Voting on Books

  1. Nicely said. I think I’ve finally gotten to the point where I can rank Hugo nominees the way I liked them and not worry about how other fans who might have “better” taste than me ranked them. After I voted this year, I discovered one of the novels I couldn’t stand was rated very high by others in their voting. Well, c’est la vie—we’ll see whose favorites came out on top.

  2. For this year’s voting I know my tastes don’t match the typical voter, I probably read a hundred or so short stories last year, and none of the nominees would have been in my top 50. One of the nominees quite possibly is the least favorite thing I read all year. On the other hand I liked most of the novellas and would have nominated two of them. On the novels only Dervish House did I really not care for, with the Willis books getting an incomplete as I simply didn’t have time to finish them before the voting deadline. Mainly because the publisher initially only provided half the work, and in the end chose to provide it in the least convenient format to actually read. I suspect though, had I had time to finish them, they would only have moved in front of Dervish House, based on her previous work. But since I didn’t, they’re not on my ballot.

    So I guess I’m on board with what she said, it’s basically what I did.

  3. The Hugo ballot offers a “No Award” option. This I think should only be used by people who have read or attempted to read all the nominations, otherwise you are saying “This book is not good enough for an award because I have not read it”, which is clearly unfair on the author. If however you think best semi-prozine is a stupid category it might be acceptable to vote no award.

    Also I remind people it is possible to list nominations below your no award vote, though very few people seem to do it. This does not increase the probability of an award being made, but can make a difference. Once my order of the last two nominees, both rated below no award, made the difference between a two vote win and a tie.

  4. An interesting set of thoughts, but I contested one point. Since I don’t read a lot of short fiction, I populated my nominations with several stories picked solely on the basis of author or title, in addition to those stories I did read and liked. At least two of the stories I nominated unread not only made the final ballot, but wound up as my #1 choices in their respective categories. So technically I broke a rule, but the result was a win for me as a reader!

  5. When I voted on the NPR poll last week, I was incredibly confused by the comments about how people didn’t think anyone should vote on the poll unless they’d read every single work listed. (And the obligatory commenter who had to note that it’s never ever EVER “sci-fi”, it’s SF if you’re “serious” about it.)

    Or, you know, I could do what I did, which is vote for my top 10 favorites that I’ve read.

    Haven’t ever voted on Hugos (yet), but the same rules should apply. Nominate/vote for what you’ve read and liked. I didn’t realize this was so difficult.

  6. If the IDEA of the novel isn’t intriguing enough for you to have read it, you are qualified to not vote it as one of your favorites. I had no problem voting in the NPR poll when I had only read half the books on the list. Well, I did have a problem, but it was in choosing only 10 because the half I had read were mostly the very best of the best I have read.

  7. For Hugo nominating, I nominated what I had read that I thought deserved a win. Once the nominees came out, I read the nominated novels-through-short stories before voting for the Hugos. Some of the work, I had read before the voters packet arrived. One very highly regarded novel turned out to be something I just couldn’t get through. I would pick it up, put it down, and find myself reading almost anything else. Lather, rinse, repeat. I won’t cry if it wins- I could see the quality, but just couldn’t get engaged.

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