Post-Voting Hugo Thoughts
Posted on July 8, 2008 Posted by John Scalzi 23 Comments
Well, that was quick. From e-mail:
Voting for the Hugos is over, so now you can tell us: Do you think you’ll win?
Honestly? Nah. I mean, I could win, either for Best Novel or Best Fan Writer, and I’d be happy either way. Awards are fun, and it’s nice to stand on stage and have people applaud in your general direction. I have an ego; it likes to be gratified. Please feel free to do so. Also, you know: I think The Last Colony is pretty good, and I think I’m an excellent representative of a genre fanboy. Both are reasonable choices for a Hugo. At the same time, I’m not stupid or delusional, nor will I just die if I don’t win. I have what I think is a reasonably good estimation of my chances among the respective field of nominees in each category I’m nominated in. My expectation: Eh. Entirely possible I could win, but best not to clear off space on the mantelpiece just yet.
My position on it all is that I like being nominated. It’s nice to have written a book and have science fiction fandom say that it’s one of the five best examples of the genre that year; it’s nice to have people look at what I’m doing here at Whatever and say, hey, that’s some good fandom. I like being in the company of Charlie Stross and Robert J Sawyer and Michael Chabon and Ian McDonald, and in the company of Chris Garcia and Steven Silver and Cheryl Morgan and Dave Langford. One could do worse. It’s fun, and you get to feel pretty for a few months, and then it goes away and hopefully you’ve enjoyed it. Ruining that enjoyment through undue neurosis about winning the thing seems silly.
So, ya mean we can’t expect you to go all Kanye at the ceremony?
You need a genre reference, a la Star Wars… “New strategy: let the Wookie win.”
Also, a quick note to folks: feel free to discuss the Hugos if you want, but comments that snark or insult any of my fellow nominees in either category will feel the Hammer of Deletion lovingly applied to them.
I like the cut of your jib, John Scalzi.
It’s the only jib I got!
I expect that you or Cheryl will have the best chance of beating Dave out of the five of us. And probably the first time in long time multiple nominees have had a chance of beating Dave. That said, I see Dave continuing his streak.
As for the novel, I have a feeling it will go to the Chabon, which would give him a sweep of the Nebulas, Locus, and Hugos.
Well, my pal Sam said you were his pick for novel.
Then I shall win!
More seriously, the picks I’ve seen reported online are all over the board; one book that’s at the top of one list is at the bottom of another, and all the books swap places in the list depending on who is voting. Unlike Steven a couple of posts up, I don’t think there’s a genuine front runner this year for novel. Which makes things exciting.
Don’t fret John (not that you’re doing much fretting). It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. You do consistently good work and show no signs slowing your output. You’ll pick up all of the major awards within a few years.
re: fan award, Whatever is my major source for what’s new in SF and I’m sure I’m far from the only one. The constant flow of free books and authors willing to talk to you are a strong sign that your influence is seen as a positive.
All the stuff on the ballot that I’ve read so far is superb; whoever wins will be a good choice.
As long as you post a pic of you holding the trophy if you win, it’s all good.
See, that’s showing how good an author you are that nobody suspects you’re actually manically refreshing the vote-tally every seven seconds, palm-sweat spattering your keyboard and dripping over the edge of the desk muttering about crushing all who oppose you.
But the wool’s not over my eyes, no sir! Nobody who could write the EULA for a BrainPal’s as mature as you’re makin’ out to be, no how no way…..
(This post contains 65% of your RDA of budget-grade humour substitute)
OT on the site graphic re-design:
Should we take it that you now have all your ducks in a row?
The Novella nominees create as strong a category as I’ve seen in the past decade. They’re all excellent and Kress, Wolfe, Willis, Rusch and Shepard are nominated. Generally at least one entrant may well be good but you have that “I probably would not have nominated it” reaction. Not here.
Novella nominees historically have tended to be of very high quality. That’s interesting considering how little is published at this length each year.
I agree with Stan@9. I don’t think this will be the only time you are nominated. If you don’t win this time, you’ll win eventually.
Rodney @ 13: We should take the picture as a subtle hint that he is collecting rubber duckies and needs to amass the largest collection in Ohio. By the end of the month.
I know the feeling. “Good enough to win” doesn’t mean you will win— it just means you feel annoyed if someone who clearly isn’t as good wins instead of you. Obviously, that is not the problem here, so you CAN feel good about just getting nominated. (And making the texts available— that’s nice.)
I don’t think there’s a genuine front runner this year for novel. Which makes things exciting.
I know who won the Hugos and you don’t.
Give it time, Mary Kay. Give it time. I’ll know too, in, oh, exactly a month.
I don’t try to game it out, but when there’s a deeply divided vote for the top spot, the down-ballot choices can have some interesting effects. Simplistically speaking, one can win without a lot of first-place votes if you’re everyone’s second choice. I struggled in making out my own ballot with “hit the closer target dead on” vs. “aimed at the furthest target and narrowly missed.”
I agree that the novella category was very strong; it was the only fiction category where I didn’t feel a need to go to “no award” before running out of nominees.
If I hadn’t already known how much people’s tastes in books varied, the generally positive reaction to the Chabon (vs. my complete failure to connect with it) would have driven the lesson home.
I feel lucky that I never have to worry about winning one of these things! You, on the other hand, will likely walk away with one this year (Fan Writer, since I’m pretty sure Mikey The Chab’s got Best Novel locked up) and will have to deal with what happens from there!
I’ll be there in Denver, mostly in the Fanzine Lounge, so stop by and we’ll chat. And if you don’t win, I’ll buy you a beverage of your choice (No mixed drinks or anything blue)
I think Chabon has a fine chance, but he’s not invincible (he didn’t win the Edgar this year, for example), and there is an excellent case to be made for all the contenders in Best Novel, particularly Charlie Stross, who I personally rank even with Chabon in terms of chances of walking away with the rocket. So don’t be awarding that Hugo just yet.
Likewise, I suspect there may be surprises in the fan writer category as well this year. This is why we actually have the voting, after all.
See you in Denver!