Okay, so the Hugo Award winners were announced, and there’ve been a few questions of what I’d have to say about it. So here we go. My response?


Yeah, that’s pretty much it. There seem to be a lot of news outlets saying how shocked and surprised they are that Jemisin took the first ever triple-crown … but she said she was going to do that three years ago when her first book won. As did her publisher, and her friends … In fact, most of the comments I saw from last years Hugo Awards were of the vein of ‘something else better not win, because Jemisin deserves this!’ Same for this year, though it was more of a ‘How could anything else win? Jemisin is going to have the triple!’

So my response to this year’s winners is “And?” Or maybe “So?”

No one is surprised by this list of winners. The triple-crown has been talked about for three years now. It’d be kind of like if all the Oscar or Academy Awards panels started talking about a film that none of them had seen yet, but already expected to win three years out. And kept talking about how it would win. And then it wins. Would anyone be shocked?

Yeah. Same here. So my response. “And?” Did anyone expect any different? No. Did anyone expect any surprise? No. This was declared by the Hugo crowd three years ago. And since no one votes for the Hugo’s but that tight little Hugo clique … big woof. Congrats and all that. This is like that old 80s-90s bit about the High School cheerleading group being in charge of the yearbook and making it … about the cheerleading group. No one is surprised.

But … if one really wants to know what else I think of the Hugo’s still being around, well, there is one thing worth noting: the number of votes.

See, the Hugos released their voting stats, which you can look at right here. And, now that the Hugo Awards have gone back to “their roots” so-to-speak, or as GRRM put it, to the people that matter (not the plebians of fantasy and Sci-Fi), the numbers of active participants are … well, exactly what you expect from an award that told everyone who wasn’t part of their little special clique to butt out: tiny.

Two-thousand voters. Yikes. And to think that just a few years ago, before GRRM eloquently made the point that the Hugo Award was not for the normal folks, but for the elite, those who could afford to attend every year and meet the stringent requirements of membership, they were getting over 10,000 voters. That’s quite the exodus.

Interestingly enough, in that same comment chain (again, which has since been wiped from the internet, and some of which can only be found through the wayback machine) that he was fully in support of those who didn’t like the Hugo’s elitism going elsewhere and finding a more ‘for the people’ award.

Interesting how quickly that tune changed when the Dragon Awards became a real thing and aimed to do exactly that. Maybe it’s because in that same statement he declared that he’d probably win it because a people’s award would obviously choose the same as the Hugos.

Well, that sure didn’t pan out.

Again, though, for me this just comes back to: And? It happened like most rational people guessed. The Hugo’s slammed their doors, declared that not all were welcome, that they were a special award for a special class of people (particularly, from GRRM’s comments, those with money to spare and a specific mindset), and that was that.

And the rest of the world said “Okay, that’s your prerogative. You have the freedom to do that.” Just … don’t expect the masses you so rudely showed the door to come crawling back in awe when the circle of friends goes “look what we did!” You can’t have it both ways. You can’t not have them there to participate, but have them there to shower you in accolades. That kind of activity went out with High School (and amusingly enough, is actually dying out in high-schools as well these days, if teens are to be believed).

You got your award, you got your tight-knit little group. You kicked everyone else who wanted to be part of it to the curb. You don’t get to then act like they’re all there after the award they were told not to participate in is awarded. None of them are.

The world’s moved on from the Hugos. They cater to their very specific, small crowd. And good for them. But they can’t pretend to represent anyone else. They’re a small crowd. That’s probably why the librarians and readers I know are so nonplussed with the Hugos: They’re not for them. They’re for the Hugo crowd, that little clump of 2300 voters who want to believe they are the world.

So yeah. And? They assigned an award they already declared as winner three years ago. Okay? And?

I’m going to go back to writing and reading stuff now. They can slap their sticker on the cover and hope it does something. For those who are already ensconced in Sci-Fi and Fantasy, it’s not going to do much. For those new to the genre, it does have a high chance of turning away new readers unless that reader happens to be of the specific audience the Hugo Award writes to. Which is a pretty small margin, given those voting numbers. Author Earnings puts the sales of Sci-Fi and Fantasy books in 2017 at around 27,000,000. Even if that’s taken up by readers buying five books apiece, that’d still be 5,000,000 fans of Sci-Fi and Fantasy. And we know the number isn’t that low, given the boom of Sci-Fi and Fantasy in just about every medium.

So yeah, narrow, tiny little group. And the one they wanted to win their award won it. So yeah … and? Pretty much forgone three years ago, when they announced it would happen. Old news.

Anyway, I’ve got writing to do. Books don’t write themselves!


EDIT: As a friend of mine just put it: “You can’t be independent of everyone, and then claim to be relevant to everyone. Either you effect each other or you don’t.”

15 thoughts on “And?

    • Hahaha! Are you kidding!? I’m totally putting this up. Why? Because your reading comprehension is SO BAD that you’ve brought evidence of what I’ve said.

      Look at your graph, kiddo. The Hugo Awards were in a decline. Puppies occur, and voters spike.

      Then what happens? “Everyone who’s not part of the special crowd is not welcome!” Numbers drop like a rock. And keep dropping.

      We HAVE this year’s numbers. They’re linked above, direct from the Hugos (Unless, of course, they’re part of the “conspiracy”). There were below 2000 voters across all categories. So that DOWNWARD LINE (which, if you know how to read a graph, means the numbers are getting smaller) dropped about 50% from last year.

      Why on Earth would I NOT let your comment go up? It’s a gold-mine of self-delusion and actually shows contrary to what you claim!

      Unless, of course, you stand on your head. Then it looks great.


      • Wow. Didn’t anyone ever teach you how to read graphs?

        Reality check: the Hugo numbers were pretty much stagnant from 2000-2008. They then started RISING — well before the puppies came to town. The RISE then continued in a fairly steady trajectory until the puppy years. The numbers then jumped up as sff fans rallied to squash the pup attacks — and now that the pups have given up and run home with their tails between their legs, those numbers are gradually returning to the old RISING trend line that was established before the pups.

        You’re trying to take one year in isolation while ignoring all the years that came before it. Welcome to reality. 😉

        Reading. It’s fundamental.


      • Sorry, I’m posting from my phone and I missed this part:

        “There were below 2000 voters across all categories”

        Actually, in 2018 there were 2848 final ballots cast. That’s about 1000 ballots MORE than the year before the puppies started their scamming attempts.

        Welcome to reality.


            • @Max—

              ROFL .

              This isn’t Orwell, Max. 2828 is still a much larger number than 1848, which was the final ballot count in 2013.

              Keep trying. But do try to find at least one or two facts to support your claims first.


            • Good golly, are you Donald Trump? This is ridiculous.

              You DO realize that the Sad Puppies started in 2013, don’t you? That was the first year. Which means that the first year they got started had a vote of … can you do the math? 1848. Which is smaller than 2000.

              I know, that was very difficult. For the record, the year before that was a total of 1922, which is also below 2000.

              Don’t you ever get tired of lying and yelling “fake news?”

              I’ll do a bit more math, since you seem on the slow side (and like to skip steps and ignore things). Voting at the peak of puppy involvement, from your own source, was 5950. In 2015.

              2016 was 3130.

              2017 saw a small spike to 3319 …

              … and 2018 saw 2336.

              Hmm … that’s a pretty steep fall. In fact, if we went by your numbers, that’d still prove you loony, since 2336 is smaller than 2800.



            • @Max —

              Predictably, you are still confused. No surprise there.

              First — 2013 wasn’t a real campaign, and failed to even get Correia’s book on the ballot. The real puppy pushes didn’t come til the next year. But, of course, we can look back to 2012 if you really want to — the same pattern still holds.

              Second, you keep getting your numbers confused. 1848 is the final ballot total from **2013**. 2828 is the final ballot total from **2018**. Which neatly contradicts your claim that Hugo voting is declining over all. In fact, it is INCREASING over time. In fact, Hugo final ballot totals in 2018 were 67% HIGHER than in 2012.

              Keep trying.


            • Well, I tried. Now you get to be “Example A” of “Look at this guy.” You’ve got justifications, sidestepping, even disassociation running rampant.

              At this point, the only logical conclusion is that you’re trolling. In fact, just showed this to a third party, and they suggested the same thing. Trolling.

              Either way, I have better things to do, but thanks for the laughs and reminders that someone like Trump really is representing the US, if you are anything up go by, sad as that may be.


            • Oh, and PS — nice attempt at gaslighting. 😉

              From your original post:

              “Two-thousand voters. Yikes”

              No, Max not 2000. And not 2300. The actual number of final ballots this year was 2828.

              “And to think that just a few years ago,… they were getting over 10,000 voters. “

              No, Max, the Hugos have NEVER gotten 10,000 voters. As you yourself have finally admitted, the highest count was actually less than 6000.

              “That’s quite the exodus”.

              As I clearly pointed out several posts ago, the puppy attacks inspired a big turnout of sff fans who very successfully ran those pups off the field. And now that the troops are no longer so badly needed, voting levels are gradually returning to the “normal” trends from before the puppies’ time.

              Keep trying.


  1. Of the six finalists for best novel, five were female. Of the six finalists for best novella, five were female. Of the six finalists for best novelette, five were female. Of the six finalists for best short story, five were female. Of the six finalists for best pro editor, well…all six were female.

    The award is now officially the Hugoette.


  2. “Two-thousand voters. Yikes. ”

    Alan reminded me of this old post when his comment showed up in my email just now.

    Last years’ voting total for the final ballots was 2828. This years’ is 3079. It looks like the post-puppy “normal” may be stabilizing somewhere around 3000 ballots, which will be roughly 1000 above the highest pre-puppy numbers.

    Not a bad result, over all.


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