Yleinen

Who Decides The Best SF/F Novels?

01.07.2015, noahward

A recent Sad Puppies related discussion lead to the topic of how well the Goodreads Choice Awards match up with the Hugo nominations. Thus I decided to actually find out, and therefore compiled a list of the works that had appeared on both awards. On this list I added mentions how well the Hugo nominated works had fared on their respective categories on the Goodreads Choice Award, and in addition I also marked up which work had actually won the Hugo Award. Additionally, what stood out was the number of actual votes in the Goodreads Choice Awards.

In other words, the result I discovered was that when the number of votes exploded in favour of Goodreads Choice Awards; the works that were nominated in Hugo awards were often ranked low on the Goodreads’ list, with an annual exception of a single highly ranked work among the Hugo nominations. These exceptions were in order of appearance: A Dance with Dragons, Redshirts (Won Hugo), A Memory of Light (Wheel of Time), and more recently Skin Game.

You can read the summaries at the end of this post.

 

This brings us back to discussion I had earlier.

– “Do you think these facts agree with the Puppy narrative about the Hugos being out of touch with fans?

A bigger sample will have greater probability of accurately reflecting the whole population. Therefore, in the case of voting for the best novel, the more voters participate in a vote the more credible the result becomes.

Hence the results produced by the last four years of Goodreads Choice Awards imply that the Hugo awards might not the best indication for what the fans consider as the best Fantasy or Science Fiction. Which in turn would suggest that the ‘Puppy narrative’ would posses a kernel of truth when it comes to Hugos being out of touch with the fans of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Yet another kernel to be placed into the sack.

Nevertheless, I cannot say that the Puppies have had a noticeable effect on the actual nomination results themselves. Just like the three years prior; the Hugo ballot is still filled by the same number of appearances from the Goodreads list, and we have that one highly ranked work while the rest come from somewhere nearer to the bottom end of the list.

Thus what I am looking forward to is next year’s Hugo Awards. If the Puppies have achieved something this year, it is an increase in the Worldcon membership. Which means that next year we might see a much larger group of people casting their votes to nominate what they consider to be the best works in Science Fiction and Fantasy. Who would oppose better representation of the tastes and preferences of fans?

 

 

 

 

Goodreads (2009) & Hugo (2010):

  • – The City & the City (6th in fantasy) (Won Hugo)
  • – Wake (4th in science fiction)
  • – The Windup Girl (6th in science fiction) (Won Hugo)
  • – Julian Comstock A Story of 22nd-Century America (9th in science fiction)

Goodreads had 1016 votes cast in Fantasy, and 856 votes cast in Science Fiction.

4/6 of Hugo nominees were found on Goodreads.

 

Goodreads (2010) & Hugo (2011):

  • – The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (4th in Fantasy)
  • – Feed (1st in Science Fiction)
  • – Blackout (2nd in Science Fiction) (Won Hugo)

3/5 of Hugo nominees were found on Goodreads.

Goodreads had 4,559 votes cast in Fantasy, and 3,647 votes cast in Science Fiction.

 

Goodreads (2011) & Hugo (2012):

  • – A Dance with Dragons (1st in Fantasy)
  • – Among Others (12th in Fantasy) (Won Hugo)
  • – Embassy Town (7th in Science Fiction)
  • – Leviathan Wakes (10th in Science Fiction)

4/5 of Hugo nominees were found on Goodreads.

Goodreads had 36,884 votes cast in Fantasy, 5,849 votes cast in Paranormal Fantasy, and 4,429 votes cast in Science Fiction.

 

Goodreads (2012) & Hugo (2013):

  • – Throne of the Crescent Moon (14th in Fantasy)
  • – Redshirts (3rd in Science Fiction) (Won Hugo)
  • – 2312 (17th in Science Fiction)
  • – Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance (18th in Science Fiction)

4/5 of Hugo nominees were found on Goodreads.

Goodreads had 47,647 votes cast in Fantasy, 68,672 votes cast in Paranormal Fantasy, and 42,683 votes cast in Science Fiction.

 

Goodreads (2013) & Hugo (2014):

  • – A Memory of Light (Wheel of Time) (2nd in Fantasy)
  • – Ancillary Justice (20th in Science Fiction) (Won Hugo)

2/5 of Hugo nominees were found on Goodreads.

Goodreads had 119,222 votes cast in Fantasy, 108,739 votes cast in Paranormal Fantasy, and 75,642 votes cast in Science Fiction.

 

 

 

Goodreads (2014) & Hugo (2015):

  • – Skin Game (3rd in Fantasy)
  • – The Goblin Emperor (16th in Fantasy)
  • – Ancillary Sword (12th in Science fiction)
  • – Lines of Departure (20th in Science Fiction) (Withdrawn)

4/5 of Hugo nominees were found on Goodreads.

Goodreads had 233,644 votes cast in Fantasy, and 146,367 votes cast in Science Fiction.

 

 

The information was gathered from these sources:

http://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-books-2009

http://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-books-2010

http://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-books-2011

http://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-books-2012

http://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-books-2013

http://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-books-2014

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_Award_for_Best_Novel

 


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