Hugo Lessons

The Hugos are over and awarded, which means LoneStarCon has posted the numbers behind the nominating and voting processes. Looking through them, a few things stand out to me:

1) I don’t get Hugo voters, or they don’t get me

I had my picks in three categories: novel, dramatic long, and dramatic short. My #1 picks in all three of those categories ended up in last place, either fifth or tied for fourth. Further, in both categories where I sorted the entire field, my #5 pick came in second. So clearly my taste in science fiction differs significantly from the broader Hugo electorate.

2) People vote for the movies they’ve seen

Here are the five Hugo nominees for dramatic presentation long form sorted by box office take:

  1. The Avengers
  2. The Hobbit
  3. Hunger Games
  4. Looper
  5. Cabin in the Woods

Here are the results of the voting:

  1. The Avengers
  2. The Hobbit
  3. Hunger Games
  4. Looper
  5. Cabin in the Woods

I’m not surprised that people vote for the movies that they see, but I was a little surprised to see that the two lists matched exactly. I guess I expected that Hugo voters were more likely than the general public to have seen all five.

3) People submitting nominations don’t know what to do with short movies

Chronicle ended up causing some problems with those filling out nominating ballots. The movie is 85 minutes long, thus it is eligible in the Short Form category. However, people think of the categories not as long and short, but movies and everything else. Thus Chronicle ended up on 35 nominating ballots as a long form, 22 short form. Now, add those together (which you can’t do) and it doesn’t even come close to the ballot cutoff, but I think it drives home the need for more clarification in these categories. I understand some attempt was made to change the dramatic presentation categories, but by adding “super short form” for presentations under 15 minutes.

4) It’s VorPAtril, not VORpÉ™tril

I’ve been saying it wrong this whole time.

5) Kill your darlings

Alright, look, the dramatic presentations went to Joss Whedon and George RR Martin. I don’t know what other lesson to take away from that other than…kill everyone.

6) I want a ballot

It doesn’t take much to get one. Now that Worldcon 2015 has been awarded to Spokane, I’m going to keep an eye out for when supporting memberships go on sale, which should get me Hugo nominating and voting rights for the next three Worldcons. Including the 1939 Retro Hugos announced for next year.


  1. avatar

    #1 by Melissa on September 7, 2013 - 10:24 am

    Just a comment on the Vorpatril pronunciation issue–think of it like VonTrapp or VanGogh or de la Croix or such. It’s the “of the house of” helper part of the name, not the important part.

    • avatar

      #2 by DLThurston on September 7, 2013 - 10:47 am

      They even make that clear in the book, and I still carried right on with VORpətril

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