May 28th, 2016


The 1980 Hugo Awards, revisited

The earliest Hugos for which I have been able to find full voting numbers are the 1980 Hugo awards given at Noreascon Two.  The details were release in December 1980, some months after the convention was over, and are available in a seven-page PDF here (the last two pages of the scan are in the wrong order).

563 nomination votes were received, which was a record at the time but was exceeded four times in the rest of the 1980s.  (See George Flynn's records.)  Nominations seem to have then dipped again until the recent rise.

The 1788 votes for the final ballot were also a record at the time, and a record which as far as I can tell stood for over thirty years until 2100 voted for the 2011 Hugos at Renovation.

(Incidentally I find it fascinating that participation in Site Selection was well ahead of the Hugos for most of the 1980s and 1990s, peaking at 2509 in 1992, a tight-fought campaign between the eventual 1995 Intersection in Glasgow and a rival bid from Atlanta.)

The closest result in 1980 was for the Gandalf Grand Master Award for life achievement in fantasy writing, won by Ray Bradbury by a single vote,Collapse )

The next closest result was the Hugo for Best Novel, which went to Arthur C. Clarke's The Fountains of ParadiseCollapse )

For Best Novella, Barry B. Longyear's "Enemy Mine" won a clear victory,Collapse )

This was a year when three out of four fiction categories went to the same works for both Hugo and Nebula. "Sandkings", by a now-forgotten writer called George R.R. Martin, won Best NoveletteCollapse )

Martin (I do wonder what heppened to him?) won also for Best Short Story with "The Way of Cross and Dragon" Collapse )

This was the first time that the Hugo for Best Non-Fiction was awarded. It went to what we now know as the first edition of The Science Fiction Encyclopedia, by Peter Nicholls,Collapse )

Best Professional Editor went to George H. Scithers,Collapse )

Michael Whelan scored a solid victory for Best Professional ArtistCollapse )

The results for Best Dramatic Presentation include a couple of "What were they thinking?" moments.  Not as far as the winner goes - Alien is by most metrics not just the best known sf film from 1979, but the best known film of any genre from that year. Collapse )

Those were the days when Locus, edited by Charles N. Brown was eligible for Best Fanzine, and wonCollapse )

Bob Shaw, who by 1980 had published 15 sf novels and a short story collection, won Best Fan WriterCollapse )

Alexis Gilliland scored the first of four victories in Best Fan ArtistCollapse )

Finally (aren't you glad?) the John W. Campbell Award went to Barry B. Longyear, by a stunning margin:Collapse )

It's a shame that we don't have more of this early data available - presumably some of it is lurking in people's attics - but it's interesting that the one year we have featured unusually high turnout for the time, and allegations of campaigning. Apart from 1980, the only twentieth-century nomination statistics I've seen are from 1984, 1994 and 1998; since 2000 the records seem fairly complete though. Let's hope to do a better job of keeping track for the analysts of the 2040s.

Saturday reading

Watership Down, by Richard Adams (a chapter a week)
The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas
The Unicorn Hunt, by Dorothy Dunnett
Selected Stories, by Alice Munro

Last books finished
Quantico by Greg Bear
The Last Man, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Chroniques de Fin de Siècle 3: Chooz, by Santi-Bucquoy
Not the Chilcot Report, by Peter Oborne

Next books
Peter & Max, by Bill Willingham
The Hidden War, by Michael Armstrong
Short Trips: 2040, ed. John Binns

Books acquired in last week
Bételgeuse v5: L'Autre, by Leo
Seveneves, by Neal Stephenson
The Builders, by Daniel Polanski
Perfect State, by Brandon Sanderson
Slow Bullets, by Alastair Reynolds
There Will Be War vol X, ed. Jerry Pournelle
Space Raptor Butt Invasion, by Chuck Tingle
SJWs Always Lie, by Vox Day
Between Light and Shadow, by Marc Aramini
Nethereal, by Brian Niemeyer
Traitor's Blade, by Sebastien de Castell
Not the Chilcot Report, by Peter Oborne