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O frabjous day! Both the BSFA and the Kitschies have published their shortlists for this year's awards for SF. As I have done in previous years, here are the statistics for the number of owners, and the average rating, that each of the shortlisted novels has on LibraryThing and GoodReads.

First up, the BSFA, which has given us an unusually wide choice, eight novels due to a multiple tie for fourth place in the nominating process.

GoodreadsLibraryThing
ownersav ratingownersav rating
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, by Claire North75354.003374.07
Ancillary Sword, Anne Leckie43084.093174.16
Cuckoo Song, by Frances Hardinge3344.18534.27
Lagoon, by Nnedi Okorafor2683.72494.06
Wolves, by Simon Ings1013.37283.70
Europe in Autumn, Dave Hutchinson853.81363.64
The Moon King, by Neil Williamson403.50173.70
The Race, by Nina Allan164.4483.63

Apart from the fifth and sixth placed books, the order is consistent between the two systems, and it's also fairly clear that Harry August and Ancillary Sword have both wildly outsold the rest combined; though it may be worth noting that Cuckoo Song is more popular on both systems among those who have read it.

Last year, the BSFA Award had two winners, for the first time in its history. As the ratings stood on the day the shortlist was announced, Ancillary Justice was top on Goodreads and second on LibraryThing; Ack-Ack Macaque was third on GR and fourth, i.e. second last, on LT. These statistics may be a decent guide to what has already sold well, but only the vaguest of indications as to what will actually win.

A similar, if not stronger, warning applies to the Kitschies, where there are two shortlists to consider. The Red Tentacle, for best novel, consists of the following five books:

GoodreadsLibraryThing
ownersav ratingownersav rating
Grasshopper Jungle, by Andrew Smith51303.762313.73
The Peripheral, by William Gibson33604.043203.98
Lagoon, by Nnedi Okorafor2673.72494.06
The Way Inn, by Will Wiles1053.50312.83
The Race, by Nina Allan164.4483.63


Again, two strong leaders, but this is a juried award, so even less likely to be reflective of purchasing patterns, and I note that The Race is rated highest by GR users and Lagoon by LT users. Having said that, last year the winner was indeed the leader by this system.

The Golden Tentacle, awarded by the Kitschies for best debut novel, also has five nominees, but here there is a very clear front-runner:

GoodreadsLibraryThing
ownersav ratingownersav rating
The People in the Trees, by Hanya Yanagihara 31223.542553.67
The Girl in the Road, by Monica Byrne 8903.561093.59
Memory of Water, by Emmi Itäranta 8503.781083.92
Viper Wine, by Hermione Eyre783.56313.88
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, by Becky Chambers 544.333-

Note however the strong showing of Memory of Water, highest rated on LT and second highest on GR.

I am necessarily being a bit circumspect in my commentary this year, but I've read eleven of the sixteen books above, and enjoyed almost all of them.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
seawasp
Feb. 13th, 2015 09:48 pm (UTC)
What strikes me on these is the span of owners. A book with 16 owners/8 owners makes the shortlist along with books with THOUSANDS of owners.
bibliofile
Feb. 16th, 2015 09:55 am (UTC)
Yes, that is very interesting. I wonder how the Hugos will compare? (Nominations just opened, so no data for months yet.)
coth
Feb. 13th, 2015 09:59 pm (UTC)
And I've read one. I'm beginning to think I am a fake fan :-(
owlfish
Feb. 13th, 2015 11:30 pm (UTC)
You've been busy reading lots of older fiction. There's a lot to choose from out there!
coth
Feb. 15th, 2015 10:40 am (UTC)
Thanks. That makes me feel better.
bibliofile
Feb. 16th, 2015 09:58 am (UTC)
I read plenty of recent books thanks to my library system (publishing monthly lists of new additions, plus picking up from a library branch that gets lots of books returned to it). And I've only read one of the books (The memory of water), though that number will jump to two the minute they acquire Lagoon.
resonant
Feb. 14th, 2015 02:49 am (UTC)
If it makes you feel any better, I've read half of one.
coth
Feb. 15th, 2015 10:40 am (UTC)
It does actually. Thanks.
nwhyte
Feb. 14th, 2015 09:15 am (UTC)
Most years I am lucky to have read even one of the shortlisted books. This year is a bit different due to the ACCA.
coth
Feb. 15th, 2015 10:42 am (UTC)
My approach to reading changed after reading for the Clarke Award. Before I was on the jury I tried to read current books. Afterwards I bother much less about that, and read much less, and much more randomly.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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