Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

On crowdsourcing Hugo nominations

Someone sensible has looked at how the available data compares with Brad Torgerson's claim to have drawn up his Hugo nominations slate with "the democratic selection system of the Hugo awards... No “quiet” logrolling. Make it transparent."

It's clear from the figures that of the five novels recommended by Brad Torgerson, only three were actually recommended by his readers. They were Trial by Fire by Charles E. Gannon (unsuccessful); Skin Game, by Jim Butcher (successful) and Monster Hunter Nemesis, by Larry Correia (declined nomination). The other two on the slate received no mention at all when Torgerson asked for nominations. They were The Dark Between the Stars, by Kevin J. Anderson (successful); and Lines of Departure, by Marko Kloos (withdrawn).

Less easily visible, but equally interesting: four other novels were mentioned by three people each on Torgerson's discussion, and were unaccountably omitted from his slate when he proposed it. They were A Sword Into Darkness, by Thomas A. Mays; The Martian, by Andy Weir; Judge of Ages, by John C. Wright; and The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Steadfast, by Jack Campbell. Another 21 novels received a nomination each, which is one nomination more than Anderson's or Kloos's. I have read and enjoyed The Martian, which has far more owners on both LibraryThing and Goodreads than any other sf novel in the awards process so far this year, and it strikes me as exactly the kind of old-fashioned science fiction that some regret is not getting due recognition these days.

For Best Novella, "The Plural of Helen of Troy", by John C. Wright, got three nominations and was on Torgerson's slate. But the slate also included "Big Boys Don't Cry", by Tom Kratman, which had no nominations in Torgerson's crowdsourced discussion; and it did not include "Island in a Sea of Stars" by Kevin J. Anderson, which got two nominations, nor "Sixth of the Dusk" by Brandon Sanderson, which got one.

For Best Novelette, four stories were each proposed once in Torgerson's discussion. Torgerson's slate, however, comprised four completely different nominees which had not been mentioned in that discussion, and none of those that were.

Similarly, for Best Short Story, two potential nominees got more than one mention in Togerson's discussion. They were "Domo", by Joshua M. Young, which got a massive five (more than anything else in any category except Interstellar), and "Queen of the Tyrant Lizards" by John C. Wright, which got two. Neither, however, appeared on Torgerson's slate. Another 18 stories were each mentioned once in the "crowdsourcing" discussion. Two of those did make it to Torgerson's slate, as did two stories that had not been mentioned in the discussion.

In other words, of the 16 written fiction nominees on Torgerson's slate, 11 - more than two-thirds - had not actually been nominated by anyone in the crowd-sourced discussion from which, we are told, the slate emerged.

2015 Hugos: Initial observations | Voting No Award above the slates | How the slate was(n't) crowdsourced | Where the new voters are
Best Novel | Short fiction | Best Related Work | Best Graphic Story | Pro and Fan Artist | Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form), Best Fan Writer, John W. Campbell Award
Tags: hugos 2015, the slate

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