Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

First of three posts: 1941 Retro Hugos in detail

Have you recovered from Worldcon? Good. I was travelling all weekend, and then back at work last week, so even if the statistics had been out earlier I couldn't have easily processed them. This is the first of three posts about what I take from the figures, in this case concentrating on the 1941 Retro Hugos. Official results are here, full stats here.

Headlines:

  • Closest result was "Robbie" beating "Requiem" by 24 for Best Short Story; followed by Slan beating Gray Lensman by 28 for Best Novel.
  • Closest result of any count was Hannes Bok beating Margaret Brundage by 7 for second place in Best Professional Artist.
  • First count victories for Fantasia (Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form) and John W. Campbell (Best Editor, Short Form)
  • Three of the finalists in Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) and Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) had enough nominations to appear on either ballot.
  • Given the smaller vote pool, there were a lot of close results at the nomination stage:
    • The first Tom and Jerry episode, "Puss Gets the Boot", and the Oscar winning The Milky Way both missed the Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) ballot by a single vote. Ghost Wanted missed by 2, The Invisible Woman by 3, the Sorcerer's Apprentice segment of Fantasia by 4, and five others by 5.
    • The Phantagraph missed the final ballot for Best Fanzine by 2 votes, Detours and Snide missed by 3 votes, and another three missed by 4.
    • Art Widner missed the final ballot for Best Fan Writer by 3 votes.
    • Horton Hatches the Egg missed the final ballot for Best Graphic Story by 3 votes. Two others missed by 5 and one more missed by 6.
    • Final Blackout, by L. Ron Hubbard, missed the final ballot for Best Novel by 4 votes, Twice in Time by Manly Wade Wellman missed by 8 and Typewriter In The Sky by L. Ron Hubbard missed by 10.
      Malcolm Reiss missed the final ballot for Best Editor (Short Form) by 7 votes.
    • "Fruit of Knowledge" by Catherine L. Moore missed the final ballot for Best Novelette by 8 votes, and "Into the Darkness" by Ross Rocklynne missed it by 9.
In detail:

Best Novel: Slan beat Gray Lensman by 360 to 332. Gray Lensman then won second place in a single count. The other places went clearly to The Ill-Made Knight in third place, Reign of Wizardry in fourth and Kallocain in fifth. Slan had by far the most nominations. The Incomplete Enchanter was ruled ineligible (though its two component parts were both on the Best Novella ballot). As noted above, Final Blackout, by L. Ron Hubbard, missed the final ballot for Best Novel by 4 votes and there were other close contenders.

Best Novella: "If This Goes On..." won by 389 to 288 for "Magic, Inc.", which then took second place with "Coventry" providing a hat-trick for Heinlein by coming third. "The Mathematics of Magic" beat "The Roaring Trumpet" for fourth place. "If This Goes On..." had by far the most nominations. "The Wheels of If" was 15 behind "The Roaring Trumpet" for the final spot on the ballot.

Best Novelette: "The Roads Must Roll" beat "It!" by 388 to 309. "Blowups Happen" then also beat "It!" for second place by 17 votes. "It!" took third place convincingly, "Farewell to the Master" took fourth and "Vault of the Beast" fifth. Votes for "Darker Than You Think", which had been ruled ineligible at a late stage, remained tallied in the final result. "The Roads Must Roll" also had the most nominations. As noted above, "Fruit of Knowledge" by Catherine L. Moore missed the final ballot for Best Novelette by 8 votes, and "Into the Darkness" by Ross Rocklynne by 9.

Best Short Story: In the closest race for any of the top spots, "Robbie" beat "Requiem" by 369 to 345. "Requiem" then had a first-count victory for second place, far ahead of "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius"; "Martian Quest" then beat "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" for third place, and "The Stellar Legion" beat "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" for fourth place. "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" did secure fifth well ahead of No Award. "Requiem" had the most nominations (so Heinlein topped all three short fiction categories). Heinlein's "Let There Be Light" was 12 votes behind "The Stellar Legion" for the last spot on the ballot.

Best Graphic Story: Batman #1 won convincingly by 292 to 135 for Flash Gordon and 126 for Origin of the Spirit. The other places were clear: Flash Gordon second, Origin of the Spirit third, Captain Marvel fourth, The Spectre fifth. Batman also got the most nominations. Captain America Comics #1 was published in 1941 and therefore not eligible. As noted above, Horton Hatches the Egg missed the final ballot by 3 votes; Flash Comics #1 and Prince Valiant missed by 5 and a generic nomination for Flash Gordon missed by 6.

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form): Fantasia won a thumping first-count victory with 62.8% of first preferences. The Thief of Bagdad similarly took second place with 52.8% of first preferences. Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe took third place comfortably, followed by One Million B.C. in fourth and Dr. Cyclops in fifth. Fantasia also had the most nominations. Pinocchio had the second most, but was classified as Short Form, thus allowing One Million B.C. onto the ballot. The Invisible Man Returns was 6 votes behind One Million B.C., but had enough votes to be on the Short Form ballot anyway. Son of Ingagi was 15 votes off the final spot.

Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form): Pinocchio won with 308 votes to 268 for “A Wild Hare”. “A Wild Hare” beat “The Baby from Krypton” for second place, “You Ought to Be in Pictures” also beat “The Baby from Krypton” for third, and fourth and fifth places went to “The Baby from Krypton” and The Invisible Man Returns. Pinocchio was also (just) ahead of "A Wild Hare" at nominations stage. Dr. Cyclops and Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe got enough nominations to be on the ballot in this category but had been primarily nominated in Long Form and appeared there instead. The Shadow was ruled to be too long to be eligible. As noted above, there were a lot of near misses here: the first Tom and Jerry episode, "Puss Gets the Boot", and the Oscar winning The Milky Way both missed the ballot by being a single vote behind The Invisible Man Returns, Ghost Wanted missed by 2, The Invisible Woman by 3, the Sorcerer's Apprentice segment of Fantasia by 4, and five others by 5.

Best Editor, Short Form: John W. Campbell won on the first round with 64.4% of first preferences. Fred Pohl likewise won second place on the first count with 71%. The other places were also very clear: Dorothy McIlwraith third, Ray Palmer fourth and Mort Weisinger fifth. Campbell also had by far the most nominations. Malcolm Reiss was 7 votes behind McIlwraith for the final spot on the ballot.

Best Professional Artist: Virgil Finlay was ahead at all stages and beat Margaret Brundage by 297 to 184. Brundage ran Hannes Bok close for second place, but he eventually secured it by 7 votes, the closest margin of any on the night. Brundage then secured a clear third, Frank R. Paul fourth, Edd Cartier fifth and Hubert Rogers sixth. Rogers, who came last, had the most nominations, narowly ahead of Finlay, who won. Robert Fuqua was 21 behind Paul and Bok for the final spot on the ballot. This is the only category where it is known that EPH would have made a difference, resolving the fifth-place tie between Paul and Bok in Paul's favour.

Best Fanzine: Futuria Fantasia beat Le Zombie by 235 to 156. Le Zombie beat Voice of the Imagi-Nation for second place, and Spaceways likewise beat Voice of the Imagi-Nation for third. Voice of the Imagi-Nation came fourth and Novacious fifth. Le Zombie was just ahead of Futuria Fantasia at nominations stage. As noted above, it was crowded at the bottom: The Phantagraph missed the final ballot by 2 votes, Detours and Snide missed by 3 votes, and Futurian War Digest, Spaceship and YHOS missed by 4.

Best Fan Writer: Ray Bradbury beat Forrest J. Ackerman by 327 to 230, with the other places clearly falling thus: Ackerman second, Robert Wilson "Bob" Tucker third, H.P. Lovecraft fourth, Harry Warner fifth. Ackerman was ahead of Bradbury at nominations stage. The only other reported recipient of nomination ballots was Art Widener, who was 3 behind H.P. Lovecraft for the final spot.

Under current rules, no more Retro Hugos can be awarded until 2022 (on behalf of the 1947 Worldcon, ie for works and activity of 1946). There were no Worldcons in 1942, 1943, 1944 or 1945, and Retro Hugos for 1946 were awarded in 1996. However, this year's WSFS Business Meeting passed a change which would allow Retro Hugos also to be awarded for the missing WW2 years. If that is ratified next year, the 2019 Worldcon could decide to hold Retro Hugos for 1944 (ie celebrating work of 1943).
Tags: hugos 2016, retro hugos 1941
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