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Retro Hugo summary

Headlines:

834 votes cast on final ballot - more than for the 1943 Retro Hugos in 2018, but fewer than for the 1941 Retro Hugos in 2016 or the 1939 Retro Hugos in 2014.

217 nominating ballots received. Again, more than the 1943 Retro Hugos in 2018, but fewer than for the 1941 Retro Hugos in 2016 or the 1939 Retro Hugos in 2014.

All but one of the winners had the most first preferences in their categories. The exception: Virgil Finlay had the second highest number of first preferences in the Best Professional Artist category, but gained enough transfers to beat Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

Most decisive result was in the Best Editor, Short Form category, where John W. Campbell won on the first count with 56.8% of first preferences. The second place count in this category was almost as decisive, with Donald A. Wollheim getting 55.7% of first preferences.

Closest results:
Best Fan Writer, where Forrest J. Ackerman beat Wilson “Bob” Tucker by 18 votes.
Best Fanzine, where Le Zombie beat Futurian War Digest by 23 votes, after several rounds of very close eliminations.
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form, where Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman beat I Walked With a Zombie by 25 votes

At lower rankings, there were two ties:
Best Novel: Earth’s Last Citadel and Perelandra tied for 4th place
Best Fanzine: Futurian War Digest and Voice of the Imagi-Nation tied for 3rd place.
Ineligible:
Best Graphic Story: Nelvana of the Northern Lights and the Ice-Beam, first published 1941–1942.
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: Only the first two episodes of The Phantom were broadcast in 1943, and their combined length is much less than 90 minutes.
Best Fanzine: Fantasy News initially announced as a finalist, due to incorrect tallying; Guteto was entitled to that slot.
Best Series: Mary Poppins, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser and C.S. Lewis’ Cosmic Trilogy all ineligible, which left the category unviable.
More detail:

Best Novel: Conjure Wife beat The Weapon Makers by 38 votes; Gather, Darkness! then also beat The Weapon Makers by 3 votes for 2nd place. The Weapon Makers beat Perelandra for 2rd place, and Earth’s Last Citadel and Perelandra tied for 4th place, The Glass Bead Game coming in 6th.

At nominations, Perelandra and Conjure Wife were well ahead of the field, and Judgement Night by C.L. Moore missed getting on the ballot by two votes (it would have displaced either The Weapon Makers or Gather, Darkness! depending). This category had the most nominating votes, 155.

Best Novella: This category had the highest number of final ballot votes. The Little Prince handily beat The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath and "Attitude", 372 to 150 and 138. The Magic Bedknob rose to take 2nd place by 3 votes, ahead of Unknown Kadath, which took 3rd place 29 votes ahead of “Attitude”. “Attitude” came 4th, “We Print the Truth” 5th, “Clash by Night” 6th.

The Little Prince was also way ahead at nominations. “Opposites-React” by Jack Williamson and “One-Way Trip” by Anthony Boucher would have needed five or six more votes to qualify (each got only six), displacing either “We Print the Truth” and possibly “Attitude”.

Best Novelette: This category saw the worst performance for No Award. “Mimsy Were the Borogoves” won convincingly, 260 votes to 115 for “Thieves’ House”, 84 for “Citadel of Lost Ships”, 54 for “The Halfling”. “Thieves’ House” finished 5 votes ahead of “Citadel of Lost Ships” for 2nd place. “Citadel of Lost Ships” 3rd, “The Halfling” 4th, “The Proud Robot” 5th, “Symbiotica” 6th.

“Mimsy Were the Borogoves” topped the poll at nominations as well. “Daymare”, by Fredric Brown, needed two more votes worth at least 0.45 points to displace “Symbiotica”.

Best Short Story: “King of the Grey Spaces” won by 263 to 196 for “Doorway into Time”. “Death Sentence” also beat “Doorway into Time” for 2nd place. “Doorway into Time” 3rd, “Yours Truly - Jack the Ripper” a convincing 4th, “Exile” 5th, “Q.U.R.” 6th.

A closely matched set of nominations, with “Yours Truly - Jack the Ripper” coming top with 26 votes and “Exile” 6th with 17. The next nominee in line was The Gremlins by Roald Dahl, but it would not have been eligible due to 1942 original publication. “The Iron Standard” by Lewis Padgett would have qualified with three more bullet votes.

Best Graphic Story: Wonder Woman won by 208 to 127 for The Secret of the Unicorn and 76 for Flash Gordon. The Secret of the Unicorn 2nd; Flash Gordon 3rd; Buck Rogers 4th; Plastic Man 5th; Garth 6th.

Wonder Woman also topped the poll at nominations. EPH wrought havoc at the lower end of the table, with Tintin: Red Rackham’s Treasure and Donald Duck: The Mummy’s Ring both eliminated despite having more votes than Garth, which qualified only because of the disqualification of Nelvana. Le Rayon U would have also qualified with one more vote.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: Heaven Can Wait beat Phantom of the Opera by 221 to 177. Phantom of the Opera 2nd, Münchhausen 3rd, Batman 4th, Cabin in the Sky 5th, A Guy Named Joe 6th.

Oddly enough that was exactly the same as the finishing order at nominations stage, A Guy Named Joe making the ballot because of the elimination of The Phantom. The Tin Men would have qualified with one more bullet vote.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man beat I Walked with a Zombie by 156 to 131. I Walked With A Zombie beat Super-Rabbit by 16 votes for 2nd place, Super-Rabbit beat The Seventh Victim by 17 votes for 3rd place, The Seventh Victim beat Der Fuehrer’s Face by 4 votes for 4th place, Der Fuehrer’s Face 5th, The Ape Man 6th.

Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man and I Walked with a Zombie were both ahead on nominations. The Ape Man and The Seventh Victim scraped in ahead of Son of Dracula and The Underground World.

Best Editor, Short Form: As noted above, John W. Campbell crushed the competition to win, and Donald A. Wollheim had a similarly strong 2nd place. Dorothy McIlwraith 3rd, Mary Gnaedinger 4th, Raymond A. Palmer 5th, Oscar J. Friend 6th.

Campbell was also far ahead on nominations. Frederik Pohl was seventh, with 3 votes to 7 for Oscar J. Friend, but could still have made the final ballot with two more bullet votes.

Best Professional Artist: Virgil Finlay beat Antoine de Saint-Exupéry by 206 to 164, having started behind on first preferences. Margaret Brundage then beat de Saint-Exupéry by 3 votes for 2nd place, also having started behind on first preferences, and de Saint-Exupéry beat Hannes Bok by 3 votes for 3rd. Hannes Bok 4th, J. Allen St. John 5th, William Timmins 6th.

Margaret Brundage topped the poll at nominations. Earle Bergey would have qualified with two more bullet votes.

Best Fanzine: This category had the lowest number of final ballot votes, the winner with the lowest number of votes and share of votes, and the best performance for No Award.

Le Zombie beat Futurian War Digest by 101 to 78. The Phantagraph also beat Futurian War Digest by 20 votes for 2nd place, and Futurian War Digest tied with Voice of the Imagi-Nation for 3rd. YHOS beat Guteto for 5th place by 3 votes, and Guteto came 6th. No Award beat the disqualified Fantasy News for 7th.

Le Zombie also topped the poll at nominations. Competition was tight at the lower end, with Nebula missing by two votes (if worth 1 point or more).

Best Fan Writer: Forrest J. Ackerman beat Wilson “Bob” Tucker by 142 to 124, the closest win of the night. Tucker 2nd, Donald A. Wollheim 3rd, Morojo 4th, Jack Speer 5th, Art Widner 6th.

Tucker got the most votes at nominations, though Morojo topped the poll under EPH. Harry Warner Jr needed 1.43 more points to qualify. This category had the fewest nominating votes, 25.

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