Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

2021 Hugos in detail

Final ballot stats here, nominations here.


Four categories saw the total number of votes for finalists other than No Award dip below 30% of the total poll - Best Fan Writer (28.8%), Best Professional Editor (Long Form) (28.2%), Best Fanzine (27.2%), and Best Fancast (26.8%). Best Fancast was within 43 votes of not being awarded at all, due to dropping below the 25% threshold.

Close results on the final ballot:

  • The closest results among winners were Best Short Story and the Astounding Award, both decided by margins of nine votes.

  • The winner of Best Fancast was decided by a margin of twelve votes.

  • Fourth place in Best Fan Artist was decided by a margin of two votes, and second place by a margin of nine.

  • Third place in Best Fancast was decided by a margin of three votes.

  • Second place in Best Professional Editor (Short Form) was decided by a margin of four votes.

  • Fifth place in Best Fanzine was decided by a margin of six votes.

Close results at nominations phase:

  • The Magic Fish, by Trung Le Nguyen, and Far Sector, by N.K. Jemisin and Jamal Campbell, were 0.25 and 0.3 points from qualifying for Best Graphic Story or Comic.

  • Lee Harris would have qualified for Best Professional Editor, Short Form, with 0.67 more points. (He was also the runner-up for Best Professional Editor, Long Form, but was further adrift there.)

  • Meg Frank would have qualified in best Fan Artist with one more vote.

Strongest performances:

  • Murderbot got 44% of first preferences in the final ballot count for Best Series.

  • Hades won 55% of the total vote for Best Video Game with two contenders remaining in play.

  • Hades also got nominating votes from 54% of everyone who nominated in that category.

Disqualifications and withdrawals:

  • The Mandalorian, Season 2, qualified for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form, but was removed because two episodes had also qualified in Short Form, thus bringing Soul onto the ballot.

  • Toni Weisskopf declined nomination for Best Professional Editor, Long Form. Her place was taken by Nivia Evans.

  • Tithi Luadthong received enough votes to qualify for Best Fan Artist, but informed the Administrators that he had produced no eligible art in 2020. His place was filled by Cyan Daly.

The top finalist in terms of first preference votes lost in nine out of twenty categories; in eight cases to the finalist with the second highest number of first preferences in that category, in one case - Best Editor (Long Form) - to the third-placed finalist in terms of first preferences.

In thirteen categories, the winner also topped the poll at nominations stage. In three, the winner placed second at nominations stage; in two, the winner was third in nominations, and in two, the winner was fifth in nominations. (No winners had placed either fourth or sixth at the nominations stage.)

Full details:

Best Novel

Network Effect led throughout and won by 1139 to 707 for Piranesi. The City We Became overtook both The Relentless Moon and Piranesi to take second place. Piranesi took third place. Black Sun overtook The Relentless Moon for fourth. The Relentless Moon came fifth and Harrow the Ninth sixth.

Network Effect was also quite a long way ahead at nomination stage. The nearest miss was Mexican Gothic by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia which needed another 8 votes worth 4.33 points to qualify.

Best Novella

Come Tumbling Down got the most first preferences, but was overtaken by The Empress of Salt and Fortune which won by 838 to 674. Come Tumbling Down was also then overtaken by Ring Shout for second place, but won third place. Upright Women Wanted took fourth place, Finna fifth and Riot Baby sixth.

Come Tumbling Down, The Empress of Salt and Fortune and Ring Shout were all well ahead of the other three at nominations stage. Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water by Zen Cho needed another 5.69 points to qualify.

Best Novelette

Helicopter Story had the most first preferences but was beaten by Two Truths and a Lie by 781 to 564. In an extraordinary case of transfer toxicity, Helicopter Story was then overtaken by The Inaccessibility of Heaven for second place, by Monster for third place, and by The Pill for fourth place before taking fifth, despite starting with the most first preferences in each count. I cannot remember any other cases of the finalist with the most first preferences in the first count scraping only fifth place overall. Burn, or the Episodic Life of Sam Wells as a Super came sixth.

Two Truths and a Lie was well ahead at nomination stage. "Yellow and the Perception of Reality", by Maureen McHugh, would have qualified with another 4.5 points. "On Safari in R’lyeh and Carcosa with Gun and Camera", by Greg Elizabeth Bear, would have qualified with another 5.17 points.

Best Short Story

In the joint closest result of the evening, "Metal Like Blood in the Dark" beat Little Free Library by nine votes, 712 to 703; Little Free Library had overtaken "A Guide for Working Breeds" and "Open House on Haunted Hill". Little Free Library then won second place, overtaking the same two stories which had more first preferences. "A Guide for Working Breeds" overtook "Open House on Haunted Hill" for third place, "Open House on Haunted Hill" came fourth, "The Mermaid Astronaut" fifth and "Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse" sixth.

Little Free Library topped the nominations poll; the winner, "Metal Like Blood in the Dark", was third, also behind "Open House on Haunted Hill". "The Eight-Thousanders" by Jason Sanford would have qualified with another 3.34 points. Also not far off: "The Ransom of Miss Caroline Connolly" by Alex Harrow; "My Country is a Ghost" by Eugenia Triantaphyllou; "50 Things Every AI Working with Humans Should Know", by Ken Liu; "St Valentine, St Abigail, St Bridget", by C.L. Polk; "Cold Crowdfunding Campaign", by Cora Buhlert.

Best Series

Murderbot won one of the more convincing victories of the night, with 977 votes to 447 for October Daye and 381 for The Lady Astronaut Universe. It had 44% of the first preferences, the highest of the evening. The Lady Astronaut Universe came second, October Daye third, The Interdependency fourth, The Poppy War fifth and The Daevabad Trilogy sixth.

Murderbot was also far ahead of the field at nominations. The Peter Grant/Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch would have qualified with 5.73 more points.

Best Related Work

Beowulf: A New Translation led throughout and beat George R. R. Martin Can Fuck Off Into the Sun by 766 votes to 478. A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky came second. FIYAHCON overtook George R. R. Martin Can Fuck Off Into the Sun for third place. George R. R. Martin Can Fuck Off Into the Sun took fourth place. The Last Bronycon came fifth and CONZealand Fringe sixth.

Unusually, Discon 3 published No Award runoff figures for every place in every category (the constitution only specifies that this shoudl be done in determining the winner). The numbers for No Award here were particularly high in the last four places, with 358 preferring No Award to 753 who preferred George R. R. Martin Can Fuck Off Into the Sun.

The two convention events FIYAHCon and CoNZealand fringe were both far ahead of the field at nomination stage, with Beowulf third. Biology and Manners: Essays on the Worlds and Works of Lois McMaster Bujold, eds Regina Yung Lee and Una McCormack, would have qualified with five more votes, or four worth 3.5 points.

Best Graphic Story or Comic

Parable of the Sower overtook Ghost Spider 1 to win by 501 votes to 454. Ghost Spider 1 took second place, Monstress 5 third, The King is Undead 1 fourth, Invisible Kingdom 2 fifth and Die 2 sixth.

Monstress 5 topped the nominations poll, with Invisible Kingdom 2 not far behind and Parable of the Sower, the winner, down in fifth place. It was very tight at the end, though. The Magic Fish, by Trung Le Nguyen was the last excluded and would have qualified with 0.26 more points. Far Sector, by N.K. Jemisin and Jamal Campbell, would have qualified with 0.3 more points. Superman Smashes The Klan by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru probably would have qualified with two more votes, and Fangs by Sarah Anderson was also not far off.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

The Old Guard was ahead throughout and beat Birds of Prey by 715 to 552. Birds of Prey came second, Soul third, Palm Springs overtook Fire Saga for fourth place, Fire Saga came fifth and Tenet sixth.

The Old Guard also topped the poll at nominations convincingly. Series 2 of The Mandalorian had enough votes to qualify, but was removed because two episodes had also qualified in Short Form. This brought Soul on to fill the gap. Next down was Wolfwalkers, which would have needed another five votes. The first season of Lovecraft Country would have needed another eight.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

Whenever You're Ready, the final episode of The Good Place, had a crushing victory with 793 voteson the final count to 425 for The Expanse: Gaugamela and 348 for The Mandalorian 16: The Rescue (which overtook She-Ra: Heart). The published results seem to have an error at the bottom of the third pass - presumably Doctor Who: Fugitive of the Judoon was eliminated and the two Mandalorian episodes got some of its votes - but the result is clear.

The Expanse: Gaugamela came second, She-Ra: Heart was again overtaken by The Mandalorian 16: The Rescue for third place, The Mandalorian 13: The Jedi came fourth, She-Ra: Heart fifth and Doctor Who: Fugitive of the Judoon sixth.

Whenever You're Ready was also well in the lead at nominations stage, followed by The Expanse: Gaugamela. The Star Trek: Picard episode Nepenthe would have qualified with another three votes.

Best Editor, Short Form

Mur Lafferty and S.B. Divya got the most first preferences but were overtaken by Ellen Datlow who won by 436 to 370. Lafferty and Divya then won second place by just four votes over Neil Clarke, who came third. Sheila Williams came fourth, Jonathan Strahan fifth and C.C. Finlay sixth.

The top three at nominations, Jonathan Strahan, Ellen Datlow and Neil Clarke, were tightly bunched. Lee Harris, a perpetual near-finalist in this category, would have qualified with 0.67 more points. Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas also missed very narrowly.

Best Editor, Long Form

Diana M.Pho was third in terms of first preference votes, but overtook Navah Wolfe and beat Sheila E. Gilbert by 311 to 269. On the penultimate count, Gilbert was only three votes ahead of Wolfe. Navah Wolfe took second place, Sheila Gilbert a convincing third, Sarah Guan overtook Brit Hvide for fourth, Brit Hvide came fifth and Nivia Evans sixth. Turnout in this category was low, at 28.2%.

Diana M. Pho was top of the nomination votes. Toni Weisskopf received enough nominations under EPH to qualify for the final ballot, but declined. That brought Nivia Evans on to fill her space. Lee Harris was the runner-up here as well, but would have needed nine more votes to qualify. Miriam Weinberg, eliminated on the penultimate round, would probably have qualified with just two more votes.

Best Professional Artist

Rovina Cai overtook John Picacio to win by 441 to 412. Picacio came second, Galen Dara overtook both Maurizio Manzieri and Tommy Arnold to come third, Arnold came fourth, Manzieri fifth and Alyssa Winans sixth.

Rovina Cai topped the poll at nominations. Will Staehle would have qualified with 1.05 more points, and Iris Compiet was not far off either.

Best Semiprozine

FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction was ahead throughout and beat Uncanny Magazine by 496 to 449. Uncanny Magazine took second place, Strange Horizons third, Escape Pod overtook Beneath Ceaseless Skies for fourth place, Beneath Ceaseless Skies came fifth and Podcastle sixth.

FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction was well ahead at nominations stage. Fireside Magazine was the runner up, but would have needed another twelve votes to qualify.

Best Fanzine

nerds of a feather, flock together overtook Journey Planet to win by 286 to 211. Journey Planet was then overtaken again by Lady Business for second place, before winning third by six votes over the Unofficial Hugo Book Club Blog. The Unofficial Hugo Book Club Blog came fourth, and The Full Lid beat Quick Sip Reviews by six votes for fifth place. Quick Sip Reviews then came sixth. Turnout was low in this category at 27.2%.

nerds of a feather, flock together got the most nomination votes and points. Galactic Journey would have needed six more votes to qualify.

Best Fancast

The Coode Street Podcast was ahead throughout and beat Worldbuilding for Masochists by twelve votes, 259 to 247. Worldbuilding for Masochists came second. The Skiffy and Fanty Show beat Be the Serpent by three votes for third place. Be the Serpent beat Claire Rousseau's Yotube Channel by fourteen votes for fourth place. Claire Rousseau's Yotube Channel came fifth and Kalanadi sixth. As previously noted, turnout was particularly low here at 26.8%, and if 43 fewer votes had been cast for nominated finalists there would have been no Best Fancast award.

The Coode Street Podcast was well in front at nominations stage. Octothorpe would have qualified with 1.51 more points. Hugo, Girl! and Our Opinions Are Correct were also not far behind.

Best Fan Writer

Elsa Sjunneson overtook Cora Buhlert to win by 290 to 260. Cora Buhlert came secon, Jason Sandford third, and Paul Weimer beat Alasdair Stewart for fourth place. The published statistics then show Paul Weimer also taking fifth place ahead of Charles Payseur, but presumably this is a mistake. Charles Payseur is recorded as coming sixth. Turnout was again low here at 28.2%,

Cora Buhlert was well ahead at nominations stage, followed by Charles Payseur. The winner, Elsa Sjunneson, came fifth. James Davis Nicoll would have qualified with another 1.5 points. O. Westin and Adri Joy were also not far off.

Best Fan Artist

Sara Felix was ahead throughout for Best Fan Artist, Beating Laya Rose (who had overtaken Grace P. Fong) by 353 to 284. Only two votes separated Fong and Rose on the penultimate count. Rose then beat Fong by nine votes for second place. Fong convincinglty won third place, Iain J Clark overtook Maya Hahto to win fourth place by two votes, Hahto came fifth and Cyan Daly sixth.

Sara Felix also topped the poll at the nominations stage. Tithi Luadthong got enough nominations to qualify for the ballot, but informed the Administrators that he had produced no eligible art in 2020. That brought Cyan Daly onto the ballot, with only ten nominating votes, so basically everyone who got even a single nomination in this category was within ten votes of getting on the ballot. The nearest miss was Meg Frank, who would have qualified with just one more vote.

Best Video Game

Hades had proportionally the most crushing victory of the night, with 478 votes on the final count to 246 for Animal Crossing: New Horizons and 144 for Spiritfarer. Animal Crossing: New Horizons came second, Spiritfarer third, Final Fantasy VII Remake fourth, The Last of Us: Part II fifth and Blaseball sixth.

In the most lopsided nominations ballot this cycle, Hades qualified with literally three times as many votes and four times as many points as the next nominee, Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The nearest miss was Ghost of Tsushima, which would have needed another two votes. (Though it's apparently questionable to what extent it has sfnal content.)

Lodestar Award

A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking was ahead throughout, beating A Deadly Education by 784 to 412. A Deadly Education came second, Elatsoe third, Legendborn overtook Cemetery Boys for fourth place, Cemetery Boys came fifth and Raybearer sixth.

A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking was also way in the lead at nominations. The runner up was When We Were Magic, by Sarah Gailey, but it would have needed another 11.05 points to qualify.

Astounding Award

in the joint closest result of the evening, Emily Tesh overtook Micaiah Johnson to win by nine votes, 364 to 355. Johnson came second, Jenn Lyons third, Lindsay Ellis fourth, Simon Jimenez fifth and A.K. Larkwood sixth.

Micaiah Johnson and Emily Tesh were in the lead at nominations phase. The nearest miss was Caitlyn Starling, who would have needed another 10.35 points or thirteen votes to qualify.

For myself, only one of my first preferences actually won, the same as last year.
Tags: hugos 2021

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