2014 Hugo Award Nominations: Chaos Rules

The Hugo Award nominations have been announced at the Hugo website:

Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie (Orbit US/Orbit UK)
Neptune’s Brood, Charles Stross (Ace / Orbit UK)
Parasite, Mira Grant (Orbit US/Orbit UK)
Warbound, Book III of the Grimnoir Chronicles, Larry Correia (Baen Books)
The Wheel of Time, Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (Tor Books / Orbit UK)

Chaos is everywhere. Due to a little known rule and a vigorous online campaign, the entirety of Jordan’s Wheel of Time has been nominated, meaning that we have now have a multi-authored 14 book series going up against individual novels. How exactly voters are going to resolve that question is up in the air. Likewise, Warbound received a significant push from its fandom. Given that the Hugo is a fan award, largely determined by an author’s popularity, these kinds of campaigns are simply par for the course.

What is unclear, though, is whether web campaigns affect final voting. For every die-hard Wheel of Time fan who passionately read all 14 books, there are multiple readers who gave up after a few books. A passionate fanbase leads to nominations; wide supported is needed to win.

The biggest thing to come out of the nominations is Ann Leckie’s continued domination in this award season. Since she was nominated and Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane was not, this is going to significantly boost her chances of winning the Nebula. The lack of a nomination for Ocean is a little surprising, given Gaiman’s popularity, but this also says something about Gaiman’s short novel being consider “too slight” for a major award.

Over the next month, I’ll be putting together a prediction model for the Hugo. For now, stay tuned for the finalization of the Nebula prediction.

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