2014 Hugo Results: Inside the Numbers

The 2014 Hugo results were announced on August 17, 2014, with Ann Leckie winning the Hugo for Ancillary Justice. The Hugo website has the official results here. Unlike the Nebula, the Hugo gives the voting details of the award in an extensive .pdf, also locating at the Hugo website.

Those details can give us a good idea of how the prediction formula worked, and suggest future fixes to the formula. While the Hugo has an “instant run-off” system, the raw data from first place votes is the most important piece of information:
1. Ann Leckie, Ancillary Justice, 1335 first place votes, 43.8% (prediction: 33.6%)
2. Robert Jordan, The Wheel of Time, 658 first place votes, 21.6% (prediction: 17.2%)
3. Charles Stross, Neptune’s Brood, 445 first place votes, 14.6% (prediction: 24.9%)
4. Larry Correia, Warbound, 332 first place votes, 10.9% (prediction: 11.9%)
5. Mira Grant, Parasite, 279 votes, 9.2% (prediction: 12.4%)

All in all, the model worked fairly well. Leckie performed much better than the model, nearly 10% higher, drawing her votes primarily from Charles Stross. What likely happened is that voters gave Stross the Hugo for best novella (which he won) and didn’t want to give him two awards. The influx of new Hugo voters didn’t seem to have much effect on the overall numbers.

Leckie thus completes one of the most dominant award seasons in recent memory. Her Hugo vote percentage was much higher than last year’s winner. John Scalzi pulled down 24.7% of the first round vote for his winner Redshirts. The year before, Among Others by Jo Walton pulled down a similar 25.3%. Leckie’s 43.8% was almost 20% higher. As the formula is revised for next year, Leckie’s dominating win will shift the prediction a little more towards same-year Nebula and Campbell winners and away from previous winners. I’ll be back to discuss possible changes to the formula in the coming days.

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