Debuting the Awards Meta-List
I like collations on Chaos Horizon: I think gathering a wide range of opinions on SFF gives us a better overall feel than relying on one source. I’ve done this for the SFF Critics Best of 2014, for the Mainstream Best of 2014, and now I’m launching a new list meta-list: Awards 2015. What this will do is collate award nominations from the 2015 SFF awards season. I’m going with widely known novel awards that are specific to the SFF field (so no Stoker, because that’s horror, and no Sturgeon because that’s short fiction, no Aurealis because that’s only Australian, etc.). For now, I’m planning on tracking the 15 awards listed below. That’s a lot of awards for a relatively small community to give! I’m only counting the “novel” category, so things like “debut novel” aren’t making the cut. Check out the excellent Science Fiction Award database for descriptions of the awards and a history of them.
Since each award approaches the field differently (some SF only, some fantasy only, some juried, some voted, some American, some British, etc.) the totality of them should give us a good idea of the state of the field as a whole. Here’s the list:
Arthur C. Clarke
Locus (EDIT: I’ll count the Locus Science Fiction and the Locus Fantasy as separate awards)
Philip K. Dick
EDIT (3/5/15): Doug in the comments usefully reminded me that the Locus has both Science Fiction and Fantasy categories. I think the Locus is fairly predictive of the Hugos, as it is a voted award by SFF fans. Because of that, I’m going to count them both as separate awards, which brings us up from that tidy 15 awards to an ugly 16 awards. So it goes.
Methodology is simple: I’ve creates an Excel matrix to track each award’s nominees and winners. You get 1 point for getting nominated, and then I sum up the points. I’m marking winners with green. Not many awards have announced their nominees yet: the Philip K. Dick, the Kitschies, the BSFA, and the Nebulas.
Because we’re so early, we don’t have a lot of useful info yet. 22 different authors have been nominated for those 4 awards, showing there isn’t a ton of agreement across the field as to what the “major” books were in 2014. Only two novels have shown up in more than one award:
Lagoon, Nnedi Okorafor: 2 points (Kitschies, BSFA)
Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie: 2 points (BSFA, Nebula)
Remember, Lagoon didn’t get a 2014 US publication, so it’s pretty unlikely to show up in the more US-centric awards. Leckie had a dominating run last year with Ancillary Justice, showing up in 7 of these 15 awards and winning 4 (Hugo, Nebula, BSFA, Clarke, as well as some lesser awards like British Fantasy best Newcomer and Locus Magazine’s First Novel). 50% nomination rate seems about the high-water mark: if anyone can manage that this year, they’ll have a good chance to win the Hugo and Nebula.
Over time, we should start to see more patterns. Congratulations to Grasshopper Jungle, which just won the Kitschie. Here’s the in-progress matrix: 2015 Awards Meta-List.