The 2016 SFF Awards Meta-List
Time to check in with my annual SFF Award Meta-List, where I keep track of 14 different Science Fiction and Fantasy awards. I track the nominees and the winners, and then add those all up to see which book was the most popular on the awards circuit. I find this a great measure of whether or not there is a “consensus” book of the year. That happened just a few years ago with Ancillary Justice: it had 8 nominations going into the Hugos and Nebulas, and thus was a pretty obvious Hugo/Nebula winner.
There are a lot of SFF awards. I’ve chosen ones that are “best novel” awards. Some are restricted by genre (either Fantasy or SF), some by format (the Philip K. Dick is paperback only). Some are juried; some are membership votes; the Gemmell is an open internet vote. By combining all of these, I think we get a very broad view of the field. One note: I don’t include awards that are “First Novels” only, as I feel that is too restrictive. This includes awards like the Crawford or the Locus First Novel category.
Not every year produces a consensus book. On last year’s list, Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Problem; led with 5 nominations. It won only once, but that was the Hugo. The eventual Nebula winner, Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation, tied for second with 4 total noms and that one Nebula win. So even in a year where no one reached a huge number, the list was still fairly predictive.
In 2016, 4 different awards have already announced their nominees: the Philip K. Dick, the British Science Fiction Association Awards (BSFA), the Kitschies, and the Nebulas. Not a lot so far, but has anyone emerged as an early leader? Here’s the list of everyone who has gotten more than one nomination:
Europe at Midnight, Dave Hutchinson (2 nominations, Kitschies, BSFA)
The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin (2 nominations, Nebulas, Kistschies)
Hutchinson’s Europe series has been very well-received across the pond, but it hasn’t had much impact over here in the US. Since both the BSFA and the Kitschies are British awards, I think this is Hutchinson’s moment in the sun at the top of this list. Jemisin seems to be doing slightly better than Uprooted so far. Possible predictor for the Nebula? Probably too early to use this list for much.
Here’s the whole list on Google Docs. I’ll update it as more nominations come out. So far, 21 different novels have received nominations, meaning this might be a very scattered year.