2016 Hugo Finalists Announced
The 2016 Hugo Finalists have been announced. Press release here.
The best novel category played out in this fashion:
Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie
The Cinder Spires: Aeronaut’s Windlass, Jim Butcher
The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin
Seveneves, Neal Stephenson
Uprooted, Naomi Novik
I got 4/5 right here on Chaos Horizon, and Jemisin was the novel I had as #6 on my prediction. I’ll take that in an unpredictable and chaotic year. I also estimated 3620 votes, and the category had 3695 votes, so at least that part was close!
Jemisin making the list means that a surge of extra Hugo voters broke in her direction, pushing her over the combined weight of the Rabid and Sad Puppy vote and Wright’s Somewhither. Given how well the Rabid Puppies performed elsewhere, that means Jemisin performed very well. The Fifth Season also outperformed Jemisin’s previous novels (this is a scourge of how I model on Chaos Horizon), which may speak to her chances of winning either the Hugo or the Nebula.
The Rabid and Sad Puppies are primarily responsible for the Butcher nomination, and doubtless pushed Stephenson up higher, although Stephenson had a good shot of making it normally. Uprooted appeared high on the Sad Puppy list, and likely picked up voters from that area.
With the exception of Butcher, that looks pretty similar to what I would have predicted the Hugos to be without the Rabid/Sad Puppies. That is certainly not the case lower down the ballot: categories like Best Short Story, Best Related Work, Best Graphic Story, were swept by the Rabid Puppies, and Best Novella and Best Novelette almost swept. I’ll do some more careful analysis over the next few days, but the main reason this happened is because the large number of voters in Best Novel did not carry over to those categories. We had 3695 Best Novel ballots, but only 2451 Short Story ballots and 2080 Best Related Work Ballots. Those missing 1000 voters are the difference between a sweep and a mixed ballot.
My initial thought is that Uprooted will win, as it’s the only novel that seems acceptable to all camps. The typical voters will shoot down the Butcher; the Rabid Puppies will shoot down the Leckie and Jemisin. That leaves Stephenson or Novik. We’ll need to track the dialogue around the Stephenson nomination; if it is deemed a “Rabid Puppy” pick and thus No Awarded, that would seem to clear the path for Novik to win. It’ll take some time for me to sort through the numbers, though.
Perhaps the most interesting categories are Best Novella and Best Novelette, which had 4/5 Rabid Puppy sweeps, with the other book being the #1 story on the Sad Puppy list. While those stories—“Binti” and “And You Shall Know Her By The Trail Of Dead”—doubtless picked up support from other quarters (they were Nebula nominees, after all), that shows the Sad Puppies had a noticeable effect on the Hugos. I’ll give some thought to what that means and report back to you!
As I suspected, the “overlaps” did very well: if you appeared on multiple lists (Rabid + Sad Puppies) or being one of the Nebula nominees + Sad Puppies, you made the ballot. That may be the key to unraveling the fiction ballots: Rabid Puppies won unless a work appeared on both the Nebula and Sad Puppy lists. That makes for an odd alliance, with Sad Puppies possibly being the swing vote against a total Rabid Puppy sweep.
More analysis to come!