For three of the last four years, I carried out a survey of how bloggers were planning to vote in the Hugos. Last year this proved a fairly effective methodology, calling Best Novel and Best Short Story correctly and pinging the actual winners as front-runners for Best Novella and Best Novelette. In 2013 two winners were clear and two were missed (including Best Novel). In 2011, however, my survey failed to pick a single winner of the four fiction categories. So this should be taken as a straw poll, necessarily incomplete and this year earlier than usual. There is certain to be a selection bias in that people who feel more strongly are more likely to blog about it; so we have no insight into the preferences of less articulate or invested voters.
Having said that, the results are interesting. In particular, No Award appears to be leading in all the short fiction categories (though not necessarily decisively in every case), and there is no clear single front-runner for Best Novel.
Best Novel: I found 17 bloggers so far who have disclosed which way they plan to vote, and it is close between three candidates. Seven are voting for The Three-Body Problem and four each for Ancillary Sword and The Goblin Emperor, with one for Skin Game and one wavering between Ancillary Sword and The Goblin Emperor.
On that basis I think it’s impossible to call a winner, though I think it’s also fair to say that Skin Game, The Dark Between the Stars and No Award are probably out of the picture. Fans of both Ancillary Sword and The Goblin Emperor transfer to The Three-Body Problem, so I think it’s fair to say that it has an edge. For what it’s worth, fans of The Three-Body Problem tended to put Skin Game second, so it may pick up a lower place more easily than its first preferences suggest. I will note, however, that my surveys of 2011 and 2013 failed to pick up a single blogger who admitted voting for the Best Novel winner in either year, and that Skin Game‘s supporters may not be fervent bloggers.
The Three-Body Problem (7): Wombat-Socho, Vox Day, H.P., Bradley Armstrong, Joseph Tomaras, Nick Mamatas and Brian Z.
The Goblin Emperor (4½): Ian Mond, Tim Atkinson, Reading SFF, Rachel Neumeier and maybe Cat Faber.
Ancillary Sword (4½): Steve Davidson, Nicholas Whyte, John Snead, Lisa Goldstein and maybe Cat Faber.
Skin Game (1): Patrick May
Best Novella: I have found 19 bloggers who have recorded their votes for Best Novella. There is a clear winner: No Award is favoured by 11 of them, with “Big Boys Don’t Cry” on three, “Pale Realms of Shade” and “One Bright Star to Guide Them” getting two votes each and “Flow” one. I have to say that my experience from previous years is that if that margin of surveyed bloggers supports a particular candidate, it’s likely to win. Two of those who are voting No Award will put “Flow” second, so it is as strongly placed as any to take second place, if No Award wins.
No Award (11): Joseph Tomaras, Steve Davidson, Nicholas Whyte, Timo Pietilä, Melina Dahms, Font Folly, Abigail Nussbaum, Laura Gjovaag, Marion, Lisa Goldstein and Cat Faber.
“Big Boys Don’t Cry” (3): Chris Gerrib, Peter Enyeart and Brian Z.
“Pale Realms of Shade” (2): Rachel Neumeier and Joe Sherry.
“One Bright Star To Guide Them” (2): Vox Day and Nick Mamatas.
“Flow” (1): Patrick May.
Best Novelette: There are three leading contenders for the Best Novelette votes of declared bloggers, not sufficiently differentiated that I can confidently call a likely winner. However, No Award is in front with 11 of 23 bloggers supporting it. “The Triple Sun” has 5 and “The Day The World Turned Upside Down” has 4, and 1 is choosing between them. “The Journeyman: In The Stone House” and “Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium” have 1 supporter each; nobody has declared that their first preference will go to “Championship B’Tok”. A majority of No Award voters will cast second preferences for “The Day The World Turned Upside Down”.
No Award (10): Andrew Hickey, Kat Jones, Nicholas Whyte, Melina Dahms, Timo Pietilä, Laura Gjovaag, Abigail Nussbaum, Brian Z, Lisa Goldstein, Cat Faber and Steve Davidson.
“The Triple Sun” (5½): Kiesa, Rachel Neumeier, Mark Ciocco, Joe Sherry, Joseph Tomaras, Peter Enyeart and maybe Marion.
“The Day The World Turned Upside Down” (4½): Font Folly, Russell Blackford, Chris Gerrib and maybe Marion.
“The Journeyman: In The Stone House” (1): Patrick May.
“Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium” (1): Nick Mamatas.
Best Short Story: There are two clear leaders from the declared Best Short Story votes of 25 declared bloggers, close enough that I don’t feel able to call a winner with confidence, but far enough ahead of the field that I am pretty sure the winner will be one of the two. As with the other two short fiction categories, No Award is pretty clearly in the lead, with 14 votes; “Totaled” is in a strong second with 8. Of the No Award voters who have expressed a second preference, most will transfer to “Totaled”, so it looks like a strong second place at the very least. “Turncoat” has two supporters, and “On a Spiritual Plain” one. Nobody has yet declared that their first preference will go to either “The Parliament of Beasts and Birds” or “A Single Samurai”.
No Award (14): Andrew Hickey, Katya Czaja, Timo Pietilä, Melina Dahms, Martin Petto, Nicholas Whyte, Steve Davidson, Font Folly, Abigail Nussbaum, Laura Gjovaag, Nick Mamatas, Brian Z, Lisa Goldstein and Cat Faber.
“Totaled” (8): Mark Ciocco, Liz Barr, Chris Gerrib, Rachel Neumeier, Patrick May, Joseph Tomaras, Russell Blackford and Peter Enyeart.
“Turncoat” (2): Vox Day and Vivienne Raper.
“On a Spiritual Plain” (1): Joe Sherry.
I haven’t looked at other categories in detail, as the numbers are still fairly few, but it’s already clear that 2015 will see No Award do better than any recent years.
Please let me know if I have misrepresented your vote, or misused your preferred online handle, in the list above. And please point me to other lists; if I am able, I hope to do an update post before the voting deadline on 31 July.
(Updated later on 3 July to bring in a few more votes.)
(Updated again on 4 July for two more voters. This post will not be updated again, but I will hope to do another update before the end of voting.)