3097 votes were cast for the final ballot, 3089 online and 8 by paper ballot – higher than the number of votes cast in 2018, or in any year up to 2013, but lower than the years 2014-2017.
All but two of the winners had the most first preferences in their categories. The exceptions
- Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: The Good Place: “Janet(s)” came from third place to overtake Dirty Computer and The Expanse: “Abaddon’s Gate”.
- Best Graphic Story: Monstress, Volume 3: Haven started in second place but got enough transfers to overtake Black Panther: Long Live the King.
The only category where fewer than six rounds of counting were required to determine the winner was Best Fancast, where Our Opinions Are Correct won on the fifth count.
The closest results were:
- Best Graphic Story: Monstress, Volume 3: Haven beat Black Panther: Long Live the King by 8 votes.
- Best Novella: “If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again” beat “The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections” by 9 votes.
- John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer: Jeannette Ng beat Rivers Solomon by 43 votes.
At lower rankings, there were three closer results:
- Best Related Work: The Mexicanx Initiative beat Astounding by 4 votes for fourth place.
- Best Fancast: The Skiffy and Fanty Show beat The Coode Street Podcast also by 4 votes for fifth place.
- Best Fan Writer: Bogi Takács beat Elsa Sjunneson-Henry again by 4 votes for second place.
1800 valid nominating ballots (1797 electronic and 3 paper) were received. This is less than any year since 2014, but more than any year up to 2013.
The following nominees received enough votes to qualify for the final ballot, but declined nomination:
- Best Novella: Martha Wells declined nomination for both Exit Strategy and Rogue Protocol.
- Best Fanzine: Mike Glyer declined nomination for File 770.
In addition, in the Best Art Book category: Terry Pratchett's Discworld Imaginarium, by Paul Kidby, received enough votes to qualify for the final ballot, but was published in 2017 and therefore was not eligible.
- Best Related Work: the Administrators determined that Archive of Our Own is noteworthy primarily for aspects other than the fictional text that it hosts, and therefore qualifies for the 2019 Hugos.
- Best Graphic Story: the Administrators determined that the 2018 print publication of On A Sunbeam is sufficiently modified from the 2016-17 web publication to qualify for the 2019 Hugos in its own right.
The closest result at nominations stage was in Best Professional Artist, where Tommy Arnold would have displaced Victo Ngai from the ballot with just one more nominating vote.
Full results are here.
Best Novel: The Calculating Stars won by 1242 votes to 940 for Spinning Silver, which took 2nd place by a convincing margin. Record of a Spaceborn Few came 3rd, Trail of Lightning 4th, and Revenant Gun took 5th place by a margin of 12 votes over Space Opera, which came 6th.
Unusually, this was almost exactly the order in nominations as well, with third and fourth place being reversed. The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang came closest to reaching the ballot; it would have needed 30 votes worth 14.87 points. Best Novel had the most votes at nomination stage.
Best Novella: Artificial Condition won by 1163 votes to The Tea Master and the Detective, which came 2nd. Beneath The Sugar Sky came 3rd, The Black God’s Drums 4th, Binti: Night Masquerade 5th and Gods, Monsters and the Lucky Peach 6th. This category also saw the poorest performance of No Award in the runoff.
Martha Wells’ decision to decline for two of her stories (she would have had to decline for one of them anyway under the Nominee Diversity rule) meant that The Black God’s Drums and Binti: Night Masquerade both qualified for the ballot. Time Was, by Ian McDonald, would have needed 37 more votes worth 15.25 points to qualify.
Best Novelette: “If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again” beat “The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections” by only 9 votes, 757 to 748, the second closest result of the night. “The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections” came 2nd, “The Thing About Ghost Stories” 3rd, “Nine Last Days on Planet Earth” 4th, The Only Harmless Great Thing 5th and “When We Were Starless” 6th, all by convincing margins.
This was one of the categories where nominations were furthest out of whack with the final results, with The Only Harmless Great Thing far in the lead with more than twice as many nominating votes as the eventual winner. “How to Swallow the Moon”, by Isabel Yap, was five votes off being nominated and “The Substance of My Lives, the Accidents of Our Births”, by José Pablo Iriarte, was seven votes off.
Best Short Story: “A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies” won by 1058 votes to 716 for “The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington”, which came 2nd. “The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society” came a strong 3rd. “STET” beat “The Tale of the Three Beautiful Raptor Sisters, and the Prince Who Was Made of Meat” by only 11 votes for 4th place; “The Court Magician” beat it by a larger margin for 5th, and it came 6th.
“A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies” also had the most nominating votes, with “STET” not far behind. The closest near-miss was Meat and Salt and Sparks, by Rich Larson, but it was some way off.
Best Series: Wayfarers beat The Laundry Files by 1003 to 785. The Laundry Files beat Machineries of Empire for 2nd place by only 10 votes. Machineries of Empire came 3rd, The October Daye Series 4th, The Universe of Xuya 5th and The Centenal Cycle 6th. I like the Wayfarers books myself and was delighted to present the award to Becky Chambers at the ceremony.
Machineries of Empire topped the nominations vote, with Wayfarers second. Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea was the runner-up, but not all that close. (It won in another category anyway.)
Best Related Work: Archive of Our Own won by 985 votes to 811 for Ursula K. Le Guin: Conversations on Writing, which came a very strong 2nd. An Informal History of the Hugos came 3rd. As already noted, The Mexicanx Initiative Experience at Worldcon 76 beat Astounding by only 4 votes for 4th place, and The Hobbit Duology also beat Astounding by only 11 votes for 5th. Astounding came 6th.
Astounding had however topped the nominations poll, with AO3 in second place. Fire and Blood by George R.R. Martin was the nearest miss, and would have needed 6 more votes worth 5.75 points to qualify for the ballot. However, it would be difficult to make a case that it is noteworthy primarily for aspects other than its fictional content. Next in line was Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded, by Jason Heller, which was one vote behind Fire and Blood but a lot further behind in points.
Best Graphic Story: Monstress, Volume 3: Haven rose from second place on first preferences to win by 612 votes to 604 for Black Panther: Long Live the King, the margin of 8 votes being the closest of the night. Black Panther: Long Live the King came 2nd, Abbott 3rd, Saga, Volume 9 came 4th, Paper Girls, Volume 4 came 5th and On A Sunbeam 6th.
Monstress was also far ahead at nominations stage. The runner-up was The Wicked + The Divine Vol 7: Mothering Invention, which needed five more votes to qualify.
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: As usual, this category had the highest number of votes on the final ballot. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse won by 1314 votes to 1067 for Black Panther, which then crushed all opposition to take 2nd place on the first count. Avengers: Infinity War came 3rd and Annihilation 4th. A Quiet Place beat Sorry To Bother You by only 9 votes for 5th place, and Sorry To Bother You came 6th.
Black Panther was way ahead of Spider-Man at nominations stage. The runner-up was A Wrinkle in Time, which would have needed 11 more votes worth 5.65 points.
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: “Janet(s)” rose from third place on first preferences place to win by 947 votes to 803 for “Abaddon’s Gate”. “Abbadon’s Gate” came 2nd, “Demons of the Punjab” 3rd, “Rosa” 4th, “Jeremy Bearimy” 5th and Dirty Computer 6th despite having started with the second highest number of first preferences. I feel particularly sorry for Dirty Computer, which I very much enjoyed; it started with the second highest number of first preferences in every single round, except the last which it won, but voters for other finalists did not transfer to it.
Dirty Computer was far far ahead at nominations stage. The nearest miss was the opening Doctor Who episode, “The Woman Who Fell To Earth”, but it was some way behind and anyway only two Doctor Who episodes could have been on the ballot. Next after that, still further behind, was the “Promise” episode of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.
Best Professional Editor, Short Form: the late Gardner Dozois won with 548 votes to 450 for Neil Clarke, who came 2nd. Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas came 3rd, Julia Rios 4th, Lee Harris 5th and E. Catherine Tobler 6th, all by decent margins.
This was another category where nominations did not map to final ranking at all closely. Lee Harris and E. Catherine Tobler jointly topped the poll with Neil Clarke close behind. Gardner Dozois only qualified for the ballot due to EPH – one of only two cases where this happened for the 2019 Hugos – and Jonathan Strahan would have qualified for the ballot with four more votes.
Best Professional Editor, Long Form: Navah Wolfe won by 426 votes to 340 to Sheila E. Gilbert, who came 2nd. Beth Meacham came 3rd, Diana Pho 4th, Gillian Redfearn 5th and Anne Lesley Groell 6th, all by convincing margins.
Navah Wolfe was also far ahead at nominations stage. Joe Monti would have qualified for the ballot with 7 more votes.
Best Professional Artist: Charles Vess won by 616 votes to 566 for Galen Dara, who came 2nd beating Yuko Shimizu by 18 votes. Yuko Shimizu came 3rd, Victo Ngai 4th, John Picacio 5th and Jaime Jones 6th, all by convincing margins.
This was very close at nominations, where Tommy Arnold would have qualfied instead of Victo Ngai with just one more vote, and Julie Dillon with two.
Best Semiprozine: Uncanny Magazine won with 625 votes to 503 for Strange Horizons, which came 2nd. Fireside Magazine came 3rd, Beneath Ceaseless Skies 4th, FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction 5th, and Shimmer 6th, all by convincing margins.
Uncanny Magazine was also far ahead at nominations stage. Escape Pod would have qualified with 6.57 more points. The Books Smugglers would have qualified with ten more votes.
Best Fanzine: Lady Business won with 402 votes to 272 for Journey Planet, which also lost 2nd place to nerds of a feather by 15 votes but came 3rd. Galactic Journey came 4th, Quick Sip Reviews 5th, and Rocket Stack Rank 6th. This category had the fewest votes on the final ballot, and also saw the best performance of No Award in the runoff.
Lady Business also led the nominations phase, with File 770 (which declined its nomination) in second place under EPH and the fourth highest number of votes. Rocket Stack Rank qualified because File 770 declined nomination. Women Write About Comics needed 7 votes worth 5.17 points to qualify.
Best Fancast: Our Opinions Are Correct pulled off the strongest win of the evening, with 416 votes to 196 for The Skiffy and Fanty Show and 195 for The Coode Street Podcast. Fangirl Happy Hour beat The Coode Street Podcast for 2nd place, Be the Serpent beat The Coode Street Podcast by 17 votes for 3rd place, Galactic Suburbia beat The Skiffy and Fanty Show for 4th place. As already noted The Skiffy and Fanty Show beat The Coode Street Podcast by 4 votes for 5th place and The Coode Street Podcast came 6th. An unusual pattern of voting, to say the least. Both The Skiffy and Fanty Show and The Coode Street Podcast seem to have a loyal core of supporters, but neither got many transfers.
It's difficult to measure but I think this was the category with the most divergence between nominations order and final ballot rankings. The Coode Street Podcast, which ended up coming 6th, topped the nominations poll. Our Opinions Are Correct, which won bigly, was the last nominee to qualify. (Though had there been only five finalists per category, it would still have sneaked in ahead of Fangirl Happy Hour.) Sword and Laser would have qualified if it had had more than one extra EPH point, and Ditch Diggers if it had had more than two extra EPH points. No particular conclusion from this, except that the people who nominate in this category are an unusually unrepresentative subgroup of those who vote on the final ballot.
Best Fan Writer: Foz Meadows beat Bogi Takács by 422 to 341. As already noted, Bogi Takács beat Elsa Sjunneson-Henry by 4 votes for 2nd place. Elsa Sjunneson-Henry came 3rd, James Davis Nicoll 4th, Alasdair Stuart 5th and Charles Payseur 6th.
This was another case of divergence between the nomination stats and final rankings. Alastair Stuart topped the poll, with Charles Payseur one vote behind and Elsa Sjunneson-Henry two votes behind. O. Westin would have needed points in excess of 3.5 to qualify.
Best Fan Artist: Likhain beat Grace Fong by 518 votes to 408. Grace Fong came 2nd, Sara Felix 3rd, Meg Frank 4th, Spring Schoenhuth 5th, and Ariela Housman 6th, all by convincing margins.
Likhain was also way ahead at nominations stage. The nearest miss was Jemma Malkki, but she would have needed to more than double her 12 nomination votes to qualify for the ballot.
Best Art Book: The Books of Earthsea won by 770 votes to 488 for The Art of Spider-Man, which came 2nd. Dungeons & Dragons Art & Arcana beat Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth by 19 votes for 3rd place. Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth came 4th, Daydreamer’s Journey 5th and Spectrum 25 6th.
Daydreamer’s Journey topped nominations, with Dungeons & Dragons Art & Arcana and The Books of Earthsea not far behind. Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Imaginarium had enough votes to qualify for the ballot, but was published in 2017 and was therefore not eligible.
Beyond Science Fiction: The Alternative Realism of Michael Whelan would have qualified with just one more vote, but it too appears to have been published in 2017, judging from the copyright date.
This category had the fewest votes at nomination stage, the fewest nominees, and the top nominee with the lowest number of votes of any category.
Lodestar Award: Children of Blood and Bone won by 436 to 372 for Dread Nation, which came 2nd. Tess of the Road came 3rd, The Cruel Prince 4th, The Invasion 5th and The Belles 6th.
Dread Nation topped the poll at nominations, with Children of Blood and Bone not far behind. As with Gardner Dozois, The Invasion owed its place on the final ballot to EPH; Skyward, by Brandon Sanderson, would have qualified under the old system, and also under the new system with just 2.4 more points.
Campbell Award: Jeannette Ng beat Rivers Solomon by 599 votes to 516. Rivers Solomon beat S.A. Chakraborty by 14 votes for 2nd place. S.A. Chakraborty came 3rd, and Katherine Arden 4th. R.F. Kuang took 5th place by 11 votes ahead of Vine Jie-Min Prasad, who came 6th.
Rivers Solomon topped the poll at nominations. The nearest miss was Tasha Suri, some way behind.
The lack of enthusiasm for Best Fanzine is notable. We were surprisingly close to not giving a Best Fanzine award in both 2019 Hugos and 1944 Retro Hugos this year. The total first preference votes for Best Fanzine finalists other than No Award in both cases was 26.9% of the total number of votes cast overall (833/3097 and 224/834).
The threshold is 25%, so with 59 fewer votes for 2019 or 16 fewer votes for 1944 we would have had to No Award the category. Best Fanzine was also the category with the best percentage for No Award in the final runoff for both 2019 and 1944. (84.4% in 2019, 81.7% in 1944.)
It shows how fandom has changed. In 1978 and 1979, the earliest years that I have figures for, Best Fanzine was one of the less popular categories even then, but nonetheless around three quarters of all Hugo voters were moved to vote on it in both years. Will it still be around in five or ten years’ time?