The Guardian has picked up on the news of the Gemmell Award result, and by far the most interesting thing in their coverage is that the award attracted “Over 10,000 fans from 75 countries”. Now that’s an international award, even if the eligibility criteria limits the candidates to works in English.
The Gemmell has set out almost from the start to be a popular vote award. It has little in the way of literary pretensions. From that point of view it has succeeded very well in getting mass participation. There has been some rumbling (see comments here) that Sapkowski benefited from a large block vote from Poland, but no voting figures have been produced so there’s no evidence of that.
So, all you people who claim that the Hugos have no validity because so few people participate, is the Gemmell what you would like the Hugos to be? Or is mass participation not the good thing you thought it would be?