Science Fiction Awards Watch

A New Poll

A little quiet over the holiday period has allowed us to direct a few braincells to the multi-vote poll problem, and we now think that we have it fixed. Or at any rate it it worked on the test server and we can see check boxes rather than radio buttons in the sidebar.

So, the new poll gives a list of likely candidates for a Lifetime Achievement Hugo. You get to pick your five nominees. Obviously there are a lot more potential candidates. If you think we have missed someone important, please list them here in comments. However, we are going with the prevailing view that nominees have to be a) alive and b) have had at least 30 years in the field.

16 Responses to “A New Poll”

  1. on 23 Dec 2007 at 3:19 pmLisa Harrigan

    It’s interesting that only two of us have voted so far. And we both agree on Ursula K Le Guin. Telling, isn’t it?

  2. on 23 Dec 2007 at 6:42 pmKaren Burnham

    For “Other” I’d nominate Gary Wolfe – hasn’t won a Hugo yet and reviewers often don’t. However, they really do bring added value to the field.

  3. on 23 Dec 2007 at 6:52 pmCheryl

    Karen: I’d love to see Gary get a Hugo too. But, like you said, reviewers don’t often get Hugos, and in picking the list I tried to think of people who might actually get voted in.

  4. on 24 Dec 2007 at 1:21 amEd Dravecky

    Now it’s at 52 votes and Ursula K. LeGuin is still on top with 82%. If we were using Baseball HOF rules, she’d be in (alone!) and Sir Arthur C. Clarke would have just missed the 75% cutoff with a heartbreaking 73%. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out as people wander by their computers in the midst of this holiday season.

  5. on 24 Dec 2007 at 7:13 amMatt S

    I’m surprised that Frank Herbert didn’t make the list – I nominate him as my ‘Other’ vote.

  6. on 24 Dec 2007 at 11:01 amCheryl

    So that everyone is clear on what is happening, I have added a “Total Voters” line to the poll results. As you will see, not everyone has used their five nominations, which also happens in the Hugos.

    As Ed notes, the % figures the percentage of the total voters who supported that candidate. Currently Sir Arthur leads the poll with 13 votes from 20 people so he has 65% support, and if we were using the Baseball Hall of Fame system even he would not get in.

    One potential difference between us and the baseball folks is that the baseball system is well established and supported. With a Lifetime Achievement Hugo using the baseball system I suspect there will be a small but vocal minority who will run a campaign to submit blank ballots (or ballots listing just one person who is unlikely to get in) so as to prevent anyone getting the award.

  7. on 24 Dec 2007 at 11:02 amCheryl

    Matt: Frank Herbert died in 1986. According the the rules we have adopted he’s not eligible.

  8. on 24 Dec 2007 at 11:39 amCEP

    My nomination for “other” would be Harlan Ellison. After all, he first came to prominence as a fan…

  9. on 24 Dec 2007 at 12:22 pmCheryl

    After finishing bashing my head against a wall I’ve added Harlan Ellison and Robert Silverberg. I’ve adjusted the votes for CEP’s nomination. If anyone else wants their votes changed, let me know.

  10. on 25 Dec 2007 at 9:55 amCEP

    Quick followup: I’m one of the voters who didn’t use all five votes, because my fifth vote would have gone to an ineligible (dead) candidate: Dr. Asimov.

    On the other hand, I would have been more than happy to throw pies in the face of one candidate, too, so I guess I can’t have everything. That candidate’s presence in the poll would probably have led me to the kind of strategic voting Cheryl mentioned in the third paragraph of message 6. I’m being very careful not to do more than mention this possibility so that it doesn’t become an issue that overwhelms the poll with another flame war… not to mention that, since the individual in question is alive, hijack this blog for my own agenda.

  11. on 26 Dec 2007 at 4:08 pmSteven

    Ellen Asher

  12. on 26 Dec 2007 at 4:42 pmSpring

    There are many fine names on that ballot, but one I would consider is Ray Bradbury. He is my fifth vote.

  13. on 07 Jan 2008 at 10:12 pmElspeth

    I’m aware that people disagree with me but I don’t think that there should be a lifetime achievement Hugo. It’s a notion put forward by the professional authors and I do understand their point: Right now ‘Hugo’ is better known than

    SFWA’s ‘Grand Master’ or
    ‘First Fandom Hall of Fame Award’. or
    Inductee, Science Fiction Hall of Fame – Gene Wolfe is one – or
    World Fantasy Convention Life Award. Some of the folks who have that one:
    – Forrest J Ackerman
    – Tom Doherty
    – Gene Wolfe
    – Betty Ballantine
    Also Carol Emshwiller
    Stephen King
    Lloyd Alexander
    George Scithers
    Madeline L’Engle

    That’s already four awards and I think that Inductee, Science Fiction Hall of Fame is going to become more prominent as the years go by.

    And every Worldcon can create a one-time Hugo category which could be ‘lifetime achievement’ if they so choose. They can also give someone a special award; this was created in part so that people _could_ be given a lifetime achievement award.

    Still, I understand why the pros want this award. But, even without the long discussions about how to judge it, I don’t think that the fact of the pros wanting it is a reason for creating yet another Hugo.

  14. on 08 Jan 2008 at 12:17 amKevin


    And every Worldcon can create a one-time Hugo category which could be ‘lifetime achievement’ if they so choose.

    No, they can’t. Special Categories have to be for work appearing in the previous calendar year, not for Lifetime Achievement. The only way we could create a Hugo Award category whose eligibility period exceeds the default (previous calendar year) would be to amend the constituion.

    They can also give someone a special award; this was created in part so that people _could_ be given a lifetime achievement award.

    Special Awards have no constitutional status, and can emphatically not be considered Hugo Awards or use the Hugo Award rocket statue. And their status in lists of awards presented at past Worldcons is unclear; some are listed sometimes and some are not. But in any event, I think Special Committee Awards, while nice, have nowhere near the stature of a Hugo Award.

  15. on 08 Jan 2008 at 6:50 pmMatthew Mishalak

    I know he’d not be added to the list as it would be a conflict of interest, but if I was nominating I ‘d pick Kevin Standlee.

  16. on 08 Jan 2008 at 7:17 pmKevin

    Well, thank you, but I’m way down the list of Big Name Fans that one could consider for such an honor. Heck, I’ve only been in the field 23 years myself.