A Simple Suggestion for the Hugo Awards

If you haven’t followed the Hugo Awards, some context. A slate of nominees backed by a voting block is dominating this year’s awards, so much so that the slate has every single nomination in some categories – like Best Short Story, Best Novella, and Best Related Work. Read more about that here or here.

This was possible for a number of reasons. One reason, though, is that in each category there are five finalists for the Hugo. And every person making a nomination can nominate… five works in each category.

So here’s a small suggestion for a rules change for the Hugos for 2016 and beyond.

The number of finalists in each category should substantially exceed the number of nominations possible on a single ballot.

E.g., if the number of final nominees for each category is 5 (as today), then each person should be able to nominate 2 or 3 works in each category.

Or, if we want each person to be able to nominate 5 works in each category, then the number of finalists per category should be raised to 8 or 10. [This may have a ripple effect on the “5% rule” – to be dealt with.]

Such a change wouldn’t make it substantially harder for a voting block to get their slate of works onto the list of nominees. But such a slate would no longer push out most or all other eligible works in a category (which is the thing that troubles me most about this year).

Other rules changes may also be good ideas, of course. This is just one.

As for this year, I’ll just echo John Scalzi‘s thoughts on assessing and voting on Hugo works in 2015.