Firstly, that ceremony was just not very good. Sorry ConNZ people, I know you’ve done a lot in difficult circumstances but yikes that was a slow landslide of bad things. The idea of long pre-recorded segments to allow for technical hitches was sound, having most of them been rambling dodgy anecdotes from GRR Martin with bonus Robert Silverberg was not good. A tour round the WETA workshop or somebody talking about the Hugos in nearby Rivendell etc. And then the mispronunciations…people will make allowances for live mistakes but recorded…not good.
Anyway. The results were a lot more fun than the ceremony and at times the results were duelling with the ceremony (e.g. Jeannette Ng speech from last year’s ceremony winning Best Related Work).
So what is interesting in the stats http://www.thehugoawards.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/2020-Hugo-statistics.pdf
The answer to why Ann Leckie’s The Raven Tower wasn’t a finalist is that she declined the nomination. This resulted in Charlie Jane Anders book The City in the Middle of the Night being a finalist. I think The City... was a worthy finalist but I thought it would come last. While it was low ranked in the final vote it still beat The Ten Thousand Doors of January.
The winner, A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine, was my second choice and a very deserving winner. The ironic surprise is that Martine didn’t quite make it to be a finalist for the Astounding Award. She was eliminated in the final EPH round of the nomination phase. I’m sure she’ll be happy with the Hugo Award for Best Novel as a consolation prize thought.
The longlist is quite strong in Best Novel. Some books I have enjoyed (Tiamat’s Wrath, Children of Ruin) and books I’ve seen strongly recommended.
No big surprises here. The longlist for Short Story is a stronger set of stories than the longlist for Novella and Novelette IMHO but that’s the way of those categories. Short Story is a tougher and more competitive field. There was some interesting stuff going on in the EPH rounds as a consequence. Sen, Ramdas, Greenblatt, Kowal, Bolander, Osborne and Wise all battling it out with some Nebula finalist stories not making it to the Hugo finals.
Boring choices dear Hugo voters and I say that as somebody who thoroughly enjoyed The Good Place. Longlist is a bit dull to.
I don’t pay much attention to this category. Not sure why Navah Wolfe wasn’t eligible but interestingly the winner of the category, Ellen Datlow was ranked relatively low in the initial nominations. Some EPH battles going on in later rounds also. The net effect of all of this was nil as Wolfe then won the other editor category.
A decent longlist with Hugo Book Club, Rocket Stack Rank and The Full Lid, just below the cut off to be finalists.
In the final voting there was a bit of an exciting preference battle between The Book Smugglers and Nerds of a Feather, with the Nerds overtaking the Smugglers briefly after Galactic Journey got eliminated.
You naughty people! Looks like I got to play some fun EPH games! (The only name I don’t recognise in the long list is Stitch. [ETA: really interesting blog here https://stitchmediamix.com/ ])
So I had an EPH battle with Sarah Gailey and then with O Westin, then stood aside while Jason Sandford had a couple of bouts, then he and I fought and then I had to fight Cora but she beat me with one of her secret power attacks. None of us remember this happening of course and reading the EPH stats looks like a very weird game of Pokemon as explained by an eight year-old!
The race for the winner proved to quite close at the end. After eliminations, there was only 21 votes between Bogi and Cora. It was always going to be a tough category to vote and so it proved! A talented set of finalists.