Hugo Mode

There’s a mob of network data scientists with flaming pitchforks hammering at the doors of Felapton Towers in a vain attempt to drag these tools out of my hands and try me for crimes against having the faintest idea of what I’m doing. In the meantime this blog is all graphs all the time until I run out of things to stuff into Gephi and see what happens.

In this case what happens was more useful than I imagined. I thought mapping connections between the four award categories I have collected in my big-hugo-spreadsheet (Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story) would be a bit dull. However, the graph has done a very nice job sorting authors into nine semi-neat clusters.

ETA zoomable PDF below:

The four big outer broccoli-like fronds show authors whose work has only been nominated in a single category. Let’s call them the specialists. There is a second ring of four groups which joins adjacent pairs, Novelette & Novella, Novella & Novel, Novel & Short, Short & Novelette. Nice. Then the sorting hat gives up and lumps everybody else in the middle.

Now a good data diagram should raise questions and this one does. There are two pairings we can’t see easily because they sit on the diagonals of the quadrilateral: Novella & Short, Novelette & Novel.

Authors who have only been finalists in the Novella & Short categories are:

  • Amal El-Mohtar
  • Andy Duncan
  • Gregory Benford
  • Jack McDevitt
  • Joanna Russ
  • John C. Wright
  • Keith Laumer
  • Ken Liu
  • Kij Johnson
  • P. Djèlí Clark
  • Rivers Solomon
  • Spider Robinson
  • Ted Reynolds

Authors who have only been finalists in the Novel & Novelette categories are:

  • Andre Norton
  • Charlie Jane Anders
  • David Gerrold
  • Murray Leinster
  • Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Philip K. Dick
  • Piers Anthony
  • Tom Reamy
  • Walter M. Miller, Jr.
  • William Gibson
  • Yoon Ha Lee

The rest of that central cloud are the hat-trick authors (3 categories) and what I guess we might call the grand-slam authors (4 categories). These are both large groups.

The grand-slam category is interesting. It consists of 25 authors and is quintessentially Hugo Awardish. Given the very male-dominated decades of the Hugos, I was glad to see that the group has many women in it — 8 out of 25, so still an under-representation but better than I expected.

  • Algis Budrys
  • Clifford D. Simak
  • Connie Willis
  • David Brin
  • Fritz Leiber
  • George R. R. Martin
  • Gordon R. Dickson
  • Greg Bear
  • Joan D. Vinge
  • John Varley
  • Kate Wilhelm
  • Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Larry Niven
  • Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Maureen F. McHugh
  • Michael Bishop
  • Michael Swanwick
  • Nancy Kress
  • Orson Scott Card
  • Poul Anderson
  • Robert Silverberg
  • Roger Zelazny
  • Samuel R. Delany
  • Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Vonda N. McIntyre

7 responses to “Hugo Mode”

  1. Of the 25 authors who have been nominated in all four fiction categories, the only three who won in every of the four categories are Fritz Leiber, Connie Willis and Ursula K. Le Guin (who also won Best Related and Best Art Book).


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