Hugo Stats Time Some More

…that last post got a bit derailed by a sudden and immediate loss of personal objectivity.

OK the category to look at for EPH fun is Best Fan Artist. This category has a wide field, an intrinsically hard to judge topic, and low participation by voters. This means a much higher chance of a tie. One ‘feature-not-a-bug’ qualities of EPH is that it should reduce actual ties but that does mean the results start to look complex and arbitrary.

Virtual ties (in my head at least) are also important – where the number of votes between two people is very close. If it is down to one vote then it is good that EPH adds more elements to the contest.

At the low end of the nominations were these outcomes: (v = votes, p = EPH points)

  • v 39 p 28.25 Spring Schoenhuth
  • v 33 p 29.00 Steve Stiles
  • v 34 p 24.00 Elizabeth Leggett
  • v 33 p 24.75 Ariela Housman
  • v 33 p 20.17 Galen Dara
  • v 27 p 19.57 Richard Man
  • v 28 p 14.83 Kathryn M. Weaver

Lots of close vote totals and low points. The stats PDF has a nice explanation:

“Pay attention, this is complicated.

If Galen Dara had had 0.33 more points, Elizabeth Leggett would have been eliminated on an earlier count and Galen Dara would probably have been a finalist.

Ariela Housman needed 1 more vote to displace Elizabeth Leggett from the final ballot.

To do the same, Richard Man needed at most another 7 votes worth 4.43 more points, Megan Lara needed at most another 9 votes worth 8.00 points, and Kathryn Weaver needed at most another 9.17 points.

Steve Stiles would have been displaced by Ariela Housman with 5.25 fewer points, and Spring Schoenhuth would have been displaced by Ariela Housman with 7 fewer votes, or 6 fewer votes worth more than 3.5 points.

If Spring Schoenhuth had had precisely 6 fewer votes worth precisely 3.5 points, she and Ariela Housman would have tied for the last ballot spot and both would have qualified when Mansik Yang was disqualified.

Put another way. If Galen Dara had been *less* popular with people who had voted for higher ranked nominees THEN she might have made the ballot. Likewise, if Steve Stiles’s support was more common among the other top rated nominees then he wouldn’t have made the ballot.

Is that fair? YES! Look at what it is doing. In borderline cases, close races are being decided by results that MAXIMISE the number of voters the resulting set of finalists represent. Put another way, more voters get somebody they voted for in the list of finalists. OK, in this case, the loaf is getting sliced microscopically thin but the only super-fair way of resolving this would have been to have 9 or 10 finalists.

Onto the Rabid nomination vote (not counting hostages).

  • Novel 85 votes
  • Novelette 77 votes
  • Short Story 87 votes
  • Best Editor Long 83 votes
  • Semipro 80 votes
  • Fanzine 85 votes
  • Fancast 76 votes
  • Fan writer 80 votes
  • Campbell 91 votes

J.Mulrooney, the Castalia House nominee for Best Novel and the Campbell got 6 more votes for the Campbell than for Best Novel – which is a bit odd I suppose. John C Wright’s Short Story would have also picked up some votes from random Puppies still involved and I’d have thought it would have landed further from the Rabid mean…but it was effin awful even by JCW’s standards so maybe not.

So a mean in the low 70s and a median of 83 votes. Which looks to be irrelevant because those votes are probably all from 2016 members. The Rabid vote drops precipitously in the final numbers.

  • Novelette 45 votes
  • Short story 58 votes
  • Best Editor Long 32 votes
  • Semipro 17 votes (ouch)
  • Fanzine 22 votes
  • Fancast 15 votes
  • Fanwriter 20 votes
  • Campbell 26 votes

That’s it for now. Have to eat ice-cream for breakfast it seems 🙂


Hugo Stats Time

Two PDFs and a slightly different format than previous. The final No Award run-off rounds don’t seem to be listed but they aren’t relevant. [eta they are there I jsut wasn’t paying attention]

The main vote stats are reassuringly dull. In most categories, the final winner got the most first round votes and maintained a lead throughout. An exception is Best Fan Writer. Chuck Tingle started out well, with Mike Glyer second and Abigail Nussbaum third. However, as others got eliminated and votes transferred, Abigail Nussbaum ended top. Round to decide second place then saw Foz Meadows leap ahead on the strength of transfers from Nussbaum. All very exciting! In the end, Mike came third and Chuck fourth, Natalie Luhrs fifth. Sixth place went to previous fan favourite No Award.

Rabids? The first round vote for Rabid nominees dropped to about 20 or less. The highest Rabid nominee on first round votes was Vox Day himself in Best Editor Long Form with 32. The Rabids are done folks – a last gasp (yes, I know that in the stories we love that is the worst possible thing to say…)

To the nominee stats and…um…gosh…thanks people.

How close was it?
Camestros Felapton needed 3 more votes to displace Natalie Luhrs from the final ballot.
Mark Oshiro needed 5 more votes to displace Natalie Luhrs.
Um. I don’t think I’d have felt happy at knocking either Natalie Luhrs or Mark Oshiro off the ballot – particularly as both suffered from Puppy shenanigans over the past few years. So thanks! And it is great company on that whole list as well! James Nicoll, Cora, Alexandra Erin.
Ah, but added to the fun! I got 81 votes, Jeffro Johnson got 80 but many more points by virtue of EPH and THAT IS A REALLY GOOD THING. OK, not Jeffro specifically (although there are worse Rabids and he is actually a fan writer) but that is exactly how EPH should work. I was obviously a common pick with many of the others who got on the ballot, whereas Jeffro wasn’t and given a close vote between Jeffro, Mark and myself, a system that picks out a finalist who has less in common with the other finalist is the right result. Yes, in this case that difference was due to Rabid shenanigans but that’s a different issue.

Congratulations to the Hugo Winners 2017

I missed most of the ceremony because of timezones but it was great to wake up and see all the good stuff that had won. Stats later I hope and it looks like File770 servers have been swamped again on Hugo night.

Suprised but pleased that The Obelisk Gate won best novel. Brilliant book, but I didn’t expect a sequel to win and it was a very strong field.

In the something for everybody category, The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold winning best series is not a surprise and a well-deserved win – plus a Hugo for Baen.

No live streaming, so I am only aware of rumours about how brilliant Ursula Vernon’s acceptance speech for The Tomato Thief was – apparently on the amazing ecosystems of dead whales.

Sad that Seeming’s Splendor & Misery didn’t win Best Dramatic Presentation Short. The Expanse is a worthy winner but not my top pick.

And that’s all I’ve got to say for the moment!

Some Reactions to the Dragon Con U-Turn

The indignation industry took a bit of time to warm up but eventually the news that the Dragons had allowed some authors to withdraw was reprocessed into the “SJWs are out to get us” narrative.

To recap, we have had in the space of a few days these various claims:

  • That John Scalzi was nominated was evidence of an SJW plot.
  • That John Scalzi wanted to withdraw his nomination was evidence of an SJW plot.
  • That John Sclazi decided not to withdraw his nomination was…evidence of an SJW plot.

Here are some reactions from Scrappy-Doo arenas: The “injustice gamer” was a booster of Dragon Award campaigns. Naturally he is so committed to individual freedom that he says:

“Now, as to how I would allow for withdrawal if I were them. Make it permanent. Yes, if you’re going to allow for withdrawal from a fan award with a reputation for favoring fans over celebrities, deny them forever. Why? Right now, they’re also playing a game of the Dragons not being real, legitimate awards. The next step, to take it the rest of the way, is to deny them a professional presence at DragonCon in perpetuity, for denying the fans.”

Got to punish those authors for wanting to do their own thing it seems!

On that same post, there is this Facebook post that has an interesting comment thread:

Meanwhile here is a similar take from an author I’m not familiar with who cites Brian Niemeier as a friend: The writer gets some basic facts wrong

Less hysterical is this short post from Jeffro Johnson (who edits the Castalia House blog) on his own site: It has one of those nearly insightful comments where the writer just stops short of a revelation:

“But you do see the kicker there, don’t you? If you give this request your blessing, then you have basically agreed that Allison Littlewood was put on the ballot unfairly.

Gosh, if that’s the case… then maybe there are other people on the ballot that ought not to be there. Hell, you maybe even gave out awards last year to people that didn’t come by them honestly!

Seriously, did anyone running this thing give any thought to the implications of what they were doing here?”


[ETA: Brian twists his pretzel further]



The Weird Not-a-referendum in Australia on Marriage Equality

particlfunkThe Australian government has found itself in an absurd situation on marriage equality. As things currently stand a majority of the Australian population wants marriage equality, a majority of MPs in the lower house of parliament want marriage equality and a majority of senators in the upper house want marriage equality. So politically this is a really simple call: pass a bill for marriage equality.

Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple. While there is technically a majority in favour, the majority of MPs in the ruling coalition don’t support it. A minority of centre-right MPs in the ruling Liberal-National coalition strongly support marriage equality but the conservative right are unwilling to allow a straight vote on the issue.

During the last general election, the Liberals had campaigned on the basis of a referendum on the issue. The referendum was a stop-gap measure to avoid an internal party split. As the vote couldn’t be binding on parliament as it wasn’t a change to the constitution it would be called a ‘plebiscite’. If this sounds a lot like the reasoning behind the Brexit referendum then you’d be right – the idea was primarily about maintaining party unity.

This plebiscite, would have had no binding impact on MPs who would still have to vote on legislation. So people quite reasonably asked what the point would be. Given the inevitable homophobic propaganda that would accompany the campaign, i would cause real distress to families at significant financial cost and have no actual legal impact.

The outcome of the general election last year was ambiguous. Malcom Turnbull’s Liberal-National coallition scraped in by the skin of their teeth in the lower house but the Senate was left with the balance of power lying with smaller parties and independents.

When the government proposed the plebiscite, the Senate blocked the legislation. So the government was stuck. The conservative wing of the Liberal party insisted that no other legislation on marriage equality could go forward without the plebiscite. As time progressed, the Labor Party continued to press the government on the issue – embarrising the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull who is on the liberal-wing of the Liberal Party and in favour of marriage-equality.

Ironically, the debate was in danger of causing an end to the political marriage of the Liberal Party. That in turn would have led to the government collapsing, which would probably have led to the Labor Party winning and passing marriage-equality.

So…the Liberal-National MPs put their heads together to come up with a way to give the conservative MPs a plebiscite without asking the Senate’s permission. The only way to do this would be to have something that was not technically a VOTE. Now as the plebiscite was never going to be binding anyway…the plebiscite could be legally a ‘survey’ IF instead of being run by the Australian Election Commision it was run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (who run the census – but not very well).

Anyway, this is why Australia is going to have a “postal plebiscite” on marriage-equality. Which is nuts, and of course will be exploited by the nastiest sections of society to attack LGBTI families, will cost a fortune, won’t be very representative and won’t be binding on MPs anyway.

Why? Because conservatives are petulant children.

Today in Demonology: the actual, genuine, not-a-joke, demon Amy – teacher of liberal arts

Sadly no picture is available but look, oh ye sceptics, a genuine wikipedia page about Amy


“He is claimed to teach astronomy and liberal arts, give familiars, incite positive reactions from rulers, and (according to all sources except the Munich Manual) reveal treasures. According to all sources, he rules over thirty six legions of demons. According to Johann Weyer, he was of both the order of angels and potestats (powers), and holds the futile hope of returning to the seventh heaven after twelve centuries.”

Note, technically PRESIDENT Amy liberal arts teacher with a sideline in astonomy. Demon 61 in here (not to be confused with demon Aym.

I have yet to find which demon was charged with converging SF awards.