A Baen Sweep

of the Hugos

Original version: 30 August 2006
Updated with rewritten/clarified goals: 31 August 2006

Executive Summary

3 goals - in no particular order.



As noted at Toni's Table, the electorate for Hugo awards (and the Campbell award) is almost as small and fluid as that of a "Rotten Burough". Also noted there is that Baen hasn't won many such awards recently despite Baen being the #2 or #3 (depending on how you count/who is counting) speculative fiction (SF) publisher. This totally unaffiliated page is therefore set up so that loyal Baen Barflies can do a little consensus building and nominate appropriately with the goal of seeing Jim Baen nominated as editor and ideally also seeing a Baen author/artist win some other category of the 2007 Hugo awards.


The participation of the wider SF community in the Hugo awards is declining. At the Emerald City blog, Cheryl has the voting trends for the two Hugos that tend to receive the highest number of votes - the Best Novel and Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form). In 2001 there were nearly 972 votes cast for BDP / 885 for Novel and this year (2006) there were 660 for BDP / 567 for Novel.

If you thought the Best Novel numbers were poor then you ain't seen nothing. I'm not sure what the longer term trend for Campbell Award votes is but in both 2005 and 2006 the total votes cast have been under 400 (383 in 2006, 323 in 2005) meaning that the Campbell award might better be described as the person whom under 200 out of about 350 people think is better than the competition. In 2006 John Scalzi won clearly; however in 2005 (last page of PDF) the split between first and second was rather less clear with a mere 33 votes (10%) separating the winner from the runner up once all the others had been eliminated and with merely 11 prefering the winner on first preference. I don't want to denigrate the 2005 winner (I've met her, she's a nice lady, and I've enjoyed some of her work) BUT it seems to me that some of the buzz detracts from an award when you look at the number of people who voted.

To be honest I find it sad that even 5 years ago less than 1000 people could be bothered to vote for the awards that are supposed to represent all of SF-fandom. The fact that these numbers have now dwindled to two thirds of that in 2006 is even more tragic. What I think is also sad is that I, personally, had only read one 2006 Novel nominee - Scalzi's "Old Man's War" - and that a number of books that I thought were great did not appear. Most of the books I liked were published by Baen (but not all were) and it was notable that none of the 5 most nominated works were published by Baen.

In fact going on the list of nominees not a single Baen Novel nor new Baen author was even nominated for either Best Novel or Campbell award . I find that astounding. I don't say they should have won but I would have thought that Chris Dolley or Travis Taylor could at least have been nominated for the Campbell and that at least one of the Baen Novels (say Ringo's Into The Looking Glass or Dolley's Resonance) for Best Novel.

In fact the only "Baen" author to achieve any mention in the last couple of years that I can see is Lois Bujold and although she may still hang out at Baen's Bar she isn't writing much for Baen at present. Going further back there is a little more (e.g. Wen Spencer for Campbell in 2003) but in my opinion Baen is both under-represented and getting less so, despite publishing (IMHO) more and better books than the comeptition. I would suggest that this is partly due to the voters and nominators of these awards mostly not being Baen readers and I think that this is a state of affairs that needs rectifying.

Statement of Intent

This is an attempt to mobilise the large number of loyal Baen readers to nominate and vote so that their point of view is recognised within the SF world. I believe both the awards and SF as a whole would benefit from the Hugos not being seen as a high-brow cliquey award.

As stated above in the executive summary, this page seeks to I hope to do this by convincing a number of loyal Baen readers (aka Barflies) to register as attendees for Worldcon 2007 or as voting associates and, having done so, to nominate Jim Baen for the editor award and to nominate some Baen works/authors/artists for the other awards. There is NO intention to produce a Baen "slate" and to insist (as if it were possible) that Barflies nominate and vote for the "slate".

However, having said that, it should be noted that in order for a nomination to make it onto the final ballot it typically needs between 20 and 40 nominations so it isn't as simple as just having one person make a nomination that everyone else can vote on. We need as many barflies as possible involved in the nomination process to increase the chance that we have something Baeny to vote on.

The goal of this page is to list, for each category, the Baen related potential candidates so that Barflies can make their nominations.

I would hope that as many Baen Barflies as possible - ideally a minimum of 100 preferably more like 500 - will decide to get involved in the Hugo process and that they will use the information on this page to make some or all of their nominations.

Potential Controversy

(also see Disclaimer section below)
I expect that people will see this page as controversial and I will be entirely unsurprised if some people will (despite the disclaimers) see this as either a threat to them or a cheat / abuse of the process (or both) and I have no doubt that those who wish to will see this as some sort of evil Baen trick. Other than not doing this, I don't see a way to totally avoid these controversies, but I hope this section will help to defuse them a bit.

To start with one of my main goals is to increase participation and I do not think that a "get the vote out" campaign ought to be controversial. If you like speculative fiction (SF) and want to have some meaningful SF awards then you need to ensure that you include all types of SF and all publishers and readers. As noted above I think that currently the Hugo awards are not meeting this purpose.

Secondly despite the title, I neither want nor expect a sweep of all the awards - not in 2007 at least :) . I'd like to see Baen nominees and I'd like to see an increase in the number of voters for the awards. But as far as I am concerned if the number of voters and/or nominators goes above its 2001 levels and this page helped in that procss then I don't care if there are no Baen winners other than the very specific desire shared by others. including this year's winner, to see Jim Baen win the Editor award.


This is not an attempt at ballot stuffing. This is an attempt to provide greater diversity in terms of books/authors and an attempt to motivate a group of fans who seem to be ignored to make their presence and views felt.

This has nothing whatever to do with any employee of Baen books nor with any of the authors or artists under consideration so, although it won't be a secret to them and they can of course influence people or comment pseudonymously, they aren't supposed to be involved.


Over the next few weeks I hope to post an accurate list of valid works by category as well as eligible artists and Campbell Award writers - any volunteers to assist are welcome!

The Nippon 2007 page is currently vague about timing. Assuming 2007 is similar to 2006 then nominations must be in before 31 January 2007. Voting will then take place from about April 2007 until the Worldcon itself in August.

We, as barflies, should be able to read all suitable works by the early December 2006 and can make sure that we know who is eligible in what category. This allows us to ensure that the nominations are made before the deadline.

Barflies who wish to vote should try to get their registration form in by November 2006 so that they can be sure of being able to nominate something.

What are the categories of interest?

There are a lot of options. I reckon the ones listed below are the ones worth looking at (descriptions are the plain english ones nicked from Enerald City):

Best Novel: Awarded for a science fiction or fantasy story of forty thousand (40,000) words or more.

Best Novella: Awarded for a science fiction or fantasy story of between seventeen thousand five hundred (17,500) and forty thousand (40,000) words.

Best Novelette: Awarded for a science fiction or fantasy story of between seven thousand five hundred (7,500) and seventeen thousand five hundred (17,500) words.

Best Short Story: Awarded for science fiction or fantasy story of less than seven thousand five hundred (7,500) words.

Best Professional Editor: This is the first of the person categories, so the Award is given for the work that person has done in the year of eligibility. Note that the Award is not just for magazine editors. Books get edited too. And the Award goes to the Editor, not to the magazine, the book, or the publisher. Remember that the works that nominees are judged by must qualify as "professional". (See note 1)

Best Professional Artist: Another person category, this time for artists and illustrators. Again the work on which the nominees are judged must class as "professional".

Best Semiprozine: (see note 2) This is the most complicated category because of the need to define semi-professional. A lot of science fiction and fantasy magazines are run on a semi-professional basis, that is they pay a little, but generally not enough to make a living for anyone. The object of this category is to separate such things from fanzines, which are generally loss-making. To qualify a publication must not be professional and must meet at least two of the following criteria:

Campbell Award: (from Writertopia): The John W. Campbell Award is given to the best new science fiction or fantasy writer whose first work of science fiction or fantasy was published in a professional publication in the previous two years. For the 2007 award, which is presented at the World Science Fiction Convention (WorldCon), the qualifying work must have been published in 2006 or 2005.

There can be confusion over the term "professional publication" since the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS), and the award sponsor define it differently. For the purposes of the Campbell Award, professional publications are works sold for more than a nominal amount and published anywhere in the world.

  1. there may be two editor nominiations one for books and one for magazines - I'm not clear
  2. I'm not sure whether JBU counts as a Semiprozine I think so - the question of print run and advertising may disqualify it

Baen Nominations

These are my lists of eligibility plus suggestions and picks the latter subject to change and debate in the comments below each one, if I have iss.

I have currently joined together the Novella/Novellette categories - this will change when I add the entrants
Discussion sections for each category are present other than the ones where there is only one choice - for these categories, and for general comments, you should comment at the

Editor (books)

Jim Baen

Editor (magazine)

Eric Flint - to be eliminated if there's only one editor category


Jim Baen's Universe assuming it meets the definition It's not Semi-pro - hence N/A

Pro Artist

Personally I prefer Kurt's work this year YMMV

Campbell Award

Chris Dolley remains eligible and would be my choice however there are other possibilites
David Friedman Andrew Dennis and Arlene Golds are eligible and Ryk Spoor and Sarah Hoyt may be eligible

Best Novel

Check the Baen Catalog. As I read it the following would be eligible - in date order:

Personally I'd go for either Von Neumann's War, Boundary or Wolf Who Rules

Best Novella/Novellette

Apart from stories at JBU I think that one of the Princess of Wands novellas ought to be eligible - and the first one is available on line to make it easily accessible for voters. Also eligible would be stories from Other Times Than Peace and probably also Masters of Fantasy and Freedom and the Grantville Gazette VI (or II not sure whether eligibility is based on epublication or print).

Short Story

I believe much of JBU would be eligible. Some word counts of JBU stories would help us to allocate into the right categories.