< Edit. I’ve now conducted brief demographic studies on Best Novella, Best Novelette and Best Short Story. Main page for these little studies is here. >
On Twitter today I made a remark to the talented Mary Robinette Kowal about the demographics of the Hugos. On reflection I wasn’t confident that my conclusion was actually borne out by the numbers. I had no real idea (despite Sad Puppies and Bad Puppies and all the other fracas swallowing my feed) of what the demographics of the Hugo winners really looked like. I had a quick Google and couldn’t find anything helpful, so I thought I’d chuck some stuff together. Hope someone, somewhere is interested.
I decided to look at Best Novel (*) – which I’ll refer to as the Hugo from here – by sex and nationality. I was also going to include race but I couldn’t think of a way to do it tactfully and respectfully (**).
The first Hugo was awarded to Alfred Bester in 1953, for his novel The Demolished Man. For reasons I am too lazy to look up, no prize was awarded in 1954 and 1957. Normal service was resumed in ’58 and since then a Hugo has been awarded every year.
A total of 64 awards have been presented and there have been dual winners in 1955, 1966, 1993 and 2010.
American men won every award until 1968. The first break from this was John Brunner (British) in 1969. The next year Ursula K. Le Guin became the first woman to win the Rocket.
15 individuals have won more than one, led by Robert A. Heinlein and Lois McMaster Bujold who have both won four (!).
In total 46 (72%) Hugos have been awarded to men and 18 (28%) have gone to women.
In terms of the total number of individuals who have won (one or more) Hugos, 11 (26%) have been women and 32 (74%) men.
Only three nations (!) can claim to have won a Hugo. The breakdown goes like this (total wins, not individuals who have won); < Edit. Originally incorrectly listed Jo Walton as British, not Canadian. My apologies. Data below now fixed. >
Some flippant remarks.
<Edit for clarity> These are smart-arsed remarks based on the historical winners’ data. They’ve nothing to do with writing talent or politics or anything else.
Once you’ve written an amazingly good spec fic novel your best bet to win a Hugo is to be a man (72% of winners). If you need a nation as well as a sex, definitely be an American man (37 wins, ~57%). This is a bit of a no-brainer, as this ‘category’ has picked up more Hugos than the rest of the planet combined.
Failing that, try and be an American woman (15 wins, ~23%). Interestingly, American women have also outperformed all the non-Americans (e.g the rest of the human race) combined.
I basically just used Wikipedia. I’ve included the list I used below. I’m pretty comfortable with most of it, but please let me know if you spot any errors.
My rounding is always lazy, so if you see a tiny bit of flutter you know what happened.
My only serious concerns were;
1. I was unclear as to the nationality of William Gibson (does he even have one?). Have scored him as Canadian.
2. I was unclear as to the nationality of Robert Charles Wilson. Have scored him as Canadian. <Edit,
@didic tells me he is definitely Canadian. Thanks!>
3. I was unclear as to the nationality of Jo Walton. Have scored her as British. < Edit, as above, Jo Walton has kindly pointed out that she is in fact Canadian. Corrected in tables and data. >
If any of these are incorrect, again, please let me know.
|Year||Author||Novel||Publisher or publication||Nationality||Sex|
|1953||Alfred Bester||The Demolished Man||Galaxy Science Fiction||American||Male|
|1955||Mark Clifton||They’d Rather Be Right||Astounding Science-Fiction||American||Male|
|1955||Frank Riley||They’d Rather be Right||Astounding Science-Fiction||American||Male|
|1956||Robert A. Heinlein||Double Star||Astounding Science-Fiction||American||Male|
|1958||Fritz Leiber||The Big Time||Galaxy Science Fiction||American||Male|
|1959||James Blish||A Case of Conscience||Ballantine Books||American||Male|
|1960||Robert A. Heinlein||Starship Troopers||The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction||American||Male|
|1961||Walter M. Miller, Jr.||A Canticle for Leibowitz||J. B. Lippincott & Co.||American||Male|
|1962||Robert A. Heinlein||Stranger in a Strange Land||Putnam Publishing Group||American||Male|
|1963||Philip K. Dick||The Man in the High Castle||Putnam Publishing Group||American||Male|
|1964||Clifford D. Simak||Here Gather the Stars||Galaxy Science Fiction||American||Male|
|1965||Fritz Leiber||The Wanderer||Ballantine Books||American||Male|
|1966||Frank Herbert||Dune||Chilton Company||American||Male|
|1966||Roger Zelazny||…And Call Me Conrad||The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction||American||Male|
|1967||Robert A. Heinlein||The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress||If||American||Male|
|1968||Roger Zelazny||Lord of Light||Doubleday||American||Male|
|1969||John Brunner||Stand on Zanzibar||Doubleday||British||Male|
|1970||Ursula K. Le Guin||The Left Hand of Darkness||Ace Books||American||Female|
|1971||Larry Niven||Ringworld||Ballantine Books||American||Male|
|1972||Philip José Farmer||To Your Scattered Bodies Go||Putnam Publishing Group||American||Male|
|1973||Isaac Asimov||The Gods Themselves||Galaxy Science Fiction||American||Male|
|1974||Arthur C. Clarke||Rendezvous with Rama||Galaxy Science Fiction||British||Male|
|1975||Ursula K. Le Guin||The Dispossessed||Harper & Row||American||Female|
|1976||Joe Haldeman||The Forever War||St. Martin’s Press||American||Male|
|1977||Kate Wilhelm||Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang||Harper & Row||American||Female|
|1978||Frederik Pohl||Gateway||Galaxy Science Fiction||American||Male|
|1979||Vonda N. McIntyre||Dreamsnake||Houghton Mifflin||American||Female|
|1980||Arthur C. Clarke||The Fountains of Paradise||Victor Gollancz Ltd||British||Male|
|1981||Joan D. Vinge||The Snow Queen||Dial Press||American||Female|
|1982||C. J. Cherryh||Downbelow Station||DAW Books||American||Female|
|1983||Isaac Asimov||Foundation’s Edge||Doubleday||American||Male|
|1984||David Brin||Startide Rising||Bantam Books||American||Male|
|1985||William Gibson||Neuromancer||Ace Books||Canadian||Male|
|1986||Orson Scott Card||Ender’s Game||Tor Books||American||Male|
|1987||Orson Scott Card||Speaker for the Dead||Tor Books||American||Male|
|1988||David Brin||The Uplift War||Bantam Spectra||American||Male|
|1989||C. J. Cherryh||Cyteen||Warner Books||American||Female|
|1991||Lois McMaster Bujold||The Vor Game||Baen Books||American||Female|
|1992||Lois McMaster Bujold||Barrayar||Analog Science Fact & Fiction||American||Female|
|1993||Vernor Vinge||A Fire Upon the Deep||Tor Books||American||Male|
|1993||Connie Willis||Doomsday Book||Bantam Spectra||American||Female|
|1994||Kim Stanley Robinson||Green Mars||HarperCollins||American||Male|
|1995||Lois McMaster Bujold||Mirror Dance||Baen Books||American||Female|
|1996||Neal Stephenson||The Diamond Age||Bantam Spectra||American||Male|
|1997||Kim Stanley Robinson||Blue Mars||HarperCollins Voyager||American||Male|
|1998||Joe Haldeman||Forever Peace||Ace Books||American||Male|
|1999||Connie Willis||To Say Nothing of the Dog||Bantam Spectra||American||Female|
|2000||Vernor Vinge||A Deepness in the Sky||Tor Books||American||Male|
|2001||J. K. Rowling||Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire||Bloomsbury Publishing||British||Female|
|2002||Neil Gaiman||American Gods||William Morrow and Company||British||Male|
|2003||Robert J. Sawyer||Hominids||Analog Science Fiction and Fact||Canadian||Male|
|2004||Lois McMaster Bujold||Paladin of Souls||Eos||American||Female|
|2005||Susanna Clarke||Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell||Bloomsbury Publishing||British||Female|
|2006||Robert Charles Wilson||Spin||Tor Books||Canadian||Male|
|2007||Vernor Vinge||Rainbows End||Tor Books||American||Male|
|2008||Michael Chabon||The Yiddish Policemen’s Union||HarperCollins||American||Male|
|2009||Neil Gaiman||The Graveyard Book||HarperCollins||British||Male|
|2010||Paolo Bacigalupi||The Windup Girl||Night Shade Books||American||Male|
|2010||China Miéville||The City & the City||Del Rey Books||British||Male|
|2011||Connie Willis||Blackout/All Clear||Spectra Books||American||Female|
|2012||Jo Walton||Among Others||Tor Books||Canadian||Female|
|2013||John Scalzi||Redshirts||Tor Books||American||Male|
|2014||Ann Leckie||Ancillary Justice||Orbit Books||American||Female|
(*) Sorry, sorry, sorry – but that’s what I think of when I say Hugo – and I’m lazy.
(**) If you’ve got suggestions or advice I’d love to hear them!