The most effective way to do so — as, for instance, after a long weekend of relative inattention, when 600 or 700 emails have accumulated in 3 or 4 days, not to mention the backlog of another couple hundred — is, as I’ve concluded today, to sort the inbox by subject. Magically, irrelevant items become clustered, and are easily deletable. It also helps to be a tad woozy with cold medication; decisions become easier.
I’m sorry I was unable to attend Worldcon in Melbourne, but I’ve been fascinated to see reactions to the Hugo Awards results, mostly via comments in a couple Yahoo groups that I subscribe to, and then by inspecting the voting report [pdf] with the ranked results and lists of nominees that didn’t make the final ballot…
Remarkable that Bacigalupi and Miéville were tied from the beginning, diverged a bit in subsequent steps, then tied again at the end.
In the screenplay, er, dramatic presentation long form, category, Avatar placed last.
David G. Hartwell withdrew his Best Editor, Long Form nomination, a generous gesture.
Sad to see that Jonathan Strahan led in the Best Editor, Short form category through several rounds, losing ground only as voters who preferred Stanley Schmidt and Sheila Williams were eliminated and their 2nd/3rd/4th place votes were counted, ending up with Ellen Datlow’s win. (Something roughly similar happened, as I recall, when Locus Online was nominated for Best Website in 2005, and lost to Ellen’s Sci Fiction by…. one vote.)
I’m personally please to see that the home-continent advantage held for Shaun Tan, who won for Best Artist.
Congratulations to Clarkesworld for its Best Semiprozine win, though of course I’d have been pleased to see Locus win; but Locus has won many times before and can’t feel too badly about losing this year (though it was Charles N. Brown’s last nomination). It is curious, however, that last year’s winner, Weird Tales ended up only in 4th place this year; I don’t know how the differing voting constituencies, of conventions on different continents, might have affected the results.
The most commentary I read on the newsgroups concerned the Best Fanzine winner — last year it was Electric Velocipede, which many felt wasn’t really a fanzine; this year it was StarShipSofa, a podcast site, which many feel isn’t really a fanzine. And which did in fact campaign for a Hugo, itself a contentious issue.
There is always the question of how informed voters really are. Did those who voted for Frederik Pohl as Best Fan Writer — however fascinating his writing at The Way the Future Blogs has been — respond to the celebrity of his name, or were they as familiar with the other nominees and make a completely informed decision? Similar questions can be asked about every category. (How many voters in the Best Novel category read all of the nominees?)
As administrator of the SF Awards Index, these issues fascinate me, but only in an abstract way. I don’t take any awards results too seriously, or rather, I take them seriously for what they are, but not because any of them are in any sense a scientific poll. It would be fascinating if such a poll could actually be done.