Planetary Awards

Awards for Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing

When to Vote?

This post continues the thread announcing a new science fiction / fantasy award, and discussing who should be eligible to vote. The next question is: when to vote?

If a book is released on December 31st, it’s unlikely many potential voters will have read it by January 1st. So, how long after the end of the year should we wait before the nominating/voting process begins?

Should there be a single vote for the winners, or should there be nominations, followed by voting on a reduced set of choices? Nominations bring attention to each of the nominees, as voters read and review them in preparation for the final vote. Nominations could also prevent a situation where eighty books each receive one vote while another book receives two. In that case, is the book with two votes really a winner?

How many nominees should move on to the final voting? This number needs to be kept small if voters plan to read all the nominees. The number might not need to be fixed, if there is a mathematical technique which can determine natural breakpoints in the data. I have at least two math experts following my personal blog, perhaps they’ll chime in with an idea.

Please use the comments section to leave some feedback about when we should vote and how the voting should be structured. Award categories will be discussed in the next post.


7 comments on “When to Vote?

  1. Planetary Defense Commander
    October 15, 2015

    Reblogged this on Planetary Defense Command and commented:

    The next issue in my series of brainstorming posts: when to vote?


  2. coldhandboyack
    October 15, 2015

    Interesting problems. I would think nominations would have to be filtered before putting out a ballot. Something like closing nominations 12/31, filtering somehow, then casting the vote on 4/01. You can’t have voters committed to reading 87 books, but they might manage 3 to 5.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Planetary Defense Commander
      October 15, 2015

      Agreed, we can’t have them reading 87 books. The idea of a single-pass would be just for people to vote on what they’d randomly come across, and see if anything popped to the top.

      I’m leaning towards the two-step (nominations, then votes) as being superior, as it gets bloggers reading a handful of books they might not normally choose, which is more helpful for the authors and gives us bloggers a topic a bit different from our usual.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Jan Hawke
    October 15, 2015

    Looks like the Nebulas are generally awarded in May and the Hugos in August… This leaves a goodly time for consideration of books published at the end of the preceding year, so I suppose the least line of resistance is to pitch for June/July?

    However – we live in the cyber-age and if the motion picture industry can get their Academy nominations and voting in for March, why not publishing? Basing it around the solstices or equinoxes is also attractive for both sci-fi and fantasy, especially if asking for nominations, as this can be a rolling process throughout the year. December is a problem, but as most will want their titles out for the holidays, Christmas could be used as the cut-off date for annual nominations, so a start could be made right at the beginning of the year?

    My vote would be for nominations (with perhaps a minimum number of votes per book, to qualify as a candidate) and final voting to be in for the awards around the Spring equinox, which is eminently doable if this is all done online! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Planetary Defense Commander
      October 15, 2015

      I think your idea of placing the nomination and voting dates between the Nebulas and Hugos will probably be the most workable. I’d like to do it before both of them, but the Nebulas are fairly early.


  4. amidtheimaginary
    October 15, 2015

    A two step process of nominations and then voting seems the easiest and most transparent. As you said, it also gives additional exposure to those who are nominated but don’t end up winning.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Cirsova
    October 16, 2015

    A few people have been recommending End-of-Year nominations, but that still punishes anything that was published in October, November or early December; I think allowing a couple months into the next year for Nominations would give everyone enough time for word-of-mouth regarding those late-year publications to catch up in time to reasonably compete. Even February would be better; March would be good. June would be interesting, because by then the other major award noms will have been locked; I don’t know if that would be a good or a bad thing, but it would be interesting…

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on October 15, 2015 by in brainstorm and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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