Who’s Winning All the Hugos?

In the world of science fiction and fantasy short stories, getting a Hugo Award is like winning an Oscar. As a short story writer currently in the throes of submitting her work, I’ve been really interested in which anthologies tend to get their stories nominated for, and win, Hugos. Of course getting something published in one of these carries no guarantee of success, but it does demonstrate the fact that there are Hugo-voting eyeballs looking at these collections. I figure if I want to make the team, it’s a good idea to show up for tryouts.

Since making bar graphs is apparently my definition of fun, the following charts are all created by me. The data was collected from the Hugo Awards website.

The graph below illustrates which publications have had their short stories nominated for a Hugo in the last twenty years.

As you can see, Asimov’s has dominated the short story Hugo Awards with 38 nominations in the last two decades. Analog and the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction come in second with 10 each, Clarkesworld goes for bronze with 7, and Tor gets an honorable mention with 6.

When it comes to actual wins, not just nominations, the odds are even more stark. Asimov’s has 11, while the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction is the only other publication with more than one. However! It’s worth noting that this trend has changed greatly in recent years. Short stories online have grown in popularity, new anthologies are popping up every day, and there’s been a relatively recent pushback to the not-so-affectionately called Sad Puppies, as well as the Rabid Puppies.

For whatever reason, Asimov’s actually drops off the list of short story nominees completely in 2013. 

Currently, the 2018 nominees are:

  • “Carnival Nine,” by Caroline M. Yoachim (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, May 2017)
  • “Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand,” by Fran Wilde (Uncanny, September 2017)
  • “Fandom for Robots,” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Uncanny, September/October 2017)
  • “The Martian Obelisk,” by Linda Nagata (Tor.com, July 19, 2017)
  • “Sun, Moon, Dust” by Ursula Vernon, (Uncanny, May/June 2017)
  • “Welcome to your Authentic Indian Experience™,” by Rebecca Roanhorse (Apex, August 2017)

We won’t know who this year’s winners are until August, but that’s three more nominations for Uncanny and one more for Tor and Apex. It’s also the first nomination for a story from Beneath Ceaseless Skies, which is pretty exciting! Look how much it changes the dynamics of our five-year graph:

Over the years, a few of the short story winners have come out of print anthologies, but most of them were published in print and online magazines. If you’re also looking to submit your work, I recommend this very handy list I put together of short story magazines and anthologies currently taking unsolicited submissions. It has a lot more information on many of these anthologies, plus a few more I believe we’ll see make the list in the near future.

Happy writing!

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