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Awarding Curiosity

April 27, 2012

I’ve started another one of my ‘home’ projects, attempting to chart some trends in awards winners for genre fiction. So far, I’m only about a quarter of the way through. You have no idea how much screen scraping is involved.

But, even at this early stage, I’m beginning to see some trends.

A basic description of what I’m doing will help in understanding the stats below. I’m looking at best book winners in awards for the following genres: children’s literature, mystery, horror, science fiction and fantasy. I’m only considering a subset of awards for each category, and I’m limiting them geographically to awards presented to authors writing in English in North America, the UK or Canada. I’m ignoring all categories that aren’t novel-length, or are awarded for first-time efforts.

You have no idea how many awards are presented in these genres annually. Even with those limits, I’ve already tracked over 15 awards. And I’m only a quarter of the way through.

It’s gonna take a while. Why go through this?

What I’m interested in is the overlap between genres. So, I’m looking for authors that successfully cross from one genre to the next, and books that win awards in multiple genres. I’m also interested in making a book that can be used as a starting point for children and parents that are moving from children’s literature to more advanced stuff, but want to stay ‘nerdy’. I’m not a librarian, though.

I’m hoping at some point to build this into an ePub book to distribute on the net.

It’s a big project. It will probably take a few months at least. But, hey, it’s better than sitting around watching Auction Hunters, right?

However, I’m beginning to see some ‘superstars’ emerge. Remember, the below stats are only for ‘best novel’ or ‘best book’ wins, only for a small set of awards, and I haven’t finished collating them yet. Take it with a grain of salt.

If you want to see all the awards I’ve tracked so far by author, you can take a look at this pdf of the current state of affairs.

Winners of more than 4 awards, each for a different book

  • Neil Gaiman 10
  • Stephen King 9
  • Ramsey Campbell 7
  • Lois McMaster Bujold 6
  • Ursula K. Le Guin 6
  • China Miéville 6
  • Peter Dickinson 5
  • Joe Haldeman 5
  • Norah McClintock 5
  • Phyllis Reynolds Naylor 5
  • Peter Straub 5
  • Isaac Asimov 4
  • James Lee Burke 4
  • Orson Scott Card 4
  • Arthur C. Clarke 4
  • Dick Francis 4
  • Robert A. Heinlein 4
  • Graham Joyce 4
  • Michael Moorcock 4
  • J. K. Rowling 4
  • Tim Wynne-Jones 4

Books that have won two awards

  • Richard Adams — Watership Down (Carnegie Medal), (Guardian Children’s Award)
  • Isaac Asimov — The Gods Themselves (Hugo Best Novel), (Nebula Award)
  • Paolo Bacigalupi — The Windup Girl (Hugo Best Novel), (Nebula Award)
  • Lois McMaster Bujold — Paladin of Souls (Hugo Best Novel), (Nebula Award)
  • Melvin Burgess — Junk (Carnegie Medal), (Guardian Children’s Award)
  • John le Carré — The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (Edgar Best Novel), (Gold Dagger Award)
  • Michael Chabon — The Yiddish Policemen’s Union (Hugo Best Novel), (Nebula Award)
  • William Deverell — Trial of Passion (Hammett Prize), (Arthur Ellis Best Novel)
  • Anne Fine — Goggle-eyes (Carnegie Medal), (Guardian Children’s Award)
  • Dick Francis — Whip Hand (Edgar Best Novel), (Gold Dagger Award)
  • Alan Garner — The Owl Service (Carnegie Medal), (Guardian Children’s Award)
  • William Gibson — Neuromancer (Hugo Best Novel), (Nebula Award)
  • Frank Herbert — Dune (Hugo Best Novel), (Nebula Award)
  • Stephen King — Bag of Bones (Bram Stoker Best Novel), (August Derleth Award)
  • Vonda McIntyre — Dreamsnake (Nebula Award), (Hugo Best Novel)
  • Graham McNamee — Acceleration (Arthur Ellis Best Juvenile), (Edgar Best Young Adult)
  • Larry Niven — Ringworld (Hugo Best Novel), (Nebula Award)
  • Frederik Pohl — Gateway (Hugo Best Novel), (Nebula Award)
  • Philip Pullman — The Golden Compass (Carnegie Medal), (Guardian Children’s Award)
  • Dan Simmons — Carrion Comfort (Bram Stoker Best Novel), (August Derleth Award)
  • Connie Willis — Doomsday Book (Hugo Best Novel), (Nebula Award)
  • Tim Wynne-Jones — The Boy in the Burning House (Edgar Best Young Adult), (Arthur Ellis Best Juvenile)

Authors with more than one multiple-award winning book

Orson Scott Card
Ender’s Game (Hugo Best Novel), (Nebula Award)
Speaker for the Dead (Hugo Best Novel), (Nebula Award)
Arthur C. Clarke
The Fountains of Paradise (Hugo Best Novel), (Nebula Award)
Rendezvous with Rama (Hugo Best Novel), (Nebula Award)
Joe Haldeman
Forever Peace (Hugo Best Novel), (Nebula Award)
The Forever War (Hugo Best Novel), (Nebula Award)
Ursula K. Le Guin
The Dispossessed (Hugo Best Novel), (Nebula Award)
The Left Hand of Darkness (Hugo Best Novel), (Nebula Award)
China Miéville
The City & the City (Hugo Best Novel), (Arthur C. Clarke Award)
Perdido Street Station (Arthur C. Clarke Award), (August Derleth Award)

Books that have won three awards

Neil Gaiman
American Gods (Hugo Best Novel), (Nebula Award), (Bram Stoker Best Novel)
The Graveyard Book (Hugo Best Novel), (Newbery Medal), (Carnegie Medal)

Ahhh…the hat trick. So far, only Neil’s scored three times…twice! Which puts him only one hat trick away from tie-ing Darryl Sittler. What’s surprising about this accomplishment is that both books came out in the same decade.

I know a few of the books in the previous lists have also scored the triple-glory, but I’m only a quarter of the way through the sci-fi/fantasy awards. I know Neil won’t hold this ground uncontested for long.

The real issue is whether or not I’ll find a book that’s a four-time winner.

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