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[personal profile] kjn
Back when EPH was discussed for reworking the way Hugo nominations would work, I wrote Grokking E Pluribus Hugo. Back then, a meme ran around that it was better to nominate fewer works in one category in order to not dilute your voting power as a nominator, and it seems to still be running around among some people as they talk about their eligible works.

That is an incorrect assumption. As a voter and nominator for the Hugos, it is in your best interest to nominate as many works as you find worthy as you can.

I will illustrate it using two cases. The first is that if every single nominator in a Hugo category nominates only a single work, EPH will default back to a simple first past the post selection with six finalists—exactly the system that we had before EPH, but with much less input!

The second is more complex. Assume that an author has published two eligible works in a category: A and B. There are 500 people who are fans of the author and likes all they have written, but half of them like A a little better and half like B a little better. They would be happy if either turned up on the ballot, and really happy if both turned up. There are also 100 people who really like A but didn't care for B for some reason, or didn't get around to reading it yet.

We also assume that all other works on the ballots of these 600 people have been eliminated, or they only voted for the specific author. (Huge simplification, I know.)

Under the meme that one should not dilute the nomination, everyone of these 500 people who liked A and B will nominate either A or B, and we split it in half. Then A gets 350 nominators and 350 points, while B gets 250 nominator and 250 points. But if the 500 nominated both, then A gets 600 nominators and 350 points (500 / 2 + 100), while B gets 500 nominations and 250 points. And if B gets eliminated, then A has 600 nominators and 600 points.

Now, the points are used to select candidates for elimination, but the actual decision on which work is eliminated is done by the raw number of nominators. Looked at it that way, both A and B stand a much higher chance of not being eliminated if selected as a candidate for elimination, and if B is eliminated then A stands a much higher chance of becoming a finalist.

The general advice regarding Hugo nominations is thus: nominate all the worthy works that you would like to see on the final ballot!

One Exception

Date: 2018-12-15 09:24 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] greg_hullender
One obvious exception is if there's just one work you'd like to see win. In that case, nominating others that were just ok is a mistake.

When it comes to authors pitching their works, it makes sense for them to falsely claim that fans should bullet vote because, from the author's point of view, there really is only one work he/she would like to see win. I'm sure this is an honest mistake in some cases, but I suspect a number of authors are quite aware of what they're doing.