“Long List” Anthology (Replacing the Mulligan Awards)

NOTE: The original post suggested the title “Ones to Watch” but someone rightly pointed out this implied an anthology of up-and-coming authors just starting to get noticed, which will probably be untrue more often than not.  So, “Long List” is the working title at this point instead.

For anyone who read the previous plan proposing the Mulligan Awards, this announcement is to announce that there will be no Mulligan Awards, and to announce a new plan that I hope will accomplish the same goals I had in mind, but in a way that better fits my goals.


There will be no Mulligan Award

There will be no attempt to use the numbers to extrapolate what would’ve been on the Hugo ballot without the voting slates.

There will still be a Kickstarter.

The Kickstarter will support a reprint SF/F anthology tentatively titled “Long List”.

The contents of the anthology will be those stories on the longer Hugo nomination stats list that they publish at WorldCon for the appropriate category, as long as:

  • The story was eligible for the Hugo in the appropriate year (especially, that it was first published in the appropriate year)
  • The author agrees to the terms, which will include 1 cent/word pay and attribution of the original publication.
  • If the story is still within its exclusivity period with the original publisher, the publisher agrees to allow the reprint.

The baseline goal of the Kickstarter will include the short story category.  There will be stretch goals that will include the novelette and novella categories.

The anthology will be published in ebook formats.

I will consider doing this in future years as well, regardless of whether that year has a controversy or not.  No matter what makes the ballot or how it makes the ballot, there are other stories that came very close–with the nomination numbers we will know which ones they are, and I see no reason why this couldn’t be an annual production.


For a variety of reasons.  But first and foremost, it’s a matter of tone.

There has been a lot of anger surrounding this Hugo season from a variety of people with a variety of viewpoints.  I am not going to examine that anger here–the SF corners of the Internet are full of that examination, and it’s all out there for you to read.  What frustrates me most about this award season is the loss of excitement that usually surrounds it, of taking the time and space to share and discuss stories, to celebrate this genre that we all love so much, even though different people love different kinds of stories and different aspects.  To me, the Hugos at their best are a recommended reading list vetted by a couple thousand fans that like all kinds of different things.  I like them best when they’re a hodgepodge–some stuff perfectly suited to my reading, others that I don’t like or don’t understand but which are interesting as a study of understanding other people’s viewpoints and perspectives.

The reason I suggested the Mulligan Awards in the first place was because I wanted to offer a place where people could be excited about this award season again, where it wouldn’t just be anger from one end of the calendar to another.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized that even though I wanted it to be a way to add positivity and excitement to the award season, the more I realized that it was inseparable from the anger because its basis was blame.  And that it could make the experience of people already having a tough time even tougher.  For example, if a novelist found out that she had almost made the ballot this year, that would be hard–almost making something is hard no matter the circumstances.  If she then got a communication from someone she’d never heard of, offering her an award for not quite making the ballot?  Well, no matter what the intent of the award, that might just hurt all the more.

Which brought me back to pondering what I really wanted to do with this project to begin with and how I could meet those goals in the most positive way.  The idea of the award was exciting to me, but more exciting was that those works that didn’t quite make the ballot would get some attention, and maybe fans out there would find new authors and new publications that get them all the more excited for short fiction.  And I decided that this kind of anthology would be better if I didn’t make any judgment calls–no consideration of whether something was on a slate, or whether it was recommended by who or why.   The anthology is going to be a mixed bag, and I like that idea.


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David Steffen

David Steffen is an editor, publisher, and writer. If you like what he does you can visit the Support page or buy him a coffee! He is probably best known for being co-founder and administrator of The Submission Grinder, a donation-supported tool to help writers track their submissions and find publishers for their work . David is also the editor-in-chief here at Diabolical Plots. He is also the editor and publisher of The Long List Anthology: More Stories From the Hugo Award Nomination List series. David also (sometimes) writes fiction, and you can follow on BlueSky for updates on cross-stitch projects and occasionally other things.

10 thoughts on ““Long List” Anthology (Replacing the Mulligan Awards)”

  1. Hi Christopher,
    By the Fan Ballot do you mean the Fan Writer and Fanzine categories?

    What I had in mind was only fiction categories–the baseline goal being the Short Story category, with stretch goals that would bump up to include Novelettes and Novellas (Not bothering with novels because there wouldn’t seem to be any chance of actually getting the rights for any, so not going to pretend I could).

    Although I like the tone of this anthology project better than I liked the tone of the original award project, one downside of this new angle is that its focus is more limited.

    I’m not opposed to giving some kind of nod to other categories, but I’m unsure how to do that in an anthology format while keeping to this plan. I’m considering having a short preface where I either link to or list out the “long list” that I’m basing this off of that the Hugo awards publish which includes the top 15 nominees with voting counts–that would cover all the categories.

  2. Before it’s demise, the Internet Review of Science Fiction ran an annual feature called “The Ones to Watch” three times. The five participants were myself, Patrick Rothfuss, Jennifer Pelland and Linda Donahue. Shawn Scarber dropped out after the first year.


    Just wanted you to know.

    As far as this anthology idea, I think it’s great. There’s always a need for more places to publish short fiction. Just because I was on the Sad Puppies list doesn’t mean I’m happy with the result; I don’t think anyone expected the cumulative effect of the Sad Puppies and the copycat Rabid Puppies slate. But lacking a time machine, there’s no way to change what happened.

    I will contribute to the Kickstarter! I think it’s a great idea.

  3. Lou,
    Thank you for pointing that out–I hadn’t come across that title before. I’ll look that up and see if it seems like the title ought to be changed (I haven’t committed to this title it’s just the best one I’ve come across yet).

    And thank you for your support. For what it’s worth I’m planning on reading your story and as many others as I can find the time to read them and vote based on how much I like them. I don’t envy the position of having a story on one or both slates–no matter what you do, you’re going to get criticism for doing the wrong thing from some crowd.

  4. David,

    How about a theme for the anthology of “The Ones That Got Away”? Use and angling theme, have art of a fisherman who just hooked a sea monsters or leviathan.

  5. Lou,
    I’ll give it some thought! It has a nice ring to it, but I’m not sure it’s quite right for the tone I’m aiming for–kind of has a hint of a tone of regret that I’m not sure I want. I don’t want to belittle the actual nominees, I just want to spread the recognition and discussion to a broader set if you get my drift.

  6. Not saying that you meant it to be belittling, btw, and I think it would lend to really fun cover art which is cool. I’m just trying to target a very specific tone with this. This year of all Hugo years, the tone is tricky, in another year I might not be quite so specific about that.

  7. I’m on board 🙂 . . . just one question, how many entries/how will you decide the cut-off? It had sounded like this year it would be “things that would’ve made the ballot” and/or “top 5??? non-slate works” – but if this may continue into future years (a nifty idea!), I’m curious how that would go. Take non-slate (or non-slate, non-nominee) works this year, and then in future years take the next 5 after the nominees? Play it by ear? Etc.

    Just curious – I look forward to the Kickstarter, and while I thought the Mulligans were a great idea, this is even better in some ways.

  8. Kendall,
    Usually the Hugo admin publish the top 15 nominees or so in each category. The top 5 or so of those are on the actual ballot and so have gotten plenty of attention apart from this, so I’m leaving those off. Apart from that, I intend to solicit all of the 10ish stories in the categories that I get funding for. Slate or non-slate alike. The only requirements is that the story has to have been first published in 2014 (and thus have actually been eligible for the Hugos in the first place), the author must sign the contract, and any conflicts with the original publisher need to be worked out (exclusivity clauses in particular, but this is a “Best Of” kind of anthology, for which exclusivity is often waived for marketing reasons)

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