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Ursula Vernon's 'Digger' wins Best Graphic Story at 2012 Hugo Awards

Edited as of 02:58
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Digger, by Ursula VernonUrsula Vernon's Digger has won Best Graphic Story at the 2012 Hugo Awards, as decided by by members of the 2012 World Science Fiction Convention (ChiCon 7). [tip: dronon; nomination story]

The series about a tunnelling wombat received more than twice the first-preference votes (p. 8) of the next-highest nominee, Fables Vol 15: Rose Red, with Locke & Key Volume 4, Keys to the Kingdom, Schlock Mercenary: Force Multiplication and The Unwritten (Volume 4): Leviathan taking subsequent places.

Digger also won the Web Cartoonists' Choice Award for Outstanding Black and White Art in 2005-6, and Outstanding Anthropomorphic Cartoon in 2006, and has been nominated for several other awards, including the 2005 Ursa Major Award.

The win was a turnaround from the Hugo's nomination phase, which saw Digger in third place with barely half the ballots of Schlock Mercenary.

Victory was elusive once again for eleven-time nominee Taral Wayne, who took sixth place in the tallying for Best Fan Artist. Of this year's 1922 final ballots, 1091 contained a vote for Best Graphic Story (with 344 nominators) and 932 for Best Fan Artist (217 nominators).

The Hugo Awards, first presented in 1953, have been called "among the highest honors bestowed in science fiction and fantasy writing".


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Congratulations to Ursula! (And commiserations to poor Taral . . .)
It looks like both Sofawolf and Ursula were on hand at ChiCon; hopefully they were able to capitalize on the nomination.

Best Graphic Story is a relatively new award, but Digger's victory sends a clear signal that the nomination of Grandville in 2011 was no fluke, and that fans feel the field of sci-fi/fantasy artwork is open to anthropomorphic animals at the highest level.

That said, Digger was six years in the making … I wonder, how long it will be before another work of such quality arises?

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It might be correct to say Taral Wayne was eliminated before "No Award" in the tallying for Best Fan Artist, but it's potentially misleading, due to the nature of instant-runoff voting: 424 voters ranked him higher than "No Award", while only 171 would have preferred to give "No Award" instead of giving it to Taral, and 114 of those voters preferred "No Award" over any of the nominees.

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This is true; I have adjusted the story to indicate Taral's final standing rather than his place in the initial round, which merely indicated that more people gave first preference to "No Award" (114) and other candidates than Taral (82).

Actually, that whole group (p. 17) was an interesting example of the system; the eventual winner (Maurine Starkey) only emerged after the final runoff. Steve Stiles had fewer first preferences than "No Award", yet ultimately placed second.

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Also of note, the World Science Fiction Society's business meeting voted to ratify the Best Graphic Story category, which had been scheduled to expire this year. Minutes of the meeting have not yet been posted (and as I write this the Wikipedia article on the category has not been updated to reflect the news), but video of the debate and vote can be seen at .

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Very interesting discussion! Good points from both sides, but a clear result, and the right one. It's also a great way of getting new blood into WSFS - Ursula encouraged fans to become supporting members to get the Hugo voting packet.

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My most sincere congratulations to both Ursula and the people at Sofawolf for a magnificent and historic accomplishment!

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GreenReaper (Laurence Parry)read storiescontact (login required)

a developer, editor and Kai Norn from London, United Kingdom, interested in wikis and computers

Small fuzzy creature who likes cheese & carrots. Founder of WikiFur, lead admin of Inkbunny, and Editor-in-Chief of Flayrah.