I got an email from Gregory Benford the other day, referring his new website(s), and commenting about the current state of the Hugo Awards and SF fandom in general as indicated by the fact four of the last five Hugo Awards for novel have gone... to fantasy novels.
I hadn't realized that. I haven't seen it pointed out anywhere. Four of five? That would be the fourth Harry Potter novel... then American Gods
... then Paladin of Souls
last year... and Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
this year. The one SF winner during this period was Robert J. Sawyer's Hominids
which, while a respectable enough book, hardly represents any kind of cutting edge SF.
I remember some hullabaloo over the Harry Potter nomination and win, but that was partly due to its being a YA novel, IIRC. I haven't seen anyone remark on this string of more recent fantasy wins, much less express any kind of consternation about it. Should SF partisans be concerned? What might their leading candidates be for next year..? Hmm...