So apparently there's a measure that's been submitted to amend or remove the "5% rule" for the Hugo awards. This is a good idea -- that rule was put in place to avoid the case where you have, say, three works that get 50%, 25%, and 20% of the ballots -- and then the next work has 4% or less of the ballots, thus not really in the running for competing with the more important works. But in fact, when a category is saturated enough, the field gets large enough and we no longer have central places where everyone is reading the same things, we end up with situations like Best Short Story -- where for most of the last 5 years we've had fewer than 5 things on the ballot (sometimes as few as 3) with even the successful nominees not getting much more than 5% (or mabye even that; the 5% rule has an exception that you still have to have 3 nominees even if you need to bend it to do so) of the ballot, and thus no significant difference between what made the cut and what didn't -- but a much thinner field than there really should be.
They call it "The 5%" solution.
The reason for the following one verse filk, therefore, should be obvious.
(Also, thank you, drcpunk
for remembering to write down my brainstormed chorus couplet so it was still around when I finished the verse and got around to writing the chorus)."The Five Percent Solution"
TTTO: "I Never Do Anything Twice/The Madam's Song", by Stephen Sondheim
By Joshua Kronengold
Before I was a neo,
I don't recall the date,
We made a rule for our premier award,
Even if it made the cut, a nomination met its fate,
If one in twenty didn't think it scored
At first it proved a good rule,
Avoided the long tails,
But later, when the field ballooned in size,
If our population fails,
To all read the same tales,
Where the ballot's concerned there's too much for the prize,
Then, yes, the genre was small,
Now, though, you can't read it all,
Then, tastes were more concentrated,
The best stories rated,
And found themselves slated
We must this rule amend,
At this point, it's hard to defend,
I think that it makes no sense,
To limit works by five percent.