Hugo Nominees

(Update 18 April: added link to “How to Talk to Girls at Parties”)

Seen first at Making Light (backstory). First of all: no Japanese nominees? Not even one? Not even in the Dramatic Presentation categories? What the hell? Second of all: exactly one female author in the entire fiction slate? What the hell, part two? That said:

Best Novel
Michael F. Flynn, Eifelheim (Tor)
Naomi Novik, His Majesty’s Dragon (Del Rey)
Charles Stross, Glasshouse (Ace)
Vernor Vinge, Rainbows End (Tor)
Peter Watts, Blindsight (Tor)

Awesome to see Blindsight nominated (here is Watts’ reaction). At the moment I hope it wins, though I haven’t read most of the rest of the nominees yet. Interesting to see how dramatically this list differs from the Nebula list.

Novella
The Walls of the Universe” by Paul Melko (Asimov’s, April/May 2006)
A Billion Eves” by Robert Reed (Asimov’s, October/November 2006)
Inclination” by William Shunn (Asimov’s, April/May 2006)
Lord Weary’s Empire” by Michael Swanwick (Asimov’s, December 2006)
Julian: A Christmas Story by Robert Charles Wilson (PS Publishing)

Read four (all except the Swanwick), of which the Wilson is my pick. But the Reed or the Shunn would be fine, too.

Novelette
Yellow Card Man” by Paolo Bacigalupi (Asimov’s, December 2006)
Dawn, and Sunset, and the Colours of the Earth” by Michael F. Flynn (Asimov’s, October/November 2006)
The Djinn’s Wife” by Ian McDonald (Asimov’s, July 2006)
All the Things You Are” by Mike Resnick (Jim Baen’s Universe, October 2006)
Pol Pot’s Beautiful Daughter” [pdf] by Geoff Ryman (F&SF, October/November 2006)

Not a bad category at all, all things considered. The Bacigalupi would be my first pick, followed by the McDonald.

Short Story
How to Talk to Girls at Parties” by Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things)
Kin” by Bruce McAllister (Asimov’s, February 2006)
Impossible Dreams” by Timothy Pratt (Asimov’s, July 2006)
Eight Episodes” by Robert Reed (Asimov’s, June 2006)
The House Beyond Your Sky” by Benjamin Rosenbaum (Strange Horizons, September 2006)

I should know this but I don’t: is this Strange Horizons‘ first Hugo nomination for fiction? Yet another solid category (despite my two caveats at the top of the post, this is a strong ballot); the Gaiman will almost certainly win, but I actually quite enjoyed “How to Talk to Girls at Parties”, which is more than I can say for most of his other nominated stories over the past few years.

Related Book
Samuel R. Delany, About Writing: Seven Essays, Four Letters, and Five Interviews (Wesleyan University Press)
Joseph T. Major, Heinlein’s Children: The Juveniles (Advent)
Julie Phillips, James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice Sheldon (St. Martin’s Press)
John Picacio, Cover Story: The Art of John Picacio (MonkeyBrain Books)
Mike Resnick & Joe Siclari, eds., Worldcon Guest of Honor Speeches (ISFiC Press)

Everyone knows this category belongs to Julie Phillips, right?

Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
Children of Men (Universal Pictures)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (Disney)
The Prestige (Warner Brothers / Touchstone Pictures)
A Scanner Darkly (Warner Independent Pictures)
V for Vendetta (Warner Brothers)

I would have liked to see Pan’s Labyrinth on the list, but you can’t have everything, I guess. It’s a tough call between Children of Men, The Prestige and A Scanner Darkly, even so.

Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
Battlestar Galactica, “Downloaded”
Doctor Who, “Army of Ghosts” and “Doomsday”
Doctor Who, “Girl in the Fireplace”
Doctor Who, “School Reunion”
Stargate SG-1, “200”

Wow. They actually nominated the right Battlestar Galactica episode. Double wow: I think I want a Doctor Who episode to win.

Editor, Short Form
Gardner Dozois
David G. Hartwell
Stanley Schmidt
Gordon Van Gelder
Sheila Williams

Based on the number of short fiction nominees above, this should be Sheila Williams’ year.

Editor, Long Form
Lou Anders
James Patrick Baen
Ginjer Buchanan
David G. Hartwell
Patrick Nielsen Hayden

I haven’t checked who’s edited what yet, so no opinion on this for now.

Professional Artist
Bob Eggleton
Donato Giancola
Stephan Martiniere
John Jude Palencar
John Picacio

Semiprozine
Ansible, edited by Dave Langford
Interzone, edited by Andy Cox
Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, edited by Gavin J. Grant and Kelly Link
Locus, dited by Charles N. Brown, Kirsten Gong-Wong, & Liza Groen Trombi
The New York Review of Science Fiction, edited by Kathryn Cramer, David G. Hartwell, & Kevin J. Maroney

Hey, is this LCRW’s first Hugo nomination? As ever, Locus will win, and NYRSF should.

Fanzine
Banana Wings ed. Claire Brialey & Mark Plummer
Challenger ed. Guy Lillian III
The Drink Tank ed. Christopher J. Garcia
Plokta ed. Alison Scott, Steve Davies, & Mike Scott
Science-Fiction Five-Yearly ed. Lee Hoffman, Geri Sullivan, & Randy Byers

Banana Wings! Banana Wings!

Fan Writer
Chris Garcia
John Hertz
Dave Langford
John Scalzi
Steven H. Silver

Ooh. You know, I think this could possibly be the year Langford loses. Scalzi has some thoughts on his nomination here.

Fan Artist
Brad W. Foster
Teddy Harvia
Sue Mason
Steve Stiles
Frank Wu

As with professional artist, not my area of expertise.

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (not a Hugo)
Scott Lynch
Sarah Monette
Naomi Novik
Brandon Sanderson
Lawrence M. Schoen

And a “good enough” list to finish with. None of them have blown me away, but I can’t think of any obvious omissions, either. It looks like a Lynch vs. Novik race to me (both have enthusiastic, but apparently fairly separate, fanbases), and I suspect Novik’s novel nomination gives her the edge.

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34 thoughts on “Hugo Nominees

  1. Blindsight! Blindsight! I’ve only read Blindsight and Her Majesty’s Dragon, but HMD is just not in the same league.

    No dramatic presentation nominations for Heroes – I would happily have replaced Army of Ghosts/Doomsday with any one of Fallout/Six Months Ago/Homecoming. Maybe everyone is just waiting to nominate it for long form in 2008.

    While I would not personally pick John Scalzi as my favourite fan writer, it’s certainly made it a more interesting fight.

    Art is certainly not my category, but I would vote for Frank Wu on the basis of this adorable picture alone.

  2. Is there an obvious reason why there aren’t any categories that acknowledge the existence of the internet? Best Blog? Best Website? are the websites just folded into the fan and pro-zine categories? I forget.

    Agreed about Blindsight and Pan’s Lab. The former is an unexpected joy and the latter is an unfathomable omission.

  3. No dramatic presentation nominations for Heroes – I would happily have replaced Army of Ghosts/Doomsday with any one of Fallout/Six Months Ago/Homecoming.

    Likewise. Although I’m assuming that next year there’ll be a nod for “Company Man” …

    Is there an obvious reason why there aren’t any categories that acknowledge the existence of the internet?

    Because the internet is just a distribution medium. Fanwriting online (such as a blog) makes you eligible for best fanwriter, and so on. A couple of Worldcons (Interaction was one) have run a “best website” category, but that ended up comparing apples and oranges even more than Best Related Book.

    And given that Pan’s Labyrinth is a foreign-language film that, as far as I can tell, got a fairly limited US release, I don’t find its omission unfathomable. Just disappointing.

  4. I’m delighted to see Wilson’s “Julian…” on the novella shortlist – I loved it. But I’m surprised too, given how relatively small the distribution of PS Publishing’s novellas (a few hundred?) compared to the thousands of issues of Asimov’s sold each month.

  5. Not to mention the fact that it wasn’t even published until the very end of December. I will be even more interested than usual to see the nomination statistics this year.

  6. Are any of the shorter form nominations on line yet? Aside from the obvious one.

    What about the BSFA awards?

  7. Kev, I’ve updated the post with links to the few stories that are online so far. The only BSFA-nominated stories that are online, as far as I know, are the two Strange Horizons ones.

  8. [i]Because the internet is just a distribution medium. Fanwriting online (such as a blog) makes you eligible for best fanwriter, and so on.[/i]

    Yes, but so are prozines and fanzines and they get their own categories.

    “Fanzine” to me suggests a dead-tree magazine that’s been produced by non-professionals, and that’s EXACTLY what got nominated. Nothing for Strange Horizons, nothing for SF Site either.

    If you’re correct that websites are supposed to just fold into the existing categories then I think a tweaking of the language would be in order.

    Best Fan writer – fair enough.
    Best professional magazine or website
    Best amateur magazine or website

  9. Yes, but so are prozines and fanzines and they get their own categories.

    No — the definition of fanzine says nothing about whether it appears on paper or online. Emerald City was nominated several times as a fanzine (and won), and then nominated as a semiprozine. SF Site would be a fanzine; Strange Horizons would be a semiprozine depending on whether or not Susan declared it to be, I guess.

    I wouldn’t want to be at the WSFS meeting where someone proposed taking the word “fanzine” out of the fanzine category. [g]

  10. Ooh, stats! A quick skim through the categories compared with the nomination figures from last year suggests that the number of people nominating is down by 25-30%, except for the Campbell. It will be interesting to see how many people actually vote, and how many of the nominators were LACon members who can only nominate.

  11. I wouldn’t want to be at the WSFS meeting where someone proposed taking the word “fanzine” out of the fanzine category. [g]

    Hmm… I suspect that this is one of those issues to do with how one found one’s way into the scene. To me the word “fanzine” implies something crudely photocopied and full of pictures of Tom Baker cut out of the Radio Times.

    Even stretching my conception, I can see how Emerald City would make sense as it was a singular vision and it came out in quite clear and distinct quanta-like issues. It was a clear example of something that might have once been photocopied and distributed at some depressing convention but was now online. I look at SF Site or SH and I really don’t see the same thing at all.

    I also suspect that I’m not alone in this perception as it is weird that NO websites have made it onto the shortlist AT ALL. I bet if the name of the category was changed, this would change too because if I was asked to nominate for “best fanzine” I wouldn’t think SF Site, I’d most likely not nominate at all as I don’t actually read anything that I consider a fanzine.

  12. You’re right that this is the first story Strange Horizons has had on a Hugo ballot. There’s been a lot of jumping up and down and squeeing, here in my home. (And we’ve traditionally asked that Strange Horizons be considered a professional magazine, not a semiprozine. I guess it’s a border case, but initially we were trying to make a point, and now it’s policy.)

  13. Niall said: What do you consider Vector, Matrix and Focus to be, then?

    See now there’s and editor supremely confident in his publication and not at all concerned about the obvious put down.

    Brave man!

  14. the definition of fanzine says nothing about whether it appears on paper or online.

    Hmm, I thought there used to be some rule that a fanzine had to be available in hardcopy, hence the downloadable versions of Emerald City. Or did I make that up in my head?

    Anyway, yeah, the categories are stupid, they will always be stupid, nothing can be done about it but at least they aren’t the Nebulas.

  15. To me the word “fanzine” implies something crudely photocopied and full of pictures of Tom Baker cut out of the Radio Times.

    So Jonathan, what you are saying is you don’t really know what you’re talking about? Fanzines have existed since the 1930s at least, and have involved a wide range of production methods, subject matter and style. Some are good, some are bad, and most are in between.

    But your ignorance and snobbery is betrayed by one word: ‘depressing’ when you talk about conventions. I’ve been to cons that are far from depressing, I’ve been to cons where I was depressed but others had a great time. Again they cover a range of styles and attitudes.

    Your attitude towards fanzines and conventions reads just like the Literary view of SF and is just as pathetic.

  16. Martin M: Not just my publication! All of them! Is that brave, or foolhardy, eh?

    Other Martin: Uh, yes. Now that you mention it, I have that recollection as well. But I can’t find anything written to substantiate it. Maybe it was just that old-school fanzine fans were sufficiently vociferous about it have to be on paper? (Mark would know, if he were here.)

    Kev: Steady! Jonathan did already acknowledge he’s coming to this via a different route. Of course, that doesn’t stop him being wrong in this instance. [g]

  17. I consider Vector, Matrix and Focus to be magazines. Much like Locus or Hub or Interzone. It’s just that they’re made by volunteers. There’s magazines and then there’s websites. Running the two together is like running non-fiction books and magazines together.

    Kev – Well damn… here I was hoping you were going to take me to the prom. I guess now I’ll just have to go with the captain of the basketball team. *sobs*

    I’m perfectly happy admitting that I’m not a huge fan of conventions. I’ve been to a couple and never really enjoyed them that much or understood why people attach so much importance to them *shrug* diff’rent strokes and all.

  18. I’ve hear Cheryl explaining why there were printable versions of Emerald City, and I don’t think it was anything to do with Hugo rules – I seem to recall it was due to consumer demand. I’d suspect that there was confusion with the Nova rules, which do require hard copy, if I thought Martin had ever taken any interest in the Nova rules.

    Jonathan’s use of ‘fanzine’ as an aesthetic rather than typological term is, of course, wrongheaded, but I’m more in sympathy with the notion that websites are different to online magazines (though I place Strange Horizons on a different side of the divide). There was a Best Website Hugo in 2005, and I don’t think that was a completely daft idea.

  19. I’m not using it as an aesthetic term… I just conceive of it as a narrower term than it is evidently being used as here. To me pointing at SH or SF Site and saying “That’s a fanzine” is on a par with saying “that’s a duck”. I don’t think they’re all shit either, it’s just the term means “amateur magazine” to me and not “any amateur publication whatsoever regardless of medium” which is clearly what it’s taken to mean here.

    Clearly I’m in a minority of one on this :-(

  20. If Julie Philips doesn’t win the best related category, all deference to John Picacio and the Worldcon Guest of Honor Speeches aside, I will have to have my membership to SMOF revoked.

    Am I the only one to see the irony in this year’s best editor category? They changed the rules, split the editorial category in two, because David Hartwell had been nominated 19 times (or was that Susan Lucci) and never beaten one of the magazine editors. Not only did Hartwell win last year (probably as a result of the extra publicity), but this year, when they finally did split the award, Hartwell’s been nominated in BOTH categories. He could win TWO Hugos!!

  21. Jonathan, your comment about ‘something crudely photocopied’, etc., whilst not, I concede, you first statement, does carry a value judgement about the professionalism of fanzines in general that no-one working in them would accept. For all Kev’s intemperate language, his analogy with the literary attitude that SF is bad because it’s SF is not that wide of the mark.

    I do agree that websites are sui generis, and deserve recognizing as such. But if you can see how Emerald City can be conceived as a fanzine, I’m not sure why you can’t see Strange Horizons as a semi-prozine a la Interzone, especially as SH proclaims itself ‘a weekly speculative fiction magazine’. (As an aside to Niall, depending on how you translate website hits into the equivalent of print runs, I don’t think Susan has to declare SH as a semiprozine, as I think it fulfills two other criteria.)

    To turn to something completely different, Niall, I agree completely about ‘Dowloaded’ – it’s a terrific episode that inverts the whole concept of the show on its head. It’s just a shame that everything that has flowed as a consequence of that episode (hey, let’s be friends with the humans by killing them until they love us!) has been a bit pants.

  22. I think Kev might well be onto something. It’s undeniable that I’m looking at fanzines and conventions as an outsider because I *am* an outsider to that world. I only joined the BSFA to get the magazines and I don’t really consider myself a “fan” or a part of “fandom”. I’ve just encountered it as a result of an interest in SF.

    As such, I’m perfectly happy to engage with the bits of fandom that interest me, but I don’t see myself as being under any kind of moral obligation to get excited about conventions or not feel uncomfortable about the term “fanzine”. If that makes me an ausslander, no better than the people who hate SF then so be it… it’s a bit xenophobic though.

    I always assumed that SH’s “magazine” tag was semi-serious. I don’t think of it as a magazine but as a website. A magazine’s a dead-tree periodical.

  23. I think that taken on their own, I’d rate “Downloaded” slightly above “The Girl in the Fireplace”. It’s only the shoddy treatment of the episode’s ramifications in BSG’s third season that gives TGITF a slight edge.

    I saw Pan’s Labyrinth on Saturday, and while it certainly deserves the slot now occupied by Pirates of the Caribbean 2 (and perhaps also V for Vendetta, which I haven’t seen), I don’t think it deserves to win. It’s a lesser version of del Toro’s The Devil’s Backbone, which dealt with similar themes – the Spanish civil war, children left in the care of malevolent guardians, the supernatural encroaching on the mundane and providing those children with some limited but ultimately insufficient protection – with a great deal more nuance and subtlety. In particular, I found the fantastic elements in Pan’s Labyrinth predictable and too completely enslaved to fairy-tale logic – there was very little sense of danger or menace when Ofelia was in the fantasy world because we knew that she had to complete the first two tasks safely – which ought to be an important consideration when awarding an SFnal award like the Hugo.

  24. A magazine is not a ‘dead tree periodical’. The word applies in the first place to a storehouse (hence artillery magazine), and hence by extension to any place where a variety of articles and features can be brought together. I remember as long ago as the 1950s television programmes being described as ‘magazines’. There is nothing in the title to do with the means of production, only with the variety of things being brought together. So magazine can equally validly be applied to print publication, online publication, television publication or any other means you might come up with.

  25. Jonathan: I’m not asking you to like or dislike conventions or fanzines, merely to apply proper critical faculties to them and not to dismiss the best examples on the basis of the worst. Not all SF is as bad as EC Tubb, nor all fanzines as crude as Efilnikufesin!

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