Hugo Nominees 2009

It’s all awards all the time, at the moment. Taken from the Anticipation website:

Best Novel

Anathem by Neal Stephenson
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
Saturn’s Children by Charles Stross
Zoe’s Tale by John Scalzi

You know what Adam Roberts said earlier about feeling that the stuff he’s interested in and value in sf are not the things sf as a whole considers interesting or valuable? That’s how this ballot makes me feel.

Best Novella

The Erdmann Nexus” by Nancy Kress (Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2008)
The Political Prisoner” by Charles Coleman Finlay (F&SF Aug 2008)
“The Tear” by Ian McDonald (Galactic Empires)
True Names” by Benjamin Rosenbaum and Cory Doctorow (Fast Forward 2)
Truth” by Robert Reed (Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2008)

On the upside, at least I should get to read “The Tear” now.

Best Novelette

Alastair Baffle’s Emporium of Wonders” by Mike Resnick (Asimov’s Jan 2008)
The Gambler” by Paolo Bacigalupi (Fast Forward 2)
Pride and Prometheus” by John Kessel (F&SF Jan 2008)
The Ray-Gun: A Love Story” by James Alan Gardner (Asimov’s Feb 2008)
Shoggoths in Bloom” by Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s Mar 2008)

On the downside, I have to read another Mike Resnick story.

Best Short Story

26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss” by Kij Johnson (Asimov’s Jul 2008)
Article of Faith” by Mike Resnick (Baen’s Universe Oct 2008)
Evil Robot Monkey” by Mary Robinette Kowal (The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, Volume Two)
Exhalation” by Ted Chiang (Eclipse Two)
From Babel’s Fall’n Glory We Fled” by Michael Swanwick (Asimov’s Feb 2008)

Two Mike Resnick stories! And a good year for Monkey stories, it seems.

Best Related Book

Rhetorics of Fantasy by Farah Mendlesohn (Wesleyan University Press) [Introduction online]
Spectrum 15: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art by Cathy & Arnie Fenner, eds. (Underwood Books)
The Vorkosigan Companion: The Universe of Lois McMaster Bujold by Lillian Stewart Carl & John Helfers, eds. (Baen)
What It Is We Do When We Read Science Fiction by Paul Kincaid (Beccon Publications)
Your Hate Mail Will be Graded: A Decade of Whatever, 1998-2008 by John Scalzi (Subterranean Press)

Excellent to see Rhetorics and What is is We Do … there.

Best Graphic Story

The Dresden Files: Welcome to the Jungle. Written by Jim Butcher, art by Ardian Syaf (Del Rey/Dabel Brothers Publishing)
Girl Genius, Volume 8: Agatha Heterodyne and the Chapel of Bones. Written by Kaja & Phil Foglio, art by Phil Foglio, colors by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment)
Fables: War and Pieces. Written by Bill Willingham, pencilled by Mark Buckingham, art by Steve Leialoha and Andrew Pepoy, color by Lee Loughridge, letters by Todd Klein (DC/Vertigo Comics)
Schlock Mercenary: The Body Politic. Story and art by Howard Tayler (The Tayler Corporation)
Serenity: Better Days. Written by Joss Whedon & Brett Matthews, art by Will Conrad, color by Michelle Madsen, cover by Jo Chen (Dark Horse Comics)
Y: The Last Man, Volume 10: Whys and Wherefores. Written/created by Brian K. Vaughan, pencilled/created by Pia Guerra, inked by Jose Marzan, Jr. (DC/Vertigo Comics)

Excellent to see this category got enough nominations to form a ballot at all.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer, story; Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, screenplay; based on characters created by Bob Kane; Christopher Nolan, director (Warner Brothers)
Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Guillermo del Toro & Mike Mignola, story; Guillermo del Toro, screenplay; based on the comic by Mike Mignola; Guillermo del Toro, director (Dark Horse, Universal)
Iron Man, Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway, screenplay; based on characters created by Stan Lee & Don Heck & Larry Lieber & Jack Kirby; Jon Favreau, director (Paramount, Marvel Studios)
METAtropolis by John Scalzi, ed. Written by: Elizabeth Bear, Jay Lake, Tobias Buckell and Karl Schroeder (Audible Inc)
WALL-E Andrew Stanton & Pete Docter, story; Andrew Stanton & Jim Reardon, screenplay; Andrew Stanton, director (Pixar/Walt Disney)

Scalzi is having a good year, I see.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

“The Constant” (Lost) Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof, writers; Jack Bender, director (Bad Robot, ABC studios)
Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog Joss Whedon, & Zack Whedon, & Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen , writers; Joss Whedon, director (Mutant Enemy)
“Revelations” (Battlestar Galactica) Bradley Thompson & David Weddle, writers; Michael Rymer, director (NBC Universal)
“Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead” (Doctor Who) Steven Moffat, writer; Euros Lyn, director (BBC Wales)
“Turn Left” (Doctor Who) Russell T. Davies, writer; Graeme Harper, director (BBC Wales)

I guess Abigail was right about the votes splitting for Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Best Editor, Short Form

Ellen Datlow
Stanley Schmidt
Jonathan Strahan
Gordon Van Gelder
Sheila Williams

Best Editor, Long Form

Lou Anders
Ginjer Buchanan
David G. Hartwell
Beth Meacham
Patrick Nielsen Hayden

Best Professional Artist

Daniel Dos Santos
Bob Eggleton
Donato Giancola
John Picacio
Shaun Tan

Best Semiprozine

Clarkesworld Magazine edited by Neil Clarke, Nick Mamatas & Sean Wallace
Interzone edited by Andy Cox
Locus edited by Charles N. Brown, Kirsten Gong-Wong, & Liza Groen Trombi
The New York Review of Science Fiction edited by Kathryn Cramer, Kris Dikeman, David G. Hartwell, & Kevin J. Maroney
Weird Tales edited by Ann VanderMeer & Stephen H. Segal

No Ansible!

Best Fanzine

Argentus edited by Steven H Silver
Banana Wings edited by Claire Brialey and Mark Plummer
Challenger edited by Guy H. Lillian III
The Drink Tank edited by Chris Garcia
Electric Velocipede edited by John Klima
File 770 edited by Mike Glyer

Oho, Electric Velocipede? That makes things a bit more interesting.

Best Fan Writer

Chris Garcia
John Hertz
Dave Langford
Cheryl Morgan
Steven H Silver

No surprises here, however.

Best Fan Artist

Alan F. Beck
Brad W. Foster
Sue Mason
Taral Wayne
Frank Wu

The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

Aliette de Bodard [with fiction sampler]
David Anthony Durham [with novel excerpts]
Felix Gilman
Tony Pi [with links to online fiction]
Gord Sellar [with links to online fiction]

And that’s an interesting list to finish on; I look forward to seeking out the work of those writers I haven’t already encountered.

56 Responses to “Hugo Nominees 2009”

  1. Jonathan M Says:

    That is quite a depressing Best Novel shortlist it must be said. I’ve only read the Stross and the Doctorow and neither of those were any good.

    BDP, LF throws up something unexpected though… an audiobook!

  2. Blue Tyson Says:

    Well, I disagree. The Doctorow was good.

    I’d agree that it’s a lame list full of kids books that shouldn’t be there, though. Dunno if I’d pick the Doctorow for a top 5, if it came to that, though. Would consider it.

    Niall, The Tear is really good. Galactic Empires is absolutely worth getting, if you can snag one by some means or other. :)

  3. Martin Wisse Says:

    It’s the Hugos: fan driven with a penchant for middle of the road, proper science fiction and a tendency to go for favourite author over best novel. What do you expect?

  4. Niall Says:

    Blue: Yes, we do disagree about the Doctorow. :)

    I’d agree that it’s a lame list full of kids books that shouldn’t be there, though.

    It is definitely the year that YA storms the Hugos. Even aside from the two published-as-YA books, Zoe’s Tale is deliberately “YA friendly”, and several people have commented on the YA structure and feel of Anathem. (It’s also a very Heinleinian year, isn’t it?)

    Martin: well, I live in hope …

  5. Tony Keen Says:

    Martin, it could have been worse – at least City at the End of Time didn’t make the list, which I rather expected it to.

  6. Blue Tyson Says:

    Did Mike Resnick kick your puppy or something, Niall? :)

    Whereas kicking Johnson’s dogs and monkeys out, would be a good thing.

  7. Blue Tyson Says:

    Yeah, a kidded up rehash of the third Old Man’s War book (and I liked that a lot) should not be winning any awards, as far as I can see.

  8. Niall Says:

    Tony: yeah, I know at least one other person who was convinced City would be there. I never really believed it, and I’m glad you and they were wrong.

    Blue: more disagreement! I’ve never read a story by Resnick that I could hand-on-heart describe as “good”; the closest I can come is calling some of the stories in Kirinyaga “not bad”. Whereas I like Johnson’s dogs and monkeys. And, though I agree that Zoe’s Tale isn’t really what I would consider Hugo-calibre, I did think it was better than The Last Colony.

  9. Blue Tyson Says:

    Of course, the very same ‘middle of the road’ pickers last year gave the Hugo to that hopelessly centre-core sf mediocre hack loser Chabon.

    Also picked Ian McDonald’s tale of enhanced beach soccer players at Carnivale, in Brasyl.

    Plus the aforementioned Last Colony, and Charlie Stross’ story of rehab after a drunken spiked latte-post adultery car accident book, Halting State.

  10. Blue Tyson Says:

    I’ve seen one good Johnson story, but only a handful, the rest I agree ‘not bad’ is as far as I would go. Mediocre, boring, and waste of time, also springs to mind. :) The Delmoni Atrocity one notwithstanding.

  11. Blue Tyson Says:

    On the Resnick thing – it does seem to me that in general your lot has a bias against the yanks, and vice versa, though, as far as this sort of thing goes.

    Australia of course has moved considerably away from the pom influence in the other direction, over recent years.

  12. Blue Tyson Says:

    Also depends what you mean by good, too. I would agree I’ve never seen a _really_ good Resnick story, as in, say, Exhalation, for example. Your upper tier Egan/Bacigalupi/Stross or whoever work, that sort of thiing.

    (Speaking of dogs, much short posting due to imposition of mutts and spousal units, sorry. :))

  13. Peter Hollo Says:

    I thought Little Brother was very good, although I’m not sure it should win a Hugo (FWIW).
    I like Stross a lot but I really don’t thinkg Saturn’s Children is Hugo material (again, whatever a Hugo is worth…)
    Anathem annoyed the hell out of me, but one could hardly be surprised that it’s on there.
    I do wish that something like Margo Lanagan’s Tender Morsels could get up (considering it’s the year of YA, and it’s marketed as such in the US), and I’d love to see Paul McAuley up there (I have some issues with The Quiet War but I’ve really enjoyed it).

    Scalzi, meh.

  14. Martin Says:

    (It’s also a very Heinleinian year, isn’t it?)

    Yeah, my first thought on looking at the best novels list was zombie Heinlein rules the waves.

  15. Jonathan M Says:

    Never mind Resnick, isn’t Scalzi a better contender to be the symbol of the aesthetic rifts between UK and US fandom? he only recently got published over here but in the US his name seems enough to guarantee a Hugo nomination for relatively minor projects.

    Speaking of which, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he walked away with Best Related seeing as he isn’t competing in best fan-writer.

  16. Nick Says:

    My first thought on seeing the Best Novel list was how depressingly average it was. And having now seen this post, I’d say the Adam Roberts line you quote sums it up accurately.

    I think what depresses me most is that, looking at the list, I consider the Graveyard Book to be the best book on there – yet it’s not science-fiction, so on those grounds I wouldn’t want it to win.

    I suspect Anathem may steamroller the others regardless.

    Oh, and the list has the effect of making the Clarke Award shortlist look that much better in comparison.

    As expected, the Dark Knight is on BDPLF, and I level similar ‘not sf!’ complaints against it. If there’s any justice, Wall-E will take that one.

    BDPSF is also pretty depressing, given that it appears to be simply made up of the usual suspects – Doctor Who, Battlestar, something Whedonesque. The only real surprise is an episode of Lost – that hasn’t been on the list since the first episode, has it? Unless I’m mistaken. That there’s no room for The Sarah Connor Chronicles makes me sad. And that there is room for the execrable “Turn Left” makes me hate fans.

    I’m not sure what to think of the Best Graphic Story list yet. Some of the works on there are unknown to me.

  17. Blue Tyson Says:

    Jonathan,

    I was more meaning that Resnick is _extremely_ American, as far as writing goes, etc. as opposed to ‘the he’s like Heinlein, he’s like Clarke’ sort of idea. Likewise there seems to be a big yank Reynolds blindspot, speaking of guys starting with R.

    Lanagan’s not a Hugo sort of writer, as far as I can see (not to mention aiming for the kid thing, too – going to be somewhat hard to be noticed by those voters by writing fantasy marketed to children) – definitely not very American or very English, of course.

  18. Ian Sales Says:

    Actually, it looks like the Cult of Online Personality has had more influence on the novel shortlist than the books themselves – Gaiman, Doctorow, Stross and Scalzi all have huge online presences. So it’s the author getting the votes, not the book. Sort of makes it all appear a bit pointless…

    It also seems it’s becoming more of a truism every year that the really interesting stuff happens in the shorter forms – novellas, novelettes and short stories. Well, except for Resnick. But look on the bright side: no bloody Willis.

    And really, was the Kowal one of the the best stories of the year, or just the one that’s been plugged the most by Scalzi? Or is that too mean?

  19. Niall Says:

    Blue:

    it does seem to me that in general your lot has a bias against the yanks, and vice versa, though, as far as this sort of thing goes.

    Speaking personally, there’s probably an element of truth to that; though give me a shortlist containing, say, Marusek, Watts, McHugh, Le Guin and Kim Stanley Robinson and I doubt I’d be unhappy. (Not that such a shortlist is possible from last year’s books, but you take my point.) But I suspect it’s more accurate to say I have a bias against what I take to be a characteristically American style of sf, that being raw Heinlein.

    Peter: I’m feeling guilty for not having read Tender Morsels in time for the nominating deadline, now, because I suspect (a) I’m going to like it and (b) it probably got a fair few nominations, and I might have helped to push it onto the ballot. We shall see when the full list of nominations gets released after Worldcon, I guess.

    Jonathan: yes, I was thinking along much the same lines.

    Nick:

    I suspect Anathem may steamroller the others regardless.

    Yes. If it’s close, I imagine it will be close between Stephenson and Doctorow, possibly Stephenson and Gaiman, but I expect Anathem to take it — as much because it’s got the additional exposure that comes from being mainstream-published, and that seems to be a boon when it comes to the final stage of Hugo voting (Susanna Clarke, Michael Chabon) as because it’s probably the best book on the ballot. (I say “probably” because I haven’t read the Gaiman or Stross books yet.)

    Oh, and the list has the effect of making the Clarke Award shortlist look that much better in comparison.

    Heh. Mark Kelly agrees.

    Ian: It also seems it’s becoming more of a truism every year that the really interesting stuff happens in the shorter forms

    Yes — and in the Campbell Award. It does seem to me that in recent years the Campbell has been one of the most interesting (and often diverse, in all senses) categories, but it seems to only really be Elizabeth Bear who’s made the leap from there to the main Hugo ballot.

  20. Blue Tyson Says:

    Err.., how about Mary Robinette Kowal? Evil leaping Robot Monkey seems to have a hold of a Hugo branch there.

    Is hers one of the best stories of the year? No, not by me. Dozois disagrees. It is decent, though, and certainly much better than the other monkey.

    No argument from me that short stories are more interesting than novels, in general.

    The second Resnick isn’t deserving, the first one is good, though. It is fantasy, so as mentioned above I wouldn’t pick it on those grounds, either.

    Niall:

    Yes, I take your point. Watts is Canadian, you can’t use him, sorry. :)

  21. Niall Says:

    how about Mary Robinette Kowal?

    D’oh, yes. Total brain disconnect going on there.

  22. Blue Tyson Says:

    Ian,

    Funny you should say that, see Scalzi

    http://whatever.scalzi.com/2009/03/19/hugo-thoughts-2009/

    “First, the Best Novel Category, about which could be said: This is a good year. Doctorow, Gaiman, Stephenson and Stross: You’ve just pretty much named off my list of favorite contemporary authors. “

  23. Ian Sales Says:

    Maybe the award should be renamed the Scalzi…

  24. Nick Says:

    After cursory research, a brief extra thought on the Best Graphic Story list: surely discredited by the the presence of a shitty webcomic collection.

    Extensive thoughts will have to wait for another time, as I’m off out now.

  25. Liz Says:

    Thing is, I agree with Scalzi in one sense – I think Doctorow, Gaiman, Stephenson and Stross are all excellent authors. I just think that with the exception of Anathem, the nominated works are far from their best. Little Brother I have major issues with, Saturn’s Children is so uninspiring I haven’t finished it, and The Graveyard Book is nice and well-written and that’s about all I have to say about it.

    Short fiction looks more interesting, and I look forward to reading most of them. The fan writing categories look the same as every year for the past umpty years, except for Chris Garcia and Electric Velocipede, and while I think the latter is a fine magazine, I don’t think it belongs in the fanzine category at all. I have no problem with blogs being in that category, but a magazine which you pay for, and pays its contributors, and is in partnership with a small press, feels much more like a semiprozine even if it doesn’t meet all the technicalities.

    That Roberts quote sums a lot of it up for me: it feels like the bulk of the Hugo voters are interested in something which is completely different to what I look for in SF.

  26. Blue Tyson Says:

    Most of them probably are definitely not interested in Gulliver’s Travels pastiche, certainly. I’m definitely not.

  27. Jonathan M Says:

    Given the differences between the ACCA and BSFA awards on one hand and the Hugos on the other, I think we can see clear blue water between US and UK fandom.

    The emergence of Scalzi as some kind of a cultural Godhead is slightly alarming. Isn’t he just an online angry bloke who produces undemanding space opera?

  28. Blue Tyson Says:

    Well, those are certainly biased to the pom. :) If you had to pick from everything, would see how you did then.

    The answers to your last part are no and no. No more than Adam Roberts is a disgruntled pretentious academic who produces average and uninteresting SF.

  29. Niall Says:

    Ahem, you two. Let’s disagree without casting aspersions on peoples’ characters, eh?

  30. Ian Sales Says:

    If you had to pick from everything, would see how you did then.

    I think you’ve missed the point. Both UK awards are for books published in the UK, yes, but not necessarily by UK authors. And if the awards were open to books published in the US, it doesn’t mean the shortlists would be then be clogged by mediocre US novels. It’s the character of the voters who determine the shortlists, and Brits are not Americans.

  31. Paul Kincaid Says:

    I don’t think they are biased, but I don’t think the difference is relevant either. Both the BSFA and the ACCA awards specify ‘first British publication’; the Hugo specifies ‘first English language publication’. That inevitably means that the Hugo is open to very many books that simply are not eligible for the Clarke or the BSFA.

    Also the ACCA and BSFA both specify (but do not slavishly limit themselves to) science fiction, whereas the Hugo is open to both sf and fantasy.

    In other words, they are drawing on such radically different constituencies that you cannot make any sensible comparisons between the two.

  32. Blue Tyson Says:

    Right, that was the point, actually. :) This is what they ain’t.

    Unlike Jonathan, perhaps, I have read a considerable amount of stuff by both gentlemen. (barring the obvious spoof novels) they have done.

  33. Liz Says:

    I realise my previous comment is a bit grumpy, and there is a lot to like on this list: Rhetorics and What is is we do on the related list, the consistently excellent Banana Wings up for fanzine again, an interesting Campbell list of work to seek out, and having audio books on the DP list is an interesting twist.

    Blue Tyson: I think it’s been adequately covered above, but by agreeing with Roberts’s sentiment I didn’t intend to comment on the quality of his fiction, just that I feel a disconnect from the rest of the Hugo voters.

  34. Niall Says:

    Paul: yes, broadly agreed. Plus, even in the more comparable case — BSFA and Hugo — there’s an important difference in process. BSFA nominations come from BSFA members, and are subsequently voted on by BSFA members and Eastercon members; Hugo nominations come from past and current Worldcon members, and are voted on by current Worldcon members. The Hugos are open to a larger and broader population in the first place.

  35. Blue Tyson Says:

    Paul,

    Right, I agree. I wasn’t comparing any particular award to any other, the ‘bias’ part at the start was meant generally.

    Ian,

    You are right, you’d most likely be more likely to pick mediocre UK work. :)

  36. Blue Tyson Says:

    Liz,

    Well, I have a disconnect with the novels when they keep picking kids books or fantasies like Bujold or Martin, certainly.

    Short stories at least make more sense (and I have read all those).

  37. Jonathan M Says:

    It’s not as if we’re comparing the Hungarian X-Factor finalists with the Booker shortlist. There is some cross-over. (Saturn’s Children and Zoe’s Tale were both on the ACCA long-list for example).

    I think ‘bias’ is too crude a term to be of much use. Plus it carries loads of negative connotations (which are probably more applicable to the manly whitebread nature of the Hugo best-novel shortlist). The same goes for ‘cult of personality’. I think that accumulated cultural capital plays a huge role in popular awards. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest that people have more or less social capital depending upon which constituency does the voting.

  38. Tom Hunter Says:

    Zoe’s Tale wasn’t on the ACCA submissions list this year, but The Last Colony was.

  39. Paul Kincaid Says:

    Jonathan, was there a Clarke Award long list? I saw a list of the books that had been submitted, but nothing to suggest there had been any judicial cutting down to warrant calling it a long list. So all we know is that Saturn’s Children was sent in by the publisher, nothing more than that.

  40. Jonathan M Says:

    That’s what I meant. It was in the pool of books that could have made it onto the short-list.

  41. Niall Says:

    You literalist, you. I think Paul was making the point that people using “list of submissions” and “longlist” interchangeably (a) causes material confusion about the process of the award, and (b) is really annoying. Or at least it is for me. :)

  42. Mark Plummer Says:

    Reference Paul’s comment above, the BSFA Awards are, like the Hugos, open to both SF and fantasy. From the BSFA website:

    ‘The Best Novel award is open to any novel-length work of science fiction or fantasy that has been published in the UK for the first time in 2008’.

    Not that this necessarily undermines Paul’s contention that ‘they are drawing on such radically different constituencies that you cannot make any sensible comparisons between the two.’

    — Mark

  43. Jason M. Robertson Says:

    I’m a bit pleased with myself at the moment for correctly predicting the best novel list in February, but as point of evidence in this debate, my predictive list was a deliberate exercise in disregarding merit and assuming that “author constituency” would carry the day.

    I’ve read three of the five on the novel nominees (Little Brother, Anathem, Saturn’s Children) and I think that Anathem is the clear winner of the bunch, even though I have some real issues with it. If just one of say, The Gone-Away World, Incandescence, or An Autumn War had made it on, I’d be much happier. This list does seem to take author prominence right through to reduction.

  44. Rich Horton Says:

    This is I think the first time since 1997 that I haven’t read a single one of the novel nominees.

    I still haven’t read any of the 1997 nominees, as it happens. (I think, maybe I slipped up in the years since.) But I certainly intend to read most or all of this year’s nominees — I have copies of four of them — all but ZOE’S TALE — and I definitely want to get to them. I just haven’t had time yet.

    Blue Tyson knows I disagree with him sometimes, agree strongly other times, and I have to say I strongly disagree on the merits of Kij Johnson’s story, and Mary Robinette Kowal’s story, both of which I’m reprinting. That said, “Exhalation” seems clearly the best story on the list. (Why am I not reprinting it? Well, the comment I always make about not always getting permission applies …)

    As for “From Babel’s Fall’n Glory We Fled” — I liked it a lot, but isn’t it rather long for a short story? I have it listed in my notes as 8900 words, which may be off some, but if it’s longer than 8250 it isn’t eligible.

    Finally, the Resnick story, put shortly, does not seem Hugo worthy at all. The Resnick novelette is somewhat better — definitely not award-worthy in my view but not a bad story. To seque to the rest of the novelettes — I like the list on the whole, particularly Bear’s story and Gardner’s (which are in my books next year). Kessel’s story is also very good (and was on my reprint candidate shortlist). The Bacigalupi story is also fine, but for some reason I was a bit underwhelmed by it, at least relative to the other three stories (save the Resnick).

    In novellas, I thought Kress’s “Erdmann Nexus” kind of Sturgeonesque, and not bad — indeed pretty good — but not really one of the best stories this year. “The Political Prisoner” is very fine work, as is “True Names”, if neither of them were wholly successful for me. “Truth” is first rate, but … “The Tear” is clearly, by a wide margin, the best of the nominees. (But I really regret that McLaughlin’s “Tenbrook of Mars” didn’t get a nomination, and I’m surprised too because Analog usually shows well in the nominations, doesn’t it?)

    I also very much like the Campbell list.

  45. Niall Says:

    Jason:

    I’m a bit pleased with myself at the moment for correctly predicting the best novel list in February,

    You have managed to simultaneously impress and depress me. Well done.

    Rich: snark about Resnick aside, there are plenty of stories on the short fiction ballots I’m looking forward to reading. I think I’m going to read one a week, and then invite comment, a la the discussion about “Divining Light”. That should get me done in time for the voting deadline.

  46. Petréa Mitchell Says:

    Nick:

    “After cursory research, a brief extra thought on the Best Graphic Story list: surely discredited by the the presence of a shitty webcomic collection.”

    Before both the Howard Tayler and the Foglio fans show up here to beat you up, would you care to be more specific? (Or is it really both of them?)

  47. Karen Burnham Says:

    Nick: “After cursory research, a brief extra thought on the Best Graphic Story list: surely discredited by the the presence of a shitty webcomic collection.”

    I do hope you’re not saying that (presumably about Schlock Mercenary) without having read it. In award routinely won by story-tellers and tales of adventure, I can’t see the harm in having a bang-up adventure story-teller nominated in Best Graphic Novel. As someone who nominated the latest Schlock Mercenary collection, I hope that my critical faculties weren’t totally dimmed at the time.

  48. Nick Says:

    I’ll hold my hands up. I did say it was cursory, and from what I saw of Schlock Mercenary when I found the webcomic after Googling it, it was nothing to write home about (Girl Genius I was already aware of as being a work of some acclaim, so Foglio fans don’t need to beat me up).

    Now, it might be that reading the last couple of strips and a couple of random ones from the archive just doesn’t give me enough context to make an accurate assessment. So, if anyone can point me to the period covered by the collection, I shall go back and have a look at that, and give it a fair shot.

  49. Nick Says:

    Drat, forgot to put this in my previous comment:

    “I can’t see the harm in having a bang-up adventure story-teller nominated in Best Graphic Novel.”

    I wonder if this is yet more evidence of a UK/US divide, also seen to an extent in the Best Novel list compared to the Clarke Award shortlist, where the UK tendency seems to be to go for more ‘intelligent’ (for want of a better word) work than the ‘bang-up adventures’.

    Or I could just be talking bollocks again.

  50. Blue Tyson Says:

    Rich,

    I’ll agree with you then :)

    Tenbrook of Mars should have been there, certainly. I would put plenty of others ahead of Resnick in this case, too, as far as that goes.

  51. Petréa Mitchell Says:

    I’ve been a Girl Genius fan for years and never really got into Schlock Mercenary, but I did read The Body Politic since it was eligible and free online, and I have to admit that it holds up way better as a standalone story than the eligible GG volume does. If I vote in this category on the final ballot, it pains me to admit it, but I’ll rank The Body Politic higher.

    OTOH, the volume that GG has just started, I have very high hopes for…

    (Incidentally, I didn’t nominate either of them– I wound up going with an all-Mushishi slate.)

  52. Nick Says:

    I’ve since found a free download of Schlock Mercenary: The Body Politic. I shall be reading that later.

    In other news, I find I have cause to doubt the eligibility of the Y – the Last Man volume. In the comments of the previous Torque Control entry about the Best Graphic Story category, the ballot is quoted as saying that “A science fiction or fantasy story told in graphic form appearing for the first time in 2008” is eligible for the award; Whys and Wherefores, however, contains issues that first appeared in 2007.

  53. Ian Sales Says:

    Dear me. I’ve just read Resnick’s ‘Article of Faith’. I’d thought – I’d hoped – they’d stopped writing stories like that back in the 1950s. How on earth did that get onto the shortlist?

  54. Petréa Mitchell Says:

    Nick:

    What determines eligibility is when the nominated story ends. If that volume covers a story that ended in 2008, it’s fine. The Body Politic and the Girl Genius volume are eligible in the same way– both started getting posted on the Web in 2007, but finished in 2008.

  55. Hugo Discussion Schedule: Best Novelette « Torque Control Says:

    […] catching up on my own review-writing. And as part of (b), I’ll be reading the first of the Hugo-nominated novelettes, with the intent of posting about it on Sunday. I’m going to be following the […]


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