Sunday, April 24, 2011

2011 Hugo Nominees

Hot off the presses, here are this year’s nominees, with my usual off-the-cuff comments (which are probably about to offend someone). I copied-and-pasted the list from John Scalzi, in an attempt to have someone to blame if I screwed up.


Best Novel

  • Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis (Ballantine Spectra)
  • Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)
  • The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Gollancz; Pyr)
  • Feed by Mira Grant (Orbit)
  • The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)

I have to admit that the two of those that I've read so far did not strike me as particularly Hugo-worthy; the Bujold is a nice minor late book in a well-loved series, and the Willis diptych is, frankly, a curate's egg at best.

Best Novella

  • “The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen’s Window” by Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean Magazine, Summer 2010)
  • The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang (Subterranean)
  • “The Maiden Flight of McCauley’s Bellerophon” by Elizabeth Hand (Stories: All New Tales, William Morrow)
  • “The Sultan of the Clouds” by Geoffrey A. Landis (Asimov’s, September 2010)
  • “Troika” by Alastair Reynolds (Godlike Machines, Science Fiction Book Club)

The only one I've read is the Hand (which was good but didn't strike me as award-quality good), but my rootting impulses, even three years and a bad break-up later, are with Reynolds's story, for obvious reasons.

Best Novelette

  • “Eight Miles” by Sean McMullen (Analog, September 2010)
  • “The Emperor of Mars” by Allen M. Steele (Asimov’s, June 2010)
  • “The Jaguar House, in Shadow” by Aliette de Bodard (Asimov’s, July 2010)
  • “Plus or Minus” by James Patrick Kelly (Asimov’s, December 2010)
  • “That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made” by Eric James Stone (Analog, September 2010)

I have no coherent comment; I'm not reading enough short fiction these days to say anything.

Best Short Story

  • “Amaryllis” by Carrie Vaughn (Lightspeed, June 2010)
  • “For Want of a Nail” by Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov’s, September 2010)
  • “Ponies” by Kij Johnson (Tor.com, November 17, 2010)
  • “The Things” by Peter Watts (Clarkesworld, January 2010)

Those are strong writers, so I expect they're good stories -- but I haven't read them yet.

Best Related Work

  • Bearings: Reviews 1997-2001, by Gary K. Wolfe (Beccon)
  • The Business of Science Fiction: Two Insiders Discuss Writing and Publishing, by Mike Resnick and Barry N. Malzberg (McFarland)
  • Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It, edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Tara O’Shea (Mad Norwegian)
  • Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century, Volume 1: (1907–1948): Learning Curve, by William H. Patterson, Jr. (Tor)
  • Writing Excuses, Season 4, by Brandon Sanderson, Jordan Sanderson, Howard Tayler, Dan Wells

I've read much of the Resnick-Malzberg book as it was originally published as essays in the SFWA's magazine -- and disagreed with a lot of it then; writers often are far less "insiders" into the publishing world than they think they are. (Not to say that people working in publishing are much better; it's a big, Balkanized world with hardly any "never"s or "impossible"s.) And I still have to read the Heinlein bio, about which I have heard mixed reports.

Best Graphic Story

  • Fables: Witches, written by Bill Willingham; illustrated by Mark Buckingham (Vertigo)
  • Girl Genius, Volume 10: Agatha Heterodyne and the Guardian Muse, written by Phil and Kaja Foglio; art by Phil Foglio; colors by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment)
  • Grandville Mon Amour, by Bryan Talbot (Dark Horse)
  • Schlock Mercenary: Massively Parallel, written and illustrated by Howard Tayler; colors by Howard Tayler and Travis Walton (Hypernode)
  • The Unwritten, Volume 2: Inside Man, written by Mike Carey; illustrated by Peter Gross (Vertigo)

I've read two of those -- Witches and Grandville -- both of which are solid but not, to my mind, award-quality. And I didn't love the first Unwritten book, so I'm tending to see this as a weak category.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, screenplay by Steve Kloves; directed by David Yates (Warner)
  • How to Train Your Dragon, screenplay by William Davies, Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders; directed by Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders (DreamWorks)
  • Inception, written and directed by Christopher Nolan (Warner)
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, screenplay by Michael Bacall & Edgar Wright; directed by Edgar Wright (Universal)
  • Toy Story 3, screenplay by Michael Arndt; story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich; directed by Lee Unkrich (Pixar/Disney)

I've seen all but the wand-battle, which I'm sure I'll get to soon. It doesn't strike me as strong a list as it should be, but it's certainly respectable.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

  • Doctor Who: “A Christmas Carol,” written by Steven Moffat; directed by Toby Haynes (BBC Wales)
  • Doctor Who: “The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang,” written by Steven Moffat; directed by Toby Haynes (BBC Wales)
  • Doctor Who: “Vincent and the Doctor,” written by Richard Curtis; directed by Jonny Campbell (BBC Wales)
  • Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury, written by Rachel Bloom; directed by Paul Briganti
  • The Lost Thing, written by Shaun Tan; directed by Andrew Ruhemann and Shaun Tan (Passion Pictures)

I am so totally voting for Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury that you have no idea. I guess I need to watch The Lost Thing before I decide if No Award goes second or third, since I outgrew watching Doctor Who five or six regenerations ago. (No offense to you slathering hordes; I hardly watch any TV at all.)

Best Editor, Short Form
  • John Joseph Adams
  • Stanley Schmidt
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Gordon Van Gelder
  • Sheila Williams
Good to see some newer names poking up here, and I'll have to think for a while before I have any clue how I'll vote here.

Best Editor, Long Form
  • Lou Anders
  • Ginjer Buchanan
  • Moshe Feder
  • Liz Gorinsky
  • Nick Mamatas
  • Beth Meacham
  • Juliet Ulman
A longer list than usual, and nearly all of them people I consider friends. This will be the toughest category to vote in, even if -- as I hope I will -- I can focus entirely on professional achievement in the year 2010.

Best Professional Artist
  • Daniel Dos Santos
  • Bob Eggleton
  • Stephan Martiniere
  • John Picacio
  • Shaun Tan
I love Shaun Tan -- I'm in the middle of looking at his omnibus Lost and Found right now -- but what art did he put out in 2010, other than The Lost Thing film? (This is always my complaint about this category; it never seems to have any specific tie to the year in question.)

Best Semiprozine

  • Clarkesworld, edited by Neil Clarke, Cheryl Morgan, Sean Wallace; podcast directed by Kate Baker
  • Interzone, edited by Andy Cox
  • Lightspeed, edited by John Joseph Adams
  • Locus, edited by Liza Groen Trombi and Kirsten Gong-Wong
  • Weird Tales, edited by Ann VanderMeer and Stephen H. Segal

Great work being done here, mostly in things I haven't had time to read regularly.

Best Fanzine

  • Banana Wings, edited by Claire Brialey and Mark Plummer
  • Challenger, edited by Guy H. Lillian III
  • The Drink Tank, edited by Christopher J Garcia and James Bacon
  • File 770, edited by Mike Glyer
  • StarShipSofa, edited by Tony C. Smith

I know nothing about the fanzine scene, and won't pretend to do so here.

Best Fan Writer
  • James Bacon
  • Claire Brialey
  • Christopher J Garcia
  • James Nicoll
  • Steven H Silver
A fine list.

Best Fan Artist
  • Brad W. Foster
  • Randall Munroe
  • Maurine Starkey
  • Steve Stiles
  • Taral Wayne
I'm sure the complaints about Munroe's deliberately simple drawings have already begun in the secret hallowed halls of SMOFs.

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer
Award for the best new professional science fiction or fantasy writer of 2009 or 2010, sponsored by Dell Magazines (not a Hugo Award).
  • Saladin Ahmed
  • Lauren Beukes
  • Larry Correia
  • Lev Grossman
  • Dan Wells
Note: All finalists are in their 2nd year of eligibility.

I've met Lauren Beukes and read Lev Grossman, but I'll need to study more to have a clue in this category.


I'll do my half-baked and usually offensive "Handicapping" post somewhat later this year, after voting has closed. (And assuming I remember and have time; this summer is going to be a very busy one for me.)


The Hugo Award winners will be announced August 20, at Renovation, in lovely sunbaked Reno, Nevada. Voting is not quite open yet, but will be very quickly -- though, as always, one must be a member of the current Worldcon (Renovation; weren't you paying attention?) to vote. And that voting period will extend to some point that also is not yet specified. Congratulations to all of the nominees, but to the ones I personally know even more so, because that's the kind of guy I am.

1 comment:

mjlayman said...

When there's more than five, like Best Editor, Long Form, it means there's a tie (or more).

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